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Case Summary of Marbury v.

Brief Fact Summary. William Marbury (Marbury), an end-of-term appointee of  Madison failed to finalize the former president’s appointment of William
President John Adams (President Adams) to a justice of the peace position in the Marbury as Justice of the Peace.
District of Columbia, brought suit against President Thomas Jefferson’s (President  Marbury directly petitioned the Supreme Court for an equitable remedy in
Jefferson) Secretary of State, James Madison, seeking delivery of his commission. the form of a writ of mandamus.
 The Supreme Court held that although Marbury was entitled to a remedy,
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court)
has constitutional authority to review executive actions and legislative acts. The
Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 expanding the Supreme
Supreme Court has limited jurisdiction, the bounds of which are set by the United States Court’s original jurisdiction was unconstitutional.
Constitution (Constitution), which may not be enlarged by the Congress.  Prior to this case, no law had been rendered unconstitutional. The major
significance of Marbury v. Madison is that it helped define the
original jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court.
Facts. Before the inauguration of President Jefferson, outgoing President Adams
attempted to secure Federalist control of the judiciary by creating new judgeships and
Marbury v. Madison Case Brief
Statement of the Facts:
filling them with Federalist appointees. Included in these efforts was the nomination
by President Adams, under the Organic Act of the District of Columbia (the District), of Towards the end of his presidency, John Adams appointed William Marbury
42 new justices of the peace for the District, which were confirmed by the Senate the as Justice of the Peace for the District of Columbia. After assuming office,
day before President Jefferson’s inauguration. A few of the commissions, including President Thomas Jefferson ordered James Madison not to finalize Marbury’s
Marbury’s, were undelivered when President Jefferson took office. The new president appointment. Under Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789, Marbury
instructed Secretary of State James Madison to withhold delivery of the commissions. brought an action against Madison in the United States Supreme Court
Marbury sought mandamus in the Supreme Court, requiring James Madison to deliver requesting the Court to issue a writ of mandamus to force delivery of the
his commission. appointment.

Issue. Is Marbury entitled to mandamus from the Supreme Court? Procedural History:

Marbury directly approached the Supreme Court to compel Madison,

Held. No. Case dismissed for want of jurisdiction.
As the President signed Marbury’s commission after his confirmation, the appointment Jefferson’s Secretary of State, to deliver the commission to Marbury.
has been made, and Marbury has a right to the commission
Issues and Holdings:
Given that the law imposed a duty on the office of the president to deliver Marbury’s
commission, that the Supreme Court has the power to review executive actions when 1. Does Marbury hold a right to his judicial appointment? Yes
the executive acts as an officer of the law and the nature of the writ of mandamus to 2. Is Marbury entitled to a remedy under U.S. law? Yes
direct an officer of the government “to do a particular thing therein specified,”� 3. Is Marbury entitled to a writ of mandamus under Section 13 of the
mandamus is the appropriate remedy, if available to the Supreme Court. Judiciary Act of 1789? No
To issue mandamus to the Secretary of State really is to sustain an original action, Judgment:
which is (in this case) outside the constitutional limits of jurisdiction imposed on the
Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Marshall denied issuing a writ of mandamus.

Rule of Law or Legal Principle Applied:

Discussion. The importance of Marbury v. Madison is both political and legal. The United States Supreme Court has the authority to review both the
Although the case establishes the traditions of judicial review and a litigable legislative acts of congress and laws to determine if they comply with
constitution on which the remainder of constitutional law rests, it also transformed the the Constitution.
Supreme Court from an incongruous institution to an equipotent head of a branch of Reasoning:
the federal government.  Justice Marshall held that although Marbury was entitled to his
commission, the United States Supreme Court could not hear the case
Following is the case brief for Marbury v. Madison, United States Supreme because it lacked original jurisdiction.
Court, (1803)
1. Marbury was lawfully appointed as Justice of the Peace through the exercise original jurisdiction over causes of actions for writs of mandamus.
president’s (Adams) signing of Marbury’s commission and Senate The problem is the provision directly conflicts with the Constitution,
confirmation. specifically Article III. Article III serves as a limitation on the types of
2. Under federal law, Marbury is entitled to a remedy. Whether or not cases the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over. Cases not within
Marbury may receive a remedy is contingent upon whether the the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction may fall under the Court’s
appointment made Marbury an agent of the president or assigned a duty by appellate jurisdiction. In short, Section 13 of The Act is unconstitutional
law. If appointed as a political agent of the president, Marbury is not since it attempts to expand the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
entitled to a remedy. However, if Marbury was deprived of the ability to Concurring/Dissenting Opinions:
carry out a duty assigned to him by law, Marbury is entitled to a remedy.
Here, Adams gave legal title to the office of Justice of the Peace to Unanimous decision
Marbury for the length of the appointment. Madison interfered with
Marbury’s legal title when he refused to finalize Marbury’s appointment. Significance:
As a result, Marbury is entitled to a remedy. The holding of Marbury v. Madison established the United States Supreme
3. Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 authorizing the United States Court’s power to determine whether a law passed by Congress was
Supreme Court jurisdiction to provide the remedy of a writ of mandamus is constitutional (Judicial Review). Prior to this case, it was clear that laws
unconstitutional. The Judiciary Act of 1789 permits the Supreme Court to conflicting with the Constitution were invalid, but the branch of government
who determined validity had not been established.

