Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 78059 August 31, 1987 ALFREDO M. DE LEON, ANGEL S.

SALAMAT, MARIO C. STA. ANA, JOSE C. TOLENTINO, ROGELIO J. DE LA ROSA and JOSE M. RESURRECCION, petitioners, vs. HON. BENJAMIN B. ESGUERRA, in his capacity as OIC Governor of the Province of Rizal, HON. ROMEO C. DE LEON, in his capacity as OIC Mayor of the Municipality of Taytay, Rizal, FLORENTINO G. MAGNO, REMIGIO M. TIGAS, RICARDO Z. LACANIENTA, TEODORO V. MEDINA, ROSENDO S. PAZ, and TERESITA L. TOLENTINO, respondents.

That as being OIC Governor of the Province of Rizal and in the performance of my duties thereof, I among others, have signed as I did sign the unnumbered memorandum ordering the replacement of all the barangay officials of all the barangay(s) in the Municipality of Taytay, Rizal; That the above cited memorandum dated December 1, 1986 was signed by me personally on February 8,1987; That said memorandum was further deciminated (sic) to all concerned the following day, February 9. 1987. FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NONE. Pasig, Metro Manila, March 23, 1987. Before us now, petitioners pray that the subject Memoranda of February 8, 1987 be declared null and void and that respondents be prohibited from taking over their positions of Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen, respectively. Petitioners maintain that pursuant to Section 3 of the Barangay Election Act of 1982 (BP Blg. 222), their terms of office "shall be six (6) years which shall commence on June 7, 1982 and shall continue until their successors shall have elected and shall have qualified," or up to June 7, 1988. It is also their position that with the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, respondent OIC Governor no longer has the authority to replace them and to designate their successors. On the other hand, respondents rely on Section 2, Article III of the Provisional Constitution, promulgated on March 25, 1986, which provided: SECTION 2. All elective and appointive officials and employees under the 1973 Constitution shall continue in office until otherwise provided by proclamation or executive order or upon the designation or appointment and qualification of their successors, if such appointment is made within a period of one year from February 25,1986. By reason of the foregoing provision, respondents contend that the terms of office of elective and appointive officials were abolished and that petitioners continued in office by virtue of the aforequoted provision and not because their term of six years had not yet expired; and that the provision in the Barangay Election Act fixing the term of office of Barangay officials to six (6) years must be deemed to have been repealed for being inconsistent with the aforequoted provision of the Provisional Constitution. Examining the said provision, there should be no question that petitioners, as elective officials under the 1973 Constitution, may continue in office but should vacate their positions upon the occurrence of any of the events mentioned. 1 Since the promulgation of the Provisional Constitution, there has been no proclamation or executive order terminating the term of elective Barangay officials. Thus, the issue for resolution is whether or not the designation of respondents to replace petitioners was validly made during the one-year period which ended on February 25, 1987. Considering the candid Affidavit of respondent OIC Governor, we hold that February 8, 1977, should be considered as the effective date of replacement and not December 1,1986 to which it was ante dated, in keeping with the dictates of justice.

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.: An original action for Prohibition instituted by petitioners seeking to enjoin respondents from replacing them from their respective positions as Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen of Barangay Dolores, Municipality of Taytay, Province of Rizal. As required by the Court, respondents submitted their Comment on the Petition, and petitioner's their Reply to respondents' Comment. In the Barangay elections held on May 17, 1982, petitioner Alfredo M. De Leon was elected Barangay Captain and the other petitioners Angel S. Salamat, Mario C. Sta. Ana, Jose C. Tolentino, Rogelio J. de la Rosa and Jose M. Resurreccion, as Barangay Councilmen of Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal under Batas Pambansa Blg. 222, otherwise known as the Barangay Election Act of 1982. On February 9, 1987, petitioner Alfredo M, de Leon received a Memorandum antedated December 1, 1986 but signed by respondent OIC Governor Benjamin Esguerra on February 8, 1987 designating respondent Florentino G. Magno as Barangay Captain of Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal. The designation made by the OIC Governor was "by authority of the Minister of Local Government." Also on February 8, 1987, respondent OIC Governor signed a Memorandum, antedated December 1, 1986 designating respondents Remigio M. Tigas, Ricardo Z. Lacanienta Teodoro V. Medina, Roberto S. Paz and Teresita L. Tolentino as members of the Barangay Council of the same Barangay and Municipality. That the Memoranda had been antedated is evidenced by the Affidavit of respondent OIC Governor, the pertinent portions of which read: xxx xxx xxx That I am the OIC Governor of Rizal having been appointed as such on March 20, 1986;

But while February 8, 1987 is ostensibly still within the one-year deadline, the aforequoted provision in the Provisional Constitution must be deemed to have been overtaken by Section 27, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution reading. SECTION 27. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose and shall supersede all previous Constitutions. The 1987 Constitution was ratified in a plebiscite on February 2, 1987. By that date, therefore, the Provisional Constitution must be deemed to have been superseded. Having become inoperative, respondent OIC Governor could no longer rely on Section 2, Article III, thereof to designate respondents to the elective positions occupied by petitioners. Petitioners must now be held to have acquired security of tenure specially considering that the Barangay Election Act of 1982 declares it "a policy of the State to guarantee and promote the 2 autonomy of the barangays to ensure their fullest development as self-reliant communities. Similarly, the 1987 Constitution ensures the autonomy of local governments and of political 3 subdivisions of which the barangays form a part, and limits the President's power to "general 4 supervision" over local governments. Relevantly, Section 8, Article X of the same 1987 Constitution further provides in part: Sec. 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be three years ... Until the term of office of barangay officials has been determined by law, therefore, the term of 5 office of six (6) years provided for in the Barangay Election Act of 1982 should still govern. Contrary to the stand of respondents, we find nothing inconsistent between the term of six (6) years for elective Barangay officials and the 1987 Constitution, and the same should, therefore, be considered as still operative, pursuant to Section 3, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution, reading: Sec. 3. All existing laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations letters of instructions, and other executive issuances not inconsistent, with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed or revoked. WHEREFORE, (1) The Memoranda issued by respondent OIC Governor on February 8, 1987 designating respondents as the Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen, respectively, of Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal, are both declared to be of no legal force and effect; and (2) the Writ of Prohibition is granted enjoining respondents perpetually from proceeding with the ouster/take-over of petitioners' positions subject of this Petition. Without costs. SO ORDERED. Yap, Fernan, Narvasa, Gutierrez, Jr., Paras, Feliciano, Gancayco, Padilla, Bidin and Cortes, JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-28196 November 9, 1967

number of their respective inhabitants, although each province shall have, at least, one (1) member; 2. R. B. H. No. 2, calling a convention to propose amendments to said Constitution, the convention to be composed of two (2) elective delegates from each representative district, to be "elected in the general elections to be held on the second Tuesday of November, 1971;" and 3. R. B. H. No. 3, proposing that Section 16, Article VI, of the same Constitution, be amended so as to authorize Senators and members of the House of Representatives to become delegates to the aforementioned constitutional convention, without forfeiting their respective seats in Congress. Subsequently, Congress passed a bill, which, upon approval by the President, on June 17, 1967, became Republic Act No. 4913, providing that the amendments to the Constitution proposed in the aforementioned Resolutions No. 1 and 3 be submitted, for approval by the people, at the general elections which shall be held on November 14, 1967. The petition in L-28196 was filed on October 21, 1967. At the hearing thereof, on October 28, 1967, the Solicitor General appeared on behalf of respondents. Moreover, Atty. Juan T. David and counsel for the Philippine Constitution Association ² hereinafter referred to as the PHILCONSA ² were allowed to argue as amici curiae. Said counsel for the PHILCONSA, Dr. Salvador Araneta, likewise prayed that the decision in this case be deferred until after a 1 substantially identical case brought by said organization before the Commission on Elections, which was expected to decide it any time, and whose decision would, in all probability, be appealed to this Court ² had been submitted thereto for final determination, for a joint decision on the identical issues raised in both cases. In fact, on October 31, 1967, the PHILCONSA filed with this Court the petition in G. R. No. L-28224, for review by certiorari of the resolution of the 2 Commission on Elections dismissing the petition therein. The two (2) cases were deemed submitted for decision on November 8, 1967, upon the filing of the answer of respondent, the memorandum of the petitioner and the reply memorandum of respondent in L-28224. Ramon A. Gonzales, the petitioner in L-28196, is admittedly a Filipino citizen, a taxpayer, and a voter. He claims to have instituted case L-28196 as a class unit, for and in behalf of all citizens, taxpayers, and voters similarly situated. Although respondents and the Solicitor General have filed an answer denying the truth of this allegation, upon the ground that they have no knowledge or information to form a belief as to the truth thereof, such denial would appear to be a perfunctory one. In fact, at the hearing of case L-28196, the Solicitor General expressed himself in favor of a judicial determination of the merits of the issued raised in said case. The PHILCONSA, petitioner in L-28224, is admittedly a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines, and a civic, non-profit and non-partisan organization the objective of which is to uphold the rule of law in the Philippines and to defend its Constitution against erosions or onslaughts from whatever source. Despite his aforementioned statement in L-28196, in his answer in L-28224 the Solicitor General maintains that this Court has no jurisdiction over the subject-matter of L-28224, upon the ground that the same is "merely 3 political" as held in Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito. Senator Arturo M. Tolentino, who appeared before the Commission on Elections and filed an opposition to the PHILCONSA petition therein, was allowed to appear before this Court and objected to said petition upon the ground: a) that the Court has no jurisdiction either to grant the relief sought in the petition, or to pass upon the legality of the composition of the House of Representatives; b) that the petition, if granted, would, in effect, render in operational the legislative department; and c) that "the failure of Congress to enact a valid reapportionment law . . . does not have the legal effect of rendering illegal the House of Representatives elected thereafter, nor of rendering its acts null and void." JURISDICTION

RAMON A. GONZALES, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, DIRECTOR OF PRINTING and AUDITOR GENERAL, respondents. G.R. No. L-28224 November 9, 1967

PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION (PHILCONSA), petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent. No. 28196: Ramon A. Gonzales for and in his own behalf as petitioner. Juan T. David as amicus curiae Office of the Solicitor General for respondents. No. 28224: Salvador Araneta for petitioner. Office of the Solicitor General for respondent. CONCEPCION, C.J.: G. R. No. L-28196 is an original action for prohibition, with preliminary injunction. Petitioner therein prays for judgment: 1) Restraining: (a) the Commission on Elections from enforcing Republic Act No. 4913, or from performing any act that will result in the holding of the plebiscite for the ratification of the constitutional amendments proposed in Joint Resolutions Nos. 1 and 3 of the two Houses of Congress of the Philippines, approved on March 16, 1967; (b) the Director of Printing from printing ballots, pursuant to said Act and Resolutions; and (c) the Auditor General from passing in audit any disbursement from the appropriation of funds made in said Republic Act No. 4913; and 2) declaring said Act unconstitutional and void. The main facts are not disputed. On March 16, 1967, the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the following resolutions: 1. R. B. H. (Resolution of Both Houses) No. 1, proposing that Section 5, Article VI, of the Constitution of the Philippines, be amended so as to increase the membership of the House of Representatives from a maximum of 120, as provided in the present Constitution, to a maximum of 180, to be apportioned among the several provinces as nearly as may be according to the

As early as Angara vs. Electoral Commission, this Court ² speaking through one of the leading members of the Constitutional Convention and a respected professor of Constitutional Law, Dr. Jose P. Laurel ² declared that "the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral or constituent units thereof." It is true that in Mabanag vs. 5 Lopez Vito, this Court characterizing the issue submitted thereto as a political one, declined to pass upon the question whether or not a given number of votes cast in Congress in favor of a proposed amendment to the Constitution ² which was being submitted to the people for ratification ² satisfied the three-fourths vote requirement of the fundamental law. The force of 6 this precedent has been weakened, however, by Suanes vs. Chief Accountant of the Senate, 7 8 9 Avelino vs. Cuenco, Tañada vs. Cuenco, and Macias vs. Commission on Elections. In the first, we held that the officers and employees of the Senate Electoral Tribunal are under its supervision and control, not of that of the Senate President, as claimed by the latter; in the second, this Court proceeded to determine the number of Senators necessary for a quorum in the Senate; in the third, we nullified the election, by Senators belonging to the party having the largest number of votes in said chamber, purporting to act on behalf of the party having the second largest number of votes therein, of two (2) Senators belonging to the first party, as members, for the second party, of the, Senate Electoral Tribunal; and in the fourth, we declared unconstitutional an act of Congress purporting to apportion the representative districts for the House of Representatives, upon the ground that the apportionment had not been made as may be possible according to the number of inhabitants of each province. Thus we rejected the theory, advanced in these four (4) cases, that the issues therein raised were political questions the determination of which is beyond judicial review. Indeed, the power to amend the Constitution or to propose amendments thereto is not included 10 in the general grant of legislative powers to Congress. It is part of the inherent powers of the 11 people ² as the repository of sovereignty in a republican state, such as ours ² to make, and, hence, to amend their own Fundamental Law. Congress may propose amendments to the 12 Constitution merely because the same explicitly grants such power. Hence, when exercising the same, it is said that Senators and Members of the House of Representatives act, not as members of Congress, but as component elements of a constituent assembly. When acting as such, the members of Congress derive their authority from the Constitution, unlike the people, 13 when performing the same function, for their authority does not emanate from the Constitution ² they are the very source of all powers of government, including the Constitution itself . Since, when proposing, as a constituent assembly, amendments to the Constitution, the members of Congress derive their authority from the Fundamental Law, it follows, necessarily, that they do not have the final say on whether or not their acts are within or beyond constitutional limits. Otherwise, they could brush aside and set the same at naught, contrary to the basic tenet that ours is a government of laws, not of men, and to the rigid nature of our Constitution. Such 14 rigidity is stressed by the fact that, the Constitution expressly confers upon the Supreme Court, 15 the power to declare a treaty unconstitutional, despite the eminently political character of treaty-making power. In short, the issue whether or not a Resolution of Congress ² acting as a constituent assembly ² violates the Constitution essentially justiciable, not political, and, hence, subject to judicial review, and, to the extent that this view may be inconsistent with the stand taken in Mabanag vs. 16 Lopez Vito, the latter should be deemed modified accordingly. The Members of the Court are unanimous on this point. THE MERITS Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution, as amended, reads:

4

The Congress in joint session assembled by a vote of three-fourths of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately, may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a convention for that purpose. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. Pursuant to this provision, amendments to the Constitution may be proposed, either by Congress, or by a convention called by Congress for that purpose. In either case, the vote of "three-fourths of all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately" is necessary. And, "such amendments shall be valid as part of" the "Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification." In the cases at bar, it is conceded that the R. B. H. Nos. 1 and 3 have been approved by a vote of three-fourths of all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately. This, notwithstanding, it is urged that said resolutions are null and void because: 1. The Members of Congress, which approved the proposed amendments, as well as the resolution calling a convention to propose amendments, are, at best, de facto Congressmen; 2. Congress may adopt either one of two alternatives propose ² amendments or call a convention therefore but may not avail of both ² that is to say, propose amendment and call a convention ² at the same time; 3. The election, in which proposals for amendment to the Constitution shall be submitted for ratification, must be a special election, not a general election, in which officers of the national and local governments ² such as the elections scheduled to be held on November 14, 1967 ² will be chosen; and 4. The spirit of the Constitution demands that the election, in which proposals for amendment shall be submitted to the people for ratification, must be held under such conditions ² which, allegedly, do not exist ² as to give the people a reasonable opportunity to have a fair grasp of the nature and implications of said amendments. Legality of Congress and Legal Status of the Congressmen The first objection is based upon Section 5, Article VI, of the Constitution, which provides: The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than one hundred and twenty Members who shall be apportioned among the several provinces as nearly as may be according to the number of their respective inhabitants, but each province shall have at least one Member. The Congress shall by law make an apportionment within three years after the return of every enumeration, and not otherwise. Until such apportionment shall have been made, the House of Representatives shall have the same number of Members as that fixed by law for the National Assembly, who shall be elected by the qualified electors from the present Assembly districts. Each representative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous and compact territory. It is urged that the last enumeration or census took place in 1960; that, no apportionment having been made within three (3) years thereafter, the Congress of the Philippines and/or the election of its Members became illegal; that Congress and its Members, likewise, became a de facto

that Congress has not made an apportionment within three years after the enumeration or census made in 1960. One can imagine this great inconvenience. the events contemporaneous with the framing and ratification of the original Constitution in 1935 and of the amendment thereof in 1940 strongly indicate that the provision concerning said apportionment and the effect of the failure to make it were expected to be applied to conditions obtaining after the elections in 1935 and 1938. likewise. The effect of this omission has been envisioned in the Constitution. considering that several provisions of the Constitution. supports the view that failure to discharge a mandatory duty. it would seem obvious that the provision of our Election Law relative to the election of Members of Congress in 1965 were not repealed in consequence of the failure of said body to make an apportionment within three (3) years after the census of 1960. their main function. or late in 1963. the Constitution authorizes the impeachment of the President. 1960. and that the Members thereof were de jure officers. Neither do they allege that the term of office of the members of said House automatically expired or that they ipso facto forfeited their seats in Congress. the Members of its House of Representatives are de facto officers. . the title to their respective offices remains unimpaired. however. and are not aware of any rule or principle of law that would warrant such conclusion. Pursuant to the theory of petitioners herein. it implies necessarily that Congress shall continue to function with the representative districts existing at the time of the expiration of said period. insofar as the public is concerned. or that its Members have become de facto officers. were de jure bodies. and that. it follows that the three-year period to make the apportionment did not expire until 1963. and were de facto officers. proposing amendments to the Constitution. in particular. those who drafted and adopted said amendment. by quo warranto proceedings. 4913. respectively. a Congress which fails to make it is dissolved or becomes illegal. Congress became illegal and its Members. upon the ground that the apportionment therein undertaken had not been made 18 according to the number of inhabitants of the different provinces of the Philippines. not only their mandatory duty. Thus. those dealing with officers and employees of the Government would be entitled to demand from them satisfactory proof of their title to the positions they hold. or after the Presidential elections in 1961. What is more. Petitioners do not allege that the expiration of said three-year period without a reapportionment. consequently. we are unable to agree with the theory that. Until such apportionment shall have been made. . therefore. the enforcement of which is. This Act was.Congress and/or de facto congressmen. the title of a de facto officer cannot be assailed collaterally. if within the competence of his office. . the disputed Resolutions. those of the House of Representatives. since the adoption of the Constitution in 1935. It did actually pass a bill. The major premise of this process of reasoning is that the constitutional provision on "apportionment within three years after the return of every enumeration. Congress has not made a valid apportionment as required in said fundamental law. that the present Members of Congress are merely de facto officers. purporting to make said apportionment. Neither may the validity of his acts be 24 questioned upon the ground that he is merely a de facto officer. the Justices of the Supreme Court and the Auditor General for. 23 . particularly those on the legislative department. we can not see how said Members of the House of Representatives can be regarded as de facto officers owing to the failure of their predecessors in office to make a reapportionment within the period aforementioned. in consequence thereof. and not otherwise. The provision does not support the view that. It is not true. Then again. Upon the other hand. . The fact that Congress is under legal obligation to make said apportionment does not justify. despite the violation of such mandatory duty. must have known that the three-year period therefor would expire after the elections scheduled to be held and actually held in 1941. are null and void. 3040. Even if we assumed. Inasmuch as the general elections in 1965 were presumably held in conformity with said Election Law. This theory assumes that an apportionment had to be made necessarily before the first elections to be held 19 after the inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. would expire after the elections in 1938. is. however. upon the lapse of said period for reapportionment. and the legal provisions creating Congress ² with a House of Representatives composed of members elected by qualified voters of representative districts as they existed at the time of said elections ² remained in force. upon expiration of said period of three years. the main reasons for the existence of the de facto doctrine is that public interest demands that acts of persons holding. however. deemed valid insofar as the public ² as distinguished from the officer in question ² is 21 concerned. . until dismissal or ouster pursuant to a judgment of conviction rendered in accordance with Article IX of the Constitution. This provision indicates that. and nobody could foretell when it would be made. however. In fact." is mandatory. It is argued that the above-quoted provision refers only to the elections held in 1935. neither our political law. the VicePresident. whatever it may be. There can be no question. . the House of Representatives. Moreover. who shall be elected by the qualified electors from the present Assembly districts. Those who drafted and adopted the Constitution in 1935 could be certain. otherwise. The assumption. It is conceded that. in view of the failure of Congress to make a valid apportionment within the period stated in the Constitution. but also. upon the expiration of the period to make the apportionment. since the report of the Director of the Census on the last enumeration was submitted to the President on November 30. that the three-year period. incorporating therein the provision of the original Constitution regarding the apportionment of the districts for representatives. declared unconstitutional. Congress became an "unconstitutional Congress" and that. at least. unwarranted. in the absence of a statute to this effect. In short. or. pursuant to which: . or at least. became illegal holder of their respective offices. culpable 20 violation of the Constitution. the House of Representatives shall have the same number of Members as that fixed by law for the National Assembly. it would not follow that the contested resolutions and Republic Act No. as well as Republic Act No. positions or 22 employments. It may not be contested except directly. therefore. hardships and evils that would result in the absence of the de facto doctrine. however. and even after subsequent elections. Similarly. 4913 are null and void. or in 1938. were amended in 1940. the conclusion that failure to comply with such obligation rendered Congress illegal or unconstitutional. and (2) the acts of a de facto officer. the loss of office or the extinction of title thereto is not automatic. And the reasons are obvious: (1) it would be an indirect inquiry into the title to the office. an office created by a valid statute be. had the effect of abrogating or repealing the legal provision creating Congress. nor our law on public officers. by establishing a bicameral Congress. after the earliest possible enumeration. for there had been no enumeration in 1935. under color of title. As a consequence. or before recognizing their authority or obeying their commands. Indeed. inter alia. even if they should act within the limits of the authority vested in their respective offices. 1961. In fact. On the contrary. before dealing with them. that the Senate and the House of Representatives organized or constituted on December 30. which became Republic Act 17 No. would automatically result in the forfeiture of an office. are valid.

No. for the reason that. In other words. Much as the writer and those who concur in this opinion admire the contrary view. But. the amendments proposed under R. . a weak one. but it can not do both. in general. It should be noted that Tayko was not a third party insofar as the Judge was concerned. H. The Court is. Capistrano. In that case. in general. and (2) that the word used in Article V of the Constitution. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. if not transcendental and vital nature as to demand that the attention of the people be focused exclusively on the subject-matter thereof. Juan T. these considerations are addressed to the wisdom of holding a plebiscite simultaneously with the election of public officer. Moreover. The ideal conditions are. One seeming purpose thereof to permit Members of Congress to run for election as delegates to the constitutional convention and participate in the proceedings therein." normally refers to the choice or selection of candidates to public office by popular vote. 2 calls for a convention in 1971. This theory is based upon the fact that the two (2) alternatives are connected in the Constitution by the disjunctive "or. The question whether the Constitution forbids the submission of proposals for amendment to the people except under such conditions." not a general. election. much less rendered decision therein. they were not passed at the same time. we do not find. if not insidious factors. likewise. In other words. B. On this question there is no disagreement among the members of the Court." Petitioners maintain that the term "election. reading into the Constitution what they believe is not written thereon and can not fairly be deduced from the letter thereof. instead of. will be submitted for ratification several years before those that may be proposed by the constitutional convention called in R. Moreover. 1 and 3 propose amendments to the constitutional provision on Congress. different sessions or different days of the same congressional session. Congress has nothing else to do in connection therewith. although the three (3) resolutions were passed on the same date. H. oftentimes. This Court held that the objection could not be entertained. 4913. whose title can not be assailed collaterally. a de facto Judge. either in the Constitution. or of the same Congress to pass the same in. unanimous in holding that the objection under consideration is untenable. No. Such authority becomes even more patent when we consider: (1) that the term "election. one thing. May Constitutional Amendments Be Submitted for Ratification in a General Election? Article XV of the Constitution provides: . why not let the whole thing be submitted to said convention. to be submitted to the people for ratification on November 14. they were taken up and put to a vote separately. because the Judge was at least. are complete. Some members of the Court even feel that said term ("election") refers to a "plebiscite. the term "or" has. H. they find themselves unable to subscribe thereto without. It is inconsistent with Tayko vs. however. finished hearing the case. XV of the Constitution. as amicus curiae. The Congress in joint session assembled. unimpaired. also. The majority view ² although the votes in favor thereof are insufficient to declare Republic Act No. And. 1967. B. Nos. is. as yet. Would the Submission now of the Contested Amendments to the People Violate the Spirit of the Constitution? . . otherwise. B. so that their votes thereon may reflect no more than their intelligent. No rights had vested in favor of the parties. Available Alternatives to Congress Atty. No. This. neither has any plausible reason been advanced to justify the denial of authority to adopt said resolutions on the same day. The circumstance that three previous amendments to the Constitution had been submitted to the people for ratification in special elections merely shows that Congress deemed it best to do so under the circumstances then obtaining. should be construed as meaning a special election. In any event. since the spirit of the law should not be a matter of sheer speculation. Justice Sanchez. It is a goal the attainment of which should be promoted." as used in Section 1 of Art. noteworthy that R. as regards the Resolutions herein contested and Republic Act No. in the abovequoted provision of the Constitution. meanwhile. There is in this provision nothing to indicate that the "election" therein referred to is a "special. at least. David. that the same be submitted to the people's approval independently of the election of public officials." general or special. It is. is a situation to be hoped for. in consequence of the acts of said Judge. Tayko was one of the parties in the aforementioned suit. the subject-matter of R. or in the history thereof anything that would negate the authority of different Congresses to approve the contested Resolutions. And there is no denying the fact that an adequate appraisal of the merits and demerits proposed amendments is likely to be overshadowed by the great attention usually commanded by the choice of personalities involved in general elections. Judge Capistrano had not." or vice-versa. Counsel ask: Since Congress has decided to call a constitutional convention to propose amendments. They do not deny the authority of Congress to choose either alternative. Again. or one after the other. however. They opine that constitutional amendments are. It does not negate its authority to submit proposed amendments for ratification in general elections. 2. Nos. Yet. let alone the partisan political considerations that are likely to affect the selection of elective officials. Nos." without any "election. particularly when provincial and municipal officials are to be chosen. one of the parties to a suit being heard before Judge Capistrano objected to his continuing to hear the case. H.It is argued that the foregoing rules do not apply to the cases at bar because the acts therein involved have not been completed and petitioners herein are not third parties. not "election. without qualification. by a vote of three-fourths of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately. its acts." but "plebiscite. if not always. Needless to say. Whether or not this should be done is a political question. but the same impugns the wisdom of the action taken by Congress. from the viewpoint of a thorough discussion of the proposed amendments. to be submitted for ratification before said convention is held? The force of this argument must be conceded. Tayko's objection was overruled. also. 26 when the spirit or context of the law warrants it. maintains that Congress may either propose amendments to the Constitution or call a convention for that purpose. not its authority to take it. insofar as Congress is concerned. to consider proposals for amendment to the Constitution. This pretense is 25 untenable. is another thing. may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a contention for that purpose. 4913 unconstitutional ² as ably set forth in the opinion penned by Mr. of such important. been held to mean "and. 1 and 3. as implied in the term "election" used. however. certainly. in the absence of other circumstances ² and none has brought to our attention ² supporting the conclusion drawn by the amicus curiae. of public officers. at the same time. H. he had reached the age of retirement. H." Such basis is. in effect. In fact. impartial and considered view on the merits of the proposed amendments. or. B. 1 and 3. concerning the grant of suffrage to women is. whereas R. 2 is different from that of R B. proposing some specific amendments. without forfeiting their seats in Congress. undiluted by extraneous. B. not subject to review by the courts of justice. then. It would be better.

for three consecutive issues at least fifteen days prior to said election. our citizenry shall have had practically eight (8) months to be informed on the amendments in question. as may be determined by the Secretary of the Interior. These were substantially the same means availed of to inform the people of the subject submitted to them for ratification. in English and in Spanish. as may be determined by the Secretary of the Interior. No. if elected thereto. and shall remain posted therein continually until after the termination of the election. for three consecutive issues at least fifteen days prior to said election. in English and in Spanish. No. in English and in Spanish. copies in the principal native languages. 4913 are such as to fairly apprise the people of the gist. nineteen hundred and forty. and shall remain posted therein until after the election.It should be noted that the contested Resolutions were approved on March 16. Then again. 1967. to discharge the duties of such delegates. Section 2. 1967. reading: Said Article V of the Constitution shall be published in the Official Gazette. particularly those that take place subsequently to the passage or approval of the law. Spanish and. and provincial government office building and in every polling place not later than February eleven. Such debates or polemics as may have taken place ² on a rather limited scale ² on the latest proposals for amendment. which is ² under R. and provincial government office building and in every polling place not later than May eighteen. Commonwealth Act No. nineteen hundred and thirty-five. At least ten copies of said amendments shall be kept in each polling place to be made available for examination by the qualified electors during election day. to be made available for examination by the qualified electors during election day. city. and who. provides: Said Constitution. city and provincial office building and in every polling place not later than October 14. from 120 to 180. perhaps. insofar as this phase of the case. referring to the 1940 amendments. 517. whenever practicable. 4913 provides: (1) that "the amendments shall be published in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette. from a constitutional angle. nineteen hundred and forty-seven." (4) that "when practicable. The difference springs from the circumstance that the major political parties had taken sides on previous amendments to the Constitution ² except. and shall remain posted therein continually until after the termination of the plebiscite. 73 is to the effect that: The said amendment shall be published in English and Spanish in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette at least twenty days prior to the election. is of the following tenor: The said amendments shall be published in English and Spanish in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette at least twenty days prior to the election. copies in the principal native languages. Section 2 of Republic Act No. depends ² in the view of those who concur in this opinion. by November 14. consequently. We are not prepared to say that the foregoing measures are palpably inadequate to comply with the constitutional requirement that proposals for amendment be "submitted to the people for their ratification. referring to the original Constitution. said political parties have not seemingly made an issue on the amendments now being contested and have." (2) that "a printed copy of the proposed amendments shall be posted in a conspicuous place in every municipality. shall be kept in each polling place. with the Ordinance appended thereto. At least ten copies of the Constitution with the Ordinance appended thereto. and the said Article V shall be posted in a conspicuous place in each municipal and provincial office building and in each polling place not later than the twenty-second day of April." (5) that "the Commission on Elections shall make available copies of said amendments in English. and shall remain posted therein until after the election. accordingly. 1 ² the increase of the maximum number of seats in the House of Representatives. copies in the principal native languages. A printed copy thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place in every municipal. Section 1 of Act No. shall be posted in a conspicuous place in each municipal and provincial government office building and in each polling place not later than the twenty-second day of April. in English and in Spanish. B. the main idea or the substance of said proposals. shall also be kept therein. Upon the other hand. shall be kept at each polling place available for examination by the qualified electors during the plebiscite. and a printed copy of said Constitution. constitute the minority ² upon whether the provisions of Republic Act No. When practicable. so that. 3 ² the authority given to the members of Congress to run for delegates to the Constitutional Convention and. Referring particularly to the contested proposals for amendment. debated thereon at some length before the plebiscite took place. B. shall be published in the Official Gazette. Similarly. however. The main difference between the present situation and that obtaining in connection with the former proposals does not arise from the law enacted therefor. with the Ordinance appended thereto. Whenever practicable. in the principal native languages." and that said copy "shall remain posted therein until after the election. At least ten copies of said Article V of the Constitution. A legislation cannot. as may be determined by the Commission on Elections. A printed copy thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place in every municipal. city. 1967. the sufficiency or insufficiency. When practicable. at least twenty days prior to the election. As regards the Parity Amendment." and that said measures are manifestly insufficient. and ² under R." (3) that "at least five copies of said amendment shall be kept in each polling place. At least. copies in the principal native languages. The provision concerning woman's suffrage is Section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 1967. refrained from discussing the same in the current political campaign. have been due principally to the initiative of a few civic organizations and some militant members of our citizenry who have voiced their opinion thereon. as may be determined by the Commission on Elections. 34. nineteen and thirty-seven. unaffected by the acts or omissions of law enforcing agencies. H. of the submission thereof for ratification to the people on November 14. Its constitutionality or unconstitutionality depends upon no other factors than those existing at the time of the enactment thereof. Whenever practicable. shall be kept at each polling place available for examination by the qualified electors during election day. be nullified by reason of the failure of certain sectors of the community to discuss it sufficiently. ten copies of the said amendment shall be kept in each polling place to be made available for examination by the qualified electors during election day. shall also be kept in each polling place. H. the woman's suffrage ² and. 1967. from a constitutional viewpoint. Section 2 of Republic Act No. Thus. 4200. shall also be kept in each polling place. for free distributing:" and (6) that the contested Resolutions "shall be printed in full" on the back of the ballots which shall be used on November 14. without forfeiting their seats in . copies in the principal local dialects as may be determined by the Secretary of the Interior shall also be kept in each polling place. from the original Constitution down to the Parity Amendment. to inform the people of the amendment sought to be made.

1 and 3. Six (6) Members of this Court believe. may fail to realize or envisage the effect of R. that they are not interested in the details of the apportionment. then. 3 upon the work of the Constitutional Convention or upon the future of our Republic. Upon the other hand. the provisions of Article XV of the Constitution are satisfied so long as the electorate knows that R. nobody can foretell such effect with certainty. J. Presumably. We do not believe it has been satisfactorily shown that Congress has exceeded the limits thereof in enacting Republic Act No. It is so ordered. 4913 and that of R. Makalintal and Bengzon. It is. 1 among the provinces in the Philippines. B. the copies kept in the polling places and the text of contested resolutions. or that a careful reading thereof may tend in their simple minds. B.. No. We ² who constitute the minority ² believe that Republic Act No. No. But. however. Inasmuch as there are less than eight (8) votes in favor of declaring Republic Act 4913 and R. 4913. A considerable portion of the people may not know how over 160 of the proposed maximum of representative districts are actually apportioned by R. concurs fully with the above opinion. constitutional. B. it could have done something better to enlighten the people on the subject-matter thereof. to impair a clear vision thereof. but. may enlighten themselves sufficiently by reading the copies of the proposed amendments posted in public places. 3 permits Congressmen to retain their seats as legislators. Nos. conceivable that as many people.. From our viewpoint. no law is perfect. J. H. 4913 satisfies such requirement and that said Act is. But. we feel that such factors affect the wisdom of Republic Act No. H. No product of human endeavor is beyond improvement. JJ. accordingly. H. if not more. said Act and R. adding a few words on the question of jurisdiction. who opine otherwise.. even if they should run for and assume the functions of delegates to the Convention. Otherwise. pursuant to which each department is supreme within its own sphere. as printed in full on the back of the ballots they will use. however. H. No. The determination of the conditions under which the proposed amendments shall be submitted to the people is concededly a matter which falls within the legislative sphere. B.P. H. H. the petitions in these two (2) cases must be. . The system of checks and balances underlying the judicial power to strike down acts of the Executive or of Congress transcending the confines set forth in the fundamental laws is not in derogation of the principle of separation of powers. We are impressed by the factors considered by our distinguished and esteemed brethren. Nos. 1 and 3 unconstitutional and invalid. no legislation would be constitutional and valid. not the authority of Congress to approve the same. B. dismiss and the writs therein prayed for denied. 1 and 3 violate the spirit of the Constitution. It is not improbable. Fernando. those who are more sophisticated.Congress. then. Nos. concur. as they are hereby. without special pronouncement as to costs. likewise. B.

6132 by petitioners Manuel B. Pronove. vs. 4914 implementing the aforesaid Resolution No. 2 which among others called for a Constitutional Convention to propose constitutional amendments to be composed of two delegates from each representative district who shall have the same qualifications as those of . I The validity of Sec. 6132.A. No. 2. 1970 MANUEL B. 4 amending the aforesaid Resolution No.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC Congressmen. petitioner. to be elected on the second Tuesday of November. Congress. L-32432 September 11. Resolutions Nos. election of delegates to. on the grounds. Jovito Salonga and Emmanuel Pelaez as amici curiae. 6132 was upheld. II Without first considering the validity of its specific provisions. Gonzales.A. 1970. by virtue of the doctrine G. No. Antonio. whether elective or appointive. GONZALES. 1969. Likewise. including members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.A. 1 of 8(a). No. 6132. MAKASIAR. when acting as a Constituent Assembly pursuant to Art. and Solicitors Raul I. Goco. respondents.. by a three-fourths vote of each House in joint session assembled but voting separately. Rosalio A. RAUL M. both members of the Bar. Senator Jovito Salonga." "and that any other details relating to the specific apportionment of delegates. and the holding of. has full and plenary authority to propose Constitutional amendments or to call a convention for the purpose. No.R. Gonzales in his own behalf. that it 2 shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Resolution. 2 and 4 calling for a constitutional convention were passed by the required three-fourths vote. 4. Office of the Solicitor General Felix Q. 2 and practically restating in toto the provisions of said Resolution No. implementing Resolutions Nos. Petitioner Manuel B. 6132 practically on the same grounds advanced by petitioner Gonzales.A. enacted Republic Act No. as members thereof. passed Resolution No. 4 of R. After the Solicitor General had filed answers in behalf the respondents. passed Resolution No. vs. No. Jr. as resigned from the date of the filing of their certificates of candidacy. 5. 2 and 4. the constitutionality of paragraph 2 of 4 Sec. 2. The grant to Congress as a Constituent Assembly of such plenary authority to call a constitutional convention includes. XV of the Constitution. Congress. 8(a) of R.A.R.A. was recently sustained by this Court. Torres and Guillermo C. Congress. petitioner. that a representative district shall be entitled to at least two delegates. the Constitutional Convention shall be embodied in an implementing legislation: Provided. PATAJO and CESAR MILAFLOR. Arturo Tolentino. Imbong impugns the constitutionality of only par. No. also acting as a Constituent Assembly. COMELEC. 1970 in accordance with the Revised Election Code. LINO M. Nakar for respondents. OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION ACT OF 1970. as Chairman of the Comelec. JAIME FERRER. Pardo. Imbong in his own behalf. taxpayers and interested in running as candidates for delegates to the Constitutional Convention. No. and not as a Constituent Assembly. Lorenzo Tañada. On June 17. inter alia. acting as a legislative body.: These two separate but related petitions for declaratory relief were filed pursuant to Sec. Imbong and Raul M. 8(a) of said R. namely Senator Lorenzo Tañada. IMBONG. claiming during the oral argument that it prejudices their rights as such candidates.A. that the same is merely an application of and in consonance with the prohibition in Sec. No. and expressly repealing R. 6132. J. as well as officers and employees of corporations or enterprises of the government." On August 24. which considers. who shall have the same qualifications as those 1 required of members of the House of Representatives. Bernardo P. because ² 1. 6132. Acting Assistant Solicitor General Ricardo L. Raul M. L-32443 September 11. 6132 by Congress acting as a legislative body in the exercise of its broad law-making authority. 2 of Art. 1967. I of Sec. Both impugn the constitutionality of R. It will be recalled that on March 16. 19 of R. Senator Arturo Tolentino. and Senator Emmanuel Pelaez argued orally. After the adoption of said Res. 2 of March 16. XII of the Constitution and that it does not constitute a denial of due process or of the equal protection of the law. enacted Republic Act No. 1967 by providing that the convention "shall be composed of 320 delegates apportioned among the existing representative districts according to the number of their respective inhabitants: Provided. No. Congress. all public officers and employees. No. acting as a legislative body. Gonzales assails the validity of the entire law as well as the particular provisions embodied in Sections 2. hearings were held at which the petitioners and the amici curiae. No. G. Petitioner Raul M. 1970 IN THE MATTER OF A PETITION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT REGARDING THE VALIDITY OF R. 3 4914. acting as a Constituent Assembly pursuant to Art. and par. 2 in 1967 but before the November elections of that year. de Leon. respondent. Manuel B. Vicente A.A. we sustain the constitutionality of the enactment of R. XV of the Constitution. Congress.

which. for such apportionment was presented to Congress. While the authority to call a constitutional convention is vested by the present Constitution solely and exclusively in Congress acting as a Constituent Assembly. 3 line 12) which is a fair and an equitable method of distributing the delegates pursuant to the provisions of the joint Resolution of both Houses No. the latest available official population census. acting as a legislative body. number. each of which is also allotted only two delegates. 6132 does not constitute a substantially proportional representation. show that it based its apportionment of the delegates on the 1970 official preliminary population census taken by the Bureau of Census and Statistics from May 6 to June 30. 6132 despite the fact that it has a population very much less than several other congressional districts. In the Macias case. 1976. may be over-represented. which authority is expressly recognized in Sec. the apportionment law. It is enough that the basis employed is reasonable and the resulting apportionment is substantially proportional. Comelec. The fact that a bill providing for such implementing details may be vetoed by the President is no argument against conceding such power in Congress as a legislative body nor present any difficulty. except the appropriation of funds. when Congress. No. emphasis supplied). The impossibility of absolute proportional representation is recognized by the Constitution itself when it directs that the apportionment of congressional districts among the various provinces shall be "as nearly as may be according to their respective inhabitants. the same could still be a valid basis for 6 such apportionment.of necessary implication. Congress for proportional representation as. 1 of Res. While there may be other formulas for a reasonable apportionment considering the evidence submitted to Congress by the Bureau of Census and Statistics. No. as well as all other implementing details indispensable to a fruitful convention. No. which provides that the 320 delegates should be apportioned among the existing representative districts according to the number of their respective inhabitants. does not exclusively pertain to Congress acting as a Constituent Assembly. Const. relied on by petitioner Gonzales. No. IV . apportionment. and compensation of the delegates as well as appropriation of funds to meet the expenses for the election of delegates and for the operation of the Constitutional Convention itself. acting as a Constituent Assembly. No. in a letter to Senator Pelaez dated July 30. Congress. submitted to this Tribunal by the amici curiae. for it merely obeyed and implemented the intent of Congress acting as a Constituent Assembly expressed in Sec. they are valid. such as the power to fix the qualifications. because it is allotted two delegates by R. where under Sec. Gonzales asserts that Sec.A. but fixing a minimum of at least two delegates for a representative district. 6132. 5.A. The present petitions therefore do not present facts which fit the mould of the doctrine in the case of Macias et al. 6132 Batanes is allotted only two delegates. 6132. but each province shall have at least one member" (Sec. If the framers of the present Constitution wanted the apportionment of delegates to the convention to be based on the number of inhabitants in each representative district. 2 and 4 as well as in R. Art. can enact the necessary implementing legislation to fill in the gaps. 4 fixed a minimum of two delegates for a congressional district. as well as daily death and birth. 2 and 4 already embody the above-mentioned details. all other powers essential to the effective exercise of the principal power granted. 3. 4. No. which number is equal to the number of delegates accorded other provinces with more population. No. each congressional district or for each province. 2 lines 5 to 32 and p. No. 5. vis-a-vis Batanes alone. accordingly employed a formula for the necessary computation to effect the desired proportional representation. 2 of R. sitting as a Constituent Assembly. Unlike in the apportionment of representative districts. which are now contained in Resolutions Nos. 1970. 8 of Res No. The apportionment provided for in Sec. and that Congress adopted the formula to effect a reasonable apportionment of delegates." Even if such latest census were a preliminary census.A. Upon your request at the session of the SenateHouse Conference Committee meeting last night. Such implementing details are matters within the competence of Congress in the exercise of its comprehensive legislative power. 77 sponsored by Senator Pelaez which is now R. which was nullified as unconstitutional. III Petitioner Raul M. 2. VI. dependent as it is on the diligence of the census takers. Absolute proportional apportionment is not required and is not possible when based on the number of inhabitants. Phil. does not vitiate the apportionment as not effecting proportional representation. 4 is unreasonable and that the apportionment provided in R.A. the power to enact the implementing details. aggravated by the constant movement of population. without pinpointing any specific provision of the Constitution with which it collides. for reasons of economy and to avoid having an unwieldy convention.A. 4. Consequently.. the Constitution does not expressly or impliedly require such apportionment of delegates to the convention on the basis of population in each congressional district. 2 on the apportionment of delegates is not in accordance with proportional representation and therefore violates the Constitution and the intent of the law itself. Such is not the case here. omits to provide for such implementing details after calling a constitutional convention. we have computed the distribution of delegates to the Constitutional Convention based on Senate Bill 77 (p. and therefore under-represented. 2 of R.A. for the population census cannot be accurate nor complete. stated that "on the basis of the preliminary count of the population. The fact that the lone and small congressional district of Batanes. Resolutions Nos. 6132 cannot possibly conflict with its own intent expressed therein. 2 as amended by Res. may constitutionally allocate one delegate for. supra. granted more representatives to a province with less population than the provinces with more inhabitants. No. they would have done so in so many words as they 5 did in relation to the apportionment of the representative districts. The records of the proceedings on Senate Bill No. we are not prepared to rule that the computation formula adopted by. The employment of the phrase "as nearly as may be according to their respective inhabitants" emphasizes the fact that the human mind can only approximate a reasonable apportionment but cannot effect an absolutely proportional representation with mathematical precision or exactitude. 4. vs. The Director of the Bureau of Census and Statistics himself. for it is not irremediable as Congress can override the Presidential veto or Congress can reconvene as a Constituent Assembly and adopt a resolution prescribing the required implementing details. And as lone as such statutory details do not clash with any specific provision of the constitution. we are submitting herewith the results of the computation on the basis of the above-stated method. The presumption is that the factual predicate. which power encompasses all matters not expressly or by necessary implication withdrawn or removed by the Constitution from the ambit of legislative action. Resolution No. Congress. as amended. directed in Res.

the delegate will not utilize his position as a bargaining leverage for concessions in the form of an elective or appointive office as long as the convention has not finally adjourned. is to immunize the delegates from the perverting influence of self-interest. XV of the Constitution. No. the disqualification applies to all the delegates to the convention who will be elected on the second Tuesday of November. The appointing authority may. freedom of assembly and freedom of association. Sec. and 2. or (b) from giving aid or support directly or indirectly. The convention that framed the present Constitution finished its task in approximately seven months ² from July 30. equal protection of the laws. It allows the full exercise of his freedom of expression and his right to peaceful assembly. but love for country must always motivate his actuations as delegate. pursuant to their representation and commitment to the people. any candidate for delegate to the convention (a) from representing. Also it is a brake on the appointing power. Phil. 1970. only those with qualifications and who do not fall under any constitutional or statutory inhibition can be validly elected or appointed to a public office. and controls all other laws. 10. The discrimination under Sec. The function of a delegate is more far-reaching and its effect more enduring than that of any ordinary legislator or any other public officer. Unlike ordinary statutes. As admitted by petitioner Gonzales. V Paragraph 1. his seat in the convention will be vacant and his constituents will be deprived of a voice in the convention. which may endure for generations and which cannot easily be changed like an ordinary statute. The right of a member of any political party . 8(a). propose constitutional amendments when acting as a Constituent Assembly pursuant to Art. temporary in nature. professional or other organizations or organized group of whatever nature from (a) intervening in the nomination of any such candidate or in the filing of his certificate." That the citizen does not have any inherent nor natural right to a public office. is axiomatic under our constitutional system. or injustice.A. A delegate shapes the fundamental law of the land which delineates the essential nature of the government. The inhibition is likewise "designed to prevent popular political figures from controlling elections or positions. greed. peaceful assembly. 5 of R. No. constitutional amendments cannot be changed in one or two years. As heretofore intimated. is confined to party or organization support or assistance. (Sec. 1 of Sec. this inhibition finds analogy in the constitutional provision prohibiting a member of Congress.Sec. defines the liberties of the people. 5.A. otherwise the several provisions of the new Constitution may only satisfy individual or special interests. Answer in L-32443. 8(a). religious. This Court ruled last year that the guarantees of due process. is neither whimsical nor repugnant to the sense of justice of the community. by his appointing power. political group. VI. With the disqualification embodied in Sec. R. Lastly." (p. its basic organization and powers. any political party. is to compel the elected delegates to serve in full their term as such and to devote all their time to the convention. because he cannot be denied any permit to hold a public meeting on the pretext that the provision of said section may or will be violated. and the right of association are neither absolute nor illimitable rights. party interest or vested interest and to insure that he dedicates all his time to performing solely in the interest of the nation his high and well nigh sacred function of formulating the supreme law of the land. It should be stressed that the disqualification is not permanent but only temporary only to continue until the final adjournment of the convention which may not extend beyond one year. otherwise. The classification. No. not even the members of Congress unless they themselves. Paragraph 1 of Sec. 6132 is attacked on the ground that it is an undue deprivation of liberty without due process of law and denies the equal protection of the laws. is a 9 legitimate exercise of police power. 1935. 6132 is a valid limitation on the right to public office pursuant to state police power as it is reasonable and not arbitrary. for it is based on a substantial distinction which makes for real differences. Constitution. 16. The ban against all political parties or organized groups of whatever nature contained in par. material or otherwise. The State through its Constitution or legislative body. and a campaign staff composed of not more than one for every ten precincts in his district. emotional or otherwise. moral. to curtail the latter's desire to 'raid' the convention of "talents" or attempt to control the convention. the inhibition is relevant to the object of the law. 5 of R. free expression. The very Sec. civic. equal protection of the laws. Said Sec. political committee. 8(a) of R. subversive of the welfare of the general citizenry. can create an office and define the qualifications and disqualifications therefor as well as impose inhibitions on a public officer. they are always subject to the pervasive and dormant police power of the State 8 and may be lawfully abridged to serve appropriate and important public interests. and applies to all members of the same class. 6132 is impugned by both petitioners as violative of the constitutional guarantees of due process. freedom of expressions. the overriding objective of the challenged disqualification.) Thus the challenged disqualification prescribed in Sec. Not love for self. 5 disqualifies any elected delegate from running "for any public office in any election" or from assuming "any appointive office or position in any branch of the government government until after the final adjournment of the Constitutional Convention.) As observed by the Solicitor General in his Answer. 1934 to February 8. The obvious reason for the questioned inhibition. during the time for which he was elected. In said Gonzalez vs. Art. 5 against delegates to the Constitutional Convention is likewise constitutional.A. or (b) allowing himself to be represented as being a candidate of any political party or any other organization. whether material. 8(a) in its provisos permits the candidate to utilize in his campaign the help of the members of his family within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.A. entice votes for his own proposals. corruption. is 7 germane to the purposes of the law. Consequently. No other public officer possesses such a power. Comelec case the Court applied the clear and present danger test to determine whether a statute which trenches upon the aforesaid Constitutional guarantees. therefore. favorable to or against his campaign for election. which is to insure that the proposed amendments are meaningful to the masses of our people and not designed for the enhancement of selfishness. from being appointed to any civil office which may have been created or the emolument whereof shall have been increased while he was a member of the Congress. 6132 prohibits: 1.

as conceded by Senator Pelaez. Political parties have less freedom as to the time during which they may nominate candidates. and equality before the law enunciated by Mr. and (c) giving. social and political problems besetting the country. 8(a). thus: The prohibition of too early nomination of candidates presents a question that is not too formidable in character. This position is further strengthened by the principle that the guarantee of social justice under Sec. or political group to nominate candidates for any elective public office voted for at large earlier than one hundred and fifty days immediately preceding an election. "that such provisions were deemed by the legislative body to be part and parcel of the necessary and appropriate response not merely to a clear and present danger but to the actual existence of a grave and substantive evil of excessive partisanship. Nor should the cure prescribed by it. 1 of Sec. II of the Constitution. 4880. V. It is therefore patent that the restriction contained in Sec. Comelec. No. According to the act: "It shall be unlawful for any political party. the sponsor of the Puyat-Tolentino amendment embodied in par.A. While it may be true that a party's support of a candidate is not wrong per se it is equally true that Congress in the exercise of its broad law-making authority can declare certain acts as mala prohibita when justified by the exigencies of the times. the poor candidate has an even chance as against the rich candidate. this Court unanimously sustained the validity of the limitation on the period for nomination of candidates in Sec. for the reasons aforestated. To assert otherwise would be to close one's eyes to the reality of the situation. it is indispensable that the Constitutional Convention be composed of delegates truly representative of 19 . We sustain its validity. 8(a) is so narrow that the basic constitutional rights themselves remain substantially intact and inviolate. parades or other similar assemblies for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against any candidate or party. 17 Justice Tuazon in the case Guido vs. or receiving contributions for election campaign either directly or indirectly. predicated as it is on empirical logic.which ban is a valid limitation on the freedom of association as well as expression. Both Senators stressed that the independent candidate who wins in the election against a candidate of the major political parties. (a). We are not prepared to disagree with them.A. finds support in our recent political history and experience. meetings. however. equality of political rights. Comelec case. 8(a) of R. unless clearly repugnant to fundamental rights. 8 (a) likewise can easily pass the balancing-of-interest test. In said Gonzales vs. caucuses.. Because what is to be amended is the fundamental law of the land. is guaranteed the right to disseminate information about. No. political committee. includes the guarantee of equal opportunity." Even if the partisan activity consists of (a) forming organizations. dishonesty and corruption as well as violence that of late has marred election campaigns and partisan political activities in this country. pars. supra. The primary purpose of the prohibition then is also to avert the clear and present danger of another substantive evil. Their scope of legitimate activities.A. 4880.or association to support him or oppose his opponent is preserved as long as such member acts individually. 50-B.A. Comelec. the curtailment is not such." But aside from the clear and imminent danger of the debasement of the electoral process. 50-A of R. Senator Tolentino emphasized that "equality of chances may be better attained by banning all 18 organization support. Art." . The right of association is affected. soliciting. 4880. because four members dissented. and for any other elective public office earlier than ninety days immediately preceding an election. Instead of directly proposing the amendments Congress has chosen to call a Constitutional Convention which shall have the task of fashioning a document that shall embody the aspirations and ideals of the people. 50-B. failed to muster the required eight votes to declare as unconstitutional the limitation on the period for (a) making speeches. In the apt words of the Solicitor General: It is to be noted that right now the nation is on the threshold of rewriting its Constitution in a hopeful endeavor to find a solution to the grave economic. One such act is the party or organization support proscribed in Sec. (d) & (e) of R. No.A. We do so unanimously. is not unduly narrowed. because such a conclusion. this Court likewise held that the period for the conduct of an election campaign or partisan political activity may be limited without offending the aforementioned constitutional guarantees as the same is designed also to prevent a "clear and 11 present danger of a substantive evil. and if possible. (Sec. and (c). In the aforesaid case of Gonzales vs. of the political parties or organizations supporting his opponent. announcements or commentaries or holding interviews for or against the election of any party or candidate for public office. the denial of the equal protection of the laws. pars. associations. And it is therefore a valid infringement of the aforesaid constitutional guarantees invoked by petitioners. The candidates must depend on their individual merits and not on the support of political parties or organizations. financial and otherwise. policies or constitutional proposals for amendments. this Court in said case of Gonzales vs. clubs. but not for such 10 a purpose. 6132. Sen. is a rare phenomenon in this country and the victory of an independent candidate mainly rests on his ability to match the resources. but actually in existence. render 14 spotless. supra. Neither is there infringement of their freedom to assemble. (b) holding political conventions. He did invite our attention likewise to the well-settled doctrine that in the choice of remedies for an admitted malady requiring governmental action." impressed as it was by the explanation made by the author of R. The very party or organization to which he may belong or which may be in sympathy with his cause or program of reforms. the abridgment was still affirmed as constitutional by six members of this Court. R. as to render meaningless such a basic right. (b). the legislative declaration that its enactment was in response to a serious substantive evil affecting the electoral process. programs.A. this Court gave "due recognition to the legislative concern to cleanse. or to arouse public interest in. committees or other group of persons for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a party or candidate. and (e) directly or indirectly soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against any candidate or party specified in Sec. who appeared as amicus curiae. 6132. They can do so. not merely in danger of happening. the debasement of the electoral process. (b) publishing or distributing campaign literature or materials. Senator Tolentino and Senator Salonga emphasized that under this provision. is to assure the candidates equal protection of the laws by according 16 them equality of chances. 13 (c). be ignored or 15 disregarded. Rural Progress Administration. on the legislature primarily rests the responsibility. 1 of Sec. and likely to continue unless curbed 12 or remedied. 4880). according to Senate Majority Floor Leader Senator Arturo Tolentino. In the said Gonzales vs. to justify such ban. No. 8(a) of R. save this one. Lorenzo Tañada. or to advocate for constitutional reforms.. which could not "ignore . rallies. conferences. Comelec case. the basic motivation." The questioned par. 1 of Sec. the electoral process. The debasement of the electoral process as a substantive evil exists today and is one of the major compelling interests that moved Congress into prescribing the total ban contained in par. Likewise.

Without costs. 6132. country and conscience. J. demonstrating once again his deep concern for the preservation of our civil liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights. who advocates the reforms that these organizations champion and believe are imperative. this ban is to assure equal chances to a candidate with talent and imbued with patriotism as well as nobility of purpose. or of a particular class or group of people. which the law seeks to prevent lies in the election of delegates who. and 8(a). beholden to no one but to God. 1 of Sec. Teehankee. 5. Hence. xxx xxx xxx The evil therefore. or professional associations usually prohibit the association from engaging in partisan political activity or supporting any candidate for an elective office. because they have been chosen with the aid and resources of organizations. because it does not create any hostile discrimination against any party or group nor does it confer undue favor or privilege on an individual as heretofore stated. so that the country can utilize their services if elected.A. but the harmonious balancing thereof. to that extent it partakes of the nature of a political organization. cannot be declared unconstitutional. For the constitutional system means. as much as the candidate whose candidacy does not evoke sympathy from any political party or organized group.. Whenever all organization engages in a political activity. despite the fact that the Constitution and by laws of such civic." The civic associations other than political parties cannot with reason insist that they should be exempted from the ban. 4. Makalintal. and their voices be not those of a particular segment of the citizenry. religious. Senator Pelaez. 6132 including Secs. No. must be afforded equal chances. religious or economic interest and not of the great majority of the 20 people. The freedom of association also implies the liberty not to associate or join with others or join any existing organization. and to attain real equality of chances among individual candidates and thereby make real the guarantee of equal protection of the laws. civic or professional in character. or professional associations. JJ. 8(a). No. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Codes and Constitutional Amendments. does not vary the situation.. civic. As emphasized by Senators Tolentino and Salonga. the prayers in both petitions are hereby denied and R.B. The fact that the other civic of religious organizations cannot have a campaign machinery as efficient as that of a political party. The ban is germane to the objectives of the law. Such delegates could very well be the spokesmen of narrow political. concur. Dizon and Castro.L. wherein the Senator stated that his own "Timawa" group had agreed with the Liberal Party in Iloilo to support petitioner Gonzales and two others as their candidates for the convention. eloquently stated that "the function of a constitution is not to represent anyone in interest or set of interests.". the area commanders. these civic religious and professional organization may band together to support common candidates. concurs in the result. as in this campaign for election of delegates to the Constitutional Convention. be they religious. which. paragraph 1. WHEREFORE. but with their joining with the LP's they "could have presented a solid front with very bright chances of capturing all seats. whether political parties or social. This is admitted by petitioner Gonzales thru the letter of Senator Ganzon dated August 17. We are not persuaded to entertain the belief that the challenged ban transcends the limits of constitutional invasion of such cherished immunities. the individual candidate who is without any organization support. Public welfare demands that the delegates should speak for the entire nation. which are to avert the debasement of the electoral process. Reyes. it is necessary that the delegatee thereto be independent. J. I of Sec. J. Impressed as We are by the eloquent and masterly exposition of Senator Tañada for the invalidation of par. We likewise concur with the Solicitor General that the equal protection of the laws is not unduly subverted in par. 2.A. 1970 attached to his petition as Annex "D". The discrimination applies to all organizations. cannot be expected to be sufficiently representative of the people. because then by such exemption they would be free to utilize the facilities of the campaign machineries which they are denying to the political parties. which organized support is nullified by the questioned ban.. 8(a) of R. religious. does not have. political. Senator Ganzon stressed that "without the group moving and working in joint collective effort" they cannot "exercise effective control and supervision over our leaders ² the Women's League. not the predominance of interests. because it still has that much built-in advantage as against the individual candidate without similar support. Moreover. A person may run independently on his own merits without need of catering to a political party or any other association for support. they must likewise respect the ban. This. And he.." So that the purpose for calling the Constitutional Convention will not be deflated or frustrated. not to favor one group at the expense or disadvantage of the candidates ² but to encompass all the interests that exist within our society and to blend them into one harmonious and balanced whole. is on leave.the people's will. The political parties and the other organized groups have built-in advantages because of their machinery and other facilities. . thereof. etc.

Feria. Echivarre for respondent Disbursing Officer of the 1971 Constitutional Convention. The amendments proposed by the Convention shall be valid and considered part of the Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast in an election at which they are submitted to the people for their ratification pursuant to Article XV of the Constitution. After the election of the delegates held on November 10. To further put things in proper order. for such action as they may deem proper to take. Tolentino in his own behalf. No. JESUS G. Trillana III. For reasons of orderliness and to avoid unnecessary duplication of arguments and even possible confusion. organization of committees and other preparatory works over. have legal interest in the success of the respondents. BARRERA. the Count required that copies thereof be served on the Solicitor General and the Constitutional Convention. all interests involved should be duly and amply represented and protected. Fernan. their interests would be adequately protected already. its session which began on September 27. All said respondents. Republic Act 6132. have been allowed to intervene jointly. and considering that the fiscal officers of the Convention are indispensable parties in a proceeding of this nature. The delegates to the said Convention were all elected under and by virtue of said resolutions and the implementing legislation thereof. Pablo S. LEONARDO SIGUION REYNA. Resolutions 2 and 4 of the joint sessions of Congress held on March 16. respondent COMELEC filed its answer joining issues with petitioner. BARREDO. As a preliminary step. L-34150 October 16. 1971 ARTURO M. Victor de la Serna. Emmanuel Pelaez. the pleadings filed by the other delegates and some private parties. TOLENTINO. and the subsequent implementing resolutions. Arturo M." at which the proposed constitutional amendment "reducing the voting age" in Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution of the Philippines to eighteen years "shall be. since the petition named as respondent only the COMELEC. CC ORGANIC RESOLUTION NO. all distinguished lawyers in their own right. only Delegates Raul S. 1 A RESOLUTION AMENDING SECTION ONE OF ARTICLE V OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES SO AS TO LOWER THE VOTING AGE TO 18 . by declaring said resolutions to be without the force and effect of law in so far as they direct the holding of such plebiscite and by also declaring the acts of the respondent Commission (COMELEC) performed and to be done by it in obedience to the aforesaid Convention resolutions to be null and void. the Court also ordered that the Disbursing Officer. for being violative of the Constitution of the Philippines. through its President. xxx xxx xxx G. J. the Convention held its inaugural session on June 1. and so. 1971. to be composed of two elective Delegates from each representative district who shall have the same qualifications as those required of Members of the House of Representatives. The Constitutional Convention of 1971 came into being by virtue of two resolutions of the Congress of the Philippines approved in its capacity as a constituent assembly convened for the purpose of calling a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution namely. more or less. Leonardo Siguion Reyna. as its first formal proposal to amend the Constitution. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Jose Y.R. Victor Ortega and Juan B. 1 reading thus: . 1971. the first appeared thru Senator Emmanuel Pelaez and the last two thru Delegate Ramon Gonzales. Ramon A. Chief Accountant and Auditor of the Convention be made respondents. 1971. the latter in representation of their minor children allegedly to be affected by the result of this case with the records and the Court acknowledges that they have not been without value as materials in the extensive study that has been undertaken in this case. resist petitioner's action. respondents.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC amended.: Petition for prohibition principally to restrain the respondent Commission on Elections "from undertaking to hold a plebiscite on November 8. BORRA. At any rate. The background facts are beyond dispute. since the acts sought to be enjoined involve the expenditure of funds appropriated by law for the Convention. Jorge M. thru counsel. THE AUDITOR. RAUL S. Jesus G. Borra. Resolution No. FERNAN. vs. or more accurately. JOSE Y. 4 merely modified the number of delegates to represent the different cities and provinces fixed originally in Resolution No 2. Gonzales for respondents Chief Accountant and Auditor of the 1971 Constitutional Convention. submitted" for ratification by the people pursuant to Organic Resolution No. 1971. The Court feels that with such an array of brilliant and dedicated counsel. notwithstanding that their corresponding motions for leave to intervene or to appear as amicus curiae 1 have been denied. Marcelo B. 1970. There is hereby called a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution of the Philippines. at about 3:30 in the morning of September 28. and THE DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE 1971 CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. and JUAN V. 1967 and June 17. VICTOR DE LA SERNA. the Convention approved Organic Resolution No. Intervenors. TRILLANA III. petitioner. Intervenors in their own behalf. and THE CHIEF ACCOUNTANT. and considering that with the principal parties being duly represented by able counsel. MARCELO B. Juco and Tomas L. 1 of the Constitutional Convention of 1971. The pertinent portions of Resolution No 2 read as follows: SECTION 1. VICTOR F. 1969 respectively. Barrera. FERIA. Its preliminary labors of election of officers. ORTEGA. MANGLAPUS. PABLO S. In due time. After the petition was so SECTION 7. Manglapus. the Court had to limit the number of intervenors from the ranks of the delegates to the Convention who.

calling for a recess of the Convention from November 1. (Copies of the resolution and the transcript of debate thereon are hereto attached as Annexes 9 and 9-A Memorandum. called upon respondent Comelec "to help the Convention implement (the above) resolution. respectively). By a letter dated September 28. MACAPAGAL President On September 30. and who shall have resided in the Philippines for one year and in the municipality wherein they propose to vote for at least six months preceding the election. (b) The Constitutional Convention will adopt its own security measures for the printing and shipment of said ballots and election forms. including the creation of . 1. Section 2. 1. provided. 1971. 1971 The Commission on Elections Manila Thru the Chairman Gentlemen: Last night the Constitutional Convention passed Resolution No. What happened afterwards may best be stated by quoting from intervenors' Governors' statement of the genesis of the above proposal: The President of the Convention also issued an order forming an Ad Hoc Committee to implement the Resolution. 1971 to November 9. resolution and letters of transmittal above referred to (Copy of the report is hereto attached as Annex 8Memorandum). The Convention hereby authorizes the use of the sum of P75. who are (twenty-one) EIGHTEEN years or over and are able to read and write. 1971.00 from its savings or from its unexpended funds for the expense of the advanced plebiscite. 1971. This partial amendment. enclosing copies of the order. RECESS RESOLUTION In its plenary session in the evening of October 7. RESOLUTION CONFIRMING IMPLEMENTATION On October 12.1971.000. election returns and tally sheets for the use of said plebiscite at its expense.00 each or the equivalent of 2-1/2 days per diem. COMELEC "RESOLVED to inform the Constitutional Convention that it will hold the plebiscite on condition that: (a) The Constitutional Convention will undertake the printing of separate official ballots. the Convention approved a resolution authored by Delegate Antonio Olmedo of Davao Oriental. 24 submitted by Delegate Jose Ozamiz confirming the authority of the President of the Convention to implement Organic Resolution No." The said letter reads: September 28. President Diosdado Macapagal. The Committee on Plebiscite and Ratification filed a report on the progress of the implementation of the plebiscite in the afternoon of October 7. may we call upon you to help the Convention implement this resolution: Sincerely. Suffrage may be exercised by (male) citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law. and (c) Said official ballots and election forms will be delivered to the Commission in time so that they could be distributed at the same time that the Commission will distribute its official and sample ballots to be used in the elections on November 8. This amendment shall be valid as part of the Constitution of the Philippines when approved by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to coincide with the local elections in November 1971.BE IT RESOLVED as it is hereby resolved by the 1971 Constitutional Convention: Section 1. 6132 otherwise known as the Constitutional Convention Act of 1971. Section 3. the Delegates waive P250. This Committee issued implementing guidelines which were approved by the President who then transmitted them to the Commission on Elections. 1971 to permit the delegates to campaign for the ratification of Organic Resolution No. 1971. the Convention passed Resolution No. however that should there be no savings or unexpended sums. which refers only to the age qualification for the exercise of suffrage shall be without prejudice to other amendments that will be proposed in the future by the 1971 Constitutional Convention on other portions of the amended Section or on other portions of the entire Constitution. ) DIOSDADO P. Republic Act No. Section One of Article V of the Constitution of the Philippines is amended to as follows: Section 1. Section 4. 1971. 1 quoted as follows: xxx xxx xxx (see above) Pursuant to the provision of Section 14. MACAPAGAL DIOSDADO P.

139. There should be no more doubt as to the position of this Court regarding its jurisdiction vis-a-vis the constitutionality of the acts of the Congress. they could brush aside and set the same at naught. and. . contrary to the basic tenet that ours is a government of laws. by Suanes v. not of men. in the second. 21 SCRA 774. it is to be noted that none of the respondent has joined intervenors in this posture. 1957) and Macias v. not as members of Congress. Commission on Elections. (supra) the latter should be deemed modified accordingly. Chief Justice Concepcion held for the Court thus: . Article XV of the Constitution. despite the eminently political character of treaty-making power. Chief Accountant of the Senate (81 Phil. Avelino v. VIII of the Constitution). Laurel ² declared that "the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral or constituent units thereof.) the power to declare a treaty unconstitutional. Electoral Commission (63 Phil. and in the fourth. and as such. Since. inferentially. were precisely unanimous in upholding its jurisdiction. The Members of the Court are unanimous on this point. as a constituent assembly. 1961). as claimed by the latter. but as component elements of a constituent assembly. hence. however. Lopez Vito (supra). when proposing. 14. advanced in these four (4) cases that the issues therein raised were political questions the determination of which is beyond judicial review. (Of amending the Constitution) for their authority does not emanate from the Constitution ² they are the very source of all powers of government including the Constitution itself. Art. (L-18684. the proposed amendment in question cannot be presented to the people for ratification separately from each and all of the other amendments to be drafted and proposed by the Convention. we nullified the election. As early as Angara vs. A simple reading of Our ruling in that very case of Gonzales relied upon by intervenors should dispel any lingering misgivings as regards that point. those of a constitutional convention called for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution. necessarily.the Ad Hoc Committee ratifying all acts performed in connection with said implementation. Comelec. to the extent that this view may be inconsistent with the stand taken in Mabanag v. Art. Cuenco. Strangely. despite their being divided in their opinions as to the other matters therein involved. that they do not have the final say on whether or not their acts are within or beyond constitutional limits. this Court characterizing the issue submitted thereto as a political one declined to pass upon the question whether or not a given number of votes cast in Congress in favor of a proposed amendment to the Constitution ² which was being submitted to the people for ratification ² satisfied the three-fourths vote requirement of the fundamental law. (And. In short. 28. subject to judicial review. on the ground that the calling and holding of such a plebiscite is. acting as a constituent assembly. in the third. unlike the people. such as ours (Section 1. Lopez Vito. (Sec. for that matter. Indeed. 157). the members of Congress derive their authority from the Fundamental Law. In the first we held that the officers and employees of the Senate Electoral Tribunal are under its supervision and control. 2(1). this Court proceeded to determine the number of Senators necessary for quorum in the Senate. (L10520. Such rigidity is stressed by the fact that the Constitution expressly confers upon the Supreme Court. Constitution of the Philippines) ² to make. respondents Chief Accountant and Auditor of the convention expressly concede the jurisdiction of this Court in their answer acknowledging that the issue herein is a justifiable one. for the second party. when performing the same function. it follows. Art. (Section 1. the main thrust of the petition is that Organic Resolution No. Dr. wherein the members of the Court. Thus we rejected the theory. VI. to lower courts. which concededly is at par with the former. Constitution of the Philippines). it is said that Senators and members of the House of Representatives act. and. Tañada v. In fact. upon the ground that the apportionment had not been made as may be possible according to the number of inhabitants of each province. its acts impugned by petitioner are beyond the control of the Congress and the courts. Constitution of the Philippines) Hence. the members of Congress derive their authority from the Constitution. under Section 1. the power to amend the Constitution or to propose amendments thereto is not included in the general grant of legislative powers to Congress (Section 1. 818). 1 and the other implementing resolutions thereof subsequently approved by the Convention have no force and effect as laws in so far as they provide for the holding of a plebiscite co-incident with the elections of eight senators and all city. fix the date and lay down the details of the plebiscite for the ratification of any amendment the Convention may deem proper to propose is within the authority of the Convention as a necessary consequence and part of its power to propose amendments and that this power includes that of submitting such amendments either individually or jointly at such time and manner as the Convention may direct in discretion. of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Upon these facts. provincial and municipal officials to be held on November 8. a power lodged exclusively in Congress. They contend that the issue before Us is a political question and that the Convention being legislative body of the highest order is sovereign. on behalf of the party having the second largest number of votes therein of two (2) Senators belonging to the first party. Art. the issue whether or not a Resolution of Congress ² acting as a constituent assembly ² violates the Constitution is essentially justiciable not political. distinguished counsel have either failed to grasp the full impact of the portions of Our decision they have quoted or would misapply them by taking them out of context. not of that of the Senate President. Jose P. On the other hand. intervenors cite in support of this contention portions of the decision of this Court in the case of Gonzales v. The force of this precedent has been weakened. 1949). hence. and may not be exercised by the Convention. as members. purporting to act. Cuenco. (L-2851. we declared unconstitutional an act of Congress purporting to apportion the representatives districts for the House of Representatives. 11. and that. by the Constitution. 1971. Obviously. the intervenors raise the question of jurisdiction. and to the rigid nature of our Constitution. to amend their own Fundamental Law. Otherwise. As a preliminary and prejudicial matter. March 4 & 14. when exercising the same. Succinctly but comprehensively. Congress may propose amendments to the Constitution merely because the same explicitly grants such power. When acting as such. this Court ² speaking through one of the leading members of the Constitutional Convention and a respected professor of Constitutional Law. Feb. hence all of Comelec's acts in obedience thereof and tending to carry out the holding of the plebiscite directed by said resolutions are null and void." It is true that in Mabanag v. The Court's delicate task now is to decide which of these two poses is really in accord with the letter and spirit of the Constitution. In this connection. and. It is part of the inherent powers of the people ² as the repository sovereignty in a republican state. and. by Senators belonging to the party having the largest number of votes in said chamber. XV. amendments to the Constitution. as a legislative body. respondents and intervenors posit that the power to provide for. Sept.

so much invoked by intervenors. if not expressly. pardon a convict or render judgment in a controversy between private individuals or between such individuals and the state. Nowhere in his petition and in his oral argument and memoranda does petitioner point otherwise. In times of social disquietude or political excitement. has been set at rest by popular acquiescence for a period of more than one and half centuries. acting through their delegates to so provide. The present Constitution is in full force and effect in its entirety and in everyone of its parts the existence of the Convention notwithstanding. it does not assert any superiority over the other departments. the Convention is not supreme.. it necessarily follows that the acts of convention. The Constitution sets forth in no uncertain language the restrictions and limitations upon governmental powers and agencies. which is naturally unworthy of their learning. as any other convention of the same nature.. No amount of rationalization can belie the fact that the current convention came into being only because it was called by a resolution of a joint session of Congress acting as a constituent assembly by authority of Section 1. and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented. who can decide whether such a contention is correct or not? It is of the very essence of the rule of law that somehow somewhere the Power and duty to resolve such a grave constitutional question must be lodged on some authority.No one can rightly claim that within the domain of its legitimate authority. Even then. 134. but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. or declare war or call the Congress to a special session. Nor. it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature. Certainly the limitations and restrictions embodied in our Constitution are real as they should be in any living Constitution. As any human production our Constitution is of course lacking perfection and perfectibility. suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to strike conclusions unrelated to actualities. It being manifest that there are powers which the Convention may not and cannot validly assert. should an act of the Convention be assailed by a citizen as being among those not granted to or inherent in it. its officers and members are not immune from attack on constitutional grounds. The Congress in joint session assembled. reiterates and reinforces the irrefutable logic and wealth of principle in the opinion written for a unanimous Court by Justice Laurel in Angara vs. in the light of the existing Constitution. While it is indubitable that in its internal operation and the performance of its task to propose amendments to the Constitution it is not subject to any degree of restraint or control by any other authority than itself. the simple question arises. by a vote of threefourths of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately. 63 Phil. under a system of check and balances and subject to specific limitations and restrictions provided in the said instrument. Actually. that instrument which is the expression of their sovereignty however limited. And when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries. the bill of rights mere expressions of sentiment and the principles of good government mere political apothegms. the great landmark of the Constitution are apt to be forgotten or marred. This Convention has not been called by the people directly as in the case of a revolutionary convention which drafts the first Constitution of an entirely new government born of either a war of liberation from a mother country or of a revolution against an existing government or of a bloodless seizure of power a la coup d'etat. the possession of this moderating power of the courts. much less exercise. sometimes makes it hard to say where the one leaves off and the other begins. The Constitution is a definition of the powers or government. may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a convention for the purpose. Who is to determine the nature. according to the existing Constitution. it is equally beyond cavil that neither the Convention nor any of its officers or members can rightfully deprive any person of life. what respondents and intervenors are seemingly reluctant to admit is that the Constitutional Convention of 1971. has established a republican government intended to operate and function as a harmonious whole. in violation of the distribution of powers in the Constitution. however. The overlapping and interlacing of functions and duties between the several departments. can such Convention validly pass any resolution providing for the taking of private property without just compensation or for the imposition or exacting of any tax. the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral or constituent units thereof. (I)n the main. experience and craftsmanship in constitution-making. or we would have to confess that the integrated system of government established by our founding fathers contains a wide vacuum no intelligent man could ignore. but as much as it was within the power of our people. In the United States where no express constitutional grant is found in their constitution. this power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument by the parties. this moderating power is granted. and operates even within the walls of that assembly. reading: . for then the distribution of powers would be mere verbiage. As to such kind of conventions. Article XV of the present Constitution which provides: ARTICLE XV ² AMENDMENTS SECTION 1. In cases of conflict. The very decision of Chief Justice Concepcion in Gonzales. the legislative and the judicial departments of the government. Electoral Commission. We need not go far in search for the answer to the query We have posed. and it is as to such conventions that the remarks of Delegate Manuel Roxas of the Constitutional Convention of 1934 quoted by Senator Pelaez refer. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. Narrowed as its functions is in this manner the judiciary does not . if not entirely obliterated. owes its existence and derives all its authority and power from the existing Constitution of the Philippines. impost or assessment. for that matter. not to speak of its historical origin and development there. scope and extent of such powers? The Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. deny to anyone in this country the equal protection of the laws or the freedom of speech and of the press in disregard of the Bill of Rights of the existing Constitution. True it is that once convened. This is in truth all that is involved in what is termed "judicial supremacy" which properly is the power of judicial review under the Constitution. the Constitution has blocked out with deft strokes and in bold lines. liberty or property without due process of law. allotment of power to the executive. If these restrictions and limitations are transcended it would be inconceivable if the Constitution had not provided for a mechanism by which to direct the course of government along constitutional channels.. but the compass of such powers can be co-extensive only with the purpose for which the convention was called and as it may propose cannot have any effect as part of the Constitution until the same are duly ratified by the people. In our case. it is absolutely true that the convention is completely without restrain and omnipotent all wise. this Convention became endowed with extra ordinary powers generally beyond the control of any department of the existing government. by clear implication from section 2 of Article VIII of our Constitution.

is a constitutional organ. In the case at bar. returns and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly. Constitution of the Republic of 1931) especial constitutional courts are established to pass upon the validity of ordinary laws. we are clearly of the opinion that upon the admitted facts of the present case. confirmed the election of the herein petitioner to the said body. and even if it were. respondents and intervenors have joined in this case. Here is then presented an actual controversy involving as it does a conflict of a grave constitutional nature between the National Assembly on the one hand and the Electoral Commission on the other. But. Accordingly. and none has been convincingly shown to Us by any of the respondents and intervenors. Upon principle. reason. even if it is an assembly of delegate elected directly by the people. on its own fiat. in the language of James Madison. Although the Electoral Commission may not be interfered with.pass upon questions of wisdom. Whereas. provisions have been inserted in their constitutions prohibiting the courts from exercising the power to interpret the fundamental law.. scope and extent of the constitutional grant to the Electoral Commission as "the sole judge of all contests relating to the election. 121-123. February 29. The former Austrian Constitution contained a similar declaration. not only because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution but also because the judiciary in the determination of actual cases and controversies must reflect the wisdom and justice of the people as expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislative departments of the government. submitted after December 3. the National Assembly has by resolution (No. to determine all contests relating to the election. 1935. when and while acting within the limits of its authority. and "upon principle. The Electoral Commission is not a separate department of the government. should be upheld. We come to the crux of the petition. this court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject matter of the present controversy for the purpose of determining the character.. 8) of December 3." . courts are bound to assume what is logically their function. Title IX. the framers of our Constitution adopted the American type where the written constitution is interpreted and given effect by the judicial department. but simply because both the Convention and the Court are subject to the Constitution and the rule of law. upon the judicial department is thrown the solemn and inescapable obligation of interpreting the Constitution and defining constitutional boundaries. We are left with no alternative but to uphold the jurisdiction of the Court over the present case. For instance.. in Czechoslovakia (arts. the system itself is not "the chief palladium of constitutional liberty . Is it within the powers of the Constitutional Convention of 1971 to order. notwithstanding the previous confirmations made by the National Assembly as aforesaid. Discarding the English type and other European types of constitutional government. as contended by the respondents. In countries whose constitution are silent in this respect. returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly. is mere surplusage and had no effect. conflicting claims of authority under the fundamental law between departmental powers and agencies of the government are necessarily determined by the judiciary in justiciable and appropriate cases. This is true in Norway. their voices to pronounce . or. On the other hand. Australia and South Africa. the Electoral Commission has the sole power of regulating its proceedings to the exclusion of the National Assembly. between any of them. returns and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. Republic. 1920) and Spain (arts. and any other constitutionally created independent body.. on the other. aggression on the authority of their Constitution. by which the Electoral Commission fixed said date as the last day for filing protests against the election. and authority. Natura vacuum abhorret. the nature of the present controversy shows the necessity of a final constitutional arbiter to determine the conflict of authority between two agencies created by the Constitution. Were we to decline to take cognizance of the controversy. on the one hand. the people who are authors of this blessing must also be its guardians . Preliminary Law to Constitutional Charter of the Czechoslavak. This is taken as a recognition of what otherwise would be the rule that in the absence of direct prohibition. the Constitution of Poland of 1921 expressly provides that courts shall have no power to examine the validity of statutes (art. IV). 1935. the Comelec and the Constituent assemblies constituted by the House of Congress. created for a specific purpose. these postulates just quoted do not apply only to conflicts of authority between the three existing regular departments of the government but to all such conflicts between and among these departments. Greece. In our case. it ought not the less to be remembered that. fixed said date as the last day for the filing of protests against the election. like the electoral tribunals in Congress. if. returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly.. as already demonstrated. it has been convened by authority of and under the terms of the present Constitution. must the success of our government in the unfolding years to come be tested in the crucible of Filipino minds and hearts than in consultation rooms and court chambers. courts have assumed this power. under the existing Constitution to resolve the issues in which petitioner. who will determine the conflict? And if the conflict were left undecided and undetermined. We see no reason of logic or principle whatsoever. the holding of a plebiscite for the ratification of the proposed amendment reducing to eighteen years the age for the exercise of suffrage under Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution proposed in the . From the very nature of the republican government established in our country in the light of American experience and of our own. as contended by the petitioner. More than that. the Electoral Commission has by resolution adopted on December 9. But much as we might postulate on the internal checks of power provided in our Constitution. so must we avoid exhaustion in our constitutional system. it is within the power as it is the solemn duty of the Court. The Electoral Commission as we shall have occasion to refer hereafter. In some countries which have declined to follow the American example. would not a void be thus created in our constitutional system which may in the long run prove destructive of the entire framework? To ask these questions is to answer them. courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments. 81. It goes without saying that We do this not because the Court is superior to the Convention or that the Convention is subject to the control of the Court.. namely. their eyes must be ever ready to mark. justice or expediency of legislation. 1935. why the same ruling should not apply to the present Convention. Chap. If." per Justice Laurel." In the last and ultimate analysis then.. 1935. it does not follow that it is beyond the reach of the constitutional mechanism adopted by the people and that it is not subject to constitutional restriction. As the Chief Justice has made it clear in Gonzales. since at best. II The issue of jurisdiction thus resolved. the resolution of the National Assembly has the effect of cutting off the power of the Electoral Commission to entertain protests against the election. 2 and 3. like Justice Laurel did in Angara. 1935 then the resolution of the Electoral Commission of December 9. supra. reason and authority. then the resolution of December 9.

Withal. Generally. And when such limitations or conditions are so incorporated in the original constitution.Convention's Organic Resolution No. operate without any limitations. and which we of the succeeding generations generally cherish. anarchy and violence. Now We hold that even as to its latter task of proposing amendments to the Constitution. Constitution making is the most valued power. 1 in the manner and form provided for in said resolution and the subsequent implementing acts and resolution of the Convention? At the threshold. under the fundamental principles of democracy to which the Filipino people is committed. and so the Court may step in to clear up doubts as to the boundaries set down by the Constitution only when and to the specific extent only that it would be necessary to do so to avoid a constitutional crisis or a clearly demonstrable violation of the existing Charter. The issues raised by petitioner. as already observed earlier. it is not set to adjourn sine die. they must be insulated against precipitate and hasty actions motivated by more or less passing political moods or fancies. second to none." In other words. And because the Constitution affects the lives. In our discussion of the issue of jurisdiction. the Court does not consider this case to be properly the one in which it should discharge its constitutional duty in such premises. do not want confusion and disorder. A constitution worthy of the people for which it is intended must not be prepared in haste without adequate deliberation and study. There should be no doubt in the mind of anyone that. the framers of the latter see to it that their handiwork is not lightly treated and as easily mutilated or changed. like the rest of the people. hence the complete substitution of the existing constitution is not beyond the ambit of the Convention's authority. which opinion is not without persuasive force both in principle and in logic. since its enabling provision. We reiterate also that as to matters not related to its internal operation and the performance of its assigned mission to propose amendments to the Constitution. the Court rests securely in the conviction that the fire and enthusiasm of the youth have not blinded them to the absolute necessity. and. the herein petition is not intended by him to prevent that the proposed amendment here involved be submitted to the people for ratification. Desirable as it may be to resolve. in fact. in this case should be understood as reflecting. any violation of the Constitution of the Philippines even if it is committed in the course of or in connection with the most laudable undertaking. because written constitutions are supposed to be designed so as to last for some time. more or less stringent. leaving aside the excesses of enthusiasm which at times have justifiably or unjustifiably marred the demonstrations in the streets. Here. the Constitutional Convention stands almost in a unique footing in that regard. once the Court finds it constitutionally permissible. that the amendment therein proposed "shall be without prejudice to other amendments that will be proposed in the future by the 1971 Constitutional Convention on other portions of the amended section or on other portions of the entire Constitution. This is not necessarily true of subsequent conventions called to amend the original constitution. as long as they can be adopted to the needs and exigencies of the people. or for. The Court considers it to be of the utmost importance that the Convention should be untrammelled and unrestrained in the performance of its constitutionally as signed mission in the manner and form it may conceive best. simply because that issue is not before Us now. in a larger measure than when it binds other departments of the government or any other official or entity. future and every other conceivable aspect of the lives of all the people within the country and those subject to its sovereignty. at this juncture of its proceedings. as the Court sees it. if the Court were to allow itself in deciding this case to be carried astray by considerations other than the imperatives of the rule of law and of the applicable provisions of the Constitution. including the provisions of the fundamental law related to the well-being and economic security of the underprivileged classes of our people as well as those concerning the preservation and protection of our natural resources and the national patrimony. sincerity and purity of purpose cannot permit any other line of conduct or approach in respect of the problem before Us. indeed. made so by the people themselves. and is. in regard to the process of their amendment. and that. In brief. in their incessant search for a peaceful and orderly means of bringing about meaningful changes in the structure and bases of the existing social and governmental institutions. it will not hesitate to do its part so that the said proposed amendment may be presented to the people for their approval or rejection. when as it is a matter of common knowledge and judicial notice. from which the Convention itself draws life expressly speaks only of amendments which shall form part of it. by interpreting and construing its provisions in appropriate cases with the proper parties. and perforce must be conceived and prepared with as much care and deliberation. and this rule is founded precisely on the principle of respect that the Court must accord to the acts of the other coordinate departments of the government. During these twice when most anyone feels very strongly the urgent need for constitutional reforms. as they see it. 1. because of the pressure brought to bear upon the Congress of the Philippines by various elements of the people. the Constitution imposes upon the Court the sacred duty to give meaning and vigor to the Constitution. to the point of being convinced that meaningful change is the only alternative to a violent revolution. in truth. in general. It would be tragic and contrary to the plain compulsion of these perspectives. Indeed. the Convention and its officers and members are all subject to all the provisions of the existing Constitution. as a matter of fact. the environmental circumstances of this case demand the most accurate and unequivocal statement of the real issue which the Court is called upon to resolve. plazas and campuses. of the people in a constitutional democracy such as the one our founding fathers have chosen for this nation. If there are respectable sectors opining that it has not been called to supplant the existing Constitution in its entirety. what they really want are law and order. From the very nature of things. in a great measure. every degree of care is taken in preparing and drafting it. in any degree or means the individual or collective stand of the members of the Court on the fundamental issue of whether or not the eighteen-year-olds should be allowed to vote. 1 itself expressly provides. it does not lie in the delegates of any . Whenever he can. the seemingly prevailing view is that only the collective judgment of its members as to what is warranted by the present condition of things. his only purpose in filing the petition being to comply with his sworn duty to prevent. of adhering always to the rule of law. This must be so. if not for ages. still in the preliminary stages of considering other reforms or amendments affecting other parts of the existing Constitution. The Constitutional Convention of 1971 itself was born. this grave divergence of views. as in all other cases. It is obvious that correspondingly. not only for reasons purely personal but more importantly. and by striking down any act violative thereof. as an alternative to violent and chaotic ways of achieving such lofty ideals. restraints or inhibitions save those that they may impose upon themselves. because it is plain to Us that the framers of the Constitution took care that the process of amending the same should not be undertaken with the same ease and facility in changing an ordinary legislation. and certainly. any amendment of the Constitution is of no less importance than the whole Constitution itself. Surely. at least. it is a very familiar principle of constitutional law that constitutional questions are to be resolved by the Supreme Court only when there is no alternative but to do it. the specific question raised in this case is limited solely and only to the point of whether or not it is within the power of the Convention to call for a plebiscite for the ratification by the people of the constitutional amendment proposed in the abovequoted Organic Resolution No. it is subject to the provisions of Section I of Article XV. Organic Resolution No. their idealism. as a rule. the drafters of an original constitution. nothing that the Court may say or do. he has advocated or sponsored in Congress such a proposal. Withal. peace and orderliness. Article XV. Needless to say. fortunes. in the manner and form provided in said resolution as well as in the subject question implementing actions and resolution of the Convention and its officers. the youth of the Philippines. We are resolved to discharge that duty. even those among them in which respondents and intervenors have joined in an apparent wish to have them squarely passed upon by the Court do not necessarily impose upon Us the imperative obligation to express Our views thereon. the original constitutions carry with them limitations and conditions. can limit the extent of the constitutional innovations the Convention may propose. Petitioner has very clearly stated that he is not against the constitutional extension of the right of suffrage to the eighteen-year-olds. the youth in particular. Thus. already quoted earlier in this opinion. this Court would be the last to put any obstruction or impediment to the work of the Constitutional Convention. We have already made it clear that the Convention came into being by a call of a joint session of Congress pursuant to Section I of Article XV of the Constitution. even in the pursuit of what they strongly and urgently feel must be done to change the present order of things in this Republic of ours. hence.

of proposals to amend the existing Constitution. Truth to tell. the part that the people play in its amendment becomes harder. lt is inconceivable how a constitution worthy of any country or people can have any part which is out of tune with its other parts. and as time is of the essence in this case. the date set by the Convention for the plebiscite it is calling. The language of the constitutional provision aforequoted is sufficiently clear. in like fashion they can study with deliberation the proposed amendment in relation to the whole existing constitution and or any of its parts and thereby arrive at an intelligent judgment as to its acceptability. speaking for the six members of the Court in Gonzales. the whole draft of the constitution it has been called . in the language of Justice Sanchez. Prescinding already from the fact that under Section 3 of the questioned resolution. and national and nationalistic policies and aspirations of the people. The root of the difficulty in other words. therefore boils down to this: Is there any limitation or condition in Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution which is violated by the act of the Convention of calling for a plebiscite on the sole amendment contained in Organic Resolution No. The ultimate question. And so also. more or less they can assumed its harmony as an integrated whole. After all. and he does not see those conditions in the ballot nor is there any possible indication whether they will ever be or not. We reject the rationalization that the present Constitution is a possible frame of reference. lt says distinctly that either Congress sitting as a constituent assembly or a convention called for the purpose "may propose amendments to this Constitution. under the proposed plebiscite. No one knows what changes in the fundamental principles of the constitution the Convention will be minded to approve.subsequent convention to claim that they may ignore and disregard such conditions because they are as powerful and omnipotent as their original counterparts. being nigh. Nothing of what is here said is to be understood as curtailing in any degree the number and nature and the scope and extent of the amendments the Convention may deem proper to propose. In the view the Court takes of present case. In brief. it does not perceive absolute necessity to resolve that question. hence all acts of the Convention and the respondent Comelec in that direction are null and void. How can a voter in the proposed plebiscite intelligently determine the effect of the reduction of the voting age upon the different institutions which the Convention may establish and of which presently he is not given any idea? We are certain no one can deny that in order that a plebiscite for the ratification of an amendment to the Constitution may be validly held. on the other. November 8. we are of the conviction that in providing for the questioned plebiscite before it has finished. as to what finally will be concomitant qualifications that will be required by the final draft of the constitution to be formulated by the Convention of a voter to be able to enjoy the right of suffrage. To be more specific. liberties. 1971. it is evident that no fixed frame of reference is provided the voter. for when a whole constitution is submitted to them. social ideals. Once the original constitution is approved. when an amendment is submitted to them that is to form part of the existing constitution. there are other considerations which make it impossible to vote intelligently on the proposed amendment. for obvious reasons. it must provide the voter not only sufficient time but ample basis for an intelligent appraisal of the nature of the amendment per se as well as its relation to the other parts of the Constitution with which it has to form a harmonious whole. But like the Convention. if it is to be viable as the framework of the government it establishes. because Congress has reserved those for future action. We have arrived at this conclusion for the following reasons: 1. if not radical ones. we do not have any means of foreseeing whether the right to vote would be of any significant value at all. A constitution is the work of the people thru its drafters assembled by them for the purpose. At the very least. if not thousands. amending the Constitution is as serious and important an undertaking as constitution making itself. Indeed.. 1971 is not authorized by Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution. grave and important as it may be. to present to the people any single proposal or a few of them cannot comply with this requirement. We are of the opinion that the present Constitution does not contemplate in Section 1 of Article XV a plebiscite or "election" wherein the people are in the dark as to frame of reference they can base their judgment on. and separately from. where the Convention has hardly started considering the merits of hundreds. III The Court has no desire at all to hamper and hamstring the noble work of the Constitutional Convention. 1? The Court holds that there is. Nor does the Court propose to pass on the issue extensively and brilliantly discussed by the parties as to whether or not the power or duty to call a plebiscite for the ratification of the amendments to be proposed by the Convention is exclusively legislative and as such may be exercised only by the Congress or whether the said power can be exercised concurrently by the Convention with the Congress. in almost every part and aspect of the existing social and political order enshrined in the present Constitution. there can be. and the provision unequivocably says "an election" which means only one. and it is the condition and limitation that all the amendments to be proposed by the same Convention must be submitted to the people in a single "election" or plebiscite. lies in that the Convention is precisely on the verge of introducing substantial changes. In the context of the present state of things. although it may already be observed that under Section 3. if a voter would favor the reduction of the voting age to eighteen under conditions he feels are needed under the circumstances." thus leaving no room for doubt as to how many "elections" or plebiscites may be held to ratify any amendment or amendments proposed by the same constituent assembly of Congress or convention. the Court has its own duties to the people under the Constitution which is to decide in appropriate cases with appropriate parties Whether or not the mandates of the fundamental law are being complied with. and they can either accept or reject it in its entirety. Who can say whether or not later on the Convention may decide to provide for varying types of voters for each level of the political units it may divide the country into. any amendment of the Constitution is as important as the whole of it if only because the Constitution has to be an integrated and harmonious instrument." thus placing no limit as to the number of amendments that Congress or the Convention may propose. This cannot happen in the case of the amendment in question. and adequately formidable and reliable as the succinct but comprehensive articulation of the rights. the basis of this decision is as important and decisive as any can be. for the simple reason that intervenors themselves are stating that the sole purpose of the proposed amendment is to enable the eighteen year olds to take part in the election for the ratification of the Constitution to be drafted by the Convention. "no proper submission". on the one hand. The same provision also as definitely provides that "such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. We will refrain from making any pronouncement or expressing Our views on this question until a more appropriate case comes to Us. ideology. the lack of unanimity or even of a consensus among the members of the Court in respect to this issue creates the need for more study and deliberation. As already stated. In the best light God has given Us. Much less does the Court want to pass judgment on the merits of the proposal to allow these eighteen years old to vote. they can examine it before casting their vote and determine for themselves from a study of the whole document the merits and demerits of all or any of its parts and of the document as a whole. what kind of judgment can he render on the proposal? But the situation actually before Us is even worse. (2) Very little reflection is needed for anyone to realize the wisdom and appropriateness of this provision. supra. It being indisputable that the amendment now proposed to be submitted to a plebiscite is only the first amendment the Convention propose We hold that the plebiscite being called for the purpose of submitting the same for ratification of the people on November 8.

