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a.

Article III, Treaty of Paris, Dec 10, 1898 (Spain ceded


the P.I. to the U.S.)

Article III.

Spain cedes to the United States the archipelago known as the Philippine Islands, and comprehending the
islands lying within the following line:

A line running from west to east along or near the twentieth parallel of north latitude, and through the
middle of the navigable channel of Bachi, from the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) to the one
hundred and twenty-seventh (127th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence along the
one hundred and twenty seventh (127th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the parallel of
four degrees and forty five minutes (4 [degree symbol] 45']) north latitude, thence along the parallel of
four degrees and forty five minutes (4 [degree symbol] 45') north latitude to its intersection with the
meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty five minutes (119 [degree symbol] 35')
east of Greenwich, thence along the meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty
five minutes (119 [degree symbol] 35') east of Greenwich to the parallel of latitude seven degrees and forty
minutes (7 [degree symbol] 40') north, thence along the parallel of latitude of seven degrees and forty
minutes (7 [degree symbol] 40') north to its intersection with the one hundred and sixteenth (116th)
degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence by a direct line to the intersection of the tenth
(10th) degree parallel of north latitude with the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of
longitude east of Greenwich, and thence along the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of
longitude east of Greenwich to the point of beginning.The United States will pay to Spain the sum of
twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) within three months after the exchange of the ratifications of the
present treaty.

b. US-Spain Treaty, Nov 7, 1900 (Cagayan, Sulu, and


Sibutu)

Treaty Between the Kingdom Spain and the United States of America for
Cession of Outlying Islands of the Philippines [1900]*

ARTICLE

Relinquishment of islands to the United States.

The United States of America and Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain, in the name of Her August
Son, Don Alfonso XIII, desiring to remove any ground of misunderstanding growing out of the
interpretation of Article III of the Treaty of Peace concluded between them at Paris the tenth day of
December, one thousand eight hundred and ninety eight, whereby Spain cedes to the United States the
archipelago known as the Philippine Islands and comprehending the islands lying within certain
described lines, and having resolved to conclude a Treaty to accomplish that end, have for that purpose
appointed as their respective plenipotentiaries:

The President of the United States, John Hay, Secretary of State of the United States;

and Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain, the Duke de Arcos, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
Plenipotentiary of Spain to the United States;
who, having met in the city of Washington and having exchanged their full powers, which were found to
be in due and proper form, have agreed upon the following sole article:

SOLE ARTICLE

Spain relinquishes to the United States all title and claim of title, which she may have had at the time of
the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace of Paris, to any and all islands belonging to the Philippine
Archipelago, lying outside the lines described in Article III of that Treaty and particularly to the islands of
Cagayan, Sulu and Sibutu and their dependencies, and agrees that all such islands shall be comprehended
in the cession of the Archipelago as fully as if they had been expressly included within those lines.

The United States, in consideration of this relinquishment, will pay to Spain the sum of one hundred
thousand dollars ($100,000) within six months after the exchange of the ratifications of the present
treaty.

The present treaty shall be ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate thereof, and by Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain, after approval by the Cortes
of the Kingdom, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington as soon as possible.

In faith whereof we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed this Treaty and have hereunto affixed
our seals.

Done in duplicate at the city of Washington, the 7 th day of November, in the year of Our Lord one
thousand nine hundred.

c. US-Great Britain Treaty, Jan 2, 1930 (Turtle and


Mangsee Islands)

Convention Between the United States of America and Great Britain


Delimiting the Boundary Between the Philippine Archipelago and the State
of North Borneo [1930]

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS a convention between the United States of America and His Majesty the King of Great Britain, Ireland and
the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, delimiting definitely the boundary between the Philippine
Archipelago (the territory acquired by the United States of America by virtue of the treaties of December 10, 1898,
and November 7, 1900, with Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain) and the State of North Borneo which is under
British protection, was concluded and signed by their respective Plenipotentiaries at Washington on the second day
of January, one thousand nine hundred and thirty, the original of which convention is word for word as follows:

The President of the United States of America and His Majesty the King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British
Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India.

Being desirous of delimiting definitely the boundary between the Philippine Archipelago (the territory acquired by the
United States of America by virtue of the Treaties of December 10, 1898, and November 7, 1900, with Her Majesty
the Queen Regent of Spain) and the State of North Borneo which is under British protection.

Have resolved to conclude a Convention for that purpose and have appointed as their plenipotentiaries:
The President of the United States of America,
Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of State of the United States; and
His Majesty the King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India,
For Great Britain and Northern Ireland:
The Right Honorable Sir Esme Howard, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., C.V.O., His Majesty’s Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary at Washington;
Who, having communicated to each other their respective full powers found in good and due form have agreed upon
and concluded the following Articles:

ARTICLE I

It is hereby agreed and declared that the line separating the islands belonging to the Philippine Archipelago on the
one hand and the islands belonging to the State of North Borneo which is under British protection on the other hand
shall be and is hereby established as follows:

From the point of intersection of the parallel of four degrees forty-five minutes (4°45′) north latitude and the meridian
of longitude one hundred twenty degrees (120° 0) east of Greenwich, (being a point on the boundary defined by the
Treaty between the United States of America and Spain signed at Paris, December 10, 1898), a line due south along
the meridian of longitude one hundred twenty degrees (120° 0′) east of Greenwich to its point of intersection with the
parallel of four degrees twenty-three minutes (4° 23) north latitude;

thence due west along the parallel of four degrees twenty-three minutes (4° 23) north latitude to its intersection with
the meridian of longitude one hundred nineteen degrees (119° 0′) east of Greenwich;

thence due north along the meridian of longitude one hundred nineteen degrees (199°0′) east of Greenwich to its
intersection with the parallel of four degrees forty-two minutes (4°42″) north latitude;

thence in a straight line approximately 45° 54′ true (N 45° 54′ E) to the intersection of the parallel of five degrees
sixteen minutes (5° 16′) north latitude and the meridian of longitude one hundred nineteen degrees thirty-five minutes
(119° 35′) east of Greenwich;

thence in a straight line approximately 314° 19′ true (N 45° 41′ W) to the intersection of the parallel of six degrees (6°
0′) north latitude and the meridian of longitude one hundred eighteen degrees fifty minutes (118° 50′) east of
Greenwich;

thence due west along the parallel of six degrees (6° 0′) north latitude to its intersection with the meridian of longitude
one hundred eighteen degrees twenty minutes (118° 20′) east of Greenwich;

thence in a straight line approximately 307° 40′ true (N 52° 20′ W) passing between Little Bakkungaan Island and
Great Bakkungaan Island to the intersection of the parallel of six degrees seventeen minutes (6° 17′) north latitude
and the meridian of longitude one hundred seventeen degrees fifty-eight minutes (117°58′) east of Greenwich;

thence due north along the meridian of longitude one hundred seventeen degrees fifty-eight minutes (117° 58′) east
of Greenwich to its intersection with the parallel of six degrees fifty-two minutes (6° 52′) north latitude;

thence in a straight line approximately 315° 16′ true (N 44° 44′ W) to the intersection of the parallel of seven degrees
twenty-four minutes forty-five seconds (7° 24′ 45″) north latitude with the meridian of longitude one hundred
seventeen degrees twenty-five minutes thirty seconds (117° 25′ 30″) east of Greenwich;

thence in a straight line approximately 300° 56′ true (N 59° 4′ W) through the Mangsee Channel between Mangsee
Great Reef and Mangsee Islands to the intersection of the parallel of seven degrees forty minutes (7° 40′) north
latitude and the meridian of longitude one hundred seventeen degrees (117° 0′) east of Greenwich, the latter point
being on the boundary defined by the Treaty between the United States of America and Spain signed at Paris,
December 10, 1898.

ARTICLE II
The line described above has been indicated on Charts Nos. 4707 and 4720, published by the United States Coast
and Geodetic Survey, corrected to July 24, 1929, portions of both charts so marked being attached to this treaty and
made a part thereof. It is agreed that if more accurate surveying and mapping of North Borneo, the Philippine Islands,
and intervening islands shall in the future show that the line described above does not pass between Little
Bakkungaan and Great Bakkungaan Islands, substantially as indicated on Chart No. 4720, the boundary line shall be
understood to be defined in that area as a line passing between Little Bakkungaan and Great Bakkungaan Islands as
indicated on the chart, said portion of the line being a straight line approximately 307° 40′ true drawn from a point on
the parallel of 6° 0′ north latitude to a point on the meridian of longitude of 117° 58′ east of Greenwich.

It is likewise agreed that if more accurate surveying and mapping shall show that the line described above does not
pass between the Mangsee Islands and Mangsee Great Reef as indicated on Chart No. 4720, the boundary shall be
understood to be defined in that area as a straight line drawn from the intersection of the parallel of 7° 24′ 45″ north
latitude and the meridian of longitude of 117° 25′ 30″ east of Greenwich, passing through Mangsee Channel as
indicated on attached Chart No. 4720 to a point on the parallel of 7° 40′ north latitude.

ARTICLE III

All islands to the north and east of the said line and all islands and rocks traversed by the said line, should there be
any such, shall belong to the Philippine Archipelago and all islands to the south and west of the said line shall belong
to the State of North Borneo.

ARTICLE IV

The provisions of Article 19 of the Treaty between the United States of America, the British Empire, France, Italy, and
Japan limiting naval armament, signed at Washington on February 6, 1922, shall, so long as that Treaty remains in
force, apply in respect of all islands in the Turtle and Mangsee Groups which are or may be deemed to be comprised
within the territories of the Philippine Archipelago on the one hand and of the State of North Borneo on the other hand
in consequence of the establishment of the line fixed by the preceding articles of the present Convention. In the event
of either High Contracting Party ceding, selling, leasing or transferring any of the islands in question to a third party
provision shall be made for the continued application to such island of the aforementioned Article 19 of the Treaty
between the United States of America, the British Empire, France, Italy and Japan limiting naval armament, signed at
Washington on February 6, 1922, provided that Treaty is still in force at the time of such cession, sale, lease or
transfer.

ARTICLE V

The present Convention shall be ratified by the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate thereof, and by His Britannic Majesty, and shall’ come into force on the exchange of the acts of
ratification which shall take place at Washington as soon as possible.

In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the same and have affixed thereto their respective
seals.

Done in duplicate at Washington the second day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and
thirty.

HENRY L. STIMSON [SEAL]


ESME HOWARD [SEAL]

AND WHEREAS, the said convention has been duly ratified on both parts and the ratifications of the two
Governments were exchanged at Washington on the thirteenth day of December, one thousand nine hundred and
thirty-two;

NOW, THEREFORE, be it known that I, Herbert Hoover, President of the United States of America, have caused the
said convention to be made public, to the end that the same and every article and clause thereof may be observed
and fulfilled with good faith by the United States of America and the citizens thereof.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be
affixed.

DONE at the city of Washington this fifteenth day of December in the year of our Lrd one thousand nine hundred and
thirty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and fifty-seventh.

d. 1935 Constitution (Batanes)


ARTICLE I

The National Territory

Section 1. The Philippines comprises all the territory ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris
concluded between the United States and Spain on the tenth day of December, eighteen hundred and
ninety-eight, the limits which are set forth in Article III of said treaty, together with all the islands
embraced in the treaty concluded at Washington between the United States and Spain on the seventh
day of November, nineteen hundred, and the treaty concluded between the United States and Great
Britain on the second day of January, nineteen hundred and thirty, and all territory over which the
present Government of the Philippine Islands exercises jurisdiction.

e. 1973 Constitution (territories by historic right or legal


title)

Historic right or legal title

By: Frank E. Lobrigo - @inquirerdotnet

05:06 AM April 30, 2018

The phrase “historic right or legal title” first appeared in Philippine constitutional theory under the 1973 Constitution. The Marcosian
innovation was intended to include in the constitutional definition of Philippine national territory the long-disputed claim over a
portion of North Borneo, or Sabah — a territory that once belonged to the Sultan of Brunei, and ceded in favor of the Sultan of Sulu
for the latter’s assistance in quelling a rebellion in the former’s kingdom. The property domain was once subject of an 1878 perpetual
lease to a British entity, the British North Borneo Company, which Malaysia recognizes but considers as cession subject to the
perpetual payment of rent that Malaysia remits to the current heirs of the Sultan of Sulu.

When the post-Edsa 1987 Constitution was adopted, that phrase was removed from the definition of the national territory. The
deletion was thought to be an accommodation of Malaysia with the sense of dropping the Philippine claim over Sabah that was ceded
by the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu to the Philippine state in the 1960s during the Macapagal administration. But the records of the
deliberation of the 1986 Constitutional Commission will clarify that dropping the Sabah claim was never intended because the
Philippine territory as defined by the 1987 Constitution would still include those territories belonging to the country by historic right
or legal title.

The iconic phrase was once more thrust into the limelight via the landmark arbitral ruling over maritime entitlements in the South
China Sea that was central to the dispute between China and the Philippines. An international tribunal held that historic right or title
does not exist under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The ruling debunked China’s maritime claim over almost the entire
breadth of the South China Sea based on the so-called “nine-dash line” historic right.

China’s audacity in naming certain maritime features in Benham Rise within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and the
extended continental shelf — a right allowed in international law for discoverers of maritime features — raised genuine concern that
the Chinese nomenclature could eventually lay the predicate for China’s claim of historic right or title over a maritime zone in the
Pacific Ocean. The alarm rang not only for patriotic Filipinos but also for a long-time ally across the Pacific. In international law, a
territorial claim could start with historic right via an incipient discovery of a terra nullius identified through an appellation given by
its discoverer.

The iconic phrase currently pervades the public political debate with its proposed inclusion in the envisioned federal constitution. No
less than the ruling party espoused the inclusion, obviously to reassert the Philippine claim over the Sultan of Sulu’s property in
North Borneo — an understandably welcome political move for Muslim Filipinos in the South. Now, it is part of the definition of
national territory in the proposed federal constitution.

The inclusion of the Sabah claim in the proposed federal constitution as part of Philippine territory by historic right or title might just
serve to perpetuate the unresolved dispute between Malaysia and the Philippines because the Philippines would already be barred by
the constitution from giving away through diplomacy a part of its territory.

A territorial or sovereignty claim over Sabah may not be successful because it might turn out that the Philippines only succeeded the
heirs of the Sultan of Sulu with respect to their dominion over the Sabah property, or a simple case of patrimonial property
ownership. The Philippines could not have succeeded the imperium of the Sulu sultanate, which lost its sovereignty to the United
States under the 1915 Carpenter Agreement. The United States never exercised sovereignty over Sabah even as it recognized Sabah
as a protectorate and territory of the United Kingdom under the Boundaries Treaty of 1930.

***

f. RA 3046, Jun 17, 1961

AN ACT DEFINE THE BASELINES OF THE TERRITORIAL SEA OF THE PHILIPPINES.

WHEREAS, the Constitution of the Philippines describes the national territory as comprising all the
territory ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris concluded between the United States and
Spain on December 10, 1898, the limits of which are set forth in Article III of said treaty, together with all
the islands embraced in the treaty concluded at Washington, between the United States and Spain on
November 7, 1900, and in the treaty concluded between the United States and Great Britain on January
2, 1930, and all the territory over which the Government of the Philippine Islands exercised jurisdiction at
the time of the adoption of the Constitution;

WHEREAS, all the waters within the limits set forth in the above-mentioned treaties have always been
regarded as part of the territory of the Philippine Islands;

WHEREAS, all the waters around, between and connecting the various islands of the Philippines
archipelago, irrespective of their width or dimension, have always been considered as necessary
appurtenances of the land territory, forming part of the inland or internal waters of the Philippines;

WHEREAS, all the waters beyond the outermost islands of the archipelago but within the limits of the
boundaries set forth in the aforementioned treaties comprise the territorial sea of the Philippines;

WHEREAS, the baselines from which the territorial sea of the Philippines is determined consist of straight
lines joining appropriate points of the outermost islands of the archipelago; and

WHEREAS, the said baselines should be clarified and specifically defined and described for the
information of all concerned; Now, therefor,
Section 1. The baselines for the territorial sea of the Philippines are hereby defined and described
specifically as follows:

Distance in
N. Latitude E. Longitude Asimuth
Meters

Y'ami Island (E) 21º07'03" 121º57'24" 353º27' 71,656


Line 1 (Yami I. (E.) — Tumaruk Rk.)

Tumaruk Rk. 20º28'28" 122º02'06" 347º13' 58,105


Line 2 (Tumaruk Rk. — Balintang Is.)

Balintang Island 19º57'45" 122º09'28" 375º05' 97,755


Line 3 (Balingtang Is.— Didicas Rk.)

Didicas Rk. 19º04'50" 122º12'18" 350º39' 86,155


Line 4 (Didicas Rk. - Iligan Pt.)

Iligan Pt. 18º18'45" 122º20'15" 351º23' 136,030


Line 5 (Iligan Pt. - Ditolong Pt.)

Ditolong Pt. 17º05'50" 122º31'44" 16º56' 34,378


Line 6 (Ditolong Pt. - Diviuisa Pt.)

Diviuisa Pt. 16º48'00" 122º26'06" 21º01' 57,781


Line 7 (Diviuisa Pt. - Dijohan Pt.)

Dijohan Pt. 16º18'45" 122º14'28" 10º52' 142,360


Line 7a (Dijohan Pt. - Bulubalik Pt.)

Bulubalik Pt. 15º02'56" 121º59'30" 300º15' 120,986


Line 8 (Bulubalik Pt. - Tinaga I.)

Tinaga I. 14º29'45" 122º57'40" 286º27' 148,690


Line 9 (Tinaga I. - Horadaba Rks.)

Horadaba Rks. 14º06'41" 124º16'54" 306º34' 1,083


Line 10 (Horadaba Rks. — Matulin
Rk.)

Matulin Rk. 14º06'20" 124º17'23" 331º46' 178,480


Line 11 (Matulin Rk. - Atalaya Pt.)

Atalaya Pt. 12º40'59" 125º04'02" 313º30' 22,268


Line 11a (Atalaya Pt. - Finch Rk.)

Finch Rk. 12º32'40" 125º12'57" 313º56' 12,665


Line 12 (Finch Rk. - SE of Manjud
Pt.)

SE Manjud pt. 12º27'54" 125º17'59" 322º27' 14,225


Line 12a (SE of Manjud Pt. - Sora
Cay)

Sora Cay 12º21'47" 125º22'46" 321º03' 22,793


Line 13 (Sora Cay - Bunga Pt.)

Bunga Pt. 12º12'10" 125º30'40" 331º50' 12,686


Line 13a (Bunga Pt. - Tubabao I.)

Tubabao I. 23º06'06" 125º33'58" 355º22' 83,235


Line 14 (Tubabao I. - Tugnug Pt.)

Tugnug Pt. 11º21'06" 125º37'40" 331º03' 75,326


Line 15 (Tugnug Pt. - Suluan I.)

Suluan Island 10º45'20" 125º57'40" 347º51' 107,070


Line 16 (Suluan I. - Tuason Pt.)

Tuason Pt. 9º48'33" 126º10'00" 355º25' 55,415


Line 17 (Tuason Pt. - Cauit Pt.)

Cauit Pt. 9º18'35" 126º12'25" 342º44' 49,703


Line 18 (Cauit Pt. Arangasa Is.)

Arangasa Is. 8º52'50" 126º20'28" 348º40' 131,330


Line 19 Arangasa Is. - Quinablangan
I.)

Quinablangan I. 7º42'58" 126º34'30" 353º08' 25,619


Line 19a (Quinablangan I. - Above
Languyan R.)

Above Languyan R. 7º29'10" 126º36'10" 356º52' 22,489


Line 20 (Above Languyan R. —
Pusan Pt.)

Pusan Pt. 7º16'59" 126º36'50" 26º39' 36,259


Line 21 (Pusan Pt. - Tuguban Pt.)

Tuguban Pt. 6º59'24" 126º28'00" 20º33' 83,350


Line 22 (Tuguban Pt. - Cape S.
Agustin N.)

Cape San Agustin (N) 6º17'03" 126º12'08" 30º16' 1,707


Line 22a (Cape S. Agustin (N) —
Cape San Agustin (S)

Cape San Agustin (S) 6º16'15" 126º11'40" 39º23' 125,100


Line 23 (Cape S. Agustin (S) —
Panguil Bato Pt.)

Panguil Bato Pt. 5º23'45" 125º28'42" 66º32' 7,484


Line 23a (Panguil Bato Pt. - Tapundo
Pt.)

Tapudo Pt. 5º22'08" 125º24'59" 89º19' 7,667


Line 24 (Tapundo Pt. - Manamil I.)

Manamil I. 5º22'05" 125º20'50" 139º01' 3,051


Line 24a (Manamil I. - Balut I. (W)

Balut I. (W) 5º23'20" 125º19'45" 124º47' 149,840


Line 25 (Balut I. (W) - Middle of 3 Rk.
Awash)

Middle of 3 Rk. Awash 6º09'39" 124º13'02" 86º18' 259,400


Line 26 (Middle of 3 Rk. Awash —
Tongquil I.)

Tongquil I. 6º00'15" 121º52'45" 61º29' 115,950


Line 27 (Tongquil I. - Sumbasumba I.)

Sumbasumba I. 5º30'10" 120º57'35" 43º19' 44,445


Line 28 (Sumbasumba I. - Kinapusan
Is.)

Kinapusan Is. 5º12'37" 120º41'05" 63º14' 101,290


Line 29 (Kinapusan Is. - Manuk
Manka I.)

Manuk Manka I. 4º47'50" 119º52'10" 58º30' 80,847


Line 30 (Manuk Manka I. - Frances
Reef)

Frances Reef 4º24'54" 119º14'54" 134º34' 29,330


Line 31 (Frances Reef - Bajapa Reef)

Bajapa Reef 4º36'04" 119º03'36" 164º05' 13,480


Line 32 (Bajapa Reef) - Panguan I.)

Panguan I. 4º43'06" 119º01'36" 238º48' 42,470


Line 33 (Panguan I. - Omapoy I.)

Omapoy I. 4º55'02" 119º21'15" 246º11' 51,005


Line 34 (Omapoy I. - Sanga-Sanga I.)

Sanga-Sanga I. 5º06'12" 119º46'30" 170º05' 80,200


Line 35 (Sanga-Sanga I. - Pearl
Bank)

Pearl Bank 5º49'04" 119º39'01" 103º13' 137,050


Line 36 (Pearl Bank - Baguan I.)

Baguan I 6º06'00" 118º26'42" 76º52' 15,535


Line 36a (Banguan I. - Taganak I.)

Taganak I. 6º04'05" 118º18'30" 118º39' 24,805


Line 37 (Taganak I. - Gt. Bakkungaan
O

Gt. Bakkungaan 6º10'32" 118º06'42" 136º04' 18,470


Line 37a (Gt. Bakkungaan - Sibaung
I.)

Sibaung I. 6º17'45" 117º59'45" 215º36' 79,915


Line 38 (Sibaung - I. Muligi I.

Mulugi I. 6º53'00" 118º25'00" 119º14' 140,541


Line 39 (Mulugi I. - Mangsee Is.)

Mangsee Is. 7º30'10" 117º18'20" 134º50 48,815


Line 39a (Mangsee Is. - Cape
Melville)

Cape Melville 7º48'50" 116º59'30" 153º54' 15,665


Line 40 (Cape Melville - Ligas Pt.)

Ligas Pt. 7º56'28" 116º55'45" 170º40' 5,666


Line 41 (Ligas Pt. - Cay)

Cay 7º59'30" 116º55'15" 204º52' 22,925


Line 41a (Cay-Secam I.)

Secam I. 8º10'47" 117º00'30" 209º09' 54,900


Line 42 (Secam I. - N. of Canipan
Bay)

N. of Canipan Bay 8º36'50" 117º15'06" 218º57' 18,570


Line 43 (N. of Canipan Bay — Tatub
Pt.)

Tatub Pt. 8º44'40" 117º21'28" 222º04' 45,125


Line 44 (Tatub Pt. - Punta Baja)

Punta Baja 9º02'50" 117º37'58" 223º30' 32,194


Line 45 (Punta Baja - Malapackun I.)

Malapackun I. 9º15'30" 117º50'04" 225º50' 148,260


Line 46 (Malapackun I. - Piedras Pt.)

Piedras Pt. 10º11'28" 118º48'18" 203º19' 124,900


Line 47 (Piedras Pt. - Tapuitan I.)

Tapuitan I. 11º13'40" 119º15'28" 208º47' 136,590


Line 48 (Tapuitan I. - Pinnacle Rk.)

Pincle Rk. 12º18'34" 119º51'45" 200º40' 134,230


Line 49 (Pinnacle Rk. - Cape Calavite

Cape Calavite 13º26'40" 120º18'00" 148º12' 58,235


Line 50 (Cape Calavite - Cabra I.)

Cabra I. 13º53'30" 120º00'58" 179º26' 113,400


Line 51 (Cabra I. - Capones Is.)

Capones Is. 14º55'00" 120º00'20" 168º09' 58,100


Line 52 (Capones Is. - Pa-Lauig Pt.)

Palauig Pt. 15º25'50" 119º53'40" 164º17' 40,870


Line 53 (Palauig. - Hermana Mayor I.)

Hermana Mayor I. 15º47'10" 119º47'28" 167º10' 20,490


Line 53a (Hermana Mayor —
Tambobo Pt.)

Tambobo Pt. 15º58'00" 119º44'55" 181º43' 22,910


Line 54 (Tambobo Pt. - Rena Pt.)

Rena Pt. 16º10'25" 119º45'18" 191º39' 18,675


Line 54a (Rena Pt. - Cape Bolinao

Cape Bolinao 16º20'20" 119º47'25" 226º20' 80,016


Line 55 (Cape Bolinao - Darigayos
Pt.)
Darigayos Pt. 16º50'15" 120º20'00" 179º58' 81,616
Line 56 (Darigayos Pt. - Dile Pt.)

Dile Pt. 17º34'30" 120º19'58" 188º27' 12,060


Line 56a (Disle Pt. - Pinget I.)

Pinget I. 17º40'58" 120º20'58" 192º46' 27,170


Line 56b (Pinget I. - Badoc I.)

Badoc I. 17º55'20" 120º24'22" 195º03' 65,270


Line 57 (Badoc I. - Cape Bojeador)

Cape Bojeador 18º29'30" 120º34'00" 222º16' 101,740


Line 58 (Cape Bojeador - Dalupiri I.)

Dalupiri I. 19º10'15" 121º13'02" 213º29' 25,075


Line 59 (Dalupiri I. - Catanapan Pt.)

Catanapan Pt. 19º21'35" 121º20'56" 202º27' 116,870


Line 60 (Catanapan Pt. - Dequey I.)

