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DUAL ALLEGIANCE 1. Pursuant to Omnibus Election Code, Sec.

78, a petition to disqualify a
registered candidate before the election may be filed by any person exclusively
ARTICLE IV - CITIZENSHIP on the ground that any material representation of requirements under Sec. 74
Section 4. Citizens of the Philippines who marry aliens shall retain their citizenship, is false. It should be filed not later than 25 days from time of filing COC &
unless by their act or omission, they are deemed, under the law, to have renounced should be decided not later than 15 days before election. Petition was filed
it. more than 2 mos after Osmena filed his COC. A petition for quo warranto stated
 in Sec. 253 is only applicable for petitions after the election. Thus, it cannot be
invoked for such is premature considering that Osmena was proclaimed only on
Section 5. Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be March 3, 1988.
dealt with by law. 2. No substantial & convincing evidence presented to prove Osmena is no longer a
 Filipino citizen & disqualified from running. Filipino citizenship is lost by
naturalization in a foreign country or by express renunciation of citizenship or
R.A. 7160 LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE, SEC. 40 DISQUALIFIED FROM by subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support another country’s consti or
RUNNING ELECTIVE LOCAL POST: laws (CA No. 63). No proof that Osmena did any of those. Aznar assumed that
 sentenced by final judgment for offense involving moral turpitude or punishable the ACR & permit to re-enter were proof of such. However, only RP courts are
by 1 yr. Or more, w/in 2 yrs of serving sentence allowed to determine whether one is a Filipino citizen or not, regardless of
 removed from office due to an administrative case whether that person is considered an American under US laws. His father is
 convicted by final judgment violated oath of allegiance to RP Filipino thus, without proof of contrary, the presumption that he is a Filipino
 those w/dual citizenship remains.
 fugitives from justice in crim’l / nonpolitical cases RP or abroad 3. Frivaldo & Labo cases not applicable because they have both admitted that they
 permanent residents in foreign country or acquired rt to reside abroad & are foreign citizens whereas Osmena vehemently denies his American
continue to avail of such citizenship.
 insane or feeble-minded 4. He has a Philippine passport & he has continuously participated in electoral
process in RP both as a voter & as a candidate.
AZNAR vs. COMELEC [May 25, 1990] 5. Certificate stating that he’s American is just a certificate. It doesn’t say that
Petition for Certiorari to review COMELEC resolution he’s not a Filipino nor is there any express or implied renunciation of his Filipino
 Nov. 19, 1987 – Emilio Osmena filed certificate of candidacy (COC) for pos of citizenship.
Prov’l Gov. of Cebu for Jan. 18, 1988 elections 6. Art. 4, Sec. 5 ’87 Consti: dual allegiance will be dealt w/by law. (they raised
 Jan. 22, 1988 – Cebu PDP-Laban thru provincial chairman Jose Aznar filed this because Osmena is both Filipino & American) However, no implementing
w/COMELEC petition to disqualify Osmena on ground that he’s an American & rules have been enacted yet.
not a Filipino citizen.
 Jan. 27, 1988 – Aznar submitted following to COMELEC: Melencio-Herrera, dissenting: If Osmena had dual citizenship, he had the chance
1. Immigration certificate stating Osmena is an American & a holder of an to elect his citizenship upon majority. He did elect such when he was 24 & 45 by
Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) and Immigration Certificate of obtaining an ACR w/c is a clear & unambiguous proof that he’s no longer a citizen.
Residence (ICR) He claims he was compelled by past regime to change his citizenship but he could
2. Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to issue TRO enjoining Cebu Provincial Board of have asked for its cancellation before he ran for office. We need not wait for the
Canvassers from tabulating/canvassing Osmena’s votes and proclaiming implementing guidelines of the dual allegiance law to consider giving up legal
him until final resolution has been issued convenience of dual citizenship.
