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Republic of the Philippines

Supreme Court
Baguio City

FIRST DIVISION

DANILO A. DU, G.R. No. 175042
Petitioner,

- versus-

VENANCIO R. 1AYOMA, then Present:
Municipal Mayor of Mabini, Bohol,
VICENTE GULLE, 1R., CORONA, C. J., Chairperson,
1OVENIANO MIANO, WILFREDO LEONARO-E CA!"RO,
MENDEZ, AGAPITO VALLESPIN, BER!A#$N,
RENE BUCIO, 1ESUS TUTOR, EL CA!"$LLO, and
CRESCENCIO BERNALES, %$LLARA#A, &R', JJ.
EDGARDO YBANEZ, and REY
PAGALAN, then members of the
Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Mabini,
Bohol, Pro(ulgate):
Respondents. April *+, *,-*
. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .

D E C I S I O N

DEL CASTILLO, J.:

$n the absence of a legal right in favor of the plaintiff, there can be no cause of action'

"his Petition for Revie/ on Certiorari
0-1
un)er Rule 23 of the Rules of Court assails the ecision
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)ate) &uly --, *,,4 an) the Resolution
0+1
)ate)
October 2, *,,4 of the Court of Appeals 5CA6 in CA-7'R' !P No' ,,28*'


Factual Antecedents

On &uly 9, -8::, the Sangguniang Bayan of the #unicipality of #abini, Bohol, enacte) #unicipal Or)inance No' -, series of -8::,
021
re;uiring the
con)uct of a public bi))ing for the operation of a coc<pit in the sai) (unicipality every four years'

=or the perio) &anuary -, -8:8 to ece(ber +-, -88*, the /inning bi))er /as Engr' E)gar)o Carabuena'
031
>o/ever, )ue to his failure to co(ply /ith
the legal re;uire(ents for operating a coc<pit, the Sangguniang Bayan on ece(ber -, -8:: a)opte) Resolution No' -*9, series of -8::,
041
authori?ing petitioner
anilo u to continue his coc<pit operation until the /inning bi))er co(plies /ith the legal re;uire(ents'
091

On &uly 8, -889, upon )iscovering that petitioner has been operating his coc<pit in violation of #unicipal Or)inance No' -, series of -8::,
the Sangguniang Bayan passe) #unicipal Resolution No' ,43, series of -889,
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suspen)ing petitioner@s coc<pit operation effective upon approval'
081

On &uly --, -889, pursuant to #unicipal Resolution No' ,43, series of -889, respon)ent %enancio R' &ayo(a, then #ayor of #abini, in a letter,
0-,1
or)ere) petitioner to )esist fro( hol)ing any coc<fighting activity effective i((e)iately'
0--1

=eeling aggrieve), petitioner file) /ith Branch 3- of the Regional "rial Court 5R"C6 of Bohol, a Petition for Prohibition,
0-*1
)oc<ete) as !pecial Civil
Action No' 2, against respon)ent (ayor an) nine (e(bers of the Sangguniang Bayan of #abini, na(ely: %icente 7ulle, &r', &oveniano #iano, Ailfre)o #en)e?,
Agapito %allespin, Rene Bucio, &esus "utor, Crescencio Bernales, E)gar)o Bbane? an) Rey Pagalan' Petitioner praye) that a preli(inary inCunction an)Dor a
te(porary restraining or)er be issue) to prevent respon)ents fro( suspen)ing his coc<pit operation'
0-+1
Petitioner clai(e) that he has a business per(it to operate
until ece(ber +-, -889E
0-21
an) that the #unicipal Resolution No' ,43, series of -889, /as unla/fully issue) as it )eprive) hi( of )ue process'
0-31

$n their Ans/er,
0-41
respon)ents interpose) that un)er the Local 7overn(ent Co)e 5L7C6 of -88-, the po/er to authori?e an) license the establish(ent,
operation an) (aintenance of a coc<pit is lo)ge) in the Sangguniang BayanE
0-91
that respon)ent (ayor, in or)ering the suspension of petitioner@s coc<pit operation,
/as (erely e.ercising his e.ecutive po/er to regulate the establish(ent of coc<pits in the (unicipality, pursuant to the or)inances an) resolutions enacte) by
the Sangguniang BayanE
0-:1
an) that #unicipal Resolution No' ,43, series of -889, )oes not nee) to be approve) by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan because it is not
an or)inance but an e.pression of senti(ents of the Sangguniang Bayan of #abini'
0-81

On October **, -889, a "e(porary Restraining Or)er
0*,1
/as issue) by the R"C enCoining respon)ents fro( suspen)ing the coc<pit operation of
petitioner until further or)ers fro( the court'
0*-1

"he Petition for Prohibition /as later a(en)e)
0**1
to inclu)e )a(ages, /hich

the R"C a)(itte) in an Or)er
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)ate) &anuary *-, -88:'

Ruling of the Regional Trial Court

On October 3, *,,2, the R"C ren)ere) a ecision
0*21
in favor of petitioner, to /it:

A>ERE=ORE, an) on the groun) that petitioner /as able to prove his case /ith prepon)erance of evi)ence, Cu)g(ent is
hereby ren)ere) in favor of the petitioner an) against the respon)ents, or)ering the respon)ents Cointly an) severally to pay the petitioner:

-' "he a(ount of "/enty "housan) Pesos 5P*,,,,,',,6 in the concept of (oral )a(agesE

*' "he a(ount of !i.ty "housan) Pesos 5P4,,,,,',,6 in the concept of unearne) inco(e consi)ering the unrebutte)
testi(ony of the petitioner 0that1 he lost =our "housan) Pesos 5P2,,,,',,6 for each of the fifteen 5-36 !un)ays that his coc<pit /as close) as
its operation /as or)ere) suspen)e) by the respon)ent' By (athe(atical co(putation P2,,,,',, . -3 a(ounts to P4,,,,,',,E

+' "he a(ount of "en "housan) Pesos 5P-,,,,,',,6 as e.e(plary )a(ages to )eter other public officials fro(
co((itting si(ilar actsE

2' "he a(ount of "/enty "housan) Pesos 5P*,,,,,',,6 as attorney@s fees, an) to pay the cost'

!O ORERE'
0*31


Ruling of the Court of Appeals

On appeal, the CA reverse) the ecision of the R"C' Accor)ing to the CA, petitioner )i) not ac;uire a veste) right to operate a coc<pit in the (unicipality
as he /as only grante) a te(porary privilege by the Sangguniang Bayan'
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>ence, there being no right in esse, petitioner is not entitle) to )a(ages'
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"hus, the
)ispositive portion rea)s:

WHEREFORE, pre(ises consi)ere), the instant appeal is hereby EN$E' "he assaile) )ecision granting petitioner the a/ar)
of )a(ages is !E" A!$E an) the petition file) by petitioner against respon)ents is $!#$!!E'

SO ORDERED'
0*:1


Petitioner (ove) for reconsi)eration /hich /as )enie) by the CA in a Resolution
0*81
)ate) October 2, *,,4'

Issue

>ence, the instant petition raising the core issue of /hether the CA erre) in fin)ing that petitioner is not entitle) to )a(ages'
0+,1

Petitioners Arguments

Petitioner conten)s that #unicipal Resolution No' ,43, series of -889, is ultra vires as it /as (aliciously, hastily, an) unla/fully enforce) by respon)ent
(ayor t/o )ays after its passage /ithout the revie/ or approval of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bohol'
0+-1
>e alleges that respon)ents suspen)e) the operation
of his coc<pit /ithout )ue process an) that the suspension /as politically (otivate)'
0+*1
$n a))ition, he clai(s that as a result of the inci)ent, he is entitle) to actual,
(oral an) e.e(plary )a(ages as /ell as attorney@s fees'
0++1

Respondents Arguments

Echoing the ruling of the CA, respon)ents insist that petitioner is not entitle) to )a(ages because he )i) not ac;uire a veste) right to operate a coc<pit in
the (unicipality'
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"hey also (aintain that the suspension of petitioner@s coc<pit operation /as pursuant to la/ an) prevailing or)inance'
0+31

Our Ruling

"he petition lac<s (erit'

A cause of action is )efine) as Fthe act or o(ission by /hich a party violates a right of another'G
0+41


Corollarily, the essential ele(ents of a cause of action are: 5-6 a right in favor of the plaintiffE 5*6 an obligation on the part of the )efen)ant to respect such
rightE an) 5+6 an act or o(ission on the part of the )efen)ant in violation of the plaintiff@s right /ith a resulting inCury or )a(age to the plaintiff for /hich the latter (ay
file an action for the recovery of )a(ages or other appropriate relief'
0+91

Petitioner has no legal right to operate a cockpit.


$n this case, /e fin) that petitioner has no cause of action against the respon)ents as he has no legal right to operate a coc<pit in the (unicipality' Hn)er
Resolution No' -*9, series of -8::, the Sangguniang Bayan allo/e) hi( to continue to operate his coc<pit only because the /inning bi))er for the perio) &anuary -,
-8:8 to ece(ber +-, -88* faile) to co(ply /ith the legal re;uire(ents for operating a coc<pit' Clearly, un)er the sai) resolution, petitioner@s authority to operate the
coc<pit /oul) en) on ece(ber +-, -88* or upon co(pliance by the /inning bi))er /ith the legal re;uire(ents for operating a coc<pit, /hichever co(es first' As
/e see it, the only reason he /as able to continue operating until &uly -889 /as because the SangguniangBayan of #abini faile) to (onitor the status of the coc<pit
in their (unicipality'

An) even if he /as able to get a business per(it fro( respon)ent (ayor for the perio) &anuary -, -889 to ece(ber +-, -889, this )i) not give hi( a
license to operate a coc<pit' Hn)er !ection 2295a65+65v6 of the L7C, it is the Sangguniang Bayan /hich is e(po/ere) to Fauthori?e an) license the establish(ent,
operation an) (aintenance of coc<pits, an) regulate coc<fighting an) co((ercial bree)ing of ga(ecoc<s'G Consi)ering that no public bi))ing /as con)ucte) for
the operation of a coc<pit fro( &anuary -, -88+ to ece(ber +-, -889, petitioner cannot clai( that he /as )uly authori?e) by the Sangguniang Bayan to operate his
coc<pit in the (unicipality for the perio) &anuary -, -889 to ece(ber +-, -889' Respon)ent (e(bers of the Sangguniang Bayan, therefore, ha) every reason to
suspen) the operation of petitioner@s coc<pit by enacting #unicipal Resolution No' ,43, series of -889' As the chief e.ecutive of the (unicipal govern(ent,
respon)ent (ayor /as )uty-boun) to enforce the suspension of the operation of petitioner@s coc<pit pursuant to the sai) Resolution'

$t bears stressing that no evi)ence /as presente) to sho/ that upon revie/ by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bohol, the resolution /as )eclare)
invali) or that the resolution /as issue) beyon) the po/ers of the Sangguniang Bayan or (ayor' &urispru)ence consistently hol)s that an or)inance, or in this case a
resolution, is Fpresu(e) vali) in the absence of evi)ence sho/ing that it is not in accor)ance /ith the la/'G
0+:1
>ence, /e fin) no reason to invali)ate #unicipal
Resolution No' ,43, series of -889'

icense to operate a cockpit is a mere pri!ilege.


$n a))ition, it is /ell enshrine) in our Curispru)ence that Fa license
authori?ing the operation an) e.ploitation of a coc<pit is not property of /hich the hol)er (ay not be )eprive) /ithout )ue process of la/, but a (ere privilege that
(ay be revo<e) /hen public interests so re;uire'G
0+81
>aving sai) that, petitioner@s allegation that he /as )eprive) of )ue process has no leg to stan) on'

Petitioner not entitled to damages

Aithout any legal right to operate a coc<pit in the (unicipality, petitioner is not entitle) to )a(ages' $nCury alone )oes not give petitioner the right to
recover )a(agesE he (ust also have a right of action for the legal /rong inflicte) by the respon)ents'
02,1
Ae nee) not belabor that Fin or)er that the la/ /ill give
re)ress for an act causing )a(age, there (ust be damnum et injuriaI that act (ust be not only hurtful, but /rongful'G
02-1

All tol), /e fin) no error on the part of the CA in )is(issing petitioner@s case'

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED' "he assaile) ecision )ate) &uly --, *,,4 an) the Resolution )ate) October 2, *,,4 of the Court of
Appeals in CA-7'R' !P No' ,,28* are hereby AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.


MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO
Associate Justice

AE CONCHR:

RENATO C. CORONA
Chairperson
Chief Justice



TERESITA 1. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO
Associate Justice
LUCAS P. BERSAMIN
Associate Justice



MARTIN S. VILLARAMA, 1R.
Associate Justice





C E R T I F I C A T I O N

Pursuant to !ection -+, Article %$$$ of the Constitution, it is hereby certifie) that the conclusions in the above ecision ha) been reache) in consultation
before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion of the Court@s ivision'



RENATO C. CORONA
Chief Justice

0-1
Rollo, pp' +--,9 /ith Anne.es FAG to F&--G inclusive'
0*1
$)' at :3-8+E penne) by Associate &ustice Arsenio &' #agpale an) concurre) in by Associate &ustices %icente L Bap an) Ro(eo =' Bar?a'
0+1
$)' at -,2--,3E penne) by Associate &ustice Arsenio &' #agpale an) concurre) in by Associate &ustices Ro(eo =' Bar?a an) Antonio L' %illa(or'
021
$)' at 2,'
031
$)' at :4'
041
$)' at 2-'
091
$)' at :4'
0:1
Recor)s, p' :'
081
Rollo, pp' :4-:9'
0-,1
Recor)s, p' 9'
0--1
Rollo, pp' :9-::'
0-*1
$)' at *8-++'
0-+1
$)' at +*'
0-21
$)' at *8'
0-31
$)' at +--+*'
0-41
$)' at +2-+8'
0-91
$)' at +3'
0-:1
$)'
0-81
$)'
0*,1
Recor)s, p' 32'
0*-1
Rollo, p' ::'
0**1
$)' at 22-3,'
0*+1
$)' at 3-'
0*21
$)' at 3*-4-E penne) by E.ecutive Presi)ing &u)ge Patsita !ar(iento-7a(utan'
0*31
$)' at 4-'
0*41
$)' at 8--8*'
0*91
$)'
0*:1
$)' at 8*-8+'
0*81
$)' at -,2--,3'
0+,1
$)' at -24--29 an) -48'
0+-1
$)' at -2:'
0+*1
$)'
0++1
$)' at -2:--28'
0+21
$)' at -48--9*'
0+31
$)'
0+41
RHLE! O= COHR", Rule *, !ection *'
0+91
Soloil, Inc. . Philippine Coconut Authority, 7'R' No' -92:,4, August --, *,-,, 4*: !CRA -:3, -8,'
0+:1
Judge !eynes . Commission on Audit, 24+ Phil' 339, 3:, 5*,,+6'
0+81
Pedro . Proincial Board of Ri"al, 34 Phil' -*+, -+* 5-8+-6'
02,1
#an . Pere$a, 28* Phil' *,,, *-, 5*,,36'
02-1
$)'
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
#anila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 160426 1anuary 31, 2008
CAPITOLINA VIVERO NAPERE, petitioner,
vs'
AMANDO BARBARONA and GERVACIA MON1AS BARBARONA, respon)ents'
R E S O L U T I O N
NACHURA, J.:
Petitioner Capitolina %ivero Napere interposes this petition for revie/ to assail the Court of Appeals@ ecision
-
)ate) October 8, *,,+, /hich
uphel) the vali)ity of the Regional "rial Court@s )ecision )espite failure to for(ally or)er the substitution of the heirs of the )ecease) )efen)ant,
petitioner@s husban)'
"he case ste(s fro( the follo/ing antece)ents:
Respon)ent A(an)o Barbarona is the registere) o/ner of Lot No' +-99, situate) in Barangay !an !otero 5for(erly "a(bis6, &avier, Leyte an)
covere) by Original Certificate of "itle 5OC"6 No' P-9+3,' Lot No' +-94, covere) by OC" No' ---, in the na(e of Anacleto Napere, a)Coins
sai) lot on the northeastern si)e' After Anacleto )ie), his son, &uan Napere, an) the latter@s /ife, herein petitioner, plante) coconut trees on
certain portions of the property /ith the consent of his co-heirs'
$n their co(plaint, respon)ents allege) that in April -8:,, the spouses Napere, their relatives an) hire) laborers, by (eans of stealth an) strategy,
encroache) upon an) occupie) the northeastern portion of Lot No' +-99E that the Naperes harveste) the coconut fruits thereon, appropriate) the
procee)s thereof, an), )espite )e(an)s, refuse) to turn over possession of the areaE that in April -88*, a relocation survey /as con)ucte) /hich
confir(e) that the respon)ents@ property /as encroache) upon by the NaperesE that on the basis of the relocation survey, the respon)ents too<
possession of this encroache) portion of the lot an) harveste) the fruits thereon fro( April -88+ to ece(ber -88+E but that in &anuary -882, the
Naperes repeate) their acts by encroaching again on the respon)ents@ property, harvesting the coconuts an) appropriating the procee)s thereof,
an) refusing to vacate the property on )e(an)'
On Nove(ber -,, -883, /hile the case /as pen)ing, &uan Napere )ie)' "heir counsel infor(e) the court of &uan Napere@s )eath, an) sub(itte)
the na(es an) a))resses of Napere@s heirs'
At the pre-trial, the R"C note) that the Naperes /ere not contesting the respon)ents@ right of possession over the )ispute) portion of the property
but /ere )e(an)ing the rights of a planter in goo) faith un)er Articles 223 an) 233 of the Civil Co)e'
On October -9, -884, the R"C ren)ere) a ecision against the estate of &uan Napere, thus:
A>ERE=ORE, this Court fin)s in favor of the plaintiff an) against the )efen)ant, hereby )eclaring the follo/ing:
a6 "he estate of &uan Napere is liable to pay the a(ount of ONE >HNRE !E%EN"B-N$NE ">OH!AN "AO >HNRE
5P-98,*,,',,6 PE!O! in actual )a(agesE
b6 "he estate of &uan Napere shall be liable to pay =$%E ">OH!AN 5P3,,,,',,6 PE!O! in litigation e.penses, an) the
c6 Cost0s1 of suit'
!O ORERE'
*
Petitioner appeale) the case to the Court of Appeals 5CA6, arguing, inter alia, that the Cu)g(ent of the trial court /as voi) for lac< of Curis)iction
over the heirs /ho /ere not or)ere) substitute) as party-)efen)ants for the )ecease)'
On October 8, *,,+, the CA ren)ere) a ecision affir(ing the R"C ecision'
+
"he appellate court hel) that failure to substitute the heirs for the
)ecease) )efen)ant /ill not invali)ate the procee)ings an) the Cu)g(ent in a case /hich survives the )eath of such party'
"hus, this petition for revie/ /here the only issue is /hether or not the R"C )ecision is voi) for lac< of Curis)iction over the heirs of &uan
Napere' Petitioner alleges that the trial court )i) not ac;uire Curis)iction over the persons of the heirs because of its failure to or)er their
substitution pursuant to !ection -9,
2
Rule + of the Rule of CourtE hence, the procee)ings con)ucte) an) the )ecision ren)ere) by the trial court
are null an) voi)'
"he petition (ust fail'
Ahen a party to a pen)ing case )ies an) the clai( is not e.tinguishe) by such )eath, the Rules re;uire the substitution of the )ecease) party by
his legal representative or heirs' $n such case, counsel is oblige) to infor( the court of the )eath of his client an) give the na(e an) a))ress of the
latter@s legal representative'
"he co(plaint for recovery of possession, ;uieting of title an) )a(ages is an action that survives the )eath of the )efen)ant' Notably, the counsel
of &uan Napere co(plie) /ith his )uty to infor( the court of his client@s )eath an) the na(es an) a))resses of the heirs' "he trial court, ho/ever,
faile) to or)er the substitution of the heirs' Nonetheless, )espite this oversight, /e hol) that the procee)ings con)ucte) an) the Cu)g(ent ren)ere)
by the trial court are vali)'
"he Court has repeate)ly )eclare) that failure of the counsel to co(ply /ith his )uty to infor( the court of the )eath of his client, such that no
substitution is effecte), /ill not invali)ate the procee)ings an) the Cu)g(ent ren)ere) thereon if the action survives the )eath of such party'
3
"he
trial court@s Curis)iction over the case subsists )espite the )eath of the party'
#ere failure to substitute a )ecease) party is not sufficient groun) to nullify a trial court@s )ecision' "he party alleging nullity (ust prove that
there /as an un)eniable violation of )ue process'
4
!trictly spea<ing, the rule on substitution by heirs is not a (atter of Curis)iction, but a re;uire(ent of )ue process'
9
"he rule on substitution /as
crafte) to protect every party@s right to )ue process'
:
$t /as )esigne) to ensure that the )ecease) party /oul) continue to be properly represente)
in the suit through his heirs or the )uly appointe) legal representative of his estate'
8
#oreover, non-co(pliance /ith the Rules results in the
)enial of the right to )ue process for the heirs /ho, though not )uly notifie) of the procee)ings, /oul) be substantially affecte) by the )ecision
ren)ere) therein'
-,
"hus, it is only /hen there is a )enial of )ue process, as /hen the )ecease) is not represente) by any legal representative or
heir, that the court nullifies the trial procee)ings an) the resulting Cu)g(ent therein'
--
=or(al substitution by heirs is not necessary /hen they the(selves voluntarily appear, participate in the case, an) present evi)ence in )efense of
the )ecease)'
-*
$n such case, there is really no violation of the right to )ue process' "he essence of )ue process is the reasonable opportunity to be
hear) an) to sub(it any evi)ence available in support of one@s )efense'
-+
Ahen )ue process is not violate), as /hen the right of the representative
or heir is recogni?e) an) protecte), nonco(pliance or belate) for(al co(pliance /ith the Rules cannot affect the vali)ity of a pro(ulgate)
)ecision'
-2
$n light of these pronounce(ents, /e cannot nullify the procee)ings before the trial court an) the Cu)g(ent ren)ere) therein because the
petitioner, /ho /as, in fact, a co-)efen)ant of the )ecease), actively participate) in the case' "he recor)s sho/ that the counsel of &uan Napere
an) petitioner continue) to represent the( even after &uan@s )eath' >ence, through counsel, petitioner /as able to a)e;uately )efen) herself an)
the )ecease) in the procee)ings belo/' ue process si(ply )e(an)s an opportunity to be hear) an) this opportunity /as not )enie) petitioner'
=inally, the allege) )enial of )ue process as /oul) nullify the procee)ings an) the Cu)g(ent thereon can be invo<e) only by the heirs /hose
rights have been violate)' %iolation of )ue process is a personal )efense that can only be asserte) by the persons /hose rights have been
allege)ly violate)'
-3
Petitioner, /ho ha) every opportunity an) /ho too< a)vantage of such opportunity, through counsel, to participate in the
trial court procee)ings, cannot clai( )enial of )ue process'
WHEREFORE, pre(ises consi)ere), the petition is DENIED DUE COURSE' "he ecision of the Court of Appeals, )ate) October 8, *,,+, in
CA-7'R' C% No' 34239, is AFFIRMED'
SO ORDERED'
ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA
Associate &ustice
AE CONCHR:
CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate &ustice
Chairperson
MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ
Associate &ustice
J
RENATO C. CORONA
Associate &ustice
RUBEN T. REYES
Associate &ustice
A T T E S T A T I O N
$ attest that the conclusions in the above ecision ha) been reache) in consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion of the
Court@s ivision'
CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate &ustice
Chairperson, "hir) ivsion
C E R T I F I C A T I O N
Pursuant to !ection -+, Article %$$$ of the Constitution an) the ivision Chairperson@s Attestation, $ certify that the conclusions in the above
ecision ha) been reache) in consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion of the Court@s ivision'
REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice
Footnotes
J
$n lieu of Associate &ustice #inita %' Chico-Na?ario per !pecial Or)er No' 2:2 )ate) &anuary --, *,,:'
-
Penne) by Associate &ustice #arina L' Bu?on, /ith Associate &ustices !ergio L' PestaKo an) &ose C' #en)o?a, concurringE rollo, pp'
+*-2-'
*
Rollo, p' 2:'
+
$)' at 2,'
2
No/ !ection -4, Rule + of the -889 Rules of Civil Proce)ure'
3
Riviera =ilipina, $nc' v' Court of Appeals, 2+, Phil' :, +,-+- 5*,,*6E Benavi)e? v' Court of Appeals, +9* Phil' 4-3, 4*+-4*2 5-8886'
4
e la Cru? v' &oa;uin, 7'R' No' -4*9::, &uly *:, *,,3, 242 !CRA 394, 3:4'
9
$)' at 3:3'
:
$)' at 3:2'
8
>eirs of Bertul)o >inog v' #elicor, 7'R' No' -2,832, April -*, *,,3, 233 !CRA 24,, 29:'
-,
%)a' )e !ala?ar v' Court of Appeals, +*, Phil' +9+, +9: 5-8836'
--
e la Cru? v' &oa;uin, supra note 4, at 3:3-3:4'
-*
$)' at 3:3'
-+
7ochan v' 7ochan, 224 Phil' 2++, 23, 5*,,+6'
-2
e la Cru? v' &oa;uin, supra note 4, at 3:3-3:4'
-3
Caran)ang v' >eirs of Luirino A' e 7u?(an, 7'R' No' -4,+29, Nove(ber *8, *,,4, 3,: !CRA 248, 2:,'
!errano v' 7allant #ariti(e !ervices, $nc' -7'R' No' -494-2, #arch *2, *,,8

Republic of the Philippines
Supreme Court
Manila

SECOND DIVISION

CLAUDIO S. YAP,
Petitioner,


- versus -


THENAMARIS SHIP`S MANAGEMENT
and INTERMARE MARITIME AGENCIES, INC.,
Respon)ents'
G.R. No. 179532
Present:

CARP$O, J.,
Chairperson,
NAC>HRA,
PERAL"A,
ABA, an)
#ENOMA, JJ.
Pro(ulgate):
#ay +,, *,--
.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.


DECISION

NACHURA, J.:


Before this Court is a Petition for Revie/ on Certiorari
0-1
un)er Rule 23 of the Rules of Civil Proce)ure, see<ing the reversal of the
Court of Appeals 5CA6 ecision
0*1
)ate) =ebruary *:, *,,9, /hich affir(e) /ith (o)ification the National Labor Relations Co((ission 5NLRC6
resolution
0+1
)ate) April *,, *,,3'

"he un)ispute) facts, as foun) by the CA, are as follo/s:


0Petitioner1 Clau)io !' Bap /as e(ploye) as electrician of the vessel, #D" !EA!COH" on -2 August *,,- by
$nter(are #ariti(e Agencies, $nc' in behalf of its principal, %ulture !hipping Li(ite)' "he contract of e(ploy(ent
entere) into by Bap an) Capt' =rancisco B' A)viento, the 7eneral #anager of $nter(are, /as for a )uration of -*
(onths' On *+ August *,,-, Bap boar)e) #D" !EA!COH" an) co((ence) his Cob as electrician' >o/ever, on or about
,: Nove(ber *,,-, the vessel /as sol)' "he Philippine Overseas E(ploy(ent A)(inistration 5POEA6 /as infor(e)
about the sale on ,4 ece(ber *,,- in a letter signe) by Capt' A)viento' Bap, along /ith the other cre/(e(bers, /as
infor(e) by the #aster of their vessel that the sa(e /as sol) an) /ill be scrappe)' "hey /ere also infor(e) about
the Adisory sent by Capt' Constatinou, /hich states, a(ong others:

F NPLEA!E A!O BR O==$CER! AN RA"$N7! $= ">EB A$!> "O BE "RAN!=ERRE "O O">ER
%E!!EL! A="ER %E!!EL ! EL$%ERB 57REEO %$A A">EN!-P>$L$P$NO! %$A #AN$LAN
N=OR CREA NO" A$!> "RAN!=ER "O ECLARE ">E$R PRO!PEC"E "$#E =OR
REE#BAROA"$ON $N ORER "O !C>EHLE ">E# ACCLBNG

Bap receive) his seniority bonus, vacation bonus, e.tra bonus along /ith the scrapping bonus' >o/ever, /ith
respect to the pay(ent of his /age, he refuse) to accept the pay(ent of one-(onth basic /age' >e insiste) that he /as
entitle) to the pay(ent of the une.pire) portion of his contract since he /as illegally )is(isse) fro( e(ploy(ent' >e
allege) that he opte) for i((e)iate transfer but none /as (a)e'

0Respon)ents1, for their part, conten)e) that Bap /as not illegally )is(isse)' "hey allege) that follo/ing the sale of
the #D" !EA!COH", Bap signe) off fro( the vessel on -, Nove(ber *,,- an) /as pai) his /ages correspon)ing to the
(onths he /or<e) or until -, Nove(ber *,,- plus his seniority bonus, vacation bonus an) e.tra bonus' "hey further
allege) that Bap@s e(ploy(ent contract /as vali)ly ter(inate) )ue to the sale of the vessel an) no arrange(ent /as (a)e
for Bap@s transfer to "hena(aris@ other vessels'
021


"hus, Clau)io !' Bap 5petitioner6 file) a co(plaint for $llegal is(issal /ith a(ages an) Attorney@s =ees before the Labor Arbiter
5LA6' Petitioner clai(e) that he /as entitle) to the salaries correspon)ing to the une.pire) portion of his contract' !ubse;uently, he file) an
a(en)e) co(plaint, i(plea)ing Captain =rancisco A)viento of respon)ents $nter(are #ariti(e Agencies, $nc' 5$nter(are6 an) "hena(aris
!hip@s #anage(ent 5respon)ents6, together /ith C'&' #artionos, $nterseas "ra)ing an) =inancing Corporation, an) %ulture !hipping
Li(ite)D!teCo !hipping Li(ite)'

On &uly *4, *,,2, the LA ren)ere) a )ecision
031
in favor of petitioner, fin)ing the latter to have been constructively an) illegally )is(isse)
by respon)ents' #oreover, the LA foun) that respon)ents acte) in ba) faith /hen they assure) petitioner of re-e(bar<ation an) re;uire) hi( to
pro)uce an electrician certificate )uring the perio) of his contract, but actually he /as not able to boar) one )espite of respon)ents@ nu(erous
vessels' Petitioner (a)e several follo/-ups for his re-e(bar<ation but respon)ents faile) to hee) his pleaE thus, petitioner /as force) to litigate in
or)er to vin)icate his rights' Lastly, the LA opine) that since the une.pire) portion of petitioner@s contract /as less than one year, petitioner /as
entitle) to his salaries for the une.pire) portion of his contract for a perio) of nine (onths' "he LA )ispose), as follo/s:


WHEREFORE, in vie/ of the foregoing, a )ecision is hereby ren)ere) )eclaring co(plainant to have been
constructively )is(isse)' Accor)ingly, respon)ents $nter(are #ariti(e Agency $ncorporate), "hena(aris !hip@s #gt',
an) %ulture !hipping Li(ite) are or)ere) to pay Cointly an) severally co(plainant Clau)io !' Bap the su( of P-*,:9,',,
or its peso e;uivalent at the ti(e of pay(ent' $n a))ition, (oral )a(ages of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS
(P100,000.00) and exemplary damages of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00) are a/ar)e) plus ten percent
5-,Q6 of the total a/ar) as attorney@s fees'

Other (oney clai(s are DISMISSED for lac< of (erit'

SO ORDERED'
041


Aggrieve), respon)ents sought recourse fro( the NLRC'

$n its )ecision
091
)ate) &anuary -2, *,,3, the NLRC affir(e) the LA@s fin)ings that petitioner /as in)ee) constructively an) illegally
)is(isse)E that respon)ents@ ba) faith /as evi)ent on their /ilful failure to transfer petitioner to another vesselE an) that the a/ar) of attorney@s
fees /as /arrante)' >o/ever, the NLRC hel) that instea) of an a/ar) of salaries correspon)ing to nine (onths, petitioner /as only entitle) to
salaries for three (onths as provi)e) un)er !ection -,
0:1
of Republic Act 5R'A'6 No' :,2*,
081
as enunciate) in our ruling in %arsaman %anning
Agency, Inc. . &ational !a'or Relations Commission'
0-,1
>ence, the NLRC rule) in this /ise:

A>ERE=ORE, pre(ises consi)ere), the )ecision of the Labor Arbiter fin)ing the ter(ination of co(plainant
illegal is hereby A==$R#E /ith a #O$=$CA"$ON' Co(plainant0@s1 salary for the une.pire) portion of his contract
shoul) only be li(ite) to three 5+6 (onths basic salary'

Respon)ents $nter(are #ariti(e Agency, $nc'0,1 %ulture !hipping Li(ite) an) "hena(aris !hip #anage(ent
are hereby or)ere) to Cointly an) severally pay co(plainant, the follo/ing:

-' "hree 5+6 (onths basic salary I H!P2,*8,',, or its peso e;uivalent at the ti(e of actual pay(ent'
*' #oral )a(ages I P-,,,,,,',,
+' E.e(plary )a(ages I P3,,,,,',,
2' Attorney@s fees e;uivalent to -,Q of the total (onetary a/ar)'

!O ORERE'
0--1

Respon)ents file) a #otion for Partial Reconsi)eration,
0-*1
praying for the reversal an) setting asi)e of the NLRC )ecision, an) that a ne/
one be ren)ere) )is(issing the co(plaint' Petitioner, on the other han), file) his o/n #otion for Partial Reconsi)eration,
0-+1
praying that he be
pai) the nine 586-(onth basic salary, as a/ar)e) by the LA'

On April *,, *,,3, a resolution
0-21
/as ren)ere) by the NLRC, affir(ing the fin)ings of $llegal is(issal an) respon)ents@ failure to
transfer petitioner to another vessel' >o/ever, fin)ing (erit in petitioner@s argu(ents, the NLRC reverse) its earlier ecision, hol)ing that
Fthere can 'e no choice to grant only three ()* months salary for eery year of the une+pired term 'ecause there is no full year of une+pired term
which this can 'e applied'G >ence I


WHEREFORE, pre(ises consi)ere), co(plainant@s #otion for Partial Reconsi)eration is hereby grante)' "he
a/ar) of three 5+6 (onths basic salary in the su( of H!P2,*8,',, is hereby (o)ifie) in that co(plainant is entitle) to his
salary for the une.pire) portion of e(ploy(ent contract in the su( of H!P-*,:9,',, or its peso e;uivalent at the ti(e of
actual pay(ent'

All aspect of our &anuary -2, *,,3 ecision STANDS'

SO ORDERED'
0-31


Respon)ents file) a #otion for Reconsi)eration, /hich the NLRC )enie)'

Hn)aunte), respon)ents file) a petition for certiorari
0-41
un)er Rule 43 of the Rules of Civil Proce)ure before the CA' On =ebruary
*:, *,,9, the CA affir(e) the fin)ings an) ruling of the LA an) the NLRC that petitioner /as constructively an) illegally )is(isse)' "he CA
hel) that respon)ents faile) to sho/ that the NLRC acte) /ithout statutory authority an) that its fin)ings /ere not supporte) by la/,
Curispru)ence, an) evi)ence on recor)' Li<e/ise, the CA affir(e) the lo/er agencies@ fin)ings that the a)visory of Captain Constantinou, ta<en
together /ith the other )ocu(ents an) a))itional re;uire(ents i(pose) on petitioner, only (eant that the latter shoul) have been re-e(bar<e)' $n
the sa(e to<en, the CA uphel) the lo/er agencies@ unani(ous fin)ing of ba) faith, /arranting the i(position of (oral an) e.e(plary )a(ages
an) attorney@s fees' >o/ever, the CA rule) that the NLRC erre) in sustaining the LA@s interpretation of !ection -, of R'A' No' :,2*' $n this
regar), the CA relie) on the clause For for three months for eery year of the une+pired term, whicheer is lessG provi)e) in the 3
th
paragraph of
!ection -, of R'A' No' :,2* an) hel):

$n the present case, the e(ploy(ent contract concerne) has a ter( of one year or -* (onths /hich co((ence)
on August -2, *,,-' >o/ever, it /as preter(inate) /ithout a vali) cause' 0Petitioner1 /as pai) his /ages for the
correspon)ing (onths he /or<e) until the -,
th
of Nove(ber' Pursuant to the provisions of !ec' -,, 0R'A' No'1 :,2*,
therefore, the option of Fthree (onths for every year of the une.pire) ter(G is applicable'
0-91


"hus, the CA provi)e), to /it:

WHEREFORE, pre(ises consi)ere), this Petition for Certiorari is DENIED' "he ,ecision )ate) &anuary -2,
*,,3, an) Resolutions, )ate) April *,, *,,3 an) &uly *8, *,,3, respectively, of public respon)ent National Labor
Relations Co((ission-=ourth ivision, Cebu City, in NLRC No' %-,,,,+:-,2 5RAB %$$$ 5O=A6-,2-,--,,,46 are
hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that private respon)ent is entitle) to three 5+6 (onths of basic salary
co(pute) at H!P2,*8,',, or its peso e;uivalent at the ti(e of actual pay(ent'

Costs against Petitioners'
0-:1
Both parties file) their respective (otions for reconsi)eration, /hich the CA, ho/ever, )enie) in its Resolution
0-81
)ate) August +,, *,,9'

Hnyiel)ing, petitioner file) this petition, raising the follo/ing issues:

-6 Ahether or not !ection -, of R'A' 0No'1 :,2*, to the e.tent that it affor)s an illegally )is(isse) (igrant /or<er
the lesser benefit of I Fsalaries for 0the1 une.pire) portion of his e(ploy(ent contractor for three (3) months for
every year of the une.pire) ter(, whichever is lessG I is constitutionalE an)

*6 Assu(ing that it is, /hether or not the Court of Appeals gravely erre) in granting petitioner only three 5+6 (onths
bac</ages /hen his une.pire) ter( of 8 (onths is far short of the Fevery year of the une.pire) ter(G threshol)'
0*,1


$n the (eanti(e, /hile this case /as pen)ing before this Court, /e )eclare) as unconstitutional the clause F or for three months for
eery year of the une+pired term, whicheer is lessG provi)e) in the 3
th
paragraph of !ection -, of R'A' No' :,2* in the case of Serrano .
-allant %aritime Serices, Inc.
0*-1
on #arch *2, *,,8'

Apparently, una/are of our ruling in Serrano, petitioner clai(s that the 3
th
paragraph of !ection -,, R'A' No' :,2*, is violative of
!ection -,
0**1
Article $$$ an) !ection +,
0*+1
Article R$$$ of the Constitution to the e.tent that it gives an erring e(ployer the option to pay an
illegally )is(isse) (igrant /or<er only three (onths for every year of the une.pire) ter( of his contractE that sai) provision of la/ has long
been a source of abuse by callous e(ployers against (igrant /or<ersE an) that sai) provision violates the e;ual protection clause un)er the
Constitution because, /hile illegally )is(isse) local /or<ers are guarantee) un)er the Labor Co)e of reinstate(ent /ith full bac</ages
co(pute) fro( the ti(e co(pensation /as /ithhel) fro( the( up to their actual reinstate(ent, (igrant /or<ers, by virtue of !ection -, of R'A'
No' :,2*, have to /aive nine (onths of their collectible bac</ages every ti(e they have a year of une.pire) ter( of contract to rec<on /ith'
=inally, petitioner posits that, assu(ing sai) provision of la/ is constitutional, the CA gravely abuse) its )iscretion /hen it re)uce) petitioner@s
bac</ages fro( nine (onths to three (onths as his nine-(onth une.pire) ter( cannot acco((o)ate the lesser relief of three (onths for every
year of the une.pire) ter('
0*21


On the other han), respon)ents, a/are of our ruling in Serrano, aver that our pronounce(ent of unconstitutionality of the clause For
for three months for eery year of the une+pired term, whicheer is lessG provi)e) in the 3
th
paragraph of !ection -, of R'A' No' :,2*
in Serrano shoul) not apply in this case because !ection -, of R'A' No' :,2* is a substantive la/ that )eals /ith the rights an) obligations of the
parties in case of $llegal is(issal of a (igrant /or<er an) is not (erely proce)ural in character' "hus, pursuant to the Civil Co)e, there shoul)
be no retroactive application of the la/ in this case' #oreover, respon)ents asseverate that petitioner@s tan<er allo/ance of H!P-+,',, shoul) not
be inclu)e) in the co(putation of the a/ar) as petitioner@s basic salary, as provi)e) un)er his contract, /as only H!P-,+,,',,' Respon)ents
sub(it that the CA erre) in its co(putation since it inclu)e) the sai) tan<er allo/ance' Respon)ents opine that petitioner shoul) be entitle) only
to H!P+,8,,',, an) not to H!P2,*8,',,, as grante) by the CA' $nvo<ing Serrano, respon)ents clai( that the tan<er allo/ance shoul) be
e.clu)e) fro( the )efinition of the ter( Fsalary'G Also, respon)ents (anifest that the full su( of P:9:,8-2'29 in $nter(are@s ban< account /as
garnishe) an) subse;uently /ith)ra/n an) )eposite) /ith the NLRC Cashier of "acloban City on =ebruary -2, *,,9' On =ebruary -4, *,,9,
/hile this case /as pen)ing before the CA, the LA issue) an Or)er releasing the a(ount of P9:-,:9,',+ to petitioner as his a/ar), together /ith
the su( of P:4,922'22 to petitioner@s for(er la/yer as attorney@s fees, an) the a(ount of P+,39,',, as e.ecution an) )eposit fees' "hus,
respon)ents pray that the instant petition be )enie) an) that petitioner be )irecte) to return to $nter(are the su( of H!P:,89,',, or its peso
e;uivalent'
0*31


On this note, petitioner counters that this ne/ issue as to the inclusion of the tan<er allo/ance in the co(putation of the a/ar) /as not
raise) by respon)ents before the LA, the NLRC an) the CA, nor /as it raise) in respon)ents@ plea)ings other than in their #e(oran)u( before
this Court, /hich shoul) not be allo/e) un)er the circu(stances'
0*41

"he petition is i(presse) /ith (erit'

Prefatorily, it bears e(phasis that the unani(ous fin)ing of the LA, the NLRC an) the CA that the )is(issal of petitioner /as illegal
is not )ispute)' Li<e/ise not )ispute) is the tribunals@ unani(ous fin)ing of ba) faith on the part of respon)ents, thus, /arranting the a/ar) of
(oral an) e.e(plary )a(ages an) attorney@s fees' Ahat re(ains in issue, therefore, is the constitutionality of the 3
th
paragraph of !ection -, of
R'A' No' :,2* an), necessarily, the proper co(putation of the lu(p-su( salary to be a/ar)e) to petitioner by reason of his illegal )is(issal'

%erily, /e have alrea)y )eclare) in Serrano that the clause For for three months for eery year of the une+pired term, whicheer is
lessG provi)e) in the 3
th
paragraph of !ection -, of R'A' No' :,2* is unconstitutional for being violative of the rights of Overseas =ilipino
Aor<ers 5O=As6 to e;ual protection of the la/s' $n an e.haustive )iscussion of the intricacies an) ra(ifications of the sai) clause, this Court,
in Serrano, pertinently hel):

The Court concludes that the su"#ect clause contains a suspect classification in that$ in the computation of
the monetary "enefits of fi%ed&term employees 'ho are illegally discharged$ it imposes a (&month cap on the claim of
)F*s 'ith an une%pired portion of one year or more in their contracts$ "ut none on the claims of other )F*s or local
'orkers 'ith fi%ed&term employment. The su"#ect clause singles out one classification of )F*s and "urdens it 'ith a
peculiar disad!antage.
0*91


#oreover, this Court hel) therein that the subCect clause )oes not state or i(ply any )efinitive govern(ental purposeE hence, the sa(e
violates not Cust therein petitioner@s right to e;ual protection, but also his right to substantive )ue process un)er !ection -, Article $$$ of the
Constitution'
0*:1
Conse;uently, petitioner therein /as accor)e) his salaries for the entire une.pire) perio) of nine (onths an) *+ )ays of his
e(ploy(ent contract, pursuant to la/ an) Curispru)ence prior to the enact(ent of R'A' No' :,2*'

Ae have alrea)y spo<en' "hus, this case shoul) not be )ifferent fro( Serrano'

As a general rule, an unconstitutional act is not a la/E it confers no rightsE it i(poses no )utiesE it affor)s no protectionE it creates no
officeE it is inoperative as if it has not been passe) at all' "he general rule is supporte) by Article 9 of the Civil Co)e, /hich provi)es:

Art' 9' La/s are repeale) only by subse;uent ones, an) their violation or non-observance shall not be e.cuse)
by )isuse or custo( or practice to the contrary'


"he )octrine of operative fact serves as an e.ception to the afore(entione) general rule' $n Planters Products, Inc. . .ertiphil
Corporation,
0*81
/e hel):

"he )octrine of operative fact, as an e.ception to the general rule, only applies as a (atter of e;uity an) fair
play' $t nullifies the effects of an unconstitutional la/ by recogni?ing that the e.istence of a statute prior to a )eter(ination
of unconstitutionality is an operative fact an) (ay have conse;uences /hich cannot al/ays be ignore)' "he past cannot
al/ays be erase) by a ne/ Cu)icial )eclaration'

"he )octrine is applicable /hen a )eclaration of unconstitutionality /ill i(pose an un)ue bur)en on those /ho
have relie) on the invali) la/' "hus, it /as applie) to a cri(inal case /hen a )eclaration of unconstitutionality /oul) put
the accuse) in )ouble Ceopar)y or /oul) put in li(bo the acts )one by a (unicipality in reliance upon a la/ creating it'
0+,1

=ollo/ing Serrano, /e hol) that this case shoul) not be inclu)e) in the afore(entione) e.ception' After all, it /as not the fault of
petitioner that he lost his Cob )ue to an act of illegal )is(issal co((itte) by respon)ents' "o rule other/ise /oul) be ini;uitous to petitioner an)
other O=As, an) /oul), in effect, sen) a /rong signal that principalsDe(ployers an) recruit(entD(anning agencies (ay violate an O=A@s
security of tenure /hich an e(ploy(ent contract e(bo)ies an) actually profit fro( such violation base) on an unconstitutional provision of
la/'

$n the sa(e vein, /e cannot subscribe to respon)ents@ postulation that the tan<er allo/ance of H!P-+,',, shoul) not be inclu)e) in
the co(putation of the lu(p-su( salary to be a/ar)e) to petitioner'

.irst' $t is only at this late stage, (ore particularly in their #e(oran)u(, that respon)ents are raising this issue' $t /as not raise)
before the LA, the NLRC, an) the CA' "hey )i) not even assail the a/ar) accor)e) by the CA, /hich co(pute) the lu(p-su( salary of
petitioner at the basic salary of H!P-,2+,',,, an) /hich clearly inclu)e) the H!P-+,',, tan<er allo/ance' >ence, fair play, Custice, an) )ue
process )ictate that this Court cannot no/, for the first ti(e on appeal, pass upon this ;uestion' #atters not ta<en up belo/ cannot be raise) for
the first ti(e on appeal' "hey (ust be raise) seasonably in the procee)ings before the lo/er tribunals' Luestions raise) on appeal (ust be /ithin
the issues fra(e) by the partiesE conse;uently, issues not raise) before the lo/er tribunals cannot be raise) for the first ti(e on appeal'
0+-1

Second' Respon)ents@ invocation of Serrano is unavailing' $n)ee), /e (a)e the follo/ing pronounce(ents in Serrano, to /it:

The word salaries in Section 10(5) does not include overtime and leave pay' =or seafarers li<e petitioner,
OLE epart(ent Or)er No' ++, series -884, provi)es a !tan)ar) E(ploy(ent Contract of !eafarers, in /hich salary is
understood as the basic wage, exclusive of overtime, leave pay and other bonusesE /hereas overti(e pay is
co(pensation for all /or< Fperfor(e)G in e.cess of the regular eight hours, an) holi)ay pay is co(pensation for any /or<
Fperfor(e)G on )esignate) rest )ays an) holi)ays'
0+*1


A close perusal of the contract reveals that the tan<er allo/ance of H!P-+,',, /as not categori?e) as a bonus but /as rather
encapsulate) in the basic salary clause, hence, for(ing part of the basic salary of petitioner' Respon)ents the(selves in their petition
for certiorari before the CA averre) that petitioner@s basic salary, pursuant to the contract, /as FH!P-,+,,',, + H!P-+,',, tan<er
allo/ance'G
0++1
$f respon)ents inten)e) it )ifferently, the contract per se shoul) have in)icate) that sai) allo/ance )oes not for( part of the basic
salary or, si(ply, the contract shoul) have separate) it fro( the basic salary clause'

A final note'

Ae ought to be re(in)e) of the plight an) sacrifices of our O=As' $n /larte . &ayona,
0+21
this Court hel) that:

Our overseas /or<ers belong to a )isa)vantage) class' #ost of the( co(e fro( the poorest sector of our
society' "heir profile sho/s they live in suffocating slu(s, trappe) in an environ(ent of cri(es' >ar)ly literate an) in ill
health, their only hope lies in Cobs they fin) /ith )ifficulty in our country' "heir unfortunate circu(stance (a<es the( easy
prey to avaricious e(ployers' "hey /ill cli(b (ountains, cross the seas, en)ure slave treat(ent in foreign lan)s Cust to
survive' Out of )espon)ence, they /ill /or< un)er sub-hu(an con)itions an) accept salaries belo/ the (ini(u(' "he
least /e can )o is to protect the( /ith our la/s'


WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED' "he Court of Appeals ecision )ate) =ebruary *:, *,,9 an) Resolution )ate) August
+,, *,,9 are hereby MODIFIED to the effect that petitioner is AWARDED his salaries for the entire une.pire) portion of his e(ploy(ent
contract consisting of nine (onths co(pute) at the rate of H!P-,2+,',, per (onth' All other a/ar)s are hereby AFFIRMED' No costs'

SO ORDERED'



ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA
Associate &ustice


WE CONCUR:



ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate &ustice
Chairperson



DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
Associate &ustice
ROBERTO A. ABAD
Associate &ustice



1OSE CATRAL MENDOZA
Associate &ustice


A T T E S T A T I O N

$ attest that the conclusions in the above ecision ha) been reache) in consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion
of the Court@s ivision'



ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate &ustice
Chairperson, !econ) ivision


C E R T I F I C A T I O N

Pursuant to !ection -+, Article %$$$ of the Constitution an) the ivision ChairpersonSs Attestation, $ certify that the conclusions in the
above ecision ha) been reache) in consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion of the Court@s ivision'



RENATO C. CORONA
Chief &ustice

0-1
Rollo, pp' ++-34'
0*1
Penne) by Associate &ustice Antonio L' %illa(or, /ith Associate &ustices Pa(pio A' Abarintos an) !tephen C' Cru?, concurringE i)'
at 4,-9+'
0+1
$)' at -44--9,'
021
!upra note *, at 4+-43'
031
Rollo, pp' -*---*8'
041
$)' at -*8'
091
$)' at -+,--28'
0:1
"he last clause in the 3th paragraph of !ection -,, R'A' No' :,2*, provi)es to /it:
!ec' -,' #ONEB CLA$#!' T . . .'
$n case of ter(ination of overseas e(ploy(ent /ithout Cust, vali) or authori?e) cause as )efine) by la/ or contract, the /or<ers shall
be entitle) to the full rei(burse(ent of his place(ent fee /ith interest of t/elve percent 5-*Q6 per annu(, plus his salaries for the unexpired
portion of his employment contract or for three (3) months for every year of the unexpired term, whichever is less ' 5E(phasis an)
un)erscoring supplie)'6
081
"he #igrant Aor<ers an) Overseas =ilipinos Act of -883, effective &uly -3, -883'
0-,1
+9- Phil' :*9 5-8886'
0--1
!upra note 9, at -2:--28'
0-*1
Rollo, pp' -39--4+'
0-+1
$)' at -3,--34'
0-21
$)' at -44--9,'
0-31
$)' at -9,'
0-41
$)' at -9---84'
0-91
!upra note *, at 9,'
0-:1
$)' at 9*-9+'
0-81
Rollo, pp' 84-88'
0*,1
!upra note -, at 22-23'
0*-1
7'R' No' -494-2, #arch *2, *,,8, 3:* !CRA *32'
0**1
!ection -, Article $$$ of the Constitution provi)es:
!ection -' No person shall be )eprive) of life, liberty, or property /ithout )ue process of la/, nor shall any person be )enie) the e;ual
protection of the la/s'
0*+1
!ection +, Article R$$$ of the Constitution pertinently provi)es:
!ec' +' "he !tate shall affor) full protection to labor, local an) overseas, organi?e) an) unorgani?e), an) pro(ote full e(ploy(ent
an) e;uality of e(ploy(ent opportunities for all'

0*21
Rollo, pp' +-*-++-'
0*31
$)' at *8,-+,+'
0*41
!upra note *2'
0*91
!upra note *-, at *83'
0*:1
$)' at +,+'
0*81
7'R' No' -44,,4, #arch -2, *,,:, 32: !CRA 2:3'
0+,1
$)' at 3-4-3-9' 5Citations o(itte)'6
0+-1
Ayson . 0da. ,e Carpio, 294 Phil' 3*3, 3+3 5*,,26'
0+*1
!upra note *-, at +,+' 5E(phasis supplie)'6
0++1
!upra note -4, at -9+'
0+21
24- Phil' 2*8, 2+- 5*,,+6'
>eirs of Arca)io Castro !r' v' Lo?a)a - 7'R' No' -4+,*4, August *8, *,-*

Republic of the Philippines
!upre(e Court
#anila


SECOND DIVISION

BRIGIDO B. QUIAO,
Petitioner,



- versus -



RITA C. QUIAO, KITCHIE C. QUIAO, LOTIS C. QUIAO, PETCHIE
C. QUIAO, represented by their mother RITA QUIAO,
Respondents.
G.R. No 176556

Present:

CARP$O, J', Chairperson,
BR$ON,
PEREM,
!ERENO, an)
REBE!, JJ.


Pro(ulgate):
&uly 2, *,-*
.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.

DECISION

REYES, J.:

"he fa(ily is the basic an) the (ost i(portant institution of society' $t is in the fa(ily /here chil)ren are born an) (ol)e) either to
beco(e useful citi?ens of the country or trouble(a<ers in the co((unity' "hus, /e are sa))ene) /hen parents have to separate an) fight over
properties, /ithout regar) to the (essage they sen) to their chil)ren' Not/ithstan)ing this, /e (ust not shir< fro( our obligation to rule on this
case involving legal separation escalating to ;uestions on )issolution an) partition of properties'


The Case

"his case co(es before us ia Petition for Revie/ on Certiorari
0-1
un)er Rule 23 of the Rules of Court' "he petitioner see<s that /e
vacate an) set asi)e the Or)er
0*1
)ate) &anuary :, *,,9 of the Regional "rial Court 5R"C6, Branch -, Butuan City' $n lieu of the sai) or)er, /e are
as<e) to issue a Resolution )efining the net profits subCect of the forfeiture as a result of the )ecree of legal separation in accor)ance /ith the
provision of Article -,*526 of the =a(ily Co)e, or alternatively, in accor)ance /ith the provisions of Article -94 of the Civil Co)e'

Antecedent Facts

On October *4, *,,,, herein respon)ent Rita C' Luiao 5Rita6 file) a co(plaint for legal separation against herein petitioner Brigi)o B'
Luiao 5Brigi)o6'
0+1
!ubse;uently, the R"C ren)ere) a ecision
021
)ate) October -,, *,,3, the )ispositive portion of /hich provi)es:

A>ERE=ORE, vie/e) fro( the foregoing consi)erations, Cu)g(ent is hereby ren)ere) )eclaring the legal
separation of plaintiff Rita C' Luiao an) )efen)ant-respon)ent Brigi)o B' Luiao pursuant to Article 33'

As such, the herein parties shall be entitle) to live separately fro( each other, but the (arriage bon) shall not be
severe)'

E.cept for Letecia C' Luiao /ho is of legal age, the three (inor chil)ren, na(ely, Oitchie, Lotis an) Petchie,
all surna(e) Luiao shall re(ain un)er the custo)y of the plaintiff /ho is the innocent spouse'

=urther, e.cept for the personal an) real properties alrea)y foreclose) by the RCBC, all the re(aining
properties, na(ely:

-' coffee (ill in Balongagan, Las Nieves, Agusan )el NorteE
*' coffee (ill in urian, Las Nieves, Agusan )el NorteE
+' corn (ill in Casi<lan, Las Nieves, Agusan )el NorteE
2' coffee (ill in Esperan?a, Agusan )el !urE
3' a parcel of lan) /ith an area of -,*,, s;uare (eters locate) in "ungao, Butuan CityE
4' a parcel of agricultural lan) /ith an area of 3 hectares locate) in #anila )e Bugabos, Butuan CityE
9' a parcel of lan) /ith an area of :2 s;uare (eters locate) in "ungao, Butuan CityE
:' Bashier Bon =actory locate) in "ungao, Butuan CityE

shall be )ivi)e) e;ually bet/een herein 0respon)ents1 an) 0petitioner1 subCect to the respective legiti(es of the chil)ren
an) the pay(ent of the unpai) conCugal liabilities of 0P123,92,',,'

0Petitioner@s1 share, ho/ever, of the net profits earne) by the conCugal partnership is forfeite) in favor of the
co((on chil)ren'

>e is further or)ere) to rei(burse 0respon)ents1 the su( of 0P1-8,,,,',, as attorneySs fees an) litigation
e.penses of 0P13,,,,',,0'1

!O ORERE'
031


Neither party file) a (otion for reconsi)eration an) appeal /ithin the perio) provi)e) for un)er !ection -95a6 an) 5b6 of the Rule on
Legal !eparation'
041

On ece(ber -*, *,,3, the respon)ents file) a (otion for e.ecution
091
/hich the trial court grante) in its Or)er )ate) ece(ber -4,
*,,3, the )ispositive portion of /hich rea)s:

FAherefore, fin)ing the (otion to be /ell ta<en, the sa(e is hereby grante)' Let a /rit of e.ecution be issue)
for the i((e)iate enforce(ent of the &u)g(ent'

!O ORERE'G
0:1


!ubse;uently, on =ebruary -,, *,,4, the R"C issue) a Arit of E.ecution
081
/hich rea)s as follo/s:

NOA ">ERE=ORE, that of the goo)s an) chattels of the 0petitioner1 BR$7$O B' LH$AO you cause to be
(a)e the su(s state) in the afore-;uote) EC$!$ON 0sic1, together /ith your la/ful fees in the service of this Arit, all in
the Philippine Currency'


But if sufficient personal property cannot be foun) /hereof to satisfy this e.ecution an) your la/ful fees, then
/e co((an) you that of the lan)s an) buil)ings of the sai) 0petitioner1, you (a<e the sai) su(s in the (anner re;uire) by
la/' Bou are enCoine) to strictly observe) !ection 8, Rule +8, Rule 0sic1 of the -889 Rules of Civil Proce)ure'

Bou are hereby or)ere) to (a<e a return of the sai) procee)ings i((e)iately after the Cu)g(ent has been
satisfie) in part or in full in consonance /ith !ection -2, Rule +8 of the -889 Rules of Civil Proce)ure, as a(en)e)'
0-,1


On &uly 4, *,,4, the /rit /as partially e.ecute) /ith the petitioner paying the respon)ents the a(ount of P24,:9,',,, representing the
follo/ing pay(ents:

5a6 P**,:9,',, I as petitionerSs share of the pay(ent of the conCugal shareE
5b6 P-8,,,,',, I as attorneySs feesE an)
5c6 P3,,,,',, I as litigation e.penses'
0--1

On &uly 9, *,,4, or after more than nine months fro( the pro(ulgation of the ecision, the petitioner file) before the R"C a #otion
for Clarification,
0-*1
as<ing the R"C to )efine the ter( FNet Profits Earne)'G

"o resolve the petitionerSs #otion for Clarification, the R"C issue) an Or)er
0-+1
)ate) August +-, *,,4, /hich hel) that the phrase
FNE" PRO=$" EARNEG )enotes Fthe re(ain)er of the properties of the parties after )e)ucting the separate properties of each 0of the1 spouse
an) the )ebts'G
0-21
"he Or)er further hel) that after )eter(ining the re(ain)er of the properties, it shall be forfeite) in favor of the co((on
chil)ren because the offen)ing spouse )oes not have any right to any share of the net profits earne), pursuant to Articles 4+, No' 5*6 an) 2+, No'
5*6 of the =a(ily Co)e'
0-31
"he )ispositive portion of the Or)er states:

A>ERE=ORE, there is no blatant )isparity /hen the sheriff inten)s to forfeit all the re(aining properties after
)e)ucting the pay(ents of the )ebts for only separate properties of the )efen)ant-respon)ent shall be )elivere) to hi(
/hich he has none'

"he !heriff is herein )irecte) to procee) /ith the e.ecution of the ecision'

$" $! !O ORERE'
0-41


Not satisfie) /ith the trial courtSs Or)er, the petitioner file) a #otion for Reconsi)eration
0-91
on !epte(ber :, *,,4' Conse;uently, the
R"C issue) another Or)er
0-:1
)ate) Nove(ber :, *,,4, hol)ing that although the ecision )ate) October -,, *,,3 has beco(e final an)
e.ecutory, it (ay still consi)er the #otion for Clarification because the petitioner si(ply /ante) to clarify the (eaning of Fnet profit
earne)'G
0-81
=urther(ore, the sa(e Or)er hel):

ALL TOLD, the Court Or)er )ate) August +-, *,,4 is hereby or)ere) set asi)e' NE" PRO=$" EARNE,
/hich is subCect of forfeiture in favor of 0the1 partiesS co((on chil)ren, is or)ere) to be co(pute) in accor)ance 0/ith1
par' 2 of Article -,* of the =a(ily Co)e'
0*,1


On Nove(ber *-, *,,4, the respon)ents file) a #otion for Reconsi)eration,
0*-1
praying for the correction an) reversal of the Or)er
)ate) Nove(ber :, *,,4' "hereafter, on &anuary :, *,,9,
0**1
the trial court ha) change) its ruling again an) grante) the respon)entsS #otion for
Reconsi)eration /hereby the Or)er )ate) Nove(ber :, *,,4 /as set asi)e to reinstate the Or)er )ate) August +-, *,,4'

Not satisfie) /ith the trial courtSs Or)er, the petitioner file) on =ebruary *9, *,,9 this instant Petition for Revie/ un)er Rule 23 of the
Rules of Court, raising the follo/ing:

Issues

$

$! ">E $!!OLH"$ON AN ">E CON!ELHEN" L$LH$A"$ON O= ">E CO##ON PROPER"$E! O= ">E
>H!BAN AN A$=E BB %$R"HE O= ">E ECREE O= LE7AL !EPARA"$ON 7O%ERNE BB AR"$CLE -*3
5!$C6 O= ">E =A#$LB COEU

$$

A>A" $! ">E #EAN$N7 O= ">E NE" PRO=$"! EARNE BB ">E CON&H7AL PAR"NER!>$P =OR PHRPO!E!
O= E==EC"$N7 ">E =OR=E$"HRE AH">OR$ME HNER AR"$CLE 4+ O= ">E =A#$LB COEU

$$$

A>A" LAA 7O%ERN! ">E PROPER"B RELA"$ON! BE"AEEN ">E >H!BAN AN A$=E A>O 7O"
#ARR$E $N -899U CAN ">E =A#$LB COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE! BE 7$%EN RE"ROAC"$%E E==EC" =OR
PHRPO!E! O= E"ER#$N$N7 ">E NE" PRO=$"! !HB&EC" O= =OR=E$"HRE A! A RE!HL" O= ">E ECREE
O= LE7AL !EPARA"$ON A$">OH" $#PA$R$N7 %E!"E R$7>"! ALREAB ACLH$RE HNER ">E C$%$L
COEU

$%

A>A" PROPER"$E! !>ALL BE $NCLHE $N ">E =OR=E$"HRE O= ">E !>ARE O= ">E 7H$L"B !POH!E
$N ">E NE" CON&H7AL PAR"NER!>$P A! A RE!HL" O= ">E $!!HANCE O= ">E ECREE O= LE7AL
!EPARA"$ONU
0*+1


Our Ruling

Ahile the petitioner has raise) a nu(ber of issues on the applicability of certain la/s, /e are /ell-a/are that the respon)ents have
calle) our attention to the fact that the ecision )ate) October -,, *,,3 has attaine) finality /hen the #otion for Clarification /as file)'
0*21
"hus,
/e are constraine) to resolve first the issue of the finality of the ecision )ate) October -,, *,,3 an) subse;uently )iscuss the (atters that /e
can clarify'

The Decision dated October 10, 2005 has become final and executory at
the time the Motion for Clarification was filed on 1uly 7, 2006.


!ection +, Rule 2- of the Rules of Court provi)es:

!ection +' Period of ordinary appeal' - "he appeal shall be ta<en /ithin fifteen 5-36 )ays fro( notice of the
Cu)g(ent or final or)er appeale) fro(' Ahere a recor) on appeal is re;uire), the appellant shall file a notice of appeal an)
a recor) on appeal /ithin thirty 5+,6 )ays fro( notice of the Cu)g(ent or final or)er'
"he perio) of appeal shall be interrupte) by a ti(ely (otion for ne/ trial or reconsi)eration' No (otion for
e.tension of ti(e to file a (otion for ne/ trial or reconsi)eration shall be allo/e)'


$n &eypes . Court of Appeals,
0*31
/e clarifie) that to stan)ar)i?e the appeal perio)s provi)e) in the Rules an) to affor) litigants fair
opportunity to appeal their cases, /e hel) that Fit /oul) be practical to allo/ a fresh perio) of -3 )ays /ithin /hich to file the notice of appeal in
the R"C, counte) fro( receipt of the or)er )is(issing a (otion for a ne/ trial or (otion for reconsi)eration'G
0*41

$n &eypes, /e e.plaine) that the Vfresh perio) ruleV shall also apply to Rule 2, governing appeals fro( the #unicipal "rial Courts to
the R"CsE Rule 2* on petitions for revie/ fro( the R"Cs to the Court of Appeals 5CA6E Rule 2+ on appeals fro( ;uasi-Cu)icial agencies to the
CA an) Rule 23 governing appeals by certiorari to the !upre(e Court' Ae also sai), F"he ne/ rule ai(s to regi(ent or (a<e the appeal perio)
unifor(, to be counte) fro( receipt of the or)er )enying the (otion for ne/ trial, (otion for reconsi)eration 5/hether full or partial6 or any final
or)er or resolution'G
0*91
$n other /or)s, a party litigant (ay file his notice of appeal /ithin a fresh -3-)ay perio) fro( his receipt of the trial
courtSs )ecision or final or)er )enying his (otion for ne/ trial or (otion for reconsi)eration' =ailure to avail of the fresh -3-)ay perio) fro( the
)enial of the (otion for reconsi)eration (a<es the )ecision or final or)er in ;uestion final an) e.ecutory'

$n the case at bar, the trial court ren)ere) its ecision on October -,, *,,3' "he petitioner neither file) a (otion for reconsi)eration
nor a notice of appeal' On ece(ber -4, *,,3, or after 49 )ays ha) lapse), the trial court issue) an or)er granting the respon)entSs (otion for
e.ecutionE an) on =ebruary -,, *,,4, or after -*+ )ays ha) lapse), the trial court issue) a /rit of e.ecution' =inally, /hen the /rit ha) alrea)y
been partially e.ecute), the petitioner, on &uly 9, *,,4 or after *9, )ays ha) lapse), file) his #otion for Clarification on the )efinition of the Fnet
profits earne)'G =ro( the foregoing, the petitioner ha) clearly slept on his right to ;uestion the R"C@s ecision )ate) October -,, *,,3' =or *9,
)ays, the petitioner never raise) a single issue until the )ecision ha) alrea)y been partially e.ecute)' "hus at the ti(e the petitioner file) his
(otion for clarification, the trial court@s )ecision has beco(e final an) e.ecutory' A Cu)g(ent beco(es final an) e.ecutory /hen the
regle(entary perio) to appeal lapses an) no appeal is perfecte) /ithin such perio)' Conse;uently, no court, not even this Court, can arrogate
unto itself appellate Curis)iction to revie/ a case or (o)ify a Cu)g(ent that beca(e final'
0*:1

"he petitioner argues that the )ecision he is ;uestioning is a voi) Cu)g(ent' Being such, the petitionerSs thesis is that it can still be
)isturbe) even after *9, )ays ha) lapse) fro( the issuance of the )ecision to the filing of the (otion for clarification' >e sai) that Fa voi)
Cu)g(ent is no Cu)g(ent at all' $t never attains finality an) cannot be a source of any right nor any obligation'G
0*81
But /hat precisely is a voi)
Cu)g(ent in our Curis)ictionU Ahen )oes a Cu)g(ent beco(es voi)U

FA Cu)g(ent is null an) voi) /hen the court /hich ren)ere) it ha) no po/er to grant the relief or no Curis)iction over the subCect
(atter or over the parties or both'G
0+,1
$n other /or)s, a court, /hich )oes not have the po/er to )eci)e a case or that has no Curis)iction over the
subCect (atter or the parties, /ill issue a voi) Cu)g(ent or a coram non judice'
0+-1

"he ;uestione) Cu)g(ent )oes not fall /ithin the purvie/ of a voi) Cu)g(ent' =or sure, the trial court has Curis)iction over a case
involving legal separation' Republic Act 5R'A'6 No' :+48 confers upon an R"C, )esignate) as the =a(ily Court of a city, the e.clusive original
Curis)iction to hear an) )eci)e, a(ong others, co(plaints or petitions relating to (arital status an) property relations of the husban) an) /ife or
those living together'
0+*1
"he Rule on Legal !eparation
0++1
provi)es that Fthe petition 0for legal separation1 shall be file) in the =a(ily Court of the
province or city /here the petitioner or the respon)ent has been resi)ing for at least si. (onths prior to the )ate of filing or in the case of a non-
resi)ent respon)ent, /here he (ay be foun) in the Philippines, at the election of the petitioner'G
0+21
$n the instant case, herein respon)ent Rita is
foun) to resi)e in "ungao, Butuan City for (ore than si. (onths prior to the )ate of filing of the petitionE thus, the R"C, clearly has Curis)iction
over the respon)entSs petition belo/' =urther(ore, the R"C also ac;uire) Curis)iction over the persons of both parties, consi)ering that su((ons
an) a copy of the co(plaint /ith its anne.es /ere serve) upon the herein petitioner on ece(ber -2, *,,, an) that the herein petitioner file) his
Ans/er to the Co(plaint on &anuary 8, *,,-'
0+31
"hus, /ithout )oubt, the R"C, /hich has ren)ere) the ;uestione) Cu)g(ent, has Curis)iction
over the co(plaint an) the persons of the parties'

=ro( the aforecite) facts, the ;uestione) October -,, *,,3 Cu)g(ent of the trial court is clearly not voi) a' initio, since it /as
ren)ere) /ithin the a(bit of the courtSs Curis)iction' Being such, the sa(e cannot any(ore be )isturbe), even if the (o)ification is (eant to
correct /hat (ay be consi)ere) an erroneous conclusion of fact or la/'
0+41
$n fact, /e have rule) that for F0as1 long as the public respon)ent acte)
/ith Curis)iction, any error co((itte) by hi( or it in the e.ercise thereof /ill a(ount to nothing (ore than an error of Cu)g(ent /hich (ay be
revie/e) or correcte) only by appeal'G
0+91
7ranting /ithout a)(itting that the R"CSs Cu)g(ent )ate) October -,, *,,3 /as erroneous, the
petitionerSs re(e)y shoul) be an appeal file) /ithin the regle(entary perio)' Hnfortunately, the petitioner faile) to )o this' >e has alrea)y lost
the chance to ;uestion the trial courtSs )ecision, /hich has beco(e i((utable an) unalterable' Ahat /e can only )o is to clarify the very
;uestion raise) belo/ an) nothing (ore'

=or our convenience, the follo/ing (atters cannot any(ore be )isturbe) since the October -,, *,,3 Cu)g(ent has alrea)y beco(e
i((utable an) unalterable, to /it:

5a6 "he fin)ing that the petitioner is the offen)ing spouse since he cohabite) /ith a /o(an /ho is not his /ifeE
0+:1

5b6 "he trial courtSs grant of the petition for legal separation of respon)ent RitaE
0+81

5c6 "he )issolution an) li;ui)ation of the conCugal partnershipE
02,1

5)6 "he forfeiture of the petitionerSs right to any share of the net profits earne) by the conCugal partnershipE
02-1

5e6 "he a/ar) to the innocent spouse of the (inor chil)renSs custo)yE
02*1

5f6 "he )is;ualification of the offen)ing spouse fro( inheriting fro( the innocent spouse by intestate successionE
02+1

5g6 "he revocation of provisions in favor of the offen)ing spouse (a)e in the /ill of the innocent spouseE
0221

5h6 "he hol)ing that the property relation of the parties is conCugal partnership of gains an) pursuant to Article --4 of the =a(ily
Co)e, all properties ac;uire) )uring the (arriage, /hether ac;uire) by one or both spouses, is presu(e) to be conCugal unless the contrary is
prove)E
0231

5i6 "he fin)ing that the spouses ac;uire) their real an) personal properties /hile they /ere living togetherE
0241

5C6 "he list of properties /hich Ri?al Co((ercial Ban<ing Corporation 5RCBC6 foreclose)E
0291

5<6 "he list of the re(aining properties of the couple /hich (ust be )issolve) an) li;ui)ate) an) the fact that respon)ent Rita /as the
one /ho too< charge of the a)(inistration of these propertiesE
02:1

5l6 "he hol)ing that the conCugal partnership shall be liable to (atters inclu)e) un)er Article -*- of the =a(ily Co)e an) the conCugal
liabilities totaling P3,+,:4*'-, shall be charge) to the inco(e generate) by these propertiesE
0281

5(6 "he fact that the trial court ha) no /ay of <no/ing /hether the petitioner ha) separate properties /hich can satisfy his share for
the support of the fa(ilyE
03,1

5n6 "he hol)ing that the applicable la/ in this case is Article -*8596E
03-1

5o6 "he ruling that the re(aining properties not subCect to any encu(brance shall therefore be )ivi)e) e;ually bet/een the petitioner
an) the respon)ent /ithout preCu)ice to the chil)renSs legiti(eE
03*1

5p6 "he hol)ing that the petitionerSs share of the net profits earne) by the conCugal partnership is forfeite) in favor of the co((on
chil)renE
03+1
an)

5;6 "he or)er to the petitioner to rei(burse the respon)ents the su( of P-8,,,,',, as attorneySs fees an) litigation e.penses
of P3,,,,',,'
0321

After )iscussing lengthily the i((utability of the ecision )ate) October -,, *,,3, /e /ill )iscuss the follo/ing issues for the
enlighten(ent of the parties an) the public at large'


Article 129 of the Family Code applies to the present case since the
parties' property relation is governed by the system of relative
community or conjugal partnership of gains.


"he petitioner clai(s that the court a 1uo is /rong /hen it applie) Article -*8 of the =a(ily Co)e, instea) of Article -,*' >e
confusingly argues that Article -,* applies because there is no other provision un)er the =a(ily Co)e /hich )efines net profits earne) subCect of
forfeiture as a result of legal separation'

Offhan), the trial courtSs ecision )ate) October -,, *,,3 hel) that Article -*8596 of the =a(ily Co)e applies in this case' Ae agree
/ith the trial courtSs hol)ing'

.irst, let us )eter(ine /hat governs the coupleSs property relation' =ro( the recor), /e can )e)uce that the petitioner an) the
respon)ent tie) the (arital <not on &anuary 4, -899' !ince at the ti(e of the e.change of (arital vo/s, the operative la/ /as the Civil Co)e of
the Philippines 5R'A' No' +:46 an) since they )i) not agree on a (arriage settle(ent, the property relations bet/een the petitioner an) the
respon)ent is the syste( of relative co((unity or conCugal partnership of gains'
0331
Article --8 of the Civil Co)e provi)es:

Art' --8' "he future spouses (ay in the (arriage settle(ents agree upon absolute or relative co((unity of
property, or upon co(plete separation of property, or upon any other regi(e' $n the absence of (arriage settle(ents, or
/hen the sa(e are voi), the syste( of relative co((unity or conCugal partnership of gains as establishe) in this Co)e,
shall govern the property relations bet/een husban) an) /ife'


"hus, fro( the foregoing facts an) la/, it is clear that /hat governs the property relations of the petitioner an) of the respon)ent is
conCugal partnership of gains' An) un)er this property relation, Fthe husban) an) the /ife place in a co((on fun) the fruits of their separate
property an) the inco(e fro( their /or< or in)ustry'G
0341
"he husban) an) /ife also o/n in co((on all the property of the conCugal partnership
of gains'
0391

Second, since at the ti(e of the )issolution of the petitioner an) the respon)entSs (arriage the operative la/ is alrea)y the =a(ily
Co)e, the sa(e applies in the instant case an) the applicable la/ in so far as the li;ui)ation of the conCugal partnership assets an) liabilities is
concerne) is Article -*8 of the =a(ily Co)e in relation to Article 4+5*6 of the =a(ily Co)e' "he latter provision is applicable because accor)ing
to Article *34 of the =a(ily Co)e F0t1his Co)e shall have retroactive effect insofar as it )oes not preCu)ice or i(pair veste) or ac;uire) rights in
accor)ance /ith the Civil Co)e or other la/'G
03:1

No/, the petitioner as<s: Aas his veste) right over half of the co((on properties of the conCugal partnership violate) /hen the trial
court forfeite) the( in favor of his chil)ren pursuant to Articles 4+5*6 an) -*8 of the =a(ily Co)eU

Ae respon) in the negative'

$n)ee), the petitioner clai(s that his veste) rights have been i(paire), arguing: FAs earlier a)verte) to, the petitioner ac;uire) veste)
rights over half of the conCugal properties, the sa(e being o/ne) in co((on by the spouses' $f the provisions of the =a(ily Co)e are to be given
retroactive application to the point of authori?ing the forfeiture of the petitionerSs share in the net re(ain)er of the conCugal partnership
properties, the sa(e i(pairs his rights ac;uire) prior to the effectivity of the =a(ily Co)e'G
0381
$n other /or)s, the petitioner is saying that since
the property relations bet/een the spouses is governe) by the regi(e of ConCugal Partnership of 7ains un)er the Civil Co)e, the petitioner
ac;uire) veste) rights over half of the properties of the ConCugal Partnership of 7ains, pursuant to Article -2+ of the Civil Co)e, /hich provi)es:
FAll property of the conCugal partnership of gains is o/ne) in co((on by the husban) an) /ife'G
04,1
"hus, since he is one of the o/ners of the
properties covere) by the conCugal partnership of gains, he has a veste) right over half of the sai) properties, even after the pro(ulgation of the
=a(ily Co)eE an) he insiste) that no provision un)er the =a(ily Co)e (ay )eprive hi( of this veste) right by virtue of Article *34 of the =a(ily
Co)e /hich prohibits retroactive application of the =a(ily Co)e /hen it /ill preCu)ice a personSs veste) right'

>o/ever, the petitionerSs clai( of veste) right is not one /hich is /ritten on stone' $n -o, Jr. . Court of Appeals,
04-1
/e )efine an)
e.plaine) Fveste) rightG in the follo/ing (anner:

A veste) right is one /hose e.istence, effectivity an) e.tent )o not )epen) upon events foreign to the /ill of
the hol)er, or to the e.ercise of /hich no obstacle e.ists, an) /hich is i((e)iate an) perfect in itself an) not )epen)ent
upon a contingency' "he ter( Fveste) rightG e.presses the concept of present fi.e) interest /hich, in right reason an)
natural Custice, shoul) be protecte) against arbitrary !tate action, or an innately Cust an) i(perative right /hich enlightene)
free society, sensitive to inherent an) irrefragable in)ivi)ual rights, cannot )eny'

"o be veste), a right (ust have beco(e a titleTlegal or e;uitableTto the present or future enCoy(ent of
property'
04*1
5Citations o(itte)6


$n our en 'anc Resolution )ate) October -:, *,,3 for ABA2A,A -uro Party !ist /fficer Samson S. Alcantara, et al. . #he 3on.
4+ecutie Secretary 4duardo R. 4rmita,
04+1
/e also e.plaine):

"he concept of Fveste) rightG is a conse;uence of the constitutional guaranty of due process that e.presses a
present fi.e) interest /hich in right reason an) natural Custice is protecte) against arbitrary state actionE it inclu)es not only
legal or e;uitable title to the enforce(ent of a )e(an) but also e.e(ptions fro( ne/ obligations create) after the right has
beco(e veste)' Rights are consi)ere) veste) /hen the right to enCoy(ent is a present interest, absolute, uncon)itional, an)
perfect or fi.e) an) irrefutable'
0421
5E(phasis an) un)erscoring supplie)6


=ro( the foregoing, it is clear that /hile one (ay not be )eprive) of his Fveste) right,G he (ay lose the sa(e if there is )ue process
an) such )eprivation is foun)e) in la/ an) Curispru)ence'

$n the present case, the petitioner /as accor)e) his right to )ue process' .irst, he /as /ell-a/are that the respon)ent praye) in her
co(plaint that all of the conCugal properties be a/ar)e) to her'
0431
$n fact, in his Ans/er, the petitioner praye) that the trial court )ivi)e the
co((unity assets bet/een the petitioner an) the respon)ent as circu(stances an) evi)ence /arrant after the accounting an) inventory of all the
co((unity properties of the parties'
0441
Second, /hen the ecision )ate) October -,, *,,3 /as pro(ulgate), the petitioner never ;uestione) the
trial courtSs ruling forfeiting /hat the trial court ter(e) as Fnet profits,G pursuant to Article -*8596 of the =a(ily Co)e'
0491
"hus, the petitioner
cannot clai( being )eprive) of his right to )ue process'

=urther(ore, /e ta<e note that the allege) )eprivation of the petitionerSs Fveste) rightG is one foun)e), not only in the provisions of
the =a(ily Co)e, but in Article -94 of the Civil Co)e' "his provision is li<e Articles 4+ an) -*8 of the =a(ily Co)e on the forfeiture of the
guilty spouseSs share in the conCugal partnership profits' "he sai) provision says:

Art' -94' $n case of legal separation, the guilty spouse shall forfeit his or her share of the conCugal partnership
profits, /hich shall be a/ar)e) to the chil)ren of both, an) the chil)ren of the guilty spouse ha) by a prior
(arriage' >o/ever, if the conCugal partnership property ca(e (ostly or entirely fro( the /or< or in)ustry, or fro( the
/ages an) salaries, or fro( the fruits of the separate property of the guilty spouse, this forfeiture shall not apply'

$n case there are no chil)ren, the innocent spouse shall be entitle) to all the net profits'


=ro( the foregoing, the petitionerSs clai( of a veste) right has no basis consi)ering that even un)er Article -94 of the Civil Co)e, his
share of the conCugal partnership profits (ay be forfeite) if he is the guilty party in a legal separation case' "hus, after trial an) after the
petitioner /as given the chance to present his evi)ence, the petitionerSs veste) right clai( (ay in fact be set asi)e un)er the Civil Co)e since the
trial court foun) hi( the guilty party'

#ore, in A'alos . ,r. %acatangay, Jr.,
04:1
/e reiterate) our long-stan)ing ruling that:

0P1rior to the li;ui)ation of the conCugal partnership, the interest of each spouse in the conCugal assets is inchoate, a (ere
e.pectancy, /hich constitutes neither a legal nor an e;uitable estate, an) )oes not ripen into title until it appears that there
are assets in the co((unity as a result of the li;ui)ation an) settle(ent' "he interest of each spouse is li(ite) to the net
re(ain)er or Fremanente li1uidoG 5ha'er ganancial6 resulting fro( the li;ui)ation of the affairs of the partnership after its
)issolution' "hus, the right of the husban) or /ife to one-half of the conCugal assets )oes not vest until the
)issolution an)li;ui)ation of the conCugal partnership, or after )issolution of the (arriage, /hen it is finally )eter(ine)
that, after settle(ent of conCugal obligations, there are net assets left /hich can be )ivi)e) bet/een the spouses or their
respective heirs'
0481
5Citations o(itte)6


=inally, as earlier )iscusse), the trial court has alrea)y )eci)e) in its ecision )ate) October -,, *,,3 that the applicable la/ in this
case is Article -*8596 of the =a(ily Co)e'
09,1
"he petitioner )i) not file a (otion for reconsi)eration nor a notice of appeal' "hus, the petitioner is
no/ preclu)e) fro( ;uestioning the trial courtSs )ecision since it has beco(e final an) e.ecutory' "he )octrine of i((utability an) unalterability
of a final Cu)g(ent prevents us fro( )isturbing the ecision )ate) October -,, *,,3 because final an) e.ecutory )ecisions can no longer be
revie/e) nor reverse) by this Court'
09-1

=ro( the above )iscussions, Article -*8 of the =a(ily Co)e clearly applies to the present case since the partiesS property relation is
governe) by the syste( of relative co((unity or conCugal partnership of gains an) since the trial courtSs ecision has attaine) finality an)
i((utability'

The net profits of the conjugal partnership of gains are all the fruits of
the separate properties of the spouses and the products of their labor and
industry.


"he petitioner in;uires fro( us the (eaning of Fnet profitsG earne) by the conCugal partnership for purposes of effecting the forfeiture
authori?e) un)er Article 4+ of the =a(ily Co)e' >e insists that since there is no other provision un)er the =a(ily Co)e, /hich )efines Fnet
profitsG earne) subCect of forfeiture as a result of legal separation, then Article -,* of the =a(ily Co)e applies'

Ahat )oes Article -,* of the =a(ily Co)e sayU $s the co(putation of Fnet profitsG earne) in the conCugal partnership of gains the
sa(e /ith the co(putation of Fnet profitsG earne) in the absolute co((unityU

No/, /e clarify'

=irst an) fore(ost, /e (ust )istinguish bet/een the applicable la/ as to the property relations bet/een the parties an) the applicable
la/ as to the )efinition of Fnet profits'G As earlier )iscusse), Article -*8 of the =a(ily Co)e applies as to the property relations of the parties' $n
other /or)s, the co(putation an) the succession of events /ill follo/ the provisions un)er Article -*8 of the sai) Co)e' #oreover, as to the
)efinition of Fnet profits,G /e cannot but refer to Article -,*526 of the =a(ily Co)e, since it e.pressly provi)es that for purposes of co(puting
the net profits subCect to forfeiture un)er Article 2+, No' 5*6 an) Article 4+, No' 5*6, Article -,*526 applies' $n this provision, net profits Fshall be
the increase in value bet/een the (ar<et value of the co((unity property at the ti(e of the celebration of the (arriage an) the (ar<et value at
the ti(e of its )issolution'G
09*1
"hus, /ithout any iota of )oubt, Article -,*526 applies to both the )issolution of the absolute co((unity regi(e
un)er Article -,* of the =a(ily Co)e, an) to the )issolution of the conCugal partnership regi(e un)er Article -*8 of the =a(ily Co)e' Ahere lies
the )ifferenceU As earlier sho/n, the )ifference lies in the processes use) un)er the )issolution of the absolute co((unity regi(e un)er Article
-,* of the =a(ily Co)e, an) in the processes use) un)er the )issolution of the conCugal partnership regi(e un)er Article -*8 of the =a(ily Co)e'

Let us no/ )iscuss the )ifference in the processes bet/een the absolute co((unity regi(e an) the conCugal partnership regi(e'

On Absolute Co((unity Regi(e:

Ahen a couple enters into a regime of absolute community, the husban) an) the /ife beco(es Coint o/ners of all the properties of
the (arriage' Ahatever property each spouse brings into the (arriage, an) those ac;uire) )uring the (arriage 5e.cept those e.clu)e) un)er
Article 8* of the =a(ily Co)e6 for( the co((on (ass of the coupleSs properties' An) /hen the coupleSs (arriage or co((unity is )issolve),
that co((on (ass is )ivi)e) bet/een the spouses, or their respective heirs, e;ually or in the proportion the parties have establishe), irrespective
of the value each one (ay have originally o/ne)'
09+1

Hn)er Article -,* of the =a(ily Co)e, upon )issolution of (arriage, an inventory is prepare), listing separately all the properties of
the absolute co((unity an) the e.clusive properties of eachE then the )ebts an) obligations of the absolute co((unity are pai) out of the
absolute co((unitySs assets an) if the co((unitySs properties are insufficient, the separate properties of each of the couple /ill be soli)arily
liable for the unpai) balance' Ahatever is left of the separate properties /ill be )elivere) to each of the(' "he net re(ain)er of the absolute
co((unity is its net assets, /hich shall be )ivi)e) bet/een the husban) an) the /ifeE an) for purposes of co(puting the net profits subCect to
forfeiture, sai) profits shall be the increase in value bet/een the (ar<et value of the co((unity property at the ti(e of the celebration of the
(arriage an) the (ar<et value at the ti(e of its )issolution'
0921

Applying Article -,* of the =a(ily Co)e, the Fnet profitsG re;uires that /e first fin) the (ar<et value of the properties at the ti(e of
the co((unitySs )issolution' =ro( the totality of the (ar<et value of all the properties, /e subtract the )ebts an) obligations of the absolute
co((unity an) this result to the net assets or net re(ain)er of the properties of the absolute co((unity, fro( /hich /e )e)uct the (ar<et value
of the properties at the ti(e of (arriage, /hich then results to the net profits'
0931

7ranting /ithout a)(itting that Article -,* applies to the instant case, let us see /hat /ill happen if /e apply Article -,*:

5a6 Accor)ing to the trial courtSs fin)ing of facts, both husban) an) /ife have no separate properties, thus, the re(aining properties in
the list above are all part of the absolute co((unity' An) its (ar<et value at the ti(e of the )issolution of the absolute co((unity constitutes
the F(ar<et value at )issolution'G

5b6 "hus, /hen the petitioner an) the respon)ent finally /ere legally separate), all the properties /hich re(aine) /ill be liable for the
)ebts an) obligations of the co((unity' !uch )ebts an) obligations /ill be subtracte) fro( the F(ar<et value at )issolution'G

5c6 Ahat re(ains after the )ebts an) obligations have been pai) fro( the total assets of the absolute co((unity constitutes the net
re(ain)er or net asset' An) fro( such net assetDre(ain)er of the petitioner an) respon)entSs re(aining properties, the (ar<et value at the ti(e of
(arriage /ill be subtracte) an) the resulting totality constitutes the Fnet profits'G

5)6 Since both husband and wife have no separate properties, an) nothing /oul) be returne) to each of the(, /hat /ill be )ivi)e)
e;ually bet/een the( is si(ply the Fnet profits'G >o/ever, in the ecision )ate) October -,, *,,3, the trial court forfeite) the half-share of the
petitioner in favor of his chil)ren' "hus, if /e use Article -,* in the instant case 5/hich shoul) not be the case6, nothing is left to the petitioner
since both parties entere) into their (arriage /ithout bringing /ith the( any property'

On ConCugal Partnership Regi(e:

Before /e go into our )is;uisition on the ConCugal Partnership Regi(e, /e (a<e it clear that Article -,*526 of the =a(ily Co)e
applies in the instant case for purposes only of defining ~net profit'G As earlier e.plaine), the )efinition of Fnet profitsG in Article -,*526 of the
=a(ily Co)e applies to both the absolute co((unity regi(e an) conCugal partnership regi(e as provi)e) for un)er Article 4+, No' 5*6 of the
=a(ily Co)e, relative to the provisions on Legal !eparation'

No/, /hen a couple enters into a regime of conjugal partnership of gains un)er Article -2* of the Civil Co)e, Fthe husban) an) the
/ife place in co((on fun) the fruits of their separate property an) inco(e fro( their /or< or in)ustry, an) )ivi)e e;ually, upon the )issolution
of the (arriage or of the partnership, the net gains or benefits obtaine) in)iscri(inately by either spouse )uring the (arriage'G
0941
=ro( the
foregoing provision, each of the couple has his an) her o/n property an) )ebts' "he la/ )oes not inten) to effect a (i.ture or (erger of those
)ebts or properties bet/een the spouses' Rather, it establishes a co(plete separation of capitals'
0991

Consi)ering that the coupleSs (arriage has been )issolve) un)er the =a(ily Co)e, Article -*8 of the sa(e Co)e applies in the
li;ui)ation of the coupleSs properties in the event that the conCugal partnership of gains is )issolve), to /it:

Art' -*8' Hpon the )issolution of the conCugal partnership regi(e, the follo/ing proce)ure shall apply:

5-6 An inventory shall be prepare), listing separately all the properties of the conCugal partnership an) the
e.clusive properties of each spouse'

5*6 A(ounts a)vance) by the conCugal partnership in pay(ent of personal )ebts an) obligations of either
spouse shall be cre)ite) to the conCugal partnership as an asset thereof'

5+6 Each spouse shall be rei(burse) for the use of his or her e.clusive fun)s in the ac;uisition of property or for
the value of his or her e.clusive property, the o/nership of /hich has been veste) by la/ in the conCugal partnership'

526 "he )ebts an) obligations of the conCugal partnership shall be pai) out of the conCugal assets' $n case of
insufficiency of sai) assets, the spouses shall be soli)arily liable for the unpai) balance /ith their separate properties, in
accor)ance /ith the provisions of paragraph 5*6 of Article -*-'
536 Ahatever re(ains of the e.clusive properties of the spouses shall thereafter be )elivere) to each of the('


546 Hnless the o/ner ha) been in)e(nifie) fro( /hatever source, the loss or )eterioration of (ovables use) for
the benefit of the fa(ily, belonging to either spouse, even )ue to fortuitous event, shall be pai) to sai) spouse fro( the
conCugal fun)s, if any'

596 "he net re(ain)er of the conCugal partnership properties shall constitute the profits, /hich shall be )ivi)e)
e;ually bet/een husban) an) /ife, unless a )ifferent proportion or )ivision /as agree) upon in the (arriage settle(ents or
unless there has been a voluntary /aiver or forfeiture of such share as provi)e) in this Co)e'

5:6 "he presu(ptive legiti(es of the co((on chil)ren shall be )elivere) upon the partition in accor)ance /ith
Article 3-'

586 $n the partition of the properties, the conCugal )/elling an) the lot on /hich it is situate) shall, unless
other/ise agree) upon by the parties, be a)Cu)icate) to the spouse /ith /ho( the (aCority of the co((on chil)ren choose
to re(ain' Chil)ren belo/ the age of seven years are )ee(e) to have chosen the (other, unless the court has )eci)e)
other/ise' $n case there is no such (aCority, the court shall )eci)e, ta<ing into consi)eration the best interests of sai)
chil)ren'


$n the nor(al course of events, the follo/ing are the steps in the li;ui)ation of the properties of the spouses:

5a6 An inventory of all the actual properties shall be (a)e, separately listing the coupleSs conCugal properties an) their separate
properties'
09:1
$n the instant case, the trial court found that the couple has no separate properties when they married.
0981
Rather, the trial
court i)entifie) the follo/ing conCugal properties, to /it:

-' coffee (ill in Balongagan, Las Nieves, Agusan )el NorteE

*' coffee (ill in urian, Las Nieves, Agusan )el NorteE

+' corn (ill in Casi<lan, Las Nieves, Agusan )el NorteE

2' coffee (ill in Esperan?a, Agusan )el !urE

3' a parcel of lan) /ith an area of -,*,, s;uare (eters locate) in "ungao, Butuan CityE

4' a parcel of agricultural lan) /ith an area of 3 hectares locate) in #anila )e Bugabos, Butuan CityE

9' a parcel of lan) /ith an area of :2 s;uare (eters locate) in "ungao, Butuan CityE

:' Bashier Bon =actory locate) in "ungao, Butuan City'
0:,1


5b6 Or)inarily, the benefit receive) by a spouse fro( the conCugal partnership )uring the (arriage is returne) in e;ual a(ount to the
assets of the conCugal partnershipE
0:-1
an) if the co((unity is enriche) at the e.pense of the separate properties of either spouse, a restitution of
the value of such properties to their respective o/ners shall be (a)e'
0:*1

5c6 !ubse;uently, the coupleSs conCugal partnership shall pay the )ebts of the conCugal partnershipE /hile the )ebts an) obligation of
each of the spouses shall be pai) fro( their respective separate properties' But if the conCugal partnership is not sufficient to pay all its )ebts an)
obligations, the spouses /ith their separate properties shall be soli)arily liable'
0:+1

5)6 No/, /hat re(ains of the separate or e.clusive properties of the husban) an) of the /ife shall be returne) to each of the('
0:21
$n
the instant case, since it was already established by the trial court that the spouses have no separate properties,
0:31
there is nothing to
return to any of them. "he liste) properties above are consi)ere) part of the conCugal partnership' "hus, or)inarily, /hat re(ains in the above-
liste) properties shoul) be )ivi)e) e;ually bet/een the spouses an)Dor their respective heirs'
0:41
>o/ever, since the trial court foun) the petitioner
the guilty party, his share fro( the net profits of the conCugal partnership is forfeite) in favor of the co((on chil)ren, pursuant to Article 4+5*6 of
the =a(ily Co)e' Again, lest /e be confuse), li<e in the absolute co((unity regi(e, nothing /ill be returne) to the guilty party in the conCugal
partnership regi(e, because there is no separate property which may be accounted for in the guilty party's favor.

$n the )iscussions above, /e have seen that in both instances, the petitioner is not entitle) to any property at all' "hus, /e cannot but
uphol) the ecision )ate) October -,, *,,3 of the trial court' >o/ever, /e (ust clarify, as /e alrea)y )i) above, the Or)er )ate) &anuary :,
*,,9'

WHEREFORE, the ecision )ate) October -,, *,,3 of the Regional "rial Court, Branch - of Butuan City is AFFIRMED' Acting
on the #otion for Clarification )ate) &uly 9, *,,4 in the Regional "rial Court, the Or)er )ate) &anuary :, *,,9 of the Regional "rial Court is
hereby CLARIFIED in accor)ance /ith the above )iscussions'

SO ORDERED.