Dequey I. 29º20'06" 121º46'35" 180º47' 42,255


Line 61 (Dequey I. - Raile)

Raile 20º43'00" 121º46'55" 200º30' 48,140


Line 62 (Raile - Y'ami I. (W)

Y'ami I.(W) 21º07'26" 121º56'39" 238º40' 237


Line 63 (Y'ami I. (W) - Y'ami I. (M)

Y'ami I. (M) 21º07'30" 121º56'46" 307º08' 1,376


Line 64 (Y'ami I.(M) - Y'ami I. (E)

Y'ami I. (E) 21º07'03" 121º57'24"

Section 2. All waters within the baselines provided for in Section one hereof are considered inland or
internal waters of the Philippines.

g. RA 5446, Sep 8, 1968 (Sabah claim)

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION ONE OF REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED THIRTY


HUNDRED AND FORTY-SIX, ENTITLED "AN ACT TO DEFINE THE BASELINES OF
THE TERRITORIAL SEA OF THE PHILIPPINES"

Section 1. To correct typographical errors, Section one of Republic Act numbered thirty
hundred and forty-six is amended to read as follows:

"SECTION 1. The baselines for the territorial sea of the Philippines are hereby defined and
described specifically as follows:
N. Latitude E. Azimuth Distance (In
Longitude Meters)
Y’ami Island (E) 21º07’03" 121º57’24"
Line 1 (Y’ami I. (E.) - Tumaruk Rk.) 353º27’ 71,656
Tumaruk Rk. 20º28’28" 122º02’06"
Line 2 (Tumaruk Rk. - Balintang Is.) 347º13’ 58,105
Balintang Islands 19º57’45" 122º09’28"
Line 3 (Balintang Is. - Didicas Rk.) 357º05’ 97,755
Didicas Rk. 19º04’50" 122º12’18"
Line 4 (Didicas Rk. - Iligan Pt.) 350º39’ 86,155
Iligan Pt. 18º18’45" 122º20’15"
Line 5 (Iligan Pt. - Ditolong Pt.) 351º23’ 136,030
Ditolong Pt. 17º05’50" 122º31’44"
Line 6 (Ditolong Pt. - Diviuisa Pt.) 16º56’ 34,375
Diviuisa Pt. 16º48’00" 122º26’06"
Line 7 (Diviuisa Pt. - Dijohan Pt.) 21º01’ 57,781
Dijohan Pt. 16º18’45" 122º14’28"
Line 7a (Dijohan Pt. - Bulubalik Pt.) 10º52’ 142,360
Bulubalik Pt. 15º02’56" 121º59’30"
Line 8 (Bulubalik Pt. - Tinaga I.) 300º15’ 120,980
Tinaga I. 14º29’45" 122º57’40"
Line 9 (Tinaga I. - Horadaba Rks.) 286º27’ 148,690
Horadaba Rks. 14º06’41" 124º16’54"
Line 10 (Horadaba Rks. - Matulin Rk.) 306º34’ 1,083
Matulin Rk. 14º06’20" 124º17’23"
Line 11 (Matulin Rk. - Atalaya Pt.) 331º46’ 178,480
Atalaya Pt. 12º40’59" 125º04’02"
Line 11a (Atalaya Pt. - Finch Rk.) 313º30’ 22,263
Finch Rk. 12º32’40" 125º12’57"
Line 12 (Finch Rk. - SE of Manjud Pt.) 313º56’ 12,663
SE Manjud Pt. 12º27’54" 125º17’59"
Line 12a (SE of Manjud Pt. - Sora Cay) 322º27’ 14,225
Sora Cay 12º21’47" 125º22’46"
Line 13 (Sora Cay - Bunga Pt.) 321º03’ 22,761
Bunga Pt. 12º12’10" 125º30’40"
Line 13a (Bunga Pt. - Tubabao I.) 331º50’ 12,646
Tubabao I. 12º06’06" 125º33’58"
Line 14 (Tubabao I. - Tugnug Pt.) 355º22’ 83,225
Tugnug Pt. 11º12’06" 125º37’40"
Line 15 (Tugnug Pt. - Suluan I.) 331º03’ 75,326
Suluan Island 10º45’20" 125º37’40"
Line 16 (Suluan I. - Tuason Pt.) 347º51’ 107,070
Tuason Pt. 9º48’33" 126º10’00"
Line 17 (Tuason Pt. - Cauit Pt.) 355º25’ 55,415
Cauit Pt. 9º18’35" 126º12’25"
Line 18 (Cauit Pt. Arangasa Is.) 342º44’ 49,703
Arangasa Is. 8º52’50" 126º20’28"
Line 19 (Arangasa Is. - Quinablangan I.) 348º40’ 131,330
Quinablangan I. 7º42’58" 126º34’30"
Line 19a (Quinablangan I - Above Languyan R.) 353º08’ 25,619
Above Languyan R. 7º29’10" 126º36’10"
Line 20 (Above Languyan R. - Pusan Pt.) 356º52’ 22,489
Pusan Pt. 7º16’59" 126º36’50"
Line 21 (Pusan Pt. - Tugubun Pt.) 26º39’ 36,259
Tugubun Pt. 6º59’24" 126º28’00"
Line 22 (Tugubun Pt. - Cape S. Agustin N.) 20º33’ 83,350
Cape San Agustin (N) 6º17’03" 126º12’08"
Line 22a (Cape S. Agustin (N) - Cape San Agustin (S) 30º16’ 1,707
Cape San Agustin (S) 6º16’15" 126º11’40"
Line 23 (Cape S. Agustin (S) - Panguil Bato Pt.) 39º23’ 125,100
Panguil Bato Pt. 5º23’45" 125º28’42"
Line 23a (Panguil Bato Pt. - Tapundo Pt.) 66º32’ 7,484
Tapundo Pt. 5º22’08" 125º24’59"
Line 24 (Tapundo Pt. - Manamil I.) 89º19’ 7,667
Manamil I. 5º22’05" 125º20’50"
Line 24a (Manamil I. - Balut I. (W) 139º01’ 3,051
Balut I. (W) 5º23’20" 125º19’45"
Line 25 (Balut I. (W) - Middle of 3 Rk. Awash) 124º47’ 149,840
Middle of 3 Rk. Awash 6º09’39" 124º13’02"
Line 26 (Middle of 3 Rk. Awash - Tongquil I.) 86º18’ 259,400
Tongquil I. 6º00’15" 121º52’45"
Line 27 (Tongquil I. - Sumbasumba I.) 61º29’ 115,950
Sumbasumba I. 5º30’10" 120º57’35"
Line 28 (Sumbasumba I. - Kinapusan Is.) 43º19’ 44,445
Kinapusan Is. 5º12’37" 120º41’05"
Line 29 (Kinapusan Is. - Manuk Manka I.) 63º14’ 101,290
Manuk Manka I. 4º47’50" 119º52’10"
Line 30 (Manuk Manka I. - Frances Reef) 58º30’ 80,847
Frances Reef 4º24’54" 119º14’54"
Line 31 (Frances Reef - Bajapa Reef) 134º34’ 29,330
Bajapa Reef 4º36’04" 119º03’36"
Line 32 (Bajapa Reef - Panguan I.) 164º05’ 13,480
Panguan I. 4º43’06" 119º01’36"
Line 33 (Panguan I. - Omapoy I.) 238º48’ 42,470
Omapoy I. 4º55’02" 119º21’15"
Line 34 (Omapoy I. - Sanga-Sanga I.) 246º11’ 51,003
Sanga-Sanga I. 5º06’12" 119º46’30"
Line 35 (Sanga-Sanga I. - Pearl Bank) 170º05’ 80,200
Pearl Bank 5º49’04" 119º39’01"
Line 36 (Pearl Bank - Baguan I.) 103º13’ 137,050
Baguan I. 6º06’00" 118º26’42"
Line 36a (Baguan I. - Taganak I.) 76º52’ 15,535
Taganak I. 6º04’05" 118º18’30"
Line 37 (Taganak I. - Gt. Bakkungaan) 118º39’ 24,805
Gt. Bakkungaan 6º10’32" 118º06’42"
Line 37a (Gt. Bakkungaan-Sibaung I.) 136º04’ 18,470
Sibaung I. 6º17’45" 117º59’45"
Line 38 (Sibaung - I. Muligi I.) 215º36’ 79,915
Muligi I. 6º53’00" 118º25’00"
Line 39 (Muligi I. - Mangsee Is.) 119º14’ 140,541
Mangsee Is. 7º30’10" 117º18’20"
Line 39a (Mangsee Is. - Cape Melville) 134º50’ 48,815
Cape Melville 7º48’50" 116º59’30"
Line 40 (Cape Melville - Ligas Pt.) 153º54’ 15,665
Ligas Pt. 7º56’28" 116º55’45"
Line 41 (Ligas Pt. - Cay) 170º40’ 5,666
Cay 7º59’30" 116º55’15"
Line 41a (Cay-Secam I.) 204º52’ 22,925
Secam I. 8º10’47" 117º00’30"
Line 42 (Secam I. - N. of Canipan Bay) 209º09’ 54,990
N. of Canipan Bay 8º36’50" 117º15’06"
Line 43 (N. of Canipan Bay-Tatub Pt.) 218º57’ 18,570
Tatub Pt. 8º44’40" 117º21’28"
Line 44 (Tatub Pt. - Punta Baja) 222º04’ 45,125
Punta Baja 9º02’50" 117º37’58"
Line 45 (Punta Baja - Malapackun I.) 223º30’ 32,195
Malapackun I. 9º15’30" 117º50’04"
Line 46 (Malapackun I. - Piedras Pt.) 225º50’ 148,260
Piedras Pt. 10º11’28" 118º48’18"
Line 47 (Piedras Pt. - Tapiutan I.) 203º19’ 124,900
Tapiutan I. 11º13’40" 119º15’28"
Line 48 (Tapiutan I. - Pinnacle Rk.) 208º47’ 136,590
Pinnacle Rk. 12º18’34" 119º51’45"
Line 49 (Pinnacle Rk. - Cape Calavite) 200º40’ 134,230
Cape Calavite 13º26’40" 120º18’00"
Line 50 (Cape Calavite-Cabra I.) 148º12’ 58,235
Cabra I. 13º53’30" 120º00’58"
Line 51 (Cabra I. - Capones Is.) 179º26’ 113,400
Capones Is. 14º55’00" 120º00’20"
Line 52 (Capones Is. - Palauig Pt.) 168º09’ 58,100
Palauig Pt. 15º25’50" 119º53’40"
Line 53 (Palauig. - Hermana Mayor I.) 164º17’ 40,870
Hermana Mayor I. 15º47’10" 119º47’28"
Line 53a (Hermana Mayor I. - Tambobo Pt.) 167º10’ 20,490
Tambobo Pt. 15º58’00" 119º44’55"
Line 54 (Tambobo Pt. - Rena Pt.) 181º43’ 22,910
Rena Pt. 16º10’25" 119º45’18"
Line 54a (Rena Pt. - Cape Bolinao) 191º39’ 18,675
Cape Bolinao 16º20’20" 119º47’25"
Line 55 (Cape Bolinao - Darigayos Pt.) 226º20’ 80,016
Darigayos Pt. 16º50’15" 120º20’00"
Line 56 (Darigayos Pt. - Dile Pt.) 179º58’ 81,616
Dile Pt. 17º34’30" 120º19’58"
Line 56a (Dile Pt. - Pinget I.) 188º27’ 12,060
Pinget I. 17º40’58" 120º20’58"
Line 56b (Pinget I. - Badoc I.) 192º46’ 27,170
Badoc I. 17º55’20" 120º24’22"
Line 57 (Badoc I. - Cape Bojeador) 195º03’ 65,270
Cape Bojeador 18º29’30" 120º34’00"
Line 58 (Cape Bojeador - Dalupiri I.) 222º16’ 101,740
Dalupiri I. 19º10’15" 121º13’02"
Line 59 (Dalupiri I. - Catanapan Pt.) 213º29’ 25,075
Catanapan Pt. 19º21’35" 121º20’56"
Line 60 (Catanapan Pt. - Dequey I.) 202º27’ 116,870
Dequey I. 20º20’06" 121º46’35"
Line 61 (Dequey I. - Raile) 180º47’ 42,255
Raile 20º43’00" 121º46’55"
Line 62 (Raile - Y’ami I. (W) 200º30’ 48,140
Y’ami I. (W) 21º07’26" 121º56’39"
Line 63 (Y’ami I. (W) - Y’ami I. (M) 238º40’ 237
Y’ami I. (M) 21º07’30" 121º56’46"
Line 64 (Y’ami I. (M) - Y’ami I. (E) 307º08’ 1,376
Y’ami I. (E) 21º07’03" 121º57’24"

Section 2. The definition of the baselines of the territorial sea of the Philippine Archipelago
as provided in this Act is without prejudice to the delineation of the baselines of the territorial
sea around the territory of Sabah, situated in North Borneo, over which the Republic of the
Philippines has acquired dominion and sovereignty.

Section 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved: September 18, 1968

h. PD 1596, Jun 11, 1978 (other territories, claim over


KIG)

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO.1596

DECLARING CERTAIN AREA PART OF THE PHILIPPINE TERRITORY AND PROVIDING FOR THEIR
GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION.

WHEREAS, by reason of their proximity the cluster of islands and islets in the South China Sea situated within the
following:
KALAYAAN ISLAND GROUP

From a point [on the Philippine Treaty Limits] at latitude 7°40′ North and longitude 116°00′ East of Greenwich, thence
due West along the parallel of 7°40′ N to its intersection with the meridian of longitude 112°10′ E, thence due north
along the meridian of 112°10′ E to its intersection with the parallel of 9°00′ N, thence northeastward to the intersection
of the parallel of 12°00′ N with the meridian of longitude 114° 30′ E, thence, due East along the parallel of 12°00′ N to
its intersection with the meridian of 118° 00′ E, thence, due South along the meridian of longitude 118°00′ E to its
intersection with the parallel of 10°00′ N, thence Southwestwards to the point of beginning at 7°40′ N, latitude and
116° 00′ E longitude.

are vital to the security and economic survival of the Philippines;

WHEREAS, much of the above area is part of the continental margin of the Philippine archipelago;

WHEREAS, these areas do not legally belong to any state or nation but, by reason of history, indispensable need,
and effective occupation and control established in accordance with international law, such areas must now be
deemed to belong and subject to the sovereignty of the Philippines;

WHEREAS, while other states have laid claims to some of these areas, their claims have lapsed by abandonment
and can not prevail over that of the Philippines on legal, historical, and equitable grounds.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me vested
by the Constitution, do hereby decree as follows:

SECTION 1. The area within the following boundaries:

KALAYAAN ISLAND GROUP

From a point [on the Philippine Treaty Limits] at latitude 7°40′ North and longitude 116°00′ East of Greenwich, thence
due West along the parallel of 7° 40′ N to its intersection with the meridian of longitude 112°10′ E, thence due north
along the meridian of 112°10′ E to its intersection with the parallel of 9°00′ N, thence northeastward to the inter-
section of the parallel of 12°00′ N with the meridian of longitude 114° 30′ E, thence, due East along the parallel of
12°00′ N to its intersection with the meridian of 118°00′ E, thence, due South along the meridian of longitude 118° 00′
E to its intersection with the parallel of 10°00′ N, thence Southwestwards to the point of beginning at 7°40′ N, latitude
and 116° 00′ E longitude;

including the sea-bed, sub-soil, continental margin and air space shall belong and be subject to the sovereignty of the
Philippines. Such area is hereby constituted as a distinct and separate municipality of the Province of Palawan and
shall be known as “Kalayaan.”

SEC. 2. Pending the election of its regular officials and during the period of emergency declared in Proclamation No.
1081, and unless earlier provided by law, the administration and government of the area shall be vested in the
Secretary National Defense or in such officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as may designate.

SEC. 3. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 11th day of June, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-eight.

i. PD 1599, Jun 11, 1978 (200 miles EEZ)

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1599

ESTABLISHING AN EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.


WHEREAS, an exclusive economic zone extending to a distance of two hundred nautical miles
from the baselines from which the territorial sea is measured is vital to the economic survival and
development of the Republic of the Philippines;

WHEREAS, such a zone is now a recognized principle of international law;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the


powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby decree and order:

Section 1. There is hereby established a zone to be known as the exclusive economic zone of the
Philippines. The exclusive economic zone shall extend to a distance of two hundred nautical miles
beyond and from the baselines from which the territorial sea is measured: Provided, That, where the
outer limits of the zone as thus determined overlap the exclusive economic zone of an adjacent or
neighboring state, the common boundaries shall be determined by agreement with the state concerned or
in accordance with pertinent generally recognized principles of international law on delimitation.

Section 2. Without prejudice to the rights of the Republic of the Philippines over it territorial sea and
continental shelf, it shall have and exercise in the exclusive economic zone established herein the
following;

(a) Sovereignty rights for the purpose of exploration and exploitation, conservation and
management of the natural resources, whether living or non-living, both renewable and
non-renewable, of the sea-bed, including the subsoil and the superjacent waters, and
with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the
resources of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and
winds;

(b) Exclusive rights and jurisdiction with respect to the establishment and utilization of
artificial islands, off-shore terminals, installations and structures, the preservation of the
marine environment, including the prevention and control of pollution, and scientific
research;

(c) Such other rights as are recognized by international law or state practice.

Section 3. Except in accordance with the terms of any agreement entered into with the Republic of the
Philippines or of any license granted by it or under authority by the Republic of the Philippines, no person
shall, in relation to the exclusive economic zone:

(a) explore or exploit any resources;

(b) carry out any search, excavation or drilling operations:

(c) conduct any research;

(d) construct, maintain or operate any artificial island, off-shore terminal, installation or other
structure or device; or

(e) perform any act or engage in any activity which is contrary to, or in derogation of, the
sovereign rights and jurisdiction herein provided.

Nothing herein shall be deemed a prohibition on a citizen of the Philippines, whether natural or juridical,
against the performance of any of the foregoing acts, if allowed under existing laws.
Section 4. Other states shall enjoy in the exclusive economic zone freedoms with respect to navigation
and overflight, the laying of submarine cables and pipelines, and other internationally lawful uses of the
sea relating to navigation and communications.

Section 5. (a) The President may authorize the appropriate government office/agency to make and
promulgate such rules and regulations which may be deemed proper and necessary for carrying out the
purposes of this degree.

(b) Any person who shall violate any provision of this decree or of any rule or regulation promulgated
hereunder and approved by the President shall be subject to a fine which shall not be less than two
thousand pesos (P2,000.00) nor be more than one hundred thousand pesos (100,000.00) or
imprisonment ranging from six (6) months to ten (10) years, or both such fine and imprisonment, in the
discretion of the court. Vessels and other equipment or articles used in connection therewith shall be
subject to seizure and forfeiture.

Section 6. This Decree shall take effect thirty (30) days after publication in the Official Gazette.

Done in the City of Manila, this 11th day of June, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-
eight.

j. UNCLOS I, II and III (1994) (Archipelagic principle, right of


innocent passage, right to sea lane passage)

PART I

INTRODUCTION

Article 1
Use of terms and scope

1. For the purposes of this Convention:


(1) "Area" means the seabed and ocean floor and subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national
jurisdiction;
(2) "Authority" means the International Seabed Authority;
(3) "activities in the Area" means all activities of exploration for, and exploitation of, the resources
of the Area;
(4) "pollution of the marine environment" means the introduction by man, directly or indirectly,
of substances or energy into the marine environment, including estuaries, which results or is likely to
result in such deleterious effects as harm to living resources and marine life, hazards to human health,
hindrance to marine activities, including fishing and other legitimate uses of the sea, impairment of
quality for use of sea water and reduction of amenities;
(5) (a) "dumping" means:
(i) any deliberate disposal of wastes or other matter from vessels, aircraft, platforms or
other man-made structures at sea;
(ii) any deliberate disposal of vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at
sea;
(b) "dumping" does not include:
(i) the disposal of wastes or other matter incidental to, or derived from the normal
operations of vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures at
sea and their equipment, other than wastes or other matter transported by or to vessels, aircraft,
platforms or other man-made structures at sea, operating for the
purpose of disposal of such matter or derived from the treatment of such wastes or other matter
on such vessels, aircraft, platforms or structures;
(ii) placement of matter for a purpose other than the mere disposal thereof, provided that
such placement is not contrary to the aims of this Convention.

2. (1) "States Parties" means States which have consented to be bound by this Convention and for
which this Convention is in force.
(2) This Convention applies mutatis mutandis to the entities referred to in article 305, paragraph
l(b), (c), (d), (e) and (f), which become Parties to this Convention in accordance with the conditions
relevant to each, and to that extent "States Parties" refers to those entities.

PART II
TERRITORIAL SEA AND CONTIGUOUS ZONE
SECTION 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 2
Legal status of the territorial sea, of the air space over the territorial sea
and of its bed and subsoil

1. The sovereignty of a coastal State extends, beyond its land territory and internal waters and, in
the case of an archipelagic State, its archipelagic waters, to an adjacent belt of sea, described as the
territorial sea.

2. This sovereignty extends to the air space over the territorial sea as well as to its bed and subsoil.

3. The sovereignty over the territorial sea is exercised subject to this Convention and to other
rules of international law.

SECTION 2. LIMITS OF THE TERRITORIAL SEA


Article 3
Breadth of the territorial sea

Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12
nautical miles, measured from baselines determined in accordance with this Convention.

k. RA 9522 (demarcation of maritime zone and continental shelf


under UNCLOS III)

Republic Act No. 9522 March 10, 2009

AN ACT TO AMEND CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 3046, AS AMENDED


BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 5446, TO DEFINE THE ARCHIPELAGIC BASELINE OF THE PHILIPPINES
AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled::

Section 1. Section 1 of Republic Act No. 3046, entitled "An Act to Define the Baselines of the Territorial
Sea of the Philippines", as amended by Section 1 of Republic Act No. 5446, is hereby amended to read
as follows:

Section 1. The baselines of the Philippines archipelago are hereby defined and described
specifically as follows:
Basepoint Station Location World Geodetic System of 1984 Distance
Number Name (WGS 84) Coordinates to next
basepoint
Latitude (N) Longitude (E) (M)
1 PAB-01 Amianan Is. 21º6’57.73" 121º57’27.71" 70.08
2 PAB-02 Balintang Is. 19º57’38.19" 122º9’46.32" 99.17
3 PAB-04 Bigan Pt. 18º18’35.30" 122º20’19.07" 71.83
4 PAB-05A Ditolong Pt. 17º7’16.30" 122º31’28.34" 1.05
5 PAB-05B Ditolong Pt. 17º6’14.79" 122º31’43.84" 0.39
6 PAB-05 Ditolong Pt. 17º5’51.31" 122º31’42.66" 3.29
7 PAB-06 Spires Is. 17º2’36.91" 122º31’3.28" 9.74
8 PAB-06B Digollorin Pt. 16º59’18.03" 122º27’56.61" 3.51
9 PAB-06C Digollorin Rk. 16º49’56.11" 122º26’50.78" 2.40
10 PAB-07 Divimisa Pt. 16º47’38.86" 122º26’4.40" 30.94
11 PAB-08 Dinoban Pt. 16º18’44.33" 122º14’06.69" 116.26
12 PAB-10A Tinaga Is. 14º29’54.43" 122º57’51.15" 80.29
13 PAB-11 Horodaba Rk. 14º6.29.91" 124º16’59.21" 0.54
14 PAB-12 Matulin Rk. 14º6.10.40" 124º17’26.28" 96.04
15 PAB-13 Atalaya Pt. 12º41’6.37" 125º3’53.71" 6.79
16 PAB-13A Bacan Is. 12º36’18.41" 125º8’50.19" 5.52
17 PAB-14 Finch Rk. 12º32.33.62" 125º12’59.70" 0.80
18 PAB-14A Cube Rk. 12º31.57.45" 125º13’32.37" 4.90
19 PAB-14D NW Manjud Pt. 12º28’36.42" 125º17’12.32" 1.30
20 PAB-15 SE Manjud Pt. 12º27’37.51" 125º18’5.23" 7.09
21 PAB-16A S Sorz Cay 12º21’41.64" 125º23’7.41" 5.68
22 PAB-16B Panablihon 12º17’27.17" 125º27’0.12" 5.21
23 PAB-16C Alugon 12º13’21.95" 125º30’19.47" 1.94
24 PAB-16D N Bunga Pt. 12º11’48.16" 125º31’30.88" 0.54
25 PAB-17 E Bunga Pt. 12º11’20.67" 125º31’48.29" 5.71
26 PAB-18A SE Tobabao Is. 12º6’7.00" 125º34’11.94" 83.94
27 PAB-19C Suluan Is. 10º45’16.70" 125º58’8.78" 56.28
28 PAB-19D N Tuason Pt. 9º49’59.58" 126º10’6.39" 57.44
29 PAB-20A Arangasa Is. 8º53’16.62" 126º20’48.81" 40.69
30 PAB-21B Sanco Pt. 8º13’11.53" 126º28’53.25" 30.80
31 PAB-22 Bagoso Is 7º42’45.02" 126º34’29.08" 12.95
32 PAB-22C Languyan 7º29’49.47" 126º35’59.24" 0.54
33 PAB-23 Languyan 7º29’16.93" 126º35’59.50" 0.76
34 PAB-23B Languyan 7º28’30.97" 126º35’57.30" 1.2
35 PAB-23C N Baculin Pt. 7º27’29.42" 126º35’51.31" 10.12
36 PAB-24 Pusan Pt. 7º17’19.80" 126º36’18.26" 1.14
37 PAB-24A S Pusan Pt. 7º16’14.43" 126º35’57.20" 63.28
38 PAB-25B Cape San Agustin 6º17’14.73" 126º12’14.40" 1.28
39 PAB-25 Cape San Agustin 6º16’8.35" 126º11’35.06" 67.65
40 PAB-26 SE Sarangani Is. 5º23’34.20" 125º28’42.11" 0.43
41 PAB-27 Pangil Bato Pt. 5º23’21.80" 125º28’19.59" 3.44
42 PAB-28 Tapundo Pt. 6º21’55.66" 126º25’11.21" 3.31
43 PAB-29 W Calia Pt. 5º21’58.48" 125º21’52.03" 0.87
44 PAB-30 Manamil Is. 5º22’2.91" 125º20’59.73" 1.79
45 PAB-31 Marampog Pt. 5º23’20.18" 125º19’44.29" 78.42
46 PAB-32 Pola Pt. 6º9’8.44" 124º15’42.81" 122.88
47 PAB-33A Kantuan Is 6º26’47.22" 122º13.34.50" 29.44
48 PAB-34A Tongguil Is. 6º2’33.77" 121º56’36.20" 2.38
49 PAB-35 Tongquil Is 6º1’8.51" 121º54’41.45" 1.72
50 PAB-35A Tongquil Is. 6º0’17.88" 121º63’11.17" 85.94
51 PAB-38A Kirapusan Is 5º12.8.70" 120º41’38.14" 55.24
52 PAB-39 Manuk Manka Is. 4º47’39.24" 119º51’58.08" 43.44
53 PAB-40 Frances Reef 4º24’53.84" 119º14’50.71 0.61
54 PAB-40A Frances Reef 4º25’3.83" 119º14’15.15" 15.48
55 PAB-41A Bajapa Reef 4º36"9.01" 119º3’22.75" 6.88
56 PAB-42A Paguan Is. 4º42’52.07" 119º1’44.04" 8.40
57 PAB-43 Alice Reef 4º45’55.25" 119º3’15.19" 2.28
58 PAB-44 Alice Reef 4º47’5.36" 119º5’12.94" 18.60
59 PAB-45 Omapoy Rk. 4º55’10.45" 119º22’1.30 23.37
60 PAB-46 Bukut Lapis Pt. 5º2’23.73" 119º44’18.14" 44.20
61 PAB-47 Pearl Bank 5º46’35.15" 119º39’51.77" 75.17
62 PAB-48 Bagnan Is. 6º5’58.41" 118º26’57.30" 8.54
63 PAB-48A Taganak Is 6º4’14.08" 118º18’33.33" 13.46
64 PAB-49 Great Bakkungaan Is. 6º11’4.65" 118º6’54.15" 3.97
65 PAB-50 Libiman Is. 6º13’39.90" 118º3’52.09" 5.53
66 PAB-51 Sibaung Is. 6º17’43.99" 118º0’5.44" 41.60
67 PAB-52 Muligi Is. 6º52’14.53" 118º23’40.49" 75.06
68 PAB-53 South Mangsee Is. 7º30’26.05" 117º18’33.75" 26.00
69 PAB-54 Balabac Is. 7º48’30.69" 116º59’39.18" 6.08
70 PAB-54A Balabac Great Reef 7º51’27.17" 116º54’17.19" 1.18
71 PAB-54B Balabac Great Reef 7º52’19.86" 116º53’28.73" 2.27
72 PAB-55 Balabac Great Reef 7º54’36.35" 116º53’16.64" 5.42
73 PAB-60 Ada Reef 8º2’0.26" 116º54’10.04" 10.85
74 PAB.61 Secam Is. 8º11’18.36" 116º59’51.87" 30.88
75 PAB-62 Latua Pt. 8º87’56.37" 117º15’51.23" 7.91
76 PAB-63 SW Tatub Pt. 8º44’17.40" 117º20’39.37" 11.89
77 PAB-63A W Sicud Pt. 8º53’32.20" 117º28’15.78" 13.20
78 PAB-64 Tarumpitao Pt. 9º2.57.47" 117º37’38.88" 81.12
79 PAB.64B Dry Is. 9º59’22.54" 118º36’53.61" 82.76
80 PAB-65C Sinangcolan Pt. 11º13’19.82" 119º15’17.74" 74.65
81 PAB-67 Pinnacle Rk. 12º19’35.22" 119º50’56.00 93.88
82 PAB-68 Cabra Is 13º53’24.45" 120º1’5.86" 115.69
83 PAB-71 Hermana Mayor Is. 15º48’43.61" 119º46’56.09" 9.30
84 PAB-72 Tambobo Pt. 15º57’61.67" 119º44’55.32" 12.06
85 PAB-72B Rena Pt. 16º9’57.90" 119º45.15.76" 0.25
86 PAB-73 Rena Pt. 16º10’12.42" 119º45’11.95" 6.43
87 PAB-74 Rocky Ledge 16º16’34.46" 119º46’19.50" 0.65
88 PAB-74A Piedra Pt. 16º37’12.70" 119º46’28.62" 1.30
89 PAB-75 Piedra Pt. 16º18’29.49" 119º46’44.94" 1.04
90 PAB-75C Piedra Pt. 16º19’28.20" 119º47’7.69" 0.63
91 PAB-75D Piedra Pt. 16º20’4.38" 119º47’20.48" 80.60
92 PAB-76 Dile Pt. 17º34’24.94" 120º20’33.36" 6.86
93 PAB-77 Pinget Is. 17º41’17.56" 120º21’2.20" 14.15
94 PAB-78 Baboc Is. 17º55’4.13" 120º24’40.56" 35.40
95 PAB-79 Cape Bojeador 18º29’32.42" 120º33’42.41" 1.77
96 PAB-79B Bobon 18º30’52.88" 120º34’55.35" 58.23
97 PAB-80 Calagangan Pt. 19º10’14.78" 121º12’52.64" 98.07
98 PAB-82 Itbayat Is. 20º43’15.74" 121º46’57.80" 25.63
99 PAB-83 Amianan Is 21º7’17.47" 121º56’43.85" 0.08
100 PAB-84 Amianan Is. 21º7’18.41" 121º56’48.79" 0.25
101 PAB-85 Amianan Is. 21º7’12.04" 121º57’3.65" 0.44

Section 2. The baseline in the following areas over which the Philippines likewise exercises sovereignty
and jurisdiction shall be determined as "Regime of Islands" under the Republic of the Philippines
consistent with Article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS):

a) The Kalayaan Island Group as constituted under Presidential Decree No. 1596; and

b) Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal.

Section 3. This Act affirms that the Republic of the Philippines has dominion, sovereignty and jurisdiction
over all portions of the national territory as defined in the Constitution and by provisions of applicable laws
including, without limitation, Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of
1991, as amended.

