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Mijares v.


Facts: Invoking the Alien Tort Act, petitioners Mijares, et al.*, all of whom suffered human rights violations
during the Marcos era, obtained a Final Judgment in their favor against the Estate of the late Ferdinand
Marcos amounting to roughly $1.9B in compensatory and exemplary damages for tortuous violations of
international law in the US District Court of Hawaii. This Final Judgment was affirmed by the US Court of
As a consequence, Petitioners filed a Complaint with the RTC Makati for the enforcement of the Final
Judgment, paying P410 as docket and filing fees based on Rule 141, 7(b) where the value of the subject
matter is incapable of pecuniary estimation. The Estate of Marcos however, filed a MTD alleging the non-
payment of the correct filing fees. RTC Makati dismissed the Complaint stating that the subject matter was
capable of pecuniary estimation as it involved a judgment rendered by a foreign court ordering the payment
of a definite sum of money allowing for the easy determination of the value of the foreign judgment. As
such, the proper filing fee was P472M, which Petitioners had not paid.

Issue: Whether or not the amount paid by the Petitioners is the proper filing fee.

Held: Yes, but on a different basisamount merely corresponds to the same amount required for other
actions not involving property. RTC Makati erred in concluding that the filing fee should be computed on
the basis of the total sum claimed or the stated value of the property in litigation. The Petitioners Complaint
was lodged against the Estate of Marcos but it is clearly based on a judgment, the Final Judgment of the US
District Court. However, the Petitioners err in stating that the Final Judgment is incapable of pecuniary
estimation because it is so capable. On this point, Petitioners state that this might lead to an instance wherein
a first level court (MTC, MeTC, etc.) would have jurisdiction to enforce a foreign judgment. Under the
B.P.129, such courts are not vested with such jurisdiction. 33 of B.P.129 refers to instances wherein the
cause of action or subject matter pertains to an assertion of rights over property or a sum of money. But here,
the subject matter is the foreign judgment itself. 16 of B.P.129 reveals that the complaint for enforcement
of judgment even if capable of pecuniary estimation would fall under the jurisdiction of the RTCs. Thus, the
Complaint to enforce the US District Court judgment is one capable of pecuniary estimations but at the same
time, it is also an action based on judgment against an estate, thus placing it beyond the ambit of 7(a) of
Rule 141. What governs the proper computation of the filing fees over Complaints for the enforcement of
foreign judgments is 7(b)(3), involving other actions not involving property.

BAYAN v. ZAMORA G. R. No. 138570 October 10, 2000

Facts: The United States panel met with the Philippine panel to discussed, among others, the possible
elements of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). This resulted to a series of conferences and negotiations
which culminated on January 12 and 13, 1998. Thereafter, President Fidel Ramos approved the VFA, which
was respectively signed by Secretary Siazon and United States Ambassador Thomas Hubbard.

Pres. Joseph Estrada ratified the VFA on October 5, 1998 and on May 27, 1999, the senate approved it by
(2/3) votes.

Cause of Action:

Petitioners, among others, assert that Sec. 25, Art XVIII of the 1987 constitution is applicable and not
Section 21, Article VII.

Following the argument of the petitioner, under they provision cited, the foreign military bases, troops, or
facilities may be allowed in the Philippines unless the following conditions are sufficiently met:
a) it must be a treaty,
b) it must be duly concurred in by the senate, ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a national referendum
held for that purpose if so required by congress, and
c) recognized as such by the other contracting state.

Respondents, on the other hand, argue that Section 21 Article VII is applicable so that, what is requires for
such treaty to be valid and effective is the concurrence in by at least two-thirds of all the members of the

ISSUE: Is the VFA governed by the provisions of Section 21, Art VII or of Section 25, Article XVIII of the

HELD: Section 25, Article XVIII, which specifically deals with treaties involving foreign military bases,
troops or facilities should apply in the instant case. To a certain extent and in a limited sense, however, the
provisions of section 21, Article VII will find applicability with regard to the issue and for the sole purpose
of determining the number of votes required to obtain the valid concurrence of the senate.

The Constitution, makes no distinction between transient and permanent. We find nothing in section 25,
Article XVIII that requires foreign troops or facilities to be stationed or placed permanently in the

It is inconsequential whether the United States treats the VFA only as an executive agreement because,
under international law, an executive agreement is as binding as a treaty.


FACTS: Petitioners are all members of the MALAYA LOLAS, a non-stock, non-profit organization
registered with the SEC for the purpose of providing aid to the victims of rape by Japanese military forces in
the Philippines during the WWII. They claim that they were comfort women at that time and have greatly
suffered because of that. In 1998, they have approached the Executive Department through the DOJ, DFA,
and OSG and requested assistance in filing a claim against the Japanese officials and military officers who
ordered the establishment of the comfort women stations in the Philippines. However, the officials
declined on that ground that the individual claims had already been satisfied by Japans compliance with the
San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951 and the bilateral Reparations Agreement of 1956 between Japan and the
Philippines. The petitioners argue that the general waiver of claims made by the Philippine government in
the Treaty of Peace with Japan is void because the comfort women system constituted a crime against
humanity, sexual slavery, and torture. The same was prohibited under the jus cogens norms from which no
derogation is possible. Thus, such waiver was a breach against the governments obligation not to afford
impunity for crimes against humanity. In addition, they claim that the Philippine governments acceptance
of the apologies made by Japan as well as funds for the AWF were contrary to international law.

ISSUES: Was the refusal of the Executive Department to espouse petitioners claims against Japan valid?

RULING: Yes, it was valid. It has the exclusive prerogative for such determination. So much so, the
Philippines is not under any international obligation to espouse petitioners claim. Given the extraordinary
length of time that has lapsed between the treatys conclusion, the Executive Department had the ample time
to assess the foreign policy considerations of espousing a claim against Japan, from the standpoint of both
the interests of the petitioners and those of the Republic, and decide on that basis if apologies are sufficient,
and whether further steps are appropriate or necessary. Under international law, the only means available for
individuals to bring a claim within the international legal system has been when the individual is able to
persuade a government to bring a claim on the individuals behalf. When this happens, in the eye of the
international tribunal, the State is the sole claimant. Therefore, the State is the sole judge to decide whether
its protection in favor of those petitioners will be granted, to what extent it is granted, and when will it cease.
It is a discretionary power and the exercise of which may be determined by consideration of a political or
other nature. Moreover, in the invocation of jus cogens norms and erga omnes obligation of the Philippines,
the petitioners failed to show that the crimes committed by the Japanese army violated jis cogens
prohibitions at the time the Treaty of Peace was signed, or that the duty to prosecute perpetrators of
international crimes in an erga omnes obligation or has attained the status of jus cogens. DISPOSITION
Petition is dismissed.

Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the Philippines vs. Duque

Facts: Named as respondents are the Health Secretary, Undersecretaries, and Assistant Secretaries of the
Department of Health (DOH). For purposes of herein petition, the DOH is deemed impleaded as a co-
respondent since respondents issued the questioned RIRR in their capacity as officials of said executive
agency.1Executive Order No. 51 (Milk Code) was issued by President Corazon Aquino on October 28, 1986
by virtue of the legislative powers granted to the president under the Freedom Constitution. One of the
preambular clauses of the Milk Code states that the law seeks to give effect to Article 112 of the
International Code of Marketing of Breast milk Substitutes (ICMBS), a code adopted by the World Health
Assembly (WHA) in 1981. From 1982 to 2006, the WHA adopted several Resolutions to the effect that
breastfeeding should be supported, promoted and protected, hence, it should be ensured that nutrition and
health claims are not permitted for breast milk substitutes. In 1990, the Philippines ratified the International
Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 24 of said instrument provides that State Parties should take
appropriate measures to diminish infant and child mortality, and ensure that all segments of society,
specially parents and children, are informed of the advantages of breastfeeding. On May 15, 2006, the DOH
issued herein assailed RIRR which was to take effect on July 7, 2006.

