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FLORENCE MALCAMPO-SIN, petitioner, vs. PHILIPP T. SIN, respondent.


DECISION
PARDO, J.:

The Family Code emphasizes the permanent nature of marriage, hailing it as the foundation of the
family.[1] It is this inviolability which is central to our traditional and religious concepts of morality and
provides the very bedrock on which our society finds stability.[2] Marriage is immutable and when both
spouses give their consent to enter it, their consent becomes irrevocable, unchanged even by their
independent wills.
However, this inviolability depends on whether the marriage exists and is valid. If it is void ab initio,
the permanence of the union becomes irrelevant, and the Court can step in to declare it so. Article 36 of the
Family Code is the justification.[3] Where it applies and is duly proven, a judicial declaration can free the
parties from the rights, obligations, burdens and consequences stemming from their marriage.
A declaration of nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code requires the application of
procedural and substantive guidelines. While compliance with these requirements mostly devolves upon
petitioner, the State is likewise mandated to actively intervene in the procedure. Should there be non-
compliance by the State with its statutory duty, there is a need to remand the case to the lower court for
proper trial.
The Case

What is before the Court[4] is an appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeals[5] which affirmed the
decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 158, Pasig City[6] dismissing petitioner Florence Malcampo-Sins
(hereafter Florence) petition for declaration of nullity of marriage due to psychological incapacity for
insufficiency of evidence.
The Facts

On January 4, 1987, after a two-year courtship and engagement, Florence and respondent Philipp T.
Sin (hereafter Philipp), a Portugese citizen, were married at St. Jude Catholic Parish in San Miguel, Manila.[7]
On September 20, 1994, Florence filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 158, Pasig City, a complaint
for declaration of nullity of marriage against Philipp.[8] Trial ensued and the parties presented their respective
documentary and testimonial evidence.
On June 16, 1995, the trial court dismissed Florences petition.[9]
On December 19, 1995, Florence filed with the trial court a notice of appeal to the Court of Appeals. [10]
After due proceedings, on April 30, 1998, the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision, the dispositive
portion of which reads:
IN THE LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the Appeal is DISMISSED. The Decision appealed from is
AFFIRMED. Cost against the Appellant.[11]

On June 23, 1998, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a motion for reconsideration of the
aforequoted decision.[12]
On January 19, 1999, the Court of Appeals denied petitioners motion for reconsideration. [13]
Hence, this appeal.[14]
The Courts Ruling

We note that throughout the trial in the lower court, the State did not participate in the
proceedings. While Fiscal Jose Danilo C. Jabson [15] filed with the trial court a manifestation dated November
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16, 1994, stating that he found no collusion between the parties, [16] he did not actively participate therein.
Other than entering his appearance at certain hearings of the case, nothing more was heard from
him. Neither did the presiding Judge take any step to encourage the fiscal to contribute to the proceedings.
The Family Code mandates:
Article 48. In all cases of annulment or declaration of absolute nullity of marriage, the Court shall
order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal assigned to it to appear on behalf of the State to take steps to
prevent collusion between the parties and to take care that evidence is not fabricated or
suppressed (underscoring ours).

In the cases referred to in the preceeding paragraph, no judgment shall be based upon a stipulation of
facts or confession of judgment.

It can be argued that since the lower court dismissed the petition, the evil sought to be prevented (i.e.,
dissolution of the marriage) did not come about, hence, the lack of participation of the State was cured. Not
so. The task of protecting marriage as an inviolable social institution requires vigilant and zealous
participation and not mere pro-forma compliance. The protection of marriage as a sacred institution requires
not just the defense of a true and genuine union but the exposure of an invalid one as well. This is made
clear by the following pronouncement:
(8) The trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and the Solicitor General to appear as
counsel for the state. No decision shall be handed down unless the Solicitor General issues a certification,
which will be quoted in the decision,[17] briefly stating therein his reasons for his agreement or opposition
as the case may be, to the petition. The Solicitor-General shall discharge the equivalent function of the
defensor vinculi contemplated under Canon 1095 (underscoring ours).[18]

The records are bereft of any evidence that the State participated in the prosecution of the case not
just at the trial level but on appeal with the Court of Appeals as well. Other than the manifestation filed with
the trial court on November 16, 1994, the State did not file any pleading, motion or position paper, at any
stage of the proceedings.
In Republic of the Philippines v. Erlinda Matias Dagdag,[19] while we upheld the validity of the marriage,
we nevertheless characterized the decision of the trial court as prematurely rendered since the investigating
prosecutor was not given an opportunity to present controverting evidence before the judgment was
rendered. This stresses the importance of the participation of the State.
Having so ruled, we decline to rule on the factual disputes of the case, this being within the province of
the trial court upon proper re-trial.
Obiter Dictum

For purposes of re-trial, we guide the parties thus: In Republic vs. Court of Appeals,[20] the guidelines
in the interpretation and application of Article 36 of the Family Code are as follows (omitting guideline (8)
in the enumeration as it was already earlier quoted):
(1) The burden of proof to show the nullity of the marriage belongs to the plaintiff. Any doubt should be
resolved in favor of the existence and continuation of the marriage and against its dissolution and
nullity. This is rooted in the fact that both our Constitution and our laws cherish the validity of marriage
and unity of the family. Thus, our Constitution devotes an entire Article on the Family, recognizing it as
the foundation of the nation. It decrees marriage as legally inviolable, thereby protecting it from
dissolution at the whim of the parties. Both the family and marriage are to be protected by the state. The
Family Code echoes this constitutional edict on marriage and the family and emphasizes their
permanence, inviolability and solidarity.

(2) The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be: a) medically or clinically identified, b) alleged
in the complaint, c) sufficiently proven by experts and d) clearly explained in the decision. Article 36 of the
Family Code requires that the incapacity must be psychological-not physical, although its manifestations
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and/or symptoms may be physical. The evidence must convince the court that the parties, or one of them,
was mentally or psychically (sic) ill to such an extent that the person could not have known the obligations
he was assuming, or knowing them, could not have given valid assumption thereof. Although no
example of such incapacity need be given here so as not to limit the application of the provision under the
principle of ejusdem generis, nevertheless such root cause must be identified as a psychological illness
and its incapacitating nature fully explained. Expert evidence may be given by qualified psychiatrists and
clinical psychologists.

(3) The incapacity must be proven to be existing at the time of the celebration of the marriage. The
evidence must show that the illness was existing when the parties exchanged their I dos. The
manifestation of the illness need not be perceivable at such time, but the illness itself must have attached
at such moment, or prior thereto.

(4) Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically permanent or incurable. Such
incurability may be absolute or even relative only in regard to the other spouse, not necessarily absolutely
against everyone of the same sex. Furthermore, such incapacity must be relevant to the assumption of
marriage obligations, not necessarily to those not related to marriage, like the exercise of a profession or
employment in a job. Hence, a pediatrician may be effective in diagnosing illnesses of children and
prescribing medicine to cure them but may not be psychologically capacitated to procreate, bear and raise
his/her own children as an essential obligation of marriage.

(5) Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the party to assume the essential
obligations of marriage. Thus, mild characteriological peculiarities, mood changes, occasional emotional
outbursts cannot be accepted as root causes. The illness must be shown as downright incapacity or
inability, not refusal, neglect or difficulty, much less ill will. In other words, there is a natal or supervening
disabling factor in the person, an adverse integral element in the personality structure that effectively
incapacitates the person from really accepting and thereby complying with the obligations essential to
marriage.

(6) The essential marital obligations must be those embraced by Articles 68 up to 71 of the Family Code
as regards the husband and wife as well as Articles 220, 221 and 225 of the same Code in regard to
parents and their children. Such non-complied marital obligation(s) must also be stated in the petition,
proven by evidence and included in the text of the decision.

(7) Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the
Philippines, while not controlling or decisive, should be given great respect by our courts.

PRINCIPLE:

The Family Code emphasizes the permanent nature of marriage, hailing it as the foundation of the family.
It is this inviolability which is central to our traditional and religious concepts of morality and provides the
very bedrock on which our society finds stability. Marriage is immutable and when both spouses give their
consent to enter it, their consent becomes irrevocable, unchanged even by their independent wills.

However, this inviolability depends on whether the marriage exists and is valid. If it is void ab initio, the
“permanence” of the union becomes irrelevant and the Court can step in to declare it so. Article 36 of the
Family Code is the justification. Where it applies and is duly proven, a judicial declaration can free the
parties from the rights, obligations, burdens and consequences stemming from their marriage.

A declaration of nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code requires the application of
procedural and substantive guidelines. While compliance with these requirements mostly devolves upon
the petitioner, the State is likewise mandated to actively intervene in the procedure. Should there be non-
compliance by the State with its statutory duty, there is a need to remand the case to the lower court for
proper trial.
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FACTS:

This is a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage due to psychological incapacity.

Florence is married to Philipp, a Portuguese citizen. Several years after they were married (Jan. 4, 1987 -
Sept. 20, 1994), Florence filed a complaint for declaration of nullity of marriage. The trial court dismissed
the petition so Florence elevated the case to the CA, which affirmed the decision.

Hence this appeal.

ISSUE:

o Whether or not psychological capacity was adequately proven

HELD:

We note that throughout the trial in the lower court, the State did not participate in the proceedings. After
filing a manifestation in the trial court that he found on collusion between the parties, the Fiscal did not
actively participate therein and neither did the presiding judge take any step to encourage him to
contribute to the proceedings.

Citing Article 48 of the Civil Code, the Supreme Court held that the lack of participation of the State was
not cured by the fact that the evil sought to be prevented did not come about when the lower court
dismissed the petition. The task of protecting marriage as an inviolable social institution requires vigilant
and zealous participation and not mere pro-forma compliance. The protection of marriage as a sacred
institution requires not just the defense of a true and genuine union but the exposure of an invalid one as
well.

In Republic of the Philippines vs. Erlinda Matias Dagdag, while we upheld the validity of the marriage, we
nevertheless characterized the decision of the trial court as “prematurely rendered” since the investigating
prosecutor was not given an opportunity to present controverting evidence before the judgment was
rendered. This stresses the importance of the participation of the State.

Having so ruled, we decline to rule on the factual disputes of the case, this being within the province of
the trial court upon proper re-trial.
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THE MANILA RAILROAD COMPANY, plaintiff-appellee,

vs.

THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL, representing the Insular Government, et al., defendants-appellants.

W. A. Kincaid and Thomas L. Hartigan, for appellant.

Antonio Constantino, for appellee.

FACTS:

– This is a case of appeal from CFI Tarlac’s judgment dismissing the action before it on motion of the
plaintiff upon the ground that the court had no jurisdiction of the subject matter.

– On December 1907, Manila Railroad Co. began an action in CFI Tarlac for the condemnation of 69,910
sq. m. real estate located in Tarlac. This is for construction of a railroad line “from Paniqui to Tayug in
Tarlac,” as authorized by law.

– Before beginning the action, Manila Railroad had caused to be made a thorough search in the Office of
the Registry of Property and of the Tax where the lands sought to be condemned were located and to
whom they belonged. As a result of such investigations, it alleged that the lands in question were located
in Tarlac.

– After filing and duly serving the complaint, the plaintiff, pursuant to law and pending final determination
of the action, took possession of and occupied the lands described in the complaint, building its line and
putting the same in operation.

– On October 4, Manila Railroad gave notice to the defendants that on October 9, a motion would be
made to the court to dismiss the action upon the ground that the court had no jurisdiction of the subject
matter, it having just been ascertained by the plaintiff that the land sought to be condemned was situated
in the Province of Nueva Ecija, instead of the Province of Tarlac, as alleged in the complaint.

– This motion was heard and, after due consideration, the trial court dismissed the action upon the ground
presented by the plaintiff. Thus, the case was appealed.

ISSUES:

1. WON CFI Tarlac has power and authority to take cognizance of condemnation of real estate located in
another province

2. WON Sec. 377[1] of the Code of Civil Procedure and Act. No. 1258 are applicable and so the CFI has no
jurisdiction.

HELD:

1. YES, CFI Tarlac has power and authority to take cognizance of condemnation of real estate located in
another province.

Ratio Sections 55 and 56[1] of Act No. 136 of the Philippine Commission confer perfect and complete
jurisdiction upon the CFI of these Islands with respect to real estate in the Philippine Islands. Such
jurisdiction is not made to depend upon locality. There is no suggestion of limitation. The jurisdiction is
universal. It is nowhere suggested, much less provided, that a CFI of one province, regularly sitting in said
province, may not under certain conditions take cognizance of an action arising in another province or of
an action relating to real estate located outside of the boundaries of the province to which it may at the
time be assigned.

