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Nuclear Tests Case (Australia v.

France) [1973] ICJ 98
FACTS: France was a signatory to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and thus continued to conduct
tests in the South Pacific until 1973. The tests conducted in 1972 and 1973 led to the filing of
protests by Australia and New Zealand. The case, however, was taken off the Court’s list without
a decision when France announced by a series of unilateral announcements that it would
conduct no further tests after 1973. The Court nevertheless commented on the legal significance
of these announcements.
ISSUE: WON a unilateral declaration concerning legal or factual situations may create legal
HELD: Yes. It is well-recognized that declarations made by way of unilateral acts concerning
legal or factual situations, may have the effect of creating legal obligations. Declarations of this
kind may be, and often are, very specific. When it is the intention of the State making the
declaration that it should become bound according to its terms, that intention confers on the
declaration the character of a legal undertaking, the State being thenceforth legally required to
follow a course of conduct consistent with the declaration. An undertaking of this kind, if given
publicly, and with an intent to be bound, even though not made within the context of international
negotiations, is binding.
France did not recognize the jurisdiction of the court in this case but the court held that
nonrecognition on the part of France could not divest it of jurisdiction to order provisional
The ICJ directed the governments of both France and Australia to ensure that no action of
any kind would be taken to exacerbate the dispute or prejudice the rights of the parties.
Parenthetically, it might be asked what good recourse to an international tribunal like the ICJ
might be when one of the parties repudiates its jurisdiction. For one, an adverse judgment on
the part of the ICJ or a similar tribunal divests the claims of the repudiating state of any color of
or claim to legality. For another, an adverse judgment provokes the prevailing state to call on the
enforcement mechanisms available in international law.
The Asylum Case (Colombia v. Peru) [1950] ICJ 276
FACTS: In 1948, a military rebellion broke out in Peru; it was suppressed the same day. On the
following day, a decree was published charging a political party, the American People’s
Revolutionary Party, with having prepared and directed the rebellion. The head of the Party, a
Peruvian political leader, Victor Raul Haya dela Torre, was denounced as being responsible.
With other members of the party, he was prosecuted on a charge of military rebellion.
In 1949, the Columbian Ambassador in Lima informed the Peruvian Government of the
asylum granted to dela Torre. The Columbian Ambassador requested the government of Peru to
allow dela Torre to leave the country since the Columbian government characterized him as a
political refugee. The Peruvian Government disputed this qualification and refused to grant a
ISSUE: WON Colombia could validly give asylum to dela Torre that would be binding on Peru.
HELD: No. As regards American international law, Colombia had not proved the existence,
either regionally or locally, of a constant and uniform practice of unilateral qualification as a right
of the State of refuge and an obligation upon the territorial State. Colombia cannot unilaterally
make the qualification: both countries must concur on whether or not the offense involved
allowed asylum.
The court held that fluctuation and discrepancy in the exercise of diplomatic asylum
negated the claim that there was indeed customary law on diplomatic asylum. It is for the State
claiming custom that must prove it in such a way that it is established as binding on the other
The Paquete Habana and the Lola, 1975 U.S. 677 (1899)
FACTS: During the Spanish American War, two fishing vessels (the Paquete Haban and the
Lola), flying the Spanish flags, owned by a Spanish subject of Cuban birth, and while regularly
engaged in fishing on the Cuban coast, were seized by the US Navy. It was discovered that until
the moment of capture, the vessels did not know that a war was being fought. It was also proved
that the vessels had neither arms nor ammunition; and that neither ship attempted to run the
blockade after its existence was made known to them. In Florida, to which they had been
brought, they were considered by a US District Court as legitimate prizes of war. They then
appealed to the US Supreme Court, alleging that under international law, and considering the
circumstances of their capture, they were exempt (with the cargoes and crews) from capture as
prizes of war.
ISSUE: WON the vessels are exempted from being prizes of war.
HELD: Yes. By an ancient usage among civilized nations, beginning centuries ago, and
gradually ripening into a rule of international law, coast fishing vessels, pursuing their vocation of
catching and bringing in fresh fish, have been recognized as exempt, with their cargoes and
crews, from capture as prize of war. This international custom began in 1403 during the reign of
King Henry IV of England, found encouragement in a treaty entered into in 1521 between
Emperor Charles V and Francis I of France, and approval in American practices from the
Declaration of American Independence in 1776.
International law is part of our law. For this purpose where there is no treaty and no
controlling executive or legislative act or judicial decision, resort must be had to the customs and
usages of civilized nations, and, as evidence of these, to the works of jurists and commentators

who by years of labor, research and experience have made themselves peculiarly well
acquainted with the subjects of which they treat. Such works are resorted to by judicial tribunals,
NOT for the speculations of their authors concerning what the law ought to be but for trustworthy
evidence of what the law really is.
The courts then goes on to conclude that “by the general consent of the civilized nations of
the world, and independent of any express treaty or other public act, it is an established rule of
international law, founded on considerations of humanity to a poor and industrious order of men”
that coast fishing vessels, with their implements and supplies, cargoes and crews, unarmed and
honestly pursuing their peaceful calling are exempt from capture as prize of war.
The Case of S.S. Lotus (France v. Turkey), PCIJ Ser. A. No. 10 (1927)
FACTS: In 1926, a collision on the high seas between a French steamer, the Lotus, on the way
to Constantinople, and a Turkish steamer, the Boz Kourt, resulted in the sinking of the Turkish
vessel and the death of eight Turkish nationals.
The Lotus subsequently arrived in Constantinople at which point Turkish authorities arrested
Lt. Demons, the French officer of watch duty at Lotus at the time, and Hassan Bey, the captain
of the Boz-Kourt. Both were charged with manslaughter.
Damons argued that the Turkish Courts had no jurisdiction. This was rejected and he was
sentenced by the courts. Hassan Bey received a slightly heavier sentence. The French
Government objected to the actions of the Turkish Court claiming that in order to have
jurisdiction, the latter should be able to point to some title to jurisdiction recognized by
international law in favor of Turkey. On the other hand, the Turkish Government takes the view
that Turkey has jurisdiction whenever such jurisdiction does not come into conflict with a
principle of international law. Both Governments submitted the dispute over to the Permanent
Court of International Justice (precursor to ICJ).
ISSUE: WON Turkey had the jurisdiction to prosecute the case under international law.
HELD: Yes and no. Though it is true that in all systems of law, the principle of territorial
character of criminal law is fundamental, it is equally true that all or nearly all these systems of
law extend their action to offenses committed outside the territory of the State which adopts
them, and they do so in ways which vary from State to State. The territoriality of criminal law,
therefore, is not an absolute principle of international law and by no means coincides with
territorial sovereignty.