Issue: Whether Administrative Order or the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (RIRR) issued by
the Department of Health (DOH) is not constitutional;

Held: YES under Article 23, recommendations of the WHA do not come into force for members,in the same
way that conventions or agreements under Article 19 and regulations under Article 21 come into force.
Article 23 of the WHO Constitution reads:
Article 23. The Health Assembly shall have authority to make recommendations to Members with respect to
any matter within the competence of the Organization
for an international rule to be considered as customary law, it must be established that such rule is being
followed by states because they consider it obligatory to comply with such rules
Under the 1987 Constitution, international law can become part of the sphere of domestic law either
By transformation or incorporation. The transformation method requires that an international law be
transformed into a domestic law through a constitutional mechanism such as local legislation. The
incorporation method applies when, by mere constitutional declaration, international law is deemed to have
the force of domestic law.
Consequently, legislation is necessary to transform the provisions of the WHA Resolutions into domestic
law. The provisions of the WHA Resolutions cannot be considered as part of the law of the land that can be
implemented by executive agencies without the need of a law enacted by the legislature

Pimentel v. Executive Secretary Digest G.R. No. 158088 July 6, 2005

Facts: 1. The petitioners filed a petition for mandamus to compel the Office of the Executive Secretary and
the Department of Foreign Affairs to transmit the signed copy of the Rome Statute of the International
Criminal Court to the Senate of the Philippines for its concurrence pursuant to Sec. 21, Art VII of the 1987
2. The Rome Statute established the Int'l Criminal Court which will have jurisdiction over the most serious
crimes as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression as defined by the Statute.
The Philippines through the Chargie du Affairs in UN. The provisions of the Statute however require that it
be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval of the signatory state.
3. Petitioners contend that ratification of a treaty, under both domestic and international law, is a function of
the Senate, hence it is the duty of the Executive Department to transmit the signed copy to the senate to
allow it to exercise its discretion.

Issue: Whether or not the Exec. Secretary and the DFA have the ministerial duty to transmit to the Senate
the copy of the Rome Statute signed by a member of the Philippine mission to the U.N. even without the
signature of the President.

Held: The Supreme Court held NO.
1. The President as the head of state is the sole organ and authorized in the external relations and he is also
the country's sole representative with foreign nations, He is the mouthpiece with respect to the country's
foreign affairs.
2. In treaty-making, the President has the sole authority to negotiate with other states and enter into treaties
but this power is limited by the Constitution with the 2/3 required vote of all the members of the Senate for
the treaty to be valid. (Sec. 21, Art VII).
3. The legislative branch part is essential to provide a check on the executive in the field of foreign relations,
to ensure the nation's pursuit of political maturity and growth.

Bayan v. Zamora, G.R. No. 138570, October 10, 2000

The Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America entered into an agreement called the
Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The agreement was treated as a treaty by the Philippine government and
was ratified by then-President Joseph Estrada with the concurrence of 2/3 of the total membership of the
Philippine Senate.
The VFA defines the treatment of U.S. troops and personnel visiting the Philippines. It provides for the
guidelines to govern such visits, and further defines the rights of the U.S. and the Philippine governments in
the matter of criminal jurisdiction, movement of vessel and aircraft, importation and exportation of
equipment, materials and supplies.
Petitioners argued, inter alia, that the VFA violates 25, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution, which
provides that foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under
a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate . . . and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.

II. THE ISSUE Was the VFA unconstitutional?

[The Court DISMISSED the consolidated petitions, held that the petitioners did not commit grave abuse of
discretion, and sustained the constitutionality of the VFA.]
NO, the VFA is not unconstitutional.
Section 25, Article XVIII disallows foreign military bases, troops, or facilities in the country, unless the
following conditions are sufficiently met, viz: (a) it must be under a treaty; (b) the treaty must be duly
concurred in by the Senate and, when so required by congress, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the
people in a national referendum; and (c) recognized as a treaty by the other contracting state.

There is no dispute as to the presence of the first two requisites in the case of the VFA. The concurrence
handed by the Senate through Resolution No. 18 is in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution . . .
the provision in [in 25, Article XVIII] requiring ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a national
referendum being unnecessary since Congress has not required it.
This Court is of the firm view that the phrase recognized as a treaty means that the other contracting party
accepts or acknowledges the agreement as a treaty. To require the other contracting state, the United States
of America in this case, to submit the VFA to the United States Senate for concurrence pursuant to its
Constitution, is to accord strict meaning to the phrase.
Well-entrenched is the principle that the words used in the Constitution are to be given their ordinary
meaning except where technical terms are employed, in which case the significance thus attached to them
prevails. Its language should be understood in the sense they have in common use.
Moreover, it is inconsequential whether the United States treats the VFA only as an executive agreement
because, under international law, an executive agreement is as binding as a treaty. To be sure, as long as the
VFA possesses the elements of an agreement under international law, the said agreement is to be taken
equally as a treaty.
The records reveal that the United States Government, through Ambassador Thomas C. Hubbard, has stated
that the United States government has fully committed to living up to the terms of the VFA. For as long as
the United States of America accepts or acknowledges the VFA as a treaty, and binds itself further to
comply with its obligations under the treaty, there is indeed marked compliance with the mandate of the

Abaya vs. Ebdane G.R. No. 167919 Feb. 14, 2007

FACTS : This a petition for certiorari and prohibition to set aside and nullify Res. No. PJHL-A-04-012 dated
May 27, 2004 issued by the Bids and Action Committee (BAC) of the DPWH. This resolution
recommended the award to private respondent China Road and Bridge Corporation of the contract which
consist of the improvement and rehabilitation of a 79.818-km road in the island of Catanduanes.
Based on an Exchange of Notes, Japan and the Philippines have reached an understanding that Japanese
loans are to be extended to the country with the aim of promoting economic stabilization and development
In accordance with the established prequalification criteria, eight contractors were evaluated or considered
eligible to bid as concurred by the JBIC. Prior to the opening of the respective bid proposals, it was
announced that the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) was in the amount of P738,710,563.67.
Consequently, the bid goes to private respondent in the amount of P952,564,821.71 (with a variance of
25.98% from the ABC). Hence this petition on the contention that it violates Sec. 31 of RA 9184 which
provides that :
Sec. 31 Ceiling for Bid Prices. The ABC shall be the upper limit or ceiling for the bid prices. Bid prices
that exceed this ceiling shall be disqualified outright from further participating in the proceeding. There shall
be no lower limit to the amount of the award.

The petitioners further contends that the Loan Agreement between Japan and the Philippines is neither an
international nor an executive agreement that would bar the application of RA9184. They pointed out that to
be considered as such, the parties must be two (2) sovereigns or states whereas in this loan agreement, the
parties were the Philippine government and the JBIC, a banking agency of Japan, which has a separate
juridical personality from the Japanese government.

ISSUE : Whether or not the assailed resolution violates RA 9184.

RULING :The petition is dismissed. Under the fundamental principle of international law of pacta sunt
servanda, which is in fact, embodied is Section 4 of RA9184, any treaty or international or executive
agreement affecting the subject matter of this Act to which the Philippine government is a signatory, shall be
observed. The DPWH, as the executing agency of the project financed by the Loan Agreement rightfully
awarded the contract to private respondent China Road and Bridge Corporation.
The Loan Agreement was executed and declared that it was so entered by the parties in the light of the
contents of the Exchange of Notes between the government of Japan and the government of the Philippines
dated Dec. 27, 1999. Under the circumstances, the JBIC may well be considered an adjunct of the Japanese
government. The JBIC procurement guidelines absolutely prohibit the imposition of ceilings and bids.

