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Definition of Statutory Construction

Caltex v. Palomar (18 SCRA 247)

Administrative Code (Anti-lottery provisions of the

Postal Law), which prohibits the use of mail in
conveying any information concerning non-mailable
schemes, such as lottery, gift enterprise, or similar

1) Facts
The case before us now is a petition for declaratory
relief against Postmaster General Enrico Palomar,
paryingthat judgment be rendered declaring its Caltex
Hooded Pump Contest not to be violative of the Postal
Law, and ordering respondent to allow petitioner the
use of the mails to bring the contest to the attention of
the public.
In 1960, Caltex launched a promotional scheme called
Caltex Hooded Pump Contest which calls for
participants to estimate the actual number of liters a
hooded gas pump at each Caltex station will dispense
during a specified period. The contest is open to all
motor vehicle owners and/or licensed drivers. There is
neither a fee or consideration required nor a purchase
required to be made. The forms are available upon
request at each Caltex station and there is also a
sealed can where accomplished entry stubs may be

Caltex sought for a reconsideration and stressed that

there was no consideration involved in the part of the
contestant(s) but the Postmaster General maintained
their view and even threatened Caltex that if the
contest was conducted, a fraud order will have to be
issued against it (Caltex) and all its representatives.
This leads to Caltexs filing of this petition for
declaratory relief.

Caltex wishes to use mails amongst the media for

publicizing about the contest, thus, Caltex sent
representatives to the postal authorities for advance
clearing for the use of mails for the contest. However,
the postal authorities denied their request in view of
sections 1954 (a), 1982, and 1983 of the Revised

b) Whether or not the proposed Caltex Hooded Pump


The court ruled that the petitioner does not violate the
Postal Law and the respondent has no right to bar the
public distribution or said rules by the mails. The
respondent then appealed.
2) Issue(s)
a) Whether or not the petition states a sufficient cause
of action for declaratory relief?

3) Ruling
Recapitulating, we hold that the petition herein states
a sufficient cause of action for declaratory relief, and

that the Caltex Hooded Pump Contest as described

in the rules submitted by the appellee does not
transgress the provisions of the Postal Law.
affirmed. No costs.





4) Ratio
Declaratory Relief is the interpretation of several
constitutional provisions. Based on Section 1 Rule 63
of the Rules of Court, an action for declaratory relief
should be filed by a person interested under a deed, a
will, a contract or other written instrument, and whose
rights are affected by a statute, an executive order, a
regulation or an ordinance.

Requisites for Declaratory Relief:

- There is justiciable controversy
- The controversy is between persons whose interests
are adverse
- The party seeking the relief has a legal interest in the
- The issue is ripe for judicial determination
* The Caltex Hooded Pump Contest is a mere
gratuitous distribution of property by chance. It does
not qualify as a lottery due to the lack of
consideration. An act to be deemed as a lottery must
constitute a (1) prize, (2) chance, and (3)

consideration. The participants are not required to do

anything or purchase anything from Caltex in order to
participate in the contest. The true test for having
consideration is whether the participant pays a
valuable consideration for the chance, and not
whether those conducting the enterprise receive
something of value in return for the distribution of the

Legislative Intent
Airspona v CA (113 SCRA 459)
Facts: Since 7 March and on 21 June 1969, a Personal
Accident Policy was issued by Perla Compania de
Seguros, through its authorized agent Rodolfo
Aisporna, for a period of 12 months with the
beneficiary designated as Ana M. Isidro. The insured
died by violence during lifetime of policy. Mapalad
Aisporna participated actively with the aforementioned
For reason unexplained, an information was filed
against Mapalad Aisporna, Rodolfos wife, with the City
Court of Cabanatuan for violation of Section 189 of the
Insurance Act on 21 November 1970, or acting as an
agent in the soliciting insurance without securing the
certificate of authority from the office of the Insurance
Commissioner. Mapalad contends that being the wife
of true agent, Rodolfo, she naturally helped him in his
work, as clerk, and that policy was merely a renewal
and was issued because Isidro had called by telephone
to renew, and at that time, her husband, Rodolfo, was

absent and so she left a note on top of her husbands

desk to renew. On 2 August 1971, the trial court found
Mapalad guilty and sentenced here to pay a fine of
P500.00 with subsidiaryimprisonment in case of
insolvency and to pay the costs. On appeal and on 14
August 1974, the trial courts decision was affirmed by
the appellate court (CA-GR 13243-CR). Hence, the
present recourse was filed on 22 October 1974. On 20
December 1974, the Office of the Solicitor General,
representing the Court of Appeals, submitted that
Aisporna may not be considered as having violated
Section 189 of the Insurance Act.
Issue: Whether Mapalad Aisporna is an insurance
agent within the scope or intent of the Insurance Act
Held: Legislative intent must be ascertained from a
consideration of the statute as a whole. The particular
words, clauses and phrases should not be studied as
detached and isolated expressions, but the whole and
every part of the statute must be considered in
fixing the meaning of any of its parts and in order to
produce harmonious whole. In the present case, the
first paragraph of Section 189 prohibits a person from
acting as agent, subagent or broker in the solicitation
or procurement of applications for insurance without
first procuring a certificate of authority so to act from
the Insurance Commissioner; while the second
paragraph defines who is an insurance agent within
the intent of the section; while the third paragraph
prescribes the penalty to be imposed for its violation.
The appellate courts ruling that the petitioner is
prosecuted not under the second paragraph of Section

189 but under its first paragraph is a reversible error,

as the definition of insurance agent in paragraph 2
applies to the paragraph 1 and 2 of Section 189, which
is any person who for compensation shall be an
insurance agent within the intent of this section.
Without proof of compensation, directly or indirectly,
received from the insurance policy or contract,
Mapalad Aisporna may not be held to have violated
Section 189 of the Insurance Act. Under the Texas
Penal Code 1911, Article 689, making it a
misdemeanor for any person for direct or indirect
compensation to solicit insurance without a certificate
of authority toact as an insurance agent, an
information, failing to allege that the solicitor was to
receive compensation either directly or indirectly,
charges no offense. In the case of Bolen vs. Stake,19
the provision of Section 3750, Snyder's Compiled Laws
of Oklahoma 1909 is intended to penalize persons only
who acted as insurance solicitors without license, and
while acting in such capacity negotiated and
concluded insurance contracts for compensation. It
must be noted that the information, in the case at bar,
does not allege that the negotiation of an insurance
contracts by the accused with Eugenio Isidro was one
for compensation. This allegation is essential, and
having been omitted, a conviction of the accused
could not be sustained. It is well-settled in our
jurisprudence that to warrant conviction, every
element of the crime must be alleged and proved.
After going over the records of this case, we are fully
convinced, as the Solicitor General maintains, that
accused did not violate Section 189 of the
Insurance Act.

China Bank v. Ortega (49 SCRA 355)

On 17 December 1968, Vicente Acaban filed a
complaint against B & B Forest Development
Corporation and Mariano Bautista for the collection of
sum of money. The trial court declared the defendants
in default for failure to answer within the reglementary
period, and rendered its decision on 20 January 1970.
To satisfy the judgment, Acaban sought the
garnishment of the bank deposit of B & B Forest
Development Corporation with the China Bank.
However, Tan Kim Liong, the banks cashier, disallowed
the same invoking the provisions of Republic Act 1405,
which prohibit the disclosure of any information
relative to bank deposits. On 4 March 1972, Tan Kim
Lion was ordered to inform the Court if there is a
deposit by B & B Forest Development in the China
Bank, and if there is, to hold the same intact and not
allow any withdrawal until further order from the
Court. Tan Kim Liong moved to reconsider but was
turned down. In the same order he was directed to
comply with the order of the Court, otherwise his
arrest and confinement will be ordered. Resisting the
2 orders, the China Bank and Tan Kim Liong instituted
the petition. Petitioners argue that the disclosure of
the information required by the court does not fall
within any of the four (4) exceptions enumerated in
Section 2 ([1] upon written permission of the
depositor, [2] or in cases of impeachment, [3] or upon

order of a competent court in cases of bribery or

dereliction of duty of public officials, [4] or in cases
where the money deposited or invested is the subject
matter of the litigation), and that if the questioned
orders are complied with Tan Kim Liong may be
criminally liable under Section 5 and the bank exposed
to a possible damage suit by B & B Forest
Development Corporation. Specifically referring to the
case, the position of the petitioners is that bank
deposit of judgment debtor B and B Forest
Development Corporation cannot be subject to
garnishment to satisfy a final judgment against it in
view of the aforementioned provisions of law.
Whether or not a banking institution may validly refuse
to comply with a court process garnishing the bank
deposit of a judgment debtor, by invoking the
provisions of Republic Act 1405.

From the discussion of the conference committee
report of the two houses of Congress that the
prohibition against examination of or inquiry into a
bank deposit under Republic Act 1405 does not
preclude its being garnished to insure satisfaction of a

judgment. Indeed, there is no real inquiry in such a

case, and if the existence of the deposit is disclosed,
the disclosure is purely incidental to the execution
process. Importantly, it was not the intention of the
lawmakers to place bank deposits beyond the reach of
execution to satisfy a judgment. In the present case,
the lower court did not order an examination of or
inquiry into the deposit of B & B Forest Development
Corporation, as contemplated in the law. It merely
required Tan Kim Liong to inform the court whether B &
B Forest Development Corporation had a deposit in the
China Banking Corporation only for purposes of the
garnishment issued by it, so that the bank would hold
the same intact and not allow any withdrawal until
further order.
The Supreme Court affirmed the orders of the lower
court dated 4 and 27 March 1972, with costs against
the petitioners.






PCFI v. NTC (G.R. No. L-63318, November 25,

1983 & August 18, 1984) - Read J. Abad Dissent
PLDT filed an application with the NTC for the approval
of a revised schedule for its Subscriber Investment
Plan (SIP). The NTC issued an ex-parte order
provisionally approving the revised schedule which,
however, was set aside by this Court on August 31,
1982. The Court therein ruled that "there was

necessity of a hearing by the Commission before it

should have acted on the application of the PLDT. On
November 22, 1982, the NTC rendered the questioned
decision permanently approving PLDT's new and
increased SIP rates. It is the submission of petitioner
that the SIP schedule presented by the PLDT is premature because the NTC has not yet promulgated the
required rules and regulations implementing Section 2
of Presidential Decree No. 217.
Whether or not the National Telecommunications (NTC)
must first promulgate the rules andregulations
mentioned in the decree before it can approve the
Subscriber Investment Plan (SIP) of private respondent
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT).
There is merit in the contention of petitioner that it is
the duty of respondent NTC to promulgate rules and
regulations. In the separate opinion of Justice Abad
Santos, it is said that the case involves a simple
problem of statutory construction - that of Section 2 of
Presidential Decree No. 217. The decision sustained
the petitioner's contention that it is the duty of NTC to
first promulgate rules and regulations. The resolution
does not subscribe to the view that the NTC should or
must promulgate rules and regulations because the
decree must be given its ordinary meaning; the word
used is the permissive "may" and not the mandatory
"shall." The nonunanimous resolution thus relies on the
canons index animi sermo est (speech is the indication
of intent) and a verba legis non est recedendum (from
the words of the statute there should be no departure).
Any lawyer of modest sophistication knows that
canons of statutory construction march in pairs of

opposite. Thus with the canons above mentioned we

have the following opposite: verba intentioni, non e
contra, debent inservire (words ought to be more
subservient to the intent and not the intent to the
words). It is an elementary rule in statutory
construction that the word "may" in a statute is
permissive while the word "shall" is mandatory. The
rule, however, is not absolute. The literal interpretation
of the words of an act should not prevail if it creates a
result contrary to the apparent intention of the
legislature and if the words are sufficiently flexible to
admit of a construction which will effectuate the
legislative intention. In the case at bar, compelling
reasons dictate that the provision of the decree should
be construed as mandatory rather than merely
directory. There is no justification for the rate increase
of the revised schedule of PLDT's SIP considering the
present economic condition obtaining in the country.
The approved rate defeats the purpose of the decree
which is to spread ownership among the wide base of
investors. Accordingly, the decision of NTC is annulled
and set aside.

Propriety of Construction
NFL v. Eisma (127 SCRA 419)
On 5 March 1982, the National Federation of Labor
filed with the Ministry of Labor and Employment (Labor
Relations Division, Zamboanga City), a petition for
direct certification as the sole exclusive collective
bargaining representative of the monthly paid
employees at the Lumbayao manufacturing plant of
the Zamboanga Wood Products, Inc. (Zambowood). On

17 April 1982, such employees charged the firm before

the same office for underpayment of monthly living
allowances. On 3 May 1982, the union issued a notice
of strike against the firm, alleging illegal termination of
Dionisio Estioca, president of the said local union;
unfair labor practice; nonpayment of living allowances;
and employment of oppressive alien management
personnel without
proper permit. The strike began on 23 May 1982.
On 9 July 1982, Zambowood filed a complaint with the
trial court against the officers and members of the
union, for damages for obstruction of private property
with prayer for preliminary injunction and/or
restraining order. The union filed a motion for the
dismissal and for the dissolution of the restraining
order, and opposition to the issuance of the writ of
preliminary injunction, contending that the incidents of
picketing are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the
Labor Arbiter pursuant to Batas Pambansa 227 (Labor
Code, Article 217) and not to the Court of First
Instance. The motion was denied.
Hence, the petition for certiorari.
Whether or not construction of the law is required to
determine jurisdiction.

The first and fundamental duty of courts is to apply the

law. Construction and interpretation come only after it
has been demonstrated that application is impossible
or inadequate without them.
Jurisdiction over the subject matter in a judicial
proceeding is conferred by the sovereign authority
which organizes the court; and it is given only by law.
Jurisdiction is never presumed; it must be conferred by
law in words that do not admit of doubt. Since
the jurisdiction of courts and judicial tribunals is
derived exclusively from the statutes of the forum, the
issue should be resolved on the basis of the law or
statute in force.
Therefore, since (1) the original wording of Article 217
vested the labor arbiters with jurisdiction; since (2)
Presidential Decree 1691 reverted the jurisdiction with
respect to money claims of workers or claims for
damages arising from employer-employee relations to
the labor arbiters after Presidential Decree 1367
transferred such jurisdiction to the ordinary courts, and
since (3) Batas Pambansa 130 made no change with
respect to the original and exclusive jurisdiction of
Labor Arbiters with respect to money claims of workers
or claims for damages arising from employer-employee
relations; Article 217 is to be applied the way it is
worded. The exclusive original jurisdiction of a labor
arbiter is therein provided for explicitly. It means, it
can only mean, that a court of first instance judge
then, a regional trial court judge now, certainly acts

beyond the scope of the authority conferred on him by

law when he entertained the suit for damages, arising
from picketing that accompanied a strike.
The Supreme Court, thus, granted the writ of certiorari,
and nullified and set aside the 20 July 1982 order
issued by the court a quo. It granted the writ of
prohibition, and enjoined the Judge of said court, or
whoever acts in his behalf in the RTC to which this case
is assigned, from taking any further action on the civil
case (Civil Case 716 [2751]), except for the purpose of
dismissing it. It also made permanent the restraining
order issued on 5 August 1982.