Villamor and Makasiar. 1 and all subsequent acts of the Convention implementing the same violate the condition in Section 1. Article XV that there should only be one "election" or plebiscite for the ratification of all the amendments the Convention may propose. In view of the peculiar circumstances of this case. Disbursing Officer. Chief Accountant and Auditor of the Constitutional Convention are hereby enjoined from taking any action in compliance with the said organic resolution.J. Article XV of the Constitution. Organic Resolution No. We are only holding that under Section 1. JJ. the Convention's Organic Resolution No. We are not denying any right of the people to vote on the proposed amendment. Concepcion. concur . insofar as they provide for the holding of a plebiscite on November 8.. the same should be submitted to them not separately from but together with all the other amendments to be proposed by this present Convention. 1971. Teehankee. 1 of the Constitutional Convention of 1971 and the implementing acts and resolutions of the Convention. IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING.. the Court declares this decision immediately executory. 695) are hereby declared null and void. as well as the resolution of the respondent Comelec complying therewith (RR Resolution No. the petition herein is granted. No costs.to formulate. C. The respondents Comelec.

1970. CASTAÑEDA. THE HONORABLE BUDGET COMMISSIONER. THE BUDGET COMMISSIONER & THE NATIONAL TREASURER. CONCEPCION. SALONGA. JOVITO R. THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE AND THE SECRETARY OF FINANCE. AMBROSIO PADILLA. Raul M. THE SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE. calling a Convention to propose amendments to the Constitution of the Philippines. Salonga. 1969. 1973 EDDIE B.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC vs. his capacity. The next day. GONZALEZ. THE SECRETARY OF FINANCE . Arroyo and Rogelio B. THE AUDITOR GENERAL. 4 of said body. C. Said Resolution No. THE SECRETARY OF LAND REFORM. 2. the President of the Philippines issued Presidential Decree No. which was amended by Resolution No. No. respondents. JR. petitioners.R. G. Lorenzo M. was implemented by Republic Act No. Puno for other respondents. 6132. No. and the 1971 Constitutional Convention began to perform its functions on June 1. 1967. petitioner. DILAG. Roxas. 1972. ALEJANDRO ROCES.. as amended. SALVADOR H. Padilla for petitioner Eddie Monteclaro. L-35953. [personally and in his capacity as President of the National Press Club of the Philippines]. LAUREL. L-36236 March 31. G. L-35942. MIRANDA.R. TANCIO E. from which We quote: On March 16. THE CHAIRMAN OF PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON REORGANIZATION. L-36283 March 31. THE AUDITOR GENERAL. L-35961.R. While the Convention was in session on September 21. respondents. vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND THE COMMISSIONER OF CIVIL SERVICE. in his capacity as Secretary General Services. THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE. 1973 JOSUE JAVELLANA. THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY. RAMON V. decided on January 22. Joker P.. Tolentino for respondents Gil J. respondents. THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE. and . L-35965 and L-35979. petitioners.: The above-entitled five (5) cases are a sequel of cases G. Sanidad. TAÑADA. Ramon A. JR. General ROMEO ESPINO. Congress of the Philippines passed Resolution No. G. 1972. Ordoñez. ANTONIO ARANETA. in his capacity as Secretary of National Defense. JR. J. Puyat and Jose Roy. Mendoza. MANUEL CRUDO. vs. L-36164 March 31. to which We will hereafter refer collectively as the plebiscite cases. in his capacity as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. EMILIO DE PERALTA AND LORENZO M. MONTECLARO.J. vs. Mendoza and Solicitor Reynato S. adopted on June 17. MITRA. respondents. vs. et al. Dilag. and Senator JOSE ROY. THE SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE. On November 29.R. pursuant to the provisions of which the election of delegates to said Convention was held on November 10. PUYAT. 73. JUAN PONCE ENRILE. No. 1972. L-35925. 2. Gonzales for petitioner Josue Javellana. GERARDO ROXAS. Office of the Solicitor General Estelito P. L-36142 March 31. RESOLUTION Tañada. THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY. L-35941. petitioners. and RAUL M. 1081 placing the entire Philippines under Martial Law. petitioner. November 30. the Convention approved its Proposed Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. and EVA ESTRADA-KALAW. "submitting to the Filipino people for ratification or rejection the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention. L-35940. in his capacity as President of the Senate. No. et al. Nos. 1973. Rodrigo. 1971. et al. THE SECRETARY OF PUBLIC INFORMATION. Gonzales and Associates for petitioners Napoleon V.R. THE HONORABLE AUDITOR GENERAL. L-35929. approved on August 24. L-35948. 1973 Arturo M. THE TREASURER OF THE PHILIPPINES. G. Gonzales and Arroyo for petitioners Gerardo Roxas. THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY. No. VIDAL TAN. THE HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY. Senator GIL J. the President issued Proclamation No. Background of the Plebiscite Cases. LEONARDO ASODISEN. L-36165 March 31. as President Pro Tempore of the of the Senate. ALFREDO SALAPANTAN. 1973. G. The factual setting thereof is set forth in the decision therein rendered. THE BUDGET COMMISSIONER. 1970. 1973 NAPOLEON V. ALEJANDRO MELCHOR. in his capacity as Executive Secretary. respondents.R. Solicitor Vicente V. ANTONIO U. Tañada and Associates for petitioners Vidal Tan.

No. particularly in view of the formal postponement of the plebiscite by the President ² reportedly after consultation with. by Vidal Tan." and "there is no proper submission to the people of said Proposed Constitution set for January 15. and on December 16. 1973. except the last (G. and January 4. L-35925. of such plebiscite. among others. the setting of guidelines for the conduct of the same. the Court deemed it fit to refrain. Diokno and Benigno S. jointly with the others. the Treasurer of the Philippines and the Auditor General.R. L-35979). et al. there being no freedom of speech. L-35948 filed an "urgent motion. the President had issued an order temporarily suspending the effects of Proclamation No. that said Presidential Decree "has no force and effect as law because the calling . 1973. the Budget Commissioner. lodged exclusively in Congress . the Director of Printing.R. inter alia: "6." Substantially identical actions were filed. the President announced the postponement of the plebiscite for the ratification or rejection of the Proposed Constitution. for the time being. the prescription of the ballots to be used and the question to be answered by the voters. 1972. also. No formal action to this effect was taken until January 7.. [2] Reforms instituted under Martial Law.m. by Jacinto Jimenez against the Commission on Elections. Case G. December 16. No. That thereafter it was later announced that "the Assemblies will be asked if they favor or oppose ² [1] The New Society. That the President subsequently announced the issuance of Presidential Decree No. No.R. by Eddie B. on that date. against the Commission on Elections. the National Treasurer and the Auditor General (Case G.. on December 14. 86 organizing the so-called Citizens Assemblies. "In the afternoon of January 12. No. 20 was issued. be postponed until further notice. No.R.R. the National Treasurer and the Auditor General (Case G. 1081 for purposes of free and open debate on the proposed Constitution. 1972. L-35965). L-35942). inter alia. Congress was. in any manner. on December 19. 1972. and the appropriation of public funds for the purpose. "suspended in the meantime" the "order of December 17.R. are. against the Commission on Elections.R. also. On December 23. "7.] "8. L-35961)." [Bulletin Today. again. by Ernesto C. [3] The holding of a plebiscite on the proposed new Constitution and when (the tentative new dates given following the postponement of the plebiscite from the original date of January 15 are February 19 and March 5). 1973]. Sanidad against the Commission on Elections (Case G. and by Raul M. No. No. the Auditor General. L-35979). 1973. 1972. to enjoin said "respondents or their agents from implementing Presidential Decree No. to be consulted on certain public questions [Bulletin Today. 1972. on December 12. pursuant to the 1935 Constitution. the Treasurer of the Philippines and the Director of the Bureau of Printing (Case G. By agreement of the parties. That it was later reported that the following are to be the forms of the questions to be asked to the Citizens Assemblies: ² [1] Do you approve of the New Society? . Gonzales against the Commission on Elections. 73 was that the President does not have the legislative authority to call a plebiscite and appropriate funds therefor. at 9:30 a. At the conclusion of the hearing. Meanwhile. directing "that the plebiscite scheduled to be held on January 15." as well as setting the plebiscite for said ratification or rejection of the Proposed Constitution on January 15. Then. the Secretary of Education. against the Commission on Elections. L-35979 ² was. 1973. moreover. et al.appropriating funds therefor. when General Order No." Said General Order No.. set for hearing and partly heard on Monday. Charito Planas filed. which Congress unquestionably could do. with this Court." praying that said case be decided "as soon as possible. 1972. L-35941).R. 1973. L-35948) and by Jose W.. L-35953). No. the petitioners in Case G. and since the main objection to Presidential Decree No. 1972. L.35929) on December 11. between December 21." Said cases were. Soon after. against the National Treasurer and the Commission on Elections (Case G. from deciding the aforementioned cases. No. until further orders of the Court." In view of these events relative to the postponement of the aforementioned plebiscite. January 3.. In all these cases. 73. 1972. the aforementioned last case ² G. 1972. scheduled to meet in regular session on January 22. 1972.R. and by Sedfrey Ordoñez. Aquino against the Commission on Elections (Case G. the Auditor General and the Director of Printing (Case G. 1081. the parties in all of the aforementioned cases were given a short period of time within which "to submit their notes on the points they desire to stress. by the Constitution. No. [4] The opening of the regular session slated on January 22 in accordance with the existing Constitution despite Martial Law. No. for the purpose of free and open debate on the Proposed Constitution. by Pablo C. 1972." It was alleged in said motion." Said notes were filed on different dates. 1978. the leaders of Congress and the Commission on Elections ² the Court deemed it more imperative to defer its final action on these cases. December 18. Hidalgo against the Commission on Elections. the respondents were required to file their answers "not later than 12:00 (o'clock) noon of Saturday. press and assembly.. 1973. preferably not later than January 15. on December 8. the Treasurer of the Philippines. the National Treasurer and the Auditor General (Case G. for neither the date nor the conditions under which said plebiscite would be held were known or announced officially. Monteclaro against the Commission on Elections and the Treasurer of the Philippines (Case G. 1972. L-35940). 20. January 1. or on December 7. by Gerardo Roxas. The hearing was continued on December 19. et al.. heard." upon the grounds.R. temporarily suspending the effects of Proclamation No. 1972.R. No.R. 1973. 1973.R. and there being no sufficient time to inform the people of the contents thereof. or on December 17.

QUESTION No. when do you want the next elections to be called? [6] Do you want martial law to continue? [Bulletin Today. 1973 in accordance with the provisions of the 1935 Constitution? [5] If the elections would not be held. 1973. 2 But we do not want the Ad Interim Assembly to be convoked. 3 The vote of the Citizens Assemblies should already be considered the plebiscite on the New Constitution. January 11. emphasis an additional question. it should not be done so until after at least seven (7) years from the approval of the New Constitution by the Citizens Assemblies. it was reported that six (6) more questions would be submitted to the so-called Citizens Assemblies: ² [1] Do you approve of the citizens assemblies as the base of popular government to decide issues of national interests? [2] Do you approve of the new Constitution? [3] Do you want a plebiscite to be called to ratify the new Constitution? [4] Do you want the elections to be held in November. We want him to be strong and firm so that he . it was reported that on more question would be added to the four (4) question previously announced. 1973. and that the forms of the question would be as follows: ² [1] Do you like the New Society? [2] Do you like the reforms under martial law? [3] Do you like Congress again to hold sessions? [4] Do you like the plebiscite to be held later? [5] Do you like the way President Marcos running the affairs of the government? [Bulletin Today. and which reads: ² COMMENTS ON QUESTION No. QUESTION No. Or if it is to be convened at all. January 5.[2] Do you approve of the reform measures under martial law? [3] Do you think that Congress should meet again in regular session? [4] How soon would you like the plebiscite on the new Constitution to be held? [Bulletin Today. That on January 11. for reforms to take root and normalcy to return. 1973. QUESTION No. QUESTION No. 4 We are sick and tired of too frequent elections.] "11. We are fed up with politics. That on January 10. "9. That according to reports. the returns with respect to the six (6) additional questions quoted above will be on a form similar or identical to Annex "A" hereof. 5 Probably a period of at least seven (7) years moratorium on elections will be enough for stability to be established in the country. That attached to page 1 of Annex "A" is another page. 6 We want President Marcos to continue with Martial Law. January 10. "10. of so many debates and so much expenses. emphasis supplied] "12. If the Citizens Assemblies approve of the New Constitution. "13. 1 In order to broaden the base of citizens' participation in government. then the new Constitution should be deemed ratified. That the voting by the so-called Citizens Assemblies was announced to take place during the period from January 10 to January 15. 1973. 1973]. which we marked as Annex "A-1". QUESTION No. 1973. We want him to exercise his powers with more authority.

or on January 15. January 8. That with the withdrawal by the President of the limited freedom of discussion on the proposed Constitution which was given to the people pursuant to Sec. That petitioners have reason to fear." "not later than Tuesday noon. 1973]. That the crisis mentioned above can only be avoided if this Honorable Court will immediately decide and announce its decision on the present petition." and L-35942. to all intents and purposes. January 13. the Department of Agrarian Reforms and its head.. that a restraining order be issued enjoining and restraining respondent Commission on Elections. then the new Constitution should be deemed ratified. That petitioners have reason to fear. the Court issued a resolution requiring the respondents in said three (3) cases to comment on said "urgent motion" and "manifestation. "21. Guillermo de Vega. the President announced that the limited freedom of debate on the proposed Constitution was being withdrawn and that the proclamation of martial law and the orders and decrees issued thereunder would thenceforth strictly be enforced [Daily Express. 15.. and therefore allege." "Attention is respectfully invited to the comments on "Question No. "16.can accomplish all his reform programs and establish normalcy in the country. The National Treasurer. that if an affirmative answer to the two questions just referred to will be reported then this Honorable Court and the entire nation will be confronted with a fait accompli which has been attained in a highly unconstitutional and undemocratic manner. That the fait accompli would consist in the supposed expression of the people approving the proposed Constitution. et al. Secretary Jose Roño. 1973. a similar prayer was made in a "manifestation" filed by the petitioners in L-35949. we are afraid. shortly before noon. "18. we want President Marcos to declare a revolutionary government along the lines of the new Constitution without the ad interim Assembly. if such event would happen. et al. L-35948 riled a "supplemental motion for issuance of restraining order and inclusion of additional respondents. If the Citizens Assemblies approve of the New Constitution. because then. That. speaking on television and over the radio." . Secretary Conrado Estrella. and therefore state. January 16. et al. 73. and therefore allege. the opposition of respondents to petitioners' prayer at the plebiscite be prohibited has now collapsed and that a free plebiscite can no longer be held. 14. both congenital and otherwise. then the case before this Honorable Court could. That.. the people and their officials will not know which Constitution is in force. in such a situation the Philippines will be facing a real crisis and there is likelihood of confusion if not chaos. become moot because. et al. v. that the question added in the last list of questions to be asked to the Citizens Assemblies. subordinates and substitutes. "17. 3 The vote of the Citizens Assemblies should be considered the plebiscite on the New Constitution. and all other officials and persons who may be assigned such task. This. namely: ² Do you approve of the New Constitution? ² in relation to the question following it: ² Do you still want a plebiscite to be called to ratify the new Constitution?" ² would be an attempt to by-pass and short-circuit this Honorable Court before which the question of the validity of the plebiscite on the proposed Constitution is now pending. on January 7." praying ² "." which reads: ² QUESTION No. 1973. the National Ratification Coordinating Committee and its Chairman. that on the basis of such supposed expression of the will of the people through the Citizens Assemblies. "19. That. certifying." The next day. the petitioners in said Case G. and they therefore allege. has been ratified. "Gerardo Roxas. Ordoñez. 1973. 3." Prior thereto. No. "20. "Sedfrey A. the so-called Citizens' Assemblies referendum results allegedly obtained when they were supposed to have met during the period comprised between January 10 and January 15. v. on the two questions quoted in paragraph 1 of this Supplemental Urgent Motion. If all other measures fail. their deputies. 1973. 1973. is pregnant with ominous possibilities. petitioners fear." At about the same time. it would be announced that the proposed Constitution. as well as the Department of Local Governments and its head.R. in the meantime. and announcing and reporting to the President or other officials concerned. with all its defects. from collecting. which was a Saturday. 3 of Presidential Decree No. Commission on Elections.

Petition]. as well as the absence of sufficient guidelines for organization. can lawfully be reached by the processes of this Honorable Court by reason of this petition. But be that as it may. at which the proposed constitutional amendments are to be submitted for ratification. Article XV. That for lack of material time. null and void particularly insofar as such proceedings are being made the basis of a supposed consensus for the ratification of the proposed Constitution because: ² [a] The elections contemplated in the Constitution. 1973] "It should be recalled that the Citizens' Assemblies were ordered formed only at the beginning of the year [Daily Express. 1973]. [d] It is seriously to be doubted that. "Therefore. insofar at least as it attempts to submit the proposed Constitution to a plebiscite by the so-called Citizens' Assemblies. 1973 for the purpose of submitting to the Filipino people for their ratification or rejection the 1972 Draft or proposed Constitution approved by the Constitutional Convention on November 30. subordinates and/or substitutes. and the instructions incidental thereto clearly fall within the scope of this petition. instruction. more than a handful of the so called Citizens' Assemblies have been actually formed. proclamation. particularly on the two questions quoted in paragraph 1 of this Supplemental Urgent Motion. so that Presidential Decree No. Secretary Jose Roño. Guillermo de Vega. that the Commission on Elections has under our laws the power. the Department of Agrarian Reforms and its head. 1973. the so called Citizens' Assemblies were participated in by persons 15 years of age and older. order or instruction. order. January 1. and considering the lack of experience of the local organizers of said assemblies. [c] Petitioners prayed for such other relief which may be just and equitable. the appropriate amended petition to include the additional officials and government agencies mentioned in paragraph 3 of this Supplemental Urgent Motion could not be completed because. announcing and reporting to the President the supposed Citizens' Assemblies referendum results allegedly obtained when they were supposed to have met during the period between January 10 and January 15. as noted in the Urgent Motion of January 12. "5. 39. [b] Elections or plebiscites for the ratification of constitutional amendments contemplated in Article XV of the Constitution have provisions for the secrecy of choice and of vote. which is one of the safeguards of freedom of action. and such provisions are a minimum requirement for elections or plebiscites for the ratification of constitutional amendments. 86. 1973. of: ² . "4. 1973. but votes in the Citizens' Assemblies were open and were cast by raising hands. considering. as prescribed in the Election Code. orderly and honest elections. petitioners sought the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction restraining not only the respondents named in the petition but also their "agents" from implementing not only Presidential Decree No. is properly in issue in this case. 73. January 10. for lack of material time. Secretary Conrado Estrella. because the mechanics of their organization were still being discussed a day or so before the day they were supposed to begin functioning: ² "Provincial governors and city and municipal mayors had been meeting with barrio captains and community leaders since last Monday [January 8. the National Ratification Coordinating Committee and its Chairman. from collecting. but also of "any similar decree. whereas. 73. particularly respondent Commission on Elections as well as the Department of Local Governments and its head.In support of this prayer. 1973) to thresh out the mechanics in the formation of the Citizens Assemblies and the topics for discussion. 86. but also "any other similar decree. furthermore. regardless of qualifications or lack thereof. That the proceedings of the so-called Citizens' Assemblies are illegal. or carry out the said Presidential Decree No. it is too much to believe that such assemblies could be organized at such a short notice. [p." [Bulletin Today. it was alleged ² "3. the officials and government agencies mentioned in paragraph 3 of this Supplemental Urgent Motion. the submission of the proposed Constitution to the Citizens' Assemblies was not made known to the public until January 11. and those who enforce. are elections at which only qualified and duly registered voters are permitted to vote. and finally. but there were no similar provisions to guide and regulate proceedings of the so called Citizens' Assemblies. 1972". certifying. viewing the case from all angles. and their deputies. [b] In their petition. implement. or proclamation in relation to the holding of a plebiscite on January 15. the said additional officials and agencies may be properly included in the petition at bar because: ² [a] The herein petitioners have prayed in their petition for the annulment not only of Presidential Decree No. [c] The Election Code makes ample provisions for free. among others. That petitioners are now before this Honorable Court in order to ask further that this Honorable Court issue a restraining order enjoining herein respondents.

. L-35948 ² inasmuch as the hearing in connection therewith was still going on ² and the public there present that the President had. together with the officials and government agencies mentioned in paragraph 3 of this Supplemental Urgent Motion are restrained or enjoined from collecting. President of the Philippines. 1102 which is of the following tenor: "BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES "PROCLAMATION NO. FERDINAND E. 1973. "WHEREAS. on the one hand. 3]. composed of all persons who are residents of the barrio." and setting the motion for hearing "on January 17.814) answered that there was no need for a plebiscite and that the vote of the Barangays (Citizens Assemblies) should be considered as a vote in a plebiscite. [b] Even the jurisdiction of this Court will be subject to serious attack because the advocates of the theory that the proposed Constitution has been ratified by reason of the announcement of the results of the proceedings of the so-called Citizens' Assemblies will argue that. the said Citizens Assemblies were established precisely to broaden the base of citizen participation in the democratic process and to afford ample opportunity for the citizenry to express their views on important national issues. on the other. and has thereby come into effect. Tuesday. "WHEREAS. "NOW.R. 1102. "WHEREAS. the Secretary of Justice called on the writer of this opinion and said that. Sec. do hereby certify and proclaim that the Constitution proposed by the nineteen hundred and seventy-one (1971) Constitutional Convention has been ratified by an overwhelming majority of all of the votes cast by the members of all the Barangays (Citizens Assemblies) throughout the Philippines. I. L-35948 to file "file an answer to the said motion not later than 4 P. in municipalities and in districts/wards in chartered cities pursuant to Presidential Decree No. dated January 5. upon instructions of the President. Thereupon. 1972. he (the Secretary of Justice) was delivering to him (the writer) a copy of Proclamation No. No. and those who will maintain that it has been superseded by the proposed Constitution. 73 and 86 beyond the reach and jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. the cause of freedom an democracy. the Constitution proposed by the nineteen hundred seventyone Constitutional Convention is subject to ratification by the Filipino people.. provincial. the following questions were posed before the Citizens Assemblies or Barangays: Do you approve of the New Constitution? Do you still want a plebiscite to be called to ratify the new Constitution? "WHEREAS. the parties in G. THEREFORE.298. 3. city. according to information conveyed by the Secretary of Justice.561) members of all the Barangays (Citizens Assemblies) voted for the adoption of the proposed Constitution. reporting or announcing to the President the results of the alleged voting of the so-called Citizens' Assemblies. 1973. No." [Election Code of 1971. Thereupon. "WHEREAS. "IN WITNESS WHEREOF. General Order No. has placed Presidential Decree Nos.. as against seven hundred forty-three thousand eight hundred sixty-nine (743. 1102 "ANNOUNCING THE RATIFICATION BY THE FILIPINO PEOPLE OF THE CONSTITUTION PROPOSED BY THE 1971 CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. fifteen years of age or over. "WHEREAS. district or ward for at least six months.869) who voted for its rejection.m. a conflict will arise between those who maintain that the 1935 Constitution is still in force. the Katipunan ng Mga Barangay has strongly recommended that the new Constitution should already be deemed ratified by the Filipino people. That unless the petition at bar is decided immediately and the Commission on Elections. certifying.R. signed said Proclamation No. municipal and municipal district officials required by law to perform duties relative to the conduct of elections on matters pertaining to the enforcement of the provisions of this Code . since the referendum results show that more than ninety-five (95) per cent of the members of the Barangays (Citizens Assemblies) are in favor of the new Constitution. MARCOS. 1973. . thereby creating confusion. January 16. 1102. district or ward secretary. on the date last mentioned. at noontime. by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitution. "6.(a) Direct and immediate supervision and control over national. fourteen million nine hundred seventy-six thousand five hundred sixty-one (14. which had just been signed by the President. irreparable damage will be caused to the Republic of the Philippines. responding to the clamor of the people and pursuant to Presidential Decree No. dated December 31. at 9:30 a. 86. earlier that morning. citizens of the Philippines and who are registered in the list of Citizen Assembly members kept by the barrio. which shall also be deemed ratified pursuant to the Transitory Provisions of the proposed Constitution. while on the question as to whether or not the people would still like a plebiscite to be called to ratify the new Constitution. 1973 ² the Court passed a resolution requiring the respondents in said case G.M. fourteen million two hundred ninety-eight thousand eight hundred fourteen (14. and the petitioners herein because: [a] After the result of the supposed voting on the questions mentioned in paragraph 1 hereof shall have been announced. I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed. the writer returned to the Session Hall and announced to the Court. Citizens Assemblies were created in barrios. the writer read Proclamation No.976. 86-A." On the same date ² January 15. if not chaos. the Filipino people." While the case was being heard.

after of e which he recapitulated the views of the Members of the Court. Justices Fernando. Antonio and myself have voted to uphold the authority of the Convention. Barredo. nineteen hundred and seventy-three. except that. After admitting some of the allegations made in the petition in L-35948 and denying the other allegations thereof. 3) that "the President's call for a plebiscite and the appropriation of funds for this purpose are valid". M A R C O S "By the President: "ALEJANDRO MELCHOR "Executive Secretary" Such is the background of the cases submitted determination. " P r e s i Then the writer d said decision expressed his own opinion on the issues involved therein. whereas Justices Barredo. Teehankee and Esguerra opine that the issue has become moot and academic. instead of writing their separate opinions. ) F E R D I N A N D E . Fernando. respondents therein alleged in their answer thereto. 4) that "there is not an improper submission" and "there can be a plebiscite under Martial Law". the Members of the Court have been deliberating on the aforementioned cases and. Immediately after the hearing held on January 17. without merit. and 5) that the "argument that the Proposed Constitution is vague and incomplete. as follows: n t 1."Done in the City of Manila. 2) that "the Constitutional Convention acted freely and had plenary authority to propose not only amendments but a Constitution which would supersede the present Constitution". Castro. There is unanimity on the justiciable nature of the issue on the legality of Presidential Decree No. Hence. in the year of Our Lord. Teehankee. after extensive discussions on the merits thereof. 3. Makasiar. by way affirmative defenses: 1) that the "questions raised" in said petition "are political in character". On the validity of the decree itself. Esguerra and myself. makes an unconstitutional delegation of power. Justices Makalintal." Identical defenses were set up in the other cases under consideration. Justices Makalintal. 1973. this 17th day of January. On the authority of the 1971 Constitutional Convention to pass the proposed Constitution or to incorporate therein the provisions contested by the petitioners in L-35948. or since the afternoon of that date. o f t h e P h i l i p p i n 2. 73. . the individual views of my brethren in the Court are set forth in the opinions attached hereto. are of the opinion that the issue has become moot and academic. Castro.. or six (6) Members of the Court. Makasiar and Antonio voted to uphold the validity of said Decree.. includes a referendum on the proclamation of Martial Law and purports to exercise judicial power" is "not relevant and . have deemed it best that each Member write his own views thereon and that thereafter the Chief Justice should state the result or the votes thus cast on the points in issue. ( S g d . some Members have preferred to merely concur in the opinion of one of our colleagues.

Josue Javellana filed Case G. Justice Zaldivar maintains unqualifiedly that the Proposed Constitution has not been ratified in accordance with Article XV of the 1935 Constitution. to restrain said respondents "and their subordinates or agents from implementing any of the provisions of the propose Constitution not found in the present Constitution" ² referring to that of 1935. On the question whether or not these cases should be dismissed. Justice." and that the latter "are acting without. the Budget Commissioner. 1973. the Secretary of National Defense. Alejandro Roces. for the purposes contemplated. Antonio Araneta. Ambrosio Padilla. Emilio de Peralta and Lorenzo M. January 22. Manuel Crudo. Miranda. 1975. 1973. Makasiar. On Presidential Proclamation No. Esguerra and myself are of the opinion that the question of validity of said Proclamation has not been properly raised before the Court. up to the afternoon. which is regular customary hour of its opening session". against the Executive Secretary. by Napoleon V." Similar actions were filed. except as regards Case No. Castro. In their petition ² as amended on January 26. Mitra. Justice Antonio feels "that the Court is not competent to act" on the issue whether the Proposed Constitution has been ratified by the people or not. 1977. "considering all other related relevant circumstances." said petitioner "along with their other colleagues." c. d. that the Court should go farther and decide on the merits everyone of the cases under consideration. 1973. by Vidal Tan. on January 23. XV of the 1935 Constitution and the existence of Martial Law. the Treasurer of the Philippines. filed by Josue Javellana. allege. Teehankee. 5. Dilag. against the Executive Secretary. the Budget Commissioner and the 5 National Treasurer and on February 12. the said day.". and that the "purported ratification of the Proposed Constitution . likewise. based on the referendum among Citizens' Assemblies falls short of being in strict conformity with the requirements of Article XV of the 1935 Constitution. the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Justice Barredo holds that the issue on the constitutionality of Proclamation No. accordingly. with respect to G." but that such unfortunate drawback notwithstanding. Salonga.. 2 with three (3) members dissenting. personally and as President of the National Press Club of the Philippines. Jovito R. as regards all of the cases dismissed the same. that the same "are without power to approve the proposed Constitution . Castro. the Budget Commissioner and the Auditor General.M.. Land Reform. "which is still in force Congress of the Philippines "must convene for its 8th Session on Monday. Jr. and that Martial Law per se does not necessarily preclude the factual possibility of adequate freedom. and that of the others on December 31. Justices Fernando. against the Executive Secretary. 1102. 1973 ² petitioners Gerardo Roxas. filed Case G. 1 . the following views were expressed: a. Gonzales. L-35948 for the aforementioned purpose. it has no force and effect whatsoever. "that the President is without power to proclaim the ratification by the Filipino people of the proposed Constitution". 6. b. the Court ² acting in conformity with the position taken by six (6) of its members. hence null and void.4. Fernando. Justices Barredo. Makasiar. that pursuant to our 1935 Constitution. which. the new Constitution is legally recognizable and should be recognized as legitimately in force. and would. that the term of office of three of the 8 9 aforementioned petitioners would expire on December 31. Alfredo Salapantan. and the writer similarly voted. and Raul M. 7. 1973. Justices Barredo. by Eddie Monteclaro.R. The petition therein. as a "Filipino citizen. Justice Fernando.. Jr. in effect. Likewise. 1102 has been submitted to and should be determined by the Court. against the Executive Secretary. for himself. or in excess of jurisdiction in implementing the said proposed Constitution" upon the ground: "that the President. Antonio and Esguerra voted in the affirmative. 1973. the Secretaries of Finance. Barredo. only and another member 3 dissenting. and in behalf of all citizens and voters similarly situated. In effect. the Secretary of General Services. insofar as the freedom essential therefor is concerned. Gerardo Roxas..R. et al. Jr. Antonio U. the same having been closed by the authorities in physical possession and control the Legislative Building". Javellana alleged that the President had announced "the immediate implementation of the New Constitution. No. and National Defense. should not pass upon such question. were unlawfully prevented from using the Senate Session Hall. Accordingly." was amended on or about January 24. respondents including. the Secretary National Defense. and "that the election held to ratify the proposed Constitution was not a free election. as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Present Cases Prior thereto. J. and that. from 10:00 A. without special pronouncement as to costs. and a qualified and registered voter" and as "a class suit. at 10:00 A. on January 23. that "(a)t about 5:00 to 6:00 P. the Auditor General. No." and others as "duly elected members" thereof. the Secretary of Public Information. Teehankee. the President and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Justices Makalintal. Justice Zaldivar favors the granting of said period to the petitioners in said Case No. the Auditor General. Laurel. Tañada. Justice Fernando is of the opinion that there is a repugnancy between the election contemplated under Art. Justices Makalintal. 1973. 6 Leonardo Asodisen. Ramon V. or on January 20. No. therefore. Justice and Finance. Antonio and Esguerra are of the opinion that issue involves questions of fact which cannot be predetermined. 1102. After reciting in substance the facts set forth in the decision in the plebiscite cases.. the Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Reorganization. L-35948. thru his Cabinet..R. Makasiar and Antonio hold the same view. and Eva Estrada-Kalaw. 1973." since the issue "poses a question of fact. for the reasons set forth in their respective opinions. On the question whether the proclamation of Martial Law affected the proper submission of the proposed Constitution to a plebiscite. expressed the view that the 1971 Constitutional Convention had authority to continue in the performance of its functions despite the proclamation of Martial Law. that "on said day. inter alia. the first as "duly elected Senator and Minority Floor Leader of the Senate. accordingly. grant the petitions were they not moot and academic. "in the absence of any judicially discoverable and manageable standards. Salvador 7 H. L-36142 against the Executive Secretary and the Secretaries of National Defense. but he believes. L-36165.M. the Commission on Elections 4 and the Commissioner of Civil Service on February 3. L-35948 as to which they voted to grant to the petitioners therein a reasonable period of time within which to file appropriate pleadings should they wish to contest the legality of Presidential Proclamation No.M.. is without authority to create the Citizens Assemblies".. .

.." Premised upon the foregoing allegations. filed their separate comment therein. that. by acting as they did. L-36164. as they did. which began on February 12. are preventing petitioners from performing their duties as duly elected Senators of the Philippines". and any order.Court would not be in a position to act upon judicially. Puyat and." the "procedure for ratification adopted . which was granted. as it was. 1973. Secretary of General Service. shortly after 9:30 a. 1973. with the understanding that said notes shall include his reply to the notes already filed by the petitioners in G.. petitioners in L-36165 filed a "Manifestation a Supplemental Rejoinder. Puyat and Jose Roy have unlawfully refrained from convening the Senate for its 8th session. within which to file his notes.. that "the alleged creation of the Citizens' Assemblies as instrumentalities for the ratification of the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines" is inherently illegal and palpably unconstitutional. 1102.R.R. 3) "there substantial compliance with Article XV of the 1 Constitution"." for the reasons specified in the petition as amended. noon. On March 21. . Subsequently. the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. moved and were granted an extension of time.. No. and continue to so exclude and prevent" the petitioners "from the performance of their sworn duties. No. and 6) "(t)he amending process outlined in Article XV of the 1935 Constitution is not exclusive of other modes of amendment. respondents filed. orderly and honest election. a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction be issued ordering respondents Executive Secretary. and that a writ of mandamus be issued against the respondents Gil J. and that hearing. and the . L-36142. Nos. Executive Secretary and Chief of Staff. its alleged lack of authority to incorporate certain contested provisions thereof. in his absence. but unlawfully refrained and continue to refrain from doing so". L-36165.the premises of the entire Legislative Building were ordered cleared by the same authorities. the Department of General Services . and to set said cases for hearing on 10 the same date and time as L-36236. and making the writ injunction permanent. as provided by law and the Rules of the Senate. that respondents "have unlawfully excluded and prevented. this Court resolved to consider the comments of the respondents in cases G. as per "official reports. representatives and subordinates to vacate the premises of the Senate of the Philippines and to deliver physical possession of the same to the President of the Senate or his authorized representative". also. 14. heard jointly with the aforementioned cases G. L-36142. 1973. through the Citizens Assemblies". L-36164. the members of the Court agreed that each would write his own opinion and serve a copy thereof on his colleagues. After the exposition his aforesaid opinion. that the alleged ratification of the 1972 (1973) Constitution "is illegal. and setting the case for hearing on February 12. respondent President Pro Tempore Jose Roy we asked by petitioning Senators to perform their duties under the law and the Rules of the Senate.. Such individual opinions are appended hereto...R..have excluded the petitioners from an office to which" they "are lawfully entitled". Puyat and Jose Roy directing them to comply with their duties and functions as President and President Pro Tempore. the Secretary of National Defense. The same resolution granted the parties until March 1.. unconstitutional and void and . is conclusive upon the courts". The hearing.R. upon the ground that the petitions therein had become moot and academic. that. in said Case G. 1973. L-36165. of the Senate of Philippines. on which date the Solicitor General sought an extension of time up to March 3. in fact. the Court discussed said opinions and votes were cast thereon. as motions to dismiss the petitions therein. 1973.. in view of the opinions expressed by three members of this Court in its decision in the plebiscite cases. L-36164 a L-36165. a consolidated comment on said petitions and/or amended petitions. "through their agents and representatives. 1973. 1102. and L-36165. 15 and 16..m. 1973 to January 15. on February 13. this . in effect upholding the validity of Proclamation No. controverting petitioners' allegations concerning the alleged lack impairment of the freedom of the 1971 Constitution Convention to approve the proposed Constitution. the parties in G. a resume of summary of the votes cast by them in these cases. with the leave Court first had and obtained. as prayed for against above-mentioned respondents." After deliberating on these cases. that respondents Senate President and Senate President Pro Tempore "have unlawfully refrained and continue to refrain from and/or unlawfully neglected and continue to neglect the performance of their duties and functions as such officers under the law and the Rules of the Senate" quoted in the petition. under the circumstances. and this they did. was continued not only that afternoon. assuming general jurisdiction over the Session Hall and the premises of the Senate and . after which the parties were granted up to February 24. 1973. and no one was allowed to enter and have access to said premises". proclamation having the same import and objective. 1973. can not have superseded and revoked the 1935 Constitution. to which reference has been made in the preceding pages. to expire on March 10. morning and afternoon. their notes in reply to those submitted by the Solicitor General on March 3. "pending hearing on the merits." and that. and that "against the above mentioned unlawful acts of the respondents. "further proceedings in this case may only be an academic exercise in futility. Nos.R. 5) "Proclamation No. judgment be rendered declaring null and Proclamation No. L-36283 agreed that the same be. decree. the alleged lack of authority of the President to create and establish Citizens' Assemblies "for the purpose submitting to them the matter of ratification of the new Constitution. 1973. are occupied by and are under the physical control of the elements military organizations under the direction of said respondents". the Supreme Court dismissed said cases on January 22. By resolution dated February 7." On February 5. the writer will first express his person opinion on the issues before the Court.. 1973. Nos.. within which to submit their notes of oral arguments and additional arguments. Accordingly. invoking the alleged approval of the 1972 (1973) Constitution of the Philippines by action of the so-called Citizens' Assemblies on January 10. a writ of mandamus is warranted in order to compel them to comply with the duties and functions specifically enjoined by law". as well as all their agents. that "respondents Gil J. a maintaining that: 1) "(t)he Court is without jurisdiction to act on these petitions". Nos. by a majority vote. that "the Senate premise in the Congress of the Philippines Building .R. heard.R.. as stated in and by virtue of Proclamation No. 1102 signed and issued by the President of the Philippines". L-36165 and L-36236. Alleged academic futility of further proceedings in G. L-36164 and L-36165 filed their aforementioned notes on February 24. but. February 10. likewise.. Writer's Personal Opinion I. Counsel for the petitioners in G.m.. continue such inaction up to this time and . the writer will make.. that because of events supervening the institution of the plebiscite cases. the petitioners have no appeal nor other speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law except by invoking the equitable remedies of mandamus and prohibition with the provisional remedy of preliminary mandatory injunction. the respondents and their "agents. as well as the documents required of them or whose presentation was reserved by them. representatives and subordinates ." Required to comment on the above-mentioned petitions and/or amended petitions. is now the civilian agency in custody of the premises of the Legislative Building". within which to file." whereas the Office of the Solicitor General submitted in all these cases a "Rejoinder Petitioners' Replies. 1973. alleging that "(t)he subject matter" of said case "is a highly political question which. said petitioners prayed that." but respondent Secretary of National Defense.. 1973. respectively.. On that date. to reply to the notes filed by their respective opponents. Counsel for the petitioners. 1973. that the petitioners ready and willing to perform their duties as duly elected members of the Senate of the Philippines. the Court issued a resolution requiring respondents in L-36236 to comment on the petition therein not later than Saturday. at 9:30 a. certifying the results of the election." Respondents Puyat and Roy. issuing writs of prohibition and mandamus." the alleged "improper or inadequate submiss of the proposed constitution. 2) the questions raised therein are "political in character and therefore nonjusticiable". 1973. 4) "(t)he Constitution was properly submitted the people in a free. alleging that the same ought to have been dismissed outright. 1102 . likewise. that "(r)espondent Senate President Gil J. concurrently with his colleagues in the Court..

he "cannot say that it was not lawfully held" and that. As regards the applicability of the provisions of the proposed new Constitution. in these cases. he alleges that "petitioners would have this Court declare as invalid the New . It is very significant that in the previous drafts of section 10. and. like said Proclamation No. postulated: .R. while executive order embody administrative acts or commands of the President. whereas. II Does the issue on the validity of Proclamation No. and that he accepted "as a fait accompli that the Constitution adopted (by the 1971 Constitutional Convention) on November 30. he thus declared that he had an open mind in connection with the cases at bar. upon the authority of which said Constitutional Convention was called and approved the proposed Constitution. during the hearing of these cases. in the determination of the question whether or not it is now in force. approved by the 1971 Constitutional Convention.. Indeed. which circumstance is absent in the case of rules. Mr. the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Supreme Court is required only to declare "treaty or law" unconstitutional. Counsel for respondents Gil J.. accordingly. was made to apply only to treaty and law. the participation of the two other departments of the government ² the Executive and the Legislative ² is present. inasmuch as the authority to issue the same is governed by section 63 of the Revised Administrative Code. by the Solicitor General. under the 1935 Constitution. is predicated upon the fact that. Mr. Pursuant to this section. a lesser number of votes is necessary in the Supreme Court than that required to invalidate a law or treaty. In support thereof. In fact. or the old Constitution. Justice Barredo had expressed the view that the 1935 Constitution had "pro tanto passed into history" and "been legitimately supplanted by the Constitution now in force by virtue of Proclamation No. The Framing of the Philippine Constitution.. he assumed "that what the proclamation (No. But "executive order" and "regulation" were later deleted from the final draft (Aruego. voicing the unanimous view of the Members of this Court. and. resolutions. The distinction is not without reasonable foundation. Vol. and no treaty or law may be declared unconstitutional without the concurrence of two thirds of all the members of the Court. non-justiciable question? The Solicitor General maintains in his comment the affirmative view and this is his main defense.. a law (statute) passed by Congress is subject to the approval or veto of the President. Although the foregoing refers to rules. A treaty is entered into by the President with the 13 concurrence of the Senate. 496). indeed. to nullify the same. To begin with. "it seems remote or improbable that the necessary eight (8) votes under the 1935 Constitution. 1102) says on its face is true and until overcome by satisfactory evidence" he could not "subscribe to the claim that such plebiscite was not held accordingly". can be obtained for the relief sought in the Amended Petition" in G. because. "executive order" and "regulation" were included among those that required for their nullification the vote of two-thirds of all the members of the Court. in Our decision in the plebiscite cases. Hence. In effect. and much less the ten (10) votes required by the 1972 (1973) Constitution.". No. for the Supreme Court to declare such proclamation unconstitutional. has been duly ratified.. regulations and executive orders issued by the President." so that. Justice Antonio did not feel "that this Court competent to act" in said cases "in the absence of any judicially discoverable and manageable standards" and because "the access to relevant information is insufficient to assure the correct determination of the issue. and that in deciding the same he would not necessarily adhere to said opinion if the petitioners herein succeeded in convincing him that their view should be sustained. regulations and executive orders. or orders are to have or cease to (have) effect and any information concerning matters of public moment determined by law. or executive orders. Puyat and Jose Roy in G. may be promulgated in an executive proclamation. rule or regulation ² namely. Construing said provision. regulations or executive orders which are exclusive acts of the President. Puyat and Jose Roy maintain in G. Justice Esguerra had postulated that "(w)ithout any competent evidence . 1102. about the circumstances attending the holding" of the "referendum or plebiscite" thru the Citizens' Assemblies. parts or ports of the (Philippine Islands) Philippines and all acts and commands governing the general performance of duties by public employees or disposing of issues of general concern shall be made effective in executive orders. It is well settled that the matter of ratification of an amendment to the Constitution should be settled by applying the provisions of the Constitution in force at the time of the alleged 16 ratification. under the 1935 Constitution. Section 10 of Article VIII thereof reads: All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty or law shall be heard and decided by the Supreme Court in banc. whose disapproval cannot be overridden except by the vote of two-thirds (2/3) 12 of all members of each House of Congress. that he was and is willing to be convinced that his aforementioned opinion in the plebiscite cases should be reconsidered and changed. As consequence. Article VIII of the Constitution. 495. The two thirds vote (eight [8] votes) requirement. and thus a mere majority of 11 six members of this Court is enough to nullify them. eight (8) votes are necessary to declare invalid the contested Proclamation No.R. 1949. the same number of votes needed to invalidate an executive order. six (6) votes ² would suffice. Justice Barredo announced publicly. and so does counsel for respondents Gil J. also.R. then Chief Justice Moran. hence. I am unable to share this view. an executive proclamation has no more than "the force of an executive order. under these circumstances. No.. 15 L-36165. Mr. I. in open court. in a resolution dated September 16. it is obvious that such question depends upon whether or not the said new Constitution has been ratified in accordance with the requirements of the 1935 Constitution.This defense or theory. No. executive proclamations are mainly informative and declaratory in character. I do not believe that this assumption is borne out by any provision of said Constitution. 1102. 1102 partake of the nature of a political. L-36165. There is nothing either in the Constitution or in the Judiciary Act requiring the vote of eight Justices to nullify a rule or regulation or an executive order issued by the President. which provides: Administrative acts and commands of the (Governor-General) President of the Philippines touching the organization or mode of operation of the Government or rearranging or readjusting any of the districts. L-36165. pp. that Mr. 1972. set up by counsel for respondents Gil J. counsel for the aforesaid respondents had apparently assumed that. resolution. Secondly. divisions." apart from the circumstance that "the new constitution has been promulgated and great interests have already arisen under it" and that the political organ of the Government has recognized its provisions. Executive orders fixing the dates when specific laws. the dictum applies with equal force to executive proclamation. with all the force 14 of an executive order. Puyat and Jose Roy goes on to say that. 1102 . which is not required in the case of rules.

that the "plebiscite cases" are "not precedents for holding questions regarding proposal and ratification justiciable". also. and We unanimously declared that the issue was a justiciable one. the following: "At the threshold of the case we are met with the assertion that the questions involved are political. the court has no jurisdiction as the certificate of the state canvassing board would then be final. particularly a viva voce. 20 1971. What petitioners dispute is the theory that it has been validly ratified by the people. 1973. We overruled the respondents' contention in the 1971 habeas corpus cases. but." may settle or decide with finality. however. Cuenco. Commission on Elections. 2) those concerned mainly with the enforcement of such laws and of judicial decisions applying and/or interpreting the same. The question thus raised is a fundamental one. Indeed. under the 1935 Constitution. his pardoning power. And so. 26 27 Hence. consequently. Referring now more specifically to the issue on whether the new Constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention has been ratified in accordance with the provisions of Article XV of the 1935 Constitution is a political question or not. and. whose decisions have a persuasive effect in this jurisdiction. but it has been so often decided 23 . and because the existence of Martial Law and General Order No. but. It. under the judicial power vested by the Constitution. was not a proper subject of judicial inquiry because. For the same reason. under which each department is vested by the Fundamental Law with some powers to forestall. questioning Our authority to determine the constitutional sufficiency of the factual bases of the Presidential proclamation suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus on August 21. the appointing power of the Executive. in violation of section 2 of Article X of the 1935 Constitution. that the plebiscite or "election" required in said Article XV has not been held. 1102 is not borne out by the whereases preceding the same. to "define. insofar as it adhered to the former case. to inquire into or pass upon the advisability or wisdom of the acts performed. but. The reasons adduced in support thereof are. or between two (2) officers or branches of service. consistently with the form of government established under said Constitution. such is the position taken by this Court. that "in the case of the New Constitution.Constitution of the Republic" from which ² he claims ² "this Court now derives its authority". as it was done in many instances. this Court quoted with approval from In re McConaughy. respondents herein urge Us to reconsider the action thus taken by the Court and to revert to and follow the views expressed in Barcelon v. Upon the other hand. 21 Castañeda. which are apportioned to courts of justice. to dispense with said election or plebiscite. and 3) those dealing with the settlement of disputes. withdrawing or suspending the limited freedom to discuss the merits and demerits of said proposed Constitution. which gained added weight by its virtual reiteration in the plebiscite cases. namely: 1) those involving the making of laws. Baker and Mabanag v. which are allocated to the legislative department. abandoned and refused to apply. the proceedings in said Assemblies are null and void as an alleged ratification of the new Constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention. and an officer or branch of the government. measures or 25 decisions are within the area allocated thereto by the Constitution. the government has been recognized in accordance with the New Constitution". when the latter officer or branch is charged with acting without jurisdiction or in excess thereof or in violation of law. also. not only to encroach upon the powers or field of action assigned to any of the other departments. Baker and Montenegro v. in any event.. that "the country's foreign relations are now being conducted in accordance with the new charter". Thus. has the power of appropriation. and each is devoid of authority. it partook of a political nature. also.. Such. substantially the same as those given in support of the political-question theory advanced in said habeas corpus and plebiscite cases. and that. accordingly. We rejected the theory of the respondents therein that the question whether Presidential Decree No. not only because of the circumstances under which said Assemblies had been created and held. impaired the people's freedom in voting thereon. such inferior courts as may be established by law. the "Supreme Court and . also." At the outset. The reason why the issue under consideration and other issues of similar character are justiciable. courts of justice would be arrogating upon themselves a power conferred by the Constitution upon another branch of the service to the exclusion of the others. that the proceedings before the Citizens' Assemblies did not constitute and may not be considered as such plebiscite. 24 Lopez Vito. is plain and simple. on the one hand. because the same were not held under the supervision of the Commission on Elections. our constitutional system in the 1935 Constitution being patterned after that of the United States. disputes or conflicts between a private individual or entity. was valid or not. the political-question theory adopted in Mabanag v. One of the principal bases of the non-justiciability of so-called political questions is the principle of separation of powers ² characteristic of the Presidential system of government ² the functions of which are classified or divided. Congress or an agency or arm thereof ² such as the commission on Appointments ² may approve or disapprove some appointments made by the President. for the ratification or rejection of the proposed new Constitution. as the predicates from which said conclusion was drawn. that the facts of record abundantly show that the aforementioned Assemblies could not have been held throughout the Philippines from January 10 to January 15. 18 Lopez Vito. it is obvious to me that We are not being asked to "declare" the new Constitution invalid. and not judicial. the acts in the exercise of such power are said to be political in nature. etc. Besides. This principle of separation of powers under the presidential system goes hand in hand with the system of checks and balances. by reason of their nature. 17 in an endless line of decisions. We did not apply and expressly modified. controversies or conflicts involving rights. If this is correct. Within its own sphere ² but only within such sphere ² each department is supreme and independent of the others. non-justiciable or beyond judicial review. 20. I do not hesitate to state that the answer must be in the negative. his authority to call the Legislature or Congress to special sessions and even to prescribe or limit the object or objects of legislation that may be taken up in such sessions. because the provisions of our Election Code were not observed in said Assemblies. restrain or arrest a possible or actual misuse or abuse of powers by the other departments. and apportion the jurisdiction of the various courts. has been the consistent position of the courts of the United States of America. not political. With identical 19 unanimity. been advanced to warrant a departure from said position. that "nearly 15 million of our body politic from the age of 15 years have mandated this Constitution to be the New Constitution and the prospect of unsettling acts done in reliance on it caution against interposition of the power of judicial review". his veto power. which belong to the executive department. 1973. into three (3) categories. 73 calling a plebiscite to be held on January 15. Our decision in the aforementioned habeas corpus cases partakes of the nature and effect of a stare decisis. to my mind. duties or prerogatives that are legally demandable and enforceable. which were carefully considered by this Court and found by it to be legally unsound and constitutionally untenable. Hence. not only justiciable controversies between private individuals or entities." as well as that of impeachment. that "foreign governments have taken note of it". As a consequence. The petitioners maintain that the conclusion reached by the Chief Executive in the dispositive portion of Proclamation No. that the Chief Executive has no authority. on the other. especially that they have done so in accordance with Article XV of the 1935 Constitution. prescribe. they claimed. and that "to abstain from judgment on the ultimate issue of constitutionality is not to abdicate duty. also. in 22 Gonzales v. Otherwise. which view We. when a power vested in said officer or branch of the government is absolute or unqualified. too long to leave any room for possible doubt that said issue is inherently and essentially justiciable. no plausible reason has. Conversely. in Tañada v. regardless of the actual vote upon the amendment. measures taken or decisions made by the other departments ² provided that such acts. in the aforementioned plebiscite cases. because persons disqualified to vote under Article V of the Constitution were allowed to participate therein. Hence. as well as their ability to have a reasonable knowledge of the contents of the document on which they were allegedly called upon to express their views.. despite the opposite view taken by this Court in Barcelona v.

470. 32 Pac. said qualifications. Cunningham. 25 L.R. this very Court ² speaking through Justice Laurel. the issue on whether or not the prescribed qualifications or conditions have been met.) and. Borden was an action for trespass filed by Luther with the Circuit Court of the United States against Borden and others for having forcibly entered into Luther's house." (Emphasis supplied. one of its basic predicates. that "(i)n times of social disquietude or political excitement. to support and defend the Constitution ² to settle it.A.C. but because the Constitution and laws have placed the particular matter under his control. became a member of the Union. if not entirely obliterated." Accordingly. if the Constitution provides how it may be amended ² as it is in our 1935 Constitution ² "then. Tuttle 151 Ill. 497. Meanwhile. is that it is a matter which is to be exercised by the people in their primary political capacity. The recognition of this principle.contrary to the view contended for by the Attorney General that it would seem to be finally settled. The convention was not authorized by any law of the existing government.. This explains why.. as early as July 15. understandable to the laymen. It was under this form of government when Rhode Island joined other American states in the Declaration of Independence and. of a particular measure. Neither the factual background of that case nor the action taken therein by the Federal Supreme Court has any similarity with or bearing on the cases under consideration. The charter government. See State vs. or the limitations respected. This was the state of affairs when the defendants. What is more. a question of policy" in matters concerning the government of a State. it refers to "those questions which. the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments" of the 30 government. as well as one of the highly respected and foremost leaders of the Convention that drafted the 1935 Constitution ² declared. which was supported by a large number of citizens of the state. the crux of the problem being one of legality or validity of the contested act. and many citizens assembled to support him. an outstanding authority on Philippine Constitutional Law. The defendants who were in the military service of said former colony of England. contested. But every officer under constitutional government must act accordingly to law and subject its restrictions. Such authority was the charter government of Rhode Island at the time of the Declaration of Independence. N. Dorr. 561. for it must be remembered that the people act through courts. by subsequently ratifying the Constitution of the United States. 37 N. In re Gunn. 81 Wis. as a body politic. and every departure therefrom or disregard thereof must subject him to that restraining and controlling power of the people. the great landmarks of the Constitution are apt to be forgotten or marred. conditions or limitations ² particularly those prescribed or imposed by the Constitution ² would be set at naught. 15 L. acting through the agency of the judiciary. 16 C. by acts of the Legislature. when the grant of power is qualified. and the system of checks and balances. the convention declared that said Constitution had been adopted and ratified by a majority of the people and became the paramount law and Constitution of Rhode Island. in the language of Corpus Juris Secundum (supra). Upon the return of the votes cast by them." Not satisfied with this postulate. 30 L. or that it has been specifically delegated to some other department or particular officer of the government. but because they are matters which the people have by the Constitution delegated to the Legislature. the judiciary as the interpreter of that constitution. conditional or subject to limitations. not its wisdom. 90. 683. the charter government passed an Act declaring the state under Martial Law and adopted measures to repel the threatened attack and subdue the rebels. In cases of conflict. Prior thereto. to "the end that the government may be one of laws and not of men" ² words which Webster said were the greatest contained in any written constitutional document. the validity of said proceedings.R. 724. a new constitution was drafted by a convention held 31 28 . 948. Thereupon. not merely because they involve political questions. Green vs. His discretionary acts cannot be controllable. Eventually. rather than a power". 42 Am. Memorials addressed by them to the Legislature having failed to bring about the desired effect. 516. 50 Kan.R. under the Constitution. when it is said that a question is political. one Thomas W. 19 L. so long as he observes the laws act within the limits of the power conferred. 155..R. 143. with discretionary power to act. however. 41. the judicial inquiry into such issue and the settlement thereof are the main functions of courts of justice under the Presidential form of government adopted in our 1935 Constitution.A. Thus the Legislature may in its discretion determine whether it will pass law or submit a proposed constitutional amendment to the people. meetings were held and associations formed ² by those who belonged to this segment of the population ² which eventually resulted in a convention called for the drafting of a new Constitution to be submitted to the people for their adoption or rejection. namely." In fact. Otherwise. As a consequence. 1936. will declare the 29 amendment invalid. the court went farther and stressed that. xxx xxx xxx ". What is generally meant. This notwithstanding. St. however. the term "political question" connotes. 220. One department is just as representative as the other.. are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity.A. as well as through the executive or the Legislature. Borden in support of his stand that the issue under consideration is non-justiciable in nature. not legality. Luther v. Johnson. as were necessary to adapt it to its subsequent condition as an independent state. The Solicitor General has invoked Luther v. the charter government had taken measures to call its own convention to revise the existing form of government. sometime in 1842. for ² unlike other states which adopted a new Constitution upon secession from England ² Rhode Island retained its form of government under a British Charter. as members of the highest Court of the land. Fletcher vs. Mills. The delegates to such convention framed a new Constitution which was submitted to the people. The Governor may exercise the powers delegated him. is justiciable or non-political. because Luther and others were engaged in a conspiracy to overthrow the government by force and the state had been placed by competent authority under Martial Law. 519. is necessary. many citizens had become dissatisfied with the charter government. but are under the ineluctable obligation ² made particularly more exacting and peremptory by our oath.A. in an attempt to describe the nature of a political question in terms. alleged in their defense that they had acted in obedience to the commands of a superior officer. making only such alterations. 852. it was hoped. it was held that courts have a "duty. "In other words. to determine whether another branch of the government has "kept within constitutional limits. it adopted a new Constitution. who were in the military service of the charter government and were to arrest Luther. unknown except in Great Britain and America. in Rhode Island. free from judicial control. what it means in ordinary parlance. who had been elected governor under the new Constitution of the rebels. prepared to assert authority by force of arms." It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom. We added that ".E. for engaging in the support of the rebel government ² which was never able to exercise any authority in the state ² broke into his house. The courts have no judicial control over such matters.W. not primarily because they are of a politics nature. In 1843. Rep. and not judicial. unless the manner is followed. or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the Legislature or executive branch of the government. in legal parlance. in Miller v. We have neither the authority nor the discretion to decline passing upon said issue. 69 Fed. and the judiciary is the department which is charged with the special duty of determining the limitations which the law places upon all official action.A.

and disregarded and overruled the decisions of the courts of Rhode Island? Undoubtedly the courts of the United States have certain powers under the Constitution and laws of the United States which do not belong to the State courts. whereas the nature of the latter depends upon a number of factors. but.. To begin with. It is thus apparent that the context within which the case of Luther v. The judges who decided that case held their authority under that constitution and it is admitted on all hands that it was adopted by the people of the State. upon the theory that the legislation violated the equal protection clause. among others.. Carr. A district court dismissed the case upon the ground. Dorr.. Here.. the first being generally conceded to be a political question. Borden hinged more on the question of recognition of government. About a year before. whereas ours is a unitary form of government. one of them being whether the new Constitution has been adopted in the manner prescribed in the Constitution in force at the time of the purported ratification of the former. Besides. ". the charter or organic law of Rhode Island contained no provision on the manner. too. which the courts of the State disown and repudiate. inasmuch as:"." Having offered to introduce evidence to prove that the constitution of the rebels had been ratified by the majority of the people. Ed. that the issue was political. Borden. no decision analogous to that rendered by the State Court of Rhode Island exists in the cases at bar. which had been in operation uninterruptedly since then. Baker v. Secondly. and. and the well settled rule in this court is. "(T)he times and places at which the votes were to be given. . in Luther v. Whatever else was said in that case constitutes.. controlling. is always cited by those who assert that the courts have no power to determine questions of a political character. but he was repulsed. when we are referring to the authority of State decisions. after a painstaking review of the jurisprudence on the matter. however. on matters other than those referring to its power to review decisions of a state court concerning the constitution and government of that state. that the courts of the United States adopt and follow the decisions of the State courts in questions which concern merely the constitution and laws of the State. are manifestly neither. procedure or conditions for its amendment. which is absent in the present cases. the Supreme Court of Minnessota had the following to say: Luther v. . and is a responsibility of this Court as ultimate interpreter of the Constitution . in May 1843. which dispersed upon approach of the troops of the old government. whose judicial authority to decide upon the constitution and laws of Rhode Island is not questioned by either party to this controversy. but it has not the slightest application to the case at bar. until the Constitution of 1843" ² adopted under the auspices of the charter government ² "went into operation. It is the decision. the states of the Union have a measure of internal sovereignty upon which the Federal Government may not encroach. apart from rendering judgment for the defendants. that the issue was a political one. (d)eciding whether a matter has in any measure been committed by the Constitution to another branch of government. and thereafter was adopted and ratified by the people. the charter government continued to assert its authority and exercise its powers and to enforce obedience throughout the state .. 1. the views expressed by the Federal Supreme Court in Luther v. but one purely municipal in nature. antagonistic to each other. after an "assemblage of some hundreds of armed men under his command at Chepatchet in the June following. cited by respondents. Borden was decided is basically and fundamentally different from that of the cases at bar. not the Federal Constitution or Government. the Federal Supreme Court was "bound to follow the decisions of the State tribunals" of Rhode Island upholding the constitution adopted under the authority of the charter government. therefore. and must therefore regard the charter government as 32 the lawful and established government during the time of this contest. inter alia. had made an unsuccessful attempt to take possession of the state arsenal in Providence. to the constitution and laws of that State.. an obiter dictum. the Federal Supreme Court reversed the appealed decision and held that said issue was justiciable and non-political. involved an action to annul a Tennessee statute apportioning the seats in the General Assembly among the counties of the State. unlike our 1935 Constitution. or whether the action of that branch exceeds whatever authority has been committed. at the head of a military force. referring to that case. and is the lawful and established government. There was.." Similarly. the Government established under the 1935 Constitution is the very same government whose Executive Department has urged the adoption of the new or revised Constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention and now alleges that it has been ratified by the people.. or in May 1842. 35 34 . and there is a fundamental difference between these two (2) types of recognition. . speaking through then Chief Justice Warren. Upon such a question the courts of the United States are bound to follow the decisions of the State tribunals. When carefully analyzed. is itself a delicate exercise in constitutional interpretation. no further effort was made to establish" his government. The question relates. Hence. then. the plaintiff took the case for review to the Federal Supreme Court which affirmed the action of the Circuit Court. decided in 1849. the case of Luther v. in Powell v. In fact. that the trial of Thomas W. Borden. Said dismissal was predicated upon the ground. Borden. the persons who were to receive and return them. Then. Dorr took place after the constitution of 1843 went into operation. But the power of determining that a State government has been lawfully established. reversed a decision of the Court of Appeals of New York affirming that of a Federal District Court. is not one of them. nor even persuasive in the present cases. Upon what ground could the Circuit Court of the United States which tried this case have departed from this rule. stating: It is worthy of remark. 581. of a State court.under the authority of the charter government. which the Circuit Court rejected. The point. It is interesting historically. 12 L.. therefore. although the government under which it acted was framed and adopted under the sanction and laws of the charter government. than on recognition of constitution. it appears that it merely determines that the federal courts will accept as final and controlling a decision of the highest court of a state upon a question of the construction 33 of the Constitution of the state. established under its authority.S. altogether. but the Federal Supreme Court held that it was clearly a justiciable one. which is essentially a justiciable question. the case did not involve a federal question. McCormack. . under which our local governments derive their authority from the national government. a conflict between two (2) rival governments. raised here has been already decided by the courts of Rhode Island. In short. and the qualifications of the voters having all been previously authorized and provided for by law passed by the charter government. having as the Federal Supreme Court admitted ² no authority whatsoever to pass upon such matters or to review decisions of said state court thereon. Again. dismissing Powell's action for a declaratory judgment declaring thereunder that he ² whose qualifications were uncontested ² had been unlawfully excluded from the 90th Congress of the U." the latter formally surrendered all of its powers to the new government. the same Court. 7 How.

1973 plebiscite to either 38 February 19 or March 5. and considering that Art.." as well as "contains provisions which are beyond the powers of the 1971 Convention to enact. The former reads: Section 1. be taken into account. therefore. and 4) that "the election held (in the Citizens' Assemblies) to ratify the proposed Constitution was not a free election. upon ground: 1) that the President "is without authority to create the Citizens' Assemblies" through which. the petitioners in L-36283 argue that "(t)he creation of the Citizens' Assemblies as the vehicle for the ratification of the Constitution was a deception upon the people since the President announced the postponement of the January 15. section I of Art. the petitioners in L-36164 contend: 1) that the President "has no power to call a plebiscite for the ratification or rejection" of the proposed new Constitution or "to appropriate funds for the holding of the said plebiscite". XV of our 1935 Constitution prescribes the method or procedure for its amendment. with respect to the positions taken in L-36165 by counsel for therein respondents Gil J. not less than three hundred thousand women possessing the necessary qualifications shall vote affirmatively on the question. XV is a justiciable one and non-political in nature. other provisions of the 1935 Constitution concerning "elections" must. although the petitioners in L-36164 question the authority of the 1971 Constitutional Convention to incorporate certain provisions into the draft of the new or revised Constitution. "by a vote of three-fourths of all the Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives voting separately." 37 Petitioner in L-36236 added. X of the Constitution ordain in part: . it is unnecessary to reproduce them here. and even then many of the courts hold that the tribunal cannot be permitted to illegally amend the 36 organic law." Compliance with the first requirement is virtually conceded." Besides adopting substantially some of the grounds relied upon by the petitioners in the abovementioned cases. We append the same to this opinion as Annex A thereof. The National Assembly shall extend the right of suffrage to women." Apart from substantially reiterating these grounds support of said negative view." but "in joint session assembled". XV of the 1935 Constitution? Petitioners in L-36142 maintain the negative view. .. 1973. What is the procedure prescribed by the 1935 Constitution for its amendment? Under section 1 of Art. and that it is not only subject to judicial inquiry. Suffrage may be exercised by male citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law. hence null and void. . After an. there was practically no time for the Citizens' Assemblies to discuss the merits of the Constitution which the majority of them have not read a which they never knew would be submitted to them ratification until they were asked the question ² "do you approve of the New Constitution?" during the said days of the voting". the Court concluded: The authorities are thus practically uniform in holding that whether a constitutional amendment has been properly adopted according to the requirements of an existing Constitution is a judicial question. submission the people. 2) that the proposed new or revised Constitution "is vague and incomplete.The Supreme Court of Minnessota undertook a careful review of American jurisprudence on the matter. also. on behalf of the other respondents in that case and the respondents in the other cases." 3) that "(t)he period of time between November 1972 when the 1972 draft was approved and January 11-15. that it is the Court's bounden duty to decide such question. and 2) Proclamation No. That such amendments be "approved by a majority of the votes cast" in said election. Has the proposed new or revised Constitution been ratified conformably to said Art. three (3) steps are essential. on whether or not the last two (2) requirements have been complied with. namely: 1. but. as arguments in support of the negative view. There can be little doubt that the consensus of judicial opinion is to the effect that it is the absolute duty of the judiciary to determine whether the Constitution has been amended in the manner required by the Constitution. and that "(t)here was altogether no freedom discussion and no opportunity to concentrate on the matter submitted to them when the 1972 draft was supposedly submitted to the Citizens' Assemblies for ratification." when the Citizens' Assemblies supposedly ratified said draft. That such amendments be "submitted to the people for their ratification" at an "election". Puyat and Jose Roy ² although more will be said later about them ² and by the Solicitor General. The main issue in these five (5) cases hinges. who are twenty-one years of age or over and are able to read and write. That the amendments to the Constitution be proposed either by Congress or by a convention called for that purpose. the proposed new Constitution has been ratified. and who shall have resided in the Philippines for one year and in the municipality wherein they propose to vote for at least six months preceding the election.. Sections 1 and 2 of Art. that : 1) "(w)ith a government-controlled press." thereby rendering it "unfit for . Has the contested draft of the new or revised Constitution been submitted to the people for their ratification conformably to Art. respondents maintain. and III 3. 1102 is null and void "(i)nasmuch as the ratification process" prescribed "in the 1935 Constitution was not followed. 2. X of said Constitution. also. if in a plebiscite which shall be held for that purpose within two years after the adoption of this Constitution. In the light of the foregoing. The Supreme Court of the United States has meaningfully postulated that "the courts cannot reject as 'no law suit' " ² because it allegedly involves a political question ² "a bona fide controversy as to whether some action denominated "political" exceeds constitutional authority. XV of the Constitution? In this connection. 3) that the President "is without power to proclaim the ratification by the Filipino people of the proposed Constitution". it is clear to my mind that the question whether or not the revised Constitution drafted by the 1971 Constitutional Convention has been ratified in accordance with said Art. "was too short." The reasons adduced by the petitioners in L-36165 in favor of the negative view have already been set forth earlier in this opinion. 1. namely. exhaustive analysis of the cases on this subject. XV of said Constitution. So it is. unless a special tribunal has been created to determine the question. that said Assemblies "are without power to approve the proposed Constitution".. Owing to the lucidity of its appraisal thereof. 2. there can never be a fair and proper submission of the proposed Constitution to the people". V and Art. 1973. Hence. worse still.

V of the Constitution declares who may exercise the right of suffrage. V of the Constitution. In all of these legislative acts. he invokes the permissive nature of the language ² "(s)uffrage may be exercised" ² used in section 1 of Art. and the appointment of election inspectors and of other election officials. Said partial amendment was predicated upon the generally accepted contemporary construction that. Aruego. and that the proposed amendment sought to be submitted to a plebiscite was not even a complete amendment. upon the ground that. prescribing. there seems to be a 46 conflict between the last paragraph of said section 6 of Rep. 1907. But. It shall decide. Upon the other hand. All law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Government. What is relevant to the issue before Us is the fact that the constitutional provision under consideration was meant to be and is a grant or conferment of a right to persons possessing the qualifications and none of the disqualifications therein mentioned. affecting elections. granting the writs.. this does not imply not even remotely. 45 Commission on Elections. and then in the Administrative Code of 1917 ² Act 2711 ² as chapter 18 thereof.. it was eventually agreed to include." although there was some debate on whether the Fundamental Law should specify the language or dialect that the voter 43 could read and write. This view is borne out by the records of the Constitutional Convention that drafted the 1935 Constitution. as well as the disqualifications to the exercise of the right of suffrage ² the second recommendation limiting the right of suffrage to those who could "read and write" was ² in the language of Dr. Indeed. or having any of the aforementioned disqualifications. 3590. This view is further bolstered by the fact that the 1971 Constitutional Convention sought the submission to a plebiscite of a "partial amendment" to said section 1 of Art. so that those lacking the qualifications therein prescribed may not exercise such right. except by constitutional amendment. They claim that no other persons than "citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law. if in a plebiscite to. and that said right may be vested by competent authorities in persons lacking some or all of the aforementioned qualifications. the 44 qualifications for and disqualifications from voting. Upon the other hand. The decisions. providing that citizens of the Philippines "eighteen years of age or over. also debated upon rather extensively. Art. V. V of the Constitution. in turn. prescribed by law. respectively. which was partly amended by Acts 1669." 3) "That the duty to vote should be made obligatory. every such constitutional grant or conferment of a right is necessarily a negation of the authority of Congress or of any other branch of the Government to deny said right to the subject of the grant ² and. the provisions concerning the qualifications of voters partook of the nature of a grant or recognition of the right of suffrage." . "strongly influenced by the election laws then in force in the Philippines 40 . xxx xxx xxx 39 The third recommendation on "compulsory" voting was. orders. however. particularly sections 4 and 6 thereof. whether 18-year-old members of barrio assemblies may vote in barrio assembly plebiscites is. and rulings of the Commission shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court. 3590. 1709. which could be amended further. 42 after which it was rejected by the Convention. the Solicitor General contends that said provision merely guarantees the right of suffrage to persons possessing the aforementioned qualifications and none of the disqualifications.. Indeed. passed on January 9. a debatable one." " Said committee had recommended: 1) "That the right of suffrage should exercised only by male citizens of the Philippines. be dispensed with. xxx xxx xxx Sec. under the 1935 Constitution. 1927. Despite some debates on the age qualification ² amendment having been proposed to reduce the same to 18 or 20. be held for that purpose within two years after the adoption of this Constitution. which were rejected. . and. not less than three hundred thousand 41 women possessing the necessary qualifications shall vote affirmatively on the question. when so required by the Commission. 2. Republic Act No." who are registered in the list of barrio assembly members. who shall hold office for a term of nine years and may not be reappointed. . pursuant to which a.Section 1. The Commission on Elections shall have exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections and shall exercise all other functions which may be conferred upon it by law. in section 1 of Art. Sections 431 and 432 of said Code of 1917. by reducing the voting age from twenty-one (21) years to eighteen (18) years. I cannot accept the Solicitor General's theory. V of the 1935 Constitution was largely based on the report of the committee on suffrage of the Convention that drafted said Constitution which report was. There shall be an independent Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and two other Members to be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. may the same partake of the nature of a guarantee. for the permissive language used in the first sentence of said Art. and cannot. was amended by Act 3387. under the Constitution. in my opinion. V of the Constitution is a limitation upon the exercise of the right of suffrage. no more than a provisional or temporary amendment. and the provisions of the Revised Barrio Charter. V of the 1935 Constitution. to say the least. after its ratification. and honest elections. of a denial thereof to those who lacked the requisite qualification and possessed any of the statutory disqualifications. one of the Delegates to said Convention ² "readily approved in the Convention without any dissenting vote. the second sentence thereof imposing upon the National Assembly established by the original Constitution ² instead of the bicameral Congress subsequently created by amendment said Constitution ² the duty to "extend the right of suffrage women.. shall act as its deputies for the purpose of insuring fee. which. not separately or in several or distinct elections. In short. section 1 of Art. without a previous amendment of the Constitution. by way of compromise. accordingly. all of the amendments adopted by the Convention should be submitted in "an election" or a single election." Our first Election Law was Act 1582. V of the Constitution? Petitioners maintain that section 1 of Art. for legal purposes. This accounts. In support of this view. At this juncture. V of the Constitution. V of the Constitution was "strongly influenced by the election laws then in force in the Philippines. 1726 and 1768." may exercise the right of suffrage in the Philippines. Obviously. and the residence qualification. Act No. hence. and who shall have resided in the Philippines for one year and in the municipality wherein they propose to vote for at least six months preceding the election. in turn. denied such right to those lacking any said qualifications. including the determination of the number and location of polling places. Who may vote in a plebiscite under Art. who are twenty-one years of age or over and are able to read and write. all administrative questions. that the Fundamental Law allows Congress or anybody else to vest in those lacking the qualifications and having the disqualifications mentioned in the Constitution the right of suffrage. which. the history of section 1. and that. and possessing some of the aforesaid disqualifications. the question. shows beyond doubt than the same conferred ² not guaranteed ² the authority to persons having the qualifications prescribed therein and none of disqualifications to be specified in ordinary laws and. of prohibition and injunction therein applied for. which was decided in the negative. but a "partial amendment" of said section 1. orderly. approved on December 3. and incorporated into the Administrative Code of 1916 ² Act 2657 ² as chapter 20 thereof." 2) "That should be limited to those who could read and write. in this sense only. necessary implication. Jose M. which in turn. constitute a limitation of or restriction to said right. so that the aforementioned partial amendment was. had the same taken place. save those involving the right to vote. are quoted below. did not materialize on account of the decision of this Court in Tolentino v. shall be members thereof and may participate as such in the plebiscites prescribed in said Act. Art. persons below twenty-one (21) years of age could not exercise the right of suffrage." It appears that the first recommendation was discussed extensively in the Convention. it is noteworthy that the committee on suffrage responsible for the adoption of section 1 of Art.

743. was less than 12 million. twenty-one years of age or over. V of the Constitution were allowed to vote in said Assemblies..W. available in January 1973. 3590. have participated and voted in the Citizens' Assemblies that have allegedly ratified the new or revised Constitution drafted by the 1971 Constitutional Convention. In simple words. which is not so as regards said Art. "(a)ll duly registered barrio assembly members qualified to vote" ² who." I believe.. the total number of registered voters 21 years of age or over in the entire Philippines. notwithstanding the fact that the object thereof much more important ² if not fundamental. In short.976. with the advantage of keeping records that permit judicial inquiry. 3590 requires. . 65 N. when necessary. 956. It has been held that "(t)he power to reject an entire poll . believe that Republic Act No. and justify their exclusion from the canvass.. 14. the viva voce voting in the Citizens' Assemblies was and is null and void ab initio. V thereof to apply only to elections of public officers.. not to plebiscites for the ratification of amendments to the Fundamental Law or revision thereof. was held in Smith v. should be exercised . since the early years of the American regime.869 who voted for its rejection." . according to the paragraph preceding the penultimate one of said 47 section. that the apparent conflict should resolved in favor of the 21-year-old members of the assembly. 55 We held: Several circumstances.. . or those of Republic Act No.814 answered that there was no need for a plebiscite and that the vote of the Barangays (Citizens Assemblies) should be considered as a vote in a plebiscite. we would define a "vote cast" as the exercise on a ballot 58 of the choice of the voter on the measure proposed. or." The word "cast" is defined as "to deposit formally or officially. consequently. it would be illogical. such circumstances as alleged by the affected or interested parties. particularly its sections 1 and 2. said Art. since there is no means by which the invalid votes of those less than 21 years of age can be separated or segregated from those of the qualified voters. namely. X thereof.. at least. which a intended to be in force permanently.. demands greater experience and maturity 49 on the part of the electorate than that required for the election of public officers.." whereas. section 1 provides that "(t)here shall be an independent Commission on Elections . and to affect the way of life of the nation ² and. for. duly registered in the list of voters" and " otherwise disqualified . and of whether or not they are disqualified under the provisions of said 51 52 Constitution and Code. also." whereas. Besides. regardless of whether or not they possessed the other qualifications laid down in both the Constitution and the present 50 Election Code." The point to be stressed here is the term "independent. V of the 19 Constitution is that of Art. why was the term used? . defying exact description and dependent mainly on the factual milieu of the particular controversy. stamp the election returns with the indelible mark of falsity and irregularity..56 "members of all the Barangays (Citizens Assemblies) voted for the adoption of the proposed Constitution. of unreliability..298. V ² for otherwise they would not have been 48 considered sufficiently important to be included in the Fundamental Law of the land.. 1102 states that 14. supplemental appropriations or special tax ordinances." Indeed. with its major characteristics. or of an entirely new Constitution. V of the 1935 Constitution ² "may vote in the plebiscite.. whose average term ranges from 2 to 6 years. Yet." In Usman v. for the most important measures for which it demands ² in addition to favorable action of the barrio council ² the approval of barrio assembly through a plebiscite.. according to the latest official data. et al. and. the proceedings in the 53 Citizens' Assemblies must be considered null and void. And.the "majority vote of all the barrio assembly members" (which include all barrio residents 18 years of age or over. uniform official ballots prepared and furnished by the Government and secrecy in the voting. and the term "votes cast" has a well-settled meaning." In other words. accordingly. on the question whether or not the people still wanted a plebiscite to be called to ratify the new Constitution. ..." 57 It seems to us that a vote is cast when a ballot is deposited indicating a "choice. pursuant to section 10 of the same Act. however. if not absurd. It is admitted that persons 15 years of age or over. In fact. but below 21 years. The term "votes cast" . 16. b. It is thus clear that the proceedings held in such Citizens' Assemblies ² and We have more to say on this point in subsequent pages ² were fundamentally irregular. Commission on Elections. because provisions of a Constitution ² particularly of a written and rigid one. duly registered in the list of barrio assembly members) is necessary for the approval. able to read and write... of "any budgetary. we had adopted the Australian Ballot System. 64 Minn. ". How should the plebiscite be held? (COMELEC supervision indispensable. It is similarly inconceivable that those who drafted the 1935 Constitution intended section 1 of Art.. not only because this interpretation is in accord with Art... such as the basic changes introduced in the draft of the revised Constitution adopted by the 1971 Constitutional Convention. Indeed. in that persons lacking the qualifications prescribed in section 1 of Art. And the 1935 Constitution has been consistently interpreted in all plebiscites for the ratification rejection of proposed amendments thereto. in a case where it is impossible to ascertain with reasonable certainty the true vote. and permit the legislature to require lesser qualifications for such ratification." as where "it is 54 impossible to separate the legal votes from the illegal or spurious . for many decades. This is but natural and logical. have the effect of destroying the integrity and authenticity of disputed election returns and of avoiding their prima facie value and character. XV envisages ² with the term "votes cast" ² choices made on ballots ² not orally or by raising ² by the persons taking part in plebiscites. must be citizens "of the Philippines. the 1935 Constitution requires "a majority of the votes cast" for a proposed amendment to the Fundamental Law to be "valid" as part thereof. If satisfactorily proven. in an assembly plebiscite. .. Proclamation No. Hence. it is conceded that the number of people who allegedly voted at the Citizens' Assemblies for exceeded the number of registered voters under the Election Code in force in January 1973. although in a summary proceeding. into the accuracy of the election returns. Renville County Commissioners. but. to have been used as an 56 equivalent of "ballots cast. lesser qualifications than those prescribed in dealing with ordinary measures for which such plebiscite need not be held. Then.." ² just like the provisions of present and past election codes of the Philippines and Art.. from 1935 to 1967. essential requisites) Just as essential as compliance with said Art. as against . like ours generally accorded a mandatory status ² unless the intention to the contrary is manifest. The word "cast" means "deposit (a ballot) formally or officially . V the Constitution." and residents the barrio "during the six months immediately preceding election. too.

the purpose was to make said Commission independent principally of the Chief Executive. the Vice-President. instances. 1081 for the purposes of free open dabate on the proposed Constitution .." said nothing about the procedure to be followed in plebiscite to take place at such notice. provincials and national boards of canvassers. 1973. VII of the Constitution. nor shall they. without complying with the requirements of the law pertinent thereto. Gnau. and. to be held on January 15. 73 (on the validity of which ² which was contested in the plebiscite cases. hence. in effect. and. if not most. sometime ago ² under the control of the President of the Philippines. the Commission would be under the "control" of the President." Thus. Yet. one of the offices under the supervision and control of said Department. In other words. at which the proposed Constitution would be submitted to the people for ratification or rejection. the Executive could so use his power of control over the Department of the Interior and its Executive Bureau as to place the minority party at such a great. involving the casting of many votes. X of the Constitution. The independence of the Commission was sought to be strengthened by the long term of office 59 of its members ² nine (9) years. Presidential Decree No. that their salaries. section 2 of said Election Code of 1971 provides that "(a)ll elections of public officers except barrio officials and plebiscites shall be conducted in the manner provided by this Code. the presentation of the political parties and/or their candidates in each election precinct. 1973.. and the appointment of election inspectors and of other election officials. thus depriving the electorate of the right to vote secretly ² one of the most. including the one that the vote shall be by secret ballot. and no other order or decree has been brought to Our attention. X. And no reasons have been given. 20. it was held that the "election officers" involved "cannot be too strongly condemned" therefor and that if they "could legally dispense with such requirement . otherwise known as the Election Code of 1971. that the decisions the Commission "shall be subject to review by the 61 Supreme Court" only . election contests. "shall be neither increased nor diminished during their term of office". express any opinion) was issued. engage in the practice of any profession or intervene. quoted below. since the effectivity of said Fundamental Law." Not satisfied with this. paragraph (1) of Art. on one hand. including the determination of the number and location of polling places." Indeed. disadvantage. Rep. dated January 7.. detailed provisions regulating contributions and other (corrupt) practices. and declaring. placing them. X thereof did not explicitly declare that it (the Commission) is an "independent" body. insofar as they are not inconsistent" with said decree ² excepting those "regarding right and obligations of political parties and candidates" ² "shall apply to the conduct of the plebiscite." apart from such other "functions which may be conferred upon it by law. inter alia. or on December 1. all administrative question affecting elections. and had been ² until the abolition of said Department. on the other. shall act as its deputies for the purpose of insuring free. Moreover. and the other offices or agencies of the executive department.In the absence of said constitutional provision as to the independence of the Commission.. calling a plebiscite. In accordance with the letter and spirit of said Art. by providing that they may not be removed from office except by impeachment. 6388. and honest election. the establishment of election precincts. orderly. before the adoption of the 1935 Constitution. and. they could with equal propriety dispense with all of them. and honest elections. in the case of election of public officers. to protect the secrecy of the ballot. "the plebiscite scheduled to be held on January 15. With respect to the functions thereof as a body. through its Executive Bureau. also. the original 1935 Constitution was amended by the establishment of the Commission on Elections as a constitutional body independent primarily of the President of the Philippines. be financially interested in any contract with the Government or any 63 subdivision or instrumentality thereof. the rules for the appreciation of ballots and the preparation and disposition of election returns. To forestall this possibility. hence. the Justices of the Supreme Court and the Auditor General. some of which are enumerated 64 in sections 5 and 6 of said Act. 1972. or even by ballot at all . openly. or exclusion or cancellation from said list and the publication thereof. directly or indirectly. directly or indirectly. beyond the field allocated to either Congress or courts of justice. and the jurisdiction of courts of justice in cases of violation of the provisions of said Election Code and the penalties for such violations. implements the constitutional powers of the Commission on Elections and grants additional powers thereto. in amending the original 1935 Constitution. the constitution and operation of municipal. that "(t)he provision of the Election Code of 1971. in effect. that "(n)o pardon. In Glen v. to forests possible conflicts or frictions between the Commission. said Act contains. insofar as said procedure is concerned. the framers of the amendment to the original Constitution of 1935 endeavored to do everything possible protect and insure the independence of each member of the Commission. parole. the particulars of the official ballots to be used and the precautions to be taken to insure authenticity thereof. because the functions of the Commission ² "enforcement and administration" of election laws ² are neither legislative nor judicial in nature. Said functions are by their nature essentially executive. none of the foregoing constitutional and statutory provisions was followed by the so-called Barangays or Citizens' Assemblies. section 2 of said Art. Few laws may be found with such meticulous and elaborate set of provisions aimed at "insuring free. temporarily suspending effects of Proclamation No. as well as in the 1972 66 habeas corpus cases ² We need not. during the continuance in office.. upon the formal presentation to the Executive of the proposed Constitution drafted by the 1971 Constitutional Convention. the composition and appointment of board of election inspectors. the proclamation of the results. Prior to the creation of the Commission on Elections as a constitutional organ. on the Commission on Elections. postponing until further notice. the establishment of municipal. . Under the provisions thereof. provincial and files of registered voters. and ruling of the Commission" shall not be subject to review. X ordains that "(t)he Commission on Elections shall have exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration all laws relative to the conduct of elections. Upon the other hand. in turn. 20 expressly suspended "the provisions of Section 3 of Presidential Decree No. owing to the existence of Martial Law.." as envisaged in section 2 of Art. that they may not be reappointed. would it have been depends upon either Congress or the Judiciary? The answer must be the negative. of the opportunity to defeat the political party in power. the procedure for the casting of votes. the identification and registration of voters. by inserting therein said Art. second only to that of the Auditor General . In many. for which reason. X of the Constitution. in the case of bar." It further provides that the Commission "shall decide. save those involving the right to vote. Act No. under the control of the Chief Executive. directing the publication of said proposed Constitution. it declares. fundamental and critical features of our election laws from time immemorial ² particularly at a time when the same was of utmost importance." General Order No. including. 1973. the proceedings therefor. inter alia. in this respect. obvious. the counting of votes by boards of inspectors. to enable the same to perpetuate itself therein. that its chairman and members "shall not." And. election laws in the Philippines were enforced by the then Department of the Interior.. The same ² like other departments of the Executive Branch of the Government ² was. expressly or impliedly repealing the provisions of Presidential Decree 73. if Art. the election were held a viva voce. or suspension sentence for the violation of 62 any election law may be granted without the favorable recommendation of the Commission" . in the management or control of any private enterprise which in anyway may affected by the functions of their office. orders. on the same plane as the President. pursuant to section 10. except by the Supreme Court. 73 insofar as they allow free public discussion of proposed Constitution . when so required by the Commission. if not decisive. said section 2 postulates that "(a)ll law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Government. orderly. formation of lists of voters. And the reason therefor is. that "(t)he decisions. said General Order No. the designation and arrangement of polling places. as well as for the inclusion in.. except those first appointed ² the longest under the 60 Constitution." This specific mention of the portions of the 65 . as to deprive it. ." Moreover. or even sought to be given therefor. including voting booths.

hence. 732. 73. and honest" expression of the people's will. 25 Colo. the provisions of Presidential Decree No. shall be translated into concrete and specific decision". assuming that said Decree is valid. dated 1973.." In this connection. that he had been informed that there was in each municipality a municipal association of presidents of the citizens' assemblies for each barrio of the municipality. approved or adopted by the "overwhelming" majority of the people. Moreover.. every officer under a constitutional government must act according to law and subject to its restrictions. 1973 and that the initial referendum include the matter of ratification of the Constitution by the 1971 Constitutional Convention" and that "(t)he Secretary of the Department of Local Governments and Community Development shall insure the implementation of this order. acting through the agency of the judiciary. 170. The major flaw in this process of rationalization is that it assumes. referred to in said Art. ratified. And. 86-A dated January 5. (a)ll the authorities agree that the legal definition of an election. veto the action of the people in whom sovereignty resides and from its power are derived. inter alia. that the collective views expressed in the Citizens' Assemblies "shall be considered in the formulation of national policies or programs and. 86-A directing the immediate submission of the result thereof to the Department of Local Governments Community Development is not necessarily inconsistent with. As the Supreme Court of Minnessota has aptly put it ² . entitled to full faith and credence. Boynton. even if the Executive had the authority to repeal Art. 1062. 55 Pac. as a fact. 86-A does not and cannot exclude the exercise of the constitutional supervisory power of the Commission on Elections or its participation in the proceedings in said Assemblies. 82 Iowa 216. 9 L.. and every departure therefrom or disregard thereof must subject him to the restraining and controlling of the people. V of the 1935 Constitution. the validity of which is precisely being contested by petitioners herein. 125 Ind. as amended. also. as well as through the executive or the Legislature. One department is just as representative as the other. XVII of the proposed Constitution. but. or is. and must be subordinate to the constitutional power of the Commission on Elections to exercise its "exclusive authority over the enforcement and administration of all laws to the conduct of elections. X of the 1935 Constitution.E. and without complying with the provisions of the Election Code of 1971 or even of those of Presidential Decree No. the former would. not only because such question is political in nature. if the same had been intended to constitute the "election" or Plebiscite required Art. 145. of the Constitution which can hardly be sanctioned. hence. in effect. 86-A ² the text of which is quoted below ² the Executive declared. Art. 1102. Lewis v. at least. 1973. . orderly. 354. relying upon Proclamation No. And the procedure therein mostly followed is such that there is no reasonable means of checking the accuracy of the returns files by the officers who conducted said plebiscites. . 86 was further amended by Presidential Decree No. 1102 "that the Constitution proposed by the nineteen hundred and seventy-one (1971) Constitutional Convention has been ratified by an overwhelming majority of all of the votes cast by the members of all the Barangays (Citizens Assemblies) throughout the Philippines and has thereby come into effect. and submit the results thereof to the Department of Local Governments and Community Development immediately thereafter. XV of the 1935 Constitution has thus been "substancially" complied with.decrees or orders or instructions suspended by General Order No. 86 and 86-A. Copy of Presidential Decree No. 68 24 N. XV as "elections". a referendum on important national issues. to insure the "free.." As in Presidential Decree No. The provision of Decree No. ".R." As in the case of Presidential Decrees Nos.W. 279." and. such of the Barrio Assemblies as were held took place without the intervention of the Commission on Elections. Saunders v. like the holding of the plebiscite on the new Constitution . that the president of each such municipal association formed part of a provincial or city association of presidents of such municipal associations. the aforementioned violation thereof renders null and void the contested proceedings or alleged plebiscite in the Citizens' Assemblies. is a choosing or as election by those having a right to participate (in the selection) of those who shall fill the 67 offices..R. and that the Citizens' Assemblies "shall conduct between January 10 and 15. or revision of the Fundamental Law.. 1091. 486. and others in the future. ordering "that important national issues shall from time to time. X of our Fundamental Law ² which he does not possess. and which. that the proposed Constitution has been. It is claimed that by virtue of Presidential Decree No. . this Decree No. also. We are told that Presidential Decree No. 86. . that such Citizens' Assemblies "shall consider vital national issues . found in Art. Bouvier's Law Dictionary. 86-B. wherever practicable. which shall serve as guide or basis for action or decision by the national government". they were held under the supervision of the very officers and agencies of the Executive Department sought to be excluded therefrom by Art. State v. because should the Court invalidate the proclamation.. for it must be remembered that the people act through courts. X of the 1935 Constitution was precisely inserted to place beyond the Executive the power to supervise or even exercise any authority whatsoever over "all laws relative to the conduct of elections. or of the adoption or rejection of any public measure affecting the territory involved. that the president of each one of these provincial or city associations in turn formed part of a National .. 86-B is appended hereto as Annex B hereof. orders or instructions ² and." if the proceedings in the Assemblies would partake of the nature of an "election" or plebiscite for the ratification or rejection of the proposed Constitution. 207. Haynes. The Solicitor General stated. without any elections therefor. IV Has the proposed Constitution aforementioned been approved by a majority of the people in Citizens' Assemblies allegedly held throughout the Philippines? Respondents maintain the affirmative. that Art. 1102.. This is another patent violation of Art. Worse still. and the judiciary is the department which is charged with the special duty of determining the limitations which the law places upon all official action. it is not claimed that the Chief Executive had personal knowledge of the data he certified in said proclamation. Seaman v. as well as that which is usually and ordinarily understood by the term. and that the Court refrain from passing upon the validity of Proclamation No.A. is contested by the petitioners. Respondents claim that said proclamation is "conclusive" upon this Court. since the provisions of this article form part of the fundamental scheme set forth in the 1935 Constitution. in his argument before this Court. Accordingly. in fact. The point is that. 47 N. whether the elections are for the choice or selection of public officers or for the ratification or rejection of any proposed amendment. What is more. 15 Cyc. Baughman. be referred to the Barangays (Citizens Assemblies) for resolution in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 13 Cal.. the issue boils downs to whether or not the Executive acted within the limits of his authority when he certified in Proclamation No. 11 L. said officers and agencies of the 1935 Constitution would be favored thereby. Hirsh. insofar as the same are claimed to have ratified the revised Constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention. since the proceedings for the latter are. owing to the practical indefinite extension of their respective terms of office in consequence of section 9 of the Transitory Provisions.A.. the foregoing directives do not necessarily exclude exercise of the powers vested by the 1935 Constitution in the Commission on Elections. as an enrolled bill. the very premise on which it is predicated.. including those specified in paragraph 2 hereof. moreover. 20 necessarily implies that all other portions of said decrees. 73 outlining the procedure to be followed in the plebiscite for ratification or rejection of the proposed Constitution ² remained in force.