DBM vs. Kolonwel G.R. No. 175608 June 8,2007

FACTS : This is a petition for review, with a prayer for temporary restraining order to nullify and set aside
the Order dated Dec. 04, 2006 of the Manila RTC. In the middle of 2005, DepEd requested the services of
the DBM-PS to undertake procurement project which is to be jointly funded by the World Bank (WB), thru
the Second Social Expenditure Management Program (SEMP2) of the RP-IBRD Loan Agreement No. 7118-
PH and the Asian Development Bank (ABD) thru SEDIP Loan No. 1654-PHI. In October 2005, the DBM-
PS called for a bidding for the supply of the Makabayan textbooks and teachers manuals. Of the entities,
foreign and local, only eleven (11) bidders submitted, including private respondent Kolonwel.
Following the bid and the book content/body evaluation process, DBM committee issued a resolution
disqualifying, among others, Kolonwel for failure in cover stock testing . Kolonwel was informed of this
and subsequently filed with RTC Manila a special civil action for certiorari with a prayer for TRO. In
support of its TRO application, Kolonwel alleged, among other things, that the supply-awardees were
rushing with the implementation of the void supply contracts to beat the closing-date deadline. After
summary hearing, the Manila RTC issued a 20-day TRO, and later issued a decision wherein Resolution
001-2006-A of the DBM was annulled and set aside. Hence this petition.

ISSUE : Will the petition prosper?

RULING : The petition is granted and the assailed decision of the Manila RTC is hereby nullified and set
Under the fundamental international principle of pacta sunt servanda, the RP, as borrower bound itself to
perform in good faith the duties and obligations under Loan No. 7118-PH. Applying this postulate, the DBM
IABAC, was legally obliged to comply with, or accord primacy to the WB guidelines on the conduct and
implementation of the bidding/procurement process in question.
Foreign loan agreements with international financial institutions, such as Loan No. 7118-PH, partake of an
executive or international agreement within the purview of Sec. 4 of RA9184. Significantly, whatever was
stipulated in the loan agreement, shall primarily govern the procurement of goods necessary to implement
the main project.

Nature: SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION in the Supreme Court. Mandamus and Prohibition

Petitioners, as non-government orgs, congresspersons, citizens and taxpayers, filed a petition for
mandamus and prohibition seeking to compel respondents, Department of Trade Industry (DTI)
Undersecretary Thomas Aquino, et al., to furnish petitioners the full text of the Japan-Philippines Economic
Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) including the Philippine and Japanese offers submitted during the
negotiation process and all pertinent attachments and annexes thereto.

The JPEPA, which will be the first bilateral free trade agreement to be entered into by the Philippines
with another country in the event the Senate grants its consent to it, covers a broad range of topics which
includes trade in goods, rules of origin, customs procedures, paperless trading, trade in services, investment,
intellectual property rights, government procurement, movement of natural persons, cooperation,
competition policy, mutual recognition, dispute avoidance and settlement, improvement of the business
environment, and general and final provisions.

Petitioners emphasize that the refusal of the government to disclose the said agreement violates their
right to information on matters of public concern and of public interest. That the non-disclosure of the same
documents undermines their right to effective and reasonable participation in all levels of social, political
and economic decision making.

Respondent herein invoke executive privilege. They relied on the ground that the matter sought
involves a diplomatic negotiation then in progress, thus constituting an exception to the right to information
and the policy of full disclosure of matters that are of public concern like the JPEPA - that diplomatic
negotiations are covered by the doctrine of executive privilege.

Procedural Issues:

1. Do the therein petitioners have standing to bring this action for mandamus in their capacity as citizens of
the Republic, as taxpayers, and as members of the Congress?
2. Whether the petition has been entirely rendered moot and academic because of the subsequent event that

Substantive Issues:
1. Whether the claim of the petitioners is covered by the right to information.
2. Are the documents and information being requested in relation to the JPEPA exempted from the general
rules on transparency and full public disclosure such that the Philippine government is justified in denying
access thereto (whether they are covered by the doctrine of executive privilege).
3. Whether the executive privilege claimed by the respondents applies only at certain stages of the
negotiation process.
4. Whether there is sufficient public interest to overcome the claim of privilege.
5. Whether the Respondents failed to claim executive privilege on time.

Dispositive: Petition dismissed.

1. YES. The right of people to information on matters of public concern is a public right by its very nature
so petitioners need not show that they have any legal or special interest in the result. It is enough that they
are part of the general public who possess the right. Since in the present position is anchored on the right of
information and the petitioners are suing in their capacity as citizens, citizen-groups, petitioner-members of
the House of Rep, their standing to file the present suit is grounded on jurisprudence.
2. NOT ENTIRELY. The Supreme Court ruled that the principal relief petitioners are praying for is the
disclosure of the contents of the JPEPA prior to its finalization between the two States parties, public
disclosure of the text of the JPEPA after its signing by the President, during the pendency of the present
petition, has been largely rendered moot and academic. The text of the JPEPA having then been made
accessible to the public, the petition has become moot and academic to the extent that it seeks the disclosure
of the full text thereof. The petition is not entirely moot, however, because petitioners seek to obtain, not
merely the text of the JPEPA, but also the Philippine and Japanese offers in the course of the negotiations.

1. YES. To be covered by the right to information, the information sought must meet the threshold
requirement that it be a matter of public concern. In determining whether or not a particular information is of
public concern there is no rigid test which can be applied. Public concern and public interest both
embrace a broad spectrum of subjects which the public may want to know, either because these directly
affect their lives, or simply because such matters naturally arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen. In the
final analysis, it is for the courts to determine on a case by case basis whether the matter at issue is of
interest or importance, as it relates to or affects the public.
From the nature of the JPEPA as an international trade agreement, it is evident that the Philippine and
Japanese offers submitted during the negotiations towards its execution are matters of public concern. This,
respondents do not dispute. They only claim that diplomatic negotiations are covered by the doctrine of
executive privilege, thus constituting an exception to the right to information and the policy of full public
Thus, the Court holds that, in determining whether an information is covered by the right to information, a
specific showing of need for such information is not a relevant consideration, but only whether the same is
a matter of public concern. When, however, the government has claimed executive privilege, and it has
established that the information is indeed covered by the same, then the party demanding it, if it is to
overcome the privilege, must show that that the information is vital, not simply for the satisfaction of its
curiosity, but for its ability to effectively and reasonably participate in social, political, and economic
2. YES. The Supreme Court Ruled that Diplomatic negotiations, therefore, are recognized as privileged in
this jurisdiction, the JPEPA negotiations constituting no exception. It bears emphasis, however, that such
privilege is only presumptive. For as Senate v. Ermita holds, recognizing a type of information as privileged
does not mean that it will be considered privileged in all instances. Only after a consideration of the context
in which the claim is made may it be determined if there is a public interest that calls for the disclosure of
the desired information, strong enough to overcome its traditionally privileged status.
The court adopted also the doctrine in PMPF v. Manglapus, wherein petitioners were seeking information
from the Presidents representatives on the state of the then on-going negotiations of the RP-US Military
Bases Agreement.
The Court held that applying the principles adopted in PMPF v. Manglapus, it is clear that while the final
text of the JPEPA may not be kept perpetually confidential since there should be ample opportunity for
discussion before [a treaty] is approved the offers exchanged by the parties during the negotiations
continue to be privileged even after the JPEPA is published. It is reasonable to conclude that the Japenese
representatives submitted their offers with the understanding that historic confidentiality would govern the
same. Disclosing these offers could impair the ability of the Philippines to deal not only with Japan but with
other foreign governments in future negotiations. The Court also stressed that secrecy of negotiations with
foreign countries is not violative of the constitutional provisions of freedom of speech or of the press nor of
the freedom of access to information.
It also reasoned out that opening for public scrutiny the Philippine offers in treaty negotiations would
discourage future Philippine representatives from frankly expressing their views during negotiations. The
Highest Tribunal recognized that treaty negotiations normally involve a process of quid pro quo, where
negotiators would willingly grant concessions in an area of lesser importance in order to obtain more
favorable terms in an area of greater national interest.
The Court also addressed the dissent of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno by saying: We are aware that
behind the dissent of the Chief Justice lies a genuine zeal to protect our peoples right to information against
any abuse of executive privilege. It is a zeal that We fully share. The Court, however, in its endeavour to
guard against the abuse of executive privilege, should be careful not to veer towards the opposite extreme, to
the point that it would strike down as invalid even a legitimate exercise thereof.
3. NO. Supreme Court stated that the constitutional right to information includes official information on on-
going negotiations before a final contract. However, the information must constitute definite propositions by
the government and should not cover recognized exceptions like privileged information, military and
diplomatic secrets and similar matters affecting national security and public order.
4. NO. The deliberative process privilege is a qualified privilege and can be overcome by a sufficient
showing of need. This need determination is to be made flexibly on a case-by-case, ad hoc basis. [E]ach
time [the deliberative process privilege] is asserted the district court must undertake a fresh balancing of the
competing interests, taking into account factors such as the relevance of the evidence, the availability of
other evidence, the seriousness of the litigation, the role of the government, and the possibility of
future timidity by government employees.
In the case at hand, Petitioners have failed to present the strong and sufficient showing of need. The
arguments they proffer to establish their entitlement to the subject documents fall short of this standard
stated in the decided cases.
There is no dispute that the information subject of this case is a matter of public concern. The Court has
earlier concluded that it is a matter of public concern, not on the basis of any specific need shown by
petitioners, but from the very nature of the JPEPA as an international trade agreement.
Further, the text of the JPEPA having been published, petitioners have failed to convince this Court that they
will not be able to meaningfully exercise their right to participate in decision-making unless the initial offers
are also published.
5. NO. When the respondents invoked the privilege for the first time only in their Comment to the present
petition does not mean that the claim of privilege should not be credited.
Respondents failure to claim the privilege during the House Committee hearings may not, however, be
construed as a waiver thereof by the Executive branch. What respondents received from the House
Committee and petitioner-Congressman Aguja were mere requests for information. The House Committee
refrained from pursuing its earlier resolution to issue a subpoena duces tecum on account of then Speaker
Jose de Venecias alleged request to Committee Chairperson Congressman Teves to hold the same in
While it is a salutary and noble practice for Congress to refrain from issuing subpoenas to executive officials
out of respect for their office until resort to it becomes necessary, the fact remains that such requests are
not a compulsory process. Being mere requests, they do not strictly call for an assertion of executive