BIENVENIDO L. REYES
Associate &ustice


WE CONCUR:




ANTONIO T. CARPIO
!enior Associate &ustice
Chairperson, !econ) ivision




ARTURO D. BRION
Associate &ustice
1OSE PORTUGAL PEREZ
Associate &ustice




MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO
Associate &ustice


C E R T I F I C A T I O N

$ certify that the conclusions in the above ecision ha) been reache) in consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the
opinion of the Court@s ivision'




ANTONIO T. CARPIO
!enior Associate &ustice
5Per !ection -*, R'A' *84
"he &u)iciary Act of -82:, as a(en)e)6


0-1
Rollo, pp' 9-+3'
0*1
Penne) by &u)ge E)uar)o !' CasalsE i)' at --3--**'
0+1
$)' at +4'
021
$)' at +4-39'
031
$)' at 34-39'
041
A'#' No' ,*-------!C'
091
Rollo, p' -:3'
0:1
$)' at 38'
081
$)' at 3:-38'
0-,1
$)' at 38'
0--1
$)' at 4,'
0-*1
$)' at 4--48'
0-+1
$)' at 9,-94'
0-21
$)' at 93'
0-31
$)' at 92-93'
0-41
$)' at 93-94'
0-91
$)' at 99-:4'
0-:1
$)' at :9-8-'
0-81
$)' at 8,'
0*,1
$)' at 8-'
0*-1
$)' at 8*-89'
0**1
$)' at --3--**'
0*+1
$)' at -:'
0*21
$)' at -2+--24'
0*31
3,4 Phil' 4-+, 4*8 5*,,36'
0*41
$)' at 4*4'
0*91
$)' at 4*9'
0*:1
PCI !easing and .inance, Inc., . %ilan, 7'R' No' -3-*-3, April 3, *,-,, 4-9 !CRA *3:'
0*81
Rollo, p' -44'
0+,1
!ee #oreno, =e)erico B', Philippine !aw ,ictionary, +
r)
e)', -8::, p' 88:'
0+-1
People . Judge &aarro, -38 Phil' :4+, :92 5-8936'
0+*1
R'A' No' :+48, !ection 35)6'
0++1
A'#' No' ,*-------!C'
0+21
$)' at !ection *5c6'
0+31
Rollo, p' +:'
0+41
Sps. 4dillo . Sps. ,ulpina, 7'R' No' -::+4,, &anuary *-, *,-,, 4-, !CRA 38,, 4,--4,*'
0+91
!im . Judge 0ian"on, 3*8 Phil' 29*, 2:+-2:2 5*,,46E !ee also 3errera . Barretto and Joa1uin, *3 Phil' *23, *34 5-8-+6,
citing %iller . Rowan, *3- $ll', +22'
0+:1
Rollo, pp' 3,-3-'
0+81
$)' at 3-'
02,1
$)'
02-1
$)' at 3--3*'
02*1
$)' at 3* an) 34'
02+1
$)' at 3*'
0221
$)'
0231
$)'
0241
$)'
0291
$)' at 3*-3+'
02:1
$)' at 3+'
0281
$)' at 3+-32'
03,1
$)' at 33'
03-1
$)'
03*1
$)' at 34'
03+1
$)' at 39'
0321
$)'
0331
C$%$L COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE!, Art' --8'
0341
$)' at Art' -2*'
0391
$)' at Art' -2+'
03:1
=A#$LB COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE!, Art' *34'
0381
Rollo, p' *8'
04,1
C$%$L COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE!, Art' -2+'
04-1
7'R' No' -9*,*9, &uly *8, *,-,, 4*4 !CRA -:,, *,-'
04*1
$)' at -88'
04+1
"he Court consoli)ate) the follo/ing cases: ABA2A,A -uro Party !ist /fficer Samson S. Alcantara, et al. . #he 3on. 4+ecutie
Secretary 4duardo R. 4rmita, 7'R' No' -4:,34E A1uilino 5. Pimentel, Jr., et al. . 4+ecutie Secretary 4duardo R. 4rmita, et al., 7'R' No'
-4:*,9E Association of Pilipinas Shell ,ealers, Inc., et al. . Cesar 0. Purisima, et al., 7'R' No' -4:24-E .rancis Joseph -. 4scudero . Cesar 0.
Purisima, et al, 7'R' No' -4:24+E an) Bataan -oernor 4nri1ue #. -arcia, Jr. . 3on. 4duardo R. 4rmita, et al., 7'R' No' -4:9+,'
0421
$)'
0431
Rollo, p' +9'
0441
$)' at +8'
0491
$)' at 33-39'
04:1
2:* Phil' :99-:82 5*,,26'
0481
$)' at :8,-:8-'
09,1
Rollo, p' 33'
09-1
%alayan 4mployees Association6..7 . %alayan Insurance Co., Inc., 7'R' No' -:-+39, =ebruary *, *,-,, 4-- !CRA +8*,
+88E Catmon Sales Int8l. Corp. . Atty. 9ngson, Jr., 7'R' No' -9894-, &anuary -3, *,-,, 4-, !CRA *+4, *23'
09*1
=A#$LB COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE!, Art' -,*526'
09+1
$)' at Art' 8-E !ee also "olentino, Arturo, #', CO##EN"AR$E! AN &HR$!PRHENCE ON ">E C$%$L COE O= ">E
P>$L$PP$NE!: %OLH#E ONE A$"> ">E =A#$LB COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE!, +98 5-88,6'
0921
=A#$LB COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE!, Art' -,*'
0931
"olentino, Arturo, #', CO##EN"AR$E! AN &HR$!PRHENCE ON ">E C$%$L COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE!: %OLH#E
ONE A$"> ">E =A#$LB COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE!, 2,--2,* 5-88,6'
0941
C$%$L COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE!, Art' -2*'
0991
"olentino, Arturo, #', CO##EN"AR$E! AN &HR$!PRHENCE ON ">E C$%$L COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE!: %OLH#E
ONE, +43 5-8926'
09:1
"olentino, Arturo, #', CO##EN"AR$E! AN &HR$!PRHENCE ON ">E C$%$L COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE!: %OLH#E
ONE A$"> ">E =A#$LB COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE!, 29* 5-88,6'
0981
Rollo, p' 33'
0:,1
$)' at 34-39'
0:-1
=A#$LB COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE!, Art' -*85*6'
0:*1
$)' at Art' -*85+6'
7aca) v' Clapis - A'#' No' R"&--,-**39, &uly -9, *,-*
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
#anila
EN BANC
G.R. No. 199082 1uly 23, 2013
1OSE MIGUEL T. ARROYO, Petitioner,
vs'
DEPARTMENT OF 1USTICE; COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; HON. LEILA DE LIMA, in her capacity as Secretary of the
Department of 1ustice; HON. SIXTO BRILLANTES, 1R., in his capacity as Chairperson of the Commission on Elections; and the
1OINT DO1-COMELEC PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE and FACT-FINDING TEAM, Respon)ents'
. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .
G.R. No. 199085
BEN1AMIN S. ABALOS, SR., Petitioner,
vs'
HON. LEILA DE LIMA, in capacity as Secretary of 1ustice; HON. SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, 1R., in his capacity as COMELEC
Chairperson; RENE V. SARMIENTO, LUCENITO N. TAGLE, ARMANDO V. VELASCO, ELIAS R. YUSOPH, CHRISTIAN
ROBERT S. LIM AND AUGUSTO C. LAGMAN, in their capacity as COMELEC COMMISSIONERS; CLARO A. ARELLANO,
GEORGE C. DEE, 1ACINTO G. ANG, ROMEO B. FORTES AND MICHAEL D. VILLARET, in their capacity as CHAIRPERSON
AND MEMBERS, RESPECTIVELY, OF THE 1OINT DO1-COMELEC PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE ON THE
2004 AND 2007 ELECTION FRAUD,Respon)ents'
. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .
G.R. No. 199118
GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, Petitioner,
vs'
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, represented by Chairperson Sixto S. Brillantes, 1r., DEPARTMENT OF 1USTICE, represented by
Secretary Leila M. De Lima, 1OINT DO1-COMELEC PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE, SENATOR AQUILINO M.
PIMENTEL III, and DO1-COMELEC FACT FINDING TEAM, Respon)ents'
R E ! O L H " $ O N
PERALTA, J.+
=or resolution are the separate (otions for reconsi)eration file) by (ovants 7loria #acapagal Arroyo 57#A6
-
in 7'R' No' -88--: an) &ose
#iguel "' Arroyo 5#i<e Arroyo 6
*
in 7'R' No' -88,:* praying that the Court ta<e a secon) loo< at our !epte(ber -:, *,-* ecision
+
)is(issing
their petitions an) supple(ental petitions against respon)ents Co((ission on Elections 5Co(elec6, the epart(ent of &ustice 5O&6, !enator
A;uilino #' Pi(entel $$$ 5!enator Pi(entel6, &oint O&-Co(elec Preli(inary $nvestigation Co((ittee 5&oint Co((ittee6 an) O&-Co(elec
=act-=in)ing "ea( 5=act-=in)ing "ea(6, et al'
=or a better perspective, /e briefly state the relevant factual an) proce)ural antece)ents as foun) by the Court in the assaile) )ecision, to /it:
On August -3, *,--, the Co(elec an) the O& issue) &oint Or)er No' ,,--*,-- creating an) constituting a &oint Co((ittee an) =act-=in)ing
"ea( 5referre) to as &oint Panel6 on the *,,2 an) *,,9 National Elections electoral frau) an) (anipulation cases' "he &oint Co((ittee /as
(an)ate) to con)uct the necessary preli(inary investigation on the basis of the evi)ence gathere) an) the charges reco((en)e) by the =act-
=in)ing "ea(' "he =act-=in)ing "ea(, on the other han), /as create) for the purpose of gathering real, )ocu(entary, an) testi(onial evi)ence
/hich can be utili?e) in the preli(inary investigation to be con)ucte) by the &oint Co((ittee' Pursuant to !ection 9
2
of the &oint Or)er, on
August *+, *,--, the &oint Co((ittee pro(ulgate) its Rules of Proce)ure'
$n its $nitial Report
3
)ate) October *,, *,--, the =act-=in)ing "ea( conclu)e) that (anipulation of the results in the #ay -2, *,,9 senatorial
elections in the provinces of North an) !outh Cotabato, an) #aguin)anao /as in)ee) perpetrate)'
4
"he =act-=in)ing "ea( reco((en)e),
a(ong others, that petitioner BenCa(in !' Abalos, !r' 5Abalos6 be subCecte) to preli(inary investigation for electoral sabotage for conspiring to
(anipulate the election results in North an) !outh CotabatoE that 7#A an) Abalos be subCecte) to another preli(inary investigation for
(anipulating the election results in #aguin)anaoE
9
an), that #i<e Arroyo be subCecte) to further investigation'
:
"he case /as )oc<ete) as O&-
Co(elec Case No' ,,--*,--'
#ean/hile, on October -9, *,--, !enator Pi(entel file) a Co(plaintAffi)avit
8
for Electoral !abotage against petitioners an) t/elve others, an)
several &ohn oes an) &ane oes' "he case /as )oc<ete) as O&-Co(elec Case No' ,,*-*,--'
On October *2, *,--, the &oint Co((ittee issue) t/o subpoenas against petitioners in O&-Co(elec Case Nos' ,,--*,-- an) ,,*-*,--'
-,
On
Nove(ber +, *,--, petitioners, through counsel, appeare) before the &oint Co((ittee
--
an) respon)ents therein /ere or)ere) to sub(it their
Counter-Affi)avits by Nove(ber -2, *,--'
-*
"hereafter, petitioners file) before the Court separate Petitions for Certiorari an) Prohibition /ith Prayer for the $ssuance of a "e(porary
Restraining Or)er 5"RO6 an)Dor Arit of Preli(inary $nCunction assailing the creation of the &oint Panel'
-+
"he petitions /ere eventually
consoli)ate)'
On Nove(ber -2, *,--, #i<e Arroyo file) a #otion to efer Procee)ings
-2
before the &oint Co((ittee, in vie/ of the pen)ency of his petition
before the Court' On the sa(e )ay, 7#A file) before the &oint Co((ittee an O(nibus #otion A) Cautela(
-3
to re;uire !enator Pi(entel to
furnish her /ith )ocu(ents referre) to in his co(plaint-affi)avit an) for the pro)uction of election )ocu(ents as basis for the charge of electoral
sabotage' 7#A praye) that she be allo/e) to file her counter-affi)avit /ithin ten 5-,6 )ays fro( receipt of the re;ueste) )ocu(ents'
-4
Petitioner
Abalos, for his part, file) a #otion to !uspen) Procee)ings 5E. Abun)ante A) Cautela(6,
-9
in vie/ of the pen)ency of his petition brought
before the Court'
$n an Or)er
-:
)ate) Nove(ber -3, *,--, the &oint Co((ittee )enie) the aforesai) (otions of petitioners' 7#A, subse;uently, file) a (otion for
reconsi)eration'
-8
On Nove(ber -4, *,--, the &oint Co((ittee pro(ulgate) a &oint Resolution /hich /as later in)orse) to the Co(elec'
*,
On Nove(ber -:, *,--,
the Co(elec en banc issue) a Resolution
*-
approving an) a)opting the &oint Resolution subCect to (o)ifications' "he Co(elec resolve), a(ong
others, that an infor(ation for electoral sabotage be file) against 7#A an) Abalos, /hile the charges against #i<e Arroyo be )is(isse) for
insufficiency of evi)ence'
On even )ate, pursuant to the above Resolution, the Co(elec@s La/ epart(ent file) /ith the Regional "rial Court 5R"C6, Pasay City, an
$nfor(ation against petitioner 7#A, 7overnor An)al A(patuan, !r', an) Atty' Lintang >' Be)ol, for violation of !ection 2*5b65+6 of Republic
Act 5RA6 No' 8+48, a(en)ing !ection *9 5b6 of RA 4424, )oc<ete) as Cri(inal Case No' RP!B----,22+*-CR'
**
"he case /as raffle) to Branch
--* an) the correspon)ing Aarrant of Arrest /as issue) /hich /as serve) on 7#A on the sa(e )ay'
*+
On Nove(ber -:, *,--, 7#A file) /ith the R"C an Hrgent O(nibus #otion A) Cautela(
*2
/ith leave to allo/ the &oint Co((ittee to resolve
the (otion for reconsi)eration file) by 7#A, to )efer issuance of a /arrant of arrest an) a hol) )eparture or)er, an) to procee) to Cu)icial
)eter(ination of probable cause' !he, li<e/ise, file) /ith the Co(elec a #otion to %acate A) Cautela(
*3
praying that its Resolution be vacate)
for being null an) voi)' "he R"C, nonetheless, issue) a Aarrant for her arrest /hich /as )uly serve)' 7#A /as later arraigne) an) she entere) a
plea of Vnot guilty'V !he /as, for so(e ti(e, on hospital arrest but /as able to obtain te(porary liberty /hen her (otion for bail /as grante)' At
present, she is again on hospital arrest by virtue of a /arrant issue) in another cri(inal case'
On !epte(ber -:, *,-*, the Court ren)ere) the assaile) ecision, the )ispositive portion of /hich rea)s:
A>ERE=ORE, pre(ises consi)ere), the petitions an) supple(ental petitions are $!#$!!E' Co(elec Resolution No' 8*44 )ate) August *,
*,--, &oint Or)er No' ,,--*,-- )ate) August -3, *,--, an) the =act- =in)ing "ea(@s $nitial Report )ate) October *,, *,--, are )eclare)
%AL$' >o/ever, the Rules of Proce)ure on the Con)uct of Preli(inary $nvestigation on the Allege) Election =rau) in the *,,2 an) *,,9
National Elections is )eclare) $NE==EC"$%E for lac< of publication'
$n vie/ of the constitutionality of the &oint Panel an) the procee)ings having been con)ucte) in accor)ance /ith Rule --* of the Rules on
Cri(inal Proce)ure an) Rule +2 of the Co(elec Rules of Proce)ure, the con)uct of the preli(inary investigation is hereby )eclare) %AL$'
Let the procee)ings in the Regional "rial Court of Pasay City, Branch --*, /here the cri(inal cases for electoral sabotage against petitioners
7#A an) Abalos are pen)ing, procee) /ith )ispatch'
!O ORERE'
*4
>ence, these (otions for reconsi)eration'
$ssues
#i<e Arroyo reiterates his argu(ents on the in)epen)ence of the Co(elec as basis in nullifying the subCect Coint O&-Co(elec resolutions'
Echoing &ustice Arturo Brion in his issenting an) Concurring Opinion,
*9
#i<e Arroyo insists that the creation of the &oint Panel un)er(ines the
)ecisional in)epen)ence of the Co(elec'
*:
#i<e Arroyo also (aintains that the O& shoul) con)uct preli(inary investigation only /hen )eputi?e) by the Co(elec but not e.ercise
concurrent Curis)iction'
*8
=inally, as has been repeate)ly pointe) out in his earlier plea)ings before the Court, #i<e Arroyo clai(s that the
procee)ings involving the electoral sabotage case /ere rushe) because of pressures fro( the e.ecutive branch of the govern(ent'
+,
=or her part, 7#A clai(s that in availing of the proce)ural re(e)ies available, she (erely e.ercise) her earnest efforts to )efen) herself an)
shoul) not have been )ee(e) by the Court as acts /hich purporte)ly ten) to )e(onstrate that she either /aive) or forfeite) her right to sub(it
her counter-affi)avit an) countervailing evi)ence'
+-
Citing several cases )eci)e) by the Court, she li<e/ise faults the Court in not uphol)ing her
right to as< for a))itional ti(e /ithin /hich to sub(it her counter-affi)avit an) countervailing evi)ence'
+*
7#A highlights that the subCect
Co(elec Resolution creating the &oint Panel is )ifferent fro( the previous Co(elec resolutions re;uesting the O& !ecretary to assign
prosecutors to assist the Co(elec, as the latter e(phasi?e the role of the O& as )eputi?e) agency in the con)uct of preli(inary investigation' !he
(aintains that it is the Co(elec an) not the &oint Co((ittee that has the pri(ary, if not e.clusive, authority to con)uct preli(inary investigation
of election cases'
++
$n their Consoli)ate) Co((ent,
+2
respon)ents )efen) the creation of the &oint Co((ittee an) argue that it )oes not un)er(ine the in)epen)ence
of the Co(elec as a constitutional bo)y because it is still the Co(elec that ulti(ately )eter(ines probable cause'
+3
As to the con)uct of the
preli(inary investigation, respon)ents (aintain that no rights /ere violate) as 7#A /as affor)e) the opportunity to )efen) herself, sub(it her
counter-affi)avit an) other countervailing evi)ence'
+4
"hey, thus, consi)er 7#A@s clai( of availing of the re(e)ial (easures as V)elaying
tacticsV e(ploye) to th/art the investigation of charges against her by the &oint Co((ittee'
+9
"he Court@s Ruling
Clearly fro( the above )iscussion, (ovants raise issues that have been thoroughly e.plaine) by the Court in the assaile) )ecision' "he issues
/ere all a))resse) an) the e.planation /as e.haustive, thus, /e fin) no reason to )isturb the Court@s conclusions'
At any rate, if only to a))ress the (otions of the (ovants herein an) to put an en) to the ;uestions attache) to the creation of the &oint Panel an),
conse;uently, to the perfor(ance of their assigne) tas<s, /e hereby reiterate our fin)ings an) conclusions (a)e in the assaile) )ecision'
"his is not the first ti(e that the Court is confronte) /ith the issue of /hether the Co(elec has the e.clusive po/er to investigate an) prosecute
cases of violations of election la/s' $n Barangay Association for National A)vance(ent an) "ransparency 5BANA"6 Party-List v' Co((ission
on Elections,
+:
the constitutionality of !ection 2+
+8
of RA 8+48
2,
ha) alrea)y been raise) by petitioners therein an) a))resse) by the Court' Ahile
recogni?ing the Co(elec@s e.clusive po/er to investigate an) prosecute cases un)er Batas Pa(bansa Bilang ::- or the O(nibus Election Co)e,
the Court pointe) out that the fra(ers of the -8:9 Constitution )i) not have such intention' "his e.clusivity is thus a legislative enact(ent that
can very /ell be a(en)e) by !ection 2+ of RA 8+48' "herefore, un)er the present la/, the Co(elec an) other prosecuting ar(s of the
govern(ent, such as the O&, no/ e.ercise concurrent Curis)iction in the investigation an) prosecution of election offenses'
$n)ee), as aptly pointe) out by 7#A, there is a )iscrepancy bet/een Co(elec Resolution No' +249
2-
)ate) &anuary -*, *,,- an) &oint Or)er No'
,,--*,--, )ate) August -3, *,--, creating an) constituting a &oint Co((ittee an) =act-=in)ing "ea( on the *,,2 an) *,,9 National Elections
electoral frau) an) (anipulation cases' >o/ever, 7#A see(e) to (iss the )ate /hen these t/o resolutions /ere pro(ulgate) by the Co(elec' $t
is note/orthy that Co(elec Resolution No' +249 /as issue) /hen !ection *43 of the O(nibus Election Co)e /as still effective, /hile &oint
Or)er No' ,,--*,-- as /ell as Co(elec Resolution Nos' :9++
2*
an) 8,39
2+
(entione) in the assaile) )ecision but (isse) out by 7#A in her
(otion, /ere issue) )uring the effectivity of !ection 2+ of RA 8+48, giving the Co(elec an) other prosecuting ar(s of the govern(ent the
concurrent Curis)iction to investigate an) prosecute election offenses' "his a(en)(ent pave) the /ay for the )iscrepancy' $n Co(elec Resolution
No' +249, the Co(elec (aintaine) the continuing )eputation of prosecutors an) the Co(elec La/ epart(ent /as tas<e) to supervise the
investigatory an) prosecutory functions of the tas< force pursuant to the (an)ate of the O(nibus Election Co)e' >o/ever, /ith the a(en)(ent,
the Co(elec li<e/ise change) the tenor of the later resolutions to reflect the ne/ (an)ate of the Co(elec an) other prosecuting ar(s of the
govern(ent no/ e.ercising concurrent Curis)iction' "hus, the Co(elec La/ epart(ent an) the Office of the Chief !tate Prosecutor of the O&
/ere tas<e) to Cointly supervise the investigatory an) prosecutory functions of the Co(elec-O& "as< =orce' Consi)ering, therefore, that the later
resolutions, inclu)ing &oint Or)er No' ,,--*,--, /ere issue) pursuant to !ection 2+ of RA 8+48 a(en)ing !ection *43 of BP ::- /hich /as
)eclare) VconstitutionalV in Banat, there is no reason for us to )eclare other/ise' "o (aintain the previous role of other prosecuting ar(s of the
govern(ent as (ere )eputies )espite the a(en)(ent /oul) (ean challenging !ection 2+ of RA 8+48 ane/ /hich has alrea)y been settle) in
Banat'
"o be sure, the creation of a &oint Co((ittee is not repugnant to the concept of Vconcurrent Curis)ictionV authori?e) by the a(en)atory la/' As
/e e.plaine) in our !epte(ber -:, *,-* ecision:
. . . "he )octrine of concurrent Curis)iction (eans e;ual Curis)iction to )eal /ith the sa(e subCect (atter' Contrary to the contention of the
petitioners, there is no prohibition on si(ultaneous e.ercise of po/er bet/een t/o coor)inate bo)ies' Ahat is prohibite) is the situation /here
one files a co(plaint against a respon)ent initially /ith one office 5such as the Co(elec6 for preli(inary investigation /hich /as i((e)iately
acte) upon by sai) office an) the re-filing of substantially the sa(e co(plaint /ith another office 5such as the O&6' "he subse;uent assu(ption
of Curis)iction by the secon) office over the cases file) /ill not be allo/e)' $n)ee), it is a settle) rule that the bo)y or agency that first ta<es
cogni?ance of the co(plaint shall e.ercise Curis)iction to the e.clusion of the others'
. . . .
None of these proble(s /oul) li<ely arise in the present case' "he Co(elec an) the O& the(selves agree) that they /oul) e.ercise their
concurrent Curis)iction Cointly' Although the preli(inary investigation /as con)ucte) on the basis of t/o co(plaints I the initial report of the
=act-=in)ing "ea( an) the co(plaint of !enator Pi(entel I both co(plaints /ere file) /ith the &oint Co((ittee' Conse;uently, the co(plaints
/ere file) /ith an) the preli(inary investigation /as con)ucte) by only one investigative bo)y' "hus, /e fin) no reason to )isallo/ the e.ercise
of concurrent Curis)iction Cointly by those given such authority' "his is especially true in this case given the (agnitu)e of the cri(es allege)ly
co((itte) by petitioners' "he Coint preli(inary investigation also serves to (a.i(i?e the resources an) (anpo/er of both the Co(elec an) the
O& for the pro(pt )isposition of the cases'
22
Not/ithstan)ing the grant of concurrent Curis)iction, the Co(elec an) the O& nevertheless inclu)e) a provision in the assaile) &oint Or)er
/hereby the resolutions of the &oint Co((ittee fin)ing probable cause for election offenses shall still be approve) by the Co(elec in accor)ance
/ith the Co(elec Rules of Proce)ure'
23
Aith (ore reason, therefore, that /e cannot consi)er the creation of the &oint Co((ittee as an ab)ication
of the Co(elec@s in)epen)ence enshrine) in the -8:9 Constitution'
=inally, /e focus on the vali)ity of the preli(inary investigation con)ucte) by the &oint Co((ittee'
"he proce)ure in con)ucting the preli(inary investigation is governe) by Rule --* of the Revise) Rules on Cri(inal Proce)ure an) Rule +2 of
the Co(elec Rules of Proce)ure' Hn)er both Rules,
24
the respon)ent shall sub(it his counter-affi)avit an) that of his /itnesses an) other
supporting )ocu(ents relie) upon for his )efense, /ithin ten 5-,6 )ays fro( receipt of the subpoena, /ith the co(plaint an) supporting affi)avits
an) )ocu(ents'
29
Also in both Rules, respon)ent is given the right to e.a(ine evi)ence, but such right of e.a(ination is li(ite) only to the
)ocu(ents or evi)ence sub(itte) by co(plainants /hich she (ay not have been furnishe) an) to copy the( at her e.pense'
2:
As to the allege) )enial of 7#A@s right to e.a(ine )ocu(ents, /e (aintain that no right /as violate) in vie/ of the li(itation of such right as
set forth above' Ae reiterate our e.planation in the assaile) )ecision, to /it:
Ahile it is true that !enator Pi(entel referre) to certain election )ocu(ents /hich serve) as bases in the allegations of significant fin)ings
specific to the proteste) (unicipalities involve), there /ere no anne.es or attach(ents to the co(plaint file)' As state) in the &oint Co((ittee@s
Or)er )ate) Nove(ber -3, *,-- )enying 7#A@s O(nibus #otion A) Cautela(, !enator Pi(entel /as or)ere) to furnish petitioners /ith all the
supporting evi)ence' >o/ever, !enator Pi(entel (anifeste) that he /as a)opting all the affi)avits attache) to the =act-=in)ing "ea(@s $nitial
Report' "herefore, /hen 7#A /as furnishe) /ith the )ocu(ents attache) to the $nitial Report, she /as alrea)y grante) the right to e.a(ine as
guarantee) by the Co(elec Rules of Proce)ure an) the Rules on Cri(inal Proce)ure' "hose /ere the only )ocu(ents sub(itte) by the
co(plainants to the Co((ittee' $f there are other )ocu(ents that /ere referre) to in !enator Pi(entel@s co(plaint but /ere not sub(itte) to the
&oint Co((ittee, the latter consi)ere) those )ocu(ents unnecessary at that point 5/ithout foreclosing the relevance of other evi)ence that (ay
later be presente) )uring the trial6 as the evi)ence sub(itte) before it /ere consi)ere) a)e;uate to fin) probable cause against her' . .
.
28
:;wphi:
Neither /as 7#A@s right violate) /hen her (otion for e.tension of ti(e /ithin /hich to sub(it her counter-affi)avit an) countervailing
evi)ence /as conse;uently )enie)' "he Rules use the ter( VshallV in re;uiring the respon)ent to sub(it counter-affi)avit an) other
countervailing evi)ence /ithin ten 5-,6 )ays fro( receipt of the subpoena' $t is settle) that the use of the /or) VshallV /hich is a /or) of
co((an), un)erscores the (an)atory character of the rule'
3,
As in any other rule, though, liberality in the application (ay be allo/e) provi)e)
that the party is able to present a co(pelling Custification for the non-observance of the (an)atory rules' $n the *,,: Revise) #anual for
Prosecutors, investigating prosecutors allo/ or grant (otions or re;uests for e.tension of ti(e to sub(it counter-affi)avits /hen the interest of
Custice )e(an)s that respon)ent be given reasonable ti(e or sufficient opportunity to engage the services of counselE e.a(ine volu(inous
recor)s sub(itte) in support of the co(plaint or un)erta<e research on novel, co(plicate) or technical ;uestions or issues of la/ an) facts of the
case'
3-
$n this case, 7#A clai(e) that she coul) not sub(it her counteraffi)avit /ithin the prescribe) perio) because she nee)e) to e.a(ine )ocu(ents
(entione) in !enator Pi(entel@s co(plaint-affi)avit' $t appeare), ho/ever, that sai) )ocu(ents /ere not sub(itte) to the &oint Co((ittee an)
the only supporting )ocu(ents available /ere those attache) to the $nitial Report of the =act-=in)ing "ea(' A)(itte)ly, 7#A /as furnishe)
those )ocu(ents' "hus, at the ti(e she as<e) for the e.tension of ti(e /ithin /hich to file her counter-affi)avit, she very /ell <ne/ that the
)ocu(ents she /as as<ing /ere not in the recor) of the case' Obviously, she /as not furnishe) those )ocu(ents because they /ere not sub(itte)
to the &oint Co((ittee' Logically, she has no right to e.a(ine sai) )ocu(ents' Ae cannot, therefore, fault the &oint Co((ittee in conse;uently
)enying her (otion for e.tension to file counter-affi)avit as there /as no co(pelling Custification for the non-observance of the perio) she /as
earlier re;uire) to follo/'
An) as /e hel) in the assaile) )ecision:
"here (ight have been over?ealousness on the part of the &oint Co((ittee in ter(inating the investigation, en)orsing the &oint Resolution to the
Co(elec for approval, an) in filing the infor(ation in court'
>o/ever, spee) in the con)uct of procee)ings by a Cu)icial or ;uasiCu)icial officer cannot per se be instantly attribute) to an inCu)icious
perfor(ance of functions' "he or)erly a)(inistration of Custice re(ains the para(ount consi)eration /ith particular regar) to the peculiar
circu(stances of each case' "o be sure, petitioners /ere given the opportunity to present countervailing evi)ence' $nstea) of co(plying /ith the
&oint Co((ittee@s )irective, several (otions /ere file) but /ere )enie) by the &oint Co((ittee' Conse;uently, petitioners@ right to sub(it
counter-affi)avit an) countervailing evi)ence /as forfeite)' "a<ing into account the constitutional right to spee)y )isposition of cases an)
follo/ing the proce)ures set forth in the Rules on Cri(inal Proce)ure an) the Co(elec Rules of Proce)ure, the &oint Co((ittee finally reache)
its conclusion an) referre) the case to the Co(elec' "he latter, in turn, perfor(e) its tas< an) file) the infor(ation in court' $n)ee), petitioners
/ere given the opportunity to be hear)' "hey even actively participate) in the procee)ings an) in fact file) several (otions before the &oint
Co((ittee' Consistent /ith the constitutional (an)ate of spee)y )isposition of cases, unnecessary )elays shoul) be avoi)e)'
3*
=inally, in our assaile) )ecision, /e alrea)y too< Cu)icial notice that not only )i) 7#A enter a plea of Vnot guilty,V she also file) a #otion for
Bail an) after )ue hearing, it /as grante)' Apparently, she benefite) fro( the R"C Or)er giving her te(porary liberty' $n filing the (otion before
the R"C an) actively participating therein, she has chosen to see< Cu)icial re(e)y before the R"C /here the electoral sabotage case is pen)ing
instea) of the e.ecutive re(e)y of going bac< to the &oint Co((ittee for the sub(ission of her counter-affi)avit an) countervailing evi)ence'
Besi)es, as thoroughly )iscusse) in the assaile) )ecision, the irregularity or even the absence of preli(inary investigation )oes not i(pair the
vali)ity of the infor(ation file) against her'
A>ERE=ORE, pre(ises consi)ere), the #otions for Reconsi)eration are EN$E for lac< of (erit'
!O ORERE'
DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
Associate &ustice
AE CONCHR:
MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO
Chief &ustice
ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate &ustice
PRESBITERO 1. VELASCO, 1R.
Associate &ustice
TERESITA 1. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO
Associate &ustice
5issenting Opinion6
ARTURO D. BRION
Associate &ustice
LUCAS P. BERSAMIN MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice
ROBERTO A. ABAD
Associate &ustice
MARTIN S. VILLARAMA, 1R.
Associate &ustice
1OSE PORTUGAL PEREZ
Associate &ustice
1OSE CATRAL MENDOZA
Associate &ustice
BIENVENIDO L. REYES
Associate &ustice
ESTELA M. PERLAS-BERNABE
Associate &ustice
MARVIC MARIO VICTOR F. LEONEN
Associate &ustice
C E R " $ = $ C A " $ O N
Pursuant to !ection -+, Article %$$$ of the Constitution, $ certify that the conclusions in the above Resolution ha) been reache) in consultation
before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion of the Court'
MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO
Chief &ustice
Footnotes
-
Rollo 57'R' No' -88--:6, pp' :23-:49'
*
Rollo 57'R' No' -88,:*6, pp' --33---92'
+
$)' at --::--*29'
2
!ection 9' Rules of Proce)ure' I Aithin forty-eight 52:6 hours fro( the issuance of this &oint Or)er, the Co((ittee shall (eet an)
craft its rules of proce)ure as (ay be co(ple(entary to the respective rules of O& an) Co(elec, an) sub(it the sa(e to the
!ecretary of &ustice an) the Co(elec En Banc for approval /ithin five 536 )ays fro( such initial (eeting'
3
Rollo 57'R' No' -88--:6, pp' 3:--2+'
4
$)' at -*2'
9
$)' at -+*--+2'
:
$)' at -+9'
8
Rollo 57'R' No' -88,:36, pp' -4*--82'
-,
Rollo 57'R' No' -88--:6, p' +-4'
--
$)' at -9'
-*
Rollo 57'R' No' -88,:*6, p' *-'
-+
Refers to the &oint Co((ittee an) =act-=in)ing "ea('
-2
Rollo 57'R' No' -88,:*6, pp' -3:--4-'
-3
Rollo 57'R' No' -88--:6, pp' *3,-*38'
-4
$)' at *39'
-9
Rollo 57'R' No' -88,:36, pp' +,*-+,4'
-:
Rollo 57'R' No' -88--:6, pp' *4,-*42'
-8
$)' at **2'
*,
$)' at +-:'
*-
$)' at *43-*9+'
**
$)' at +*-'
*+
$)' at **4'
*2
$)' at *92-*:,'
*3
$)' at 2+8-23-'
*4
$)' at 934-939' 5E(phasis in the original6
*9
Rollo 57'R' No' -88,:*6, pp' --,4---24'
*:
$)' at --4-'
*8
$)' at --4*'
+,
$)' at --4+
+-
Rollo 57'R' No' -88--:6, pp' :3,-:32'
+*
$)' at :32-:39'
++
$)' at :4,-:4*'
+2
$)' at 8,*-8+*'
+3
$)' at 8,4-8--'
+4
$)' at 8---8-+'
+9
$)' at 8-+'
+:
7'R' No' -993,:, August 9, *,,8, 383 !CRA 299'
+8
!ection 2+' !ection *43 of Batas Pa(bansa Blg' ::- is hereby a(en)e) to rea) as follo/s:
V!EC' *43' Prosecution' I "he Co((ission shall, through its )uly authori?e) legal officers, have the po/er, concurrent
/ith the other prosecuting ar(s of the govern(ent, to con)uct preli(inary investigation of all election offenses punishable
un)er this Co)e, an) to prosecute the sa(e'V
2,
An Act A(en)ing Republic Act No' :2+4, Entitle) VAn Act Authori?ing the Co((ission on Elections to Hse an Auto(ate)
Election !yste( in the #ay --, -88: National or Local Elections an) in !ubse;uent National an) Local Electoral E.ercises, to
Encourage "ransparency, Cre)ibility, =airness an) Accuracy of Elections, A(en)ing for the Purpose Batas Pa(bansa Blg' ::-, as
A(en)e), Republic Act No' 9-44 an) Other Relate) Election La/s, Provi)ing =un)s "herefor an) for Other Purposes'V Approve) on
*+ &anuary *,,9'
2-
V$n the #atter of Re;uesting the >onorable !ecretary of &ustice to Assign Prosecutors as #e(bers of a !pecial "as< =orce to Assist
the Co((ission in the $nvestigation an) Prosecution of Election Offenses in the #ay -2, *,,- National an) Local Elections an)
Reiterating the Continuing eputation of Prosecutors un)er Rule +2 of the Co(elec Rules of Proce)ure'V
2*
V$n the #atter of Re;uesting the >onorable !ecretary of &ustice to Assign Prosecutors as #e(bers of a !pecial "as< =orce Create)
by the Co((ission to Con)uct the $nvestigation an) Prosecution of Election Offenses in Connection /ith the #ay -,, *,-, National
an) Local ElectionsV
2+
V$n the #atter of Re;uesting the >onorable !ecretary of &ustice to Assign Prosecutors as #e(bers of a !pecial "as< =orce to Assist
the Co((ission in the $nvestigation an) Prosecution of Elections Offenses in Connection /ith the October *3, *,-, Barangay an)
!angguniang Oabataan ElectionsV
22
Rollo 57'R' No' -88--:6, pp' 9+2-9+4' 5Citations o(itte)6
23
$)' at 9++'
24
!ection + 5c6, Rule --* of the Revise) Rules on Cri(inal Proce)ure provi)es:
5c6 Aithin ten 5-,6 )ays fro( receipt of the subpoena /ith the co(plaint an) supporting affi)avits an) )ocu(ents, the
respon)ent shall sub(it his counter-affi)avit an) that of his /itnesses an) other supporting )ocu(ents relie) upon for his
)efense' . . .
J J J
!ection 4 5a6, Rule +2 of the Co(elec Rules of Proce)ure, on the other han), provi)es:
5a6 $f on the basis of the co(plaint, affi)avits an) the supporting evi)ence, the investigating officer fin)s no groun) to
continue /ith the in;uiry, he shall reco((en) the )is(issal of the co(plaint an) shall follo/ the proce)ure prescribe) in
!ection : 5c6 of this Rule' Other/ise, he shall issue a subpoena to the respon)ent, attaching thereto a copy of the co(plaint,
affi)avits an) other supporting )ocu(ents giving sai) respon)ent ten 5-,6 )ays fro( receipt /ithin /hich to sub(it
counter-affi)avits an) other supporting )ocu(ents' "he respon)ent shall have the right to e.a(ine all other evi)ence
sub(itte) by the co(plainant'
29
Revise) Rules of Cri(inal Proce)ure, Rule --*, !ection + 5c6 an) Co(elec Rules of Proce)ure, Rule +2, !ection 4 5a6'
2:
Rollo 57'R' No' -88--:6, p' 924'
28
$)' at 924-929' 5Citations o(itte)6
3,
"an v' Lin<, 7'R' No' -9*:28, ece(ber -,, *,,:, 39+ !CRA 298, 28,'
3-
*,,: Revise) #anual for Prosecutors, p' :8'
3*
Rollo 57'R' No' -88--:6, pp' 93,-93-' 5Citations o(itte)6
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
#anila
EN BANC
G.R. No. 166809 April 22, 2008
ATTY. ROMEO L. ERECE, petitioner,
vs'
LYN B. MACALINGAY, 1OCELYN BASTIAN, LYMAN B. SALVADOR, BIENVENIDO L. REANO, BRIGIDA CECILIA R.
ABRATIQUE, 1EAN CORTEZ-MARZAN, FRANCISCO M. BILOG, ROSA P. ESPIRITU, ROLANDO EBREO, YANIE A.
PITLONGAY, and VIRGILIO MAGPOC, respon)ents'
D E C I S I O N
AZCUNA, J.:
"his is a petition for revie/ on certiorari
-
of the ecision of the Court of Appeals 5CA6 pro(ulgate) on &anuary 9, *,,3 affir(ing the ecision
of the Civil !ervice Co((ission 5C!C6 /hich foun) petitioner Atty' Ro(eo L' Erece guilty of )ishonesty an) con)uct preCu)icial to the best
interest of the service'
"he facts are as follo/s:
Petitioner is the Regional irector of the Co((ission on >u(an Rights 5C>R6 Region $, /hose office is locate) in !an =ernan)o City, La
Hnion' Respon)ent e(ployees of the C>R Region $ file) an Affi)avit-Co(plaint )ate) October *, -88: against petitioner alleging that he )enie)
the( the use of the office vehicle assigne) to petitioner, that petitioner still clai(e) transportation allo/ance even if he /as using the sai)
vehicle, an) that he certifie) that he )i) not use any govern(ent vehicle, /hen in fact he )i), in or)er to collect transportation allo/ance'
"he Affi)avit-Co(plaint rea)s:
. . .
2' "hat on !epte(ber -,, -88:, /e, Atty' Lynn #acalingay an) #r' Ly(an !alva)or /ere )enie) the use of the office vehicle as
evi)ence) by the hereto attache) copy of our )enie) $tinerary of "ravel (ar<e) as Anne. WB@E
3' "hat on August 3, -88:, $, Brigi)a Abrati;ue re;ueste) for the use of the govern(ent vehicle but the sa(e /as )enie) by Atty'
Erece for the reason that /e /oul) be using the sa(e to "eachers Ca(p as evi)ence) by a copy of the )enie) trip tic<et /ith the
(arginal notes of Atty' Erece hereto attache) as Anne. WC@E
4' "hat on #ay *8, -88:, the re;uest of Brigi)a Cecilia Abrati;ue an) =rancisco Bilog to use the vehicle /ithin the City for fiel)
/or< purposes /as again )enie) by Atty' Erece as he /ill accor)ingly use the sa(eE
9' "hat on April *,, -88:, a propose) trip /as li<e/ise postpone) by Atty' Erece on the groun) that he /ill be using the vehicle as
evi)ence) by a copy of the propose) $tinerary of "ravel /ith (arginal note of Atty' Erece ...E
:' "hat on April, -889, $, Atty' &ocelyn Bastian re;ueste) for the use of the vehicle as $ nee)0e)1 to go to the Benguet Provincial &ail
but $ /as instructe) to co((ute because he /ill use the vehicle' "o (y )is(ay, $ foun) hi( still in the office /hen $ returne) fro(
the Provincial &ailE
8' "hat such )enials of the use of the vehicle are not isolate) cases but /ere Cust a fe/ of the nu(erous instances of conflicts of
sche)ules regar)ing the use of the govern(ent vehicle an) /here /e foun) ourselves al/ays at the losing en) because /e are the
subor)inate e(ployeesE
. . .
-+' "hat Atty' Erece regularly receives an) li;ui)ates his Representation an) "ransportation Allo/ances 5RA"A6 /hich at present is
in the a(ount of =OHR ">OH!AN PE!O! 5P2,,,,',,6, the payroll of such an) its li;ui)ation coul) be (a)e available upon
re;uest by an authority to the Resi)ent Au)itor but his li;ui)ations for the (onth of April -88: an) !epte(ber -88: 0are1 hereto
attache) ...E
-2' "hat )espite regular receipt of his RA"A, Atty' Erece still prioriti?es hi(self in the use of the office vehicle to the )etri(ent of the
public serviceE
-3' "hat to co(poun) things, he certifies in his (onthly li;ui)ation of his RA"A that W>E $ NO" H!E ANB 7O%ERN#EN"
%E>$CLE =OR ">E !A$ #ON">@ ... /hich is a big lie because as alrea)y state), he is the regular user of the govern(ent
vehicle issue) to C>R, Region $E
-4' "hat $, Rolan)o C' Ebreo, the )isbursing officer of the Regional =iel) Office hereby attest to the fact that no )e)uctions in the
RA"A of Atty' Ro(eo L' Erece /as ever )one in connection /ith his regular use of the govern(ent vehicle . . .'V
*
"he C!C-Cor)illera A)(inistrative Region issue) an Or)er )ate) October 8, -88:, )irecting petitioner to co((ent on the co(plaint'
$n co(pliance, petitioner countere), thus:
. . .
2' $n relation to paragraphs *-, *-E an) *-7 above cite), it is a(ong the )uties as per (anage(ent supervisory function of the
Regional >R irector to approve use or non-use of the official vehicle of the Region as it /as (e(oran)u( receipte) to hi( an) the
non-approval of the use of the sa(e if it is not arbitrary an) for Custifiable reasonsE sai) function of approval an) )isapproval rests on
the Regional >u(an Rights irector an) that function is not (erely (inisterialE
3' "hat $ have issue) a gui)eline that the official vehicle /ill not be use) for the #ountain Provinces an) >alse(a >igh/ayD#ountain
"rail because of the poor roa) con)ition an) to prevent brea<)o/n an) early )eterioration of sa(e ...E
4' "hat Atty' Lynn B' #acalingay, one of the co(plainants ha) gone to #t' Province to atten) the Provincial Peace an) Or)er Council
(eetings, con)uct Cail visitations an) follo/-up cases on (any occasions using the regular bus trips in the spirit of the policy as
(entione) in paragraph 2 ...E
9' "hat all e(ployees ha) use) the vehicle on official business /ithout e.ception, all co(plainants inclu)e) ...E
:' On !epte(ber -,, -88:, Atty' Lynn #acalingay an) Ly(an !alva)or ha) the use of the vehicle )isapprove) for the reasons
confor(ing to paragraph 2 ...E
8' On August 3, -88:, Atty' Erece )isapprove) the use of vehicle for use of Brigi)a Abrati;ue because:
Wa6 "he vehicle /as available since &uly +,, -88: for use in >appy >allo/ but not utili?e) earlier ...E
b6 On August 4, -88:, a EC!-C>R !e(inar on Hse >u(an Rights E.e(plar /as hel) at the "eacher@s Ca(p Baguio
City an) the vehicle /as use) to transport >R (aterials, overhea) proCector an) for the overall use of the se(inar upon the
re;uest of the Public $nfor(ation an) E)ucation Office, Central Office, Co((ission on >u(an Rights through !usan
Nugui) of C>R, #anilaE
. . .
)6 "hat #rs' Abrati;ue an) Co' /ere as<e) to e.plain the unreasonable )elay to atten) to the case of Cherry Esteban /hich
/as subCect of the )isapprove) travelE@
-,' On April *,, -88:, the itinerary of travel of Ly(an !alva)or /as RE!C>EHLE fro( April ** X *+, -88: to April *+ X *2,
-88: as the vehicle /as use) by Atty' Erece on an i(portant travel to #anila upon or)er of no less than the >onorable Chairperson,
Aurora Navarette-ReciKa of Co((ission on >u(an Rights ...E
. . .
-*' As to the use of the vehicle by the Regional >R irector, sa(e shall be subCect to the allo/anceD)isallo/ance of the COA
Resi)ent Au)itor, li<e/ise the Regional >R irector in all his travels outsi)e Baguio City, he )oes not clai( bus an) ta.i fares per
certification of anilo Balino, the A)(inistrative Officer esignate an) #r' Rolan)o Ebreo, the Cash isbursing Officer, Anne. WM@E
-+' $n (any cases, Atty' Ro(eo L' Erece has to (aintain the vehicle inclu)ing car /ashing thereof, garage par<ing at his resi)ence to
(aintain an) up<eep the vehicle an) sa(e is still in pre(iu( con)ition to the satisfaction of the office at no e.tra cost to the
Co((issionE
. . .
-3' $n support thereof, /e (ove to )is(iss this case as pure ;uestion on supervisory an) (anage(ent prerogative, /hich is reserve)
for the Office >ea) an) a harass(ent (ove by )isgruntle) e(ployees /ho are counter-charge) hereofE
-4' Anne.es WE@ an) W=@ of the co(plaint 0are1 (isplace) an) (islea)ing because a clear an) cognate rea)ing of sa(e )oes not reflect
that $ chec<e)D(ar<e) the use of govern(ent vehicle in the certification an) as such no )ishonesty is involve)E the )ocu(ents spea<
for the(selves' . . . Anne. WE@ is for the (onth of April, -88: /here the chec< (ar<s are clear' On Anne. W=@ of the co(plaint, no
reference is (a)e as to the fact that $ )i) not use the govern(ent vehicle, if so, no allegation as to /hen $ )i) use sa(e for (y
personal use'V
+
After a fact-fin)ing investigation, the C!C Proper in C!C Resolution No' 88--+4, )ate) &uly -, -888 charge) petitioner /ith ishonesty an)
7rave #iscon)uct for using a govern(ent vehicle in spite of his receipt of the (onthly transportation allo/ance an) for certifying that he )i) not
use any govern(ent vehicle, /hen in fact, he )i), in or)er to receive the transportation allo/ance'
Pertinent portions of the for(al charge rea):
-' "hat )espite the regular receipt of Erece of his (onthly Representation an) "ransportation Allo/ance 5RA"A6 in the a(ount
of P2,,,,',,, he still prioriti?es hi(self in the use of the office vehicle 5"a(ara/ =R6 in spite of the )irective fro( the Central Office
that he cannot use the service vehicle for official purposes an) at the sa(e ti(e receive his transportation allo/anceE
*' "hat Erece )i) not co(ply /ith the )irective of the Central Office a))resse) to all Regional >u(an Rights irectors, as follo/s:
Wto regulari?e your receipt of the transportation allo/ance co(ponent of the RA"A to /hich you are entitle) (onthly, you are hereby
)irecte) to i((e)iately transfer to any of your staff, preferably one of your la/yers, the (e(oran)u( receipt of the vehicle5s6 no/
still in your na(eE@
+' "hat he certifie) in his (onthly li;ui)ation of his RA"A that he )i) not use any govern(ent vehicle for the correspon)ing (onth,
/hich is not true because he is the regular user of the govern(ent vehicle issue) to C>R-Region $'
"he foregoing facts an) circu(stances in)icate that govern(ent service has been preCu)ice) by the acts of Erece'
A>ERE=ORE, Ro(eo L' Erece is hereby for(ally charge) /ith ishonesty an) 7rave #iscon)uct' Accor)ingly, he is given five 536
)ays fro( receipt hereof to sub(it his Ans/er un)er oath an) affi)avits of his /itnesses, if any, to the Civil !ervice Co((ission-
Cor)illera A)(inistrative Region 5C!C-CAR6' On his Ans/er, he shoul) in)icate /hether he elects a for(al investigation or /aives
his right thereto' Any #otion to is(iss, re;uest for clarification or Bills of Particulars shall not be entertaine) by the Co((ission'
Any of these plea)ings interpose) by the respon)ent shall be consi)ere) as an Ans/er an) shall be evaluate) as such' Li<e/ise, he is
a)vise) of his right to the assistance of counsel of his choice'
2
After a for(al investigation of the case, the C!C issue) Resolution No' ,*,-*2, )ate) &anuary *2' *,,*, fin)ing petitioner guilty of )ishonesty
an) con)uct preCu)icial to the best interest of the service an) penali?ing hi( /ith )is(issal fro( the service'
Petitioner file) a petition for revie/ of the C!C Resolution /ith the CA'
$n the ecision pro(ulgate) on &anuary 9, *,,3, the CA uphel) the C!C Resolution, the )ispositive portion of /hich rea)s:
WHEREFORE, in vie/ of the foregoing, the petition is DENIED an) the assaile) Resolutions of the Civil !ervice Co((ission are
hereby AFFIRMED'
3
>ence, this petition'
Petitioner raises these issues:
-' Ahether or not the Court of Appeals erre) in ruling that petitioner /as not )enie) )ue process )espite the a)(itte) facts that respon)ents faile)
to i)entify an) testify on their Affi)avit-Co(plaint an) that petitioner /as )enie) of his right to cross-e.a(ine respon)ents on their Affi)avit-
Co(plaint'
*' Ahether or not the Court of Appeals /as correct in a)opting in toto the conclusions of the C!C although they /ere base) on (ere
assu(ptions'
Petitioner conten)s that he /as )enie) )ue process as he /as not affor)e) the right to cross-e.a(ine his accusers an) their /itnesses' >e state)
that at his instance, in or)er to prevent )elay in the )isposition of the case, he /as allo/e) to present evi)ence first to support the allegations in
his Counter-Affi)avit' After he reste) his case, respon)ents )i) not present their evi)ence, but (ove) to sub(it their position paper an) for(al
offer of evi)ence, /hich (otion /as grante) by the C!C over his 5petitioner@s6 obCection' Respon)ents then sub(itte) their Position Paper an)
=or(al Offer of E.hibits'
Petitioner sub(its that although he /as allo/e) to present evi)ence first, it shoul) not be construe) as a /aiver of his right to cross-e.a(ine the
co(plainants' Although the or)er of presentation of evi)ence /as not in confor(ity /ith the proce)ure, still petitioner shoul) not be )ee(e) to
have lost his right to cross-e.a(ine his accusers an) their /itnesses' "his (ay be allo/e) only if he e.pressly /aive) sai) right'
"he Court agrees /ith the CA that petitioner /as not )enie) )ue process /hen he faile) to cross-e.a(ine the co(plainants an) their /itnesses
since he /as given the opportunity to be hear) an) present his evi)ence' $n a)(inistrative procee)ings, the essence of )ue process is si(ply the
opportunity to e.plain one@s si)e'
4
0ele" . ,e 0era
9
hel):
ue process of la/ in a)(inistrative cases is not i)entical /ith VCu)icial processV for a trial in court is not al/ays essential to )ue
process' Ahile a )ay in court is a (atter of right in Cu)icial procee)ings, it is other/ise in a)(inistrative procee)ings since they rest
upon )ifferent principles' "he )ue process clause guarantees no particular for( of proce)ure an) its re;uire(ents are not technical'
"hus, in certain procee)ings of a)(inistrative character, the right to a notice or hearing are not essential to )ue process of la/' "he
constitutional re;uire(ent of )ue process is (et by a fair hearing before a regularly establishe) a)(inistrative agency or tribunal' $t is
not essential that hearings be ha) before the (a<ing of a )eter(ination if thereafter, there is available trial an) tribunal before /hich
all obCections an) )efenses to the (a<ing of such )eter(ination (ay be raise) an) consi)ere)' One a)e;uate hearing is all that )ue
process re;uires' ' ' '
The right to cross-examine is not an indispensable aspect of due process' Nor is an actual hearing al/ays essential' ' ' '
:
Ne.t, petitioner conten)s that the CA erre) in a)opting in toto the conclusions of the C!C'
Petitioner conten)s that the conclusion of the C!C procee)e) fro( the pre(ise that the petitioner /as using the subCect vehicle as his service
vehicle, /hich he )isputes, because he )i) not use the vehicle regularly' "he evi)ence sho/e) that the service vehicle /as being use) by the
e(ployees of the regional office for official purposes' >e argues that although the service vehicle is still in his na(e, it shoul) not be conclu)e)
that it is assigne) to hi( as his service vehicle, thus )is;ualifying hi( fro( receiving transportation allo/ance'
"he Court is not persua)e)' "he pertinent conclusion of the C!C referre) to by petitioner rea)s:
At the outset, it (ust be state) that the entitle(ent to transportation allo/ance by certain officials an) e(ployees pursuant to RA 44::
presupposes that they are not assigne) govern(ent vehicles' "his /as clarifie) by the !upre(e Court in the case of Ai)a o(ingo vs'
COA, 7'R' No' --*+9-, October 9, -88:, /here it rule), as follo/s:
W"he provision of la/ in point is foun) in !ection *: of Republic Act 44::, other/ise <no/n as the 7eneral
Appropriations Act of -8:8, to /it:
!ec' *:' Representation an) "ransportation Allo/ances' ''' "he transportation allo/ance herein authori?e) shall not be
grante) to officials /ho are assigne) a govern(ent vehicle or use govern(ent (otor transportation, e.cept as (ay be
approve) by the Presi)ent of the Philippines' Hnless other/ise provi)e) by la/, no a(ount appropriate) in this Act shall
be use) to pay for representation an)Dor transportation allo/ances, /hether co((utable or rei(bursable, /hich e.cee) the
rates authori?e) un)er this !ection' Previous a)(inistrative authori?ation not consistent /ith the rates an) con)itions
herein specifie) shall no longer be vali) an) pay(ent shall not be allo/e)'
. . .
$n the case of Bustamante s. Commission on Audit, *-4 !CRA -+2, )eci)e) by this Court on Nove(ber *9, -88*, COA
also )isallo/e) the clai( for transportation allo/ance of the legal counsel of National Po/er Corporation because he /as
alrea)y issue) a govern(ent vehicle' $nvolving the circular afore(entione) an) al(ost the sa(e facts as in this case, it /as
therein hel) that COA Circular No' 93-4 is categorical in prohibiting the use of govern(ent vehicles by officials receiving
transportation allo/ance an) in stressing that the use of govern(ent (otor vehicle an) clai( for transportation allo/ance
are (utually e.clusive an) inco(patible'
"he issue nee) no longer be belabore) for no less than this Court rule) in the aforesai) case that a govern(ent official, to
/ho( a (otor vehicle has been assigne), cannot, at the sa(e ti(e, clai( transportation allo/ance' 5Hn)erscoring
supplie)6
$t is clear fro( the recor)s that irector E)(un)o !' Ancog, C>R-Central office 5=iel) Operations office6, issue) a #e(oran)u(
)ate) =ebruary *9, -88:, a))resse) to all C>R Regional irectors in respect to "ransportation Allo/ance' "he #e(oran)u( states
that transportation allo/ance shall not be grante) to Regional irectors /henever a govern(ent vehicle or use of govern(ent (otor
transportation is alrea)y assigne) to the(' $t further e(phasi?e) that shoul) they /ant to Vavail regulari?ation of their RA"A,V the
Regional irectors (ust i((e)iately transfer the vehicle to any of their staffDla/yer'
Recor)s sho/ that Erece /as issue) a govern(ent vehicle since August -,, -889 an) he )i) not transfer the vehicle to any of his staff'
Not/ithstan)ing this fact an) the sai) (e(oran)u(, he receive) transportation allo/ance particularly for the (onths of April an)
!epte(ber -88:, as reflecte) in the CertificationDs signe) by hi(' "his clearly resulte) in un)ue preCu)ice to the best interest of the
service'
"he foregoing facts logically lea) to the conclusion that the act of Erece in certifying that he has not use) any govern(ent vehicle an)
conse;uently collecting "ransportation Allo/ance )espite the fact that a govern(ent vehicle /as assigne) to hi( constitutes the
offenses of ishonesty an) Con)uct PreCu)icial to the Best $nterest of the !ervice'
8
"he above conclusion,as /ell as the #e(oran)u( )ate) =ebruary *9, -88: issue) by irector Ancog to the C>R Regional irectors, are both
very clear' Once a vehicle is assigne) to a regional )irector, li<e petitioner, he is no longer entitle) to transportation allo/ance unless he assigns
the vehicle to another staffDla/yer' !ince petitioner )i) not assign the subCect vehicle assigne) to hi( to so(eone else, he is not entitle) to
transportation allo/ance'
Contrary to the argu(ent of petitioner, there is no ;ualification that the assigne) vehicle shoul) be for the e.clusive use of the service vehicle of
the regional )irector alone to )is;ualify hi( fro( receiving transportation allo/ance'
!ince the recor)s sho/ that petitioner collecte) transportation allo/ance even if a govern(ent vehicle ha) been assigne) to hi(, the CA )i) not
err in sustaining the )ecision of the C!C fin)ing petitioner guilty of )ishonesty an) con)uct preCu)icial to the best interest of the service an)
penali?ing hi( /ith )is(issal fro( the service'
WHEREFORE, the petition is )enie)' "he ecision of the Court of Appeals pro(ulgate) on &anuary 9, *,,3 isAFFIRMED'
No costs'
SO ORDERED'
ADOLFO S. AZCUNA
Associate &ustice
AE CONCHR:
REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice
LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
Associate &ustice
CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate &ustice
J
ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate &ustice
MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ
Associate &ustice
RENATO C. CORONA
Associate &ustice
CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
Associate &ustice
DANTE O. TINGA
Associate &ustice
MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO
Associate &ustice
PRESBITERO 1. VELASCO, 1R.
Associate &ustice
ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA
Associate &ustice
RUBEN T. REYES
Associate &ustice
TERESITA 1. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO
Associate &ustice
ARTURO D. BRION
Associate &ustice
CERTIFICATION
Pursuant to !ection -+, Article %$$$ of the Constitution, it is hereby certifie) that the conclusions in the above ecision /ere reache) in
consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion of the Court'
REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice
Footnotes
J
On Leave'
-
Hn)er Rule 23 of the Rules of Court'
*
C!C Resolution, Rollo, pp' +4-+9'
+
Id' at +:-+8'
2
Id' at +3-+4'
3
Id' at +2'
4
0ele" . ,e 0era, A'C' No' 4489, &uly *3, *,,4, 284 !CRA +23'
9
Id' at +:9-+::'
:
E(phasis supplie)'
8
Id' at 2--2+'
Republic of the Philippines
!HPRE#E COHR"
#anila

!ECON $%$!$ON

EQUITABLE PCI BANKING G.R. No. 182248
CORPORATION,
0-1

GEORGE L. GO, PATRICK D. GO, Present:
GENEVIEVE W.1. GO,
FERDINAND MARTIN G. LH$!H#B$N7, J., Chairperson,
ROMUALDEZ, CARP$O #ORALE!,
OSCAR P. LOPEZ-DEE, "$N7A,
RENE 1. BUENAVENTURA, %ELA!CO, &R', an)
GLORIA L. TAN-CLIMACO, BR$ON, JJ.
ROGELIO S. CHUA,
FEDERICO C. PASCUAL,
LEOPOLDO S. VEROY,
WILFRIDO V. VERGARA,
EDILBERTO V. 1AVIER,
ANTHONY F. CONWAY,
ROMULAD U. DY TANG,
WALTER C. WESSMER, and
ANTONIO N. COTOCO,
Petitioners,

- versus -
Pro(ulgate):
RCBC CAPITAL CORPORATION,
Respon)ent' ece(ber -:, *,,:
.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.

D E C I S I O N

VELASCO, 1R., J.:

The Case

"his Petition for Revie/ on Certiorari un)er Rule 23 see<s the reversal of the &anuary :, *,,:
0*1
an) #arch -9, *,,:
0+1
Or)ers of the
Regional "rial Court 5R"C6, Branch -2: in #a<ati City in !P Proc' Case No' 4,24, entitle) In the %atter of ICC Ar'itration Ref. &o.
:)<=>?%S?JB?J4% Between RCBC Capital Corporation, (Claimant*, and 41uita'le PCI Ban@ing Corporation, Inc. et al., (Respondents*' "he
assaile) &anuary :, *,,: Or)er confir(e) the Partial A/ar) )ate) !epte(ber *9, *,,9
021
ren)ere) by the $nternational Cha(ber of Co((erce-
$nternational Court of Arbitration 5$CC-$CA6 in Case No' -+*8,D#!D&BD&E#, entitle) RCBC Capital Corporation (Philippines* . 41uita'le PCI
Ban@, Inc. A /thers (Philippines*' "he #arch -9, *,,: Or)er )enie) petitioners@ (otion for reconsi)eration of the &anuary :, *,,: Or)er'

The Facts

On #ay *2, *,,,, petitioners E;uitable PC$ Ban<, $nc' 5EPC$B6 an) the in)ivi)ual sharehol)ers of Ban<ar), $nc', as sellers, an)
respon)ent RCBC Capital Corporation 5RCBC6, as buyer, e.ecute) a Share Purchase Agreement
031
5!PA6 for the purchase of petitioners@ interests
in Ban<ar), representing **4,24,,,,, shares, for the price of PhP -,9:4,948,2,,' "o e.pe)ite the purchase, RCBC agree) to )ispense /ith the
con)uct of a )ue )iligence au)it on the financial status of Ban<ar)'

Hn)er the !PA, RCBC un)erta<es, on the )ate of contract e.ecution, to )eposit, as )o/npay(ent, *,Q of the purchase price, or PhP
+39,+3+,::,, in an escro/ account' "he escro/e) a(ount, the !PA state), shoul) be release) to petitioners on an agree)-upon release )ate an)
the balance of the purchase price shall be )elivere) to the share buyers upon the fulfill(ent of certain con)itions agree) upon, in the for( of a
(anager@s chec<'

"he other relevant provisions of the !PA are:

!ection 3' !ellers@ Representations an) Aarranties

"he !ELLER! Cointly an) severally represent an) /arrant to the BHBER that:

. . . .



"he =inancial Con)ition of Ban<ar)

g' "he au)ite) financial state(ents of Ban<ar) for the three 5+6 fiscal years en)e) ece(ber +-, -889, -88: an)
-888, an) the unau)ite) financial state(ents for the first ;uarter en)e) +- #arch *,,,, are fair an) accurate, an) co(plete
in all (aterial respects, an) have been prepare) in accor)ance /ith generally accepte) accounting principles consistently
follo/e) throughout the perio) in)icate) an):

i6 the balance sheet of Ban<ar) as of +- ece(ber -888, as prepare) an) certifie) by !7% X Co'
5F!7%G6, an) the unau)ite) balance sheet for the first ;uarter en)e) +- #arch *,,,, present a fair an) accurate
state(ent as of those )ates, of Ban<ar)@s financial con)ition an) of all its assets an) liabilities, an) is co(plete
in all (aterial respectsE an)

ii6 the state(ents of Ban<ar)@s profit an) loss accounts for the fiscal years -884 to -888, as prepare) an)
certifie) by !7%, an) the unau)ite) profit an) loss accounts for the first ;uarter en)e) +- #arch *,,,, fairly
an) accurately present the results of the operations of Ban<ar) for the perio)s in)icate), an) are co(plete in all
(aterial respects'

h' E.cept as )isclose) in the isclosures, an) e.cept to the e.tent set forth or reserve) in the au)ite) financial
state(ents of Ban<ar) as of +- ece(ber -888 an) its unau)ite) financial state(ents as of +- #arch *,,,, Ban<ar), as of
such )ates an) up to +- #ay *,,,, ha) an) shall have no liabilities, o(issions or (ista<es in its recor)s /hich /ill have
(aterial a)verse effect on the net /orth or financial con)ition of Ban<ar) to the e.tent of (ore than One >un)re) #illion
Pesos 5P-,,,,,,,,,,',,6 in the aggregate' $n the event such (aterial a)verse effect on the net /orth or financial con)ition
of Ban<ar) e.cee)s One >un)re) #illion Pesos 5P-,,,,,,,,,,',,6, the Purchase Price shall be re)uce) in accor)ance /ith
the follo/ing for(ula:

Re)uction in Purchase Price Y R (ultiplie) by **4,24,,,,,

/here
A(ount by /hich negative
a)Cust(ent e.cee)s P-,, #illion
R Y ------------------------------------------- 5-'8*36
++:,,,,,,,,

. . . .

!ection 9' Re(e)ies for Breach of Aarranties

a' $f any of the representations an) /arranties of any or all of the !ELLER! or the BHBER 5the Fefaulting
PartyG6 containe) in !ections 3 an) 4 shall be foun) to be untrue /hen (a)e an)Dor as of the Closing ate, the other party,
i'e', the BHBER if the efaulting Party is any or all of the !ELLER! an) the !ELLER! if the efaulting Party is the
BHBER 5hereinafter referre) to as the FNon-efaulting PartyG6 shall have the right to re;uire the efaulting Party, at the
latter@s e.pense, to cure such breach, an)Dor see< )a(ages, by provi)ing notice or presenting a clai( to the efaulting
Party, reasonably specifying therein the particulars of the breach' "he foregoing re(e)ies shall be available to the Non-
efaulting Party only if the )e(an) therefor is presente) in /riting to the efaulting Party /ithin three 5+6 years fro( the
Closing ate e.cept that the re(e)y for a breach of the !ELLER!@ representation an) /arrant in !ection 3 5h6 shall be
available only if the )e(an) therefor is presente) to the efaulting Party in /riting together /ith sche)ules an) to
substantiate such )e(an), /ithin si. 546 (onths fro( the Closing ate'
041

On &une *, *,,,, RCBC )eposite) the stipulate) )o/npay(ent a(ount in an escro/ account after /hich it /as given full
(anage(ent an) operational control of Ban<ar)'1une 2, 2000 is also consi)ere) by the parties as the Closing Date referre) to in the !PA'

"hereafter, the parties e.ecute) an Amendment to Share Purchase Agreement 5A!PA6 )ate) !epte(ber -8, *,,,'
091
$ts paragraph *5e6
provi)e) that:

*' Not/ithstan)ing any provisions to the contrary in the !hare Purchase Agree(ent an)Dor any agree(ent,
instru(ent or )ocu(ent entere) into or e.ecute) by the Parties in relation thereto 5the FRelate) Agree(entsG6, the Parties
hereby agree that:

. . . .

e6 Not/ithstan)ing the provisions of !ec' 9 of the !hare Purchase Agree(ent to the contrary, the remedy for a
breach of the SELLERS` representation and warranty in Section 5(h) of the !hare Purchase Agree(ent shall be
available if the demand therefor is presented to the !ELLER! in /riting together /ith sche)ules an) )ata to substantiate
such )e(an), on or before 31 December 2000' 5E(phasis a))e)'6

!o(eti(e in !epte(ber *,,,, RCBC ha) Ban<ar)@s accounts au)ite), creating for the purpose an au)it tea( le) by a certain Rubio,
the %ice-Presi)ent for =inance of RCBC at the ti(e' Rubio@s conclusion /as that the /arranty, as containe) in !ection 35h6 of the !PA 5si(ply
!ec' 30h1 hereinafter6, /as correct'

On ece(ber *:, *,,,, RCBC pai) the balance of the contract price' "he correspon)ing )ee)s of sale for the shares in ;uestion /ere
e.ecute) in &anuary *,,-'
"hereafter, in a letter of #ay 3, *,,+, RCBC infor(e) petitioners of its having overpai) the purchase price of the subCect shares,
clai(ing that there /as an overstate(ent of valuation of accounts a(ounting to PhP 29: (illion, resulting in the overpay(ent of over PhP 4-4
(illion' "hus, RCBC clai(e) that petitioners violate) their /arranty, as sellers, e(bo)ie) in !ec' 35g6 of the !PA 5!ec' 30g1 hereinafter6'

=ollo/ing unsuccessful atte(pts at settle(ent, RCBC, in accor)ance /ith !ec' -, of the !PA, file) a Re1uest for
Ar'itration )ate) #ay -*, *,,2
0:1
/ith the $CC-$CA' $n the re;uest, RCBC charge) Ban<ar) /ith )eviating fro(, contravening an) not
follo/ing generally accepte) accounting principles an) practices in (aintaining their boo<s' ue to these i(proper accounting practices, RCBC
allege) that both the au)ite) an) unau)ite) financial state(ents of Ban<ar) prior to the stoc< purchase /ere far fro( fair an) accurate an), hence,
violate) the representations an) /arranties of petitioners in the !PA' Per RCBC, its overpay(ent a(ounte) to PhP 334 (illion' $t thus praye) for
the rescission of the !PA, restitution of the purchase price, pay(ent of actual )a(ages in the a(ount of PhP 39+,-+*,--,, legal interest on the
purchase price until actual restitution, (oral )a(ages, an) litigation an) attorney@s fees' As alternative to rescission an) restitution, RCBC praye)
for )a(ages in the a(ount of at least PhP :,8,984,,8* plus legal interest'

"o the Re1uest for Ar'itration, petitioners file) an Ans/er )ate) &uly *:, *,,2,
081
)enying RCBC@s inculpatory aver(ents an) setting
up the follo/ing affir(ative allegations: the perio) for filing of the asserte) clai( ha) alrea)y lapse) by force of !ec' 9 of the !PAE RCBC is not
entitle) to rescission having ha) a(ple opportunity an) reasonable ti(e to file a clai( against petitionersE RCBC is not entitle) to its alternative
prayer of )a(ages, being guilty of laches an) failing to set out the )etails of the breach as re;uire) un)er !ec' 9'
Arbitration in the $CC-$CA procee)e) after the for(ation of the arbitration tribunal consisting of retire) &ustice !antiago #' Oapunan,
no(inate) by petitionersE Neil Oaplan, RCBC@s no(ineeE an) !ir $an Bar<er, appointe) by the $CC-$CA'

After )ra/n out procee)ings /ith each party alleging )eviation an) non-co(pliance by the other /ith arbitration rules, the tribunal,
/ith &ustice Oapunan )issenting, ren)ere) a Partial A/ar) )ate) !epte(ber *9, *,,9,
0-,1
the )ispositive portion of /hich states:

-3 AAAR AN $REC"$ON!

-3'- "he "ribunal (a<es the follo/ing )eclarations by /ay of Partial A/ar):

5a6 "he Clai(ant@s clai( is not ti(e-barre) un)er the provisions of this !PA'
5b6 "he Clai(ant is not estoppe) by its con)uct or the e;uitable )octrine of laches fro( pursuing its clai('
5c6 As )etaile) in the Partial A/ar), the Clai(ant has establishe) the follo/ing breaches by the Respon)ents of
clause 35g6 of the !PA:

i6 the assets, revenue an) net /orth of Ban<ar) /ere overstate) by reason of its policy on an)
recognition of Late Pay(ent =eesE
ii6 reporte) receivables /ere higher than their reali?able values by reason of the Wbuc<eting@ (etho),
thus overstating Ban<ar)@s assetsE an)
iii6 the relevant Ban<ar) state(ents /ere ina)e;uate an) (islea)ing in that their )isclosures cause)
rea)ers to be (isinfor(e) about Ban<ar)@s accounting policies on revenue an) receivables'

5)6 !ubCect to proof of loss the Clai(ant is entitle) to )a(ages for the foregoing breaches'
5e6 "he Clai(ant is not entitle) to rescission of the !PA'
5f6 All other issues, inclu)ing any issue relating to costs, /ill be )ealt /ith in a further or final a/ar)'
-3'* A further Proce)ural Or)er /ill be necessary subse;uent to the )elivery of this Partial A/ar) to )eal /ith
the )eter(ination of ;uantu( an) in particular, /hether there shoul) be an E.pert appointe) by the "ribunal un)er Article
*,526 of the $CC Rules to assist the "ribunal in this regar)'

-3'+ "his A/ar) is )elivere) by a (aCority of the "ribunal 5!ir $an Bar<er an) #r' Oaplan6' &ustice Oapunan is
unable to agree /ith the (aCority@s conclusion on the clai( of estoppel brought by the respon)ents'
On the (atter of prescription, the tribunal hel) that RCBC@s clai( is not ti(e-barre), the clai( properly falling un)er the
conte(plation of !ec' 35g6 an) not !ec' 35h6' As such, the tribunal conclu)e), RCBC@s clai( /as file) /ithin the three 5+6-year perio) un)er
!ec' 35g6 an) that the si. 546-(onth perio) un)er !ec' 35h6 )i) not apply'

"he tribunal also e.onerate) RCBC fro( laches, the latter having sought relief /ithin the three 5+6-year perio) prescribe) in the !PA'
On the (atter of estoppel suggeste) in petitioners@ ans/er, the tribunal state) in par' -,'*9 of the Partial A/ar) the follo/ing:

-,'*9 Clearly, there has to be both an a)(ission or representation by 5in this case6 the Clai(ant 0RCBC1, plus
reliance upon it by 5in this case6 the Respon)ents 0herein petitioners1' "he "ribunal cannot fin) as prove) any
a)(issionDrepresentation that the Clai(ant /as aban)oning a 35g6 clai(, any reliance by the Respon)ents on an a)(ission,
an) any )etri(ent to the Respon)ents such as /oul) entitle the( to have the Clai(ant )eprive) of the benefit of clause
35g6' "hese aspects of the clai( for estoppels are reCecte)'
0--1

Notably, the tribunal consi)ere) the rescission of the !PA an) A!PA as i(practicable an) Ftotally out of the ;uestion'G
0-*1

$n his issenting Opinion
0-+1
/hich he sub(itte) to an) /hich /as receive) on !epte(ber *2, *,,9 by the $CC-$CA, &ustice Oapunan
state) the observation that RCBC@s clai( is ti(e-barre), falling as such clai( )i) un)er !ec' 35h6, /hich prescribes a co(paratively shorter
prescriptive perio), not 35g6 as hel) by the (aCority of the tribunal, to /it:

Clai(ant a)(its that the Clai( is for recovery of P2+- (illion on account of allege) Fovervaluation of the net
/orth of Ban<ar),G allege)ly for Fi(proper accounting practicesG resulting in Fits boo< value per share as of +- ece(ber
-888 0being1 overstate)'G Clai(ant@s /itness, ean Echanis asserts that Fthe ina)e;uate provisioning for Ban<ar)@s
)oubtful accounts result0e)1 in an overstate(ent of its ece(ber +-, -888 total assets an) net /orth of by 0sic1 least
P2-:'* (illion'G

$n a))ition, Clai(ant@s )e(an) letter a))resse) to the Respon)ents allege) that F/e overpai) for the !hares to
the e.tent of the i(pact of the sai) overstate(ent on the Boo< %alue per shareG'

"hese circu(stances establish beyon) )ispute that the Clai( is base) on the allege) overstate(ent of the -888
net /orth of Ban<ar), /hich the parties relie) on in setting the purchase price of the shares' #oreover, it is clear that there
/as an overstate(ent because of Fi(proper accounting practicesG /hich le) Clai(ant to overpay for the shares'

Hlti(ately, the Clai( is one for recovery of overpay(ent in the purchase price of the shares' . . .

As to the issue of estoppel, &ustice Oapunan state):

#oreover, #r' Rubio@s fin)ings (erely corroborate) the )isclosures (a)e in the $nfor(ation #e(oran)u(
that Clai(ant receive) fro( the Respon)ents prior to the e.ecution of the !PA' $n this connection, $ note that Ban<ar)@s
policy on provisioning an) setting of allo/ances using the Buc<ete) #etho) an) inco(e recognition fro( ARDPrincipal,
ARD$nterest an) ARDLP=s /ere )isclose) in the $nfor(ation #e(oran)u(' "hus, these allege) i(proper accounting
practices /ere <no/n to the Clai(ant even prior to the e.ecution of the !PA'

"hus, /hen Clai(ant pai) the balance of the purchase price, it )i) so /ith full <no/le)ge of these accounting
practices of Ban<ar) that it no/ assails' By paying the balance of the purchase price /ithout ta<ing e.ception or obCecting
to the accounting practices )isclose) through #r' Rubio@ s revie/ an) the $nfor(ation #e(oran)u(, Clai(ant is )ee(e)
to have accepte) such practices as correctly reporting the -888 net /orth' . . .

. . . .

As last point, $ note that (y colleagues invo<e a principle that for estoppels to apply there (ust be positive
in)ication that the right to sue /as /aive)' $ a( of the vie/ that there is no such principle un)er Philippine la/' Ahat is
applicable is the hol)ing in Knecht and in Coca- Cola that prior <no/le)ge of an unfavorable fact is bin)ing on the party
/ho has such <no/le)geE F/hen the purchaser procee)s to (a<e investigations by hi(self, an) the ven)or )oes nothing to
prevent such investigation fro( being as co(plete as the for(er (ight /ish, the purchaser cannot later allege that the
ven)or (a)e false representations to hi(G 5Cf' !ongco v' !ellner, +9 Phil *32 citations o(itte)6'

Applie) to this case, the Clai(ant cannot see< relief on the basis that /hen it pai) the purchase price in
ece(ber *,,,, it /as una/are that the accounting practices that /ent into the reporting of the -888 net /orth as
a(ounting to P-,+:9,*93,:29 /ere not in confor(ity /ith 7AAP 0generally accepte) accounting principles1' 5E(phasis
a))e)'6


On October *4, *,,9, RCBC file) /ith the R"C a #otion to Confir( Partial A/ar)' On the sa(e )ay, petitioners countere) /ith a
#otion to %acate the Partial A/ar)' OnNove(ber 8, *,,9, petitioners again file) a #otion to !uspen) an) $nhibit Bar<er an) Oaplan'

On &anuary :, *,,:, the R"C issue) the first assaile) or)er confir(ing the Partial A/ar) an) )enying the a)verte) separate (otions to
vacate an) to suspen) an) inhibit' =ro( this or)er, petitioners sought reconsi)eration, but their (otion /as )enie) by the R"C in the e;ually
assaile) secon) or)er of #arch -9, *,,:'

=ro( the assaile) or)ers, petitioners ca(e )irectly to this Court through this petition for revie/'

The Issues

"his petition see<s the revie/, reversal an) setting asi)e of the or)ers Anne.es A an) B an), in lieu of the(, it
see<s Cu)g(ent vacating the arbitrators@ liability a/ar), Anne. C, on these groun)s:

5a6 "he trial court acte) contrary to la/ an) Cu)icial authority in refusing to vacate the arbitral
a/ar), not/ithstan)ing it /as ren)ere) in plain )isregar) of the parties@ contract an) applicable Philippine la/,
un)er /hich the clai( in arbitration /as in)ubitably ti(e-barre)'

5b6 "he trial court acte) contrary to la/ an) Cu)icial authority in refusing to vacate an) in
confir(ing the arbitral a/ar), not/ithstan)ing that the arbitrators ha) plainly an) a)(itte)ly faile) to accor)
petitioners@ )ue process by )enying the( a hearing on the basic factual (atter upon /hich their liability is
pre)icate)'

5c6 "he trial court co((itte) grave error in confir(ing the arbitrators@ a/ar), /hich hel)
petitioners-sellers liable for an allege) i(proper recor)ing of accounts, allege)ly affecting the value of the
shares they sol), not/ithstan)ing that the respon)ent-buyer <ne/ before contracting that the accounts /ere <ept
in the (anner co(plaine) of, an) in fact ratifie) an) a)opte) the ;uestione) accounting practice an) policies'
0-21



The Court`s Ruling

"he petition (ust be )enie)'

On Procedural Misstep of Direct Appeal to This Court

As earlier recite), the $CC-$CA@s Partial A/ar) )ate) !epte(ber *9, *,,9 /as confir(e) by the R"C in its first assaile) or)er of &anuary
:, *,,:' "hereafter, the R"C, by or)er of #arch -9, *,,:, )enie) petitioners@ (otion for reconsi)eration' "herefro(, petitioners ca(e )irectly to
this Court on a petition for revie/ un)er Rule 23 of the Rules of Court'

"his is a proce)ural (iscue for petitioners /ho erroneously bypasse) the Court of Appeals 5CA6 in pursuit of its appeal' Ahile this
proce)ural gaffe has not been raise) by RCBC, still /e /oul) be re(iss in not pointing out the proper (o)e of appeal fro( a )ecision of the R"C
confir(ing, vacating, setting asi)e, (o)ifying, or correcting an arbitral a/ar)'

Rule 23 is not the re(e)y available to petitioners as the proper (o)e of appeal assailing the )ecision of the R"C confir(ing as arbitral
a/ar) is an appeal before the CA pursuant to !ec' 24 of Republic Act No' 5RA6 8*:3, other/ise <no/n as the Alternatie ,ispute Resolution Act
of <>>B, or co(pletely, An Act to Institutionali"e the Cse of an Alternatie ,ispute Resolution System in the Philippines and to 4sta'lish the
/ffice for Alternatie ,ispute Resolution, and for other Purposes, pro(ulgate) on April *, *,,2 an) beca(e effective on April *:, *,,2 after its
publication on April -+, *,,2'

$n 2orea #echnologies Co., !td . !erma, /e e.plaine), inter alia, that the R"C )ecision of an assaile) arbitral a/ar) is appealable to the
CA an) (ay further be appeale) to this Court, thus:

!ec' 24 of RA 8*:3 provi)es for an appeal before the CA as the re(e)y of an aggrieve) party in cases /here the
R"C sets asi)e, reCects, vacates, (o)ifies, or corrects an arbitral a/ar), thus:

!EC' 24' Appeal from Court ,ecision or Ar'itral Awards.DA )ecision of the Regional "rial Court confir(ing,
vacating, setting asi)e, (o)ifying or correcting an arbitral a/ar) (ay beappealed to the Court of Appeals in accor)ance
/ith the rules an) proce)ure to be pro(ulgate) by the !upre(e Court'

"he losing party /ho appeals fro( the Cu)g(ent of the court confir(ing an arbitral a/ar) shall be re;uire) by the
appellate court to post a counterbon) e.ecute) in favor of the prevailing party e;ual to the a(ount of the a/ar) in
accor)ance /ith the rules to be pro(ulgate) by the !upre(e Court'

"hereafter, the CA )ecision (ay further be appeale) or revie/e) before this Court through a petition for revie/
un)er Rule 23 of the Rules of Court'
0-31


$t is clear fro( the factual antece)ents that RA 8*:3 applies to the instant case' "his la/ /as alrea)y effective at the ti(e the arbitral
procee)ings /ere co((ence) by RCBC through a re;uest for arbitration file) before the $CC-$CA on #ay -*, *,,2' Besi)es, the assaile)
confir(ation or)er of the R"C /as issue) on #arch -9, *,,:' "hus, petitioners clearly too< the /rong (o)e of appeal an) the instant petition
can be outright reCecte) an) )is(isse)'

Even if /e entertain the petition, the outco(e /ill be the sa(e'

The Court Will Not Overturn an Arbitral Award
Unless It Was Made in Manifest Disregard of the Law

$n Asset Priati"ation #rust . Court of Appeals,
0-41
the Court passe) on si(ilar issues as the ones ten)ere) in the instant petition' $n
that case, the arbitration co((ittee issue) an arbitral a/ar) /hich the trial court, upon )ue procee)ings, confir(e) )espite the opposition of the
losing party' #otions for reconsi)eration by the losing party /ere )enie)' An appeal interpose) by the losing party to the CA /as )enie) )ue
course' On appeal to this Court, /e establishe) the para(eters by /hich an arbitral a/ar) (ay be set asi)e, to /it:

As a rule, the award of an arbitrator cannot be set aside for mere errors of judgment either as to the law
or as to the facts. Courts are without power to amend or overrule merely because of disagreement with matters of
law or facts determined by the arbitrators. They will not review the findings of law and fact contained in an award,
and will not undertake to substitute their judgment for that of the arbitrators, since any other rule would make an
award the commencement, not the end, of litigation. Errors of law and fact, or an erroneous decision of matters
submitted to the judgment of the arbitrators, are insufficient to invalidate an award fairly and honestly made.
1udicial review of an arbitration is, thus, more limited than judicial review of a trial.

Nonetheless, the arbitrators@ a/ar)s is not absolute an) /ithout e.ceptions' "he arbitrators cannot resolve
issues beyon) the scope of the sub(ission agree(ent' "he parties to such an agree(ent are boun) by the arbitrators@ a/ar)
only to the e.tent an) in the (anner prescribe) by the contract an) only if the a/ar) is ren)ere) in confor(ity thereto'
"hus, !ections *2 an) *3 of the Arbitration La/ provi)e groun)s for vacating, rescin)ing or (o)ifying an arbitration
a/ar)' Ahere the con)itions )escribe) in Articles *,+:, *,+8 an) *,2, of the Civil Co)e applicable to co(pro(ises an)
arbitration are atten)ant, the arbitration a/ar) (ay also be annulle)'

. . . .

=inally, it shoul) be stresse) that /hile a court is preclu)e) fro( overturning an a/ar) for errors in
)eter(ination of factual issues, nevertheless, if an e.a(ination of the recor) reveals no support /hatever for the
arbitrators@ )eter(inations, their a/ar) (ust be vacate)' $n the sa(e (anner, an award must be vacated if it was made
in ~manifest disregard of the law'G
0-91
5E(phasis supplie)'6


=ollo/ing Asset Priati"ation #rust, errors in la/ an) fact /oul) not generally Custify the reversal of an arbitral a/ar)' A party as<ing
for the vacation of an arbitral a/ar) (ust sho/ that any of the groun)s for vacating, rescin)ing, or (o)ifying an a/ar) are present or that the
arbitral a/ar) /as (a)e in (anifest )isregar) of the la/' Other/ise, the Court is )uty-boun) to uphol) an arbitral a/ar)'

"he instant petition )/ells on the allege) (anifest )isregar) of the la/ by the $CC-$CA'
"he H! case of %errill !ynch, Pierce, .enner A Smith, Inc. . Jaros
0-:1
e.poun)e) on the phrase F(anifest )isregar) of the la/G in the
follo/ing /ise:

"his court has e(phasi?e) that (anifest )isregar) of the la/ is a very narro/ stan)ar) of revie/' Anaconda
Co. . ,istrict !odge &o. <E, F=) ..<d )G (F
th
Cir.:=H<*' A (ere error in interpretation or application of the la/ is
insufficient' Anaconda, 48+ ='*) at +9-+:' Rather, the )ecision (ust fly in the face of clearly establishe) legal prece)ent'
Ahen face) /ith ;uestions of la/, an arbitration panel )oes not act in (anifest )isregar) of the la/ unless 5-6 the
applicable legal principle is clearly )efine) an) not subCect to reasonable )ebateE an) 5*6 the arbitrators refuse) to hee) that
legal principle'


"hus, to Custify the vacation of an arbitral a/ar) on account of F(anifest )isregar) of the la/,G the arbiter@s fin)ings (ust clearly an)
une;uivocally violate an establishe) legal prece)ent' Anything less /oul) not suffice'

$n the present case, petitioners, in a bi) to establish that the arbitral a/ar) /as issue) in (anifest )isregar) of the la/, allege that the
Partial A/ar) violate) the principles of prescription, )ue process, an) estoppel' A revie/ of petitioners@ argu(ents /oul), ho/ever, sho/ that
their argu(ents are bereft of (erit' "hus, the Partial A/ar) )ate)!epte(ber *9, *,,9 cannot be vacate)'

RCBC`s Claim Is Not Time-Barred

Petitioners argue that RCBC@s clai( un)er !ec' 35g6 is base) on overvaluation of Ban<ar)@s revenues, assets, an) net /orth, hence,
for price re)uction falling un)er !ec' 35h6, in /hich case it /as belate)ly file), for RCBC presente) the clai( to petitioners on #ay 3, *,,+,
/hen the perio) for presenting it un)er !ec' 35h6 e.pire) on ece(ber +-, *,,,' As a counterpoint, RCBC asserts that its clai( clearly co(es
un)er !ec' 35g6 in relation to !ec' 9 /hich thus gave it three 5+6 years fro( the closing )ate of &une *, *,,,, or until &une -, *,,+, /ithin /hich to
(a<e its clai(' RCBC conten)s having acte) /ithin the re;uire) perio), having presente) its clai(-)e(an) on #ay 3, *,,+'

"o (a<e clear the issue at han), /e highlight the pertinent portions of !ecs' 35g6, 35h6, an) 9 bearing on /hat petitioners /arrante)
relative to the financial con)ition of Ban<ar) an) the re(e)ies available to RCBC in case of breach of /arranty:

g' "he audited financial statements of Bankard for the three (3) fiscal years ended December 31, 1997, 1998 and
1999, and the unaudited financial statements for the first quarter ended 31 March 2000, are fair and accurate,
and complete in all material respects, an) have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted
accounting principles consistently follo/e) throughout the perio) in)icate) an):

i6 the balance sheet of Bankard as of 31 December 1999, as prepare) an) certifie) by !7% X Co'
5F!7%G6, an) the unau)ite) balance sheet for the first ;uarter en)e) +- #arch *,,,,present a fair and
accurate statement as of those dates, of Bankard`s financial condition and of all its assets and
liabilities, and is complete in all material respectsE an)

ii6 the statements of Bankard`s profit and loss accounts for the fiscal years 1996 to 1999, as prepare)
an) certifie) by !7%, and the unaudited profit and loss accounts for the first quarter ended 31
March 2000, fairly and accurately present the results of the operations of Bankard for the perio)s
in)icate), an) are complete in all material respects'

h' E.cept as )isclose) in the isclosures, an) e.cept to the e.tent set forth or reserve) in the au)ite) financial
state(ents of Ban<ar) as of +- ece(ber -888 an) its unau)ite) financial state(ents for the first ;uarter en)e) +-
#arch *,,,, Bankard, as of such dates and up to 31 May 2000, had and shall have no liabilities, omissions or
mistakes in its records which will have a material adverse effect on the net worth or financial condition of
Bankard to the extent of more than One Hundred Million Pesos (P 100,000,000.00) in the aggregate' $n the
event such (aterial a)verse effect on the net /orth or financial con)ition of Ban<ar) e.cee)s One >un)re) #illion
Pesos 5P -,,,,,,,,,,',,6, the Purchase Price shall be re)uce) in accor)ance /ith the follo/ing for(ula:

. . . .

!ection 9' Remedies for Breach of Warranties

$f any of the representations an) /arranties of any or all of the !ELLER! or the BHBER 5the Fefaulting PartyG6
containe) in !ections 3 an) 4 shall be foun) to be untrue /hen (a)e an)Dor as of the Closing ate, the other party, i'e', the
BHBER if the efaulting is any of the !ELLER! an) the !ELLER! if the efaulting Party is the BHBER 5hereinafter
referre) to as the FNon-efaulting PartyG6shall have the right to require the Defaulting Party, at the latter`s expense,
to cure such breach, and/or seek damages, by providing notice or presenting a claim to the Defaulting Party,
reasonably specifying therein the particulars of the breach' "he foregoing re(e)ies shall be available to the Non-
efaulting Party only if the demand therefor is presented in writing to the Defaulting Party within three (3) years
from the Closing Date, except that the remedy for a breach of the SELLERS` representation and warranty in
Section 5 (h) shall be available only if the demand therefor is presented to the efaulting Party in /riting together /ith
sche)ules an) )ata to substantiate such )e(an), within six (6) months from the Closing Date' 5E(phasis supplie)'6


Before /e a))ress the issue put for/ar) by petitioners, there is a necessity to )eter(ine the nature an) application of the reliefs
provi)e) un)er !ec' 35g6 an) !ec' 35h6 in conCunction /ith !ec' 9, thus:

5-6 "he relief un)er !ec' 35h6 is specifically for price re)uction as sai) section e.plicitly states that the FPurchase Price shall be
re)uce) in accor)ance /ith the follo/ing for(ula . . .'G $n a))ition, !ec' 9 gives the aggrieve) party the right to as< )a(ages base) on the
stipulation that the non-)efaulting party Fshall have the right to re;uire the efaulting Party, at the latter@s e.pense, to cure such breach an)D or
seek damages'G

On the other han), the re(e)y un)er !ec' 35g6 in conCunction /ith !ec' 9 can inclu)e specific perfor(ance, )a(ages, an) other
reliefs excluding price reduction'

5*6 !ec' 35g6 /arranty covers the au)ite) financial state(ents 5A=!6 for the three 5+6 years en)ing ece(ber +-, -889 to -888 an)
the unau)ite) financial state(ents 5H=!6 for the first ;uarter en)ing #arch +-, *,,,' On the other han), the !ec' 35h6 /arranty refers only to the
A=! for the year en)ing ece(ber +-, -888 an) the H=! up to #ay +-, *,,,' $t is un)enie) that !ec' 35h6 refers to price re)uction as it covers
Fonly the (ost up-to-)ate au)ite) an) unau)ite) financial state(ents upon /hich the price (ust have been base)'G
0-81

5+6 Hn)er !ec' 35h6, the responsibility of petitioners for its /arranty shall exclude the )isclosures an) reservations (a)e in A=! of
Ban<ar) as of ece(ber +-, -888 an) its H=! up to #ay +-, *,,,' No such e.clusions /ere (a)e un)er !ec' 35g6 /ith respect to the /arranty
of petitioners in the A=! an) H=! of Ban<ar)'

526 !ec' 35h6 gives relief only if there is (aterial a)verse effect in the net /orth in e.cess of PhP -,, (illion an) it provi)es a
for(ula for price re)uction'
0*,1
On the other han), !ec' 35g6 can be the basis for re(e)ies li<e specific perfor(ance, )a(ages, an) other reliefs,
e.cept price re)uction, even if the overvaluation is less or above PhP -,, (illion an) there is no for(ula for co(putation of )a(ages'

536 Hn)er !ec' 9, the aggrieve) party shall present its /ritten )e(an) to the )efaulting party /ithin three 5+6 years fro( closing
)ate' Hn)er !ec' 35h6, the /ritten )e(an) shall be presente) /ithin si. 546 (onths fro( closing )ate' $n accor)ance /ith par' *5c6 of the A!PA,
the )ea)line to file the )e(an) un)er !ec' 35h6 /as e.ten)e) to ece(ber +-, *,,,'

=ro( the above )eter(ination, it beco(es clear that the aggrieve) party is entitle) to t/o 5*6 separate alternative re(e)ies un)er !ecs' 3
an) 9 of the !PA, thus:

-' A clai( for price re)uction un)er !ec' 35h6 an)Dor )a(ages base) on the breach of /arranty by Ban<ar)
on the absence of liabilities, o(issions an) (ista<es on the financial state(ents as of +- ece(ber -888 an) the H=! as of
+- #ay *,,,, provi)e) that the (aterial a)verse effect on the net /orth e.cee)s PhP -,,# an) the /ritten )e(an) is
presente) /ithin si. 546 (onths fro( closing )ate 5e.ten)e) to +- ece(ber *,,,6E an)

*' An action to cure the breach li<e specific perfor(ance an)Dor )a(ages un)er !ec' 35g6 base) on
Ban<ar)@s breach of /arranty involving its A=! for the three 5+6 fiscal years en)ing +- ece(ber -889, -88:, an) -888
an) the H=! for the first ;uarter en)ing +- #arch *,,, provi)e) that the /ritten )e(an) shall be presente) /ithin three
5+6 years fro( closing )ate'


>as RCBC the option to choose bet/een !ec' 35g6 or !ec' 35h6U

"he ans/er is yes' !ec' 3 an) !ec' 9 are clear that it is )iscretionary on the aggrieve) parties to avail the(selves of any re(e)y (entione)
above' "hey (ay choose one an) )ispense /ith the other' Of course, the relief for price re)uction un)er !ec' 35h6 /ill have to confor( to the
prere;uisites an) ti(e fra(e of si. 546 (onthsE other/ise, it is /aive)'

Preli(inarily, petitioners@ basic posture that RCBC@s clai( is for the recovery of overpay(ent is specious' "he recor)s sho/ that in
its Re1uest for Ar'itration )ate) #ay -*, *,,2, RCBC praye) for the rescission of the !PA, restitution of the /hole purchase price, an) )a(ages
not for re)uction of price or for the return of any overpay(ent' Even in its #ay 3, *,,, letter,
0*-1
RCBC )i) not as< for the recovery of any
overpay(ent or re)uction of price, (erely stating in it that the accounts of Ban<ar), as reflecte) in its A=! for -888, /ere overstate) /hich,
necessarily, resulte) in an overpay(ent situation' RCBC /as e(phatic an) une;uivocal that petitioners violate) their /arranty covere) by !ec'
35g6 of the !PA'

$t is thus evi)ent that RCBC )i) not avail itself of the option un)er !ec' 35h6, i'e', for price re)uction or the return of any overpay(ent
arising fro( the overvaluation of Ban<ar)@s financial con)ition' Clearly, RCBC invo<e) !ec' 35g6 to clai( )a(ages fro( petitioners /hich is
one of the alternative reliefs grante) un)er !ec' 9 in a))ition to rescission an) restitution of purchase price'

Petitioners )o not )eny that RCBC for(ally file) its clai( un)er !ec' 35g6 /hich is anchore) on the (aterial overstate(ent or
overvaluation of Ban<ar)@s revenues, assets, an) net /orth an), hence, the overstate(ent of the purchase price' "hey, ho/ever, assert that such
clai( for overpay(ent is actually a clai( un)er !ec' 35h6 of the !PA for price re)uction /hich it forfeite) after ece(ber +-, *,,,'

Ae cannot sustain petitioners@ position'
$t cannot be )ispute) that an overstate(ent or overvaluation of Ban<ar)@s financial con)ition as of closing )ate translates into a
(isrepresentation not only of the accuracy an) truthfulness of the financial state(ents un)er !ec' 35g6, but also as to Ban<ar)@s actual net /orth
(entione) in !ec' 35h6' Overvaluation presupposes (ista<es in the entries in the financial state(ents an) a(ounts to a breach of petitioners@
representations an) /arranties un)er !ec' 3' Conse;uently, such error in the financial state(ents /oul) i(pact on the figure representing the net
/orth of Ban<ar) as of closing )ate' An overvaluation (eans that the financial con)ition of Ban<ar) as of closing )ate, i'e', &une *, *,,,, is
overstate), a situation that /ill )efinitely result in a breach of EPC$B@s representations an) /arranties'

A scrutiny of !ec' 35g6 an) !ec' 35h6 in relation to !ec' 9 of the !PA /oul) in)icate the follo/ing re(e)ies available to RCBC shoul)
it be )iscovere), as of closing )ate, that there is overvaluation /hich /ill constitute breach of the /arranty clause un)er either !ec' 35g6 or 5h6, to
/it:

5-6 An overvaluation of Ban<ar)@s actual financial con)ition as of closing )ate taints the veracity an) accuracy of the A=! for -889,
-88:, an) -888 an) the H=! for the first ;uarter of *,,, an) is an actionable breach of petitioners@ /arranties un)er !ec' 35g6'

5*6 An overvaluation of Ban<ar)@s financial con)ition as of #ay +-, *,,,, enco(passing the /arrante) financial con)ition as
of ece(ber +-, -888 through the A=! for -888 an) as of #arch +-, *,,, through the H=! for the first ;uarter of *,,,, is a breach of
petitioners@ representations an) /arranties un)er !ec' 35h6'

"hus, RCBC has t/o )istinct alternative re(e)ies in case of an overvaluation of Ban<ar)@s financial con)ition' $t (ay invo<e !ec'
35h6 /hen the con)itions of the threshol) aggregate overvaluation an) the clai( (a)e /ithin the si.-(onth ti(e-bar are present' $n the
alternative, it (ay invo<e !ec' 35g6 /hen it fin)s that a clai( for Fcuring the breachG an)Dor )a(ages /ill be (ore a)vantageous to its interests
provi)e) it is file) /ithin three 5+6 years fro( closing )ate' !ince it has t/o re(e)ies, RCBC (ay opt to e.ercise either one' Of course, the
e.ercise of either one /ill preclu)e the other'

#oreover, the language e(ploye) in !ec' 35g6 an) !ec' 35h6 is clear an) bereft of any a(biguity' "he !PA@s stipulations reveal that
the non-use or /aiver of !ec' 35h6 )oes not preclu)e RCBC fro( availing itself of the secon) relief un)er !ec' 35g6' Article -+9, of the Civil
Co)e is e.plicit that Fif ter(s of a contract are clear an) leave no )oubt upon the intention of the contracting parties the literal (eaning of its
stipulations shall control'G !ince the ter(s of a contract have the force of la/ bet/een the parties,
0**1
then the parties (ust respect an) strictly
confor( to it' Lastly, it is a long hel) car)inal rule that /hen the ter(s of an agree(ent are re)uce) to /riting, it is )ee(e) to contain all the
ter(s agree) upon an) no evi)ence of such ter(s can be a)(itte) other than the contents of the agree(ent itself'
0*+1
!ince the !PA is
una(biguous, an) petitioners faile) to a))uce evi)ence to the contrary, then they are legally boun) to co(ply /ith it'

Petitioners agree) ulti(ately to the stipulation that:

Each of the representations an) /arranties of the !ELLER! is )ee(e) to be a separate representation and
warranty, an) the BHBER has place) co(plete reliance thereon in agreeing to the Purchase Price an) in entering into this
Agree(ent' "he representations an) /arranties of the !ELLER! shall be correct as of the )ate of this Agree(ent an) as of
the Closing ate /ith the sa(e force an) effect as though such representations an) /arranties ha) been (a)e as of the
Closing ate'
0*21
5E(phasis supplie)'6


"he Court sustains the fin)ing in the Partial A/ar) that !ec' 35g6 of the !PA is a free stan)ing /arranty an) not constricte) by !ec'
35h6 of the sai) agree(ent'

Hpon the foregoing pre(ises an) in the light of the un)ispute) facts on recor), RCBC@s clai( for rescission of the !PA an) )a(ages
)ue to overvaluation of Ban<ar)@s accounts /as properly for a breach of the /arranty un)er !ec' 35g6 an) /as not ti(e-barre)' "o repeat, RCBC
presente) its /ritten clai( on #ay 3, *,,+, or a little less than a (onth before closing )ate, /ell /ithin the three 5+6-year prescriptive perio)
provi)e) un)er !ec' 9 for the e.ercise of the right provi)e) un)er !ec' 35g6'

Petitioners be(oan the fact that Fthe arbitrators@ liability a/ar) 5a6 )isregar)e) the 4-(onth contractual li(itation for
RCBC@s overprice` claim, an) 0b1 substitute) in its place the +-year li(itation un)er the contract for other claims,G
0*31
a)opting in that regar)
the interpretation of the !PA (a)e by arbitral tribunal (e(ber, retire) &ustice Oapunan, in his issenting Opinion, in /hich he asserte):

Hlti(ately, the Clai( is one for recovery of overpay(ent in the purchase price of the shares' An) it is in this
conte.t, that $ respectfully sub(it that !ection 35h6 an) not !ection 35g6, applies to the present controversy'
0*41

. . . .

