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People v. Perfecto Secretary.

The Asuncions and Galapons were also the

G.R. No. L-18463, October 4, 1922 stockholder of the corporation.
J. Malcolm
Respondent Macariola charged Judge Asuncion with "Acts
Facts unbecoming a Judge" for violating the following provisions:
The issue started when the Secretary of the Philippine Senate, Article 1491, par. 5 of the New Civil Code, Article 14, par. 1 &
Fernando Guerrero, discovered that the documents regarding 5 of the Code of Commerce, Sec. 3 par H of RA 3019 also
the testimony of the witnesses in an investigation of oil known as the Anti-Graft & Corrupt Practice Act., Sec. 12, Rule
companies had disappeared from his office. Then, the day XVIII of the Civil Service Rules and Canon 25 of the Canons of
following the convening of Senate, the newspaper La Nacion Judicial Ethics.
– edited by herein respondent Gregorio Perfecto – published
an article against the Philippine Senate. Here, Mr. Perfecto was On November 2, 1970 a certain Judge Jose D. Nepomuceno
alleged to have violated Article 256 of the Spanish Penal Code dismissed the complaints filed against Asuncion.
– provision that punishes those who insults the Ministers of
the Crown. Issue
WON the respondent Judge violated the mentioned
Issue provisions.
Whether or not Article 256 of the Spanish Penal Code (SPC) is
still in force and can be applied in the case at bar? Held
No. Judge Asuncion did not violate the mentioned provisions
Held constituting of "Acts unbecoming a Judge" but was reminded
No. The Court stated that during the Spanish Government, to be more discreet in his private and business activities.
Article 256 of the SPC was enacted to protect Spanish officials
as representatives of the King. However, the Court explains Respondent Judge did not buy the lot 1184-E directly on the
that in the present case, we no longer have Kings nor its plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 3010 but from Dr. Galapon who
representatives for the provision to protect. Also, with the earlier purchased the lot from 3 of the plaintiffs. When the
change of sovereignty over the Philippines from Spanish to Asuncion bought the lot on March 6, 1965 from Dr. Galapon
American, it means that the invoked provision of the SPC had after the finality of the decision which he rendered on June 8,
been automatically abrogated. The Court determined Article 1963 in Civil Case No 3010 and his two orders dated October
256 of the SPC to be ‘political’ in nature for it is about the and November, 1963. The said property was no longer the
relation of the State to its inhabitants, thus, the Court subject of litigation.
emphasized that ‘it is a general principle of the public law that on
acquisition of territory, the previous political relations of the ceded
region are totally abrogated.’ Hence, Article 256 of the SPC is In the case at bar, Article 14 of Code of Commerce has no legal
considered no longer in force and cannot be applied to the and binding effect and cannot apply to the respondent. Upon
present case. Therefore, respondent was acquitted. the sovereignty from the Spain to the US and to the Republic
of the Philippines, Art. 14 of this Code of Commerce, which
sourced from the Spanish Code of Commerce, appears to have
Macariola Vs. Asuncion been abrogated because whenever there is a change in the
114 SCRA 77 sovereignty, political laws of the former sovereign are
J. Makasiar automatically abrogated, unless they are reenacted by
Affirmative Act of the New Sovereign.
On June 8, 1963, respondent Judge Elias Asuncion rendered a Asuncion cannot also be held liable under the par. H, Sec. 3 of
decision in Civil Case 3010 final for lack of an appeal. RA 3019, citing that the public officers cannot partake in any
business in connection with this office, or intervened or take
On October 16, 1963, a project of partition was submitted to part in his official capacity. The Judge and his wife had
Judge Asuncion. The project of partition of lots was not signed withdrawn on January 31, 1967 from the corporation and sold
by the parties themselves but only by the respective counsel of their respective shares to 3rd parties, and it appears that the
plaintiffs and petitioner Bernardita R. Macariola. The Judge corporation did not benefit in any case filed by or against it in
approved it in his order dated October 23, 1963. court as there was no case filed in the different branches of the
Court of First Instance from the time of the drafting of the
One of the lots in the project of partition was Lot 1184, which Articles of Incorporation of the corporation on March 12, 1966
was subdivided into 5 lots denominated as Lot 1184 A – E. Dr. up to its incorporation on January 9, 1967. The Judge realized
Arcadio Galapon bought Lot 1184-E on July 31, 1964, who was early that their interest in the corporation contravenes against
issued transfer of certificate of Title No, 2338 of the Register of Canon 25.
Deeds of Tacloban City. On March 6, 1965, Galapon sold a
portion of the lot to Judge Asuncion and his wife. Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS,
G.R. No. 122156, February 3, 1997
On August 31, 1966, spouses Asuncion and Galapon conveyed BELLOSILLO, J.
their respective shares and interest inn Lot 1184-E to the
Traders Manufacturing & Fishing Industries Inc. Judge Facts
Asuncion was the President and his wife Victoria was the
The controversy arose when respondent Government Service Issue
Insurance System (GSIS), pursuant to the privatization
program of the Philippine Government under Proclamation 1. WON Sec. 10, paragraph 2, Article XII of the 1987
No. 50 dated 8 December 1986, decided to sell through public Constitution is a self-executing provision and does not need
bidding 30% to 51% of the issued and outstanding shares of implementing legislation to carry it into effect;
respondent MHC. The winning bidder, or the eventual
strategic partner, is to provide management expertise and/or 2. Assuming §10, paragraph 2, Article XII is self-executing,
an international marketing/reservation system, and financial whether the controlling shares of the Manila Hotel
support to strengthen the profitability and performance of the Corporation form part of our patrimony as a nation;
Manila Hotel. In a close bidding held on 18 September 1995
3. Whether GSIS is included in the term “State,” hence,
only two (2) bidders participated: petitioner Manila Prince
mandated to implement §10, paragraph 2, Article XII of the
Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which offered to
Constitution; and
buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares at P41.58 per share,
and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, with ITT-Sheraton as 4. Assuming GSIS is part of the State, whether it should give
its hotel operator, which bid for the same number of shares at preference to the petitioner, a Filipino corporation, over
P44.00 per share, or P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner. Renong Berhad, a foreign corporation, in the sale of the
controlling shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation.
Pending the declaration of Renong Berhard as the winning
bidder/strategic partner and the execution of the necessary Held
contracts, petitioner in a letter to respondent GSIS dated 28
September 1995 matched the bid price of P44.00 per share 1. YES, §10, paragraph 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution
tendered by Renong Berhad. In a subsequent letter dated 10 is a self-executing provision and does not need implementing
October 1995 petitioner sent a managers check issued by legislation to carry it into effect.
Philtrust Bank for Thirty-three Million Pesos (P33,000,000.00)
as Bid Security to match the bid of the Malaysian Group, Sec. 10, second par., of Art XII is couched in such a way as not
Messrs. Renong Berhad x x x x[5] which respondent GSIS to make it appear that it is non-self-executing but simply for
refused to accept. purposes of style. But, certainly, the legislature is not
precluded from enacting further laws to enforce the
Perhaps apprehensive that respondent GSIS has disregarded constitutional provision so long as the contemplated statute
the tender of the matching bid and that the sale of 51% of the squares with the Constitution. Minor details may be left to the
MHC may be hastened by respondent GSIS and consummated legislature without impairing the self-executing nature of
with Renong Berhad, petitioner came to this Court on constitutional provisions.
prohibition and mandamus. On 18 October 1995 the Court
issued a temporary restraining order enjoining respondents Respondents . . . argue that the non-self-executing nature of
from perfecting and consummating the sale to the Malaysian Sec. 10, second par., of Art. XII is implied from the tenor of the
firm. first and third paragraphs of the same section which
undoubtedly are not self-executing. The argument is
In the main, petitioner invokes Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of flawed. If the first and third paragraphs are not self-executing
the 1987 Constitution and submits that the Manila Hotel has because Congress is still to enact measures to encourage the
been identified with the Filipino nation and has practically formation and operation of enterprises fully owned by
become a historical monument which reflects the vibrancy of Filipinos, as in the first paragraph, and the State still needs
Philippine heritage and culture. It is a proud legacy of an legislation to regulate and exercise authority over foreign
earlier generation of Filipinos who believed in the nobility and investments within its national jurisdiction, as in the third
sacredness of independence and its power and capacity to paragraph, then a fortiori, by the same logic, the second
release the full potential of the Filipino people. To all intents paragraph can only be self-executing as it does not by its
and purposes, it has become a part of the national patrimony. language require any legislation in order to give preference to
Petitioner also argues that since 51% of the shares of the MHC qualified Filipinos in the grant of rights, privileges and
carries with it the ownership of the business of the hotel which concessions covering the national economy and patrimony. A
is owned by respondent GSIS, a government-owned and constitutional provision may be self-executing in one part and
controlled corporation, the hotel business of respondent GSIS non-self-executing in another.
being a part of the tourism industry is unquestionably a part
of the national economy. Thus, any transaction involving 51% xxx. Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a
of the shares of stock of the MHC is clearly covered by the term mandatory, positive command which is complete in itself and
national economy, to which Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, 1987 which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or
Constitution, applies. rules for its enforcement. From its very words the provision
does not require any legislation to put it in operation. It is per
It is also the thesis of petitioner that since Manila Hotel is part se judicially enforceable. When our Constitution mandates
of the national patrimony and its business also unquestionably that [i]n the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions
part of the national economy petitioner should be preferred covering national economy and patrimony, the State shall give
after it has matched the bid offer of the Malaysian firm. For the preference to qualified Filipinos, it means just that - qualified
bidding rules mandate that if for any reason, the Highest Filipinos shall be preferred. And when our Constitution
Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of Shares, GSIS may offer declares that a right exists in certain specified circumstances
this to the other Qualified Bidders that have validly submitted an action may be maintained to enforce such right
bids provided that these Qualified Bidders are willing to notwithstanding the absence of any legislation on the subject;
match the highest bid in terms of price per share.
consequently, if there is no statute especially enacted to Executive Department and respondent GSIS, a government
enforce such constitutional right, such right enforces itself by instrumentality deriving its authority from the State.
its own inherent potency and puissance, and from which all
legislations must take their bearings. Where there is a right 4. YES, GSIS should give preference to the petitioner in the
there is a remedy. Ubi jus ibi remedium. sale of the controlling shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation.

2. YES, the controlling shares of the Manila Hotel It should be stressed that while the Malaysian firm offered the
Corporation form part of our patrimony as a nation. higher bid it is not yet the winning bidder. The bidding rules
expressly provide that the highest bidder shall only be
In its plain and ordinary meaning, the declared the winning bidder after it has negotiated and
term patrimony pertains to heritage. When the Constitution executed the necessary contracts, and secured the requisite
speaks of national patrimony, it refers not only to the natural approvals. Since the Filipino First Policy provision of the
resources of the Philippines, as the Constitution could have Constitution bestows preference on qualified Filipinos the
very well used the term natural resources, but also to mere tending of the highest bid is not an assurance that the
the cultural heritage of the Filipinos. highest bidder will be declared the winning
bidder. Resultantly, respondents are not bound to make the
For more than eight (8) decades Manila Hotel has bore mute award yet, nor are they under obligation to enter into one with
witness to the triumphs and failures, loves and frustrations of the highest bidder. For in choosing the awardee respondents
the Filipinos; its existence is impressed with public interest; its are mandated to abide by the dictates of the 1987 Constitution
own historicity associated with our struggle for sovereignty, the provisions of which are presumed to be known to all the
independence and nationhood. Verily, Manila Hotel has bidders and other interested parties.
become part of our national economy and patrimony. For
sure, 51% of the equity of the MHC comes within the purview Paragraph V. J. 1 of the bidding rules provides that [i]f for any
of the constitutional shelter for it comprises the majority and reason the Highest Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of
controlling stock, so that anyone who acquires or owns the Shares, GSIS may offer this to other Qualified Bidders that
51% will have actual control and management of the hotel. In have validly submitted bids provided that these Qualified
this instance, 51% of the MHC cannot be disassociated from Bidders are willing to match the highest bid in terms of price
the hotel and the land on which the hotel edifice per share. Certainly, the constitutional mandate itself is reason
stands. Consequently, we cannot sustain respondents’ claim enough not to award the block of shares immediately to the
that the Filipino First Policy provision is not applicable since foreign bidder notwithstanding its submission of a higher, or
what is being sold is only 51% of the outstanding shares of the even the highest, bid. In fact, we cannot conceive of
corporation, not the Hotel building nor the land upon which a stronger reason than the constitutional injunction itself.
the building stands.
In the instant case, where a foreign firm submits the highest
3. YES, GSIS is included in the term “State,” hence, it is bid in a public bidding concerning the grant of rights,
mandated to implement §10, paragraph 2, Article XII of the privileges and concessions covering the national economy and
Constitution. patrimony, thereby exceeding the bid of a Filipino, there is no
question that the Filipino will have to be allowed to match the
It is undisputed that the sale of 51% of the MHC could only be bid of the foreign entity. And if the Filipino matches the bid
carried out with the prior approval of the State acting through of a foreign firm the award should go to the Filipino. It must
respondent Committee on Privatization. [T]his fact alone be so if we are to give life and meaning to the Filipino First
makes the sale of the assets of respondents GSIS and MHC a Policy provision of the 1987 Constitution. For, while this may
“state action.” In constitutional jurisprudence, the acts of neither be expressly stated nor contemplated in the bidding
persons distinct from the government are considered “state rules, the constitutional fiat is omnipresent to be simply
action” covered by the Constitution (1) when the activity it disregarded. To ignore it would be to sanction a perilous
engages in is a “public function;” (2) when the government is skirting of the basic law.
so significantly involved with the private actor as to make the
government responsible for his action; and, (3) when the Chavez vs. Judicial and Bar Council
government has approved or authorized the action. It is G.R. No. 202242, July 17, 2012
evident that the act of respondent GSIS in selling 51% of its J. Mendoza
share in respondent MHC comes under the second and third
categories of “state action.” Without doubt therefore the Facts
transaction, although entered into by respondent GSIS, is in In 1994, instead of having only 7 members, an eighth member
fact a transaction of the State and therefore subject to the was added to the JBC as two representatives from Congress
constitutional command. began sitting in the JBC – one from the House of
Representatives and one from the Senate, with each having
When the Constitution addresses the State it refers not only to one-half (1/2) of a vote. Then, the JBC En Banc, in separate
the people but also to the government as elements of the meetings held in 2000 and 2001, decided to allow the
State. After all, government is composed of three (3) divisions representatives from the Senate and the House of
of power - legislative, executive and judicial. Accordingly, a Representatives one full vote each. Senator Francis Joseph G.
constitutional mandate directed to the State is Escudero and Congressman Niel C. Tupas, Jr. (respondents)
correspondingly directed to the three (3) branches of simultaneously sit in the JBC as representatives of the
government. It is undeniable that in this case the subject legislature. It is this practice that petitioner has questioned in
constitutional injunction is addressed among others to the this petition. Respondents argued that the crux of the
controversy is the phrase “a representative of Congress.” It is
their theory that the two houses, the Senate and the House of Section 8. (1) A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created
Representatives, are permanent and mandatory components under the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the
of “Congress,” such that the absence of either divests the term Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice,
of its substantive meaning as expressed under the and a representative of the Congress as ex officio Members, a
Constitution. Bicameralism, as the system of choice by the representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a
Framers, requires that both houses exercise their respective retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of
powers in the performance of its mandated duty which is to the private sector.
legislate. Thus, when Section 8(1), Article VIII of the
Constitution speaks of “a representative from Congress,” it From a simple reading of the above-quoted provision, it can
should mean one representative each from both Houses which readily be discerned that the provision is clear and
comprise the entire Congress. unambiguous. The first paragraph calls for the creation of a
JBC and places the same under the supervision of the Court.
Issue Then it goes to its composition where the regular members are
enumerated: a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor
1. Are the conditions sine qua non for the exercise of the of law, a retired member of the Court and a representative
power of judicial review have been met in this case? from the private sector. On the second part lies the crux of the
present controversy. It enumerates the ex officio or special
2. Is the JBC’s practice of having members from the Senate and members of the JBC composed of the Chief Justice, who shall
the House of Representatives making 8 instead of 7 sitting be its Chairman, the Secretary of Justice and “a representative
members unconstitutional? of Congress.”
3. What is the effect of the Court's finding that the current The use of the singular letter “a” preceding “representative of
composition of the JBC is unconstitutional? Congress” is unequivocal and leaves no room for any other
construction. It is indicative of what the members of the
Constitutional Commission had in mind, that is, Congress
Held may designate only one (1) representative to the JBC. Had it
been the intention that more than one (1) representative from
1. Yes. The Courts’ power of judicial review is subject to the legislature would sit in the JBC, the Framers could have, in
several limitations, namely: (a) there must be an actual case or no uncertain terms, so provided.
controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (b) the
One of the primary and basic rules in statutory construction is
person challenging the act must have “standing” to challenge;
that where the words of a statute are clear, plain, and free from
he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case,
ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied
such that he has sustained or will sustain, direct injury as a
without attempted interpretation. It is a well-settled principle
result of its enforcement; (c) the question of constitutionality
of constitutional construction that the language employed in
must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and (d) the
the Constitution must be given their ordinary meaning except
issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.
where technical terms are employed. As much as possible, the
Generally, a party will be allowed to litigate only when these
words of the Constitution should be understood in the sense
conditions sine qua non are present, especially when the
they have in common use. What it says according to the text
constitutionality of an act by a co-equal branch of government
of the provision to be construed compels acceptance and
is put in issue.
negates the power of the courts to alter it, based on the
The Court disagrees with the respondents’ contention that postulate that the framers and the people mean what they say.
petitioner lost his standing to sue because he is not an official Verba legis non est recedendum – from the words of a statute
nominee for the post of Chief Justice. While it is true that a there should be no departure.
“personal stake” on the case is imperative to have locus standi,
Applying the foregoing principle to this case, it becomes
this is not to say that only official nominees for the post of
apparent that the word “Congress” used in Article VIII,
Chief Justice can come to the Court and question the JBC
Section 8(1) of the Constitution is used in its generic sense. No
composition for being unconstitutional. The JBC likewise
particular allusion whatsoever is made on whether the Senate
screens and nominates other members of the Judiciary. Albeit
or the House of Representatives is being referred to, but that,
heavily publicized in this regard, the JBC’s duty is not at all
in either case, only a singular representative may be allowed
limited to the nominations for the highest magistrate in the
to sit in the JBC.
land. A vast number of aspirants to judicial posts all over the
country may be affected by the Court’s ruling. More It is worthy to note that the seven-member composition of the
importantly, the legality of the very process of nominations to JBC serves a practical purpose, that is, to provide a solution
the positions in the Judiciary is the nucleus of the controversy. should there be a stalemate in voting. This underlying reason
The claim that the composition of the JBC is illegal and leads the Court to conclude that a single vote may not be
unconstitutional is an object of concern, not just for a nominee divided into half (1/2), between two representatives of
to a judicial post, but for all citizens who have the right to seek Congress, or among any of the sitting members of the JBC for
judicial intervention for rectification of legal blunders. that matter. This unsanctioned practice can possibly cause
disorder and eventually muddle the JBC’s voting process,
especially in the event a tie is reached. The aforesaid purpose
2. Section 8, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution provides: would then be rendered illusory, defeating the precise
mechanism which the Constitution itself createdWhile it
would be unreasonable to expect that the Framers provide for
every possible scenario, it is sensible to presume that they In April 1947 the Collector of Internal Revenue required Mr.
knew that an odd composition is the best means to break a Justice Gregorio Perfecto to pay income tax upon his salary as
voting deadlock. member of the Court during the year 1946. After paying the
amount, he instituted an action in Manila Court of First
The respondents insist that owing to the bicameral nature of Instance contending that the assessment was illegal, his salary
Congress, the word “Congress” in Section 8(1), Article VIII of not being taxable for the reason that imposition of taxes
the Constitution should be read as including both the Senate thereon would reduce it in violation of the Constitution. It
and the House of Representatives. They theorize that it was so provides in its Article VIII, Section 9 that the members of the
worded because at the time the said provision was being Supreme Court and all judges of inferior courts “shall receive
drafted, the Framers initially intended a unicameral form of such compensation as may be fixed by law, which shall not be
Congress. Then, when the Constitutional Commission diminished during their continuance in office.
eventually adopted a bicameral form of Congress, the
Framers, through oversight, failed to amend Article VIII, Issue
Section 8 of the Constitution.
Whether or not the imposition of an income tax upon this
It is evident that the definition of “Congress” as a bicameral salary in 1946 amount to a diminution.
body refers to its primary function in government – to
legislate. In the passage of laws, the Constitution is explicit in Held
the distinction of the role of each house in the process. The
same holds true in Congress’ non-legislative powers. An inter- Yes, the imposition of the income tax upon the salary of Justice
play between the two houses is necessary in the realization of Perfecto amount to a diminution thereof. The prohibition is
these powers causing a vivid dichotomy that the Court cannot general, contains no excepting words, and appears to be
simply discount. This, however, cannot be said in the case of directed against all diminution, whether for one purpose or
JBC representation because no liaison between the two houses another. The fathers of the Constitution intended to prohibit
exists in the workings of the JBC. Hence, the term “Congress” diminution by taxation as well as otherwise, that they
must be taken to mean the entire legislative department. regarded the independence of the judges as of far greater
importance than any revenue that could come from taxing
their salaries. Thus, taxing the salary of a judge as a part of his
income is a violation of the Constitution.
3. As a general rule, an unconstitutional act is not a law; it
confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; Endencia v David
it creates no office; it is inoperative as if it has not been passed 93 Phil 696, August 31, 1953
at all. This rule, however, is not absolute. Under the doctrine J. Montemayor
of operative facts, actions previous to the declaration of
unconstitutionality are legally recognized. They are not
nullified. This is essential in the interest of fair play. Facts

The doctrine of operative fact, as an exception to the general Saturnino David, the then Collector of Internal Revenue,
rule, only applies as a matter of equity and fair play. It nullifies ordered the taxing of Justice Pastor Endencia’s and Justice
the effects of an unconstitutional law by recognizing that the Fernando Jugo’s (and other judges’) salary pursuant to Sec. 13
existence of a statute prior to a determination of of Republic Act No. 590 which provides that
unconstitutionality is an operative fact and may have
consequences which cannot always be ignored. The past No salary wherever received by any public officer of the
cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration. The Republic of the Philippines shall be considered as exempt
doctrine is applicable when a declaration of from the income tax, payment of which is hereby declared not
unconstitutionality will impose an undue burden on those to be a diminution of his compensation fixed by the
who have relied on the invalid law. Thus, it was applied to a Constitution or by law.
criminal case when a declaration of unconstitutionality would
put the accused in double jeopardy or would put in limbo the The judges however argued that under the case of Perfecto vs
Meer, judges are exempt from taxation – this is also in
acts done by a municipality in reliance upon a law creating it.3
observance of the doctrine of separation of powers, i.e., the
Under the circumstances, the Court finds the exception executive, to which the Internal Revenue reports, is separate
applicable in this case and holds that notwithstanding its from the judiciary; that under the Constitution, the judiciary is
finding of unconstitutionality in the current composition of independent and the salaries of judges may not be diminished
the JBC, all its prior official actions are nonetheless valid. by the other branches of government; that taxing their salaries
is already a diminution of their benefits/salaries (see Section
9, Art. VIII, Constitution).
G.R. No. L-2348 February 27, 1950 The Solicitor General, arguing in behalf of the CIR, states that
J. Bengzon the decision in Perfecto vs Meer was rendered ineffective
when Congress enacted Republic Act No. 590.

Facts Issue

Whether or not Sec 13 of RA 590 is constitutional.

Held WON the salaries of judges are subject to tax.

No. The said provision is a violation of the separation of Held

powers. Only courts have the power to interpret laws.
Congress makes laws but courts interpret them. In Sec. 13, Yes. The salaries of members of the Judiciary are subject to the
R.A. 590, Congress is already encroaching upon the functions general income tax applied to all taxpayers. Although such
of the courts when it inserted the phrase: “payment of which intent was somehow and inadvertently not clearly set forth in
[tax] is hereby declared not to be a diminution of his the final text of the 1987 Constitution, the deliberations of the
compensation fixed by the Constitution or by law.” 1986 Constitutional Commission negate the contention that
the intent of the framers is to revert to the original concept of
Here, Congress is already saying that imposing taxes upon “non-diminution” of salaries of judicial officers. Hence, the
judges is not a diminution of their salary. This is a clear doctrine in Perfecto v. Meer and Endencia vs. David (declared
example of interpretation or ascertainment of the meaning of the salaries of members of the Judiciary exempt from payment
the phrase “which shall not be diminished during their of the income tax and considered such payment as a
continuance in office,” found in Section 9, Article VIII of the diminution of their salaries during their continuance in office)
Constitution, referring to the salaries of judicial officers. This do not apply anymore. Justices and judges are not only the
act of interpreting the Constitution or any part thereof by the citizens whose income has been reduced in accepting service
Legislature is an invasion of the well-defined and established in government and yet subject to income tax. Such is true also
province and jurisdiction of the Judiciary. of Cabinet members and all other employees.
“The rule is recognized elsewhere that the legislature cannot
Republic of the Philippines vs. Sandiganbayan, Major General
pass any declaratory act, or act declaratory of what the law
Josephus Q. Ramas and Elizabeth Dimaano
was before its passage, so as to give it any binding weight with
G.R. No. 104768. July 21, 2003
the courts. A legislative definition of a word as used in a
Separate Opinion, J. Puno
statute is not conclusive of its meaning as used elsewhere;
otherwise, the legislature would be usurping a judicial Facts
function in defining a term.
Immediately upon her assumption to office following the
The interpretation and application of the Constitution and of
successful EDSA Revolution, then President Corazon C.
statutes is within the exclusive province and jurisdiction of the
Aquino issued Executive Order No. 1 (EO No. 1) creating the
judicial department, and that in enacting a law, the Legislature
Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). EO
may not legally provide therein that it be interpreted in such a
No. 1 primarily tasked the PCGG to recover all ill-gotten
way that it may not violate a Constitutional prohibition,
wealth of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, his
thereby tying the hands of the courts in their task of later
immediate family, relatives, subordinates and close associates.
interpreting said statute, especially when the interpretation
EO No. 1 vested the PCGG with the power (a) to conduct
sought and provided in said statute runs counter to a previous
investigation as may be necessary in order to accomplish and
interpretation already given in a case by the highest court of
carry out the purposes of this order and the power (h) to
the land.
promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to
carry out the purpose of this order. Accordingly, the PCGG,
through its then Chairman Jovito R. Salonga, created an AFP
NITAFAN V. CIR Anti-Graft Board (AFP Board) tasked to investigate reports of
G.R. No. 78780, July 23, 1987 unexplained wealth and corrupt practices by AFP personnel,
J. Melencio-Herrera whether in the active service or retired.[2]

Facts Based on its mandate, the AFP Board investigated various

reports of alleged unexplained wealth of respondent Major
Nitafan et al. were duly appointed RTC Judges (Manila). General Josephus Q. Ramas (Ramas). On 27 July 1987, the AFP
Previously, the Chief Justice issued a directive to the Fiscal Board issued a Resolution on its findings and
Management and Budget Office to continue the deduction of recommendation on the reported unexplained wealth of
withholding taxes from salaries of the Justices of the Supreme Ramas.
Court and other members of the judiciary. This was affirmed
by the Supreme Court en banc. They seek to prohibit and/or The EDSA Revolution took place on 23-25 February 1986. As
perpetually enjoin the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and succinctly stated in President Aquinos Proclamation No. 3
the Financial Officer of the Supreme Court, from making any dated 25 March 1986, the EDSA Revolution was done in
deduction defiance of the provisions of the 1973 Constitution.[41] The
resulting government was indisputably a revolutionary
of withholding taxes from their salaries. They contend that this government bound by no constitution or legal limitations
constitutes diminution of salary contrary to Section 10, Article except treaty obligations that the revolutionary government,
VIII of the 1987 Constitution, which provides that the salary of as the de jure government in the Philippines, assumed under
the members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts international law.
shall be fixed by law and that “during their continuance in
office, their salary shall not be decreased.” Issue

WON the revolutionary government was bound by the Bill of her control of the state evidenced by the appointment of the
Rights of the 1973 Constitution during the interregnum, that Cabinet and other key officers of the administration, the
is, after the actual and effective take-over of power by the departure of the Marcos Cabinet officials, revamp of the
revolutionary government following the cessation of Judiciary and the Military signaled the point where the legal
resistance by loyalist forces up to 24 March 1986 (immediately system then in effect, had ceased to be obeyed by the
before the adoption of the Provisional Constitution); and (2) Filipino. (Emphasis supplied)
whether the protection accorded to individuals under the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights To hold that the Bill of Rights under the 1973 Constitution
(Covenant) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights remained operative during the interregnum would render
(Declaration) remained in effect during the interregnum. void all sequestration orders issued by the Philippine
Commission on Good Government (PCGG) before the
adoption of the Freedom Constitution. The sequestration
No, the Bill of Rights under the 1973 Constitution was not orders, which direct the freezing and even the take-over of
operative during the interregnum. However, we rule that the private property by mere executive issuance without judicial
protection accorded to individuals under the Covenant and action, would violate the due process and search and seizure
the Declaration remained in effect during the interregnum. clauses of the Bill of Rights.

During the interregnum, the directives and orders of the During the interregnum, the government in power was
revolutionary government were the supreme law because no concededly a revolutionary government bound by no
constitution limited the extent and scope of such directives constitution. No one could validly question the sequestration
and orders. With the abrogation of the 1973 Constitution by orders as violative of the Bill of Rights because there was no
the successful revolution, there was no municipal law higher Bill of Rights during the interregnum. However, upon the
than the directives and orders of the revolutionary adoption of the Freedom Constitution, the sequestered
government. Thus, during the interregnum, a person could companies assailed the sequestration orders as contrary to the
not invoke any exclusionary right under a Bill of Rights Bill of Rights of the Freedom Constitution.
because there was neither a constitution nor a Bill of Rights In Bataan Shipyard & Engineering Co. Inc. vs. Presidential
during the interregnum. As the Court explained in Letter of Commission on Good Government,[43] petitioner Baseco, while
Associate Justice Reynato S. Puno:[42] conceding there was no Bill of Rights during the interregnum,
questioned the continued validity of the sequestration orders
A revolution has been defined as the complete overthrow of upon adoption of the Freedom Constitution in view of the due
the established government in any country or state by those process clause in its Bill of Rights. The Court ruled that the
who were previously subject to it or as a sudden, radical and Freedom Constitution, and later the 1987
fundamental change in the government or political system, Constitution, expressly recognized the validity of
usually effected with violence or at least some acts of sequestration orders, thus:
violence. In Kelsen's book, General Theory of Law and State,
it is defined as that which occurs whenever the legal order of If any doubt should still persist in the face of the foregoing
a community is nullified and replaced by a new order . . . a considerations as to the validity and propriety of
way not prescribed by the first order itself. sequestration, freeze and takeover orders, it should be
dispelled by the fact that these particular remedies and the
It was through the February 1986 revolution, a relatively authority of the PCGG to issue them have received
peaceful one, and more popularly known as the people power constitutional approbation and sanction. As already
revolution that the Filipino people tore themselves away from mentioned, the Provisional or Freedom Constitution
an existing regime. This revolution also saw the recognizes the power and duty of the President to enact
unprecedented rise to power of the Aquino government. measures to achieve the mandate of the people to . . . (r)ecover
ill-gotten properties amassed by the leaders and supporters of
From the natural law point of view, the right of revolution has the previous regime and protect the interest of the people
been defined as an inherent right of a people to cast out their through orders of sequestration or freezing of assets or
rulers, change their policy or effect radical reforms in their accounts. And as also already adverted to, Section 26, Article
system of government or institutions by force or a general XVIII of the 1987 Constitution treats of, and ratifies the
uprising when the legal and constitutional methods of making authority to issue sequestration or freeze orders under
such change have proved inadequate or are so obstructed as Proclamation No. 3 dated March 25, 1986.
to be unavailable. It has been said that the locus of positive
law-making power lies with the people of the state and from The framers of both the Freedom Constitution and the 1987
there is derived the right of the people to abolish, to reform Constitution were fully aware that the sequestration orders
and to alter any existing form of government without regard would clash with the Bill of Rights. Thus, the framers of both
to the existing constitution. constitutions had to include specific language recognizing the
validity of the sequestration orders. The following discourse
It is widely known that Mrs. Aquinos rise to the presidency by Commissioner Joaquin G. Bernas during the deliberations
was not due to constitutional processes; in fact, it was of the Constitutional Commission is instructive:
achieved in violation of the provisions of the 1973
Constitution as a Batasang Pambansa resolution had earlier FR. BERNAS: Madam President, there is something
declared Mr. Marcos as the winner in the 1986 presidential schizophrenic about the arguments in defense of the present
election. Thus it can be said that the organization of Mrs. amendment.
Aquinos Government which was met by little resistance and
For instance, I have carefully studied Minister award you the search and seizure clause. You can
Salongas lecture in the Gregorio Araneta University keep it in your private safe.
Foundation, of which all of us have been given a Alternatively, the argument looks on the present
copy. On the one hand, he argues that everything the government as hostage to the hoarders of hidden
Commission is doing is traditionally legal. This is wealth. The hoarders will release the hidden health
repeated by Commissioner Romulo also. Minister if the ransom price is paid and the ransom price is
Salonga spends a major portion of his lecture the Bill of Rights, specifically the due process in the
developing that argument. On the other hand, search and seizure clauses. So, there is something
almost as an afterthought, he says that in the end positively revolving about either argument. The Bill
what matters are the results and not the legal of Rights is not for sale to the highest bidder nor can
niceties, thus suggesting that the PCGG should be it be used to ransom captive dollars. This nation will
allowed to make some legal shortcuts, another word survive and grow strong, only if it would become
for niceties or exceptions. convinced of the values enshrined in the
Now, if everything the PCGG is doing is legal, why Constitution of a price that is beyond monetary
is it asking the CONCOM for special protection? The estimation.
answer is clear. What they are doing will not stand For these reasons, the honorable course for the
the test of ordinary due process, hence they are Constitutional Commission is to delete all of Section
asking for protection, for exceptions. Grandes 8 of the committee report and allow the new
malos, grandes remedios, fine, as the saying stands, Constitution to take effect in full vigor. If Section 8 is
but let us not say grandes malos, grande y malos deleted, the PCGG has two options. First, it can
remedios. That is not an allowable extrapolation. pursue the Salonga and the Romulo argument that
Hence, we should not give the exceptions asked for, what the PCGG has been doing has been completely
and let me elaborate and give three reasons: within the pale of the law. If sustained, the PCGG
First, the whole point of the February Revolution can go on and should be able to go on, even without
and of the work of the CONCOM is to hasten the support of Section 8. If not sustained, however,
constitutional normalization. Very much at the heart the PCGG has only one honorable option, it must
of the constitutional normalization is the full bow to the majesty of the Bill of Rights.
effectivity of the Bill of Rights. We cannot, in one The PCGG extrapolation of the law is defended by
breath, ask for constitutional normalization and at staunch Christians. Let me conclude with what
the same time ask for a temporary halt to the full another Christian replied when asked to toy around
functioning of what is at the heart of with the law. From his prison cell, Thomas More
constitutionalism. That would be hypocritical; that said, "I'll give the devil benefit of law for my nations
would be a repetition of Marcosian protestation of safety sake. I ask the Commission to give the devil
due process and rule of law. The New Society word benefit of law for our nations sake. And we should
for that is backsliding. It is tragic when we begin to delete Section 8.
backslide even before we get there. Thank you, Madam President. (Emphasis supplied)
Second, this is really a corollary of the first. Habits
tend to become ingrained. The committee report Despite the impassioned plea by Commissioner Bernas
asks for extraordinary exceptions from the Bill of against the amendment
Rights for six months after the convening of excepting sequestration orders from the Bill of Rights, the
Congress, and Congress may even extend this Constitutional Commission still adopted the amendment as
longer. Section 26,[44] Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution. The
Good deeds repeated ripen into virtue; bad deeds framers of the Constitution were fully aware that absent
repeated become vice. What the committee report is Section 26, sequestration orders would not stand the test of
asking for is that we should allow the new due process under the Bill of Rights.
government to acquire the vice of disregarding the
Bill of Rights. Thus, to rule that the Bill of Rights of the 1973 Constitution
Vices, once they become ingrained, become difficult remained in force during the interregnum, absent a
to shed. The practitioners of the vice begin to think constitutional provision excepting sequestration orders from
that they have a vested right to its practice, and they such Bill of Rights, would clearly render all sequestration
will fight tooth and nail to keep the franchise. That orders void during the interregnum. Nevertheless, even
would be an unhealthy way of consolidating the during the interregnum the Filipino people continued to
gains of a democratic revolution. enjoy, under the Covenant and the Declaration, almost the
Third, the argument that what matters are the same rights found in the Bill of Rights of the 1973 Constitution.
results and not the legal niceties is an argument that The revolutionary government, after installing itself as the de
is very disturbing. When it comes from a staunch jure government, assumed responsibility for the States good
Christian like Commissioner Salonga, a Minister, faith compliance with the Covenant to which the Philippines
and repeated verbatim by another staunch Christian is a signatory.Article 2(1) of the Covenant requires each
like Commissioner Tingson, it becomes doubly signatory State to respect and to ensure to all individuals
disturbing and even discombobulating. The within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the
argument makes the PCGG an auctioneer, placing rights[45] recognized in the present Covenant.Under Article
the Bill of Rights on the auction block. If the price is 17(1) of the Covenant, the revolutionary government had the
right, the search and seizure clause will be sold. duty to insure that [n]o one shall be subjected to arbitrary or
Open your Swiss bank account to us and we will
unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or A. The communications equipment, money in
correspondence. Philippine currency and US dollars,
some jewelries, land titles, sir.
The Declaration, to which the Philippines is also a signatory,
provides in its Article 17(2) that [n]o one shall be arbitrarily Q. Now, the search warrant speaks only of
deprived of his property. Although the signatories to the weapons to be seized from the house of
Declaration did not intend it as a legally binding document, Elizabeth Dimaano. Do you know the
being only a declaration, the Court has interpreted the reason why your team also seized other
Declaration as part of the generally accepted principles of properties not mentioned in said search
international law and binding on the State.[46]Thus, the warrant?
revolutionary government was also obligated under A. During the conversation right after the
international law to observe the rights[47] of individuals under conduct of said raid, I was informed that
the Declaration. the reason why they also brought the
other items not included in the search
The revolutionary government did not repudiate the
warrant was because the money and
Covenant or the Declaration during the interregnum. Whether
other jewelries were contained in attach
the revolutionary government could have repudiated all its
cases and cartons with markings Sony
obligations under the Covenant or the Declaration is another
Trinitron, and I think three (3) vaults or
matter and is not the issue here. Suffice it to say that the Court
steel safes. Believing that the attach cases
considers the Declaration as part of customary international
and the steel safes were containing
law, and that Filipinos as human beings are proper subjects of
firearms, they forced open these
the rules of international law laid down in the Covenant. The
containers only to find out that they
fact is the revolutionary government did not repudiate the
contained money.
Covenant or the Declaration in the same way it repudiated the
1973 Constitution. As the de jure government, the Q. You said you found money instead of
revolutionary government could not escape responsibility for weapons, do you know the reason why
the States good faith compliance with its treaty obligations your team seized this money instead of
under international law. weapons?
A. I think the overall team leader and the other
It was only upon the adoption of the Provisional Constitution
two officers assisting him decided to
on 25 March 1986 that the directives and orders of the
bring along also the money because at
revolutionary government became subject to a higher
that time it was already dark and they
municipal law that, if contravened, rendered such directives
felt most secured if they will bring that
and orders void. The Provisional Constitution adopted
because they might be suspected also of
verbatim the Bill of Rights of the 1973 Constitution.[48] The
taking money out of those items, your
Provisional Constitution served as a self-limitation by the
revolutionary government to avoid abuses of the absolute
powers entrusted to it by the people.
During the interregnum when no constitution or Bill of Rights Atty. Banaag
existed, directives and orders issued by government officers
were valid so long as these officers did not exceed the Q. Were you present when the search warrant
authority granted them by the revolutionary government. The in connection with this case was applied
directives and orders should not have also violated the before the Municipal Trial Court of
Covenant or the Declaration. In this case, the revolutionary Batangas, Branch 1?
government presumptively sanctioned the warrant since the A. Yes, sir.
revolutionary government did not repudiate it. The warrant,
issued by a judge upon proper application, specified the items Q. And the search warrant applied for by you
to be searched and seized. The warrant is thus valid with was for the search and seizure of five (5)
respect to the items specifically described in the warrant. baby armalite rifles M-16 and five (5)
boxes of ammunition?
However, the Constabulary raiding team seized items not A. Yes, sir.
included in the warrant. As admitted by petitioners witnesses,
the raiding team confiscated items not included in the AJ AMORES
warrant, thus:
Q. Before you applied for a search warrant, did
Direct Examination of Capt. Rodolfo Sebastian you conduct surveillance in the house of
AJ AMORES Miss Elizabeth Dimaano?
A. The Intelligence Operatives conducted
Q. According to the search warrant, you are surveillance together with the MSU
supposed to seize only for weapons. elements, your Honor.
What else, aside from the weapons, were
seized from the house of Miss Elizabeth Q. And this party believed there were weapons
Dimaano? deposited in the house of Miss Elizabeth
A. Yes, your Honor.
Q. And they so swore before the Municipal cases. These attach cases were suspected
Trial Judge? to be containing pistols or other high
A. Yes, your Honor. powered firearms, but in the course of
the search the contents turned out to be
Q. But they did not mention to you, the
money. So the team leader also decided
applicant for the search warrant, any
to take this considering that they
other properties or contraband which
believed that if they will just leave the
could be found in the residence of Miss
money behind, it might get lost also.
Elizabeth Dimaano?
A. They just gave us still unconfirmed report Q. That holds true also with respect to the
about some hidden items, for instance, other articles that were seized by your
the communications equipment and raiding team, like Transfer Certificates
money. However, I did not include that of Title of lands?
in the application for search warrant A. Yes, sir. I think they were contained in one
considering that we have not established of the vaults that were opened.[51]
concrete evidence about that. So when
It is obvious from the testimony of Captain Sebastian that the
Q. So that when you applied for search warrant did not include the monies, communications
warrant, you had reason to believe that equipment, jewelry and land titles that the raiding team
only weapons were in the house of Miss confiscated. The search warrant did not particularly describe
Elizabeth Dimaano? these items and the raiding team confiscated them on its own
A. Yes, your Honor.[50] authority. The raiding team had no legal basis to seize these
items without showing that these items could be the subject of
Q. You stated that a .45 caliber pistol was
warrantless search and seizure.[52] Clearly, the raiding team
seized along with one armalite rifle M-
exceeded its authority when it seized these items.
16 and how many ammunition?
The seizure of these items was therefore void, and unless these
A. Forty, sir.
items are contraband per se,[53] and they are not, they must be
Q. And this became the subject of your returned to the person from whom the raiding seized
complaint with the issuing Court, with them. However, we do not declare that such person is the
the fiscals office who charged Elizabeth lawful owner of these items, merely that the search and
Dimaano for Illegal Possession of seizure warrant could not be used as basis to seize and
Firearms and Ammunition? withhold these items from the possessor. We thus hold that
A. Yes, sir. these items should be returned immediately to Dimaano.

Q. Do you know what happened to that case? WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is DISMISSED. The
A. I think it was dismissed, sir. questioned Resolutions of the Sandiganbayan dated 18
November 1991 and 25 March 1992 in Civil Case No. 0037,
Q. In the fiscals office? remanding the records of this case to the Ombudsman for such
A. Yes, sir. appropriate action as the evidence may warrant, and referring
Q. Because the armalite rifle you seized, as well this case to the Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal
as the .45 caliber pistol had a Revenue for a determination of any tax liability of respondent
Memorandum Receipt in the name of Elizabeth Dimaano, are AFFIRMED.
Felino Melegrito, is that not correct?
A. I think that was the reason, sir.
Q. There were other articles seized which were
not included in the search warrant, like
for instance, jewelries. Why did you
seize the jewelries?
A. I think it was the decision of the overall
team leader and his assistant to bring
Aquino v. Enrile
along also the jewelries and other items,
59 SCRA 183, September 17, 1974
sir. I do not really know where it was
J. Makatintal
taken but they brought along also these
articles. I do not really know their reason
for bringing the same, but I just learned Facts
that these were taken because they might
get lost if they will just leave this behind. Enrile (then Minister of National Defense), pursuant to the
Q. How about the money seized by your order of Marcos issued and ordered the arrest of a number of
raiding team, they were not also individuals including Benigno Aquino Jr even without any
included in the search warrant? charge against them. Hence, Aquino and some others filed for
A. Yes sir, but I believe they were also taken habeas corpus against Juan Ponce Enrile. Enrile’s answer
considering that the money was contained a common and special affirmative defense that the
discovered to be contained in attach arrest is valid pursuant to Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law.
The cases are all petitions for habeas corpus, the petitioners (Citizens Assemblies) and any order, decree, and
having been arrested and detained by the military by virtue of proclamation which are similar in objective.
Proclamation 1081. The petitioners were arrested and held
pursuant to General Order No.2 of the President "for being
participants or for having given aid and comfort in the
conspiracy to seize political and state power in the country Issue
and to take over the Government by force..." General Order
1. Is the validity of Proclamation No. 1102 justiciable?
No. 2 was issued by the President in the exercise of the power
he assumed by virtue of Proclamation 1081 placing the entire 2. Was the constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional
country under martial law. Convention ratified validly in compliance to applicable laws?

Issue 3. Was the proposed Constitution acquiesced by the people?

4. Are the petitioners entitled relief?

1) Is the existence of conditions claimed to justify the exercise
of the power to declare martial law subject to judicial inquiry?; 5. Is the proposed Constitution in force?

2) Is the detention of the petitioners legal in accordance to the

declaration of martial law? Held

Held Whether a constitutional amendment has been properly

adopted according to an existing constitution is a judicial
question as it is the absolute duty of the judiciary to determine
5 Justices held that the issue is a political question, hence, not
whether the Constitution has been amended in the manner
subject to judicial inquiry, while 4 Justices held that the issue
required by the constitution. The Constitution proposed by
is a justiciable one. However, any inquiry by this Court in the
the 1971 Convention was not validly ratified in accordance
present cases into the constitutional sufficiency of the factual
with Article XV section 1 of the 1935 Constitution which
bases for the proclamation of martial law has become moot
provides only one way for ratification (election or plebiscite
and academic. Implicit in the state of martial law is the
held in accordance with law and only with qualified voters).
suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus with
Due to the environmental and social conditions in the
respect to persons arrested or detained for acts related to the
Philippines (i.e. martial law) the Court cannot honestly say
basic objective of the proclamation, which is to suppress
that the people acquiesced to the proposed Constitution. The
invasion, insurrection or rebellion, or to safeguard public
majority ruled to dismiss the cases as the effectivity of the
safety against imminent danger thereof. The preservation of
proposed Constitution is the basic issue posed by the cases
society and national survival takes precedence. The
which considerations other than judicial are relevant and
proclamation of martial law automatically suspends the
unavoidable. The new constitution is in force as there are not
privilege of the writ as to the persons referred to in this case.
enough votes to say otherwise.

The Constitution provides that in case of invasion,

insurrection or rebellion, or imminent danger against the state,
when public safety requires it, the President may suspend the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines
or any part therein under Martial Law. In the case at bar, the Occena v. COMELEC
state of rebellion plaguing the country has not yet G.R. No. L-56350 April 2, 1981
disappeared, therefore, there is a clear and imminent danger Fernando, C.J.
against the state. The arrest is then a valid exercise pursuant
to the President’s order. Facts
Petitioners Samuel Occena and Ramon A. Gonzales, both
JAVELLANA VS THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY members of the Philippine Bar and former delegates to the
50 SCRA 30; March 31, 1973 1971 Constitutional Convention that framed the present
Concepcion, C.J Constitution, are suing as taxpayers. The rather unorthodox
aspect of these petitions is the assertion that the 1973
Constitution is not the fundamental law, the Javellana ruling
Facts to the contrary notwithstanding.

