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MARBURY VS MADISON

5 US 137 (1803)

Outgoing President John Adams had issued William Marbury a commission as justice of the
peace, but the new Secretary of State, James Madison, refused to deliver it. Marbury then
sued to obtain it. With his decision in Marbury v. Madison, Chief Justice John Marshall
established the principle of judicial review, an important addition to the system of “checks
and balances” created to prevent any one branch of the Federal Government from becoming
too powerful. The document shown here bears the marks of the Capitol fire of 1898.
“A Law repugnant to the Constitution is void.” With these words written by Chief Justice
Marshall, the Supreme Court for the first time declared unconstitutional a law passed by
Congress and signed by the President. Nothing in the Constitution gave the Court this specific
power. Marshall, however, believed that the Supreme Court should have a role equal to those
of the other two branches of government.
When James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay wrote a defense of the Constitution
in The Federalist, they explained their judgment that a strong national government must have
built-in restraints: “You must first enable government to control the governed; and in the
next place oblige it to control itself.” The writers of the Constitution had given the executive
and legislative branches powers that would limit each other as well as the judiciary branch.
The Constitution gave Congress the power to impeach and remove officials, including judges
or the President himself. The President was given the veto power to restrain Congress and
the authority to appoint members of the Supreme Court with the advice and consent of the
Senate. In this intricate system, the role of the Supreme Court had not been defined. It
therefore fell to a strong Chief Justice like Marshall to complete the triangular structure of
checks and balances by establishing the principle of judicial review. Although no other law
was declared unconstitutional until the Dred Scott decision of 1857, the role of the Supreme
Court to invalidate Federal and state laws that are contrary to the Constitution has never
been seriously challenged.
“The Constitution of the United States,” said Woodrow Wilson, “was not made to fit us like a
strait jacket. In its elasticity lies its chief greatness.” The often-praised wisdom of the authors
of the Constitution consisted largely of their restraint. They resisted the temptation to write
too many specifics into the basic document. They contented themselves with establishing a
framework of government that included safeguards against the abuse of power. When the
Marshall decision Marbury v. Madison completed the system of checks and balances, the
United States had a government in which laws could be enacted, interpreted and executed to
meet challenging circumstances.
ANGARA VS ELECTORAL COMMISSION
G.R. NO. 45081
JULY 15, 1936

FACTS:

Jose Angara and Pedro Ynsua, Miguel Castillo and Dionisio Mayor were candidates voted for
the position of member of the National Assembly for the 1st district of Tayabas province.

On Oct 17 1935, the provincial board of canvassers proclaimed Angara as member-elect of


the Nat'l Assembly for garnering the most number of votes. He then took his oath of office on
Nov 15th. On Dec 3rd, Nat'l Assembly passed Res. No 8 which declared with finality the
victory of Angara. On Dec 8, Ynsua filed before the Electoral Commission a motion of protest
against the election of Angara, that he be declared elected member of the Nat'l Assembly.
Electoral Commission passed a resolution in Dec 9th as the last day for the filing of the
protests against the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the National
Assembly. On Dec 20, Angara filed before the Elec. Commission a motion to dismiss the
protest that the protest in question was filed out of the prescribed period. The Elec.
Commission denied Angara's petition.

Angara prayed for the issuance of writ of prohibition to restrain and prohibit the Electoral
Commission taking further cognizance of Ynsua's protest. He contended that the Constitution
confers exclusive jurisdiction upon the said Electoral Commissions as regards the merits of
contested elections to the Nat'l Assembly and the Supreme Court therefore has no jurisdiction
to hear the case.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the SC has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject matter
of the controversy;

HELD:

The Supreme Court ruled that even then, this power of judicial review is limited to actual
cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument by the parties, and
limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented. Any
attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile
conclusions unrelated to actualities. Narrowed as its function is in this manner, the judiciary
does not pass upon questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of legislation. More than that,
courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments not only because
the Legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution but also because the judiciary in the
determination of actual cases and controversies must reflect the wisdom and justice of the
people as expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislative
departments of the government.
CALTEX VS PALOMAR
G.R. NO. L-19650
SEPTEMBER 29, 1966

FACTS:

In 1960, Caltex launched their "Caltex Hooded Pump Contest", which called for participants to
estimate the actual number of liters a hooded gas pump at each Caltex station will dispense
during a specified period.Participants were not required consideration nor pay a fee. No
purchase of Caltex products were also required to be made. Entry forms were to be made
available upon request at each Caltex station where a sealed can would be provided for the
deposit of accomplished entry stubs.