"rue, /ithout !ection 35h6, the Clai( for price recovery /oul) fall un)er !ection 35g6' "he recovery of the
pecuniary loss of the Clai(ant in the for( of the e.cess price pai) /oul) be in the nature of a clai( for actual )a(ages by
/ay of co(pensation' $n that situation, all the accounts in the -888 financial state(ents /oul) be the subCect of the
/arranty in !ection 35g6'
>o/ever, since the parties e.plicitly inclu)e) !ection 35h6 in their !PA, /hich assures the Clai(ant that there
/ere no Fo(issions or (ista<es in the recor)sG that /oul) (isstate the -888 net /orth account, I am left with no other
conclusion but that the accuracy of the net worth was the subject of the warranty in Section 5(h), while the accuracy
or correctness of the other accounts that did not bear on, or affect Bankard`s net worth, were guaranteed by Section
5(g)'

. . . .

"his (anner of reconciling the t/o provisions is consistent /ith the principle in Rule -+,, !ection -* of the
Rules of Court that F/hen a general an) a particular provision are inconsistent, the latter is para(ount to the for(erN 0so1
a particular intent /ill control a general one that is inconsistent /ith it'G "his is also consistent /ith e.isting )octrines on
statutory construction, the application of /hich is illustrate) in the case of Co((issioner of Custo(s vs' Court of "a.
Appeals, 7R No' L-2-:4-, )ate) #arch *+, -8:9 . . .'

. . . .

The Claim is for recovery of the excess price by way of actual damages'
0*91
. . . 5E(phasis supplie)'6


&ustice Oapunan note) that /ithout !ec' 35h6, RCBC@s clai( /oul) fall un)er !ec' 35g6, i(plie)ly a)(itting that both provisions
coul) very /ell cover RCBC@s clai(, e.cept that !ec' 35h6 e.clu)es the situation conte(plate) in it fro( the general ter(s of !ec' 35g6'

!uch vie/ is incorrect'

Ahile it is true that !ec' 35h6, as couche), is a /arranty on the accuracy of the Ban<ar)@s net /orth /hile !ec' 35g6, as also couche), is
a /arranty on the veracity, accuracy, an) co(pleteness of the A=! in all (aterial respects as prepare) in accor)ance /ith generally accepte)
accounting principles consistently follo/e) throughout the perio) au)ite), yet both /arranties boil )o/n to the sa(e thing an) ste( fro( the
sa(e accounts as su((ari?e) in the A=!' !ince the net worth is the balance of Bankard`s assets less its liabilities, it necessarily includes all
the accounts under the AFS' $n short, there are no accounts in the AFS that do not bear on the net worth of Bankard' #oreover, as earlier
eluci)ate), any overvaluation of Ban<ar)@s net /orth is necessarily a (isrepresentation of the veracity, accuracy, an) co(pleteness of the A=!
an) also a breach of the /arranty un)er !ec' 35g6' "hus, the subCect of the /arranty in !ec' 35h6 is also covere) by the /arranty in !ec' 35g6, an)
!ec' 35h6 cannot e.clu)e such breach fro( the a(bit of !ec' 35g6' "here is no nee) to rely on !ec' -*, Rule -+, of the Rules of Court for both
!ec' 35g6 an) !ec' 35h6 as alternative re(e)ies are of e;ual footing an) one nee) not categori?e one section as a general provision an) the other a
particular provision'

#ore i(portantly, a scrutiny of the four corners of the !PA )oes not e.plicitly reveal any stipulation nor even i(plie)ly that the
parties inten)e) to li(it the scope of the /arranty in !ec' 35g6 or gave priority to !ec' 35h6 over !ec' 35g6'

"he arbitral tribunal )i) not fin) any legal basis in the !PA that !ec' 35h6 Fso(eho/ cuts )o/nG the scope of !ec' 35g6, thus:

8'-, $n the opinion of the "ribunal, there is nothing in the wording used in the SPA to give priority to one
warranty over the other. There is nothing in the wording used to indicate that the parties intended to limit the scope
of the warranty in 5(g)' $f it be conten)e) that, on a true construction of the t/o /arranties, 35h6 so(eho/ cuts )o/n the
scope of 35g6, the Tribunal can find no justification for such conclusion on the wording used' =urther(ore, the
"ribunal is of the vie/ that very clear /or)s /oul) be nee)e) to cut )o/n the scope of the 35g6 /arranty'
0*:1

"he Court uphol)s the conclusion of the tribunal an) rules that the clai( of RCBC un)er !ec' 35g6 is not ti(e-barre)'




Petitioners Were Not Denied Due Process

Petitioners i(pute on RCBC the act of creating su((aries of the accounts of Ban<ar) /hich Fin turn /ere use) by its e.perts to
conclu)e that Ban<ar) i(properly recor)e) its receivables an) co((itte) (aterial )eviations fro( 7AAP re;uire(ents'G
0*81
Later, petitioners
/oul) assert that Fthe arbitrators@ partial a/ar) a)(itte) an) use) the !u((aries as evi)ence, an) hel) on the basis of the Winfor(ation@
containe) in the( that petitioners /ere in breach of their /arranty in 7AAP co(pliance'G

"o petitioners, the $CC-$CA@s use of such su((aries but /ithout presenting the source )ocu(ents violates their right to )ue process'
Pressing the point, petitioners ha) (ove), but to no avail, for the e.clusion of the sai) su((aries' Petitioners allege that they ha) reserve) the
right to cross-e.a(ine the /itnesses of RCBC /ho testifie) on the su((aries, pen)ing the resolution of their (otion to e.clu)e' But, accor)ing
to the(, they /ere effectively )enie) the right to cross-e.a(ine RCBC@s /itnesses /hen the $CC-$CA a)(itte) the su((aries of RCBC as
evi)ence'

Petitioners@ position is bereft of (erit'

Anent the use but non-presentation of the source )ocu(ents as the Cu(ping boar) for a clai( of )enial of )ue process, petitioners
cite Compania %aritima . Allied .ree 7or@erIs Cnion.
0+,1
$t (ay be state), ho/ever, that such case is not on all fours /ith the instant case an),
therefore, cannot be applie) here consi)ering that it )oes not involve an a)(inistrative bo)y e.ercising ;uasi-Cu)icial function but rather the
regular court'

$n a catena of cases, /e have rule) that F0t1he essence of )ue process is the opportunity to be hear)' Ahat the la/ prohibits is not the
absence of previous notice but the absolute absence thereof an) the lac< of opportunity to be hear)'G
0+-1

Ae also e.plaine) in !astimoso . Asayo that F0)1ue process in an a)(inistrative conte.t )oes not re;uire trial type procee)ings
si(ilar to those in courts of Custice' Ahere an opportunity to be hear) either through oral argu(ents or through plea)ings is accor)e), there is no
)enial of proce)ural )ue process'G
0+*1

Aere petitioners affor)e) the opportunity to refute the su((aries an) pieces of evi)ence sub(itte) by RCBC /hich beca(e the bases
of the e.perts@ opinionU

"he ans/er is in the affir(ative'

Ae recall the events that cul(inate) in the issuance of the challenge) Partial A/ar), thus:

On #ay -9, *,,2, the $CC-$CA receive) the Re1uest for Ar'itration )ate) #ay -*, *,,2 fro( RCBC see<ing rescission of the !PA
an) restitution of all the a(ounts pai) by RCBC to petitioners, /ith actual an) (oral )a(ages, interest, an) costs of suit'

On August :, *,,2, petitioners file) an Ans/er to the Re;uest for Arbitration )ate) &uly *:, *,,2, setting up a counterclai( for H!
+,,,,,, for actual an) e.e(plary )a(ages'

RCBC file) its Reply
0++1
)ate) August +-, *,,2 to petitioners@ Ans/er to the Re;uest for Arbitration'
On October 2, *,,2, the parties entere) into the "er(s of Reference'
0+21
At the sa(e ti(e, the chairperson of the arbitral tribunal issue)
a provisional ti(etable
0+31
for the arbitration'

On October *3, *,,2, as previously agree) upon in the (eeting on October 2, *,,2, petitioners file) a #otion to is(iss
0+41
/hile
RCBC file) a FClai(ant@s Position Paper 5Re: 0Petitioners@1 Assertion that RCBC CAP$"AL CORPORA"$ON@s Present Clai( $s "i(e
Barre)6'G
0+91

"hen, the tribunal issue) Proce)ural Or)er No' - )ate) &anuary -*, *,,3,
0+:1
)enying the (otion to )is(iss an) setting the initial
hearing of the case on April --, *,,3'

$n a letter )ate) =ebruary 8, *,,3,
0+81
petitioners re;ueste) that the tribunal )irect RCBC to pro)uce certain )ocu(ents' At the sa(e
ti(e, petitioners sought the postpone(ent of the hearing on April --, *,,3 to #arch *-, *,,3, in light of their o/n re;uest'

On =ebruary --, *,,3, petitioners receive) RCBC@s brief of evi)ence an) supporting )ocu(entation in accor)ance /ith the
provisional ti(etable'
02,1
$n the brief of evi)ence, RCBC provi)e) su((aries of the accounts of Ban<ar), /hich petitioners no/ ;uestion'

Later, in a letter )ate) =ebruary -2, *,,3,
02-1
petitioners co(plaine) to the tribunal /ith regar) to their lac< of access to RCBC@s
e.ternal au)itor' Petitioners sought an au)it by an accounting fir( of the recor)s of Ban<ar) /ith respect to the clai(s of RCBC' By virtue of
such re;uests, petitioners also sought a resche)uling of the provisional ti(etable, )espite their earlier assurance to the tribunal that if they
receive) the )ocu(ents that they re;ueste) on =ebruary 8, *,,3 on or before =ebruary *-, *,,3, they /oul) abi)e by the provisional ti(etable'

"hereafter, the tribunal issue) Proce)ural Or)er No' * )ate) =ebruary -:, *,,3,
02*1
in /hich it allo/e) the )iscovery an) inspection of
the )ocu(ents re;ueste) by petitioners that /ere also sche)ule) on =ebruary -:, *,,3' "he re;uest for an au)it of Ban<ar)@s accounts /as )enie)
/ithout preCu)ice to the con)uct of such au)it )uring the course of the hearings' Conse;uently, the tribunal a(en)e) the provisional ti(etable,
e.ten)ing the )ea)line for petitioners to file their brief of evi)ence an) )ocu(ents to #arch *-, *,,3' "he )ate of the initial hearing, ho/ever,
re(aine) on April --, *,,3'

On =ebruary -:, *,,3, petitioners /ere furnishe) the )ocu(ents that they re;ueste) RCBC'
02+1
"he parties also agree) to (eet again
on =ebruary *+, *,,3 to provi)e petitioners /ith a F/al<-throughG of Ban<ar)@s !tatistical Analysis !yste( an) to provi)e petitioners /ith a soft
copy of all of Ban<ar)@s car)hol)ers'
0221

uring the =ebruary *+, *,,3 (eeting, EPC$B@s counselsDrepresentatives /ere acco(panie) to the Ban<ar)@s Cre)it-#$! 7roup'
"here, Ban<ar)@s representative, A(or La?aro, )escribe) an) e.plaine) to petitioners@ representatives the steps involve) in procuring an)
translating ra/ )ata on custo(er transactions' La?aro e.plaine) that Ban<ar) captures car)hol)er infor(ation an) transactions through enco)ing
or electronic )ata capture' "hereafter, such )ata are trans(itte) to its (ain cre)it car) a)(inistration syste(' !uch ra/ )ata are then sent to
Ban<ar)@s $nfor(ation "echnology 7roup' Hsing a proprietary soft/are calle) !A!, the ra/ )ata is then converte) into !A! files /hich (ay be
vie/e), han)le), an) converte) into E.cel files for reporting purposes' uring the /al<-through, petitioners@ representatives as<e) ;uestions
/hich /ere ans/ere) in )etail by La?aro'

At the sa(e ti(e, another Ban<ar) representative, =eli. L' !incoKegue, acco(panie) t/o au)itorsDrepresentatives of petitioners to
e.a(ine the Cournal vouchers an) supporting )ocu(ents of Ban<ar) consisting of several bo.es' "he au)itors ran)o(ly sifte) through the bo.es
/hich they ha) earlier re;ueste) to be inspecte)'

$n a))ition, petitioners /ere furnishe) /ith an electronic copy of the )etails of all car)hol)ers, inclu)ing relevant )ata for aging of
receivables for the years *,,, to *,,+, as /ell as )ata containing )etails of /ritten-off accounts fro( -888 to #arch *,,, containe) in co(pact
)iscs'
0231

On #arch 2, *,,3, petitioners sent a letter
0241
to the tribunal re;uesting for a postpone(ent of the April --, *,,3 hearing of the case'
Petitioners clai( that they coul) not confir( the su((aries prepare) by RCBC, consi)ering that RCBC allege)ly )i) not cooperate in provi)ing
)ata that /oul) facilitate their verification' Petitioners specifically (entione) the follo/ing )ata: 5-6 list of na(es of car)hol)ers /hose accounts
are sources of )ata gathere) or calculate) in the su((ariesE 5*6 references to the basic car)hol)er )ocu(ents fro( /hich such )ata /ere
collecte)E an) 5+6 access to the un)erlying car)hol)er )ocu(ents at a ti(e an) un)er con)itions (utually convenient to the parties' As regar)s the
co(pact )iscs of infor(ation provi)e) to petitioners, it is clai(e) that such infor(ation coul) not be accesse) as the soft/are necessary for the
han)ling of the )ata coul) not be (a)e i((e)iately available to the('
$n Proce)ural Or)er No' + )ate) #arch -- *,,3,
0291
the initial hearing /as (ove) to &une -+ to -4, *,,3, consi)ering that petitioners
faile) to pay the a)vance on costs of the tribunal'

On #arch *+, *,,3, RCBC pai) the balance of the a)vance on costs'
02:1

On April **, *,,3, petitioners sent the tribunal a letter,
0281
re;uesting for the postpone(ent of the hearing sche)ule) on &une -+ to -4,
*,,3 on the groun) that they coul) not sub(it their /itness@ state(ents )ue to the volu(e of )ata that they ac;uire) fro( RCBC'

$n a letter )ate) April *3, *,,3,
03,1
petitioners )e(an)e) fro( RCBC that they be allo/e) to e.a(ine the Cournal vouchers earlier
(a)e available to the( )uring the=ebruary *+, *,,3 (eeting' "his )e(an) /as ans/ere) by RCBC in a letter )ate) April *4, *,,3,
03-1
stating
that such )e(an) /as being )enie) by virtue of Proce)ural Or)er No' *, in /hich it /as rule) that further re;uests for )iscovery /oul) not be
(a)e e.cept /ith leave of the chairperson of the tribunal'

$n Proce)ural Or)er No' 2,
03*1
the tribunal grante) petitioners@ re;uest for the postpone(ent of the hearing on &une -+, *,,3 an)
resche)ule) it to Nove(ber *-, *,,3 in light of the pen)ing (otions file) by EPC$B /ith the R"C in #a<ati City'

On &uly *8, *,,3, the parties hel) a (eeting /herein it /as agree) that petitioners /oul) be provi)e) /ith har) an) soft copies of the
inventory of the Cournal vouchers earlier presente) to its representatives, /hile (a<ing the Cournal vouchers available to petitioners for t/o /ee<s
for e.a(ination an) photocopying'
03+1

On !epte(ber *, *,,3, petitioners applie) for the postpone(ent of the Nove(ber *-, *,,3 hearing )ue to the follo/ing: 5-6
petitioners ha) earlier file) a (otion )ate) August --, *,,3 /ith the R"C, in /hich the issue of /hether the non-=ilipino (e(bers of the tribunal
/ere illegally practicing la/ in the Philippines by hearing their case, /hich /as still pen)ingE an) 5*6 the gathering an) processing of the )ata an)
)ocu(ents (a)e available by RCBC /oul) re;uire *4 /ee<s'
0321
!uch application /as )enie) by the tribunal in Proce)ural Or)er No' 3
)ate) !epte(ber -4, *,,3'
0331

On October *-, *,,3, the tribunal issue) Proce)ural Or)er No' 4,
0341
postponing the Nove(ber *-, *,,3 hearing by virtue of an or)er
issue) by the R"C in #a<ati City)irecting the tribunal to reset the hearing for April *- an) *2, *,,4'

"hereafter, in a letter )ate) &anuary -:, *,,4,
0391
petitioners /rote the tribunal re;uesting that RCBC be )irecte) to: 5-6 provi)e
petitioners /ith infor(ation i)entifying the Cournal vouchers an) other supporting )ocu(ents that RCBC use) to arrive at the figures set out in
the su((aries an) other relevant infor(ation necessary to enable the( to reconstruct an)Dor other/ise un)erstan) the figures or a(ounts in each
su((aryE an) 5*6 sub(it to petitioners the re;ueste) pieces of infor(ation as soon as these are or have beco(e available, or in any case not later
than five )ays'

$n response to such letter, RCBC a))resse) a letter )ate) &anuary +-, *,,4
03:1
to the tribunal clai(ing that the pieces of infor(ation
that petitioners re;ueste) are alrea)y <no/n to petitioners consi)ering that RCBC (erely (aintaine) the syste(s that they inherite) /hen it
bought Ban<ar) fro( petitioners' RCBC a))e) that the )ocu(ents that EPC$B originally trans(itte) to it /hen RCBC bought Ban<ar) /ere all
being (a)e available to petitionersE thus, any (issing supporting )ocu(ents fro( these files /ere never trans(itte) to the( in the first place'

Later, petitioners sent to the tribunal a letter )ate) =ebruary -,, *,,4,
0381
as<ing that it )irect RCBC to provi)e petitioners /ith the
supporting )ocu(ents that RCBC (entione) in its letter )ate) &anuary +-, *,,4' Petitioners /rote that shoul) RCBC fail to present such
)ocu(ents, RCBC@s su((aries shoul) be e.clu)e) fro( the recor)s'

$n a letter )ate) #arch -,, *,,4,
04,1
petitioners re;ueste) that they be given an a))itional perio) of at least 29 )ays /ithin /hich to
sub(it their evi)ence-in-chief /ith the correspon)ing re;uest for the cancellation of the hearing on April *2, *,,4' Petitioners sub(it that shoul)
such re;uest be )enie), RCBC@s su((aries shoul) be e.clu)e) fro( the recor)s'

On April 4, *,,4, petitioners file) their arbitration briefs an) /itness state(ents' By /ay of reply, on April -9, *,,4, RCBC
sub(itte) %olu(es $% an) % of its e.hibits an) %olu(e $$ of its evi)ence-in-chief'
04-1

On April -:, *,,4, petitioners re;ueste) the tribunal that they be allo/e) to file reCoin)er briefs, or other/ise e.clu)e RCBC@s reply
brief an) /itness state(ents'
04*1
$n this re;uest, petitioners also re;ueste) that the hearing set for April *2, *,,4 be (ove)' "hese re;uests /ere
)enie)'

Conse;uently, on April *2 to *9, *,,4, the arbitral tribunal con)ucte) hearings on the case'
04+1
On ece(ber 2, *,,4, petitioners sub(itte) reCoin)er affi)avits, raising ne/ issues for the first ti(e, to /hich RCBC sub(itte)
%olu(e $$$ of its evi)ence-in-chief by /ay of a reply'

On &anuary -4, *,,9, both parties si(ultaneously sub(itte) their (e(oran)a' On &anuary *4, *,,9, both parties si(ultaneously file)
their reply to the other@s (e(oran)u('
0421

"hus, on !epte(ber *9, *,,9, the Partial A/ar) /as ren)ere) by the "ribunal'

Later, petitioners (ove) to vacate the sai) a/ar) before the R"C' !uch (otion /as )enie) by the trial court in the first assaile) or)er
)ate) &anuary :, *,,:' Petitioners then (ove) for a reconsi)eration of such or)er, but their (otion /as also )enie) in the secon) assaile) or)er
)ate) #arch -9, *,,:'

"he foregoing events une;uivocally )e(onstrate a(ple opportunity for petitioners to verify an) e.a(ine RCBC@s su((aries,
accounting recor)s, an) reports' "he plea)ings reveal that RCBC grante) petitioners@ re;uests for pro)uction of )ocu(ents an) accounting
recor)s' #ore so, they ha) (ore than three 5+6 years to prepare for their )efense after RCBC@s sub(ission of its brief of evi)ence' =inally, it (ust
be e(phasi?e) that petitioners ha) the opportunity to appeal the Partial A/ar) to the R"C, /hich they in fact )i)' Later, petitioners even (ove)
for the reconsi)eration of the )enial of their appeal' >aving been able to appeal an) (ove for a reconsi)eration of the assaile) rulings, petitioners
cannot clai( a )enial of )ue process'
0431

Petitioners@ right to )ue process /as not breache)'
As regar)s petitioners@ clai( that its right to )ue process /as violate) /hen they /ere allege)ly )enie) the right to cross-e.a(ine
RCBC@s /itnesses, their clai( is also bereft of (erit'

!ec' -3 of RA :94 or the Ar'itration !aw provi)es that:

!ection -3' 3earing 'y ar'itrators' T Arbitrators (ay, at the co((ence(ent of the hearing, as< both parties
for brief state(ents of the issues in controversy an)Dor an agree) state(ent of facts' "hereafter the parties (ay offer such
evi)ence as they )esire, an) shall pro)uce such a))itional evi)ence as the arbitrators shall re;uire or )ee( necessary to an
un)erstan)ing an) )eter(ination of the )ispute' The arbitrators shall be the sole judge of the relevancy and materiality
of the evidence offered or produced, and shall not be bound to conform to the Rules of Court pertaining to evidence.
Arbitrators shall receive as exhibits in evidence any document which the parties may wish to submit and the
exhibits shall be properly identified at the time of submission. All e.hibits shall re(ain in the custo)y of the Cler< of
Court )uring the course of the arbitration an) shall be returne) to the parties at the ti(e the a/ar) is (a)e' "he arbitrators
(ay (a<e an ocular inspection of any (atter or pre(ises /hich are in )ispute, but such inspection shall be (a)e only in
the presence of all parties to the arbitration, unless any party /ho shall have receive) notice thereof fails to appear, in
/hich event such inspection shall be (a)e in the absence of such party' 5E(phasis supplie)'6

"he /ell-settle) rule is that a)(inistrative agencies e.ercising ;uasi-Cu)icial po/ers shall not be fettere) by the rigi) technicalities of
proce)ure, albeit they are, at all ti(es re;uire), to a)here to the basic concepts of fair play' "he Court /rote in C%P .ederal Security Agency,
Inc. . &!RC:


Ahile a)(inistrative tribunals e.ercising ;uasi-Cu)icial po/ers, li<e the NLRC an) Labor Arbiters, are free
fro( the rigi)ity of certain proce)ural re;uire(ents, they are nonetheless boun) by la/ an) practice to observe the
fun)a(ental an) essential re;uire(ents of )ue process' "he stan)ar) of )ue process that (ust be (et in a)(inistrative
tribunals allo/s a certain )egree of latitu)e as long as fairness is not ignore)' >ence, it is not legally obCectionable, for
being violative of )ue process, for the Labor Arbiter to resolve a case base) solely on the position papers, affi)avits
or )ocu(entary evi)ence sub(itte) by the parties' "he affi)avits of /itnesses in such case (ay ta<e the place of their
)irect testi(ony'
0441

Of the sa(e tenor is our hol)ing in 5uiam'ao . Court of Appeals:

$n resolving a)(inistrative cases, con)uct of full-blo/n trial is not in)ispensable to )ispense Custice to the parties' "he
re;uire(ent of notice an) hearing )oes not connote full a)versarial procee)ings' !ub(ission of position papers (ay be
sufficient for as long as the parties thereto are given the opportunity to be hear)' In administrative proceedings, the
essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard, or an opportunity to explain one`s side or opportunity
to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. This constitutional mandate is deemed satisfied if a
person is granted an opportunity to seek reconsideration of an action or a ruling. $t )oes not re;uire trial-type
procee)ings si(ilar to those in the courts of Custice' Ahere opportunity to be hear) either through oral argu(ents or
through plea)ings is accor)e), there is no )enial of proce)ural )ue process'
0491
5E(phasis supplie)'6

Citing 0ertudes . Buenaflor, petitioners also cry )enial of )ue process /hen they /ere allege)ly )enie) the right to cross-e.a(ine the
/itnesses presente) by RCBC' $t is true that in 0ertudes, /e state): F"he right of a party to confront an) cross-e.a(ine opposing /itnesses in a
Cu)icial litigation, be it cri(inal or civil in nature, or in procee)ings before a)(inistrative tribunals /ith ;uasi-Cu)icial po/ers, is a fun)a(ental
right /hich is part of )ue process'G
04:1

$t is, ho/ever, e;ually true that:

0"1he right is a personal one /hich (ay be /aive) e.pressly or i(plie)ly by con)uct a(ounting to a
renunciation of the right of cross-e.a(ination' Thus, where a party has had the opportunity to cross-examine a witness
but failed to avail himself of it, he necessarily forfeits the right to cross-examine and the testimony given on direct
examination of the witness will be received or allowed to remain in the record.
0481
5E(phasis supplie)'6


Ae also hel) in one case:


However, the right has always been understood as requiring not necessarily an actual cross-examination but merely
an opportunity to exercise the right to cross-examine if desired. What is proscribed by statutory norm and
jurisprudential precept is the absence of the opportunity to cross-examine. "he right is a personal one an) (ay be
/aive) e.pressly or i(plie)ly' "here is an i(plie) /aiver /hen the party /as given the opportunity to confront an) cross-
e.a(ine an opposing /itness but faile) to ta<e a)vantage of it for reasons attributable to hi(self alone' $f by his actuations,
the accuse) lost his opportunity to cross-e.a(ine /holly or in part the /itnesses against hi(, his right to cross-e.a(ine is
i(plie)ly /aive)'
09,1
5E(phasis supplie)'6

An) later in 0ele" . ,e 0era, the Court 4n Banc e.poun)e) on the above rulings, a))ing that in a)(inistrative procee)ings, cross-
e.a(ination is not in)ispensable, thus:

ue process of la/ in a)(inistrative cases is not i)entical /ith FCu)icial processG for a trial in court is not
al/ays essential to )ue process' Ahile a )ay in court is a (atter of right in Cu)icial procee)ings, it is other/ise in
a)(inistrative procee)ings since they rest upon )ifferent principles' "he )ue process clause guarantees no particular for(
of proce)ure an) its re;uire(ents are not technical' "hus, in certain procee)ings of a)(inistrative character, the right to a
notice or hearing 0is1 not essential to )ue process of la/' "he constitutional re;uire(ent of )ue process is (et by a fair
hearing before a regularly establishe) a)(inistrative agency or tribunal' $t is not essential that hearings be ha) before the
(a<ing of a )eter(ination if thereafter, there is available trial an) tribunal before /hich all obCections an) )efenses to the
(a<ing of such )eter(ination (ay be raise) an) consi)ere)' One a)e;uate hearing is all that )ue process re;uires' Ahat
is re;uire) for FhearingG (ay )iffer as the functions of the a)(inistrative bo)ies )iffer'

The right to cross-examine is not an indispensable aspect of due process.
09-1
. . . 5E(phasis supplie)'6

Clearly, the right to cross-e.a(ine a /itness, although a fun)a(ental right of a party, (ay be /aive)' Petitioners the(selves a)(it
having ha) the opportunity to cross-e.a(ine RCBC@s /itnesses )uring the hearings before the tribunal, but )ecline) to )o so by reserving such
right at a later ti(e' >aving ha) the opportunity to cross-e.a(ine RCBC@s /itnesses, petitioners /ere not )enie) their right to )ue process'

RCBC Is Not Estopped from Questioning
the Financial Condition of Bankard

On estoppel, petitioners conten) that RCBC alrea)y <ne/ the recor)ing of the Ban<ar) accounts before it pai) the balance of the
purchase price an) coul) no longer challenge the financial state(ents of Ban<ar)' RCBC, they clai(, ha) full control of the operations of
Ban<ar) since &une *, *,,, an) RCBC@s au)it tea( revie/e) the accounts in !epte(ber *,,,' "hus, RCBC is no/ preclu)e) fro( )enying the
fairness an) accuracy of sai) accounts since it )i) not see< price re)uction un)er !ec' 35h6' Lastly, they asseverate that RCBC continue) /ith
Ban<ar)@s accounting policies an) practices an) foun) the( to confor( to the generally accepte) accounting principles, contrary to RCBC@s
allegations'

$t also bears stating that in his )issent, retire) &ustice Oapunan, an arbitral tribunal (e(ber, argue) that Ban<ar)@s accounting
practices /ere )isclose) in the infor(ation (e(oran)u( provi)e) to RCBCE hence, RCBC /as suppose) to <no/ such accounting practices an)
to have accepte) their propriety even before the e.ecution of the !PA' >e then argue) that /hen it pai) the purchase price on ece(ber *8,
*,,,, RCBC coul) no longer clai( that the accounting practices that /ent into the reporting of the -888 A=! of Ban<ar) /ere not in accor) /ith
generally accepte) accounting principles' >e pointe) out that RCBC /as boun) by the au)it con)ucte) by a certain Rubio prior to the full
pay(ent of the purchase price of Ban<ar)' Anchore) on these state(ents by &ustice Oapunan, petitioners conclu)e that RCBC is estoppe) fro(
clai(ing that the for(er violate) their /arranties un)er the !PA'

Petitioners@ contention is not (eritorious'

Art' -2+- of the Civil Co)e, on the subCect of estoppel, provi)es: F"hrough estoppel an a)(ission or representation is ren)ere)
conclusive upon the person (a<ing it, an) cannot be )enie) or )isprove) as against the person relying thereon'G

"he )octrine of estoppel is base) upon the groun)s of public policy, fair )ealing, goo) faith, an) CusticeE an) its purpose is to forbi)
one to spea< against one@s o/n acts, representations, or co((it(ents to the inCury of one to /ho( they /ere )irecte) an) /ho reasonably relie)
on the('
09*1

Ae e.plaine) the principle of estoppel in Philippine Saings Ban@ . Chow@ing .ood Corporation:

. . . "he e;uitable )octrine of estoppel /as e.plaine) by this Court in Calte+ (Philippines*, Inc. . Court of
Appeals:

Hn)er the )octrine of estoppel, an a)(ission or representation is ren)ere) conclusive upon the
person (a<ing it, an) cannot be )enie) or )isprove) as against the person relying thereon' A party (ay not go
bac< on his o/n acts an) representations to the preCu)ice of the other party /ho relie) upon the(' $n the la/ of
evi)ence, /henever a party has, by his o/n )eclaration, act, or o(ission, intentionally an) )eliberately le)
another to believe a particular thing true, to act upon such belief, he cannot, in any litigation arising out of such
)eclaration, act, or o(ission, be per(itte) to falsify it'

"he principle receive) further elaboration in %aneclang . Baun:

$n estoppel by pais, as relate) to the party sought to be estoppe), it is necessary that there be a
concurrence of the follo/ing re;uisites: 5a6 con)uct a(ounting to false representation or conceal(ent of
(aterial facts or at least calculate) to convey the i(pression that the facts are other/ise than, an) inconsistent
/ith, those /hich the party subse;uently atte(pts to assertE 5b6 intent, or at least e.pectation that this con)uct
shall be acte) upon, or at least influence) by the other partyE an) 5c6 <no/le)ge, actual or constructive of the
actual facts'

Estoppel (ay vary so(e/hat in )efinition, but all authorities agree that a party invoking the doctrine must
have been misled to one`s prejudice' "hat is the final an), in reality, (ost i(portant of the ele(ents of e;uitable
estoppel' $t is this ele(ent that is lac<ing here'
09+1
5E(phasis supplie)'6

"he ele(ents of estoppel pertaining to the party estoppe) are:

5-6 con)uct /hich a(ounts to a false representation or conceal(ent of (aterial facts, or, at least, /hich
calculate) to convey the i(pression that the facts are other/ise than, an) inconsistent /ith, those /hich the party
subse;uently atte(pts to assertE 5*6 intention, or at least e.pectation, that such con)uct shall be acte) upon by the other
partyE an) 5+6 <no/le)ge, actual or constructive, of the actual facts'
0921
$n the case at bar, the first ele(ent of estoppel in relation to the party sought to be estoppe) is not present' Petitioners clai( that
RCBC (isrepresente) itself /hen RCBC (a)e it appear that they consi)ere) petitioners to have sufficiently co(plie) /ith its /arranties un)er
!ec' 35g6 an) 35h6, in relation to !ec' 9 of the !PA' Petitioners@ position is that FRCBC /as a/are of the (anner in /hich the Ban<ar) accounts
/ere recor)e), /ell before it consu((ate) the !PA by ta<ing )elivery of the shares an) paying the outstan)ing :,Q balance of the contract
price'G
0931

Petitioners, therefore, theori?e that in this case, the first ele(ent of estoppel in relation to the party sought to be estoppe) is that RCBC
(a)e a false representation that it consi)ere) Ban<ar)@s accounts to be in or)er an), thus, RCBC aban)one) any clai( un)er !ec' 35g6 an) 35h6
by its inaction'

!uch contention is incorrect'

$t (ust be e(phasi?e) that it /as only after a secon) au)it that RCBC presente) its clai( to petitioners for violation of !ec' 35g6,
/ithin the three 5+6-year perio) prescribe)' $n other /or)s, RCBC, prior to such secon) au)it, )i) not have full an) thorough <no/le)ge of the
correctness of Ban<ar)@s accounts, in relation to !ec' 35g6' RCBC, therefore, coul) not have (isrepresente) itself consi)ering that it /as still in
the process of verifying the /arranties covere) un)er !ec' 35g6' Consi)ering that there (ust be a concurrence of the ele(ents of estoppel for it to
arise, on this groun) alone such clai( is alrea)y negate)' As /ill be sho/n, ho/ever, all the other ele(ents of estoppel are li<e/ise absent in the
case at bar'

As to the secon) ele(ent, in or)er to establish estoppel, RCBC (ust have inten)e) that petitioners /oul) act upon its actions' "his
ele(ent is also (issing' RCBC by its actions )i) not (islea) petitioners into believing that it /aive) any clai( for violation of a /arranty' "he
perio)s un)er !ec' 35g6 an) 35h6 /ere still available to RCBC'

"he ele(ent that petitioners relie) on the acts an) con)uct of RCBC is absent' "he Court fin)s that there /as no reliance on the part of
petitioners on the acts of RCBC that /oul) lea) the( to believe that the RCBC /ill forego the filing of a clai( un)er !ec' 35g6' "he allegation
that RCBC <ne/ that the Ban<ar) accounts )i) not co(ply /ith generally accepte) accounting principles before pay(ent an), hence, it cannot
;uestion the financial state(ents of Ban<ar) is (eritless' Precisely, the !PA e.plicitly provi)es that clai(s for violation of the /arranties un)er
!ec' 35g6 can still be file) /ithin three 5+6 years fro( the closing )ate' Petitioners@ contention that RCBC ha) full control of Ban<ar) operations
after pay(ent of the price an) that an au)it un)erta<en by the Rubio tea( )i) not fin) anything /rong /ith the accounts coul) not have plausibly
(isle) petitioners into believing that RCBC /ill /aive its right to file a clai( un)er !ec' 35g6' After all, the perio) to file a clai( un)er !ec' 35g6
is three 5+6 years un)er !ec' 9, (uch longer than the si. 546-(onth perio) un)er !ec' 35h6' Petitioners are fully a/are that the /arranties un)er
!ec' 35g6 5-889 up to #arch *,,,6 are of a /i)er scope than that of !ec' 35h6 5A=! of -888 an) H=! up to #ay +-, *,,,6, necessitating a longer
au)it perio) than the si. 546-(onth perio) un)er !ec' 35h6'

"he thir) ele(ent of estoppel in relation to the party sought to be estoppe) is also absent consi)ering that, as state), RCBC /as still in
the process of verifying the correctness of Ban<ar)@s accounts prior to presenting its clai( of overvaluation to petitioners' RCBC, therefore, ha)
no sufficient <no/le)ge of the correctness of Ban<ar)@s accounts'

On another issue, RCBC coul) not have i((e)iately change) the Ban<ar) accounting practices until it ha) con)ucte) a (ore
e.tensive an) thorough au)it of Ban<ar)@s volu(inous recor)s an) transactions to uncover any irregularities' "hat /oul) be the only logical
e.planation /hy Ban<ar)@s allege) irregular practices /ere (aintaine) for (ore than t/o 5*6 years fro( closing )ate' "he fact that RCBC
continue) /ith the au)it of Ban<ar)@s A=! an) recor)s after the ter(ination of the Rubio au)it can only sen) the clear (essage to petitioners that
RCBC is still entertaining the possibility of filing a clai( un)er !ec' 35g6' $t cannot then be sai) that petitioners@ reliance on RCBC@s acts after
full pay(ent of the price coul) have (isle) the( into believing that no (ore clai( /ill be presente) by RCBC'

"he Arbitral "ribunal e.plaine) in )etail /hy estoppel is not present in the case at bar, thus:

-,'-: "he au)it e.ercise con)ucte) by #r' Legaspi an) #r' Rubio /as clearly not one co(prehensive enough to have
)iscovere) the proble(s later unearthe) by r' Laya an) ean Le)es(a' . . .

-,'-8 Although the po/ers of the "C 0"ransition Co((ittee1 (ay have been /i)ely e.presse) in the vie/ of #r'
Rogelio Chua, then in charge of Ban<ar) . . . the "C con)ucte) (eetings only to get up)ate) on the status an)
progress of Ban<ar)@s operations' Co((ercially, one /oul) e.pect that an unpai) ven)or e.pecting to receive
:,Q of a large purchase price /oul) not be receptive to a purchaser (a<ing vast policy changes in the
operation of the business until the purchaser has pai) up its (oney' $t is (ore li<ely that, until the settle(ent
)ate, there /as a practice of (aintaining thestatus 1uo at Ban<ar)'

-,'*, But neither the Clai(ant nor the "C )i) anything, in the "ribunal@s vie/, /hich /oul) have given the Respon)ents
the i(pression that they /ere being relieve) over the ne.t three years of susceptibility to a clai( un)er clause
35g6' #aybe the "C coul) have been (ore proactive in co((issioning further or (ore in-)epth au)its but it
/as not' $t )i) not have to be' $t is co((ercially unli<ely that it have been )one so, /ith the necessary )egree of
attention to )etail, /ithin the relatively short ti(e bet/een the appoint(ent of the "C an) the ulti(ate
settle(ent )ate of the purchase I a perio) of so(e three (onths' An interi( arrange(ent /as obviously
sensible to enable the Clai(ant an) its staff to beco(e fa(iliar /ith the practices an) proce)ures of Ban<ar)'

-,'*- "he core consi)eration /eighing /ith the "ribunal in assessing these clai(s for estoppel is that the !PA allo/e)
t/o types of clai(E one /ithin si. (onths un)er 35h6 an) one /ithin three years un)er 35g6' "he "ribunal has
alrea)y hel) the present clai( is not barre) by clause 35h6' $t (ust therefore have been /ithin the reasonable
conte(plation of the parties that a 35g6 clai( coul) surface /ithin the three-year perio) an) that it coul) be
so(e/hat )ifferently assesse) than the clai( un)er 35h6' "he "ribunal cannot fin) estoppel by con)uct either
fro( the for(ation of the "C or fro( the li(ite) au)iting e.ercise )one by #r' Rubio an) #r' Legaspi' "he
onus proving estoppel is on the Respon)ents an) it has not been )ischarge)'

-,'** $f the parties ha) /ishe) the avenues of relief for (isrepresentation affor)e) to the Clai(ant to have been restricte)
to a clai( un)er Clause 35h6, then they coul) have sai) so' "he Wspecial au)it@ (ay have provi)e) an ans/er to
any clai( base) on clause 35h6 but it cannot )o so in respect of a clai( base) on Clause 35g6' Clause 35g6
i(pose) a positive obligation on the Respon)ents fro( /hich they cannot be e.cuse), si(ply by reason of
either the for(ation an) con)uct of the "C or of the li(ite) au)it'

-,'*+ "he three-year li(itation perio) obviously conte(plate) that it coul) ta<e so(e ti(e to ascertain /hether there ha)
been a breach of the 7AAP stan)ar)s, etc' !uch /as the case' A si.-(onth li(itation perio) un)er Clause 35h6,
in contrast, presage) a so(e/hat less stringent en;uiry of the <in) carrie) out by #r' Rubio an) #r' Legaspi'

-,'*2 Clause *5+6 of the A(en)(ent to the !PA strengthens the conclusion that the parties /ere concerne) only /ith a
35h6 clai( )uring the "C@s reign' "he focus of the Wau)it@ I ho/ever intense it /as I con)ucte) by #r' Rubio
an) #r' Legaspi, /as on establishing possible liability un)er that section an) thus as a possible re)uction in the
price to be pai) on settle(ent'

-,'*3 "he fact that the purchase price /as pai) over in full /ithout any )e)uction in ter(s of clause 35h6 is not a bar to
the Clai(ant bringing a clai( un)er 35g6 /ithin the three-year perio)' "he fact that pay(ent /as (a)e can be,
as the "ribunal has hel), a barrier to a clai( for rescission an) restitution ad inegrum' A clai( for estoppel
nee)s a fin)ing of representation by /or)s of con)uct or a share) presu(ption that a right /oul) not be relie)
upon' "he party relying on estoppel has to sho/ reliance to its )etri(ent or that, other/ise, it /oul) be
unconscionable to resile fro( the provision'

-,'*4 Article -2+- of the Civil Co)e states:

F"hrough estoppel an a)(ission or representation is ren)ere) conclusive upon the person (a<ing it, an) cannot be
)enie) or )isprove) as against the person relying thereon'G

-,'*9 Clearly, there has to both an a)(ission or representation by 5in this case6 the Clai(ant, plus reliance upon it by 5in
this case6 the Respon)ents' "he "ribunal cannot fin) as prove) any a)(issionDrepresentation that the Clai(ant
/as aban)oning a 35g6 clai(, any reliance by Respon)ents on an a)(ission, an) any )etri(ent to the
Respon)ents such as /oul) entitle the( to have the Clai(ant )eprive) of the benefit of clause 35g6' "hese
aspects of the clai( of estoppel are reCecte)'

. . . .
-,'2* "he "ribunal is not the appropriate foru( for )eci)ing /hether there have been any regulatory or ethical infractions
by Ban<ar) an)Dor the Clai(ant in setting the Wbuy-bac<@ price' $t has no bearing on /hether the Clai(ant (ust
be consi)ere) as having /aive) its right to clai( against the Respon)ents'

-,'2+ $n the "ribunal@s vie/, neither any infraction by Ban<ar) in failing to a)vise the Central Ban< of the e.perts@
fin)ings, nor a failure to put a tag on the accounts nor to have sai) so(ething to the sharehol)ers in the buy-
bac< e.ercise operates as a Ftechnical <noc<-outG of Clai(ant@s clai('

-,'22 "he "ribunal notes that the conciliation process (an)ate) by the !PA too< (ost of *,,+ an) this (ay e.plain a
part of the )elay in co((encing arbitral procee)ings'

-,'23 Ahatever the status of #r' Rubio@s an) #r' Legaspi@s en;uiries in late *,,,, the Clai(ant /as ;uite entitle) to
co((ission subse;uent reports fro( r' Laya an) r' Echanis an), on the basis of those reports, (a<e a
ti(eous clai( un)er clause 35g6 of the !PA'

-,'24 $n the "ribunal@s vie/, therefore, there is no (erit in Respon)ents@ various sub(issions that the Clai(ant is
)ebarre) fro( prosecuting its clai(s on the groun)s of estoppel' "here is Cust no proof of the necessary
representation to the Respon)ent, nor any )etri(ent to the Respon)ent prove)' "he groun)s of )elay an) laches
are not substantiate)'


$n su((ary, the tribunal properly rule) that petitioners faile) to prove that the for(ation of the "ransition Co((ittee an) the con)uct
of the au)it by Rubio an) Legaspi /ere a)(issions or representations by RCBC that it /oul) not pursue a clai( un)er !ec' 35g6 an) that
petitioners relie) on such representation to their )etri(ent' Ae agree /ith the fin)ings of the tribunal that estoppel is not present in the situation
at bar'

A))itionally, petitioners clai( that in 2necht . Court of Appeals
0941
an) Coca6Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. . Court of
Appeals 5Coca6Cola6,
0991
this Court rule) that the absence of the ele(ent of reliance by a party on the representation of another )oes not negate
the principle of estoppel' "hose cases are, ho/ever, not on all fours /ith an) cannot be applie) to this case'

$n 2necht, the buyer ha) the opportunity of <no/ing the con)itions of the lan) he /as buying early on in the transaction, but
procee)e) /ith the sale any/ay' Accor)ing to the Court, the buyer /as estoppe) fro( clai(ing that the ven)or (a)e a false representation as to
the con)ition of the lan)' "his is not true in the instant case' RCBC )i) not con)uct a )ue )iligence au)it in relation to !ec'35g6 prior to the sale
)ue to petitioners@ e.press representations an) /arranties' "he e.a(ination con)ucte) by RCBC, through Rubio, after the e.ecution of the !PA
on &une *, *,,,, /as confine) to fin)ing any breach un)er !ec' 35h6 for a possible re)uction of the purchase price prior to the pay(ent of its
balance on ece(ber +-, *,,,' =urther, the parties clearly agree) un)er !ec' 9 of the !PA to a three 5+6-year perio) fro( closing )ate /ithin
/hich to present a clai( for )a(ages for violation of the /arranties un)er the !PA' >ence, 2necht is not a prece)ent to the case at bar'

!o is Coca6Cola' As lessee, Coca-Cola Bottlers /as /ell a/are of the nature an) situation of the lan) relative to its inten)e) use prior
to the signing of the contract' $ts subse;uent assertion that the lan) /as not suite) for the purpose it /as lease) /as, therefore, cast asi)e for being
un(eritorious' !uch circu(stance )oes not obtain in the instant case' "here /as no prior )ue )iligence au)it con)ucte) by RCBC, it having
relie), as earlier state), on the /arranties of petitioners /ith regar) to the financial con)ition of Ban<ar) un)er !ec' 35g6' As such, !ec' 35g6
guarantee) RCBC that it coul) file a clai( for )a(ages for any (ista<es in the A=! an) H=! of Ban<ar)' Clearly, Coca6Cola also cannot be
applie) to the instant case'

$t beco(es evi)ent fro( all of the foregoing fin)ings that the $CC-$CA is not guilty of any (anifest )isregar) of the la/ on estoppel'
As sho/n above, the fin)ings of the $CC-$CA in the Partial A/ar) are /ell-supporte) in la/ an) groun)e) on facts' "he Partial A/ar) (ust be
uphel)'



Ae close this )isposition /ith the observation that a (e(ber of the three-person arbitration panel /as selecte) by petitioners, /hile
another /as respon)ent@s choice' "he respective interests of the parties, therefore, are very (uch safeguar)e) in the arbitration procee)ings' Any
suggestion, therefore, on the partiality of the arbitration tribunal has to be )is(isse)'

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby DENIED' "he assaile) &anuary :, *,,: an) #arch -9, *,,: Or)ers of the R"C,
Branch -2: in #a<ati City are herebyAFFIRMED'

Costs against petitioners'

SO ORDERED.

PRESBITERO 1. VELASCO, 1R.
Associate &ustice
























AE CONCHR:


LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
Associate &ustice
Chairperson




CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES DANTE O. TINGA
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




ARTURO D. BRION
Associate &ustice



A T T E S T A T I O N

$ attest that the conclusions in the above ecision ha) been reache) in consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion
of the Court@s ivision'



LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
Associate &ustice
Chairperson



C E R T I F I C A T I O N

Pursuant to !ection -+, Article %$$$ of the Constitution, an) the ivision Chairperson@s Attestation, $ certify that the conclusions in the
above ecision ha) been reache) in consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion of the Court@s ivision'




REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice
0-1
Also referre) to as Equitable PCI Bank, Inc. in the rollo'
0*1
Rollo, pp' +4-2-' Penne) by &u)ge Oscar B' Pi(entel'
0+1
$)' at 2+-23'
021
$)' at 29--38'
031
$)' at -:3-**,'
041
$)' at -82--83, *,,'
091
$)' at ***-**:'
0:1
$)' at 28,-33-'
081
$)' at 3:9-4*-'
0-,1
$)' at 29--38'
0--1
$)' at 84'
0-*1
$)' at :4'
0-+1
$)' at -4*--:+'
0-21
$)' at 9'

0-31
7'R' No' -2+3:-, &anuary 9, *,,:, 32* !CRA -'
0-41
7'R' No' -*--9-, ece(ber *-, -88:, +,, !CRA 398'
0-91
$)' at 4,--4,*, 4,3'
0-:1
9, ='+) 2-:'

0-81
Arbitral A/ar), $te( 8'9'

0*,1
$)'

0*-1
Rollo, pp' 4,9-4,:'

0**1
Co Chien . Sta. !ucia Realty and ,eelopment, Inc., 7'R' No' -4*,8,, &anuary +-, *,,9, 3-+ !CRA 39,'

0*+1
Baluyut . Po'lete, 7'R' No' -222+3, =ebruary 4, *,,9, 3-2 !CRA +9,'

0*21
Rollo, pp' -8:--88'
0*31
$)' at --'
0*41
$)' at -42'
0*91
$)' at -49--4:'

0*:1
$)' at :8'
0*81
$)' at -+'
0+,1
No' L-*:888, #ay *2, -899, 99 !CRA *2'
0+-1
4spinocilla, Jr. . Bagong #anyag 3omeowners Association, Inc', 7'R' No' -3-,-8, August 8, *,,9, 3*8 !CRA 432, 44,E 3uertas
. -on"ale", 7'R' No' -3*22+, =ebruary -2, *,,3, 23- !CRA *34E Jacarias . &ational Police Commission, 7'R' No' --8:29, October *2, *,,+,
2-2 !CRA +:9E Producers Ban@ of the Philippines . Court of Appeals, 7'R' No' -*44*,, April -9, *,,*, +:- !CRA -:3'
0+*1
7'R' No' -32*2+, ece(ber 2, *,,9, 3+8 !CRA +:-, +:2'
0++1
Rollo, pp' 4*+-43-'
0+21
$)' at 43+-4:-'
0+31
$)' at 4:+-4:4'
0+41
$)' at 4::-9,+'
0+91
$)' at 9,9-9+*'
0+:1
$)' at 99+-992'
0+81
$)' at 98--:--'
02,1
$)' at 4-'
02-1
$)' at :*3-:+2'
02*1
$)' at :2--:3:'
02+1
$)' at :4,-:42'
0221
$)' at :44-:9-'
0231
$)'
0241
$)' at ::9-:88'
0291
$)' at 8,:-8-,'
02:1
$)' at 4+'
0281
$)' at 8*2-8+*'
03,1
$)' at 8-4-8-:'
03-1
$)' at 8*,-8**'
03*1
$)' at 82*-823'
03+1
$)' at 829-828'
0321
$)' at 833-84,'
0331
$)' at 84*-89-'
0341
$)' at 89+-893
0391
$)' at 899-88+'
03:1
$)' at 883--,,-'
0381
$)' at -,,+--,--'
04,1
$)' at -,22--,3,'
04-1
$)' at 224'
04*1
$)' at 44'
04+1
$)' at 4:'
0421
$)' at 229'
0431
Sunrise %anning Agency, Inc. . &ational !a'or Relations Commission, 7'R' No' -249,+, Nove(ber -:, *,,2, 22+ !CRA +3, 2*'
0441
7'R' No' -*3*8:, =ebruary --, -888, +,+ !CRA 88, -,8---,'
0491
7'R' No' -*:+,3, #arch *:, *,,3, 232 !CRA -9, 2,'
04:1
7'R' No' -3+-44, ece(ber -4, *,,3, 29: !CRA *-,, **4'
0481
$)'
09,1
People . 4scote, Jr., 7'R' No' -2,934, April 2, *,,+, 2,, !CRA 4,+, 4-:-4-8'
09-1
A'C' No' 4489, &uly *3, *,,4, 284 !CRA +23, +:9-+::'

09*1
Philippine &ational Ban@ . Court of Appeals, Nos' L-+,:+- X L-+--94, Nove(ber *-, -898, 82 !CRA +39'
09+1
7'R' No' -993*4, &uly 2, *,,:'

,-./
,irectors . Alanday, -,8 Phil' -,3: 5-84,6'
0931
Rollo, p' *,'
0941
No' L-43--2, =ebruary *+, -8::, -3: !CRA :,'
0991
7'R' No' -,,839, &anuary *9, -882, **8 !CRA 3++'
EN BANC


G.R. No. 164785 --- ELISEO F. SORIANO, Petitioner, !ersus MA. CONSOLIZA P. LAGUARDIA, in her capacity as
Chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, MOVIE
AND TELEVISION REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION BOARD, 1ESSIE L.
GALAPON, ANABEL M. DELA CRUZ, MANUEL M. HERNANDEZ, 1OSE L.
LOPEZ, CRISANTO SORIANO, BERNABE S. YARIA, 1R., MICHAEL M.
SANDOVAL and ROLDAN A. GAVINO, Respondents'

G.R. No. 165636 --- ELISEO F. SORIANO, Petitioner, !ersus MOVIE AND TELEVISION REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION
BOARD, ZOSIMO G. ALEGRE, 1ACKIE AQUINO-GAVINO, NOEL R. DEL
PRADO, EMMANUEL BORLAZA, 1OSE E. ROMERO IV, and FLORIMONDO
C. ROUS, in their capacity as members of the Hearing and Adjudication Committee
of the MTRCB, 1ESSIE L. GALAPON, ANABEL M. DELA CRUZ, MANUEL M.
HERNANDEZ, 1OSE L. LOPEZ, CRISANTO SORIANO, BERNABE S. YARIA,
1R., MICHAEL M. SANDOVAL and ROLDAN A. GAVINO, in their capacity as
complainants before the MTRCB,Respondents'

Pro(ulgate):

#arch -3, *,-,
. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- .

01SS23T134 )P131)3

ABAD, J.:

$ a( sub(itting this )issent to the ably /ritten ponencia of &ustice Presbiterio &' %elasco, &r' that see<s to )eny the petitioner@s (otion for
reconsi)eration of the Court@s )ecision in the case'

Brief Antecedent

Petitioner Eliseo =' !oriano, a television evangelist, hoste) the Ang ,ating ,aan, a popular television (inistry aire) nation/i)e
every)ay fro( -,:,, p'(' to (i)night over public television' "he progra( carrie) a Fgeneral patronageG rating fro( the #ovie an) "elevision
Revie/ an) Classification Boar) 5#"RCB6'

"he Ang ,ating ,aanIs rivalry /ith another religious television progra(, the $glesia ni Cristo@s Ang #amang ,aan, is /ell
<no/n' "he hosts of the t/o sho/s have regularly engage) in verbal sparring on air, hurling accusations an) counter-accusations /ith respect to
their opposing religious beliefs an) practices'

$t appears that in his progra( Ang #amang ,aan, #ichael #' !an)oval 5#ichael6 of the $glesia ni Cristo attac<e) petitioner !oriano of
the Ang ,ating ,aan for allege) inconsistencies in his Bible teachings' #ichael co(pare) splice) recor)ings of !oriano@s state(ents, (atche)
/ith subtitles of his utterances, to )e(onstrate those inconsistencies' On August -,, *,,2, in an apparent reaction to /hat he perceive) as a
(alicious attac< against hi( by the rival television progra(, !oriano accuse) #ichael of prostituting hi(self /ith his fabricate)
presentations' "hus:

~..gago ka talaga Michael. Masahol ka pa sa putang babae. O di ba?
Yung putang babae ang gumagana lang doon yung ibaba, kay Michael ang gumagana ang itaas, o di ba!
O, masaholpa sa putang babae yan. Sabi ng lola ko masahol pa sa putang babae yan. Sobra ang kasinungalingan ng
demonyong ito.

#ichael an) seven other (inisters of the $glesia ni Cristo lo)ge) a co(plaint against petitioner !oriano before the #"RCB' Acting
s/iftly, the latter preventively suspen)e) the airing of !oriano@s Ang ,ating ,aan television progra( for *, )ays, pursuant to its po/ers un)er
!ection +5)6 of Presi)ential ecree -8:4
0-1
an) its relate) rules'

Petitioner !oriano challenge) the vali)ity of that preventive suspension before this Court in 7'R' -429:3' #ean/hile, after hearing
the (ain case or on !epte(ber *9, *,,2, the #"RCB foun) !oriano guilty as charge) an) i(pose) on hi( a penalty of three (onths suspension
fro( appearing on the Ang ,ating ,aan progra(' !oriano thus file) a secon) petition in 7'R' -434+4 to ;uestion that )ecision' "he Court
consoli)ate) the t/o cases'

On April *8, *,,8 the Court ren)ere) a )ecision, uphol)ing #"RCB@s po/er to i(pose preventive suspension an) affir(ing its
)ecision against petitioner !oriano /ith the (o)ification of applying the three-(onth suspension to the progra( And ,ating ,aan, rather than to
!oriano'

Issue Presented

"his )issenting opinion presents a narro/ issue: /hether or not the Court is Custifie) in i(posing the penalty of three-(onth suspension on
the television progra( Ang,ating ,aan on the groun) of host petitioner !oriano@s re(ar<s about $glesia ni Cristo@s #ichael prostituting hi(self
/hen he attac<e) !oriano in the $glesia@s o/n television progra('

The Dissent

"he Ang ,ating ,aan is a nation/i)e television (inistry of a church organi?ation officially <no/n as F%em'ers of the Church of
-od InternationalG hea)e) by petitioner !oriano' $t is a vast religious (ove(ent not so far fro( those of #i<e %elar)e@s 4l Shadai, E))ie
%illanueva@s Jesus is !ord, an) Apollo Luiboloy@s #he 2ingdom of Jesus Christ' "hese (ove(ents have generate) such tre(en)ous follo/ing
that they have been able to sustain )aily television an) ra)io progra(s that reach out to their (e(bers an) follo/ers all over the country' !o(e
of their progra(s are broa)cast abroa)' Ang ,ating ,aan is aire) in the Hnite) !tates an) Cana)a'

"he Catholic Church is of course the largest religious organi?ation in the Philippines' $f its (e(bers get their spiritual nourish(ents
fro( atten)ing (asses or novenas in their local churches, those of petitioner !oriano@s church tune in every night to listen to his televise) Bible
teachings an) ho/ these teachings apply to their lives' "hey har)ly have places of /orship li<e the Catholic Church or the (ainstrea( protestant
(ove(ents'

"hus, suspen)ing the Ang ,ating ,aan television progra( is the e;uivalent of closing )o/n their churches to its follo/ers' "heir
inability to tune in on their Bible teaching progra( in the evening is for the( li<e going to church on !un)ay (orning, only to fin) its )oors an)
/in)o/s heavily barre)' $nsi)e, the halls are e(pty'

o they )eserve thisU No'

1. A tiny moment of lost temper.

Petitioner !oriano@s Bible (inistry has been on television continuously for *9 years since -8:+ /ith no prior recor) of use of foul
language' =or a -3-secon) outburst of its hea) at his bitterest critics, it see(s not fair for the Court to close )o/n this Bible (inistry to its large
follo/ers altogether for a full ;uarter of a year' $t is li<e cutting the leg to cure a s(elly foot'

2. Not obscene.

Pri(arily, it is obscenity on television that the constitutional guarantee of free)o( of speech )oes not protect' As the Court@s )ecision
points out, the test of obscenity is /hether the average person, applying conte(porary stan)ar)s, /oul) fin) the speech, ta<en as a /hole, appeals
to the prurient interest' A thing is prurient /hen it arouses lascivious thoughts or )esires
0*1
or ten)s to arouse se.ual )esire'
0+1


A ;uarter-of-a-year suspension /oul) probably be Custifie) /hen a general patronage progra( intentionally snea<s in snippets of
le/), prurient (aterials to attract an au)ience to the progra(' "his has not been the case here'



3. Merely borders on indecent.

Actually, the Court conce)es that petitioner !oriano@s short outburst /as not in the category of the obscene' $t /as Cust
Fin)ecent'G But /ere his /or)s an) their (eaning utterly in)ecentU $n a scale of -,, )i) he use the grossest languageU >e )i) not'

=irst, !oriano actually e.ercise) so(e restraints in the sense that he )i) not use the vernacular /or) for the fe(ale se.ual organ /hen
referring to it, /hich /or) even the publishe) opinions of the Court avoi)e) )espite its a)ult rea)ers' >e referre) to it as Fyung i'a'aG or )o/n
belo/' An), instea) of using the patently offensive vernacular e;uivalent of the /or) Ffuc<G that )escribes the se.ual act in /hich the prostitute
engages herself, he instea) use) the /or) Fgumagana lang doon yung i'a'aG or /hat functions is only )o/n belo/' At (ost, his utterance
(erely bor)ere) on the in)ecent'

!econ), the /or) FputaG or FprostituteG )escribes a ba) tra)e but it is not a ba) /or)' "he /orl) nee)s a /or) to )escribe it' FEvilG
is ba) but the /or) FevilG is notE the use of the /or)s FputaG or FevilG helps people un)erstan) the values that co(pete in this /orl)' A policy
that places these or)inary )escriptive /or)s beyon) the hearing of chil)ren is unrealistic an) is base) on groun)less fear' !urely no (e(ber of
the Court /ill recall that /hen yet a chil) his or her hearing the /or) FputaG for the first ti(e left hi( or her /oun)e) for life'

"hir), !oriano )i) not tell his vie/ers that being a prostitute /as goo)' >e )i) not praise prostitutes as to (a<e the( attractive
(o)els to his listeners' $n)ee), he con)e(ne) #ichael for acting li<e a prostitute in attac<ing hi( on the air' "he trouble is that the Court, li<e
the #"RCB rea) his fe/ lines in isolation' Actually, fro( the larger picture, !oriano appears to have been provo<e) by #ichael@s resort to
splicing his speeches an) (a<ing it appear that he ha) taught inconsistent an) false )octrines to his listeners' $f #ichael@s sin /ere true, !oriano
/as si(ply )efen)ing hi(self /ith Custifie) anger'

An) fourth, the Court appears to have given a literal (eaning to /hat !oriano sai)'

~Gago ka talaga x x x, masahol ka
pa sa putang babae x x x. Yung putang babae ang gumagana lang doon yung ibaba,
dito] kay Michael ang gumagana ang itaas, o di ba!

"his /as a figure of speech' #ichael /as a (an, so he coul) not literally be a fe(ale prostitute' $ts real (eaning is that #ichael /as acting li<e
a prostitute in (outhing the i)eas of anyone /ho care) to pay hi( for such service' $t ha) no in)ecent (eaning' "he Bible itself uses the /or)
FprostituteG as a figure of speech' FBy their )ee)s they prostitutedthe(selves,G sai) Psal( -,4:+8 of the $sraelites /ho continue) to /orship
i)ols after 7o) ha) ta<en the( out of Egyptian slavery'
021
!oriano@s real (essage is that #ichael prostitute) hi(self by his calu(ny against hi('

$f at all, petitioner !oriano@s breach of the rule of )ecency is slight, one on a scale of -,' !till, the Court /oul) )eprive
the Ang ,ating ,aan follo/ers of their nightly bible teachings for a ;uarter of a year because their hea) teacher ha) use) figures of speech to
(a<e his (essage vivi)'

4. The average child as listener

"he Court clai(s that, since Ang ,ating ,aan carrie) a general patronage rating, !oriano@s speech no )oubt cause) har( to the
chil)ren /ho /atche) the sho/' "his state(ent is (uch too s/eeping'

"he Court relies on the Hnite) !tates case of .ederal Communications Commission (.CC* . Pacifica .oundation,
031
a -89: lan)(ar<
case' >ere are snatches of the challenge) (onologue that /as aire) on ra)io:

The original seven words were, shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. Those are the
ones that will curve your spine, grow hair on your hands and maybe, even bring us, God help us, peace without
honor and bourbon.Also cocksucker is a compound word and neither half of that is really dirty.And the cock
crowed three times, the cock-three times. It`s in the Bible, cock in the Bible.Hot shit, holy shit, tough shit, eat
shit, shit-eating grin.It`s a great word, fuck, nice word, easy word, cute word, kind of. Easy word to say. One
syllable, short u. Fuck.A little something for everyone. Fuck. Good word. x x x

$(agine ho/ the above /oul) soun) if translate) into any of the =ilipino vernaculars' "he H'!' !upre(e Court hel) that the above is
not protecte) speech an) that the =CC coul) regulate its airing on ra)io' "he H'!' !upre(e Court /as of course correct'

>ere, ho/ever, there is no ;uestion that !oriano attac<e) #ichael, using figure of speech, at past -,:,, in the evening, not at *:,, in
the afternoon' "he average =ilipino chil) /oul) have been long in be) by the ti(e Ang ,ating ,aan appeare) on the television screen' Ahat is
(ore, Bible teaching an) interpretation is not the stuff of <i)s' $t is not li<ely that they /oul) give up progra(s of interest to the( Cust to listen to
!oriano )ra/ing a )istinction bet/een FfaithG an) F/or< or action'G "he Court has stretche) the Fchil)G angle beyon) realistic proportions' "he
#"RCB probably gave the progra( a general patronage rating si(ply because Ang ,ating ,aan ha) never before been involve) in any
;uestionable broa)cast in the previous *9 years that it ha) been on the air'

"he (onologue in the =CC case that /as broa)cast at * in the afternoon /as pure in)ecent an) gross language, uttere) for its o/n
sa<e /ith no social value at all' $t cannot co(pare to !oriano@s speech /here the in)ecent /or)s /ere slight an) spo<en as (ere figure of speech
to )efen) hi(self fro( /hat he perceive) as (alicious criticis('

5. Disproportionate penalty

"he Court applie) the balancing of interest test in Custifying the i(position of the penalty of suspension
against Ang ,ating ,aan' Hn)er this test, /hen particular con)uct is regulate) in the interest of public or)er an) the regulation results in an
in)irect, con)itional, partial abri)g(ent of speech, the )uty of the courts is to )eter(ine /hich of the t/o conflicting interests )e(an)s the
greater protection un)er the particular circu(stances presente)'

An e.a(ple of this is /here an or)inance prohibits the (a<ing of lou) noises fro( 8:,, p'(' to 4:,, a'(' Can this or)inance be
applie) to prevent vehicles circling the neighborhoo) at such hours of night, playing ca(paign Cingles on their lou)spea<ers to /in votes for
can)i)ates in the electionU >ere, there is a tension bet/een the rights of can)i)ates to a))ress their constituents an) the interest of the people in
healthy un)isturbe) sleep' "he Court /oul) probably uphol) the or)inance since public interest )e(an)s a ;uiet night@s rest for all an) since the
restraint on the free)o( of speech is in)irect, con)itional, an) partial' "he can)i)ate is free to (a<e his broa)cast )uring )ayti(e /hen people
are nor(ally a/a<e an) can appreciate /hat he is saying'

But here, the abri)g(ent of speechTthree (onths total suspension of the Ang ,ating ,aan television bible teaching progra(T
cannot be regar)e) as in)irect, con)itional, or partial' $t is a )irect, uncon)itional, an) total abri)g(ent of the free)o( of speech, to /hich a
religious organi?ation is entitle), for a /hole ;uarter of a year'

$n the A(erican case of .CC, a parent co(plaine)' >e /as ri)ing /ith his son in the car at *:,, in the afternoon an) they hear) the
grossly in)ecent (onologue on ra)io' >ere, no parent has in fact co(e for/ar) /ith a co(plaint that his chil) ha) hear) petitioner !oriano@s
speech an) /as har(e) by it' "he Court cannot preten) that this is a case of angry or agitate) parents against Ang ,ating ,aan' "he co(plaint
here ca(e fro( $glesia ni Cristo preachers an) (e(bers /ho )eeply loathe) !oriano an) his church' "he Court@s )ecision /ill not be a victory
for the chil)ren but for the $glesia ni Cristo, finally enabling it to silence an abhorre) co(peting religious belief an) its practices'

Ahat is (ore, since this case is about protecting chil)ren, the (ore appropriate penalty, if !oriano@s speech )uring the progra(
(entione) /as in)ecent an) ha) offen)e) the(, is to raise his progra(@s restriction classification' "he #"RCB classify progra(s to protect
vulnerable au)iences' $t can change the present 7 or 7eneral Patronage classification of Ang ,ating ,aan to P7 or F/ith Parental 7ui)ance
onlyG for three (onths' "his can co(e /ith a /arning that shoul) the progra( co((it the sa(e violation, the #"RCB can (a<e the ne/
classification per(anent or, if the violation is recurring, cancel its progra(@s per(it'

"his has prece)ent' $n -on"ales . 2atig'a@,
041
the Court )i) not ban the (otion picture Cust because there /ere suggestive scenes in it
that /ere not fit for chil)ren' $t si(ply classifie) the picture as for a)ults only' By )oing this, the Court /oul) not be cutting the leg to cure a
s(elly foot'

$ vote to partially grant the (otion for reconsi)eration by (o)ifying the three-(onth suspension penalty i(pose) on the
progra( Ang ,ating ,aan' $n its place, $ vote to raise the progra(@s restriction classification fro( 7 or 7eneral Patronage to P7 or /ith
Parental 7ui)ance for three (onths /ith /arning that shoul) petitioner !oriano co((it the sa(e violation, the classification of his progra( /ill
be per(anently change) or, if the violation is persistent, the progra( /ill be altogether cancelle)'




ROBERTO A. ABAD
Associate &ustice
0-1
Creating the #ovie an) "elevision Revie/ an) Classification Boar)'
0*1
Aebster@s "hir) Ne/ $nternational ictionary, p' -:*8'
0+1
$)' at -*92'
021
Ne/ $nternational %ersion 5North A(erican E)ition6E see other biblical passages that use FprostituteG as a figure of speech: &u)ges *:-9E ::*9E
::++E -Chronicles 3:*3E an) Leviticus *,:3'
031
2+: H'!' 9*4'
041
*** Phil' **3 5-8:36'


Republic of the Philippines
Supreme Court
Manila

THIRD DIVISION


ARMANDO G. YRASUEGUI, G.R. No. 168081
Petitioner,
Present:

BNARE!-!AN"$A7O, J.,
Chairperson,
6 ersus 6 AH!"R$A-#AR"$NEM,
C>$CO-NAMAR$O,
NAC>HRA, an)
REBE!, JJ'

Pro(ulgate):
PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC.,
Respon)ent' October -9, *,,:

. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .

D E C I S I O N


REYES, R.T., J.:


">$! case portrays the peculiar story of an international flight ste/ar) /ho /as )is(isse) because of his failure to a)here to the
/eight stan)ar)s of the airline co(pany'

>e is no/ before this Court via a petition for revie/ on certiorari clai(ing that he /as illegally )is(isse)' "o buttress his stance, he
argues that 5-6 his )is(issal )oes not fall un)er *:*5e6 of the Labor Co)eE 5*6 continuing a)herence to the /eight stan)ar)s of the
co(pany is not a bona fi)e occupational ;ualificationE an) 5+6 he /as )iscri(inate) against
because other over/eight e(ployees /ere pro(ote) instea) of being )iscipline)'

After a (eticulous consi)eration of all argu(ents pro an) con, Ae uphol) the legality of )is(issal' !eparation pay, ho/ever, shoul) be
a/ar)e) in favor of the e(ployee as an act of social Custice or base) on e;uity' "his is so because his )is(issal is not for serious
(iscon)uct' Neither is it reflective of his (oral character'

The Facts

Petitioner Ar(an)o 7' Brasuegui /as a for(er international flight ste/ar) of Philippine Airlines, $nc' 5PAL6' >e stan)s five feet
an) eight inches 53@:G6 /ith a large bo)y fra(e' "he proper /eight for a (an of his height an) bo)y structure is fro( -29 to -44 poun)s, the
i)eal /eight being -44 poun)s, as (an)ate) by the Cabin an) Cre/ A)(inistration #anual
0-1
of PAL'

"he /eight proble( of petitioner )ates bac< to -8:2' Bac< then, PAL a)vise) hi( to go on an e.ten)e) vacation leave
fro( ece(ber *8, -8:2 to #arch 2, -8:3 to a))ress his /eight concerns' Apparently, petitioner faile) to (eet the co(pany@s /eight
stan)ar)s, pro(pting another leave /ithout pay fro( #arch 3, -8:3 to Nove(ber -8:3'

After (eeting the re;uire) /eight, petitioner /as allo/e) to return to /or<' But petitioner@s /eight proble( recurre)' >e again /ent
on leave /ithout pay fro( October -9, -8:: to =ebruary -8:8'

On April *4, -8:8, petitioner /eighe) *,8 poun)s, 2+ poun)s over his i)eal /eight' $n line /ith co(pany policy, he /as re(ove)
fro( flight )uty effective #ay 4, -8:8 to&uly +, -8:8' >e /as for(ally re;ueste) to tri( )o/n to his i)eal /eight an) report for /eight chec<s
on several )ates' >e /as also tol) that he (ay avail of the services of the co(pany physician shoul) he /ish to )o so' >e /as a)vise) that
his case /ill be evaluate) on &uly +, -8:8'
0*1

On =ebruary *3, -8:8, petitioner un)er/ent /eight chec<' $t /as )iscovere) that he gaine), instea) of losing, /eight' >e /as
over/eight at *-3 poun)s, /hich is 28 poun)s beyon) the li(it' Conse;uently, his off-)uty status /as retaine)'

On October -9, -8:8, PAL Line A)(inistrator 7loria i?on personally visite) petitioner at his resi)ence to chec< on the progress of
his effort to lose /eight' Petitioner /eighe) *-9 poun)s, gaining * poun)s fro( his previous /eight' After the visit, petitioner (a)e a
co((it(ent
0+1
to re)uce /eight in a letter a))resse) to Cabin Cre/ 7roup #anager Augusto Barrios' "he letter, in full, rea)s:

ear !ir:

$ /oul) li<e to guaranty (y co((it(ent to/ar)s a /eight loss fro( *-9 poun)s to *,, poun)s fro( to)ay
until +- ec' -8:8'

=ro( thereon, $ pro(ise to continue re)ucing at a reasonable percentage until such ti(e that (y i)eal /eight is
achieve)'

Li<e/ise, $ pro(ise to personally report to your office at the )esignate) ti(e sche)ule you /ill set for (y
/eight chec<'

Respectfully Bours,
=D! Ar(an)o Brasuegui
021

espite the lapse of a ninety-)ay perio) given hi( to reach his i)eal /eight, petitioner re(aine) over/eight' On &anuary +, -88,, he
/as infor(e) of the PAL )ecision for hi( to re(ain groun)e) until such ti(e that he satisfactorily co(plies /ith the /eight stan)ar)s' Again,
he /as )irecte) to report every t/o /ee<s for /eight chec<s'



Petitioner faile) to report for /eight chec<s' espite that, he /as given one (ore (onth to co(ply /ith the /eight re;uire(ent' As
usual, he /as as<e) to report for /eight chec< on )ifferent )ates' >e /as re(in)e) that his groun)ing /oul) continue pen)ing satisfactory
co(pliance /ith the /eight stan)ar)s'
031

Again, petitioner faile) to report for /eight chec<s, although he /as seen sub(itting his passport for processing at the PAL !taff
!ervice ivision'

On April -9, -88,, petitioner /as for(ally /arne) that a repeate) refusal to report for /eight chec< /oul) be )ealt /ith
accor)ingly' >e /as given another set of /eight chec< )ates'
041
Again, petitioner ignore) the )irective an) )i) not report for /eight
chec<s' On &une *4, -88,, petitioner /as re;uire) to e.plain his refusal to un)ergo /eight chec<s'
091

Ahen petitioner tippe) the scale on &uly +,, -88,, he /eighe) at *-* poun)s' Clearly, he /as still /ay over his i)eal /eight of -44
poun)s'

=ro( then on, nothing /as hear) fro( petitioner until he follo/e) up his case re;uesting for leniency on the latter part of -88*' >e
/eighe) at *-8 poun)s on August *,, -88* an) *,3 poun)s on Nove(ber 3, -88*'

On Nove(ber -+, -88*, PAL finally serve) petitioner a Notice of A)(inistrative Charge for violation of co(pany stan)ar)s on
/eight re;uire(ents' >e /as given ten 5-,6 )ays fro( receipt of the charge /ithin /hich to file his ans/er an) sub(it controverting evi)ence'
0:1


On ece(ber 9, -88*, petitioner sub(itte) his Ans/er'
081
Notably, he )i) not )eny being over/eight' Ahat he clai(e), instea), is
that his violation, if any, ha) alrea)y been con)one) by PAL since Fno action has been ta<en by the co(panyG regar)ing his case Fsince
-8::'G >e also clai(e) that PAL )iscri(inate) against hi( because Fthe co(pany has not been fair in treating the cabin cre/ (e(bers /ho are
si(ilarly situate)'G

On ece(ber :, -88*, a clarificatory hearing /as hel) /here petitioner (anifeste) that he /as un)ergoing a /eight re)uction
progra( to lose at least t/o 5*6 poun)s per /ee< so as to attain his i)eal /eight'
0-,1

On &une -3, -88+, petitioner /as for(ally infor(e) by PAL that )ue to his inability to attain his i)eal /eight, Fan) consi)ering the
ut(ost leniencyG e.ten)e) to hi( F/hich spanne) a perio) covering a total of al(ost five 536 years,G his services /ere consi)ere) ter(inate)
Feffective i((e)iately'G
0--1

>is (otion for reconsi)eration having been )enie),
0-*1
petitioner file) a co(plaint for illegal )is(issal against PAL'

Labor Arbiter, NLRC and CA Dispositions

On Nove(ber -:, -88:, Labor Arbiter %alentin C' Reyes rule)
0-+1
that petitioner /as illegally )is(isse)' "he )ispositive part of the
Arbiter ruling runs as follo/s:

A>ERE=ORE, in vie/ of the foregoing, Cu)g(ent is hereby ren)ere), )eclaring the co(plainant@s )is(issal
illegal, an) or)ering the respon)ent to reinstate hi( to his for(er position or substantially e;uivalent one, an) to pay hi(:


a' Bac</ages of Php-,,3,,',, per (onth fro( his )is(issal on &une -3, -88+ until reinstate), /hich for
purposes of appeal is hereby set fro( &une -3, -88+ up to August -3, -88: atP43-,,,,',,E

b' Attorney@s fees of five percent 53Q6 of the total a/ar)'

!O ORERE'
0-21

"he Labor Arbiter hel) that the /eight stan)ar)s of PAL are reasonable in vie/ of the nature of the Cob of petitioner'
0-31
>o/ever, the
/eight stan)ar)s nee) not be co(plie) /ith un)er pain of )is(issal since his /eight )i) not ha(per the perfor(ance of his )uties'
0-41
Assu(ing
that it )i), petitioner coul) be transferre) to other positions /here his /eight /oul) not be a negative factor'
0-91
Notably, other over/eight
e(ployees, i'e', #r' Palacios, #r' Cui, an) #r' Barrios, /ere pro(ote) instea) of being )iscipline)'
0-:1

Both parties appeale) to the National Labor Relations Co((ission 5NLRC6'
0-81

On October :, -888, the Labor Arbiter issue) a /rit of e.ecution )irecting the reinstate(ent of petitioner /ithout loss of seniority
rights an) other benefits'
0*,1

On =ebruary -, *,,,, the Labor Arbiter )enie)
0*-1
the #otion to Luash Arit of E.ecution
0**1
of PAL'

On #arch 4, *,,,, PAL appeale) the )enial of its (otion to ;uash to the NLRC'
0*+1


On &une *+, *,,,, the NLRC ren)ere) Cu)g(ent
0*21
in the follo/ing tenor:

WHEREFORE, pre(ises consi)ere)0,1 the ecision of the Arbiter )ate) -: Nove(ber -88: as (o)ifie) by
our fin)ings herein, is hereby AFFIRMED an) that part of the )ispositive portion of sai) )ecision concerning
co(plainant@s entitle(ent to bac</ages shall be )ee(e) to refer to co(plainant@s entitle(ent to his
full bac</ages, inclusive of allo/ances an) to his other benefits or their (onetary e;uivalent instea) of si(ply bac</ages,
fro( )ate of )is(issal until his actual reinstate(ent or finality hereof' Respon)ent is enCoine) to (anifests 5 sic6 its choice
of the for( of the reinstate(ent of co(plainant, /hether physical or through payroll /ithin ten 5-,6 )ays fro( notice
failing /hich, the sa(e shall be )ee(e) as co(plainant@s reinstate(ent through payroll an) e.ecution in case of non-
pay(ent shall accor)ingly be issue) by the Arbiter' Both appeals of respon)ent thus, are DISMISSED for utter lac< of
(erit'
0*31

Accor)ing to the NLRC, Fobesity, or the ten)ency to gain /eight uncontrollably regar)less of the a(ount of foo) inta<e, is a )isease
in itself'G
0*41
As a conse;uence, there can be no intentional )efiance or serious (iscon)uct by petitioner to the la/ful or)er of PAL for hi( to lose
/eight'
0*91

Li<e the Labor Arbiter, the NLRC foun) the /eight stan)ar)s of PAL to be reasonable' >o/ever, it foun) as unnecessary the Labor
Arbiter hol)ing that petitioner /as not re(iss in the perfor(ance of his )uties as flight ste/ar) )espite being over/eight' Accor)ing to the
NLRC, the Labor Arbiter shoul) have li(ite) hi(self to the issue of /hether the failure of petitioner to attain his i)eal /eight constitute)
/illful )efiance of the /eight stan)ar)s of PAL'
0*:1





PAL (ove) for reconsi)eration to no avail'
0*81
"hus, PAL elevate) the (atter to the Court of Appeals 5CA6 via a petition
for certiorari un)er Rule 43 of the -889 Rules of Civil Proce)ure'
0+,1

By ecision )ate) August +-, *,,2, the CA reverse)
0+-1
the NLRC:

A>ERE=ORE, pre(ises consi)ere), /e hereby 7RAN" the petition' "he assaile) NLRC )ecision is )eclare)
NHLL an) %O$ an) is hereby !E" A!$E' "he private respon)ent@s co(plaint is hereby $!#$!!E' No costs'

!O ORERE'
0+*1

"he CA opine) that there /as grave abuse of )iscretion on the part of the NLRC because it Floo<e) at /rong an) irrelevant
consi)erationsG
0++1
in evaluating the evi)enceof the parties' Contrary to the NLRC ruling, the /eight stan)ar)s of PAL are (eant to be
a continuing ;ualification for an e(ployee@s position'
0+21
"he failure to a)here to the /eight stan)ar)s is an analogous cause for the )is(issal of
an e(ployee un)er Article *:*5e6 of the Labor Co)e in relation to Article *:*5a6' $t is not /illful )isobe)ience as the NLRC see(e) to suggest'
0+31
!ai) the CA, Fthe ele(ent of /illfulness that the NLRC )ecision cites is an irrelevant consi)eration in arriving at a conclusion on /hether the
)is(issal is legally proper'G
0+41
$n other /or)s, Fthe relevant ;uestion to as< is not one of /illfulness but one of reasonableness of the stan)ar)
an) /hether or not the e(ployee ;ualifies or continues to ;ualify un)er this stan)ar)'G
0+91



&ust li<e the Labor Arbiter an) the NLRC, the CA hel) that the /eight stan)ar)s of PAL are reasonable'
0+:1
"hus, petitioner /as legally
)is(isse) because he repeate)ly faile) to (eet the prescribe) /eight stan)ar)s'
0+81
$t is obvious that the issue of )iscri(ination /as only invo<e)
by petitioner for purposes of escaping the result of his )is(issal for being over/eight'
02,1

On #ay -,, *,,3, the CA )enie) petitioner@s (otion for reconsi)eration'
02-1
Elaborating on its earlier ruling, the CA hel) that the
/eight stan)ar)s of PAL are a bona fi)e occupational ;ualification /hich, in case of violation, FCustifies an e(ployee@s separation fro( the
service'G
02*1

Issues

$n this Rule 23 petition for revie/, the follo/ing issues are pose) for resolution:

$'
A>E">ER OR NO" ">E COHR" O= APPEAL! 7RA%ELB ERRE $N >OL$N7
">A" PE"$"$ONER@! OBE!$"B CAN BE A 7ROHN =OR $!#$!!AL HNER PARA7RAP> 5e6 O= AR"$CLE
*:* O= ">E LABOR COE O= ">E P>$L$PP$NE!E

$$'
A>E">ER OR NO" ">E COHR" O= APPEAL! 7RA%ELB ERRE $N >OL$N7
">A" PE"$"$ONER@! $!#$!!AL =OR OBE!$"B CAN BE PRE$CA"E ON ">E FBONA =$E
OCCHPA"$ONAL LHAL$=$CA"$ON 5B=OL6 E=EN!EGE

$$$'
A>E">ER OR NO" ">E COHR" O= APPEAL! 7RA%ELB ERRE $N >OL$N7 ">A" PE"$"$ONER
AA! NO" HNHLB $!CR$#$NA"E A7A$N!" A>EN >E AA! $!#$!!E A>$LE O">ER O%ERAE$7>"
CAB$N A""ENAN"! AERE E$">ER 7$%EN =LB$N7 H"$E! OR PRO#O"EE

$%'
A>E">ER OR NO" ">E COHR" O= APPEAL! 7RA%ELB ERRE A>EN $" BRH!>E A!$E
PE"$"$ONER@! CLA$#! =OR RE$N!"A"E#EN" 0AN1 AA7E! ALLE7ELB =OR BE$N7
#OO" AN ACAE#$C'
02+1
5Hn)erscoring supplie)6

Our Ruling

I. The obesity of petitioner is a ground for dismissal under Article 282(e)
0221
of the Labor Code'

A rea)ing of the /eight stan)ar)s of PAL /oul) lea) to no other conclusion than that they constitute a continuing ;ualification of an
e(ployee in or)er to <eep the Cob' "ersely put, an e(ployee (ay be )is(isse) the (o(ent he is unable to co(ply /ith his i)eal /eight as
prescribe) by the /eight stan)ar)s' "he )is(issal of the e(ployee /oul) thus fall un)er Article *:*5e6 of the Labor Co)e' As e.plaine) by the
CA:

. . . 0"1he stan)ar)s violate) in this case /ere not (ere For)ersG of the e(ployerE they /ere the Fprescribe)
/eightsG that a cabin cre/ (ust (aintain in order to 5ualify for and keep his or her position in the company' $n other
/or)s, they /ere stan)ar)s that establish continuing 5ualifications for an e(ployee@s position' $n this sense, the failure to
(aintain these stan)ar)s )oes not fall un)er Article *:*5a6 /hose e.press ter(s re;uire the ele(ent of /illfulness in or)er
to be a groun) for )is(issal' "he failure to (eet the e(ployer@s 5ualifying standards is in fact a groun) that )oes not
s;uarely fall un)er groun)s 5a6 to 5)6 an) is therefore one that falls un)er Article *:*5e6 I the Fother causes analogous to
the foregoing'G

By its nature, these F;ualifying stan)ar)sG are nor(s that apply prior to and after an e(ployee is hire)' "hey
apply prior to employment because these are the stan)ar)s a Cob applicant (ust initially (eet in or)er to be hire)' "hey
apply after hiring because an e(ployee (ust continue to (eet these stan)ar)s /hile on the Cob in or)er to <eep his
Cob' Hn)er this perspective, a violation is not one of the faults for /hich an e(ployee can be )is(isse) pursuant to pars'
5a6 to 5)6 of Article *:*E the e(ployee can be )is(isse) si(ply because he no longer F;ualifiesG for his Cob irrespective of
/hether or not the failure to ;ualify /as /illful or intentional' . . .
0231

Petitioner, though, a)vances a very interesting argu(ent' >e clai(s that obesity is a Fphysical abnor(ality an)Dor illness'G
0241
Relying
on &adura . BenguetConsolidated, Inc.,
0291
he says his )is(issal is illegal:

Conscious of the fact that Na)ura@s case cannot be (a)e to fall s;uarely /ithin the specific causes enu(erate) in
subparagraphs -5a6 to 5e6, Benguet invo<es the provisions of subparagraph -5f6 an) says that Na)ura@s illness I occasional
attac<s of asth(a I is a cause analogous to the('

Even a cursory rea)ing of the legal provision un)er consi)eration is sufficient to convince anyone that, as the trial
court sai), Fillness cannot be inclu)e) as an analogous cause by any stretch of i(agination'G

$t is clear that, e.cept the just cause (entione) in sub-paragraph -5a6, all the others e.pressly enu(erate) in the la/
are )ue to the voluntary an)Dor /illful act of the e(ployee' >o/ Na)ura@sillness coul) be consi)ere) as FanalogousG to
any of the( is beyon) our un)erstan)ing, there being no clai( or pretense that the sa(e /as contracte) through his o/n
voluntary act'
02:1


"he reliance on &adura is off-tangent' "he factual (ilieu in &adura is substantially )ifferent fro( the case at bar' =irst, &adura /as not
)eci)e) un)er the Labor Co)e' "he la/ applie) in that case /as Republic Act 5RA6 No' -9:9' !econ), the issue of flight safety is absent
in &adura, thus, the rationale there cannot apply here' "hir), in&adura, the e(ployee /ho /as a (iner, /as lai) off fro( /or< because of
illness, i'e', asth(a' >ere, petitioner /as )is(isse) for his failure to (eet the /eight stan)ar)s ofPAL' >e /as not )is(isse) )ue to
illness' =ourth, the issue in &adura is /hether or not the )is(isse) e(ployee is entitle) to separation pay an) )a(ages' >ere, the issue centers
on the propriety of the )is(issal of petitioner for his failure to (eet the /eight stan)ar)s of PAL' =ifth, in &adura, the e(ployee /as not
accor)e) )ue process' >ere, petitioner /as accor)e) ut(ost leniency' >e /as given (ore than four 526 years to co(ply /ith the /eight stan)ar)s
of PAL'


$n the case at bar, the evi)ence on recor) (ilitates against petitioner@s clai(s that obesity is a )isease' "hat he /as able to re)uce his
/eight fro( -8:2 to -88* clearly sho/s that it is possible for hi( to lose /eight given the proper attitu)e, )eter(ination, an) self-
)iscipline' $n)ee), )uring the clarificatory hearing on ece(ber :, -88*, petitioner hi(self clai(e) that F0t1he issue is coul) $ bring (y /eight
)o/n to i)eal /eight /hich is -9*, then the ans/er is yes' $ can )o it no/'G
0281

"rue, petitioner clai(s that re)ucing /eight is costing hi( Fa lot of e.penses'G
03,1
>o/ever, petitioner has only hi(self to bla(e' >e
coul) have easily availe) the assistance of the co(pany physician, per the a)vice of PAL'
03-1
>e chose to ignore the suggestion' $n fact, he
repeate)ly faile) to report /hen re;uire) to un)ergo /eight chec<s, /ithout offering a vali) e.planation' "hus, his fluctuating /eight in)icates
absence of /illpo/er rather than an illness'

Petitioner cites Bonnie Coo@ . State of Rhode Island, ,epartment of %ental 3ealth, Retardation and 3ospitals,
03*1
)eci)e) by the Hnite) !tates Court of Appeals 5=irst Circuit6' $n that case, Coo< /or<e) fro( -89: to -8:, an) fro( -8:- to -8:4 as an
institutional atten)ant for the (entally retar)e) at the La)) Center that /as being operate) by respon)ent' !he t/ice resigne) voluntarily /ith an
unble(ishe) recor)' Even respon)ent a)(itte) that her perfor(ance (et the Center@s legiti(ate e.pectations' $n -8::, Coo< re-applie) for a
si(ilar position' At that ti(e, Fshe stoo) 3@*G tall an) /eighe) over +*, poun)s'G Respon)ent clai(e) that the (orbi) obesity of plaintiff
co(pro(ise) her ability to evacuate patients in case of e(ergency an) it also put her at greater ris< of serious )iseases'


Coo< conten)e) that the action of respon)ent a(ounte) to )iscri(ination on the basis of a han)icap' "his /as in )irect violation of
!ection 3,25a6 of the Rehabilitation Act of -89+,
03+1
/hich incorporates the re(e)ies containe) in "itle %$ of the Civil Rights Act of
-842' Respon)ent clai(e), ho/ever, that (orbi) obesity coul) never constitute a han)icap /ithin the purvie/ of the Rehabilitation Act' A(ong
others, obesity is a (utable con)ition, thus plaintiff coul) si(ply lose /eight an) ri) herself of conco(itant )isability'

"he appellate Court )isagree) an) hel) that (orbi) obesity is a )isability un)er the Rehabilitation Act an) that respon)ent
)iscri(inate) against Coo< base) on Fperceive)G )isability' "he evi)ence inclu)e) e.pert testi(ony that (orbi) obesity is a physiological
)isor)er' $t involves a )ysfunction of both the (etabolic syste( an) the neurological appetite I suppressing signal syste(, /hich is capable of
causing a)verse effects /ithin the (usculos<eletal, respiratory, an) car)iovascular syste(s' Notably, the Court state) that F(utability is relevant
only in )eter(ining the substantiality of the li(itation flo/ing fro( a given i(pair(ent,G thus F(utability only preclu)es those con)itions that an
in)ivi)ual can easily an) ;uic<ly reverse by behavioral alteration'G

Hnli<e Coo<, ho/ever, petitioner is not (orbi)ly obese' $n the /or)s of the istrict Court for the istrict of Rho)e $slan), Coo< /as
so(eti(e before -89: Fat least one hun)re) poun)s (ore than /hat is consi)ere) appropriate of her height'G Accor)ing to the Circuit &u)ge,
Coo< /eighe) Fover +*, poun)sG in -8::' Clearly, that is not the case here' At his heaviest, petitioner /as only less than 3, poun)s over his
i)eal /eight'

$n fine, Ae hol) that the obesity of petitioner, /hen place) in the conte.t of his /or< as flight atten)ant, beco(es an analogous cause
un)er Article *:*5e6 of the Labor Co)e that Custifies his )is(issal fro( the service' >is obesity (ay not be uninten)e), but is nonetheless
voluntary' As the CA correctly puts it, F0v1oluntariness basically (eans that the Cust cause is solely attributable to the e(ployee /ithout any
e.ternal force influencing or controlling his actions' "his ele(ent runs through all Cust causes un)er Article *:*, /hether they be in the nature of
a /rongful action or o(ission' 7ross an) habitual neglect, a recogni?e) Cust cause, is consi)ere) voluntary although it lac<s the ele(ent of intent
foun) in Article *:*5a6, 5c6, an) 5)6'G
0321

II. The dismissal of petitioner can be predicated on the bona fide occupational qualification defense'

E(ploy(ent in particular Cobs (ay not be li(ite) to persons of a particular se., religion, or national origin unless the e(ployer can sho/
that se., religion, or national origin is an actual ;ualification for perfor(ing the Cob' "he ;ualification is calle) a bona fi)e occupational
;ualification 5B=OL6'
0331
$n the Hnite) !tates, there are a fe/ fe)eral an) (any state Cob )iscri(ination la/s that contain an e.ception allo/ing
an e(ployer to engage in an other/ise unla/ful for( of prohibite) )iscri(ination /hen the action is base) on a B=OL necessary to the nor(al
operation of a business or enterprise'
0341

Petitioner conten)s that B=OL is a statutory )efense' $t )oes not e.ist if there is no statute provi)ing for it'
0391
=urther, there is no
e.isting B=OL statute that coul) Custify his )is(issal'
03:1

Both argu(ents (ust fail'

=irst, the Constitution,
0381
the Labor Co)e,
04,1
an) RA No' 9*99
04-1
or the #agna Carta for isable) Persons
04*1
contain provisions
si(ilar to B=OL'

!econ), in British Colum'ia Pu'lic Serice 4mployee Commission (BSPS4RC* . #he British Colum'ia -oernment and Serice
4mployeeIs Cnion (BC-S4C*,
04+1
the !upre(e Court of Cana)a a)opte) the so-calle) F#eiorin "estG in )eter(ining /hether an e(ploy(ent
policy is Custifie)' Hn)er this test, 5-6 the e(ployer (ust sho/ that it a)opte) the stan)ar) for a purpose rationally connecte) to the perfor(ance
of the CobE
0421
5*6 the e(ployer (ust establish that the stan)ar) is reasonably necessary
0431
to the acco(plish(ent of that /or<-relate) purposeE an)
5+6 the e(ployer (ust establish that the stan)ar) is reasonably necessary in or)er to acco(plish the legiti(ate /or<-relate) purpose' !i(ilarly,
in Star Paper Corporation . Sim'ol,
0441
this Court hel) that in or)er to Custify a B=OL, the e(ployer (ust prove that 5-6 the e(ploy(ent
;ualification is reasonably relate) to the essential operation of the Cob involve)E an) 5*6 that there is factual basis for believing that all or
substantially all persons (eeting the ;ualification /oul) be unable to properly perfor( the )uties of the Cob'
0491

$n short, the test of reasonableness of the co(pany policy is use) because it is parallel to B=OL'
04:1
B=OL is vali)
Fprovi)e) it reflects an inherent ;uality reasonably necessary for satisfactory Cob perfor(ance'G
0481

$n ,uncan Association of ,etailman6P#-7#/ . -la+o 7ellcome Philippines, Inc.,
09,1
the Court )i) not hesitate to pass upon the
vali)ity of a co(pany policy /hich prohibits its e(ployees fro( (arrying e(ployees of a rival co(pany' $t /as hel) that the co(pany policy is
reasonable consi)ering that its purpose is the protection of the interests of the co(pany against possible co(petitor infiltration on its tra)e secrets
an) proce)ures'

%erily, there is no (erit to the argu(ent that B=OL cannot be applie) if it has no supporting statute' "oo, the Labor Arbiter,
09-1
NLRC,
09*1
an) CA
09+1
are one in hol)ing that the /eight stan)ar)s of PAL are reasonable' A co((on carrier, fro( the nature of its business
an) for reasons of public policy, is boun) to observe e.traor)inary )iligence for the safety of the passengers it transports'
0921
$t is boun) to carry
its passengers safely as far as hu(an care an) foresight can provi)e, using the ut(ost )iligence of very cautious persons, /ith )ue regar) for
all the circu(stances'
0931

"he la/ leaves no roo( for (ista<e or oversight on the part of a co((on carrier' "hus, it is only logical to hol) that the /eight
stan)ar)s of PAL sho/ its effort to co(ply /ith the e.acting obligations i(pose) upon it by la/ by virtue of being a co((on carrier'
"he business of PAL is air transportation' As such, it has co((itte) itself to safely transport its passengers' $n or)er to achieve this,
it (ust necessarily rely on its e(ployees, (ost particularly the cabin flight )ec< cre/ /ho are on boar) the aircraft' "he /eight stan)ar)s
of PAL shoul) be vie/e) as i(posing strict nor(s of )iscipline upon its e(ployees'

$n other /or)s, the pri(ary obCective of PAL in the i(position of the /eight stan)ar)s for cabin cre/ is flight safety' $t cannot be
gainsai) that cabin atten)ants (ust (aintain agility at all ti(es in or)er to inspire passenger confi)ence on their ability to care for the passengers
/hen so(ething goes /rong' $t is not farfetche) to say that airline co(panies, Cust li<e all co((on carriers, thrive )ue to public confi)ence on
their safety recor)s' People, especially the ri)ing public, e.pect no less than that airline co(paniestransport their passengers to their respective
)estinations safely an) soun)ly' A lesser perfor(ance is unacceptable'

"he tas< of a cabin cre/ or flight atten)ant is not li(ite) to serving (eals or atten)ing to the /hi(s an) caprices of the
passengers' "he (ost i(portant activity of the cabin cre/ is to care for the safety of passengers an) the evacuation of the aircraft /hen an
e(ergency occurs' Passenger safety goes to the core of the Cob of a cabin atten)ant' "ruly, airlines nee) cabin atten)ants /ho have the necessary
strength to open e(ergency )oors, the agility to atten) to passengers in cra(pe) /or<ing con)itions, an) the sta(ina to /ithstan) grueling flight
sche)ules'

On boar) an aircraft, the bo)y /eight an) si?e of a cabin atten)ant are i(portant factors to consi)er in case of e(ergency' Aircrafts
have constricte) cabin space, an) narro/ aisles an) e.it )oors' "hus, the argu(ents of respon)ent that F0/1hether the airline@s flight atten)ants
are over/eight or not has no )irect relation to its (ission of transporting passengers to their )estinationGE an) that the /eight stan)ar)s Fhas
nothing to )o /ith air/orthiness of respon)ent@s airlines,G (ust fail'