 Jan. 28, 1988 – COMELEC resolution: continue canvassing, suspend
proclamation Cruz, Dissenting: When one voluntarily registers as a citizen, he in effect affirms
 Additional evidence presented by Aznar during hearing: Osmena’s Application that he’s not a citizen. There was express renunciation on his part when he took his
for Alien Registration, ACR, permit to re-enter Philippines oath as a naturalized US citizen. Even if naturalization is revoked, his renunciation
 Osmena: maintained he’s a Filipino citizen w/ Philippine passport & continuously still lies (Labo vs. COMELEC). There was an express renunciation of citizenship as
residing in RP. He claims he has not gone out of RP for more than 6 mos. & he’s defined in CA No. 63 w/c is an unequivocal & deliberate act w/full awareness of its
a registered voter. significance & consequences (Yu vs. CID). Osmena was not required to register as
 March 3, 1988 – COMELEC directed canvassers to proclaim winner, Osmena an alien but he chose to do so despite having a land willing to consider him as its
won. own. Philippine citizenship is lost as long as repudiation is categorical enough &
 June 11, 1988 – petition dismissed by COMELEC preference for foreign state in unmistakable, such as in this case. His efforts in
improving Cebu and the fact that majority of the people voted for him are
ISSUE: WON Osmena should be disqualified immaterial owing to the fact that it is unlawful to keep him, a non-Filipino citizen, in
HELD: No. office.
Padilla, Dissenting: He was a dual citizen at one point. His ACR application is  When can a person intervene? If he has legal interest in the matter of litigation,
tantamount to an express renunciation of his Filipino citizenship & proof that he’s an or when he is so situated as to be adversely affected by such action or
alien under RP laws. If he were truly a Filipino citizen, he should have not applied proceeding
for a re-entry permit since it’s every Filipino citizen’s rt to return to his country. He  When Mercado sought to intervene in the proceedings before the Comelec there
has been a registered alien since 1958 and another registration took place in 1979. had been no proclamation of the results of the election for the vice mayoralty
The first registration is an express renunciation because this is under the provision contest for Makati City. Mercado had an interest in ousting private respondent
requiring aliens 14 yrs or above to elect their citizenship and if they choose to from the race at the time he sought to intervene.
remain an alien, they must register personally & acquire an ACR. Osmena was  Under RA 6646 section 6 intervention may be allowed in proceedings for
about 20 during the time of the first registration. Dual citizenship should be disqualification even after election if there has yet been no final judgement
prohibited because it is a necessary complement of dual allegiance. It results in rendered.
questionable loyalties & leads to international conflicts. Citizens can choose their 2. WON dual citizenship is a ground for disqualification. NO
nationality but limited to one choice only. If Labo was declared an alien, how come  Section 40 of the local government code declares as disqualified from running
Osmena’s not? SC is inconsistent in its rulings. for any elective position those with dual citizenship. Petitioner contends that
through section 40(d) command in explicit terms the ineligibility of persons
Sarmiento, Concurring: Impt to know how he obtained US citizenship. If by possessing dual allegiance to hold elective official.
naturalization, then he has lost his Filipino citizenship. If by jus soli, it’s by force of
circumstances & not by choice, then he doesn’t lose RP citizenship if he were born of Dual Allegiance vs. Dual Citizenship.
Filipino parents. Without any evidence re this, presumption of his Filipino citizenship  Dual Citizenship – result of the concurrent application of the different laws of
remains. ACR is not equal to an express renunciation. two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the
said states.
Gutierrez: Stand in Labo & Yu cases remain. He can’t participate coz he’s related to o Born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries which follow the
one of the counsels w/in 4th civ degree. principle of jus soli
o Born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by law of
Mercado vs. Manzano [May 26, 1999] their fathers’ country such children are citizens of that country
Special Civil Actio in the Supreme Court. Certiorari o Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latter’s country the former are
considered citizens, unless by their act or omission they are deemed to
Facts: have renounced Philippine citizenship.