On January 20, 1973, Josue Javellana filed a prohibition case to Issue

restrain respondents from implementing any of the provisions What is the power of the Interim Batasang Pambansa to
of the proposed constitution not found in the present propose amendments and how may it be exercised? More
constitution. Javellana maintained that the respondents are specifically as to the latter, what is the extent of the changes
acting without or in excess of jurisdiction in implementing that may be introduced, the number of votes necessary for the
proposed constitution and that the president is without power validity of a proposal, and the standard required for a proper
to proclaim the ratification of the constitution. Similar actions submission?
were filed by Vidal Tan, Gerardo Roxas, among others.
Petitioners pray for the nullification of Proclamation 1102 Held
The applicable provision in the 1976 Amendments is quite legislative body applies as well when it has been convened as
explicit. Insofar as pertinent it reads thus:
the agency through which amendments could be proposed.
“The Interim Batasang Pambansa shall have the same powers That is not a requirement as far as a constitutional convention
and its Members shall have the same functions, is concerned. It is not a requirement either when, as in this
responsibilities, rights, privileges, and disqualifications as case, the Interim Batasang Pambansa exercises its constituent
the interim National Assembly and the regular National power to propose amendments. Moreover, even on the
Assembly and the Members thereof.” One of such powers is assumption that the requirement of three- fourth votes
precisely that of proposing amendments. The 1973 applies, such extraordinary majority was obtained. It is not
Constitution in its Transitory Provisions vested
disputed that Resolution No. 1 proposing an amendment
the Interim National Assembly with the power to propose allowing a natural-born citizen of the Philippines naturalized
amendments upon special call by the Prime Minister by a vote in a foreign country to own a limited area of land for
of the majority of its members to be ratified in accordance withresidential purposes was approved by the vote of 122 to 5;
the Article on Amendments. When, therefore,
Resolution No. 2 dealing with the Presidency, the Prime
the Interim Batasang Pambansa, upon the call of the President Minister and the Cabinet, and the National Assembly by a vote
and Prime Minister Ferdinand E. Marcos, met as a constituent of 147 to 5 with 1 abstention; and Resolution No. 3 on the
body its authority to do so is clearly beyond doubt. It could amendment to the Article on the Commission on Elections by
and did propose the amendments embodied in the resolutions a vote of 148 to 2 with 1 abstention. Where then is the alleged
now being assailed. It may be observed parenthetically that as infirmity? As to the requisite standard for a proper
far as petitioner Occena is concerned, the question of the submission, the question may be viewed not only from the
authority of the Interim Batasang Pambansa to propose standpoint of the period that must elapse before the holding
amendments is not new. Considering that the proposed of the plebiscite but also from the standpoint of such
amendment of Section 7 of Article X of the Constitution amendments having been called to the attention of the people
extending the retirement of members of the Supreme Court so that it could not plausibly be maintained that they were
and judges of inferior courts from sixty-five (65) to seventy properly informed as to the proposed changes. As to the
(70) years is but a restoration of the age of retirement provided
period, the Constitution indicates the way the matter should
in the 1935 Constitution and has been intensively and be resolved. There is no ambiguity to the applicable provision:
extensively discussed at the Interim Batasang Pambansa, as “Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution shall be
well as through the mass media, it cannot, therefore, be said valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a
that our people are unaware of the advantages and plebiscite which shall be held not later than three months after
disadvantages of the proposed amendment. the approval of such amendment or revision.” The three
resolutions were approved by the Interim Batasang Pambansa
Issue sitting as a constituent assembly on February 5 and 27, 1981.
Were the amendments proposed are so extensive in character In the Batasang Pambansa Blg. 22, the date of the plebiscite is
that they go far beyond the limits of the authority conferred set for April 7, 1981. It is thus within the 90-day period
on the Interim Batasang Pambansa as Successor of the Interim provided by the Constitution.
National Assembly? Was there revision rather than
amendment? Philippine Bar Association vs. COMELEC
140 SCRA 455, January 7, 1986
Whether the Constitutional Convention will only propose Facts
amendments to the Constitution or entirely overhaul the 11 petitions were filed for prohibition against the enforcement
present Constitution and propose an entirely new of BP 883 which calls for special national elections on February
Constitution based on an Ideology foreign to the democratic 7, 1986 (Snap elections) for the offices of President and Vice
system, is of no moment; because the same will be submitted President of the Philippines. BP 883 in conflict with the
to the people for ratification. Once ratified by the sovereign constitution in that it allows the President to continue holding
people, there can be no debate about the validity of the new office after the calling of the special election.
Constitution. The fact that the present Constitution may be
revised and replaced with a new one is no argument against Senator Pelaez submits that President Marcos’ letter of
the validity of the law because ‘amendment’ includes the conditional “resignation” did not create the actual vacancy
‘revision’ or total overhaul of the entire Constitution. At any required in Section 9, Article 7 of the Constitution which could
rate, whether the Constitution is merely amended in part or be the basis of the holding of a special election for President
revised or totally changed would become immaterial the and Vice President earlier than the regular elections for such
moment the same is ratified by the sovereign people. positions in 1987. The letter states that the President is:
“irrevocably vacat(ing) the position of President effective only
Issue when the election is held and after the winner is proclaimed
What is the vote necessary to propose amendments as well as and qualified as President by taking his oath office ten (10)
the standard for proper submission? days after his proclamation.”

Held The unified opposition, rather than insist on strict compliance

with the cited constitutional provision that the incumbent
The Interim Batasang Pambansa, sitting as a constituent body,
President actually resign, vacate his office and turn it over to
can propose amendments. In that capacity, only a majority
the Speaker of the Batasang Pambansa as acting President,
vote is needed. It would be an indefensible proposition to
their standard bearers have not filed any suit or petition in
assert that the three-fourth votes required when it sits as a
intervention for the purpose nor repudiated the scheduled
election. They have not insisted that President Marcos vacate accepted the government of President Corazon C. Aquino
his office, so long as the election is clean, fair and honest. which is in effective control of the entire country so that it is
not merely a de factogovernment but is in fact and law a de
Issue jure government. Moreover, the community of nations has
Is BP 883 unconstitutional, and should the Supreme Court recognized the legitimacy of the present government. All the
therefore stop and prohibit the holding of the elections eleven members of this Court, as reorganized, have sworn to
uphold the fundamental law of the Republic under her
Held government.
The petitions in these cases are dismissed and the prayer for
the issuance of an injunction restraining respondents from In view of the foregoing, the petitions are hereby dismissed.
holding the election on February 7, 1986, in as much as there
are less than the required 10 votes to declare BP 883
unconstitutional. Very truly yours,

The events that have transpired since December 3,as the Court (Sgd.) GLORIA C. PARAS
did not issue any restraining order, have turned the issue into Clerk of Court
a political question (from the purely justiciable issue of the
questioned constitutionality of the act due to the lack of the
On February 25, 1986, President Corazon Aquino issued
actual vacancy of the President’s office) which can be truly
Proclamation No. 1 announcing that she and Vice President
decided only by the people in their sovereign capacity at the
Laurel were taking power.
scheduled election, since there is no issue more political than
the election. The Court cannot stand in the way of letting the On March 25, 1986, proclamation No.3 was issued providing
people decide through their ballot, either to give the the basis of the Aquino government assumption of power by
incumbent president a new mandate or to elect a new stating that the "new government was installed through a
president. direct exercise of the power of the Filipino people assisted by
units of the New Armed Forces of the Philippines."

AQUINO Whether or not the government of Corazon Aquino is
G.R. No. 73748 - May 22, 1986 legitimate.
There is no "Full-Text" of this case. This is a Minute Resolution
made by the SC. Held

Facts Yes. The legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a

justiciable matter but belongs to the realm of politics where
SIRS/MESDAMES: only the people are the judge.

The Court further held that:

Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this
Court MAY 22, 1986. The people have accepted the Aquino government which is in
effective control of the entire country;
In G.R. No. 73748, Lawyers League for a Better Philippines vs.
President Corazon C. Aquino, et al.; G.R. No. 73972, People's It is not merely a de facto government but in fact and law a de
Crusade for Supremacy of the Constitution vs. Mrs. Cory jure government; and
Aquino, et al., and G.R. No. 73990, Councilor Clifton U. Ganay
vs. Corazon C. Aquino, et al., the legitimacy of the government The community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of
of President Aquino is questioned. It is claimed that her the new government.
government is illegal because it was not established pursuant
to the 1973 Constitution.

As early as April 10, 1986, this Court* had already voted to G.R. No. 76180 October 24, 1986
dismiss the petitions for the reasons to be stated below. On IN RE: SATURNINO V. BERMUDEZ
April 17, 1986, Atty. Lozano as counsel for the petitioners in Per Curiam
G.R. Nos. 73748 and 73972 withdrew the petitions and
manifested that they would pursue the question by extra- Facts
judicial methods. The withdrawal is functus oficio. In a petition for declaratory relief with no respondents,
petitioner asked the court if the provision of the Section 5
The three petitions obviously are not impressed with merit. Article XVIII of the 1986 Constitution, to wit: “The six-year
Petitioners have no personality to sue and their petitions state term of the incumbent President and Vice-President elected in
no cause of action. For the legitimacy of the Aquino the February 7, 1986 election is, for purposes of
government is not a justiciable matter. It belongs to the realm synchronization of elections, hereby extended to noon of June
of politics where only the people of the Philippines are the 30, 1992,” refers to the then-incumbent President Corazon
judge. And the people have made the judgment; they have Aquino and Vice-President Salvador Laurel or the previously-
elected President Ferdinand E. Marcos and Vice-President - The Court en banc granted Justice Puno's request.
Arturo M. Tolentino. - A motion for reconsideration was later filed by Associate
After the election of February 7, 1986 where Marcos and Justices Campos Jr. and Javellana who are affected by the
Tolentino were declared the winners, Aquino and Laurel were ordered correction.
installed into the position last February 25, 1986 after the - They alleged that petitioner could not claim reappointment
infamous People Power Revolution. The next regular election because the courts where he had previously been appointed
for the President and Vice-President was held last May 2, 1992. ceased to exist at the date of his last appointment.

WON the present Court of Appeals is merely a continuation
Issue of the old Court of Appeals and Intermediate Appellate Court
existing before the promulgation of E.O. No. 33.
Whether the aforecited article applies to the then-incumbent
President and Vice-President, or the previously elected Held
President and Vice-President. The Court held that the Court of Appeals and Intermediate
Appellate Court existing prior to E.O. No. 33 phased out as
Held part of the legal system abolished by the 1987 Revolution. The
Court of Appeals that was established under E.O. No. 33 is
The petition was hereby dismissed outright for: considered as an entirely new court.

1. Lack of jurisdiction. Court has no jurisdiction over petition The present Court of Appeals is a new entity, different and
for declaratory relief. Rules of Court states that it is the RTC distinct from the courts existing before E.O. No. 33. It was
(Regional Trial Courts) who has the jurisdiction over petitions created in the wake of the massive reorganization launched by
for declaratory relief. Also, incumbent Presidents are immune the revolutionary government of Corazon Aquino in the
from suit or from being brought to court during the period of aftermath of the people power in 1986.
their incumbency and tenure.
Revolution is defined as "the complete overthrow of the
established government in any country or state by those who
2. Lack of cause of action on the part of petitioner. Petitioner
were previously subject to it." or "as sudden. radical and
had no personality to use, and his allegation was manifestly
fundamental change in the government or political system,
gratuitous. The legitimacy of the Aquino government was not
usually effected with violence or at least some acts of
a justiciable matter. It belongs to the realm of politics where
only the people of the Philippines are the judge, and the
people have made judgment.
De Leon v. Esguerra
153 SCRA 602, August, 31, 1987
In re: Letter of Associate Justice Reynato S. Puno
J. Melencio-Herrera
A.M. No. 90-11-2697-CA
J. Padilla
- The petitioner, Reynato S. Puno, was first appointed as On May 17, 1982, petitioner Alfredo M. De Leon was elected
Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals on 1980. Barangay Captain together with the other petitioners as
- On 1983, the Court of Appeals was reorganized and became Barangay Councilmen of Barangay Dolores, Muncipality of
the Intermediate Appellate Court pursuant to BP Blg. 129. Taytay, Province of Rizal in a Barangay election held under
- On 1984, petitioner was appointed to be Deputy Minister of Batas Pambansa Blg. 222, otherwise known as Barangay
Justice in the Ministry of Justice. Thus, he ceased to be a Election Act of 1982.
member of the Judiciary.
- After February 1986 EDSA Revolution, there was a On February 9, 1987, petitioner De Leon received a
reorganization of the entire government, including the Memorandum antedated December 1, 1986 but signed by
Judiciary. respondent OIC Governor Benjamin Esguerra on February 8,
- A Screening Committee for the reorganization of the 1987 designating respondent Florentino G. Magno as
Intermediate Appelate Court and lower courts recommended Barangay Captain of Barangay Dolores and the other
the return of petitioner as Associate Justice of the new court of respondents as members of Barangay Council of the same
Appeals and assigned him the rank of number 11 in the roster Barangay and Municipality.
of appellate court justices.
- When the appointments were signed by Pres. Aquino, Petitoners prayed to the Supreme Court that the subject
petitioner's seniority ranking changes from number 11 to 26. Memoranda of February 8, 1987 be declared null and void and
- Then, petitioner alleged that the change in seniority ranking that respondents be prohibited by taking over their positions
was due to "inadvertence" of the President, otherwise, it of Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen.
would run counter to the provisions of Section 2 of E.O. No.
Petitioners maintain that pursuant to Section 3 of the Barangay
Election Act of 1982 (BP Blg. 222), their terms of office shall be
- Petitioner Justice Reynato S. Puno wrote a letter to the Court
six years which shall commence on June 7, 1988 and shall
seeking the correction of his seniority ranking in the Court of
continue until their successors shall have elected and shall
have qualified. It was also their position that with the #3: amendment of Sec 16 Art VI to authorize Senators and
ratification of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, respondent members of the House of Reps to become delegates in the
OIC Governor no longer has the authority to replace them and constitution convention without forfeiting their seats in
to designate their successors. congress.

On the other hand, respondents contend that the terms of Then RA 4913 was enacted which provided that the proposed
office of elective and appointive officials were abolished and amendments in Reso # 1 and 3 be submitted for approval by
that petitioners continued in office by virtue of Sec. 2, Art. 3 of the people at the general elections.
the Provisional Constitution and not because their term of six
years had not yet expired; and that the provision in the This case was thereafter filed praying that the COMELEC be
Barangay Election Act fixing the term of office of Barangay restrained from enforcing RA 4913 or from performing any act
officials to six years must be deemed to have been repealed for for the plebiscite to ratify the amendments; that the Director
being inconsistent with Sec. 2, Art. 3 of the Provisional of Printing be restrained from printing ballots and that the
Constitution. Auditor General be restrained from auditing disbursements
for funds made under RA 4931. Petitioners also pray that the
Issue RA be declared unconstitutional.

Whether or not the designation of respondents to replace It is argued that while the passage of the Resolutions were
petitioners was validly made during the one-year period 1
which ended on Feb 25, 1987. done in compliance with the constitutional requirements
they are still void because:
1. The members of the congress that approved the resolutions
Supreme Court declared that the Memoranda issued by are de facto congressmen.
respondent OIC Gov on Feb 8, 1987 designating respondents
as Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen of Barangay It is argued that the constitution provides that as regards the
Dolores, Taytay, Rizal has no legal force and effect. composition of Congress, there has to be an apportionment
within 3 years after the return of every census. Since the last
The 1987 Constitution was ratified in a plebiscite on Feb 2, census was in 1960 pa, the election of the members of the
1987, therefore, the Provisional Constitution must be deemed Congress is illegal, and at best they are merely de facto
to have superseded. Having become inoperative, respondent congressmen/ it is a de facto congress. Therefore, the
OIC Gov could no longer rely on Sec 2, Art 3, thereof to resolutions they passed, as well as the RA, are null and void.
designate respondents to the elective positions occupied by
petitioners. Relevantly, Sec 8, Art 1 of the 1987 Constitution 2. Congress may only adopt of 2 alternatives – either propose
further provides in part: an amendment or call a conventions, but not both at the same
"Sec. 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except
barangay officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be Note that Reso 1 and 3 propose amendments to congress, to be
three years x x x." submitted for ratification by the people, whereas #2 calls for a
Until the term of office of barangay officials has been
determined by aw, therefore, the term of office of 6 years
3. The election to ratify the amendments to the constitution
provided for in the Barangay Election Act of 1982 should still
must be a special election, not a general election where
national and local officers are chosen
G.R. No. L-28196 November 9, 1967
J. Concepcion WON the congress merely de facto?

No. The provision states that “until such apportionment shall
This is a consolidated petition made by Gonzales (as citizen have been made, the House of Representatives shall have the
and taxpayer) and PHILCONSA (non-profit organization that same number of Members as that fixed by law....” This means
defends the constitution). that upon the expiration of the period to make an
apportionment, Congress shall continue to function with the
In March 1967, the Senate and House of Representatives districts existing at that time. Moreover, it is not true that there
was no apportionmentwithin 3 years after the last census in
jointly passed the following resolutions:
 #1: proposing the
1960. Congress passed RA 3040 purporting to make the
amendment of Sec 5 Art VI to increase the membership of the
apportionment. (it was declared unconstitutional, though).
House from a maximum of 120 to 180
Finally, even assuming that the congress is a de facto one, it
would not follow that the resolutions and RA 4913 are void.
#2: calling a convention to propose such amendment. The
There is after all, a doctrine that acts of persons holding an
convention will be composed of 2 delegates from each district
office created by a valid law, under color of title, are valid. And
and will be elected in the upcoming general elections (1967)
title of a de facto officer cannot be raised collaterally like here liftthe term limits of elective officials, through People’s
in this case. Initiative. He based this petition on Article XVII,Sec. 2 of the
1987 Constitution, which provides for the right of the people
2. Alternatives available to congress – it was argued that the to exercise the power todirectly propose amendments to the
constitution states that the Congress may either propose Constitution. Subsequently the COMELEC issued an order
amendments OR call a convention, so dapat isa lang. – NO directing the publication of the petition and of the notice of
hearing and thereafter set the case for hearing. At the hearing,
SC said the basis of this argument is weak. The 2 alternatives Senator Roco, the IBP, Demokrasya-Ipagtanggol ang
are indeed separated by the word OR, but “or” has sometimes Konstitusyon, PublicInterest Law Center, and Laban ng
been held to mean “and” or vice versa when the spirit of the Demokratikong Pilipino appeared as intervenors-
law warrants it. oppositors.Senator Roco filed a motion to dismiss the Delfin
petition on the ground that one which is cognizableby the
In connection to this, it was also raised: merong convention, COMELEC. The petitioners herein Senator Santiago,
merong proposed amendments, bakithindinalang convention Alexander Padilla, and Isabel Ongpinfiled this civil action for
nalangparataposna? SC said this is a political issue. prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court against
COMELEC and theDelfin petition rising the several
3. General v. Special Elections – EITHER! arguments, such as the following: (1) The constitutional
provision onpeople’s initiative to amend the constitution can
The 1935 consti provides: Such amendments shall be valid as only be implemented by law to be passed byCongress. No
part of this constitution when approved by a majority of the such law has been passed; (2) The people’s initiative is limited
votes cast at an election at which the amendments are to amendments to theConstitution, not to revision thereof.
submitted to the people for ratification. Lifting of the term limits constitutes a revision, therefore it
isoutside the power of people’s initiative. The Supreme Court
There is nothing in said provision that indicates that the granted the Motions for Intervention.
election should be a special one. While it is true that the 3
previous amendments to the constitution had been submitted Issues
to the people for ratification in special elections, it does not
follow that it is required. Congress only did so under the (1) Whether or not Sec. 2, Art. XVII of the 1987 Constitution is
circumstances then. It does not negate its authority to submit a self-executing provision.(2) Whether or not COMELEC
proposed amendments to be ratified in general elections. Resolution No. 2300 regarding the conduct of initiative
onamendments to the Constitution is valid, considering the
It is admitted that it is better to have it ratified independently absence in the law of specific provisions onthe conduct of such
of the general elections of public officials, since the adequate initiative.(3) Whether the lifting of term limits of elective
appraisal of the merits of the proposal will be overshadowed officials would constitute a revision or anamendment of the
by the election personalities. However, this already goes into Constitution.
the wisdom of the plebiscite. This consideration does not deny
the congress to choose either general or special elections since Held
the word “election” was without qualification in the
constitution. Sec. 2, Art XVII of the Constitution is not self executory, thus,
without implementinglegislation the same cannot operate.
4. Minor issue: does the court have jurisdiction over the case? Although the Constitution has recognized or granted the
- YES right,the people cannot exercise it if Congress does not
provide for its implementation.The portion of COMELEC
It was argued that this was a political issue. SC said indeed, Resolution No. 2300 which prescribes rules and regulations on
power to amend the constitution or propose the amendments theconduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution, is
is not included in the general grant of legislative powers to void. It has been an established rule thatwhat has been
congress. Such power is inherent in the people as the delegated, cannot be delegated (potestas delegata non
repository of sovereignty in a republican state. The power of delegari potest). Thedelegation of the power to the COMELEC
congress to propose amendments is derived from the being invalid, the latter cannot validly promulgate rulesand
constitution itself and when senators and congressmen regulations to implement the exercise of the right to people’s
exercise such power, they do so as component elements of a initiative. The lifting of the term limits was held to be that of a
constituent assembly. It necessarily follows, therefore, that revision, as it would affect other provisions of the Constitution
they do not have final say as to whether their acts are within such as the synchronization of elections, the constitutional
the limits of the constitution. guaranteeof equal access to opportunities for public service,
and prohibiting political dynasties. A revisioncannot be done
DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO vs. COMELEC by initiative. However, considering the Court’s decision in the
G.R. No. 127325 - March 19, 1997 above Issue, the issueof whether or not the petition is a
J. Davide revision or amendment has become academic


Private respondent Atty. Jesus Delfin, president of People’s

Initiative for Reforms,Modernization and Action (PIRMA),
filed with COMELEC a petition to amend the constitution to
amended in the manner prescribed by the instrument itself,
and that any attempt to revise a consti in a manner other than
that provided in the consti itself is extra-constitutional.

LAMBINO VS COMELEC The difference between revision and amendment is that

G.R. No.174153, Oct. 25, 2006 revision alters a basic principle in the constitution, or alters the
J. Carpio substantial entirety of the consti (such as when it affects
substantial provisions). Amendment refers to a change that
adds, reduces, or deletes without altering the basic principle
Facts involved.

The Lambino group gathered signatures for a petition to In California, there is the 2-part test. The quantitative test asks
initiate a change in the 1987 Consti. Afterwards, they filed a whether the proposed change is so extensive in its provisions
petition with the Comelec to hold a plebiscite so that their as to change directly the substantial entirety of the consti. The
initiative petition can be ratified under the Initiative and court examines only the number of provisions affected and
Referendum Act. does not consider the degree of the change. The qualitative test
inquires into the qualitative effects of the proposed change in
It is claimed by the Lambino group that their petition is the Consti. The main inquiry is whether the change will
supported by at least 12% of all registered voters with each accomplish such far reaching changes in the nature of our
legislative district represented by at least 3% of its registered basic governmental plan as to amount to a revision.
voters. In fact, it is alleged that Comelec election registrars had
already verified these signatures. Under these 2tests, the Lambino group’s initiative is a revision
and not merely an amendment. Quantitatively, the proposed
The changes proposed by the initiative petition would affect changes overhaul art6 and 7 affecting a total of 105 provisions
the articles on the legislative, executive and transitory in the entire consti. Qualitatively, the proposed changes
provisions. The changes will shift the bicameral- presidential substantially alter the basic plan of government from
system to a unicameral-parliamentary form of government. presidential to parliamentary, and from bicameral to
Comelec issued a resolution denying the petition for lack of an
enabling law governing initiative petitions to amend the Fr. B wrote, “a switch from the presidential system to a
constitution. Comelec cited Santiago vs Comelec wherein it parliamentary system would be a revision because of its over-
was declared that the Initiative and Referendum Act was all impact on the entire constitutional structure. So would a
inadequate to implement the initiative clause on proposals to switch from a bicameral to a unicameral system because of its
amend the constitution./ effect on other important provisions of the consti.”

Issue The Lambino group argues that the difference between

revision and amendment is merely procedural. According to
Whether Comelec should give due course to the petition? NO! them, there is a revision of a deliberative body works full time
on the changes and there is only an amendment when changes
Held are made by ordinary people who do not make an occupation,
profession or vocation out of such endeavour. This theory of
1) A people’s initiative to change the Consti applies only to an the Lambino group has been rejected in the American
amendment of the constitution and not to its revision. In jurisdiction.
contrast, Congress or a consti convention can propose both
amendments and revisions to the consti. (Compare sec1 and 2 There is no fixed rule on whether a change is an amendment
of art17) or a revision. Each specific change will have to be examined
case-by-case depending on how it affects other provisions as
Sec1, art17 refers to an amendment or revision of the consti well as how it affects the structure of the government, the
through congress or a consti convention. Compare this to sec2 checks and balances and the underlying ideological basis of
which applies only to amendments of the consti through the existing constitution.
initiatives. The deliberations is clear that the system of
initiative should be limited to amendments to the Consti and OTHER ISSUES: sec2 art17 interpretation. -
 It provides,
should not extend to the revision of the entire Consti. Whereas
“amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly
revisions to the consti (and amendments) may only be done
proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition...”
through congress and a consti convention.
The deliberations of the ConCom explain what “directly
US jurisprudence is clear that the initiatve power reserved by
proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition (I’ll
the people applies only to the proposing and adopting or
call this direct proposal)” entails. The mechanics for this is that
rejecting of laws and amendments of the Consti and does not
the draft of the proposed amendment to the consti should be
extend to a consti revision. Just like in the Philippine
ready and shown to the people before they sign the proposal.
jurisdiction, there is no dispute that a people’s initiative can
It was plainly stated by the framers that “before they sign,
only propose amendments since the consti itself limits
there is already a draft shown to them.” It was envisioned that
initiatives to amendments. A US case stated: it is a
the people should sign the proposal itself because the
fundamental principle that a consti can only be revised or
proponents (the people) must prepare the proposal and pass
it around for signature. Facts

The elements of direct proposal is that: 1) the people must Congress approved the creation of a Constitutional
author and sign the entire proposal – no agent or Convention of 1971 by virtue of two resolutions. Congress
representative can sign in their behalf; and 2) the proposal approved such resolutions in its capacity as a constituent
must be embodied in a petition. Thus, there can be a valid assembly convened for the purpose of calling a convention to
direct proposal only if the people sign on a petition that propose amendments to the Constitution.
already contains the full text of the proposed amendments.
The Convention approved Organic Resolution No. 1 which
The framers borrowed the concept of people’s initiative from seeks to amend the Constitutional provision thereby lowering
the US. The unbending requirement is that the people must the voting age to 18 y/o. Its Section 3 also provides that “This
first see the full text of the proposed amendments before they partial amendment, which refers only to the age qualification
sign to signify their assent, and that the people must sign on for the exercise of suffrage shall be without prejudice to other
an initiative petition that contains the full text of the proposed
amendments that will be proposed in the future by the 1971
amendments. Constitutional Convention on other portions of the amended
Section or on other portions of the entire Constitution.” Later,
US jurisprudence elucidates on the reason for requiring that President D. Macapagal called upon Comelec to help the
the people should sign the petition only after seeing the convention implement the said resolution.
proposed amendments: The purpose of the full text
requirement is to provide sufficient information so that Issue
registered voters can intelligently evaluate whether to sign the
initiative petition. 1. W/N the validity of the resolution is subject to judicial
review? YES. Convention and the Court are still ubject to the
Moreover, a person who signs an initiatve must be informed
Constitution and the rule of law. 

at the time of the signing of the nature and effect of the
proposal because failure to do so is deceptive and misleading
which renders the initiative void. Although our consti does 2. W/N the proposed amendment in question may be
not expressly state that the petition must set forth the full text presented to the people for ratification separately from each
of the proposed, the deliberations of the ConCom explicitly and all of the other amendments to be drafted and proposed
reveal the intention of the framers to require this. Besides, the by the Convention? NO. The 1935 Constitution expressly said
Initiative and Referendum Act which the Lambino group “an election” thereby saying that there should one be one
invokes as valid actually requires that the people must sign election for all the amendments intended.
the petition as signatories.
3. Is it within the powers of the Constitutional Convention of
There is no presumption that the proponents observed the 1971 to order the holding of a plebiscite for the ratification of
constitutional requirements in gathering the signatures. The the proposed amendment reducing to eighteen years the age
proponents bear the burden of proving that the petition for the exercise of suffrage under Section 1 of Article V of the
contained, or incorporated by attachment, the full text of the Constitution proposed in the Convention's Organic
proposed amendments. Resolution No. 1 in the manner and form provided for in said
resolution and the subsequent implementing acts and
In this case, the Lambino group submitted a signature sheet. resolution of the Convention? NO, because Art. XV, Section 1
And in this sheet, there is not a single word, phrase of sentence of the 1935 Constitution provides that: Section 1. The Congress
of the text of the proposed changes. Neither does the signature in joint session assembled, by a vote of three-fourths of all the
sheet state that the text of the proposed changes was attached Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives
to it. The signature sheet merely asked the people whether voting separately, may propose amendments to this
they approve a shift from the bicameral-presidential to the Constitution or call a convention for that purpose. Such
unicameral-parliamentary. amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when
approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which
(so many other facts: basically before the Comelec decided on the amendments are submitted to the people for their
the petition, Lambino group submitted an amended petition. ratification. 

But neither the amended nor the original petition contained
the proponents. And even if the Lambino group alleged that Held
the circulated copies of the proposal, it was not proven that all
those who signed had a copy of the proposal before they There was no sufficient time given to the people to study the
signed it). matter.

TOLENTINO V. COMELEC Said resolution is null and void.

G.R. No. L-34150, Oct. 16, 1971
J. Barredo The Courts has jurisdiction not because the Court is superior
(Note that this case was decided in 1971, and the to the Convention or that the Convention is subject to the
Constitutional Convention herein referred to was for the control of the Court, but simply because both the Convention
purpose of amending the 1935 Constitution.) and the Court are subject to the Constitution and the rule of
The Convention came into being by a call of a joint session of intelligently determine the effect of the reduction of the voting
Congress pursuant to Section I of Article XV of the (1935) age upon the different institutions which the Convention may
Constitution. As to matters not related to its internal operation establish and of which presently he is not given any idea? We
and the performance of its assigned mission to propose are certain no one can deny that in order that a plebiscite for
amendments to the Constitution, the Convention and its the ratification of an amendment to the Constitution may be
officers and members are all subject to all the provisions of the validly held, it must provide the voter not only sufficient time
existing Constitution. Now We hold that even as to its latter but ample basis for an intelligent appraisal of the nature of the
task of proposing amendments to the Constitution, it is subject amendment per se as well as its relation to the other parts of
to the provisions of Section I of Article XV. This must be so, the Constitution with which it has to form a harmonious
because it is plain to Us that the framers of the Constitution whole. In the context of the present state of things, where the
took care that the process of amending the same should not be Convention has hardly started considering the merits of
undertaken with the same ease and facility in changing an hundreds, if not thousands, of proposals to amend the existing
ordinary legislation. Constitution making is the most valued Constitution, to present to the people any single proposal or a
power, second to none, of the people in a constitutional few of them cannot comply with this requirement. We are of
democracy such as the one our founding fathers have chosen the opinion that the present Constitution does not
for this nation, and which we of the succeeding generations contemplate in Section 1 of Article XV a plebiscite or "election"
generally cherish. A constitution worthy of the people for wherein the people are in the dark as to frame of reference
which it is intended must not be prepared in haste without they can base their judgment on.
adequate deliberation and study. Generally, the framers of the
latter see to it that their handiwork is not lightly treated and SANIDAD vs. COMELEC
as easily mutilated or changed, not only for reasons purely G.R. No. L-44640, October 12, 1976
personal but more importantly, because written constitutions J. Martin
are supposed to be designed so as to last for some time, if not
for ages, or for, at least, as long as they can be adopted to the Facts
needs and exigencies of the people, hence, they must be On 2 September 1976, President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued
insulated against precipitate and hasty actions motivated by Presidential Decree 991 calling for a national referendum on 16
more or less passing political moods or fancies. Thus, as a rule, October 1976 for the Citizens Assemblies ("barangays") to
the original constitutions carry with them limitations and resolve, among other things, the issues of martial law, the
conditions, more or less stringent, made so by the people interim assembly, its replacement, the powers of such
themselves, in regard to the process of their amendment. And replacement, the period of its existence, the length of the
when such limitations or conditions are so incorporated in the period for the exercise by the President of his present powers.
original constitution, it does not lie in the delegates of any
subsequent convention to claim that they may ignore and 20 days after or on 22 September 1976, the President issued
disregard such conditions because they are as powerful and another related decree, Presidential Decree 1031, amending the
omnipotent as their original counterparts. (Note that in this previous Presidential Decree 991, by declaring the provisions
case, the Con- con scheduled the plebiscite to be held with the of Presidential Decree 229 providing for the manner of voting
local elections in 1971. The resolution was adopted sometime and canvass of votes in "barangays" (Citizens Assemblies)
in October of the same year. So in short, they only have a applicable to the national referendum-plebiscite of 16 October
month left before the plebiscite. 1976. Quite relevantly, Presidential Decree 1031 repealed inter
alia, Section 4, of Presidential Decree 991.
The Court holds that it is the condition and limitation that all
the amendments to be proposed by the same Convention must On the same date of 22 September 1976, the President issued
be submitted to the people in a single "election" or plebiscite. Presidential Decree 1033, stating the questions to he submitted
It being indisputable that the amendment now proposed to be to the people in the referendum-plebiscite on 16 October 1976.
submitted to a plebiscite is only the first amendment the The Decree recites in its "whereas" clauses that the people's
Convention propose We hold that the plebiscite being called continued opposition to the convening of the interim National
for the purpose of submitting the same for ratification of the Assembly evinces their desire to have such body abolished
people on November 8, 1971 is not authorized by Section 1 of and replaced thru a constitutional amendment, providing for
Article XV of the Constitution, hence all acts of the Convention a new interim legislative body, which will be submitted
and the respondent Comelec in that direction are null and directly to the people in the referendum-plebiscite of October
void. 16.
No one knows what changes in the fundamental principles of
The Commission on Elections was vested with the exclusive
the constitution the Convention will be minded to approve. To
supervision and control of the October 1976 National
be more specific, we do not have any means of foreseeing
Referendum-Plebiscite. On 27 September 1976, Pablo C.
whether the right to vote would be of any significant value at
Sanidad and Pablito V. Sanidad, father and son, commenced
all. Who can say whether or not later on the Convention may
L-44640 for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction seeking to
decide to provide for varying types of voters for each level of
enjoin the Commission on Elections from holding and
the political units it may divide the country into. The root of
conducting the Referendum Plebiscite on October 16; to
the difficulty in other words, lies in that the Convention is
declare without force and effect Presidential Decree Nos. 991
precisely on the verge of introducing substantial changes, if
and 1033, insofar as they propose amendments to the
not radical ones, in almost every part and aspect of the existing
Constitution, as well as Presidential Decree 1031, insofar as it
social and political order enshrined in the present
directs the Commission on Elections to supervise, control,
Constitution. How can a voter in the proposed plebiscite
hold, and conduct the Referendum-Plebiscite scheduled on 16 that prerogative of discretion as to when he shall initially
October 1976. They contend that under the 1935 and 1973 convene the interim National Assembly. The Constitutional
Constitutions there is no grant to the incumbent President to Convention intended to leave to the President the
exercise the constituent power to propose amendments to the determination of the time when he shall initially convene the
new Constitution. interim National Assembly, consistent with the prevailing
conditions of peace and order in the country. When the
As a consequence, the Referendum-Plebiscite on October 16 Delegates to the Constitutional Convention voted on the
has no constitutional or legal basis. On 30 September 1976, Transitory Provisions, they were aware of the fact that under
another action for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction, the same, the incumbent President was given the discretion as
docketed as L-44684, was instituted by Vicente M. Guzman, a to when he could convene the interim National Assembly. The
delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, asserting that President's decision to defer the convening of the interim
the power to propose amendments to, or revision of the National Assembly soon found support from the people
Constitution during the transition period is expressly themselves. In the plebiscite of January 10-15, 1973, at which
conferred on the interim National Assembly under action 16, the ratification of the 1973 Constitution was submitted, the
Article XVII of the Constitution. Still another petition for people voted against the convening of the interim National
Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction was filed on 5 Assembly. In the referendum of 24 July 1973, the Citizens
October 1976 by Raul M. Gonzales, his son Raul Jr., and Assemblies ("bagangays") reiterated their sovereign will to
Alfredo Salapantan, docketed as L-44714, to restrain the withhold the convening of the interim National Assembly.
implementation of Presidential Decrees relative to the Again, in the referendum of 27 February 1975, the proposed
forthcoming Referendum-Plebiscite of October 16. question of whether the interim National Assembly shall be
initially convened was eliminated, because some of the
Issue members of Congress and delegates of the Constitutional
Convention, who were deemed automatically members of the
interim National Assembly, were against its inclusion since in
Whether the President may call upon a referendum for the
that referendum of January, 1973 the people had already
amendment of the Constitution.
resolved against it. In sensu striciore, when the legislative arm
of the state undertakes the proposals of amendment to a
Held Constitution, that body is not in the usual function of
lawmaking. It is not legislating when engaged in the
Section 1 of Article XVI of the 1973 Constitution on amending process. Rather, it is exercising a peculiar power
Amendments ordains that "(1) Any amendment to, or revision bestowed upon it by the fundamental charter itself. In the
of, this Constitution may be proposed by the National Philippines, that power is provided for in Article XVI of the
Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members, or 1973 Constitution (for the regular National Assembly) or in
by a constitutional convention. (2) The National Assembly Section 15 of the Transitory Provisions (for the interim
may, by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members, call a National Assembly). While ordinarily it is the business of the
constitutional convention or, by a majority vote of all its legislating body to legislate for the nation by virtue of
Members, submit the question of calling such a convention to constitutional conferment, amending of the Constitution is not
the electorate in an election." Section 2 thereof provides that legislative in character. In political science a distinction is
"Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution shall be made between constitutional content of an organic character
valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a and that of a legislative character. The distinction, however, is
plebiscite which shall be held not later than three months a one of policy, not of law. Such being the case, approval of the
after the approval of such amendment or revision." In the President of any proposed amendment is a misnomer. The
present period of transition, the interim National Assembly prerogative of the President to approve or disapprove applies
instituted in the Transitory Provisions is conferred with that only to the ordinary cases of legislation. The President has
amending power. Section 15 of the Transitory Provisions nothing to do with proposition or adoption of amendments to
reads "The interim National Assembly, upon special call by the Constitution.
the interim Prime Minister, may, by a majority vote of all its
Members, propose amendments to this Constitution. Such
amendments shall take effect when ratified in accordance with REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. CA, HENRICO
Article Sixteen hereof." There are, therefore, two periods UVERO, ET AL.
contemplated in the constitutional life of the nation, i.e., G.R. No. 79732 November 8, 1993
period of normalcy and period of transition. In times of J. Vitug
normalcy, the amending process may be initiated by the
proposals of the (1) regular National Assembly upon a vote of
three-fourths of all its members; or (2) by a Constitutional Facts
Convention called by a vote of two-thirds of all the Members The Republic of the Philippines has sought the expropriation
of the National Assembly. However the calling of a of certain portions of land owned by the private respondents.
Constitutional Convention may be submitted to the electorate The latter demand that the just compensation for the property
in an election voted upon by a majority vote of all the members should be based on fair market value and not that set by
of the National Assembly. In times of transition, amendments Presidential Decree No. 76, as amended, which fixes payment
may be proposed by a majority vote of all the Members of the on the basis of the assessment by the assessor or the declared
interim National Assembly upon special call by the interim valuation by the owner, whichever is lower. The RTC ruled for
Prime Minister. The Court in Aquino v. COMELEC, had the private respondents. The CA affirmed said decision.
already settled that the incumbent President is vested with Hence, the instant petition by the Republic.
In Export Processing Zone Authority (“EPZA”) vs. Dulay, etc. et G.R. No. 23127, April 29, 1971
al., the Court held the determination of just compensation in J. Fernando
eminent domain to be a judicial function and it thereby
declared Presidential Decree No. 76, as well as related decrees, Facts
including Presidential Decree No. 1533, to the contrary extent, Petitioner Francisco de Agbayani obtained a loan from PNB in
as unconstitutional and as an impermissible encroachment of the amount of P450, secured by a real estate mortgage,
judicial prerogatives. The ruling, now conceded by the maturing in 1944. As early as July of 1959, PNB instituted
Republic was reiterated in subsequent cases. extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings to recover the unpaid
balance. Petitioner countered saying that the mortgage had
Issue already prescribed since fifteen years had already elapsed
Whether the declaration of nullity of the law in question from the date of maturity. She obtained a writ of preliminary
should have prospective, not retroactive, application. injunction against the sheriff, which was made permanent by
the decision of the lower court.
Held PNB alleged that the defense of prescription would not be
There are two views on the effects of a declaration of the available if the period from March 1945, when EO No. 32
unconstitutionality of a statute: (moratorium law) was issued, to July 1948, when the
The first is the orthodox view. Under this rule, as announced legislative act (RA 342) extending the period of moratorium
in Norton v. Shelby, an unconstitutional act is not a law; it was declared invalid, were to be deducted from the
confers no right; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; computation of the time.
it creates no office; it is, in legal contemplation, inoperative, as
if it had not been passed. It is therefore stricken from the Issue
statute books and considered never to have existed at all. Not
only the parties but all persons are bound by the declaration W/N the mortgage has prescribed.
of unconstitutionality, which means that no one may
thereafter invoke it nor may the courts be permitted to apply Held
it in subsequent cases. It is, in other words, a total nullity.
No. Ratio: Because of the judicial recognition that moratorium
The second or modern view is less stringent. Under this view, was a valid governmental response to the plight of the debtors
the court in passing upon the question of constitutionality who were war sufferers, the SC had made it clear is a series of
does not annul or repeal the statute if it finds it in conflict with cases that during the 8 year period that the laws were in force,
the Constitution. It simply refuses to recognize it and prescription did not run.
determines the rights of the parties just as if such statute had
no existence. The court may give its reasons for ignoring or The decision of the lower court reflects the orthodox view that
disregarding the law, but the decision affects the parties only an unconstitutional act cannot be the source of any legal rights
and there is no judgment against the statute. The opinion or or duties, nor can it justify any official act take under it. As the
reasons of the court may operate as a precedent for the New Civil Code puts it: “When the courts declare a law to be
determination of other similar cases, but it does not strike the inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void
statute from the statute books; it does not repeal, supersede, and the latter shall govern. Administrative or executive acts,
revoke, or annul the statute. The parties to the suit are orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are not
concluded by the judgment, but no one else is bound. contrary to the laws of the Constitution.”

The orthodox view is expressed in Article 7 of the Civil Code, Although such a view has support in logic, it may not however
providing that “when the courts declare a law to be be sufficiently realistic. It does not admit of doubt that prior to
inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void the declaration of nullity, the act must have been in force and
and the latter shall govern. had to be complied with. Until the judiciary declares it to be
invalid, it is entitled to obedience and respect. Parties may
have acted under it. It is now accepted as a doctrine that prior
An otherwise valid law may be held unconstitutional only
to its being nullified, its existence as a fact must be reckoned
insofar as it is allowed to operate retrospectively such as, in
with. This is merely to reflect awareness that precisely because
pertinent cases, when it vitiates contractually vested rights. To
the judiciary is a governmental organ which has the final say
that extent, its retroactive application may be so declared
on whether or not a legislative or executive measure is valid,
invalid as impairing the obligations of contracts. A judicial
a period of time may have elapsed before it can exercise the
declaration of invalidity, it is also true, may not necessarily
power of judicial review that may lead to the declaration of
obliterate all the effects and consequences of a void act
nullity. It would be to deprive the law of its quality of fairness
occurring prior to such a declaration.
and justice if there be no recognition of what had transpired
prior to such adjudication.
The fact of the matter is that the expropriation cases,
involved in this instance, were still pending appeal when US SC: “The actual existence of a statute, prior to such
the EPZA ruling was rendered and forthwith invoked by determination of unconstitutionality, is an operative fact and
said parties. The appellate court in this particular case may have consequences which cannot justly be ignored. The
committed no error in its appealed decision. The instant past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration.
petition is dismissed. The effect of the subsequent ruling as to invalidity may have
to be considered in carious aspects, with respect to particular
relations and particular conduct.” Philippines “to place nationals and products of member-
countries on the same footing as Filipinos and local products.”
Such an approach all the more commends itself whenever They are basically challenging the constitutionality of the
police power legislation intended to promote public welfare membership because it violates the constitutional provision
but adversely affecting property rights is involved. As that the state shall “develop a self- reliant and independent
constitutionality is conditioned on its being fair and national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos and that
reasonable, which in turn is dependent on the actual situation, Filipinos will be preferred in the use of labor, materials and
a measure valid when enacted may subsequently be stricken goods.
down due to altered circumstances. This is what happened
with the moratorium legislation, issued by President Osmena, Petitioners vigorously argue that the “letter, spirit and intent”
which suspended the enforcement of payment of all debts and of the Constitution mandating “economic nationalism” are
other monetary obligations by war sufferers due to the violated by the so-called “parity provisions” and “national
circumstances at that time (business was at a standstill, treatment” clauses scattered in various parts not only of the
economy lay prostrate, radical measures were taken). But time WTO Agreement and its annexes but also in the Ministerial
passed and conditions did change. It was unreasonable and Decisions and Declarations and in the Understanding on
oppressive to let creditors wait for 12 years before they could Commitments in Financial Services. \
liquidate their investment. (This is the reason why the SC had
invalidated the law) Issue

TANADA v. ANGARA W/N the provisions of the WTO Agreement and its Annexes
G.R. No. 118295, May 2, 1997 contravene Sec. 10 and 12, Art. XII of the constitution? – NO.
J. Panganiban
World War II devastated the whole world so to facilitate the The Constitution promotes the preferential use of Filipino
recovery of the countries, the UN created 3 multilateral bodies: labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods. The
the World Bank, the IMF and the Int’l Trade Org. However, petitioners say that if we agree to the WTO Agreement, there
the ITO never took off but the General Agreement on Tariffs are provisions there that would contravene this constitutional
and Trade remained, which was a collection of treaties policy.
governing ACCESS to economies of those who signed the
treaties. After this, the World Trade Organization came about. The GATT declares that the contracting party (in this case, RP)
shall accord the same treatment to products of other
The Philippines joined the WTO as one of its founding contracting territories (ibang WTO/GATT signatories) as that
members. Then Pres. Ramos wrote 2 letters to the Senate given to the local products. In other works, there shouldn’t be
saying that joining WTO will improve Philippine access to any prioritization or discrimination of imported products just
foreign markets, will open new opportunities for services and to favor local ones. This applies also to intellectual property:
investments. And impliedly, he said that the Philippines will each Member shall accord to the nationals of other Members
benefit from the WTO system of dispute settlement by judicial treatment no less favourable than that it accords to its own
adjudication through independent WTO settlement bodies. nationalswith regard to the protection of intellectual property.