"he rationale in 7estern Air !ines . Criswell
0941
relie) upon by petitioner cannot apply to his case' Ahat /as involve) there /ere t/o
5*6 airline pilots /ho /ere )enie) reassign(ent as flight engineers upon reaching the age of 4,, an) a flight engineer /ho /as force) to retire at
age 4,' "hey sue) the airline co(pany, alleging that the age-4, retire(ent for flight engineers violate) the Age iscri(ination in E(ploy(ent
Act of -849' Age-base) B=OL an) being over/eight are not the sa(e' "he case of over/eight cabin atten)ants is another (atter' 7iven the
cra(pe) cabin space an) narro/ aisles an) e(ergency e.it )oors of the airplane, any over/eight cabin atten)ant /oul) certainly have )ifficulty
navigating the cra(pe) cabin area'

$n short, there is no nee) to in)ivi)ually evaluate their ability to perfor( their tas<' "hat an obese cabin atten)ant occupies (ore
space than a sli( one is an un;uestionable fact /hich courts can Cu)icially recogni?e /ithout intro)uction of evi)ence'
0991
$t /oul) also be absur)
to re;uire airline co(panies to reconfigure the aircraft in or)er to /i)en the aisles an) e.it )oors Cust to acco((o)ate over/eight cabin
atten)ants li<e petitioner'

"he biggest proble( /ith an over/eight cabin atten)ant is the possibility of i(pe)ing passengers fro( evacuating the aircraft, shoul)
the occasion call for it' "he Cob of a cabin atten)ant )uring e(ergencies is to spee)ily get the passengers out of the aircraft safely' Being
over/eight necessarily i(pe)es (obility' $n)ee), in an e(ergency situation, secon)s are /hat cabin atten)ants are )ealing /ith, not
(inutes' "hree lost secon)s can translate into three lost lives' Evacuation (ight slo/ )o/n Cust because a /i)e-bo)ie) cabin atten)ant is
bloc<ing the narro/ aisles' "hese possibilities are not re(ote'



Petitioner is also in estoppel' >e )oes not )ispute that the /eight stan)ar)s of PAL /ere (a)e <no/n to hi( prior to his
e(ploy(ent' >e is presu(e) to <no/ the /eight li(it that he (ust (aintain at all ti(es'
09:1
$n fact, never )i) he ;uestion the authority
of PAL /hen he /as repeate)ly as<e) to tri( )o/n his /eight' Bona fides e+igit ut1uod conenit fiat' 7oo) faith )e(an)s that /hat is agree)
upon shall be )one' 6ung ang tao ay tapat kanyang tutuparin ang napagkasunduan'

"oo, the /eight stan)ar)s of PAL provi)e for separate /eight li(itations base) on height an) bo)y fra(e for both (ale an) fe(ale
cabin atten)ants' A progressive )iscipline is i(pose) to allo/ non-co(pliant cabin atten)ants sufficient opportunity to (eet the /eight
stan)ar)s' "hus, the clear-cut rules obviate any possibility for theco((ission of abuse or arbitrary action on the part of PAL'

III. Petitioner failed to substantiate his claim that he was discriminated against by PAL'

Petitioner ne.t clai(s that PAL is using passenger safety as a convenient e.cuse to )iscri(inate against hi('
0981
Ae are constraine),
ho/ever, to hol) other/ise' Ae agree /ith the CA that F0t1he ele(ent of )iscri(ination ca(e into play in this case as a secon)ary position for
the private respon)ent in or)er to escape the conse;uence of )is(issal that being over/eight entaile)' $t is a confession-an)-avoi)ance position
that i(plie)ly a)(itte) the cause of )is(issal, inclu)ing the reasonableness of the applicable stan)ar) an) the private respon)ent@s failure to
co(ply'G
0:,1
$t is a basic rule in evi)ence that each party (ust prove his affir(ative allegation'
0:-1
!ince the bur)en of evi)ence lies /ith the party /ho asserts an affir(ative allegation, petitioner has to prove his allegation /ith
particularity' "here is nothing on the recor)s /hich coul) support the fin)ing of )iscri(inatory treat(ent' Petitioner cannot establish
)iscri(ination by si(ply na(ing the suppose) cabin atten)ants /ho are allege)ly si(ilarly situate) /ith hi(' !ubstantial proof (ust be sho/n
as to ho/ an) /hy they are si(ilarly situate) an) the )ifferential treat(ent petitioner got fro( PAL )espite the si(ilarity of his situation /ith
other e(ployees'

$n)ee), e.cept for pointing out the na(es of the suppose) over/eight cabin atten)ants, petitioner (iserably faile) to in)icate their
respective i)eal /eightsE /eights over their i)eal /eightsE the perio)s they /ere allo/e) to fly )espite their being over/eightE the particular
flights assigne) to the(E the )iscri(inating treat(ent they got fro( PALE an) other relevant )ata that coul) have a)e;uately establishe) a case of
)iscri(inatory treat(ent by PAL' $n the /or)s of the CA, FPAL really ha) no substantial case of )iscri(ination to (eet'G
0:*1

Ae are not un(in)ful that fin)ings of facts of a)(inistrative agencies, li<e the Labor Arbiter an) the NLRC, are accor)e) respect,
even finality'
0:+1
"he reason is si(ple: a)(inistrative agencies are e.perts in (atters /ithin their specific an) speciali?e) Curis)iction'
0:21
But the
principle is not a har) an) fast rule' $t only applies if the fin)ings of facts are )uly supporte) by substantial evi)ence' $f it can be sho/n that
a)(inistrative bo)ies grossly (isappreciate) evi)ence of such nature so as to co(pel a conclusion to the contrary, their fin)ings of facts (ust
necessarily be reverse)' =actual fin)ings of a)(inistrative agencies )o not have infallibility an) (ust be set asi)e /hen they fail the test of
arbitrariness'
0:31

>ere, the Labor Arbiter an) the NLRC ine.plicably (isappreciate) evi)ence' Ae thus annul their fin)ings'

"o (a<e his clai( (ore believable, petitioner invo<es the e;ual protection clause guaranty
0:41
of the Constitution' >o/ever, in the
absence of govern(ental interference, the liberties guarantee) by the Constitution cannot be invo<e)'
0:91
Put )ifferently, the Bill of Rights is not
(eant to be invo<e) against acts of private in)ivi)uals'
0::1
$n)ee), the Hnite) !tates !upre(e Court, in interpreting the =ourteenth A(en)(ent,
0:81
/hich is the source of our e;ual protection guarantee, is consistent in saying that
the e;ual protection erects no shiel) against private con)uct, ho/ever )iscri(inatory or /rongful'
08,1
Private actions, no (atter ho/
egregious, cannot violate the e;ual protection guarantee'
08-1




IV. The claims of petitioner for reinstatement and wages are moot'

As his last contention, petitioner avers that his clai(s for reinstate(ent an) /ages have not been (oote)' >e is entitle) to reinstate(ent
an) his full bac</ages, Ffro( the ti(e he /as illegally )is(isse)G up to the ti(e that the NLRC /as reverse) by the CA'
08*1

At this point, Article **+ of the Labor Co)e fin)s relevance:

$n any event, the )ecision of the Labor Arbiter reinstating a )is(isse) or separate) e(ployee, insofar as the
reinstate(ent aspect is concerne), shall i((e)iately be e.ecutory, even pen)ing appeal' "he e(ployee shall either be
a)(itte) bac< to /or< un)er the sa(e ter(s an) con)itions prevailing prior to his )is(issal or separation or, at the option
of the e(ployer, (erely reinstate) in the payroll' "he posting of a bon) by the e(ployer shall not stay the e.ecution for
reinstate(ent provi)e) herein'

"he la/ is very clear' Although an a/ar) or or)er of reinstate(ent is self-e.ecutory an) )oes not re;uire a /rit of e.ecution,
08+1
the
option to e.ercise actual reinstate(ent or payroll reinstate(ent belongs to the e(ployer' $t )oes not belong to the e(ployee, to the labor
tribunals, or even to the courts'

Contrary to the allegation of petitioner that PAL F)i) everything un)er the sunG to frustrate his Fi((e)iate return to his previous
position,G
0821
there is evi)ence that PALopte) to physically reinstate hi( to a substantially e;uivalent position in accor)ance /ith the or)er of the
Labor
Arbiter'
0831
$n fact, petitioner )uly receive) the return to /or< notice on =ebruary *+, *,,-, as sho/n by his signature'
0841

Petitioner cannot ta<e refuge in the pronounce(ents of the Court in a case
0891
that F0t1he unCustifie) refusal of the e(ployer to reinstate
the )is(isse) e(ployee entitles hi( to pay(ent of his salaries effective fro( the ti(e the e(ployer faile) to reinstate hi( )espite the issuance of
a /rit of e.ecutionG
08:1
an) FGeven if the or)er of reinstate(ent of the Labor Arbiter is reverse) on appeal, it is obligatory on the part of the
e(ployer to reinstate an) pay the /ages of the e(ployee )uring the perio) of appeal until reversal by the higher court'G
0881
>e faile) to prove that
he co(plie) /ith the return to /or< or)er of PAL' Neither )oes it appear on recor) that he actually ren)ere) services for PAL fro( the
(o(ent he /as )is(isse), in or)er to insist on the pay(ent of his full bac</ages'

$n insisting that he be reinstate) to his actual position )espite being over/eight, petitioner in effect /ants to ren)er the issues in the
present case (oot' >e as<s PAL to co(ply /ith the i(possible' "i(e an) again, the Court rule) that the la/ )oes not e.act co(pliance /ith the
i(possible'
0-,,1

V. Petitioner is entitled to separation pay'

Be that as it (ay, all is not lost for petitioner'

Nor(ally, a legally )is(isse) e(ployee is not entitle) to separation pay' "his (ay be )e)uce) fro( the language of Article *98 of
the Labor Co)e that F0a1n e(ployee /ho is unCustly )is(isse) fro( /or< shall be entitle) to reinstate(ent /ithout loss of seniority rights an)
other privileges an) to his full bac</ages, inclusive of allo/ances, an) to his other benefits or their (onetary e;uivalent co(pute) fro( the ti(e
his co(pensation /as /ithhel) fro( hi( up to the ti(e of his actual reinstate(ent'G Luc<ily for petitioner, this is not an ironcla) rule'

E.ceptionally, separation pay is grante) to a legally )is(isse) e(ployee as an act Fsocial Custice,G
0-,-1
or base) on Fe;uity'G
0-,*1
$n both
instances, it is re;uire) that the )is(issal 5-6 /as not for serious (iscon)uctE an) 5*6 )oes not reflect on the (oral character of the e(ployee'
0-,+1

>ere, Ae grant petitioner separation pay e;uivalent to one-half 5-D*6 (onth@s pay for every year of service'
0-,21
$t shoul) inclu)e
regular allo/ances /hich he (ight have been receiving'
0-,31
Ae are not blin) to the fact that he /as not )is(isse) for any serious (iscon)uct or
to any act /hich /oul) reflect on his (oral character' Ae also recogni?e that his e(ploy(ent /ith PAL laste) for (ore or less a )eca)e'

WHEREFORE, the appeale) ecision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED but MODIFIED in that petitioner Ar(an)o
7' Brasuegui is entitle) to separation pay in an a(ount e;uivalent to one-half 5-D*6 (onth@s pay for every year of service, /hich shoul) inclu)e
his regular allo/ances'



SO ORDERED'




RUBEN T. REYES
Associate &ustice



AE CONCHR:




CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate &ustice
Chairperson




MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA
Associate &ustice




A T T E S T A T I O N


$ attest that the conclusions in the above ecision ha) been reache) in consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion
of the Court@s ivision'




CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate &ustice
Chairperson





C E R T I F I C A T I O N


Pursuant to !ection -+, Article %$$$ of the Constitution an) the ivision Chairperson@s Attestation, $ certify that the conclusions in the
above ecision ha) been reache) in consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion of the Court@s ivision'




REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice
0-1
Rollo, p' -+4E Anne. FAG of Anne. F7'G
"he Cabin Cre/ A)(inistration #anual of PAL provi)es:
FC' A cabin cre/ one 5-6 to four 526 poun)s over hisDher /eight (a.i(u( shall be given a verbal /arning an) a t/o 5*6-/ee<
perio) in /hich to (eet /eight stan)ar)s'
-' A recor) of the verbal /arning shall be (aintaine) in the cabin cre/@s per(anent file'
*' A cabin cre/ /ho fails to progress shall be given a /ritten letter an) an a))itional t/o 5*6-/ee< perio) to (eet
/eight stan)ar)s'
+' A cabin cre/ /ho fails to reach the prescribe) /eights stan)ar) as re;uire) shall be re(ove) fro( sche)ule'
a' A cabin cre/ /ho has been re(ove) fro( sche)ule shall report to hisDher assigne) Chec< Cabin Cre/
for a /eight chec< every t/o 5*6 /ee<s an) /ill be re;uire) to lose t/o 5*6 poun)s per /ee<'
b' A cabin cre/ /ho fails to reach hisDher re;uire) /eight stan)ar) /ithin a (a.i(u( perio) of ninety
58,6 )ays shall be ter(inate)'
c' A cabin cre/ /ill return to active flight )uty /hen heDshe has re)uce) to hisDher (a.i(u( /eight
re;uire(ent'
-' A cabin cre/ /ho returns to active flight )uty after being re(ove) fro( sche)ule an) /ithin
the follo/ing three 5+6 (onths e.cee)s the (a.i(u( /eight stan)ar) /ill be re(ove) fro(
sche)ule until heDshe reache) hisDher (a.i(u( allo/able stan)ar)'
' A cabin cre/ /ho is five 536 poun)s or (ore over hisDher /eight (a.i(u( /ill be given a /ritten letter an) a t/o 5*6
/ee< perio) to sho/ substantial /eight re)uction to (eet stan)ar)s' At the en) of the initial t/o 5*6 /ee<s perio), a cabin cre/
/ho has sho/n progress /ill continue on /eight chec< until heDshe reache) hisDher (a.i(u( allo/able stan)ar)'
-' Cabin cre/ /ho fails to sho/ substantial /eight re)uction shall be re(ove) fro( sche)ules'
a' Refer to letter C above for )iscipline gui)eline'
*' A cabin cre/ /ho is ten 5-,6 poun)s or (ore over hisDher /eight (a.i(u( shall be re(ove) fro( sche)ule
i((e)iately'G


# E N
>E$7>"
=EE" inches /Do shoes
!#ALL =RA#E #E$H# =RA#E LAR7E =RA#E
Five 9 -*:--+9 -+2--29 -2*--4-
8 -+*--2- -+:--3* 147-166
8 -+4--23 -2*--34 -3---9,
-, -2,--3, -24--4, -33--92
-- -22--32 -3,--43 -38--98
!i. , -2:--3: -32--9, -42--:2
- -3*--4* -3:--93 -4:--:8
* -34--49 -4*--:, -9+--82
+ -4,--9- -49--:3 -9:--88
2 -42--93 -9*--8, -:,-*,2

A O # E N
>E$7>"
=EE" inches /Do shoes
!#ALL =RA#E #E$H# =RA#E LAR7E =RA#E
=ive * -,*---, -,9---8 --3--+-
+ -,3---+ --,--** --:--+2
2 -,:---4 --+--*4 -*---+:
3 ------8 --4--+, -*3--2*
4 --2--*+ -*,--+3 -*8--24
9 --:--*9 -*2--+8 -++--3,
: -**--+- -*:--2+ -+9--32
8 -*4--+3 -+*--29 -2---3:
-, -+,--2, -+4--3- -23--4+
-- -+2--22 -22--38 -3+--9+

0*1
Anne. FCG of Anne. F7'G
0+1
Anne. FG of Anne. F7'G
021
Rollo, p' -+8'
031
Anne. FEG of Anne. F7'G
041
Anne. F=G of Anne. F7'G
091
Anne. F7G of Anne. F7'G
0:1
Anne. F>G of Anne. F7'G
081
Anne. F&G of Anne. F7'G
0-,1
Anne. FOG of Anne. F7'G
0--1
Anne. F#G of Anne. F7'G
0-*1
Anne. FNG of Anne. F7'G
0-+1
Rollo, pp' 82-88E Anne. FE'G NLRC NCR Case No' ,,-,3-,+,9:-84-A, pro(ulgate) on Nove(ber -:, -88:'
0-21
$)' at 88'
0-31
$)' at 84'
0-41
$)' at 84-8:'
0-91
$)' at 8:'
0-:1
$)'
0-81
Anne.es FNG an) FO'G
0*,1
Anne. FL'G
0*-1
Anne. FH'G
0**1
Anne. FR'G
0*+1
Anne. F%'G
0*21
Rollo, pp' 94-::E Anne. FC'G NLRC NCR Case No' ,-89*3-88, pro(ulgate) on &une *+, *,,,' Penne) by Co((issioner Alberto
R' Lui(po an) concurre) in by Co((issioner %icente !'E' %eloso'
0*31
$)' at :9-::'
0*41
$)' at :+'
0*91
$)'
0*:1
$)' at :+-:4'
0*81
Anne. FE'G
0+,1
Anne. FBB'G
0+-1
Rollo, 24-42E Anne. FA'G CA-7'R' !P No' 4+,*9, pro(ulgate) on August +-, *,,2' Penne) by Associate &ustice Arturo ' Brion 5no/ a
(e(ber of this Court6, /ith Associate &ustices elilah %i)allon-#agtolis an) Elie?er R' e los !antos, concurring'
0+*1
$)' at 42'
0++1
$)' at 4,'
0+21
$)' at 4-'
0+31
$)'
0+41
$)'
0+91
$)'
0+:1
$)' at 4*'
0+81
$)'
02,1
$)'
02-1
Anne. FB'G
02*1
Rollo, p' 9,'
02+1
$)' at 438-44,'
0221
#ermination 'y employer' I An e(ployer (ay ter(inate an e(ploy(ent for any of the follo/ing causes'
a6 !erious (iscon)uct or /illful )isobe)ience by the e(ployee of the la/ful or)ers of his e(ployer or representative in
connection /ith his /or<E
b6 7ross an) habitual neglect by the e(ployee of his )utiesE
c6 =rau) or /illful breach by the e(ployee of the trust repose) in hi( by his e(ployer or )uly authori?e) representativeE
)6 Co((ission of a cri(e or offense by the e(ployee against the person of his e(ployer or any i((e)iate (e(ber of his
fa(ily or his )uly authori?e) representativesE an)
e6 Other causes analogous to the foregoing'
0231
$)' at 4,-4-'
0241
$)' at 44+'
0291
7'R' No' L--99:,, August *2, -84*, 3 !CRA :98'
02:1
&adura . Benguet Consolidated, Inc., i)' at ::--::*'
0281
Rollo, p' -3+'
03,1
$)'
03-1
$)' at -+9'
03*1
-, =' +) -9, *, 5$st Cir' -88+6'
03+1
5a6 Pro(ulgation of rules an) regulations
No other/ise ;ualifie) in)ivi)ual /ith han)icaps in the Hnite) !tates, as )efine) in section 9,45:6 of this title, shall, solely by
reason of her or his han)icap, be e.clu)e) fro( the participation in, be )enie) the benefits of, or be subCecte) to )iscri(ination
un)er any progra( or activity receiving =e)eral financial assistance or un)er any progra( or activity con)ucte) by any E.ecutive
agency or by the Hnite) !tates Postal !ervice' "he hea) of each such agency shall pro(ulgate such regulations as (ay be necessary
to carry out the a(en)(ents to this section (a)e by the Rehabilitation, Co(prehensive !ervices, an) evelop(ental isabilities
Act of -89:' Copies of any propose) regulation shall be sub(itte) to appropriate authori?ing co((ittees of the Congress, an) such
regulation (ay ta<e effect no earlier than the thirtieth )ay after the )ate on /hich such regulation is so sub(itte) to such
co((ittees'
0321
$)' at 9-'
0331
Blac<@s La/ ictionary, 4th e)'
0341
23A A(' &ur' *), &ob iscri(ination, Z *48'
0391
Rollo, p' 448'
03:1
$)' at 49,'
0381
CON!"$"H"$ON 5-8:96, Art' R$$$, !ec' +' "he !tate shall affor) full protection to labor, local an) overseas, organi?e) an) unorgani?e), an)
pro(ote full e(ploy(ent an) e;uality of e(ploy(ent opportunities for all'
$t shall guarantee the rights of all /or<ers to self-organi?ation, collective bargaining an) negotiations, an) peaceful concerte) activities,
inclu)ing the right to stri<e in accor)ance /ith la/' "hey shall be entitle) to security of tenure, hu(ane con)itions of /or<, an) a living
/age' "hey shall also participate in policy an) )ecision-(a<ing processes affecting their rights an) benefits as (ay be provi)e) by la/'
"he !tate shall pro(ote the principle of share) responsibility bet/een /or<ers an) e(ployers an) the preferential use of voluntary (o)es in
settling )isputes, inclu)ing conciliation, an) shall enforce their (utual co(pliance there/ith to foster in)ustrial peace'
"he !tate shall regulate the relations bet/een /or<ers an) e(ployers, recogni?ing the right of labor to its Cust share in the fruits of pro)uction
an) the right of enterprises to reasonable returns to invest(ents, an) to e.pansion an) gro/th'
04,1
AR"' +' ,eclaration of Basic Policy' I "he !tate shall affor) protection to labor, pro(ote full e(ploy(ent, ensure e;ual /or< opportunities
regar)less of se., race or cree), an) regulate the relations bet/een /or<ers an) e(ployers' "he !tate shall assure the rights of /or<ers to self-
organi?ation, collective bargaining, security of tenure, an) Cust an) hu(ane con)itions of /or<'
04-1
Approve) on #arch *2, -88*'
04*1
!EC' +*' ,iscrimination of 4mployment' I No entity, /hether public or private shall )iscri(inate against a ;ualifie) )isable) person by
reason of )isability in regar) to Cob application proce)ures, the hiring, pro(otion, or )ischarge of e(ployees co(pensation, Cob training an) other
ter(s, con)itions an) privileges of e(ploy(ent' "he follo/ing constitute acts of )iscri(ination:
a6 Li(iting, segregating or classifying a )isable) Cob applicant in such a (anner that a)versely affects his /or< opportunitiesE
b6 Hsing ;ualification stan)ar)s, e(ploy(ent tests or other selection criteria that screen out or ten) to screen out a )isable)
person unless such stan)ar)s, tests or other selection criteria are sho/n to be relate) for the position in ;uestion an) are
consistent /ith business necessityE
c6 Htili?ing stan)ar)s, criteria, or (etho)s of a)(inistration that:
-6 have the effect of )iscri(ination on the basis of )isabilityE or
*6 perpetuate the )iscri(ination of others /ho are the subCect to co((on a)(inistrative control'
)6 Provi)ing less co(pensation, such as salary, /age or other for(s of re(uneration an) fringe benefits, to ;ualifie) )isable)
e(ployee, by reason of his )isability, than the a(ount to /hich a non-)isable) person perfor(ing the sa(e /or< is
entitle)E
e6 =avoring a non-)isable) e(ployee over a ;ualifie) )isable) e(ployee /ith respect to pro(otion, training opportunities,
stu)y an) scholarship grants, solely on account of the latter@s )isabilityE
f6 Re-assigning or transferring a )isable) e(ployee to a Cob or position he cannot perfor( by reason of his )isabilityE
g6 is(issing or ter(inating the services of a )isable) e(ployee by reason of his )isability unless the e(ployer can prove that
he i(pairs the satisfactory perfor(ance of the /or< involve) to the preCu)ice of the business entityE Proided, ho/ever,
"hat the e(ployer first sought to provi)e reasonable acco((o)ations for the )isable) personsE
h6 =ailing to select or a)(inister in the (ost effective (anner e(ploy(ent tests /hich accurately reflect the s<ills, aptitu)e or
other factor of the )isable) applicant or e(ployee that such test purports to (easure, rather than the i(paire) sensory,
(anual or spea<ing s<ills of such applicant or e(ployee, if anyE an)
i6 E.clu)ing )isable) persons fro( (e(bership in labor unions or si(ilar organi?ations'
04+1
+ !CR + 5-8886'
0421
"he focus is not on the vali)ity of the particular stan)ar) but rather on the vali)ity of its (ore general purpose'
0431
"o sho/ that the stan)ar) is reasonably necessary, it (ust be )e(onstrate) that it is i(possible to acco((o)ate in)ivi)ual e(ployees sharing
the characteristics of the clai(ant /ithout i(posing un)ue har)ship on the e(ployer'
0441
7'R' No' -42992, April -*, *,,4, 2:9 !CRA **:'
0491
Star Paper Corporation . Sim'ol, i)' at *2*-*2+, citing =loo), R'7' an) Cahill, O'A', "he River Ben) ecision an) >o/ $t Affects
#unicipalities@ Personnel Rule an) Regulations 5&une -88+6, $llinois #unicipal Revie/, p' 9'
04:1
$)' at *2+'
0481
Philippine #elegraph and #elephone Company . &ational !a'or Relations Commission, 7'R' No' --:89:, #ay *+, -889, *9* !CRA 384,
4-+'
09,1
7'R' No' -4*882, !epte(ber -9, *,,2, 2+: !CRA +2+'
09-1
Rollo, p' 84' F$n light of the nature of co(plainant@s function as a cabin flight cre/ (e(ber, the setting of /eight stan)ar) by co(pany policy
fin)s relevance, an) in fact, reasonableness' But in Cu)ging /hat is reasonably set for a cabin cre/ (e(ber to co(ply shoul) not be vie/e) in
isolation fro( its obvious ulti(ate obCective, /hich is to (aintain agility at all ti(e /hile on flight, especially in ti(e of e(ergencies, effect to
groo(ing (erely secon)ary' . . .G
09*1
$)' at :2' FObserve that the reasonableness of the rule 0i'e', the /eight stan)ar)s of PAL1 /as alrea)y establishe) /ith his 0i'e', the Labor
Arbiter1 fin)ing I to /hich /e agree I that the ai( thereof is to (aintain their agility to as to assure the air safety of passengers, as /ell by his
fin)ing of the parties unani(ity in the correctness of the /eight range that shoul) be observe) by co(plainant as prescribe) in the rule' . . .G
09+1
$)' at 4--4*' FAhile the private respon)ent )isputes in his position paper the reasonableness of PAL@s /eight stan)ar)s, the NLRC@s assaile)
)ecision fin)s the /eight stan)ar) to be vali) an) reasonable' $n our vie/, this is a fair an) correct assess(ent as the /eight li(its are not
/hi(sical stan)ar)s' "hey are stan)ar)s put in place by an air carrier for reasons of safety in or)er to co(ply /ith the e.traor)inary
)iligence in the care of passengers that the la/ e.acts' . . .G
0921
Civil Co)e, Art' -9++'
0931
$)', Art' -933' "hus, in case of )eath or inCuries to passengers, a co((on carrier is presu(e) to have been at fault or to have acte)
negligently, unless it proves that it observe) e.traor)inary )iligence' 5$)', Art' -9346
Not only that' "he responsibility of a co((on carrier for the safety of passengers cannot be )ispense) /ith or lessene) by stipulation, by the
posting of notices, by state(ents on tic<ets, or other/ise' 5$)', Art' -9396 !o (uch so that /hen a passenger is carrie) gratuitously, a stipulation
li(iting the liability for negligence of a co((on carrier is vali), but not for /illful acts or gross negligence' 5$)', Art' -93:6 Even a re)uction of
fare )oes not Custify any li(itation of the liability of the co((on carrier' 5$)'6
"he bur)en that the la/ i(poses on a co((on )oes not stop there' A co((on carrier is liable for the )eath or inCuries to passengers through
the negligence or /illful acts of its e(ployees' 5$)', Art' -9386 "his liability attaches although such e(ployees (ay have acte) beyon) the scope
of their authority or in violation of the or)ers of the co((on carrier' 5$)'6 "ruly, the re;uire(ent of the la/ is very strict in that the liability of a
co((on carrier for the )eath of or inCuries to passengers )oes not cease upon proof that it e.ercise) all the )iligence of a goo) father of a fa(ily
in the selection an) supervision of its e(ployees' 5$)'6 "he liability of a co((on carrier cannot be eli(inate) or li(ite) by stipulation, by the
posting of notices, by state(ents on the tic<ets or other/ise' 5$)', Art' -94,6 Although the passenger (ust observe the )iligence of a goo) father
of a fa(ily to avoi) inCury to hi(self 5i)', Art' -94-6, the contributory negligence of the passenger )oes not bar recovery of )a(ages for his )eath
or inCuries, if the pro.i(ate cause is the negligence of the co((on carrier' 5$)', Art' -94*6 $n such case, the a(ount of )a(ages shall only be
e;uitably re)uce)' 5$)'6 $t )oes not totally e.cuse the co((on carrier'
Lastly, a co((on carrier is responsible for inCuries suffere) by a passenger on the account of the /illful acts or negligence of the other
passengers or of strangers, if the e(ployees of the co((on carrier through the e.ercise of the )iligence of a goo) father of a fa(ily coul) have
prevente) or stoppe) the act or o(ission' 5$)', Art' -94+6
0941
29* H! 2,, 5-8:36'
0991
RHLE! O= COHR", Rule -*8, !ec' *'
09:1
!ee ,uncan Association of ,etailman6P#-7/ . -la+o 7ellcome Philippines, Inc., 7'R' No' -4*882, !epte(ber -9, *,,2, 2+: !CRA +2+,
+34'
0981
Rollo, p' 49+'
0:,1
$)' at 4+'
0:-1
Jimene" . &ational !a'or Relations Commission, 7'R' No' --484,, April *, -884, *34 !CRA :2, :8'
0:*1
Rollo, p' 4+'
0:+1
Jarate, Jr. . /legario, 7'R' No' 8,433, October 9, -884, *4+ !CRA -'
0:21
$)'
0:31
Philippine Airlines, Inc. . &ational !a'or Relations Commission, 7'R' No' --9,+:, !epte(ber *3, -889, *98 !CRA 223'
0:41
CON!"$"H"$ON 5-8:96, Art' $$$, !ec' -' FNo person shall be )eprive) of life, liberty, or property /ithout )ue process of la/, nor shall any
person be denied the equal protection of the laws'G
0:91
People . %arti, 7'R' No' :-34-, &anuary -:, -88-, -8+ !CRA 39, 43'
0::1
$)' at 49' "he Court, in buttressing its ruling also cite) the !ponsorship !peech of Co((issioner Bernas in the Bill of RightsE Recor) of the
Constitutional Co((ission, %ol' -, p' 492E &uly -9, -8:4, i".:
F=irst, the general reflections' "he protection of the fun)a(ental liberties in the essence of constitutional
)e(ocracy' Protection against /ho(U Protection against the state' "he Bill of Rights governs the relationship bet/een the
in)ivi)ual an) the state' $ts concern is not the relation bet/een in)ivi)uals, bet/een a private in)ivi)ual an) other in)ivi)uals' Ahat
the Bill of Rights )oes is to )eclare so(e forbi))en ?ones in the private sphere inaccessible to any po/er hol)er'G
0:81
Hnite) !tates Constitution, =ourteenth A(en)(ent 5ratifie) &uly 8, -:4:6, !ec' -' FAll persons born or naturali?e) in the Hnite) !tates, an)
subCect to the Curis)iction thereof, are citi?ens of the Hnite) !tates an) of the !tate /herein they resi)e' No !tate shall (a<e or enforce any la/
/hich shall abri)ge the privileges or i((unities of citi?ens of the Hnite) !tatesE nor shall any !tate )eprive any person of life, liberty, or
property, /ithout )ue process of la/E nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws'G
08,1
-4B A(' &ur' *), Constitutional La/, Z 988 citing ,istrict of Colum'ia . Carter, 2,8 H! 2-:, 8+ !' Ct' 4,*, +2 L' E)' *) 4-+
5-89+6, reh@g )enie), 2-, H! 838, 8+ !' Ct' -2--, +3 L' E)' *) 482 5-89+6 an) on re(an) to, 2:8 =' *) -*9* 5'C' Cir' -8926E %oose !odge &o.
:>E . Iris, 2,9 H! -4+, 8* !' Ct' -843, +* L' E)' *) 4*9 5-89*6E 41uality .oundation of -reater Cincinnati, Inc. . City of Cincinnati, 32 =' +)
*4-, 49 =air E(pl' Prac' Cas' 5BNA6 -*8,, 44 E(pl' Prac' ec' 5CC>6 [ 2+32*, -883 =E App' -29P 54th Cir' -8836, cert' grante), Cu)g(ent
vacate) on other groun)s, --4 !' Ct' *3-8, -+3 L' E)' *) -,22, 9- =air E(pl' Prac' Cas' 5BNA6 42 5H! -8846, ON RE#AN "O, -*: =' +) *:8,
93 =air E(pl' Prac' Cas' 5BNA6 --3, -889 =E App' +-:P 54th Cir' -8896E -allagher . &eil 9oung .reedom Concert, 28 =' +) -22*, 8: E)'
La/ Rep' 4+8 5-,th Cir' -8836E %ahoney . Ba''itt, -,3 =' +) -23* 5C Cir' -8896, reh@g )enie), --+ =' +) *-8 5C Cir' -8896'
08-1
$)', citing %edical Institute of %innesota . &ational AssIn of #rade and #echnical Schools, :-9 =' *) -+-,, +8 E)' La/ Rep' 4* 5:th Cir'
-8:96E .irst &at. Ban@ of 2ansas City . ,anforth, 3*+ !'A' *) :,: 5#o' -8936, cert' )enie), 2*- H! 88*, 83 !' Ct' -888, 22 L' E)' *) 2:+
5-8936 an) cert' )enie), 2*- H! -,-4, 83 !' Ct' *2*2, 22 L' E)' *) 4:3 5-8936'
08*1
Rollo, p' 4:9'
08+1
Pioneer #e+turi"ing Corporation . &ational !a'or Relations Commission, 7'R' No' --:43-, October -4, -889, *:, !CRA :,4'
0821
Rollo, p' 4:2'
0831
$)' at 42:' Petitioner /as infor(e) that:
F$n connection /ith our (anifestation )ate) *3 &anuary *,,- you are hereby )irecte) to physically return to /or< effective ,-
#arch *,,-' Bou are to report to the Office of the %ice-Presi)ent-Airport !ervices'
Pen)ing appeal you are going to be assigne) to a Wsubstantially e;uivalent@ position in accor)ance /ith the -: Nove(ber
-88: ecision of Labor Arbiter Ra(on %alentin Reyes as (o)ifie) by the *+ &une Resolution of the National Labor Relations
Co((ission'
=ailure on your part to hee) this or)er (ay be a groun) to a)(inistratively charge you in accor)ance /ith the Co(pany Co)e
of iscipline, policy, rules an) regulations'
CE!AR B' LA#BER"EG
0841
$)'
0891
Ro1uero . Philippine Airlines, Inc., 7'R' No' -3*+*8, April **, *,,+, 2,- !CRA 2*2'
08:1
$)' at 2+,'
0881
$)'
0-,,1
Pi""a Inn?Consolidated .oods Corporation . &ational !a'or Relations Commission, 7'R' No' L-923+-, &une *:, -8::, -4* !CRA
99+E Philippine 4ngineering Corporation . Court of Industrial Relations, 7'R' No' L-*9::,, !epte(ber +,, -89-, 2- !CRA :8'
0-,-1
San %iguel Corporation . !ao, 2++ Phil' :8,, :8: 5*,,*6E Philippine !ong ,istance #elephone Company . &ational !a'or Relations
Commission, 7'R' No' L-:,4,8, August *+, -8::, -42 !CRA 49-, 4:*'
0-,*1
Aparente, Sr. . &ational !a'or Relations Commission, +:9 Phil' 84, -,9 5*,,,6'
0-,+1
San %iguel Corporation . !ao, supra at :8:E Aparente, Sr. . &ational !a'or Relations Commission, i)'E Philippine !ong ,istance
#elephone Company . &ational !a'or Relations Commission, supra at 4:*'
0-,21
Aparente, Sr. . &ational !a'or Relations Commission, supra at -,:'
0-,31
Planters Products, Inc. . &ational !a'or Relations Commission, 7'R' No' 9:3*2, &anuary *,, -8:8, -48 !CRA +*:E Insular !ife Assurance
Co., !td. . &ational !a'or Relations Commission, 7'R' No' L-92-8-, ece(ber *-, -8:9, -34 !CRA 92,ESoriano . &ational !a'or Relations
Commission, 7'R' No' L-933-,, October *9, -8:9, -33 !CRA -*2'
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
#anila
EN BANC
G.R. No. 167614 March 24, 2009
ANTONIO M. SERRANO, Petitioner,
vs'
Gallant MARITIME SERVICES, INC. and MARLOW NAVIGATION CO., INC., Respon)ents'
E C $ ! $ O N
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.+
=or )eca)es, the toil of solitary (igrants has helpe) lift entire fa(ilies an) co((unities out of poverty' "heir earnings have built houses,
provi)e) health care, e;uippe) schools an) plante) the see)s of businesses' "hey have /oven together the /orl) by trans(itting i)eas an)
<no/le)ge fro( country to country' "hey have provi)e) the )yna(ic hu(an lin< bet/een cultures, societies an) econo(ies' Bet, only recently
have /e begun to un)erstan) not only ho/ (uch international (igration i(pacts )evelop(ent, but ho/ s(art public policies can (agnify this
effect'
Hnite) Nations !ecretary-7eneral Ban Oi-#oon
7lobal =oru( on #igration an) evelop(ent
Brussels, &uly -,, *,,9
-
=or Antonio !errano 5petitioner6, a =ilipino seafarer, the last clause in the 3th paragraph of !ection -,, Republic Act 5R'A'6 No' :,2*,
*
to /it:
!ec' -,' %oney Claims' - . . . $n case of ter(ination of overseas e(ploy(ent /ithout Cust, vali) or authori?e) cause as )efine) by la/ or
contract, the /or<ers shall be entitle) to the full rei(burse(ent of his place(ent fee /ith interest of t/elve percent 5-*Q6 per annu(, plus his
salaries for the une.pire) portion of his e(ploy(ent contract or for three 7(8 months for e!ery year of the une%pired term$ 'hiche!er is less.
. . . . 5E(phasis an) un)erscoring supplie)6
)oes not (agnify the contributions of overseas =ilipino /or<ers 5O=As6 to national )evelop(ent, but e.acerbates the har)ships borne by the(
by un)uly li(iting their entitle(ent in case of illegal )is(issal to their lu(p-su( salary either for the une.pire) portion of their e(ploy(ent
contract Vor for three (onths for every year of the une.pire) ter(, /hichever is lessV 5subCect clause6' Petitioner clai(s that the last clause
violates the O=AsS constitutional rights in that it i(pairs the ter(s of their contract, )eprives the( of e;ual protection an) )enies the( )ue
process'
By /ay of Petition for Revie/ un)er Rule 23 of the Rules of Court, petitioner assails the ece(ber :, *,,2 ecision
+
an) April -, *,,3
Resolution
2
of the Court of Appeals 5CA6, /hich applie) the subCect clause, entreating this Court to )eclare the subCect clause unconstitutional'
Petitioner /as hire) by 7allant #ariti(e !ervices, $nc' an) #arlo/ Navigation Co', Lt)' 5respon)ents6 un)er a Philippine Overseas E(ploy(ent
A)(inistration 5POEA6-approve) Contract of E(ploy(ent /ith the follo/ing ter(s an) con)itions:
uration of contract -* (onths
Position Chief Officer
Basic (onthly salary H!P-,2,,',,
>ours of /or< 2:', hours per /ee<
Overti(e H!P9,,',, per (onth
%acation leave /ith pay 9',, )ays per (onth
3
On #arch -8, -88:, the )ate of his )eparture, petitioner /as constraine) to accept a )o/ngra)e) e(ploy(ent contract for the position of !econ)
Officer /ith a (onthly salary of H!P-,,,,',,, upon the assurance an) representation of respon)ents that he /oul) be (a)e Chief Officer by the
en) of April -88:'
4
Respon)ents )i) not )eliver on their pro(ise to (a<e petitioner Chief Officer'
9
>ence, petitioner refuse) to stay on as !econ) Officer an) /as
repatriate) to the Philippines on #ay *4, -88:'
:
PetitionerSs e(ploy(ent contract /as for a perio) of -* (onths or fro( #arch -8, -88: up to #arch -8, -888, but at the ti(e of his repatriation
on #ay *4, -88:, he ha) serve) only t/o 5*6 (onths an) seven 596 )ays of his contract, leaving an une.pire) portion of nine 586 (onths an)
t/enty-three 5*+6 )ays'
Petitioner file) /ith the Labor Arbiter 5LA6 a Co(plaint
8
against respon)ents for constructive )is(issal an) for pay(ent of his (oney clai(s in
the total a(ount of H!P*4,22*'9+, bro<en )o/n as follo/s:
#ay *9D+-, -88: 53
)ays6 incl' Leave pay
H!P 2-+'8,
&une ,-D+,, -88: *,38,',,
&uly ,-D+-, -88: *,38,',,
August ,-D+-, -88: *,38,',,
!ept' ,-D+,, -88: *,38,',,
Oct' ,-D+-, -88: *,38,',,
Nov' ,-D+,, -88: *,38,',,
ec' ,-D+-, -88: *,38,',,
&an' ,-D+-, -888 *,38,',,
=eb' ,-D*:, -888 *,38,',,
#ar' -D-8, -888 5-8
)ays6 incl' leave pay
-,42,',,
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*3,+:*'*+
A(ount a)Custe) to
chief (ateSs salary

5#arch -8D+-, -88: to
April -D+,, -88:6 \
-,,4,'3,
-,
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-
"O"AL CLA$# H!P *4,22*'9+
--
as /ell as (oral an) e.e(plary )a(ages an) attorneySs fees'
"he LA ren)ere) a ecision )ate) &uly -3, -888, )eclaring the )is(issal of petitioner illegal an) a/ar)ing hi( (onetary benefits, to
/it:
A>ERE=ORE, pre(ises consi)ere), Cu)g(ent is hereby ren)ere) )eclaring that the )is(issal of the co(plainant 5petitioner6 by the
respon)ents in the above-entitle) case /as illegal an) the respon)ents are hereby or)ere) to pay the co(plainant 0petitioner1, Cointly
an) severally, in Philippine Currency, base) on the rate of e.change prevailing at the ti(e of pay(ent, the a(ount of 2149T
T9):SA30 S2;23 9:30R20 S2;23T< :.S. 0)ARS 7:S =>$--?.??8$ representing the complainants salary for three 7(8
months of the une%pired portion of the aforesaid contract of employment':aphi:
"he respon)ents are li<e/ise or)ere) to pay the co(plainant 0petitioner1, Cointly an) severally, in Philippine Currency, base) on the
rate of e.change prevailing at the ti(e of pay(ent, the a(ount of =OR"B =$%E H'!' OLLAR! 5H!P 23',,6,
-*
representing the
co(plainant@s clai( for a salary )ifferential' $n a))ition, the respon)ents are hereby or)ere) to pay the co(plainant, Cointly an)
severally, in Philippine Currency, at the e.change rate prevailing at the ti(e of pay(ent, the co(plainant@s 5petitionerSs6 clai( for
attorney@s fees e;uivalent to ten percent 5-,Q6 of the total a(ount a/ar)e) to the aforesai) e(ployee un)er this ecision'
"he clai(s of the co(plainant for (oral an) e.e(plary )a(ages are hereby $!#$!!E for lac< of (erit'
All other clai(s are hereby $!#$!!E'
!O ORERE'
-+
5E(phasis supplie)6
$n a/ar)ing petitioner a lu(p-su( salary of H!P:,99,',,, the LA base) his co(putation on the salary perio) of three (onths only --
rather than the entire une.pire) portion of nine (onths an) *+ )ays of petitionerSs e(ploy(ent contract - applying the subCect clause'
>o/ever, the LA applie) the salary rate of H!P*,38,',,, consisting of petitionerSs V0b1asic salary, H!P-,2,,',,D(onth \
H!P9,,',,D(onth, fi.e) overti(e pay, \ H!P28,',,D(onth, vacation leave pay Y H!P*,38,',,Dco(pensation per (onth'V
-2
Respon)ents appeale)
-3
to the National Labor Relations Co((ission 5NLRC6 to ;uestion the fin)ing of the LA that petitioner /as
illegally )is(isse)'
Petitioner also appeale)
-4
to the NLRC on the sole issue that the LA erre) in not applying the ruling of the Court in #riple Integrated
Serices, Inc. . &ational !a'or Relations Commission
-9
that in case of illegal )is(issal, O=As are entitle) to their salaries for the
une.pire) portion of their contracts'
-:
$n a ecision )ate) &une -3, *,,,, the NLRC (o)ifie) the LA ecision, to /it:
A>ERE=ORE, the ecision )ate) -3 &uly -888 is #O$=$E' Respon)ents are hereby or)ere) to pay co(plainant, Cointly an)
severally, in Philippine currency, at the prevailing rate of e.change at the ti(e of pay(ent the follo/ing:
-' "hree 5+6 (onths salary
P-,2,, . + H!P2,*,,',,
*' !alary )ifferential 23',,
H!P2,*23',,
+' -,Q Attorney@s fees 2*2'3,
"O"AL H!P2,448'3,
"he other fin)ings are affir(e)'
!O ORERE'
-8
"he NLRC correcte) the LASs co(putation of the lu(p-su( salary a/ar)e) to petitioner by re)ucing the applicable salary rate fro(
H!P*,38,',, to H!P-,2,,',, because R'A' No' :,2* V)oes not provi)e for the a/ar) of overti(e pay, /hich shoul) be proven to have been
actually perfor(e), an) for vacation leave pay'V
*,
Petitioner file) a #otion for Partial Reconsi)eration, but this ti(e he ;uestione) the constitutionality of the subCect clause'
*-
"he NLRC )enie)
the (otion'
**
Petitioner file) a Petition for Certiorari
*+
/ith the CA, reiterating the constitutional challenge against the subCect clause'
*2
After initially
)is(issing the petition on a technicality, the CA eventually gave )ue course to it, as )irecte) by this Court in its Resolution )ate) August 9, *,,+
/hich grante) the petition for certiorari, )oc<ete) as 7'R' No' -3-:++, file) by petitioner'
$n a ecision )ate) ece(ber :, *,,2, the CA affir(e) the NLRC ruling on the re)uction of the applicable salary rateE ho/ever, the CA s<irte)
the constitutional issue raise) by petitioner'
*3
>is #otion for Reconsi)eration
*4
having been )enie) by the CA,
*9
petitioner brings his cause to this Court on the follo/ing groun)s:
$
"he Court of Appeals an) the labor tribunals have )eci)e) the case in a /ay not in accor) /ith applicable )ecision of the !upre(e Court
involving si(ilar issue of granting unto the (igrant /or<er bac< /ages e;ual to the une.pire) portion of his contract of e(ploy(ent instea) of
li(iting it to three 5+6 (onths
$$
$n the alternative that the Court of Appeals an) the Labor "ribunals /ere (erely applying their interpretation of !ection -, of Republic Act No'
:,2*, it is sub(itte) that the Court of Appeals gravely erre) in la/ /hen it faile) to )ischarge its Cu)icial )uty to )eci)e ;uestions of substance
not theretofore )eter(ine) by the >onorable !upre(e Court, particularly, the constitutional issues raise) by the petitioner on the constitutionality
of sai) la/, /hich unreasonably, unfairly an) arbitrarily li(its pay(ent of the a/ar) for bac< /ages of overseas /or<ers to three 5+6 (onths'
$$$
Even /ithout consi)ering the constitutional li(itations 0of1 !ec' -, of Republic Act No' :,2*, the Court of Appeals gravely erre) in la/ in
e.clu)ing fro( petitioner@s a/ar) the overti(e pay an) vacation pay provi)e) in his contract since un)er the contract they for( part of his
salary'
*:
On =ebruary *4, *,,:, petitioner /rote the Court to /ith)ra/ his petition as he is alrea)y ol) an) sic<ly, an) he inten)s to (a<e use of the
(onetary a/ar) for his (e)ical treat(ent an) (e)ication'
*8
Re;uire) to co((ent, counsel for petitioner file) a (otion, urging the court to allo/
partial e.ecution of the un)ispute) (onetary a/ar) an), at the sa(e ti(e, praying that the constitutional ;uestion be resolve)'
+,
Consi)ering that the parties have file) their respective (e(oran)a, the Court no/ ta<es up the full (erit of the petition (in)ful of the e.tre(e
i(portance of the constitutional ;uestion raise) therein'
)n the first and second issues
"he unani(ous fin)ing of the LA, NLRC an) CA that the )is(issal of petitioner /as illegal is not )ispute)' Li<e/ise not )ispute) is the salary
)ifferential of H!P23',, a/ar)e) to petitioner in all three fora' Ahat re(ains )ispute) is only the co(putation of the lu(p-su( salary to be
a/ar)e) to petitioner by reason of his illegal )is(issal'
Applying the subCect clause, the NLRC an) the CA co(pute) the lu(p-su( salary of petitioner at the (onthly rate of H!P-,2,,',, covering the
perio) of three (onths out of the une.pire) portion of nine (onths an) *+ )ays of his e(ploy(ent contract or a total of H!P2,*,,',,'
$(pugning the constitutionality of the subCect clause, petitioner conten)s that, in a))ition to the H!P2,*,,',, a/ar)e) by the NLRC an) the CA,
he is entitle) to H!P*-,-:*'*+ (ore or a total of H!P*3,+:*'*+, e;uivalent to his salaries for the entire nine (onths an) *+ )ays left of his
e(ploy(ent contract, co(pute) at the (onthly rate of H!P*,38,',,'
+-
The Arguments of Petitioner
Petitioner conten)s that the subCect clause is unconstitutional because it un)uly i(pairs the free)o( of O=As to negotiate for an) stipulate in
their overseas e(ploy(ent contracts a )eter(inate e(ploy(ent perio) an) a fi.e) salary pac<age'
+*
$t also i(pinges on the e;ual protection
clause, for it treats O=As )ifferently fro( local =ilipino /or<ers 5local /or<ers6 by putting a cap on the a(ount of lu(p-su( salary to /hich
O=As are entitle) in case of illegal )is(issal, /hile setting no li(it to the sa(e (onetary a/ar) for local /or<ers /hen their )is(issal is
)eclare) illegalE that the )isparate treat(ent is not reasonable as there is no substantial )istinction bet/een the t/o groupsE
++
an) that it )efeats
!ection -:,
+2
Article $$ of the Constitution /hich guarantees the protection of the rights an) /elfare of all =ilipino /or<ers, /hether )eploye)
locally or overseas'
+3
#oreover, petitioner argues that the )ecisions of the CA an) the labor tribunals are not in line /ith e.isting Curispru)ence on the issue of (oney
clai(s of illegally )is(isse) O=As' "hough there are conflicting rulings on this, petitioner urges the Court to sort the( out for the gui)ance of
affecte) O=As'
+4
Petitioner further un)erscores that the insertion of the subCect clause into R'A' No' :,2* serves no other purpose but to benefit local place(ent
agencies' >e (ar<s the state(ent (a)e by the !olicitor 7eneral in his #e(oran)u(, i"':
Often, place(ent agencies, their liability being soli)ary, shoul)er the pay(ent of (oney clai(s in the event that Curis)iction over the foreign
e(ployer is not ac;uire) by the court or if the foreign e(ployer reneges on its obligation' >ence, place(ent agencies that are in goo) faith an)
/hich fulfill their obligations are unnecessarily penali?e) for the acts of the foreign e(ployer' #o protect them and to promote their continued
helpful contri'ution in deploying .ilipino migrant wor@ers, lia'ility for money claims was reduced under Section :> of R.A. &o.
H>B<.
+9
5E(phasis supplie)6
Petitioner argues that in (itigating the soli)ary liability of place(ent agencies, the subCect clause sacrifices the /ell-being of O=As' Not only
that, the provision (a<es foreign e(ployers better off than local e(ployers because in cases involving the illegal )is(issal of e(ployees, foreign
e(ployers are liable for salaries covering a (a.i(u( of only three (onths of the une.pire) e(ploy(ent contract /hile local e(ployers are
liable for the full lu(p-su( salaries of their e(ployees' As petitioner puts it:
$n ter(s of practical application, the local e(ployers are not li(ite) to the a(ount of bac</ages they have to give their e(ployees they have
illegally )is(isse), follo/ing /ell-entrenche) an) une;uivocal Curispru)ence on the (atter' On the other han), foreign e(ployers /ill only be
li(ite) to giving the illegally )is(isse) (igrant /or<ers the (a.i(u( of three 5+6 (onths unpai) salaries not/ithstan)ing the une.pire) ter( of
the contract that can be (ore than three 5+6 (onths'
+:
Lastly, petitioner clai(s that the subCect clause violates the )ue process clause, for it )eprives hi( of the salaries an) other e(olu(ents he is
entitle) to un)er his fi.e)-perio) e(ploy(ent contract'
+8
The Arguments of Respondents
$n their Co((ent an) #e(oran)u(, respon)ents conten) that the constitutional issue shoul) not be entertaine), for this /as belate)ly interpose)
by petitioner in his appeal before the CA, an) not at the earliest opportunity, /hich /as /hen he file) an appeal before the NLRC'
2,
The Arguments of the Solicitor General
"he !olicitor 7eneral 5O!76
2-
points out that as R'A' No' :,2* too< effect on &uly -3, -883, its provisions coul) not have i(paire) petitionerSs
-88: e(ploy(ent contract' Rather, R'A' No' :,2* having prece)e) petitionerSs contract, the provisions thereof are )ee(e) part of the (ini(u(
ter(s of petitionerSs e(ploy(ent, especially on the (atter of (oney clai(s, as this /as not stipulate) upon by the parties'
2*
#oreover, the O!7 e(phasi?es that O=As an) local /or<ers )iffer in ter(s of the nature of their e(ploy(ent, such that their rights to (onetary
benefits (ust necessarily be treate) )ifferently' "he O!7 enu(erates the essential ele(ents that )istinguish O=As fro( local /or<ers: first,
/hile local /or<ers perfor( their Cobs /ithin Philippine territory, O=As perfor( their Cobs for foreign e(ployers, over /ho( it is )ifficult for
our courts to ac;uire Curis)iction, or against /ho( it is al(ost i(possible to enforce Cu)g(entE an) secon), as hel) in Coyoca v' National Labor
Relations Co((ission
2+
an) #illares v' National Labor Relations Co((ission,
22
O=As are contractual e(ployees /ho can never ac;uire regular
e(ploy(ent status, unli<e local /or<ers /ho are or can beco(e regular e(ployees' >ence, the O!7 posits that there are rights an) privileges
e.clusive to local /or<ers, but not available to O=AsE that these peculiarities (a<e for a reasonable an) vali) basis for the )ifferentiate)
treat(ent un)er the subCect clause of the (oney clai(s of O=As /ho are illegally )is(isse)' "hus, the provision )oes not violate the e;ual
protection clause nor !ection -:, Article $$ of the Constitution'
23
Lastly, the O!7 )efen)s the rationale behin) the subCect clause as a police po/er (easure a)opte) to (itigate the soli)ary liability of place(ent
agencies for this Vre)oun)s to the benefit of the (igrant /or<ers /hose /elfare the govern(ent see<s to pro(ote' "he survival of legiti(ate
place(ent agencies helps 0assure1 the govern(ent that (igrant /or<ers are properly )eploye) an) are e(ploye) un)er )ecent an) hu(ane
con)itions'V
24
The Court's Ruling
"he Court sustains petitioner on the first an) secon) issues'
Ahen the Court is calle) upon to e.ercise its po/er of Cu)icial revie/ of the acts of its co-e;uals, such as the Congress, it )oes so only /hen
these con)itions obtain: 5-6 that there is an actual case or controversy involving a conflict of rights susceptible of Cu)icial )eter(inationE
29
5*6 that
the constitutional ;uestion is raise) by a proper party
2:
an) at the earliest opportunityE
28
an) 5+6 that the constitutional ;uestion is the very lis (ota
of the case,
3,
other/ise the Court /ill )is(iss the case or )eci)e the sa(e on so(e other groun)'
3-
Aithout a )oubt, there e.ists in this case an actual controversy )irectly involving petitioner /ho is personally aggrieve) that the labor tribunals
an) the CA co(pute) his (onetary a/ar) base) on the salary perio) of three (onths only as provi)e) un)er the subCect clause'
"he constitutional challenge is also ti(ely' $t shoul) be borne in (in) that the re;uire(ent that a constitutional issue be raise) at the earliest
opportunity entails the interposition of the issue in the plea)ings before acompetent court, such that, if the issue is not raise) in the plea)ings
before that co(petent court, it cannot be consi)ere) at the trial an), if not consi)ere) in the trial, it cannot be consi)ere) on appeal'
3*
Recor)s
)isclose that the issue on the constitutionality of the subCect clause /as first raise), not in petitionerSs appeal /ith the NLRC, but in his #otion for
Partial Reconsi)eration /ith sai) labor tribunal,
3+
an) reiterate) in his Petition forCertiorari before the CA'
32
Nonetheless, the issue is )ee(e)
seasonably raise) because it is not the NLRC but the CA /hich has the co(petence to resolve the constitutional issue' "he NLRC is a labor
tribunal that (erely perfor(s a ;uasi-Cu)icial function I its function in the present case is li(ite) to )eter(ining ;uestions of fact to /hich the
legislative policy of R'A' No' :,2* is to be applie) an) to resolving such ;uestions in accor)ance /ith the stan)ar)s lai) )o/n by the la/
itselfE
33
thus, its fore(ost function is to a)(inister an) enforce R'A' No' :,2*, an) not to in;uire into the vali)ity of its provisions' "he CA, on
the other han), is veste) /ith the po/er of Cu)icial revie/ or the po/er to )eclare unconstitutional a la/ or a provision thereof, such as the
subCect clause'
34
PetitionerSs interposition of the constitutional issue before the CA /as un)oubte)ly seasonable' "he CA /as therefore re(iss in
failing to ta<e up the issue in its )ecision'
"he thir) con)ition that the constitutional issue be critical to the resolution of the case li<e/ise obtains because the (onetary clai( of petitioner
to his lu(p-su( salary for the entire une.pire) portion of his -*-(onth e(ploy(ent contract, an) not Cust for a perio) of three (onths, stri<es at
the very core of the subCect clause'
"hus, the stage is all set for the )eter(ination of the constitutionality of the subCect clause'
,oes the su'ject clause iolate Section :>,
Article III of the Constitution on non6impairment
of contractsK
"he ans/er is in the negative'
PetitionerSs clai( that the subCect clause un)uly interferes /ith the stipulations in his contract on the ter( of his e(ploy(ent an) the fi.e) salary
pac<age he /ill receive
39
is not tenable'
!ection -,, Article $$$ of the Constitution provi)es:
No la/ i(pairing the obligation of contracts shall be passe)'
"he prohibition is aligne) /ith the general principle that la/s ne/ly enacte) have only a prospective operation,
3:
an) cannot affect acts or
contracts alrea)y perfecte)E
38
ho/ever, as to la/s alrea)y in e.istence, their provisions are rea) into contracts an) )ee(e) a part thereof'
4,
"hus,
the non-i(pair(ent clause un)er !ection -,, Article $$ is li(ite) in application to la/s about to be enacte) that /oul) in any /ay )erogate fro(
e.isting acts or contracts by enlarging, abri)ging or in any (anner changing the intention of the parties thereto'
As aptly observe) by the O!7, the enact(ent of R'A' No' :,2* in -883 prece)e) the e.ecution of the e(ploy(ent contract bet/een petitioner
an) respon)ents in -88:' >ence, it cannot be argue) that R'A' No' :,2*, particularly the subCect clause, i(paire) the e(ploy(ent contract of the
parties' Rather, /hen the parties e.ecute) their -88: e(ploy(ent contract, they /ere )ee(e) to have incorporate) into it all the provisions of
R'A' No' :,2*'
But even if the Court /ere to )isregar) the ti(eline, the subCect clause (ay not be )eclare) unconstitutional on the groun) that it i(pinges on the
i(pair(ent clause, for the la/ /as enacte) in the e.ercise of the police po/er of the !tate to regulate a business, profession or calling,
particularly the recruit(ent an) )eploy(ent of O=As, /ith the noble en) in vie/ of ensuring respect for the )ignity an) /ell-being of O=As
/herever they (ay be e(ploye)'
4-
Police po/er legislations a)opte) by the !tate to pro(ote the health, (orals, peace, e)ucation, goo) or)er,
safety, an) general /elfare of the people are generally applicable not only to future contracts but even to those alrea)y in e.istence, for all private
contracts (ust yiel) to the superior an) legiti(ate (easures ta<en by the !tate to pro(ote public /elfare'
4*
,oes the su'ject clause iolate Section :,
Article III of the Constitution, and Section :H,
Article II and Section ), Article LIII on la'or
as a protected sectorK
"he ans/er is in the affir(ative'
!ection -, Article $$$ of the Constitution guarantees:
No person shall be )eprive) of life, liberty, or property /ithout )ue process of la/ nor shall any person be )enie) the e;ual protection of the la/'
!ection -:,
4+
Article $$ an) !ection +,
42
Article R$$$ accor) all (e(bers of the labor sector, /ithout )istinction as to place of )eploy(ent, full
protection of their rights an) /elfare'
"o =ilipino /or<ers, the rights guarantee) un)er the foregoing constitutional provisions translate to econo(ic security an) parity: all (onetary
benefits shoul) be e;ually enCoye) by /or<ers of si(ilar category, /hile all (onetary obligations shoul) be borne by the( in e;ual )egreeE none
shoul) be )enie) the protection of the la/s /hich is enCoye) by, or spare) the bur)en i(pose) on, others in li<e circu(stances'
43
!uch rights are not absolute but subCect to the inherent po/er of Congress to incorporate, /hen it sees fit, a syste( of classification into its
legislationE ho/ever, to be vali), the classification (ust co(ply /ith these re;uire(ents: -6 it is base) on substantial )istinctionsE *6 it is ger(ane
to the purposes of the la/E +6 it is not li(ite) to e.isting con)itions onlyE an) 26 it applies e;ually to all (e(bers of the class'
44
"here are three levels of scrutiny at /hich the Court revie/s the constitutionality of a classification e(bo)ie) in a la/: a6 the )eferential or
rational basis scrutiny in /hich the challenge) classification nee)s only be sho/n to be rationally relate) to serving a legiti(ate state interestE
49
b6
the (i))le-tier or inter(e)iate scrutiny in /hich the govern(ent (ust sho/ that the challenge) classification serves an i(portant state interest
an) that the classification is at least substantially relate) to serving that interestE
4:
an) c6 strict Cu)icial scrutiny
48
in /hich a legislative
classification /hich i(per(issibly interferes /ith the e.ercise of a fun)a(ental right
9,
or operates to the peculiar )isa)vantage of a suspect
class
9-
is presu(e) unconstitutional, an) the bur)en is upon the govern(ent to prove that the classification is necessary to achieve a compelling
state interest an) that it is the least restricti!e means to protect such interest'
9*
Hn)er A(erican Curispru)ence, strict Cu)icial scrutiny is triggere) by suspect classifications
9+
base) on race
92
or gen)er
93
but not /hen the
classification is )ra/n along inco(e categories'
94
$t is )ifferent in the Philippine setting' $n Central Ban< 5no/ Bang<o !entral ng Pilipinas6 E(ployee Association, $nc' v' Bang<o !entral ng
Pilipinas,
99
the constitutionality of a provision in the charter of the Bang@o Sentral ng Pilipinas 5B!P6, a govern(ent financial institution 57=$6,
/as challenge) for (aintaining its ran<-an)-file e(ployees un)er the !alary !tan)ar)i?ation La/ 5!!L6, even /hen the ran<-an)-file e(ployees
of other 7=$s ha) been e.e(pte) fro( the !!L by their respective charters' =in)ing that the )ispute) provision containe) a suspect classification
base) on salary gra)e, the Court )eliberately e(ploye) the stan)ar) of strict Cu)icial scrutiny in its revie/ of the constitutionality of sai)
provision' #ore significantly, it /as in this case that the Court reveale) the broa) outlines of its Cu)icial philosophy, to /it:
Congress retains its /i)e )iscretion in provi)ing for a vali) classification, an) its policies shoul) be accor)e) recognition an) respect by the
courts of Custice e.cept /hen they run afoul of the Constitution' "he )eference stops /here the classification violates a fun)a(ental right,
or prejudices persons accorded special protection by the Constitution' Ahen these violations arise, this Court (ust )ischarge its pri(ary role
as the vanguar) of constitutional guaranties, an) re;uire a stricter an) (ore e.acting a)herence to constitutional li(itations' Rational basis shoul)
not suffice'
A)(itte)ly, the vie/ that preCu)ice to persons accor)e) special protection by the Constitution re;uires a stricter Cu)icial scrutiny fin)s no support
in A(erican or English Curispru)ence' Nevertheless, these foreign )ecisions an) authorities are not per se controlling in this Curis)iction' At best,
they are persuasive an) have been use) to support (any of our )ecisions' Ae shoul) not place un)ue an) fa/ning reliance upon the( an) regar)
the( as in)ispensable (ental crutches /ithout /hich /e cannot co(e to our o/n )ecisions through the e(ploy(ent of our o/n en)o/(ents'
Ae live in a )ifferent a(bience an) (ust )eci)e our o/n proble(s in the light of our o/n interests an) nee)s, an) of our ;ualities an) even
i)iosyncrasies as a people, an) al/ays /ith our o/n concept of la/ an) Custice' Our la/s (ust be construe) in accor)ance /ith the intention of
our o/n la/(a<ers an) such intent (ay be )e)uce) fro( the language of each la/ an) the conte.t of other local legislation relate) thereto' #ore
i(portantly, they (ust be construe) to serve our o/n public interest /hich is the be-all an) the en)-all of all our la/s' An) it nee) not be stresse)
that our public interest is )istinct an) )ifferent fro( others'
. . . .
=urther, the ;uest for a better an) (ore Ve;ualV /orl) calls for the use of e;ual protection as a tool of effective Cu)icial intervention'
E;uality is one i)eal /hich cries out for bol) attention an) action in the Constitution' "he Prea(ble proclai(s Ve;ualityV as an i)eal precisely in
protest against crushing ine;uities in Philippine society' "he co((an) to pro(ote social Custice in Article $$, !ection -,, in Vall phases of
national )evelop(ent,V further e.plicitate) in Article R$$$, are clear co((an)s to the !tate to ta<e affir(ative action in the )irection of greater
e;uality' . . . 0"1here is thus in the Philippine Constitution no lac< of )octrinal support for a (ore vigorous state effort to/ar)s achieving a
reasonable (easure of e;uality'
Our present Constitution has gone further in guaranteeing vital social an) econo(ic rights to (arginali?e) groups of society, inclu)ing labor'
Hn)er the policy of social Custice, the la/ ben)s over bac</ar) to acco((o)ate the interests of the /or<ing class on the hu(ane Custification
that those /ith less privilege in life shoul) have (ore in la/' An) the obligation to affor) protection to labor is incu(bent not only on the
legislative an) e.ecutive branches but also on the Cu)iciary to translate this ple)ge into a living reality' !ocial Custice calls for the hu(ani?ation of
la/s an) the e;uali?ation of social an) econo(ic forces by the !tate so that Custice in its rational an) obCectively secular conception (ay at least
be appro.i(ate)'
. . . .
Hn)er (ost circu(stances, the Court /ill e.ercise Cu)icial restraint in )eci)ing ;uestions of constitutionality, recogni?ing the broa) )iscretion
given to Congress in e.ercising its legislative po/er' &u)icial scrutiny /oul) be base) on the Vrational basisV test, an) the legislative )iscretion
/oul) be given )eferential treat(ent'
But if the challenge to the statute is pre(ise) on the )enial of a fun)a(ental right, or the perpetuation of prejudice against persons favored by
the Constitution with special protection, judicial scrutiny ought to be more strict. A /ea< an) /atere) )o/n vie/ /oul) call for the
ab)ication of this Court@s sole(n )uty to stri<e )o/n any la/ repugnant to the Constitution an) the rights it enshrines' "his is true /hether the
actor co((itting the unconstitutional act is a private person or the govern(ent itself or one of its instru(entalities' Oppressive acts /ill be struc<
)o/n regar)less of the character or nature of the actor'
. . . .
$n the case at bar, the challenge) proviso operates on the basis of the salary gra)e or officer-e(ployee status' $t is a<in to a )istinction base) on
econo(ic class an) status, /ith the higher gra)es as recipients of a benefit specifically /ithhel) fro( the lo/er gra)es' Officers of the B!P no/
receive higher co(pensation pac<ages that are co(petitive /ith the in)ustry, /hile the poorer, lo/-salarie) e(ployees are li(ite) to the rates
prescribe) by the !!L' "he i(plications are ;uite )isturbing: B!P ran<-an)-file e(ployees are pai) the strictly regi(ente) rates of the !!L /hile
e(ployees higher in ran< - possessing higher an) better e)ucation an) opportunities for career a)vance(ent - are given higher co(pensation
pac<ages to entice the( to stay' Consi)ering that (aCority, if not all, the ran<-an)-file e(ployees consist of people /hose status an) ran< in life
are less an) li(ite), especially in ter(s of Cob (ar<etability, it is they - an) not the officers - /ho have the real econo(ic an) financial nee) for
the a)Cust(ent ' "his is in accor) /ith the policy of the Constitution Vto free the people fro( poverty, provi)e a)e;uate social services, e.ten) to
the( a )ecent stan)ar) of living, an) i(prove the ;uality of life for all'V Any act of Congress that runs counter to this constitutional )esi)eratu(
)eserves strict scrutiny by this Court before it can pass (uster' 5E(phasis supplie)6
$(bue) /ith the sa(e sense of Vobligation to affor) protection to labor,V the Court in the present case also e(ploys the stan)ar) of strict Cu)icial
scrutiny, for it perceives in the subCect clause a suspect classification preCu)icial to O=As'
Hpon cursory rea)ing, the subCect clause appears facially neutral, for it applies to all O=As' >o/ever, a closer e.a(ination reveals that the
subCect clause has a )iscri(inatory intent against, an) an invi)ious i(pact on, O=As at t/o levels:
=irst, O=As /ith e(ploy(ent contracts of less than one year vis-]-vis O=As /ith e(ploy(ent contracts ofone year or (oreE
!econ), a(ong O=As /ith e(ploy(ent contracts of (ore than one yearE an)
"hir), O=As vis-]-vis local /or<ers /ith fi.e)-perio) e(ploy(entE
OFWs with employment contracts of less than one year !is&@&!is OFWs with employment contracts of one year or more
As pointe) out by petitioner,
9:
it /as in %arsaman %anning Agency, Inc. . &ational !a'or Relations Commission
98
5!econ) ivision, -8886 that
the Court lai) )o/n the follo/ing rules on the application of the perio)s prescribe) un)er !ection -,536 of R'A' No' :,2, to /it:
A plain reading of Sec. A? clearly re!eals that the choice of 'hich amount to a'ard an illegally dismissed o!erseas contract 'orker$ i.e.$
'hether his salaries for the une%pired portion of his employment contract or three 7(8 months salary for e!ery year of the une%pired term$
'hiche!er is less$ comes into play only 'hen the employment contract concerned has a term of at least one 7A8 year or more. This is e!ident
from the 'ords Bfor e!ery year of the une%pired termB 'hich follo's the 'ords Bsalaries % % % for three months.B"o follo/ petitioners@
thin<ing that private respon)ent is entitle) to three 5+6 (onths salary only si(ply because it is the lesser a(ount is to co(pletely )isregar) an)
overloo< so(e /or)s use) in the statute /hile giving effect to so(e' "his is contrary to the /ell-establishe) rule in legal her(eneutics that in
interpreting a statute, care shoul) be ta<en that every part or /or) thereof be given effect since the la/-(a<ing bo)y is presu(e) to <no/ the
(eaning of the /or)s e(ploye) in the statue an) to have use) the( a)vise)ly' Ht res (agis valeat ;ua( pereat'
:,
5E(phasis supplie)6
$n #arsa(an, the O=A involve) /as illegally )is(isse) t/o (onths into his -,-(onth contract, but /as a/ar)e) his salaries for the re(aining :
(onths an) 4 )ays of his contract'
Prior to %arsaman, ho/ever, there /ere t/o cases in /hich the Court (a)e conflicting rulings on !ection -,536' One /as Asian Center for
Career and 4mployment System and Serices . &ational !a'or Relations Commission5!econ) ivision, October -88:6,
:-
/hich involve) an
O=A /ho /as a/ar)e) a t/o-year e(ploy(ent contract,but /as )is(isse) after /or<ing for one year an) t/o (onths' "he LA )eclare) his
)is(issal illegal an) a/ar)e) hi( !R-+,4,,',, as lu(p-su( salary covering eight (onths, the une.pire) portion of his contract' On appeal, the
Court re)uce) the a/ar) to !R+,4,,',, e;uivalent to his three (onths@ salary, this being the lesser value, to /it:
Hn)er !ection -, of R'A' No' :,2*, a /or<er )is(isse) fro( overseas e(ploy(ent /ithout Cust, vali) or authori?e) cause is entitle) to his salary
for the une.pire) portion of his e(ploy(ent contract or for three 5+6 (onths for every year of the une.pire) ter(, /hichever is less'
$n the case at bar, the une.pire) portion of private respon)ent@s e(ploy(ent contract is eight 5:6 (onths' Private respon)ent shoul) therefore be
pai) his basic salary correspon)ing to three 5+6 (onths or a total of !R+,4,,'
:*
Another /as #riple64ight Integrated Serices, Inc. . &ational !a'or Relations Commission 5"hir) ivision, ece(ber -88:6,
:+
/hich involve)
an O=A 5therein respon)ent Erlin)a Os)ana6 /ho /as originally grante) a -*-(onth contract, /hich /as )ee(e) rene/e) for another -*
(onths' After serving for one year an) seven-an)-a-half (onths, respon)ent Os)ana /as illegally )is(isse), an) the Court a/ar)e) her salaries
for the entire une.pire) portion of four an) one-half (onths of her contract'
"he %arsaman interpretation of !ection -,536 has since been a)opte) in the follo/ing cases:
Case Title Contract Period Period of Service Unexpired Period Period Applied in the
Computation of the
Monetary Award
!<ippers v' #agua)
:2
4 (onths * (onths 2 (onths 2 (onths
Bahia !hipping v'
Reynal)o Chua
:3
8 (onths : (onths 2 (onths 2 (onths
Centennial
"rans(arine v' )ela
Cru? l
:4
8 (onths 2 (onths 3 (onths 3 (onths
"ali)ano v' =alcon
:9
-* (onths + (onths 8 (onths + (onths
Hnivan v' CA
::
-* (onths + (onths 8 (onths + (onths
Oriental v' CA
:8
-* (onths (ore than * (onths -, (onths + (onths
PCL v' NLRC
8,
-* (onths (ore than * (onths (ore or less 8 (onths + (onths
Olarte v' Nayona
8-
-* (onths *- )ays -- (onths an) 8 )ays + (onths
&!! v'=errer
8*
-* (onths -4 )ays -- (onths an) *2 )ays + (onths
Pentagon v'
A)elantar
8+
-* (onths 8 (onths an) 9 )ays * (onths an) *+ )ays * (onths an) *+ )ays
Phil' E(ploy v'
Para(io, et al'
82
-* (onths -, (onths * (onths Hne.pire) portion
=lourish #ariti(e v'
Al(an?or
83
* years *4 )ays *+ (onths an) 2 )ays 4 (onths or + (onths for
each year of contract
Athenna #anpo/er v'
%illanos
84
- year, -, (onths
an) *: )ays
- (onth - year, 8 (onths an) *:
)ays
4 (onths or + (onths for
each year of contract
As the foregoing (atri. rea)ily sho/s, the subCect clause classifies O=As into t/o categories' "he first category inclu)es O=As /ith fi.e)-
perio) e(ploy(ent contracts of less than one yearE in case of illegal )is(issal, they are entitle) to their salaries for the entire une.pire) portion of
their contract' "he secon) category consists of O=As /ith fi.e)-perio) e(ploy(ent contracts of one year or (oreE in case of illegal )is(issal,
they are entitle) to (onetary a/ar) e;uivalent to only + (onths of the une.pire) portion of their contracts'
"he )isparity in the treat(ent of these t/o groups cannot be )iscounte)' $n S@ippers, the respon)ent O=A /or<e) for only * (onths out of his 4-
(onth contract, but /as a/ar)e) his salaries for the re(aining 2 (onths' $n contrast, the respon)ent O=As in /riental an) PC! /ho ha) also
/or<e) for about * (onths out of their -*-(onth contracts /ere a/ar)e) their salaries for only + (onths of the une.pire) portion of their
contracts' Even the O=As involve) in #alidano an) Cnian /ho ha) /or<e) for a longer perio) of + (onths out of their -*-(onth contracts
before being illegally )is(isse) /ere a/ar)e) their salaries for only + (onths'
"o illustrate the )isparity even (ore vivi)ly, the Court assu(es a hypothetical O=A-A /ith an e(ploy(ent contract of -, (onths at a (onthly
salary rate of H!P-,,,,',, an) a hypothetical O=A-B /ith an e(ploy(ent contract of -3 (onths /ith the sa(e (onthly salary rate of
H!P-,,,,',,' Both co((ence) /or< on the sa(e )ay an) un)er the sa(e e(ployer, an) /ere illegally )is(isse) after one (onth of /or<'
Hn)er the subCect clause, O=A-A /ill be entitle) to H!P8,,,,',,, e;uivalent to his salaries for the re(aining 8 (onths of his contract, /hereas
O=A-B /ill be entitle) to only H!P+,,,,',,, e;uivalent to his salaries for + (onths of the une.pire) portion of his contract, instea) of
H!P-2,,,,',, for the une.pire) portion of -2 (onths of his contract, as the H!P+,,,,',, is the lesser a(ount'
"he )isparity beco(es (ore aggravating /hen the Court ta<es into account Curispru)ence that, prior to the effecti!ity of R.A. 3o. >?.C on July
A.$ ADDE$
89
illegally )is(isse) O=As, no (atter ho/ long the perio) of their e(ploy(ent contracts, /ere entitle) to their salaries for the entire
une.pire) portions of their contracts' "he (atri. belo/ spea<s for itself:
Case Title Contract Period Period of Service Unexpired Period Period Applied in the
Computation of the Monetary
Award
A"C$ v' CA, et al'
8:
* years 2 months ** (onths ** (onths
Phil' $ntegrate) v'
NLRC
88
* years 9 )ays *+ (onths an) *+
)ays
*+ (onths an) *+ )ays
&7B v' NLC
-,,
* years 8 (onths -3 (onths -3 (onths
Agoy v' NLRC
-,-
* years * (onths ** (onths ** (onths
E$ v' NLRC, et al'
-,*
* years 3 (onths -8 (onths -8 (onths
Barros v' NLRC, et
al'
-,+
-* (onths 2 (onths : (onths : (onths
Philippine
"rans(arine v'
Carilla
-,2
-* (onths 4 (onths an) **
)ays
3 (onths an) -:
)ays
3 (onths an) -: )ays
It is plain that prior to R.A. &o. H>B<, all /.7s, regardless of contract periods or the une+pired portions thereof, were treated ali@e in terms of
the computation of their monetary 'enefits in case of illegal dismissal. #heir claims were su'jected to a uniform rule of computationM their 'asic
salaries multiplied 'y the entire une+pired portion of their employment contracts.
"he enact(ent of the subCect clause in R'A' No' :,2* intro)uce) a )ifferentiate) rule of co(putation of the (oney clai(s of illegally )is(isse)
O=As base) on their e(ploy(ent perio)s, in the process singling out one category /hose contracts have an une.pire) portion of one year or
(ore an) subCecting the( to the peculiar )isa)vantage of having their (onetary a/ar)s li(ite) to their salaries for + (onths or for the une.pire)
portion thereof, /hichever is less, but all the /hile sparing the other category fro( such preCu)ice, si(ply because the latterSs une.pire) contracts
fall short of one year'
Among OFWs With Employment Contracts of More Than One Year
Hpon closer e.a(ination of the ter(inology e(ploye) in the subCect clause, the Court no/ has (isgivings on the accuracy of
the %arsaman interpretation'
"he Court notes that the subCect clause Vor for three 5+6 (onths for every year of the une.pire) ter(, /hichever is lessV contains the ;ualifying
phrases Vevery yearV an) Vune.pire) ter('V By its or)inary (eaning, the /or) Vter(V (eans a li(ite) or )efinite e.tent of ti(e'
-,3
Corollarily,
that Vevery yearV is but part of an Vune.pire) ter(V is significant in (any /ays: first, the une.pire) ter( (ust be at least one year, for if it were
any shorter, there would 'e no occasion for such une+pired term to 'e measured 'y eery yearE an) secon), the original ter( (ust be (ore than
one year, for other/ise, /hatever /oul) be the une.pire) ter( thereof /ill not reach even a year' Conse;uently, the (ore )ecisive factor in the
)eter(ination of /hen the subCect clause Vfor three 5+6 (onths forevery year of the une.pire) ter(, /hichever is lessV shall apply is not the
length of the original contract perio) as hel) in %arsaman,
-,4
but the length of the une.pire) portion of the contract perio) -- the subCect clause
applies in cases /hen the une.pire) portion of the contract perio) is at least one year, /hich arith(etically re;uires that the original contract
perio) be (ore than one year'
%ie/e) in that light, the subCect clause creates a sub-layer of )iscri(ination a(ong O=As /hose contract perio)s are for (ore than one year:
those /ho are illegally )is(isse) /ith less than one year left in their contracts shall be entitle) to their salaries for the entire une.pire) portion
thereof, /hile those /ho are illegally )is(isse) /ith one year or (ore re(aining in their contracts shall be covere) by the subCect clause, an)
their (onetary benefits li(ite) to their salaries for three (onths only'
"o concretely illustrate the application of the foregoing interpretation of the subCect clause, the Court assu(es hypothetical O=A-C an) O=A-,
/ho each have a *2-(onth contract at a salary rate of H!P-,,,,',, per (onth' O=A-C is illegally )is(isse) on the -*th (onth, an) O=A-, on
the -+th (onth' Consi)ering that there is at least -* (onths re(aining in the contract perio) of O=A-C, the subCect clause applies to the
co(putation of the latterSs (onetary benefits' "hus, O=A-C /ill be entitle), not to H!P-*,,,,,,, or the latterSs total salaries for the -* (onths
une.pire) portion of the contract, but to the lesser a(ount of H!P+,,,,',, or the latterSs salaries for + (onths out of the -*-(onth une.pire) ter(
of the contract' On the other han), O=A- is spare) fro( the effects of the subCect clause, for there are only -- (onths left in the latterSs contract
perio)' "hus, O=A- /ill be entitle) to H!P--,,,,',,, /hich is e;uivalent to hisDher total salaries for the entire ---(onth une.pire) portion'
OFWs !is&@&!is Local Workers
With Fixed-Period Employment
As )iscusse) earlier, prior to R'A' No' :,2*, a unifor( syste( of co(putation of the (onetary a/ar)s of illegally )is(isse) O=As /as in place'
"his unifor( syste( /as applicable even to local /or<ers /ith fi.e)-ter( e(ploy(ent'
-,9
"he earliest rule prescribing a unifor( syste( of co(putation /as actually Article *88 of the Co)e of Co((erce 5-:::6,
-,:
to /it:
Article *88' $f the contracts bet/een the (erchants an) their shop cler<s an) e(ployees shoul) have been (a)e of a fi.e) perio), none of the
contracting parties, /ithout the consent of the other, (ay /ith)ra/ fro( the fulfill(ent of sai) contract until the ter(ination of the perio) agree)
upon'
Persons violating this clause shall be subCect to in)e(nify the loss an) )a(age suffere), /ith the e.ception of the provisions containe) in the
follo/ing articles'
$n Reyes v' "he Co(paKia #ariti(a,
-,8
the Court applie) the foregoing provision to )eter(ine the liability of a shipping co(pany for the illegal
)ischarge of its (anagers prior to the e.piration of their fi.e)-ter( e(ploy(ent' "he Court therein hel) the shipping co(pany liable for the
salaries of its (anagers for the re(ain)er of their fi.e)-ter( e(ploy(ent'
"here is a (ore specific rule as far as seafarers are concerne): Article 4,3 of the Co)e of Co((erce /hich provi)es:
Article 4,3' $f the contracts of the captain an) (e(bers of the cre/ /ith the agent shoul) be for a )efinite perio) or voyage, they cannot be
)ischarge) until the fulfill(ent of their contracts, e.cept for reasons of insubor)ination in serious (atters, robbery, theft, habitual )run<enness,
an) )a(age cause) to the vessel or to its cargo by (alice or (anifest or proven negligence'
Article 4,3 /as applie) to #a)rigal !hipping Co(pany, $nc' v' Ogilvie,
--,
in
/hich the Court hel) the shipping co(pany liable for the salaries an) subsistence allo/ance of its illegally )is(isse) e(ployees for
the entire une.pire) portion of their e(ploy(ent contracts'
Ahile Article 4,3 has re(aine) goo) la/ up to the present,
---
Article *88 of the Co)e of Co((erce /as replace) by Art' -3:4 of the Civil Co)e
of -::8, to /it:
Article -3:4' =iel) han)s, (echanics, artisans, an) other laborers hire) for a certain ti(e an) for a certain /or< cannot leave or be )is(isse)
/ithout sufficient cause, before the fulfill(ent of the contract' 5E(phasis supplie)'6
Citing %anresa, the Court in Le(oine v' Al<an
--*
rea) the )isCunctive VorV in Article -3:4 as a conCunctive Van)V so as to apply the provision to
local /or<ers /ho are e(ploye) for a ti(e certain although for no particular s<ill' "his interpretation of Article -3:4 /as reiterate) in 7arcia
Palo(ar v' >otel )e =rance Co(pany'
--+
An) in both Le(oine an) Palo(ar, the Court a)opte) the general principle that in actions for /rongful
)ischarge foun)e) on Article -3:4, local /or<ers are entitle) to recover )a(ages to the e.tent of the a(ount stipulate) to be pai) to the( by the
ter(s of their contract' On the co(putation of the a(ount of such )a(ages, the Court in Al)a? v' 7ay
--2
hel):
"he )octrine is /ell-establishe) in A(erican Curispru)ence, an) nothing has been brought to our attention to the contrary un)er !panish
Curispru)ence, that /hen an e(ployee is /rongfully )ischarge) it is his )uty to see< other e(ploy(ent of the sa(e <in) in the sa(e co((unity,
for the purpose of re)ucing the )a(ages resulting fro( such /rongful )ischarge' >o/ever, /hile this is the general rule, the bur)en of sho/ing
that he faile) to (a<e an effort to secure other e(ploy(ent of a li<e nature, an) that other e(ploy(ent of a li<e nature /as obtainable, is upon
the )efen)ant' 7hen an employee is wrongfully discharged under a contract of employment his prima facie damage is the amount which he
would 'e entitled to had he continued in such employment until the termination of the period' 5>o/ar) vs' aly, 4- N' B', +4*E Allen vs'
Ahitlar<, 88 #ich', 28*E =arrell vs' !chool istrict No' *, 8: #ich', 2+'6
--3
5E(phasis supplie)6
On August +,, -83,, the Ne/ Civil Co)e too< effect /ith ne/ provisions on fi.e)-ter( e(ploy(ent: !ection * 5Obligations /ith a Perio)6,
Chapter +, "itle $, an) !ections * 5Contract of Labor6 an) + 5Contract for a Piece of Aor<6, Chapter +, "itle %$$$, Boo< $%'
--4
#uch li<e Article
-3:4 of the Civil Co)e of -::8, the ne/ provisions of the Civil Co)e )o not e.pressly provi)e for the re(e)ies available to a fi.e)-ter( /or<er
/ho is illegally )ischarge)' >o/ever, it is note) that in #ac<ay Ra)io X "elegraph Co', $nc' v' Rich,
--9
the Court carrie) over the principles on
the pay(ent of )a(ages un)erlying Article -3:4 of the Civil Co)e of -::8 an) applie) the sa(e to a case involving the illegal )ischarge of a
local /or<er /hose fi.e)-perio) e(ploy(ent contract /as entere) into in -83*, /hen the ne/ Civil Co)e /as alrea)y in effect'
--:
#ore significantly, the sa(e principles /ere applie) to cases involving overseas =ilipino /or<ers /hose fi.e)-ter( e(ploy(ent contracts /ere
illegally ter(inate), such as in =irst Asian "rans X !hipping Agency, $nc' v' Ople,
--8
involving seafarers /ho /ere illegally )ischarge)' $n
"e<ni<a !<ills an) "ra)e !ervices, $nc' v' National Labor Relations Co((ission,
-*,
an O=A /ho /as illegally )is(isse) prior to the e.piration
of her fi.e)-perio) e(ploy(ent contract as a baby sitter, /as a/ar)e) salaries correspon)ing to the une.pire) portion of her contract' "he Court
arrive) at the sa(e ruling in An)erson v' National Labor Relations Co((ission,
-*-
/hich involve) a fore(an hire) in -8:: in !au)i Arabia for a
fi.e) ter( of t/o years, but /ho /as illegally )is(isse) after only nine (onths on the Cob -- the Court a/ar)e) hi( salaries correspon)ing to -3
(onths, the une.pire) portion of his contract' $n Asia Aorl) Recruit(ent, $nc' v' National Labor Relations Co((ission,
-**
a =ilipino /or<ing as
a security officer in -8:8 in Angola /as a/ar)e) his salaries for the re(aining perio) of his -*-(onth contract after he /as /rongfully
)ischarge)' =inally, in 0inta %aritime Co., Inc. . &ational !a'or Relations Commission,
-*+
an O=A /hose -*-(onth contract /as illegally cut
short in the secon) (onth /as )eclare) entitle) to his salaries for the re(aining -, (onths of his contract'
In sum, prior to R.A. &o. H>B<, /.7s and local wor@ers with fi+ed6term employment who were illegally discharged were treated ali@e in terms
of the computation of their money claimsM they were uniformly entitled to their salaries for the entire une+pired portions of their contracts. But
/ith the enact(ent of R'A' No' :,2*, specifically the a)option of the subCect clause, illegally )is(isse) O=As /ith an une.pire) portion of one
year or (ore in their e(ploy(ent contract have since been )ifferently treate) in that their (oney clai(s are subCect to a +-(onth cap, /hereas no
such li(itation is i(pose) on local /or<ers /ith fi.e)-ter( e(ploy(ent'
The Court concludes that the su"#ect clause contains a suspect classification in that$ in the computation of the monetary "enefits of fi%ed&
term employees 'ho are illegally discharged$ it imposes a (&month cap on the claim of )F*s 'ith an une%pired portion of one year or more
in their contracts$ "ut none on the claims of other )F*s or local 'orkers 'ith fi%ed&term employment. The su"#ect clause singles out one
classification of )F*s and "urdens it 'ith a peculiar disad!antage.
"here being a suspect classification involving a vulnerable sector protecte) by the Constitution, the Court no/ subCects the classification to a
strict Cu)icial scrutiny, an) )eter(ines /hether it serves a co(pelling state interest through the least restrictive (eans'
Ahat constitutes co(pelling state interest is (easure) by the scale of rights an) po/ers arraye) in the Constitution an) calibrate) by history'
-*2
$t
is a<in to the para(ount interest of the state
-*3
for /hich so(e in)ivi)ual liberties (ust give /ay, such as the public interest in safeguar)ing
health or (aintaining (e)ical stan)ar)s,
-*4
or in (aintaining access to infor(ation on (atters of public concern'
-*9
$n the present case, the Court )ug )eep into the recor)s but foun) no co(pelling state interest that the subCect clause (ay possibly serve'
"he O!7 )efen)s the subCect clause as a police po/er (easure V)esigne) to protect the e(ploy(ent of =ilipino seafarers overseas . . .' By
li(iting the liability to three (onths 0sic1, =ilipino seafarers have better chance of getting hire) by foreign e(ployers'V "he li(itation also
protects the interest of local place(ent agencies, /hich other/ise (ay be (a)e to shoul)er (illions of pesos in Vter(ination pay'V
-*:
"he O!7 e.plaine) further:
Often, place(ent agencies, their liability being soli)ary, shoul)er the pay(ent of (oney clai(s in the event that Curis)iction over the foreign
e(ployer is not ac;uire) by the court or if the foreign e(ployer reneges on its obligation' >ence, place(ent agencies that are in goo) faith an)
/hich fulfill their obligations are unnecessarily penali?e) for the acts of the foreign e(ployer' "o protect the( an) to pro(ote their continue)
helpful contribution in )eploying =ilipino (igrant /or<ers, liability for (oney are re)uce) un)er !ection -, of RA :,2*'
"his (easure re)oun)s to the benefit of the (igrant /or<ers /hose /elfare the govern(ent see<s to pro(ote' "he survival of legiti(ate
place(ent agencies helps 0assure1 the govern(ent that (igrant /or<ers are properly )eploye) an) are e(ploye) un)er )ecent an) hu(ane
con)itions'
-*8
5E(phasis supplie)6
>o/ever, no/here in the Co((ent or #e(oran)u( )oes the O!7 cite the source of its perception of the state interest sought to be serve) by the
subCect clause'
"he O!7 locates the purpose of R'A' No' :,2* in the speech of Rep' Bonifacio 7allego in sponsorship of >ouse Bill No' -2+-2 5>B -2+-26,
fro( /hich the la/ originate)E
-+,
but the speech (a<es no reference to the un)erlying reason for the a)option of the subCect clause' "hat is only
natural for none of the *8 provisions in >B -2+-2 rese(bles the subCect clause'
On the other han), !enate Bill No' *,99 5!B *,996 contains a provision on (oney clai(s, to /it:
!ec' -,' %oney Claims' - Not/ithstan)ing any provision of la/ to the contrary, the Labor Arbiters of the National Labor Relations Co((ission
5NLRC6 shall have the original an) e.clusive Curis)iction to hear an) )eci)e, /ithin ninety 58,6 calen)ar )ays after the filing of the co(plaint, the
clai(s arising out of an e(ployer-e(ployee relationship or by virtue of the co(plaint, the clai( arising out of an e(ployer-e(ployee
relationship or by virtue of any la/ or contract involving =ilipino /or<ers for overseas e(ploy(ent inclu)ing clai(s for actual, (oral, e.e(plary
an) other for(s of )a(ages'
"he liability of the principal an) the recruit(entDplace(ent agency or any an) all clai(s un)er this !ection shall be Coint an) several'
Any co(pro(iseDa(icable settle(ent or voluntary agree(ent on any (oney clai(s e.clusive of )a(ages un)er this !ection shall not be less than
fifty percent 53,Q6 of such (oney clai(s: Proided, "hat any install(ent pay(ents, if applicable, to satisfy any such co(pro(ise or voluntary
settle(ent shall not be (ore than t/o 5*6 (onths' Any co(pro(iseDvoluntary agree(ent in violation of this paragraph shall be null an) voi)'
Non-co(pliance /ith the (an)atory perio) for resolutions of cases provi)e) un)er this !ection shall subCect the responsible officials to any or all
of the follo/ing penalties:
5-6 "he salary of any such official /ho fails to ren)er his )ecision or resolution /ithin the prescribe) perio) shall be, or cause) to be,
/ithhel) until the sai) official co(plies there/ithE
5*6 !uspension for not (ore than ninety 58,6 )aysE or
5+6 is(issal fro( the service /ith )is;ualification to hol) any appointive public office for five 536 years'
Provi)e), ho/ever, "hat the penalties herein provi)e) shall be /ithout preCu)ice to any liability /hich any such official (ay have incurre) un)er
other e.isting la/s or rules an) regulations as a conse;uence of violating the provisions of this paragraph'
But significantly, !ection -, of !B *,99 )oes not provi)e for any rule on the co(putation of (oney clai(s'
A rule on the co(putation of (oney clai(s containing the subCect clause /as inserte) an) eventually a)opte) as the 3th paragraph of !ection -,
of R'A' No' :,2*' "he Court e.a(ine) the rationale of the subCect clause in the transcripts of the VBica(eral Conference Co((ittee 5Conference
Co((ittee6 #eetings on the #agna Carta on OCAs 5isagreeing Provisions of !enate Bill No' *,99 an) >ouse Bill No' -2+-26'V >o/ever, the
Court fin)s no )iscernible state interest, let alone a co(pelling one, that is sought to be protecte) or a)vance) by the a)option of the subCect
clause'
$n fine, the 7overn(ent has faile) to )ischarge its bur)en of proving the e.istence of a co(pelling state interest that /oul) Custify the
perpetuation of the )iscri(ination against O=As un)er the subCect clause'
Assu(ing that, as a)vance) by the O!7, the purpose of the subCect clause is to protect the e(ploy(ent of O=As by (itigating the soli)ary
liability of place(ent agencies, such callous an) cavalier rationale /ill have to be reCecte)' "here can never be a Custification for any for( of
govern(ent action that alleviates the bur)en of one sector, but i(poses the sa(e bur)en on another sector, especially /hen the favore) sector is
co(pose) of private businesses such as place(ent agencies, /hile the )isa)vantage) sector is co(pose) of O=As /hose protection no less than
the Constitution co((an)s' "he i)ea that private business interest can be elevate) to the level of a co(pelling state interest is o)ious'
#oreover, even if the purpose of the subCect clause is to lessen the soli)ary liability of place(ent agencies is6a6is their foreign principals, there
are (echanis(s alrea)y in place that can be e(ploye) to achieve that purpose /ithout infringing on the constitutional rights of O=As'
"he POEA Rules an) Regulations 7overning the Recruit(ent an) E(ploy(ent of Lan)-Base) Overseas Aor<ers, )ate) =ebruary 2, *,,*,
i(poses a)(inistrative )isciplinary (easures on erring foreign e(ployers /ho )efault on their contractual obligations to (igrant /or<ers an)Dor
their Philippine agents' "hese )isciplinary (easures range fro( te(porary )is;ualification to preventive suspension' "he POEA Rules an)
Regulations 7overning the Recruit(ent an) E(ploy(ent of !eafarers, )ate) #ay *+, *,,+, contains si(ilar a)(inistrative )isciplinary (easures
against erring foreign e(ployers'
Resort to these a)(inistrative (easures is un)oubte)ly the less restrictive (eans of ai)ing local place(ent agencies in enforcing the soli)ary
liability of their foreign principals'
"hus, the subCect clause in the 3th paragraph of !ection -, of R'A' No' :,2* is violative of the right of petitioner an) other O=As to e;ual
protection':aphi:
=urther, there /oul) be certain (isgivings if one is to approach the )eclaration of the unconstitutionality of the subCect clause fro( the lone
perspective that the clause )irectly violates state policy on labor un)er !ection +,
-+-
Article R$$$ of the Constitution'
Ahile all the provisions of the -8:9 Constitution are presu(e) self-e.ecuting,
-+*
there are so(e /hich this Court has )eclare) not #udicially
enforcea"le, Article R$$$ being one,
-++
particularly !ection + thereof, the nature of /hich, this Court, in Aga'on . &ational !a'or Relations
Commission,
-+2
has )escribe) to be not self-actuating:
"hus, the constitutional (an)ates of protection to labor an) security of tenure (ay be )ee(e) as self-e.ecuting in the sense that these are
auto(atically ac<no/le)ge) an) observe) /ithout nee) for any enabling legislation' >o/ever, to )eclare that the constitutional provisions are
enough to guarantee the full e.ercise of the rights e(bo)ie) therein, an) the reali?ation of i)eals therein e.presse), /oul) be i(practical, if not
unrealistic' "he espousal of such vie/ presents the )angerous ten)ency of being overbroa) an) e.aggerate)' "he guarantees of Vfull protection to
laborV an) Vsecurity of tenureV, /hen e.a(ine) in isolation, are facially un;ualifie), an) the broa)est interpretation possible suggests a blan<et
shiel) in favor of labor against any for( of re(oval regar)less of circu(stance' "his interpretation i(plies an uni(peachable right to continue)
e(ploy(ent-a utopian notion, )oubtless-but still har)ly /ithin the conte(plation of the fra(ers' !ubse;uent legislation is still nee)e) to )efine
the para(eters of these guarantee) rights to ensure the protection an) pro(otion, not only the rights of the labor sector, but of the e(ployersS as
/ell' Aithout specific an) pertinent legislation, Cu)icial bo)ies /ill be at a loss, for(ulating their o/n conclusion to appro.i(ate at least the ai(s
of the Constitution'
:ltimately$ therefore$ Section ( of Article F111 cannot$ on its o'n$ "e a source of a positi!e enforcea"le rightto stave off the )is(issal of an
e(ployee for Cust cause o/ing to the failure to serve proper notice or hearing' As (anifeste) by several fra(ers of the -8:9 Constitution, the
provisions on social Custice re;uire legislative enact(ents for their enforceability'
-+3
5E(phasis a))e)6
"hus, !ection +, Article R$$$ cannot be treate) as a principal source of )irect enforceable rights, for the violation of /hich the ;uestione) clause
(ay be )eclare) unconstitutional' $t (ay un/ittingly ris< opening the floo)gates of litigation to every /or<er or union over every conceivable
violation of so broa) a concept as social Custice for labor'
$t (ust be stresse) that !ection +, Article R$$$ )oes not )irectly besto/ on the /or<ing class any actual enforceable right, but (erely clothes it
/ith the status of a sector for /ho( the Constitution urges protection through e.ecutive or legislative action an) #udicial recognition' $ts utility is
best li(ite) to being an i(petus not Cust for the e.ecutive an) legislative )epart(ents, but for the Cu)iciary as /ell, to protect the /elfare of the
/or<ing class. An) it /as in fact consistent /ith that constitutional agen)a that the Court in Central Ban@ (now Bang@o Sentral ng Pilipinas*
4mployee Association, Inc. . Bang@o Sentral ng Pilipinas, penne) by then Associate &ustice no/ Chief &ustice Reynato !' Puno, for(ulate) the
Cu)icial precept that /hen the challenge to a statute is pre(ise) on the perpetuation of preCu)ice against persons favore) by the Constitution /ith
special protection -- such as the /or<ing class or a section thereof -- the Court (ay recogni?e the e.istence of a suspect classification an) subCect
the sa(e to strict Cu)icial scrutiny'
"he vie/ that the concepts of suspect classification an) strict Cu)icial scrutiny for(ulate) in Central Ban@ 4mployee Association e.aggerate the
significance of !ection +, Article R$$$ is a groun)less apprehension' Central Ban@ applie) Article R$$$ in conCunction /ith the e;ual protection
clause' Article R$$$, by itself, /ithout the application of the e;ual protection clause, has no life or force of its o/n as eluci)ate) in Aga'on.
Along the sa(e line of reasoning, the Court further hol)s that the subCect clause violates petitionerSs right to substantive )ue process, for it
)eprives hi( of property, consisting of (onetary benefits, /ithout any e.isting vali) govern(ental purpose'
-+4
"he argu(ent of the !olicitor 7eneral, that the actual purpose of the subCect clause of li(iting the entitle(ent of O=As to their three-(onth
salary in case of illegal )is(issal, is to give the( a better chance of getting hire) by foreign e(ployers' "his is plain speculation' As earlier
)iscusse), there is nothing in the te.t of the la/ or the recor)s of the )eliberations lea)ing to its enact(ent or the plea)ings of respon)ent that
/oul) in)icate that there is an e.isting govern(ental purpose for the subCect clause, or even Cust a prete.t of one'
"he subCect clause )oes not state or i(ply any )efinitive govern(ental purposeE an) it is for that precise reason that the clause violates not Cust
petitionerSs right to e;ual protection, but also her right to substantive )ue process un)er !ection -,
-+9
Article $$$ of the Constitution'
"he subCect clause being unconstitutional, petitioner is entitle) to his salaries for the entire une.pire) perio) of nine (onths an) *+ )ays of his
e(ploy(ent contract, pursuant to la/ an) Curispru)ence prior to the enact(ent of R'A' No' :,2*'
)n the Third 1ssue
Petitioner conten)s that his overti(e an) leave pay shoul) for( part of the salary basis in the co(putation of his (onetary a/ar), because these
are fi.e) benefits that have been stipulate) into his contract'
Petitioner is (ista<en'
"he /or) salaries in !ection -,536 )oes not inclu)e overti(e an) leave pay' =or seafarers li<e petitioner, OLE epart(ent Or)er No' ++, series
-884, provi)es a !tan)ar) E(ploy(ent Contract of !eafarers, in /hich salary is un)erstoo) as the basic /age, e.clusive of overti(e, leave pay
an) other bonusesE /hereas overti(e pay is co(pensation for all /or< Vperfor(e)V in e.cess of the regular eight hours, an) holi)ay pay is
co(pensation for any /or< Vperfor(e)V on )esignate) rest )ays an) holi)ays'
By the foregoing )efinition alone, there is no basis for the auto(atic inclusion of overti(e an) holi)ay pay in the co(putation of petitionerSs
(onetary a/ar), unless there is evi)ence that he perfor(e) /or< )uring those perio)s' As the Court hel) in Centennial #ransmarine, Inc. . ,ela
Cru",
-+:
>o/ever, the pay(ent of overti(e pay an) leave pay shoul) be )isallo/e) in light of our ruling in Caga(pan v' National Labor Relations
Co((ission, to /it:
"he ren)ition of overti(e /or< an) the sub(ission of sufficient proof that sai) /as actually perfor(e) are con)itions to be satisfie) before a
sea(an coul) be entitle) to overti(e pay /hich shoul) be co(pute) on the basis of +,Q of the basic (onthly salary' $n short, the contract
provision guarantees the right to overti(e pay but the entitle(ent to such benefit (ust first be establishe)'
$n the sa(e vein, the clai( for the )aySs leave pay for the une.pire) portion of the contract is un/arrante) since the sa(e is given )uring the
actual service of the sea(en'
WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the Petition' "he subCect clause Vor for three (onths for every year of the une.pire) ter(, /hichever is
lessV in the 3th paragraph of !ection -, of Republic Act No' :,2* is DECLAREDUNCONSTITUTIONALE an) the ece(ber :, *,,2
ecision an) April -, *,,3 Resolution of the Court of Appeals are MODIFIED to the effect that petitioner is AWARDED his salaries for the
entire une.pire) portion of his e(ploy(ent contract consisting of nine (onths an) *+ )ays co(pute) at the rate of H!P-,2,,',, per (onth'
No costs'
SO ORDERED'
MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ
Associate &ustice
AE CONCHR:
REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice
LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
Associate &ustice
CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate &ustice
ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate &ustice
RENATO C. CORONA
Associate &ustice
CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
Associate &ustice
DANTE O. TINGA
Associate &ustice
5On leave6
MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO
Associate &ustice
PRESBITERO 1. VELASCO, 1R.
Associate &ustice
ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA
Associate &ustice
TERESITA 1. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO
Associate &ustice
5see concurring opinion6
ARTURO D. BRION
Associate &ustice
DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
Associate &ustice
C E R " $ = $ C A " $ O N
Pursuant to !ection -+, Article %$$$ of the Constitution, it is hereby certifie) that the conclusions in the above ecision /ere reache) in
consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion of the Court'
REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice
Footnotes
-
http:DD///'un'orgDNe/sDPressD)ocsD*,,9Dsgs(--,:2')oc'ht('
*
#igrant Aor<ers an) Overseas =ilipinos Act of -883, effective &uly -3, -883'
+
Penne) by Associate &ustice An)res B' Reyes, &r' an) concurre) in by Associate &ustices Lucas P' Bersa(in an) Celia C' Librea-
LeagogoE rollo, p' *+-'
2
$)' at *2:'
3
Rollo, p' 39'
4
$)' at 3:'
9
$)' at 38'
:
$)' at 2:'
8
$)' at 33'
-,
Accor)ing to petitioner, this a(ount represents the pro-rate) )ifference bet/een the salary of H!P*,38,',, per (onth /hich he /as
suppose) to receive as Chief Officer fro( #arch -8, -88: to April +,, -88: an) the salary of H!P-,:3,',, per (onth /hich he /as
actually pai) as !econ) Officer for the sa(e perio)' !ee LA ecision, rollo, pp' -,9 an) --*'
--
Position Paper, i)' at 3+-32'
-*
"he LA a/ar)e) petitioner H!P23',, out of the H!P-,2:,',, salary )ifferential to /hich petitioner is entitle) in vie/ of his having
receive) fro( respon)ents H!P-,2+3',, as evi)ence) by receipts (ar<e) as Anne.es V=V, V7V an) V>V, i)' at +-8-+*-'
-+
$)' at --2'
-2
Rollo, pp' ------*'
-3
$)' at -*2'
-4
$)' at --3'
-9
7'R' No' -*83:2, ece(ber +, -88:, *88 !CRA 4,:'
-:
Appeal #e(oran)u(, rollo, p' -*-'
-8
$)' at -+2'
*,
NLRC ecision, rollo, p' -2,'
*-
$)' at -24--3,'
**
$)' at -3+'
*+
$)' at -33'
*2
$)' at -44--99'
*3
CA ecision, i)' at *+8-*2-'
*4
$)' at *2*'
*9
$)' at *2:'
*:
Petition, rollo, p' *:'
*8
$)' at 9:9'
+,
$)' at 988'
+-
Rollo, p' *:*
+*
#e(oran)u( for Petitioner, i)' at 92--92*'
++
$)' at 924-93+'
+2
!ection -:' "he !tate affir(s labor as a pri(ary social econo(ic force' $t shall protect the rights of /or<ers an) pro(ote their
/elfare'
+3
Rollo, pp' 94+-944'
+4
Petition, i)' at 9+3'
+9
#e(oran)u( of the !olicitor 7eneral, rollo, p' 4:,'
+:
#e(oran)u( for Petitioner, i)' at 933'
+8
$)' at 94--94+'
2,
Rollo, pp' 423-424 an) 3-*-3-+'
2-
Alfre)o L' Benipayo /as !olicitor 7eneral at the ti(e the Co((ent /as file)' Antonio E)uar)o B' Nachura 5no/ an Associate
&ustice of the !upre(e Court6 /as !olicitor 7eneral /hen the #e(oran)u( /as file)'
2*
#e(oran)u( of the !olicitor 7eneral, i)' at 44*-443'
2+
7'R' No' --+43:, #arch +-, -883, *2+ !CRA -8,'
22
7'R' No' --,3*2, &uly *8, *,,*, +:3 !CRA +,4'
23
#e(oran)u( of the !olicitor 7eneral, rollo, pp' 44:-49:'
24
$)' at 4:*'
29
#he Proince of &orth Cota'ato . #he -oernment of the Repu'lic of the Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral ,omain, 7'R' No'
-:+38- October -2, *,,:'
2:
Automotie Industry 7or@ers Alliance . Romulo, G.R. No. 157509, 1anuary 18, 2005, 449 SCRA 1.
28
,aid . %acapagal6Arroyo, 7'R' No' -9-+84, #ay +, *,,4, 2:8 !CRA -4,'
3,
Arceta . %angro'ang, 7'R' No' -3*:83, &une -3, *,,2, 2+* !CRA -+4'
3-
%olde+ Realty, Inc. . 3ousing and !and Cse Regulatory Board, 7'R' No' -289-8, &une *-, *,,9, 3*3 !CRA -8:E %arasigan .
%arasigan, G.R. No. 156078, March 14, 2008, 548 SCRA 409.
3*
%ati'ag . Benipayo, 7'R' No' -28,+4, April *, *,,*, +:, !CRA 28'
3+
Rollo, p' -23'
32
$)' at -44'
33
Smart Communications, Inc. . &ational #elecommunications Commission, 7'R' No' -3-8,:, August -*, *,,+, 2,: !CRA 49:'
34
41ui6Asia Placement, Inc. . ,epartment of .oreign Affairs, 7'R' No' -3**-2, !epte(ber -8, *,,4, 3,* !CRA *83'
39
#e(oran)u( for Petitioner, rollo, pp' 92--92*'
3:
)rtigas G Co.$ td. !. Court of Appeals, 7'R' No' -*4-,*, ece(ber 2, *,,,, +24 !CRA 92:'
38
Picop Resources, Inc. . Base %etals %ineral Resources Corporation, 7'R' No' -4+3,8, ece(ber 4, *,,4, 3-, !CRA 2,,'
4,
7al@er . 7hitehead, :+ H'!' +-2 5-:9+6E 7ood . !oett, +-+ H'!' +4*, +9, 5-82-6E Intrata6Assurance Corporation . Repu'lic of
the Philippines, 7'R' No' -3439-, &uly 8, *,,:E Smart Communications, Inc. . City of ,aao, G.R. No. 155491, September 16,
2008.
4-
4+ecutie Secretary . Court of Appeals, 7'R' No' -+-9-8, #ay *3, *,,2, 2*8 !CRA :-, citing J%% Promotion and %anagement,
Inc. . Court of Appeals, 7'R' No' -*,,83, August 3, -884, *4, !CRA +-8'
4*
/rtigas A Co., !td. . Court of Appeals, supra note 3:'
4+
!ection -:' "he !tate affir(s labor as a pri(ary social econo(ic force' $t shall protect the rights of /or<ers an) pro(ote their
/elfare'
42
!ection +, "he !tate shall affor) full protection to labor, local an) overseas, organi?e) an) unorgani?e), an) pro(ote full
e(ploy(ent an) e;uality of e(ploy(ent opportunities for all'
43
!ee City of %anila . !aguio, 7'R' No' --:-*9, April -*, *,,3, 233 !CRA +,:E Pimentel III . Commission on 4lections, 7'R' No'
-9:2-+, #arch -+, *,,:, 32: !CRA -48'
44
!eague of Cities of the Philippines . Commission on 4lections 7'R' No' -9483-, Nove(ber -:, *,,:EBeltran . Secretary of
3ealth, 7'R' No' -+8-29,Nove(ber *3, *,,3, 294 !CRA -4:'
49
Association of Small !andowners in the Philippines . Secretary of Agrarian Reform, 7'R' No' 9:92*, &uly -2, -8:8, -93 !CRA
+2+'
4:
!os Angeles . Almeda Boo@s, Inc', 3+3 H'!' 2*3 5*,,*6E Craig . Boren, 2*8 H! -8, 5-8946'
48
"here is also the Vheightene) scrutinyV stan)ar) of revie/ /hich is less )e(an)ing than Vstrict scrutinyV but (ore )e(an)ing than
the stan)ar) rational relation test' >eightene) scrutiny has generally been applie) to cases that involve )iscri(inatory classifications
base) on se. or illegiti(acy, such as in Plyler . ,oe, 239 H'!' *,*, /here a heightene) scrutiny stan)ar) /as use) to invali)ate a
!tateSs )enial to the chil)ren of illegal aliens of the free public e)ucation that it (a)e available to other resi)ents'
9,
America . ,ale, 3+, H'!' 42, 5*,,,6E Parents Inoled in Community Schools . Seattle School ,istrict &o. :, 33- H'!' 5*,,96E
http:DD///'supre(ecourtus'govDopinionsD,4p)fD,3-8,:'p)f'
9-
A)aran) Constructors, $nc' v' PeKa, 3-3 H! *+, 5-8836'
9*
-rutter . Bollinger, 3+8 H! +,4 5*,,+6E Bernal . .ainter, 249 H! *-4 5-8:26'
9+
"he concept of suspect classification first e(erge) in the fa(ous footnote in the opinion of &ustice >arlan !tone in H'!' v' Carolene
Pro)ucts Co', +,2 H'!' -22 5-8+:6, the full te.t of /hich footnote is repro)uce) belo/:
"here (ay be narro/er scope for operation of the presu(ption of constitutionality /hen legislation appears on its face to
be /ithin a specific prohibition of the Constitution, such as those of the first ten a(en)(ents, /hich are )ee(e) e;ually
specific /hen hel) to be e(brace) /ithin the =ourteenth' !ee !tro(berg v' California, *:+ H'!' +38, +48-+9,E Lovell v'
7riffin, +,+ H'!' 222, 23*'
$t is unnecessary to consi)er no/ /hether legislation /hich restricts those political processes /hich can or)inarily be
e.pecte) to bring about repeal of un)esirable legislation is to be subCecte) to (ore e.acting Cu)icial scrutiny un)er the
general prohibitions of the =ourteenth A(en)(ent than are (ost other types of legislation' On restrictions upon the right to
vote, see Ni.on v' >ern)on, *9+ H'!' 3+4E Ni.on v' Con)on, *:4 H'!' 9+E on restraints upon the )isse(ination of
infor(ation, see Near v' #innesota e. rel' Olson, *:+ H'!' 489, 9-+-9-2, 9-:-9*,, 9**E 7rosCean v' A(erican Press Co',
*89 H'!' *++E Lovell v' 7riffin, supraE on interferences /ith political organi?ations, see !tro(berg v' California, supra,
+48E =is<e v' Oansas, *92 H'!' +:,E Ahitney v' California, *92 H'!' +39, +9+-+9:E >ern)on v' Lo/ry, +,- H'!' *2*, an)
see >ol(es, &', in 7itlo/ v' Ne/ Bor<, *4: H'!' 43*, 49+E as to prohibition of peaceable asse(bly, see e &onge v'
Oregon, *88 H'!' +3+, +43'
Nor nee) /e en;uire /hether si(ilar consi)erations enter into the revie/ of statutes )irecte) at particular religious, Pierce
v' !ociety of !isters, *4: H'!' 3-,, or national, #eyer v' Nebras<a, *4* H'!' +8,E Bartels v' $o/a, *4* H'!' 2,2E
=arrington v' "o<ushige, *9+ H'!' *:2, or racial (inorities, Ni.on v' >ern)on, supraE Ni.on v' Con)on, supra: /hether
preCu)ice against )iscrete an) insular (inorities (ay be a special con)ition, /hich ten)s seriously to curtail the operation
of those political processes or)inarily to be relie) upon to protect (inorities, an) /hich (ay call for a correspon)ingly
(ore searching Cu)icial in;uiry' Co(pare #cCulloch v' #arylan), 2 Aheat' +-4, 2*:E !outh Carolina v' Barn/ell Bros',
+,+ H'!' -99, -:2, n *, an) cases cite)'
92
Oore(atsu v' Hnite) !tates, +*+ H'!' *-2 5-8226E Regents of the Cniersity of California . Ba@@e, 2+: H'!' *43 5-89:6'
93
.rontiero . Richardson, 2-- H'!' 499 5-89+6E C.S. . 0irginia, 3-: H'!' 3-3 5-8846'
94
San Antonio Independent School ,istrict . Rodrigue", 2-- H'!' - 5-89+6'
99
7'R' No' -2:*,:, ece(ber -3, *,,2, 224 !CRA *88'
9:
Rollo, pp' 9*9 an) 9+3'
98
+9- Phil' :*9 5-8886'
:,
$)' at :2,-:2-'
:-
7'R' No' -+-434, October *,, -88:, *89 !CRA 9*9'
:*
$)'
:+
!upra note -9'
:2
7'R' No' -44+4+, August -3, *,,4, 28: !CRA 4+8'
:3
7'R' No' -4*-83, April :, *,,:, 33, !CRA 4,,'
:4
7'R' No' -:,9-8, August **, *,,:'
:9
7'R' No' -9*,+-, &uly -2, *,,:, 33: !CRA *98'
::
7'R' No' -393+2, &une -:, *,,+ 5Resolution6'
:8
7'R' No' -3+93,, &anuary *3, *,,4, 2:, !CRA -,,'
8,
7'R' No' -2:2-:, &uly *:, *,,3, 242 !CRA +-2'
8-
7'R' No' -2:2,9, Nove(ber -*, *,,+, 2-3 !CRA 9*,'
8*
7'R' No' -34+:-, October -2, *,,3, 29+ !CRA -*,'
8+
7'R' No' -39+9+, &uly *9, *,,2, 2+3 !CRA +2*'
82
7'R' No' -229:4, April -3, *,,2, 2*9 !CRA 9+*'
83
7'R' No' -9982:, #arch -2, *,,:, 32: !CRA 9-*'
84
7'R' No' -3-+,+, April -3, *,,3, 234 !CRA +-+'
89
Asian Center . &ational !a'or Relations Commission, supra note :-'
8:
7'R' No' -2+828, August 8, *,,-, +4* !CRA 39-'
88
7'R' No' -*++32, Nove(ber -8, -884, *42 !CRA 2-:'
-,,
7'R' No' -,8+8,, #arch 9, -884, *32 !CRA 239'
-,-
7'R' No' --*,84, &anuary +,, -884, *3* !CRA 3::'
-,*
7'R' No' -233:9, October *4, *,,9, 3+9 !CRA 2,8'
-,+
7'R' No' -*+8,-, !epte(ber **, -888, +-3 !CRA *+'
-,2
7'R' No' -39893, &une *4, *,,9, 3*3 !CRA 3:4'
-,3
///'(erria(-/ebster'co(D)ictionary visite) on Nove(ber **, *,,: at +:,8'
-,4
!ee also .lourish, supra note 83N an) Athena, supra note 84'
-,9
$t is note) that both petitioner an) the O!7 )re/ co(parisons bet/een O=As in general an) local /or<ers in general' >o/ever,
the Court fin)s that the (ore relevant co(parison is bet/een O=As /hose e(ploy(ent is necessarily subCect to a fi.e) ter( an)
local /or<ers /hose e(ploy(ent is also subCect to a fi.e) ter('
-,:
Pro(ulgate) on August 4, -::: by Lueen #aria Cristina of !pain an) e.ten)e) to the Philippines by Royal ecree of August :,
-:::' $t too< effect on ece(ber -, -:::'
-,8
No' --++, #arch *8, -8,2, + !CRA 3-8'
--,
No' L-:2+-, October +,, -83:, -,2 !CRA 92:'
---
!ee also 7allem Philippines Shipping, Inc. . 3on. %inister of !a'or, No' L-3,9+2-+9, =ebruary *,, -8:-, -,* scra :+3,
/here %adrigal Shipping Company, Inc. . /gilie is cite)'
--*
No' L--,2**, &anuary --, -8-4, ++ !CRA -4*'
--+
No' L--3:9:, &anuary --, -8**, 2* !CRA 44,'
--2
9 Phil' *4: 5-8,96'
--3
!ee also 2nust . %orse, 2- Phil -:2 5-8*,6'
--4
Brent School, Inc. . Jamora, No' L-2:282, =ebruary 3, -88,, -:- !CRA 9,*'
--9
No' L-**4,:, &une +,, -848, *: !CRA 488'
--:
"he Labor Co)e itself )oes not contain a specific provision for local /or<ers /ith fi.e)-ter( e(ploy(ent contracts' As the Court
observe) in Brent School, Inc., the concept of fi.e)-ter( e(ploy(ent has slo/ly fa)e) a/ay fro( our labor la/s, such that reference
to our labor la/s is of li(ite) use in )eter(ining the (onetary benefits to be a/ar)e) to fi.e)-ter( /or<ers /ho are illegally
)is(isse)'
--8
No' L-43323, &uly 8, -8:4', -2* !CRA 32*'
-*,
7'R' No' -,,+88, August 2, -88*, *-* !CRA -+*'
-*-
7'R' No' ---*-*, &anuary **, -884, *3* !CRA --4'
-**
7'R' No' --++4+, August *2, -888, +-+ !CRA -'
-*+
7'R' No' --+8--, &anuary *+, -88:, *:2 !CRA 434'
-*2
!ee 4strada . 4scritor, A'#' No' P-,*--43-, August 2, *,,+, 2,: !CRA -'
-*3
$)'
-*4
Roe . 7ade, 2-, H'!' --+ 5-89-6E see also Carey . Population Serice International, 2+- H'!' 49: 5-8996'
-*9
Sa'io . -ordon, 7'R' Nos' -92+2,, -92+-:, -92-99, October -4, *,,4, 3,2 !CRA 9,2'
-*:
Co((ent, rollo, p' 333'
-*8
#e(oran)u( of the !olicitor 7eneral, i)' at 4:*-4:+
-+,
$)' at p' 48+'
-+-
!ection +' "he !tate shall affor) full protection to labor, local an) overseas, organi?e) an) unorgani?e), an) pro(ote full
e(ploy(ent an) e;uality of e(ploy(ent opportunities for all'
$t shall guarantee the rights of all /or<ers to self-organi?ation, collective bargaining an) negotiations, an) peaceful concerte)
activities, inclu)ing the right to stri<e in accor)ance /ith la/' "hey shall be entitle) to security of tenure, hu(ane con)itions of /or<,
an) a living /age' "hey shall also participate in policy an) )ecision-(a<ing processes affecting their rights an) benefits as (ay be
provi)e) by la/'
"he !tate shall pro(ote the principle of share) responsibility bet/een /or<ers an) e(ployers an) the preferential use of voluntary
(o)es in settling )isputes, inclu)ing conciliation, an) shall enforce their (utual co(pliance there/ith to foster in)ustrial peace'
"he !tate shall regulate the relations bet/een /or<ers an) e(ployers, recogni?ing the right of labor to its Cust share in the fruits of
pro)uction an) the right of enterprises to reasonable returns to invest(ents, an) to e.pansion an) gro/th'
-+*
%anila Prince 3otel . -oernment Serice Insurance System, 7'R' No' -**-34, =ebruary +, -889, *49 !CRA 2,:'
-++
Basco . Philippine Amusement and -aming Corporation, 7'R' No' 8-428, #ay -2, -88-, -89 !CRA 3*'
-+2
7'R' No' -3:48+, Nove(ber -9, *,,2, 22* !CRA 39+'
-+3
Aga'on . &ational !a'or Relations Commission, supra note -+2, at 4:4'
-+4
Associated Communications and 7ireless Serices, !td. . ,umlao, 7' R' No' -+494*, Nove(ber *-, *,,*, +8* !CRA *48'
-+9
!ection -' No person shall be )eprive) of life, liberty, or property /ithout )ue process of la/, nor shall any person be )enie) the
e;ual protection of the la/s'
-+:
G.R. No. 180719, August 22, 2008. !ee also PC! Shipping Philippines, Inc. . &ational !a'or Relations Commission' 7'R' No'
-3+,+-, ece(ber -2, *,,4, 3-- !CRA 22'
Republic of the Philippines
!HPRE#E COHR"
#anila