FRANCISCO VS. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 3. On 2 June 2003, former President Joseph E. Estrada filed an
G.R. NO. 160261. November 10, 2003 impeachment complaint (first impeachment complaint) against
Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. and seven Associate Justices of
ERNESTO B. FRANCISCO, JR., petitioner,
NAGMAMALASAKIT NA MGA MANANANGGOL NG MGA the Supreme Court for “culpable violation of the Constitution,
MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO, INC., ITS OFFICERS AND betrayal of the public trust and other high crimes.” The complaint
MEMBERS, petitioner-in-intervention, was endorsed by House Representatives, and was referred to the
WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE House Committee on Justice on 5 August 2003 in accordance with
PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner-in-intervention, Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution. The House
Committee on Justice ruled on 13 October 2003 that the first
SPEAKER JOSE G. DE VENECIA, THE SENATE, impeachment complaint was “sufficient in form,” but voted to
REPRESENTED BY SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. dismiss the same on 22 October 2003 for being insufficient in
AND REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. 4. The following day or on 23 October 2003, the second
FUENTEBELLA, respondents.
impeachment complaint was filed with the Secretary General of
JAIME N. SORIANO, respondent-in-Intervention,
SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, respondent-in- the House by House Representatives against Chief Justice Hilario
intervention. G. Davide, Jr., founded on the alleged results of the legislative
inquiry initiated by above-mentioned House Resolution. The
second impeachment complaint was accompanied by a
“Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment” signed by at least 1/3
of all the Members of the House of Representatives.
5. Various petitions for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus were
filed with the Supreme Court against the House of Representatives,
1. On 28 November 2001, the 12th Congress of the House of et. al., most of which petitions contend that the filing of the second
Representatives adopted and approved the Rules of Procedure in impeachment complaint is unconstitutional as it violates the
Impeachment Proceedings, superseding the previous House provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution that “[n]o
Impeachment Rules approved by the 11th Congress. impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same
2. On 22 July 2002, the House of Representatives adopted a official more than once within a period of one year.”
Resolution, which directed the Committee on Justice “to conduct
an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the manner of
disbursements and expenditures by the Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF).

1. Whether or not the offenses alleged in the Second impeachment effectively carry out the purpose of this section.” Hence, these
complaint constitute valid impeachable offenses under the rules cannot contravene the very purpose of the Constitution
Constitution. which said rules were intended to effectively carry out.
2. Whether or not Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the Rules on Moreover, Section 3 of Article XI clearly provides for other
Impeachment adopted by the 12th Congress are unconstitutional specific limitations on its power to make rules.
for violating the provisions of Section 3, Article XI of the 2. It is basic that all rules must not contravene the Constitution
Constitution. which is the fundamental law. If as alleged Congress had
3. Whether the second impeachment complaint is barred under absolute rule making power, then it would by necessary
Section 3(5) of Article XI of the Constitution. implication have the power to alter or amend the meaning of
the Constitution without need of referendum.
3. It falls within the one year bar provided in the Constitution.
1. Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of
Rulings: filing of the impeachment complaint and referral to the House
Committee on Justice, the initial action taken thereon, the
1. This issue is a non-justiciable political question which is beyond meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an
the scope of the judicial power of the Supreme Court under impeachment complaint has been initiated in the foregoing
Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution. manner, another may not be filed against the same official
1. Any discussion of this issue would require the Court to make a within a one year period following Article XI, Section 3(5) of
determination of what constitutes an impeachable offense. the Constitution.
Such a determination is a purely political question which the 2. Considering that the first impeachment complaint, was filed by
Constitution has left to the sound discretion of the legislation. former President Estrada against Chief Justice Hilario G.
Such an intent is clear from the deliberations of the Davide, Jr., along with seven associate justices of this Court,
Constitutional Commission. on June 2, 2003 and referred to the House Committee on
2. Courts will not touch the issue of constitutionality unless it is Justice on August 5, 2003, the second impeachment complaint
truly unavoidable and is the very lis mota or crux of the filed by Representatives Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. and Felix
controversy. William Fuentebella against the Chief Justice on October 23,
2. The Rule of Impeachment adopted by the House of Congress is 2003 violates the constitutional prohibition against the
unconstitutional. initiation of impeachment proceedings against the same
1. Section 3 of Article XI provides that “The Congress shall impeachable officer within a one-year period.
promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out
the purpose of this section.” Clearly, its power to promulgate
its rules on impeachment is limited by the phrase “to
Hence, Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the Rules of Procedure in On August 9, 2016, AFP Rear Admiral Ernesto C. Enriquez issued a directive to the
Impeachment Proceedings which were approved by the House of
Representatives on November 28, 2001 are unconstitutional. Philippine Army on the Funeral Honors and Service for President Marcos.
Consequently, the second impeachment complaint against Chief
Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. which was filed by Representatives
Dissatisfied with the foregoing issuance, the petitioners filed a Petition for Certiorari and
Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. and Felix William B. Fuentebella with the
Office of the Secretary General of the House of Representatives on Prohibition and Petition for Mandamus and Prohibition with the Court.
October 23, 2003 is barred under paragraph 5, section 3 of Article XI
of the Constitution.

1) Whether respondents Defense Secretary and AFP Rear Admiral committed grave

abuse of discretion when they issued the assailed memorandum and directive in

compliance with the verbal order of President Duterte to implement his election

campaign promise to have the remains of Marcos interred at the LNMB?

Marcos burial case: Ocampo vs. Enriquez case digest 2) Whether the issuance and implementation of the assailed memorandum and
October 9, 2017
directive violated the Constitution, and domestic and international laws?
Saturnino C. Ocampo, et al. vs. Rear Admiral Ernesto C. Enriquez, et al., G.R. Nos.

225973, 225984, 226097, 226116, 226120 & 226294, November 8, 2016

3) Whether historical facts, laws enacted to recover ill-gotten wealth from the Marcoses

and their cronies, and the pronouncements of the Court on the Marcos regime have
nullified his entitlement as a soldier and former President to interment at the LNMB?

During the campaign period for the 2016 Presidential Election, then candidate Rodrigo
4) Whether the Marcos family is deemed to have waived the burial of the remains of
R. Duterte publicly announced that he would allow the burial former President
former President Marcos at the LNMB after they entered into an agreement with the
Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani ("LNMB"). Duterte won the May 9,
Government of the Republic of the Philippines as to the conditions and procedures by
2016 elections.
which his remains shall be brought back to and interred in the Philippines?