Paat v. CA (266 SCRA 167)

The truck of private respondent Victoria De
Guzman while on its way to Bulacan was seized by the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR) personnel because the driver could not
produce the required documents for the forest product
found concealed in the truck. Petitioner Jovito Layugan
(CENRO), ordered the confiscation of the truck and
required the owner to submit the explanation why the
truck should not be forfeited but the private
respondents failed to do so. DENR Regional Executive

Director Rogelio Baggayan sustained Layugans action

for confiscating and ordered the forfeiture of the truck.
Private respondents brought the case to the DENR
Secretary. Pending appeal, private respondents filed a
replevin case before the Regional Trial Court against
petitioner Layugan and Baggayan. Regional Trial Court
granted the same. Petitioner moved to dismiss the
case contending, inter alia, that private respondents
had no cause of action for their failure to exhaust
administrative remedies. The trial court denied their
motion. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.
Petitioners aver that the trial court could not legally
entertain the suit for replevin because the truck was
under administrative seizure proceedings. However,
the private respondents seek to avoid the operation for
the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies
asserting that the instant case falls within its exception
provided its jurisdiction.
Whether or Not without violating the principle of
exhaustion of administrative remedies, may an action
of reflevin prosper to recover a movable property
which is the subject matter of the administrative
Environment and Natural Resources pursuant to
section 68-A of P.D. 705, as amended, entitled the
revised Forestry Code of the Philippines?
Whether or Not are the Secretary of DENR and
his representatives empowered to confiscate and

forfeit conveyances used in transporting illegal forest

product in favour of the government?
From the foregoing disquisition, it is clear that a
suit for replevin can not be sustained against the
petitioners for the subject truck taken and retained by
them for administrative forfeiture proceedings in
pursuant to Section 68-A of the P.D. 705, as amended.
Dismissal of the replevin suit for lack of cause of action
in view of the private respondents' failure to exhaust
administrative remedies should have been the proper
course of action by the lower court instead of
assuming jurisdiction over the case and consequently
issuing the writ ordering the return of the truck.
Exhaustion of the remedies in the administrative
forum, being a condition precedent prior to one's
recourse to the courts and more importantly, being an
element of private respondents' right of action, is too
significant to be waylaid by the lower court. The suit
for replevin is founded solely on the claim that the
defendant wrongfully withholds the property sought to
be recovered. It lies to recover possession of personal
chattels that are unlawfully detained.
Moreover, the suit for replevin is never intended
as a procedural tool to question the orders of
confiscation and forfeiture issued by the DENR in
pursuance to the authority given under P.D. 705, as
amended. Section 8 of the said law is explicit that
actions taken by the Director of the Bureau of Forest

Development concerning the enforcement of the

provisions of the said law are subject to review by the
Secretary of DENR and that courts may not review the
decisions of the Secretary except through a special
civil action for certiorari or prohibition.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED; the
Decision of the respondent Court of Appeals dated
October 16, 1991 and its Resolution dated July 14,
1992 are hereby SET ASIDE AND REVERSED; the
Restraining Order promulgated on September 27, 1993
is hereby made permanent; and the Secretary of DENR
is directed to resolve the controversy with utmost
People of the Philippines V. Mario Mapa y
GR No. L-22301 August 30, 1967
On August 13, 1962, in the city of Manila, the accused
Mario Mapa Y Mapulong violated the Section 878 in
connection 2692 of the Revised Administration Code as
amended by Commonwealth Act No.56 and further
amended by Republic Act No. 4, committed as follow.
A. Accused unlawfully have in his possession and
control one home-made revolver Cal. 22, without serial
number with six rounds of ammunition, without first
having necessary license or permit
B. Forthwith, the accused admitted to owning the
mentioned firearm and ammunition. Counsel of the
accused stated and presented four (4) evidences that
the accused is a secret agent

appointed by Gov. Leviste. Following, the accused

presented the case of People v. Marandang, stating
that covered by section 879, he must be acquitted
because he is an agent, which may qualify into peace
officers equivalent to municipal police
Whether or not the position of secret agent to the
provincial governor would be a sufficient defense to a
prosecution for the crime of illegal possession of
firearm and ammunition.
No. The position of a secret agent to the provincial
governor cannot be use as a sufficient defense to a
prosecution for the crime of illegal possession of
firearm and ammunition. The Supreme Court affirmed
the decision of the lower court, convicting the accused
of the crime of illegal possession of firearms and
sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of from one
year and one day to two years and to pay cost and the
said firearm and ammunition was confiscated. As
stated in Sec. 878 as amended by RA No.4 by the
Revised Administrative Code, it explicitly mentioned
that it is unlawful for any person to possess any
firearm, detached parts of
firearms or ammunition therefor, or any instrument or
ammunition.The next section provides firearms and
ammunition regularly and lawfully issued to officers,
soldiers, sailors, or marines
[of the Armed Forces of the Philippines], the Philippine
Constabulary, guards in the employment of the Bureau
of Prisons, municipal police, provincial governors,
lieutenant governors, provincial treasurers, municipal
treasurers, municipal mayors, and guards of provincial
prisoners and jails," are not covered "when such

firearms are in possession of such officials and public

servants for use in the performance of their official
duties. There is no provision for secret agent; Thus, the
accused is not exempted from the crime of illegal
possession of firearms.
Leveriza v. IAC (157 SCRA 282)
Around three contracts of lease resolve the basic
issues in the instant case: Contract A a lease
contract of April 2, 1965 between the Republic of the
Administration (CAA) and. Leveriza over a parcel of
land containing an area of 4,502 square meters, for 25
years. Contract B a lease contract (in effect a
sublease) of May 21, 1965 between Leveriza and Mobil
Oil Philippines, Inc., over the same parcel of land, but
reduced to 3,000 square meters for 25 years; and
Contract C a lease contract of June 1, 1968 between
defendant CAA and plaintiff Mobil Oil over the same
parcel of land, but reduced to 3,000 square meters, for
25 years. There is no dispute among the parties that
the subject matter of the three contracts of lease
above mentioned, Contract A, Contract B, and Contract
C, is the same parcel of land, with the noted difference
that while in Contract A, the area leased is 4,502
square meters, in Contract B and Contract C, the area
has been reduced to 3,000 square meters. It is
important to note, for a clear understanding of the
issues involved, that it appears that defendant CAA as
LESSOR, leased the same parcel of land, for durations
of time that overlapped to two lessees, to wit: (1)
Leveriza and Mobil Oil, and the latter, as LESSEE,
leased the same parcel of land from two lessors, to wit:

(1) Leveriza and (2) CAA for durations of time that also
Leveriza, the lessee in Contract A and the lessor in
Contract B, is now deceased. This is the reason why
her successor-in-interest, her heirs, are sued. For
purposes of brevity, these defendants shall be referred
to hereinafter as Defendants Leveriza. Mobil Oil seeks
the rescission or cancellation of Contract A and
Contract B on the ground that Contract A from which
Contract B is derived and depends has already been
cancelled by the defendant CAA and maintains that
Contract C with the defendant CAA is the only valid
and subsisting contract insofar as the parcel of land,
subject to the present litigation is concerned.
Defendants Leverizas claim that Contract A which is
their contract with CAA has never been legally
cancelled and still valid and subsisting; that it is
Contract C between plaintiff and defendant CAA which
should be declared void. CAA asserts that Contract A is
still valid and subsisting because its cancellation by
Jurado was ineffective and asks the court to annul
Contract A because of the violation committed by
Leveriza in leasing the parcel of land to plaintiff by
virtue of Contract B without the consent of CAA. CAA
further asserts that Contract C not having been
approved by the Director of Public Works and
Communications is not valid. After trial, the lower
courts rendered judgment: 1. Declaring Contract A as
having been validly cancelled on June 28, 1966, and
has therefore ceased to have any effect as of that
date; 2. Declaring that Contract B has likewise ceased
to have any effect as of June 28, 1966 because of the
cancellation of Contract A; 3. Declaring that Contract C
was validly entered into on June 1, 1968, and that it is
still valid and subsisting;

CAA filed a Motion for Reconsideration, averring that

because the lot lease was properly registered in the
name of the Republic of the Philippines, it was only the
President of the Philippines or an officer duly
designated by him who could execute the lease
contract pursuant to Sec. 567 of the Revised
Administrative Code; that the Airport General Manager
has no authority to cancel Contract A, the contract
entered into between the CAA and Leveriza, and that
Contract C between the CAA and Mobil was void for
not having been approved by the Secretary of Public
Works and Communications. Said motion was however
denied. On appeal, the IAC affirmed in toto the
decision of the lower court. Hence this petition for
Review on certiorari.
There is no dispute that Contract A at the time of its
execution was a valid contract. The issue therefore is
whether or not said contract is still subsisting after its
cancellation by CAA on the ground of a sublease
executed by petitioners with Mobil Oil (CONTRACT B)
without the consent of CAA and the execution of
another contract of lease between CAA and Mobil Oil
(CONTRACT C) The issue narrows down to: WON there
is a valid ground for the cancellation of Contract A

The petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit and the
decision of the Court of Appeals appealed from is
AFFIRMED in toto. YES Contract A was entered into by
CAA as the lessor and the Leverizas as the lessee
specifically for the purpose of operating and

managing a gasoline station by the latter, to serve

vehicles going in and out of the airport. As regards
prior consent of the lessor to the transfer of rights to
the leased premises, the provision of paragraph 7 of
said Contract reads in full:
7. The Party of the Second part may transfer her rights
to the leased premises but in such eventuality, the
consent of the Party of the First Part shall first be
secured. In any event, such transfer of rights shall
have to respect the terms and conditions of this
agreement. Paragraph 8 provides the sanction for the
violation of the above-mentioned terms and conditions
of the contract. Said paragraph reads: 8. Failure on the
part of the Party of the Second Part to comply with the
terms and conditions herein agreed upon shall be
sufficient for revocation of this contract by the Party of
the First Part without need of judicial demand. It is not
disputed that the Leverizas (lessees) entered into a
contract of sublease (Contract B) with Mobil Oil without
the consent of CAA (lessor). The cancellation of the
contract was made in a letter by Jurado, Airport
General Manager of CAA addressed to Rosario
Leveriza. Respondent Leverizas and the CAA assailed
the validity of such cancellation, claiming that the
Airport General Manager had no legal authority to
make the cancellation. They maintain that it is only the
(1)Secretary of Public Works and Communications,
acting for the President, or by delegation of power, the
(2)Director of CCA who could validly cancel the
contract. Petitioners argue that cancelling or setting
aside a contract approved by the Secretary is, in
effect, repealing an act of the Secretary which is
beyond the authority of the Administrator. Such
argument is untenable. The terms and conditions
under which such revocation or cancellation may be
made, have already been specifically provided for in

Contract A which has already been approved by the

Department Head, It is evident that in the
implementation of aforesaid contract, the approval of
said Department Head is no longer necessary if not
Daoang v. Municipal Judge (159 SCRA 369)
On 23 March 1971, spouses Antero and Amanda
Agonoy filed a petition with the Municipal Court of San
Nicolas, Ilocos Norte seeking the adoption of minors
Quirino Bonilla and Wilson Marcos. However, minors
Roderick and Rommel Daoang, assisted by their father
and guardian ad litem, the petitioners herein filed an
opposition to the said adoption. They contended that
the spouses Antero and Amanda Agonoy had a
legitimate daughter named Estrella Agonoy, oppositors
mother, who died on 1 March 1971, and therefore said
spouses were disqualified to adopt under Article 335 of
the Civil Code, which provides that those who have
legitimate, legitimated, acknowledged natural children
or children by legal fiction cannot adopt.
Whether the spouses Antero Agonoy and Amanda
Ramos are disqualified to adopt under paragraph 1 of
Article 335 of the Civil Code.
The words used in paragraph (1) of Article 335 of the
Civil Code, in enumerating the persons who cannot
adopt, are clear and unambiguous. When the New Civil

Code was adopted, it changed the word descendant,

found in the Spanish Civil Code to which the New Civil
Code was patterned, to children. The children thus
mentioned have a clearly defined meaning in law and
do not include grandchildren. Well known is the rule of
statutory construction to the effect that a statute clear
and unambiguous on its face need not be interpreted.
The rule is that only statutes with an ambiguous or
doubtful meaning may be the subjects of statutory
construction. In the present case, Roderick and
Rommel Daoang, the grandchildren of Antero Agonoy
and Amanda Ramos-Agonoy, cannot assail the
adoption of Quirino Bonilla and Wilson Marcos by the
The Supreme Court denied the petition, and affirmed
the judgment of the Municipal Court of San Nicolas,
Ilocos Norte (Special Proceedings 37), wthout
pronouncement as to costs.
Paras v. COMELEC (264 SCRA 49)
Petitioner was the incumbent Punong Barangay who
won during the last regular barangay election. A
petition for his recall as Punong Barangay was filed by
the registered voters of the barangay. At least 29.30%
of the registered voters signed the petition, well above
the 25% requirement provided by law. Acting on the
petition for recall, public respondent Commission on
Elections (COMELEC) resolved to approve the petition
and set recall election date. To prevent the holding of
recall election, petitioner filed before the Regional Trial
Court a petition for injunction which was later
dismissed. Petitioner filed petition for certiorari with
urgent prayer for injunction, insisting that the recall
election is barred by the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK)

election under Sec. 74(b) of Local Government Code

(LGC) which states that no recall shall take place
within one (1) year from the date of the officials
assumption to office or one (1) year immediately
preceding a regular local election.

By the time of judgment, recall was no longer possible

because of the limitation stated under the same
Section 74(b) now referred to as Barangay Elections.

Whether or not the prohibition on Sec.74(b) of the LGC
may refer to SK elections, where the recall election is
for Barangay post.


NO. But petition was dismissed for having become
moot and academic.
Recall election is potentially disruptive of the normal
working of the local government unit necessitating
additional expenses, hence the prohibition against the
conduct of recall election one year immediately
preceding the regular local election. The proscription
is due to the proximity of the next regular election for
the office of the local elective official concerned. The
electorate could choose the officials replacement in
the said election who certainly has a longer tenure in
office than a successor elected through a recall
It would, therefore, be more in keeping with the intent
of the recall provision of the Code to construe regular
local election as one referring to an election where the
office held by the local elective official sought to be
recalled will be contested and be filled by the


A regular election, whether national or local, can only

refer to an election participated in by those who
possess the right of suffrage, are not otherwise
disqualified by law, and who are registered voters. One
of the requirements for the exercise of suffrage under
Section 1, Article V of the Constitution is that the
person must be at least 18 years of age, and one
requisite before he can vote is that he be a registered
voter pursuant to the rules on registration prescribed
in the Omnibus Election Code (Section 113-118).
Under the law, the SK includes the youth with ages
ranging from 15 to 21 (Sec. 424, Local Government
Code of 1991). Accordingly, they include many who are
not qualified to vote in a regular election, viz., those
from ages 15 to less than 18. In no manner then may
SK elections be considered a regular election (whether
national or local).