EN BANC


DR. PEDRO F. GOBENCIONG,
Petitioner,



- versus -

G.R. No. 159883

Present:

PHNO, CJ,
LH$!H#B$N7,
BNARE!-!AN"$A7O,




HON. COURT OF APPEALS, DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN
(VISAYAS), REGIONAL DIRECTOR of the Department of
Health, Region VIII, and FLORA DELA PEA,
Respon)ents'
.-------------------------------------------.
OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN,
Petitioner,
- versus -

DR. PEDRO F. GOBENCIONG and the HON. COURT OF
APPEALS (CEBU CITY),
Respon)ents'
.-------------------------------------------.
DR. PEDRO F. GOBENCIONG,
Petitioner,
- versus -

DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN (VISAYAS), REGIONAL
DIRECTOR of the Department of Health, Region VIII, and
FLORA DELA PEA,
Respon)ents'
CARP$O,
AH!"R$A-#AR"$NEM,
CORONA,
CARP$O #ORALE!,
AMCHNA,
"$N7A,
C>$CO-NAMAR$O,
%ELA!CO, &R',
NAC>HRA,
REBE!, an)
LEONARO-E CA!"RO, JJ'


G.R. No. 168059









G.R. No. 173212





Pro(ulgate):

#arch +-, *,,:
.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.
D E C I S I O N


VELASCO, 1R., J.:

The Petitions

Before the Court are these three petitions, t/o interpose) un)er Rule 23 an) one un)er Rule 43 of the Rules of Court' "hese petitions
ste((e) fro( O#B-%$!-A#-89-,+9, entitle) ,r. .lora de la Pe$a . ,r. Rafael C. /mega, Chief of 3ospital, ,r. Pedro .. -o'enciong,
Administratie /fficer I0, Crisologo R. Ba'ula, Supply /fficer I0, et al., all of 4astern 0isayas Regional %edical Center, #aclo'an City'

"he first, a Petition for Revie/ on Certiorari un)er Rule 23, )oc<ete) as G.R. No. 159883, see<s to nullify the ecision
0-1
an)
Resolution
0*1
)ate) Nove(ber *4, *,,* an) August *9, *,,+, respectively, of the Court of Appeals 5CA6 in CA-7'R' !P No' 283:3, )enying
petitioner 7obenciong@s petition for certiorari un)er Rule 43 an), thus, effectively affir(ing the assaile) Or)er
0+1
)ate) August *2, -88: of the
eputy O(bu)s(an-%isayas, preventively suspen)ing hi( fro( office'

$n the secon), a Petition for Certiorari un)er Rule 43 an) )oc<ete) as G.R. No. 168059, the Office of the O(bu)s(an assails, as
tainte) /ith grave abuse of )iscretion, the ecision
021
)ate) April *8, *,,3 of the CA in CA-7'R' !P No' 4-4:9, /hich set asi)e the
O(bu)s(an@s ecision
031
of #arch *-, *,,, an) Or)er of August -,, *,,, Or)er
041
in O#B-%$!-A#-89-,+9, but only insofar as it i(pose) a
penalty of one-year suspension on 7obenciong'

"he thir), a Petition for Revie/ on Certiorari un)er Rule 23, )oc<ete) as G.R. No. 173212, see<s to set asi)e the ecision an)
Resolution
091
)ate) April *8, *,,3 an) #ay *8, *,,4, respectively, of the CA in CA-7'R' !P No' 4-4:9, /hich sustaine) the aforesai) #arch *-,
*,,, an) August -,, *,,, rulings in O#B-%$!-A#-89-,+9,'

On &anuary -9, *,,4, the Court or)ere) the consoli)ation of G.R. No. 159883 /ith G.R. No. 168059, both to be consi)ere) as en
'anc cases'
0:1
"he consoli)ation ofG.R. No. 173212 /ith the first t/o cases later follo/e)'
081

The Facts

uring the perio) (aterial, 7obenciong hel) the position of A)(inistrative Officer $% in Eastern %isayas Regional #e)ical Center
5E%R#C6, a public hospital in "aclobanCity' On ece(ber +, -884, the appropriate E%R#C office issue) Re;uisition an) $ssue %oucher No'
5R$%6 EO---84 for one unit he(oanaly?er 5also calle) particle counter6, a(ong other ite(s' On its face, R$% EO---84 carrie), for the
he(oanaly?er, the specifications Felectric **,%, 3, fee) shelves capacityG /ith a han)/ritten unit price ;uotation of PhP -,-83,88:'

After public bi))ing /here Alve? Co((ercial, $nc' 5Alve?6 e(erge) as the best bi))er, Purchase Or)er No' 5PO6 EO-3-84 )ate)
ece(ber 8, -884 /as issue) covering t/o units of nebuli?er an) one unit particle counter /ith specifications F*+ Para(eters, 7enius, $taly,
electric **,%, fully auto(ate)G at the unit price as aforestate)'


As hospital )ocu(ents /oul) sho/, the nebuli?ers an) the he(oanaly?er appeare) to have been )elivere) on ece(ber *,, -884 an)
accepte) by Engr' &ose #' &ocano, &r' an) !upply Officer $$$ Crisologo R' Babula, per Certification of Acceptance they signe) to attest having
accepte) all the articles )elivere) by Alve? per !ales $nvoice No' ,9:4' !i(ilarly, Babula signe) !ales $nvoice No' ,9:4 to ac<no/le)ge receipt
in goo) con)ition of the articles covere) thereby' $n a))ition, it /as (a)e to appear in a Co((ission on Au)it 5COA6 $nspection Report that
&ocano an) 7obenciong ha) certifie) as correct the fin)ingDreco((en)ation that the t/o nebuli?ers an) the he(oanaly?er ha) been inspecte) as
to ;uality an) ;uantity as per !ales $nvoice No' ,9:4'

On ece(ber *4, -884, isburse(ent %oucher No' 5%6 -,--84-*--8:4, for PhP -,-4-,:-9'+3, net of cre)itable %A", /as
prepare)' 7obenciong, a(ong others, signe) the voucher to attest that the e.pense covere) thereby /as necessary, la/ful, an) incurre) un)er his
)irect supervision' Appen)e) to % -,--84-*--8:4 /ere )ocu(ents a)verte) to earlier, such as !ales $nvoice No' ,9:4, the Certification of
Acceptance, the COA $nspection Report, PO EO-3-84, an) R$% EO---84'

"he issuance on ece(ber *9, -884 of Lan)ban< Chec< No' 234+38 in the a(ount of PhP -,-4-,:-9'+3 in favor of Alve?, /hich then
purporte)ly issue) Receipt No' ,:-3, follo/e)'

On #arch +-, -889, or little over three (onths after the suppose) )elivery of the he(oanaly?er, Alve? a))resse) a letter to E%R#C
to assure the hospital that it /oul) be replacing the yet to-be-)elivere) slightly )efective he(oanaly?er /ith another unit' On April -, -889,
Alve? actually )elivere) the pro(ise) replace(entIIa 7enius particle counter /ith !erial No' +4-4*' $t /as installe) on April *, -889 an)
inspecte) the follo/ing )ay by &ocano an) 7obenciong'

"he instant case starte) /hen r' =lora )ela PeKa, >ea) of the E%R#C Laboratory Hnit, file), on &une *,, -889, an a)(inistrative
co(plaint before the Office of the O(bu)s(an-%isayas, charging 7obenciong, &ocano, Babula, an) three other E%R#C officers /ith
=alsification of Public ocu(ents an) #iscon)uct' "he co(plaint /as )oc<ete) as O#B-%$!-A#-89-,+9,'

$n a relate) (ove, )ela PeKa also file) a co(plaint /ith the epart(ent of >ealth 5O>6 /hich forth/ith for(e) a co((ittee to loo<
li<e/ise into the allege) ano(alous purchase of the e.pensive he(oanaly?er' "he investigation cul(inate) in the filing by the O> !ecretary of
a =or(al Charge
0-,1
)ate) October *8, -889 for -rae %isconduct, -ross &eglect of ,uty and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the
Serice against 7obenciong an) three others'

Ombudsman Ordered Preventive Suspension

On August *2, -88:, the eputy O(bu)s(an-%isayas, upon )ela PeKa@s (otion, issue) an Or)er, placing all, e.cept one, of the
respon)ents in O#B-%$!-A#-89-,+9, un)er preventive suspension an) )irecte) the proper O> officer to i((e)iately i(ple(ent the Or)er'
0--1

=ollo/ing his receipt on Nove(ber 8, -88: of a copy of the sai) or)er, 7obenciong /rote r' Lilia O' Arteche, O> Regional
irector for Region %$$$, re;uesting the )efer(ent of the i(ple(entation of the preventive suspension until after his to-be-file) (otion for
reconsi)eration shall have been resolve)'


Confor(ably /ith the O(bu)s(an@s )irective,
0-*1
Arteche, via a #e(oran)u(
0-+1
)ate) Nove(ber --, -88:, infor(e) the affecte)
respon)ents in O#B-%$!-A#-89-,+9, that their si.-(onth preventive suspension shall ta<e effect i((e)iately upon their receipt of the
(e(oran)u('

On Nove(ber -*, -88:, 7obenciong sought reconsi)eration of the August *2, -88: preventive suspension or)er' But )ue to the
virtual )enial of his plea for the )efer(ent of his preventive suspension, 7obenciong, /ithout a/aiting the Office of the O(bu)s(an@s action on
his (otion for reconsi)eration, /ent to the CA on a petition for certiorari, /ith a plea for the issuance of te(porary restraining or)er 5"RO6' "he
petition /as )oc<ete) as CA-7'R' !P No' 283:3'

On Nove(ber -8, -88:, the CA issue) a "RO enCoining then eputy O(bu)s(an-%isayas Arturo #oCica an) Arteche fro(
i(ple(enting the or)er of preventive suspension in O#B-%$!-A#-89-,+9,'
0-21


As later )evelop(ents /oul) sho/, the "RO, /hile )uly serve), evi)ently /ent unhee)e), for 7obenciong faile) to get bac< to his
/or< or get his salary until after the lapse of the suspension perio) in #ay -888' "his turn of events i(pelle) 7obenciong to (ove that Arteche
an) #oCica be cite) in conte(pt' "he CA, ho/ever, )i) not act on the (otion'

The Ruling of the Ombudsman in OMB-VIS-ADM-97-0370

Before the CA coul) resolve CA-7'R' !P No' 283:3, the O(bu)s(an ren)ere) on #arch *-, *,,, a ecision, fin)ing 7obenciong
an) several others guilty in O#B-%$!-A#-89-,+9,' "he )ecretal portion of the O(bu)s(an@s ecision partly rea)s:
A>ERE=ORE, fin)ing substantial evi)ence to hol) respon)ents RA=AEL C' O#E7A, PEDRO F.
GOBENCIONG, CR$!OLO7O R' BABHLA, an) &O!E #' &OCANO of Con)uct 7rossly PreCu)icial to the Best $nterest
of the !ervice, it is respectfully recommended that they be meted the penalty of SUSPENSION =RO# ">E
!ER%$CE FOR ONE (1) YEAR A$">OH" PAB'
0-31
5E(phasis a))e)'6


"he above guilty ver)ict /as (ainly pre)icate) on the fin)ing that the Certification of Acceptance an) the COA $nspection Report,
a(ong other )ocu(ents, /ere falsifie), there being no actual )elivery on ece(ber *,, -884 of the covere) he(oanaly?er' "here /as thus no
legal basis for the issuance of % -,--84-*--8:4 an) the correspon)ing Lan)ban< chec< for PhP -,-4-,:-9'+3'

!ubse;uently, 7obenciong, et al' (ove) for reconsi)eration, but the O(bu)s(an, by an Or)er of August -,, *,,,, )enie) their
(otion'

$n )ue ti(e, 7obenciong appeale) fro( the above )ecision an) or)er to the appellate court, the appeal )oc<ete) as CA-7'R' !P No'
4-4:9'

On Nove(ber -4, *,,,, the Office of the O(bu)s(an-%isayas, through irector %irginia P' !antiago, by an Or)er,
0-41
)irecte) the
O> Regional Office No' %$$$ to i((e)iately i(ple(ent its ecision an) i(pose the penalties )ecree) therein, /hich, in the case of
7obenciong, /as one-year suspension fro( office /ithout pay'

On ece(ber --, *,,,, 7obenciong (ove) that !antiago be cite) in conte(pt of court
0-91
for issuing the Nove(ber -4, *,,, Or)er
)espite being notifie) of his appeal inCA-7'R' !P No' 4-4:9' Li<e his earlier si(ilar (otion, this (otion /as neither )enie) nor grante) by the
CA'



The Ruling of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 49585

Long after the issuance of the ecision )ate) #arch *-, *,,, in O#B-%$!-A#-89-,+9,, the CA, on Nove(ber *4, *,,*, ren)ere)
a ecision in CA-7'R' !P No' 283:3, )enying 7obenciong@s petition for certiorari assailing the )irective, an) the i(ple(entation thereof, for
the i((e)iate e.ecution of his preventive suspension' ispositively, the CA /rote:
A>ERE=ORE, the foregoing pre(ises consi)ere), the petition for certiorari is EN$E HE COHR!E an)
hereby $!#$!!E' No pronounce(ent as to costs'

!O ORERE'
0-:1


"he CA )is(isse) 7obenciong@s petition on the strength of !ection *2 in relation to !ec' *9 of Republic Act No' 5RA6 499,,
other/ise <no/n as the /m'udsman Act of :=H=' "he interplay of both sections e.pressly e(po/ers the O(bu)s(an, un)er )efine) con)itions,
to preventively suspen), for a (a.i(u( perio) of si. (onths, all but three categories of public officials an) e(ployees un)er investigation by his
office an) to )irect the i((e)iate i(ple(entation of the correspon)ing suspension or)er'

7obenciong@s (otion for reconsi)eration of the above )ecision /as reCecte) by the appellate court on August *9, *,,+'

>ence, the Petition for Revie/ on Certiorari in G.R. No. 159883'

The Ruling of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 61687


On April *8, *,,3, the CA, on the postulate that the )isciplinary authority of the Office of the O(bu)s(an is (erely
reco((en)atory, ren)ere) its ecision in CA-7'R' !P No' 4-4:9, partially granting )ue course to 7obenciong@s appeal an) effectively
(o)ifying the ecision )ate) #arch *-, *,,, of the O(bu)s(an' "he )ecretal portion of the CA ecision rea)s:

A>ERE=ORE, in vie/ of the foregoing pre(ises, Cu)g(ent is hereby ren)ere) by us 7RAN"$N7 the petition
file) in this case an) !E""$N7 A!$E the ecision )ate) #arch *-, *,,, an) the Or)er )ate) August -,, *,,, ren)ere)
an) issue) by the Office of the O(bu)s(an in O#B-%$!-A#-89-,+9, insofar as sai) office )irectly i(poses upon the
petitioner the penalty of suspension fro( the service for one 5-6 year /ithout pay'
0-81



$nvo<e) as part of the ratio decidendi of the CA ecision /as #apiador . /ffice of the /m'udsman,
0*,1
/hich the appellate court
vie/e) as )eclaring that the )isciplinary po/er of the O(bu)s(an in a)(inistrative cases is li(ite) only to reco((en)ing to the )isciplining
authority the appropriate penalty to be (ete) out' $n the concrete, as gleane) fro( the CA ecision, this (eans that the O(bu)s(an cannot
co(pel the O> to i(pose the penalty reco((en)e) in its un)erlying ecision of #arch *-, *,,,'

"herefro(, the parties availe) the(selves of )ifferent re(e)ies to contest before this Court the above )ecision of the CA'

"he Office of the O(bu)s(an, ascribing grave abuse of )iscretion on the part of the appellate court, assaile) the above )ecision
through a Petition for Certiorari un)er Rule 43, )oc<ete) as G.R. No. 168059'
0*-1

On the other han), 7obenciong file) his #otion for Partial Reconsi)eration of the ecision )ate) April *8, *,,3,
0**1
/hich the CA
)enie) via its Resolution )ate) #ay *8, *,,4' "hus, the instant Petition for Revie/ on Certiorari file) by 7obenciong, no/ )oc<ete) as G.R.
No. 173212'
$n the (eanti(e, on &anuary -4, *,,3, 7obenciong retire) fro( the service'

The Issues

$n G.R. No. 159883, petitioner 7obenciong sub(its that the CA erre):
A'
. . . A>EN $" HP>EL ">E $#PLE#EN"A"$ON O= ">E PRE%EN"$%E !H!PEN!$ON ORER E!P$"E ">E
0"RO1 $" $!!HE AN ">E CON"$NHE E=$ANCE O= PHBL$C RE!PONEN"! O= ">E 0"RO1'

B'
. . . $N NO" >OL$N7 PHBL$C RE!PONEN"! 7H$L"B O= CON"E#P" O= COHR" =OR E=B$N7 ">E
0"RO1'

C'
. . . A>EN $" HP>EL ">E $#PLE#EN"A"$ON O= ">E PRE%EN"$%E !H!PEN!$ON ORER I

-' E!P$"E ">E =AC" ">A" $"! $#PLE#EN"A"$ON %$OLA"E PE"$"$ONER@! R$7>" "O HE PROCE!!
O= LAAE
*' E!P$"E ">E =AC" ">A" $"! $#PLE#EN"A"$ON %$OLA"E PE"$"$ONER@! R$7>" "O ">E ELHAL
PRO"EC"$ON O= ">E LAA!E AN
+' E!P$"E ">E =AC" ">A" "O O !O AOHL !ANC"$ON AN HNCON!"$"H"$ONAL APPL$CA"$ON O=
!EC"$ON! *95-6 AN ">E !ECON PARA7RAP> O= !EC"$ON *2 O= 0RA1 499,'



$n G.R. No. 168059, petitioner Office of the O(bu)s(an raises the follo/ing groun)s for the allo/ance of its petition:

$'

">E CON!"$"H"$ON OE! NO" BAR ">E O==$CE O= ">E O#BH!#AN =RO# ERERC$!$N7
A#$N$!"RA"$%E $!C$PL$NARB AH">OR$"B O%ER PHBL$C O==$C$AL! AN E#PLOBEE! $N 7ENERAL'

$$'

CON7RE!! CON!"$"H"$ONALLB CLO">E ">E O==$CE O= ">E O#BH!#AN A$"> =HLL
A#$N$!"RA"$%E $!C$PL$NARB AH">OR$"B $N 7ENERAL, CO#PLE"E A$"> ALL ">E RELH$!$"E
CO#PONEN"! A! CON"A$NE $N 0RA1 499,, CON!$ER$N7 ">A":

A' ">E -8:9 CON!"$"H"$ON ERPRE!!LB AH">OR$ME CON7RE!! "O 7RAN" ">E O#BH!#AN
A$"$ONAL POAER!E

B' CON7RE!!, BO"> PHR!HAN" "O $"! ERPRE!! CON!"$"H"$ONAL AH">OR$"B $N ">E CA!E O=
">E O#BH!#AN, AN $N ">E ERERC$!E O= $"! PLENARB LE7$!LA"$%E POAER!, ENAC"E 0RA1 499,
PRO%$$N7 ">ERE$N ">E O#BH!#AN@! =HLL AN CO#PLE"E A#$N$!"RA"$%E $!C$PL$NARB
POAER AN H"BE

C' ">ERE $! NO">$N7 $N ">E !A$ !"A"H"ORB 7RAN" O= A#$N$!"RA"$%E $!C$PL$NARB
POAER A>$C> CAN BE RE#O"ELB CON!$ERE $NCON!$!"EN" A$"> ">E -8:9 CON!"$"H"$ONE AN

' %E!"$N7 ">E O#BH!#AN A$"> =HLL $!C$PL$NARB AH">OR$"B $! AB!OLH"ELB $N
CON!ONANCE A$"> ">E !O%ERE$7N $N"EN", A! ERPRE!!E BB ">E LE""ER O=, AN $N ">E
EL$BERA"$ON! ON, ">E -8:9 CON!"$"H"$ON, I.4., ">E $N"EN" "O CREA"E AN E==EC"$%E, RA">ER
">AN E==E"E, PRO"EC"OR O= ">E PEOPLE $N!HLA"E =RO# POL$"$CAL $N=LHENCE'

$$$'

">E $!C$PL$NARB AH">OR$"B 7RAN"E "O ">E O#BH!#AN $NCLHE! ">E AH">OR$"B "O
E"ER#$NE ">E PENAL"B AN "O CAH!E ">E !A#E "O BE $#PLE#EN"E BB ">E >EA O= A7ENCB
CONCERNE, CON!$ER$N7 ">A":

A' 0RA1 499, CON"A$N! ERPRE!! PRO%$!$ON! 7RAN"$N7 ">E O#BH!#AN ">E AH">OR$"B "O
E"ER#$NE AN CAH!E ">E $#PLE#EN"A"$ON O= A#$N$!"RA"$%E PENAL"$E!E

B' A $!C$PL$NARB POAER BERE=" O= ">E NECE!!ARB CO#PONEN" O= E"ER#$N$N7 ">E
PENAL"B AN CAH!$N7 ">E $#PLE#EN"A"$ON ">EREO= $! O"$O!EE

C' E%EN A!!H#$N7 ">A" ">E $#PLE#EN"A"$ON O= PENAL"$E! A!!E!!E BB ">E O#BH!#AN
$! !HB&EC" "O !EC"$ON -+5+6, AR"' R$ O= ">E CON!"$"H"$ON, AN ">E $NEPENEN" =$R!" PAR" O=
!EC"$ON -35+6 O= 0RA1 499,, ">E LA""ER PRO%$!$ON! !"$LL E#POAER ">E O#BH!#AN "O FEN!HRE
CO#PL$ANCEG A$"> $"! FRECO##ENA"$ON!GE AN

' A CON"RARB RHLE CAN ONLB RE!HL" $N =HR">ER LE7AL AN PRAC"$CAL AB!HR$"$E!'

$%'

">E REL$ANCE BB ">E >ONORABLE 0CA1 ON ">E /BI#4R ,IC#C% $N #APIA,/R 0S. /..IC4 /. #34
/%BC,S%A&, . . . $!PO!!E!!$N7 ">E O#BH!#AN O= $"! $!C$PL$NARB AH">OR$"B, CON!$"H"E!
A 7RA%E ERROR CON!$ER$N7 ">A":

A' !HC> A PA!!$N7 !"A"E#EN" #H!" BE $N"ERPRE"E "O #EAN ">A" ">E O#BH!#AN
CANNO" F$REC"LBG $#PLE#EN" $"! A#$N$!"RA"$%E EC$!$ON!E AN

B' !HC> A !"A"E#EN" $! AN >A! RE#A$NE AN /BI#4R ,IC#C% A>$C> OE! NO" >A%E ">E
!"A"H! O= A LE7AL OC"R$NE'


$n G.R. No. 173212, petitioner 7obenciong argues that the CA co((itte) errors of la/:
A'
. . . A>EN $" $ NO" ECLARE A! HNCON!"$"H"$ONAL 0RA1 499,, !EC"$ON! -3 5-6, -8, AN *-,
0$N!O=AR1 A! ">EB 7RAN" "O ">E O#BH!#AN AN >$! EPH"$E! ">E AH">OR$"B "O
$N%E!"$7A"E AN PRO!ECH"E ANB AC" OR O#$!!$ON, A#$N$!"RA"$%E OR O">ERA$!E, O= ANB
PHBL$C O==$CER OR E#PLOBEE, OR "O "AOE O%ER, A" ANB !"A7E, =RO# ANB $N%E!"$7A"ORB
A7ENCB O= 7O%ERN#EN", ">E $N%E!"$7A"$ON O= !HC> CA!E!, =OR BE$N7 AN $N%AL$
ELE7A"$ON O= LE7$!LA"$%E AH">OR$"B'

B'
. . . A>EN $" $ NO" ECLARE A! HNCON!"$"H"$ONAL 0RA1 499,, !EC"$ON! -3 5-6, -8, *-, *2 AN *3,
0$N!O=AR1 A! ">EB 7RAN" "O ">E O#BH!#AN AN >$! EPH"$E! ">E AH">OR$"B "O
$N%E!"$7A"E, PRO!ECH"E AN PENAL$ME, ANB AC" OR O#$!!$ON, A#$N$!"RA"$%E OR O">ERA$!E,
O= ANB PHBL$C O==$CER OR E#PLOBEE, OR "O "AOE O%ER, A" ANB !"A7E =RO# ANB
$N%E!"$7A"ORB A7ENCB O= 7O%ERN#EN", ">E $N%E!"$7A"$ON O= !HC> CA!E!, AN "O $#PO!E
!H!PEN!$ON, E$">ER PRE%EN"$%E OR A! PENAL"B, =OR BE$N7 %$OLA"$%E O= PE"$"$ONER@!
CON!"$"H"$ONAL R$7>" "O ELHAL PRO"EC"$ON O= ">E LAA!'

C'
. . . A>EN $" ACLH$E!CE "O ">E EPH"B O#BH!#AN 5%$!ABA!6@! %$OLA"$ON O= 0RA1 499,, ">E
O#BH!#AN LAA'

'
. . . A>EN $" HP>EL ">E EC$!$ON O= ">E EPH"B O#BH!#AN 5%$!ABA!6 =$N$N7 PE"$"$ONER
7H$L"B O= CONHC" 7RO!!LB PRE&H$C$AL "O ">E BE!" $N"ERE!" O= ">E !ER%$CE'

E'
. . . $N RE=H!$N7 "O C$"E $REC"OR %$R7$N$A PALANCA-!AN"$A7O O= ">E O==$CE O= ">E EPH"B
O#BH!#AN 5%$!ABA!6 $N CON"E#P" O= COHR"'


"he groun)s relie) upon an) the errors assigne) (ay be re)uce) into three issues, to /it: first, /hether the preventive suspension
or)ere) by the O(bu)s(an is i((e)iately e.ecutory, the filing in )ue ti(e of a (otion to reconsi)er the correspon)ing or)er
not/ithstan)ingE second, /hether the )isciplinary po/er of the O(bu)s(an is (erely reco((en)atory an) e.clu)es the authority to Fensure
co(plianceG of his Freco((en)ationsGE an) third, /hether RA 499,, on the groun) of un)ue )elegation of legislative authority an) un)er the
e;ual protection clause, is unconstitutional insofar as it grants the O(bu)s(an an) his )eputies the authority Fto investigate, prosecute an)
penali?e any act or o(ission, a)(inistrative or other/ise, of any public officer or e(ployee, or to ta<e over, at any stage, fro( any investigatory
agency of 7overn(ent, the investigation of such cases'G

The Court`s Ruling

"here is nothing novel about the un)erlying )eter(inative issues raise) by any of the petitioners' "he Court, in a catena of recent
cases, has for the (ost part fully settle) the(E an) the correspon)ing )ispositions in those cases (ilitate against 7obenciong@s cause, as
articulate) in his t/in Petitions for Revie/ on Certiorari, but augur /ell for the O(bu)s(an@s petition'

First Main Issue: Provisionary Orders of the Ombudsman
Immediately Executory

As 7obenciong argues, his ti(ely filing of a (otion for reconsi)eration of the subCect preventive suspension or)er strippe) such or)er
of its other/ise ;uality of i((e)iacy' >e points out that /hile !ec' *9 of RA 499, provi)es for the i((e)iate e.ecution of provisionary or)ers
of the O(bu)s(an, !ec' :, Rule $$$ of the O(bu)s(an Rules of Proce)ure, /hich is purporte)ly )erive) fro( sai) !ec' *9, intentionally o(itte)
the (atter of i((e)iate e.ecution' Pushing the point, 7obenciong /oul) then argue that this o(ission conte.tually /or<e) to repeal part of sai)
!ec' *9' "o 7obenciong, the repeal is /ithin the O(bu)s(an@s po/er to effect un)er the last paragraph of !ec' *9, RA 499,'

Prescin)ing fro( the foregoing pre(ises, 7obenciong /oul) posit the vie/ that the i((e)iate i(ple(entation of his preventive
suspension, )espite his having (ove) for reconsi)eration, violate) his right to )ue process an) to the e;ual protection of la/' $n this regar), he
cites the (ore lenient, but Cust as applicable an) effective, Civil !ervice la/ /hich allo/s an appeal fro( an or)er of preventive suspension an)
)oes not consi)er the sa(e as i((e)iately e.ecutory'

=inally, 7obenciong (a<es reference to the (atter of the CA having issue) a "RO, /hich both the O> an) the eputy
O(bu)s(an-%isayas ignore), an) to the CA@s subse;uent refusal to resolve his conte(pt (otion'

Ae are not convince)'

Repeals by i(plication are not favore), as la/s are presu(e) to be passe) /ith full <no/le)ge of all e.isting legislations on the
subCect' $n or)er that one la/ or /hat passes for one (ay operate to repeal another la/, the t/o la/s (ust be inconsistent, that is, the for(er (ust
be so repugnant as to be irreconcilable /ith the latter act'
0*+1

Even as /e conce)e the O(bu)s(an@s authority to a(en) certain proce)ural rules of RA 499,, /e agree /ith the CA@s hol)ing on
the absence of an irreconcilable conflict, vis-]-vis the i(ple(entation of a preventive suspension or)er, bet/een !ec' *9 of RA 499, an) !ec' :,
Rule $$$ of the O(bu)s(an Rules of Proce)ure' =or reference, /e repro)uce the pertinent provisions of both issuances:

Sec. 27 of RA 6770

!ec' *9' 4ffectiity and .inality of ,ecisions'TAll provisionary or)ers of the Office of the O(bu)s(an are
i((e)iately effective an) e.ecutory'

A (otion for reconsi)eration of any or)er, )irective or )ecision of the Office of the O(bu)s(an (ust be file)
/ithin five 536 )ays after receipt of /ritten notice an) shall be entertaine) only on any of the follo/ing groun)s:

5-6 Ne/ evi)ence has been )iscovere) /hich (aterially affects the or)er, )irective or )ecisionE

5*6 Errors of la/ or irregularities have been co((itte) preCu)icial to the interest of the (ovants' "he (otion
for reconsi)eration shall be resolve) /ithin three 5+6 )ays fro( filingE Proided, "hat only one (otion for reconsi)eration
shall be entertaine)'

. . . Any or)er, )irective or )ecision i(posing the penalty of public censure or repri(an), suspension of not
(ore than one (onth@s salary shall be final an) unappealable'

"he above rules (ay be a(en)e) or (o)ifie) by the Office of the O(bu)s(an as the interest of Custice (ay
re;uire'
0*21


Sec. 8, Rule III of the Ombudsman Rules of Procedure

!ec' :' %otion for Reconsideration or reinestigationN -rounds'TAhenever allo/able, a (otion for
reconsi)eration or reinvestigation (ay only be entertaine) if file) /ithin ten 5-,6 )ays fro( receipt of the )ecision by the
respon)ent on any of the follo/ing groun)s:

a6 Ne/ evi)ence ha) been )iscovere) /hich (aterially affects the or)er, )irective or )ecisionE

b6 7rave errors of facts or la/s or serious irregularities have been co((itte) preCu)icial to the interest of
the (ovant'

Only one (otion for reconsi)eration or reinvestigation shall be allo/e), an) the hearing officers shall resolve
the sa(e /ithin five 536 )ays fro( receipt thereof'


$n)ee), there e.ists no irreconcilable inconsistency bet/een the t/o sets of provisions respecting the i((e)iate i(ple(entability of a
preventive suspension or)er e(anating fro( the O(bu)s(an' As it /ere, the conflict concerns only the perio) for filing a (otion for
reconsi)eration' Ahat /as once the five-)ay regle(entary perio) fi.e) un)er !ec' *95*6, RA 499, is no/ -, )ays un)er !ec' :, Rule $$$,
O(bu)s(an Rules of Proce)ure' Apart fro( this change, both sections in ;uestion can vali)ly be har(oni?e) an) given effect at the sa(e ti(e'

Ae cannot, accor)ingly, subscribe to 7obenciong@s contention that !ec' *95-6, RA 499, is )ee(e) repeale) for not being
incorporate) or carrie) into the O(bu)s(an Rules of Proce)ure' =or, if this outlan)ish posture of 7obenciong is, un)er the pre(ises, pushe) to
its logical conclusion, then any an) all relate) provisions of RA 499, not touche) upon in the O(bu)s(an Rules of Proce)ure /oul) be
consi)ere) abrogate), regar)less of the absence of real conflicts' "he Court nee) not belabor the absur)ity of 7obenciong@s logic'

Rea)ing an) har(oni?ing together the afore;uote) !ec' *95-6 of RA 499, an) !ec' :, Rule $$$ of the O(bu)s(an Rules of Proce)ure,
it is at once apparent that the i((e)iately e.ecutory ;uality of a preventive suspension or)er )oes not preclu)e the preventively
suspen)e) respon)ent fro( see<ing reconsi)eration of such or)er' $n fine, the e.istence an) avail(ent, if this be the case, of the right to (ove for
reconsi)eration )oes not motu proprio stay the i((e)iate e.ecution of the provisionary or)er of preventive suspension' "he un;ualifie) use of
the phrase Fi((e)iately effective an) e.ecutoryG in !ec' *95-6 of RA 499, suggests this conclusion'

An or)er of preventive suspension is a preliminary step in an a)(inistrative investigation' An) it is usually (a)e i((e)iately
effective an) e.ecutory to prevent the respon)ent fro( using hisDher position or office to influence prospective /itnesses or ta(per /ith the
recor)s /hich (ay be vital to the prosecution of the case'
0*31

At any rate, RA 499, itself contains li(iting bars to the e.ercise by the O(bu)s(an or his )eputies of the po/er to i(pose preventive
suspension' !ec' *2 of RA 499, thus provi)es:

!ec' *2' Preentie Suspension'T"he O(bu)s(an or his eputy (ay preventively suspen) any officer or
e(ployee un)er his authority pen)ing an investigation, if in his Cu)g(ent the evi)ence of guilt is strong, an) 5a6 the charge
against such officer or e(ployee involves )ishonesty, oppression or grave (iscon)uct or neglect in the perfor(ance of
)utyE 5b6 the charges /oul) /arrant re(oval fro( the serviceE or 5c6 the respon)ent@s continue) stay in office (ay
preCu)ice the case file) against hi('

"he preventive suspension shall continue until the case is ter(inate) by the Office of the O(bu)s(an but not
(ore than si. (onths, /ithout pay, e.cept /hen the )elay in the )isposition of the case by the Office of the O(bu)s(an is
)ue to the fault, negligence or petition of the respon)ent, in /hich case the perio) of such )elay shall not be counte) in
co(puting the perio) of suspension herein provi)e)'



E.poun)ing on the li(itation a)verte) to, the Court has hel) that a preventive suspension or)er shall issue only if the O(bu)s(an, or
any of his )eputies, e.ercising soun) Cu)g(ent, )eter(ines that the evi)ence of guilt is strong an) that any of the three con)itions set forth in !ec'
*2 of RA 499, is present' "hus, in -arcia . %ojica, the Court hel) that the O(bu)s(an an) his )eputies have the )iscretion to e.ercise such
)eter(ination, thus:

"here can be no ;uestion in this case as to the po/er an) authority of respon)ent eputy O(bu)s(an to issue
an or)er of preventive suspension against an official li<e the petitioner, to prevent that official fro( using his office to
inti(i)ate or to influence /itnesses or to ta(per /ith recor)s that (ight be vital to the prosecution of the case against hi('
0*41


As things thus stan), the Office of the O(bu)s(an can, as a (atter of statutory e(po/er(ent, vali)ly or)er the i((e)iate e.ecution
of a preventive suspension after )eter(ining the propriety of the i(position, regar)less of the re(e)y of reconsi)eration (a)e available un)er the
la/ to the suspen)e) respon)ent' Accor)ingly, 7obenciong@s la(ent about his right to )ue process, being violate) as a result of the i((e)iate
i(ple(entation of his preventive suspension, has really no legal leg to stan) on' An) if only to stress a point, a preventive suspension, not being a
penalty for an a)(inistrative infraction, is i(posable /ithout prior hearing'

"he foregoing consi)ere), the (atters of the issuance by the CA of a "RO bearing on the i(ple(entation of the preventive suspension
in ;uestion an) 7obenciong@s unacte) conte(pt (otions have beco(e (oot an) aca)e(ic, for the preventive suspension ha) been serve) an) the
CA ha), for all intents an) purposes, )enie) the sai) (otions'

"his brings us to the issue of the allege) violation of the e;ual protection clause' 7obenciong parlays the theory that the application of
RA 499,, /hich authori?es the O(bu)s(an to i(pose a si.-(onth preventive suspension, instea) of the civil service provisions of the
A)(inistrative Co)e, /hich li(its the )isciplining authority@s prerogative to only i(posing a prevention suspension for a perio) not e.cee)ing
8, )ays, violates the e;ual protection guarantee'

Ae are not persua)e)' At its (ost basic, the e;ual protection clause is against un)ue favor an) in)ivi)ual or class privilege, as /ell as
hostile )iscri(inationE it )oes not )e(an) absolute e;uality' "he fun)a(ental guarantee is not breache) by a la/ /hich applies only to those
persons falling /ithin a specifie) class, if it applies ali<e to all persons /ithin such class an) provi)e) further that there is a substantial )istinction
bet/een those /ho fall /ithin such class an) those /ho )o not'
0*91
$n %iranda . Sandigan'ayan, /here the issue of e;ual protection /as raise),
albeit the 4,-)ay preventive suspension li(it un)er the Local 7overn(ent Co)e /as involve), /e rule) against any violation of the constitutional
proscription against the e;ual protection of the la/, thus:

$n essence, 0the )issenting opinion1 avers that there is no substantial )istinction bet/een preventive suspensions
han)e) )o/n by the O(bu)s(an an) those i(pose) by e.ecutive officials' On the contrary, there is a /orl) of )ifference
bet/een the(' "he Constitution has en)o/e) the O(bu)s(an /ith uni;ue safeguar)s to ensure i((unity fro( political
pressure' A(ong these statutory protections are fiscal autono(y, fi.e) ter( of office an) classification as an i(peachable
officer' "his (uch /as recogni?e) by this Court in the earlier cite) case of -arcia . %ojica' #oreover, there are stricter
safeguar)s for i(position of preventive suspension by the O(bu)s(an' "he O(bu)s(an Act of -8:8 re;uires that
the O(bu)s(an )eter(ine: 5-6 that the evi)ence of guilt is strongE an) 5*6 that any of the follo/ing circu(stances are
present: 5a6 the charge against such officer or e(ployee involves )ishonesty, oppression, or grave (iscon)uct or neglect in
the perfor(ance of )utyE 5b6 the charges /oul) /arrant re(oval fro( the serviceE or 5c6 the respon)ent@s continue) stay in
office (ay preCu)ice the case file) against hi('
0*:1



Second Main Issue: Ombudsman has power to ensure
compliance with imposition of penalties pursuant
to his administrative disciplinary authority

"he Office of the O(bu)s(an@s assertion, about being in possession of full a)(inistrative )isciplinary authority over public officials
an) e(ployees, e.cept i(peachable officials, (e(bers of Congress, an) the &u)iciary, inclu)ing the po/er to )eter(ine the penalty therefor an)
to cause the sa(e to be i(ple(ente) by the hea) of the govern(ent agency concerne), is correct' &urispru)ence on the (atter is
settle)' Accor)ingly, any suggestion that its po/er to re(ove, suspen), or censure is (erely a)visory or reco((en)atory has to be reCecte)
outright' An) the CA@s reference to #apiador
0*81
to un)erpin its conclusion on the reco((en)atory nature of the O(bu)s(an@s )isciplinary
authority is (isplace) an) erroneous, the cite) portion of #apiador being a (ere o'iter dictum' "he Court (a)e this abun)antly clear
in !edesma . Court of Appeals
0+,1
an) subse;uently in /ffice of the /m'udsman . Court of Appeals'
0+-1
$n !edesma, /e hel) that the
pronounce(ent in #apiador on the authority of the O(bu)s(an is at (ost ano'iter dictum, /hich cannot be cite) as a )octrinal pronounce(ent
of the Court, ratiocinating as follo/s:
Petitioner insists that the /or) FrecommendG be given its literal (eaningE that is, that the O(bu)s(an@s action
is only a)visory in nature rather than one having any bin)ing effect, citing #apiador . /ffice of the /m'udsman, thus:

' ' ' Besi)es, assu(ing arguendo, that petitioner /ere 5sic6 a)(inistratively liable, the O(bu)s(an has no
authority to )irectly )is(iss the petitioner fro( the govern(ent service N Hn)er !ection -+, subparagraph 5+6,
of Article R$ of the -8:9 Constitution, the O(bu)s(an can only Freco((en)G the re(oval of the public
official or e(ployee foun) to be at fault, to the public official concerne)'

=or their part, the !olicitor 7eneral an) the Office of the O(bu)s(an argue that the /or) FrecommendG (ust
be ta<en in conCunction /ith the phrase Fand ensure compliance therewith'G "he proper interpretation of the Court@s
state(ent in #apiador shoul) be that the O(bu)s(an has the authority to )eter(ine the a)(inistrative liability of a public
official or e(ployee at fault, an) )irect an) co(pel the hea) of the office or agency concerne) to i(ple(ent the penalty
i(pose)' $n other /or)s, it (erely concerns the procedural aspect of the O(bu)s(an@s functions an) not its jurisdiction'

Ae agree /ith the ratiocination of public respon)ents' !everal reasons (ilitate against a literal interpretation of
the subCect constitutional provision' =irstly, a cursory rea)ing of #apiador reveals that the (ain point of the case /as the
failure of the co(plainant therein to present substantial evi)ence to prove the charges of the a)(inistrative case' The
statement that made reference to the power of the Ombudsman is, at best, merely an o"iter dictum and, as it is
unsupported by sufficient explanation, is susceptible to varying interpretations, as what precisely is before us in this
case. Hence, it cannot be cited as a doctrinal declaration of this Court nor is it safe from judicial examination'
0+*1
5E(phasis ours'6


=or goo) (easure, /e further state):

. . . "hat the refusal, /ithout Cust cause, of any officer to co(ply /ith an or)er of the O(bu)s(an to penali?e
an erring officer or e(ployee is a groun) for )isciplinary action, is a strong in)ication that the O(bu)s(an@s
Freco((en)ationG is not (erely a)visory in nature but is actually (an)atory /ithin the boun)s of la/' . . . By stating
that the O(bu)s(an Freco((en)sG the action to be ta<en against an erring officer or e(ployee, the provisions of the
Constitution an) in RA 499, inten)e) that the i(ple(entation of the or)er be course) through the proper officer, /hich in
this case /oul) be the hea) of the B$'
0++1


$n /ffice of the /m'udsman, on the core issue of /hether the O(bu)s(an can only reco((en), but cannot i(pose, a)(inistrative
sanctions over erring public officers an) e(ployees, the Court reiterate) its ruling in !edesma, observing:

$n the present case, the Court si(ilarly uphol)s the Office of the O(bu)s(an@s po/er to i(pose the penalty of
re(oval, suspension, )e(otion, fine, censure, or prosecution of a public officer or e(ployee foun) to be at fault, in the
e.ercise of its a)(inistrative )isciplinary authority' "he e.ercise of such po/er is /ell foun)e) in the Constitution an)
Republic Act No' 499,'
0+21


An) to put to rest any uncertainty that (ight have been occasione) by a (isrea)ing of #apiador, /e procee)e) to e.plain in /ffice of
the /m'udsman that the Office of the O(bu)s(an@s basic constitutional (an)ate as F0protector1 of the peopleG is e(bo)ie) in !ec' -+
0+31
of RA
499,, /hile its specific constitutional functions are substantially reiterate) in !ec' -3
0+41
of the sa(e RA' "hus, the authority of the O(bu)s(an
to con)uct a)(inistrative investigations is of constitutional origin, procee)ing as it )oes fro( !ec' -+5-6, Article R$ of the Constitution,
0+91
/hich
rea)s:

!ec' -+' "he Office of the O(bu)s(an shall have the follo/ing po/ers, functions an) )uties:

5-6 $nvestigate on its o/n, or on co(plaint by any person, any act or o(ission of any public official, e(ployee,
office or agency, /hen such act or o(ission appears to be illegal, unCust, i(proper, or inefficient'

Not to be overloo<e) of course is RA 499, /hich grants, as it /ere, the O(bu)s(an full a)(inistrative )isciplinary authority as sai)
statute is replete /ith provisions that, to borro/ fro( /ffice of the /m'udsman:

cover the entire ga(ut of a)(inistrative a)Cu)ication /hich entails the authority to, inter alia, receive co(plaints, con)uct
investigations, hol) hearings in accor)ance /ith its rules of proce)ure, su((on /itnesses an) re;uire the pro)uction of
)ocu(ents, place un)er preventive suspension public officers or e(ployees as /arrante) by the evi)ence, an), necessarily,
i(pose the sai) penalty'
0+:1

A(ong others, the provisions cite) in /ffice of the /m'udsman /ere !ecs' -8,
0+81
*-,
02,1
**,
02-1
*+,
02*1
an) *3
02+1
of RA 499,'
As a final point, in /ffice of the /m'udsman, /e stresse) that the history of RA 499, bears out the conclusion that Congress inten)e)
the Office of the O(bu)s(an to be Fan activist /atch(an,G not (erely a passive one,
0221
possessing full a)(inistrative )isciplinary authority,
inclu)ing the po/er to i(pose the penalty of re(oval an) to prosecute a public officer or e(ployee foun) to be at fault' "he Court, in Cy .
Sandigan'ayan,
0231
gave vali)ation to the legislative intent a)verte) to'

"he parallel hol)ings in !edesma an) /ffice of the /m'udsman /oul) later be echoe) in a sle/ of cases, a(ong the latest of /hich
/ere Commission on Audit, Regional /ffice &o. :), Butuan City . 3inampas
0241
an) /ffice of the /m'udsman . Santiago'
0291

Third Main Issue: RA 6770 provisos granting investigative, prosecutorial and disciplinary powers to the
Ombudsman not unconstitutional

Ae no/ co(e to the conclu)ing in;uiry'

7obenciong asseverates that the grant unto the O(bu)s(an un)er RA 499, of the po/er to ta<e over a )isciplinary case, at any stage
of the investigation, to investigate any act or o(ission, a)(inistrative, or other/ise, an) to )irect the i(ple(entation of a preventive suspension
or)er constitutes unconstitutional )elegation of authority' >e )escribes the e.ercise by the O(bu)s(an an) his )eputies of such po/ers as a
Froving co((ission,G )evoi) of any li(itation an) chec<-an)-balance (echanis(, a))ing that RA 499, )oes not provi)e any gui)ing
stan)ar)' "o 7obenciong, such unbri)le) po/er an) F/i)e an) s/eeping authorityG are Fla)en /ith perilous opportunities for partiality an)
abuse, an) even corruption'G

Ae are not persua)e)'

As earlier )iscusse), the Office of the O(bu)s(an is a creature of the Constitution' "he fra(ers of the -8:9 Constitution inten)e) the
office to be strong an) effective, /ith sufficient bite an) (uscle to enable it to carry out its (an)ate as protector of the people against the inept,
abusive, an) corrupt in the 7overn(ent' "hey, ho/ever, left it to Congress to invest the office /ith (ore broa) po/ers to enforce its o/n action'
02:1
An) so it /as that RA 499, /as enacte) e(po/ering, un)er !ec' -35-6 thereof, the O(bu)s(an Fto ta<e over, at any stage, fro( any
investigatory agency of govern(ent, the investigation of cases 0of /hich he has pri(ary Curis)iction1'G

Clearly then, the espouse) theory of un)ue )elegation of authority is untenable' =or, in the ulti(ate analysis, it is the -8:9
Constitution no less /hich grante) an) allo/e) the grant by Congress of s/eeping prosecutorial, investigatory, an) )isciplinary po/ers to the
O(bu)s(an'

Lest it be overloo<e), the unconstitutionality of a la/ (ust clearly be )e(onstrate)' $t cannot be pre)icate) on speculations or
hypothetical fears that its provisions (ay be perverte) or the po/ers grante) abuse)' All po/ers are susceptible to (isuse an) abuse, but that is
har)ly a reason to stri<e )o/n the la/' Ahile the Court (ay )eclare a la/ or portions thereof unconstitutional, it is i(perative that the petitioner
sho/s a clear an) une;uivocal breach of the Constitution, not (erely a )oubtful or argu(entative one'
0281
An) it is basic that the (atter of
constitutionality shall, as a rule, be consi)ere) if it is the lis mota of the case an) raise) an) argue) at the earliest opportunity' 4starija .
Ranadafor(ulates the rule in the follo/ing /ise:

Ahen the issue of unconstitutionality of a legislative act is raise), the Court (ay e.ercise its po/er of Cu)icial
revie/ only if the follo/ing re;uisites are present: 5-6 an actual an) appropriate case an) controversyE 5*6 a person an)
substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional ;uestionE 5+6 the e.ercise of Cu)icial revie/ is plea)e) at the
earliest opportunityE an) 526 the constitutional ;uestion raise) is the very lis mota of the case'

=or our purpose, only the thir) re;uisite is in ;uestion' Hne;uivocally, the la/ re;uires that the ;uestion of
constitutionality of a statute (ust be raise) at the earliest opportunity' $n %ati'ag . Benipayo, /e hel) that the earliest
opportunity to raise a constitutional issue is to raise it in the plea)ings before a co(petent court that can resolve the sa(e,
such that, if it /as not raise) in the plea)ings before a co(petent court, it cannot be consi)ere) at the trial, an), if not
consi)ere) in the trial, it cannot be consi)ere) on appeal'
03,1

"he issue of constitutionality /as not raise) at the earliest possible opportunityE this (eans before the Office of the O(bu)s(an, or at
least before the CA' Aithal, it cannot no/ be consi)ere) in 7obenciong@s petitions for revie/' "his is not to say, ho/ever, that /hat 7obenciong
consi)ers as a ;uestion of a constitutional nature is absolutely necessary to the )isposition of this case'

=inally, 7obenciong@s sub(ission about the Office of the O(bu)s(an ta<ing over the case fro( the O> stri<es us as a clear case of
a (islea)ing afterthought' =or the fact of the (atter is that the eputy O(bu)s(an-%isayas )i) not /rest Curis)iction fro( the O> over the
a)(inistrative aspect of this Fghost )eliveryG case' =ar fro( it' "he recor)s ten) to sho/ that the Office of O(bu)s(an-%isayas too< cogni?ance
of an) assu(e) Curis)iction of /hat /oul) later be O#B-%$!-A#-89-,+9, on &une *,, -889 /hen )ela PeKa file) her co(plaint for
falsification an) (iscon)uct against 7obenciong an) other hospital officials' "his /as four (onths before the O> for(ally charge)
7obenciong, et al' on October *8, -889 /ith an offense arising fro( the ano(alous procure(ent of a he(oanaly?er' "he (ere filing of the
for(al charge, /ithout (ore, )i) not as it cannot oust the Office of the O(bu)s(an of its Curis)iction over the a)(inistrative case' &uris)iction,
once it attaches, continues until the case is conclu)e)'


WHEREFORE, the petitions in G.R. Nos. 159883 an) 173212 are hereby DISMISSED for lac< of (erit, an) the appeale) ecision
an) Resolution )ate) Nove(ber *4, *,,* an) August *9, *,,+, respectively, of the CA in CA-7'R' !P No' 283:3 are AFFIRMED 13
T)T)' "he petition for certiorari in G.R. No. 168059 is herebyGRANTED, an) the assaile) ecision an) Resolution )ate) April *8, *,,3 an)
#ay *8, *,,4, respectively, of the CA in CA-7'R' !P No' 4-4:9 are ANNULLED an) SET ASIDE' Accor)ingly, the ecision )ate) #arch *-,
*,,, an) the Or)er )ate) August -,, *,,, of the O(bu)s(an in O#B-%$!-A#-89-,+9, are hereby REINSTATED an)AFFIRMED 13
T)T)'

Costs against r' Pe)ro =' 7obenciong'

SO ORDERED.



PRESBITERO 1. VELASCO, 1R.
Associate &ustice

AE CONCHR:



REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice




LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




ANTONIO T. CARPIO MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




RENATO C. CORONA CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




ADOLFO S. AZCUNA DANTE O. TINGA
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice



MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




RUBEN T. REYES TERESITA 1. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice

C E R T I F I C A T I O N

Pursuant to !ection -+, Article %$$$ of the Constitution, it is hereby certifie) that the conclusions in the above ecision /ere reache) in
consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion of the Court'




REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice

0-1
Rollo 57'R' No' -38::+6, pp' +,-+9' Penne) by Associate &ustice &uan L' Enri;ue?, &r' an) concurre) in by Associate &ustices
Bernar)o P' Abesa(is an) E)gar)o =' !un)ia('
0*1
$)' at +8-2,'
0+1
$)' at 2--2+' Per 7raft $nvestigation Officer 57$O6 $ Allan =rancisco !' 7arciano, revie/e) by 7$O $$$ %irginia Palanca-!antiago,
reco((en)e) by eputy O(bu)s(an for the %isayas Arturo C' #oCica, an) approve) by O(bu)s(an Aniano A' esierto on October -4, -88:'
021
Rollo 57'R' No' -4:,386, pp' -,+---2' Penne) by Associate &ustice $saias P' ic)ican an) concurre) in by Associate &ustices
%icente L' Bap an) Enrico A' Lan?anas'
031
Rollo 57'R' No' -9+*-*6, pp' 9--99' Per 7$O $ Allan =rancisco !' 7arciano, revie/e) by irector %irginia Palanca-!antiago,
reco((en)e) by the O$C, Office of the O(bu)s(an-%isayas Nicanor &' Cru?, &r', an) approve) by the O(bu)s(an on #ay -8, *,,,'
041
$)' at 9:-:,'
091
$)' at 4*-4+'
0:1
Rollo 57'R' No' -38::+6, p' -+9'
081
$)' at *-+C'
0-,1
$)' at :*-:+'
0--1
!upra note +, at 2+'
0-*1
Rollo 57'R' No' -38::+6, p' 23'
0-+1
$)' at 24'
0-21
$)' at 28'
0-31
!upra note 3, at 94-99'
0-41
Rollo 57'R' No' -9+*-*6, pp' :--:*'
0-91
$)' at :3-::, )ate) ece(ber :, *,,,'
0-:1
!upra note -, at +4'
0-81
!upra note 2, at --2'
0*,1
7'R' No' -*8-*2, #arch -3, *,,*, +98 !CRA +**'
0*-1
"he Office of the O(bu)s(an earlier file) a #otion for Partial Reconsi)erationE rollo 57'R' No' -4:,386, pp' -+3--22'

0**1
$)' at -82-*,9'

0*+1
,ipidio 4arth6SaersI %ulti6Purpose Association, Incorporated (,4SA%A* . -o"un, 7'R' No' -39::*, #arch +,, *,,4, 2:3
!CRA 3:4, 4-*'
0*21
"he penulti(ate paragraph of !ec' *9 provi)ing for a )irect appeal in a)(inistrative )isciplinary cases fro( the O(bu)s(an to the
!upre(e Court ha) been )eclare) unconstitutional in .a'ian . ,esierto, 7'R' No' -*892*, !epte(ber -4, -88:, *83 !CRA 29,'
0*31
Alon"o . Capulong, 7'R' No' --,38,, #ay -,, -883, *22 !CRA :,, :4E citations o(itte)'
0*41
7'R' No' -+8,2+, !epte(ber -,, -888, +-2 !CRA *,9, **-E citing -loria . Court of Appeals, 7'R' No' -+-,-*, April *-, -888,
+,4 !CRA *:9E 9asay, Jr. . ,esierto, 7'R' No' -+2283, ece(ber *:, -88:, +,, !CRA 282'
0*91
!ee #iu . -uingona, 7'R' No' -*92-,, &an' *,, -888, +,- !CRA *9: an) Ichong . 3ernande", -,- Phil' --33 5-8396'
0*:1
7'R' No' -32,8:, &uly *9, *,,3, 242 !CRA -43, -84'

0*81
!upra note *,'
0+,1
7'R' No' -4-4*8, &uly *8, *,,3, 243 !CRA 2+9'
0+-1
7'R' No' -4,493, &une -4, *,,4, 28- !CRA 8*'
0+*1
!upra note +,, at 22:-228'
0++1
!upra note +,, at 228-23,'
0+21
!upra note +-, at -,:'
0+31
!ec' -+' %andate'T"he O(bu)s(an an) his eputies, as protectors of the people, shall act pro(ptly on co(plaints file) in any
for( or (anner against officers or e(ployees of the govern(ent, or of any sub)ivision, agency or instru(entality thereof, inclu)ing govern(ent-
o/ne) or controlle) corporations, an) enforce their a)(inistrative, civil an) cri(inal liability in every case /here the evi)ence /arrants in or)er
to pro(ote efficient service by the 7overn(ent to the people'
0+41
!ec' -3' Powers, .unctions and ,uties'T"he Office of the O(bu)s(an shall have the follo/ing po/ers, functions an) )uties:
5-6 $nvestigate an) prosecute on its o/n or on co(plaint by any person, any act or o(ission of any public officer or e(ployee, office
or agency, /hen such act or o(ission appears to be illegal, unCust, i(proper or inefficient' $t has pri(ary Curis)iction over cases cogni?able by the
!an)iganbayan an), in the e.ercise of his pri(ary Curis)iction, it (ay ta<e over, at any stage, fro( any investigatory agency of govern(ent, the
investigation of such casesE
5*6 irect . . . any officer or e(ployee of the 7overn(ent, or of any sub)ivision, agency or instru(entality thereof, as /ell as any
govern(ent-o/ne) or controlle) corporations /ith original charter, to perfor( an) e.pe)ite any act or )uty re;uire) by la/, or to stop, prevent,
an) correct any abuse or i(propriety in the perfor(ance of )utiesE
5+6 irect the officer concerne) to ta<e appropriate action against a public officer or e(ployee at fault or /ho neglects to perfor( an
act or )ischarge a )uty re;uire) by la/, an) reco((en) his re(oval, suspension, )e(otion, fine, censure, or prosecution, an) ensure co(pliance
there/ithE or enforce its )isciplinary authority as provi)e) in !ection *- of this Act: Provi)e), "hat the refusal by any officer /ithout Cust cause
to co(ply /ith an or)er of the O(bu)s(an to re(ove, suspen), )e(ote, fine, censure, or prosecute an officer or e(ployee /ho is at fault or /ho
neglects to perfor( an act or )ischarge a )uty re;uire) by la/ shall be a groun) for )isciplinary action against sai) officerE
526 irect the officer concerne), in any appropriate case, an) subCect to such li(itations as it (ay provi)e in its rules of proce)ures, to
furnish it /ith copies of )ocu(ents relating to contracts or transactions entere) into by his office involving the )isburse(ent or use of public
fun)s or properties, an) report any irregularity to the Co((ission on Au)it for appropriate actionE
. . . .
546 Publici?e (atters covere) by its investigation of the (atters (entione) in paragraphs 5-6, 5*6, 5+6 an) 526 hereof, /hen
circu(stances so /arrant an) /ith )ue pru)ence: Provi)e), that the O(bu)s(an un)er its rules an) regulations (ay )eter(ine /hat cases (ay
not be (a)e public: Provi)e) further, "hat any publicity issue) by the O(bu)s(an shall be balance), fair an) trueE
596 eter(ine the causes of inefficiency, re) tape, (is(anage(ent, frau), an) corruption in the govern(ent an) (a<e
reco((en)ations for their eli(ination an) the observance of high stan)ar)s of ethics an) efficiency0'1
0+91
!ee -arcia, supra note *4, at *-:'
0+:1
!upra note +-, at --4'
0+81
!ec' -8' Administratie Complaints'T"he O(bu)s(an shall act on all co(plaints relating, but not li(ite) to acts or o(issions
/hich:
5-6 Are contrary to la/ or regulationE
5*6 Are unreasonable, unfair, oppressive or )iscri(inatoryE
5+6 Are inconsistent /ith the general course of an agency@s functionsE . . .
02,1
!ec' *-' /fficials Su'ject to ,isciplinary AuthorityN 4+ceptions'T"he Office of the O(bu)s(an shall have )isciplinary authority
over all elective an) appointive officials of the 7overn(ent an) its sub)ivisions, instru(entalities an) agencies, inclu)ing #e(bers of the
Cabinet, local govern(ent, govern(ent-o/ne) or controlle) corporations an) their subsi)iaries, e.cept over officials /ho (ay be re(ove) only
by i(peach(ent or over #e(bers of Congress, an) the &u)iciary'
02-1
!ec' **' Inestigatory Power'T"he Office of the O(bu)s(an shall have the po/er to investigate any serious (iscon)uct in office
allege)ly co((itte) by officials re(ovable by i(peach(ent, for the purpose of filing a verifie) co(plaint for i(peach(ent, if /arrante)'
02*1
!ec' *+' .ormal Inestigation'T5-6 A)(inistrative investigations con)ucte) by the Office of the O(bu)s(an shall be in
accor)ance /ith its rules of proce)ure an) consistent /ith )ue process'
5*6 At its option, the Office of the O(bu)s(an (ay refer certain co(plaints to the proper )isciplinary authority for the institution of
appropriate a)(inistrative procee)ings against erring public officers or e(ployees, . . .' Any )elay /ithout Cust cause in acting on any referral
(a)e by the Office of the O(bu)s(an shall be a groun) for a)(inistrative action against the officers or e(ployees to /ho( such referrals are
a))resse) an) shall constitute a graft offense . . .'
02+1
!ec' *3' Penalties'T5-6 $n a)(inistrative procee)ings un)er Presi)ential ecree No' :,9, the penalties an) rules provi)e) therein
shall be applie)'
5*6 $n other a)(inistrative procee)ings, the penalty ranging fro( suspension /ithout pay for one year to )is(issal /ith forfeiture of
benefits or a fine ranging fro( five thousan) pesos 5P3,,,,',,6 to t/ice the a(ount (alverse), illegally ta<en or lost, or both at the )iscretion of
the O(bu)s(an, . . .'
0221
/ffice of the /m'udsman, supra note +-, at --8'
0231
7'R' Nos' -,3843-9,, #arch *,, *,,-, +32 !CRA 43-'
0241
7'R' Nos' -3:49*, -4,2-,, -4,4,3, -4,4*9 X -4-,88, August 9, *,,9, 3*8 !CRA *23'
0291
7'R' No' -4-,8:, !epte(ber -+, *,,9, 3++ !CRA +,3'
02:1
!edesma, supra note +,, at 23*-23+'
0281
Cawaling, Jr. . Commission on 4lections, October *4, *,,-, 7'R' Nos' -24+-8 X -24+2*, +4: !CRA 23+, 239'
03,1
7'R' No' -38+-2, &une *4, *,,4, 28* !CRA 43*, 442'


EN BANC


BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO, 7'R' No' -4+3:+
Petitioner,
Present:

Puno, C'J',
Luisu(bing,
Bnares-!antiago,
Carpio,
Austria-#artine?,
Corona,
- versus - Carpio #orales,
"inga,
Chico-Na?ario,
%elasco, &r',
Nachura,
Leonar)o-e Castro,
Brion,
Peralta, an)
Bersa(in, JJ'
1OSE ISIDRO N. CAMACHO,
in his capacity as Secretary of
the Department of Finance and
GUILLERMO L. PARAYNO, 1R.,
in his capacity as Commissioner of
the Bureau of Internal Revenue,
Respon)ents'

PHILIP MORRIS PHILIPPINES
MANUFACTURING, INC.,
FORTUNE TOBACCO, CORP., Pro(ulgate):
MIGHTY CORPOR.A.TION, and
1T INTERNATIONAL, S.A.,
Respon)ents-in-$ntervention' April -3, *,,8

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

R2S):T1)3


YNARES-SANTIAGO, J':


On August *,, *,,:, the Court ren)ere) a ecision partially granting the petition in this case, i":

WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED an) the )ecision of the Regional "rial Court of
#a<ati, Branch 4-, in Civil Case No' ,+--,+*, is AFFIRMED /ithMODIFICATION' As (o)ifie), this Court )eclares
that:

5-6 !ection -23 of the N$RC, as a(en)e) by Republic Act No' 8++2, is CONSTITUTIONALE an) that

5*6 !ection 25B65e65c6, *
n)
paragraph of Revenue Regulations No' --89, as a(en)e) by !ection * of
Revenue Regulations 8-*,,+, an) !ections $$5-65b6, $$5265b6, $$546, $$596, $$$ 5!arge #a+ Payers Assistance ,iision II* $$5b6
of Revenue #e(oran)u( Or)er No' 4-*,,+, insofar as pertinent to cigarettes pac<e) by (achine, are INVALID insofar
as they grant the B$R the po/er to reclassify or up)ate the classification of ne/ bran)s every t/o years or earlier'

SO ORDERED.

$n its #otion for Reconsi)eration, petitioner insists that the assaile) provisions 5-6 violate the e;ual protection an) unifor(ity of
ta.ation clauses of the Constitution, 5*6 contravene !ection -8,
0-1
Article R$$ of the Constitution on unfair co(petition, an) 5+6 infringe the
constitutional provisions on regressive an) ine;uitable ta.ation' Petitioner further argues that assu(ing the assaile) provisions are constitutional,
petitioner is entitle) to a )o/n/ar) reclassification of Luc<y !tri<e fro( the pre(iu(-price) to the high-price) ta. brac<et'

"he Court is not persua)e)'

The assailed la' does not !iolate the e5ual protection and uniformity of
ta%ation clauses.

Petitioner argues that the classification free"e proision violates the e;ual protection an) unifor(ity of ta.ation clauses because Anne. FG
bran)s are ta.e) base) on their -884 net retail prices /hile ne/ bran)s are ta.e) base) on their present )ay net retail prices' Citing /rmoc Sugar
Co. . #reasurer of /rmoc City,
0*1
petitioner asserts that the assaile) provisions accor) a special or privilege) status to Anne. FG bran)s /hile at
the sa(e ti(e )iscri(inate against other bran)s'

"hese contentions are /ithout (erit an) a rehash of petitioner@s previous argu(ents before this Court' As hel) in the assaile) ecision, the
instant case neither involves a suspect classification nor i(pinges on a fun)a(ental right' Conse;uently, the rational basis test /as properly
applie) to gauge the constitutionality of the assaile) la/ in the face of an e;ual protection challenge' $t has been hel) that Fin the areas of social
an) econo(ic policy, a statutory classification that neither procee)s along suspect lines nor infringes constitutional rights (ust be uphel) against
e;ual protection challenge if there is any reasonably conceivable state of facts that coul) provi)e a rational basis for the classification'G
0+1
Hn)er
the rational basis test, it is sufficient that the legislative classification is rationally relate) to achieving so(e legiti(ate !tate interest' As the
Court rule) in the assaile) ecision, i":

A legislative classification that is reasonable )oes not offen) the constitutional guaranty of the e;ual protection
of the la/s' "he classification is consi)ere) vali) an) reasonable provi)e) that: 5-6 it rests on substantial )istinctionsE 5*6 it
is ger(ane to the purpose of the la/E 5+6 it applies, all things being e;ual, to both present an) future con)itionsE an) 526 it
applies e;ually to all those belonging to the sa(e class'

"he first, thir) an) fourth re;uisites are satisfie)' "he classification free"e proision /as inserte) in the la/ for
reasons of practicality an) e.pe)iency' "hat is, since a ne/ bran) /as not yet in e.istence at the ti(e of the passage of RA
:*2,, then Congress nee)e) a unifor( (echanis( to fi. the ta. brac<et of a ne/ bran)' "he current net retail price,
si(ilar to /hat /as use) to classify the bran)s un)er Anne. FG as of October -, -884, /as thus the logical an) practical
choice' =urther, /ith the a(en)(ents intro)uce) by RA 8++2, the free?ing of the ta. classifications no/ e.pressly applies
not Cust to Anne. FG bran)s but to ne/er bran)s intro)uce) after the effectivity of RA :*2, on &anuary -, -889 an) any
ne/ bran) that /ill be intro)uce) in the future' 5>o/ever, as /ill be )iscusse) later, the intent to apply the free?ing
(echanis( to ne/er bran)s /as alrea)y in place even prior to the a(en)(ents intro)uce) by RA 8++2 to RA :*2,'6 "his
)oes not e.plain, ho/ever, /hy the classification is Ffro?enG after its )eter(ination base) on current net retail price an)
ho/ this is ger(ane to the purpose of the assaile) la/' An e.a(ination of the legislative history of RA :*2, provi)es
interesting ans/ers to this ;uestion'

. . . .

=ro( the foregoing, it is ;uite evi)ent that the classification free"e proision coul) har)ly be consi)ere)
arbitrary, or (otivate) by a hostile or oppressive attitu)e to un)uly favor ol)er bran)s over ne/er bran)s' Congress /as
une;uivocal in its un/illingness to )elegate the po/er to perio)ically a)Cust the e.cise ta. rate an) ta. brac<ets as /ell as
to perio)ically resurvey an) reclassify the cigarette bran)s base) on the increase in the consu(er price in)e. to the O=
an) the B$R' Congress )oubte) the constitutionality of such )elegation of po/er, an) li<e/ise, consi)ere) the ethical
i(plications thereof' Curiously, the classification free"e proision /as put in place of the perio)ic a)Cust(ent an)
reclassification provision because of the belief that the latter /oul) foster an anti-co(petitive at(osphere in the (ar<et'
Bet, as it is, this sa(e criticis( is being foiste) by petitioner upon the classification free"e proision'

"o our (in), the classification free"e proision /as in the (ain the result of Congress@s earnest efforts to
i(prove the efficiency an) effectivity of the ta. a)(inistration over sin pro)ucts /hile trying to balance the sa(e /ith
other !tate interests' $n particular, the ;uestione) provision a))resse) Congress@s a)(inistrative concerns regar)ing
)elegating too (uch authority to the O= an) B$R as this /ill open the ta. syste( to potential areas for abuse an)
corruption' Congress (ay have reasonably conceive) that a ta. syste( /hich /oul) give the least a(ount of )iscretion to
the ta. i(ple(enters /oul) a))ress the proble(s of ta. avoi)ance an) ta. evasion'

"o elaborate a little, Congress coul) have reasonably foreseen that, un)er the O= proposal an) the !enate
%ersion, the perio)ic reclassification of bran)s /oul) te(pt the cigarette (anufacturers to (anipulate their price levels or
bribe the ta. i(ple(enters in or)er to allo/ their bran)s to be classifie) at a lo/er ta. brac<et even if their net retail prices
have alrea)y (igrate) to a higher ta. brac<et after the a)Cust(ent of the ta. brac<ets to the increase in the consu(er price
in)e.' Presu(ably, this coul) be )one /hen a resurvey an) reclassification is forthco(ing' As briefly touche) upon in the
Congressional )eliberations, the )ifference of the e.cise ta. rate bet/een the (e)iu(-price) an) the high-price) ta.
brac<ets un)er RA :*2,, prior to its a(en)(ent, /as P+'+4' =or a (o)erately popular bran) /hich sells aroun) -,,
(illion pac<s per year, this easily translates to P++4,,,,,,,,' "he incentive for ta. avoi)ance, if not outright ta. evasion,
/oul) clearly be present' "hen again, the ta. i(ple(enters (ay use the po/er to perio)ically a)Cust the ta. rate an)
reclassify the bran)s as a tool to un)uly oppress the ta.payer in or)er for the govern(ent to achieve its revenue targets for
a given year'

"hus, Congress sought to, a(ong others, si(plify the /hole ta. syste( for sin pro)ucts to re(ove these
potential areas of abuse an) corruption fro( both the si)e of the ta.payer an) the govern(ent' Aithout )oubt,
the classification free"e proision /as an integral part of this overall plan' "his is in line /ith one of the avo/e)
obCectives of the assaile) la/ Fto si(plify the ta. a)(inistration an) co(pliance /ith the ta. la/s that are about to unfol)
in or)er to (ini(i?e losses arising fro( inefficiencies an) ta. avoi)ance sche(e, if not outright ta. evasion'G RA 8++2
)i) not alter thisclassification free"e proision of RA :*2,' On the contrary, Congress affir(e) this free?ing (echanis(
by clarifying the /or)ing of the la/' Ae can thus reasonably conclu)e, as the )eliberations on RA 8++2 rea)ily sho/, that
the a)(inistrative concerns in ta. a)(inistration, /hich (ove) Congress to enact the classification free"e proision in RA
:*2,, /ere (erely continue) by RA 8++2' $n)ee), a)(inistrative concerns (ay provi)e a legiti(ate, rational basis for
legislative classification' $n the case at bar, these a)(inistrative concerns in the (easure(ent an) collection of e.cise ta.es
on sin pro)ucts are rea)ily apparent as afore-)iscusse)'

Asi)e fro( the (aCor concern regar)ing the eli(ination of potential areas for abuse an) corruption fro( the ta.
a)(inistration of sin pro)ucts, the legislative )eliberations also sho/ that theclassification free"e proision /as inten)e) to
generate buoyant an) stable revenues for govern(ent' Aith the fro?en ta. classifications, the revenue inflo/ /oul)
re(ain stable an) the govern(ent /oul) be able to pre)ict /ith a greater )egree of certainty the a(ount of ta.es that a
cigarette (anufacturer /oul) pay given the tren) in its sales volu(e over ti(e' "he reason for this is that the previously
classifie) cigarette bran)s /oul) be prevente) fro( (oving either up/ar) or )o/n/ar) their ta. brac<ets )espite the
changes in their net retail prices in the future an), as a result, the a(ount of ta.es )ue fro( the( /oul) re(ain
pre)ictable' "he classification free"e proision /oul), thus, ai) in the revenue planning of the govern(ent'

All in all, the classification free"e proision a))resse) Congress@s a)(inistrative concerns in the si(plification
of ta. a)(inistration of sin pro)ucts, eli(ination of potential areas for abuse an) corruption in ta. collection, buoyant an)
stable revenue generation, an) ease of proCection of revenues' Conse1uently, there can 'e no denial of the e1ual protection
of the laws since the rational6'asis test is amply satisfied.

#oreover, petitioner@s contention that the assaile) provisions violate the unifor(ity of ta.ation clause is si(ilarly
unavailing' $n Churchill . Concepcion,
021
/e e.plaine) that a ta. Fis unifor( /hen it operates /ith the sa(e force an) effect in every place
/here the subCect of it is foun)'G
031
$t )oes not signify an intrinsic but si(ply a geographical unifor(ity'
041
A levy of ta. is not unconstitutional
because it is not intrinsically e;ual an) unifor( in its operation'
091
"he unifor(ity rule )oes not prohibit classification for purposes of ta.ation'
0:1
As rule) in #an . ,el Rosario, Jr.:
081

Hnifor(ity of ta.ation, li<e the <in)re) concept of e;ual protection, (erely re;uires that all subCects or obCects
of ta.ation, si(ilarly situate), are to be treate) ali<e both in privileges an) liabilities 5citations o(itte)6' Hnifor(ity )oes
not forfen) classification as long as: 5-6 the stan)ar)s that are use) therefor are substantial an) not arbitrary, 5*6 the
categori?ation is ger(ane to achieve the legislative purpose, 5+6 the la/ applies, all things being e;ual, to both present an)
future con)itions, an) 526 the classification applies e;ually /ell to all those belonging to the sa(e class 5citations o(itte)6'
0-,1

$n the instant case, there is no ;uestion that the classification free"e proision (eets the geographical unifor(ity re;uire(ent because the assaile)
la/ applies to all cigarette bran)s in the Philippines' An), for reasons alrea)y a)verte) to in our August *,, *,,: ecision, the above four-fol)
test has been (et in the present case'

Petitioner@s reliance on /rmoc Sugar Co. is (isplace)' $n sai) case, the controverte) (unicipal or)inance specifically na(e) an)
ta.e) only the Or(oc !ugar Co(pany, an) e.clu)e) any subse;uently establishe) sugar central fro( its coverage' "hus, the or)inance /as
foun) unconstitutional on e;ual protection groun)s because its ter(s )o not apply to future con)itions as /ell' "his is not the case
here' "he classification free"e proision unifor(ly applies to all cigarette bran)s /hether e.isting or to be intro)uce) in the (ar<et at so(e
future ti(e' $t )oes not purport to e.e(pt any bran) fro( its operation nor single out a bran) for the purpose of i(position of e.cise ta.es'

At any rate, petitioner@s real )isagree(ent lies /ith the legiti(ate !tate interests' Although it conce)es that the Court utili?e) the
rationality test an) that the classification free"e proision /as necessitate) by several legiti(ate !tate interests, ho/ever, it refuses to accept the
Custifications given by Congress for the classification free"e proision' As /e eluci)ate) in our August *,, *,,: ecision, this line of
argu(entation revolves aroun) the /is)o( an) e.pe)iency of the assaile) la/ /hich /e cannot in;uire into, (uch less overrule' E;ual
protection is not a license for courts to Cu)ge the /is)o(, fairness, or logic of legislative choices'
0--1
Ae reiterate, therefore, that petitioner@s
re(e)y is /ith Congress an) not this Court'

The assailed pro!isions do not !iolate the constitutional prohi"ition on
unfair competition.