. 45 Wash. such is not the case. accordingly. asserts openly that Art. Conv. as President of said National Association or Federation. 1102 ² apart from the fact that on January 17. reported to the President of the Philippines. 126. VI of the proposed Constitution requires "secret" voting. issued Proclamation No. This proposed amendment was 72 submitted at the general election held in November. X of the 1935 Constitution places under the "exclusive" charge of the Commission on Elections. It is no more than prima facie evidence of what 70 is attested to by said resolution. and the phrase "votes cast" has been construed to mean 75 "votes made in writing not orally. and on this appeal" the Supreme Court was "required to determine the correctness of that conclusion. In fact. "(p)roclamation. so that he could possibly have been a member on January 17. as it was in many Citizens' Assemblies. the minimum age requirement therein for the exercise of the right of suffrage being eighteen (18) years. however. was held constitutional" by said Court. Secondly." etc. Its purpose is to formally notify the people of the state of the result of the voting as found by the canvassing board. and the latter statute.S. is not conclusive upon the courts. Proclamation No. In the absence of said report.. Citizens' Assemblies. the total result of the voting in the citizens' assemblies all over the country from January 10 to January 15. (U. if true. Cruz to the President and of "(p)roclamation. the Court reviewed the statement of results of the election made by the canvassing board. much less of a Provincial. Wartz.A. The Solicitor General further intimated that the said municipal associations had reported the results of the citizens' assemblies in their respective municipalities to the corresponding Provincial Association. Even counsel for Gil J. If it were. the conclusion set forth in the dispositive portion of said Proclamation No. even a resolution of Congress declaring that a given person has been elected President or Vice-President of the Philippines as provided in the 69 Constitution. The theory that said proclamation is "conclusive upon Court is clearly untenable. If prior to the creation of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. reported said results (tabulated by the Department of Governments and Community Development) to the Chief Executive. and canvassing boards are not conclusive and that the final decision must rest with the courts. but because there was no law permitting the filing of such protest and declaring what court or body would hear and decide the same. of a municipal association of presidents of barrio or ward citizens' assemblies. acting in a ceremonial capacity. the Solicitor General was asked to submit. So. a true copy of aforementioned report of Mr. who. if any. 1973. both the 1935 Constitution and the proposed Constitution require a "majority of the votes cast" in an election or plebiscite called for the ratification of an amendment or revision of the first Constitution or the effectivity of the proposed Constitution.Association or Federation of Presidents of such Provincial or City Associations. in order that the true results could be judicially determined. 1102. Besides. regulation or circular. the members of the Court do not know or are not prepared to say whether or not the majority of the people or of those who 73 . whereupon Mr. XV of the Constitution has not been complied with. 88 Pac. it was not because the resolution of Congress declaring who had been elected President or VicePresident was conclusive upon courts of justice. Acting upon the assumption that the amendment had become a part of the Constitution. apart from the fact that Art. 1973. decree. Cruz was not even a member of any barrio council since 1972.) 1221. no such protest could be filed. 234." Referring to the effect of the certification of the State Board of Canvassers created by the Legislature and of the proclamation made by the Governor based thereon. 523. transmitted the results of the voting in the to the Department of Local Governments and Community Development. Franciso Cruz. as it is in the Philippines. Inasmuch as Art. instruction. Palmer. and there is not even a certification by the Commission in support of the alleged results of the citizens' assemblies relied upon in Proclamation No. The record shows. which. to the effect that the proposed new or revised Constitution had been ratified by majority of the votes cast by the people. In fact. and that one Francisco Cruz from Pasig. ratified in accordance with said proposed Constitution. it will be noted that. that Mr. at the conclusion of the hearing of these cases February 16. nor a copy of any "(p)roclamation. 1973. should be within their peculiar knowledge ² is clearly on such respondents. in accordance therewith. provincial and national associations. "the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections. The proclamation of the Governor adds nothing in the way of conclusiveness to the legal effect of the action of the canvassing board. creating or directing or authorizing creation." In Bott v. unless the law declares that the decisions of the board shall be final" ² and there is no such law in the cases at bar. together with his notes on his oral argument. 1102 is devoid of any factual and legal foundation. Proclamation No. Cruz.) sec. as pointed out in the discussion of the preceding topic. who was duly elected to the office involved. which tabulated the results of the voting in the citizens' assemblies throughout the Philippines and then turned them over to Mr.." has been submitted to this Court. decree. from a constitutional and legal viewpoint. The correctness of the conclusion of the state board rests upon the correctness of the returns made by the county boards and it is inconceivable that it was intended that this statement of result should be final and conclusive regardless of the actual facts. the Legislature enacted statutes providing for a State Tax Commission and a mortgage registry tax. too. the Court held: "It will be noted that this board does no more than tabulate the reports received from the various county board and add up and certify the results. Hence. establishment or organization" of said municipal. The case of In re McConaughy is squarely in point. If assailed directly in appropriate proceedings. 1102. in the morning of January 17. and since the alleged substantial compliance with the requirements thereof partakes of the nature of a defense set up by the other respondents in these cases. as President or acting President of the National Association or Federation. Yet. 1973 neither the alleged president of the Federation of Provincial or City Barangays nor the Department of Local Governments had certified to the President the alleged result of the citizens' assemblies all over the Philippines ² it follows necessarily that. as respondents in L-36165. ". if not most.' Dissatisfaction with the results of this method and the development of more scientific and satisfactory methods of raising revenue induced the Legislature to submit to the people an amendment to the Constitution which provided merely that taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of subjects. such as an election protest. which was not observed in many. instruction. in direct proceedings therefor ² such as the cases at bar ² and the issue raised therein may and should be decided in accordance with the evidence presented. order. It is settled law that the decisions of election officers. order. Accordingly. State v. 9 L. (4th Ed. "The district court found that the amendment had no in fact been adopted. may be duly assailed in court and be the object of judicial inquiry. upon the same theory. 1102 is not even prima facie evidence of the alleged ratification of the proposed Constitution. acts of the Executive and those of Congress could not possibly be annulled or invalidated by courts of justice. if and when authorized by law. City or National Association or Federation of Presidents of any such provincial or city associations. decree. the new or revised Constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention was not ratified in accordance with the provisions of the 1935 Constitution. 1973. "As the Constitution stood from the organization of the state" ² of Minnessota ² "all taxes were required to be raised under the system known as the 'general property tax. if despite the extensive notes and documents submitted by the parties herein. regulation or circular. a declaration to the effect that a given amendment to the Constitution or revised or new Constitution has been ratified by a majority of the votes cast therefor. Referring particularly to the cases before Us. but neither a copy of alleged report to the President. in turn. and in due time it was certified by the state canvassing board and proclaimed by the Governor as having been legally adopted. Rizal. can not possibly have any legal effect or value. the Court may receive 71 evidence and declare.R. instruction. Mason. 1906. And so did the 74 court in Rice v." independently of the Executive. and in the resolution of this Court of same date. James on Const. Puyat and Jose Roy. it has not even been. the burden of proving such defense ² which.

Even more important. 73 was that the President does not have the legislative authority to call a plebiscite and appropriate funds therefor. No formal action to this effect was taken until January 7. 8 would have been unnecessary and improper. the Court deemed it fit to refrain. then. even if the majority of the answers to question No. apparently. than the foregoing is the circumstance that there is ample reason to believe that many. scheduled to meet in regular session on January 22. 4. 8 were. as well as to afford the people a reasonable opportunity to be posted on the contents and implications of said transcendental document. on December 23. If the majority of the answers to question No. 1973. what. also." Said General Order No. January 11. And. which the first person. And. was the "plebiscite" postponed by General Order No. 8 were in the affirmative. emphasis an additional question. 1973. 1972. after consultation with the Commission on Elections and the leaders of Congress. not more than one plebiscite could be held for the ratification or rejection of the proposed Constitution. Otherwise. We said. namely: [1] Do you like the New Society? [2] Do you like the reforms under martial law? [3] Do you like Congress again to hold sessions? [4] Do you like the plebiscite to be held later? [5] Do you like the way President Marcos is running the affairs of the government? [Bulletin Today. 7 were in the negative. even if the majority of the answers to question No. the insertion of said two (2) questions ² apart from the other questions adverted to above ² indicates strongly that the proceedings therein did not partake of the nature of a plebiscite or election for the ratification or rejection of the proposed Constitution. and the plaintiffs their reply. the proposed Constitution would have become effective and no other plebiscite could be held thereafter in connection therewith. 1973. particularly in view of the formal postponement of the plebiscite by the President ² reportedly after consultation with. for the purpose of free and open debate on the Proposed Constitution. and since the main objection to Presidential Decree No. In view of these events relative to the postponement of the aforementioned plebiscite. neither may another plebiscite be held. for the time being. 3. January 10. the leaders of Congress and the Commission on Elections ² the Court deemed it more imperative to defer its final action on these cases. declare that the proposed Constitution has been approved or adopted by the people in the citizens' assemblies all over the Philippines. be postponed until further notice. to receive the pertinent evidence and then proceed to the determination of the issues raised thereby. 20. we would be placing upon the petitioners the burden of disproving a defense set up by the respondents. 20 was issued formally. if the proceedings in the Citizens' Assemblies constituted a plebiscite question No. 1972. On January 7. 7 were answered affirmatively or negatively. moreover. 1. according to the theory of the Solicitor General. questions nos. neither is the language of question No. 20? Under these circumstances. this belief is further bolstered up by the questions propounded in the Citizens' Assemblies. and. "suspended in the meantime" the "order of December 17. the President had issued an order temporarily suspending the effects of Proclamation No. from deciding the aforementioned cases. in the affirmative. 1973. In short. 76 1972 ² four (4) days after the last hearing of said cases ² the President announced the postponement of the plebiscite scheduled by Presidential Decree No. or on December 17. If the majority of the answers to question No. the logical step would be to give due course to these cases. 1081 for purposes of free and open debate on the proposed Constitution." in effect. XV of the Constitution. On December 23. require the respondents to file their answers. for neither the date nor the conditions under which said plebiscite would be held were known or announced officially. which Congress unquestionably could do. were "plebiscites. Hence. Secondly. among others. in good conscience. 5. owing to doubts on the sufficiency of the time available to translate the proposed Constitution into some local dialects and to comply with some pre-electoral requirements. . it was only reasonable for the people who attended such assemblies to believe that the same were not an "election" or plebiscite for the ratification or adoption of said proposed Constitution. inter alia: Meanwhile. wise satisfactory. if not most. however. I can not. Congress was. regardless of whether question No. 7 were in the affirmative. 1973. at the time they were held. when it is. In either case. Then again. and decisive. postponing said plebiscite "until further notice. 1973] To begin with. pursuant to the 1935 Constitution. 2. temporarily suspending the effects of Proclamation No. 10 and 11 are not proper in a plebiscite for the ratification of a proposed Constitution or of a proposed amendment thereto. 1973.took part in the Citizens' Assemblies have assented to the proposed Constitution. Indeed. thereafter. 73 to be held on January 15. when General Order No. when do you want the next elections to be called? [11] Do you want martial law to continue? [Bulletin Today. the parties in said cases entertained the same belief. accelerated. 6. 1973 in accordance with the provisions of the 1935 Constitution? [10] If the elections would not be held. who have not so far established the truth of such defense." How can said postponement be reconciled with the theory that the proceedings in the Citizens' Assemblies scheduled to be held from January 10 to January 15. in Our decision in the plebiscite cases. for. 9. plebiscites for the ratification or rejection of the proposed Constitution. however. 7 ² "Do you approve the new Constitution?" One approves "of" the act of another which does not need such approval for the effectivity of said act. the President announced the postponement of the plebiscite for the ratification or rejection of the Proposed Constitution. The approval of the majority of the votes cast in plebiscite is. finds to be good. 1973. directing "that the plebiscite scheduled to be held on January 15. Thirdly. essential for an amendment to the Constitution to be valid as part thereof. 1081. of the people did not know that the Citizens' Assemblies were. for the ratification of the proposed Constitution? If said Assemblies were meant to be the plebiscites or elections envisaged in Art. General Order No. 20 was issued.] [6] Do you approve of the citizens assemblies as the base of popular government to decide issues of national interests? [7] Do you approve of the new Constitution? [8] Do you want a plebiscite to be called to ratify the new Constitution? [9] Do you want the elections to be held in November.

. On January 11. be deduced from their acts in accordance therewith. Whether they recognized the proposed Constitution or acquiesce thereto or not is something that cannot legally. . This report includes a resumee (sic) of the activities we undertook in effecting the referendum on the eleven questions you wanted our people consulted on and the Summary of Results thereof for each municipality and for the whole province.. were not even notified that citizens' assemblies would be held in the places where their respective residences 77 were located.. but are either imprecise or silent on the particular measures to be resorted to in order to achieve the said goals or delegate the power to do so. have. This. 1081 placing the Philippines under Martial Law. we again had to make modifications in our instructions to all those managing and supervising holding of the Citizens' Assembly meetings throughout province. 1102. hence could not. in general.. . we again had to make modifications in our instructions to all those managing and supervising the holding of the Citizens' Assembly meetings throughout the province. their enthusiastic participation showed their preference and readiness to accept this new method of government to people consultation in shaping up government policies. the latter performs some functions which. Whatever may be the functions allocated to the Executive Department ² specially under a written. 1973 ² declaring that . in general.. under the Constitution drafted by the 1971 Constitutional Convention. 1973. by their acts or omissions. when the validity of the law depends upon the truth of what is declared. particularly of the Department of Education. to the Chief Executive." This communication manifestly shows: 1) that. pursuant to the 1935 Constitution. as late as January 10. Besides. As to our people. on January 17. once the proposed Constitution shall have been ratified. a matter of judicial knowledge that there have been no such citizens' assemblies in many parts of Manila and suburbs. the Bataan officials had to suspend "all scheduled Citizens' Assembly meetings . in line with Proclamation No.to my mind.. because the are bound to obey and act in conformity with the orders of the President. With this latest order. indicated their conformity thereto." in the language of our 1935 Constitution. In a letter of Governor Efren B. in other parts of the Philippines.. and 3) that said consultations were aimed only at "shaping up government policies" and. but the making of decision by the people on the new way of life. he had assumed all powers of Government ² although some question his authority to do so ² and." In line with its own pronouncement in another case.. and that the people. since January 17. . connote a recognition thereof o an acquiescence thereto. in accepting diplomatic representatives accredited to our Government.. in the Visayan Islands and Mindanao. In the Prohibition and Amendment case. to the Executive. as a nation.. including those of their immediate families and their household. Aside from the coordinators we had from the Office of the Governor. one can easily imagine the predicament of the local officials and people in the remote barrios in northern and southern Luzon. Chiefs of Offices and other government officials to another conference to discuss with them the new set of guidelines and materials to be used.. I am not prepared to concede that the acts the officers and offices of the Executive Department. specially in view of Proclamation No. If this was the situation in Bataan ² one of the provinces nearest to Manila ² as late as January 11. . in Baker v. Pascual of Bataan." In the light of the foregoing. another instruction from the top was received to include the original five questions among those to be discussed and asked in the Citizens' Assembly meetings. however. in general.. dated January 15. 1973.. They have absolutely no other choice. attention was called to the "duty cast upon the court of taking judicial cognizance of anything affecting the existence and validity of any law or portion of the Constitution .. 2) that the assemblies would involve no more than consultations or dialogues between people and government ² not decisions be made by the people. from a constitutional viewpoint. what to do therein and even what questions or topics to propound or touch in said assemblies. Consequently. to discuss with them the new set of guidelines and materials to be used . the Bataan officials had still to discuss ² not put into operation ² means and ways to carry out the changing instructions from the top on how to organize the citizens' assemblies. dealt only on the original five questions. xxx xxx xxx .. although duly registered voters in the area of Greater Manila. expressly or impliedly. . consequently. I cannot see how the question under consideration can be answered or resolved otherwise than in the negative. In fact.. not to say.. As regards the so-called political organs of the Government.. the Federal Supreme Court 78 of the United States stressed. the splendid cooperation and support extended by almost all government officials and employees in the province. as late a January 11. 1971. As to our people. and did not. much less necessarily or even normally. there is hardly anything he has done since the issuance of Proclamation No. 1102. the political organ of a government that purports to be republican is essentially the Congress or Legislative Department. by virtue of the very decrees.. provided us with enough hands to trouble shoot and implement sudden changes in the instructions anytime and anywhere needed. we urgently suspended all scheduled Citizens Assembly meetings on that day and called all Mayors. under whose "control" they are.. With this latest order.. rigid Constitution with a republican system of Government like ours ² the role of that Department is inherently. orders and instructions issued by the President thereafter. ... that our foreign relations are being conducted under such new or revised Constitution. such as in recognizing a new state or government. Consequently. "on January 11 .. that "a court is not at liberty to shut its eyes to an obvious mistake. are politics in nature. V Have the people acquiesced in the proposed Constitution? It is urged that the present Government of the Philippines is now and has been run. another instruction from the top was received to include the original five questions among those be discussed and asked in the Citizens' Assembly meetings. several members of the Court. Carr. Thus. in the Bicol region. also. that the political department of the Government has recognized said revised Constitution. Our initial plans and preparations. they wish to have. 1973. notwithstanding. basically and fundamentally executive in nature ² to "take care that 79 the laws be faithfully executed. and even in devising administrative means and ways to better carry into effect. the former reported: . that the Legislative Department has recognized the same. Acts of Congress which define the goals or objectives thereof. PC and PACD personnel. 1973. their enthusiastic participation showed their preference and readiness to accept the new method of government to people consultation in shaping up government policies. gather that respondents refer mainly to the offices under the Executive Department." and call all available officials "." Then. In a sense. . partake of the nature of a plebiscite for the ratification or rejection of a proposed amendment of a new or revised Constitution for the latter does not entail the formulation of a policy of the Government. when we received an instruction on January 10 to change the questions.

1973. or five (5) weeks before the 80 scheduled plebiscite. It may reflect the good. unless its members have performed said acts in session duly assembled. in which the effectivity of the aforementioned Constitution is disputed. The "individual oaths of its members to support it. which the Department of Justice has continued to handle. Recognition normally connotes the acknowledgment by a party of the acts of another. This is specially so when we consider that the masses are. For the same reasons. 20. 2. except the power of supervision over inferior courts and its personnel." The failure to use the gun against those who comply with the orders of the party wielding the weapon does not detract from the intimidation that Martial Law necessarily connotes. again. 1973. likewise. and by voting. was impugned as early as December 7. whereas the validity of Proclamation No. To top it all. a given department of the Government cannot generally be said to have "recognized" its own acts. under its provisions. and inaction or obedience of the people. the strict enforcement of which was announced shortly before the alleged citizens' assemblies. recognizing the Constitution ordained by the Convention . there is no act of recognition involved therein. The result of the work of that Convention has been recognized. 1972. and their compliance with a number of Presidential orders. if the members of Congress were generally agreeable to the proposed Constitution. immediately after a conference between the Executive. in its issue of December 29. 1972. It is further alleged that a majority of the members of our House of Representatives and Senate have acquiesced in the new or revised Constitution. 1102. on the other. Then.". In the words of the Chief Executive. a "Senatorial Plot Against 'Martial Law Government' Disclosed". could have met in any other place. the effectivity of the contested amendment was not contested judicially until about one (1) year after the amendment had been put into operation in all branches of the Government. namely. but by formal joint resolution of its two (2) chambers. and there is no such law in the Philippines.. reasonable and wholesome attitude of the person who has the gun. 1081. drafted by a convention whose members were elected directly by the people. by registering as voters under it to the extent of thousands throughout the State. 4. or unless the law provides otherwise. 1973." Note that the New Constitution of Virginia. 3. and no plausible reason has been adduced to warrant departure 81 therefrom. accepted and acted upon as the only valid Constitution of the State" by ² 1. the intimidation is there. Commonwealth ² cited by respondents herein in support of the theory of the people's acquiescence ² involved a constitution ordained in 1902 and "proclaimed by a convention duly called by a direct vote of the people of the state to revise and amend the Constitution of 1869. acquiescence in or conformity with the provisions of the aforementioned Constitution. without pulling the trigger. Then. as directed thereby". under whose supervision and control he or it is. by filing written statements opting to serve in the Ad Interim Assembly established in the Transitory Provisions of said Constitution. especially because of Proclamation No." The 82 Daily Express of that date.. and by the people. 73 calling a plebiscite to be held on January 15. adoption or approval of said Proclamation No. was due to their recognition. the Governor. and from a legal and constitutional viewpoint. the idea implied therein was too clear an ominous for any member of Congress who thought of organizing. if he or it acted otherwise. the members of Congress. Indeed. none of the foregoing acts of acquiescence was present. unfamiliar with the . 1972. and by its having been engaged for nearly a year. Worse still. Indeed. the Legislature ² not merely by individual acts of its members. but not without warning that he may or would use it if he deemed it necessary. in the Taylor case. and compulsion and intimidation. Accordingly. 1973. the building in which they perform their duties being immaterial to the legality of their official acts. the case of Taylor v. constitutes or attests to a ratification. 1973. July 15. this Court having preferred to maintain the status quo in connection therewith pending final determination of these cases. in legislating under it and putting its provisions into operation . In the present cases. and thereafter as provided in the 1935 Constitution? It is true that. formally and officially suspending the plebiscite until further notice ² was impugned as early as January 20. decrees and/or instructions ² some or many of which have admittedly had salutary effects ² issued subsequently thereto amounts. headlined. and members of Congress. either pointed at others. The force of this argument is. or three (3) days after the issuance of Proclamation No. neither am I prepared to declare that the people's inaction as regards Proclamation No. a Daily Express columnist (Primitivo Mijares) attributed to Presidential Assistant Guillermo de Vega a statement to the effect that "'certain members of the Senate appear to be missing the point in issue' when they reportedly insisted on taking up first the question of convening Congress. the same paper imputed to the Executive an appeal "to diverse groups involved in a conspiracy to undermine" his powers" under martial law to desist from provoking a constitutional crisis . at a general election for their representatives in the Congress of the United States.. placing the entire Philippines under Martial Law. 1102. not by the convention itself. which may result in the exercise by me of authority I have not exercised. issued on January 7. and 5. why did it become necessary to padlock its premises to prevent its meeting in session on January 22. holding or taking part in a session of Congress. but by other sectors of the Government.. under these conditions. on or about December 27. is not necessarily an act of conformity or acquiescence.the Constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention has been ratified by the overwhelming majority of the people ² that he could not do under the authority he claimed to have under Martial Law. In the cases under consideration. But. The "people in their primary capacity by peacefully accepting it and acquiescing in it. Individual acts of recognition by members of our legislature. Under these conditions. "martial law connotes power 83 of the gun. would just be guilty of insubordination.". and which the President has not ostensibly exercised. 1972.." No matter how good the intention behind these statement may have been. that the proposed Constitution had been ratified ² despite General Order No. which said proposed Constitution would place under the Supreme Court. since September 21. 1902. however. Strictly speaking.. for instance. The "judiciary in taking the oath prescribed thereby to support it and by enforcing its provisions . 1973. Still. except as to some minor routine matters. 1102. theoretically. by the judiciary. if bent on discharging their functions under said Constitution. or merely kept in its holster.. there is martial law. it was recognized. there was no martial law. or its alleged ratification. as well as of other collegiate bodies under the government. are invalid as acts of said legislature or bodies. The "Governor of the State in swearing fidelity to it and proclaiming it. some of whom expressed the wish to meet in session on January 22. 1102 declaring on January 17. on its front page. the former merely obeys the latter.". Thus. the legality of Presidential Decree No. 1972. when a subordinate officer or office of the Government complies with the commands of a superior officer or office. on the one hand. This is a well-established principle of Administrative Law and of the Law of Public Officers. by and large. in the various ways specified above. The "Legislature in its formal official act adopting a joint resolution. and complied with by the people who participated in the elections held pursuant to the provisions of the new Constitution. not to get the impression that he could hardly do so without inviting or risking the application of Martial Law to him. was not submitted to the people for ratification or rejection thereof. What is more. offset or dissipated by the fact that. as provided in the 1935 Constitution.. meant coercion by the military. when L-36142 was filed. I do not feel justified in holding that the failure of the members of Congress to meet since January 22. the lower officer or office.

placing the same. some of those issues had been raised in the plebiscite cases. This was due to the transcendental nature of the main issue raised." I cannot honestly say. owing to the issuance of Proclamation No. a certification. the cases could readily be dismissed. with the particularity that it is not even identical to that existing in England and other parts of the world. and the measure in question were a proposed legislation concerning Sugar Plantations and Mills sponsored by said Association. either strictly. and he. the majority of the members of the Court believe that they should express their views on the aforementioned issues as if the same were being decided on the merits. If this defense was sustained. its aforementioned president ² whose honesty and integrity are unquestionable ² were present at the deliberations in Congress when the same approved the proposed legislation. owing to the importance of the questions involved. the so-called enrolled bill were certified by. believing that the main question that arose before the rendition of said judgment had not been sufficiently discussed and argued as the nature and importance thereof demanded. which even prepared the draft of said legislation. it was claimed. the resume of the votes cast and the tenor of the resolution. Justice Barredo holding "that the 1935 Constitution has pro tanto passed into history and has been 86 legitimately supplanted by the Constitution in force by virtue of Proclamation 1102. substantially. the necessity of deciding the same with utmost dispatch. to the President of the Philippines or to the President Federation or National Association of presidents of Provincial Associations of presidents of municipal association presidents of barrio or ward assemblies of citizens ² would not. if any. The argument of the Solicitor General is. In all other respects and with regard to the other respondent in said case. despite the fact that technically the Court has not. if adverse to the Government. Why? Simply. it is conclusive upon the President and the judicial branch of the Government. there being more than prima facie showing that the proposed Constitution has not been ratified in accordance with Article XV of the 1935 Constitution. it should be noted that the Court has not decided whether or not to give due course to the petitions herein or to require the respondents to answer thereto. The majority of the members of the Court did not share. the situation is as if ² disregarding forms ² the petitions had been given due course and the cases had been submitted for decision. a few words be said about the procedure followed in these five (5) cases. here are my views on the reliefs sought by the parties. say. As regards the applicability to these cases of the "enrolled bill" rule. or has been acquiesced in by the people or majority thereof. In L-36165. his certification is legally. consequently. VI Are the Parties entitled to any relief? Before attempting to answer this question. to tabulate the results thereof. however. submitted have been so extensive and exhaustive. it is the department which. And. as good as non-existent. Antonio and Esguerra ² filed separate opinions favorable to the respondents in the plebiscite cases. the President of the Association of Sugar Planters and/or Millers of the Philippines. Instead. to this extent. instead of being certified by the aforementioned officers of Congress. 1102 subsequently to the filing of said cases. oral and written. The arguments. that. that the judiciary will not issue such writ to the head of a co-equal department. namely. voted for the dismissal of said petitions. a reasoned resolution was demanded by public interest. based upon the theory of separation of powers. according to Article X of the Constitution. therefore. and attested to by the Secretary of the Senate and the Secretary of the House of Representatives. for which reason the officers of the Association. that said proposed Constitution is not in . this: If the enrolled bill is entitled to full faith and credence and. should not and must not be all participate in said plebiscite ² if plebiscite there was. it is clear that we should not issue the writ of mandamus prayed for against Gil J. 1102 merit less consideration than in enrolled bill? Before answering this question. President and President Pro Tempore respectively of the Senate. and the main defense set up by respondents herein.parliamentary system. the new form of government introduced in the proposed Constitution. and reply notes or memoranda. As a matter of fact. as well as in cases L36142. and that even experienced lawyers and social scientists find it difficult to grasp the full implications of some provisions incorporated therein. Hence. for all intents and purposes. the answer would have to be in the negative. that the people impliedly or expressly indicated their conformity to the proposed Constitution. the same three (3) members of the Court. as well as set the same for hearing. according to respondents. formally given due course to the petitions herein. three (3) members of the Court ² Justices Barredo. Sandoval. as well as on such additional arguments as they wished to submit. would the enrolled bill rule apply thereto? Surely. The parties in the cases at bar were accordingly given every possible opportunity to do so and to elucidate on and discuss said question. why should Proclamation No." When the petitions at bar were filed. it has required the respondents to comment on the respective petitions ² with three (3) members of the voting to dismiss them outright ² and then considers comments thus 84 submitted by the respondents as motions to dismiss. At the same time. or as required by the Court. Worse still. On the other hand. although before the rendition of judgment therein. accordingly. In this connection. Why? Because said Department Secretary is not the officer designated by law to superintend plebiscites or elections held for the ratification or rejection of a proposed amendment or revision of the Constitution and. which were dismissed as moot and academic. my vote is that the petitions therein should be given due course. Accordingly. be worth the paper on which it is written. aside from a sizeable number of document in support of their respective contentions. Similarly. the Highest Court of the United States that courts "will not stand impotent before an obvious instance of a manifestly 85 unauthorized exercise of power. apart from hearing the parties in oral argument for five (5) consecutive days ² morning and afternoon. L-36164. or a total of exactly 26 hours and 31 minutes ² the respective counsel filed extensive notes on their or arguments. and they have done so in their individual opinion attached hereto. but. of the Secretary of the Department of Local Governments and Community Development about the tabulated results of the voting in the Citizens Assemblies allegedly held all over the Philippines ² and the records do not show that any such certification. either view. hence. which would result from a decision thereon. L-36236 and L-36283. particularly. Thus. like the aforementioned officers of the Senate. it is well to remember that the same refers to a document certified to the President ² for his action under the Constitution ² by the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. hence. filed an opinion passing upon the merits thereof. I would like to ask the following: If. roughly. because said Association President has absolutely no official authority to perform in connection therewith. beyond the ambit of judicial inquiry and determination. legally and constitutionally. Still one of the members of the Court (Justice Zaldivar) was of the opinion that the aforementioned issues should be settled in said cases. and. concerning legislative measures approved by the two Houses of Congress. it being settled in our jurisdiction. in addition to rejoinders thereto. in the last pages hereof. as well as lobbied actually for its approval. Puyat and Jose Roy. the alleged political nature of said issue. as yet. respondents had cautioned against a judicial inquiry into the merits of the issues posed on account of the magnitude of the evil consequences. After citing approvingly its ruling in United States v. now. and the documents filed in support thereof so numerous and bulky.

" 2. of the fact that I have no means of refusing to recognize as a judge that factually there was voting and that the majority of the votes were for considering as approved the 1973 Constitution without the necessity of the usual form of plebiscite followed in past ratifications. if not strict. On the third question of acquiescence by the Filipino people in the aforementioned proposed Constitution. Castro. and. Teehankee and myself. a rule of priority. We must realize that the New Society has many achievements which would have been very difficult. In view. it may be said that in its political aspect. however. hence. in effect. as well as discuss thereon other related issues which he may consider vital and relevant to the cases at bar. Antonio and Esguerra. "in an election or plebiscite held in accordance with law and participated in only 87 by qualified and duly registered voters. It was further agreed of course that each member of the Court would expound in his individual opinion and/or concurrence his own approach to the stated issues and deal with them and state (or not) his opinion thereon singly or jointly and with such priority. in and for the judiciary. fundamental and essential parts of statesmanship itself.force and effect. Justice Fernando states that "(I)f it is conceded that the doctrine stated in some American decisions to the effect that independently of the validity of the ratification. Fernando. premised on the individual views expressed by the members of the Court in their respect opinions and/or concurrences. in the political sense. are as follows: 1. Perhaps others would feel that my position in these cases overlooks what they might consider to be the demands of "judicial statesmanship. in the affirmative.e. Antonio and Esguerra hold that "the people have already accepted the 1973 Constitution. question? 2. the writer will now make. Resume of the Votes Cast and the Court's Resolution As earlier stated. or six (6) members of the Court also hold that the Constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention was not validly ratified in accordance with Article XV. in their discussion of the second question. the 1973 Constitution has been constitutionally ratified. Among consistent ends or consistent values. i. Has the Constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention been ratified validly (with substantial. Esguerra. namely. The five questions thus agreed upon as reflecting the basic issues herein involved are the following: 1. statesmanship should not prevail over the Rule of Law. of their acceptance or repudiation of the proposed Constitution under Martial Law. Has the aforementioned proposed Constitution acquiesced in (with or without valid ratification) by the people? 4. Antonio." though consistent with Rule of Law. hold that the issue of the validity of Proclamation No. and that the 1935 Constitution is still the Fundamental Law of the Land. or three (3) members of the Court hold that the issue is political and "beyond the ambit of judicial inquiry." Three (3) members of the Court express their lack of knowledge and/or competence to rule on the question. the primacy of the law or of the Rule of Law and faithful adherence thereto are basic. if not probability. cannot prevail over the latter. Justices Makalintal and Castro are joined by Justice Teehankee in their statement that "Under a regime of martial law. but. said Article has been substantially complied with. Zaldivar. stating that "(A)s to whether or not the 1973 Constitution has been validly ratified pursuant to Article XV. Justice Zaldivar and myself hold that there can be no free expression. Justice Barredo qualified his vote.. only inferentially. by the people qualified to vote all over the Philippines. and there has even been no expression. the Court may inquire into the question of whether or not there has actually been such an approval. or three (3) members of the Court hold that under their view there has been in effect substantial compliance with the constitutional requirements for valid ratification." whatever may be the meaning of such phrase. But. Castro. after all. which is what counts most." Justices Makasiar. to accomplish under the old dispensation. stating that "inasmuch as it is claimed there has been approval by the people. I am constrained to hold that. a new Constitution once accepted acquiesced in by the people must be accorded recognition by the Court. Justices Makalintal. there always is a hierarchy. Are petitioners entitled to relief? and 5. section 1 of the 1935 Constitution. Four (4) of its members. without prejudice to the submission of said proposed Constitution to the people at a plebiscite for its ratification or rejection in accordance with Articles V. It should be stated that by virtue of the various approaches and views expressed during the deliberations. the Court should keep hands-off out of respect to the people's will. Fernando. 1102 a justiciable. Teehankee and myself. no majority vote has been reached by the Court. reported and canvassed. On the first issue involving the political-question doctrine Justices Makalintal. or six (6) members of the Court. the people may be deemed to have cast their favorable votes in the belief that in doing so they did the part required of them by Article XV. 3. or political and therefore non-justiciable. Justice Barredo qualified his vote. Is the issue of the validity of Proclamation No. a resume or summary of the votes cast by each of them. after the submittal by the members of the Court of their individual opinions and/or concurrences as appended hereto. I still maintain that in the light of traditional concepts regarding the meaning and intent of said Article. Justices Makalintal and Castro did not vote squarely on this question. specially in the manner the votes therein were cast. Justices Barredo. the Court may determine from both factual and legal angles whether or not Article XV of the 1935 Constitution been complied with. On the second question of validity of the ratification." Justices Makasiar. if not in the orthodox legal sense. qualifications and modifications as he may deem proper. but "judicial statesmanship. with the concurrence of his colleagues. Is the aforementioned proposed Constitution in force? The results of the voting. falls short of the requirements thereof. with the free expression of opinions through the usual media . I am not at this stage prepared to state that such doctrine calls for application in view of the shortness of time that has elapsed and the difficulty of ascertaining what is the mind of the people in the 88 absence of the freedom of debate that is a concomitant feature of martial law. Zaldivar. I am aware of this possibility. Indeed. but." Two (2) members of the Court. in negative. X and XV of the 1935 Constitution and the provisions of the Revised Election Code in force at the time of such plebiscite. the referendum in the Citizens' Assemblies. and. it was agreed to synthesize the basic issues at bar in broad general terms in five questions for purposes of taking the votes. which provides only one way for ratification. if not impossible. Makasiar. 1102 presents a justiciable and non-political question. compliance) conformably to the applicable constitutional and statutory provisions? 3. namely.

This being the vote of the majority. Antonio and Esguerra hold that it is in force by virtue of the people's acceptance thereof. (they) have no means of knowing. namely. Barredo. an therefore beyond the competence of this 90 91 Court. On the fourth question of relief. Barredo. Justices Zaldivar. Castro. namely. Justices Barredo. 5. Makasiar. Justices Makalintal. Fernando and Teehankee cast no vote thereon on the premise stated in their votes on the third question that they could not state with judicial certainty whether the people have accepted or not accepted the Constitution. Four (4) members of the Court. Fernando and Teehankee. Castro. namely. to the point of judicial certainty. Justice Makalintal and Castro so voted on the strength of their view that "(T)he effectivity of the said Constitution. Antonio and Esguerra with the four (4) dissenting votes of the Chief Justice and Justices Zaldivar. JJ. Makasiar. are relevant and unavoidable.. .vehicle restricted. Castro. concur." Four (4) members of the Court. ACCORDINGLY. with the result that there are not enough votes to declare that the new Constitution is not in force. there is no further judicial obstacle to the new Constitution being considered in force and effect. whether the 89 people have accepted the Constitution. Makasiar. by virtue of the majority of six (6) votes of Justices Makalintal." 4. Teehankee and myself voted to deny respondents' motion to dismiss and to give due course to the petitions. Justice Zaldivar and myself voted that the Constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention is not in force. in the final analysis. It is so ordered. On the fifth question of whether the new Constitution of 1973 is in force: Four (4) members of the Court. Antonio and Esguerra. Makasiar. Fernando. namely. is the basic and ultimate question posed by these cases to resolve which considerations other than judicial. Castro. six (6) members of the Court. Barredo. all the aforementioned cases are hereby dismissed. Justices Makalintal. Antonio and Esguerra voted to DISMISS the petition. and Two (2) members of the Court. Makalintal. namely.

The Decree recites in its "whereas" clauses that the people's continued opposition to the convening of the National Assembly evinces their desire to have such body abolished and replaced thru a constitutional amendment. HONORABLE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and HONORABLE NATIONAL TREASURER. the period of its existence. petitioners. respondents. vs. SANIDAD. 1976. Constitution and the powers vested in the President and the Prime Minister under this Constitution. GONZALES. MARTIN. the powers of such replacement. No. petitioner. 991. the length of the period for tile exercise by the President of his present powers. providing for a legislative body. issue the necessary decrees. stating the questions to be submitted to the people in the referendum-plebiscite on October 16. 1976. 1976 for the Citizens Assemblies ("barangays") to resolve. The incumbent President shall continue to exercise legislative powers until martial law shall have been lifted. the President issued another related decree. The number of representatives from each region or sector and the. of Presidential Decree No. or whenever the interim Batasang Pambansa or the regular National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any matter for any reason that in his judgment requires immediate action. L-44640 October 12. The President (Prime Minister) if he so desires may appoint a Deputy Prime Minister or as many Deputy Prime Ministers as he may deem necessary. an interim Batasang Pambansa. within 30 days from the election and selection of the members. the issues of martial law. The barangays and sanggunians shall continue as presently constituted but their functions. G.1 Twenty days after or on September 22. 9. the full text of which (Section 4) is quoted in the footnote below. 4. manner of their election shall be prescribed and regulated by law." . privileges. The interim Batasang Pambansa shall have the same powers and its members shall have the same functions. the referendum shall have the effect of a plebiscite within the contemplation of Section 2 of Article XVI of the Constitution. All provisions of this Constitution not inconsistent with any of these amendments shall continue in full force and effect. do you approve the following amendments to the Constitution? For the purpose of the second question. 991 calling for a national referendum on October 16. vs. which shall form part of the law of the land. Members of the interim Batasang Pambansa which shall not be more than 120.. orders or letters of instructions. 1976.R. the I . L-44684. to wit: (1) Do you want martial law to be continued? (2) Whether or not you want martial law to be continued. among other things. SANIDAD and PABLITO V. 7. However. These amendments shall take effect after the incumbent President shall have proclaimed that they have been ratified by I majority of the votes cast in the referendum-plebiscite. the President issued Presidential Decree No. The incumbent President of the Philippines shall. Whenever in the judgment of the President (Prime Minister). 1976 PABLO C. which will be submitted directly to the people in the referendum-plebiscite of October 16. G. vs. there exists a grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. assembly. 1976. Referenda conducted thru the barangays and under the Supervision of the Commission on Elections may be called at any time the government deems it necessary to ascertain the will of the people regarding any important matter whether of national or local interest. COMMISSION ELECTIONS. President Ferdinand E. Section 14(l) of the Constitution. and those chosen by the incumbent President from the members of the Cabinet. 2 On the same date of September 22. 2. convene the interim Batasang Pambansa and preside over its sessions until the Speaker shall have been elected. rights. and composition may be altered by law. and shall be subject only to such disqualifications as the President (Prime Minister) may prescribe. by declaring the provisions of presidential Decree No. 1976. he may. it shall not exercise the power provided in Article VIII. RAUL T. Regional representatives shall be apportioned among the regions in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio while the sectors shall be determined by law. in lieu of the interim National Assembly. Presidential Decree No.1976 VICENTE M. representatives elected from the different regions of the nation. Quite relevantly. 229 providing for the manner of voting and canvass of votes in "barangays" (Citizens Assemblies) applicable to the national referendum-plebiscite of October 16. respondents. and disqualifications as the interim National Assembly and the regular National Assembly and the members thereof. J. and discharge the responsibilities of the regular President (Prime Minister) and his Cabinet. those who shall not be less than eighteen years of age elected by their respective sectors. L-44714. On September 2. The incumbent President of the Philippines shall be the Prime Minister and he shall continue to exercise all his powers even after the interim Batasang Pambansa is organized and ready to discharge its functions and likewise he shall continue to exercise his powers and prerogatives under the nineteen hundred and thirty five. October 12. No. GUZMAN. 6. JR. 3. responsibilities.1976 RAUL M. unless otherwise provided by law. and ALFREDO SALAPANTAN. Presidential Decree No. There shall be. 991.R. October 12. No.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. respondent.: The capital question raised in these prohibition suits with preliminary injunction relates to the power of the incumbent President of the Philippines to propose amendments to the present Constitution in the absence of the interim National Assembly which has not been convened. its replacement. The President (Prime Minister) and his Cabinet shall exercise all the powers and functions. 1031 repealed Section 4. petitioner. 8.R. GONZALES. shall include the incumbent President of the Philippines. 1033. in order to meet the exigency. 5. powers. 1031. PROPOSED AMENDMENTS: 1. HONORABLE COMMISSION ON SELECTIONS and HONORABLE NATIONAL TREASURER. The questions ask. amending the previous Presidential Decree No.

executive agreement. provided for the authority and procedure for the amending process when they ratified the present Constitution in 1973? Whether. GUZMAN. What is in the heels of the Court is not the wisdom of the act of the incumbent President in proposing amendments to the Constitution. Should the contrary be found. of the legality of a particular act. which confines the right of suffrage to those citizens of the Philippines 18 years of age and above. We rejected the theory of the respondents therein that the question whether Presidential Decree No. Political questions are neatly associated with the wisdom. Thus. 11 the contention of the Solicitor General that the issue on the legality of Presidential Decree No. therefore. the Court ruled that the question raised is justiciable. is in form a delegated and hence a limited power. the incumbent President cannot act as a constituent assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution. On September 30. raises a judicial question. but his constitutional authority to perform such act or to assume the power of a constituent assembly. asserting that the power to propose amendments to. that matter is definitely justiciable or non-political. can declare whether the procedure followed or the authority assumed was valid or not. Subsequently in the Ratification Cases 12 involving the issue of whether or not the validity of Presidential Proclamation No. 1102. JR. the issue raised is political in nature. beyond judicial cognizance of this Court. the power to propose amendments o the constitution resides in the interim National Assembly in the period of transition (See. 1. was valid or not. 6 The interest of the aforenamed petitioners as taxpayers in the lawful expenditure of these amounts of public money sufficiently clothes them with that personality to litigate the validity of the Decrees appropriating said funds. 10 We cannot accept the view of the Solicitor General. Transitory provisions). so that the Supreme Court is vested with that authorities to determine whether that power has been discharged within its limits. another action for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction. control. not by the people themselves of course who exercise no power of judicial but by the Supreme Court in whom the people themselves vested that power. I Justiciability of question raised. Moreover. upon the theory that the expenditure of public funds by an officer of the State for the purpose of executing an unconstitutional act constitutes a misapplication of such funds. insofar as it directs the Commission on Elections to supervise. the referendum-plebiscite is a step towards normalization. SANIDAD and PABLITO V. pars. that the question of the President's authority to propose amendments and the regularity of the procedure adopted for submission of the proposal to the people ultimately lie in the judgment of the A clear Descartes fallacy of vicious circle. We find the petitions in the three entitled cases to be devoid of merit. to declare without force and effect Presidential Decree Nos. 1031. 1031. a referendum-plebiscite is untenable under the Constitutions of 1935 and 1973. in pursuing his theory of non-justiciability. Unavoidably. and conduct the Referendum-Plebiscite scheduled on October 16. We rule that the petitioners in L-44640 (Pablo C.year olds to vote would amount to an amendment of the Constitution. but also of the Constitution itself The amending. raises a contestable issue. the power to propose amendments becomes ipso facto the prerogative of the regular National Assembly (Sec. a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention. 73 calling a plebiscite to be held on January 15. 991. expressing the majority view. 1031. 1976. which commonly purport to have the force and effect of legislation are assailed as invalid. by their sovereign act. only the incumbent President has the authority to exercise constituent power. 5 Presidential Decree No. 1973. The Solicitor General would consider the question at bar as a pure political one. Indeed. as well as Presidential Decree No. executive agreement. commenced L-44640 for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction seeking to enjoin the Commission on Elections from holding and conducting the Referendum Plebiscite on October 16. 1973) for ratification or rejection the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention and appropriating fund s therefore "is a political one. the constitutional provision has been followed or not is the proper subject of inquiry. docketed as L. and 1033. was instituted by VICENTE M." partakes of the nature of a political question. Whether the amending process confers on the President that power to propose amendments is therefore a downright justiciable question. like all other powers organized in the Constitution. The Solicitor General principally maintains that petitioners have no standing to sue. a power which includes the competence to determine whether the constitutional norms for amendments have been observed or not. 991. The implementing Presidential Decree Nos." The Supreme Court has the last word in the construction not only of treaties and statutes. XVI.The Commission on Elections was vested with the exclusive supervision and control of the October 1976 National Referendum-Plebiscite. 1031 appropriates the sum of Eight Million Pesos to carry out its provisions. The amending process both as to proposal and ratification. Article XVII of the Constitution. It is now an ancient rule that the valid source of a stature Presidential Decrees are of such nature-may be contested by one who will sustain a direct injuries as a in result of its enforcement. On September 27. the judiciary as the interpreter of that Constitution. Section 2 (2). GONZALES. Article X of the new Constitution provides: "All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty. 1973 constitution). 7 For the present case. 2. prior constitutional cases underline the preference of the Court's majority to treat such issue of Presidential role in the amending process as one of non-political impression.e. 1. and the regular National Assembly in its active session. SANIDAD. to restrain the implementation of Presidential Decrees relative to the forthcoming Referendum-Plebiscite of October 16. We disagree. We deem it sound to exercise that discretion affirmatively so that the authority upon which the disputed Decrees are predicated may be inquired into. hold. the precedents evolved by the Court or. the submission of the proposed amendments in such a short period of time for deliberation renders the plebiscite a nullity. said. And. the actuation of the President would merely be a brutum fulmen. If the Constitution provides how it may be amended. 15..3 Still another petition for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction was filed on October 5.. father and son. The normal course has not been followed.. 991 carries all appropriation of Five Million Pesos for the effective implementation of its purposes. Where the vortex of the controversy refers to the legality or validity of the contested act. this inquiry must be done a prior not a posterior i. was not a proper subject of judicial inquiry because. this Court enjoys that open discretion to entertain the same or not. Sanidad and Pablito V. for the ratification or rejection of the proposed new Constitution. 8 This is especially true in cases where the power of the Presidency to initiate the of normally exercised by the legislature. 991 and 1033. at this state of the transition period. 1976. and 1033. written in lambent words in the very Constitution sought to be amended. insofar as they propose amendments to the Constitution. the affirmative stand of' the Solicitor General was dismissed. Chief Justice Concepcion.. 4 The breadth of Presidential Decree No. . As a preliminary resolution. Sanidad) possess locus standi to challenge the constitutional premise of Presidential Decree Nos. 1976. was rejected and the Court unanimously considered the issue as justiciable in nature. or revision of the Constitution during the transition period is expressly conferred on the interim National Assembly under Section 16. or law may be declared unconstitutional without the concurrence of at least ten Members. they claimed. and allowing 15-. On October 5. announcing the Ratification by the Filipino people of the constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention. the regularity regularity of the procedure for amendments. Petitioners contend that under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions there is no grant to the incumbent President to exercise the constituent power to propose amendments to the new Constitution. After that period. his son RAUL. as regards taxpayer's suits. within the competence of this Court to pass upon. Rather than calling the National Assembly to constitute itself into a constituent assembly the incumbent President undertook the proposal of amendments and submitted the proposed amendments thru Presidential Decree 1033 to the people in a Referendum-Plebiscite on October 16. in the aforementioned plebiscite cases. to lift Martial Law. 1976. Is it not that the people themselves. In the Plebiscite Cases. Under the terms of the 1973 Constitution. it . docketed as L-44684. 73 "submitting to the Pilipino people (on January 15. These last petitioners argue that even granting him legislative powers under Martial Law. the President need not consult the people via referendum. the ReferendumPlebiscite on October 16 has no constitutional or legal basis. PABLO C. before the submission to and ratification by the people. the Solicitor General filed the comment for respondent Commission on Elections. is seriously doubted. or law may shall be heard and decided by the Supreme Court en banc and no treaty. thus the issue of the validity of said Decrees is plainly a justiciable one. laws providing for the disbursement of public funds may be enjoined. and ALFREDO SALAPANTAN. As a consequence.44714. 1976 by RAUL M. At the instance of taxpayers. lying outside the domain of judicial review. 1 and 2 of Art.

By this same token. legislature. this Constitution may be proposed by the National Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members." II The amending process as laid out in the new Constitution. accordingly. that power is provided for in Article XVI of the 1973 Constitution (for the regular National Assembly) or in Section 15 of the Transitory Provisions (for the National Assembly). Commission on Elections. 17 Such being the case. Our decisions in the aforementioned habeas corpus cases partakes of the nature and effect of a stare decisis which gained added weight by its virtual reiteration. the people voted against the convening of the interim National Assembly. revealed: "(W)hen the Delegates to the Constitutional Convention voted on the Transitory Provisions. There are moments in the life of any government when all powers must work together in unanimity of purpose and action. We did not apply and expressly modified. the interim National Assembly instituted in the Transitory Provisions is conferred with that amending power.. the political-question theory adopted in Mabanag vs. legislative. Lopez Vito. in Gonzales vs. In most free states it has generally been regarded as imperative that the total power of the government be parceled out among three mutually independent branches executive. it is exercising a peculiar power bestowed upon it by the fundamental charter itself. 19 III Concentration of Powers in the President during crisis government. and judiciary. In the referendum of July 24. . In times of transition. two periods contemplated in the constitutional life of the nation. amendments may be proposed by a majority vote of all the Members of the National Assembly upon special call by the interim Prime Minister. was decisively refused by the Court. the incumbent President was given the discretion as to when he could convene the interim National Assembly. In political science a distinction is made between constitutional content of an organic character and that of a legislative character'. as a matter of fact. the governmental powers in crisis government the Philippines is a crisis government today are more or less concentrated in the President. as Madison wrote in the Federalist. As a result. The President has nothing to do with proposition or adoption of amendments to the Constitution. 2." 13 The return to Barcelon vs. or revision of. 1973.partook of a political nature. However the calling of a Constitutional Convention may be submitted to the electorate in an election voted upon by a majority vote of all the members of the National Assembly. it must also be freed from the normal system of constitutional and legal limitations. In times of normally. The more complete the separation of powers in a constitutional system. lt is not legislating when engaged in the amending process. on the other hand. 1973. 21 John Locke. and judicial power in the hands of one man. that body is not in the usual function of lawmaking. cabinet is more easily established and more trustworthy than presidential dictatorship. 1. In the former the all-important harmony of legislature and executive is taken for granted. 1971. (2) The National Assembly may. Lopez Vito. or revision of. (1) Any amendment to. Article XVI of the 1973 Constitution on Amendments ordains: SECTION 1. The distinction. There are." had already settled that the incumbent President is vested with that prerogative of discretion as to when he shall initially convene the interim National Assembly. even if this means the temporary union of executive. may. the proposed question of whether the interim National Assembly shall be initially convened was eliminated. For the same reason. In sensu strictiore. The power of the state in crisis must not only be concentrated and expanded. were against its inclusion since in that referendum of January. they were aware of the fact that under the same. In the present period of transition. in the latter it is neither guaranteed nor to be to confidently expected. submit the question of calling such a convention to the electorate in an election.e. Justice Makasiar said: "The Constitutional Convention intended to leave to the President the determination of the time when he shall initially convene the interim National Assembly. because some of the members of Congress and delegates of the Constitutional Convention. Baker and Montenegro vs. questioning Our authority to determine the constitutional sufficiency of the factual bases of the Presidential proclamation suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus on August 21.' In normal times the separation of powers forms a distinct obstruction to arbitrary governmental action. We overruled the respondent's contention in the 1971 habeas corpus cases. or (2) by a Constitutional Convention called by a vote of two-thirds of all the Members of the National Assembly. the amending process may be initiated by the proposals of the (1) regular National Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of all its members. insofar as it adhered to the former case. this Constitution shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not later than three months after the approval of such amendment or revision. abandoned and refused to apply. i. upon special call by the interim Prime Minister. made by Delegate Pimentel (V) was rejected. the more difficult and yet the more necessary will be their fusion in time of crisis. 20 According to Rossiter. In the Philippines. In the plebiscite of January 10-15. propose amendments to this Constitution. however. It is believed to be destructive of constitutionalism if any one branch should exercise any two or more types of power. Justice Fernandez. the people had already resolved against it. 1973. "(t)he concentration of government power in a democracy faced by an emergency is a corrective to the crisis inefficiencies inherent in the doctrine of the separation of powers. 1. Any amendment to. In general.16 Rather. at which the ratification of the 1973 Constitution was submitted. SECTION 2. urged by the Solicitor General. With Identical unanimity. No. and certainly a total disregard of the separation of powers is. Section 15 of the Transitory Provisions reads: SECTION 15. Such amendments shall take effect when ratified in accordance with Article Sixteen hereof. claims for the executive in its own right a broad discretion capable even of setting aside the ordinary laws in the meeting of special exigencies for which the legislative power had not provided. 3. by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members. which were carefully considered by this Court and found by it to be legally unsound and constitutionally untenable. which view We. who were deemed automatically members of the I interim National Assembly. 47. The President's decision to defer the convening of the interim National Assembly soon found support from the people themselves. the Citizens Assemblies ("bagangays") reiterated their sovereign will to withhold the convening of the interim National Assembly. by a majority vote of all its Members. 1975. call a constitutional convention or. when the legislative arm of the state undertakes the proposals of amendment to a Constitution. by a majority vote of all its Members. and We unanimously declared that the issue was a justiciable one. in abnormal times it may form an insurmountable barrier to a decisive emergency action in behalf of the state and its independent existence. Chief Justice Concepcion continued: "The reasons adduced in support thereof are. substantially the same as those given in support on the political question theory advanced in said habeas corpus and plebiscite cases. despite the opposite view taken by this Court in Barcelon vs. consistent with the prevailing conditions of peace and order in the country. period of normalcy and period of transition. Delegate Yaneza. The interim National Assembly.. While ordinarily it is the business of the legislating body to legislate for the nation by virtue of constitutional conferment amending of the Constitution is not legislative in character. Castaneda. or by a constitutional convention. approval of the President of any proposed amendment is a misnomer 18 The prerogative of the President to approve or disapprove applies only to the ordinary cases of legislation. himself a member of that Constitutional Convention. 22 The rationale behind such broad emergency powers of the Executive is the release of the government from "the paralysis of constitutional restrains" so that the crisis may be ended and normal times restored. This is evident in a comparison of the crisis potentialities of the cabinet and presidential systems of government. the proposal that it be convened 'immediately'. COMELEC. it was so stated plainly by the sponsor. Baker and Mabanag vs. however. is one of policy. therefore. This Court in Aquino v. not of law. in the referendum of February 27. As a consequence." Concurring. Again. 'the very definition of tyranny. Speaking for the majority opinion in that case.

the highest power exists. Sanggunians in 1. harking to the dictates of the sovereign will." 34 "The necessities of orderly government. He shall continue to exercise his powers and prerogatives under the nineteen hundred and thirty-five Constitution and the powers vested in the President and the Prime Minister under this Constitution until the calls upon the interim National Assembly to elect the interim President and the interim Prime Minister. If the President has been legitimately discharging the legislative functions of the interim Assembly.26 2. For the President to shy away from that actuality and decline to undertake the amending process would leave the governmental machineries at a stalemate or create in the powers of the State a destructive vacuum. upon a self-limiting decision of the people when they adopt it. like the President now. the urges of absolute necessity render it imperative upon the President to act as agent for and in behalf of the people to propose amendments to the Constitution. the people may thus write into the Constitution their convictions on any subject they choose in the absence of express constitutional prohibition. the power to propose amendments to the Constitution lies in the interim National Assembly upon special call by the President (See. while conventional constitutional law just confines the President's power as Commander-in-Chief to the direction of the operation of the national forces. The proposed amendments. according to the Constitution. the submission of those proposed amendments and the question of martial law in a referendum-plebiscite expresses but the option of the people themselves implemented only by the authority of the President. proceed not from the thinking of a single man. that Presidential initiative to reduce into concrete forms the constant voices of the people reigns supreme. which is but adjunct. the President opted to defer convening of that body in utter recognition of the people's preference. are mere agents of the people .27 The national organizations of Sangguniang Bayan presently proposed to settle the issues of martial law. instructions. Otherwise. by its very constitution. they are the collated thoughts of the sovereign will reduced only into enabling forms by the authority who can presently exercise the powers of the government. However. The President's action is not a unilateral move. the Constitution "is an experiment." 24 Paraphrasing Rossiter. VI Referendum-Plebiscite not . to its gross legislative power. the previously quoted proposed amendments to the Constitution.458 municipalities. the people had already rejected the calling of the interim National Assembly. and the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Barangay. the location of sovereignty in a unitary state is easily seen. Likewise. or other acts of the incumbent President. binding. thus: 23 The incumbent President of the Philippines shall initially convene the interim National Assembly and shall preside over its sessions until the interim Speaker shall have been elected. social. including the issue of martial law . Parenthetically. 1. or superseded by subsequent proclamations. V The People is Sovereign 1. and effective even after lifting of martial law or the ratification of this Constitution.29 Similarly. subversion." wrote Rottschaefer. with the interim National Assembly not convened and only the Presidency and the Supreme Court in operation. the President decided not to call the interim National Assembly. the power to legislate is constitutionally consigned to the interim National Assembly during the transition period. Indeed. thereby impeding the objective of a crisis government "to end the crisis and restore normal times. orders. and economic disturbances had convincingly shown that in meeting the same. "It is unthinkable.30 In its fourth meaning. is sovereign 32 In consequence. In equal vein. or unless expressly and explicitly modified or repealed by the regular National Assembly. or done by the incumbent President shall be part of the law of the land. and shall remain valid. therefore. The Lupong Tagapagpaganap of the Katipunan ng mga Sanggunian." A constitution is based. "that the Constitutional Convention. and economic crisis-a crisis greater than war. a republican and unitary state. indefinite power should be attributed to tile President to take emergency measures 25 IV Authority of the incumbent President t to propose amendments to the Constitution." In these parlous times. That sun clear authority of the President is saddled on Section 3 (pars. the Supreme Court possesses no capacity to propose amendments without constitutional infractions. secession. In short. although the authority to initiate the same and the procedure to be followed reside somehow in a particular body. 28 The Batasang Bayan (legislative council) created under Presidential Decree 995 of September 10. the interim Assembly. which involve rebellion. "do not require that one generation should be permitted to permanently fetter all future generations. representing 42. Would it then be within the bounds of the Constitution and of law for the President to assume that constituent power of the interim Assembly vis-a-vis his assumption of that body's legislative functions? The answer is yes. and 60 cities had informed the President that the prevailing sentiment of the people is for the abolition of the interim National Assembly. And." said Justice Fernandez. namely the people. with no one to exercise the lawmaking powers. In the Philippines. although peculiar. about the same number of Kabataang Barangay organizations. Unlike in a federal state. The steady increase in executive power is not too much a cause for as the steady increase in the magnitude and complexity of the problems the President has been called upon by the Filipino people to solve in their behalf. and knowing that it may not be convened soon. Savigny would treat people as "that particular organized assembly of individuals in which. a 1971 Constitutional Convention delegate. As early as the referendums of January 1973 and February 1975. decrees. there would be paralyzation of the entire governmental machinery. sovereignty "resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them . 3 sub-provinces. Other issues concerned the lifting of martial law and amendments to the Constitution . who shall then exercise their respective powers vested by this Constitution. 1976. After all. 91 members of the Lupong Tagapagpaganap (executive committee) of the Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Bayan voted in session to submit directly to the people in a plebiscite on October 16. the period of its existence. and acts promulgated. yet the facts of our political. Again. The separation of executive and legislature ordained in the Constitution presents a distinct obstruction to efficient crisis government. it may well be said that the amending process is a sovereign act. as earlier discussed. instructions. constituent assemblies or constitutional conventions. as all life is all experiment. composed of 19 cabinet members. All proclamations. of course. orders. as Holmes said. 35 2. the "barangays" and the "sanggunians" endorsed to the President the submission of the proposed amendments to the people on October 16. 33 This is because. revoked. 15 of the Transitory Provisions). its replacement. Rather. unless modified. It means that the constitutional legislator. 1033 on September 22. decrees. there is no reason why he cannot validly discharge the function of that Assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution. All the foregoing led the President to initiate the proposal of amendments to the Constitution and the subsequent issuance of Presidential Decree No. 9 officials with cabinet rank. in the period of transition. The October 16 referendum-plebiscite is a resounding call to the people to exercise their sovereign power as constitutional legislator. 1976 submitting the questions (proposed amendments) to the people in the National Referendum-Plebiscite on October 16. while giving to the President the discretion when to call the interim National Assembly to session. the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Barangay. would create a vacuum in the exercise of legislative powers. As earlier pointed out. The presidential exercise of legislative powers in time of martial law is now a conceded valid at. inflation. recession. issued. the length of the period for the exercise by the President of its present powers in a referendum to be held on October 16 . the initial convening of that Assembly is a matter fully addressed to the judgment of the incumbent President. This. 72 provinces. Rather.000 barangays. in the exercise of that judgment. is not to say that the President has converted his office into a constituent assembly of that nature normally constituted by the legislature.2." 31 This is the concept of popular sovereignty. this is an extremely important factor in any constitutional dictatorship which extends over a period of time. 1 and 2) of the Transitory Provisions.

The people have been living with them since the proclamation of martial law four years ago. They are the issues of the day. 46 the United States Supreme court held that this matter of submission involves "an appraisal of a great variety of relevant conditions. one containing the ballots of voters fifteen years of age and under eighteen. Fernando.(1) Do you want martial law to be continued? is a referendum question.. there are restraints of the individual liberty. 39 It is participated in by all citizens from the age of fifteen. 20 days of publication in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette was fixed (Com Act No. it is only when there is deemed to be a necessity therefor that amendments are to be proposed. an involved constitutional amendment affecting the economy as well as the independence of the Republic was publicized in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette for 20 days prior to the plebiscite (Rep. 40 A "plebiscite. which is already a settled matter. feeble-minded. in the Referendum Case. and Martin are of the view that there is a sufficient and proper submission of the proposed amendments for ratification by the people. Upon the second issue.rendered nugatory by the participation of the 15-year olds. 36 On this second question. That speaks of a bygone fear. VII 1. Act No. it ought to be regarded as waived. specifically dissents from the proposition that there is concentration of powers in the Executive during periods of crisis. "(a)n alteration of the Constitution proposed today has relation to the sentiment and the felt needs of today. ratification is but the expression of the approbation of the people. It is simply a means of assessing public reaction to the given issues submitted to the people foe their consideration. Act No. The fact that the voting populace are simultaneously asked to answer the referendum question and the plebiscite question does not infirm the referendum-plebiscite. And. 34). 37 The ballots in the ballot box for voters fifteen years of age and under eighteen shall be counted ahead of the ballots of voters eighteen years and above contained in another ballot box. and not again to be voted upon. hence. It is apt to distinguish here between a "referendum" and a "plebiscite. more particularly. Antonio. Miller. political. and Martin voted in the affirmative. Article XVI of the new Constitution. however that the period of time may be extended. The period from September 21 to October 16 or a period of 3 weeks is not too short for free debates or discussions on the referendum-plebiscite issues. That notwithstanding. The constitutional amendment to append as ordinance the complicated Tydings-Kocialskowski was published in only three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette for 10 days prior to the scheduled plebiscite (Com. Is the submission to the people of the proposed amendments within the time frame allowed therefor a sufficient and proper submission? Upon the first issue. The for the referendumplebiscite on October 16 recognizes all the embracing freedoms of expression and assembly The President himself had announced that he would not countenance any suppression of dissenting views on the issues. Associate Justices Barredo and Makasiar expressed the hope. Hermogenes Concepcion Jr. and another containing the ballots of voters eighteen years of age and above. The martial law regime which. Aquino." A "referendum" is merely consultative in character. or ex. During the present stage of the transition period. in the observation of Justice Fernando. This is because proposal and ratification are not treated as unrelated acts. 15 days were allotted for the publication in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette of the women's suffrage amendment to the Constitution before the scheduled plebiscite on April 30. 1." The constituent body or in the instant cases. does the President possess power to propose amendments to the Constitution as well as set up the required machinery and prescribe the procedure for the ratification of his proposals by the people? 3. Chief Justice Castro and Associate Justices Barredo. conformably to his concurring and dissenting opinion in Aquino vs. but on certain grounds no total suppression of that liberty is aimed at. Upon the third issue. 73). The referendums of 1973 and 1975 carried the same issue of martial law. Antonio and Ramon C. 38 2. Aquino. Chief Justice Castro and Associate Justices Barredo. It is generally associated with the amending process of the Constitution. Antonio P. This is the plebiscite aspect. Concepcion Jr. ballots contained in each of the two boxes. thus raising serious doubts as to the power of the President to propose amendments. This was prompted by the desire of the Government to reach the larger mas of the people so that their true pulse may be felt to guide the President in pursuing his program for a New Order. the environmental circumstances now obtaining. property or any other substantive requirement is not imposed. Makasiar and Antonio are of the view that the question is political and therefore beyond the competence and cognizance of this Court. It is worthy to note that Article XVI of the Constitution makes no provision as to the specific date when the plebiscite shall be held. 1937 (Com. involves the constituent act of those "citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law. There is nothing objectionable in consulting the people on a given issue. For the 1940 Constitutional amendments providing for the bicameral Congress. the calling of which is derived from or within the totality of the executive power of the President. There appeals to be no valid basis for the claim that the regime of martial law stultifies in main the freedom to dissent. Associate Justice Fernando. October 16 is in parts a referendum and a plebiscite. it must be done contemporaneously. 42 Thus. and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months preceding the election Literacy. and under. 44 VIII Time for deliberation is not short. and the creation of the Commission on Elections. the results of the referendumplebiscite shall be separately prepared for the age groupings. as he is not interested in winning a "yes" or "no" vote. regardless of whether or not they are illiterates. Felix Q. who are eighteen years of age or over. but as succeeding steps in a single endeavor.convicts . Claudio Teehankee." on the other hand. i. 47 In the words of Jameson. 41 is impressed with a mild character recorded no State imposition for a muffled voice. The question . wherein the 15-year olds may participate. the reasonable implication being that when proposed. the contested brief period for discussion is not without counterparts in previous plebiscites for constitutional amendments. they are to be considered and disposed of presently. 991. Enrile (59 SCRA 183). recalls: "Under the old Society.e. 1031 and 1033 political or justiciable? 2. which is of current one and submitting to them for ratification of proposed constitutional amendments. but simply states that it "shall be held not later than three months after the approval of such amendment or revision. the President." In Coleman v. The fear of commingled votes (15-year olds and 18-year olds above) is readily dispelled by the provision of two ballot boxes for every barangay center. second. while Associate Justices Teehankee and Munoz Palma voted in the negative. Martin are of the view that the question posed is justiciable. the natural inference being that they are not to be widely separated in time. Associate Justice Fernando adheres to his . 43 Even government employees have been held by the Civil Service Commission free to participate in public discussion and even campaign for their stand on the referendum-plebiscite issues. Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro and Associate Justices Enrique M. Justice Makasiar. 1. if not ratified early while that sentiment may fairly be supposed to exist. social and economic. Makasiar." which "are essentially political and not justiciable. Is the question of the constitutionality of Presidential Decrees Nos. voicing out loud and clear their adverse views on the proposed amendments and even (in the valid ratification of the 1973 Constitution. Act 492). For the succeeding question on the proposed amendments. the ratification aspect. but on the genuine sentiment of the people on the issues at hand." 45 2. the dissenters soon found their way to the public forums. Makasiar. Cecilia Munoz Palma. unless a second time proposed by proper body IN RESUME The three issues are 1. and third. it would only be the votes of those 18 years old and above which will have valid bearing on the results. And the Parity Amendment. may fix the time within which the people may act. To be sure. 517). Associate Justices Fernando. only those of voting age of 18 years may participate. and Ruperto G. Concepcion Jr. as contemplated in Section 2. Aquino hold the view that the question is political. and that. the reelection of the President and Vice President. Makasiar. Barredo. The questions are not new. while Associate Justices Felix V.

MARIO JOYO AGUJA.x RONALD L. Chief Justice Castro and Associate Justices Barredo. MIGRANTE represented by its Chairperson Concepcion Bragas-Regalado. SUSAN V. and Martin voted to dismiss the three petitions at bar. SO ORDERED. Dionito Cabillas. x--------------------------------------------------------x ALTERNATIVE LAW GROUPS. Respondent. Intervenor. Makasiar. DARBY SANTIAGO of the Solidarity of Health Against Charter Change. MARIANO M.MONSOD. Reynaldo Lesaca.x RAUL L. COMELEC (21 SCRA 774).Associate Justices Teehankee and MUNOZ Palma hold that prescinding from the President's lack of authority to exercise the constituent power to propose the amendments. and RUELO BAYA. GABRIELA represented by its Secretary General Emerenciana de Jesus. MANUEL L. Cristina Palabay. CONRADO F. FROILAN M. JR.. CHRISTIAN S. VENUS. in the result. PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION (PHILCONSA). vs. Associate Justice Fernando concurs in the result. x--------------------------------------------------------x LORETTA ANN P. Aquino. BACUNGAN. Gene Alzona Nisperos. and ANA THERESA HONTIVEROSBARAQUEL.x Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC TRADE UNION CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES. Intervenors. JOAQUIN T. 2006 x ------------------------------------------------------. DR. TOLEDO. x---------------------------------------------------------x LUWALHATI RICASA ANTONINO. Carolina Pagaduan-Araullo. and CARLOS P. FORTUNATO P. TOMAS C. BENJAMIN T. Aquino. J. x ------------------------------------------------------. QUEZON III.R.. BAYAN MUNA represented by its Chairperson Dr. the said petitions are hereby dismissed. JR. Intervenors. the vote being 8 to 2 to dismiss. PETE QUIRINO QUADRA. Intervenor. x--------------------------------------------------------x ARTURO M. TOGETHER WITH 6. Antonio. and Tolentino vs. ACCORDINGLY. Concepcion Jr. x--------------------------------------------------------x BAYAN represented by its Chairperson Dr. Gen. GABRIELA WOMEN'S PARTY represented by Sec. and AMADO GAT INCIONG. Intervenors. AZURIN.. INC. ECUMENICAL BISHOPS FORUM represented by Fr. ANAKBAYAN represented by Chairperson Eleanor de Guzman. Intervenors. as above stated. there is no fair and proper submission with sufficient information and time to assure intelligent consent or rejection under the standards set by this Court in the controlling cases of Gonzales. HEAD represented by its Secretary General Dr. KILUSANG MAYO UNO represented by its Secretary General Joel Maglunsod. x -------------------------------------------------------.concurrence in the opinion of Chief Justice Concepcion in Gonzales vs. Intervenor.. Intervenors. G.. x ------------------------------------------------------.952 REGISTERED VOTERS. This decision is immediately executory. TOLOSA.x ATTY. 174153 October 25. COMELEC (41 SCRA 702). DE CASTRO.327. RENE B. TAJON. x-----------------------------------------------------. DR. LAMBINO and ERICO B. No. MEDINA. Petitioners. Associate Justices Teehankee and Munoz Palma voted to grant the petitions. For reasons as expressed in his separate opinion. JR. LEAGUE OF FILIPINO STUDENTS represented by Chair Vencer Crisostomo Palabay. Intervenor. ESTRELLA. supra. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS.x . ROLANDO MANUEL RIVERA. Intervenor. JOJO PINEDA of the League of Concerned Professionals and Businessmen. REGINALD PAMUGAS of Health Action for Human Rights. AGUAS. x -----------------------------------------------------. ADAMAT. ROSALES. etc.. OPLE.x ONEVOICE INC. AUMENTADO.

R.V. CADIZ. OSMENA III. BALAIS. x -------------------------------------------------------. 174153. Commission on Elections declaring RA 6735 inadequate to implement the initiative clause on proposals to amend the 9 Constitution. TANYA KARINA A. Intervenor. SAGUISAG. 6735 or the Initiative and Referendum Act ("RA 6735"). x ------------------------------------------------------.x SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES. x -----------------------------------------------------x JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA and PWERSA NG MASANG PILIPINO. INC. JINGGOY ESTRADA.3 million individuals. The Lambino Group's initiative petition changes the 1987 Constitution by modifying Sections 1-7 4 5 of Article VI (Legislative Department) and Sections 1-4 of Article VII (Executive Department) 6 and by adding Article XVIII entitled "Transitory Provisions. VICTORINO F. J. Intervenors.. LAT. FLORENTINO A. x -------------------------------------------------------. AND PROVIDING ARTICLE XVIII AS TRANSITORY PROVISIONS FOR THE ORDERLY SHIFT FROM ONE SYSTEM TO THE OTHER? On 30 August 2006. the COMELEC issued its Resolution denying due course to the Lambino Group's petition for lack of an enabling law governing initiative petitions to amend the 8 Constitution. CEBU CITY AND CEBU PROVINCE CHAPTERS. The COMELEC invoked this Court's ruling in Santiago v.x INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES. JR. represented by its President.. 174153. and SENATORS SERGIO R. x ------------------------------------------------------.: The Case These are consolidated petitions on the Resolution dated 31 August 2006 of the Commission on Elections ("COMELEC") denying due course to an initiative petition to amend the 1987 Constitution. MANUEL VILLAR. JAMBY MADRIGAL. Intervenor. No.x JOSE ANSELMO I. SR. TUASON. Lambino and Erico B." These proposed changes will shift the present Bicameral-Presidential system to a Unicameral-Parliamentary form of government. SOFRONIO UNTALAN. Intervenors. ABALOS. namely Raul L. 174299 October 25.. ANTONIO L. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. ROMEO A. Antecedent Facts On 15 February 2006. represented by Chairman BENJAMIN S. with each legislative district represented by at least three per centum (3%) of its registered voters. SARMIENTO. commenced gathering signatures for an initiative petition to change the 1987 Constitution. BRAWNER. The Lambino Group contends that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in denying due course to their petition since Santiago is not a binding precedent. the Lambino Group prays for the issuance of the writs of certiorari and mandamus to set aside the COMELEC Resolution of 31 August 2006 and to compel the COMELEC to give due course to their initiative petition.. The Lambino Group prayed that after due publication of their petition. BOCAR. x --------------------------------------------------------x SENATE MINORITY LEADER AQUILINO Q. No. NICODEMO T. BORRA.PHILIPPINE TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS ORGANIZATION (PTGWO) and MR. On 25 August 2006. The Lambino Group alleged that their petition had the support of 6.. MA. with other groups and individuals. the COMELEC should submit the following proposition in a plebiscite for the voters' ratification: DO YOU APPROVE THE AMENDMENT OF ARTICLES VI AND VII OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION. CHANGING THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT FROM THE PRESENT BICAMERAL-PRESIDENTIAL TO A UNICAMERAL-PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM. and John Doe and Peter Doe. JR. SALVADOR. and RENE A.952 individuals constituting at least twelve per centum (12%) of all registered voters. Intervenors. and Commissioners RESURRECCION Z. the Lambino Group filed an Amended Petition with the COMELEC 7 indicating modifications in the proposed Article XVIII (Transitory Provisions) of their initiative.327. The Ruling of the COMELEC On 31 August 2006. Alternatively. Intervenors. DECISION . FERRER. the Lambino Group claims that Santiago MAR-LEN ABIGAIL BINAY. the Lambino Group filed a petition with the COMELEC to hold a plebiscite that will ratify their 3 2 initiative petition under Section 5(b) and (c) and Section 7 of Republic Act No. and RANDALL TABAYOYONG. 2006 CARPIO.x SULONG BAYAN MOVEMENT FOUNDATION. RENE V. 1 Aumentado ("Lambino Group"). Intervenors. petitioners in G.R. BYRON D. Respondent. PIMENTEL.. The Lambino Group also claimed that COMELEC election registrars had verified the signatures of the 6. vs.R. x -----------------------------------------------------x G. No. In G. JR. JR. ALFREDO S. LIM and PANFILO LACSON. Petitioners.

as an initiative upon a petition. SUAREZ: As it is envisioned. who prepares the draft? MR." In G. Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution. because before they sign there is already a draft shown to them and they are asked whether or not they want to propose this constitutional amendment. 174299. there is even no need to revisit Santiago. Is the draft of the proposed constitutional amendment ready to be shown to the people when they are asked to sign? MR. First. No agent or representative can sign on their behalf. Article XVII of the Constitution on Direct Proposal by the People Section 2. Let us say some voters want to propose a constitutional amendment. x x x x (Emphasis supplied) The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission vividly explain the meaning of an amendment "directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition. Whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in denying due course to the Lambino Group's petition. This means two essential elements must be present. the framers of the Constitution intended that the "draft of the proposed constitutional amendment" should be "ready and shown" to the people "before" they sign such proposal. The Issues The petitions raise the following issues: 1. an amendment is "directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition" only if the people sign on a petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments. The Court heard the parties and intervenors in oral arguments on 26 September 2006. RODRIGO: Let us look at the mechanics. and their petition deserves cognizance as an expression of the "will of the sovereign people. Second. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein." thus: MR. any Filipino can prepare that proposal and pass 13 it around for signature. MR. Thus. (2) the validity of the signature gathering and verification process. The Initiative Petition Does Not Comply with Section 2. filing pleadings supporting or opposing the 10 Lambino Group's petition." Various groups and individuals sought intervention. The opposing intervenors also challenged (1) the Lambino Group's standing to file the petition. SUAREZ: That can be reasonably assumed.binds only the parties to that case. 2. The Ruling of the Court There is no merit to the petition. Now. Whether this Court should revisit its ruling in Santiago declaring RA 6735 "incomplete. . The supporting intervenors uniformly hold the view that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in relying on Santiago. inadequate or wanting in essential terms and conditions" to implement the initiative clause on proposals to amend the Constitution. The Court treated the Binay Group's petition as an opposition-in-intervention. the people must author and thus sign the entire proposal. SUAREZ: The people themselves. (Emphasis supplied) Clearly. Article XVII of the Constitution on amendments to the Constitution through a people's initiative. This section states: Sec. MR. the Solicitor General joined causes with the petitioners. and (5) the Lambino Group's compliance with the requirement in Section 10(a) of RA 6735 limiting initiative petitions to only one subject. MR." The essence of amendments "directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition" is that the entire proposal on its face is a petition by the people. petitioners ("Binay Group") pray that the Court require respondent COMELEC Commissioners to show cause why they should not be cited in contempt for the COMELEC's verification of signatures and for "entertaining" the Lambino Group's petition despite the permanent injunction in Santiago. Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution. the proposal must be embodied in a petition. (3) the Lambino Group's compliance with the minimum requirement for the percentage of voters supporting an 12 initiative petition under Section 2. RODRIGO: What does the sponsor mean? The draft is ready and shown to them before they sign.R. Thus. RODRIGO: No. 1. The Solicitor General proposed that the Court treat RA 6735 and its implementing rules "as temporary devises to implement the system of initiative. Madam President. These essential elements are present only if the full text of the proposed amendments is first shown to the people who express their assent by signing such complete proposal in a petition. For following the Court's ruling in Santiago. In his Comment to the Lambino Group's petition. as the present petition warrants dismissal based alone on the Lambino Group's glaring failure to comply with the basic requirements of the Constitution. Article XVII of the Constitution is the governing constitutional provision that allows a people's initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. and 3. (4) the nature of the proposed changes as revisions and not mere amendments as provided under Section 2. The Lambino Group miserably failed to comply with the basic requirements of the Constitution for conducting a people's initiative. On the other hand. Madam President. After receiving the parties' memoranda. the 11 opposing intervenors hold the contrary view and maintain that Santiago is a binding precedent. the Court considered the case submitted for resolution. No." The framers also "envisioned" that the people should sign on the proposal itself because the proponents must "prepare that proposal and pass it around for signature. The framers plainly stated that "before they sign there is already a draft shown to them. no grave abuse of discretion is attributable to the Commision on Elections. Whether the Lambino Group's initiative petition complies with Section 2. urging the Court to grant the petition despite the Santiago ruling. 2.

of . The proponents are not disinterested parties who can impartially explain the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed amendments to the people. The proponents. often pay those who gather the signatures. The rationale for this requirement has been repeatedly explained in several decisions of various courts. the Initiative and Referendum Act that the Lambino Group invokes as valid. Further. or their supporters. to prove that every one of the millions of signatories had seen the full text of the proposed amendments before signing. If he is to vote intelligently. This is an assurance that every one of the several millions of signatories to the petition had seen the full text of the proposed amendments before signing. or attached to it."). The Lambino Group did not attach to their present petition with this Court a copy of the paper that the people signed as their initiative petition. declared: 14 [A] signature requirement would be meaningless if the person supplying the signature has not first seen what it is that he or she is signing. loose interpretation of the subscription requirement can pose a significant potential for fraud. Otherwise. The proponents secure the signatures in their private capacity and not as public officials. for example. The proponents bear the burden of proving that they complied with the constitutional requirements in gathering the signatures .") (Emphasis supplied) Moreover. Bradbury. A person permitted to describe orally the contents of an initiative petition to a potential signer. in Kerr v. Thus. (Boldfacing and underscoring supplied) Likewise. could easily mislead the signer by. in this case. The signature sheet with this Court during the oral arguments was the signature 21 sheet attached to the opposition in intervention filed on 7 September 2006 by intervenor Atty. This danger seems particularly acute when. who obviously has a vested interest in 17 seeing that it gets the requisite signatures to qualify for the ballot. affirmed by the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Indeed.that the petition contained. The Lambino Group submitted to this Court a copy of a 20 signature sheet after the oral arguments of 26 September 2006 when they filed their Memorandum on 11 October 2006. it is physically impossible. portions of the petition that might not be to the signer's liking. the person giving the description is the drafter of the petition. the deliberations of the framers of our Constitution clearly show that the framers intended to adopt the relevant American jurisprudence on people's initiative. The signature sheet attached to Atty." The proponents of the initiative secure the signatures from the people. and that the people must sign on an initiative petition that contains the full text of the 16 proposed amendments. x x x (publication of full text of amended constitutional provision required because it is "essential for the elector to have x x x the section which is proposed to be added to or subtracted from. The proponents present favorably their proposal to the people and do not present the arguments against their proposal. the petition must state the fact of such attachment. requires that the people must sign the "petition x x x as signatories. omitting. downplaying. The framers of the Constitution directly borrowed the concept of people's initiative from the United States where various State constitutions incorporate an initiative clause. he must have this knowledge. and more importantly. In particular. and that the people must sign on a petition containing such full text. However. or incorporated by attachment. State Ballot Commission. Otherwise in many instances he would be required to vote in the dark. there is no presumption that the proponents observed the constitutional requirements in gathering the signatures. in Capezzuto v. Thus. Quadra's opposition and the signature sheet attached to the Lambino Group's Memorandum are the same.The full text of the proposed amendments may be either written on the face of the petition. Section 5(b) of Republic Act No. or even flatly misrepresenting. Article XVII of the Constitution does not expressly state that the petition must set forth the full text of the proposed amendments. the Court of Appeals of Oregon explained: 18 The purposes of "full text" provisions that apply to amendments by initiative commonly are described in similar terms. Section 2. In almost all 15 States which allow initiative petitions. the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission explicitly reveal that the framers intended that the people must first see the full text of the proposed amendments before they sign. If so attached. "an initiative signer must be informed at the time of signing of the nature and effect of that which is proposed" and failure to do so is "deceptive and misleading" which renders the initiative 19 void. the unbending requirement is that the people must first see the full text of the proposed amendments before they sign to signify their assent. Pete Quirino-Quadra. the full text of the proposed amendments. x x x (The purpose of the full text requirement is to provide sufficient information so that registered voters can intelligently evaluate whether to sign the initiative petition. without the signer having actually examined the petition. We reproduce below the signature sheet in full: Province: Legislative District: City/Municipality: Barangay: Verified Signatures: No. 6735. the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. given the time constraint.

Lambino. When asked if his group also circulated the draft of their amended petition filed on 30 August 2006 with the COMELEC. SIMPLICITY AND ECONOMY IN GOVERNMENT.I. together with the signature sheets. phrase. Neither does the signature sheet state that the text of the proposed changes is attached to it. Aumentado's "Verification/Certification" of the 25 August 2006 petition. printed copies of the Lambino Group's draft petition which they later filed on 25 August 2006 with the COMELEC. Petitioner Erico B. CHANGING THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT FROM THE PRESENT BICAMERAL-PRESIDENTIAL TO A UNICAMERAL-PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT. Petitioner Atty. as well as of the 30 August 2006 amended petition. Lambino initially replied that they circulated both. The signature sheet merely asks a question whether the people approve a shift from the Bicameral-Presidential to the Unicameral-Parliamentary system of government. IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE GREATER EFFICIENCY. Precinct Number Name Last Name. The signature sheet does not show to the people the draft of the proposed changes before they are asked to sign the signature sheet.PROPOSITION: "DO YOU APPROVE OF THE AMENDMENT OF ARTICLES VI AND VII OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION. Address Birthdate MM/DD/YY Signature Verification 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 _________________ Barangay Official (Print Name and Sign) _________________ Witness (Print Name and Sign) __________________ Witness (Print Name and Sign) There is not a single word. Atty. states as follows: . the signature sheet is not the "petition" that the framers of the Constitution envisioned when they formulated the initiative clause in Section 2. AND PROVIDING AN ARTICLE XVIII AS TRANSITORY PROVISIONS FOR THE ORDERLY SHIFT FROM ONE SYSTEM TO ANOTHER?" I hereby APPROVE the proposed amendment to the 1987 Constitution. Raul Lambino admitted this during the oral arguments before this Court on 26 September 2006. However. First Name. Lambino changed his answer and stated that what his group circulated was the draft of the 30 August 2006 amended petition. filed with the COMELEC. Clearly. Article XVII of the Constitution. The Lambino Group would have this Court believe that they prepared the draft of the 30 August 2006 amended petition almost seven months earlier in February 2006 when they started gathering signatures. M. or sentence of text of the Lambino Group's proposed changes in the signature sheet. not the draft of the 25 August 2006 petition. the Lambino Group circulated. however. explained that during the signature-gathering from February to August 2006. My signature herein which shall form part of the petition for initiative to amend the Constitution signifies my support for the filing thereof. Petitioner Atty. Atty.