Construction as a Judicial Function

Perfecto v. Meer (85 Phil. 552)
In April 1947 the Collector of Internal Revenue required
Mr. Justice Gregorio Perfecto to pay income tax upon
his salary as member of the Court during the year
1946. After paying the amount, he instituted an action

in Manila Court of First Instance contending that the

assessment was illegal, his salary not being taxable for
the reason that imposition of taxes thereon would
reduce it in violation of the Constitution. It provides in
its Article VIII, Section 9 that the members of the
Supreme Court and all judges of inferior courts shall
receive such compensation as may be fixed by law,
which shall not be diminished during their continuance
in office.
Whether or not the imposition of an income tax upon
this salary in 1946 amount to a diminution.
Yes, the imposition of the income tax upon the salary
of Justice Perfecto amount to a diminution thereof. The
prohibition is general, contains no excepting words,
and appears to be directed against all diminution,
whether for one purpose or another. The fathers of the
Constitution intended to prohibit diminution by
taxation as well as otherwise, that they regarded the
independence of the judges as of far greater
importance than any revenue that could come from
taxing their salaries. Thus, taxing the salary of a judge
as a part of his income is a violation of the
Endencia v. David (93 Phil. 696)
Saturnino David, as a Collector of Internal Revenue
collected income taxes from Justices Endencia and
Jugo, as Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals and
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court respectively.
The lower court held that under the doctrine laid down

in the case of Perfecto vs. Meer, 85 Phil., 552, the

collection of income taxes from the salaries of Justice
Jugo and Justice Endencia was a diminution of their
compensation and therefore was in violation of the
Constitution of the Philippines, and so ordered the
refund of said taxes. Respondent, through the Solicitor
General contended that the collection was done
pursuant to Section 13 of Republic Act 590 which
Congress enacted to authorize and legalize the
collection of income tax on the salaries of judicial
officers, if not to counteract the ruling on the Perfecto
1. Whether the Legislature may lawfully declare the
collection of income tax on the salary of a public
specially a judicial officer, not a decrease of his salary,
after the Supreme Court has found and decided
2. Whether or not Section 13 of RA 590 is
1. No. The Legislature cannot lawfully declare the
collection of income tax on the salary of a public
official, specially a judicial officer, not a decrease of his
salary, after the Supreme Court has found and decided
otherwise. To determine this question, SC have gone
back to the fundamental principles regarding
separation of powers.
The interpretation and application of the Constitution
and of statutes is within the exclusive province and
jurisdiction of the judicial department, and that in
enacting a law, the Legislature may not legally provide

therein that it be interpreted in such a way that it may

not violate a Constitutional prohibition, thereby tying
the hands of the courts in their task of later
interpreting said statute, specially when the
interpretation sought and provided in said statute runs
counter to a previous interpretation already given in a
case by the highest court of the land. In the case at
bar, Section 13 of Republic Act 590 interpreted or
ascertained the meaning of the phrase which shall
not be diminished during their continuance in office,
found in section 9, Article VIII of the Constitution,
referring to the salaries of judicial officers. This act of
interpreting the Constitution or any part thereof by the
Legislature is an invasion of the well-defined and
established province and jurisdiction of the
Judiciary. The Legislature under our form of
government is assigned the task and the power to
make and enact laws, but not to interpret them. This is
more true with regard to the interpretation of the basic
law, the Constitution, which is not within the sphere of
the Legislative department. Allowing the legislature to
interpret the law would bring confusion and instability
in judicial processes and court decisions.

Constitution in order to decide whether there is a

conflict between the two, because if there is, then the
law will have to give way and has to be declared
invalid and unconstitutional. Therefore, the doctrine
laid down in the case of Perfecto vs. Meer to the effect
that the collection of income tax on the salary of a
judicial officer is a diminution thereof and so violates
the Constitution, is reiterated.

Further, under the Philippine system of constitutional

government, the Legislative department is assigned
the power to make and enact laws. The Executive
department is charged with the execution or carrying
out of the provisions of said laws. But the
interpretation and application of said laws belong
exclusively to the Judicial department. And this
authority to interpret and apply the laws extends to
the Constitution. Before the courts can determine
whether a law is constitutional or not, it will have to
interpret and ascertain the meaning not only of said
law, but also of the pertinent portion of the

Nitafan v. CIR (152 SCRA 284)

The Supreme Court affirmed the decision, affirming the

ruling in Perferto v. Meer and holding the interpretation
and application of laws belong to the Judiciary.
2. No, the Section 13 of RA 590 is unconstitutional. The
collection of income taxes in judicial officers is
considered as against the provisions given by the
Article VIII Sec 9 of the Constitution. The compensation
shall not be diminished during their continuance of
their service. Section 13 of RA 590 stated that no
salary received by any public officer of the republic
shall be exempted from paying its taxes. This specific
part of RA 590 is in contrary with what is Article VIII
Sec 9 has provided.

The Chief Justice has previously issued a directive to
the Fiscal Management and Budget Office to continue
the deduction of withholding taxes from salaries of the
Justices of the Supreme Court and other members of
the judiciary. This was affirmed by the Supreme Court
en banc on 4 December 1987.
Petitioners are the duly appointed and qualified Judges
presiding over Branches 52, 19 and 53, respectively, of

the RTC, National Capital Judicial Region, all with

stations in Manila. They seek to prohibit and/or
perpetually enjoin the Commissioner of Internal
Revenue and the Financial Officer of the Supreme
Court, from making any deduction of withholding taxes
from their salaries. With the filing of the petition, the
Court deemed it best to settle the issue through
judicial pronouncement, even if it had dealt with the
matter administratively.

debates, interpolations and opinions expressed

regarding the constitutional provision in question until
it was finally approved by the Commission disclosed
that the true intent of the framers of the 1987
Constitution, in adopting it, was to make the salaries of
members of the Judiciary taxable.

Whether the intention of the framers of the 1987
Constitution is to exempt justices and judges from
taxes as it was in the 1935 Constitution.

Judicial Legislation

The ascertainment of the intent is but in keeping with
construction that the intent of the framers of the
organic law and of the people adopting it should be
given effect.
The primary task in constitutional
construction is to ascertain and thereafter assure the
realization of the purpose of the framers and of the
people in the adoption of the Constitution. It may also
be safely assumed that the people in ratifying the
Constitution were guided mainly by the explanation
offered by the framers. In the present case, Section 10,
Article VIII is plain that the Constitution authorizes
Congress to pass a law fixing another rate of
compensation of Justices and Judges but such rate
must be higher than that which they are receiving at
the time of enactment, or if lower, it would be
applicable only to those appointed after its approval. It
would be a strained construction to read into the
provision an exemption from taxation in the light of the
discussion in the Constitutional Commission. Thus, the

The Supreme






Floresca v. Philex Mining (136 SCRA 142)

Several miners were killed in a cave-in at one of Philex
Mining Corporations mine sites. The heirs of the
miners were able to recover under the Workmans
Compensation Act (WCA). Thereafter, a special
committee report indicated that the company failed to
provide the miners with adequate safety protection.
The heirs decided to file a complaint for damages
before the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Manila. Philex
filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the action
was based on an industrial accident which is covered
under the WCA and, therefore, the CFI has no
jurisdiction over the case. Philex argues that the work
connected injuries are compensable exclusively under
Sections 5 and 46 of the WCA; and that the WCA
covers work-connected accidents even if the employer
was negligent as the WCA under Section 4-A imposes a
50% additional compensation in the event that the
employer is negligent. The heirs, however, contend
that the CFI has jurisdiction, as their complaint is not
based on the WCA but on the Civil Code provisions on
damages arising out of negligence. The CFI dismissed

the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The heirs

questioned the dismissal before the Supreme Court.
Amici curiae submitted their respective memoranda,
pursuant to the resolution of 26 November 1976,
involving the issue whether the action of an injured
employee or worker or that of his heirs in case of his
death under the Workmens Compensation Act is
exclusive, selective or cumulative; i.e. (1: Exclusive)
whether an injured employee or his heirs action is
Compensation Act, (2: Selective) whether an injured
employee or his heirs have a right of selection or
choice of action between availing of the workers right
under the Workmens Compensation Act and suing in
the regular courts under the Civil Code for higher
damages (actual, moral and/or exemplary) from the
employer by virtue of negligence (or fault) of the
employer or of his other employees, or (3: Cumulative)
whether an injured employee or his heirs may avail
cumulatively of both actions, i.e., collect the limited
compensation under the Workmens Compensation Act
and sue in addition for damages in the regular courts.
The opinions of the amici curiae are diverse.
The Court in this same decision agreed with the
argument that the action is selective, i.e. that the
injured worker or his heirs have the choice of
remedies, but that they cannot pursue both courses of
action simultaneously and balance the relative
advantage of recourse under the Workmens
Compensation Act as against an ordinary action. It
further held that the petitioners who had received the
benefits under the Workmens Compensation Act, such
may not preclude them from bringing an action before

the regular court, as the choice of the first remedy was

based on ignorance or a mistake of fact, which nullifies
the choice as it was not an intelligent choice, but that
upon the success of such bids before the lower court,
Compensation Act should be deducted from the
damages that may be decreed in their favor.
Whether the Supreme Court, in determining the action
to be selective, is guilty of judicial legislation.
The Court, through its majority, defended itself by
holding that the Court does not legislate but merely
applies and gives effect to the constitutional
guarantees of social justice then secured by Section 5
of Article II and Section 6 of Article XIV of the 1935
Constitution, and later by Sections 6, 7, and 9 of
Article II of the Declaration of Principles and State
Policies of the 1973 Constitution, as amended, and as
implemented by Articles 2176, 2177, 2178, 1173,
2201, 2216, 2231 and 2232 of the New Civil Code of
1950. Further, it reiterated its ruling in People vs.
Licera: that judicial decisions of the Supreme Court
assume the same authority as the statute itself,
pursuant to Article 8 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
which decrees that judicial decisions applying or
interpreting the laws or the Constitution form part of
this jurisdictions legal system. It argues that the
application or interpretation placed by the Court upon
a law is part of the law as of the date of the enactment
of the said law since the Courts application or
contemporaneous legislative intent that the construed
law purports to carry into effect. Yet, the Court argues

that the Court can legislate, pursuant to Article 9 of

the New Civil Code, which provides that No judge or
court shall decline to render judgment by reason of the
silence, obscurity or insufficiency of the laws. Thus,
even the legislator himself recognizes that in certain
instances, the court do and must legislate to fill in
the gaps in the law; because the mind of the legislator,
like all human beings, is finite and therefore cannot
envisage all possible cases to which the law may

How the Constitution should be interpreted

Sarmiento v. Mison (156 SCRA 549)
Mison was appointed as the Commissioner of the
Bureau of Customs and Carague as the Secretary of
the Department of Budget, without the confirmation of
the Commission on Appointments. Sarmiento assailed
the appointments as unconstitutional by reason of its
not having been confirmed by CoA.
Whether or not the appointment is valid.
Yes. The President acted within her constitutional
authority and power in appointing Salvador Mison,
without submitting his nomination to the CoA for
confirmation. He is thus entitled to exercise the full
authority and functions of the office and to receive all
the salaries and emoluments pertaining thereto.

Under Sec 16 Art. VII of the 1987 Constitution, there

are 4 groups of officers whom the President shall
1st, appointment of executive departments and
bureaus heads, ambassadors, other public ministers,
consuls, officers of the armed forces from the rank of
colonel or naval captain, and other officers with the
consent and confirmation of the CoA.
appointments are not otherwise provided by law;
3rd those whom the President may be authorized by
the law to appoint;
4th, low-ranking officers whose appointments the
Congress may by law vest in the President alone.
First group of officers is clearly appointed with the
consent of the Commission on Appointments.
Appointments of such officers are initiated by
nomination and, if the nomination is confirmed by the
Commission on Appointments, the President appoints.
2nd, 3rd and 4th group of officers are the present bone
of contention. By following the accepted rule in
constitutional and statutory construction that an
express enumeration of subjects excludes others not
enumerated, it would follow that only those
appointments to positions expressly stated in the first
group require the consent (confirmation) of the
Commission on Appointments.
It is evident that the position of Commissioner of the
Bureau of Customs (a bureau head) is not one of those
within the first group of appointments where the
consent of the Commission on Appointments is
required. The 1987 Constitution deliberately excluded
the position of "heads of bureaus" from appointments

that need the consent (confirmation)

Commission on Appointments.




This is the 1st major case under the 1987 Constitution.
Mison was appointed as the Commissioner of the
Bureau of Customs and Carague as the Secretary of
the Department of Budget. Their appointment was
done without the concurrence of the CoA. Ulpiano,
being members of the bar, taxpayers, and professors
of constitutional law questioned the appointment of
the two sans confirmation by the CoA.
Whether or not the appointment is valid.
It is readily apparent that under the provisions of the
1987 Constitution, there are four(4) groups of officers
whom the President shall appoint. These four (4)
groups are:
First, the heads of the executive departments,
ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls,
officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or
naval captain, and other officers whose appointments
are vested in him in this Constitution;
Second, all other officers of the Government whose
appointments are not otherwise provided for by law;
Third, those whom the President may be authorized by
law to appoint;

Fourth, officers lower in rank whose appointments the

Congress may by law vest in the President alone. The
2nd, 3rd and 4th groups of officers are the present
bone of contention. Should they be appointed by the
President with or without the consent (confirmation) of
the CoA?
By following the accepted rule in constitutional and
statutory construction that an express enumeration of
subjects excludes others not enumerated, it would
follow that only those appointments to positions
expressly stated in the first group require the consent
(confirmation) of the CoA.
Because of the conflicting extremes provided in the 2
previous Constitutions, the framers of the1987
Constitution and the people adopting it, struck a
(confirmation) of the CoA for the 1st group of
appointments and leaving to the President, without
such confirmation, the appointment of other officers,
i.e., those in the 2ndand 3rd groups as well as those in
the 4th group, i.e., officers of lower rank. As to the 4th
group of officers whom the President can appoint, it
was pointed out by the intervener CoA that the 3r
sentence in Sec. 16, Article 7 of the 1987 Constitution,
which reads:"The Congress may, by law, vest the
appointment of other officers lower in rank in the
President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of
departments, agencies, commissions, or boards." since
a law is needed to vest the appointment of lowerranked officers in the President alone, this implies that,
in the absence of such a law, lower-ranked officers
have to be appointed by the President subject to
confirmation by the CoA; and, if this is so, as to lowerranked officers, It follows that higher-ranked officers

should be appointed by the President, subject also to

confirmation by the CoA. Ulpiano et al argued that the
third sentence of Sec. 16, Article 7,merely declares
that, as to lower-ranked officers, the Congress may by
law vest thei r appointment in the President, in the
courts, or in the heads of the various departments,
agencies, commissions, or boards in the government.
No reason however is submitted for the use of the
word "alone" in said third sentence. The SC ruled that
both arguments are not correct. After a careful study of
1986 Constitutional
Commission, that the use of the word "alone" after the
word President" in said third sentence of Sec. 16,
Article 7 is, more than anything else, a slip or lapse in
In the 1987 Constitution the clear and expressed intent
its framers
appointments from confirmation by the CoA, except
appointments to offices expressly mentioned in the
first sentence of Sec. 16, Article 7. Consequently, there
was no reason to use in the third sentence of Sec. 16,
Article 7 the word "alone" after the word President" in
providing that Congress may by law vest the
appointment of lower-ranked officers in the President
alone, or in the courts, or in the heads of departments,
because the power to appoint officers whom he (the
President) may be authorized by law to appoint is
already vested in the President, without need of
confirmation by the CoA, in the second sentence of the
same Sec. 16, Article 7.Therefore, the 3rd sentence of
Sec. 16, Article 7 could have stated merely that, in the
case of lower-ranked officers, the Congress may by law
vest their appointment in the President, in the courts,
or in the heads of various departments of the
government. In short, the word "alone" in the third

sentence of Sec. 16, Article 7 of the 1987 Constitution,

as a literal import from the1935 Constitution, appears
to be redundant in the light of the second sentence of
Sec. 16,Article 7. And, this redundancy cannot prevail
over the clear and positive intent of the framers of the
1987 Constitution that presidential appointments,
except those mentioned in the firstsentence of Sec.
16, Article 7, are not subject to confirmation by the
CoA. Misons and Caragues appointments are
Francisco v. House of Representatives (G.R. No.
160261, November 10, 2003)
On July 22, 2002, the House of Representatives
adopted a Resolution, sponsored by Representative
Felix William D. Fuentebella, which directed the
Committee on Justice "to conduct an investigation, in
aid of legislation, on the manner of disbursements and
expenditures by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF)." On June 2,
2003, former President Joseph E. Estrada filed an
impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G.
Davide Jr. and seven Associate Justices of this Court for
"culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of the
public trust and other high crimes." The complaint was
endorsed by Representatives Rolex T. Suplico, Ronaldo
B. Zamora and DidagenPiangDilangalen, and was
referred to the House Committee. The House
Committee on Justice ruled on October 13, 2003 that
the first impeachment complaint was "sufficient in
form," but voted to dismiss the same on October 22,
2003 for being insufficient in substance. To date, the
Committee Report to this effect has not yet been sent
to the House in plenary in accordance with the said

Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution. Four

months and three weeks since the filing on June 2,
2003 of the first complaint or on October 23, 2003, a
day after the House Committee on Justice voted to
dismiss it, the second impeachment complaint was
filed with the Secretary General of the House by
Representatives Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. and Felix
William B. Fuentebella against Chief Justice Hilario G.
Davide, Jr., founded on the alleged results of the
legislative inquiry initiated by above-mentioned House
Resolution. This second impeachment complaint was
Endorsement/Impeachment" signed by at least onethird (1/3) of all the Members of the House of
1. Whether or not the filing of the second
impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G.
Davide, Jr. with the House of Representatives falls
within the one-year bar provided in the Constitution.
2. Whether the resolution thereof is a political question
has resulted in a political crisis.