Furthermore, in terms of jurisdiction over person of the plaintiff, the procedure does not alter or change
that power or authority; it simply directs the manner in which it shall be fully and justly exercised. To be
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sure, in certain cases, if that power is not exercised in conformity with the provisions of the procedural
law, purely, the court attempting to exercise it loses the power to exercise it legally. This does not mean
that it loses jurisdiction of the subject matter. It means simply that he may thereby lose jurisdiction of the
person or that the judgment may thereby be rendered defective for lack of something essential to sustain
it. There is, of course, an important distinction between person and subject matter are both conferred by
law. As to the subject matter, nothing can change the jurisdiction of the court over diminish it or dictate
when it shall attach or when it shall be removed. That is a matter of legislative enactment which none but
the legislature may change. On the other hand, the jurisdiction of the court over the person is, in some
instances, made to defend on the consent or objection, on the acts or omissions of the parties or any
of them. Jurisdiction over the person, however, may be conferred by consent, expressly or impliedly
given, or it may, by an objection, be prevented from attaching or removed after it has attached.

2. NO.

Ratio Sec. 377 contains no express inhibition against the court. The prohibition provided therein is clearly
directed against the one who begins the action and lays the venue. The court, before the action is
commenced, has nothing to do with it either. The plaintiff does both. Only when that is done does the
section begin to operate effectively so far as the court is concerned. The prohibition is not a limitation on
the power of the court but on the rights of the plaintiff. It establishes a relation not between the court and
the subject, but between the plaintiff and the defendant. It relates not to jurisdiction but to trial. It simply
gives to defendant the unqualified right, if he desires it, to have the trial take place where his land lies and
where, probably, all of his witnesses live. Its object is to secure to him a convenient trial.

The fact that such a provision appears in the procedural law at once raises a strong presumption that it
has nothing to do with the jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter. It becomes merely a matter of
method, of convenience to the parties litigant. If their interests are best subserved by bringing in the
Court Instance of the city of Manila an action affecting lands in the Province of Ilocos Norte, there is no
controlling reason why such a course should not be followed. The matter is, under the law, entirely within
the control of either party. The plaintiff’s interests select the venue. If such selection is not in accordance
with section 377, the defendant may make timely objection and, as a result, the venue is changed to meet
the requirements of the law.

Section 377 of the Code of Civil Procedure is not applicable to actions by railroad corporations to condemn
lands; and that, while with the consent of defendants express or implied the venue may be laid and the
action tried in any province selected by the plaintiff nevertheless the defendants whose lands lie in one
province, or any one of such defendants, may, by timely application to the court, require the venue as to
their, or, if one defendant, his, lands to be changed to the province where their or his lands lie. In such
case the action as to all of the defendants not objecting would continue in the province where originally
begun. It would be severed as to the objecting defendants and ordered continued before the court of the
appropriate province or provinces. While we are of that opinion and so hold it can not affect the decision in
the case before us for the reason that the defendants are not objecting to the venue and are not asking
for a change thereof. They have not only expressly submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the court
but are here asking that that jurisdiction be maintained against the efforts of the plaintiff to remove it.

Moreover, the principles which we have herein laid down we do not apply to criminal cases. They seem to
rest on a different footing. There the people of the state is a party. The interests of the public require that,
to secure the best results and effects in the punishment of crime, it is necessary to prosecute and punish
the criminal in the very place, as near as may be, where he committed his crime. As a result it has been
the uniform legislation, both in statutes and in constitutions, that the venue of a criminal action must be
laid in the place where the crime was committed. While the laws here do not specifically and in terms
require it, we believe it is the established custom and the uniform holding that criminal prosecutions must
be brought and conducted, except in cases especially provided by law, in the province where the crime is
committed.
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The judgment must be REVERSED and the case REMANDED to the trial court with direction to proceed
with the action according to law.

With regards to the jurisdiction over the person of the plaintiff, the jurisdiction was obtained not only by
the usual course of practice – that is, by the process of the court – but also by consent expressly given, is
apparent. The plaintiff submitted itself to the jurisdiction by beginning the action. The defendants are now
in this court asking that the action be not dismissed but continued. They are not only nor objecting to the
jurisdiction of the court but, rather, are here on this appeal for the purpose of maintaining that very
jurisdiction over them. Nor is the plaintiff in any position to ask for favors. It is clearly guilty of gross
negligence in the allegations of its complaint, if the land does not lie in Tarlac as it now asserts
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American Bible Society vs. City of Manila


GR No. L-9637 | April 30, 1957

Facts:
· American Bible Society is a foreign, non-stock, non-profit, religious, missionary corporation duly
registered and doing business in the Philippines through its Philippine agency established in Manila in
November, 1898
· City of Manila is a municipal corporation with powers that are to be exercised in conformity with the
provisions of Republic Act No. 409, known as the Revised Charter of the City of Manila
· American Bible Society has been distributing and selling bibles and/or gospel portions throughout
the Philippines and translating the same into several Philippine dialect
· City Treasurer of Manila informed American Bible Society that it was violating several Ordinances
for operating without the necessary permit and license, thereby requiring the corporation to secure the
permit and license fees covering the period from 4Q 1945-2Q 1953
· To avoid closing of its business, American Bible Society paid the City of Manila its permit and
license fees under protest
· American Bible filed a complaint, questioning the constitutionality and legality of the Ordinances
2529 and 3000, and prayed for a refund of the payment made to the City of Manila. They contended:
a. They had been in the Philippines since 1899 and were not required to pay any license fee or sales
tax
b. it never made any profit from the sale of its bibles
· City of Manila prayed that the complaint be dismissed, reiterating the constitutionality of the
Ordinances in question
· Trial Court dismissed the complaint
· American Bible Society appealed to the Court of Appeals

Issue: WON American Bible Society liable to pay sales tax for the distribution and sale of bibles

Ruling: NO
· Under Sec. 1 of Ordinance 3000, one of the ordinance in question, person or entity engaged in
any of the business, trades or occupation enumerated under Sec. 3 must obtain a Mayor’s permit and
license from the City Treasurer. American Bible Society’s business is not among those enumerated
· However, item 79 of Sec. 3 of the Ordinance provides that all other businesses, trade or occupation
not mentioned, except those upon which the City is not empowered to license or to tax P5.00
· Therefore, the necessity of the permit is made to depend upon the power of the City to license or
tax said business, trade or occupation.
· 2 provisions of law that may have bearing on this case:
a. Chapter 60 of the Revised Administrative Code, the Municipal Board of the City of Manila is
empowered to tax and fix the license fees on retail dealers engaged in the sale of books
b. Sec. 18(o) of RA 409: to tax and fix the license fee on dealers in general merchandise, including
importers and indentors, except those dealers who may be expressly subject to the payment of some
other municipal tax. Further, Dealers in general merchandise shall be classified as (a) wholesale dealers
and (b) retail dealers. For purposes of the tax on retail dealers, general merchandise shall be classified
into four main classes: namely (1) luxury articles, (2) semi-luxury articles, (3) essential commodities, and
(4) miscellaneous articles. A separate license shall be prescribed for each class but where commodities of
different classes are sold in the same establishment, it shall not be compulsory for the owner to secure
more than one license if he pays the higher or highest rate of tax prescribed by ordinance. Wholesale
dealers shall pay the license tax as such, as may be provided by ordinance
· The only difference between the 2 provisions is the limitation as to the amount of tax or license fee
that a retail dealer has to pay per annum
· As held in Murdock vs. Pennsylvania, The power to impose a license tax on the exercise of these
freedoms provided for in the Bill of Rights, is indeed as potent as the power of censorship which this Court
has repeatedly struck down. It is not a nominal fee imposed as a regulatory measure to defray the
expenses of policing the activities in question. It is in no way apportioned. It is flat license tax levied and
collected as a condition to the pursuit of activities whose enjoyment is guaranteed by the constitutional
liberties of press and religion and inevitably tends to suppress their exercise. That is almost uniformly
recognized as the inherent vice and evil of this flat license tax.
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· Further, the case also mentioned that the power to tax the exercise of a privilege is the power to
control or suppress its enjoyment. Those who can tax the exercise of this religious practice can make its
exercise so costly as to deprive it of the resources necessary for its maintenance. Those who can tax the
privilege of engaging in this form of missionary evangelism can close all its doors to all those who do not
have a full purse
· Under Sec. 27(e) of Commonwealth Act No. 466 or the National Internal Revenue
Code,Corporations or associations organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, . . . or
educational purposes, . . .: Provided, however, That the income of whatever kind and character from any
of its properties, real or personal, or from any activity conducted for profit, regardless of the disposition
made of such income, shall be liable to the tax imposed under this Code shall not be taxed
· The price asked for the bibles and other religious pamphlets was in some instances a little bit
higher than the actual cost of the same but this cannot mean that American Bible Society was engaged in
the business or occupation of selling said "merchandise" for profit
· Therefore, the Ordinance cannot be applied for in doing so it would impair American Bible Society’s
free exercise and enjoyment of its religious profession and worship as well as its rights of dissemination of
religious beliefs.

Wherefore, and on the strength of the foregoing considerations, We hereby reverse the
decision appealed from, sentencing defendant return to plaintiff the sum of P5,891.45 unduly
collected from it

Fact:
In the course of its ministry, Petitioner’s Philippine agency has been distributing and selling bibles and/or
gospel portions thereof (except during the Japanese occupation) throughout the Philippines and translating
the same into several Philippine dialects. Respondent informed Petitioner that it was conducting the business
of general merchandise since November, 1945, without providing itself with the necessary Mayor’s permit
and municipal license, in violation of the City Ordinances, and required plaintiff to secure, within three days,
the corresponding permit and license fees. Plaintiff protested against this requirement, but the City
Treasurer demanded that plaintiff deposit and pay under protest. To avoid the closing of its, paid the
defendant under protest the said permit and license fees. In its complaint plaintiff prays that judgment be
rendered declaring the said Municipal Ordinances illegal and unconstitutional, and that the defendant be
ordered to refund to the plaintiff paid under protest, together with legal interest thereon, and the costs,
plaintiff further praying for such other relief and remedy as the court may deem just equitable. CFI Dismissed
the Petition for lack of merit, which the petitioner raised the issue to the CA which certified the case to SC
for the reason that the errors assigned to the lower Court involved only questions of law.

Issues:

1. Whether the Selling activity of the Petitioner is exempted from Taxation?

2. Whether the Mayor’s Permit requirement impair Petitioner’s right to the free exercise and enjoyment of
its religious profession and worship, as well as its rights of dissemination of religious beliefs?
Held:

1. Yes, It may be true that in this said case, the price asked for the bibles and other religious pamphlets
was in some instances a little bit higher than the actual cost of the same but this cannot mean that
appellant was engaged in the business or occupation of selling said “merchandise” for profit. For the
reason that the provisions of City of Manila Ordinance No. 2529, as amended, cannot be applied to
appellant, for in doing so it would impair its free exercise and enjoyment of its religious profession and
worship as well as its rights of dissemination of religious beliefs.

2. No, the Mandatory obtention of the Mayor’s permit before any person can engage in any of the
businesses, trades or occupations enumerated therein do not imposes any charge upon the enjoyment
of a right granted by the Constitution, nor tax the exercise of religious practices. That Ordinance No.
3000 cannot be considered unconstitutional, even if applied to plaintiff Society.
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TOLENTINO VS SECRETARY OF FINANCE

FACTS:
These are motions seeking reconsideration of our decision dismissing the petitions filed in these
cases for the declaration of unconstitutionality of R.A. No. 7716, otherwise known as the
Expanded Value-Added Tax Law. Now it is contended by the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) that
by removing the exemption of the press from the VAT while maintaining those granted to others,
the law discriminates against the press. At any rate, it is averred, “even nondiscriminatory
taxation of constitutionally guaranteed freedom is unconstitutional.”

ISSUE:
Does sales tax on bible sales violative of religious and press freedom?