On April 1994, Sec. Navarro of DTI, respondent in this case, So now the petitioner senators argue that since the WTO
represented the govt of the Philippines in Morroco. He signed Agreement prohibits favouring local products, it in effect
in behalf of the Republic the FINAL ACT Embodying the places the nationals and products of other member countries
Results of the Urugay Round of Multilateral Negotiations. By on the same footing as Filipinos and local products in
virtue of this Final Act, RP agrees to submit the WTO contravention of the “Filipino First” policy of the Constitution.
Agreement for consideration to the Senate for approval AND
to adopt the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. In fact, Secs. 10 and 12 of Article XII, apart from merely laying down
the Final Act, the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions were general principles relating to the national economy and
submitted to the Senate for concurrence. patrimony, should be read and understood in relation to the
other sections in said article, especially Secs. 1 and 13. Sec. 1
On Aug 1994, the Senate members received a later from the lays down the basic goals of national economic development,
President of the Phil, submitting the Final Act to the Senate for as follows:
concurrence. On Dec 1994, the Senate passed a resolution
stating that the Senate CONCURRED with the ratification by 1. A more equitable distribution of opportunities, income and
the President, of the agreements establishing the WTO. Just to wealth;
be clear, Pres. Ramos transmitted the ff. for ratification of the
Senate: 1.) the Agreement proper that Phil. Will join the WTO 2. A sustained increase in the amount of goods and services
and, 2.) the ministerial declarations and decisions (25 all in all), provided by the nation for the benefit of the people; and
3.) Understanding on Commitments in the Financial Services.
3. An expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality
Petitioners in this case are SENATORS who challenge the of life for all especially the underprivileged.
validity of the membership in WTO. They claim that such
membership in the WTO requires the With these goals in context, the Constitution then ordains the
ideals of economic nationalism (1) by expressing preference in
favor of qualified Filipinos “in the grant of rights, privileges
and concessions covering the national economy and
patrimony”and in the use of “Filipino labor, domestic
materials and locally-produced goods”; (2) by mandating the
State to “adopt measures that help make them competitive;
and (3) by requiring the State to “develop a self-reliant and
independent national economy effectively controlled by
Filipinos.” In similar language, the Constitution takes into
account the realities of the outside world as it requires the
pursuit of “a trade policy that serves the general welfare and
utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis
of equality and reciprocity”and speaks of industries “which
are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets” as well
as of the protection of “Filipino enterprises against unfair
foreign competition and trade practices.”

All told, while the Constitution indeed mandates a bias in

favor of Filipino goods, services, labor and enterprises, at the
same time, it recognizes the need for business exchange with Merlin Magallona vs Secretary Eduardo Ermita
the rest of the world on the bases of equality and reciprocity G.R. 187167, Aug. 16, 2011
and limits protection of Filipino enterprises only against J. Carpio
foreign competition and trade practices that are unfair.In other
words, the Constitution did not intend to pursue an Facts
isolationist policy. It did not shut out foreign investments,
goods and services in the development of the Philippine In March 2009, Republic Act 9522, an act defining the
economy. While the Constitution does not encourage the archipelagic baselines of the Philippines was enacted – the law
unlimited entry of foreign goods, services and investments is also known as the Baselines Law. This law was meant to
into the country, it does not prohibit them either. In fact, it comply with the terms of the third United Nations Convention
allows an exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity, on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), ratified by the Philippines
frowning only on foreign competition that is unfair. in February 1984.
Professor Merlin Magallona et al questioned the validity of RA
The WTO itself has some built-in advantages to protect weak 9522 as they contend, among others, that the law decreased the
and developing economies, which comprise the vast majority national territory of the Philippines hence the law is
of its members. Each state would get 1 vote equally. Hence, unconstitutional. Some of their particular arguments are as
poor countries can protect their common interests more follows:
effectively through the WTO than through one-on-one
negotiations with developed countries. Within the WTO, a. the law abandoned the demarcation set by the Treaty of
developing countries can form powerful blocs to push their Paris and other ancillary treaties – this also resulted to the
economic agenda more decisively than outside the exclusion of our claim over Sabah;
Organization. This is not merely a matter of practical alliances b. the law, as well as UNCLOS itself, describes the Philippine
but a negotiating strategy rooted in law. waters as “archipelagic” waters which, in international law,
opens our waters landward of the baselines to maritime
Furthermore, the constitutional policy of a “self-reliant and passage by all vessels (innocent passage) and aircrafts
independent national economy” does not necessarily rule out (overflight), undermining Philippine sovereignty and national
the entry of foreign investments, goods and services. It security, contravening the country’s nuclear-free policy, and
contemplates neither “economic seclusion” nor “mendicancy damaging marine resources, in violation of relevant
in the international community.” As explained by constitutional provisions;
Constitutional Commissioner Bernardo Villegas, sponsor of
this constitutional policy: c. the classification of the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG), as
well as the Scarborough Shoal (bajo de masinloc), as a “regime
“Economic self-reliance is a primary objective of a developing of islands” pursuant to UNCLOS results in the loss of a large
country that is keenly aware of overdependence on external maritime area but also prejudices the livelihood of subsistence
assistance for even its most basic needs. It does not mean fishermen.
autarky or economic seclusion; rather, it means avoiding Issue
mendicancy in the international community. Independence
refers to the freedom from undue foreign control of the Whether or not the contentions of Magallona et al are tenable.
national economy, especially in such strategic industries as in
the development of natural resources and public utilities.”
No. The Supreme Court emphasized that RA 9522, or
The WTO reliance on “most favored nation,” “national UNCLOS, itself is not a means to acquire, or lose, territory. The
treatment,” and “trade without discrimination” cannot be treaty and the baseline law has nothing to do with the
struck down as unconstitutional as in fact they are rules of acquisition, enlargement, or diminution of the Philippine
equality and reciprocity that apply to all WTO members. territory. What controls when it comes to acquisition or loss of
territory is the international law principle on occupation,
accretion, cession and prescription and NOT the execution Under UNCLOS and the baselines law, we have three levels
of multilateral treaties on the regulations of sea-use rights or of maritime zones where we exercise treaty-based rights:
enacting statutes to comply with the treaty’s terms to delimit
a. territorial waters – 12 nautical miles from the baselines;
maritime zones and continental shelves.
where we exercise sovereignty
The law did not decrease the demarcation of our territory. In
b. contiguous zone – 24 nautical miles from the baselines;
fact it increased it. Under the old law amended by RA 9522
jurisdiction where we can enforce customs, fiscal,
(RA 3046), we adhered with the rectangular lines enclosing the
immigration, and sanitation laws (CFIS).
Philippines. The area that it covered was 440,994 square
nautical miles (sq. na. mi.). But under 9522, and with the c. exclusive economic zone – 200 nautical miles from the
inclusion of the exclusive economic zone, the extent of our baselines; where we have the right to exploit the living and
maritime was increased to 586,210 sq. na. mi. (See image non-living resources in the exclusive economic zone
below for comparison)
Note: a fourth zone may be added which is the continental
If any, the baselines law is a notice to the international shelf – this is covered by Article 77 of the UNCLOS.
community of the scope of the maritime space and submarine
areas within which States parties exercise treaty-based rights.
Anent their particular BRADFORD vs. HON. LUIS R. REYES, as Presiding Judge
contentions: of Branch 22, Regional Trial Court of Cavite, and NELIA T.
a. The law did not abandon G.R. No. 79253 March 1, 1993
the Sabah claim. This is J. Davide
evident on the provision of
Section 2 of RA 9522:
Section 2. The definition of the Facts
baselines of the territorial sea of
the Philippine Archipelago as Private respondent, hereinafter referred to as Montoya, is an
provided in this Act is American citizen who, at the time material to this case, was
without prejudice to the employed as an identification (I.D.) checker at the U.S. Navy
delineation of the baselines Exchange (NEX) at the Joint United States Military Assistance
of the territorial sea around Group (JUSMAG) headquarters in Quezon City. She is
the territory of Sabah, married to one Edgardo H. Montoya, a Filipino-American
situated in North Borneo, over which the Republic of serviceman employed by the U.S. Navy and stationed in San
the Philippines has acquired dominion and Francisco, California. Petitioner Maxine Bradford, hereinafter
sovereignty. referred to as Bradford, is likewise an American citizen who
b. UNCLOS may term our waters as “archipelagic waters” was the activity exchange manager at the said JUSMAG
and that we may term it as our “internal waters”, but the Headquarters.
bottom line is that our country exercises sovereignty over
these waters and UNCLOS itself recognizes that. However, As a consequence of an incident which occurred on 22 January
due to our observance of international law, we allow the 1987 whereby her body and belongings were searched after
exercise of others of their right of innocent passage. No she had bought some items from the retail store of the NEX
modern State can validly invoke its sovereignty to absolutely JUSMAG, where she had purchasing privileges, and while she
forbid innocent passage that is exercised in accordance with was already at the parking area, Montoya filed on
customary international law without risking retaliatory
measures from the international community. 7 May 1987 a complaint 1 with the Regional Trial Court of her
place of residence — Cavite — against Bradford for damages
c. The classification of the KIG (or the Spratly’s), as well as the due to the oppressive and discriminatory acts committed by
Scarborough Shoal, as a regime of islands did not diminish our the latter in excess of her authority as store manager of the
maritime area. Under UNCLOS and under the baselines law, NEX JUSMAG.
since they are regimes of islands, they generate their own
maritime zones – in short, they are not to be enclosed within In support of the motion, the petitioners claimed that
the baselines of the main archipelago (which is the Philippine JUSMAG, composed of an Army, Navy and Air Group, had
Island group). This is because if we do that, then we will be been established under the Philippine-United States Military
enclosing a larger area which would already depart from the Assistance Agreement entered into on 21 March 1947 to
provisions of UNCLOS – that the demarcation should follow implement the United States' program of rendering military
the natural contour of the archipelago. assistance to the Philippines. Its headquarters in Quezon City
Nevertheless, we still continue to lay claim over the KIG and is considered a temporary installation under the provisions of
the Scarborough Shoal through effective occupation. Article XXI of the Military Bases Agreement of 1947.

Thereunder, "it is mutually agreed that the United States shall

have the rights, power and authority within the bases which
are necessary for the establishment, use and operation and
NOTES: defense thereof or appropriate for the control thereof." The
1979 amendment of the Military Bases Agreement made it
clear that the United States shall have "the use of certain
facilities and areas within the bases and shall have effective of litigation will divert the time and resources of the state from
command and control over such facilities and over United the more pressing matters demanding its attention, to the
States personnel, employees, equipment and material." prejudice of the public welfare.
JUSMAG maintains, at its Quezon City headquarters, a Navy
Exchange referred to as the NEX-JUSMAG. Checking of The doctrine is also available to foreign states insofar as they
purchases at the NEX is a routine procedure observed at base are sought to be sued in the courts of the local state. The added
retail outlets to protect and safeguard merchandise, cash and basis in this case is the principle of the sovereignequality of
equipment pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 4(b) of states, under which
 one state cannot assert jurisdiction over
NAVRESALEACT SUBIC INST. 5500.1. 7 Thus, Bradford's another inviolation of the maxim par in parem non habet
order to have purchases of all employees checked on 22 imperium. To do so would “unduly vex the peace of nations."
January 1987 was made in the exercise of her duties as
Manager of the NEX-JUSMAG. Exemption: Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on
Diplomatic Relations admits of exceptions. It reads:
1. A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal
whether or not the trial court committed grave abuse of jurisdiction of the receiving State. He shall also enjoy
discretion in denying the motion to dismiss based on the immunity from its civil and administrative jurisdiction except
following grounds:
 (a) the complaint in Civil Case No. 224- in the case of: (c) an action relating to any professional or
87 is in effect a suit against the public petitioner, a foreign commercial activity exercised by the diplomatic agent in the
sovereign immune from suit which has not given consent to receiving State outside his official functions.
such suit and (b) Bradford is immune from suit for acts done
by her in the performance of her official functions as manager How may consent of the State to be sued given?
of the U.S. Navy Exchange of JUSMAG pursuant to the
Philippines-United States Military Assistance Agreement of The consent of the state to be sued may be given expressly or
1947 and the Military Bases Agreement of 1947, as amended. impliedly. Express consent may be manifested either through
a general law or a special law. Implied consent is given when
Held the State itself commences litigation or when it enters into a
contract. The general law providing for the standing consent
The petition was DENIED for lack of merit. There can be no of the State to be sued is Act No.3083, declaring that “the
doubt that on the basis of the allegations in the complaint, Government of the Philippine Islands hereby consents and
Montoya has a sufficient and viable cause of action. Bradford's submits to be sued upon any moneyed claim involving
purported non-suability on the ground of state immunity is liability arising from contract, express or implied, which could
then a defense which may be pleaded in the answer and serve as a basis of civil action between private parties.”
proven at the trial.
Under C.A. No. 327 as amended by P.D. No. 1445, a claim
Since Bradford did not file her Answer within the against the government mustfirst be filed with the
reglementary period, the trial court correctly declared her in Commission on Audit, which must act upon it within sixty
default upon motion of the private respondent. The judgment (60)days. Rejection of the claim will authorize the claimant to
then rendered against her on 10 September 1987 after the ex elevate the matter to theSupreme Court on certiorari and in
parte reception of the evidence for the private respondent and effect sue the state with its consent.The express consent of the
before this Court issued the Temporary Restraining Order on State to be sued must be embodied in a duly enacted statute
7 December 1987 cannot be impugned. The filing of the instant and may not be given by a mere counsel of the government.It
petition and the knowledge thereof by the trial court did not should also be observed that when the State gives its consent
to be sued, it does not thereby also to the execution of the
prevent the latter from proceeding with Civil Case No.
judgment against it. Such execution will require another
87. "It is elementary that the mere pendency of a special civil waiver, lacking which the decision cannot be enforced against
action for certiorari, commenced in relation to a case pending the State.
before a lower Court, does not interrupt the course of the latter
when there is no writ of injunction restraining it." When is a suit against a public official deemed to be a suit
against the State?
 The Doctrine of State Immunity
sometimes called “the royal prerogative of dishonesty” as Because actions are rarely instituted directly against the
declared in the Constitution affirms, “The state may not be Republic of the Philippines, theusual practice is to file such
sued without its consent". claims not against the State itself but against the officer of the
government who is supposed to discharge the responsibility
This provision is merely recognition of the sovereign character or grant the redressed demanded. It is important then, to
of the state andan express affirmation of the unwritten rule determine if the State is the real party in interest, thatis, that
insulating it from the jurisdiction of the courtsof the claim if proved will be a direct liability of the State and not
justice.According to Justice Holmes the doctrine of non- merely of theofficer impleaded. If this is shown, the action can
suability is based not on any formalconception or obsolete be dismissed as a suit against the State unless its immunity
theory but on the logical and practical ground that there can had been previously waived.
be no legal right against the authority, which makes the law
on which the right depends. Another justification is the There are many instances when a public officer may be sued
practical consideration that the demands and inconveniences in his official capacitywithout the necessity of first obtaining
the consent of the State to be sued. A publicofficer may be functions because their charter provides that they can sue and
impleaded to require him to do a duty required by law, or to be sued. Unincorporated agency, as there would be no charter
restrain himfrom doing an act alleged to be unconstitutional and no separate juridical personality to consult, any suit filed
or illegal, or to recover from him taxesunlawfully assessed or against it is necessarily an action against the Philippine
collected. Government of which itis part of. This being so, it is necessary
to determine the nature of the functions in which the agency
It has been held also that where an action is filed againsta is engaged, so as to hold it suable if they are proprietary and
public officer for recovery only of title or possession of not suable if theyare governmental. The test in every case is
property claimed to be held byhim in his official capacity, the the nature of the primary functions being discharged. The
said action is not a suit against the State for which prior waiver non-suability of the State is available to the agency even if it is
of immunity is required. But it is different where there is an shown that it is engaged not only in governmental functions
addition a claim for recovery of damages, such as accrued but also, as a sideline, or incidentally in proprietary
rentals, inasmuch as it allowance would require enterprises.
thegovernment to appropriate the necessary amount for the
satisfaction of the judgment.Assuming the decision is (C) When a public officer is sued in the performance of his
rendered against the public officer impleaded, official acts and the ultimate liablity rest upon the State. In
enforcementthereof will require an affirmative act from the such cases, it is important to determine if the State is real party
State, such as the appropriation of theneeded amount to in interest, such as the claim if proved will be a direct liability
satisfy the judgment. If it does, the suit is one against the State of the State and not merely of the officer impleaded. Three
and itsinclusion as party defendant is necessary. If on the other denominators are common among these three considerations.
hand, the officer impleaded may by himself alone comply First is that it must require the government to disburse public
with the decision of the court without the necessity o funds to satisfy any award in that case or an amount is
involvingthe State, then the suit can prosper against him and appropriated, Second, it would mean loss of government
will not be considered a claim againstthe State. Lastly, when a property.
public officer acts without or in excess of jurisdiction, any
injurycaused by him is his own personal liability and cannot May the government validly invoke the doctrine of State
be imputed to the State. immunity from suit if its invocation will serve as an
instrument for perpetrating an injustice on a
What are the instances when a suit against the State is proper? citizen?
 Although the doctrine of State immunity is
Three instances are considered suit against the state. These are: sometimes called “the royal prerogative of dishonesty”, it
must be observed in fairness that the State does not often avail
(A) When the Republic is sued by name. To sue the State, its
itself of this rule to take undue advantage of parties that may
express consent should be ask and be manifested through a
have legitimate claims against it. The principle fortunately has
general law or a special law, while the implied consent is given
a built- in qualification: the state may, if it so desires, divest
when the State commences litigation or the state entering into
itself of its sovereign immunity and thereby voluntarily open
a contract. The general law that provides for the consent of the
itself to suit. In fine, the state may be sued if it gives its consent.
State to be sued is Act No. 3083 (“the Government of the
Philippine Islands hereby consents and submits to be sued PCGG v. Sandiganbayan
upon any moneyed claim involving liability arising from G.R. No. 124772, Aug. 14, 2007
contract, express or implied, which could serve as a basis of J. Tinga
civil action between private parties.”).
(B) When an Unincorporated government agency is sued . If
suit is filed against one of the government entities, it must be
On 7 April 1986, in connection with criminal proceedings
ascertained whether or not the State, as the principal that may
initiated in the Philippines to locate, sequester and seek
ultimately be held liable, has given its consent to be sued. This
restitution of alleged ill-gotten wealth amassed by the
ascertainment will depend in the first instance on whether the
Marcoses and other accused from the Philippine
government agency impleaded
 is incorporated or Government,[1] the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) wrote
unincorporated. An incorporated agency has a charter of its the Federal Office for Police Matters in Berne, Switzerland,
own that invests it with a separate juridical personality, like requesting assistance for the latter office to: (a) ascertain and
the Social Security System, the University of the Philippines provide the OSG with information as to where and in which
and the City of Manila. On the other hand, the unincorporated cantons the ill-gotten fortune of the Marcoses and other
agency has no separate juridical personality but is merged in accused are located, the names of the depositors and the banks
the general machinery of the government, like the Department and the amounts involved; and (b) take necessary
of Justice, the Bureau of Mines and the Government Printing precautionary measures, such as sequestration, to freeze the
Office.If the agency is incorporated, the test of its suability is assets in order to preserve their existing value and prevent any
found in its charter. further transfer thereof (herein referred to as the IMAC
request). Zurich froze such accounts inclusing Officeco’s
The simple rule is that it is suable if its charter says so, and this Holding, Inc.
is true regardless of the functions it is performing. Municipal Officeco filed a complaint praying for the PCGG and
corporations like provinces and cities, are agencies of the State the OSG to officially advise the Swiss government to exclude
when they are engaged in governmental functions and from the freeze or sequestration order the account of Officeco
therefore should enjoy the sovereign immunity from suits.
They are subject to suit even in the performance of such
with BTAG and to unconditionally release the said account to application in this case and petitioners resort to it is utterly
Officeco. mislaid.

Issue The Holy See vs Eriberto U. Rosario, Jr.

whether the Sandiganbayan erred in not dismissing Civil Case GR 101949, December 1, 1994
No. 0164 on the ground of lack of jurisdiction on account of J. Quiason
the act of state doctrine.
No. Every sovereign state is bound to respect the On April 17, 1988, Msgr. Domingo A. Cirilos, Jr., on behalf the
independence of every other state, and the courts of one petitioner, the Holy See, and Philippine Realty Corporation
country will not sit in judgment on the acts of the government (PRC), agreed to sell to Ramon Licup a parcel of land (Lot 5-A
of another, done within its territory. Redress of grievances by located in the Municipality of Parañaque, Metro Manila and
reason of such acts must be obtained through the means open registered in the name of petitioner) and lots 5-B and 5-D
to be availed of by sovereign powers as between registered under PRC with the following conditions: earnest
themselves.[38] money of P100,000.00 be paid by Licup to the sellers and that
the sellers clear the said lots of squatters. In the sa me month,
The act of state doctrine is one of the methods by which States Licup assigned his rights over the property to private
prevent their national courts from deciding disputes which respondent, Sta rbright Sales Enterprises, Inc. and informed
relate to the internal affairs of another State, the other two them of the assignment. Thereafter, private respondent
being immunity and non-justiciability.[39] It is an avoidance demanded from Msgr. Cirilos the fulfillment of the assignmen
technique that is directly related to a States obligation to t; however, Msgr. Cirilos informed private respondent of the
respect the independence and equality of other States by not squatters' refusal to vacate the lots, proposing instead either
requiring them to submit to adjudication in a national court or that private respondent undertake t he eviction or that the
to settlement of their disputes without their consent.[40] It earnest money be returned to the latter. Private respond ent
requires the forum court to exercise restraint in the counter-proposed that if it would undertake the eviction of the
adjudication of disputes relating to legislative or other squatters, t he purchase price of the lots should be reduced
governmental acts which a foreign State has performed within from P1,240.00 to P1,150.00 per square meter. Msgr. Cirilos
its territorial limits.[41] returned the earnest money of P100,000.00 and wrote private
respondent giving it seven days from receipt of the letter to
It is petitioners contention that the Sandiganbayan could not pay the or iginal purchase price in cash. Private respondent
grant or deny the prayers in [Officecos] complaint without sent the earnest money back to the sellers, but later discovered
first examining and scrutinizing the freeze order of the Swiss that on March 30, 1989, petitioner and the PR C, without notice
officials in the light of the evidence, which however is in the to private respondent, sold the lots to Tropicana Properties a
possession of said officials and that it would therefore sit in nd Development Corporation (Tropicana), as evidenced by
judgment on the acts of the government of another two separate Deeds of Sa le, one over Lot 5-A, and another
country.[42] We disagree. over Lots 5-B and 5-D; and that the sellers' t ransfer certificate
of title over the lots were cancelled, transferred and regis tered
The parameters of the use of the act of state doctrine were in the name of Tropicana. Tropicana induced petitioner and
clarified in Banco Nacional de Cuba v. Sabbatino.[43] There, the the PRC to sell the lots to it and thus enriched itself at the
U.S. Supreme Court held that international law does not expense of private respondent. Private respondent demanded
require the application of this doctrine nor does it forbid the the rescission of the sale to Tropicana and the recon veyance
application of the rule even if it is claimed that the act of state of the lots, to no avail and private respondent is willing and
in question violated international law. Moreover, due to the able to comply with the terms of the contract to sell and has
doctrines peculiar nation-to-nation character, in practice the actually made plans to develop the lots into a townhouse
usual method for an individual to seek relief is to exhaust local project, but in view of the sellers' breach, it lo st profits of not
remedies and then repair to the executive authorities of his less than P30,000,000.00.
own state to persuade them to champion his claim in
diplomacy or before an international tribunal.[44] Issue

Even assuming that international law requires the application WON THE HOLY SEE HAS SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY in the
of the act of state doctrine, it bears stressing that the sale of the parcel of land (lot 5 -a).
Sandiganbayan will not examine and review the freeze orders
of the concerned Swiss officials in Civil Case No. 0164. The Held
Sandiganbayan will not require the Swiss officials to submit to
its adjudication nor will it settle a dispute involving said YES. The Holy See has sovereign immunity in the sale of the
officials. In fact, as prayed for in the complaint, the parcel of land (lot 5-A).
 Claim to sovereign or diplomatic
Sandiganbayan will only review and examine the propriety of immunity is stated in the Public International Law. When state
maintaining PCGGs position with respect to Officecos or international agency wishes to plead sovereign or diplomati
accounts with BTAG for the purpose of further determining c immunity in a foreign court, it requests the Foreign Office of
the propriety of issuing a writ against the PCGG and the OSG. the state where it is sued to convey to the court that said
Everything considered, the act of state doctrine finds no defendant is entitled to immunity.
The Department of Foreign Affairs was allowed by the Court based on the Agreement is cognizable in our courts.
to intervene on the s ide of petitioner by filing a memorandum
of support for the petitioner s claim of sovereign Held
 The Holy See exercises sovereignty over the
Vatican City in Rome, Italy, and is represented in the The immunity mentioned therein is not absolute, but subject
Philippines by the Papal Nuncio. The petitioner is, therefore , to the exception that the act was done in “official capacity.”
a foreign state enjoying sovereign immunity. The prosecution should have been given the chance to rebut
the DFA protocol and it must be accorded the opportunity to
The immunity of the sovereign is recognized only with regard present its controverting evidence.
to public acts or a cts jure imperii of a state, but not with regard
to private acts or acts jure ge stionis. If the act is in pursuit of Slandering a person could not possibly be covered by the
a sovereign activity, or an incident thereo f, then it is an act immunity agreement because our laws do not allow the
jure imperii, especially when it is not undertaken for gain commission of a crime, such as defamation, in the name of
official duty. It is a well- settled principle of law that a public
or profit. The petitioner s sale of the land is a commercial official may be liable in his personal private capacity for
transaction that is an act jure imperii. The petitioner has whatever damage he may have caused by his act done with
bought and sold lands in the ordinary co urse of a real estate malice or in bad faith or beyond the scope of his authority or
business, the said transaction can be categorized as an ac t jure jurisdiction. Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic
gestionis. However, petitioner has denied that the acquisition Relations, the commission of a crime is not part of official duty.
and subseq uent disposal of Lot 5-A were made for profit but
claimed that it acquired said property for the site of its mission The petition is therefore denied.
or the Apostolic Nunciature in the Philippi nes.
The petition for certiorari was granted and the complaint
The DFA's function includes, among its other mandates, the
against petitioner was dismissed.
determination of persons and institutions covered by
diplomatic immunities, a determination which, when
 PEOPLE OF THE challenged, entitles it to seek relief from the court so as not to
PHILIPPINES seriously impair the conduct of the country's foreign relations.
G.R. No. 125865 January 28, 2000 The DFA must be allowed to plead its case whenever
J. Ynares-Santiago necessary or advisable to enable it to help keep the credibility
of the Philippine government before the international
Facts community. When international agreements are concluded,
the parties thereto are deemed to have likewise accepted the
Petitioner is an economist working with the Asian responsibility of seeing to it that their agreements are duly
Development Bank. Sometime in 1994, for allegedly uttering regarded. In our country, this task falls principally on the DFA
defamatory words against fellow ADB worker Joyce Cabal, he as being the highest executive department with the
was charged before the Metropolitan Trial Court of competence and authority to so act in this aspect of the
Mandaluyong City with two counts of grave oral defamation. international arena.[18] In Holy See vs. Hon. Rosario, Jr.,[19]
Petitioner was arrested by virtue of a warrant issued by the this Court has explained the matter in good detail; viz:
MeTC. MeTC Judge received an “office of protocol” from the
Department of Foreign Affairs stating that petitioner is "In Public International Law, when a state or international
covered by immunity from legal process under Section 45 of agency wishes to plead sovereign or diplomatic immunity in
the Agreement between the ADB and the Philippine a foreign court, it requests the Foreign Office of the state where
Government regarding the Headquarters of the ADB in the it is sued to convey to the court that said defendant is entitled
country. The MeTC judge without notice to the prosecution to immunity.
dismissed the case based from the said protocol.
"In the United States, the procedure followed is the process of
The latter filed a motion for reconsideration which was 'suggestion,' where the foreign state or the international
opposed by the DFA. When its motion was denied, the organization sued in an American court requests the Secretary
prosecution filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus with of State to make a determination as to whether it is entitled to
the RTC of Pasig City which set aside the MeTC rulings and immunity. If the Secretary of State finds that the defendant is
ordered the latter court to enforce the warrant of arrest it immune from suit, he, in turn, asks the Attorney General to
earlier issued. submit to the court a 'suggestion' that the defendant is entitled
to immunity. In England, a similar procedure is followed, only
After the motion for reconsideration was denied, petitioner the Foreign Office issues a certification to that effect instead of
elevated the case to this court via a petition for review arguing submitting a 'suggestion' (O'Connell, I International Law 130
that he is covered by immunity under the Agreement and that [1965]; Note: Immunity from Suit of Foreign Sovereign
no preliminary investigation was held before the criminal Instrumentalities and Obligations, 50 Yale Law Journal 1088
cases were filed in court. [1941]).

Issue "In the Philippines, the practice is for the foreign government
or the international organization to first secure an executive
Whether immunity invoked by DFA for ADB employees endorsement of its claim of sovereign or diplomatic immunity.
But how the Philippine Foreign Office conveys its Whether or not Arthur Scalzo is indeed entitled to diplomatic
endorsement to the courts varies. In International Catholic immunity.
Migration Commission vs. Calleja, 190 SCRA 130 (1990), the
Secretary of Foreign Affairs just sent a letter directly to the Held
Secretary of Labor and Employment, informing the latter that
the respondent- employer could not be sued because it YES. A foreign agent, operating within a territory, can be
enjoyed diplomatic immunity. In World Health Organization cloaked with immunity from suit as long as it can be
vs. Aquino, 48 SCRA 242 (1972), the Secretary of Foreign established that he is acting within the directives of the
Affairs sent the trial court a telegram to that effect. In Baer vs. sending state.
Tizon, 57 SCRA 1 (1974), the U.S. Embassy asked the Secretary
of Foreign Affairs to request the Solicitor General to make, in
The consent or imprimatur of the Philippine government to
behalf of the Commander of the United States Naval Base at
the activities of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency,
Olongapo City, Zambales, a 'suggestion' to respondent Judge.
however, can be gleaned from the undisputed facts in the case.
The Solicitor General embodied the 'suggestion' in a
manifestation and memorandum as amicus curiae.
The official exchanges of communication between agencies of
"In the case at bench, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the government of the two countries
through the Office of Legal Affairs moved with this Court to
be allowed to intervene on the side of petitioner. The Court Certifications from officials of both the Philippine Department
allowed the said Department to file its memorandum in of Foreign Affairs and the United States Embassy
support of petitioner's claim of sovereign immunity.
Participation of members of the Philippine Narcotics
"In some cases, the defense of sovereign immunity was Command in the “buy-bust operation” conducted at the
submitted directly to the local courts by the respondents residence of Minucher at the behest of Scalzo
through their private counsels (Raquiza vs. Bradford, 75 Phil.
50 [1945]; Miquiabas vs. Philippine-Ryukyus Command, 80 These may be inadequate to support the “diplomatic status”
Phil. 262 [1948]; United States of America vs. Guinto, 182 of the latter but they give enough indication that the
SCRA 644 [1990] and companion cases). In cases where the Philippine government has given its imprimatur, if not
foreign states bypass the Foreign Office, the courts can inquire consent, to the activities within Philippine territory of agent
into the facts and make their own determination as to the Scalzo of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency.
nature of the acts and transactions involved."
The job description of Scalzo has tasked him to conduct
KHOSROW MINUCHER vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS surveillance on suspected drug suppliers and, after having
and ARTHUR SCALZO ascertained the target, to inform local law enforcers who
G.R. No. 142396 February 11, 2003 would then be expected to make the arrest.
J. Vitug
In conducting surveillance activities on Minucher, later acting
Facts as the poseur-buyer during the buy-bust operation, and then
becoming a principal witness in the criminal case against
Violation of the “Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972,” was filed Minucher,
against Minucher following a “buy-bust operation”
conducted by Philippine police narcotic agents accompanied Scalzo hardly can be said to have acted beyond the scope of
by Scalzo in the house of Minucher, an Iranian national, where his official function or duties.
heroin was said to have been seized. Minucher was later
acquitted by the court. Minucher later on filed for damages WHO vs. Aquino
due to trumped-up charges of drug trafficking made by G.R. No. L-35131, November 29, 1972
Arthur Scalzo. Scalzo on his counterclaims that he had acted J. Teehankee
in the discharge of his official duties as being merely an agent
of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States
Department of Justice. Facts

Dr. Leonce Verstuyft was assigned by WHO to its regional

Scalzo subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the complaint
office in Manila as Acting Assistant Director of Health
on the ground that, being a special agent of the United States
Services. His personal effects, contained in twelve
Drug Enforcement Administration, he was entitled to
(12) crates, were allowed free entry from duties
diplomatic immunity. He attached to his motion Diplomatic
and taxes. Constabulary Offshore Action Center (COSAC)
Note of the United States Embassy addressed to DOJ of the
suspected that the crates “contain large quantities of highly
Philippines and a Certification of Vice Consul Donna
dutiable goods” beyond the official needs of Verstuyft. Upon
Woodward, certifying that the note is a true and faithful copy
application of the COSAC officers, Judge Aquino issued a
of its original. Trial court denied the motion to dismiss.
search warrant for the search and seizure of the personal
effects of Verstuyft.

Secretary of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. Romulo advised Judge

Aquino that Dr. Verstuyft is entitled to immunity from search of Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the
in respect for his personal baggage as accorded to members of Philippines with Japan as the sponsoring country (Article 1,
diplomatic missions pursuant to the Host Agreement and Agreement Establishing the SEAFDEC).
requested that the search warrant be suspended. The Solicitor
General accordingly joined Verstuyft for the quashal of the On May 8, 1986, petitioner Lacanilao in his capacity as Chief
search warrant but respondent judge nevertheless summarily of SEAFDEC-AQD sent a notice of termination to private
denied the quashal. Verstuyft, thus, filed a petition for respondent informing him that due to the financial constraints
certiorari and prohibition with the SC. WHO joined Verstuyft being experienced by the department, his services shall be
in asserting diplomatic immunity. terminated at the close of office hours on May 15, 1986 and that
he is entitled to separation benefits equivalent to one (1)
Issue month of his basic salary for every year of service plus other
benefits (Rollo, p. 153).
Whether or not personal effect of Verstuyft can be exempted
from search and seizure under the diplomatic immunity. Upon petitioner SEAFDEC-AQD's failure to pay private
respondent his separation pay, the latter filed on March 18,
Held 1987 a complaint against petitioners for non-payment of
separation benefits plus moral damages and attorney's fees
Yes. The executive branch of the Phils has expressly
with the Arbitration Branch of the NLRC (Annex "C" of
recognized that Verstuyft is entitled to diplomatic immunity,
Petition for Certiorari).
pursuant to the provisions of the Host Agreement. The DFA
formally advised respondent judge of the Philippine Petitioners in their answer with counterclaim alleged that the
Government's official position. The Solicitor General, as NLRC has no jurisdiction over the case inasmuch as the
principal law officer of the gorvernment, likewise expressly SEAFDEC-AQD is an international organization and that
affirmed said petitioner's right to diplomatic immunity and private respondent must first secure clearances from the
asked for the quashal of the search warrant. proper departments for property or money accountability
before any claim for separation pay will be paid, and which
It is a recognized principle of international law and under our clearances had not yet been obtained by the private
system of separation of powers that diplomatic immunity is respondent.
essentially a political question and courts should refuse to
look beyond a determination by the executive branch of the A formal hearing was conducted whereby private respondent
government, and where the plea of diplomatic immunity is alleged that the non-issuance of the clearances by the
recognized and affirmed by the executive branch of the petitioners was politically motivated and in bad faith. On the
government as in the case at bar, it is then the duty of the other hand, petitioners alleged that private respondent has
courts to accept the claim of immunity upon appropriate property accountability and an outstanding obligation to
suggestion by the principal law officer of the government, the SEAFDEC-AQD in the amount of P27,532.11. Furthermore,
Solicitor General in this case, or other officer acting under his private respondent is not entitled to accrued sick leave
discretion. Courts may not so exercise their jurisdiction by benefits amounting to P44,000.00 due to his failure to avail of
seizure and detention of property, as to embarass the the same during his employment with the SEAFDEC-AQD
executive arm of the government in conducting foreign
relations. Issue
The Court, therefore, holds the respondent judge acted
without jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion in not Whether or not the National Labor Relations Commissions has
ordering the quashal of the search warrant issued by him in jurisdiction over the case.
disregard of the diplomatic immunity of petitioner Verstuyft.

The Court held that the present petition relates to a

SOUTHEAST ASIAN FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT CENTER- controversy between two claimants to the same position; this
AQUACULTURE DEPARTMENT (SEAFDEC-AQD), DR. is not a controversy between the SEAFDEC on the one hand,
FLOR LACANILAO (CHIEF), RUFIL CUEVAS (HEAD, and an officer or employee, or a person claiming to be an
ADMINISTRATIVE DIV.), BEN DELOS REYES (FINANCE officer or employee, of the SEAFDEC, on the other hand. There
OFFICER), petitioners,
 NATIONAL LABOR is before us no question involving immunity from the
RELATIONS COMMISSION and JUVENAL LAZAGA, jurisdiction of the Court, there being no plea for such
respondents. immunity whether by or on behalf of SEAFDEC, or by an
G.R. No. 86773 February 14, 1992 official of SEAFDEC with the consent of SEAFDEC.
J. Nocon WHEREFORE, finding SEAFDEC-AQD to be an international
agency beyond the jurisdiction of the courts or local agency of
Facts the Philippine government, the questioned decision and
resolution of the NLRC dated July 26, 1988 and January 9,
1989, respectively, are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE for
SEAFDEC-AQD is a department of an international
having been rendered without jurisdiction.
organization, the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development
Center, organized through an agreement entered into in
Bangkok, Thailand on December 28, 1967 by the governments
(A) Permanent international commissions and administrative capacity;
 (b) Enjoy the same exemptions from taxation in
bodies have been created by the agreement of a considerable respect of the salaries and emoluments paid to them by the
number of States for a variety of international purposes, specialized agencies and on the same conditions as are
economic or social and mainly non-political. Among the enjoyed by officials of the United Nations; (c) Be immune,
notable instances are the International Labor Organization, the together with their spouses and relatives dependent on them,
International Institute of Agriculture, the International
Danube Commission. In so far as they are autonomous and from immigration restrictions and alien registration;
 (d) Be
beyond the control of any one State, they have a distinct accorded the same privileges in respect of exchange facilities
juridical personality independent of the municipal law of the as are accorded to officials of comparable rank of diplomatic
State where they are situated. As such, according to one missions;
 (e) Be given, together with their spouses and
leading authority "they must be deemed to possess a species relatives dependent on them, the same repatriation facilities in
of international personality of their own." (Salonga and Yap, time of international crises as officials of comparable rank of
Public International Law, 83 [1956 ed.])
diplomatic missions;
 (f) Have the right to import free of duty
The then Minister of Justice likewise opined that Philippine their furniture and effects at the time of first taking up their
Courts have no jurisdiction over SEAFDEC-AQD in Opinion post in the country in question.
No. 139, Series of 1984 —
(B) One of the basic immunities of an international RESEARCH INSTITUTE
organization is immunity from local jurisdiction, i.e., that it is
G.R. No. 106483 May 22, 1995

immune from the legal writs and processes issued by the
J. Romero
tribunals of the country where it is found. (See Jenks, Id., pp.
37-44) The obvious reason for this is that the subjection of such
an organization to the authority of the local courts would
afford a convenient medium thru which the host government
may interfere in there operations or even influence or control
its policies and decisions of the organization; besides, such Ernesto Callado, petitioner, was employed as a driver at the
subjection to local jurisdiction would impair the capacity of IRRI. One day whiledriving an IRRI vehicle on an official trip
such body to discharge its responsibilities impartially on to the NAIA and back to the IRRI, petitioner figured in an
behalf of its member-states. In the case at bar, for instance, the accident.Petitioner was informed of the findings of a
entertainment by the National Labor Relations Commission of preliminary investigation conducted by the IRRI's Human
Mr. Madamba's reinstatement cases would amount to Resource Development Department Manager. In view of the
interference by the Philippine Government in the findings, hewas charged with:
 (1) Driving an institute
management decisions of the SEARCA governing board; even vehicle while on official duty under the influence of
worse, it could compromise the desired impartiality of the liquor;
 (2) Serious misconduct consisting of failure to report
organization since it will have to suit its actuations to the
tosupervisors the failure of the vehicle to start because of a
requirements of Philippine law, which may not necessarily
coincide with the interests of the other member-states. It is problem with the car battery, and
 (3) Gross and habitual
precisely to forestall these possibilities that in cases where the neglect of duties.
extent of the immunity is specified in the enabling instruments
of international organizations, jurisdictional immunity from Petitioner submitted his answer and defenses to the charges
the host country is invariably among the first accorded. (See against him. However, IRRI issued a Notice of Termination to
Jenks, Id.; See also Bowett, The Law of International petitioner.
Institutions, pp. 284-1285).
Thereafter, petitioner filed a complaint before the Labor
SELECTED DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE FUND, THE Arbiter for illegal dismissal, illegal suspension and indemnity
UNITED NATIONS, AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL pay with moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees.
ORGANIZATIONS IRRI wrote the Labor Arbiter to inform him that the Institute
enjoys immunity from legal process by virtue of Article 3 of
ARTICLE VI Officials Presidential Decree No. 1620.

 Each specialized agency will specify the
categories of officials to which the provisions of this Article
Did the (IRRI) waive its immunity from suit in this dispute
and of Article VIII shall apply. It shall communicate them to
which arose from an employer-employee relationship?
the Governments of all States parties to this Convention in
respect of that agency and to the Secretary-General of the
United Nations. The names of the officials included in these
categories shall from time to time be made known to the
While admitting IRRI's defense of immunity, the and that it
above-mentioned Governments.
invokes such diplomatic immunity and privileges as an
international organization in the instant casefiled by
 Officials of the specialized agencies shall:
 (a) petitioner, not having waived the, nonetheless, cited anOrder
Be immune from legal process in respect of words spoken or issued by the Institute to the effect that "in all cases of
written and all acts performed by them in their official termination, respondentIRRI waives its immunity," and,
accordingly, considered the defense of immunity nolonger a 5 and Section 44 of the AgreementBetween The Bank And The
legal obstacle in resolving the case.The NLRC found merit in Government Of The Philippines Regarding The Bank's
private respondent's appeal and, finding that IRRI did not Headquarters (the"Headquarters Agreement"). The Labor
waiveits immunity, ordered the aforesaid decision of the Arbiter took cognizance of the complaint on the impression
Labor Arbiter set aside and thecomplaint dismissed.In this thatthe ADB had waived its diplomatic immunity from suit,
petition petitioner contends that the immunity of the IRRI as and issued a judgment in favor of thecomplainant. The ADB
an internationalorganization granted by Article 3 of did not file an appeal, but the DFA sought a nullification with
Presidential Decree No. 1620 may not be invoked inthe case at the NLRC. The latterdenied the request.
bench inasmuch as it waived the same by virtue of its
Memorandum on"Guidelines on the handling of dismissed Issue
employees in relation to P.D. 1620."
Whether or not ADB is immune from suit?
No. P.D. No. 1620, Article 3 provides: Art. 3. Immunity from
Legal Process. The Institute shall enjoy immunity from any Held
penal,civil and administrative proceedings, except in so far as
that immunity has been expressly waived by the Director- No. Under the Charter and HeadquartersAgreement, the ADB
General of the Institute or his authorized representatives. enjoys immunity from legal process of every form, except in
the specified cases of borrowing and guarantee operations, as
The SC upholds the constitutionality of the aforequoted law. well as the purchase, sale and underwriting of securities. The
There is in this case "a categorical recognition by the Executive Bank’s officers, on their part, enjoy immunity in respect of all
Branch of the Government that IRRI enjoys immunities acts performed by them in their official capacity. The Charter
accorded to international organizations, which determination and the Headquarters Agreement granting these immunities
has been held to be a political question conclusive upon the and privileges aretreaty covenants and commitments
Courts in order not to embarrass a political department of voluntarily assumed by the Philippine government which
Government. must be respected. Being an international organization that
has been extended a diplomatic status, the ADB isindependent
It is a recognized principle of international law and under our of the municipal law. One of the basic immunities of an
system of separation of powersthat diplomatic immunity is international organization is immunity from local jurisdiction,
essentially a political question and courts should refuse to i.e., that it is immune from the legal writs and processes issued
lookbeyond a determination by the executive branch of the by the tribunals of the country where it is found. The obvious
government, and where the plea of diplomatic immunity is reason for this is that the subjection of such an organization to
recognized and affirmed by the executive branch of the the authority of the local courts would afford a convenient
government asin the case at bar, it is then the duty of the courts medium thru which the host government may interfere in
to accept the claim of immunity uponappropriate suggestion their operations or even influence or control its policies and
by the principal law officer of the government or other officer decisions of the organization; besides, such subjection to local
actingunder his direction. jurisdiction would impair the capacity of such body to
discharge its responsibilities impartially on behalf of its
The raison d'etre for these immunities is the assurance of member-states."
unimpeded performance of their functions by the agencies
concerned.The grant of immunity to IRRI is clear and The ADB didn't descend to the level of an ordinary party to a
unequivocal and an express waiver by its Director-General is commercial transaction, which should have constituted a
the only way by which it may relinquish or abandon this waiver of its immunity from suit, by entering into service
immunity. In cases involving dismissed employees, the contracts with different private companies. There are two
Institute may waive its immunity, signifying that such waiver conflicting concepts of sovereign immunity, each widely held
is discretionary on its part. and firmly established. According to the classical or absolute
theory, a sovereign cannot, without its consent, be made a
 NATIONAL respondent in the Courts of another sovereign. According to
the newer or restrictive theory, the immunity of the sovereign
is recognized only with regard to public acts or acts jure
imperii of a state, but not with regard to private act or acts jure
G.R. No. 113191 September 18, 1996
gestionis. Certainly, the mere entering into a contract by a
J. Vitug
foreign state with a private party cannot be the ultimate test.
Such an act can only be the start of the inquiry.
The logical question is whether the foreign state is engaged in
the activity in the regular course of business. If the foreign
A complaint for illegal dismissal was filed against the Asian
state is not engaged regularly in a business or trade, the
Development Bank ("ADB"). Uponreceipt of summonses, both
particular act or transaction must then be tested by its nature.
the ADB and the DFA notified the Labor Arbiter that the ADB,
If the act is in pursuit of a sovereignactivity, or an incident
as well as itsPresident and Officers, were covered by an
thereof, then it is an act jure imperii, especially when it is not
immunity from legal process except for
undertaken for gainor profit. The service contracts referred to
borrowings,guaranties or the sale of securities pursuant to
by private respondent have not been intended by the ADB
Article 50(1) and Article 55 of the Agreement Establishingthe
forprofit or gain but are official acts over which a waiver of
Asian Development Bank (the "Charter") in relation to Section
immunity would not attach.
Issue the State amounting to lack of jurisdiction in a motion to
Whether or not the DFA has the legal standing to file the
present petition? Held