1. Having concluded that the initiation takes place by
the act of filing of the impeachment complaint and
referral to the House Committee on Justice, the initial
action taken thereon, the meaning of Section 3 (5) of
Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment
complaint has been initiated in the foregoing manner,
another may not be filed against the same official

within a one-year period following Article XI, Section

3(5) of the Constitution. In fine, considering that the
first impeachment complaint, was filed by former
President Estrada against Chief Justice Hilario G.
Davide, Jr., along with seven associate justices of this
Court, on June 2, 2003 and referred to the House
Committee on Justice on August 5, 2003, the second
impeachment complaint filed by Representatives
Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. and Felix William Fuentebella
against the Chief Justice on October 23, 2003 violates
the constitutional prohibition against the initiation of
impeachable officer within a one-year period.
2.From the foregoing record of the proceedings of the
1986 Constitutional Commission, it is clear that judicial
power is not only a power; it is also a duty, a duty
which cannot be abdicated by the mere specter of this
creature called the political question doctrine. Chief
Justice Concepcion hastened to clarify, however, that
Section 1, Article VIII was not intended to do away with
"truly political questions." From this clarification it is
gathered that there are two species of political
questions: (1) "truly political questions" and (2) those
which "are not truly political questions." Truly political
questions are thus beyond judicial review, the reason
for respect of the doctrine of separation of powers to
be maintained. On the other hand, by virtue of Section
1, Article VIII of the Constitution, courts can review
questions which are not truly political in nature.
Chavez v. JBC (G.R. No. 202242, July 17, 2012)
i. Majority decision
ii. J. Abad dissenting opinion

In 1994, instead of having only seven members, an
eighth member was added to the JBC as two
representatives from Congress began sitting in the JBC
one from the House of Representatives and one from
the Senate, with each having one-half (1/2) of a vote.
Then, the JBC En Banc, in separate meetings held in
2000 and 2001, decided to allow the representatives
from the Senate and the House of Representatives one
full vote each. At present, Senator Francis Joseph G.
Escudero and Congressman Niel C. Tupas, Jr.
(respondents) simultaneously sit in the JBC as
representatives of the legislature. It is this practice
that petitioner has questioned in this petition.
Respondents argued that the crux of the controversy is
the phrase a representative of Congress. It is their
theory that the two houses, the Senate and the House
of Representatives, are permanent and mandatory
components of Congress, such that the absence of
either divests the term of its substantive meaning as
expressed under the Constitution. Bicameralism, as
the system of choice by the Framers, requires that
both houses exercise their respective powers in the
performance of its mandated duty which is to legislate.
Thus, when Section 8(1), Article VIII of the Constitution
speaks of a representative from Congress, it should
mean one representative each from both Houses which
comprise the entire Congress. Respondents further
argue that petitioner has no real interest in
questioning the constitutionality of the JBCs current
petitioners belated filing of the petition.
(1) Whether or not the conditions sine qua non for the
exercise of the power of judicial review have been met

in this case; and (2) Whether or not the current

practice of the JBC to perform its functions with eight
(8) members, two (2) of whom are members of
Congress, runs counter to the letter and spirit of the
1987 Constitution.
(1) Yes. The Courts power of judicial review is subject
to several limitations, namely: (a) theremust be an
actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of
judicial power; (b) the person challenging the act must
have standing to challenge; 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; (c) the question of constitutionality must
be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and (d)
the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota
of the case. Generally, a party will be allowed to
litigate only when these conditions sine qua non are
present, especially when the constitutionality of an act
by a co-equal branch of government is put in issue.
The Court disagrees with the respondents contention
that petitioner lost his standing to sue because he is
not an official nominee for the post of Chief Justice.
While it is true that a personal stake on the case is
imperative to have locus standi, this is not to say that
only official nominees for the post of Chief Justice can
come to the Court and question the JBC composition
for being unconstitutional. The JBC likewise screens
and nominates other members of the Judiciary. Albeit
heavily publicized in this regard, the JBCs duty is not
at all limited to the nominations for the highest
magistrate in the land. A vast number of aspirants to
judicial posts all over the country may be affected by
the Courts ruling. More importantly, the legality of the

very process of nominations to the positions in the

Judiciary is the nucleus of the controversy. The claim
that the composition of the JBC is illegal and
unconstitutional is an object of concern, not just for a
nominee to a judicial post, but for all citizens who have
the right to seek judicial intervention for rectification of
legal blunders.
(2) Yes. The word Congress used in Article VIII,
Section 8(1) of the Constitution is used in its generic
sense. No particular allusion whatsoever is made on
whether the Senate or the House of Representatives is
being referred to, but that, in either case, only a
singular representative may be allowed to sit in the
JBC. The seven-member composition of the JBC serves
a practical purpose, that is, to provide a solution
should there be a stalemate in voting.
It is evident that the definition of Congress as a
bicameral body refers to its primary function in
government to legislate. In the passage of laws, the
Constitution is explicit in the distinction of the role of
each house in the process. The same holds true in
Congress non-legislative powers. An inter-play
between the two houses is necessary in the realization
of these powers causing a vivid dichotomy that the
Court cannot simply discount. This, however, cannot
be said in the case of JBC representation because no
liaison between the two houses exists in the workings
of the JBC.
Hence, the term Congress must be taken to mean
the entire legislative department. The Constitution
mandates that the JBC be composed of seven (7)
members only. Notwithstanding its finding of
unconstitutionality in the current composition of the

JBC, all its prior official actions are nonetheless valid.

Under the doctrine of operative facts, actions previous
to the declaration of unconstitutionality are legally
recognized. They are not nullified.
Chavez v. JBC (G.R. No. 202242, April 16, 2013)
The case is a motion for reconsideration filed by the
JBC in a prior decision rendered July 17, 2012 that
JBCs action of allowing more than one member of the
congress to represent the JBC to be unconstitutional
representative of congress refers that both houses of
congress should have one representative each, and
that these two houses are permanent and mandatory
components of congress as part of the bicameral
system of legislature.
Both houses have their respective powers in
performance of their duties. Art VIII Sec 8 of the
constitution provides for the component of the JBC to
be 7 members only with only one representative from
Whether or not the JBCs practice of having members
from the Senate and the House of Representatives to
be unconstitutional as provided in Art VIII Sec 8 of the
Yes, the practice is unconstitutional. The court held
that the phrase a representative of congress should
be construed as to having only one representative that
would come from either house, not both. That the

framers of the constitution only intended for one seat

of the JBC to be allotted for the legislative. The motion
was denied.

Macalintal v. PET (G.R. No. 191618, November

23, 2010)

One of the primary and basic rules in statutory

construction is that where the words of a statute are
clear, plain, and free from ambiguity, it must be given
its literal meaning and applied without attempted
interpretation. It is a well-settled principle of
employed in the Constitution must be given their
ordinary meaning except where technical terms are
employed. As much as possible, the words of the
Constitution should be understood in the sense they
have in common use.
What it says according to the text of the provision to
be construed compels acceptance and negates the
power of the courts to alter it, based on the postulate
that the framers and the people mean what they say.
Verba legis non est recedendum from the words of a
statute there should be no departure.
The raison d tre (Merriam-Websters Dictionary: the
thing that is most important to someone or something;
the reason for which a person or organization exists)
for the rule is essentially two-fold: First, because it is
assumed that the words in which constitutional
provisions are couched express the objective sought to
be attained; and second, because the Constitution is
not primarily a lawyers document but essentially that
of the people, in whose consciousness it should ever
be present as an important
condition for the rule of law to prevail.

Par 7, Sec 4, Art VII of the 1987 Constitution provides:

The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole
judge of all contests relating to the election, returns,
and qualifications of the President or Vice-President,
and may promulgate its rules for the purpose.
Sec 12, Art. VIII of the Constitution provides: The
Members of the Supreme Court and of other courts
established by law shall not be designated to any
agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative
The case at bar is a motion for reconsideration filed by
petitioner of the SCs decision dismissing the formers
petition and declaring the establishment of the
respondent PET as constitutional.
Petitioner argues that PET is unconstitutional on the
ground that Sec 4, Art VII of the Constitution does not
provide for the creation of the PET, and it violates Sec
12, Art VIII of the Constitution.
The Solicitor General maintains that the constitution of
the PET is on firm footing on the basis of the grant of
authority to the Supreme Court to be the sole judge of
all election contests for the President or Vice-President
under par 7, Sec 4, Art VII of the Constitution.

Whether or not PET is constitutional.

Whether or not PET exercises quasi-judicial power.
Yes. The explicit reference of the Members of the
Constitutional Commission to a Presidential Electoral
Tribunal, with Fr. Joaquin Bernas categorically declaring
that in crafting the last paragraph of Sec. 4, Art VII of
the 1987 Constitution, they constitutionalized what
was statutory. Judicial power granted to the Supreme
Court by the same Constitution is plenary. And under
the doctrine of necessary implication, the additional
jurisdiction bestowed by the last paragraph of Section
4, Article VII of the Constitution to decide presidential
and vice-presidential elections contests includes the
means necessary to carry it into effect.
No. The traditional grant of judicial power is found in
Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution which
provides that the power shall be vested in one
Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be
established by law. The set up embodied in the
Constitution and statutes characterize the resolution of
electoral contests as essentially an exercise of judicial
power. When the Supreme Court, as PET, resolves a
presidential or vice-presidential election contest, it
performs what is essentially a judicial power.
The COMELEC, HRET and SET are not, strictly and
literally speaking, courts of law. Although not courts of
law, they are, nonetheless, empowered to resolve

election contests which involve, in essence, an

exercise of judicial power, because of the explicit
constitutional empowerment found in Section 2(2),
Article IX-C (for the COMELEC) and Section 17, Article
VI (for the Senate and House Electoral Tribunals) of the

Role of the Preamble

Aglipay v. Ruiz
Facts: In May 1936, the Director of Posts announced in
the dailies of Manila that he would order the issuance
of postage stamps commemorating the celebration in
the City of Manila of the 33rd International Eucharistic
Congress, organized by the Roman Catholic Church.
The petitioner, Mons. Gregorio Aglipay, Supreme Head
of the Philippine Independent Church, in the fulfillment
of what he considers to be a civic duty, requested
Vicente Sotto, Esq., member of the Philippine Bar, to
denounce the matter to the President of the
Philippines. In spite of the protest of the petitioners
attorney, the Director of Posts publicly announced
having sent to the United States the designs of the
postage for printing. The said stamps were actually
issued and sold though the greater part thereof
remained unsold. The further sale of the stamps was
sought to be prevented by the petitioner.
Issue: Whether the issuance of the postage stamps
was in violation of the Constitution.

Religious freedom as a constitutional mandate is not

inhibition of profound reverence for religion and is not
a denial of its influence in human affairs. Religion as a
profession of faith to an active power that binds and
elevates man to his Creator is recognized. And, in so
far as it instills into the minds the purest principles of
morality, its influence is deeply felt and highly
appreciated. When the Filipino people, in the preamble
of their Constitution, implored the aid of Divine
Providence, in order to establish a government that
shall embody their ideals, conserve and develop the
patrimony of the nation, promote the general welfare,
and secure to themselves and their posterity the
blessings of independence under a regime of justice,
liberty and democracy, they thereby manifested their
intense religious nature and placed unfaltering reliance
upon Him who guides the destinies of men and
nations. The elevating influence of religion in human
society is recognized here as elsewhere.
Act 4052 contemplates no religious purpose in view.
What it gives the Director of Posts is the discretionary
power to determine when the issuance of special
postage stamps would be advantageous to the
Government. Of course, the phrase advantageous to
the Government does not authorize the violation of
the Constitution; i.e. to appropriate, use or apply of
public money or property for the use, benefit or
support of a particular sect or church. In the case at
bar, the issuance of the postage stamps was not
inspired by any sectarian feeling to favor a particular
church or religious denominations. The stamps were
not issued and sold for the benefit of the Roman
Catholic Church, nor were money derived from the sale
of the stamps given to that church. The purpose of the
issuing of the stamps was to take advantage of an

event considered of international importance to give

publicity to the Philippines and its people and attract
more tourists to the country. Thus, instead of showing
a Catholic chalice, the stamp contained a map of the
Philippines, the location of the City of Manila, and an
inscription that reads Seat XXXIII International
Eucharistic Congress, Feb. 3-7, 1937.
The Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of
prohibition, without pronouncement as to costs.
Estrada v. Escritor (A.M. No. P-02-1651)
a. August 4, 2003 and June 22, 2006 decisions
August 4, 2003 decision
Complainant Alejandro Estrada wrote to Judge Jose F.
Caoibes, Jr., requesting for an investigation of rumors
that respondent Soledad Escritor, court interpreter, is
living with a man not her husband. They allegedly
have a child of eighteen to twenty years old. Estrada is
not personally related either to Escritor or her partner.
Nevertheless, he filed the charge against Escritor as he
believes that she is committing an immoral act that
tarnishes the image of the court, thus she should not
be allowed to remain employed therein as it might
appear that the court condones her act.
Respondent Escritor testified that when she entered
the judiciary in 1999, she was already a widow, her
husband having died in 1998. She admitted that she
has been living with Luciano Quilapio, Jr. without the
benefit of marriage for twenty years and that they
have a son. But as a member of the religious sect
known as the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watch
Tower and Bible Tract Society, their conjugal
arrangement is in conformity with their religious