2006-02 casts grave doubt on the Lambino Group's claim that they circulated the draft petition together with the signature sheets. However. the "Official Website of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines" text of Resolution No. ULAP has unanimously agreed to pursue the constitutional reform agenda through People's Initiative and Referendum without prejudice to other pragmatic means to pursue the same. including the introduction of new Transitory Provisions. 2006-02 to the present petition. The proposed revisions have profound impact on the Judiciary and the National Patrimony provisions of the existing Constitution. Petitioners belatedly realized that the proposed amendments alleged in the Petition. from the Preamble to the Transitory Provisions. The ULAP adopted Resolution No. (Underscoring supplied) ULAP Resolution No. ULAP Resolution No. for and on behalf of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines. 2006-02 hereto attached.I have caused the preparation of the foregoing [Amended] Petition in my personal capacity as a registered voter. and as representative of the mass of signatories hereto. together with the signature sheets. during the ULAP National Executive Board special meeting held on 14 23 January 2006 at the Century Park Hotel. the ULAP is mindful of the current political developments in Congress which militates against the use of the expeditious form of amending the 1987 Constitution. THAT ALL THE MEMBER-LEAGUES OF THE UNION OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES (ULAP) SUPPORT THE PORPOSALS (SIC) OF THE PEOPLE'S CONSULATATIVE (SIC) COMMISSION ON CHARTER CHANGE THROUGH PEOPLE'S INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM AS A MODE OF AMENDING THE 1987 CONSTITUTION. ULAP Resolution No. 2006-02 RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE PROPOSALS OF THE PEOPLE'S CONSULTATIVE COMMISSION ON CHARTER CHANGE THROUGH PEOPLE'S INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM AS A MODE OF AMENDING THE 1987 CONSTITUTION WHEREAS. the People's Consultative Commission on Charter Change created by Her Excellency to recommend amendments to the 1987 Constitution has submitted its final report sometime in December 2005. filed with the COMELEC. WHEREFORE. the proposed revisions of the Consultative Commission affect all provisions of the existing Constitution. 2006-02 on 14 January 2006 or more than six months before the filing of the 25 August 2006 petition or the 30 August 2006 amended petition with the COMELEC. 2006-02 does not refer at all to the draft petition or to the Lambino Group's proposed changes. For example. more specifically. 2006-02 does not authorize petitioner Aumentado to prepare the 25 August 2006 petition. as shown by ULAP Resolution No. ULAP maintains its unqualified support to the agenda of Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for constitutional reforms as embodied in the ULAP Joint Declaration for Constitutional Reforms signed by the members of the ULAP and the majority coalition of the House of Representatives in Manila Hotel sometime in October 2005. ULAP Resolution No. The Lambino Group did not allege that they were amending the petition because the amended petition was what they had shown to the people during the February to August 2006 signature- . 2006-02 "support(s) the porposals (sic) of the Consulatative (sic) Commission on Charter Change through people's initiative and referendum as a mode of 24 amending the 1987 Constitution. provisions that the Lambino Group's proposed changes do not touch. In their Manifestation explaining their amended petition before the COMELEC. WHEREAS. there is a need for the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) to adopt a common stand on the approach to support the proposals of the People's Consultative Commission on Charter Change. WHEREAS. WHEREAS. DONE. (Emphasis supplied) The Lambino Group failed to attach a copy of ULAP Resolution No." The proposals of the Consultative Commission are vastly different from the proposed changes of the Lambino Group in the 25 August 2006 petition or 30 August 2006 amended petition filed with the COMELEC. The Lambino Group's proposed changes purport to affect only Articles VI and VII of the existing Constitution. 2006-02. or the 30 August 2006 amended petition. subject to the ratification of its institutional members and the failure of Congress to amend the Constitution as a constituent assembly. On the contrary. WHEREAS. BE IT RESOLVED AS IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED. ULAP Resolution No. which provides: 22 has posted the full RESOLUTION NO. 2006-02 does not establish that ULAP or the Lambino Group caused the circulation of the draft petition. the Lambino Group declared: After the Petition was filed. paragraph 3 of Section 4 and paragraph 2 of Section 5 of the Transitory Provisions were inaccurately stated and failed to correctly reflect their proposed amendments. However. Manila. six months before the filing with the COMELEC.

even assuming the Lambino Group circulated the amended petition during the signature-gathering period. The people who signed the signature sheets had no idea that they were . Indeed. only 100. Lambino added that he also asked other supporters to print additional copies of the draft petition but he could not state with certainty how many additional copies the other supporters printed." [82 C. The inescapable conclusion is that the Lambino Group failed to show to the 6. Within 45 days from the ratification of the proposed changes. stating that "a signer who did not read the measure attached to a referendum petition cannot question his signature on the ground that he did not understand the nature of the act.3 million people who signed the signature sheets did not see the full text of the proposed changes before signing. a signer who did not read the measure attached to a referendum petition cannot question his signature on the ground that he did not understand the nature of the act.gathering. circulated. only 100. the registered voters who signed the signature sheets circulated together with the petition for initiative filed with the COMELEC below.000 copies because he himself caused the printing of these 100. printed.000. In any event. Thus." This admission binds the Lambino Group and establishes beyond any doubt that the Lambino Group failed to show the full text of the proposed changes to the great majority of the people who signed the signature sheets. or circulated with. They could not have known the nature and effect of the proposed changes.000 copies of the draft petition they filed more than six months later with the COMELEC.000 signatories could have received with certainty one copy each of the petition. in the Lambino Group's Memorandum filed on 11 October 2006.000 signature sheets could have circulated with the petition. Likewise. 3. State v. Lambino could only assure this Court of the printing of 100. Assuming ten people signed each of these 100." The signature sheet is not the "petition" envisioned in the initiative clause of the Constitution. the initiative petition signed by the people. The failure to so include the text of the proposed changes in the signature sheets renders the initiative void for non-compliance with the constitutional requirement that the amendment must be "directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition. The same authority the Lambino Group quotes requires the people to sign on the petition itself. (Emphasis supplied) The Lambino Group's statement that they circulated to the people "the petition for initiative filed with the COMELEC" appears an afterthought. of the 6. assuming a 100 percent distribution with no wastage. The signature sheets do not also contain any indication that the draft petition is attached to. or as attachment with an indication in the signature sheet of such attachment. For sure. If Atty. the Lambino Group's signature sheets do not contain the full text of the proposed changes. Even the authority the Lambino Group quotes requires that the proposed change must be attached to the petition. The Lambino Group cites as authority Corpus Juris Secundum. This contradicts what Atty. It is extremely doubtful that the Lambino Group prepared. S. Quadra had pointed out that the signature sheets did not contain the text of the proposed changes." The Lambino Group never alleged in the 25 August 2006 petition or the 30 August 2006 amended petition with the COMELEC that they circulated printed copies of the draft petition together with the signature sheets. who are almost all the present members of Congress. together with the signature sheets.S.3 million signatories the full text of the proposed changes. Sullivan. Atty. Atty. the interim Parliament shall convene to propose further amendments or revisions to the 28 Constitution. If ever.000 copies. the Lambino Group expressly admits that "petitioner Lambino initiated the printing and reproduction of 25 100.W. 327. it would be physically impossible for all or a great majority of the 6.3 million signatories to have seen the petition before they signed the signature sheets. the petition or amended petition. In the present initiative. it is basic in American jurisprudence that the proposed amendment must be incorporated with. Lambino and company attached one copy of the petition to each signature sheet. This fact is also obvious from a mere reading of the signature sheet. S128h. During the oral arguments. In their Consolidated Reply.] Thus. and this admission binds the Lambino Group. 2. the signature sheets. the Lambino Group alleged that the petition of 25 August 2006 "inaccurately stated and failed to correctly reflect their proposed amendments. The Lambino Group are less than candid with this Court in their belated claim that they printed and circulated. Lambino expressly admitted that they printed only 100. 283 Mo. either on the face of the signature sheets.3 million signatories. are presumed to have understood the proposition contained in the petition. Petitioner Atty. The Lambino Group's citation of Corpus Juris Secundum pulls the rug from under their feet. Lambino admitted this during the oral arguments. The interim Parliament can continue to function indefinitely until its members. the Lambino Group did not allege in their present petition before this Court that they circulated printed copies of the draft petition together with the signature sheets. It is only in their Consolidated Reply to the Opposition-in-Interventions that the Lambino Group first claimed that they circulated the "petition for initiative filed with the COMELEC. the draft of the petition or amended petition they filed later with the COMELEC. among which are: 1. Lambino finally stated during the oral arguments that what they circulated was the draft of the amended petition of 30 August 2006. decide to call for new parliamentary elections. With only 100. from February to August 2006 during the signature-gathering period. made after the intervenors Integrated Bar of the Philippines (Cebu City Chapter and Cebu Province Chapters) and Atty. 224. not more than one million signatories saw the petition before they signed the signature sheets. The term limits on members of the legislature will be lifted and thus members 26 of Parliament can be re-elected indefinitely.000. Instead. the maximum number of people who saw the petition before they signed the signature sheets would not exceed 1.000 printed copies of the petition. the Lambino Group alleged that they circulated "the petition for initiative" but failed to mention the amended petition. the signature sheets. 546. the great majority of the 6. Mo. or attached to. This omission is fatal. the members of the interim Parliament will determine the 27 expiration of their own term of office. Each signature sheet contains space for ten signatures. the Lambino Group's proposed changes were not incorporated with. or attached to. the Lambino Group admitted circulating only very limited copies of the petition. Likewise. Atty.000 copies of the petition for initiative x x x.J. These three specific amendments are not stated or even indicated in the Lambino Group's signature sheets." thus: [T]here is persuasive authority to the effect that "(w)here there is not (sic) fraud." The Lambino Group quotes an authority that cites a proposed change attached to the petition signed by the people. Thus.000 signature sheets with the attached petition. Nevertheless.

(Emphasis supplied) Thus. there is no process for amending or splitting the several provisions in an initiative proposal. Section 4(4) is a subject matter totally unrelated to the shift from the Bicameral-Presidential to the Unicameral-Parliamentary system. this is contrary to the representations of Atty. This lucidly shows the absolute need for the people to sign an initiative petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments to avoid fraud or misrepresentation. the 6. The drafters of an initiative operate independently of any structured or supervised process. as found in the amended petition. 30 . and there is a greater opportunity for "inadvertence. Many voters will never read the full text of the initiative before the election.proposing these amendments.3 million signatories who were led to believe that the proposed changes would require the holding in 2007 of elections for the regular Parliament simultaneously with the local elections.3 million people who signed the signature sheets. McAlpine. the effect of logrolling is to nullify the entire proposition and 29 not only the unrelated subject matter. More importantly. stealth and fraud" in the enactment-byinitiative process. the absence of the word "next" allows the interim Parliament to schedule the elections for the regular Parliament simultaneously with any future local elections. and even the entire nation. This allows incumbent members of the House of Representatives to hold office beyond their current three-year term of office. who claims to be the principal drafter of the proposed changes. Atty. Article XVIII on Transitory Provisions. if our judicial responsibility is to mean anything. the present initiative appears merely a preliminary step for further amendments or revisions to be undertaken by the interim Parliament as a constituent assembly. The very broadness of the proposed amendment amounts to logrolling because the electorate cannot know what it is voting on . Lambino stated that he and his group assured the people during the signature-gathering that the elections for the regular Parliament would be held during the 2007 local elections if the proposed changes were ratified before the 2007 local elections. In Yute Air Alaska v. The proposed Section 5(2). we cannot permit. or before the May 2007 elections. provides: Section 4(4). The people who signed the signature sheets could not have known that their signatures would be used to propose an amendment mandating the interim Parliament to propose further amendments or revisions to the Constitution. The interim Parliament shall provide for the election of the members of Parliament. forcing them to sign a petition that effectively contains two propositions. the interim Parliament has the discretion whether to amend or revise again the Constitution.3 million signatories. Atty." This would have insured that the elections for the regular Parliament would be held in the next local elections following the ratification of the proposed changes. could have easily written the word "next" before the phrase "election of all local government officials.when the initiative petition incorporates an unrelated subject matter in the same petition. the members of the interim Parliament will decide the expiration of their own term of office. Far from being a surplusage. one of which they may find unacceptable. initiative promoters typically use simplistic advertising to present their initiative to potential petition-signers and eventual voters. Petitioner Atty.the amendment's proponents' simplistic explanation reveals only the tip of the iceberg. Lambino and his group because the signature sheets did not contain the full text of the proposed changes. the Supreme Court of Florida declared: Combining multiple propositions into one proposal constitutes "logrolling. These three proposed changes are highly controversial. However. (Emphasis supplied) During the oral arguments. when communicating to the public." which. Thus. in Fine v. petitioner Atty. Apparently. this provision invalidates the Lambino Group's initiative. American jurisprudence on initiatives outlaws this as logrolling . or the deliberate intermingling of issues to increase the likelihood of an initiative's passage. Article XVIII on Transitory Provisions. the interim Parliament shall convene to propose amendments to. or revisions of. In the present initiative. and possibly even beyond the five-year term of office of regular members of the Parliament. They often emphasize particular provisions of their proposition. The result is a grand deception on the 6. Lambino. These difficulties clearly distinguish the initiative from the legislative process. the text of the proposed changes belies this. The proposed changes mandate the interim Parliament to make further amendments or revisions to the Constitution. The Lambino Group's initiative springs another surprise on the people who signed the signature sheets. Firestone. Lambino stated that this provision is a "surplusage" and the Court and the people should simply ignore it. decentralization and a strong bureaucracy. Within forty-five days from ratification of these amendments. the initiative proponents want the interim Parliament mandated to immediately amend or revise again the Constitution. With the proposed Section 4(4). Lambino and his group deceived the 6. stealth and fraud" in logrolling: Whenever a bill becomes law through the initiative process.3 million signatories had to rely on the verbal representations of Atty. x x x Indeed. The proposed Section 4(4). x x x x The ballot must give the electorate fair notice of the proposed amendment being voted on. all of the problems that the singlesubject rule was enacted to prevent are exacerbated. This puts the people in a dilemma since they can answer only either yes or no to the entire proposition. There is a greater danger of logrolling. (Emphasis supplied) Logrolling confuses and even deceives the people. this Constitution consistent with the principles of local autonomy. In the absence of the proposed Section 4(4). the Lambino Group inserted the proposed Section 4(4) to compel the interim Parliament to amend or revise again the Constitution within 45 days from ratification of the proposed changes. Thus. x x x x (Emphasis supplied) Section 5(2) does not state that the elections for the regular Parliament will be held simultaneously with the 2007 local elections. which shall be synchronized and held simultaneously with the election of all local government officials. Under American jurisprudence. However. x x x x The ballot language in the instant case fails to do that. The people could not have inferred or divined these proposed changes merely from a reading or rereading of the contents of the signature sheets. while remaining silent on other (more complex or less appealing) provisions. Certainly. The very broadness of the proposal makes it impossible to state what it will affect and effect and violates the requirement that proposed amendments embrace only one subject. This section merely requires that the elections for the regular Parliament shall be held simultaneously with the local elections without specifying the year. states: Section 5(2). During the oral arguments. Lambino and his group to the 6. the Supreme Court of Alaska warned against "inadvertence.

this Constitution may be proposed by: (1) The Congress. Congress or a constitutional convention can propose both amendments and revisions to the Constitution. the Lambino Group's initiative is void and unconstitutional because it dismally fails to comply with the requirement of Section 2. SUAREZ: Thank you. 2. On so vital an issue as amending the nation's fundamental law. not one of the present Senators will remain as member of Parliament if the interim Parliament does not schedule elections for the regular Parliament by 30 June 2010. Thus. The committee members felt that this system of initiative should be limited to amendments to the Constitution and should not extend to the revision of the entire Constitution. and can operate as a gigantic fraud on the people. so we removed it from the operation of Section 1 of the proposed Article on Amendment or Revision. However. or revision of. 1. there is no counterpart provision for the present members of the House of Representatives even if their term of office will all end on 30 June 2007. not after they have signed the petition. has to be separated from the traditional modes of amending the Constitution as embodied in Section 1. which came about because of the extraordinary developments this year. The signature sheets do not also explain what specific amendments or revisions the initiative proponents want the interim Parliament to make. If the interim Parliament does not schedule elections for the regular Parliament by 30 June 2010.3 million people who signed the signature sheets could not have known that their signatures would be used to discriminate against the Senators. Section 2 of Article XVII.However. after 30 June 2010. The second mode is through a constitutional convention. faceless. and unelected individuals. Madam President. all the present members of the House will remain members of the interim Parliament after 30 June 2010. or (2) A constitutional convention. Senators whose term of office ends in 2010 shall be members of Parliament until noon of the thirtieth day of June 2010.meaning that the people must sign on a petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments. and why there is a need for such further amendments or revisions. This is now covered by Section 2 of the complete committee report. The Initiative Violates Section 2. The people are again left in the dark to fathom the nature and effect of the proposed changes. May we respectfully call the attention of the Members of the Commission that pursuant to the mandate given to us last night. An initiative that gathers signatures from the people without first showing to the people the full text of the proposed amendments is most likely a deception. The term of the incumbent President ends on 30 June 2010. However. or revision of. may I quote Section 2: The people may." This distinction was intentional as shown by the following deliberations of the Constitutional Commission: MR. the Prime Minister will come only from the present members of the House of Representatives to the exclusion of the present Senators. After 30 June 2010. referring to the first and second modes. AQUINO: [I] am seriously bothered by providing this process of initiative as a separate section in the Article on Amendment." In contrast. 7. the writing of the text of the proposed amendments cannot be hidden from the people under a general or special power of attorney to unnamed. This Court trusts the wisdom of the people even if the members of this Court do not personally know the people who sign the petition. The proposed Section 4(3) of the Transitory Provisions states: Section 4(3). The first mode is through Congress upon three-fourths vote of all its Members. applies to "[A]ny amendment to. The third mode is through a people's initiative. Sec. (Emphasis supplied) Article XVII of the Constitution speaks of three modes of amending the Constitution. directly propose amendments to this Constitution thru initiative upon petition of at least ten percent of the registered voters. the signature sheets do not explain the reason for this rush in amending or revising again so soon the Constitution. Thereafter. The 6. the Prime Minister exercises all the powers of the President. This completes the blanks appearing in the original Committee Report No. In short. Certainly. Any amendment to. 7 which embodies the proposed provision governing the matter of initiative. x x x x xxxx MS. three years earlier than that of half of the present Senators. upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members. this Constitution. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative x x x. That is why the Constitution requires that an initiative must be "directly proposed by the people x x x in a petition" . Article XVII of the Constitution Disallowing Revision through Initiatives A people's initiative to change the Constitution applies only to an amendment of the Constitution and not to its revision. Article XVII of the Constitution provides: ARTICLE XVII AMENDMENTS OR REVISIONS Sec. This proposal was suggested on the theory that this matter of initiative." 2. referring to the third mode. There is another intriguing provision inserted in the Lambino Group's amended petition of 30 August 2006. such an initiative is not "directly proposed by the people" because the people do not even know the nature and effect of the proposed changes. Would the sponsor be amenable to accepting an amendment in terms of realigning Section 2 as another subparagraph (c) . we submitted this afternoon a complete Committee Report No. Section 1 of Article XVII. the interim Parliament's choice of Prime Minister only to members of the existing House of Representatives. after five years from the date of the last plebiscite held. Article XVII of the Constitution that the initiative must be "directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition. They could not have known that their signatures would be used to limit. With the permission of the Members. In contrast. The Constitution entrusts to the people the power to directly propose amendments to the Constitution. applies only to "[A]mendments to this Constitution. The signature sheets do not explain this discrimination against the Senators. this trust emanates from a fundamental assumption: the full text of the proposed amendment is first shown to the people before they sign the petition.

This has been the consistent ruling of state supreme courts in the United States. have prescribed the method by which the people may alter or amend it. The framers intended. in 32 McFadden v. whereas. While differing from that document in material respects. x x x x "While it is universally conceded that the people are sovereign and that they have power to adopt a constitution and to change their own work at will. Whether it be a revision or a new constitution. it can only relate to "amendments" not "revision. Section 1. (Emphasis supplied) There can be no mistake about it." Does it not cover the word "revision" as defined by Commissioner Padilla when he made the distinction between the words "amendments" and "revision"? MR. and it is obvious from an examination of the measure here in question that it is not an amendment as that term is generally understood and as it is used in Article IV. nevertheless. if a new constitution. and wrote. x x x x Similarly. Section 2(1). the Supreme Court of California ruled: The initiative power reserved by the people by amendment to the Constitution x x x applies only to the proposing and the adopting or rejecting of 'laws and amendments to the Constitution' and does not purport to extend to a constitutional revision. the Supreme Court of Oregon ruled in Holmes v. a clear distinction between "amendment" and "revision" of the Constitution. an attempt to change the fundamental law in violation of the self-imposed restrictions. DAVIDE: No. the process of initiation to amend. which is given to the public. x x x x (Emphasis supplied) Likewise. would only apply to amendments? MR. this process of initiative is limited to the matter of amendment and should not expand into a revision which contemplates a total overhaul of the Constitution. SUAREZ: That is right. never revise. cannot shirk from its solemn oath and duty to insure compliance with the clear command of the Constitution that a people's initiative may only amend. cannot justify a deviation from the specific modes prescribed in the Constitution itself. and that any attempt to revise a constitution in a manner other than the one provided in the instrument is almost invariably treated as extra-constitutional and revolutionary. in adopting a constitution. it is not such a measure as can be submitted to the people through the initiative. . then the measure may not properly be submitted to the electorate until and unless it is first agreed upon by a 31 constitutional convention. the people cannot propose revisions even as they are empowered to propose amendments. That was the sense that was conveyed by the Committee. The constitution itself recognizes that there is a difference between an amendment and a revision. or other change only through the use of one of the specified means. Where the intent and language of the Constitution clearly withhold from the people the power to propose revisions to the Constitution. it can only be proposed at a convention called in the manner provided in Article XVII. and thank you. MAAMBONG: Thank you. act in an orderly manner and according to the settled principles of constitutional law. instead of setting it up as another separate section as if it were a selfexecuting provision? MR. There can be no deviation from the constitutionally prescribed modes of revising the Constitution. Thus. that only Congress or a constitutional convention may propose revisions to the Constitution. Those were the terms envisioned in the Committee.3 million signatures. Appling: 33 It is well established that when a constitution specifies the manner in which it may be amended or revised. in doing so. 364: 34 It is a fundamental principle that a constitution can only be revised or amended in the manner prescribed by the instrument itself. Section 1. the Constitution. in this jurisdiction there can be no dispute that a people's initiative can only propose amendments to the Constitution since the Constitution itself limits initiatives to amendments. it can be altered by those who favor amendments. The document appears to be based in large part on the revision of the constitution drafted by the 'Commission for Constitutional Revision' authorized by the 1961 Legislative Assembly. x x x x It is thus clear that a revision of the Constitution may be accomplished only through ratification by the people of a revised constitution proposed by a convention called for that purpose as outlined hereinabove. whose members are sworn to defend and protect the Constitution. because "amendments" and "revision" should be covered by Section 1. Section 2. AQUINO: I thank the sponsor. MAAMBONG: My first question: Commissioner Davide's proposed amendment on line 1 refers to "amendments. It failed to receive in the Assembly the two-third's majority vote of both houses required by Article XVII. revision. it does not. MS. The framers intended. SUAREZ: We would be amenable except that. the measure sponsored by the plaintiffs is. the Committee was attempting to distinguish the coverage of modes (a) and (b) in Section 1 to include the process of revision. it is subject to the requirements of Article XVII. MS." MR. Jordan. that a people's initiative may propose only amendments to the Constitution. a thorough overhauling of the present constitution x x x. and wrote.of Section 1. The framers of the Constitution intended. So insofar as initiative is concerned. And where the people. If a revision. and hence failed of adoption. xxxx MR. As the Supreme Court of Oklahoma ruled in In re Initiative Petition No. x x x. Madam President. A popular clamor." x x x x (Emphasis supplied) This Court. even one backed by 6. Consequently if the scope of the proposed initiative measure (hereinafter termed 'the measure') now before us is so broad that if such measure became law a substantial revision of our present state Constitution would be effected. AQUINO: In other words. as we clarified a while ago. and the writ sought by petitioner should issue. is unconstitutional. and wrote. they must. To call it an amendment is a misnomer. x x x and submitted to the 1963 Legislative Assembly.

(Emphasis supplied) In Adams v. By any legal test and under any jurisdiction. In California where the initiative clause allows amendments but not revisions to the constitution just like in our Constitution. Thus. and from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature. or of provisions of the document which have over-all implications for the entire document. Article XVII of the Constitution. Qualitatively.affecting a total of 105 40 provisions in the entire Constitution. from presidential to parliamentary. since the earliest days. The main inquiry is whether the change will "accomplish such far reaching changes 37 in the nature of our basic governmental plan as to amount to a revision. simple chaos would prevail in the government of this State. This alters the separation of powers in the Constitution. The guiding original intention of an amendment is to improve specific parts or to add new provisions deemed necessary to meet new conditions or to suppress specific portions that may have become obsolete or that are judged to be dangerous. So would a switch from a bicameral system to a unicameral 41 system be because of its effect on other important provisions of the Constitution. it is readily apparent that the changes will radically alter the framework of government as set forth in the Constitution. the Lambino Group's initiative is a revision and not merely an amendment." The Supreme Court of Florida. a leading member of the Constitutional Commission. xxxx We conclude with the observation that if such proposed amendment were adopted by the people at the General Election and if the Legislature at its next session should fail to submit further amendments to revise and clarify the numerous inconsistencies and conflicts which would result." Under both the quantitative and qualitative tests. On the face alone of the Lambino Group's proposed changes. striking down the initiative as outside the scope of the initiative clause. as when the change affects substantial provisions of the constitution." A change in the nature of the basic governmental plan also includes changes that "jeopardize the traditional form of government and the system of 39 check and balances. then the present petition should be dismissed for being outside the scope of Section 2. which has been in existence in the United States Congress and in all of the states of the nation.Article VI on the Legislature and Article VII on the Executive . The quantitative test asks whether the proposed change is "so extensive in its provisions as to change directly the 'substantial entirety' of the constitution by the deletion or 36 alteration of numerous existing provisions. to determine how and to what extent they should be altered. S. or deletes without altering the basic principle involved. however. Father Joaquin Bernas. reduces. Merging the legislative and executive branches is a radical change in the structure of government. an initiative petition proposed the amendment of the Florida State constitution to shift from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature. Likewise. One of the earliest cases that recognized the distinction described the fundamental difference in this manner: [T]he very term "constitution" implies an instrument of a permanent and abiding nature. A change in the structure of government is a revision of the Constitution. involving the abolition of the Office of the President and the abolition of one chamber of Congress. The qualitative test inquires into the qualitative effects of the proposed change in the constitution. courts have developed a two-part test: the quantitative test and the qualitative test. as when the three great co-equal branches of government in the present Constitution are reduced into two. The purpose of the long and arduous work of the hundreds of men and women and many sessions of the Legislature in bringing about the Constitution of 1968 was to 42 . The issue turned on whether the initiative "was defective and unauthorized where [the] proposed amendment would x x x affect several other provisions of [the] Constitution. except one. On the other hand. The same result would obtain from an amendment. a shift from a Bicameral-Presidential to a Unicameral-Parliamentary system. while amendment generally affects only the specific provision being amended. writes: An amendment envisages an alteration of one or a few specific and separable provisions. Courts have long recognized the distinction between an amendment and a revision of a constitution. for instance a switch from the presidential system to a parliamentary system would be a revision because of its over-all impact on the entire constitutional structure. Gunter. or better carry out the purpose for which it was framed." Whether there is an alteration in the structure of government is a proper subject of inquiry. Revision generally affects several provisions of the constitution. does the Lambino Group's initiative constitute an amendment or revision of the Constitution? If the Lambino Group's initiative constitutes a revision. to provide for only a Supreme Court and Circuit Courts-and there could be other examples too numerous to detail. (Emphasis supplied) Revision broadly implies a change that alters a basic principle in the constitution.J. the significance of the term "amendment" implies such an addition or change within the lines of the original instrument as will effect an 35 improvement. Quantitatively.. These examples point unerringly to the answer. "a change in the nature of [the] basic governmental plan" includes "change in its fundamental framework or the 38 fundamental powers of its Branches. or if after submission of appropriate amendments the people should refuse to adopt them. the proposed changes alter substantially the basic plan of government. the Lambino Group's proposed changes overhaul two articles . amendment broadly refers to a change that adds. like altering the principle of separation of powers or the system of checks-and-balances. and the provisions contained therein for its revision indicate the will of the people that the underlying principles upon which it rests. In revision. not a mere amendment. ruled as follows: The proposal here to amend Section 1 of Article III of the 1968 Constitution to provide for a Unicameral Legislature affects not only many other provisions of the Constitution but provides for a change in the form of the legislative branch of government. It would not only radically change the whole pattern of government in this state and tear apart the whole fabric of the Constitution. of Section 1 of Article V. There is also revision if the change alters the substantial entirety of the constitution. Thus. but would even affect the physical facilities necessary to carry on government.The question is. The abolition alone of the Office of the President as the locus of Executive Power alters the separation of powers and thus constitutes a revision of the Constitution. as well as the substantial entirety of the instrument. A shift from the present Bicameral-Presidential system to a Unicameral-Parliamentary system is a revision of the Constitution. On the other hand. for instance. shall be of a like permanent and abiding nature. the abolition alone of one chamber of Congress alters the system of checks-and-balances within the legislature and constitutes a revision of the Constitution. the guiding original intention and plan contemplates a re-examination of the entire document. The concept of a House and a Senate is basic in the American form of government." The court examines only the number of provisions affected and does not consider the degree of the change. It would be difficult to visualize a more revolutionary change. is beyond doubt a revision.

the same substantive changes. if such theory wreaks havoc by creating inconsistencies in the form of government established in the Constitution. Section 1. accordant. Any theory espousing a construction contrary to such intent and language deserves scant consideration. In the Lambino Group's present initiative. at one end green for amendments and at the other end red for revisions. the Lambino Group makes the following exposition of their theory in their Memorandum: 99. the court said: "From the foregoing it appears that Article IV. profession or vocation. Thus. Plaintiffs argue that the proposed ballot measure constitutes a wholesale change to the constitution that cannot be enacted through the initiative process. We can visualize amendments and revisions as a spectrum. In Holmes v. the Supreme Court of Florida enumerated 18 sections of the Florida Constitution that would be affected by the shift from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature. Sr. All of this could disappear very quickly if we were to hold that it could be amended in the manner proposed in the initiative petition 43 here. His theory is that Article XVII. the difference between the words "revision" and "amendment" pertain only to the process or procedure of coming up with the corrections. devoid of any jurisprudential mooring and inviting inconsistencies in the Constitution. profession. Stated otherwise. Any theory advocating that a proposed change involving a radical structural change in government does not constitute a revision justly deserves rejection. does not apply to changes to the constitution proposed by initiative. or vocation" out of such endeavor. substantive changes are called "revisions" because members of the deliberative body work full-time on the changes. 100. section 2 merely provides a procedure by which the legislature can propose a revision of the constitution. In Adams. section 2. while on the other hand. In Lowe v. we note that the constitutional provisions expressly provide for both "amendment" and "revision" when it speaks of legislators and constitutional delegates. section1. Appling. because the proposed ballot measure "will refashion the most basic principles of Oregon constitutional law. because of the provisions of Article XVII." They argue that this ballot measure proposes far reaching changes outside the lines of the original instrument. After reviewing Article XVII. colors fuse and . They assert that the distinction between amendment and revision is determined by reviewing the scope and subject matter of the proposed enactment. Such a theory. Where the intent of the framers and the language of the Constitution 45 are clear and plainly stated. Callejo. The Lambino Group simply recycles a theory that initiative proponents in American jurisdictions 46 have attempted to advance without any success. this Court must reject the Lambino Group's theory which negates the express intent of the framers and the plain language of the Constitution. the Supreme Court concluded that a revision of the constitution may not be accomplished by initiative. while the same provisions expressly provide only for "amendment" when it speaks of the people. relating to revisions. More so. The express intent of the framers and the plain language of the Constitution contradict the Lambino Group's theory. authorizes the use of the initiative as a means of amending the Oregon Constitution. We first address Mabon's argument that Article XVII. Plaintiffs assert that." x x x x It then reviewed Article XVII. x x x x (Underlining in the original. section 2. The Lambino Group trivializes the serious matter of changing the fundamental law of the land. Thus. and cannot appear on the ballot without the prior approval of the legislature. only exposes the flimsiness of the Lambino Group's position. relating to proposed amendments." the trial court correctly held that it violated Article XVII. we reject Mabon's argument that Article XVII. that on one hand the common people in general are not expected to work full-time on the matter of correcting the constitution because that is not their occupation. does not apply to constitutional revisions proposed by initiative. section 2. homogenous and up-to-date document. However. the Supreme Court of Oregon rejected this theory. the changes are merely amendments to the Constitution. does not prohibit revisions instituted by initiative. for purposes of interpreting the constitutional provisions. Towards the middle of the spectrum. the changes would constitute a revision of the Constitution. are called "amendments" because the changes are made by ordinary people who do not make an "occupation. section 2(1). and said: "It is the only section of the constitution which provides the means for constitutional revision and it excludes the idea that an individual. the legislators and constitutional convention delegates are expected to work full-time on the same matter because that is their occupation. may place such a measure before the electorate. it also seeks to merge the executive and legislative departments. profession or vocation. but it contains no similar sanction for its use as a means of revising the constitution. The Lambino Group theorizes that the difference between "amendment" and "revision" is only one of procedure. There is no doubt that the Lambino Group's present initiative seeks far more radical changes in the structure of government than the initiative in Adams. Thus. x x x.eliminate inconsistencies and conflicts and to give the State a workable." x x x x Accordingly. not of substance. since the Lambino Group as private individuals drafted the proposed changes. The Lambino Group's initiative not only seeks a shift from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature. (Emphasis supplied) Similarly. The Lambino Group posits that when a deliberative body drafts and proposes changes to the Constitution. Keisling. and that revisions are not limited to "a formal overhauling of the constitution. through the initiative. when proposed through an initiative. However. thus: Mabon argues that Article XVII. With this distinction in mind. boldfacing supplied) The Lambino Group in effect argues that if Congress or a constitutional convention had drafted the same proposed changes that the Lambino Group wrote in the present initiative. The initiative in Adams did not even touch the executive department. including profound impacts on existing fundamental rights and radical restructuring of the government's relationship with a defined group of citizens. section 2. but it does not affect proposed revisions initiated by the people. section 2. no less than 105 provisions of the Constitution would be affected 44 based on the count of Associate Justice Romeo J. (Emphasis supplied) The rationale of the Adams decision applies with greater force to the present petition. the Lambino Group concedes that the proposed changes in the present initiative constitute a revision if Congress or a constitutional convention had drafted the changes. It would seem that the apparent distinction is based on the actual experience of the people. the difference between "amendment" and "revision" cannot reasonably be in the substance or extent of the correction. courts do not deviate from such categorical intent and language.

COMELEC is Not Necessary The present petition warrants dismissal for failure to comply with the basic requirements of Section 2." The effect is to freeze the two irreconcilable provisions until the earlier one "shall be amended. The present initiative seeks a radical overhaul of the existing separation of powers among the three co-equal departments of government. or several provisions of a constitution." Now. A revision requires harmonizing not only several provisions. Upon the expiration of the term of the incumbent President and Vice President. a change reducing Filipino ownership of mass 48 media companies from 100 percent to 60 percent is an amendment and not a revision. These changes do not also affect the structure of government or the system of checks-and-balances among or within the three branches. Nevertheless. the later law prevails. 5. The changes in these examples do not entail any modification of sections or articles of the Constitution other than the specific provision being amended. the Lambino Group's proposed Section 2 of the Transitory Provisions states: Section 2. which have all bicameral parliaments. Australian. Singaporean. Thus. A shift from the present Bicameral-Presidential to a Unicameral-Parliamentary system requires harmonizing several provisions in many articles of the Constitution. the present initiative is void and unconstitutional because it violates Section 2. each specific change will have to be examined case-by-case. there can be no fixed rule on whether a change is an amendment or a revision. this will not change the result here because the present petition violates Section 2. Thus. in which case. which are among the few countries with unicameral parliaments? The proposed changes could not possibly refer to the traditional and well-known parliamentary forms of government the British. ad seriatim up to 26. German. requiring far-reaching amendments in several sections and articles of the Constitution. but also the altered principles with those that remain unaltered. These three examples are located at the far green end of the spectrum. opposite the far red end where the revision sought by the present petition is located. Atty. However. Thus. and the underlying ideological basis of the existing Constitution. For example. Israeli. The present initiative is indisputably located at the far end of the red spectrum where revision begins. constitutions normally authorize deliberative bodies like constituent assemblies or constitutional conventions to undertake revisions. The inconsistency is between a provision in Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and the "Parliamentary system of government. which do not have fixed and identifiable deliberative bodies or recorded proceedings. petitioner Atty. there is no doubt whatsoever that the Lambino Group's initiative is a revision and not an amendment. constitutions allow people's initiatives. However. Article XVII of the Constitution limiting the scope of a people's initiative to "[A]mendments to this Constitution. Canadian. the substitution of the word "republican" with "monarchic" or 50 "theocratic" in Section 1. Revision of the Constitution through a people's initiative will only result in gross absurdities in the Constitution. For example. In the present initiative. Singaporean. a deliberative body with recorded proceedings is best suited to undertake a revision. Thus. Lambino readily conceded during the oral arguments that the requirement of a future amendment is a "surplusage. Also. a change requiring a college degree as an additional qualification for election to the Presidency is 49 an amendment and not a revision. unless they are inconsistent with the Parliamentary system of government. with the exception of Sections 1. A Revisit of Santiago v. all other Sections of Article VI are hereby retained and renumbered sequentially as Section 2. Since a revision of a constitution affects basic principles. An affirmation or reversal of Santiago will not change the outcome of the present petition. Spanish. On the other hand." and the inconsistency shall be resolved in favor of a "unicameral parliamentary form of government. even assuming that RA 6735 is valid to implement the constitutional provision on initiatives to amend the Constitution. 4. 2. the change may generally be considered an amendment 47 and not a revision. what "unicameral parliamentary form of government" do the Lambino Group's proposed changes refer to the Bangladeshi. a change reducing the voting age from 18 years to 15 years is an amendment and not a revision. the Lambino Group's draft of Section 2 of the Transitory Provisions turns on its head this rule of construction by stating that in case of such irreconcilable inconsistency. In sum. it is not as simple as that. Did the people who signed the signature sheets realize that they were adopting the Bangladeshi. the present . depending on how it affects other provisions. Realizing the absurdity of the need for such an amendment. Lambino wants to reinstate the rule of statutory construction so that the later provision automatically prevails in case of irreconcilable inconsistency. the earlier provision "shall be amended to conform with a unicameral parliamentary form of government. or Malaysian models. or New Zealand parliamentary form of government? This drives home the point that the people's initiative is not meant for revisions of the Constitution but only for amendments." In short. 3. Where the proposed change applies only to a specific provision of the Constitution without affecting any other section or article. French. they shall be amended to conform with a unicameral parliamentary form of government. to undertake only amendments and not revisions. There is no need to revisit this Court's ruling in Santiago declaring RA 6735 "incomplete. Such avoidance is a logical consequence of the well-settled doctrine that courts will not pass upon the constitutionality of a 51 statute if the case can be resolved on some other grounds. To be a valid initiative. Italian. x x x x (Emphasis supplied) The basic rule in statutory construction is that if a later law is irreconcilably inconsistent with a prior law. However." which requires a future separate constitutional amendment. This rule also applies to construction of constitutions. 6 and 7 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which shall hereby be amended and Sections 18 and 24 which shall be deleted. Article II of the Constitution radically overhauls the entire structure of government and the fundamental ideological basis of the Constitution. Similarly. Article XVII of the Constitution on the conduct and scope of a people's initiative to amend the Constitution. Israeli. A change in a single word of one sentence of the Constitution may be a revision and not an amendment. as well as how it affects the structure of government. the carefully crafted system of checks-andbalances. This Court must avoid revisiting a ruling involving the constitutionality of a statute if the case before the Court can be resolved on some other grounds. inadequate or wanting in essential terms and conditions" to cover the system of initiative to amend the Constitution. or New Zealand models.difficulties arise in determining whether there is an amendment or revision. The irreconcilable inconsistency envisioned in the proposed Section 2 of the Transitory Provisions is not between a provision in Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and a provision in the proposed changes." 3. Article XVII of the Constitution. this Court must decline to revisit Santiago which effectively ruled that RA 6735 does not comply with the requirements of the Constitution to implement the initiative clause on amendments to the Constitution.

952 million signatures gathered by the Lambino Group. Corona. which means subverting the people's sovereign will and discarding the Constitution.327. Sandoval-Gutierrez." However. As the ultimate guardian of the Constitution. this Court is sworn to perform its solemn duty to defend and protect the Constitution. that no grave abuse of discretion could be attributed to the public respondent COMELEC in dismissing the petition filed by PIRMA therein. On this ground alone. the Lambino Group. This forewarns the Court to be wary of incantations of "people's voice" or "sovereign will" in the present initiative. Only Atty. and Atty. Ynares-Santiago. and Velasco.3 million signatories. Lambino and Erico B. No. This Court cannot betray its primordial duty to defend and protect the Constitution. the Lambino Group's initiative will still fail. Petitioners. No. the petition and amended petition filed with the COMELEC did not even comply with the basic requirement of RA 6735 that the Lambino Group claims as valid. and its Resolution of June 10. merely attached the signature sheets to the petition and amended petition. "No petition embracing more than one (1) subject shall be submitted to the electorate." The 6. not even the 6. If this Court allows today a cavalier change in the Constitution outside the constitutionally prescribed modes.R.111 voters comprising 76. Agra signed the petition and amended petition as counsels for "Raul L. This Court exists to defend and protect the Constitution. Thus. Lambino. x x x. Thus. Thus. To allow such alteration and desecration is to lose this Court's raison d'etre. The Lambino Group claims that their initiative is the "people's voice. A revolving-door constitution does not augur well for the rule of law in this country.initiative must first comply with Section 2. Sr. Incantations of "people's voice.3 percent of the total votes 53 cast í approved our Constitution in a national plebiscite held on 11 February 1987. Panganiban." The proposed Section 4(4) of the Transitory Provisions." or "let the people decide" cannot override the specific modes of changing the Constitution as prescribed in the Constitution itself. Quisumbing. prescribed when they ratified the Constitution. to be tossed and turned by every dominant political group of the day. That approval included the prescribed modes for amending or revising the Constitution. first." Section 5(b) of RA 6735 requires that the people must sign the "petition x x x as signatories. Chico-Nazario. deserves the utmost respect and obedience of all the citizens of this nation. which embodies the people's sovereign will. to alter basic principles in the Constitution is to allow a desecration of the Constitution.. Even then. the present initiative violates Section 5(b) of RA 6735 which requires that the "petition for an initiative on the 1987 Constitution must have at least twelve per centum (12%) of the total number of registered voters as signatories. in their sovereign capacity. That approval is the unmistakable voice of the people." "people's sovereign will. The COMELEC Did Not Commit Grave Abuse of Discretion in Dismissing the Lambino Group's Initiative In dismissing the Lambino Group's initiative petition. .. the Lambino Group unabashedly states in ULAP Resolution No. 4. mandating the interim Parliament to propose further amendments or revisions to the Constitution. no grave abuse of discretion is attributable to the COMELEC. Otherwise. The Constitution. that "ULAP maintains its unqualified support to the agenda of Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for constitutional reforms. Conclusion The Constitution. is the bible of this Court. Azcuna. The Lambino Group's logrolling initiative also violates Section 10(a) of RA 6735 stating. Atty. Austria-Martinez. To allow this constitutionally infirm initiative. Jr. Alberto C. which embodies the real sovereign will of the people. the present petition warrants outright dismissal. Then. in the verification of their petition with the COMELEC. Modernization and Action 52 (PIRMA) v.. Garcia.622. even if RA 6735 is valid. WHEREFORE. 1997. propelled by deceptively gathered signatures. the Constitution the people's fundamental covenant that provides enduring stability to our society becomes easily susceptible to manipulative changes by political groups gathering signatures through false promises. No amount of signatures." The Lambino Group thus admits that their "people's" initiative is an "unqualified support to the agenda" of the incumbent President to change the Constitution. tomorrow the new dominant political group that comes will demand its own set of changes in the same cavalier and unconstitutional fashion. Demosthenes B.J.R. RA 6735 prohibits submission of the initiative petition to the electorate. by a unanimous vote. No one can trivialize the Constitution by cavalierly amending or revising it in blatant violation of the clearly specified modes of amendment and revision laid down in the Constitution itself. Article XVII of the Constitution even before complying with RA 6735. promulgated on March 19. the Constitution ceases to be the bedrock of the nation's stability. we DISMISS the petition in G. For following this Court's ruling. 127325. 2006-02. Since the present initiative embraces more than one subject matter.3 million signatories did not sign the petition of 25 August 2006 or the amended petition of 30 August 2006 filed with the COMELEC. To allow such change in the fundamental law is to set adrift the Constitution in unchartered waters. 5. Puno. is a subject matter totally unrelated to the shift in the form of government. the COMELEC en banc merely followed this Court's ruling in Santiago and People's Initiative for Reform." In the COMELEC. Donato. 1997. it appearing that it only complied with the dispositions in the Decisions of this Court in G. C. Tinga. as the fundamental law of the land. An overwhelming majority í 16. 174153. Aumentado. can change our Constitution contrary to the specific modes that the people. this Court should reiterate its unanimous ruling in PIRMA: The Court ruled. concur. the full expression of the people's sovereign will. JJ. Carpio Morales.. This is one act the Court cannot and should never do. The alternative is an extraconstitutional change. claiming to act "together with" the 6. SO ORDERED. COMELEC. Callejo.

. respondents. Estelito P. No.: This is a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. This letter was received by petitioner's secretary at the PNB head office on 16 February 1987. you have therefore lost your right thereto. Starting 1 April 1986 up to 20 February 1987. After several promotions. any officer or employee who feels aggrieved by any matter treated above may submit his case to the Civil Service 1 Commission. PADILLA. petitioner filed several applications for leave of absence (due to medical reasons) which were duly approved. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION and THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK. Mendoza for petitioner.The Solicitor General for the Civil Service Commission. 80. the Fund Transfer Department was abolished and its functions transferred to the International Department. Petitioner Conchita Romualdez-Yap started working with the Philippine National Bank on 20 September 1972 as special assistant with the rank of Second Assistant Manager assigned to the office of the PNB President. You shall be entitled to the regular benefits allowed under existing law. assailing Resolution No. Executive Order No. EN BANC Petitioner's first recorded appeal to the Civil Service Commission questioning her separation is a letter dated 4 August 1989.R. please be informed that Management has approved your separation from the service effective February 16. she was appointed in 1983 Senior Vice President assigned to the Fund Transfer Department. 92-201 of the respondent Civil Service Commission. petitioner was notified of her separation from the service in a letter dated 30 January 1987. 80 (Revised Charter of the PNB) was approved on 3 December 1986. Pursuant to the reorganization plan. Santiago. dated 3 December 1986. Jr. petitioner. vs. since you lack the Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila G. Consequently. that inasmuch as you did not avail of the ERIP/Supplementary Retirement Plans adopted by the PNB in 1986. Barlongay upheld the validity of her separation from the service in a letter/opinion dated 30 August 1989 (this was allegedly received by petitioner only on 26 February 1990) stating thus: xxx xxx xxx It may be mentioned in this connection. Said executive order authorized the restructure/reorganization and rehabilitation of PNB. Domingo A. 1993 CONCHITA ROMUALDEZ-YAP. Then CSC Chairman Samilo N. Moreover. 1986. 104226 August 12. thus: Pursuant to the Transitory Provision of the 1986 Revised Charter of the Bank. 37 of the Bank's 1986 Revised Charter. which upheld the petitioner's separation from the Philippine National Bank(PNB) as a result of the abolition of the Fund Transfer Department pursuant to a reorganization under Executive Order No. (emphasis supplied) Please be informed further that under Sec. While she was on leave. for Philippine National Bank. J.

required number of years of service to entitle you to retirement benefits under existing laws. 92-201. 80 on 3 December 1986.R. It was incidental that movant Yap's position was one among those abolished. in the instant case. 33 of EO 80 (1986 Revised Charter of the PNB) provides: Sec. 1986. . the Civil Service Commission in its aforecited Resolution No. that her separation from the service was illegal and was done in bad faith considering that her termination on February 16. Good faith. . Exec. Aquino came into power. the abolition of positions/offices. her separation was illegal because it took effect on 16 February 1986 or even before the promulgation of EO No. This being so. 1987 when the new Constitution which guarantees security of tenure to public employees was 3 already in effect. Errors of law prejudicial to the interest of the movant have been committed. The program of reorganization shall begin immediately after the approval of this Order. 92-201) supporting its stand that the separation actually took effect on 16 February 1987. . Authority to Reorganize. no dismissal or separation actually occurs because the position itself ceases to exist. . thus: Positions Incumbents Proposed Position President 1 1 1 Sr. therefore. 1986 to February 20. Movant Yap failed to substantiate her claim by clear and convincing evidence that the abolition of her position was a result of her close identification with the previous regime. that is.132 positions were abolished. In the instant case. .537 positions which were reduced to 5. as aforequoted. ² In view of reduced operations contemplated under this charter in pursuance of the national policy expressed in the "Whereas" clause hereof. Finally. PNB submitted documents (p. Indeed. the reorganization was pursued to achieve economy. This reduction in force likewise included the senior officer positions. 1986. a reorganization of the Bank and a reduction in force are hereby authorized to achieve greater efficiency and economy in operations. Considering further that you have exhausted all your accumulated leave credits as you went on leave of absence for the period from April 1. be disputed that reduction in force necessitates.405 after the reorganization. 2. It undertook reduction in force as a means to streamline the numbers of the workforce. has clearly proved by substantial evidence that its act in terminating the services of 5 some of its employees was done in good faith. petitioner claimed: 1. including the adoption of a new staffing pattern to suit the reduced operations envisioned. which law authorized the reorganization of the PNB. 81954): Reorganizations in this jurisdiction have been regarded as valid provided they are pursued in good faith. The records show that prior to its reorganization. As a general rule. questioning Chairman Barlongay's ruling. . you may be entitled to the return of your GSIS personal contributions. . For indeed. and even before February 25. In her motion for reconsideration with the Civil Service Commission. 33 27 15 The position of movant Yap (SVP) was one among the original twelve (12) SVP positions. dated 5 March 1990. 1986 was made effective prior to the effectivity of Executive Order No. VP 1 1 0 Exec. and pursuant to the presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions. Article XVIII of the Transitory Provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. ruled: Sec. . when President Corazon C. PNB. the abolition of movant Yap's position should be upheld. the CSC noted that the year "1986" stated in the notice of her separation from the service was a typographical error. 6 of Resolution No. She further claims that although the notice of termination was dated January 30. She argued: . It was one among the five (5) SVP positions which were abolished. dated 30 January. as a component of a reorganization under a constitutional regime is judged from the facts of each case. this Commission is inclined to believe that the reorganization of PNB was done in good faith. And in that case. security of tenure would not be a Chinese Wall. PNB was authorized to undergo reorganization and to effect a reduction in force to "achieve greater efficiency and economy in operations". i. the original positions in PNB were reduced by 28%. among others. Denying the motion for reconsideration. and shall be completed within six (6) months and shall be fully implemented within eighteen (18) months thereafter. Mison (G. PNB originally had 7." Clearly. . in PNB. It should be noted that as ruled by the Supreme Court in Dario vs. 80 on December 3. 1987 it was only served upon her on February 16. Overruling her imputation of bad faith. the bad faith in her separation from the service in 1987 was evident from the recent restoration of the Fund Transfer Department as a separate and 4 distinct unit from the International Department . xxx xxx xxx . . VP 3 2 2 Senior VP 12 11 7 Vice Pres. In fact. you may be entitled to payment of 2 separation subject to auditing rules and regulations. . 2. a reorganization is carried out in "good faith" if it is for the purpose of economy or to make bureaucracy more efficient. 33. In that event. there is no legal or valid basis to entitle you to payment of terminal leave. It cannot. 1992. The opinion/ruling was not fully supported by the evidence on record. was merged with the International Department to which its functions were closedly related. . which were reduced. . 1987. NO. the FTD of which she was then the incumbent SVP. . pursuant to Section 16.e. being a sister of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos.

This improved financial condition of the PNB is evident from the 1990 Annual Report it submitted. Act No. Existence of bad faith in the reorganization of the Philippine National Bank resulting in the separation from the service of petitioner. it should be noted that granting arguendo that movant Yap's termination from the service was tainted with bad faith. . is void ab initio. is done for political reasons or purposely to defeat security of tenure. Records show that she was separated from PNB on February 16. Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987. Act 6656. Mison doctrine vis-a-vis PNB's reorganization. By her inaction in questioning her termination within a period of one year. In the present petition before the Court. she however. or where claims of economy are belied by the existence of ample funds. . the restoration of the Fund Transfer Department and other offices in the PNB was primarily caused by the improved financial capability and present needs of the Bank. as a component of a reorganization under a constitutional regime. Furthermore. 1987 and it was only in 1989 or about 2 years thereafter when she brought this matter to this Commission. 27 of P. Dario v. And in that case. (b) Casual employees with five (5) years or more of government service. her qualification and fitness for new positions were never evaluated or considered in violation of Sec. 29 Ch. she is considered to have acquiesced to her separation from the service and abandoned her right to 6 the position. It may be further stated that the re-established FTD is headed by a Vice President. or after the lapse of over four (4) years from the date it was abolished in 1987. In Petitioner's case. 5. a reorganization is carried out in "good faith" if it is for the purpose of economy or to make bureaucracy more efficient. Moreover. a position much lower in rank than the former department headed by a Senior Vice President. PNB did not follow the prescribed sequence of separation of employees from the service contained in Rep. In the separation of personnel pursuant to reorganization. Mison laid down the requirement of good faith in the reorganization of a government bureau wherein offices are abolished. 2. 4. As a general rule. 4 of Rep. 60 of March 12. security of tenure would not be a Chinese wall. 1991. length of service notwithstanding. 3. imposing a "cause" for restructuring. who are least qualified in terms of performance and merit shall be laid off first. if the "abolition. It says: . the following issues are raised: 1. Lack of notice and bearing before separation from the service. Reorganizations in this jurisdiction have been regarded as valid provided they are pursued in good faith. 5 Subtitle A. Good faith. actually was a merger of the Fund Transfer Group. the Foreign Remittance Development and Coordinating Unit based on board Resolution No. In that event. we are not. 807 which was incorporated as Sec. Be that as it may. 2. Petitioner was not extended preference in appointment to the positions in the new staffing pattern as mandated by Sec. is now barred from assailing the same as she did not seasonably assert her right thereto. 6. as a consequence. 3. the subject CSC resolution adds: xxx xxx xxx It may be mentioned that the recent restoration of the Fund Transfer Department. There is an invalid "abolition" as where there is merely a change of nomenclature of positions. 3.D. the following instances are cited by her as indicia of bad faith: 1. is judged from the facts of each case. Erroneous application of the one (1) year prescriptive period for quo warranto proceedings in petitioner's case. Erroneous application of the Dario v. Retrenchment in 7 the course of a reorganization in good faith is still removal "not for cause" if by "cause" we refer to "grounds" or conditions that call for disciplinary action. and (d) Employees holding permanent appointments: Provided. Petitioner was forced to take a leave of absence and prevented from reporting for work. The abolished department was later restored and the number of senior vice presidents was increased. 6656 which is: Sec. the following order of removal shall be followed: (a) Casual employees with less than five (5) years of government service. . (c) Employees holding temporary appointments. or otherwise not in good faith.On the issue of bad faith as related to the later restoration of the Fund Transfer Department. There is a discrepancy in the date of her separation from the service and the effectivity thereof. no valid "abolition" takes place and whatever "abolition" is done. That those in the same category as enumerated above. It is to be stressed that by predisposing a reorganization to the yardstick of good faith." which is nothing else but a separation or removal. no dismissal (in case of dismissal) or separation actually occurs because the position itself ceases to exist.

pp. If petitioner had the desire for continued employment with the bank. The antedating of the termination date. Due to the restructuring ² and this is empirically verifiable ² PNB became once more a viable banking institution. the philosophy behind PNB's reorganization is spelled out in the whereas clauses of Executive Order No. in pursuit of this national policy there is need to restructure the government financial institutions. 100 Phil. The real issue is existence of bad faith consisting of tangible bureaucratic/management pressures exerted to ease her out of office. She is listed as having resigned instead of being separated or dismissed which was what actually happened. not a governmental but a private sector. emoluments. positions and functions were abolished or merged. was a management prerogative exercised pursuant to a business judgment. the reorganization and rehabilitation of the Philippine National Bank into a similar but stronger and more operationally viable bank is an important component of the nationalization programs for both the financial system and the government corporation sector. . But a discontinuance of such deferential or special treatment in the wake of a change in government or administration is not bad faith per se. and those which it may exercise to promote merely the welfare. honoraria and fees up to March 1987. . It is part of the Filipino culture to extend such deferential. nature it is better equipped to administer for the public welfare than is any private individual or group of individuals (Malcolm. to improve its viability. she being a sister of Mrs. its absence 11 should be established by convincing evidence. These are what we call government-owned or controlled corporations which may take on the form of a private enterprise or one organized with powers and formal characteristics of a private corporation under the Corporation Law. it has documented and supported its stand that the year of petitioner's separation is 1987 not 1986. The Government of the Philippine Islands. and are merely optional. 19-20) From the above we may infer that. small and medium scale industry. The dismissal was politically motivated. While she was not reporting to the office. receiving her salaries. The essence of 10 good faith lies in an honest belief in the validity of one's right. The abolition of the Fund Transfer Department (FTD) was deemed necessary. the test of good faith. the widow of former President Marcos. even without willful intent to 9 injure or purposive malice to perpetrate a damnifying harm. Commercial or universal banking is. and WHEREAS. precisely because of such consanguinial relation. the bank's reorganization got underway. To this latter class belongs the organization of those corporations owned or controlled by the government to promote certain aspects of the economic life of our people such as the National Coconut Corporation. The restoration of the FTD four years after it was abolished and its functions transferred to the International Department. 468) But a reorganization whether in a government bureau performing constituent functions or in a government-owned or controlled corporation performing ministrant functions must meet a common test. The real question is: was it done in good faith. petitioner may have been the object of deferential. It is an optional function of government. to the Court's mind. 1956. November 29. PNB employees in the Fund Transfer Department identified with her were reassigned or frozen. if not special treatment under the Marcos regime. After 3 December 1986. 80 conferred upon the PNB the authority to reorganize. There is no doubt as to the legal basis for PNB's reorganization.7. In most of PNB's pleadings. particularly in servicing the requirements of agriculture. 80: WHEREAS. to achieve a more efficient and effective use of available scarce resources. In this connection. . Bad faith has been defined as a state of mind affirmatively operating with furtive design or with some 8 motive of self interest or ill will or for an ulterior purpose. progress and prosperity of the people. however. Executive Order No. tested by the Dario v. wife of deposed President Ferdinand Marcos. At this point. if not special treatment to close relatives of persons in power. It is the performance of an act with the knowledge that the actor is violating the fundamental law or right. can be attributed to the bank's growth after reorganizations. Imelda Romualdez Marcos. and the government sector. . export development. Nacoco. Whether there was a hidden political agenda to persecute petitioner due to her consanguinial relation to Mrs. allowances. due to the critical financial situation of the bank. Since she cannot rebut the CSC finding that her earliest appeal was made on 4 . The order was issued by then Pres. PNB's reorganization. The records also clearly indicate that starting April 1986 to February 1987. it is entirely possible that. . . She continued. . is a periphernal issue. petitioner went on leave of absence for medical reasons. strictly speaking. Petitioner opted not to avail of such plan and instead submitted to the result of the bank's ongoing reorganization and management's discretion. Employees who were affected by the reorganization had the option to avail of the bank's Separation Benefits Plan/Early Retirement Plan (SBP/ERIP). was by virtue of a valid law. thereby negating malice or bad faith in that reorganization. aside from being clearly a typographical error. a distinction can be made in ruling on the validity of a reorganization between a government bureau or office performing constituent functions (like the Customs) and a government-owned or controlled corporation performing ministrant functions (like the PNB). WHEREAS. ministrant functions are those undertaken by way of advancing the general interests of society. ideally. The principles determining whether or not a government shall exercise certain of these optional functions are: (1) that a government should do for the public welfare those things which private capital would not naturally undertake and (2) that a government should do those things which by its very. 9. This. Corazon Aquino on 3 December 1986 while she was exercising the powers vested in the President of the Philippines by the Freedom Constitution. to repeat. what remained to be done was the implementation of the reorganization. and to avoid unfair competition with the private sector. Mison doctrine? To start with it is almost absurd for petitioner to insist that her termination from the service was antedated to 16 February 1986. within the context of the general policy there nevertheless exists a clear role for direct government-participation in the banking system. L-9657. No. the reorganization of PNB had not even been conceived. There is no proof on record that she affirmatively expressed willingness to be employed. It may be merely putting things in their proper places. At the time of reorganization. At that time. is not clearly shown. It consists of an honest intention to abstain from taking an unconscionable and unscrupulous advantage of another. (Bacani vs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos. 8. she could have asserted it for management's consideration. Many times this is carried to unwholesome extremes. Constituent function are those which constitute the very bonds of society and are compulsory in nature. endeavor. there are functions which our government is required to exercise to promote its objectives as expressed in our Constitution and which are exercised by it as an attribute of sovereignty. particularly the Philippine National Bank. On the other hand. departments.

Act No. to repeat. Federico Pascual and Petitioner Ms.August 1989. 2. No new employees shall be taken in until all permanent officers and employees have been appointed. But assuming. 6656 cannot be invoked by petitioner because it took effect on 15 June 1987. in case there are still positions to be filled. performance and merit. xxx xxx xxx Sec. ex gratia argumenti. Officers and employees holding permanent. including Ms. 6656. (a) Where there is a significant increase in the number of positions in the new staffing pattern of the department or agency concerned. Aside from being a lawyer having been a law graduate from the University of the Philippines. respectively. appointments shall be given preference for appointment to the new position in the approved staffing pattern comparable to their former positions or in case there are not enough comparable positions. consolidation of offices and abolition of positions. We attach hereto as Annexes "G-1" and "G-2" the service records of Mr. under the bank's new staffing pattern. 312 to 313) xxx xxx xxx The prayer in the petition at bar seeks petitioner's immediate reinstatement to her former position as senior vice president and head of the Fund Transfer Department. 1986 to January 14. her present argument that bad faith existed at the time of the abolition of the FTD because it was restored four years later is a little too late. Rep. In the first place. etc. Each personnel to be retained was evaluated in terms of relative fitness and merit along with the other personnel of the Bank. for permanent appointment to positions in the approved staffing pattern. These Sections provide: Sec.R. Before he resigned from the Bank. pursuant to a bona fide reorganization. that it is applicable here and petitioner must be accorded preferential right to appointment in the bank. divide. was accordingly reduced. unless such positions are policy-determining. He had studied Masteral Arts in Public Administration at the London School of Economics and had undergone extensive seminars since 1974 at the International Department and had been assigned in several foreign branches of the Bank. there is no reason for this Court to hold that she did not sleep on her rights. the service record of Petitioner Yap will show that she only holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce Degree from Assumption Convent and has undergone only one seminar on Management and Leadersbip Training Program. On the contrary. Yap. Pascual far exceed those of Petitioner Yap. which clearly show that the qualifications of Mr. No. 34 hereto attached as Annex "R". Yap. A valid cause for removal exists when. or other lawful causes allowed by the Civil Service Law. Who could have predicted in 1986 or 1987 that PNB would be able to rise from its financial crisis and become a viable commercial bank again? The decision to abolish the FTD at the time it was abolished. b) Two thousand one hundred thirty two (2. among which is the appropriate civil service eligibility. his qualifications far exceeded those of the other candidates for the position. to positions next lower in rank. Another issue raised by petitioner is PNB's alleged non-compliance with the mandate of Sections 2 and 4 of Rep. (c) Where incumbents are replaced by those less qualified in terms of status of appointment. he is also a Bachelor of Arts degree holder from Ateneo de Manila and a Master of Laws graduate o Columbia Law School. Act No. PNB in its rejoinder impressively asserts: Needless to say.405) as of latter date per B. including Senior Vice Presidents. On the other hand. primarily confidential or highly technical in nature. when then SVP Federico Pascual was chosen to head the International Department from among other officers of the Bank. . there were various committees that were created in the implementation of the organizational restructuring of the Bank based on the foregoing policy guidelines. 1987 leaving a lean workforce of five thousand four hundred five (5. Thus. c) The number of senior officers. was a business judgment made in good faith. including temporary and casual employees who possess the necessary qualification requirements. President Gabriel Singson assumed his position. No officer or employee in the career service shall be removed except for a valid cause and after due notice and hearing. giving to a claim for reinstatement or reappointment by an aggrieved party. (b) Where an office is abolished and another performing substantially the same functions is created. (d) Where there is a reclassification of offices in the department or agency concerned and the reclassified offices perform substantially the same functions as the original offices. he held the second highest position of Executive Vice President and served as Acting President of the Bank before the incumbent president. She entered the Bank service in 1972. (e) Where the removal violates the order of separation provided in Section 3 hereof. or reappointment to a position of comparable or equivalent rank without loss of seniority rights and pay.132) positions were abolished during the period from February 16. The existence of any or some of the following circumstances may be considered as evidence of bad faith in the removals made as a result of reorganization. or consolidate positions in order to meet the exigencies of the service. 4.. or after PNB's reorganization had already been implemented. a position has been abolished or rendered redundant or there is a need to merge. PNB for its part submits that its reorganization was effected in good faith because ² a) There was not only a perceptible but substantial restructuring of the PNB hierarchy showing reduction of personnel. (Rollo at pp.

non dormientibus. if at all it is proper and necessary. The petition is DISMISSED for failure to show grave abuse of discretion on the part of said CSC in rendering the questioned resolution. the assailed CSC resolution is AFFIRMED. Vigilantibus. Measured by the above jurisprudence. while We fully recognize the special protection which the Constitution. and Magno v. Davide. al. concur. he seems to be educated and assertive of his rights and appears to be familiar with judicial procedures. et. Sec. Narvasa. .0 Million. et. An action for quo warranto should be brought within one (1) year after ouster from office. the prescriptive period is allegedly 20 four (4) years in accordance with Article 1146 of the Civil Code. thoughtless move. This is not the unjustifiable cause which results in injury to the rights of a person contemplated by Article 1146. To those who feel that their unjustified separation from the service is for a cause beyond their control. We cannot. Griño-Aquino. Restoring petitioner to her previous position with backwages would be unjust enrichment to her. An exception to this prescriptive period lies only if the failure to file the action can be attributed to the acts of a responsible government officer and not of the dismissed 16 employee. not of the sleeping). WHEREFORE. and contend that there is no claim of usurpation of office. CA. PNNC Corp. The petitioner therein must show a clear legal right to the office allegedly held unlawfully by 12 another. hence. al. alter or amend the law on prescription to relieve him of the consequences of his inaction. Romero. the failure to institute the same within the reglementary period constitutes more than a sufficient 14 basis for its dismissal since it is not proper that the title to a public office be subjected to continued 15 uncertainty . Melo. premises considered. are invoked by petitioner to illustrate that this action is one for separation without just cause. .. labor laws. 6. Santos v. seeking reinstatement to her former position which at present is occupied by another.. Bidin. At the time of restoration of the department in 1991. His explanation that he could not have filed the complaint earlier because "he was prevented to do so beyond his control for the simple reason that private respondent have (sic) tried to circumvent the law by merely floating" him is very flimsy and does not even evoke sympathetic consideration. and social legislation accord the workingman. No pronouncement as to costs. jura subveniunt (Laws come to the assistance of the vigilant. Phil. . and that quo warranto may be availed of to assert one's right to an office in the situation obtaining in the case at bar. foreign exchange losses of 22 the bank amounted to P81. Inc.1 Million. 21 It was a thoroughly evaluated action for streamlining functions based on a rehabilitation plan..A person claiming to be entitled to a public office or position usurped or unlawfully held or exercised by another may bring an action for quo warranto (Rule 66. petitioner's action may be said to be one for quo warranto.J. At the time of the abolition of the Fund Transfer Department in 1986. 17 She cannot invoke De Tavera v. Regalado. He filed a motion for extension of time to file the petition and the petition itself without the assistance of counsel. The abolition of the office was not a whimsical. Tuberculosis Society. the aforecited Magno case teaches: . Petitioner's separation from the service was due to the abolition of her office in implementation of a valid reorganization. Feliciano. Jr. Puno and Vitug. JJ. We note that petitioner herein is not an unlettered man. . it was headed by a vice president (lower in rank) 23 and showed earnings of P2. Other departments abolished in 1986 were also subsequently restored. Nocon. considering that she had abandoned or showed lack of interest in reclaiming the same position when the bank was not yet fully rehabilitated and she only insisted on reinstatement in August 1989 or two (2) years after her alleged unjustified separation. Rules of Court).. Bellosillo. The head of office was a Senior Vice President. SO ORDERED. We do not agree. however.620. Cruz. We cannot believe that if indeed he had a valid 18 19 13 grievance against PNCC he would not have taken immediate positive steps for its redress. C. Quiason. .

The court erred in not finding that the eighty thousand dollars ($80. EL MONTE DE PIEDAD Y CAJA DE AHORRAS DE MANILA. 6. to distribute the moneys thus voluntarily contributed. 1912. as regards an important sum of money resulting from a national subscription opened by reason of the earthquake of June 3. April 14. 4.000. a central relief board was appointed.299. dated September 22. judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiff for the sum of $80. by authority of the King of Spain.403.About $400.703. 1866. inaccordance with the above-mentioned allotments. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. 1883. 1833. with legal interest thereon from February 28th. 1912. 3. together with the names of those entitled thereto. 1863. J. by order dated the 1st of that month.: . 1912. and after due trial. There was later distributed. in case the Supreme Government of Spain should not approve the action taken by the former government. in these Island. and June 2. was published in the Official Gazette of Manila dated April 7. passed by the Philippine Legislature on January 30. together with interest. 2.50 to the various sufferers named in its resolution.000 of the relief fund in installments of $20. to wit: the return of such sum of money to the Spanish Government of these Islands. Hartigan for appellant. Kincaid and Thomas L.85 for distribution. 1912. dated February 1. and heirs of others to whom the above-mentioned allotments were made by the central relief board for the payment of those amounts. within eight days following the day when claimed. were subscribed and paid into the treasury of the Philippine Islands by the inhabitants of the Spanish Dominions of the relief of those damaged by the earthquake which took place in the Philippine Islands on June 3. the Philippine Islands to bring suit against the Monte de Piedad a recover. the relief board allotted $365. said eighty thousand dollars ($80. represented by the Insular Treasurer. After a thorough investigation and consideration. vs. That the court erred in holding in its decision that there is no title for the prescription of this suit brought by the Insular Government against the Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros for the reimbursement of the eighty thousand dollars ($80. William A. and the costs of this suit. That the court erred in stating that the Government of the Philippine Islands has subrogated the Spanish Government in its rights. The court erred in not having decreed that this donation had been cleared. and the costs of the cause. That the court erred in not declaring that Act Numbered 2109. TRENT. give to the Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros.000 gold or its equivalent in Philippine currency. and are still in the possession of the Monte de Piedad. were so given as a donation subject to one condition. by order of the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands.R. 1870. The defendant appealed and makes the following assignment of errors: 1. These amounts were received on the following dates: February 15. March 12. or the equivalent thereof in the present legal tender currency in circulation. defendant-appellant. 5. 1916 THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. together with legal interest from February 28. directed its treasurer to turn over to the Monte de Piedad the sum of $80. leaving a balance of S365.000). plaintiff-appellee. the Philippine Government.65." the $80. 1863. a list of these allotments. That the court erred in sentencing the Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros to reimburse the Philippine Government in the sum of eighty thousand dollars ($80. represented by the Treasurer of the Philippine Islands. On account of various petitions of the persons.000 each.000. Subsequent thereto and on October 6 of that year. "through the Attorney-General and in representation of the Government of the Philippine Islands. Attorney-General Avanceña for appellee. the sum of $30.000) gold coin. for the benefit of those persons or their heirs appearing in the list of names published in the Official Gazette instituted on May 3. is unconstitutional.000) being at present the exclusive property of the appellant the Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros. Upon the petition of the governing body of the Monte de Piedad. L-9959 December 13. and.000) given to it by the late Spanish Government of these Islands. No. by the Government of the Philippine Islands.

First: That the funds which it has up to the present been able to dispose of have been exhausted in loans on jewelry. Government. The next pertinent document in order is the defendant's petition. Government that the balance which.000 out of the funds in the public treasury obtained from the national subscription for the relief of the distress caused by the earthquake of 1863. as its needs may require. Government. which would seriously injure the credit of so beneficient an institution. and Considering that no reasonable objection can be made to granting the request herein contained. the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands was directed to inform the home Government in what manner the indemnity might be paid to which. at the disposal of the Relief Board. in which it is stated that the funds which the said institution counted upon are nearly all invested in loans on jewelry and that the small account remaining will scarcely suffice to cover the transactions of the next two days. in the exercise of the extraordinary powers conferred upon it and in conformity with the report of the Intendencia de Hacienda. M. and Considering that if such a thing would at any time cause deep distress in the public mind. Authority is hereby given to deliver to the Monte de Piedad. after strictly applying the proceeds obtained from the subscription referred to. Government does not approve the recommendation mentioned. DE RIVERA. the board of directors of the Monte de Piedad obligates itself to return any sums which it may have received on account of the eighty thousand pesos. in pursuance of its telegraphic advice to H. resolves as follows: First. and Considering that the lofty purposes that brought about the creation of the pious institution referred to would be frustrated. which reads: Board of Directors of the Monte de Piedad of Manila Presidencia. to avert impending disaster to the Monte de Piedad. amounts up to the sum $80. Second. M. MANILA. H. the sums it may have so received. Sixth: That should this transfer not be approved for any reason. and considering the fact that the public treasury has on hand a much greater sum from the source mentioned than that solicited. M. 1879. In view of the foregoing petition addressed to me by the board of directors of the Monte de Piedad of this city. or for any other reason. this general Government. and there only remains the sum of one thousand and odd pesos. to maintain the credit of the establishment. taking into consideration the sums delivered to the Monte de Piedad pursuant to the decree issued by your . within eight days after demand. and that the great and laudable and valuable if the aid it urgently seeks is not granted. for the funds in question are sufficiently secured in the unlikely event that H> M. in installments of $20. either as a donation. Third. Excellency: The Board of Directors of the Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros of Manila informs your Excellency. Third: That your Excellency has proposed to His Majesty's Government to apply to the funds of the Monte de Piedad a part of the funds held in the treasury derived form the national subscription for the relief of the distress caused by the earthquake of 1863. dated February 1. 1883. and that the great and laudable work of its establishment. or as a loan upon the security of the credit of the institution. not approve the said proposal. if H.In the royal order of June 29. out of that sum of one hundred thousand pesos held in the Treasury at the disposal of the central relief board. which will be expended between today and day after tomorrow. the latter direct that there be turned over to said Monte de Piedad $80.000 which was deposited in the said treasury by order of your general Government. the persons who suffered damage by the earthquake might be entitled. should it have received the same.000. the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands was ordered to "inform this ministerio what is the total sum available at the present time. proceed to prepare the necessary papers so that with the least possible delay the payment referred to may be made and the danger that menaces the Monte de Piedad of having to suspend its operations may be averted. fifth: That in the straightened circumstances of the moment. and considering that this general Government has submitted for the determination of H. to wit. there be transferred to the Monte de Piedad the sum of $80. since the suspension of its operations would seriously and regrettably damage the ever-growing credit of the Monte de Piedad. by securing a loan from whichever bank or banks may lend it the money at the cheapest rate upon the security of pawned jewelry. said board obligating itself to return this sum should H. your Excellency can. for any reason. addressed to the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands. The Governor-General's resolution on the foregoing petition is as follows: GENERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES. Fourth: That in the public treasury there is held at the disposal of the central earthquake relief board over $1090. in order to perform the sacred obligation which the Government of Spain had assumed toward the donors. The board of directors of the Monte de Piedad is solemnly bound to return. there to be held under the same conditions as at present in the Treasury. order that. which would be greatly injured were its operations suspended. 1883. it having been transferred thereto from the Spanish-Filipino Bank where it had been held. or the whole thereof. it stated further that if the aid so solicited is not furnished. 1892. and because it is the only institution which can mitigate the effects of such poverty. by virtue of the resolutions of the relief board. The Intendencia General de Hacienda shall forthwith. ² This is an urgent measure to save the Monte de Piedad in the present crisis and the board of directors trusts to secure your Excellency's entire cooperation and that of the other officials who have take part in the transaction. and in view of the report upon the matter made by the Intendencia General de Hacienda. believing that in so doing the wishes of the donors would be faithfully interpreted inasmuch as those wishes were no other than to relieve distress.lawphi1. it might be said that at the present juncture it would assume the nature of a disturbance of public order because of the extreme poverty of the poorer classes resulting from the late calamities. M.net (Signed) P. and in preference to all other work. Government shall be advised hereof. Government does not approve this resolution. either because of the failure of His Majesty's Government to approve the proposal made by your Excellency relative to the application to the needs of the Monte de Piedad of a pat of the subscription intended to believe the distress caused by the earthquake of 1863. it is necessary to procure money. for it liberates needy person from the pernicious effects of usury. out of the sum held in the public treasury of these Islands obtained from the national subscription opened by reason of the earthquakes of 1863. Second: That. it will be compelled to suspend operations.000. By the royal order of December 3. for which reason it entreats the general Government that. February 1.000. may remain as a surplus should be delivered to the Monte de Piedad. M. and for this purpose it will procure funds by means of loans raised on pawned jewelry. an act of charity which is exercised in the highest degree by the Monte de Piedad.

1883. $80. 1883. as therein provided. it formally engaged itself to return it. 1883. balance of these two account which on this date are united in accordance with an order of the Exmo. erroneously interpreting both the last royal order which directed the apportionment of the amount of the subscription raised in the year 1863 and the superior decree which granted the loan. they also received and turned into their . as such persons "have an unquestionable right to be paid the donations assigned to them therein. and without interest. In view of the unexpected reply made by the Monte de Piedad. 1902. has endorsed to the Spanish-Filipino Bank nearly the whole of the sum which it had on deposit in the general deposit funds." and "in order that all the points in connection with the proceedings had as a result of the earthquake be clearly understood. $20. Sr." and finally "that when all the proceedings and operations herein mentioned have been concluded and the Government can consider itself free from all kinds of claims on the part of those interested in the distribution of the funds deposited in the vaults of the Treasury. 1879. M." On receipt of this Finance order by the Governor-General. The record in the case under consideration fails to disclose any further definite action taken by either the Philippine Government or the Spanish Government in regard to the $80. ² By Royal Order No.000. 1899. April 14 and June 2 of the said year. and deposit with the Treasury of the sums paid out of that fund and which were expended in a different way from that intended by the donors) and this Intendencia believed the moment had arrived to claim from the board of directors of the Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros the sum of 80.000 which it owes. and believing it useless to insist further in the matter of the claim for the aforementioned loan. show that on the 15th of February. and for this purpose I beg your Excellency kindly to order the Monte de Piedad to reimburse within the period of eight days the 80. far from investing it in beneficient transactions. the fulfillment of which your Excellency was pleased to order. and not the Intendencia (Treasury).000. instead of fulfilling the promise it made on receiving the sum. the Philippine government called upon the defendant for information concerning the status of the $80. no donation whatever could be made of funds derived from a private subscription raised for a specific purpose. when it received the loan. $20. this Intendencia believes the intervention of your Excellency necessary in this matter. when it was closed by transferring the amount to an account called "Sagrada Mitra. inasmuch as in this letter no donation is made to the Monte de Piedad of the 80. one of these being the liquidation. thereby placing the "Sagrada Mitra" account at $95. reads: "Sagrada Mitra and subscription. These assets. during the last few days and after demand was made upon it. was loaned to it out of the said funds. M. but simply a loan. and which have been consulted for the purpose. June 2. twenty thousand pesos.000. and that you give this Intendencia power to carry out the provisions of the said royal order. there being lacking only the mere material act of the delivery. makes express mention of the 80. Government. To the Attorney-General of the Department of Justice of the Philippine Islands. thus complying with the provisions of the Royal Order. besides." which latter account was a loan of $15.000 and received the following reply: MANILA.000 pesos which. with observance of the rules specified in the said royal order. the (Monte de Piedad) obligating itself to return the same within the period of eight days if H. March 31. a part besides being invested in the relief of charitable institutions and another part to meet pressing needs occasioned by public calamities. the Department of Finance was called upon for a report in reference to the $80.000." On March 16. and their heirs had been established. 1883. 1902. 1883. it is indispensable that the offices hereinbefore mentioned comply with the provisions contained in paragraphs 2 and 3 of the royal order of June 25. This Intendencia also supposed that the Monte de Piedad no longer needed the amount of that loan. as well as any other information that might be useful for the report which your office is called upon to furnish. during the long period of time that has elapsed since they were turned over to the Treasury of the Philippine Islands. it was to be supposed that no objection to its return would be made by the Monte de Piedad for. The abovementioned journal entry for January 1. but as a donation. 1044 of December 3. in ordering that the assets of the earthquake relief fund should he collected. your Excellency was please to order the fulfillment of that sovereign mandate and referred the same to this Intendencia for its information and the purposes desired (that is. 1883. and.000 pesos loaned to the Monte de Piedad. On the same account and on each of the dates of March 12.000 pesos. were used to cover the general needs of the appropriation. 1893. if the royal Order No. is to be complied with. without doubt considering as sufficient the period of ten years during which it has been using this large sum which lawfully belongs to their persons. which funds are already distributed and the names of the beneficiaries have been published in the Gaceta. Presidente of the Council transmitted verbally to the Presidente Gerente of these institutions. But the Monte de Piedad. last. 1883. I must call to the attention of your Excellency that the said pious establishment. without regard to their financial status." and after the rights of the claimants. this in the opinion of this Intendencia. and on the further ground that the sum of 80.000 made to the defendant by the Archbishop of Manila. by decree of your general Government of the date of February 1.000. besides." The book entry for this total is as follows: "To the public Treasury derived from the subscription for the earthquake of 1863. your general Government shall convoke them all within a reasonable period and shall pay their shares to such as shall identify themselves. 1870. On this Intendencia's demanding from the Monte de Piedad the eighty thousand pesos.000 instead of $15. 1899. last. $20. such action may be taken as the circumstances shall require.000. and that Department's report to the Governor-General dated June 28. which they deposited with their own funds. it is provided that the persons who sustained losses by the earthquakes that occurred in your capital in the year 1863 shall be paid the amounts allotted to them out of the sums sent from Spain for this purpose. or to argue in support thereof. after repeated demands refused to return the money on the ground that only your Excellency. in which you request information from this office as to when and for what purpose the Spanish Government delivered to the Monte de Piedad eighty thousand pesos obtained from the subscription opened in connection with the earthquake of 1863. March 12. is entitled to order the reimbursement. inasmuch as H. last. On January 30.000 turned over to the Monte de Piedad. for compliance with its directions and. Government did not approve the delivery. whose names were published in the Official Gazette of Manila on April 7. inasmuch as. $20.000 turned over to the defendant. which has been unduly delayed. one of them being that before making the payment to the interested parties the assets shall be reduced to money. it had turned the whole amount into the voluntary deposit funds bearing 5 per cent interests.000 received from general Treasury as a returnable loan.general Government on February 1.000 pesos which it received from the fund intended for the earthquake victims was not received as a loan. total $80. In the defendant's general ledger the following entries appear: "Public Treasury: February 15. reads: Intendencia General de Hacienda de Filipinas (General Treasury of the Philippines) ² Excellency. 1044 of December 3. taking no account of the fact that this Intendencia was acting in the discharge of a sovereign command. without interest. recovery.. I must state to your department that the books kept in these Pious Institutions. as aforesaid. $95.000. after first consulting the relief board and your general Government and taking account of what sums have been delivered to the Monte de Piedad and those that were expended in 1888 to relieve public calamities. they received as a reimbursable loan and without interest. the result of this operation being that the debtor loaned to the creditor on interest what the former had gratuitously received. 1883. April 14." The account was carried in this manner until January 1. SIR: In reply to your courteous letter of the 16th inst. it was indisputable that the moment to do so had arrived.

and the fact that they might have belonged to a certain church had nothing to do with their acts in this matter. nothing else appearing. after strictly applying the proceeds obtained from the subscription referred to.000 held in the Treasury of the Philippine Islands. Government that the balance which. the same would be returned forthwith. Secretary (Sgd. the latter. but became impossible of fulfillment by the cession made by the Spanish Government in these Islands. November 19. were. and sets forth in detail the action taken in order to secure the return of the $80. 1913 (Sgd. "taking into consideration the sums delivered to the Monte de Piedad pursuant to the decree issued by your general Government on February 1. the record shows clearly that the fund was given by the donors for a specific and definite purpose ² the relief of the earthquake sufferers ² and for no other purpose. S. in untenable for two reason. among the latter was the Monte de Piedad of the Philippines." Therefore. at the disposal of the central relief board. after setting forth in its petition to the Governor-General its financial condition and its absolute necessity for more working capital. as thus stated. In view of these circumstances it must be quite clear that. in support of their third assignment of error. deeply religious. if not in all cases. The first proposition has already been decided adversely to the defendant's contention. respectively. It may be inferred from the royal orders that the Madrid Government did tacitly approve of the transfer of the $80. Counsel for the defendant.000 as a mere loan or deposit and not as a donation.000. 1899. either as a donation. who took part in the disposal of the fund. in their capacities as vicar-general of the Indies and as royal vice-patron. would have disposed of the fund as such and not in their civil capacities.000 was transferred to the Monte de Piedad well knew that it received this sum as a loan interest.) EMILIO LAZCANOTEGUI. Managing Director. of which said King and his deputy the GovernorGeneral of the Philippines.000 be given to it as a donation. S. Government does not approve this resolution. (U. the national subscription in question was a kind of foundation or pious work. to inform the Madrid Government of the total available sum of the earthquake fund. for the reason that it affected the conscience. Arredondo. The foregoing documentary evidence shows the nature of the transactions which took place between the Government of Spain and the Philippine Government on the one side and the Monte de Piedad on the other." The amount was thus carried in its books until January. to wit. there cannot be the slightest doubt the fact that the Monte de Piedad received the $80." This language. the cessionary Government though Christian. was not Roman Catholic and prided itself on its policy of non-interference in religious matters. a thing that touched him very closely in his conscience and religion. the King of Spain. the first alleged error is entirely without foundation.000 appears in this resolution of the Governor-General. the Monte de Piedad recognized and considered as late as March 31. if H.]. may remain as a surplus.funds a like sum of twenty thousand pesos. If the charity in question had been founded as an ecclesiastical pious work. concerning the $80. compliance therewith is excused and the contract has been cleared thereof. and (2) because the charity founded by the donations for the earthquake sufferers is not and never was intended to be an ecclesiastical pious work. M. should be delivered to the Monte de Piedad.000 to the Monte de Piedad as a loan without interest. "at the disposal of the relief board. when it conferred upon him the royal patronage of the Indies. now represented by the Archbishop of Manila. in this regard. It did not ask that the $80. had nothing to do with the fund in any way whatever until the $80. as such. of the King of Spain. acting under the orders of the Governor-General. [U. it did not befit the honor of either of the contracting parties to subrogate to the American Government in lieu of the Spanish Government anything respecting the disposition of the funds delivered by the latter to the Monte de Piedad. The Department of Finance. in a special and peculiar manner. The Monte de Piedad. including the King of Spain and the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands.000 to be held under the same conditions. K. acted in their purely civil. faithful compliance with the duty imposed upon him by the Holy See. even without the express provisions of the Treaty of Paris." It will be noted that the first and only time the word "donation" was used in connection with the $80. official capacity. M. after reciting the substance of the petition. and such functions could not have been transferred to the present Philippine . The church. The Governor-General. Consequently. and as the condition annexed to the donation was lawful and possible of fulfillment at the time the contract was made. with the consent of the King. The contention of counsel. the royal vice-patron. 6 Pet. and without interest. there be transferred to it the sum of $80. 2 of those Pious Institutions. and the entire subscription not being needed for its original purpose. as a result of the cession of the Philippine Islands." Furthermore. stated that "this general Government has submitted for the determination of H. 1883." directed the transfer of the $80. the protectors. As to the second.) O.) It is thus seen that the American Government did not subrogate the Spanish Government or rather. making a total of eighty thousand pesos. ² (Signed) Emilio Moreta. The money was turned over to the Spanish Government to be devoted to that purpose. the King of Spain and the Governor-General.000. within eight days after demand. gave the surplus thereof to an analogous purpose. or as a loan upon the security of the credit of the institution. The same reasons that induced the Spanish Government to take over such things would result in great inconvenience to the American Government in attempting to do so. that it received the $80. All officials. and inveterately maintained a complete separation between the ecclesiastical and civil powers. as royal vice-patron. vs. which apparently expressly exclude such an idea. that it cannot be believed that it was ever his intention to confide the exercise thereof to a Government like the American. when it was transferred to the account of the "Sagrada Mitra" and was thereafter known as the "Sagrada Mitra and subscription account. Implicitly renounced this high office and tacitly returned it to the Holy See. (1) because such contention is based upon the erroneous theory that the sum in question was a donation to the Monte de Piedad and not a loan. asked that out of the sum of $100. The question was such a delicate one.000 reached the coffers of the Monte de Piedad (an institution under the control of the church) as a loan or deposit." The Monte de Piedad agreed that if the transfer of these funds should not be approved by the Government of Spain. might admit of the interpretation that the Madrid Government did not intend that the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands should include the $80. in the majority. say in their principal brief that: The Spanish nation was professedly Roman Catholic and its King enjoyed the distinction of being deputy ex officio of the Holy See and Apostolic Vicar-General of the Indies. for a charitable purpose in these Islands.000 to be made with the understanding that "the Board of Directors of the Monte de Piedad is solemnly bound to return.000 in the total available sum. 711. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a literal copy of that found in the letter book No. and as such it was his duty to protect all pious works and charitable institutions in his kingdoms. but that Government certainly did not approve such transfer as a donation for the reason that the Governor-General was directed by the royal order of December 3. the sums it may have so received. especially those of the Indies. The Spanish Government remitted the money to the Philippine Government to be distributed among the suffers." and "considering that no reasonable objection can be made to granting the request herein contained. understood that the $80. EMILIO MORETA.000 "as a returnable loan. That report refers expressly to the royal order of December 3d. 1902. but when considered in connection with the report of the Department of Finance there can be no doubt that it was so intended. Manila. 1892. the fulfillment of all these things involved.