Held Yes
 Ratio: In the case at bar, the judge deferred the resolution
of the defense of non-suability of the State until trial.
The DFA's function includes, among its other mandates, the
determination of persons and institutions covered by However, the judge failed to resolve such defense, proceeded
diplomatic immunities, a determination which, when with the trial and then rendered a decision against the
challenged, entitles it to seek relief from the court so as not to municipality and its driver. The judge did not commit GAD
seriously impair the conduct of the country's foreign relations. when it arbitrarily failed to resolve the issue of non-suability
The DFA must be allowed to plead its case whenever of the State in the guise of the municipality. However, the
necessary or advisable to enable it to help keep the credibility judge acted in excess of his jurisdiction when in his decision
of the Philippine government before the international he held the municipality liable for the quasi-delict committed
community. When international agreements are concluded, by its regular employee.
the parties thereto are deemed to have likewise accepted the
responsibility of seeing to it that their agreements are duly The doctrine of non-suability of the State is expressly provided
regarded. In our country, this task falls principally on the DFA for in Article XVI, Section 3 of the Consti, to wit: "the State may
as being the highest executive department with the not be sued without its consent." Express consent may be
competence and authority to so act in this aspect of the embodied in a general law or a special law. The standing
international arena. consent of the State to be sued in case of money claims
involving liability arising from contracts is found in Act No.
3083. A special law may be passed to enable a person to sue
the government for an alleged quasi-delict. Consent is implied
MUNICIPALITY OF SAN FERNANDO, LA UNION, when the government enters into business contracts, thereby
 HON. JUDGE ROMEO N. FIRME, JUANA descending to the level of the other contracting party, and also
RIMANDO-BANIÑA, IAUREANO BANIÑA, JR., SOR when the State files a complaint, thus opening itself to a
AND LYDIA R. BANIÑA, respondents.
G.R. No. L-52179 April 8, 1991 Municipal corporations are agencies of the State when they are
J. Medialdea engaged in governmental functions and therefore should
enjoy the sovereign immunity from suit. Nevertheless, they
Facts are subject to suit even in the performance of such functions
because their charter provided that they can sue and be sued.
Petitioner is a municipal corporation existing under and in
accordance with the laws of the Republic of the Philippines. A distinction should first be made between suability and
At about 7 am of December 16, 1965, a collision occurred liability. "Suability depends on the consent of the state to be
involving a passenger jeepney driven by Bernardo Balagot sued, liability on the applicable law and the established facts.
and owned by the Estate of Macario Nieveras, a gravel and The circumstance that a state is suable does not necessarily
sand truck driven by Jose Manandeg and owned by mean that it is liable; on the other hand, it can never be held
Tanquilino Velasquez and a dump truck of the petitioner and liable if it does not first consent to be sued. Liability is not
driven by Alfredo Bislig. Several passengers of the jeepney conceded by the mere fact that the state has allowed itself to
including Laureano Baniña Sr. died as a result of the injuries be sued. When the state does waive its sovereign immunity, it
they sustained and 4 others suffered physical injuries. is only giving the plaintiff the chance to prove, if it can, that
the defendant is liable."
Private respondents instituted an action against Nieveras and
Balagot before the CFI. The defendants filed a third party Anent the issue of whether or not the municipality is liable for
complaint against petitioner and Bislig. The complaint was the torts committed by its employee, the test of liability of the
then amended to implead petitioner and Bislig. Petitioner municipality depends on whether or not the driver, acting in
raised as defense lack of cause of action, non suability of the behalf of the municipality, is performing governmental or
State, prescription and negligence of the owner and driver of proprietary functions (Torio vs. Fontanilla). According to City
the jeepney. of Kokomo vs Loy(Indiana SC), municipal corporations exist
in a dual capacity, and their functions are twofold. In one they
The trial court rendered a decision ordering the petitioner and exercise the right springing from sovereignty, and while in the
Bislig to pay the plaintiffs. The owner and driver of the performance of the duties pertaining thereto, their acts are
jeepney were absolved from liability. Petitioner filed an MR political and governmental. Their officers and agents in such
which was dismissed for having been filed out of time. capacity, though elected or appointed by them, are
nevertheless public functionaries performing a public service,
Issue and as such they are officers, agents, and servants of the state.
In the other capacity the municipalities exercise a private,
WON the court committed grave abuse of discretion when it proprietary or corporate right, arising from their existence as
deferred and failed to resolve the defense of non-suability of legal persons and not as public agencies. Their officers and
agents in the performance of such functions act in behalf of the Issue
municipalities in their corporate or individual capacity, and
not for the state or sovereign power." WON the BOP is an agency of the government which cannot
be sued.
It has already been remarked that municipal corporations are
suable because their charters grant them the competence to Held
sue and be sued. Nevertheless, they are generally not liable for
torts committed by them in the discharge of governmental Yes. The Bureau of Printing is an office of the Government
functions and can be held answerable only if it can be shown created by the Administrative Code of 1916 (Act No. 2657). As
that they were acting in a proprietary capacity. such instrumentality of the Government, it operates under the
direct supervision of the Executive Secretary, Office of the
In the case at bar, the driver of the dump truck of the President, and is "charged with the execution of all printing
municipality insists that "he was on his way to the Naguilian and binding, including work incidental to those processes,
river to get a load of sand and gravel for the repair of San required by the National Government and such other work of
Fernando's municipal streets." In the absence of any evidence the same character as said Bureau may, by law or by order of
to the contrary, the regularity of the performance of official the (Secretary of Finance) Executive Secretary, be authorized
duty is presumed pursuant to Section 3(m) of Rule 131 of the to undertake . . .." (See. 1644, Rev. Adm. Code). It has no
Revised Rules of Court. Hence, We rule that the driver of the corporate existence, and its appropriations are provided for in
dump truck was performing duties or tasks pertaining to his the General Appropriations Act. Designed to meet the
office.We already stressed in the case of Palafox, et. al. vs. printing needs of the Government, it is primarily a service
Province of Ilocos Norte, the District Engineer, and the bureau and obviously, not engaged in business or occupation
Provincial Treasurer that "the construction or maintenance of for pecuniary profit.
roads in which the truck and the driver worked at the time of
the accident are admittedly governmental activities." It is true, as stated in the order complained of, that the Bureau
of Printing receives outside jobs and that many of its
After a careful examination of existing laws and employees are paid for overtime work on regular working
jurisprudence, We arrive at the conclusion that the days and on holidays, but these facts do not justify the
municipality cannot be held liable for the torts committed by conclusion that its functions are "exclusively proprietary in
its regular employee, who was then engaged in the discharge nature." Overtime work in the Bureau of Printing is done only
of governmental functions. Hence, the death of the passenger when the interest of the service so requires (sec. 566, Rev.
tragic and deplorable though it may be imposed on the Adm. Code). As a matter of administrative policy, the
municipality no duty to pay monetary compensation. overtime compensation may be paid, but such payment is
discretionary with the head of the Bureau depending upon its
BUREAU OF PRINTING, SERAFIN SALVADOR and current appropriations, so that it cannot be the basis for
MARIANO LEDESMA vs. THE BUREAU OF PRINTING holding that the functions of said Bureau are wholly
EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION (NLU), PACIFICO proprietary in character. Anent the additional work it executes
ADVINCULA, ROBERTO MENDOZA, PONCIANO for private persons, we find that such work is done upon
ARGANDA and TEODULO TOLERAN request, as distinguished from those solicited, and only "as the
G.R. No. L-15751, January 28, 1961 requirements of Government work will permit" (sec. 1654,
GUTIERREZ DAVID, J.: Rev. Adm. Code), and "upon terms fixed by the Director of
Printing, with the approval of the Department Head" (sec.
Facts 1655, id.). As shown by the uncontradicted evidence of the
petitioners, most of these works consist of orders for greeting
The action in question was — upon complaint of the cards during Christmas from government officials, and for
respondents Bureau of Printing Employees Association (NLU) printing of checks of private banking institutions. On those
— filed by an acting prosecutor of the Industrial Court against greeting cards, the Government seal, of which only the Bureau
herein Bureau of Printing and its officers. The complaint of Printing is authorized to use, is embossed, and on the bank
alleged that Serafin Salvador and Mariano Ledesma have been cheeks, only the Bureau of Printing can print the reproduction
engaging in unfair labor practices by interfering with, or of the official documentary stamps appearing thereon. The
coercing the employees of the Bureau of Printing particularly volume of private jobs done, in comparison with government
the members of the complaining association petition, in the jobs, is only one-half of 1 per cent, and in computing the costs
exercise of their right to self-organization an discriminating in for work done for private parties, the Bureau does not include
regard to hire and tenure of their employment in order to profit because it is not allowed to make any. Clearly, while the
discourage them from pursuing the union activities. Bureau of Printing is allowed to undertake private printing
jobs, it cannot be pretended that it is thereby an industrial or
Denied and as affirmative defenses, alleged that respondents business concern. The additional work it executes for private
Pacifico Advincula, Roberto Mendoza Ponciano Arganda and parties is merely incidental to its function, and although such
Teodulo Toleran were suspended pending result of an work may be deemed proprietary in character, there is no
administrative investigation against them for breach of Civil showing that the employees performing said proprietary
Service rules and regulations petitions; that the Bureau of function are separate and distinct from those employed in its
Printing has no juridical personality to sue and be sued; that general governmental functions.
said Bureau of Printing is not an industrial concern engaged
for the purpose of gain but is an agency of the Republic From what has been stated, it is obvious that the Court of
performing government functions. Industrial Relations did not acquire jurisdiction over the
respondent Bureau of Printing, and is thus devoid of any for actual damages it sustained, for which ultimately liability
authority to take cognizance of the case. This Court has will fall on the government, it is obvious that this case has been
already held in a long line of decisions that the Industrial converted technically into a suit against the state.
Court has no jurisdiction to hear and determine the complaint
for unfair labor practice filed against institutions or On this point, the political doctrine that “state may not be sued
corporations not organized for profit and, consequently, not without its consent,”
 categorically applies. As an
an industrial or business organization. This is so because the unincorporated government agency without any separate
Industrial Peace Act was intended to apply only to industrial judicial personality of its own, the Bureau of Customs enjoys
employment, and to govern the relations between employers immunity from suit. Along with the Bureau of Internal
engaged in industry and occupations for purposes of gain, and Revenue, it is invested with an inherent power of sovereignty,
their industrial employees. Indeed, as an office of the namely taxation. As an agency, the Bureau of Customs
Government, without any corporate or juridical personality, performs the governmental function of collecting revenues
the Bureau of Printing cannot be sued. (Sec. 1, Rule 3, Rules of which is defined not a proprietary function. Thus, private
Court). Any suit, action or proceeding against it, if it were to respondents claim for damages against the Commissioner of
produce any effect, would actually be a suit, action or Customs must fails.
proceeding against the Government itself, and the rule is
settled that the Government cannot be sued without its
consent, much less over its objection.

Commissioner of Customs vs.
 COURT OF TAX APPEALS G.R. No. 176628 March 19, 2012
G.R. No. 42204 January 21, 1993
J. Romero Facts

Facts On April 3, 1996, PTA, an agency of the Department of

Tourism, whose main function is to bolster and promote
S/S Pacific Hawk vessel with Registry No. 170 arrived on tourism, entered into a contract with Atlantic Erectors, Inc.
January 30, 1972 at the Port ofManila carrying among others, (AEI) for the construction of the Intramuros Golf Course
80 bales of screen net consigned to Baging BuhayTrading Expansion Projects (PAR 60-66) for a contract price of Fifty-
(Baging Buhay). The import was classified under Tariff Seven Million Nine Hundred Fifty-Four Thousand Six
Heading no. 39.06-B of theTariff and Customs Code at 35% ad Hundred Forty-Seven and 94/100 Pesos (P57,954,647.94).
valorem. Bagong Buhay paid the duties and taxes due in the
amount of P11,350.00.The Office of the Collector of Customs On October 2, 2003, PHILGOLF filed a collection suit against
ordered a re-examination of the shipment upon hearing the PTA amounting to Eleven Million Eight Hundred Twenty
information that the shipment consisted of mosquito net made Thousand Five Hundred Fifty and 53/100 Pesos
of nylon under Tariff Heading No. 62.02 of the Tariff and (P11,820,550.53), plus interest, for the construction of the golf
Customs Code. Upon re-examination, itturns out that the course.
shipment was undervalued in quantity and value as
previouslydeclared. Thus the Collector of Customs forfeited Despite the RTC’s liberality of granting two successive
the shipment in favor of the government. Private respondent motions for extension of time, PTA failed to answer the
filed a petition on August 20, 1976 for the release of the complaint. Hence, on April 6, 2004, the RTC rendered a
questioned goods which the Court denied. On June 2,1986, 64 judgment of default. On July 11, 2005, PTA filed a petition for
bales out of the 80 bales were released to Bagong Buhay after annulment of judgment under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court.
several motion. The sixteen remaining bales were missing. The The petition for annulment of judgment was premised on the
respondent claims that of the 143,454 yards released, only argument that the gross negligence of PTA’s counsel
116,950 yards were in good condition and the rest were in bad prevented the presentation of evidence before the RTC. The
condition. Thus, respondents demands that the Bureau of CA dismissed the petition for annulment of judgment for lack
Customs be ordered to pay for damages for the 43,050 yards it of merit.
actually lost.
Whether or not PTA, as a government entity, should be bound
Whether or not the Collector of Customs may be held liable by the inactions or negligence of its counsel.
for the 43,050 yards actually lost by the private respondent.
PTA was acting in a proprietary character PTA erred in
Bureau of Customs cannot be held liable for actual damages invoking state immunity simply because it is a government
that the private respondent sustained with regard to its goods. entity. The application of state immunity is proper only when
Otherwise, to permit private respondent's claim to prosper the proceedings arise out of sovereign transactions and not in
would violate the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Since it cases of commercial activities or economic affairs. The State, in
demands that the Commissioner of Customs be ordered to pay entering into a business contract, descends to the level of an
individual and is deemed to have tacitly given its consent to playgrounds shall be donated by the owner or developer to
be sued. Since the Intramuros Golf Course Expansion Projects the city or municipality and it shall be mandatory for the local
partakes of a proprietary character entered into between PTA government to accept; provided, however, that the parks and
and PHILGOLF, PTA cannot avoid its financial liability by playgrounds may be donated to the Homeowners Association
merely invoking immunity from suit. of the project with the consent of the city or municipality
concerned. x xx.” (amended sec. 31, PD 957)

It is clear from the aforequoted amendment that it is no longer

CITY OF ANGELES VS CA, TIMOG SILANGAN optional on the part of the subdivision owner/developer to
DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION donate the open space for parks and playgrounds; rather there
G.R. No. 97882, August 28, 1996 is now a legal obligation to donate the same. Although there
J. Panganiban is a proviso that the donation of the parks and playgrounds
may be made to the homeowners association of the project
Facts with the consent of the city of municipality concerned,
nonetheless, the owner/developer is still obligated under the
In a Deed of Donation, private respondent donated to the City law to donate. Such option does not change the mandatory
of Angeles, 51 parcels of land situated in Barrio Pampang, City character of the provision. The donation has to be made
of Angeles (50,676 sq m). The amended deed provides that: regardless of which donee is picked by the owner/developer.
“The properties donated shall be devoted and utilized solely The consent requirement before the same can be donated to
for the site of the Angeles City Sports Center. Any change or the homeowners’ association emphasizes this point.
modification in the basic design or concept of said Sports
Center must have the prior written consent of the DONOR. We hold that any condition may be imposed in the donation,
The properties donated are devoted and described as ‘open so long as the same is not contrary to law, morals, good
spaces’ of the DONOR’s subdivision, and to this effect, the customs, public order or public policy. The contention of
DONEE, upon acceptance of this donation, releases the petitioners that the donation should be unconditional because
DONOR and/or assumes any and all obligations and it is mandatory has no basis in law. P.D. 1216 does not provide
liabilities appertaining to the properties donated. that the donation of the open space for parks and playgrounds
should be unconditional. To rule that it should be so is
On 1988, petitioners started the construction of a drug tantamount to unlawfully expanding the provisions of the
rehabilitation center on a portion of the donated land. Upon decree. In the case at bar, one of the conditions imposed in the
learning thereof, private respondent protested such action for Amended Deed of Donation is that the donee should build a
being violative of the terms and conditions and also offered sports complex on the donated land. Since P.D. 1216 clearly
another site for the rehabilitation center. However, petitioners requires that the 3.5% to 9% of the gross area allotted for parks
rejected the alternative because the site was too isolated and and playgrounds is “non-buildable,” then the obvious
had no electric and water facilities. Private respondent filed a question arises whether or notsuch condition was validly
complaint for breach of the conditions imposed in the imposed and is binding on the donee. It is clear that the “non-
amended deed of donation and seeking the revocation of the buildable” character applies only to the 3.5% to 9% area set by
donation. law. If there is any excess land over and above the3.5% to 9%
required by the decree, which is also used or allocated for
Petitioners admitted the commencement of the construction parks, playgrounds and recreational purposes, it is obvious
but alleged that the conditions imposed in the amended deed that such excess area is not covered by the non-buildability
were contrary to Municipal Ordinance No. 1, Series of 1962, restriction. Inasmuch as the construction and operation of the
otherwise known as the Subdivision Ordinance of the drug rehabilitation center has been established to be contrary
Municipality of Angeles. to law, the said center should be removed or demolished. At
this juncture, we hasten to add that this Court is and has
Issue always been four-square behind the government’s efforts to
eradicate the drug scourge in this country. But the end never
Whether a subdivision owner/developer is legally bound justifies the means, and however laudable the purpose of the
under Presidential Decree No. 1216 to donate to the city or construction in question, this Court cannot and will not
municipality the “open space” allocated exclusively for parks, countenance an outright and continuing violation of the laws
playground and recreational use. of the land, especially when committed by public officials.


INC. vs.
PD 1216 (amending PD 957) defines open space as an area PHILIPPINE CONSTABULARY AND PHILIPPINE
reserved exclusively for parks, playgrounds, recreational uses, CONSTABULARY SUPERVISORY UNIT FOR SECURITY
schools, roads, places of worship, hospitals, health centers, AND INVESTIGATION AGENCIES (PC- SUSIA)
barangay centers and other similar facilities and amenities. G.R. No. 91359, September 25, 1992
These areas reserved for parks, playgrounds and recreational J. Grino-Aquino
use shall be non-alienable public lands, and non-buildable.
No portion of the parks and playgrounds donated thereafter
shall be converted to any other purpose or purposes.’ Facts

“Upon their completion x xx, the roads, alleys, sidewalks and

This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision dated P1,000,000.00, exemplary damages in the same amount, and
August 11, 1989. On May 12, 1986, a Memorandum of P200,000.00 as attorney’s fees from said public respondents.
Agreement was executed by PADPAO and the PC Chief, Even if its action prospers, the payment of its monetary claims
which fixed the minimum monthly contract rate per guard for may not be enforced because the State did not consent to
eight (8) hours of service security per day. On June 29, 1987, appropriate the necessary funds for that purpose.
Odin Security Agency filed a complaint with PADPAO
accusing VMPSI of cut-throat competition. PADPAO and PC- 2. ID.; ID.; PUBLIC OFFICIAL MAY BE SUED IN HIS
SUSIA found VMPSI guilty and recommended its expulsion PERSONAL CAPACITY IF HE ACTS, AMONG OTHERS
from PADPAO and the cancellation of its license to operate a BEYOND THE SCOPE OF HIS AUTHORITY; CASE AT BAR.
security agency. As a result, PADPAO refused to issue a — A public official may sometimes be held liable in his
clearance/certificate of membership to VMPSI when it personal or private capacity if he acts in bad faith, or beyond
requested one. VMPSI filed Civil Case No. 88- 471 against the the scope of his authority or jurisdiction (Shauf v. Court of
PC-Chief and PC-SUSIA in the RTC-Makati Branch 135, on Appeals, supra), however, since the acts for which the PC
March 28, 1988. On the same date, the court issued a Chief and PC-SUSIA are being called to account in this case,
restraining order enjoining the PC Chief and PC- committing were performed by them as part of their official duties,
acts that would result in the cancellation or non-renew a Chief without malice, gross negligence, or bad faith, no recovery
and PC had not given consent thereto and
 the restraining may be had against them in their private capacities.
order or preliminary injunction would not serve any purpose
because there was no more license to be cancelled. Respondent M.H. Wylie and Capt. James Williams
 Aurora I. Rarang
VMPSI opposed the motion. On April 18, 1988, the lower and the IAC
 VMPSI reiterated its application for the issuance of 209 SCRA 357 (28 May 1992)
J. Gutierrez
preliminary injunction because PC-SUSIA had rejected
payment of the penalty for its failure to submit its application
for renewal of its license. On June 10, 1988, the RTC-Makati
issued a writ of preliminary injunction upon a bond of PC-
Chief and PC-SUSIA filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the AT THE NAVAL BASE. In Feb. 1978, M.H. Wylie was the
above order, but it was denied by the court. On November 3, assistant administrative officer and Capt. James Williams was
1988, the PC-Chief and PC-SUSIA sought relief by a petition the commanding officer of the US Naval Base in Subic Bay,
for certiorari in the Court of Appeals. On August 11, 1989, the Olongapo City. Aurora I. Rarang was employed as a
Court of Appeals granted the petition. merchandise control guard in the Office of the Provost
THE “POD”. Wylie, in his capacity as asst. admin. officer,
supervised the publication of the Naval Base station’s “Plan of
Wherefore, the petition for review is DENIED and the
the Day” (POD), which featured important announcements,
judgment appealed from is AFFIRMED in toto.
necessary precautions, and general matters of interest to
military personnel. One of its regular features was the “action
The State may not be sued without its consent. Invoking this
line inquiry.”
rule, the PC Chief and PC-SUSIA, being instrumentalities of
the national government exercising a primarily governmental
THE CAUSE OF THIS MESS. On Feb. 3, 1978, the POD
function of regulating the organization and operation of
published, under the “NAVSTA Action Line Inquiry,” the
private detective, watchmen, or security guard agencies, nt
seeks not only to compel the public respondents to act in a ff:
 Question: I have observed that Merchandise Control
certain way, but worse, because VMPSI seeks actual and inspector/ inspectress are (sic) consuming for their own
compensatory damages in the sum said public respondents. benefit things they have confiscated from Base Personnel. The
Even if its action prospers, the payment of its monetary claims observation is even more aggravated by consuming such
may not been forced because the State did not consent to confiscated items as cigarettes and food stuffs PUBLICLY.
appropriate the necessary funds for that purpose. This is not to mention ‘Auring’ who is in herself, a disgrace to
her division and to the Office of the Provost Marshal. In lieu
1. POLITICAL LAW; IMMUNITY FROM SUIT; THE of this observation, may I therefore, ask if the head of the
PHILIPPINE CONSTABULARY CHIEF AND THE PC-SUSIA Merchandise Control Division is aware of this malpractice?
STATE. — The State may not be sued without its consent Answer: Merchandise Control Guards and all other personnel
(Article XVI, Section 3, of the 1987 Constitution). Invoking this are prohibited from appropriating confiscated items for their
rule, the PC Chief and PC-SUSIA contend that, being own consumption or use. Two locked containers are installed
instrumentalities of the national government exercising a at the Main Gate area for deposit of confiscated items and the
primarily governmental function of regulating the OPM evidence custodian controls access to these containers.
organization and operation of private detective, watchmen, or Merchandise Control Guards are permitted to eat their meals
security guard agencies, said official (the PC Chief) and at their worksite due to heavy workload. Complaints
agency (PC-SUSIA) may not be sued without the regarding merchandise control guards procedure or actions
Government’s consent, especially in this case because may be made directly at the Office of the Provost Marshal for
VMPSI’s complaint seeks not only to compel the public immediate and necessary action.... Rarang was the “Auring”
respondents to act in a certain way, but worse, because VMPSI referred to here, as she was the only one with that name in the
seeks actual and compensatory damages in the sum of Office of the Provost Marshall, and Wylie’s letter of apology
for the “inadvertent” publication was also conclusive proof of THE PRINCIPLE OF STATE IMMUNITY FROM SUIT,
this. QUOTING US v. GUINTO: The rule that a state may not be
sued without its consent, now expressed in Article XVI,
AN ACTION FOR DAMAGES was instituted by Rarang Section 3, of the 1987 Constitution, is one of the generally
against Wylie, Williams, and the US Naval Base. She prayed accepted principles of international law that we have adopted
for P300K moral damages, exemplary damages, and P50K as part of the law of our land under Article II, Section 2...Even
attorney’s fees. without such affirmation, we would still be bound by the
generally accepted principles of international law under the
RARANG’S ALLEGATIONS: the article constituted false, doctrine of incorporation ... As applied to the local state, the
injurious, and malicious defamation and libel tending to doctrine of state immunity is based on the justification given
impeach her honesty, virtue and reputation exposing her to by Justice Holmes that ‘there can be no legal right against the
public hatred, contempt and ridicule; and that the libel was authority which makes the law on which the right depends!
published and circulated in the English language and read by (Kawanakoa v. Polybank) There are other practical reasons for
almost all the U.S. Naval Base personnel. the enforcement of the doctrine. In the case of the foreign state
sought to be impleaded in the local jurisdiction, the added
WYLIE, WILLIAMS, THE NAVAL BASE FILED A MOTION inhibition is expressed in the maxim par in parem, non habet
 1. Wylie and imperium . All states are sovereign equals and cannot assert
Williams acted in the performance of their official functions as jurisdiction over one another. A contrary disposition would,
in the language of a celebrated case, ‘unduly vex the peace of
officers of the US Navy and are immune from suit;
 2. The US
nations.’ (Da Haber v. Queen of Portugal)
Naval Base is an instrumentality of the US government which
cannot be sued without its consent; and
 3. lack of jurisdiction While the doctrine appears to prohibit only suits against the
over the subject matter and the parties. state without its consent, it is also applicable to complaints
filed against officials of the state for acts allegedly performed
MOTION DENIED. by them in the discharge of their duties. The rule is that if the
judgment against such officials will require the state itself to
THE TC’S DECISION: the acts of Wylie and Williams weren’t perform an affirmative act to satisfy the same, such as the
official acts of the US government in the operation and control appropriation of the amount needed to pay the damages
of the Base but personal and tortious acts which are exceptions awarded against them, the suit must be regarded as against
to the general rule that a sovereign country can’t be sued in the state itself although it has not been formally impleaded
the court of another country without its consent. Thus their (Garcia v. Chief of Staff). In such a situation, the state may
acts weren’t imputable against the US government but were move to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it has been
done in their individual and personal capacities. They were filed without its consent.
ordered to pay Rarang P100K moral and exemplary damages,
and P30K attorney’s fees. However, the suit against the US The doctrine is sometimes derisively called ‘the royal
Naval Base was dismissed. prerogative of dishonesty’ because of the privilege it grants
the state to defeat any legitimate claim against it by simply
BOTH PARTIES APPEALED. Wylie and Williams asserted invoking its non- suability. That is hardly fair, at least in
that they are immune from suit since the publication was democratic societies, for the state is not an unfeeling tyrant
made in their official capacities as officers of the U. S. Navy, unmoved by the valid claims of its citizens. In fact, the
and that they did not intentionally and maliciously cause the doctrine is not absolute and does not say the state may not be
publication. Rarang appealed as she wasn’t satisfied with the sued under any circumstance. On the contrary, the rule says
award. that the state may not be sued without its consent, which
clearly imports that it may be sued if it consents. The consent
THE IAC MODIFIED THE TC’S DECISION: Rarang was of the state to be sued may be manifested expressly or
awarded P175K moral damages and P60K exemplary impliedly. Express consent may be embodied in a general law
damages. or a special law. Consent is implied when the state enters into
a contract it itself commences litigation...The above rules are
WYLIE AND WILLIAMS’ ARGUMENT in this Petition for subject to qualification. Express consent is effected only by the
Review: they made the publication in the performance of their will of the legislature through the medium of a duly enacted
official functions as administrative assistant (Wylie) and statute. (Rep. v. Purisima)... not all contracts entered into by
commanding officer (Williams) of the US Navy and were, the government will operate as a waiver of its non-suability;
therefore, immune from suit for their official actions. distinction must be made between its sovereign and
proprietary acts (US v. Ruiz). As for the filing of a complaint
Issue by the government, suability will result only where the
government is claiming affirmative relief from the defendant.
WON Wylie and Williams are liable for the published article (Lim v. Brownell)
in the POD. Does the grant of rights, power, and authority to
the US under the RP-US Bases Treaty cover immunity of its THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF IMMUNITY FROM SUIT,
officers from crimes and torts? ALSO UNDER US v. GUINTO: In the case of the US, the
customary rule of international law on state immunity is
Held expressed with more specificity in the RP-US Bases Treaty ...

YES and NO respectively. The petitioners also rely heavily on Baer v. Tizon... to support
their position that they are not suable, the US not having proper only when the proceedings arise out of commercial
waived its sovereign immunity from suit. It is emphasized transactions of the foreign sovereign, its commercial activities
that in Baer, the Court held: or economic affairs. Stated differently, a State may be said to
have descended to the level of an individual and can thus be
“The invocation of the doctrine of immunity from suit of a deemed to have tacitly given its consent to be sued only when
foreign state without its consent is appropriate... insofar as it enters into business contracts. It does not apply where the
alien armed forces are concerned, the starting point is Raquiza contract relates to the exercise of its sovereign functions.”
v. Bradford, a 1945 decision. In dismissing a habeas corpus
petition for the release of petitioners confined by American The other petitioners in the cases before us all aver they have
army authorities, Justice Hilado cited Coleman v. Tennessee, acted in the discharge of their official functions as officers or
where it was explicitly declared: ‘It is well settled that a agents of the US. However, this is a matter of evidence. The
foreign army, permitted to march through a friendly country charges against them may not be summarily dismissed on
or to be stationed in it, by permission of its government or their mere assertion that their acts are imputable to the US,
sovereign, is exempt from the civil and criminal jurisdiction of which has not given its consent to be sued. In fact, the
the place.’ Two years later, in Tubb and Tedrow v. Griess, this defendants are sought to be held answerable for personal torts
Court relied on Raquiza v. Bradford and cited in support in which the US itself is not involved. If found liable, they and
excerpts from the works of the authoritative writers ... they alone must satisfy the judgment.
Accuracy demands the clarification that after the conclusion
of the Philippine-American Military Bases Agreement, the SUMMARY OF THE EVENTS. The POD was published under
treaty provision should control on such matter, the the direction and authority of the commanding officer. The
assumption being that there was a manifestation of the administrative assistant, among his other duties, is tasked to
submission to jurisdiction on the part of the foreign power prepare and distribute the POD. The NAVSTA Action Line
whenever appropriate. More to the point is Syquia v. Almeda Inquiry is a regular feature of the POD , which was to provide
Lopez ... It was the ruling that respondent Judge acted personnel access to the Commanding Officer on matters they
correctly considering that the ‘action must be considered as feel should be brought to his attention for correction or
one against the U.S. Government.’ The opinion of Justice investigation . According to Wylie, the action line naming
Montemayor continued: ‘It is clear that the courts of the “Auring” was received about 3 weeks prior to the article’s
Philippines including the Municipal Court of Manila have no publication. It was forwarded to the Provost Marshal for
jurisdiction over the present case for unlawful detainer. The comment, and the response “... included a short note stating
question of lack of jurisdiction was raised and interposed at that if the article was published, to remove the name.” This
the very beginning of the action. The U.S. Government has not note was forwarded to the executive officer and to the
given its consent to the filing of this suit which is essentially commanding officer for approval. The approval of the
against her, though not in name. Moreover, this is not only a commanding officer was forwarded to the office of the
case of a citizen filing a suit against his own Government Administrative Assistant for inclusion in the POD. A clerk
without the latter’s consent but it is of a citizen filing an action typist in the office of the Administrative Assistant prepared
against a foreign government without said government’s the smooth copy of the POD and Wylie, the administrative
consent, which renders more obvious the lack of jurisdiction assistant signed the smooth copy of the POD but failed to
of the courts of his country. The principles of law behind this notice the reference to “Auring” in the action line inquiry.
rule are so elementary and of such general acceptance that we
deem it unnecessary to cite authorities in support thereof.” As the article implied that Rarang was consuming and
appropriating confiscated items, she was investigated by her
The above observations do not confer on the US a blanket supervisor. Before the article came out, she had been the
immunity for all acts done by it or its agents in the Philippines. recipient of commendations by her superiors for honesty in
Neither may the other petitioners claim that they are also the performance of her duties.
insulated from suit in this country merely because they have
acted as agents of the US in the discharge of their official PART OF OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS. Wylie and Williams
functions. There is no question that the US, like any other state, actively participated in screening the features and articles in
will be deemed to have impliedly waived its non-suability if it the POD as part of their official functions. Under the rule that
has entered into a contract in its proprietary or private US officials in the performance of their official functions are
capacity. It is only when the contract involves its sovereign or immune from suit, then it should follow that they may not be
governmental capacity that no such waiver may be implied ... held liable for the questioned publication.
In the words of Justice Vicente Abad Santos:
“The traditional rule of immunity excepts a State from being PERSONAL CAPACITIES for their alleged tortious acts in
sued in the courts of another State without its consent or publishing a libelous article. And our laws and, we presume,
waiver. This rule is a necessary consequence of the principles those of the US don’t allow the commission of crimes in the
of independence and equality of States. However, the rules of name of official duty, and these aren’t covered by the
International Law are not petrified; they are constantly immunity agreement.
developing and evolving. And because the activities of states
have multiplied, it has been necessary to distinguish them- CHAVEZ v. SANDIGANBAYAN on the law on immunity
between sovereign and governmental acts (jure imperii) and from suit of public officials is applicable here: the general rule
private, commercial and proprietary acts (jure gestionis). The is that public officials can be held personally accountable for
result is that State immunity now extends only to acts jure acts claimed to have been performed in connection with
imperii... The restrictive application of State immunity is official duties where they have acted ultra vires or where there
is showing of bad faith... A mere invocation of the immunity direction they issued the publication without deleting the
clause does not ipso facto result in the charges being name. Such act or omission is ultra vires and cannot be part of
automatically dropped. In the case of PCGG v. Peña, Chief official duty. It was a tortious act which ridiculed Rarang, and
Justice Teehankee added a clarification of the immunity as a result she suffered besmirched reputation, serious
accorded PCGG officials under Section 4(a) of Exec. Order No. anxiety, wounded feelings and social humiliation, specially so,
I as follows: since the article was baseless and false. Wylie and Williams
alone, in their personal capacities, are liable for the damages
...First, the main opinion does not claim absolute immunity for they caused.
the members of the Commission, The cited section ... provides
the Commission’s members immunity from suit thus: ‘No civil WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED. The
action shall lie against the Commission or any member thereof questioned decision and resolution of the IAC are AFFIRMED.
for anything done or omitted in the discharge of the task
contemplated by this order.’ No absolute immunity like that Republic vs. Sandoval 220 SCRA 124
sought by Mr. Marcos in his Constitution for himself and his
subordinates is herein involved. It is understood that the Facts
immunity granted the members of the Commission by virtue
of the unimaginable magnitude of its task to recover the Farmer-rallyists marched to Malacanang calling for a genuine
plundered wealth and the State’s exercise of police power was land reform program. There was a marchers-police
immunity from liability for damages in the official discharge confrontation which resulted in the death of 12 rallyists and
of the task granted the members of the Commission much in scores were wounded. As a result, then Pres. Aquino issued
the same manner that judges are immune from suit in the AO 11 creating the Citizens Mendiola Commission for the
official discharge of the functions of their office. purpose of conducting an investigation. The most significant
recommendation of the Commission was for the heirs of the
Immunity from suit cannot institutionalize irresponsibility deceased and wounded victims to be compensated by the
and nonaccountability nor grant a privileged status not government. Based on such recommendation, the victims of
claimed by any other official of the Republic. Where the Mendiola massacre filed an action for damages against the
petitioner exceeds his authority as Solicitor General, acts in Republic and the military/police officers involved in the
bad faith, or ... ‘maliciously conspir(es) with the PCGG incident.
commissioners in persecuting respondent Enrile by filing
against him an evidently baseless suit in derogation of the Issues
latter’s constitutional rights and liberties’, there can be no
question that a complaint for damages does not confer a (1) Whether or not there is a valid waiver of immunity
license to persecute or recklessly injure another. The actions
governed by Articles 19, 20, 21, and 32 of the Civil Code on (2) Whether or not the State is liable for damages
Human Relations may be taken against public officers or
private citizens alike. Held

ARGUMENT: that Williams as commanding officer is far The Court held that there was no valid waiver of immunity as
removed in the chain of command from the offensive claimed by the petitioners. The recommendation made by the
publication and it would be asking too much to hold him Commission to indemnify the heirs of the deceased and the
responsible for everything which goes wrong on the base. victims does not in any way mean that liability attaches to the
State. AO 11 merely states the purpose of the creation of the
WHILE THIS IS TRUE AS A GEN. RULE, FOR THIS CASE Commission and, therefore, whatever is the finding of the
NO. The records show that the offensive publication was sent Commission only serves as the basis for a cause of action in
to the commanding officer for approval and he approved it. the event any party decides to litigate the same. Thus, the
Art. 2176 prescribes a civil liability for damages caused by a recommendation of the Commission does not in any way bind
person’s act or omission constituting fault or negligence. the State.
“Fault” or “negligence” in this Article covers not only acts
“not punishable by law” but also acts criminal in character, The State cannot be made liable because the military/police
whether intentional or voluntary or negligent. ” Moreover, officers who allegedly were responsible for the death and
Art. 2219(7) provides that moral damages may be recovered in injuries suffered by the marchers acted beyond the scope of
case of libel, slander or any other form of defamation. In their authority. It is a settled rule that the State as a person can
commit no wrong. The military and police officers who were
effect, the offended party in these cases is given the right to responsible for the atrocities can be held personally liable for
receive from the guilty party moral damages for injury to his damages as they exceeded their authority, hence, the acts
feelings and reputation in addition to punitive or exemplary cannot be considered official.
damages .
Tan v Director of Forestry
Indeed the imputation of theft contained in the POD is a Facts
defamation against Rarang’s character and reputation. Wylie
himself admitted that the Office of the Provost Marshal Sometime in April 1961, the Bureau of Forestry issued notice
explicitly recommended the deletion of the name if the article advertising for public bidding a certain tract of public forest
was published, but they were negligent because under their land situated in Olongapo, Zambales consisting of 6,420
hectares, within the former U.S. Naval Reservation a property right, nor does it create a vested right; nor is it
comprising 7,252 hectares of timberland, which was turned taxation
over by the US Government to the Philippine Government.
Wenceslao Tan with nine others submitted their application in The welfare of the people is the supreme law. Thus, no
due form. franchise or right can be availed of to defeat the proper
exercise of police power.
The area was granted to the petitioner. On May 30, 1963,
Secretary Gozon of Agriculture and Natural Resources issued II. Petitioner did not exhaust administrative remedy in this
a general memorandum order authorizing Dir. Of Forestry to case. He did not appeal the order of the respondent Secretary
grant new Ordinary Timber Licenses (OTL) subject to some of Agriculture and Natural Resources to the President of the
conditions stated therein (not exceeding 3000 hectares for new Philippines. Considering that the President has the power to
OTL and not exceeding 5000 hectares for extension) review on appeal the orders or acts of the respondents, the
failure of the petitioner-appellant to take that appeal is failure
Thereafter, Acting Secretary of Agriculture and Natural on his part to exhaust his administrative remedies.
Resources Feliciano (replacing Gozon) promulgated on
December 19, 1963 a memorandum revoking the authority SYQUIA v. ALMEDA LOPEZ
delegated to the Director of Forestry to grant ordinary timber
licenses. On the same date, OTL in the name of Tan, was Facts
signed by then Acting Director of Forestry, without the
approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Plaintiffs Syquia leased their apartment buildings in favor of
Resources. On January 6, 1964, the license was released by the the US for the duration of the war and six months after, unless
Director of Forestry . sooner terminated by the US. These were used for billeting
and quartering officers of the US armed forces. Six months
Ravago Commercial Company wrote a letter to the Secretary after Japan surrendered, Syquia requested the return of the
of ANR praying that the OTL of Tan be revoked. On March 9, buildings but were advised that the US wanted to continue
1964, The Secretary of ANR declared Tan’s OTL null and void occupying the premises. They requested for a renegotiation of
(but the same was not granted to Ravago). Petitioner- the lease. US officers refused but advised them that they
appellant moved for a reconsideration of the order, but the would vacate in a few months time. But because the US did
Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources denied the not vacate within the given period, Syquia filed an action for
motion. unlawful detainer with the MTC against the US officers. US
said that the court had no jurisdiction over the defendants and
Issue of the subject matter because the real party in interest was the
US government and not the individual officers named in the
I. Whether or not petitioner’s timber license is valid (No) complaint.

II. Whether or not petitioner had exhausted administrative Held

remedies available (No)
Since the action was against the US government, Philippine
Held courts have no jurisdiction over the case. The US has not given
its consent to the filing of the suit which is essentially against
I. Petitioner’s timber license was signed and released without her, though not in name. This is not only a case of a citizen
authority and is therefore void ab initio. In the first place, in filing a suit against his own Government without the latter’s
the general memorandum dated May 30, 1963, the Director of consent, but it is of a citizen filing an action against a foreign
Forestry was authorized to grant a new ordinary timber government without the said government’s consent, which
license only where the area covered thereby was not more renders more obvious the lack of jurisdiction of the courts of
than 3,000 hectares; the tract of public forest awarded to the his country.
petitioner contained 6,420 hectares In the second place, at the
time it was released to the petitioner, the Acting Director of SANDERS vs. VERIDIANO
Forestry had no more authority to grant any license. (The
license was released to the petitioner on January 6, 1964 while Facts
on the other hand, the authority of the Director of Forestry to
issue license was revoked on December 19, 1963). In view Sanders was a special services director of the US Naval Station
thereof, the Director of Forestry had no longer any authority in Olongapo. Petitioner Moreau was the commanding officer
to release the license on January 6, 1964, and said license is of the Subic Naval Base, which includes the said station.
therefore void ab initio. What is of greatest importance is the Private respondent Rossi is an American citizen with
date of the release or issuance. Before its release, no right is permanent residence in the Philippines. Respondents Rossi
acquired by the licensee. and Wyer (who died) were gameroom attendants in the
special services department of the Naval Station.
Granting arguendo, that petitioner-appellant's timber license
is valid, still respondents-appellees can validly revoke his In 1975, Rossi and Wyer were advised that their employment
timber license. "A license is merely a permit or privilege to do had been converted to permanent full-time to permanent part-
what otherwise would be unlawful, and is not a contract time. This led them to file a protest for their conversion
between the authority, federal, state, or municipal, granting it (demotion) to the US Dept of Defense. Hearing was conducted
and the person to whom it is granted; neither is it property or which reported an autocratic form of supervision.
Sanders disagreed and asked for the rejection of the report of The funds of the UP are government funds that are public in
the hearing. Later on, a letter allegedly from Moreau was character. They include the income accruing from the use of
received. The letter said that the records are public. real property ceded to the UP that may be spent only for the
attainment of its institutional objectives. Hence, the funds
Issue subject of this action could not be validly made the subject of
the RTC’s writ of execution or garnishment. The adverse
W/N petitioners were performing their official duties when judgment rendered against the UP in a suit to which it had
they did the acts for which they have been sued for damages impliedly consented was not immediately enforceable by
by the private respondents. execution against the UP, because suability of the State did not
necessarily mean its liability.
A marked distinction exists between suability of the State and
On the basis of these antecedent facts, the private respondent its liability. As the Court succinctly stated in Municipality of
filed in the Court of First Instance of Olongapo City for San Fernando, La Union v. Firme: A distinction should first be
damages against the herein petitioners on November 8, 1976. made between suability and liability. “Suability depends on
The plaintiffs claimed that the letters contained libelous the consent of the state to be sued, liability on the applicable
imputations that had exposed them to ridicule and caused law and the established facts. The circumstance that a state is
them mental anguish and that the prejudgment of the suable does not necessarily mean that it is liable; on the other
grievance proceedings was an invasion of their personal and hand, it can never be held liable if it does not first consent to
proprietary rights. be sued. Liability is not conceded by the mere fact that the state
has allowed itself to be sued. When the state does waive its
The private respondents made it clear that the petitioners sovereign immunity, it is only giving the plaintiff the chance
were being sued in their private or personal capacity. to prove, if it can, that the defendant is liable.
However, in a motion to dismiss filed under a special
appearance, the petitioners argued that the acts complained The CA and the RTC thereby unjustifiably ignored the legal
of were performed by them in the discharge of their official restriction imposed on the trust funds of the Government and
duties and that, consequently, the court had no jurisdiction its agencies and instrumentalities to be used exclusively to
over them under the doctrine of state immunity. fulfill the purposes for which the trusts were created or for
which the funds were received except upon express
authorization by Congress or by the head of a government
agency in control of the funds, and subject to pertinent
budgetary laws, rules and regulations. Indeed, an
appropriation by Congress was required before the judgment
that rendered the UP liable for moral and actual damages
(including attorney’s fees) would be satisfied considering that
such monetary liabilities were not covered by the
G.R. No. 171182, August 23, 2012
“appropriations earmarked for the said project.” The
Constitution strictly mandated that “(n)o money shall be paid
out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation
UP failed to pay in a contract it entered with Stern Builders
made by law.”
Corporation. The RTC ruled in favour of Stern Builders
Corporation. Consequently, the RTC authorized eventually RP VS FELICIANO
the release of the garnished funds of the UP directing DBP to
release the funds. While UP brought a petition for certiorari in Facts
the CA to challenge the jurisdiction of the RTC in issuing the
order averring that the UP funds, being government funds
FELICIANO filed a complaint against RP, represented by the
and properties, could not be seized by virtue of writs of
Land Authority, for the recovery of ownership and possession
execution or garnishment.
of 4 parcels of land. F says he bought land previously but Pres.
Magsaysay issued a Proclamation reserving for settlement
purposes various lands, including F’s land. F wants to exclude
Whether UP funds are subject to garnishment. his land from this Proclamation and be declared rightful
owner. RTC favored F but RP raised non-suability.
NO. The UP is a government instrumentality, performing the
State’s constitutional mandate of promoting quality and WON the State can be sued for recovery and possession of a
accessible education. Presidential Decree No. 1445 defines a parcel of land.
“trust fund” as a fund that officially comes in the possession
of an agency of the government or of a public officer as trustee, Held
agent or administrator, or that is received for the fulfillment of
some obligation. A trust fund may be utilized only for the NO. A suit against the State, which under settle jurisprudence
“specific purpose for which the trust was created or the funds is not permitted, except upon a showing that the State has
received.” consented to be sued, either expressly or by implication
through the use of statutory language too plain to be
misinterpreted. Waiver of immunity, being a derogation of committed by an agent or employee of the Government, the
sovereignty, will not be inferred lightly. but must be construed inquiry at once arises whether the Government is legally-
in strictissimi juris. F contends that RP’s consent may be read liable for the damages resulting therefrom.
from the Proclamation itself, when it established the
reservation “subject to private rights, if any there be." SC held Issue
that no such consent can be drawn from the language of the
Proclamation. The exclusion of existing private rights from the W/N the Government is liable?
reservation established by Proclamation can not be construed
as a waiver of the immunity of the State from suit. Moreover, Held
the Proclamation is not a legislative act. The consent of the
State to be sued must emanate from statutory authority. Paragraph 5 of article 1903 of the Civil Code reads: The state
Waiver of State immunity can only be made by an act of the is liable in this sense when it acts through a special agent, but
legislative body. not whenthe damage should have been caused by the official
to whom properly it pertainedto do the act performed, in
which case the provisions of the preceding article shallbe

The supreme court of Spain in defining the scope of this

paragraph said:

That the obligation to indemnify for damages which a third

person causes to another by his fault or negligence is based, as
is evidenced by the same Law 3, Title15, Partida 7, on that the
person obligated, by his own fault or negligence, takes part in
the act or omission of the third party who caused the damage.
It follows therefrom that the state, by virtue of such provisions
of law, is not responsible for the damages suffered by private
Merrit vs. Government of the Philippine Islands individuals in consequence of acts performed by its employees
34 Phil. 311 in the discharge of the functions pertaining to their office,
because neither fault nor even negligence can be presumed on
Facts the part of the state in the organization of branches of public
service and in the appointment of its agents; on the contrary,
When the plaintiff, riding on a motorcycle, was going toward we must presuppose all foresight humanly possible on its part
the western part of Calle Padre Faura, passing along the west in order that each branch of service serves the general weal an
side thereof at a speed of ten to twelve miles an hour, upon that of private persons interested in its operation. Between
crossing Taft Avenue and when he was ten feet from the these latter and the state, therefore, no relations of a private
southwestern intersection of said streets, the General Hospital nature governed by the civil law can arise except in a case
ambulance, upon reaching said avenue, instead of turning where the state acts as a judicial person capable of acquiring
toward the south, after passing the center thereof, so that it rights and contracting obligations.
would be on the left side of said avenue, as is prescribed by
the ordinance and the Motor Vehicle Act, turned suddenly It is, therefore, evidence that the State (the Government of the
and unexpectedly and long before reaching the center of the Philippine Islands) is only liable, according to the above
street, into the right side of Taft Avenue, without having quoted decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain, for the acts of
sounded any whistle or horn, by which movement it struck its agents, officers and employees when they act as special
the plaintiff, who was already six feet from the southwestern agents within the meaning of paragraph 5 of article 1903,
point or from the post place there. supra, and that the chauffeur of the ambulance of the General
Hospital was not such an agent.
By reason of the resulting collision, the plaintiff was so
severely injured that, according to Dr. Saleeby, who examined Digest 2:
him on the very same day that he was taken to the General
Hospital, he was suffering from a depression in the left Facts
parietal region, a would in the same place and in the back part The facts of the case took place in the 1910’s. E. Merritt was a
of his head, while blood issued from his nose and he was constructor who was excellent at his work. One day, while he
entirely unconscious. was riding his motorcycle along Calle Padre Faura, he was
bumped by a government ambulance. The driver of the
As a consequence of the loss the plaintiff suffered in the ambulance was proven to have been negligent. Because of the
efficiency of his work as a contractor, he had to dissolved the incident, Merritt was hospitalized and he was severely injured
partnership he had formed with the engineer. Wilson, because beyond rehabilitation so much so that he could never perform
he was incapacitated from making mathematical calculations his job the way he used to and that he cannot even earn at least
on account of the condition of his leg and of his mental half of what he used to earn.
faculties, and he had to give up a contract he had for the
construction of the Uy Chaco building. In order for Merritt to recover damages, he sought to sue the
government which later authorized Merritt to sue the
As the negligence which caused the collision is a tort government by virtue of Act 2457 enacted by the legislature
(An Act authorizing E. Merritt to bring suit against the
Government of the Philippine Islands and authorizing the
Attorney-General of said Islands to appear in said suit). The
lower court then determined the amount of damages and
ordered the government to pay the same.