Foreseeing the extensive use of the mails not only as amongst the media for publicizing the
contest but also for the transmission of communications relative thereto, representations
were made by Caltex with the postal authorities for the contest to be cleared in advance for
mailing, having in view the Anti-lottery provisions of the Revised Administrative Code.
Postmaster General Enrico Palomar denied the request, arguing that the said contest violated
the provisions of the law on subject. CALTEX sought judicial intervention wherein the trial
court ruled in its favor. Respondent Palomar appealed, posing the same argument that the
said contest violated the prohibitive provisions of the Postal Law.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the "Caltex Hooded Pump Contest" fell on the purview of the prohibitive
provisions of the Postal Law.

HELD:

The Supreme Court ruled that Construction is the art or process of discovering and
expounding the meaning 'and intention of the authors of the law with respect to its applica-
tion to a given case, where that intention is rendered doubtful, amongst others, by reason of
the fact that the given case is not explicitly provided for in the law (Black, Interpretation of
Laws, p. 1). In the present case, the question of whether or not the scheme proposed by the
appellee is within the coverage of the prohibitive provisions of the Postal Law inescapably
requires an inquiry into the intended meaning of the words used therein. This is as much a
question of construction or interpretation as any other.

In this jurisdiction, judicial decisions assume the same authority as the statute itself and,
until' authoritatively abandoned, necessarily become, to the extent that they are applicable,
the criteria which must control the actuations not only of those called upon to abide thereby
but also of those in duty-bound to enforce obedience thereto.
SPOUSES GAUVAIN VS COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. NO. 97973
JANUARY 27, 1992

FACTS:

In this case, petitioners Gauvain and Bernadita Benzonan want a review on the decision made
by herein respondent Court of Appeals – sustaining the right of private respondent Pe to
repurchase a parcel of land sold to petitioners. It started when respondent Pe was granted
parcel of lands acquired through free patent, however, Pe then mortgaged the lot to DPB;
developed it into commercial complex. Failed to pay the mortgaged, DBP foreclosed the lot;
Pe leased it to DBP; the former failed to redeem such property within one year period; DBP
sold it to petitioners Benzonan. Then Pe filed a complaint to repurchase. The RTC and CA
affirmed and granted the claim to repurchase. Petitioners filed a complaint against CA,
alledging, among other issues, that the latter erred in its decision re. the five-year period in
foreclosure sale by not relying on the doctrine in Monge v. Angeles and instead relied on the
ruling in Belisario v. Intermediate Appellate Court which was applied retroactively. Hence, the
issue.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent Court of Appeals erred in its decision regarding the foreclosure
sale by not applying the doctrinal law ruled in Monge v. Angeles and instead applied
retroactively the ruling in the case Belisario v. IAC?

HELD:

