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Diplomatic and Consular Relations

DEUTSCHE GESELLSCHAFT TECHNISCHE ZUSAMMENARBEIT (GTZ) v. HON.


COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 152318, April 16, 2009
FACTS
The Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of the Philippines ratified and
agreement which lead to the Social Health InsuranceNetworking and Empowerment (SHINE)
program wherein the program seeks to provide health care to Filipino families, especially the
poor. The Republic of Germany assigned the GTZ as the implementing corporation for the
program, while the Philippines designated the Department of Health and the Philippine Health
Insurance Corporation. Private respondents, as employed by GTZ for the implementation of the
SHINE, had a misunderstanding with the Project Manager of SHINE. This lead to an exchange
of letters which was interpreted to be the resignation of the private respondents. Private
respondents then filed a complaint for illegal dismissal to the labor arbiter. GTZ contends that it
is immune from suit as it is the accredited agency of the Federal Republic of Germany.
ISSUE
Whether or not the GTZ is immune from suit.
HELD
A state may waive its immunity through a general or specific law. The special law can
take the form of the original charter of the incorporated government agency. In this case
however, GTZ presented any evidence to support their claim that they are immune from suit, and
has failed to obtain a certification of immunity from suit from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
If GTZ has done so, then there would be no ambiguity in their claim that they are immune from
suit.