On August 7, 2016, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana issued a Memorandum to

AFP Chief of Staff General Ricardo R. Visaya regarding the interment of former

President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.

The Supreme Court denied the petitions.

in this case is too general and shared by other groups, such that their duty to uphold

Procedural issues the rule of law, without more, is inadequate to clothe them with requisite legal standing.

Political question Petitioners also failed to prove that the case is of transcendental importance. At this

point in time, the interment of Marcos at a cemetery originally established as a national

The Court agrees with the OSG that President Duterte's decision to have the remains military cemetery and declared a national shrine would have no profound effect on the

of Marcos interred at the LNMB involves a political question that is not a justiciable political, economic, and other aspects of our national life considering that more than

controversy. In the excercise of his powers under the Constitution and the twenty-seven (27) years since his death and thirty (30) years after his ouster have

Administrative Code of 1987 to allow the interment of Marcos at the LNMB, which is a already passed. Significantly, petitioners failed to demonstrate a clear and imminent

land of the public domain devoted for national military cemetery and military shrine threat to their fundamental constitutional rights.

purposes, President Duterte decided a question of policy based on his wisdom that it

shall promote national healing and forgiveness. There being no taint of grave abuse in As to petitioners Senator De Lima and Congressman Lagman, they failed to show that

the exercise of such discretion, as discussed below, President Duterte's decision on the burial of Marcos encroaches on their prerogatives as legislators.

that political question is outside the ambit of judicial review.

Exhaustion of administrative remedies

Locus standi

Petitioners violated the exhaustion of administrative remedies. Contrary to their claim

Petitioners have no legal standing to file the petitions for certiorari, prohibition and of lack of plain, speedy, adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, petitioners

mandamus because they failed to show that they have suffered or will suffer direct and should be faulted for failing to seek reconsideration of the assailed memorandum and

personal injury as a result of the interment of Marcos at the LNMB. directive before the Secretary ofNational Defense. The Secretary of National Defense

should be given opportunity to correct himself, if warranted, considering that AFP

Petitioners cannot also file as taxpayers. They merely claim illegal disbursement of Regulations G 161-375 was issued upon his order. Questions on the implementation

public funds, without showing that Marcos is disqualified to be interred at the LNMB by and interpretation thereof demand the exercise of sound administrative discretion,

either express or implied provision of the Constitution, the laws or jurisprudence. requiring the special knowledge, experience and services of his office to determine

technical and intricate matters of fact. If petitioners would still be dissatisfied with the

Petitioners Saguisag, et al., as members of the Bar, failed to disclose the direct or decision of the Secretary, they could elevate the matter before the Office of the

potential injury which they may suffer as a result of the act complained of. Their interest President which has control and supervision over the Department of National Defense


workflow charts/public transactions; rules and policies on gifts and benefits; whistle

Hierarchy of Courts blowing and reporting; and client feedback program

While direct resort to the Court through petitions for the extraordinary writs of certiorari, Petitioners' reliance on Sec. 3(2) of Art. XIV and Sec. 26 of Art. XVIII of the Constituti

prohibition and mandamus are allowed under exceptional cases, which are lacking in on is also misplaced. Sec. 3(2) of Art. XIV refers to the constitutional duty of educational

this case, petitioners cannot simply brush aside the doctrine of hierarchy of courts that institutions in teaching the values of patriotism and nationalism and respect for human

requires such petitions to be filed first with the proper Regional Trial Court (RTC). The rights, while Sec. 26 of Art. XVIII is a transitory provision on sequestration or freeze

RTC is not just a trier of facts, but can also resolve questions of law in the exercise of orders in relation to the recovery of Marcos' ill-gotten wealth. Clearly, with respect to

its original and concurrent jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, prohibition and these provisions, there is no direct or indirect prohibition to Marcos' interment at the

mandamus, and has the power to issue restraining order and injunction when proven LNMB.


The second sentence of Sec. 17 of Art. VII is likewise not violated by public

Substantive issues respondents. Being the Chief Executive, the President represents the government as

a whole and sees to it that all laws are enforced by the officials and employees of his

I. The President's decision to bury Marcos at the LNMB is in accordance with the or her department. Under the Faithful Execution Clause, the President has the power

Constitution, the law and jurisprudence. to take "necessary and proper steps" to carry into execution the law. The mandate is

self-executory by virtue of its being inherently executive in nature and is intimately

While the Constitution is a product of our collective history as a people, its entirety related to the other executive functions. It is best construed as an imposed obligation,

should not be interpreted as providing guiding principles to just about anything remotely not a separate grant of power. The provision simply underscores the rule of law and,

related to the Martial Law period such as the proposed Marcos burial at the LNMB. corollarily, the cardinal principle that the President is not above the laws but is obliged

to obey and execute them.

Section 1 of Article XI of the Constitution is not a self-executing provision considering

that a law should be passed by the Congress to clearly define and effectuate the There is no violation of RA 289.

principle embodied therein. Pursuant thereto, Congress enacted the Code of Conduct

on Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, the Ombudsman Act of 1989, Petitioners miserably failed to provide legal and historical bases as to their supposition

Plunder Act, and Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007. To complement these statutes, the that the LNMB and the National Pantheon are one and the same. This is not at all

Executive Branch has issued various orders, memoranda, and instructions relative to unexpected because the LNMB is distinct and separate from the burial place envisioned

the norms of behavior/code of conduct/ethical standards of officials and employees; in R.A. No 289. The parcel of land subject matter of President Quirino's Proclamation

No. 431, which was later on revoked by President Magsaysay's Proclamation No. 42, victim-oriented perspective, our legislators could have easily inserted a provision

is different from that covered by Marcos' Proclamation No. 208. The National Pantheon specifically proscribing Marcos' interment at the LNMB as a "reparation" for the Human

does not exist at present. To date, the Congress has deemed it wise not to appropriate Rights Violations Victims (HRVVs). The law is silent and should remain to be so. This

any funds for its construction or the creation of the Board on National Pantheon. This Court cannot read into the law what is simply not there. It is irregular, if not

is indicative of the legislative will not to pursue, at the moment, the establishment of a unconstitutional, for Us to presume the legislative will by supplying material details into

singular interment place for the mortal remains of all Presidents of the Philippines, the law. That would be tantamount to judicial legislation.

national heroes, and patriots.