In the light of the records of these cases, The Supreme Court ruled that respondent Pe
cannot repurchase the disputed property without doing violence to everything that CA No.
141 (as amended) stands for. We ruled in Simeon v. Peña, 36 SCRA 610, 617 [1970] through
Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee, that: x x x x x x x x x "These findings of fact of the Court of
Appeals that "(E)vidently, the reconveyance sought by the plaintiff (petitioner) is not in
accordance with the purpose of the law, that is, 'to preserve and keep in the family of the
homesteader that portion of public land which the State has gratuitously given to him'" and
expressly found by it to "find justification from the evidence of record. x x x." "Under the
circumstances, the Court is constrained to agree with the Court of Appeals that petitioners'
proposed repurchase of the property does not fall within the purpose, spirit and meaning of
section 119 of the Public Land Act, authorizing redemption of the homestead from any
vendee thereof." We reiterated this ruling in Vargas v. Court of Appeals, 91 SCRA 195, 200,
[1979] viz: "As regards the case of Simeon v. Peña, petitioners ought to know that petitioner
therein was not allowed to repurchase because the lower court found that his purpose was
only speculative and for profit. In the present case, the Court of Appeals found that herein
petitioners' purposes and motives are also speculative and for profit. "It might be well to note
that the underlying principle of Section 119 of Commonwealth Act No. 141 is to give the
homesteader or patentee every chance to preserve for himself and his family the land that
the State had gratuitously given to him as a reward for his labor in cleaning and cultivating it.
(Simeon v. Peña, 36 SCRA 617). As found by the Court of Appeals, the motive of the
petitioners in repurchasing the lots in question being one for speculation and profit, the same
therefore does not fall within the purpose, spirit and meaning of said section." And in Santana
et. al, v. Mariñas, 94 SCRA 853, 861-862 [1979] to wit: "In Simeon v. Peña we analyzed the
various cases previously decided, and arrived at the conclusion that the plain intent, the
raison d'etre, of Section 119, C.A. No. 141 '. . . is to give the homesteader or patentee every
chance to preserve for himself and his family the land that the state had gratuitously given to
him as a reward for his labor in cleaning and cultivating it.' In the same breath, we agreed
with the trial court, in that case, that 'it is in this sense that the provision of law in question
becomes unqualified and unconditional. And in keeping with such reasons behind the passage
of the law, its basic objective is to promote public policy, that is, to provide home and decent
living for destitutes, aimed at promoting a class of independent small landholders which is the
bulwark of peace and order." "As it was in Simeon v. Peña, respondent Mariñas' intention in
exercising the right of repurchase 'is not for the purpose of preserving the same within the
family fold,' but 'to dispose of it again for greater profit in violation of the law's policy and
spirit.' The foregoing conclusions are supported by the trial court's findings of fact already
cited, culled from evidence adduced. Thus respondent Mariñas was 71 years old and a
widower at the time of the sale in 1956; that he was 78 when he testified on October 24,
1963 (or over 94 years old today if still alive); that. . . he was not living on the property when
he sold the same but was residing in the poblacion attending to a hardware store, and that
the property was no longer agricultural at the time of the sale, but was a residential and
commercial lot in the midst of many subdivisions. The profit motivation behind the effort to
repurchase was conclusively shown when the then plaintiffs counsel, in the case below, Atty.
Loreto Castillo, in his presence, suggested to herein petitioners' counsel, Atty. Rafael
Dinglasan'. . . to just add to the original price so the case would be settled.' Moreover, Atty.
Castillo manifested in court that an amicable settlement was possible, for which reason he
asked for time 'within which to settle the terms thereof and that 'the plaintiff x x x Mr.
Mariñas, has manifested to the Court that if the defendants would be willing to pay the sum
of One Peso and Fifty Centavos (P1.50) per square meter, he would be willing to accept the
offer and dismiss the case." Our decisions were disregarded by the respondent court which
chose to adopt a Court of Appeals ruling in Lim, et al. v. Cruz, et al., CA-G.R. No. 67422,
November 25, 1983 that the motives of the homesteader in repurchasing the land are
inconsequential" and that it does not matter even "when the obvious purpose is for selfish
gain or personal aggrandizement."
BARRERA VS BARRERA
G.R. NO. L-31589
JULY 1970

FACTS:

This case involved the contempt of Judge Alfredo Catolico of the Court of First Instance of
Cavite for having been issued a disciplinary action for the refusal to apply the law as
interpreted by the highest tribunal, the Supreme Court. It started when this case was pending
trial in CFI Cavite, the counsel for petitioner requested Judge Catolico to continue with the
hearing, invoking Section 3, Rule 22 of the Rules of Court. However, the case remains
pending when at the time of the supposed continuance, the new Presiding Judge did not
arrive due to bad weather. Such case was referred to the Justice Department; the
Undersecretary of the latter referred it to respondent judge who, in his comments, said that
such case cannot be continued because it has already lapsed, pursuant to the three-month
limit in the Rules of Court. Moreover, notwithstanding his awareness to a doctrine the Court
rule in Barrueco v. Abeto, the respondent judge predicated his own opinion and rather,
questioned the decisions of the Hon. Court in its ruling in Barrueco case. Hence, a disciplinary
action against respondent. Hence, the issue.

