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Dela Peña, Reizel S.



THOMAS G. AQUINO,, Respondents.
G.R. No. 170516, July 16, 2008


This is a petition for mandamus and prohibition to obtain from respondents the full text of the
Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) including the Philippine and Japanese
offers submitted during the negotiation process and all pertinent attachments and annexes thereto.

The JPEPA, which will be the first bilateral free trade agreement to be entered into by the
Philippines with another country in the event the Senate grants its consent to it, covers a broad range of
topics which respondents enumerate as follows: trade in goods, rules of origin, customs procedures,
paperless trading, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, government procurement,
movement of natural persons, cooperation, competition policy, mutual recognition, dispute avoidance
and settlement, improvement of the business environment, and general and final provisions. While the
final text of the JPEPA has now been made accessible to the public since September 11, 2006, 6respondents
do not dispute that, at the time the petition was filed up to the filing of petitioners’ Reply – when the
JPEPA was still being negotiated – the initial drafts thereof were kept from public view.

Petitioners Tañada III and Aguja filed a House Resolution No. 551 calling for an inquiry into the
bilateral trade agreements then being negotiated by the Philippine government, particularly the JPEPA.
The Resolution became the basis of an inquiry subsequently conducted by the House Special Committee
on Globalization (the House Committee) into the negotiations of the JPEPA. However, in a letter, the
Department of Foreign Affairs explains that the Committee’s request to be furnished all
documents on the JPEPA may be difficult to accomplish at this time, since the proposed
Agreement has been a work in progress for about three years.

Amid that the JPEPA might be signed by the Philippine government within December 2005, the
present petition was filed. The agreement was to be later signed on September 9, 2006 by President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Helsinki, Finland, following which
the President endorsed it to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Article VII, Section 21 of the

Petitioners assert that the refusal of the government to disclose the documents bearing on the
JPEPA negotiations violates their right to information on matters of public concern and contravenes other
constitutional provisions on transparency, such as that on the policy of full public disclosure of all
transactions involving public interest. On the other hand, respondents claim that diplomatic negotiations
are covered by the doctrine of executive privilege, thus constituting an exception to the right to
information and the policy of full public disclosure.

Hence, this petition.


WON petitioners may demand respondents the copies of the JPEPA including the Philippine and
Japanese offers submitted during the negotiation process, and all pertinent attachments and annexes
thereto, in lieu of their right to information provided under the 1987 Constitution.
Dela Peña, Reizel S.


To be covered by the right to information, the information sought must meet the threshold
requirement that it be a matter of public concern; From the nature of the Japan-Philippines Economic
Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) as an international trade agreement, it is evident that the Philippine and
Japanese offers submitted during the negotiations towards its execution are matters of public concern.
From the nature of the JPEPA as an international trade agreement, it is evident that the Philippine and
Japanese offers submitted during the negotiations towards its execution are matters of public concern.
This, respondents do not dispute. They only claim that diplomatic negotiations are covered by the
doctrine of executive privilege, thus constituting an exception to the right to information and the policy of
full public disclosure.

In the case of PMPF v. Manglapus (G.R. No. 84642, Resolution of the Court En Banc dated
September 13, 1988), it is clear that while the final text of the JPEPA may not be kept perpetually
confidential—since there should be “ample opportunity for discussion before [a treaty] is approved”—
the offers exchanged by the parties during the negotiations continue to be privileged even after the JPEPA
is published. It is reasonable to conclude that the Japanese representatives submitted their offers with the
understanding that “historic confidentiality” would govern the same. Disclosing these offers could impair
the ability of the Philippines to deal not only with Japan but with other foreign governments in future
negotiations. A ruling that Philippine offers in treaty negotiations should now be open to public scrutiny
would discourage future Philippine representatives from frankly expressing their views during
negotiations. While, on first impression, it appears wise to deter Philippine representatives from entering
into compromises, it bears noting that treaty negotiations, or any negotiation for that
matter, normally involve a process of quid pro quo, and oftentimes negotiators have to be willing to grant
concessions in an area of lesser importance in order to obtain more favorable terms in an area of greater
national interest.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED.

Dela Peña, Reizel S.