“International law governs relations between independent States. The rules of law binding
upon States therefore emanate from their own free will as expressed in conventions or by
usages generally accepted as expressing principles of law and established in order to regulate
relations between these co-existing independent communities or with a view to the achievement
of common aims.”
The court reserves its opinion in regard to the claim of jurisdiction under the “passive
personality” principle, but argues that that might not be the only basis for Turkey’s exercise of
jurisdiction. Rather the court finds it significant that the offence produced its effects on a Turkish
vessel and consequently in a place assimilated by the Turkish territory. This doctrine of
assimilation, the Court attributes to the “freedom of the seas,” so that the State exercises
authority over and on the shop that files as its flag as it does on its own territory. It follows that
what occurs on board a vessel on the high seas must be regarded as it if occurred on the
territory of the State whose flag the ship flies.
This conclusion could only be overcome if it were shown that there was a rule of customary
international law which, going further than the principle stated above, established the exclusive
jurisdiction of the State whose flag was shown. The existence of such as rule has not been
conclusively proved by the French Government.
The court rejects the argument that relies on the fact that prosecution is usually before the
courts of the state whose flag is flown. The court argues that this does not proved that the states
affected felt obligated to prosecute, only that they desisted or abstained from prosecuting.
The conclusion therefore is that there is no rule of international law in regard to collision cases to
the effect that criminal proceedings are exclusively within the jurisdiction of the State whose flag
is flown. Thus, it is only natural that each should be able to exercise jurisdiction and to do so in
respect of the incident as a whole. It is therefore a case of concurrent jurisdiction.
Case Concerning Right of Passage over Indian Territory (Portugal v. India) [1960] ICJ 6
FACTS: Portugal's territory in the Indian Peninsula included two enclaves surrounded by the
Territory of India, Dadra and Nagar-Aveli. Portugal claimed that there was a right of passage
through Indian territory to reach the enclaves. In July 1954, the Government of India prevented
Portugal from exercising that right of passage and made it impossible for Portugal to exercise
her sovereign rights over the Portuguese enclaves. India contended that the right of passage
claimed by Portugal was too vague and contradictory.
Portugal had relied on the Treaty of Poona of 1779 and on sanads (decrees) issued by the
Maratha ruler in 1783 and 1785, as having conferred on Portugal sovereignty over the enclaves
with the right of passage to them; India had objected that what was alleged to be the Treaty of
1779 was not validly entered into and never became in law a treaty binding upon the Marathas.
The Court found that there was indeed a treaty and the language employed therein was inteded
to transfer sovereignty.
Portuguese sovereignty over the villages had been recognized by the British in fact
and by implication and had subsequently been tacitly recognized by India. As a consequence
the villages had acquired the character of Portuguese enclaves within Indian territory and there
had developed between the Portuguese and the territorial sovereign with regard to passage to
the enclaves a practice upon which Portugal relied for the purpose of establishing the right of
passage claimed by it. It had been objected on behalf of India that no local custom could be
established between only two States.

through its Bids and Awards Committee (BAC). the fact that the President referred the VFA to the Senate under Section 21. as defined by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. or facilities. Article XVIII.is an executive agreement and is. "whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation. no less than Section 2. the said agreement is to be taken equally as a treaty. maintain that Section 21. The city. or facilities. however. governed by international law. agreement. thus.” They contend that the phrase “recognized as a treaty. is “an international instrument concluded between States in written form and governed by international law. The Court found it difficult to see why the number of States between which a local custom might be established on the basis of over a century and a quarter long practice based on mutual rights and obligations was insufficient for local custom to arise. FACTS: In 2006. Atlanta called the BAC's attention to its use of Bidding Documents which was not in conformity with the prescribed Bidding Documents in accordance with RA 9184. India was acting in lawful exercise of its power of regulation and control of the Portuguese rights. Atlanta filed a petition for prohibition and mandamus. RTC Manila declared the subject bidding null and void on the ground that it was done contrary to RA 9184. The petitioners contend that the VFA is invalid based on Section 25. ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose. prevailed over any general rules. but they furnish little more than mere description. Article XVIII. from Hugo Grotius onward. In 1998. justice. as long as the negotiating functionaries have remained within their powers. the US Panel met with the Philippine Panel to discuss the possible elements of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and then president Ramos approved the same. an executive agreement is as binding as a treaty. To be sure. (Atlanta) came up with the second to the lowest bid. With the ratification of the VFA.any of the three standing alone places it under the coverage of Section 25. Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) entered into Loan Agreement No. troops. Atlanta did not pursue the matter and opted to participate in the re-bidding of the project. Certain terms are useful. Article VII should apply inasmuch as the VFA is not a basing arrangement but an agreement which involves merely the temporary visits of United States personnel engaged in joint military exercises. All writers.following the definition given in the Bayan Muna case . we find nothing in Section 25. requiring ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a national referendum being unnecessary since Congress has not required it. on the point that the VFA is recognized as a treaty by the United States of America. thus. This loan was with the condition of the participation of at least two (2) local government units by way of a Subsidiary Loan Agreement (SLA) with LBP. Consequently. The Constitution makes no distinction between “transient’ and “permanent”. 2014. Later on." and further expounded that it may be in the form of either (a) treaties that require legislative concurrence after executive ratification. under the principles of international law. G. to be bound by the terms of the agreement. Thus. 4833-PH for the implementation of projects for local development. the provision in the latter article HELD: Yes. should comply with the fact that the agreement must be recognized as a treaty by the US. should apply in the instant case. 4833-PH.ISSUE: WON customary law can arise from practice of only two States. respondents argue that the letter of United States Ambassador Hubbard stating that the VFA is binding on the United States Government is conclusive. for concurrence. declares that the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace.a military treaty the subject of which could be either (a) foreign bases. allowed Portugal to acquire a right of passage in respect of private persons. Article VII. in international law. must only be accepted as a treaty by the United States. statute. Article VII. the provisions of section 21. civil officials and goods. or ( b) executive agreements that are similar to treaties. LBP entered into an SLA with the City Government of Iligan for their water supply system. 