Section 4. This Act, together with the geographic coordinates and the chart and maps indicating the
aforesaid baselines, shall be deposited and registered with the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Section 5. The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) shall forthwith produce
and publish charts and maps of the appropriate scale clearly representing the delineation of basepoints
and baselines as set forth in this Act.

Section 6. The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be provided in a
supplemental budyet or included in the General Appropriations Act of the year of its enactment into law.

Section 7. If any portion or provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional or invalid the other portions or
provisions hereof which are not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.

Section 8. The provisions of Republic Act No. 3046, as amended by Republic Act No. 5446, and all other
laws, decrees, executive orders, rules and issuances inconsistent with this Act are hereby amended or
modified accordingly.

Section 9. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in
any two (2) newspaper of general circulation.

- Province of North Cotabato v GRP Peace Panel on Ancestral


Domain, 568 SCRA 402 (2008)
DECISION

CARPIO MORALES, J.:

Subject of these consolidated cases is the extent of the powers of the President in pursuing the peace process. While the facts
surrounding this controversy center on the armed conflict in Mindanao between the government and the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF), the legal issue involved has a bearing on all areas in the country where there has been a long-standing
armed conflict. Yet again, the Court is tasked to perform a delicate balancing act. It must uncompromisingly delineate the
bounds within which the President may lawfully exercise her discretion, but it must do so in strict adherence to the
Constitution, lest its ruling unduly restricts the freedom of action vested by that same Constitution in the Chief Executive
precisely to enable her to pursue the peace process effectively.

I. FACTUAL ANTECEDENTS OF THE PETITIONS

On August 5, 2008, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MILF, through the Chairpersons of their
respective peace negotiating panels, were scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD)
Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The MILF is a rebel group which was established in March 1984 when, under the leadership of the late Salamat Hashim, it
splintered from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) then headed by Nur Misuari, on the ground, among others, of what
Salamat perceived to be the manipulation of the MNLF away from an Islamic basis towards Marxist-Maoist orientations.[1]

The signing of the MOA-AD between the GRP and the MILF was not to materialize, however, for upon motion of petitioners,
specifically those who filed their cases before the scheduled signing of the MOA-AD, this Court issued a Temporary Restraining
Order enjoining the GRP from signing the same.

The MOA-AD was preceded by a long process of negotiation and the concluding of several prior agreements between the two
parties beginning in 1996, when the GRP-MILF peace negotiations began. On July 18, 1997, the GRP and MILF Peace Panels
signed the Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities. The following year, they signed the General Framework of Agreement
of Intent on August 27, 1998.

The Solicitor General, who represents respondents, summarizes the MOA-AD by stating that the same contained, among
others, the commitment of the parties to pursue peace negotiations, protect and respect human rights, negotiate with sincerity
in the resolution and pacific settlement of the conflict, and refrain from the use of threat or force to attain undue advantage
while the peace negotiations on the substantive agenda are on-going.[2]

Early on, however, it was evident that there was not going to be any smooth sailing in the GRP-MILF peace process. Towards
the end of 1999 up to early 2000, the MILF attacked a number of municipalities in Central Mindanao and, in March 2000, it took
control of the town hall of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.[3] In response, then President Joseph Estrada declared and carried out
an all-out-war against the MILF.
When President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed office, the military offensive against the MILF was suspended and the
government sought a resumption of the peace talks.The MILF, according to a leading MILF member, initially responded with
deep reservation, but when President Arroyo asked the Government of Malaysia through Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad
to help convince the MILF to return to the negotiating table, the MILF convened its Central Committee to seriously discuss the
matter and, eventually, decided to meet with the GRP.[4]

The parties met in Kuala Lumpur on March 24, 2001, with the talks being facilitated by the Malaysian government, the parties
signing on the same date the Agreement on the General Framework for the Resumption of Peace Talks Between the GRP and
the MILF. The MILF thereafter suspended all its military actions.[5]

Formal peace talks between the parties were held in Tripoli, Libya from June 20-22, 2001, the outcome of which was the GRP-
MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace (Tripoli Agreement 2001) containing the basic principles and agenda on the following aspects
of the negotiation: Security Aspect, Rehabilitation Aspect, and Ancestral DomainAspect. With regard to the Ancestral Domain
Aspect, the parties in Tripoli Agreement 2001 simply agreed that the same be discussed further by the Parties in their next
meeting.

A second round of peace talks was held in Cyberjaya, Malaysia on August 5-7, 2001 which ended with the signing of
the Implementing Guidelines on the Security Aspect of the Tripoli Agreement 2001 leading to a ceasefire status between the
parties. This was followed by the Implementing Guidelines on the Humanitarian Rehabilitation and Development Aspects of the
Tripoli Agreement 2001, which was signed on May 7, 2002 at Putrajaya, Malaysia. Nonetheless, there were many incidence of
violence between government forces and the MILF from 2002 to 2003.

Meanwhile, then MILF Chairman Salamat Hashim passed away on July 13, 2003 and he was replaced by Al Haj Murad, who was
then the chief peace negotiator of the MILF.Murads position as chief peace negotiator was taken over by Mohagher Iqbal.[6]

In 2005, several exploratory talks were held between the parties in Kuala Lumpur, eventually leading to the crafting of the draft
MOA-AD in its final form, which, as mentioned, was set to be signed last August 5, 2008.

II. STATEMENT OF THE PROCEEDINGS

Before the Court is what is perhaps the most contentious consensus ever embodied in an instrument the MOA-AD which is
assailed principally by the present petitions bearing docket numbers 183591, 183752, 183893, 183951 and 183962.

Commonly impleaded as respondents are the GRP Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain[7] and the Presidential Adviser on the
Peace Process (PAPP) Hermogenes Esperon, Jr.

On July 23, 2008, the Province of North Cotabato[8] and Vice-Governor Emmanuel Piol filed a petition, docketed
as G.R. No. 183591, for Mandamus and Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction and
Temporary Restraining Order.[9] Invoking the right to information on matters of public concern, petitioners seek to compel
respondents to disclose and furnish them the complete and official copies of the MOA-AD including its attachments, and to
prohibit the slated signing of the MOA-AD, pending the disclosure of the contents of the MOA-AD and the holding of a public
consultation thereon. Supplementarily, petitioners pray that the MOA-AD be declared unconstitutional.[10]

This initial petition was followed by another one, docketed as G.R. No. 183752, also for Mandamus and Prohibition[11] filed by
the City of Zamboanga,[12] Mayor Celso Lobregat, Rep. Ma. Isabelle Climaco and Rep. Erico Basilio Fabian who likewise pray for
similar injunctive reliefs. Petitioners herein moreover pray that the City of Zamboangabe excluded from the Bangsamoro
Homeland and/or Bangsamoro Juridical Entity and, in the alternative, that the MOA-AD be declared null and void.

By Resolution of August 4, 2008, the Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order commanding and directing public
respondents and their agents to cease and desist from formally signing the MOA-AD.[13] The Court also required the Solicitor
General to submit to the Court and petitioners the official copy of the final draft of the MOA-AD,[14] to which she complied.[15]

Meanwhile, the City of Iligan[16] filed a petition for Injunction and/or Declaratory Relief, docketed as G.R. No. 183893,
praying that respondents be enjoined from signing the MOA-AD or, if the same had already been signed, from implementing
the same, and that the MOA-AD be declared unconstitutional. Petitioners herein additionally implead Executive Secretary
Eduardo Ermita as respondent.

The Province of Zamboanga del Norte,[17] Governor Rolando Yebes, Vice-Governor Francis Olvis, Rep. Cecilia Jalosjos-
Carreon, Rep. Cesar Jalosjos, and the members[18] of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Zamboanga del Norte filed on August 15,
2008 a petition for Certiorari, Mandamus and Prohibition,[19] docketed as G.R. No. 183951. They pray, inter alia, that the MOA-
AD be declared null and void and without operative effect, and that respondents be enjoined from executing the MOA-AD.

On August 19, 2008, Ernesto Maceda, Jejomar Binay, and Aquilino Pimentel III filed a petition for
Prohibition,[20] docketed as G.R. No. 183962, praying for a judgment prohibiting and permanently enjoining respondents from
formally signing and executing the MOA-AD and or any other agreement derived therefrom or similar thereto, and nullifying
the MOA-AD for being unconstitutional and illegal. Petitioners herein additionally implead as respondent the MILF Peace
Negotiating Panel represented by its Chairman Mohagher Iqbal.

Various parties moved to intervene and were granted leave of court to file their petitions-/comments-in-
intervention. Petitioners-in-Intervention include Senator Manuel A. Roxas, former Senate President Franklin Drilon and Atty.
Adel Tamano, the City of Isabela[21] and Mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar, the Province of Sultan Kudarat[22] and Gov. Suharto
Mangudadatu, the Municipality of Linamon in Lanao del Norte,[23] Ruy Elias Lopez of Davao City and of the Bagobo
tribe, Sangguniang Panlungsod member Marino Ridao and businessman Kisin Buxani, both of Cotabato City; and lawyers Carlo
Gomez, Gerardo Dilig, Nesario Awat, Joselito Alisuag, Richalex Jagmis, all of Palawan City. The Muslim Legal Assistance
Foundation, Inc. (Muslaf) and the Muslim Multi-Sectoral Movement for Peace and Development (MMMPD) filed their
respective Comments-in-Intervention.

By subsequent Resolutions, the Court ordered the consolidation of the petitions. Respondents filed Comments on the
petitions, while some of petitioners submitted their respective Replies.

Respondents, by Manifestation and Motion of August 19, 2008, stated that the Executive Department shall
thoroughly review the MOA-AD and pursue further negotiations to address the issues hurled against it, and thus moved to
dismiss the cases. In the succeeding exchange of pleadings, respondents motion was met with vigorous opposition from
petitioners.
The cases were heard on oral argument on August 15, 22 and 29, 2008 that tackled the following principal issues:

1. Whether the petitions have become moot and academic

(i) insofar as the mandamus aspect is concerned, in view of the disclosure of official copies of the final
draft of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA); and

(ii) insofar as the prohibition aspect involving the Local Government Units is concerned, if it is
considered that consultation has become fait accompli with the finalization of the draft;

2. Whether the constitutionality and the legality of the MOA is ripe for adjudication;

3. Whether respondent Government of the Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel committed grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it negotiated and initiated the MOA vis--
vis ISSUES Nos. 4 and 5;

4. Whether there is a violation of the peoples right to information on matters of public concern (1987
Constitution, Article III, Sec. 7) under a state policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving
public interest (1987 Constitution, Article II, Sec. 28) including public consultation under Republic Act
No. 7160 (LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991)[;]

If it is in the affirmative, whether prohibition under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is an
appropriate remedy;

5. Whether by signing the MOA, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines would be BINDING itself

a) to create and recognize the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) as a separate state, or a juridical,
territorial or political subdivision not recognized by law;

b) to revise or amend the Constitution and existing laws to conform to the MOA;

c) to concede to or recognize the claim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for ancestral domain in
violation of Republic Act No. 8371 (THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS ACT OF 1997), particularly
Section 3(g) & Chapter VII (DELINEATION, RECOGNITION OF ANCESTRAL DOMAINS)[;]

If in the affirmative, whether the Executive Branch has the authority to so bind the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines;
6. Whether the inclusion/exclusion of the Province of North Cotabato, Cities of Zamboanga, Iligan and
Isabela, and the Municipality of Linamon, Lanao del Norte in/from the areas covered by the projected
Bangsamoro Homeland is a justiciable question; and

7. Whether desistance from signing the MOA derogates any prior valid commitments of the Government of
the Republic of the Philippines.[24]

The Court, thereafter, ordered the parties to submit their respective Memoranda. Most of the parties submitted their
memoranda on time.

III. OVERVIEW OF THE MOA-AD

As a necessary backdrop to the consideration of the objections raised in the subject five petitions and six petitions-in-
intervention against the MOA-AD, as well as the two comments-in-intervention in favor of the MOA-AD, the Court takes an
overview of the MOA.

The MOA-AD identifies the Parties to it as the GRP and the MILF.

Under the heading Terms of Reference (TOR), the MOA-AD includes not only four earlier agreements between the
GRP and MILF, but also two agreements between the GRP and the MNLF: the 1976 Tripoli Agreement, and the Final Peace
Agreement on the Implementation of the 1976 Tripoli Agreement, signed on September 2, 1996 during the administration of
President Fidel Ramos.

The MOA-AD also identifies as TOR two local statutes the organic act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
(ARMM)[25] and the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA),[26] and several international law instruments the ILO Convention No.
169 Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries in relation to the UN Declaration on the Rights of the
Indigenous Peoples, and the UN Charter, among others.

The MOA-AD includes as a final TOR the generic category of compact rights entrenchment emanating from the regime of dar-
ul-muahada (or territory under compact) and dar-ul-sulh (or territory under peace agreement) that partakes the nature of a
treaty device.

During the height of the Muslim Empire, early Muslim jurists tended to see the world through a simple dichotomy: there was
the dar-ul-Islam (the Abode of Islam) and dar-ul-harb (the Abode of War). The first referred to those lands where Islamic laws
held sway, while the second denoted those lands where Muslims were persecuted or where Muslim laws were outlawed or
ineffective.[27] This way of viewing the world, however, became more complex through the centuries as the Islamic world
became part of the international community of nations.
As Muslim States entered into treaties with their neighbors, even with distant States and inter-governmental organizations, the
classical division of the world into dar-ul-Islamand dar-ul-harb eventually lost its meaning. New terms were drawn up to
describe novel ways of perceiving non-Muslim territories. For instance, areas like dar-ul-muahada(land of compact) and dar-ul-
sulh (land of treaty) referred to countries which, though under a secular regime, maintained peaceful and cooperative relations
with Muslim States, having been bound to each other by treaty or agreement. Dar-ul-aman (land of order), on the other hand,
referred to countries which, though not bound by treaty with Muslim States, maintained freedom of religion for Muslims. [28]

It thus appears that the compact rights entrenchment emanating from the regime of dar-ul-muahada and dar-ul-
sulh simply refers to all other agreements between the MILF and the Philippine government the Philippines being the land of
compact and peace agreement that partake of the nature of a treaty device, treaty being broadly defined as any solemn
agreement in writing that sets out understandings, obligations, and benefits for both parties which provides for a framework
that elaborates the principles declared in the [MOA-AD].[29]

The MOA-AD states that the Parties HAVE AGREED AND ACKNOWLEDGED AS FOLLOWS, and starts with its main body.

The main body of the MOA-AD is divided into four strands, namely,
Concepts and Principles, Territory, Resources, and Governance.

A. CONCEPTS AND PRINCIPLES

This strand begins with the statement that it is the birthright of all Moros and all Indigenous peoples of Mindanao to identify
themselves and be accepted as Bangsamoros. It defines Bangsamoro people as the natives or original
inhabitants of Mindanao and its adjacent islands including Palawan and the Sulu archipelago at the time of conquest or
colonization, and their descendants whether mixed or of full blood, including their spouses.[30]

Thus, the concept of Bangsamoro, as defined in this strand of the MOA-AD, includes not only Moros as traditionally understood
even by Muslims,[31] but all indigenous peoplesof Mindanao and its adjacent islands. The MOA-AD adds that the freedom of
choice of indigenous peoples shall be respected. What this freedom of choice consists in has not been specifically defined.

The MOA-AD proceeds to refer to the Bangsamoro homeland, the ownership of which is vested exclusively in the Bangsamoro
people by virtue of their prior rights of occupation.[32] Both parties to the MOA-AD acknowledge that ancestral domain
does not form part of the public domain.[33]

The Bangsamoro people are acknowledged as having the right to self-governance, which right is said to be rooted on ancestral
territoriality exercised originally under the suzerain authority of their sultanates and the Pat a Pangampong ku Ranaw. The
sultanates were described as states or karajaan/kadatuan resembling a body politic endowed with all the elements of a nation-
state in the modern sense.[34]

The MOA-AD thus grounds the right to self-governance of the Bangsamoro people on the past suzerain authority of the
sultanates. As gathered, the territory defined as the Bangsamoro homeland was ruled by several sultanates and, specifically in
the case of the Maranao, by the Pat a Pangampong ku Ranaw, a confederation of independent principalities (pangampong)
each ruled by datus and sultans, none of whom was supreme over the others.[35]
The MOA-AD goes on to describe the Bangsamoro people as the First Nation with defined territory and with a system of
government having entered into treaties of amity and commerce with foreign nations.

The term First Nation is of Canadian origin referring to the indigenous peoples of that territory, particularly those known as
Indians. In Canada, each of these indigenous peoples is equally entitled to be called First Nation, hence, all of them are usually
described collectively by the plural First Nations.[36] To that extent, the MOA-AD, by identifying the Bangsamoro people
as the First Nation suggesting its exclusive entitlement to that designation departs from the Canadian usage of the term.

The MOA-AD then mentions for the first time the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) to which it grants the authority and
jurisdiction over the Ancestral Domain and AncestralLands of the Bangsamoro.[37]

B. TERRITORY

The territory of the Bangsamoro homeland is described as the land mass as well as the maritime, terrestrial, fluvial and alluvial
domains, including the aerial domain and the atmospheric space above it, embracing the Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan geographic
region.[38]

More specifically, the core of the BJE is defined as the present geographic area of the ARMM thus constituting the following
areas: Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, and Marawi City. Significantly, this core also includes certain
municipalities of Lanao del Norte that voted for inclusion in the ARMM in the 2001 plebiscite.[39]

Outside of this core, the BJE is to cover other provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays, which are grouped into
two categories, Category A and Category B. Each of these areas is to be subjected to a plebiscite to be held on different dates,
years apart from each other. Thus, Category A areas are to be subjected to a plebiscite not later than twelve (12) months
following the signing of the MOA-AD.[40] Category B areas, also called Special Intervention Areas, on the other hand, are to be
subjected to a plebiscite twenty-five (25) years from the signing of a separate agreement the Comprehensive Compact.[41]

The Parties to the MOA-AD stipulate that the BJE shall have jurisdiction over all natural resources within
its internal waters, defined as extending fifteen (15) kilometers from the coastline of the BJE area;[42] that the BJE shall also
have territorial waters, which shall stretch beyond the BJE internal waters up to the baselines of the Republic of the Philippines
(RP) south east and south west of mainland Mindanao; and that within these territorial waters, the BJE and the Central
Government (used interchangeably with RP) shall exercise joint jurisdiction, authority and management over all natural
resources.[43] Notably, the jurisdiction over the internal waters is not similarly described as joint.

The MOA-AD further provides for the sharing of minerals on the territorial waters between the Central Government and the
BJE, in favor of the latter, through production sharing and economic cooperation agreement. [44] The activities which the Parties
are allowed to conduct on the territorial waters are enumerated, among which are the exploration and utilization of natural
resources, regulation of shipping and fishing activities, and the enforcement of police and safety measures.[45] There is no
similar provision on the sharing of minerals and allowed activities with respect to the internal waters of the BJE.
C. RESOURCES

The MOA-AD states that the BJE is free to enter into any economic cooperation and trade relations with foreign countries and
shall have the option to establish trade missions in those countries. Such relationships and understandings, however, are not to
include aggression against the GRP. The BJE may also enter into environmental cooperation agreements.[46]

The external defense of the BJE is to remain the duty and obligation of the Central Government. The Central Government is also
bound to take necessary steps to ensure the BJEs participation in international meetings and events like those of the ASEAN
and the specialized agencies of the UN. The BJE is to be entitled to participate in Philippine official missions and delegations for
the negotiation of border agreements or protocols for environmental protection and equitable sharing of incomes and
revenues involving the bodies of water adjacent to or between the islands forming part of the ancestral domain.[47]

With regard to the right of exploring for, producing, and obtaining all potential sources of energy, petroleum, fossil fuel, mineral
oil and natural gas, the jurisdiction and control thereon is to be vested in the BJE as the party having control within its territorial
jurisdiction. This right carries the proviso that, in times of national emergency, when public interest so requires, the Central
Government may, for a fixed period and under reasonable terms as may be agreed upon by both Parties, assume or direct the
operation of such resources.[48]

The sharing between the Central Government and the BJE of total production pertaining to natural resources is to be 75:25 in
favor of the BJE.[49]

The MOA-AD provides that legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people arising from any unjust dispossession of their
territorial and proprietary rights, customary land tenures, or their marginalization shall be acknowledged. Whenever
restoration is no longer possible, reparation is to be in such form as mutually determined by the Parties. [50]

The BJE may modify or cancel the forest concessions, timber licenses, contracts or agreements, mining concessions, Mineral
Production and Sharing Agreements (MPSA), Industrial Forest Management Agreements (IFMA), and other land tenure
instruments granted by the Philippine Government, including those issued by the present ARMM.[51]

D. GOVERNANCE

The MOA-AD binds the Parties to invite a multinational third-party to observe and monitor the implementation of
the Comprehensive Compact. This compact is to embody the details for the effective enforcement and the mechanisms and
modalities for the actual implementation of the MOA-AD. The MOA-AD explicitly provides that the participation of the third
party shall not in any way affect the status of the relationship between the Central Government and the BJE. [52]

The associative relationship

between the Central Government

and the BJE


The MOA-AD describes the relationship of the Central Government and the BJE as associative, characterized by
shared authority and responsibility. And it states that the structure of governance is to be based on executive, legislative,
judicial, and administrative institutions with defined powers and functions in the Comprehensive Compact.

The MOA-AD provides that its provisions requiring amendments to the existing legal framework shall take effect upon signing of
the Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the aforesaid amendments, with due regard to the non-derogation of prior
agreements and within the stipulated timeframe to be contained in the Comprehensive Compact. As will be discussed later,
much of the present controversy hangs on the legality of this provision.

The BJE is granted the power to build, develop and maintain its own institutions inclusive of civil service, electoral,
financial and banking, education, legislation, legal, economic, police and internal security force, judicial system and correctional
institutions, the details of which shall be discussed in the negotiation of the comprehensive compact.

As stated early on, the MOA-AD was set to be signed on August 5, 2008 by Rodolfo Garcia and Mohagher Iqbal, Chairpersons of
the Peace Negotiating Panels of the GRP and the MILF, respectively. Notably, the penultimate paragraph of the MOA-AD
identifies the signatories as the representatives of the Parties, meaning the GRP and MILF themselves, and not merely of the
negotiating panels.[53] In addition, the signature page of the MOA-AD states that it is WITNESSED BY Datuk Othman Bin Abd
Razak, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, ENDORSED BY Ambassador Sayed Elmasry, Adviser to Organization of
the Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary General and Special Envoy for Peace Process in Southern Philippines, and SIGNED IN THE
PRESENCE OF Dr. Albert G. Romulo, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of RP and Dato Seri Utama Dr. Rais Bin Yatim, Minister of
Foreign Affairs, Malaysia, all of whom were scheduled to sign the Agreement last August 5, 2008.

Annexed to the MOA-AD are two documents containing the respective lists cum maps of the provinces,
municipalities, and barangays under Categories A and B earlier mentioned in the discussion on the strand on TERRITORY.

IV. PROCEDURAL ISSUES

A. RIPENESS

The power of judicial review is limited to actual cases or controversies. [54] Courts decline to issue advisory opinions or
to resolve hypothetical or feigned problems, or mere academic questions.[55] The limitation of the power of judicial review to
actual cases and controversies defines the role assigned to the judiciary in a tripartite allocation of power, to assure that the
courts will not intrude into areas committed to the other branches of government.[56]

An actual case or controversy involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal claims, susceptible of
judicial resolution as distinguished from a hypothetical or abstract difference or dispute. There must be a contrariety of legal
rights that can be interpreted and enforced on the basis of existing law and jurisprudence. [57] The Court can decide the
constitutionality of an act or treaty only when a proper case between opposing parties is submitted for judicial
determination.[58]
Related to the requirement of an actual case or controversy is the requirement of ripeness. A question is ripe for
adjudication when the act being challenged has had a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it. [59] For a case to be
considered ripe for adjudication, it is a prerequisite that something had then been accomplished or performed by either branch
before a court may come into the picture,[60] and the petitioner must allege the existence of an immediate or threatened injury
to itself as a result of the challenged action.[61] He must show that he has sustained or is immediately in danger of sustaining
some direct injury as a result of the act complained of.[62]

The Solicitor General argues that there is no justiciable controversy that is ripe for judicial review in the present
petitions, reasoning that

The unsigned MOA-AD is simply a list of consensus points subject to further negotiations and
legislative enactments as well as constitutional processes aimed at attaining a final peaceful
agreement. Simply put, the MOA-AD remains to be a proposal that does not automatically create legally
demandable rights and obligations until the list of operative acts required have been duly complied with. x x
x

xxxx

In the cases at bar, it is respectfully submitted that this Honorable Court has no authority to pass
upon issues based on hypothetical or feigned constitutional problems or interests with no concrete
bases. Considering the preliminary character of the MOA-AD, there are no concrete acts that could possibly
violate petitioners and intervenors rights since the acts complained of are mere contemplated steps toward
the formulation of a final peace agreement. Plainly, petitioners and intervenors perceived injury, if at all, is
merely imaginary and illusory apart from being unfounded and based on mere conjectures. (Underscoring
supplied)

The Solicitor General cites[63] the following provisions of the MOA-AD:

TERRITORY

xxxx

2. Toward this end, the Parties enter into the following stipulations:

xxxx

d. Without derogating from the requirements of prior agreements, the Government


stipulates to conduct and deliver, using all possible legal measures, within twelve
(12) months following the signing of the MOA-AD, a plebiscite covering the areas as
enumerated in the list and depicted in the map as Category A attached herein (the
Annex). The Annex constitutes an integral part of this framework
agreement. Toward this end, the Parties shall endeavor to complete the
negotiations and resolve all outstanding issues on the Comprehensive Compact
within fifteen (15) months from the signing of the MOA-AD.

xxxx

GOVERNANCE

xxxx

7. The Parties agree that mechanisms and modalities for the actual implementation of this MOA-
AD shall be spelt out in the Comprehensive Compact to mutually take such steps to enable it
to occur effectively.

Any provisions of the MOA-AD requiring amendments to the existing legal framework shall come
into force upon the signing of a Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the necessary
changes to the legal framework with due regard to non-derogation of prior agreements and
within the stipulated timeframe to be contained in the Comprehensive
Compact.[64] (Underscoring supplied)

The Solicitor Generals arguments fail to persuade.

Concrete acts under the MOA-AD are not necessary to render the present controversy ripe. In Pimentel, Jr. v.
Aguirre,[65] this Court held:

x x x [B]y the mere enactment of the questioned law or the approval of the challenged action, the
dispute is said to have ripened into a judicial controversy even without any other overt act. Indeed, even a
singular violation of the Constitution and/or the law is enough to awaken judicial duty.

xxxx

By the same token, when an act of the President, who in our constitutional scheme is a coequal of
Congress, is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution and the laws x x x settling the dispute
becomes the duty and the responsibility of the courts.[66]
In Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe,[67] the United States Supreme Court held that the challenge to the
constitutionality of the schools policy allowing student-led prayers and speeches before games was ripe for adjudication, even if
no public prayer had yet been led under the policy, because the policy was being challenged as unconstitutional on its face.[68]

That the law or act in question is not yet effective does not negate ripeness. For example, in New York v. United
States,[69] decided in 1992, the United States Supreme Court held that the action by the State of New York challenging the
provisions of the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act was ripe for adjudication even if the questioned provision was not to
take effect until January 1, 1996, because the parties agreed that New York had to take immediate action to avoid the
provision's consequences.[70]

The present petitions pray for Certiorari,[71] Prohibition, and Mandamus. Certiorari and Prohibition are remedies
granted by law when any tribunal, board or officer has acted, in the case of certiorari, or is proceeding, in the case of
prohibition, without or in excess of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction.[72] Mandamus is a remedy granted by law when any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person unlawfully
neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or
unlawfully excludes another from the use or enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled. [73] Certiorari,
Mandamus and Prohibition are appropriate remedies to raise constitutional issues and to review and/or prohibit/nullify, when
proper, acts of legislative and executive officials.[74]

The authority of the GRP Negotiating Panel is defined by Executive Order No. 3 (E.O. No. 3), issued on February 28,
2001.[75] The said executive order requires that [t]he government's policy framework for peace, including the systematic
approach and the administrative structure for carrying out the comprehensive peace process x x x be governed by this
Executive Order.[76]

The present petitions allege that respondents GRP Panel and PAPP Esperon drafted the terms of the MOA-AD without
consulting the local government units or communities affected, nor informing them of the proceedings. As will be discussed in
greater detail later, such omission, by itself, constitutes a departure by respondents from their mandate under E.O. No. 3.

Furthermore, the petitions allege that the provisions of the MOA-AD violate the Constitution. The MOA-AD provides
that any provisions of the MOA-AD requiring amendments to the existing legal framework shall come into force upon the
signing of a Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework, implying an
amendment of the Constitution to accommodate the MOA-AD. This stipulation, in effect, guaranteed to the MILF the
amendment of the Constitution.Such act constitutes another violation of its authority. Again, these points will be discussed in
more detail later.