PRIBHDAS J. MIRPURI, petitioner,

CORPORATION, respondents.
G.R. No. 114508, November 19, 1999


Lolita Escobar, the predecessor-in-interest of petitioner, filed an application with the Bureau of
Patents for the registration of the trademark "Barbizon" for use in brassieres and ladies undergarments.
Escobar alleged that she had been manufacturing and selling these products under the firm name "L &
BM Commercial" since year 1970. On the other hand, private respondent Barbizon Corporation, a
corporation organized and doing business under the laws of New York, U.S.A., opposed the application
claiming that the mark BARBIZON of Escobar is confusingly similar to the trademark BARBIZON which
the respondent corporation owns and has not abandoned. The Director of Patents rendered judgment
dismissing the respondent corporation and giving due course to Escobar's application, and she was issued
a certificate of registration for the trademark "Barbizon”, accordingly.

Later on, Escobar assigned all her rights and interest over the trademark to petitioner, who, under
his firm name then, the "Bonito Enterprises," was the sole and exclusive distributor of Escobar's
"Barbizon" products. However, Escobar failed to file with the Bureau of Patents the Affidavit of Use of the
trademark required under Section 12 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 166, the Philippine Trademark Law, thus,
Escobar's certificate of registration was cancelled. She reapplied for registration of the cancelled
trademark. Petitioner filed his own application for registration of Escobar's trademark. Escobar later
assigned her application to the petitioner and this application was opposed by the respondent

Thereafter, Escobar assigned to petitioner the use of the business name "Barbizon International."
Petitioner registered the name with the DTI for which a certificate of registration was issued in 1987.
Respondent corporation filed before the Office of Legal Affairs of the DTI a petition for cancellation of
petitioner's business name. The Office of Legal Affairs, cancelled petitioner's certificate of registration,
and declared respondent’s corporation the owner and prior user of the business name "Barbizon
International." Furthermore, the Director of Patents rendered a decision declaring respondent's
corporation opposition barred by res judicata and giving due course to petitioner's application for
registration. When the case reached the CA, the latter rendered a decision reversing the Director of
Patents findings.

Hence this petition.


WON the treaty affords protection to a foreign corporation (respondent corporation) against a
Philippine applicant (petitioner) for the registration of a similar trademark.


Paris Convention, a multilateral treaty which seeks to protect industrial property consisting of
patents, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, service marks, trade names and indications of
source or appellations of origin, and at the same time aims to repress unfair competition. It is a
convention which serves as a compact among various countries which, as members of the Union, have
pledged to accord to citizens of the other member countries trademark and other rights comparable to
Dela Peña, Reizel S.

those accorded their own citizens by their domestic laws for an effective protection against unfair
competition. In short, foreign nationals are to be given the same treatment in each of the member
countries as that country makes available to its own citizens. 43 Nationals of the various member nations
are thus assured of a certain minimum of international protection of their industrial property.

Furthermore, Article 6bis of the above said convention is a self-executing provision and does not
require legislative enactment to give it effect in the member country. It may be applied directly by the
tribunals and officials of each member country by the mere publication or proclamation of the
Convention, after its ratification according to the public law of each state and the order for its execution.

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is denied and the Decision and Resolution of the
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 28415 are affirmed. SO ORDERED.
Dela Peña, Reizel S.

BAYAN MUNA, as represented by Rep. SATUR OCAMPO, Rep. CRISPIN BELTRAN, and
Rep. LIZA L. MAZA,Petitioner,
ALBERTO ROMULO, in his capacity as Executive Secretary, and BLAS F. OPLE, in his
capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Respondents.
G.R. No. 159618, February 1, 2011

Petitioner Bayan Muna is a duly registered party-list group established to represent the
marginalized sectors of society. Respondent Blas F. Ople, now deceased, was the Secretary of Foreign
Affairs during the period material to this case. Respondent Alberto Romulo was impleaded in his capacity
as then Executive Secretary.

The RP, through Charge d’Affaires Enrique A. Manalo, signed the Rome Statute which, by its
terms, is "subject to ratification, acceptance or approval" by the signatory states. As of the filing of the
instant petition, only 92 out of the 139 signatory countries appear to have completed the ratification,
approval and concurrence process. The then Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone sent US Embassy Note
to the DFA proposing the terms of the non-surrender bilateral agreement between the USA and the RP.
That, via Exchange of Notes, the RP, represented by then DFA Secretary Ople, agreed with and accepted
the US proposals embodied under the US Embassy Note adverted to and put in effect the Agreement with
the US government. The Agreement aims to protect what it refers to and defines as "persons" of the RP
and US from frivolous and harassment suits that might be brought against them in international
tribunals. It is reflective of the increasing pace of the strategic security and defense partnership between
the two countries.

