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G.R. No. 217872 3.

DIRECTS the Department of Health to generate the complete and correct list of the
government's reproductive health programs and services under Republic Act No.
ALLIANCE FOR THE FAMILY FOUNDATION, PHILIPPINES, INC. (ALFI) and ATTY. 10354 which will serve as the template for the complete and correct information
MARIA CONCEPCION S. NOCHE, in her own behalf and as President of ALFI, standard and, hence, the duty to inform under Section 23(a)(l) of Republic Act No.
JOSE S. SANDEJAS, ROSIE B. LUISTRO, ELENITA S.A. SANDEJAS, EMILY R. 10354. The Department of Health is DIRECTED to distribute copies of this template to
LAWS, EILEEN Z. ARANETA, SALV ACION C. MONTEIRO, MARIETTA C. all health care service providers covered by Republic Act No. 10354.
GORREZ, ROLANDO M. BAUTISTA, RUBEN T. UMALI, and MILDRED C. CASTOR
, Petitioners The respondents are hereby also ordered to amend the Implementing Rules and
vs. Regulations to conform to the rulings and guidelines in G.R. No. 204819 and related
HON. JANETTE L. GARIN, Secretary-Designate of the Department of Health; cases.
NICOLAS B.LUTERO III, Assistant Secretary of Health, Officer-in-Charge, Food
and Drug Administration; and MARIA LOURDES C. SANTIAGO, Officer in- The above foregoing directives notwithstanding, within 30 days from receipt of this
Charge, Center for Drug Regulation and Research, Respondents disposition, the Food and Drugs Administration should commence to conduct the
necessary hearing guided by the cardinal rights of the parties laid down in CIR v. Ang
x-----------------------x Tibay.

G.R. No. 221866


Pending the resolution of the controversy, the motion to lift the Temporary Restraining
MARIA CONCEPCION S. NOCHE, in her own behalf and as counsel of Petitioners, Order is DENIED.
JOSE S. SANDEJAS, ROSIE B. LUISTRO, ELENITA S.A. SANDEJAS, EMILY R.
LAWS EILEEN Z. ARANETA, SALVACION C. MONTEIRO MARIETTA C. GORREZ, With respect to the contempt petition, docketed as G.R No. 221866, it is hereby
ROLANDO M. BAUTISTA, RUBEN T. UMALI, and MILDRED C. CASTOR, Petitioners DENIED for lack of concrete basis.
vs.
HON. JANETTE L. GARIN, Secretary-Designate of the Department of Health; SO ORDERED.3
NICOLAS B. LUTERO III, Assistant Secretary of Health; NICOLAS B. LUTERO III,
Assistant Secretary of Health, Officer-in-Charge, Food and Drug Administration; and Arguments of the Respondents
MARIA LOURDES C. SANTIAGO, Officer-in-Charge, Center for Drug Regulation and
Research, Respondents. Part 1: Due Process need not be
complied with as the questioned
RESOLUTION acts of the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) were in
MENDOZA, J.: the exercise of its Regulatory Powers

Subject of this resolution is the Omnibus Motion1 filed by the respondents, thru the In the subject Omnibus Motion, the respondents argued that their actions should be
Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), seeking partial reconsideration of the August 24, sustained, even if the petitioners were not afforded notice and hearing, because the
2016 Decision (Decision),2 where the Court resolved the: [1] Petition for Certiorari, contested acts of registering, re-certifying, procuring, and administering contraceptive
Prohibition, Mandamus with Prayer for Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order drugs and devices were all done in the exercise of its regulatory power.4 They
and/or Writ of Preliminary Prohibitory and Mandatory Injunction (G.R. No. 217872); contended that considering that the issuance of the certificate of product registration
and the [2] Petition for Contempt of Court (G.R. No. 221866), in the following manner: (CPR) by the FDA under Section 7.04, Rule5 of the Implementing Rules and
Regulations of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10354 (RH-IRR) did not involve the
WHEREFORE, the case docketed as G.R No. 217872 is hereby REMANDED to the adjudication of the parties' opposing rights and liabilities through an adversarial
Food and Drugs Administration which is hereby ordered to observe the basic proceeding, the due process requirements of notice and hearing need not be complied
requirements of due process by conducting a hearing, and allowing the petitioners to with.6
be heard, on the re-certified, procured and administered contraceptive drugs and
devices, including Implanon and lmplanon NXT, and to determine whether they are Stated differently, the respondents assert that as long as the act of the FDA is
abortifacients or non-abortifacients. exercised pursuant to its regulatory power, it need not comply with the due process
requirements of notice and hearing.
Pursuant to the expanded jurisdiction of this Court and its power to issue rules for the
protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, the Court hereby: Corollary to this, the respondents wanted the Court to consider that the FDA had
delineated its functions among different persons and bodies in its organization. Thus,
1. DIRECTS the Food and Drug Administration to formulate the rules of procedure in they asked the Court to make a distinction between the "quasi-judicial powers"
the screening, evaluation and approval of all contraceptive drugs and devices that will exercised by the Director-General of the FDA under Section 2(b)7 of Article 3, Book I
be used under Republic Act No. 10354. The rules of procedure shall contain the of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. No. 9711,8 and the
following minimum requirements of due process: (a) publication, notice and hearing, "regulatory/administrative powers" exercised by the FDA under Section 2(c )(1) 9 of
(b) interested parties shall be allowed to intervene, (c) the standard laid down in the the same. For the respondents, the distinction given in the above-cited provisions was
Constitution, as adopted under Republic Act No. 10354, as to what constitutes all but proof that the issuance of CPR did not require notice and hearing.
allowable contraceptives shall be strictly followed, that is, those which do not harm or
destroy the life of the unborn from conception/fertilization, (d) in weighing the After detailing the process by which the FDA's Center for Drug Regulation and
evidence, all reasonable doubts shall be resolved in favor of the protection and Research (CDRR) examined and tested the contraceptives for non-abortifacience, 10
preservation of the right to life of the unborn from conception/fertilization, and (e) the the respondents stressed that the Decision wreaked havoc on the organizational
other requirements of administrative due process, as summarized in Ang Tibay v. CIR, structure of the FDA, whose myriad of functions had been carefully delineated in the
shall be complied with. IRR of R.A. No. 9711. 11 The respondents, thus, prayed for the lifting of the
Temporary Restraining Order (TR0). 12
2. DIRECTS the Department of Health in coordination with other concerned agencies
to formulate the rules and regulations or guidelines which will govern the purchase and Part 2: The requirements of due
distribution/ dispensation of the products or supplies under Section 9 of Republic Act process need not be complied with as
No. 10354 covered by the certification from the Food and Drug Administration that said the elements of procedural due
product and supply is made available on the condition that it will not be used as an process laid down in Ang Tibay v.
abortifacient subject to the following minimum due process requirements: (a) CIR are not applicable
publication, notice and hearing, and (b) interested parties shall be allowed to
intervene. The rules and regulations or guidelines shall provide sufficient detail as to The respondents further claimed in their omnibus motion that the requirements of due
the manner by which said product and supply shall be strictly regulated in order that process need not be complied with because the standards of procedural due process
they will not be used as an abortifacient and in order to sufficiently safeguard the right laid down in Ang Tibay v. CIR 13 were inapplicable considering that: a) substantial
to life of the unborn. evidence could not be used as a measure in determining whether a contraceptive drug
or device was abortifacient; 14 b) the courts had neither jurisdiction nor competence to or occupation, like the operation of a liquor store or restaurant. x x x. 23 [Emphases
review the findings of the FDA on the non-abortifacient character of contraceptive and underscoring supplied]
drugs or devices; 15 c) the FDA was not bound by the rules of admissibility and
presentation of evidence under the Rules of Court; 16 and d) the findings of the FDA From the above, two things are apparent: one, the "enabling powers" cover "regulatory
could not be subject of the rule on res judicata and stare-decisis. 17 powers" as defined by the respondents; and two, they refer to a subcategory of a
quasi-judicial power which, as explained in the Decision, requires the compliance with
The respondents then insisted that Implanon and Implanon NXT were not the twin requirements of notice and hearing. Nowhere from the above-quoted texts can
abortifacients and lamented that the continued injunction of the Court had hampered it be inferred that the exercise of "regulatory power" places an administrative agency
the efforts of the FDA to provide for the reproductive health needs of Filipino women. beyond the reach of judicial review. When there is grave abuse of discretion, such as
For the respondents, to require them to afford the parties like the petitioners an denying a party of his constitutional right to due process, the Court can come in and
opportunity to question their findings would cause inordinate delay in the distribution of exercise its power of judicial review. It can review the challenged acts, whether
the subject contraceptive drugs and devices which would have a dire impact on the exercised by the FDA in its ministerial, quasi-judicial or regulatory power. In the past,
effective implementation of the RH Law. the Court exercised its power of judicial review over acts and decisions of agencies
exercising their regulatory powers, such as DPWH, 24 TRB, 25 NEA, 26 and the
The Court's Ruling SEC,27 among others. In Diocese of Bacolod v. Commission on Elections,28 the
Court properly exercised its power of judicial review over a Comelec resolution issued
After an assiduous assessment of the arguments of the parties, the Court denies the in the exercise of its regulatory power.
Omnibus Motion, but deems that a clarification on some points is in order.
Clearly, the argument of the FDA is flawed.
Judicial Review
Petitioners were Denied their
The powers of an administrative body are classified into two fundamental powers: Right to Due Process
quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial. Quasi-legislative power, otherwise known as the
power of subordinate legislation, has been defined as the authority delegated by the Due process of law has two aspects: substantive and procedural. In order that a
lawmaking body to the administrative body to adopt rules and regulations intended to particular act may not be impugned as violative of the due process clause, there must
carry out the provisions of law and implement legislative policy. 18 "[A] legislative rule be compliance with both the substantive and the procedural requirements thereof. 29
is in the nature of subordinate legislation, designed to implement a primary legislation Substantive due process refers to the intrinsic validity of a law that interferes with the
by providing the details thereof." 19 The exercise by the administrative body of its rights of a person to his property.30 Procedural due process, on the other hand,
quasi-legislative power through the promulgation of regulations of general application means compliance with the procedures or steps, even periods, prescribed by the
does not, as a rule, require notice and hearing. The only exception being where the statute, in conformity with the standard of fair play and without arbitrariness on the part
Legislature itself requires it and mandates that the regulation shall be based on certain of those who are called upon to administer it.31
facts as determined at an appropriate investigation.20
The undisputed fact is that the petitioners were deprived of their constitutional right to
Quasi-judicial power, on the other hand, is known as the power of the administrative due process of law.
agency to determine questions of fact to which the legislative policy is to apply, in
accordance with the standards laid down by the law itself.21 As it involves the exercise As expounded by the Court, what it found to be primarily deplorable is the failure of the
of discretion in determining the rights and liabilities of the parties, the proper exercise respondents to act upon, much less address, the various oppositions filed by the
of quasi-judicial power requires the concurrence of two elements: one, jurisdiction petitioners against the product registration, recertification, procurement, and
which must be acquired by the administrative body and two, the observance of the distribution of the questioned contraceptive drugs and devices. Instead of addressing
requirements of due process, that is, the right to notice and hearing.22 the petitioners' assertion that the questioned contraceptive drugs and devices fell
within the definition of an "abortifacient" under Section 4(a) of the RH Law because of
On the argument that the certification proceedings were conducted by the FDA in the their "secondary mechanism of action which induces abortion or destruction of the
exercise of its "regulatory powers" and, therefore, beyond judicial review, the Court fetus inside the mother's womb or the prevention of the fertilized ovum to reach and be
holds that it has the power to review all acts and decisions where there is a implanted in the mother's womb,"32 the respondents chose to ignore them and
commission of grave abuse of discretion. No less than the Constitution decrees that proceeded with the registration, recertification, procurement, and distribution of several
the Court must exercise its duty to ensure that no grave abuse of discretion amounting contraceptive drugs and devices.
to lack or excess of jurisdiction is committed by any branch or instrumentality of the
Government. Such is committed when there is a violation of the constitutional mandate A cursory reading of the subject Omnibus Motion shows that the respondents proffer
that "no person is deprived of life, liberty, and property without due process of law." no cogent explanation as to why they did not act on the petitioners' opposition. As
The Court's power cannot be curtailed by the FDA's invocation of its regulatory power. stated by the Court in the Decision, rather than provide concrete action to meet the
petitioners' opposition, the respondents simply relied on their challenge questioning
In so arguing, the respondents cited Atty. Carlo L. Cruz in his book, Philippine the propriety of the subject petition on technical and procedural grounds. 33 The
Administrative Law. Court, thus, finds the subject motion to be simply a rehash of the earlier arguments
presented before, with the respondents still harping on the peculiarity of the FDA's
Lest there be any inaccuracy, the relevant portions of the book cited by the functions to exempt it from compliance with the constitutional mandate that "no person
respondents are hereby quoted as follows: shall be deprived oflife, liberty and property without due process of law."

xxx. The law and the rules demand


compliance with due process
B. The Quasi-Judicial Power requirements

xxx A reading of the various provisions, cited by the respondents in support of their
assertion that due process need not be complied with in the approval of contraceptive
2. Determinative Powers drugs or devices, all the more reinforces the Court's conclusion that the FDA did fail to
afford the petitioners a genuine opportunity to be heard.
To better enable the administrative body to exercise its quasi judicial authority, it is
also vested with what is known as determinative powers and functions. As outlined by the respondents themselves, the steps by which the FDA approves
contraceptive drugs or devices, demand compliance with the requirements of due
Professor Freund classifies them generally into the enabling powers and the directing process viz:
powers. The latter includes the dispensing, the examining, and the summary powers.
Step 1. Identify contraceptive products in the database. Create another database
The enabling vowers are those that permit the doing of an act which the law containing the following details of contraceptive products: generic name, dosage
undertakes to regulate and which would be unlawful with government approval. The strength and form, brand name (if any), registration number, manufacturer, MAH, and
most common example is the issuance of licenses to engage in a particular business the period of validity of the CPR.
Step 2. Identify contraceptive products which are classified as essential medicines in Section 7.04, Rule 7 of the IRR of the RH Law (RH-IRR),35 relied upon by the
the Philippine Drug Formulary. respondents in support of their claims, expressly allows the consideration of conflicting
evidence, such as that supplied by the petitioners in support of their opposition to the
Step 3. Retrieve the contraceptive product's file and the CPR duplicate of all registered approval of certain contraceptive drugs and devices. In fact, the said provision
contraceptive products. Create a database of the contraceptive product's history, mandates that the FDA utilize the "best evidence available" to ensure that no
including its initial, renewal, amendment, and/or variation applications. bortifacient is approved as a family planning drug or device. It bears mentioning that
the same provision even allows an independent evidence review group (ERG) to
Step 4. Conduct a preliminary review of the following: ensure that evidence for or against the certification of a contraceptive drug or device is
duly considered.
a. general physiology of female reproductive system, including hormones involved,
female reproductive cycle, and conditions of the female reproductive system during Structure of the FDA
pregnancy.
As earlier mentioned, the respondents argue that the Decision "wreaked havoc on the
b. classification of hormonal contraceptives; organizational structure of the FDA, whose myriad of functions have been carefully
delineated under R.A. No. 9711 IRR."36 Citing Section 7.04, Rule 7 of the RH-IRR, the
c. regulatory status of the products in benchmark countries; and FDA insists that the function it exercises in certifying family planning supplies is in the
exercise of its regulatory power, which cannot be the subject of judicial review, and
d. mechanism of action of hormonal contraceptives based on reputable journals, meta- that it is the Director-General of the FDA who exercises quasi-judicial powers, citing
analyses, systemic reviews, evaluation of regulatory authorities in other countries, Section 2(b) of Article 3, Book I of the RH-IRR.37
textbooks, among others.
The FDA wants the Court to consider that, as a body, it has a distinct and separate
Step 5. Issue a notice to all concerned MAHs, requiring them to submit scientific personality from the Director-General, who exercises quasi-judicial power. The Court
evidence that their product is non-abortifacient, as defined in the RH Law and Imbong. cannot accommodate the position of the respondents. Section 6(a) of R.A. No. 3720,
as amended by Section 7 of R.A. No. 9711,38 provides that "(a) The FDA shall be
Step 6. Post a list of contraceptive products which were applied for re-certification for headed by a director-general with the rank of undersecretary, xxx." How can the head
public comments in the FDA website. be separated from the body?