RULING:
No. The Court was speaking in that case of a license tax, which, unlike an ordinary tax, is mainly
for regulation. Its imposition on the press is unconstitutional because it lays a prior restraint on
the exercise of its right. Hence, although its application to others, such those selling goods, is
valid, its application to the press or to religious groups, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, in
connection with the latter’s sale of religious books and pamphlets, is unconstitutional. As the
U.S. Supreme Court put it, “it is one thing to impose a tax on income or property of a preacher.
It is quite another thing to exact a tax on him for delivering a sermon.”
The VAT is, however, different. It is not a license tax. It is not a tax on the exercise of a
privilege, much less a constitutional right. It is imposed on the sale, barter, lease or exchange of
goods or properties or the sale or exchange of services and the lease of properties purely for
revenue purposes. To subject the press to its payment is not to burden the exercise of its right
any more than to make the press pay income tax or subject it to general regulation is not to
violate its freedom under the Constitution.

FACTS:
The present case involves motions seeking reconsideration of the Court’s decision dismissing the
petitions for the declaration of unconstitutionality of R.A. No. 7716, otherwise known as the
Expanded Value-Added Tax Law. The motions, of which there are 10 in all, have been filed by
the several petitioners.
The Philippine Press Institute, Inc. (PPI) contends that by removing the exemption of the press
from the VAT while maintaining those granted to others, the law discriminates against the press.
At any rate, it is averred, “even nondiscriminatory taxation of constitutionally guaranteed
freedom is unconstitutional”, citing in support of the case of Murdock v. Pennsylvania.

Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Associations, Invc., (CREBA), on the other hand, asserts
that R.A. No. 7716 (1) impairs the obligations of contracts, (2) classifies transactions as covered
or exempt without reasonable basis and (3) violates the rule that taxes should be uniform and
equitable and that Congress shall “evolve a progressive system of taxation”.

Further, the Cooperative Union of the Philippines (CUP), argues that legislature was to adopt a
definite policy of granting tax exemption to cooperatives that the present Constitution embodies
provisions on cooperatives. To subject cooperatives to the VAT would, therefore, be to infringe a
constitutional policy.
ISSUE:
Whether or not, based on the aforementioned grounds of the petitioners, the Expanded Value-
Added Tax Law should be declared unconstitutional.
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RULING:
No. With respect to the first contention, it would suffice to say that since the law granted the
press a privilege, the law could take back the privilege anytime without offense to the
Constitution. The reason is simple: by granting exemptions, the State does not forever waive the
exercise of its sovereign prerogative. Indeed, in withdrawing the exemption, the law merely
subjects the press to the same tax burden to which other businesses have long ago been
subject. The PPI asserts that it does not really matter that the law does not discriminate against
the press because “even nondiscriminatory taxation on constitutionally guaranteed freedom is
unconstitutional.” The Court was speaking in that case (Murdock v. Pennsylvania) of a license
tax, which, unlike an ordinary tax, is mainly for regulation. Its imposition on the press is
unconstitutional because it lays a prior restraint on the exercise of its right. The VAT is, however,
different. It is not a license tax. It is not a tax on the exercise of a privilege, much less a
constitutional right. It is imposed on the sale, barter, lease or exchange of goods or properties or
the sale or exchange of services and the lease of properties purely for revenue purposes. To
subject the press to its payment is not to burden the exercise of its right any more than to make
the press pay income tax or subject it to general regulation is not to violate its freedom under
the Constitution.
Anent the first contention of CREBA, it has been held in an early case that even though such
taxation may affect particular contracts, as it may increase the debt of one person and lessen
the security of another, or may impose additional burdens upon one class and release the
burdens of another, still the tax must be paid unless prohibited by the Constitution, nor can it be
said that it impairs the obligation of any existing contract in its true legal sense. It is next
pointed out that while Section 4 of R.A. No. 7716 exempts such transactions as the sale of
agricultural products, food items, petroleum, and medical and veterinary services, it grants no
exemption on the sale of real property which is equally essential. The sale of food items,
petroleum, medical and veterinary services, etc., which are essential goods and services was
already exempt under Section 103, pars. (b) (d) (1) of the NIRC before the enactment of R.A.
No. 7716. Petitioner is in error in claiming that R.A. No. 7716 granted exemption to these
transactions while subjecting those of petitioner to the payment of the VAT. Finally, it is
contended that R.A. No. 7716 also violates Art. VI, Section 28(1) which provides that “The rule
of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The Congress shall evolve a progressive system of
taxation”. Nevertheless, equality and uniformity of taxation mean that all taxable articles or
kinds of property of the same class be taxed at the same rate. The taxing power has the
authority to make reasonable and natural classifications for purposes of taxation. To satisfy this
requirement it is enough that the statute or ordinance applies equally to all persons, firms, and
corporations placed in similar situation. Furthermore, the Constitution does not really prohibit
the imposition of indirect taxes which, like the VAT, are regressive. What it simply provides is
that Congress shall “evolve a progressive system of taxation.” The constitutional provision has
been interpreted to mean simply that “direct taxes are . . . to be preferred [and] as much as
possible, indirect taxes should be minimized.” The mandate to Congress is not to prescribe, but
to evolve, a progressive tax system.
As regards the contention of CUP, it is worth noting that its theory amounts to saying that under
the Constitution cooperatives are exempt from taxation. Such theory is contrary to the
Constitution under which only the following are exempt from taxation: charitable institutions,
churches, and parsonages, by reason of Art. VI, §28 (3), and non-stock, non-profit educational
institutions by reason of Art. XIV, §4 (3).
With all the foregoing ratiocinations, it is clear that the subject law bears no constitutional
infirmities and is thus upheld.
12

SAHLIN VS TURKEY

Case Summary and Outcome


In February 1998, Istanbul University informed students and faculty that students wearing
headscarves and having long beards would not be permitted to enter lectures and examinations.
Leyla Şahin was in her fifth year of medical school at Istanbul University at the time, and she
was subsequently denied entrance to lecture halls and prohibited from taking exams because of
her headscarf, which she wore according to her religious beliefs. Şahin brought a suit against
Turkey, claiming it had violated her right to education by denying her the right to religious
expression. Ultimately, Istanbul University was found to be within its right to enact a headscarf
ban, and Turkey was found not to have violated Şahin’s right to education when it upheld the
ban.

Facts
Şahin was in her fifth year of medical school when Istanbul University’s Vice-Chancellor
distributed a circular banning beards and headscarves in University lectures and examinations.
The banning of headscarves in Turkey is not unusual, as public servants have been banned from
wearing religious clothing and symbols since the early twentieth century. Secularism in Turkey,
similar to that in France, is regarded as a founding principle of the nation. In addition, the
wearing of headscarves at Turkish universities had risen alongside the expansion of fundamental
Islam throughout the region. Given this history, throughout Turkey the wearing of the headscarf
is associated with political ideas. The state and the University argued that banning the headscarf
in public institutions was done to prevent proselytizing in spaces that represented the secular
state.
After the introduction of the circular at the University, Şahin was refused entrance into lectures
and examinations on a number of occasions, and university officials prevented her from enrolling
in a course. Her numerous refusals to remove her head scarf resulted in a warning from the
University and, ultimately, a disciplinary hearing in March 1999. After participating in a
demonstration at the Faculty of Medicine in protest against the headscarf ban, Şahin and other
demonstrators were suspended from the University. However, under a newly entered into force
amnesty law, all disciplinary penalties against the Şahin were revoked.
Şahin filed an application with the Istanbul Administrative Court, requesting an order for the
circular to be set aside. The Administrative Court dismissed her application and held that the
Vice-Chancellor was within his right to regulate dress as a way to maintain order. In June 2004,
a Chamber Court of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a judgment that found
“no violation of Article 9 and that no separate question arose under Articles 8 and 10, Article 14
taken together with Article 9, and Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention.” Şahin requested
that the case be referred the Grand Chamber, and, in November, a Grand Chamber panel
accepted the application.

Decision Overview
Şahin claimed that her rights under Articles 8, 9, 10, and 14 of the European Convention on
Human Rights (ECHR) and Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 of the ECHR had been violated by both the
headscarf ban and her subsequent suspension from Istanbul University. However, as an initial
matter, the ECtHR found that Sahin’s arguments under Articles 8, 10, and 14 all related to her
allegations under Article 9 (freedom of religion). As such, the ECtHR addressed only the
violations alleged under Article 9 and Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 (the right to education). The
ECtHR found that her religious freedom had been restricted, but that the restrictions were
proportionate to the aims of the University and of the state in their attempts to protect the
nation’s secularism.
13

The ECtHR ruled in favor of Turkey because it found that the actions of the University were in
accordance with Turkish Law. The ECtHR also held that the restriction of religious freedoms in
the form of religious attire was proportionate to the aim of promoting democracy through the
maintenance of secularism. The ECtHR ruled, 16-1, that there had been no violation of either
Article 9 of the ECHR or Article 2 of Protocol No. 1, and it held unanimously that there had been
no violation of Articles 8, 10, or 14.

Brief Fact Summary. A Turkish Muslim by the name Sahin (P) alleged that the Republic of Turkey
(D) violated her rights and freedom under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms by banning the wearing of the Islamic headscarf in institutions of
higher education.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Students rights and freedom under the Convention for the Protection of
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms are not violated when a secular country places a ban
on wearing religious clothing in institutions of higher education.

Facts. Sahin (P) had a traditional background of family practicing Muslims and considered it her
religious duty to wear the Islamic headscarf. When she was in her 5th year at the faculty of
medicine of the University of Istanbul in 1998, the Vice-Chancellor of the University issued a
circular which stipulated that students with beards and wearing the Islamic headscarf would be
refused admission to lectures, courses and tutorials. Sahin (P) was denied access to a written
exam and the University authorities refused to enroll her in a course and to admit her to various
lectures and other written exams because of the Islamic headscarf she was putting on. She later
left the University to further her studies in Vienna and had lived in Vienna since then. Before
leaving Istanbul, Sahin (P) filed an application against the Republic of Turkey (P) with the
European Commission of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms alleging that her rights and
freedom under the Convention had been violated. A judgment was rendered by the European
Court after it heard the case.

Issue. Are students’ rights and freedom under the Convention for the Protection of Human
Rights and Fundamental Freedoms violated when a secular country places a ban on the wearing
of religious clothing in institutions of higher learning?

Held. No. Student’s rights and freedom under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms are not violated when a secular country places a ban on wearing
religious clothing in institutions of higher education. Constitutionally, Turkey (D) is a secular
state founded on the principles of equality without regard to distinctions based on sex, religion
or denomination. In 1989, Turkey’s (D) Constitutional Court decided that granting legal
recognition to a religious symbol such as the Islamic headscarf was not compatible with the
principle that the state education must be neutral and might generate conflicts between students
of different religions. The Vice Chancellor explained the banning of the headscarf at the
University School of Medicine in a memorandum which was circulated that the ban was not
intended to infringe on students freedom of conscience or religion, but to comply with the laws
and regulations in force and that such compliance would be sensitive to patients’ rights. Hence,
the ban did not prohibit Muslim students from manifesting their religion in accordance with
habitual forms of Muslim observance and it was not directed only at Muslim attire. So the view of
the Court should not be interchanged for that of the University who are better placed to evaluate
local needs. The right to behave in a manner governed by a religion belief is not guaranteed by
Article 9 and it also does not confer on people who do so the right to disregard rules that have
proved to be justified. By giving due regard to Turkey’s (D) margin of appreciation, the
14

interference here was justified in principle and proportionate to aim pursued. Hence, Article 9
was not contravened.

Dissent. (Tulkens, J.) Religious freedom is necessary for the protection of a democratic society
and not secularism alone. Therefore, the Court should have established that the ban on wearing
the Islamic headscarf was necessary to secure compliance with secularism and met a “pressing
social need.”� But a cogent example supporting the Court’s view is not provided. Hence, the
ban was not based on relevant or sufficient reasons and therefore cannot be deemed
interference that is “necessary in a democratic society”� within Article 9 S 2’s meaning. Sahin
(P) right to freedom of religion under the Convention has therefore been breached.