1954 and which had resulted in the overthrow of Portuguese authority in that enclave had created tension in the surrounding Indian district. were incorporated and made part of the SLA that was subsequently entered into by Land Bank with the City Government of Iligan. the Government of the Philippines is therefore obligated to observe its terms and conditions under the rule of pacta sunt servanda. both countries negotiated for the possible extension of the agreement but the Philippine Senate rejected the proposed RP-US Treaty of Friendship. 4833-PH . or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the senate and. The court observes that with regard to private persons. is to accord strict meaning to the phrase. In 2007. which is equivalent to final acceptance. Inc. means that the VFA should have the advice and consent of the United States Senate pursuant to its own constitutional process. This local practice. whether under Section 21. 138570. the terms and conditions of Loan Agreement No. Does this give rise to Portugal having a customary right over Indian territory to its enclaves? HELD: Yes. July 2. then president Estrada ratified the VFA and through respondent Executive Secretary Zamora. However. For in either case. In 2009. the VFA. During the pre-bid conference. The concurrence handed by the Senate through Resolution No. In 1997. The respondents. concordat. in respect of private persons. protocol. exchange of notes. In Bayan Muna v. cooperation.193796. the president officially transmitted to the Senate of the Philippines. foreign military bases. which specifically deals with treaties involving foreign military bases. Article XVIII applies in the VFA and thus. troops. some of which are: act. VFA is still valid. freedom. they entered into a Mutual Defense Treaty on August 30. . Article VII or Section 25. Article II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. and with the exchange of notes between the Philippines and the United States of America. Article XVIII. RTC Manila also ruled that the City Government of Iligan cannot claim exemption from the application of RA 9184 and its IRR by virtue of Loan Agreement No. Being similar to a treaty but without requiring legislative concurrence. this means that the SLA cannot be treated as an independent and unrelated contract but as a conjunct of. when the Congress so requires. Article II of the Constitution.R. According to respondents. 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. except that they do not require legislative concurrence and are usually less formal and deal with a narrower range of subject matters than treaties. October 10. 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. Land Bank of the Philippines v. No. the BAC declared that the project was not covered by RA 9184 or by any of the Government Procurement Policy Board's issuances. The findings show that Portugal had in 1954 a right of passage over intervening Indian territory between the enclaves of Dadra and Nagar-Aveli and the coastal district of Daman and between these enclaves.” Thus the provision contemplates three different situations . Undoubtedly. under international law. Bayan vs Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora.R. Inc. the VFA was approved by the Senate and officially entered into force after an Exchange of Notes between respondent Secretary Siazon and US Ambassador Hubbard. when India suspended passage. or having a joint and simultaneous occurrence with. Thus. pact. is immaterial. To require the other contracting state. Article XVIII which states that “After the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America concerning Military Bases. This was because the events which occurred in Dadra on July 21-22. 48~3-PH with the IBRD because it was Land Bank. have pointed out that the names or titles of international agreements included under the general term treaty have little or no legal significance. 1047 and to further strengthen it. and that it should not be considered merely an executive agreement by the United States. it is inconsequential whether the United States treats the VFA only as an executive agreement because. Article XVIII. Apprehensive of the BAC's use of Bidding Documents. Thus. or the specific mandate mentioned in Section 25. Article XVIII. convention. International law continues to make no distinction between treaties and executive agreements: they are equally binding obligations upon nations. It bears pointing out that the pacta sunt servanda rule has become part of the law of the land through the incorporation clause found under Section 2. compromis d’ arbitrage. Moreover. which was the party to the same. G. ISSUE: WON the SLA executed by Land Bank is exempt from RA 9184. and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State. well understood between the parties.” There are many other terms used for a treaty or international agreement. In view of the impending expiration of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement in 1991. which states that the Philippines "adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace. and whatever its particular designation. Section 25. Atlanta Industies. equality. There is no dispute as to the presence of the first two requisites in the case of the VFA. Article XVIII that requires foreign troops or facilities to be stationed or placed permanently in the Philippines. ISSUE: WON Section 25. equality.” embodied in section 25. conducted a public bidding and respondent Atlanta Industries. the letter of the President and the VFA. the instrument of Ratification. To a certain extent and in a limited sense. Romulo (Bayan Muna) the Court defined an international agreement as one concluded between states in written form and governed by international law. To our mind. civil of officials and goods in general. cooperation and amity with all nations. there is no difference between treaties and executive agreements in their binding effect upon states concerned. declaration. Thus this petition. A treaty. 1951. No. the fundamental law is crystalline that the concurrence of the Senate is mandatory to comply with the strict constitutional requirements. justice. freedom. as long as the VFA possesses the elements of an agreement under international law. Furthermore. Loan Agreement No. A perusal of said constitutional provision reveals that the proscription covers “foreign military bases. 4833-PH is in the nature of an executive agreement. a fundamental maxim of international law that requires the parties to keep their agreement in good faith. whether under the general requirement in Section 21. HELD: Yes. to submit the VFA to the United States Senate for concurrence pursuant to its Constitution. 2000 FACTS: The Philippines and the USA forged a Military Bases Agreement on March 14. being a project-based and government-guaranteed loan facility. civil officials and goods in general. and not the City Government of Iligan. and that the Senate extended its concurrence under the same provision. on the other hand. it now becomes obligatory and incumbent on our part. charter and modus vivendi. (b) foreign troops. In this way.” Additionally. to be binding. In 1999. 18 is in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. the bidding failed due to noted violations of the IBRD Procurement Guidelines. there existed during the Bristish and post-British periods a constant and uniform practice allowing free passage of Portuguese between Daman and the enclaves. the established practice. Loan Agreement No. the United States of America in this case. troops. BAC informed Atlanta that the bidding was declared a failure due to the IBRD's non-concurrence with the Bid Evaluation Report. and amity with all nations." As may be palpably observed. to the extent necessary for the exercise of Portuguese sovereignty over the enclaves and subject to the regulation and control of India. The pertinent provision reads as “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. whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments. Certainly. Owing to this classification. Cooperation and Security. or (c) foreign facilities .

