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Pimentel v.

Office of the Executive Secretary

The Rome Statute established the ICC which shall have the power to exercise its jurisdiction
over persons for the most serious crimes of international concern xxx and shall be
complementary to the national criminal jurisdictions. The Philippines, through Charge d
Affairs Enrique A. Manalo of the Philippine Mission to the UN, signed the Rome Statute on Dec.
28, 2000. Its provisions, however, require that it be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval
of the signatory states. Petitioners now file this petition to compel the Office of the President to
transmit the signed copy of the Rome Statute to the Senate for its concurrence.


Whether or not the Executive Secretary and the DFA have a ministerial duty to transmit
to the Senate the copy of the Rome Statute

We rule in the negative.
In our system of government, the President, being the head of state, is regarded as the sole organ
and authority in external relations and is the countrys sole representative with foreign nations. As
the chief architect of foreign policy, the President acts as the countrys mouthpiece with respect to
international affairs. Hence, the President is vested with the authority to deal with foreign states
and governments, extend or withhold recognition, maintain diplomatic relations, enter into treaties,
and otherwise transact the business of foreign relations. In the realm of treaty-making, the
President has the sole authority to negotiate with other states.
Nonetheless, while the President has the sole authority to negotiate and enter into treaties, the
Constitution provides a limitation to his power by requiring the concurrence of 2/3 of all the
members of the Senate for the validity of the treaty entered into by him. Section 21, Article VII of
the 1987 Constitution provides that 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.
The participation of the legislative branch in the treaty-making process was deemed essential to
provide a check on the executive in the field of foreign relations. By requiring the concurrence of
the legislature in the treaties entered into by the President, the Constitution ensures a healthy

system of checks and balance necessary in the nations pursuit of political maturity and growth.
Signing vs. Ratification of Treaty
It should be underscored that the signing of the treaty and the ratification are two separate and
distinct steps in the treaty-making process. As earlier discussed, the signature is primarily intended
as a means of authenticating the instrument and as a symbol of the good faith of the parties. It is
usually performed by the states authorized representative in the diplomatic mission. Ratification,
on the other hand, is the formal act by which a state confirms and accepts the provisions of a treaty
concluded by its representative. It is generally held to be an executive act, undertaken by the head
of the state or of the government
Purpose of Ratification
Petitioners submission that the Philippines is bound under treaty law and international law to
ratify the treaty which it has signed is without basis. The signature does not signify the final consent
of the state to the treaty. It is the ratification that binds the state to the provisions thereof. In fact,
the Rome Statute itself requires that the signature of the representatives of the states be subject to
ratification, acceptance or approval of the signatory states. Ratification is the act by which the
provisions of a treaty are formally confirmed and approved by a State. By ratifying a treaty signed
in its behalf, a state expresses its willingness to be bound by the provisions of such treaty. After
the treaty is signed by the states representative, the President, being accountable to the people, is
burdened with the responsibility and the duty to carefully study the contents of the treaty and
ensure that they are not inimical to the interest of the state and its people. Thus, the President has
the discretion even after the signing of the treaty by the Philippine representative whether or not
to ratify the same. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties does not contemplate to defeat
or even restrain this power of the head of states. If that were so, the requirement of ratification of
treaties would be pointless and futile. It has been held that a state has no legal or even moral duty
to ratify a treaty which has been signed by its plenipotentiaries. There is no legal obligation to
ratify a treaty, but it goes without saying that the refusal must be based on substantial grounds and
not on superficial or whimsical reasons. Otherwise, the other state would be justified in taking
President has the Power to Ratify Treaties
It should be emphasized that under our Constitution, the power to ratify is vested in the President,
subject to the concurrence of the Senate. The role of the Senate, however, is limited only to giving
or withholding its consent, or concurrence, to the ratification. Hence, it is within the authority of
the President to refuse to submit a treaty to the Senate or, having secured its consent for its
ratification, refuse to ratify it. Although the refusal of a state to ratify a treaty which has been
signed in its behalf is a serious step that should not be taken lightly, such decision is within the
competence of the President alone, which cannot be encroached by this Court via a writ of
mandamus. This Court has no jurisdiction over actions seeking to enjoin the President in the
performance of his official duties. The Court, therefore, cannot issue the writ of mandamus prayed
for by the petitioners as it is beyond its jurisdiction to compel the executive branch of the
government to transmit the signed text of Rome Statute to the Senate.