Whether or not the government is liable for the negligent act

of the driver of the ambulance.

No. By consenting to be sued a state simply waives its

immunity from suit. It does not thereby concede its liability to
plaintiff, or create any cause of action in his favor, or extend
its liability to any cause not previously recognized. It merely
gives a remedy to enforce a preexisting liability and submits
itself to the jurisdiction of the court, subject to its right to
interpose any lawful defense. It follows therefrom that the RAYO ET AL VS CFI AND NPC (NATIONAL POWER
state, by virtue of such provisions of law, is not responsible for CORPORATION)
G.R. No. L-55273-83 December 19, 1981
the damages suffered by private individuals in consequence
J. Abad-Santos
of acts performed by its employees in the discharge of the
functions pertaining to their office, because neither fault nor
even negligence can be presumed on the part of the state in the
organization of branches of public service and in the
appointment of its agents. The State can only be liable if it acts During the height of the typhoon Kading, NPC through its
through a special agent (and a special agent, in the sense in plant superintendent, Benjamin Chavez, simultaneously
which these words are employed, is one who receives a opened all 3floodgates of the Angat Dam. As a result, several
definite and fixed order or commission, foreign to the exercise towns in Bulacan were flooded. Petitioners (there are a lot) in
of the duties of his office if he is a special official) so that in this case were among the many victims of the man-made
representation of the state and being bound to act as an agent flood. Complaint was filed against NPC and Chavez.
thereof, he executes the trust confided to him.
NPC answers that in the operation of the Angat Dam it was
In the case at bar, the ambulance driver was not a special agent performing a purely governmental function hence, it cannot
nor was a government officer acting as a special agent hence, be sued without the express consent of the State.
there can be no liability from the government. “The
Government does not undertake to guarantee to any person Issue
the fidelity of the officers or agents whom it employs, since
that would involve it in all its operations in endless Whether the complaint violates the principle of immunity
embarrassments, difficulties and losses, which would be from suit without consent?
subversive of the public interest.”

NO. As a GOCC, NPC has a personality of its own, distinct

and separate from the government. Moreover, the charter
provision that the NPC can sue and be sued in any court is
without qualification on the cause of the action and
accordingly, it can include a tort claim as in this case. (1par
lang talaga yung decision ng court. This is almost the entirety
of it)

FERNANDO A. FROILAN, plaintiff-appellee,

COMPANIA MARITIMA, intervenors-appellees.
G.R. No. L-11897 October 31, 1964
J. Barrera


Defendant Pan Oriental took possession of the vessel in

question after it had been repossessed by the Shipping
Administration and title thereto reacquired by the
government, following the original purchaser, Fernando
Froilan’s, default in his payment of the unpaid balance and
insurance premiums for the said vessel. Pan Oriental 2. USA vs RODRIGO (GR No. 79470)
chartered said vessel and operated the same after it had Genove filed a complaint for damages for his dismissal as
repaired the vessel and paid the stipulated initial payment, cook in the US Air Force Recreation Center at Camp John Hay
thereby exercising its option to purchase, pursuant to a Air Station. It had been ascertained after investigation that
bareboat charter contract entered between said company and Genove had poured urine into the soup stock used in cooking
the Shipping Corporation. The Cabinet resolved to restore the vegetables served to the club customers. The club manager
Froilan to his rights under the original contract of sale on suspended him and thereafter referred the case to a board of
condition that he shall pay a sum of money upon delivery of arbitrators, which unanimously found him guilty and
the vessel to him, that he shall continue paying the remaining recommended his dismissal.
installments due, and that he shall assume the expenses
incurred for the repair and by docking of the vessel. Pan 3. USA vs CEBALLOS (GR No. 80018)
Oriental protested to this restoration of Froilan’s rights under Bautista, a barracks boy in Camp O’ Donnell, was arrested
the contract of sale, for the reason that when the vessel was following a buy-bust operation conducted by petitioners, who
delivered to it, the Shipping Administration had authority to were USAF officers and special agents of the Air Force Office.
dispose of said authority to the property, Froilan having An information was filed against Bautista and at the trial,
already relinquished whatever rights he may have thereon. petitioners testified against him. As a result of the charge,
Froilan paid the required cash of P10,000.00 and as Pan Bautista was dismissed from his employment. He then filed
Oriental refused to surrender possession of the vessel, he filed for damages against petitioners claiming that it was because
an action for in the CFI of Manila to recover possession thereof of the latter’s acts that he lost his job.
and have him declared the rightful owner of said property.
The Republic of the Philippines was allowed to intervene 4. in
USA vs VERGARA (GR No. 80258)
said civil case praying for the possession of the in order that
A complaint for damages was filed by private
the chattel mortgage constituted thereon may be foreclosed.
respondents against petitioners (US military officers) for
injuries allegedly sustained by the former when defendants
Issue beat them up, handcuffed them and unleashed dogs on them.
The petitioners deny this and claim that respondents were
Whether or not the government’s motion to dismiss Pan arrested for theft but resisted arrest, thus incurring the
Oriental counterclaims may prosper. injuries.

Held Issue
Whether or not the defendants were immune from suit under
Under the circumstances already ad voted to, PanOriental the RP-US Bases Treaty for acts done by them in the
cannot be considered a possessor in bad faith until after the performance of their official duties.
institution of the instant case. However, since it is not disputed
that said appellant is entitled to the refund of such expenses Held
with the right to retain the vessel until he has been reimbursed The rule that a State may not be sued without its consent is one
therefore. As it is by the corrected acts of defendant and of the generally accepted principles of international law that
intervenor Republic of the Philippines that the appellant ha a were have adopted as part of the law of our land. Even
lien far his expenses, appellees Froilan, Compania Maratma, without such affirmation, we would still be bound by the
and the Republic of the Philippines are declared liable for the generally accepted principles of international law under the
reimbursement to appellant of its legitimate expenses, as doctrine of incorporation. Under this doctrine, as accepted by
allowed by law, with legal interest from the time of the majority of the states, such principles are deemed
disbursement. incorporated in the law of every civilized state as a condition
and consequence of its membership in the society of nations.
USA v Guinto All states are sovereign equals and cannot assert jurisdiction
G.R. No. 76607 February 26, 1990 over one another. While the doctrine appears to prohibit only
J. Cruz suits against the state without its consent, it is also applicable
to complaints filed against officials of the states for acts
Facts allegedly performed by them in the discharge of their duties.
These are cases that have been consolidated because they all The rule is that if the judgment against such officials will
involve the doctrine of state immunity. The United States of require the state itself to perform an affirmative act to satisfy
America was not impleaded in the case at bar but has moved the same, the suit must be regarded as against the state
to dismiss on the ground that they are in effect suits against it although it has not been formally impleaded. When the
to which it has not consented. government enters into a contract, it is deemed to have
descended to the level of the other contracting party and
1. USA vs GUINTO (GR No. 76607) divested of its sovereign immunity from suit with its implied
The private respondents are suing several officers of the consent.
US Air Force in Clark Air Base in connection with the bidding
conducted by them for contracts for barber services in the said It bears stressing at this point that the aforesaid principle do
base, which was won by Dizon. The respondents wanted to not confer on the USA a blanket immunity for all acts done by
cancel the award because they claimed that Dizon had it or its agents in the Philippines. Neither may the other
included in his bid an area not included in the invitation to petitioners claim that they are also insulated from suit in this
bid, and also, to conduct a rebidding.
country merely because they have acted as agents of the
United States in the discharge of their official functions.
US Vs. Ruiz
There is no question that the USA, like any other state, will be 136 SCRA 487
deemed to have impliedly waived its non-suability if it has
entered into a contract in its proprietary or private capacity Facts
(commercial acts/jure gestionis). It is only when the contract
involves its sovereign or governmental capacity The usa had a naval base in subic, zambales. The base was one
(governmental acts/jure imperii) that no such waiver may be of those provided in the military bases agreement between
implied. phils. and the US. Respondent alleges that it won in the
bidding conducted by the US for the constrcution of wharves
In US vs GUINTO, the court finds the barbershops subject to in said base that was merely awarded to another group. For
the concessions granted by the US government to be this reason, a suit for specific preformance was filed by him
commercial enterprises operated by private persons. The against the US.
Court would have directly resolved the claims against the
defendants as in USA vs RODRIGO, except for the paucity of Issue
the record as the evidence of the alleged irregularity in the
grant of the barbershop concessions were not available. Whether the US naval base in bidding for said contracts
Accordingly, this case was remanded to the court below for exercise governmental functions to be able to invoke state
further proceedings. immunity.

In US vs RODRIGO, the restaurant services offered at the John Held

Hay Air Station partake of the nature of a business enterprise
undertaken by the US government in its proprietary capacity, The traditional role of the state immunity excempts a state
as they were operated for profit, as a commercial and not a from being sued in the courts of another state without its
governmental activity. Not even the US government can claim consent or waiver. This rule is necessary consequence of the
such immunity because by entering into the employment principle of indepemndence and equality of states. Howecer,
contract with Genove in the discharge of its proprietary the rules of international law are not petrified; they are
functions, it impliedly divested itself of its sovereign continually and evolving and because the activities of states
immunity from suit. But, the court still dismissed the have multiplied. It has been necessary to distinguish them
complaint against petitioners on the ground that there was between sovereign and governmental acts and private,
nothing arbitrary about the proceedings in the dismissal of commercial and proprietory acts. the result is that state
Genove, as the petitioners acted quite properly in terminating immunity now extends only to sovereign and governmental
Genove’s employment for his unbelievably nauseating act. acts.

In US vs CEBALLOS, it was clear that the petitioners were The restrictive application of state immunity is proper only
acting in the exercise of their official functions when they when the proceedings arise out of commercial transactions of
conducted the buy-bust operation and thereafter testified the foreign sovereign. Its commercial activities of economic
against the complainant. For discharging their duties as affairs. A state may be descended to the level of an individual
agents of the United States, they cannot be directly impleaded and can thus be deemed to have tacitly given its consent to be
for acts imputable to their principal, which has not given its sued. Only when it enters into business contracts. It does not
consent to be sued. apply where the conracts relates the exercise of its sovereign
function. In this case, the project are integral part of the naval
In US vs VERGARA, the contradictory factual allegations in base which is devoted to the defense of both US and phils.,
this case need a closer study of what actually happened. The indisputably, a function of the government of highest order,
record was too meager to indicate if the defendants were they are not utilized for , nor dedicated to commercial or
really discharging their official duties or had actually business purposes.
exceeded their authority when the incident occurred.The
needed inquiry must first be made by the lower court so it may Republic of Indonesia v Vinzon
assess and resolve the conflicting claims of the parties.
1. A STATE MAY BE SAID TO HAVE DESCENDED TO THE Petitioner, Republic of Indonesia, represented by its
LEVEL OF AN INDIVIDUAL AND CAN THUS BE DEEMED Counsellor, Siti Partinah, entered into a Maintenance
TO HAVE TACITLY GIVEN ITS CONSENT TO BE SUED Agreement in August 1995 with respondent James Vinzon,
ONLY WHEN IT ENTERS INTO BUSINESS CONTRACTS. sole proprietor of Vinzon Trade and Services. The equipment
2. Jure Gestionis – by right of economic or business relations, covered by the Maintenance Agreement are air conditioning
may be sued. (US vs Guinto) units and was to take effect in a period of four years. When
Jure Imperii – by right of sovereign power, in the exercise of Indonesian Minister Counsellor Kasim assumed the position
sovereign functions. No implied consent. (US v. Ruiz, 136 of Chief of Administration in March 2000, he allegedly found
SCRA 487) respondent’s work and services unsatisfactory and not in
compliance with the standards set in the Maintenance
Agreement. Hence, the Indonesian Embassy terminated the
agreement in a letter dated August 31, 2000. Respondent filed
a complaint claiming that the aforesaid termination was Government, then the suit should be regarded as one against
arbitrary and unlawful. Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss the government itself, and, consequently, it cannot prosper or
assailing that Republic of Indonesia, as a foreign sovereign be validly entertained by the court except with the consent of
State, has sovereign immunity from suit and cannot be sued said Government. In as much as the State authorizes only legal
as a party-defendant in the Philippines. acts by its officers, unauthorized acts of government officials
or officers are not acts of the State, and an action against the
Issue officials or officers by one whose rights have been invaded or
violated by such acts, for the protection of his rights, is not a
whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in sustaining the suit against the State within the rule of immunity of the State
trial court’s decision that petitioners have waived their from suit.
immunity from suit by using as its basis the abovementioned
provision in the Maintenance Agreement. NOTE: When the government takes any property for public
use, which is condition upon the payment of just
Held compensation, to be judicially ascertained, it makes manifest
that it submits to the jurisdiction of a court. The Court may
The SC GRANTED the petition. proceed with the complaint and determine the compensation
to which the petitioner are entitled.
The rule that a State may not be sued without its consent is a
necessary consequence of the principles of independence and SPS Fontanilla v Maliaman
equality of States. The mere entering into a contract by a
foreign State with a private party cannot be construed as the Facts
ultimate test of whether or not it is an act jure imperii or jure
gestionis. Such act is only the start of the inquiry. A National Irrigation Administration (NIA), a government
sovereign State does not merely establish a diplomatic agency, was held liable for damages resulting to the death of
mission and leave it at that; the establishment of a diplomatic the son of herein petitioner spouses caused by the fault and/or
mission encompasses its maintenance and upkeep. Hence, negligence of the driver of the said agency. NIA maintains that
the State may enter into contracts with private entities to it is not liable for the act of its driver because the former does
maintain the premises, furnishings and equipment of the not perform primarily proprietorship functions but
embassy and the living quarters of its agents and officials. It governmental functions.
is therefore clear that petitioner Republic of Indonesia was
acting in pursuit of a sovereign activity when it entered into Issue
a contract with respondent for the upkeep or maintenance of
the air conditioning units, generator sets, electrical facilities, Whether NIA is performing governmental functions and is
water heaters, and water motor pumps of the Indonesian thus exempt form suit for damages caused by the negligent act
Embassy and the official residence of the Indonesian of its driver who is not its special agent

No. The functions of government have been classified into

governmental or constituent and proprietary or ministrant.
ANGEL MINISTERIO and ASUNCIONSADAYA vs. THE The former involves the exercise of sovereignty and
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF CEBU considered as compulsory; the latter connotes merely the
40 scra 464 exercise of proprietary functions and thus considered as
optional. The functions of providing water supply and
Facts sewerage service are regarded as mere optional functions of
government even though the service rendered caters to the
Petitioners sought the payment of just compensation for a community as a whole and the goal is for the general interest
registered lot alleging that in 1927 the National Government of society.
through its authorized representatives took physical and
material possession of it and used it for the widening of a The NIA was not created for purposes of local government.
national road, without paying just compensation and without While it may be true that the NIA was essentially a service
any agreement, either written or verbal. There was an agency of the government aimed at promoting public interest
allegation of repeated demands for the payment of its price or and public welfare, such fact does not make the NIA
return of its possession, but defendants Public Highway essentially and purely a “government-function” corporation.
Commissioner and the Auditor General refused to restore its NIA was created for the purpose of “constructing, improving,
possession. rehabilitating, and administering all national irrigation
systems in the Philippines, including all communal and pump
ISSUE irrigation projects.” Certainly, the state and the community as
a whole are largely benefited by the services the agency
Whether or not the defendants are immune from suit. renders, but these functions are only incidental to the principal
aim of the agency, which is the irrigation of lands.
The NIA is a government agency with a juridical personality
NO. Where the judgment in such a case would result not only
separate and distinct from the government. It is not a mere
in the recovery of possession of the property in favor of said
agency of the government but a corporate body performing
citizen but also in a charge against or financial liability to the
proprietary functions. Therefore, it may be held liable for the issued the corresponding writ of execution accompanied with
damages caused by the negligent act of its driver who was not a writ of garnishment of funds of the petitioner which was
its special agent. deposited in PNB. However, such order was opposed by
petitioner through a motion for reconsideration, contending
Republic v Villasor that its funds at the PNB could neither be garnished nor levied
upon execution, for to do so would result in the disbursement
Facts of public funds without the proper appropriation required
under the law, citing the case of Republic of the Philippines v.
The decision that was rendered in favor of respondents P.J. Palacio. The RTC dismissed such motion, which was appealed
Kiener Co., Ltd, Gavino Unchuan and International to the Court of Appeals; the latter affirmed said dismissal and
Construction Corporation was declared final and executory petitioner now filed this petition for review.
by Respondent Hon. Guillermo P. Villasor.
Pursuant to the said declaration, the corresponding Alias Writ
of Execution was issued. And for the strength of this writ, the Whether or not funds of the Municipality of Makati are
provincial sheriff served notices of garnishment with several exempt from garnishment and levy upon execution.
banks, specially on the 'monies due the Armed Forces of the
Philippines in the form of deposits; the Philippines Veterans Held
Bank received the same notice of garnishment. It is petitioner's main contention that the orders of respondent
RTC judge involved the net amount of P4,965,506.45, wherein
The funds of the AFP on deposit with the banks are public the funds garnished by respondent sheriff are in excess of
funds duly appropriated and allocated for the payment of P99,743.94, which are public fund and thereby are exempted
pensions of retireees, pay and allowances of military and from execution without the proper appropriation required
civillian personnel and for maintenance and operations of under the law. There is merit in this contention. In this
AFP. jurisdiction, well-settled is the rule that public funds are not
subject to levy and execution, unless otherwise provided for
Petitioner filed a petition against Villasor for acting in excess by statute. Municipal revenues derived from taxes, licenses
jurisdiction amounting to lack of jurisdiction in granting the and market fees, and which are intended primarily and
issuance of a Writ of Execution against the properties of AFP, exclusively for the purpose of financing the governmental
hence the notices and garnishments are null and void. activities and functions of the municipality, are exempt from
execution. Absent a showing that the municipal council of
Issue Makati has passed an ordinance appropriating the said
amount from its public funds deposited in their PNB account,
Whether or not the Writ of Execution issued by respondent
no levy under execution may be validly effected. However,
Judge Villasor is valid.
this court orders petitioner to pay for the said land which has
Held been in their use already. This Court will not condone
petitioner's blatant refusal to settle its legal obligation arising
No. What was done by respondent Judge is not in conformity from expropriation of land they are already enjoying. The
with the dictates of the Constitution. It is a fundamental State's power of eminent domain should be exercised within
postulate of constitutionalism flowing from the juristic the bounds of fair play and justice.
concept of sovereignty that the state and its government is
immune from suit unless it gives its consent. A sovereign is
exempt from suit not because of any formal conception or
obsolete theory but on the logical and practical ground that
there can be no legal right as against the authority that makes
the law on which the right depends.

National Housing Authority v Guivelondo


Municipality of Makati V Court of Appeals On February 23, 1999, petitioner National Housing Authority
filed with the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, Branch 11, an
Facts Amended Complaint for eminent domain against Associacion
Benevola de Cebu, Engracia Urot and the Heirs of Isidro
Petitioner Municipality of Makati expropriated a portion of
Guivelondo for the purpose of the public use of Socialized
land owned by private respondents, Admiral Finance
Creditors Consortium, Inc. After proceedings, the RTC of
Makati determined the cost of the said land which the On November 12, 1999, the Heirs of Isidro Guivelondo filed a
petitioner must pay to the private respondents amounting to Manifestation stating that they were waiving their objections
P5,291,666.00 minus the advanced payment of P338,160.00. It to NHA’s power to expropriate their properties. Thus an order
of execution has been granted and the court already appointed course, since it finally disposes of the action and leaves
commissioners to determine the amount for just compensation nothing more to be done by the Court on the merits. So, too,
would an order of condemnation be a final one, for thereafter,
On April 17, 2000, the Commissioners submitted their report as the Rules expressly state, in the proceedings before the Trial
wherein they recommended that the just compensation of the Court, “no objection to the exercise of the right of
subject properties be fixed at P11,200.00 per square meter condemnation (or the propriety thereof) shall be filed or
wherein a partial judgment has been rendered. heard.”

After the report on the just compensation has completed, both · The second phase of the eminent domain action is
parties filed an MR on the amount for the just compensation concerned with the determination by the Court of “the just
stating that it has no adequate basis and support. Both MR was compensation for the property sought to be taken.” This is
denied by the court. done by the Court with the assistance of not more than three
(3) commissioners. The order fixing the just compensation on
While the judgment has been rendered in the RTC and an the basis of the evidence before, and findings of, the
entry of judgment and the motion for execution has been commissioners would be final, too. It would finally dispose of
issued, NHA filed a petition for certiorari to the Court of the second stage of the suit, and leave nothing more to be done
Appeals. The CA denied the petition on the ground that the by the Court regarding the issue. Obviously, one or another
Partial Judgment and Omnibus Order became final and of the parties may believe the order to be erroneous in its
executory when petitioner failed to appeal the same. appreciation of the evidence or findings of fact or
Wherefore, the Petitioner NHA filed an appeal to the Supreme otherwise. Obviously, too, such a dissatisfied party may seek
Court. a reversal of the order by taking an appeal there from.
Issue · On the second issue, the court held that a socialized
housing is always for the public used and that the public
purpose of the socialized housing project is not in any way
EXERCISE OF ITS INHERENT POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN; diminished by the amount of just compensation that the court
has fixed.
BE ISSUED AGAINST THE STATE IN AN EXPROPRIATION · On the third issue, the court ruled that in this case the
WHEREIN THE EXERCISE OF THE POWER OF EMINENT doctrine of state immunity cannot be applied to the NHA,
DOMAIN WILL NOT SERVE PUBLIC USE OR PURPOSE although it is “public in character”, it is only public in
character since it is government-owned, having a juridical
personality separate and distinct from the government, the
funds of such government-owned and controlled corporations
Held and non-corporate agency, although considered public in
character, are not exempt from garnishment.
The petition was denied and the judgment rendered by the
When does the Doctrine of State Immunity not applied in the
lower court was affirmed.
government agencies?
· On the first issue, the court held that, yes the state can be
1. The universal rule that where the State gives its consent to
compelled and coerced by the court to continue exercise its
be sued by private parties either by general or special law
inherent power of eminent domain, since the NHA does not
exercise its right to appeal in the expropriation proceedings
2. If the funds belong to a public corporation or a government-
before the court has rendered the case final and executory. In owned or controlled corporation which is clothed with a
the early case of City of Manila v. Ruymann and Metropolitan
personality of its own, separate and distinct from that of the
Water District v. De Los Angeles, an expropriation proceeding government, then its funds are not exempt from
was explained.
garnishment. This is so because when the government enters
into commercial business, it abandons its sovereign capacity
· Expropriation proceedings consists of two stages: first,
and is to be treated like any other corporation.
condemnation of the property after it is determined that its
acquisition will be for a public purpose or public use and,
second, the determination of just compensation to be paid for
the taking of private property to be made by the court with the
assistance of not more than three commissioners.

· The first is concerned with the determination of the

authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of eminent
domain and the propriety of its exercise in the context of the
facts involved in the suit. It ends with an order, if not of
dismissal of the action, “of condemnation declaring that the
plaintiff has a lawful right to take the property sought to be
condemned, for the public use or purpose described in the
complaint, upon the payment of just compensation to be
determined as of the date of the filing of the complaint.” An
order of dismissal, if this be ordained, would be a final one, of
The laws of war imposes upon a commander the duty to take
any appropriate measures within his powers to control the
troops under his command to prevent acts which constitute
violation of the laws of war. Hence, petitioner could be
legitimately charged with personal responsibility arising from
his failure to take such measure. In this regard the SC invoked
Art. 1 of the Hague Convention No. IV of 1907, as well as Art.
19 of Hague Convention No. X, Art. 26 of 1929 Geneva
Convention among others.

Habeas corpus is untenable since the petitioner merely sought

for restoration to his former status as prisoner of war and not
a discharge from confinement. This is a matter of military
measure and not within the jurisdiction of the courts.

The petition for prohibition against the respondent will also

not life since the military commission is not made a party
respondent in the case. As such, no order may be issued
requiring it to refrain from trying the petitioner.

Shigenori Kuroda vs Rafael Jalandoni

November 9, 2011

Yamashita vs. Styer Facts

G.R. L-129 December 19, 1945
Ponente: Moran, C.J. Shigenori Kuroda was the highest ranking Japanese officer
stationed in the Philippines during the Japanese occupation.
Facts He was then charged before the Military Commission, headed
1. Yamashita was the Commanding General of the Japanese by Major General Rafael Jalandoni, due to the atrocities that
army in the Philippines during World War 2. He was charged were done against non combatant civilians and prisoners
before the American military commission for war crimes. during the war. His trial was in pursuant to Executive Order
No. 68 which established the National War Crimes Office and
2. He filed a petition for habeas corpus and prohibition against prescribing rules and regulations governing the trial of
Gen. Styer to reinstate his status as prisoner of war from being accused war criminals. Kuroda is questioning the legality of
accused as a war criminal. Petitioner also questioned the the said EO arguing that the same is not provided for in the
jurisdiction of the military tribunal. Constitution. He further underscores the fact that the
Philippines is not a signatory of the Hague Convention on the
Issue Rules and Regulations Covering Land Warfare hence we
cannot impose against him any criminal charges because it has
Whether or not the military tribunal has jurisdiction no laws to base on, national or international.

Held Issue

YES. The military commission was lawfully created in Whether or not Kuroda can be charged in Philippine courts.
conformity with an act of Congress sanctioning the creation of
such tribunals. Held
Yes. EO No. 68 is constitutional hence the Philippine courts foreign diplomats from any lawless element. And indeed the
can take cognizance of the case at bar. EO No 68 is in pursuant Vienna Convention is a restatement of the generally accepted
to the constitutional provision that states “the Philippines principles of international law. But the same cannot be
renounces war as an instrument of national policy, and adopts invoked as defense to the primacy of the
the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the Philippine Constitution which upholds and guarantees the
law of the nation.” The Hague Convention and other similar rights to free speech and peacable assembly. At the same time,
conventions whose principles are generally accepted are the City Ordinance issued by respondent mayor cannot be
hence considered as part of the law of the land. invoked if the application thereof would collide with a
constitutionally guaranteed rights.

II. Yes. The denial of their rally does not pass the clear and
present danger test. The mere assertion that subversives may
infiltrate the ranks of the demonstrators does not suffice. In
this case, no less than the police chief assured that they have
taken all the necessary steps to ensure a peaceful rally.
Further, the ordinance cannot be applied yet because there
was no showing that indeed the rallyists are within the 500 feet
radius (besides, there’s also the question of whether or not the
mayor can prohibit such rally – but, as noted by the SC, that
has not been raised an an issue in this case).

Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the

Philippines vs. Duque
Jose B.L. Reyes vs Ramon Bagatsing
G.R. No. L-65366 November 9, 1983 Facts
Named as respondents are the Health Secretary,
Undersecretaries, and Assistant Secretaries of the Department
Facts of Health (DOH). For purposes of herein petition, the DOH is
deemed impleaded as a co-respondent since respondents
Retired Justice JBL Reyes in behalf of the members of the Anti- issued the questioned RIRR in their capacity as officials of said
Bases Coalition sought a permit to rally from Luneta Park until executive agency.1Executive Order No. 51 (Milk Code) was
the front gate of the US embassy which is less than two blocks issued by President Corazon Aquino on October 28, 1986 by
apart. The permit has been denied by then Manila mayor virtue of the legislative powers granted to the president under
Ramon Bagatsing. The mayor claimed that there have been the Freedom Constitution. One of the preambular clauses of
intelligence reports that indicated that the rally would be the Milk Code states that the law seeks to give effect to Article
infiltrated by lawless elements. He also issued City Ordinance 112 of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk
No. 7295 to prohibit the staging of rallies within the 500 feet Substitutes (ICMBS), a code adopted by the World Health
radius of the US embassy. Bagatsing pointed out that it was Assembly (WHA) in 1981. From 1982 to 2006, the WHA
his intention to provide protection to the US embassy from adopted several Resolutions to the effect that breastfeeding
such lawless elements in pursuant to Art. 22 of the Vienna should be supported, promoted and protected, hence, it
Convention on Diplomatic Relations. And that under our should be ensured that nutrition and health claims are not
constitution we “adhere to generally accepted principles of permitted for breastmilk substitutes. In 1990, the Philippines
international law”. ratified the International Convention on the Rights of the
Child. Article 24 of said instrument provides that State Parties
Issue should take appropriate measures to diminish infant and child
mortality, and ensure that all segments of society, specially
Whether or not a treaty may supersede provisions of the parents and children, are informed of the advantages of
Constitution. Whether or not the rallyists should be granted breastfeeding. On May 15, 2006, the DOH issued herein
the permit. assailed RIRR which was to take effect on July 7, 2006.

Held Issue
Whether Administrative Order or the Revised Implementing
I. No. Indeed, the receiving state is tasked for the protection of Rules and Regulations (RIRR) issued by the Department of
Health (DOH) is not constitutional; The Act violates international and treaty obligations of the
Republic of the Philippines.
YES, under Article 23, recommendations of the WHA do not Issue
come into force for members,in the same way that conventions
or agreements under Article 19 and regulations under Article Whether or not a law may invalidate or supersede treaties or
21 come into force. Article 23 of the WHO Constitution reads: generally accepted principles.
Article 23. The Health Assembly shall have authority to make
recommendations to Members with respect to any matter Held
within the competence of the Organization
for an international rule to be considered as customary law, it
A generally accepted principle of international law, should be
must be established that such rule is being followed by states
observed by us in good faith. If a treaty would be in conflict
because they consider it obligatory to comply with such rules
with a statute then the statute must be upheld because it
represented an exercise of the police power which, being
Under the 1987 Constitution, international law can become inherent could not be bargained away or surrendered through
part of the sphere of domestic law either the medium of a treaty.

By transformation or incorporation. The transformation Yes, a law may supersede a treaty or a generally accepted
method requires that an international law be transformed into principle. In this case, the Supreme Court saw no conflict
a domestic law through a constitutional mechanism such as between the raised generally accepted principle and with RA
local legislation. The incorporation method applies when, by 1180. The equal protection of the law clause “does not demand
mere constitutional declaration, international law is deemed absolute equality amongst residents; it merely requires that all
to have the force of domestic law. persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and
conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities
Consequently, legislation is necessary to transform the enforced”; and, that the equal protection clause “is not
provisions of the WHA Resolutions into domestic law. The infringed by legislation which applies only to those persons
provisions of the WHA Resolutions cannot be considered as falling within a specified class, if it applies alike to all persons
part of the law of the land that can be implemented by within such class, and reasonable grounds exist for making a
executive agencies without the need of a law enacted by the distinction between those who fall within such class and those
legislature who do not.”


G.R. No. L-7995 May 31, 1957

Facts Executive Secretary authorized the importation of foreign rice

to be purchased from private sources. (The was a Procurement
Driven by aspirations for economic independence and Committee created.) 

national security, the Congress enacted Act No. 1180 entitled
“An Act to Regulate the Retail Business.” The main provisions Gonzales, a rice planter, filed a petition question the validity
of the Act, among others, are: of the attempt to import foreign rice. He contends it is against
RA 3452 which prohibits importation of rice and corn by the
(1) Prohibition against persons, not citizens of the Rice and Corn
Philippines, and against associations, among others,
from engaging directly or indirectly in the retail trade; Admin or any other gov’t agency.
Hechanova countered that the
(2) Prohibition against the establishment or opening
importation is 
 authorized by the President for
by aliens actually engaged in the retail business of
additional stores or branches of retail business. military stock pile purposes. (that the president is
duty-bound to – prepare for the challenge of threats
Lao H. Ichong, in his own behalf and on behalf of other alien of war or emergency without waiting for special
residents, corporations and partnerships adversely affected by authority) 

the said Act, brought an action to obtain a judicial declaration,
and to enjoin the Secretary of Finance, Jaime Hernandez, and Hechanova further contends that
all other persons acting under him, particularly city and there is no prohibition on importation made by the
municipal treasurers, from enforcing its provisions. Petitioner “Government itself”. 

attacked the constitutionality of the Act, contending that:
Hechanova also argued that the
It denies to alien residents the equal protection of the laws and
Government has already entered into 2 contracts with
deprives of their liberty and property without due process of
Vietnam and Burma. That these contracts constitute
law. The subject of the Act is not expressed or comprehended
valid executive agreements under international law;
in the title thereof.
that such agreements became binding and effective
upon signing thereof by the representatives of both in Article 7 that the Philippine Government must present the
 interests of the United States in any proceedings arising out of
a request for extradition.
o It is argued that when there is a conflict between a “treaty”
and a “statute” (the statute prohibiting importation), then the ISSUE
conflict must be resolved in favor of the one which is latest in
point of time (in this case, the treaty). Whether or not to uphold a citizen’s basic due process rights
or the governments ironclad duties under a treaty.
What is the nature of the government contracts with Vietnam
and Burma? Which should prevail, the contracts or RA 3452 Petition dismissed.

The human rights of person, whether citizen or alien , and the
The parties to said contracts do not appear to have regarded rights of the accused guaranteed in our Constitution should
the same as executive agreements. Even assuming that said take precedence over treaty rights claimed by a contracting
contracts are executive agreements, they are null and void, state. The duties of the government to the individual deserve
because they are inconsistent with RA 3452. preferential consideration when they collide with its treaty
obligations to the government of another state. This is so
Although the President may enter into executive agreements although we recognize treaties as a source of binding
without previous legislative authority, he may not, by obligations under generally accepted principles of
executive agreement, enter into a transaction which is international law incorporated in our Constitution as part of
prohibited by statutes enacted prior thereto. Under the the law of the land.
Constitution, the main function of the Executive is to enforce The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal
the laws enacted by Congress. He may not defeat legislative tribunals are confronted with situation in which there appears
enactments by indirectly repealing the same through an to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the
executive agreement providing for the performance of the provision of the constitution or statute of the local state.
very act prohibited by said laws.
Petitioner (Secretary of Justice) is ordered to furnish Mark
**Also, the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the case. The Jimenez copies of the extradition request and its supporting
Constitution authorizes the nullification of a treaty not only papers, and to grant him (Mark Jimenez) a reasonable period
when it conflicts with the fundamental law, but also when it within which to file his comment with supporting evidence.
runs counter to the act of Congress.
“Under the Doctrine of Incorporation, rules of international
The E.S. has no power to authorize the importation. law form part of the law of the land and no further legislative
action is needed to make such rules applicable in the domestic

FACTS “The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal

tribunals are confronted with situations in which there
Secretary Of Justice Franklin Drilon, representing the appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and
Government of the Republic of the Philippines, signed in the provisions of the constitution or statute of the local state.
Manila the “extradition Treaty Between the Government of
“Efforts should first be exerted to harmonize them, so as to
the Philippines and the Government of the U.S.A. The
give effect to both since it is to be presumed that municipal
Philippine Senate ratified the said Treaty.
law was enacted with proper regard for the generally accepted
principles of international law in observance of the
incorporation clause in the above cited constitutional
On June 18, 1999, the Department of Justice received from the
Department of Foreign Affairs U.S Note Verbale No. 0522 provision.
containing a request for the extradition of private respondent
“In a situation, however, where the conflict is irreconcilable
Mark Jiminez to the United States.
and a choice has to be made between a rule of international
law and a municipal law, jurisprudence dictates that
municipal law should be upheld by the municipal courts, for
On the same day petitioner designate and authorizing a panel
of attorneys to take charge of and to handle the case. Pending the reason that such courts are organs of municipal law and
are accordingly bound by it in all circumstances.
evaluation of the aforestated extradition documents, Mark
Jiminez through counsel, wrote a letter to Justice Secretary
“The fact that international law has been made part of the law
requesting copies of the official extradition request from the
of the land does not pertain to or imply the primacy of
U.S Government and that he be given ample time to comment
international law over national or municipal law in the
on the request after he shall have received copies of the
municipal sphere. The doctrine of incorporation, as applied in
requested papers but the petitioner denied the request for the
most countries, decrees that rules of international law are
consistency of Article 7 of the RP-US Extradition Treaty stated
given equal standing with, but are not superior to, national
legislative enactments. Accordingly, the principle lex is inapplicable to RA 9851 for the reason that under par. 1, Art.
posterior derogate priori takes effect – a treaty may repeal a 2 of the RP-US Extradition Treaty, [a]n offense shall be an
statute and a statute may repeal a treaty. In states where the extraditable offense if it is punishable under the laws in both
Constitution is the highest law of the land, such as the Contracting Parties x x x,[79] and thereby concluding that
Republic of the Philippines, both statutes and treaties may be while the Philippines has criminalized under RA 9851 the acts
invalidated if they are in conflict with the constitution defined in the Rome Statute as war crimes, genocide and other
crimes against humanity, there is no similar legislation in the
US. It is further argued that, citing U.S. v. Coolidge, in the US,
a person cannot be tried in the federal courts for an
international crime unless Congress adopts a law defining and
punishing the offense.

This view must fail. On the contrary, the US has already

enacted legislation punishing the high crimes mentioned
# earlier. In fact, as early as October 2006, the US enacted a law
Bayan Muna v. Romulo and Ople criminalizing war crimes. Section 2441, Chapter 118, Part I,
Title 18 of the United States Code Annotated (USCA) provides
Facts for the criminal offense of war crimes which is similar to the
Then US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone sent US Embassy war crimes found in both the Rome Statute and RA 9851.
Note 0470 to the DFA proposingthe terms of the Non-
surrender Bilateral Agreement between the Philippines and Arguing further, another view has been advanced that the
the US. ViaExchange of Notes BFO-028-03, the Philippines, current US laws do not cover every crime listed within the
through Sec. Ople, agreed and accepted theUS proposals jurisdiction of the ICC and that there is a gap between the
embodied under the US Embassy Note and put in effect the definitions of the different crimes under the US laws versus
Non-surrenderAgreement with the US government. the Rome Statute. The view used a report written by Victoria
K. Holt and Elisabeth W. Dallas, entitled On Trial: The US
The Non-surrender Agreement aims to protect what it refers Military and the International Criminal Court, as its basis.
to and defines as persons of thePhilippines and the US from
frivolous and harassment suits that might be brought At the outset, it should be pointed out that the report used may
againstthem in international tribunals. It provides that the not have any weight or value under international law. Article
persons of one party present in theterritory of the other shall 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) lists
not, absent the express consent of the first party be the sources of international law, as follows: (1) international
surrenderedor transferred by any means to any international conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules
tribunal for any purpose or by any means toany other entity expressly recognized by the contesting states; (2) international
or third country or expelled to a third country for the purpose custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law; (3)
of surrenderto or transfer to any international tribunal, unless the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations;
such tribunal has been established by theUN Security Council. and (4) subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions
When the US/Philippines extradites, surrenders, or otherwise and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of
transfersa person of the Philippines/US to a third country, the the various nations, as subsidiary means for the
US/Philippines will not agree to thesurrender or transfer of determination of rules of law. The report does not fall under
that person by the third country to any international tribunal, any of the foregoing enumerated sources. It cannot even be
unlesssuch tribunal has been established by the UN Security considered as the teachings of highly qualified publicists. A
Council, absent the express consent ofthe Government of the highly qualified publicist is a scholar of public international
US/Philippines.Petitioners argue that the Exchange of Notes law and the term usually refers to legal scholars or academic
BFO-028-03 cannot be a valid medium forconcluding an writers.[82] It has not been shown that the authors[83] of this
agreement, that it cannot partake the nature of a treaty report are highly qualified publicists.
without being ratifiedby the Senate, that the Non-surrender
Agreement does not fall under any subject- IBP VS ZAMORA
categoriesenumerated in a previous case, and that the Non-
surrender Agreement infringes theeffectivity of the Rome G.R. No. 141284 August 15 2000
Statute insofar as it unduly restricts the ICC’s jurisdiction.
Dissenting opinion:
Invoking his powers as Commander-in-Chief under Sec 18,
In his dissent in the abovementioned case, Justice Carpio Art. VII of the Constitution, President Estrada, in verbal
discussed the legal implications of an executive agreement. He directive, directed the AFP Chief of Staff and PNP Chief to
stated that an executive agreement has the force and effect of coordinate with each other for the proper deployment and
law x x x [it] cannot amend or repeal prior laws.[78] Hence, campaign for a temporary period only. The IBP questioned the
this argument finds no application in this case seeing as RA validity of the deployment and utilization of the Marines to
9851 is a subsequent law, not a prior one. Notably, this assist the PNP in law enforcement.
argument cannot be found in the ratio decidendi of the case,
but only in the dissenting opinion. ISSUE

The view further contends that the RP-US Extradition Treaty 1. WoN the President's factual determination of the necessity
of calling the armed forces is subject to judicial review.

2. WoN the calling of AFP to assist the PNP in joint visibility

patrols violate the constitutional provisions on civilian
supremacy over the military. JAMAR KULAYAN, et al. v. GOV. ABDUSAKUR TAN, et
Held G.R. No. 187298, 03 July 2012, EN BANC (Sereno, J.)

1. The power of judicial review is set forth in Section 1, Article Facts

VIII of the Constitution, to wit:
The calling-out powers contemplated under the Constitution
Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme is exclusive to the President. An exercise by another official,
Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. even if he is the local chief executive, is ultra vires, and may
not be justified by the invocation of Section 465 of the Local
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to Government Code.
settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally
demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not Three members from the International Committee of the Red
there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or Cross (ICRC) were kidnapped in the vicinity of the Provincial
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or Capitol in Patikul, Sulu. Andres Notter, Eugenio Vagni, and
instrumentality of the Government. Marie Jean Lacaba, were purportedly inspecting a water
sanitation project for the Sulu Provincial Jail when they were
When questions of constitutional significance are raised, the seized by three armed men who were later confirmed to be
Court can exercise its power of judicial review only if the members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). A Local Crisis
following requisites are complied with, namely: (1) the Committee, later renamed Sulu Crisis Committee
existence of an actual and appropriate case; (2) a personal and (Committee) was then formed to investigate the kidnapping
substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional incident. The Committee convened under the leadership of
question; (3) the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the respondent Abdusakur Mahail Tan, the Provincial Governor
earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question is the of Sulu.
lis mota of the case.
Governor Tan issued Proclamation No. 1, Series of 2009,
2. The deployment of the Marines does not constitute a breach declaring a state of emergency in the province of Sulu. The
of the civilian supremacy clause. The calling of the Marines in Proclamation cited the kidnapping incident as a ground for
this case constitutes permissible use of military assets for the said declaration, describing it as a terrorist act pursuant to
civilian law enforcement. The participation of the Marines in the Human Security Act (R.A. 9372). It also invoked Section
the conduct of joint visibility patrols is appropriately 465 of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R.A. 7160), which
circumscribed. It is their responsibility to direct and manage bestows on the Provincial Governor the power to carry out
the deployment of the Marines. It is, likewise, their duty to emergency measures during man-made and natural disasters
provide the necessary equipment to the Marines and render and calamities, and to call upon the appropriate national law
logistical support to these soldiers. In view of the foregoing, it enforcement agencies to suppress disorder and lawless
cannot be properly argued that military authority is supreme violence.
over civilian authority. Moreover, the deployment of the
Marines to assist the PNP does not unmake the civilian In the Proclamation, Tan called upon the PNP and the Civilian
character of the police force. Neither does it amount to an Emergency Force (CEF) to set up checkpoints and
“insidious incursion” of the military in the task of law chokepoints, conduct general search and seizures including
enforcement in violation of Section 5(4), Article XVI of the arrests, and other actions necessary to ensure public safety.
Petitioners, Jamar Kulayan, et al. claimed that Proclamation
No. 1-09 was issued ultra vires, and thus null and void, for
violating Sections 1 and 18, Article VII of the Constitution,
which grants the President sole authority to exercise
emergency powers and calling-out powers as the chief
executive of the Republic and commander-in-chief of the
armed forces.


Whether or not a governor can exercise the calling-out powers

of a President


It has already been established that there is one repository of

executive powers, and that is the President of the Republic.
This means that when Section 1, Article VII of the Constitution Held
speaks of executive power, it is granted to the President and
no one else. Corollarily, it is only the President, as Executive, No. Gamboa was able to sufficiently establish that the data
who is authorized to exercise emergency powers as provided contained in the Report listing her as a PAG coddler came
under Section 23, Article VI, of the Constitution, as well as from the PNP. Contrary to the ruling of the trial court,
what became known as the calling-out powers under Section however, the forwarding of information by the PNP to the
7, Article VII thereof. Zeñarosa Commission was not an unlawful act that violated
or threatened her right to privacy in life, liberty or security.
While the President is still a civilian, Article II, Section 3 of the
The PNP was rationally expected to forward and share
Constitution mandates that civilian authority is, at all times, intelligence regarding PAGs with the body specifically created
supreme over the military, making the civilian president the for the purpose of investigating the existence of these
nation’s supreme military leader. The net effect of Article II, notorious groups. Moreover, the Zeñarosa Commission was
Section 3, when read with Article VII, Section 18, is that a explicitly authorized to deputize the police force in the
civilian President is the ceremonial, legal and administrative fulfillment of the former’s mandate, and thus had the power
head of the armed forces. The Constitution does not require to request assistance from the latter.
that the President must be possessed of military training and
talents, but as Commander-in-Chief, he has the power to The fact that the PNP released information to the Zeñarosa
direct military operations and to determine military strategy. Commission without prior communication to Gamboa and
without affording her the opportunity to refute the same
Normally, he would be expected to delegate the actual cannot be interpreted as a violation or threat to her right to
command of the armed forces to military experts; but the privacy since that act is an inherent and crucial component of
ultimate power is his. Given the foregoing, Governor Tan is intelligence-gathering and investigation. Additionally,
not endowed with the power to call upon the armed forces at Gamboa herself admitted that the PNP had a validation
his own bidding. In issuing the assailed proclamation, system, which was used to update information on individuals
Governor Tan exceeded his authority when he declared a state associated with PAGs and to ensure that the data mirrored the
of emergency and called upon the Armed Forces, the police, situation on the field. Thus, safeguards were put in place to
and his own Civilian Emergency Force. The calling-out make sure that the information collected maintained its
powers contemplated under the Constitution is exclusive to integrity and accuracy.
the President. An exercise by another official, even if he is the
local chief executive, is ultra vires, and may not be justified by
the invocation of Section 465 of the Local Government Code. People of the Philippines vs Tranquilino Lagman


GR No. 193636 July 24, 2012, EN BANC (SERENO, J.) In 1936, Tranquilino Lagman reached the age of 20. He is being
compelled by Section 60 of Commonwealth Act 1 (National
Defense Law) to join the military service. Lagman refused to
Facts do so because he has a father to support, has no military
leanings and he does not wish to kill or be killed. Lagman
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued further assailed the constitutionality of the said law.
Administrative Order No. 275 (A.O. 275), creating a body
which was later on referred to as the Zeñarosa Commission. It ISSUE
was formed to investigate the existence of private army
groups (PAGs) in the country with a view to eliminating them Whether or not the National Defense Law is constitutional.
before the 10 May 2010 elections and dismantling them
permanently in the future. It was broadcasted that Marynette HELD
R. Gamboa, the Mayor of Dingras, Ilocos Norte, was one of the
politicians alleged to be maintaining a PAG. Contending that Yes. The duty of the Government to defend the State cannot
her right to privacy was violated and her reputation maligned be performed except through an army. To leave the
and destroyed, she filed a Petition for the issuance of a writ of organization of an army to the will of the citizens would be to
habeas data against respondents in their capacities as officials make this duty of the Government excusable should there be
of the PNP-Ilocos Norte. She alleged, among others, that the no sufficient men who volunteer to enlist therein. Hence, the
PNP Ilocos Norte conducted a series of surveillance National Defense Law, in so far as it establishes compulsory
operations against her and her aides, and classified her as military service, does not go against this constitutional
someone who keeps a PAG. Purportedly without the benefit provision but is, on the contrary, in faithful compliance
of data verification, PNP Ilocos Norte forwarded the therewith. “The defense of the State is a prime duty of
information gathered on her to the Zeñarosa Commission, government, and in the fulfillment of this duty all citizens may
thereby causing her inclusion in the Report. The RTC be required by law to render personal military or civil
dismissed the petition. service.”