released to the consignees on surety bonds. The Senate concurred with the ratification of said treaty. as Land Bank correctly puts it. January 18. as regards the basic due process rights of a prospective extraditee at the evaluation stage of extradition proceedings. 1069. PH-P204. G. The Exchange of Notes expressed that the two governments have reached an understanding concerning Japanese loans to be extended to the Philippines and that these loans were aimed at promoting our country’s economic stabilization and development efforts. concerning Japanese loans to be extended with a view to promoting the economic stabilization and development efforts of the Republic of the Philippines. The Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) was in the amount of ~P738m. No. PH-P204 was subsequently executed and it declared that it was so entered by the parties "[i]n the light of the contents of the Exchange of Notes between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines dated December 27. signed the "Extradition Treaty Between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the United States of America" (RP-US Extradition Treaty). in the meantime. G. Abaya vs Ebdane. cooperation and amity with nations. But international agreements embodying adjustments of detail carrying out well-established national policies and traditions and those involving arrangements of a more or less temporary nature usually take the form of executive agreements. 2007 FACTS: The Government of Japan and the Government of the Philippines reached an understanding concerning Japanese loans to be extended to the Philippines. PH-P204 is indubitably an integral part of the Exchange of Notes. justice. and (2) the records of discussion of the terms of the loans. which becomes binding through executive action without the need of a vote by the Senate or Congress. rules of international law form part of the law of the and land no further legislative action is needed to make such rules applicable in the domestic sphere. EO 40 was issued on Oct 8. the SLA has attained indivisibility with the Loan Agreement and the Guarantee Agreement through the incorporation of each other's terms and conditions such that the character of one has likewise become the character of the other. 4833-PH. Hence. However. The concurrence of said House of Congress is required by our fundamental law in the making of "treaties" (Constitution of the Philippines. 44 and 45 are null and void. PH-P204 applies to the awarding of contract of CP I project. HELD: Yes. On the same day. one of the oldest and most fundamental maxims of international law. The Collector of Customs of Manila rendered a decision declaring the goods forfeited to the Government and the goods having been. The same Circulars were created in pursuant to Executive Order No. petitioner authorized a panel of attorneys to take charge of and to handle the case pursuant to PD No. the particular extradition request the United States Government requested the Philippine Government to prevent unauthorized disclosure of the subject information. in fact. accessory contracts should not be read independently of the main contract. Pending evaluation of the extradition documents. then President Marcos issued PD No. PH-P204 taken in conjunction with the Exchange of Notes dated December 27. The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals (or local courts) 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. Respondent Judge Lantion granted the petition of Jimenez. Furthermore.R. They sometimes take the form of exchange of notes and at other times that of more formal documents denominated "agreements" or "protocols". In the absence of a law or a principle of law. this Court is not persuaded. They point out that to be considered a treaty. ISSUE: WON Loan Agreement No. 1954. In 1999. as the executing agency of the projects financed by Loan Agreement No. 1961 FACTS: Eastern Sea Trading was the consignee of several shipments of onion and garlic which arrived at the Port of Manila from August 25 to September 7. the consignee sought a review of the decision of said two (2) officers by the Court of Tax Appeals. Its nature and consideration. Under the fundamental principle of international law of pacta sunt servanda. The Exchange of Notes provided that the Philippines will ensure that the products and/or services to be financed by the loans for the projects of the government are procured in accordance with the guidelines for procurement of the Bank. Their primary contention is on the ground that the contract violates RA 9184 which states the ceiling for bid prices. L-14279.R. where the conflict is irreconcilable and a choice has to be . the parties are the Philippine Government and the JBIC. The observance of our country's legal duties under a treaty is also compelled by Section 2. Significantly. No. International agreements involving political issues or changes of national policy and those involving international arrangements of a permanent character usually take the form of treaties. Subsequently. caused the publication of the bidding for the implementation of the CP I project. Article II of the Constitution which provides that "[t]he Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy. Further." Under the circumstances." Under the doctrine of incorporation. and. We see a void in the provisions of the RP-US Extradition Treaty. In a situation. before RA 9184 took effect. which has a separate juridical personality from the Japanese Government. however. Section 31 of the statute states that bid prices exceeding the ABC shall be disqualified outright. private respondent Jimenez wrote a letter requesting copies of the official extradition request and that he be given ample time to comment on the extradition request. Loan Agreement No. The legality of the EO 328 was questioned on the ground that our Senate had not concurred in the making of the said executive agreement. International Agreements and Executive Agreements. in behalf of their respective governments. The respondents contend that the Central Bank has no authority to regulate transactions not involving foreign exchange. that the shipments are in the nature of "no-dollar" imports and as such. concomitantly. ISSUE: WON EO 328 needs the concurrence of at least 2/3 of the Senate to be valid. distinct and different from "executive agreements. 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 observance of the Incorporation Clause in the above-cited constitutional provision. 1069 "Prescribing the Procedure for the Extradition of Persons Who Have Committed Crimes in a Foreign Country". PH-P204 between the JBIC and the Philippine Government is neither a treaty. To recall. 2000 FACTS: In 1977. ISSUE: WON private respondent is adjudged entitled to basic due process rights as opposed to upholding the legal commitments and obligations of the Philippine Government under the RPUS Extradition Treaty. Executive agreements become binding through executive action without the need of a vote by the Senate or by Congress. Section 10[7]). 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. 2001 by then President Macapagal-Arroyo while RA 9184 took effect on January 26. the parties must be two sovereigns or States whereas in the case of Loan Agreement No. that the cerficiates required by Central Bank Circulars Nos. requires the parties to a treaty to keep their agreement therein in good faith. PH-P204 was executed by and between the JBIC and the Philippine Government pursuant to the Exchange of Notes executed by and between Mr." the DPWH. The Decree is founded on several things including the extradition treaty with Indonesia and the intention of the Philippines to enter into similar treaties with other interested countries. not RA 9184. thus was awarded the contract. they insist that Loan Agreement No. G. the JBIC may well be considered an adjunct of the Japanese Government. None of the shipments had the certificate required by Central Bank Circulars Nos. being a mere accessory contract of Loan Agreement No. Efforts should first be exerted to harmonize them. Indeed. Loan Agreement No. 1999 consisted of two documents: (1) a letter confirming the understanding. It forms part of the Exchange of Notes such that it cannot be properly taken independent thereof. 