beliefs. In fact, after ten years of living together, she

executed on July 28, 1991 a "Declaration of Pledging
Faithfulness," insofar as the congregation is concerned,
there is nothing immoral about the conjugal
arrangement between Escritor and Quilapio and they
remain members in good standing in the congregation.
Whether or not respondent should be found guilty of
the administrative charge of "gross and immoral
Benevolent neutrality recognizes that government
must pursue its secular goals and interests but at the
same time strives to uphold religious liberty to the
greatest extent possible within flexible constitutional
limits. Thus, although the morality contemplated by
laws is secular, benevolent neutrality could allow for
accommodation of morality based on religion, provided
it does not offend compelling state interests. It still
remains to be seen if respondent is entitled to such
doctrine as the state has not been afforded the chance
has demonstrate the compelling state interest of
prohibiting the act of respondent, thus the case is
remanded to the RTC.
Benevolent neutrality is inconsistent with the Free
Exercise Clause as far as it prohibits such exercise
given a compelling state interest. It is the respondents
stance that the respondents conjugal arrangement is
not immoral and punishable as it comes within the
scope of free exercise protection. Should the Court
prohibit and punish her conduct where it is protected
by the Free Exercise Clause, the Courts action would
be an unconstitutional encroachment of her right to

religious freedom. The Court cannot therefore simply

take a passing look at respondents claim of religious
freedom, but must instead apply the compelling state
interest test. The government must be heard on the
issue as it has not been given an opportunity to
discharge its burden of demonstrating the states
compelling interest which can override respondents
religious belief.
June 22, 2006 decision
Escritor is a court interpreter since 1999 in the RTC of
Las Pinas City. She has been living with Quilapio, a
man who is not her husband, for more than twenty five
years and had a son with him as well. Respondents
husband died a year before she entered into the
judiciary while Quilapio is still legally married to
another woman.
Complainant Estrada requested the Judge of said RTC
to investigate respondent. According to complainant,
respondent should not be allowed to remain employed
therein for it will appear as if the court allows such act.
Respondent claims that their conjugal arrangement is
permitted by her religionthe Jehovahs Witnesses
and the Watch Tower and the Bible Trace Society. They
allegedly have a Declaration of Pledging Faithfulness
under the approval of their congregation. Such a
declaration is effective when legal impediments render
it impossible for a couple to legalize their union.
Whether or Not the State could penalize respondent
for such conjugal arrangement.
RULING: No. The State could not penalize respondent
for she is exercising her right to freedom of religion.
The free exercise of religion is specifically articulated

as one of the fundamental rights in our Constitution.

As Jefferson put it, it is the most inalienable and sacred
of human rights. The States interest in enforcing its
prohibition cannot be merely abstract or symbolic in
order to be sufficiently compelling to outweigh a free
exercise claim. In the case at bar, the State has not
evinced any concrete interest in enforcing the
concubinage or bigamy charges against respondent or
her partner. Thus the States interest only amounts to
Furthermore, a distinction between public and secular
morality and religious morality should be kept in mind.
The jurisdiction of the Court extends only to public and
secular morality.
The Court further states that our Constitution adheres
the benevolent neutrality approach that gives room for
accommodation of religious exercises as required by
the Free Exercise Clause. This benevolent neutrality
could allow for accommodation of morality based on
religion, provided it does not offend compelling state
interests. Assuming arguendo that the OSG has proved
a compelling state interest, it has to further
demonstrate that the state has used the least intrusive
means possible so that the free exercise is not
infringed any more than necessary to achieve the
legitimate goal of the state. Thus the conjugal
arrangement cannot be penalized for it constitutes an
exemption to the law based on her right to freedom of
Imbong v. Ochoa (G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014)

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. The
petitioners are assailing the constitutionality of RH Law
on the following grounds:
The RH Law violates the right to life of the
The RH Law violates the right to health and the
right to protection against hazardous products.
The RH Law violates the right to religious
The RH Law violates the constitutional provision
on involuntary servitude.
The RH Law violates the right to equal
protection of the law.
The RH Law violates the right to free speech.
The RH Law is void-for-vagueness in violation
of the due process clause of the Constitution.
The RH Law intrudes into the zone of privacy of
ones family protected by the Constitution
PROCEDURAL: Whether the Court may exercise its
power of judicial review over the controversy.
Power of Judicial Review
Actual Case or Controversy
Facial Challenge
Locus Standi
Declaratory Relief
One Subject/One Title Rule

Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health

(RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the:
Right to life
Right to health
Freedom of religion and right to free speech
Right to privacy (marital privacy and autonomy)
Freedom of expression and academic freedom
Due process clause
Equal protection clause
Prohibition against involuntary servitude
Whether the Court can exercise its power of judicial
review over the controversy.
Actual Case or Controversy
Facial Challenge
Locus Standi
Declaratory Relief
One Subject/One Title Rule
A. On the constitutionality of RA 10354/Reproductive
Health (RH) Law
1. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive
Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the
right to life:
NO. Majority of the Members of the Court believe that
the question of when life begins is a scientific and
medical issue that should not be decided, at this stage,
without proper hearing and evidence. However, they
agreed that individual Members could express their
own views on this matter.
Ponentes view (Justice Mendoza): Article II, Section 12
of the Constitution states: The State recognizes the
sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen

the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It

shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life
of the unborn from conception.
In its plain and ordinary meaning (a canon in statutory
construction), the traditional meaning of conception
according to reputable dictionaries cited by the
ponente is that life begins at fertilization. Medical
sources also support the view that conception begins
at fertilization.
The framers of the Constitution also intended for (a)
conception to refer to the moment of fertilization
and (b) the protection of the unborn child upon
fertilization. In addition, they did not intend to ban all
contraceptives for being unconstitutional; only those
that kill or destroy the fertilized ovum would be
prohibited. Contraceptives that actually prevent the
union of the male sperm and female ovum, and those
that similarly take action before fertilization should be
deemed non-abortive, and thus constitutionally
The intent of the framers of the Constitution for
protecting the life of the unborn child was to prevent
the Legislature from passing a measure prevent
abortion. The Court cannot interpret this otherwise.
The RH Law is in line with this intent and actually
prohibits abortion. By using the word or in defining
abortifacient (Section 4(a)), the RH Law prohibits not
only drugs or devices that prevent implantation but
also those that induce abortion and induce the
destruction of a fetus inside the mothers womb. The
RH Law recognizes that the fertilized ovum already has
life and that the State has a bounded duty to protect
However, the authors of the IRR gravely abused their
office when they redefined the meaning of

Recognizing as abortifacients only those that

primarily induce abortion or the destruction of a fetus
inside the mothers womb or the prevention of the
fertilized ovum to reach and be implanted in the
mothers womb (Sec. 3.01(a) of the IRR) would pave
the way for the approval of contraceptives that may
harm or destroy the life of the unborn from
conception/fertilization. This violates Section 12,
Article II of the Constitution. For the same reason, the
definition of contraceptives under the IRR (Sec 3.01(j)),
which also uses the term primarily, must be struck
2. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive
Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the
right to health
NO. Petitioners claim that the right to health is violated
by the RH Law because it requires the inclusion of
injectables and other safe, legal, non-abortifacient and
effective family planning products and supplies in the
National Drug Formulary and in the regular purchase of
essential medicines and supplies of all national
hospitals (Section 9 of the RH Law). They cite risks of
getting diseases gained by using e.g. oral
contraceptive pills.
Some petitioners do not question contraception and
contraceptives per se. Rather, they pray that the
status quo under RA 4729 and 5921 be maintained.
These laws prohibit the sale and distribution of
contraceptives without the prescription of a dulylicensed physician.
The RH Law does not intend to do away with RA 4729
(1966). With RA 4729 in place, the Court believes
adequate safeguards exist to ensure that only safe
contraceptives are made available to the public. In
fulfilling its mandate under Sec. 10 of the RH Law, the

DOH must keep in mind the provisions of RA 4729:

thecontraceptives it will procure shall be from a duly
licensed drug store or pharmaceutical company and
that the actual distribution of these contraceptive
drugs and devices will be done following a prescription
of a qualified medical practitioner.
Meanwhile, the requirement of Section 9 of the RH Law
is to be considered mandatory only after these
devices and materials have been tested, evaluated
and approved by the FDA. Congress cannot determine
that contraceptives are safe, legal, non-abortificient
and effective.
3. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive
Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the
freedom of religion and right to free speech
The Court cannot determine whether or not the use of
contraceptives or participation in support of modern
RH measures (a) is moral from a religious standpoint;
or, (b) right or wrong according to ones dogma or
belief. However, the Court has the authority to
determine whether or not the RH Law contravenes the
Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.
a.) WON the RH Law violates the guarantee of religious
freedom since it mandates the State-sponsored
procurement of contraceptives, which contravene the
religious beliefs of e.g. the petitioners
NO. The State may pursue its legitimate secular
objectives without being dictated upon the policies of
any one religion. To allow religious sects to dictate
policy or restrict other groups would violate Article III,
Section 5 of the Constitution or the Establishment
Clause. This would cause the State to adhere to a
particular religion, and thus, establishes a state
religion. Thus, the State can enhance its population
control program through the RH Law even if the

promotion of contraceptive use is contrary to the

religious beliefs of e.g. the petitioners.
b.) WON the RH Law violates the guarantee of religious
freedom by compelling medical health practitioners,
hospitals, and health care providers, under pain of
penalty, to refer patients to other institutions despite
their conscientious objections
YES. Sections 7, 23, and 24 of the RH Law obliges a
hospital or medical practitioner to immediately refer a
person seeking health care and services under the law
to another accessible healthcare provider despite their
conscientious objections based on religious or ethical
beliefs. These provisions violate the religious belief
and conviction of a conscientious objector. They are
contrary to Section 29(2), Article VI of the Constitution
or the Free Exercise Clause, whose basis is the respect
for the inviolability of the human conscience.
The provisions in the RH Law compelling non-maternity
specialty hospitals and hospitals owned and operated
by a religious group and health care service providers
to refer patients to other providers and penalizing
them if they fail to do so (Sections 7 and 23(a)(3)) as
well as compelling them to disseminate information
and perform RH procedures under pain of penalty
(Sections 23(a)(1) and (a)(2) in relation to Section 24)
also violate (and inhibit) the freedom of religion. While
penalties may be imposed by law to ensure
compliance to it,a constitutionally-protected right must
prevail over the effective implementation of the law.
conscientious objectors (under Sec. 5.24 of the IRR)
also violates the equal protection clause. There is no
perceptible distinction between public health officers
and their private counterparts. In addition, the
freedom to believe is intrinsic in every individual and

the protection of this freedom remains even if he/she

is employed in the government.
Using the compelling state interest test, there is no
compelling state interest to limit the free exercise of
conscientious objectors. There is no immediate danger
to the life or health of an individual in the perceived
scenario of the above-quoted provisions. In addition,
the limits do not pertain to life-threatening cases.
The respondents also failed to show that these
provisions are least intrusive means to achieve a
legitimate state objective. The Legislature has already
taken other secular steps to ensure that the right to
health is protected, such as RA 4729, RA 6365 (The
Population Act of the Philippines) and RA 9710 (The
Magna Carta of Women).
c.) WON the RH Law violates the guarantee of religious
freedom by requiring would-be spouses, as a condition
for the issuance of a marriage license, to attend a
seminar on parenthood, family planning, breastfeeding
and infant nutrition
NO. Section 15 of the RH Law, which requires would-be
spouses to attend a seminar on parenthood, family
planning, breastfeeding and infant nutrition as a
condition for the issuance of a marriage license, is a
reasonable exercise of police power by the
government. The law does not even mandate the type
of family planning methods to be included in the
seminar. Those who attend the seminar are free to
accept or reject information they receive and they
retain the freedom to decide on matters of family life
without the intervention of the State.
4. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive
Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the
right to privacy (marital privacy and autonomy)
YES. Section 23(a)(2)(i) of the RH Law, which permits
RH procedures even with only the consent of the

spouse undergoing the provision (disregarding spousal

content),intrudes into martial privacy and autonomy
and goes against the constitutional safeguards for the
family as the basic social institution. Particularly,
Section 3, Article XV of the Constitution mandates the
State to defend: (a) the right of spouses to found a
family in accordance with their religious convictions
and the demands of responsible parenthood and (b)
the right of families or family associations to
participate in the planning and implementation of
policies and programs that affect them. The RH Law
cannot infringe upon this mutual decision-making, and
endanger the institutions of marriage and the family.
The exclusion of parental consent in cases where a
minor undergoing a procedure is already a parent or
has had a miscarriage (Section 7 of the RH Law) is also
anti-family and violates Article II, Section 12 of the
Constitution, which states: The natural and primary
right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for
civic efficiency and the development of moral
character shall receive the support of the
Government. In addition, the portion of Section 23(a)
(ii) which reads in the case of minors, the written
consent of parents or legal guardian or, in their
absence, persons exercising parental authority or nextof-kin shall be required only in elective surgical
procedures is invalid as it denies the right of parental
authority in cases where what is involved is nonsurgical procedures.
However, a minor may receive information (as
opposed to procedures) about family planning
services. Parents are not deprived of parental guidance
and control over their minor child in this situation and
may assist her in deciding whether to accept or reject
the information received. In addition, an exception
may be made in life-threatening procedures.

5. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive

Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the
freedom of expression and academic freedom
NO. The Court declined to rule on the constitutionality
of Section 14 of the RH Law, which mandates the State
Reproductive Health Education. Although educators
might raise their objection to their participation in the
RH education program, the Court reserves its
judgment should an actual case be filed before it.
Any attack on its constitutionality is premature
because the Department of Education has not yet
reproductive health education.
Section 12, Article II of the Constitution places more
importance on the role of parents in the development
of their children with the use of the term primary.
The right of parents in upbringing their youth is
superior to that of the State.
The provisions of Section 14 of the RH Law and
corresponding provisions of the IRR supplement (rather
than supplant) the right and duties of the parents in
the moral development of their children.
associations, school officials, and other interest groups
in developing the mandatory RH program, it could very
well be said that the program will be in line with the
religious beliefs of the petitioners.
6. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive
Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the
due process clause
NO. The RH Law does not violate the due process
clause of the Constitution as the definitions of several
terms as observed by the petitioners are not vague.
The definition of private health care service provider
must be seen in relation to Section 4(n) of the RH Law

which defines a public health service provider. The

private health care institution cited under Section 7
should be seen as synonymous to private health care
service provider.
The terms service and methods are also broad
enough to include providing of information and
rendering of medical procedures. Thus, hospitals
operated by religious groups are exempted from
rendering RH service and modern family planning
methods (as provided for by Section 7 of the RH Law)
as well as from giving RH information and procedures.
The RH Law also defines incorrect information. Used
together in relation to Section 23 (a)(1), the terms
incorrect and knowingly connote a sense of malice
and ill motive to mislead or misrepresent the public as
to the nature and effect of programs and services on
reproductive health.
7. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive
Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the
equal protection clause
NO. 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.
8. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive
Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the
prohibition against involuntary servitude
NO. The requirement under Sec. 17 of the RH Law for
private and non-government health care service
providers to render 48 hours of pro bono RH services
does not amount to involuntary servitude, for two
reasons. First, the practice of medicine is undeniably
imbued with public interest that it is both the power
and a duty of the State to control and regulate it in
order to protect and promote the public welfare.
Second, Section 17 only encourages private and nongovernment RH service providers to render pro bono
service. Besides the PhilHealth accreditation, no
penalty is imposed should they do otherwise.
In this case, the Court is of the view that an
actual case or controversy exists and that the same is
ripe for judicial determination. Considering that the RH
Law and its implementing rules have already taken
effect and that budgetary measures to carry out the
law have already been passed, it is evident that the
subject petitions present a justiciable controversy. As
stated earlier, when an action of the legislative branch

is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution,

it not only becomes a right, but also a duty of the
Judiciary to settle the dispute.
In this jurisdiction, the application of doctrines
originating from the U.S. has been generally
maintained, albeit with some modifications. While the
Court has withheld the application of facial challenges
to strictly penal statues, it has expanded its scope to
cover statutes not only regulating free speech, but also
those involving religious freedom, and other
fundamental rights. The underlying reason for this
modification is simple. For unlike its counterpart in the
U.S., this Court, under its expanded jurisdiction, is
mandated by the Fundamental Law not only to settle
actual controversies involving rights which are legally
demandable and enforceable, but also to determine
whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
Government. Verily, the framers of Our Constitution
envisioned a proactive Judiciary, ever vigilant with its
duty to maintain the supremacy of the Constitution.
Even if the constitutionality of the RH Law may
not be assailed through an as-applied challenge, still,
the Court has time and again acted liberally on the
locus standi requirement. It has accorded certain
individuals standing to sue, not otherwise directly
injured or with material interest affected by a
Government act, provided a constitutional issue of
transcendental importance is invoked. The rule on
locus standi is, after all, a procedural technicality
which the Court has, on more than one occasion,
waived or relaxed, thus allowing non-traditional
plaintiffs, such as concerned citizens, taxpayers, voters

or legislators, to sue in the public interest, albeit they

may not have been directly injured by the operation of
a law or any other government act.
Most of the petitions are praying for injunctive
reliefs and so the Court would just consider them as
petitions for prohibition under Rule 65, over which it
has original jurisdiction. Where the case has farreaching implications and prays for injunctive reliefs,
the Court may consider them as petitions for
prohibition under Rule 65.
The RH Law does not violate the one
subject/one bill rule. In this case, a textual analysis of
the various provisions of the law shows that both
reproductive health and responsible parenthood
are interrelated and germane to the overriding
objective to control the population growth. As
expressed in the first paragraph of Section 2 of the RH
Accordingly, the Court declares R.A. No. 10354 as NOT
UNCONSTITUTIONAL except with respect to the
1) Section 7 and the corresponding provision in the
RH-IRR insofar as they: a) require private health
facilities and non-maternity specialty hospitals and
hospitals owned and operated by a religious group to
refer patients, not in an emergency or life-threatening
case, as defined under Republic Act No. 8344, to
another health facility which is conveniently
accessible; and b) allow minor-parents or minors who
have suffered a miscarriage access to modem

methods of family planning without written consent

from their parents or guardian/s;
2) Section 23(a)(l) and the corresponding provision in
the RH-IRR, particularly Section 5 .24 thereof, insofar
as they punish any healthcare service provider who
fails and or refuses to disseminate information
regarding programs and services on reproductive
health regardless of his or her religious beliefs.
3) Section 23(a)(2)(i) and the corresponding provision
in the RH-IRR insofar as they allow a married
individual, not in an emergency or life-threatening
case, as defined under Republic Act No. 8344, to
undergo reproductive health procedures without the
consent of the spouse;
4) Section 23(a)(2)(ii) and the corresponding provision
in the RH-IRR insofar as they limit the requirement of
parental consent only to elective surgical procedures.
5) Section 23(a)(3) and the corresponding provision in
the RH-IRR, particularly Section 5.24 thereof, insofar as
they punish any healthcare service provider who fails
and/or refuses to refer a patient not in an emergency
or life-threatening case, as defined under Republic Act
No. 8344, to another health care service provider
within the same facility or one which is conveniently
accessible regardless of his or her religious beliefs;
6) Section 23(b) and the corresponding provision in the
RH-IRR, particularly Section 5 .24 thereof, insofar as
they punish any public officer who refuses to support
reproductive health programs or shall do any act that
hinders the full implementation of a reproductive
health program, regardless of his or her religious
7) Section 17 and the corresponding prov1s10n in the
RH-IRR regarding the rendering of pro bona
reproductive health service in so far as they affect the

accreditation; and
8) Section 3.0l(a) and Section 3.01 G) of the RH-IRR,
which added the qualifier primarily in defining
abortifacients and contraceptives, as they are ultra
vires and, therefore, null and void for contravening
Section 4(a) of the RH Law and violating Section 12,
Article II of the Constitution.
Gamboa v. Finance
October 9, 2012)





The issue started when petitioner Gamboa questioned
the indirect sale of shares involving almost 12 million
shares of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone
Company (PLDT) owned by PTIC to First Pacific. Thus,
First Pacifics common shareholdings in PLDT increased
from 30.7 percent to 37 percent, thereby increasing
the total common shareholdings of foreigners in PLDT
to about 81.47%. The petitioner contends that it
violates the Constitutional provision on filipinazation of
public utility, stated in Section 11, Article XII of the
1987 Philippine Constitution, which limits foreign
ownership of the capital of a public utility to not more
than 40%. Then, in 2011, the court ruled the case in
favor of the petitioner, hence this new case, resolving
the motion for reconsideration for the 2011 decision
filed by the respondents.
Whether or not the Court made an erroneous
interpretation of the term capital in its 2011 decision?

The Court said that the Constitution is clear in

expressing its State policy of developing an economy
effectively controlled by Filipinos. Asserting the ideals
that our Constitutions Preamble want to achieve, that
is to conserve and develop our patrimony, hence, the
State should fortify a Filipino-controlled economy. In
the 2011 decision, the Court finds no wrong in the
construction of the term capital which refers to the
shares with voting rights, as well as with full beneficial
ownership (Art. 12, sec. 10) which implies that the
right to vote in the election of directors, coupled with
benefits, is tantamount to an effective control.
Therefore, the Courts interpretation of the term
capital was not erroneous. Thus, the motion for
reconsideration is denied.
Narra Nickel Mining and Development Corp. v.
Redmont Consolidated Mines Corp. (G.R. No.
195580, April 21, 2014)
a. J. Leonen dissenting opinion
Redmont is a domestic corporation interested in the
mining and exploration of some areas in Palawan.
Upon learning that those areas were covered by MPSA
applications of other three (allegedly Filipino)
corporations Narra, Tesoro, and MacArthur, it filed a
petition before the Panel of Arbitrators of DENR
seeking to deny their permits on the ground that these
corporations are in reality foreign-owned. MBMI, a
100% Canadian corporation, owns 40% of the shares
of PLMC (which owns 5,997 shares of Narra), 40% of
the shares of MMC (which owns 5,997 shares of
McArthur) and 40% of the shares of SLMC (which, in
turn, owns 5,997 shares of Tesoro).

Aside from the MPSA, the three corporations also

applied for FTAA with the Office of the President. In
their answer, they countered that (1) the liberal
Control Test must be used in determining the
nationality of a corporation as based on Sec 3 of the
Foreign Investment Act which as they claimed admits
of corporate layering schemes, and that (2) the
nationality question is no longer material because of
their subsequent application for FTAA.
Commercial / Political Law
Issue 1:
W/N the Grandfather Rule must be applied in this case
Yes. It is the intention of the framers of the
Constitution to apply the Grandfather Rule in cases
where corporate layering is present.
First, as a rule in statutory construction, when there is
conflict between the Constitution and a statute, the
Constitution will prevail. In this instance, specifically
pertaining to the provisions under Art. XII of the
Constitution on National Economy and Patrimony, Sec.
3 of the FIA will have no place of application.
Corporate layering is admittedly allowed by the FIA,
but if it is used to circumvent the Constitution and
other pertinent laws, then it becomes illegal.
Second, under the SEC Rule1 and DOJ Opinion2 , the
Grandfather Rule must be applied when the 60-40
Filipino-foreign equity ownership is in doubt. Doubt is
present in the Filipino equity ownership of Narra,
Tesoro, and MacArthur since their common investor,
the 100% Canadian-owned corporation MBMI, funded

Under the Grandfather Rule, it is not enough that the

corporation does have the required 60% Filipino
stockholdings at face value. To determine the
percentage of the ultimate Filipino ownership, it must
first be traced to the level of the investing corporation
and added to the shares directly owned in the investee
corporation. Applying this rule, it turns out that the
Canadian corporation owns more than 60% of the
equity interests of Narra, Tesoro and MacArthur. Hence,
the latter are disqualified to participate in the
exploration, development and utilization of the
Philippines natural resources.
1 DOJ Opinion No. 020 Series of 2005 (paragraph 7)
2 SEC Opinion May 13, 1990
Remedial Law
Issue 2:
W/N the case has become moot as a result of the
MPSA conversion to FTAA
No. There are certain exceptions to mootness
principle and the mere raising of an issue of
mootness will not deter the courts from trying a case
when there is a valid reason to do so.
The SC noted that a grave violation of the Constitution
is being committed by a foreign corporation through a
myriad of corporate layering under different, allegedly,
Filipino corporations. The intricate corporate layering
utilized by the Canadian company, MBMI, is of
exceptional character and involves paramount public
interest since it undeniably affects the exploitation of
our Countrys natural resources. The corresponding
actions of petitioners during the lifetime and existence
of the instant case raise questions as what principle is

to be applied to cases with similar issues. No definite

ruling on such principle has been pronounced by the
Court; hence, the disposition of the issues or errors in
the instant case will serve as a guide to the bench, the
bar and the public. Finally, the instant case is capable
of repetition yet evading review, since the Canadian
company, MBMI, can keep on utilizing dummy Filipino
corporations through various schemes of corporate
layering and conversion of applications to skirt the
constitutional prohibition against foreign mining in
Philippine soil.
Investments into our economy are deterred by
interpretations of law that are not based on solid
ground and sound rationale. Predictability in policy is a
very strong factor in determining investor confidence.
The so-called Grandfather Rule has no statutory
basis. It is the Control Test that governs in determining
Filipino equity in corporations. It is this test that is
provided in statute and by our most recent
Furthermore, the Panel of Arbitrators created by the
Philippine Mining Act is not a court of law. It cannot
decide judicial questions with finality. This includes the
determination of whether the capital of a corporation
is owned or controlled by Filipino citizens. The Panel of
Arbitrators renders arbitral awards. There is no dispute
and, therefore, no competence for arbitration, if one of
the parties does not have a mining claim but simply
wishes to ask for a declaration that a corporation is not
qualified to hold a mining agreement. Respondent here
did not claim a better right to a mining agreement. By
forum shopping through multiple actions, it sought to

disqualify petitioners. The decision of the majority

rewards such actions.
In this case, the majoritys holding glosses over
statutory provisions1 and settled jurisprudence.2
Thus, I disagree with the ponencia in relying on the
Grandfather Rule. I disagree with the finding that
petitioners Narra Nickel Mining and Development Corp.
(Narra), Tesoro Mining and Development, Inc. (Tesoro),
and McArthur Mining, Inc. (McArthur) are not Filipino
corporations. Whether they should be qualified to hold
Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) should
be the subject of proper proceedings in accordance
with this opinion. I disagree that the Panel of
Arbitrators (POA) of the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources (DENR) has jurisdiction to
disqualify an applicant for mining activities on the
ground that it does not have the requisite Filipino

Doctrine of Constitutional Supremacy

Tawang Multipurpose Cooperative v. La Trinidad
Water District (G.R. No. 166471, March 22, 2011)
Cooperative (TMPC) filed with the National Water
Resources Board (NWRB) an application for a
certificate of public convenience (CPC) to operate and
maintain a waterworks system in Barangay Tawang.
-La Trinidad Water District (LTWD), a local water utility,
opposed TMPC's application. LTWD claimed that, under
Section 47 of PD No. 198, as amended, its franchise is

-The NWRB approved TMPC's application for a CPC. In

its 15 August 2002 Decision, the NWRB held that
LTWD's franchise cannot be exclusive since exclusive
franchises are unconstitutional and found that TMPC is
legally and financially qualified to operate and
maintain a waterworks system. The RTC set aside the
NWRB's decision and cancelled TMPC's CPC, stating
that "the Constitution does not necessarily prohibit a
franchise that is exclusive on its face, meaning, that
the grantee shall be allowed to exercise this present
right or privilege to the exclusion of all others.
Nonetheless, the grantee cannot set up its exclusive
franchise against the ultimate authority of the State."
Whether or not an exclusive franchise is allowed
The petition is meritorious.
The President, Congress and the Court cannot create
direct franchises for the operation of a public utility
that are exclusive in character. The 1935, 1973 and
1987 Constitutions (the latter in Section 11, Article XII)
expressly and clearly prohibit the creation of
franchises that are exclusive in character.When the law
is clear, there is nothing for the courts to do but to
apply it.
What the President, Congress and the Court cannot
legally do directly they cannot do indirectly. Thus, the
President, Congress and the Court cannot create
indirectly franchises that are exclusive in character by
allowing the Board of Directors (BOD) of a water
district and the Local Water Utilities Administration
(LWUA) to create franchises that are exclusive in