ISSUE: Whether or not the refusal by respondent Judge to apply the law as interpreted by
the Highest Tribunal lead him to his contempt?

HELD:

The Supreme Court ruled that it is to be made clear that the disciplinary action taken against
[the judge] is not for the thoughts entertained or opinions uttered by him. Judges are not
expected to be wholly in agreement with every decision of the Supreme Court. Nor are they
required to keep locked up within their breasts their own views on such matters. Doubts and
skepticism about the continuing validity of doctrines announced by the Supreme Court may
under appropriate circumstances be ventilated. As a matter of fact, they should depend on a
more searching inquiry as to the continuing validity of certain assumptions and
presuppositions uncritically accepted.

What calls for disciplinary action is the recklessness with which respondent Judge did hurl the
baseless allegation that the Clerk of the Supreme Court was permitted to exercise an
authority which appertained to the Chief Justice. He did speak with all the valor of ignorance.
Nor did he retreat from such an indefensible stand in the face of his being informed that what
the Clerk did was solely in accordance with what was previously decided by the Supreme
Court which certainly will not tolerate, anybody else, much less a subordinate, to speak and
act for itself. This gross disrespect shown to Supreme Court has no justification.
VILLENA VS SPOUSES CHAVEZ
G.R. NO. 148126
NOVEMBER 10, 2003

FACTS:

This is a petitioned case that was already decided by the Court of Appeals (CA), this case was
said to be stare decisis which mean ”that a judgment reached in one case should be
applied to successive ones in which the facts are substantially identical, even though the
parties may be different. Like cases ought to be decided alike.”

According to the facts of the CA the respondents owned four parcels of land subdivided
into several blocks. By mere permission of the respondents the petitioners have occupied and
erected their homes, the respondent allowed it but they should, in consideration pay in
certain amount as equity. The petitioners failed to pay the equity from the respondent so the
respondent in return wrote them a letter that they need to vacate the premises in a span of
30 days, but in regards to that the petitioners refused to vacate and remove their houses.
The petitioners said that the respondent does not have power to institute such orders from
the conflicted properties because the equities that they must pay is in accordance of National
Home Mortgage Finance Co. (NHMFC). They also claim that they paid already the said equity
however they were not given any receipts and copy of their contract. The petitioners also
claim that they are qualified beneficiaries under the RA no. 7279 known as the Urban
Development and Housing Act and adding that they were builder of good faith. CA ruled that
the petitioners entered with an agreement of equity with the respondent , so in return they
must pay amortization or they will face eviction

Issue:
Whether or not, the decision of the CA needed to be redefine by the SC

HELD:

The Supreme Court ruled that when a court has laid down a principle of law as applicable to a
certain state of facts, it will adhere to that principle and apply it to all future cases in which
the facts are substantially the same. Stare decisis et non quieta movere. Stand by the
decisions and disturb not what is settled. Stare decisis simply means that for the sake of
certainty, a conclusion reached in one case should be applied to those that follow if the facts
are substantially the same, even though the parties may be different. It proceeds from the
first principle of justice that, absent any powerful countervailing considerations, like cases
ought to be decided alike.
OLAGUER VS MILITARY COMMISSIONS
G.R. NO. L-54558
MAY 22, 1987

FACTS:
Petitioners, as civilians, have been charged the crime of subversion. Consequently, the Chief-
of-Staff of the AFP created a military tribunal, named Military Commission No. 34, to try
criminal case against petitioners. Petitioners were then convicted and have been imposed a
penalty of death penalty. Thereafter, petitioners filed a petition to enjoin the military tribunal
from taking further action on their case for the tribunal should be considered null and void.
Respondents invoked that the creation of Military Commission is constitutional as ruled upon
in a previous case –Aquino v. Military Commission No. 2.- as decided upon by the Supreme
Court. However, petitioners contend that such ruling must be overturned because the ruling
is now inapplicable since Martial Law has already been lifted.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the ruling in Aquino v. Military Commission be abandoned and/or modified in
so far as the case at bar is concerned?