Petitioner filed this petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition assails and seeks to nullify
the Non-Surrender Agreement concluded by and between the Republic of the Philippines (RP) and the
United States of America (USA). Petitioner imputes grave abuse of discretion to respondents in
concluding and ratifying the Agreement and prays that it be struck down as unconstitutional, or at least
declared as without force and effect.

Respondents on the other hand, questioned petitioner’s standing to maintain a suit and counter
that the Agreement, being in the nature of an executive agreement, does not require Senate concurrence
for its efficacy. And for reasons detailed in their comment, respondents assert the constitutionality of
the Agreement.


WON the Agreement, which has not been submitted to the Senate for concurrence, contravenes
and undermines the Rome Statute and other treaties.


The RP-US Non-Surrender Agreement is but a form of affirmance and confirmance of
the Philippines’ national criminal jurisdiction. As it were, the Agreement is but a form of affirmance and
confirmance of the Philippines’ national criminal jurisdiction. National criminal jurisdiction being
primary, as explained above, it is always the responsibility and within the prerogative of the RP either to
prosecute criminal offenses equally covered by the Rome Statute or to accede to the jurisdiction of the
ICC. Thus, the Philippines may decide to try “persons” of the US, as the term is understood in
the Agreement, under our national criminal justice system. Or it may opt not to exercise its criminal
jurisdiction over its erring citizens or over US “persons” committing high crimes in the country and defer
to the secondary criminal jurisdiction of the ICC over them.
Dela Peña, Reizel S.

Furthermore, an executive agreement that does not require the concurrence of the Senate for its
ratification may not be used to amend a treaty that, under the Constitution, is the product of the ratifying
acts of the Executive and the Senate. In the case of Eastern Sea Trading, as reiterated in Bayan, given
recognition to the obligatory effect of executive agreements without the concurrence of the Senate:

x xx [T]he right of the Executive to enter into binding agreements without the necessity of
subsequent Congressional approval has been confirmed by long usage. From the earliest days of our
history, we have entered executive agreements covering such subjects as commercial and consular
relations, most favored-nation rights, patent rights, trademark and copyright protection, postal and
navigation arrangements and the settlement of claims. The validity of these has never been seriously
questioned by our courts.

WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition is hereby DISMISSED for
lack of merit. No costs.
Dela Peña, Reizel S.


CARBONEL, Petitioners,
G.R. No. 183871, February 18, 2010


Armed men belonging to the 301st Air Intelligence and Security Squadron (AISS, for short) based
in Fernando Air Base in Lipa City abducted Lourdes D. Rubrico (Lourdes), then attending a
Lenten pabasa in Bagong Bayan, Dasmariñas, Cavite, and brought to, and detained at, the air base
without charges. Following a week of relentless interrogation - conducted alternately by hooded
individuals - and what amounts to verbal abuse and mental harassment, Lourdes, chair of the
UgnayanngMaralitaparasaGawaAdhikan, was released at Dasmariñas, Cavite, her hometown, but only
after being made to sign a statement that she would be a military asset. After Lourdes’ release, the
harassment, coming in the form of being tailed on at least two occasions at different places, i.e.,
Dasmariñas, Cavite and Baclaran in Pasay City, by motorcycle-riding men in bonnets, continued.

During the time Lourdes was missing, P/Sr. Insp. Arsenio Gomez (P/Insp. Gomez), then sub-
station commander of Bagong Bayan, Dasmariñas, Cavite, kept sending text messages to Lourdes’
daughter, Mary Joy R. Carbonel (Mary Joy), bringing her to beaches and asking her questions
about Karapatan, an alliance of human rights organizations. A week after Lourdes’ release, another
daughter, Jean R. Apruebo (Jean), was constrained to leave their house because of the presence of men
watching them.

Lourdes has filed with the Office of the Ombudsman a criminal complaint for kidnapping and
arbitrary detention and administrative complaint for gross abuse of authority and grave misconduct
against the respondents, but nothing has happened. Thereafter, a petition prayed that a writ of amparo
issue, ordering the individual respondents to desist from performing any threatening act against the
security of the petitioners and for the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) to immediately file an information
for kidnapping qualified with the aggravating circumstance of gender of the offended party. When the
case reached the CA, the latter rendered a decision dismissing the petition against the respondents.