Discussion. Margin of appreciation is the word-for-word English translation of the French phrase
“marge d’appreciation,”� a concept used in a number of courts in Europe, among them the
Strasbourg human rights court and the European Union courts in Luxembourg. The Court is
covered under the margin of appreciation to account for the fact that the Convention will be
interpreted differently in different signatory states, so that judges are obliged to take into
account the cultural, historic and philosophical contexts of the particular nation in question.
15

Ebralinag vs. Division Superintendent of School of Cebu


GR 95770, 29 December 1995; En Banc Resolution, Kapunan [J]

FACTS:
Two special civil actions for certiorari, Mandamus and Prohibition were filed and consolidated
raising the same issue whether school children who are members or a religious sect known as
Jehovah’s Witnesses may be expelled from school (both public and private), for refusing, on
account of their religious beliefs, to take part in the flag ceremony which includes playing (by a
band) or singing the Philippine national anthem, saluting the Philippine flag and reciting the
patriotic pledge.
All of the petitioners in both (consolidated) cases were expelled from their classes by the public
school authorities in Cebu for refusing to salute the flag, sing the national anthem and recite the
patriotic pledge as required by Republic Act No. 1265 (An Act making flagceremony compulsory
in all educational institutions) of July 11, 1955 , and by Department Order No. 8 (Rules and
Regulations for Conducting the Flag Ceremony in All Educational Institutions)dated July 21, 1955
of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) making the flag ceremony
compulsory in all educational institutions.
Petitioners are Jehovah’s Witnesses believing that by doing these is religious worship/devotion
akin to idolatry against their teachings. They contend that to compel transcends constitutional
limits and invades protection against official control and religious freedom. The respondents
relied on the precedence of Gerona et al v. Secretary of Education where the Court upheld the
explulsions. Gerona doctrine provides that we are a system of separation of the church and state
and the flag is devoid of religious significance and it doesn’t involve any religious ceremony. The
children of Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot be exempted from participation in the flag ceremony.
They have no valid right to such exemption. Moreover, exemption to the requirement will disrupt
school discipline and demoralize the rest of the school population which by far constitutes the
great majority. The freedom of religious belief guaranteed by the Constitution does not and
cannot mean exemption from or non-compliance with reasonable and non-discriminatory laws,
rules and regulations promulgated by competent authority.

ISSUE: Whether or not the expulsion of petitioners violated their freedom of religion?

HELD:
YES. The Court held that the expulsion of the petitioners from the school was not justified.
Religious freedom is a fundamental right of highest priority and the amplest protection among
human rights, for it involves the relationship of man to his Creator. The right to religious
profession and worship has a two-fold aspect, vis., freedom to believe and freedom to act on
one’s belief. The first is absolute as long as the belief is confined within the realm of thought.
The second is subject to regulation where the belief is translated into external acts that affect
the public welfare. The only limitation to religious freedom is the existence of grave and present
danger to public safety, morals, health and interests where State has right to prevent.
Petitioners stress that while they do not take part in the compulsory flag ceremony, they do not
engage in “external acts” or behavior that would offend their countrymen who believe in
expressing their love of country through the observance of the flag ceremony. They quietly
stand at attention during the flag ceremony to show their respect for the right of those who
choose to participate in the solemn proceedings. Since they do not engage in disruptive
behavior, there is no warrant for their expulsion.
16

Ebralinag vs. Division of Superintendent of Schools of Cebu (1993)

FACTS: All the petitioners in these two cases were expelled from their classes by the public
school authorities in Cebu for refusing to salute the flag, sing the national anthem and recite the
patriotic pledge. Jehovah's Witnesses admittedly teach their children not to salute the flag, sing
the national anthem, and recite the patriotic pledge for they believe that those are "acts of
worship" or "religious devotion" which they "cannot conscientiously give to anyone or anything
except God”. They feel bound by the Bible's command to "guard ourselves from idols. They
consider the flag as an image or idol representing the State. They think the action of the local
authorities in compelling the flag salute and pledge transcends constitutional limitations on the
State's power and invades the sphere of the intellect and spirit which the Constitution protects
against official control.

ISSUE: Whether school children who are members of a religious sect known as Jehovah's
Witnesses may be expelled from school (both public and private), for refusing, on account of
their religious beliefs, to take part in the flag ceremony which includes playing (by a band) or
singing the Philippine national anthem, saluting the Philippine flag and reciting the patriotic
pledge

RULING: Religious freedom is a fundamental right which is entitled to the highest priority and
the amplest protection among human rights, for it involves the relationship of man to his
Creator. The right to religious profession and worship has a two-fold aspect, freedom to believe
and freedom to act on one's belief. The first is absolute as long as the belief is confined within
the realm of thought. The second is subject to regulation where the belief is translated into
external acts that affect the public welfare. Since they do not engage in disruptive behavior,
there is no warrant for their expulsion. The sole justification for a prior restraint or limitation on
the exercise of religious freedom is the existence of a grave and present danger of a character
both grave and imminent, of a serious evil to public safety, public morals, public health or any
other legitimate public interest, that the State has a right (and duty) to prevent." Absent such a
threat to public safety, the expulsion of the petitioners from the schools is not justified. We are
not persuaded that by exempting the Jehovah's Witnesses, this religious which admittedly
comprises a "small portion of the school population" will shake up our part of the globe and
suddenly produce a nation "untaught and uninculcated in and unimbued with reverence for the
flag, patriotism, love of country and admiration for national heroes. After all, what the
petitioners seek only is exemption from the flag ceremony, not exclusion from the public schools
where they may study the Constitution, the democratic way of life and form of government, and
learn not only the arts, science, Philippine history and culture but also receive training for a
vocation or profession and be taught the virtues of "patriotism, respect for human rights,
appreciation for national heroes, the rights and duties of citizenship, and moral and spiritual
values. Forcing a small religious group, through the iron hand of the law, to participate in a
ceremony that violates their religious beliefs, will hardly be condusive to love of country or
respect for duly constituted authorities. The expulsion of members of Jehovah's Witnesses from
the schools where they are enrolled will violate their right as Philippine citizens, under the 1987
Constitution, to receive free education, for it is the duty of the State to "protect and promote the
right of all citizens to quality education and to make such education accessible to all. While the
highest regard must be afforded their right to the exercise of their religion, "this should not be
taken to mean that school authorities are powerless to discipline them" if they should commit
breaches of the peace by actions that offend the sensibilities, both religious and patriotic, of
other persons. If they quietly stand at attention during the flag ceremony while their classmates
and teachers salute the flag, sing the national anthem and recite the patriotic pledge, we do not
see how such conduct may possibly disturb the peace, or pose "a grave and present danger of a
17

serious evil to public safety, public morals, public health or any other legitimate public interest
that the State has a right. The petition for certiorari and prohibition is GRANTED. The expulsion
orders issued by the public respondents against the petitioners are hereby ANNULLED AND SET
ASIDE.
18

Bayan, et al., Vs. Eduardo Ermita, et al.,


G.R. No. 169838
April 25, 2006

Facts: The petitioners, Bayan, et al., alleged that they are citizens and taxpayers of the
Philippines and that their right as organizations and individuals were violated when the rally they
participated in on October 6, 2005 was violently dispersed by policemen implementing Batas
Pambansa No. 880.

Petitioners contended that Batas Pambansa No. 880 is clearly a violation of the Constitution and
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other human rights treaties of which
the Philippines is a signatory. They argue that B.P. No. 880 requires a permit before one can
stage a public assembly regardless of the presence or absence of a clear and present danger. It
also curtails the choice of venue and is thus repugnant to the freedom of expression clause as
the time and place of a public assembly form part of the message which the expression is
sought. Furthermore, it is not content-neutral as it does not apply to mass actions in support of
the government. The words “lawful cause,” “opinion,” “protesting or influencing” suggest the
exposition of some cause not espoused by the government. Also, the phrase “maximum
tolerance” shows that the law applies to assemblies against the government because they are
being tolerated. As a content-based legislation, it cannot pass the strict scrutiny test. This
petition and two other petitions were ordered to be consolidated on February 14, 2006. During
the course of oral arguments, the petitioners, in the interest of a speedy resolution of the
petitions, withdrew the portions of their petitions raising factual issues, particularly those raising
the issue of whether B.P. No. 880 and/or CPR is void as applied to the rallies of September 20,
October 4, 5 and 6, 2005.

Issue: Whether the Calibrated Pre-emptive response and the Batas Pambansa No. 880,
specifically Sections 4, 5, 6, 12, 13(a) and 14(a) violates Art. III Sec. 4 of the Philippine
Constitution as it causes a disturbing effect on the exercise by the people of the right to
peaceably assemble.

Held: Section 4 of Article III of the Philippine Constitution provides that no law shall be passed
abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people
peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. The right to
peaceably assemble and petition for redress of grievances, together with freedom of speech, of
expression, and of the press, is a right that enjoys dominance in the sphere of constitutional
protection. For this rights represent the very basis of a functional democratic polity, without
which all the other rights would be meaningless and unprotected.

However, it must be remembered that the right, while sacrosanct, is not absolute. It may be
regulated that it shall not be injurious to the equal enjoyment of others having equal rights, nor
injurious to the rights of the community or society. The power to regulate the exercise of such
and other constitutional rights is termed the sovereign “police power,” which is the power to
prescribe regulations, to promote the health, morals, peace, education, good order or safety,
and general welfare of the people.

B.P. No 880 is not an absolute ban of public assemblies but a restriction that simply regulates
the time, place and manner of the assemblies. B.P. No. 880 thus readily shows that it refers to
all kinds of public assemblies that would use public places. The reference to “lawful cause” does
not make it content-based because assemblies really have to be for lawful causes, otherwise
19

they would not be “peaceable” and entitled to protection. Neither the words “opinion,”
“protesting,” and “influencing” in of grievances come from the wording of the Constitution, so its
use cannot be avoided. Finally, maximum tolerance is for the protection and benefit of all rallyist
and is independent of the content of the expression in the rally.

Furthermore, the permit can only be denied on the ground of clear and present danger to public
order, public safety, public convenience, public morals or public health. This is a recognized
exception to the exercise of the rights even under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
and The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Wherefore, the petitions are GRANTED in part, and respondents, more particularly the Secretary
of the Interior and Local Governments, are DIRECTED to take all necessary steps for the
immediate compliance with Section 15 of Batas Pambansa No. 880 through the establishment or
designation of at least one suitable freedom park or plaza in every city and municipality of the
country. After thirty (30) days from the finality of this Decision, subject to the giving of advance
notices, no prior permit shall be required to exercise the right to peaceably assemble and
petition in the public parks or plaza in every city or municipality that has not yet complied with
section 15 of the law. Furthermore, Calibrated pre-emptive response (CPR), insofar as it would
purport to differ from or be in lieu of maximum tolerance, is NULL and VOID and respondents
are ENJOINED to REFRAIN from using it and to STRICTLY OBSERVE the requirements of
maximum tolerance, The petitions are DISMISSED in all other respects, and the constitutionality
of Batas Pambansa No. 880 is SUSTAINED

FACTS:
The first petitioners, Bayan, et al., allege that they are citizens and taxpayers of the Philippines
and that their rights as organizations and individuals were violated when the rally they
participated in on October 6, 2005 was violently dispersed by policemen implementing Batas
Pambansa (B.P.) No. 880.
The second group consists of 26 individual petitioners, Jess del Prado, et al., who alleged that
they were injured, arrested and detained when a peaceful mass action they held on September
26, 2005 was preempted and violently dispersed by the police. They further assert that on
October 5, 2005, a group they participated in marched to Malacañang to protest issuances of the
Palace which, they claim, put the country under an “undeclared” martial rule, and the protest
was likewise dispersed violently and many among them were arrested and suffered injuries.
The third group, Kilusang Mayo Uno, et al., allege that they conduct peaceful mass actions and
that their rights as organizations and those of their individual members as citizens, specifically
the right to peaceful assembly, are affected by Batas Pambansa No. 880 and the policy of
“Calibrated Preemptive Response” being followed to implement it.
KMU, et al., claim that on October 4, 2005, a rally KMU co-sponsored was to be conducted at the
Mendiola bridge but police blocked them along C.M. Recto and Lepanto Streets and forcibly
dispersed them, causing injuries to several of their members. They further allege that on
October 6, 2005, a multi-sectoral rally which KMU also co-sponsored was scheduled to proceed
along España Avenue in front of the University of Santo Tomas and going towards Mendiola
bridge. Police officers blocked them along Morayta Street and prevented them from proceeding
further. They were then forcibly dispersed, causing injuries on one of them. Three other rallyists
were arrested.
All petitioners assail Batas Pambansa No. 880, some of them in toto and others only Sections 4,
5, 6, 12, 13(a), and 14(a), as well as the policy of CPR. They seek to stop violent dispersals of
rallies under the “no permit, no rally” policy and the CPR policy recently announced.
20