Step 7. Evaluate contraceptive products for re-certification. For the record, Section 4 of R.A. No. 3720, as amended by Section 5 of R.A. No.
9711, also recognizes compliance with the requirements of due process, although the
A. Part I (Review of Chemistry, Manufacture and Controls) proceedings are not adversarial. Thus:

1. Unit Dose and Finished Product Formulation Section 5. Section 4 of Republic Act No. 3720, as amended, is hereby further
amended to read as follows:
2. Technical Finished Product Specifications
"SEC. 4. To carry out the provisions of this Act, there is hereby created an office to be
3. Certificate of Analysis called the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Department of Health (DOH).
Said Administration shall be under the Office of the Secretary and shall have the
B. Part II (Evaluation of Whether the Contraceptive Product is Abortifacient) following functions, powers and duties:

1. Evaluation of the scientific evidence submitted by the applicant and the public. "(a) To administer the effective implementation of this Act and of the rules and
regulations issued pursuant to the same;
2. Review and evaluation of extraneous evidence, e.g., scientific journals, meta-
analyses, etc. "(b) To assume primary jurisdiction in the collection of samples of health products;

Step 8. Assess and review the documentary requirements submitted by the applicant. "(c) To analyze and inspect health products in connection with the implementation of
Technical reviewers considered scientific evidence such as meta-analyses, systemic this Act;
reviews, national and clinical practice guidelines and recommendations of international
medical organizations submitted by the companies, organizations and individuals, to "(d) To establish analytical data to serve as basis for the preparation of health products
be part of the review.34 [Emphases and Underlining supplied] standards, and to recommend standards of identity, purity, safety, efficacy, quality and
fill of container;
The Court notes that the above-outlined procedure is deficient insofar as it only allows
public comments to cases of re-certification. It fails to allow the public to comment in "(e) To issue certificates of compliance with technical requirements to serve as basis
cases where a reproductive drug or device is being subject to the certification process for the issuance of appropriate authorization and spot-check for compliance with
for the first time. This is clearly in contravention of the mandate of the Court in lmbong regulations regarding operation of manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors,
that the IRR should be amended to conform to it. wholesalers, drug outlets, and other establishments and facilities of health products,
as determined by the FDA;
More importantly, the Court notes that Step 5 requires the FDA to issue a notice to all
concerned MAHs and require them to submit scientific evidence that their product is "xxx
non-abortifacient; and that Step 6 requires the posting of the list of contraceptive
products which were applied for re-certification for public comments in the FDA "(h) To conduct appropriate tests on all applicable health products prior to the issuance
website. of appropriate authorizations to ensure safety, efficacy, purity, and quality;

If an opposition or adverse comment is filed on the ground that the drug or devise has "(i) To require all manufacturers, traders, distributors, importers, exporters,
abortifacient features or violative of the RH Law, based on the pronouncements of the wholesalers, retailers, consumers, and non-consumer users of health products to
Court in Im bong or any other law or rule, the FDA is duty-bound to take into account report to the FDA any incident that reasonably indicates that said product has caused
and consider the basis of the opposition. or contributed to the death, serious illness or serious injury to a consumer, a patient, or
any person;
To conclude that product registration, recertification, procurement, and distribution of
the questioned contraceptive drugs and devices by the FDA in the exercise of its "G) To issue cease and desist orders motu propio or upon verified com plaint for
regulatory power need not comply with the requirements of due process would render health products, whether or not registered with the FDA Provided, That for registered
the issuance of notices to concerned MAHs and the posting of a list of contraceptives health products, the cease and desist order is valid for thirty (30) days and may be
for public comment a meaningless exercise. Concerned MAHs and the public in extended for sixty (60) days only after due process has been observed;
general will be deprived of any significant participation if what they will submit will not
be considered. "(k) After due process, to order the ban, recall, and/or withdrawal of any health product
found to have caused the death, serious illness or serious injury to a consumer or
patient, or is found to be imminently injurious, unsafe, dangerous, or grossly deceptive, serious illness or serious injury to a consumer or patient, or found to be imminently
and to require all concerned to implement the risk management plan which is a injurious, unsafe, dangerous, or grossly deceptive, after due process.
requirement for the issuance of the appropriate authorization;
Due to the failure of the respondents to observe and comply with the basic
"(l) To strengthen the post market surveillance system in monitoring health products as requirements of due process, the Court is of the view that the certifications/re-
defined in this Act and incidents of adverse events involving such products; certifications and the distribution of the questioned contraceptive drugs by the
respondents should be struck down as violative of the constitutional right to due
"(m) To develop and issue standards and appropriate authorizations that would cover process.
establishments, facilities and health products;
Verily, it is a cardinal precept that where there is a violation of basic constitutional
"(n) To conduct, supervise, monitor and audit research studies on health and safety rights, the courts are ousted from their jurisdiction. The violation of a party's right to
issues of health products undertaken by entities duly approved by the FDA; due process raises a serious jurisdictional issue which cannot be glossed over or
disregarded at will. Where the denial of the fundamental right to due process is
"(o) To prescribe standards, guidelines, and regulations with respect to information, apparent, a decision rendered in disregard of that right is void for lack of jurisdiction.
advertisements and other marketing instruments and promotion, sponsorship, and This rule is equally true in quasi-judicial and administrative proceedings, for the
other marketing activities about the health products as covered in this Act; constitutional guarantee that no man shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property
without due process is unqualified by the type of proceedings (whether judicial or
"(p) To maintain bonded warehouses and/or establish the same, whenever necessary administrative) where he stands to lose the same.41
or appropriate, as determined by the director-general for confiscated goods in strategic
areas of the country especially at major ports of entry; and The Court stands by that finding and, accordingly, reiterates its order of remand of the
case to the FDA.
"(q) To exercise such other powers and perform such other functions as may be
necessary to carry out its duties and responsibilities under this Act. [Emphases Procedure in the FDA; No Trial-Type Hearing
supplied]
The Court is of the view that the FDA need not conduct a trial-type hearing. Indeed,
The Cardinal Rights of Parties in due process does not require the conduct of a trial-type hearing to satisfy its
Administrative Proceedings as requirements. All that the Constitution requires is that the FDA afford the people their
laid down in Ang Tibay v. CIR right to due process of law and decide on the applications submitted by MAHs after
affording the oppositors like the petitioners a genuine opportunity to present their
In Ang Tibay v. CJR,39 the Court laid down the cardinal rights of parties in science-based evidence. As earlier pointed out, this the FDA failed to do. It simply
administrative proceedings, as follows: ignored the opposition of the petitioners. In the case of Perez, et al. v. Philippine
Telegraph and Telephone Company, et al., 42 it was stated that:
1) The right to a hearing, which includes the right to present one's case and submit
evidence in support thereof; A formal trial-type hearing is not even essential to due process. It is enough that the
parties are given a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their respective sides of
2) The tribunal must consider the evidence presented; the controversy and to present supporting evidence on which a fair decision can be
based.
3) The decision must have something to support itself;
In the fairly recent case of Vivo v. Pagcor,43 the Court explained:
4) The evidence must be substantial;
The observance of fairness in the conduct of any investigation is at the very heart of
5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at least procedural due process. The essence of due process is to be heard, and, as applied to
contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected; administrative proceedings, this means a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain
one's side, or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling
6) The tribunal or body or any of its judges must act on its or his own independent complained of. Administrative due process cannot be fully equated with due process in
consideration of the law and facts of the controversy and not simply accept the views its strict judicial sense, for in the former a formal or trial-type hearing is not always
of a subordinate in arriving at a decision; and necessary, and technical rules of procedure are not strictly applied. Ledesma v. Court
of Appeals elaborates on the well-established meaning of due process in
7) The board or body should, in all controversial questions, render its decision in such administrative proceedings in this wise:
a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various issues involved, and
the reason for the decision rendered. 40 x x x Due process, as a constitutional precept, does not always and in all situations
require a trial-type proceeding. Due process is satisfied when a person is notified of
In the Decision, the Court found that the FDA certified, procured and administered the charge against him and given an opportunity to explain or defend himself. In
contraceptive drugs and devices, without the observance of the basic tenets of due administrative proceedings, the filing of charges and giving reasonable opportunity for
process, that is, without notice and without public hearing. It appeared that, other than the person so charged to answer the accusations against him constitute the minimum
the notice inviting stakeholders to apply for certification/recertification of their requirements of due process. The essence of due process is simply to be heard, or as
reproductive health products, there was no showing that the respondents considered applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one's side, or an
the opposition of the petitioners. Thus, the Court wrote: opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. [Emphasis
supplied; citations omitted]
Rather than provide concrete evidence to meet the petitioners' opposition, the
respondents simply relied on their challenge questioning the propriety of the subject Best Evidence Available
petition on technical and procedural grounds. The Court notes that even the letters
submitted by the petitioners to the FDA and the DOH seeking information on the Section 5, Rule 133 of the Rules of Court provides:
actions taken by the agencies regarding their opposition were left unanswered as if
they did not exist at all. The mere fact that the RH Law was declared as not Section 5. In all cases filed before administrative or quasi-judicialbodies, a fact may be
unconstitutional does not permit the respondents to run roughshod over the deemed established if it is supported by substantialevidence, or the amount of relevant
constitutional rights, substantive and procedural, of the petitioners. evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion.

Indeed, although the law tasks the FDA as the primary agency to determine whether a As applied to certification proceedings at the FDA, "substantial evidence" refers to the
contraceptive drug or certain device has no abortifacient effects, its findings and best scientific evidence available,44 "including but not limited to: meta analyses,
conclusion should be allowed to be questioned and those who oppose the same must systematic reviews, national clinical practice guidelines where available, and
be given a genuine opportunity to be heard in their stance. After all, under Section 4(k) recommendations of international medical organizations," needed to support a
of R.A. No. 3720, as amended by R.A. No. 9711, the FDA is mandated to order the conclusion whether a contraceptive drug or device is an abortifacient or not. The FDA
ban, recall and/ or withdrawal of any health product found to have caused death, need not be bound or limited by the evidence adduced by the parties, but it can
conduct its own search for related scientific data. It can also consult other technical
scientific experts known in their fields. It is also not bound by the principle of stare
decisis or res judicata, but may update itself and cancel certifications motu proprio As the Decision explained, the Court cannot lift the TRO prior to the summary hearing
when new contrary scientific findings become available or there arise manifest risks to be conducted by the FDA. To do so would render the summary hearing an exercise
which have not been earlier predicted. in futility. Specifically, the respondents would want the Court to consider their
argument that Implanon and Implanon NXT have no abortifacient effects. According to
On the Competence of the Court them, "the FDA tested these devices for safety, efficacy, purity, quality, and non-
to review the Findings of the FDA abortiveness prior to the issuance of certificates of registration and recertification, and
after the promulgation of Imbong." 46 The Court, however, cannot make such
The fact that any appeal to the courts will involve scientific matters will neither place determination or pronouncement at this time. To grant its prayer to lift the TRO would
the actions of the respondents beyond the need to comply with the requirements of be premature and presumptuous. Any declaration by the Court at this time would have
Ang Tibay nor place the actions of the FDA in certification proceedings beyond judicial no basis because the FDA, which has the mandate and expertise on the matter, has to
review. first resolve the controversy pending before its office.

It should be pointed out that nowhere in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended, are This Court also explained in the Decision that the issuance of the TRO did not mean
the courts ousted of their jurisdiction whenever the issues involve questions of that the FDA should stop fulfilling its mandate to test, analyze, scrutinize, and inspect
scientific nature. A court is not considered incompetent either in reviewing the findings other drugs and devices. Thus:
of the FDA simply because it will be weighing the scientific evidence presented by both
the FDA and its oppositors in determining whether the contraceptive drug or device Nothing in this resolution, however, should be construed as restraining or stopping the
has complied with the requirements of the law. FDA from carrying on its mandate and duty to test, analyze, scrutinize, and inspect
drugs and devices. What are being enjoined are the grant of certifications/re-
Although the FDA is not strictly bound by the technical rules on evidence, as stated in certifications of contraceptive drugs without affording the petitioners due process, and
the Rules of Court, or it cannot be bound by the principle of stare decisis or res the distribution and administration of the questioned contraceptive drugs and devices
judicata, it is not excused from complying with the requirements of due process. To including Implanon and Implanon NXT until they are determined to be safe and non-
reiterate for emphasis, due process does not require that the FDA conduct trial-type abortifacient.47
hearing to satisfy its requirements. All that the Constitution requires is that the FDA
afford the people their right to due process of law and decide on the applications On Delay
submitted by the MAHs after affording the oppositors, like the petitioners, a genuine
opportunity to present their sciencebased evidence. The respondents claim that this judicial review of the administrative decision of the
FDA in certifying and recertifying drugs has caused much delay in the distribution of
The Appellate Procedure; the subject drugs with a dire impact on the effective implementation of the RH Law.
Appeal to the Office of the President

Incidentally, Section 32 of R.A. No. 3720 and Section 9 of Executive Order (E.O.) No. In this regard, the respondents have only themselves to blame. Instead of complying
247 provide that any decision by the FDA would then be appealable to the Secretary with the orders of the Court as stated in the Decision to conduct a summary hearing,
of Health, whose decision, in tum, may be appealed to the Office of the President the respondents have returned to this Court, asking the Court to reconsider the said
(OP). Thus: decision claiming that it has wreaked havoc on the organizational structure of the FDA.