The enforcement of the HRVV s' rights under R.A. No 10368 will surely not be impaired

Furthermore, to apply the standard that the LNMB is reserved only for the "decent and by the interment of Marcos at the LNMB. As opined by the OSG, the assailed act has

the brave" or "hero" would be violative of public policy as it will put into question the no causal connection and legal relation to the law. The subject memorandum and

validity of the burial of each and every mortal remains resting therein, and infringe upon directive of public respondents do not and cannot interfere with the statutory powers

the principle of separation of powers since the allocation of plots at the LNMB is based and functions of the Board and the Commission. More importantly, the HRVVs'

on the grant of authority to the President under existing laws and regulations. Also, the entitlements to the benefits provided for by R.A. No 10368 and other domestic laws are

Court shares the view of the OSG that the proposed interment is not equivalent to the not curtailed. R.A. No. 10368 does not amend or repeal, whether express or implied,

consecration of Marcos' mortal remains. The act in itself does not confer upon him the the provisions of the Administrative Code or AFP Regulations G 161-375.

status of a "hero." Despite its name, which is actually a misnomer, the purpose of the

LNMB, both from legal and historical perspectives, has neither been to confer to the There is no violation of International Human Rights Laws.

people buried there the title of "hero" nor to require that only those interred therein

should be treated as a "hero." Lastly, petitioners' repeated reference to a "hero's burial" The nation's history will not be instantly revised by a single resolve of President Duterte,

and "state honors," without showing proof as to what kind of burial or honors that will acting through the public respondents, to bury Marcos at the LNMB. Whether

be accorded to the remains of Marcos, is speculative until the specifics of the interment petitioners admit it or not, the lessons of Martial Law are already engraved, albeit in

have been finalized by public respondents. varying degrees, in the hearts and minds of the present generation of Filipinos. As to

the unborn, it must be said that the preservation and popularization of our history is not

No violation of RA 10639 . the sole responsibility of the Chief Executive; it is a joint and collective endeavor of

every freedom-loving citizen of this country.

The Court cannot subscribe to petitioners' logic that the beneficial provisions of R.A.

No. 10368 are not exclusive as it includes the prohibition on Marcos' burial at the LNMB. Notably, complementing the statutory powers and functions of the Human Rights

It would be undue to extend the law beyond what it actually contemplates. With its Victims' Claims Board and the HRVV Memorial Commission in the memorialization of

HRVV s, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), formerly known of Marcos, therefore, does not constitute a violation of the physical, historical, and

as the National Historical Institute (NHJ), is mandated to act as the primary government cultural integrity of the LNMB as a national military shrine.

agency responsible for history and is authorized to determine all factual matters relating

to official Philippine history. The LNMB is considered as a national shrine for military memorials. The PVAO, which

is empowered to administer, develop, and maintain military shrines, is under the

II. The President's decision to bury Marcos at the LNMB is not done whimsically, supervision and control of the DND. The DND, in tum, is under the Office of the

capriciously or arbitrarily, out of malice, ill will or personal bias. President.

The LNMB was not expressly included in the national shrines enumerated in PD 105 The presidential power of control over the Executive Branch of Government is a self-

executing provision of the Constitution and does not require statutory implementation,

P.D. No. 105 does not apply to the LNMB. Despite the fact that P.D. No. 208 predated nor may its exercise be limited, much less withdrawn, by the legislature. This is why

P.D. No. 105, the LNMB was not expressly included in the national shrines enumerated President Duterte is not bound by the alleged 1992 Agreement between former

in the latter. The proposition that the LNMB is implicitly covered in the catchall phrase President Ramos and the Marcos family to have the remains of Marcos interred in

"and others which may be proclaimed in the future as National Shrines" is erroneous Batac, Ilocos Norte. As the incumbent President, he is free to amend, revoke or rescind

because: (1) As stated, Marcos issued P.D. No. 208 prior to P.D. No. 105; (2) Following political agreements entered into by his predecessors, and to determine policies which

the canon of statutory construction known as ejusdem generis, 138 the LNMB is not a he considers, based on informed judgment and presumed wisdom, will be most

site "of the birth, exile, imprisonment, detention or death of great and eminent leaders effective in carrying out his mandate.

of the nation,"; and (3) Since its establishment, the LNMB has been a military shrine

under the jurisdiction of the PVAO. Moreover, under the Administrative Code, the President has the power to reserve for

public use and for specific public purposes any of the lands of the public domain and

Assuming that P.D. No. 105 is applicable, the descriptive words "sacred and hallowed" that the reserved land shall remain subject to the specific public purpose indicated until

refer to the LNMB as a place and not to each and every mortal remains interred therein. otherwise provided by law or proclamation. At present, there is no law or executive

Hence, the burial of Marcos at the LNMB does not diminish said cemetery as a revered issuance specifically excluding the land in which the LNMB is located from the use it

and respected ground. Neither does it negate the presumed individual or collective was originally intended by the past Presidents. The allotment of a cemetery plot at the

"heroism" of the men and women buried or will be buried therein. The "nation's esteem LNMB for Marcos as a former President and Commander-in-Chief, a legislator, a

and reverence for her war dead, " as originally contemplated by President Magsaysay Secretary of National Defense, a military personnel, a veteran, and a Medal of Valor

in issuing Proclamation No. 86, still stands unaffected. That being said, the interment awardee, whether recognizing his contributions or simply his status as such, satisfies

the public use requirement. The disbursement of public funds to cover the expenses

incidental to the burial is granted to compensate him for valuable public services Similar to AFP Regulations G 161-374, the following are not qualified to be interred in

rendered. the LNMB: (a) Personnel who were dishonorably separated/reverted/discharged from

the service; and (b) Authorized personnel who were convicted by final judgment of an

Likewise, President Duterte's determination to have Marcos' remains interred at the offense involving moral turpitude.