Petitioners Bayan, et al., contend that Batas Pambansa No. 880 is clearly a violation of the
Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other human rights
treaties of which the Philippines is a signatory.
They argue that B.P. No. 880 requires a permit before one can stage a public assembly
regardless of the presence or absence of a clear and present danger. It also curtails the choice of
venue and is thus repugnant to the freedom of expression clause as the time and place of a
public assembly form part of the message for which the expression is sought. Furthermore, it is
not content-neutral as it does not apply to mass actions in support of the government. The
words “lawful cause,” “opinion,” “protesting or influencing” suggest the exposition of some cause
not espoused by the government. Also, the phrase “maximum tolerance” shows that the law
applies to assemblies against the government because they are being tolerated. As a content-
based legislation, it cannot pass the strict scrutiny test.
Petitioners Jess del Prado, et al., in turn, argue that B.P. No. 880 is unconstitutional as it is a
curtailment of the right to peacefully assemble and petition for redress of grievances because it
puts a condition for the valid exercise of that right. It also characterizes public assemblies
without a permit as illegal and penalizes them and allows their dispersal. Thus, its provisions are
not mere regulations but are actually prohibitions.
Furthermore, the law delegates powers to the Mayor without providing clear standards. The two
standards stated in the laws (clear and present danger and imminent and grave danger) are
inconsistent.
ISSUE:
Whether or not B.P. No, 880 which delegates powers to the Mayor provides clear standards.
RULING:
Yes. As to the delegation of powers to the mayor, the law provides a precise and sufficient
standard – the clear and present danger test stated in Sec. 6 (a). The reference to “imminent
and grave danger of a substantive evil” in Sec. 6 (c) substantially means the same thing and is
not an inconsistent standard. As to whether respondent Mayor has the same power
independently under Republic Act No. 7160 is thus not necessary to resolve in these
proceedings, and was not pursued by the parties in their arguments.
The so-called calibrated preemptive response policy has no place in our legal firmament and
must be struck down as a darkness that shrouds freedom. It merely confuses our people and is
used by some police agents to justify abuses. On the other hand, B.P. No. 880 cannot be
condemned as unconstitutional; it does not curtail or unduly restrict freedoms; it merely
regulates the use of public places as to the time, place and manner of assemblies. Far from
being insidious, “maximum tolerance” is for the benefit of rallyists, not the government. The
delegation to the mayors of the power to issue rally “permits” is valid because it is subject to the
constitutionally-sound “clear and present danger” standard.
RATIO: Examples of standards held sufficient. – The following are legislative specifications are
among those which have been held to state a sufficiently definite standard for administrative
action in specific fields… “a clear and present danger,” and “imminent and grave danger of a
substantive evil.”

Bayan et.al. vs. Ermita

Facts:

Petitioners come in three groups.

Bayan, et al, Jess del Prado, et al, , Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), et al, KMU, et al.,
21

The rally was scheduled to proceed along España Avenue in front of the University of Santo Tomas and going
towards Mendiola bridge. Police officers blocked them along Morayta Street and prevented them from
proceeding further. They were then forcibly dispersed, causing injuries on one of them. Three other rallyists
were arrested

in the case of Bayan, et al allege that they are citizens and taxpayers of the Philippines and that their rights as
organizations and individuals were violated when the rally they participated in on October 6, 2005 was violently
dispersed by policemen implementing Batas Pambansa (B.P.) No. 880

All petitioners assail Batas Pambansa No. 880, some of them in toto and others only Sections 4, 5, 6, 12, 13(a),
and 14(a), as well as the policy of CPR, "Calibrated Preemptive Response". They seek to stop violent dispersals
of rallies under the "no permit, no rally" policy and the CPR policy recently announced.

Bayan et al argued that B.P. No. 880 requires a permit before one can stage a public assembly regardless of the
presence or absence of a clear and present danger. It also curtails the choice of venue and is thus repugnant to
the freedom of expression clause as the time and place of a public assembly form part of the message for which
the expression is sought. Furthermore, it is not content-neutral as it does not apply to mass actions in support of
the government. The words "lawful cause," "opinion," "protesting or influencing" suggest the exposition of
some cause not espoused by the government. Also, the phrase "maximum tolerance" shows that the law applies
to assemblies against the government because they are being tolerated. As a content-based legislation, it cannot
pass the strict scrutiny test.

Issue:

Whether or not the implementation of B.P. No. 880 volated their rights as organizations and individuals when
the rally they participated in on October 6, 2005

Held:

Petitioners’ standing cannot be seriously challenged. Their right as citizens to engage in peaceful assembly and
exercise the right of petition, as guaranteed by the Constitution, is directly affected by B.P. No. 880 which
requires a permit for all who would publicly assemble in the nation’s streets and parks. They have, in fact,
purposely engaged in public assemblies without the required permits to press their claim that no such permit can
be validly required without violating the Constitutional guarantee. Respondents, on the other hand, have
challenged such action as contrary to law and dispersed the public assemblies held without the permit.

Sec. 4 Art. III Section 4 of Article III of the Constitution

Sec. 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the
people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances

The first point to mark is that the right to peaceably assemble and petition for redress of grievances is, together
with freedom of speech, of expression, and of the press, a right that enjoys primacy in the realm of
constitutional protection. For these rights constitute the very basis of a functional democratic polity, without
which all the other rights would be meaningless and unprotected
Rights to peaceful assembly to petition the government for a redress of grievances and, for that matter, to
organize or form associations for purposes not contrary to law, as well as to engage in peaceful concerted
activities. These rights are guaranteed by no less than the Constitution, particularly Sections 4 and 8 of the Bill
of Rights, Section 2(5) of Article IX, and Section 3 of Article XIII. Jurisprudence abounds with hallowed
pronouncements defending and promoting the people’s exercise of these rights
22

It is very clear, therefore, that B.P. No. 880 is not an absolute ban of public assemblies but a restriction that
simply regulates the time, place and manner of the assemblies, it as a "content-neutral" regulation of the time,
place, and manner of holding public assemblies

A fair and impartial reading of B.P. No. 880 thus readily shows that it refers to all kinds of public assemblies22
that would use public places. The reference to "lawful cause" does not make it content-based because
assemblies really have to be for lawful causes, otherwise they would not be "peaceable" and entitled to
protection. Neither are the words "opinion," "protesting" and "influencing" in the definition of public assembly
content based, since they can refer to any subject. The words "petitioning the government for redress of
grievances" come from the wording of the Constitution, so its use cannot be avoided. Finally, maximum
tolerance is for the protection and benefit of all rallyists and is independent of the content of the expressions in
the rally.

Furthermore, the permit can only be denied on the ground of clear and present danger to public order, public
safety, public convenience, public morals or public health

the so-called calibrated preemptive response policy has no place in our legal firmament and must be struck
down as a darkness that shrouds freedom. It merely confuses our people and is used by some police agents to
justify abuses. On the other hand, B.P. No. 880 cannot be condemned as unconstitutional; it does not curtail or
unduly restrict freedoms; it merely regulates the use of public places as to the time, place and manner of
assemblies. Far from being insidious, "maximum tolerance" is for the benefit of rallyists, not the government.
The delegation to the mayors of the power to issue rally "permits" is valid because it is subject to the
constitutionally-sound "clear and present danger" standard.

In this Decision, the Court goes even one step further in safeguarding liberty by giving local governments a
deadline of 30 days within which to designate specific freedom parks as provided under B.P. No. 880. If, after
that period, no such parks are so identified in accordance with Section 15 of the law, all public parks and plazas
of the municipality or city concerned shall in effect be deemed freedom parks; no prior permit of whatever kind
shall be required to hold an assembly therein. The only requirement will be written notices to the police and the
mayor’s office to allow proper coordination and orderly activities.
23

Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Mayor Atienza


G.R. No. 175241 | February 24, 2010 | First Division
Ponente - CARPIO MORALES, J.

Facts: The IBP, through its then National President Cadiz, filed with the Office of the City Mayor
of Manila a letter application for a permit to rally at the foot of Mendiola Bridge on June 22, 2006
from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to be participated in by IBP officers and members, law students
and multi-sectoral organizations.

The Office of the Manila Mayor issued a permit dated June 16, 2006 allowing the IBP to stage a
rally on given date but indicated therein Plaza Miranda as the venue, instead of Mendiola Bridge,
which permit the IBP received on June 19, 2006.

Aggrieved, petitioners filed on June 21, 2006 before the Court of Appeals a petition for
certiorari. The petition having been unresolved within 24 hours from its filing, petitioners filed
before this Court on June 22, 2006 a petition for certiorari. The Court denied the petition for
being moot and academic, denied the relief that the petition be heard on the merits in view of
the pendency of the case in the CA, and denied the motion for reconsideration.

The rally pushed through on June 22, 2006 at Mendiola Bridge, after Cadiz discussed with
P/Supt. Arturo Paglinawan whose contingent from the MPD earlier barred petitioners from
proceeding thereto. The MPD thereupon instituted a criminal action against Cadiz for violating
the Public Assembly Act in staging a rally at a venue not indicated in the permit.

The appellate court ruled and found no grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondent
because the Public Assembly Act does not categorically require respondent to specify in writing
the imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil which warrants the denial or modification of
the permit and merely mandates that the action taken shall be in writing and shall be served on
respondent within 24 hours. The appellate court went on to hold that respondent is authorized to
regulate the exercise of the freedom of expression and of public assembly which are not
absolute, and that the challenged permit is consistent with Plaza Mirandas designation as a
freedom park where protest rallies are allowed without permit.

Hence, the filing of the present petition for review on certiorari.

Issue: Whether or not the appellate court erred in holding that the modification of the venue in
IBPs rally permit does not constitute grave abuse of discretion?

Held: Yes, the appellate court erred in holding that the modification of the venue in IBPs rally
permit does not constitute grave abuse of discretion.

The respondent failed to indicate how he had arrived at modifying the terms of the permit
against the standard of a clear and present danger test which is an indispensable condition to
such modification.
In KMP v Ermita, the Court reiterated that the “freedom of assembly” is not to be limited, much
less denied, except on a showing, as is the case with freedom of expression, of a clear and
present danger of a substantive evil that the state has a right to prevent. The sole justification
for a limitation on the exercise of this right so fundamental to the maintenance of democratic
institutions, is the danger, of a character both grave and imminent, of a serious evil to public
safety, public morals, public health, or any other legitimate public interest.
24

In Reyes v. Bagatsing, the Court elucidated that the public official concerned shall appraise
whether there may be valid objections to the grant of the permit or to its grant but at another
public place. It is an indispensable condition to such refusal or modification that the clear and
present danger test be the standard for the decision reached. Also, the applicants must be heard
on the matter.
The Supreme Court held that in modifying the permit outright, respondent Mayor gravely abused
his discretion when he did not immediately inform the IBP who should have been heard first on
the matter of his perceived imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil that may warrant
the changing of the venue. The opportunity to be heard precedes the action on the permit, since
the applicant may directly go to court after an unfavorable action on the permit. Respondent
mayor failed to indicate how he had arrived at modifying the terms of the permit against the
standard of a clear and present danger test which is an indispensable condition to such
modification. Nothing in the issued permit adverts to an imminent and grave danger of a
substantive evil, which “blank” denial or modification would, when granted imprimatur as the
appellate court would have it, render illusory any judicial scrutiny thereof.
25

Reyes Vs. Bagatsing


125 SCRA 553
L-65366
November 9, 1983

Facts: Petitioner sought a permit from the City of Manila to hold a peaceful march and rally on October 26, 1983 from
2:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon, starting from the Luneta to the gates of the United States Embassy. Once there, and in
an open space of public property, a short program would be held. The march would be attended by the local and
foreign participants of such conference. That would be followed by the handing over of a petition based on the
resolution adopted at the closing session of the Anti-Bases Coalition. There was likewise an assurance in the petition
that in the exercise of the constitutional rights to free speech and assembly, all the necessary steps would be taken
by it "to ensure a peaceful march and rally. However the request was denied. Reference was made to persistent
intelligence reports affirming the plans of subversive/criminal elements to infiltrate or disrupt any assembly or
congregations where a large number of people is expected to attend. Respondent suggested that a permit may be
issued if it is to be held at the Rizal Coliseum or any other enclosed area where the safety of the participants
themselves and the general public may be ensured. An oral argument was heard and the mandatory injunction was
granted on the ground that there was no showing of the existence of a clear and present danger of a substantive evil
that could justify the denial of a permit. However Justice Aquino dissented that the rally is violative of Ordinance No.
7295 of the City of Manila prohibiting the holding of rallies within a radius of five hundred (500) feet from any foreign
mission or chancery and for other purposes. Hence the Court resolves.