1069. the goods were seized and subjected to forfeiture proceedings. is applicable to the procurement. which is. an international or an executive agreement. which reversed the decision of the Commissioner of Customs and ordered that the aforementioned bonds be cancelled and withdrawn. the petitioner initiated the instant proceedings. freedom. In 1994. thus cannot be given retroactive application. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Philippines. Forthwith. Yoshihisa Ara.R. Moreover. thus rendering said contract void and inexistent. The rule of pacta sunt servanda. The invitation to bid was published in 2002. the DOJ received from US DFA a request for the extradition of Mark Jimenez. 1999. a banking agency of Japan. DPWH. EO 40. embodied in Section 4 of RA 9184 as it provides that "[a]ny treaty or international or executive agreement affecting the subject matter of this Act to which the Philippine government is a signatory shall be observed. and then Foreign Affairs Secretary Siazon. 1999 between the Japanese Government and the Philippine Government is an executive agreement. 139465. equality. Article VII. According to the denial of the DOJ. and adheres to the policy of peace. 4833-PH. Loan Agreement No. however. 2004. On appeal. then Secretary of Justice Franklin Drilon. Treaties are formal documents which require ratification with the approval of two thirds of the Senate. as implemented by Presidential Decree No. this holds that Loan Agreement No. the accessory follows the principal. Secretary of Justice vs Lantion. which are. Petitioner Plaridel Abaya contested the award and sought to annul the contract of agreement entered into by and between the DPWH and CR&BC." which may be validly entered into without such concurrence. The Exchange of Notes dated December 27. are thus the same as that of its principal contract from which it receives life and without which it cannot exist as an independent contract. an exchange of notes is considered a form of an executive agreement. said decision was affirmed by the Commissioner of Customs. they do not involve foreign exchange. Hence. the present petition of the Commissioner of Customs for review of the decision of the Court of Tax Appeals. rightfully awarded the contract for the implementation of civil works for the CP I project to private respondent China Road & Bridge Corporation. 44 and 45 for the release thereof.Loan Agreement No. citing Article 7 of the RP-US Extradition Treaty which provides that the Philippine Government must represent the interests of the United States in any proceedings arising out of a request for extradition. we apply the rules of fair play. PH-P204. private respondent filed for mandamus with RTC Manila compelling herein petitioner to furnish private respondents the extradition documents and to afford him an opportunity to comment on them. 167919. HELD: No. An application of the basic twin due process rights of notice and hearing will not go against the treaty or the implementing law. thus said denial is consistent with the treaty. Despite the arguments of petitioners that the Loan Agreement does not fall under EO 459 which defined Treaties. 328 which sought to extend the effectivity of our Trades and Financial Agreements with Japan. HELD: Yes. Thereafter. adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. Thus. Oct 31. February 14. Neither the Treaty nor the Extradition Law precludes these rights from a prospective extraditee. The Commissioner of Customs vs Eastern Sea Trading. petitioner denied the letter of Jimenez. an international nor an executive agreement that would bar the application of RA 9184. China Road and Bridge Corporation provided the lowest bid of ~P952m. No.

1654-PHI. Treaties become part of the law of the land through transformation pursuant to Article VII. ISSUE: WON the RIRR issued by the Department of Health (DOH) is not constitutional. Apparently WHA Resolutions urging member states to implement the ICMBS are merely recommendatory and legally non-binding. it is the Milk Code that has the force and effect of law in this jurisdiction and not the ICMBS per se. filed the present Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 seeking to nullify the RIRR claiming that it is not valid as it contains provisions that are not constitutional and go beyond the law it is supposed to implement. it is propounded that WHA Resolutions may constitute "soft law" or non-binding norms. Thus. Section 4 of RA 9184 expressly recognized that in Procurement. the DBM-PS IABAC chairman informed Kolonwel of the denial of its request for reconsideration and of the WB’s concurrence with the denial. a code adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 1981. it must be established that such rule is being followed by states because they consider it obligatory to comply with such rules (opinio juris). The facts presented states that Engr Tagitis went out of the pension house to take his early lunch but while out on the street. However. legislation is necessary to transform the provisions of the WHA Resolutions into domestic law." Relevant International Agreements. the Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service InterAgency Bids and Awards Committee (IABAC) divided the project into three lots and called for the three biddings of which foreign and local bidders procured Bidding Documents. 175608. Arsimin Kunnong. only the provisions of the Milk Code. by mere constitutional declaration. customary international law is deemed incorporated into our domestic system. on December 28. hence. but not those of subsequent WHA Resolutions. the DepED requested a procurement project for the supply and delivery of 17. 182498. Kolonwel alleged. 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. Kolonwel's tender appeared appeared to cover all three lots.5 million copies of Makabayan textbooks and teachers manuals. Duque III. Out of administrative avenues and remedies. 51. Tagitis was no longer around. Under the fundamental international law principle of pacta sunt servanda. The Court notes that the following international instruments invoked by respondents. a couple of burly men believed to be police intelligence operatives. treaties or conventional international law must go through a process prescribed by the Constitution for it to be transformed into municipal law that can be applied to domestic conflicts. Respondent filed her complaint with the PUP Police Station in the ARMM in Cotabato and in Jolo and was told of an intriguing tale by the police that her husband was not missing but was with another woman having good time somewhere. According to a reliable information received by the respondent. In 1990. the IABAC was legally obliged to comply with. which is to be jointly funded by the World Bank (WB) through the Philippines (RP) – International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) Loan Agreement No. has been answered by the Court in the affirmative in Abaya. Tagitis asked Kunnong to buy him a boat ticket for his return trip to Zamboanga but when Kunnong returned from his errard. the DOH issued Administrative Order (A. 175659 and 175616. 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. 