As the Spanish Government initiated the creation of the fund and as the donors turned their contributions over to that Government. Not being the owner of the fund it could not transfer the ownership. in so far as the investment in securities are concerned. wharves. Rep. Whether or not it could transfer its trusteeship it certainly never has expressly done so and the general terms of property transfer in the Treaty of Paris are wholly insufficient for such a purpose even could Spain have transferred its trusteeship without the consent of the donors and even could the United States. or institutions of the substituted sovereign. transfer the ownership of the fund to the Monte de Piedad. structures. or inn other words. which is more than doubtful. It will this be seen that those governments were something more. That all laws theretofore in force which are in conflict with the political character. the court said: That there is a total abrogation of the former political relations of the inhabitants of the ceded region is obvious. The secretary could not dispose of any of the funds in this manner so long as they were necessary for the specific purpose for which they were contributed. That they fall within the latter class is clear from their very nature and character. constitution. the royal decree of April 27. under the law above mentioned to appoint and totally or partially change the personnel of the relief board and to authorize the board to defend the rights of the charity in the courts. The relief board had no power whatever to dispose of the funds confided to its charge for other purposes than to distribute them among the sufferers. in conformity with law.000 to the Government. barracks.. could maintain an action for this purpose had there been no change of sovereignty and if the right of action has not prescribed. belonged to the public domain. public highways. Manila (220 U. known as the Philippine Islands. savings banks. and other immovable property which. as the right to recover does not rest upon the proposition that the $80. The Governments of Spain and of the Philippine Islands in complying with their duties conferred upon them by law.000 were not included therein. 384). 1894. The donors were persons in Spain. S. see also Act No. under article 1 of the law of June 20.000 must be "other immovable property" mentioned in article 8 of the treaty." and it being true that the Spanish Government could not. have accepted such a trust under any power granted to it by the thirteen original States in the Constitution. the court said: The Revolution devolved on the State all the transcendent power of Parliament. the latter agreeing to pay Spain the sum of $20. 701). war between the United States and Spain ensued. as the representative of His Majesty's Government. In order to determine their exact status with reference to this fund. This is undisputed and indisputable. 34) The funds collected as a result of the national subscription opened in Spain by royal order of the Spanish Government and which were remitted to the Philippine Government to be distributed among the earthquake sufferers by the Central Relief Board constituted. than mere trustees of the fund. They are laws which are not political in any sense of the word. We will not inquire what effect his cession had upon the law of June 20. to exercise supervision and control over the moneys thus collected to the end that the will of the donors should be carried out. The present sovereign. Cas. as counsel say. from taxation. are the donors or the cestuis que trustent. was ceded to the United States. 408). But those governments were something more than mere common law trustees of the fund. 216 U. The authority of the board consisted only in carrying out the will of the donors as directed by the Government whose duty it was to watch over the acts of the board and to see that the funds were applied to the purposes for which they were contributed . 369. acted in their governmental capacities in attempting to carry out the intention of the contributors. United States. as trustee. even considering it a loan. exercised these powers and duties through the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands. and this Government is neither. These legal provisions were applicable to the Philippine Islands (Benedicto vs. and gave their Acts the same force and effect. because paragraph 3 of article 11 of the instructions conferred the power upon the secretary of the interior of Spain. Under the first paragraph of the eighth article. by assigning them to some other charitable purpose or institution. 1898. If the above-mentioned legal provisions are in conflict with the political character." As the $80. and the prerogative of the crown. because the right to so act would have arisen out of the special agreement between the Government of Spain and the Holy See. Mr. It follows further that this Government is not a proper party to the action.Government. if it was unlawful. etc. Brown (16 Fed. 1849. lose their force." as it cannot rest upon any title to the fund in the Monte de Piedad acquired prior to such change.. based on the union of the church and state which was completely separated with the change of sovereignty. it became the duty of the latter. 167. pass to the present sovereign. Furthermore." they continued in force and are still in force unless they have been repealed by the present Government. it is said that the right to recover this amount did not. and as such belonged to the crown of Spain.. 1189. placed such institutions. The secretary had the power. The only persons who could claim to be damaged by this payment to the Monte. and the instructions promulgated on the latter date.000. 1875. 1894. the question arises. under article 7 of the instructions. delivering the opinion of the court in a charity case.. if true. The whole matter is one of trusteeship.. forts. This contention. If "the whole matter is one of trusteeship. as a Government.. it is necessary to examine the law in force at the time there transactions took place. "must result from settled principles of rigid law. the present Philippine Government cannot maintain this action for that reason.The secretary of the interior. and to some extent control charities and charitable institutions. the royal decree of April 27. but upon contractual obligations incurred before the Philippine Islands were ceded to the United States. regulate. the donees. who may sue to recover this loan? It needs no argument to show that the Spanish or Philippine Government. 1875. the Archipelago. as we have said. 345). the cestuis que trustent. said: . a special charity of a temporary nature as distinguished from a permanent public charitable institution. Justice McLean. were certain persons in the Philippine Islands.) But it is equally settled in the same public law that the great body of municipal law which regulates private and domestic rights continues in force until abrogated or changed by the new ruler. under the general supervision of the Insular Treasurer (paragraph 4 of section 111 of Act No. constitution or institutions of the new sovereign. 57). In Vilas vs. quoted with approval in Mormon Charch vs. It is further contended that the obligation on the part of the Monte de Piedad to return the $80. and article 2 of the instructions of April 27..000 to the Spanish Government was still pending. does not follow as a necessary consequence. was wiped out on the change of sovereignty. It follows that the Spanish Government at no time was the owner of the fund. De la Rama. and no other. In Magill vs. should there be any. which are the law of June 20. While the obligation to return the $80. they became inoperative or lost their force upon the cession of the Philippine Islands to the United States. Spain relinquished to the United States "all buildings. They conferred upon the Spanish Government the right and duty to supervise." all of which are in the nature of charitable institutions. S. S. And in their supplemental brief counsel say: By the conceded facts the money in question is part of a charitable subscription. Ravenel (17 Hw. 1875. is also plain. and the instructions promulgated on the latter date. therefore. to dispose of the surplus funds. the trustee was the Spanish Government. Under the Treaty of Paris of December 10. upon the cession of the Philippine Islands the prerogatives of he crown of Spain devolved upon he United States. but if they are among "that great body of municipal law which regulates private and domestic rights. in our opinion. This. in exempting "provident institutions.1. (Alvarez y Sanchez vs.000. United States (136 U. 3 Phil. In Fontain vs.

417): Where property affected by a trust for public purposes is in the hands of those who hold it devoted to that trust. as contended by counsel. who are often in capable of vindicating their rights. Mass. 497). but that it now resides in the legislative department. S. there can be nothing in the Act which transcends the power of the Philippine Legislature. subject to all of its liabilities. the legislature or government of the State. the same was revived by Act No. 2109. As such it is entitled to the property and property rights of the predecessor corporation.. in a measure. 130). said: The juristic identity of the corporation has been in no wise affected. and liable upon the obligations of the old city. 483. In Vilas vs. who cannot act for themselves. to the specific purposes to which it was intended to be devoted.. and this Government is neither. (4 Kent Com. The Supreme Court of the United States. under its present charter from the Government of the Philippine Islands. insane persons and person not known. The Act is only a manifestation on the part of the Philippine Government to exercise the power or right which it undoubtedly had. 10th ed. (Mormon Church vs. citing and relying upon article 1961. Lewin on Trusts. idiots. While on the other hand. In People vs. the plaintiff was a creditor of the city of Manila as it existed before the cession of the Philippine Islands to the United States by the Treaty of Paris of December 10. as distinguished from the rights of individuals. 2109. and is. before an action could be brought by the Attorney-General in the name of the people. wherein the latter court held that it is deemed indispensible that there should be a power in the legislature to authorize the same of the estates of in facts.. on behalf on the public generally. as parens patriae. This court held that the present municipality is a totally different corporate entity and in no way liable for the debts of the Spanish municipality. The sovereign will is made known to us by legislative enactment.) To deny the Government's right to maintain this action would be contrary to sound public policy. the present city is. In fact. is the parens patriae. was the same juristic person. in every legal sense. The action was brought upon the theory that the city. Therefor. General Hospital (3 Cush. little need be said for the reason that we have just held that the present Philippine Government is the proper party to the action. could have been ascertained. (b) because the right of action to recover a deposit or trust funds does not prescribe. Their whereabouts are unknown. supra. but holds it as a loan subject to the disposal of the central relief board.. but within those limits consecrated to the public use. The beneficiaries. the prerogatives of the crown devolved upon the people of the States. prescribed. ready to be called into exercise whenever required for the purposes of justice and right.000. supra. And this power still remains with them except so fact as they have delegated a portion of it to the Federal Government. And no doubt a large number of the original sufferers have died. the Attorney-General contends that the right of action had not prescribed (a) because the defense of prescription cannot be set up against the Philippine Government. United States. it was urged that the plaintiff was not the real party in interest. 129. and approved the following quotation from Attorney-General vs. and that there must be an allegation and proof of a distinct right of the people as a whole. however. probably. the successor of the old. note. whether that power is lodged in a royal person or in the legislature. apply to the beneficiaries of charities. by virtue of its general superintending authority over the public interests. Chancelor Kent says: In this country. 1893. as above indicated. U. They parted with the title to their respective contributions. is not the true ground upon which the right of the Government to maintain the action rests. leaving various heirs. (2 Knet's Commentaries. The names of the contributors do not appear in the record. held that it was not only the right but the duty of the Attorney-General to prosecute the action. As to the question raised in the fourth assignment of error relating to the constitutionality of Act No. 1964 and 1969 of the Civil Code. after quoting from Sohier vs. if it was unlawful. C.) It is further urged. They show that this beneficient functions has not ceased t exist under the change of government from a monarchy to a republic.When this country achieved its independence. in reversing this judgment and in holding the city liable for the old debt. as tending to discourage the prompt exercise of similar acts of humanity and Christian benevolence in like instances in the future. The impracticability of pursuing a different course. and is a clearly capable of being exercised in cases of charities as in any other cases whatever. 359. insane persons.000. only applicable. and for the prevention of injury to those who cannot protect themselves. the public interest and the public right. that the Attorney-General had no power to institute the action. the plaintiff's right of action had prescribed at the time this suit was instituted on May 3. in law. It would be impracticable for them to institute an action or actions either individually or collectively to recover the $80. or not in being. where no other person is entrusted with it. acting as parens patriae. Consequently. Cogswell (113 Cal. and has no affinity to those arbitrary powers which are sometimes exerted by irresponsible monarchs to the great detriment of the people and the destruction of their liberties.000 when ordered to do so by the Department of Finance in June. in conflict with the fifth section of the Act of Congress of July 1. public property. . in overruling these contentions. 732. after approving also the last quotations. sec. The Act is not. no individual could be found effectually to assert. consisting of the original sufferers and their heirs. and (c) even if the defense of prescription could be interposed against the Government and if the action had. They are quite numerous also. said: This prerogative of parens patriae is inherent in the supreme power of every State. in law. in fact. The true ground is that the money being given to a charity became. Compton (1 Younge & C. and became part of the public resources for promoting the happiness and welfare of the Philippine Government. The court in the same case. or not in being. Manila. the defendant is not the owner of the $80. supra. The State as a sovereign. and. 1902. it is a most beneficient functions. 508. because it does not take property without due process of law." The earthquake fund was the result or the accumulation of a great number of small contributions. that "the only persons who could claim to be damaged by this payment to the Monte. and justly look for protection to the sovereign authority. which related to charities. 1912.) The Supreme Court of the United States in Mormon Church vs. said: These remarks in reference to in facts. it is true. and persons not known. even if the interest were such as to allow it. 1898. it is the privilege of the public that the crown should be entitled to intervene by its officers for the purpose of asserting. and often necessary to be exercised in the interest of humanity. which. On the contrary. has the right to enforce all charities of public nature. the plaintiff is not the proper party to bring the action. In support of the fifth assignment of error counsel for the defendant argue that as the Monte de Piedad declined to return the $80. The court. The only course that can be satisfactorily pursued is for the Government to again assume control of the fund and devote it to the object for which it was originally destined.. are the donors or the cestuis que trustent.

As legislation of a State can only apply to persons and thing over which the State has jurisdiction. Act No. 13 Wall. Midland R. to wit. or since it became the owner of such coupons. is not bound by any statute of limitations.000 in 1883 "to be held under the same conditions as at present in the treasury. Knight. is exercising its sovereign functions or powers and is seeking to carry out a trust developed upon it when the Philippine Islands were ceded to the United States. and the action was instituted on May 3rd of that year. 92. Co. did not sign. so that the latter is only a nominal party. 14 Pet. Gibson vs.. 1006. statute of limitations do not as a general rule run against the sovereign or government. B. 125). 511 [following Reg." On March 31.The material facts relating to this question are these: The Monte de Piedad received the $80. 120. in the very nature of things. supra. 1902. through its legal representative. S. In 25 Cyc. The principle is applicable to all governments. stated in writing that the amount in question was received as a reimbursable loan. that the $80.. etc.) Is the Philippine Government bound by the statute of limitations? The Supreme Court of the United States in U. JJ. Fink vs.. It is upon this principle that in this country the statutes of a State prescribing periods within which rights must be prosecuted are not held to embrace the State itself. without interest. where the state goes into business in concert or in competition with her citizens. see also Atty. S. 98 U. which must necessarily act through numerous agents. 106 U. 16 Ohio St. 39 U.) These principles being based "upon the foundation of the great principle of public policy" are. 666.. to return the $80. Chouteau. the court said: It is a matter of common knowledge that statutes of limitation do not run against the State. asserting rights vested in it as a sovereign government. unless it is expressly designated or the mischiefs to be remedied are of such a nature that it must necessarily be included. because more than ten full years had elapsed after March 31. Code of Civil Procedure. 1912. 1902. cannot be taken as the date when the statute of limitations began to run. S. The Monte declined to comply with this order upon the ground that only the GovernorGeneral of the Philippine Islands and not the Department of Finance had the right to order the reimbursement. (Lindsey vs. 1893. whether state or federal. at the disposal of the relief board. applicable to the Philippine Government. and was founded on the principle of public policy. that as he was occupied with the cares of government he ought not to suffer from the negligence of his officer and servants. Co. S. 11. Miller.000. vs. the rule. But the rule is otherwise where the mischiefs to be remedied are of such a nature that the state must necessarily be included. the right of action of the Government on the coupons of such bonds could not be barred by the statute of limitations of Tennessee.. Nashville. Upon this theory June. (Sections 38 and 43.. Campbell. thereby in effect admitting that it still owed the amount. when it was transferred to the account of the "Sagrada Mitra. either while it held them in trust for the Indians. U. 1899. and that no time can bar his rights. vs. C. is stated as follows: In the absence of express statutory provision to the contrary. (Section 50. with costs against the appellant. which forbids that the public interests should be prejudiced by the negligence of the officers or agents to whose care they are confided ² that the United States. In the instant case the Philippine Government is not a mere nominal party because it. Choteau. applicable to all governments alike. 1912. 301. 1892. 486. the Monte. Torres. said: It is settled beyond doubt or controversy ² upon the foundation of the great principle of public policy. Chattanooga & St. vs.000 were received as a loan. Thompson. for the reason that the defendant acknowledged in writing on March 31. For the foregoing reasons the judgment appealed from is affirmed. and is essential to a preservation of the interests and property of the public..-Gen. The amount was carried on the books of the Monte as a returnable loan until January 1... 6 Pet. . Moreland. Nashville. vs.) So where lands are held in trust by the state and the beneficiaries have no right to sue. supported by numerous authorities.) But if counsels' theory is the correct one the action may have prescribed on May 3. 2109 became effective January 30..) In Gibson vs. (Greene Tp. in bringing and prosecuting this action. That no laches can be imputed to the King. 1902. a statute does not run against the State's right of action for trespass on the trust lands.. S. The United States having in 1852. certain bonds of the State of Tennessee. and directs its payment in gold coin or in the equivalent in Philippine currency. concur. 397]. vs.." In compliance with the provisions of the royal order of December 3. (U.. Counsel in their argument in support of the sixth and last assignments of error do not question the amount of the judgment nor do they question the correctness of the judgment in so far as it allows interest. Williams. Counsel for the defendant treat the question of prescription as if the action was one between individuals or corporations wherein the plaintiff is seeking to recover an ordinary loan. the Department of Finance called upon the Monte de Piedad in June. Q. 272. the United States are also necessarily excluded from the operation of such statutes. 1893. Code of Civil Procedure. S. vs. So ordered. Louis Railway Co. R.. 281. supra. was the maxim of the common laws. J. (118 U. Johnson and Araullo. S. O'Neil. or where a party seeks to enforces his private rights by suit in the name of the state or government. U. purchased as trustee for the Chickasaw Indians under treaty with that tribe. 3 Ont. unless Congress has clearly manifested its intention that it should be so bound. vs.

" It is very clear. or in his absence the mother. So it must be in this case. the former is likely to lavish more care on and pay greater attention to her. We have to affirm. The words are rather clear. the plaintiff.00. with whom the child is living. for defendant-appellant. " The insured. therefore. 1965. it must have taken into account the principle that in cases of this nature the welfare of the child is the paramount consideration. Millian Pilapil. the father or mother shall give 3 a bond subject to the approval of the Court of First Instance. her mother. rendered judgment ordering the defendant to deliver the proceeds of the policy in question to plaintiff. Hence this complaint by the mother. Florentino Pilapil had a child. the plaintiff should file an additional bond in the guardianship proceedings. Defendant uncle appealed. the plaintiff in this case. the decision must stand. Time and time again. This is all the more likely considering that the child is with the mother. Seno. She was ten years old at the time the complaint was filed on October 10. to protect the rights of the minor.R. There are no circumstances then that did militate against what conforms to the natural order of things. Mendoza & Associates for plaintiff-appellee. No. Sp. . defendant-appellant. this Court has left no doubt that where codal or statutory norms are cast in categorical 6 language. L-25843 July 25. The appealed decision made clear: "There is no controversy as to the facts.:p The disputants in this appeal from a question of law from a lower court decision are the mother and the uncle of a minor beneficiary of the proceeds of an insurance policy issued on the life of her deceased father. It is not an unreasonable assumption that between a mother and an uncle. plaintiff-appellee. In addition. 1 Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. belongs to the minor child in ownership. The said minor lives with plaintiff or lives in the company of the plaintiff. belongs to the child in ownership. The trust. vs. It is not to be lost sight of either that the judiciary pursuant to its role as an agency of the State as parens patriae. his child. did weigh in the balance the opposing claims and did come to the conclusion that the welfare of the child called for the mother to be entrusted with such responsibility. As noted. She filed the bond required by the Civil Code.. Defendant would justify his claim to the retention of the amount in question by invoking the terms 2 of the insurance policy. the lower court in a decision of May 10. considering the above. or by any lucrative title. Millian Pilapil. 1964. with his brother to act as trustee during her minority. that unless the applicability of the two cited Civil Code provisions can be disputed. Jr. Its main reliance was on Articles 320 and 321 of the Civil Code. If the property is worth more than two thousand pesos. In order. So it was in the appealed decision. Melchora Cabanas. 5 Proc. the proceeds were paid to him. The said minor acquired this property by lucrative title. with an even greater stress on family unity under the present Constitution. is the brother of the deceased. insofar as it is in conflict with the above quoted provision of law. . even if the language of the law were not as clear.FERNANDO. Their meaning is unequivocal. her mother. seeking the delivery of such sum. Said property. After trial duly had. and in usufruct to the father or mother under 4 whom he is under parental authority and whose company he lives. the lower court acted the way it did following the specific mandate of the law. The lower court applying the appropriate Civil Code provisions decided in favor of the mother. There is no ambiguity in the language employed. The dispute centers as to who of them should be entitled to act as trustee thereof. Upon his death. with a married woman. FRANCISCO PILAPIL. the task before it is not one of interpretation but of application. Emilio Benitez. Conformity to such explicit codal norm is apparent in this portion of the appealed decision: "The insurance proceeds belong to the beneficiary. J. The former provides: "The father. The defendant. and in usufruct to the plaintiff. Francisco Pilapil. The beneficiary is a minor under the custody and parental authority of the plaintiff. Since under our law the usufructuary is entitled to possession. however. is the legal administrator of the property pertaining to the child under parental authority..000. No. The deceased insured himself and instituted as beneficiary. 1974 MELCHORA CABANAS." The latter states: "The property which the unemancipated child has acquired or may acquire with his work or industry. therefore. is pro tanto null and void. the plaintiff is entitled to possession of the insurance proceeds. 2418-R of this Court to raise her bond therein to the total amount of P5.

there is this constitutional provision vitalizing this concept.. XIII de la Partida 5. commenting on Article 159 of the Civil Code of Spain. It would be more in consonance not only with the natural order of things but the tradition of the country for a parent to be preferred. The appealed decision is supported by another cogent consideration. as the Constitution so wisely dictates. Zaldivar (Chairman). There is recognition in the law of the deep ties that bind parent and child." What is more. it could have been different if the conflict were between father and mother. the decision of May 10. De la propia suerte aceptan en general dicho principio los Codigos extranjeros.1. is called upon whenever a pending suit of litigation affects one who is a minor to accord priority to his best interest. It is buttressed by its adherence to the concept that the judiciary. 1965 is affirmed. Manresa. With the added circumstance that the child stays with the mother. as mentioned at the outset. that infidelity to the trust imposed by the deceased is much less in the case of a mother than in the case of an uncle. it is the family as a unit that has to be strengthened. Costs against defendant-appellant. as an agency of the State acting as parens patriae. En nuestro Derecho antiguo puede decirse que se hallaba reconocida de una manera indirecta aquelia doctrina. the conclusion will remain unaltered. In a recent case. que se refiere a la ley 24. JJ. It is a mother asserting priority. What is paramount. there is this quotation from an opinion of the United States Supreme Court: "This prerogative of parens patriae is inherent in the supreme power of every State. the source of Article 320 of the Civil Code.. In the event that there is less than full measure of concern for the offspring. It reads: "The State 10 shall strengthen the family as a basic social institution. still deference to a constitutional mandate would have led the lower court to decide as it did. Such is not the case at all. took no part. Even if it were a question of policy. is the welfare of the child. Antonio. as it did occur here. cannot 9 remain insensible to the validity of her plea." 2. WHEREFORE. without any evidence of lack of maternal care. It would take more than just two paragraphs as found in the brief for the defendant-appellant to blunt the force of legal commands that speak so plainly and so unqualifiedly. both logical and natural. It is in consonance with such primordial end that Articles 320 and 321 have been worded. y asi se desprende de la sentencia del Tribunal Supremeo de 30 de diciembre de 1864. concur. It is further fortified by the assumption. Barredo. J. 7 . not the uncle. was of that view: Thus "El derecho y la obligacion de administrar el Patrimonio de los hijos es una consecuencia natural y lógica de la patria potestad y de la presunción de que nadie cuidará de los bienes de acquéllos con mas cariño y solicitude que los padres. that family relations may press their respective claims. Certainly the judiciary as the instrumentality of the State in its role of parens patriae. It may happen. the protection is supplied by the bond required." If. it does not admit of doubt that even if a stronger case were presented for the uncle. Fernandez and Aquino. tit. the decision arrived at can stand the test of the strictest scrutiny. con las limitaciones y requisitos de 8 que trataremos mis adelante. whether that power is lodged in a royal person or in the legislature. and has no affinity to those arbitrary powers which are sometimes exerted by irresponsible monarchs to the great detriment of the people and the destruction of their liberties.

According to the pleadings, the petitioner, a Filipino citizen, was arrested in Camarines Sur in May, 1945, by the United States Army, and was interned, under a commitment order "for his active collaboration with the Japanese during the Japanese occupation," but in September, 1945, he was turned over to the Commonwealth Government, and since then has been under the custody of the respondent Director of Prisons. The legality of the prisoner's arrest and detention by the military authorities of the United States 1 is now beyond question. His present incarceration, which is merely continuation of his previous apprehension, has lasted "more than six hours" counted from his delivery to the respondent; but section 19 of Commonwealth Act No. 682 provides in part as follows: Upon delivery by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States in the Philippines of the persons detained by him as political prisoners, to the Commonwealth Government, the Office of Special Prosecutors shall receive all records, documents, exhibits, and such other things as the Government of the United States may have turned over in connection with and/or affecting said political prisoners, examine the aforesaid records, documents, exhibits, etc., and take, as speedily as possible, such action as maybe proper: Provided, however, . . .. And, provided, further, That, in the interest of public security, the provisions of article one hundred twenty-five of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall be deemed, as they are hereby, suspended, insofar as the aforesaid political prisoners are concerned, until the filing of the corresponding information with the People's Court, but the period of suspension shall not be more than six (6) months from the formal delivery of said political prisoners by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States in the Philippines to the Commonwealth Government. In view of the provision, and the statement of the Solicitor General that even on the date the petition was presented his office had, ready for filing, an information charging herein petitioner with treason, we fail to see how petitioner's release may now be decreed. However, he contends that the aforesaid section violates our Constitution, because it is (a) discriminatory in nature; (b) unlawful delegation of legislative powers; and (c) retroactive in operation. (a) It is first argued that the suspension is not general in application, it being made operative only to "the political prisoners concerned," that other citizens are not denied the six-hour limitation in article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, that such discrimination is unexcusable and amounts to denial of the equal protection of the laws. It is accepted doctrine in constitutional law that the "equal protection" clause does not prevent the Legislature from establishing classes of individuals or objects upon which different rules shall 2 operate ² so long as the classification is not unreasonable. Instances of valid classification are numerous. The point to be determined then, is whether the differentiation in the case of the political prisoner is unreasonable or arbitrary. One of the proclamations issued by General MacArthur upon his arrival in Leyte (December 29, 1944) referred to those Filipino citizens who had voluntarily given aid, comfort and sustenance to the Japanese. It announced his purpose to to hold them in restraint for the duration of the war, "whereafter they shall be turned over to the Philippine Government for its judgment upon their respective cases." When active hostilities with Japan terminated, General MacArthur ordered the delivery of the Commonwealth of all the prisoners theretofore taken under his said proclamation. There was 6,000 in round numbers. The problem problem was momentous and urgent. Criminal informations against all, or a majority, or even a substantial number of them could not be properly filed in the six-hour period. They could not obviously be turned loose, considering the conditions of peace and order, and the safety of the prisoners themselves. So the President, by

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-200 March 28, 1946

ANASTACIO LAUREL, petitioner, vs. ERIBERTO MISA, as Director of Prisons, respondent. Sulpicio V. Cea for petitioner. First Assistant Solicitor General Reyes and Solicitor Hernandez, Jr. for respondent. Arturo A. Alafriz as amicus curiae. BENGZON, J.: Anastacio Laurel demands his release form Bilibid Prison, mainly asserting that Commonwealth Act No. 682, creating the People's Court, specially section 19, under which he is detained as a political prisoner, is unconstitutional and void. The Solicitor General, meeting the issue, sustains the validity of the whole law.

virtue of his emergency powers, promulgated Executive Order No. 65 suspending article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, for not more than thirty days, with regard to said detainees or internees, having found such suspension necessary to "enable the Government to fulfill its responsibilities and to adopt temporary measures in relation with their custody and the investigation, prosecution and disposal of their respective cases." The Order added that it shall be in force and effect until the Congress shall provide otherwise. Congress later approved Commonwealth Act. No. 682, establishing the People's Court and the Office of Special Prosecutors for the prosecution and trial of crimes against national security committed during the second World War. It found the thirty-day period too short compared with the facilities available to the prosecution, and set the limit at six months. Considering the circumstances, we are not prepared to hold the extension of the period for the political detainees was unreasonable. The Legislature chose to give the prosecutor's office sufficient time to investigate and to file the proper charge ² or to discharge those whom it may find innocent. If time had not been granted, the prosecutor would perhaps have been forced to indict all the detainees indiscriminately; reserving, of course, its right subsequently to request the liberation of those it may think not guilty. But such wholesale indictment was obviously neither practical nor desirable. We will allow that there may be some dispute as to the wisdom or adequacy of the extension. Yet the point is primarily for the Legislature to decide. The only issue is the power to promulgate special rules for the custody and investigation of active collaborationists, and so long as reasons exist in support of the legislative action courts should be careful not to deny it. In this connection, it must be stated there can really be no substantial ground to assail the sixmonth extension, in view of the provisions authorizing the release under bail. Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code was intended to prevent any abuse resulting from confining a person without informing him of his offense and without permitting him to go on bail. Commonwealth Act No. 682 gives no occasion to such abuse. The political prisoners know, or ought to know, they are being kept for crimes against national security. And they are generally permitted to furnish bail bonds. (b) There is hardly any merit to the argument that as "the duration of the suspension of article 125 is placed in the hands of the Special Prosecutor's Office," the section constitutes an invalid delegation of legislative powers; for as explained by the Solicitor-General, the result ² some informations filed before, others afterwards ² is merely the "consequence of the fact that six thousand informations could not be filed simultaneously, and that some one had to be first or some one else, necessarily the last." The law, in effect, permitted the Solicitor-General to file the informations within six months. And statutes permitting officers to perform their duties within certain periods of time may not surely be declared invalid delegations of legislative power. (c) Nor is the position correct that section 19 is retroactive in its operation. It refers to detention after its passage ² not before. Incidentally, there is no constitutional objection to retroactive 3 statutes where they relate, to remedies or procedure. The argument is advanced that when he was arrested, (May, 1945), article 125 of the Revised Penal Code was in force, and petitioner could have asked for release after six hours and, therefore, Commonwealth Act No. 682 that takes away that right is ex post facto, retroactive and fundamentally objectionable. The premises are incorrect. In May, 1945, he could not have asked for release after six hours. In other words, he would not have been discharged from the custody. (Raquiza vs. Branford, supra.) Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code was in force, it is true; but not as to him. The laws of the Commonwealth were revived in Camarines Sur by operation of General MacArthur's proclamation of October 23, 1944, upon its liberation from enemy control; but subject to his reservation to hold active collaborationists in restraint "for the duration of the war." So, persons apprehended under that directive, for treasonable collaboration, could not necessarily invoke the benefits of article 125 of the Revised Penal Code.

Undoubtedly the Legislature could validly repeal section 125 of the Revised Penal Code. Had it done so, herein petitioner would have no ground to protest on constitutional principles, as he 4 could claim no vested right to the continued enforcement of said section. Therefore, a fortiori he may not complain, if, instead of repealing that section, our lawmaking body merely suspended its operation for a definite period of time. Should he counter that such repeal or suspension must be general to be valid, he will be referred to the preceding considerations regarding classification and the equal protection of the laws. Wherefore, we perceive no irreconcilable conflict between the Constitution and the challenged portions of section 19 of Commonwealth Act No. 682. The other features of the People's Court Act which are the subject of denunciation by petitioner do not, in our opinion, require specific elucidation at this time, because he has not as yet been held into that court, and the issues appear to have no important or necessary connection with his 5 current deprivation of liberty. The petition for the writ of habeas corpus will be denied. With costs. Moran, C.J., Jaranilla, Feria, De Joya, Pablo, Hilado, and Briones, JJ., concur.

Victoriano Dinglasan, and the conviction of Jose L. Garcia, Prudente M. Francisco, Dominador Adeva and Andres Fortus, the last-named four petitioners now seek in their memorandum to convert the petition into one for certiorari, with the prayer that the records of the proceedings before the General Court Martial be ordered certified to this court for review. The ground of the petition was that the petitioners were not subject to military law at the time the offense for which they had been placed on trial was committed. In their memorandum they have raised an additional question of law ² that the 93d Article of War is unconstitutional. An outline of the petitioner's previous connection with the Philippine Army, the Philippine Constabulary, and/or with guerrilla organizations will presently be made. This outline is based on allegations in the petition and the answer, and on exhibits attached thereto and to the parties' memoranda, exhibits which were offered in the course of the oral argument and admitted without objection. The said exhibits are public documents certified by the officials who had them in custody in their official capacity. They are presumed to be authentic, as we have no doubt they are. It appears that at the outbreak of war on December 8, 1941, Ramon Ruffy was the Provincial Commander, Prudente M. Francisco, a junior officer, and Andres Fortus, a corporal, all of the Philippine Constabulary garrison stationed in Mindoro. When, on February 27, 1942, the Japanese forces landed in Mindoro, Major Ruffy retreated to the mountains instead of surrendering to the enemy, disbanded his company, and organized and led a guerrilla outfit known as Bolo Combat team of Bolo Area. Lieutenant Francisco, Corporal Fortus and Jose L. Garcia, the last then a civilian joined Major Ruffy's organization towards the latter part of 1942, while Dominador Adeva and Victoriano Dinglasan, then likewise civilians, became its members some time in 1943.. Meanwhile, Brigadier General Macario Peralta, Jr., then a lieutenant colonel of the Philippine Army, also took to the hills of Panay and led the operation of the 6th Military District, one of the districts into which the Philippine Army had been divided before the war. About November, 1942, Colonel Peralta succeeded in contacting the General Headquarters of General MacArthur in Australia as the result of which on February 13, 1943, the 6th Military District was recognized by the Headquarters of the Southwest Pacific Area as a military unit and part of its command. Even before General MacArthur's recognition of the 6th Military District Colonel Peralta had extended its sphere of operation to comprise Mindoro and Marinduque, and had, on January 2, 1943, named Major Ruffy as Acting Commander for those two provinces and Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion, 66 Infantry 61st Division, Philippine Corps. After the recognition, 2d Lieut. Prudente M. Francisco, by virtue of Special Orders No. 99, dated November 2, 1943, and signed by Enrique L. Jurado, Major, OSE, Commanding, was assigned as S-3 in the Bolo Area. Major, later Lieut. Col., Jurado, it should be noted, had been dispatched by the 6th Military District to Mindoro to assume operational control supervision over the Bolo Area unit and to make and direct the necessary report to the Headquarters, 6th Military District, in Panay. On April 26, 1944, by General Orders No. 40 of the 6th Military District, 2d Lieutenant Francisco was promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant (Brevet), effective April 15, 1944, subject to approval by the President of the Philippines, and was re-assigned to the Bolo Area. As to Andres Fortus he was assigned to the same Bolo Area as probationary 3d lieutenant for two-month probationary training, by the Headquarters of the 6th Military District, as per Special Orders No. 70, dated May 15, 1944. According to a memorandum of the Chief of Staff, 6th Military District, dated January 1943, and signed by L.R. Relunia, Lieut. Col., CE, Chief of Staff, Jose L. Garcia and Dominador Adeva were appointed 3d lieutenants, infantry as of December 31, 1942. Garcia later was promoted to the rank of captain, effective March 15, 1943, as per Special Orders No. 82, issued in the field, 6th Military District, and dated August 28, 1943. On May 24, 1943, Jose L. Garcia took his oath

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-533 August 20, 1946

RAMON RUFFY, ET AL., petitioners, vs. THE CHIEF OF STAFF, PHILIPPINE ARMY, ET AL., respondents. Placido C. Ramos for petitioners. Lt. Col. Fred Ruiz Castro and Capt. Ramon V. Diaz, JAGS, PA., for respondents. TUASON, J.: This was a petition for prohibition, praying that the respondents, the Chief of Staff and the General Court Martial of the Philippine Army, be commanded to desist from further proceedings in the trial of petitioners before that body. Preliminary injunction having been denied by us and the General Court Martial having gone ahead with the trial, which eventually resulted in the acquittal of one of the defendants, Ramon Ruffy, the dismissal of the case as to another,

before Captain Esteban P. Beloncio, then Acting Commanding Officer, 3d Battalion, 66th Infantry Regiment, 61st Division, 6th Military District. As has been said, the 6th Military District sent Lieut. Col. Enrique L. Jurado to be Commanding Officer of the Bolo Combat Team in Mindoro and to undertake other missions of Military character. Pursuant to instructions, Colonel Jurado on November 2, 1943, assigned Major Ruffy as Commanding Officer of the Bolo Area with 3d Lieut. Dominador Adeva and 2d Lieut. Prudente M. Francisco as members of his staff and Victoriano Dinglasan as Finance Officer, as per Special Orders No. 99 dated November 2, 1943. In a memorandum of Colonel Jurado for Major Ruffy bearing date 25 June, 1944, it was stated that Captain Garcia had been given P5,000 for palay and Lieut. Francisco P9,000, P5,000 for palay and P4,000 for salary of the personnel B. Company. A change in the command of the Bolo Area was effected by Colonel Jurado on June 8, 1944: Major Ruffy was relieved of his assignment as Commanding Officer, Bolo Battalion, and Capt. Esteban P. Beloncio was put in Ruffy's place. On October 19, 1944, Lieut. Col. Jurado was slain allegedly by the petitioners. After the commission of this crime, the petitioners, it is alleged, seceded from the 6th Military District. It was this murder which gave rise to petitioner's trial, the legality of which is now being contested. On July 26, 1941, the President of the Untied States issued a military order the pertinent paragraph of which stated: ". . . as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, I hereby call and order into the service of the armed forces of the United States Army, for the period of the existing emergency, and place under the command of the general officer, United States Army, to be designated by the Secretary of War, from time to time, all of the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth." Following the issuance of President Roosevelt's order General Douglas MacArthur was appointed Commanding General of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East. It is contended, in behalf of Captain Francisco and Lieutenant Fortus, that "by the enemy occupation of the Philippines, the National Defense Act and all laws and regulations creating and governing the existence of the Philippine Army including the Articles of War, were suspended and in abeyance during such belligerent occupation." The paragraph quoted in the petitioner's memorandum from Winthrop's Military Law and Precedents and the subsequent paragraph which has been omitted furnish a complete answer to petitioner's contention of the Philippines by Japanese forces, the officers and men of the Philippine Army did not cease to be fully in the service, though in a measure,' only in a measure, they were not subject to the military jurisdiction, if they were not active duty. In the latter case, like officers and soldiers on leave of absence or held as prisoners of war, they could not be held guilty of a breach of the discipline of the command or of a neglect of duty, or disobedience of orders, or mutiny, or subject to a military trial therefor; but for an act unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, or an act which constitutes an offense of the class specified in the 95th Article of War, they may in general be legally held subject to military jurisdiction and trial. "So a prisoner of war, though not subject, while held by the enemy, to the discipline of his own army, would, when exchanged of paroled, be not exempt from liability for such offenses as criminal acts or injuriuos conduct committed during his captivity against other officers or soldiers in the same status." (Winthrop's Military Law and Precedents, 2d Edition, pp. 91, 92.) The rule invoked by counsel, namely, that laws of political nature or affecting political relations are considered superseded or in abeyance during the military occupation, is intended for the governing of the civil inhabitants of the occupied territory. It is not intended for and does not bind the enemies in arms. This is self-evident from the very nature of things. The paradox of a contrary ruling should readily manifest itself. Under the petitioner's theory the forces of resistance operating in an occupied territory would have to abide by the outlawing of their own

existence. They would be stripped of the very life-blood of an army, the right and the ability to maintain order and discipline within the organization and to try the men guilty of breach thereof. The surrender by General Wainright of the Fil-American Forces does not profit the petitioner's who were former members of the Philippine Constabulary any more than does the rule of war or international law they cite. The fall of Bataan and Corregidor did not end the war. It did not, legally or otherwise, keep the United States and the Commonwealth of the Philippines from organizing a new army, regular or irregular, out of new men and men in the old service who had refused to surrender or who having surrendered, had decided to carry on the fight through other diverse means and methods. The fall of Corregidor and Bataan just marked the beginning of the gigantic preparation for the gigantic drive that was to fight its way to and beyond the Philippines in fulfillment of General MacArthur's classic promise, "I shall return." The heroic role which the guerrillas played in that preparation and in the subsequent liberation of the Philippines is now history. Independently of their previous connection with the Philippine Army and the Philippine Constabulary, Captain Francisco and Lieutenant Fortus as well as Major Garcia and Lieutenant Adeva were subject to military jurisdiction. The 2d Article of War defines and enumerates the persons subject to military law as follows: Art. 2. Persons Subject to Military Law. ² The following persons are subject to these articles and shall be understood as included in the term "any person subject to military law" or "persons subject to military law," whenever used in these articles: (a) All officers, members of the Nurse Corps and soldiers belonging to the Regular Force of the Philippine Army; all reservists, from the dates of their call to active duty and while on such active duty; all trainees undergoing military instructions; and all other persons lawfully called, drafted, or order to obey the same; (b) Cadets, flying cadets, and probationary third lieutenants; (c) All retainers to the camp and all persons accompanying or serving with the Army of the Philippines in the field in time of war or when martial law is declared though not otherwise subject to these articles; (d) All persons under sentences adjudged by courts-martial. It is our opinion that the petitioners come within the general application of the clause in subparagraph (a); "and all other persons lawfully called, drafted, or ordered into, or to duty for training in, the said service, from the dates they are required by the terms of the call, draft, or order to obey the same." By their acceptance of appointments as officers in the Bolo Area from the General Headquarters of the 6th Military District, they became members of the Philippine Army amendable to the Articles of War. The Bolo Area, as has been seen, was a contigent of the 6th Military District which, as has also been pointed out, had been recognized by and placed under the operational control of the United States Army in the Southwest Pacific. The Bolo Area received supplies and funds for the salaries of its officers and men from the Southwest Pacific Command. As officers in the Bolo Area and the 6th Military District, the petitioners operated under the orders of duly established and duly appointed commanders of the United States Army. The attitude of the enemy toward underground movements did not affect the military status of guerrillas who had been called into the service of the Philippine Army. If the invaders refused to look upon guerrillas, without distinctions, as legitimate troops, that did not stop the guerillas who

observes as follows: "These provisions show that Congress has the power to provide for the trial and punishment of military and naval offenses in the manner then and now practiced by civilized nations. p. JJ." (Footnote No. indeed that the two powers are entirely independent of each other. Feria. Pablo. Bengzon. Winthrop's Military Law and Precedents. bound to obey military status of guerrillas was to be judged not by the concept of the army of the country for which they fought. 24. 49. provided by Congress for the President as Commander in Chief. concur. it follows that courts-martial must pertain to the executive department.. . independently of legislation. of the Constitution of the Philippines which provides that "the National Assembly may not deprive the Supreme Court of its original jurisdiction over all criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is death or life imprisonment. 49. says of these courts in the British law: "It must never be lost sight of that the only legitimate object of military tribunals is to aid the Crown to maintain the discipline and government of the Army. 361. is that the petition has no merit and that it should be dismissed with costs. This error arose from failure to perceive the nature of courts martial and the sources of the authority for their creation. and utilized under his orders or those of his authorized military representatives. 49. It is so ordered. irrespective of whether the punishment is for life imprisonment or death". Courts martial are agencies of executive character. 2 M. it violates Article VIII. p." (Winthrop's Military Law and Precedents. "The Supreme Court of the United States referring to the provisions of the Constitution authorizing Congress to provide for the government of the army. The constitutionality of the 93d Article of War is assailed. they are not a portion of the judiciary. and making the President Commander in Chief. excepting military offenses from the civil jurisdiction." (Winthrop's Military Law and Precedents. as the court martial may direct." It is argued that since "no review is provided by that law to be made by the Supreme Court.) Of equal interest Clode.) Unlike courts of law. 2d Edition. Hilado. Paras.J. 2d Edition. paragraph 4. Moran. F. therefore.. to aid him in properly commanding the army and navy and enforcing discipline therein. section 2. This article ordains "that any person subject to military law who commits murder in time of was shall suffer death or imprisonment for life. and that the power to do so is given without any connection between it and the 3d Article of the United States. C. and one of the authorities "for the ordering of courts martial has been held to be attached to the constitutional functions of the President as Commander in Chief..had been inducted into the service of the Philippine Army from being component parts thereof. and they are in fact simply instrumentalities of the executive power." "Not belonging to the judicial branch of the government. p. 2d Edition." We think the petitioners are in error. Briones and Padilla.) Our conclusion.

of the crime of Murder. as an accomplice. Laguna. The appellant raised the following assignments of errors: I THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN BASING ITS CONVICTION ON MATTERS TAKEN JUDICIAL NOTICE OF WHICH ARE IMPROPER FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE AND WHICH ARE CONTRARY TO THE EVIDENCE ADDUCED.This is an appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court. Lazatin counsel de oficio for accused-appellants. to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the sum of P12. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE..00. accused-appellants. Leonardo de Vera was in the second floor of the house of Simplicio Urriza. The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee. JR.000.:p The evidence for the prosecution reveals that on the above date and time. 1979. without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay the costs. III THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT THE ACCUSED WAS POSITIVELY IdENTIFIED AS THE ASSAILANT OF ANDRES BARBA. J. finding Perfecto Coronado guilty beyond reasonable doubt. No. Victor P. at around 9:00 p. . his father-in-law. Only Perfecto Coronado appealed from the decision of the trial court. vs. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO GIVE FULL FAITH AND CREDIT TO ACCUSED'S CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT IT WAS PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR ACCUSED TO HAVE BEEN AT THE PLACE WHERE THE CRIME WAS COMMITTED AT THE TIME OF ITS COMMISSION. the Court finds accused Perfecto Coronado guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal and accused Angel Coronado guilty beyond reasonable doubt as an accomplice of the crime of murder. IV THE ALLEGED EYEWITNESSES AND THEIR RESPECTIVE TESTIMONY ARE NOT CREDIBLE. jointly and severally. as principal. plaintiff-appellee. and there being no circumstance to appreciate either for or against the accused.m. the accused Angel Coronado is hereby sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of from SIX (6) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY of prision mayor to TWELVE (12) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY of reclusion temporal Angel Coronado shall be entitled to full credit for the time he was under preventive imprisonment. and Angel Coronado guilty beyond reasonable doubt. II ON ACCOUNT OF THE ERRONEOUS 'FACT' JUDICIALLY NOTICED. at San Pablo City.R. the accused Perfecto Coronado is hereby sentenced to reclusion perpetua. Branch XXIX. in Barangay Kanluran Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. It is not disputed that Andres Barba was killed by a gunshot wound on January 16. in Bo. 1986 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. PERFECTO CORONADO and ANGEL CORONADO. Nagcarlan. Kanluran Lasaan. L-68932 October 28. GUTIERREZ. Both accused are hereby ordered.

the widow of the deceased. In the instant case. Dereje. Appellant's testimony that he and his son Angel were accompanied by Celia Fernandez to the house of Judge Perlez at about 7:30 p. 137 SCRA 166. Nepomuceno. 17. People v. People v. Benaraba. They left the house of Judge Perlez at 8:30 o'clock in the evening and went back to the house of Celia Fernandez arriving thereat at 9:00 p. towards the west. Pacabes. and People v. He then saw Andres Barba slumped on the table. where he gave his statement concerning the shooting of Andres Barba. p. (Tsn. and Leonardo de Vera had agreed that the death of Andres Barba would be avenged since the latter's family did not have money to prosecute the accused. At about 7:00 o'clock in the evening.m. he and Leonardo de Vera went to the Fiscal at Nagcarlan. More important is whether or not they were really in Victoria at the time stated in their alibi. on January 16. (Tsn. It is not uncommon for a witness to a crime to show some reluctance about getting involved in a criminal case. on January 16. People v. Ragas. People v. he and his son Angel were in the house of his sister-in-law Celia Fernandez at Victoria. It is of common knowledge that traffic in the provinces at night is quite light.000. Nagcarlan. she was on the upper floor of the house of Simplicio Urriza at Kanluran Lasaan. She spent P10. Nagcarlan. 37 SCRA 601. and People v. According to him. (People v. At about 7:00 o'clock in the evening of the same date. People v. he saw Perfecto Coronado and Angel Coronado. taking the shorter route via Calumpang road. Their desire for vengeance prevented the accused from proving his innocence by a paraffin test which could have established that he did not fire any firearm. 17. who was in the ground floor of the house. It is also not uncommon for some people. Laguna. Manalo. (People v. Diaz. the relative weight which the trial judge assigns to the testimonies of the witnesses. Coronado maintained that it could not be possible for him and his son Angel to be physically present in Kanluran Lasaan. where they spent the night. This contention is without merit. they left for Nagcarlan and arrived at their place in Kanluran Lasaan at 8:30 a. especially in rural areas to prefer more "summary" solutions than lengthy and expensive trials. Berdiba. the following day. 13). However. he. People v. and left exactly one hour later.m.m. Laguna. The appellant was distinctly and positively Identified by eyewitnesses. Gani. it is not enough to prove that the accused was somewhere when the crime was committed but that he must likewise demonstrate that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime. People v. was accompanied by Celia Fernandez to the home of judge Perlez to seek legal advice concerning the problem of his son Angel. 139 SCRA 301). Kanluran Lasaan. as the road by that time was not very good. Advincula then asked permission to leave and went to the barangay hall which is about five to six meters away from the house of Simplicio Urriza. the appellant interposed alibi as his principal defense. he saw two men emerge from underneath the house of Ador Bituin which was only 13 meters away from Simplicio Urriza's house. De Vera saw Perfecto cock his rifle and then aim it towards the house. Pedro Advincula was also in the house of Simplicio Urriza at Bo. Advincula told Lydia Barba of what he saw but he kept silent on the matter when the policemen arrived to interrogate witnesses because he. The distance between Victoria and Nagcarlan. and People v. Advincula became suspicious and hastened to warn Andres Barba but just as he entered the house of Simplicio Urriza he heard the loud report of a gun from the rear of the same house. People v. He beamed his flashlight at the place and saw Perfecto run. 137 SCRA 158).m. Both men carried long firearms and headed toward the back of Simplicio Urriza's house. together with Faustino Coronado and Andres Barba. Recalling that the two men were known to have a grudge against Andres Barba. 1981. takes about 45 minutes or more. Lydia Barba. a portion of the road going to Nagcarlan passing through Calumpang was already cemented. Lydia Barba. he recognized the two men to be Perfecto Coronado and Angel Coronado. Canamo. with Leonardo de Vera and others. granting that the appellant was really in the house of Perlez at 7:30 p. (People v. 55 SCRA 382. After eating their supper.m. 1979. From where he was resting. 138 SCRA 24. People v. followed by Angel. Arbois. was corroborated by Celia Fernandez and Judge Leonides Perlez. the appellant was in Kanluran Lasaan. the guilt or innocence of the appellant does not depend alone on whether or not public transportation and walking on foot were used to return home. It depends greatly on the credibility of the witnesses who seek to establish it. upon invitation of Andres Barba and the latter's wife to attend a wedding the following day. 57 SCRA 308). three weeks after the incident. 136 SCRA 556. The natural reticence of most people to get involved in a criminal case is of judicial notice. Portions of the road had already been paved with concrete and could easily be negotiated within thirty minutes. People v. 129 SCRA 266. It is also argued by the appellant that the conduct of the eyewitnesses in concealing the truth when investigated by the police for the reason that they preferred to take their revenge against the assailants instead of prosecuting them in accordance with law is a clear indication that they had the propensity and capacity to obstruct justice. resting by the window. 135 SCRA 84. Judge Perlez testified further that he used to travel between Victoria and Nagcarlan by jeep and the trip between these two towns. Nagcarlan. 55 SCRA 178. Laguna. She then went to the ground floor of the house with Leonardo de Vera and saw her husband Andres Barba slumped on the table with blood oozing from his temple. In this respect. Zapatero. 1979. At 5:00 a. 44 SCRA 152. Pedro Advincula told her that he saw the person who shot her husband but they agreed not to tell the police about it and instead wait for the time to avenge the death of her husband. Alibi is also the primary argument raised in this appeal. On the other hand. he states that their testimony should not be given credence. For the defense of alibi to prosper. The failure of a witness to report at once to the police authorities the crime they had witnessed should not be taken against them. Baylon. Cortez. 17 SCRA 520). 1979. Jones. Esmael. we cannot disregard the possibility that the appellant and his son could have been physically present at the scene of the crime. with blood oozing from his face. he. 138 SCRA 221. imbibed some lambanog up to about 9:00 o'clock in the evening. While he was inside the barangay hall. Due to this conspiracy to conceal the truth and their belated identification. Laguna. on the same date. Mar. Since it was a moonlit night. 1981. solutions such as ambushing the assailants or calling on dissident bands to dispense "justice" in their villages. together with his wife and son Angel. People v. unless patently and clearly inconsistent with the evidence on the record. On cross-examination. 22). . emerge from underneath the house of Ador Bituin and proceed towards the rear of the house of Simplicio Urriza. Later. 1979. where earlier they had been drinking. She heard a loud shot from behind the house. Alibi cannot prevail over the positive Identification of prosecution witnesses. p. 57 SCRA 114. 55 SCRA 697. Seldom can there be more than two or three vehicles cruising together along provincial highways from 8:00 o'clock in the evening. this witness admitted that before January 16. 58 SCRA 450). Sinaw-ay. and left the latter's house at 8:30 p. (People v. both carrying long firearms. Turalba. It has been the consistent view of this Court that alibi is a weak defense for it is easy of fabrication. 56 SCRA 554. Nov. Laguna. 1979. Laguna. De Vera thought of warning him but while going down the house he heard the sound of gunfire from the rear of the house. at 9:00 o'clock in the evening of January 16.00 for the funeral and wake expenses.Lasaan. she was persuaded to bring the case to the authorities. Evidence was presented by the prosecution to show that in the early evening of January 16. Perfecto went to the direction of the ceramic wall of the house while Angel positioned himself under a lucban tree. Moreover. Nov. He went to the rear door of the house and brought into focus his flashlight outside and saw Perfecto Coronado running towards the west followed by Angel Coronado. testified that at about 9:00 o'clock in the evening of January 16. according to the trial court is only 30 'kilometers. Nagcarlan.m. The defense of alibi is an issue of fact that hinges on credibility. (People v. must be accepted. 138 SCRA 141.

the aims and purposes of which are repugnant to those aims and political purposes of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. SO ORDERED. J. petitioner. He was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. L-49 November 12. nor of the provision of section 1 (1) of the same Article that no person shall be deprived of life. that if from the facts admitted at the preliminary interrogatory it appears that the defendant is guilty. 65 by section 9 thereof and section 5 of said Ordinance No. Peralta in his own behalf. should now be denied force and efficacy. and impairs the Constitutional rights of accused persons under their legitimate Constitution. The petition for habeas corpus is based on the ground that the Court of Special and Executive Criminal Jurisdiction created by Ordinance No.: Petitioner-defendant. to the effect that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. 1945 WILLIAM F. 570. the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States in the cases of Texas vs. the acts and proceedings taken and had before the said Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction which resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of the herein petitioner. FERIA.. vs. 99. post). which he commenced to serve on August 21. that the petitioner herein is being punished by a law created to serve the political purpose of the Japanese Imperial Army in the Philippines. created in section 1 of Ordinance No.WHEREFORE. in his answer in behalf of the respondent. by said Ordinance No. 7 is not violative of the provision of Article III. United States vs. JJ. assailed by the petitioner and the Solicitor General as impairing the constitutional rights of an accused are: that court may interrogate the accused and witnesses before trial in order to clarify the points in dispute. concur. in support of this last proposition. 1944. 7 are violative of the fundamental laws of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and "the petitioner has been deprived of his constitutional rights"." The Solicitor General. and therefore. 7 "was a political instrumentality of the military forces of the Japanese Imperial Army. 9 of the National Assembly of the so-called Republic of the Philippines. R. a member of the Metropolitan Constabulary of Manila charged with the supervision and control of the production. in his own opinion. (22 Wall. The City Fiscal of Manila appeared before this Court as amicus curiae. that the procedure prescribed in Ordinance No. 157 of the Chairman of the Executive Commission are tinged with political complexion.. respondent. 7 in connection with Executive Order No. 743). Ordinances and Executive Orders. he Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. Lockart (17 Wall. pursuant to the authority conferred upon him by the Constitution and laws of the said Republic. vs. for the reasons expressed in his brief in the case of People of the Philippines. 612. Benedicto Jose y Santos. 700. L-22 (p. 157 of the Chairman of the Executive Commission. THE DIRECTOR OF PRISONS. 581). states that. that the refusal of the accused to answer the questions may be considered unfavorable to him. William F. that the Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction created. Home Insurance Co. necessaries as defined in section 1 of Act No. G. 104).000.. No. The features of the summary procedure adopted by Ordinance No. for said Court was created. Horn vs. liberty.. 7 promulgated by the President of the so-called Republic of the Philippines. In his memorandum he submits that the petition for habeas corpus be denied on the following grounds: That the Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction and the Acts. 65 of the same Assembly. 459). 7 does not afford a fair trial. the judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED with the modification that the indemnity to be paid to the heirs of the victim is increased to THIRTY THOUSAND (P30. was prosecuted for the crime of robbery as defined and penalized by section 2 (a) of Act No. as well as those of the United States of America. And he cites. procurement and distribution of goods and other . made applicable to the trial violations of said Act No. according to the preamble of Ordinance No. The reasons advanced by the Solicitor General in said brief and in his reply memorandum in support of his contention are. creating it are not of a political complexion. 7. plaintiff-appellant. null and void ab initio. and "that the penalties provided for are much (more) severe than the penalties provided for in the Revised Penal Code. and that the summary procedure established in said Ordinance No. and the summary procedure prescribed therefor. Feria (Chairman). section 1 (18) of the Constitution of the Commonwealth.R. Sprott vs. and the crimes and offenses placed under its jurisdiction were penalized heavily. Costs against the appellant.00). United States (20 Wall. And the procedure followed in the trial was the summary one established in Chapter II of Executive Order No. by the Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction. and therefore the petition for habeas corpus should be granted." that the provisions of said Ordinance No. or property without due process of law.. defendant-appellee. White (7 Wall. that the right to appeal in a criminal case is not a constitutional right. No. Alampay and Paras. PERALTA. 7. 7. in response to an urgent necessity. City Fiscal Mabanag as amicus curiae. Office of the Solicitor General Tañada for respondent. Fernan. violates the Constitution of the Commonwealth.

recently decided. apparently established and organized as a sovereign state independent from any other government by the Filipino people. In fine. if not in all instances. The question which we have to resolve in the present case in the light of the law of nations are. Williams vs. and the doctrine laid down by the Supreme Court of the United States in the cases involving the validity of judicial and legislative acts of the Confederate States. merely transferred the existing state organizations to the support of a new and different national head. or by the United States in Tanpico. 246). and the ultimate source of its authority was the same ² the Japanese military authority and government. 700. Before proceeding further. the same constitution. and the purpose of war.' Japan had no legal power to grant independence to the Philippines or transfer the sovereignty of the United States to. Maine. supra) and that the Confederate States "in most. p. of course. stand in the foreground of his interest and must be promoted under all circumstances or conditions. and such only. as the government established in Castine. first. "the government established over an enemy's territory during the military occupation may exercise all the powers given by the laws of war to the conqueror over the conquered. . occupied during the war with that the country by the United State Army. Bruffy. R. secondly. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon (G. ² it is drawn entirely form the law martial as defined in the usages of nations. Because that doctrine rests on the propositions that "the concession (of belligerency) made to the Confederate Government . As the so-called Republic of the Philippines was a de facto government of the second kind (of paramount force). in truth and reality.. No. in carrying out the administration over the occupied territory and its inhabitants. Bruffy. In the case of United States vs. a so-called government styled as the 'Republic of the Philippines' was established on October 14. S. 570. The authority thus derived can be asserted either through special tribunals. As Halleck says. Sprott vs. does not apply to the acts of the so-called Republic of the Philippines which is a de facto government of paramount force. Home Insurance Co. Lockart. while the Constitution of the Commonwealth Government was suspended during the occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese forces of the belligerent occupant at regular war with the United States. or were in conflict with those constitutions. the question involved in the present case cannot be decided in the light of the Constitution of the Commonwealth Government. this Court. II." (Sprott vs. supra). the sovereignty of the United States in the territory was. says that. And Oppenheim. It was not different from the government established by the British in Castine. the validity of the creation of the Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction. because in the case of the Confederate States. p. pp. in his Treatise on International Law. remained unimpaired during the War of Secession (Texas vs. by the military occupation of Castine. and it impaired in no respect the rights of loyal and citizens as they existed at the commencement of hostilities" (Williams vs. and the maintenance and safety of his forces. . or through the ordinary courts and authorities of the occupied district. before its military occupation and possession of the Islands had matured into an absolute and permanent dominion or sovereignty by a treaty of peace or other means recognized in the law of nations. since the validity of an act of a belligerent occupant cannot be tested in the light of another act of the same occupant. and were bound by such laws. 20 Wall." (vol. a government established by the belligerent occupant or the Japanese forces of occupation. 1. or recognize the latent sovereignty of the Filipino people. this Court said: The so-called Republic of the Philippines. Maine. and that the sentence of the sentence of the court is not appealable. White. issued on January 23. And speaking of the so-called Republic of the Philippines in the same decision. supra). 342.. the same laws for the protection of the property and personal rights remained and were administered by the same officers. and is subject to all restrictions which that code imposes. 466. 96 U. ante). 1943. In the case of Co Kim Cham vs. considered as de facto governments of the third kind.. it is necessary to bear in mind the nature and status of the government established in these Islands by the Japanese forces of occupation under the designation of Republic of the Philippines. Mexico. and the obligation of allegiance to the to the estate and obedience to her laws and the estate constitution. and others) that the judicial and legislative acts of the Confederate States which impaired the rights of the citizens under the Constitution of the United States or of the States. 2 p. which was organized by Order No. (Vol. . Horn vs. 1944. White. In either case it is a government imposed by the laws of war and so far as it concerns the inhabitants of such territory or the rest of the world those laws alone determine the legality or illegality of its acts. by the Commander of the Japanese forces. Mexico. whose criminal jurisdiction is drawn entirely from the law martial as defined in the usages of nations. 249.. 17 Wall. Maine. and the laws of the United States could no longer be rightfully enforced there or be obligatory upon the inhabitants who remained and submitted to the belligerent occupant. 20 Wall. held: In view of the foregoing. is not applicable to the present case.. 7. was. except in case of death penalty which cannot be executed unless and until reviewed and affirmed by a special division of the Supreme Court composed of three Justices. Rice (4 Wheaton. Revised. 176 United States vs. It is of little consequence whether such government be called a military or civil government.) The fact that the Philippine Executive Commission was a civil and not a military government and was run by Filipinos and not by Japanese nationals is of no consequence. the effect on said punitive sentence of the reoccupation of the Philippines and the restoration therein of the Commonwealth Government. and of the summary procedure adopted for that court.) The so-called Republic of the Philippines. "the (belligerent) occupant is totally independent of the constitution and the laws of the territory. the Supreme Court of the United States held that. subject to the Constitution of the United States.. it is evident that the Philippines Executive Commission. International Public Law. since occupation is an aim of warfare. if they were then valid. Sixth Edition. being a governmental . 127. It is well established in International Law that "The criminal jurisdiction established by the invader in the occupied territory finds its source neither in the laws of the conquering or conquered state. Its character is the same and the source of its authority the same. 1944. and in order to determine the law applicable to the questions involved in the present case. as it chose to recognize and impose. speaking through the Justice who pens this decision. . the validity of the sentence which imprisonment during the Japanese military occupation. "under enemy duress. a portion of which has been already quoted. (1) As to the validity of the creation of the Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction by Ordinance No. 598. the constitution of each state and that of the United States or the Union continued in force in those states during the War of Secession. United States. 1942.that the Union is perpetual and indissoluble.) The doctrine laid down in the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States (in the cases of Texas vs. The Constitution of the socalled Republic of the Philippines can neither be applied. whose authority and procedure is defined in the military code of the conquering state. the only factor to be considered is the authority of the legislative power which promulgated said law or ordinance. L-5. suspended. United States. and thirdly. because the belligerent occupant was totally independent of the constitution of the occupied territory in carrying out the administration over said territory. 7 Wall. 113. sanctioned no hostile legislation .may be immediately convicted. was a civil government established by the military forces of occupation and therefore a de facto government of the second kind. during its occupation by the British forces and as that of Tampico. 459. By the surrender the inhabitants passed under a temporary allegiance to the British government. based upon neither the free expression of the peoples" will nor the sanction of the Government of the United States. were null and void. As General MacArthur stated in his proclamation of October 23. It was of the same character as the Philippine Executive Commission." (Taylor.

or to a special agency entrusted with its administration. for his control of the territory and the safety and protection of his army. and cases quoted and cited in the footnote). does not refer to a particular code or system of law. The term merely signifies that the body of law actually applied. and in so far as. especially the Criminal Law. Especially taking into consideration the fact. especially the criminal law as well as the laws regarding procedure. but shall be repressed more severely than the territorial law would repress acts committed against fellow subjects. for the principal object of the occupant is to provide for the security of the invading army and to contribute to its support and efficiency and the success of its operations. having the sanction of military authority.instrumentality of the belligerent occupant. 7. to life imprisonment or death as maximum. and the penalties imposed upon the violators are different from and much heavier than those provided by the Revised Penal Code for the same ordinary crimes. to fix penalties. and he so far suspends the laws which guard personal liberty as is required for the summary punishment of any one doing such acts. Although these crimes are defined in the Revised Penal Code. Vol. as new crimes and offenses demanded by military necessity. The words "martial law" are doubtless suggestive of the power of the occupant to share the law as he sees fit. in order. he may nevertheless. The crimes penalized by Act No. Section III. Westlake says that Article XLIII. seventh edition. They are not the same ordinary offenses penalized by the Revised Penal Code. for his security also. of the Hague Conventions of 1907 "indicates that the laws to be enforced by the occupant consist of. but also to preserve the food supply and other necessaries in order that. unless the words employed show a clear intention that it should have a retrospective effect" (Cooley's Constitutional Limitations. p. for it is mere a governmental agency charged with the duty of applying the law to cases falling within its jurisdiction. as they did. not only to prevent food and other necessaries from reaching the "guerrillas" which were harassing the belligerent occupant from every nook and corner of the country. defined above by Hyde. in an occupied district martial law. correspondence . to establish tests for ascertaining the guilt of offenders. Sec. violation of neutrality. 1944. because the latter was not in force during the period of the Japanese military occupation. With respect to the Summary procedure adopted by Ordinance No. (2) The validity of the sentence rendered by the Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction which imposes life imprisonment upon the herein petitioner. 65 are those committed by persons charged or connected with the supervision and control of the production. 65 ² as well as the crimes against national security and the law of nations. the Imperial Japanese forces could easily requisition them. page 97. to wit: treason. and the success of its operations. its support and efficiency. for it is less objectionable. may be considered as taken out of the territorial law and referred to what is called martial law. International Law. . that is. the term "martial law. A belligerent "occupant may where necessary. seventh ed.) No objection can be set up to the legality of its provisions in the light of the precepts of our Commonwealth Constitution relating to the rights of accused under that Constitution. those which establish new crimes and offenses incident to a state of war and are necessary for the control of the country and the protection of the army.. War. 65 with different and heavier penalties. and referred to what is called martial law by international jurists. The acts penalized by said Act were taken out of the territorial law or Revised Penal Code. such variations of the territorial law as may be required by real necessity and are not expressly prohibited by any of the rules which will come before us. inciting war. so that any needless displacement of it would defeat the object which the invader is enjoined to have in view. LII. and followed in the trial of the case which resulted in the conviction of the herein petitioner. III. Part II. 65 of the said Assembly. p. that the Imperial Japanese Army had depended mostly for their supply upon the produce of this country. ² The criminal acts penalized by said Act No. set up military courts instead of the ordinary courts. 5000). procurement and distribution of foods and other necessaries. not forbidden by the ordinary laws of the country. or not depending upon the nature or character of the law so applied.) According to Hyde (International Law. Hague Conventions of 1907). it being necessary for the protection of the latter. Indeed the entire relation between the invaders and the invaded. II. he admits the administration of justice by the ordinary courts. so far as it may fall within the criminal department whether by the intrinsic nature of the acts done or in consequence of the regulations made by the invaders. and necessary for the control of the country by the belligerent occupant. p. 76. 65 which punishes the crime of which said petitioner was convicted." (Hall's International Law. Act No." (Westlake. Its judgments and sentences may be of political complexion. depends upon the competence or power of the belligerent occupant to promulgate Act No. and secondly. as to the validity of the creation of the court in question. there is also no question as to the power or competence of the belligerent occupant to promulgate the law providing for such procedure. he declares certain acts. so far as it is necessary for military purposes. It is obvious that the summary procedure under consideration does not violate those precepts. to be punishable. is essentially martial.) From the above it appears clear that it was within the power and competence of the belligerent occupant to promulgate." (Oppenheim's International Law. by whomsoever administered. and as they had the right to do in accordance with the law of nations for their maintenance and subsistence (Art. No question may arise as to whether or not a court is of political complexion. espionage. Nor may said Constitution be applied upon its revival at the time of the reoccupation of the Philippines by virtue of the principle of postliminium because "a constitution should operate prospectively only. as that which stands to the public order and social and commercial life of the district in a relation of mutual adaptation. through the National Assembly of the so-called Republic of the Philippines. The only restrictions or limitations imposed upon the power of a belligerent occupant to alter the laws or promulgate new ones. There is no room for doubt. on the basis of which justice is administered as well as the laws regarding procedure. and for the unhindered prosecution of the war by them. so far as is necessary for military purposes. they were altered and penalized by said Act No. II. the laws of humanity and the requirements of public conscience. 386). And the United States Rules of Land Warfare provide that the belligerent occupant may promulgate such new laws and regulations as military necessity demands. and generally to administer justice through such agencies as the found expedient. 1940. Vol. All law." in so far as it is used to describe any fact in relation to belligerent occupation. . and in this class will be included those laws which come into being as a result of military rule. It cannot be considered as violating the laws of humanity and public conscience. (Pub. that acts committed to their detriment shall not only lose what justification the territorial law might give them as committed against enemies. incident to a state of war. of which this court may take judicial notice. the usages established by civilized nations. in case of necessity. pp. the territorial law in general. 77. For "the invader deals freely with the relations of the inhabitants of the occupied territory towards himself . and in case. 96. p. even from the point of view of those who are used to the accusatory system of criminal procedure than the procedural laws based on the semi-inquisitorial or mixed system prevailing in France and other countries in continental Europe. Such variations will naturally be greatest in what concerns the relation of the communities and individuals within the district to the invading army and its followers. and it is none the less so when applied by civil courts in matters devoid of special interest to the occupant. that is. therefore. especially as regards laws of procedure applied to cases already terminated completely. which penalizes the crimes of robbery and other offenses by imprisonment ranging from the maximum period of the imprisonment prescribed by the laws and ordinances promulgated by the President of the so-called Republic as minimum. the protection and safety of the army of occupation. or for the maintenance of public order and safety temporarily alter the laws. as we have already stated. to determine what shall be deemed lawful or unlawful acts. sixth edition. had therefore the power or was competent to create the Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction. first. are those imposed by the Hague Regulations. that is.349.

. the cast of the occupant possess legal validity. when committed against the Commonwealth or United States Government.." (Wheaton's International Law. etc. concurs in the result. in order to give retroactive effect to the nullification of said penal act and invalidate sentence rendered against petitioner under said law. illegal possession of firearms and other. They are also considered by some writers as war crimes in a broad sense. and will bind as between them all and their national government. . It is sufficient to quote the opinion on the subject of several international jurists and our recent decision in the case of Co Kim Cham vs. remain good. seventh edition. International Law.. Thus.. When the occupation comes to an end the authority of the national government is restored. evident that the sentence rendered by the Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction against the petitioner. Moran. going out of doors between certain hours. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon. and the crimes against public order. and the various acts done during the same time by private persons under the sanction of municipal law.' to acts of a political character. 1944. for public rather than private reasons. using seditious language. it is not necessary to enter into an elaborate discussion on the matter. . had already become null and of no effect. So ordered. in the Anglo-Boer war. But the law made by the occupant within his admitted power. among them Act No. says: "In general. depending as they do on the acts from time to time ordered to be done or forbidden to be done in the martial law proclamation or regulations of the invading or occupying commander. 97. either by the progress of operations during the war or by the conclusion of a peace. 7 and Act No. ceased to be valid upon the reoccupation of the islands by virtue of the principle or right of postliminium. that is whether or not. commenting on the effect of the principle of postliminy upon sentences of the tribunals continued or created by the belligerent occupant. 98. And they had to be taken out of the territorial law and made punishable by said Ordinance No. Such offenses. We therefore hold that the punitive sentence under consideration. will bind any member of the occupied population as against any other member of it.. together with several others. spreading alarmist reports. supra." (Hall's International Law.) It is. wearing uniforms without due authority. piracy. because the acts constituting those offenses were punished. 245. A prisoner detained under it must be released. Like any other legislator he is morally subject to the duty of giving sufficient notice of his enactments or regulations. War. of the so-called Republic of the Philippines under which petitioner was convicted. . pp. and under international law should not be abrogated by the subsequent government. JJ. injuring military animals or stores. by the principle of postliminy. In order to resolve this last question. administrative acts so done. safety and security of the belligerent occupant. the British military authorities proclaimed the following to be offenses against their martial law. but always remembering that to punish for breach of a regulation a person who was justifiably ignorant of it would be outrageous. the punitive sentence which petitioner is now serving fell through or ceased to be valid from that time. which is within the admitted power or competence of the belligerent occupant to punish. Political acts on the other hand fall through as of course. concur." (Wheaton's International Law. vehicles. penalized by Ordinance No. seventh edition. opines "that judicial acts done under this control. When occupation ceases. when they are not of a political complexion.J. such for example as acts directed against the security or control of the invader. holding meetings other than those allowed. whether they introduce any positive change into the organization of the country. for they were not penalized before under the Revised Penal Code when committed against the belligerent occupant or the government established by him in these Island. and were acts in aid or favor of the enemy and against the welfare. that all judgments of political complexion of the courts during the Japanese regime. 7. speaking of the duration of the validity of punitive sentences for offenses such as the one in question. who. imposing upon him the penalty of life imprisonment. were specified in the Japanese regulations made in the Russo-Japanese war. 242. While it is true that these offenses. was good and valid. ceased to be good and valid ipso facto upon the reoccupation of these Island and the restoration therein of the Commonwealth Government. although good and valid during the military occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese forces. cycles. traveling without a permit. being in possession. hindering those in execution of military orders. Hall. or whether they only suspend the working of that already in existence. and no civil right conferred by it can be further enforced. supra. considers as war crimes such offenses as those penalized in Ordinance No. no redress can be had for what has been actually carried out but nothing further can follow from the occupant's legislation. (3) The last question is the legal effect of the reoccupation of the Philippines and restoration of the Commonwealth Government. It may not be amiss to say in this connection that it is not necessary and proper to invoke the proclamation of General Douglas MacArthur declaring null and void all laws. etc. (Westlake. a sentence which. without a permit. Applying that doctrine to the present case. 65. of horses. the writ of habeas corpus prayed for is hereby granted and it is ordered that the petitioner be released forthwith. In this connection Wheaton observes the following: "Of 'war crimes' the number is naturally indefinite. so far as it produces an effect during the occupation.with hostile country. sedition and disloyalty. 518. Pablo and Bengzon. The invaded state is not subject to the indignity of being obliged to execute his commands. without pronouncement as to costs. 65. as above stated. before the proclamation. p. War. therefore. the sentence which convicted the petitioner of a crime of a political complexion must be considered as having ceased to be valid ipso facto upon the reoccupation or liberation of the Philippines by General Douglas MacArthur. whether morally justifiable or not. no reparation is legally due for what has already been carried out. Part II. sending prohibited goods. as are all political offenses.) And Wheaton. 7 and placed under jurisdiction of the Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction ² are all of a political complexion. The execution also of punitive sentences ceases as of course when they have had reference to acts not criminal by the municipal law of the state. . ² Being in possession of arms. flight to enemy's country. ammunition.g. to the extent that they take effect during the continuance of his control. they became inapplicable as crimes against the occupier upon the occupation of the Islands by the Japanese forces. C. since it was within the admitted power or competence of the belligerent occupant to promulgate the law penalizing the crime of which petitioner was convicted. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon. trespassing on defense works. p.) We have already held in our recent decision in the case of Co Kim Cham vs. not indeed so as to be debarred from carrying out his will without notice. to sentences for 'war treason' and 'war crimes. alienation of the domains of the State or the sovereign). says that: "To the extent to which the legal power of the occupant is admitted he can make law for the duration of his occupation. supra. But this rule does not necessarily apply to acts that exceed the occupant's power (e. Jaranilla. such as rebellion. and to those that beyond the period of occupation. overcharging for goods. The enemy's law depends on him for enforcement as well as for enactment. p. are defined and also penalized by the territorial law Revised Penal Code. when required by military necessity and so far as practically carrying out his will can be distinguished from punishment.) Westlake. In view of all the foregoing.

GARCIA. x--------------------------------------------x G. JALOSJOS. No.R. CLIMACO. HON. ATTY. MACEDA. HON. YEBES. and AQUILINO L. MARK RYAN SULLIVAN and/or GEN. the latter in his capacity as the present and dulyappointed Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) or the so-called Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. JR. TORRINO. 2008 ERNESTO M.. NORBIDEIRI B. CEDRIC L. SEDFREY CANDELARIA. HON. JR. vs. represented by SEC. namely. ATTY. SEDFREY CANDELARIA. ERICO BASILIO A. and Rep. as represented by RODOLFO C. x--------------------------------------------x G. duly represented by CITY MAYOR LAWRENCE LLUCH CRUZ. in his capacity as the present and duly appointed Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. Congressman. HON. LEAH ARMAMENTO. ISABELLE G.R. JALOSJOS. st HON. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE NEGOTIATING PANEL [GRP]. as represented by HON. and Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Zamboanga del Norte. MARK RYAN SULLIVAN and HERMOGENES ESPERON. City Mayor of Zamboanga. and/or SEC.. City of Zamboanga. ATTY. AJERO.R. No. MA.R. SEDFREY CANDELARIA. ATTY. BINAY. in his capacity as the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process. HON. vs. FABIAN. FELIXBERTO C.G. No. as represented by HON. HON. HON. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE PANEL ON ANCESTRAL DOMAIN (GRP). in his capacity as Provincial Governor. LUZVIMINDA E. DARUNDAY. No. petitioners. BAGUIO. FRANCIS H. for and in his own behalf. 2008 CITY GOVERNMENT OF ZAMBOANGA. ANECITO S. as represented by HON. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE PANEL ON ANCESTRAL DOMAIN (GRP). LEAH ARMAMENTO. respondents. 2008 THE CITY OF ILIGAN. in his capacity as Executive Secretary. and in his personal capacity as resident of the City of Zamboanga. HON. ULDARICO M. vs. CELSO L. HON. CABIGON. HERMOGENES ESPERON. in his capacity as Vice-Governor and Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. 183893 October 14. SETH FREDERICK P. RODOLFO C. duly represented by GOVERNOR JESUS SACDALAN and/or VICE-GOVERNOR EMMANUEL PIÑOL. GEN. HERMOGENES ESPERON. petitioners. x--------------------------------------------x THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE. respondents. 183591 October 14. CECILIA JALOSJOS CARREON. No. LOBREGAT. petitioners. HERMOGENES ESPERON. EDUARDO ERMITA. EDGAR J. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE NEGOTIATING . HON. EDDING. LEAH ARMAMENTO. represented by SEC. HON. x--------------------------------------------x G. respondents. RODOLFO GARCIA. petitioners. rd CESAR G. 1 Congressional District. vs. GARCIA and HON.R. HON. MARK RYAN SULLIVAN. MEJORADA II. ANGELICA J. RODOLFO GARCIA. FERNANDO R. OLVIS. petitioner. 183752 October 14. ADRIATICO. Congresswoman. EDIONAR M. 183962 October 14. ZAMORAS. 2008 Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. vs. 183951 October 14. JEJOMAR C. 3 Congressional District. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE NEGOTIATING PANEL (GRP). District 2. in his capacity as the Presidential Adviser of Peace Process. District 1. HON. 2008 THE PROVINCE OF NORTH COTABATO. ROLANDO E.. CARREON and HON. PIMENTEL III. respondents. JR. BOLANDO. Rep. JOSEPH BRENDO C.

x--------------------------------------------x THE PROVINCE OF SULTAN KUDARAT. represented by its Chairman MOHAGHER IQBAL. I. petitioners-in-intervention. were scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 in Kuala Lumpur. on the ground. protect and respect human rights. however. represented by its Chairman RODOLFO C. Subject of these consolidated cases is the extent of the powers of the President in pursuing the peace process. by HON. It must uncompromisingly delineate the bounds within which the President may lawfully exercise her discretion. The MOA-AD was preceded by a long process of negotiation and the concluding of several prior agreements between the two parties beginning in 1996. . x-------------------------------------------x RUY ELIAS LOPEZ. for upon motion of petitioners. petitioners-in-intervention. J. GOMEZ. specifically those who filed their cases before the scheduled signing of the MOA-AD. and the MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT PEACE NEGOTIATING PANEL. 1997. this Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining the GRP from signing the same. for and in his own behalf and on behalf of Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao Not Belonging to the MILF. 2008. the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MILF. and refrain from the use of threat or force to attain undue advantage while the 2 peace negotiations on the substantive agenda are on-going. the Court is tasked to perform a delicate balancing act. Yet again. x--------------------------------------------x DECISION FRANKLIN M. but it must do so in strict adherence to the Constitution. ROXAS. respondents. of what Salamat perceived to be the 1 manipulation of the MNLF away from an Islamic basis towards Marxist-Maoist orientations. the GRP and MILF Peace Panels signed the Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities. FACTUAL ANTECEDENTS OF THE PETITIONS On August 5. respondent-in-intervention. petitioner-in-intervention. in March 2000. they signed the General Framework of Agreement of Intent on August 27. Towards the end of 1999 up to early 2000. BASILAN PROVINCE. CARPIO MORALES. petitioners-in-intervention. DRILON and ADEL ABBAS TAMANO. petitioners-in-intervention. The following year. SANTOS-AKBAR. through the Chairpersons of their respective peace negotiating panels. Malaysia. the commitment of the parties to pursue peace negotiations. it took control of the town hall of The signing of the MOA-AD between the GRP and the MILF was not to materialize. On July 18. Early on. petitioners-in-intervention. GARCIA. While the facts surrounding this controversy center on the armed conflict in Mindanao between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). however. rep. lest its ruling unduly restricts the freedom of action vested by that same Constitution in the Chief Executive precisely to enable her to pursue the peace process effectively. as citizens and residents of Palawan. SUHARTO T. represented by MAYOR CHERRYLYN P. the legal issue involved has a bearing on all areas in the country where there has been a long-standing armed conflict. MANGUDADATU. when the GRP-MILF peace negotiations began. MANUEL A. petitioners-in-intervention. it splintered from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) then headed by Nur Misuari. it was evident that there was not going to be any smooth sailing in the GRPMILF peace process. DEANO. x--------------------------------------------x MUSLIM LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOUNDATION. in his capacity as Provincial Governor and a resident of the Province of Sultan Kudarat. negotiate with sincerity in the resolution and pacific settlement of the conflict. respondent-in-intervention. The MILF is a rebel group which was established in March 1984 when. INC (MUSLAF). GERARDO S. JAGMIS. among others. under the leadership of the late Salamat Hashim. the MILF attacked a number of municipalities in Central Mindanao and. who represents respondents. summarizes the MOA-AD by stating that the same contained. petitioner-in-intervention. x--------------------------------------------x CARLO B. ALISUAG and RICHALEX G. AWAT. NESARIO G. JOSELITO C.PANEL. x--------------------------------------------x THE CITY OF ISABELA. x--------------------------------------------x MARINO RIDAO and KISIN BUXANI.: x--------------------------------------------x SEN. x--------------------------------------------x The Solicitor General. DILIG. 1998. among others. x--------------------------------------------x MUNICIPALITY OF LINAMON duly represented by its Municipal Mayor NOEL N. x--------------------------------------------x MUSLIM MULTI-SECTORAL MOVEMENT FOR PEACE & DEVELOPMENT (MMMPD).