(fully agrees with J. Punos dissent) The equally important and fundamental power and duty of the
Congress- its informing function of investigating for the purpose of enlightening the electorate has been
forgotten. This informing function should actually be preferred to its legislative function. This should be
more compelling in our polity because of our Constitutions focus on transparency, accountability and the
right of people to know the facts of governance.

Transparency is in fact the prevalent trend and non-disclosure is the diminishing exception. The underlying
reason being the recognition of the fundamental human right of a citizen to take part in governance. The
President, therefore, to show that a particular exception obtains in every case where the privilege is claimed.
Moreover, Executive Secretary Ermita did not really invoke the privilege but merely said that at the time of
the request with the negotiations ongoing, it was difficult to provide all the papers relative to the proposed
Treaty. Now that the negotiations are over, with the proposed treaty signed and submitted to Senate, there
would be no more difficulty in complying with the reduced request of giving copies of the starting offers of
Philippines and Japan.



If the petitioner in the case had been the Senate of the Philippines, I will vote for the disclosure of the
documents, however the reason for the position would not be based on the right to information, but rather,
on the right of the Senate to fully exercise its constituent function of ratifying treaties.


The Executive as the custodian of records of negotiations of treaties and other international agreements has
the discretion to classify information as confidential in accordance with applicable laws and not let it
become part of the public record. But when the executive is haled by the court to enforce a constitutional
right to this information, it is the courts task in each particular case to balance the executives need for
secrecy in treaty negotiations with the constitutional right to information.

Transparency and opacity are not either-or propositions in the conduct of international trade agreement
negotiations, rather the degree of confidentiality needed in a negotiation is a point in a continuum where
complete disclosure and absolute secrecy are on opposite ends. The Court should balance the need for
secrecy of the Executive and the demand for information by the legislature or the public in order to
safeguard against disclosure of information prejudicial to the public interest and to uphold the fundamental
principle enunciated in Senate vs. Ermita that a claim of executive privilege may be valid or not
depending on the ground invoked to justify it and the context in which it is made.

(warning! verbatim but I liked his closing statement eh )

We elevated the right to information to constitutional stature not without reason. In a democracy, debate
by the people directly or through their representatives in Congress is a discussion of and by the informed
and not an exchange of surpluses of ignorance. In the arena of economic governance, the right to debate and
participate in exercised not as an end in itself. Especially for the powerless whose sword and shield against
abuse is their voice, the exercise of the right is not merely rhetoric. It is a fight from the gut satisfy basic
human needs and lead a humane life.

Santos vs Northwest Orient Airlines (NOA)
210 SCRA 256 Political Law Constitutional Law The Judicial Department Judicial Review
Constitutionality of a Treaty Warsaw Convention
Facts: Augusto Benedicto Santos III is a minor represented by his dad. In October 1986, he bought a round
trip ticket from Northwest Orient Airlines (NOA) in San Francisco. His flight would be from San Francisco
to Manila via Tokyo and back to San Francisco. His scheduled flight was in December. A day before his
departure he checked with NOA and NOA said he made no reservation and that he bought no ticket. The
next year, due to the incident, he sued NOA for damages. He sued NOA in Manila. NOA argued that
Philippine courts have no jurisdiction over the matter pursuant to Article 28(1) of the Warsaw Convention,
which provides that complaints against international carriers can only be instituted in:
1. the court of the domicile of the carrier (NOAs domicile is in the USA);
2. the court of its principal place of business (which is San Francisco, USA);
3. the court where it has a place of business through which the contract had been made (ticket was
purchased in San Francisco so thats where the contract was made);
4. the court of the place of destination (Santos bought a round trip ticket which final destination is San
The lower court ruled in favor of NOA. Santos III averred that Philippine courts have jurisdiction over the
case and he questioned the constitutionality of Article 28 (1) of the Warsaw Convention.

ISSUE: Whether or not Philippine courts have jurisdiction over the matter to conduct judicial review.

HELD: No. The Supreme Court ruled that they cannot rule over the matter for the SC is bound by the
provisions of the Warsaw Convention which was ratified by the Senate. Until & unless there would be
amendment to the Warsaw Convention, the only remedy for Santos III is to sue in any of the place indicated
in the Convention such as in San Francisco, USA.
The SC cannot rule upon the constitutionality of Article 28(1) of the Warsaw Convention. In the first place,
it is a treaty which was a joint act by the legislative and the executive. The presumption is that it was first
carefully studied and determined to be constitutional before it was adopted and given the force of law in this
country. In this case, Santos was not able to offer any compelling argument to overcome the presumption.

Beginning January of year 2002, personnel from the armed forces of the United States of America started
arriving in Mindanao to take part, in conjunction with the Philippine military, in Balikatan 02-1. They are
a simulation of joint military maneuvers pursuant to the Mutual Defense Treaty a bilateral defense
agreement entered into by the Philippines and the United States in 1951. Its aim is to enhance the strategic
and technological capabilities of our armed forces through joint training with its American counterparts; the
Balikatan is the largest such training exercise directly supporting the MDTs objectives. It is this treaty to
which the VFA adverts and the obligations thereunder which it seeks to reaffirm.

On February 1, 2002, petitioners Arthur D. Lim and Paulino P. Ersando filed this petition for certiorari and
prohibition, attacking the constitutionality of the joint exercise.

Issue: Whether Balikatan 02-1 activities covered by the Visiting Forces Agreement?

Ruling: To resolve this, it is necessary to refer to the VFA itself. The VFA permits United States personnel
to engage, on an impermanent basis, in activities, the exact meaning of which was left undefined. The sole
encumbrance placed on its definition is couched in the negative, in that United States personnel must
abstain from any activity inconsistent with the spirit of this agreement, and in particular, from any political

The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Articles 31 and 32 contains provisos governing
interpretations of international agreements. It clearly provides that the cardinal rule of interpretation must
involve an examination of the text, which is presumed to verbalize the parties intentions. The Convention
likewise dictates what may be used as aids to deduce the meaning of terms, which it refers to as the context
of the treaty, as well as other elements may be taken into account alongside the aforesaid context.