Whether the petition for issuance of writ of habeas data must

be granted.
Aglipay v Ruiz violation of the Constitution. It does not authorize the
appropriation, use or application of public money or property
FACTS for the use, benefit or support of a particular sect or church. In
the present case, however, the issuance of the postage stamps
Petitioner Gregorio Aglipay is the Supreme Head of the in question by the Director of Posts and the Secretary of Public
Philippine Independent Church. He seeks the issuance of a Works and Communications was not inspired by any
writ of prohibition to prevent the respondet Juan Ruiz, sectarian denomination. The stamps were not issue and sold
Director of Posts, from issuing and selling postage stamps for the benefit of the Roman Catholic Church. Nor were
commemorative the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress. money derived from the sale of the stamps given to that
In May 1936, respondent Director announced that he would
order the issues of postage stamps commemorating the The officials concerned merely, took advantage of an event
celebration of the 33rd Int’l Eucharistic Congress organized by considered of international importance "to give publicity to
the Roman Catholic Church, in Manila. The stamp is described the Philippines and its people." It is significant to note that the
as follows: "In the center is chalice, with grape vine and stalks stamps as actually designed and printed, instead of showing a
of wheat as border design. The stamps are blue, green, brown, Catholic Church chalice as originally planned, contains a map
cardinal red, violet and orange, 1 inch by 1,094 inches. The of the Philippines and the location of the City of Manila, and
denominations are for 2, 6, 16, 20, 36 and 50 centavos." an inscription as follows: "Seat XXXIII International
Eucharistic Congress, Feb. 3-7,1937." What is emphasized is
Petitioner is contending that issuing and selling those not the Eucharistic Congress itself but Manila, the capital of
commemorative postage stamps are violative of the the Philippines, as the seat of that congress. It is obvious that
provisions of the Constitution, particularly Art. VI, Sec. 23.18 while the issuance and sale of the stamps in question may be
said to be inseparably linked with an event of a religious
Issue character, the resulting propaganda, if any, received by the
Roman Catholic Church, was not the aim and purpose of the
W/N the issuance of the commemorative stamps are Government. We are of the opinion that the Government
constitutional. Yes, valid. should not be embarassed in its activities simply because of
incidental results, more or less religious in character, if the
Held purpose had in view is one which could legitimately be
undertaken by appropriate legislation. The main purpose
Basic is the principle of separation of church and state. It is should not be frustrated by its subordinate to mere incidental
almost trite to say now that in this country we enjoy both results not contemplated.
religious and civil freedom. All the officers of the Government,
from the highest to the lowest, in taking their oath to support
and defend the constitution, bind themselves to recognize and
respect the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom, with
its inherent limitations and recognized implications. It should
be stated that what is guaranteed by our Constitution is
religious liberty, not mere religious toleration.

Religious freedom, however, as a constitutional mandate is

not inhibition of profound reverence for religion and is not
denial of its influence in human affairs. Religion as a
profession of faith to an active power that binds and elevates
man to his Creator is recognized. The elevating influence of
religion in human society is recognized here as elsewhere. In f
general concessions are indiscriminately accorded to religious
sects and denominations.

The respondent Director of Posts issued the postage stamps

under the authority of Act No. 4052. Congress appropriated
funds for the costs of plates and printing the stamps and
authorized the Director, with approval of the Secretary of
Public Works and Communications, to use the amount "as
often as may be deemed advantageous to the Government".
The printing and issuance of the postage stamps in question
appears to have been approved by authority of the President
of the Philippines. Austria v. NLRC
G.R. No. 124382, August 16, 1999
Act No. 4052 contemplates no religious purpose in view. What
it gives the Director of Posts is the discretionary power to Facts
determine when the issuance of special postage stamps would
be "advantageous to the Government." Of course, the phrase Pastor Dionisio V. Austria worked with the Seventh-Day
"advantageous to the Government" does not authorize the Adventists (SDA) for twenty eight (28) years from 1963 to
1991. He started as a literature evangelist and worked his way 1. Whether or not the termination of the services of the
up until he became District Pastor of the Negros Mission of the petitioner is an ecclesiastical affair, and, as such, involves the
SDA. In January 1991, Austria was transferred to Bacolod City. separation of church and state.
He held the position of District Pastor until his services were
terminated on October 31, 1991. Before his termination, 2. Whether or not the Labor Arbiter/NLRC has jurisdiction to
Austria had received communications from Mr. Eufronio try and decide the complaint filed by petitioner against the
Ibesate, the treasurer of the Negros Mission, asking Austria to SDA.
admit accountability and responsibility for the church tithes
and offerings collected by his wife, Mrs. Thelma Austria, in his Held
district which amounted to P15,078.10, and to remit the same
to the Negros Mission. Austria reasoned in his written 1. No. The matter at hand relates to the church and its religious
explanation dated October 11, 1991 that he should not be made ministers but what is involved here is the relationship of the
accountable for the unremitted collections since it was Pastor church as an employer and the minister as an employee, which
Gideon Buhat and Mr. Eufronio Ibesate who authorized his is purely secular because it has no relationship with the
wife to collect the tithes and offerings since Pastor Austria was practice of faith, worship or doctrines. The grounds invoked
very sick to do the collecting at that time. On October 16, 1991, for petitioner’s dismissal are all based on Art. 282 of Labor
Austria went to the office of Pastor Buhat, who was the Code.
president of the Negros Mission, to persuade Buhat to
convene the Executive Committee to settle a dispute between An ecclesiastical affair involves the relationship between the
Pastor Austria and Pastor David Rodrigo. But that meeting church and its members and relates to matters of faith,
ended in a heated altercation between Austria and Buhat. The religious doctrines, worship and governance of the
next day, the Austria couple received an invitation to attend congregation. Examples of so-called ecclesiastical affairs to
the Executive Committee meeting on October 21, 1991 to which the State cannot meddle are proceedings for
discuss the non-remittance of the church collection and the excommunication, ordinations of religious ministers, and
events that transpired on October 16, 1991. A fact-finding administration of sacraments. While the matter at hand relates
committee was created to investigate Austria. Sensing that the to the church and its religious minister, it does not give the
investigation would be one-sided, Pastor Austria wrote to case a religious significance. What is involved is the
Pastor Rueben Moralde, president of the SDA and chairman relationship of the church as an employer and the minister as
of the fact-finding committee, to request that certain members an employee. It is purely secular and has no relation
of the fact-finding committee be excluded in the investigation whatsoever with the practice of faith, worship or doctrines of
and resolution of the case. Out of the six (6) members the church. Pastor Austria was not excommunicated or
requested to inhibit, only two (2) were actually excluded, expelled from the membership of the SDA but was terminated
namely: Pastor Buhat and Pastor Rodrigo. On October 29, from employment. As pointed out by the OSG in its
1991, Austria received a letter of dismissal citing memorandum, the grounds invoked for Austria’s dismissal
misappropriation of denominational funds, willful breach of are all based on Article 282 of the Labor Code which
trust, serious misconduct, gross and habitual neglect of duties, enumerates the just causes for termination of employment. It
and commission of an offense against the person of employer’s is palpable by this alone that the reason for Austria’s dismissal
duly authorized representative as grounds for the termination from the service is not religious in nature. Coupled with this
of his services. Austria filed a complaint on November 14, 1991 is the act of the SDA in furnishing NLRC with a copy of
before the Labor Arbiter for illegal dismissal against the SDA Austria’s letter of termination which again is an eloquent
and its officers and prayed for reinstatement with back wages admission by the SDA that NLRC has jurisdiction over the
and benefits, moral and exemplary damages and other labor case. Aside from these, SDA admitted in a certification issued
law benefits. On February 15, 1993, Labor Arbiter Cesar D. by Mr. Ibesate that Austria has been its employee for twenty-
Sideo rendered a decision in favor of the petitioner. The SDA eight (28) years. SDA even registered petitioner with the Social
appealed the decision of the Labor Arbiter to the NLRC which Security System (SSS) as its employee. As a matter of fact, the
vacated the findings of the Labor Arbiter on August 26,1994 worker’s records of Austria have been submitted by SDA as
and dismissed the case for lack of merit. Austria filed a motion part of their exhibits. It is clear from all of these that when the
for reconsideration but the NLRC issued a Resolution SDA terminated the services of Austria, it was merely
reversing its original decision. The SDA filed a motion for exercising its management prerogative to fire an employee
reconsideration saying that the Labor Arbiter had no which it believes to be unfit for the job. As such, the State,
jurisdiction over the complaint due to the constitutional through the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC, has the right to take
provision on the separation of church and state since the case cognizance of the case and to determine whether the SDA, as
allegedly involved an ecclesiastical affair to which the State employer, rightfully exercised its management prerogative to
cannot interfere. The NLRC, without ruling on the merits of dismiss an employee. This is in consonance with the mandate
the case, reversed itself once again, sustained the argument of the Constitution to afford full protection to labor.
posed by SDA and, accordingly, dismissed the complaint of
Austria. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a 2. Yes. SDA was exercising its management prerogative (not
manifestation and motion saying it cannot sustain the religious prerogative) to fire an employee which it believes is
resolution of the NLRC and submitting that the termination of unfit for the job. It would have been a different case if Austria
petitioner of his employment may be questioned before the was expelled or excommunicated from the SDA.
NLRC as the same is secular in nature, not ecclesiastical.
Fact the annual fees received for each student amount to
some $800. The elementary department is divided into
- These appeals are from decrees, based upon undenied eight grades, as in the public schools; the college
allegations, which granted preliminary orders restraining [268 preparatory department has four grades, similar to
U.S. 510, 530] appellants from threatening or attempting to those of the public high schools; the courses of study
enforce the Compulsory Education Act1 adopted November conform to the requirements of the state board of
7, 1922 
 education. Military instruction and training are also
given, under the supervision of an army officer. The
business and incident good will are very valuable. In
- The challenged act, effective September 1, 1926, requires
order to conduct its affairs, long time contracts must
every parent, guardian, or other person having control or
charge or custody of a child between 8 and 16 years to send be made 

him 'to a public school for the period of time a public school
shall be held during the current year' in the district where the - Society of Sisters’ arguments: 

child resides; and failure so to do is declared a misdemeanor.

 o that the enactment conflicts with the

o There areexemptions-not specially important here-for right of parents to choose schools where their children will
children who are not normal, or who have completed the receive appropriate mental and religious training, the right of
eighth grade, or whose parents or private teachers reside at the child to influence the parents' choice of a school, the right
considerable distances from any public school, or who hold of schools and teachers therein to engage in a useful business
special permits from the county superintendent. or profession, and is accordingly repugnant to the
Constitution and void.
o The manifest purpose is to compel general attendance at
public schools by normal children, between 8 and 16, who o that unless enforcement of the measure is enjoined the
have not completed the eight grade. And without doubt corporation's business and property will suffer irreparable
enforcement of the statute would seriously impair, perhaps injury.
destroy, the profitable features of appellees' business and
greatly diminish the value of their property. - Hill Academy’s argument: that the challenged act
contravenes the corporation's rights guaranteed by the
- the Society of Sisters is an Oregon corporation, with power Fourteenth Amendment and that unless appellants are
to care for orphans, educate and instruct the youth, establish restrained from proclaiming its validity and threatening to
and maintain academies or schools, and acquire necessary real enforce it irreparable injury will result
and personal property. It has long devoted its property and
effort to the secular and religious education and care of Issue
children, and has acquired the valuable good will of many
parents and guardians. It conducts interdependent primary w/n the Act contravenes with the liberty of parents to direct
and high schools and junior colleges, and maintains the upbringing of their children
orphanages for the custody and control of children between 8
and 16. Held

o In its primary schools many children between those ages are Yes
taught the subjects usually pursued in Oregon public schools
during the first eight years. Systematic religious instruction - Act of 1922 unreasonably interferes with the liberty of
and moral training according to the tenets of the Roman parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education
Catholic Church are also regularly provided. All courses of of under their control.
study, both temporal and religious, contemplate continuity of
training under appellee's charge; - Rights guaranteed by the
Constitution may not be abridged by legislation
o the primary schools are essential to the system and the most which has no reasonable relation to some purpose
profitable. The Compulsory Education Act of 1922 has already within the competency of the state. The fundamental
caused the withdrawal from its schools of children who would theory of liberty upon which all governments in this
otherwise continue, and their income has steadily declined. Union repose excludes any general power of the state
The appellants, public officers, have proclaimed their purpose to standardize its children by forcing them to accept
strictly to enforce the statute. instruction from public teachers only. The child is not
the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him
- Hill Military Academy is a private and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the
corporation organized in 1908 under the laws of high duty, to recognize and prepare him for
Oregon, engaged in owning, operating, and additional obligations. 

conducting for profit an elementary, college
preparatory, and military training school for boys - Appellees are corporations, and
between the ages of 5 and 21 years. 
 therefore, it is said, they cannot claim for themselves
the liberty which the Fourteenth Amendment
- The average attendance is 100, and guarantees. Accepted in the proper sense, this is true.
But they have business and property for which they protection and due process clauses, and an undue delegation
claim protection. These are threatened with of judicial power to barangay officials?
destruction through the unwarranted compulsion
which appellants are exercising over present and Held
prospective patrons of their schools. And this court
has gone very far to protect against loss threatened by No. R.A. 9262 is not unconstitutional. First, R.A. 9262 does not
such action. 
 violate the guaranty of equal protection of the laws. The
unequal power relationship between women and men; the fact
o Appellees asked protection against arbitrary, unreasonable, that women are more likely than men to be victims of violence;
and unlawful interference with their patrons and the and the widespread gender bias and prejudice against women
consequent destruction of their business and property. Their all make for real differences justifying the classification under
interest is clear and immediate the law. As Justice McIntyre succinctly states, "the
accommodation of differences ... is the essence of true
o The suits were not premature. The injury to appellees was equality."
present and very real, not a mere possibility in the remote
future. If no relief had been possible prior to the effective date The distinction between men and women is germane to the
of the act, the injury would have become irreparable. purpose of R.A. 9262, which is to address violence committed
Prevention of impending injury by unlawful action is a well- against women and children. As spelled out in its Declaration
recognized function of courts of equity. of Policy Section 2, the State values the dignity of women and
children and guarantees full respect for human rights. The
JESUS C. GARCIA v. THE HONORABLE RAY ALAN State also recognizes the need to protect the family and its
T. DRILON, et al. members particularly women and children, from violence and
threats to their personal safety and security. Towards this end,
G.R. No. 179267, 25 June 2013, EN BANC (Perlas-
the State shall exert efforts to address violence committed
Bernabe, J.)
against women and children in keeping with the fundamental
freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution and the
provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
Against Women, Convention on the Rights of the Child and
Petitioner Jesus C. Garcia married Rosalie Jaype-Garcia in
other international human rights instruments of which the
2002. They had three children. Rosalie describes her husband
Philippines is a party.
as dominant, controlling and demands absolute obedience
from his wife and children. Things turned worse when Jesus Moreover, the application of R.A.9262isnotlimited to the
took up an affair with a bank manager of Robinson's Bank, existing conditions when it was promulgated, but to future
Bacolod City, who is the godmother of one of their sons. Jesus' conditions as well, for as long as the safety and security of
infidelity spawned a series of fights with his wife and on one women and their children are threatened by violence and
occasion, he also turned his ire on their daughter, who had abuse.
seen the text messages he sent to his paramour. Rosalie is
determined to separate from her husband but she is afraid that Second, R.A. 9262 is not violative of the due process clause of
he would take her children from her and deprive her of the Constitution. The fear of Jesus of being "stripped of family,
financial support. Jesus had previously warned her that if she property, guns, money, children, job, future employment and
goes on legal battle with him, she would not get a single reputation, all in a matter of seconds, without an inkling of
centavo. Jesus is the President of the three family businesses. what happened" is a mere product of an overactive
imagination. The essence of due process is to be found in the
Rosalie filed a verified petition before the Regional Trial Court reasonable opportunity to be heard and submit any evidence
of Bacolod City for the issuance of Temporary Protection one may have in support of one's defense.
Order ("I PO) against her husband pursuant to R.A. 9262. She
claimed to be a victim of physical abuse, emotional, Lastly, there is no undue delegation of judicial power to
psychological, and economic violence as a result of marital barangay officials. As clearly delimited by Sec. 14 of Barangay
infidelity on the part of Jesus, with threats of deprivation of Protection Orders, the BPO issued by the Punong Barangay or,
custody of her children and of financial support. RTC issued a in his unavailability, by any available Barangay Kagawad,
TPO and a modified TPO in favor of Rosalie. merely orders the perpetrator to desist from (a) causing
physical harm to the woman or her child; and (2) threatening
During the pendency of the civil case, Jesus filed before the to cause the woman or her child physical harm. Such function
Court of Appeals a petition challenging the constitutionality of the Punong Barangay is, thus, purely executive in nature, in
of R.A. 9262 or An Act Defining Violence Against Women and pursuance of his duty under the Local Government Code to
Their Children, Providing For Protective Measures For "enforce all laws and ordinances," and to "maintain public
Victims, Prescribing Penalties Therefore, and For Other order in the barangay."
Purposes for being violative of the due process and equal
protection clauses and undue delegation of judicial power.

Is R.A. 9262 unconstitutional for being violative of the equal

- The principal plaintiffs therein, now the principal petitioners,
are all minors duly represented and joined by their respective drought as is presently experienced by the entire
parents. Impleaded as an additional plaintiff is the Philippine country, (h) increasing velocity of typhoon winds
Ecological Network, Inc. (PENI), a domestic, non-stock and which result from the absence of windbreakers, (i) the
non-profit corporation organized for the purpose of, inter alia, floodings of lowlands and agricultural plains arising
engaging in concerted action geared for the protection of our from the absence of the absorbent mechanism of
environment and natural resources. The original defendant forests, (j) the siltation and shortening of the lifespan
was the Honorable Fulgencio S. Factoran, Jr., then Secretary of of multi-billion peso 

the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR). His substitution in this petition by the new Secretary, dams constructed and operated for the purpose of supplying
the Honorable Angel C. Alcala. The complaint 2 was instituted water for domestic uses, irrigation and the generation of
as a taxpayers' class suit. electric power, and (k) the reduction of the earth's capacity to
process carbon dioxide gases which has led to perplexing and
- Petitioners argue that 25 yrs ago, catastrophic climatic changes such as the phenomenon of
the Phil. Had 16M hectares of rainforests, but satellite global warming, otherwise known as the "greenhouse effect.")
images in 1987 sow that only about 1.2M hectares
remained. Also, a mere 850,000 hectares of virgin old-
growth rainforests are left, barely 2 of the entire land - Thus, petitioners sought for:
 o The cancellation of the
mass of the Philippine archipelago and about 3.0 existing timber license agreements in the country
 o Cease
million hectares of immature and uneconomical and desist order from receiving, accepting, processing,
secondary growth forests. 
 renewing or approving new agreements.

- Public records reveal that the Issue

defendant's, predecessors have granted timber license
agreements ('TLA's') to various corporations to cut the w/n this is a class suit.
aggregate area of 3.89 million hectares for commercial
logging purposes. The continued allowance by Held
defendant of TLA holders to cut and deforest the
remaining forest stands will work great damage and Yes
irreparable injury to plaintiffs especially plaintiff
minors and their successors who may never see, use, - The subject matter of the complaint is of common and general
benefit from and enjoy this rare and unique natural interest not just to several, but to all citizens of the Philippines.
resource treasure. 
 Consequently, since the parties are so numerous, it, becomes
impracticable, if not totally impossible, to bring all of them
before the court. We likewise declare that the plaintiffs therein
- The adverse effects, disastrous
are numerous and representative enough to ensure the full
consequences, serious injury and irreparable damage
protection of all concerned interests.
of this continued trend of deforestation to the plaintiff
minor's generation and to generations yet unborn are
- Petitioners minors assert that they represent their generation
evident and incontrovertible. As a matter of fact, the
as well as generations yet unborn. they can, for themselves, for
environmental damages enumerated in paragraph 6
others of their generation and for the succeeding generations,
hereof are already being felt, experienced and
file a class suit. Their personality to sue in behalf of the
suffered by the generation of plaintiff adults. (the
succeeding generations can only be based on the concept of
distortion and disturbance of this balance as a
intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a
consequence of deforestation have resulted in a host
balanced and healthful ecology is concerned.
of environmental tragedies, such as (a) water
shortages resulting from drying up of the water table,
o Such a right, as hereinafter expounded, considers the
otherwise known as the "aquifer," as well as of rivers,
"rhythm and harmony of nature." Nature means the created
brooks and streams, (b) salinization of the water table
world in its entirety. Such rhythm and harmony indispensably
as a result of the intrusion therein of salt water,
include, inter alia, the judicious disposition, utilization,
incontrovertible examples of which may be found in
management, renewal and conservation of the country's
the island of Cebu and the Municipality of Bacoor,
forest, mineral, land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, off-shore areas
Cavite, (c) massive erosion and the consequential loss
and other natural resources to the end that their exploration,
of soil fertility and agricultural productivity, with the
development and utilization be equitably accessible to the
volume of soil eroded estimated at one billion
present as well as future generations.
(1,000,000,000) cubic meters per annum
approximately the size of the entire island of
o Needless to say, every generation has a responsibility to the
Catanduanes, (d) the endangering and extinction of
next to preserve that rhythm and harmony for the full
the country's unique, rare and varied flora and fauna,
enjoyment of a balanced and healthful ecology. Put a little
(e) the disturbance and dislocation of cultural
differently, the minors' assertion of their right to a sound
communities, including the disappearance of the
environment constitutes, at the same time, the performance of
Filipino's indigenous cultures, (f) the siltation of rivers
their obligation to ensure the protection of that right for the
and seabeds and consequential destruction of corals
generations to come.
and other aquatic life leading to a critical reduction in
marine resource productivity, (g) recurrent spells of
w/n the said petitioners have a cause of action seek the important than any of the civil and political rights enumerated
cancellation of the TLAs and prevent further processing in the latter.
o Such a right belongs to a different category of rights
- Petitioners’ argument: that it has altogether for it concerns nothing less than self- preservation
proven its cause of action as its complaint contains and self-perpetuation ...If they are now explicitly mentioned
sufficient allegations concerning their right to a sound in the fundamental charter, it is because of the well-founded
environment based on Articles 19, 20 and 21 of the fear of its framers that unless the rights to a balanced and
Civil Code (Human Relations), Section 4 of Executive healthful ecology and to health are mandated as state policies
Order (E.O.) No. 192 creating the DENR, Section 3 of by the Constitution itself, thereby highlighting their
Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1151 (Philippine continuing importance and imposing upon the state a solemn
Environmental Policy), Section 16, Article II of the obligation to preserve the first and protect and advance the
1987 Constitution recognizing the right of the people second, the day would not be too far when all else would be
to a balanced and healthful ecology, the concept of lost not only for the present generation, but also for those to
generational genocide in Criminal Law and the come generations which stand to inherit nothing but parched
concept of man's inalienable right to self- preservation earth incapable of sustaining life.
and self-perpetuation embodied in natural law.
Petitioners likewise rely on the respondent's - The right to a balanced and healthful ecology carries with it
correlative obligation per Section 4 of E.O. No. 192, to the correlative duty to refrain from impairing the
safeguard the people's right to a healthful environment. The said right implies, among many other
 things, the judicious management and conservation of the
country's forests.
- Factoran: that they have no cause of
- EO 192: mandates that the Department of Environment and
action against him. 
 Natural Resources "shall be the primary government agency
responsible for the conservation, management, development
o Pet: issue of the respondent Secretary's alleged grave abuse and proper use of the country's environment and natural
of discretion in granting Timber License Agreements (TLAs) resources, specifically ... licensing and regulation of all natural
to cover more areas for logging than what is available involves resources as may be provided for by law in order to ensure
a judicial question. equitable sharing of the benefits derived therefrom for the
welfare of the present and future generations of Filipinos." The
- Resp: petitioners failed to allege in their complaint a specific policy is restated in the Admin. Code of 1987. It stresses "the
legal right violated by the respondent Secretary for which any necessity of maintaining a sound ecological balance and
relief is provided by law. They see nothing in the complaint protecting and enhancing the quality of the environment."
but vague and nebulous allegations concerning an There are other laws paying special attention to the
"environmental right" which supposedly entitles the environmental right: P.D. No. 1151 (Philippine Environmental
petitioners to the "protection by the state in its capacity as Policy) and P.D. No. 1152 (Philippine Environment Code)
parens patriae." Such allegations, according to them, do not
reveal a valid cause of action. Plus, the question of whether - Thus, the right of the petitioners (and all those they
logging should be permitted in the country is a political represent) to a balanced and healthful ecology is as clear as the
question which should be properly addressed to the executive DENR's duty under its mandate and by virtue of its powers
or legislative branches of Government. and functions under E.O. No. 192 and the Administrative
Code of 1987 to protect and advance the said right.
w/n the issue on the TLAs raises a political question.
- The complaint focuses on one specific fundamental legal
right: the right to a balanced and healthful ecology which, for Held
the first time in our nation's constitutional history, is solemnly
incorporated in the fundamental law. Section 16, Article II of No
the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides:
- After careful examination of the
o Sec. 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the petitioners' complaint, We find the statements under
people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the the introductory affirmative allegations, as well as the
rhythm and harmony of nature. specific averments under the sub-heading CAUSE OF
ACTION, to be adequate enough to show, prima facie,
o Sec. 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to
health of the people and instill health consciousness among the claimed violation of their rights. 

- nonetheless, the political question
- While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is to be doctrine is no longer, the insurmountable obstacle to
found under the Declaration of Principles and State Policies the exercise of judicial power or the impenetrable
and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not follow that it is less shield that protects executive and legislative actions
from judicial inquiry or review. 
 otherwise would be unlawful, and is not a contract between
the authority, federal, state, or municipal, granting it and the
o the new provision vests in the judiciary, and particularly the person to whom it is granted; neither is it property or a
Supreme Court, the power to rule upon even the wisdom of property right, nor does it create a vested right; nor is it
the decisions of the executive and the legislature and to taxation (37 C.J. 168). Thus, this Court held that the granting
declare their acts invalid for lack or excess of jurisdiction of license does not create irrevocable rights, neither is it
because tainted with grave abuse of discretion. The catch, of property or property rights (People vs. Ong Tin, 54 O.G. 7576).
course, is the meaning of "grave abuse of discretion," which is
a very elastic phrase that can expand or contract according to - even if it is to be assumed that the same are contracts, the
the disposition of the judiciary. instant case does not involve a law or even an executive
issuance declaring the cancellation or modification of existing
Issue timber licenses. Hence, the non-impairment clause cannot as
yet be invoked.
w/n the prayer sought for is violative of the non-impairment
- Further, even if it was a law, etc, it could have only been
passed in the exercise of the police power of the state for the
purpose of advancing the right of the people to a balanced and
healthful ecology, promoting their health and enhancing the
general welfare. The non-impairment clause must yield to the
- Pet: It does not apply in this case because TLAs are not
police power of the state.
contracts. They likewise submit that even if TLAs may be
considered protected by the said clause, it is well settled that - Finally, it is difficult to imagine, as the trial court did, how
they may still be revoked by the State when the public interest the non-impairment clause could apply with respect to the
so requires. 
 prayer to enjoin the respondent Secretary from receiving,
accepting, processing, renewing or approving new timber
- Resp: the same cannot be done by the State without due licenses for, save in cases of renewal, no contract would have
process of law. Once issued, a TLA remains effective for a as of yet existed in the other instances. Moreover, with respect
certain period of time usually for twenty-five (25) years. to renewal, the holder is not entitled to it as a matter of right.
During its effectivity, the same can neither be revised nor
cancelled unless the holder has been found, after due notice People v. Carmen (Caranca)
and hearing, to have violated the terms of the agreement or GR No. 137268, March 26, 2001
other forestry laws and regulations. 
 Held: No, all licenses J. Mendoza
may thus be revoked or rescinded by executive action. It is not
a contract, property or a property right protested by the due Fact
A boy named Randy Luntayao was believed by his father
process clause of the Constitution. 

(Eddie) to have a ‘nervous breakdown’ manifested by him
talking and laughing by himself. He thinks that the
- If the Sec. had invoked this in the MTD, he would have acted breakdown was caused by skipping meals whenever he took
with utmost infidelity to the Government by providing undue the boy with him to the farm.
and unwarranted benefits and advantages to the timber
license holders because he would have forever bound the Upon the suggestion of one of the accused in this case, Eddie,
Government to strictly respect the said licenses according to wife Perlita and their three children went with said accused to
their terms and conditions regardless of changes in policy and Cebu. Upon arriving in Cebu they went to the house of
the demands of public interest and welfare. another accused Carmen and diagnosed the boy to be
possessed with a ‘bad spirit’ and that she could exorcise.
- Sec. 20 of the Forestry Reform Code must be read in every
Warning that in conducting exorcism, the bad spirit might
TLA: That when the national interest so requires, the President
transfer to Eddie it was best to do the healing prayer without
may amend, modify, replace or rescind any contract,
him. Eddie, wife and children were locked
concession, permit, licenses or any other form of privilege
inside a room in the house.
granted herein . . .
The exorcism conducted by Carmen was witnessed by two
- all licenses may thus be revoked or rescinded by executive
children who were playing ‘takyan’ when they heard a shout
action. It is not a contract, property or a property right
asking for help from his mother. They ran to the direction of
protested by the due process clause of the Constitution.
the house of Carmen and saw that Randy was being immersed
in water head first by the 4 accused. They also saw him being
o A timber license is an instrument by which the State
tied on a bench while Carmen poured water into the mouth of
regulates the utilization and disposition of forest resources to
the boy. Each time the boy struggled to raise his head, accused
the end that public welfare is promoted. A timber license is
Alexander banged the boy’s head against the bench. She also
not a contract within the purview of the due process clause; it
witnessed accused Celedonia dropped her weight on the body
is only a license or privilege, which can be validly withdrawn
of the boy. They also took turns in pounding the boy’s chest
whenever dictated by public interest or public welfare as in
with their clenched fist. Then Carmen asked one of the
this case.
accused to get a knife and after which the knife was slowly
plunged into the left side of the boy’s body. Then the boy was
o A license is merely a permit or privilege to do what
carried into the house.
2) along Rizal Avenue extending from the railroad crossing at
Around 5 o’clock in the afternoon Randy was already dead. Antipolo Street to Echague Street from 7 am to 11pm
After Eddie and his family returned to Negros Occidental,
Eddie sought the assistance from the Bombo Radyo station in The Chairman of the National Traffic Commission on July 18,
Bacolod City. As the incident took place in Cebu, NBI in Cebu 1940 recommended to the Director of Public Works with the
conducted the investigation and autopsy report of the approval of the Secretary of Public Works the adoption of
exhumed body. The family filed a case in court against thethemeasure proposed in the resolution aforementioned in
Carmen of murder. The trial court found them guilty of pursuance of the provisions of theCommonwealth Act No. 548
murder arguing that killing a person with treachery is murder. which authorizes said Director with the approval from the
It cited a court decision stating that even if there is no intent to Secretary of the Public Works and Communication to
kill, in inflicting physical injuries with treachery, the accused promulgate rules and regulations to regulate and control the
in that case was convicted of murder. Intent is presumed from use of and traffic on national roads.
the commission of an unlawful act. In the case at bar, there is
enough evidence that the accused confederated with each On August 2, 1940, the Director recommended to the Secretary
other in inflicting physical harm to the victim (illegal act). the approval of the recommendations made by the Chairman
These acts were intentional and thus they should be liable for of the National Traffic Commission with modifications. The
all the direct and natural consequences of their unlawful act. Secretary of Public Works approved the recommendations on
August 10,1940. The Mayor of Manila and the Acting Chief of
Issue Police of Manila have enforced and caused to be enforced the
Whether or not the accused is guilty of the crime of murder? – rules and regulation. As a consequence, all animal-drawn
NO. vehicles are not allowed to pass and pick up passengers in the
places above mentioned to the detriment not only of their
Held owners but of the riding public as well.
There was no criminal intent on the part of the accused to kill
the boy. It was shown that the accused are members of a cult Issues
and the bizarre ritual was consented to by the parents of the 1) Whether the rules and regulations promulgated by the
boy. Their liability arises from their reckless imprudence respondents pursuant to the provisions of Commonwealth
because they ought to know their actions would not bring Act NO. 548 constitute an unlawful inference with legitimate
about the cure. They are guilty of reckless imprudence business or trade and abridged the right to personal liberty
resulting in homicide and not murder. and freedom of locomotion?

The RPC states that reckless imprudence consists in 2) Whether the rules and regulations complained of infringe
voluntarily, but without malice, doing or failing to do an act upon the constitutional precept regarding the promotion of
from which material damage results by reason of inexcusable social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of
lack of precaution on the person performing such an act. all the people?
Intentional felonies such as murder or homicide, what takes
the place of the element of is the failure of the offender to take Held
precautions due to lack if skill. 1) No. The promulgation of the Act aims to promote safe
transit upon and avoid obstructions on national roads in the
The accused lack medical skills in treating the victim of his interest and convenience of the public. In enacting said law,
ailment resulted in the latter’s death. the National Assembly was prompted by considerations of
public convenience and welfare. It was inspired by the desire
Treachery in this case cannot be appreciated in the absence of to relieve congestion of traffic, which is a menace to the public
intent to kill. The acts of the accused therefore considered by safety. Public welfare lies at the bottom of the promulgation of
the court as treachery are in fact efforts by the accused to the said law and the state in order to promote the general
restrain the boy so that they can cure him. Thus, the decision welfare may interfere with personal liberty, with property,
of the RTC is affirmed and modified declaring the accused and with business and occupations. Persons and property may
guilty of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. be subject to all kinds of restraints and burdens in order to
secure the general comfort, health, and prosperity of the State.
MAXIMO CALALANG vs A. D. WILLIAMS, ET AL., To this fundamental aims of the government, the rights of the
G.R. No. 47800, December 2, 1940 individual are subordinated. Liberty is a blessing which
J. Laurel should not be made to prevail over authority because society
will fall into anarchy. Neither should authority be made to
Facts prevail over liberty because then the individual will fall into
The National Traffic Commission, in its resolution of July 17, slavery. The paradox lies in the fact that the apparent
1940, resolved to recommend to the Director of the Public curtailment of liberty is precisely the very means of insuring
Works and to the Secretary of Public Works and its preserving.
Communications that animal-drawn vehicles be prohibited
from passing along the following for a period of one year from 2) No. Social justice is “neither communism, nor despotism,
the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic: nor atomism, nor anarchy,” but the humanization of laws and
1) Rosario Street extending from Plaza Calderon de la Barca to the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so
Dasmariñas Street from 7:30Am to 12:30 pm and from 1:30 pm that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception
to 530 pm; and may at least be approximated. Social justice means the
promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the
Government of measures calculated to insure economic attorney's fees. This decision was based on the provision of RA
stability of all the competent elements of society, through the 8042, which was made into law on July 15, 1995.
maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in
the interrelations of the members of the community, Serrano filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration, but this
constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally time he questioned the constitutionality of the last clause in
justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of the 5th paragraph of Section 10 of RA 8042, which reads:
powers underlying the existence of all governments on the Sec. 10. Money Claims. - x x x In case of
time-honored principles of salus populi estsuprema lex. termination of overseas employment without
just, valid or authorized cause as defined by
Social justice must be founded on the recognition of the law or contract, the workers shall be entitled
necessity of interdependence among divers and diverse units to the full reimbursement of his placement fee
of a society and of the protection that should be equally and with interest of twelve percent (12%) per
evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our social annum, plus his salaries for the unexpired
and economic life, consistent with the fundamental and portion of his employment contract or for three
paramount objective of the state of promoting health, comfort (3) months for every year of the unexpired term,
and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about “the greatest whichever is less.
good to the greatest number.”
The NLRC denied the Motion; hence, Serrano filed a Petition
for Certiorari with the Court of Appeals (CA), reiterating the
ANTONIO M. SERRANO VS. GALLANT MARITIME constitutional challenge against the subject clause. The CA
SERVICES, INC. AND MARLOW NAVIGATION CO., affirmed the NLRC ruling on the reduction of the applicable
INC. salary rate, but skirted the constitutional issue raised by herein
GR No. 167614 - March 24, 2009 petitioner Serrano.
FACTS 1. Whether or not the subject clause violates Section 10, Article
Petitioner Antonio Serrano was hired by respondents Gallant III of the Constitution on non-impairment of contracts;
Maritime Services, Inc. and Marlow Navigation Co., Inc.,
under a POEA-approved contract of employment for 12 2. Whether or not the subject clause violate Section 1, Article
months, as Chief Officer, with the basic monthly salary of III of the Constitution, and Section 18, Article II and Section 3,
US$1,400, plus $700/month overtime pay, and 7 days paid Article XIII on labor as a protected sector.
vacation leave per month.
On March 19, 1998, the date of his departure, Serrano was
constrained to accept a downgraded employment contract for On the first issue.
the position of Second Officer with a monthly salary of The answer is in the negative. Petitioner's claim that the
US$1,000 upon the assurance and representation of subject clause unduly interferes with the stipulations in his
respondents that he would be Chief Officer by the end of April contract on the term of his employment and the fixed salary
1998. package he will receive is not tenable.
Section 10, Article III of the Constitution
Respondents did not deliver on their promise to make Serrano provides: No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall b
Chief Officer. Hence, Serrano refused to stay on as second e passed.
Officer and was repatriated to the Philippines on May 26, 1998,
serving only two (2) months and seven (7) days of his contract, The prohibition is aligned with the general principle that laws
leaving an unexpired portion of nine (9) months and twenty- newly enacted have only a prospective operation, and cannot
three (23) days. affect acts or contracts already perfected; however, as to laws
already in existence, their provisions are read into contracts
Serrano filed with the Labor Arbiter (LA) a Complaint against and deemed a part thereof.Thus, the non-impairment clause
respondents for constructive dismissal and for payment of his under Section 10, Article II is limited in application to laws
money claims in the total amount of US$26,442.73 (based on about to be enacted that would in any way derogate from
the computation of $2590/month from June 1998 to February existing acts or contracts by enlarging, abridging or in any
199, $413.90 for March 1998, and $1640 for March 1999) as well manner changing the intention of the parties thereto.
as moral and exemplary damages.
As aptly observed by the OSG, the enactment of R.A. No. 8042
The LA declared the petitioner's dismissal illegal and awarded in 1995 preceded the execution of the employment contract
him US$8,770, representing his salaray for three (3) months of between petitioner and respondents in 1998. Hence, it cannot
the unexpired portion of the aforesaid contract of be argued that R.A. No. 8042, particularly the subject clause,
employment, plus $45 for salary differential and for attorney's impaired the employment contract of the parties. Rather,
fees equivalent to 10% of the total amount; however, no when the parties executed their 1998 employment contract,
compensation for damages as prayed was awarded. they were deemed to have incorporated into it all the
provisions of R.A. No. 8042.
On appeal, the NLRC modified the LA decision and awarded
Serrano $4669.50, representing three (3) months salary at But even if the Court were to disregard the timeline, the
$1400/month, plus 445 salary differential and 10% for subject clause may not be declared unconstitutional on the
ground that it impinges on the impairment clause, for the law First, OFWs with employment contracts
was enacted in the exercise of the police power of the State to of less than one year vis-à-vis OFWs with
regulate a business, profession or calling, particularly the employment contracts of one year or more;
recruitment and deployment of OFWs, with the noble end in Second, among OFWs with employment
view of ensuring respect for the dignity and well-being of contracts of more than one year; and
OFWs wherever they may be employed.Police power Third, OFWs vis-à-vis local workers with
legislations adopted by the State to promote the health, fixed-period employment;
morals, peace, education, good order, safety, and general
welfare of the people are generally applicable not only to In sum, prior to R.A. No. 8042, OFWs and local workers with fixed-
future contracts but even to those already in existence, for all term employment who were illegally discharged were treated alike in
private contracts must yield to the superior and legitimate terms of the computation of their money claims: they were uniformly
measures taken by the State to promote public welfare. entitled to their salaries for the entire unexpired portions of their
contracts. But with the enactment of R.A. No. 8042, specifically
On the second issue. the adoption of the subject clause, illegally dismissed OFWs
The answer is in the affirmative. with an unexpired portion of one year or more in their
employment contract have since been differently treated in
Section 1, Article III of the Constitution guarantees: No person that their money claims are subject to a 3-month cap, whereas
shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due no such limitation is imposed on local workers with fixed-
process of law nor shall any person be denied the equal term employment.
protection of the law.
The Court concludes that the subject clause contains a suspect
Section 18, Article II and Section 3, Article XIII accord all classification in that, in the computation of the monetary benefits of
members of the labor sector, without distinction as to place of fixed-term employees who are illegally discharged, it imposes a 3-
deployment, full protection of their rights and welfare. month cap on the claim of OFWs with an unexpired portion of one
year or more in their contracts, but none on the claims of other OFWs
To Filipino workers, the rights guaranteed under the or local workers with fixed-term employment. The subject clause
foregoing constitutional provisions translate to economic singles out one classification of OFWs and burdens it with a peculiar
security and parity: all monetary benefits should be equally disadvantage.
enjoyed by workers of similar category, while all monetary
obligations should be borne by them in equal degree; none There being a suspect classification involving a vulnerable
should be denied the protection of the laws which is enjoyed sector protected by the Constitution, the Court now subjects
by, or spared the burden imposed on, others in like the classification to a strict judicial scrutiny, and determines
circumstances. whether it serves a compelling state interest through the least
restrictive means.
Such rights are not absolute but subject to the inherent power
of Congress to incorporate, when it sees fit, a system of What constitutes compelling state interest is measured by the
classification into its legislation; however, to be valid, the scale of rights and powers arrayed in the Constitution and
classification must comply with these requirements: 1) it is calibrated by history. It is akin to the paramount interest of the
based on substantial distinctions; 2) it is germane to the state for which some individual liberties must give way, such
purposes of the law; 3) it is not limited to existing conditions as the public interest in safeguarding health or maintaining
only; and 4) it applies equally to all members of the class. medical standards, or in maintaining access to information on
matters of public concern.
There are three levels of scrutiny at which the Court reviews
the constitutionality of a classification embodied in a law: a) In the present case, the Court dug deep into the records but
the deferential or rational basis scrutiny in which the found no compelling state interest that the subject clause may
challenged classification needs only be shown to be rationally possibly serve.
related to serving a legitimate state interest; b) the middle-tier
or intermediate scrutiny in which the government must show In fine, the Government has failed to discharge its burden of
that the challenged classification serves an important state proving the existence of a compelling state interest that would
interest and that the classification is at least substantially justify the perpetuation of the discrimination against OFWs
related to serving that interest; and c) strict judicial scrutiny in under the subject clause.
which a legislative classification which impermissibly
interferes with the exercise of a fundamental right or operates Assuming that, as advanced by the OSG, the purpose of the
to the peculiar disadvantage of a suspect class is presumed subject clause is to protect the employment of OFWs by
unconstitutional, and the burden is upon the government to mitigating the solidary liability of placement agencies, such
prove that the classification is necessary to achieve callous and cavalier rationale will have to be rejected. There
a compelling state interest and that it is the least restrictive can never be a justification for any form of government action
means to protect such interest. that alleviates the burden of one sector, but imposes the same
burden on another sector, especially when the favored sector
Upon cursory reading, the subject clause appears facially is composed of private businesses such as placement agencies,
neutral, for it applies to all OFWs.However, a closer while the disadvantaged sector is composed of OFWs whose
examination reveals that the subject clause has a protection no less than the Constitution commands. The idea
discriminatory intent against, and an invidious impact on, that private business interest can be elevated to the level of a
OFWs at two levels: compelling state interest is odious.
dismissed employees for the entire unexpired portion of their
Moreover, even if the purpose of the subject clause is to lessen employment contracts.
the solidary liability of placement agencies vis-a-vis their
foreign principals, there are mechanisms already in place that
While Article 605 has remained good law up to the present,
can be Article 299 of the Code of Commerce was replaced by Art.
employed to achieve that purpose without infringing on the 1586 of the Civil Code of 1889, to wit:
constitutional rights of OFWs. Article 1586. Field hands, mechanics, artisans,
and other laborers hired for a certain time and for
The POEA Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment a certain work cannot leave or be dismissed
and Employment of Land-Based Overseas Workers, dated without sufficient cause, before the
February 4, 2002, imposes administrative disciplinary fulfillment of the contract.
measures on erring foreign employers who default on their
contractual obligations to migrant workers and/or their PLDT vs. NLRC
Philippine agents. These disciplinary measures range from G.R. No. 80609, August 23, 1988
temporary disqualification to preventive suspension. The J. Cruz
POEA Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and
Employment of Seafarers, dated May 23, 2003, contains Facts
similar administrative disciplinary measures against erring Abucay, a traffic operator of the PLDT, was accused by two
foreign employers. complainants of having demanded and received from them
the total amount of P3,800.00 in consideration of her promise
Resort to these administrative measures is undoubtedly the to facilitate approval of their applications for telephone
less restrictive means of aiding local placement agencies in installation. Investigated and heard, she was found guilty as
enforcing the solidary liability of their foreign principals. charged and accordingly separated from the service. She went
to the Ministry of Labor and Employment claiming she had
Thus, the subject clause in the 5th paragraph of Section 10 of been illegally removed. After consideration of the evidence
R.A. No. 8042 is violative of the right of petitioner and other and arguments of the parties, the company was sustained and
OFWs to equal protection. the complaint was dismissed for lack of merit. Nevertheless,
the dispositive portion of labor arbiter’s decision declared:
The subject clause “or for three months for every year of the
unexpired term, whichever is less” in the 5th paragraph of WHEREFORE, the instant complaint is dismissed for lack of
Section 10 of Republic Act No. 8042 merit.
Considering that Dr. Bangayan and Mrs. Martinez are not
Note: totally blameless in the light of the fact that the deal happened
When the Court is called upon to exercise its power of judicial outhide the premises of respondent company and that their
review of theacts of its co-equals, such as the Congress, it does act of giving P3,800.00 without any receipt is tantamount to
so only when these conditions obtain: (1) that there is an actual corruption of public officers, complainant must be given one
case or controversy involving a conflict of rights susceptible of month pay for every year of service as financial assistance.
judicial determination; (2) that the constitutional question is
raised by a proper party and at the earliest opportunity; and Both the petitioner and the private respondent appealed to the
(3) that the constitutional question is the very lis mota of the National Labor Relations Board, which upheld the said
case, otherwise the Court will dismiss the case or decide the decision in toto and dismissed the appeals. The private
same on some other ground. respondent took no further action, thereby impliedly
---- accepting the validity of her dismissal. The petitioner,
As discussed earlier, prior to R.A. No. 8042, a uniform system however, is now before us to question the affirmance of the
of computation of the monetary awards of illegally dismissed above- quoted award as having been made with grave abuse
OFWs was in place. This uniform system was applicable even of discretion.
to local workers with fixed-term employment.
The position of the petitioner is simply stated: It is conceded
Article 605 of the Code of Commerce provides: that an employee illegally dismissed is entitled to
Article 605. If the contracts of the captain and reinstatement and backwages as required by the labor laws.
members of the crew with the agent should be However, an employee dismissed for cause is entitled to
for a definite period or voyage, they cannot be neither reinstatement nor backwages and is not allowed any
discharged until the fulfillment of their relief at all because his dismissal is in accordance with law. In
contracts, except for reasons of the case of the private respondent, she has been awarded
insubordination in serious matters, robbery, financial assistance equivalent to ten months pay
theft, habitual drunkenness, and damage corresponding to her 10 year service in the company despite
caused to the vessel or to its cargo by malice her removal for cause. She is, therefore, in effect rewarded
or manifest or proven negligence. rather than punished for her dishonesty, and without any
legal authorization or justification. The award is made on the
Article 605 was applied to Madrigal Shipping Company, Inc. v. ground of equity and compassion, which cannot be a
Ogilvie, in which the Court held the shipping company liable substitute for law. Moreover, such award puts a premium on
for the salaries and subsistence allowance of its illegally dishonesty and encourages instead of deterring corruption.
should be taken against her as it reflects a regrettable lack of
For its part, the public respondent claims that the employee is loyalty that she should have strengthened instead of betraying
sufficiently punished with her dismissal. The grant of financial during all of her 10 years of service with the company. If
assistance is not intended as a reward for her offense but regarded as a justification for moderating the penalty of
merely to help her for the loss of her employment after dismissal, it will actually become a prize for disloyalty,
working faithfully with the company for ten years. In support perverting the meaning of social justice and undermining the
of this position, the Solicitor General cites the cases of efforts of labor to cleanse its ranks of all undesirables.
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of the Philippines v.
Lariosa and Soco v. Mercantile Corporation of Davao, where Petition granted
the employees were dismissed for cause but were nevertheless
allowed separation pay on grounds of social and Roe V. Wade, Supra
compassionate justice. 410 U.S. 113 (1973)
J. Blackmun
WON Separation pay is proper. Brief Fact Summary
Appellant Jane Roe, a pregnant mother who wished to obtain
Held an abortion, sued on behalf of all woman similarly situated in
We hold that henceforth separation pay shall be allowed as a an effort to prevent the enforcement of Texas statutes
measure of social justice only in those instances where the criminalizing all abortions except those performed to save the
employee is validly dismissed for causes other than serious life of the mother.
misconduct or those reflecting on his moral character. Where
the reason for the valid dismissal is, for example, habitual Synopsis of Rule of Law
intoxication or an offense involving moral turpitude, like theft Statutes that make criminal all abortions except when
or illicit sexual relations with a fellow worker, the employer medically advised for the purpose of saving the life of the
may not be required to give the dismissed employee mother are an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.
separation pay, or financial assistance, or whatever other
name it is called, on the ground of social justice. Facts
Texas statutes made it a crime to procure or attempt an
A contrary rule would, as the petitioner correctly argues, have abortion except when medically advised for the purpose of
the effect, of rewarding rather than punishing the erring saving the life of the mother. Appellant Jane Roe sought a
employee for his offense. And we do not agree that the declaratory judgment that the statutes were unconstitutional
punishment is his dismissal only and that the separation pay on their face and an injunction to prevent defendant Dallas
has nothing to do with the wrong he has committed. Of course County District Attorney from enforcing the statutes.
it has. Indeed, if the employee who steals from the company is Appellant alleged that she was unmarried and pregnant, and
granted separation pay even as he is validly dismissed, it is that she was unable to receive a legal abortion by a licensed
not unlikely that he will commit a similar offense in his next physician because her life was not threatened by the
employment because he thinks he can expect a like leniency if continuation of her pregnancy and that she was unable to
he is again found out. This kind of misplaced compassion is afford to travel to another jurisdiction to obtain a legal
not going to do labor in general any good as it will encourage abortion. Appellant sued on behalf of herself and all other
the infiltration of its ranks by those who do not deserve the women similarly situated, claiming that the statutes were
protection and concern of the Constitution. unconstitutionally vague and abridged her right of personal
privacy, protected by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and
The policy of social justice is not intended to countenance Fourteenth Amendments.
wrongdoing simply because it is committed by the
underprivileged. At best it may mitigate the penalty but it
certainly will not condone the offense. Compassion for the
Do the Texas statutes improperly invade a right possessed by
poor is an imperative of every humane society but only when
the appellant to terminate her pregnancy embodied in the
the recipient is not a rascal claiming an undeserved privilege.
concept of personal liberty contained in the Fourteenth
Social justice cannot be permitted to be refuge of scoundrels
Amendment’s Due Process Clause, in the personal marital,
any more than can equity be an impediment to the
familial, and sexual privacy protected by the Bill of Rights or
punishment of the guilty. Those who invoke social justice may
its penumbras, or among the rights reserved to the people by
do so only if their hands are clean and their motives blameless
the Ninth Amendment?
and not simply because they happen to be poor. This great
policy of our Constitution is not meant for the protection of
those who have proved they are not worthy of it, like the
workers who have tainted the cause of labor with the The right to personal privacy includes the abortion decision,
blemishes of their own character. but the right is not unqualified and must be considered against
important state interests in regulation.
Applying the above considerations, we hold that the grant of The abortion laws in effect in the majority of the States are of
separation pay in the case at bar is unjustified. The private relatively recent vintage, deriving from statutory changes
respondent has been dismissed for dishonesty, as found by the generally enacted in the latter half of the 19th century. At
labor arbiter and affirmed by the NLRC and as she herself has common law abortion performed before quickening (the first
impliedly admitted. The fact that she has worked with the recognizable movement of the fetus in utero) was not an
PLDT for more than a decade, if it is to be considered at all, indictable offense, and it is doubtful that abortion was ever a
firmly established common law crime even when it destroyed Held
a quick fetus. The statute as applied is unconstitutional because it infringes
on the liberty interests of the plaintiff and fails to reasonably
Three reasons have been advanced for the historical relate to any end within the competency of the state.
enactment of criminal abortion laws. The first is that the laws
are the product of a Victorian social concern to discourage The Fourteenth Amendment encompasses more than merely
illicit sexual conduct, but this argument has been taken the freedom from bodily restraint. The state argues that the
seriously by neither courts nor commentators. The second purpose of the statute is to encourage the English language to
reason is that the abortion procedure is hazardous, therefore be the native tongue of all children raised in the state.
the State’s concern is to protect pregnant women. However, Nonetheless, the protection of the Constitution extends to
modern medical techniques have altered the situation, with those who speak other languages. Education is a fundamental
abortions being relatively safe particularly in the first liberty interest that must be protected, and mere knowledge of
trimester. The third reason is the State’s interest is in the German language cannot be reasonably regarded as
protecting the prenatal life. However, this is somewhat harmful.
negated by the fact that the pregnant woman cannot be
prosecuted for the act of abortion. Discussion
Liberty interests may not be interfered with by the states when
For the stage prior to the approximate end of the first the interference is arbitrary and not reasonably related to a
trimester, the abortion decision must be left to the medical purpose which the state may permissively regulate.
judgment of the pregnant woman’s attending physician, and
may not be criminalized by statute.