Sec. 32. The orders, rulings or decisions of the FDA shall be appealable to the Had the FDA immediately conducted a summary hearing, by this time it would have
Secretary of Health. - An appeal shall be deemed perfected upon filing of the notice of finished it and resolved the opposition of the petitioners.1âwphi1 Note that there was
appeal and posting of the corresponding appeal bond. already a finding by the FDA, which was its basis in registering, certifying and
recertifying the questioned drugs and devices. The pharmaceutical companies or the
An appeal shall not stay the decision appealed from unless an order from the MAHs need not present the same evidence it earlier adduced to convince the FDA
Secretary of Health is issued to stay the execution thereof. unless they want to present additional evidence to fortify their positions. The only
entities that would present evidence would be the petitioners to make their point by
Sec. 9. Appeals. - Decisions of the Secretary (DENR, DA, DOH or DOST) may be proving with relevant scientific evidence that the contraceptives have abortifacient
appealed to the Office of the President. Recourse to the courts shall be allowed after effects. Thereafter, the FDA can resolve the controversy.
exhaustion of all administrative remedies.
Indeed, in addition to guaranteeing that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty and
In view thereof, the Court should modify that part of the Decision which allows direct property without due process of law,48 the Constitution commands that "all persons
appeal of the FDA decision to the Court of Appeals.1âwphi1 As stated in the said shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-
decision, the FDA decision need not be appealed to the Secretary of Health because judicial and administrative bodies."49
she herself is a party herein. Considering that the Executive
WHEREFORE, the August 24, 2016 Decision is MODIFIED. Accordingly, the Food
Secretary is not a party herein, the appeal should be to the OP as provided in Section and Drug Administration is ordered to consider the oppositions filed by the petitioners
9. with respect to the listed drugs, including Implanon and Implanon NXT, based on the
standards of the Reproductive Health Law, as construed in lmbong v. Ochoa, and to
On the Prayer to Lift the TRO decide the case within sixty (60) days from the date it will be deemed submitted for
resolution.
The respondents lament that the assailed decision undermines the functions of the
FDA as the specialized agency tasked to determine whether a contraceptive drug or After compliance with due process and upon promulgation of the decision of the Food
device is safe, effective and non-abortifacient. They also claim that the assailed and Drug Administration, the Temporary Restraining Order would be deemed lifted if
decision requiring notice and hearing would unduly delay the issuance of CPR thereby the questioned drugs and devices are found not abortifacients.
affecting public access to State-funded contraceptives. Finally, in a veritable attempt to
sow panic, the respondents claim that the TRO issued by the Court would result in "a After the final resolution by the Food and Drug Administration, any appeal should be to
nationwide stockout of family planning supplies in accredited public health facilities the Office of the President pursuant to Section 9 of E.O. No. 247.
and the commercial market. "45
As ordered in the August 24, 2016 Decision, the Food and Drug Administration is
On this score, it should be clarified that the Decision simply enjoined the respondents directed to amend the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. No. 10354 so that
from registering, recertifying, procuring, and administering only those contraceptive it would be strictly compliant with the mandates of the Court in lmbong v. Ochoa.
drugs and devices which were the subjects of the petitioners' opposition, specifically
Implanon and Implanon NXT. It never meant to enjoin the processing of the entire SO ORDERED.
gamut of family planning supplies that have been declared as unquestionably non-
abortifacient. Moreover, the injunction issued by the Court was only subject to the
condition that the respondents afford the petitioners a genuine opportunity to their right Republic of the Philippines
to due process. SUPREME COURT
Manila appraisers Cuervo and Asian Appraisers in 1995 and 1996, respectively, considering
that it was arrived at after taking into account: (a) the fair market value of the subject
SECOND DIVISION property in the amount of ₱4,000.00 per sq. m. based on the September 4, 1996
recommendation of the City Appraisal Committee;18 (b) the market value of the
G.R. No. 202690 June 5, 2013 subject lot in the amount of ₱2,000.00 per sq. m. based on several sworn statements
made by Sy himself;19 and (c) Sy’s own tax declaration for 1996,20 stating that the
HENRY L. SY, Petitioner, subject property has a total market value of ₱2,272,050.00. Accordingly, it held that
vs. the fair market value of ₱5,500.00 per sq. m., or ₱5,500,000.00 in total, for the 1,000
LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF QUEZON CITY, Respondent. sq. m. subject property arrived at by Commissioners Ostaco and Alcantara was more
than fair and reasonable.21
DECISION
The CA also denied Sy’s assertion that he should be entitled to damages on account
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.: of the purported shelving of his housing project, finding no sufficient evidence to
support the same. Likewise, it observed that the expropriation would not leave the rest
Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari1 are the January 20, 2012 Decision2 of Sy’s properties useless as they would still be accessible through a certain Lot 8
and July 16, 2012 Resolution3 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 91964 based on the Property Identification Map.22
which affirmed with modification the August 22, 2008 Order4 of the Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City, Branch 80 (RTC) in Civil Case No. Q-96-29352, ordering Nonetheless, citing the case of Manila International Airport Authority v. Rodriguez
respondent Local Government of Quezon City (the City) to pay petitioner Henry L. Sy (MIAA),23 it awarded exemplary damages in the amount of ₱200,000.00 and
(Sy) just compensation set as ₱5,500.00 per square meter (sq. m.), including attorney’s fees equivalent to one percent (1%) of the amount due because of the City’s
₱200,000.00 as exemplary damages and attorney’s fees equivalent to one percent taking of the subject property without even initiating expropriation proceedings.24 It,
(1%) of the total amount due. however, denied Sy’s claim of back rentals considering that the RTC had already
granted legal interest in his favor.25
The Facts
Aggrieved, Sy moved for reconsideration which was denied in the Resolution dated
On November 7, 1996, the City, through then Mayor Ismael Mathay, Jr., filed a July 16, 201226 for being filed out of time.27 The City also filed a motion for
complaint for expropriation with the RTC in order to acquire a 1,000 sq. m. parcel of reconsideration which was equally denied for lack of merit.28
land, owned and registered under the name of Sy (subject property),5 which was
intended to be used as a site for a multi-purpose barangay hall, day-care center, Hence, this petition.
playground and community activity center for the benefit of the residents of Barangay
Balingasa, Balintawak, Quezon City.6 The requisite ordinance to undertake the Issues Before The Court
aforesaid expropriation namely, Ordinance No. Sp-181, s-94, was enacted on April 12,
1994.7 The present controversy revolves around the issue of whether the CA correctly: (a)
dismissed Sy’s motion for reconsideration for being filed out of time; (b) upheld the
On March 18, 1997, pursuant to Section 198 of Republic Act No. 7160 (RA 7160), amount of just compensation as determined by the RTC as well as its grant of six
otherwise known as the "Local Government Code of 1991," the City deposited the percent (6%) legal interest; and (c) awarded exemplary damages and attorney’s fees.
amount of ₱241,090.00 with the Office of the Clerk of Court, representing 15% of the
fair market value of the subject property based on its tax declaration.9 The Court’s Ruling

During the preliminary conference on November 8, 2006, Sy did not question the City’s The petition is partly meritorious.
right to expropriate the subject property. Thus, only the amount of just compensation
remained at issue.10 A. Failure to seasonably move for
reconsideration; excusable
On July 6, 2006, the RTC appointed Edgardo Ostaco (Commissioner Ostaco), Engr. negligence; relaxation of procedural
Victor Salinas (Commissioner Salinas) and Atty. Carlo Alcantara (Commissioner rules
Alcantara) as commissioners to determine the proper amount of just compensation to
be paid by the City for the subject property. Subsequently, Commissioners Ostaco and At the outset, the Court observes that Sy’s motion for reconsideration was filed out of
Alcantara, in a Report dated February 11, 2008, recommended the payment of time and thus, was properly dismissed by the CA. Records show that, as per the
₱5,500.00 per sq. m., to be computed from the date of the filing of the expropriation Postmaster’s Certification, the CA’s January 20, 2012 Decision was received by Sy on
complaint, or on November 7, 1996. On the other hand, Commissioner Salinas filed a January 26, 2012 and as such, any motion for reconsideration therefrom should have
separate Report dated March 7, 2008, recommending the higher amount of been filed not later than fifteen (15) days from receipt,29 or on February 10, 2012.30
₱13,500.00 per sq. m. as just compensation.11 However, Sy filed his motion for reconsideration (subject motion) a day late, or on
February 13, 2012,31 which thus, renders the CA decision final and executory.32
The RTC Ruling
In this regard, it is apt to mention that Sy’s counsel, Atty. Tranquilino F. Meris (Atty.
In the Order dated August 22, 2008,12 the RTC, citing the principle that just Meris), claims that his secretary’s inadvertent placing of the date January 27, 2012,
compensation must be fair not only to the owner but to the expropriator as well, instead of January 26, 2012, on the Notice of Decision33 constitutes excusable
adopted the findings of Commissioners Ostaco and Alcantara and thus, held that the negligence which should therefore, justify a relaxation of the rules.
just compensation for the subject property should be set at ₱5,500.00 per sq. m.13
Further, it found no basis for the award of damages and back rentals in favor of Sy.14 The assertion is untenable.
Finally, while legal interest was not claimed, for equity considerations, it awarded six
percent (6%) legal interest, computed from November 7, 1996 until full payment of just A claim of excusable negligence does not loosely warrant a relaxation of the rules.
compensation.15 Verily, the party invoking such should be able to show that the procedural oversight or
lapse is attended by a genuine miscalculation or unforeseen fortuitousness which
Dissatisfied, Sy filed an appeal with the CA.16 ordinary prudence could not have guarded against so as to justify the relief sought.34
The standard of carerequired is that which an ordinarily prudent man bestows upon his
The CA Ruling important business.35 In this accord, the duty rests on every counsel to see to adopt
and strictly maintain a system that will efficiently take into account all court notices
In the Decision dated January 20, 2012,17 the CA affirmed the RTC’s ruling but sent to him.36
modified the same, ordering the City to pay Sy the amount of ₱200,000.00 as
exemplary damages and attorney’s fees equivalent to one percent (1%) of the total Applying these principles, the Court cannot excuse Atty. Meris’ misstep based on his
amount due. proffered reasons. Evidently, the erroneous stamping of the Notice of Decision could
have been averted if only he had instituted a credible filing system in his office to
It found the appraisal of Commissioners Ostaco and Alcantara for the subject property account for oversights such as that committed by his secretary. Indeed, ordinary
to be more believable than the ₱13,000.00 per sq. m. valuation made by independent prudence could have prevented such mistake.
Be that as it may, procedural rules may, nonetheless, be relaxed for the most This is based on the principle that interest "runs as a matter of law and follows from
persuasive of reasons in order to relieve a litigant of an injustice not commensurate the right of the landowner to be placed in as good position as money can accomplish,
with the degree of his thoughtlessness in not complying with the procedure as of the date of the taking."44
prescribed.37 Corollarily, the rule, which states that the mistakes of counsel bind the
client, may not be strictly followed where observance of it would result in the outright Notably, the lack of proper authorization, i.e., resolution to effect expropriation,45 did
deprivation of the client’s liberty or property, or where the interest of justice so not affect the character of the City’s taking of the subject property in 1986 as the CA,
requires.38 in its January 20, 2012 Decision, suggests. Case law dictates that there is "taking"
when the owner is actually deprived or dispossessed of his property; when there is a
As applied in this case, the Court finds that the procedural consequence of the above- practical destruction or a material impairment of the value of his property or when he is
discussed one-day delay in the filing of the subject motion – which, as a matter of deprived of the ordinary use thereof.46 Therefore, notwithstanding the lack of proper
course, should render the CA’s January 20, 2012 Decision already final and executory authorization, the legal character of the City’s action as one of "taking" did not change.
and hence, bar the instant petition – is incommensurate to the injustice which Sy may In this relation, the CA noted that the City enacted Ordinance No. Sp-181, s-94, only
suffer. This is in line with the Court’s observation that the amount of just on April 12, 1994 and filed its expropriation complaint on November 7, 1996. However,
compensation, the rate of legal interest, as well as the time of its accrual, were as it previously admitted, it already commenced with the taking of the subject property
incorrectly adjudged by both the RTC and the CA, contrary to existing jurisprudence. In as early as 1986. Accordingly, interest must run from such time.
this respect, the Court deems it proper to relax the rules of procedure and thus,
proceed to resolve these substantive issues. This irregularity does not, however, proceed without any consequence.1âwphi1 As
correctly observed by the CA, citing as basis the MIAA case, exemplary damages and
B. Rate of legal interest and time of accrual attorney’s fees should be awarded to the landowner if the government takes
possession of the property for a prolonged period of time without properly initiating
Based on a judicious review of the records and application of jurisprudential rulings, expropriation proceedings. The MIAA ruling was applied in the more recent case of
the Court holds that the correct rate of legal interest to be applied is twelve percent City of Iloilo v. Judge Lolita Contreras-Besana ,47 wherein the Court said:
(12%) and not six percent (6%) per annum, owing to the nature of the City’s obligation
as an effective forbearance. We stress, however, that the City of Iloilo should be held liable for damages for taking
private respondent’s property without payment of just compensation. In Manila
In the case of Republic v. CA,39 the Court ruled that the debt incurred by the International Airport Authority v. Rodriguez, the Court held that a government agency’s
government on account of the taking of the property subject of an expropriation prolonged occupation of private property without the benefit of expropriation
constitutes an effective forbearance which therefore, warrants the application of the proceedings undoubtedly entitled the landowner to damages:
12% legal interest rate, viz:
Such pecuniary loss entitles him to adequate compensation in the form of actual or
The constitutional limitation of "just compensation" is considered to be the sum compensatory damages, which in this case should be the legal interest (6%) on the
equivalent to the market value of the property, broadly described to be the price fixed value of the land at the time of taking, from said point up to full payment by the MIAA.
by the seller in open market in the usual and ordinary course of legal action and This is based on the principle that interest "runs as a matter of law and follows from
competition or the fair value of the property as between one who receives, and one the right of the landowner to be placed in as good position as money can accomplish,
who desires to sell, it fixed at the time of the actual taking by the government. Thus, if as of the date of the taking x x x.
property is taken for public use before compensation is deposited with the court having
jurisdiction over the case, the final compensation must include interests on its just xxxx
value to be computed from the time the property is taken to the time when
compensation is actually paid or deposited with the court. In fine, between the taking For more than twenty (20) years, the MIAA occupied the subject lot without the benefit
of the property and the actual payment, legal interests accrue in order to place the of expropriation proceedings and without the MIAA exerting efforts to ascertain
owner in a position as good as (but not better than) the position he was in before the ownership of the lot and negotiating with any of the owners of the property. To our
taking occurred. mind, these are wanton and irresponsible acts which should be suppressed and
corrected. Hence, the award of exemplary damages and attorneys fees is in order. x x
The Bulacan trial court, in its 1979 decision, was correct in imposing interests on the x. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied; citations omitted)
zonal value of the property to be computed from the time petitioner instituted
condemnation proceedings and "took" the property in September 1969. This allowance All told, the Court finds the grant of exemplary damages in the amount of ₱200,000.00
of interest on the amount found to be the value of the property as of the time of the as well as attorney’s fees equivalent to 1% of the total amount due amply justified,
taking computed, being an effective forbearance, at 12% per annum should help square as it is with existing jurisprudence.
eliminate the issue of the constant fluctuation and inflation of the value of the currency
over time. x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) C. Amount of just compensation

In similar regard, the Court, in Land Bank of the Philippines v. Rivera,40 pronounced Finally, the Court cannot sustain the amount of ₱5,500.00/sq. m. as just compensation
that: which was set by the RTC and upheld by the CA. The said valuation was actually
arrived at after considering: (a) the September 4, 1996 recommendation of the City
In many cases decided by this Court,41 it has been repeated time and again that the Appraisal Committee; (b) several sworn statements made by Sy himself; and (c) Sy’s
award of 12% interest is imposed in the nature of damages for delay in payment which own tax declaration for 1996.48
in effect makes the obligation on the part of the government one of forbearance. This
is to ensure prompt payment of the value of the land and limit the opportunity loss of It is well-settled that the amount of just compensation is to be ascertained as of the
the owner that can drag from days to decades. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) time of the taking.49 However, the above-stated documents do not reflect the value of
the subject property at the time of its taking in 1986 but rather, its valuation in 1996.
As to the reckoning point on which the legal interest should accrue, the same should Consequently, the case must be remanded to the RTC in order to properly determine
be computed from the time of the taking of the subject property in 1986 and not from the amount of just compensation during such time the subject property was actually
the filing of the complaint for expropriation on November 7, 1996. taken.