Lim v. Executive Secretary

Petition for certiorari and prohibition as well as a petition-in-intervention
Pursuant to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) signed in 1999, personnel from the armed forces of
the United States of America started arriving in Mindanao to take partin "Balikatan 02-1 on January
2002. The Balikatan 02-1 exercises involves the simulation of joint military maneuvers pursuant to
the Mutual Defense Treaty, a bilateral defense agreement entered into by the Philippines and the
United States in 1951. The exercise is rooted from the international anti-terrorism campaign
declared by President George W. Bush in reaction to the 3 commercial aircrafts hijacking that
smashed into twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon building in
Washington, D.C. allegedly by the al-Qaeda headed by the Osama bin Laden that occurred on
September 11, 2001. Arthur D. Lim and Paulino P. Ersando as citizens, lawyers and taxpayers filed
a petition for certiorari and prohibition attacking the constitutionality of the joint exercise. Partylists
Sanlakas and Partido Ng Manggagawa as residents of Zamboanga and Sulu directly affected by the
operations filed a petition-in-intervention.
The Solicitor General commented the prematurity of the action as it is based only on a fear of
future violation of the Terms of Reference and impropriety of availing of certiorari to ascertain a
question of fact specifically interpretation of the VFA whether it is covers "Balikatan 02-1 and no
question of constitutionality is involved. Moreover, there is lack of locus standi since it does not
involve tax spending and there is no proof of direct personal injury.
Conflict arises then between the fundamental law and our obligations arising from
international agreements.
Philip Morris, Inc. v. Court of Appeals: Withal, the fact that international law has been made part of
the law of the land does not by any means imply the primacy of international law over national law in
the municipal sphere. Under the doctrine of incorporation as applied in most countries, rules of
international law are given a standing equal, not superior, to national legislation.
From the perspective of public international law, a treaty is favored over municipal law pursuant to
the principle of pacta sunt servanda. Hence, "[e]very treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it
and must be performed by them in good faith." Further, a party to a treaty is not allowed to "invoke
the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty."
Our Constitution espouses the opposing view as stated in section 5 of Article VIII: The Supreme
Court shall have the following powers: xxx
(2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court
may provide, final judgments and order of lower courts in:
(A) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive
agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in
Ichong v. Hernandez: provisions of a treaty are always subject to qualification or
amendment by a subsequent law, or that it is subject to the police power of the State
Gonzales v. Hechanova: our Constitution authorizes the nullification of a treaty, not only when it
conflicts with the fundamental law, but, also, when it runs counter to an act of Congress.

The foregoing premises leave us no doubt that US forces are prohibited / from engaging in an
offensive war on Philippine territory.

WHO vs Aquino Case Digest

Diplomatic Immunity, Political Question, Suits against International Agencies

Dr. Leonce Verstuyft was assigned by WHO to its regional office in Manila as Acting
Assistant Director of Health Services. His personal effects, contained in twelve
(12) crates, were allowed free entry from duties and taxes. Constabulary Offshore Action
Center (COSAC) suspected that the crates contain large quantities of highly dutiable
goods beyond the official needs of Verstuyft. Upon application of the COSAC officers,
Judge Aquino issued a search warrant for the search and seizure of the personal effects
of Verstuyft.
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. Romulo advised Judge Aquino that Dr. Verstuyft is
entitled to immunity from search in respect for his personal baggage as accorded to
members of diplomatic missions pursuant to the Host Agreement and requested that the
search warrant be suspended. The Solicitor General accordingly joined Verstuyft for the
quashal of the search warrant but respondent judge nevertheless summarily denied the
quashal. Verstuyft, thus, filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the SC. WHO
joined Verstuyft in asserting diplomatic immunity.
Whether or not personal effect of Verstuyft can be exempted from search and seizure
under the diplomatic immunity.
Yes. The executive branch of the Phils has expressly recognized that Verstuyft is entitled
to diplomatic immunity, pursuant to the provisions of the Host Agreement. The DFA
formally advised respondent judge of the Philippine Government's official position. The

Solicitor General, as principal law officer of the gorvernment, likewise expressly affirmed
said petitioner's right to diplomatic immunity and asked for the quashal of the search
It is a recognized principle of international law and under our system of separation of
powers that diplomatic immunity is essentially a political question and courts should
refuse to look beyond a determination by the executive branch of the government,
and where the plea of diplomatic immunity is recognized and affirmed by the executive
branch of the government as in the case at bar, it is then the duty of the courts to accept
the claim of immunity upon appropriate suggestion by the principal law officer of the
government, the Solicitor General in this case, or other officer acting under his discretion.
Courts may not so exercise their jurisdiction by seizure and detention of property, as to
embarass the executive arm of the government in conducting foreign relations.
The Court, therefore, holds the respondent judge acted without jurisdiction and with
grave abuse of discretion in not ordering the quashal of the search warrant issued by him
in disregard of the diplomatic immunity of petitioner Verstuyft. (World Health
Organization vs. Aquino, G.R. No. L-35131, November 29, 1972, 48 SCRA 243)