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Chapter III

apply equally to all members of the same

Equal protection Clause

class.

People vs. Cayat


Facts/Issue: Accused Cayat, a native of

Act No. 1639 satisfies these requirements.

Baguio, Benguet, Mountain Province, and a

The classification rests on real or

member of the non-Christian tribes, was

substantial, not merely imaginary or

found guilty of violating sections 2 and 3 of

whimsical distinctions. It is not based upon

Act No. 1639 for having acquired and

accident of birth or parentage, as counsel

possessed one bottle of A-1-1 gin, an

for the appellant asserts, but upon the

intoxicating liquor, which is not a native

degree of civilization and culture. The term

wine. The law made it unlawful for any

non-Christian tribes refers, not to religious

native of the Philippines who is a member of

belief but in a way, to the geographical area

a non-Christian tribe within the meaning of

and more directly, to natives of the

Act 1397 to buy, receive, have in his

Philippine Islands of a low grade of

possession, or drink any ardent spirits, ale,

civilization, usually living in tribal

beer, wine or intoxicating liquors of any kind,

relationship apart from settled

other than the so-called native wines and

communities. (Rubi vs. Provincial Board of

liquors which the members of such tribes

Mindora, supra.) This distinction is

have been accustomed to prior to the

unquestionably reasonable, for the Act was

passage of the law. Cayat challenges the

intended to meet the peculiar conditions

constitutionality of Act 1639 on the grounds

existing in the non-Christian tribes.

that it is discriminatory and denies the equal


protection of the laws, violates due process
clause, and is an improper exercise of
police power.

The prohibition enshrined in Act 1397 is


designed to insure peace and order in and
among non-Christian tribes. It applies
equally to all members of the class evident

Held: It is an established principle of

from perusal thereof. That it may be unfair

constitutional law that the guaranty of the

in its operation against a certain number of

equal protection of the laws is not violated

non-Christians by reason of their degree of

by a legislation based on reasonable

culture, is not an argument against the

classification. (1) must rest on substantial

equality of its application.

distinctions; (2) must be germane to the


purposes of the law; (3) must not be limited
to existing conditions only; and (4) must

Association of Small Landowners


Vs Secretary of Agrarian Reform
These are four consolidated cases
questioning the constitutionality of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Act
(R.A. No. 6657 and related laws i.e.,
Agrarian Land Reform Code or R.A. No.
3844).

Brief background: Article XIII of the


Constitution on Social Justice and
Human Rights includes a call for the
adoption by the State of an agrarian
reform program. The State shall, by
law, undertake an agrarian reform
program founded on the right of
farmers and regular farmworkers, who
are landless, to own directly or
collectively the lands they till or, in the
case of other farmworkers, to receive
a just share of the fruits thereof. RA
3844 was enacted in 1963. P.D. No. 27
was promulgated in 1972 to provide
for the compulsory acquisition of
private lands for distribution among
tenant-farmers and to specify
maximum retention limits for
landowners. In 1987, President
Corazon Aquino issued E.O. No. 228,
declaring full land ownership in favor
of the beneficiaries of PD 27 and
providing for the valuation of still
unvalued lands covered by the decree
as well as the manner of their
payment. In 1987, P.P. No. 131,
instituting a comprehensive agrarian
reform program (CARP) was enacted;
later, E.O. No. 229, providing the
mechanics for its (PP131s)
implementation, was also enacted.
Afterwhich is the enactment of R.A.
No. 6657, Comprehensive Agrarian

Reform Law in 1988. This law, while


considerably changing the earlier
mentioned enactments, nevertheless
gives them suppletory effect insofar as
they are not inconsistent with its
provisions.

[Two of the consolidated cases are


discussed below]

G.R. No. 78742: (Association of Small


Landowners vs Secretary)

The Association of Small Landowners


in the Philippines, Inc. sought
exception from the land distribution
scheme provided for in R.A. 6657. The
Association is comprised of
landowners of ricelands and cornlands
whose landholdings do not exceed 7
hectares. They invoke that since their
landholdings are less than 7 hectares,
they should not be forced to distribute
their land to their tenants under R.A.
6657 for they themselves have shown
willingness to till their own land. In
short, they want to be exempted from
agrarian reform program because they
claim to belong to a different class.

G.R. No. 79777: (Manaay vs Juico)

Nicolas Manaay questioned the


validity of the agrarian reform laws
(PD 27, EO 228, and 229) on the
ground that these laws already
valuated their lands for the agrarian

reform program and that the specific


amount must be determined by the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Manaay averred that this violated the
principle in eminent domain which
provides that only courts can
determine just compensation. This, for
Manaay, also violated due process for
under the constitution, no property
shall be taken for public use without
just compensation.

1. No. The Association had not shown


any proof that they belong to a
different class exempt from the
agrarian reform program. Under the
law, classification has been defined as
the grouping of persons or things
similar to each other in certain
particulars and different from each
other in these same particulars. To be
valid, it must conform to the following
requirements:

Manaay also questioned the provision


which states that landowners may be
paid for their land in bonds and not
necessarily in cash. Manaay averred
that just compensation has always
been in the form of money and not in
bonds.

(1) it must be based on substantial


distinctions;

(2) it must be germane to the


purposes of the law;

ISSUE:

(3) it must not be limited to existing


conditions only; and

1. Whether or not there was a violation


of the equal protection clause.

(4) it must apply equally to all the


members of the class.

2. Whether or not there is a violation


of due process.

Equal protection simply means that all


persons or things similarly situated
must be treated alike both as to the
rights conferred and the liabilities
imposed. The Association have not
shown that they belong to a different
class and entitled to a different
treatment. The argument that not only
landowners but also owners of other
properties must be made to share the
burden of implementing land reform
must be rejected. There is a
substantial distinction between these

3. Whether or not just compensation,


under the agrarian reform program,
must be in terms of cash.

HELD:

two classes of owners that is clearly


visible except to those who will not
see. There is no need to elaborate on
this matter. In any event, the Congress
is allowed a wide leeway in providing
for a valid classification. Its decision is
accorded recognition and respect by
the courts of justice except only where
its discretion is abused to the
detriment of the Bill of Rights. In the
contrary, it appears that Congress is
right in classifying small landowners
as part of the agrarian reform
program.

2. No. It is true that the determination


of just compensation is a power
lodged in the courts. However, there is
no law which prohibits administrative
bodies like the DAR from determining
just compensation. In fact, just
compensation can be that amount
agreed upon by the landowner and the
government even without judicial
intervention so long as both parties
agree. The DAR can determine just
compensation through appraisers and
if the landowner agrees, then judicial
intervention is not needed. What is
contemplated by law however is that,
the just compensation determined by
an administrative body is merely
preliminary. If the landowner does not
agree with the finding of just
compensation by an administrative
body, then it can go to court and the
determination of the latter shall be the
final determination. This is even so
provided by RA 6657:

Section 16 (f): Any party who


disagrees with the decision may bring
the matter to the court of proper
jurisdiction for final determination of
just compensation.

3. No. Money as [sole] payment for


just compensation is merely a concept
in traditional exercise of eminent
domain. The agrarian reform program
is a revolutionary exercise of eminent
domain. The program will require
billions of pesos in funds if all
compensation have to be made in
cash if everything is in cash, then
the government will not have
sufficient money hence, bonds, and
other securities, i.e., shares of stocks,
may be used for just compensation.
IMBONG VS OCHOA

G.R. No. 204819


2014

April 8,

JAMES M. IMBONG and LOVELYANN C. IMBONG, for themselves


and in behalf of their minor
children, LUCIA CARLOS IMBONG
and BERNADETTE CARLOS
IMBONG and MAGNIFICAT CHILD
DEVELOPMENT CENTER, INC.,
Petitioners,
vs.
HON. PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR.,
Executive Secretary, HON.
FLORENCIO B. ABAD, Secretary,
Department of Budget and
Management, HON. ENRIQUE T.