Records show that the City itself admitted in its Appellee’s Brief filed before the CA WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTLY GRANTED. The January 20, 2012 Decision
that as early as 1986, "a burden was already imposed upon the owner of the subject and July 16, 2012 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 91964 are
property x x x, considering that the expropriated property was already being used as hereby SET ASIDE. Accordingly, the case is REMANDED to the trial court for the
Barangay day care and office."42 Thus, the property was actually taken during that proper determination of the amount of just compensation in accordance with this
time and from thereon, legal interest should have already accrued. In this light, the Decision. To forestall any further delay in the resolution of this case, the trial court is
Court has held that:43 hereby ordered to fix the just compensation for petitioner Henry L. Sy's property with
dispatch and report to the Court its compliance. Finally, respondent Local Government
x x x [T]he final compensation must include interests on its just value to be computed of Quezon City is ordered to PAY exemplary damages in the amount of ₱200,000.00
from the time the property is taken to the time when compensation is actually paid or and attorney's fees equivalent to one percent (1%) of the amount due, after final
deposited with the court. x x x (Emphasis supplied) determination of the amount of just compensation.
general circulation, the Philippine Star and the Manila Standard, and became effective
SO ORDERED. fifteen (15) days later.6

Contending that the enactment and implementation of R.A. No. 9335 are tainted with
Republic of the Philippines constitutional infirmities in violation of the fundamental rights of its members, petitioner
SUPREME COURT Bureau of Customs Employees Association (BOCEA), an association of rank-and-file
Manila employees of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), duly registered with the Department of
Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC), and
EN BANC represented by its National President, Mr. Romulo A. Pagulayan (Pagulayan), directly
filed the present petition before this Court against respondents Margarito B. Teves, in
G.R. No. 181704 December 6, 2011 his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Finance (DOF), Commissioner
Napoleon L. Morales (Commissioner Morales), in his capacity as BOC Commissioner,
BUREAU OF CUSTOMS EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION (BOCEA), represented by and Lilian B. Hefti, in her capacity as Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue
its National President (BOCEA National Executive Council) Mr. Romulo A. (BIR). In its petition, BOCEA made the following averments:
Pagulayan, Petitioner,
vs. Sometime in 2008, high-ranking officials of the BOC pursuant to the mandate of R.A.
HON. MARGARITO B. TEVES, in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of No. 9335 and its IRR, and in order to comply with the stringent deadlines thereof,
Finance, HON. NAPOLEON L. MORALES, in his capacity as Commissioner of the started to disseminate Collection District Performance Contracts7 (Performance
Bureau of Customs, HON. LILIAN B. HEFTI, in her capacity as Commissioner of Contracts) for the lower ranking officials and rank-and-file employees to sign. The
the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Respondents. Performance Contract pertinently provided:

DECISION xxxx

VILLARAMA, JR., J.: WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 25 (b) of the Implementing Rules and
Regulations (IRR) of the Attrition Act of 2005, that provides for the setting of criteria
Before this Court is a petition1 for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for injunctive and procedures for removing from the service Officials and Employees whose revenue
relief/s under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, to declare collection fall short of the target in accordance with Section 7 of Republic Act 9335.
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9335,2 otherwise known as the Attrition Act of 2005, and its
Implementing Rules and Regulations3 (IRR) unconstitutional, and the implementation xxxx
thereof be enjoined permanently.
NOW, THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the foregoing premises, parties unto
The Facts this Agreement hereby agree and so agreed to perform the following:

On January 25, 2005, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law R.A. xxxx
No. 9335 which took effect on February 11, 2005.
2. The "Section 2, PA/PE" hereby accepts the allocated Revenue Collection Target
In Abakada Guro Party List v. Purisima4 (Abakada), we said of R.A. No. 9335: and further accepts/commits to meet the said target under the following conditions:

RA [No.] 9335 was enacted to optimize the revenue-generation capability and a.) That he/she will meet the allocated Revenue Collection Target and thereby
collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC). undertakes and binds himself/herself that in the event the revenue collection falls short
The law intends to encourage BIR and BOC officials and employees to exceed their of the target with due consideration of all relevant factors affecting the level of
revenue targets by providing a system of rewards and sanctions through the creation collection as provided in the rules and regulations promulgated under the Act and its
of a Rewards and Incentives Fund (Fund) and a Revenue Performance Evaluation IRR, he/she will voluntarily submit to the provisions of Sec. 25 (b) of the IRR and Sec.
Board (Board). It covers all officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC with at 7 of the Act; and
least six months of service, regardless of employment status.
b.) That he/she will cascade and/or allocate to respective Appraisers/Examiners or
The Fund is sourced from the collection of the BIR and the BOC in excess of their Employees under his/her section the said Revenue Collection Target and require them
revenue targets for the year, as determined by the Development Budget and to execute a Performance Contract, and direct them to accept their individual target.
Coordinating Committee (DBCC). Any incentive or reward is taken from the fund and The Performance Contract executed by the respective
allocated to the BIR and the BOC in proportion to their contribution in the excess Examiners/Appraisers/Employees shall be submitted to the Office of the
collection of the targeted amount of tax revenue. Commissioner through the LAIC on or before March 31, 2008.

The Boards in the BIR and the BOC are composed of the Secretary of the Department x x x x8
of Finance (DOF) or his/her Undersecretary, the Secretary of the Department of
Budget and Management (DBM) or his/her Undersecretary, the Director General of the BOCEA opined that the revenue target was impossible to meet due to the
National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) or his/her Deputy Director General, Government’s own policies on reduced tariff rates and tax breaks to big businesses,
the Commissioners of the BIR and the BOC or their Deputy Commissioners, two the occurrence of natural calamities and because of other economic factors. BOCEA
representatives from the rank-and-file employees and a representative from the claimed that some BOC employees were coerced and forced to sign the Performance
officials nominated by their recognized organization. Contract. The majority of them, however, did not sign. In particular, officers of BOCEA
were summoned and required to sign the Performance Contracts but they also
Each Board has the duty to (1) prescribe the rules and guidelines for the allocation, refused. To ease the brewing tension, BOCEA claimed that its officers sent letters, and
distribution and release of the Fund; (2) set criteria and procedures for removing from sought several dialogues with BOC officials but the latter refused to heed them.
the service officials and employees whose revenue collection falls short of the target;
(3) terminate personnel in accordance with the criteria adopted by the Board; (4) In addition, BOCEA alleged that Commissioner Morales exerted heavy pressure on the
prescribe a system for performance evaluation; (5) perform other functions, including District Collectors, Chiefs of Formal Entry Divisions, Principal Customs Appraisers and
the issuance of rules and regulations and (6) submit an annual report to Congress. Principal Customs Examiners of the BOC during command conferences to make them
sign their Performance Contracts. Likewise, BOC Deputy Commissioner Reynaldo
The DOF, DBM, NEDA, BIR, BOC and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) were Umali (Deputy Commissioner Umali) individually spoke to said personnel to convince
tasked to promulgate and issue the implementing rules and regulations of RA [No.] them to sign said contracts. Said personnel were threatened that if they do not sign
9335, to be approved by a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created for such their respective Performance Contracts, they would face possible reassignment,
purpose.5 reshuffling, or worse, be placed on floating status. Thus, all the District Collectors,
except a certain Atty. Carlos So of the Collection District III of the Ninoy Aquino
The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee approved the assailed IRR on May 22, International Airport (NAIA), signed the Performance Contracts.
2006. Subsequently, the IRR was published on May 30, 2006 in two newspapers of
BOCEA further claimed that Pagulayan was constantly harassed and threatened with WHETHER OR NOT THE ATTRITION LAW, REPUBLIC ACT [NO.] 9335, AND ITS
lawsuits. Pagulayan approached Deputy Commissioner Umali to ask the BOC officials IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS
to stop all forms of harassment, but the latter merely said that he would look into the THESE VIOLATE THE RIGHT OF BIR AND BOC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES TO
matter. On February 5, 2008, BOCEA through counsel wrote the Revenue THE EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS[;]
Performance Evaluation Board (Board) to desist from implementing R.A. No. 9335 and
its IRR and from requiring rank-and-file employees of the BOC and BIR to sign III.
Performance Contracts.9 In his letter-reply10 dated February 12, 2008, Deputy
Commissioner Umali denied having coerced any BOC employee to sign a WHETHER OR NOT REPUBLIC ACT [NO.] 9335 AND ITS IMPLEMENTING RULES
Performance Contract. He also defended the BOC, invoking its mandate of merely AND REGULATIONS VIOLATE THE RIGHT TO SECURITY OF TENURE OF BIR
implementing the law. Finally, Pagulayan and BOCEA’s counsel, on separate AND BOC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES AS ENSHRINED UNDER SECTION 2 (3),
occasions, requested for a certified true copy of the Performance Contract from ARTICLE IX (B) OF THE CONSTITUTION[;]
Deputy Commissioner Umali but the latter failed to furnish them a copy.11
IV.
This petition was filed directly with this Court on March 3, 2008. BOCEA asserted that
in view of the unconstitutionality of R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR, and their adverse WHETHER OR NOT REPUBLIC ACT [NO.] 9335 AND ITS IMPLEMENTING RULES
effects on the constitutional rights of BOC officials and employees, direct resort to this AND REGULATIONS ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS THEY CONSTITUTE UNDUE
Court is justified. BOCEA argued, among others, that its members and other BOC DELEGATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWERS TO THE REVENUE PERFORMANCE
employees are in great danger of losing their jobs should they fail to meet the required EVALUATION BOARD IN VIOLATION OF THE PRINCIPLE OF SEPARATION OF
quota provided under the law, in clear violation of their constitutional right to security of POWERS ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION[; AND]
tenure, and at their and their respective families’ prejudice.
V.
In their Comment,12 respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG),
countered that R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR do not violate the right to due process and WHETHER OR NOT REPUBLIC ACT [NO.] 9335 IS A BILL OF ATTAINDER AND
right to security of tenure of BIR and BOC employees. The OSG stressed that the HENCE[,] UNCONSTITUTIONAL BECAUSE IT INFLICTS PUNISHMENT THROUGH
guarantee of security of tenure under the 1987 Constitution is not a guarantee of LEGISLATIVE FIAT UPON A PARTICULAR GROUP OR CLASS OF OFFICIALS AND
perpetual employment. R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR provided a reasonable and valid EMPLOYEES WITHOUT TRIAL.21
ground for the dismissal of an employee which is germane to the purpose of the law.
Likewise, R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR provided that an employee may only be separated BOCEA manifested that while waiting for the Court to give due course to its petition,
from the service upon compliance with substantive and procedural due process. The events unfolded showing the patent unconstitutionality of R.A. No. 9335. It narrated
OSG added that R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR must enjoy the presumption of that during the first year of the implementation of R.A. No. 9335, BOC employees
constitutionality. exerted commendable efforts to attain their revenue target of ₱196 billion which they
surpassed by as much as ₱2 billion for that year alone. However, this was attained
In its Reply,13 BOCEA claimed that R.A. No. 9335 employs means that are only because oil companies made advance tax payments to BOC. Moreover, BOC
unreasonable to achieve its stated objectives; that the law is unduly oppressive of BIR employees were given their "reward" for surpassing said target only in 2008, the
and BOC employees as it shifts the extreme burden upon their shoulders when the distribution of which they described as unjust, unfair, dubious and fraudulent because
Government itself has adopted measures that make collection difficult such as only top officials of BOC got the huge sum of reward while the employees, who did the
reduced tariff rates to almost zero percent and tax exemption of big businesses; and hard task of collecting, received a mere pittance of around ₱8,500.00. In the same
that the law is discriminatory of BIR and BOC employees. BOCEA manifested that only manner, the Bonds Division of BOC-NAIA collected 400+% of its designated target but
the high-ranking officials of the BOC benefited largely from the reward system under the higher management gave out to the employees a measly sum of ₱8,500.00 while
R.A. No. 9335 despite the fact that they were not the ones directly toiling to collect the top level officials partook of millions of the excess collections. BOCEA relies on a
revenue. Moreover, despite the BOCEA’s numerous requests,14 BOC continually piece of information revealed by a newspaper showing the list of BOC officials who
refused to provide BOCEA the Expenditure Plan on how such reward was distributed. apparently earned huge amounts of money by way of reward.22 It claims that the
recipients thereof included lawyers, support personnel and other employees, including
Since BOCEA was seeking similar reliefs as that of the petitioners in Abakada Guro a dentist, who performed no collection functions at all. These alleged anomalous
Party List v. Purisima, BOCEA filed a Motion to Consolidate15 the present case with selection, distribution and allocation of rewards was due to the failure of R.A. No. 9335
Abakada on April 16, 2008. However, pending action on said motion, the Court to set out clear guidelines.23
rendered its decision in Abakada on August 14, 2008. Thus, the consolidation of this
case with Abakada was rendered no longer possible.16
In addition, BOCEA avers that the Board initiated the first few cases of attrition for the
In Abakada, this Court, through then Associate Justice, now Chief Justice Renato C. Fiscal Year 2007 by subjecting five BOC officials from the Port of Manila to attrition
Corona, declared Section 1217 of R.A. No. 9335 creating a Joint Congressional despite the fact that the Port of Manila substantially complied with the provisions of
Oversight Committee to approve the IRR as unconstitutional and violative of the R.A. No. 9335. It is thus submitted that the selection of these officials for attrition
principle of separation of powers. However, the constitutionality of the remaining without proper investigation was nothing less than arbitrary. Further, the legislative and
provisions of R.A. No. 9335 was upheld pursuant to Section 1318 of R.A. No. 9335. executive departments’ promulgation of issuances and the Government’s accession to
The Court also held that until the contrary is shown, the IRR of R.A. No. 9335 is regional trade agreements have caused a significant diminution of the tariff rates, thus,
presumed valid and effective even without the approval of the Joint Congressional decreasing over-all collection. These unrealistic settings of revenue targets seriously
Oversight Committee.19 affect BIR and BOC employees tasked with the burden of collection, and worse,
subjected them to attrition.24
Notwithstanding our ruling in Abakada, both parties complied with our Resolution20
dated February 10, 2009, requiring them to submit their respective Memoranda. BOCEA assails the constitutionality of R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR on the following
grounds:
The Issues
1. R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR violate the BIR and BOC employees’ right to due process
BOCEA raises the following issues: because the termination of employees who had not attained their revenue targets for
the year is peremptory and done without any form of hearing to allow said employees
I. to ventilate their side. Moreover, R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR do not comply with the
requirements under CSC rules and regulations as the dismissal in this case is
WHETHER OR NOT THE ATTRITION LAW, REPUBLIC ACT [NO.] 9335, AND ITS immediately executory. Such immediately executory nature of the Board’s decision
IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS negates the remedies available to an employee as provided under the CSC rules.
THESE VIOLATE THE RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF THE COVERED BIR AND
BOC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES[;] 2. R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR violate the BIR and BOC employees’ right to equal
protection of the law because R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR unduly discriminates against
II. BIR and BOC employees as compared to employees of other revenue generating
government agencies like the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation,
Department of Transportation and Communication, the Air Transportation Office, the
Land Transportation Office, and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, among raised by BOCEA in our decision in Abakada, which attained finality on September 17,
others, which are not subject to attrition. 2008. As such, our ruling therein is worthy of reiteration in this case.