LNMB was inspired by his desire for national healing and reconciliation. Presumption

of regularity in the performance of official duty prevails over petitioners' highly disputed In the absence of any executive issuance or law to the contrary, the AFP Regulations

factual allegation that, in the guise of exercising a presidential prerogative, the Chief G 161-375 remains to be the sole authority in determining who are entitled and

Executive is actually motivated by utang na loob (debt of gratitude) and bayad utang disqualified to be interred at the LNMB. Interestingly, even if they were empowered to

(payback) to the Marcoses. As the purpose is not self-evident, petitioners have the do so, former Presidents Corazon C. Aquino and Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, who

burden of proof to establish the factual basis of their claim. They failed. Even so, this were themselves aggrieved at the Martial Law, did not revise the rules by expressly

Court cannot take cognizance of factual issues since We are not a trier of facts. prohibiting the burial of Marcos at the LNMB. The validity of AFP Regulations G 161-

375 must, therefor, be sustained for having been issued by the AFP Chief of Staff acting

AFP Regulations G 161-375 must be sustained. under the direction of the Secretary of National Defense, who is the alter ego of the


Under AFP Regulations G 161-375, the following are eligible for interment at the LNMB:

(a) Medal of Valor Awardees; (b) Presidents or Commanders-in-Chief, AFP; ( c) AFP Regulations G 161-375 should not be stricken down in the absence of clear and

Secretaries of National Defense; ( d) Chiefs of Staff, AFP; ( e) General/Flag Officers of unmistakable showing that it has been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting

the AFP; (f) Active and retired military personnel of the AFP to include active draftees to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Neither could it be considered ultra vires for purportedly

and trainees who died in line of duty, active reservists and CAFGU Active Auxiliary providing incomplete, whimsical, and capricious standards for qualification for burial at

(CAA) who died in combat operations or combat related activities; (g) Former members the LNMB.

of the AFP who laterally entered or joined the PCG and the PNP; (h) Veterans of

Philippine Revolution of 1890, WWI, WWII and recognized guerillas; (i) Government It is not contrary to the "well-established custom," as the dissent described it, to argue

Dignitaries, Statesmen, National Artists and other deceased persons whose interment that the word "bayani" in the LNMB has become a misnomer since while a symbolism

or reinterment has been approved by the Commander-in-Chief, Congress or the of heroism may attach to the LNMB as a national shrine for military memorial, the same

Secretary of National Defense; and G) Former Presidents, Secretaries of Defense, does not automatically attach to its feature as a military cemetery and to those who

Dignitaries, Statesmen, National Artists, widows of Former Presidents, Secretaries of were already laid or will be laid therein. As stated, the purpose of the LNMB, both from

National Defense and Chief of Staff. the legal and historical perspectives, has neither been to confer to the people buried

there the title of "hero" nor to require that only those interred therein should be treated final judgment of the offense involving moral turpitude nor dishonorably

as a "hero." separated/reverted/discharged from active military service.

In fact, the privilege of internment at the LNMB has been loosen up through the years. The fact remains that Marcos was not convicted by final judgment of any offense

Since 1986, the list of eligible includes not only those who rendered active military involving moral turpitude. No less than the 1987 Constitution mandates that a person

service or military-related activities but also non-military personnel who were shall not be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.

recognized for their significant contributions to the Philippine society (such as

government dignitaries, statesmen, national artists, and other deceased persons Also, the equal protection clause is not violated. Generally, there is no property right to

whose interment or reinterment has been approved by the Commander-in-Chief, safeguard because even if one is eligible to be buried at the LNMB, such fact would

Congress or Secretary of National Defense). In 1998, the widows of former Presidents, only give him or her the privilege to be interred therein. Unless there is a favorable

Secretaries of National Defense and Chief of Staff were added to the list. Whether or recommendation from the Commander- in-Chief, the Congress or the Secretary of

not the extension of burial privilege to civilians is unwarranted and should be restricted National Defense, no right can be said to have ripen. Until then, such inchoate right is

in order to be consistent with the original purpose of the LNMB is immaterial and not legally demandable and enforceable.

irrelevant to the issue at bar since it is indubitable that Marcos had rendered significant

active military service and military-related activities. Assuming that there is a property right to protect, the requisites of equal protection

clause are not met. 181 In this case, there is a real and substantial distinction between

Petitioners did not dispute that Marcos was a former President and Commander-in- a military personnel and a former President. The conditions of dishonorable discharge

Chief, a legislator, a Secretary of National Defense, a military personnel, a veteran, and under the Articles of War attach only to the members of the military. There is also no

a Medal of Valor awardee. For his alleged human rights abuses and corrupt practices, substantial distinction between Marcos and the three Philippine Presidents buried at

we may disregard Marcos as a President and Commander-in-Chief, but we cannot deny the LNMB (Presidents Quirino, Garcia, and Macapagal). All of them were not convicted

him the right to be acknowledged based on the other positions he held or the awards of a crime involving moral turpitude. In addition, the classification between a military

he received. In this sense, We agree with the proposition that Marcos should be viewed personnel and a former President is germane to the purposes of Proclamation No. 208

and judged in his totality as a person. While he was not all good, he was not pure evil and P.D. No. 1076. While the LNMB is a national shrine for military memorials, it is also

either. Certainly, just a human who erred like us. an active military cemetery that recognizes the status or position held by the persons

interred therein.