 Eduardo Manzano and Ernesto Mercado were candidates for vice-mayor of the  Dual Allegiance – when a person simultaneously owes, by some positive act,
City of Makati in the May 11, 1998 elections. Manzano received by the highest loyalty to two or more states. Result of an individual’s volition
number of votes.  Article IV (5) of the constitution provides: “Dual Allegiance of citizens is inimical
 The proclamation of Manzano was suspended in view of a pending petition for to the national interest and shall be dealt with by the law”. The concern of the
disqualification filed by Ernesto Mamaril who alleged that Manzano was not a constitutional commission was not with dual citizens per se but with naturalized
citizen of the Philippines but of the United States. citizens who maintain their allegiance to their countries of origin even after
 May 7, 1998 the Second Division of Comelec granted the petition on the ground their naturalization. Therefore, dual citizenship im RA 7160 section 40 (d)
that Manzano is a dual citizen and, under section 40 (d) of the Local refers to dual allegiance.
Government Code, persons with dual citizenship are disqualified from running  Dual citizenship is just a reality on us because we have no control of the laws
for any elective position. A motion for reconsideration was filed but it remained on citizenship of other countries. We recognize a child of a Filipino mother. But
pending until the May 11, 1998 elections. whether or not she is considered as a citizen of another country is something
 May 19, 1998 – Mercado sought to intervene in the case for disqualification this completely beyond our control.
motion for intervention was opposed by Manzano.
 August 31, 1998 – the Comelec en banc reversed the ruling of the second 3. WON Manzano has effectively elected Philippine citizenship. YES
division on the grounds that when Manzano registered himself as a voter and  By voting in the Philippine elections Manzano renounced his American
voted in the elections of 1992, 1995 and 1998 he effectively renounced his US citizenship. By filing a certificate of candidacy when he ran for his present post,
citizenship under the American Law. Under Philippine law, he no longer had US private respondent elected Philippine citizenship and in effect renounce his
citizenship. American citizenship.
 August 31, 1998 Manzano was proclaimed as the vice mayor of the City of  Frivaldo vs. Comelec: Frivaldo lost his American citizenship when he took his
Makati. oath of allegiance to the Philippine government when he ran for Governor in
 Mercado file a petition for certiorari seeking to set aside the resolution of the 1988, 1992 and 1995. Every certificate of candidacy contains an oath of
Comelec en banc. allegiance to the Philippine Government.
 Aznar vs. Comelec: The mere fact that he has a certificate stating that he is an
Issues: American does not mean that he is not still a Filipino. The certification that he
1. WON Mercado has the right to bring the suit. YES
is an American does not mean that he is not still a Filipino, possessed as he is,  May 27, 1999: VFA approved by a vote of 18-5. Became Sen. Resolution. No.
of both nationalities or citizenship. 18
 By declaring in his certificate of candidacy that he is a Filipino citizen; that he is  June 1, 1999: VFA enforced after US (Hubbard) & RP (Siazon) exchange of
not a permanent resident or immigrant of another country; that he will defend notes. It has a preamble & 9 articles providing for mechanism that will govern
and support the Constitution of the Philippines and bear true faith and USAF & defense personnel in RP. (pls. see pp. 469 – 476 for whole VFA text)
allegiance thereto and that he does so without mental reservation, private  Petitioners assail constitutionality of VFA as legislators, NGOs, citizens &
respondent has, as far as the laws of this country is concerned, effectively taxpayers. They allege that respondents committed grave abuse of discretion.
repudiated his American citizenship and anything which he may have said
before as a dual citizen. Issues & Ratio:
1. WON petitioners have locus standi. NO
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) vs. Zamora [Oct. 10, 2000]  For one to have standing, one must prove that law is invalid & that he/she
Special Civil Actions in the SC. Certiorari & Prohibition has/wills sustain some direct injury if law will be enforced. It also involves
denial of rights/privileges one is entitled to. Petitioners were not able to prove
Nature: This involves 5 consolidated petitions for certiorari & prohibition regarding this.
an agreement forged by the government with the USA – the Visiting Forces  Taxpayers – failed to establish that VFA involves taxing or spending powers of
Agreement (VFA). Congress. For such to be appreciated, it should involve illegal disbursement of
public funds derived from taxation. NO public funds are involved here. They
Facts: didn’t allege that public funds are being misspent or illegally expended either.