3. R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR violate the BIR and BOC employees’ right to security of We resolve the first issue in the negative.
tenure because R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR effectively removed remedies provided in
the ordinary course of administrative procedure afforded to government employees. The principle of separation of powers ordains that each of the three great branches of
The law likewise created another ground for dismissal, i.e., non-attainment of revenue government has exclusive cognizance of and is supreme in matters falling within its
collection target, which is not provided under CSC rules and which is, by its nature, own constitutionally allocated sphere.28 Necessarily imbedded in this doctrine is the
unpredictable and therefore arbitrary and unreasonable. principle of non-delegation of powers, as expressed in the Latin maxim potestas
delegata non delegari potest, which means "what has been delegated, cannot be
4. R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR violate the 1987 Constitution because Congress granted delegated." This doctrine is based on the ethical principle that such delegated power
to the Revenue Performance Evaluation Board (Board) the unbridled discretion of constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate through the
formulating the criteria for termination, the manner of allocating targets, the distribution instrumentality of his own judgment and not through the intervening mind of another.29
of rewards and the determination of relevant factors affecting the targets of collection, However, this principle of non-delegation of powers admits of numerous exceptions,30
which is tantamount to undue delegation of legislative power. one of which is the delegation of legislative power to various specialized administrative
agencies like the Board in this case.
5. R.A. No. 9335 is a bill of attainder because it inflicts punishment upon a particular
group or class of officials and employees without trial. This is evident from the fact that The rationale for the aforementioned exception was clearly explained in our ruling in
the law confers upon the Board the power to impose the penalty of removal upon Gerochi v. Department of Energy,31 to wit:
employees who do not meet their revenue targets; that the same is without the benefit
of hearing; and that the removal from service is immediately executory. Lastly, it In the face of the increasing complexity of modern life, delegation of legislative power
disregards the presumption of regularity in the performance of the official functions of a to various specialized administrative agencies is allowed as an exception to this
public officer.25 principle. Given the volume and variety of interactions in today’s society, it is doubtful if
the legislature can promulgate laws that will deal adequately with and respond
On the other hand, respondents through the OSG stress that except for Section 12 of promptly to the minutiae of everyday life. Hence, the need to delegate to administrative
R.A. No. 9335, R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR are constitutional, as per our ruling in bodies — the principal agencies tasked to execute laws in their specialized fields —
Abakada. Nevertheless, the OSG argues that the classification of BIR and BOC the authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement a given statute and
employees as public officers under R.A. No. 9335 is based on a valid and substantial effectuate its policies. All that is required for the valid exercise of this power of
distinction since the revenue generated by the BIR and BOC is essentially in the form subordinate legislation is that the regulation be germane to the objects and purposes
of taxes, which is the lifeblood of the State, while the revenue produced by other of the law and that the regulation be not in contradiction to, but in conformity with, the
agencies is merely incidental or secondary to their governmental functions; that in view standards prescribed by the law. These requirements are denominated as the
of their mandate, and for purposes of tax collection, the BIR and BOC are sui generis; completeness test and the sufficient standard test.32
that R.A. No. 9335 complies with the "completeness" and "sufficient standard" tests for
the permissive delegation of legislative power to the Board; that the Board exercises Thus, in Abakada, we held,
its delegated power consistent with the policy laid down in the law, that is, to optimize
the revenue generation capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC; that Two tests determine the validity of delegation of legislative power: (1) the
parameters were set in order that the Board may identify the officials and employees completeness test and (2) the sufficient standard test. A law is complete when it sets
subject to attrition, and the proper procedure for their removal in case they fail to meet forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate. It
the targets set in the Performance Contract were provided; and that the rights of BIR lays down a sufficient standard when it provides adequate guidelines or limitations in
and BOC employees to due process of law and security of tenure are duly accorded the law to map out the boundaries of the delegate’s authority and prevent the
by R.A. No. 9335. The OSG likewise maintains that there was no encroachment of delegation from running riot. To be sufficient, the standard must specify the limits of
judicial power in the enactment of R.A. No. 9335 amounting to a bill of attainder since the delegate’s authority, announce the legislative policy and identify the conditions
R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR merely defined the offense and provided for the penalty that under which it is to be implemented.
may be imposed. Finally, the OSG reiterates that the separation from the service of
any BIR or BOC employee under R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR shall be done only upon RA [No.] 9335 adequately states the policy and standards to guide the President in
due consideration of all relevant factors affecting the level of collection, subject to Civil fixing revenue targets and the implementing agencies in carrying out the provisions of
Service laws, rules and regulations, and in compliance with substantive and procedural the law. Section 2 spells out the policy of the law:
due process. The OSG opines that the Performance Contract, far from violating the
BIR and BOC employees’ right to due process, actually serves as a notice of the "SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. — It is the policy of the State to optimize the revenue-
revenue target they have to meet and the possible consequences of failing to meet the generation capability and collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the
same. More, there is nothing in the law which prevents the aggrieved party from Bureau of Customs (BOC) by providing for a system of rewards and sanctions through
appealing the unfavorable decision of dismissal.26 the creation of a Rewards and Incentives Fund and a Revenue Performance
Evaluation Board in the above agencies for the purpose of encouraging their officials
In essence, the issues for our resolution are: and employees to exceed their revenue targets."

1. Whether there is undue delegation of legislative power to the Board; Section 4 "canalized within banks that keep it from overflowing" the delegated power to
the President to fix revenue targets:
2. Whether R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR violate the rights of BOCEA’s members to: (a)
equal protection of laws, (b) security of tenure and (c) due process; and "SEC. 4. Rewards and Incentives Fund. — A Rewards and Incentives Fund,
hereinafter referred to as the Fund, is hereby created, to be sourced from the
3. Whether R.A. No. 9335 is a bill of attainder. collection of the BIR and the BOC in excess of their respective revenue targets of the
year, as determined by the Development Budget and Coordinating Committee
Our Ruling (DBCC), in the following percentages:

Prefatorily, we note that it is clear, and in fact uncontroverted, that BOCEA has locus Excess of Collection [Over] the Revenue Targets Percent (%) of the
standi. BOCEA impugns the constitutionality of R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR because its Excess Collection to Accrue to the Fund
members, who are rank-and-file employees of the BOC, are actually covered by the 30% or below — 15%
law and its IRR. BOCEA’s members have a personal and substantial interest in the More than 30% — 15% of the first 30% plus 20% of the remaining
case, such that they have sustained or will sustain, direct injury as a result of the excess
enforcement of R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR.27 The Fund shall be deemed automatically appropriated the year immediately following
the year when the revenue collection target was exceeded and shall be released on
However, we find no merit in the petition and perforce dismiss the same. the same fiscal year.

It must be noted that this is not the first time the constitutionality of R.A. No. 9335 and Revenue targets shall refer to the original estimated revenue collection expected of the
its IRR are being challenged. The Court already settled the majority of the same issues BIR and the BOC for a given fiscal year as stated in the Budget of Expenditures and
Sources of Financing (BESF) submitted by the President to Congress. The BIR and Equal protection simply provides that all persons or things similarly situated should be
the BOC shall submit to the DBCC the distribution of the agencies’ revenue targets as treated in a similar manner, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed.
allocated among its revenue districts in the case of the BIR, and the collection districts The purpose of the equal protection clause is to secure every person within a state’s
in the case of the BOC. jurisdiction against intentional and arbitrary discrimination, whether occasioned by the
express terms of a statute or by its improper execution through the state’s duly
xxx xxx x x x" constituted authorities. In other words, the concept of equal justice under the law
requires the state to govern impartially, and it may not draw distinctions between
Revenue targets are based on the original estimated revenue collection expected individuals solely on differences that are irrelevant to a legitimate governmental
respectively of the BIR and the BOC for a given fiscal year as approved by the DBCC objective.361awphil
and stated in the BESF submitted by the President to Congress. Thus, the
determination of revenue targets does not rest solely on the President as it also Thus, on the issue on equal protection of the laws, we held in Abakada:
undergoes the scrutiny of the DBCC.
The equal protection clause recognizes a valid classification, that is, a classification
On the other hand, Section 7 specifies the limits of the Board’s authority and identifies that has a reasonable foundation or rational basis and not arbitrary. With respect to RA
the conditions under which officials and employees whose revenue collection falls [No.] 9335, its expressed public policy is the optimization of the revenue-generation
short of the target by at least 7.5% may be removed from the service: capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC. Since the subject of the law is the
revenue-generation capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC, the incentives
"SEC. 7. Powers and Functions of the Board. — The Board in the agency shall have and/or sanctions provided in the law should logically pertain to the said agencies.
the following powers and functions: Moreover, the law concerns only the BIR and the BOC because they have the
common distinct primary function of generating revenues for the national government
xxx xxx xxx through the collection of taxes, customs duties, fees and charges.

(b) To set the criteria and procedures for removing from service officials and The BIR performs the following functions:
employees whose revenue collection falls short of the target by at least seven and a
half percent (7.5%), with due consideration of all relevant factors affecting the level of "Sec. 18. The Bureau of Internal Revenue. — The Bureau of Internal Revenue, which
collection as provided in the rules and regulations promulgated under this Act, subject shall be headed by and subject to the supervision and control of the Commissioner of
to civil service laws, rules and regulations and compliance with substantive and Internal Revenue, who shall be appointed by the President upon the recommendation
procedural due process: Provided, That the following exemptions shall apply: of the Secretary [of the DOF], shall have the following functions:

1. Where the district or area of responsibility is newly-created, not exceeding two years (1) Assess and collect all taxes, fees and charges and account for all revenues
in operation, and has no historical record of collection performance that can be used collected;
as basis for evaluation; and
(2) Exercise duly delegated police powers for the proper performance of its functions
2. Where the revenue or customs official or employee is a recent transferee in the and duties;
middle of the period under consideration unless the transfer was due to
nonperformance of revenue targets or potential nonperformance of revenue targets: (3) Prevent and prosecute tax evasions and all other illegal economic activities;
Provided, however, That when the district or area of responsibility covered by revenue
or customs officials or employees has suffered from economic difficulties brought (4) Exercise supervision and control over its constituent and subordinate units; and
about by natural calamities or force majeure or economic causes as may be
determined by the Board, termination shall be considered only after careful and proper (5) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law.
review by the Board.
xxx xxx x x x"
(c) To terminate personnel in accordance with the criteria adopted in the preceding
paragraph: Provided, That such decision shall be immediately executory: Provided, On the other hand, the BOC has the following functions:
further, That the application of the criteria for the separation of an official or employee
from service under this Act shall be without prejudice to the application of other "Sec. 23. The Bureau of Customs. — The Bureau of Customs which shall be headed
relevant laws on accountability of public officers and employees, such as the Code of and subject to the management and control of the Commissioner of Customs, who
Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officers and Employees and the Anti-Graft shall be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary [of the
and Corrupt Practices Act; DOF] and hereinafter referred to as Commissioner, shall have the following functions:

xxx xxx x x x" (1) Collect custom duties, taxes and the corresponding fees, charges and penalties;

At any rate, this Court has recognized the following as sufficient standards: "public (2) Account for all customs revenues collected;
interest", "justice and equity", "public convenience and welfare" and "simplicity,
economy and welfare". In this case, the declared policy of optimization of the revenue- (3) Exercise police authority for the enforcement of tariff and customs laws;
generation capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC is infused with public
interest.33 (4) Prevent and suppress smuggling, pilferage and all other economic frauds within all
ports of entry;
We could not but deduce that the completeness test and the sufficient standard test
were fully satisfied by R.A. No. 9335, as evident from the aforementioned Sections 2, (5) Supervise and control exports, imports, foreign mails and the clearance of vessels
4 and 7 thereof. Moreover, Section 534 of R.A. No. 9335 also provides for the and aircrafts in all ports of entry;
incentives due to District Collection Offices. While it is apparent that the last paragraph
of Section 5 provides that "[t]he allocation, distribution and release of the district (6) Administer all legal requirements that are appropriate;
reward shall likewise be prescribed by the rules and regulations of the Revenue
Performance and Evaluation Board," Section 7 (a)35 of R.A. No. 9335 clearly (7) Prevent and prosecute smuggling and other illegal activities in all ports under its
mandates and sets the parameters for the Board by providing that such rules and jurisdiction;
guidelines for the allocation, distribution and release of the fund shall be in accordance
with Sections 4 and 5 of R.A. No. 9335. In sum, the Court finds that R.A. No. 9335, (8) Exercise supervision and control over its constituent units;
read and appreciated in its entirety, is complete in all its essential terms and
conditions, and that it contains sufficient standards as to negate BOCEA’s supposition (9) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law.
of undue delegation of legislative power to the Board.
xxx xxx x x x"
Similarly, we resolve the second issue in the negative.
Both the BIR and the BOC are bureaus under the DOF. They principally perform the
special function of being the instrumentalities through which the State exercises one of
its great inherent functions — taxation. Indubitably, such substantial distinction is We find that BOCEA’s petition is replete with allegations of defects and anomalies in
germane and intimately related to the purpose of the law. Hence, the classification and allocation, distribution and receipt of rewards. While BOCEA intimates that it intends to
treatment accorded to the BIR and the BOC under RA [No.] 9335 fully satisfy the curb graft and corruption in the BOC in particular and in the government in general
demands of equal protection.37 which is nothing but noble, these intentions do not actually pertain to the
constitutionality of R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR, but rather in the faithful implementation
As it was imperatively correlated to the issue on equal protection, the issues on the thereof. R.A. No. 9335 itself does not tolerate these pernicious acts of graft and
security of tenure of affected BIR and BOC officials and employees and their corruption.48 As the Court is not a trier of facts, the investigation on the veracity of,
entitlement to due process were also settled in Abakada: and the proper action on these anomalies are in the hands of the Executive branch.
Correlatively, the wisdom for the enactment of this law remains within the domain of
Clearly, RA [No.] 9335 in no way violates the security of tenure of officials and the Legislative branch. We merely interpret the law as it is. The Court has no discretion
employees of the BIR and the BOC. The guarantee of security of tenure only means to give statutes a meaning detached from the manifest intendment and language
that an employee cannot be dismissed from the service for causes other than those thereof.49 Just like any other law, R.A. No. 9335 has in its favor the presumption of
provided by law and only after due process is accorded the employee. In the case of constitutionality, and to justify its nullification, there must be a clear and unequivocal
RA [No.] 9335, it lays down a reasonable yardstick for removal (when the revenue breach of the Constitution and not one that is doubtful, speculative, or
collection falls short of the target by at least 7.5%) with due consideration of all argumentative.50 We have so declared in Abakada, and we now reiterate that R.A.
relevant factors affecting the level of collection. This standard is analogous to No. 9335 and its IRR are constitutional.
inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties, a ground for
disciplinary action under civil service laws. The action for removal is also subject to WHEREFORE, the present petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for
civil service laws, rules and regulations and compliance with substantive and injunctive relief/s is DISMISSED.
procedural due process.38
No costs.
In addition, the essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard, or as
applied to administrative proceedings, a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain SO ORDERED.
one’s side.39 BOCEA’s apprehension of deprivation of due process finds its answer in
Section 7 (b) and (c) of R.A. No. 9335.40 The concerned BIR or BOC official or
employee is not simply given a target revenue collection and capriciously left without
any quarter. R.A. No. 9335 and its IRR clearly give due consideration to all relevant
factors41 that may affect the level of collection. In the same manner, exemptions42 Republic of the Philippines
were set, contravening BOCEA’s claim that its members may be removed for
unattained target collection even due to causes which are beyond their control. Supreme Court
Moreover, an employee’s right to be heard is not at all prevented and his right to
appeal is not deprived of him.43 In fine, a BIR or BOC official or employee in this case Manila
cannot be arbitrarily removed from the service without according him his constitutional
right to due process. No less than R.A. No. 9335 in accordance with the 1987
Constitution guarantees this. SECOND DIVISION