As the petitions allege acts or omissions on the part of respondent that exceed their authority, by violating their
duties under E.O. No. 3 and the provisions of the Constitution and statutes, the petitions make a prima facie case for Certiorari,
Prohibition, and Mandamus, and an actual case or controversy ripe for adjudication exists. When an act of a branch of
government is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution, it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the
judiciary to settle the dispute.[77]

B. LOCUS STANDI
For a party to have locus standi, one must allege such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that
concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of
difficult constitutional questions.[78]

Because constitutional cases are often public actions in which the relief sought is likely to affect other persons, a preliminary
question frequently arises as to this interest in the constitutional question raised.[79]

When suing as a citizen, the person complaining must allege that he has been or is about to be denied some right or privilege to
which he is lawfully entitled or that he is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason of the statute or act
complained of.[80] When the issue concerns a public right, it is sufficient that the petitioner is a citizen and has an interest in the
execution of the laws.[81]

For a taxpayer, one is allowed to sue where there is an assertion that public funds are illegally disbursed or deflected to an
illegal purpose, or that there is a wastage of public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law. [82] The
Court retains discretion whether or not to allow a taxpayers suit.[83]

In the case of a legislator or member of Congress, an act of the Executive that injures the institution of Congress causes a
derivative but nonetheless substantial injury that can be questioned by legislators. A member of the House of Representatives
has standing to maintain inviolate the prerogatives, powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in his office. [84]

An organization may be granted standing to assert the rights of its members, [85] but the mere invocation by the Integrated Bar
of the Philippines or any member of the legal profession of the duty to preserve the rule of law does not suffice to clothe it with
standing.[86]

As regards a local government unit (LGU), it can seek relief in order to protect or vindicate an interest of its own, and of the
other LGUs.[87]

Intervenors, meanwhile, may be given legal standing upon showing of facts that satisfy the requirements of the law authorizing
intervention,[88] such as a legal interest in the matter in litigation, or in the success of either of the parties.

In any case, the Court has discretion to relax the procedural technicality on locus standi, given the liberal attitude it has
exercised, highlighted in the case of David v. Macapagal-Arroyo,[89] where technicalities of procedure were brushed aside, the
constitutional issues raised being of paramount public interest or of transcendental importance deserving the attention of the
Court in view of their seriousness, novelty and weight as precedents.[90] The Courts forbearing stance on locus standi on issues
involving constitutional issues has for its purpose the protection of fundamental rights.

In not a few cases, the Court, in keeping with its duty under the Constitution to determine whether the other branches of
government have kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws and have not abused the discretion given
them, has brushed aside technical rules of procedure.[91]
In the petitions at bar, petitioners Province of North Cotabato (G.R. No. 183591) Province of Zamboanga del Norte (G.R. No.
183951), City of Iligan (G.R. No. 183893) and City of Zamboanga (G.R. No. 183752) and petitioners-in-intervention Province of
Sultan Kudarat, City of Isabela and Municipality of Linamon have locus standi in view of the direct and substantial injury that
they, as LGUs, would suffer as their territories, whether in whole or in part, are to be included in the intended domain of the
BJE. These petitioners allege that they did not vote for their inclusion in the ARMM which would be expanded to form the BJE
territory. Petitioners legal standing is thus beyond doubt.

In G.R. No. 183962, petitioners Ernesto Maceda, Jejomar Binay and Aquilino Pimentel III would have no standing as citizens
and taxpayers for their failure to specify that they would be denied some right or privilege or there would be wastage of public
funds. The fact that they are a former Senator, an incumbent mayor of Makati City, and a resident of Cagayan de Oro,
respectively, is of no consequence. Considering their invocation of the transcendental importance of the issues at hand,
however, the Court grants them standing.

Intervenors Franklin Drilon and Adel Tamano, in alleging their standing as taxpayers, assert that government funds would be
expended for the conduct of an illegal and unconstitutional plebiscite to delineate the BJE territory. On that score alone, they
can be given legal standing. Their allegation that the issues involved in these petitions are of undeniable transcendental
importance clothes them with added basis for their personality to intervene in these petitions.

With regard to Senator Manuel Roxas, his standing is premised on his being a member of the Senate and a citizen to enforce
compliance by respondents of the publics constitutional right to be informed of the MOA-AD, as well as on a genuine legal
interest in the matter in litigation, or in the success or failure of either of the parties. He thus possesses the requisite standing
as an intervenor.

With respect to Intervenors Ruy Elias Lopez, as a former congressman of the 3rd district of Davao City, a taxpayer and a member
of the Bagobo tribe; Carlo B. Gomez, et al., as members of the IBP Palawan chapter, citizens and taxpayers; Marino Ridao, as
taxpayer, resident and member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cotabato City; and Kisin Buxani, as taxpayer, they failed to
allege any proper legal interest in the present petitions. Just the same, the Court exercises its discretion to relax the procedural
technicality on locus standi given the paramount public interest in the issues at hand.

Intervening respondents Muslim Multi-Sectoral Movement for Peace and Development, an advocacy group for justice and the
attainment of peace and prosperity in Muslim Mindanao; and Muslim Legal Assistance Foundation Inc., a non-government
organization of Muslim lawyers, allege that they stand to be benefited or prejudiced, as the case may be, in the resolution of
the petitions concerning the MOA-AD, and prays for the denial of the petitions on the grounds therein stated. Such legal
interest suffices to clothe them with standing.

B. MOOTNESS

Respondents insist that the present petitions have been rendered moot with the satisfaction of all the reliefs prayed for by
petitioners and the subsequent pronouncement of the Executive Secretary that [n]o matter what the Supreme Court ultimately
decides[,] the government will not sign the MOA.[92]
In lending credence to this policy decision, the Solicitor General points out that the President had already disbanded
the GRP Peace Panel.[93]

In David v. Macapagal-Arroyo,[94] this Court held that the moot and academic principle not being a magical formula that
automatically dissuades courts in resolving a case, it will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic, if it finds that (a) there is
a grave violation of the Constitution;[95] (b) the situation is of exceptional character and paramount public interest is
involved;[96] (c) the constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the
public;[97] and (d) the case is capable of repetition yet evading review.[98]

Another exclusionary circumstance that may be considered is where there is a voluntary cessation of the activity complained of
by the defendant or doer. Thus, once a suit is filed and the doer voluntarily ceases the challenged conduct, it does not
automatically deprive the tribunal of power to hear and determine the case and does not render the case moot especially when
the plaintiff seeks damages or prays for injunctive relief against the possible recurrence of the violation. [99]

The present petitions fall squarely into these exceptions to thus thrust them into the domain of judicial review. The grounds
cited above in David are just as applicable in the present cases as they were, not only in David, but also in Province of Batangas
v. Romulo[100] and Manalo v. Calderon[101] where the Court similarly decided them on the merits, supervening events that would
ordinarily have rendered the same moot notwithstanding.

Petitions not mooted

Contrary then to the asseverations of respondents, the non-signing of the MOA-AD and the eventual dissolution of the GRP
Peace Panel did not moot the present petitions. It bears emphasis that the signing of the MOA-AD did not push through due to
the Courts issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order.

Contrary too to respondents position, the MOA-AD cannot be considered a mere list of consensus points, especially given
its nomenclature, the need to have it signed or initialed by all the parties concerned on August 5, 2008, and the far-reaching
Constitutional implications of these consensus points, foremost of which is the creation of the BJE.

In fact, as what will, in the main, be discussed, there is a commitment on the part of respondents to amend and effect
necessary changes to the existing legal framework for certain provisions of the MOA-AD to take effect. Consequently, the
present petitions are not confined to the terms and provisions of the MOA-AD, but to other on-goingand future negotiations
and agreements necessary for its realization. The petitions have not, therefore, been rendered moot and academic simply by
the public disclosure of the MOA-AD,[102] the manifestation that it will not be signed as well as the disbanding of the GRP Panel
not withstanding.

Petitions are imbued with paramount public interest


There is no gainsaying that the petitions are imbued with paramount public interest, involving a significant part of the countrys
territory and the wide-ranging political modifications of affected LGUs. The assertion that the MOA-AD is subject to further
legal enactments including possible Constitutional amendments more than ever provides impetus for the Court to formulate
controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, the public and, in this case, the government and its negotiating entity.

Respondents cite Suplico v. NEDA, et al.[103] where the Court did not pontificat[e] on issues which no longer legitimately
constitute an actual case or controversy [as this] will do more harm than good to the nation as a whole.

The present petitions must be differentiated from Suplico. Primarily, in Suplico, what was assailed and eventually cancelled was
a stand-alone government procurement contract for a national broadband network involving a one-time contractual
relation between two partiesthe government and a private foreign corporation. As the issues therein involved specific
government procurement policies and standard principles on contracts, the majority opinion in Suplico found nothing
exceptional therein, the factual circumstances being peculiar only to the transactions and parties involved in the controversy.

The MOA-AD is part of a series of agreements

In the present controversy, the MOA-AD is a significant part of a series of agreements necessary to carry out
the Tripoli Agreement 2001. The MOA-AD which dwells on the Ancestral Domain Aspect of said Tripoli Agreement is the third
such component to be undertaken following the implementation of the Security Aspect in August 2001 and the Humanitarian,
Rehabilitation and Development Aspect in May 2002.

Accordingly, even if the Executive Secretary, in his Memorandum of August 28, 2008 to the Solicitor General, has stated that no
matter what the Supreme Court ultimately decides[,] the government will not sign the MOA[-AD], mootness will not set in in
light of the terms of the Tripoli Agreement 2001.

Need to formulate principles-guidelines

Surely, the present MOA-AD can be renegotiated or another one will be drawn up to carry out the Ancestral Domain
Aspect of the Tripoli Agreement 2001, in another or in any form, which could contain similar or significantly drastic
provisions. While the Court notes the word of the Executive Secretary that the government is committed to securing an
agreement that is both constitutional and equitable because that is the only way that long-lasting peace can be assured, it is
minded to render a decision on the merits in the present petitions to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench, the
bar, the public and, most especially, the government in negotiating with the MILF regarding Ancestral Domain.

Respondents invite the Courts attention to the separate opinion of then Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban in Sanlakas v.
Reyes[104] in which he stated that the doctrine of capable of repetition yet evading review can override mootness, provided the
party raising it in a proper case has been and/or continue to be prejudiced or damaged as a direct result of their issuance. They
contend that the Court must have jurisdiction over the subject matter for the doctrine to be invoked.

The present petitions all contain prayers for Prohibition over which this Court exercises original jurisdiction. While
G.R. No. 183893 (City of Iligan v. GRP) is a petition for Injunction and Declaratory Relief, the Court will treat it as one for
Prohibition as it has far reaching implications and raises questions that need to be resolved.[105] At all events, the Court has
jurisdiction over most if not the rest of the petitions.
Indeed, the present petitions afford a proper venue for the Court to again apply the doctrine immediately referred to as what it
had done in a number of landmark cases.[106]There is a reasonable expectation that petitioners, particularly the Provinces of
North Cotabato, Zamboanga del Norte and Sultan Kudarat, the Cities of Zamboanga, Iligan and Isabela, and the Municipality of
Linamon, will again be subjected to the same problem in the future as respondents actions are capable of repetition, in another
or any form.

It is with respect to the prayers for Mandamus that the petitions have become moot, respondents having, by Compliance
of August 7, 2008, provided this Court and petitioners with official copies of the final draft of the MOA-AD and its annexes. Too,
intervenors have been furnished, or have procured for themselves, copies of the MOA-AD.

V. SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES

As culled from the Petitions and Petitions-in-Intervention, there are basically two SUBSTANTIVE issues to be resolved, one
relating to the manner in which the MOA-AD was negotiated and finalized, the other relating to its provisions, viz:

1. Did respondents violate constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation and the right to information when they
negotiated and later initialed the MOA-AD?

2. Do the contents of the MOA-AD violate the Constitution and the laws?

ON THE FIRST SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE

Petitioners invoke their constitutional right to information on matters of public concern, as provided in Section 7,
Article III on the Bill of Rights:

Sec. 7. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be
recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions,
or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded
the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.[107]

As early as 1948, in Subido v. Ozaeta,[108] the Court has recognized the statutory right to examine and inspect public records, a
right which was eventually accorded constitutional status.

The right of access to public documents, as enshrined in both the 1973 Constitution and the 1987 Constitution, has been
recognized as a self-executory constitutional right.[109]
In the 1976 case of Baldoza v. Hon. Judge Dimaano,[110] the Court ruled that access to public records is predicated on the right
of the people to acquire information on matters of public concern since, undoubtedly, in a democracy, the pubic has a
legitimate interest in matters of social and political significance.

x x x The incorporation of this right in the Constitution is a recognition of the fundamental role of free
exchange of information in a democracy. There can be no realistic perception by the public of the nations
problems, nor a meaningful democratic decision-making if they are denied access to information of general
interest. Information is needed to enable the members of society to cope with the exigencies of the
times. As has been aptly observed: Maintaining the flow of such information depends on protection for
both its acquisition and its dissemination since, if either process is interrupted, the flow inevitably ceases. x
x x[111]

In the same way that free discussion enables members of society to cope with the exigencies of their time, access to
information of general interest aids the people in democratic decision-making by giving them a better perspective of the vital
issues confronting the nation[112] so that they may be able to criticize and participate in the affairs of the government in a
responsible, reasonable and effective manner. It is by ensuring an unfettered and uninhibited exchange of ideas among a well-
informed public that a government remains responsive to the changes desired by the people.[113]

The MOA-AD is a matter of public concern

That the subject of the information sought in the present cases is a matter of public concern [114] faces no serious
challenge. In fact, respondents admit that the MOA-AD is indeed of public concern.[115] In previous cases, the Court found that
the regularity of real estate transactions entered in the Register of Deeds, [116] the need for adequate notice to the public of the
various laws,[117] the civil service eligibility of a public employee,[118] the proper management of GSIS funds allegedly used to
grant loans to public officials,[119] the recovery of the Marcoses alleged ill-gotten wealth,[120] and the identity of party-list
nominees,[121] among others, are matters of public concern.Undoubtedly, the MOA-AD subject of the present cases is of public
concern, involving as it does the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State, which directly affects the lives of the public
at large.

Matters of public concern covered by the right to information include steps and negotiations leading to the consummation of
the contract. In not distinguishing as to the executory nature or commercial character of agreements, the Court has
categorically ruled:

x x x [T]he right to information contemplates inclusion of negotiations leading to the consummation of the
transaction. Certainly, a consummated contract is not a requirement for the exercise of the right to
information. Otherwise, the people can never exercise the right if no contract is consummated, and if one is
consummated, it may be too late for the public to expose its defects.

Requiring a consummated contract will keep the public in the dark until the contract, which may be grossly
disadvantageous to the government or even illegal, becomes fait accompli. This negates the State policy of
full transparency on matters of public concern, a situation which the framers of the Constitution could not
have intended. Such a requirement will prevent the citizenry from participating in the public discussion of
any proposed contract, effectively truncating a basic right enshrined in the Bill of Rights. We can allow
neither an emasculation of a constitutional right, nor a retreat by the State of its avowed policy of full
disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.[122] (Emphasis and italics in the original)
Intended as a splendid symmetry[123] to the right to information under the Bill of Rights is the policy of public disclosure under
Section 28, Article II of the Constitution reading:

Sec. 28. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a policy of full
public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.[124]

The policy of full public disclosure enunciated in above-quoted Section 28 complements the right of access to information on
matters of public concern found in the Bill of Rights. The right to information guarantees the right of the people to demand
information, while Section 28 recognizes the duty of officialdom to give information even if nobody demands.[125]

The policy of public disclosure establishes a concrete ethical principle for the conduct of public affairs in a genuinely open
democracy, with the peoples right to know as the centerpiece. It is a mandate of the State to be accountable by following such
policy.[126] These provisions are vital to the exercise of the freedom of expression and essential to hold public officials at all
times accountable to the people.[127]

Whether Section 28 is self-executory, the records of the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission so disclose:

MR. SUAREZ. And since this is not self-executory, this policy will not be enunciated or will not be in
force and effect until after Congress shall have provided it.

MR. OPLE. I expect it to influence the climate of public ethics immediately but, of course, the implementing
law will have to be enacted by Congress, Mr. Presiding Officer.[128]

The following discourse, after Commissioner Hilario Davide, Jr., sought clarification on the issue, is enlightening.

MR. DAVIDE. I would like to get some clarifications on this. Mr. Presiding Officer, did I get the
Gentleman correctly as having said that this is not a self-executing provision? It would require a legislation by
Congress to implement?

MR. OPLE. Yes. Originally, it was going to be self-executing, but I accepted an amendment from
Commissioner Regalado, so that the safeguards on national interest are modified by the clause as may be
provided by law

MR. DAVIDE. But as worded, does it not mean that this will immediately take effect and Congress
may provide for reasonable safeguards on the sole ground national interest?
MR. OPLE. Yes. I think so, Mr. Presiding Officer, I said earlier that it should immediately influence the
climate of the conduct of public affairs but, of course, Congress here may no longer pass a law revoking it,
or if this is approved, revoking this principle, which is inconsistent with this policy.[129] (Emphasis supplied)

Indubitably, the effectivity of the policy of public disclosure need not await the passing of a statute. As Congress cannot
revoke this principle, it is merely directed to provide for reasonable safeguards. The complete and effective exercise of the right
to information necessitates that its complementary provision on public disclosure derive the same self-executory nature. Since
both provisions go hand-in-hand, it is absurd to say that the broader[130] right to information on matters of public concern is
already enforceable while the correlative duty of the State to disclose its transactions involving public interest is not
enforceable until there is an enabling law. Respondents cannot thus point to the absence of an implementing legislation as an
excuse in not effecting such policy.

An essential element of these freedoms is to keep open a continuing dialogue or process of communication between the
government and the people. It is in the interest of the State that the channels for free political discussion be maintained to the
end that the government may perceive and be responsive to the peoples will.[131] Envisioned to be corollary to the twin rights to
information and disclosure is the design for feedback mechanisms.

MS. ROSARIO BRAID. Yes. And lastly, Mr. Presiding Officer, will the people be able to
participate? Will the government provide feedback mechanisms so that the people can participate and can
react where the existing media facilities are not able to provide full feedback mechanisms to the
government? I suppose this will be part of the government implementing operational mechanisms.

MR. OPLE. Yes. I think through their elected representatives and that is how these courses take
place. There is a message and a feedback, both ways.

xxxx

MS. ROSARIO BRAID. Mr. Presiding Officer, may I just make one last sentence?

I think when we talk about the feedback network, we are not talking about public officials but
also network of private business o[r] community-based organizations that will be reacting. As a matter of
fact, we will put more credence or credibility on the private network of volunteers and voluntary community-
based organizations. So I do not think we are afraid that there will be another OMA in the
making.[132] (Emphasis supplied)

The imperative of a public consultation, as a species of the right to information, is evident in the marching orders to
respondents. The mechanics for the duty to disclose information and to conduct public consultation regarding the peace
agenda and process is manifestly provided by E.O. No. 3.[133] The preambulatory clause of E.O. No. 3 declares that there is a
need to further enhance the contribution of civil society to the comprehensive peace process by institutionalizing the peoples
participation.
One of the three underlying principles of the comprehensive peace process is that it should be community-based,
reflecting the sentiments, values and principles important to all Filipinos and shall be defined not by the government alone, nor
by the different contending groups only, but by all Filipinos as one community. [134] Included as a component of the
comprehensive peace process is consensus-building and empowerment for peace, which includes continuing consultations on
both national and local levels to build consensus for a peace agenda and process, and the mobilization and facilitation of
peoples participation in the peace process.[135]

Clearly, E.O. No. 3 contemplates not just the conduct of a plebiscite to effectuate continuing consultations,
contrary to respondents position that plebiscite is more than sufficient consultation.[136]

Further, E.O. No. 3 enumerates the functions and responsibilities of the PAPP, one of which is to [c]onduct regular
dialogues with the National Peace Forum (NPF) and other peace partners to seek relevant information, comments,
recommendations as well as to render appropriate and timely reports on the progress of the comprehensive peace
process.[137] E.O. No. 3 mandates the establishment of the NPF to be the principal forum for the PAPP to consult with and seek
advi[c]e from the peace advocates, peace partners and concerned sectors of society on both national and local levels, on the
implementation of the comprehensive peace process, as well as for government[-]civil society dialogue and consensus-building
on peace agenda and initiatives.[138]

In fine, E.O. No. 3 establishes petitioners right to be consulted on the peace agenda, as a corollary to the constitutional right
to information and disclosure.

PAPP Esperon committed grave abuse of discretion

The PAPP committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent consultation. The furtive process by
which the MOA-AD was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the legal authority, and amounts to a
whimsical, capricious, oppressive, arbitrary and despotic exercise thereof.

The Court may not, of course, require the PAPP to conduct the consultation in a particular way or manner. It may, however,
require him to comply with the law and discharge the functions within the authority granted by the President.[139]

Petitioners are not claiming a seat at the negotiating table, contrary to respondents retort in justifying the denial of petitioners
right to be consulted. Respondents stance manifests the manner by which they treat the salient provisions of E.O. No. 3 on
peoples participation. Such disregard of the express mandate of the President is not much different from superficial conduct
toward token provisos that border on classic lip service.[140] It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal to
perform the duty enjoined.

As for respondents invocation of the doctrine of executive privilege, it is not tenable under the premises. The argument defies
sound reason when contrasted with E.O. No. 3s explicit provisions on continuing consultation and dialogue on both national
and local levels. The executive order even recognizes the exercise of the publics right even before the GRP makes its official
recommendations or before the government proffers its definite propositions.[141] It bear emphasis that E.O. No. 3 seeks to
elicit relevant advice, information, comments and recommendations from the people through dialogue.
AT ALL EVENTS, respondents effectively waived the defense of executive privilege in view of their unqualified disclosure of the
official copies of the final draft of the MOA-AD. By unconditionally complying with the Courts August 4, 2008 Resolution,
without a prayer for the documents disclosure in camera, or without a manifestation that it was complying therewith ex
abundante ad cautelam.

Petitioners assertion that the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991 declares it a State policy to require all national agencies
and offices to conduct periodic consultations with appropriate local government units, non-governmental and people's
organizations, and other concerned sectors of the community before any project or program is implemented in their respective
jurisdictions[142] is well-taken. The LGC chapter on intergovernmental relations puts flesh into this avowed policy:

Prior Consultations Required. No project or program shall be implemented by government


authorities unless the consultations mentioned in Sections 2 (c) and 26 hereof are complied with, and prior
approval of the sanggunian concerned is obtained: Provided, That occupants in areas where such projects
are to be implemented shall not be evicted unless appropriate relocation sites have been provided, in
accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.[143] (Italics and underscoring supplied)

In Lina, Jr. v. Hon. Pao,[144] the Court held that the above-stated policy and above-quoted provision of the LGU apply only to
national programs or projects which are to be implemented in a particular local community. Among the programs and projects
covered are those that are critical to the environment and human ecology including those that may call for the eviction of a
particular group of people residing in the locality where these will be implemented.[145] The MOA-AD is one peculiar program
that unequivocally and unilaterally vests ownership of a vast territory to the Bangsamoro people, [146] which could pervasively
and drastically result to the diaspora or displacement of a great number of inhabitants from their total environment.

With respect to the indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples (ICCs/IPs), whose interests are represented herein by
petitioner Lopez and are adversely affected by the MOA-AD, the ICCs/IPs have, under the IPRA, the right to participate fully at
all levels of decision-making in matters which may affect their rights, lives and destinies.[147] The MOA-AD, an instrument
recognizing ancestral domain, failed to justify its non-compliance with the clear-cut mechanisms ordained in said Act,[148] which
entails, among other things, the observance of the free and prior informed consent of the ICCs/IPs.

Notably, the IPRA does not grant the Executive Department or any government agency the power to delineate and recognize an
ancestral domain claim by mere agreement or compromise. The recognition of the ancestral domain is the raison detre of the
MOA-AD, without which all other stipulations or consensus points necessarily must fail. In proceeding to make a sweeping
declaration on ancestral domain, without complying with the IPRA, which is cited as one of the TOR of the MOA-
AD, respondents clearly transcended the boundaries of their authority. As it seems, even the heart of the MOA-AD is still
subject to necessary changes to the legal framework. While paragraph 7 on Governance suspends the effectivity of all
provisions requiring changes to the legal framework, such clause is itself invalid, as will be discussed in the following section.

Indeed, ours is an open society, with all the acts of the government subject to public scrutiny and available always to public
cognizance. This has to be so if the country is to remain democratic, with sovereignty residing in the people and all government
authority emanating from them.[149]

ON THE SECOND SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE


With regard to the provisions of the MOA-AD, there can be no question that they cannot all be accommodated under the
present Constitution and laws. Respondents have admitted as much in the oral arguments before this Court, and the MOA-AD
itself recognizes the need to amend the existing legal framework to render effective at least some of its
provisions. Respondents, nonetheless, counter that the MOA-AD is free of any legal infirmity because any provisions therein
which are inconsistent with the present legal framework will not be effective until the necessary changes to that framework are
made. The validity of this argument will be considered later. For now, the Court shall pass upon how

The MOA-AD is inconsistent with the Constitution and laws as


presently worded.

In general, the objections against the MOA-AD center on the extent of the powers conceded therein to the BJE. Petitioners
assert that the powers granted to the BJE exceed those granted to any local government under present laws, and even go
beyond those of the present ARMM. Before assessing some of the specific powers that would have been vested in the BJE,
however, it would be useful to turn first to a general idea that serves as a unifying link to the different provisions of the MOA-
AD, namely, the international law concept of association. Significantly, the MOA-AD explicitly alludes to this concept, indicating
that the Parties actually framed its provisions with it in mind.

Association is referred to in paragraph 3 on TERRITORY, paragraph 11 on RESOURCES, and paragraph 4 on GOVERNANCE. It is in


the last mentioned provision, however, that the MOA-AD most clearly uses it to describe the envisioned relationship between
the BJE and the Central Government.

4. The relationship between the Central Government and the Bangsamoro juridical entity shall
be associative characterized by shared authority and responsibility with a structure of governance based
on executive, legislative, judicial and administrative institutions with defined powers and functions in the
comprehensive compact. A period of transition shall be established in a comprehensive peace compact
specifying the relationship between the Central Government and the BJE. (Emphasis and underscoring
supplied)

The nature of the associative relationship may have been intended to be defined more precisely in the still to be
forged Comprehensive Compact. Nonetheless, given that there is a concept of association in international law, and the MOA-
AD by its inclusion of international law instruments in its TOR placed itself in an international legal context, that concept of
association may be brought to bear in understanding the use of the term associative in the MOA-AD.

Keitner and Reisman state that

[a]n association is formed when two states of unequal power voluntarily establish durable links. In the basic
model, one state, the associate, delegates certain responsibilities to the other, the principal, while
maintaining its international status as a state. Free associations represent a middle ground between
integration and independence. x x x[150] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
For purposes of illustration, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), formerly part of
the U.S.-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands,[151] are associated states of the U.S. pursuant to a Compact of Free
Association. The currency in these countries is the U.S. dollar, indicating their very close ties with the U.S., yet they issue their
own travel documents, which is a mark of their statehood. Their international legal status as states was confirmed by the UN
Security Council and by their admission to UN membership.

According to their compacts of free association, the Marshall Islands and the FSM generally have the capacity to conduct
foreign affairs in their own name and right, such capacity extending to matters such as the law of the sea, marine resources,
trade, banking, postal, civil aviation, and cultural relations. The U.S. government, when conducting its foreign affairs, is
obligated to consult with the governments of the Marshall Islands or the FSM on matters which it (U.S. government) regards as
relating to or affecting either government.

In the event of attacks or threats against the Marshall Islands or the FSM, the U.S. government has the authority and obligation
to defend them as if they were part of U.S. territory. The U.S. government, moreover, has the option of establishing and using
military areas and facilities within these associated states and has the right to bar the military personnel of any third country
from having access to these territories for military purposes.

It bears noting that in U.S. constitutional and international practice, free association is understood as an international
association between sovereigns. The Compact of Free Association is a treaty which is subordinate to the associated nations
national constitution, and each party may terminate the association consistent with the right of independence.It has been said
that, with the admission of the U.S.-associated states to the UN in 1990, the UN recognized that the American model of free
association is actually based on an underlying status of independence.[152]

In international practice, the associated state arrangement has usually been used as a transitional device of former colonies on
their way to full independence. Examples of states that have passed through the status of associated states as a transitional
phase are Antigua, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada. All have since become independent
states.[153]

Back to the MOA-AD, it contains many provisions which are consistent with the international legal concept of association,
specifically the following: the BJEs capacity to enter into economic and trade relations with foreign countries, the commitment
of the Central Government to ensure the BJEs participation in meetings and events in the ASEAN and the specialized UN
agencies, and the continuing responsibility of the Central Government over external defense. Moreover, the BJEs right to
participate in Philippine official missions bearing on negotiation of border agreements, environmental protection, and sharing
of revenues pertaining to the bodies of water adjacent to or between the islands forming part of the ancestral
domain, resembles the right of the governments of FSM and the Marshall Islands to be consulted by the U.S. government on
any foreign affairs matter affecting them.

These provisions of the MOA indicate, among other things, that the Parties aimed to vest in the BJE the status of an associated
state or, at any rate, a status closely approximating it.

The concept of association is not recognized under the present


Constitution
No province, city, or municipality, not even the ARMM, is recognized under our laws as having
an associative relationship with the national government. Indeed, the concept implies powers that go beyond anything ever
granted by the Constitution to any local or regional government. It also implies the recognition of the associated entity as a
state. The Constitution, however, does not contemplate any state in this jurisdiction other than the Philippine State, much less
does it provide for a transitory status that aims to prepare any part of Philippine territory for independence.