Aside from being eligible for burial at the LNMB, Marcos possessed none of the

disqualifications stated in AFP Regulations G 161-3 7 5. He was neither convicted by Likewise, Marcos was honorably discharged from military service. PVAO expressly

recognized him as a retired veteran pursuant to R.A. No. 6948, as amended. Petitioners

have not shown that he was dishonorably discharged from military service under APP treacherous and perilous path of having to make choices from multifarious inferences

Circular 17, Series of 1987 (Administrative Discharge Prior to Expiration of Term of or theories arising from the various acts of the people. It is not the function of the Court,

Enlistment) for violating Articles 94, 95 and 97 of the Articles of War. The NHCP study is for instance, to divine the exact implications or significance of the number of votes

incomplete with respect to his entire military career as it failed to cite and include the obtained in elections, or the message from the number of participants in public

official records of the AFP. assemblies. If the Court is not to fall into the pitfalls of getting embroiled in political and

oftentimes emotional, if not acrimonious, debates, it must remain steadfast in abiding

The word "service" in AFP Regulations G 161-375 should be construed as that by its recognized guiding stars - clear constitutional and legal rules - not by the

rendered by a military person in the AFP, including civil service, from the time of his/her uncertain, ambiguous and confusing messages from the actions of the people.

commission, enlistment, probation, training or drafting, up to the date of his/her

separation or retirement from the AFP. Civil service after honorable separation and

retirement from the AFP is outside the context of "service" under AFP Regulations G


Hence, it cannot be conveniently claimed that Marcos' ouster from the presidency

during the EDSA Revolution is tantamount to his dishonorable separation, reversion or

discharge from the military service. The fact that the President is the Commander-in-

Chief of the AFP under the 1987 Constitution only enshrines the principle of supremacy

of civilian authority over the military. Not being a military person who may be prosecuted

before the court martial, the President can hardly be deemed "dishonorably

separated/reverted/discharged from the service" as contemplated by AFP Regulations

G 161-375. Dishonorable discharge through a successful revolution is an extra-

constitutional and direct sovereign act of the people which is beyond the ambit of

judicial review, let alone a mere administrative regulation.

It is undeniable that former President Marcos was forced out of office by the people

through the so-called EDSA Revolution. Said political act of the people should not be

automatically given a particular legal meaning other than its obvious consequence -