Petitioner asserts that the Court erroneously applie) the rational basis test allege)ly because this test )oes not apply in a constitutional
challenge base) on a violation of !ection -8, Article R$$ of the Constitution on unfair co(petition' Citing #atad . Secretary of the ,epartment
of 4nergy,
0-*1
it argues that the classification free"e proision gives the bran)s un)er Anne. FG a )ecisive e)ge because it constitutes a
substantial barrier to the entry of prospective playersE that the Anne. FG provision is no )ifferent fro( the 2Q tariff )ifferential /hich /e
invali)ate) in #atadE that so(e of the ne/ bran)s, li<e Astro, #e(phis, Capri, LX#, Bo/ling 7reen, =orbes, an) Canon, /hich /ere intro)uce)
into the (ar<et after the effectivity of the assaile) la/ on &anuary -, -889, /ere F<ille)G by Anne. FG bran)s because the for(er bran)s /ere
reclassifie) by the B$R to higher ta. brac<etsE that the fin)ing that price is not the only factor in the (ar<et as there are other factors li<e
consu(er preference, active ingre)ients, etc' is contrary to the evi)ence presente) an) the )eliberations in CongressE that the classification free"e
proision /ill encourage pre)atory pricing in contravention of the constitutional prohibition on unfair co(petitionE an) that the cu(ulative effect
of the operation of the classification free"e proision is to perpetuate the oligopoly of intervenors Philip #orris an) =ortune "obacco in
contravention of the constitutional e)ict for the !tate to regulate or prohibit (onopolies, an) to )isallo/ co(binations in restraint of tra)e an)
unfair co(petition'

"he argu(ent lac<s (erit' Ahile previously arguing that the rational basis test /as not satisfie), petitioner no/ asserts that this test )oes
not apply in this case an) that the proper (atri. to evaluate the constitutionality of the assaile) la/ is the prohibition on unfair co(petition un)er
!ection -8, Article R$$ of the Constitution' $t shoul) be note) that )uring the trial belo/, petitioner )i) not invo<e sai) constitutional provision
as it relie) solely on the allege) violation of the e;ual protection an) unifor(ity of ta.ation clauses' Aell-settle) is the rule that points of la/,
theories, issues an) argu(ents not a)e;uately brought to the attention of the lo/er court /ill not be or)inarily consi)ere) by a revie/ing court as
they cannot be raise) for the first ti(e on appeal'
0-+1
At any rate, even if /e /ere to rela. this rule, as previously state), the evi)ence presente)
before the trial court is insufficient to establish the allege) violation of the constitutional proscription against unfair co(petition'

$n)ee), in #atad /e rule) that a la/ /hich i(poses substantial barriers to the entry an) e.it of ne/ players in our )o/nstrea( oil in)ustry
(ay be struc< )o/n for being violative of !ection -8, Article R$$ of the Constitution'
0-21
>o/ever, /e /ent on to say in that case that Fif they are
insignificant i(pe)i(ents, they nee) not be stric<en )o/n'G
0-31
As /e state) in our August *,, *,,: ecision, petitioner faile) to convincingly
prove that there is a substantial barrier to the entry of ne/ bran)s in the cigarette (ar<et )ue to the classification free"e proision' Ae further
observe) that several ne/ bran)s /ere intro)uce) in the (ar<et after the assaile) la/ /ent into effect thus negating petitioner@s s/eeping clai(
that the classification free"e proision is an insur(ountable barrier to the entry of ne/ bran)s' Ae also note) that price is not the only factor
affecting co(petition in the (ar<et for there are other factors such as taste, bran) loyalty, etc'

Ae see no reason to )epart fro( these fin)ings for the follo/ing reasons:

=irst, petitioner )i) not lay )o/n the factual foun)ations, as supporte) by verifiable )ocu(entary proof, /hich /oul) establish, a(ong
others, the cigarette bran)s in co(petition /ith each otherE the current net retail prices of Anne. FG bran)s, as )eter(ine) through a (ar<et
survey, to provi)e a sufficient point of co(parison /ith those covere) by the B$R@s (ar<et survey of ne/ bran)sE an) the causal connection /ith
as /ell as the e.tent of the i(pact on the co(petition in the cigarette (ar<et of theclassification free"e proision' Other than petitioner@s self-
serving allegations an) testi(onial evi)ence, no a)e;uate )ocu(entary evi)ence /as presente) to substantiate its clai(s' Absent a(ple
)ocu(entary proof, /e cannot accept petitioner@s clai( that the classification free"e proision is an insur(ountable barrier to the entry of ne/
players'

!econ), /e cannot len) cre)ence to petitioner@s clai( that it cannot pro)uce cigarettes that can co(pete /ith #arlboro an) Philip
#orris in the high-price) ta. brac<et' E.cept for its self-serving testi(onial evi)ence, no sufficient )ocu(entary evi)ence /as presente) to
substantiate this clai(' "he current net retail price, /hich is the basis for )eter(ining the ta. brac<et of a cigarette bran), (ore or less consists of
the costs of ra/ (aterials, labor, a)vertising an) profit (argin' "o a large e.tent, these factors are controllable by the (anufacturer, as such, the
)ecision to enter /hich ta. brac<et /ill )epen) on the pricing strategy a)opte) by the in)ivi)ual (anufacturer' "he sa(e hol)s true for its clai(s
that other ne/ bran)s, li<e Astro, #e(phis, Capri, LX#, Bo/ling 7reen, =orbes, an) Canon, /ere F<ille)G by Anne. FG bran)s )ue to the
effects of the operation of the classification free"e proision over ti(e' "he evi)ence that petitioner presente) before the trial court faile) to
substantiate the basis for these clai(s'

Essentially, petitioner /oul) /ant us to accept its conclusions of la/ /ithout first laying )o/n the factual foun)ations of its
argu(ents' "his Court, /hich is not a trier of facts, cannot ta<e Cu)icial notice of the factual pre(ises of these argu(ents as petitioner no/ see(s
to suggest' "he evi)ence shoul) have been presente) before the trial court to allo/ it to e.a(ine an) )eter(ine for itself /hether such factual
pre(ises, as supporte) by sufficient )ocu(entary evi)ence, provi)e reasonable basis for petitioner@s conclusion that there arose an
unconstitutional unfair co(petition )ue to the operation of the classification free"e proision' Petitioner shoul) be re(in)e) that it appeale) this
case fro( the a)verse ruling of the trial court )irectly to this Court on pure ;uestions of la/ instea) of resorting to the Court of Appeals'

"hir), #atad is not applicable to the instant case' $n #atad, /e foun) that the 2Q tariff )ifferential bet/een i(porte) cru)e oil an)
i(porte) refine) petroleu( pro)ucts erects a high barrier to the entry of ne/ players because 5-6 it i(poses an un)ue bur)en on ne/ players to
spen) billions of pesos to buil) refineries in or)er to co(pete /ith the ol) players, an) 5*6 ne/ players, /ho opt not to buil) refineries, suffer
fro( the huge )isa)vantage of increasing their pro)uct cost by 2Q'
0-41
"he tariff /as i(pose) on the ra/ (aterials unifor(ly use) by the players
in the oil in)ustry' "hus, the a)verse effect on co(petition arising fro( this )iscri(inatory treat(ent /as rea)ily apparent' $n contrast, the
e.cise ta. un)er the assaile) la/ is i(pose) base) on the current net retail price of a cigarette bran)' As previously e.plaine), the current net
retail price is )eter(ine) by the pricing strategy of the (anufacturer' "his Court cannot si(ply speculate that the reason /hy a ne/ bran) cannot
enter a specific ta. brac<et an) co(pete /ith the bran)s therein /as because of the classification free"e proision, rather than the (anufacturer@s
o/n pricing )ecision or so(e other factor solely attributable to the (anufacturer' Again, the bur)en of proof in this regar) is on petitioner /hich
it faile) to (uster'

=ourth, the fin)ing in our August *,, *,,: ecision that price is not the only factor /hich affects consu(er behavior in the cigarette
(ar<et is base) on petitioner@s o/n evi)ence' On cross-e.a(ination, petitioner@s /itness a)(itte) that not/ithstan)ing the change in price, a
cigarette s(o<er (ay prefer the ol) bran) because of its a))ictive for(ulation'
0-91
As a result, even if /e /ere to assu(e that the classification
free"e proision )istorts the pricing sche(e of the (ar<et players, it is not clear /hether a substantial barrier to the entry of ne/ players /oul)
thereby be create) because of these other factors affecting consu(er behavior'

Last, the clai( that the assaile) provisions encourage pre)atory pricing /as never raise) nor substantiate) before the trial court' $t is
(erely an afterthought an) cannot be given /eight'

$n su(, the totality of the evi)ence presente) by petitioner before the trial court faile) to convincingly establish the allege) violation
of the constitutional prohibition on unfair co(petition' $t is a basic postulate that the one /ho challenges the constitutionality of a la/ carries the
heavy bur)en of proof for la/s enCoy a strong presu(ption of constitutionality as it is an act of a co-e;ual branch of govern(ent' Petitioner
faile) to carry this bur)en'

The assailed la' does not transgress the constitutional pro!isions on
regressi!e and ine5uita"le ta%ation.

Petitioner argues that the classification free"e proision is a for( of regressive an) ine;uitable ta. syste( /hich is proscribe) un)er
Article %$, !ection *:5-6
0-:1
of the Constitution' $t clai(s that people in e;ual positions shoul) be treate) ali<e' "he use of )ifferent ta. bases for
bran)s un)er Anne. FG vis-]-vis ne/ bran)s is )iscri(inatory, an) thus, ini;uitous' Petitioner further posits that the classification free"e
proision is regressive in character' $t asserts that the har(oni?ation of revenue flo/ proCections an) ease of ta. a)(inistration cannot overri)e
this constitutional co((an)'

Ae note that the points raise) by petitioner /ith respect to allege) ine;uitable ta.ation perpetuate) by the classification free"e
proision are a (ere refor(ulation of its e;ual protection challenge' As state) earlier, the assaile) provisions )o not infringe the e;ual protection
clause because the four-fol) test is satisfie)' $n particular, the classification free"e proision has been foun) to rationally further legiti(ate !tate
interests consistent /ith rationality revie/' Petitioner@s repac<age) argu(ent has, therefore, no (erit'

Anent the issue of regressivity, it (ay be conce)e) that the assaile) la/ i(poses an e.cise ta. on cigarettes /hich is a for( of in)irect
ta., an) thus, regressive in character' Ahile there /as an atte(pt to (a<e the i(position of the e.cise ta. (ore e;uitable by creating a four-tiere)
ta.ation syste( /here higher price) cigarettes are ta.e) at a higher rate, still, every consu(er, /hether rich or poor, of a cigarette bran) /ithin a
specific ta. brac<et pays the sa(e ta. rate' "o this e.tent, the ta. )oes not ta<e into account the person@s ability to pay' Nevertheless, this )oes
not (ean that the assaile) la/ (ay be )eclare) unconstitutional for being regressive in character because the Constitution )oes not prohibit the
i(position of in)irect ta.es but (erely provi)es that Congress shall evolve a progressive syste( of ta.ation' As /e e.plaine) in #olentino .
Secretary of .inance:
0-81

0R1egressivity is not a negative stan)ar) for courts to enforce' Ahat Congress is re;uire) by the Constitution to )o is to
Vevolve a progressive syste( of ta.ation'V "his is a )irective to Congress, Cust li<e the )irective to it to give priority to the
enact(ent of la/s for the enhance(ent of hu(an )ignity an) the re)uction of social, econo(ic an) political ine;ualities
0Art' R$$$, !ection -1 or for the pro(otion of the right to V;uality e)ucationV 0Art' R$%, !ection -1' "hese provisions are
put in the Constitution as (oral incentives to legislation, not as Cu)icially enforceable rights'
0*,1


Petitioner is not entitled to a do'n'ard reclassification of ucky Strike.

Petitioner alleges that assu(ing the assaile) la/ is constitutional, its Luc<y !tri<e bran) shoul) be reclassifie) fro( the pre(iu(-
price) to the high-price) ta. brac<et' Relying on B$R Ruling No' ,-:-*,,- )ate) #ay -,, *,,-, it clai(s that it ti(ely sought re)ress fro( the
B$R to have the (ar<et survey con)ucte) /ithin three (onths fro( pro)uct launch, as provi)e) for un)er !ection 25B6
0*-1
of Revenue
Regulations No' --89, in or)er to )eter(ine the actual current net retail price of Luc<y !tri<e, an) thus, fi. its ta. classification' =urther, the
up/ar) reclassification of Luc<y !tri<e a(ounts to )eprivation of property right /ithout )ue process of la/' "he con)uct of the (ar<et survey
after t/o years fro( pro)uct launch constitutes gross neglect on the part of the B$R' Conse;uently, for failure of the B$R to con)uct a ti(ely
(ar<et survey, Luc<y !tri<e@s classification base) on its suggeste) gross retail price shoul) be )ee(e) its official ta. classification' =inally,
petitioner asserts that ha) the (ar<et survey been ti(ely con)ucte) so(eti(e in *,,-, the current net retail price of Luc<y !tri<e /oul) have
been foun) to be un)er the high-price) ta. brac<et'

"hese contentions are untenable an) (islea)ing'

=irst, B$R Ruling No' ,-:-*,,- /as re;ueste) by petitioner for the purpose of fi.ing Luc<y !tri<e@s initial ta. classification base) on
its suggeste) gross retail price relative to its planne) intro)uction of Luc<y !tri<e in the (ar<et so(eti(e in *,,- an) not for the con)uct of the
(ar<et survey /ithin three (onths fro( pro)uct launch' $n fact, the sai) Ruling containe) an e.press reservation that the ta. classification of
Luc<y !tri<e set therein Fis /ithout preCu)ice, ho/ever, to the subse;uent con)uct of a survey . . . in or)er to )eter(ine if the actual gross retail
price thereof is consistent /ith 0petitioner@s1 suggeste) gross retail price'G
0**1
$n short, petitioner ac<no/le)ge) that the initial ta. classification of
Luc<y !tri<e (ay be (o)ifie) )epen)ing on the outco(e of the survey /hich /ill )eter(ine the actual current net retail price of Luc<y !tri<e in
the (ar<et'

!econ), there /as no up/ar) reclassification of Luc<y !tri<e because it /as ta.e) base) on its suggeste) gross retail price fro( the
ti(e of its intro)uction in the (ar<et in *,,- until the B$R (ar<et survey in *,,+' Ae reiterate that Luc<y !tri<es@ actual current net retail price
/as surveye) for the first ti(e in *,,+ an) /as foun) to be fro( P-,'+2 to P--'3+ per pac<, /hich is /ithin the pre(iu(-price) ta.
brac<et' "here /as, thus, no prohibite) up/ar) reclassification of Luc<y !tri<e by the B$R base) on its current net retail price'

"hir), the failure of the B$R to con)uct the (ar<et survey /ithin the three-(onth perio) un)er the revenue regulations then in force
can in no /ay (a<e the initial ta. classification of Luc<y !tri<e base) on its suggeste) gross retail price per(anent' Other/ise, this /oul)
contravene the clear (an)ate of the la/ /hich provi)es that the basis for the ta. classification of a ne/ bran) shall be the current net retail price
an) not the suggeste) gross retail price' $t is a basic principle of la/ that the !tate cannot be estoppe) by the (ista<es of its agents'

Last, the issue of ti(eliness of the (ar<et survey /as never raise) before the trial court because petitioner@s theory of the case /as
/holly anchore) on the allege) unconstitutionality of the classification free"e proision' As a conse;uence, no )ocu(entary evi)ence as to the
actual net retail price of Luc<y !tri<e in *,,-, base) on a (ar<et survey at least co(parable to the one (an)ate) by la/, /as presente) before
the trial court' Evi)ently, it cannot be assu(e) that ha) the B$R con)ucte) the (ar<et survey /ithin three (onths fro( its pro)uct launch
so(eti(e in *,,-, Luc<y !tri<e /oul) have been foun) to fall un)er the high-price) ta. brac<et an) not the pre(iu(-price) ta. brac<et' "o so
hol) /oul) run roughsho) over the !tate@s right to )ue process' %erily, petitioner prosecute) its case before the trial court solely on the theory
that the assaile) la/ is unconstitutional instea) of (erely challenging the ti(eliness of the (ar<et survey' "he rule is that a party is boun) by the
theory he a)opts an) by the cause of action he stan)s on' >e cannot be per(itte) after having lost thereon to repu)iate his theory an) cause of
action, an) thereafter, a)opt another an) see< to re-litigate the (atter ane/ either in the sa(e foru( or on appeal'
0*+1
>aving pursue) one theory
an) lost thereon, petitioner (ay no longer pursue another inconsistent theory /ithout thereby trifling /ith court processes an) bur)ening the
courts /ith en)less litigation'

WHEREFORE, the (otion for reconsi)eration is DENIED.


SO ORDERED.


CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate &ustice


WE CONCUR:



REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice




2)3AR0) A. H:1S:IB134 A3T)31) T. CARP1)
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




IA. A1C1A A:STR1A&IART132J R23AT) C. C)R)3A
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




C)3C91TA CARP1) I)RA2S 0A3T2 ). T134A
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




I131TA ;. C91C)&3AJAR1) PR2SB1T2R) J. ;2ASC)$ JR.
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA TERESITA 1. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice

ARTURO D. BRION DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




LUCAS P. BERSAMIN
Associate &ustice




C2RT1F1CAT1)3


Pursuant to !ection -+, Article %$$$ of the Constitution, it is hereby certifie) that the conclusions in the above Resolution /ere
reache) in consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion of the Court'




REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice
0-1
"he !tate shall regulate or prohibit (onopolies /hen the public interest so re;uires' No co(binations in restraint of tra)e or unfair co(petition
shall be allo/e)'
0*1
7'R' No' L-*+982, =ebruary -9, -84:, ** !CRA 4,+'
0+1
.ederal Communications Commission . Beach Communications, Inc., 3,: H'!' +,9, +-+ 5-88+6'
021
+2 Phil' 848, 894-899 5-8-46'
031
Id' at 894'
041
Id'
091
Bernas, #he :=HE Constitution of the Repu'lic of the PhilippinesM A Commentary 5*,,+6, p' 999'
0:1
Id'
081
7'R' No' -,8*:8, October +, -882, *+9 !CRA +*2'
0-,1
Id' at ++-'
0--1
Supra note +'
0-*1
+24 Phil' +*- 5-8896'
0-+1
&atalia . Court of Appeals, 7'R' No' --4*-4, &une *,, -889, *92 !CRA 3*9, 3+:-3+8'
0-21
Supra note -* at +4:'
0-31
Id'
0-41
Id' at +48'
0-91
L- $n other /or)s, #r' Aitness, you are also suggesting in your e.pert opinion that there is also a possibility that not/ithstan)ing the change
in the price of the particular cigarette pro)uct consi)ering that cigarette s(o<ing is habit for(ing, an) consi)ering also that that cigarette pro)uct
/on or satisfie) the taste of the (ar<et, there is a ten)ency that not/ithstan)ing the price, a particular consu(er /oul) still stic< on the particular
pro)uctU
A- Bes, by your o/n /or), you say that it is habit for(ing' !o, it is loyalty to the bran)' 5"esti(ony of ennis Belgira, "!N =ebruary *,, *,,2,
recor)s, vol' $$, pp' 498-4:,'6
0-:1
!ection *:5-6' "he rule of ta.ation shall be unifor( an) e;uitable' "he Congress shall evolve a progressive syste( of ta.ation'
0-81
7'R' No' --3233, August *3, -882, *+3 !CRA 4+,'
0*,1
Id' at 4:2-4:3'
0*-1
!ection 2' Classification and %anner of #a+ation of 4+isting Brands, &ew Brands and 0ariant of 4+isting Brands.
. . . .
B' &ew Brand
Ne/ bran)s shall be classifie) accor)ing to their current net retail price' $n the (eanti(e that the current net
retail price has not yet been establishe), the suggeste) net retail price shall be use) to )eter(ine the specific ta.
classification' "hereafter, a survey shall be con)ucte) in *, (aCor super(ar<ets or retail outlets in #etro #anila 5for
bran)s of cigarette (ar<ete) nationally6 or in five 536 (aCor super(ar<ets or retail outlets in the region 5for bran)s /hich
are (ar<ete) only outsi)e #etro #anila6 at /hich the cigarette is sol) on retail in rea(sDcarton, three 5+6 (onths after the
initial re(oval of the ne/ bran) to )eter(ine the actual net retail price e.clu)ing the e.cise ta. an) value a))e) ta. /hich
shall then be the basis in )eter(ining the specific ta. classification' $n case the current net retail price is higher than the
suggeste) net retail price, the for(er shall prevail' Other/ise, the suggeste) net retail price shall prevail' Any )ifference in
the specific ta. )ue shall be assesse) an) collecte) inclusive of incre(ents as provi)e) for by the National $nternal
Revenue Co)e, as a(en)e)'
"he survey conte(plate) herein to establish the current net retail price on locally (anufacture) an) i(porte)
cigarettes shall be con)ucte) by the )uly authori?e) representatives of the Co((issioner of $nternal Revenue together /ith
a representative of the Regional irector fro( each Regional Office having Curis)iction over the retail outlet /ithin the
Region being surveye), an) /ho shall sub(it, /ithout )elay, their consoli)ate) /ritten report to the Co((issioner of
$nternal Revenue'
0**1
Recor)s, vol' -, p' 44'
0*+1
Bashier . Commission on 4lections, 7'R' No' L-++48*, =ebruary *2, -89*, 2+ !CRA *+:, *44'


EN BANC


BASES CONVERSION AND G.R. No. 178160
DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY,
Petitioner,
Present:

PHNO, C.J.,
LH$!H#B$N7,
BNARE!-!AN"$A7O,
J
CARP$O,
AH!"R$A-#AR"$NEM,
CORONA,
CARP$O #ORALE!,
- versus - "$N7A,
J
C>$CO-NAMAR$O,
%ELA!CO, &R',
NAC>HRA,
LEONARO-E CA!"RO,
BR$ON, an)
PERAL"A, JJ.


COMMISSION ON AUDIT, Pro(ulgate):
Respon)ent' =ebruary *4, *,,8
. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .

D E C I S I O N

CARPIO, J.:

The Case

"his is a petition for certiorari
0-1
/ith prayer for the issuance of a te(porary restraining or)er an) a /rit of preli(inary inCunction' "he
petition see<s to nullify ecision No' *,,9-,*,
0*1
)ate) -* April *,,9 of the Co((ission on Au)it 5COA6'

The Facts

On -+ #arch -88*, Congress approve) Republic Act 5RA6 No' 9**9
0+1
creating the Bases Conversion an) evelop(ent Authority
5BCA6' !ection 8 of RA No' 9**9 states that the BCA Boar) of irectors 5Boar)6 shall e.ercise the po/ers an) functions of the
BCA' Hn)er !ection -,, the functions of the Boar) inclu)e the )eter(ination of the organi?ational structure an) the a)option of a
co(pensation an) benefit sche(e at least e;uivalent to that of the Bang<o !entral ng Pilipinas 5B!P6' Accor)ingly, the Boar) )eter(ine) the
organi?ational structure of the BCA an) a)opte) a co(pensation an) benefit sche(e for its officials an) e(ployees'

On *, ece(ber -884, the Boar) a)opte) a ne/ co(pensation an) benefit sche(e /hich inclu)e) a P-,,,,, year-en) benefit grante) to
each contractual e(ployee, regular per(anent e(ployee, an) Boar) (e(ber' $n a (e(oran)u(
021
)ate) *3 August -889, Boar) Chair(an
%ictoriano A' Basco 5Chair(an Basco6 reco((en)e) to Presi)ent =i)el %' Ra(os 5Presi)ent Ra(os6 the approval of the ne/ co(pensation an)
benefit sche(e' $n a (e(oran)u(
031
)ate) 8 October -889, Presi)ent Ra(os approve) the ne/ co(pensation an) benefit sche(e'

$n -888, the B!P gave a P+,,,,, year-en) benefit to its officials an) e(ployees' $n *,,,, the B!P increase) the year-en) benefit
fro( P+,,,,, to P+3,,,,' Pursuant to !ection -, of RA No' 9**9 /hich states that the co(pensation an) benefit sche(e of the BCA shall be
at least e;uivalent to that of the B!P, the Boar) increase) the year-en) benefit of BCA officials an) e(ployees fro( P-,,,,, to P+,,,,,' "hus
in *,,, an) *,,-, BCA officials an) e(ployees receive) a P+,,,,, year-en) benefit, an), on - October *,,*, the Boar) passe) Resolution No'
*,,*--,--8+
041
approving the release of a P+,,,,, year-en) benefit for *,,*'

Asi)e fro( the contractual e(ployees, regular per(anent e(ployees, an) Boar) (e(bers, the full-ti(e consultants of the BCA also
receive) the year-en) benefit'

On *, =ebruary *,,+, !tate Au)itor $% Cora?on %' EspaKo of the COA issue) Au)it Observation #e(oran)u( 5AO#6 No' *,,+-
,,2
091
stating that the grant of year-en) benefit to Boar) (e(bers /as contrary to epart(ent of Bu)get an) #anage(ent 5B#6 Circular Letter
No' *,,*-* )ate) * &anuary *,,*' $n Notice of isallo/ance 5N6 No' ,+-,,--BCA-5,*6
0:1
)ate) : &anuary *,,2, irector $% Rogelio '
"ablang 5irector "ablang6, COA, Legal an) A)Cu)ication Office-Corporate, )isallo/e) the grant of year-en) benefit to the Boar) (e(bers an)
full-ti(e consultants' $n ecision No' *,,2-,-+
081
)ate) -+ &anuary *,,2, irector "ablang Fconcurre)G /ith AO# No' *,,+-,,2 an) N No'
,+-,,--BCA-5,*6'

$n a letter
0-,1
)ate) *, =ebruary *,,2, BCA Presi)ent an) Chief E.ecutive Officer Rufo Colayco re;ueste) the reconsi)eration of ecision
No' *,,2-,-+' $n a Resolution
0--1
)ate) ** &une *,,2, irector "ablang )enie) the re;uest' "he BCA file) a notice of appeal
0-*1
)ate) :
!epte(ber *,,2 an) an appeal (e(oran)u(
0-+1
)ate) *+ ece(ber *,,2 /ith the COA'
The COA`s Ruling

$n ecision No' *,,9-,*,,
0-21
the COA affir(e) the )isallo/ance of the year-en) benefit grante) to the Boar) (e(bers an) full-ti(e
consultants an) hel) that the presu(ption of goo) faith )i) not apply to the(' "he COA state) that:

"he granting of BEB . . . is not /ithout . . . li(itation' B# Circular Letter No' *,,*-,* )ate) &anuary *, *,,*
stating, vi?:

F*', "o clarify an) a))ress issuesDre;uests concerning the sa(e, the follo/ing
co(pensation policies are hereby reiterate):

*'- PERA, ACO#, BEB an) retire(ent benefits, are personnel benefits grante) in a))ition to salaries' As
fringe benefits, these shall be pai) only /hen the basic salary is also pai)'

*'* #e(bers of the Boar) of irectors of agencies are not salarie) officials of the
govern(ent' As non-salarie) officials they are not entitle) to PERA, ACO#, BEB
an) retire(ent benefits unless e.pressly provi)e) by la/'

*'+ epart(ent !ecretaries, Hn)ersecretaries an) Assistant !ecretaries /ho serve as E.-officio
#e(bers of the Boar) of irectors are not entitle) to any re(uneration in line /ith the !upre(e
Court ruling that their services in the Boar) are alrea)y pai) for an) covere)
by the re(uneration attache) to their office'G 5un)erscoring ours6

Clearly, as state) above, the members and ex-officio members of the Board of Directors are not entitled to YEB, they
being not salaried officials of the government. "he sa(e goes /ith full time consultants /herein no e(ployer-
e(ployee relationships e.ist bet/een the( an) the BCA' "hus, the /hole a(ount pai) to the( totaling P+2*,,,, is
properly )isallo/e) in au)it'

#oreover, the presu(ption of goo) faith (ay not apply to the (e(bers an) e.-officio (e(bers of the Boar) of
irectors because )espite the earlier clarification on the (atter by the B# thru the issuance on &anuary *, *,,* of B#
Circular Letter No' *,,*-,*, still, the BCA Boar) of irectors enacte) Resolution No' *,,*--,-8+ on October -, *,,*
granting BEB to the BCA personnel inclu)ing the(selves' =ull ti(e consultants, being non-salarie) personnel, are also
not entitle) to such presu(ption since they <ne/ fro( the very beginning that they are only entitle) to the a(ount
stipulate) in their contracts as co(pensation for their services' >ence, they shoul) be (a)e to refun) the )isallo/e) BEB'
0-31
5Bol)facing in the original6
>ence, this petition'

The Court`s Ruling

"he Boar) (e(bers an) full-ti(e consultants of the BCA are not entitle) to the year-en) benefit'

=irst, the BCA clai(s that the Boar) can grant the year-en) benefit to its (e(bers an) full-ti(e consultants because, un)er !ection -, of
RA No' 9**9, the functions of the Boar) inclu)e the a)option of a co(pensation an) benefit sche(e'

"he Court is not i(presse)' "he Boar)@s po/er to a)opt a co(pensation an) benefit sche(e is not unli(ite)' !ection 8 of RA No' 9**9
states that Boar) (e(bers are entitle) to a per diem:

Members of the Board shall receive a per diem of not more than Five thousand pesos (P5,000) for every board
meeting: Pro!ided, ho'e!er, That the per diem collected per month does not exceed the equivalent of four (4)
meetings: Proided, further, "hat the a(ount of per diem for every boar) (eeting (ay be increase) by the Presi)ent but
such a(ount shall not be increase) /ithin t/o 5*6 years after its last increase' 5E(phasis supplie)6


!ection 8 specifies that Boar) (e(bers shall receive a per diem for every boar) (eetingE li(its the a(ount of per diem to not (ore
than P3,,,,E an) li(its the total a(ount of per diem for one (onth to not (ore than four (eetings' $n %agno . Commission on Audit,
0-41
Ca'ili
. Ciil Serice Commission,
0-91
,e Jesus . Ciil Serice Commission,
0-:1
%olen, Jr. . Commission on Audit,
0-81
an) Bay'ay 7ater ,istrict .
Commission on Audit,
0*,1
the Court hel) that the specification of compensation and limitation of the amount of compensation in a statute
indicate that Board members are entitled only to the per diem authorized by law and no other' $n Bay'ay 7ater ,istrict, the Court hel)
that:

By specifying the co(pensation /hich a )irector is entitle) to receive an) by li(iting the a(ount heDshe is allo/e) to
receive in a (onth, . . . the la/ ;uite clearly in)icates that )irectors . . . are authori?e) to receive only the per )ie(
authori?e) by la/ an) no other co(pensation or allo/ance in /hatever for('
0*-1


Also, B# Circular Letter No' *,,*-* states that, FMembers of the Board of Directors of agencies are not salaried officials of the
government. As non-salaried officials they are not entitled to PERA, ACO#, YEB an) retire(ent benefits unless expressly provided by
law'G RA No' 9**9 )oes not state that the Boar) (e(bers are entitle) to a year-en) benefit'

Aith regar) to the full-ti(e consultants, B# Circular Letter No' *,,*-* states that, FYEB an) retire(ent benefits, are personnel
benefits granted in addition to salaries. As fringe benefits, these shall be paid only when the basic salary is also paid'G "he full-ti(e
consultants are not part of the BCA personnel an) are not pai) the basic salary' "he full-ti(e consultants@ consultancy contracts e.pressly state
that there is no e(ployer-e(ployee relationship bet/een the BCA an) the consultants, an) that the BCA shall pay the consultants a contract
price' =or e.a(ple, the consultancy contract
0**1
of a certain r' =aith #' Reyes states:

SECTION 2' Contract Price' =or an) in consi)eration of the services to be perfor(e) by the CON!HL"AN" 5-4
hoursD/ee<6, BCA shall pay her the a(ount of TWENTY THOUSAND PESOS and 00/100 (P20,000.00), Philippine
currency, per (onth'

. . . .

SECTION 4' Employee-Employer Relationship' $t is un)erstoo) that no e(ployee-e(ployer relationship shall e.ist
bet/een BCA an) the CON!HL"AN"'

SECTION 5' Period of Effectivity' "his CON"RAC" shall have an effectivity perio) of one 5-6 year, fro( &anuary ,-,
*,,* to ece(ber +-, *,,*, unless sooner ter(inate) by BCA in accor)ance /ith !ection 4 belo/'

SECTION 6' Termination of Services' BCA, in its sole )iscretion (ay opt to ter(inate this CON"RAC" /hen it sees
that there is no (ore nee) for the services contracte) for' 5Bol)facing in the original6

!ince full-ti(e consultants are not salarie) e(ployees of BCA, they are not entitle) to the year-en) benefit /hich is a F personnel benefit
grante) in addition to salariesG an) /hich is Fpai) only when the basic salary is also paid'G

!econ), the BCA clai(s that the Boar) (e(bers an) full-ti(e consultants shoul) be grante) the year-en) benefit because the granting of
year-en) benefit is consistent /ith !ections 3 an) -:, Article $$ of the Constitution' !ections 3 an) -: state:

Section G' "he (aintenance of peace an) or)er, the protection of life, liberty, an) property, an) the pro(otion of the
general /elfare are essential for the enCoy(ent by all people of the blessings of )e(ocracy'

Section :H' "he !tate affir(s labor as a pri(ary social econo(ic force' $t shall protect the rights of /or<ers an)
pro(ote their /elfare'


"he Court is not i(presse)' Article $$ of the Constitution is entitle) eclaration of Principles an) !tate Policies' By its very title, Article $$
is a state(ent of general i)eological principles an) policies' $t is not a source of enforceable rights'
0*+1
$n #ondo %edical Center 4mployees
Association . Court of Appeals,
0*21
the Court hel) thatSections 5 and 18, Article II of the Constitution are not self-executing provisions' $n
that case, the Court hel) that F!o(e of the constitutional provisions invo<e) in the present case /ere ta<en fro( Article $$ of the Constitution T
specifically, !ections 3 . . . an) -: T the provisions of /hich the Court categorically rule) to be non self-e.ecuting'G

"hir), the BCA clai(s that the )enial of year-en) benefit to the Boar) (e(bers an) full-ti(e consultants violates !ection -, Article $$$ of
the Constitution'
0*31
#ore specifically, the BCA clai(s that there is no substantial )istinction bet/een regular officials an) e(ployees on one
han), an) Boar) (e(bers an) full-ti(e consultants on the other' "he BCA states that Fthere is here only a )istinction, but no )ifferenceG
because both Fhave un)eniably one co((on goal as hu(ans, that is . . . Wto <eep bo)y an) soul together@G or, F0)1ifferently put, both have
(ouths to fee) an) sto(achs to fill'G

"he Court is not i(presse)' Every presumption should be indulged in favor of the constitutionality of RA No. 7227 and the burden
of proof is on the BCDA to show that there is a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution'
0*41
$n A'a@ada -uro Party !ist .
Purisima,
0*91
the Court hel) that:

A la/ enacte) by Congress enCoys the strong presu(ption of constitutionality' "o Custify its nullification, there (ust
be a clear an) une;uivocal breach of the Constitution, not a )oubtful an) une;uivocal one' "o invali)ate 0a la/1 base) on
. . . baseless supposition is an affront to the /is)o( not only of the legislature that passe) it but also of the e.ecutive
/hich approve) it'



"he BCA faile) to sho/ that RA No' 9**9 unreasonably single) out Boar) (e(bers an) full-ti(e consultants in the grant of the year-en)
benefit' $t )i) not sho/ any clear an) une;uivocal breach of the Constitution' "he clai( that there is no )ifference bet/een regular officials an)
e(ployees, an) Boar) (e(bers an) full-ti(e consultants because both groups Fhave (ouths to fee) an) sto(achs to fillG is fatuous' !urely,
persons are not auto(atically si(ilarly situate) T thus, auto(atically )eserving of e;ual protection of the la/s T Cust because they both Fhave
(ouths to fee) an) sto(achs to fill'G Other/ise, the e.istence of a substantial )istinction /oul) beco(e forever highly i(probable'

=ourth, the BCA clai(s that the Boar) can grant the year-en) benefit to its (e(bers an) the full-ti(e consultants because RA No' 9**9
)oes not e.pressly prohibit it fro( )oing so'

"he Court is not i(presse)' A careful rea)ing of !ection 8 of RA No' 9**9 reveals that the Boar) is prohibite) fro( granting its (e(bers
other benefits' !ection 8 states:

Members of the Board shall receive a per diem of not more than Five thousand pesos (P5,000) for every board
meeting: Pro!ided, ho'e!er, That the per diem collected per month does not exceed the equivalent of four (4)
meetings: Proided, further, "hat the a(ount of per diem for every boar) (eeting (ay be increase) by the Presi)ent but
such a(ount shall not be increase) /ithin t/o 5*6 years after its last increase' 5E(phasis supplie)6


!ection 8 specifies that Boar) (e(bers shall receive a per diem for every boar) (eetingE li(its the a(ount of per diem to not (ore
than P3,,,,E li(its the total a(ount ofper diem for one (onth to not (ore than four (eetingsE an) )oes not state that Boar) (e(bers (ay
receive other benefits' $n %agno,
0*:1
Ca'ili,
0*81
,e Jesus,
0+,1
%olen, Jr.,
0+-1
an) Bay'ay 7ater ,istrict,
0+*1
the Court hel) that the specification of
compensation and limitation of the amount of compensation in a statute indicate that Board members are entitled only to the per
diem authorized by law and no other'

"he specification that Boar) (e(bers shall receive a per diem of not (ore than P3,,,, for every (eeting an) the o(ission of a provision
allo/ing Boar) (e(bers to receive other benefits lea) the Court to the inference that Congress inten)e) to li(it the co(pensation of Boar)
(e(bers to the per diem authori?e) by la/ an) no other' 4+pressio unius est e+clusio alterius' >a) Congress inten)e) to allo/ the Boar)
(e(bers to receive other benefits, it /oul) have e.pressly state) so'
0++1
=or e.a(ple, Congress@ intention to allo/ Boar) (e(bers to receive
other benefits besi)es the per diem authori?e) by la/ is e.pressly state) in !ection - of RA No' 8*:4:
0+21

!EC"$ON -' !ection -+ of Presi)ential ecree No' -8:, as a(en)e), is hereby a(en)e) to rea) as follo/s:

F!EC' -+' Compensation' T Each )irector shall receive per diem to be )eter(ine) by the Boar), for each (eeting
of the Boar) actually atten)e) by hi(, but no )irector shall receive per diems in any given (onth in e.cess of the
e;uivalent of the total per )ie( of four (eetings in any given (onth'

Any per diem in e.cess of One hun)re) fifty pesos 5P-3,',,6 shall be subCect to the approval of the
A)(inistration' In addition thereto, each director shall receive allowances and benefits as the Board may prescribe
subject to the approval of the Administration'G 5E(phasis supplie)6


"he Court cannot, in the guise of interpretation, enlarge the scope of a statute or insert into a statute /hat Congress o(itte), /hether intentionally
or unintentionally'
0+31


Ahen a statute is susceptible of t/o interpretations, the Court (ust Fa)opt the one in consonance /ith the presu(e) intention of the
legislature to give its enact(ents the (ost reasonable an) beneficial construction, the one that /ill ren)er the( operative an) effective'G
0+41
"he
Court al/ays presu(es that Congress inten)e) to enact sensible statutes'
0+91
$f the Court /ere to rule that the Boar) coul) grant the year-en)
benefit to its (e(bers, !ection 8 of RA No' 9**9 /oul) beco(e inoperative an) ineffective T the specification that Boar) (e(bers shall
receive a per diem of not (ore than P3,,,, for every (eetingE the specification that the per diem receive) per (onth shall not e.cee) the
e;uivalent of four (eetingsE the vesting of the po/er to increase the a(ount of per diem in the Presi)entE an) the li(itation that the a(ount
of per diem shall not be increase) /ithin t/o years fro( its last increase /oul) all beco(e useless because the Boar) coul) al/ays grant its
(e(bers other benefits'

Aith regar) to the full-ti(e consultants, B# Circular Letter No' *,,*-* states that, FYEB an) retire(ent benefits, are personnel benefits
granted in addition to salaries. As fringe benefits, these shall be paid only when the basic salary is also paid'G "he full-ti(e consultants
are not part of the BCA personnel an) are not pai) the basic salary' "he full-ti(e consultants@ consultancy contracts e.pressly state that there is
no e(ployer-e(ployee relationship bet/een BCA an) the consultants an) that BCA shall pay the consultants a contract price' !ince full-ti(e
consultants are not salarie) e(ployees of the BCA, they are not entitle) to the year-en) benefit /hich is a Fpersonnelbenefit grante) in
addition to salariesG an) /hich is Fpai) only when the basic salary is also paid'G

=ifth, the BCA clai(s that the Boar) (e(bers an) full-ti(e consultants are entitle) to the year-en) benefit because 5-6 Presi)ent Ra(os
approve) the granting of the benefit to the Boar) (e(bers, an) 5*6 they have been receiving it since -889'

"he Court is not i(presse)' "he !tate is not estoppe) fro( correcting a public officer@s erroneous application of a statute, an) an unla/ful
practice, no (atter ho/ long, cannot give rise to any veste) right'
0+:1


"he Court, ho/ever, notes that the Boar) (e(bers an) full-ti(e consultants receive) the year-en) benefit in goo) faith' "he Boar)
(e(bers relie) on 5-6 !ection -, of RA No' 9**9 /hich authori?e) the Boar) to a)opt a co(pensation an) benefit sche(eE 5*6 the fact that RA
No' 9**9 )oes not e.pressly prohibit Boar) (e(bers fro( receiving benefits other than the per diem authori?e) by la/E an) 5+6 Presi)ent
Ra(os@ approval of the ne/ co(pensation an) benefit sche(e /hich inclu)e) the granting of a year-en) benefit to each contractual e(ployee,
regular per(anent e(ployee, an) Boar) (e(ber' "he full-ti(e consultants relie) on !ection -, of RA No' 9**9 /hich authori?e) the Boar) to
a)opt a co(pensation an) benefit sche(e' "here is no proof that the Boar) (e(bers an) full-ti(e consultants <ne/ that their receipt of the year-
en) benefit /as unla/ful' $n <eeping /ith %agno,
0+81
,e Jesus,
02,1
%olen, Jr.,
02-1
an) 2apisanan ng mga %anggagawa sa -oernment Serice
Insurance System (2%-* . Commission on Audit,
02*1
the Boar) (e(bers an) full-ti(e consultants are not re;uire) to refun) the year-en)
benefits they have alrea)y receive)'

WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED' Co((ission on Au)it ecision No' *,,9-,*, )ate) -* April *,,9
is AFFIRMED /ith theMODIFICATION that the Boar) (e(bers an) full-ti(e consultants of the Bases Conversion an) evelop(ent
Authority are not re;uire) to refun) the year-en) benefits they have alrea)y receive)'

SO ORDERED'

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate &ustice


WE CONCUR:



REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice



(On official leave)
LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
Associate &ustice





CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate &ustice




MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ
Associate &ustice









RENATO C. CORONA
Associate &ustice

CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
Associate &ustice




(On official leave)
DANTE O. TINGA
Associate &ustice


MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO PRESBITERO 1. VELASCO, 1R.
Associate &ustice
Associate &ustice




ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA
Associate &ustice



ARTURO D. BRION
Associate &ustice


TERESITA 1. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO
Associate &ustice



DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
Associate &ustice


CERTIFICATION

Pursuant to !ection -+, Article %$$$ of the Constitution, $ certify that the conclusions in the above ecision ha) been reache) in consultation
before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion of the Court'



REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice
















J
On official leave per !pecial Or)er No' 34+'
J
On official leave per !pecial Or)er No' 39-'
0-1
Hn)er Rule 43 of the Rules of Court'
0*1
Rollo, pp' +9-22'
0+1
Other/ise <no/n as the FBases Conversion an) evelop(ent Act of -88*'G
021
Rollo, pp' 23-3-'
031
$)' at 3*'
041
$)' at 49'
091
$)' at 9+'
0:1
$)' at 9:-:-'
081
$)' at :8-8-'
0-,1
$)' at 8*-8+'
0--1
$)' at 82-8:'
0-*1
$)' at 88'
0-+1
$)' at -,,---,'
0-21
$)' at +9-22'
0-31
$)' at 2*-2+'
0-41
7'R' No' -2882-, *: August *,,9, 3+- !CRA ++8, +28'
0-91
7'R' No' -343,+, ** &une *,,4, 28* !CRA *3*, *4,'
0-:1
7'R' No' -34338, +, !epte(ber *,,3, 29- !CRA 4*2, 4*9'
0-81
7'R' No' -3,***, -: #arch *,,3, 23+ !CRA 948, 99:'
0*,1
2*3 Phil' +*4 5*,,*6'
0*-1
$)' at ++9'
0**1
Rollo, pp' -3:--38'
0*+1
Pamatong . Commission on 4lections, 7'R' No' -4-:9*, -+ April *,,2, 2*9 !CRA 84, -,,--,-E #a$ada . Angara, ++: Phil'
324, 3:,-3:+ 5-8896'
0*21
7'R' No' -49+*2, -9 &uly *,,9, 3*9 !CRA 924, 942-943'
0*31
!ection -, Article $$$ of the Constitution states that, FNo person shall be . . . )enie) the e;ual protection of the la/s'G
0*41
British American #o'acco . Camacho, 7'R' No' -4+3:+, *, August *,,:E Central Ban@ 4mployees Association, Inc. . Bang@o
Sentral ng Pilipinas, 2:9 Phil' 3+-, 34* 5*,,26'
0*91
7'R' No' -449-3, -2 August *,,:'
0*:1
!upra note -4'
0*81
!upra note -9'
0+,1
!upra note -:'
0+-1
!upra note -8'
0+*1
!upra note *,'
0++1
Romualde" . %arcelo, 7'R' Nos' -433-,-++, *: &uly *,,4, 289 !CRA :8, -,9--,8E Repu'lic of the Philippines . 3onora'le
4sten"o, -:: Phil' 4-, 43-44 5-8:,6'
0+21
An Act =urther A(en)ing Presi)ential ecree No' -8:, Other/ise Ono/n As F"he Provincial Aater Htilities Act of -89+,G as
a(en)e)'
0+31
Canet . %ayor ,ecena, 243 Phil' +*3, ++*-+++ 5*,,26'
0+41
Ses're$o . Central Board of Assessment Appeals, ++9 Phil' :8, -,+--,2 5-8896'
0+91
In re -uari$a, *2 Phil' +9, 29 5-8-+6'
0+:1
0eterans .ederation of the Philippines . Reyes, 7'R' No' -33,*9, *: =ebruary *,,4, 2:+ !CRA 3*4, 334E 2apisanan ng mga
%anggagawa sa -oernment Serice Insurance System (2%-* . Commission on Audit, 7'R' No' -3,948, +- August *,,2, 2+9 !CRA +9-,
+8,-+8-'
0+81
!upra note -4'
02,1
!upra note -:'
02-1
!upra note -8'
02*1
7'R' No' -3,948, +- August *,,2, 2+9 !CRA +9-, +8-'
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
#anila
EN BANC
G.R. No. 166715 August 14, 2008
ABAKADA GURO PARTY LIST (formerly AAS1S)
-
OFFICERS/MEMBERS SAMSON S. ALCANTARA, ED VINCENT S. ALBANO,
ROMEO R. ROBISO, RENE B. GOROSPE and EDWIN R. SANDOVAL, petitioners,
vs'
HON. CESAR V. PURISIMA, in his capacity as Secretary of Finance, HON. GUILLERMO L. PARAYNO, 1R., in his capacity as
Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and HON. ALBERTO D. LINA, in his Capacity as Commissioner of Bureau of
Customs, respon)ents'
D E C I S I O N
CORONA, J.:
"his petition for prohibition
-
see<s to prevent respon)ents fro( i(ple(enting an) enforcing Republic Act 5RA6 8++3
*
5Attrition Act of *,,36'
RA 8++3 /as enacte) to opti(i?e the revenue-generation capability an) collection of the Bureau of $nternal Revenue 5B$R6 an) the Bureau of
Custo(s 5BOC6' "he la/ inten)s to encourage B$R an) BOC officials an) e(ployees to e.cee) their revenue targets by provi)ing a syste( of
re/ar)s an) sanctions through the creation of a Re/ar)s an) $ncentives =un) 5=un)6 an) a Revenue Perfor(ance Evaluation Boar) 5Boar)6'
+
$t
covers all officials an) e(ployees of the B$R an) the BOC /ith at least si. (onths of service, regar)less of e(ploy(ent status'
2
"he =un) is source) fro( the collection of the B$R an) the BOC in e.cess of their revenue targets for the year, as )eter(ine) by the
evelop(ent Bu)get an) Coor)inating Co((ittee 5BCC6' Any incentive or re/ar) is ta<en fro( the fun) an) allocate) to the B$R an) the
BOC in proportion to their contribution in the e.cess collection of the targete) a(ount of ta. revenue'
3
"he Boar)s in the B$R an) the BOC are co(pose) of the !ecretary of the epart(ent of =inance 5O=6 or hisDher Hn)ersecretary, the !ecretary
of the epart(ent of Bu)get an) #anage(ent 5B#6 or hisDher Hn)ersecretary, the irector 7eneral of the National Econo(ic evelop(ent
Authority 5NEA6 or hisDher eputy irector 7eneral, the Co((issioners of the B$R an) the BOC or their eputy Co((issioners, t/o
representatives fro( the ran<-an)-file e(ployees an) a representative fro( the officials no(inate) by their recogni?e) organi?ation'
4
Each Boar) has the )uty to 5-6 prescribe the rules an) gui)elines for the allocation, )istribution an) release of the =un)E 5*6 set criteria an)
proce)ures for re(oving fro( the service officials an) e(ployees /hose revenue collection falls short of the targetE 5+6 ter(inate personnel in
accor)ance /ith the criteria a)opte) by the Boar)E 526 prescribe a syste( for perfor(ance evaluationE 536 perfor( other functions, inclu)ing the
issuance of rules an) regulations an) 546 sub(it an annual report to Congress'
9
"he O=, B#, NEA, B$R, BOC an) the Civil !ervice Co((ission 5C!C6 /ere tas<e) to pro(ulgate an) issue the i(ple(enting rules an)
regulations of RA 8++3,
:
to be approve) by a &oint Congressional Oversight Co((ittee create) for such purpose'
8
Petitioners, invo<ing their right as ta.payers file) this petition challenging the constitutionality of RA 8++3, a ta. refor( legislation' "hey
conten) that, by establishing a syste( of re/ar)s an) incentives, the la/ Vtransfor(0s1 the officials an) e(ployees of the B$R an) the BOC into
(ercenaries an) bounty huntersV as they /ill )o their best only in consi)eration of such re/ar)s' "hus, the syste( of re/ar)s an) incentives
invites corruption an) un)er(ines the constitutionally (an)ate) )uty of these officials an) e(ployees to serve the people /ith ut(ost
responsibility, integrity, loyalty an) efficiency'
Petitioners also clai( that li(iting the scope of the syste( of re/ar)s an) incentives only to officials an) e(ployees of the B$R an) the BOC
violates the constitutional guarantee of e;ual protection' "here is no vali) basis for classification or )istinction as to /hy such a syste( shoul)
not apply to officials an) e(ployees of all other govern(ent agencies'
$n a))ition, petitioners assert that the la/ un)uly )elegates the po/er to fi. revenue targets to the Presi)ent as it lac<s a sufficient stan)ar) on that
(atter' Ahile !ection 95b6 an) 5c6 of RA 8++3 provi)es that B$R an) BOC officials (ay be )is(isse) fro( the service if their revenue
collections fall short of the target by at least 9'3Q, the la/ )oes not, ho/ever, fi. the revenue targets to be achieve)' $nstea), the fi.ing of
revenue targets has been )elegate) to the Presi)ent /ithout sufficient stan)ar)s' $t /ill therefore be easy for the Presi)ent to fi. an unrealistic an)
unattainable target in or)er to )is(iss B$R or BOC personnel'
=inally, petitioners assail the creation of a congressional oversight co((ittee on the groun) that it violates the )octrine of separation of po/ers'
Ahile the legislative function is )ee(e) acco(plishe) an) co(plete) upon the enact(ent an) approval of the la/, the creation of the
congressional oversight co((ittee per(its legislative participation in the i(ple(entation an) enforce(ent of the la/'
$n their co((ent, respon)ents, through the Office of the !olicitor 7eneral, ;uestion the petition for being pre(ature as there is no actual case or
controversy yet' Petitioners have not asserte) any right or clai( that /ill necessitate the e.ercise of this Court@s Curis)iction' Nevertheless,
respon)ents ac<no/le)ge that public policy re;uires the resolution of the constitutional issues involve) in this case' "hey assert that the
allegation that the re/ar) syste( /ill bree) (ercenaries is (ere speculation an) )oes not suffice to invali)ate the la/' !een in conCunction /ith
the )eclare) obCective of RA 8++3, the la/ vali)ly classifies the B$R an) the BOC because the functions they perfor( are )istinct fro( those of
the other govern(ent agencies an) instru(entalities' #oreover, the la/ provi)es a sufficient stan)ar) that /ill gui)e the e.ecutive in the
i(ple(entation of its provisions' Lastly, the creation of the congressional oversight co((ittee un)er the la/ enhances, rather than violates,
separation of po/ers' $t ensures the fulfill(ent of the legislative policy an) serves as a chec< to any over-accu(ulation of po/er on the part of
the e.ecutive an) the i(ple(enting agencies'
After a careful consi)eration of the conflicting contentions of the parties, the Court fin)s that petitioners have faile) to overco(e the presu(ption
of constitutionality in favor of RA 8++3, e.cept as shall hereafter be )iscusse)'
Actual Case And Ripeness
An actual case or controversy involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal clai(s susceptible of Cu)icial a)Cu)ication'
-,
A
closely relate) re;uire(ent is ripeness, that is, the ;uestion (ust be ripe for a)Cu)ication' An) a constitutional ;uestion is ripe for a)Cu)ication
/hen the govern(ental act being challenge) has a )irect a)verse effect on the in)ivi)ual challenging it'
--
"hus, to be ripe for Cu)icial
a)Cu)ication, the petitioner (ust sho/ a personal sta<e in the outco(e of the case or an inCury to hi(self that can be re)resse) by a favorable
)ecision of the Court'
-*
$n this case, asi)e fro( the general clai( that the )ispute has ripene) into a Cu)icial controversy by the (ere enact(ent of the la/ even /ithout
any further overt act,
-+
petitioners fail either to assert any specific an) concrete legal clai( or to )e(onstrate any )irect a)verse effect of the la/
on the(' "hey are unable to sho/ a personal sta<e in the outco(e of this case or an inCury to the(selves' On this account, their petition is
proce)urally infir('
"his not/ithstan)ing, public interest re;uires the resolution of the constitutional issues raise) by petitioners' "he grave nature of their allegations
ten)s to cast a clou) on the presu(ption of constitutionality in favor of the la/' An) /here an action of the legislative branch is allege) to have
infringe) the Constitution, it beco(es not only the right but in fact the )uty of the Cu)iciary to settle the )ispute'
-2
Accountability of
Public Officers
!ection -, Article -- of the Constitution states:
!ec' -' Public office is a public trust' Public officers an) e(ployees (ust at all ti(es be accountable to the people, serve the( /ith
ut(ost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, an) efficiency, act /ith patriotis(, an) Custice, an) lea) (o)est lives'
Public office is a public trust' $t (ust be )ischarge) by its hol)er not for his o/n personal gain but for the benefit of the public for /ho( he hol)s
it in trust' By )e(an)ing accountability an) service /ith responsibility, integrity, loyalty, efficiency, patriotis( an) Custice, all govern(ent
officials an) e(ployees have the )uty to be responsive to the nee)s of the people they are calle) upon to serve'
Public officers enCoy the presu(ption of regularity in the perfor(ance of their )uties' "his presu(ption necessarily obtains in favor of B$R an)
BOC officials an) e(ployees' RA 8++3 operates on the basis thereof an) reinforces it by provi)ing a syste( of re/ar)s an) sanctions for the
purpose of encouraging the officials an) e(ployees of the B$R an) the BOC to e.cee) their revenue targets an) opti(i?e their revenue-
generation capability an) collection'
-3
"he presu(ption is )isputable but proof to the contrary is re;uire) to rebut it' $t cannot be overturne) by (ere conCecture or )enie) in a)vance 5as
petitioners /oul) have the Court )o6 specially in this case /here it is an un)erlying principle to a)vance a )eclare) public policy'
Petitioners@ clai( that the i(ple(entation of RA 8++3 /ill turn B$R an) BOC officials an) e(ployees into Vbounty hunters an) (ercenariesV is
not only /ithout any factual an) legal basisE it is also purely speculative'
A la/ enacte) by Congress enCoys the strong presu(ption of constitutionality' "o Custify its nullification, there (ust be a clear an) une;uivocal
breach of the Constitution, not a )oubtful an) e;uivocal one'
-4
"o invali)ate RA 8++3 base) on petitioners@ baseless supposition is an affront to
the /is)o( not only of the legislature that passe) it but also of the e.ecutive /hich approve) it'
Public service is its o/n re/ar)' Nevertheless, public officers (ay by la/ be re/ar)e) for e.e(plary an) e.ceptional perfor(ance' A syste( of
incentives for e.cee)ing the set e.pectations of a public office is not anathe(a to the concept of public accountability' $n fact, it recogni?es an)
reinforces )e)ication to )uty, in)ustry, efficiency an) loyalty to public service of )eserving govern(ent personnel'
$n Cnited States . %atthews,
-9
the H'!' !upre(e Court vali)ate) a la/ /hich a/ar)s to officers of the custo(s as /ell as other parties an a(ount
not e.cee)ing one-half of the net procee)s of forfeitures in violation of the la/s against s(uggling' Citing ,orsheimer . Cnited States,
-:
the H'!'
!upre(e Court sai):
"he offer of a portion of such penalties to the collectors is to sti(ulate an) re/ar) their ?eal an) in)ustry in )etecting frau)ulent
atte(pts to eva)e pay(ent of )uties an) ta.es'
$n the sa(e vein, e(ployees of the B$R an) the BOC (ay by la/ be entitle) to a re/ar) /hen, as a conse;uence of their ?eal in the enforce(ent
of ta. an) custo(s la/s, they e.cee) their revenue targets' $n a))ition, RA 8++3 establishes safeguar)s to ensure that the re/ar) /ill not be
clai(e) if it /ill be either the fruit of Vbounty hunting or (ercenary activityV or the pro)uct of the irregular perfor(ance of official )uties' One of
these precautionary (easures is e(bo)ie) in !ection : of the la/:
!EC' :' !ia'ility of /fficials, 4+aminers and 4mployees of the BIR and the B/C. D "he officials, e.a(iners, an) e(ployees of the
0B$R1 an) the 0BOC1 /ho violate this Act or /ho are guilty of negligence, abuses or acts of (alfeasance or (isfeasance or fail to
e.ercise e.traor)inary )iligence in the perfor(ance of their )uties shall be hel) liable for any loss or inCury suffere) by any business
establish(ent or ta.payer as a result of such violation, negligence, abuse, (alfeasance, (isfeasance or failure to e.ercise
e.traor)inary )iligence'
Equal Protection
E;uality guarantee) un)er the e;ual protection clause is e;uality un)er the sa(e con)itions an) a(ong persons si(ilarly situate)E it is e;uality
a(ong e;uals, not si(ilarity of treat(ent of persons /ho are classifie) base) on substantial )ifferences in relation to the obCect to be
acco(plishe)'
-8
Ahen things or persons are )ifferent in fact or circu(stance, they (ay be treate) in la/ )ifferently' $n 0ictoriano . 4li"alde
Rope 7or@ersI Cnion,
*,
this Court )eclare):
"he guaranty of e;ual protection of the la/s is not a guaranty of e;uality in the application of the la/s upon all citi?ens of the 0!1tate'
$t is not, therefore, a re;uire(ent, in or)er to avoi) the constitutional prohibition against ine;uality, that every (an, /o(an an) chil)
shoul) be affecte) ali<e by a statute' E;uality of operation of statutes )oes not (ean in)iscri(inate operation on persons (erely as
such, but on persons accor)ing to the circu(stances surroun)ing the(' $t guarantees e;uality, not i)entity of rights' The Constitution
does not require that things which are different in fact be treated in law as though they were the same. The equal protection
clause does not forbid discrimination as to things that are different' It does not prohibit legislation which is limited either in
the object to which it is directed or by the territory /ithin /hich it is to operate'
"he e;ual protection of the la/s clause of the Constitution allo/s classification' Classification in la/, as in the other )epart(ents of
<no/le)ge or practice, is the grouping of things in speculation or practice because they agree /ith one another in certain particulars' A
la/ is not invali) because of si(ple ine;uality' "he very i)ea of classification is that of ine;uality, so that it goes /ithout saying that
the (ere fact of ine;uality in no (anner )eter(ines the (atter of constitutionality' All that is required of a valid classification is
that it be reasonable, which means that the classification should be based on substantial distinctions which make for real
differences, that it must be germane to the purpose of the law; that it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and that
it must apply equally to each member of the class' "his Court has hel) that the standard is satisfied if the classification or
distinction is based on a reasonable foundation or rational basis and is not palpably arbitrary'
$n the e.ercise of its po/er to (a<e classifications for the purpose of enacting la/s over (atters /ithin its Curis)iction, the state is
recogni?e) as enCoying a /i)e range of )iscretion' $t is not necessary that the classification be base) on scientific or (ar<e)
)ifferences of things or in their relation' Neither is it necessary that the classification be (a)e /ith (athe(atical nicety' >ence,
legislative classification (ay in (any cases properly rest on narro/ )istinctions, for the e;ual protection guaranty )oes not preclu)e
the legislature fro( recogni?ing )egrees of evil or har(, an) legislation is a))resse) to evils as they (ay appear'
*-
5e(phasis
supplie)6
"he e;ual protection clause recogni?es a vali) classification, that is, a classification that has a reasonable foun)ation or rational basis an) not
arbitrary'
**
Aith respect to RA 8++3, its e.presse) public policy is the opti(i?ation of the revenue-generation capability an) collection of the B$R
an) the BOC'
*+
!ince the subCect of the la/ is the revenue- generation capability an) collection of the B$R an) the BOC, the incentives an)Dor
sanctions provi)e) in the la/ shoul) logically pertain to the sai) agencies' #oreover, the la/ concerns only the B$R an) the BOC because they
have the co((on )istinct pri(ary function of generating revenues for the national govern(ent through the collection of ta.es, custo(s )uties,
fees an) charges'
"he B$R perfor(s the follo/ing functions:
!ec' -:' #he Bureau of Internal Reenue' I "he Bureau of $nternal Revenue, /hich shall be hea)e) by an) subCect to the supervision
an) control of the Co((issioner of $nternal Revenue, /ho shall be appointe) by the Presi)ent upon the reco((en)ation of the
!ecretary 0of the O=1, shall have the follo/ing functions:
5-6 Assess and collect all taxes, fees and charges and account for all revenues collectedE
5*6 E.ercise )uly )elegate) police po/ers for the proper perfor(ance of its functions an) )utiesE
5+6 Prevent an) prosecute ta. evasions an) all other illegal econo(ic activitiesE
526 E.ercise supervision an) control over its constituent an) subor)inate unitsE an)
536 Perfor( such other functions as (ay be provi)e) by la/'
*2
... ... ... 5e(phasis supplie)6
On the other han), the BOC has the follo/ing functions:
!ec' *+' #he Bureau of Customs' I "he Bureau of Custo(s /hich shall be hea)e) an) subCect to the (anage(ent an) control of the
Co((issioner of Custo(s, /ho shall be appointe) by the Presi)ent upon the reco((en)ation of the !ecretary0of the O=1 an)
hereinafter referre) to as Co((issioner, shall have the follo/ing functions:
5-6 Collect custom duties, taxes and the corresponding fees, charges and penaltiesE
5*6 Account for all customs revenues collectedE
5+6 E.ercise police authority for the enforce(ent of tariff an) custo(s la/sE
526 Prevent an) suppress s(uggling, pilferage an) all other econo(ic frau)s /ithin all ports of entryE
536 !upervise an) control e.ports, i(ports, foreign (ails an) the clearance of vessels an) aircrafts in all ports of entryE
546 A)(inister all legal re;uire(ents that are appropriateE
596 Prevent an) prosecute s(uggling an) other illegal activities in all ports un)er its Curis)ictionE
5:6 E.ercise supervision an) control over its constituent unitsE
586 Perfor( such other functions as (ay be provi)e) by la/'
*3
... ... ... 5e(phasis supplie)6
Both the B$R an) the BOC are bureaus un)er the O=' "hey principally perfor( the special function of being the instru(entalities through
/hich the !tate e.ercises one of its great inherent functions I ta.ation' $n)ubitably, such substantial )istinction is ger(ane an) inti(ately relate)
to the purpose of the la/' >ence, the classification an) treat(ent accor)e) to the B$R an) the BOC un)er RA 8++3 fully satisfy the )e(an)s of
e;ual protection'
Undue Delegation
"/o tests )eter(ine the vali)ity of )elegation of legislative po/er: 5-6 the co(pleteness test an) 5*6 the sufficient stan)ar) test' A la/ is
co(plete /hen it sets forth therein the policy to be e.ecute), carrie) out or i(ple(ente) by the )elegate'
*4
$t lays )o/n a sufficient stan)ar)
/hen it provi)es a)e;uate gui)elines or li(itations in the la/ to (ap out the boun)aries of the )elegate@s authority an) prevent the )elegation
fro( running riot'
*9
"o be sufficient, the stan)ar) (ust specify the li(its of the )elegate@s authority, announce the legislative policy an) i)entify
the con)itions un)er /hich it is to be i(ple(ente)'
*:
RA 8++3 a)e;uately states the policy an) stan)ar)s to gui)e the Presi)ent in fi.ing revenue targets an) the i(ple(enting agencies in carrying out
the provisions of the la/' !ection * spells out the policy of the la/:
!EC' *' ,eclaration of Policy' I $t is the policy of the !tate to opti(i?e the revenue-generation capability an) collection of the Bureau
of $nternal Revenue 5B$R6 an) the Bureau of Custo(s 5BOC6 by provi)ing for a syste( of re/ar)s an) sanctions through the creation
of a Re/ar)s an) $ncentives =un) an) a Revenue Perfor(ance Evaluation Boar) in the above agencies for the purpose of encouraging
their officials an) e(ployees to e.cee) their revenue targets'
!ection 2 Vcanali?e) /ithin ban<s that <eep it fro( overflo/ingV
*8
the )elegate) po/er to the Presi)ent to fi. revenue targets:
!EC' 2' Rewards and Incenties .und' I A Re/ar)s an) $ncentives =un), hereinafter referre) to as the =un), is hereby create), to be
source) fro( the collection of the B$R an) the BOC in e.cess of their respective revenue targets of the year, as determined by the
Development Budget and Coordinating Committee (DBCC), in the follo/ing percentages:
E.cess of Collection of the E.cess the
Revenue "argets
Percent 5Q6 of the E.cess Collection to Accrue to the =un)
+,Q or belo/ I -3Q
#ore than +,Q I -3Q of the first +,Q plus *,Q of the re(aining e.cess
"he =un) shall be )ee(e) auto(atically appropriate) the year i((e)iately follo/ing the year /hen the revenue collection target /as
e.cee)e) an) shall be release) on the sa(e fiscal year'
Revenue targets shall refer to the original estimated revenue collection expected of the BIR and the BOC for a given fiscal year
as stated in the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF) submitted by the President to Congress. "he B$R an)
the BOC shall sub(it to the BCC the )istribution of the agencies@ revenue targets as allocate) a(ong its revenue )istricts in the case
of the B$R, an) the collection )istricts in the case of the BOC'
... ... ... 5e(phasis supplie)6
Revenue targets are base) on the original esti(ate) revenue collection e.pecte) respectively of the B$R an) the BOC for a given fiscal year as
approve) by the BCC an) state) in the BE!= sub(itte) by the Presi)ent to Congress'
+,
"hus, the )eter(ination of revenue targets )oes not rest
solely on the Presi)ent as it also un)ergoes the scrutiny of the BCC'
On the other han), !ection 9 specifies the li(its of the Boar)@s authority an) i)entifies the con)itions un)er /hich officials an) e(ployees /hose
revenue collection falls short of the target by at least 9'3Q (ay be re(ove) fro( the service:
!EC' 9' Powers and .unctions of the Board. D "he Boar) in the agency shall have the follo/ing po/ers an) functions:
... ... ...
5b6 "o set the criteria an) proce)ures for removing from service officials and employees whose revenue collection falls short of
the target by at least seven and a half percent (7.5), with due consideration of all relevant factors affecting the level of
collection as provi)e) in the rules an) regulations pro(ulgate) un)er this Act, subject to civil service laws, rules and regulations
and compliance with substantive and procedural due process: Provi)e), "hat the follo/ing e.e(ptions shall apply:
-' Ahere the )istrict or area of responsibility is ne/ly-create), not e.cee)ing t/o years in operation, as has no historical
recor) of collection perfor(ance that can be use) as basis for evaluationE an)
*' Ahere the revenue or custo(s official or e(ployee is a recent transferee in the (i))le of the perio) un)er consi)eration
unless the transfer /as )ue to nonperfor(ance of revenue targets or potential nonperfor(ance of revenue targets: Provi)e),
ho/ever, "hat /hen the )istrict or area of responsibility covere) by revenue or custo(s officials or e(ployees has suffere)
fro( econo(ic )ifficulties brought about by natural cala(ities or force majeure or econo(ic causes as (ay be )eter(ine)
by the Boar), ter(ination shall be consi)ere) only after careful an) proper revie/ by the Boar)'
5c6 "o ter(inate personnel in accor)ance /ith the criteria a)opte) in the prece)ing paragraph: Provi)e), "hat such )ecision shall be
i((e)iately e.ecutory: Provi)e), further, "hat the application of the criteria for the separation of an official or employee from
service under this Act shall be without prejudice to the application of other relevant laws on accountability of public officers
and employees, such as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officers and Employees and the Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices ActE
... ... ... 5e(phasis supplie)6
Clearly, RA 8++3 in no /ay violates the security of tenure of officials an) e(ployees of the B$R an) the BOC' "he guarantee of security of
tenure only (eans that an e(ployee cannot be )is(isse) fro( the service for causes other than those provi)e) by la/ an) only after )ue process
is accor)e) the e(ployee'
+-
$n the case of RA 8++3, it lays )o/n a reasonable yar)stic< for re(oval 5/hen the revenue collection falls short of
the target by at least 9'3Q6 /ith )ue consi)eration of all relevant factors affecting the level of collection' "his stan)ar) is analogous to
inefficiency an) inco(petence in the perfor(ance of official )uties, a groun) for )isciplinary action un)er civil service la/s'
+*
"he action for
re(oval is also subCect to civil service la/s, rules an) regulations an) co(pliance /ith substantive an) proce)ural )ue process'
At any rate, this Court has recogni?e) the follo/ing as sufficient stan)ar)s: Vpublic interest,V VCustice an) e;uity,V Vpublic convenience an)
/elfareV an) Vsi(plicity, econo(y an) /elfare'V
++
$n this case, the )eclare) policy of opti(i?ation of the revenue-generation capability an)
collection of the B$R an) the BOC is infuse) /ith public interest'
Separation Of Powers
!ection -* of RA 8++3 provi)es:
!EC' -*' Joint Congressional /ersight Committee' I "here is hereby create) a &oint Congressional Oversight Co((ittee co(pose)
of seven #e(bers fro( the !enate an) seven #e(bers fro( the >ouse of Representatives' "he #e(bers fro( the !enate shall be
appointe) by the !enate Presi)ent, /ith at least t/o senators representing the (inority' "he #e(bers fro( the >ouse of
Representatives shall be appointe) by the !pea<er /ith at least t/o (e(bers representing the (inority' After the Oversight
Co((ittee /ill have approve) the i(ple(enting rules an) regulations 5$RR6 it shall thereafter beco(e functus officio an) therefore
cease to e.ist'
"he &oint Congressional Oversight Co((ittee in RA 8++3 /as create) for the purpose of approving the i(ple(enting rules an) regulations
5$RR6 for(ulate) by the O=, B#, NEA, B$R, BOC an) C!C' On #ay **, *,,4, it approve) the sai) $RR' =ro( then on, it beca(e functus
officio an) cease) to e.ist' >ence, the issue of its allege) encroach(ent on the e.ecutive function of i(ple(enting an) enforcing the la/ (ay be
consi)ere) (oot an) aca)e(ic'
"his not/ithstan)ing, this (ight be as goo) a ti(e as any for the Court to confront the issue of the constitutionality of the &oint Congressional
Oversight Co((ittee create) un)er RA 8++3 5or other si(ilar la/s for that (atter6'
"he scholarly )iscourse of #r' &ustice 5no/ Chief &ustice6 Puno on the concept of congressional oversight in %acalintal . Commission on
4lections
+2
is illu(inating:
Concept and 'ases of congressional oersight
Broa)ly )efine), the power of oversight embraces all activities undertaken by Congress to enhance its understanding of and
influence over the implementation of legislation it has enacted. Clearly, oversight concerns post&enactment measures
undertaken by Congress: (a) to monitor bureaucratic compliance with program objectives, (b) to determine whether agencies
are properly administered, (c) to eliminate executive waste and dishonesty, (d) to prevent executive usurpation of legislative
authority, and (d) to assess executive conformity with the congressional perception of public interest.
"he po/er of oversight has been hel) to be intrinsic in the grant of legislative po/er itself an) integral to the chec<s an) balances
inherent in a )e(ocratic syste( of govern(ent' . . . . . . . . .
Over the years, Congress has invo<e) its oversight po/er /ith increase) fre;uency to chec< the perceive) Ve.ponential accu(ulation
of po/erV by the e.ecutive branch' By the beginning of the *,
th
century, Congress has )elegate) an enor(ous a(ount of legislative
authority to the e.ecutive branch an) the a)(inistrative agencies' Congress, thus, uses its oversight po/er to (a<e sure that the
a)(inistrative agencies perfor( their functions /ithin the authority )elegate) to the(' . . . . . . . . .
Categories of congressional oersight functions
"he acts )one by Congress purporte)ly in the e.ercise of its oversight po/ers (ay be )ivi)e) intothree categories,
na(ely: scrutiny, inestigation an) superision'
a. Scrutiny
Congressional scrutiny i(plies a lesser intensity an) continuity of attention to a)(inistrative operations' $ts pri(ary
purpose is to )eter(ine econo(y an) efficiency of the operation of govern(ent activities' $n the e.ercise of legislative
scrutiny, Congress (ay re;uest infor(ation an) report fro( the other branches of govern(ent' $t can give
reco((en)ations or pass resolutions for consi)eration of the agency involve)'
... ... ...
'. Congressional inestigation
Ahile congressional scrutiny is regar)e) as a passive process of loo<ing at the facts that are rea)ily
available, congressional inestigation inoles a more intense digging of facts' "he po/er of Congress to con)uct
investigation is recogni?e) by the -8:9 Constitution un)er section *-, Article %$, ... ... ...
c. !egislatie superision
"he thir) an) most encompassing for( by /hich Congress e.ercises its oversight po/er is thru legislative supervision' V!upervisionV
connotes a continuing an) infor(e) a/areness on the part of a congressional co((ittee regar)ing e+ecutie operations in a given
a)(inistrative area' Ahile both congressional scrutiny an) investigation involve in;uiry into past e+ecutie 'ranch actions in or)er to
influence future e.ecutive branch perfor(ance, congressional superision allows Congress to scrutini"e the e+ercise of delegated
law6ma@ing authority, and permits Congress to retain part of that delegated authority'
Congress e+ercises superision oer the e+ecutie agencies through its eto power. It typically utili"es eto proisions when granting
the President or an e+ecutie agency the power to promulgate regulations with the force of law. #hese proisions re1uire the
President or an agency to present the proposed regulations to Congress, which retains a OrightO to approe or disapproe any
regulation 'efore it ta@es effect. !uch legislative veto provisions usually provi)e that a propose) regulation /ill beco(e a la/ after the
e.piration of a certain perio) of ti(e, only if Congress )oes not affir(atively )isapprove of the regulation in the (eanti(e' Less
fre;uently, the statute provi)es that a propose) regulation /ill beco(e la/ if Congress affir(atively approves it'
Supporters of legislatie eto stress that it is necessary to (aintain the balance of po/er bet/een the legislative an) the e.ecutive
branches of govern(ent as it offers la/(a<ers a /ay to )elegate vast po/er to the e.ecutive branch or to in)epen)ent agencies /hile
retaining the option to cancel particular e.ercise of such po/er /ithout having to pass ne/ legislation or to repeal e.isting la/' "hey
conten) that this arrange(ent pro(otes )e(ocratic accountability as it provi)es legislative chec< on the activities of unelecte)
a)(inistrative agencies' One proponent thus e.plains:
$t is too late to )ebate the (erits of this )elegation policy: the policy is too )eeply e(be))e) in our la/ an) practice' $t
suffices to say that the co(ple.ities of (o)ern govern(ent have often le) Congress-/hether by actual or perceive)
necessity- to legislate by )eclaring broa) policy goals an) general statutory stan)ar)s, leaving the choice of policy options
to the )iscretion of an e.ecutive officer' Congress articulates legislative ai(s, but leaves their i(ple(entation to the
Cu)g(ent of parties /ho (ay or (ay not have participate) in or agree) /ith the )evelop(ent of those ai(s' Conse;uently,
absent safeguar)s, in (any instances the reverse of our constitutional sche(e coul) be effecte): Congress proposes, the
E.ecutive )isposes' One safeguar), of course, is the legislative po/er to enact ne/ legislation or to change e.isting la/'
But /ithout so(e (eans of overseeing post enact(ent activities of the e.ecutive branch, Congress /oul) be unable to
)eter(ine /hether its policies have been i(ple(ente) in accor)ance /ith legislative intent an) thus /hether legislative
intervention is appropriate'
$ts opponents, ho/ever, critici"e the legislatie eto as undue encroachment upon the executive prerogatives' "hey urge that any
post-enactment measures undertaken by the legislative branch should be limited to scrutiny and investigation; any measure
beyond that would undermine the separation of powers guaranteed by the Constitution' "hey conten) that legislative veto
constitutes an i(per(issible evasion of the Presi)ent@s veto authority an) intrusion into the po/ers veste) in the e.ecutive or Cu)icial
branches of govern(ent' Proponents counter that legislative veto enhances separation of po/ers as it prevents the e.ecutive branch
an) in)epen)ent agencies fro( accu(ulating too (uch po/er' "hey sub(it that reporting re;uire(ents an) congressional co((ittee
investigations allo/ Congress to scrutini?e only the e.ercise of )elegate) la/-(a<ing authority' "hey )o not allo/ Congress to
revie/ e.ecutive proposals before they ta<e effect an) they )o not affor) the opportunity for ongoing an) bin)ing e.pressions of
congressional intent' $n contrast, legislative veto per(its Congress to participate prospectively in the approval or )isapproval of
Vsu'ordinate lawV or those enacte) by the e.ecutive branch pursuant to a )elegation of authority by Congress' "hey further argue that
legislative veto Vis a necessary response by Congress to the accretion of policy control by forces outsi)e its cha(bers'V $n an era of
)elegate) authority, they point out that legislative veto Vis the (ost efficient (eans Congress has yet )evise) to retain control over the
evolution an) i(ple(entation of its policy as )eclare) by statute'V
$n Immigration and &aturali"ation Serice . Chadha, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved the validity of legislative veto provisions'
"he case arose fro( the or)er of the i((igration Cu)ge suspen)ing the )eportation of Cha)ha pursuant to Z *225c65-6 of the
$((igration an) Nationality Act' "he Hnite) !tates >ouse of Representatives passe) a resolution vetoing the suspension pursuant to Z
*225c65*6 authori?ing either >ouse of Congress, by resolution, to invali)ate the )ecision of the e.ecutive branch to allo/ a particular
)eportable alien to re(ain in the Hnite) !tates' "he i((igration Cu)ge reopene) the )eportation procee)ings to i(ple(ent the >ouse
or)er an) the alien /as or)ere) )eporte)' "he Boar) of $((igration Appeals )is(isse) the alien@s appeal, hol)ing that it ha) no
po/er to )eclare unconstitutional an act of Congress' "he Hnite) !tates Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit hel) that the >ouse /as
/ithout constitutional authority to or)er the alien@s )eportation an) that Z *225c65*6 violate) the constitutional )octrine on separation
of po/ers'
On appeal, the H'!' !upre(e Court )eclare) Z *225c65*6 unconstitutional' But the Court shied away from the issue of separation of
powers an) instea) hel) that the provision violates the present(ent clause an) bica(eralis(' $t hel) that the one-house veto /as
essentially legislative in purpose an) effect' As such, it is subCect to the proce)ures set out in Article $ of the Constitution re;uiring the
passage by a (aCority of both >ouses an) present(ent to the Presi)ent' . . . . . . . . .
"/o /ee<s after the Chadha )ecision, the Court uphel), in (e(oran)u( )ecision, t/o lo/er court )ecisions invali)ating the
legislative veto provisions in the Natural 7as Policy Act of -89: an) the =e)eral "ra)e Co((ission $(prove(ent Act of -8:,'
=ollo/ing this prece)ence, lo/er courts invali)ate) statutes containing legislative veto provisions although so(e of these provisions
re;uire) the approval of both >ouses of Congress an) thus (et the bica(eralis( re;uire(ent of Article $' $n)ee), so(e of these veto
provisions /ere not even e.ercise)'
+3
5e(phasis supplie)6
$n %acalintal, given the concept an) configuration of the po/er of congressional oversight an) consi)ering the nature an) po/ers of a
constitutional bo)y li<e the Co((ission on Elections, the Court struc< )o/n the provision in RA 8-:8 5"he Overseas Absentee %oting Act of
*,,+6 creating a &oint Congressional Co((ittee' "he co((ittee /as tas<e) not only to (onitor an) evaluate the i(ple(entation of the sai) la/
but also to revie/, revise, a(en) an) approve the $RR pro(ulgate) by the Co((ission on Elections' "he Court hel) that these functions
infringe) on the constitutional in)epen)ence of the Co((ission on Elections'
+4
Aith this bac<)rop, it is clear that congressional oversight is not unconstitutional per se, (eaning, it neither necessarily constitutes an
encroach(ent on the e.ecutive po/er to i(ple(ent la/s nor un)er(ines the constitutional separation of po/ers' Rather, it is integral to the
chec<s an) balances inherent in a )e(ocratic syste( of govern(ent' $t (ay in fact even enhance the separation of po/ers as it prevents the over-
accu(ulation of po/er in the e.ecutive branch'
>o/ever, to forestall the )anger of congressional encroach(ent Vbeyon) the legislative sphere,V the Constitution i(poses t/o basic an) relate)
constraints on Congress'
+9
$t (ay not vest itself, any of its co((ittees or its (e(bers /ith either e.ecutive or Cu)icial po/er'
+:
An), /hen it
e.ercises its legislative po/er, it (ust follo/ the Vsingle, finely /rought an) e.haustively consi)ere), proce)uresV specifie) un)er the
Constitution,
+8
inclu)ing the proce)ure for enact(ent of la/s an) present(ent'
"hus, any post-enact(ent congressional (easure such as this shoul) be li(ite) to scrutiny an) investigation' $n particular, congressional
oversight (ust be confine) to the follo/ing:
5-6 scrutiny base) pri(arily on Congress@ po/er of appropriation an) the bu)get hearings con)ucte) in connection /ith it, its po/er
to as< hea)s of )epart(ents to appear before an) be hear) by either of its >ouses on any (atter pertaining to their )epart(ents an) its
po/er of confir(ation
2,
an)
5*6 investigation an) (onitoring
2-
of the i(ple(entation of la/s pursuant to the po/er of Congress to con)uct in;uiries in ai) of
legislation'
2*
Any action or step beyon) that /ill un)er(ine the separation of po/ers guarantee) by the Constitution' Legislative vetoes fall in this class'
Legislative veto is a statutory provision re;uiring the Presi)ent or an a)(inistrative agency to present the propose) i(ple(enting rules an)
regulations of a la/ to Congress /hich, by itself or through a co((ittee for(e) by it, retains a VrightV or Vpo/erV to approve or )isapprove such
regulations before they ta<e effect' As such, a legislative veto in the for( of a congressional oversight co((ittee is in the for( of an in/ar)-
turning )elegation )esigne) to attach a congressional leash 5other than through scrutiny an) investigation6 to an agency to /hich Congress has by
la/ initially )elegate) broa) po/ers'
2+
$t ra)ically changes the )esign or structure of the Constitution@s )iagra( of po/er as it entrusts to Congress
a )irect role in enforcing, applying or i(ple(enting its o/n la/s'
22
Congress has t/o options /hen enacting legislation to )efine national policy /ithin the broa) hori?ons of its legislative co(petence'
23
$t can itself
for(ulate the )etails or it can assign to the e.ecutive branch the responsibility for (a<ing necessary (anagerial )ecisions in confor(ity /ith
those stan)ar)s'
24
$n the latter case, the la/ (ust be co(plete in all its essential ter(s an) con)itions /hen it leaves the han)s of the
legislature'
29
"hus, /hat is left for the e.ecutive branch or the concerne) a)(inistrative agency /hen it for(ulates rules an) regulations
i(ple(enting the la/ is to fill up )etails 5supple(entary rule-(a<ing6 or ascertain facts necessary to bring the la/ into actual operation
5contingent rule-(a<ing6'
2:
A)(inistrative regulations enacte) by a)(inistrative agencies to i(ple(ent an) interpret the la/ /hich they are entruste) to enforce have the
force of la/ an) are entitle) to respect'
28
!uch rules an) regulations parta<e of the nature of a statute
3,
an) are Cust as bin)ing as if they have been
/ritten in the statute itself' As such, they have the force an) effect of la/ an) enCoy the presu(ption of constitutionality an) legality until they are
set asi)e /ith finality in an appropriate case by a co(petent court'
3-
Congress, in the guise of assu(ing the role of an overseer, (ay not pass upon
their legality by subCecting the( to its sta(p of approval /ithout )isturbing the calculate) balance of po/ers establishe) by the Constitution' $n
e.ercising )iscretion to approve or )isapprove the $RR base) on a )eter(ination of /hether or not they confor(e) /ith the provisions of RA
8++3, Congress arrogate) Cu)icial po/er unto itself, a po/er e.clusively veste) in this Court by the Constitution'
Considered Opinion of
Mr. 1ustice Dante O. Tinga
#oreover, the re;uire(ent that the i(ple(enting rules of a la/ be subCecte) to approval by Congress as a con)ition for their effectivity violates
the car)inal constitutional principles of bica(eralis( an) the rule on present(ent'
3*
!ection -, Article %$ of the Constitution states:
!ection -' The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House
of Representatives, e.cept to the e.tent reserve) to the people by the provision on initiative an) referen)u(' 5e(phasis supplie)6
Legislative po/er 5or the po/er to propose, enact, a(en) an) repeal la/s6
3+
is veste) in Congress /hich consists of t/o cha(bers, the !enate
an) the >ouse of Representatives' A vali) e.ercise of legislative po/er re;uires the act of both cha(bers' Corrollarily, it can be e.ercise) neither
solely by one of the t/o cha(bers nor by a co((ittee of either or both cha(bers' "hus, assu(ing the vali)ity of a legislative veto, both a single-
cha(ber legislative veto an) a congressional co((ittee legislative veto are invali)'
A))itionally, !ection *95-6, Article %$ of the Constitution provi)es:
!ection *9' 5-6 Every bill passed by the Congress shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President' $f he approves the
sa(e, he shall sign it, other/ise, he shall veto it an) return the sa(e /ith his obCections to the >ouse /here it originate), /hich shall
enter the obCections at large in its &ournal an) procee) to reconsi)er it' $f, after such reconsi)eration, t/o-thir)s of all the #e(bers of
such >ouse shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together /ith the obCections, to the other >ouse by /hich it shall li<e/ise be
reconsi)ere), an) if approve) by t/o-thir)s of all the #e(bers of that >ouse, it shall beco(e a la/' $n all such cases, the votes of
each >ouse shall be )eter(ine) by yeas or nays, an) the na(es of the (e(bers voting for or against shall be entere) in its &ournal'
"he Presi)ent shall co((unicate his veto of any bill to the >ouse /here it originate) /ithin thirty )ays after the )ate of receipt
thereofE other/ise, it shall beco(e a la/ as if he ha) signe) it' 5e(phasis supplie)6
Every bill passe) by Congress (ust be presente) to the Presi)ent for approval or veto' $n the absence of present(ent to the Presi)ent, no bill
passe) by Congress can beco(e a la/' $n this sense, la/-(a<ing un)er the Constitution is a Coint act of the Legislature an) of the E.ecutive'
Assu(ing that legislative veto is a vali) legislative act /ith the force of la/, it cannot ta<e effect /ithout such present(ent even if approve) by
both cha(bers of Congress'
$n su(, t/o steps are re;uire) before a bill beco(es a la/' =irst, it (ust be approve) by both >ouses of Congress'
32
!econ), it (ust be presente)
to an) approve) by the Presi)ent'
33
As su((ari?e) by &ustice $sagani Cru?
34
an) =r' &oa;uin 7' Bernas, !'&'
39
, the follo/ing is the proce)ure for
the approval of bills:
A bill is intro)uce) by any (e(ber of the >ouse of Representatives or the !enate e.cept for so(e (easures that (ust originate only
in the for(er cha(ber'
"he first rea)ing involves only a rea)ing of the nu(ber an) title of the (easure an) its referral by the !enate Presi)ent or the !pea<er
to the proper co((ittee for stu)y'
"he bill (ay be V<ille)V in the co((ittee or it (ay be reco((en)e) for approval, /ith or /ithout a(en)(ents, so(eti(es after
public hearings are first hel) thereon' $f there are other bills of the sa(e nature or purpose, they (ay all be consoli)ate) into one bill
un)er co((on authorship or as a co((ittee bill'
Once reporte) out, the bill shall be calen)are) for secon) rea)ing' $t is at this stage that the bill is rea) in its entirety, scrutini?e),
)ebate) upon an) a(en)e) /hen )esire)' "he secon) rea)ing is the (ost i(portant stage in the passage of a bill'
"he bill as approve) on secon) rea)ing is printe) in its final for( an) copies thereof are )istribute) at least three )ays before the thir)
rea)ing' On the thir) rea)ing, the (e(bers (erely register their votes an) e.plain the( if they are allo/e) by the rules' No further
)ebate is allo/e)'
Once the bill passes thir) rea)ing, it is sent to the other cha(ber, /here it /ill also un)ergo the three rea)ings' $f there are )ifferences
bet/een the versions approve) by the t/o cha(bers, a conference co((ittee
3:
representing both >ouses /ill )raft a co(pro(ise
(easure that if ratifie) by the !enate an) the >ouse of Representatives /ill then be sub(itte) to the Presi)ent for his consi)eration'
"he bill is enrolle) /hen printe) as finally approve) by the Congress, thereafter authenticate) /ith the signatures of the !enate
Presi)ent, the !pea<er, an) the !ecretaries of their respective cha(bersN
38
#he PresidentIs role in law6ma@ing'
"he final step is sub(ission to the Presi)ent for approval' Once approve), it ta<es effect as la/ after the re;uire) publication'
4,
Ahere Congress )elegates the for(ulation of rules to i(ple(ent the la/ it has enacte) pursuant to sufficient stan)ar)s establishe) in the sai)
la/, the la/ (ust be co(plete in all its essential ter(s an) con)itions /hen it leaves the han)s of the legislature' An) it (ay be )ee(e) to have
left the han)s of the legislature /hen it beco(es effective because it is only upon effectivity of the statute that legal rights an) obligations beco(e
available to those entitle) by the language of the statute' !ubCect to the in)ispensable re;uisite of publication un)er the )ue process clause,
4-
the
)eter(ination as to /hen a la/ ta<es effect is /holly the prerogative of Congress'
4*
As such, it is only upon its effectivity that a la/ (ay be
e.ecute) an) the e.ecutive branch ac;uires the )uties an) po/ers to e.ecute the sai) la/' Before that point, the role of the e.ecutive branch,
particularly of the Presi)ent, is li(ite) to approving or vetoing the la/'
4+
=ro( the (o(ent the la/ beco(es effective, any provision of la/ that e(po/ers Congress or any of its (e(bers to play any role in the
i(ple(entation or enforce(ent of the la/ violates the principle of separation of po/ers an) is thus unconstitutional' Hn)er this principle, a
provision that re;uires Congress or its (e(bers to approve the i(ple(enting rules of a la/ after it has alrea)y ta<en effect shall be
unconstitutional, as is a provision that allo/s Congress or its (e(bers to overturn any )irective or ruling (a)e by the (e(bers of the e.ecutive
branch charge) /ith the i(ple(entation of the la/'
=ollo/ing this rationale, !ection -* of RA 8++3 shoul) be struc< )o/n as unconstitutional' Ahile there (ay be si(ilar provisions of other la/s
that (ay be invali)ate) for failure to pass this stan)ar), the Court refrains fro( invali)ating the( /holesale but /ill )o so at the proper ti(e
/hen an appropriate case assailing those provisions is brought before us'
42
"he ne.t ;uestion to be resolve) is: /hat is the effect of the unconstitutionality of !ection -* of RA 8++3 on the other provisions of the la/U Aill
it ren)er the entire la/ unconstitutionalU No'
!ection -+ of RA 8++3 provi)es:
!EC' -+' Separa'ility Clause' I $f any provision of this Act is )eclare) invali) by a co(petent court, the re(ain)er of this Act or any
provision not affecte) by such )eclaration of invali)ity shall re(ain in force an) effect'
$n #atad . Secretary of the ,epartment of 4nergy,
43
the Court lai) )o/n the follo/ing rules:
"he general rule is that /here part of a statute is voi) as repugnant to the Constitution, /hile another part is vali), the vali) portion, if
separable fro( the invali), (ay stan) an) be enforce)' "he presence of a separability clause in a statute creates the presu(ption that
the legislature inten)e) separability, rather than co(plete nullity of the statute' "o Custify this result, the vali) portion (ust be so far
in)epen)ent of the invali) portion that it is fair to presu(e that the legislature /oul) have enacte) it by itself if it ha) suppose) that it
coul) not constitutionally enact the other' Enough (ust re(ain to (a<e a co(plete, intelligible an) vali) statute, /hich carries out the
legislative intent' . . .
"he e+ception to the general rule is that /hen the parts of a statute are so (utually )epen)ent an) connecte), as con)itions,
consi)erations, in)uce(ents, or co(pensations for each other, as to /arrant a belief that the legislature inten)e) the( as a /hole, the
nullity of one part /ill vitiate the rest' $n (a<ing the parts of the statute )epen)ent, con)itional, or connecte) /ith one another, the
legislature inten)e) the statute to be carrie) out as a /hole an) /oul) not have enacte) it if one part is voi), in /hich case if so(e
parts are unconstitutional, all the other provisions thus )epen)ent, con)itional, or connecte) (ust fall /ith the('
"he separability clause of RA 8++3 reveals the intention of the legislature to isolate an) )etach any invali) provision fro( the other provisions so
that the latter (ay continue in force an) effect' "he vali) portions can stan) in)epen)ently of the invali) section' Aithout !ection -*, the
re(aining provisions still constitute a co(plete, intelligible an) vali) la/ /hich carries out the legislative intent to opti(i?e the revenue-
generation capability an) collection of the B$R an) the BOC by provi)ing for a syste( of re/ar)s an) sanctions through the Re/ar)s an)
$ncentives =un) an) a Revenue Perfor(ance Evaluation Boar)'
"o be effective, a)(inistrative rules an) regulations (ust be publishe) in full if their purpose is to enforce or i(ple(ent e.isting la/ pursuant to
a vali) )elegation' "he $RR of RA 8++3 /ere publishe) on #ay +,, *,,4 in t/o ne/spapers of general circulation
44
an) beca(e effective -3
)ays thereafter'
49
Hntil an) unless the contrary is sho/n, the $RR are presu(e) vali) an) effective even /ithout the approval of the &oint
Congressional Oversight Co((ittee'
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby PARTIALLY GRANTED. !ection -* of RA 8++3 creating a &oint Congressional Oversight Co((ittee
to approve the i(ple(enting rules an) regulations of the la/ is )eclare) UNCONSTITUTIONAL an) therefore NULL an) VOID. "he
constitutionality of the re(aining provisions of RA 8++3 is UPHELD' Pursuant to !ection -+ of RA 8++3, the rest of the provisions re(ain in
force an) effect'
SO ORDERED.
Puno, C.J., 5uisum'ing, 9nares6Santiago, Carpio, Austria6%artine", Corona, Carpio6%orales, A"cuna, #inga, Chico6&a"ario, 0elasco, Jr.,
&achura, Reyes, !eonardo6de6Castro, Brion, JJ., concur'
Footnotes
J
A)vocates an) A)herents of !ocial &ustice for !chool "eachers an) Allie) Aor<ers'
-
Hn)er Rule 43 of the Rules of Court'
*
An Act to $(prove Revenue Collection Perfor(ance of the Bureau of $nternal Revenue 5B$R6 an) the Bureau of Custo(s 5BOC6
"hrough the Creation of a Re/ar)s an) $ncentives =un) an) of a Revenue Perfor(ance Evaluation Boar) an) for Other Purposes'
+
!ection *, RA 8++3'
2
!ection +, i)'
3
!ection 2, i)'
4
!ection 4, i)'
9
!ection 9, i)'
:
!ection --, i)'
8
!ection -*, i)'
-,
Cru?, $sagani, Philippine Constitutional La/, -883 e)ition, p' *+'
--
Bernas, &oa;uin, "he -8:9 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines: A Co((entary, -884 e)ition, pp' :2:-:28'
-*
Cru" . Secretary of 4nironment and &atural Resources, 2,, Phil' 8,2 5*,,,6' 5%itug, &', separate opinion6
-+
See !a Bugal6BI!aan #ri'al Association, Inc. . Ramos, 7'R' No' -*9::*, ,- ece(ber *,,2, 223 !CRA -'
-2
#a$ada . Angara, ++: Phil' 324 5-8896'
-3
!ection *, i)'
-4
Central Ban@ 4mployees Association, Inc. . Bang@o Sentral ng Pilipinas , 7'R' No' -2:*,:, -3 ece(ber *,,2, 224 !CRA *88'
-9
-9+ H'!' +:- 5-:886'
-:
92 H'!' -44 5-:4:6'
-8
Blac<@s La/ ictionary, !pecial e Lu.e 3
th
E)ition, Aest, p' 2:-'
*,
-3: Phil' 4, 5-8926'
*-
$)' Citations o(itte)'
**
Am'ros . Commission on Audit , 7'R' No' -389,,, +, &une *,,3, 24* !CRA 39*'
*+
!ection *, RA 8++3'
*2
!ection -:, Chapter 2, "itle $$, Boo< $%, A)(inistrative Co)e of -8:9'
*3
!ection *+, i)'
*4
Pelae" . Auditor -eneral, -** Phil' 843 5-8436'
*9
4astern Shipping !ines, Inc. . P/4A , 7'R' No' L-944++, -: October -8::, -44 !CRA 3++'
*:
Cru?, $sagani, Philippine Political La/, -88- e)ition, p' 89'
*8
Panama Refining Co. ' Ryan, *8+ H'!' +:: 5-8+36, 5Car)o?o, &', )issenting6'
+,
!ection 3, Rule $$, $(ple(enting Rules an) Regulations of RA 8++3'
+-
,e -u"man, Jr. . Commission on 4lections, +8- Phil' 9, 5*,,,6'
+*
See !ection 245b65:6, Chapter 4, "itle $, !ubtitle A, Boo< %, A)(inistrative Co)e of -8:9'
++
41ui6Asia Placement, Inc. . ,epartment of .oreign Affairs , 7'R' No' -3**-2, -8 !epte(ber *,,4, 3,* !CRA *83'
+2
23+ Phil' 3:4 5*,,+6' #r' &ustice 5no/ Chief &ustice6 Puno@s separate opinion /as a)opte) as part of the ponencia in this case
insofar as it relate) to the creation of an) the po/ers given to the &oint Congressional Oversight Co((ittee'
+3
$)' 5italics in the original6
+4
$)'
+9
%etropolitan 7ashington Airports Authority . Citi"ens for the A'atement of Aircraft &oise, 3,- H'!' *3* 5-88-6'
+:
$)'
+8
$)'
2,
See #r' &ustice 5no/ Chief &ustice6 Puno@s separate opinion in %acalintal'
2-
4.g', by re;uiring the regular sub(ission of reports'
2*
See #r' &ustice 5no/ Chief &ustice6 Puno@s separate opinion in %acalintal.
2+
See "ribe, La/rence, $ A(erican Constitutional La/ -+- 5*,,,6'
22
$)'
23
$)' at -2-'
24
%etropolitan 7ashington Airports Authority . Citi"ens for the A'atement of Airport &oise,supra'
29
4du . 4ricta, -24 Phil' 248 5-89,6'
2:
Bernas, &oa;uin, "he -8:9 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines: A Co((entary, *,,+ e)ition, p' 442 citing 7ayman .
Southward, -, Aheat - 5-:3*6 an) #he Brig Aurora, 9 Cr' +:* 5-:-+66'
28
4slao . Commission on Audit , 7'R' No' -,:+-,, ,- !epte(ber -882, *+4 !CRA -4-E Sierra %adre #rust . Secretary of
Agriculture and &atural Resources, *,4 Phil' +-, 5-8:+6'
3,
People . %aceren, -48 Phil' 2+9 5-8996'
3-
!ee 4slao . Commission on Audit, supra'
3*
$t is also for these reasons that the Hnite) !tates !upre(e Court struc< )o/n legislative vetoes as unconstitutional in Immigration
and &aturali"ation Serice . Chadha 524* H'!' 8-8 0-8:+16'
3+
Nachura, Antonio B', Outline Revie/er in Political La/, *,,4 e)ition, p' *+4'
32
!ection *4, Article %$ of the Constitution provi)es:
!ection *4' 5-6 Every bill passe) by the Congress shall e(brace only one subCect /hich shall be e.presse) in the title
thereof'
5*6 No bill passe) by either >ouse shall beco(e a la/ unless it has passe) three rea)ings on separate )ays, an) printe)
copies thereof in its final for( have been )istribute) to its #e(bers three )ays before its passage, e.cept /hen the
Presi)ent certifies to the necessity of its i((e)iate enact(ent to (eet a public cala(ity or e(ergency' Hpon the last
rea)ing of a bill, no a(en)(ent thereto shall be allo/e), an) the vote thereon shall be ta<en i((e)iately thereafter, an)
the yeas an) nays entere) in the &ournal'
33
See Bernas, supra note 2:, p' 94*'
34
Philippine Political La/, *,,* e)ition, Central La/boo< Publishing Co', $nc', pp' -3*--3+'
39
"he Philippine Constitution for La)ies, 7entle(en An) Others, *,,9 e)ition, Re. Boo<store, $nc', pp' --:---8'
3:
"he conference co((ittee consists of (e(bers no(inate) by both >ouses' "he tas< of the conference co((ittee, ho/ever, is not
strictly li(ite) to reconciling )ifferences' &urispru)ence also allo/s the co((ittee to insert ne/ provision0s1 not foun) in either
original provi)e) these are ger(ane to the subCect of the bill' Ne.t, the reconcile) version (ust be presente) to both >ouses for
ratification' 5$)'6
38
Supra note 34'
4,
Supra note 39'
4-
!ee !ection -, Article $$$ of the Constitution' $n #a$ada . #uera 5*+, Phil' 3*:6, the Court also cite) !ection 4, Article $$$ /hich
recogni?es Vthe right of the people to infor(ation on (atters of public concern'V
4*
As (uch is recogni?e) in Article * of the Civil Co)e /hich states that VLa/s shall ta<e effect after fifteen )ays follo/ing the
co(pletion of their publication either in the Official 7a?ette, or in a ne/spaper of general circulation in the Philippines, unless it is
other/ise provi)e)'V #a$adarecogni?e) that Vunless it is other/ise provi)e)V referre) to the )ate of effectivity' !i(ply put, a la/
/hich is silent as to its effectivity )ate ta<es effect fifteen )ays follo/ing publication, though there is no i(pe)i(ent for Congress to
provi)e for a )ifferent effectivity )ate'
4+
$t has been suggeste) by #r' &ustice Antonio "' Carpio that !ection -* of RA 8++3 is li<e/ise unconstitutional because it violates
the principle of separation of po/ers, particularly /ith respect to the e.ecutive an) the legislative branches' $(plicit in this clai( is
the proposition that the ability of the Presi)ent to pro(ulgate i(ple(enting rules to legislation is inherent in the e.ecutive branch'
"here has long been a tren) to/ar)s the )elegation of po/ers, especially of legislative po/ers, even if not e.pressly per(itte) by the
Constitution' 5$' Cortes, A)(inistrative La/, at -*--+'6 elegation of legislative po/ers is per(issible unless the )elegation a(ounts
to a surren)er or ab)ication of po/ers' 5$)'6 Recent instances of )elegate) legislative po/ers uphel) by the Court inclu)e the po/er of
the epart(ents of &ustice an) >ealth to pro(ulgate rules an) regulations on lethal inCection 54chegaray . Secretary of Justice, +3:
Phil' 2-, 0-88:16E the po/er of the !ecretary of >ealth to phase out bloo) ban<s 5Beltran . Secretary of 3ealth, 7'R' No' -++42,,
-++44-, X -+8-29, *3 Nove(ber *,,3, 294 !CRA -4:6E an) the po/er of the epart(ents of =inance an) Labor to pro(ulgate
$(ple(enting Rules to the #igrant Aor<ers an) Overseas =ilipinos Act' 541ui6Asia Placement .,.A, 7'R' No' -3**-2, -8
!epte(ber *,,4, 3,* !CRA *83'6
"he )elegation to the e.ecutive branch of the po/er to for(ulate an) enact i(ple(enting rules falls /ithin the class of per(issible
)elegation of legislative po/ers' #ost recently, in 4+ecutie Secretary . Southwing 3eay Industries 57'R' Nos' -42-9-, -42-9*
X-4:92-, *, =ebruary *,,4, 2:* !CRA 49+6, /e characteri?e) such )elegation as Vconfer0ring1 upon the Presi)ent ;uasi-legislative
po/er /hich (ay be )efine) as the authority delegated by the law-making body to the administrative body to adopt rules and
regulations inten)e) to carry out the provisions of the la/ an) i(ple(ent legislative policy'V 5$)', at 4:4, citing Cru?, Philippine
A)(inistrative La/, *,,+ E)ition, at *2'6 La/ boo< authors are li<e/ise virtually unani(ous that the po/er of the e.ecutive branch
to pro(ulgate i(ple(enting rules arises fro( legislative )elegation' &ustice Nachura )efines the nature of the rule-(a<ing po/er of
a)(inistrative bo)ies in the e.ecutive branch as Vthe exercise of delegated legislative power, involving no )iscretion as to /hat the
la/ shall be, but (erely the authority to fi. the )etails in the e.ecution or enforce(ent of a policy set out in the la/ itself'V 5A'E'
Nachura, Outline Revie/er in Political La/ 0*,,, e)'1, at *9*'6 >e further e.plains that rules an) regulations that Vfi. the )etails in
the e.ecution an) enforce(ent of a policy set out in the la/V are calle) Vsupple(entary or )etaile) legislationV' 5$)', at *9+'6 Other
co((entators such as =r' Bernas 5Bernas, supra note 2:, at 4--6, e Leon an) e Leon 5>' e Leon X >' e Leon, &r',
A)(inistrative La/: "e.t an) Cases 5-88: e)6, at 98-:,E citing - A(' &ur' *) :8-6 an) Carlos Cru? 5C' Cru?, Philippine
A)(inistrative La/ 5-88: e)6, at -8-*,, **, *+6 have si(ilar vie/s'
"he Congress (ay )elegate the po/er to craft i(ple(enting rules to the Presi)ent in his capacity as the hea) of the e.ecutive branch,
/hich is tas<e) un)er the Constitution to e.ecute the la/' $n effecting this )elegation, an) as /ith any other )elegation of legislative
po/ers, Congress (ay i(pose con)itions or li(itations /hich the e.ecutive branch is boun) to observe' A usual e.a(ple is the
)esignation by Congress of /hich particular (e(bers of the e.ecutive branch shoul) participate in the )rafting of the i(ple(enting
rules' "his set-up )oes not offen) the separation of po/ers bet/een the branches as it is sanctione) by the )elegation principle'
Apart fro( /hatever rule-(a<ing po/er that Congress (ay )elegate to the Presi)ent, the latter has inherent or)inance po/ers
covering the e.ecutive branch as part of the po/er of e.ecutive control 5V"he Presi)ent shall have control of all the e.ecutive
)epart(ents, bureaus an) officesNV !ection -9, Article %$$, Constitution'6' By its nature, this or)inance po/er )oes not re;uire or
entail )elegation fro( Congress' !uch faculty (ust be )istinguishe) fro( the authority to issue i(ple(enting rules to legislation
/hich )oes not inhere in the presi)ency but instea), as e.plaine) earlier, is )elegate) by Congress'
"he (ar<e) )istinction bet/een the Presi)ent@s po/er to issue intrabranch or)ers an) instructions or internal rules for the e.ecutive
branch, on one han), an) the Presi)ent@s authority by virtue of legislative )elegation to issue i(ple(enting rules to legislation, on the
other, is e(bo)ie) in the rules on publication, as e.plaine) in #a$ada . #uera 57'R' No' L-4+8-3, *8 ece(ber -8:4, -24 !CRA
2246' "he Court hel) therein that internal regulations applicable to (e(bers of the e.ecutive branch, Vthat is, regulating only the
personnel of the a)(inistrative agency an) not the public, nee) not be publishe)' Neither is publication re;uire) of the so-calle)
letters of instructions issue) by a)(inistrative superiors concerning the rules or gui)elines to be follo/e) by their subor)inates in the
perfor(ance of their )uties'V 5Id., at 2326 "he )ispensation /ith publication in such instances is roote) in the very nature of the
issuances, i.e., they are not bin)ing on the public' "hey neither create rights nor i(pose obligations /hich are enforceable in court'
!ince they are issue) pursuant to the po/er of e.ecutive control, an) are )irecte) only at (e(bers of the e.ecutive branch, there is no
constitutional nee) for their publication'
>o/ever, /hen the presi)ential issuance )oes create rights an) obligations affecting the public at large, as i(ple(enting rules
certainly )o, then publication is (an)atory' $n e.plaining /hy this is so, the Court /ent as far as to note that such rules an)
regulations are )esigne) Vto enforce or i(ple(ent e.isting la/ pursuant to a valid delegation." 5$)', at *32'6 The Court would not
have spoken of "valid delegation" if indeed the power to issue such rules was inherent in the presidency. #oreover, the creation
of legal rights an) obligations is legislative in character, an) the Presi)ent in /ho( legislative po/er )oes not resi)e cannot confer
legal rights or i(pose obligations on the people absent the proper e(po/ering statute' "hus, any presi)ential issuance /hich purports
to bear such legal effect on the public, such as i(ple(enting rules to legislation, can only e(anate fro( a legislative )elegation to the
Presi)ent'
"he prevalent practice in the Office of the Presi)ent is to issue or)ers or instructions to officials of the e.ecutive branch regar)ing the
enforce(ent or carrying out of the la/' "his practice is vali) confor(ably /ith the Presi)ent@s po/er of e.ecutive control' "he faculty
to issue such or)ers or instructions is )istinct fro( the po/er to pro(ulgate i(ple(enting rules to legislation' "he latter originates
fro( a )ifferent legal foun)ation I the )elegation of legislative po/er to the Presi)ent'
&ustice Carpio cites an unconventional interpretation of the or)inance po/er of the Presi)ent, particularly the po/er to issue e.ecutive
or)ers, as set forth in the A)(inistrative Co)e of -8:9' Bet, by practice, i(ple(enting rules are never containe) in e.ecutive or)ers'
"hey are, instea), containe) in a segregate pro(ulgation, usually entitle) V$(ple(enting Rules an) Regulations,V /hich )erives not
fro( the A)(inistrative Co)e, but rather fro( the specific grants in the legislation itself sought to be i(ple(ente)'
>is position )oes not fin) te.tual support in the A)(inistrative Co)e itself' !ection *, Chapter *, "itle -, Boo< $$$ of the Co)e, /hich
)efines VE.ecutive or)ersV as V0a1cts of the Presi)ent provi)ing for rules of a general or per(anent character in the implementation
or execution of constitutional or statutory powersV' E.ecutive or)ers are not the vehicles for rules of a general or per(anent
character in the implementation or execution of laws' "hey are the vehicle for rules of a general or per(anent character in
the implementation or execution of the constitutional or statutory powers of the President hi(self' !ince by )efinition, the
statutory po/ers of the Presi)ent consist of a specific )elegation by Congress, it necessarily follo/s that the faculty to issue e.ecutive
or)ers to i(ple(ent such )elegate) authority e(anates not fro( any inherent e.ecutive po/er but fro( the authority )elegate) by
Congress'
$t is not correct, as &ustice Carpio posits, that /ithout i(ple(enting rules, legislation cannot be faithfully e.ecute) by the e.ecutive
branch' #any of our <ey la/s, inclu)ing the Civil Co)e, the Revise) Penal Co)e, the Corporation Co)e, the Lan) Registration Act
an) the Property Registration ecree, )o not have $(ple(enting Rules' $t has never been suggeste) that the enforce(ent of these la/s
is unavailing, or that the absence of i(ple(enting rules to these la/s in)icates insufficient statutory )etails that shoul) preclu)e their
enforce(ent' 5!ee ,B% .2olonwel #rading, 7'R' Nos' -934,:, -934-4 X -93438, : &une *,,9, 3*2 !CRA 38-, 4,+'6
$n reCecting the theory that the po/er to craft i(ple(enting rules is e.ecutive in character an) reaffir(ing instea) that such po/er
arises fro( a legislative grant, the Court asserts that Congress retains the po/er to i(pose statutory con)itions in the )rafting of
i(ple(enting rules, provi)e) that such con)itions )o not ta<e on the character of a legislative veto' Congress can )esignate /hich
officers or entities shoul) participate in the )rafting of i(ple(enting rules' $t (ay i(pose statutory restraints on the participants in the
)rafting of i(ple(enting rules, an) the Presi)ent is oblige) to observe such restraints on the e.ecutive officials, even if he thin<s they
are unnecessary or foolhar)y' "he unconstitutional nature of the legislative veto )oes not ho/ever bar Congress fro( i(posing
con)itions /hich the Presi)ent (ust co(ply /ith in the e.ecution of the la/' After all, the Presi)ent has the constitutional )uty to
faithfully e.ecute the la/s'
42
"his stance is calle) for by Cu)icial restraint as /ell as the presu(ption of constitutionality accor)e) to la/s enacte) by Congress, a
co-e;ual branch' $t is also fin)s support in Pelae" . Auditor -eneral 5-** Phil' 843 0-84316'
43
+24 Phil' +*- 5-8896' E(phasis in the original'
44
$n particular, the Philippine !tar an) the #anila !tan)ar)'
49
!ection +4, $RR of RA 8++3'