Even the mere concept animating many of the MOA-ADs provisions, therefore, already requires for its validity the amendment
of constitutional provisions, specifically the following provisions of Article X:

SECTION 1. The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the provinces,
cities, municipalities, and barangays. There shall be autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and
the Cordilleras as hereinafter provided.

SECTION 15. There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in
the Cordilleras consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographical areas sharing common and
distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures, and other relevant
characteristics within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial
integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.

The BJE is a far more powerful

entity than the autonomous region

recognized in the Constitution

It is not merely an expanded version of the ARMM, the status of its relationship with the national government being
fundamentally different from that of the ARMM.Indeed, BJE is a state in all but name as it meets the criteria of a state laid
down in the Montevideo Convention,[154] namely, a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and a capacity
to enter into relations with other states.

Even assuming arguendo that the MOA-AD would not necessarily sever any portion of Philippine territory, the spirit
animating it which has betrayed itself by its use of the concept of association runs counter to the national sovereignty and
territorial integrity of the Republic.

The defining concept underlying the relationship between the national government and the BJE being itself
contrary to the present Constitution, it is not surprising that many of the specific provisions of the MOA-AD on the formation
and powers of the BJE are in conflict with the Constitution and the laws.

Article X, Section 18 of the Constitution provides that [t]he creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when approved
by a majority of the votes cast by the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose, provided that only provinces,
cities, and geographic areas voting favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in the autonomous region. (Emphasis
supplied)

As reflected above, the BJE is more of a state than an autonomous region. But even assuming that it is covered by the term
autonomous region in the constitutional provision just quoted, the MOA-AD would still be in conflict with it. Under paragraph
2(c) on TERRITORY in relation to 2(d) and 2(e), the present geographic area of the ARMM and, in addition, the municipalities of
Lanao del Norte which voted for inclusion in the ARMM during the 2001 plebiscite Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan
and Tangkal are automatically part of the BJE without need of another plebiscite, in contrast to the areas under Categories A
and B mentioned earlier in the overview. That the present components of the ARMM and the above-mentioned municipalities
voted for inclusion therein in 2001, however, does not render another plebiscite unnecessary under the Constitution, precisely
because what these areas voted for then was their inclusion in the ARMM, not the BJE.

The MOA-AD, moreover, would not

comply with Article X, Section 20 of

the Constitution

since that provision defines the powers of autonomous regions as follows:

SECTION 20. Within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national
laws, the organic act of autonomous regions shall provide for legislative powers over:

(1) Administrative organization;

(2) Creation of sources of revenues;

(3) Ancestral domain and natural resources;

(4) Personal, family, and property relations;

(5) Regional urban and rural planning development;

(6) Economic, social, and tourism development;

(7) Educational policies;

(8) Preservation and development of the cultural heritage; and

(9) Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the people
of the region. (Underscoring supplied)

Again on the premise that the BJE may be regarded as an autonomous region, the MOA-AD would require an amendment that
would expand the above-quoted provision. The mere passage of new legislation pursuant to sub-paragraph No. 9 of said
constitutional provision would not suffice, since any new law that might vest in the BJE the powers found in the MOA-AD must,
itself, comply with other provisions of the Constitution. It would not do, for instance, to merely pass legislation vesting the BJE
with treaty-making power in order to accommodate paragraph 4 of the strand on RESOURCES which states: The BJE is free to
enter into any economic cooperation and trade relations with foreign countries: provided, however, that such relationships and
understandings do not include aggression against the Government of the Republic of the Philippines x x x. Under our
constitutional system, it is only the President who has that power. Pimentel v. Executive Secretary[155] instructs:

In our system of government, the President, being the head of state, is regarded as the sole organ and
authority in external relations and is the country's sole representative with foreign nations. As the chief
architect of foreign policy, the President acts as the country's mouthpiece with respect to international
affairs. Hence, the President is vested with the authority to deal with foreign states and governments,
extend or withhold recognition, maintain diplomatic relations, enter into treaties, and otherwise transact
the business of foreign relations. In the realm of treaty-making, the President has the sole authority to
negotiate with other states. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

Article II, Section 22 of the Constitution must also be amended if the scheme envisioned in the MOA-AD is to be
effected. That constitutional provision states: The State recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural
communities within the framework of national unity and development. (Underscoring supplied) An associativearrangement
does not uphold national unity. While there may be a semblance of unity because of the associative ties between the BJE and
the national government, the act of placing a portion of Philippine territory in a status which, in international practice, has
generally been a preparation for independence, is certainly not conducive to nationalunity.

Besides being irreconcilable with the Constitution, the MOA-AD is


also inconsistent with prevailing statutory law, among which are
R.A. No. 9054[156] or the Organic Act of the ARMM, and the IPRA.[157]

Article X, Section 3 of the Organic Act of the ARMM is a bar to the adoption of the definition of Bangsamoro people used in
the MOA-AD. Paragraph 1 on CONCEPTS AND PRINCIPLES states:

1. It is the birthright of all Moros and all Indigenous peoples of Mindanao to identify themselves and be
accepted as Bangsamoros. The Bangsamoro people refers to those who are natives or original inhabitants
of Mindanao and its adjacent islands including Palawan and the Sulu archipelago at the time of conquest or
colonization of its descendants whether mixed or of full blood. Spouses and their descendants are classified
as Bangsamoro. The freedom of choice of the Indigenous people shall be respected. (Emphasis and
underscoring supplied)

This use of the term Bangsamoro sharply contrasts with that found in the Article X, Section 3 of the Organic Act, which, rather
than lumping together the identities of the Bangsamoro and other indigenous peoples living in Mindanao, clearly distinguishes
between Bangsamoro people and Tribal peoples, as follows:

As used in this Organic Act, the phrase indigenous cultural community refers to Filipino citizens residing in
the autonomous region who are:
(a) Tribal peoples. These are citizens whose social, cultural and economic conditions distinguish them from
other sectors of the national community; and

(b) Bangsa Moro people. These are citizens who are believers in Islam and who have retained some or all
of their own social, economic, cultural, and political institutions.

Respecting the IPRA, it lays down the prevailing procedure for the delineation and recognition of ancestral domains. The MOA-
ADs manner of delineating the ancestral domain of the Bangsamoro people is a clear departure from that procedure. By
paragraph 1 of TERRITORY, the Parties simply agree that, subject to the delimitations in the agreed Schedules, [t]he
Bangsamoro homeland and historic territory refer to the land mass as well as the maritime, terrestrial, fluvial and alluvial
domains, and the aerial domain, the atmospheric space above it, embracing the Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan geographic region.

Chapter VIII of the IPRA, on the other hand, lays down a detailed procedure, as illustrated in the following provisions thereof:

SECTION 52. Delineation Process. The identification and delineation of ancestral domains shall be done in
accordance with the following procedures:

xxxx

b) Petition for Delineation. The process of delineating a specific perimeter may be initiated by the NCIP with
the consent of the ICC/IP concerned, or through a Petition for Delineation filed with the NCIP, by a majority
of the members of the ICCs/IPs;

c) Delineation Proper. The official delineation of ancestral domain boundaries including census of all
community members therein, shall be immediately undertaken by the Ancestral Domains Office upon filing
of the application by the ICCs/IPs concerned. Delineation will be done in coordination with the community
concerned and shall at all times include genuine involvement and participation by the members of the
communities concerned;

d) Proof Required. Proof of Ancestral Domain Claims shall include the testimony of elders or community
under oath, and other documents directly or indirectly attesting to the possession or occupation of the area
since time immemorial by such ICCs/IPs in the concept of owners which shall be any one (1) of the following
authentic documents:

1) Written accounts of the ICCs/IPs customs and traditions;


2) Written accounts of the ICCs/IPs political structure and institution;

3) Pictures showing long term occupation such as those of old improvements, burial grounds, sacred
places and old villages;

4) Historical accounts, including pacts and agreements concerning boundaries entered into by the
ICCs/IPs concerned with other ICCs/IPs;

5) Survey plans and sketch maps;

6) Anthropological data;

7) Genealogical surveys;

8) Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional communal forests and hunting grounds;

9) Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional landmarks such as mountains, rivers, creeks, ridges,
hills, terraces and the like; and

10) Write-ups of names and places derived from the native dialect of the community.

e) Preparation of Maps. On the basis of such investigation and the findings of fact based thereon, the
Ancestral Domains Office of the NCIP shall prepare a perimeter map, complete with technical descriptions,
and a description of the natural features and landmarks embraced therein;

f) Report of Investigation and Other Documents. A complete copy of the preliminary census and a report of
investigation, shall be prepared by the Ancestral Domains Office of the NCIP;

g) Notice and Publication. A copy of each document, including a translation in the native language of the
ICCs/IPs concerned shall be posted in a prominent place therein for at least fifteen (15) days. A copy of the
document shall also be posted at the local, provincial and regional offices of the NCIP, and shall be
published in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks to allow other
claimants to file opposition thereto within fifteen (15) days from date of such publication: Provided, That in
areas where no such newspaper exists, broadcasting in a radio station will be a valid substitute: Provided,
further, That mere posting shall be deemed sufficient if both newspaper and radio station are not available;
h) Endorsement to NCIP. Within fifteen (15) days from publication, and of the inspection process, the
Ancestral Domains Office shall prepare a report to the NCIP endorsing a favorable action upon a claim that
is deemed to have sufficient proof. However, if the proof is deemed insufficient, the Ancestral Domains
Office shall require the submission of additional evidence: Provided, That the Ancestral Domains Office shall
reject any claim that is deemed patently false or fraudulent after inspection and verification: Provided,
further, That in case of rejection, the Ancestral Domains Office shall give the applicant due notice, copy
furnished all concerned, containing the grounds for denial. The denial shall be appealable to the NCIP:
Provided, furthermore, That in cases where there are conflicting claims among ICCs/IPs on the boundaries
of ancestral domain claims, the Ancestral Domains Office shall cause the contending parties to meet and
assist them in coming up with a preliminary resolution of the conflict, without prejudice to its full
adjudication according to the section below.

xxxx

To remove all doubts about the irreconcilability of the MOA-AD with the present legal system, a discussion of not only
the Constitution and domestic statutes, but also of international law is in order, for

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution states that the Philippines


adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as
part of the law of the land.

Applying this provision of the Constitution, the Court, in Mejoff v. Director of Prisons,[158] held that the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights is part of the law of the land on account of which it ordered the release on bail of a detained alien of Russian
descent whose deportation order had not been executed even after two years. Similarly, the Court in Agustin v. Edu[159] applied
the aforesaid constitutional provision to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.

International law has long recognized the right to self-determination of peoples, understood not merely as the entire
population of a State but also a portion thereof. In considering the question of whether the people of Quebec had a right to
unilaterally secede from Canada, the Canadian Supreme Court in REFERENCE RE SECESSION OF QUEBEC [160]had occasion to
acknowledge that the right of a people to self-determination is now so widely recognized in international conventions that the
principle has acquired a status beyond convention and is considered a general principle of international law.

Among the conventions referred to are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights[161] and the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights[162] which state, in Article 1 of both covenants, that all peoples,
by virtue of the right of self-determination, freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social, and
cultural development.

The peoples right to self-determination should not, however, be understood as extending to a unilateral right of secession. A
distinction should be made between the right of internal and external self-determination. REFERENCE RE SECESSION OF
QUEBEC is again instructive:

(ii) Scope of the Right to Self-determination


126. The recognized sources of international law establish that the right to self-determination of a people
is normally fulfilled through internal self-determination a peoples pursuit of its political, economic, social
and cultural development within the framework of an existing state. A right to external self-
determination (which in this case potentially takes the form of the assertion of a right to unilateral
secession) arises in only the most extreme of cases and, even then, under carefully defined
circumstances. x x x

External self-determination can be defined as in the following statement from the Declaration on Friendly
Relations, supra, as

The establishment of a sovereign and independent State, the free association or integration with an
independent State or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by
a people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination by that people. (Emphasis
added)

127. The international law principle of self-determination has evolved within a framework of respect for
the territorial integrity of existing states. The various international documents that support the existence
of a peoples right to self-determination also contain parallel statements supportive of the conclusion that
the exercise of such a right must be sufficiently limited to prevent threats to an existing states territorial
integrity or the stability of relations between sovereign states.

x x x x (Emphasis, italics and underscoring supplied)

The Canadian Court went on to discuss the exceptional cases in which the right to external self-determination can arise,
namely, where a people is under colonial rule, is subject to foreign domination or exploitation outside a colonial context, and
less definitely but asserted by a number of commentators is blocked from the meaningful exercise of its right to internal self-
determination. The Court ultimately held that the population of Quebec had no right to secession, as the same is not under
colonial rule or foreign domination, nor is it being deprived of the freedom to make political choices and pursue economic,
social and cultural development, citing that Quebec is equitably represented in legislative, executive and judicial institutions
within Canada, even occupying prominent positions therein.

The exceptional nature of the right of secession is further exemplified in the REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF
JURISTS ON THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF THE AALAND ISLANDS QUESTION.[163] There, Sweden presented to the Council of
the League of Nations the question of whether the inhabitants of the Aaland Islandsshould be authorized to determine by
plebiscite if the archipelago should remain under Finnish sovereignty or be incorporated in the kingdom of Sweden. The
Council, before resolving the question, appointed an International Committee composed of three jurists to submit an opinion
on the preliminary issue of whether the dispute should, based on international law, be entirely left to the domestic jurisdiction
of Finland. The Committee stated the rule as follows:

x x x [I]n the absence of express provisions in international treaties, the right of disposing of national
territory is essentially an attribute of the sovereignty of every State. Positive International Law does not
recognize the right of national groups, as such, to separate themselves from the State of which they form
part by the simple expression of a wish, any more than it recognizes the right of other States to claim such
a separation. Generally speaking, the grant or refusal of the right to a portion of its population of
determining its own political fate by plebiscite or by some other method, is, exclusively, an attribute of
the sovereignty of every State which is definitively constituted. A dispute between two States concerning
such a question, under normal conditions therefore, bears upon a question which International Law leaves
entirely to the domestic jurisdiction of one of the States concerned. Any other solution would amount to an
infringement of sovereign rights of a State and would involve the risk of creating difficulties and a lack of
stability which would not only be contrary to the very idea embodied in term State, but would also
endanger the interests of the international community. If this right is not possessed by a large or small
section of a nation, neither can it be held by the State to which the national group wishes to be attached,
nor by any other State. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

The Committee held that the dispute concerning the Aaland Islands did not refer to a question which is left by international law
to the domestic jurisdiction of Finland, thereby applying the exception rather than the rule elucidated above. Its ground for
departing from the general rule, however, was a very narrow one, namely, the Aaland Islands agitation originated at a time
when Finland was undergoing drastic political transformation. The internal situation of Finland was, according to the
Committee, so abnormal that, for a considerable time, the conditions required for the formation of a sovereign State did not
exist. In the midst of revolution, anarchy, and civil war, the legitimacy of the Finnish national government was disputed by a
large section of the people, and it had, in fact, been chased from the capital and forcibly prevented from carrying out its
duties. The armed camps and the police were divided into two opposing forces. In light of these circumstances, Finland was not,
during the relevant time period, a definitively constituted sovereign state. The Committee, therefore, found that Finland did not
possess the right to withhold from a portion of its population the option to separate itself a right which sovereign nations
generally have with respect to their own populations.

Turning now to the more specific category of indigenous peoples, this term has been used, in scholarship as well as
international, regional, and state practices, to refer to groups with distinct cultures, histories, and connections to land (spiritual
and otherwise) that have been forcibly incorporated into a larger governing society. These groups are regarded as indigenous
since they are the living descendants of pre-invasion inhabitants of lands now dominated by others. Otherwise stated,
indigenous peoples, nations, or communities are culturally distinctive groups that find themselves engulfed by settler societies
born of the forces of empire and conquest.[164] Examples of groups who have been regarded as indigenous peoples are the
Maori of New Zealand and the aboriginal peoples of Canada.

As with the broader category of peoples, indigenous peoples situated within states do not have a general right to independence
or secession from those states under international law,[165] but they do have rights amounting to what was discussed above as
the right to internal self-determination.

In a historic development last September 13, 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP) throughGeneral Assembly Resolution 61/295. The vote was 143 to 4,
the Philippines being included among those in favor, and the four voting against being Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and
the U.S. The Declaration clearly recognized the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination, encompassing the right to
autonomy or self-government, to wit:

Article 3

Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their
political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
Article 4

Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-
government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing
their autonomous functions.

Article 5

Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social
and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political,
economic, social and cultural life of the State.

Self-government, as used in international legal discourse pertaining to indigenous peoples, has been understood as equivalent
to internal self-determination.[166] The extent of self-determination provided for in the UN DRIP is more particularly defined in
its subsequent articles, some of which are quoted hereunder:

Article 8
1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction
of their culture.
2. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:
(a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct
peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;
(b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or
resources;
(c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or
undermining any of their rights;
(d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration;

(e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnic discrimination
directed against them.
Article 21

1. Indigenous peoples have the right, without discrimination, to the improvement of their economic and
social conditions, including, inter alia, in the areas of education, employment, vocational training
and retraining, housing, sanitation, health and social security.

2. States shall take effective measures and, where appropriate, special measures to ensure continuing
improvement of their economic and social conditions. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights
and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities.

Article 26
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally
owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.

2. Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources
that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well
as those which they have otherwise acquired.

3. States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources. Such
recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems
of the indigenous peoples concerned.

Article 30

1. Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples, unless justified by
a relevant public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by the indigenous peoples
concerned.

2. States shall undertake effective consultations with the indigenous peoples concerned, through
appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, prior to using
their lands or territories for military activities.

Article 32

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the
development or use of their lands or territories and other resources.

2. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their
own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the
approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in
connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.

3. States shall provide effective mechanisms for just and fair redress for any such activities, and appropriate
measures shall be taken to mitigate adverse environmental, economic, social, cultural or spiritual
impact.

Article 37

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties,
agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors and to
have States honour and respect such treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.
2. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as diminishing or eliminating the rights of indigenous
peoples contained in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.

Article 38

States in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take the appropriate measures,
including legislative measures, to achieve the ends of this Declaration.

Assuming that the UN DRIP, like the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, must now be regarded as embodying customary
international law a question which the Court need not definitively resolve here the obligations enumerated therein do not
strictly require the Republic to grant the Bangsamoro people, through the instrumentality of the BJE, the particular rights and
powers provided for in the MOA-AD. Even the more specific provisions of the UN DRIP are general in scope, allowing for
flexibility in its application by the different States.

There is, for instance, no requirement in the UN DRIP that States now guarantee indigenous peoples their own police
and internal security force. Indeed, Article 8 presupposes that it is the State which will provide protection for indigenous
peoples against acts like the forced dispossession of their lands a function that is normally performed by police officers. If the
protection of a right so essential to indigenous peoples identity is acknowledged to be the responsibility of the State, then
surely the protection of rights less significant to them as such peoples would also be the duty of States. Nor is there in the UN
DRIP an acknowledgement of the right of indigenous peoples to the aerial domain and atmospheric space. What it upholds, in
Article 26 thereof, is the right of indigenous peoples to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned,
occupied or otherwise used or acquired.

Moreover, the UN DRIP, while upholding the right of indigenous peoples to autonomy, does not obligate States to grant
indigenous peoples the near-independent status of an associated state. All the rights recognized in that document are qualified
in Article 46 as follows:

1. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, people, group or person any
right to engage in any activity or to perform any act contrary to the Charter of the United Nations
or construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally
or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States.

Even if the UN DRIP were considered as part of the law of the land pursuant to Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, it would
not suffice to uphold the validity of the MOA-AD so as to render its compliance with other laws unnecessary.

It is, therefore, clear that the MOA-AD contains numerous provisions that cannot be reconciled with the Constitution and the
laws as presently worded. Respondents proffer, however, that the signing of the MOA-AD alone would not have entailed any
violation of law or grave abuse of discretion on their part, precisely because it stipulates that the provisions thereof
inconsistent with the laws shall not take effect until these laws are amended. They cite paragraph 7 of the MOA-AD strand on
GOVERNANCE quoted earlier, but which is reproduced below for convenience:
7. The Parties agree that the mechanisms and modalities for the actual implementation of this
MOA-AD shall be spelt out in the Comprehensive Compact to mutually take such steps to enable it to occur
effectively.

Any provisions of the MOA-AD requiring amendments to the existing legal framework shall come into force
upon signing of a Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal
framework with due regard to non derogation of prior agreements and within the stipulated timeframe to
be contained in the Comprehensive Compact.

Indeed, the foregoing stipulation keeps many controversial provisions of the MOA-AD from coming into force until
the necessary changes to the legal framework are effected. While the word Constitution is not mentioned in the provision
now under consideration or anywhere else in the MOA-AD, the term legal framework is certainly broad enough to include
the Constitution.

Notwithstanding the suspensive clause, however, respondents, by their mere act of incorporating in the MOA-AD the
provisions thereof regarding the associative relationship between the BJE and the Central Government, have already violated
the Memorandum of Instructions From The President dated March 1, 2001, which states that the negotiations shall be
conducted in accordance with x x x the principles of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.
(Emphasis supplied)Establishing an associative relationship between the BJE and the Central Government is, for the reasons
already discussed, a preparation for independence, or worse, an implicit acknowledgment of an independent status already
prevailing.

Even apart from the above-mentioned Memorandum, however, the MOA-AD is defective because the suspensive
clause is invalid, as discussed below.

The authority of the GRP Peace Negotiating Panel to negotiate with the MILF is founded on E.O. No. 3, Section 5(c), which
states that there shall be established Government Peace Negotiating Panels for negotiations with different rebel groups to be
appointed by the President as her official emissaries to conduct negotiations, dialogues, and face-to-face discussions with rebel
groups. These negotiating panels are to report to the President, through the PAPP on the conduct and progress of the
negotiations.

It bears noting that the GRP Peace Panel, in exploring lasting solutions to the Moro Problem through its negotiations
with the MILF, was not restricted by E.O. No. 3 only to those options available under the laws as they presently stand. One of
the components of a comprehensive peace process, which E.O. No. 3 collectively refers to as the Paths to Peace, is the pursuit
of social, economic, and political reforms which may require new legislation or even constitutional amendments. Sec. 4(a) of
E.O. No. 3, which reiterates Section 3(a), of E.O. No. 125,[167] states:

SECTION 4. The Six Paths to Peace. The components of the comprehensive peace process comprise the
processes known as the Paths to Peace. These component processes are interrelated and not mutually
exclusive, and must therefore be pursued simultaneously in a coordinated and integrated fashion. They
shall include, but may not be limited to, the following:

a. PURSUIT OF SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL REFORMS. This component involves the vigorous
implementation of various policies, reforms, programs and projects aimed at addressing the root
causes of internal armed conflicts and social unrest. This may require administrative action, new
legislation or even constitutional amendments.
x x x x (Emphasis supplied)

The MOA-AD, therefore, may reasonably be perceived as an attempt of respondents to address, pursuant to this
provision of E.O. No. 3, the root causes of the armed conflict in Mindanao. The E.O. authorized them to think outside the box,
so to speak. Hence, they negotiated and were set on signing the MOA-AD that included various social, economic, and political
reforms which cannot, however, all be accommodated within the present legal framework, and which thus would require new
legislation and constitutional amendments.

The inquiry on the legality of the suspensive clause, however, cannot stop here, because it must be asked

whether the President herself may exercise the power delegated


to the GRP Peace Panel under E.O. No. 3, Sec. 4(a).

The President cannot delegate a power that she herself does not possess. May the President, in the course of peace
negotiations, agree to pursue reforms that would require new legislation and constitutional amendments, or should the
reforms be restricted only to those solutions which the present laws allow? The answer to this question requires a discussion of

the extent of the Presidents power to conduct peace negotiations.

That the authority of the President to conduct peace negotiations with rebel groups is not explicitly mentioned in the
Constitution does not mean that she has no such authority. In Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary,[168] in issue was the authority of
the President to declare a state of rebellion an authority which is not expressly provided for in the Constitution.The Court held
thus:

In her ponencia in Marcos v. Manglapus, Justice Cortes put her thesis into jurisprudence. There, the Court,
by a slim 8-7 margin, upheld the President's power to forbid the return of her exiled predecessor. The
rationale for the majority's ruling rested on the President's

. . . unstated residual powers which are implied from the grant of executive power and
which are necessary for her to comply with her duties under the Constitution.The
powers of the President are not limited to what are expressly enumerated in the
article on the Executive Department and in scattered provisions of the
Constitution. This is so, notwithstanding the avowed intent of the members of the
Constitutional Commission of 1986 to limit the powers of the President as a reaction to
the abuses under the regime of Mr. Marcos, for the result was a limitation of specific
powers of the President, particularly those relating to the commander-in-chief clause,
but not a diminution of the general grant of executive power.
Thus, the President's authority to declare a state of rebellion springs in the main from her powers as chief
executive and, at the same time, draws strength from her Commander-in-Chief powers. x x x (Emphasis
and underscoring supplied)

Similarly, the Presidents power to conduct peace negotiations is implicitly included in her powers as Chief Executive
and Commander-in-Chief. As Chief Executive, the President has the general responsibility to promote public peace, and as
Commander-in-Chief, she has the more specific duty to prevent and suppress rebellion and lawless violence.[169]

As the experience of nations which have similarly gone through internal armed conflict will show, however, peace is rarely
attained by simply pursuing a military solution.Oftentimes, changes as far-reaching as a fundamental reconfiguration of the
nations constitutional structure is required. The observations of Dr. Kirsti Samuels are enlightening, to wit:

x x x [T]he fact remains that a successful political and governance transition must form the core of any
post-conflict peace-building mission. As we have observed in Liberia and Haiti over the last ten years,
conflict cessation without modification of the political environment, even where state-building is
undertaken through technical electoral assistance and institution- or capacity-building, is unlikely to
succeed. On average, more than 50 percent of states emerging from conflict return to conflict. Moreover, a
substantial proportion of transitions have resulted in weak or limited democracies.

The design of a constitution and its constitution-making process can play an important role in the
political and governance transition. Constitution-making after conflict is an opportunity to create a common
vision of the future of a state and a road map on how to get there. The constitution can be partly a peace
agreement and partly a framework setting up the rules by which the new democracy will operate.[170]

In the same vein, Professor Christine Bell, in her article on the nature and legal status of peace agreements, observed that the
typical way that peace agreements establish or confirm mechanisms for demilitarization and demobilization is by linking them
to new constitutional structures addressing governance, elections, and legal and human rights institutions.[171]

In the Philippine experience, the link between peace agreements and constitution-making has been recognized by no
less than the framers of the Constitution. Behind the provisions of the Constitution on autonomous regions [172] is the framers
intention to implement a particular peace agreement, namely, the Tripoli Agreement of 1976 between the GRP and the MNLF,
signed by then Undersecretary of National Defense Carmelo Z. Barbero and then MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari.

MR. ROMULO. There are other speakers; so, although I have some more questions, I will reserve
my right to ask them if they are not covered by the other speakers. I have only two questions.

I heard one of the Commissioners say that local autonomy already exists in the Muslim region; it
is working very well; it has, in fact, diminished a great deal of the problems. So, my question is: since that
already exists, why do we have to go into something new?

MR. OPLE. May I answer that on behalf of Chairman Nolledo. Commissioner Yusup Abubakar is
right that certain definite steps have been taken to implement the provisions of the Tripoli Agreement
with respect to an autonomous region in Mindanao. This is a good first step, but there is no question that
this is merely a partial response to the Tripoli Agreement itself and to the fuller standard of regional
autonomy contemplated in that agreement, and now by state policy.[173] (Emphasis supplied)
The constitutional provisions on autonomy and the statutes enacted pursuant to them have, to the credit of their drafters,
been partly successful. Nonetheless, the Filipino people are still faced with the reality of an on-going conflict between the
Government and the MILF. If the President is to be expected to find means for bringing this conflict to an end and to achieve
lasting peace in Mindanao, then she must be given the leeway to explore, in the course of peace negotiations, solutions that
may require changes to the Constitution for their implementation. Being uniquely vested with the power to conduct peace
negotiations with rebel groups, the President is in a singular position to know the precise nature of their grievances which, if
resolved, may bring an end to hostilities.

The President may not, of course, unilaterally implement the solutions that she considers viable, but she may not be
prevented from submitting them as recommendations to Congress, which could then, if it is minded, act upon them pursuant to
the legal procedures for constitutional amendment and revision. In particular, Congress would have the option, pursuant to
Article XVII, Sections 1 and 3 of the Constitution, to propose the recommended amendments or revision to the people, call a
constitutional convention, or submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention.

While the President does not possess constituent powers as those powers may be exercised only by Congress, a Constitutional
Convention, or the people through initiative and referendum she may submit proposals for constitutional change to Congress in
a manner that does not involve the arrogation of constituent powers.

In Sanidad v. COMELEC,[174] in issue was the legality of then President Marcos act of directly submitting proposals for
constitutional amendments to a referendum, bypassing the interim National Assembly which was the body vested by the 1973
Constitution with the power to propose such amendments. President Marcos, it will be recalled, never convened the interim
National Assembly. The majority upheld the Presidents act, holding that the urges of absolute necessity compelled the
President as the agent of the people to act as he did, there being no interim National Assembly to propose constitutional
amendments. Against this ruling, Justices Teehankee and Muoz Palma vigorously dissented. The Courts concern at present,
however, is not with regard to the point on which it was then divided in that controversial case, but on that which was not
disputed by either side.