ONA, Secretary, Department of


Health, HON. ARMIN A. LUISTRO,
Secretary, Department of
Education, Culture and Sports and
HON. MANUELA. ROXAS II,
Secretary, Department of Interior
and Local Government,
Respondents.
Facts:
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10354,
otherwise known as the Responsible
Parenthood and Reproductive Health
Act of 2012 (RH Law), was enacted by
Congress on December 21, 2012.

Challengers from various sectors of


society are questioning the
constitutionality of the said Act. (equal
protection of law).
The RH Law violates the right to equal
protection of the law.
To provide that the poor are to be
given priority in the governments RH
program is not a violation of the equal
protection clause. In fact, it is
pursuant to Section 11, Article XIII of
the Constitution, which states that the
State shall prioritize the needs of the
underprivileged, sick elderly, disabled,
women, and children and that it shall
endeavor to provide medical care to
paupers.
The RH Law does not only seek to
target the poor to reduce their
number, since Section 7 of the RH Law
prioritizes poor and marginalized
couples who are suffering from fertility
issues and desire to have children. In
addition, the RH Law does not

prescribe the number of children a


couple may have and does not impose
conditions upon couples who intend to
have children. The RH Law only seeks
to provide priority to the poor.

The exclusion of private educational


institutions from the mandatory RH
education program under Section 14 is
valid. There is a need to recognize the
academic freedom of private
educational institutions especially with
respect to religious instruction and to
consider their sensitivity towards the
teaching of reproductive health
education.
Discussion on procedure
PROCEDURAL

Judicial Review Jurisprudence is replete


with the rule that the power of judicial
review is limited by four exacting
requisites: (a) there must be an actual
case or controversy; (b) the petitioners
must possess locus standi; (c) the
question of constitutionality must be
raised at the earliest opportunity; and
(d) the issue of constitutionality must
be the lis mota of the case.

Actual Controversy: An actual case or


controversy means an existing case or
controversy that is appropriate or ripe
for determination, not conjectural or
anticipatory, lest the decision of the
court would amount to an advisory
opinion. It must concern a real,
tangible and not merely a theoretical

question or issue. There ought to be


an actual and substantial controversy
admitting of specific relief through a
decree conclusive in nature, as
distinguished from an opinion advising
what the law would be upon a
hypothetical state of facts. Corollary to
the requirement of an actual case or
controversy is the requirement of
ripeness. A question is ripe for
adjudication when the act being
challenged has had a direct adverse
effect on the individual challenging it.
For a case to be considered ripe for
adjudication, it is a prerequisite that
something has then been
accomplished or performed by either
branch before a court may come into
the picture, and the petitioner must
allege the existence of an immediate
or threatened injury to himself as a
result of the challenged action. He
must show that he has sustained or is
immediately in danger of sustaining
some direct injury as a result of the
act complained of

Facial Challenge: A facial challenge,


also known as a First Amendment
Challenge, is one that is launched to
assail the validity of statutes
concerning not only protected speech,
but also all other rights in the First
Amendment. These include religious
freedom, freedom of the press, and
the right of the people to peaceably
assemble, and to petition the
Government for a redress of
grievances. After all, the fundamental
right to religious freedom, freedom of
the press and peaceful assembly are
but component rights of the right to

ones freedom of expression, as they


are modes which ones thoughts are
externalized.

Locus Standi: Locus standi or legal


standing is defined as a personal and
substantial interest in a case such that
the party has sustained or will sustain
direct injury as a result of the
challenged governmental act. It
requires a personal stake in the
outcome of the controversy as to
assure the concrete adverseness
which sharpens the presentation of
issues upon which the court so largely
depends for illumination of difficult
constitutional questions.

Transcendental Importance: the Court


leans on the doctrine that the rule on
standing is a matter of procedure,
hence, can be relaxed for nontraditional plaintiffs like ordinary
citizens, taxpayers, and legislators
when the public interest so requires,
such as when the matter is of
transcendental importance, of
overreaching significance to society,
or of paramount public interest.

One Subject-One Title: The one titleone subject rule does not require the
Congress to employ in the title of the
enactment language of such precision
as to mirror, fully index or catalogue
all the contents and the minute details
therein. The rule is sufficiently
complied with if the title is
comprehensive enough as to include
the general object which the statute

seeks to effect, and where, as here,


the persons interested are informed of
the nature, scope and consequences
of the proposed law and its operation.
Moreover, this Court has invariably
adopted a liberal rather than technical
construction of the rule so as not to
cripple or impede legislation. The one
subject/one title rule expresses the
principle that the title of a law must
not be so uncertain that the average
person reading it would not be
informed of the purpose of the
enactment or put on inquiry as to its
contents, or which is misleading,
either in referring to or indicating one
subject where another or different one
is really embraced in the act, or in
omitting any expression or indication
of the real subject or scope of the act.

Declaration of Unconstitutionality:
Orthodox view: An unconstitutional act
is not a law; it confers no rights; it
imposes no duties; it affords no
protection; it creates no office; it is, in
legal contemplation, as inoperative as
though it had never been passed.
Modern view: Under this view, the
court in passing upon the question of
constitutionality does not annul or
repeal the statute if it finds it in
conflict with the Constitution. It simply
refuses to recognize it and determines
the rights of the parties just as if such
statute had no existence. But certain
legal effects of the statute prior to its
declaration of unconstitutionality may
be recognized. Requisites for partial
unconstitutionality: (1) The Legislature
must be willing to retain the valid
portion(s), usually shown by the

presence of a separability clause in


the law; and (2) The valid portion can
stand independently as law.
Biraogo vs. THE PHIIPPINE
TRUTHCOMMISSION OF 2010, GR
NO. 192935
Pres. Aquino signed E. O. No. 1
establishing Philippine Truth
Commission of 2010 (PTC) dated July
30, 2010.

PTC is a mere ad hoc body formed


under the Office of the President with
the primary task to investigate reports
of graft and corruption committed by
third-level public officers and
employees, their co-principals,
accomplices and accessories during
the previous administration, and to
submit its finding and
recommendations to the President,
Congress and the Ombudsman. PTC
has all the powers of an investigative
body. But it is not a quasi-judicial body
as it cannot adjudicate, arbitrate,
resolve, settle, or render awards in
disputes between contending parties.
All it can do is gather, collect and
assess evidence of graft and
corruption and make
recommendations. It may have
subpoena powers but it has no power
to cite people in contempt, much less
order their arrest. Although it is a factfinding body, it cannot determine from
such facts if probable cause exists as
to warrant the filing of an information
in our courts of law.

Petitioners asked the Court to declare


it unconstitutional and to enjoin the
PTC from performing its functions.
They argued that:

corruption is their peculiar species


even as it excludes those of the other
administrations, past and present, who
may be indictable.

(a) E.O. No. 1 violates separation of


powers as it arrogates the power of
the Congress to create a public office
and appropriate funds for its
operation.

Respondents, through OSG,


questioned the legal standing of
petitioners and argued that:

(b) The provision of Book III, Chapter


10, Section 31 of the Administrative
Code of 1987 cannot legitimize E.O.
No. 1 because the delegated authority
of the President to structurally
reorganize the Office of the President
to achieve economy, simplicity and
efficiency does not include the power
to create an entirely new public office
which was hitherto inexistent like the
Truth Commission.

(c) E.O. No. 1 illegally amended the


Constitution and statutes when it
vested the Truth Commission with
quasi-judicial powers duplicating, if not
superseding, those of the Office of the
Ombudsman created under the 1987
Constitution and the DOJ created
under the Administrative Code of
1987.

(d) E.O. No. 1 violates the equal


protection clause as it selectively
targets for investigation and
prosecution officials and personnel of
the previous administration as if

1] E.O. No. 1 does not arrogate the


powers of Congress because the
Presidents executive power and
power of control necessarily include
the inherent power to conduct
investigations to ensure that laws are
faithfully executed and that, in any
event, the Constitution, Revised
Administrative Code of 1987, PD No.
141616 (as amended), R.A. No. 9970
and settled jurisprudence, authorize
the President to create or form such
bodies.

2] E.O. No. 1 does not usurp the power


of Congress to appropriate funds
because there is no appropriation but
a mere allocation of funds already
appropriated by Congress.