2006. The question as to whether or not foreign loan agreements with international financial institutions.A. 2006. Generally accepted principles of international law" refers to norms of general or customary international law which are binding on all states. In states where the constitution is the highest law of the land. the RP. Respondents failed to establish that the provisions of pertinent WHA Resolutions are customary international law that may be deemed part of the law of the land. However. the Philippines ratified the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. both statutes and treaties may be invalidated if they are in conflict with the constitution. shall primarily govern the procurement of goods necessary to implement the main project. The transformation method requires that an international law be transformed into a domestic law through a constitutional mechanism such as local legislation. "Soft law" does not fall into any of the categories of international law set forth in Article 38. No. principles. From 1982 to 2006. More than a month later. No. Pharmaceutical & Health Care Assoc. The CA immediately issued the Writ of Amparo. 7118-PH and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). representing its members that are manufacturers of breastmilk substitutes. No. Social and Cultural Rights. The human rights of person. Mary Jean B. WB offered "no objection" to the recommended award. The petitioners claimed innocence and expressed that they have exerted necessary efforts in locating Engr. 2007. However. In this regard. 2006. the Milk Code. GR No 173034. that the supply-awardees were rushing with the implementation of the void supply contracts to beat the loan closing-date deadline. Consequently. HELD: Yes. national legislative enactments. The Manila RTC granted Kolonwel's petition and held that the WB Guidelines on Procurement under IBRD Loans is in no way superior over local laws. Stated otherwise. the constitutionally mandated duties of our government to the individual deserve preferential consideration when they collide with its treaty obligations to the government of another state. Razon Jr. namely: (1) The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. or accord primacy to. Through a series of events. 2006-0012 entitled. of the Phil v.R. partake of an executive or international agreement within the purview of the Section 4 of R. G. only provide in general terms that steps must be taken by State Parties to diminish infant and child mortality and inform society of the advantages of breastfeeding.PH. Kolonwel Trading. On Oct 27. the WB and IABAC reviewed and disqualified certain bidders including respondent Kolonwel. On Nov 4. Otherwise Known as The "Milk Code. On the other hand. Under the 1987 Constitution. 9184. and the rights of the accused guaranteed in our Constitution should take precedence over treaty rights claimed by a contracting state. Said instruments do not contain specific provisions regarding the use or marketing of breastmilk substitutes. an expression of non-binding norms. Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Executive Order No. FACTS: President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order No. v. Consequently. 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. HELD: Partly Yes. The ICMBS and WHA Resolutions are not treaties as they have not been concurred in by at least two-thirds of all members of the Senate as required under Section 21. Tagitis (respondent herein) filed a Petition for the Writ of Amparo with the CA. However. 2009. In support of its TRO application.made between a rule of international law and municipal law. But WHA Resolutions have not been embodied in any local legislation. for an international rule to be considered as customary law. such as the Republic of the Philippines. the WHA adopted several Resolutions to the effect that breastfeeding should be supported. the principle lex posterior derogat priori takes effect — a treaty may repeal a statute and a statute may repeal a treaty. and practices that influence state behavior (usus).R. The international instruments that do have specific provisions regarding breastmilk substitutes are the ICMBS and various WHA Resolutions. The three contracts were then awarded to Vibal. Kunnong and his friends were fruitless in their efforts to locate Engr. 9184. Tagitis which lead to Kunnong reporting the matter to the respondent. the WB Guidelines on the conduct and implementation of the bidding/procurement process in question. 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. among other things. (2) The International Covenant on Economic. Applying this postulate in the concrete to this case. which is in fact embodied in the afore-quoted Section 4 of R. The Court granted a TRO preventing the implementation of the RIRR. G. promoted and protected. The doctrine of incorporation. international law is deemed to have the force of domestic law. It is. it should be ensured that nutrition and health claims are not permitted for breastmilk substitutes. ISSUE: WON IBRD Loan Agreement No. Abaya declared that the RP-JBIC loan agreement was to be of governing application over the CP I project and that the JBIC Procurement Guidelines. and (3) the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Section 2. on June 28. and for Other Purposes (RIRR) which was to take effect on July 7. Kolonwel raised several issues and requested that its disqualification be reconsidered and set aside. Engineer Morced Tagitis together with Arsimin Kunnong arrived in Jolo by boat from a serminar in Zamboanga City. Section 21 of the Constitution which provides that "[n]o treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate. whether citizen or alien. the stipulation of the Loan states that the Guidelines for Procurement to be followed must be under IBRD Loans. such as Loan No. forcibly took him and boarded the latter on a motor vehicle then sped away without the knowledge of his student. Kolonwel filed with the RTC of Manila a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or writ of preliminary injunction. Tagitis' wife.O. as borrower. Tagitis. Nos. principles and practices that influence state behavior. FACTS: On Oct 31. However. the ICMBS which was adopted by the WHA in 1981 had been transformed into domestic law through local legislation. but are not superior to. however. 2007. Goltiao – as the officer in command of the area of disappearance – to form TASK FORCE . Significantly. international law can become part of the sphere of domestic law either by transformation or incorporation. 2007. Tagitis. Article II of the 1987 Constitution embodies the incorporation method. 7118-PH is superior over local laws on procurement. Thus. 7118-PH." Thus. as applied in most countries. as stipulated in the loan agreement.) No. bound itself to perform in good faith its duties and obligation under Loan No. through SEDIP Loan No. petitioner. can be validly implemented by the DOH through the subject RIRR. On May 15. December 3. FACTS: In the middle of 2005. Clearly. 2005. Penalizing Violations Thereof. The incorporation method applies when. Chapter III of the 1946 Statute of the International Court of Justice. The CA directed Gen. Matli reported Tagitis' disappearance to the Jolo Police Station. 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. Engr Tagitis is in the custody of police intelligence operatives. 20017 Kunnong and Muhammad Abdulnazeir N. Accordingly. 7118. the respondent turned to the courts for help. Department of Budget and Management Procurement Service v. and ensure that women are provided with services and nutrition in connection with pregnancy and lactation. ensure the health and well-being of families. Watana and Daewoo respectively and upon review. supra. The police even suggested that she report the matter to different Police Headquarters out of her own expense fares and eventually informed her that they are not the proper persons that she should approach.June 8. decrees that rules of international law are given equal standing with. Oct 9. but assured her not to worry because her husband is in good hands. 51 (Milk Code) in which one of its preambular clauses of the Milk Code states that the law seeks to give effect to Article 11 of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (ICMBS). Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.A.