Justice Teehankees dissent,[175] in particular, bears noting. While he disagreed that the President may directly submit
proposed constitutional amendments to a referendum, implicit in his opinion is a recognition that he would have upheld the
Presidents action along with the majority had the President convened the interim National Assembly and coursed his proposals
through it. Thus Justice Teehankee opined:

Since the Constitution provides for the organization of the essential departments of government, defines
and delimits the powers of each and prescribes the manner of the exercise of such powers, and the
constituent power has not been granted to but has been withheld from the President or Prime Minister, it
follows that the Presidents questioned decrees proposing and submitting constitutional amendments
directly to the people (without the intervention of the interim National Assembly in whom the power is
expressly vested) are devoid of constitutional and legal basis.[176] (Emphasis supplied)

From the foregoing discussion, the principle may be inferred that the President in the course of conducting peace negotiations
may validly consider implementing even those policies that require changes to the Constitution, but she may not unilaterally
implement them without the intervention of Congress, or act in any way as if the assent of that body were assumed as a
certainty.
Since, under the present Constitution, the people also have the power to directly propose amendments through initiative and
referendum, the President may also submit her recommendations to the people, not as a formal proposal to be voted on in a
plebiscite similar to what President Marcos did in Sanidad, but for their independent consideration of whether these
recommendations merit being formally proposed through initiative.

These recommendations, however, may amount to nothing more than the Presidents suggestions to the people, for any further
involvement in the process of initiative by the Chief Executive may vitiate its character as a genuine peoples initiative. The only
initiative recognized by the Constitution is that which truly proceeds from the people. As the Court stated in Lambino v.
COMELEC:[177]

The Lambino Group claims that their initiative is the people's voice. However, the Lambino Group
unabashedly states in ULAP Resolution No. 2006-02, in the verification of their petition with the COMELEC,
that ULAP maintains its unqualified support to the agenda of Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo for constitutional reforms. The Lambino Group thus admits that their people's initiative is
an unqualified support to the agenda of the incumbent President to change the Constitution. This
forewarns the Court to be wary of incantations of people's voice or sovereign will in the present initiative.

It will be observed that the President has authority, as stated in her oath of office, [178] only to preserve and defend the
Constitution. Such presidential power does not, however, extend to allowing her to change the Constitution, but simply to
recommend proposed amendments or revision. As long as she limits herself to recommending these changes and submits to
the proper procedure for constitutional amendments and revision, her mere recommendation need not be construed as an
unconstitutional act.

The foregoing discussion focused on the Presidents authority to propose constitutional amendments, since her
authority to propose new legislation is not in controversy. It has been an accepted practice for Presidents in this jurisdiction to
propose new legislation. One of the more prominent instances the practice is usually done is in the yearly State of the Nation
Address of the President to Congress. Moreover, the annual general appropriations bill has always been based on the budget
prepared by the President, which for all intents and purposes is a proposal for new legislation coming from the President. [179]

The suspensive clause in the MOA-AD viewed in light of the above-


discussed standards

Given the limited nature of the Presidents authority to propose constitutional amendments, she cannot guarantee to
any third party that the required amendments will eventually be put in place, nor even be submitted to a plebiscite. The most
she could do is submit these proposals as recommendations either to Congress or the people, in whom constituent powers are
vested.

Paragraph 7 on Governance of the MOA-AD states, however, that all provisions thereof which cannot be reconciled
with the present Constitution and laws shall come into force upon signing of a Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the
necessary changes to the legal framework. This stipulation does not bear the marks of a suspensive condition defined in civil
law as a future and uncertain event but of a term. It is not a question of whether the necessary changes to the legal framework
will be effected, but when. That there is no uncertainty being contemplated is plain from what follows, for the paragraph goes
on to state that the contemplated changes shall be with due regard to non derogation of prior agreements and within the
stipulated timeframe to be contained in the Comprehensive Compact.
Pursuant to this stipulation, therefore, it is mandatory for the GRP to effect the changes to the legal framework
contemplated in the MOA-AD which changes would include constitutional amendments, as discussed earlier. It bears noting
that,

By the time these changes are put in place, the MOA-AD itself
would be counted among the prior agreements from which there
could be no derogation.

What remains for discussion in the Comprehensive Compact would merely be the implementing details for these consensus
points and, notably, the deadline for effecting the contemplated changes to the legal framework.

Plainly, stipulation-paragraph 7 on GOVERNANCE is inconsistent with the limits of the Presidents authority to
propose constitutional amendments, it being a virtual guarantee that the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of the
Philippines will certainly be adjusted to conform to all the consensus points found in the MOA-AD. Hence, it must be struck
down as unconstitutional.

A comparison between the suspensive clause of the MOA-AD with a similar provision appearing in the 1996 final
peace agreement between the MNLF and the GRP is most instructive.

As a backdrop, the parties to the 1996 Agreement stipulated that it would be implemented in two phases. Phase
I covered a three-year transitional period involving the putting up of new administrative structures through Executive Order,
such as the Special Zone of Peace and Development (SZOPAD) and the Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development
(SPCPD), while Phase II covered the establishment of the new regional autonomous government through amendment or repeal
of R.A. No. 6734, which was then the Organic Act of the ARMM.

The stipulations on Phase II consisted of specific agreements on the structure of the expanded autonomous region
envisioned by the parties. To that extent, they are similar to the provisions of the MOA-AD. There is, however, a crucial
difference between the two agreements. While the MOA-AD virtually guarantees that the necessary changes to the legal
framework will be put in place, the GRP-MNLF final peace agreement states thus: Accordingly, these provisions [on Phase II]
shall be recommended by the GRP to Congress for incorporation in the amendatory or repealing law.

Concerns have been raised that the MOA-AD would have given rise to a binding international law obligation on the part of the
Philippines to change its Constitution in conformity thereto, on the ground that it may be considered either as a binding
agreement under international law, or a unilateral declaration of the Philippine government to the international community
that it would grant to the Bangsamoro people all the concessions therein stated. Neither ground finds sufficient support in
international law, however.

The MOA-AD, as earlier mentioned in the overview thereof, would have included foreign dignitaries as signatories. In
addition, representatives of other nations were invited to witness its signing in Kuala Lumpur. These circumstances readily lead
one to surmise that the MOA-AD would have had the status of a binding international agreement had it been signed. An
examination of the prevailing principles in international law, however, leads to the contrary conclusion.
The Decision on CHALLENGE TO JURISDICTION: LOM ACCORD AMNESTY[180] (the Lom Accord case) of the Special Court
of Sierra Leone is enlightening. The Lom Accord was a peace agreement signed on July 7, 1999 between the Government of
Sierra Leone and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), a rebel group with which the Sierra Leone Government had been in
armed conflict for around eight years at the time of signing. There were non-contracting signatories to the agreement, among
which were the Government of the Togolese Republic, the Economic Community of West African States, and the UN.

On January 16, 2002, after a successful negotiation between the UN Secretary-General and the Sierra Leone
Government, another agreement was entered into by the UN and that Government whereby the Special Court of Sierra Leone was
established. The sole purpose of the Special Court, an international court, was to try persons who bore the greatest responsibility
for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in the territory of Sierra Leone since
November 30, 1996.

Among the stipulations of the Lom Accord was a provision for the full pardon of the members of the RUF with respect
to anything done by them in pursuit of their objectives as members of that organization since the conflict began.

In the Lom Accord case, the Defence argued that the Accord created an internationally binding obligation not to
prosecute the beneficiaries of the amnesty provided therein, citing, among other things, the participation of foreign dignitaries
and international organizations in the finalization of that agreement. The Special Court, however, rejected this argument, ruling
that the Lome Accord is not a treaty and that it can only create binding obligations and rights between the parties in municipal
law, not in international law. Hence, the Special Court held, it is ineffective in depriving an international court like it of
jurisdiction.

37. In regard to the nature of a negotiated settlement of an internal armed conflict it is easy to assume and
to argue with some degree of plausibility, as Defence counsel for the defendants seem to have
done, that the mere fact that in addition to the parties to the conflict, the document formalizing
the settlement is signed by foreign heads of state or their representatives and representatives of
international organizations, means the agreement of the parties is internationalized so as to
create obligations in international law.

xxxx

40. Almost every conflict resolution will involve the parties to the conflict and the mediator or facilitator of
the settlement, or persons or bodies under whose auspices the settlement took place but who are
not at all parties to the conflict, are not contracting parties and who do not claim any obligation
from the contracting parties or incur any obligation from the settlement.

41. In this case, the parties to the conflict are the lawful authority of the State and the RUF which has
no status of statehood and is to all intents and purposes a faction within the state. The non-
contracting signatories of the Lom Agreement were moral guarantors of the principle that, in
the terms of Article XXXIV of the Agreement, this peace agreement is implemented with
integrity and in good faith by both parties. The moral guarantors assumed no legal obligation. It
is recalled that the UN by its representative appended, presumably for avoidance of doubt, an
understanding of the extent of the agreement to be implemented as not including certain international
crimes.

42. An international agreement in the nature of a treaty must create rights and obligations regulated by
international law so that a breach of its terms will be a breach determined under international law
which will also provide principle means of enforcement. The Lom Agreement created neither rights
nor obligations capable of being regulated by international law. An agreement such as the Lom
Agreement which brings to an end an internal armed conflict no doubt creates a factual situation
of restoration of peace that the international community acting through the Security Council may
take note of. That, however, will not convert it to an international agreement which creates an
obligation enforceable in international, as distinguished from municipal, law. A breach of the
terms of such a peace agreement resulting in resumption of internal armed conflict or creating a
threat to peace in the determination of the Security Council may indicate a reversal of the factual
situation of peace to be visited with possible legal consequences arising from the new situation of
conflict created. Such consequences such as action by the Security Council pursuant to Chapter VII
arise from the situation and not from the agreement, nor from the obligation imposed by it. Such
action cannot be regarded as a remedy for the breach. A peace agreement which settles
an internal armed conflict cannot be ascribed the same status as one which settles an
international armed conflict which, essentially, must be between two or more warring States. The
Lom Agreement cannot be characterised as an international instrument. x x x (Emphasis, italics and
underscoring supplied)

Similarly, that the MOA-AD would have been signed by representatives of States and international organizations not parties to
the Agreement would not have sufficed to vest in it a binding character under international law.

In another vein, concern has been raised that the MOA-AD would amount to a unilateral declaration of the Philippine
State, binding under international law, that it would comply with all the stipulations stated therein, with the result that it would
have to amend its Constitution accordingly regardless of the true will of the people. Cited as authority for this view is Australia
v. France,[181] also known as the Nuclear Tests Case, decided by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In the Nuclear Tests Case, Australia challenged before the ICJ the legality of Frances nuclear tests in the South
Pacific. France refused to appear in the case, but public statements from its President, and similar statements from other
French officials including its Minister of Defence, that its 1974 series of atmospheric tests would be its last, persuaded the ICJ to
dismiss the case.[182] Those statements, the ICJ held, amounted to a legal undertaking addressed to the international
community, which required no acceptance from other States for it to become effective.

Essential to the ICJ ruling is its finding that the French government intended to be bound to the international
community in issuing its public statements, viz:

43. It is well recognized that declarations made by way of unilateral acts, concerning legal or factual
situations, may have the effect of creating legal obligations. Declarations of this kind may be, and
often are, very specific. When it is the intention of the State making the declaration that it should
become bound according to its terms, that intention confers on the declaration the character of a
legal undertaking, the State being thenceforth legally required to follow a course of conduct
consistent with the declaration. An undertaking of this kind, if given publicly, and with an intent to
be bound, even though not made within the context of international negotiations, is binding. In
these circumstances, nothing in the nature of a quid pro quo nor any subsequent acceptance of the
declaration, nor even any reply or reaction from other States, is required for the declaration to take
effect, since such a requirement would be inconsistent with the strictly unilateral nature of the
juridical act by which the pronouncement by the State was made.

44. Of course, not all unilateral acts imply obligation; but a State may choose to take up a certain position
in relation to a particular matter with the intention of being boundthe intention is to be
ascertained by interpretation of the act. When States make statements by which their freedom of
action is to be limited, a restrictive interpretation is called for.

xxxx

51. In announcing that the 1974 series of atmospheric tests would be the last, the French Government
conveyed to the world at large, including the Applicant, its intention effectively to terminate these
tests. It was bound to assume that other States might take note of these statements and rely on
their being effective. The validity of these statements and their legal consequences must be
considered within the general framework of the security of international intercourse, and the
confidence and trust which are so essential in the relations among States. It is from the actual
substance of these statements, and from the circumstances attending their making, that the legal
implications of the unilateral act must be deduced. The objects of these statements are clear and
they were addressed to the international community as a whole, and the Court holds that they
constitute an undertaking possessing legal effect. The Court considers *270 that the President of
the Republic, in deciding upon the effective cessation of atmospheric tests, gave an undertaking to
the international community to which his words were addressed. x x x (Emphasis and underscoring
supplied)

As gathered from the above-quoted ruling of the ICJ, public statements of a state representative may be construed as a unilateral
declaration only when the following conditions are present: the statements were clearly addressed to the international community,
the state intended to be bound to that community by its statements, and that not to give legal effect to those statements would be
detrimental to the security of international intercourse. Plainly, unilateral declarations arise only in peculiar circumstances.

The limited applicability of the Nuclear Tests Case ruling was recognized in a later case decided by the ICJ entitled Burkina Faso
v. Mali,[183] also known as the Case Concerning the Frontier Dispute. The public declaration subject of that case was a statement
made by the President of Mali, in an interview by a foreign press agency, that Maliwould abide by the decision to be issued by a
commission of the Organization of African Unity on a frontier dispute then pending between Mali and Burkina Faso.
Unlike in the Nuclear Tests Case, the ICJ held that the statement of Malis President was not a unilateral act with legal
implications. It clarified that its ruling in the Nuclear Tests case rested on the peculiar circumstances surrounding the French
declaration subject thereof, to wit:

40. In order to assess the intentions of the author of a unilateral act, account must be taken of all the
factual circumstances in which the act occurred. For example, in the Nuclear Tests cases, the Court
took the view that since the applicant States were not the only ones concerned at the possible
continuance of atmospheric testing by the French Government, that Government's unilateral
declarations had conveyed to the world at large, including the Applicant, its intention effectively
to terminate these tests (I.C.J. Reports 1974, p. 269, para. 51; p. 474, para. 53). In the particular
circumstances of those cases, the French Government could not express an intention to be bound
otherwise than by unilateral declarations. It is difficult to see how it could have accepted the
terms of a negotiated solution with each of the applicants without thereby jeopardizing its
contention that its conduct was lawful. The circumstances of the present case are radically
different. Here, there was nothing to hinder the Parties from manifesting an intention to accept
the binding character of the conclusions of the Organization of African Unity Mediation
Commission by the normal method: a formal agreement on the basis of reciprocity. Since no
agreement of this kind was concluded between the Parties, the Chamber finds that there are no
grounds to interpret the declaration made by Mali's head of State on 11 April 1975 as a unilateral act
with legal implications in regard to the present case. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
Assessing the MOA-AD in light of the above criteria, it would not have amounted to a unilateral declaration on the
part of the Philippine State to the international community. The Philippine panel did not draft the same with the clear intention
of being bound thereby to the international community as a whole or to any State, but only to the MILF. While there were
States and international organizations involved, one way or another, in the negotiation and projected signing of the MOA-AD,
they participated merely as witnesses or, in the case of Malaysia, as facilitator. As held in the Lom Accord case, the mere fact
that in addition to the parties to the conflict, the peace settlement is signed by representatives of states and international
organizations does not mean that the agreement is internationalized so as to create obligations in international law.

Since the commitments in the MOA-AD were not addressed to States, not to give legal effect to such commitments
would not be detrimental to the security of international intercourse to the trust and confidence essential in the relations
among States.

In one important respect, the circumstances surrounding the MOA-AD are closer to that of Burkina Faso wherein, as
already discussed, the Mali Presidents statement was not held to be a binding unilateral declaration by the ICJ. As in that case,
there was also nothing to hinder the Philippine panel, had it really been its intention to be bound to other States, to manifest
that intention by formal agreement. Here, that formal agreement would have come about by the inclusion in the MOA-AD of a
clear commitment to be legally bound to the international community, not just the MILF, and by an equally clear indication that
the signatures of the participating states-representatives would constitute an acceptance of that commitment. Entering into
such a formal agreement would not have resulted in a loss of face for the Philippine government before the international
community, which was one of the difficulties that prevented the French Government from entering into a formal agreement
with other countries. That the Philippine panel did not enter into such a formal agreement suggests that it had no intention to
be bound to the international community. On that ground, the MOA-AD may not be considered a unilateral declaration under
international law.

The MOA-AD not being a document that can bind the Philippines under international law notwithstanding, respondents almost
consummated act of guaranteeing amendmentsto the legal framework is, by itself, sufficient to constitute grave abuse of
discretion. The grave abuse lies not in the fact that they considered, as a solution to the Moro Problem, the creation of a state
within a state, but in their brazen willingness to guarantee that Congress and the sovereign Filipino people would give their
imprimatur to their solution. Upholding such an act would amount to authorizing a usurpation of the constituent powers
vested only in Congress, a Constitutional Convention, or the people themselves through the process of initiative, for the only
way that the Executive can ensure the outcome of the amendment process is through an undue influence or interference with
that process.

The sovereign people may, if it so desired, go to the extent of giving up a portion of its own territory to the Moros for
the sake of peace, for it can change the Constitution in any it wants, so long as the change is not inconsistent with what, in
international law, is known as Jus Cogens.[184] Respondents, however, may not preempt it in that decision.

SUMMARY

The petitions are ripe for adjudication. The failure of respondents to consult the local government units or
communities affected constitutes a departure by respondents from their mandate under E.O. No. 3. Moreover, respondents
exceeded their authority by the mere act of guaranteeing amendments to the Constitution. Any alleged violation of the
Constitution by any branch of government is a proper matter for judicial review.
As the petitions involve constitutional issues which are of paramount public interest or of transcendental importance, the Court
grants the petitioners, petitioners-in-intervention and intervening respondents the requisite locus standi in keeping with the
liberal stance adopted in David v. Macapagal-Arroyo.

Contrary to the assertion of respondents that the non-signing of the MOA-AD and the eventual dissolution of the GRP Peace
Panel mooted the present petitions, the Court finds that the present petitions provide an exception to the moot and academic
principle in view of (a) the grave violation of the Constitution involved; (b) the exceptional character of the situation and
paramount public interest; (c) the need to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public; and (d)
the fact that the case is capable of repetition yet evading review.

The MOA-AD is a significant part of a series of agreements necessary to carry out the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace
signed by the government and the MILF back in June 2001. Hence, the present MOA-AD can be renegotiated or another one
drawn up that could contain similar or significantly dissimilar provisions compared to the original.

The Court, however, finds that the prayers for mandamus have been rendered moot in view of the respondents action in
providing the Court and the petitioners with the official copy of the final draft of the MOA-AD and its annexes.

The peoples right to information on matters of public concern under Sec. 7, Article III of the Constitution is in splendid
symmetry with the state policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest under Sec. 28, Article II of
the Constitution. The right to information guarantees the right of the people to demand information, while Section 28
recognizes the duty of officialdom to give information even if nobody demands. The complete and effective exercise of the right
to information necessitates that its complementary provision on public disclosure derive the same self-executory nature,
subject only to reasonable safeguards or limitations as may be provided by law.

The contents of the MOA-AD is a matter of paramount public concern involving public interest in the highest order. In declaring
that the right to information contemplates steps and negotiations leading to the consummation of the contract, jurisprudence
finds no distinction as to the executory nature or commercial character of the agreement.

An essential element of these twin freedoms is to keep a continuing dialogue or process of communication between
the government and the people. Corollary to these twin rights is the design for feedback mechanisms. The right to public
consultation was envisioned to be a species of these public rights.

At least three pertinent laws animate these constitutional imperatives and justify the exercise of the peoples right to be
consulted on relevant matters relating to the peace agenda.

One, E.O. No. 3 itself is replete with mechanics for continuing consultations on both national and local levels and for a principal
forum for consensus-building. In fact, it is the duty of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process to conduct regular
dialogues to seek relevant information, comments, advice, and recommendations from peace partners and concerned sectors
of society.

Two, Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 requires all national offices to conduct consultations before
any project or program critical to the environment and human ecology including those that may call for the eviction of a
particular group of people residing in such locality, is implemented therein. The MOA-AD is one peculiar program that
unequivocally and unilaterally vests ownership of a vast territory to the Bangsamoro people, which could pervasively and
drastically result to the diaspora or displacement of a great number of inhabitants from their total environment.

Three, Republic Act No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 provides for clear-cut procedure for the recognition
and delineation of ancestral domain, which entails, among other things, the observance of the free and prior informed consent
of the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples. Notably, the statute does not grant the Executive Department or
any government agency the power to delineate and recognize an ancestral domain claim by mere agreement or compromise.

The invocation of the doctrine of executive privilege as a defense to the general right to information or the specific right to
consultation is untenable. The various explicit legal provisions fly in the face of executive secrecy. In any event, respondents
effectively waived such defense after it unconditionally disclosed the official copies of the final draft of the MOA-AD, for judicial
compliance and public scrutiny.

IN SUM, the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the
pertinent consultation process, as mandated by E.O. No. 3, Republic Act No. 7160, and Republic Act No. 8371. The furtive
process by which the MOA-AD was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the legal authority, and amounts to a
whimsical, capricious, oppressive, arbitrary and despotic exercise thereof. It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a
virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined.

The MOA-AD cannot be reconciled with the present Constitution and laws. Not only its specific provisions but the very concept
underlying them, namely, the associative relationship envisioned between the GRP and the BJE, are unconstitutional, for the
concept presupposes that the associated entity is a state and implies that the same is on its way to independence.

While there is a clause in the MOA-AD stating that the provisions thereof inconsistent with the present legal framework will not
be effective until that framework is amended, the same does not cure its defect. The inclusion of provisions in the MOA-AD
establishing an associative relationship between the BJE and the Central Government is, itself, a violation of the Memorandum
of Instructions From The President dated March 1, 2001, addressed to the government peace panel. Moreover, as the clause is
worded, it virtually guarantees that the necessary amendments to the Constitution and the laws will eventually be put in
place. Neither the GRP Peace Panel nor the President herself is authorized to make such a guarantee. Upholding such an act
would amount to authorizing a usurpation of the constituent powers vested only in Congress, a Constitutional Convention, or
the people themselves through the process of initiative, for the only way that the Executive can ensure the outcome of the
amendment process is through an undue influence or interference with that process.

While the MOA-AD would not amount to an international agreement or unilateral declaration binding on the
Philippines under international law, respondents act of guaranteeing amendments is, by itself, already a constitutional violation
that renders the MOA-AD fatally defective.

WHEREFORE, respondents motion to dismiss is DENIED. The main and intervening petitions are GIVEN DUE COURSE
and hereby GRANTED.

The Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of
2001 is declared CONTRARY TO LAW AND THE CONSTITUTION.
SO ORDERED.

- Magalona v Ermita, 655 SCRA 476 (2011)

DECISION

CARPIO, J.:

The Case

This original action for the writs of certiorari and prohibition assails the constitutionality of Republic Act No.
95221 (RA 9522) adjusting the countrys archipelagic baselines and classifying the baseline regime of nearby
territories.

The Antecedents

In 1961, Congress passed Republic Act No. 3046 (RA 3046)2 demarcating the maritime baselines of the Philippines
as an archipelagic State.3 This law followed the framing of the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous
Zone in 1958 (UNCLOS I),4 codifying, among others, the sovereign right of States parties over their territorial sea,
the breadth of which, however, was left undetermined. Attempts to fill this void during the second round of
negotiations in Geneva in 1960 (UNCLOS II) proved futile. Thus, domestically, RA 3046 remained unchanged for
nearly five decades, save for legislation passed in 1968 (Republic Act No. 5446 [RA 5446]) correcting
typographical errors and reserving the drawing of baselines around Sabah in North Borneo.

In March 2009, Congress amended RA 3046 by enacting RA 9522, the statute now under scrutiny. The change was
prompted by the need to make RA 3046 compliant with the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of
the Sea (UNCLOS III),5 which the Philippines ratified on 27 February 1984.6 Among others, UNCLOS III
prescribes the water-land ratio, length, and contour of baselines of archipelagic States like the Philippines 7 and sets
the deadline for the filing of application for the extended continental shelf. 8 Complying with these requirements, RA
9522 shortened one baseline, optimized the location of some basepoints around the Philippine archipelago and
classified adjacent territories, namely, the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and the Scarborough Shoal, as regimes of
islands whose islands generate their own applicable maritime zones.

Petitioners, professors of law, law students and a legislator, in their respective capacities as citizens, taxpayers or x x
x legislators,9 as the case may be, assail the constitutionality of RA 9522 on two principal grounds, namely: (1) RA
9522 reduces Philippine maritime territory, and logically, the reach of the Philippine states sovereign power, in
violation of Article 1 of the 1987 Constitution,10 embodying the terms of the Treaty of Paris11 and ancillary
treaties,12 and (2) RA 9522 opens the countrys waters landward of the baselines to maritime passage by all vessels
and aircrafts, undermining Philippine sovereignty and national security, contravening the countrys nuclear-free
policy, and damaging marine resources, in violation of relevant constitutional provisions.13

In addition, petitioners contend that RA 9522s treatment of the KIG as regime of islands not only results in
the loss of a large maritime area but also prejudices the livelihood of subsistence fishermen. 14 To buttress their
argument of territorial diminution, petitioners facially attack RA 9522 for what it excluded and included its failure to
reference either the Treaty of Paris or Sabah and its use of UNCLOS IIIs framework of regime of islands to
determine the maritime zones of the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal.

Commenting on the petition, respondent officials raised threshold issues questioning (1) the petitions compliance
with the case or controversy requirement for judicial review grounded on petitioners alleged lack of locus standi and
(2) the propriety of the writs of certiorari and prohibition to assail the constitutionality of RA 9522. On the merits,
respondents defended RA 9522 as the countrys compliance with the terms of UNCLOS III, preserving Philippine
territory over the KIG or Scarborough Shoal. Respondents add that RA 9522 does not undermine the countrys
security, environment and economic interests or relinquish the Philippines claim over Sabah.

Respondents also question the normative force, under international law, of petitioners assertion that what
Spain ceded to the United States under the Treaty of Paris were the islands and all the waters found within the
boundaries of the rectangular area drawn under the Treaty of Paris.

We left unacted petitioners prayer for an injunctive writ.

The Issues

The petition raises the following issues:

1. Preliminarily
1. Whether petitioners possess locus standi to bring this suit; and

2. Whether the writs of certiorari and prohibition are the proper remedies to assail the constitutionality of RA
9522.

2. On the merits, whether RA 9522 is unconstitutional.

The Ruling of the Court

On the threshold issues, we hold that (1) petitioners possess locus standi to bring this suit as citizens and (2) the
writs of certiorari and prohibition are proper remedies to test the constitutionality of RA 9522. On the merits, we
find no basis to declare RA 9522 unconstitutional.

On the Threshold Issues

Petitioners Possess Locus

Standi as Citizens

Petitioners themselves undermine their assertion of locus standi as legislators and taxpayers because the petition
alleges neither infringement of legislative prerogative15 nor misuse of public funds,16 occasioned by the passage and
implementation of RA 9522. Nonetheless, we recognize petitioners locus standi as citizens with constitutionally
sufficient interest in the resolution of the merits of the case which undoubtedly raises issues of national significance
necessitating urgent resolution. Indeed, owing to the peculiar nature of RA 9522, it is understandably difficult to
find other litigants possessing a more direct and specific interest to bring the suit, thus satisfying one of the
requirements for granting citizenship standing.17

The Writs of Certiorari and Prohibition

Are Proper Remedies to Test

the Constitutionality of Statutes


In praying for the dismissal of the petition on preliminary grounds, respondents seek a strict observance of the
offices of the writs of certiorari and prohibition, noting that the writs cannot issue absent any showing of grave
abuse of discretion in the exercise of judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial powers on the part of respondents and
resulting prejudice on the part of petitioners.18

Respondents submission holds true in ordinary civil proceedings. When this Court exercises its constitutional power
of judicial review, however, we have, by tradition, viewed the writs of certiorari and prohibition as proper remedial
vehicles to test the constitutionality of statutes,19 and indeed, of acts of other branches of government.20 Issues of
constitutional import are sometimes crafted out of statutes which, while having no bearing on the personal interests
of the petitioners, carry such relevance in the life of this nation that the Court inevitably finds itself constrained to
take cognizance of the case and pass upon the issues raised, non-compliance with the letter of procedural rules
notwithstanding. The statute sought to be reviewed here is one such law.