For the stage subsequent to the approximate end of the first

trimester, the State may regulate abortion in ways reasonably
related to maternal health based upon the State’s interest in
promoting the health of the mother.

For the stage subsequent to viability, the State may regulate

and even proscribe abortion, except where necessary for the
preservation of the mother’s life, based upon the State’s PACU vs Secretary of Education
interest in the potential of the potential life of the unborn child. GR No 5279, 31 October 1955
J. Bengzon
Justice Rehnquist. The right to an abortion is not universally
accepted, and the right to privacy is thus not inherently Petitioner, Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities
involved in this case. (PACU) request that Act No. 2706 as amended by Act No. 3075
and Commonwealth Act No. 180 be declared unconstitutional
due to (1) They deprive owners of schools and colleges as well
Mayer v. State of Nebraska
as teachers and parents of liberty and property without due
262 US 390, June 4, 1923
process of law; (2) They deprive parents of their natural rights
J. McReynolds and duty to rear their children for civic efficiency; and (3)
Their provisions conferring on the Secretary of Education
Brief Fact Summary unlimited power and discretion to prescribe rules and
Plaintiff was convicted for teaching a child German under a standards constitute an unlawful delegation of legislative
Nebraska statute that outlawed the teaching of foreign power. However, the Solicitor General on the other hand
languages to students that had not yet completed the eighth points out that none of the petitioners has cause to present this
grade. issue, because all of them have permits to operate and are
actually operating by virtue of their permits. They have
Synopsis of Rule of Law suffered no wrong under the terms of law and had no need for
The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits states from creating relief.
legislation that restricts liberty interests when the legislation is
not reasonably related to an acceptable state objective. Issue
Whether or not there is justiciable controversy to be settled by
Facts the Court
Plaintiff was convicted for teaching a child German under a
Nebraska statute that outlawed the teaching of foreign Held
languages to students that had not yet completed the eighth Petition for prohibition is denied. As a general rule, the
grade. The Supreme Court of Nebraska upheld the conviction. constitutionality of a statute will be passed on only if, and to
the extent that, it is directly and necessarily involved in a
Issue justiciable controversy and is essential to the protection of the
Does the statute as construed and applied unreasonably rights of the parties concerned. The power of courts to declare
infringe on the liberty guaranteed by the Fourteenth a law unconstitutional arises only when the interests of litigant
Amendment? require the use of that judicial authority for their protection
against actual interference, a hypothetical threat is
insufficient. Judicial power is limited to the decision of actual
cases and controversies. Mere apprehension that the Secretary In accordance with the Regalian Doctrine, marine resources
of Education might under the law withdraw the permit of one belong to the state and pursuant to the first paragraph of
of petitioners does not constitute a justiciable controversy. Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution, their “exploration,
development and utilization...shall be under the full control
and supervision of the State.

In addition, one of the devolved powers of the LCG on

devolution is the enforcement of fishery laws in municipal
waters including the conservation of mangroves. This
necessarily includes the enactment of ordinances to effectively
carry out such fishery laws within the municipal waters. In
light of the principles of decentralization and devolution
enshrined in the LGC and the powers granted therein to LGUs
which unquestionably involve the exercise of police power,
the validity of the questioned ordinances cannot be doubted.

Laguna Lake Development Authority v CA

GR No. 110120, March 16, 1994
J. Romero
Tano v. Socrates
GR No 110249, August 21, 1997 FACTS
J. Davide Jr. The LLDA Legal and Technical personnel found that the City
Government of Caloocan was maintaining an open dumpsite
FACTS at the Camarin area without first securing an
On Dec 15, 1992, the Sangguniang Panglungsod ng Puerto Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the
Princesa enacted an ordinance banning the shipment of all live Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the
fish and lobster outside Puerto Princesa City from January 1, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, as
1993 to January 1, 1998. Subsequently the Sangguniang required under Presidential Decree N o. 1586, and clearance
Panlalawigan, Provincial Government of Palawan enacted a from LLDA as required under Republic Act N o. 4850 and
resolution prohibiting the catching , gathering, possessing, issued a CEASE and DESIST ORDER (CDO) for the City
buying, selling, and shipment of a several species of live Government of Caloocan to stop the use of the dumpsite.
marine coral dwelling aquatic organisms for 5 years, in and
coming from Palawan waters. ISSUES
1. Does the LLDA and its amendatory laws, have the
Petitioners filed a special civil action for certiorari and authority to entertain the complaint against the
prohibition, praying that the court declare the said ordinances dumping of garbage in the open dumpsite in Barangay
and resolutions as unconstitutional on the ground that the said Camarin authorized by the City Government of
ordinances deprived them of the due process of law, their Caloocan?
livelihood, and unduly restricted them from the practice of
their trade, in violation of Section 2, Article XII and Sections 2 2. Does the LLDA have the power and authority to issue a
and 7 of Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution. "cease and desist" order?


Are the challenged ordinances unconstitutional?
• Executive Order N o. 927 series of 1983 which provides, thus:
HELD Sec. 4. Additional Powers and Functions. The authority shall
No. The Supreme Court found the petitioners contentions have the following powers and functions: (d) Make, alter or
baseless and held that the challenged ordinances did not suffer modify orders requiring the discontinuance of pollution
from any infirmity, both under the Constitution and specifying the conditions and the time within which such
applicable laws. There is absolutely no showing that any of the discontinuance must be accomplished
petitioners qualifies as a subsistence or marginal fisherman.
Besides, Section 2 of Article XII aims primarily not to bestow • As a general rule, the adjudication of pollution cases
any right to subsistence fishermen, but to lay stress on the duty generally pertains to the Pollution Adjudication Board
of the State to protect the nation’s marine wealth. The so-called (PAB), except in cases w here the special law provides for
“preferential right” of subsistence or marginal fishermen to another forum
the use of marine resources is not at all absolute.
RULING The Court ruled that the BoI violated Garcia’s Constitutional
right to have access to information on matters of public
1. YES, LLDA has authority. It must be recognized in this concern under Article III, Section 7 of the Constitution. The
regard that the LLDA, as a specialized administrative Court found that the inhabitants of Bataan had an “interest in
agency, is specifically mandated under Republic Act No. the establishment of the petrochemical plant in their midst
4850 and its amendatory law s to carry out and make [that] is actual, real, and vital because it will affect not only
effective the declared national policy of promoting and their economic life, but even the air they breathe” The Court
accelerating the development and balanced growth of the also ruled that BPC’s amended application was in fact a
Laguna Lake area and the surrounding provinces of Rizal second application that required a new public notice to be filed
and Laguna and the cities of San Pablo, Manila, Pasay, and a new hearing to be held.
Quezon and Caloocan with due regard and adequate
provisions for environmental management and control, Although Article 81 of the Omnibus Investments Code
preservation of the quality of human life and ecological provides that “all applications and their supporting
systems, and the prevention of undue ecological disturbances, documents filed under this code shall be confidential and shall
deterioration and pollution. Under such a broad grant and not be disclosed to any person, except with the consent of the
power and authority, the LLDA, by virtue of its special applicant,” the Court emphasized that Article 81 provides for
charter, obviously has the responsibility to protect the disclosure “on the orders of a court of competent jurisdiction”.
inhabitants of the Laguna Lake region from the deleterious The Court ruled that it had jurisdiction to order disclosure of
effects of pollutants emanating from the discharge of the application, amended application, and supporting
wastes from the surrounding areas. documents filed with the BOI under Article 81, with certain
2. YES, pursuant to EO 927 Section 4. While it is a fundamental
rule that an administrative agency has only such powers as
are expressly granted to it by law , it is likewise a settled rule The Court went on to note that despite the right to access
that an administrative agency has also such powers as are information, “the Constitution does not open every door to
necessarily implied in the exercise of its ex press powers. In any and all information” because “the law may exempt certain
the exercise, therefore, of its express powers under its types of information from public scrutiny”. Thus it excluded
charter as a regulatory and quasi-judicial body with respect “the trade secrets and confidential, commercial, and financial
to pollution cases in the Laguna Lake region, the authority information of the applicant BPC, and matters affecting
of the LLDA to issue a "cease and desist order" is, perforce, national security” from its order. The Court did not provide a
implied. NOTE: HOWEVER, writs of mandamus and test for what information is excluded from the Constitutional
injunction are beyond the power of the LLDA to issue. privilege to access public information, nor did it specify the
kinds of information that BPC could withhold under its ruling.
Garcia v. BOI
G.R. No. 92024, November 9, 1990
GUTIERREZ, JR., J. Tanada v. Angara
G.R. No. 118295, May 2, 1997 Commented [O1]: 133250, November 11, 2003 per list
FACTS J. Panganiban
The Bataan Petrochemical Corporation (BPC), a Taiwanese
private corporation, applied for registration with the Board of Facts
Investments (BOI) in February 1988 as a new domestic This is a case petition by Sen. Wigberto Tanada, together with
producer of petrochemicals in the Philippines. It originally other lawmakers, taxpayers, and various NGO’s to nullify the
specified the province of Bataan as the site for the proposed Philippine ratification of the World Trade Organization
investment but later submitted an amended application to (WTO) Agreement.
change the site to Batangas. Unhappy with the change of the
site, Congressman Enrique Garcia of the Second District of Petitioners believe that this will be detrimental to the growth
Bataan requested a copy of BPC’s original and amended of our National Economy and against to the “Filipino First”
application documents. The BoI denied the request on the policy. The WTO opens access to foreign markets, especially
basis that the investors in BPC had declined to give their its major trading partners, through the reduction of tariffs on
consent to the release of the documents requested, and that its exports, particularly agricultural and industrial products.
Article 81 of the Omnibus Investments Code protects the Thus, provides new opportunities for the service sector cost
confidentiality of these documents absent consent to disclose. and uncertainty associated with exporting and more
The BoI subsequently approved the amended application investment in the country. These are the predicted benefits as
without holding a second hearing or publishing notice of the reflected in the agreement and as viewed by the signatory
amended application. Garcia filed a petition before the Senators, a “free market” espoused by WTO.
Supreme Court.
Petitioners also contends that it is in conflict with the
ISSUE provisions of our constitution, since the said Agreement is an
Whether or not the BoI committed grave abuse of discretion in assault on the sovereign powers of the Philippines because it
yielding to the wishes of the investor, national interest meant that Congress could not pass legislation that would be
notwithstanding. good for national interest and general welfare if such
legislation would not conform to the WTO Agreement.
1. Whether or not the petition present a justiciable is bound by generally accepted principles of
controversy. international law, which are considered to be
2. Whether or not the provisions of the ‘Agreement automatically part of our own laws. A state which has
Establishing the World Trade Organization and the contracted valid international obligations is bound to
Agreements and Associated Legal Instruments included make in its legislations such modifications as may be
in Annexes one (1), two (2) and three (3) of that agreement’ necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the obligations
cited by petitioners directly contravene or undermine the undertaken. Paragraph 1, Article 34 of the General
letter, spirit and intent of Section 19, Article II and Sections Provisions and Basic Principles of the Agreement on
10 and 12, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
3. Whether or not certain provisions of the Agreement (TRIPS) may intrudes on the power of the Supreme
unduly limit, restrict or impair the exercise of legislative Court to promulgate rules concerning pleading,
power by Congress. practice and procedures. With regard to Infringement
4. Whether or not certain provisions of the Agreement of a design patent, WTO members shall be free to
impair the exercise of judicial power by this Honorable determine the appropriate method of implementing
Court in promulgating the rules of evidence. the provisions of TRIPS within their own internal
5. Whether or not the concurrence of the Senate ‘in the systems and processes.
ratification by the President of the Philippines of the
Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization’  The alleged impairment of sovereignty in the exercise
implied rejection of the treaty embodied in the Final Act. of legislative and judicial powers is balanced by the
adoption of the generally accepted principles of
Discussions international law as part of the law of the land and the
adherence of the Constitution to the policy of
 1987 Constitution states that Judicial power includes cooperation and amity with all nations. The Senate,
the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual after deliberation and voting, voluntarily and
controversies involving rights which are legally overwhelmingly gave its consent to the WTO
demandable and enforceable, and to determine Agreement thereby making it “a part of the law of the
whether or not there has been a grave abuse of land” is a legitimate exercise of its sovereign duty and
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction power.
on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
government. Rulings
1. In seeking to nullify an act of the Philippine Senate on the
 Although the Constitution mandates to develop a self- ground that it contravenes the Constitution, the petition
reliant and independent national economy controlled no doubt raises a justiciable controversy. Where an action
by Filipinos, does not necessarily rule out the entry of of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to have
foreign investments, goods and services. It infringed the Constitution, it becomes not only the right
contemplates neither “economic seclusion” nor but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute.
“mendicancy in the international community.” The As explained by former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion,
WTO itself has some built-in advantages to protect “the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question of
weak and developing economies, which comprise the whether or not a branch of government or any of its
vast majority of its members. Unlike in the UN where officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of
major states have permanent seats and veto powers in jurisdiction or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of
the Security Council, in the WTO, decisions are made discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. This is not
on the basis of sovereign equality, with each only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on
member’s vote equal in weight to that of any other. matters of this nature.”
Hence, poor countries can protect their common 2. While the Constitution indeed mandates a bias in favor of
interests more effectively through the WTO than Filipino goods, services, labor and enterprises, at the same
through one-on-one negotiations with developed time, it recognizes the need for business exchange with the
countries. Within the WTO, developing countries can rest of the world on the bases of equality and reciprocity
form powerful blocs to push their economic agenda and limits protection of Filipino enterprises only against
more decisively than outside the Organization. Which foreign competition and trade practices that are unfair. In
is not merely a matter of practical alliances but a other words, the Constitution did not intend to pursue an
negotiating strategy rooted in law. Thus, the basic isolationist policy. It did not shut out foreign investments,
principles underlying the WTO Agreement recognize goods and services in the development of the Philippine
the need of developing countries like the Philippines economy. While the Constitution does not encourage the
to “share in the growth in international trade unlimited entry of foreign goods, services and
commensurate with the needs of their economic investments into the country, it does not prohibit them
development.” either. In fact, it allows an exchange on the basis of
equality and reciprocity, frowning only on foreign
 In its Declaration of Principles and State Policies, the competition that is unfair.
Constitution “adopts the generally accepted 3. By their inherent nature, treaties really limit or restrict the
principles of international law as part of the law of the absoluteness of sovereignty. By their voluntary act,
land, and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, nations may surrender some aspects of their state power
justice, freedom, cooperation and amity, with all in exchange for greater benefits granted by or derived
nations. By the doctrine of incorporation, the country from a convention or pact. After all, states, like
individuals, live with coequals, and in pursuit of mutually for in R.A. 6657. The Association is comprised of landowners
covenanted objectives and benefits, they also commonly of ricelands and cornlands whose landholdings do not exceed
agree to limit the exercise of their otherwise absolute 7 hectares. They invoke that since their landholdings are less
rights. As shown by the foregoing treaties Philippines has than 7 hectares, they should not be forced to distribute their
entered, a portion of sovereignty may be waived without land to their tenants under R.A. 6657 for they themselves have
violating the Constitution, based on the rationale that the shown willingness to till their own land. In short, they want to
Philippines “adopts the generally accepted principles of be exempted from agrarian reform program because they
international law as part of the law of the land and adheres claim to belong to a different class.
to the policy of cooperation and amity with all nations.”
4. The provision in Article 34 of WTO agreement does not G.R. No. 79777: (Manaay vs Juico)
contain an unreasonable burden, consistent as it is with
due process and the concept of adversarial dispute Nicolas Manaay questioned the validity of the agrarian reform
settlement inherent in our judicial system. laws (PD 27, EO 228, and 229) on the ground that these laws
5. The assailed Senate Resolution No. 97 expressed already valuated their lands for the agrarian reform program
concurrence in exactly what the Final Act required from and that the specific amount must be determined by the
its signatories, namely, concurrence of the Senate in the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). Manaay averred that
WTO Agreement. Moreover, the Senate was well-aware of this violated the principle in eminent domain which provides
what it was concurring in as shown by the members’ that only courts can determine just compensation. This, for
deliberation on August 25, 1994. After reading the letter of Manaay, also violated due process for under the constitution,
President Ramos dated August 11, 1994, the senators of no property shall be taken for public use without just
the Republic minutely dissected what the Senate was compensation.
concurring in.
Manaay also questioned the provision which states that
Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines v. landowners may be paid for their land in bonds and not
Honorable Secretary of Agrarian Reform necessarily in cash. Manaay averred that just compensation
G.R. No. 78742, July 14, 1989 has always been in the form of money and not in bonds.
J. Cruz
G.R. No. 79310 (Acuna v. Arroyo)
These are four consolidated cases questioning the  Landowners and sugar planters in the Victorias Mill
constitutionality of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Act District, Victorias, Negros Occidental and
(R.A. No. 6657 and related laws i.e., Agrarian Land Reform  Planters’ Committee Inc., with 1400 planter-members,
Code or R.A. No. 3844). submitted a petition seeking to prohibit the
implementation of Proc. No. 131 and E.O. No. 229.
Article XIII of the Constitution on Social Justice and Human
Rights includes a call for the adoption by the State of an  Aug. 27, 1987 – A motion for intervention was filed by
agrarian reform program. The State shall, by law, undertake the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters, which
an agrarian reform program founded on the right of farmers claim 20 000 members). It was granted by the court.
and regular farmworkers, who are landless, to own directly or  Sept. 10, 1987 – A motion for intervention was filed by
collectively the lands they till or, in the case of other Manuel Barcelona, et al., representing coconut and
farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof. RA riceland owners. It was granted by the court.
3844 was enacted in 1963. P.D. No. 27 was promulgated in
1972 to provide for the compulsory acquisition of private G.R. No. 79744 (Pabico v. Juico)
lands for distribution among tenant-farmers and to specify  Sept. 3 1986 – The petitioner protested the erroneous
maximum retention limits for landowners. In 1987, President inclusion of his small landholding under Operation
Corazon Aquino issued E.O. No. 228, declaring full land Land Transfer accusing the then Secretary of DAR of
ownership in favor of the beneficiaries of PD 27 and providing violation of due process and the requirement for just
for the valuation of still unvalued lands covered by the decree compensation. Certificates of Land Transfer were
as well as the manner of their payment. In 1987, P.P. No. 131, issued to the private respondents who then refused to
instituting a comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP) pay lease rentals. The petitioner is asking for the recall
was enacted; later, E.O. No. 229, providing the mechanics for and cancellation of these certificates.
its (PP131’s) implementation, was also enacted. Afterwhich is  Dec. 24, 1986 – Petitioner claims his petition was
the enactment of R.A. No. 6657, Comprehensive Agrarian denied without hearing.
Reform Law in 1988. This law, while considerably changing  Feb. 17, 1987 – A motion for reconsideration was filed
the earlier mentioned enactments, nevertheless gives them which had not been acted upon when E.O. Nos. 228
suppletory effect insofar as they are not inconsistent with its & 229 were issued which rendered his motion moot.
G.R. No. 78742: (Association of Small Landowners vs 1. Whether or not there was a violation of the equal protection
Secretary) clause.
2. Whether or not there is a violation of due process.
The Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. 3. Whether or not just compensation, under the agrarian
sought exception from the land distribution scheme provided reform program, must be in terms of cash.
Cruz v. Secretary of DENR
HELD GR. No. 135385, Dec. 6, 2000
1. No. The Association had not shown any proof that they
belong to a different class exempt from the agrarian reform
program. Under the law, classification has been defined as the FACTS, ISSUES and HELD
grouping of persons or things similar to each other in certain  Most important issue: WoNSections 3(a) and (b), 5, 6,
particulars and different from each other in these same 7, 8, and 57, and 58 of RA 8371/IPRA and its IRR are
particulars. To be valid, it must conform to the following unconstitutional for unlawfully depriving the State of
requirements: its ownership over lands of the public domain,
minerals, and other natural resources therein,
(1) it must be based on substantial distinctions; violating the regalian doctrine enshrined in Section 2,
(2) it must be germane to the purposes of the law; Article XII of the Constitution
(3) it must not be limited to existing conditions only;
and o Justice Kapunan: NO.
(4) it must apply equally to all the members of the  Said provisions affirming the
class. ownership by indigenous peoples of
their ancestral lands and domains by
Equal protection simply means that all persons or things virtue of native title (definition: lands
similarly situated must be treated alike both as to the rights held in private ownership since time
conferred and the liabilities imposed. The Association have immemorial) do not diminish the
not shown that they belong to a different class and entitled to State’s ownership of lands within the
a different treatment. The argument that not only landowners public domain, because said ancestral
but also owners of other properties must be made to share the lands and domains are considered as
burden of implementing land reform must be rejected. There private land, and never to have been
is a substantial distinction between these two classes of part of the public domain, following
owners that is clearly visible except to those who will not see. the doctrine laid down in Cariñov.
There is no need to elaborate on this matter. In any event, the Insular Government.
Congress is allowed a wide leeway in providing for a valid  Section 3(a) does not confer or
classification. Its decision is accorded recognition and respect recognize any right of ownership
by the courts of justice except only where its discretion is over the natural resources to the
abused to the detriment of the Bill of Rights. In the contrary, it ICCs/IPs. Its purpose is definitional
appears that Congress is right in classifying small landowners and not declarative of a right or title.
as part of the agrarian reform program.  Section 57 only grants “priority
rights” to ICCs/IPs in the utilization
2. No. It is true that the determination of just compensation is of natural resources and not absolute
a power lodged in the courts. However, there is no law which ownership thereof. The State retains
prohibits administrative bodies like the DAR from full control over the exploration,
determining just compensation. In fact, just compensation can development and utilization of
be that amount agreed upon by the landowner and the natural resources through the
government – even without judicial intervention so long as imposition of requirements and
both parties agree. The DAR can determine just compensation conditions for the utilization of
through appraisers and if the landowner agrees, then judicial natural resources under existing
intervention is not needed. What is contemplated by law laws, such as the Small-Scale Mining
however is that, the just compensation determined by an Act of 1991 and the Philippine
administrative body is merely preliminary. If the landowner Mining Act of 1995. Neither does the
does not agree with the finding of just compensation by an grant of said rights exclude non-
administrative body, then it can go to court and the indigenous peoples from
determination of the latter shall be the final determination. undertaking the same activities
This is even so provided by RA 6657: within the ancestral domains upon
authority granted by the proper
Section 16 (f): Any party who disagrees with the decision governmental agency.
may bring the matter to the court of proper jurisdiction for
final determination of just compensation. o Justice Puno:NO.
 Ancestral lands and ancestral
2. No. Money as [sole] payment for just compensation is domains are not part of the lands of
merely a concept in traditional exercise of eminent the public domain. They are private
domain. The agrarian reform program is a revolutionary and belong to the ICCs/IPs. The
exercise of eminent domain. The program will require classification of lands in the public
billions of pesos in funds if all compensation have to be domain under Section 3, Article XII of
made in cash – if everything is in cash, then the the Constitution does not include
government will not have sufficient money hence, bonds, ancestral lands nor ancestral
and other securities, i.e., shares of stocks, may be used for domains. The rights of ICCs/IPs to
just compensation. their ancestral domains and ancestral
lands may be acquired in two modes:
(1) by native title over both ancestral and ancestral domains in favor of
lands and domains; or (2) by torrens ICCs/IPs, who may exercise these
title under the Public Land Act and rights without any time limit. In
the Land Registration Act with addition, they are also given the right
respect to ancestral lands only. Both to negotiate directly the terms and
modes presume or recognize the land conditions for the exploration of
as private and not public. natural resources under Section 7(b),
 The right of ownership to ancestral a right vested by the Constitution
domain under Section 7(a) involves only to the State.
“lands, bodies of water traditionally
and actually occupied by ICCs/IPs, o Justice Vitug: YES. Sections 7 and 57 go
sacred places, traditional hunting beyond the context of the fundamental law
and fishing grounds, and all and virtually amount toan undue delegation,
improvements made by them at any if not an unacceptable abdication, of State
time within the domains”, not authority over a significant area of the
“waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, country and its patrimony
and other mineral oils, all forces of
potential energy, fisheries, forests or  WoN Sections 51 to 53, 59, 52(i), 63, 65, and 66 of RA
timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and 8371/IPRA, defining the powers and jurisdiction of
other natural resources” enumerated the NCIP and making customary law applicable to the
in Section 2, Article XII of the settlement of disputes involving ancestral domains
Constitution. Ownership therefore of and ancestral lands, violate the due process clause of
natural resources remain with the the Constitution
State. o Justice Kapunan:NO.The fact the NCIP is
 Small-scale utilization of resources in composed wholly of indigenous peoples does
Section 7(b) is also allowed under not mean that it is incapable of being
paragraph 3, section 2, Article XII of impartial. Moreover, the use of customary
the Constitution. laws is sanctioned by paragraph 2, Section 5
 Finally, the large-scale utilization of of Article XII of the Constitution.
natural resources in Section 57 of RA o Justice Puno: Not discussed.
8371/IPRA is allowed under o Justice Panganiban:Not discussed. It is best to
paragraphs 1 and 4, section 2, Article await specific cases filed by those whose
XII of the Constitution since only rights may have been injured by these
“priority rights” (which does not provisions.
necessarily mean ownership rights) o Justice Vitug:YES, but only on making
are given to ICCs/IPs. customary law applicable to the settlement of
 However, by including “natural disputes involving ancestral domains and
resources”, Section 1, Part II, Rule III of ancestral lands.The second paragraph of
the Implementing Rules goes beyond Section 5 of Article XII of the Constitution
Section 7(a) and therefore allows Congress to provide for the
unconstitutional. applicability of customary laws governing
property rights or relations in determining
o Justice Panganiban:YES. the ownership and extent of ancestral
 Section 3(a) [whose definition of domains. I do not see this statement as saying
ancestral domain encompasses that Congress may enact a law that would
natural resources found therein], and simply express that customary laws shall
3(b) [defines ancestral lands as those govern and end it there. No discussion on the
possessed by ICCs/IPs since time powers and jurisdiction of the NCIP.
immemorial] contravene Section 2,  WoNRule VII, Part II, Section 1 of the NCIP
Article XII of the Constitution, which Administrative Order No. 1, series of 1998, which
declares that the State owns all lands provides that the administrative relationship of the
of the public domain, minerals, and NCIP to the Office of the President is characterized as
natural resources – none of which, a lateral but autonomous relationship for purposes of
except agricultural lands, can be policy and program coordination, infringes upon the
alienated. In addition, mere Presidents power of control over executive
possession or utilization of land, departments under Section 17, Article VII of the
however long, does not automatically Constitution
convert them into private properties. o Justice Kapunan:NO, since said provision as
 IPRA/RA 8371 does not specify well as Section 40 of the IPRA expressly
limits to ancestral lands and domains. places the NCIP under the Office of the
 IPRA/RA 8371 relinquishes the President, and therefore under the President’s
State’s power under Section 2, Article control and supervision with respect to its
XII of the Constitution of full control administrative functions. However, insofar as
of natural resources in ancestral lands the decisions of the NCIP in the exercise of its
quasi-judicial powers are concerned, the 2. The State may enter into co-production, joint
same are reviewable by the Court of Appeals, venture or production-sharing agreements with
like those of the NLRC and the SEC. Filipino citizens or qualified corporations;
o Justice Puno: Not discussed. 3. Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization
o Justice Panganiban:Not discussed. It is best to of natural resources by Filipino citizens;
await specific cases filed by those whose 4. For the large-scale exploration, development and
rights may have been injured by these utilization of minerals, petroleum and other mineral
provisions. oils, the President may enter into agreements with
o Justice Vitug:Not discussed. foreign-owned corporations involving technical or
NOTES: financial assistance.
 Seven Justices voted to dismiss the petitions
o Justice Kapunan filed an opinion, which the 2. Which of the following modes apply for indigenous people?
Chief Justice and Justices Bellosillo, According to Justice Puno:
Quisumbing, and Santiago join, sustaining The Small-Scale Utilization of Natural Resources In Sec. 7 (b)
the validity of the challenged provisions of of the IPRA Is Allowed Under Paragraph 3, Section 2 of Article
R.A. 8371. XII of the Constitution
o Justice Puno also filed a separate opinion xxx
sustaining all challenged provisions of the The limited rights of "management and use" in Section 7 (b)
law with the exception of Section 1, Part II, must be taken to contemplate small-scale utilization of natural
Rule III of NCIP Administrative Order No. 1, resources as distinguished from large-scale. Small-scale
series of 1998, the Rules and Regulations utilization of natural resources is expressly allowed in the
Implementing the IPRA, and Section 57 of the third paragraph of Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution "in
IPRA which he contends should be recognition of the plight of forest dwellers, gold panners,
interpreted as dealing with the large-scale marginal fishermen and others similarly situated who exploit
exploitation of natural resources and should our natural resources for their daily sustenance and survival."
be read in conjunction with Section 2, Article Section 7 (b) also expressly mandates the ICCs/IPs to manage
XII of the 1987 Constitution. and conserve these resources and ensure environmental and
o Justice Mendoza voted to dismiss the petition ecological protection within the domains, which duties, by
solely on the ground that it does not raise a their very nature, necessarily reject utilization in a large-scale.
justiciable controversy and petitioners do not
have standing to question the The Large-Scale Utilization of Natural Resources In Section 57
constitutionality of R.A. 8371. of the IPRA Is Allowed Under Paragraphs 1 and 4, Section 2,
 Seven Justices voted to grant the petition Article XII of the 1987 Constitution.
o Justice Panganiban filed a separate opinion
expressing the view that Sections 3 (a)(b), 5, 6, Interpreting Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution in
7 (a)(b), 8, and related provisions of R.A. 8371 relation to Section 57 of IPRA, the State, as owner of these
are unconstitutional. He reserves judgment natural resources, may directly undertake the development
on the constitutionality of Sections 58, 59, 65, and exploitation of the natural resources by itself, or in the
and 66 of the law, which he believes must alternative, it may recognize the priority rights of the
await the filing of specific cases by those ICCs/IPs as owners of the land on which the natural resources
whose rights may have been violated by the are found by entering into a co-production, joint venture, or
IPRA. production-sharing agreement with them. The State may
o Justice Vitug also filed a separate opinion likewise enter into any of said agreements with a non-member
expressing the view that Sections 3(a), 7, and of the ICCs/IPs, whether natural or juridical, or enter into
57 of R.A. 8371 are unconstitutional. Justice agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving either
Vitug also mentioned that the petitioners technical or financial assistance for the large-scale exploration,
have standing to raise the issue, as it is of development and utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other
transcendental importance. mineral oils, or allow such non-member to participate in its
o Justices Melo, Pardo, Buena, Gonzaga-Reyes, agreement with the ICCs/IPs.
and De Leon join in the separate opinions of
Justices Panganiban and Vitug. The rights granted by the IPRA to the ICCs/IPs over the
natural resources in their ancestral domains merely gives the
Addendum to Cruz v. Secretary of Environment and Natural ICCs/IPs, as owners and occupants of the land on which the
Resources resources are found, the right to the small-scale utilization of
1. What are the four modes of exploiting natural resources? these resources, and at the same time, a priority in their large-
(Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution) scale development and exploitation.Section 57 does not
Justice Puno: mandate the State to automatically give priority to the
The Constitution provides that in the exploration, ICCs/IPs. The State has several options and it is within its
development and utilization of these natural resources, the discretion to choose which option to pursue. Moreover, there
State exercises full control and supervision, and may is nothing in the law that gives the ICCs/IPs the right to solely
undertake the same in four (4) modes: undertake the large-scale development of the natural
1. The State may directly undertake such activities; or resources within their domains.
La Bugal-B'Laan Tribal Association, Inc. v. Ramos (Secretary potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and
of DENR) fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State.‖
G.R. No. 127882, January 27, 2004 The same section also states that, ―the exploration and
J. Carpio-Morales development and utilization of natural resources shall be
under the full control and supervision of the State.
RA 7942 (The Philippine Mining Act) took effect on April 9, Conspicuously absent in Section 2 is the provision in the 1935
1995. Before the effectivity of RA 7942, or on March 30, 1995, and 1973 Constitution authorizing the State to grant licenses,
the President signed a Financial and Technical Assistance concessions, or leases for the exploration, exploitation,
Agreement (FTAA) with WMCP, a corporation organized development, or utilization of natural resources. By such
under Philippine laws, covering close to 100,000 hectares of omission, the utilization of inalienable lands of the public
land in South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Sur and domain through license, concession or lease is no longer
North Cotabato. On August 15, 1995, the Environment allowed under the 1987 Constitution.
Secretary Victor Ramos issued DENR Administrative Order
95-23, which was later repealed by DENR Administrative Under the concession system, the concessionaire makes a
Order 96-40, adopted on December 20, 1996. direct equity investment for the purpose of exploiting a
particular natural resource within a given area. The
Petitioners prayed that RA 7942, its implementing rules, and concession amounts to complete control by the concessionaire
the FTAA between the government and WMCP be declared over the country‘s natural resource, for it is given exclusive
unconstitutional on ground that they allow fully foreign and plenary rights to exploit a particular resource at the point
owned corporations like WMCP to exploit, explore and of extraction.
develop Philippine mineral resources in contravention of
Article XII Section 2 paragraphs 2 and 4 of the Charter. The 1987 Constitution, moreover, has deleted the phrase
―management or other forms of assistance‖ in the 1973
In January 2001, WMC - a publicly listed Australian mining Charter. The present Constitution now allows only ―technical
and exploration company - sold its whole stake in WMCP to and financial assistance.‖ The management and the operation
Sagittarius Mines, 60% of which is owned by Filipinos while of the mining activities by foreign contractors, the primary
40% of which is owned by Indophil Resources, an Australian feature of the service contracts was precisely the evil the
company. DENR approved the transfer and registration of the drafters of the 1987 Constitution sought to avoid.
FTAA in Sagittarius‘ name but Lepanto Consolidated assailed
the same. The latter case is still pending before the Court of The constitutional provision allowing the President to enter
Appeals. into FTAAs is an exception to the rule that participation in the
nation‘s natural resources is reserved exclusively to Filipinos.
EO 279, issued by former President Aquino on July 25, 1987, Accordingly, such provision must be construed strictly
authorizes the DENR to accept, consider and evaluate against their enjoyment by non-Filipinos. Therefore, RA 7942
proposals from foreign owned corporations or foreign is invalid insofar as the said act authorizes service contracts.
investors for contracts or agreements involving wither Although the statute employs the phrase ―financial and
technical or financial assistance for large scale exploration, technical agreements‖ in accordance with the 1987
development and utilization of minerals which upon Constitution, its pertinent provisions actually treat these
appropriate recommendation of the (DENR) Secretary, the agreements as service contracts that grant beneficial
President may execute with the foreign proponent. WMCP ownership to foreign contractors contrary to the fundamental
likewise contended that the annulment of the FTAA would law.
violate a treaty between the Philippines and Australia which
provides for the protection of Australian investments. The underlying assumption in the provisions of the law is that
the foreign contractor manages the mineral resources just like
ISSUES the foreign contractor in a service contract. By allowing
1. Whether or not the Philippine Mining Act is foreign contractors to manage or operate all the aspects of the
unconstitutional for allowing fully foreign-owned mining operation, RA 7942 has, in effect, conveyed beneficial
corporations to exploit the Philippine mineral resources. ownership over the nation‘s mineral resources to these
2. Whether or not the FTAA between the government and contractors, leaving the State with nothing but bare title
WMCP is a ―service contract‖ that permits fully foreign thereto.
owned companies to exploit the Philippine mineral
resources. The same provisions, whether by design or inadvertence,
HELD permit a circumvention of the constitutionally ordained 60-
First Issue: RA 7942 is Unconstitutional 40% capitalization requirement for corporations or
associations engaged in the exploitation, development and
RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 is utilization of Philippine natural resources.
unconstitutional for permitting fully foreign owned
corporations to exploit the Philippine natural resources. When parts of a statute are so mutually dependent and
connected as conditions, considerations, inducements or
Article XII Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution retained the compensations for each other as to warrant a belief that the
Regalian Doctrine which states that ―All lands of the public legislature intended them as a whole, then if some parts are
domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other unconstitutional, all provisions that are thus dependent,
minerals, coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of conditional or connected, must fail with them.
1. Whether or not the term “foreshore land” includes the
Under Article XII Section 2 of the 1987 Charter, foreign owned submerged area.
corporations are limited only to merely technical or financial 2. Whether or not “foreshore land” and the reclaimed area is
assistance to the State for large scale exploration, development within the commerce of man.
and utilization of minerals, petroleum and other mineral oils.
Second Issue: RP Government-WMCP FTAA is a Service The Court ruled that it is erroneous and unsustainable to
Contract uphold the opinion of the respondent court that the term
“foreshore land” includes the submerged areas. To repeat, the
The FTAA between he WMCP and the Philippine government term "foreshore lands" refers to:
is likewise unconstitutional since the agreement itself is a
service contract. The strip of land that lies between the high and low water
marks and that is alternately wet and dry according to the flow
Section 1.3 of the FTAA grants WMCP a fully foreign owned of the tide.
corporation, the exclusive right to explore, exploit, utilize and
dispose of all minerals and by-products that may be produced A strip of land margining a body of water (as a lake or stream);
from the contract area.‖ Section 1.2 of the same agreement the part of a seashore between the low-water line usually at
provides that EMCP shall provide all financing, technology, the seaward margin of a low-tide terrace and the upper limit
management, and personnel necessary for the Mining of wave wash at high tide usually marked by a beach scarp or
Operations. berm. (Webster's Third New International Dictionary)

These contractual stipulations and related provisions in the The duty of the court is to interpret the enabling Act, RA 1899.
FTAA taken together, grant WMCP beneficial ownership over In so doing, we cannot broaden its meaning; much less widen
natural resources that properly belong to the State and are the coverage thereof. If the intention of Congress were to
intended for the benefit of its citizens. These stipulations are include submerged areas, it should have provided expressly.
abhorrent to the 1987 Constitution. They are precisely the That Congress did not so provide could only signify the
vices that the fundamental law seeks to avoid, the evils that it exclusion of submerged areas from the term “foreshore
aims to suppress. Consequently, the contract from which they lands.”
spring must be struck down. It bears stressing that the subject matter of Pasay City
Ordinance No. 121, as amended by Ordinance No. 158, and
Republic v. CA and Republic Real Estate Corp. the Agreement under attack, have been found to be outside
G.R. No. 103882, November 25, 1998 the intendment and scope of RA 1899, and therefore ultra vires
J. Purisima and null and void.

FACTS Chavez vs Public Estates Authority

On June 22, 1957, RA 1899 was approved granting authority G.R. No. 133250, July 9, 2002
to all municipalities and chartered cities to undertake and J. Carpio
carry out at their own expense the reclamation by dredging,
filling, or other means, of any foreshore lands bordering them, Fact
and to establish, provide, construct, maintain and repair
In 1973, the Comissioner on Public Highways entered into a
proper and adequate docking and harbor facilities as such
contract to reclaim areas of Manila Bay with the Construction
municipalities and chartered cities may determine in
and Development Corportion of the Philippines (CDCP).
consultation with the Secretary of Finance and the Secretary of
Public Works and Communications.
PEA (Public Estates Authority) was created by President
Marcos under P.D. 1084, tasked with developing and leasing
Pursuant to the said law, Ordinance No. 121 was passed by
reclaimed lands. These lands were transferred to the care of
the city of Pasay for the reclamation of foreshore lands within
PEA under P.D. 1085 as part of the Manila Cavite Road and
their jurisdiction and entered into an agreement with Republic
Reclamation Project (MCRRP). CDCP and PEA entered into an
Real Estate Corporation for the said project.
agreement that all future projects under the MCRRP would be
funded and owned by PEA.
Republic questioned the agreement. It contended, among
others, that the agreement between RREC and the City of
By 1988, President Aquino issued Special Patent No. 3517
Pasay was void for the object of the contract is outside the
transferring lands to PEA. It was followed by the transfer of
commerce of man, it being a foreshore land.
three Titles (7309, 7311 and 7312) by the Register of Deeds of
Pasay City and RREC countered that the object in question is
Paranaque to PEA covering the three reclaimed islands known
within the commerce of man because RA 1899 gives a broader
meaning on the term “foreshore land” than that in the
definition provided by the dictionary.
Subsquently, PEA entered into a joint venture agreement
(JVA) with AMARI, a Thai-Philippine corporation to develop
RTC rendered judgment in favour of Pasay City and RREC,
the Freedom Islands. Along with another 250 hectares, PEA
and the decision was affirmed by the CA with modifications.
and AMARI entered the JVA which would later transfer said
lands to AMARI. This caused a stir especially when Sen.
Maceda assailed the agreement, claiming that such lands were
part of public domain (famously known as the “mother of all private corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable land
scams”). of the public domain.