3] The Truth Commission does not


duplicate or supersede the functions
of the Ombudsman and the DOJ,
because it is a fact-finding body and
not a quasi-judicial body and its
functions do not duplicate, supplant or
erode the latters jurisdiction.

4] The Truth Commission does not


violate the equal protection clause
because it was validly created for
laudable purposes.

ISSUES:

1. WON the petitioners have legal


standing to file the petitions and
question E. O. No. 1;
2. WON E. O. No. 1 violates the
principle of separation of powers by
usurping the powers of Congress to
create and to appropriate funds for
public offices, agencies and
commissions;
3. WON E. O. No. 1 supplants the
powers of the Ombudsman and the
DOJ;

of constitutionality must be the very


lis mota of the case.

1. The petition primarily invokes


usurpation of the power of the
Congress as a body to which they
belong as members. To the extent the
powers of Congress are impaired, so is
the power of each member thereof,
since his office confers a right to
participate in the exercise of the
powers of that institution.

Legislators have a legal standing to


see to it that the prerogative, powers
and privileges vested by the
Constitution in their office remain
inviolate. Thus, they are allowed to
question the validity of any official
action which, to their mind, infringes
on their prerogatives as legislators.

4. WON E. O. No. 1 violates the equal


protection clause.

RULING:
The power of judicial review is subject
to limitations, to wit: (1) there must be
an actual case or controversy calling
for the exercise of judicial power; (2)
the person challenging the act must
have the standing to question the
validity of the subject act or issuance;
otherwise stated, he must have a
personal and substantial interest in
the case such that he has sustained,
or will sustain, direct injury as a result
of its enforcement; (3) the question of
constitutionality must be raised at the
earliest opportunity; and (4) the issue

With regard to Biraogo, he has not


shown that he sustained, or is in
danger of sustaining, any personal and
direct injury attributable to the
implementation of E. O. No. 1.

Locus standi is a right of appearance


in a court of justice on a given
question. In private suits, standing is
governed by the real-parties-in
interest rule. It provides that every
action must be prosecuted or
defended in the name of the real party
in interest. Real-party-in interest is
the party who stands to be benefited
or injured by the judgment in the suit

or the party entitled to the avails of


the suit.

Difficulty of determining locus standi


arises in public suits. Here, the plaintiff
who asserts a public right in
assailing an allegedly illegal official
action, does so as a representative of
the general public. He has to show
that he is entitled to seek judicial
protection. He has to make out a
sufficient interest in the vindication of
the public order and the securing of
relief as a citizen or taxpayer.

The person who impugns the validity


of a statute must have a personal
and substantial interest in the case
such that he has sustained, or will
sustain direct injury as a result. The
Court, however, finds reason in
Biraogos assertion that the petition
covers matters of transcendental
importance to justify the exercise of
jurisdiction by the Court. There are
constitutional issues in the petition
which deserve the attention of this
Court in view of their seriousness,
novelty and weight as precedents

The Executive is given much leeway in


ensuring that our laws are faithfully
executed. The powers of the President
are not limited to those specific
powers under the Constitution. One of
the recognized powers of the President
granted pursuant to this
constitutionally-mandated duty is the
power to create ad hoc committees.
This flows from the obvious need to

ascertain facts and determine if laws


have been faithfully executed. The
purpose of allowing ad hoc
investigating bodies to exist is to allow
an inquiry into matters which the
President is entitled to know so that he
can be properly advised and guided in
the performance of his duties relative
to the execution and enforcement of
the laws of the land.

2. There will be no appropriation but


only an allotment or allocations of
existing funds already appropriated.
There is no usurpation on the part of
the Executive of the power of
Congress to appropriate funds. There
is no need to specify the amount to be
earmarked for the operation of the
commission because, whatever funds
the Congress has provided for the
Office of the President will be the very
source of the funds for the
commission. The amount that would
be allocated to the PTC shall be
subject to existing auditing rules and
regulations so there is no impropriety
in the funding.

3. PTC will not supplant the


Ombudsman or the DOJ or erode their
respective powers. If at all, the
investigative function of the
commission will complement those of
the two offices. The function of
determining probable cause for the
filing of the appropriate complaints
before the courts remains to be with
the DOJ and the Ombudsman. PTCs
power to investigate is limited to
obtaining facts so that it can advise

and guide the President in the


performance of his duties relative to
the execution and enforcement of the
laws of the land.

4. Court finds difficulty in upholding


the constitutionality of Executive
Order No. 1 in view of its apparent
transgression of the equal protection
clause enshrined in Section 1, Article
III (Bill of Rights) of the 1987
Constitution.

Equal protection requires that all


persons or things similarly situated
should be treated alike, both as to
rights conferred and responsibilities
imposed. It requires public bodies and
institutions to treat similarly situated
individuals in a similar manner. The
purpose of the equal protection clause
is to secure every person within a
states jurisdiction against intentional
and arbitrary discrimination, whether
occasioned by the express terms of a
statue or by its improper execution
through the states duly constituted
authorities.

There must be equality among equals


as determined according to a valid
classification. Equal protection clause
permits classification. Such
classification, however, to be valid
must pass the test of reasonableness.
The test has four requisites: (1) The
classification rests on substantial
distinctions; (2) It is germane to the
purpose of the law; (3) It is not limited
to existing conditions only; and (4) It

applies equally to all members of the


same class.

The classification will be regarded as


invalid if all the members of the class
are not similarly treated, both as to
rights conferred and obligations
imposed.

Executive Order No. 1 should be struck


down as violative of the equal
protection clause. The clear mandate
of truth commission is to investigate
and find out the truth concerning the
reported cases of graft and corruption
during the previous administration
only. The intent to single out the
previous administration is plain,
patent and manifest.

Arroyo administration is but just a


member of a class, that is, a class of
past administrations. It is not a class
of its own. Not to include past
administrations similarly situated
constitutes arbitrariness which the
equal protection clause cannot
sanction. Such discriminating
differentiation clearly reverberates to
label the commission as a vehicle for
vindictiveness and selective
retribution. Superficial differences do
not make for a valid classification.

The PTC must not exclude the other


past administrations. The PTC must, at
least, have the authority to investigate
all past administrations.

The Constitution is the fundamental


and paramount law of the nation to
which all other laws must conform and
in accordance with which all private
rights determined and all public
authority administered. Laws that do
not conform to the Constitution should
be stricken down for being
unconstitutional.

WHEREFORE, the petitions are


GRANTED. Executive Order No. 1 is
hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL
insofar as it is violative of the equal
protection clause of the Constitution.

JOSE MIGUEL T. ARROYO,


Petitioner, v. DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE; COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS; HON. LEILA DE LIMA,
in her capacity as Secretary of the
Department of Justice; HON.
SIXTO BRILLANTES, JR., in his
capacity as Chairperson of the
Commission on Elections; and the
JOINT DOJ-COMELEC PRELIMINARY
INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE and
FACT-FINDING TEAM,
Respondents.

FACTS:

The Comelec issued Resolution No.


9266 approving the creation of a joint
committee with the Department of
Justice (DOJ), which shall conduct
preliminary investigation on the

alleged election offenses and


anomalies committed during the 2004
and 2007 elections.

The Comelec and the DOJ issued Joint


Order No. 001-2011 creating and
constituting a Joint Committee and
Fact-Finding Team on the 2004 and
2007 National Elections electoral fraud
and manipulation cases composed of
officials from the DOJ and the
Comelec. In its initial report, the FactFinding Team concluded that
manipulation of the results in the May
14, 2007 senatorial elections in the
provinces of North and South Cotabato
and Maguindanao were indeed
perpetrated. The Fact-Finding Team
recommended that herein petitioners
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA), et al.
to be subjected to preliminary
investigation for electoral sabotage.

After the preliminary investigation, the


COMELEC en banc adopted a
resolution ordering that information/s
for the crime of electoral sabotage be
filed against GMA, et al. while that the
charges against Jose Miguel Arroyo,
among others, should be dismissed for
insufficiency of evidence.