Issue: Whether or Not the freedom of expression and the right to peaceably assemble violated.

Held: Yes. The invocation of the right to freedom of peaceable assembly carries with it the implication that the right
to free speech has likewise been disregarded. It is settled law that as to public places, especially so as to parks and
streets, there is freedom of access. Nor is their use dependent on who is the applicant for the permit, whether an
individual or a group. There can be no legal objection, absent the existence of a clear and present danger of a
substantive evil, on the choice of Luneta as the place where the peace rally would start. Time immemorial Luneta has
been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions.

Such use of the public places has from ancient times, been a part of the privileges, immunities, rights, and liberties of
citizens.

With regard to the ordinance, there was no showing that there was violation and even if it could be shown that such a
condition is satisfied it does not follow that respondent could legally act the way he did. The validity of his denial of
the permit sought could still be challenged.

A summary of the application for permit for rally: The applicants for a permit to hold an assembly should inform the
licensing authority of the date, the public place where and the time when it will take place. If it were a private place,
only the consent of the owner or the one entitled to its legal possession is required. Such application should be filed
well ahead in time to enable the public official concerned to appraise whether there may be valid objections to the
grant of the permit or to its grant but at another public place. It is an indispensable condition to such refusal or
modification that the clear and present danger test be the standard for the decision reached. Notice is given to
applicants for the denial.

http://www.pinoycasedigest.info/2012/10/reyes-vs-bagatsing-case-digest.html#more
26

VICTORIANO vs. ELIZALDE ROPE WORKERS' UNION and ELIZAALDE ROPE FACTORY

G.R. No. L-25246; September 12, 1974; 59 SCRA 54


Ponente: Zaldivar Sec. 18, Article II 1987 Constitution:
"The State affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights of
workers and promote their welfare."

Facts:

Petitioner Victoriano is a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo and was an employee of Elizalde Rope
Factory and was a member of the Elizalde Rope Workers' Union. Membership with the Union was
mandatory as provided for under a collective bargaining agreement: "Membership in the Union
shall be required as a condition of employment for all permanent employees workers covered by
this Agreement."

Under Section 4(a), paragraph 4, of Republic Act No. 875, prior to its amendment by Republic
Act No. 3350, the employer was not precluded "from making an agreement with a labor
organization to require as a condition of employment membership therein, if such labor
organization is the representative of the employees." On June 18, 1961, however, Republic Act
No. 3350 was enacted, introducing an amendment to — paragraph (4) subsection (a) of section
4 of Republic Act No. 875, as follows: ... "but such agreement shall not cover members of any
religious sects which prohibit affiliation of their members in any such labor organization".

Being a member of the INC, a religion that prohibits affiliation with labor organizations, the
Petitioner wrote a letter informing the Union of his resignation. Thereupon, the Union wrote a
formal letter to the Company asking the latter to separate Appellee from the service in view of
the fact that he was resigning from the Union as a member.

The CFI ruled in favor of Petitioner and enjoined the company from dismissing him.

In its appeal, the Union claimed that R.A. no. 3350 was unconstitutional on the ground that 1)
prohibits all the members of a given religious sect from joining any labor union if such sect
prohibits affiliations of their members thereto; and, consequently, deprives said members of
their constitutional right to form or join lawful associations or organizations guaranteed by the
Bill of Rights, and thus becomes obnoxious [to the] Constitution; 2) Impairs the obligation of
contracts; 3) discriminates in favor of certain religious sects and affords no protection to labor
unions; 4) violates the constitutional provision that no religious test shall be required for the
exercise of a civil right; 5) violates the equal protection clause; and 6) the act violates the
constitutional provision regarding the promotion of social justice.
Issue:

Whether or not R.A. No. 3350 violates the Constitutional mandate to protect the rights of
workers and to promote their welfare notwithstanding the fact that it allows some workers, by
virtue of their religious beliefs, to opt out of Union security agreements. Held:

NO. R.A. No. 3350 is constitutional on all counts. It must be pointed out that the free exercise of
religious profession or belief is superior to contract rights. In case of conflict, the latter must,
therefore, yield to the former.
27

The purpose of Republic Act No. 3350 is secular, worldly, and temporal, not spiritual or religious
or holy and eternal. It was intended to serve the secular purpose of advancing the constitutional
right to the free exercise of religion, by averting that certain persons be refused work, or be
dismissed from work, or be dispossessed of their right to work and of being impeded to pursue a
modest means of livelihood, by reason of union security agreements.

More so now in the [1987 and past in constitutions] [...] where it is mandated that
"the State shall afford protection to labor, promote full employment and equality in
employment, ensure equal work opportunities regardless of sex, race or creed and
regulate the relation between workers and employers.

We believe that in enacting Republic Act No. 3350, Congress acted consistently with the spirit of
the constitutional provision. It acted merely to relieve the exercise of religion, by certain
persons, of a burden that is imposed by union security agreements. It was Congress itself that
imposed that burden when it enacted the Industrial Peace Act (Republic Act 875), and, certainly,
Congress, if it so deems advisable, could take away the same burden. It is certain that not every
conscience can be accommodated by all the laws of the land; but when general laws conflict with
scrupples of conscience, exemptions ought to be granted unless some "compelling state
interest" intervenes. In the instant case, We see no such compelling state interest to withhold
exemption.

**********

VICTORIANO VS ELIZALDE ROPE WORKERS' UNION


Topic: Right to self organization
Extent and Scope of Right

FACTS:
1. Benjamin Victoriano (hereinafter referred to as Appellee), a member of the religious sect
known as the "Iglesia ni Cristo", had been in the employ of the Elizalde Rope Factory, Inc.
(hereinafter referred to as Company) since 1958.

2. As such employee, he was a member of the Elizalde Rope Workers' Union (hereinafter
referred to as Union) which had with the Company a collective bargaining agreement containing
a closed shop provision which reads as follows:
Membership in the Union shall be required as a condition of employment for all permanent
employees workers covered by this Agreement.

3. The collective bargaining agreement expired on March 3, 1964 but was renewed the following
day, March 4, 1964.

4. Under Section 4(a), paragraph 4, of Republic Act No. 875, prior to its amendment by Republic
Act No. 3350, the employer was not precluded "from making an agreement with a labor
organization to require as a condition of employment membership therein, if such labor
organization is the representative of the employees." On June 18, 1961, however, Republic Act
No. 3350 was enacted, introducing an amendment to — paragraph (4) subsection (a) of section
4 of Republic Act No. 875, as follows: ... "but such agreement shall not cover members of any
religious sects which prohibit affiliation of their members in any such labor organization".
28

5. Being a member of a religious sect that prohibits the affiliation of its members with any labor
organization, Appellee presented his resignation to appellant Union in 1962, and when no action
was taken thereon, he reiterated his resignation on September 3, 1974. Thereupon, the Union
wrote a formal letter to the Company asking the latter to separate Appellee from the service in
view of the fact that he was resigning from the Union as a member.

6. The management of the Company in turn notified Appellee and his counsel that unless the
Appellee could achieve a satisfactory arrangement with the Union, the Company would be
constrained to dismiss him from the service. This prompted Appellee to file an action for
injunction, docketed as Civil Case No. 58894 in the Court of First Instance of Manila to enjoin the
Company and the Union from dismissing Appellee. 1 In its answer, the Union invoked the "union
security clause" of the collective bargaining agreement; assailed the constitutionality of Republic
Act No. 3350; and contended that the Court had no jurisdiction over the case, pursuant to
Republic Act No. 875, Sections 24 and 9 (d) and (e).

CFI - Manila: enjoining the defendant Elizalde Rope Factory, Inc. from dismissing the plaintiff
from his present employment and sentencing the defendant Elizalde Rope Workers' Union to pay
the plaintiff P500 for attorney's fees and the costs of this action

Appeal to this Court on purely questions of law.

ISSUE/S:
WON RA 3350 introducing an amendment to paragraph (4) subsection (a) of section 4 of
Republic Act No. 875, as follows: ... "but such agreement shall not cover members of any
religious sects which prohibit affiliation of their members in any such labor organization" is
unconstitutional

WON RA 3350 infringes on the fundamental right to form lawful associations when it "prohibits
all the members of a given religious sect from joining any labor union if such sect prohibits
affiliations of their members thereto" 5 ; and, consequently, deprives said members of their
constitutional right to form or join lawful associations or organizations guaranteed by the Bill of
Rights, and thus becomes obnoxious to Article III, Section 1 (6) of the 1935 Constitution

RULING:

1. NO. R.A. No. 3350 is constitutional on all counts. It must be pointed out that the free exercise
of religious profession or belief is superior to contract rights. In case of conflict, the latter must,
therefore, yield to the former.

2. No. What the exception provides, therefore, is that members of said religious sects cannot be
compelled or coerced to join labor unions even when said unions have closed shop agreements
with the employers; that in spite of any closed shop agreement, members of said religious sects
cannot be refused employment or dismissed from their jobs on the sole ground that they are not
members of the collective bargaining union.
29

If, notwithstanding their religious beliefs, the members of said religious sects prefer to sign up
with the labor union, they can do so. If in deference and fealty to their religious faith, they
refuse to sign up, they can do so; the law does not coerce them to join; neither does the law
prohibit them from joining; and neither may the employer or labor union compel them to join.
Republic Act No. 3350, therefore, does not violate the constitutional provision on freedom of
association.

DISPOSITIVE: Benjamin Victoriano Won (Plaintiff)


Appeal is dismissed.

DOCTRINE: The free exercise of religious profession or belief is superior to contract rights. In
case of conflict, the latter must yield to the former.

If in deference and fealty to their religious faith, they refuse to sign up, they can do so; the law
does not coerce them to join; neither does the law prohibit them from joining, and neither may
the employer or labor union compel them to join.
30

ROMUALDEZ-MARCOS vs. COMELEC and MONTEJO


G.R. No. 119976; September 18, 1995
Ponente: Kapunan

FACTS:

Petitioner Imelda Marcos filed a Certificate of Candidacy (COC) in the First district of Leyte in
order that she will be able to run for Congress of that district in the 1995 elections. Her COC
stated that she was a resident of Leyte for seven months. Private Respondent Montejo, a rival
candidate filed a petition to cancel the COC and to disqualify Marcos on the ground that she did
not meet the one year residency requirement as provided for in the Constitution. In response,
Marcos amended her COC changing the entry "seven" months to "since childhood". Marcos
claimed that "she has always maintained Tacloban City as her domicile or residence." She
further claimed that she is entitled to the correction of her COC on the ground that her original
entry of "seven months" was the result of an "honest misinterpretation or honest mistake".

The COMELEC granted the petition to cancel the COC and to disqualify Marcos. It held that
the animus revertendi of Marcos was not Tacloban, but San Juan, Manila, because that where
she chose to live after she went back to the Philippines after her well-publicized exile in the
US. It explained that while Petitioner grew up in Tacloban, after her graduation, however, she
moved to Manila where she became a registered voter, became a member of the Batasang
Pambansa as a representative of Manila and eventually became Governor of Manila. This,
according to the COMELEC debunks her claim that she was a resident of Leyte 1st District "since
childhood".

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not Petitioner is a resident of Leyte for election purposes.


2. Whether or not Petitioner lost her domicile after she married and lived with her husband in
Ilocos Norte and in San Juan.

HELD:
1. YES.

The Supreme Court declared in this case that for purposes of election law, residence is
synonymous with domicile. The decision of the COMELEC however, shows that they confused
the concept of "Domicile" with "actual residence".

Domicile versus Residence

Article 50 of the Civil Code decrees that "[f]or the exercise of civil rights and the fulfillment of
civil obligations, the domicile of natural persons is their place of habitual residence." In a past
case, the Court took the concept of domicile to mean an individual's "permanent home", "a place
to which, whenever absent for business or for pleasure, one intends to return, and depends on
facts and circumstances in the sense that they disclose intent." Thus, domicile is composed of
the two elements of:

1. The fact of residing/physical presence in a fixed place; and


2. Animus manendi - the intention of returning permanently
31

Residence on the other hand merely refers to the factual relationship of an individual to a certain
place. It is mere physical presence. Residence involves the intent to leave when the purpose
for which the resident has taken up his abode ends. If a person's intent be to remain, it
becomes his domicile; if his intent is to leave as soon as his purpose is established it is
residence. Domicile is residence coupled with the intention to remain for an unlimited time.

A person can have different residences in various places, but he can only have a single domicile.
Note however, that a person may abandon a domicile in favor of another.