Lanao del Norte. both of Cotabato City. inter alia. Rep. 2008. initially responded with deep reservation. the Province of North Cotabato and Vice-Governor Emmanuel Piñol filed a petition. Ruy Elias Lopez of Davao City and of the Bagobo tribe. With regard to the Ancestral Domain Aspect. docketed as G. Richalex Jagmis. 183962. Mandamus and Prohibition. On August 19. stated that the Executive Department shall thoroughly review the MOA-AD and pursue further negotiations to address the issues hurled against it. praying for a judgment prohibiting and permanently enjoining respondents from formally signing and executing the MOA-AD and or any other agreement derived therefrom or similar thereto. there were many incidence of violence between government forces and the MILF from 2002 to 2003. 183893. eventually leading to the crafting of the draft MOA-AD in its final form. according to a leading MILF member. all of Palawan City.the MOA-AD which is assailed principally by the present petitions bearing docket numbers 183591. the Court ordered the consolidation of the petitions. The MILF. if the same had already been signed. and thus moved to dismiss the cases.Kauswagan. and nullifying the MOA-AD for being unconstitutional and illegal. that the MOA-AD be declared null and void and without operative effect. while some of petitioners submitted their respective Replies. On July 23. 183591. 2008 a petition for 19 Certiorari. When President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed office. and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Zamboanga del Norte filed on August 15. 2008. the MILF convened its Central Committee to seriously discuss the matter and. Libya from June 20-22. in the alternative.R. This was followed by the Implementing Guidelines on the Humanitarian Rehabilitation and Development Aspects of the Tripoli Agreement 2001. the City of Iligan filed a petition for Injunction and/or Declaratory Relief. They pray. Nonetheless. No. petitioners seek to compel respondents to disclose and furnish them the complete and official copies of the MOA-AD including its attachments.R. former 21 Senate President Franklin Drilon and Atty. Suharto Mangudadatu. and that the MOA-AD be declared unconstitutional. from implementing the same. by Manifestation and Motion of August 19. petitioners pray that the 10 MOA-AD be declared unconstitutional. Gerardo Dilig. 17 16 . then President Joseph Estrada declared and carried out an "all-out-war" against the MILF. praying that respondents be enjoined from signing the MOA-AD or. to which she complied. the parties signing on the same date the Agreement on the General Framework for the Resumption of Peace Talks Between the GRP and the MILF. Formal peace talks between the parties were held in Tripoli. who was then the chief peace negotiator of the MILF. 183752. Respondents. The Court also required the Solicitor General to submit to the Court and petitioners 14 15 the official copy of the final draft of the MOA-AD. Rep. Malaysia. 183951 and 183962. which was signed on May 7. with the talks being facilitated by the Malaysian government. Commonly impleaded as respondents are the GRP Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain and the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (PAPP) Hermogenes Esperon. 2008. (Muslaf) and the Muslim Multi-Sectoral Movement for Peace and Development (MMMPD) filed their respective Comments-in-Intervention. Petitioners-in-Intervention include Senator Manuel A. the Province of Sultan Kudarat and Gov. Supplementarily. Meanwhile. In 2005. which. 2008. Various parties moved to intervene and were granted leave of court to file their petitions/comments-in-intervention. docketed as G. pending the disclosure of the contents of the MOAAD and the holding of a public consultation thereon. Malaysia on August 5-7. respondents' motion was met with vigorous opposition from petitioners." A second round of peace talks was held in Cyberjaya. No. but when President Arroyo asked the Government of Malaysia through Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad to help convince the MILF to return to the negotiating table. several exploratory talks were held between the parties in Kuala Lumpur. that the MOA-AD be declared null and void. 2008. the military offensive against the MILF was suspended and the government sought a resumption of the peace talks. Erico Basilio Fabian who likewise pray for similar injunctive reliefs. Meanwhile. Cecilia Jalosjos-Carreon. docketed as G. for Mandamus and Prohibition with Prayer for the 9 Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order. Rep. Ernesto Maceda. The parties met in Kuala Lumpur on March 24. and 8 7 3 to prohibit the slated signing of the MOA-AD. the parties in Tripoli Agreement 2001 simply agreed "that the same be discussed further by the Parties in their next meeting.R. 2002 at Putrajaya. the Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order commanding and directing public respondents and their agents to cease and desist from formally signing the 13 MOA-AD. the outcome of which was the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace (Tripoli Agreement 2001) containing the basic principles and agenda on the following aspects of the negotiation: Security Aspect. Ma. 183951. No. docketed as G. II. In response. By subsequent Resolutions. and that respondents be enjoined from executing the MOA-AD. In the succeeding exchange of pleadings. Vice-Governor Francis 18 Olvis. Joselito Alisuag. Inc. Respondents filed Comments on the petitions. This initial petition was followed by another one. Sangguniang Panlungsod member Marino Ridao and businessman Kisin Buxani. Cesar Jalosjos. the 23 Municipality of Linamon in Lanao del Norte. By Resolution of August 4. decided to meet with the 4 GRP. The MILF 5 thereafter suspended all its military actions. 2003 and he was replaced by Al Haj Murad. was set to be signed last August 5. docketed as G. No.R. and Ancestral Domain Aspect. Isabelle Climaco and Rep. the City of Isabela and Mayor 22 Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar. Rehabilitation Aspect. Jejomar Binay. Invoking the right to information on matters of public concern. Jr. The Muslim Legal Assistance Foundation. 183752. eventually. Governor Rolando Yebes. Mayor Celso Lobregat. Murad's 6 position as chief peace negotiator was taken over by Mohagher Iqbal. Petitioners herein additionally implead as respondent the MILF Peace Negotiating Panel represented by its Chairman Mohagher Iqbal. Nesario Awat. and lawyers Carlo Gomez. STATEMENT OF THE PROCEEDINGS Before the Court is what is perhaps the most contentious "consensus" ever embodied in an instrument . 183893. also for 11 12 Mandamus and Prohibition filed by the City of Zamboanga. and Aquilino Pimentel III filed a petition 20 for Prohibition. Roxas. Petitioners herein moreover pray that the City of Zamboanga be excluded from the Bangsamoro Homeland and/or Bangsamoro Juridical Entity and. 2001 which ended with the signing of the Implementing Guidelines on the Security Aspect of the Tripoli Agreement 2001 leading to a ceasefire status between the parties. then MILF Chairman Salamat Hashim passed away on July 13. Adel Tamano. No. 2001. Petitioners herein additionally implead Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita as respondent. 2001. The Province of Zamboanga del Norte.R. as mentioned.

the classical division of the world into dar-ul-Islam and dar-ul-harb eventually lost its meaning.the organic act for the Autonomous 26 25 Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA). Whether the inclusion/exclusion of the Province of North Cotabato. b) to revise or amend the Constitution and existing laws to conform to the MOA. but also two agreements between the GRP and the MNLF: the 1976 Tripoli Agreement. whether prohibition under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is an appropriate remedy. obligations. having been bound to each other by treaty or agreement. in view of the disclosure of official copies of the final draft of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). areas like dar-ul-mua'hada (land of compact) and dar-ul-sulh (land of treaty) referred to countries which. The first referred to those lands where Islamic laws held sway." During the height of the Muslim Empire. though 28 not bound by treaty with Muslim States. 7) under a state policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest (1987 Constitution. and the Municipality of Linamon. New terms were drawn up to describe novel ways of perceiving nonMuslim territories. 4 and 5. 7160 (LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991)[. III. and benefits for both parties 29 which provides for a framework that elaborates the principles declared in the [MOA-AD]. Dar-ul-aman (land of order). RECOGNITION OF ANCESTRAL DOMAINS)[. thereafter. Cities of Zamboanga. 1996 during the administration of President Fidel Ramos. Under the heading "Terms of Reference" (TOR). 2008 that tackled the following principal issues: 1.the Philippines being the land of compact and peace agreement . and (ii) insofar as the prohibition aspect involving the Local Government Units is concerned.] If it is in the affirmative. The MOA-AD also identifies as TOR two local statutes . even with distant States and intergovernmental organizations. territorial or political subdivision not recognized by law. 6. the Court takes an overview of the MOA.that partake of the nature of a treaty device. and several international law instruments . though under a secular regime. Article III. c) to concede to or recognize the claim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for ancestral domain in violation of Republic Act No. Article II. among others. or a juridical. 28) including public consultation under Republic Act No. Whether respondent Government of the Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it negotiated and initiated the MOA vis-à-vis ISSUES Nos. This way of viewing the world. as well as the two comments-inintervention in favor of the MOA-AD. 8371 (THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS ACT OF 1997). Whether the petitions have become moot and academic (i) insofar as the mandamus aspect is concerned. became more complex through the centuries as the Islamic world became part of the international community of nations. 3. if it is considered that consultation has become fait accompli with the finalization of the draft. 4.the ILO Convention No. Whether the constitutionality and the legality of the MOA is ripe for adjudication. maintained freedom of religion for Muslims. maintained peaceful and cooperative relations with Muslim States. early Muslim jurists tended to see the world through a simple dichotomy: there was the dar-ul-Islam (the Abode of Islam) and dar-ul-harb (the Abode of War). It thus appears that the "compact rights entrenchment" emanating from the regime of dar-ulmua'hada and dar-ul-sulh simply refers to all other agreements between the MILF and the Philippine government . on the other hand. Whether there is a violation of the people's right to information on matters of public concern (1987 Constitution. Sec. Whether by signing the MOA. whether the Executive Branch has the authority to so bind the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.] If in the affirmative. "treaty" being broadly defined as "any solemn agreement in writing that sets out understandings. ordered the parties to submit their respective Memoranda. the MOA-AD includes not only four earlier agreements between the GRP and MILF. The MOA-AD includes as a final TOR the generic category of "compact rights entrenchment emanating from the regime of dar-ul-mua'hada (or territory under compact) and dar-ul-sulh (or territory under peace agreement) that partakes the nature of a treaty device. As Muslim States entered into treaties with their neighbors. 5. Iligan and Isabela. Most of the parties submitted their memoranda on time. and 7. however. 2.The cases were heard on oral argument on August 15. 22 and 29. For instance. referred to countries which. Sec. the Government of the Republic of the Philippines would be BINDING itself a) to create and recognize the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) as a separate state. signed on September 2. The Court. particularly Section 3(g) & Chapter VII (DELINEATION." . and the Final Peace Agreement on the Implementation of the 1976 Tripoli Agreement. 169 Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries in relation to the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples. and the UN Charter. OVERVIEW OF THE MOA-AD As a necessary backdrop to the consideration of the objections raised in the subject five petitions and six petitions-in-intervention against the MOA-AD. Whether desistance from signing the MOA derogates any prior valid commitments 24 of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. The MOA-AD identifies the Parties to it as the GRP and the MILF. Lanao del Norte in/from the areas covered by the projected Bangsamoro Homeland is a justiciable question. while the second denoted those lands where Muslims were persecuted or where Muslim laws were outlawed or 27 ineffective.

including their spouses." defined as extending fifteen (15) kilometers from the 42 coastline of the BJE area." The MOA-AD further provides for the sharing of minerals on the territorial waters between the Central Government and the BJE. RESOURCES The MOA-AD states that the BJE is free to enter into any economic cooperation and trade relations with foreign countries and shall have the option to establish trade missions in those countries." which shall stretch beyond the BJE internal waters up to the baselines of the Republic of the Philippines (RP) south east and south west of mainland Mindanao. cities. which are grouped into two categories." the ownership of which is 32 vested exclusively in the Bangsamoro people by virtue of their prior rights of occupation. and Governance. Tawi-Tawi." the Central . Thus. including the aerial domain and the 38 atmospheric space above it. With regard to the right of exploring for." To that extent. The BJE may also enter into environmental cooperation agreements. Category A and Category B. mineral oil and natural gas. Sulu. The external defense of the BJE is to remain the duty and obligation of the Central Government. The MOA-AD adds that the freedom of choice of indigenous peoples shall be respected. the core of the BJE is defined as the present geographic area of the ARMM thus constituting the following areas: Lanao del Sur. The MOA-AD then mentions for the first time the "Bangsamoro Juridical Entity" (BJE) to which it grants the authority and jurisdiction over the Ancestral Domain and Ancestral Lands of the 37 Bangsamoro. Thus. particularly those known as Indians. fluvial and alluvial domains. the jurisdiction and control thereon is to be vested in the BJE "as the party having control within its territorial jurisdiction. and that within these territorial waters. The MOA-AD goes on to describe the Bangsamoro people as "the µFirst Nation' with defined territory and with a system of government having entered into treaties of amity and commerce with foreign nations." as defined in this strand of the MOA-AD. Category B areas. Both parties to the MOA-AD acknowledge that ancestral domain does not form part of the public 33 domain. by identifying the Bangsamoro people as "the First Nation" . The sultanates were described as states or "karajaan/kadatuan" resembling a body politic endowed with all the elements of a nation-state 34 in the modern sense. Concepts and Principles. in favor of the latter. and the enforcement of police and safety 45 measures. however." and starts with its main body. by the Pat a Pangampong ku Ranaw. What this freedom of choice consists in has not been specifically defined. municipalities and barangays. producing. petroleum.suggesting its exclusive entitlement to that designation . includes not only 31 "Moros" as traditionally understood even by Muslims. this core also includes certain municipalities of Lanao del Norte 39 that voted for inclusion in the ARMM in the 2001 plebiscite. A. when public interest so requires. More specifically. Significantly. and obtaining all potential sources of energy. specifically in the case of the Maranao. Notably. Resources. the BJE is to cover other provinces. none of whom was supreme over the others. Such relationships and understandings. all of them are usually described collectively by the 36 plural "First Nations. CONCEPTS AND PRINCIPLES This strand begins with the statement that it is "the birthright of all Moros and all Indigenous peoples of Mindanao to identify themselves and be accepted as µBangsamoros. The main body of the MOA-AD is divided into four strands. and Marawi City. The Bangsamoro people are acknowledged as having the right to self-governance. each of these indigenous peoples is equally entitled to be called "First Nation. a confederation of independent principalities (pangampong) each 35 ruled by datus and sultans. through production sharing and 44 economic cooperation agreement. which right is said to be rooted on ancestral territoriality exercised originally under the suzerain authority of their sultanates and the Pat a Pangampong ku Ranaw. that the BJE shall also have "territorial waters. among which are the exploration and utilization of natural resources. the territory defined as the Bangsamoro homeland was ruled by several sultanates and. fossil fuel. embracing the Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan geographic region. Each of these areas is to be subjected to a plebiscite to be held on different dates." This right carries the proviso that. The BJE is to be entitled to participate in Philippine official missions and delegations for the negotiation of border agreements or protocols for environmental protection and equitable sharing of incomes and revenues involving the bodies of water adjacent to or 47 between the islands forming part of the ancestral domain. There is no similar provision on the sharing of minerals and allowed activities with respect to the internal waters of the BJE. the concept of "Bangsamoro. As gathered. "in times of national emergency." The term "First Nation" is of Canadian origin referring to the indigenous peoples of that territory. are not to include aggression 46 against the GRP. and 30 their descendants whether mixed or of full blood. C. The MOA-AD thus grounds the right to self-governance of the Bangsamoro people on the past suzerain authority of the sultanates. the MOA-AD. The Central Government is also bound to "take necessary steps to ensure the BJE's participation in international meetings and events" like those of the ASEAN and the specialized agencies of the UN. The MOA-AD proceeds to refer to the "Bangsamoro homeland. years apart from each other. Category A areas are to be subjected to a plebiscite not later than twelve (12) months following 40 the signing of the MOA-AD. The activities which the Parties are allowed to conduct on the territorial waters are enumerated. The Parties to the MOA-AD stipulate that the BJE shall have jurisdiction over all natural resources within its "internal waters. but all indigenous peoples of Mindanao and its adjacent islands. the BJE and the "Central Government" (used interchangeably with RP) shall exercise joint jurisdiction. 43 authority and management over all natural resources. namely. Outside of this core. In Canada." on the other hand. B. are to be subjected to a plebiscite twenty-five (25) years from the signing of a 41 separate agreement . the jurisdiction over the internal waters is not similarly described as "joint. also called "Special Intervention Areas. terrestrial.the Comprehensive Compact.departs from the Canadian usage of the term.The MOA-AD states that the Parties "HAVE AGREED AND ACKNOWLEDGED AS FOLLOWS. Territory." hence.'" It defines "Bangsamoro people" as the natives or original inhabitants of Mindanao and its adjacent islands including Palawan and the Sulu archipelago at the time of conquest or colonization. Basilan. TERRITORY The territory of the Bangsamoro homeland is described as the land mass as well as the maritime. regulation of shipping and fishing activities. Maguindanao.

if at all. In addition. assume or direct the operation of such resources. much of the present controversy hangs on the legality of this provision. legislation. the signature page of the MOA-AD states that it is "WITNESSED BY" Datuk Othman Bin Abd Razak. Annexed to the MOA-AD are two documents containing the respective lists cum maps of the provinces. municipalities. Chairpersons of the Peace Negotiating Panels of the GRP and the MILF. Courts decline to issue 55 advisory opinions or to resolve hypothetical or feigned problems. The MOA-AD provides that its provisions requiring "amendments to the existing legal framework" shall take effect upon signing of the Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the aforesaid amendments. As will be discussed later. susceptible of judicial resolution as distinguished from a hypothetical or abstract difference or dispute. financial and banking. And it states that the structure of governance is to be based on executive. police and internal security force. IV. economic. petitioners and intervenors' perceived injury. Industrial Forest Management Agreements (IFMA). Related to the requirement of an actual case or controversy is the requirement of ripeness. x x x xxxx In the cases at bar. the penultimate paragraph of the MOA-AD identifies the signatories as "the representatives of the Parties. PROCEDURAL ISSUES A. Plainly. D. This compact is to embody the "details for the effective enforcement" and "the mechanisms and modalities for the actual implementation" of the MOA-AD. legal. (Underscoring supplied) 54 ." meaning the GRP and MILF themselves. judicial system and correctional institutions. 2008 by Rodolfo Garcia and Mohagher Iqbal. and SIGNED "IN THE PRESENCE OF" Dr. the MOA-AD was set to be signed on August 5. or their marginalization shall be acknowledged. including those issued by the present ARMM. GOVERNANCE The MOA-AD binds the Parties to invite a multinational third-party to observe and monitor the implementation of the Comprehensive Compact. and barangays under Categories A and B earlier mentioned in the discussion on the strand on TERRITORY. legislative. all of whom were scheduled to sign the Agreement last August 5. Mineral Production and Sharing Agreements (MPSA). or mere academic questions. He must show that he has sustained or is immediately in danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of the act 62 complained of. The BJE is granted the power to build. it is respectfully submitted that this Honorable Court has no authority to pass upon issues based on hypothetical or feigned constitutional problems or interests with no concrete bases. develop and maintain its own institutions inclusive of civil service. Romulo. respectively. judicial. The "associative" relationship between the Central Government and the BJE The MOA-AD describes the relationship of the Central Government and the BJE as "associative. There must be a contrariety of legal rights that can be interpreted and 57 enforced on the basis of existing law and jurisprudence. the details of which shall be discussed in the negotiation of the comprehensive compact. The sharing between the Central Government and the BJE of total production pertaining to 49 natural resources is to be 75:25 in favor of the BJE. the MOA-AD remains to be a proposal that does not automatically create legally demandable rights and obligations until the list of operative acts required have been duly complied with." characterized by shared authority and responsibility. Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Malaysia. reasoning that The unsigned MOA-AD is simply a list of consensus points subject to further negotiations and legislative enactments as well as constitutional processes aimed at attaining a final peaceful agreement. and the petitioner must allege the existence of an immediate 61 or threatened injury to itself as a result of the challenged action. for a fixed period and under reasonable terms as may be agreed upon by 48 both Parties. Adviser to Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary General and Special Envoy for Peace Process in Southern Philippines. As stated early on. timber licenses. RIPENESS The power of judicial review is limited to actual cases or controversies. For a case to be considered ripe for adjudication. The MOA-AD provides that legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people arising from any unjust dispossession of their territorial and proprietary rights. Simply put. to assure that the courts will not 56 intrude into areas committed to the other branches of government. Whenever restoration is no longer possible. Malaysia. reparation is 50 to be in such form as mutually determined by the Parties. it is a prerequisite that something had then been accomplished or performed by either branch before a 60 court may come into the picture. with due regard to the non-derogation of prior agreements and within the stipulated timeframe to be contained in the Comprehensive Compact. Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Solicitor General argues that there is no justiciable controversy that is ripe for judicial review in the present petitions. 2008. The BJE may modify or cancel the forest concessions. "ENDORSED BY" Ambassador Sayed Elmasry. Albert G. is merely imaginary and illusory apart from being unfounded and based on mere conjectures. Secretary of Foreign Affairs of RP and Dato' Seri Utama Dr. and administrative institutions with defined powers and functions in the Comprehensive Compact. The Court can decide the constitutionality of an act or treaty only when a proper case between opposing parties is 58 submitted for judicial determination. contracts or agreements.Government may. customary land tenures. mining concessions. Considering the preliminary character of the MOA-AD. A question is ripe for adjudication when the act being challenged has had a direct adverse effect 59 on the individual challenging it. and other land tenure instruments granted 51 by the Philippine Government. electoral. there are no concrete acts that could possibly violate petitioners' and intervenors' rights since the acts complained of are mere contemplated steps toward the formulation of a final peace agreement. The limitation of the power of judicial review to actual cases and controversies defines the role assigned to the judiciary in a tripartite allocation of power. education. an assertion of opposite legal claims. The MOA-AD explicitly provides that the participation of the third party shall not in 52 any way affect the status of the relationship between the Central Government and the BJE. Rais Bin Yatim. and not merely of 53 the negotiating panels. Notably. An actual case or controversy involves a conflict of legal rights.

the dispute is said to have ripened into a judicial controversy even without any other overt act. such omission. 3 (E. The authority of the GRP Negotiating Panel is defined by Executive Order No. B. and an actual case or controversy ripe for adjudication exists. because the policy was being challenged as unconstitutional on its face. Prohibition. Without derogating from the requirements of prior agreements. Jr. because the parties agreed that New York had to take immediate action to 70 avoid the provision's consequences. Certiorari and Prohibition are remedies granted by law when any tribunal. the Parties shall endeavor to complete the negotiations and resolve all outstanding issues on the Comprehensive Compact within fifteen (15) months from the signing of the MOA-AD.O. No. these points will be discussed in more detail later. Mandamus and Prohibition are appropriate remedies to raise constitutional issues and to review and/or prohibit/nullify. Toward this end. including the systematic approach and the administrative structure for 76 carrying out the comprehensive peace process x x x be governed by this Executive Order." 71 67 xxxx 2. v. and Mandamus. No. guaranteed to the MILF the amendment of the Constitution. The Annex constitutes an integral part of this framework agreement. when proper. corporation. this Court held: x x x [B]y the mere enactment of the questioned law or the approval of the challenged action. the petitions make a prima facie case for Certiorari. 3). trust. even if no public prayer had yet been led 68 under the policy. 1996. (Underscoring supplied) The Solicitor General's arguments fail to persuade. constitutes a departure by respondents from their mandate under E. or station. . officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office. Toward this end. 2001. by itself. The said executive order requires that "[t]he government's policy framework for peace. the United States Supreme Court held that the challenge to the constitutionality of the school's policy allowing student-led prayers and speeches before games was ripe for adjudication. Prohibition. when an act of the President. Certiorari. In 65 Pimentel. within twelve (12) months following the signing of the MOA-AD. The present petitions pray for Certiorari. or unlawfully excludes another from the use or enjoyment of a right or 73 office to which such other is entitled. Indeed. That the law or act in question is not yet effective does not negate ripeness. 3 and the provisions of the Constitution and statutes.The Solicitor General cites 63 the following provisions of the MOA-AD: TERRITORY In Santa Fe Independent School District v. without or in excess of its jurisdiction or 72 with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction." The present petitions allege that respondents GRP Panel and PAPP Esperon drafted the terms of the MOA-AD without consulting the local government units or communities affected. in the case of prohibition.O. Such act constitutes another violation of its authority. This stipulation. For example. Furthermore. As the petitions allege acts or omissions on the part of respondent that exceed their authority. No. United States. nor informing them of the proceedings. The MOA-AD provides that "any provisions of the MOA-AD requiring amendments to the existing legal framework shall come into force upon the signing of a Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework. When an act of a branch of government is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution. Again. using all possible legal measures. in the case of certiorari. the United States Supreme Court held that the action by the State of New York challenging the provisions of the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act was ripe for adjudication even if the questioned provision was not to take effect until January 1. Aguirre. Concrete acts under the MOA-AD are not necessary to render the present controversy ripe. and Mandamus. LOCUS STANDI For a party to have locus standi. Any provisions of the MOA-AD requiring amendments to the existing legal framework shall come into force upon the signing of a Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework with due regard to nonderogation of prior agreements and within the stipulated timeframe to be contained in 64 the Comprehensive Compact. the Government stipulates to conduct and deliver. decided in 1992. a plebiscite covering the areas as enumerated in the list and depicted in the map as Category A attached herein (the "Annex"). Mandamus is a remedy granted by law when any tribunal. who in our constitutional scheme is a coequal of Congress. board. the petitions allege that the provisions of the MOA-AD violate the Constitution. acts of 74 legislative and executive officials. by violating their duties under E. it becomes not only the right but in 77 fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute. one must allege "such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues 78 upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. xxxx By the same token. is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution and the 66 laws x x x settling the dispute becomes the duty and the responsibility of the courts.O. even a singular violation of the Constitution and/or the law is enough to awaken judicial duty. in 69 New York v. As will be discussed in greater detail later." implying an amendment of the Constitution to accommodate the MOA-AD. the Parties enter into the following stipulations: xxxx d. Doe. The Parties agree that mechanisms and modalities for the actual implementation of this MOA-AD shall be spelt out in the Comprehensive Compact to mutually take such steps to enable it to occur effectively. board or officer has acted. in effect. 3. xxxx GOVERNANCE xxxx 7. or is proceeding. 75 issued on February 28.

183893) and City of Zamboanga (G. No. in the resolution of the petitions concerning the MOA-AD. a non-government organization of Muslim lawyers. In not a few cases. No. as taxpayer. The fact that they are a former Senator. Jejomar Binay and Aquilino Pimentel III would have no standing as citizens and taxpayers for their failure to specify that they would be denied some right or privilege or there would be wastage of public funds. 183752) and petitioners-in-intervention Province of Sultan Kudarat.R. No. Macapagal-Arroyo. meanwhile. has brushed aside 91 technical rules of procedure. assert that government funds would be expended for the conduct of an illegal and unconstitutional plebiscite to delineate the BJE territory. the 97 98 bar. whether in whole or in part.Because constitutional cases are often public actions in which the relief sought is likely to affect other persons. is of no consequence. once a suit is filed and the doer voluntarily ceases the challenged conduct. it is sufficient that the petitioner is a citizen and has an interest in the 81 execution of the laws. in alleging their standing as taxpayers. For a taxpayer. it can seek relief in order to protect or vindicate an 87 interest of its own. Considering their invocation of the transcendental importance of the issues at hand.. the Solicitor General points out that the President had 93 already disbanded the GRP Peace Panel. Intervenors. as the case may be. it does not automatically deprive the tribunal 94 rd . 183951). petitioners Province of North Cotabato (G. the Court exercises its discretion to relax the procedural technicality on locus standi given the paramount public interest in the issues at hand. resident and member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cotabato City. would suffer as their territories. An organization may be granted standing to assert the rights of its members.R. City of Isabela and Municipality of Linamon have locus standi in view of the direct and substantial injury that they. Thus. No. City of Iligan (G. a preliminary question frequently arises as to this interest in the constitutional 79 question raised. In the petitions at bar. it will decide cases. such as a legal interest in the matter in litigation. but the mere invocation by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any member of the legal profession of the 86 duty to preserve the rule of law does not suffice to clothe it with standing. they can be given legal standing. the Court. No. When suing as a citizen. MOOTNESS Respondents insist that the present petitions have been rendered moot with the satisfaction of all the reliefs prayed for by petitioners and the subsequent pronouncement of the Executive Secretary that "[n]o matter what the Supreme Court ultimately decides[. 85 In G. as taxpayer. the constitutional issues raised being of paramount public interest or of transcendental importance deserving the attention of the Court in 90 view of their seriousness. powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in his office. The Court retains discretion whether or 83 not to allow a taxpayer's suit. Another exclusionary circumstance that may be considered is where there is a voluntary cessation of the activity complained of by the defendant or doer. Gomez. an act of the Executive that injures the institution of Congress causes a derivative but nonetheless substantial injury that can be questioned by legislators. and the public." In lending credence to this policy decision. 96 (b) the situation is of exceptional character and paramount public interest is involved. the Court has discretion to relax the procedural technicality on locus standi. He thus possesses the requisite standing as an intervenor. highlighted in the case of David v. or in the success of either of the parties. petitioners Ernesto Maceda. allege that they stand to be benefited or prejudiced. In David v. and Muslim Legal Assistance Foundation Inc. an advocacy group for justice and the attainment of peace and prosperity in Muslim Mindanao. B. Petitioners' legal standing is thus beyond doubt. the Court grants them standing. may be given legal standing upon showing of facts that satisfy the 88 requirements of the law authorizing intervention. Just the same. one is allowed to sue where there is an assertion that public funds are illegally disbursed or deflected to an illegal purpose. an incumbent mayor of Makati City. With regard to Senator Manuel Roxas. and a resident of Cagayan de Oro. respectively. in keeping with its duty under the Constitution to determine whether the other branches of government have kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws and have not abused the discretion given them. A member of the House of Representatives has standing to maintain 84 inviolate the prerogatives. In the case of a legislator or member of Congress. Intervening respondents Muslim Multi-Sectoral Movement for Peace and Development. as a former congressman of the 3 district of Davao City. These petitioners allege that they did not vote for their inclusion in the ARMM which would be expanded to form the BJE territory. Carlo B. or that there is a wastage of public funds through 82 the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law. his standing is premised on his being a member of the Senate and a citizen to enforce compliance by respondents of the public's constitutional right to be informed of the MOA-AD.R. a taxpayer and a member of the Bagobo tribe. As regards a local government unit (LGU). they failed to allege any proper legal interest in the present petitions. are to be included in the intended domain of the BJE. In any case. novelty and weight as precedents. 95 otherwise moot and academic. On that score alone. and Kisin Buxani. Their allegation that the issues involved in these petitions are of "undeniable transcendental importance" clothes them with added basis for their personality to intervene in these petitions. The Court's forbearing stance on locus standi on issues involving constitutional issues has for its purpose the protection of fundamental rights.] the government will not 92 sign the MOA. Intervenors Franklin Drilon and Adel Tamano. and prays for the denial of the petitions on the grounds therein stated. the person complaining must allege that he has been or is about to be denied some right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled or that he is about to be subjected 80 to some burdens or penalties by reason of the statute or act complained of. 183591) Province of Zamboanga del Norte (G. (c) the constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench. citizens and taxpayers. this Court held that the "moot and academic" principle not being a magical formula that automatically dissuades courts in resolving a case. or in the success or failure of either of the parties. however. With respect to Intervenors Ruy Elias Lopez. if it finds that (a) there is a grave violation of the Constitution. 183962. and (d) the case is capable of repetition yet evading review.R. as members of the IBP Palawan chapter. Macapagal-Arroyo. given 89 the liberal attitude it has exercised. et al. Such legal interest suffices to clothe them with standing.R.. as well as on a genuine legal interest in the matter in litigation. When the issue concerns a public right. where technicalities of procedure were brushed aside. Marino Ridao. and of the other LGUs. as LGUs.

where the Court did not "pontificat[e] on issues which no longer legitimately constitute an actual case or controversy [as this] will do more harm than good to the nation as a whole. Indeed. but also in Province of Batangas v. The assertion that the MOA-AD is subject to further legal enactments including possible Constitutional amendments more than ever provides impetus for the Court to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench. the factual circumstances being peculiar only to the transactions and parties involved in the controversy. in his Memorandum of August 28. but to other on-going and future negotiations and agreements necessary for its realization. in another or any form. there are basically two SUBSTANTIVE issues to be resolved. 183893 (City of Iligan v. GRP) is a petition for Injunction and Declaratory Relief. particularly the Provinces of North Cotabato. which could contain similar or significantly drastic provisions. Zamboanga del Norte and Sultan Kudarat. be discussed. Contrary too to respondents' position. Consequently. The present petitions fall squarely into these exceptions to thus thrust them into the domain of judicial review." especially given its nomenclature. et al." foremost of which is the creation of the BJE. Romulo and Manalo v. Reyes in which he stated that the doctrine of "capable of repetition yet evading review" can override mootness. supervening events that would ordinarily have rendered the same moot notwithstanding. provided this Court and petitioners with official copies of the final draft of the MOA-AD and its annexes. It bears emphasis that the signing of the MOA-AD did not push through due to the Court's issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order. the Court will treat it as one for Prohibition as it has far reaching implications 105 and raises questions that need to be resolved. 2008. the bar. involving a significant part of the country's territory and the wide-ranging political modifications of affected LGUs. In fact. the government in negotiating with the MILF regarding Ancestral Domain. the present petitions afford a proper venue for the Court to again apply the doctrine 106 immediately referred to as what it had done in a number of landmark cases. While the Court notes the word of the Executive Secretary that the government "is committed to securing an agreement that is both constitutional and equitable because that is the only way that long-lasting peace can be assured. the manifestation that it will not be signed as well as the disbanding of the GRP Panel not withstanding. The grounds cited above in David are just as applicable in the present cases as 100 they were." They contend that the Court must have jurisdiction over the subject matter for the doctrine to be invoked. the non-signing of the MOA-AD and the eventual dissolution of the GRP Peace Panel did not moot the present petitions. respondents having. V. Accordingly. therefore. The present petitions all contain prayers for Prohibition over which this Court exercises original jurisdiction. the other relating to its provisions. or have procured for themselves. not only in David. There is a reasonable expectation that petitioners. It is with respect to the prayers for Mandamus that the petitions have become moot. the public and. and the far-reaching Constitutional implications of these "consensus points. what was assailed and eventually cancelled was a stand-alone government procurement contract for a national broadband network involving a one-time contractual relation between two parties-the government and a private foreign corporation. Petitions not mooted In the present controversy. in another or in any form." The present petitions must be differentiated from Suplico. as what will. SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES As culled from the Petitions and Petitions-in-Intervention. the Cities of Zamboanga. will again be subjected to the same problem in the future as respondents' actions are capable of repetition. Primarily.] the government will not sign the MOA[-AD]. the present MOA-AD can be renegotiated or another one will be drawn up to carry out the Ancestral Domain Aspect of the Tripoli Agreement 2001. Need to formulate principles-guidelines Contrary then to the asseverations of respondents. Respondents cite Suplico v. the bar. intervenors have been furnished. Iligan and Isabela. even if the Executive Secretary. viz: . and the Municipality of Linamon. "provided the party raising it in a proper case has been and/or continue to be prejudiced or damaged as a direct result of their issuance. Petitions are imbued with paramount public interest There is no gainsaying that the petitions are imbued with paramount public interest. the MOA-AD is a significant part of a series of agreements necessary to carry out the Tripoli Agreement 2001. in Suplico." it is minded to render a decision on the merits in the present petitions to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench. 2008. Too. 2008 to the Solicitor General.of power to hear and determine the case and does not render the case moot especially when the plaintiff seeks damages or prays for injunctive relief against the possible recurrence of the 99 violation. the government and its negotiating entity. 102 been rendered moot and academic simply by the public disclosure of the MOA-AD. the need to have it signed or initialed by all the parties concerned on August 5. Rehabilitation and Development Aspect in May 2002. The MOA-AD which dwells on the Ancestral Domain Aspect of said Tripoli Agreement is the third such component to be undertaken following the implementation of the Security Aspect in August 2001 and the Humanitarian. there is a commitment on the part of respondents to amend and effect necessary changes to the existing legal framework for certain provisions of the MOA-AD to take effect. by Compliance of August 7. the majority opinion in Suplico found nothing exceptional therein. the present petitions are not confined to the terms and provisions of the MOA-AD. the Court has jurisdiction over most if not the rest of the petitions. Respondents invite the Court's attention to the separate opinion of then Chief Justice Artemio 104 Panganiban in Sanlakas v. in this case. the public and. The MOA-AD is part of a series of agreements 103 Surely. the MOA-AD cannot be considered a mere "list of consensus points. most especially. At all events. As the issues therein involved specific government procurement policies and standard principles on contracts. 101 Calderon where the Court similarly decided them on the merits. has stated that "no matter what the Supreme Court ultimately decides[. copies of the MOA-AD. one relating to the manner in which the MOA-AD was negotiated and finalized. The petitions have not. NEDA." mootness will not set in in light of the terms of the Tripoli Agreement 2001. in the main.R. No. While G.

The MOA-AD is a matter of public concern That the subject of the information sought in the present cases is a matter of public concern faces no serious challenge. nor a meaningful democratic decision-making if they are denied access to information of general interest. reasonable and effective manner. nor a retreat by the State of its avowed "policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving public 122 interest. the implementing law will have to be enacted by Congress. with the people's right to know as the centerpiece. Article III on the Bill of Rights: Sec." x x x In the same way that free discussion enables members of society to cope with the exigencies of their time. Presiding 128 Officer. Do the contents of the MOA-AD violate the Constitution and the laws? ON THE FIRST SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE Petitioners invoke their constitutional right to information on matters of public concern. It is a 126 mandate of the State to be accountable by following such policy. Matters of public concern covered by the right to information include steps and negotiations leading to the consummation of the contract. this policy will not be enunciated or will not be in force and effect until after Congress shall have provided it. undoubtedly. has been recognized as a self-executory constitutional right. the pubic has a legitimate interest in matters of social and political significance. in Subido v. Whether Section 28 is self-executory. Article II of the Constitution reading: Sec. There can be no realistic perception by the public of the nation's problems. the Court has recognized the statutory right to examine and inspect public records. I expect it to influence the climate of public ethics immediately but. The policy of full public disclosure enunciated in above-quoted Section 28 complements the right of access to information on matters of public concern found in the Bill of Rights. access to information of general interest aids the people in democratic decision112 making by giving them a better perspective of the vital issues confronting the nation so that they may be able to criticize and participate in the affairs of the government in a responsible. The right of access to public documents. In the 1976 case of Baldoza v. a consummated contract is not a requirement for the exercise of the right to information. Judge Dimaano. becomes fait accompli. in a democracy. Otherwise. and to documents. Mr. of course. the records of the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission so disclose: MR. are matters of public concern. Access to official records. which directly affects the lives of the public at large." Certainly.1. the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public 124 interest. the people can never exercise the right if no contract is consummated. shall be afforded the citizen. x x x The incorporation of this right in the Constitution is a recognition of the fundamental role of free exchange of information in a democracy. the proper management of GSIS funds 119 allegedly used to grant loans to public officials. and if one is consummated. as provided in Section 7. the Court found that the regularity of real estate transactions 116 entered in the Register of Deeds. transactions. 114 110 108 Undoubtedly. SUAREZ. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law. 7. effectively truncating a basic right enshrined in the Bill of Rights. the Court ruled that access to public records is predicated on the right of the people to acquire information on matters of public concern since. the flow inevitably ceases. Such a requirement will prevent the citizenry from participating in the public discussion of any proposed contract. among others. subject to such 107 limitations as may be provided by law. It is by ensuring an unfettered and uninhibited exchange of ideas among a well-informed public that a government remains responsive to the changes 113 desired by the people. respondents admit that the MOA-AD is indeed of public 115 concern. the Court has categorically ruled: x x x [T]he right to information "contemplates inclusion of negotiations leading to the consummation of the transaction. Information is needed to enable the members of society to cope with the exigencies of the times. And since this is not self-executory. These provisions are vital to the exercise of the freedom of expression and essential to hold public officials at all times 127 accountable to the people. which may be grossly disadvantageous to the government or even illegal. The policy of public disclosure establishes a concrete ethical principle for the conduct of public affairs in a genuinely open democracy." (Emphasis and italics in the original) Intended as a "splendid symmetry" to the right to information under the Bill of Rights is the policy of public disclosure under Section 28. Ozaeta. or decisions. the need for adequate notice to the public of the various 117 118 laws. Hon. This negates the State policy of full transparency on matters of public concern. 123 . a right which was eventually accorded constitutional status. a situation which the framers of the Constitution could not have intended. MR. the recovery of the Marcoses' alleged ill-gotten 120 121 wealth. In fact. involving as it does the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State. while Section 28 125 recognizes the duty of officialdom to give information even if nobody demands. and the identity of party-list nominees. In previous cases. Did respondents violate constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation and the right to information when they negotiated and later initialed the MOA-AD? 2. Requiring a consummated contract will keep the public in the dark until the contract. As early as 1948. and papers pertaining to official acts. As has been aptly observed: "Maintaining the flow of such information depends on protection for both its acquisition and its dissemination since. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. OPLE. it may be too late for the public to expose its defects. the MOA-AD subject of the present cases is of public concern. In not distinguishing as to the executory nature or commercial character of agreements. We can allow neither an emasculation of a constitutional right. as enshrined in both the 1973 Constitution and the 109 1987 Constitution. the civil service eligibility of a public employee. if either 111 process is interrupted. The right to information guarantees the right of the people to demand information. as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development. 28.

nor by the different contending groups only.O. The furtive process by which the MOA-AD was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the legal authority.O. No. as well as for government[-]civil society dialogue and consensus-building on peace agenda and 138 initiatives. on the implementation of the comprehensive peace process. Presiding Officer." Clearly. I think so. the effectivity of the policy of public disclosure need not await the passing of a statute. but I accepted an amendment from Commissioner Regalado. No. both ways. E. and amounts to a whimsical. we are not talking about public officials but also network of private business o[r] community-based organizations that will be reacting. I said earlier that it should immediately influence the climate of the conduct of public affairs but. The Court may not. DAVIDE. And lastly. require the PAPP to conduct the consultation in a particular way or manner. will the people be able to participate? Will the government provide feedback mechanisms so that the people can participate and can react where the existing media facilities are not able to provide full feedback mechanisms to the government? I suppose this will be part of the government implementing operational mechanisms. Presiding Officer. it is absurd to say that the broader right to information on matters of public concern is already enforceable while the correlative duty of the State to disclose its transactions involving public interest is not enforceable until there is an enabling law. which includes "continuing consultations on both national and local levels to build consensus for a peace agenda and 135 process. is evident in the "marching orders" to respondents." E. So I do not think we are afraid that there will be another OMA in the 132 making. we will put more credence or credibility on the private network of volunteers and voluntary community-based organizations. Envisioned to be corollary to the twin rights to information and disclosure is the design for feedback mechanisms. is enlightening. No. 3. 3 enumerates the functions and responsibilities of the PAPP. and the mobilization and facilitation of people's participation in the peace process. contrary to respondents' position that plebiscite is "more 136 than sufficient consultation. Mr. Yes. Respondents cannot thus point to the absence of an implementing legislation as an excuse in not effecting such policy. Originally. it is merely directed to provide for "reasonable safeguards. MS. MR. Yes. did I get the Gentleman correctly as having said that this is not a self-executing provision? It would require a legislation by Congress to implement? MR. capricious. Yes. comments. oppressive. An essential element of these freedoms is to keep open a continuing dialogue or process of communication between the government and the people. but 134 by all Filipinos as one community.O. No. MR. One of the three underlying principles of the comprehensive peace process is that it "should be community-based. Congress here may no longer pass a law revoking it. . Presiding Officer. 3 on people's participation. The mechanics for the duty to disclose information and to conduct public consultation regarding the peace agenda and process is manifestly provided by 133 E. (Emphasis supplied) Indubitably.O. Presiding Officer. Mr. require him to comply with the law and discharge the functions 139 within the authority granted by the President.. OPLE. As a matter of fact. reflecting the sentiments. It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined. however. values and principles important to all Filipinos" and "shall be defined not by the government alone." Further. 3 mandates the establishment of the NPF to be "the principal forum for the PAPP to consult with and seek advi[c]e from the peace advocates. OPLE. E. Jr. or if this is approved. as a corollary to the constitutional right to information and disclosure. I would like to get some clarifications on this. E. does it not mean that this will immediately take effect and Congress may provide for reasonable safeguards on the sole ground national interest? MR. (Emphasis supplied) The imperative of a public consultation. It may. one of which is to "[c]onduct regular dialogues with the National Peace Forum (NPF) and other peace partners to seek relevant information. arbitrary and despotic exercise thereof. No.O.O. The preambulatory clause of E. as a species of the right to information. No. No. Mr. 3 establishes petitioners' right to be consulted on the peace agenda. ROSARIO BRAID. may I just make one last sentence? I think when we talk about the feedback network. after Commissioner Hilario Davide. PAPP Esperon committed grave abuse of discretion The PAPP committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent consultation. of course. Yes. it was going to be self-executing. 3 declares that there is a need to further enhance the contribution of civil society to the comprehensive peace process by institutionalizing the people's participation. contrary to respondents' retort in justifying the denial of petitioners' right to be consulted. Such disregard of the express mandate of the President is not much different from superficial conduct 140 toward token provisos that border on classic lip service. Since both provisions go hand-in-hand." Included as a component of the comprehensive peace process is consensus-building and empowerment for peace. sought clarification on the issue. There is a message and a feedback. Petitioners are not claiming a seat at the negotiating table. DAVIDE. Mr. peace partners and concerned sectors of society on both national and local levels. of course. recommendations as well as to render appropriate and 137 timely reports on the progress of the comprehensive peace process. xxxx MS." In fine." The complete and effective exercise of the right to information necessitates that its complementary provision on public disclosure derive the same self130 executory nature. which is inconsistent with this policy. revoking 129 this principle. 3 contemplates not just the conduct of a plebiscite to effectuate "continuing" consultations. Respondents' stance manifests the manner by which they treat the salient provisions of E. so that the safeguards on national interest are modified by the clause "as may be provided by law" MR. As Congress cannot revoke this principle.O. It is in the interest of the State that the channels for free political discussion be maintained to the end that the government may perceive 131 and be responsive to the people's will. I think through their elected representatives and that is how these courses take place. OPLE. ROSARIO BRAID.The following discourse. But as worded.

Petitioners assert that the powers granted to the BJE exceed those granted to any local government under present laws. A period of transition shall be established in a comprehensive peace compact specifying the relationship between the Central Government and the BJE. without which all other stipulations or "consensus points" necessarily must fail. 4. delegates certain . the Court held that the above-stated policy and above-quoted provision of the LGU apply only to national programs or projects which are to be implemented in a particular local community. Significantly. and paragraph 4 on GOVERNANCE. one state.As for respondents' invocation of the doctrine of executive privilege. and even go beyond those of the present ARMM. AT ALL EVENTS. The validity of this argument will be considered later. and the MOA-AD . and the MOA-AD itself recognizes the need to amend the existing legal framework to render effective at least some of its provisions. judicial and administrative institutions with defined powers and functions in the comprehensive compact. The MOA-AD. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) The nature of the "associative" relationship may have been intended to be defined more precisely in the still to be forged Comprehensive Compact. information. The recognition of the ancestral domain is the raison d'etre of the MOA-AD. Keitner and Reisman state that [a]n association is formed when two states of unequal power voluntarily establish durable links. While paragraph 7 on Governance suspends the effectivity of all provisions requiring 144 changes to the legal framework. non-governmental and people's organizations. lives and destinies. the objections against the MOA-AD center on the extent of the powers conceded therein to the BJE. failed to justify its non-compliance with the clear-cut mechanisms 148 ordained in said Act. it is not tenable under the premises. the ICCs/IPs have. the IPRA does not grant the Executive Department or any government agency the power to delineate and recognize an ancestral domain claim by mere agreement or compromise. such clause is itself invalid. there can be no question that they cannot all be accommodated under the present Constitution and laws. in accordance 143 with the provisions of the Constitution. namely. Paño. The executive order even recognizes the exercise of the public's right even before the GRP 141 makes its official recommendations or before the government proffers its definite propositions. The argument defies sound reason when contrasted with E. 3 seeks to elicit relevant advice. 149 with sovereignty residing in the people and all government authority emanating from them. ON THE SECOND SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE With regard to the provisions of the MOA-AD. No. Respondents. as will be discussed in the following section. the Court shall pass upon how The MOA-AD is inconsistent with the Constitution and laws as presently worded. In general. For now.O. Among the programs and projects covered are those that are critical to the environment and human ecology including those that may call for the eviction of a 145 particular group of people residing in the locality where these will be implemented. comments and recommendations from the people through dialogue. however. Jr. Petitioners' assertion that the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991 declares it a State policy to "require all national agencies and offices to conduct periodic consultations with appropriate local government units. and other concerned sectors of the community before any project or program is implemented in their respective 142 jurisdictions" is well-taken. that the MOA-AD most clearly uses it to describe the envisioned relationship between the BJE and the Central Government. whose interests are represented herein by petitioner Lopez and are adversely affected by the MOA-AD. Indeed. Before assessing some of the specific powers that would have been vested in the BJE. In proceeding to make a sweeping declaration on ancestral domain. even the heart of the MOA-AD is still subject to necessary changes to the legal framework. among other things. which is cited as one of the TOR of the MOA-AD. It is in the last mentioned provision. . however. As it seems. The relationship between the Central Government and the Bangsamoro juridical entity shall be associative characterized by shared authority and responsibility with a structure of governance based on executive. or without a manifestation that it was complying therewith ex abundante ad cautelam. the MOA-AD explicitly alludes to this concept. under the IPRA. indicating that the Parties actually framed its provisions with it in mind. This has to be so if the country is to remain democratic.No project or program shall be implemented by government authorities unless the consultations mentioned in Sections 2 (c) and 26 hereof are complied with. ours is an open society. legislative. Hon. given that there is a concept of "association" in international law. nonetheless. With respect to the indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples (ICCs/IPs). (Italics and underscoring supplied) In Lina. respondents clearly transcended the boundaries of their authority. Nonetheless.O. In the basic model. It bear emphasis that E. that concept of association may be brought to bear in understanding the use of the term "associative" in the MOA-AD. without a prayer for the document's disclosure in camera. an instrument recognizing ancestral domain. respondents effectively waived the defense of executive privilege in view of their unqualified disclosure of the official copies of the final draft of the MOA-AD. The LGC chapter on intergovernmental relations puts flesh into this avowed policy: Prior Consultations Required. which entails. No. 2008 Resolution. the associate. Association is referred to in paragraph 3 on TERRITORY. the international law concept of association. v. and prior approval of the sanggunian concerned is obtained: Provided. Notably. which could pervasively and drastically result to the diaspora or displacement of a great number of inhabitants from their total environment. The MOAAD is one peculiar program that unequivocally and unilaterally vests ownership of a vast 146 territory to the Bangsamoro people. paragraph 11 on RESOURCES. Respondents have admitted as much in the oral arguments before this Court. 3's explicit provisions on continuing consultation and dialogue on both national and local levels.by its inclusion of international law instruments in its TOR. without complying with the IPRA. That occupants in areas where such projects are to be implemented shall not be evicted unless appropriate relocation sites have been provided.placed itself in an international legal context. By unconditionally complying with the Court's August 4. the observance of the free and prior informed consent of the ICCs/IPs. with all the acts of the government subject to public scrutiny and available always to public cognizance. the right to participate fully at all levels of decision-making in 147 matters which may affect their rights. counter that the MOA-AD is free of any legal infirmity because any provisions therein which are inconsistent with the present legal framework will not be effective until the necessary changes to that framework are made. it would be useful to turn first to a general idea that serves as a unifying link to the different provisions of the MOA-AD.

the "associated state" arrangement has usually been used as a transitional device of former colonies on their way to full independence. while maintaining its international status as a state. and each party may terminate the association consistent with the right of independence. The defining concept underlying the relationship between the national government and the BJE being itself contrary to the present Constitution. The U.S. the UN recognized that the American model of free association is actually based on an underlying status of 152 independence. and other relevant characteristics within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines. the BJE is more of a state than an autonomous region. The currency in these countries is the U. is recognized under our laws as having an "associative" relationship with the national government. a defined territory. municipalities. St. specifically the following provisions of Article X: SECTION 1. Free associations represent a middle ground between 150 integration and independence.runs counter to the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla. the municipalities of Lanao . postal. and sharing of revenues pertaining to the bodies of water adjacent to or between the islands forming part of the ancestral domain. SECTION 15. civil aviation. The U. the status of its relationship with the national government being fundamentally different from that of the ARMM. Article X. St.. a permanent population. The Constitution. Dominica. the U. Back to the MOA-AD. environmental protection. specifically the following: the BJE's capacity to enter into economic and trade relations with foreign countries. Indeed. The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the provinces. and geographic areas voting favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in the autonomous region. indicating their very close ties with the U. government on any foreign affairs matter affecting them. and barangays. In international practice. marine resources. when conducting its foreign affairs. the present geographic area of the ARMM and.S.which has betrayed itself by its use of the concept of association . in addition. the MOA-AD would still be in conflict with it. the BJE's right to participate in Philippine official missions bearing on negotiation of border agreements. however. territory. It has been said that.S. formerly part of the U. banking. trade. that the Parties aimed to vest in the BJE the status of an associated state or.S. Section 18 of the Constitution provides that "[t]he creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when approved by a majority of the votes cast by the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose. much less does it provide for a transitory status that aims to prepare any part of Philippine territory for independence. a government. it contains many provisions which are consistent with the international legal concept of association. or municipality. city. the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of 151 Micronesia (FSM). Their international legal status as states was confirmed by the UN Security Council and by their admission to UN membership. Vincent and Grenada. the spirit animating it . St. There shall be autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras as hereinafter provided. Even assuming arguendo that the MOA-AD would not necessarily sever any portion of Philippine territory.S. are associated states of the U. The concept of association is not recognized under the present Constitution No province. These provisions of the MOA indicate. the principal.-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. cities. a status closely approximating it. with the admission of the U. the commitment of the Central Government to ensure the BJE's participation in meetings and events in the ASEAN and the specialized UN agencies. Under paragraph 2(c) on TERRITORY in relation to 2(d) and 2(e). not even the ARMM. among other things. does not contemplate any state in this jurisdiction other than the Philippine State. In the event of attacks or threats against the Marshall Islands or the FSM. and cultural relations. resembles the right of the governments of FSM and the Marshall Islands to be consulted by the U. x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) For purposes of illustration.responsibilities to the other. Even the mere concept animating many of the MOA-AD's provisions. such capacity extending to matters such as the law of the sea. the Marshall Islands and the FSM generally have the capacity to conduct foreign affairs in their own name and right. free association is understood as an international association between sovereigns. economic and social structures.S. yet they issue their own travel documents. already requires for its validity the amendment of constitutional provisions.S. is obligated to consult with the governments of the Marshall Islands or the FSM on matters which it (U. According to their compacts of free association. pursuant to a Compact of Free Association. Examples of states that have passed through the status of associated states as a transitional phase are Antigua." (Emphasis supplied) As reflected above. government) regards as relating to or affecting either government. Indeed. which is a mark of their statehood. moreover. the concept implies powers that go beyond anything ever granted by the Constitution to any local or regional government.S. Lucia.S. It also implies the recognition of the associated entity as a state. and the continuing responsibility of the Central Government over external defense. cities. it is not surprising that many of the specific provisions of the MOA-AD on the formation and powers of the BJE are in conflict with the Constitution and the laws. therefore. and a capacity to enter into relations with other states. But even assuming that it is covered by the term "autonomous region" in the constitutional provision just quoted. has the option of establishing and using military areas and facilities within these associated states and has the right to bar the military personnel of any third country from having access to these territories for military purposes. Moreover. government. The Compact of Free Association is a treaty which is subordinate to the associated nation's national constitution.S. namely. constitutional and international practice. cities. municipalities. at any rate.-associated states to the UN in 1990. It bears noting that in U. dollar. There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras consisting of provinces. BJE is a state in all 154 but name as it meets the criteria of a state laid down in the Montevideo Convention. and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage. The BJE is a far more powerful entity than the autonomous region recognized in the Constitution It is not merely an expanded version of the ARMM. government has the authority and obligation to defend them as if they were part of U. government. All have since become 153 independent states. provided that only provinces.S.S.

does not render another plebiscite unnecessary under the Constitution. would not comply with Article X. the President has the sole authority to negotiate with other states. (8) Preservation and development of the cultural heritage. the President is vested with the authority to deal with foreign states and governments. cultural and economic conditions distinguish them from other sectors of the national community. By paragraph 1 of Territory. in contrast to the areas under Categories A and B mentioned earlier in the overview.Baloi. These are citizens whose social. being the head of state. (Underscoring supplied) Again on the premise that the BJE may be regarded as an autonomous region. (6) Economic. precisely because what these areas voted for then was their inclusion in the ARMM. family. "[t]he Bangsamoro homeland and historic territory refer to the land mass as well as the maritime. As the chief architect of foreign policy. Paragraph 1 on Concepts and Principles states: 1. Nunungan. however. itself. (4) Personal. extend or withhold recognition. It would not do. and (9) Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the people of the region. Tagoloan and Tangkal . The MOA-AD's manner of delineating the ancestral domain of the Bangsamoro people is a clear departure from that procedure.del Norte which voted for inclusion in the ARMM during the 2001 plebiscite . cultural. is certainly not conducive to national unity.are automatically part of the BJE without need of another plebiscite. economic. as follows: "As used in this Organic Act. among which are R. the act of placing a portion of Philippine territory in a status which. comply with other provisions of the Constitution. Spouses and their descendants are classified as Bangsamoro. Article X. Pantar. the phrase "indigenous cultural community" refers to Filipino citizens residing in the autonomous region who are: (a) Tribal peoples. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) This use of the term Bangsamoro sharply contrasts with that found in the Article X." Under our constitutional system. the MOA-AD is also inconsistent with 156 prevailing statutory law." (Underscoring supplied) An associative arrangement does not uphold national unity. the organic act of autonomous regions shall provide for legislative powers over: (1) Administrative organization. In the realm of treaty-making. (3) Ancestral domain and natural resources. Section 20 of the Constitution since that provision defines the powers of autonomous regions as follows: SECTION 20. and (b) Bangsa Moro people. The freedom of choice of the Indigenous people shall be respected. Munai. and tourism development. While there may be a semblance of unity because of the associative ties between the BJE and the national government. Section 22 of the Constitution must also be amended if the scheme envisioned in the MOA-AD is to be effected. rather than lumping together the identities of the Bangsamoro and other indigenous peoples living in Mindanao. the President acts as the country's mouthpiece with respect to international affairs. it lays down the prevailing procedure for the delineation and recognition of ancestral domains.A. 9054 or the Organic Act of the ARMM. enter into treaties. It is the birthright of all Moros and all Indigenous peoples of Mindanao to identify themselves and be accepted as "Bangsamoros". Section 3 of the Organic Act of the ARMM is a bar to the adoption of the definition of "Bangsamoro people" used in the MOA-AD. however. social. and political institutions. That the present components of the ARMM and the above-mentioned municipalities voted for inclusion therein in 2001. (5) Regional urban and rural planning development. Within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national laws. clearly distinguishes between Bangsamoro people and Tribal peoples. These are citizens who are believers in Islam and who have retained some or all of their own social. Section 3 of the Organic Act. No. has generally been a preparation for independence. The MOA-AD. Besides being irreconcilable with the Constitution. the MOA-AD would require an amendment that would expand the above-quoted provision. is regarded as the sole organ and authority in external relations and is the country's sole representative with foreign nations. subject to the delimitations in the agreed Schedules. that such relationships and understandings do not include aggression against the Government of the Republic of the Philippines x x x. Executive Secretary instructs: In our system of government. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Article II." Respecting the IPRA. maintain diplomatic relations. 157 and the IPRA. it is only the President who has that power. for instance. The Bangsamoro people refers to those who are natives or original inhabitants of Mindanao and its adjacent islands including Palawan and the Sulu archipelago at the time of conquest or colonization of its descendants whether mixed or of full blood. not the BJE. which. and otherwise transact the business of foreign relations. . the President. (2) Creation of sources of revenues. Hence. That constitutional provision states: "The State recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development. 9 of said constitutional provision would not suffice. to merely pass legislation vesting the BJE with treaty-making power in order to accommodate paragraph 4 of the strand on RESOURCES which states: "The BJE is free to enter into any economic cooperation and trade relations with foreign countries: provided. and property relations. in international practice. since any new law that might vest in the BJE the powers found in the MOA-AD must. The mere passage of new legislation pursuant to sub-paragraph No. 155 Pimentel v. (7) Educational policies. moreover. the Parties simply agree that.

but also of international law is in order.The official delineation of ancestral domain boundaries including census of all community members therein. xxxx To remove all doubts about the irreconcilability of the MOA-AD with the present legal system. c) Delineation Proper. furthermore. 9) Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional landmarks such as mountains.A complete copy of the preliminary census and a report of investigation. Edu applied the aforesaid constitutional provision to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals. shall be immediately undertaken by the Ancestral Domains Office upon filing of the application by the ICCs/IPs concerned. . However. International law has long recognized the right to self-determination of "peoples. 3) Pictures showing long term occupation such as those of old improvements. e) Preparation of Maps. Delineation will be done in coordination with the community concerned and shall at all times include genuine involvement and participation by the members of the communities concerned. shall be prepared by the Ancestral Domains Office of the NCIP. or through a Petition for Delineation filed with the NCIP. as illustrated in the following provisions thereof: SECTION 52. creeks. 2) Written accounts of the ICCs/IPs political structure and institution. the Ancestral Domains Office shall require the submission of additional evidence: Provided. 6) Anthropological data. f) Report of Investigation and Other Documents. further.A copy of each document." Applying this provision of the Constitution. broadcasting in a radio station will be a valid substitute: Provided. the Court. and 10) Write-ups of names and places derived from the native dialect of the community. and shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks to allow other claimants to file opposition thereto within fifteen (15) days from date of such publication: Provided. That in case of rejection. embracing the Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan geographic region. a discussion of not only the Constitution and domestic statutes. burial grounds. d) Proof Required. Director of Prisons.The identification and delineation of ancestral domains shall be done in accordance with the following procedures: xxxx b) Petition for Delineation. . lays down a detailed procedure. complete with technical descriptions.terrestrial. g) Notice and Publication. if the proof is deemed insufficient. hills." Chapter VIII of the IPRA. the Canadian 158 . and the aerial domain. the Ancestral Domains Office shall give the applicant due notice. without prejudice to its full adjudication according to the section below. fluvial and alluvial domains. the atmospheric space above it. and of the inspection process. the Ancestral Domains Office of the NCIP shall prepare a perimeter map. containing the grounds for denial.On the basis of such investigation and the findings of fact based thereon. the Ancestral Domains Office shall prepare a report to the NCIP endorsing a favorable action upon a claim that is deemed to have sufficient proof. held that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is part of the law of the land on account of which it ordered the release on bail of a detained alien of Russian descent whose deportation order had 159 not been executed even after two years. for Article II. rivers. . Delineation Process. . 4) Historical accounts. A copy of the document shall also be posted at the local. by a majority of the members of the ICCs/IPs. in Mejoff v. That the Ancestral Domains Office shall reject any claim that is deemed patently false or fraudulent after inspection and verification: Provided. The denial shall be appealable to the NCIP: Provided. ridges. . further. copy furnished all concerned. h) Endorsement to NCIP. Similarly. That mere posting shall be deemed sufficient if both newspaper and radio station are not available.The process of delineating a specific perimeter may be initiated by the NCIP with the consent of the ICC/IP concerned. and other documents directly or indirectly attesting to the possession or occupation of the area since time immemorial by such ICCs/IPs in the concept of owners which shall be any one (1) of the following authentic documents: 1) Written accounts of the ICCs/IPs customs and traditions. on the other hand. In considering the question of whether the people of Quebec had a right to unilaterally secede from Canada. . That in cases where there are conflicting claims among ICCs/IPs on the boundaries of ancestral domain claims. including a translation in the native language of the ICCs/IPs concerned shall be posted in a prominent place therein for at least fifteen (15) days. and a description of the natural features and landmarks embraced therein.Within fifteen (15) days from publication.Proof of Ancestral Domain Claims shall include the testimony of elders or community under oath. That in areas where no such newspaper exists. 5) Survey plans and sketch maps. Section 2 of the Constitution states that the Philippines "adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. the Court in Agustin v. terraces and the like. . sacred places and old villages. ." understood not merely as the entire population of a State but also a portion thereof. the Ancestral Domains Office shall cause the contending parties to meet and assist them in coming up with a preliminary resolution of the conflict. 7) Genealogical surveys. including pacts and agreements concerning boundaries entered into by the ICCs/IPs concerned with other ICCs/IPs. provincial and regional offices of the NCIP. 8) Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional communal forests and hunting grounds.

" The people's right to self-determination should not. where a people is under colonial rule. the Aaland Islands agitation originated at a time when Finland was undergoing drastic political transformation. regional. appointed an International Committee composed of three jurists to submit an opinion on the preliminary issue of whether the dispute should. nor by any other State. Otherwise stated. neither can it be held by the State to which the national group wishes to be attached. to separate themselves from the State of which they form part by the simple expression of a wish. Any other solution would amount to an infringement of sovereign rights of a State and would involve the risk of creating difficulties and a lack of stability which would not only be contrary to the very idea embodied in term "State.a people's pursuit of its political. during the relevant time period. The recognized sources of international law establish that the right to selfdetermination of a people is normally fulfilled through internal selfdetermination . The Committee stated the rule as follows: x x x [I]n the absence of express provisions in international treaties. the free association or integration with an independent State or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination by that people. If this right is not possessed by a large or small section of a nation. executive and judicial institutions within Canada. under carefully defined circumstances. nor is it being deprived of the freedom to make political choices and pursue economic. thereby applying the exception rather than the rule elucidated above. Turning now to the more specific category of indigenous peoples. an attribute of the sovereignty of every State which is definitively constituted. REFERENCE RE SECESSION OF QUEBEC is again instructive: "(ii) Scope of the Right to Self-determination 126. These groups are regarded as "indigenous" since they are the living descendants of pre-invasion inhabitants of lands now dominated by others. exclusively.is blocked from the meaningful exercise of its right to internal selfdetermination. The various international documents that support the existence of a people's right to selfdetermination also contain parallel statements supportive of the conclusion that the exercise of such a right must be sufficiently limited to prevent threats to an existing state's territorial integrity or the stability of relations between sovereign states. even occupying prominent positions therein. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) The Committee held that the dispute concerning the Aaland Islands did not refer to a question which is left by international law to the domestic jurisdiction of Finland. Generally speaking. before resolving the question. but .a right which sovereign nations generally have with respect to their own populations. A dispute between two States concerning such a question. As with the broader category of "peoples. in Article 1 of both covenants. according to the Committee. namely. therefore." Among the conventions referred to are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 162 and the International Covenant on Economic. that all peoples. The internal situation of Finland was. The international law principle of self-determination has evolved within a framework of respect for the territorial integrity of existing states. the grant or refusal of the right to a portion of its population of determining its own political fate by plebiscite or by some other method. The Committee. and civil war.Supreme Court in REFERENCE RE SECESSION OF QUEBEC had occasion to acknowledge that "the right of a people to self-determination is now so widely recognized in international conventions that the principle has acquired a status beyond µconvention' and is considered a general principle of international law. to refer to groups with distinct cultures. economic. or communities are culturally distinctive groups 164 that find themselves engulfed by settler societies born of the forces of empire and conquest. is. and connections to land (spiritual and otherwise) that have been forcibly incorporated into a larger governing society. nations. 161 160 The exceptional nature of the right of secession is further exemplified in the REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF JURISTS ON THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF THE AALAND 163 ISLANDS QUESTION. Finland was not. be understood as extending to a unilateral right of secession. social and cultural development. in scholarship as well as international. was a very narrow one. any more than it recognizes the right of other States to claim such a separation. in fact. Positive International Law does not recognize the right of national groups. however." indigenous peoples situated within states do not have 165 a general right to independence or secession from those states under international law. based on international law. by virtue of the right of self-determination. as such. social. for a considerable time. Social and Cultural Rights which state. italics and underscoring supplied) The Canadian Court went on to discuss the exceptional cases in which the right to external selfdetermination can arise. indigenous peoples. as The establishment of a sovereign and independent State. Its ground for departing from the general rule. histories. however. and state practices. been chased from the capital and forcibly prevented from carrying out its duties. citing that Quebec is equitably represented in legislative. under normal conditions therefore. In the midst of revolution. The Council. the conditions required for the formation of a sovereign State did not exist. A distinction should be made between the right of internal and external self-determination. the legitimacy of the Finnish national government was disputed by a large section of the people. supra. a "definitively constituted" sovereign state. this term has been used.less definitely but asserted by a number of commentators . and cultural development. even then. namely. "freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic. social and cultural development within the framework of an existing state. (Emphasis added) 127. the right of disposing of national territory is essentially an attribute of the sovereignty of every State. Examples of groups who have been regarded as indigenous peoples are the Maori of New Zealand and the aboriginal peoples of Canada. There. found that Finland did not possess the right to withhold from a portion of its population the option to separate itself . as the same is not under colonial rule or foreign domination. x x x External self-determination can be defined as in the following statement from the Declaration on Friendly Relations. The Court ultimately held that the population of Quebec had no right to secession. is subject to foreign domination or exploitation outside a colonial context. and it had. A right to external selfdetermination (which in this case potentially takes the form of the assertion of a right to unilateral secession) arises in only the most extreme of cases and. The armed camps and the police were divided into two opposing forces. anarchy. bears upon a question which International Law leaves entirely to the domestic jurisdiction of one of the States concerned." but would also endanger the interests of the international community. In light of these circumstances. Sweden presented to the Council of the League of Nations the question of whether the inhabitants of the Aaland Islands should be authorized to determine by plebiscite if the archipelago should remain under Finnish sovereignty or be incorporated in the kingdom of Sweden. and . so abnormal that. be entirely left to the domestic jurisdiction of Finland. x x x x (Emphasis.

encompassing the right to autonomy or self-government. occupied or otherwise used or acquired. (c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights. Self-government. prior to using their lands or territories for military activities. New Zealand. women. territories or resources. health and social security. the Philippines being included among those in favor. economic. through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions. 2. employment. 2. Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples. children and persons with disabilities. social and cultural institutions.they do have rights amounting to what was discussed above as the right to internal selfdetermination. as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic. special measures to ensure continuing improvement of their economic and social conditions. in the areas of education. inter alia. 2007. 2. 3. In a historic development last September 13. Canada. Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands." The extent of selfdetermination provided for in the UN DRIP is more particularly defined in its subsequent articles. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources. Article 5 Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political. as well as those which they have otherwise acquired. and redress for: (a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples. Indigenous peoples have the right to own. water or other resources. The Declaration clearly recognized the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs. in exercising their right to self-determination. The vote was 143 to 4. to the improvement of their economic and social conditions. traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned. economic. use. while retaining their right to participate fully. and the four voting against being Australia. utilization or exploitation of mineral. (b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands. territories and resources which they have traditionally owned. without discrimination. and the U. particularly in connection with the development. as used in international legal discourse pertaining to indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples have the right. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources. social and cultural development. to wit: Article 3 Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. if they so choose. youth. some of which are quoted hereunder: Article 8 1. Article 4 Indigenous peoples. Article 26 1. or of their cultural values or ethnic identities. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of. vocational training and retraining. sanitation. Article 32 1. territories and resources. develop and control the lands. territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous elders.S. (e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnic discrimination directed against them. Article 30 1. in the political. States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands. has 166 been understood as equivalent to "internal self-determination. . legal. unless justified by a relevant public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by the indigenous peoples concerned. the UN General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP) through General Assembly Resolution 61/295. States shall undertake effective consultations with the indigenous peoples concerned. where appropriate. 2. have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs. Article 21 1. 2. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture. housing. including. social and cultural life of the State. (d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration. States shall take effective measures and.

the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States. but which is reproduced below for convenience: 7. the foregoing stipulation keeps many controversial provisions of the MOA-AD from coming into force until the necessary changes to the legal framework are effected.The components of the comprehensive peace process comprise the processes known as the "Paths to Peace". agreements and other constructive arrangements. 125. must now be regarded as embodying customary international law . They cite paragraph 7 of the MOA-AD strand on GOVERNANCE quoted earlier. States shall provide effective mechanisms for just and fair redress for any such activities. Even apart from the above-mentioned Memorandum. which states that there shall be established Government Peace Negotiating Panels for negotiations with different rebel groups to be "appointed by the President as her official emissaries to conduct negotiations. clear that the MOA-AD contains numerous provisions that cannot be reconciled with the Constitution and the laws as presently worded. through the instrumentality of the BJE. is the right of indigenous peoples to the lands. however. the term "legal framework" is certainly broad enough to include the Constitution. 3.O. then surely the protection of rights less significant to them as such peoples would also be the duty of States. economic." is the pursuit of social. observance and enforcement of treaties. the UN DRIP. It is. Even the more specific provisions of the UN DRIP are general in scope. Sec. for the reasons already discussed." These negotiating panels are to report to the President. was not restricted by E. does not obligate States to grant indigenous peoples the near-independent status of an associated state. Any provisions of the MOA-AD requiring amendments to the existing legal framework shall come into force upon signing of a Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework with due regard to non derogation of prior agreements and within the stipulated timeframe to be contained in the Comprehensive Compact. Section 5(c). have already violated the Memorandum of Instructions From The President dated March 1.3. Moreover.the obligations enumerated therein do not strictly require the Republic to grant the Bangsamoro people. states: SECTION 4. 2. 3 only to those options available under the laws as they presently stand. Notwithstanding the suspensive clause. economic. No. No. to achieve the ends of this Declaration.a function that is normally performed by police officers. which reiterates Section 3(a).O. 4(a) of E. group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act contrary to the Charter of the United Nations or construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair. territories and resources which they have traditionally owned. of E. and must therefore be pursued . for instance. people. One of the components of a comprehensive peace process. as discussed below. 3.a question which the Court need not definitively resolve here . the particular rights and powers provided for in the MOA-AD. Even if the UN DRIP were considered as part of the law of the land pursuant to Article II. the MOA-AD is defective because the suspensive clause is invalid. including legislative measures. allowing for flexibility in its application by the different States. however. Respondents proffer. while upholding the right of indigenous peoples to autonomy. it would not suffice to uphold the validity of the MOA-AD so as to render its compliance with other laws unnecessary. agreements and other constructive arrangements. however. precisely because it stipulates that the provisions thereof inconsistent with the laws shall not take effect until these laws are amended. If the protection of a right so essential to indigenous people's identity is acknowledged to be the responsibility of the State. and political reforms which may require new legislation or even constitutional 167 amendments. It bears noting that the GRP Peace Panel. dialogues. which E. or worse. While the word "Constitution" is not mentioned in the provision now under consideration or anywhere else in the MOA-AD. agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors and to have States honour and respect such treaties. therefore. The Six Paths to Peace. no requirement in the UN DRIP that States now guarantee indigenous peoples their own police and internal security force. Nor is there in the UN DRIP an acknowledgement of the right of indigenous peoples to the aerial domain and atmospheric space. No. Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition. These component processes are interrelated and not mutually exclusive. and face-to-face discussions with rebel groups. Indeed. cultural or spiritual impact. like the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.O. Indeed. by their mere act of incorporating in the MOA-AD the provisions thereof regarding the associative relationship between the BJE and the Central Government. totally or in part.O. Assuming that the UN DRIP. a preparation for independence. which states that the "negotiations shall be conducted in accordance with x x x the principles of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines. in exploring lasting solutions to the Moro Problem through its negotiations with the MILF. occupied or otherwise used or acquired. social. The Parties agree that the mechanisms and modalities for the actual implementation of this MOA-AD shall be spelt out in the Comprehensive Compact to mutually take such steps to enable it to occur effectively. respondents. and appropriate measures shall be taken to mitigate adverse environmental. No. that the signing of the MOA-AD alone would not have entailed any violation of law or grave abuse of discretion on their part. Article 8 presupposes that it is the State which will provide protection for indigenous peoples against acts like the forced dispossession of their lands . 3 collectively refers to as the "Paths to Peace. Article 38 States in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples. in Article 26 thereof. The authority of the GRP Peace Negotiating Panel to negotiate with the MILF is founded on E. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State. through the PAPP on the conduct and progress of the negotiations. What it upholds. Section 2 of the Constitution.O. All the rights recognized in that document are qualified in Article 46 as follows: 1. Article 37 1. . No. There is. shall take the appropriate measures." (Emphasis supplied) Establishing an associative relationship between the BJE and the Central Government is. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as diminishing or eliminating the rights of indigenous peoples contained in treaties. 2001. an implicit acknowledgment of an independent status already prevailing.

The observations of Dr. Manglapus. cannot stop here. No." so to speak. They shall include. particularly those relating to the commander-in-chief clause. There. In the same vein. Barbero and then MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari. May the President. is unlikely to succeed. for the result was a limitation of specific powers of the President. Professor Christine Bell. but there is no question that this is merely a partial response to the Tripoli Agreement itself and to the fuller standard of regional autonomy contemplated in that agreement. pursuant to this provision of E. unstated residual powers which are implied from the grant of executive power and which are necessary for her to comply with her duties under the Constitution. The E. OPLE. new legislation or even constitutional amendments. Constitution-making after conflict is an opportunity to create a common vision of the future of a state and a road map on how to get there. therefore. so. may reasonably be perceived as an attempt of respondents to address. x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Similarly. I will reserve my right to ask them if they are not covered by the other speakers. The Court held thus: "In her ponencia in Marcos v. upheld the President's power to forbid the return of her exiled predecessor. Hence. by a slim 8-7 margin.or capacity-building. (Emphasis supplied) . although I have some more questions. PURSUIT OF SOCIAL. I heard one of the Commissioners say that local autonomy already exists in the Muslim region. in fact. Kirsti Samuels are enlightening. 3. however. There are other speakers. . May I answer that on behalf of Chairman Nolledo. As Chief Executive. the Court. but may not be limited to. at the same time. observed that the typical way that peace agreements establish or confirm mechanisms for demilitarization and demobilization is by linking them to new constitutional 171 structures addressing governance. . and now by state 173 policy. the President's power to conduct peace negotiations is implicitly included in her powers as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief. The constitution can be partly a peace agreement and partly a framework 170 setting up the rules by which the new democracy will operate. she has the more 169 specific duty to prevent and suppress rebellion and lawless violence. in her article on the nature and legal status of peace agreements. So. signed by then Undersecretary of National Defense Carmelo Z. agree to pursue reforms that would require new legislation and constitutional amendments. and as Commander-in-Chief. In the Philippine experience. This is so. diminished a great deal of the problems. reforms. conflict cessation without modification of the political environment. Commissioner Yusup Abubakar is right that certain definite steps have been taken to implement the provisions of the Tripoli Agreement with respect to an autonomous region in Mindanao." however. Thus. The President cannot delegate a power that she herself does not possess. The powers of the President are not limited to what are expressly enumerated in the article on the Executive Department and in scattered provisions of the Constitution. peace is rarely attained by simply pursuing a military solution. it has.simultaneously in a coordinated and integrated fashion. ROMULO. namely. or should the reforms be restricted only to those solutions which the present laws allow? The answer to this question requires a discussion of the extent of the President's power to conduct peace negotiations. however. to wit: x x x [T]he fact remains that a successful political and governance transition must form the core of any post-conflict peace-building mission. MR. 4(a). Behind the provisions of the 172 Constitution on autonomous regions is the framers' intention to implement a particular peace agreement. The design of a constitution and its constitution-making process can play an important role in the political and governance transition.an authority which is not expressly provided for in the Constitution. Justice Cortes put her thesis into jurisprudence. That the authority of the President to conduct peace negotiations with rebel groups is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution does not mean that she has no such authority. No. the root causes of the armed conflict in Mindanao.O. my question is: since that already exists. economic. elections. In 168 Sanlakas v. a substantial proportion of transitions have resulted in weak or limited democracies. The rationale for the majority's ruling rested on the President's . draws strength from her Commander-in-Chief powers. and legal and human rights institutions. even where state-building is undertaken through technical electoral assistance and institution. the President's authority to declare a state of rebellion springs in the main from her powers as chief executive and.O.O. programs and projects aimed at addressing the root causes of internal armed conflicts and social unrest. Marcos. This is a good first step. This component involves the vigorous implementation of various policies. why do we have to go into something new? MR. they negotiated and were set on signing the MOA-AD that included various social. Moreover. I have only two questions. The inquiry on the legality of the "suspensive clause. it is working very well. authorized them to "think outside the box. in issue was the authority of the President to declare a state of rebellion . in the course of peace negotiations. On average. the following: a. ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL REFORMS. Executive Secretary. and political reforms which cannot. all be accommodated within the present legal framework. notwithstanding the avowed intent of the members of the Constitutional Commission of 1986 to limit the powers of the President as a reaction to the abuses under the regime of Mr. the Tripoli Agreement of 1976 between the GRP and the MNLF. x x x x (Emphasis supplied) The MOA-AD. As the experience of nations which have similarly gone through internal armed conflict will show. Sec. because it must be asked whether the President herself may exercise the power delegated to the GRP Peace Panel under E. but not a diminution of the general grant of executive power. Oftentimes. the link between peace agreements and constitution-making has been recognized by no less than the framers of the Constitution. changes as far-reaching as a fundamental reconfiguration of the nation's constitutional structure is required. the President has the general responsibility to promote public peace. 3. This may require administrative action. more than 50 percent of states emerging from conflict return to conflict. As we have observed in Liberia and Haiti over the last ten years. and which thus would require new legislation and constitutional amendments.

Sections 1 and 3 of the Constitution. of course. been partly successful. then she must be given the leeway to explore. bypassing the interim National Assembly which was the body vested by the 1973 Constitution with the power to propose such amendments. however. however. Such presidential power does not. Nonetheless. since her authority to propose new legislation is not in controversy. however. or the people through initiative and referendum she may submit proposals for constitutional change to Congress in a manner that does not involve the arrogation of constituent powers. the annual general appropriations bill has always been based on the budget prepared by the President. One of the more prominent instances the practice is usually done is in the yearly State of the Nation Address of the President to Congress. the people also have the power to directly propose amendments through initiative and referendum. The majority upheld the President's act. for any further involvement in the process of initiative by the Chief Executive may vitiate its character as a genuine "people's initiative. Thus Justice Teehankee opined: "Since the Constitution provides for the organization of the essential departments of government. not as a formal proposal to be voted on in a plebiscite similar to what President Marcos did in Sanidad. the President may also submit her recommendations to the people.as those powers may be exercised only by Congress. that µULAP maintains its unqualified support to the agenda of Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for constitutional reforms. in issue was the legality of then President Marcos' act of directly submitting proposals for constitutional amendments to a referendum.may validly consider implementing even those policies that require changes to the Constitution. COMELEC. but for their independent consideration of whether these recommendations merit being formally proposed through initiative. which could then.is a proposal for new legislation coming from the President. Against this ruling. The "suspensive clause" in the MOA-AD viewed in light of the above-discussed standards Given the limited nature of the President's authority to propose constitutional amendments. but she may not unilaterally implement them without the intervention of Congress. While he disagreed that the President may directly submit proposed constitutional amendments to a referendum. While the President does not possess constituent powers . is not with regard to the point on which it was then divided in that controversial case. but she may not be prevented from submitting them as recommendations to Congress." (Emphasis supplied) From the foregoing discussion. but when. In Sanidad v. her mere recommendation need not be construed as an unconstitutional act. The Court's concern at present. or submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention. the Lambino Group unabashedly states in ULAP Resolution No. which . implicit in his opinion is a recognition that he would have upheld the President's action along with the majority had the President convened the interim National Assembly and coursed his proposals through it.defined in civil law as a future and uncertain event . however. may amount to nothing more than the President's suggestions to the people. unilaterally implement the solutions that she considers viable. and the constituent power has not been granted to but has been withheld from the President or Prime Minister. If the President is to be expected to find means for bringing this conflict to an end and to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao. That there is no uncertainty being contemplated is plain from what follows. in the course of peace negotiations. The President may not." 178 . defines and delimits the powers of each and prescribes the manner of the exercise of such powers. in particular. a Constitutional Convention. that all provisions thereof which cannot be reconciled with the present Constitution and laws "shall come into force upon signing of a Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework. there being no interim National Assembly to propose constitutional amendments. but on that which was not disputed by either side." This stipulation does not bear the marks of a suspensive condition .but of a term. in the verification of their petition with the COMELEC.in the course of conducting peace negotiations . but simply to recommend proposed amendments or revision." The only initiative recognized by the Constitution is that which truly proceeds from the people. it will be recalled. COMELEC: "The Lambino Group claims that their initiative is the µpeople's voice. as stated in her oath of office. Being uniquely vested with the power to conduct peace negotiations with rebel groups. As the Court stated 177 in Lambino v. call a constitutional convention. Moreover. for the paragraph goes on to state that the contemplated changes shall be "with due regard to non derogation of prior agreements and within the stipulated timeframe to be contained in the Comprehensive Compact. under the present Constitution. the Filipino people are still faced with the reality of an on-going conflict between the Government and the MILF. The most she could do is submit these proposals as recommendations either to Congress or the people. The foregoing discussion focused on the President's authority to propose constitutional amendments. nor even be submitted to a plebiscite.for all intents and purposes 179 . if resolved. Paragraph 7 on Governance of the MOA-AD states. only to preserve and defend the Constitution. to the credit of their drafters. It is not a question of whether the necessary changes to the legal framework will be effected. if it is minded.' However. may bring an end to hostilities. This forewarns the Court to be wary of incantations of µpeople's voice' or µsovereign will' in the present initiative. never convened the interim National Assembly. to propose the recommended amendments or revision to the people. These recommendations. 175 174 Since. As long as she limits herself to recommending these changes and submits to the proper procedure for constitutional amendments and revision. 2006-02. It has been an accepted practice for Presidents in this jurisdiction to propose new legislation." It will be observed that the President has authority. Justices Teehankee and Muñoz Palma vigorously dissented. extend to allowing her to change the Constitution. it follows that the President's questioned decrees proposing and submitting constitutional amendments directly to the people (without the intervention of the interim National Assembly in whom 176 the power is expressly vested) are devoid of constitutional and legal basis. In particular. bears noting. solutions that may require changes to the Constitution for their implementation. holding that "the urges of absolute necessity" compelled the President as the agent of the people to act as he did. Congress would have the option. act upon them pursuant to the legal procedures for constitutional amendment and revision. President Marcos. or act in any way as if the assent of that body were assumed as a certainty. she cannot guarantee to any third party that the required amendments will eventually be put in place. Justice Teehankee's dissent.' The Lambino Group thus admits that their µpeople's' initiative is an µunqualified support to the agenda' of the incumbent President to change the Constitution.The constitutional provisions on autonomy and the statutes enacted pursuant to them have. in whom constituent powers are vested. the principle may be inferred that the President . pursuant to Article XVII. the President is in a singular position to know the precise nature of their grievances which.

an international court. An international agreement in the nature of a treaty must create rights and obligations regulated by international law so that a breach of its terms will be a breach determined under international law which will also provide principle means of enforcement." Concerns have been raised that the MOA-AD would have given rise to a binding international law obligation on the part of the Philippines to change its Constitution in conformity thereto. Hence. No. There were non-contracting signatories to the agreement. the GRP-MNLF final peace agreement states thus: "Accordingly. In this case. Plainly. however. as Defence counsel for the defendants seem to have done. the Special Court held.Pursuant to this stipulation.which changes would include constitutional amendments. It is recalled that the UN by its representative appended. was to try persons who bore the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in the territory of Sierra Leone since November 30. rejected this argument. ruling that the Lome Accord is not a treaty and that it can only create binding obligations and rights between the parties in municipal law. It bears noting that. 1996. would have included foreign dignitaries as signatories. The stipulations on Phase II consisted of specific agreements on the structure of the expanded autonomous region envisioned by the parties.A. an understanding of the extent of the agreement to be implemented as not including certain international crimes. The MOA-AD. representatives of other nations were invited to witness its signing in Kuala Lumpur. another agreement was entered into by the UN and that Government whereby the Special Court of Sierra Leone was established. which was then the Organic Act of the ARMM. stipulation-paragraph 7 on GOVERNANCE is inconsistent with the limits of the President's authority to propose constitutional amendments. or a unilateral declaration of the Philippine government to the international community that it would grant to the Bangsamoro people all the concessions therein stated. In regard to the nature of a negotiated settlement of an internal armed conflict it is easy to assume and to argue with some degree of plausibility. 1999 between the Government of Sierra Leone and the Revolutionary United 180 Front (RUF). The Special Court. What remains for discussion in the Comprehensive Compact would merely be the implementing details for these "consensus points" and. or persons or bodies under whose auspices the settlement took place but who are not at all parties to the conflict. however. it is ineffective in depriving an international court like it of jurisdiction. in the terms of Article XXXIV of the Agreement. "this peace agreement is implemented with integrity and in good faith by both parties". these provisions [on Phase II] shall be recommended by the GRP to Congress for incorporation in the amendatory or repealing law. notably. xxxx 40. Neither ground finds sufficient support in international law. the deadline for effecting the contemplated changes to the legal framework. not in international law. the parties to the conflict are the lawful authority of the State and the RUF which has no status of statehood and is to all intents and purposes a faction within the state. it being a virtual guarantee that the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of the Philippines will certainly be adjusted to conform to all the "consensus points" found in the MOA-AD. however. Hence. Almost every conflict resolution will involve the parties to the conflict and the mediator or facilitator of the settlement. such as the Special Zone of Peace and Development (SZOPAD) and the Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development (SPCPD). 41. means the agreement of the parties is internationalized so as to create obligations in international law. The moral guarantors assumed no legal obligation. presumably for avoidance of doubt. therefore. On January 16. The Lomé Accord was a peace agreement signed on July 7. As a backdrop. they are similar to the provisions of the MOA-AD. as earlier mentioned in the overview thereof. a rebel group with which the Sierra Leone Government had been in armed conflict for around eight years at the time of signing. 6734. 2002. While the MOA-AD virtually guarantees that the "necessary changes to the legal framework" will be put in place. In the Lomé Accord case. it is mandatory for the GRP to effect the changes to the legal framework contemplated in the MOA-AD . and the UN. the MOA-AD itself would be counted among the "prior agreements" from which there could be no derogation. while Phase II covered the establishment of the new regional autonomous government through amendment or repeal of R. The non-contracting signatories of the Lomé Agreement were moral guarantors of the principle that. on the ground that it may be considered either as a binding agreement under international law. the Economic Community of West African States. An examination of the prevailing principles in international law. The sole purpose of the Special Court. 42. it must be struck down as unconstitutional. To that extent. among other things. however. after a successful negotiation between the UN Secretary-General and the Sierra Leone Government. leads to the contrary conclusion. as discussed earlier. In addition. the Defence argued that the Accord created an internationally binding obligation not to prosecute the beneficiaries of the amnesty provided therein. among which were the Government of the Togolese Republic. the parties to the 1996 Agreement stipulated that it would be implemented in two phases. that the mere fact that in addition to the parties to the conflict. A comparison between the "suspensive clause" of the MOA-AD with a similar provision appearing in the 1996 final peace agreement between the MNLF and the GRP is most instructive. a crucial difference between the two agreements. the participation of foreign dignitaries and international organizations in the finalization of that agreement. There is. The Decision on Challenge to Jurisdiction: Lomé Accord Amnesty (the Lomé Accord case) of the Special Court of Sierra Leone is enlightening. Phase I covered a three-year transitional period involving the putting up of new administrative structures through Executive Order. "37. The Lomé Agreement created neither rights nor obligations . Among the stipulations of the Lomé Accord was a provision for the full pardon of the members of the RUF with respect to anything done by them in pursuit of their objectives as members of that organization since the conflict began. citing. By the time these changes are put in place. These circumstances readily lead one to surmise that the MOA-AD would have had the status of a binding international agreement had it been signed. the document formalizing the settlement is signed by foreign heads of state or their representatives and representatives of international organizations. are not contracting parties and who do not claim any obligation from the contracting parties or incur any obligation from the settlement.

Unlike in the Nuclear Tests Case. 44. para. the ICJ held that the statement of Mali's President was not a unilateral act with legal implications. that intention confers on the declaration the character of a legal undertaking. nor even any reply or reaction from other States. but a State may choose to take up a certain position in relation to a particular matter with the intention of being bound-the intention is to be ascertained by interpretation of the act.J. nothing in the nature of a quid pro quo nor any subsequent acceptance of the declaration. italics and underscoring supplied) Similarly. that it would comply with all the stipulations stated therein. p. its intention effectively to terminate these tests. viz: 43. 181 France. An agreement such as the Lomé Agreement which brings to an end an internal armed conflict no doubt creates a factual situation of restoration of peace that the international community acting through the Security Council may take note of. When it is the intention of the State making the declaration that it should become bound according to its terms. nor from the obligation imposed by it. a restrictive interpretation is called for. its intention effectively to terminate these testsµ (I. and from the circumstances attending their making. and similar statements from other French officials including its Minister of Defence. Here. The circumstances of the present case are radically different. unilateral declarations arise only in peculiar circumstances. is required for the declaration to take effect.C. with the result that it would have to amend its Constitution accordingly regardless of the true will of the people. concerning legal or factual situations. For example. that Mali would abide by the decision to be issued by a commission of the Organization of African Unity on a frontier dispute then pending between Mali and Burkina Faso. however. that the MOA-AD would have been signed by representatives of States and international organizations not parties to the Agreement would not have sufficed to vest in it a binding character under international law. as distinguished from municipal. Such consequences such as action by the Security Council pursuant to Chapter VII arise from the situation and not from the agreement. the State being thenceforth legally required to follow a course of conduct consistent with the declaration.capable of being regulated by international law. When States make statements by which their freedom of action is to be limited. It is from the actual substance of these statements. that its 1974 series of atmospheric tests would be its last. In these circumstances. The limited applicability of the Nuclear Tests Case ruling was recognized in a later case decided 183 by the ICJ entitled Burkina Faso v. including the Applicant. and often are. The objects of these statements are clear and they were addressed to the international community as a whole. may have the effect of creating legal obligations. and that not to give legal effect to those statements would be detrimental to the security of international intercourse. Reports 1974. the French Government conveyed to the world at large. para. x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) As gathered from the above-quoted ruling of the ICJ. very specific. Australia challenged before the ICJ the legality of France's nuclear tests in the South Pacific. persuaded the ICJ to dismiss the 182 case. if given publicly. p. law. 474. must be between two or more warring States. is binding. The Court considers *270 that the President of the Republic. The validity of these statements and their legal consequences must be considered within the general framework of the security of international intercourse. gave an undertaking to the international community to which his words were addressed. Essential to the ICJ ruling is its finding that the French government intended to be bound to the international community in issuing its public statements. which required no acceptance from other States for it to become effective. Such action cannot be regarded as a remedy for the breach. the state intended to be bound to that community by its statements. amounted to a legal undertaking addressed to the international community. that the legal implications of the unilateral act must be deduced. also known as the Case Concerning the Frontier Dispute. An undertaking of this kind. x x x" (Emphasis. That. since such a requirement would be inconsistent with the strictly unilateral nature of the juridical act by which the pronouncement by the State was made. essentially. In the particular circumstances of those cases. the French Government could not express an intention to be bound otherwise than by unilateral declarations. Cited as authority for this view is Australia v. 269. including the Applicant. and the confidence and trust which are so essential in the relations among States. Of course. Declarations of this kind may be. decided by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). will not convert it to an international agreement which creates an obligation enforceable in international. In the Nuclear Tests Case. there was nothing to hinder the Parties from . In another vein. and the Court holds that they constitute an undertaking possessing legal effect. France refused to appear in the case. 51. the ICJ held. that Government's unilateral declarations had µconveyed to the world at large. 53). binding under international law. The public declaration subject of that case was a statement made by the President of Mali. public statements of a state representative may be construed as a unilateral declaration only when the following conditions are present: the statements were clearly addressed to the international community. also known as the Nuclear Tests Case. to wit: 40. It is difficult to see how it could have accepted the terms of a negotiated solution with each of the applicants without thereby jeopardizing its contention that its conduct was lawful. and with an intent to be bound. A breach of the terms of such a peace agreement resulting in resumption of internal armed conflict or creating a threat to peace in the determination of the Security Council may indicate a reversal of the factual situation of peace to be visited with possible legal consequences arising from the new situation of conflict created. Those statements. not all unilateral acts imply obligation. A peace agreement which settles an internal armed conflict cannot be ascribed the same status as one which settles an international armed conflict which. but public statements from its President. Plainly. in the Nuclear Tests cases. It is well recognized that declarations made by way of unilateral acts. in deciding upon the effective cessation of atmospheric tests. even though not made within the context of international negotiations. The Lomé Agreement cannot be characterised as an international instrument. account must be taken of all the factual circumstances in which the act occurred. It was bound to assume that other States might take note of these statements and rely on their being effective. concern has been raised that the MOA-AD would amount to a unilateral declaration of the Philippine State. In order to assess the intentions of the author of a unilateral act. In announcing that the 1974 series of atmospheric tests would be the last. Mali. the Court took the view that since the applicant States were not the only ones concerned at the possible continuance of atmospheric testing by the French Government. in an interview by a foreign press agency. It clarified that its ruling in the Nuclear Tests case rested on the peculiar circumstances surrounding the French declaration subject thereof. xxxx 51.

Macapagal-Arroyo. it would not have amounted to a unilateral declaration on the part of the Philippine State to the international community. in the negotiation and projected signing of the MOA-AD. may not preempt it in that decision. the Court grants the petitioners. one way or another. 7. E. the creation of a state within a state. had it really been its intention to be bound to other States. Respondents. The right to information guarantees the right of the people to demand information. The complete and effective exercise of the right to information necessitates that its complementary provision on public disclosure derive the same self-executory nature. by itself. (b) the exceptional character of the situation and paramount public interest.O. or the people themselves through the process of initiative. but only to the MILF. and (d) the fact that the case is capable of repetition yet evading review. finds that the prayers for mandamus have been rendered moot in view of the respondents' action in providing the Court and the petitioners with the official copy of the final draft of the MOA-AD and its annexes. The MOA-AD is a significant part of a series of agreements necessary to carry out the GRPMILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace signed by the government and the MILF back in June 2001. so 184 long as the change is not inconsistent with what. As the petitions involve constitutional issues which are of paramount public interest or of transcendental importance. The people's right to information on matters of public concern under Sec. Entering into such a formal agreement would not have resulted in a loss of face for the Philippine government before the international community. In fact. Contrary to the assertion of respondents that the non-signing of the MOA-AD and the eventual dissolution of the GRP Peace Panel mooted the present petitions.manifesting an intention to accept the binding character of the conclusions of the Organization of African Unity Mediation Commission by the normal method: a formal agreement on the basis of reciprocity. not to give legal effect to such commitments would not be detrimental to the security of international intercourse . No. 28. and by an equally clear indication that the signatures of the participating states-representatives would constitute an acceptance of that commitment. as a solution to the Moro Problem. it is the duty of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process to conduct regular dialogues to seek relevant information. . SUMMARY The petitions are ripe for adjudication. jurisprudence finds no distinction as to the executory nature or commercial character of the agreement. That the Philippine panel did not enter into such a formal agreement suggests that it had no intention to be bound to the international community. comments. Here. the MOA-AD may not be considered a unilateral declaration under international law. advice. 3. and recommendations from peace partners and concerned sectors of society. The Philippine panel did not draft the same with the clear intention of being bound thereby to the international community as a whole or to any State. Upholding such an act would amount to authorizing a usurpation of the constituent powers vested only in Congress. if it so desired. In declaring that the right to information contemplates steps and negotiations leading to the consummation of the contract. for the only way that the Executive can ensure the outcome of the amendment process is through an undue influence or interference with that process. sufficient to constitute grave abuse of discretion. The failure of respondents to consult the local government units or communities affected constitutes a departure by respondents from their mandate under E.to the trust and confidence essential in the relations among States. (c) the need to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench. In one important respect. The MOA-AD not being a document that can bind the Philippines under international law notwithstanding. and the public. the Court finds that the present petitions provide an exception to the "moot and academic" principle in view of (a) the grave violation of the Constitution involved. not just the MILF. While there were States and international organizations involved. Any alleged violation of the Constitution by any branch of government is a proper matter for judicial review. however. a Constitutional Convention. that formal agreement would have come about by the inclusion in the MOA-AD of a clear commitment to be legally bound to the international community. the mere fact that in addition to the parties to the conflict. 3 itself is replete with mechanics for continuing consultations on both national and local levels and for a principal forum for consensus-building. the circumstances surrounding the MOA-AD are closer to that of Burkina Faso wherein. the peace settlement is signed by representatives of states and international organizations does not mean that the agreement is internationalized so as to create obligations in international law. The sovereign people may. The Court. but in their brazen willingness to guarantee that Congress and the sovereign Filipino people would give their imprimatur to their solution. while Section 28 recognizes the duty of officialdom to give information even if nobody demands. as already discussed. subject only to reasonable safeguards or limitations as may be provided by law. which was one of the difficulties that prevented the French Government from entering into a formal agreement with other countries.O. At least three pertinent laws animate these constitutional imperatives and justify the exercise of the people's right to be consulted on relevant matters relating to the peace agenda. they participated merely as witnesses or. there was also nothing to hinder the Philippine panel. The grave abuse lies not in the fact that they considered. respondents' almost consummated act of guaranteeing amendments to the legal framework is. is known as Jus Cogens. the Chamber finds that there are no grounds to interpret the declaration made by Mali's head of State on 11 April 1975 as a unilateral act with legal implications in regard to the present case. On that ground. for it can change the Constitution in any it wants. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Assessing the MOA-AD in light of the above criteria. Corollary to these twin rights is the design for feedback mechanisms. Since no agreement of this kind was concluded between the Parties. The right to public consultation was envisioned to be a species of these public rights. in the case of Malaysia. One. however. Article II of the Constitution. Article III of the Constitution is in splendid symmetry with the state policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest under Sec. Moreover. respondents exceeded their authority by the mere act of guaranteeing amendments to the Constitution. the Mali President's statement was not held to be a binding unilateral declaration by the ICJ. Since the commitments in the MOA-AD were not addressed to States. go to the extent of giving up a portion of its own territory to the Moros for the sake of peace. The contents of the MOA-AD is a matter of paramount public concern involving public interest in the highest order. As in that case. in international law. As held in the Lomé Accord case. Hence. No. the bar. petitioners-in-intervention and intervening respondents the requisite locus standi in keeping with the liberal stance adopted in David v. as facilitator. the present MOA-AD can be renegotiated or another one drawn up that could contain similar or significantly dissimilar provisions compared to the original. An essential element of these twin freedoms is to keep a continuing dialogue or process of communication between the government and the people. to manifest that intention by formal agreement.

The various explicit legal provisions fly in the face of executive secrecy. as mandated by E. oppressive. While there is a clause in the MOA-AD stating that the provisions thereof inconsistent with the present legal framework will not be effective until that framework is amended. for the only way that the Executive can ensure the outcome of the amendment process is through an undue influence or interference with that process. Neither the GRP Peace Panel nor the President herself is authorized to make such a guarantee. or the people themselves through the process of initiative. which could pervasively and drastically result to the diaspora or displacement of a great number of inhabitants from their total environment. a violation of the Memorandum of Instructions From The President dated March 1. capricious. The Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 is declared contrary to law and the Constitution. The main and intervening petitions are GIVEN DUE COURSE and hereby GRANTED. No. the same does not cure its defect. Republic Act No. itself.Two. the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent consultation process. 7160. SO ORDERED. respondents effectively waived such defense after it unconditionally disclosed the official copies of the final draft of the MOA-AD. The furtive process by which the MOA-AD was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the legal authority. . already a constitutional violation that renders the MOA-AD fatally defective. 2001. The MOA-AD is one peculiar program that unequivocally and unilaterally vests ownership of a vast territory to the Bangsamoro people. It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined. a Constitutional Convention. The inclusion of provisions in the MOA-AD establishing an associative relationship between the BJE and the Central Government is. namely. Moreover. which entails. respondents' act of guaranteeing amendments is. respondents' motion to dismiss is DENIED. for judicial compliance and public scrutiny. it virtually guarantees that the necessary amendments to the Constitution and the laws will eventually be put in place. are unconstitutional. Republic Act No. Three. and Republic Act No. the statute does not grant the Executive Department or any government agency the power to delineate and recognize an ancestral domain claim by mere agreement or compromise. is implemented therein. as the clause is worded. among other things. WHEREFORE. Republic Act No. While the MOA-AD would not amount to an international agreement or unilateral declaration binding on the Philippines under international law. The MOA-AD cannot be reconciled with the present Constitution and laws. In sum. Notably. 8371. Not only its specific provisions but the very concept underlying them. addressed to the government peace panel. arbitrary and despotic exercise thereof. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 requires all national offices to conduct consultations before any project or program critical to the environment and human ecology including those that may call for the eviction of a particular group of people residing in such locality. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 provides for clearcut procedure for the recognition and delineation of ancestral domain. for the concept presupposes that the associated entity is a state and implies that the same is on its way to independence. the associative relationship envisioned between the GRP and the BJE. 3.O. the observance of the free and prior informed consent of the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples. The invocation of the doctrine of executive privilege as a defense to the general right to information or the specific right to consultation is untenable. Upholding such an act would amount to authorizing a usurpation of the constituent powers vested only in Congress. In any event. and amounts to a whimsical. by itself.