 March 14, 1947: RP-US forged Military Bases Agreement (MBA) w/c included  Legislators (Representatives Wigberto Tanada, Butz Aquiino, Joker Arroyo) – no
US military use of installations in RP standing either for they failed to prove that they or Congress will sustain direct
 Aug. 30, 1951: RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) wherein they agreed to injury due to VFA. Alleged impairment of legislative power such as delegation of
respond to external armed attack on their territories, armed forces, public Congress power to grant tax exemptions, more apparent than real.
vessels & aircraft  Integrated Bar of the Philippines – no standing either since there is no board
 MBA expired in 1991. Parties negotiated for extension however, Senate rejected resolution from Board of Governors authorizing its President to file this suit.
proposed RP-US Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation & Security, extending US  But then again, since it is of paramount importance & constitutional
stay. MDT continued. significance, procedural barrier will be brushed aside & SC will take cognizance
 July 18, 1997: US & RP met and discussed their complementing strategic of case.
interests in the Asia-Pacific. They discussed possible elements of VFA.
Negotiations & conferences took place on Jan. 12-13, 1998. 2. What is the applicable constitutional provision to the case at bar? Art.
 Feb. 10, 1998: then Pres. Ramos, DFA Sec. Siazon & US Ambassador Thomas 18, Sec. 25.
Hubbard approved & signed VFA.  Petitioners: Sec. 25, Art. XVIII is applicable (“After the expiration in 1991 of
 Oct. 5, 1998: Erap ratified VFA thru DFA Sec. the Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of
 Oct. 6, 1998: Exec. Sec. Ronaldo Zamora transmitted Instrument of Ratification America concerning military bases, foreign military bases, troops, or facilities
(includes info that VFA is the framework to strengthen RP-US relations, to give shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in
life to MDT, to hold regular joint military exercises, info on guidelines re by the Senate and, when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the
admission, prosecution of US personnel, importation & exportation of US votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and
materials) to the Senate. Including letter of President & VFA. This is in pursuant recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.”) because it involves
to Art. VII, Sec. 21 of 87 Consti. foreign military troops.
 Senate referred VFA to Committee on Foreign Relations (Ople, head) and  Respondents: Sec. 21, Art. VII applicable (“No treaty or international
Committee on National Defense & Security (Biazon, head). Both committees agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-
had joint public hearings & deliberations. thirds of all the Members of the Senate.”) since VFA is not a basing agreement
 May 3, 1999: Committees submitted Proposed Senate Resolution No. 443 but an agreement involving temporary visits of US personnel for joint military
recommending Senate concurrence to the VFA & creation of Legislative exercises.
Oversight Committee to oversee implementation. They agreed w/VFA because  SC says Art. VII, Sec. 21 involves treaties or international agreements in
it: 1)promoted common security of RP & US, 2) doesn’t give US unrestricted general w/c needs 2/3 concurrence of Senate members. Examples are
access or unhampered mov’t in RP, 3) not a basing agreement nor does it extradition or tax treaties or those economic in nature or any other treaty or
revive US bases & facilities, 4) these are only temporary visits, 5) RP courts international agreement entered into by RP of any subject. Whereas, Art. XVIII,
have primary jurisdiction over US personnel unless it only involves US Sec. 25 is a special provision applicable to foreign military bases, troops or
prop/person, 6) US commits to respect RP laws, 7) enhance RP political, facilities in RP. It requires concurrence of Senate by a treaty, ratification of
economic & security partnership & cooperation w/ US. It was also stated that majority of voters in national referendum if required by Congress & recognition
RP has rt to terminate agreement unilaterally if it’s no longer part of national as treaty by other contracting state. Both are in the negative, prohibitory in
interest. mandate & character & require Senate concurrence.