Consequently, GMA, et al. assail the


validity of the creation of COMELECDOJ Joint Panel and of Joint Order No.
001-2011 before the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:

I. Whether or not the creation of


COMELEC-DOJ Joint Panel is valid?
II. Whether or not Joint Order No. 0012011 violates the equal protection
clause?

HELD: Petitions are DISMISSED.

FIRST ISSUE: The creation of


COMELEC-DOJ Joint Panel is valid.

POLITICAL LAW: powers of COMELEC

Section 2, Article IX-C of the 1987


Constitution enumerates the powers
and functions of the Comelec. The
grant to the Comelec of the power to
investigate and prosecute election
offenses as an adjunct to the
enforcement and administration of all
election laws is intended to enable the
Comelec to effectively insure to the
people the free, orderly, and honest
conduct of elections. The
constitutional grant of prosecutorial
power in the Comelec was reflected in
Section 265 of Batas Pambansa Blg.
881, otherwise known as the Omnibus
Election Code.

Under the above provision of law, the


power to conduct preliminary
investigation is vested exclusively with
the Comelec. The latter, however, was
given by the same provision of law the

authority to avail itself of the


assistance of other prosecuting arms
of the government. Thus, under the
Omnibus Election Code, while the
exclusive jurisdiction to conduct
preliminary investigation had been
lodged with the Comelec, the
prosecutors had been conducting
preliminary investigations pursuant to
the continuing delegated authority
given by the Comelec.

Thus, Comelec Resolution No. 9266,


approving the creation of the Joint
Committee and Fact-Finding Team,
should be viewed not as an abdication
of the constitutional bodys
independence but as a means to fulfill
its duty of ensuring the prompt
investigation and prosecution of
election offenses as an adjunct of its
mandate of ensuring a free, orderly,
honest, peaceful and credible
elections.

SECOND ISSUE: Joint Order No. 0012011 does not violate the equal
protection clause.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: equal


protection

Petitioners claim that the creation of


the Joint Committee and Fact-Finding
Team is in violation of the equal
protection clause of the Constitution
because its sole purpose is the
investigation and prosecution of

certain persons and incidents. They


insist that the Joint Panel was created
to target only the Arroyo
Administration as well as public
officials linked to the Arroyo
Administration.

Nomination of Official Candidates of


Registered Political Parties in
Connection with the May 10, 2010
National and Local Elections. Sections
4 and 5 of Resolution No. 8678
provide:

While GMA and Mike Arroyo were


among those subjected to preliminary
investigation, not all respondents
therein were linked to GMA as there
were public officers who were
investigated upon in connection with
their acts in the performance of their
official duties. Private individuals were
also subjected to the investigation by
the Joint Committee.

SEC. 4. Effects of Filing Certificates of


Candidacy.a) Any person holding a
public appointive office or position
including active members of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines, and
other officers and employees in
government-owned or controlled
corporations, shall be considered ipso
facto resigned from his office upon the
filing of his certificate of candidacy.

The equal protection guarantee exists


to prevent undue favor or privilege. It
is intended to eliminate discrimination
and oppression based on inequality.
Recognizing the existence of real
differences among men, it does not
demand absolute equality. It merely
requires that all persons under like
circumstances and conditions shall be
treated alike both as to privileges
conferred and liabilities enforced.

b) Any person holding an elective


office or position shall not be
considered resigned upon the filing of
his certificate of candidacy for the
same or any other elective office or
position.

DISMISSED.

ELEAZAR QUINTO VS. COMELEC


Facts:
Pursuant to its constitutional mandate
to enforce and administer election
laws, COMELEC issued Resolution No.
8678, the Guidelines on the Filing of
Certificates of Candidacy (CoC) and

Alarmed that they will be deemed ipso


facto resigned from their offices the
moment they file their CoCs,
petitioners Eleazar P. Quinto and
Gerino A. Tolentino, Jr., who hold
appointive positions in the
government and who intend to run in
the coming elections, filed the instant
petition for prohibition and certiorari,
seeking the declaration of the aforequoted Section 4(a) of Resolution No.
8678 as null and void. Petitioners also
contend that Section 13 of R.A. No.

9369, the basis of the assailed


COMELEC resolution, contains two
conflicting provisions. These must be
harmonized or reconciled to give
effect to both and to arrive at a
declaration that they are not ipso facto
resigned from their positions upon the
filing of their CoCs.

Issue: whether the second proviso in


the third paragraph of Section 13 of
R.A. No. 9369 and Section 4(a) of
COMELEC Resolution No. 8678 are
violative of the equal protection clause
Held: Yes.
In considering persons holding
appointive positions as ipso facto
resigned from their posts upon the
filing of their CoCs, but not considering
as resigned all other civil servants,
specifically the elective ones, the law
unduly discriminates against the first
class. The fact alone that there is
substantial distinction between those
who hold appointive positions and
those occupying elective posts, does
not justify such differential treatment.

In order that there can be valid


classification so that a discriminatory
governmental act may pass the
constitutional norm of equal
protection, it is necessary that the four
(4) requisites of valid classification be
complied with, namely:

(1) It must be based upon substantial


distinctions;

(2) It must be germane to the


purposes of the law;
(3) It must not be limited to existing
conditions only; and
(4) It must apply equally to all
members of the class.

The first requirement means that there


must be real and substantial
differences between the classes
treated differently. As illustrated in the
fairly recent Mirasol v. Department of
Public Works and Highways, a real and
substantial distinction exists between
a motorcycle and other motor vehicles
sufficient to justify its classification
among those prohibited from plying
the toll ways. Not all motorized
vehicles are created equala twowheeled vehicle is less stable and
more easily overturned than a fourwheel vehicle.

Nevertheless, the classification would


still be invalid if it does not comply
with the second requirementif it is
not germane to the purpose of the law.

The third requirement means that


the classification must be enforced not
only for the present but as long as the
problem sought to be corrected
continues to exist. And, under the last
requirement, the classification would
be regarded as invalid if all the
members of the class are not treated
similarly, both as to rights conferred
and obligations imposed.

Applying the four requisites to


the instant case, the Court finds that
the differential treatment of persons
holding appointive offices as opposed
to those holding elective ones is not
germane to the purposes of the law.

The obvious reason for the


challenged provision is to prevent the
use of a governmental position to
promote ones candidacy, or even to
wield a dangerous or coercive
influence on the electorate. The
measure is further aimed at promoting
the efficiency, integrity, and discipline
of the public service by eliminating the
danger that the discharge of official
duty would be motivated by political
considerations rather than the welfare
of the public. The restriction is also
justified by the proposition that the
entry of civil servants to the electoral
arena, while still in office, could result
in neglect or inefficiency in the
performance of duty because they
would be attending to their campaign
rather than to their office work.

If we accept these as the


underlying objectives of the law, then
the assailed provision cannot be
constitutionally rescued on the ground
of valid classification. Glaringly absent
is the requisite that the classification
must be germane to the purposes of
the law. Indeed, whether one holds an
appointive office or an elective one,
the evils sought to be prevented by
the measure remain. For example, the

Executive Secretary, or any Member of


the Cabinet for that matter, could
wield the same influence as the VicePresident who at the same time is
appointed to a Cabinet post (in the
recent past, elected Vice-Presidents
were appointed to take charge of
national housing, social welfare
development, interior and local
government, and foreign affairs). With
the fact that they both head executive
offices, there is no valid justification to
treat them differently when both file
their CoCs for the elections. Under the
present state of our law, the VicePresident, in the example, running this
time, let us say, for President, retains
his position during the entire election
period and can still use the resources
of his office to support his campaign.

As to the danger of neglect,


inefficiency or partisanship in the
discharge of the functions of his
appointive office, the inverse could be
just as true and compelling. The
public officer who files his certificate of
candidacy would be driven by a
greater impetus for excellent
performance to show his fitness for
the position aspired for.