Ramon Encarnacion for petitioners.SEAFDEC-AQD is a department of an international organization. ADMINISTRATIVE DIV. NOCON. 1975. petitioners alleged that private respondent has property accountability and an outstanding obligation to SEAFDEC-AQD in the amount of P27. the labor arbiter rendered a decision. Upon petitioner SEAFDEC-AQD's failure to pay private respondent his separation pay. private respondent Juvenal Lazaga was employed as a Research Associate an a probationary basis by the SEAFDEC-AQD and was appointed Senior External Affairs Officer on January 5. the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center. (Rollo. 1986.00 and a monthly allowance of P4. as separation pay and other post-employment benefits. Furthermore. 1967 by the governments of Malaysia. 1988. 1988 decision of the National Labor Relations Commission sustaining the labor arbiter. Agreement Establishing the SEAFDEC). DR. 1989. judgment is hereby rendered ordering respondents: 1. All other claims are hereby dismissed. Thailand on December 28.R. Thailand. To pay complainant actual damages in the amount of P50. Caesar T. premises considered. plus legal interest thereon computed from May 16.00. he was appointed to the position of Professional III and designated as Head of External Affairs Office with the same pay and benefits. Id. Annex "E") Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. On the other hand. 1987 a complaint against petitioners for non-payment of separation benefits plus moral damages and attorney's fees with the Arbitration Branch of the NLRC (Annex "C" of Petition for Certiorari). and which clearances had not yet been obtained by the private respondent. and the resolution denying the petitioners' motion for reconsideration of said decision dated January 9. p. as separation pay and other post-employment benefits. SO ORDERED. 51. Rufil Cuevas and Ben de los Reyes liable to pay private respondent Juvenal Lazaga the amount of P126. The antecedent facts of the case are as follows: . 2. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. Flor Lacanilao. private respondent is not entitled to accrued sick leave benefits amounting to P44. 1986 until full payment thereof is made. A formal hearing was conducted whereby private respondent alleged that the non-issuance of the clearances by the petitioners was politically motivated and in bad faith. the latter filed on March 18. Petitioners in their answer with counterclaim alleged that the NLRC has no jurisdiction over the case inasmuch as the SEAFDEC-AQD is an international organization and that private respondent must first secure clearances from the proper departments for property or money accountability before any claim for separation pay will be paid. 1986 until full payment thereof is made.000.11.458. 86773 February 14.000. On May 8. RUFIL CUEVAS (HEAD. On January 12.000. organized through an agreement entered into in Bangkok. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and JUVENAL LAZAGA. 1992 SOUTHEAST ASIAN FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT CENTER-AQUACULTURE DEPARTMENT (SEAFDEC-AQD). On April 20.). Thereafter. in holding herein petitioners Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center-Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD).458. Singapore. his services shall be terminated at the close of office hours on May 15.532. To pay complainant P126. 1986 and that he is entitled to separation benefits equivalent to one (1) month of his basic salary for every year of service plus other benefits (Rollo.89. respondents.000. FLOR LACANILAO (CHIEF).). 1983 with a monthly basic salary of P8.: This is a petition for certiorari to annul and set aside the July 26. J. petitioners. plus 10% attorney's fees. BEN DELOS REYES (FINANCE OFFICER). Indonesia and the Philippines with Japan as the sponsoring country (Article 1. Corpus for private respondent. Dr. petitioner Lacanilao in his capacity as Chief of SEAFDEC-AQD sent a notice of termination to private respondent informing him that due to the financial constraints being experienced by the department. 153). vs. No.00 due to his failure to avail of the same during his employment with the SEAFDEC-AQD (Annex "D". p. Vietnam.89 plus interest thereon computed from May 16.

1989. Salonga and Former Chief Justice Pedro L. Being an intergovernmental organization. which may not necessarily coincide with the interests of the other member-states.e. Kingdom of Thailand and Republic of Vietnam (Annex "H". however. i. Malaysia as one of the principal departments of SEAFDEC (Annex "I". As such. It was established by the Governments of Burma. Its purpose is as follows: The purpose of the Center is to contribute to the promotion of the fisheries development in Southeast Asia by mutual co-operation among the member governments of the Center. 83 [1956 ed. In the case at bar. 284-1285). P. The then Minister of Justice likewise opined that Philippine Courts have no jurisdiction over SEAFDEC-AQD in Opinion No.) On September 3. As Senator Jovito R. (Annex "A". id. In so far as they are autonomous and beyond the control of any one State. that the holding in said case had been applied to situations which were obviously not contemplated therein.) to be established in Iloilo for the promotion of research in aquaculture. Id. petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration (Annex "G". it could compromise the desired impartiality of the organization since it will have to suit its actuations to the requirements of Philippine law. but rather the general . Kingdom of Laos. 139.). that it is immune from the legal writs and processes issued by the tribunals of the country where it is found. Settled is the rule that the decision of a tribunal not vested with appropriate jurisdiction is null and void. petitioners instituted this petition for certiorari alleging that the NLRC has no jurisdiction to hear and decide respondent Lazaga's complaint since SEAFDEC-AQD is immune from suit owing to its international character and the complaint is in effect a suit against the State which cannot be maintained without its consent. this Court held: A rule. Where there is none. It is to be regretted. 1988. See also Bowett. Article 6 of the Agreement establishing SEAFDEC mandates: 1. in Calimlim vs. It expressly waived the application of the Philippine laws on the disbursement of funds of petitioner SEAFDEC-AQD (Section 2. 83. Thus. id. Par. Series of 1984 ² 4.): Permanent international commissions and administrative bodies have been created by the agreement of a considerable number of States for a variety of international purposes. Malaysia.On July 26.) and that its national laws and regulations shall apply only insofar as its contribution to SEAFDEC of "an agreed amount of money. instead a blanket doctrine had been repeatedly upheld that rendered the supposed ruling in Sibonghanoy not as the exception. 292). Paragraph 1. id.310. 11. 5. The Republic of the Philippines became a signatory to the Agreement establishing SEAFDEC on January 16. 28. 1988.]) Pursuant to its being a signatory to the Agreement. Japan. (See Jenks. Art. Public International Law (p. jurisdictional immunity from the host country is invariably among the first accorded. Respondent Lazaga's invocation of estoppel with respect to the issue of jurisdiction is unavailing because estoppel does not apply to confer jurisdiction to a tribunal that has none over a cause of action. pp. ibid. One of the basic immunities of an international organization is immunity from local jurisdiction. 1. Republic of Indonesia. Madamba's reinstatement cases would amount to interference by the Philippine Government in the management decisions of the SEARCA governing board. 37-44) The obvious reason for this is that the subjection of such an organization to the authority of the local courts would afford a convenient medium thru which the host government may interfere in there operations or even influence or control its policies and decisions of the organization. Thereafter. Jurisdiction is conferred by law. economic or social and mainly non-political.. even worse. such subjection to local jurisdiction would impair the capacity of such body to discharge its responsibilities impartially on behalf of its member-states. The Council shall be the supreme organ of the Center and all powers of the Center shall be vested in the Council. Petition). the Republic of the Philippines agreed to be represented by one Director in the governing SEAFDEC Council (Agreement Establishing SEAFDEC. ibid. The petition is impressed with merit. Republic of Singapore. said decision was affirmed by the Fifth Division of the NLRC except as to the award of P50. no agreement of the parties can provide one. the entertainment by the National Labor Relations Commission of Mr.D. that had been settled by unquestioned acceptance and upheld in decisions so numerous to cite is that the jurisdiction of a court over the subject matter of the action is a matter of law and may not be conferred by consent or agreement of the parties. and through collaboration with international organizations and governments external to the Center. Public International Law. Republic of the Philippines. Id. The lack of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of the proceedings.00 as actual damages and attorney's fees for being baseless.1968. Art.. (Agreement Establishing the SEAFDEC. 1.000. No. Kingdom of Cambodia. according to one leading authority "they must be deemed to possess a species of international personality of their own. hereinafter called the "Members". pp. Petitioner Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center-Aquaculture Department (SEAFDECAQD) is an international agency beyond the jurisdiction of public respondent NLRC. This doctrine has been qualified by recent pronouncements which it stemmed principally from the ruling in the cited case of Sibonghanoy. Among the notable instances are the International Labor Organization. besides. Ramirez. SEAFDEC including its Departments (AQD).. The exceptional circumstances involved in Sibonghanoy which justified the departure from the accepted concept of non-waivability of objection to jurisdiction has been ignored and. enjoys functional independence and freedom from control of the state in whose territory its office is located. It is precisely to forestall these possibilities that in cases where the extent of the immunity is specified in the enabling instruments of international organizations. (See Jenks. the International Danube Commission. 1973 in Kuala Lumpur. for instance. The Law of International Institutions. they have a distinct juridical personality independent of the municipal law of the State where they are situated. Yap stated in their book.) which was denied on January 9. 1956 ed. p." (Salonga and Yap. Rollo) SEAFDEC-AQD was organized during the Sixth Council Meeting of SEAFDEC on July 3-7. Annex "H". even on appeal. Annex "H" Petition) (p. movable and immovable property and services necessary for the establishment and operation of the Center" are concerned (Art. the International Institute of Agriculture.

and an officer or employee. 1988 and January 9. G. L-34362. this is not a controversy between the SEAFDEC on the one hand. There is before us no question involving immunity from the jurisdiction of the Court.. (Calimlim vs. the questioned decision and resolution of the NLRC dated July 26. On the contrary. No.R. the Court in said case explained why it took cognizance of the case. [1982]) Respondent NLRC'S citation of the ruling of this Court in Lacanilao v. virtually overthrowing altogether the time-honored principle that the issue of jurisdiction is not lost by waiver or by estoppel. respectively. emphasis supplied). No costs. at 300. of the SEAFDEC. Said the Court: We would note. Ramirez. or a person claiming to be an officer or employee. JJ. that the present petition relates to a controversy between two claimants to the same position. or by an official of SEAFDEC with the consent of SEAFDEC (Id. WHEREFORE. . Paras. De Leon (147 SCRA 286 [1987]) to justify its assumption of jurisdiction over SEAFDEC is misplaced. finally. on the other hand. there being no plea for such immunity whether by or on behalf of SEAFDEC. SO ORDERED. are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE for having been rendered without jurisdiction. finding SEAFDEC-AQD to be an international agency beyond the jurisdiction of the courts or local agency of the Philippine government. 1989.. Melencio-Herrera. 118 SCRA 399.rule. concur. Padilla and Regalado.

In a letter addressed to petitioner Moreau on May 17, 1976 (Annex "A" of the complaint), Sanders disagreed with the hearing officer's report and asked for the rejection of the abovestated recommendation. The letter contained the statements that: a ) "Mr. Rossi tends to alienate most co-workers and supervisors;" b) "Messrs. Rossi and Wyers have proven, according to their immediate supervisors, to be difficult employees to supervise;" and c) "even though the grievants were under oath not to discuss the case with anyone, (they) placed the records in public places where others not involved in the case could hear." On November 7, 1975, before the start of the grievance hearings, a-letter (Annex "B" of the complaint) purportedly corning from petitioner Moreau as the commanding general of the U.S. Naval Station in Subic Bay was sent to the Chief of Naval Personnel explaining the change of the private respondent's employment status and requesting concurrence therewith. The letter did not carry his signature but was signed by W.B. Moore, Jr. "by direction," presumably of Moreau. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G.R. No. L-46930 June 10, 1988 DALE SANDERS, AND A.S. MOREAU, JR, petitioners, vs. HON. REGINO T. VERIDIANO II, as Presiding Judge, Branch I, Court of First Instance of Zambales, Olongapo City, ANTHONY M. ROSSI and RALPH L. WYERS, respondents. On the basis of these antecedent facts, the private respondent filed in the Court of First Instance 8 of Olongapo City a for damages against the herein petitioners on November 8, 1976. The plaintiffs claimed that the letters contained libelous imputations that had exposed them to ridicule and caused them mental anguish and that the prejudgment of the grievance proceedings was an invasion of their personal and proprietary rights. The private respondents made it clear that the petitioners were being sued in their private or personal capacity. However, in a motion to dismiss filed under a special appearance, the petitioners argued that the acts complained of were performed by them in the discharge of their official duties and that, consequently, the court had no jurisdiction over them under the doctrine of state immunity. After extensive written arguments between the parties, the motion was denied in an order dated 9 March 8, 1977, on the main ground that the petitioners had not presented any evidence that their acts were official in nature and not personal torts, moreover, the allegation in the complaint was that the defendants had acted maliciously and in bad faith. The same order issued a writ of preliminary attachment, conditioned upon the filing of a P10,000.00 bond by the plaintiffs, against the properties of petitioner Moreau, who allegedly was then about to leave the Philippines. Subsequently, to make matters worse for the defendants, petitioner Moreau was declared in a default by the trial court in its order dated August 9, 1977. The motion to lift the default order on the ground that Moreau's failure to appear at the pre-trial conference was the result of some misunderstanding, and the motion for reconsideration of the denial of the motion to dismiss, which was filed by the petitioner's new lawyers, were denied by the respondent court on September 7, 1977. This petition for certiorari, prohibition and preliminary injunction was thereafter filed before this Court, on the contention that the above-narrated acts of the respondent court are tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. We return now to the basic question of whether the petitioners were acting officially or only in their private capacities when they did the acts for which the private respondents have sued them for damages. It is stressed at the outset that the mere allegation that a government functionary is being sued in his personal capacity will not automatically remove him from the protection of the law of public officers and, if appropriate, the doctrine of state immunity. By the same token, the mere invocation of official character will not suffice to insulate him from suability and liability for an act imputed to him as a personal tort committed without or in excess of his authority. These wellsettled principles are applicable not only to the officers of the local state but also where the person sued in its courts pertains to the government of a foreign state, as in the present case.

CRUZ, J.: The basic issue to be resolved in this case is whether or not the petitioners were performing their official duties when they did the acts for which they have been sued for damages by the private respondents. Once this question is decided, the other answers will fall into place and this petition need not detain us any longer than it already has. Petitioner Sanders was, at the time the incident in question occurred, the special services 1 director of the U.S. Naval Station (NAVSTA) in Olongapo City. Petitioner Moreau was the 2 commanding officer of the Subic Naval Base, which includes the said station. Private 3 respondent Rossi is an American citizen with permanent residence in the Philippines, as so 4 was private respondent Wyer, who died two years ago. They were both employed as gameroom attendants in the special services department of the NAVSTA, the former having 5 been hired in 1971 and the latter in 1969. On October 3, 1975, the private respondents were advised that their employment had been 6 converted from permanent full-time to permanent part-time, effective October 18, 1975. Their reaction was to protest this conversion and to institute grievance proceedings conformably to the pertinent rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of Defense. The result was a recommendation from the hearing officer who conducted the proceedings for the reinstatement of the private respondents to permanent full-time status plus backwages. The report on the hearing contained the observation that "Special Services management practices an autocratic 7 form of supervision."

The respondent judge, apparently finding that the complained acts were prima facie personal and tortious, decided to proceed to trial to determine inter alia their precise character on the strength of the evidence to be submitted by the parties. The petitioners have objected, arguing that no such evidence was needed to substantiate their claim of jurisdictional immunity. Pending resolution of this question, we issued a temporary restraining order on September 26, 1977, that has since then suspended the proceedings in this case in the court a quo. In past cases, this Court has held that where the character of the act complained of can be determined from the pleadings exchanged between the parties before the trial, it is not necessary for the court to require them to belabor the point at a trial still to be conducted. Such a proceeding would be superfluous, not to say unfair to the defendant who is subjected to unnecessary and avoidable inconvenience. Thus, in Baer v. Tizon, we held that a motion to dismiss a complaint against the commanding general of the Olongapo Naval Base should not have been denied because it had been sufficiently shown that the act for which he was being sued was done in his official capacity on behalf of the American government. The United States had not given its consent to be sued. It was the reverse situation in Syquia v. Almeda Lopez," where we sustained the order of the lower court granting a where we motion to dismiss a complaint against certain officers of the U.S. armed forces also shown to be acting officially in the name of the American government. The United States had also not waived its immunity from suit. Only three years ago, in United States 12 of America v. Ruiz, we set aside the denial by the lower court of a motion to dismiss a complaint for damages filed against the United States and several of its officials, it appearing that the act complained of was governmental rather than proprietary, and certainly not personal. 13 In these and several other cases the Court found it redundant to prolong the other case proceedings after it had become clear that the suit could not prosper because the acts complained of were covered by the doctrine of state immunity. It is abundantly clear in the present case that the acts for which the petitioners are being called to account were performed by them in the discharge of their official duties. Sanders, as director of the special services department of NAVSTA, undoubtedly had supervision over its personnel, including the private respondents, and had a hand in their employment, work assignments, discipline, dismissal and other related matters. It is not disputed that the letter he had written was in fact a reply to a request from his superior, the other petitioner, for more information 14 regarding the case of the private respondents. Moreover, even in the absence of such request, he still was within his rights in reacting to the hearing officer's criticism²in effect a direct attack against him²-that Special Services was practicing "an autocratic form of supervision." As for Moreau,what he is claimed to have done was write the Chief of Naval Personnel for concurrence with the conversion of the private respondents' type of employment even before the grievance proceedings had even commenced. Disregarding for the nonce the question of its timeliness, this act is clearly official in nature, performed by Moreau as the immediate superior of Sanders and directly answerable to Naval Personnel in matters involving the special services department of NAVSTA In fact, the letter dealt with the financial and budgetary problems of the department and contained recommendations for their solution, including the re-designation of the private respondents. There was nothing personal or private about it. Given the official character of the above-described letters, we have to conclude that the petitioners were, legally speaking, being sued as officers of the United States government. As they have acted on behalf of that government, and within the scope of their authority, it is that government, and not the petitioners personally, that is responsible for their acts. Assuming that the trial can proceed and it is proved that the claimants have a right to the payment of damages, such award will have to be satisfied not by the petitioners in their personal capacities but by the United States government as their principal. This will require that government to perform an affirmative act to satisfy the judgment, viz, the appropriation of the necessary amount to cover
10

the damages awarded, thus making the action a suit against that government without its consent. There should be no question by now that such complaint cannot prosper unless the government sought to be held ultimately liable has given its consent to' be sued. So we have ruled not only in Baer but in many other decisions where we upheld the doctrine of state immunity as applicable not only to our own government but also to foreign states sought to be subjected to the 15 jurisdiction of our courts. The practical justification for the doctrine, as Holmes put it, is that "there can be no legal right 16 against the authority which makes the law on which the right depends. In the case of foreign states, the rule is derived from the principle of the sovereign equality of states which wisely admonishes that par in parem non habet imperium and that a contrary attitude would "unduly 17 vex the peace of nations." Our adherence to this precept is formally expressed in Article II, Section 2, of our Constitution, where we reiterate from our previous charters that the Philippines "adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. All this is not to say that in no case may a public officer be sued as such without the previous consent of the state. To be sure, there are a number of well-recognized exceptions. It is clear that a public officer may be sued as such to compel him to do an act required by law, as where, 18 say, a register of deeds refuses to record a deed of sale; or to restrain a Cabinet member, for 19 example, from enforcing a law claimed to be unconstitutional; or to compel the national 20 treasurer to pay damages from an already appropriated assurance fund; or the commissioner 21 of internal revenue to refund tax over-payments from a fund already available for the purpose; or, in general, to secure a judgment that the officer impleaded may satisfy by himself without the government itself having to do a positive act to assist him. We have also held that where the government itself has violated its own laws, the aggrieved party may directly implead the government even without first filing his claim with the Commission on Audit as normally required, as the doctrine of state immunity "cannot be used as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice."
22

This case must also be distinguished from such decisions as Festejo v. Fernando, where the Court held that a bureau director could be sued for damages on a personal tort committed by him when he acted without or in excess of authority in forcibly taking private property without paying just compensation therefor although he did convert it into a public irrigation canal. It was not necessary to secure the previous consent of the state, nor could it be validly impleaded as a party defendant, as it was not responsible for the defendant's unauthorized act. The case at bar, to repeat, comes under the rule and not under any of the recognized exceptions. The government of the United States has not given its consent to be sued for the official acts of the petitioners, who cannot satisfy any judgment that may be rendered against them. As it is the American government itself that will have to perform the affirmative act of appropriating the amount that may be adjudged for the private respondents, the complaint must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The Court finds that, even under the law of public officers, the acts of the petitioners are protected by the presumption of good faith, which has not been overturned by the private respondents. Even mistakes concededly committed by such public officers are not actionable as long as it is not shown that they were motivated by malice or gross negligence amounting to bad 24 25 faith. This, to, is well settled . Furthermore, applying now our own penal laws, the letters 26 come under the concept of privileged communications and are not punishable, let alone the fact that the resented remarks are not defamatory by our standards. It seems the private respondents have overstated their case.

23

A final consideration is that since the questioned acts were done in the Olongapo Naval Base by the petitioners in the performance of their official duties and the private respondents are themselves American citizens, it would seem only proper for the courts of this country to refrain from taking cognizance of this matter and to treat it as coming under the internal administration of the said base. The petitioners' counsel have submitted a memorandum replete with citations of American cases, as if they were arguing before a court of the United States. The Court is bemused by such attitude. While these decisions do have persuasive effect upon us, they can at best be invoked only to support our own jurisprudence, which we have developed and enriched on the basis of our own persuasions as a people, particularly since we became independent in 1946. We appreciate the assistance foreign decisions offer us, and not only from the United States but also from Spain and other countries from which we have derived some if not most of our own laws. But we should not place undue and fawning reliance upon them and regard them as indispensable mental crutches without which we cannot come to our own decisions through the employment of our own endowments We live in a different ambience and must decide our own problems in the light of our own interests and needs, and of our qualities and even idiosyncrasies as a people, and always with our own concept of law and justice. The private respondents must, if they are still sominded, pursue their claim against the petitioners in accordance with the laws of the United States, of which they are all citizens and under whose jurisdiction the alleged offenses were committed. Even assuming that our own laws are applicable, the United States government has not decided to give its consent to be sued in our courts, which therefore has not acquired the competence to act on the said claim,. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The challenged orders dated March 8,1977, August 9,1977, and September 7, 1977, are SET ASIDE. The respondent court is directed to DISMISS Civil Case No. 2077-O. Our Temporary restraining order of September 26,1977, is made PERMANENT. No costs. SO ORDERED. Narvasa, Gancayco, Grino-Aquiño and Medialdea, JJ., Concur.

"He came to know the defendant on May 13, 1986, when the latter was brought to his house and introduced to him by a certain Jose Iñigo, an informer of the Intelligence Unit of the military. Jose Iñigo, on the other hand, was met by plaintiff at the office of Atty. Crisanto Saruca, a lawyer for several Iranians whom plaintiff assisted as head of the anti-Khomeini movement in the Philippines. "During his first meeting with the defendant on May 13, 1986, upon the introduction of Jose Iñigo, the defendant expressed his interest in buying caviar. As a matter of fact, he bought two kilos of caviar from plaintiff and paid P10,000.00 for it. Selling caviar, aside from that of Persian carpets, pistachio nuts and other Iranian products was his business after the Khomeini government cut his pension of over $3,000.00 per month. During their introduction in that meeting, the defendant gave the plaintiff his calling card, which showed that he is working at the US Embassy in the Philippines, as a special agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice, of the United States, and gave his address as US Embassy, Manila. At the back of the card appears a telephone number in defendant¶s own handwriting, the number of which he can also be contacted. "It was also during this first meeting that plaintiff expressed his desire to obtain a US Visa for his wife and the wife of a countryman named Abbas Torabian. The defendant told him that he [could] help plaintiff for a fee of $2,000.00 per visa. Their conversation, however, was more concentrated on politics, carpets and caviar. Thereafter, the defendant promised to see plaintiff again. "On May 19, 1986, the defendant called the plaintiff and invited the latter for dinner at Mario's Restaurant at Makati. He wanted to buy 200 grams of caviar. Plaintiff brought the merchandize but for the reason that the defendant was not yet there, he requested the restaurant people to x x x place the same in the refrigerator. Defendant, however, came and plaintiff gave him the caviar for which he was paid. Then their conversation was again focused on politics and business. "On May 26, 1986, defendant visited plaintiff again at the latter's residence for 18 years at Kapitolyo, Pasig. The defendant wanted to buy a pair of carpets which plaintiff valued at $27,900.00. After some haggling, they agreed at $24,000.00. For the reason that defendant did not yet have the money, they agreed that defendant would come back the next day. The following day, at 1:00 p.m., he came back with his $24,000.00, which he gave to the plaintiff, and the latter, in turn, gave him the pair of carpets.1awphi1.nét "At about 3:00 in the afternoon of May 27, 1986, the defendant came back again to plaintiff's house and directly proceeded to the latter's bedroom, where the latter and his countryman, Abbas Torabian, were playing chess. Plaintiff opened his safe in the bedroom and obtained $2,000.00 from it, gave it to the defendant for the latter's fee in obtaining a visa for plaintiff's wife. The defendant told him that he would be leaving the Philippines very soon and requested him to come out of the house for a while so that he can introduce him to his cousin waiting in a cab. Without much ado, and without putting on his shirt as he was only in his pajama pants, he followed the defendant where he saw a parked cab opposite the street. To his complete surprise, an American jumped out of the cab with a drawn high-powered gun. He was in the company of about 30 to 40 Filipino soldiers with 6 Americans, all armed. He was handcuffed and after about 20 minutes in the street, he was brought inside the house by the defendant. He was made to sit down while in handcuffs while the defendant was inside his bedroom. The defendant came out of the bedroom and out from defendant's attaché case, he took something and placed it on the table in front of the plaintiff. They also took plaintiff's wife who was at that time at the boutique near his house and likewise arrested Torabian, who was playing chess with him in the bedroom and both were handcuffed together. Plaintiff was not told why he was being handcuffed and why the privacy of his house, especially his bedroom was invaded by defendant. He was not allowed to use the telephone. In fact, his telephone was unplugged. He asked for any warrant,

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G.R. No. 142396 February 11, 2003

KHOSROW MINUCHER, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and ARTHUR SCALZO, respondents. DECISION VITUG, J.: Sometime in May 1986, an Information for violation of Section 4 of Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise also known as the "Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972," was filed against petitioner Khosrow Minucher and one Abbas Torabian with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 151, of Pasig City. The criminal charge followed a "buy-bust operation" conducted by the Philippine police narcotic agents in the house of Minucher, an Iranian national, where a quantity of heroin, a prohibited drug, was said to have been seized. The narcotic agents were accompanied by private respondent Arthur Scalzo who would, in due time, become one of the principal witnesses for the prosecution. On 08 January 1988, Presiding Judge Eutropio Migrino rendered a decision acquitting the two accused. On 03 August 1988, Minucher filed Civil Case No. 88-45691 before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 19, of Manila for damages on account of what he claimed to have been trumpedup charges of drug trafficking made by Arthur Scalzo. The Manila RTC detailed what it had found to be the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. "The testimony of the plaintiff disclosed that he is an Iranian national. He came to the Philippines to study in the University of the Philippines in 1974. In 1976, under the regime of the Shah of Iran, he was appointed Labor Attaché for the Iranian Embassies in Tokyo, Japan and Manila, Philippines. When the Shah of Iran was deposed by Ayatollah Khomeini, plaintiff became a refugee of the United Nations and continued to stay in the Philippines. He headed the Iranian National Resistance Movement in the Philippines.

a motion for extension was peculiarly unavoidable due to the need (1) for both the Department of State and the Department of Justice to agree on the defenses to be raised and (2) to refer the case to a Philippine lawyer who would be expected to first review the case. Scalzo denied the material allegations of the complaint and raised the affirmative defenses (a) of Minucher¶s failure to state a cause of action in his complaint and (b) that Scalzo had acted in the discharge of his official duties as being merely an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States Department of Justice. Scalzo. the trial court reached a decision. No.00 the defendant paid for the carpets and another $8.000. Scalzo had failed to show that the appellate court was in error in its questioned judgment. In an order of 25 June 1990.000.00. `The Clerk of the Regional Trial Court. The remand was ordered on the theses (a) that the Court of Appeals erred in granting the motion to dismiss of Scalzo for lack of jurisdiction over his person without even considering the issue of the authenticity of Diplomatic Note No. should have precluded the Court of Appeals from resolving the . x x x In fact. 17023.000.000. No. The case was referred to the Court of Appeals. his safe was opened where he kept the $24. The petition.00 and a pair of earrings worth $10. Sison and Manas. Jr. and in view of all the foregoing considerations. should be held accountable for the acts complained of committed outside his official duties." During the trial. 1-88. the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision sustaining the diplomatic immunity of Scalzo and ordering the dismissal of the complaint against him. Meanwhile. Hence.00. No. Hon.000. et. following the decision rendered by this Court in G. Scalzo filed a motion for reconsideration of the court order. Granting the motion. per this Court¶s resolution of 07 August 1990. et al.¶ He was nevertheless told that he would be able to call for his lawyer who can defend him. "After the arrest made on plaintiff and Torabian. Scalzo filed another special appearance to quash the summons on the ground that he. after almost two years since the institution of the civil case. Wenceslao Polo. Scalzo interposed a counterclaim of P100. The court a quo denied the motion for reconsideration in its order of 15 October 1989.00 plus costs. SP No. a painting he bought for P30. the arrest of defendant and Torabian was likewise on television. docketed G. the Honorable Court of Appeals. dated 06 October 1989. On 27 July 1990. assailing the denial. On 12 March 1990. 414 of the United States Embassy. nothing left in his house.R. being a special agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration." (cited in 214 SCRA 242). against the defendant in the manner following: "`Adjudging defendant liable to plaintiff in actual and compensatory damages of P520. as well as its agencies and officials.00. exemplary damages in the sum of P100. dated 11 June 1990. in its order of 13 December 1988. filed a special appearance for Scalzo and moved for extension of time to file an answer pending a supposed advice from the United States Department of State and Department of Justice on the defenses to be raised.. 22505. Manila.000. it ruled that he. America. nevertheless. He claimed that when he was handcuffed. in various newspapers.000.000. judgment is hereby rendered for the plaintiff. addressed to the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines and a Certification. The instant petition for review raises a two-fold issue: (1) whether or not the doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment.00 together with his TV and betamax sets. He also discovered missing upon his release his 8 pieces hand-made Persian carpets. 97765 and entitled "Khosrow Minucher vs.. The motion was denied by the court. docketed G. absent any evidence to the contrary. Scalzo filed a motion to set aside the order of default and to admit his answer to the complaint. but also in America and in Germany. there docketed CA-G.00 to answer for attorneys' fees and expenses of litigation.R.¶" While the trial court gave credence to the claim of Scalzo and the evidence presented by him that he was a diplomatic agent entitled to immunity as such.but the defendant told him to `shut up. moral damages in the sum of P10 million. to this Court. was denied for its failure to comply with SC Circular No. not only in the Philippines. at the court a quo. Scalzo filed a petition for certiorari with injunction with this Court. holding that the filing by Scalzo of a motion for extension of time to file an answer to the complaint was a voluntary appearance equivalent to service of summons which could likewise be construed a waiver of the requirement of formal notice. certifying that the note is a true and faithful copy of its original. "The plaintiff took note of the fact that when the defendant invited him to come out to meet his cousin. the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court and sustained the defense of Scalzo that he was sufficiently clothed with diplomatic immunity during his term of duty and thereby immune from the criminal and civil jurisdiction of the "Receiving State" pursuant to the terms of the Vienna Convention. Central Asia and in the Philippines. attorney's fees in the sum of P200. In his answer. contending that a motion for an extension of time to file an answer was not a voluntary appearance equivalent to service of summons since it did not seek an affirmative relief. On appeal. appealing the judgment of the Court of Appeals. on 14 June 1990.R. The trial court granted the motion.000. On 17 November 1995. No. valued at $65. His friends in said places informed him that they saw him on TV with said news. of Vice Consul Donna Woodward.000. the appellate court denied the petition and affirmed the ruling of the trial court. Scalzo then elevated the incident in a petition for review on certiorari. it adjudged: "WHEREFORE. dated 24 September 1992. The Manila RTC thus continued with its hearings on the case. he was entitled to diplomatic immunity. On 31 October 1990. this Court reversed the decision of the appellate court and remanded the case to the lower court for trial. 91173. the Court added. the defendant took his keys from his wallet. docketed G. is ordered to take note of the lien of the Court on this judgment to answer for the unpaid docket fees considering that the plaintiff in this case 2 instituted this action as a pauper litigant.00.. dated 09 February 1990. particularly in Australia. "That his arrest as a heroin trafficker x x x had been well publicized throughout the world. In a decision. in any event. was issued (a) declaring Scalzo in default for his failure to file a responsive pleading (answer) and (b) setting the case for the reception of evidence.R. 94257 and entitled "Arthur W. Scalzo argued that in cases involving the United States government. the trial court set the case for pre-trial. He attached to his motion Diplomatic Note No. In a decision. 414 and (b) that the complaint contained sufficient allegations to the effect that Scalzo committed the imputed acts in his personal capacity and outside the scope of his official duties and. the issue on Scalzo¶s diplomatic immunity could not be taken up. who successfully established his claim by sufficient evidence. the law firm of Luna.R. 97765." asking that the complaint in Civil Case No. Scalzo filed a petition for review with the Court of Appeals. vs. Scalzo filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that. He was identified in the papers as an international drug trafficker. there docketed CA-G. where they were detained for three days without food and water. therefore. On 27 October 1988. Minucher filed a petition for review with this Court.R. 88-45691 be ordered dismissed. an order. Jr. however. this recourse by Minucher. dated 29 May 1990. al. No. Then.00 which he also placed in the safe together with a bracelet worth $15. they were brought to Camp Crame handcuffed 1 together. was beyond the processes of the court. the trial court denied the motion to dismiss. There was. not being a resident of the Philippines and the action being one in personam. penned by Justice (now Chief Justice) Hilario Davide.

dated 27 June 1990 forwarding Embassy Note No. intelligent and fair 4 resolution of the issue of diplomatic immunity." Scalzo has submitted to the trial court a number of documents 1. 757 dated 25 October 1991. as being the preeminent embodiment of the state he represented. By the end of the 16th century." Scalzo contends that the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. No. 2. the representation of the interests of the sending state and promoting friendly relations with the 9 receiving state. Emmanuel Fernandez. formally advised the "Judicial Department" of his diplomatic status and his entitlement to all diplomatic privileges and immunities under the Vienna Convention. (he then) would inform the Philippine narcotic agents (to) make the actual arrest.e. however. Jorge R. Exh. 6. when the earliest treatises on diplomatic law were published. the certification of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States Department of Justice that Scalzo was a special agent assigned to the Philippines at all times relevant to the complaint.Diplomatic Note No.appeal to it in an entirely different manner. '6' . Branch 19 (the trial court). 97765. ministers or internuncios accredited to 12 13 the heads of states." under the terms of the Convention. '7' .is also a pivotal question raised in the instant petition. would require 1) the finality of the prior judgment. and 4) an identity of the parties.1st Indorsement of the Hon. and (3) that the United States Embassy repeatedly urged the Department of Foreign Affairs to take appropriate action to inform the trial court of Scalzo¶s diplomatic immunity. 3) a judgment on the merits. 414 dated 29 May 1990. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations was a codification of centuries-old customary law and. thus impliedly withholding the same privileges from all others. The doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment. '1' . the exercise of diplomatic intercourse among states was undertaken by the head of state himself. Exh.S. technical and service staff of the mission. Department of Foreign Affairs. Exh. 414 to the Clerk of Court of RTC Manila.Letter dated 18 November 1992 from the Office of the Protocol. and (2) the Department of Foreign Affairs itself authenticated Diplomatic Note No. Even while one of the issues submitted in G.Diplomatic Note No. Legal Adviser. 791 dated 17 November 1992. Comprising the "staff of the (diplomatic) mission" are the diplomatic staff. The Convention defines "diplomatic agents" as the heads of missions or members of the diplomatic staff. Indeed.. 3.Diplomatic Note No. 833 dated 21 October 1988. No. the administrative staff and the technical and service staff. (and) having ascertained the target. 4. 97765 . are accorded diplomatic rank. describing his functions as an agent of the United States Drugs Enforcement Agency as "conducting surveillance operations on suspected drug dealers in the Philippines believed to be the source of prohibited drugs being shipped to the U.R. (b) that. the ruling in G. are vested with blanket diplomatic immunity from civil and criminal suits. Among the city states of ancient Greece. through its Executive Department. through Asst. Woodward dated 11 June 1990. or its kindred rule of res judicata. nevertheless. '3').Diplomatic Note No. In his Exhibit 12. acknowledged Scalzo to be a member of the diplomatic staff of the United States diplomatic mission from his arrival in the Philippines on 14 October 1985 until his departure on 10 August 1988. excluding the members of the administrative. and 5. 3 subject matter and causes of action. as well as members of the diplomatic staff. 2) a valid jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties on the part of the court that renders it. grants him absolute immunity from suit. among the peoples of the Mediterranean before the establishment of the Roman Empire. Coquia. the person of the herald in time of war and the person of the diplomatic envoy in time of peace were universally held 7 sacrosanct. '3' . the inviolability of ambassadors was firmly established as a rule of customary 8 international law. 2) to establish and maintain liaison with the host country and counterpart foreign law enforcement officials. The other documentary exhibits were presented to indicate that: (1) the Philippine government itself. i. and (c) charges d' affairs accredited to the ministers of foreign affairs. by the time of its ratification on 18 April 1961. It might bear . would show that: (1) the United States Embassy accordingly advised the Executive Department of the Philippine Government that Scalzo was a member of the diplomatic staff of the United States diplomatic mission from his arrival in the Philippines on 14 October 1985 until his departure on 10 August 1988. Exh. by and large. Exh. which is the basis for the alleged diplomatic immunity. the Court there has made this observation "It may be mentioned in this regard that private respondent himself. and 8. in his Pre-trial Brief filed on 13 June 1990. '8' . the official usually entrusted with the external affairs of the state. Having thus reserved his right to present evidence in support of his position."whether or not public respondent Court of Appeals erred in ruling that private respondent Scalzo is a diplomat immune from civil suit conformably with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations" . 414. Conformably with the Vienna Convention. Exh. the functions of the diplomatic mission involve. to which the Philippines is a signatory. Exh. Where a state would wish to have a more prominent diplomatic presence in the receiving state. and 3) to conduct complex criminal investigations involving international criminal conspiracies which affect the interests of the United States. affirmed by its Vice Consul. Department of Foreign Affairs. Only "diplomatic agents. Scalzo additionally presented Exhibits "9" to "13" consisting of his reports of investigation on the surveillance and subsequent arrest of Minucher.. and the special power of attorney executed by him in favor of his 6 previous counsel to show (a) that the United States Embassy. '5' . addressed 5 to the Chief Justice of this Court. has not resolved that point with finality. appended to the 1st Indorsement (Exh. and (c) that the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs itself recognized that Scalzo during his tour of duty in the Philippines (14 October 1985 up to 10 August 1988) was listed as being an Assistant Attaché of the United States diplomatic mission and accredited with diplomatic status by the Government of the Philippines. and (2) whether or not Arthur Scalzo is indeed entitled to diplomatic immunity. it would then send to the latter a diplomatic mission. '2' .R. 414. and among the states of India. unequivocally states that he would present documentary evidence consisting of DEA records on his investigation and surveillance of plaintiff and on his position and duties as DEA special agent in Manila. with the cooperation of the Philippine law enforcement officials and in the exercise of his functions as member of the mission.Certification of Vice Consul Donna K. its rules of law had long become stable. Traditionally. Only the heads of missions. Even while the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations provides for immunity to the members of diplomatic missions. he investigated Minucher for alleged trafficking in a prohibited drug. The documents. and the foreign secretary. recognizing and respecting the diplomatic status of Scalzo. '4' . (b) envoys. it does so.Diplomatic Note No. Sec. 7. according to Scalzo. the barren self-serving claim in the belated motion to dismiss cannot be relied upon for a reasonable. Scalzo described the functions of the overseas office of the United States Drugs Enforcement Agency. with an understanding that the same be restrictively applied. on May 1986. (1) to provide criminal investigative expertise and assistance to foreign law enforcement agencies on narcotic and drug control programs upon the request of the host country. The Convention lists the classes of heads of diplomatic missions to include (a) ambassadors or 11 10 nuncios accredited to the heads of state. (2) that the United States Government was firm from the very beginning in asserting the diplomatic immunity of Scalzo with respect to the case pursuant to the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Exh.

No. it was sufficiently established that. There could also be a class of attaches belonging to certain ministries or departments of the government. made to attach not just to the person of the head of state. In United States of America vs. These officials are not generally regarded as members of the diplomatic mission. accredited diplomatic status by the Government of the Philippines. certifying that "the records of the Department (would) show that Mr. he worked for the United States Drug Enforcement Agency and was tasked to conduct surveillance of suspected drug activities within the country on the dates pertinent to this case. and administration of oaths.R. rather. the Court has recognized that. viz: "While the trial court denied the motion to dismiss. possession and use of prohibited drugs. If it should be ascertained that Arthur Scalzo was acting well within his assigned functions when he committed the acts alleged in the complaint. 414." No certified true copy of such "records. in broad terms. Aquino. has formulated its standards for recognition of a diplomatic agent.the alleged diplomatic immunity of the private respondent. eight (8) months and seventeen (17) days from the time his counsel filed on 12 September 1988 a Special Appearance and Motion asking for a first extension of time to file the Answer because the Departments of State and Justice of the United States of America were studying the case for the purpose of determining his defenses. "x x x x x x x x x "There is of course the claim of private respondent that the acts imputed to him were done in his official capacity. 757 and 791. Attaches assist a chief of mission in his duties and are administratively under him. was presented in evidence. Indeed. and performing diplomatic functions on an essentially full-time basis. and customs attaches. who are detailed by their respective ministries or departments with the embassies such as the military. the complaint for damages filed by petitioner cannot be peremptorily dismissed. under the maxim . 97765. it should have been the most proper and appropriate recourse. the present controversy could then be resolved under the related doctrine of State Immunity from Suit. the complaint could be barred by the immunity of the foreign sovereign from suit without its consent. Jr. a diplomatic note formally representing the intention to assign the person to diplomatic duties. The presentation did nothing much to alleviate the Court's initial reservations in G. But while the diplomatic immunity of Scalzo might thus remain contentious.stressing that even consuls. involving officers of the United States Air Force and special officers of the Air Force Office of Special Investigators charged with the duty of preventing the distribution. commercial. indeed. the holding of a non-immigrant visa. naval. labor. Scalzo. science." that he was an Assistant Attaché of the United States diplomatic mission and was accredited as such by the Philippine Government. The implication. Setting aside for the moment the issue of authenticity raised by the petitioner and the doubts that surround such claim. 08." the supposed bases for the belated issuance. Assistant Secretary. Suing a representative of a state is believed to be. 88-45691 on the basis of an erroneous assumption that simply because of the diplomatic note. Arthur W. or his representative. dated 08 November 1992. other than the foreign ministry or department. therefore. mainly for the reason that they are not charged with the duty of representing their states in political matters. designed to gain exemption from the jurisdiction of courts. air. Guinto. administrative or financial affairs." Supplementary criteria for accreditation are the possession of a valid diplomatic passport or. 25 October 1991 and 17 November 1992. nor are they normally designated as having diplomatic rank. the public respondent gravely abused its discretion in dismissing Civil Case No. Fernandez. Verily. such as the issuance of passports and visas. to be most circumspect. this Court has ruled 24 . it should behoove the Philippine government. the main yardstick in ascertaining whether a person is a diplomat entitled to immunity is the determination of whether or not he performs duties of diplomatic nature. do not ordinarily enjoy the traditional diplomatic immunities and privileges accorded diplomats. during his term of office in the Philippines (from 14 October 1985 up to 10 August 1988) was listed as an Assistant Attaché of the United States diplomatic mission and was." A significant document would appear to be Exhibit No. being over twenty-one years of 18 age. but also distinctly to the state itself in its 21 sovereign capacity.par in parem. or the like. particularly in his Exhibits "9" to "13. an immunity from the 16 exercise of territorial jurisdiction. but acting in his official capacity. In World Health Organization vs. is that if the judgment against an official would require the state itself to perform an affirmative act to satisfy the award. such as the appropriation of the amount needed to pay the damages decreed against him. analyze and interpret trends and developments in their respective fields in the host country and submit reports to their own ministries or 14 departments in the home government. non habet imperium . If the acts giving rise to a suit are those of a foreign government done by its foreign agent. to the core issue . Concededly. before he could secure the Diplomatic Note from the US Embassy in Manila. and even granting for the sake of argument that such note is authentic. in such matters. The precept that a State cannot be sued in the courts of a foreign state is a long-standing rule of customary international law then closely identified with the personal immunity of a foreign 20 sovereign from suit and. The State Department policy is to only concede diplomatic status to a person who possesses an 17 acknowledged diplomatic title and "performs duties of diplomatic nature. "x x x x x x x x x "And now. The undue haste with which respondent Court yielded to the private respondent's claim is arbitrary. Scalzo asserted. An attaché belongs to a category of officers in the diplomatic establishment who may be in charge of its cultural. it is. agricultural. with the emergence of democratic states. The proscription is not accorded for the benefit of an individual but for the State. issued by the Office of Protocol of the Department of Foreign Affairs and signed by Emmanuel C. thereby divesting the trial court of jurisdiction over his person. who represent their respective states in concerns of commerce and navigation and perform certain administrative and notarial duties. although it has not been 23 formally impleaded. all issued post litem motam. specifically its Department of Foreign Affairs. vesting a person with diplomatic immunity is a prerogative of the executive branch 15 of the government. In an attempt to prove his diplomatic status. that should particularly be no less than compelling. It should not have been overwhelmed by the self-serving Diplomatic Note whose belated issuance is even suspect and whose authenticity has not yet been proved. but their main function is to observe. although not necessarily a diplomatic personage. from States which do not issue such passports. suing the state itself. press. Nothing supports this self-serving claim other than the so-called Diplomatic Note. x x x. Scalzo presented Diplomatic Notes Nos. Diplomatic missions are requested to provide the most accurate and descriptive job title to that which currently applies to the duties performed. The public respondent then should have sustained the trial court's denial of the motion to dismiss. in its post litem motam issuances. authentication of documents. in effect.that all states are sovereign 22 equals and cannot assert jurisdiction over one another. in whose service he is. The government of the United States itself. the hands of the courts are virtually tied. It might be recalled that the privilege is not an immunity from the observance of the law of the territorial sovereign or from ensuing legal liability. The Office of the Protocol would then assign each individual to 19 the appropriate functional category. Amidst apprehensions of indiscriminate and incautious grant of immunity.. respectively. the suit must be regarded as being against the state itself. which Scalzo claims to be acting for. the private respondent is clothed with diplomatic immunity. on 29 May 1990. in view of the fact that it took private respondent one (1) year.

All told. after having ascertained the target. however. is entitled to the defense of state immunity from suit. on the foregoing premises. for the protection of his rights. can be gleaned from the facts heretofore elsewhere mentioned. Aligaen. et al. [who 25 were] responsible for their acts.J." A foreign agent. Scalzo hardly can be said to have acted beyond the scope of his official function or duties. Guinto and Shauf both involve officers and personnel of the United States. it has been said that an action at law or suit in equity against a State officer or the director of a State department on the ground that. the petition is DENIED.. The rationale for this ruling is that the doctrine of state immunity cannot be used as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice."While the doctrine (of state immunity) appears to prohibit only suits against the state without its consent. vs. if not consent. has its limitations. and an action against the officials or officers by one whose rights have been invaded or violated by such acts. unauthorized acts of government officials or officers are not acts of the State. can be cloaked with immunity from suit but only as long as it can be established that he is acting within the directives of the sending state. under the RP-US Military Bases Agreement. operating within a territory. "x x x x x x x x x "(T)he doctrine of immunity from suit will not apply and may not be invoked where the public official is being sued in his private and personal capacity as an ordinary citizen. stationed within Philippine territory. concur "It is a different matter where the public official is made to account in his capacity as such for acts contrary to law and injurious to the rights of the plaintiff. The job description of Scalzo has . is not a suit against the State within the rule of immunity of the State from suit. WHEREFORE. under an unconstitutional act or under an assumption of authority which he does not have. an agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency allowed by the Philippine government to conduct activities in the country to help contain the problem on the drug traffic. et al. it is that government. (Chairman). as well as the participation of members of the Philippine Narcotics Command in the "buy-bust operation" conducted at the residence of Minucher at the behest of Scalzo. is not a suit against the State within the constitutional provision that the State may not be sued without its consent. and within the scope of their authority. (33 SCRA 368): `Inasmuch as the State authorizes only legal acts by its officers. he violates or invades the personal and property rights of the plaintiff. the consent or imprimatur of the Philippine government to the activities of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency. It cannot for a moment be imagined that they were acting in their private or unofficial capacity when they apprehended and later testified against the complainant. x x x. This situation usually arises where the public official acts without authority or in excess of the powers vested in him. which has not given its consent to be sued. C. SO ORDERED. while claiming to act for the State. however. JJ.. As was clearly set forth by Justice Zaldivar in Director of the Bureau of Telecommunications. may be inadequate to support the "diplomatic status" of the latter but they give enough indication that the Philippine government has given its imprimatur. to the activities within Philippine territory of agent Scalzo of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency. The cloak of protection afforded the officers and agents of the government is removed the moment they are sued in their individual capacity." This immunity principle. Carpio and Azcuna. While evidence is wanting to show any similar agreement between the governments of the Philippines and of the United States (for the latter to send its agents and to conduct surveillance and related activities of suspected drug dealers in the Philippines). this Court is constrained to rule that respondent Arthur Scalzo. they cannot be directly impleaded for acts imputable to their principal. No costs. The official exchanges of communication between agencies of the government of the two countries. to inform local law enforcers who would then be expected to make the arrest. it is also applicable to complaints filed against officials of the state for acts allegedly performed by them in the discharge of their duties. Jr. Thus. In conducting surveillance activities on Minucher. In the same tenor. and not the petitioners personally. It follows that for discharging their duties as agents of the United States. Shauf vs. Ynares-Santiago. and then becoming a principal witness in the criminal case against Minucher. Davide.. The consent of the host state is an indispensable requirement of basic courtesy between the two sovereigns. x x x As they have acted on behalf of the government. certifications from officials of both the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and the United States Embassy. later acting as the poseur-buyer during the buybust operation.. Court of Appeals elaborates: 26 tasked him to conduct surveillance on suspected drug suppliers and. It is a well-settled principle of law that a public official may be liable in his personal private capacity for whatever damage he may have caused by his act done with malice and in bad faith or beyond the scope of his authority and 27 jurisdiction.

private respondent moved for the issuance of a writ of execution. as Judge RTC of Makati. 23 SCRA 899].. May 29. It appears that the action for eminent domain was filed on May 20. PSB filed a manifestation informing the court that it had consolidated its ownership over the property as mortgagee/purchaser at an extrajudicial foreclosure sale held on April 20. Lugue for private respondent Admiral Finance Creditors' Consortium.510. Defante & Elegado for petitioner. for failure of the manager of the PNB Buendia Branch to comply with the order dated September 8.45 which corresponds to the balance of the appraised value of the subject property under the RTC decision dated June 4. docketed as Civil Case No. informed the court that he was still waiting for proper authorization from the PNB head office enabling him to make a disbursement for the amount so ordered. 1988 a "Manifestation" informing the court that private respondent was no longer the true and lawful owner of the subject property because a new title over the property had been registered in the name of Philippine Savings Bank.506. private respondent filed two succeeding motions to require the bank manager to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of court. respondent RTC judge rendered a decision on June 4. from the garnished account of petitioner. After this decision became final and executory.00. 1988. In compliance with this order. This motion was granted by respondent RTC judge. After several conferences. respondent sheriff was informed that a "hold code" was placed on the account of petitioner..00. and ordering petitioner to pay this amount minus the advanced payment of P338. Jo under TCT No. Attached to petitioner's complaint was a certification that a bank account (Account No. 89898-99 October 1. petitioner. On the other hand. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. on the ground that the manner of payment of the expropriation amount should be done in installments which the respondent RTC judge failed to state in his decision. S/A 265-537154-3 was an account specifically opened for the expropriation proceedings of the subject property pursuant to Pres.00 which was earlier released to private respondent. and SHERIFF SILVINO R. Makati and registered in the name of Arceli P. for to do so would result in the disbursement of public funds without the proper appropriation required under the law. Petitioner's motion to lift the garnishment was denied. Inc.291. Private respondent filed its opposition to the motion.160. and the PNB Buendia Branch to reveal the amount in petitioner's account which was garnished by respondent sheriff. a Notice of Garnishment dated January 14. Inc. (2) ordered PNB Buendia Branch to immediately release to PSB the sum of P4.666. As a result of this. 1988 praying that an order be issued directing the bank to deliver to respondent sheriff the amount equivalent to the unpaid balance due under the RTC decision dated June 4. S-5499. Inc. PASTRANA. 1990 MUNICIPALITY OF MAKATI. JR.. Jo. Roberto B.. Home Building System & Realty Corporation and one Arceli P. Petitioner filed a motion to lift the garnishment. Palacio did not apply to the case because petitioner's PNB Account No. Respondent trial judge subsequently issued an order dated September 8. 1987. Respondent trial judge issued an order dated December 21. After issuance of the writ of execution. 13699. involving a parcel of land and improvements thereon located at Mayapis St. citing the case of Republic of the Philippines v. PSB and private respondent entered into a compromise agreement whereby they agreed to divide between themselves the compensation due from the expropriation proceedings. S/A 265-537154-3) had been opened with the PNB Buendia Branch under petitioner's name . vs. 42. However. (PSB) Respondent RTC judge issued an order requiring PSB to make available the documents pertaining to its transactions over the subject property. private respondent filed a motion dated January 27. Palacio [G. During the hearings conducted for the above motions. 1987. After due hearing where the parties presented their respective appraisal reports regarding the value of the property. 1988 was served by respondent sheriff Silvino R. RESOLUTION CORTÉS. Pastrana upon the manager of the PNB Buendia Branch. 1986. petitioner contended that its funds at the PNB Buendia Branch could neither be garnished nor levied upon execution. Decree No. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. Nos.R.: The present petition for review is an off-shoot of expropriation proceedings initiated by petitioner Municipality of Makati against private respondent Admiral Finance Creditors Consortium. 1988 denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration on the ground that the doctrine enunciated in Republic v. a Mr. 1987. the general manager of the PNB Buendia Branch. and. DE GUZMAN. SALVADOR P. J. Branch CXLII ADMIRAL FINANCE CREDITORS CONSORTIUM. INC. which was duly opposed by private respondent. For its part. (3) ordered PSB and private respondent to execute the necessary deed of conveyance over the subject property in favor of petitioner. HON. made pursuant to the provisions of Pres. petitioner filed on July 20. Antonio Bautista. 1968. L-20322. Pending resolution of the above motions. 1988 which: (1) approved the compromise agreement.containing the sum of P417. 1987. San Antonio Village. No.953. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. respondents.R. fixing the appraised value of the property at P5.

Petitioner not only reiterates the arguments adduced in its petition before the Court of Appeals. but also alleges for the first time that it has actually two accounts with the PNB Buendia Branch.72. 1988 and the writ of garnishment issued pursuant thereto.] Because the petitioner has belatedly alleged only in this Court the existence of two bank accounts. San Diego. without justifiable reason. Nevertheless.45. No. Gonzales. 629 (1950). For three years now. the Court Resolved to ORDER petitioner Municipality of Makati to immediately pay Philippine Savings Bank. S/A 265-537154-3 ² exclusively for the expropriation of the subject property. unless otherwise provided for by statute [Republic v. 130 SCRA 56].] At any rate.743.94. More particularly. August 27. Without prompt payment. The foregoing rule finds application in the case at bar. and affirmed his authority to levy on such funds. which are public funds earmarked for the municipal government's other statutory obligations.R. The State's power of eminent domain should be exercised within the bounds of fair play and justice. 1989. and thus ordered his arrest and detention until his compliance with the said order. licenses and market fees. . G. WHEREFORE. it is petitioner's main contention that inasmuch as the assailed orders of respondent RTC judge involved the net amount of P4. 1989. 1988.R. . G. 1987 is not disputed by petitioner. 77765. In a decision promulgated on June 28. 49 Phil. . the Court resolved to issue a temporary restraining order enjoining respondent RTC judge. sustained the jurisdiction of respondent RTC judge over the funds contained in petitioner's PNB Account No. Absent a showing that the municipal council of Makati has passed an ordinance appropriating from its public funds an amount corresponding to the balance due under the RTC decision dated June 4. G. Vda. Bulacan v. Admitting that its PNB Account No. 108 Phil. are exempt from execution [See Viuda De Tan Toco v. pp. February 18. 1989. 31 SCRA 616]. The Municipal Council of Iloilo. June 25. 400. the validity of the RTC decision dated June 4. and private respondent the amount of P4. petitioner poses no objection to the garnishment or the levy under execution of the funds deposited therein amounting to P99. 1988. 1984. It cannot be over-emphasized that. The Honorable Court of Appeals. 1970. it may fairly be asked whether the second account was opened only for the purpose of undermining the legal basis of the assailed orders of respondent RTC judge and the decision of the Court of Appeals. 153 SCRA 291]. to wit: xxx xxx xxx (1) Account No. the funds garnished by respondent sheriff in excess of P99. xxx xxx xxx [Petition. Palacio. In the case at bar. No appeal was taken therefrom.94.506. 265-537154-3. with a balance of P170.743. 11-12. Antonio Bautista guilty of contempt of court for his inexcusable refusal to obey the order dated September 8.743. Respondent RTC judge likewise declared Mr. Municipality of San Miguel. and the corresponding disbursement of municipal funds therefor [See Viuda De Tan Toco v. Lota.965. well-settled is the rule that public funds are not subject to levy and execution. Rollo. de Villaroya. whether real or personal. Manaois. supra. Its motion for reconsideration having been denied by the Court of Appeals. Municipal revenues derived from taxes. Inc. 52 (1926): The Municipality of Paoay. (2) Account No. 61744. The Municipal Council of Iloilo. 1987. No. respondent sheriff. [j]ust compensation means not only the correct determination of the amount to be paid to the owner of the land but also the payment of the land within a reasonable time from its taking. Petitioner and the bank manager of PNB Buendia Branch then filed separate petitions for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. considering that valuable property has been taken. However. the Court finds that the municipality has had more than reasonable time to pay full compensation. August 15.94 deposited in Account No. 107 Phil. and proceed to resolve the principal issues presented based on the factual circumstances thus alleged by petitioner. See also Provincial Government of Sorsogon v. Yuviengco v. 164 SCRA 393. 1099 (1960).421. G. S/A 265-537154-3. supra. while petitioner filed its reply. On November 20. less the sum of P99. and their representatives. In this jurisdiction.098. 6-7. with an outstanding balance of P99. L-30098. petitioner now files the present petition for review with prayer for preliminary injunction. the properties of a municipality. from enforcing and/or carrying out the RTC order dated December 21. 1987. the Court of Appeals dismissed both petitions for lack of merit.506. 247 (1960)].R.. petitioner has enjoyed possession and use of the subject property notwithstanding its inexcusable failure to comply with its legal obligation to pay just compensation.R. Where a municipality fails or refuses. are exempted from execution without the proper appropriation required under the law.45. compensation cannot be considered "just" for the property owner is made to suffer the consequence of being immediately deprived of his land while being made to wait for a decade or more before actually receiving the amount necessary to cope with his loss [Cosculluela v. which were eventually consolidated.Decree No. which are necessary for public use cannot be attached and sold at execution sale to satisfy a money judgment against the municipality. as of July 12. 64037. Baldivia v. the compensation to be paid fixed and the municipality is in full possession and utilizing the property for public purpose. Fernandez. There is merit in this contention. 86 Phil. In the case at bar.94.953. S/A 263-530850-7. within the context of the State's inherent power of eminent domain. pp. This Court will not condone petitioner's blatant refusal to settle its legal obligation arising from expropriation proceedings it had in fact initiated. to effect payment of a final money judgment rendered against it. 42. Petitioner is hereby required to submit to this Court a report of its compliance with the foregoing . The funds deposited in the second PNB Account No. Palacio [supra. No. The Commissioner of Public Highways v. S/A 265-537154-3 was specifically opened for expropriation proceedings it had initiated over the subject property. this is not to say that private respondent and PSB are left with no legal recourse. the claimant may avail of the remedy of mandamus in order to compel the enactment and approval of the necessary appropriation ordinance. no levy under execution may be validly effected on the public funds of petitioner deposited in Account No. S/A 263-530850-7 ² for statutory obligations and other purposes of the municipal government.743. Ilocos Norte v. Private respondent then filed its comment to the petition. and which are intended primarily and exclusively for the purpose of financing the governmental activities and functions of the municipality. and strengthening its reliance on the doctrine that public funds are exempted from garnishment or execution as enunciated in Republic v. Petitioner has benefited from its possession of the property since the same has been the site of Makati West High School since the school year 1986-1987. for three (3) years. S/A 263530850-7 are public funds of the municipal government. No. the Court will give petitioner the benefit of the doubt.

No.000.M. its motion for reconsideration of the aforesaid decision which respondent trial court denied in its Order of June 13. Respondent National Irrigation Administration thus appealed said decision to the Court of Appeals (C. 67237. 61045. JJ. Petitioners allege: 1. the trial court rendered judgment on March 20. The award of moral damages is specifically allowable. 1989 NATIONAL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION. at San Jose City and its modification with respect to the denial of petitioner's claim for moral and exemplary damages and attorneys fees. Judgment is here rendered ordering the defendant National Irrigation Administration to pay to the heirs of the deceased P12. at Maasin. the petition for review on certiorari seeks the affirmance of the decision dated March 20. Cecilio V. Branch VIII. Francisco Fontanilla and Restituto Deligo were injured and brought to the San Jose City Emergency Hospital for treatment. The original appeal of this case before the Court of Appeals was certified to this Court and in the resolution of July 7. a pickup owned and operated by respondent National Irrigation Administration. for Spouses Fontanilla. 4. No. for damages in connection with the death of their son resulting from the aforestated accident. appellant.J. 1989 SPOUSES JOSE FONTANILLA AND VIRGINIA FONTANILLA. vs. SO ORDERED. then driven officially by Hugo Garcia. No. under paragraph 3 of Article 2206 of the New Civil Code which provides that the spouse. Feliciano and Bidin. Suarez. . After trial... (Brief for the petitioners spouses Fontanilla. J. The sole issue for the resolution of the Court is: Whether or not the award of moral damages. Fernan. Felicisimo C. 1978 against respondent NIA before the then Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija. an employee of said agency as its regular driver. concur. As a result of the impact. . It appears that on August 21. G. respondents. C. No. The order of respondent RTC judge dated December 21. PARAS. a government agency bearing Plate No.R.. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.: In G. is SET ASIDE and the temporary restraining order issued by the Court on November 20.R. exemplary damages and attorney's fees is legally proper in a complaint for damages based on quasi-delict which resulted in the death of the son of herein petitioners. it was docketed with the aforecited number.R. Jr.-G. In G. MALIAMAN and NATIONAL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION.. HONORABLE INOCENCIO D.00 for the death of Francisco Fontanilla.A. p. legitimate and illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the deceased. Gutierrez. L-61045 December 1. Instead of filing the required brief in the aforecited Court of Appeals case. Should moral damages be granted. petitioners. 13699. No. 1980. 1980.order within a non-extendible period of SIXTY (60) DAYS from the date of receipt of this resolution. and Restituto Deligo. respondent National Irrigation Administration seeks the reversal of the aforesaid decision of the lower court.R. Jr. appellees. bumped a bicycle ridden by Francisco Fontanilla.00 for each of them.389. IN-651. Villaflor for NIA. L-55963 December 1. No.R. petitioners filed the instant petition with this Court.00 which the parents of the deceased had spent for the hospitalization and burial of the deceased Francisco Fontanilla. Fontanilla was later transferred to the Cabanatuan Provincial Hospital where he died.R) where it filed its brief for appellant in support of its position. 1982. son of herein petitioners. 55963. P3. 1976 at about 6:30 P. the award should be made to each of petitioners-spouses individually and in varying amounts depending upon proof of mental and depth of intensity of the same. . which should not be less than P50. this case was consolidated with G. at the time of the accident. 1980 which directed respondent National Irrigation Administration to pay damages (death benefits) and actual expenses to petitioners. . The dispositive portion of the decision reads thus: . Rollo. Garcia was then a regular driver of respondent National Irrigation Administration who. And in the resolution of April 3. The within petition is thus an off-shot of the action (Civil Case No.000. . which was rendered in Civil Case No. SPOUSES JOSE FONTANILLA and VIRGINIA FONTANILLA.R. 1988. Branch VIII at San Jose City. p. was a licensed professional driver and who qualified for employment as such regular driver of respondent after having passed the written and oral examinations on traffic rules and maintenance of vehicles given by National Irrigation Administration authorities. SJC-56) instituted by petitioners-spouses on April 17. 132) Respondent National Irrigation Administration filed on April 21. 1989 is MADE PERMANENT. and to pay the costs. L-55963. vs. San Jose City along the Maharlika Highway. 1980 of the then Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija.

R. even the though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. 2. and is commissioned to perform non-governmental functions. No. No. 2231 and 2229 of the New Civil Code. 67237-R. Thus. must not only be specially commissioned to do a particular task but that such task must be foreign to said official's usual governmental functions. the petition should be dismissed. they present only the questions of law before this Court which posture confirms their admission of the facts. the amount of which (20%) had been sufficiently established in the hearing of May 23. The decision of the trial court had made an impression that respondent National Irrigation Administration acted with gross negligence because of the accident and the subsequent failure of the National Irrigation Administration personnel including the driver to stop in order to give assistance to the. 5. 4. Under the aforequoted paragrah 6 of Art. there being fault or negligence. Its private or business aspects (as when it engages in private enterprises) where it becomes liable as an ordinary employer. If the State's agent is not a public official. 21 80 read as follows: Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. 1981 by petitioners in the appeal (CA-G. then the State assumes the role of an ordinary employer and will be held liable as such for its agent's tort. and G. (p.2. Annotated. 6. Inconsistent procedures are manifest because while petitioners question the findings of fact in the Court of Appeals. sound discretion and in conformity with the law. Art. in which case what is provided in Art. It thus becomes necessary that before petitioners' claim for moral and exemplary damages could be resolved. victims. 4. ). Respondents do not assail petitioners' claim to moral and exemplary damages by reason of the shock and subsequent illness they suffered because of the death of their son. 961. The filing of the "Appearance and Urgent Motion For Leave to File Plaintiff-Appellee's Brief" dated December 28. The fact that the parties failed to agree on whether or not negligence caused the vehicular accident involves a question of fact which petitioners should have brought to the Court of Appeals within the reglementary period. if a public official. In this regard. taking up the cudgels for public respondent National Irrigation Administration. by reason of the gross negligence of respondent.61045) of the respondent National Irrigation Administration before the Court of Appeals. namely: 1. is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter Paragraphs 5 and 6 of Art. The State is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special agent.R. Such fault or negligence. petitioners become entitled to exemplary damages under Arts. the matter of due diligence is not an issue in this case since driver Garcia was not its special agent but a regular driver of the vehicle. Hence. contends thus: 1. 3.. not be borne by respondent government agency but by driver Garcia who should answer for the consequences of his act. is obliged to pay for damage done. 2176 shall be applicable. 2176 and 2180 of theNew Civil Code. Petitioners are entitled to an award of attorney's fees. 1979. if there is no pre-existing cotractual relation between the parties. however. 3. Hence. Even as the trial court touched on the failure or laxity of respondent National Irrigation Administration in exercising due diligence in the selection and supervision of its employee. avers that it cannot be held liable for the damages because it is an agency of the State performing governmental functions and driver Hugo Garcia was a regular driver of the vehicle. 1986 Ed. Paras. 2. Its public or governmental aspects where it is liable for the tortious acts of special agents only. Civil Code of the Philippines. there should first be a finding of negligence on the part of respondent's employee-driver. In this jurisdiction. The liability of the State has two aspects. The focal issue raised in respondent's appeal to the Court of Appeals involves the question as to whether or not the driver of the vehicle that bumped the victims was negligent in his operation of said vehicle. not a special agent who was performing a job or act foreign to his usual duties. is an explicit admission of said petitioners that the herein petition. The filing of the instant petition is rot proper in view of the appeal taken by respondent National Irrigation Administration to the Court of Appeals against the judgment sought to be reviewed. The sole legal question on whether or not petitioners may be entitled to an award of moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees can very well be answered with the application of Arts. exemplary damages and attorney's fees was based and not for the purpose of disturbing the other findings of fact and conclusions of law. 2180. the Solicitor General alleges that the trial court decision does not categorically contain such finding. This petition has been filed only for the purpose of reviewing the findings of the lower court upon which the disallowance of moral damages. Respondent National Irrigation Administration. the decision of the trial court has become final as to the petitioners and for this reason alone. 2176 thus provides: Whoever by act omission causes damage to another. the liability for the tortious act should. the State has voluntarily assumed liability for acts done through special agents. Respondent Judge acted within his jurisdiction. the State assumes a limited liability for the damage caused by the tortious acts or conduct of its special agent. The State's agent. but not when the damage has been caused by the official to whom the task done properly pertains. Where the government commissions a private . The Solicitor General. is not proper.

T.00 as exemplary damages and attorney's fees of 20% of the total award. it now becomes liable for the damage caused by the accident resulting from the tortious act of its driver-employee.. the function is considered a "proprietary" one. The National Irrigation Administration is an agency of the government exercising proprietary functions. ThusSec. Act No.individual for a special governmental task. the NIA assumes the responsibility of an ordinary employer and as such.00 for the death of Francisco Fontanilla. 347. a service which might as well be provided by a private corporation. hereinafter called the NIA for short. Sarmiento and Regalado. (Emphasis supplied) [page 29. This is confirmed by the fact that the pick-up suffered substantial and heavy damage as above-described and the fact that the NIA group was then "in a hurry to reach the campsite as early as possible". P3.-The NIA shall have the following powers and objectives: (a) x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x (b) x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x (c) To collect from the users of each irrigation system constructed by it such fees as may be necessary to finance the continuous operation of the system and reimburse within a certain period not less than twenty-five years cost of construction thereof. incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objectives. there is a strong indication that driver Garcia was driving at a high speed. Thus. which can be performed only by the government.Herrera (Chairperson. failed to caution and make the driver observe the proper and allowed speed limit within the city. (Torts and Damages. This assumption of liability. Sangco.000. Manila Railroad Co. (Maxion vs. the impact was so strong as shown by the fact that the vehicle suffered dents on the right side of the radiator guard.389. P30. an urban area. Evidently. there was negligence in the supervision of the driver for the reason that they were travelling at a high speed within the city limits and yet the supervisor of the group. The negligence referred to here is the negligence of supervision. this Court held that a driver should be especially watchful in anticipation of others who may be using the highway. (L-26810.. by express provision of Rep. B. and his failure to keep a proper look out for reasons and objects in the line to be traversed constitutes negligence. is on leave.). as to which there may be liability for the torts of agents within the scope of their employment.) [page 26.00 as moral damages. 5 of Art. however. under Par. still if he ratifies the wrongful acts. SO ORDERED. Since it is a corporate body performing non-governmental functions. Indubitably. 2180. . It will be noted from the assailed decision of the trial court that "as a result of the impact. Considering the fact that the victim was thrown 50 meters away from the point of impact. 1970. p. is responsible for the damages caused by its employees provided that it has failed to observe or exercise due diligence in the selection and supervision of the driver." (Emphasis supplied. Section 2 of said law spells out some of the NIA's proprietary functions. the fender and a crack on the radiator as shown by the investigation report (Exhibit "E"). Considering the foregoing. which shall be organized immediately after the approval of this Act. Powers and objectives. Section 1 of said Act provides: Section 1. and particularly when it collects revenues from it.L.000. and so the State is immune from tort liability. August 31. Name and domicile. the matter of due diligence on the part of respondent NIA becomes a crucial issue in determining its liability since it has been established that respondent is a government agency performing proprietary functions and as such. Rollo] It should be emphasized that the accident happened along the Maharlika National Road within the city limits of San Jose City.00 for hospitalization and burial expenses of the aforenamed deceased. it is acting through a special agent within the meaning of the provision. it assumes the posture of an ordinary employer which. Ely Salonga. On the other hand.000. thus showing imprudence and reckelessness on the part of both the driver and the supervisor in the group. Melencio. this Court has ruled that even if the employer can prove the diligence in the selection and supervision (the latter aspect has not been established herein) of the employee.. the hood.-A body corporate is hereby created which shall be known as the National Irrigation Administration. too. 34 SCRA 618). At this juncture. or take no step to avert further damage. as shown by their not stopping to find out what they bumped as would have been their normal and initial reaction. de Bonifacio vs. As a matter of fact. and (d) To do all such other tthings and to transact all such business as are directly or indirectly necessary. in the case of Vda. 44 Phil. it becomes answerable for damages. is predicated upon the existence of negligence on the part of respondent NIA. P8. In this particular case. Rollo] The lower court further declared that "a speeding vehicle coming in contact with a person causes force and impact upon the vehicle that anyone in the vehicle cannot fail to notice. Francisco Fontanilla was thrown to a distance 50 meters away from the point of impact while Restituto Deligo was thrown a little bit further away. the NIA is a government corporation with juridical personality and not a mere agency of the government. 2. 1984 Ed. Bus Co. 3601. the employer would still be liable.) Certain functions and activities. The impact took place almost at the edge of the cemented portion of the road. Under the situation. Significantly. J. are more or less generally agreed to be "governmental" in character. JJ. respondent NIA is hereby directed to pay herein petitioners-spouses the amounts of P12. concur. 597). It shall have its principal seat of business in the City of Manila and shall have representatives in all provinces for the proper conduct of its business. Padilla. such negligence is further aggravated by their desire to reach their destination without even checking whether or not the vehicle suffered damage from the object it bumped.

Alfonso Mendoza for petitioners. the application. petitioners. The writ was made returnable before the full court. the women were kept confined to their houses in the district by the police. were constituted. the attorney for the relatives and friends of a considerable number of the deportees presented an application for habeas corpus to a member of the Supreme Court. the fiscal admitted. 1919 ZACARIAS VILLAVICENCIO. about midnight of October 25. On the day named in the order. because the respondents did not have any of the women under their custody or control. repeated the facts more comprehensively. Hohmann. as an independent power of such a government. They had not been asked if they wished to depart from that region and had neither directly nor indirectly given their consent to the deportation. was made to include all of the women who were sent away from Manila to Davao and. and because they had married or signed contracts as laborers. Mayor of the city of Manila. governor of the province of Davao. on the haciendas of Yñigo and Governor Sales. Suffice it to say. yet. who appear as parties in the case. City Fiscal Diaz for respondents. that some of the women married. hustled some 170 inmates into patrol wagons. because the action should have been begun in the Court of First Instance for Davao. for the best of all reasons. an hacendero of Davao. Sales. promulgated a second order. which need not be repeated. Between October 16 and October 25. vs. Anton Hohmann. and therefore directed that those of the women not in Manila be brought before the court by respondents Lukban. acting pursuant to orders from the chief of police. The fiscal appeared. which related that the respondents had not complied with the original order to the satisfaction of the court nor explained their failure to do so. alleged to be deprived of their liberty. chief of police of the city of Manila. after due deliberation. The women were landed and receipted for as laborers by Francisco Sales. that directed Justo Lukban. The court awarded the writ. provincial governor of Davao. Department of Mindanao and Sulu. descended upon the houses. chief of police of the city of Manila. L-14639 March 25. Justo Lukban. Anton Hohmann. but which might prove profitable reading for other departments of the government. and by certain unknown parties. In open court. On motion of counsel for petitioners. just about the time the Corregidor and the Negros were putting in to Davao. as the same questions concerned them all. their testimony was taken before the clerk of the Supreme Court sitting as commissioners. the 170 women were destined to be laborers. which had been permitted for a number of years in the city of Manila. and Feliciano Yñigo. others assumed more or less clandestine relations with men. It has been shown that three of those who had been able to come back to Manila through their own efforts. Mindanao. none of the persons in whose behalf the writ was issued were produced in court by the respondents. closed. and telegrams that had passed between the Director of Labor and the attorney for that Bureau then in Davao. were notified by the police and the secret service to appear before the court. and prayed that the writ should not be granted because the petitioners were not proper parties. others went to work in different capacities. Lukban and Hohmann. seven of the women had returned to Manila at their own expense. Respondent Yñigo answered alleging that he did not have any of the women under his control and that therefore it was impossible for him to obey the mandate.. No. because they were at liberty in the Province of Davao. Mayor of the city of Manila. that these women had been sent out of Manila without their consent. Presumably. at good salaries. respondents. 1918. December 2nd. and by Feliciano Yñigo and Rafael Castillo. and offered certain affidavits showing that the women were contained with their life in Mindanao and did not wish to return to Manila. during this period. 1918. and if we give expression to the paramount purpose for which the courts. To turn back in our narrative. JUSTO LUKBAN. after all. and placed them aboard the steamers that awaited their arrival. The governor and the hacendero Yñigo. and with the Constabulary for a guard of soldiers. admitted certain facts relative to sequestration and deportation. 1918. in answer to question of a member of the court.. ET AL. generally. and because their jurisdiction did not extend beyond the boundaries of the city of Manila. The two steamers with their unwilling passengers sailed for Davao during the night of October 25. The vessels reached their destination at Davao on October 29. Justo Lukban. on December 2. reiterated the stand taken by him when pleading to the original petition copied a telegram from the Mayor of the city of Manila to the provincial governor of Davao and the answer thereto. to bring before the court the persons therein named. The women were given no opportunity to collect their belongings. the cause presents no great difficulty if there is kept in the forefront of our minds the basic principles of popular government. At any rate. on December 10.R. with some government office for the use of the coastguard cutters Corregidor and Negros. They had no knowledge that they were destined for a life in Mindanao. The primary question is ² Shall the judiciary permit a government of the men instead of a government of laws to be set up in the Philippine Islands? Omitting much extraneous matter. and Yñigo on January 13. Francisco Sales.steamers by a representative of the Bureau of Labor and a detachment of Constabulary soldiers. had no previous notification that the women were prostitutes who had been expelled from the city of Manila. Before the date mentioned. the facts are these: The Mayor of the city of Manila. According to an exhibit attached to the answer of the fiscal. The court. Subsequently. through stipulation of the parties. others assumed a life unknown and disappeared. 1918. Respondents Sales answered alleging that it was not possible to fulfill the order of the Supreme Court because the women had never been under his control. as laborers. the city authorities quietly perfected arrangements with the Bureau of Labor for sending the women to Davao. and a goodly portion found means to return to Manila. The involuntary guests were received on board the . While hardly to be expected to be met with in this modern epoch of triumphant democracy. J. and alleged that the women were illegally restrained of their liberty by Justo Lukban. the police. and apparently were under the impression that they were being taken to a police station for an investigation. in an order of November 4. to exterminate vice. but are not essential to the disposition of this case. ordered the segregated district for women of ill repute. The application set forth the salient facts. MALCOLM. of no moment to these proceedings.: The annals of juridical history fail to reveal a case quite as remarkable as the one which this application for habeas corpus submits for decision. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. The further happenings to these women and the serious charges growing out of alleged ill-treatment are of public interest. the application will be considered as including them. The city fiscal appeared for the respondents. Anton Hohmann and the Mayor of the city of Manila. ET AL.

and of the provincial governor of Davao. And if a prostitute could be sent against her wishes and under no law from one locality to another within the country. it is true that the Penal Code in force in these Islands provides: Any public officer not thereunto authorized by law or by regulations of a general character in force in the Philippines who shall banish any person to a place more than two hundred kilometers distant from his domicile. that eighty-one women were found in Davao who. If these officials can take to themselves such power. Law defines power. a court would next expect to resolve the question ² By authority of what law did the Mayor and the Chief of Police presume to act in deporting by duress these persons from Manila to another distant locality within the Philippine Islands? We turn to the statutes and we find ² Alien prostitutes can be expelled from the Philippine Islands in conformity with an Act of congress. Act No. the court promised to give the reasons for granting the writ of habeas corpus in the final decision.1919. not being expressly authorized by law or regulation.. (2) criminal action. who has often been said to exercise more power than any king or potentate. is above the law. 106 U. or be outlawed. Much less. Anton Hohmann. be struck from the record. The first is an optional but rather slow process by which the aggrieved party may recoup money damages. or liberties. and every man who by accepting office participates in its functions is only the more strongly bound to submit to that supremacy. at their mere behest or even for the most praiseworthy of motives. then the presidents and chiefs of police of one thousand other municipalities of the Philippines have the same privilege. (reply to respondents' memorandum) dated January 25. even the President of the United States. no matter how high. Both counsel for petitioners and the city fiscal were permitted to submit memoranda. With this situation. as in Spain and Japan. And if any official can exercise the power. 220. or any material right essential to the enjoyment of life. In the second order. who may have been convicted of vagrancy. except it be by virtue of the judgment of a court. and makes clear why we said in the very beginning that the primary question was whether the courts should permit a government of men or a government of laws to be established in the Philippine Islands. the privilege of domicile is deemed so important as to be found in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. seems to be intolerable in any country where freedom prevails. and (3) habeas corpus. renounced the right through sworn statements. it is done pursuant to some law or order. was taken before the clerk of the Supreme Court sitting as commissioner and the clerk of the Court of First Instance of Davao acting in the same capacity. the attorney for the Bureau of Labor. New York and other States have statutes providing for the commitment to the House of Refuge of women convicted of being common prostitutes.. We will now proceed to do so. to the homeland. has the executive of a municipality. 356. It may still rest with the parties in interest to pursue such an action. further testimony including that of a number of the women. and then at night. has no such arbitrary prerogative. or place a leprous person in the Culion leper colony. "is the only supreme power in our system of government. therefore. as being the essence of slavery itself. chief of police of the city of Manila. 370. In other countries. Jose Rodriguez and Fernando Ordax. The courts are the forum which functionate to safeguard individual liberty and to punish official transgressors. or free customs.) "The very idea. by their returns. Philippine penal law specifically punishes any public officer who. then all persons would have just as much right to do so. it was stated that the respondents. had succeeded in bringing from Davao with their consent eight women. "The law. The Governor-General can order the eviction of undesirable aliens after a hearing from the Islands. once again recounted the facts and further endeavored to account for all of the persons involved in the habeas corpus. 1919. members of the police force of the city of Manila. this is a fact impossible to refute and practically admitted by the respondents. Under the American constitutional system. 111." (Magna Charta. that fifty-nine had already returned to Manila by other means. who acts within a sphere of delegated powers. and Anacleto Diaz. compels any person to change his residence. delivering the opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States." (Yick Wo vs. stat. As to criminal responsibility. 29. The city fiscal requested that the replica al memorandum de los recurridos. . and to observe the limitations which it imposes upon the exercise of the authority which it gives. In substance. Even the GovernorGeneral of the Philippine Islands. On January 13. 196.." said Justice Miller. an hacendero of Davao." said Justice Matthews of the same high tribunal in another case. Indeed. or any other wise destroyed. 1919. On the contrary. One fact. that such was not the case is shown by the mere fact that the presence of the police and the constabulary was deemed necessary and that these officers of the law chose the shades of night to cloak their secret and stealthy acts. Attorneys for the respondents. Always a law! Even when the health authorities compel vaccination. Mayor of the city of Manila. Before January 13. or imprisoned. but by lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land. transportation fee. If the mayor and the chief of police could. What are the remedies of the unhappy victims of official oppression? The remedies of the citizen are three: (1) Civil action. we will not deny or defer to any man either justice or right. We will sell to no man. need be recalled ² these one hundred and seventy women were isolated from society. at Large. renounce the right. or exiled. Hopkins [1886]. 519 of the Philippine Commission and section 733 of the Revised Ordinances of the city of Manila provide for the conviction and punishment by a court of justice of any person who is a common prostitute. "that one man may be compelled to hold his life. either inherent or express. 1 eng. 1919. But one can search in vain for any law. in contempt of court. shall be punished by a fine of not less than three hundred and twenty-five and not more than three thousand two hundred and fifty pesetas. Act No. fiscal of the city of Manila. at the mere will of another. on notice that if they desired they could return to Manila. which even hints at the right of the Mayor of the city of Manila or the chief of police of that city to force citizens of the Philippine Islands ² and these women despite their being in a sense lepers of society are nevertheless not chattels but Philippine citizens protected by the same constitutional guaranties as are other citizens ² to change their domicile from Manila to another locality. or be disseized of his freehold. then any other official can do the same.) No official. Lee [1882]. or establish a quarantine. but it was never intended effectively and promptly to meet any such situation as that now before us. through their representatives and agents. 9 Hen. then officialdom can hold the same club over the head of any citizen.S. 899 authorizes the return of any citizen of the United States. Centuries ago Magna Charta decreed that ² "No freeman shall be taken. or unless the respondents should demonstrate some other legal motives that made compliance impossible. liberty of abode is a principle so deeply imbedded in jurisprudence and considered so elementary in nature as not even to require a constitutional sanction. 7. nor will we pass upon him nor condemn him.S. were forcibly hustled on board steamers for transportation to regions unknown." (U. Feliciano Yñigo. The first formally asked the court to find Justo Lukban. It was further stated that the question of whether the respondents were in contempt of court would later be decided and the reasons for the order announced in the final decision. 1225. 118 U.S. render the liberty of the citizen so insecure. unless the women should. vs.) All this explains the motive in issuing the writ of habeas corpus. Modesto Joaquin. order. without their consent and without any opportunity to consult with friends or to defend their rights. and that despite all efforts to find them twenty-six could not be located. in written statements voluntarily made before the judge of first instance of Davao or the clerk of that court. and one fact only. Cap. of certain detectives and policemen. or the means of living. the respondents technically presented before the Court the women who had returned to the city through their own efforts and eight others who had been brought to Manila by the respondents. or regulation. Despite the feeble attempt to prove that the women left voluntarily and gladly.

respondents have raised three specific objections to its issuance in this instance. . held that the writ should be quashed. or that the women had any means by which to advance their plea before that court.) The law. this is a tenable position. J. It is a general rule of good practice that. may not be permitted to restrain a fellow citizen of her liberty by forcing her to change her domicile and to avow the act with impunity in the courts. If the mayor and the chief of police. When the writ was prayed for. (Code of Criminal Procedure. one of the most distinguished American judges and law-writers.) Whether the writ shall be made returnable before the Supreme Court or before an inferior court rests in the discretion of the Supreme Court and is dependent on the particular circumstances. The failure of the superior court to consider the application and then to grant the writ would have amounted to a denial of the benefits of the writ. to avoid unnecessary expense and inconvenience. after due investigation. deprived these women of freedom of locomotion just as effectively as if they had been imprisoned. But this is not a hard and fast rule.. 79.. It must be that some such question has heretofore been presented to the courts for decision. with whom concurred Martin. The chief executive of any municipality in the Philippines could forcibly and illegally take a private citizen and place him beyond the boundaries of the municipality. and then. it could be a sufficient answer that the confinement was a crime.) Petitioners had standing in court.. whose principal purpose is to set the individual at liberty. and since. The last argument of the fiscal is more plausible and more difficult to meet. J. within the reach of process. In this instance it was not shown that the Court of First Instance of Davao was in session. Campbell. (2) that the Supreme Court should not a assume jurisdiction. Code of Civil Procedure. We believe the true principle should be that. 526. sec. . The fiscal has argued (l) that there is a defect in parties petitioners. The first defense was not presented with any vigor by counsel. petitions for habeas corpus should be presented to the nearest judge of the court of first instance. acting under no authority of law. they were prevented from exercising the liberty of going when and where they pleased. (Code of Criminal Procedure. Nevertheless. (Art. Consider for a moment what an agreement with such a defense would mean. Campbell. it was shown that the case involved parties situated in different parts of the Islands. Any further rights of the parties are left untouched by decision on the writ. even makes it the duty of a court or judge to grant a writ of habeas corpus if there is evidence that within the court's jurisdiction a person is unjustly imprisoned or restrained of his liberty. he should be compelled to do so. sec. The fiscal next contended that the writ should have been asked for in the Court of First Instance of Davao or should have been made returnable before that court. is no bar to the instant proceedings. acceptance of such dictum is found to be perversive of the first principles of the writ of habeas corpus. sec. 15 Mich. and (3) that the person in question are not restrained of their liberty by respondents.. had no jurisdiction over this other municipality. the women. it must be taken cognizance of and decided immediately by the appellate court. J. 93. Since the opinion of Justice Campbell was predicated to a large extent on his conception of the English decisions. as will hereafter appear. the same officials must necessarily have the same means to return them from Davao to Manila. A question came before the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan at an early date as to whether or not a writ of habeas corpus would issue from the Supreme Court to a person within the jurisdiction of the State to bring into the State a minor child under guardianship in the State. justices. and the two original respondents with their attorney. who deposited them in a distant region. if." (In the matter of Jackson [1867]. 527.. Any restraint which will preclude freedom of action is sufficient. On the other hand. these prosecutors will institute and press a criminal prosecution just as vigorously as they have defended the same official in this action. Even if the party to whom the writ is addressed has illegally parted with the custody of a person before the application for the writ is no reason why the writ should not issue. C. sec. . To quote the words of Judge Cooley in a case which will later be referred to ² "It would be a monstrous anomaly in the law if to an application by one unlawfully confined. 416. who has been and continues to be detained in another State. with whom concurred Christiancy. Nevertheless. The restraint of liberty which began in Manila continued until the aggrieved parties were returned to Manila and released or until they freely and truly waived his right. It was composed of Martin. the official. (Code of Criminal Procedure. strange as it may seem. The respondents. Code of Civil Procedure. Placed in Davao without either money or personal belongings. chief justice.Any public officer not thereunto expressly authorized by law or by regulation of a general character in force in the Philippines who shall compel any person to change his domicile or residence shall suffer the penalty of destierro and a fine of not less than six hundred and twenty-five and not more than six thousand two hundred and fifty pesetas. who handed them over to other parties. A prime specification of an application for a writ of habeas corpus is restraint of liberty. while the person who has lost her birthright of liberty has no effective recourse. if the respondent is within the jurisdiction of the court and has it in his power to obey the order of the court and thus to undo the wrong that he has inflicted. the English courts have taken a contrary view. On the question presented the court was equally divided.) We entertain no doubt but that. could calmly fold his hands and claim that the person was under no restraint and that he. it is claimed. The writ of habeas corpus may be granted by the Supreme Court or any judge thereof enforcible anywhere in the Philippine Islands. says counsel. J. it was shown that the petitioners with their attorneys. and Cooley. it was shown that the women might still be imprisoned or restrained of their liberty. The petitioners were relatives and friends of the deportees. The essential object and purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to inquire into all manner of involuntary restraint as distinguished from voluntary. It was finally suggested that the jurisdiction of the Mayor and the chief of police of the city of Manila only extends to the city limits and that perforce they could not bring the women from Davao. could deport these women from the city of Manila to Davao. Certain decisions of respectable courts are however very persuasive in nature. sec. At first blush. On closer examination. held that the writ should issue. 211. though no application be made therefor. only the following eloquent passages from the opinion of Justice Cooley are quoted: I have not yet seen sufficient reason to doubt the power of this court to issue the present writ on the petition which was laid before us. The great writ of liberty may not thus be easily evaded. a close examination of the authorities fails to reveal any analogous case. and it was shown that if the writ was to accomplish its purpose. and as the best and only sufficient defense of personal freedom. ta be restored to his liberty. when called upon to defend his official action. the parties in whose behalf it was asked were under no restraint. 434. were in Manila. . were free in Davao. The forcible taking of these women from Manila by officials of that city. Granted that habeas corpus is the proper remedy. 78. the proper prosecuting officers find that any public officer has violated this provision of law. that the act may be a crime and that the persons guilty thereof can be proceeded against. The membership of the Michigan Supreme Court at this time was notable. and Christiancy. It was consequently proper for the writ to be submitted by persons in their behalf. and therefore might be continued indefinitely until the guilty party was tried and punished therefor by the slow process of criminal procedure. The way the expulsion was conducted by the city officials made it impossible for the women to sign a petition for habeas corpus.) The writ of habeas corpus was devised and exists as a speedy and effectual remedy to relieve persons from unlawful restraint. and to relieve a person therefrom if such restraint is illegal. in its zealous regard for personal liberty. Cooley. and the jurisdiction of the mayor and the chief of police did not extend beyond the city limits.