It appeared farfetched that the ambiguity surrounding the meaning of the word .activities arose from
accident. It was deliberately made that way to give both parties a certain leeway in negotiation. In this
manner, visiting US forces may sojourn in Philippine territory for purposes other than military. As
conceived, the joint exercises may include training on new techniques of patrol and surveillance to protect
the nations marine resources, sea search-and-rescue operations to assist vessels in distress, disaster relief
operations, civic action projects such as the building of school houses, medical and humanitarian missions,
and the like.

Under these auspices, the VFA gives legitimacy to the current Balikatan exercises. It is only logical to
assume that .Balikatan 02-1, a mutual anti- terrorism advising, assisting and training exercise, falls
under the umbrella of sanctioned or allowable activities in the context of the agreement.

Facts : This is a petition seeking to nullify the Philippine ratification of the World Trade Organization
(WTO) Agreement. Petitioners question the concurrence of herein respondents acting in their capacities as
Senators via signing the said agreement.

The WTO opens access to foreign markets, especially its major trading partners, through the reduction of
tariffs on its exports, particularly agricultural and industrial products. Thus, provides new opportunities for
the service sector cost and uncertainty associated with exporting and more investment in the country. These
are the predicted benefits as reflected in the agreement and as viewed by the signatory Senators, a free
market espoused by WTO.

Petitioners on the other hand viewed the WTO agreement as one that limits, restricts and impair Philippine
economic sovereignty and legislative power. That the Filipino First policy of the Constitution was taken for
granted as it gives foreign trading intervention.

Issue : Whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
on the part of the Senate in giving its concurrence of the said WTO agreement.

Held: In its Declaration of Principles and state policies, the Constitution adopts the generally accepted
principles of international law as part of the law of the land, and adheres to the policy of peace, equality,
justice, freedom, cooperation and amity , with all nations. By the doctrine of incorporation, the country is
bound by generally accepted principles of international law, which are considered automatically part of our
own laws. Pacta sunt servanda international agreements must be performed in good faith. A treaty is not a
mere moral obligation but creates a legally binding obligation on the parties.
Through WTO the sovereignty of the state cannot in fact and reality be considered as absolute because it is a
regulation of commercial relations among nations. Such as when Philippines joined the United Nations (UN)
it consented to restrict its sovereignty right under the concept of sovereignty as autolimitation. What
Senate did was a valid exercise of authority. As to determine whether such exercise is wise, beneficial or
viable is outside the realm of judicial inquiry and review. The act of signing the said agreement is not a
legislative restriction as WTO allows withdrawal of membership should this be the political desire of a
member. Also, it should not be viewed as a limitation of economic sovereignty. WTO remains as the only
viable structure for multilateral trading and the veritable forum for the development of international trade
law. Its alternative is isolation, stagnation if not economic self-destruction. Thus, the people be allowed,
through their duly elected officers, make their free choice.
Petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.

North cotabato vs GRP on ancestral domain

FACTS: The Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) brought about by the
Government of the republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as an
aspect of Tripoli Agreement of Peace in 2001 is scheduled to be signed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
This agreement was petitioned by the Province of North Cotabato for Mandamus and Prohibition with
Prayer for the Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order. The agreement
mentions Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) to which it grants the authority and jurisdiction over the
Ancestral Domain and Ancestral Lands of the Bangsamoro; authority and jurisdiction over all natural
resources within internal waters. The agreement is composed of two local statutes: the organic act for
autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao and the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA).

ISSUE: Whether or not the GRP violated the Constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation
and the right to information when they negotiated and initiated the MOA-AD and Whether or not the MOA-
AD brought by the GRP and MILF is constitutional

HELD:GRP violated the Constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation and the right to
information when they negotiated and initiated the MOA-AD and it are unconstitutional because it is
contrary to law and the provisions of the constitution thereof.

REASONING: The GRP is required by this law to carry out public consultations on both national and local
levels to build consensus for peace agenda and process and the mobilization and facilitation of peoples
participation in the peace process.

Article III (Bill of Rights)

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

Article II
Sec. 28. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law , that state adopts and implements a policy of
full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.

LGC (1991), require all national agencies and officers to conduct periodic consultations. No project or
program be implemented unless such consultations are complied with and approval mus be obtained.

Article VII (Executive Department)

Sec. 21. No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-
thirds of all the Members of the Senate.

Article X. (Local Government)

Sec. 1. The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the province, cities,
municipalities and barangays. There shall be autonomous regions on Muslim Mindanao and the Cordillera
as hereinafter provided.

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

Section 16. The President shall exercise general supervision over autonomous regions to ensure that laws are
faithfully executed.

Sec. 18. The creation of autonomous region shall be effective when approved by a majority of the votes cast
by the constituents units in a plebiscite called for the purpose, provided that only provinces, cities and
geographic areas voting favourably in such plebiscite shall be included in the autonomous region.

Sec. 20. Within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national laws,
the organic act of autonomous regions shall provide for legislative powers over:
1. Administrative organization;
2. Creation of sources of revenues;
3. Ancestral domain and natural resources;
4. Personal, family, and property relations;
5. Regional urban and rural planning development;
6. Economic, social, and tourism development;
7. Educational policies;
8. Preservation and development of the cultural heritage; and
9. Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the people of
the region.

The President has sole authority in the treaty-making.


Section 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by:
1. The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members; or
2. A constitutional convention.

Section 4. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution under Section 1 hereof shall be valid when
ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later
than ninety days after the approval of such amendment or revision.

MOA-AD states that all provisions thereof which cannot be reconciled with the present constitution and
laws shall come into force upon signing of a comprehensive compact and upon effecting the necessary
changes to the legal framework. The presidents authority is limited to proposing constitutional
amendments. She cannot guarantee to any third party that the required amendments will eventually be put in
place nor even be submitted to a plebiscite. MOA-AD itself presents the need to amend therein.

Commission of customs vs eastern sea trading

Constitutional Law Treaties vs Executive Agreements
EST was a shipping company charged in the importation from Japan of onion and garlic into the Philippines.
In 1956, the Commissioner of Customs ordered the seizure and forfeiture of the import goods because EST
was not able to comply with Central Bank Circulars 44 and 45. The said circulars were pursuant to EO 328
w/c sought to regulate the importation of such non-dollar goods from Japan (as there was a Trade and
Financial Agreement b/n the Philippines and Japan then). EST questioned the validity of the said EO
averring that the said EO was never concurred upon by the Senate. The issue was elevated to the Court of
Tax Appeals and the latter ruled in favor of EST. The Commissioner appealed.

ISSUE: Whether or not the EO is subject to the concurrence of at least 2/3 of the Senate.

HELD: No, executive Agreements are not like treaties which are subject to the concurrence of at least 2/3 of
the members of the Senate. Agreements concluded by the President which fall short of treaties are
commonly referred to as executive agreements and are no less common in our scheme of government than
are the more formal instruments treaties and conventions. They sometimes take the form of exchanges of
notes and at other times that of more formal documents denominated agreements or protocols. The point
where ordinary correspondence between this and other governments ends and agreements whether
denominated executive agreements or exchanges of notes or otherwise begin, may sometimes be difficult
of ready ascertainment. It would be useless to undertake to discuss here the large variety of executive
agreements as such, concluded from time to time. Hundreds of executive agreements, other than those
entered into under the trade- agreements act, have been negotiated with foreign governments. . . . It would
seem to be sufficient, in order to show that the trade agreements under the act of 1934 are not anomalous in
character, that they are not treaties, and that they have abundant precedent in our history, to refer to certain
classes of agreements heretofore entered into by the Executive without the approval of the Senate. They
cover such subjects as the inspection of vessels, navigation dues, income tax on shipping profits, the
admission of civil aircraft, customs matters, and commercial relations generally, international claims, postal
matters, the registration of trade-marks and copyrights, etc. Some of them were concluded not by specific
congressional authorization but in conformity with policies declared in acts of Congress with respect to the
general subject matter, such as tariff acts; while still others, particularly those with respect to the settlement
of claims against foreign governments, were concluded independently of any legislation.

Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd., v The Court of AppealsGR No. 111580 June 21,

Facts: On June 21, 1988, the Shangri-La International Hotel Management, Ltd.,Shangri-La Properties, Inc.,
Makati Shangri-La Hotel and Resort, Inc. and Kuok Philippine Properties, Inc., filed with the Bureau of
Patents, Trademarks and Technology Transfer (BPTTT) a petition praying for the cancellation of the
registration of the Shangri-
La mark and S device/logo issued to the Developers Group of Companies
Inc., on the ground that the same was illegally and fraudulently obtained and
appropriated for the latters restaurant business. The Shangri
-La Group alleged that it isthe legal and beneficial owners of the subject mark and logo; that it has been
using the said mark and logo for its corporate affairs and business since March 1962 and caused the same to
be specially designed for their international hotels in 1975, much earlier than the alleged first use by the
Developers Group in 1982.Likewise, the Shangri-La Group filed with the BPTTT its own application for
registration of the subject mark and logo. The Developers Group filed an opposition to the application.
Almost three (3) years later, the Developers Group instituted with the RTC a complaint for infringement and
damages with prayer for injunction. When the Shangri-La Group moved for the suspension of the
proceedings, the trial court denied such in a Resolution. The Shangri-La Group filed a petition for certiorari
before the CA but the CA dismissed the petition for certiorari. Hence, the instant petition.

Issue: Whether or not the infringement case should be dismissed or at least suspended

Held: There can be no denying that the infringement case is validly pass upon the rightof registration.
Section 161 of Republic Act No. 8293 provides to wit:SEC. 161.
Authority to Determine Right to Registration

In any action involving a registered mark the court may determine the right to registration, order the
cancellation of the registration, in whole or in part, and otherwise rectify the register with respect to the
registration of any party to the action in the exercise of this.

Judgement and orders shall be certified by the court to the Director, who shallmake appropriate entry upon
the records of the Bureau, and shall be controlled thereby.(Sec. 25, R.A. No. 166a). (Emphasis provided)To
provide a judicious resolution of the issues at hand, the Court find it apropos to orderthe suspension of the
proceedings before the Bureau pending final determination of theinfringement case, where the issue of the
validity of the registration of the subjecttrademark and logo in the name of Developers Group was passed


FACTS: Secretary Of Justice Franklin Drilon, representing the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines, signed in Manila the extradition Treaty Between the Government of the Philippines and the
Government of the U.S.A. The Philippine Senate ratified the said Treaty.
On June 18, 1999, the Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign Affairs U.S Note
Verbale No. 0522 containing a request for the extradition of private respondent Mark Jiminez to the United
On the same day petitioner designate and authorizing a panel of attorneys to take charge of and to handle the
case. Pending evaluation of the aforestated extradition documents, Mark Jiminez through counsel, wrote a
letter to Justice Secretary requesting copies of the official extradition request from the U.S Government and
that he be given ample time to comment on the request after he shall have received copies of the requested
papers but the petitioner denied the request for the consistency of Article 7 of the RP-US Extradition Treaty
stated in Article 7 that the Philippine Government must present the interests of the United States in any
proceedings arising out of a request for extradition.

ISSUE: Whether or not to uphold a citizens basic due process rights or the governments ironclad duties
under a treaty.

RULING: Petition dismissed.
The human rights of person, whether citizen or alien , and the rights of the accused guaranteed in our
Constitution should take precedence over treaty rights claimed by a contracting state. The duties of the
government to the individual deserve preferential consideration when they collide with its treaty obligations
to the government of another state. This is so although we recognize treaties as a source of binding
obligations under generally accepted principles of international law incorporated in our Constitution as part
of the law of the land.
The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with situation in which
there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the provision of the constitution or
statute of the local state.

Petitioner (Secretary of Justice) is ordered to furnish Mark Jimenez copies of the extradition request and its
supporting papers, and to grant him (Mark Jimenez) a reasonable period within which to file his comment
with supporting evidence.

Under the Doctrine of Incorporation, rules of international law form part of the law of the land and no
further legislative action is needed to make such rules applicable in the domestic sphere.

The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with situations in
which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the provisions of the constitution
or statute of the local state.

Efforts should first be exerted to harmonize them, so as to give effect to both since it is to be presumed that
municipal law was enacted with proper regard for the generally accepted principles of international law in
observance of the incorporation clause in the above cited constitutional provision.

In a situation, however, where the conflict is irreconcilable and a choice has to be made between a rule of
international law and a municipal law, jurisprudence dictates that municipal law should be upheld by the
municipal courts, for the reason that such courts are organs of municipal law and are accordingly bound by it
in all circumstances.

The fact that international law has been made part of the law of the land does not pertain to or imply the
primacy of international law over national or municipal law in the municipal sphere. The doctrine of
incorporation, as applied in most countries, decrees that rules of international law are given equal standing
with, but are not superior to, national legislative enactments. Accordingly, the principle lex posterior
derogate priori takes effect a treaty may repeal a statute and a statute may repeal a treaty. In states where
the Constitution is the highest law of the land, such as the Republic of the Philippines, both statutes and
treaties may be invalidated if they are in conflict with the constitution

Philip Morris vs. Court of Appeals [GRN 91332 July 16, 1993.]

Facts: Petitioners Philip Morris, Inc., Benson and Hedges (Canada), Inc., and Fabriques of Tabac Reunies,
S.A., are ascribing whimsical exercise of the faculty conferred upon magistrates by Section 6, Rule 58 of the
Revised Rules of Court when respondent Court of Appeals lifted the writ of preliminary injunction it earlier
had issued against Fortune Tobacco Corporation, herein private respondent, from manufacturing and selling
"MARK" cigarettes in the local market. Banking on the thesis those petitioners' respective symbols "MARK
VII", 'MARK TEN", and "MARK", also for cigarettes, must be protected against unauthorized
Philip Morris, Incorporated is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Virginia, United States
of America, and does business at 100 Park Avenue, New York, New York, United States of America. The
two other plaintiff foreign corporations, which are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Philip Morris, Inc., are
similarly not doing business in the Philippines but are suing on an isolated transaction.
Plaintiffs-petitioners asserted that defendant Fortune Tobacco Corporation has no right to manufacture and
sell cigarettes bearing the allegedly identical or confusingly similar trademark' Plaintiffs admit in the
complaint that "xxx they are not doing business in the Philippines and are suing on an isolated transaction
xxx'. This simply means that they are not engaged in the sale, manufacture, importation, expor[tation and
advertisement of their cigarette products in the Philippines.

Issue: Whether or not there has been an invasion o plaintiffs' right of property to such trademark or trade
Whether of not there is a violation of the International Agreement on protection of trademarks.