EN BANC


COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS,
Petitioner,

- versus -

CONRADO CRUZ, SANTIAGO P. GO, RENATO F. BORBON,
LEVVINO CHING, CARLOS C. FLORENTINO, RUBEN G.
BALLEGA, LOIDA ALCEDO, MARIO M. CA1UCOM,
EMMANUEL M. CALMA, MANUEL A. RAYOS, WILMA L.
CHUA, EUFEMIO S. ALFONSO, 1ESUS M. LACANILAO,
BONIFACIO N. ALCAPA, 1OSE H. SILVERIO, RODRIGO
DEVELLES, NIDA R. PAUNAN, MARIANO B. ESTUYE, 1R.,
RAFAEL C. AREVALO, ARTURO T. MANABAT, RICARDO O.
LIZARONDO, LETICIA C. MATURAN, RODRIGO A. ALAYAN,
LEONILO N. MIRANDA, DESEDERIO O. MONREAL,
FRANCISCO M. BAHIA, NESTOR R. FORONDA, VICENTE B.
QUE, 1R., AURELIO A. BILUAN, DANILO R. GATCHALIAN,
LOURDES R. DEL MUNDO, EMMA O. CALZADO, FELIMON
DE LEON, TANY V. CATACUTAN, AND CONCEPCION P.
1AO,
Respon)ents'
G.R. No. 186616

Present:

PHNO, C.J.,
CARP$O,
CORONA,
J
CARP$O #ORALE!,
C>$CO-NAMAR$O,
%ELA!CO, &R',$
JJ
NAC>HRA,
LEONARO-E CA!"RO,
BR$ON,
PERAL"A,
JJJ
BER!A#$N,
EL CA!"$LLO,
ABA, an)
%$LLARA#A, &R', JJ'









Pro(ulgate):


Nove(ber *,, *,,8
. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- .
D E C I S I O N

BRION$ J.+

Ae resolve in this ecision the constitutional challenge, originally file) before the Regional "rial Court of Caloocan City, Branch -*:
5R#C6, against the follo/ing highlighte) portion of !ection * of Republic Act 5RA6 No' 8-42 5entitle) FAn Act Provi)ing for !ynchroni?e)
Barangay an) !angguniang Oabataan Elections, a(en)ing RA No' 9-4,, as a(en)e), other/ise <no/n as the Local 7overn(ent Co)e of
-88-G6:

!ec' *' #erm of /ffice' I "he ter( of office of all 'arangay an) sangguniang @a'ataan officials after
the effectivity of this Act shall be three 5+6 years'

No 'arangay elective official shall serve for (ore than three 5+6 consecutive ter(s in the sa(e
position: Provided, however, That the term of office shall be reckoned from the 1994 "arangayelections. %oluntary
renunciation of office for any length of ti(e shall not be consi)ere) as an interruption in the continuity of service for the
full ter( for /hich the elective official /as electe)'

"he R"C grante) the petition an) )eclare) the challenge) proviso constitutionally infir(' "he present petition, file) by the Co((ission on
Elections 5C/%4!4C6, see<s a revie/ of the R"C )ecision'
0-1

THE ANTECEDENTS

Before the October *8, *,,9 !ynchroni?e) Barangay an) Sangguniang 2a'ataan 5S26 Elections, so(e of the then incu(bent officials
of several 'arangays of Caloocan City
0*1
file) /ith the R"C a petition for declaratory relief to challenge the constitutionality of the above-
highlighte) proviso, base) on the follo/ing argu(ents:

$' "he ter( li(it of Barangay officials shoul) be applie) prospectively an) not retroactively'

$$' $(ple(entation of paragraph * !ection * of RA No' 8-42 /oul) be a violation of the e;ual
protection of the la/'

$$$' Barangay officials have al/ays been apolitical'


"he R"C agree) /ith the respon)ents@ contention that the challenge) proviso retroactiely applie) the three-ter( li(it
for 'arangay officials un)er the follo/ing reasoning:

Ahen the Local 7overn(ent Co)e of -88- too< effect abrogating all other la/s inconsistent there/ith, a
)ifferent ter( /as or)aine)' >ere, this Court agrees /ith the position of the petitioners that !ection 2+ of the Co)e
specifically e.e(pte) 'arangay elective officials fro( the coverage of the three 5+6 consecutive ter( li(it rule consi)ering
that the provision applicable to these (sic* class of elective officials /as significantly separate) fro( the provisions of
paragraphs 5a6 an) 5b6 thereof' Paragraph 5b6 is in)ee) inten)e) to ;ualify paragraph 5a6 of !ection 2+ as regar)s
to (sic* all local elective officials e.cept 'arangay officials' >a) the intention of the fra(ers of the Co)e is 5sic6 to
inclu)e 'arangay elective officials, then no e.cepting proviso shoul) have been e.pressly (a)e in paragraph 5a6 thereof or,
by i(plication, the contents of paragraph 5c6 shoul) have been state) ahea) of the contents of paragraph 5b6'

. . . .

Clearly, the intent of the fra(ers of the constitution (sic* is to e.e(pt the 'arangay officials fro( the three 5+6 ter(
li(its 5sic6 /hich are other/ise applicable to other electe) public officials fro( the #e(bers of the >ouse of
Representatives )o/n to the (e(bers of the sangguniang 'ayanDpanlungsod' $t is up for the Congress /hether the three
5+6 ter( li(it shoul) be applie) by enacting a la/ for the purpose'

"he a(en)(ent intro)uce) by R'A' No' :3*2 (erely increase) the ter( of office of 'arangay elective officials
fro( three 5+6 years to five 536 years' Li<e the Local 7overn(ent Co)e, it can be note) that no consecutive ter( li(it for
the election of 'arangay elective officials /as fi.e) therein'

"he a)vent of R'A' 8-42 (ar<e) the revival of the consecutive ter( li(it for the election of 'arangay elective
officials after the Local 7overn(ent Co)e too< effect' Hn)er the assaile) provision of this Act, the ter( of office
of 'arangay elective officials reverte) bac< to three 5+6 years fro( five 536 years, an), this ti(e, the legislators e.pressly
)eclare) that no 'arangay elective official shall serve for (ore than three 5+6 consecutive ter(s in the sa(e position' "he
petitioners are very clear that they are not assailing the vali)ity of such provision fi.ing the three 5+6 consecutive ter( li(it
rule for the election of 'arangay elective officials to the sa(e position' "he particular provision the constitutionality of
/hich is un)er attac< is that portion provi)ing for the rec<oning of the three 5+6 consecutive ter( li(it of 'arangay elective
officials beginning fro( the -882 'arangay elections'

. . .

!ection *, paragraph * of R'A' 8-42 is not a (ere restate(ent of !ection 2+5c6 of the Local 7overn(ent
Co)e' As )iscusse) above, !ection 2+5c6 of the Local 7overn(ent Co)e )oes not provi)e for the consecutive ter( li(it
rule of 'arangay elective officials' !uch specific provision of the Co)e has in fact a(en)e) the previous enact(ents 5R'A'
443+ an) R'A' 44986 provi)ing for the consecutive ter( li(it rule of 'arangay elective officials' But, such specific
provision of the Local 7overn(ent Co)e /as a(en)e) by R'A' 8-42, /hich reverte) bac< to the previous policy of fi.ing
consecutive ter( li(its of 'arangay elective officials'G
0+1


$n )eclaring this retroactive application unconstitutional, the R"C e.plaine) that:

By giving a retroactive rec<oning of the three 5+6 consecutive ter( li(it rule for 'arangay officials to the
-882 'arangay elections, Congress has violate) not only the principle of prospective application of statutes but also the
e;ual protection clause of the Constitution inas(uch as the 'arangay elective officials /ere single) out that their
consecutive ter( li(it shall be counte) retroactively' "here is no rhy(e or reason /hy the consecutive li(it for
these 'arangay officials shall be counte) retroactively /hile the consecutive li(it for other local an) national elective
officials are counte) prospectively' =or if the purpose of Congress is 0sic1 to classify elective 'arangay officials as
belonging to the sa(e class of public officers /hose ter( of office are li(ite) to three 5+6 consecutive ter(s, then to
)iscri(inate the( by applying the proviso retroactively violates the constitutionally enshrine) principle of e;ual protection
of the la/s'

Although the Constitution grants Congress the po/er to )eter(ine such successive ter( li(it of 'arangay elective
officials, the e.ercise of the authority grante) shall not other/ise transgress other constitutional an) statutory privileges'

"his Court cannot subscribe to the position of the respon)ent that the legislature clearly inten)e) that the provision
of RA No' 8-42 be (a)e effective in -882 an) that such provision is vali) an) constitutional' $f /e allo/ such pre(ise,
then the ter( of office for those officials electe) in the -889 'arangay elections shoul) have en)e) in year *,,, an) not
year *,,* consi)ering that RA No' 8-42 provi)es for a three-year ter( of 'arangay elective officials' "he a(en)(ent
intro)uce) by R'A' No' :3*2 /oul) be ren)ere) nugatory in vie/ of such retroactive application' "his is absur) an)
illusory'

"rue, no person has a veste) right to a public office, the sa(e not being property /ithin the conte(plation of
constitutional guarantee' >o/ever, a cursory rea)ing of the petition /oul) sho/ that the petitioners are not clai(ing
veste) right to their office but their right to be vote) upon by the electorate /ithout being bur)ene) by the assaile)
provision of the la/ that, in effect, ren)ere) the( ineligible to run for their incu(bent positions' !uch right to run for
office an) be vote) for by the electorate is the right being sought to be protecte) by assailing the other/ise unconstitutional
provision'

#oreover, the Court li<e/ise agrees /ith the petitioners that the la/ violate) the one-act-one subCect rule e(bo)ie)
in the Constitution' . . . . "he challenge) la/@s title is FAN AC" PRO%$$N7 =OR ">E
!BNC>RON$ME BARA&-A9 AN SA&--C&IA&- 2ABA#AA& ELEC"$ON!, A#EN$N7 REPHBL$C AC" 9-4,
O">ERA$!E ONOAN A! ">E LOCAL 7O%ERN#EN" COE O= -88- AN =OR O">ER PHRPO!E!'G . . . .

. . . .

"o this court, the non-inclusion in the title of the act on the retroactivity of the rec<oning of the ter( li(its pose) a
serious constitutional breach, particularly on the provision of the constitution 0sic1 that every bill (ust e(brace only one
subCect to be e.presse) in the title thereof'

. . . the Court is of the vie/ that the affecte) 'arangay officials /ere not sufficiently given notice that they /ere
alrea)y )is;ualifie) by a ne/ act, /hen un)er the previous enact(ents no such restrictions /ere i(pose)'

Even if this Court /oul) apply the usual test in )eter(ining the sufficiency of the title of the bill, the challenge)
la/ /oul) still be insufficient for ho/ can a retroactivity of the ter( li(its be ger(ane to the synchroni?ation of an
election . . . .'
021



"he CO#ELEC (ove) to reconsi)er this )ecision but the R"C )enie) the (otion' >ence, the present petition on a pure ;uestion of la/'

The Petition

"he CO#ELEC ta<es the position that the assaile) la/ is vali) an) constitutional' RA No' 8-42 is an a(en)atory la/ to RA No' 9-4,
5the Local 7overn(ent Co)e of -88- or !-C6 an) is not a penal la/E hence, it cannot be consi)ere) an e+ post facto law' "he three-ter( li(it,
accor)ing to the CO#ELEC, has been specifically provi)e) in RA No' 9-4,, an) RA No' 8-42 (erely restate) the three-ter( li(itation' $t
further asserts that la/s /hich are not penal in character (ay be applie) retroactively /hen e.pressly so provi)e) an) /hen it )oes not i(pair
veste) rights' As there is no veste) right to public office, (uch less to an elective post, there can be no vali) obCection to the allege) retroactive
application of RA No' 8-42'

"he CO#ELEC also argues that the R"C@s invali)ation of RA No' 8-42 essentially involves the /is)o( of the la/ I the aspect of the
la/ that the R"C has no right to in;uire into un)er the constitutional separation of po/ers principle' "he CO#ELEC lastly argues that there is
no violation of the one subCect-one title rule, as the (atters covere) by RA No' 8-42 are relate)E the assaile) provision is actually e(brace)
/ithin the title of the la/'

THE COURT`S RULING

We find the petition meritorious. "he R"C legally erre) /hen it )eclare) the challenge) proviso unconstitutional'

Preliminary Considerations

Ae fin) it appropriate, as a preli(inary (atter, to har< bac< to the pre--8:9 Constitution history of the 'arangay political syste( as
outline) by this Court in ,aid . C/%4!4C,
031
an) /e ;uote:

As a unit of govern(ent, the 'arangay ante)ate) the !panish con;uest of the Philippines' "he /or)
F'arangayG is )erive) fro( the #alay F'alangay,G a boat /hich transporte) the( 5the #alays6 to these shores' Luoting
fro( &uan )e Plasencia, a =ranciscan (issionary in -399, >istorian Conra)o Benite? /rote that the 'arangay /as rule) by
a dato /ho e.ercise) absolute po/ers of govern(ent' Ahile the !paniar)s <ept the 'arangay as the basic structure of
govern(ent, they strippe) the dato or rajah of his po/ers' $nstea), po/er /as centrali?e) nationally in the governor
general an) locally in the encomiendero an) later, in the alcalde mayor an) the go'ernadorcillo' "he dato or rajah /as
(uch later rena(e) ca'e"a de 'arangay, /ho /as electe) by the local citi?ens possessing property' "he position
)egenerate) fro( a title of honor to that of a F(ere govern(ent e(ployee' Only the poor /ho nee)e) a salary, no (atter
ho/ lo/, accepte) the post'G

After the A(ericans coloni?e) the Philippines, the 'arangays beca(e <no/n as Fbarrios'G =or so(e ti(e, the
la/s governing barrio govern(ents /ere foun) in the Revise) A)(inistrative Co)e of -8-4 an) later in the Revise)
A)(inistrative Co)e of -8-9' Barrios /ere grante) autono(y by the original Barrio Charter, RA *+9,, an) for(ally
recogni?e) as ;uasi-(unicipal corporations by the Revise) Barrio Charter, RA +38,' uring the (artial la/ regi(e,
barrios /ere F)eclare)G or rena(e) F'arangaysG -- a reversion really to their pre-!panish na(es -- by P' No' :4 an) P
No' 339' "heir basic organi?ation an) functions un)er RA +38,, /hich /as e.pressly Fa)opte) as the Barangay Charter,G
/ere retaine)' >o/ever, the titles of the officials /ere change) to F'arangay captain,G F'arangay council(an,G
F'arangay secretaryG an) F'arangay treasurer'G

Pursuant to !ec' 4 of Batas Pa(bansa Blg' ***, Fa Punong Barangay 5Barangay Captain6 an)
si. 2agawads ng Sangguniang Barangay 5Barangay Council(en6, /ho shall constitute the presi)ing officer an) (e(bers
of the Sangguniang Barangay 5Barangay Council6 respectivelyG /ere first electe) on #ay -9, -8:*' "hey ha) a ter( of
si. years /hich began on &une 9, -8:*'

"he Local 7overn(ent Co)e of -8:+ also fi.e) the ter( of office of local elective officials at si. years' Under
this Code, the chief officials of the "arangay were the punong "arangay, six elective sangguniang "arangay members,
the ka"ataang "arangay chairman, a "arangay secretary and a "arangay treasurer.

B'P' Blg' ::-, the O(nibus Election Co)e, reiterate) that 'arangay officials Fshall hol) office for si. years,G
an) state) that their election /as to be hel) Fon the secon) #on)ay of #ay nineteen hun)re) an) eighty eight an) on the
sa(e )ay every si. years thereafter'G 0E(phasis supplie)'1


"he -8:9 Philippine Constitution e.ten)e) constitutional recognition to 'arangays un)er Article R, !ection - by
specifying 'arangays as one of the territorial an) political sub)ivisions of the country, supple(ente) by !ection : of the sa(e Article R, /hich
provi)es:

SEC. 8. "he ter( of office of elective local officials, except "arangay officials, which shall be determined by
law, shall be three years an) no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms' %oluntary renunciation
of the office for any length of ti(e shall not be consi)ere) as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full
ter( for /hich he /as electe)' 0E(phasis supplie)'1


"he Constitutional Co((ission@s )eliberations on !ection : sho/ that the authority of Congress to legislate relates not only to the fi.ing of the
ter( of office of 'arangayofficials, but also to the application of the three-ter( li(it' "he follo/ing )eliberations of the Constitutional
Co((ission are particularly instructive on this point:

#R' NOLLEO: One clarificatory ;uestion, #a)a( Presi)ent' Ahat /ill be the ter( of the office
of 'arangay officials as provi)e) forU

#R' A%$E: As may be determined by law'

#R' NOLLEO: As provi)e) for in the Local 7overn(ent Co)eU

#R' A%$E: Bes'

. . . . . . . . .

">E PRE!$EN": $s there any other co((entU $s there any obCection to this propose) ne/ section as
sub(itte) by Co((issioner avi)e an) accepte) by the Co((itteeU

MR. RODRIGO: Madam President, does this prohibition to serve for more than three consecutive
terms apply to "arangay officials?

MR. DAVIDE: Madam President, the voting that we had on the terms of office did not include
the "arangay officials because it was then the stand of the Chairman of
the Committee on Local Governments that the term of "arangay officials
must be determined by law. So it is now for the law to determine whether
the restriction on the number of reelections will be included in the Local
Government Code.

MR. RODRIGO: So that is up to Congress to decide.

MR. DAVIDE: Yes.

MR. RODRIGO: I just wanted that clear in the record.
6]
0E(phasis supplie)'1


After the effectivity of the -8:9 Constitution, the 'arangay election originally sche)ule) by Batas Pam"ansa Blg. 881
7]
on the
secon) #on)ay of #ay -8:: /as reset to Fthe secon) #on)ay of Nove(ber -8:: an) every five years thereafter by RA No. 6653.G
0:1
!ection *
of RA No' 443+ change) the ter( of office of 'arangay officials an) intro)uce) a ter( li(itation as follo/s:

!EC' *' "he ter( of office of 'arangay officials shall be for five (5) years fro( the first )ay of &anuary
follo/ing their election' Provided, however, That no kagawad shall serve for more than two (2) consecutive
terms ' 0E(phasis supplie)1


Hn)er !ection 3 of RA No' 443+, the punong 'arangay /as to be chosen by seven @agawads fro( a(ong the(selves, an) they in turn, /ere to
be electe) at large by the'arangay electorate' "he punong 'arangay, un)er !ection 4 of the la/, (ay be recalle) for loss of confi)ence by an
absolute (aCority vote of the Sangguniang Barangay,e(bo)ie) in a resolution that shall necessarily inclu)e the punong 'arangayIs successor'

"he election )ate set by RA No' 443+ on the secon) #on)ay of Nove(ber -8:: /as postpone) yet again to #arch *:, -8:8 by RA
No. 6679 /hose pertinent provision states:

!EC' -' "he elections of 'arangay officials set on the secon) #on)ay of Nove(ber -8:: by Republic Act No'
443+ are hereby postpone) an) reset to #arch *:, -8:8' They shall serve a term which shall begin on the first day of
May 1989 and ending on the thirty-first day of May 1994'

"here shall be hel) a regular election of 'arangay officials on the secon) #on)ay of #ay -882 an) on the sa(e
)ay every five 536 years thereafter' "heir ter( shall be for five 536 years /hich shall begin on the first )ay of &une
follo/ing the election an) until their successors shall have been electe) an) ;ualifie): Provided, That
no "arangay official shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms '

"he 'arangay elections shall be nonpartisan an) shall be con)ucte) in an e.pe)itious an) ine.pensive (anner'

!ignificantly, the (anner of election of the punong 'arangay /as change) I
!ection 3 of the la/ provi)e) that /hile the seven @agawads /ere to be electe) by the registere) voters of the 'arangay, F5t6he can)i)ate /ho
obtains the highest nu(ber of votes shall be the punong 'arangay an) in the event of a tie, there shall be a )ra/ing of lots un)er the supervision
of the Co((ission on Elections'G

#ore than t/o 5*6 years after the -8:8 'arangay elections, RA No. 7160 5the !-C6 intro)uce) the follo/ing changes in the la/:

!EC' 2-' %anner of 4lection. -- 5a6 "he . . . punong 'arangay shall be electe) at large . . . by the ;ualifie)
votersG therein'

!EC' 2+' #erm of /ffice' - 5a6 "he ter( of office of all local elective officials electe) after the effectivity of this
Co)e shall be three 5+6 years, starting fro( noon of &une +,, -88* or such )ate as (ay be provi)e) for by la/, e.cept that
of elective 'arangay officials: Provi)e), "hat all local officials first electe) )uring the local elections i((e)iately
follo/ing the ratification of the -8:9 Constitution shall serve until noon of &une +,, -88*'

5b6 No local elective official shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms in the same position'
%oluntary renunciation of the office for any length of ti(e shall not be consi)ere) as an interruption in the continuity of
service for the full ter( for /hich the elective official concerne) /as electe)'

(c) The term of office of "arangay officials and members of the sangguniang ka"ataan shall be for three
(3) years, which shall begin after the regular election of "arangay officials on the second Monday of May 1994.


!EC' +:9' Chief /fficials and /ffices. 66 5a6 "here shall be in each 'arangay a punong 'arangay, seven
596 sangguniang 'arangay (e(bers, the sangguniang @a'ataan chair(an, a'arangay secretary an) a 'arangay treasurer'

. . . . . . . . .

!EC' +8,' Composition' -- "he Sangguniang 'arangay, the legislative bo)y of the 'arangay, shall be
co(pose) of the punong 'arangay as presi)ing officer, an) the seven 596 regularsanguniang 'arangay (e(bers electe) at
large an) the sanguniang @a'ataan chair(an as (e(bers' 0E(phasis supplie)'1


"his la/ starte) the )irect an) separate election of the punong 'arangay by the F;ualifie) votersG in the 'arangay an) not by the
seven 596 @agawads fro( a(ong the(selves'
081


!ubse;uently or on =ebruary -2, -88:, RA No. 8524 change) the three-year ter( of office of 'arangay officials un)er !ection 2+ of
the L7C to five 536 years' On #arch -8, *,,*, RA No. 9164 intro)uce) the follo/ing significant changes: 5-6 the ter( of office
of 'arangay officials /as again fi.e) at three years on the reasoning that the 'arangayofficials shoul) not serve a longer ter( than their
supervisorsE
0-,1
an) 5*6 the challenged proviso, which states that the 1994 election shall be the reckoning point for the application of the
three-term limit, was introduced' Bet another change /as intro)uce) three years after or on &uly *3, *,,3 /hen RA No. 9340 e.ten)e) the
ter( of the then incu(bent 'arangay officials I )ue to e.pire at noon of Nove(ber +,, *,,3 un)er RA No' 8-42 I to noon of Nove(ber +,,
*,,9' "he three-year ter( li(itation provision survive) all these changes'



Congress Plenary Po'er to
egislate Term imits for Barangay )fficials and Judicial Po'er


$n passing upon the issues pose) to us, /e clarify at the outset the para(eters of our po/ers'

As reflecte) in the above-;uote) )eliberations of the -8:9 Constitution, Congress has plenary authority un)er the Constitution to
)eter(ine by legislation not only the )uration of the ter( of 'arangay officials, but also the application to the( of a consecutive ter(
li(it' Congress invariably e.ercise) this authority /hen it enacte) no less than si. 546 'arangay-relate) la/s since -8:9'

"hrough all these statutory changes, Congress ha) )eter(ine) at its )iscretion both the length of the ter( of office
of 'arangay officials an) their ter( li(itation' 7iven the te.tually )e(onstrable co((it(ent by the -8:9 Constitution to Congress of the
authority to )eter(ine the ter( )uration an) li(ition of 'arangay officials un)er the Constitution, /e consi)er it establishe) that /hatever
Congress, in its /is)o(, )eci)es on these (atters are political 5uestions "eyond the pale of #udicial scrutiny,
0--1
subCect only to
thecertiorari Curis)iction of the courts provi)e) un)er !ection -, Article %$$$ of the Constitution an) to the Cu)icial authority to invali)ate any la/
contrary to the Constitution'
0-*1


Political ;uestions refer Fto those ;uestions /hich, un)er the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity,
or in regar) to /hich full discretionary authority has been )elegate) to the legislative or e.ecutive branch of the govern(entE it is concerne)
/ith issues )epen)ent upon the wisdom, not legality of a particular (easure'G
0-+1
"hese ;uestions, previously i(pervious to Cu)icial scrutiny can
no/ be in;uire) into un)er the li(ite) /in)o/ provi)e) by !ection -, Article %$$$' 4strada . ,esierto
0-21
best )escribes this constitutional
)evelop(ent, an) /e ;uote:

"o a great )egree, the -8:9 Constitution has narro/e) the reach of the political )octrine /hen it e.pan)e) the po/er of
Cu)icial revie/ of this court not only to settle actual controversies involving rights /hich are legally )e(an)able an)
enforceable but also to )eter(ine /hether or not there has been a grave abuse of )iscretion a(ounting to lac< or e.cess of
Curis)iction on the part of any branch or instru(entality of govern(ent' >eretofore, the Cu)iciary has focuse) on the Fthou
shalt not@sG of the Constitution )irecte) against the e.ercise of its Curis)iction' Aith the ne/ provision, ho/ever, courts
are given a greater prerogative to )eter(ine /hat it can )o to prevent grave abuse of )iscretion a(ounting to lac< or e.cess
of Curis)iction on the part of any branch or instru(entality of govern(ent' Clearly, the ne/ provision )i) not Cust grant the
Court po/er of )oing nothing' $n sync an) sy((etry /ith this intent are other provisions of the -8:9 Constitution
tri((ing the so calle) political thic<et' ....

"hus, /e can in;uire into a congressional enact(ent )espite the political ;uestion )octrine, although the /in)o/ provi)e) us is narro/E the
challenge (ust sho/ grave abuse of )iscretion to Custify our intervention'

Other than the !ection -, Article %$$$ route, courts can )eclare a la/ invali) /hen it is contrary to any provision of the
Constitution' "his re;uires the appraisal of the challenge) la/ against the legal stan)ar)s provi)e) by the Constitution, not on the basis of the
/is)o( of the enact(ent' "o Custify its nullification, the breach of the Constitution (ust be clear an) une;uivocal, not a )oubtful or e;uivocal
one, as every la/ enCoys a strong presu(ption of constitutionality'
0-31
"hese are the hur)les that those challenging the constitutional vali)ity of a
la/ (ust overco(e'

"he present case, as fra(e) by the respon)ents, poses no challenge on the issue of grave abuse of )iscretion' "he legal issues pose)
relate strictly to co(pliance /ith constitutional stan)ar)s' $t is fro( this pris( that /e shall therefore resolve this case'

The Retroacti!e Application 1ssue

a' $nterpretative D >istorical Consi)eration

"he respon)ents@ first obCection to the challenge) proviso@s constitutionality is its purporte) retroactive application of the three-ter(
li(it /hen it set the -882 'arangayelections as a rec<oning point in the application of the three-ter( li(it'

"he respon)ents argue) that the ter( li(it, although present in the previous la/s, /as not in RA No' 9-4, /hen it a(en)e) all
previous 'arangay election la/s' >ence, it /as re-intro)uce) for the first ti(e by RA No' 8-42 5signe) into la/ on #arch -8, *,,*6 an) /as
applie) retroactively /hen it (a)e the ter( li(itation effective fro( the -882'arangay elections' As the appeale) ruling ;uote) above sho/s,
the R"C fully agree) /ith the respon)ents@ position'

Our first point of )isagree(ent /ith the respon)ents an) /ith the R"C is on their position that a retroactive application of the ter(
li(itation /as (a)e un)er RA No' 8-42' Our o/n rea)ing sho/s that no retroactive application /as (a)e because the three-term limit has
been there all along as early as the second "arangay law (RA No. 6679) after the 1987 Constitution took effect; it was continued under the
LGC and can still be found in the current law. We find this obvious from a reading of the historical development of the law.

"he first la/ that provi)e) a ter( li(itation for 'arangay officials /as RA No. 6653 5-8::6E it i(pose) a t/o-consecutive ter(
li(it' After only si. (onths, Congress, un)er RA No. 6679 5-8::6, change) the t/o-ter( li(it by provi)ing for a three-consecutive ter(
li(it' "his consistent i(position of the ter( li(it gives no hint of any e;uivocation in the congressional intent to provi)e a ter(
li(itation' "hereafter, RA No' 9-4, I the L7C I follo/e), bringing /ith it the issue of /hether it provi)e), as originally worded, for a three-
ter( li(it for 'arangay officials' Ae )iffer /ith the R"C analysis of this issue'

!ection 2+ is a provision un)er "itle $$ of the L7C on Elective Officials' "itle $$ is )ivi)e) into several chapters )ealing /ith a /i)e
range of subCect (atters, all relating to local elective officials, as follo/s: a' Lualifications an) Election 5Chapter $6E b' %acancies an) !uccession
5Chapter $$6, c' isciplinary Actions 5Chapter $%6 an) )' Recall 5Chapter %6' "itle $$ li<e/ise contains a chapter on Local Legislation 5Chapter
$$$6'

"hese "itle $$ provisions are inten)e) to apply to all local elective officials, unless the contrary is clearly pro!ided' A contrary
application is provi)e) /ith respect to the length of the ter( of office un)er !ection 2+5a6E /hile it applies to all local elective officials, it )oes
not apply to 'arangay officials /hose length of ter( is specifically provi)e) by !ection 2+5c6' $n contrast to this clear case of an e.ception to a
general rule, the three-ter( li(it un)er !ection 2+5b6 )oes not contain any e.ceptionE it applies to all local elective officials /ho (ust perforce
inclu)e 'arangay officials'

An alternative perspective is to vie/ !ec' 2+5a6, 5b6 an) 5c6 separately fro( one another as in)epen)ently stan)ing an) self-containe)
provisions, e.cept to the e.tent that they e.pressly relate to one another' "hus, !ec' 2+5a6 relates to the ter( of local elective officials,
e.cept 'arangay officials /hose ter( of office is separately provi)e) un)er !ec' 2+5c6' !ec' 2+5b6, by its e.press ter(s, relates to all local
elective officials /ithout any e.ception' "hus, the ter( li(itation applies to all local elective officials /ithout any e.clusion or ;ualification'

Either perspective, both of /hich spea< of the sa(e resulting interpretation, is the correct legal i(port of !ection 2+ in the conte.t in
/hich it is foun) in "itle $$ of the L7C'

"o be sure, it (ay be argue), as the respon)ents an) the R"C )i), that paragraphs 5a6 an) 5b6 of !ection 2+ are the general la/ for
elective officials 5other than 'arangayofficials6E an) paragraph 5c6 is the specific la/ on 'arangay officials, such that the silence of paragraph 5c6
on ter( li(itation for 'arangay officials in)icates the legislative intent to e.clu)e 'arangay officials fro( the application of the three-ter(
li(it' "his rea)ing, ho/ever, is fla/e) for t/o reasons'

.irst, rea)ing !ection 2+5a6 an) 5b6 together to the e.clusion of !ection 2+5c6, is not Custifie) by the plain te.ts of these
provisions' !ection 2+5a6 plainly refers to local elective officials, e.cept elective 'arangay officials' $n co(parison, !ection 2+5b6 refers to all
local elective officials /ithout e.clusions or e.ceptions' "heir respective coverages therefore vary so that one cannot be sai) to be of the sa(e
<in) as the other' "heir separate topics a))itionally strengthen their distinctionE !ection 2+5a6 refers to the ter( of office /hile !ection 2+5b6
refers to the three-ter( li(it' "hese )ifferences alone in)icate that !ections 2+5a6 an) 5b6 cannot be rea) together as one organic /hole in the
/ay the R"C suggeste)' !ignificantly, these sa(e )istinctions apply bet/een !ec' 2+5b6 an) 5c6'

Second, the R"C interpretation is fla/e) because of its total )isregar) of the historical bac<groun) of !ection 2+5c6 I a bac<)rop that
/e painsta<ingly outline) above'

=ro( a historical perspective of the la/, the inclusion of !ection 2+5c6 in the L7C is an absolute necessity to clarify the length of ter(
of 'arangay officials' Recall that un)er RA No' 4498, the ter( of office of 'arangay officials /as five 536 years' "he real concern /as ho/
!ection 2+ /oul) interface /ith RA No' 4498' Aithout a categorical state(ent on the length of the ter( of office of 'arangay officials, a general
three-year ter( for all local elective officials un)er !ection 2+5a6, stan)ing alone, (ay not rea)ily an) co(pletely erase )oubts on the inten)e)
abrogation of the 3-year ter( for 'arangay officials un)er RA No' 4498' "hus, Congress a))e) !ection 2+5c6 /hich provi)e) a categorical
three-year ter( for these officials' >istory tells us, of course, that the une;uivocal provision of !ection 2+5c6 not/ithstan)ing, an issue on /hat is
the e.act ter( of office of 'arangay officials /as still brought to us ia a petition file) by no less than the Presi)ent of the !iga ng %ga
Barangay in -889' Ae fully resolve) the issue in the cite),aid . Comelec'

!ection 2+5c6 shoul) therefore be un)erstoo) in this conte.t an) not in the sense that it inten)e) to provi)e the co(plete rule for the
election of 'arangay officials, so that in the absence of any ter( li(itation proviso un)er this subsection, no ter( li(itation applies
to 'arangay officials' "hat Congress ha) the L7C@s three-ter( li(it in (in) /hen it enacte) RA No' 8-42 is clear fro( the follo/ing
)eliberations in the >ouse of Representatives 53ouse6 on >ouse Bill No' 2234 /hich later beca(e RA No' 8-42:

#ARC> 3, *,,*:

">E EPH"B !PEAOER 5Rep' Espinosa, E'R'6' #aCority Lea)er'

REP' E!CHERO' #r' !pea<er, ne.t to interpellate is the 7entle(an fro( Ma(boanga City' $ as< that the
>onorable Lobregat be recogni?e)'

">E EPH"B !PEAOER 5Rep' Espinosa, E'R'6' "he >onorable Lobregat is recogni?e)'

REP' LOBRE7A"' "han< you very (uch, #r' !pea<er' #r' !pea<er, this is Cust N

REP' #AC$A!' Aillingly to the 7entle(an fro( Ma(boanga City'

REP' LOBRE7A"' N points of clarification, #r' !pea<er, the ter( of office' $t says in !ection 2, F"he ter( of
office of all Barangay an) sangguniang @a'ataan officials after the effectivity of this Act shall be three years'G "hen it
says, FNo Barangay elective official shall serve for (ore than three 5+6 consecutive ter(s in the sa(e position'G

#r' !pea<er, $ thin< it is the position of the co((ittee that the first ter( shoul) be rec<one) fro( election of /hat
year, #r' !pea<erU

REP' #AC$A!' After the a)option of the Local 7overn(ent Co)e, Bour >onor' !o that the first election is to be
rec<one) on, /oul) be #ay :, -882, as far as the Barangay election is concerne)'

REP' LOBRE7A"' Bes, #r' !pea<er' !o there /as an election in -882'

REP' #AC$A!' "hen an election in -889'

REP' LOBRE7A"' "here /as an election in -889' An) there /ill be an election this year N

REP' LOBRE7A"' N election this year'

REP' #AC$A!' "hat is correct' "his /ill be the thir)'

... ...

REP' !H#HLON7' #r' !pea<er'

">E EPH"B !PEAOER 5Rep' Espinosa, E'R'6 "he >onorable !u(ulong is recogni?e)'

REP' !H#HLON7' Again, /ith the per(ission of (y Chair(an, $ /oul) li<e to a))ress the ;uestion of
Congress(an Lobregat'

">E EPH"B !PEAOER 5Rep' Espinosa, E'R'6' Please procee)'

REP' !H#HLON7' With respect to the three-year consecutive term limits of Barangay Captains that is not
provided for in the Constitution and that is why the election prior to 1991 during the enactment of the Local
Government Code is not counted because it is not in the Constitution but in the Local Government Code where the
three consecutive term limits has been placed' 0E(phasis supplie)'1



/hich le) to the follo/ing e.changes in the >ouse Co((ittee on A(en)(ents:

#arch 4, *,,*

CO##$""EE ON A#EN#EN"!

REP' 7ONMALE!' #ay /e no/ procee) to co((ittee a(en)(ent, if any, #r' !pea<er'

">E EPH"B !PEAOER 5Rep' 7on?ale?6' "he Chair recogni?es the )istinguishe) Chair(an of the Co((ittee
on !uffrage an) Electoral Refor(s'

REP' !B&HCO' #r' !pea<er, on page *, line 9, after the /or) FpositionG, substitute the perio) 5'6 an) a)) the
follo/ing: PRO%$E >OAE%ER ">A" ">E "ER# O= O==$CE !>ALL BE RECOONE =RO# ">E -882
BARAN7AB ELEC"$ON!' !o that the a(en)e) !ection 2 no/ rea)s as follo/s:

F!EC' 2' #erm of /ffice' I "he ter( of office of all barangay an) sangguniang <abataan officials
after the effectivity of this Act shall be three 5+6 years'

No 'arangay elective local official shall serve for (ore than three 5+6 consecutive ter(s in the
sa(e position COLON 5:6 PRO%$E, >OAE%ER, ">A" ">E "ER# O= O==$CE !>ALL BE
RECOONE =RO# ">E -882 BARA&-A9 ELEC"$ON!' %oluntary renunciation of office for any length
of ti(e shall not be consi)ere) as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full ter( for /hich the
elective official /as electe)'

"he >ouse therefore clearly operate) on the pre(ise that the L7C i(pose) a three-ter( li(it for 'arangay officials, an) the challenge) proviso
is its /ay of a))ressing any confusion that (ay arise fro( the nu(erous changes in the la/'

All these inevitably lea) to the conclusion that the challenge) proviso has been there all along an) )oes not si(ply retroact the application
of the three-ter( li(it to the'arangay elections of -882' Congress (erely integrate) the past statutory changes into a sea(less /hole by co(ing
up /ith the challenge) proviso'

Aith this conclusion, the respon)ents@ constitutional challenge to the proviso I base) on retroactivity I (ust fail'

b' No $nvolve(ent of Any
Constitutional !tan)ar)


!eparately fro( the above reason, the constitutional challenge (ust fail for a (ore fun)a(ental reason I the respon)ents@ retroactivity
obCection )oes not involve a violation of any constitutional stan)ar)'

Retroactivity of la/s is a (atter of civil la/, not of a constitutional la/, as its governing la/ is the Civil Co)e,
0-41
not the
Constitution' Article 2 of the Civil Co)e provi)es that la/s shall have no retroactive effect unless the contrary is provi)e)' "he application of
the Civil Co)e is of course self-e.planatory I la/s enacte) by Congress (ay per(issibly provi)e that they shall have retroactive effect' "he
Civil Co)e establishe) a statutory nor(, not a constitutional stan)ar)'

"he closest the issue of retroactivity of la/s can get to a genuine constitutional issue is if a la/@s retroactive application /ill i(pair
veste) rights' Other/ise state), if a right has alrea)y veste) in an in)ivi)ual an) a subse;uent la/ effectively ta<es it a/ay, a genuine )ue
process issue (ay arise' Ahat shoul) be involve), ho/ever, is a veste) right to life, liberty or property, as these are the ones that (ay be
consi)ere) protecte) by the )ue process clause of the Constitution'

$n the present case, the respon)ents never raise) )ue process as an issue' But even assu(ing that they )i), the respon)ents the(selves
conce)e that there is no veste) right to public office'
0-91
As the CO#ELEC correctly pointe) out, too, there is no veste) right to an elective post
in vie/ of the uncertainty inherent in electoral e.ercises'

A/are of this legal reality, the respon)ents theori?e) instea) that they ha) a right to be vote) upon by the electorate /ithout being
bur)ene) by a la/ that effectively ren)ere) the( ineligible to run for their incu(bent positions' Again, the R"C agree) /ith this contention'

Ae )o not agree /ith the R"C, as /e fin) no such right un)er the ConstitutionE if at all, this clai(e) right is (erely a restate(ent of a
clai( of veste) right to a public office' Ahat the Constitution clearly provi)es is the po/er of Congress to prescribe the ;ualifications for elective
local postsE
0-:1
thus, the ;uestion of eligibility for an elective local post is a (atter for Congress, not for the courts, to )eci)e' Ae )ealt /ith a
stri<ingly si(ilar issue in %ontesclaros . Commission on 4lections
0-81
/here /e rule) that !O (e(bership I /hich /as clai(e) as a property
right /ithin the (eaning of the Constitution I is a (ere statutory right conferre) by la/' %ontesclaros instructively tells us:

Congress exercises the power to prescribe the qualifications for SK membership. One /ho is no longer
;ualifie) because of an a(en)(ent in the la/ cannot co(plain of being )eprive) of a proprietary right to !O
(e(bership' Only those /ho ;ualify as !O (e(bers can contest, base) on a statutory right, any act )is;ualifying the(
fro( !O (e(bership or fro( voting in the !O elections' SK membership is not a property right protected by the
Constitution because it is a mere statutory right conferred by law. Congress may amend at any time the law to
change or even withdraw the statutory right.

A public office is not a property right' As the Constitution e.pressly states, a F0P1ublic office is a public trust'G
No one has a veste) right to any public office, (uch less a veste) right to an e.pectancy of hol)ing a public
office' $n Cornejo . -a'riel, )eci)e) in -8*,, the Court alrea)y rule):

Again, for this petition to co(e un)er the )ue process of la/ prohibition, it /oul) be
necessary to consi)er an office a Fproperty'G 1t is$ ho'e!er$ 'ell settled . . . that a pu"lic office is
not property 'ithin the sense of the constitutional guaranties of due process of la', but is a public
trust or agency' . . . "he basic i)ea of the govern(ent . . . is that of a popular representative
govern(ent, the officers being (ere agents an) not rulers of the people, one /here no one (an or
set of (en has a proprietary or contractual right to an office, but /here every officer accepts office
pursuant to the provisions of the la/ an) hol)s the office as a trust for the people he represents'

Petitioners, /ho apparently )esire to hol) public office, shoul) reali?e fro( the very start that no one has a
proprietary right to public office' Ahile the la/ (a<es an !O officer an e+6officio (e(ber of a local govern(ent
legislative council, the la/ )oes not confer on petitioners a proprietary right or even a proprietary e.pectancy to sit in local
legislative councils' "he constitutional principle of a public office as a public trust preclu)es any proprietary clai( to
public office' Even the !tate policy )irecting Fe;ual access to opportunities for public serviceG cannot besto/ on
petitioners a proprietary right to !O (e(bership or a proprietary e.pectancy to e+6officio public offices'

#oreover, /hile the !tate policy is to encourage the youth@s involve(ent in public affairs, this policy refers to
those /ho belong to the class of people )efine) as the youth' Congress has the po/er to )efine /ho are the youth ;ualifie)
to Coin the !O, /hich itself is a creation of Congress' "hose /ho )o not ;ualify because they are past the age group
)efine) as the youth cannot insist on being part of the youth' $n govern(ent service, once an e(ployee reaches (an)atory
retire(ent age, he cannot invo<e any property right to cling to his office' $n the sa(e (anner, since petitioners are no/
past the (a.i(u( age for (e(bership in the !O, they cannot invo<e any property right to cling to their !O (e(bership'
0E(phasis supplie)'1

"o recapitulate, /e fin) no (erit in the respon)ents@ retroactivity argu(ents because: 5-6 the challenge) proviso )i) not provi)e for
the retroactive application to 'arangayofficials of the three-ter( li(itE !ection 2+5b6 of RA No' 8-42 si(ply continue) /hat ha) been there
beforeE an) 5*6 the constitutional challenge base) on retroactivity /as not anchore) on a constitutional stan)ar) but on a (ere statutory nor('

The 25ual Protection Clause 1ssue

"he e;ual protection guarantee un)er the Constitution is foun) un)er its !ection *, Article $$$, /hich provi)es: P&or shall any person
'e denied the e1ual protection of the laws.Q Essentially, the e;uality guarantee) un)er this clause is e;uality un)er the sa(e con)itions an)
a(ong persons si(ilarly situate)' $t is e;uality a(ong e;uals, not si(ilarity of treat(ent of persons /ho are )ifferent fro( one another on the
basis of substantial )istinctions relate) to the obCective of the la/E /hen things or persons are )ifferent in facts or circu(stances, they (ay be
treate) )ifferently in la/'
0*,1

Appreciation of ho/ the constitutional e;uality provision applies inevitably lea)s to the conclusion that no basis e.ists in the present
case for an e;ual protection challenge' "he la/ can treat 'arangay officials )ifferently fro( other local elective officials because the Constitution
itself provi)es a significant )istinction bet/een these elective officials /ith respect to length of ter( an) ter( li(itation' "he clear )istinction,
e.presse) in the Constitution itself, is that /hile the Constitution provi)es for a three-year ter( an) three-ter( li(it for local elective officials, it
left the length of ter( an) the application of the three-ter( li(it or any for( of ter( li(itation for )eter(ination by Congress through legislation'
Not only )oes this )isparate treat(ent recogni?e substantial )istinctions, it recogni?es as /ell that the Constitution itself allo/s a non-unifor(
treat(ent' No e;ual protection violation can e.ist un)er these con)itions'

=ro( another perspective, /e see no reason to apply the e;ual protection clause as a stan)ar) because the challenge) proviso )i) not
result in any )ifferential treat(ent bet/een 'arangay officials an) all other elective officials' "his conclusion procee)s fro( our ruling on the
retroactivity issue that the challenge) proviso )oes not involve any retroactive application'


;iolation of the Constitutional
)ne Su"#ect& )ne Title Rule

Every bill passe) by the Congress shall e(brace only one subCect /hich shall be e.presse) in the title thereof' .ari$as . 4+ecutie
Secretary
0*-1
provi)es the reasons for this constitutional re;uire(ent an) the test for its application, as follo/s:
"he proscription is ai(e) against the evils of the so-calle) o(nibus bills an) log-rolling legislation as /ell as
surreptitious an)Dor unconsi)ere) encroaches' "he provision (erely calls for all parts of an act relating to its subCect
fin)ing e.pression in its title'

"o )eter(ine /hether there has been co(pliance /ith the constitutional re;uire(ent that the subCect of an act
shall be e.presse) in its title, the Court lai) )o/n the rule that I

Constitutional provisions relating to the subCect (atter an) titles of statutes shoul) not be
so narro/ly construe) as to cripple or i(pe)e the po/er of legislation' "he re;uire(ent that the
subCect of an act shall be e.presse) in its title shoul) receive a reasonable an) not a technical
construction' $t is sufficient if the title be co(prehensive enough reasonably to inclu)e the general
obCect /hich a statute see<s to effect, /ithout e.pressing each an) every en) an) (eans necessary or
convenient for the acco(plishing of that obCect' #ere )etails nee) not be set forth' "he title nee)
not be an abstract or in)e. of the Act'

. . . .

. . . "his Court has hel) that an act having a single general subCect, in)icate) in the title, (ay contain any nu(ber of
provisions, no (atter ho/ )iverse they (ay be, so long as they are not inconsistent /ith or foreign to the general subCect,
an) (ay be consi)ere) in furtherance of such subCect by provi)ing for the (etho) an) (eans of carrying out the general
subCect'

. . . .

. . . #oreover, the avo/e) purpose of the constitutional )irective that the subCect of a bill shoul) be e(brace) in its title
is to apprise the legislators of the purposes, the nature an) scope of its provisions, an) prevent the enact(ent into la/ of
(atters /hich have not receive) the notice, action an) stu)y of the legislators an) the public'

Ae fin), un)er these settle) para(eters, that the challenge) proviso )oes not violate the one subCect-one title rule'

.irst, the title of RA No' 8-42, FAn Act Provi)ing for !ynchroni?e) Barangay an) Sangguniang 2a'ataang Elections, a(en)ing
Republic Act No' 9-4,, as a(en)e), other/ise <no/n as the Local 7overn(ent Co)e of -88-,G states the la/@s general subCect (atter I the
a(en)(ent of the L7C to synchroni?e the 'arangay an) !O elections an) for other purposes' "o achieve synchroni?ation of the 'arangay an)
!O elections, the reconciliation of the varying lengths of the ter(s of office of 'arangay officials an) !O officials is necessary' Closely relate)
/ith length of ter( is ter( li(itation /hich )efines the total nu(ber of ter(s for /hich a 'arangay official (ay run for an) hol) office' "his
natural lin<age )e(onstrates that ter( li(itation is not foreign to the general subCect e.presse) in the title of the la/'

Second, the congressional )ebates /e cite) above sho/ that the legislators an) the public they represent /ere fully infor(e) of the
purposes, nature an) scope of the la/@s provisions' "er( li(itation therefore receive) the notice, consi)eration, an) action fro( both the
legislators an) the public'

.inally, to re;uire the inclusion of ter( li(itation in the title of RA No' 8-42 is to (a<e the title an in)e. of all the subCect (atters
)ealt /ith by la/E this is not /hat the constitutional re;uire(ent conte(plates'

WHEREFORE, pre(ises consi)ere), /e GRANT the petition an) accor)ingly AFFIRM the constitutionality of the challenge)
proviso un)er !ection *, paragraph * of Republic Act No' 8-42' Costs against the respon)ents'

SO ORDERED.

ARTURO D. BRION
Associate &ustice


AE CONCHR:


REBNA"O !' PHNO
Chief &ustice



5On official leave6
AN"ON$O "' CARP$O
Associate &ustice
RENA"O C' CORONA
Associate &ustice



CONC>$"A CARP$O #ORALE!
Associate &ustice



5On official leave6
PRE!B$"ERO &' %ELA!CO, &R'
Associate &ustice




"ERE!$"A &' LEONARO-E CA!"RO
Associate &ustice



LHCA! P' BER!A#$N
Associate &ustice



ROBER"O A' ABA
Associate &ustice







#$N$"A %' C>$CO-NAMAR$O
Associate &ustice




AN"ON$O EHARO B' NAC>HRA
Associate &ustice



5On official leave6
$O!AO #' PERAL"A
Associate &ustice



#AR$ANO C' EL CA!"$LLO
Associate &ustice



#AR"$N !' %$LLARA#A, &R'
Associate &ustice


CERTIFICATION

Pursuant to !ection -+, Article %$$$ of the Constitution, it is hereby certifie) that the conclusions in the above ecision /ere reache)
in consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion of the Court'


REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice

J
On official leave'
JJ
On official leave'
JJJ
On official leave'
0-1
=ile) un)er Rule 23 of the Rules of CourtE the R"C ecision /as penne) by &u)ge Eleonor O/ong'
0*1
"he respon)ents herein: Conra)o Cru?, !antiago P' 7o, Renato =' Borbon, Levvino Ching, Carlos C' =lorentino, Ruben 7' Ballega, Loi)a
Alce)o, #ario #' CaCuco(, E((anuel #' Cal(a, #anuel A' Rayos, Ail(a L' Chua, Eufe(io !' Alfonso, &esus #' Lacanilao, Bonifacio N'
Alcapa, &ose >' !ilverio, Ro)rigo evelles, Ni)a R' Paunan, #ariano B' Estuye, &r', Rafael C' Arevalo, Arturo "' #anabat, Ricar)o O'
Li?aron)o, Leticia C' #aturan, Ro)rigo A' Alayan, Leonilo N' #iran)a, ese)erio O' #onreal, =rancisco #' Bahia, Nestor R' =oron)a, %icente
B' Lue, &r', Aurelio A' Biluan, anilo R' 7atchalian, Lour)es R' )el #un)o, E((a O' Cal?a)o, =eli(on )e Leon, "any %' Catacutan, an)
Concepcion P' &ao'
0+1
Rollo, pp' 24-34
021
$bi)'
031
++9 Phil' 3+2 5-8896E penne) by Associate &ustice, later Chief &ustice, Arte(io %' Panganiban 5retire)6'
041
Hn)erscoring supplie)E cite) in ,aid . Comelec, supra'
091
O(nibus Election Co)e'
0:1
!ection -, R'A' No' 443+'
081
!ee ,aid . C/%4!4C, supra note 3'
0-,1
!ee the eliberations in the !enate, cite) in the respon)ents@ Petition for eclaratory ReliefE rollo, pp' 44-49'
0--1
!ee Ba@er . Carr, +48 H! -:4, :* !'Ct' 48-, 9 L e) *) 44+, 4:4 5-84*6, as cite) in 4strada . ,esierto, 2,4 Phil' - 5*,,-6'
12]
-arcia . 4+ecutie Secretary 57'R' No' -393:2, April *, *,,86 hol)s:

The power of judicial review is the power of the courts to test the validity of executive and legislative acts for
their conformity with the Constitution' "hrough such po/er, the Cu)iciary enforces an) uphol)s the supre(acy of the
Constitution' =or a court to e.ercise this po/er, certain re;uire(ents (ust first be (et, na(ely:

5-6 an actual case or controversy calling for the e.ercise of Cu)icial po/erE
5*6 the person challenging the act (ust have Fstan)ingG to challengeE he (ust have a personal an) substantial interest in
the case such that he has sustaine), or /ill sustain, )irect inCury as a result of its enforce(entE
5+6 the ;uestion of constitutionality (ust be raise) at the earliest possible opportunityE an)
526 the issue of constitutionality (ust be the very lis mota of the case'
0-+1
!ee 4strada . ,esierto, supra note --'
0-21
I'id.
0-31
A'a@ada -uro Party !ist . Purisima, 7'R' No' -449-3, August -2, *,,:, 34* !CRA *3-'
0-41
Republic Act No' +:4, other/ise <no/n as the Civil Co)e of the Philippines'
0-91
!ee Respon)ents@ Co((ent, pp' :-8'
0-:1
CON!"$"H"$ON, Article R, !ection + provi)es:

Section 3. The Congress shall enact a local government code which shall provi)e for a (ore responsive an)
accountable local govern(ent structure institute) through a syste( of )ecentrali?ation /ith effective (echanis(s of recall,
initiative, an) referen)u(, allocate a(ong the )ifferent local govern(ent units their po/ers, responsibilities, an)
resources, an) provide for the qualifications, election, appointment and removal, term, salaries, powers and
functions and duties of local officials, and all other matters relating to the organization and operation of the local
units'
0-81
2++ Phil' 4*, 5*,,*6'
0*,1
A'a@ada -uro Party !ist . Purisima, supra note -4'
0*-1
24+ Phil' -98 5*,,+6'
Bap v' "hena(aris !hip@s #anage(ent an) $nter(are #ariti(e Agencies, $nc. - 7'R' No' -983+*, #ay +,, *,--

EN BANC

ELEAZAR P. QUINTO and
GERINO A. TOLENTINO, 1R.,
Petitioners,







- versus -

G.R. No. 189698

Present:

PHNO, C.J.,
CARP$O,
CORONA,
CARP$O #ORALE!,
%ELA!CO, &R',
NAC>HRA,
LEONARO-E CA!"RO,
BR$ON,
PERAL"A,
BER!A#$N,
EL CA!"$LLO,
ABA,
%$LLARA#A, &R',
PEREM, an)
#ENOMA, JJ.

COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS,
Respon)ent'
Pro(ulgate):

=ebruary **, *,-,
. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.

R E S O L U T I O N
PUNO, C.J.:

Hpon a careful revie/ of the case at bar, this Court resolves to grant the respon)ent Co((ission on Elections@ 5CO#ELEC6 (otion for
reconsi)eration, an) the (ovants-intervenors@ (otions for reconsi)eration-in-intervention, of this Court@s ece(ber -, *,,8 ecision 5ecision6'
0-1

"he assaile) ecision grante) the Petition for Certiorari an) Prohibition file) by Elea?ar P' Luinto an) 7erino A' "olentino, &r' an)
)eclare) as unconstitutional the secon) proviso in the thir) paragraph of !ection -+ of Republic Act No' 8+48,
0*1
!ection 44 of the O(nibus
Election Co)e
0+1
an) !ection 25a6 of CO#ELEC Resolution No' :49:,
021
(ainly on the groun) that they violate the e;ual protection clause of the
Constitution an) suffer fro( overbrea)th' "he assaile) ecision thus pave) the /ay for public appointive officials to continue )ischarging the
po/ers, prerogatives an) functions of their office not/ithstan)ing their entry into the political arena'

$n support of their respective (otions for reconsi)eration, respon)ent CO#ELEC an) (ovants-intervenors sub(it the follo/ing
argu(ents:

5-6 "he assaile) ecision is contrary to, an)Dor violative of, the constitutional proscription against the participation of public
appointive officials an) (e(bers of the (ilitary in partisan political activityE
5*6 "he assaile) provisions )o not violate the e;ual protection clause /hen they accor) )ifferential treat(ent to elective an)
appointive officials, because such )ifferential treat(ent rests on (aterial an) substantial )istinctions an) is ger(ane to the
purposes of the la/E
5+6 "he assaile) provisions )o not suffer fro( the infir(ity of overbrea)thE an)
526 "here is a co(pelling nee) to reverse the assaile) ecision, as public safety an) interest )e(an) such reversal'

Ae fin) the foregoing argu(ents (eritorious'

I.
Procedural Issues

=irst, /e shall resolve the proce)ural issues on the ti(eliness of the CO#ELEC@s (otion for reconsi)eration /hich /as file) on
ece(ber -3, *,,8, as /ell as the propriety of the (otions for reconsi)eration-in-intervention /hich /ere file) after the Court ha) ren)ere) its
ece(ber -, *,,8 ecision'

i. Timeliness of C)I22Cs Iotion for Reconsideration

Pursuant to !ection *, Rule 34-A of the -889 Rules of Court,
031
in relation to !ection -, Rule 3* of the sa(e rules,
041
CO#ELEC ha) a
perio) of fifteen )ays fro( receipt of notice of the assaile) ecision /ithin /hich to (ove for its reconsi)eration' CO#ELEC receive) notice of
the assaile) ecision on ece(ber *, *,,8, hence, ha) until ece(ber -9, *,,8 to file a #otion for Reconsi)eration'

"he #otion for Reconsi)eration of CO#ELEC /as ti(ely file)' $t /as file) on ece(ber -2, *,,8' "he correspon)ing Affi)avit of
!ervice 5in substitution of the one originally sub(itte) on ece(ber -2, *,,86 /as subse;uently file) on ece(ber -9, *,,8 I still /ithin the
regle(entary perio)'

ii. Propriety of the Iotions for Reconsideration&in&1nter!ention

!ection -, Rule -8 of the Rules of Court provi)es:

A person /ho has legal interest in the (atter in litigation or in the success of either of the parties, or an interest against
both, or is so situate) as to be a)versely affecte) by a )istribution or other )isposition of property in the custo)y of the
court or of an officer thereof (ay, /ith leave of court, be allo/e) to intervene in the action' "he court shall consi)er
/hether or not the intervention /ill un)uly )elay or preCu)ice the a)Cu)ication of the rights of the original parties, an)
/hether or not the intervenor@s rights (ay be fully protecte) in a separate procee)ing'


Pursuant to the foregoing rule, this Court has hel) that a (otion for intervention shall be entertaine) /hen the follo/ing re;uisites are
satisfie): 5-6 the /oul)-be intervenor sho/s that he has a substantial right or interest in the caseE an) 5*6 such right or interest cannot be
a)e;uately pursue) an) protecte) in another procee)ing'
091

Hpon the other han), !ection *, Rule -8 of the Rules of Court provi)es the ti(e /ithin /hich a (otion for intervention (ay be
file), i".:

!EC"$ON *' "i(e to intervene'I #he motion for interention may 'e filed at any time 'efore rendition of judgment by the
trial court' A copy of the plea)ing-in-intervention shall be attache) to the (otion an) serve) on the original parties'
5italics supplie)6

"his rule, ho/ever, is not infle.ible' $nterventions have been allo/e) even beyon) the perio) prescribe) in the Rule, /hen )e(an)e)
by the higher interest of Custice' $nterventions have also been grante) to affor) in)ispensable parties, /ho have not been i(plea)e), the right to
be hear) even after a )ecision has been ren)ere) by the trial court,
0:1
/hen the petition for revie/ of the Cu)g(ent has alrea)y been sub(itte) for
)ecision before the !upre(e Court,
081
an) even /here the assaile) or)er has alrea)y beco(e final an) e.ecutory'
0-,1
$n Lim v. Pacquing,
0--1
the
(otion for intervention file) by the Republic of the Philippines /as allo/e) by this Court to avoi) grave inCustice an) inCury an) to settle once
an) for all the substantive issues raise) by the parties'

$n fine, the allo/ance or )isallo/ance of a (otion for intervention rests on the soun) )iscretion of the court
0-*1
after consi)eration of
the appropriate circu(stances'
0-+1
Ae stress again that Rule -8 of the Rules of Court is a rule of proce)ure /hose obCect is to (a<e the po/ers of
the court fully an) co(pletely available for Custice'
0-21
$ts purpose is not to hin)er or )elay, but to facilitate an) pro(ote the a)(inistration of
Custice'
0-31

Ae rule that, /ith the e.ception of the $BP I Cebu City Chapter, all the (ovants-intervenors (ay properly intervene in the case at bar'

=irst, the (ovants-intervenors have each sufficiently establishe) a substantial right or interest in the case'

As a !enator of the Republic, !enator #anuel A' Ro.as has a right to challenge the ece(ber -, *,,8 ecision, /hich nullifies a long
establishe) la/E as a voter, he has a right to intervene in a (atter that involves the electoral processE an) as a public officer, he has a personal
interest in (aintaining the trust an) confi)ence of the public in its syste( of govern(ent'

On the other han), for(er !enator =ran<lin #' rilon an) "o( %' Apacible are can)i)ates in the #ay *,-, elections running against
appointive officials /ho, in vie/ of the ece(ber -, *,,8 ecision, have not yet resigne) fro( their posts an) are not li<ely to resign fro( their
posts' "hey stan) to be )irectly inCure) by the assaile) ecision, unless it is reverse)'

#oreover, the rights or interests of sai) (ovants-intervenors cannot be a)e;uately pursue) an) protecte) in another procee)ing'
Clearly, their rights /ill be foreclose) if this Court@s ecision attains finality an) for(s part of the la/s of the lan)'

Aith regar) to the $BP I Cebu City Chapter, it anchors its stan)ing on the assertion that Fthis case involves the constitutionality of
elections la/s for this co(ing *,-, National Elections,G an) that Fthere is a nee) for it to be allo/e) to intervene ... so that the voice of its
(e(bers in the legal profession /oul) also be hear) before this >ighest "ribunal as it resolves issues of transcen)ental i(portance'G
0-41

Prescin)ing fro( our rule an) ruling case la/, /e fin) that the $BP-Cebu City Chapter has faile) to present a specific an) substantial
interest sufficient to clothe it /ith stan)ing to intervene in the case at bar' $ts invo<e) interest is, in character, too in)istinguishable to Custify its
intervention'

Ae no/ turn to the substantive issues'

II.
Substantive Issues

"he assaile) ecision struc< )o/n !ection 25a6 of Resolution :49:, the secon) proviso in the thir) paragraph of !ection -+ of
Republic Act 5RA6 8+48, an) !ection 44 of the O(nibus Election Co)e, on the follo/ing groun)s:

5-6 "hey violate the e;ual protection clause of the Constitution because of the )ifferential treat(ent of persons hol)ing appointive
offices an) those hol)ing elective positionsE
5*6 "hey are overbroa) insofar as they prohibit the can)i)acy of all civil servants hol)ing appointive posts: 5a6 /ithout )istinction as
to /hether or not they occupy highDinfluential positions in the govern(ent, an) 5b6 they li(it these civil servants@ activity
regar)less of /hether they be partisan or nonpartisan in character, or /hether they be in the national, (unicipal
or 'arangay levelE an)
5+6 Congress has not sho/n a co(pelling state interest to restrict the fun)a(ental right of these public appointive officials'

Ae grant the (otions for reconsi)eration' Ae now rule that !ection 25a6 of Resolution :49:, !ection 44 of the O(nibus Election
Co)e, an) the secon) proviso in the thir) paragraph of !ection -+ of RA 8+48 are not unconstitutional, an) accor)ingly reverse our ece(ber -,
*,,8 ecision'

III.
Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution 8678 Compliant with Law

!ection 25a6 of CO#ELEC Resolution :49: is a faithful reflection of the present state of the la/ an) Curispru)ence on the (atter, i".:
Incumbent Appointive Official. - Hn)er !ection -+ of RA 8+48, /hich reiterates !ection 44 of the O(nibus Election Co)e, any
person hol)ing a public appointive office or position, inclu)ing active (e(bers of the Ar(e) =orces of the Philippines, an) officers
an) e(ployees in govern(ent-o/ne) or -controlle) corporations, shall be consi)ere) ipso facto resigne) fro( his office upon the
filing of his certificate of can)i)acy'

Incumbent Elected Official. I Hpon the other han), pursuant to !ection -2 of RA 8,,4 or the =air Election Act,
0-91
/hich repeale)
!ection 49 of the O(nibus Election Co)e
0-:1
an) ren)ere) ineffective !ection -- of R'A' :2+4 insofar as it consi)ere) an electe)
official as resigne) only upon the start of the ca(paign perio) correspon)ing to the positions for /hich they are running,
0-81
an electe)
official is not )ee(e) to have resigne) fro( his office upon the filing of his certificate of can)i)acy for the sa(e or any other electe)
office or position' $n fine, an electe) official (ay run for another position /ithout forfeiting his seat'

"hese la/s an) regulations i(ple(ent !ection *526, Article $R-B of the -8:9 Constitution, /hich prohibits civil service officers an) e(ployees
fro( engaging in any electioneering or partisan political ca(paign'

"he intention to i(pose a strict li(itation on the participation of civil service officers an) e(ployees in partisan political ca(paigns is
un(ista<able' "he e.change bet/een Co((issioner Luesa)a an) Co((issioner =o? )uring the )eliberations of the Constitutional Co((ission
is instructive:

#!' LHE!AA'

. . . .

!econ)ly, $ /oul) li<e to a))ress the issue here as provi)e) in !ection - 526, line -*, an) $ ;uote: VNo officer or e(ployee
in the civil service shall engage, )irectly or in)irectly, in any partisan political activity'V "his is al(ost the sa(e provision
as in the -89+ Constitution' >o/ever, /e in the govern(ent service have actually e.perience) ho/ this provision has been
violate) by the )irect or in)irect partisan political activities of (any govern(ent officials'

So, is the Committee willing to include certain clauses that would ma@e this proision more strict, and which would deter
its iolationK

#R' =OM' %adam President, the e+isting Ciil Serice !aw and the implementing rules on the matter are more than
e+haustie enough to really preent officers and employees in the pu'lic serice from engaging in any form of partisan
political actiity. But the pro'lem really lies in implementation 'ecause, if the head of a ministry, and een the superior
officers of offices and agencies of goernment will themseles iolate the constitutional injunction against partisan
political actiity, then no string of words that we may add to what is now here in this draft will really implement the
constitutional intent against partisan political actiity' . . .
0*,1
5italics supplie)6

"o e(phasi?e its i(portance, this constitutional ban on civil service officers an) e(ployees is presently reflecte) an) i(ple(ente) by
a nu(ber of statutes' !ection 245b65*46, Chapter 9 an) !ection 33, Chapter : I both of !ubtitle A, "itle $, Boo< % of the A)(inistrative Co)e of
-8:9 I respectively provi)e in relevant part:

Section BB. ,isciplineM -eneral Proisions:

. . . .

5b6 "he follo/ing shall be groun)s for )isciplinary action:

. . . .

5*46 Engaging )irectly or in)irectly in partisan political activities by one hol)ing a non-political office'

. . . .

Section GG. Political Actiity. T No officer or e(ployee in the Civil !ervice inclu)ing (e(bers of the Ar(e) =orces, shall
engage )irectly or in)irectly in any partisan political activity or ta<e part in any election e.cept to vote nor shall he use his
official authority or influence to coerce the political activity of any other person or bo)y' Nothing herein provi)e) shall be
un)erstoo) to prevent any officer or e(ployee fro( e.pressing his vie/s on current political proble(s or issues, or fro(
(entioning the na(es of his can)i)ates for public office /ho( he supports: Provi)e), "hat public officers an) e(ployees
hol)ing political offices (ay ta<e part in political an) electoral activities but it shall be unla/ful for the( to solicit
contributions fro( their subor)inates or subCect the( to any of the acts involving subor)inates prohibite) in the Election
Co)e'

!ection *4-5i6 of Batas Pa(bansa Blg' ::- 5the O(nibus Election Co)e6 further (a<es intervention by civil service officers an) e(ployees in
partisan political activities an election offense, i".M

S4C#I/& <F:. Prohi'ited Acts. T "he follo/ing shall be guilty of an election offense:

. . . .

5i6 $ntervention of public officers an) e(ployees' T Any officer or e(ployee in the civil service, e.cept those hol)ing
political officesE any officer, e(ployee, or (e(ber of the Ar(e) =orces of the Philippines, or any police force, special
forces, ho(e )efense forces, barangay self-)efense units an) all other para-(ilitary units that no/ e.ist or /hich (ay
hereafter be organi?e) /ho, )irectly or in)irectly, intervenes in any election ca(paign or engages in any partisan political
activity, e.cept to vote or to preserve public or)er, if he is a peace officer'

"he intent of both Congress an) the fra(ers of our Constitution to li(it the participation of civil service officers an) e(ployees in
partisan political activities is too plain to be (ista<en'

But !ection *526, Article $R-B of the -8:9 Constitution an) the i(ple(enting statutes apply only to civil
servants hol)ing apolitical offices' !tate) )ifferently, the constitutional ban does not cover elected officials, not/ithstan)ing the fact that
F0t1he civil service e(braces all branches, sub)ivisions, instru(entalities, an) agencies of the 7overn(ent, inclu)ing govern(ent-o/ne) or
controlle) corporations /ith original charters'G
0*-1
"his is because electe) public officials, by the very nature of their office, engage in partisan
political activities al(ost all year roun), even outsi)e of the ca(paign perio)'
0**1
Political partisanship is the inevitable essence of a political
office, elective positions inclu)e)'
0*+1

"he prohibition not/ithstan)ing, civil service officers an) e(ployees are allo/e) to vote, as /ell as e.press their vie/s on political
issues, or (ention the na(es of certain can)i)ates for public office /ho( they support' "his is crystal clear fro( the )eliberations of the
Constitutional Co((ission, i".:

#!' ALH$NO: #r' Presi)ing Officer, (y propose) a(en)(ent is on page *, !ection -, subparagraph 2, lines -+ an) -2'
On line -+, bet/een the /or)s VanyV an) Vpartisan,V a)) the phrase ELEC"$ONEER$N7 AN O">ERE an) on line -2,
)elete the /or) VactivityV an) in lieu thereof substitute the /or) CA#PA$7N'

#ay $ be allo/e) to e.plain (y propose) a(en)(entU

">E PRE!$$N7 O==$CER 5#r' "reKas6: Co((issioner A;uino (ay procee)'

#!' ALH$NO: "he )raft as presente) by the Co((ittee )elete) the phrase Ve.cept to voteV /hich /as a)opte) in both the
-8+3 an) -89+ Constitutions' "he phrase Ve.cept to voteV /as not inten)e) as a guarantee to the right to vote but as a
;ualification of the general prohibition against ta<ing part in elections'

%oting is a partisan political activity' Hnless it is e.plicitly provi)e) for as an e.ception to this prohibition, it /ill a(ount
to )isenfranchise(ent' Ae <no/ that suffrage, although plenary, is not an uncon)itional right' $n other /or)s, the
Legislature can al/ays pass a statute /hich can /ithhol) fro( any class the right to vote in an election, if public interest so
re;uire)' $ /oul) only li<e to reinstate the ;ualification by specifying the prohibite) acts so that those /ho (ay /ant to
vote but /ho are li<e/ise prohibite) fro( participating in partisan political ca(paigns or electioneering (ay vote'

#R' =OM: "here is really no ;uarrel over this point, but please un)erstan) that there was no intention on the part of the
Committee to disenfranchise any goernment official or employee. #he elimination of the last clause of this proision was
precisely intended to protect the mem'ers of the ciil serice in the sense that they are not 'eing depried of the freedom of
e+pression in a political contest' #he last phrase or clause might hae gien the impression that a goernment employee or
wor@er has no right whatsoeer in an election campaign e+cept to ote, which is not the case. #hey are still free to e+press
their iews although the intention is not really to allow them to ta@e part actiely in a political campaign.
,C./

IV.
Section 4(a) of Resolution 8678, Section 13 of RA 9369, and
Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code Do Not Violate the
Equal Protection Clause

Ae no/ hol) that !ection 25a6 of Resolution :49:, !ection 44 of the O(nibus Election Co)e, an) the secon) proviso in the thir)
paragraph of !ection -+ of RA 8+48 are not violative of the e;ual protection clause of the Constitution'

i. FariKas$ et al. !. 2%ecuti!e Secretary$ et al. is Controlling

$n truth, this Court has alrea)y rule) s;uarely on /hether these )ee(e)-resigne) provisions challenge) in the case at bar violate the
e;ual protection clause of the Constitution in Farias, et al. v. Executive Secretary$ et al.
0*31

$n Farias, the constitutionality of !ection -2 of the =air Election Act, in relation to !ections 44 an) 49 of the O(nibus Election
Co)e, /as assaile) on the groun), a(ong others, that it un)uly )iscri(inates against appointive officials' As !ection -2 repeale) !ection 49
5i.e., the )ee(e)-resigne) provision in respect of electe) officials6 of the O(nibus Election Co)e, electe) officials are no longer consi)ere) ipso
facto resigne) fro( their respective offices upon their filing of certificates of can)i)acy' $n contrast, since !ection 44 /as not repeale), the
li(itation on appointive officials continues to be operative I they are )ee(e) resigne) /hen they file their certificates of can)i)acy'

"he petitioners in Farias thus brought an e;ual protection challenge against !ection -2, /ith the en) in vie/ of having the )ee(e)-
resigne) provisions Fapply e;uallyG to both electe) an) appointive officials' Ae hel), ho/ever, that the legal )ichoto(y create) by the
Legislature is a reasonable classification, as there are (aterial an) significant )istinctions bet/een the t/o classes of officials' Conse;uently, the
contention that !ection -2 of the =air Election Act, in relation to !ections 44 an) 49 of the O(nibus Election Co)e, infringe) on the e;ual
protection clause of the Constitution, faile) (uster' Ae rule):

"he petitionersS contention, that the repeal of !ection 49 of the O(nibus Election Co)e pertaining to elective
officials gives un)ue benefit to such officials as against the appointive ones an) violates the e;ual protection clause of the
constitution, is tenuous'

"he e;ual protection of the la/ clause in the Constitution is not absolute, but is subCect to reasonable
classification' $f the groupings are characteri?e) by substantial )istinctions that (a<e real )ifferences, one class (ay be
treate) an) regulate) )ifferently fro( the other' "he Court has e.plaine) the nature of the e;ual protection guarantee in this
(anner:

"he e;ual protection of the la/ clause is against un)ue favor an) in)ivi)ual or class privilege, as
/ell as hostile )iscri(ination or the oppression of ine;uality' $t is not inten)e) to prohibit legislation
/hich is li(ite) either in the obCect to /hich it is )irecte) or by territory /ithin /hich it is to
operate' $t )oes not )e(an) absolute e;uality a(ong resi)entsE it (erely re;uires that all persons
shall be treate) ali<e, un)er li<e circu(stances an) con)itions both as to privileges conferre) an)
liabilities enforce)' "he e;ual protection clause is not infringe) by legislation /hich applies only to
those persons falling /ithin a specifie) class, if it applies ali<e to all persons /ithin such class, an)
reasonable groun)s e.ist for (a<ing a )istinction bet/een those /ho fall /ithin such class an) those
/ho )o not'

!ubstantial )istinctions clearly e.ist bet/een elective officials an) appointive officials' "he for(er occupy their
office by virtue of the (an)ate of the electorate' "hey are electe) to an office for a )efinite ter( an) (ay be re(ove)
therefro( only upon stringent con)itions' On the other han), appointive officials hol) their office by virtue of their
)esignation thereto by an appointing authority' !o(e appointive officials hol) their office in a per(anent capacity an) are
entitle) to security of tenure /hile others serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority'

Another substantial )istinction bet/een the t/o sets of officials is that un)er !ection 33, Chapter :, "itle $,
!ubsection A' Civil !ervice Co((ission, Boo< % of the A)(inistrative Co)e of -8:9 5E.ecutive Or)er No' *8*6,
appointive officials, as officers an) e(ployees in the civil service, are strictly prohibite) fro( engaging in any partisan
political activity or ta<e (sic* part in any election e.cept to vote' Hn)er the sa(e provision, elective officials, or officers or
e(ployees hol)ing political offices, are obviously e.pressly allo/e) to ta<e part in political an) electoral activities'

By repealing !ection 49 but retaining !ection 44 of the O(nibus Election Co)e, the legislators )ee(e) it proper
to treat these t/o classes of officials )ifferently /ith respect to the effect on their tenure in the office of the filing of the
certificates of can)i)acy for any position other than those occupie) by the(' Again, it is not /ithin the po/er of the Court
to pass upon or loo< into the /is)o( of this classification'

!ince the classification Custifying !ection -2 of Rep' Act No' 8,,4, i.e., electe) officials vis-]-vis appointive
officials, is anchore) upon (aterial an) significant )istinctions an) all the persons belonging un)er the sa(e classification
are si(ilarly treate), the e;ual protection clause of the Constitution is, thus, not infringe)'
0*41

"he case at bar is a crass atte(pt to resurrect a )ea) issue' "he (iracle is that our assaile) ecision gave it ne/ life' Ae ought to be
gui)e) by the )octrine of stare decisis et non 1uieta moere' "his )octrine, /hich is really Fa)herence to prece)ents,G (an)ates that once a case
has been )eci)e) one /ay, then another case involving e.actly the sa(e point at issue shoul) be )eci)e) in the sa(e (anner'
0*91
"his )octrine is
one of policy groun)e) on the necessity for securing certainty an) stability of Cu)icial )ecisions' As the reno/ne) Curist BenCa(in Car)o?o state)
in his treatise The Nature of the 1udicial Process:

$t /ill not )o to )eci)e the sa(e ;uestion one /ay bet/een one set of litigants an) the opposite /ay bet/een another' F$f a
group of cases involves the sa(e point, the parties e.pect the sa(e )ecision' $t /oul) be a gross inCustice to )eci)e
alternate cases on opposite principles' $f a case /as )eci)e) against (e yester)ay /hen $ /as a )efen)ant, $ shall loo< for
the sa(e Cu)g(ent to)ay if $ a( plaintiff' #o decide differently would raise a feeling of resentment and wrong in my
'reastN it would 'e an infringement, material and moral, of my rights.O Adherence to precedent must then 'e the rule
rather than the e+ception if litigants are to hae faith in the een6handed administration of justice in the courts'
0*:1

Our Farias ruling on the e;ual protection i(plications of the )ee(e)-resigne) provisions cannot be (ini(ali?e) as (ere o'iter
dictum' $t is trite to state that an a)Cu)ication on any point /ithin the issues presente) by the case cannot be consi)ere) as o'iter dictum'
0*81
"his
rule applies to all pertinent ;uestions that are presente) an) resolve) in the regular course of the consi)eration of the case an) lea) up to the final
conclusion, an) to any state(ent as to the (atter on /hich the )ecision is pre)icate)'
0+,1
=or that reason, a point e.pressly )eci)e) )oes not lose its
value as a prece)ent because the )isposition of the case is, or (ight have been, (a)e on so(e other groun)E or even though, by reason of other
points in the case, the result reache) (ight have been the sa(e if the court ha) hel), on the particular point, other/ise than it )i)'
0+-1
As /e hel)
inVillanueva, 1r. v. Court of Appeals, et al.M
0+*1

R A decision which the case could hae turned on is not regarded as o'iter dictum merely 'ecause, owing to the disposal
of the contention, it was necessary to consider another 1uestion, nor can an a))itional reason in a )ecision, brought
for/ar) after the case has been )ispose) of on one groun), be regar)e) as )icta' !o, also, /here a case presents t/o 5*6 or
(ore points, any one of /hich is sufficient to )eter(ine the ulti(ate issue, but the court actually )eci)es all such
points, the case as an authoritatie precedent as to eery point decided, and none of such points can 'e regarded as haing
the status of a dictum, and one point should not 'e denied authority merely 'ecause another point was more dwelt on and
more fully argued and considered, nor )oes a )ecision on one proposition (a<e state(ents of the court regar)ing other
propositions )icta'
0++1
5italics supplie)6

ii. Classification 4ermane to the Purposes of the a'

"he Farias ruling on the e;ual protection challenge stan)s on soli) groun) even if ree.a(ine)'

"o start /ith, the e;ual protection clause )oes not re;uire the universal application of the la/s to all persons or things /ithout
)istinction'
0+21
Ahat it si(ply re;uires is e;uality a(ong e;uals as )eter(ine) accor)ing to a vali) classification'
0+31
"he test )evelope) by
Curispru)ence here an) yon)er is that of reasonableness,
0+41
/hich has four re;uisites:
5-6 "he classification rests on substantial )istinctionsE
5*6 $t is ger(ane to the purposes of the la/E
5+6 $t is not li(ite) to e.isting con)itions onlyE an)
526 $t applies e;ually to all (e(bers of the sa(e class'
0+91

Our assaile) ecision rea)ily ac<no/le)ge) that these )ee(e)-resigne) provisions satisfy the first, thir) an) fourth re;uisites of
reasonableness' $t, ho/ever, proffers the )ubious conclusion that the )ifferential treat(ent of appointive officials vis-]-vis electe) officials is not
ger(ane to the purpose of the la/, because F/hether one hol)s an appointive office or an elective one, the evils sought to be prevente) by the
(easure re(ain,G i".:

N =or e.a(ple, the E.ecutive !ecretary, or any #e(ber of the Cabinet for that (atter, coul) /iel) the sa(e influence as
the %ice-Presi)ent /ho at the sa(e ti(e is appointe) to a Cabinet post 5in the recent past, electe) %ice-Presi)ents /ere
appointe) to ta<e charge of national housing, social /elfare )evelop(ent, interior an) local govern(ent, an) foreign
affairs6' Aith the fact that they both hea) e.ecutive offices, there is no vali) Custification to treat the( )ifferently /hen
both file their 0Certificates of Can)i)acy1 for the elections' Hn)er the present state of our la/, the %ice-Presi)ent, in the
e.a(ple, running this ti(e, let us say, for Presi)ent, retains his position )uring the entire election perio) an) can still use
the resources of his office to support his ca(paign'
0+:1

!a) to state, this conclusion conveniently ignores the long-stan)ing rule that to re(e)y an inCustice, the Legislature nee) not a))ress
every (anifestation of the evil at onceE it (ay procee) Fone step at a ti(e'G
0+81
$n a))ressing a societal concern, it (ust invariably )ra/ lines an)
(a<e choices, thereby creating so(e ine;uity as to those inclu)e) or e.clu)e)'
02,1
Nevertheless, as long as Fthe boun)s of reasonable choiceG are
not e.cee)e), the courts (ust )efer to the legislative Cu)g(ent'
02-1
Ae (ay not stri<e )o/n a la/ (erely because the legislative ai( /oul) have
been (ore fully achieve) by e.pan)ing the class'
02*1
!tate) )ifferently, the fact that a legislative classification, by itself, is un)erinclusive /ill not
ren)er it unconstitutionally arbitrary or invi)ious'
02+1
"here is no constitutional re;uire(ent that regulation (ust reach each an) every class to
/hich it (ight be applie)E
0221
that the Legislature (ust be hel) rigi)ly to the choice of regulating all or none'

"hus, any person /ho poses an e;ual protection challenge (ust convincingly sho/ that the la/ creates a classification that is
Fpalpably arbitrary or capricious'G
0231
>e (ust refute all possible rational bases for the )iffering treat(ent, /hether or not the Legislature cite)
those bases as reasons for the enact(ent,
0241
such that the constitutionality of the la/ (ust be sustaine) even if the reasonableness of the
classification is Ffairly )ebatable'G
0291
$n the case at bar, the petitioners faile) I an) in fact )i) not even atte(pt I to )ischarge this heavy bur)en'
Our assaile) ecision /as li<e/ise silent as a sphin. on this point even /hile /e sub(itte) the follo/ing thesis:

''' 0$1t is not sufficient groun)s for invali)ation that /e (ay fin) that the statute@s )istinction is unfair,
un)erinclusive, un/ise, or not the best solution fro( a public-policy stan)pointE rather, /e (ust fin) that there is no
reasonably rational reason for the )iffering treat(ent'
02:1

$n the instant case, is there a rational Custification for e.clu)ing electe) officials fro( the operation of the
)ee(e) resigne) provisionsU $ sub(it that there is'

An election is the e(bo)i(ent of the popular /ill, perhaps the purest e.pression of the sovereign po/er of the
people'
0281
$t involves the choice or selection of can)i)ates to public office by popular vote'
03,1
Consi)ering that electe)
officials are put in office by their constituents for a definite term, it (ay Custifiably be sai) that they /ere e.clu)e) fro(
the a(bit of the )ee(e) resigne) provisions in ut(ost respect for the (an)ate of the sovereign /ill' $n other /or)s,
co(plete )eference is accor)e) to the /ill of the electorate that they be serve) by such officials until the en) of the ter(
for /hich they /ere electe)' $n contrast, there is no such e.pectation insofar as appointe) officials are concerne)'

The dichotomized treatment of appointive and elective officials is therefore germane to the purposes of
the law. For the law was made not merely to preserve the integrity, efficiency, and discipline of the public service;
the Legislature, whose wisdom is outside the rubric of judicial scrutiny, also thought it wise to balance this with the
competing, yet equally compelling, interest of deferring to the sovereign will.
03-1
5e(phasis in the original6

$n fine, the assaile) ecision /oul) have us Fe;uali?e the playing fiel)G by invali)ating provisions of la/ that see< to restrain the
evils fro( running riot' Hn)er the prete.t of e;ual protection, it /oul) favor a situation in /hich the evils are unconfine) an) vagrant, e.isting at
the behest of both appointive an) electe) officials, over another in /hich a significant portion thereof is containe)' "he absur)ity of that position
is self-evi)ent, to say the least'

"he concern, voice) by our estee(e) colleague, #r' &ustice Nachura, in his )issent, that electe) officials 5vis-]-vis appointive
officials6 have greater political clout over the electorate, is in)ee) a (atter /orth e.ploring I but not by this Court' !uffice it to say that the
re(e)y lies /ith the Legislature' $t is the Legislature that is given the authority, un)er our constitutional syste(, to balance co(peting interests
an) thereafter (a<e policy choices responsive to the e.igencies of the ti(es' $t is certainly /ithin the Legislature@s po/er to (a<e the )ee(e)-
resigne) provisions applicable to electe) officials, shoul) it later )eci)e that the evils sought to be prevente) are of such fre;uency an) (agnitu)e
as to tilt the balance in favor of e.pan)ing the class' "his Court cannot an) shoul) not arrogate unto itself the po/er to ascertain an) i(pose on
the people the best state of affairs fro( a public policy stan)point'

iii. Mancuso v. Taft 9as Been )!erruled

=in)ing no Philippine Curispru)ence to prop up its e;ual protection ruling, our assaile) ecision a)verte) to, an) e.tensively
cite), Mancuso v. Taft.
03*1
"his /as a )ecision of the =irst Circuit of the Hnite) !tates Court of Appeals pro(ulgate) in #arch -89+, /hich
struc< )o/n as unconstitutional a si(ilar statutory provision' Pathetically, our assaile) ecision, relying on Mancuso, clai(e):

5-6 "he right to run for public office is Fine.tricably lin<e)G /ith t/o fun)a(ental free)o(s I free)o( of e.pression an) associationE
5*6 Any legislative classification that significantly bur)ens this fun)a(ental right (ust be subCecte) to strict e;ual protection revie/E
an)
5+6 Ahile the state has a co(pelling interest in (aintaining the honesty an) i(partiality of its public /or< force, the )ee(e)-resigne)
provisions pursue their obCective in a far too heavy-han)e) (anner as to ren)er the( unconstitutional'

$t then conclu)e) /ith the e.hortation that since Fthe A(ericans, fro( /ho( /e copie) the provision in ;uestion, ha) alrea)y stric<en )o/n a
si(ilar (easure for being unconstitutional0,1 it is high-ti(e that /e, too, shoul) follo/ suit'G

Our assaile) ecision@s reliance on Mancuso is co(pletely (isplace)' Ae cannot blin< a/ay the fact that the Hnite) !tates !upre(e
Court effecti!ely o!erruledMancuso three (onths after its pro(ulgation by the Hnite) !tates Court of Appeals' $n United States Civil Service
Commission, et al. v. National Association of Letter Carriers AFL-CIO, et al.
,E(/
an) Broadrick, et al. !. State of Oklahoma$ et al.,
0321
the
Hnite) !tates !upre(e Court /as face) /ith the issue of /hether statutory provisions prohibiting fe)eral
0331
an) state
0341
e(ployees fro( ta<ing an
active part in political (anage(ent or in political ca(paigns /ere unconstitutional as to /arrant facial invali)ation' %iolation of these
provisions results in )is(issal fro( e(ploy(ent an) possible cri(inal sanctions'

"he Court )eclare) these provisions co(pliant /ith the e;ual protection clause' $t hel) that 5i6 in regulating the speech of its
e(ployees, the state as e(ployer has interests that )iffer significantly fro( those it possesses in regulating the speech of the citi?enry in generalE
5ii6 the courts (ust therefore balance the legiti(ate interest of e(ployee free e.pression against the interests of the e(ployer in pro(oting
efficiency of public servicesE 5iii6 if the e(ployees@ e.pression interferes /ith the (aintenance of efficient an) regularly functioning services, the
li(itation on speech is not unconstitutionalE an) 5iv6 the Legislature is to be given so(e fle.ibility or latitu)e in ascertaining /hich positions are
to be covere) by any statutory restrictions'
0391
"herefore, insofar as govern(ent e(ployees are concerne), the correct stan)ar) of revie/ is an
interest-balancing approach, a (eans-en) scrutiny that e.a(ines the closeness of fit bet/een the govern(ental interests an) the prohibitions in
;uestion'
03:1

Letter Carriers eluci)ate) on these principles, as follo/s:

Hntil no/, the Cu)g(ent of Congress, the E.ecutive, an) the country appears to have been that partisan political
activities by fe)eral e(ployees (ust be li(ite) if the 7overn(ent is to operate effectively an) fairly, elections are to play
their proper part in representative govern(ent, an) e(ployees the(selves are to be sufficiently free fro( i(proper
influences' "he restrictions so far i(pose) on fe)eral e(ployees are not ai(e) at particular parties, groups, or points of
vie/, but apply e;ually to all partisan activities of the type )escribe)' "hey )iscri(inate against no racial, ethnic, or
religious (inorities' Nor )o they see< to control political opinions or beliefs, or to interfere /ith or influence anyoneSs vote
at the polls'

But, as the Court held in Pic@ering . Board of 4ducation,
,ED/
the goernment has an interest in regulating the
conduct and Sthe speech of its employees that differ(s* significantly from those it possesses in connection with regulation of
the speech of the citi"enry in general. #he pro'lem in any case is to arrie at a 'alance 'etween the interests of the
(employee*, as a citi"en, in commenting upon matters of pu'lic concern and the interest of the (goernment*, as an
employer, in promoting the efficiency of the pu'lic serices it performs through its employees.I Although Congress is free
to stri@e a different 'alance than it has, if it so chooses, we thin@ the 'alance it has so far struc@ is sustaina'le 'y the
o'iously important interests sought to 'e sered 'y the limitations on partisan political actiities now contained in the
3atch Act.