 VFA: agreement w/c defines treatment of US troops & personnel visiting RP. obligations, duties & responsibilities. Such is prohibited by Art. 13 of the
Provides guidelines & rts of both parties. Sec. 25, Art. XVIII is then Declaration of rts & duties.
applicable. Sec. 21, Art. VII will be applicable in the sense that it states the
number of votes required to obtain valid Senate concurrence w/c is 2/3. 4. WON there was grave abuse of discretion on part of respondents. NO
 LEX SPECIALIS DEROGANT GENERALI: Special provision such as Art. XVIII,  It is w/in president’s power to enter into & ratify treaties. Consti grants him
Sec. 25, prevails over a general one like Art. VII, Sec. 21. General enactment such powers. He is the sole organ & authority in country’s external affairs. He is
will only be suppletory to the special provision. the chief architect of our nation’s foreign policy. Senate & Congress cannot
 UBI LEX NON DISTINGUIT NEC NOS DISTINGUIRE DEBEMOS: When no intrude into the President’s power to negotiate. SC believes it is w/in President’s
distinction is made by law, the Court should not distinguish. Art. XVIII, Sec. 25 power to ratify & w/in Senate’s power to concur with VFA. Senate is an
does not distinguish between a permanent or transient stay of troops, thus independent body & wisdom of its actions are beyond SC’s jurisdiction. SC can
duration of US military stay in RP is immaterial. only check WON other branches went beyond their jurisdiction & not that it
 A18 S25 is applicable even if only foreign troops & facilities and not bases are erred or has a different view.
involved. Disjunctive “or” is used with a comma, meaning, the 3 are
independent from each. Provision contemplates 3 different situations. Fr. Holding: Case dismissed.
Bernas expressly stated during Con Con that even if only one situation arises,
the requirements would still be the same. Military bases are actually no longer Puno Dissent
viable because of other alternatives such as nuclear weapons, warships, etc. Only issue for him is WON A18 S25 was violated. This agreement can be classified
which are mobile & no longer require presence in a territory. as permanent there being no mention of duration of joint military exercises. It is
open-ended. Only states that it will expire 180 days from date on w/c either party
3. WON the requirements of A18 S25 were complied with. YES notifies the other in writing of its desire to terminate agreement. It can be in force
 Requirement #1 met. It is under a treaty. indefinitely. Siazon said VFA will continue until there is no longer a possible threat to
 Requirement #2 met. It obtained 2/3 concurrence of Senate thru Resolution our national security. Training will be on a larger scale according to Defense Sec.
No. 18. National referendum is not necessary because Congress didn’t require Mercado. Then, escalation of duration & frequency are highly probable too. This is
it. 2/3 means at least 16 should have voted in favor. There were 18 votes in w/in A18 S25 & such is ripe for adjudication.
favor of the VFA. Even if there were only 23 incumbent senators at that time,
2/3 would still be met. To ascertain if VFA has complied w/ consti’l provision, we should look at intent of
 Petitioners allege that 3rd requisite of the contracting party recognizing the Consti framers. Con Con deliberations show that such provision was enacted to
agreement as a treaty has not been met. They claim that VFA should have remove flaws of the 1947 MBA. By the phrase “recognized as a treaty,” they meant
advice & consent of US Senate & not be considered merely as an executive that other party must perform all acts required for the agreement to reach the
agreement by the US. Respondents on the other hand presented a letter from status of a treaty in their country. Thus, we should go back to US Consti. US Consti
Hubbard saying that VFA is binding on the US gov’t. They say that for VFA to be allows president to make treaties provided that 2/3 of senate concurs. US
binding, it must only be accepted as a treaty by the US. SC view: recognition recognizes 4 types of international agreements: treaty, executive agreement
only means accepting or acknowledging the agreement as a treaty. Requiring pursuant to a treaty, congressional-executive agreements & sole executive
US Senate concurrence would accord a strict meaning to the phrase. Remember agreements. Exec. Agreement is a convenient catch-all to subsume all international
verba legis, ordinary meaning/common use unless technical terms are agreements intended to bind US & another gov’t other than those w/c receive
employed. Besides, under International Law, an executive agreement is binding consent of 2/3 of US Senate. This is recognized by all branches of the gov’t. This is
as a treaty. Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties defined a treaty as an used to come up with decisions & actions expediently using force or diplomacy. It
internat’l instrument concluded between States in written form & governed by may be treaty-authorized (authority conferred in prior treaty), congressional-