HELD:

First, the Court considered that since the martial law has been lifted during the case is still
pending, military tibunals, which were created for the purpose of martial law, shall be held
void already since the law itself is lifted. Second, the Court relied on the dissenting views of
some justices in AQUINO V. MILCOMM, stating that ‘…Civilians like the petitioner placed
on tiral for civil offenses under general law are entited o trial by judicial process, not by
executive or military process…xxx..Judicial power exist only in courts’.1Moreover, the Court
emphasized that“Reverence for precedent, simply as precedent, cannot prevail when
constitutionalism and the public interest demand otherwise. Thus, a doctrine which should be
abandoned or modified should be abandoned or modified accordingly. after all, more
important than anything else is that this Court should be right.’

1
DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES VS LA CAMPANA
G.R. NO. 137694
JANUARY 17, 2005

FACTS:

An action instituted by petitioner against the respondent for nullification of foreclosure sale
eventually reached the CA. Judgment was rendered in favor of the respondent ordering the
petitioner to surrender possession of the subject properties and to pay “such sums of money
unlawfully collected and/or received by way of rentals from the properties”. Respondent thus
filed with the RTC a motion for the issuance of a writ of execution. Petitioner opposed on the
ground that the CA Decision is incomplete as it is totally silent as to what amount was
unlawfully collected and from what period up to what period is covered by the said
decision. The RTC favored petitioner and suspended the execution pending the filing of a
necessary pleading by respondent to clarify the exact amount due. The CA, however,
disagreed with the RTC and held that there is no need for a “clarification”. Hence, the present
petition.

ISSUE:

Whether the CA Decision was complete and capable of execution even if the dispositive
portion does not state the precise amount to be paid and the particular date from whence to
begin computing such amount.

HELD:

Res judicata refers to the rule that a final judgment or decree on the merits by a court of
competent jurisdiction is conclusive of the rights of the parties or their privies in all later suits
on all points and matters determined in the former suit. The elements of res judicata are as
follows: (1) the former judgment or order must be final; (2) the judgment or order must be
on the merits; (3) it must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject
matter and the parties; (4) there must be, between the first and the second actions, identity
of parties, of subject matter and of cause of action.

The causes of action, and logically, the issues in the two cases, are crystal clear, very much
different, requiring divergent adjudications. In short, while there is identity of parties, there is
NO identity of subject matter and cause of action. This being so, different causes of action
and circumstances in different cases would make reliance on the doctrine of res judicata
misplaced. Res judicata cannot be interposed to bar the determination of a subsequent case
if the first and second cases involve different subject matters and seek different reliefs.
SPOUSES SY VS YOUNG
GR NO. 169214
JUNE 19, 2013

FACTS:

ISSUE:

HELD:

Law of the case has been defined as the opinion delivered on a former appeal. It means that
whatever is once irrevocably established the controlling legal rule of decision between the
same parties in the same case continues to be the law of the case whether correct on general
principles or not, so long as the facts on which such decision was predicated continue to be
the facts of the case before the court. We point out in this respect that the law of the case
does not have the finality of res judicata. Law of the case applies only to the same case,
whereas res judicata forecloses parties or privies in one case by what has been done in
another case. In law of the case, the rule made by an appellate court cannot be departed
from in subsequent proceedings in the same case. Furthermore, law of the case relates
entirely to questions of law while res judicata is applicable to the conclusive determination of
issues of fact. Although res judicata may include questions of law, it is generally concerned
with the effect of adjudication in a wholly independent proceeding. The rationale behind this
rule is to enable an appellate court to perform its duties satisfactorily and efficiently, which
would be impossible if a question, once considered and decided by it, were to be litigated
anew in the same case upon any and every subsequent appeal. Without it, there would be
endless litigation. Litigants would be free to speculate on changes in the personnel of a court,
or on the chance of our rewriting propositions once gravely ruled on solemn argument and
handed down as the law of a given case.