There is thus no valid


justification to treat appointive officials
differently from the elective ones. The
classification simply fails to meet the
test that it should be germane to the
purposes of the law. The measure
encapsulated in the second proviso of
the third paragraph of Section 13 of
R.A. No. 9369 and in Section 66 of the

OEC violates the equal protection


clause.
WHEREFORE, premises considered,
the petition is GRANTED. The second
proviso in the third paragraph of
Section 13 of Republic Act No. 9369,
Section 66 of the Omnibus Election
Code and Section 4(a) of COMELEC
Resolution No. 8678 are declared as
UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

Facts:
This is a motion for reconsideration
filed by the Commission on Elections.
The latter moved to question an
earlier decision of the Supreme Court
declaring the second proviso in the
third paragraph of Section 13 of R.A.
No. 9369, the basis of the COMELEC
resolution, and Section 4(a) of
COMELEC Resolution No. 8678
unconstitutional. The resolution
provides that, Any person holding a
public appointive office or position
including active members of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines, and
other officers and employees in
government-owned or controlled
corporations, shall be considered ipso
facto resigned from his office upon the
filing of his certificate of candidacy.
RA 9369 provides that

For this purpose, the Commission


shall set the deadline for the filing of
certificate of candidacy/petition of

registration/manifestation to
participate in the election. Any person
who files his certificate of candidacy
within this period shall only be
considered as a candidate at the start
of the campaign period for which he
filed his certificate of candidacy:
Provided, That, unlawful acts or
omissions applicable to a candidate
shall take effect only upon the start of
the aforesaid campaign period:
Provided, finally, That any person
holding a public appointive office or
position, including active members of
the armed forces, and officers and
employees in government-owned or
-controlled corporations, shall be
considered ipso facto resigned from
his/her office and must vacate the
same at the start of the day of the
filing of his/her certificate of
candidacy.
Issue: Issue: whether the second
proviso in the third paragraph of
Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369 and
Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution
No. 8678 are violative of the equal
protection clause and therefore
unconstitutional

Held: No

To start with, the equal protection


clause does not require the universal
application of the laws to all persons
or things without distinction. What it
simply requires is equality among
equals as determined according to a
valid classification. The test developed
by jurisprudence here and yonder is

that of reasonableness, which has four


requisites:

(1) The classification rests on


substantial distinctions;
(2) It is germane to the purposes of
the law;
(3) It is not limited to existing
conditions only; and
(4) It applies equally to all members of
the same class.

Our assailed Decision readily


acknowledged that these deemedresigned provisions satisfy the first,
third and fourth requisites of
reasonableness. It, however, proffers
the dubious conclusion that the
differential treatment of appointive
officials vis--vis elected officials is not
germane to the purpose of the law,
because "whether one holds an
appointive office or an elective one,
the evils sought to be prevented by
the measure remain."

In the instant case, is there a rational


justification for excluding elected
officials from the operation of the
deemed resigned provisions? There is.

An election is the embodiment of the


popular will, perhaps the purest
expression of the sovereign power of
the people. It involves the choice or
selection of candidates to public office

by popular vote. Considering that


elected officials are put in office by
their constituents for a definite term, it
may justifiably be said that they were
excluded from the ambit of the
deemed resigned provisions in utmost
respect for the mandate of the
sovereign will. In other words,
complete deference is accorded to the
will of the electorate that they be
served by such officials until the end
of the term for which they were
elected. In contrast, there is no such
expectation insofar as appointed
officials are concerned.

The dichotomized treatment of


appointive and elective officials is
therefore germane to the purposes of
the law. For the law was made not
merely to preserve the integrity,
efficiency, and discipline of the public
service; the Legislature, whose
wisdom is outside the rubric of judicial
scrutiny, also thought it wise to
balance this with the competing, yet
equally compelling, interest of
deferring to the sovereign will.

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Court


RESOLVES to GRANT the respondents
and the intervenors Motions for
Reconsideration; REVERSE and SET
ASIDE this Courts December 1, 2009
Decision; DISMISS the Petition; and
ISSUE this Resolution declaring as not
UNCONSTITUTIONAL (1) Section 4(a)
of COMELEC Resolution No. 8678, (2)
the second proviso in the third
paragraph of Section 13 of Republic

Act No. 9369, and (3) Section 66 of the


Omnibus Election Code.

==============

Note: Not applicable sa barangay


office: Any elective or appointive
municipal, city, provincial or national
official or employee, or those in the
civil or military service, including
those in government-owned orcontrolled corporations, shall be
considered automatically resigned
upon the filing of certificate of
candidacy for a barangay office.

Since barangay elections are governed


by a separate deemed resignation
rule, under the present state of law,
there would be no occasion to apply
the restriction on candidacy found in
Section 66 of the Omnibus Election
Code, and later reiterated in the
proviso of Section 13 of RA 9369, to
any election other than a partisan one.
For this reason, the overbreadth
challenge raised against Section 66 of
the Omnibus Election Code and the
pertinent proviso in Section 13 of RA
9369 must also fail.

Guttierez vs. DBM GR no. 153266


The Facts and the Case

Congress enacted in 1989 Republic Act


(R.A.) 6758, called the Compensation

and Position Classification Act of 1989


to rationalize the compensation of
government employees. Its Section 12
directed the consolidation of
allowances and additional
compensation already being enjoyed
by employees into their standardized
salary rates. But it exempted certain
additional compensations that the
employees may be receiving from
such consolidation. Thus:

Section 12. Consolidation of


Allowances and Compensation. -- All
allowances, except for representation
and transportation allowances;
clothing and laundry allowances;
subsistence allowance of marine
officers and crew on board
government vessels and hospital
personnel; hazard pay; allowances of
foreign service personnel stationed
abroad; and such other additional
compensation not otherwise specified
herein as may be determined by the
DBM, shall be deemed included in the
standardized salary rates herein
prescribed. Such other additional
compensation, whether in cash or in
kind, being received by incumbents
only as of July 1, 1989 not integrated
into the standardized salary rates shall
continue to be authorized.

Pursuant to the above, the


Department of Budget and
Management (DBM) issued NCC 59
dated September 30, 1989,[1]
covering the offices of the national
government, state universities and
colleges, and local government units.

NCC 59 enumerated the specific


allowances and additional
compensations which were deemed
integrated in the basic salaries and
these included the Cost of Living
Allowance (COLA) and Inflation
Connected Allowance (ICA). The DBM
re-issued and published NCC 59 on
May 3, 2004.[2]

The DBM also issued Corporate


Compensation Circular (CCC) 10 dated
October 2, 1989,[3] covering all
government-owned or controlled
corporations and government financial
institutions. The DBM re-issued this
circular on February 15, 1999[4] and
published it on March 16, 1999.
Accordingly, the Commission on Audit
(COA) disallowed the payments of
honoraria and other allowances which
were deemed integrated into the
standardized salary rates. Employees
of government-owned or controlled
corporations questioned the validity of
CCC 10 due to its non-publication. In
De Jesus v. Commission on Audit,[5]
this Court declared CCC 10 ineffective
because of such non-publication. Until
then, it ordered the COA to pass on
audit the employees honoraria which
they were receiving prior to the
effectivity of R.A. 6758.

Meanwhile, the DBM also issued


Budget Circular 2001-03 dated
November 12, 2001,[6] clarifying that
only the exempt allowances under
Section 12 of R.A. 6758 may continue
to be granted the employees; all
others were deemed integrated in the

standardized salary rates. Thus, the


payment of allowances and
compensation such as COLA,
amelioration allowance, and ICA,
among others, which were already
deemed integrated in the basic salary
were unauthorized. The Courts ruling
in subsequent cases involving
government-owned or controlled
corporations followed the De Jesus
ruling.

On May 16, 2002 employees of the


Office of the Solicitor General filed a
petition for certiorari and mandamus
in G.R. 153266, questioning the
propriety of integrating their COLA into
their standardized salary rates.
Employees of other offices of the
national government followed suit. In
addition, petitioners in G.R. 159007
questioned the disallowance of the
allowances and fringe benefits that
the COA auditing personnel assigned
to the Government Service Insurance
System (GSIS) used to get. Petitioners
in G.R. 173119 questioned the
disallowance of the ICA that used to
be paid to the officials and employees
of the Insurance Commission.