Held: There is no proof whatsoever that any of plaintiffs products which they seek to protect from any
adverse effect of the trademark applied for by defendant, is in actual use and available for commercial
purposes anywhere in the Philippines.
To sustain a successful prosecution of their suit for infringement, petitioners, as foreign corporations not
engaged in local commerce, rely on Section 21-A of the Trademark Law reading as follows:
SECTION 21-A. Any foreign corporation or juristic person to which a mark or trade-name has been
registered or assigned under this act may bring an action hereunder for infringement, for unfair competition,
or false designation of origin and false description, whether or not it has been licensed to do business in the
Philippines under Act Numbered Fourteen hundred and fiftynine, as amended, otherwise known as the
Corporation Law, at the time it brings complaint: Provided, That the country of which the said foreign
corporation or juristic person is a citizen or in which it is domiciled, by treaty, convention or law, grants a
similar privilege to corporate or juristic persons of the Philippines. (As inserted by Sec. 7 of Republic Act
No. 638.) to drive home the point that they are not precluded from initiating a cause of action in the
Philippines on account of the principal perception that another entity is pirating their symbol without any
lawful authority to do so.
A fundamental principle of Philippine Trademark Law is that actual use in commerce in the Philippines is a
pre-requisite to the acquisition of ownership over a trademark or a tradename. Adoption alone of a trade, ark
would not give exclusive right thereto. Such right grows out of their actual use. Adoption is not use. One
may make advertisements, issue circulars, give out price lists on certain goods; but these alone would not
give exclusive right of use. For trademark is a creation of use.
The records show that the petitioner has never conducted business in the Philippines. It has never promoted
its tradename of trademark in the Philippines. It is unknown to Filipinos except the very few who may have
noticed it while travelling abroad. It has paid a single centavo of tax to the Philippine government. Under the
law, it has no right to the remedy it seeks.
In other words, petitioners may have the capacity to sue for infringement irrespective of lack of business
activity in the Philippines on account of Section 21-A of the Trademark Law but the question of whether
they have an exclusive right over the'symbol as to justify issuance of the controversial writ will depend on
actual use of their trademarks in the Philippines in line with Sections 2 and 2-A of the same law. It is thus
incongruous on petitioners to claim that when a foreign corporation not licensed to do business in the
Philippines files a complaint for infringement, the entity need not be actually using its trademark in
commerce in the Philippines.
In view of the explicit representation of petitioners in the complaint that they are not engaged in business in
the Philippines, it inevitably follows that no conceivable damage can be suffered by them not to mention the
foremost consideration heretofore discussed on the absence of their "right" to be protected.
Following universal acquiescence and comity, our municipal law on trademarks regarding the requirement
of actual use in the Philippines must subordinate an international agreement inasmuch as the apparent clash
is being decided by a municipal tribunal (Mortensen vs. Peters, Great Britain, High Court of Judiciary of
Scotland, 1906, 8 Sessions 93; Paras, International Law and World Organization, 1971 Ed., p. 20). Withal,
the fact that international law has been made part of the law of the land does not by any means imply the
primacy of international law over national law in the municipal sphere. Under the doctrine of incorporation
as applied in most countries, rules of international law are given a standing equal, not superior, to national
legislative enactments (Salonga and Yap, Public International Law, Fourth ed., 1974, p. 16).

Laguna Lake Development Authority vs. Court of Appeals G.R.No. 120865-71December 7, 1995

Facts: The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) was created through RA No. 4850 in order to
execute the policy towards environmental protection and sustainable development so as to accelerate the
development and balanced growth of the Laguna Lake area and the surrounding provinces and towns.
PD No. 813 amended certain sections of RA 4850 since water quality studies have shown that the lake will
deteriorate further if steps are not taken to check the same.
EO 927 further defined and enlarged the functions and powers of the LLDA and enumerated the towns,
cities and provinces encompassed by the term Laguna de Bay Region.
Upon implementation of RA 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991), the municipalities assumed exclusive
jurisdiction & authority to issue fishing privileges within their municipal waters since Sec.149 thereof
provides: Municipal corporations shall have the authority to grant fishery privileges in the municipal waters
and impose rental fees or charges therefore
Big fishpen operators took advantage of the occasion to establish fishpens & fish cages to the consternation
of the LLDA.
The implementation of separate independent policies in fish cages & fish pen operation and the
indiscriminate grant of fishpen permits by the lakeshore municipalities have saturated the lake with fishpens,
thereby aggravating the current environmental problems and ecological stress of Laguna Lake.
The LLDA then served notice to the general public that (1) fishpens, cages & other aqua-culture structures
unregistered with the LLDA as of March 31, 1993 are declared illegal; (2) those declared illegal shall be
subject to demolition by the Presidential Task Force for Illegal Fishpen and Illegal Fishing; and (3) owners
of those declared illegal shall be criminally charged with violation of Sec.39-A of RA 4850 as amended by
PD 813.
A month later, the LLDA sent notices advising the owners of the illegally constructed fishpens, fishcages
and other aqua-culture structures advising them to dismantle their respective structures otherwise demolition
shall be effected.

Issues: 1.Which agency of the government the LLDA or the towns and municipalities comprising the
region should exercise jurisdiction over the Laguna lake and its environs insofar as the issuance of permits
for fishery privileges is concerned?
2. Whether the LLDA is a quasi-judicial agency?

Held: 1. Sec.4(k) of the charter of the LLDA, RA 4850, the provisions of PD 813,and Sec.2 of EO No.927,
specifically provide that the LLDA shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue permits for the use of all
surface water for any projects or activities in or affecting the said region. On the other hand, RA 7160 has
granted to the municipalities the exclusive authority to grant fishery privileges on municipal waters. The
provisions of RA 7160 do not necessarily repeal the laws creating the LLDA and granting the latter water
rights authority over Laguna de Bay and the lake region.

Where there is a conflict between a general law and a special statute, latter should prevail since it evinces the
legislative intent more clearly than the general statute. The special law is to be taken as an exception to the
general law in the absence of special circumstances forcing a contrary conclusion. Implied repeals are not
favored and, as much as possible, effect must be given to all enactments of the legislature. A special law
cannot be repealed, amended or altered by a subsequent general law by mere implication.

The power of LGUs to issue fishing privileges was granted for revenue purposes. On the other hand, the
power of the LLDA to grant permits for fishpens, fish cages, and other aqua-culture structures is for the
purpose of effectively regulating & monitoring activities in the Laguna de Bay region and for lake control
and management. It partakes of the nature of police power which is the most pervasive, least limitable and
most demanding of all state powers including the power of taxation. Accordingly, the charter of the LLDA
which embodies a valid exercise of police power should prevail over the LGC of 1991 on matters affecting
Laguna de Bay.

2. The LLDA has express powers as a regulatory and quasi-judicial body in respect to pollution cases with
authority to issue a cease and desist order and on matters affecting the construction of illegal fishpens, fish
cages and other aqua-culture structures in Laguna de Bay.

Sec.149 of RA 7160 has not repealed the provisions of the charter of the LLDA, RA 4850, as amended.
Thus, the LLDA has the exclusive jurisdiction to issue permits for enjoyment of fishery privileges in Laguna
de Bay to the exclusion of municipalities situated therein and the authority to exercise such powers as are by
its charter vested on it.

Kuroda vs jalandoni

Political Law Generality Accepted Principles of International Law
Kuroda was the highest ranking Japanese officer stationed in the Philippines during the Japanese occupation.
He was then charged before the Military Commission due to the atrocities that were done against non
combatant civilians and prisoners during the war. His trial was in pursuant to EO No. 68 which established
the National War Crimes Office and prescribing rules and regulations governing the trial of accused war
criminals. Kuroda is questioning the legality of the said EO arguing that the same is not provided for in the
Constitution. He further underscores the fact that the Philippines is not a signatory of the Hague Convention
on Rules and Regulations Covering Land Warfare hence we cannot impose against him any criminal charges
because it has no laws to base on, national or international.

ISSUE: Whether or not Kuroda can be charged in Philippine courts?

HELD: EO No. 68 is constitutional hence the Philippine courts can take cognizance of the case at bar. EO
No 68 is in pursuant to the constitutional provision that states the Philippines renounces war as an
instrument of national policy, and adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the
law of the nation. The Hague Convention and other similar conventions whose principles are generally
accepted are hence considered as part of the law of the land.

Agustin vs Edu
Generally Accepted Principles of International Law Police Power
Agustin is the owner of a Volkswagen Beetle Car. He is assailing the validity of Letter of Instruction No 229
which requires all motor vehicles to have early warning devices particularly to equip them with a pair of
reflectorized triangular early warning devices. Agustin is arguing that this order is unconstitutional, harsh,
cruel and unconscionable to the motoring public. Cars are already equipped with blinking lights which is
already enough to provide warning to other motorists. And that the mandate to compel motorists to buy a set
of reflectorized early warning devices is redundant and would only make manufacturers and dealers instant

ISSUE: Whether or not the said is EO is valid.