Domicile of Petitioner is in Tacloban


Petitioner Marcos' domicile is in Tacloban, Leyte. The fact that she has a residence in Manila
does not mean that she has lost her domicile in that province. The absence from legal residence
or domicile to pursue a profession, to study or to do other things of a temporary or semi-
permanent nature does not constitute loss of residence. Applying this doctrine to the case of
petitioner, the fact that she has registered to vote and resided in Ilocos Norte and in San Juan
do not unequivocally point to an intention to abandon her domicile in Tacloban. Even while
residing in various places, petitioner kept close ties to her domicile of origin by establishing
residences in Tacloban, celebrating her birthdays and other important personal milestones in her
home province, instituting well-publicized projects for the benefit of her province and hometown,
and establishing a political power base where her siblings and close relatives held positions of
power either through the ballot or by appointment, always with either her influence or consent.
These well-publicized ties to her domicile of origin are part of the history and lore of the quarter
century of Marcos power in our country. Either they were entirely ignored in the COMELEC'S
Resolutions, or the majority of the COMELEC did not know what the rest of the country always
knew: the fact of petitioner's domicile in Tacloban, Leyte.

2. NO

The domicile of origin

Note further that when petitioner Imelda Marcos was born, her domicile followed that of her
parents. Hence, her domicile of origin was Tacloban. Once acquired, domicile is retained until a
new one is gained. The domicile of origin is not easily lost. To effect a change of domicile, one
must demonstrate:
1. An actual removal or an actual change of domicile;

2. A bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new
one; and

3. Acts which correspond with the purpose.

In the absence of clear and positive proof based on these criteria, the residence of origin should
be deemed to continue.

Effect of marriage as to the domicile of origin

Article 110 of the New Civil Code provides:


32

Art. 110. — The husband shall fix the residence of the family. But the court may exempt the wife
from living with the husband if he should live abroad unless in the service of the Republic.

A survey of jurisprudence relating to this article or to the concepts of domicile or residence does
not suggest that the female spouse automatically loses her domicile of origin in favor of the
husband upon marriage. This article clearly refers to actual residence and not domicile and
merely establishes the default rule in fulfilling the obligation of the spouses "to live together" in
article immediately preceding Art. 110.

When Petitioner was married to then Congressman Marcos, in 1954, petitioner was obliged—by
virtue of Article 110 of the Civil Code—to follow her husband's actual place of residence fixed by
him. Mr. Marcos had several places of residence at the time: San Juan and Ilocos
Norte. Assuming that Mr. Marcos had fixed any of these places as the conjugal residence, what
petitioner gained upon marriage was actual residence. She did not lose her domicile of origin.

This rule has changed with the advent of the Family code with the introduction of the common
law concept of "matrimonial domicile". This underscores the difference between the intentions
of the Civil Code and the Family Code drafters, the term residence has been supplanted by the
term domicile in an entirely new provision (Art. 69) distinctly different in meaning and spirit
from that found in Article 110. The provision recognizes revolutionary changes in the concept of
women's rights in the intervening years by making the choice of domicile a product of mutual
agreement between the spouses.

Even assuming that Petitioner's domicile was lost, her acts unequivocally show an intent to
reestablish a domicile in Tacloban, Leyte because Petitioner, as early as in 1992, already
obtained her residence certificate in Tacloban.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, having determined that petitioner possesses the necessary residence qualifications
to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in the First District of Leyte, the COMELEC's
questioned Resolutions dated April 24, May 7, May 11, and May 25, 1995 are hereby SET ASIDE.
Respondent COMELEC is hereby directed to order the Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim
petitioner as the duly elected Representative of the First District of Leyte.
33

Aquino vs. Comelec


Agapito A. Aquino, petitioner vs. Commission on Election, Move Makati, Mateo Bedon,
and Juanito Icaro, respondents
Sept, 18, 1995
Special Civil Action in the Supreme Court. Certiorari.

Relevant Provisions:
Section 6, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution
No person shall be a Member of the House of Representatives unless he is a natural-born citizen
of the Philippines and, on the day of the election, is at least twenty-five years of age, able to
read and write, and, except the party-list representatives, a registered voter in the district in
which he shall be elected, and a resident thereof for a period of not less than one year
immediately preceding the day of the election.

Facts:
On 20 March 1995, Agapito A. Aquino, the petitioner, filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the
position of Representative for the new (remember: newly created) Second Legislative District of
Makati City. In his certificate of candidacy, Aquino stated that he was a resident of the
aforementioned district (284 Amapola Cor. Adalla Sts., Palm Village, Makati) for 10 months.
Move Makati, a registered political party, and Mateo Bedon, Chairman of LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP of
Barangay Cembo, Makati City, filed a petition to disqualify Aquino on the ground that the latter
lacked the residence qualification as a candidate for congressman which under Section 6, Article
VI of the 1987 Constitution, should be for a period not less than one year preceding the (May 8,
1995) day of the election.
Faced with a petition for disqualification, Aquino amended the entry on his residency in his
certificate of candidacy to 1 year and 13 days. The Commission on Elections passed a resolution
that dismissed the petition on May 6 and allowed Aquino to run in the election of 8 May. Aquino,
with 38,547 votes, won against Augusto Syjuco with 35,910 votes.
Move Makati filed a motion of reconsideration with the Comelec, to which, on May 15, the latter
acted with an order suspending the proclamation of Aquino until the Commission resolved the
issue. On 2 June, the Commission on Elections found Aquino ineligible and disqualified for the
elective office for lack of constitutional qualification of residence.
Aquino then filed a Petition of Certiorari assailing the May 15 and June 2 orders.

Issue:
1. Whether “residency” in the certificate of candidacy actually connotes “domicile” to warrant the
disqualification of Aquino from the position in the electoral district.
2. WON it is proven that Aquino has established domicile of choice and not just residence (not in
the sense of the COC)in the district he was running in.

Held:
1. Yes, The term “residence” has always been understood as synonymous with “domicile” not
only under the previous constitutions but also under the 1987 Constitution. The Court cited the
deliberations of the Constitutional Commission wherein this principle was applied.
Mr. Nolledo:
I remember that in the 1971 Constitutional Convention, there was an attempt to require
residence in the place not less than one year immediately preceding the day of elections.

What is the Committee’s concept of residence for the legislature? Is it actual residence or is it
the concept of domicile or constructive residence?
Mr. Davide:
34

This is in the district, for a period of not less than one year preceding the day of election. This
was in effect lifted from the 1973 constituition, the interpretation given to it was domicile.
Mrs. Braid:
On section 7, page2, Noledo has raised the same point that resident has been interpreted at
times as a matter of intention rather than actual residence.

Mr. De los Reyes
So we have to stick to the original concept that it should be by domicile and not physical and
actual residence.
Therefore, the framers intended the word “residence” to have the same meaning of domicile.
The place “where a party actually or constructively has his permanent home,” where he, no
matter where he may be found at any given time, eventually intends to return and remain, i.e.,
his domicile, is that to which the Constitution refers when it speaks of residence for the purposes
of election law.
The purpose is to exclude strangers or newcomers unfamiliar with the conditions and needs of
the community from taking advantage of favorable circumstances existing in that community for
electoral gain.
While there is nothing wrong with the purpose of establishing residence in a given area for
meeting election law requirements, this defeats the essence of representation, which is to place
through assent of voters those most cognizant and sensitive to the needs of a particular district,
if a candidate falls short of the period of residency mandated by law for him to qualify.
Which brings us to the second issue.

2. No, Aquino has not established domicile of choice in the district he was running in.
The SC agreed with the Comelec’s contention that Aquino should prove that he established a
domicile of choice and not just residence.
The Constitution requires a person running for a post in the HR one year of residency prior to the
elections in the district in which he seeks election to .
Aquino’s certificate of candidacy in a previous (May 11, 1992) election indicates that he was a
resident and a registered voter of San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac for more than 52 years prior to
that election. His birth certificate indicated that Conception as his birthplace and his COC also
showed him to be a registered voter of the same district. Thus his domicile of origin (obviously,
choice as well) up to the filing of his COC was in Conception, Tarlac.
Aquino’s connection to the new Second District of Makati City is an alleged lease agreement of a
condominium unit in the area. The intention not to establish a permanent home in Makati City is
evident in his leasing a condominium unit instead of buying one. The short length of time he
claims to be a resident of Makati (and the fact of his stated domicile in Tarlac and his claims of
other residences in Metro Manila) indicate that his sole purpose in transferring his physical
residence is not to acquire a new, residence or domicile but only to qualify as a candidate for
Representative of the Second District of Makati City.
Aquino’s assertion that he has transferred his domicile from Tarlac to Makati is a bare assertion
which is hardly supported by the facts in the case at bench. To successfully effect a change of
domicile, petitioner must prove an actual removal or an actual change of domicile, a bona fide
intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one and definite
acts which correspond with the purpose.
Aquino was thus rightfully disqualified by the Commission on Elections due to his lack of one
year residence in the district.
Decision
Instant petition dismissed. Order restraining respondent Comelec from proclaiming the candidate
garnering the next highest number of votes in the congressional elections of Second district of
Makati City made permanent.
35

Dicta:
I. Aquino’s petition of certiorari contents were:
A. The Comelec’s lack of jurisdiction to determine the disqualification issue involving
congressional candidates after the May 8, 1995 elections, such determination reserved with the
house of representatives electional tribunal
B. Even if the Comelec has jurisdiction, the jurisdiction ceased in the instant case after the
elections and the remedy to the adverse parties lies in another forum which is the HR Electoral
Tribunal consistent with Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.
C. The COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion when it proceeded to promulagate its
questioned decision despite its own recognition that a threshold issue of jurisdiction has to be
judiciously reviewed again, assuming arguendo that the Comelec has jurisdiction
D. The Comelec’s finding of non-compliance with the residency requirement of one year against
the petitioner is contrary to evidence and to applicable laws and jurisprudence.
E. The Comelec erred in failing to appreciate the legal impossibility of enforcing the one year
residency requirement of Congressional candidates in newly created political districts which were
only existing for less than a year at the time of the election and barely four months in the case
of petitioner’s district in Makati.
F. The Comelec committed serious error amounting to lack of jurisdiction when it ordered the
board of canvassers to determine and proclaim the winner out of the remaining qualified
candidates after the erroneous disqualification of the petitioner in disregard of the doctrine that
a second place candidate or a person who was repudiated by the electorate is a loser and cannot
be proclaimed as substitute winner.
II. Modern day carpetbaggers can’t be allowed to take advantage of the creation of new political
districts by suddenly transplanting themselves in such new districts, prejudicing their genuine
residents in the process of taking advantage of existing conditions in these areas.
III. according to COMELEC: The lease agreement was executed mainly to support the one year
residence requirement as a qualification for a candidate of the HR, by establishing a
commencement date of his residence. If a oerfectly valid lease agreement cannot, by itself
establish a domicile of choice, this particular lease agreement cannot be better.
36

Mejoff V. Director Of Prisons (1951)


G.R. No. L-4254 September 26, 1951

Lessons Applicable: characteristics of human rights, constitutional guarantee that no person


shall be deprived of liberty without due process of law,

Laws Applicable: Bill of Rights

FACTS:
 Boris Mejoff, an alien of Russian descent who was brought to this country from Shanghai
as a secret operative by the Japanese forces during the latter's regime in these Islands.
(The petitioner's entry into the Philippines was not unlawful; he was brought by the armed
and belligerent forces of a de facto government whose decrees were law furing the
occupation.)
 He was arrested on March 18, 1948 as a Japanese spy, by U. S. Army
Counter Intelligence Corps. and later there was an order for his release.
 But on April 5, 1948, the Board of Commissioners of Immigration declared that Mejoff had
entered the Philippines illegally in 1944 and ordered that he be deported on the first
available transportation to Russia.
 He was transferred to Cebu Provincial Jail and then Bilibid Prison at Muntinlupa on
October, 1948.
 He then filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus on the basis that too long a detention
may justify the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus - denied
 Over two years having elapsed since the decision aforesaid was promulgated, the
Government has not found way and means of removing the petitioner out of the country,
and none are in sight, although it should be said in justice to the deportation authorities,
it was through no fault of theirs that no ship or country would take the petitioner.
 This is his 2nd petition for writ of habeas corpus
ISSUE: W/N the writ of habeas corpus should be granted since he was detained longer than a
reasonable time