To this. Sandiganbayan. involuntary or enforced disappearance is considered a flagrant violation of human rights. and 3) those of victims of “salvaging” who have disappeared until their lifeless bodies are later discovered. otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act. as evidenced primarily by the lack of a concrete definition of “enforced disappearance. It requires the forum court to exercise restraint in the adjudication of disputes relating to legislative or other governmental acts which a foreign State has performed within its territorial limits. The act of state doctrine is one of the methods by which States prevent their national courts from deciding disputes which relate to the internal affairs of another State. The PCGG and OSG appealed before the Sandiganbayan but such was denied. On March 7. These rulings effectively serve as the backdrop for the Rule on the Writ of Amparo.” We note that although the writ specifically covers “enforced disappearances. From the International Law perspective. the victims of enforced disappearances were called the “desaparecidos. it affects their families as well through the denial of their right to information regarding the circumstances of the disappeared family member. ISSUE: WON the Contract Agreement is an executive agreement. and the issue became an international concern when the world noted its widespread and systematic use by State security forces in that continent under Operation Condor and during the Dirty War in the 1970s and 1980s.” since extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. HELD: No. Even sovereign state is bound to respect the independence of every other state. The phenomenon of enforced disappearance arising from State action first started in Adolt Hitler's Decree where persons were transported secretly to Germany where they disappeared without a trace and prohibiting government officials from providing information about the fate of these targeted persons. HELD: Yes. particularly the conventions touching on humans rights. Switzerland regarding the sequestration and restitution of the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses. ISSUE: WON the disappearance of Tagitis is an enforced disappearance that would apply the Rule on the Writ of Amparo. in acting on Amparo cases. Northrail is a government-owned or controlled corporation. the filing of this petition. 2008. certain states of Europe. They alleged that the Contract Agreement and the Loan Agreement were void for being contrary to (a) the Constitution. the Banker's Trust A. wherein China agreed to extend Preferential Buyer’s Credit to the Philippine government to finance the Northrail Project. the determination of what acts are criminal and what the corresponding penalty these criminal acts should carry are matters of substantive law that only the Legislature has the power to enact under the country’s constitutional scheme and power structure.G. by their nature and purpose. The Chinese government designated EXIM Bank as the lender. Officeco appealed but such was dismissed by the Zurich court. The absence of a specific penal law. bound by its Charter and by the various conventions we signed and ratified. G. even TASK FORCE TAGITIS was not successful and reports even recommended that the Writ of Amparo be dropped. done . the Philippines has neither signed nor ratified the Convention.” The International Court of Justice deemed an international custom. HELD: No.V. which the Court made effective on October 24. 2) those of prisoners who are usually arrested without an appropriate warrant and held in complete isolation for weeks or months while their families are unable to discover their whereabouts and the military authorities deny having them in custody until they eventually reappear in one detention center or another. PCGG v. The simple reason is that the Legislature has not spoken on the matter.TAGITIS. by the reality that the Philippines is a member of the UN. whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more relate instruments and whatever its particular designation.A. the ban on enforced disappearance cannot but have its effects on the country. Although the Amparo Rule still has gaps waiting to be filled through substantive law. It does not only violate the right to life.” which literally means the “disappeared ones. (Group) (CNMEG) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the North Luzon Railways Corporation (Northrail) for the conduct of a feasibility study on a possible railway line from Manila to San Fernando. The Convention is the first universal human rights instrument to assert that there is a right not to be subject to enforced disappearance and that this right is nonderogable. 1445. The UN General Assembly first considered the issue of “Disappeared Persons” in December 1978 under Resolution 33/173. ISSUE: WON the Act of State Doctrine may be invoked by PCGG. as the Northrail Project was a product of an executive agreement. The Amparo Rule expressly provides that the “writ shall cover extralegal killings and enforced disappearances or threats thereof. and the courts of one country will not sit in judgment on the acts of the government of another. Instead of complying with the requirement. liberty and security that the Supreme Court is mandated by the Constitution to protect through its rule-making powers. the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Declaration). both Northrail and CNMEG entered into the Contract Agreement as entities with personalities distinct and separate from the Philippine and Chinese governments respectively. CNMEG filed a Motion to Dismiss. This Declaration. and (b) the subject matter. Thus this petition. through the medium of the Amparo Rule. (c) Presidential Decree No. In the Philippines. the Organization of American States. Neither can it be said that CNMEG acted as agent of the Chinese government. China National Machinery and Equip Corp v. is not a stumbling block for action from this Court. liberty and security. however. while CNMEG is a corporation duly organized and created under the laws of the People’s Republic of China. the CA issued its decision confirming that the disappearance of Tagitis was an “enforced disappearance” under the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. On 30 August 2003. Feb 7. making it immune from suit. FACTS: The case at bar emanates from a letter of the Office of the Solicitor General to the Federal Office for Police Matters in Berne. and (d) Executive Order No. (b) Republic Act No. 2006). No.” In general. The PCGG required Officeco to present evidence to support their petition. the Supreme Court is not powerless to act under its own constitutional mandate to promulgate “rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights. The Office of the District Attorney in Zurich responded to such request and as an effect. practice and procedure in all courts. Thus. CA dismissed the petition for certiorari and denied the Motion for Reconsideration. private respondents filed a Complaint for Annulment of Contract. however. Officeco instituted a civil case before public respondent Sandiganbayan with a prayer that Officeco’s account be unfreeze and excluded from sequestration. pleading. This requires the "State practice" and "opinio juris". as it was an agent of the Chinese government. It is therefore clear from the foregoing reasons that the Contract Agreement does not partake of the nature of an executive agreement. It is an avoidance technique that is directly related to a State’s obligation to respect the independence and equality of other States by not requiring them to submit to adjudication in a national court or to settlement of their disputes without their consent.” this concept is neither defined nor penalized in this jurisdiction. provide ample guidance and standards on how. Even without the benefit of directly applicable substantive laws on extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances. arguing that the trial court did not have jurisdiction over (a) its person. As a matter of human right and fundamental freedom and as a policy matter made in a UN Declaration. The CA issued a warning against TASK FORCE TAGITIS for not exerting an extraordinary efforts in resolving Tagitis' disappearance. the Court is guided. Fourteen years after (or on December 20. among others. The CA ruled that when military intelligence pinpointed the investigative arm of the PNP (CIDG) to be involved in the abduction. to which the Philippines is both a signatory and a State Party. Thus this petition. for the first time. It then made representation before the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) for them to officially advise the Swiss Federal Office to unfreeze their assets. and which we should act upon to the extent already allowed under our laws and the international conventions that bind us. the missingperson case qualified as an enforced disappearance. The Contract Agreement was not concluded between the States of Philippines and China. underlying every enforced disappearance is a violation of the constitutional rights to life. (Officeco). No. The trial court denied CNMEG's motion and also denied the Motion for Reconsideration. and in interpreting Article 2 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). constitute State or private party violation of the constitutional rights of individuals to life. the parties have effectively conceded that their rights and obligations thereunder are not governed by international law. which we should consider a part of the law of the land. 2012. as evidencee of a general practice accepted as law. as heretofore mentioned. As this fom of political brutality became routine. provided in its third preambular clause a working description of enforced disappearance. La Union (the Northrail Project). Thereafter.R. it did not mean that it was to perform sovereign functions on behalf of China. Rome. Latin America . show that enforced disappearance as a State practice has been repudiated by the international community. the Court can provide remedies and protect the constitutional rights to life. A treaty is a[ny] international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law.” the materials cited above. but between Northrail and CNMEG. such that it cannot be questioned by or before a local court. However. 2007. given our own adherence to “generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. As Ambassador Wang described CNMEG as a “State corporation”. petitioner China National Machinery & Equipment Corp. liberty and security of the desaparecido. otherwise known as the Government Auditing Code. 9184). Article 2 of the Conditions of Contract explicitly provides that Philippine law shall be applicable. To date. 292. 185572. the other two being immunity and non-justiciability. 9184 (R. FACTS: On 14 September 2002. It is merely an ordinary commercial contract that can be questioned before the local courts. there are three different kinds of “disappearance” cases: 1) those of people arrested without witnesses or without positive identification of the arresting agents and are never found again. the Export Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) and the Department of Finance of the Philippines (DOF) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (Aug 30 MOU). 124772. G. while the Philippine government named the DOF as the borrower. N. otherwise known as the Administrative Code. United States. (BTAG) of Zurich forze the accounts of the Officeco Holdings. The CA thus extended the privilege of the writ to Tagitis and his family. Separately from the Constitution (but still pursuant to its terms). The enforced disappearance proceeded during the military regime in Argentina.R. By the terms of the Contract Agreement. so that the ban on it is now a generally accepted principle of international law. Hence. enforced disappearances generally fall within the first two categories. On 13 February 2006. In 1992. August 14. the UN General Assembly adopted the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Convention). so that the country is not yet committed to enact any law penalizing enforced disappearance as a crime. No. liberty and security that underlie every enforced disappearance. 2007. Santamaria.