HELD: Such early warning device requirement is not an expensive redundancy, nor oppressive, for car
owners whose cars are already equipped with 1) blinking-lights in the fore and aft of said motor vehicles,
2) battery-powered blinking lights inside motor vehicles, 3) built-in reflectorized tapes on front and rear
bumpers of motor vehicles, or 4) well-lighted two (2) petroleum lamps (the Kinke) . . . because: Being
universal among the signatory countries to the said 1968 Vienna Conventions, and visible even under
adverse conditions at a distance of at least 400 meters, any motorist from this country or from any part of the
world, who sees a reflectorized rectangular early warning device installed on the roads, highways or
expressways, will conclude, without thinking, that somewhere along the travelled portion of that road,
highway, or expressway, there is a motor vehicle which is stationary, stalled or disabled which obstructs or
endangers passing traffic. On the other hand, a motorist who sees any of the aforementioned other built-in
warning devices or the petroleum lamps will not immediately get adequate advance warning because he will
still think what that blinking light is all about. Is it an emergency vehicle? Is it a law enforcement car? Is it
an ambulance? Such confusion or uncertainty in the mind of the motorist will thus increase, rather than
decrease, the danger of collision.
On Police Power
The Letter of Instruction in question was issued in the exercise of the police power. That is conceded by
petitioner and is the main reliance of respondents. It is the submission of the former, however, that while
embraced in such a category, it has offended against the due process and equal protection safeguards of the
Constitution, although the latter point was mentioned only in passing. The broad and expansive scope of the
police power which was originally identified by Chief Justice Taney of the American Supreme Court in an
1847 decision, as nothing more or less than the powers of government inherent in every sovereignty was
stressed in the aforementioned case of Edu v. Ericta thus: Justice Laurel, in the first leading decision after
the Constitution came into force, Calalang v. Williams, identified police power with state authority to enact
legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare.
Persons and property could thus be subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens in order to secure the
general comfort, health and prosperity of the state. Shortly after independence in 1948, Primicias v. Fugoso
reiterated the doctrine, such a competence being referred to as the power to prescribe regulations to
promote the health, morals, peace, education, good order or safety, and general welfare of the people. The
concept was set forth in negative terms by Justice Malcolm in a pre-Commonwealth decision as that
inherent and plenary power in the State which enables it to prohibit all things hurtful to the comfort, safety
and welfare of society. In that sense it could be hardly distinguishable as noted by this Court in Morfe v.
Mutuc with the totality of legislative power. It is in the above sense the greatest and most powerful attribute
of government. It is, to quote Justice Malcolm anew, the most essential, insistent, and at least illimitable
powers, extending as Justice Holmes aptly pointed out to all the great public needs. Its scope, ever
expanding to meet the exigencies of the times, even to anticipate the future where it could be done, provides
enough room for an efficient and flexible response to conditions and circumstances thus assuring the
greatest benefits. In the language of Justice Cardozo: Needs that were narrow or parochial in the past may
be interwoven in the present with the well-being of the nation. What is critical or urgent changes with the
time. The police power is thus a dynamic agency, suitably vague and far from precisely defined, rooted in
the conception that men in organizing the state and imposing upon its government limitations to safeguard
constitutional rights did not intend thereby to enable an individual citizen or a group of citizens to obstruct
unreasonably the enactment of such salutary measures calculated to insure communal peace, safety, good
order, and welfare.
It was thus a heavy burden to be shouldered by Agustin, compounded by the fact that the particular police
power measure challenged was clearly intended to promote public safety. It would be a rare occurrence
indeed for this Court to invalidate a legislative or executive act of that character. None has been called to our
attention, an indication of its being non-existent. The latest decision in point, Edu v. Ericta, sustained the
validity of the Reflector Law, an enactment conceived with the same end in view. Calalang v. Williams
found nothing objectionable in a statute, the purpose of which was: To promote safe transit upon, and avoid
obstruction on roads and streets designated as national roads . . . As a matter of fact, the first law sought to
be nullified after the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution, the National Defense Act, with petitioner failing
in his quest, was likewise prompted by the imperative demands of public safety.

Mejoff vs directors of prisons

Political Law Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Mejoff is of Russian descent and was arrested as a Japanese spy after the Philippine liberation. It was found
out that he illegally entered the Philippines in 1944. He was without inspection and admission by the
immigration officials at a designated port of entry. He was then ordered to be deported to Russia on the first
available transportation to said country. But Russian ships refused to take him due to their alleged lack of
authority to do so. He was then transferred to the Bilibid Prison and was kept in detention as the
Commissioner of Immigration believes it is of best interest to detain the unwanted alien while arrangements
for his deportation are being made. Mejoff contends that he was legally brought to the Philippines by the
then Japanese forces and he may not now be deported. He also contends that the statutory period to deport
him has long lapsed and that we cannot detain him for an unreasonable period of time pursuant to the
Universal Declaration on Human rights.

ISSUE: Whether or not Mejoff shall remain in detention?

HELD: The government has the power and the authority to eject from the Islands any and all unwanted aliens
including members of the Niponese Army of occupation . On the other hand, there is no indication that the statutory
period to deport him has lapsed. He entered the country illegally in 1944 and was arrested in 1948. Pursuant to Sec 37
of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 an unwanted alien is subject to deportation within 5 years from arrest. And
he may be held for a reasonable period of time (depending on the circumstances) while arrangements are being held
for his deportation. There is no allegation however as to the length of time that he has been detained. Hence, the same
cannot be construed as unreasonable.

CORAZON C. AQUINO, ET AL. [G.R. No. 73748, May 22, 1986]

Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court MAY 22, 1986.

In G.R. No. 73748, Lawyers League for a Better Philippines vs. President Corazon C. Aquino, et al.; G.R. No. 73972,
People's Crusade for Supremacy of the Constitution vs. Mrs. Cory Aquino, et al., and G.R. No. 73990, Councilor
Clifton U. Ganay vs. Corazon C. Aquino, et al., the legitimacy of the government of President Aquino is questioned. It
is claimed that her government is illegal because it was not established pursuant to the 1973 Constitution.

As early as April 10, 1986, this Court* had already voted to dismiss the petitions for the reasons to be stated below.
On April 17, 1986, Atty. Lozano as counsel for the petitioners in G.R. Nos. 73748 and 73972 withdrew the petitions
and manifested that they would pursue the question by extra-judicial methods. The withdrawal is functus oficio.

The three petitions obviously are not impressed with merit. Petitioners have no personality to sue and their petitions
state no cause of action. For the legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable matter. It belongs to the
realm of politics where only the people of the Philippines are the judge. And the people have made the judgment; they
have accepted the government of President Corazon C. Aquino which is in effective control of the entire country so
that it is not merely a de factogovernment but is in fact and law a de jure government. Moreover, the community of
nations has recognized the legitimacy of the present government. All the eleven members of this Court, as
reorganized, have sworn to uphold the fundamental law of the Republic under her government.

In view of the foregoing, the petitions are hereby dismissed.

Very truly yours,
Clerk of Court
* The Court was then composed of Teehankee, C.J. and Abad Santos., Melencio-Herrera, Plana, Escolin, Gutierrez,
Jr., Cuevas, Alampay and Patajo, JJ.------------------------------------------

On February 25, 1986, President Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation No. 1 announcing that she and Vice President
Laurel were taking power.
On March 25, 1986, proclamation No.3 was issued providing the basis of the Aquino government assumption of
power by stating that the "new government was installed through a direct exercise of the power of the Filipino people
assisted by units of the New Armed Forces of the Philippines."

Whether or not the government of Corazon Aquino is legitimate.

Yes. The legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable matter but belongs to the realm of politics where
only the people are the judge.

The Court further held that:
The people have accepted the Aquino government which is in effective control of the entire country;
It is not merely a de facto government but in fact and law a de jure government; and
The community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of the new government.