Hence, this petition.


WON the doctrine of command responsibility is applicable in a petition for amparo.


“Command responsibility,” in its simplest terms, means the “responsibility of commanders for
crimes committed by subordinate members of the armed forces or other persons subject to their control
in international wars or domestic conflict.” In this sense, command responsibility is properly a form of
criminal complicity. The Hague Conventions of 1907 adopted the doctrine of command responsibility,
foreshadowing the present-day precept of holding a superior accountable for the atrocities committed by
his subordinates should he be remiss in his duty of control over them.
Dela Peña, Reizel S.

In the case at bar, it may plausibly be contended that command responsibility, as legal basis to
hold military/police commanders liable for extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, or threats, may
be made applicable to this jurisdiction on the theory that the command responsibility doctrine now
constitutes a principle of international law or customary international law in accordance with the
incorporation clause of the Constitution. Still, it would be inappropriate to apply to these proceedings the
doctrine of command responsibility, as the CA seemed to have done, as a form of criminal complicity
through omission, for individual respondents’ criminal liability, if there be any, is beyond the reach of

Subject to the foregoing modifications, the Court AFFIRMS the partial judgment
dated July 31, 2008 of the CA. SO ORDERED.
Dela Peña, Reizel S.


G.R. No. 158540, July 8, 2004


Petitioner Southern Cross Cement Corporation ("Southern Cross") is a domestic corporation

engaged in the business of cement manufacturing, production, importation and exportation. Its principal
stockholders are Taiheiyo Cement Corporation and Tokuyama Corporation, purportedly the largest
cement manufacturers in Japan. Private respondent ("Philcemcor") is an association of domestic cement
manufacturers. While Philcemcor heralds itself to be an association of domestic cement manufacturers, it
appears that considerable equity holdings, if not controlling interests in at least twelve (12) of its member-
corporations, were acquired by the three largest cement manufacturers in the world. Respondent
Department of Trade and Industry ("DTI") accepted an application from Philcemcor, alleging that the
importation of gray Portland cement 9 in increased quantities has caused declines in domestic production,
capacity utilization, market share, sales and employment; as well as caused depressed local prices.
Accordingly, Philcemcor sought the imposition at first of provisional, then later, definitive safeguard
measures on the import of cement pursuant to the SMA. Philcemcor filed the application in behalf of
twelve (12) of its member-companies. The Bureau of Import Services of the DTI, determined that critical
circumstances existed justifying the imposition of provisional measures. In the meantime, the Tariff
Commission, received a request from the DTI for a formal investigation to determine whether or not to
impose a definitive safeguard measure on imports of gray Portland cement, pursuant to Section 9 of the
SMA and its Implementing Rules and Regulations. A preliminary conference was held, attended by
several concerned parties, including Southern Cross. 15 Subsequently, the Tariff Commission received
several position papers both in support and against Philcemcor's application.

After reviewing the report, then DTI Secretary Manuel Roxas II ("DTI Secretary") disagreed with
the conclusion of the Tariff Commission that there was no serious injury to the local cement industry
caused by the surge of imports. The DTI Secretary promulgated a Decision. After quoting the conclusions
of the Tariff Commission, the DTI Secretary noted the DTI's disagreement with the conclusions.
Philcemcor received a copy of the DTI Decision on 12 April 2002. Ten days later, it filed with the Court of
Appeals a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus 28 seeking to set aside the DTI Decision, as
well as the Tariff Commission's Report. Philcemcor argued that the DTI Secretary, vested as he is under
the law with the power of review, is not bound to adopt the recommendations of the Tariff Commission;
and, that the Report is void, as it is predicated on a flawed framework, inconsistent inferences and
erroneous methodology.

Hence, this petition.


WON the decision of the respondent DTI Secretary, to impose safeguard measures is valid.


The safeguard measures which the DTI Secretary may impose under the SMA may take the
following variations, to wit: (a) an increase in, or imposition of any duty on the imported product; (b) a
decrease in or the imposition of a tariff-rate quota on the product; (c) a modification or imposition of any
quantitative restriction on the importation of the product into the Philippines; (d) one or more
Dela Peña, Reizel S.

appropriate adjustment measures, including the provision of trade adjustment assistance; and (e) any
combination of the above-described actions. Except for the provision of trade adjustment assistance, the
measures enumerated by the SMA are essentially imposts, which precisely are the subject of delegation
under Section 28(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.