In PD No. 198, as amended, former President

Ferdinand E. Marcos (President Marcos) created
indirectly franchises that are exclusive in character by
allowing the BOD of LTWD and the LWUA to create
directly franchises that are exclusive in character.
Section 47 of PD No. 198 states that, "No franchise
shall be granted to any other person or agency unless
and except to the extent that the board of directors
consents thereto subject to review by the
Administration." Section 47 creates a glaring exception
to the absolute prohibition in the Constitution. Clearly,
it is patently unconstitutional.
In case of conflict between the Constitution and a
statute, the Constitution always prevails because the
Constitution is the basic law to which all other laws
must conform to. The duty of the Court is to uphold the
Constitution and to declare void all laws that do not
conform to it.
Petition is GRANTED.
Umali v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 203974, April 22,
On July 11, 2011, the Sangguniang Panglungsod of
Cabanatuan City passed Resolution No.183-2011,
acomponent city of the province of Nueva Ecija into a
highly urbanized city (HUC). Acceding tothe request,
the President issued Presidential Proclamation
No. 418, Series of 2012,proclaiming the City of
Cabanatuan as an HUC subject to "ratification in a
plebiscite by thequalified voters therein, as provided
for in Section 453 of the Local Government Code of

proclamation, issued the assailed Minute Resolution

No.12-0797, for purposes of the plebiscite for the
conversion of Cabanatuan City from componentcity to
residents of Cabanatuan City shouldparticipate in
the said plebiscite.In due time, petitioner Aurelio M.
Umali, Governor of Nueva Ecija, filed a Verified Motion
forReconsideration, maintaining that the proposed
anddirectly affect the mother province of Nueva Ecija.
His main argument is that Section 453 of theLGC
should be interpreted in conjunction with Sec. 10, Art.
X of the Constitution. He argues thatwhile the
conversion in question does not involve the creation of
a new or the dissolution of anexisting city, the spirit of
the Constitutional provision calls for the people of the
local governmentunit (LGU) directly affected to vote in
a plebiscite whenever there is a material change in
theirrights and responsibilities. The phrase "qualified
voters therein" used in Sec. 453 of the LGCshould then
be interpreted to refer to the qualified voters of the
units directly affected by theconversion and not just
those in the component city proposed to be upgraded.
Petitioner Umalijustified
enumerating the various adverse effects of the
Citysconversion and how it will cause
material change not only in the political and economic
rights ofthe city and its residents but also of the
province as a whole.To the Verified Motion for
Reconsideration, private respondent Julius Cesar
Vergara, city mayorof Cabanatuan, interposed an
opposition on the ground that Sec. 10, Art. X does not
apply toconversions, which is the meat of the matter.
He likewise argues that a specific provision of theLGC,
Sec. 453, as couched, allows only the qualified voters
of Cabanatuan City to vote in theplebiscite. Lastly,

private respondent pointed out that when Santiago

City was converted in 1994from a municipality to an
independent component city pursuant to Republic Act
No. (RA) 7720,the plebiscite held was limited to the
registered voters of the then municipality of
Santiago.COMELEC rule against petitioner maintaining
that Cabanatuan City is merely being convertedfrom a
component city into an HUC and that the political unit
directly affected by the conversionwill only be the city
itself. It argues that in this instance, no political unit
will be created, mergedwith another, or will be
removed from another LGU, and that no boundaries
will be altered. Theconversion would merely reinforce
the powers and prerogatives already being exercised
by thecity, with the political units probable elevation
to that of an HUC as demanded by its compliancewith
the criteria established under the LGC. Thus, the
participation of the voters of the entireprovince in the
plebiscite will not be necessary.
Whether or not Nueva Ecija should be included in the
plebicit not only those in Cabanatuan City.
identifying the LGU or LGUs that should be allowed to
take part in the plebiscite, what shouldprimarily be
determined is whether or not the unit or units that
desire to participate will be"directly affected" by the
change.Petitioner Umali asseverates that Sec. 10, Art.
X of the Constitution should be the basis
fordetermining the qualified voters who will participate
in the plebiscite to resolve the issue. Sec.10, Art. X
reads:Section 10, Article X. No province, city,

substantially altered, except in accordance with the
criteriaestablished in the local government code and
subject to approval by a majority of the votes castin a
plebiscite in the political units directly affected.
necessarilyencompasses not only Cabanatuan City but
the entire province of Nueva Ecija. Hence, all
theregistered voters in the province are qualified to
proposedconversion of Cabanatuan City.On the other
hand, respondents invoke Sec. 453 of the LGC to
support their claim that only theCity of Cabanatuan
should be allowed to take part in the voting. Sec. 453
states:Section 453. Duty to Declare Highly Urbanized
Status. It shall be the duty of the President todeclare
a city as highly urbanized within thirty (30) days after
it shall have met the minimumrequirements prescribed
in the immediately preceding Section, upon proper
application thereforand ratification in a plebiscite by
the qualified voters therein. Respondents take the
phrase "registered voters therein" in Sec. 453 as
referring only to theregistered voters in the city
being converted, excluding in the process the
voters in theremaining towns and cities of Nueva
Ecija.In this case, the provision merely authorized the
President to make a determination onwhether or not
the requirements under Sec. 4521 of the LGC are
complied with. Theprovision makes it ministerial for
the President, upon proper application, to declare
acomponent city as highly urbanized once the
minimum requirements, which are base on certifiable
and measurable indices under Sec. 452, are
mandatorylanguage "shall" used in
the provision leaves the President with no room for

so doing, Sec. 453, in effect,
automatically calls for the conduct of a plebiscite for
purposes ofconversions once the requirements are
met. No further legislation is necessary before the
cityproposed to be converted becomes eligible to
become an HUC through ratification, as the basisfor
the delegation of the legislative authority is the very
toconversions as well.While conversion to an HUC is
not explicitly provided in Sec. 10, Art. X of the
Constitution wenevertheless
conversion of a component city into an HUC
is substantialalteration of boundaries.
Paras v. COMELEC (264 SCRA 49)
Ordillo v. COMELEC (192 SCRA 100)
On January 30, 1990, the people of the provinces of
Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Abra and KalingaApayao and the city of Baguio cast their votes in a
plebiscite held pursuant to Republic Act No. 6766
entitled An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the
Cordillera Autonomous Region.
The official Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
results of the plebiscite showed that the creation of the
Region was approved by a majority of 5,889 votes in
only the Ifugao Province and was overwhelmingly
rejected by 148,676 votes in the rest of the provinces
and city above-mentioned.
Consequently, the COMELEC, on February 14, 1990,
issued Resolution No. 2259 stating that the Organic

Act for the Region has been approved and/or ratified

by majority of the votes cast only in the province of
The petitioner filed a petition with COMELEC to declare
the non-ratification of the Organic Act for the Region.
The petitioners maintain that there can be no valid
Cordillera Autonomous Region in only one province as
the Constitution and Republic Act No. 6766 require
that the said Region be composed of more than one
constituent unit.
The question raised in this petition is whether or not
the province of Ifugao, being the only province which
voted favorably for the creation of the Cordillera
Autonomous Region can, alone, legally and validly
constitute such Region.
The sole province of Ifugao cannot validly constitute
the Cordillera Autonomous Region.
It is explicit in Article X, Section 15 of the 1987
Constitution. The keywords provinces, cities,
municipalities and geographical areas connote that
region is to be made up of more than one constituent
unit. The term region used in its ordinary sense
means two or more provinces. This is supported by the
fact that the thirteen (13) regions into which the
Philippines is divided for administrative purposes are
groupings of contiguous provinces. Ifugao is a province
by itself. To become part of a region, it must join other
provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographical
areas. It joins other units because of their common and
distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic

characteristics. The Constitutional requirements are
not present in this case.
Article III, Sections 1 and 2 of Republic Act No. 6766
provide that the Cordillera Autonomous Region is to be
administered by the Cordillera government consisting
of the Regional Government and local government
units. It further provides that:
SECTION 2. The Regional Government shall exercise
powers and functions necessary for the proper
governance and development of all provinces, cities,
municipalities, and barangay or ili within the
Autonomous Region . . .
From these sections, it can be gleaned that Congress
never intended that a single province may constitute
the autonomous region. Otherwise, we would be faced
with the absurd situation of having two sets of officials,
a set of provincial officials and another set of regional
officials exercising their executive and legislative
powers over exactly the same small area.

Principle of Relative Unconstitutionality

Central Bank Employees Association v. Banko
Sentral ng Pilipinas (G.R. No. 148208, December
15, 2004)
On July 3, 1993, R.A. No. 7653 (the New Central Bank
Act) took effect. It abolished the old Central Bank of
the Philippines, and created a new BSP.
On June 8, 2001, almost eight years after the
effectivity of R.A. No. 7653, petitioner Central Bank
(now BSP) Employees Association, Inc., filed a petition

for prohibition against BSP and the Executive Secretary

of the Office of the President, to restrain respondents
from further implementing the last proviso in Section
15(c), Article II of R.A. No. 7653, on the ground that it
is unconstitutional.
Article II, Section 15(c) of R.A. No. 7653 provides:
Section 15, Exercise of Authority -In the exercise of its
authority, the Monetary Board shall:
(c) Establish a human resource management system
which shall govern the selection, hiring, appointment,
transfer, promotion, or dismissal of all personnel. Such
system shall aim to establish professionalism and
excellence at all levels of the Bangko Sentral in
accordance with sound principles of management.
A compensation structure, based on job evaluation
studies and wage surveys and subject to the Boards
approval, shall be instituted as an integral component
of the Bangko Sentrals human resource development
program: Provided, That the Monetary Board shall
make its own system conform as closely as possible
with the principles provided for under Republic Act No.
6758 [Salary Standardization Act]. Provided, however,
that compensation and wage structure of employees
whose positions fall under salary grade 19 and below
shall be in accordance with the rates prescribed under
Republic Act No. 6758. The thrust of petitioners
challenge is that the above proviso makes an
unconstitutional cut between two classes of employees
in the BSP, viz: (1) the BSP officers or those exempted
from the coverage of the Salary Standardization Law
(SSL) (exempt class); and (2) the rank-and-file (Salary
Grade [SG] 19 and below), or those not exempted from
the coverage of the SSL (non-exempt class). It is
contended that this classification is a classic case of
class legislation, allegedly not based on substantial

distinctions which make real differences, but solely on

the SG of the BSP personnels position.
Petitioner also claims that it is not germane to the
purposes of Section 15(c), Article II of R.A. No. 7653,
the most important of which is to establish
professionalism and excellence at all levels in the BSP.
Petitioner offers the following sub-set of arguments:
a. the legislative history of R.A. No. 7653 shows that
the questioned proviso does not appear in the original
and amended versions of House Bill No. 7037, nor in
the original version of Senate Bill No. 1235;
b. subjecting the compensation of the BSP rank-andfile employees to the rate prescribed by the SSL
actually defeats the purpose of the law of establishing
professionalism and excellence eat all levels in the
c. the assailed proviso was the product of amendments
introduced during the deliberation of Senate Bill No.
1235, without showing its relevance to the objectives
of the law, and even admitted by one senator as
discriminatory against low-salaried employees of the
d. GSIS, LBP, DBP and SSS personnel are all exempted
from the coverage of the SSL; thus within the class of
rank-and-file personnel of government financial
institutions (GFIs), the BSP rank-and-file are also
discriminated upon; and
e. the assailed proviso has caused the demoralization
among the BSP rank-and-file and resulted in the gross
disparity between their compensation and that of the
BSP officers.
In sum, petitioner posits that the classification is not
reasonable but arbitrary and capricious, and violates
the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
Petitioner also stresses: (a) that R.A. No. 7653 has a
separability clause, which will allow the declaration of

the unconstitutionality of the proviso in question

without affecting the other provisions; and (b) the
urgency and propriety of the petition, as some 2,994
BSP rank-and-file employees have been prejudiced
since 1994 when the proviso was implemented.
Petitioner concludes that: (1) since the inequitable
proviso has no force and effect of law, respondents
implementation of such amounts to lack of jurisdiction;
and (2) it has no appeal nor any other plain, speedy
and adequate remedy in the ordinary course except
through this petition for prohibition, which this Court
transcendental importance of the legal issue involved.
Respondent BSP, in its comment, contends that the
provision does not violate the equal protection clause
and can stand the constitutional test, provided it is
construed in harmony with other provisions of the
same law, such as fiscal and administrative autonomy
of BSP, and the mandate of the Monetary Board to
establish professionalism and excellence at all levels
in accordance with sound principles of management.
The Solicitor General, on behalf of respondent
Executive Secretary, also defends the validity of the
provision. Quite simplistically, he argues that the
differentiation, even as it adheres to the enunciated
policy of R.A. No. 7653 to establish professionalism
and excellence within the BSP subject to prevailing
laws and policies of the national government.
Thus, the sole - albeit significant - issue to be resolved
in this case is whether the last paragraph of Section
15(c), Article II of R.A. No. 7653, runs afoul of the
constitutional mandate that "No person shall be . . .
denied the equal protection of the laws."


7653 IS VALID.
challenges indubitably show that the classification
created by the questioned proviso, on its face and in
its operation, bears no constitutional infirmities.
It is settled in constitutional law that the "equal
protection" clause does not prevent the Legislature
from establishing classes of individuals or objects upon
which different rules shall operate - so long as the
classification is not unreasonable.
While R.A. No. 7653 started as a valid measure well
within the legislatures power, we hold that the
enactment of subsequent laws exempting all rank-andfile employees of other GFIs leeched all validity out of
the challenged proviso.
The constitutionality of a statute cannot, in every
instance, be determined by a mere comparison of its
Constitution, since the statute may be constitutionally
valid as applied to one set of facts and invalid in its
application to another.
A statute valid at one time may become void at
another time because of altered circumstances. Thus,
if a statute in its practical operation becomes arbitrary
or confiscatory, its validity, even though affirmed by a
former adjudication, is open to inquiry and
investigation in the light of changed conditions.

The foregoing provisions impregnably institutionalize

in this jurisdiction the long honored legal truism of
"equal pay for equal work." Persons who work with
substantially equal qualifications, skill, effort and
responsibility, under similar conditions, should be paid
similar salaries.
Congress retains its wide discretion in providing for a
valid classification, and its policies should be accorded
recognition and respect by the courts of justice except
when they run afoul of the Constitution. The deference
stops where the classification violates a fundamental
right, or prejudices persons accorded special
protection by the Constitution. When these violations
arise, this Court must discharge its primary role as the
vanguard of constitutional guaranties, and require a
stricter and more exacting adherence to constitutional
limitations. Rational basis should not suffice.
Furthermore, concerns have been raised as to the
propriety of a ruling voiding the challenged provision.
It has been proffered that the remedy of petitioner is
not with this Court, but with Congress, which alone has
the power to erase any inequity perpetrated by R.A.
No. 7653. Indeed, a bill proposing the exemption of the
BSP rank-and-file from the SSL has supposedly been
Under most circumstances, the Court will exercise
constitutionality, recognizing the broad discretion
given to Congress in exercising its legislative power.
Judicial scrutiny would be based on the rational basis
test, and the legislative discretion would be given
deferential treatment.
But if the challenge to the statute is premised on the
denial of a fundamental right or the perpetuation of
prejudice against persons favored by the Constitution
with special protection, judicial scrutiny ought to be

more strict. A weak and watered down view would call

for the abdication of this Courts solemn duty to strike
down any law repugnant to the Constitution and the
rights it enshrines. This is true whether the actor
committing the unconstitutional act is a private person
or the government itself or one of its instrumentalities.
Oppressive acts will be struck down regardless of the
character or nature of the actor.
Accordingly, when the grant of power is qualified,
conditional or subject to limitations, the issue on
whether or not the prescribed qualifications or
conditions have been met, or the limitations
respected, is justifiable or non-political, the crux of the
problem being one of legality or validity of the
contested act, not its wisdom. Otherwise, said
qualifications, conditions or limitations - particularly
those prescribed or imposed by the Constitution would be set at naught. What is more, the judicial
inquiry into such issue and the settlement thereof are
the main functions of courts of justice under the
Presidential form of government adopted in our 1935
Constitution, and the system of checks and balances,
one of its basic predicates. As a consequence, we have
neither the authority nor the discretion to decline
passing upon said issue, but are under the ineluctable
obligation - made particularly more exacting and
peremptory by our oath, as members of the highest
Court of the land, to support and defend the
Constitution - to settle it.
In the case at bar, the challenged proviso operates on
the basis of the salary grade or officer-employee
status. It is akin to a distinction based on economic
class and status, with the higher grades as recipients
of a benefit specifically withheld from the lower
grades. Officers of the BSP now receive higher
compensation packages that are competitive with the

industry, while the poorer, low-salaried employees are

limited to the rates prescribed by the SSL. The
implications are quite disturbing: BSP rank-and-file
employees are paid the strictly regimented rates of the
SSL while employees higher in rank - possessing
higher and better education and opportunities for
career advancement - are given higher compensation
packages to entice them to stay. Considering that
majority, if not all, the rank-and-file employees consist
of people whose status and rank in life are less and
limited, especially in terms of job marketability, it is
they - and not the officers - who have the real
economic and financial need for the adjustment This is
in accord with the policy of the Constitution "to free
the people from poverty, provide adequate social
services, extend to them a decent standard of living,
and improve the quality of life for all. Any act of
Congress that runs counter to this constitutional
desideratum deserves strict scrutiny by this Court
before it can pass muster.
To be sure, the BSP rank-and-file employees merit
greater concern from this Court. They represent the
more impotent rank-and-file government employees
who, unlike employees in the private sector, have no
specific right to organize as a collective bargaining unit
and negotiate for better terms and conditions of
employment, nor the power to hold a strike to protest
unfair labor practices. These BSP rank-and-file
employees represent the politically powerless and they
should not be compelled to seek a political solution to
their unequal and iniquitous treatment. Indeed, they
have waited for many years for the legislature to act.
They cannot be asked to wait some more for
discrimination cannot be given any waiting time.
Unless the equal protection clause of the Constitution

is a mere platitude, it is the Courts duty to save them

from reasonless discrimination.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, we hold that the continued
operation and implementation of the last proviso of
Section 15(c), Article II of Republic Act No. 7653 is


v. Need for Implementing

Committee on Justice (G.R. No. 193459, February
15, 2011)
Before the 15th Congress opened its first session,
private respondents known as the Baraquel group filed
an impeachment complaint against petitioner, upon
the endorsement of Party-List Representatives Arlene
Bag-ao and Walden Bello.
A day after the opening of the 15th Congress, the
Secretary General of the House of Representatives
transmitted the impeachment complaint to House
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. who directed the
Committee on Rules to include it in the Order of
Private respondents collectively known as the Reyes
group filed another impeachment complaint against
petitioner with a resolution of endorsement by PartyList Representatives Neri Javier Colmenares, et al.
The Secretary General transmitted the Reyes groups
complaint to Speaker Belmonte who also directed the
Committee on Rules to include it in the Order of