there were then in Davao women who desired to return to Manila. [N. But the question is not as to what was done before the issue of the writ. the defendant had no longer power to produce the child. bill of rights and habeas corpus acts. 111 U. and that about this number . on the subject being brought to their notice.) A decision coming from the Federal Courts is also of interest. which is the life and soul of the whole instrument.) The opinion of Judge Cooley has since been accepted as authoritative by other courts. A writ of habeas corpus was issued by the Queen's Bench Division upon the application of the mother and her husband directing the defendant to produce the child. 5 Cranch C.S. (Rivers vs. not important to the relief. The important question is. 57 Iowa. it should now be discovered that evasion of that great clause for the protection of personal liberty. The question is whether there has been a contempt in disobeying the writ it was issued by not producing the child in obedience to its commands. The officer or person who serves it does not unbar the prison doors. 2nd ed. 1918. Com. R. 14926. This is the ordinary mode of affording relief. Fed. and that Davis was bound to produce the negroes. 50 Fed. after its many confirmations. According to the response of the attorney for the Bureau of Labor to the telegram of his chief. (The Queen vs.C. and Davis being present in court.. sec. D. 305. The important fact to be observed in regard to the mode of procedure upon this writ is. at this late day. Francisco Sales. See also to the same effect the Irish case of In re Matthews. If it is so. The judge at chambers gave defendant until a certain date to produce the child. . The place of confinement is. could have been brought back to Manila is demonstrated to be found in the municipality of Davao. M. but who should not be permitted to do so because of having contracted debts. and set the prisoner free. through Lord Esher. Church on Habeas. said: A writ of habeas corpus was ordered to issue. Rep. that. . 117 Pac. Law Rep. His return stated that the child before the issuance of the writ had been handed over by him to another.. The half-hearted effort naturally resulted in none of the parties in question being brought before the court on the day named. Connolly [1883]. if the guilty party is within reach of process. Mitchell [1881]. B. that it is directed to and served upon. that no one of the defense offered by the respondents constituted a legitimate bar to the granting of the writ of habeas corpus. and if he fails to obey it. (In the matter of Jackson [1867]. Thus. B.. and if it be found that they did not. that might be an answer. D.It would be strange indeed if. or be otherwise discharged in due course of law. and that it was impossible for him to obey the writ. . and was issued on January 22. directed Justo Lukban. Statutes were not passed to give the right. The second proposition ² that the statutory provisions are confined to the case of imprisonment within the state ² seems to me to be based upon a misconception as to the source of our jurisdiction. in his return to the writ. 622. therefore. both on reason and authority. Instead a few stereotyped affidavits purporting to show that the women were contended with their life in Davao. There remains to be considered whether the respondent complied with the two orders of the Supreme Court awarding the writ of habeas corpus. 24 Q. See also Robb vs. the means to be resorted to for the purposes of compulsion are fine and imprisonment... As far as the record discloses. The difficulty of affording redress is not increased by the confinement being beyond the limits of the state.]. whether the contempt should be punished or be taken as purged. 624. . Anton Hohmann. The whole force of the writ is spent upon the respondent. That writ commanded the defendant to have the body of the child before a judge in chambers at the Royal Courts of Justice immediately after the receipt of the writ. as I can not doubt they would. Davis produced the two negroes on the last day of the term. 233. they did not show impossibility of performance. and refusing to produce them. until Coke could declare in his speech on the petition of right that "Magna Charta was such a fellow that he will have no sovereign. the Mayor of the city of Manila waited until the 21st of November before sending a telegram to the provincial governor of Davao. The court held the return to be evasive and insufficient. but he did not do so. 283. it is important that it be determined without delay. or (2) they could have shown by affidavit that on account of sickness or infirmity those persons could not safely be brought before the court. People [1911]. . not the person confined. 15 Mich. 87. a child had been taken out of English by the respondent. For the respondents to have fulfilled the court's order. The Queen vs. It does not reach the former except through the latter. 193. but the court relieves him by compelling the oppressor to release his constraint.. or (3) they could have presented affidavits to show that the parties in question or their attorney waived the right to be present. stated on oath that he had purchased the negroes as slaves in the city of Washington. with the cause of their detention. The respondents were thus given ample time. practically one month. to comply with the writ. they are only auxiliary to those which are usual.. A habeas corpus was directed to the defendant to have before the circuit court of the District of Columbia three colored persons. That is a command to bring the child before the judge and must be obeyed. 23 Q. ordered that he be committed to the custody of the marshall until he should produce the negroes. for one of the negroes had run away and been lodged in jail in Maryland. 416. and if any other means are resorted to." and after the extension of its benefits and securities by the petition of right. Many efforts have been made in argument to shift the question of contempt to some anterior period for the purpose of showing that what was done at some time prior to the writ cannot be a contempt. 526. 170. It was never the case in England that the court of king's bench derived its jurisdiction to issue and enforce this writ from the statute. if he does not. Davis. The evidence tended to show that Davis had removed the negroes because he suspected they would apply for a writ of habeas corpus. The court afterwards ordered that Davis be released upon the production of two of the negroes. they were removed beyond the District of Columbia before the service of the writ of habeas corpus.. 12 Ir. No. were appended to the return. that the legislature may apply the proper remedy. Barnardo.) They did not produce the bodies of the persons in whose behalf the writ was granted. as he believed. is so easy as is claimed here. and they did not present writings that waived the right to be present by those interested. but his jailor. and Feliciano Yñigo to present the persons named in the writ before the court on December 2. except as greater distance may affect it. that it was no longer in his custody or control. Breene vs. He was found in contempt of court. Davis [1839]. and. (United States vs. at least sixty. and that they were then beyond his control and out of his custody. p. unless some lawful reason can be shown to excuse the nonproduction of the child. and rivers of blood shed for its establishment. he is in contempt of the Court for not obeying the writ without lawful excuse.) We find. it will be recalled. 1000. the court. S. so that by the power of the court he can be compelled to release his grasp. If it could be shown that by reason of his having lawfully parted with the possession of the child before the issuing of the writ.. where the power of control exercised? And I am aware of no other remedy. Gossage's Case [1890]. Colo. 1918. but in the absence of any lawful reason he is bound to produce the child. Bernardo [1889].) The English courts have given careful consideration to the subject. Ex parte Young [1892]. three optional courses were open: (1) They could have produced the bodies of the persons according to the command of the writ. some of which have since been repudiated by the signers. The first order. That through ordinary diligence a considerable number of the women. . but to compel the observance of rights which existed. On appeal. together with the cause of her being taken and detained. Cas. The order was dated November 4. after the eulogiums of six centuries and a half have been expended upon the Magna Charta.. (Code of Criminal Procedure. therefore.

that he must do much more than write letters for the purpose. and Diaz are found not to be in contempt of court. must be granted. adjudge the respondent to be guilty of contempt. 407.. That the court forebore at this time to take drastic action was because it did not wish to see presented to the public gaze the spectacle of a clash between executive officials and the judiciary. While charges and counter-charges in such a bitterly contested case are to be expected. Avanceña and Moir. and in sending them to jail until they obeyed the order. with the possible exception of the first named. members of the police force of the city of Manila. Their excuses for the non-production of the persons were far from sufficient. JJ. in Gossage's case. had it within his power to facilitate the return of the unfortunate women to Manila. and do everything that mortal man could do in the matter. Yñigo. and while a critical reading of the record might reveal a failure of literal fulfillment with our mandate.) With all the facts and circumstances in mind. and in addition to deal with him as for a contempt. (Ex parte Sterns [1888]. Nevertheless when one is commanded to produce a certain person and does not do so. the respondents appear to have become more zealous and to have shown a better spirit. The. Finding him innocent of any disrespect to the court. we come to conclude that there is a substantial compliance with it. Since the writ has already been granted. he must take the consequences. Fiscal of the city of Manila. may we not be permitted to express the hope that this decision may serve to bulwark the fortifications of an orderly government of laws and to protect individual liberty from illegal encroachment. who conducted the negotiations with the Bureau of Labor. If any particular individual is still restrained of her liberty. Ordax. which brings him into this undesirable position.. The failure of respondent Lukban to obey the first mandate of the court tended to belittle and embarrass the administration of justice to such an extent that his later activity may be considered only as extenuating his conduct. and must order him either imprisoned or fined. In resume ² as before stated. So ordered. nothing further in this connection remains to be done. His regard for the writ of habeas corpus issued by the court was only tardily and reluctantly acknowledged.either returned at their own expense or were produced at the second hearing by the respondents. the Magistrate in referring to an earlier decision of the Court. having brought about that state of things by his own illegal act. and Anacleto Diaz. he has purged his contempt of the first order. a court must. In concluding this tedious and disagreeable task. would seem to have done no more than to fulfill his duty as the legal representative of the city government. Agents were dispatched to Mindanao. the return did not show that every possible effort to produce the women was made by the respondents. Rodriguez. Arellano. His intention to suppress the social evil was commendable. It would also be possible to find that since respondent Lukban did comply substantially with the second order of the court. Costs shall be taxed against respondents. In re Patterson [1888]. C. an hacendero of Davao. would have been warranted summarily in finding the respondents guilty of contempt of court. and while. and a steamer with free transportation to Manila was provided. and because it desired to give the respondents another chance to demonstrate their good faith and to mitigate their wrong. the constabulary and the municipal police joined in rounding up the women. An officer's failure to produce the body of a person in obedience to a writ of habeas corpus when he has power to do so. In response to the second order of the court. For example. was Justo Lukban. The power to punish for contempt of court should be exercised on the preservative and not on the vindictive principle. which relates to the penalty for disobeying the writ. which would reach to many thousands of pesos. it is nevertheless a powerful mitigating circumstance. and in pursuance thereof to require respondent Lukban to forfeit to the parties aggrieved as much as P400 each. Johnson. under the law of public officers. Jose Rodriguez. 156. Mayor of the city of Manila." In other words. C. is granted. is a contempt committed in the face of the court. who ordered the police to accomplish the same. it should receive an executive investigation. Anton Hohmann. as far as this record discloses. and since we find a substantial compliance with it. we cannot say that any of the respondents. Some members of the court are inclined to this merciful view. . to vindicate its authority. If any wrong is now being perpetrated in Davao. The attorney for the petitioners asks that we find in contempt of court Justo Lukban. His methods were unlawful. The motion of the fiscal of the city of Manila to strike from the record the Replica al Memorandum de los Recurridos of January 25. as the head of the city government. The hacendero Yñigo appears to have been drawn into the case through a misconstruction by counsel of telegraphic communications. Respondent Lukban is found in contempt of court and shall pay into the office of the clerk of the Supreme Court within five days the sum of one hundred pesos (P100). A nominal fine will at once command such respect without being unduly oppressive ² such an amount is P100.. JJ. Rodriguez. and Street. Ordax. supra. has flatly disobeyed the court by acting in opposition to its authority. 77 Cal. and that the court would only accept clear proof of an absolute impossibility by way of excuse. and Joaquin only followed the orders of their chiefs. and does not offer a valid excuse. 1919. no further action on the writ of habeas corpus is necessary. the Mayor of the city of Manila. it can be made the object of separate habeas corpus proceedings.. who made arrangements for the steamers and the constabulary. and with judicial regard for human imperfections. The court.J. Respondents Hohmann. It would be possible to turn to the provisions of section 546 of the Code of Civil Procedure. said: "We thought that. Anacleto Diaz. and even if necessary himself go after the child. chief of police of the city of Manila. the attorney for the Bureau of Labor. The city fiscal. Between the two extremes appears to lie the correct finding. and who later. Some members of the court are inclined to this stern view. Joaquin. that he must advertise in America. Modesto Joaquin. this does not exonerate them entirely. When all is said and done. Our finding to this effect may be influenced somewhat by our sincere desire to see this unhappy incident finally closed. concur in the result. authorities cited herein pertaining to somewhat similar facts all tend to indicate with what exactitude a habeas corpus writ must be fulfilled. The respondents Hohmann. the official who was primarily responsible for the unlawful deportation. at the time the return to its first order was made. concur.. his counter-motion to strike from the record the memorandum of attorney for the petitioners. and we said that he was bound to use every effort to get the child back. placards were posted. Only occasionally should the court invoke its inherent power in order to retain that respect without which the administration of justice must falter or fail. 99 N. Feliciano Yñigo. and Fernando Ordax.

a 'right' to hide the Marcoses' incessant shadowy orchestrated efforts at destabilization. The death of Mr. and for the tranquility of the state and order of society. notwithstanding the avowed intent of the members of the Constitutional Commission of 1986 to limit the powers of the President as a reaction to the abuses under the regime of Mr. Marcos. is in reality or substance a 'right' to destabilize the country. dismissed the petition. Moreover. Mrs. Philippine Star. GREGORIO ARANETA. The threats to the government. the burden is upon the movants. IMELDA R. and 3. Imelda R. raising the following major arguments: 1. be it under this administration or the succeeding one. 1. Marcos. 29. Commenting on the motion for reconsideration. if she has. Marcos in widely and passionately conflicting ways. petitioner herein. On the contrary. We deny the motion for reconsideration. to bar former President Marcos and his family from returning to the Philippines is to deny them not only the inherent right of citizens to return to their country of birth but also the protection of the Constitution and all of the rights guaranteed to Filipinos under the Constitution. shall otherwise decide. Tommy Manotoc and Gregorio Araneta to return to the Philippines. 1. Secretary of National Defense and Chief of Staff.] 3. the Court. respectively. in their capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs. The powers of the President are not limited to what are expressly enumerated in the article on the Executive Department and in scattered provisions of the Constitution. particularly those relating to the commander-in-chief clause.] Thus. MANOTOC. and the other petitioners. Irene M. 1989. Marcos reinforced the basis for the decision to bar their return when she called President Aquino "illegal. Immigration Commissioner. for the result was a limitation of specific power of the President. Thus. Imee M. Marcos. HONORABLE RAUL MANGLAPUS. she had exercised it arbitrarily. ARANETA. MARCOS. MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO. represented by its President. the Court is of the view that no compelling reasons have been established by petitioners to warrant a reconsideration of the Court's decision. upon whom executive power is vested. and declared that the matter "should be brought to all the courts of the world.1989. not Mrs. to show that there are compelling reasons to reconsider the decision of the Court. although it may be viewed as a supervening event. JR. FIDEL RAMOS. the President has no power to bar a Filipino from his own country. SEDFREY ORDOÑEZ. by a vote of eight (8) to seven (7). petitioners. order respondents to issue the necessary travel documents to enable Mrs. Secretary of Justice. Contrary to petitioners' view. 2. to the Philippines. vs. In a statement. p. has not changed the factual scenario under which the Court's decision was rendered. MARCOS. including the label 'return of Marcos' remains. 1989. it cannot be denied that the President.R. former President Marcos died in Honolulu. 88211 October 27.On October 2. to which the return of the Marcoses has been viewed to provide a catalytic effect. Jr. Manotoc. Hawaii. respondents. Marcos. 1989. MARCOS.] . October 4. 2. Ferdinand R. Marcos will not be allowed to be brought to our country until such time as the government. ESTRELLA. NICANOR YÑIGUEZ and PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION (PHILCONSA). MARCOS. Rollo. CONRADO F. [Motion for Reconsideration.. after finding that the President did not act arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion in determining that the return of former President Marcos and his family at the present time and under present circumstances pose a threat to national interest and welfare and in prohibiting their return to the Philippines. p. have not been shown to have ceased. IMEE M. TOMAS MANOTOC." [Comment. Araneta. instead of erasing fears as to the destabilization that will be caused by the return of the Marcoses. has unstated residual powers which are implied from the grant of executive power and which are necessary for her to comply with her duties under the Constitution. there is no basis for barring the return of the family of former President Marcos. the Solicitor General argued that the motion for reconsideration is moot and academic as to the deceased Mr. Marcos. petitioners prayed that the Court reconsider its decision. After a thorough consideration of the matters raised in the motion for reconsideration. p. RENATO DE VILLA. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. Executive Secretary. p. FERDINAND R. 1. a Motion for Reconsideration was filed by petitioners. IRENE M. who is the "legal" President of the Philippines. Aquino. 1989 FERDINAND E. President Aquino said: In the interest of the safety of those who will take the death of Mr. It must be emphasized that as in all motions for reconsideration. 443. PACIFICO E. Marcos. but not a diminution of the general grant of executive power. Marcos. RESOLUTION EN BANC: In its decision dated September 15. and enjoin respondents from implementing President Aquino's decision to bar the return of the remains of Mr.. On September 28." [Comment." claiming that it is Mr. No. CATALINO MACARAIG. he prays that the Motion for Reconsideration be denied for lack of merit. This is so. he asserts that "the 'formal' rights being invoked by the Marcoses under the label 'right to return'. the remains of Ferdinand E.

the concept suggests only that not all powers granted in the Constitution are themselves exhausted by internal enumeration. Despite petitioners' strained analogy. . [section] 1. provides that "The Executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. 6 refers to a grant to the President of the specific power of legislation. 4. 6 refers to an express grant of power. authority is implied unless there or elsewhere expressly limited. strengthened by specific terms where emphasis was regarded as appropriate. section 1. or letters of instruction. concluding that the federal executive. 6 which provides: Whenever in the judgment of the President (Prime Minister). First of all. Amendment No. ACCORDINGLY. Article II." . . Her decision to bar the return of the Marcoses and subsequently. Constitution from which we have patterned the distribution of governmental powers among three (3) separate branches. This is recognized under the U. and was limited by direct expressions where limitation was needed." Hamilton submitted that "[t]he [article III enumeration [in sections 2 and 31 ought therefore to be considered. there exists a grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof. AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 158-159 (1978). [section] 1: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States . unlike the Congress. Then. as intended merely to specify the principal articles implied in the definition of execution power. rather.That the President has powers other than those expressly stated in the Constitution is nothing new. Hamilton stressed the difference between the sweeping language of article II.] And neither can we subscribe to the view that a recognition of the President's implied or residual powers is tantamount to setting the stage for another dictatorship.. [TRIBE. United States. or whenever the interim Batasang Pambansa or the regular National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any matter for any reason that in his judgment requires immediate action. orders. the Supreme Court ² accepted Hamilton's proposition. . is to protect and promote the interest and welfare of the people. leaving the rest to flow from the general grant of that power. the Court will not enjoin the implementation of this decision. In Myers v." In Alexander Hamilton's widely accepted view. In the absence of a clear showing that she had acted with arbitrariness or with grave abuse of discretion in arriving at this decision. he may. issue the necessary decrees. could exercise power from sources not enumerated. the Court resolved to DENY the Motion for Reconsideration for lack of merit. It is not implied. in order to meet the exigency. There is no similarity between the residual powers of the President under the 1987 Constitution and the power of the President under the 1973 Constitution pursuant to Amendment No. 6. Among the duties of the President under the Constitution. interpreted in confomity with other parts of the Constitution. this statement cannot be read as mere shorthand for the specific executive authorizations that follow it in [sections] 2 and 3. and the conditional language of article I. so that. Amendment No. within a sphere properly regarded as one of "executive' power. so long as not forbidden by the constitutional text: the executive power was given in general terms." The language of Chief Justice Taft in Myers makes clear that the constitutional concept of inherent power is not a synonym for power without limit.S. in compliance with his (or her) oath of office. the remains of Mr. which shall form part of the law of the land. Marcos at the present time and under present circumstances is in compliance with this bounden duty. .. the residual powers of the President under the Constitution should not be confused with the power of the President under the 1973 Constitution to legislate pursuant to Amendment No.

BANDING USMAN. Supreme Court in Ex parte Milligan: 10 The Constitution is a law for rulers and people. houses. and executing them outright (although the last part is not included in the modern refinement). and NURAISA ALIH VDA DE FEROLINO. provided as follows: Sec. and 3 several rounds of ammunition found in the premises. arresting the persons fingered by a hooded informer. 3. the petitioners came to this Court in a petition for prohibition and mandamus with preliminary injunction and restraining order. a contingent of more than two hundred Philippine marines and elements of the home defense forces raided the compound occupied by the petitioners at Gov. The petitioners demand the return of the arms and ammunition on the ground that they were taken without a search warrant as required by the Bill of Rights. one M14 rifle. to prevent these from being used as evidence against them. AISAN ALIH.R. and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined by the judge. which was in force at the time of the incident in question. Superior orders" cannot. Article IV. There was also the suggestion that the measure was necessary because of the aggravation of the peace and order 9 problem generated by the assassination of Mayor Cesar Climaco. The respondents. Amin of the 5 regional trial court. at all times The Court. sought to justify 8 their act on the ground that they were acting under superior orders. 1984. The soldiers returned fire and a bloody shoot-out ensued." which was not unlike the feared practice of the kempeitai during the Japanese Occupation of rounding up the people in a locality.S. IN HIS CAPACITY AS COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE SPECIAL FORCES GROUP (AIRBORNE) AND INTERNAL DEFENSE COMMAND. After receiving the testimonial and documentary evidence 6 of the parties. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. L-69401 June 23. EDRIS MUKSAN. Section 3. MAJOR GENERAL DELFIN C. COLONEL ERNESTO CALUPIG. REGION IX. No. ALLAN TAN. 1987 RIZAL ALIH. later to be finger-printed. and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men. ANGGANG HADANI. 1 The military operation was commonly known and dreaded as a "zona. CRUZ. On December 21. The initial reaction of the people inside the compound was to resist the invasion with a burst of gunfire. after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. MULSIDI WARADIL. Section 4(2) thatSec. respondents. ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES. countermand the Constitution. MUJAHIRIN MARAJUKI.aggravated soon enough. MIJAL ALIH. IN HIS CAPACITY AS COMMANDER SOUTHCOM AND REGIONAL UNIFIED COMMAND. Their purpose was to recover the articles seized from them. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. The fact that the petitioners were suspected of the Climaco killing did not excuse the constitutional short-cuts the respondents took. As eloquently affirmed by the U. Zamboanga City. as might be expected in incidents like this. J. KENNEDY GONZALES. and particularly describing the place to be searched. NASIM ALIH. of the 1973 Constitution. OTHERWISE KNOWN AS IdC MAJOR ARNOLD BLANCO IN HIS CAPACITY AS COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE PHILIPPINE MARINES AND 1ST LIEUTENANT DARWIN GUERRA IN HIS CAPACITY AS ACTS SUPERVISOR. of course. URDUJA ALIH. paraffin-tested and photographed over their objection. No one was hurt as presumably the purpose was merely to warn the intruders and deter them from entering. and sixteen male occupants were arrested. This is confirmed by the said 7 report and in fact admitted by the respondents. resulting in 2 a number of casualties. INTERNAL DEFENSE COMMAND. WARMIKHAN HAPA. 4(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. referred it for hearing to Judge Omar U. petitioners. 1984. OMAR ALIH. vs. CASTRO. ZAMBOANGA CITY. he submitted the report and recommendations on which this opinion is based. photographing and paraffin-testing as violative of their right 4 against self-incrimination. and to challenge their finger-printing. while admitting the absence of the required such warrant. MERLA ALIH. or such other responsible officer as may be authorized by law. papers. the situation . It was also declared in Article IV.: On November 25. The military also inventoried and confiscated nine M16 rifles. GABRAL JIKIRI. BILLY ASMAD RAMSID ASALI. equally in war and in peace. and the persons or things to be seized. treating the petition as an injunction suit with a prayer for the return of the articles alleged to have been illegally seized. in search of loose firearms. The besieged compound surrendered the following morning. Zamboanga City. Alvarez street. and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall not be violated. ammunition and other explosives. "but with avoidance. nine rifle grenades. Unfortunately.

But the King of England may not enter. All the forces of the Crown dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.. not an exclusion of his body as evidence when it may be material. Section 5(b). Jr. subject to such appropriate disposition as the corresponding courts may decide. It is no exaggeration that the basest criminal. all the firearms and ammunition taken from the raided compound are inadmissible in evidence in any of the proceedings against the petitioners. These articles are "fruits of the poisonous tree. Gutierrez. If all the law enforcement authorities have to do is force their way into any house and then pick up anything they see there on the ground that the occupants are resisting arrest. It may be frail. 14 If follows that as the search of the petitioners' premises was violative of the Constitution. the officer making the arrest must have personal knowledge of the ground therefor as stressed in the recent case of People v. they shall remain in custodia legis. C. There was absolutely no reason at all why they should disregard the orderly processes required by the Constitution and instead insist on arbitrarily forcing their way into the petitioner's premises with all the menace of a military invasion. It is also fallacious. As Justice Holmes put it in Holt v. however. Every person is entitled to due process. of the Rules of Court in connection with a crime about to be committed. As mere suspects. 18 "The prohibition of compelling a man in a criminal court to be a witness against himself is a prohibition of the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communications from him. where every individual is entitled to the full protection of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights can stand as a stolid sentinel for all. "Only in case the prosecution which itself controls the seizing officials. they proceeded to make the raid without a search warrant on their own unauthorized determination of the petitioner's guilt. Padilla. They had every opportunity to get a search warrant before making the raid. Feliciano. as a preventive measure. Fernan. As Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee stressed in his concurring opinion in Lacanilao v. the wind may enter. its roof may shake. Its obvious flaw lies in the conclusion that the petitioners were unquestionably guilty on the strength alone of unsubstantiated reports that they were stockpiling weapons. JJ. . 1984. Melencio-Herrera. involving more pernicious consequences. was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government. even if were assumed for the sake of argument that they were guilty. is hereby declared ILLEGAL and all the articles seized as a result thereof are inadmissible in evidence against the petitioners in any proceedings. "zona" and other dreaded operations should remain in the past. banished with the secret marshals and their covert license to kill without trial. Sarmiento and Cortes. not from a deserved sentence. Indeed. 15 As Judge Learned Hand observed. they would not have been any less entitled to the protection of the Constitution. Conceding that the search was truly warrantless. what was that crime? There is no allegation in the record of such a justification. The prohibition against self-incrimination applies to testimonial compulsion only. In acting as they did. The respondents cannot even plead the urgency of the raid because it was in fact not urgent. which had the authority to determine whether or not there was probable cause to search the petitioner's premises. Gancayco.and under all circumstances. If the respondents did not actually disdain the Constitution when they made their illegal raid. the repressions committed therein against the petitioners. but that is a criminal argument. It is so easy to say that the petitioners were outlaws and deserved the arbitrary treatment they received to take them into custody. it may be observed that under the Revised Rule 113.. which it was their duty to uphold. ranged against the rest of the people who would condemn him outright. the respondents simply by-passed the civil courts. the search of the petitioners' premises on November 25. This is not to say. the innocent as well as the guilty. to encourage rather than undermine respect for the law. Bidin. they could have surrounded the premises in the meantime. When the respondents could have easily obtained a search warrant from any of the TEN civil courts then open and functioning in Zamboanga City. We must be done with lawlessness in the name of law enforcement. Instead. There was no state of hostilities in the area to justify. Parenthetically. the said articles shall remain in custodia legis pending the outcome of the criminal cases that have been or may later be filed against the petitioners. is still. The precarious state of lawlessness in Zamboanga City at the time in question certainly did not excuse the non-observance of the constitutional guaranty against unreasonable searches and seizures. assuming it could. to protect them. of course. or just committed. Narvasa. the rain may enter. SO ORDERED. They knew where the petitioners were. knows that it cannot profit by their wrong. Burgos. fingerprinting and paraffin-testing of the petitioners deserves slight comment. 19 "It is time that the martial law regime's legacy of the law of force be discarded and that there be a return to the force and rule of law. However. At the time of the "zona. 16 Pending determination of the legality of such articles. under the Bill of Rights. The record does not disclose that the petitioners were wanted criminals or fugitives from justice. Paras. concur. No doctrine. then we might as well delete the Bill of Rights as a fussy redundancy. they were presumed innocent and not guilty as summarily pronounced by the military. but from arbitrary punishment. they certainly gave every appearance of doing so. De Leon. even the humblest hovel is protected from official intrusion because of the ancient rule. revered in all free regimes. the guilty need the armor of the Constitution.J. Teehankee. One cannot just force his way into any man's house on the illegal orders of a superior. 11 In the instant case. being committed. they also defied the precept that "civilian authority is at all times supreme over the military" so clearly proclaimed in the 1973 Constitution. will the wrong be repressed. WHEREFORE. Yap. that a man's house is his castle. a majority of one. 13 If the arrest was made under Rule 113. What it does simply signify is that. 17 The objection to the photographing. which covers both the innocent and the guilty. 12 they instead simply barged into the beleaguered premises on the verbal order of their superior officers. Section 5." The fearful days of hamleting salvaging. If they were worried that the weapons inside the compound would be spirited away. especially during those tense and tindery times. United States. This is truly regrettable for it was incumbent on them." they were merely suspected of the mayor's slaying and had not in fact even been investigated for it." All of us must exert efforts to make our country truly free and democratic. Those who are supposed to uphold the law must not be the first to violate it. that the Constitution coddles criminals. including the basest of criminals. however lofty his rank. lacking the shield of innocence. Indeed.. might not the search and seizure be nonetheless considered valid because it was incidental to a legal arrest? Surely not.

ERNESTO LARIN y BONDAD. vs.: Republic Act. ) WHEREFORE." The Court thus applies this law to the present case and grants the victim the full vindication and protection that RA 7610 accords to this helpless sector of society. PANGANIBAN. Jr. Vitug and Quisumbing. Bellosillo. the appeal is hereby DENIED and the assailed Decision is AFFIRMED. It was enacted in consonance with the policy of the State to "provide special protection to children from all forms of abuse. Costs against appellant. 7610 penalizes child prostitution and other sexual abuses.. Statement of the Case ( This portion is not available to protect the interest of the parties.000. . accused-appellant. 1998 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES..R. JJ. No. No. concur. J.Davide. SO ORDERED. but the award of moral damages is reduced to P50. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. 128777 October 7.

that was furnished her to be filled up for the purpose, she indicated in the portion for civil status therein that she was single although she had contracted marriage a few months earlier, that is, 3 on May 26, 1991. It now appears that private respondent had made the same representation in the two successive reliever agreements which she signed on June 10, 1991 and July 8, 1991. When petitioner supposedly learned about the same later, its branch supervisor in Baguio City, Delia M. Oficial, sent to private respondent a memorandum dated January 15, 1992 requiring her to explain the discrepancy. In that memorandum, she was reminded about the company's policy of not 4 accepting married women for employment. In her reply letter dated January 17, 1992, private respondent stated that she was not aware of PT&T's policy regarding married women at the time, and that all along she had not deliberately 5 hidden her true civil status. Petitioner nonetheless remained unconvinced by her explanations. 6 Private respondent was dismissed from the company effective January 29, 1992, which she readily contested by initiating a complaint for illegal dismissal, coupled with a claim for nonpayment of cost of living allowances (COLA), before the Regional Arbitration Branch of the National Labor Relations Commission in Baguio City. At the preliminary conference conducted in connection therewith, private respondent volunteered the information, and this was incorporated in the stipulation of facts between the parties, that she had failed to remit the amount of P2,380.75 of her collections. She then executed a promissory 7 note for that amount in favor of petitioner . All of these took place in a formal proceeding and with the agreement of the parties and/or their counsel. On November 23, 1993, Labor Arbiter Irenarco R. Rimando handed down a decision declaring that private respondent, who had already gained the status of a regular employee, was illegally dismissed by petitioner. Her reinstatement, plus payment of the corresponding back wages and COLA, was correspondingly ordered, the labor arbiter being of the firmly expressed view that the ground relied upon by petitioner in dismissing private respondent was clearly insufficient, and that it was apparent that she had been discriminated against on account of her having contracted marriage in violation of company rules. On appeal to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), said public respondent upheld the labor arbiter and, in its decision dated April 29, 1994, it ruled that private respondent had indeed been the subject of an unjust and unlawful discrimination by her employer, PT & T. However, the decision of the labor arbiter was modified with the qualification that Grace de Guzman deserved to be suspended for three months in view of the dishonest nature of her acts which should not be condoned. In all other respects, the NLRC affirmed the decision of the labor arbiter, including the order for the reinstatement of private respondent in her employment with PT & T. The subsequent motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner was rebuffed by respondent NLRC in its resolution of November 9, 1994, hence this special civil action assailing the aforestated decisions of the labor arbiter and respondent NLRC, as well as the denial resolution of the latter. 1. Decreed in the Bible itself is the universal norm that women should be regarded with love and respect but, through the ages, men have responded to that injunction with indifference, on the hubristic conceit that women constitute the inferior sex. Nowhere has that prejudice against womankind been so pervasive as in the field of labor, especially on the matter of equal employment opportunities and standards. In the Philippine setting, women have traditionally been considered as falling within the vulnerable groups or types of workers who must be safeguarded with preventive and remedial social legislation against discriminatory and exploitative practices in hiring, training, benefits, promotion and retention.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. 118978 May 23, 1997 PHILIPPINE TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE COMPANY, * petitioner, vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and GRACE DE GUZMAN, respondents.

REGALADO, J.: Seeking relief through the extraordinary writ of certiorari, petitioner Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Company (hereafter, PT & T) invokes the alleged concealment of civil status and defalcation of company funds as grounds to terminate the services of an employee. That employee, herein private respondent Grace de Guzman, contrarily argues that what really motivated PT & T to terminate her services was her having contracted marriage during her employment, which is prohibited by petitioner in its company policies. She thus claims that she was discriminated against in gross violation of law, such a proscription by an employer being outlawed by Article 136 of the Labor Code. Grace de Guzman was initially hired by petitioner as a reliever, specifically as a "Supernumerary Project Worker," for a fixed period from November 21, 1990 until April 20, 1991 vice one C.F. 1 Tenorio who went on maternity leave. Under the Reliever Agreement which she signed with petitioner company, her employment was to be immediately terminated upon expiration of the agreed period. Thereafter, from June 10, 1991 to July 1, 1991, and from July 19, 1991 to August 8, 1991, private respondent's services as reliever were again engaged by petitioner, this time in 2 replacement of one Erlinda F. Dizon who went on leave during both periods. After August 8, 1991, and pursuant to their Reliever Agreement, her services were terminated. On September 2, 1991, private respondent was once more asked to join petitioner company as a probationary employee, the probationary period to cover 150 days. In the job application form

The Constitution, cognizant of the disparity in rights between men and women in almost all phases of social and political life, provides a gamut of protective provisions. To cite a few of the 8 primordial ones, Section 14, Article II on the Declaration of Principles and State Policies, expressly recognizes the role of women in nation-building and commands the State to ensure, at all times, the fundamental equality before the law of women and men. Corollary thereto, Section 9 3 of Article XIII (the progenitor whereof dates back to both the 1935 and 1973 Constitution) pointedly requires the State to afford full protection to labor and to promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all, including an assurance of entitlement to tenurial 10 security of all workers. Similarly, Section 14 of Article XIII mandates that the State shall protect working women through provisions for opportunities that would enable them to reach their full potential. 2. Corrective labor and social laws on gender inequality have emerged with more frequency in the years since the Labor Code was enacted on May 1, 1974 as Presidential Decree No. 442, largely due to our country's commitment as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the 11 Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Principal among these laws are Republic Act No. 6727 which explicitly prohibits discrimination against women with respect to terms and conditions of employment, promotion, and training 13 opportunities; Republic Act No. 6955 which bans the "mail-order-bride" practice for a fee and the export of female labor to countries that cannot guarantee protection to the rights of women 14 workers; Republic Act No. 7192 also known as the "Women in Development and Nation Building Act," which affords women equal opportunities with men to act and to enter into contracts, and for appointment, admission, training, graduation, and commissioning in all military or similar schools of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police; 15 Republic Act No. 7322 increasing the maternity benefits granted to women in the private 16 sector; Republic Act No. 7877 which outlaws and punishes sexual harassment in the 17 workplace and in the education and training environment; and Republic Act No. 8042, or the "Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995," which prescribes as a matter of policy, inter alia, the deployment of migrant workers, with emphasis on women, only in countries where 18 their rights are secure. Likewise, it would not be amiss to point out that in the Family Code, women's rights in the field of civil law have been greatly enhanced and expanded. In the Labor Code, provisions governing the rights of women workers are found in Articles 130 to 138 thereof. Article 130 involves the right against particular kinds of night work while Article 132 ensures the right of women to be provided with facilities and standards which the Secretary of Labor may establish to ensure their health and safety. For purposes of labor and social legislation, a woman working in a nightclub, cocktail lounge, massage clinic, bar or other similar establishments shall be considered as an employee under Article 138. Article 135, on the other hand, recognizes a woman's right against discrimination with respect to terms and conditions of employment on account simply of sex. Finally, and this brings us to the issue at hand, Article 136 explicitly prohibits discrimination merely by reason of the marriage of a female employee. 3. Acknowledged as paramount in the due process scheme is the constitutional guarantee of protection to labor and security of tenure. Thus, an employer is required, as a condition sine qua non prior to severance of the employment ties of an individual under his employ, to convincingly establish, through substantial evidence, the existence of a valid and just cause in dispensing with the services of such employee, one's labor being regarded as constitutionally protected property. On the other hand, it is recognized that regulation of manpower by the company falls within the so-called management prerogatives, which prescriptions encompass the matter of hiring, supervision of workers, work assignments, working methods and assignments, as well as regulations on the transfer of employees, lay-off of workers, and the discipline, dismissal, and 19 recall of employees. As put in a case, an employer is free to regulate, according to his
12

discretion and best business judgment, all aspects of employment, "from hiring to firing," except 20 in cases of unlawful discrimination or those which may be provided by law. In the case at bar, petitioner's policy of not accepting or considering as disqualified from work any woman worker who contracts marriage runs afoul of the test of, and the right against, discrimination, afforded all women workers by our labor laws and by no less than the Constitution. Contrary to petitioner's assertion that it dismissed private respondent from employment on account of her dishonesty, the record discloses clearly that her ties with the company were dissolved principally because of the company's policy that married women are not qualified for employment in PT & T, and not merely because of her supposed acts of dishonesty. That it was so can easily be seen from the memorandum sent to private respondent by Delia M. Oficial, the branch supervisor of the company, with the reminder, in the words of the latter, that "you're fully aware that the company is not accepting married women employee (sic), as it was 21 verbally instructed to you." Again, in the termination notice sent to her by the same branch supervisor, private respondent was made to understand that her severance from the service was not only by reason of her concealment of her married status but, over and on top of that, was her violation of the company's policy against marriage ("and even told you that married women 22 employees are not applicable [sic] or accepted in our company.") Parenthetically, this seems to be the curious reason why it was made to appear in the initiatory pleadings that petitioner was represented in this case only by its said supervisor and not by its highest ranking officers who 23 would otherwise be solidarily liable with the corporation. Verily, private respondent's act of concealing the true nature of her status from PT & T could not be properly characterized as willful or in bad faith as she was moved to act the way she did mainly because she wanted to retain a permanent job in a stable company. In other words, she was practically forced by that very same illegal company policy into misrepresenting her civil status for fear of being disqualified from work. While loss of confidence is a just cause for 24 termination of employment, it should not be simulated. It must rest on an actual breach of duty 25 committed by the employee and not on the employer's caprices. Furthermore, it should never 26 be used as a subterfuge for causes which are improper, illegal, or unjustified. In the present controversy, petitioner's expostulations that it dismissed private respondent, not because the latter got married but because she concealed that fact, does have a hollow ring. Her concealment, so it is claimed, bespeaks dishonesty hence the consequent loss of confidence in her which justified her dismissal. Petitioner would asseverate, therefore, that while it has nothing against marriage, it nonetheless takes umbrage over the concealment of that fact. This improbable reasoning, with interstitial distinctions, perturbs the Court since private respondent may well be minded to claim that the imputation of dishonesty should be the other way around. Petitioner would have the Court believe that although private respondent defied its policy against its female employees contracting marriage, what could be an act of insubordination was inconsequential. What it submits as unforgivable is her concealment of that marriage yet, at the same time, declaring that marriage as a trivial matter to which it supposedly has no objection. In other words, PT & T says it gives its blessings to its female employees contracting marriage, despite the maternity leaves and other benefits it would consequently respond for and which obviously it would have wanted to avoid. If that employee confesses such fact of marriage, there will be no sanction; but if such employee conceals the same instead of proceeding to the confessional, she will be dismissed. This line of reasoning does not impress us as reflecting its true management policy or that we are being regaled with responsible advocacy.

This Court should be spared the ennui of strained reasoning and the tedium of propositions which confuse through less than candid arguments. Indeed, petitioner glosses over the fact that it was its unlawful policy against married women, both on the aspects of qualification and retention, which compelled private respondent to conceal her supervenient marriage. It was, however, that very policy alone which was the cause of private respondent's secretive conduct now complained of. It is then apropos to recall the familiar saying that he who is the cause of the cause is the cause of the evil caused. Finally, petitioner's collateral insistence on the admission of private respondent that she supposedly misappropriated company funds, as an additional ground to dismiss her from employment, is somewhat insincere and self-serving. Concededly, private respondent admitted in the course of the proceedings that she failed to remit some of her collections, but that is an altogether different story. The fact is that she was dismissed solely because of her concealment of her marital status, and not on the basis of that supposed defalcation of company funds. That the labor arbiter would thus consider petitioner's submissions on this supposed dishonesty as a mere afterthought, just to bolster its case for dismissal, is a perceptive conclusion born of experience in labor cases. For, there was no showing that private respondent deliberately misappropriated the amount or whether her failure to remit the same was through negligence and, if so, whether the negligence was in nature simple or grave. In fact, it was merely agreed that private respondent execute a promissory note to refund the same, which she did, and the matter was deemed settled as a peripheral issue in the labor case. Private respondent, it must be observed, had gained regular status at the time of her dismissal. When she was served her walking papers on January 29, 1992, she was about to complete the probationary period of 150 days as she was contracted as a probationary employee on September 2, 1991. That her dismissal would be effected just when her probationary period was winding down clearly raises the plausible conclusion that it was done in order to prevent her from 27 earning security of tenure. On the other hand, her earlier stints with the company as reliever were undoubtedly those of a regular employee, even if the same were for fixed periods, as she performed activities which were essential or necessary in the usual trade and business of PT & 28 T. The primary standard of determining regular employment is the reasonable connection between the activity performed by the employee in relation to the business or trade of the 29 employer. As an employee who had therefore gained regular status, and as she had been dismissed without just cause, she is entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to full back wages, inclusive of allowances and other benefits or their monetary 30 equivalent. However, as she had undeniably committed an act of dishonesty in concealing her status, albeit under the compulsion of an unlawful imposition of petitioner, the three-month suspension imposed by respondent NLRC must be upheld to obviate the impression or inference that such act should be condoned. It would be unfair to the employer if she were to return to its fold without any sanction whatsoever for her act which was not totally justified. Thus, her entitlement to back wages, which shall be computed from the time her compensation was withheld up to the time of her actual reinstatement, shall be reduced by deducting therefrom the amount corresponding to her three months suspension. 4. The government, to repeat, abhors any stipulation or policy in the nature of that adopted by petitioner PT & T. The Labor Code state, in no uncertain terms, as follows: Art. 136. Stipulation against marriage. ² It shall be unlawful for an employer to require as a condition of employment or continuation of employment that a woman shall not get married, or to stipulate expressly or tacitly that upon getting married, a woman employee shall be deemed resigned or separated, or to actually dismiss, discharge, discriminate or otherwise prejudice a woman employee merely by reason of marriage.

This provision had a studied history for its origin can be traced to Section 8 of Presidential 31 Decree No. 148, better known as the "Women and 32 Child Labor Law," which amended paragraph (c), Section 12 of Republic Act No. 679, entitled "An Act to Regulate the Employment of Women and Children, to Provide Penalties for Violations Thereof, and for Other Purposes." The forerunner to Republic Act No. 679, on the other hand, was Act No. 3071 which became law on March 16, 1923 and which regulated the employment of women and children in shops, factories, industrial, agricultural, and mercantile establishments and other places of labor in the then Philippine Islands. It would be worthwhile to reflect upon and adopt here the rationalization in Zialcita, et al. vs. 33 Philippine Air Lines, a decision that emanated from the Office of the President. There, a policy of Philippine Air Lines requiring that prospective flight attendants must be single and that they will be automatically separated from the service once they marry was declared void, it being violative of the clear mandate in Article 136 of the Labor Code with regard to discrimination against married women. Thus: Of first impression is the incompatibility of the respondent's policy or regulation with the codal provision of law. Respondent is resolute in its contention that Article 136 of the Labor Code applies only to women employed in ordinary occupations and that the prohibition against marriage of women engaged in extraordinary occupations, like flight attendants, is fair and reasonable, considering the pecularities of their chosen profession. We cannot subscribe to the line of reasoning pursued by respondent. All along, it knew that the controverted policy has already met its doom as early as March 13, 1973 when Presidential Decree No. 148, otherwise known as the Women and Child Labor Law, was promulgated. But for the timidity of those affected or their labor unions in challenging the validity of the policy, the same was able to obtain a momentary reprieve. A close look at Section 8 of said decree, which amended paragraph (c) of Section 12 of Republic Act No. 679, reveals that it is exactly the same provision reproduced verbatim in Article 136 of the Labor Code, which was promulgated on May 1, 1974 to take effect six (6) months later, or on November 1, 1974. It cannot be gainsaid that, with the reiteration of the same provision in the new Labor Code, all policies and acts against it are deemed illegal and therefore abrogated. True, Article 132 enjoins the Secretary of Labor to establish standards that will ensure the safety and health of women employees and in appropriate cases shall by regulation require employers to determine appropriate minimum standards for termination in special occupations, such as those of flight attendants, but that is precisely the factor that militates against the policy of respondent. The standards have not yet been established as set forth in the first paragraph, nor has the Secretary of Labor issued any regulation affecting flight attendants. It is logical to presume that, in the absence of said standards or regulations which are as yet to be established, the policy of respondent against marriage is patently illegal. This finds support in Section 9 of the New Constitution, which provides: Sec. 9. The State shall afford protection to labor, promote full employment and equality in employment, ensure equal work opportunities regardless of sex, race, or creed, and regulate the relations between workers and employees. The State shall assure the rights of workers to self-organization,

collective bargaining, security of tenure, and just and humane conditions of work . . . . Moreover, we cannot agree to the respondent's proposition that termination from employment of flight attendants on account of marriage is a fair and reasonable standard designed for their own health, safety, protection and welfare, as no basis has been laid therefor. Actually, respondent claims that its concern is not so much against the continued employment of the flight attendant merely by reason of marriage as observed by the Secretary of Labor, but rather on the consequence of marriage-pregnancy. Respondent discussed at length in the instant appeal the supposed ill effects of pregnancy on flight attendants in the course of their employment. We feel that this needs no further discussion as it had been adequately explained by the Secretary of Labor in his decision of May 2, 1976. In a vain attempt to give meaning to its position, respondent went as far as invoking the provisions of Articles 52 and 216 of the New Civil Code on the preservation of marriage as an inviolable social institution and the family as a basic social institution, respectively, as bases for its policy of nonmarriage. In both instances, respondent predicates absence of a flight attendant from her home for long periods of time as contributory to an unhappy married life. This is pure conjecture not based on actual conditions, considering that, in this modern world, sophisticated technology has narrowed the distance from one place to another. Moreover, respondent overlooked the fact that married flight attendants can program their lives to adapt to prevailing circumstances and events. Article 136 is not intended to apply only to women employed in ordinary occupations, or it should have categorically expressed so. The sweeping intendment of the law, be it on special or ordinary occupations, is reflected in the whole text and supported by Article 135 that speaks of nondiscrimination on the employment of women. The judgment of the Court of Appeals in Gualberto, et al. vs. Marinduque Mining & Industrial 34 Corporation considered as void a policy of the same nature. In said case, respondent, in dismissing from the service the complainant, invoked a policy of the firm to consider female employees in the project it was undertaking as separated the moment they get married due to lack of facilities for married women. Respondent further claimed that complainant was employed in the project with an oral understanding that her services would be terminated when she gets married. Branding the policy of the employer as an example of "discriminatory chauvinism" tantamount to denying equal employment opportunities to women simply on account of their sex, the appellate court struck down said employer policy as unlawful in view of its repugnance to the Civil Code, Presidential Decree No. 148 and the Constitution. Under American jurisprudence, job requirements which establish employer preference or conditions relating to the marital status of an employee are categorized as a "sex-plus" discrimination where it is imposed on one sex and not on the other. Further, the same should be evenly applied and must not inflict adverse effects on a racial or sexual group which is protected by federal job discrimination laws. Employment rules that forbid or restrict the employment of married women, but do not apply to married men, have been held to violate Title VII of the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964, the main federal statute prohibiting job discrimination 35 against employees and applicants on the basis of, among other things, sex. Further, it is not relevant that the rule is not directed against all women but just against married women. And, where the employer discriminates against married women, but not against married

men, the variable is sex and the discrimination is unlawful. Upon the other hand, a requirement that a woman employee must remain unmarried could be justified as a "bona fide occupational qualification," or BFOQ, where the particular requirements of the job would justify the same, but not on the ground of a general principle, such as the desirability of spreading work in the workplace. A requirement of that nature would be valid provided it reflects an inherent quality reasonably necessary for satisfactory job performance. Thus, in one case, a no-marriage rule applicable to both male and female flight attendants, was regarded as unlawful since the 37 restriction was not related to the job performance of the flight attendants. 5. Petitioner's policy is not only in derogation of the provisions of Article 136 of the Labor Code on the right of a woman to be free from any kind of stipulation against marriage in connection with her employment, but it likewise assaults good morals and public policy, tending as it does to deprive a woman of the freedom to choose her status, a privilege that by all accounts inheres in 38 the individual as an intangible and inalienable right. Hence, while it is true that the parties to a contract may establish any agreements, terms, and conditions that they may deem convenient, 39 the same should not be contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy. Carried to its logical consequences, it may even be said that petitioner's policy against legitimate marital bonds would encourage illicit or common-law relations and subvert the sacrament of marriage. Parenthetically, the Civil Code provisions on the contract of labor state that the relations between the parties, that is, of capital and labor, are not merely contractual, impressed as they 40 are with so much public interest that the same should yield to the common good. It goes on to intone that neither capital nor labor should visit acts of oppression against the other, nor impair 41 the interest or convenience of the public. In the final reckoning, the danger of just such a policy against marriage followed by petitioner PT & T is that it strikes at the very essence, ideals and purpose of marriage as an inviolable social institution and, ultimately, of the family as the 42 foundation of the nation. That it must be effectively interdicted here in all its indirect, disguised or dissembled forms as discriminatory conduct derogatory of the laws of the land is not only in order but imperatively required. ON THE FOREGOING PREMISES, the petition of Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Company is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit, with double costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED. Romero, Puno, Mendoza and Torres, Jr., JJ., concur.

36

81958 June 30. the Bill of Rights itself does not purport to be an absolute guaranty of individual rights and liberties "Even liberty itself. respondents. Marshall." It finds no specific Constitutional grant for the plain reason that it does not owe its origin to the Charter. In the light of the foregoing. and in that event. of Article XIII. filed a Comment informing the Court that on March 8. Hongkong. J. it is inborn in the very fact of statehood and sovereignty. 1988. of the Department of Labor and Employment. in addition to the "great and irreparable injury" that PASEI members face should the Order be further enforced. official acts enjoy a presumed vahdity.protection. it is "rooted in the conception that men in organizing the state and imposing upon its government limitations to safeguard constitutional rights did not intend thereby to enable an individual citizen or a group of citizens to obstruct unreasonably the enactment of such salutary measures calculated to ensure 10 communal peace. ACHACOSO. good order.impairment clause. PASEI invokes Section 3. was passed in the absence of prior consultations. 1. Norway. It is a fundamental attribute of government that has enabled it to perform the most vital functions of governance. It has been defined as the "state authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to 5 promote the general welfare.. it is contended." Department Order No. Inc. Series of 1988. and not executive. The concept of police power is well-established in this jurisdiction. United States. It is claimed. safety. a firm "engaged principally in the recruitment of Filipino workers." in this petition for certiorari and prohibition. and welfare 9 of society. for short). As a general rule." It may be said to be that inherent and plenary power in the State which enables it to prohibit all things hurtful to the comfort.. (PASEI. It is admitted that Department Order No. (2) in order to foster the common good." the Solicitor General invokes the police power of the Philippine State. the respondent Labor Secretary lifted the deployment ban in the states of Iraq. DRILON as Secretary of Labor and Employment. Canada. it consists of (1) an imposition of restraint upon liberty or property. police power is not without its own limitations. the presumption logically stands. For all its awesome consequences. and TOMAS D. 1988 PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF SERVICE EXPORTERS. INC. even to anticipate the future where it could be done. providing for worker participation "in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights 4 and benefits as may be provided by law. in character. Jordan. that is. is not unrestricted license to act according to one's will. the Solicitor General. In the absence of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. refers to it succinctly as the plenary power of the State "to govern its citizens. for overseas 1 placement. veiled in general terms to underscore its all-comprehensive embrace. on behalf of the respondents Secretary of Labor and Administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. male and female." Significantly. police power being legislative. of the Constitution. * In submitting the validity of the challenged "guidelines. to whom the expression has been 7 8 credited. finally. HON. FRANKLIN M. when the power is used to further private interests at the expense of the citizenry. there is 12 a clear misuse of the power.. it may not be exercised arbitrarily or unreasonably. 1988. and Switzerland. it defeats the purpose for which it is exercised." challenges the Constitutional validity of Department Order No. 13 Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. to be in violation of the Charter's non- . and welfare. Along with the taxing power and eminent domain. vs. safety. Notwithstanding its extensive sweep. the 2 measure is assailed for "discrimination against males or females. The only question is whether or not it is valid under the Constitution. is a power coextensive with self. the 11 greatest of all rights. Italy." "The police power of the State . On May 25. to advance the public good.R. 1 is in the nature of a police power measure. the petition must be dismissed. 1." It is subject to the far more overriding demands and requirements of the greater number.: The petitioner. SARMIENTO. Specifically. Gutierrez & Alo Law Offices for petitioner. In its supplement to the petition." that it "does not apply to all 3 Filipino workers but only to domestic helpers and females with similar skills. It is held likewise to be an invalid exercise of the lawmaking power. No. in the character of "GUIDELINES GOVERNING THE TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF DEPLOYMENT OF FILIPINO DOMESTIC AND HOUSEHOLD WORKERS. It is not capable of an exact definition but has been. Otherwise. ever-expanding to meet the exigencies of the times. purposely. as Administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. provides enough room for an efficient and flexible response to conditions 6 and circumstances thus assuring the greatest benefits. "Its scope. Austria. Thus. Qatar." It constitutes an implied limitation on the Bill of Rights." and that it is violative of the right to travel. and it is not inaptly termed the "law of overwhelming necessity." As defined. According to Fernando. petitioner. Philippine Association of Service Exporters.

meaning to say that should the authorities arrive at a means impressed with a greater degree of permanency. The same. however. it is possessed of a necessary malleability. In the case at bar. not all of them are similarly circumstanced. The petitioner has proffered no argument that the Government should act similarly with respect to male workers. especially domestic servants. the Court is well aware of the unhappy plight that has befallen our female labor force abroad. say exclusively to workers deployed by A. To apply the ban. AUTHORIZED DEPLOYMENT-The deployment of domestic helpers and workers of similar skills defined herein to the following [sic] are authorized under these guidelines and are exempted from the suspension. it is the avowed objective of Department Order No. Had the ban been given universal applicability. Under a republican regime." In the case at bar. the impugned guidelines to be applicable to all female domestic 20 overseas workers. 5. Deputy Minister and the other senior government officials. This is clear from the Order itself ("Pending review 18 of the administrative and legal measures. But what should be noted is the fact that in spite of such a fiction of finality. and 5. the courts decide. cannot be said of our male workers. sex. the better rule. it is the executive branch that enforces policy. It is evidence capable indeed of unquestionable demonstration and evidence this Court accepts. to the prejudice of such a person or group or resulting in an unfair advantage to another person or group of persons. in not a few cases. If such be the case. executive determinations are generally final on the Court. finally.3 Hirings by senior officials of the diplomatic corps and duly accredited international organizations. ² The Secretary of Labor and Employment (DOLE) may. 1 applies only to "female contract workers. the women. Discrimination in this case is justified. it would be difficult 23 to refute the assertion of denial of equal protection. that Department Order No.4 Hirings by employers in countries with whom the Philippines have [sic] bilateral labor agreements or understanding. There would be an element of unreasonableness if on the contrary their status that calls for the law ministering to their needs is made the basis of discriminatory legislation against them. We quote: 5. As a stop-gap measure. 1 prescribes a total ban on overseas deployment. an invalid act.) It is incorrect to say that Department Order No. It is well-settled that 15 "equality before the law" under the Constitution does not import a perfect Identity of rights among all men and women. LIFTING OF SUSPENSION. There is simply no evidence to justify such an inference. As a co-equal body. the assailed Order clearly accords protection to certain women workers. 1 implements the rule-making powers granted by the Labor Code. 1 to "enhance the 17 protection for Filipino female overseas workers" this Court has no quarrel that in the midst of the terrible mistreatment Filipina workers have suffered abroad. the Court is on its own persuaded that prevailing conditions indeed call for a deployment ban." It would be an unlawful invasion of property rights and freedom of contract 22 and needless to state. and the Court will deal with this at greater length shortly. it is intended to apply indefinitely so long as those conditions exist. (3) they are not 16 confined to existing conditions. . 5. Suffice it to state. and the cultural minorities are singled out for favorable treatment. however. Existing mechanisms providing for sufficient safeguards to ensure the 19 welfare and protection of Filipino workers. physical and personal abuse.The petitioner has shown no satisfactory reason why the contested measure should be nullified. this Court is content that distinctions are borne by the evidence. It admits of classifications. As precisely the caretaker of Constitutional rights. it would seem. are compelling motives for urgent Government action. and (4) they apply equally to all members of the same class. For obvious reasons. except perhaps for isolated instances. The Court finds. In fulfilling that duty. 5. the Court sustains the Government's efforts. (Fernando says: "Where the classification is based on such distinctions that make a real difference as infancy. would obviously clash with the equal protection clause of the Charter. and not the contrary. From scattered provisions of the Order. but it is not for them to question its wisdom. the ban shall be lifted. What the Constitution prohibits is the singling out of a select person or group of persons within an existing class. The Court is satisfied that the classification made-the preference for female workers ² rests on substantial distinctions. but not to those recruited by B. depending on the circumstances of each case. What the Court is saying is that it was largely a matter of evidence (that women domestic workers are being ill-treated abroad in massive instances) and not upon some fanciful or arbitrary yardstick that the Government acted in this case. There is likewise no doubt that such a classification is germane to the purpose behind the measure. The sordid tales of maltreatment suffered by migrant Filipina workers. In the first place. Bilateral agreements or understanding with the Philippines. For their part. That it does not apply to "all Filipina workers" is not an argument for unconstitutionality. in the Philippines and in the host countries . or the manner by which it is implemented. say the same thing as far as men are concerned. The Order does not narrowly apply to existing conditions. our men abroad have been afflicted with an Identical predicament. (2) they are germane to the purposes of the law.1 Hirings by immediate members of the family of Heads of State and Government. a ban on deployment will be for their own good and welfare. it provides: 9. is to recognize its validity only if the young. the Court is called upon to protect victims of exploitation. it is evident that such a total ban has hot been contemplated. The Court. The Court cannot. agrees with the Constitution or the laws. provided that (1) such classifications rest on substantial distinctions. confirmed by testimonies of returning workers. As a matter of judicial notice. and stage of civilization of minority groups. there is no gainsaying the fact. . that insofar as classifications are concerned. 14 There is no question that Department Order No. and/or." but it does not thereby make an undue discrimination between the sexes. in the proper cases. of course. there is no evidence that. Unquestionably. Rather.2 Hirings by Minister. It would be a classic case of what Chase refers to as a law that "takes property from A 21 and gives it to B. As we have furthermore indicated. . upon recommendation of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). is not impressing some male chauvinistic notion that men are superior to women. the judiciary has great respect for determinations of the Chief Executive or his subalterns. amid exploitative working conditions marked by. even rape and various forms of torture. then it would have been unreasonable and arbitrary. then. especially when the legislature itself has specifically given them enough room on how the law should be effectively enforced. Accordingly." ). lift the suspension in countries where there are: 1. whether that policy. 2.

it is profits that suffer as a result of Government regulation." pursuant to the respondent 27 Department of Labor's rule-making authority vested in it by the Labor Code. while away from home. lift the suspension in countries where there are: 1. It is true that police power is the domain of the legislature. The State shall afford full protection to labor. but as we have stated. the Government is duty-bound to insure that our toiling expatriates have adequate protection. the Government has evidence. among other things. The interest of the State is to provide a decent living to its citizens. Gancayco. What concerns the Constitution more paramountly is that such an employment be above all. 3. Paras.. Melencio-Herrera. It is bad enough that the country has to send its sons and daughters to strange lands because it cannot satisfy their employment needs at home. of the lack or inadequacy of such protection. to the requirements of "public safety. The right to travel is subject. like all other freedoms.J. again. and Medialdea. SO ORDERED." "as may be 25 provided by law. is not necessarily to maintain profits of business firms. The Court finds furthermore that the Government has not indiscriminately made use of its authority. Gutierrez. the right itself is not absolute. just. and promote full employment and equality of 30 employment opportunities for all. Neither is there merit in the contention that Department Order No. concur. We do not find the impugned Order to be tainted with a grave abuse of discretion to warrant the extraordinary relief prayed for. and as part of its duty. Bilateral agreements or understanding with the Philippines. Those workers returning to worksite to serve a new employer shall be covered by the suspension and the provision of these guidelines. it has precisely ordered an indefinite ban on deployment. This Court understands the grave implications the questioned Order has on the business of recruitment. in 26 particular. VACATIONING DOMESTIC HELPERS AND WORKERS OF SIMILAR SKILLS--Vacationing domestic helpers and/or workers of similar skills shall be allowed to process with the POEA and leave for worksite only if they are returning to the same employer to finish an existing or partially served employment contract. invoked by the petitioner." Department Order No. Fernan. decent. Freedom of contract and enterprise. Narvasa. Jr. In the ordinary sequence of events. its basic policy to "afford protection to labor. LIFTING OF SUSPENSION-The Secretary of Labor and Employment (DOLE) may. The concern of the Government. an evidence the petitioner cannot seriously dispute. The petitioners's reliance on the Constitutional guaranty of worker participation "in policy and 29 decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits" is not well-taken.. where laissez faire has never been fully accepted as a controlling economic way of life. personally and economically. Cruz. are on leave.xxx xxx xxx 7. The Government has convinced the Court in this case that this is its intent. the petition is DISMISSED. The non-impairment clause of the Constitution. JJ. the Labor Code itself vests the Department of Labor and Employment with rulemaking powers in the 28 enforcement whereof. Cortes and Griño-Aquino. upon recommendation of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). The consequence the deployment ban has on the right to travel does not impair the right. Yap. C. and/or. and humane. The disputed Order is a valid qualification thereto. JJ. but it does not mean that such an authority may not be lawfully delegated. Feliciano. 1 is a valid implementation of the Labor Code. Under these circumstances. is not free from restrictions. 2. No costs. organized and unorganized. Bidin. It is not contested that it has in fact removed the prohibition with respect to certain countries as manifested by the Solicitor General. The Constitution declares that: Sec. As we have mentioned. In this case. xxx xxx xxx "Protection to labor" does not signify the promotion of employment alone.. The petitioner assumes that it is unreasonable simply because of its impact on the right to travel. must submit to the demands and necessities of the State's power of regulation. local and overseas. Padilla. The right granted by this provision. WHEREFORE. 1 constitutes an invalid exercise of legislative power. xxx xxx xxx 9. must yield to the loftier 31 purposes targetted by the Government. . Existing mechanisms providing for sufficient safeguards to ensure the welfare and protection of 24 Filipino workers. however. more so in this jurisdiction.

petitioner. The decision. In this Petition For Writ of Certiorari. was not unanimous since Commissioners Luzviminda G. entitled "Declaration of Principles and State Policies. An inquiry into the intent of the framers produces the same determination that the provision is not self-executory." (emphasis supplied) Obviously. Like the rest of the policies enumerated in Article II. RESOLUTION TINGA. Article II of the Constitution neither bestows such a right nor elevates the privilege to the level of an enforceable right. ELLY CHAVEZ PAMATONG. Section 26. The "equal access" provision is a subsumed part of Article II of the Constitution." and the substitution of the word "office" to "service. By then. the provision does not contain any judicially enforceable constitutional right but merely specifies 3 a guideline for legislative or executive action. 2004. Commissioner Sadain maintained his vote for petitioner. Respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) refused to give due course to petitioner¶s Certificate of Candidacy in its Resolution No. to seek the presidency. The original wording of the present Section 26. No. 2004. however. The COMELEC. "The State 6 shall broaden opportunities to public office and prohibit public dynasties. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Elly Velez Pamatong filed his Certificate of Candidacy for President on December 17.. particularly in his case.: Petitioner Rev. i.e. 04-001. 2004 REV. Tancangco and Mehol K. Petitioner claims that the form does not provide clear and reasonable guidelines for determining the qualifications of candidates since it does not ask for the candidate¶s bio-data and his program of government. Implicit in the petitioner¶s invocation of the constitutional provision ensuring "equal access to opportunities for public office" is the claim that there is a constitutional right to run for or hold public office and. 6558. 161872 April 13. it would necessarily mean that the government would be mandated to create as many offices as are possible to accommodate as many people as are also possible. the provision is not intended to compel the State to enact positive measures that would accommodate as many people as possible into public office. Article II of the 1987 . That is the meaning of broadening opportunities to public service. In so doing. 2004.R. he possesses all the constitutional and legal qualifications for the office of the president. Petitioner¶s Motion for Reconsideration was docketed as SPP (MP) No. First. petitioner argues that the COMELEC indirectly amended the constitutional provisions on the electoral process and limited the power of the sovereign people to choose their leaders. Jr. respondent. 6604 dated February 11. If you broaden.Constitution. So. petitioner seeks to reverse the resolutions which were allegedly rendered in violation of his right to "equal access to opportunities for public service" under Section 26. 2003. by limiting the number of qualified candidates only to those who can afford to wage a nationwide campaign and/or are nominated by political parties." The provisions under the Article are generally 2 considered not self-executing. 5 1 Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. vs. On January 15. the constitutional and legal dimensions involved. Article II had read. The approval of the "Davide amendment" indicates the design of the framers to cast the provision as simply enunciatory of a desired policy objective and not reflective of the imposition of a clear State burden. There is nothing in the plain language of the provision which suggests such a thrust or justifies an interpretation of the sort. successfully brought forth an amendment that changed the word "broaden" to the phrase "ensure equal access. The COMELEC declared petitioner and thirty-five (35) others nuisance candidates who could not wage a nationwide campaign and/or are not nominated by a political party or are not supported by a registered political party with a national constituency. ESQUIRE. There is none. he also has the capacity to wage an international campaign since he has practiced law in other countries." Commissioner (now Chief Justice) Hilario Davide. Petitioner likewise attacks the validity of the form for the Certificate of Candidacy prepared by the COMELEC. acting on petitioner¶s Motion for Reconsideration and on similar motions filed by other aspirants for national elective positions. 6558 dated January 17. he is capable of waging a national campaign since he has numerous national organizations under his leadership. What is recognized is merely a privilege subject to limitations imposed by law. petitioner moved for reconsideration of Resolution No. and he has a platform of government. Commissioner Tancangco had retired." He explained his proposal in this wise: I changed the word "broaden" to "ENSURE EQUAL ACCESS TO" because what is important would be equal access to the opportunity. denied the same under the aegis of Omnibus Resolution No. and there is no plausible reason for according a different treatment to the "equal access" provision. The disregard of the provision does not give rise 4 to any cause of action before the courts. The COMELEC supposedly erred in disqualifying him since he is the most qualified among all the presidential candidates. in order that we should not mandate the State to make the government the number one employer and to limit offices only to what may be necessary and expedient yet 7 offering equal opportunities to access to it. I change the word "broaden. Sadain voted to include petitioner as they believed he had parties or movements to back up his candidacy. J.

Neither the COMELEC nor the Solicitor General appended any document to their respective Comments. 6452 dated December 10. . 6558 on 17 January 2004. most probably posed at the instance of these nuisance candidates. the Constitution guarantees that only bona fide 18 candidates for public office shall be free from any form of harassment and discrimination. Yet this Court. The rationale behind the prohibition against nuisance candidates and the disqualification of candidates who have not evinced a bona fide intention to run for office is easy to divine. Significantly. if no other. can not properly pass upon the reproductions as evidence at this level. However valid the law and the COMELEC issuance involved are. not to mention the increased allocation of time and resources in preparation for the election. As observed in the COMELEC¶s Comment: There is a need to limit the number of candidates especially in the case of candidates for national positions because the election process becomes a mockery even if those who cannot clearly wage a national campaign are allowed to run. and the concept. the myriad of 8 claims that can be subsumed under this rubric appear to be entirely open-ended. the provision as written leaves much to be desired if it is to be regarded as the source of positive rights. The poll body would be bogged by irrelevant minutiae covering every step of the electoral process. the greater the number of candidates. This is not to mention the candidacies which are palpably ridiculous so as to constitute a one-note joke. deception 11 and even frustration of the democratic [process]. the greater the opportunities for logistical confusion.000. and orderly. These practical difficulties should. Now. as the song goes. Moreover. however. In the case at bar. The preparation of ballots is but one aspect that would be affected by allowance of "nuisance candidates" to run in the elections. the privilege of equal access to opportunities to public office may be subjected to limitations.Moreover. Owing to the superior interest in ensuring a credible and orderly election. objective. an additional page would amount to more or less FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY MILLION PESOS (P450. their proper application in the case of the petitioner cannot be tested and reviewed by this Court on the basis of what is now before it." and "public service" are susceptible to countless interpretations owing to their inherent impreciseness. Their names would have to be printed in the Certified List of Candidates. The determination of bona fide candidates is governed by the statutes. not being a trier of facts. 6452 are cognizant of the compelling State interest to ensure orderly and credible elections by excising impediments thereto. or even the receipt of electoral contributions. the ignominious nature of a nuisance candidacy becomes even more galling. The State has a compelling interest to ensure that its electoral exercises are rational. their presumed validity stands and has to be accorded due weight. Thus. the needed factual premises. a disorderly election is not merely a textbook example of inefficiency. xxx[I]t serves no practical purpose to allow those candidates to continue if they cannot wage a decent campaign enough to project the prospect of winning. As earlier noted. Voters Information Sheet and the Official Ballots. The 16 COMELEC is mandated by the Constitution with the administration of elections and endowed with considerable latitude in adopting means and methods that will ensure the promotion of free. such as watchers in every polling place. the State takes into account the practical considerations in conducting elections. It is difficult to interpret the clause as operative in the absence of legislation since its effective means and reach are not properly defined. such as nuisance candidacies that distract and detract from the larger purpose. Towards this end.000. the State could exclude nuisance candidates and need not indulge in. petitioner¶s reliance on the equal access clause in Section 26. Words and phrases such as "equal access. no matter how 12 slim. to our mind is. of course. never exempt the State from the conduct of a mandated electoral exercise. Petitioner has submitted to this Court mere photocopies of various documents purportedly evincing his credentials as an eligible candidate for the presidency. "their trips to the moon on gossamer wings. watchers in the board of 14 15 canvassers. Equality is not sacrificed as long as the burdens engendered by the limitations are meant to be borne by any one who is minded to file a certificate of candidacy. Article II of the Constitution is misplaced. remedial actions should be available to alleviate these logistical hardships. Inevitably. there is no showing that any person is exempt from the limitations or the burdens which they create. whenever necessary and proper. there are election rules and regulations the formulations of which are dependent on the number of candidates in a given election. but a rot that erodes faith in our democratic institutions. petitioner does not challenge the constitutionality or validity of Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code and COMELEC Resolution No. As the United States Supreme Court held: [T]here is surely an important state interest in requiring some preliminary showing of a significant modicum of support before printing the name of a political organization and its candidates on the ballot ± the interest. Certainly." "opportunities. These would entail additional costs to the government. Ultimately. 2002 outlining the instances wherein the COMELEC may motu proprio refuse to give due course to or cancel a Certificate of Candidacy. Given these considerations. For the official ballots in automated counting and canvassing of votes. since such a review would necessarily take into account the matters which the COMELEC considered in arriving at its decisions. adopting the study Memorandum of its Law Department dated 11 January 2004. The COMELEC itself recognized these practical considerations when it promulgated Resolution No. 6452 dated 10 December 2003. Moreover. It would be a senseless sacrifice on the part of the State. To add into the mix candidates with no serious intentions or capabilities to run a viable campaign would actually impair the electoral process." The Omnibus Election Code and COMELEC Resolution No. Our election laws provide various entitlements for candidates 13 for public office. therefore. Broadly written. At the same time. As long as the limitations apply to everybody equally without discrimination. the equal access clause is not violated. The assailed resolutions of the COMELEC do not direct the Court to the evidence which it considered in determining that petitioner was a nuisance candidate.00). in avoiding confusion. The organization of an election with bona fide candidates standing is onerous enough. This precludes the Court from reviewing at this instance whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying petitioner. Clearly. Some valid limitations specifically on the privilege to seek elective office are found 9 in the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code on "Nuisance Candidates" and COMELEC 10 Resolution No. it was not the intention of the framers to inflict on the people an operative but amorphous foundation from which innately unenforceable rights may be sourced. 17 orderly and honest elections. satisfactorily defined in the Omnibus Election Code.

SO ORDERED. It deserves not a cursory treatment but a hearing which conforms to the requirements of due process. SPP (MP) No. with the required information tending to show that the candidate possesses the minimum qualifications for the position aspired for as established by the Constitution and other election laws. the remand of this case for the reception of further evidence is in order. This provision specifically enumerates what a certificate of candidacy should contain. to determine the question on whether petitioner Elly Velez Lao Pamatong is a nuisance candidate as contemplated in Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code. Vitug . concur. Sr. Ynares-Santiago. Callejo.. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. Carpio. COMELEC Case No. Corona. Panganiban. A word of caution is in order. and Azcuna. Jr. Davide. The COMELEC is directed to hold and complete the reception of evidence and report its findings to this Court with deliberate dispatch. The basis of the factual determination is not before this Court.The question of whether a candidate is a nuisance candidate or not is both legal and factual. 04-001 is hereby remanded to the COMELEC for the reception of further evidence. suffice it to say that the form strictly complies with Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code. JJ. Austria-Martinez. What is at stake is petitioner¶s aspiration and offer to serve in the government. Sandoval-Gutierrez. Quisumbing. * . As to petitioner¶s attacks on the validity of the form for the certificate of candidacy. Thus... Carpio-Morales. Puno.

The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Art. This is not the first tune that the writ of mandamus is sought to enforce the fundamental right to information. of necessity. 80 Phil. (Id. al. Hence. CORTES. III Sec. subject to such stations as may be provided by law. "as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development. 1012 [1947]). and to documents. J.1985.136 SCRA 27) wherein the people's right to be informed under the 1973 Constitution (Article IV. He further argues that there is no ministerial duty on the part of the Commission to furnish the petitioner with the information he seeks. However. Sec. Access to official records. be consistent with the declared State policy of full public disclosure of all transactions involving public interest (Constitution. These government employees. as amended) was claimed by a newspaper editor in another mandamus proceeding. petitioner prays for the issuance of the extraordinary writ of mandamus to compel the respondent Commission to disclose said information. They supply the rules by means of which the right to information may be enjoyed (Cooley. No. Access to official records.-Chinese League of the Philippines vs. al. 383 [1948]). 6. 7 have become operative and enforceable by virtue of the adoption of the New Charter. petitioner. vs. at. speedy and adequate remedy to acquire the information. . The constitutional right to information on matters of public concern first gained recognition in the Bill of Rights. Legaspi against the Civil Service Commission. To be given due course. p. Article IV. vs. 7 of the 1987 Constitution with the addition of the phrase. and papers pertaining to official acts. or decisions. Ozaeta. 1987 VALENTIN L. The petitioner in every case must therefore be an "aggrieved party" in the sense that he possesses a clear legal right to be enforced and a direct interest in the duty or act to be performed. respondent. or decisions. shall be afforded the citizen. transactions. Felix. (Ant. a Petition for mandamus must have been instituted by a party aggrieved by the alleged inaction of any tribunal. 1. and that he has no other plain. The Solicitor General interposes procedural objections to Our giving due course to this Petition. as well as to government research data used as basis. 165) What may be provided for by the Legislature are reasonable conditions and limitations upon the access to be afforded which must. The respondent had earlier denied Legaspi's request for information on the civil service eligibilities of certain persons employed as sanitarians in the Health Department of Cebu City. is guaranteed by the Constitution. He calls attention to the alleged failure of the petitioner to show his actual interest in securing this particular information. A Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations 167 [1927]) by guaranteeing the right and mandating the duty to afford access to sources of information. shall be afforded the citizen subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. corporation. it cannot be overemphasized that whatever limitation may be prescribed by the Legislature. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Therefore.. board or person which unlawfully excludes said party from the enjoyment of a legal right. Julian Sibonghanoy and Mariano Agas. the right may be properly invoked in a mandamus proceeding such as this one. of the 1973 Constitution. letters of instructions and other presidential issuances. the right and the duty under Art. L-63915. Sec. L-72119 May 29. for policy development. The foregoing provision has been retained and the right therein provided amplified in Article III. the fundamental right therein recognized may be asserted by the people upon the ratification of the constitution without need for any ancillary act of the Legislature. Prior to the recognition of the right in said Constitution the statutory right to information provided for in the Land Registration Act (Section 56." The new provision reads: Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. 77 Phil. No. transactions. 28). April 24. had allegedly represented themselves as civil service eligibles who passed the civil service examinations for sanitarians. These constitutional provisions are self-executing.R.(G. this time to demand access to the records of the Register of Deeds for the purpose of gathering data on real estate transactions involving aliens (Subido vs. The same remedy was resorted to in the case of Tanada et. 11. He challenges the petitioner's standing to sue upon the ground that the latter does not possess any clear legal right to be informed of the civil service eligibilities of the government employees concerned.R. Act 496. and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts. LEGASPI.: The fundamental right of the people to information on matters of public concern is invoked in this special civil action for mandamus instituted by petitioner Valentin L. which states: Sec. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. Tuvera et. Section 6) was invoked in order to compel the publication in the Official Gazette of various presidential decrees. Claiming that his right to be informed of the eligibilities of Julian Sibonghanoy and Mariano Agas.

the records in the Office of the Register of Deeds. the instant Petition is bereft of any allegation of Legaspi's actual interest in the civil service eligibilities of Julian Sibonghanoy and Mariano Agas. The guarantee has been further enhanced in the New Constitution with the adoption of a policy of full public disclosure. by its very nature. without an acknowledgment on its part of those duties exacted by the rights pertaining to the citizens. Section 28 thereof. that undue interference with the duties of the custodian of the books and documents and other employees may be prevented. Said administrative case was filed against the respondent judge for his alleged refusal to allow examination of the criminal docket records in his sala. G. This is not to lose sight of the reasonable regulations which may be imposed by said agencies in custody of public records on the manner in which the right to information may be exercised by the public. al. April 24. is a public right. reasons. 71 SCRA 14). et. to respect and protect that right. al. *** (Subido vs. We absolved the respondent. *** (Subido v. the respondent takes issue on the personality of the petitioner to bring this suit. at 39). all-inclusive term. In effect. In the Subido case.. Ozaeta. p. Properly construed. The absence of discretion on the part of government agencia es in allowing the examination of public records. or access to. In the Tanada case. In recognizing the people's right to be informed. as such is clothed with personality to seek redress for the alleged obstruction of the exercise of the public right. We have also held that the rules and conditions imposed by him upon the manner of examining the public records were reasonable. 387). supra. the constitutional guarantee was bolstered by what this Court declared as an imperative duty of the government officials concerned to publish all important legislative acts and resolutions of a public nature as well as all executive orders and proclamations of general applicability. We granted mandamus in said case. the requirement of personal interest is satisfied by the mere fact that the petitioner is a citizen. the regulations which the Register of Deeds may promulgate are confined to: * * * prescribing the manner and hours of examination to the end that damage to or loss of. to regulate the manner of inspection by the public of criminal docket records in the case of Baldoza vs. From the foregoing. may inspect. at p. 11. 80 Phil. supra. information of public concern. we do not believe it is the duty under the law of registration officers to concern themselves with the motives. specifically. We recognized the authority of the Register of Deeds to regulate the manner in which persons desiring to do so. and therefore. the people are regarded as the real party in interest and the relator at whose instigation the proceedings are instituted need not show that he has any legal or special interest in the result. The law itself makes a list of what should be published in the Official Gazette. We recognized a similar authority in a municipal judge. If it be wrong to publish the contents of the records. Ozaeta. this time "subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law. Sec. 1985. there lies a corresponding duty on the part of those who govern.In the case before Us." in Article 11. or that scandal is not made of it. 3). Upon a finding by the Investigating Judge that the respondent had allowed the complainant to open and view the subject records. 36). However. being a citizen who. 1976. 28). 496. or sheer. it becomes apparent that when a mandamus proceeding involves the assertion of a public right. In the words of the Court: * * * "Public" is a comprehensive. Rollo. We found occasion to expound briefly on the nature of said duty: * * * That duty must be enforced if the Constitutional right of the people to be informed on matters of public concern is to be given substance and reality. Ozaeta. papers and in addition. 5). vs. both the 1973 Constitution and the New Charter expressly mandate the duty of the State and its agents to afford access to official records. documents. For every right of the people recognized as fundamental. to our mind. Tuvera. idle curiosity. It is clear from the foregoing pronouncements of this Court that government agencies are without discretion in refusing disclosure of. which. (Art. (Emphasis supplied). 2. and objects of the person seeking access to the records. to wit: Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law. supra at 388). It is not their prerogative to see that the information which the records contain is not flaunted before public gaze. Matter No. L. government research data used as basis for policy development. examine or copy records relating to registered lands. . (Emphasis supplied). supra. supra: Except. Only governments operating under fundamental rules defining the limits of their power so as to shield individual rights against its arbitrary exercise can properly claim to be constitutional (Cooley. (Tanada v. it is the legislature and not the officials having custody thereof which is called upon to devise a remedy. the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest. The petitioner. 383. supra. subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. the Bill of Rights becomes a sophistry. when it held that even those who have no direct or tangible interest in any real estate transaction are part of the "public" to whom "(a)ll records relating to registered lands in the Office of the Register of Deeds shall be open * * *" (Sec. leaves respondents with no discretion whatsoever as to what must be in included or excluded from such publication. the records may be avoided. It has been held that: * * * when the question is one of public right and the object of the mandamus is to procure the enforcement of a public duty. At most there is a vague reference to an unnamed client in whose behalf he had allegedly acted when he made inquiries on the subject (Petition. Ozaeta. No. Tuvera. That is the very essence of the Bill of Rights in a constitutional regime. To say that only those who have a present and existing interest of a pecuniary character in the particular information sought are given the right of inspection is to make an unwarranted distinction. the ultimate illusion. Act No. it being sufficient to show that he is a citizen and as such interested in the execution of the laws * * * (Tanada et. Without a government's acceptance of the limitations imposed upon it by the Constitution in order to uphold individual liberties. that the right of other persons entitled to make inspection may be insured * * * (Subido vs. perhaps when it is clear that the purpose of the examination is unlawful. 136 SCRA 27. But what is clear upon the face of the Petition is that the petitioner has firmly anchored his case upon the right of the people to information on matters of public concern. and in the process. 387) Applying the Subido ruling by analogy. part of the general "public" which possesses the right. is emphasized in Subido vs. It is asserted that. The Court had opportunity to define the word "public" in the Subido case. 56. and liberty. Dimaano (Adm. We find no cogent reason to deny his standing to bring the present suit. it embraces every person. as amended).63915. Such listing.R. supra at p. May 5. 1120-MJ.

that the exercise of the same constitutional right by other persons shall be assured (Subido vs. for said position in the Health Department of Cebu City. p. . while the manner of examining public records may be subject to reasonable regulation by the government agency in custody thereof. ". 1] it is the legitimate concern of citizens to ensure that government positions requiring civil service eligibility are occupied only by persons who are eligibles. Fernan. And when. The information sought by the petitioner in this case is the truth of the claim of certain government employees that they are civil service eligibles for the positions to which they were appointed. the enjoyment of the constitutional right may be rendered nugatory by any whimsical exercise of agency discretion. 91. as far as practicable. The incorporation in the Constitution of a guarantee of access to information of public concern is a recognition of the essentiality of the free flow of ideas and information in a democracy (Baldoza v. the public right to be enforced and the concomitant duty of the State are unequivocably set forth in the Constitution. b. p. IX. are "subject to limitations as may be provided by law" (Art. The second pertains to the government agency charged with the custody of public records. In determining whether or not a particular information is of public concern there is no rigid test which can be applied. 6. Otherwise. as in bar examinations and licensure examinations for various professions. We take judicial notice of the fact that the names of those who pass the civil service examinations. such as those affecting national security (Journal No. supra. It follows that. it is not enough that the information sought is of public interest. and. The law may therefore exempt certain types of information from public scrutiny. But then. Ozaetal supra). the public concern deemed covered by the statutory right was the knowledge of those real estate transactions which some believed to have been registered in violation of the Constitution. (Art. 1986 Constitutional Commission). the duty to disclose the information of public concern. The threshold question is. the civil service eligibility of Julian Sibonghanoy and Mariano Agas. For mandamus to lie in a given case. and more importantly. . Legaspi. To safeguard the constitutional right. 1976.e.In both the Subido and the Baldoza cases. the availability of access to a particular public record must be circumscribed by the nature of the information sought.[2]). Paras. either because these directly affect their lives. therefore. concur. The decisive question on the propriety of the issuance of the writ of mandamus in this case is. In Subido vs. Its authority to regulate access is to be exercised solely to the end that damage to. (a) being of public concern or one that involves public interest. As aptly observed. or simply because such matters naturally arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen. that the same has been exempted by law from the operation of the guarantee. a. B. and Journal No. therefore.. and except as to positions which are policy determining. III. the public. by competitive examination. papers. not being discretionary. III. civil service eligibles. September 23. access may be compelled by a writ of Mandamus. Matter No. 7. (b) not being exempted by law from the operation of the constitutional guarantee. the government is in an advantageous position to marshall and interpret arguments against release . 32. public records may be avoided. 1987 Constitution). second sentence). Alabama. WHEREFORE. Bidin and Sarmiento. Petitioner's request is. C. Hence.. The civil service eligibility of a sanitarian being of public concern. its performance may be compelled by a writ of mandamus in a proper case. case while refusing to confirm or deny the claims of eligibility. its performance cannot be made contingent upon the discretion of such agencies. Certainly. the duty of the respondent Commission to confirm or deny the civil service eligibility of any person occupying the position becomes imperative. Art. This question is first addressed to the government agency having custody of the desired information. Teehankee. .S. But the constitutional guarantee to information on matters of public concern is not absolute. the government agency has the burden of showing that the information requested is not of public concern. September 24. 1986. In the final analysis.. Jr. and in the absence of express limitations under the law upon access to the register of civil service eligibles for said position. 1986. Narvasa. access to information of general interest aids the people in democratic decision-making (87 Harvard Law Review 1505 [1974]) by giving them a better perspective of the vital issues confronting the nation. Sec.J. Thus. it is for the courts to determine in a case by case basis whether the matter at issue is of interest or importance. Public officers are at all times accountable to the people even as to their eligibilities for their respective positions. there is nothing secret about one's civil service eligibility. The first is a limitation upon the availability of access to the information sought. 88.102 [1939]). In the same way that free discussion enables members of society to cope with the exigencies of their time (Thornhill vs. was the need for adequate notice to the public of the various laws which are to regulate the actions and conduct of citizens. Ozaeta. if actually possessed. Mandamus. every denial of access by the government agency concerned is subject to review by the courts.. Cruz. the respondent has failed to cite any provision in the Civil Service Law which would limit the petitioner's right to know who are. The constitutional duty. XI. as already discussed. Yap. We were emphatic in Our statement that the authority to regulate the manner of examining public records does not carry with it the power to prohibit. 90. neither unusual nor unreasonable. through any citizen. in every case. and who are not. whether or not the information sought is of public interest or public concern. primarily confidential or highly technical. Dimaano. as it relates to or affects the public. Padilla. etc.. and to afford access to public records cannot be discretionary on the part of said agencies. [Const. if it is of public concern. JJ. . Sec. Sec. Gutierrez. To hold otherwise will serve to dilute the constitutional right. In the instant. which only the Legislature may impose (Art. access to official records. 1120-MJ. But what is a proper case for Mandamus to issue? In the case before Us. May 5. Adm. 3. 2. The Constitution expressly declares as a State policy that: Appointments in the civil service shall be made only according to merit and fitness to be determined. However. the Civil Service Commission is ordered to open its register of eligibles for the position of sanitarian. 17 SCRA 14). or loss of. or. the government employees concerned claim to be civil service eligibles. Tuvera. undue interference with the duties of said agencies may be prevented. Melencio-Herrera. 10. and to confirm or deny. A distinction has to be made between the discretion to refuse outright the disclosure of or access to a particular information and the authority to regulate the manner in which the access is to be afforded. i. Sec. . supra. "Public concern" like "public interest" is a term that eludes exact definition. 310 U." (87 Harvard Law Review 1511 [1974]). therefore lies. has a right to verify their professed eligibilities from the Civil Service Commission. Gancayco. and in the proper case. It does not open every door to any and all information. Public office being a public trust. as in this case. as requested by the petitioner Valentin L. The public concern invoked in the case of Tanada v. the information must not be among the species exempted by law from the operation of the constitutional guarantee. In case of denial of access. are released to the public. this does not give the agency concerned any discretion to grant or deny access. whether the information sought by the petitioner is within the ambit of the constitutional guarantee. Both terms embrace a broad spectrum of subjects which the public may want to know. Under the Constitution.

. the issue raised by petitioner. Thereafter. the decision of the reviewing committee and the voting slips of the members. 38-42). J. MORATO AND THE MTRCB BY APPROVING AND ENFORCING RESOLUTION NO. it was only much later. is on leave. It is on the basis of said slips that films are either banned. Petitioner brought the matter to the attention of the Executive Secretary. B. respondent Morato called an executive meeting of the MTRCB to discuss.:p At issue in this petition is the citizen's right of access to official records as guaranteed by the constitution. 10-89 ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION TANTAMOUNT TO LACK OF JURISDICTION BECAUSE THE SAME VIOLATES ARTICLE III SECTION 7 OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION. J. Another incident which gave rise to this petition occurred in a board meeting held on June 22. . petitioner. respondent Morato told the board that he has ordered some deletions on the movie "Mahirap ang Magmahal" notwithstanding the fact that said movie was earlier approved for screening by the Board with classification "R-18 without cuts". their decisions as reflected in the individual voting slips partake the nature of conscience votes and as such. respondents. on July 27. that respondent Morato possesses no authority to unilaterally reverse a decision of the review committee under PD 1986 (Creating the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board). the latter opined that PD 1896 does not vest respondent Morato any authority to unilaterally reverse the decision of the review committee but declined to comment on the constitutionality of Res. Zambrano. However. petitioner. referred the same to respondent Morato for appropriate comment." Petitioner informed the Board. MANUEL L. a request therefor may be legally denied. BIDIN. AQUINO-SARMIENTO. this petition anchored on the following: A. MTRCB RESOLUTION NO. On February 27. 92541 November 13. i. respondent Morato opted to ignore it. No. 10-89 on the ground that the resolution thereof is a judicial prerogative (Rollo.Feliciano. Francisco Ma. 1989. 1991 MA. 88-1-25 (dated June 22. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila G. 88-1-25 HAS NO LEGAL BASIS AND CONSTITUTES AN UNLAWFUL DELEGATION OF DISCRETIONARY POWERS. Acting on the said request.e. Chua Law Firm for petitioner. Araullo. respondent Morato denied petitioner's request to examine the voting slips. CARMEN G. are purely and completely private and personal.. wrote its records officer requesting that she be allowed to examine the board's records pertaining to the voting slips accomplished by the individual board members after a review of the movies and television productions. the records officer informed petitioner that she has to secure prior clearance from respondent Manuel Morato. however. Hence. on the other hand. 1989. In that meeting. that the records she wishes to examine are public in character and other than providing for reasonable conditions regulating the manner and hours of examination. It is the submission of respondents that the individual voting slips is the exclusive property of the member concerned and anybody who wants access thereto must first secure his (the member's) consent. No. to gain access to the records sought to be examined. that respondent Board issued Resolution No. pp. After the matter was referred by the Deputy Executive Secretary to the Justice Secretary. cut or classified accordingly. Petitioner's request was eventually denied by respondent Morato on the ground that whenever the members of the board sit in judgment over a film. In February 1989. Gruba. MORATO (in his capacity as Chairman of the MTRCB) and the MOVIE & TELEVISION REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION BOARD. which in turn. private and personal. Chanco for respondents. In said meeting. among others. otherwise. Petitioner argues. seventeen (17) members of the boar