We have spoken, and these issues were finally laid to rest. Now, the Court proceeds to
resolve the last, but new issue raised by BOCEA, that is, whether R.A. No. 9335 is a PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
bill of attainder proscribed under Section 22,44 Article III of the 1987 Constitution.
Plaintiff,
On this score, we hold that R.A. No. 9335 is not a bill of attainder. A bill of attainder is
a legislative act which inflicts punishment on individuals or members of a particular G.R. No. 194445
group without a judicial trial. Essential to a bill of attainder are a specification of certain
individuals or a group of individuals, the imposition of a punishment, penal or
otherwise, and the lack of judicial trial.451avvphi1 Present:

In his Concurring Opinion in Tuason v. Register of Deeds, Caloocan City,46 Justice


Florentino P. Feliciano traces the roots of a Bill of Attainder, to wit: - versus -

Bills of attainder are an ancient instrument of tyranny. In England a few centuries back,
Parliament would at times enact bills or statutes which declared certain persons ROGER POSADA y URBANO and EMILY POSADA y SARMIENTO,
attainted and their blood corrupted so that it lost all heritable quality (Ex Parte Garland,
4 Wall. 333, 18 L.Ed. 366 [1867]). In more modern terms, a bill of attainder is Accused.
essentially a usurpation of judicial power by a legislative body. It envisages and effects
the imposition of a penalty — the deprivation of life or liberty or property — not by the
ordinary processes of judicial trial, but by legislative fiat. While cast in the form of
special legislation, a bill of attainder (or bill of pains and penalties, if it prescribed a CARPIO, J.,
penalty other than death) is in intent and effect a penal judgment visited upon an
identified person or group of persons (and not upon the general community) without a Chairperson,
prior charge or demand, without notice and hearing, without an opportunity to defend,
without any of the civilized forms and safeguards of the judicial process as we know it BRION
(People v. Ferrer, 48 SCRA 382 [1972]; Cummings and Missouri, 4 Wall. 277, 18 L.
Ed. 356 [1867]; U.S. v. Lovett, 328, U.S. 303, 90 L.Ed. 1252 [1945]; U.S. v. Brown, PEREZ,
381 U.S. 437, 14 L.Ed. 2d. 484 [1965]. Such is the archetypal bill of attainder wielded
as a means of legislative oppression. x x x47 SERENO, and

R.A. No. 9335 does not possess the elements of a bill of attainder. It does not seek to REYES, JJ.
inflict punishment without a judicial trial. R.A. No. 9335 merely lays down the grounds
for the termination of a BIR or BOC official or employee and provides for the
consequences thereof. The democratic processes are still followed and the
constitutional rights of the concerned employee are amply protected.

A final note. Promulgated:


surveillance, PO1 Roldan Area (PO1 Area) was able to buy one sachet of shabu from
March 12, 2012 Emily for P250.00 on August 2, 2005.[6]

x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x

Consequently, after the August 2, 2005 test-buy yielded positive result, P/CI Tria
applied for a search warrant, which the Honorable Jaime E. Contreras granted.[7]
DECISION Thus, at noontime of August 3, 2005, P/CI Tria and his team proceeded to Barangay
Concepcion and coordinated with Punong Barangay Antonio Asuncion, Jr. (Asuncion)
in the operation against the accused-appellants.[8]

REYES, J.:

When the team of P/CI Tria reached the place of operation, they found Emily standing
in front of her house. PO1 Area, who was the poseur-buyer, called her and when she
As we decide this appeal involving a couple who allegedly violated Republic Act No. came near him, he told her that he would buy shabu. PO1 Area then handed to Emily
9165 (R.A. 9165), otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of P250.00, consisting of two pieces of P100.00 bill and one piece of P50.00 bill. After
2002, we should bear in mind the words emanating from the pen of former Justice receiving the money from PO1 Area, Emily immediately went to her house and got a
Isagani A. Cruz: coin purse. When she returned at the scene of the operation, Emily gave PO1 Area
one sachet of shabu, which she got from the coin purse. Subsequently, Roger
appeared and handed to Emily 12 plastic sachets of shabu which Emily placed inside
the coin purse. At this point, PO1 Area identified himself as a police officer while giving
We need only add that the active support of everyone is needed to bolster the the signal to his team that the buy-bust turned positive. He arrested Emily while Roger
campaign of the government against the evil of drug addiction. The merchants of all ran away and went inside their house. PO1 Area informed Emily of her constitutional
prohibited drugs, from the rich and powerful syndicates to the individual street rights, but the latter failed to utter any word.[9]
"pushers," must be hounded relentlessly and punished to the full extent of the law,
subject only to the inhibitions of the Bill of Rights.[1]

While PO1 Area was holding the arm of Emily, who still had in her hands the coin
purse where she got the sachet of shabu and the buy-bust money, P/CI Tria took
pictures of the incident using his cellphone while the official photographer was also
taking pictures. After the search, a coin purse containing sachets of shabu and a
The Case bundle of money was found in Emily's possession.[10] PO1 Area then prepared a
Receipt for Property Seized (RPS).[11] Asuncion, Kagawad Eva Sarmiento
(Sarmiento) and a certain Robert Vargas (Vargas) witnessed the preparation of the
said receipt.[12]
Accused-appellants Roger Posada (Roger) and Emily Posada (Emily) were convicted
by the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 43, Virac, Catanduanes, in Criminal Case
No. 3490 for selling twelve (12) pieces of transparent sealed plastic sachet, containing
Methamphetamine Hydrochloride or shabu with a total weight of 0.4578 grams, in Meanwhile, when Roger left Emily at the scene of the buy-bust operation, he went
violation of Section 5, Article II of R.A. No. 9165.[2] inside his house and closed the door. Armed with the search warrant, SPO1 Salvador
Aldave, Jr. (SPO1 Aldave) forced the door open. SPO1 Aldave was the first person to
enter the house, followed by the barangay officials and his fellow officers, SPO1 Roger
Masagca (SPO1 Masagca) and PO1 Ronnie Valeza (PO1 Valeza). The search
Roger was also convicted by the same RTC in Criminal Case No. 3489 for possession warrant was shown to Roger. In his presence and in the presence of Kagawad Jena
of one piece of torn plastic sachet, containing residue of a crystalline substance Arcilla (Arcilla), the raiding team recovered one piece of aluminum foil, one plastic
(allegedly shabu), a piece of small aluminum foil, a pair of small scissors, and fifteen sachet containing residue of white crystalline substance, and one small pair of green
(15) pieces of used lighter all of which are intended to be used for smoking or scissors beside the bed inside a room, and 15 pieces of used lighters from an
introducing dangerous drugs into the body of a person, in violation of Section 12, improvised altar on top of a wooden table. A search of Roger's pocket yielded two
Article II of R.A. No. 9165.[3] pieces of P50.00 bill and one piece of P100.00 bill. SPO1 Aldave as the seizing officer
prepared and signed an RPS. Asuncion, Arcilla and Barangay Tanod Juan Gonzales
(Gonzales) witnessed the preparation and signing of the said RPS. Roger, however,
refused to sign the same. The couple was then brought to the police station.[13]
Aggrieved by the RTC Decision, the accused-appellants filed an appeal before the
Court of Appeals (CA) which, via a Decision[4] dated June 17, 2010, affirmed the RTC
Decision as to the accused-appellants' conviction in Criminal Case No. 3490 but
acquitted Roger in Criminal Case No. 3489 on the ground of reasonable doubt.

At the Virac Police Station, a body search on Emily resulted in the seizure of bills of
different denominations, totaling P2,720.00. Some of these bills were identified as
Now, the accused-appellants ask this Court for a complete exoneration from the those bills photocopied and submitted to the Provincial Prosecution Office.[14]
offense charged in Criminal Case No. 3490 on the ground that the prosecution failed
to establish the chain of custody and integrity of the seized illegal items and to prove
their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
On August 4, 2005, immediately after the operation and the execution of the search
warrant, P/CI Tria requested for a laboratory examination of a piece of small size heat-
sealed transparent plastic sachet, containing white crystalline substance marked with
Antecedent Facts initial R; 12 pieces of small size heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets, containing
white crystalline substance with sub-markings R-1 to R-12; and one small size
crumpled aluminum foil and small size plastic sachet. The request of P/CI Tria for
laboratory examination dated August 4, 2005 was received by a certain PO2 Abanio
According to the evidence of the prosecution, P/CI Gil Francis Tria (P/CI Tria), the [Abao] and Police Inspector Sta. Cruz, J. (P/Insp. Sta. Cruz). The sachet with the initial
Chief of Police of Virac Municipal Police Station and representative of the Philippine R was the sachet of shabu sold to PO1 Area during the buy bust operation while the
Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), ordered surveillance on the activities of the sachets of shabu marked as R-1 to R-12 were the sachets of shabu which Roger
accused-appellants and a certain Johnjohn Urbano (Urbano).[5] As a result of the said
handed to Emily and which were found in the possession of Emily after PO1 Area since the event happened on August 3, 2005), at around 12 noon, he was putting his
identified himself as a police officer.[15] three year-old child to sleep inside their house, while his wife Emily was washing their
clothes at his parents' house. He then peeped through the window jalousies when he
heard his wife calling out his name. He saw a policeman, later identified as PO1 Area,
pulling Emily towards the road. Roger claimed that PO1 Valeza later poked a gun at
Subsequently, witness Police Senior Inspector Josephine Macura Clemen (PSI him, preventing him to move from the window. Thereafter, the door of Roger's house
Clemen), the forensic expert, received personally from the receiving clerk (PO2 was forced open, allowing SPO1 Aldave, SPO1 Masagca, PO1 Valeza and Barangay
Abanio) the above-mentioned marked pieces of evidence. She then immediately Tanod Vic Vargas (Vargas) to enter his house. Inside the house, PO1 Valeza allegedly
conducted laboratory examination, yielding a result that the 12 pieces of plastic took down the jackets hanging on the wall and searched them; SPO1 Aldave took
sachets (with markings R-1 to R-12), the one heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet pictures while Vargas and SPO1 Masagca went inside the room and searched the
with marking R, the one aluminum foil strip, and a small size plastic sachet contained cabinets where toys were kept. Roger further claims that nothing was found in his
methamphetamine hydrochloride.[16] house. After the search, Roger was brought to the patrol car where his wife Emily was
taken.[21]

Meanwhile, Emily testified that on that fateful day of August 3, 2005, she was washing
The accused-appellants were subsequently charged in two separate Informations,[17] clothes at her mother-in-law's house when a man, whom she could not identify,
both dated August 4, 2005, with violation of Sections 5, 11 and 12, Article II of R.A. approached her and asked her if she was Emily Posada. She alleged that the man
No. 9165, which were respectively docketed as Criminal Case No. 3490 and Criminal immediately held her hands, shouting Police! Police! after which police officers Tria
Case No. 3489. The Informations state as follows: and Aldave arrived. Her picture was taken. Subsequently, she was brought to the
patrol car where her husband Roger later joined her. Both Roger and Emily were then
transported to the police station. Roger was placed behind bars while Emily was
placed at the detention cell of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology
Criminal Case No. 3490 (BJMP).[22]

The undersigned Provincial Prosecutor accuses Roger Posada y Urbano and Emily The couple claimed that the police officers did not inform them why they were brought
Posada y Sarmiento of Violation of R.A. 9165 defined and penalized under Section 5 to the police station and subsequently detained. Emily denied that a buy-bust
of said Law, committed as follows: operation was conducted against her, but she was aware of the search conducted in
their house because her husband informed her at the police station. Meanwhile, Roger
also denied that the police officers presented to him a search warrant. Likewise, both
alleged that the money taken from Emily's wallet were the proceeds of the sale of their
That on or about the 3rd day of August 2005 at noontime along Imelda Blvd. in chickens, which Roger gave to Emily. The said money amounted to more or less
barangay Concepcion, municipality (sic) of Virac, [P]rovince of Catanduanes, P3,000.00.[23]
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, the above-named
accused without the authority of law, conspiring, confederating and helping one
another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously sell, deliver and give
away to another 12 pieces of transparent sealed plastic sachet containing Issues
Methamphetamine Hydrochloride[,] locally known as shabu[,] with a total weight of 0.9
gram [-] a prohibited drug[,] and several marked money bills.[18] [Emphasis supplied]

Considering that the accused-appellants did not file a supplemental brief and that
appellee People of the Philippines adopted its brief before the CA, we now rule on the
Criminal Case No. 3489 matter based on the issues[24] which the accused-appellants raised in their brief
before the CA, to wit:

The undersigned Provincial Prosecutor accuses Roger Posada y Urbano of Violation


of R.A. 9165 defined and penalized under Section 12 of said law, committed as I
follows:

THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-


That on or about the 3rd day of August 2005 in the afternoon in Barangay Concepcion, APPELLANTS NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROSECUTION'S FAILURE TO
municipality (sic) of Virac, province (sic) of Catanduanes, Philippines, within the ESTABLISH THE CHAIN OF CUSTODY AND INTEGRITY OF THE ALLEGED
jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, the said accused without the authority of law did SEIZED ILLEGAL ITEMS.
then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously possess and in control of one (1)
piece of teared plastic sachet containing residue of a crystalline substance[,] locally
known as shabu, (1) piece small aluminum foil, (1) piece small scissors (sic) and 15
pieces of used lighter[,] which paraphernalia are (sic) fit or intended for smoking or II
introducing any dangerous drug into the body of a person.[19]

THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-


APPELANTS DESPITE THE PROSECUTION'S FAILURE TO PROVE THEIR GUILT
BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.[25]
However, the Information for Criminal Case No. 3490 was later amended,[20] to reflect
a change in the weight of the seized drugs from 0.9 gram to 0.4578 gram.

Meanwhile, on the part of the accused-appellants, they simply denied the accusations Our Ruling
against them. Roger claimed that on April 3, 2005 (which was even a misleading date
While we give due credence to the trial court's evaluation of the credibility of witnesses
absent any showing that the elements of the crime have been overlooked,
misapprehended, or misapplied, we will take pains in taking a second hard look on the Furthermore, the CA is correct in giving credence to the testimonies of the police
issues the accused-appellants raised, considering they are husband and wife whose officers as regards the timely submission of the subject illegal drugs since they are
imprisonment will greatly affect the children they will leave behind once they are presumed to have regularly performed their duties, unless there is evidence
declared guilty beyond reasonable doubt. suggesting ill-motive on the part of the police officers.[34] In this case, the accused-
appellants failed to contradict the presumption. What goes against the accused-
appellants is the fact that they have not offered any evidence of ill-motive against the
police officers. Emily even admitted that she did not know PO1 Area, the poseur-
Now, we are going to discuss the case following the issues the accused-appellants buyer.[35] Considering that there was no existing relationship between the police
raised. officers and the accused-appellants, the former could not be accused of improper
motive to falsely testify against the accused-appellants. In People v. Dumangay,[36]
we upheld the findings of the lower court on the presumption of regularity in the
performance of official duties because there was no proof of ill-motive. Therein, the
The prosecution has established the chain of custody and integrity of the seized illegal accused-appellants self-serving and uncorroborated defenses did not prevail over the
items. trial court's findings on the credibility of witnesses. The same may be said in the
present case.

Finding the accused-appellants' arguments without a leg to stand on, the


The accused-appellants alleged that the prosecution failed to establish the chain of apprehending police officers are presumed to have timely submitted the seized illegal
custody and integrity of the seized illegal items because: items to the PNP Crime Laboratory Service for a qualitative and quantitative
examination within the mandatory 24-hour period from confiscation.