The Court caused the consolidation of


the petitions and treated them as a
class suit for all government
employees, excluding the employees
of government-owned or controlled
corporations and government financial
institutions.[7]

On October 26, 2005 the DBM issued


National Budget Circular 2005-502[8]
which provided that all Supreme Court
rulings on the integration of
allowances, including COLA, of
government employees under R.A.
6758 applied only to specific
government-owned or controlled
corporations since the consolidated
cases covering the national
government employees are still
pending with this Court. Consequently,
the payment of allowances and other
benefits to them, such as COLA and
ICA, remained prohibited until
otherwise provided by law or ruled by
this Court. The circular further said
that all agency heads and other
responsible officials and employees
found to have authorized the grant of
COLA and other allowances and
benefits already integrated in the
basic salary shall be personally held
liable for such payment.

The Issues Presented

The common issues presented in


these consolidated cases are:

1. Whether or not the COLA should be


deemed integrated into the
standardized salary rates of the
concerned government employees by
virtue of Section 12 of R.A. 6758;

2. Whether or not the ICA may still be


paid to officials and employees of the
Insurance Commission;

3. Whether or not the GSIS may still


pay the allowances and fringe benefits
to COA auditing personnel assigned to
it;

4. Whether or not the non-publication


of NCC 59 dated September 30, 1989
in the Official Gazette or newspaper of
general circulation nullifies the
integration of the COLA into the
standardized salary rates; and

5. Whether or not the grant of COLA to


military and police personnel to the
exclusion of other government
employees violates the equal
protection clause.
Five. Petitioners contend that the
continued grant of COLA to military
and police personnel under CCC 10
and NCC 59 to the exclusion of other
government employees violates the
equal protection clause of the
Constitution.

But as respondents pointed out, while


it may appear that petitioners are
questioning the constitutionality of
these issuances, they are in fact
attacking the very constitutionality of
Section 11 of R.A. 6758. It is actually
this provision which allows the
uniformed personnel to continue

receiving their COLA over and above


their basic pay, thus:

Section 11. Military and Police


Personnel. - The base pay of
uniformed personnel of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines and the
Integrated National Police shall be as
prescribed in the salary schedule for
these personnel in R.A. 6638 and R.A.
6648. The longevity pay of these
personnel shall be as prescribed under
R.A. 6638, and R.A. 1134 as amended
by R.A. 3725 and R.A. 6648: Provided,
however, That the longevity pay of
uniformed personnel of the Integrated
National Police shall include those
services rendered as uniformed
members of the police, jail and fire
departments of the local government
units prior to the police integration.
All existing types of allowances
authorized for uniformed personnel of
the Armed Forces of the Philippines
and Integrated National Police such as
cost of living allowance, longevity pay,
quarters allowance, subsistence
allowance, clothing allowance, hazard
pay and other allowances shall
continue to be authorized.

Nothing is more settled than that the


constitutionality of a statute cannot be
attacked collaterally because
constitutionality issues must be
pleaded directly and not collaterally.
[31]

In any event, the Court is not


persuaded that the continued grant of
COLA to the uniformed personnel to
the exclusion of other national
government officials run afoul the
equal protection clause of the
Constitution. The fundamental right of
equal protection of the laws is not
absolute, but is subject to reasonable
classification. If the groupings are
characterized by substantial
distinctions that make real differences,
one class may be treated and
regulated differently from another. The
classification must also be germane to
the purpose of the law and must apply
to all those belonging to the same
class.[32]

To be valid and reasonable, the


classification must satisfy the
following requirements: (1) it must
rest on substantial distinctions; (2) it
must be germane to the purpose of
the law; (3) it must not be limited to
existing conditions only; and (4) it
must apply equally to all members of
the same class.[33]

It is clear from the first paragraph of


Section 11 that Congress intended the
uniformed personnel to be continually
governed by their respective
compensation laws. Thus, the military
is governed by R.A. 6638,[34] as
amended by R.A. 9166[35] while the
police is governed by R.A. 6648,[36]
as amended by R.A. 6975.[37]

Certainly, there are valid reasons to


treat the uniformed personnel
differently from other national
government officials. Being in charged
of the actual defense of the State and
the maintenance of internal peace and
order, they are expected to be
stationed virtually anywhere in the
country. They are likely to be assigned
to a variety of low, moderate, and
high-cost areas. Since their basic pay
does not vary based on location, the
continued grant of COLA is intended to
help them offset the effects of living in
higher cost areas.[38]

Obviously, it is a government owned


and controlled corporation (GOCC).

In 1998, R.A. 8424 or the National


Internal Revenue Code of 1997 (NIRC)
became effective. Section 27 thereof
provides that GOCCs are NOT EXEMPT
from paying income taxation but it
exempted the following GOCCs:

1. GSIS

2. SSS
WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the
petition in G.R. No. 172713 and
DENIES the petitions in G.R. 153266,
159007, 159029, 170084, 173119,
176477, 177990 and A.M. 06-4-02-SB.

3. PHILHEALTH

4. PCSO
SO ORDERED.
5. PAGCOR
PAGCOR VS. BI, GR NO. 172087
645 SCRA 338 Taxation Law Income
Taxation Corporate Taxpayers
PAGCOR is not exempt from income
taxation

Political Law Equal Protection Clause

The Philippine Amusement and


Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) was
created by P.D. No. 1067-A in 1977.

But in May 2005, R.A. 9337, a law


amending certain provisions of R.A.
8424, was passed. Section 1 thereof
excluded PAGCOR from the exempt
GOCCs hence PAGCOR was subjected
to pay income taxation. In September
2005, the Bureau of Internal Revenue
issued the implementing rules and
regulations (IRR) for R.A. 9337. In the
said IRR, it identified PAGCOR as
subject to a 10% value added tax
(VAT) upon items covered by Section
108 of the NIRC (Sale of Services and
Use or Lease of Properties).

PAGCOR questions the


constitutionality of Section 1 of R.A.
9337 as well as the IRR. PAGCOR avers
that the said provision violates the
equal protection clause. PAGCOR
argues that it is similarly situated with
SSS, GSIS, PCSO, and PHILHEALTH,
hence it should not be excluded from
the exemption.

1) It must be based on substantial


distinctions.

2) It must be germane to the purposes


of the law.

3) It must not be limited to existing


conditions only.

ISSUE: Whether or not PAGCOR should


be subjected to income taxation.

4) It must apply equally to all


members of the class.

HELD: Yes. Section 1 of R.A. 9337 is


constitutional. It was the express
intent of Congress to exclude PAGCOR
from the exempt GOCCs hence
PAGCOR is now subject to income
taxation.

When the Supreme Court looked into


the records of the deliberations of the
lawmakers when R.A. 8424 was being
drafted, the SC found out that
PAGCORs exemption was not really
based on substantial distinctions. In
fact, the lawmakers merely exempted
PAGCOR from income taxation upon
the request of PAGCOR itself. This was
changed however when R.A. 9337 was
passed and now PAGCOR is already
subject to income taxation.

PAGCORs contention that the law


violated the constitution is not
tenable. The equal protection clause
provides that all persons or things
similarly situated should be treated
alike, both as to rights conferred and
responsibilities imposed.

The general rule is, ALL GOCCs are


subject to income taxation. However,
certain classes of GOCCs may be
exempt from income taxation based
on the following requisites for a valid
classification under the principle of
equal protection:

Anent the issue of the imposition of


the 10% VAT against PAGCOR, the BIR
had overstepped its authority.
Nowhere in R.A. 9337 does it state
that PAGCOR is subject to VAT.
Therefore, that portion of the IRR
issued by the BIR is void. In fact,
Section 109 of R.A. 9337 expressly
exempts PAGCOR from VAT. Further,
PAGCORs charter exempts it from VAT.

To recapitulate, PAGCOR is subject to


income taxation but not to VAT.