that of ousting him as president. To do otherwise would lead the Court to the

5. Whether or not Arroyo, Aguas and their Co-accused, if elements
of plunder are not proven, be prosecuted for the crime of
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo vs. Pp. G.R. No. 220953, April 18, 2017 malversation;
6. Whether or not the Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of
Facts discretion in issuing April 6, 2015 and September 10, 2015
On July 19, 2016, the Court promulgated its decision, disposing: Resolutions
WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petitions Ruling
for certiorari; ANNULS and SETS ASIDE the resolutions issued in 1. Section 23, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court is not an insuperable
Criminal Case No. SB-12-CRM-0174 by the Sandiganbayan on April obstacle to the review by the Court of the denial of the demurrer to
6, 2015 and September 10, 2015; GRANTS the petitioners’ respective evidence through certiorari. We have had many rulings to that effect in
demurrers to evidence; DISMISSES Criminal Case No. SB-12-CRM- the past. For instance, in Nicolas v. Sandiganbayan,4 the Court
0174 as to the petitioners GLORIA MACAPAGAL- expressly ruled that the petition for certiorari was the proper remedy to
ARROYO and BENIGNO AGUAS for insufficiency of assail the denial of the demurrer to evidence that was tainted with
evidence; ORDERS the immediate release from detention of said grave abuse of discretion or excess of jurisdiction, or oppressive
petitioners; and MAKES no pronouncements on costs of suit. exercise of judicial authority.
SO ORDERED. 2. The State cites the plain meaning rule to highlight that the crime of
The State through the Office of the Ombudsman, has moved for the plunder did not require personal benefit on the part of the raider of the
reconsideration of the Decision on the ground that a certiorari action public treasury. It insists that the definition of raids on the public
assailing an interlocutory order denying a demurrer to evidence treasury, conformably with the plain meaning rule, is the taking of
violates Rule 119, Section 23 of the Rules of Court. public money through fraudulent or unlawful means, and such
Issues definition does not require enjoyment or personal benefit on the part
1. Whether or not an order denying a demurrer to evidence is reviewable of plunderer or on the part of any of his co-conspirators for them to be
by appeal or by certiorari before judgment; and convicted for plunder.
2. Whether or not right to due process was violated because the The submissions of the State are unfounded.
decision imposed additional elements for plunder that neither The requirements for the identification of the main plunderer and for
Republic Act No. 7080 nor jurisprudence had theretofore required e., personal benefit in the predicate act of raids on the public
the identification of the main plunderer, and personal benefit on the treasury have been written in R.A. No. 7080 itself as well as
part of the accused committing the predicate crime of raid on the embedded in pertinent jurisprudence. This we made clear in the
public treasury; decision, as follows:
3. Whether or not the Court did not appreciate the totality of its evidence, A perusal of the information suggests that what the Prosecution
particularly the different irregularities committed in the disbursement sought to show was an implied conspiracy to commit plunder among
of the PCSO funds, e., the commingling of funds, the non-compliance all of the accused on the basis of their collective actions prior to,
with LOI No. 1282, and the unilateral approval of the disbursements; during and after the implied agreement. It is notable that the
4. Whether or not the evidence presented by the prosecution was Prosecution did not allege that the conspiracy among all of the
not fully taken into account, including but not limited to accused was by express agreement, or was a wheel conspiracy or a
the irregularities in the confidential/ intelligence fund (cif) chain conspiracy.
disbursement process, questionable practice of co-mingling of This was another fatal flaw of the Prosecution.
funds and aguas’ reports to the commission on audit (coa) that The law on plunder requires that a particular public officer must
bulk of the php365,997,915.00 withdrawn from the Philippine be identified as the one who amassed, acquired or accumulated
Charity Sweepstakes Office’s (pcso) cif were diverted to the ill-gotten wealth because it plainly states that plunder is
arroyo-headed office of the president; committed by any public officer who, by himself or in connivance
with members of his family, relatives by affinity or consanguinity,
business associates, subordinates or other persons, amasses, necessary under the law itself. In particular reference to Criminal
accumulates or acquires ill-gotten wealth in the aggregate Case No. SB-12-CRM-0174, the individuals charged therein –
amount or total value of at least P50,000,000.00 through including the petitioners – were 10 public officials; hence, it was only
a combination or series of overt criminal acts as described in proper to identify the main plunderer or plunderers among the 10
Section 1(d) hereof. Surely, the law requires in the criminal accused who herself or himself had amassed, accumulated, or
charge for plunder against several individuals that there must be acquired ill-gotten wealth with the total value of at least
a main plunderer and her co-conspirators, who may be members P50,000,000.00.
of her family, relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business The phrase raids on the public treasury as used in Section 1(d) of R.
associates, subordinates or other persons. In other words, the A. No. 7080 is itself ambiguous. In order to ascertain the objective
allegation of the wheel conspiracy or express conspiracy in the meaning of the phrase, the act of raiding the public treasury cannot be
information was appropriate because the main plunderer would divided into parts. This is to differentiate the predicate act of raids on
then be identified in either manner. Of course, implied the public treasury from other offenses involving property, like
conspiracy could also identify the main plunderer, but that fact robbery, theft, or estafa. Considering that R.A. No. 7080 does not
must be properly alleged and duly proven by the Prosecution. expressly define this predicate act, the Court has necessarily resorted
This interpretation is supported by Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, where to statutory construction. In so doing, the Court did not adopt the
the Court explained the nature of the conspiracy charge and the State’s submission that personal benefit on the part of the accused
necessity for the main plunderer for whose benefit the amassment, need not be alleged and shown because doing so would have
accumulation and acquisition was made, thus: defeated the clear intent of the law itself,6 which was to punish the
There is no denying the fact that the “plunder of an entire nation amassing, accumulating, or acquiring of ill-gotten wealth in the
resulting in material damage to the national economy” is made up of a aggregate amount or total value of at least P50,000,000.00 by any
complex and manifold network of crimes. In the crime of plunder, combination or series of acts of misappropriation, conversion, misuse,
therefore, different parties may be united by a common purpose. In or malversation of public funds or raids on the public treasury.
the case at bar, the different accused and their different criminal acts As the decision has observed, the rules of statutory construction as
have a commonality – to help the former President amass, well as the deliberations of Congress indicated the intent of Congress
accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth. Sub-paragraphs (a) to (d) in to require personal benefit for the predicate act of raids on the public
the Amended Information alleged the different participation of each treasury, viz.:
accused in the conspiracy. The gravamen of the conspiracy The phrase raids on the public treasury is found in Section 1 (d) of
charge, therefore, is not that each accused agreed to receive R.A. No. 7080, which provides:
protection money from illegal gambling, that each misappropriated a Section 1. Definition of Terms. – x x x
portion of the tobacco excise tax, that each accused ordered the GSIS xxx
and SSS to purchase shares of Belle Corporation and receive 1. d) Ill-gotten wealth means any asset, property, business enterprise or
commissions from such sale, nor that each unjustly enriched himself material possession of any person within the purview of Section Two
from commissions, gifts and kickbacks; rather, it is that each of (2) hereof, acquired by him directly or indirectly through dummies,
them, by their individual acts, agreed to participate, directly or nominees, agents, subordinates and/or business associates by any
indirectly, in the amassing, accumulation and acquisition of ill- combination or series of the following means or similar schemes:
gotten wealth of and/or for former President Estrada. [bold 1) Through misappropriation, conversion, misuse, or malversation of
underscoring supplied for emphasis] public funds or raids on the public treasury;
Indeed, because plunder is a crime that only a public official can xxx
commit by amassing, accumulating, or acquiring ill-gotten wealth in To discern the proper import of the phrase raids on the public
the aggregate amount or total value of at least P50,000,000.00, the treasury, the key is to look at the accompanying
identification in the information of such public official as the main words: misappropriation, conversion, misuse or malversation of
plunderer among the several individuals thus charged is logically public funds. This process is conformable with the maxim of