RA 9522 is Not Unconstitutional

RA 9522 is a Statutory Tool

to Demarcate the Countrys

Maritime Zones and Continental

Shelf Under UNCLOS III, not to

Delineate Philippine Territory

Petitioners submit that RA 9522 dismembers a large portion of the national territory21 because it discards the pre-
UNCLOS III demarcation of Philippine territory under the Treaty of Paris and related treaties, successively encoded
in the definition of national territory under the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions. Petitioners theorize that this
constitutional definition trumps any treaty or statutory provision denying the Philippines sovereign control over
waters, beyond the territorial sea recognized at the time of the Treaty of Paris, that Spain supposedly ceded to the
United States. Petitioners argue that from the Treaty of Paris technical description, Philippine sovereignty over
territorial waters extends hundreds of nautical miles around the Philippine archipelago, embracing the rectangular
area delineated in the Treaty of Paris.22

Petitioners theory fails to persuade us.


UNCLOS III has nothing to do with the acquisition (or loss) of territory. It is a multilateral treaty
regulating, among others, sea-use rights over maritime zones (i.e., the territorial waters [12 nautical miles from the
baselines], contiguous zone [24 nautical miles from the baselines], exclusive economic zone [200 nautical miles
from the baselines]), and continental shelves that UNCLOS III delimits. 23 UNCLOS III was the culmination of
decades-long negotiations among United Nations members to codify norms regulating the conduct of States in the
worlds oceans and submarine areas, recognizing coastal and archipelagic States graduated authority over a limited
span of waters and submarine lands along their coasts.

On the other hand, baselines laws such as RA 9522 are enacted by UNCLOS III States parties to mark-out
specific basepoints along their coasts from which baselines are drawn, either straight or contoured, to serve as
geographic starting points to measure the breadth of the maritime zones and continental shelf. Article 48 of
UNCLOS III on archipelagic States like ours could not be any clearer:

Article 48. Measurement of the breadth of the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the
exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf. The breadth of the territorial sea, the
contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf shall be measured from
archipelagic baselines drawn in accordance with article 47. (Emphasis supplied)

Thus, baselines laws are nothing but statutory mechanisms for UNCLOS III States parties to delimit with
precision the extent of their maritime zones and continental shelves. In turn, this gives notice to the rest of the
international community of the scope of the maritime space and submarine areas within which States parties
exercise treaty-based rights, namely, the exercise of sovereignty over territorial waters (Article 2), the jurisdiction to
enforce customs, fiscal, immigration, and sanitation laws in the contiguous zone (Article 33), and the right to exploit
the living and non-living resources in the exclusive economic zone (Article 56) and continental shelf (Article 77).

Even under petitioners theory that the Philippine territory embraces the islands and all the waters within the
rectangular area delimited in the Treaty of Paris, the baselines of the Philippines would still have to be drawn in
accordance with RA 9522 because this is the only way to draw the baselines in conformity with UNCLOS III. The
baselines cannot be drawn from the boundaries or other portions of the rectangular area delineated in the Treaty of
Paris, but from the outermost islands and drying reefs of the archipelago. 24

UNCLOS III and its ancillary baselines laws play no role in the acquisition, enlargement or, as petitioners
claim, diminution of territory. Under traditional international law typology, States acquire (or conversely, lose)
territory through occupation, accretion, cession and prescription,25 not by executing multilateral treaties on the
regulations of sea-use rights or enacting statutes to comply with the treatys terms to delimit maritime zones and
continental shelves. Territorial claims to land features are outside UNCLOS III, and are instead governed by the
rules on general international law.26

RA 9522s Use of the Framework

of Regime of Islands to Determine the


Maritime Zones of the KIG and the

Scarborough Shoal, not Inconsistent

with the Philippines Claim of Sovereignty

Over these Areas

Petitioners next submit that RA 9522s use of UNCLOS IIIs regime of islands framework to draw the baselines, and
to measure the breadth of the applicable maritime zones of the KIG, weakens our territorial claim over that
area.27 Petitioners add that the KIGs (and Scarborough Shoals) exclusion from the Philippine archipelagic baselines
results in the loss of about 15,000 square nautical miles of territorial waters, prejudicing the livelihood of
subsistence fishermen.28 A comparison of the configuration of the baselines drawn under RA 3046 and RA 9522 and
the extent of maritime space encompassed by each law, coupled with a reading of the text of RA 9522 and its
congressional deliberations, vis--vis the Philippines obligations under UNCLOS III, belie this view.

The configuration of the baselines drawn under RA 3046 and RA 9522 shows that RA 9522 merely followed the
basepoints mapped by RA 3046, save for at least nine basepoints that RA 9522 skipped to optimize the location of
basepoints and adjust the length of one baseline (and thus comply with UNCLOS IIIs limitation on the maximum
length of baselines). Under RA 3046, as under RA 9522, the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal lie outside of the
baselines drawn around the Philippine archipelago. This undeniable cartographic fact takes the wind out of
petitioners argument branding RA 9522 as a statutory renunciation of the Philippines claim over the KIG, assuming
that baselines are relevant for this purpose.

Petitioners assertion of loss of about 15,000 square nautical miles of territorial waters under RA 9522 is similarly
unfounded both in fact and law. On the contrary, RA 9522, by optimizing the location of basepoints, increased the
Philippines total maritime space (covering its internal waters, territorial sea and exclusive economic zone) by
145,216 square nautical miles, as shown in the table below:29
Extent of maritime area using RA Extent of maritime area
3046, as amended, taking into using RA 9522, taking
account the Treaty of Paris into account UNCLOS
delimitation (in square nautical III (in square nautical
miles) miles)

Internal or
archipelagic
waters 166,858 171,435

Territorial 274,136 32,106


Sea
Exclusive
Economic
Zone 382,669

TOTAL 440,994 586,210

Thus, as the map below shows, the reach of the exclusive economic zone drawn under RA 9522 even extends way
beyond the waters covered by the rectangular demarcation under the Treaty of Paris. Of course, where there are
overlapping exclusive economic zones of opposite or adjacent States, there will have to be a delineation of maritime
boundaries in accordance with UNCLOS III.30

Further, petitioners argument that the KIG now lies outside Philippine territory because the baselines that RA 9522
draws do not enclose the KIG is negated by RA 9522 itself. Section 2 of the law commits to text the Philippines
continued claim of sovereignty and jurisdiction over the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal:

SEC. 2. The baselines in the following areas over which the Philippines likewise
exercises sovereignty and jurisdiction shall be determined as Regime of Islands under the
Republic of the Philippines consistent with Article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the
Law of the Sea (UNCLOS):
a) The Kalayaan Island Group as constituted under Presidential Decree No. 1596 and

b) Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal. (Emphasis supplied)

Had Congress in RA 9522 enclosed the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal as part of the Philippine
archipelago, adverse legal effects would have ensued. The Philippines would have committed a breach of two
provisions of UNCLOS III. First, Article 47 (3) of UNCLOS III requires that [t]he drawing of such baselines shall
not depart to any appreciable extent from the general configuration of the archipelago. Second, Article 47 (2) of
UNCLOS III requires that the length of the baselines shall not exceed 100 nautical miles, save for three per cent
(3%) of the total number of baselines which can reach up to 125 nautical miles. 31

Although the Philippines has consistently claimed sovereignty over the KIG32 and the Scarborough Shoal
for several decades, these outlying areas are located at an appreciable distance from the nearest shoreline of the
Philippine archipelago,33 such that any straight baseline loped around them from the nearest basepoint will
inevitably depart to an appreciable extent from the general configuration of the archipelago.
The principal sponsor of RA 9522 in the Senate, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, took pains to
emphasize the foregoing during the Senate deliberations:

What we call the Kalayaan Island Group or what the rest of the world call[] the Spratlys
and the Scarborough Shoal are outside our archipelagic baseline because if we put them inside our
baselines we might be accused of violating the provision of international law which states: The
drawing of such baseline shall not depart to any appreciable extent from the general
configuration of the archipelago. So sa loob ng ating baseline, dapat magkalapit ang mga islands.
Dahil malayo ang Scarborough Shoal, hindi natin masasabing malapit sila sa atin although we
are still allowed by international law to claim them as our own.

This is called contested islands outside our configuration. We see that our archipelago is defined
by the orange line which [we] call[] archipelagic baseline. Ngayon, tingnan ninyo ang maliit na
circle doon sa itaas, that is Scarborough Shoal, itong malaking circle sa ibaba, that is Kalayaan
Group or the Spratlys. Malayo na sila sa ating archipelago kaya kung ilihis pa natin ang dating
archipelagic baselines para lamang masama itong dalawang circles, hindi na sila magkalapit at
baka hindi na tatanggapin ng United Nations because of the rule that it should follow the natural
configuration of the archipelago.34 (Emphasis supplied)

Similarly, the length of one baseline that RA 3046 drew exceeded UNCLOS IIIs limits. The need to shorten
this baseline, and in addition, to optimize the location of basepoints using current maps, became imperative as
discussed by respondents:

[T]he amendment of the baselines law was necessary to enable the Philippines to draw
the outer limits of its maritime zones including the extended continental shelf in the manner
provided by Article 47 of [UNCLOS III]. As defined by R.A. 3046, as amended by R.A. 5446, the
baselines suffer from some technical deficiencies, to wit:

1. The length of the baseline across Moro Gulf (from Middle of 3 Rock Awash to Tongquil Point) is
140.06 nautical miles x x x. This exceeds the maximum length allowed under Article 47(2) of the
[UNCLOS III], which states that The length of such baselines shall not exceed 100 nautical miles,
except that up to 3 per cent of the total number of baselines enclosing any archipelago may exceed
that length, up to a maximum length of 125 nautical miles.
2. The selection of basepoints is not optimal. At least 9 basepoints can be skipped or deleted from the
baselines system. This will enclose an additional 2,195 nautical miles of water.
3. Finally, the basepoints were drawn from maps existing in 1968, and not established by geodetic
survey methods. Accordingly, some of the points, particularly along the west coasts of Luzon
down to Palawan were later found to be located either inland or on water, not on low-water line
and drying reefs as prescribed by Article 47. 35

Hence, far from surrendering the Philippines claim over the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal, Congress
decision to classify the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal as Regime[s] of Islands under the Republic of the
Philippines consistent with Article 12136 of UNCLOS III manifests the Philippine States responsible observance of
its pacta sunt servanda obligation under UNCLOS III. Under Article 121 of UNCLOS III, any naturally formed area
of land, surrounded by water, which is above water at high tide, such as portions of the KIG, qualifies under the
category of regime of islands, whose islands generate their own applicable maritime zones. 37

Statutory Claim Over Sabah under

RA 5446 Retained

Petitioners argument for the invalidity of RA 9522 for its failure to textualize the Philippines claim over Sabah in
North Borneo is also untenable. Section 2 of RA 5446, which RA 9522 did not repeal, keeps open the door for
drawing the baselines of Sabah:

Section 2. The definition of the baselines of the territorial sea of the Philippine
Archipelago as provided in this Act is without prejudice to the delineation of the baselines of
the territorial sea around the territory of Sabah, situated in North Borneo, over which the
Republic of the Philippines has acquired dominion and sovereignty. (Emphasis supplied)

UNCLOS III and RA 9522 not

Incompatible with the Constitutions

Delineation of Internal Waters

As their final argument against the validity of RA 9522, petitioners contend that the law unconstitutionally converts
internal waters into archipelagic waters, hence subjecting these waters to the right of innocent and sea lanes passage
under UNCLOS III, including overflight. Petitioners extrapolate that these passage rights indubitably expose
Philippine internal waters to nuclear and maritime pollution hazards, in violation of the Constitution. 38

Whether referred to as Philippine internal waters under Article I of the Constitution39 or as archipelagic waters under
UNCLOS III (Article 49 [1]), the Philippines exercises sovereignty over the body of water lying landward of the
baselines, including the air space over it and the submarine areas underneath. UNCLOS III affirms this:

Article 49. Legal status of archipelagic waters, of the air space over archipelagic waters
and of their bed and subsoil.

1. The sovereignty of an archipelagic State extends to the waters enclosed by


the archipelagic baselines drawn in accordance with article 47, described as
archipelagic waters, regardless of their depth or distance from the coast.
2. This sovereignty extends to the air space over the archipelagic waters, as
well as to their bed and subsoil, and the resources contained therein.
xxxx

4. The regime of archipelagic sea lanes passage established in this Part shall not in other
respects affect the status of the archipelagic waters, including the sea lanes, or the exercise by
the archipelagic State of its sovereignty over such waters and their air space, bed and
subsoil, and the resources contained therein. (Emphasis supplied)

The fact of sovereignty, however, does not preclude the operation of municipal and international law norms
subjecting the territorial sea or archipelagic waters to necessary, if not marginal, burdens in the interest of
maintaining unimpeded, expeditious international navigation, consistent with the international law principle of
freedom of navigation. Thus, domestically, the political branches of the Philippine government, in the competent
discharge of their constitutional powers, may pass legislation designating routes within the archipelagic waters to
regulate innocent and sea lanes passage.40 Indeed, bills drawing nautical highways for sea lanes passage are now
pending in Congress.41

In the absence of municipal legislation, international law norms, now codified in UNCLOS III, operate to
grant innocent passage rights over the territorial sea or archipelagic waters, subject to the treatys limitations and
conditions for their exercise.42 Significantly, the right of innocent passage is a customary international law, 43 thus
automatically incorporated in the corpus of Philippine law.44 No modern State can validly invoke its sovereignty to
absolutely forbid innocent passage that is exercised in accordance with customary international law without risking
retaliatory measures from the international community.

The fact that for archipelagic States, their archipelagic waters are subject to both the right of innocent
passage and sea lanes passage45 does not place them in lesser footing vis--vis continental coastal States which are
subject, in their territorial sea, to the right of innocent passage and the right of transit passage through international
straits. The imposition of these passage rights through archipelagic waters under UNCLOS III was a concession by
archipelagic States, in exchange for their right to claim all the waters landward of their baselines, regardless of their
depth or distance from the coast, as archipelagic waters subject to their territorial sovereignty. More importantly,
the recognition of archipelagic States archipelago and the waters enclosed by their baselines as one cohesive entity
prevents the treatment of their islands as separate islands under UNCLOS III. 46 Separate islands generate their own
maritime zones, placing the waters between islands separated by more than 24 nautical miles beyond the States
territorial sovereignty, subjecting these waters to the rights of other States under UNCLOS III. 47

Petitioners invocation of non-executory constitutional provisions in Article II (Declaration of Principles


and State Policies)48 must also fail. Our present state of jurisprudence considers the provisions in Article II as mere
legislative guides, which, absent enabling legislation, do not embody judicially enforceable constitutional rights x x
x.49 Article II provisions serve as guides in formulating and interpreting implementing legislation, as well as in
interpreting executory provisions of the Constitution. Although Oposa v. Factoran50treated the right to a healthful
and balanced ecology under Section 16 of Article II as an exception, the present petition lacks factual basis to
substantiate the claimed constitutional violation. The other provisions petitioners cite, relating to the protection of
marine wealth (Article XII, Section 2, paragraph 2 51) and subsistence fishermen (Article XIII, Section 7 52), are not
violated by RA 9522.
In fact, the demarcation of the baselines enables the Philippines to delimit its exclusive economic zone,
reserving solely to the Philippines the exploitation of all living and non-living resources within such zone. Such a
maritime delineation binds the international community since the delineation is in strict observance of UNCLOS III.
If the maritime delineation is contrary to UNCLOS III, the international community will of course reject it and will
refuse to be bound by it.

UNCLOS III favors States with a long coastline like the Philippines. UNCLOS III creates a sui
generis maritime space the exclusive economic zone in waters previously part of the high seas. UNCLOS III grants
new rights to coastal States to exclusively exploit the resources found within this zone up to 200 nautical
miles.53 UNCLOS III, however, preserves the traditional freedom of navigation of other States that attached to this
zone beyond the territorial sea before UNCLOS III.

RA 9522 and the Philippines Maritime Zones

Petitioners hold the view that, based on the permissive text of UNCLOS III, Congress was not bound to
pass RA 9522.54 We have looked at the relevant provision of UNCLOS III 55 and we find petitioners reading
plausible. Nevertheless, the prerogative of choosing this option belongs to Congress, not to this Court. Moreover, the
luxury of choosing this option comes at a very steep price. Absent an UNCLOS III compliant baselines law, an
archipelagic State like the Philippines will find itself devoid of internationally acceptable baselines from where the
breadth of its maritime zones and continental shelf is measured. This is recipe for a two-fronted disaster: first, it
sends an open invitation to the seafaring powers to freely enter and exploit the resources in the waters and submarine
areas around our archipelago; and second, it weakens the countrys case in any international dispute over Philippine
maritime space. These are consequences Congress wisely avoided.

The enactment of UNCLOS III compliant baselines law for the Philippine archipelago and adjacent areas,
as embodied in RA 9522, allows an internationally-recognized delimitation of the breadth of the Philippines
maritime zones and continental shelf. RA 9522 is therefore a most vital step on the part of the Philippines in
safeguarding its maritime zones, consistent with the Constitution and our national interest.

WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the petition.

SO ORDERED.

C. People

1. Definition
As inhabitants, Article III, Sections 1 &2; Article II, Sections 15 & 16
Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of
law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any
purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except
upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under
oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

Section 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and
instill health consciousness among them.

Section 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and
healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

As electors, Article VII, Section 4; Article XVI, Section 2

Section 4. The President and the Vice-President shall be elected by direct vote of the people for a
term of six years which shall begin at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the day of
the election and shall end at noon of the same date, six years thereafter. The President shall not
be eligible for any re-election. No person who has succeeded as President and has served as such
for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time.

Section 2. The Congress may, by law, adopt a new name for the country, a national
anthem, or a national seal, which shall all be truly reflective and symbolic of the ideals,
history, and traditions of the people. Such law shall take effect only upon its ratification
by the people in a national referendum.

As citizens. Article II, Sections 1 & 4; Article III, Section 7


Section 1. The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all
government authority emanates from them.

Section 4. The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people. The Government may call
upon the people to defend the State and, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens may be required, under
conditions provided by law, to render personal, military or civil service.

D. Government

1. Definition
- Government of the Republic of the Philippines defined, Sec 2 (1)
Administrative Code
(1) "Government of the Republic of the Philippines" refers to the corporate governmental entity through
which the functions of government are exercised throughout the Philippines, including, save as the
contrary appears from the context, the various arms through which political authority is made effective in
the Philippines, whether pertaining to the autonomous regions, the provincial, city, municipal or
barangay subdivisions or other forms of local government.

2. Constituent vs Ministrant functions


Traditionally, the functions of government have been classified into constituent, which are mandatory for the
Government to perform because they constitute the very bonds of society, such as the maintenance of peace and
order, regulation of property and property rights, the administration of justice, etc; and ministrant, those
intended to promote the welfare, progress and prosperity of the people, and which are merely optional for
Government to perform.

3. Parens Patriae
- Government v Monte de Piedad, 35 Phil 728 (1916)

G.R. No. L-9959 December 13, 1916

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, represented by the Treasurer of the Philippine
Islands,plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
EL MONTE DE PIEDAD Y CAJA DE AHORRAS DE MANILA, defendant-appellant.

William A. Kincaid and Thomas L. Hartigan for appellant.


Attorney-General Avanceña for appellee.

TRENT, J.:

About $400,000, were subscribed and paid into the treasury of the Philippine Islands by the inhabitants of
the Spanish Dominions of the relief of those damaged by the earthquake which took place in the
Philippine Islands on June 3, 1863. Subsequent thereto and on October 6 of that year, a central relief
board was appointed, by authority of the King of Spain, to distribute the moneys thus voluntarily
contributed. After a thorough investigation and consideration, the relief board allotted $365,703.50 to the
various sufferers named in its resolution, dated September 22, 1866, and, by order of the Governor-
General of the Philippine Islands, a list of these allotments, together with the names of those entitled
thereto, was published in the Official Gazette of Manila dated April 7, 1870. There was later distributed,
inaccordance with the above-mentioned allotments, the sum of $30,299.65, leaving a balance of
S365,403.85 for distribution. Upon the petition of the governing body of the Monte de Piedad, dated
February 1, 1833, the Philippine Government, by order dated the 1st of that month, directed its treasurer
to turn over to the Monte de Piedad the sum of $80,000 of the relief fund in installments of $20,000 each.
These amounts were received on the following dates: February 15, March 12, April 14, and June 2, 1883,
and are still in the possession of the Monte de Piedad. On account of various petitions of the persons,
and heirs of others to whom the above-mentioned allotments were made by the central relief board for the
payment of those amounts, the Philippine Islands to bring suit against the Monte de Piedad a recover,
"through the Attorney-General and in representation of the Government of the Philippine Islands," the
$80.000, together with interest, for the benefit of those persons or their heirs appearing in the list of
names published in the Official Gazette instituted on May 3, 1912, by the Government of the Philippine
Islands, represented by the Insular Treasurer, and after due trial, judgment was entered in favor of the
plaintiff for the sum of $80,000 gold or its equivalent in Philippine currency, together with legal interest
from February 28, 1912, and the costs of the cause. The defendant appealed and makes the following
assignment of errors:

1. The court erred in not finding that the eighty thousand dollars ($80,000), give to the Monte de
Piedad y Caja de Ahorros, were so given as a donation subject to one condition, to wit: the return
of such sum of money to the Spanish Government of these Islands, within eight days following
the day when claimed, in case the Supreme Government of Spain should not approve the action
taken by the former government.
2. The court erred in not having decreed that this donation had been cleared; said eighty
thousand dollars ($80,000) being at present the exclusive property of the appellant the Monte de
Piedad y Caja de Ahorros.

3. That the court erred in stating that the Government of the Philippine Islands has subrogated
the Spanish Government in its rights, as regards an important sum of money resulting from a
national subscription opened by reason of the earthquake of June 3, 1863, in these Island.

4. That the court erred in not declaring that Act Numbered 2109, passed by the Philippine
Legislature on January 30, 1912, is unconstitutional.

5. That the court erred in holding in its decision that there is no title for the prescription of this suit
brought by the Insular Government against the Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros for the
reimbursement of the eighty thousand dollars ($80,000) given to it by the late Spanish
Government of these Islands.

6. That the court erred in sentencing the Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros to reimburse the
Philippine Government in the sum of eighty thousand dollars ($80,000) gold coin, or the
equivalent thereof in the present legal tender currency in circulation, with legal interest thereon
from February 28th, 1912, and the costs of this suit.

In the royal order of June 29, 1879, the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands was directed to inform
the home Government in what manner the indemnity might be paid to which, by virtue of the resolutions
of the relief board, the persons who suffered damage by the earthquake might be entitled, in order to
perform the sacred obligation which the Government of Spain had assumed toward the donors.

The next pertinent document in order is the defendant's petition, dated February 1, 1883, addressed to
the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands, which reads:

Board of Directors of the Monte de Piedad of Manila Presidencia.

Excellency: The Board of Directors of the Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros of Manila informs
your Excellency, First: That the funds which it has up to the present been able to dispose of have
been exhausted in loans on jewelry, and there only remains the sum of one thousand and odd
pesos, which will be expended between to-day and day after tomorrow. Second: That, to maintain
the credit of the establishment, which would be greatly injured were its operations suspended, it is
necessary to procure money. Third: That your Excellency has proposed to His Majesty's
Government to apply to the funds of the Monte de Piedad a part of the funds held in the treasury
derived form the national subscription for the relief of the distress caused by the earthquake of
1863. Fourth: That in the public treasury there is held at the disposal of the central earthquake
relief board over $1090,000 which was deposited in the said treasury by order of your general
Government, it having been transferred thereto from the Spanish-Filipino Bank where it had been
held. fifth: That in the straightened circumstances of the moment, your Excellency can, to avert
impending disaster to the Monte de Piedad, order that, out of that sum of one hundred thousand
pesos held in the Treasury at the disposal of the central relief board, there be transferred to
the Monte de Piedad the sum of $80,000, there to be held under the same conditions as at
present in the Treasury, to wit, at the disposal of the Relief Board. Sixth: That should this transfer
not be approved for any reason, either because of the failure of His Majesty's Government to
approve the proposal made by your Excellency relative to the application to the needs of
the Monte de Piedad of a pat of the subscription intended to believe the distress caused by the
earthquake of 1863, or for any other reason, the board of directors of the Monte de
Piedad obligates itself to return any sums which it may have received on account of the eighty
thousand pesos, or the whole thereof, should it have received the same, by securing a loan from
whichever bank or banks may lend it the money at the cheapest rate upon the security of pawned
jewelry. — This is an urgent measure to save the Monte de Piedad in the present crisis and the
board of directors trusts to secure your Excellency's entire cooperation and that of the other
officials who have take part in the transaction.

The Governor-General's resolution on the foregoing petition is as follows:

GENERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES.


MANILA, February 1, 1883.

In view of the foregoing petition addressed to me by the board of directors of the Monte de
Piedad of this city, in which it is stated that the funds which the said institution counted upon are
nearly all invested in loans on jewelry and that the small account remaining will scarcely suffice to
cover the transactions of the next two days, for which reason it entreats the general Government
that, in pursuance of its telegraphic advice to H. M. Government, the latter direct that there be
turned over to said Monte de Piedad $80,000 out of the funds in the public treasury obtained from
the national subscription for the relief of the distress caused by the earthquake of 1863, said
board obligating itself to return this sum should H. M. Government, for any reason, not approve
the said proposal, and for this purpose it will procure funds by means of loans raised on pawned
jewelry; it stated further that if the aid so solicited is not furnished, it will be compelled to suspend
operations, which would seriously injure the credit of so beneficient an institution; and in view of
the report upon the matter made by the Intendencia General de Hacienda; and considering the
fact that the public treasury has on hand a much greater sum from the source mentioned than
that solicited; and considering that this general Government has submitted for the determination
of H. M. Government that the balance which, after strictly applying the proceeds obtained from
the subscription referred to, may remain as a surplus should be delivered to the Monte de Piedad,
either as a donation, or as a loan upon the security of the credit of the institution, believing that in
so doing the wishes of the donors would be faithfully interpreted inasmuch as those wishes were
no other than to relieve distress, an act of charity which is exercised in the highest degree by
the Monte de Piedad, for it liberates needy person from the pernicious effects of usury; and

Considering that the lofty purposes that brought about the creation of the pious institution referred
to would be frustrated, and that the great and laudable work of its establishment, and that the
great and laudable and valuable if the aid it urgently seeks is not granted, since the suspension of
its operations would seriously and regrettably damage the ever-growing credit of the Monte de
Piedad; and

Considering that if such a thing would at any time cause deep distress in the public mind, it might
be said that at the present juncture it would assume the nature of a disturbance of public order
because of the extreme poverty of the poorer classes resulting from the late calamities, and
because it is the only institution which can mitigate the effects of such poverty; and

Considering that no reasonable objection can be made to granting the request herein contained,
for the funds in question are sufficiently secured in the unlikely event that H> M. Government
does not approve the recommendation mentioned, this general Government, in the exercise of
the extraordinary powers conferred upon it and in conformity with the report of the Intendencia de
Hacienda, resolves as follows:

First. Authority is hereby given to deliver to the Monte de Piedad, out of the sum held in the public
treasury of these Islands obtained from the national subscription opened by reason of the
earthquakes of 1863, amounts up to the sum $80,000, as its needs may require, in installments of
$20,000.
Second. The board of directors of the Monte de Piedad is solemnly bound to return, within eight
days after demand, the sums it may have so received, if H. M. Government does not approve this
resolution.

Third. The Intendencia General de Hacienda shall forthwith, and in preference to all other work,
proceed to prepare the necessary papers so that with the least possible delay the payment
referred to may be made and the danger that menaces the Monte de Piedad of having to
suspend its operations may be averted.

H. M. Government shall be advised hereof. lawphi1.net

(Signed) P. DE RIVERA.