international law whatever its particular designation. Name is immaterial as executive (either negotiated w/prior Congressional authorization or confirmed by
long as the negotiating functionaries have remained w/in their powers. A treaty Congress after negotiation), or presidential or sole (exclusive presidential powers
can be called differently (act, protocol, agreement, concordat, convention, such as commander-in-chief). VFA falls under the presidential or sole executive
declaration, etc.) & still mean the same. RP recognizes binding effect of agreement accdg to Puno but respondents failed to quality under which category
executive agreements w/o Senate or Congress concurrence. We recognize VFA falls. This is important in determining criminal jurisdiction over US forces
power of executive to enter into binding agreements w/o concurrence. US SC stationed abroad. Sole executive agreements and treaties, although both superior
has recognized such too. (Commissioner of Customs vs. Eastern Sea Trading) over state laws, have different effects when pitted against prior inconsistent acts of
Con Con deliberations also show that ratification by the other state should be Congress. A treaty can supersede a prior act of Congress and vice-versa. The one
governed by their own laws. Hubbard’s letter is also proof of US acceptance & with later date will prevail. Sole executive agreements cannot prevail over prior
acknowledgment. (see p. 491 for the letter) Ratification is generally held to be inconsistent federal legislation. It can only do so if it is supported by an appropriate
an executive act undertaken by head of state or gov’t. In RP, such power is legislation. President does not have the power to repeal existing federal laws, thus
vested on President. Senate is only limited to giving or w/holding consent or he can’t make an indirect appeal thru a sole executive agreement. SC can’t equate
concurrence to ratification. Since VFA has been ratified and there has been an the VFA to a treaty since it is only an executive agreement. A treaty has a greater
exchange of notes bet. RP & US, such agreement is already binding on us. We dignity due to its constitutional effectiveness. It commits the Senate & people of the
can’t plead the Consti as a convenient excuse for non-compliance of our
US & its subsequent abrogation is less likely. VFA can’t climb to the same lofty  From a reading of the Vienna Convention it is clear that the cardinal rule of
height that the dignity of treaty can reach. It does not meet the 3rd requisite. interpretation must involve an examination of the text, which is presumed
to verbalize the intention of the parties. The text of a treaty is presumed
Lim vs. Executive Secretary [April 11, 2002] to be the authentic expression of the intentions of the parties. The starting
Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition, attacking the constitutionality of the point of interpretation is the elucidation of the meaning of the text, not an
joint exercise investigation ab initio into the intentions of the parties.
 With the aid of the Vienna Convention it appears farfetched that the
Facts: ambiguity surrounding the meaning of the word “activities” arose from
 This case involves a petition for certiorari and prohibition as well as a petition- accident. The US forces may sojourn in Philippine territory for purposes
in-intervention, praying that respondents be restrained with the Balikatan 02-1 other than military.
and after due notice and hearing, that judgement be rendered issuing a  VFA legitimizes the Balikatan exercises. Also, Balikatan 02-1 is authorized
permanent writ of injunction and/or prohibition against the deployment of US by the MDT and VFA. Both history and intent of the MDT and VFA support
troops in Basilan and Mindanao for being illegal and in violation of the the conclusion that combat-related activities as opposed to combat itself
Constitution. are authorized.
 January 2002 – Armed forces of the US started arriving in Mindano to take part 4. WON American troops are prohibited from engaging in an offensive war on the
in the Balikatan exercises. Balikatan exercises are a simulation of joint military Philippine territory. NO
maneuvers pursuant to the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). The MDT is a  Neither the MDT nor the VFA allow foreign troops to engage in an offensive
bilateral defense agreement entered into by the Philippines and The US in 1951. war on the Philippine territory.
 February 11, 2002 - Sanlakas and Partido ng Manggagawa (party list  1987 Constitution: Declaration of Principle and State Policies
organizations) filed a petition-in-intervention.
 The petitioners contend that the MDT is applicable only when there is an armed Section 2. The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy,
attack by an external aggressor and that the attacks of ASG cannot be adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of
considered as external. Also, the VFA does not authorize the American soldiers the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation,
to engage in combat operations in the Philippine territory, not even to fire back and amity with all nations.
if fired upon.
