Jamil B.


The constitutional guarantee that no person or class of persons shall be denied the same protection of the laws that is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in like circumstances in their lives, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness. The Declaration of Independence states: ³We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.´ Section 1 of Article III of the 1987 Constitution provides: ³No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.´ The Supreme Court expressed in the case of NPC vs. Pinatubo Commercial1 that the equal protection of the law means that "no person or class of persons shall be deprived of the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in the same place and in like circumstances." According to Fr. Joaquin S. Bernas, S.J. in his book on the 1987 Philippine Constitution, the equality guaranteed by the constitution is ³legal equality or, as it is usually put, the equality of all persons before the law. Under it, each individual is dealt with as an equal person in the law, which does not treat the person differently because of who he is or what he is or what he possesses.´ This is not to mean however that all laws should apply alike to every person indiscriminately. That would be absurd and impractical because it is indubitable that there exist substantial differences between persons of different sexes, cultural backgrounds, social status, financial capacity, etc. In the case of Parreño v. COA and AFP Chief, G.R. No. 16224, the petitioner questioned the validity of the law, contending that it is unconstitutional because the obligation imposed on him to retain Filipino citizenship as a condition for his continued entitlement to retirement benefit violates the equal protection and due process clause of the Constitution. He argued that the retirement law is in the nature of a contract between the government and its employees and that said PD discriminates against AFP retirees who have


National Power Corporation vs. Pinatubo Commercial [G.R. No. 176006, March 26, 2010] Parreño v. COA and AFP Chief, G.R. No. 16224, June 7, 2007

he may no longer be compelled by the State to render compulsory military service when the need arises. Thus. and (d) must apply equally to each member of the class. (c) must not be limited to existing conditions only. (b) must be germane to the purpose of the law. A retiree who had lost his Filipino citizenship already renounced his allegiance to the State. There is compliance with all these conditions. The constitutional right of the State to require all citizens to render personal and military service necessarily includes not only private citizens but also citizens who have retired from military service. The constitutional right to equal protection of the laws is not absolute but is subject to reasonable classification. one class may be treated and regulated differently from another. the classification (a) must be based on substantial distinctions which make for real differences. If the groupings are characterized by substantial distinctions that make real differences.changed their nationality. To be reasonable. His loss of Filipino citizenship constitutes a substantial distinction that differentiates him from other retirees who retain their Filipino citizenship. . There is substantial difference between retirees who are citizens of the Philippines and retirees who lost their Filipinocitizenship by naturalization in another country.

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