In this case. and courts certainly possess the authority to construe or invalidate treaties and executive agreements. 1997. and the OSG. complex. the Secretary of the DFA. and those arising vis-à-vis another State in the field of diplomatic protection. with a view to furthering their cause or obtaining redress. and the propriety of what may be done in the exercise of this political power is not subject to judicial inquiry or decision. the Asian Women’s Fund and the Philippine government signed a Memorandum of Understanding for medical and welfare support programs for former comfort women. From a municipal law perspective. thereby creating serious implications for stability in this region. The term erga omnes (Latin: in relation to everyone) in international law has been used as a legal term describing obligations owed by States towards the community of states as a whole. Even the invocation of jus cogens norms and erga omnes obligations will not alter this analysis. and took the position that the individual claims of the comfort women for compensation had already been fully satisfied by Japan’s compliance with the Peace Treaty between the Philippines and Japan. consular and other officials. if means are available. DFA. But officials of the Executive Department declined to assist the petitioners. as prayed for in the complaint. this petition where petitioners pray for this court to (a) declare that respondents committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of discretion in refusing to espouse their claims for the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed against them. respect for the rules of international law.R. He has his agents in the form of diplomatic. In view of the importance of the rights involved.” are delicate. and whether further steps are appropriate or necessary. The President.within its territory. the Sandiganbayan will only review and examine the propriety of maintaining the PCGG’s position with respect to Officeco’s accounts with BTAG for the purpose of further determining the propriety of issuing a writ against the PCGG and the OSG. and can be modified only by general international norms of equivalent authority . Should the natural or legal person on whose behalf it is acting consider that their rights are not adequately protected. it bears stressing that the Sandiganbayan will not examine and review the freeze orders of the concerned Swiss officials. are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity. or that the duty to prosecute perpetrators of international crimes is an erga omnes obligation or has attained the status of jus cogens. On January 15. Petitioners are all members of the MALAYA LOLAS. Within the limits prescribed by international law. However. the Executive Department has the exclusive prerogative to determine whether to espouse petitioners’ claims against Japan. The Sandiganbayan will not require the Swiss officials to submit to its adjudication nor will it settle a dispute involving said officials. Vinuya v. The Executive Department has determined that taking up petitioners’ cause would be inimical to our country’s foreign policy interests. a State is in reality asserting its own right to ensure. a non-stock. under the Constitution. superseding conflicting treaties and custom. they have no remedy in international law. Petitioners claim that since 1998. the former are the concern of all States. The wisdom of such decision is not for the courts to question. and involve large elements of prophecy. HELD: No. By taking up the case of one of its subjects and by resorting to diplomatic action or international judicial proceedings on his behalf. Petitioners have not shown that the crimes committed by the Japanese army violated jus cogens prohibitions at the time the Treaty of Peace was signed. All they can do is resort to national law. not legality of a particular measure. Even assuming that international law requires the application of the act of state doctrine. the act of state doctrine finds no application in this case and petitioners’ resort to it is utterly mislaid. these were implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. established for the purpose of providing aid to the victims of rape by Japanese military forces in the Philippines during the Second World War. traditionally. It is wellestablished that “the conduct of the foreign relations of our government is committed by the Constitution to the executive and legislative–‘the political’–departments of the government. and especially is this true in time of war. But not all cases implicating foreign relations present political questions. ISSUE: WON the Executive Department committed grave abuse of discretion in not espousing petitioners’ claims for official apology and other forms of reparations against Japan. Redress of grievances by reason of such acts must be obtained through the means open to be availed of by sovereign powers as between themselves. non-profit organization registered with the SEC. He has his confidential sources of information. has the better opportunity of knowing the conditions which prevail in foreign countries. In fact. By their very nature. April 28. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom. the question whether the Philippine government should espouse claims of its nationals against a foreign government is a foreign relations matter. they have approached the Executive Department through the DOJ. All these questions remain within the province of municipal law and do not affect the position internationally. For the to overturn the Executive Department’s determination would mean an assessment of the foreign policy judgments by a coordinate political branch to which authority to make that judgment has been constitutionally committed. the authority for which is demonstrably committed by our Constitution not to the courts but to the political branches. not Congress. In the international sphere. certiorari will not lie. From a Domestic Law Perspective. all States can be held to have a legal interest in their protection. The term “jus cogens” (literally. and decide on that basis if apologies are sufficient. do not admit derogation. Essential distinction should be drawn between the obligations of a State towards the international community as a whole. 2010 FACTS: This is an original Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court with an application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction against the Office of the Executive Secretary. G. They are and should be undertaken only by those directly responsible to the people whose welfare they advance or imperil. or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. 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 individual’s behalf. in the person of its subjects. No. a State may exercise diplomatic protection by whatever means and to whatever extent it thinks fit. As a general principle. and (b) compel the respondents to espouse their claims for official apology and other forms of reparations against Japan before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and other international tribunals. the Executive Department has already decided that it is to the best interest of the country to waive all claims of its nationals for reparations against Japan in the Treaty of Peace of 1951. Romulo. where such an extraordinary length of time has lapsed between the treaty’s conclusion and our consideration – the Executive must be given ample discretion to assess the foreign policy considerations of espousing a claim against Japan.” One type of case of political questions involves questions of foreign relations. and OSG. Political questions refer “to those questions which. 162230. Over the next five years. requesting assistance in filing a claim against the Japanese officials and military officers who ordered the establishment of the “comfort women” stations in the Philippines. from the standpoint of both the interests of the petitioners and those of the Republic. and could disrupt our relations with Japan. the Secretary of the DOJ. Everything considered. “compelling law”) refers to norms that command peremptory authority. Hence. they are obligations erga omnes. for it is its own right that the State is asserting. Jus cogens norms are considered peremptory in the sense that they are mandatory. Respondents maintain that all claims of the Philippines and its nationals relative to the war were dealt with in the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951 and the bilateral Reparations Agreement of 1956.