statutory construction noscitur a sociis, by which the correct Arroyo, had amassed, accumulated, or acquired ill-gotten wealth in
construction of a particular word or phrase that is ambiguous in the aggregate amount or total value of at least P50,000,000.00.
itself or is equally susceptible of various meanings may be made 4. No, in accenting certain inadequacies of the allegations of the
by considering the company of the words in which the word or information, the Court did not engage in purposeless nitpicking, and
phrase is found or with which it is associated. Verily, a word or did not digress from the primary task of determining the sufficiency of
phrase in a statute is always used in association with other the evidence presented by the State against the petitioners. What the
words or phrases, and its meaning may, therefore, be modified or Court thereby intended to achieve was to highlight what would have
restricted by the latter. been relevant in the properprosecution of plunder and thus enable
To convert connotes the act of using or disposing of another’s itself to discern and determine whether the evidence of guilt was
property as if it were one’s own; to misappropriate means to own, sufficient or not. In fact, the Court categorically clarified that in
to take something for one’s own benefit; misuse means “a good, discussing the essential need for the identification of the main
substance, privilege, or right used improperly, unforeseeably, or plunderer it was not harping on the sufficiency of the information, but
not as intended;” andmalversation occurs when “any public was only enabling itself to search for and to find the relevant proof that
officer who, by reason of the duties of his office, is accountable unequivocally showed petitioner Arroyo as the “mastermind” – which
for public funds or property, shall appropriate the same or shall was how the Sandiganbayan had characterized her participation – in
take or misappropriate or shall consent, through abandonment the context of the implied conspiracy alleged in the information. But
or negligence, shall permit any other person to take such public the search came to naught, for the information contained nothing that
funds, or property, wholly or partially.” The common thread that averred her commission of the overt act necessary to implicate her in
binds all the four terms together is that the public officer used the the supposed conspiracy to commit the crime of plunder. Indeed, the
property taken. Considering that raids on the public treasury is in Court assiduously searched for but did not find the sufficient
the company of the four other terms that require the use of the incriminatory evidence against the petitioners. Hence, the
property taken, the phrase raids on the public treasury similarly Sandiganbayan capriciously and oppressively denied their demurrers
requires such use of the property taken. Accordingly, to evidence.
the Sandiganbayan gravely erred in contending that the mere
accumulation and gathering constituted the forbidden act of raids 5. This Court has consistently held that the lesser offense of
on the public treasury. Pursuant to the maxim of noscitur a sociis, malversation can be included in plunder when the amount amassed
raids on the public treasury requires the raider to use the property reaches at least P50,000,000.00. The predicate acts of bribery and
taken impliedly for his personal benefit. malversation do not need to be charged under separate informations
3. The contention lacks basis. when a person has already been charged with plurider.
As can be readily seen from the decision, the Court expressly granted In Atty. Serapio v. Sandiganbayan, the accused assailed the
the petitioners’ respective demurrers to evidence and dismissed the information for charging more than one offense: bribery, malversation
plunder case against them for insufficiency of evidence because: of public funds or property, and violations of Sec. 3(e) of Republic Act
x x x the Sandiganbayan as the trial court was guilty of grave abuse of No. 3019 and Section 7(d) of Republic Act No. 6713. This Court
discretion when it capriciously denied the demurrers to observed that “the acts alleged in the information are not separate or
evidence despite the absence of competent and sufficient independent offenses, but are predicate acts of the crime of plunder.”
evidence to sustain the indictment for plunder, and despite the The Court, quoting the Sandiganbayan, clarified:
absence of the factual bases to expect a guilty verdict. It should be stressed that the Anti-Plunder law specifically Section
Such disposition of the Court fully took into consideration all the 1(d) thereof does not make any express reference to any specific
evidence adduced against the petitioners. We need not rehash our provision of laws, other than R.A. No. 7080, as amended, which
review of the evidence thus adduced, for it is enough simply to stress coincidentally may penalize as a separate crime any of the overt or
that the Prosecution failed to establish the corpus delicti of plunder – criminal acts enumerated therein. The said acts which form part of the
that any or all of the accused public officials, particularly petitioner combination or series of act are described in their generic sense.
Thus, aside from ‘malversation’ of public funds, the law also uses the legislature to ultimately eradicate this scourge and thus secure society
generic terms ‘misappropriation,’ ‘conversion’ or ‘misuse’ of said fund. against the avarice and other venalities in public office.
The fact that the acts involved may likewise be penalized under other These are times that try men’s souls. In the checkered history of this
laws is incidental. The said acts are mentioned only as predicate acts nation, few issues of national importance can equal the amount of
of the crime of plunder and the allegations relative thereto are not to interest and passion generated by petitioner’s ignominious fall from
be taken or to be understood as allegations charging separate the highest office, and his eventual prosecution and trial under a
criminal offenses punished under the Revised Penal Code, the Anti- virginal statute. This continuing saga has driven a wedge of
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Code of Conduct and Ethical dissension among our people that may linger for a long time. Only by
Standards for Public Officials and Employees. responding to the clarion call for patriotism, to rise above factionalism
The observation that the accused in these petitions may be made to and prejudices, shall we emerge triumphant in the midst of
answer for malversation was correctly pointed out by Justice ferment.155 (Emphasis in supplied)
Ponferrada of the Sandiganbayan in his separate concurring and In issuing the Resolutions denying petitioners’ demurrers to evidence,
dissenting opinion: the Sandiganbayan acted well-within its jurisdiction and competence.
There is evidence, however, that certain amounts were released to It is not for us to substitute our wisdom for that of the court which
accused Rosario Uriarte and Sergio Valencia and these releases presided over the full conduct of trial, as well as the reception and
were made possible by certain participatory acts of accused Arroyo scrutiny of evidence.
and Aguas, as discussed in the subject Resolution. Hence, there is a The rule proscribing appeals to denials of demurrers to evidence is
need for said accused to present evidence to exculpate them from plain and basic. An accused’s recourse is to present evidence and to
liability which need will warrant the denial of their Demurrer to rebut the prosecution’s evidence. The petitioners here failed to
Eviderice, as under the variance rule they maybe held liable for the establish an exceptional predicament.
lesser crimes which are necessarily included in the offense of plunder. This Court’s overruling of the April 6, 2015 and September 10, 2015
Significantly, the Sandiganbayan’s Resolution to the demurrers to resolutions of the Sandiganbayan on the strength of findings of
evidence includes the finding that the PCSO Chairperson Valencia, inadequacy on the part of the prosecution, but based on standards
should still be made to answer for malversation as included in the introduced only upon the rendition of this Court’s July 19, 2016
Information in these cases. Since the Information charges conspiracy, Decision, violated the prosecution’s constitutional right to due
both petitioners in these consolidated cases still need to answer for process. Both the prosecution and the accused deserve fairness: the
those charges. Thus, the demurrer to evidence should also be prosecution, that it may sufficiently establish its case in contemplation
properly denied. It would be premature to dismiss and acquit the of every appropriate legal standard; and the accused, that they may
petitioners. more competently dispel any case the prosecution may have
6. The Anti-Plunder Law penalizes the most consummate larceny and established against them.
economic treachery perpetrated by repositories of public trust. The Trial must, thus, proceed.
majority’s Decision-which effectively makes more stringent the
threshold for conviction by implying elements not supported by
statutory text-cripples the State’s capacity to exact accountability.
In Joseph Ejercito Estrada v. Sandiganbayan:
Drastic and radical measures are imperative to fight the increasingly
sophisticated, extraordinarily methodical and economically
catastrophic looting of the national treasury.Such is the Plunder Law,
especially designed to disentangle those ghastly tissues of grand-
scale corruption which, if left unchecked, will spread like a malignant
tumor and ultimately consume the moral and institutional fiber of our
nation. The Plunder Law, indeed, is a living testament to the will of the