(1) The apprehending officers allegedly failed to submit the seized illegal items to the
PNP Crime Laboratory Service for a qualitative and quantitative examination within the On the second factual issue, we find the accused-appellants' claim not supported by
mandatory 24-hour period from confiscation; and evidence.

(2) There is an alleged discrepancy as to the number of plastic sachets recovered from The accused-appellants alleged that the integrity of the seized illegal items was
the accused-appellants and those submitted to forensic chemist PSI Clemen. compromised and their evidentiary value diminished because of the alleged
discrepancy between the number of plastic sachets recovered from the accused-
appellants and those submitted to forensic chemist PSI Clemen. They insisted that
based on the Informations in Criminal Case Nos. 3489 and 3490 and the testimonies
On the first factual issue, we find that the records of the case and the testimonies of of witnesses Asuncion[37] and SPO1 Aldave,[38] only fourteen (14) plastic sachets
witnesses belie the accused-appellants' contention. were recovered from the accused-appellants, while PSI Clemen allegedly testified that
a total of 15 sachets were submitted for examination.[39]

Based on the records, the buy-bust operation, the arrest of the accused-appellants
and the confiscation of the illegal items happened at around 12 noon of August 3, However, a review of the defense-quoted testimony of PSI Clemen would show that
2005.[26] PO1 Area received from Emily one sachet of shabu and after PO1 Area she received one piece of small size heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet with
introduced himself and arrested Emily, 12 more sachets of shabu were found in the marking R,[40] 12 pieces small size heat-sealed marked as R-1 to R-12[41] and one
possession of Emily. The said 12 sachets of shabu were inside a coin purse, with a small size crumpled aluminum foil and small size plastic sachet[42] totaling to 15
bundle of money.[27] PO1 Area prepared on the same day an RPS[28] in the items. PSI Clemen's testimony tallies with the Laboratory Examination Request
presence of Asuncion, Kagawad Sarmiento and Vargas.[29] On August 4, 2005, P/CI (Exhibit J) of P/CI Tria. We reproduce Exhibit J below, to wit:
Tria requested for a laboratory examination of a piece of small size heat-sealed
transparent plastic sachet, containing white crystalline substance marked with initial R;
12 pieces of small size heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets, containing white
crystalline substance with sub-markings R-1 to R-12; and one small size crumpled Republic of the Philippines
aluminum foil and small size plastic sachet. The request of P/CI Tria for laboratory
examination dated August 4, 2005 was received by PO2 Abanio and P/Insp. Sta. Cruz NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION
on the same date.[30]
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE

Virac Municipal Police Station


The accused-appellants wanted us to believe that a day had lapsed before P/CI Tria
submitted the illegal drugs to PNP Crime Laboratory Service, contrary to the mandate Virac, Catanduanes
of Section 21 of R.A. No. 9165. They even cited the testimony of P/CI Tria where the
latter allegedly admitted submitting the subject seized items on August 4, 2005.
However, a close look at the testimony of P/CI Tria[31] will reveal that nothing in it
would show that he submitted the alleged illegal drugs beyond the 24-hour MEMORANDUM:
reglementary period. In fact, even the Laboratory Examination Request dated August
4, 2005 does not indicate violation of Section 21 of R.A. No. 9165.[32] Clearly, from
the foregoing, the accused-appellants failed to adduce any evidence to prove their
contention. The age-old but familiar rule that he who alleges must prove his allegation FOR : The Chief
applies[33] in this case. The accused-appellants' failure to show evidence that the
police officers did not comply with Section 21 of R.A. No. 9165 gives us no other PNP Crime Laboratory Service
recourse but to respect the findings of trial court and of the CA.
Camp Gen Simeon A Ola
Legaspi City
GIL FRANCIS G[.] TRIA

Pol Chief Inspector


SUBJECT : Laboratory Examination request for
Officer-in-Charge[43]
DATE : 04 August 2005

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Based on the cited exhibit, we find that in Exhibit A we have the first item, marked with
1. Request conduct laboratory examination on the accompanying specimen to R. Under Exhibit B, we have the next 12 items marked as R-1 to R-12. Under Exhibit
determine whether the white crystalline granules inside Thirteen (13) pcs small size C, we have the remaining two items submitted to the crime laboratory, namely one
transparent heat seald (sic) plastic sachets are Methamphetamine Hydrochloride or small size crumpled aluminum foil and small size plastic sachet confiscated and found
SHABU and also whether the one (1) pc small size crumpled aluminum foil and small in the possession of Roger. All these items total to 15 items consistent with the
size transparent plastic sachet contains residue or granules of Methamphetamine testimony of PSI Clemen. Thus, evidence shows no discrepancy as to the number of
Hydrochloride or Shabu. plastic sachets recovered from the accused-appellants and those submitted to forensic
chemist PSI Clemen.

EXHIBIT
Finally, we say that the prosecution has established the chain of custody and integrity
QUANTITY/ DESCRIPTION of the seized illegal items.

One (1) pc small size heat sealed transparent plastic sachet sachet (sic) containing After PO1 Area arrested Emily and confiscated the 13 sachets of shabu (one bought
white crystalline substance with marking initial R the initial of PO1 ROLDAN AREA by PO1 Area from Emily and 12 found in Emily's coin purse after she received the
who acted as posuer (sic) buyer during the drug buy bust operation. same from her husband Roger),[44] P/CI Tria took pictures of the incident using his
cellphone while the official photographer was also taking pictures.[45] Then PO1 Area
prepared an RPS,[46] which Asuncion, Sarmiento and Vargas witnessed.[47]
Meanwhile, SPO1 Aldave, seizing officer went inside the house of the accused-
B appellants, prepared and signed an RPS after the raiding team found a piece of
aluminum foil, one plastic sachet containing residue of white crystalline substance, one
Twelve (12) pcs small size heat sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white small pair of green scissors beside the bed inside a room, 15 pieces of used lighters,
crystalline substance with markings R1-R12 found/confiscated from the suspect during and two pieces of P50.00 bill and one piece of P100.00 bill. Asuncion, Arcilla and
drug buy bust operation. Gonzales witnessed the preparation and signing of the said RPS.[48] Thereafter, on
August 4, 2005, P/CI Tria requested for a laboratory examination of a piece of small
size heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet, containing white crystalline substance
marked with initial R; 12 pieces of small size heat sealed transparent plastic sachets,
C containing white crystalline substance with sub-markings R-1 to R-12; and one small
size crumpled aluminum foil and small size plastic sachet. The request of P/CI Tria for
One (1) small size crumpled aluminum foil and small size plastic sachet laboratory examination dated August 4, 2005 was received by a certain PO2 Abanio
confiscated/found in the possession of suspect during the execution of search warrant and P/Insp. Sta. Cruz.[49] Subsequently, witness PSI Clemen, the forensic expert,
number 37 issued by Hon[.] Judge Jaime E[.] Contreras of RTC Branch 43. received personally from PO2 Abanio the above-mentioned marked pieces of
evidence. She then immediately conducted a laboratory examination, yielding a result
that the 12 pieces of plastic sachets (with markings R-1 to R-12), the one heat-sealed
transparent plastic sachet with marking R and the one aluminum foil strip contained
SUSPECT/S Roger Posada y Urbano methamphetamine hydrochloride.[50] In open court, the above-mentioned pieces of
evidence were identified and marked.[51]
Emily Posada y Sarmiento

John-John Bryan Urbano y Zafe


From the foregoing, the prosecution, without an iota of doubt, has established the
chain of custody and integrity of the seized illegal items. The Supreme Court in People
v. Sanchez,[52] clearly discussed how chain of custody should be proven, to wit:
COMPLAINANT Officer-in-Charge

Virac MPS
As a method of authenticating evidence, the chain of custody rule requires that the
admission of an exhibit be preceded by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the
matter in question is what the proponent claims it to be. It would include testimony
FACTS OF THE CASE: Evidence submitted for laboratory examination was bought about every link in the chain, from the moment the item was picked up to the time it is
and others were confiscated by the PNP team of Virac during Buy Bust (sic) operation offered into evidence, in such a way that every person who touched the exhibit would
and the effect/execution of search warrant number 37 on August 3, 2005 in [B]arangay describe how and from whom it was received, where it was and what happened to it
Concepcion Virac, Catanduanes. while in the witness' possession, the condition in which it was received and the
condition in which it was delivered to the next link in the chain. These witnesses would
then describe the precautions taken to ensure that there had been no change in the
condition of the item and no opportunity for someone not in the chain to have
2. Request acknowledge reciept (sic) and furnish this office Laboratory examination possession of the same.[53]
result as soon as possible for subsequent submission/filing same in court as
supporting documents to this case.
SEC. 5. Sale, Trading, Administration, Dispensation, Delivery, Distribution and
Transportation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential
In the instant case, the prosecution was able to present, not only the corpus delicti, but Chemicals. The penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from Five
the testimonies of the people involved in each link in the chain of custody. hundred thousand pesos ([P]500,000.00) to Ten million pesos ([P]10,000,000.00) shall
be imposed upon any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall sell, trade,
administer, dispense, deliver, give away to another, distribute, dispatch in transit or
transport any dangerous drug, including any and all species of opium poppy
The prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused-appellants regardless of the quantity and purity involved, or shall act as a broker in any of such
sold 12 sachets of shabu, but it has proven the accused-appellants' guilt beyond transactions.
reasonable doubt of possession of the same number of shabu in violation of Section
11, Article II of R.A. No. 9165.

More, jurisprudence holds that the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs can
only be successful when the following elements are established, namely:
Before we proceed in discussing the guilt of the couple, we must first take into account
a discrepancy in the Information for Criminal Case No. 3490. In the said information,
the accused-appellants were charged for selling 12 pieces of transparent sealed
plastic sachet of shabu. However, based on the evidence which the prosecution (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object and consideration of the sale; and
adduced, Emily sold to PO1 Area one sachet of shabu, which was worth P250.00.
Then, after she handed the one sachet of shabu to the poseur-buyer, Emily received
additional 12 sachets of shabu from her husband Roger and when PO1 Area informed
the couple of the buy-bust, Emily had in her possession the 12 sachets of shabu.[54] (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefore..[59]
Subsequently, the confiscated sachets of shabu were marked. The one sold to PO1
Area was marked with R, while the 12 sachets of shabu Roger handed to Emily before
their arrest were marked as R-1 to R-12.[55]
To our minds, while there was indeed a transaction between Emily and PO1 Area, the
prosecution failed to show that the subject matter of the sale to PO1 Area was the 12
sachets of shabu. Based on the testimony of PO1 Area, the 12 sachets of shabu were
The unfortunate fact of this case is that rather than separately charging Emily for the the sachets of shabu which Roger handed to his wife Emily and were not sold, but
sale of the one sachet of shabu and charging both Emily and Roger for possession of which PO1 Area found in her possession after the latter identified himself as a police
the 12 sachets of shabu, the public prosecutor lumped the charges together to sale of officer.
12 sachets of shabu. This is wrong. The Information is defective for charging the
accused-appellants of selling 12 sachets of shabu when, in fact, they should have
been charged of selling one sachet of shabu and possessing 12 sachets of shabu.
From the evidence adduced, Emily and Roger never sold the 12 sachets of shabu. In People v. Paloma,[60] we acquitted the accused for the prosecution's failure to
They possessed them. Thus, they should have not been convicted for selling the 12 prove the crime of illegal sale of drugs, and we have set the standard in proving the
sachets of shabu. However, this was exactly what was done both by the trial court and same, to wit:
the CA. Without basis in fact, they convicted the couple for selling the 12 sachets of
shabu.

Under the "objective" test set by the Court in People v. Doria, the prosecution must
clearly and adequately show the details of the purported sale, namely, the initial
Indeed, it must be pointed out that the prosecution filed a defective Information. An contact between the poseur-buyer and the pusher, the offer to purchase, the promise
Information is fatally defective when it is clear that it does not really charge an or payment of the consideration, and, finally, the accused's delivery of the illegal drug
offense[56] or when an essential element of the crime has not been sufficiently to the buyer, whether the latter be the informant alone or the police officer. This proof
alleged.[57] In the instant case, while the prosecution was able to allege the identity of is essential to ensure that law-abiding citizens are not unlawfully induced to commit
the buyer and the seller, it failed to particularly allege or identify in the Information the the offense.[61]
subject matter of the sale or the corpus delicti. We must remember that one of the
essential elements to convict a person of sale of prohibited drugs is to identify with
certainty the corpus delicti. Here, the prosecution took the liberty to lump together two
sets of corpora delicti when it should have separated the two in two different
informations. To allow the prosecution to do this is to deprive the accused-appellants
of their right to be informed, not only of the nature of the offense being charged, but of
the essential element of the offense charged; and in this case, the very corpus delicti
of the crime. In the instant case, PO1 Area's testimony showed no evidence that the transaction as
to the sale of the 12 sachets of shabu ever happened. Rather, PO1 Area adequately
testified on the fact that accused-appellant Roger handed the 12 sachets of shabu to
Emily who kept them in a coin purse. And after PO1 Area identified himself as a police
Furthermore, when ambiguity exists in the complaint or information, the court has no operative, he found the 12 sachets of shabu in Emily's possession.[62] From the
other recourse but to resolve the ambiguity in favor of the accused.[58] Here, since foregoing, while the prosecution was able to prove the sale of one sachet of shabu, it
there exists ambiguity as to the identity of corpus delicti, an essential element of the is patently clear that it never established with moral certainty all the elements of illegal
offense charged, it follows that such ambiguity must be resolved in favor of the sale of the 12 sachets of shabu. And failure to show that indeed there was sale means
accused-appellants. Thus, from the foregoing discussion, we have no other choice but failure to prove the guilt of the accused for illegal sale of drugs, because what matters
to acquit the accused-appellants of sale of 12 sachets of shabu. in the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is to show proof that the sale
actually happened, coupled with the presentation in court of corpus delicti.[63] Here,
the prosecution failed to prove the existence of the sale of the 12 sachets of shabu
and also to prove that the 12 sachets of shabu presented in court were truly the
Truly, both the trial court and the CA were wrong in convicting the couple for selling 12 subject matter of the sale between the accused-appellants and PO1 Area.
sachets of shabu because the prosecution failed to show that the husband and wife
had indeed sold the 12 sachets of shabu. Section 5, Article II of R.A. 9165 provides:
Notwithstanding the above-discussion, we convict both Roger and Emily of illegal in her possession the 12 sachets of shabu.[67] From the foregoing, it is patently clear
possession of prohibited drugs despite the fact that they were charged for the sale of that the prosecution established with moral certainty all the elements of illegal
illegal drugs, because possession is necessarily included in sale of illegal drugs. possession of shabu, that is: PO1 Area found in Emily's physical and actual
possession the 12 sachets of shabu; such possession of the 12 sachets of shabu was
not authorized; and since Emily put the 12 sachets of shabu in the purse after
receiving them from her husband, she possessed the same freely and consciously.
Section 4, Rule 120 of the Rules of Court provides:

Furthermore, PO1 Area's testimony was corroborated by the testimonies of the


Sec. 4. Judgment in case of variance between allegation and proof. When there is following: (a) Barangay Kagawad Sarmiento who witnessed how PO1 Area caught
variance between the offense charged in the complaint or information and that proved, Emily doing the illegal act; (b) Barangay Captain Asuncion, Jr. who testified that he
and the offense as charged is included in or necessarily includes the offense proved, was with the raiding team when the latter conducted the buy-bust operation and that
the accused shall be convicted of the offense proved which is included in the offense he witnessed how money changed hands; (c) P/CI Tria who witnessed the buy-bust
charged, or of the offense charged which is included in the offense proved. operation and was one of the arresting officers; (d) SPO1 Aldave who executed the
search warrant; and (e) Barangay Kagawad Arcilla who also accompanied the raiding
team in the search of the accused-appellants' house. All these witnesses completed all
the angles of the buy-bust operation and the search on Emily's person up to the finding
that she possessed the 12 sachets of shabu. Indeed, considering all of the above-
findings of facts, we cannot have other conclusion but to find Emily guilty beyond
reasonable doubt for possession of prohibited drugs.