G.R. No. 149907


2009

April 16,

ROMA DRUG and ROMEO


RODRIGUEZ, as Proprietor of
ROMA DRUG, Petitioners,
vs.
THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF
GUAGUA, PAMPANGA, THE
PROVINCIAL PROSECUTOR OF
PAMPANGA, BUREAU OF FOOD &
DRUGS (BFAD) and GLAXO
SMITHKLINE, Respondents.

warrant 1 issued by the Regional Trial


Court (RTC), Branch 57, Angeles City.
The raiding team seized several
imported medicines, including
Augmentin (375mg.) tablets, Orbenin
(500mg.) capsules, Amoxil (250mg.)
capsules and Ampiclox (500mg.).2 It
appears that Roma Drug is one of six
drug stores which were raided on or
around the same time upon the
request of SmithKline Beecham
Research Limited (SmithKline), a duly
registered corporation which is the
local distributor of pharmaceutical
products manufactured by its parent
London-based corporation. The local
SmithKline has since merged with
Glaxo Wellcome Phil. Inc to form Glaxo
SmithKline, private respondent in this
case. The seized medicines, which
were manufactured by SmithKline,
were imported directly from abroad
and not purchased through the local
SmithKline, the authorized Philippine
distributor of these products.

DECISION

TINGA, J.:

On 14 August 2000, a team composed


of the National Bureau of Investigation
(NBI) operatives and inspectors of the
Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD)
conducted a raid on petitioner Roma
Drug, a duly registered sole
proprietorship of petitioner Romeo
Rodriguez (Rodriguez) operating a
drug store located at San Matias,
Guagua, Pampanga. The raid was
conducted pursuant to a search

The NBI subsequently filed a complaint


against Rodriguez for violation of
Section 4 (in relation to Sections 3 and
5) of Republic Act No. 8203, also
known as the Special Law on
Counterfeit Drugs (SLCD), with the
Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in
San Fernando, Pampanga. The section
prohibits the sale of counterfeit drugs,
which under Section 3(b)(3), includes
an unregistered imported drug
product. The term unregistered
signifies the lack of registration with
the Bureau of Patent, Trademark and
Technology Transfer of a trademark,
tradename or other identification mark

of a drug in the name of a natural or


juridical person, the process of which
is governed under Part III of the
Intellectual Property Code.

In this case, there is no doubt that the


subject seized drugs are identical in
content with their Philippine-registered
counterparts. There is no claim that
they were adulterated in any way or
mislabeled at least. Their classification
as counterfeit is based solely on the
fact that they were imported from
abroad and not purchased from the
Philippine-registered owner of the
patent or trademark of the drugs.

During preliminary investigation,


Rodriguez challenged the
constitutionality of the SLCD.
However, Assistant Provincial
Prosecutor Celerina C. Pineda skirted
the challenge and issued a Resolution
dated 17 August 2001 recommending
that Rodriguez be charged with
violation of Section 4(a) of the SLCD.
The recommendation was approved by
Provincial Prosecutor Jesus Y.
Manarang approved the
recommendation.3

Hence, the present Petition for


Prohibition questing the RTC-Guagua
Pampanga and the Provincial
Prosecutor to desist from further
prosecuting Rodriguez, and that
Sections 3(b)(3), 4 and 5 of the SLCD
be declared unconstitutional. In gist,
Rodriguez asserts that the challenged
provisions contravene three provisions

of the Constitution. The first is the


equal protection clause of the Bill of
Rights. The two other provisions are
Section 11, Article XIII, which
mandates that the State make
essential goods, health and other
social services available to all the
people at affordable cost; and Section
15, Article II, which states that it is the
policy of the State to protect and
promote the right to health of the
people and instill health consciousness
among them.

Through its Resolution dated 15


October 2001, the Court issued a
temporary restraining order enjoining
the RTC from proceeding with the trial
against Rodriguez, and the BFAD, the
NBI and Glaxo Smithkline from
prosecuting the petitioners.4

Glaxo Smithkline and the Office of the


Solicitor General (OSG) have opposed
the petition, the latter in behalf of
public respondents RTC, Provincial
Prosecutor and Bureau of Food and
Drugs (BFAD). On the constitutional
issue, Glaxo Smithkline asserts the
rule that the SLCD is presumed
constitutional, arguing that both
Section 15, Article II and Section 11,
Article XIII are not self-executing
provisions, the disregard of which can
give rise to a cause of action in the
courts. It adds that Section 11, Article
XIII in particular cannot be work to
the oppression and unlawful of the
property rights of the legitimate
manufacturers, importers or
distributors, who take pains in having

imported drug products registered


before the BFAD. Glaxo Smithkline
further claims that the SLCD does not
in fact conflict with the
aforementioned constitutional
provisions and in fact are in accord
with constitutional precepts in favor of
the peoples right to health.

The Office of the Solicitor General


casts the question as one of policy
wisdom of the law that is, beyond the
interference of the judiciary.5 Again,
the presumption of constitutionality of
statutes is invoked, and the assertion
is made that there is no clear and
unequivocal breach of the Constitution
presented by the SLCD.

II.

The constitutional aspect of this


petition raises obviously interesting
questions. However, such questions
have in fact been mooted with the
passage in 2008 of Republic Act No.
9502, also known as the Universally
Accessible Cheaper and Quality
Medicines Act of 2008.6

Section 7 of Rep. Act No. 9502 amends


Section 72 of the Intellectual Property
Code in that the later law
unequivocally grants third persons the
right to import drugs or medicines
whose patent were registered in the
Philippines by the owner of the
product:

Sec. 7. Section 72 of Republic Act No.


8293, otherwise known as the
Intellectual Property Code of the
Philippines, is hereby amended to read
as follows:

Sec. 72. Limitations of Patent Rights.


The owner of a patent has no right to
prevent third parties from performing,
without his authorization, the acts
referred to in Section 71 hereof in the
following circumstances:

72.1. Using a patented product which


has been put on the market in the
Philippines by the owner of the
product, or with his express consent,
insofar as such use is performed after
that product has been so put on the
said market: Provided, That, with
regard to drugs and medicines, the
limitation on patent rights shall apply
after a drug or medicine has been
introduced in the Philippines or
anywhere else in the world by the
patent owner, or by any party
authorized to use the invention:
Provided, further, That the right to
import the drugs and medicines
contemplated in this section shall be
available to any government agency
or any private third party;

72.2. Where the act is done privately


and on a non-commercial scale or for a
non-commercial purpose: Provided,
That it does not significantly prejudice

the economic interests of the owner of


the patent;

72.3. Where the act consists of


making or using exclusively for
experimental use of the invention for
scientific purposes or educational
purposes and such other activities
directly related to such scientific or
educational experimental use;

72.4. In the case of drugs and


medicines, where the act includes
testing, using, making or selling the
invention including any data related
thereto, solely for purposes reasonably
related to the development and
submission of information and
issuance of approvals by government
regulatory agencies required under
any law of the Philippines or of
another country that regulates the
manufacture, construction, use or sale
of any product: Provided, That, in
order to protect the data submitted by
the original patent holder from unfair
commercial use provided in Article
39.3 of the Agreement on TradeRelated Aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement),
the Intellectual Property Office, in
consultation with the appropriate
government agencies, shall issue the
appropriate rules and regulations
necessary therein not later than one
hundred twenty (120) days after the
enactment of this law;

72.5. Where the act consists of the


preparation for individual cases, in a

pharmacy or by a medical
professional, of a medicine in
accordance with a medical shall apply
after a drug or medicine has been
introduced in the Philippines or
anywhere else in the world by the
patent owner, or by any party
authorized to use the invention:
Provided, further, That the right to
import the drugs and medicines
contemplated in this section shall be
available to any government agency
or any private third party; xxx 7

The unqualified right of private third


parties such as petitioner to import or
possess unregistered imported
drugs in the Philippines is further
confirmed by the Implementing Rules
to Republic Act No. 9502 promulgated
on 4 November 2008.8 The relevant
provisions thereof read:

Rule 9. Limitations on Patent Rights.


The owner of a patent has no right to
prevent third parties from performing,
without his authorization, the acts
referred to in Section 71 of the IP Code
as enumerated hereunder:

(i) Introduction in the Philippines or


Anywhere Else in the World.