Peitioner Frank J. Chavez filed case as a taxpayer praying for

mandamus, a writ of preliminary injunction and a TRO
against the sale of reclaimed lands by PEA to AMARI and
from implementing the JVA. Following these events, under
President Estrada’s admin, PEA and AMARI entered into an
Amended JVA and Mr. Chaves claim that the contract is null
and void. Aquino-Sarmiento vs Morato
G.R. No. 92541, November 13, 1991
Issue J. Bidin
w/n: the transfer to AMARI lands reclaimed or to be
reclaimed as part of the stipulations in the (Amended) JVA Facts
between AMARI and PEA violate Sec. 3 Art. XII of the 1987 In February 1989, petitioner herself, a member of respondent
Constitution Movie and Television Review and Classification Board
w/n: the court is the proper forum for raising the issue of (MTRCB), wrote its records officer requesting that she be
whether the amended joint venture agreement is grossly allowed to examine the board's records pertaining to the
disadvantageous to the government. voting slips accomplished by the individual board members
after a review of the movies and television productions. It is
Held on the basis of said slips that films are either banned, cut or
On the issue of Amended JVA as violating the constitution: classified accordingly. Acting on the said request, the records
1. The 157.84 hectares of reclaimed lands comprising the officer informed petitioner that she has to secure prior
Freedom Islands, now covered by certificates of title in the clearance from respondent Morato, as chairman of MTRCB, to
name of PEA, are alienable lands of the public domain. PEA gain access to the records sought to be examined. Petitioner's
may lease these lands to private corporations but may not sell request was eventually denied by Morato on the ground that
or transfer ownership of these lands to private corporations. whenever the members of the board sit in judgment over a
PEA may only sell these lands to Philippine citizens, subject to film, their decisions as reflected in the individual voting slips
the ownership limitations in the 1987 Constitution and partake the nature of conscience votes and as such, are purely
existing laws. and completely private and personal. It is the submission of
respondents that the individual voting slips is the exclusive
2. The 592.15 hectares of submerged areas of Manila Bay property of the member concerned and anybody who wants
remain inalienable natural resources of the public domain access thereto must first secure his (the member's) consent,
until classified as alienable or disposable lands open to otherwise, a request therefor may be legally denied.
disposition and declared no longer needed for public service.
The government can make such classification and declaration Petitioner argues, on the other hand, that the records she
only after PEA has reclaimed these submerged areas. Only wishes to examine are public in character and other than
then can these lands qualify as agricultural lands of the public providing for reasonable conditions regulating the manner
domain, which are the only natural resources the government and hours of examination, Morato and the classification board
can alienate. In their present state, the 592.15 hectares of have no authority to deny any citizen seeking examination of
submerged areas are inalienable and outside the commerce of the board's records. On February 27, 1989, Morato called an
man. executive meeting of the MTRCB to discuss, among others, the
issue raised by petitioner. In said meeting, 17 members of the
3. Since the Amended JVA seeks to transfer to AMARI, a board voted to declare their individual voting records as
private corporation, ownership of 77.34 hectares110 of the classified documents which rendered the same inaccessible to
Freedom Islands, such transfer is void for being contrary to the public without clearance from the chairman. Thereafter,
Section 3, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution which prohibits respondent Morato denied petitioner's request to examine the
private corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable land voting slips. However, it was only much later, i.e., on July 27,
of the public domain. 1989, that respondent Board issued Resolution No. 10-89
which declared as confidential, private and personal, the
4. Since the Amended JVA also seeks to transfer to AMARI decision of the reviewing committee and the voting slips of the
ownership of 290.156 hectares111 of still submerged areas of members. Petitioner brought the matter to the attention of the
Manila Bay, such transfer is void for being contrary to Section Executive Secretary, which in turn, referred the same to
2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution which prohibits the respondent Morato for appropriate comment, and which still
alienation of natural resources other than agricultural lands of denied petitioner’s request; hence this petition.
the public domain.
Respondents, however, argue at the outset that the instant
PEA may reclaim these submerged areas. Thereafter, the petition should be dismissed outright for having failed to
government can classify the reclaimed lands as alienable or comply with the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative
disposable, and further declare them no longer needed for remedies.
public service. Still, the transfer of such reclaimed alienable
lands of the public domain to AMARI will be void in view of Issues
Section 3, Article XII of the 1987Constitution which prohibits 1. WON petitioner failed to comply with the said doctrine?
2. WON citizen's right of access to official records is violated?
Respondents contend, however, that what is rendered by the
Held members of the board in reviewing films and reflected in their
1. No. The doctrine of exhaustion of administrate remedies individual voting slip is their individual vote of conscience on
simply provides that before a party litigant is allowed resort the motion picture or television program and as such, makes
to the courts, he is required to comply with all administrative the individual voting slip purely private and personal; an
remedies available under the law. The rationale behind this exclusive property of the member concerned. The term private
salutory principle is that for reasons of practical has been defined as "belonging to or concerning, an individual
considerations, comity and convenience, the courts of law will person, company, or interest"; whereas, public means
not entertain a case until all the available administrative "pertaining to, or belonging to, or affecting a nation, state, or
remedies provided by law have been resorted to and the community at large". May the decisions of respondent Board
appropriate authorities have been given ample opportunity to and the individual members concerned, arrived at in an
act and to correct the errors committed in the administrative official capacity, be considered private? Certainly not. As may
level. If the error is rectified, judicial intervention would then be gleaned from PD 1986 creating the respondent classification
be unnecessary. Nonetheless, the doctrine of exhaustion of board, there is no doubt that its very existence is public is
administrative remedies is not absolute. The applicability of character; it is an office created to serve public interest. It being
the principle admits of certain exceptions, such as: 1) when no the case, respondents can lay no valid claim to privacy. The
administrative review is provided by law; 2) when the only right to privacy belongs to the individual acting in his private
question involved is one of law; 3) where the party invoking capacity and not to a governmental agency or officers tasked
the doctrine is guilty of estoppel; 4) where the challenged with, and acting in, the discharge of public duties. There can
administrative action is patently illegal, arbitrary and be no invasion of privacy in the case at bar since what is sought
oppressive; 5) where there is unreasonable delay or official to be divulged is a product of action undertaken in the course
inaction that would greatly prejudice the complainant; 6) of performing official functions. To declare otherwise would
where to exhaust administrative review is impractical and be to clothe every public official with an impregnable mantle
unreasonable; and 7) where the rule of qualified political of protection against public scrutiny for their official acts.
agency applies.
Further, the decisions of the Board and the individual voting
The issue raised in the instant petition is one of law, hence the slips accomplished by the members concerned are acts made
doctrine of non-exhaustion of administrative remedy relied pursuant to their official functions, and as such, are neither
upon by respondents is inapplicable and cannot be given any personal nor private in nature but rather public in character.
effect. At any rate, records are replete with events pointing to They are, therefore, public records access to which is
the fact that petitioner adhered to the administrative processes guaranteed to the citizenry by no less than the fundamental
in the disposition of the assailed resolutions of public law of the land. Being a public right, the exercise thereof
respondents prior to filing the instant petition by, among cannot be made contingent on the discretion, nay, whim and
others, writing the Executive Secretary and bringing the caprice, of the agency charged with the custody of the official
matter to the attention of the Office of the President. records sought to be examined. The constitutional recognition
Respondents' claim that petitioner failed to exhaust of the citizen's right of access to official records cannot be
administrative remedies must therefore fail. made dependent upon the consent of the members of the
board concerned, otherwise, the said right would be rendered
2. Yes. We find respondents' refusal to allow petitioner to nugatory.
examine the records of respondent MTRCB, pertaining to the
decisions of the review committee as well as the individual
voting slips of its members, as violative of petitioner's Akbayan v Aquino
constitutional right of access to public records. More G.R. No. 170516, July 16, 2008
specifically, Sec. 7, Art. III of the Constitution provides that: CARPIO MORALES, J.
The right of the people to information on matters of public
concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to FACTS
documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, This is regarding the JPEPA, the bilateral free trade agreement
or decisions, as well as to government research data used as ratified by the President with Japan, concerning trade in
basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, goods, rules of origin, customs procedures, paperless trading,
subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. As we trade in services, investment, etc.
held in Legaspi v. Civil Service Commission, this
constitutional provision is self-executory and supplies "the Prior to President’s signing of JPEPA in Sept. 2006, petitioners
rules by means of which the right to information may be – non-government organizations, Congresspersons, citizens
enjoyed by guaranteeing the right and mandating the duty to and taxpayers – sought via petition for mandamus and
afford access to sources of information. Hence, the prohibition to obtain from respondents the full text of the
fundamental right therein recognized may be asserted by the JPEPA, including the Philippine and Japanese offers
people upon the ratification of the constitution without need submitted during the negotiation process and all pertinent
for any ancillary act of the Legislature. What may be provided attachments and annexes thereto. Particularly, Congress
for by the Legislature are reasonable conditions and through the House Committee are calling for an inquiry into
limitations upon the access to be afforded which must, of the JPEPA, but at the same time, the Executive is refusing to
necessity, be consistent with the declared State Policy of full give them the said copies until the negotiation is completed.
public disclosure of all transactions involving public interest
(Constitution, Art. II, Sec. 28)."
ISSUES Philippine representatives from frankly expressing their
1. Whether or not petitioners have legal standing views during negotiations. While, on first impression, it
2. Whether or not the Philippine and Japanese offers during appears wise to deter Philippine representatives from entering
the negotiation process are privileged into compromises, it bears noting that treaty negotiations, or
3. Whether or not the President can validly exclude any negotiation for that matter, normally involve a process of
Congress, exercising its power of inquiry and power to quid pro quo, and oftentimes negotiators have to be willing to
concur in treaties, from the negotiation process grant concessions in an area of lesser importance in order to
obtain more favorable terms in an area of greater national
RULING interest.

Standing Diplomatic negotiations, therefore, are recognized as

In a petition anchored upon the right of the people to privileged in this jurisdiction, the JPEPA negotiations
information on matters of public concern, which is a public constituting no exception. It bears emphasis, however, that
right by its very nature, petitioners need not show that they such privilege is only presumptive. For as Senate v. Ermita
have any legal or special interest in the result, it being holds, recognizing a type of information as privileged does not
sufficient to show that they are citizens and, therefore, part of mean that it will be considered privileged in all instances.
the general public which possesses the right. As the present Only after a consideration of the context in which the claim is
petition is anchored on the right to information and petitioners made may it be determined if there is a public interest that
are all suing in their capacity as citizens and groups of citizens calls for the disclosure of the desired information, strong
including petitioners-members of the House of enough to overcome its traditionally privileged status.
Representatives who additionally are suing in their capacity
as such, the standing of petitioners to file the present suit is Does the exception apply even though JPEPA is primarily
grounded in jurisprudence. economic and does not involve national security?

JPEPA, A Matter of Public Concern While there are certainly privileges grounded on the necessity
of safeguarding national security such as those involving
To be covered by the right to information, the information military secrets, not all are founded thereon. One example is
sought must meet the threshold requirement that it be a matter the “informer’s privilege,” or the privilege of the Government
of public concern xxx not to disclose the identity of a person or persons who furnish
information of violations of law to officers charged with the
From the nature of the JPEPA as an international trade enforcement of that law. The suspect involved need not be so
agreement, it is evident that the Philippine and Japanese offers notorious as to be a threat to national security for this privilege
submitted during the negotiations towards its execution are to apply in any given instance. Otherwise, the privilege would
matters of public concern. This, respondents do not dispute. be inapplicable in all but the most high-profile cases, in which
They only claim that diplomatic negotiations are covered by case not only would this be contrary to long-standing practice.
the doctrine of executive privilege, thus constituting an It would also be highly prejudicial to law enforcement efforts
exception to the right to information and the policy of full in general.
public disclosure.
Also illustrative is the privileged accorded to presidential
Privileged Character of Diplomatic Negotiations Recognized communications, which are presumed privileged without
distinguishing between those which involve matters of
The privileged character of diplomatic negotiations has been national security and those which do not, the rationale for the
recognized in this jurisdiction. In discussing valid limitations privilege being that a frank exchange of exploratory ideas and
on the right to information, the Court in Chavez v. PCGG held assessments, free from the glare of publicity and pressure by
that “information on inter-government exchanges prior to the interested parties, is essential to protect the independence of
conclusion of treaties and executive agreements may be decision-making of those tasked to exercise Presidential,
subject to reasonable safeguards for the sake of national Legislative and Judicial power.
In the same way that the privilege for judicial deliberations
Applying the principles adopted in PMPF v. Manglapus, it is does not depend on the nature of the case deliberated upon,
clear that while the final text of the JPEPA may not be kept so presidential communications are privileged whether they
perpetually confidential – since there should be “ample involve matters of national security.
opportunity for discussion before [a treaty] is approved” – the
offers exchanged by the parties during the negotiations It bears emphasis, however, that the privilege accorded to
presidential communications is not absolute, one significant
continue to be privileged even after the JPEPA is published. It
is reasonable to conclude that the Japanese representatives qualification being that “the Executive cannot, any more than
submitted their offers with the understanding that “historic the other branches of government, invoke a general
confidentiality” would govern the same. Disclosing these confidentiality privilege to shield its officials and employees
offers could impair the ability of the Philippines to deal notfrom investigations by the proper governmental institutions
only with Japan but with other foreign governments in future into possible criminal wrongdoing.” This qualification applies
negotiations. whether the privilege is being invoked in the context of a
judicial trial or a congressional investigation conducted in aid
A ruling that Philippine offers in treaty negotiations should of legislation.
not be open to public scrutiny would discourage future
Closely related to the “presidential communications”
privilege is the deliberative process privilege recognized in the As to the power to negotiate treaties, the constitutional basis
United States. As discussed by the U.S. Supreme Court in thereof is Section 21 of Article VII – the article on the Executive
NLRB v. Sears, Roebuck & Co, deliberative process covers Department.
documents reflecting advisory opinions, recommendations
and deliberations comprising part of a process by which xxx
governmental decisions and policies are formulated. Notably,
the privileged status of such documents rests, not on the need While the power then to fix tariff rates and other taxes clearly
to protect national security but, on the “obvious realization belongs to Congress, and is exercised by the President only be
that officials will not communicate candidly among delegation of that body, it has long been recognized that the
themselves if each remark is a potential item of discovery and power to enter into treaties is vested directly and exclusively
front page news,” the objective of the privilege being to in the President, subject only to the concurrence of at least two-
enhance the quality of agency decisions. thirds of all the Members of the Senate for the validity of the
treaty. In this light, the authority of the President to enter into
The diplomatic negotiations privilege bears a close trade agreements with foreign nations provided under P.D.
resemblance to the deliberative process and presidential 1464 may be interpreted as an acknowledgment of a power
communications privilege. It may be readily perceived that already inherent in its office. It may not be used as basis to
the rationale for the confidential character of diplomatic hold the President or its representatives accountable to
negotiations, deliberative process, and presidential Congress for the conduct of treaty negotiations.
communications is similar, if not identical.
This is not to say, of course, that the President’s power to enter
The earlier discussion on PMPF v. Manglapus shows that the into treaties is unlimited but for the requirement of Senate
privilege for diplomatic negotiations is meant to encourage a concurrence, since the President must still enure that all
frank exchange of exploratory ideas between the negotiating treaties will substantively conform to all the relevant
parties by shielding such negotiations from public view. provisions of the Constitution.
Similar to the privilege for presidential communications, the
diplomatic negotiations privilege seeks, through the same It follows from the above discussion that Congress, while
means, to protect the independence in decision-making of the possessing vast legislative powers, may not interfere in the
President, particularly in its capacity as “the sole organ of the field of treaty negotiations. While Article VII, Section 21
nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with provides for Senate concurrence, such pertains only to the
foreign nations.” And, as with the deliberative process validity of the treaty under consideration, not to the conduct
privilege, the privilege accorded to diplomatic negotiations of negotiations attendant to its conclusion. Moreover, it is not
arises, not on account of the content of the information per se, even Congress as a while that has been given the authority to
but because the information is part of a process of deliberation concur as a means of checking the treaty-making power of the
which, in pursuit of the public interest, must be presumed President, but only the Senate.
Thus, as in the case of petitioners suing in their capacity as
Clearly, the privilege accorded to diplomatic negotiations private citizens, petitioners-members of the House of
follows as a logical consequence from the privileged character Representatives fail to present a “sufficient showing of need”
of the deliberative process. that the information sought is critical to the performance of the
functions of Congress, functions that do not include treaty-
Does diplomatic privilege only apply to certain stages of the negotiation.
negotiation process?
Did the respondent’s alleged failure to timely claim executive
In Chavez v. PEA and Chavez v. PCGG, the Court held that privilege constitute waiver of such privilege?
with regard to the duty to disclose “definite propositions of
the government,” such duty does not include recognized That respondent invoked the privilege for the first time only
exceptions like privileged information, military and in their Comment to the present petition does not mean that
diplomatic secrets and similar matters affecting national the claim of privilege should not be credited. Petitioner’s
security and public order. position presupposes that an assertion of the privilege should
have been made during the House Committee investigations,
Treaty-making power of the President failing which respondents are deemed to have waived it.

xxx they (petitioners) argue that the President cannot exclude xxx (but) Respondent’s failure to claim the privilege during
Congress from the JPEPA negotiations since whatever power the House Committee hearings may not, however, be
and authority the President has to negotiate international construed as a waiver thereof by the Executive branch. xxx
trade agreements is derived only by delegation of Congress, what respondents received from the House Committee and
pursuant to Article VI, Section 28(2) of the Constitution and petitioner-Congressman Aguja were mere requests for
Sections 401 and 402 of Presidential Decree No. 1464. information. And as priorly stated, the House Committee
itself refrained from pursuing its earlier resolution to issue a
The subject of Article VI Section 28(2) of the Constitution is not subpoena duces tecum on account of then Speaker Jose de
the power to negotiate treaties and international agreements, Venecia’s alleged request to Committee Chairperson
but the power to fix tariff rates, import and export quotas, and Congressman Teves to hold the same in abeyance.
other taxes xxx.
The privilege is an exemption to Congress’ power of inquiry. Regional Assembly as a policy-formulating body and a
So long as Congress itself finds no cause to enforce such Cordillera Executive Board as an implementing arm. The CAR
power, there is no strict necessity to assert the privilege. In this and the Assembly and Executive Board shall exist until such
light, respondent’s failure to invoke the privilege during the time as the autonomous regional government is established
House Committee investigations did not amount to waiver and organized.
In these cases, petitioners principally argue that by issuing
“Showing of Need” Test E.O. No. 220 the President, in the exercise of her legislative
powers prior to the convening of the first Congress under the
In executive privilege controversies, the requirement that 1987 Constitution, has virtually pre-empted Congress from its
parties present a “sufficient showing of need” only means, in mandated task of enacting an organic act and created an
substance, that they should show a public interest in favor of autonomous region in the Cordilleras.
disclosure sufficient in degree to overcome the claim of
privilege. Verily, the Court in such cases engages in a Issues
balancing of interests. Such a balancing of interests is certainly 1. WON EO 220 is valid
not new in constitutional adjudication involving fundamental 2. WON CAR is a territorial and political subdivision.
rights. 3. WON the creation of the CAR contravened the
constitutional guarantee of the local autonomy for the
xxx However, when the Executive has – as in this case – provinces (Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and
invoked the privilege, and it has been established that the Mountain Province) and city (Baguio City) which
subject information is indeed covered by the privilege being compose the CAR.
claimed, can a party overcome the same by merely asserting
that the information being demanded is a matter of public Held
concern, without any further showing required? Certainly not,
for that would render the doctrine of executive privilege of no Issue 1: Yes
force and effect whatsoever as a limitation on the right to
information, because then the sole test in such controversies A reading of E.O. No. 220 will easily reveal that what it
would be whether an information is a matter of public actually envisions is the consolidation and coordination of the
concern. delivery of services of line departments and agencies of the
National Government in the areas covered by the
Right to information vis-a-vis Executive Privilege administrative region as a step preparatory to the grant of
autonomy to the Cordilleras. It does not create the
xxx the Court holds that, in determining whether an autonomous region contemplated in the Constitution. It
information is covered by the right to information, a specific merely provides for transitory measures in anticipation of the
“showing of need” for such information is not a relevant enactment of an organic act and the creation of an autonomous
consideration, but only whether the same is a matter of public region. In short, it prepares the ground for autonomy. This
concern. When, however, the government has claimed does not necessarily conflict with the provisions of the
executive privilege, and it has established that the information Constitution on autonomous regions, as we shall show later.
is indeed covered by the same, then the party demanding it, if
it is to overcome the privilege, must show that that Moreover, the transitory nature of the CAR does not
information is vital, not simply for the satisfaction of its necessarily mean that it is, as petitioner Cordillera Broad
curiosity, but for its ability to effectively and reasonably Coalition asserts, "the interim autonomous region in the
participate in social, political, and economic decision-making. Cordilleras". The Constitution provides for a basic structure of
government in the autonomous region composed of an
Cordillera Broad Coalition vs. Coa elective executive and legislature and special courts with
G.R. No. 79956, January 29, 1990 personal, family and property law jurisdiction. Using this as a
J. Cortes guide, we find that E.O. No. 220 did not establish an
autonomous regional government. It created a region,
Facts covering a specified area, for administrative purposes with the
EO 220, issued by the President in the exercise of her main objective of coordinating the planning and
legislative powers under Art. XVIII, sec. 6 of the Constitution, implementation of programs and services. To determine
created the CAR. It was created to accelerate economic and policy, it created a representative assembly, to convene yearly
social growth in the region and to prepare for the only for a five-day regular session, tasked with, among others,
establishment of the autonomous region in the Cordilleras. Its identifying priority projects and development programs. To
main function is to coordinate the planning and serve as an implementing body, it created the Cordillera
implementation of programs and services in the region, Executive Board. The bodies created by E.O. No. 220 do not
particularly, to coordinate with the local government units as supplant the existing local governmental structure, nor are
well as with the executive departments of the National they autonomous government agencies. They merely
Government in the supervision of field offices and in constitute the mechanism for an "umbrella" that brings
identifying, planning, monitoring, and accepting projects and together the existing local governments, the agencies of the
activities in the region. It shall also monitor the National Government, the ethno-linguistic groups or tribes,
implementation of all ongoing national and local government and non-governmental organizations in a concerted effort to
projects in the region. The CAR shall have a Cordillera spur development in the Cordilleras.
Issue 2: No the 1987 Constitution, contemplates the grant of political
autonomy and not just administrative autonomy to these
We have seen earlier that the CAR is not the autonomous regions. Thus, the provision in the Constitution for an
region in the Cordilleras contemplated by the Constitution. autonomous regional government with a basic structure
Thus, we now address petitioners' assertion that E.O. No. 220 consisting of an executive department and a legislative
contravenes the Constitution by creating a new territorial and assembly and special courts with personal, family and
political subdivision. After carefully considering the property law jurisdiction in each of the autonomous regions.
provisions of E.O. No. 220, we find that it did not create a new
territorial and political subdivision or merge existing ones into As we have said earlier, the CAR is a mere transitory
a larger subdivision. coordinating agency that would prepare the stage for political
autonomy for the Cordilleras. It fills in the resulting gap in the
Firstly, the CAR is not a public corporation or a territorial and process of transforming a group of adjacent territorial and
political subdivision. It does not have a separate juridical political subdivisions already enjoying local or administrative
personality, unlike provinces, cities and municipalities. autonomy into an autonomous region vested with political
Neither is it vested with the powers that are normally granted autonomy.
to public corporations, e.g. the power to sue and be sued, the
power to own and dispose of property, the power to create its Disomangcop v. Datumanong (Sec of DPWH)
own sources of revenue, etc. As stated earlier, the CAR was G.R. No. 149848, November 25, 2004
created primarily to coordinate the planning and J. Tinga
implementation of programs and services in the covered
areas. Facts
Challenged in the instant petition for certiorari, prohibition
The creation of administrative regions for the purpose of and mandamus with prayer for a temporary restraining order
expediting the delivery of services is nothing new. The and/or writ of preliminary injunction are the constitutionality
Integrated Reorganization Plan of 1972, which was made as and validity of Republic Act No. 8999 entitled “An Act
part of the law of the land by virtue of PD 1, established Establishing An Engineering District in the First District of the
11regions, later increased to 12, with definite regional centers Province of Lanao del Sur and Appropriating Funds
and required departments and agencies of the Executive Therefor,” and Department of Public Works and Highways
Branch of the National Government to set up field offices (DPWH) Department Order No. 119 on the subject, “Creation
therein. The functions of the regional offices to be established of Marawi Sub-District Engineering Office.”
pursuant to the Reorganization Plan are: (1) to implement
laws, policies, plans, programs, rules and regulations of the Pursuant to the constitutional mandate, Republic Act No. 6734
department or agency in the regional areas; (2) to provide (R.A. 6734), entitled “An Act Providing for An Organic Act for
economical, efficient and effective service to the people in the the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,” was enacted
area; (3) to coordinate with regional offices of other and signed into law on 1 August 1989. The law called for the
departments, bureaus and agencies in the area; (4) to holding of a plebiscite in the provinces of Basilan, Cotabato,
coordinate with local government units in the area; and (5) to Davao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao,
perform such other functions as may be provided by law. Palawan, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi,
Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur, and the cities
CAR is in the same genre as the administrative regions created of Cotabato, Dapitan, Dipolog, General Santos, Iligan,
under the Reorganization Plan, albeit under E.O. No. 220 the Marawi, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa and Zamboanga. In the
operation of the CAR requires the participation not only of the plebiscite, only four (4) provinces voted for the creation of an
line departments and agencies of the National Government autonomous region, namely: Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao,
but also the local governments, ethno-linguistic groups and Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. These provinces became the
non-governmental organizations in bringing about the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The law
desired objectives and the appropriation of funds solely for contains elaborate provisions on the powers of the Regional
that purpose. Government and the areas of jurisdiction which are reserved
for the National Government. President Aquino issued E.O.
Issue 3: No 426, entitled “Placing the Control and Supervision of the
Offices of the DPWH within the ARMM under the
It must be clarified that the constitutional guarantee of local Autonomous Regional Government, and for other purposes.”
autonomy in the Constitution refers to the administrative
autonomy of local government units or, cast in more technical
language, the decentralization of government authority. Local Nearly nine (9) years later, then DPWH Secretary Gregorio R.
autonomy is not unique to the 1987 Constitution, it being Vigilar issued D.O. 119 (Creation of Marawi Sub-District
guaranteed also under the 1973 Constitution. And while there Engineering Officewhich shall have jurisdiction over all
was no express guarantee under the 1935 Constitution, the national infrastructure projects and facilities under the DPWH
Congress enacted the Local Autonomy Act (R.A. No. 2264) within Marawi City and the province of Lanao del Sur.)
and the Decentralization Act (R.A. No. 5185), which ushered
the irreversible march towards further enlargement of local Almost two years later, President Estrada approved and
autonomy in the country. signed into law R.A. 8999 (establishing engineering district in
lanao del sur).
On the other hand, the creation of autonomous regions in
Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras, which is peculiar to
Congress later passed R.A. 9054, entitled “An Act to enforcement of D.O. 119 and R.A. 8999. Such injury is direct
Strengthen and Expand the Organic Act for the Autonomous and immediate. Thus, they can legitimately challenge the
Region in Muslim Mindanao, Amending for the Purpose validity of the enactments subject of the instant case.
Republic Act No. 6734, entitled An Act Providing for the
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, as Amended.” Issue 2
WON Republic Act No. 8999 was valid
On 23 July 2001, petitioners addressed a petition to DPWH
Secretary Simeon Datumanong, seeking the revocation of D.O. Held
119 and the non-implementation of R.A. 8999. No action, No. The challenged law never became operative and was
however, was taken on the petition. superseded or repealed by a subsequent enactment. The
ARMM Organic Acts are deemed a part of the regional
Petitioners allege that D.O. 119 was issued with grave abuse autonomy scheme. While they are classified as statutes, the
of discretion and that it violates the constitutional autonomy Organic Acts are more than ordinary statutes because they
of the ARMM. They point out that the challenged Department enjoy affirmation by a plebiscite. Hence, the provisions thereof
Order has tasked the Marawi Sub-District Engineering Office cannot be amended by an ordinary statute, such as R.A. 8999
with functions that have already been devolved to the DPWH- in this case. The amendatory law has to be submitted to a
ARMM First Engineering District in Lanao del Sur. plebiscite.

Petitioners also contend that R.A. 8999 is a piece of legislation Although R.A. 9054 was enacted later, it reaffirmed the
that was not intelligently and thoroughly studied, and that the imperativeness of the plebiscite requirement. In fact, R.A.
explanatory note to House Bill No. 995 (H.B. 995) from which 9054 itself, being the second or later ARMM Organic Act, was
the law originated is questionable. Petitioners assert as well subjected to and ratified in a plebiscite.
that prior to the sponsorship of the law, no public hearing nor
consultation with the DPWH-ARMM was made. The House The first ARMM Organic Act, R.A. 6074, as implemented by
Committee on Public Works and Highways (Committee) E.O. 426, devolved the functions of the DPWH in the ARMM
failed to invite a single official from the affected agency. which includes Lanao del Sur (minus Marawi City at the time)
Finally, petitioners argue that the law was skillfully timed for to the Regional Government. By creating an office with
signature by former President Joseph E. Estrada during the previously devolved functions, R.A. 8999, in essence, sought
pendency of the impeachment proceedings. to amend R.A. 6074. The amendatory law should therefore
first obtain the approval of the people of the ARMM before it
Issue 1 could validly take effect. Absent compliance with this
Preliminaries requirement, R.A. 8999 has not even become operative.

Ratio From another perspective, R.A. 8999 was repealed and

In seeking to nullify acts of the legislature and the executive superseded by R.A. 9054. Where a statute of later date clearly
department on the ground that they contravene the reveals an intention on the part of the legislature to abrogate a
Constitution, the petition no doubt raises a justiciable prior act on the subject, that intention must be given effect.
controversy. R.A. 9054 is anchored on the 1987 Constitution. It advances
The challenge to the legal standing of petitioners cannot the constitutional grant of autonomy by detailing the powers
succeed. Legal standing or locus standi is defined as a personal of the ARG covering, among others, Lanao del Sur and
and substantial interest in the case such that the party has Marawi City, one of which is its jurisdiction over regional
sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the urban and rural planning. R.A. 8999, however, ventures to
governmental act that is being challenged. The term “interest” reestablish the National Government’s jurisdiction over
means a material interest, an interest in issue affected by the infrastructure programs in Lanao del Sur. R.A. 8999 is patently
decree, as distinguished from a mere interest in the question inconsistent with R.A. 9054, and it destroys the latter law’s
involved, or a mere incidental interest. objective.
But following the new trend, this Court is inclined to take
cognizance of a suit although it does not satisfy the Clearly, R.A. 8999 is antagonistic to and cannot be reconciled
requirement of legal standing when paramount interests are with both ARMM Organic Acts, R.A. 6734 and R.A. 9054. The
involved. In several cases, the Court has adopted a liberal kernel of the antagonism and disharmony lies in the regional
stance on the locus standi of a petitioner where the petitioner autonomy which the ARMM Organic Acts ordain pursuant to
is able to craft an issue of transcendental significance to the the Constitution. On the other hand, R.A. 8999 contravenes
people. true decentralization which is the essence of regional
It is not far-fetched that the creation of the Marawi Sub-District autonomy.
Engineering Office under D.O. 119 and the creation of and
appropriation of funds to the First Engineering District of Regional Autonomy Under R.A. 6734 and R.A. 9054
Lanao del Sur as directed under R.A. 8999 will affect the The idea behind the Constitutional provisions for autonomous
powers, functions and responsibilities of the petitioners and regions is to allow the separate development of peoples with
the DPWH-ARMM. As the two offices have apparently been distinctive cultures and traditions. These cultures, as a matter
endowed with functions almost identical to those of DPWH- of right, must be allowed to flourish.
ARMM First Engineering District in Lanao del Sur, it is likely
that petitioners are in imminent danger of being eased out of Autonomy, as a national policy, recognizes the wholeness of
their duties and, not remotely, even their jobs. Their material the Philippine society in its ethnolinguistic, cultural, and even
and substantial interests will definitely be prejudiced by the religious diversities. It strives to free Philippine society of the
strain and wastage caused by the assimilationist approach. right to self-government, to make them self-reliant, and to
Policies emanating from the legislature are invariably improve their administrative and technical capabilities.
assimilationist in character despite channels being open for
minority representation. As a result, democracy becomes an The diminution of Congress’ powers over autonomous
irony to the minority group. regions was confirmed in Ganzon v. CA wherein this Court
held that “the omission (of “as may be provided by law”)
The need for regional autonomy is more pressing in the case signifies nothing more than to underscore local governments’
of the Filipino Muslims and the Cordillera people who have autonomy from Congress and to break Congress’ ‘control’
been fighting for it. Their political struggle highlights their over local government affairs.”
unique cultures and the unresponsiveness of the unitary
system to their aspirations. The Moros’ struggle for self- This is true to subjects over which autonomous regions have
determination dates as far back as the Spanish conquest in the powers, as specified in Sections 18 and 20, Article X of the 1987
Philippines. Even at present, the struggle goes on. Constitution. Expressly not included therein are powers over
certain areas. Worthy of note is that the area of public works
However, the creation of autonomous regions does not signify is not excluded and neither is it reserved for the National
the establishment of a sovereignty distinct from that of the Government.
Republic, as it can be installed only “within the framework of
this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as E.O. 426 officially devolved the powers and functions of the
territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.” DPWH in ARMM to the Autonomous Regional Government
(ARG). More importantly, Congress itself through R.A. 9054
The objective of the autonomy system is to permit determined transferred and devolved the administrative and fiscal
groups, with a common tradition and shared social-cultural management of public works and funds for public works to
characteristics, to develop freely their ways of life and the ARG.
heritage, exercise their rights, and be in charge of their own
business. This is achieved through the establishment of a In treading their chosen path of development, the Muslims in
special governance regime for certain member communities Mindanao are to be given freedom and independence with
who choose their own authorities from within the community minimum interference from the National Government. This
and exercise the jurisdictional authority legally accorded to necessarily includes the freedom to decide on, build, supervise
them to decide internal community affairs. and maintain the public works and infrastructure projects
within the autonomous region. The devolution of the powers
In the Philippine setting, regional autonomy implies the and functions of the DPWH in the ARMM and transfer of the
cultivation of more positive means for national integration. It administrative and fiscal management of public works and
would remove the wariness among the Muslims, increase funds to the ARG are meant to be true, meaningful and
their trust in the government and pave the way for the unfettered. This unassailable conclusion is grounded on a
unhampered implementation of the development programs in clear consensus, reached at the Constitutional Commission
the region and ratified by the entire Filipino electorate, on the centrality
of decentralization of power as the appropriate vessel of
A necessary prerequisite of autonomy is decentralization. deliverance for Muslim Filipinos and the ultimate unity of
Decentralization is a decision by the central government Muslims and Christians in this country.
authorizing its subordinates, whether geographically or
functionally defined, to exercise authority in certain areas. It With R.A. 8999, however, this freedom is taken away, and the
involves decision-making by subnational units. It is typically National Government takes control again. The hands, once
a delegated power, wherein a larger government chooses to more, of the autonomous peoples are reined in and tied up.
delegate certain authority to more local governments.
Federalism implies some measure of decentralization, but The challenged law creates an office with functions and
unitary systems may also decentralize. Decentralization powers which, by virtue of E.O. 426, have been previously
differs intrinsically from federalism in that the sub-units that devolved to the DPWH-ARMM, First Engineering District in
have been authorized to act (by delegation) do not possess any Lanao del Sur. E.O. 426 clearly ordains the transfer of the
claim of right against the central government. control and supervision of the offices of the DPWH within the
ARMM, including their functions, powers and
Decentralization comes in two forms—deconcentration and responsibilities, personnel, equipment, properties, and
devolution. Deconcentration is administrative in nature; it budgets to the ARG. Among its other functions, the DPWH-
involves the transfer of functions or the delegation of ARMM, under the control of the Regional Government shall
authority and responsibility from the national office to the be responsible for highways, flood control and water resource
regional and local offices. This mode of decentralization is development systems, and other public works within the
also referred to as administrative decentralization. ARMM. Its scope of power includes the planning, design,
construction and supervision of public works. According to
Devolution, on the other hand, connotes political RA 9054, the reach of the Regional Government enables it to
decentralization, or the transfer of powers, responsibilities, appropriate, manage and disburse all public work funds
and resources for the performance of certain functions from allocated for the region by the central government. The use of
the central government to local government units. This is a the word “powers” in EO 426 manifests an unmistakable case
more liberal form of decentralization since there is an actual of devolution.
transfer of powers and responsibilities. It aims to grant greater
autonomy to local government units in cognizance of their
It is clear from the foregoing provision of law that except for
the areas of executive power mentioned therein, all other such The fact that the department order was issued pursuant to
areas shall be exercised by the Autonomous Regional E.O. 124—signed and approved by President Aquino in her
Government (“ARG”) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim residual legislative powers—is of no moment. It is a finely-
Mindanao. It is noted that programs relative to infrastructure imbedded principle in statutory construction that a special
facilities, health, education, women in development, provision or law prevails over a general one.[90] Lex specialis
agricultural extension and watershed management do not fall derogant generali. As this Court expressed in the case of
under any of the exempted areas listed in the provision of law. Leveriza v. Intermediate Appellate Court,[91] “another basic
Thus, the inevitable conclusion is that all these spheres of principle of statutory construction mandates that general
executive responsibility have been transferred to the ARG. legislation must give way to special legislation on the same
subject, and generally be so interpreted as to embrace only
R.A. 8999 has made the DPWH-ARMM effete and rendered cases in which the special provisions are not applicable, that
regional autonomy illusory with respect to infrastructure specific statute prevails over a general statute and that where
projects. The Congressional Record shows, on the other hand, two statutes are of equal theoretical application to a particular
that the “lack of an implementing and monitoring body within case, the one designed therefor specially should prevail.”
the area” has hindered the speedy implementation, of E.O. No. 124, upon which D.O. 119 is based, is a general law
infrastructure projects. Apparently, in the legislature’s reorganizing the Ministry of Public Works and Highways
estimation, the existing DPWH-ARMM engineering districts while E.O. 426 is a special law transferring the control and
failed to measure up to the task. But if it was indeed the case, supervision of the DPWH offices within ARMM to the
the problem could not be solved through the simple legislative Autonomous Regional Government. The latter statute
creation of an incongruous engineering district for the central specifically applies to DPWH-ARMM offices. E.O. 124 should
government in the ARMM. As it was, House Bill No. 995 therefore give way to E.O. 426 in the instant case.
which ultimately became R.A. 8999 was passed in record time
on second reading (not more than 10 minutes), absolutely In any event, the ARMM Organic Acts and their ratification in
without the usual sponsorship speech and debates. The a plebiscite in effect superseded E.O. 124. In case of an
precipitate speed which characterized the passage of R.A. 8999 irreconcilable conflict between two laws of different vintages,
is difficult to comprehend since R.A. 8999 could have resulted the later enactment prevails because it is the later legislative
in the amendment of the first ARMM Organic Act and, will.
therefore, could not take effect without first being ratified in a
plebiscite. What is more baffling is that in March 2001, or Further, in its repealing clause, R.A. 9054 states that “all laws,
barely two (2) months after it enacted R.A. 8999 in January decrees, orders, rules and regulations, and other issuances or
2001, Congress passed R.A. 9054, the second ARMM Organic parts thereof, which are inconsistent with this Organic Act, are
Act, where it reaffirmed the devolution of the DPWH in hereby repealed or modified accordingly.” With the repeal of
ARMM, including Lanao del Sur and Marawi City, to the E.O. 124 which is the basis of D.O. 119, it necessarily follows
Regional Government and effectively repealed R.A. 8999. that D.O. 119 was also rendered functus officio by the ARMM
Organic Acts.
Issue 3
WON DPWH Department Order No. 119 was valid Adiong v. COMELEC
G.R. No. 103956, March 31, 1992
D.O. 119 creating the Marawi Sub-District Engineering Office
which has jurisdiction over infrastructure projects within FACTS
Marawi City and Lanao del Sur is violative of the provisions On January 13, 1992, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution
of E.O. 426. The Executive Order was issued pursuant to R.A. No. 2347 pursuant to its powers granted by the Constitution,
6734—which initiated the creation of the constitutionally- the Omnibus Election Code, Republic Acts Nos. 6646 and 7166
mandated autonomous region and which defined the basic and other election laws. Section 15(a) of the resolution
structure of the autonomous government. E.O. 426 sought to provides:
implement the transfer of the control and supervision of the Sec. 15. Lawful Election Propaganda. — The
DPWH within the ARMM to the Autonomous Regional following are lawful election propaganda:
Government. In particular, it identified four (4) District (a) Pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals… Provided,
Engineering Offices in each of the four (4) provinces, namely: That decals and stickers may be posted only in any of
Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.[89] the authorized posting areas provided in paragraph
Accordingly, the First Engineering District of the DPWH- (f) of Section 21 hereof.
ARMM in Lanao del Sur has jurisdiction over the public works Section 21 (f) of the same resolution provides:
within the province. Sec. 21(f). Prohibited forms of election propaganda.
It is unlawful:…
The office created under D.O. 119, having essentially the same (f) To draw, paint, inscribe, post, display or publicly
powers, is a duplication of the DPWH-ARMM First exhibit any election propaganda in any place, whether
Engineering District in Lanao del Sur formed under the aegis public or private, mobile or stationary, except in the
of E.O. 426. The department order, in effect, takes back COMELEC common posted areas and/or
powers which have been previously devolved under the said billboards…
executive order. D.O. 119 runs counter to the provisions of
E.O. 426. The DPWH’s order, like spring water, cannot rise
higher than its source of power—the Executive.
Petitioner Blo Umpar Adiong, a senatorial candidate in the authorized areas designated by the COMELEC becomes
May 11, 1992 elections assails the COMELEC’s Resolution censorship which cannot be justified by the Constitution.
insofar as it prohibits the posting of decals and stickers in
“mobile” places like cars and other moving vehicles.
According to him such prohibition is violative of Section 82 of Pamatong vs COMELEC
the Omnibus Election Code and Section 11(a) of Republic Act G.R. No. 161872, April 13, 2004
No. 6646. J. Tinga

Whether or not the COMELEC may prohibit the posting of Petitioner Pamatong filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC)
decals and stickers on “mobile” places, public or private, and for President. Respondent COMELEC declared petitioner and
limit their location or publication to the authorized posting 35 others as nuisance candidates who could not wage a
areas that it fixes. nationwide campaign and/or are not nominated by a political
party or are not supported by a registered political party with
HELD a national constituency.
The petition is hereby GRANTED. The portion of Section 15
(a) of Resolution No. 2347 of the COMELEC providing that Pamatong filed a Petition For Writ of Certiorari with the
“decals and stickers may be posted only in any of the Supreme Court claiming that the COMELEC violated his right
authorized posting areas provided in paragraph (f) of Section to “equal access to opportunities for public service” under
21 hereof” is DECLARED NULL and VOID. The COMELEC’s Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, by limiting the
prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on “mobile” number of qualified candidates only to those who can afford
places whether public or private except in designated areas to wage a nationwide campaign and/or are nominated by
provided for by the COMELEC itself is null and void on political parties. The COMELEC supposedly erred in
constitutional grounds. The prohibition unduly infringes on disqualifying him since he is the most qualified among all the
the citizen’s fundamental right of free speech enshrined in the presidential candidates, i.e., he possesses all the constitutional
Constitution (Sec. 4, Article III). Significantly, the freedom of and legal qualifications for the office of the president, he is
expression curtailed by the questioned prohibition is not so capable of waging a national campaign since he has numerous
much that of the candidate or the political party. The national organizations under his leadership, he also has the
regulation strikes at the freedom of an individual to express capacity to wage an international campaign since he has
his preference and, by displaying it on his car, to convince practiced law in other countries, and he has a platform of
others to agree with him. government.

Also, the questioned prohibition premised on the statute (RA ISSUE

6646) and as couched in the resolution is void for overbreadth. Is there a constitutional right to run for or hold public office?
The restriction as to where the decals and stickers should be
posted is so broad that it encompasses even the citizen’s RULING
private property, which in this case is a privately-owned No. What is recognized in Section 26, Article II of the
vehicle (The provisions allowing regulation are so loosely Constitution is merely a privilege subject to limitations
worded that they include the posting of decals or stickers in imposed by law. It neither bestows such a right nor elevates
the privacy of one’s living room or bedroom.) In consequence the privilege to the level of an enforceable right. There is
of this prohibition, another cardinal rule prescribed by the nothing in the plain language of the provision which suggests
Constitution would be violated. Section 1, Article III of the Bill such a thrust or justifies an interpretation of the sort.
of Rights provides that no person shall be deprived of his
property without due process of law. (The right to property The “equal access” provision is a subsumed part of Article II
may be subject to a greater degree of regulation but when this of the Constitution, entitled “Declaration of Principles and
right is joined by a “liberty” interest, the burden of justification State Policies.” The provisions under the Article are generally
on the part of the Government must be exceptionally considered not self-executing, and there is no plausible reason
convincing and irrefutable. The burden is not met in this case.) for according a different treatment to the “equal access”
provision. Like the rest of the policies enumerated in Article
Additionally, the constitutional objective to give a rich II, the provision does not contain any judicially enforceable
candidate and a poor candidate equal opportunity to inform constitutional right but merely specifies a guideline for
the electorate as regards their candidacies, mandated by legislative or executive action. The disregard of the provision
Article II, Section 26 and Article XIII, section 1 in relation to does not give rise to any cause of action before the courts.
Article IX (c) Section 4 of the Constitution, is not impaired by
posting decals and stickers on cars and other private vehicles.
Obviously, the provision is not intended to compel the State
It is to be reiterated that the posting of decals and stickers on
to enact positive measures that would accommodate as many
cars, calesas, tricycles, pedicabs and other moving vehicles people as possible into public office. Moreover, the provision
needs the consent of the owner of the vehicle. Hence, the as written leaves much to be desired if it is to be regarded as
preference of the citizen becomes crucial in this kind of the source of positive rights. It is difficult to interpret the
election propaganda not the financial resources of the clause as operative in the absence of legislation since its
candidate. effective means and reach are not properly defined. Broadly
written, the myriad of claims that can be subsumed under this
In sum, the prohibition on posting of decals and stickers on rubric appear to be entirely open-ended. Words and phrases
“mobile” places whether public or private except in the
such as “equal access,” “opportunities,” and “public service”
are susceptible to countless interpretations owing to their
inherent impreciseness. Certainly, it was not the intention of
the framers to inflict on the people an operative but
amorphous foundation from which innately unenforceable
rights may be sourced.

The privilege of equal access to opportunities to public office

may be subjected to limitations. Some valid limitations
specifically on the privilege to seek elective office are found in
the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code on “Nuisance
Candidates.” As long as the limitations apply to everybody
equally without discrimination, however, the equal access
clause is not violated. Equality is not sacrificed as long as the
burdens engendered by the limitations are meant to be borne
by any one who is minded to file a certificate of candidacy. In
the case at bar, there is no showing that any person is exempt
from the limitations or the burdens which they create.

The rationale behind the prohibition against nuisance

candidates and the disqualification of candidates who have
not evinced a bona fide intention to run for office is easy to
divine. The State has a compelling interest to ensure that its
electoral exercises are rational, objective, and orderly.
Towards this end, the State takes into account the practical
considerations in conducting elections. Inevitably, the greater
the number of candidates, the greater the opportunities for
logistical confusion, not to mention the increased allocation of
time and resources in preparation for the election. The
organization of an election with bona fide candidates standing
is onerous enough. To add into the mix candidates with no
serious intentions or capabilities to run a viable campaign
would actually impair the electoral process. This is not to
mention the candidacies which are palpably ridiculous so as
to constitute a one-note joke. The poll body would be bogged
by irrelevant minutiae covering every step of the electoral
process, most probably posed at the instance of these nuisance
candidates. It would be a senseless sacrifice on the part of the

The question of whether a candidate is a nuisance candidate

or not is both legal and factual. The basis of the factual
determination is not before this Court. Thus, the remand of
this case for the reception of further evidence is in order. The
SC remanded to the COMELEC for the reception of further
evidence, to determine the question on whether petitioner Elly
Velez Lao Pamatong is a nuisance candidate as contemplated
in Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Obiter Dictum: One of Pamatong’s contentions was that he was an

international lawyer and is thus more qualified compared to the likes
of Erap, who was only a high school dropout. Under the Constitution
(Article VII, Section 2), the only requirements are the following: (1)
natural-born citizen of the Philippines; (2) registered voter; (3) able
to read and write; (4) at least forty years of age on the day of the
election; and (5) resident of the Philippines for at least ten years
immediately preceding such election.

At any rate, Pamatong was eventually declared a nuisance candidate

and was disqualified.