$t see(s fun)a(ental in the first place that e(ployees in the E.ecutive Branch of the 7overn(ent, or those
/or<ing for any of its agencies, shoul) administer the law in accordance with the will of Congress, rather than in
accordance with their own or the will of a political party. #hey are e+pected to enforce the law and e+ecute the programs
of the -oernment without 'ias or faoritism for or against any political party or group or the mem'ers thereof' A (aCor
thesis of the >atch Act is that to serve this great en) of 7overn(ent-the i(partial e.ecution of the la/s-it is essential that
fe)eral e(ployees, for e.a(ple, not ta<e for(al positions in political parties, not un)erta<e to play substantial roles in
partisan political ca(paigns, an) not run for office on partisan political tic<ets' =orbi))ing activities li<e these /ill re)uce
the ha?ar)s to fair an) effective govern(ent'

"here is another consi)eration in this Cu)g(ent: it is not only i(portant that the 7overn(ent an) its e(ployees
in fact avoi) practicing political Custice, 'ut it is also critical that they appear to the pu'lic to 'e aoiding it, if confidence
in the system of representatie -oernment is not to 'e eroded to a disastrous e+tent.

Another (aCor concern of the restriction against partisan activities by fe)eral e(ployees /as perhaps the
i((e)iate occasion for enact(ent of the >atch Act in -8+8' #hat was the coniction that the rapidly e+panding
-oernment wor@ force should not 'e employed to 'uild a powerful, ininci'le, and perhaps corrupt political
machine. "he e.perience of the -8+4 an) -8+: ca(paigns convince) Congress that these )angers /ere sufficiently real
that substantial barriers shoul) be raise) against the party in po/er-or the party out of po/er, for that (atter-using the
thousan)s or hun)re)s of thousan)s of fe)eral e(ployees, pai) for at public e.pense, to (an its political structure an)
political ca(paigns'

A relate) concern, an) this re(ains as i(portant as any other, /as to further serve the goal that employment
and adancement in the -oernment serice not depend on political performance, and at the same time to ma@e sure that
-oernment employees would 'e free from pressure and from e+press or tacit initation to ote in a certain way or
perform political chores in order to curry faor with their superiors rather than to act out their own 'eliefs ' $t (ay be
urge) that prohibitions against coercion are sufficient protectionE but for (any years the Coint Cu)g(ent of the E.ecutive
an) Congress has been that to protect the rights of fe)eral e(ployees /ith respect to their Cobs an) their political acts an)
beliefs it is not enough (erely to forbi) one e(ployee to atte(pt to influence or coerce another' =or e.a(ple, at the
hearings in -89* on propose) legislation for liberali?ing the prohibition against political activity, the Chair(an of the Civil
!ervice Co((ission state) that Wthe prohibitions against active participation in partisan political (anage(ent an) partisan
political ca(paigns constitute the (ost significant safeguar)s against coercion ' ' ''@ Perhaps Congress at so(e ti(e /ill
co(e to a )ifferent vie/ of the realities of political life an) 7overn(ent serviceE but that is its current vie/ of the (atter,
an) /e are not no/ in any position to )ispute it' Nor, in our vie/, )oes the Constitution forbi) it'

Neither the right to associate nor the right to participate in political activities is absolute in any event'
04,1
. . .

. . . .

As we see it, our tas@ is not to destroy the Act if we can, 'ut to construe it, if consistent with the will of
Congress, so as to comport with constitutional limitations. 5italics supplie)6

Broadrick li<e/ise )efinitively state) that the assaile) statutory provision is constitutionally per(issible, i".:

Appellants )o not ;uestion O<laho(aSs right to place even-han)e) restrictions on the partisan political con)uct of
state e(ployees' Appellants freely concede that such restrictions sere alid and important state interests, particularly
with respect to attracting greater num'ers of 1ualified people 'y insuring their jo' security, free from the icissitudes of
the electie process, and 'y protecting them from Spolitical e+tortion.@ Rather, appellants (aintain that ho/ever
per(issible, even co((en)able, the goals of s :-: (ay be, its language is unconstitutionally vague an) its prohibitions too
broa) in their s/eep, failing to )istinguish bet/een con)uct that (ay be proscribe) an) con)uct that (ust be per(itte)'
=or these an) other reasons, appellants assert that the si.th an) seventh paragraphs of s :-: are voi) in toto an) cannot be
enforce) against the( or anyone else'

Ae have hel) to)ay that the >atch Act is not i(per(issibly vague'
04-1
Ae have little )oubt that s :-: is si(ilarly
not so vague that W(en of co((on intelligence (ust necessarily guess at its (eaning'@
04*1
Ahatever other proble(s there
are /ith s :-:, it is all but frivolous to suggest that the section fails to give a)e;uate /arning of /hat activities it proscribes
or fails to set out We.plicit stan)ar)sS for those /ho (ust apply it' $n the plainest language, it prohibits any state classifie)
e(ployee fro( being Wan officer or (e(ber@ of a Wpartisan political club@ or a can)i)ate for Wany pai) public office'@ $t
forbi)s solicitation of contributions Wfor any political organi?ation, can)i)acy or other political purpose@ an) ta<ing part Win
the (anage(ent or affairs of any political party or in any political ca(paign'@ Aor)s inevitably contain ger(s of
uncertainty an), as /ith the >atch Act, there (ay be )isputes over the (eaning of such ter(s in s :-: as Wpartisan,@ or
Wta<e part in,@ or Waffairs of@ political parties' But /hat /as sai) in !etter Carriers, is applicable here: Wthere are li(itations
in the English language /ith respect to being both specific an) (anageably brief, an) it see(s to us that although the
prohibitions (ay not satisfy those intent on fin)ing fault at any cost, they are set out in ter(s that the or)inary person
e.ercising or)inary co((on sense can sufficiently un)erstan) an) co(ply /ith, /ithout sacrifice to the public interest'S .
. .

. . . .

0Appellants1 nevertheless (aintain that the statute is overbroa) an) purports to reach protecte), as /ell as
unprotecte) con)uct, an) (ust therefore be struc< )o/n on its face an) hel) to be incapable of any constitutional
application' Ae )o not believe that the overbrea)th )octrine (ay appropriately be invo<e) in this (anner here'

. . . .

"he conse;uence of our )eparture fro( tra)itional rules of stan)ing in the =irst A(en)(ent area is that any
enforce(ent of a statute thus place) at issue is totally forbi))en until an) unless a li(iting construction or partial
invali)ation so narro/s it as to re(ove the see(ing threat or )eterrence to constitutionally protecte) e.pression'
Application of the overbrea)th )octrine in this (anner is, (anifestly, strong (e)icine' $t has been e(ploye) by the Court
sparingly an) only as a last resort' . . .

. . . But the plain i(port of our cases is, at the very least, that facial over-brea)th a)Cu)ication is an e.ception to
our tra)itional rules of practice an) that its function, a limited one at the outset, attenuates as the otherwise unprotected
'ehaior that it for'ids the State to sanction moes from Spure speechI toward conduct an) that con)uct-even if e.pressive-
falls /ithin the scope of other/ise vali) cri(inal la/s that reflect legiti(ate state interests in (aintaining co(prehensive
controls over har(ful, constitutionally unprotecte) con)uct' Although such laws, if too 'roadly worded, may deter
protected speech to some un@nown e+tent, there comes a point where that effect6at 'est a prediction6cannot, with
confidence, justify inalidating a statute on its face and so prohi'iting a State from enforcing the statute against conduct
that is admittedly within its power to proscri'e' #o put the matter another way, particularly where conduct and not merely
speech is inoled, we 'eliee that the oer'readth of a statute must not only 'e real, 'ut su'stantial as well, judged in
relation to the statute8s plainly legitimate sweep. $t is our vie/ that s :-: is not substantially overbroa) an) that /hatever
overbrea)th (ay e.ist shoul) be cure) through case-by-case analysis of the fact situations to /hich its sanctions,
asserte)ly, (ay not be applie)'

Cnli@e ordinary 'reach6of6the peace statutes or other 'road regulatory acts, s H:H is directed, 'y its terms, at
political e+pression which if engaged in 'y priate persons would plainly 'e protected 'y the .irst and .ourteenth
Amendments. But at the same time, s H:H is not a censorial statute, directed at particular groups or iewpoints. #he
statute, rather, see@s to regulate political actiity in an een6handed and neutral manner. As indicted, such statutes hae in
the past 'een su'ject to a less e+acting oer'readth scrutiny. %oreoer, the fact remains that s H:H regulates a su'stantial
spectrum of conduct that is as manifestly su'ject to state regulation as the pu'lic peace or criminal trespass. "his (uch
/as establishe) in Cnited Pu'lic 7or@ers . %itchell, an) has been unhesitatingly reaffir(e) to)ay in !etter
Carriers' Cnder the decision in !etter Carriers, there is no 1uestion that s H:H is alid at least insofar as it
for'ids classifie) e(ployees fro(: soliciting contributions for partisan can)i)ates, political parties, or other partisan
political purposesE beco(ing (e(bers of national, state, or local co((ittees of political parties, or officers or co((ittee
(e(bers in partisan political clubs, or candidates for any paid pu'lic officeE ta<ing part in the (anage(ent or affairs of
any political partySs partisan political ca(paignE serving as )elegates or alternates to caucuses or conventions of political
partiesE a))ressing or ta<ing an active part in partisan political rallies or (eetingsE soliciting votes or assisting voters at the
polls or helping in a partisan effort to get voters to the pollsE participating in the )istribution of partisan ca(paign
literatureE initiating or circulating partisan no(inating petitionsE or ri)ing in caravans for any political party or partisan
political can)i)ate'

. . . It may 'e that such restrictions are impermissi'le and that s H:H may 'e suscepti'le of some other
improper applications. But, as presently construed, we do not 'eliee that s H:H must 'e discarded in toto 'ecause some
personsI argua'ly protected conduct may or may not 'e caught or chilled 'y the statute. Section H:H is not su'stantially
oer'road and it not, therefore, unconstitutional on its face' 5italics supplie)6

$t bears stressing that, in his issenting Opinion, #r' &ustice Nachura does not deny the principles enunciate) in Letter
Carriers an) Broadrick. >e /oul) hol), nonetheless, that these cases cannot be interprete) to (ean a reversal of Mancuso, since they Fpertain
to )ifferent types of la/s an) /ere )eci)e) base) on a )ifferent set of facts,G i".M

$n !etter Carriers, the plaintiffs allege) that the Civil !ervice Co((ission /as enforcing, or threatening to
enforce, the >atch Act@s prohibition against Factive participation in political (anage(ent or political ca(paigns'G "he
plaintiffs )esire) to ca(paign for can)i)ates for public office, to encourage an) get fe)eral e(ployees to run for state an)
local offices, to participate as )elegates in party conventions, an) to hol) office in a political club'

$n Broadric@, the appellants sought the invali)ation for being vague an) overbroa) a provision in
the (sic* O<laho(a@s #erit !yste( of Personnel A)(inistration Act restricting the political activities of the !tate@s
classifie) civil servants, in (uch the sa(e (anner as the >atch Act proscribe) partisan political activities of fe)eral
e(ployees' Prior to the co((ence(ent of the action, the appellants actively participate) in the -89, reelection ca(paign
of their superior, an) /ere a)(inistratively charge) for as<ing other Corporation Co((ission e(ployees to )o ca(paign
/or< or to give referrals to persons /ho (ight help in the ca(paign, for soliciting (oney for the ca(paign, an) for
receiving an) )istributing ca(paign posters in bul<'

%ancuso, on the other han), involves, as aforesai), an auto(atic resignation provision' Oenneth #ancuso, a
full ti(e police officer an) classifie) civil service e(ployee of the City of Cranston, file) as a can)i)ate for no(ination as
representative to the Rho)e $slan) 7eneral Asse(bly' "he #ayor of Cranston then began the process of enforcing the
resign-to-run provision of the City >o(e Rule Charter'

Clearly, as the above-cite) H! cases pertain to )ifferent types of la/s an) /ere )eci)e) base) on a )ifferent set
of facts, !etter Carriers an) Broadric@ cannot be interprete) to (ean a reversal of%ancuso. . . . 5italics in the original6

Ae hol), ho/ever, that his position is belie) by a plain rea)ing of these cases' Contrary to his clai(, Letter Carriers,
Broadrick and Mancuso all concerned the constitutionality of resign-to-run laws, i".:

5-6 Mancuso involve) a civil service e(ployee /ho file) as a can)i)ate for no(ination as representative to the Rho)e $slan) 7eneral
Asse(bly' >e assaile) the constitutionality of Z-2',85c6 of the City >o(e Rule Charter, /hich prohibits Fcontinuing in the
classified serice of the city after 'ecoming a candidate for nomination or election to any pu'lic office.G

5*6 Letter Carriers involve) plaintiffs /ho allege) that the Civil !ervice Co((ission /as enforcing, or threatening to enforce, the
>atch Act@s prohibition against Factive participation in political (anage(ent or political ca(paignsG
04+1
/ith respect to certain
)efine) activities in /hich they )esire) to engage' "he plaintiffs relevant to this )iscussion are:

5a6 "he National Association of Letter Carriers, /hich allege) that its (e(bers /ere )esirous of, a(ong others,
running in local elections for offices such as school boar) (e(ber, city council (e(ber or (ayorE
5b6 Plaintiff 7ee, /ho allege) that he )esire) to, but )i) not, file as a can)i)ate for the office of Borough
Council(an in his local co((unity for fear that his participation in a partisan election /oul) en)anger his
CobE an)
5c6 Plaintiff #yers, /ho allege) that he )esire) to run as a Republican can)i)ate in the -89- partisan election
for the (ayor of Aest Lafayette, $n)iana, an) that he /oul) )o so e.cept for fear of losing his Cob by
reason of violation of the >atch Act'

"he >atch Act )efines Factive participation in political (anage(ent or political ca(paignsG by cross-referring to the rules (a)e
by the Civil !ervice Co((ission' "he rule pertinent to our in;uiry states:

+,' Candidacy for local office: Candidacy for a nomination or for election to any &ational, State,
county, or municipal office is not permissi'le' "he prohibition against political activity e.ten)s not
(erely to for(al announce(ent of can)i)acy but also to the preli(inaries lea)ing to such
announce(ent an) to canvassing or soliciting support or )oing or per(itting to be )one any act in
furtherance of can)i)acy' "he fact that can)i)acy, is (erely passive is i((aterialE if an e(ployee
ac;uiesces in the efforts of frien)s in furtherance of such can)i)acy such ac;uiescence constitutes an
infraction of the prohibitions against political activity' 5italics supplie)6

!ection 85b6 re;uires the i((e)iate re(oval of violators an) forbi)s the use of appropriate) fun)s thereafter to pay
co(pensation to these persons'
0421

5+6 Broadrick /as a class action brought by certain O<laho(a state e(ployees see<ing a )eclaration of unconstitutionality of t/o
sub-paragraphs of !ection :-: of O<laho(a@s #erit !yste( of Personnel A)(inistration Act' !ection :-: 596, the paragraph
relevant to this )iscussion, states that FTnUo employee in the classified serice shall 'e R a candidate for nomination or election
to any paid pu'lic officeRG %iolation of !ection :-: results in )is(issal fro( e(ploy(ent, possible cri(inal sanctions an)
li(ite) state e(ploy(ent ineligibility'

Conse;uently, it cannot be )enie) that Letter Carriers an) Broadrick effectively overrule) Mancuso. By no stretch of the
i(agination coul) Mancuso still be hel) operative, as Letter Carriers an) Broadrick 5i6 concerne) virtually i)entical resign-to-run la/s, an)
5ii6 /ere )eci)e) by a superior court, the Hnite) !tates !upre(e Court' $t /as thus not surprising for the =irst Circuit Court of Appeals I the
sa(e court that )eci)e) Mancuso I to hol) categorically and emphatically in Magill v. Lynch
0431
thatMancuso is no longer good law' As /e
priorly e.plaine):

Magill involve) Pa/tuc<et, Rho)e $slan) fire(en /ho ran for city office in -893' Pa/tuc<et@s FLittle >atch
ActG prohibits city e(ployees fro( engaging in a broa) range of political activities' Beco(ing a can)i)ate for any city
office is specifically proscribe),
0441
the violation being punishe) by re(oval fro( office or i((e)iate )is(issal' "he
fire(en brought an action against the city officials on the groun) that that the provision of the city charter /as
unconstitutional' However, the court, fully cognizant of etter Carriers and Broadrick$ took the position
that Iancuso had since lost considerable vitality. It observed that the view that political candidacy was a
fundamental interest which could be infringed upon only if less restrictive alternatives were not available, was a
position which was no longer viable, since the Supreme Court (finding that the government`s interest in regulating
both the conduct and speech of its employees differed significantly from its interest in regulating those of the
citizenry in general) had given little weight to the argument that prohibitions against the coercion of government
employees were a less drastic means to the same end, deferring to the judgment of Congress, and applying a
~balancing test to determine whether limits on political activity by public employees substantially served
government interests which were ~important enough to outweigh the employees` First Amendment rights.
67]

$t (ust be note) that the Court of Appeals rule) in this (anner even though the election in Magill /as
characteri?e) as nonpartisan, as it /as reasonable for the city to fear, un)er the circu(stances of that case, that politically
active bureaucrats (ight use their official po/er to help political frien)s an) hurt political foes' Rule) the court:

"he ;uestion before us is /hether Pa/tuc<etSs charter provision, /hich bars a city
e(ployeeSs can)i)acy in even a nonpartisan city election, is constitutional' "he issue co(pels us to
e.trapolate t/o recent !upre(e Court )ecisions, Ciil Serice Comm8n . &at8l Ass8n of !etter
Carriers an) Broadric@ . /@lahoma' Both )ealt /ith la/s barring civil servants fro( partisan
political activity' !etter Carriers reaffir(e) Cnited Pu'lic 7or@ers . %itchell, uphol)ing the
constitutionality of the >atch Act as to fe)eral e(ployees' Broa)ric< sustaine)O<laho(aSs FLittle
>atch ActG against constitutional attac<, li(iting its hol)ing to O<laho(aSs construction that the Act
barre) only activity in partisan politics' In %ancuso . #aft, we assumed that proscriptions of
candidacy in nonpartisan elections would not 'e constitutional. !etter Carriers and Broadric@
compel new analysis.

. . . .

Ahat /e are obligate) to )o in this case, as the )istrict court recogni?e), is to apply the
CourtIs interest 'alancing approach to the @ind of nonpartisan election reveale) in this recor)' 7e
'eliee that the district court found more residual igor in our opinion in %ancuso . #aft than
remains after !etter Carriers. 7e hae particular reference to our iew that political candidacy was
a fundamental interest which could 'e trenched upon only if less restrictie alternaties were not
aaila'le. 7hile this approach may still 'e ia'le for citi"ens who are not goernment employees,
the Court in !etter Carriers recogni"ed that the goernment8s interest in regulating 'oth the conduct
and speech of its employees differs significantly from its interest in regulating those of the citi"enry
in general' Not only /as Hnite) Public Aor<ers v' #itchell VunhesitatinglyV reaffir(e), but the
Court gave little /eight to the argu(ent that prohibitions against the coercion of govern(ent
e(ployees /ere a less )rastic (eans to the sa(e en), )eferring to the Cu)g(ent of the Congress' Ae
cannot be (ore precise than the "hir) Circuit in characteri?ing the CourtSs approach as Vso(e sort of
SbalancingS processV'
04:1
$t appears that the govern(ent (ay place li(its on ca(paigning by public
e(ployees if the li(its substantially serve govern(ent interests that are Vi(portantV enough to
out/eigh the e(ployeesS =irst A(en)(ent rights' . . . 5italics supplie)6

Hphol)ing thus the constitutionality of the la/ in ;uestion, the Magill court )etaile) the (aCor govern(ental
interests )iscusse) in Letter Carriers an) applie) the( to the Pa/tuc<et provision as follo/s:

$n !etter Carriers0,1 the first interest i)entifie) by the Court /as that of an efficient
govern(ent, faithful to the Congress rather than to party' "he )istrict court )iscounte) this interest,
reasoning that can)i)ates in a local election /oul) not li<ely be co((itte) to a state or national
platfor(' "his observation un)oubte)ly has substance insofar as allegiance to broa) policy positions
is concerne)' But a )ifferent <in) of possible political intrusion into efficient a)(inistration coul) be
thought to threaten (unicipal govern(ent: not into broa) policy )ecisions, but into the particulars of
a)(inistration favoritis( in (inute )ecisions affecting /elfare, ta. assess(ents, (unicipal contracts
an) purchasing, hiring, ?oning, licensing, an) inspections' &ust as the Court in !etter
Carriers i)entifie) a secon) govern(ental interest in the avoi)ance of the appearance of Vpolitical
CusticeV as to policy, so there is an e;uivalent interest in avoi)ing the appearance of political
prefer(ent in privileges, concessions, an) benefits' "he appearance 5or reality6 of favoritis( that the
charterSs authors evi)ently feare) is not e.orcise) by the nonpartisan character of the for(al election
process' Ahere, as here, party support is a <ey to successful ca(paigning, an) party rivalry is the
nor(, the city (ight reasonably fear that politically active bureaucrats /oul) use their official po/er
to help political frien)s an) hurt political foes' "his is not to say that the citySs interest in visibly fair
an) effective a)(inistration necessarily Custifies a blan<et prohibition of all e(ployee ca(paigningE
if parties are not heavily involve) in a ca(paign, the )anger of favoritis( is less, for neither frien)
nor foe is as easily i)entifie)'

A secon) (aCor govern(ental interest i)entifie) in !etter Carriers /as avoi)ing the
)anger of a po/erful political (achine' "he Court ha) in (in) the large an) gro/ing fe)eral
bureaucracy an) its partisan potential' "he )istrict court felt this /as only a (inor threat since
parties ha) no control over no(inations' But in fact can)i)ates sought party en)orse(ents, an) party
en)orse(ents prove) to be highly effective both in )eter(ining /ho /oul) e(erge fro( the pri(ary
election an) /ho /oul) be electe) in the final election' Hn)er the prevailing custo(s, <no/n party
affiliation an) support /ere highly significant factors in Pa/tuc<et elections' "he charterSs authors
(ight reasonably have feare) that a politically active public /or< force /oul) give the incu(bent
party, an) the incu(bent /or<ers, an unbrea<able grasp on the reins of po/er' $n (unicipal
elections especially, the s(all si?e of the electorate an) the li(ite) po/ers of local govern(ent (ay
inhibit the gro/th of interest groups po/erful enough to outbalance the /eight of a partisan /or<
force' Even /hen nonpartisan issues an) can)i)acies are at sta<e, isolate) govern(ent e(ployees
(ay see< to influence voters or their co-/or<ers i(properlyE but a (ore real )anger is that a central
party structure /ill (ass the scattere) po/ers of govern(ent /or<ers behin) a single party platfor(
or slate' Occasional (isuse of the public trust to pursue private political en)s is tolerable, especially
because the political vie/s of in)ivi)ual e(ployees (ay balance each other out' But party )iscipline
eli(inates this )iversity an) ten)s to (a<e abuse syste(atic' $nstea) of a han)ful of e(ployees
pressure) into a)vancing their i((e)iate superiorSs political a(bitions, the entire govern(ent /or<
force (ay be e.pecte) to turn out for (any can)i)ates in every election' $n Pa/tuc<et, /here parties
are a continuing presence in political ca(paigns, a carefully orchestrate) use of city e(ployees in
support of the incu(bent partySs can)i)ates is possible' "he )anger is scarcely lessene) by the
openness ofPa/tuc<etSs no(inating proce)ure or the lac< of party labels on its ballots'

"he thir) area of proper govern(ental interest in !etter Carriers /as ensuring that
e(ployees achieve a)vance(ent on their (erits an) that they be free fro( both coercion an) the
prospect of favor fro( political activity' "he )istrict court )i) not a))ress this factor, but loo<e)
only to the possibility of a civil servant using his position to influence voters, an) hel) this to be no
(ore of a threat than in the (ost nonpartisan of elections' But /e thin< that the possibility of
coercion of e(ployees by superiors re(ains as strong a factor in (unicipal elections as it /as
in !etter Carriers' Once again, it is the syste(atic an) coor)inate) e.ploitation of public servants
for political en)s that a legislature is (ost li<ely to see as the pri(ary threat of e(ployeesS rights'
Political oppression of public e(ployees /ill be rare in an entirely nonpartisan syste(' !o(e
superiors (ay be incline) to ri)e her) on the politics of their e(ployees even in a nonpartisan
conte.t, but /ithout party officials loo<ing over their shoul)ers (ost supervisors /ill prefer to let
e(ployees go their o/n /ays'

$n short, the govern(ent (ay constitutionally restrict its e(ployeesS participation in
no(inally nonpartisan elections if political parties play a large role in the ca(paigns' $n the absence
of substantial party involve(ent, on the other han), the interests i)entifie) by the !etter
Carriers Court lose (uch of their force' Ahile the e(ployeesS =irst A(en)(ent rights /oul)
nor(ally outbalance these )i(inishe) interests, /e )o not suggest that they /oul) al/ays )o so'
Even /hen parties are absent, (any e(ployee ca(paigns (ight be thought to en)anger at least one
strong public interest, an interest that loo(s larger in the conte.t of (unicipal elections than it )oes
in the national elections consi)ere) in !etter Carriers' "he city coul) reasonably fear the prospect of
a subor)inate running )irectly against his superior or running for a position that confers great po/er
over his superior' An e(ployee of a fe)eral agency /ho see<s a Congressional seat poses less of a
)irect challenge to the co((an) an) )iscipline of his agency than a fire(an or police(an /ho runs
for (ayor or city council' "he possibilities of internal )iscussion, cli;ues, an) political bargaining,
shoul) an e(ployee gather substantial political support, are consi)erable' 5citations o(itte)6

"he court, ho/ever, re(an)e) the case to the )istrict court for further procee)ings in respect of the petitioners@
overbrea)th charge' Noting that invali)ating a statute for being overbroa) is Fnot to be ta<en lightly, (uch less to be ta<en
in the )ar<,G the court hel):

"he governing case is Broadric@, /hich intro)uce) the )octrine of VsubstantialV
overbrea)th in a closely analogous case' Hn)er Broadric@, /hen one /ho challenges a la/ has
engage) in constitutionally unprotecte) con)uct 5rather than unprotecte) speech6 an) /hen the
challenge) la/ is ai(e) at unprotecte) con)uct, Vthe overbrea)th of a statute (ust not only be real,
but substantial as /ell, Cu)ge) in relation to the statuteSs plainly legiti(ate s/eep'V "/o (aCor
uncertainties atten) the )octrine: ho/ to )istinguish speech fro( con)uct, an) ho/ to )efine
VsubstantialV overbrea)th' Ae are spare) the first in;uiry by Broadric@ itself' "he plaintiffs in that
case ha) solicite) support for a can)i)ate, an) they /ere subCect to )iscipline un)er a la/
proscribing a /i)e range of activities, inclu)ing soliciting contributions for political can)i)ates an)
beco(ing a can)i)ate' "he Court foun) that this co(bination re;uire) a substantial overbrea)th
approach' "he facts of this case are so si(ilar that /e (ay reach the sa(e result /ithout /orrying
un)uly about the so(eti(es opa;ue )istinction bet/een speech an) con)uct'

"he secon) )ifficulty is not so easily )ispose) of' Broadric@ foun) no substantial
overbrea)th in a statute restricting partisan ca(paigning' Pa/tuc<et has gone further, banning
participation in nonpartisan ca(paigns as /ell' %easuring the su'stantiality of a statute8s
oer'readth apparently re1uires, inter alia, a rough 'alancing of the num'er of alid applications
compared to the num'er of potentially inalid applications. Some sensitiity to reality is neededN an
inalid application that is far6fetched does not desere as much weight as one that is pro'a'le. #he
1uestion is a matter of degreeN it will neer 'e possi'le to say that a ratio of one inalid to nine alid
applications ma@es a law su'stantially oer'road. Still, an oer'readth challenger has a duty to
proide the court with some idea of the num'er of potentially inalid applications the statute
permits' Often, si(ply rea)ing the statute in the light of co((on e.perience or litigate) cases /ill
suggest a nu(ber of probable invali) applications' But this case is )ifferent' Ahether the statute is
overbroa) )epen)s in large part on the nu(ber of elections that are insulate) fro( party rivalry yet
close) to Pa/tuc<et e(ployees' =or all the recor) sho/s, every one of the city, state, or fe)eral
elections in Pa/tuc<et is actively conteste) by political parties' Certainly the recor) suggests that
parties play a (aCor role even in ca(paigns that often are entirely nonpartisan in other cities' !chool
co((ittee can)i)ates, for e.a(ple, are en)orse) by the local e(ocratic co((ittee'

#he state of the record does not permit us to find oer'readthN indeed such a step is not
to 'e ta@en lightly, much less to 'e ta@en in the dar@' On the other han), the entire focus belo/, in
the short perio) before the election /as hel), /as on the constitutionality of the statute as applie)'
Plaintiffs (ay very /ell feel that further efforts are not Custifie), 'ut they should 'e afforded the
opportunity to demonstrate that the charter forecloses access to a significant num'er of offices, the
candidacy for which 'y municipal employees would not pose the possi'le threats to goernment
efficiency and integrity which !etter Carriers, as we hae interpreted it, deems significant'
Accor)ingly, /e re(an) for consi)eration of plaintiffsS overbrea)th clai(' 5italics supplie), citations
o(itte)6

Clearly, etter Carriers$ Broadrick$ and Iagill demonstrate beyond doubt that Iancuso !. Taft$ heavily
relied upon by the ponencia$ has effectively been overruled.
0481
As it is no longer goo) la/, the ponenciaIs e.hortation
that F0since1 the A(ericans, fro( /ho( /e copie) the provision in ;uestion, ha) alrea)y stric<en )o/n a si(ilar (easure
for being unconstitutional0,1 it is high-ti(e that /e, too, shoul) follo/ suitG is (isplace) an) un/arrante)'
09,1

Accor)ingly, our assaile) ecision@s sub(ission that the right to run for public office is Fine.tricably lin<e)G /ith t/o fun)a(ental
free)o(s I those of e.pression an) association I lies on barren groun)' A(erican case la/ has in fact never recognized a fundamental right to
express one`s political views through candidacy,
09-1
as to invoke a rigorous standard of review.
09*1
Bart v. Telford
,-(/
pointe)ly state) that
F0t1he =irst A(en)(ent )oes not in ter(s confer a right to run for public office, an) this court has hel) that it )oes not )o so by i(plication
either'G "hus, one@s interest in see<ing office, by itself, is not entitle) to constitutional protection'
0921
#oreover, one cannot bring one@s action
un)er the rubric of free)o( of association, absent any allegation that, by running for an elective position, one is a)vancing the political i)eas of a
particular set of voters'
0931

Prescin)ing fro( these pre(ises, it is crystal clear that the provisions challenge) in the case at bar, are not violative of the e;ual protection
clause' "he )ee(e)-resigne) provisions substantially serve govern(ental interests 5i.e., 5i6 efficient civil service faithful to the govern(ent an)
the people rather than to partyE 5ii6 avoi)ance of the appearance of Fpolitical CusticeG as to policyE 5iii6 avoi)ance of the )anger of a po/erful
political (achineE an) 5iv6 ensuring that e(ployees achieve a)vance(ent on their (erits an) that they be free fro( both coercion an) the
prospect of favor fro( political activity6. "hese are interests that are i(portant enough to out/eigh the non-fun)a(ental right of appointive
officials an) e(ployees to see< elective office'

4n passant, /e fin) it ;uite ironic that #r' &ustice Nachura cites Clements v. Fashing
0941
an) Morial, et al. v. 1udiciary Commission of
the State of Louisiana, et al.
0991
to buttress his )issent' #aintaining that resign-to-run provisions are vali) only /hen (a)e applicable to specifie)
officials, he e.plains:

NH'!' courts, in subse;uent cases, sustaine) the constitutionality of resign-to-run provisions /hen applie) to specified or
particular officials, as distinguished from all others,
09:1
under a classification that is germane to the purposes of the
law. "hese resign-to-run legislations were not expressed in a general and sweeping provision, an) thus did not violate
the test of being germane to the purpose of the law, the secon) re;uisite for a vali) classification' irecte), as they
/ere, to particular officials, they /ere not overly enco(passing as to be overbroa)' 5e(phasis in the original6
"his rea)ing is a regrettable (isrepresentation of Clements an) Morial' "he resign-to-run provisions in these cases /ere uphel) not
because they referre) to specifie) or particular officials 5vis-]-vis a general class6E the ;uestione) provisions /ere foun) vali) precisely because
the Court deferred to legislative judgment and found that a regulation is not devoid of a rational predicate simply because it happens to
be incomplete' $n fact, the e;ual protection challenge in Clements revolve) aroun) the clai( that the !tate of "e.as faile) to e.plain
/hy some public officials are subCect to the resign-to-run provisions, /hile others are not' Rule) the Hnite) !tates !upre(e Court:

Article R%$, Z 43, of the "e.as Constitution provi)es that the hol)ers of certain offices auto(atically resign
their positions if they beco(e can)i)ates for any other electe) office, unless the une.pire) portion of the current ter( is
one year or less' "he bur)ens that Z 43 i(poses on can)i)acy are even less substantial than those i(pose) by Z -8' "he t/o
provisions, of course, serve essentially the sa(e state interests' "he istrict Court foun) Z 43 )eficient, ho/ever, not
because of the nature or e.tent of the provisionSs restriction on can)i)acy, but because of the (anner in /hich the offices
are classifie)'According to the ,istrict Court, the classification system cannot surie e1ual protection scrutiny, 'ecause
#e+as has failed to e+plain sufficiently why some elected pu'lic officials are su'ject to V FG and why others are not. As
with the case of V :=, we conclude that V FG suries a challenge under the 41ual Protection Clause unless appellees can
show that there is no rational predicate to the classification scheme'

#he history 'ehind V FG shows that it may 'e upheld consistent with the Oone step at a timeO approach that this
Court has underta@en with regard to state regulation not su'ject to more igorous scrutiny than that sanctioned 'y the
traditional principles' !ection 43 /as enacte) in -832 as a transitional provision applying only to the -832 election'
!ection 43 e.ten)e) the ter(s of those offices enu(erate) in the provision fro( t/o to four years' "he provision also
staggere) the ter(s of other offices so that at least so(e county an) local offices /oul) be conteste) at each election' "he
auto(atic resignation proviso to Z 43 /as not a))e) until -83:' $n that year, a si(ilar auto(atic resignation provision /as
a))e) in Art' R$, Z --, /hich applies to officehol)ers in ho(e rule cities /ho serve ter(s longer than t/o years' !ection --
allo/s ho(e rule cities the option of e.ten)ing the ter(s of (unicipal offices fro( t/o to up to four years'

"hus, the auto(atic resignation provision in "e.as is a creature of the !tateSs electoral refor(s of -83:' #hat
the State did not go further in applying the automatic resignation proision to those officeholders whose terms were not
e+tended 'y V :: or V FG, a'sent an inidious purpose, is not the sort of malfunctioning of the State8s lawma@ing process
for'idden 'y the 41ual Protection Clause. A regulation is not deoid of a rational predicate simply 'ecause it happens to
'e incomplete' "he E;ual Protection Clause )oes not forbi) "e.as to restrict one electe) officehol)erSs can)i)acy for
another electe) office unless an) until it places si(ilar restrictions on other officehol)ers' "he provisionSs language an) its
history belie any notion that Z 43 serves the invi)ious purpose of )enying access to the political process to i)entifiable
classes of potential can)i)ates' 5citations o(itte) an) italics supplie)6

=urther(ore, it is unfortunate that the )issenters too< the Morial line that Fthere is no blan<et approval of restrictions on the right of
public e(ployees to beco(e can)i)ates for public officeG out of conte.t' A correct rea)ing of that line rea)ily sho/s that the Court only (eant to
confine its ruling to the facts of that case, as each e;ual protection challenge /oul) necessarily have to involve /eighing govern(ental interests
vis-]-vis the specific prohibition assaile)' "he Court hel):

"he interests of public e(ployees in free e.pression an) political association are un;uestionably entitle) to the protection
of the first an) fourteenth a(en)(ents' Nothing in to)aySs )ecision shoul) be ta<en to i(ply that public e(ployees (ay be
prohibite) fro( e.pressing their private vie/s on controversial topics in a (anner that )oes not interfere /ith the proper
perfor(ance of their public )uties' $n to)aySs )ecision, there is no blan<et approval of restrictions on the right of public
e(ployees to beco(e can)i)ates for public office' Nor )o /e approve any general restrictions on the political an) civil
rights of Cu)ges in particular' /ur holding is necessarily narrowed 'y the methodology employed to reach it' A re;uire(ent
that a state Cu)ge resign his office prior to beco(ing a can)i)ate for non-Cu)icial office bears a reasonably necessary
relation to the achieve(ent of the stateSs interest in preventing the actuality or appearance of Cu)icial i(propriety' !uch a
re;uire(ent offen)s neither the first a(en)(entSs guarantees of free e.pression an) association nor the fourteenth
a(en)(entSs guarantee of e;ual protection of the la/s' 5italics supplie)6

$n)ee), the Morial court even ;uote) Broadrick an) state) that:

$n any event, the legislature (ust have so(e lee/ay in )eter(ining /hich of its e(ploy(ent positions re;uire restrictions
on partisan political activities an) /hich (ay be left unregulate)' An) a !tate can har)ly be faulte) for atte(pting to li(it
the positions upon /hich such restrictions are place)' 5citations o(itte)6


V.
Section 4(a) of Resolution 8678, Section 13 of RA 9369,
and Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code
Do Not Suffer from Overbreadth

Apart fro( nullifying !ection 25a6 of Resolution :49:, !ection -+ of RA 8+48, an) !ection 44 of the O(nibus Election Co)e on e;ual
protection groun), our assaile) ecision struc< the( )o/n for being overbroa) in t/o respects, i".:

5-6 "he assaile) provisions li(it the can)i)acy of all civil servants hol)ing appointive posts /ithout )ue regar) for the type of position
being hel) by the e(ployee see<ing an elective post an) the )egree of influence that (ay be atten)ant theretoE
0981
an)
5*6 "he assaile) provisions li(it the can)i)acy of any an) all civil servants hol)ing appointive positions /ithout )ue regar) for the
type of office being sought, /hether it be partisan or nonpartisan in character, or in the national, (unicipal or 'arangay level'

Again, on secon) loo<, /e have to revise our assaile) ecision'

i. imitation on Candidacy Regardless of
1ncum"ent Appointi!e )fficials Position$ ;alid

Accor)ing to the assaile) ecision, the challenge) provisions of la/ are overly broa) because they apply in)iscri(inately to all civil
servants hol)ing appointive posts, /ithout )ue regar) for the type of position being hel) by the e(ployee running for elective office an) the
)egree of influence that (ay be atten)ant thereto'

$ts un)erlying assu(ption appears to be that the evils sought to be prevente) are e.tant only /hen the incu(bent appointive official
running for elective office hol)s an influential post'

!uch a (yopic vie/ obviously fails to consi)er a )ifferent, yet e;ually plausible, threat to the govern(ent pose) by the partisan
potential of a large an) gro/ing bureaucracy: the )anger of syste(atic abuse perpetuate) by a Fpo/erful political (achineG that has a(asse) Fthe
scattere) po/ers of govern(ent /or<ersG so as to give itself an) its incu(bent /or<ers an Funbrea<able grasp on the reins of po/er'G
0:,1
As
eluci)ate) in our prior e.position:
0:-1

Atte(pts by govern(ent e(ployees to /iel) influence over others or to (a<e use of their respective positions
5apparently6 to pro(ote their o/n can)i)acy (ay see( tolerable I even innocuous I particularly /hen vie/e) in isolation
fro( other si(ilar atte(pts by other govern(ent e(ployees' Bet it /oul) be )eci)e)ly foolhar)y to )iscount the e;ually
5if not (ore6 realistic an) )angerous possibility that such see(ingly )isCointe) atte(pts, /hen ta<en together, constitute a
veile) effort on the part of an e(erging central party structure to a)vance its o/n agen)a through a Fcarefully orchestrate)
use of 0appointive an)Dor elective1 officialsG co(ing fro( various levels of the bureaucracy'

N0"1he avoi)ance of such a Fpolitically active public /or< forceG /hich coul) give an e(erging political
(achine an Funbrea<able grasp on the reins of po/erG is reason enough to i(pose a restriction on the can)i)acies of all
appointive public officials /ithout further )istinction as to the type of positions being hel) by such e(ployees or the
)egree of influence that (ay be atten)ant thereto' 5citations o(itte)6


ii. imitation on Candidacy
Regardless of Type of )ffice Sought$ ;alid

"he assaile) ecision also hel) that the challenge) provisions of la/ are overly broa) because they are (a)e to apply in)iscri(inately
to all civil servants hol)ing appointive offices, /ithout )ue regar) for the type of elective office being sought, /hether it be partisan or
nonpartisan in character, or in the national, (unicipal or 'arangay level'

"his erroneous ruling is pre(ise) on the assu(ption that Fthe concerns of a truly partisan office an) the te(ptations it fosters are
sufficiently )ifferent fro( those involve) in an office re(ove) fro( regular party politics 0so as1 to /arrant )istinctive treat(ent,G
0:*1
so that
restrictions on can)i)acy a<in to those i(pose) by the challenge) provisions can vali)ly apply only to situations in /hich the elective office
sought is partisan in character' "o the e.tent, therefore, that such restrictions are sai) to preclu)e even can)i)acies for nonpartisan elective
offices, the challenge) restrictions are to be consi)ere) as overbroa)'

Again, a careful stu)y of the challenge) provisions an) relate) la/s on the (atter /ill sho/ that the allege) overbrea)th is (ore
apparent than real' Our e.position on this issue has not been repu)iate), i".:

A perusal of Resolution :49: /ill i((e)iately )isclose that the rules an) gui)elines set forth therein refer to
the filing of certificates of can)i)acy an) no(ination of official can)i)ates of registere)political parties, in connection
with the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections.
,>(/
Obviously, these rules an) gui)elines, inclu)ing the restriction
in !ection 25a6 of Resolution :49:, /ere issue) specifically for purposes of the #ay -,, *,-, National an) Local
Elections, /hich, it (ust be note), are )eci)e)ly partisan in character' "hus, it is clear that the restriction in !ection 25a6 of
RA :49: applies only to the can)i)acies of appointive officials vying for partisan elective posts in the #ay -,, *,-,
National an) Local Elections' On this score, the overbrea)th challenge levele) against !ection 25a6 is clearly unsustainable'

!i(ilarly, a consi)ere) revie/ of !ection -+ of RA 8+48 an) !ection 44 of the O(nibus Election Co)e, in
conCunction /ith other relate) la/s on the (atter, /ill confir( that these provisions are li<e/ise not inten)e) to apply to
elections for nonpartisan public offices'

"he only elections /hich are relevant to the present in;uiry are the elections for barangay offices, since these are
the only elections in this country /hich involve nonpartisan public offices'
0:21

$n this regar), it is /ell to note that fro( as far bac< as the enact(ent of the O(nibus Election Co)e in -8:3,
Congress has inten)e) that these nonpartisan 'arangay elections be governe) by special rules, inclu)ing a separate rule on
)ee(e) resignations /hich is foun) in !ection +8 of the O(nibus Election Co)e' !ai) provision states:

!ection +8' Certificate of Can)i)acy' I No person shall be electe) punong 'arangay or @agawad ng
sangguniang 'arangay unless he files a s/orn certificate of can)i)acy in triplicate on any )ay fro(
the co((ence(ent of the election perio) but not later than the )ay before the beginning of the
ca(paign perio) in a for( to be prescribe) by the Co((ission' "he can)i)ate shall state the
barangay office for /hich he is a can)i)ate'

. . . .

Any electie or appointie municipal, city, proincial or national official or employee, or those in
the ciil or military serice, including those in goernment6owned or6controlled corporations, shall
'e considered automatically resigned upon the filing of certificate of candidacy for a 'arangay
office'

!ince 'arangay elections are governe) by a separate )ee(e) resignation rule, un)er the present state of la/,
there /oul) be no occasion to apply the restriction on can)i)acy foun) in !ection 44 of the O(nibus Election Co)e, an)
later reiterate) in the proviso of !ection -+ of RA 8+48, to any election other than a partisan one' =or this reason, the
overbrea)th challenge raise) against !ection 44 of the O(nibus Election Co)e an) the pertinent proviso in !ection -+ of
RA 8+48 (ust also fail'
0:31


$n any event, even if /e /ere to assu(e, for the sa<e of argu(ent, that !ection 44 of the O(nibus Election Co)e an) the
correspon)ing provision in !ection -+ of RA 8+48 are general rules that apply also to elections for nonpartisan public offices, the overbrea)th
challenge /oul) still be futile' Again, /e e.plaine):

$n the first place, the vie/ that Congress is li(ite) to controlling only partisan behavior has not receive)
Cu)icial i(pri(atur, because the general proposition of the relevant H! cases on the (atter is si(ply that the govern(ent
has an interest in regulating the con)uct an) speech of its e(ployees that )iffers significantly fro( those it possesses in
connection /ith regulation of the speech of the citi?enry in general'
0:41

#oreover, in or)er to have a statute )eclare) as unconstitutional or voi) on its face for being overly broa),
particularly /here, as in this case, Fcon)uctG an) not Fpure speechG is involve), the overbrea)th (ust not only be real, but
substantial as /ell, Cu)ge) in relation to the statute@s plainly legiti(ate s/eep'
0:91

$n operational ter(s, (easuring the substantiality of a statute@s overbrea)th /oul) entail, a(ong other things, a
rough balancing of the nu(ber of vali) applications co(pare) to the nu(ber of potentially invali) applications'
0::1
$n this
regar), so(e sensitivity to reality is nee)e)E an invali) application that is far-fetche) )oes not )eserve as (uch /eight as
one that is probable'
0:81
"he ;uestion is a (atter of )egree'
08,1
"hus, assu(ing for the sa<e of argu(ent that the partisan-
nonpartisan )istinction is vali) an) necessary such that a statute /hich fails to (a<e this )istinction is susceptible to an
overbrea)th attac<, the overbrea)th challenge presently (ounte) (ust )e(onstrate or provi)e this Court /ith so(e i)ea of
the nu(ber of potentially invali) elections 5i'e' the nu(ber of elections that /ere insulate) fro( party rivalry but /ere
nevertheless close) to appointive e(ployees6 that (ay in all probability result fro( the enforce(ent of the statute'
08-1


"he state of the recor), ho/ever, )oes not per(it us to fin) overbrea)th' Borro/ing fro( the /or)s of %agill .
!ynch, in)ee), such a step is not to be ta<en lightly, (uch less to be ta<en in the )ar<,
08*1
especially since an overbrea)th
fin)ing in this case /oul) effectively prohibit the !tate fro( Wenforcing an other/ise vali) (easure against con)uct that is
a)(itte)ly /ithin its po/er to proscribe'@
08+1


"his Court /oul) )o /ell to procee) /ith tiptoe caution, particularly /hen it co(es to the application of the overbrea)th )octrine in
the analysis of statutes that purporte)ly atte(pt to restrict or bur)en the e.ercise of the right to free)o( of speech, for such approach is
(anifestly strong (e)icine that (ust be use) sparingly, an) only as a last resort'
0821

$n the Hnite) !tates, clai(s of facial overbrea)th have been entertaine) only /here, in the Cu)g(ent of the court, the possibility that
protecte) speech of others (ay be (ute) an) perceive) grievances left to fester 5)ue to the possible inhibitory effects of overly broa) statutes6
out/eighs the possible har( to society in allo/ing so(e unprotecte) speech or con)uct to go unpunishe)'
0831
=acial overbrea)th has li<e/ise not
been invo<e) /here a li(iting construction coul) be place) on the challenge) statute, an) /here there are rea)ily apparent constructions that
/oul) cure, or at least substantially re)uce, the allege) overbrea)th of the statute'
0841

$n the case at bar, the probable har( to society in per(itting incu(bent appointive officials to re(ain in office, even as they actively
pursue elective posts, far out/eighs the less li<ely evil of having arguably protecte) can)i)acies bloc<e) by the possible inhibitory effect of a
potentially overly broa) statute'

$n this light, the conceivably i(per(issible applications of the challenge) statutes I /hich are, at best, bol) pre)ictions I cannot
Custify invali)ating these statutes in toto an) prohibiting the !tate fro( enforcing the( against con)uct that is, an) has for (ore than -,, years
been, un;uestionably /ithin its po/er an) interest to proscribe'
0891
$nstea), the (ore pru)ent approach /oul) be to )eal /ith these conceivably
i(per(issible applications through case-by-case a)Cu)ication rather than through a total invali)ation of the statute itself'
08:1

$n)ee), the ano(alies spa/ne) by our assaile) ecision have ta<en place' $n his #otion for Reconsi)eration, intervenor rilon state)
that a nu(ber of high-ran<ing Cabinet (e(bers ha) alrea)y file) their Certificates of Can)i)acy /ithout relin;uishing their posts'
0881
!everal
CO#ELEC election officers ha) li<e/ise file) their Certificates of Can)i)acy in their respective provinces'
0-,,1
Even the !ecretary of &ustice ha)
file) her certificate of substitution for representative of the first )istrict of Lue?on province last ece(ber -2, *,,8
0-,-1
I even as her position as
&ustice !ecretary inclu)es supervision over the City an) Provincial Prosecutors,
0-,*1
/ho, in turn, act as %ice-Chair(en of the respective Boar)s of
Canvassers'
0-,+1
"he &u)iciary has not been spare), for a Regional "rial Court &u)ge in the !outh has thro/n his hat into the political arena' Ae
cannot allo/ the tilting of our electoral playing fiel) in their favor'

=or the foregoing reasons, /e no/ rule that !ection 25a6 of Resolution :49: an) !ection -+ of RA 8+48, /hich (erely reiterate
!ection 44 of the O(nibus Election Co)e, are not unconstitutionally overbroa)'

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Court RE!OL%E! to 7RAN" the respon)ent@s an) the intervenors@ #otions for Reconsi)erationE
RE%ER!E an) !E" A!$E this Court@s ece(ber -, *,,8 ecisionE $!#$!! the PetitionE an) $!!HE this Resolution )eclaring as not
HNCON!"$"H"$ONAL 5-6 !ection 25a6 of CO#ELEC Resolution No' :49:, 5*6 the secon) proviso in the thir) paragraph of !ection -+ of
Republic Act No' 8+48, an) 5+6 !ection 44 of the O(nibus Election Co)e'

SO ORDERED.



REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice


AE CONCHR:



ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate &ustice





RENATO C. CORONA CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




PRESBITERO 1. VELASCO, 1R. ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




TERESITA 1. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO ARTURO D. BRION
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice






DIOSDADO M. PERALTA LUCAS P. BERSAMIN
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO ROBERTO A. ABAD
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




MARTIN S. VILLARAMA, 1R. 1OSE PORTUGAL PEREZ
Associate &ustice Associate &ustice




1OSE C. MENDOZA
Associate &ustice


C E R T I F I C A T I O N

Pursuant to !ection -+, Article %$$$ of the Constitution, $ certify that the conclusions in the above resolution ha) been reache) in
consultation before the case /as assigne) to the /riter of the opinion of the Court'



REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief &ustice

0-1
Penne) by &ustice Antonio E)uar)o B' Nachura, the ecision /as pro(ulgate) on a vote of :-4' &ustices Corona, Chico-Na?ario, %elasco,
Leonar)o-e Castro, Brion, Bersa(in, an) el Castillo concurre)' &ustices Peralta, Aba) an) %illara(a Coine) the issenting Opinion of Chief
&ustice Puno, /hile &ustices Carpio an) Carpio #orales /rote separate issenting Opinions'
0*1
!EC' -3' /fficial Ballot. D
. . . .
=or this purpose, the Co((ission shall set the )ea)line for the filing of the certificate of can)i)acyDpetition of registrationD(anifestation to
participate in the election' Any person /ho files his certificate of can)i)acy /ithin this perio) shall only be consi)ere) as a can)i)ate at the start
of the ca(paign perio) for /hich he file) his certificate of can)i)acy: Provi)e), "hat, unla/ful acts or o(issions applicable to a can)i)ate shall
ta<e effect only upon that start of the ca(paign perio): Proided, finally, #hat any person holding a pu'lic appointie office or position,
including actie mem'ers of the armed forces, and officers and employees in goernment6owned or6controlled corporations, shall 'e considered
ipso facto resigned from his?her office and must acate the same at the start of the day of the filing of his?her certification of candidacy' 5italics
supplie)6
0+1
!EC"$ON 44' Candidates holding appointie office or positions' T Any person hol)ing a public appointive office or position, inclu)ing active
(e(bers of the Ar(e) =orces of the Philippines, an) officers an) e(ployees in govern(ent-o/ne) or controlle) corporations, shall be
consi)ere) ipso facto resigne) fro( his office upon the filing of his certificate of can)i)acy'
021
!EC"$ON 2' 4ffects of .iling Certificates of Candidacy.6 a6 Any person hol)ing a public appointive office or position inclu)ing active
(e(bers of the Ar(e) =orces of the Philippines, an) other officers an) e(ployees in govern(ent-o/ne) or controlle) corporations, shall be
consi)ere) ipso facto resigne) fro( his office upon the filing of his certificate of can)i)acy'
031
!ec' *' Rules applicable' "he proce)ure in original cases for certiorari, prohibition, (an)a(us, ;uo /arranto an) habeas corpus shall be in
accor)ance /ith the applicable provisions of the Constitution, la/s, an) Rules 24, 2:, 28, 3-, 3* an) this Rule, subCect to the follo/ing
provisions:

a6 All references in sai) Rules to the Court of Appeals shall be un)erstoo) to also apply to the !upre(e CourtE
b6 "he portions of ssai) Rules )ealing strictly /ith an) specifically inten)e) for appeale) cases in the Court of Appeals shall not be
applicableE an)
c6 Eighteen 5-:6 clearly legible copies of the petition shall be file), together /ith proof of service on all a)verse parties'

"he procee)ings for )isciplinary action against (e(bers of the Cu)iciary shall be governe) by the la/s an) Rules prescribe) therefor, an) those
against attorneys by Rule -+8-B, as a(en)e)'
041
!ection -' Perio) for filing' A party (ay file a (otion for reconsi)eration of a Cu)g(ent or final resolution /ithin fifteen 5-36 )ays fro( notice
thereof, /ith proof of service on the a)verse party'

091
Secretary of Agrarian Reform et al. . #ropical 3omes, 7'R' Nos' -+4:*9 X -+4988, &uly +-, *,,-, +4* !CRA --3'
0:1
#ahanan ,eelopment Corporation . Court of Appeals, 7'R' No' -3399-, -3 Nove(ber -8:*, --: !CRA *9+'
081
,irector of !ands . Court of Appeals, 7'R' No' L-23-4:, !epte(ber *3, -898, 8+ !CRA *+:'
0-,1
%ago . Court of Appeals, 7'R' No' --34*2, =ebruary *3, -888, +,, !CRA 4,,'
0--1
7'R' No' --3,22, &anuary *9, -883, *2, !CRA 428'
0-*1
3eirs of -eronimo Restriera . ,e -u"man, 7'R' No' -2432,, &uly -2, *,,2, 2+2 !CRA 234E /ffice of the /m'udsman . Rolando S.
%iedes, 7'R' No' -942,8, =ebruary *9, *,,:, 329 !CRA -2:'
0-+1
!ee %ago . Court of Appeals, supra note -,'
0-21
%anila Railroad Company . Attorney6-eneral, *, Phil' 3*+, 3*8 5-8-*6' !ee also ,irector of !ands . Court of Appeals, supra note 8 at
*24, an) %ago . Court of Appeals, supra note -, at *+2'
0-31
%anila Railroad Company . Attorney6-eneral, i)' at 3+,'
0-41
#otion for Leave to $ntervene )ate) ece(ber -2, *,,8, p' *'
0-91
!EC"$ON -2' Repealing Clause' T Sections FE an) :3 of the O(nibus Election Co)e 5Batas Pa(bansa Blg' ::-6 an) !ections -, an) -- of
Republic Act No' 4424 are hereby repeale)' As a conse1uence, the first proiso in the third paragraph of Section :: of Repu'lic Act &o. HB)F is
rendered ineffectie. All la/s, presi)ential )ecrees, e.ecutive or)ers, rules an) regulations, or any part thereof inconsistent /ith the provisions of
this Act are hereby repeale) or (o)ifie) or a(en)e) accor)ingly' 5italics supplie)6
0-:1
!EC"$ON 49' Candidates holding electie office' T Any elective official, /hether national or local, running for any office other than the one
/hich he is hol)ing in a per(anent capacity, e.cept for Presi)ent an) %ice-Presi)ent, shall be consi)ere) ipso facto resigne) fro( his office upon
the filing of his certificate of can)i)acy'
0-81
!EC"$ON --' Official Ballot' T
. . . .

=or this purpose, the )ea)line for the filing of certificate of can)i)acyDpetition for registrationD(anifestation to participate in the election shall not
be later than one hun)re) t/enty 5-*,6 )ays before the elections: Provi)e), "hat, any elective official, /hether national or local, running for any
office other than the one /hich heDshe is hol)ing in a per(anent capacity, e.cept for presi)ent an) vice-presi)ent, shall be )ee(e) resigne) only
upon the start of the ca(paign perio) correspon)ing to the position for /hich heDshe is running: Provi)e), further, "hat, . . .' 5italics supplie)6
0*,1
Recor) of the Constitutional Co((ission, %ol' $, p' 3+4'
0*-1
!ection *5-6, Article $R-B, -8:9 Constitution'
0**1
issenting Opinion of &ustice Antonio "' Carpio, p' 3'
0*+1
issenting Opinion of &ustice Conchita Carpio #orales, p' 4'
0*21
Recor) of the Constitutional Co((ission, %ol' $, p' 39+'
0*31
7'R' No' -29+:9, ece(ber -,, *,,+, 2-9 !CRA 3,+'
0*41
$)' at 3*3-3*:'
0*91
#an Chong . Secretary of !a'or, 98 Phil' *28'
0*:1
BenCa(in N' Car)o?o, "he Nature of the &u)icial Process 5Ne/ >aven an) Lon)on: Bale Hniversity Press6, ++-+2 5-8*-6'
0*81
0illanuea, Jr. . Court of Appeals, et al., 7'R' No' -2*829, #arch -8, *,,*, +98 !CRA 24+, 248 citing *- Corpus &uris !ecun)u( Z-8,'
0+,1
$)' at 248-29,'
0+-1
$)' at 29,'
0+*1
Supra note *8'
0++1
$). at 29,'
0+21
#he Philippine Judges Association, et al. . Prado, et al., 7'R' No' -,3+9-, Nove(ber --, -88+, **9 !CRA 9,+, 9-*'
0+31
$)'
0+41
#he &ational Police Commission . ,e -u"man, et al., 7'R' No' -,49*2, =ebruary 8, -882, **8 !CRA :,-, :,8'
0+91
People . Cayat, 4: Phil' -*, -: 5-8+86'
0+:1
ecision, p' *+'
0+81
-reen'erg . 2immelman, 88 N'&' 33*, 399, 282 A'*) *82 5-8:36'
02,1
&ew Jersey State !eague of %unicipalities, et al. . State of &ew Jersey, *39 N'&' !uper' 3,8, 4,: A'*) 843 5-88*6'
02-1
#a+payers Ass8n of 7eymouth #p. . 7eymouth #p., :, N'&' 4, 2,, +42 A'*) -,-4 5-8946'
02*1
Ro''iani . Bur@e, 99 N'&' +:+, +8*-8+, +8, A'*) --28 5-89:6'
02+1
,e -u"man, et al. . Commission on 4lections, 7'R' No' -*8--:, &uly -8, *,,,, ++4 !CRA -::, -89E City of St. !ouis . !i'erman, 329
!'A'*) 23* 5-8996E .irst Ban@ A #rust Co. . Board of -oernors of .ederal Resere System, 4,3 ='!upp' 333 5-8:26E Richardson . Secretary
of !a'or, 4:8 ='*) 4+* 5-8:*6E 3ol'roo@ . !e+mar@ International -roup, Inc., 43 !'A'+) 8,: 5*,,*6'
0221
State . 4wing, 3-: !'A'*) 42+ 5-8936E 7erner . Southern California Associated &ewspapers, +3 Cal'*) -*-, *-4 P'*) :*3 5-83,6'
0231
Cham'er of Commerce of the C.S.A. . &ew Jersey, :8 N'&' -+-, -38, 223 A'*) +3+ 5-8:*6'
0241
7erner . Southern California Associated &ewspapers, supra note 22'
0291
&ewar@ Superior /fficers Ass8n . City of &ewar@, 8: N'&' *-*, **9, 2:4 A'*) +,3 5-8:36E &ew Jersey State !eague of %unicipalities, et al. .
State of &ew Jersey, supra note 2,'
02:1
&ew Jersey State !eague of %unicipalities, et al. . State of &ew Jersey, supra note 2,'
0281
#aule . Santos, et al., 7'R' No' 8,++4, August -*, -88-, *,, !CRA 3-*, 3-8'
03,1
$)'
03-1
issenting Opinion of Chief &ustice Reynato !' Puno, pp' 4,-4-'
03*1
294 ='*) -:9 5-89+6'
03+1
2-+ H'!' 32:, 8+ !'Ct' *::, 5-89+6'
0321
2-+ H'!' 4,-, 8+ !'Ct' *8,: 5-89+6'
0331
!ection 85a6 of the >atch Act provi)es:
An e(ployee in an E.ecutive agency or an in)ivi)ual e(ploye) by the govern(ent of the istrict of Colu(bia (ay not-
5-6 use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering /ith or affecting the result of an electionE
or
5*6 ta<e an active part in political (anage(ent or in political ca(paigns' W=or the purpose of this subsection, the
phrase Wan active part in political (anage(ent or in political ca(paignsS (eans those acts of political
(anage(ent or political ca(paigning /hich /ere prohibite) on the part of e(ployees in the co(petitive
service before &uly -8, -82,, by )eter(inations of the Civil !ervice Co((ission un)er the rules prescribe) by
the Presi)ent'
0341
!ection :-: of O<laho(a@s #erit !yste( of Personnel A)(inistration Act provi)es:
5-6 No person in the classifie) service shall be appointe) to, or )e(ote) or )is(isse) fro( any position in the classifie)
service, or in any /ay favore) or )iscri(inate) against /ith respect to e(ploy(ent in the classifie) service because of his
political or religious opinions or affiliations, or because of race, cree), color or national origin or by reason of any
physical han)icap so long as the physical han)icap )oes not prevent or ren)er the e(ployee less able to )o the /or< for
/hich he is e(ploye)'

5*6 No person shall use or pro(ise to use, )irectly or in)irectly, any official authority or influence, /hether possesse) or
anticipate), to secure or atte(pt to secure for any person an appoint(ent or a)vantage in appoint(ent to a position in the
classifie) service, or an increase in pay or other a)vantage in e(ploy(ent in any such position, for the purpose of
influencing the vote or political action of any person, or for consi)erationE provi)e), ho/ever, that letters of in;uiry,
reco((en)ation an) reference by public e(ployees of public officials shall not be consi)ere) official authority or
influence unless such letter contains a threat, inti(i)ation, irrelevant, )erogatory or false infor(ation'

5+6 No person shall (a<e any false state(ent, certificate, (ar<, rating, or report /ith regar) to any test, certification or
appoint(ent (a)e un)er any provision of this Act or in any (anner co((it any frau) preventing the i(partial e.ecution
of this Act an) rules (a)e hereun)er'

526 No e(ployee of the )epart(ent, e.a(iner, or other person shall )efeat, )eceive, or obstruct any person in his or her
right to e.a(ination, eligibility, certification, or appoint(ent un)er this la/, or furnish to any person any special or secret
infor(ation for the purpose of effecting 5sic6 the rights or prospects of any person /ith respect to e(ploy(ent in the
classifie) service'

536 No person shall, )irectly or in)irectly, give, ren)er, pay, offer, solicit, or accept any (oney, service, or other valuable
consi)eration for or on account of any appoint(ent, propose) appoint(ent, pro(otion, or propose) pro(otion to, or any
a)vantage in, a position in the classifie) service'

546 No e(ployee in the classifie) service, an) no (e(ber of the Personnel Boar) shall, )irectly or in)irectly, solicit,
receive, or in any (anner be concerne) in soliciting or receiving any assess(ent, subscription or contribution for any
political organi?ation, can)i)acy or other political purposeE an) no state officer or state e(ployee in the unclassifie)
service shall solicit or receive any such assess(ent, subscription or contribution fro( an e(ployee in the classifie)
service'

596 No e(ployee in the classifie) service shall be a (e(ber of any national, state or local co((ittee of a political party,
or an officer or (e(ber of a co((ittee of a partisan political club, or a can)i)ate for no(ination or election to any pai)
public office, or shall ta<e part in the (anage(ent or affairs of any political party or in any political ca(paign, e.cept to
e.ercise his right as a citi?en privately to e.press his opinion an) to cast his vote'

5:6 Hpon a sho/ing of substantial evi)ence by the Personnel irector that any officer or e(ployee in the state classifie)
service, has <no/ingly violate any of the provisions of this !ection, the !tate Personnel Boar) shall notify the officer or
e(ployee so charge) an) the appointing authority un)er /hose Curis)iction the officer or e(ployee serves' $f the officer
or e(ployee so )esires, the !tate Personnel Boar) shall hol) a public hearing, or shall authori?e the Personnel irector to
hol) a public hearing, an) sub(it a transcript thereof, together /ith a reco((en)ation, to the !tate Personnel Boar)'
Relevant /itnesses shall be allo/e) to be present an) testify at such hearings' $f the officer or e(ployee shall be foun)
guilty by the !tate Personnel Boar) of the violation of any provision of this !ection, the Boar) shall )irect the appointing
authority to )is(iss such officer or e(ployeeE an) the appointing authority so )irecte) shall co(ply'
0391
!ee also Anderson . 4ans, 44, =*) -3+ 5-8:-6'
03:1
%orial, et al. . Judiciary Commission of the State of !ouisiana, et al., 343 ='*) *83 5-8996'
0381
+8- H'!' 34+, 34:, :: !'Ct' -9+-, -9+2, *, L'E)'*) :-- 5-84:6'
04,1
!ee, e.g., Rosario . Roc@efeller, 2-, H'!' 93*, 8+ !'Ct' -*23, +4 L'E)'*) - 5-89+6E ,unn . Blumstein, 2,3 H'!' ++,, ++4, 8* !'Ct' 883, 888,
+- L'E)'*) *92 5-89*6E Bulloc@ . Carter, 2,3 H'!' -+2, -2,--2-, 8* !'Ct' :28, :32-:33, +- L'E)'*) 8* 5-89*6EJenness . .ortson, 2,+ H'!' 2+-,
8- !'Ct' -89,, *8 L'E)'*) 332 5-89-6E 7illiams . Rhodes, +8+ H'!' *+, +,-+-, :8 !'Ct' 3, -,---, *- L'E)'*) *2 5-84:6'
04-1
Cnited States Ciil Serice Commission . &ational Association of !etter Carriers, A.!6CI/, 2-+ H'!' 32:, 8+ !'Ct' *::,, +9 L'E)'*) 984'
04*1
Connally . -eneral Construction Co., *48 H'!' +:3, +8-, 24 !'Ct' -*4, -*9, 9, L'E)' +** 5-8*46' !ee -rayned . City of Roc@ford, 2,: H'!'
-,2, -,:---2, 8* !'Ct' **82, **8:-*+,*, ++ L'E)'*) *** 5-89*6E Colten . 2entuc@y, 2,9 H'!' -,2, --,----, 8* !'Ct' -83+, -839--83:, +*
L'E)'*) 3:2 5-89*6E Cameron . Johnson, +8, H'!' 4--, 4-4, :: !'Ct' -++3, -++:, *, L'E)'*) -:* 5-84:6'
04+1
!ection 85a6, >atch Act'
0421
$n -83,, !ection 85b6 of the >atch Act /as a(en)e) by provi)ing the e.ception that the Civil !ervice Co((ission, by unani(ous vote, coul)
i(pose a lesser penalty, but in no case less than 8, )ays@ suspension /ithout pay' $n -84*, the perio) /as re)uce) to +, )ays@ suspension /ithout
pay' "he general rule, ho/ever, re(ains to be re(oval fro( office'
0431
34, ='*) ** 5-8996'
0441
"he relevant charter provisions rea) as follo/s:
. . . .
536 No appointe) official, e(ployee or (e(ber of any boar) or co((ission of the city, shall be a (e(ber of any national,
state or local co((ittee of a political party or organi?ation, or an officer of a partisan political organi?ation, or ta<e part in
a political ca(paign, e.cept his right privately to e.press his opinion an) to cast his vote'

546 No appointe) official or e(ployee of the city an) no (e(ber of any boar) or co((ission shall be a can)i)ate for
no(ination or election to any public office, /hether city, state or fe)eral, e.cept electe) (e(bers of boar)s or
co((issions running for re-election, unless he shall have first resigne) his then e(ploy(ent or office'
. . . .
0491
!ee also avis, R., Prohi'iting Pu'lic 4mployee from Running for 4lectie /ffice as 0iolation of 4mployeeIs .ederal Constitutional Rights,
22 A'L'R' =e)' +,4'
04:1
Alderman . Philadelphia 3ousing Authority, 284 ='*) -42, -9- n' 23 5-8926'
0481
.ernande" . State Personnel Board, et al., -93 Ari?' +8, :3* P'*) -**+ 5-88+6'
09,1
issenting Opinion of Chief &ustice Reynato !' Puno, pp' 3--34'
09-1
Carer . ,ennis, -,2 ='+) :29, 43 H!LA *294 5-8896E American Constitutional !aw .oundation, Inc. . %eyer, -*, ='+) -,8*, --,-
5-8896E &AACP, !os Angeles Branch . Jones, -+- ='+) -+-9, -+*2 5-8896E Bra"il6Breashears . Bilandic, 3+ ='+) 9:8, 98* 5-8836' !ee
also Bulloc@ . Carter, supra note 4,, ;uote) in Clements . .ashing, 239 H'!' 839, 84+, -,* !'Ct' *:+4, *:2+, 9+ L'E)'*) 3,: 5-8:*6'
09*1
&ewcom' . Brennan, 33: ='*) :*3 5-8996'
09+1
499 ='*) 4**, 4*2 5-8:*6'
0921
&ewcom' . Brennan, supra note 9*'
0931
$)'
0941
Supra note 9-'
0991
Supra note 3:'
09:1
"he provision in ;uestion in Clements covers istrict Cler<s, County Cler<s, County &u)ges, County "reasurers, Cri(inal istrict
Attorneys, County !urveyors, $nspectors of >i)es an) Ani(als, County Co((issioners, &ustices of the Peace, !heriffs, Assessors an) Collectors
of "a.es, istrict Attorneys, County Attorneys, Public Aeighers, an) Constables' On the other han), the provision in %orial covers Cu)ges
running for non-Cu)icial elective office'
0981
ecision, pp' *3-*4'
0:,1
%agill . !ynch, supra note 43'
0:-1
issenting Opinion of Chief &ustice Reynato !' Puno, p' 4+'
0:*1
ecision, p' *9, citing %ancuso . #aft, supra note 3*'
0:+1
!ee rollo, p'+, /here the titular hea)ing, as /ell as the first paragraph of Resolution :49:, refers to the contents of sai) Resolution as the
F7ui)elines on the =iling of Certificates of Can)i)acy an) No(ination of Official Can)i)ates of Registere) Political Parties in Connection /ith
the #ay -,, *,-, National an) Local Elections'G
0:21
"he Sangguniang 2a'ataan elections, although nonpartisan in character, are not relevant to the present in;uiry, because they are unli<ely to
involve the can)i)acies of appointive public officials'
0:31
issenting Opinion of Chief &ustice Reynato !' Puno, pp' 42-43'
0:41
Smith . 4hrlich, 2+, =' !upp' :-: 5-8946'
0:91
Broadric@ . /@lahoma, supra note 32'
0::1
%agill . !ynch, supra note 43'
0:81
$)'
08,1
$)'
08-1
$)'
08*1
$)'
08+1
Broadric@ . /@lahoma, supra note 32'
0821
$)'
0831
$)'
0841
%ining . 7heeler, +9: =' !upp' ---3 5-8926'
0891
Broadric@ . /@lahoma, supra note 32'
08:1
Aiello . City of 7ilmington, ,elaware, 4*+ ='*) :23 5-8:,6'
0881
#otion for Reconsi)eration )ate) ece(ber -4, *,,8, p' *'
0-,,1
$)' at p' +, citing Comelec wants SC to reerse ruling on goIt e+ecs, Philippine aily $n;uirer, -- ece(ber *,,8, available at
http:DDpolitics'in;uirer'netDvie/'phpUarticleY*,,8-*---*2-+82'
0-,-1
$)', citing ,eanadera files C/C for 5ue"on congress seat, "he Philippine !tar, -3 ece(ber *,,8, available at
http::DD///'philstar'co(DArticle'asp.Uarticle$)Y3+*33*Xpublication!ubCategory$)Y49'
0-,*1
RE%$!E A#$N$!"RA"$%E COE, "$"LE +, BOOO $%, Chapter :, !ec' +8
0-,+1
Republic Act No' 4424, !ec' *,'

EN BANC



LOUIS ~BAROK C. BIRAOGO,
Petitioner,

- versus -

THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010,
Respon)ent'
. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .
REP. EDCEL C. LAGMAN,
REP. RODOLFO B. ALBANO, 1R., REP. SIMEON A.
DATUMANONG, an) REP. ORLANDO B. FUA, SR',
Petitioners,



- versus -








EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, 1R. and
DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT
SECRETARY FLORENCIO B. ABAD,
Respon)ents'
G.R. No. 192935








G.R. No. 193036

Present:

CORONA, C.J.,
CARP$O,
CARP$O #ORALE!,
%ELA!CO, &R',
NAC>HRA,
LEONARO-E CA!"RO,
BR$ON,
PERAL"A,
BER!A#$N,
EL CA!"$LLO,
ABA,
%$LLARA#A, &R',
PEREM,
#ENOMA, an)
!ERENO, JJ'

Pro(ulgate):

ece(ber 9, *,-,

. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- .



D E C I S I O N

I230)JA$ J.+


7hen the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional 'oundaries, it does not assert any superiority oer the
other departmentsN it does not in reality nullify or inalidate an act of the legislature, 'ut only asserts the solemn and
sacred o'ligation assigned to it 'y the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and
to esta'lish for the parties in an actual controersy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them.

--- &ustice &ose P' Laurel
0-1

"he role of the Constitution cannot be overloo<e)' $t is through the Constitution that the fun)a(ental po/ers of govern(ent are establishe),
li(ite) an) )efine), an) by /hich these po/ers are )istribute) a(ong the several )epart(ents'
0*1
"he Constitution is the basic an) para(ount la/
to /hich all other la/s (ust confor( an) to /hich all persons, inclu)ing the highest officials of the lan), (ust )efer'
0+1
Constitutional )octrines
(ust re(ain stea)fast no (atter /hat (ay be the ti)es of ti(e' $t cannot be si(ply (a)e to s/ay an) acco((o)ate the call of situations an)
(uch (ore tailor itself to the /hi(s an) caprices of govern(ent an) the people /ho run it'
021

=or consi)eration before the Court are t/o consoli)ate) cases
031
both of /hich essentially assail the vali)ity an) constitutionality of
E.ecutive Or)er No' -, )ate) &uly +,, *,-,, entitle) PCreating the Philippine #ruth Commission of <>:>.Q


"he first case is 7'R' No' -8*8+3, a special civil action for prohibition institute) by petitioner Louis Biraogo (Biraogo* in his capacity
as a citi?en an) ta.payer' Biraogo assails E.ecutive Or)er No' - for being violative of the legislative po/er of Congress un)er !ection -, Article
%$ of the Constitution
041
as it usurps the constitutional authority of the legislature to create a public office an) to appropriate fun)s therefor'
091

"he secon) case, 7'R' No' -8+,+4, is a special civil action for certiorari an) prohibition file) by petitioners E)cel C' Lag(an, Ro)olfo B'
Albano &r', !i(eon A' atu(anong, an) Orlan)o B' =ua, !r' (petitioners6legislators* as incu(bent (e(bers of the >ouse of Representatives'

"he genesis of the foregoing cases can be trace) to the events prior to the historic #ay *,-, elections, /hen then !enator Benigno !i(eon
A;uino $$$ )eclare) his staunch con)e(nation of graft an) corruption /ith his slogan, P2ung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.Q "he =ilipino
people, convince) of his sincerity an) of his ability to carry out this noble obCective, catapulte) the goo) senator to the presi)ency'

"o transfor( his ca(paign slogan into reality, Presi)ent A;uino foun) a nee) for a special bo)y to investigate reporte) cases of graft
an) corruption allege)ly co((itte) )uring the previous a)(inistration'

"hus, at the )a/n of his a)(inistration, the Presi)ent on &uly +,, *,-,, signe) E.ecutive Or)er No' - establishing
the Philippine #ruth Commission of <>:> (#ruth Commission*. Pertinent provisions of sai) e.ecutive or)er rea):
ERECH"$%E ORER NO' -

CREA"$N7 ">E P>$L$PP$NE "RH"> CO##$!!$ON O= *,-,

A>EREA!, Article R$, !ection - of the -8:9 Constitution of the Philippines sole(nly enshrines the principle that
a public office is a public trust an) (an)ates that public officers an) e(ployees, /ho are servants of the people, (ust at all
ti(es be accountable to the latter, serve the( /ith ut(ost responsibility, integrity, loyalty an) efficiency, act /ith
patriotis( an) Custice, an) lea) (o)est livesE

A>EREA!, corruption is a(ong the (ost )espicable acts of )efiance of this principle an) notorious violation of
this (an)ateE

A>EREA!, corruption is an evil an) scourge /hich seriously affects the political, econo(ic, an) social life of a
nationE in a very special /ay it inflicts untol) (isfortune an) (isery on the poor, the (arginali?e) an) un)erprivilege)
sector of societyE

A>EREA!, corruption in the Philippines has reache) very alar(ing levels, an) un)er(ine) the people@s trust an)
confi)ence in the 7overn(ent an) its institutionsE

A>EREA!, there is an urgent call for the )eter(ination of the truth regar)ing certain reports of large scale graft
an) corruption in the govern(ent an) to put a closure to the( by the filing of the appropriate cases against those involve),
if /arrante), an) to )eter others fro( co((itting the evil, restore the people@s faith an) confi)ence in the 7overn(ent an)
in their public servantsE

A>EREA!, the Presi)ent@s battlecry )uring his ca(paign for the Presi)ency in the last elections F@ung walang
corrupt, walang mahirapG e.presses a sole(n ple)ge that if electe), he /oul) en) corruption an) the evil it bree)sE

A>EREA!, there is a nee) for a separate bo)y )e)icate) solely to investigating an) fin)ing out the truth
concerning the reporte) cases of graft an) corruption )uring the previous a)(inistration, an) /hich /ill reco((en) the
prosecution of the offen)ers an) secure Custice for allE

A>EREA!, Boo< $$$, Chapter -,, !ection +- of E.ecutive Or)er No' *8*, other/ise <no/n as the Revise)
A)(inistrative Co)e of the Philippines, gives the Presi)ent the continuing authority to reorgani?e the Office of the
Presi)ent'

NOA, ">ERE=ORE, $, BEN$7NO !$#EON ALH$NO $$$, Presi)ent of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue
of the po/ers veste) in (e by la/, )o hereby or)er:

!EC"$ON -' Creation of a Co((ission' I "here is hereby create) the P>$L$PP$NE "RH"> CO##$!!$ON,
hereinafter referre) to as the FCO##$!!$ON,G /hich shall pri(arily see< an) fin) the truth on, an) to/ar) this en),
investigate reports of graft an) corruption of such scale an) (agnitu)e that shoc< an) offen) the (oral an) ethical
sensibilities of the people, co((itte) by public officers an) e(ployees, their co-principals, acco(plices an) accessories
fro( the private sector, if any, )uring the previous a)(inistrationE an) thereafter reco((en) the appropriate action or
(easure to be ta<en thereon to ensure that the full (easure of Custice shall be serve) /ithout fear or favor'
"he Co((ission shall be co(pose) of a Chair(an an) four 526 (e(bers /ho /ill act as an in)epen)ent collegial
bo)y'

!EC"$ON *' Po/ers an) =unctions' I "he Co((ission, /hich shall have all the po/ers of an investigative bo)y
un)er !ection +9, Chapter 8, Boo< $ of the A)(inistrative Co)e of -8:9, is pri(arily tas<e) to con)uct a thorough fact-
fin)ing investigation of reporte) cases of graft an) corruption referre) to in !ection -, involving thir) level public officers
an) higher, their co-principals, acco(plices an) accessories fro( the private sector, if any, )uring the previous
a)(inistration an) thereafter sub(it its fin)ing an) reco((en)ations to the Presi)ent, Congress an) the O(bu)s(an'

$n particular, it shall:

a6 $)entify an) )eter(ine the reporte) cases of such graft an) corruption /hich it /ill investigateE

b6 Collect, receive, revie/ an) evaluate evi)ence relate) to or regar)ing the cases of large scale corruption /hich it has
chosen to investigate, an) to this en) re;uire any agency, official or e(ployee of the E.ecutive Branch, inclu)ing
govern(ent-o/ne) or controlle) corporations, to pro)uce )ocu(ents, boo<s, recor)s an) other papersE

c6 Hpon proper re;uest or representation, obtain infor(ation an) )ocu(ents fro( the !enate an) the >ouse of
Representatives recor)s of investigations con)ucte) by co((ittees thereof relating to (atters or subCects being investigate)
by the Co((issionE

)6 Hpon proper re;uest an) representation, obtain infor(ation fro( the courts, inclu)ing the !an)iganbayan an) the
Office of the Court A)(inistrator, infor(ation or )ocu(ents in respect to corruption cases file) /ith the !an)iganbayan or
the regular courts, as the case (ay beE

e6 $nvite or subpoena /itnesses an) ta<e their testi(onies an) for that purpose, a)(inister oaths or affir(ations as the
case (ay beE

f6 Reco((en), in cases /here there is a nee) to utili?e any person as a state /itness to ensure that the en)s of Custice
be fully serve), that such person /ho ;ualifies as a state /itness un)er the Revise) Rules of Court of the Philippines be
a)(itte) for that purposeE

g6 "urn over fro( ti(e to ti(e, for e.pe)itious prosecution, to the appropriate prosecutorial authorities, by (eans of a
special or interim report an) reco((en)ation, all evi)ence on corruption of public officers an) e(ployees an) their private
sector co-principals, acco(plices or accessories, if any, /hen in the course of its investigation the Co((ission fin)s that
there is reasonable groun) to believe that they are liable for graft an) corruption un)er pertinent applicable la/sE

h6 Call upon any govern(ent investigative or prosecutorial agency such as the epart(ent of &ustice or any of the
agencies un)er it, an) the Presi)ential Anti-7raft Co((ission, for such assistance an) cooperation as it (ay re;uire in the
)ischarge of its functions an) )utiesE

i6 Engage or contract the services of resource persons, professionals an) other personnel )eter(ine) by it as necessary
to carry out its (an)ateE

C6 Pro(ulgate its rules an) regulations or rules of proce)ure it )ee(s necessary to effectively an) efficiently carry out
the obCectives of this E.ecutive Or)er an) to ensure the or)erly con)uct of its investigations, procee)ings an) hearings,
inclu)ing the presentation of evi)enceE

<6 E.ercise such other acts inci)ent to or are appropriate an) necessary in connection /ith the obCectives an) purposes
of this Or)er'

!EC"$ON +' !taffing Re;uire(ents' I . . .'

!EC"$ON 2' etail of E(ployees' I . . .'

!EC"$ON 3' Engage(ent of E.perts' I . . .

!EC"$ON 4' Con)uct of Procee)ings' I . . .'

!EC"$ON 9' Right to Counsel of AitnessesDResource Persons' I . . .'

!EC"$ON :' Protection of AitnessesDResource Persons' I . . .'

!EC"$ON 8' Refusal to Obey !ubpoena, "a<e Oath or 7ive "esti(ony' I Any govern(ent official or personnel
/ho, /ithout la/ful e.cuse, fails to appear upon subpoena issue) by the Co((ission or /ho, appearing before the
Co((ission refuses to ta<e oath or affir(ation, give testi(ony or pro)uce )ocu(ents for inspection, /hen re;uire), shall
be subCect to a)(inistrative )isciplinary action' Any private person /ho )oes the sa(e (ay be )ealt /ith in accor)ance
/ith la/'

!EC"$ON -,' uty to E.ten) Assistance to the Co((ission' I . . .'

!EC"$ON --' Bu)get for the Co((ission' I "he Office of the Presi)ent shall provi)e the necessary fun)s for the
Co((ission to ensure that it can e.ercise its po/ers, e.ecute its functions, an) perfor( its )uties an) responsibilities as
effectively, efficiently, an) e.pe)itiously as possible'

!EC"$ON -*' Office' I . . .'

!EC"$ON -+' =urnitureDE;uip(ent' I . . .'

!EC"$ON -2' "er( of the Co((ission' I "he Co((ission shall acco(plish its (ission on or before ece(ber
+-, *,-*'

!EC"$ON -3' Publication of =inal Report' I . . .'

!EC"$ON -4' "ransfer of Recor)s an) =acilities of the Co((ission' I . . .'

!EC"$ON -9' !pecial Provision Concerning #an)ate' $f an) /hen in the Cu)g(ent of the Presi)ent there is a nee)
to e.pan) the (an)ate of the Co((ission as )efine) in !ection - hereof to inclu)e the investigation of cases an) instances
of graft an) corruption )uring the prior a)(inistrations, such (an)ate (ay be so e.ten)e) accor)ingly by /ay of a
supple(ental E.ecutive Or)er'



!EC"$ON -:' !eparability Clause' $f any provision of this Or)er is )eclare) unconstitutional, the sa(e shall not
affect the vali)ity an) effectivity of the other provisions hereof'

!EC"$ON -8' Effectivity' I "his E.ecutive Or)er shall ta<e effect i((e)iately'

ONE in the City of #anila, Philippines, this +,
th
)ay of &uly *,-,'

5!7'6 BEN$7NO !' ALH$NO $$$

By the Presi)ent:

5!7'6 PALH$"O N' OC>OA, &R'
E.ecutive !ecretary

3ature of the Truth Commission

As can be gleane) fro( the above-;uote) provisions, the Philippine "ruth Co((ission (P#C* is a (ere ad hoc bo)y for(e) un)er the
Office of the Presi)ent /ith thepri(ary tas< to investigate reports of graft an) corruption co((itte) by thir)-level public officers an) e(ployees,
their co-principals, acco(plices an) accessories )uring the previous a)(inistration, an) thereafter to sub(it its fin)ing an) reco((en)ations to
the Presi)ent, Congress an) the O(bu)s(an' "hough it has been )escribe) as an Fin)epen)ent collegial bo)y,G it is essentially an entity /ithin
the Office of the Presi)ent Proper an) subCect to his control' oubtless, it constitutes a public office, as an a) hoc bo)y is one'
0:1


"o acco(plish its tas<, the P"C shall have all the po/ers of an investigative bo)y un)er !ection +9, Chapter 8, Boo< $ of the
A)(inistrative Co)e of -8:9' $t is not, ho/ever, a ;uasi-Cu)icial bo)y as it cannot a)Cu)icate, arbitrate, resolve, settle, or ren)er a/ar)s
in )isputes bet/een conten)ing parties' All it can )o is gather, collect an) assess evi)ence of graft an) corruption an) (a<e reco((en)ations' $t
(ay have subpoena po/ers but it has no po/er to cite people in conte(pt, (uch less or)er their arrest' Although it is a fact-fin)ing bo)y, it
cannot )eter(ine fro( such facts if probable cause e.ists as to /arrant the filing of an infor(ation in our courts of la/' Nee)less to state, it
cannot i(pose cri(inal, civil or a)(inistrative penalties or sanctions'

"he P"C is )ifferent fro( the truth co((issions in other countries /hich have been create) as official, transitory an) non-Cu)icial
fact-fin)ing bo)ies Fto establish the facts an) conte.t of serious violations of hu(an rights or of international hu(anitarian la/ in a country@s
past'G
081
"hey are usually establishe) by states e(erging fro( perio)s of internal unrest, civil strife or authoritarianis( to serve as (echanis(s for
transitional Custice'

"ruth co((issions have been )escribe) as bo)ies that share the follo/ing characteristics: 5-6 they e.a(ine only past eventsE 5*6 they
investigate patterns of abuse co((itte) over a perio) of ti(e, as oppose) to a particular eventE 5+6 they are te(porary bo)ies that finish their
/or< /ith the sub(ission of a report containing conclusions an) reco((en)ationsE an) 526 they are officially sanctione), authori?e) or
e(po/ere) by the !tate'
0-,1
FCo((ission@s (e(bers are usually e(po/ere) to con)uct research, support victi(s, an) propose policy
reco((en)ations to prevent recurrence of cri(es' "hrough their investigations, the co((issions (ay ai( to )iscover an) learn (ore about past
abuses, or for(ally ac<no/le)ge the(' "hey (ay ai( to prepare the /ay for prosecutions an) reco((en) institutional refor(s'G
0--1

"hus, their (ain goals range fro( retribution to reconciliation' "he Nure(burg an) "o<yo /ar cri(e tribunals are e.a(ples of a
retributory or vin)icatory bo)y set up to try an) punish those responsible for cri(es against hu(anity' A for( of a reconciliatory tribunal is the
"ruth an) Reconciliation Co((ission of !outh Africa, the principal function of /hich /as to heal the /oun)s of past violence an) to prevent
future conflict by provi)ing a cathartic e.perience for victi(s'

"he P"C is a far cry fro( !outh Africa@s (o)el' "he latter place) (ore e(phasis on reconciliation than on Cu)icial retribution, /hile
the (arching or)er of the P"C is the i)entification an) punish(ent of perpetrators' As one /riter
0-*1
puts it:


"he or)er rule) out reconciliation' $t translate) the raconian co)e spelle) out by A;uino in his inaugural
speech: F"o those /ho tal< about reconciliation, if they (ean that they /oul) li<e us to si(ply forget about the /rongs that
they have co((itte) in the past, /e have this to say: "here can be no reconciliation /ithout Custice' Ahen /e allo/ cri(es
to go unpunishe), /e give consent to their occurring over an) over again'G

The Thrusts of the Petitions

Barely a (onth after the issuance of E.ecutive Or)er No' -, the petitioners as<e) the Court to )eclare it unconstitutional an) to enCoin
the P"C fro( perfor(ing its functions' A perusal of the argu(ents of the petitioners in both cases sho/s that they are essentially the sa(e' "he
petitioners-legislators su((ari?e) the( in the follo/ing (anner:

5a6 E'O' No' - violates the separation of po/ers as it arrogates the po/er of the Congress to create a public
office an) appropriate fun)s for its operation'

5b6 "he provision of Boo< $$$, Chapter -,, !ection +- of the A)(inistrative Co)e of -8:9 cannot legiti(i?e
E'O' No' - because the )elegate) authority of the Presi)ent to structurally reorgani?e the Office of the Presi)ent to achieve
econo(y, si(plicity an) efficiency )oes not inclu)e the po/er to create an entirely ne/ public office /hich /as hitherto
ine.istent li<e the F"ruth Co((ission'G

5c6 E'O' No' - illegally a(en)e) the Constitution an) pertinent statutes /hen it veste) the F"ruth Co((issionG
/ith ;uasi-Cu)icial po/ers )uplicating, if not superse)ing, those of the Office of the O(bu)s(an create) un)er the -8:9
Constitution an) the epart(ent of &ustice create) un)er the A)(inistrative Co)e of -8:9'

5)6 E'O' No' - violates the e;ual protection clause as it selectively targets for investigation an) prosecution
officials an) personnel of the previous a)(inistration as if corruption is their peculiar species even as it e.clu)es those of
the other a)(inistrations, past an) present, /ho (ay be in)ictable'

5e6 "he creation of the FPhilippine "ruth Co((ission of *,-,G violates the consistent an) general international
practice of four )eca)es /herein !tates constitute truth co((issions to e.clusively investigate hu(an rights violations,
/hich custo(ary practice for(s part of the generally accepte) principles of international la/ /hich the Philippines is
(an)ate) to a)here to pursuant to the eclaration of Principles enshrine) in the Constitution'

5f6 "he creation of the F"ruth Co((issionG is an e.ercise in futility, an a)venture in partisan hostility, a
launching pa) for trialDconviction by publicity an) a (ere populist propagan)a to (ista<enly i(press the people that
/i)esprea) poverty /ill altogether vanish if corruption is eli(inate) /ithout even a))ressing the other (aCor causes of
poverty'

5g6 "he (ere fact that previous co((issions /ere not constitutionally challenge) is of no (o(ent because
neither laches nor estoppel can bar an eventual ;uestion on the constitutionality an) vali)ity of an e.ecutive issuance or
even a statute'G
0-+1


$n their Consoli)ate) Co((ent,
0-21
the respon)ents, through the Office of the !olicitor 7eneral (/S-*, essentially ;uestione) the legal
stan)ing of petitioners an) )efen)e) the assaile) e.ecutive or)er /ith the follo/ing argu(ents:

-1 E'O' No' - )oes not arrogate the po/ers of Congress to create a public office because the Presi)ent@s
e.ecutive po/er an) po/er of control necessarily inclu)e the inherent po/er to con)uct investigations to ensure that la/s
are faithfully e.ecute) an) that, in any event, the Constitution, Revise) A)(inistrative Co)e of -8:9 5E'O' No'
*8*6,
0-31
Presi)ential ecree 5P''6 No' -2-4
0-41
5as a(en)e) by P'' No' -99*6, R'A' No' 889,,
0-91
an) settle)
Curispru)ence that authori?e the Presi)ent to create or for( such bo)ies'

*1 E'O' No' - )oes not usurp the po/er of Congress to appropriate fun)s because there is no appropriation but a
(ere allocation of fun)s alrea)y appropriate) by Congress'

+1 "he "ruth Co((ission )oes not )uplicate or superse)e the functions of the Office of the
O(bu)s(an (/m'udsman* an) the epart(ent of &ustice (,/J*,because it is a fact-fin)ing bo)y an) not a ;uasi-Cu)icial
bo)y an) its functions )o not )uplicate, supplant or ero)e the latter@s Curis)iction'

21 "he "ruth Co((ission )oes not violate the e;ual protection clause because it /as vali)ly create) for lau)able
purposes'


"he O!7 then points to the continue) e.istence an) vali)ity of other e.ecutive or)ers an) presi)ential issuances creating si(ilar
bo)ies to Custify the creation of the P"C such as Presi)ential Co(plaint an) Action Co((ission (PCAC* by Presi)ent Ra(on B' #agsaysay,
Presi)ential Co((ittee on A)(inistrative Perfor(ance Efficiency (PCAP4*by Presi)ent Carlos P' 7arcia an) Presi)ential Agency on Refor(
an) 7overn(ent Operations (PAR-/* by Presi)ent =er)inan) E' #arcos'
0-:1
=ro( the petitions, plea)ings, transcripts, an) (e(oran)a, the follo/ing are the principal issues to be resolve):

-' Ahether or not the petitioners have the legal stan)ing to file their respective petitions an)
;uestion E.ecutive Or)er No' -E

*' Ahether or not E.ecutive Or)er No' - violates the principle of separation of po/ers by
usurping the po/ers of Congress to create an) to appropriate fun)s for public offices, agencies an) co((issionsE

+' Ahether or not E.ecutive Or)er No' - supplants the po/ers of the O(bu)s(an an) the O&E

2' Ahether or not E.ecutive Or)er No' - violates the e;ual protection clauseE an)

3' Ahether or not petitioners are entitle) to inCunctive relief'

2ssential re5uisites for #udicial re!ie'

Before procee)ing to resolve the issue of the constitutionality of E.ecutive Or)er No' -, the Court nee)s to ascertain /hether the re;uisites
for a vali) e.ercise of its po/er of Cu)icial revie/ are present'

Li<e al(ost all po/ers conferre) by the Constitution, the po/er of Cu)icial revie/ is subCect to li(itations, to /it: 5-6 there (ust be an
actual case or controversy calling for the e.ercise of Cu)icial po/erE 5*6 the person challenging the act (ust have the stan)ing to ;uestion the
vali)ity of the subCect act or issuanceE oth