By the royal order of December 3, 1892, the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands was ordered to
"inform this ministerio what is the total sum available at the present time, taking into consideration the
sums delivered to the Monte de Piedad pursuant to the decree issued by your general Government on
February 1, 1883," and after the rights of the claimants, whose names were published in the Official
Gazette of Manila on April 7, 1870, and their heirs had been established, as therein provided, as such
persons "have an unquestionable right to be paid the donations assigned to them therein, your general
Government shall convoke them all within a reasonable period and shall pay their shares to such as shall
identify themselves, without regard to their financial status," and finally "that when all the proceedings and
operations herein mentioned have been concluded and the Government can consider itself free from all
kinds of claims on the part of those interested in the distribution of the funds deposited in the vaults of the
Treasury, such action may be taken as the circumstances shall require, after first consulting the relief
board and your general Government and taking account of what sums have been delivered to the Monte
de Piedad and those that were expended in 1888 to relieve public calamities," and "in order that all the
points in connection with the proceedings had as a result of the earthquake be clearly understood, it is
indispensable that the offices hereinbefore mentioned comply with the provisions contained in paragraphs
2 and 3 of the royal order of June 25, 1879." On receipt of this Finance order by the Governor-General,
the Department of Finance was called upon for a report in reference to the $80,000 turned over to the
defendant, and that Department's report to the Governor-General dated June 28, 1893, reads:

Intendencia General de Hacienda de Filipinas (General Treasury of the Philippines) —


Excellency. — By Royal Order No. 1044 of December 3, last, it is provided that the persons who
sustained losses by the earthquakes that occurred in your capital in the year 1863 shall be paid
the amounts allotted to them out of the sums sent from Spain for this purpose, with observance of
the rules specified in the said royal order, one of them being that before making the payment to
the interested parties the assets shall be reduced to money. These assets, during the long period
of time that has elapsed since they were turned over to the Treasury of the Philippine Islands,
were used to cover the general needs of the appropriation, a part besides being invested in the
relief of charitable institutions and another part to meet pressing needs occasioned by public
calamities. On January 30, last, your Excellency was please to order the fulfillment of that
sovereign mandate and referred the same to this Intendencia for its information and the purposes
desired (that is, for compliance with its directions and, as aforesaid, one of these being the
liquidation, recovery, and deposit with the Treasury of the sums paid out of that fund and which
were expended in a different way from that intended by the donors) and this Intendencia believed
the moment had arrived to claim from the board of directors of the Monte de Piedad y Caja de
Ahorros the sum of 80,000 pesos which, by decree of your general Government of the date of
February 1, 1883, was loaned to it out of the said funds, the (Monte de Piedad) obligating itself to
return the same within the period of eight days if H. M. Government did not approve the delivery.
On this Intendencia's demanding from the Monte de Piedad the eighty thousand pesos, thus
complying with the provisions of the Royal Order, it was to be supposed that no objection to its
return would be made by the Monte de Piedad for, when it received the loan, it formally engaged
itself to return it; and, besides, it was indisputable that the moment to do so had arrived,
inasmuch as H. M. Government, in ordering that the assets of the earthquake relief fund should
he collected, makes express mention of the 80,000 pesos loaned to the Monte de Piedad, without
doubt considering as sufficient the period of ten years during which it has been using this large
sum which lawfully belongs to their persons. This Intendencia also supposed that the Monte de
Piedad no longer needed the amount of that loan, inasmuch as, far from investing it in beneficient
transactions, it had turned the whole amount into the voluntary deposit funds bearing 5 per cent
interests, the result of this operation being that the debtor loaned to the creditor on interest what
the former had gratuitously received. But the Monte de Piedad, instead of fulfilling the promise it
made on receiving the sum, after repeated demands refused to return the money on the ground
that only your Excellency, and not the Intendencia (Treasury), is entitled to order the
reimbursement, taking no account of the fact that this Intendencia was acting in the discharge of
a sovereign command, the fulfillment of which your Excellency was pleased to order; and on the
further ground that the sum of 80,000 pesos which it received from the fund intended for the
earthquake victims was not received as a loan, but as a donation, this in the opinion of
this Intendencia, erroneously interpreting both the last royal order which directed the
apportionment of the amount of the subscription raised in the year 1863 and the superior decree
which granted the loan, inasmuch as in this letter no donation is made to the Monte de Piedad of
the 80,000 pesos, but simply a loan; besides, no donation whatever could be made of funds
derived from a private subscription raised for a specific purpose, which funds are already
distributed and the names of the beneficiaries have been published in the Gaceta, there being
lacking only the mere material act of the delivery, which has been unduly delayed. In view of the
unexpected reply made by the Monte de Piedad, and believing it useless to insist further in the
matter of the claim for the aforementioned loan, or to argue in support thereof,
this Intendencia believes the intervention of your Excellency necessary in this matter, if the royal
Order No. 1044 of December 3, last, is to be complied with, and for this purpose I beg your
Excellency kindly to order the Monte de Piedad to reimburse within the period of eight days the
80,000 which it owes, and that you give this Intendencia power to carry out the provisions of the
said royal order. I must call to the attention of your Excellency that the said pious establishment,
during the last few days and after demand was made upon it, has endorsed to the Spanish-
Filipino Bank nearly the whole of the sum which it had on deposit in the general deposit funds.

The record in the case under consideration fails to disclose any further definite action taken by either the
Philippine Government or the Spanish Government in regard to the $80,000 turned over to the Monte de
Piedad.

In the defendant's general ledger the following entries appear: "Public Treasury: February 15, 1883,
$20,000; March 12, 1883, $20,000; April 14, 1883, $20,000; June 2, 1883, $20,000, total $80,000." The
book entry for this total is as follows: "To the public Treasury derived from the subscription for the
earthquake of 1863, $80,000 received from general Treasury as a returnable loan, and without interest."
The account was carried in this manner until January 1, 1899, when it was closed by transferring the
amount to an account called "Sagrada Mitra," which latter account was a loan of $15,000 made to the
defendant by the Archbishop of Manila, without interest, thereby placing the "Sagrada Mitra" account at
$95,000 instead of $15,000. The above-mentioned journal entry for January 1, 1899, reads: "Sagrada
Mitra and subscription, balance of these two account which on this date are united in accordance with an
order of the Exmo. Sr. Presidente of the Council transmitted verbally to the Presidente Gerente of these
institutions, $95,000."

On March 16, 1902, the Philippine government called upon the defendant for information concerning the
status of the $80,000 and received the following reply:

MANILA, March 31, 1902.

To the Attorney-General of the Department of Justice of the Philippine Islands.

SIR: In reply to your courteous letter of the 16th inst., in which you request information from this
office as to when and for what purpose the Spanish Government delivered to the Monte de
Piedad eighty thousand pesos obtained from the subscription opened in connection with the
earthquake of 1863, as well as any other information that might be useful for the report which
your office is called upon to furnish, I must state to your department that the books kept in these
Pious Institutions, and which have been consulted for the purpose, show that on the 15th of
February, 1883, they received as a reimbursable loan and without interest, twenty thousand
pesos, which they deposited with their own funds. On the same account and on each of the dates
of March 12, April 14 and June 2 of the said year, 1883, they also received and turned into their
funds a like sum of twenty thousand pesos, making a total of eighty thousand pesos. — (Signed)
Emilio Moreta.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a literal copy of that found in the letter book No. 2 of those
Pious Institutions.

Manila, November 19, 1913


(Sgd.) EMILIO LAZCANOTEGUI,
Secretary

(Sgd.) O. K. EMILIO MORETA,


Managing Director.

The foregoing documentary evidence shows the nature of the transactions which took place between the
Government of Spain and the Philippine Government on the one side and the Monte de Piedad on the
other, concerning the $80,000. The Monte de Piedad, after setting forth in its petition to the Governor-
General its financial condition and its absolute necessity for more working capital, asked that out of the
sum of $100,000 held in the Treasury of the Philippine Islands, at the disposal of the central relief board,
there be transferred to it the sum of $80,000 to be held under the same conditions, to wit, "at the disposal
of the relief board." The Monte de Piedad agreed that if the transfer of these funds should not be
approved by the Government of Spain, the same would be returned forthwith. It did not ask that the
$80,000 be given to it as a donation. The Governor-General, after reciting the substance of the petition,
stated that "this general Government has submitted for the determination of H. M. Government that the
balance which, after strictly applying the proceeds obtained from the subscription referred to, may remain
as a surplus, should be delivered to the Monte de Piedad, either as a donation, or as a loan upon the
security of the credit of the institution," and "considering that no reasonable objection can be made to
granting the request herein contained," directed the transfer of the $80,000 to be made with the
understanding that "the Board of Directors of the Monte de Piedad is solemnly bound to return, within
eight days after demand, the sums it may have so received, if H. M. Government does not approve this
resolution." It will be noted that the first and only time the word "donation" was used in connection with the
$80,000 appears in this resolution of the Governor-General. It may be inferred from the royal orders that
the Madrid Government did tacitly approve of the transfer of the $80,000 to the Monte de Piedad as a
loan without interest, but that Government certainly did not approve such transfer as a donation for the
reason that the Governor-General was directed by the royal order of December 3, 1892, to inform the
Madrid Government of the total available sum of the earthquake fund, "taking into consideration the sums
delivered to the Monte de Piedad pursuant to the decree issued by your general Government on February
1, 1883." This language, nothing else appearing, might admit of the interpretation that the Madrid
Government did not intend that the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands should include the
$80,000 in the total available sum, but when considered in connection with the report of the Department
of Finance there can be no doubt that it was so intended. That report refers expressly to the royal order of
December 3d, and sets forth in detail the action taken in order to secure the return of the $80,000. The
Department of Finance, acting under the orders of the Governor-General, understood that the $80,000
was transferred to the Monte de Piedad well knew that it received this sum as a loan interest." The
amount was thus carried in its books until January, 1899, when it was transferred to the account of the
"Sagrada Mitra" and was thereafter known as the "Sagrada Mitra and subscription account." Furthermore,
the Monte de Piedad recognized and considered as late as March 31, 1902, that it received the $80,000
"as a returnable loan, and without interest." Therefore, there cannot be the slightest doubt the fact that
the Monte de Piedad received the $80,000 as a mere loan or deposit and not as a donation.
Consequently, the first alleged error is entirely without foundation.
Counsel for the defendant, in support of their third assignment of error, say in their principal brief that:

The Spanish nation was professedly Roman Catholic and its King enjoyed the distinction of being
deputy ex officio of the Holy See and Apostolic Vicar-General of the Indies, and as such it was his
duty to protect all pious works and charitable institutions in his kingdoms, especially those of the
Indies; among the latter was the Monte de Piedad of the Philippines, of which said King and his
deputy the Governor-General of the Philippines, as royal vice-patron, were, in a special and
peculiar manner, the protectors; the latter, as a result of the cession of the Philippine Islands,
Implicitly renounced this high office and tacitly returned it to the Holy See, now represented by the
Archbishop of Manila; the national subscription in question was a kind of foundation or pious
work, for a charitable purpose in these Islands; and the entire subscription not being needed for
its original purpose, the royal vice-patron, with the consent of the King, gave the surplus thereof
to an analogous purpose; the fulfillment of all these things involved, in the majority, if not in all
cases, faithful compliance with the duty imposed upon him by the Holy See, when it conferred
upon him the royal patronage of the Indies, a thing that touched him very closely in his
conscience and religion; the cessionary Government though Christian, was not Roman Catholic
and prided itself on its policy of non-interference in religious matters, and inveterately maintained
a complete separation between the ecclesiastical and civil powers.

In view of these circumstances it must be quite clear that, even without the express provisions of
the Treaty of Paris, which apparently expressly exclude such an idea, it did not befit the honor of
either of the contracting parties to subrogate to the American Government in lieu of the Spanish
Government anything respecting the disposition of the funds delivered by the latter to the Monte
de Piedad. The same reasons that induced the Spanish Government to take over such things
would result in great inconvenience to the American Government in attempting to do so. The
question was such a delicate one, for the reason that it affected the conscience, deeply religious,
of the King of Spain, that it cannot be believed that it was ever his intention to confide the
exercise thereof to a Government like the American. (U. S. vs. Arredondo, 6 Pet. [U. S.], 711.)

It is thus seen that the American Government did not subrogate the Spanish Government or
rather, the King of Spain, in this regard; and as the condition annexed to the donation was lawful
and possible of fulfillment at the time the contract was made, but became impossible of fulfillment
by the cession made by the Spanish Government in these Islands, compliance therewith is
excused and the contract has been cleared thereof.

The contention of counsel, as thus stated, in untenable for two reason, (1) because such contention is
based upon the erroneous theory that the sum in question was a donation to the Monte de Piedad and
not a loan, and (2) because the charity founded by the donations for the earthquake sufferers is not and
never was intended to be an ecclesiastical pious work. The first proposition has already been decided
adversely to the defendant's contention. As to the second, the record shows clearly that the fund was
given by the donors for a specific and definite purpose — the relief of the earthquake sufferers — and for
no other purpose. The money was turned over to the Spanish Government to be devoted to that purpose.
The Spanish Government remitted the money to the Philippine Government to be distributed among the
suffers. All officials, including the King of Spain and the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands, who
took part in the disposal of the fund, acted in their purely civil, official capacity, and the fact that they might
have belonged to a certain church had nothing to do with their acts in this matter. The church, as such,
had nothing to do with the fund in any way whatever until the $80,000 reached the coffers of the Monte de
Piedad (an institution under the control of the church) as a loan or deposit. If the charity in question had
been founded as an ecclesiastical pious work, the King of Spain and the Governor-General, in their
capacities as vicar-general of the Indies and as royal vice-patron, respectively, would have disposed of
the fund as such and not in their civil capacities, and such functions could not have been transferred to
the present Philippine Government, because the right to so act would have arisen out of the special
agreement between the Government of Spain and the Holy See, based on the union of the church and
state which was completely separated with the change of sovereignty.
And in their supplemental brief counsel say:

By the conceded facts the money in question is part of a charitable subscription. The donors were
persons in Spain, the trustee was the Spanish Government, the donees, the cestuis que trustent,
were certain persons in the Philippine Islands. The whole matter is one of trusteeship. This is
undisputed and indisputable. It follows that the Spanish Government at no time was the owner of
the fund. Not being the owner of the fund it could not transfer the ownership. Whether or not it
could transfer its trusteeship it certainly never has expressly done so and the general terms of
property transfer in the Treaty of Paris are wholly insufficient for such a purpose even could Spain
have transferred its trusteeship without the consent of the donors and even could the United
States, as a Government, have accepted such a trust under any power granted to it by the
thirteen original States in the Constitution, which is more than doubtful. It follows further that this
Government is not a proper party to the action. The only persons who could claim to be damaged
by this payment to the Monte, if it was unlawful, are the donors or the cestuis que trustent, and
this Government is neither.

If "the whole matter is one of trusteeship," and it being true that the Spanish Government could not, as
counsel say, transfer the ownership of the fund to the Monte de Piedad, the question arises, who may sue
to recover this loan? It needs no argument to show that the Spanish or Philippine Government, as trustee,
could maintain an action for this purpose had there been no change of sovereignty and if the right of
action has not prescribed. But those governments were something more than mere common law trustees
of the fund. In order to determine their exact status with reference to this fund, it is necessary to examine
the law in force at the time there transactions took place, which are the law of June 20, 1894, the royal
decree of April 27. 1875, and the instructions promulgated on the latter date. These legal provisions were
applicable to the Philippine Islands (Benedicto vs. De la Rama, 3 Phil. Rep., 34)

The funds collected as a result of the national subscription opened in Spain by royal order of the Spanish
Government and which were remitted to the Philippine Government to be distributed among the
earthquake sufferers by the Central Relief Board constituted, under article 1 of the law of June 20, 1894,
and article 2 of the instructions of April 27, 1875, a special charity of a temporary nature as distinguished
from a permanent public charitable institution. As the Spanish Government initiated the creation of the
fund and as the donors turned their contributions over to that Government, it became the duty of the
latter, under article 7 of the instructions, to exercise supervision and control over the moneys thus
collected to the end that the will of the donors should be carried out. The relief board had no power
whatever to dispose of the funds confided to its charge for other purposes than to distribute them among
the sufferers, because paragraph 3 of article 11 of the instructions conferred the power upon the
secretary of the interior of Spain, and no other, to dispose of the surplus funds, should there be any, by
assigning them to some other charitable purpose or institution. The secretary could not dispose of any of
the funds in this manner so long as they were necessary for the specific purpose for which they were
contributed. The secretary had the power, under the law above mentioned to appoint and totally or
partially change the personnel of the relief board and to authorize the board to defend the rights of the
charity in the courts. The authority of the board consisted only in carrying out the will of the donors as
directed by the Government whose duty it was to watch over the acts of the board and to see that the
funds were applied to the purposes for which they were contributed .The secretary of the interior, as the
representative of His Majesty's Government, exercised these powers and duties through the Governor-
General of the Philippine Islands. The Governments of Spain and of the Philippine Islands in complying
with their duties conferred upon them by law, acted in their governmental capacities in attempting to carry
out the intention of the contributors. It will this be seen that those governments were something more, as
we have said, than mere trustees of the fund.

It is further contended that the obligation on the part of the Monte de Piedad to return the $80,000 to the
Government, even considering it a loan, was wiped out on the change of sovereignty, or inn other words,
the present Philippine Government cannot maintain this action for that reason. This contention, if true,
"must result from settled principles of rigid law," as it cannot rest upon any title to the fund in the Monte de
Piedad acquired prior to such change. While the obligation to return the $80,000 to the Spanish
Government was still pending, war between the United States and Spain ensued. Under the Treaty of
Paris of December 10, 1898, the Archipelago, known as the Philippine Islands, was ceded to the United
States, the latter agreeing to pay Spain the sum of $20,000,000. Under the first paragraph of the eighth
article, Spain relinquished to the United States "all buildings, wharves, barracks, forts, structures, public
highways, and other immovable property which, in conformity with law, belonged to the public domain,
and as such belonged to the crown of Spain." As the $80,000 were not included therein, it is said that the
right to recover this amount did not, therefore, pass to the present sovereign. This, in our opinion, does
not follow as a necessary consequence, as the right to recover does not rest upon the proposition that the
$80,000 must be "other immovable property" mentioned in article 8 of the treaty, but upon contractual
obligations incurred before the Philippine Islands were ceded to the United States. We will not inquire
what effect his cession had upon the law of June 20, 1849, the royal decree of April 27, 1875, and the
instructions promulgated on the latter date. In Vilas vs.Manila (220 U. S., 345), the court said:

That there is a total abrogation of the former political relations of the inhabitants of the ceded
region is obvious. That all laws theretofore in force which are in conflict with the political
character, constitution, or institutions of the substituted sovereign, lose their force, is also plain.
(Alvarez y Sanchez vs. United States, 216 U. S., 167.) But it is equally settled in the same public
law that the great body of municipal law which regulates private and domestic rights continues in
force until abrogated or changed by the new ruler.

If the above-mentioned legal provisions are in conflict with the political character, constitution or
institutions of the new sovereign, they became inoperative or lost their force upon the cession of the
Philippine Islands to the United States, but if they are among "that great body of municipal law which
regulates private and domestic rights," they continued in force and are still in force unless they have been
repealed by the present Government. That they fall within the latter class is clear from their very nature
and character. They are laws which are not political in any sense of the word. They conferred upon the
Spanish Government the right and duty to supervise, regulate, and to some extent control charities and
charitable institutions. The present sovereign, in exempting "provident institutions, savings banks, etc.," all
of which are in the nature of charitable institutions, from taxation, placed such institutions, in so far as the
investment in securities are concerned, under the general supervision of the Insular Treasurer (paragraph
4 of section 111 of Act No. 1189; see also Act No. 701).

Furthermore, upon the cession of the Philippine Islands the prerogatives of he crown of Spain devolved
upon he United States. In Magill vs. Brown (16 Fed. Cas., 408), quoted with approval in Mormon
Charch vs. United States (136 U. S.,1, 57), the court said:

The Revolution devolved on the State all the transcendent power of Parliament, and the
prerogative of the crown, and gave their Acts the same force and effect.

In Fontain vs. Ravenel (17 Hw., 369, 384), Mr. Justice McLean, delivering the opinion of the court in a
charity case, said:

When this country achieved its independence, the prerogatives of the crown devolved upon the
people of the States. And this power still remains with them except so fact as they have
delegated a portion of it to the Federal Government. The sovereign will is made known to us by
legislative enactment. The State as a sovereign, is the parens patriae.

Chancelor Kent says:

In this country, the legislature or government of the State, as parens patriae, has the right to
enforce all charities of public nature, by virtue of its general superintending authority over the
public interests, where no other person is entrusted with it. (4 Kent Com., 508, note.)
The Supreme Court of the United States in Mormon Church vs. United States, supra, after approving also
the last quotations, said:

This prerogative of parens patriae is inherent in the supreme power of every State, whether that
power is lodged in a royal person or in the legislature, and has no affinity to those arbitrary
powers which are sometimes exerted by irresponsible monarchs to the great detriment of the
people and the destruction of their liberties. On the contrary, it is a most beneficient functions,
and often necessary to be exercised in the interest of humanity, and for the prevention of injury to
those who cannot protect themselves.

The court in the same case, after quoting from Sohier vs. Mass. General Hospital (3 Cush., 483, 497),
wherein the latter court held that it is deemed indispensible that there should be a power in the legislature
to authorize the same of the estates of in facts, idiots, insane persons, and persons not known, or not in
being, who cannot act for themselves, said:

These remarks in reference to in facts, insane persons and person not known, or not in being,
apply to the beneficiaries of charities, who are often in capable of vindicating their rights, and
justly look for protection to the sovereign authority, acting as parens patriae. They show that this
beneficient functions has not ceased t exist under the change of government from a monarchy to
a republic; but that it now resides in the legislative department, ready to be called into exercise
whenever required for the purposes of justice and right, and is a clearly capable of being
exercised in cases of charities as in any other cases whatever.

In People vs. Cogswell (113 Cal. 129, 130), it was urged that the plaintiff was not the real party in interest;
that the Attorney-General had no power to institute the action; and that there must be an allegation and
proof of a distinct right of the people as a whole, as distinguished from the rights of individuals, before an
action could be brought by the Attorney-General in the name of the people. The court, in overruling these
contentions, held that it was not only the right but the duty of the Attorney-General to prosecute the
action, which related to charities, and approved the following quotation from Attorney-
General vs. Compton (1 Younge & C. C., 417):

Where property affected by a trust for public purposes is in the hands of those who hold it
devoted to that trust, it is the privilege of the public that the crown should be entitled to intervene
by its officers for the purpose of asserting, on behalf on the public generally, the public interest
and the public right, which, probably, no individual could be found effectually to assert, even if the
interest were such as to allow it. (2 Knet's Commentaries, 10th ed., 359; Lewin on Trusts, sec.
732.)

It is further urged, as above indicated, that "the only persons who could claim to be damaged by this
payment to the Monte, if it was unlawful, are the donors or the cestuis que trustent, and this Government
is neither. Consequently, the plaintiff is not the proper party to bring the action." The earthquake fund was
the result or the accumulation of a great number of small contributions. The names of the contributors do
not appear in the record. Their whereabouts are unknown. They parted with the title to their respective
contributions. The beneficiaries, consisting of the original sufferers and their heirs, could have been
ascertained. They are quite numerous also. And no doubt a large number of the original sufferers have
died, leaving various heirs. It would be impracticable for them to institute an action or actions either
individually or collectively to recover the $80,000. The only course that can be satisfactorily pursued is for
the Government to again assume control of the fund and devote it to the object for which it was originally
destined.

The impracticability of pursuing a different course, however, is not the true ground upon which the right of
the Government to maintain the action rests. The true ground is that the money being given to a charity
became, in a measure, public property, only applicable, it is true, to the specific purposes to which it was
intended to be devoted, but within those limits consecrated to the public use, and became part of the
public resources for promoting the happiness and welfare of the Philippine Government. (Mormon
Church vs. U. S., supra.) To deny the Government's right to maintain this action would be contrary to
sound public policy, as tending to discourage the prompt exercise of similar acts of humanity and
Christian benevolence in like instances in the future.

As to the question raised in the fourth assignment of error relating to the constitutionality of Act No. 2109,
little need be said for the reason that we have just held that the present Philippine Government is the
proper party to the action. The Act is only a manifestation on the part of the Philippine Government to
exercise the power or right which it undoubtedly had. The Act is not, as contended by counsel, in conflict
with the fifth section of the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, because it does not take property without due
process of law. In fact, the defendant is not the owner of the $80,000, but holds it as a loan subject to the
disposal of the central relief board. Therefor, there can be nothing in the Act which transcends the power
of the Philippine Legislature.

In Vilas vs. Manila, supra, the plaintiff was a creditor of the city of Manila as it existed before the cession
of the Philippine Islands to the United States by the Treaty of Paris of December 10, 1898. The action
was brought upon the theory that the city, under its present charter from the Government of the Philippine
Islands, was the same juristic person, and liable upon the obligations of the old city. This court held that
the present municipality is a totally different corporate entity and in no way liable for the debts of the
Spanish municipality. The Supreme Court of the United States, in reversing this judgment and in holding
the city liable for the old debt, said:

The juristic identity of the corporation has been in no wise affected, and, in law, the present city
is, in every legal sense, the successor of the old. As such it is entitled to the property and
property rights of the predecessor corporation, and is, in law, subject to all of its liabilities.

In support of the fifth assignment of error counsel for the defendant argue that as the Monte de
Piedad declined to return the $80,000 when ordered to do so by the Department of Finance in June,
1893, the plaintiff's right of action had prescribed at the time this suit was instituted on May 3, 1912, citing
and relying upon article 1961, 1964 and 1969 of the Civil Code. While on the other hand, the Attorney-
General contends that the right of action had not prescribed (a) because the defense of prescription
cannot be set up against the Philippine Government, (b) because the right of action to recover a deposit
or trust funds does not prescribe, and (c) even if the defense of prescription could be interposed against
the Government and if the action had, in fact, prescribed, the same was revived by Act No. 2109.

The material facts relating to this question are these: The Monte de Piedad received the $80,000 in 1883
"to be held under the same conditions as at present in the treasury, to wit, at the disposal of the relief
board." In compliance with the provisions of the royal order of December 3, 1892, the Department of
Finance called upon the Monte de Piedadin June, 1893, to return the $80,000. The Monte declined to
comply with this order upon the ground that only the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands and not
the Department of Finance had the right to order the reimbursement. The amount was carried on the
books of the Monte as a returnable loan until January 1, 1899, when it was transferred to the account of
the "Sagrada Mitra." On March 31, 1902, the Monte, through its legal representative, stated in writing that
the amount in question was received as a reimbursable loan, without interest. Act No. 2109 became
effective January 30, 1912, and the action was instituted on May 3rd of that year.

Counsel for the defendant treat the question of prescription as if the action was one between individuals
or corporations wherein the plaintiff is seeking to recover an ordinary loan. Upon this theory June, 1893,
cannot be taken as the date when the statute of limitations began to run, for the reason that the defendant
acknowledged in writing on March 31, 1902, that the $80,000 were received as a loan, thereby in effect
admitting that it still owed the amount. (Section 50, Code of Civil Procedure.) But if counsels' theory is the
correct one the action may have prescribed on May 3, 1912, because more than ten full years had
elapsed after March 31, 1902. (Sections 38 and 43, Code of Civil Procedure.)
Is the Philippine Government bound by the statute of limitations? The Supreme Court of the United States
in U. S. vs. Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway Co. (118 U. S., 120, 125), said:

It is settled beyond doubt or controversy — upon the foundation of the great principle of public
policy, applicable to all governments alike, which forbids that the public interests should be
prejudiced by the negligence of the officers or agents to whose care they are confided — that the
United States, asserting rights vested in it as a sovereign government, is not bound by any
statute of limitations, unless Congress has clearly manifested its intention that it should be so
bound. (Lindsey vs. Miller, 6 Pet. 666; U. S. vs. Knight, 14 Pet., 301; Gibson vs. Chouteau, 13
Wall., 92; U. S. vs. Thompson, 98 U. S., 486; Fink vs. O'Neil, 106 U. S., 272, 281.)

In Gibson vs. Choteau, supra, the court said:

It is a matter of common knowledge that statutes of limitation do not run against the State. That
no laches can be imputed to the King, and that no time can bar his rights, was the maxim of the
common laws, and was founded on the principle of public policy, that as he was occupied with the
cares of government he ought not to suffer from the negligence of his officer and servants. The
principle is applicable to all governments, which must necessarily act through numerous agents,
and is essential to a preservation of the interests and property of the public. It is upon this
principle that in this country the statutes of a State prescribing periods within which rights must be
prosecuted are not held to embrace the State itself, unless it is expressly designated or the
mischiefs to be remedied are of such a nature that it must necessarily be included. As legislation
of a State can only apply to persons and thing over which the State has jurisdiction, the United
States are also necessarily excluded from the operation of such statutes.

In 25 Cyc., 1006, the rule, supported by numerous authorities, is stated as follows:

In the absence of express statutory provision to the contrary, statute of limitations do not as a
general rule run against the sovereign or government, whether state or federal. But the rule is
otherwise where the mischiefs to be remedied are of such a nature that the state must
necessarily be included, where the state goes into business in concert or in competition with her
citizens, or where a party seeks to enforces his private rights by suit in the name of the state or
government, so that the latter is only a nominal party.

In the instant case the Philippine Government is not a mere nominal party because it, in bringing and
prosecuting this action, is exercising its sovereign functions or powers and is seeking to carry out a trust
developed upon it when the Philippine Islands were ceded to the United States. The United States having
in 1852, purchased as trustee for the Chickasaw Indians under treaty with that tribe, certain bonds of the
State of Tennessee, the right of action of the Government on the coupons of such bonds could not be
barred by the statute of limitations of Tennessee, either while it held them in trust for the Indians, or since
it became the owner of such coupons. (U. S. vs. Nashville, etc., R. Co., supra.) So where lands are held
in trust by the state and the beneficiaries have no right to sue, a statute does not run against the State's
right of action for trespass on the trust lands. (Greene Tp. vs. Campbell, 16 Ohio St., 11; see also Atty.-
Gen. vs. Midland R. Co., 3 Ont., 511 [following Reg. vs. Williams, 39 U. C. Q. B., 397].)

These principles being based "upon the foundation of the great principle of public policy" are, in the very
nature of things, applicable to the Philippine Government.

Counsel in their argument in support of the sixth and last assignments of error do not question the
amount of the judgment nor do they question the correctness of the judgment in so far as it allows
interest, and directs its payment in gold coin or in the equivalent in Philippine currency.

For the foregoing reasons the judgment appealed from is affirmed, with costs against the appellant. So
ordered.
4. De Jure government, Criteria for legitimacy
5. De facto government, kinds and characteristics
6. Classifications, Forms of governments

a. based on number of rulers


b. based on accountability to the people
c. based on the economic system
d. based on legislative-executive relations
e. based on divisions of the State

E. Sovereignty

1. Definition
2. Dual Aspect, Kinds and Characyeristics
3. Dominium & Imperium
4. Effects of Change in Sovereignty
5. Effects of military occupation
6. Territorial, personal and extraterritorial jurisdiction
7. Acts of State