HELD: YES. writ will issue commanding the respondents to release the petitioner from custody
upon these terms: The petitioner shall be placed under the surveillance of the immigration
authorities or their agents in such form and manner as may be deemed adequate to insure that
he keep peace and be available when the Government is ready to deport him. The surveillance
shall be reasonable and the question of reasonableness shall be submitted to this Court or to the
Court of First Instance of Manila for decision in case of abuse. He shall also put up a bond for the
above purpose in the amount of P5,000 with sufficient surety or sureties, which bond the
Commissioner of Immigration is authorized to exact by section 40 of Commonwealth Act No.
613.
 Aliens illegally staying in the Philippines have no right of asylum therein even if they are
"stateless," which the petitioner claims to be.
 The protection against deprivation of liberty without due process of law and except for
crimes committed against the laws of the land is not limited to Philippine citizens but
extends to all residents, except enemy aliens, regardless of nationality.
 Moreover, by its Constitution (Art. II, Sec. 3) the Philippines "adopts the generally
accepted principles of international law as part of the law of Nation." And in a
resolution entitled "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" and approved by the
General Assembly of the United Nations of which the Philippines is a member, at its
plenary meeting on December 10, 1948, the right to life and liberty and all other
fundamental rights as applied to all human beings were proclaimed. It was there
37

resolved that "All human beings are born free and equal in degree and rights" (Art.
1); that "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedom set forth in this
Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language,
religion, political or other opinion, nationality or social origin, property, birth, or
other status" (Art. 2): that "Every one has the right to an effective remedy by the
competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him
by the Constitution or by law" (Art. 8); that "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary
arrest, detention or exile" (Art. 9); etc.
 petitioner's unduly prolonged detention would be unwarranted by law and the
Constitution, if the only purpose of the detention be to eliminate a danger that is by no
means actual, present, or uncontrollable
 Imprisonment to protect society from predicted but unconsummated offenses is so
unprecedented in this country and so fraught with danger of excesses and injustice that I
am loath to resort it, even as a discretionary judicial technique to supplement conviction
of such offenses as those of which defendants stand convicted.
 If that case is not comparable with ours on the issues presented, its underlying principle is
of universal application.
 As already noted, not only are there no charges pending against the petitioner, but the
prospects of bringing any against him are slim and remote.

MEJOFF v. DIRECTOR OF PRISONS


September 26, 1952
In this second petition for habeas corpus case for Mejoff, the SC finally ordered his release,
saying that his deportation has already prolonged. No other options are in sight because
other countries refuse to take him in. Since the PHL adopted the generally accepted
principles of international law as law of the land (Art. II Sec 3), it is but just that Mejoff be
released.

facts of the case


Two years have passed since the first Mejoff decision was promulgated, yet the Government has not found
any way to remove Mejoff from the country, and absolutely no options are in sight. In fairness though to the
deportation authorities, it was through no fault of theirs that no ship or country would take Mejoff.

issue
WON Mejoff should be now released. YES.

ratio
 Foreign nationals not enemies against whom no charge has been made other than that their permission to
stay has expired may NOT be indefinitely be kept in detention
 The protection against deprivation of liberty without due process of law and except for crimes committed
against the laws of the land is not limited to Philippine citizens but extends to all residents, except enemy
aliens, regardless of nationality.
 As applied in this case, Mejoff’s entry into the Philippines was not unlawful; he was brought in by the
Japanese whose decrees were law during the occupation. (NOTE – this is really weird because in the
first case, the Court itself held that Mejoff illegally entered the country)

 The Constitution of the PHL (Art. II, Sec. 3) states that the PHL adopts the generally accepted principles of
international law as part of the law of the Nation.
38

 In a resolution entitled the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, approved by the UN General
Assembly of which the PHL is a member on December 10, 1948, the right to life and liberty and all other
fundamental rights as applied to all human beings were proclaimed.
- Art 1 : Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedom set forth in this Declaration, without
distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion,
nationality or social origin, property, birth, or other status.
- Art 2 : Every one has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts
violating the fundamental rights granted him by the Constitution or by law
- Art 3 : No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile

 US vs Nichols (US Case) – The theory on which the court is allowed to act in cases like this is that since the
deportation has failed to be executed, the same is functus officio and thus the alien is being held without
authority of law.

 The Court said that the case of Staniszewski vs Watkins (another US case) is nearly on all fours with case.
Although not binding as a precedent, the said case gives “happy ending” to the problem posed in this
jurisdiction. Given that PHL immigration law is patterned after that of the US, the SC chose to adopt the
logic and the conlusion of Staniszewski.
 (Digestion – digest within a digest) A stateless person, formerly a Polish national and a US resident since
1911 was ordered deported from the US because he had no passport or immigration visa and that he was
convicted of perjury when he presented himself as a US citizen in several documents.
 The Court approved his petition for habeas corpus. No nation would take him in because he did not have
documents. He is a native Pole, but the Polish Government advised him that he is no longer considered
a Polish citizen.
 Given the hardship he’d go through, as well as the fact that his previous employer continues to pay $3 a
day for his stay in Ellis Island where he is detained, the Court ordered his release. However, he was
ordered to report on the 15th of each month stating among others, where he was employed and staying.

 The Court downplayed the notion that Mejoff, after being granted release, might go against the current
Government.
 Possibility of that happening is remote. The country (Japan) which we spied for is no longer in the PHL
and is no longer at war with the US.
 Granted that such possibility exists, there is no clear and present danger that warrants his prolonged
detention. Mejoff would be in detention for something merely anticipated, something he had yet to
commit, which is totally in contravention of the guarantees provided by the Constitution.

Mejoff ordered released from detention, but he shall be placed under the surveillance of the immigration
authorities or their agents in such form and manner as may be deemed adequate to insure that he keep peace
and be available when the Government is ready to deport him.
39

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES VS KAMRAN F. KABARSI


FACTS:
On June 25, 2002, Kamran F. Kabarsi filed a petition for naturalization with the RTC where he
alleged the following:
1. His full name is Kamran F. Karbasi;
2. He is recognized as a Person of Concern by the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) as shown in a certification duly issued by the UNHCR;
3. He is presently residing with his family at 341 Burgos Street, Dipolog City, since early part
of June 2000 and more so has resided continuously in the Philippines for not less than 11
years immediately preceding the date of this petition; to wit, since 11 July 1990 and in
Dipolog City for more than one (1) year;
4. His last place of foreign residence was Pakistan and his other places of residence, prior to
his present residence, were as follows (i) Panay Ave., Quezon City; (ii) Sta. Filomena,
Dipolog City; (iii) Capitol Area, Dumaguete City; (iv) Dohinob, Roxas, Zamboanga del
Norte;
5. He was born on 4 September 1966 in Tehran, Iran, as shown in his identity card which
also serves as his birth certificate;
6. He is married and is the father of one (1) child;
7. His wife Cliji G. Lim Karbasi is a Filipino citizen, 22 years old and born on 10 August 1979
in Cebu City, whom he married on 12 October 2000 in Dipolog City, as shown in their
certificate of marriage;
8. His child, Keenyji L. Karbasi, l-year old , was born on 9 June 2001 in Dipolog City and
presently residing with him and his wife at 341 Burgos Street, Dipolog City;
9. He arrived in Manila, Philippines, under an assumed name (Syed Gul Agha) from Pakistan
on 11 July 1990 specifically at the Manila International Airport on board Philippine Airlines
Flight No. 731, per UNHCR certification containing reference to his Pakistani passport
issued under said assumed name;
10.Due to his marriage, he is entitled to the benefit of Section 3 of Commonwealth Act No.
473, which reduced to five years the ten year requirement of continuous residence;
11.He speaks and writes English and Visayan;
12.His trade or occupation is as a repair technician in which he has been engaged since 1998
and, as such, he derives an average annual income of Php 80,000.00 more or less;
13.He has all the qualifications required under Section 2 and none of the disqualifications
under Section 4, of the Commonwealth Act No. 473;
14.He has complied with the requirements of the Naturalization Law (Commonwealth Act No.
473) regarding the filing with the Office of the Solicitor General of his bona fide intention
to become a citizen of the Philippines, as shown in his Declaration of Intention duly filed
on 25 May 2001;
15.It is his intention in good faith to become a citizen of the Philippines and to renounce
absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or
sovereignty, and particularly to Iran of which, at this time, he is a citizen or subject; that
he will reside continuously in the Philippines from the date of filing of this petition up to
the time of his admission to Philippine citizenship;
16.Dominador Natividad Tagulo, of legal age, Filipino, married and residing at ABC
Compound, Quezon Ave., Miputak, Dipolog City and Alton C. Ratificar, of legal age,
Filipino, married and residing at 047 Burgos Street, Dipolog City, who are Filipino citizens,
whose affidavits are attached to his petition, will appear and testify as witnesses at the
hearing thereof.

After finding that the petition is sufficient in form, the petitioner submitted his witnesses, and
thereafter, took the witness stand himself. He narrated that he is an Iranian national. He and his
40

brother left Iran in 1986 beacause of the war between Iran and Iraq at that time. Their
government confiscated their passport so they travelled by camel to Pakistan where they stayed
for 3 years, but was not granted a refugee status there. They decided to come to the Philippines
since one of his brothers was already studying in the country. They procured Pakistani passports
under assumed names.
Upon his arrival in the Philippines on July n, 1990, he submitted himself to the United Nations in
Manila. After several interviews, he was admitted as a refugee and, later on, as a person of
concern. As a refugee, he was granted by the United Nations allowances, medical benefits and
protection to some extent.
On January 17, 2007, the RTC found Karbasi's evidence sufficient to support his petition. Finding
Karbasi as possessing all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications to become a Filipino
citizen, the RTC rendered its decision granting the petition for naturalization.
Not in conformity, the Republic of the Philippines, through the Office of the Solicitor General
(OSG), interposed an appeal to the CA, based mainly on the ground that the RTC erred in
granting Karbasi's petition as he failed to comply with the provisions of Commonwealth Act No.
473 (Naturalization Law) on character, income and reciprocity. Specifically, the OSG pointed out
that Karbasi failed to establish that: 1] Iran grants reciprocal rights of naturalization to Filipino
citizens; 2] he has a lucrative income as required under the law; and 3] he is of good moral
character as shown by his disregard of Philippine tax laws when he had underdeclared his
income in his income tax returns (ITRs) and overstated the same in his petition for
naturalization.
The CA ruled that the alleged under declaration in Karbasi's ITRs was prepared in good faith
because he was of the belief that he no longer needed to include the income he received as
payment of his services to Daewoo Electronics Electronics Services, Inc. (Daewoo) and Kolins
Philippines International, Inc. (Kolins), because the same were already withheld at source. The
CA likewise affirmed the RTC finding that Karbasi, as a refugee, need not prove reciprocity
between Philippine and Iranian laws.

ISSUE:
WON reciprocity is necessary in the naturalization of refugees?

HELD: NO
Although it isTrue that the Naturalization Law disqualifies citizens or subjects of a foreign
country whose laws do not grant Filipinos the right to become naturalized citizens or subjects. A
perusal of Karbasi's petition, both with the RTC and the CA, together with his supplemental
pleadings filed with the Court, however, reveals that he has successfully established his refugee
status upon arrival in the Philippines. In effect, the country's obligations under its various
international commitments come into operation. Articles 6 and 34 of the 1951 Convention
relating to the Status of Refugees, to which the Philippines is a signatory, must be considered in
this case, to wit:
Article 6 of the 1951 Convention:

For the purposes of this Convention, the term "in the same circumstances" implies that any
requirements (including requirements as to length and conditions of sojourn or residence) which
the particular individual would have to fulfill for the enjoyment of the right in question, if he
were not a refugee, must be fulfilled by him, with the exception of requirements which by their
nature a refugee is incapable of fulfilling.

Article 34 of the 1951 Convention:

The Contracting States shall as far as possible facilitate the assimilation and
41

naturalization of refugees. They shall in particular make every effort to expedite


naturalization proceedings and to reduce as far as possible the charges and costs of such
proceedings.
In the same vein, Article 729 of the said Convention expressly provides exemptions from
reciprocity, while Article 34 states the earnest obligation of contracting parties to "as far as
possible facilitate the assimilation and naturalization of refugees." As applied to this case,
Karbasi's status as a refugee has to end with the attainment of Filipino citizenship, in
consonance with Philippine statutory requirements and international obligations. Indeed, the
Naturalization Law must be read in light of the developments in international human rights law
specifically the granting of nationality to refugees and stateless persons.