There is therefore no choice but to declare it void as well, lest we sanction the perverse existence
of a fruit from a non-existent tree. It does not even matter what the disposition of the 25 June
2003 Decision was, its nullity would be warranted even if the DTI Secretary chose to uphold his earlier
ruling denying the application for safeguard measures

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals is
DECLARED NULL AND VOID and SET ASIDE. The Decision of the DTI Secretary dated 25 June 2003
Dela Peña, Reizel S.

WIGBERTO E. TAÑADA,, petitioners,

EDGARDO ANGARA,, respondents.
G.R. No. 118295 May 2, 1997

The Philippines joined WTO as a founding member with the goal, as articulated by President
Fidel V. Ramos in two letters to the Senate (infra), of improving "Philippine access to foreign markets,
especially its major trading partners, through the reduction of tariffs on its exports, particularly
agricultural and industrial products." The President also saw in the WTO the opening of "new
opportunities for the services sector, (the reduction of) costs and uncertainty associated with exporting,
and (the attraction of) more investments into the country."

Respondent Rizalino Navarro, then Secretary of The Department of Trade and Industry
(Secretary Navarro, for brevity), representing the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, signed
in Marrakesh, Morocco, the Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral
Negotiations (Final Act, for brevity). Thereafter, the members of the Philippine Senate received letters
from the President of the Philippines, stating among others that "the Uruguay Round Final Act is hereby
submitted to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section 21, Article VII of the Constitution"; and
one that "the Uruguay Round Final Act, the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, the
Ministerial Declarations and Decisions, and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services are
hereby submitted to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section 21, Article VII of the Constitution."

The then President of the Philippines certified the necessity of the immediate adoption of P.S.
1083, a resolution entitled "Concurring in the Ratification of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade
Organization." Later on, the Philippine Senate adopted Resolution No. 97 which "Resolved, as it is hereby
resolved, that the Senate concur, as it hereby concurs, in the ratification by the President of the
Philippines of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization."

Petitioners filed the instant petition, assailing that the respondent-members of the Senate acted
in grave abuse of discretion when they voted for concurrence in the ratification of the WTO Agreement for
violating the mandate of the 1987 Constitution to "develop a self-reliant and independent national
economy effectively controlled by Filipinos (to) give preference to qualified Filipinos (and to) promote the
preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods."


WON respondent-members of the Senate acted with grave abuse of discretion when they voted
for concurrence in the ratification of the WTO Agreement.



That the Senate, after deliberation and voting, voluntarily and overwhelmingly gave its consent to
the WTO Agreement thereby making it “a part of the law of the land” is a legitimate exercise of its
sovereign duty and power. We find no “patent and gross” arbitrariness or des potism “by reas on of
passion or personal hostility” in such exercise.
Dela Peña, Reizel S.

In its Declaration of Principles and State Policies, the Constitution “adopts the generally accepted
principles of international law as part of the law of the land, and adheres to the policy of peace, equality,
justice, freedom, cooperation and amity, with all nations.” By the doctrine of incorporation, the country is
bound by generally accepted principles of international law, which are considered to be automatically part
of our own laws. One of the oldest and most fundamental rules in international law is pactasuntservanda
—international agreements must be performed in good faith. “A treaty engagement is not a mere moral
obligation but creates a legally binding obligation on the parties x xx. A state which has contracted valid
international obligations is bound to make in its legislations such modifications as may be necessary to
ensure the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken.”

Furthermore, there are at present about 31 countries including China, Russia and Saudi Arabia
negotiating for membership in the WTO. Notwithstanding objections against possible limitations on
national sovereignty, the WTO remains as the only viable structure for multilateral trading and the
veritable forum for the development of international trade law. The alternative to WTO is isolation,
stagnation, if not economic self-destruction. Duly enriched with original membership, keenly aware of the
advantages and disadvantages of globalization with its on-line experience, and endowed witha vision of
the future, the Philippines now straddles the crossroads of an international strategy for economic
prosperity and stability in the new millennium. Let the people, through their duly authorized elected
officers, make their free choice.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. SO ORDERED.