Using a patented product which has


been put on the market in the
Philippines by the owner of the
product, or with his express consent,
insofar as such use is performed after

that product has been so put on the


said market: Provided, That, with
regard to drugs and medicines, the
limitation on patent rights shall apply
after a drug or medicine has been
introduced in the Philippines or
anywhere else in the world by the
patent owner, or by any party
authorized to use the invention:
Provided, further, That the right to
import the drugs and medicines
contemplated in this section shall be
available to any government agency
or any private third party. (72.1)

The drugs and medicines are deemed


introduced when they have been sold
or offered for sale anywhere else in
the world. (n)

It may be that Rep. Act No. 9502 did


not expressly repeal any provision of
the SLCD. However, it is clear that the
SLCOs classification of unregistered
imported drugs as counterfeit
drugs, and of corresponding criminal
penalties therefore are irreconcilably
in the imposition conflict with Rep. Act
No. 9502 since the latter indubitably
grants private third persons the
unqualified right to import or
otherwise use such drugs. Where a
statute of later date, such as Rep. Act
No. 9502, clearly reveals an intention
on the part of the legislature to
abrogate a prior act on the subject
that intention must be given effect.9
When a subsequent enactment
covering a field of operation
coterminus with a prior statute cannot
by any reasonable construction be

given effect while the prior law


remains in operative existence
because of irreconcilable conflict
between the two acts, the latest
legislative expression prevails and the
prior law yields to the extent of the
conflict.10 Irreconcilable inconsistency
between two laws embracing the
same subject may exist when the later
law nullifies the reason or purpose of
the earlier act, so that the latter loses
all meaning and function.11 Legis
posteriors priores contrarias abrogant.

For the reasons above-stated, the


prosecution of petitioner is no longer
warranted and the quested writ of
prohibition should accordingly be
issued.

III.

Had the Court proceeded to directly


confront the constitutionality of the
assailed provisions of the SLCD, it is
apparent that it would have at least
placed in doubt the validity of the
provisions. As written, the law makes a
criminal of any person who imports an
unregistered drug regardless of the
purpose, even if the medicine can
spell life or death for someone in the
Philippines. It does not accommodate
the situation where the drug is out of
stock in the Philippines, beyond the
reach of a patient who urgently
depends on it. It does not allow
husbands, wives, children, siblings,
parents to import the drug in behalf of
their loved ones too physically ill to

travel and avail of the meager


personal use exemption allotted by
the law. It discriminates, at the
expense of health, against poor
Filipinos without means to travel
abroad to purchase less expensive
medicines in favor of their wealthier
brethren able to do so. Less urgently
perhaps, but still within the range of
constitutionally protected behavior, it
deprives Filipinos to choose a less
expensive regime for their health care
by denying them a plausible and safe
means of purchasing medicines at a
cheaper cost.

The absurd results from this farreaching ban extends to implications


that deny the basic decencies of
humanity. The law would make
criminals of doctors from abroad on
medical missions of such humanitarian
organizations such as the International
Red Cross, the International Red
Crescent, Medicin Sans Frontieres, and
other

like-minded groups who necessarily


bring their own pharmaceutical drugs
when they embark on their missions of
mercy. After all, they are disabled from
invoking the bare personal use
exemption afforded by the SLCD.

Even worse is the fact that the law is


not content with simply banning, at
civil costs, the importation of
unregistered drugs. It equates the
importers of such drugs, many of
whom motivated to do so out of

altruism or basic human love, with the


malevolents who would alter or
counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs for
reasons of profit at the expense of
public safety. Note that the SLCD is a
special law, and the traditional
treatment of penal provisions of
special laws is that of malum
prohibitumor punishable regardless of
motive or criminal intent. For a law
that is intended to help save lives, the
SLCD has revealed itself as a
heartless, soulless legislative piece.

The challenged provisions of the SLCD


apparently proscribe a range of
constitutionally permissible behavior.
It is laudable that with the passage of
Rep. Act No. 9502, the State has
reversed course and allowed for a
sensible and compassionate approach
with respect to the importation of
pharmaceutical drugs urgently
necessary for the peoples
constitutionally-recognized right to
health.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED


in part. A writ of prohibition is hereby
ISSUED commanding respondents
from prosecuting petitioner Romeo
Rodriguez for violation of Section 4 or
Rep. Act No. 8203. The Temporary
Restraining Order dated 15 October
2001 is hereby made PERMANENT. No
pronouncements as to costs.

SO ORDERED.

PEOPLE VS. JUDGE VERA


65 Phil. 56 Political Law
Constitutional Law Bill of Rights
Equal Protection Probation Law

Separation of Powers Undue


Delegation of Powers Power to
Pardon

Constitutionality of Laws May the


State Question Its Own Laws

In 1934, Mariano Cu Unjieng was


convicted in a criminal case filed
against him by the Hongkong and
Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC).
In 1936, he filed for probation. The
matter was referred to the Insular
Probation Office which recommended
the denial of Cu Unjiengs petition for
probation. A hearing was set by Judge
Jose Vera concerning the petition for
probation. The Prosecution opposed
the petition. Eventually, due to delays
in the hearing, the Prosecution filed a
petition for certiorari with the
Supreme Court alleging that courts
like the Court of First Instance of
Manila (which is presided over by
Judge Vera) have no jurisdiction to
place accused like Cu Unjieng under
probation because under the law (Act
No. 4221 or The Probation Law),
probation is only meant to be applied
in provinces with probation officers;
that the City of Manila is not a
province, and that Manila, even if
construed as a province, has no

designated probation officer hence, a


Manila court cannot grant probation.

Meanwhile, HSBC also filed its own


comment on the matter alleging that
Act 4221 is unconstitutional for it
violates the constitutional guarantee
on equal protection of the laws. HSBC
averred that the said law makes it the
prerogative of provinces whether or
nor to apply the probation law if a
province chooses to apply the
probation law, then it will appoint a
probation officer, but if it will not, then
no probation officer will be appointed
hence, that makes it violative of the
equal protection clause.

Further, HSBC averred that the


Probation Law is an undue delegation
of power because it gave the option to
the provincial board to whether or not
to apply the probation law however,
the legislature did not provide
guidelines to be followed by the
provincial board.

Further still, HSBC averred that the


Probation Law is an encroachment of
the executives power to grant pardon.
They say that the legislature, by
providing for a probation law, had in
effect encroached upon the
executives power to grant pardon.
(Ironically, the Prosecution agreed with
the issues raised by HSBC ironic
because their main stance was the
non-applicability of the probation law
only in Manila while recognizing its
application in provinces).

For his part, one of the issues raised


by Cu Unjieng is that, the Prosecution,
representing the State as well as the
People of the Philippines, cannot
question the validity of a law, like Act
4221, which the State itself created.
Further, Cu Unjieng also castigated the
fiscal of Manila who himself had used
the Probation Law in the past without
question but is now questioning the
validity of the said law (estoppel).

The contention of HSBC and the


Prosecution is well taken on this note.
There is violation of the equal
protection clause. Under Act 4221,
provinces were given the option to
apply the law by simply providing for a
probation officer. So if a province
decides not to install a probation
officer, then the accused within said
province will be unduly deprived of the
provisions of the Probation Law.

ISSUE:

Undue Delegation of Legislative Power

1. May the State question its own


laws?

There is undue delegation of


legislative power. Act 4221 provides
that it shall only apply to provinces
where the respective provincial boards
have provided for a probation officer.
But nowhere in the law did it state as
to what standard (sufficient standard
test) should provincial boards follow in
determining whether or not to apply
the probation law in their province.
This only creates a roving commission
which will act arbitrarily according to
its whims.

2. Is Act 4221 constitutional?

HELD:

1. Yes. There is no law which prohibits


the State, or its duly authorized
representative, from questioning the
validity of a law. Estoppel will also not
lie against the State even if it had
been using an invalid law.

2. No, Act 4221 or the [old] Probation


Law is unconstitutional.

Violation of the Equal Protection


Clause

Encroachment of Executive Power

Though Act 4221 is unconstitutional,


the Supreme Court recognized the
power of Congress to provide for
probation. Probation does not
encroach upon the Presidents power
to grant pardon. Probation is not
pardon. Probation is within the power

of Congress to fix penalties while


pardon is a power of the president to
commute penalties.