 In the reply filed by the Solicitor General he pointed out the following: Section 7. The State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In its relations
o They may not file suit in their capacities as taxpayers because it has not with other states, the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty,
been shown that Balikatan 02-1 involves the exercise of Congress’ taxing territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination.
or spending power
o Cannot file suit in their capacities as lawyers because being lawyers does Section 8. The Philippines, consistent with the national interest, adopts and
not invest them with sufficient personality to initiate the case pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.
o The petitioners have failed to demonstrate the requisite showing of direct
personal injury Section 25. After the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the Republic of
the Philippines and the United States of America concerning military bases, foreign
Issue: military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except
1. WON the petitioners have the legal standing to file the suit. NO under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and, when the Congress so requires,
 The court agreed with the solicitor general that the petitioners cannot file ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held
suit in their capacity as taxpayers and as lawyers. Also the petitioners for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State
failed to demonstrate the requisite showing of direct injury.  From the provision of the constitution it can be seen that foreign troops are
2. WON the court can take cognizance of the case. YES allowed entry into the Philippines only by way of direct exception. Conflict
 The court ruled that they can take cognizance of the case because of its arises between the fundamental law and our obligations from International
transcendental importance to the public. The court cites cases wherein the agreements. In Philip Morris, Inc. v. CA the court ruled that the fact that
court ruled that in cases of transcendental importance, the Court may relax international law has been made part of the law of the land does not by any
the standing requirements and to allow a suit to prosper even when there means imply the primacy of international law over national law. Rules of
is no direct injury to the party claiming the right of judicial review international law are given a standing equal, not superior, to national legislation
(Kilosbayan vs. Guingona Jr.)  In Gonzales vs. Hechanova the court ruled that the SC may not be deprived of
3. WON the Balikatan -02-1 is covered by the Visiting Forces Agreement. YES its jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal, certiorari,
 The VFA permits US personnel to engage, on an impermanent basis, in or writ of error as the law or rules of court may provide, final judgements and
“activities.” The exact meaning of activities was left undefined. The court decrees of inferior courts. Our constitution authorizes the nullification of a
used the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties to aid them in treaty, not only when it conflicts the fundamental law, but, also when it runs
interpreting the word “activities”. counter to an act of Congress.
5. WON the American troops actively engaged in combat alongside Filipino soldiers
under the guise of an alleged training assistance exercise.
 The court does not take cognizance of newspaper or electronic reports per
se, not because of any issue as to their truth, accuracy, or impartiality, but
for the simple reason that facts must be established in accordance with the
rules of evidence.
 Determination of this issue involves basically a question of fact. This
present action is not a fit topic for a special civil action for certiorari. SC is
not a trier of facts.

Dissenting Opinion: J. Kapunan

 There is no treaty allowing US troops to engage in combat – MDT does not
authorize the US military troops to engage the ASG in combat. MDT
contemplates only an external armed attack.
 There is no evidence that the ASG is connected with “global terrorism” – ASG
committed mostly crimes of kidnapping for ransom and murder which are
common crimes that are punishable under the penal code but which, by
themselves, hardly constitute terrorism.
 Balikatan exercises are not covered by VFA as US troops are not allowed to
engage in combat – Military exercise that are contemplated in the VFA are
those in accordance with the National Defense Plan (NDP) of the Philippine.
NDP is directed against potential foreign aggressors, not designed to deal with
internal disorders.
 US military presence is essentially idenfinite and open-ended – J. Kapunan
enumerated various newspaper clipping and speeches delivered by US President
Bush. He stated that the Court can take judicial notice of the pronouncements
because they are of public knowledge, having been circulated in all channels of
the media. Neither have they been denied.

Separate Opinion: J. Panganiban

 J. Panganiban voted to dismiss the petition because in the absence of a firm
factual findings that the Americans will stay indefinitely in our country or are
engaged in actual offensive combat with local insurgents as alleged by the
petitioners, respondent Philippine officials who are hosting the Balikatan
exercise cannot possibly be imputed with grave abuse of discretion – an
indispensable element of certiorari.