Since sale of dangerous drugs necessarily includes possession of the same, the
accused-appellants should be convicted of possession. We have consistently ruled
that possession of prohibited or dangerous drugs is absorbed in the sale thereof.[64] Indeed, every accused deserves a second look before conviction. This is the essence
Then Associate Justice Artemio Panganiban logically and clearly explained the of the constitutional presumption of innocence. In the present case, we did not only
rationale behind this ruling, to wit: take a second look at the facts and laws of this case because the accused-appellants
are both parents. We take a third, a fourth up to a seventh look to ensure that no child
will be left unattended because his parents were imprisoned based on false
accusations. Thus, after reviewing this case, the bare truth is Emily was found in
The prevailing doctrine is that possession of marijuana is absorbed in the sale thereof, possession of 12 sachets of shabu on August 3, 2005.
except where the seller is further apprehended in possession of another quantity of the
prohibited drugs not covered by or included in the sale and which are probably
intended for some future dealings or use by the seller.
On Roger's Liability

Possession is a necessary element in a prosecution for illegal sale of prohibited drugs.


It is indispensable that the prohibited drug subject of the sale be identified and
presented in court. That the corpus delicti of illegal sale could not be established As to Roger, can we also convict him of possession of the same 12 sachets of shabu
without a showing that the accused possessed, sold and delivered a prohibited drug considering that same had been found in the possession of his wife Emily?
clearly indicates that possession is an element of the former. The same rule is
applicable in cases of delivery of prohibited drugs and giving them away to
another.[65] (Citations omitted)
We resolve in the affirmative.

In United States v. Juan,[68] we have clarified the meaning of the words having
For prosecution of illegal possession of dangerous drugs to prosper, the following possession of. We said that the said phrase included constructive possession, that is,
essential elements must be proven, namely: (1) the accused is in possession of an the relation between the owner of the drug and the drug itself when the owner is not in
item or object that is identified to be a prohibited drug; (2) such possession is not actual physical possession, but when it is still under his control and management and
authorized by law; and (3) the accused freely and consciously possess the said subject to his disposition.[69] In other words, in that case, we recognized the fact that
drug.[66] a person remains to be in possession of the prohibited drugs although he may not
have or may have lost physical possession of the same.

All these elements are obtaining and duly established in this case and we will discuss
them thoroughly below, since we are not ready to altogether exonerate the couple. To elucidate, we must go back to the circumstances surrounding the Juan case. A
Chinaman named Lee See arrived at the Bay of Calbayog, Samar through the steamer
Ton-Yek. Upon disembarking, he went to the house of therein appellant Chan Guy
Juan, who was living in the town of Calbayog. Lee See and Chan Guy Juan had a
On Emily's Liability lengthy conversation. Chan Guy Juan then hired a certain Isidro Cabinico (Cabinico) to
go alongside of the steamer with his baroto, to carry and deliver to him a sack which
appellant Chan Guy Juan alleged was sugar. Cabinico went to Lee See to get the said
sack. However, on his way to the house of Chan Guy Juan, Cabinico was arrested by
To our minds, the testimony of PO1 Area is sufficient to establish concurrence of all the local authorities. Found in his possessions were a small amount of sugar and 28
the elements necessary to convict Emily of violating Section 11, Article II of R.A. No. cans of opium. The opium was confiscated and separate criminal charges were
9165. PO1 Area vividly narrated the details of the buy-bust operation. He recounted instituted against the two Chinamen and Cabinico. After a thorough investigation, the
how on August 3, 2005 at around 12 noon, he acted as the poseur-buyer of shabu. He provincial fiscal dismissed the case against Cabinico because he had no knowledge of
approached Emily, who was then standing in front of their house, and told her that he the content of the sack, while the two Chinamen were eventually convicted. Chan Guy
would like to buy shabu, and then gave her the P250.00. Emily then returned to her Juan appealed his conviction arguing that he did not have actual physical possession
house and got a coin purse. Upon returning, Emily handed to PO1 Area a piece of or control of the 28 cans of opium. But we held that both Chinese had constructive
sachet containing shabu. After receiving the sachet of shabu, PO1 Area saw Roger possession of the opium and that they were both guilty as principals.[70]
hand the 12 sachets of shabu to Emily who kept them in a coin purse. After paying for
and receiving the sachet of shabu from Emily, PO1 Area arrested the latter and found
Basilio Gan." She claimed that she had been using the name "Emelita Basilio Gan" in
Our ruling in Juan applies to the present case. Admittedly, the 12 sachets of shabu her school records from elementary until college, employment records, marriage
were found in the possession of Emily. But PO1 Area saw Roger hand the same 12 contract, and other government records.6chanrobleslaw
sachets of shabu to Emily. While Roger had lost physical possession of the said 12
sachets of shabu, he had constructive possession of the same because they remain to Ruling of the RTC
be under his control and management. In the Juan case, Lee See gave the physical
possession of the opium to Cabinico while Chan Guy Juan had not yet received the On July 15, 2010, the RTC issued an Order, which noted that the petition filed sought
same opium from Lee See, but both were held guilty of illegal possession of opium. not merely a correction of entry in the birth certificate, but a change of name.
Thus, we can liken the instant case to that of Juan because while Roger had lost Accordingly, the RTC ordered the petitioner to make the necessary amendment to her
physical possession of the 12 sachets of shabu to Emily, he maintained constructive petition to conform to the requirements of Rule 103 of the Rules of
possession of the same. Court.7chanrobleslaw

The petitioner filed with the RTC an Amended Petition8 dated August 3, 2010 for
change of name. The amended petition contained substantially the same allegations
Convicting both Emily and Roger of possession of illegal drugs deprives their children as in the petition for correction of entry in the birth certificate. On August 10, 2010, the
of parents. But if we have to take care of our children and the family where each of us RTC set the initial hearing of the petition in a newspaper of general circulation. The
belongs, we are obligated to put in jail all those, including fathers and mothers, who Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), as counsel of the Republic of the Philippines
peddle illegal drugs. (respondent), filed its notice of appearance. The OSG authorized the Office of the
Provincial Prosecutor of Libmanan, Camarines Sur to appear and assist the OSG in
the proceedings before the RTC.9chanrobleslaw

Finally, we cannot let this case pass us by without emphasizing the need for the public On July 19, 2011, after due proceedings; the RTC of Libmanan, Camarines Sur,
prosecutor to properly evaluate all the pieces of evidence and file the proper Branch 29, issued an Order10 granting the petition for change of name. The RTC,
information to serve the ends of justice. The public prosecutor must exert all efforts so thus, directed the LCR of Libmanan, Camarines Sur to change the petitioner's name in
as not to deny the People a remedy against those who sell prohibited drugs to the her birth certificate from "Emelita Basilio" to "Emelita Basilio Gan." The RTC opined
detriment of the community and its children. Many drug cases are dismissed because that, from the evidence presented, the said petition was filed solely to put into order
of the prosecutor's sloppy work and failure to file airtight cases. If only the prosecution the records of the petitioner and that changing her name in her birth certificate into
properly files the Information and prosecutes the same with precision, guilty drug Emelita Basilio Gan would avoid confusion in her personal records.11chanrobleslaw
pushers would be punished to the extent allowed under the law, as in this case.
The respondent sought a reconsideration12 of the RTC Order dated July 19, 2011,
alleging that the petitioner, who is an illegitimate child, failed to adduce evidence that
she was duly recognized by her father, which would have allowed her to use the
WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 17, 2010 is surname of her father.13 On October 17, 2011, the RTC issued an Order14 denying
MODIFIED. Accused-appellants ROGER POSADA and EMILY POSADA ARE FOUND the respondent's motion for reconsideration.
GUILTY OF ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF TWELVE (12) SACHETS OF
METHAMPETAMINE HYDROCHOLORIDE OR SHABU, WITH A NET WEIGHT OF Ruling of the CA
0.4578 GRAMS AND ARE HEREBY SENTENCED TO THE INDETERMINATE
PENALTY OF TWELVE (12) YEARS AND ONE (1) DAY, AS MINIMUM, TO On appeal, the CA, in its Decision15 dated April 26, 2013, reversed and set aside the
FOURTEEN (14) YEARS AND EIGHT (8) MONTHS, AS MAXIMUM AND A FINE OF RTC Orders dated July 19, 2011 and October 17, 2011. The CA opined that pursuant
P300,000.00. to Article 176 of the Family Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 9255,16 the
petitioner, as an illegitimate child, may only use the surname of her mother; she may
only use the surname of her father if their filiation has been expressly recognized by
her father.17 The CA pointed out that the petitioner has not adduced any evidence
SO ORDERED. showing that her father had recognized her as his illegitimate child and, thus, she may
not use the surname of her father.18chanrobleslaw

In this petition for review, the petitioner maintains that the RTC correctly granted her
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS petition since she only sought to have her name indicated in her birth certificate
THIRD DIVISION changed to avoid confusion as regards to her personal records.19 She insists that her
failure to present evidence that her father recognized her as his illegitimate child is
G.R. No. 207147, September 14, 2016 immaterial; a change of name is reasonable and warranted, if it is necessary to avoid
confusion.20chanrobleslaw
EMELITA BASILIO GAN, Petitioner, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Respondent. Ruling of the Court

RESOLUTION The petition is denied.

REYES, J.: A change of name is a privilege and not a matter of right; a proper and reasonable
cause must exist before a person may be authorized to change his name.21 "In
This is a petition for review on certiorari1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking granting or denying petitions for change of name, the question of proper and
to annul and set aside the Decision2 dated April 26, 2013 issued by the Court of reasonable cause is left to the sound discretion of the court. x x x What is involved is
Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 98112. not a mere matter of allowance or disallowance of the request, but a judicious
evaluation of the sufficiency and propriety of the justifications advanced in support
thereof, mindful of the consequent results in the event of its grant and with the sole
Facts prerogative for making such determination being lodged in the
courts."22chanrobleslaw
Emelita Basilio Gan (petitioner) was born on December 21, 1956 out of wedlock to Pia
Gan, her father who is a Chinese national, and Consolacion Basilio, her mother who is After a judicious review of the records of this case, the Court agrees with the CA that
a Filipino citizen.3 The petitioner's birth certificate,4 which was registered in the Office the reason cited by the petitioner in support of her petition for change of name, i.e. that
of the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) of Libmanan, Camarines Sur, indicates that her full she has been using the name "Emelita Basilio Gan" in all of her records, is not a
name is Emelita Basilio. sufficient or proper justification to allow her petition. When the petitioner was born in
1956, prior to the enactment and effectivity of the Family Code, the pertinent
On June 29, 2010, the petitioner filed a Petition5 for correction of name with the provisions of the Civil Code then regarding the petitioner's use of surname
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Libmanan, Camarines Sur. The petitioner sought to provide:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
change the full name indicated in her birth certificate from "Emelita Basilio" to "Emelita
Article 366. A natural child acknowledged by both parents shall principally use the
surname of the father. If recognized by only one of the parents, a natural child shall SO ORDERED
employ the surname of the recognizing parent.

Article 368. Illegitimate children referred to in Article 287 shall bear the surname of the
mother.
In her amended petition for change of name, the petitioner merely stated that she was
born out of wedlock;23 she did not state whether her parents, at the time of her birth,
were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other, which would make her a
natural child pursuant to Article 269 of the Civil Code. If, at the time of the
petitioner's·birth, either of her parents had an impediment to marry the other, she may
only bear the surname of her mother pursuant to Article 368 of the Civil Code.
Otherwise, she may use the surname of her father provided that she was
acknowledged by her father.

However, the petitioner failed to adduce any evidence that would show that she indeed
was duly acknowledged by his father. The petitioner's evidence consisted only of her
birth certificate signed by her mother, school records, employment records, marriage
contract, certificate of baptism, and other government records. Thus, assuming that
she is a natural child pursuant to Article 269 of the Civil Code, she could still not insist
on using her father's surname. It was, thus, a blatant error on the part of the RTC to
have allowed the petitioner to change her name from "Emelita Basilio" to "Emelita
Basilio Gan."

The petitioner's reliance on the cases of Alfon v. Republic of the


Philippines,24Republic of the Philippines v. Coseteng-Magpayo,25cralawred and
Republic of the Philippines v. Lim26 to support her position is misplaced.

In Alfon, the name of the petitioner therein which appeared in her birth certificate was
Maria Estrella Veronica Primitiva Duterte; she was a legitimate child of her father and
mother. She filed a petition for change of name, seeking that she be allowed to use the
surname "Alfon," her mother's surname, instead of "Duterte." The trial court denied the
petition, ratiocinating that under Article 364 of the Civil Code, legitimate children shall
principally use the surname of the father. The Court allowed the petitioner therein to
use the surname of her mother since Article 364 of the Civil Code used the word
"principally" and not "exclusively" and, hence, there is no legal obstacle if a legitimate
child should choose to use the mother's surname to which he or she is legally
entitled.27chanrobleslaw

In contrast, Articles 366 and 368 of the Civil Code do not give to an illegitimate child or
a natural child not acknowledged by the father the option to use the surname of the
father. Thus, the petitioner cannot insist that she is allowed to use the surname of her
father.

In Coseteng-Magpayo, the issue was the proper procedure to be followed when the
change sought to be effected in the birth certificate affects the civil status of the
respondent therein from legitimate to illegitimate. The respondent therein claimed that
his parents were never legally married; he filed a petition to change his name from
"Julian Edward Emerson Coseteng Magpayo," the name appearing in his birth
certificate, to "Julian Edward Emerson Marquez-Lim Coseteng." The notice setting the
petition for hearing was published and, since there was no opposition thereto, the trial
court; issued an order of general default and eventually granted the petition of the
respondent therein by, inter alia, deleting the entry on the date and place of marriage
of his parents and correcting his surname from "Magpayo" to "Coseteng."28 The Court
reversed the trial court's decision since the proper remedy would have been to file a
petition under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court. The Court ruled that the change sought
by the respondent therein involves his civil status as a legitimate child; it may only be
given due course through an adversarial proceedings under Rule 108 of the Rules of
Court. The Court's pronouncement in Coseteng-Magpayo finds no application in this
case.

Finally, Lim likewise finds no application in this case. In Lim, the petition that was filed
was for correction of entries under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court; the petition sought,
among others, is the correction of the surname of the respondent therein from "Yo" to
"Yu." Further, the respondent therein, although an illegitimate child, had long been
using the surname of her father. It bears stressing that the birth certificate of the
respondent therein indicated that her surname was the same as her father albeit
misspelled. Thus, a correction of entry in her birth certificate is
appropriate.29chanrobleslaw

Here, the petitioner filed a petition for change of name under Rule 103 and not a
petition for correction of entries under Rule 108. Unlike in Lim, herein petitioner's birth
certificate indicated that she bears the surname of her mother and not of her father.

WHEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing disquisitions, the petition is DENIED.