After hearing, public respondent, by Resolution, found

the two complaints, which both allege culpable
violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public
trust, sufficient in substance.
Petitioner filed with this Court the present petition with
application for injunctive reliefs. The Court En Banc
RESOLVED to direct the issuance of a status quo ante
order and to require respondents to comment on the
petition in 10 days.
Respondents raise the impropriety of the remedies of
certiorari and prohibition.
They argue that public
respondent was not exercising any judicial, quasijudicial or ministerial function in taking cognizance of
the two impeachment complaints as it was exercising
a political act that is discretionary in nature, and that
its function is inquisitorial that is akin to a preliminary
Petitioner invokes the Courts expanded certiorari
jurisdiction, using the special civil actions of certiorari
and prohibition as procedural vehicles.
Whether or not petition is premature and not yet ripe
for adjudication.
Whether or not the simultaneous complaints violate
the one-year bar rule.
The petition lacks merit.
First issue:

The unusual act of simultaneously referring to public

respondent two impeachment complaints presents a
novel situation to invoke judicial power. Petitioner
cannot thus be considered to have acted prematurely
when she took the cue from the constitutional
limitation that only one impeachment proceeding
should be initiated against an impeachable officer
within a period of one year.

Labor Arbiter. Riviera appealed to the NLRC contending

just cause for the dismissal because of petitioners
abandonment of work. NLRC ruled there was just
cause and petitioners were not entitled to backwages
and separation pay. The CA in turn ruled that the
dismissal was not illegal because they have
abandoned their work but ordered the payment of
money claims.

Second issue:

Whether or not petitioners were illegally dismissed.

Article XI, Section 3, paragraph (5) of the Constitution

reads: No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated
against the same official more than once within a
period of one year. However, the term initiate
means to file the complaint and take initial action on it.
The initiation starts with the filing of the complaint
which must be accompanied with an action to set the
complaint moving.
It refers to the filing of the
impeachment complaint coupled with Congress taking
initial action of said complaint. The initial action taken
by the House on the complaint is the referral of the
complaint to the Committee on Justice.

To dismiss an employee, the law required not only the
existence of a just and valid cause but also enjoins the
employer to give the employee the right to be heard
and to defend himself. Abandonment is the deliberate
and unjustified refusal of an employee to resume his
employment. For a valid finding or abandonment, two
factors are considered: failure to report for work
without a valid reason; and, a clear intention to sever
employer-employee relationship with the second as
the more determinative factor which is manifested by
overt acts from which it may be deduced that the
employees has no more intention to work.

Petition is DISMISSED.
Agabon v. NLRC (G.R. No. 158693, November 17,
Petitioners were employed by Riviera Home as gypsum
board and cornice installers from January 1992 to
February 23, 1999 when they were dismissed for
abandonment of work. Petitioners filed a complaint for
illegal dismissal and was decided in their favor by the

Where the employer had a valid reason to dismiss an

employee but did not follow the due process
requirement, the dismissal may be upheld but the
employer will be penalized to pay an indemnity to the
employee. This became known as the Wenphil
Doctrine of the Belated Due process Rule.
Art. 279 means that the termination is illegal if it is not
for any of the justifiable or authorized by law. Where
the dismissal is for a just cause, the lack of statutory

due process should not nullify the dismissal but the

employer should indemnify the employee for the
violation of his statutory rights. The indemnity should
be stiffer to discourage the abhorrent practice of
dismiss now, pay later which we sought to deter in
Serrano ruling. The violation of employees rights
warrants the payment of nominal damages.

hastened by GSIS and consummated with Renong

Berhad, Manila Prince Hotel came to the Court on
prohibition and mandamus.

Taada v. Angara (G.R. No. 118295, May 2, 1997)

Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS (G.R. No. 122156,
February 3, 1997)

A provision which lays down a general principle, such
as those found in Article II of the 1987 Constitution, is
usually not self-executing. But a provision which is
complete in itself and becomes operative without the
aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that
which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the
right it grants may be enjoyed or protected, is selfexecuting. Thus a constitutional provision is selfexecuting if the nature and extent of the right
conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the
constitution itself, so that they can be determined by
an examination and construction of its terms, and
there is no language indicating that the subject is
referred to the legislature for action. In self-executing
constitutional provisions, the legislature may still enact
legislation to facilitate the exercise of powers directly
granted by the constitution, further the operation of
such a provision, prescribe a practice to be used for its
enforcement, provide a convenient remedy for the
protection of the rights secured or the determination
thereof, or place reasonable safeguards around the
exercise of the right. The mere fact that legislation
may supplement and add to or prescribe a penalty for
the violation of a self-executing constitutional provision
does not render such a provision ineffective in the
absence of such legislation. The omission from a
constitution of any express provision for a remedy for

The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS),
pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine
Government under Proclamation 50 dated 8 December
1986, decided to sell through public bidding 30% to
51% of the issued and outstanding shares of the
Manila Hotel (MHC). In a close bidding held on 18
September 1995 only two bidders participated: Manila
Prince Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which
offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares at
P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian
firm, with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel operator, which bid
for the same number of shares at P44.00 per share, or
P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner. Pending the
declaration of Renong Berhard as the winning
bidder/strategic partner and the execution of the
necessary contracts, the Manila Prince Hotel matched
the bid price of P44.00 per share tendered by Renong
Berhad in a letter to GSIS dated 28 September 1995.
Manila Prince Hotel sent a managers check to the
GSIS in a subsequent letter, but which GSIS refused to
accept. On 17 October 1995, perhaps apprehensive
that GSIS has disregarded the tender of the matching
bid and that the sale of 51% of the MHC may be

Whether or not the provisions of the Constitution,
particularly Article XII Section 10, are self-executing.

enforcing a right or liability is not necessarily an

indication that it was not intended to be self-executing.
The rule is that a self-executing provision of the
constitution does not necessarily exhaust legislative
power on the subject, but any legislation must be in
harmony with the constitution, further the exercise of
constitutional right and make it more available.
Subsequent legislation however does not necessarily
mean that the subject constitutional provision is not,
by itself, fully enforceable. As against constitutions of
the past, modern constitutions have been generally
drafted upon a different principle and have often
become in effect extensive codes of laws intended to
operate directly upon the people in a manner similar to
that of statutory enactments, and the function of
constitutional conventions has evolved into one more
like that of a legislative body. Hence, unless it is
expressly provided that a legislative act is necessary
to enforce a constitutional mandate, the presumption
now is that all provisions of the constitution are selfexecuting. If the constitutional provisions are treated
as requiring legislation instead of self-executing, the
legislature would have the power to ignore and
practically nullify the mandate of the fundamental law.
In fine, Section 10, second paragraph, Art. XII of the
1987 Constitution is a mandatory, positive command
which is complete in itself and which needs no further
guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its
enforcement. From its very words the provision does
not require any legislation to put it in operation.

Progressive Interpretation
Orceo v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 190779, March 26,

Petitioner prays that the Court render a decision as
(1) Annulling Resolution No. 8714 insofar as it includes
airsoft guns and their replicas/imitations within the
meaning of firearm, and declaring the Resolution as
(2) ordering the COMELEC to desist from further
implementing Resolution No. 8714 insofar as airsoft
guns and their replicas/imitations are concerned;
(3) ordering the COMELEC to amend Resolution No.
replicas/imitations within the meaning of firearm;
(4) ordering the COMELEC to issue a Resolution
directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines,
Philippine National Police and other law enforcement
agencies deputized by the COMELEC to desist from
further enforcing Resolution No. 8714 insofar as airsoft
guns and their replicas/imitations are concerned.
Petitioner asserts that playing airsoft provides bonding
moments among family members. Families are entitled
to protection by the society and the State under the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They are free
to choose and enjoy their recreational activities. These
liberties, petitioner contends, cannot be abridged by
the COMELEC. Thus, petitioner contends that
Resolution No. 8714 is not in accordance with the
State policies in these constitutional provisions:
(1) Art. II, Sec. 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of
family life and shall protect and strengthen the family
as a basic autonomous social institution. x x x

(2) Art. XV, Sec. 1. The State recognizes the Filipino

family as the foundation of the nation. Accordingly, it
shall strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its
total development.
(3) Art. II, Sec. 17. The State shall give priority to x x x
sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate
social progress, and promote total human liberation
and development.
aforementioned state policies, but even constitutional
freedoms are not absolute, and they may be abridged
to some extent to serve appropriate and important
WON the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in
including airsoft guns and their replicas/imitations in
the term firearm in Section 2 (b) of R.A. No. 8714.
NO. The Court holds that the COMELEC did not gravely
abuse its discretion in including airsoft guns and
airguns in the term firearm in Resolution No. 8714
for purposes of the gun ban during the election period.
The COMELECs intent in the inclusion of airsoft guns in
the term firearm and their resultant coverage by the
election gun ban is to avoid the possible use of
recreational guns in sowing fear, intimidation or terror
during the election period. An ordinary citizen may not
be able to distinguish between a real gun and an
airsoft gun. It is fear subverting the will of a voter,
whether brought about by the use of a real gun or a
recreational gun, which is sought to be averted.
Ultimately, the objective is to ensure the holding of

However, the replicas and imitations of airsoft guns

and airguns are excluded from the term firearm in
Resolution No. 8714.
1. PARTLY GRANTED insofar as the exclusion of replicas
and imitations of airsoft guns from the term firearm
is concerned. Replicas and imitations of airsoft guns
and airguns are hereby declared excluded from the
term firearm in Resolution No. 8714.
2. The petition is DISMISSED in regard to the exclusion
of airsoft guns from the term firearm in Resolution
No. 8714. Airsoft guns and airguns are covered by the
gun ban during the election period.

Single Subject Requirement

Lambino v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 174153, October
25, 2006)
The Lambino Group commenced gathering signatures
for an initiative petition to change the 1987
Constitution and then filed a petition with COMELEC to
hold a plebiscite for ratification under Sec. 5(b) and (c)
and Sec. 7 of RA 6735. The proposed changes under
the petition will shift the present BicameralPresidential system to a Unicameral-Parliamentary
form of government. COMELEC did not give it due
course for lack of an enabling law governing initiative
petitions to amend the Constitution, pursuant to
Santiago v. Comelec ruling.
Whether or not the proposed changes constitute an
amendment or revision

Whether or not the initiative petition is sufficient

compliance withthe constitutional requirement on
direct proposal by the people
Initiative petition does not comply with Sec. 2, Art. XVII
on direct proposal by people
Sec. 2, Art. XVII...is the governing provision that allows
a peoples initiative to propose amendments to the
Constitution. While this provision does not expressly
state that the petition must set forth the full text of the
proposed amendments, the deliberations of the
framers of our Constitution clearly show that: (a) the
framers intended to adopt relevant American
jurisprudence on peoples initiative; and (b) in
particular, the people must first seethe full text of the
proposed amendments before they sign, and that the
people must sign on a petition containing such full
The essence of amendments directly proposed by the
people through initiative upon a petition is that the
entire proposal on its face is a petition by the people.
This means two essential elements must be present.
2 elements of initiative
First, the people must author and thus sign the
entire proposal. No agent or representative can sign on
their behalf.
Second, as an initiative upon a petition, the
proposal must be embodied in a petition.

These essential elements are present only if the full

text of the proposed amendments is first shown to the
people who express their assent by signing such
complete proposal in a petition. The full text of the
proposed amendments may be either written on the
face of the petition, or attached to it. If so attached,
the petition must state the fact of such attachment.
This is an assurance that every one of the several
millions of signatories to the petition had seen the full
text of the proposed amendments before not after
Moreover, an initiative signer must be informed at the
time of signing of the nature and effect of that which is
proposed and failure to do so is deceptive and
misleading which renders the initiative void.
In the case of the Lambino Groups petition, theres
not a single word, phrase, or sentence of text of the
proposed changes in the signature sheet. Neither does
the signature sheet state that the text of the proposed
changes is attached to it. The signature sheet merely
asks a question whether the people approve a shift
from the Bicameral-Presidential to the UnicameralParliamentary system of government. The signature
sheet does not show to the people the draft of the
proposed changes before they are asked to sign the
signature sheet. This omission is fatal.
An initiative that gathers signatures from the people
without first showing to the peoplethe full text of the
proposed amendments is most likely a deception, and
can operate as agigantic fraud on the people. Thats
why the Constitutionrequires that an initiative must
bedirectly proposed by the people x x x in a petition
- meaning that the people must sign ona petition that

contains the full text of the proposed amendments. On

so vital an issue as amending the nations
fundamental law, the writing of the text of the
proposed amendments cannot be hidden from the
people under a general or special power of attorney to
unnamed, faceless, and unelected individuals.
The initiative violates Section 2, Article XVII of the
Constitution disallowing revision through initiatives.
Article XVII of the Constitution speaks of three modes
of amending the Constitution. The first mode is
through Congress upon three-fourths vote of all its
Members. The second mode is through a constitutional
convention. The third mode is through a peoples
Section 1 of Article XVII, referring to the first and
second modes, applies to any amendment to, or
revision of, this Constitution. In contrast, Section 2 of
Article XVII, referring to the third mode, applies only to
amendments to this Constitution. This distinction
was intentional as shown by the deliberations of the
Constitutional Commission. A peoples initiative to
change the Constitution applies only to an amendment
of the Constitution and not to its revision. In contrast,
Congress or a constitutional convention can propose
both amendments and revisions to the Constitution.
Does the Lambino Groups initiative constitute a
revision of the Constitution?
Yes. By any legal test and under any jurisdiction, a
shift from a Bicameral-Presidential to a UnicameralParliamentary system, involving the abolition of the
Office of the President and the abolition of one
chamber of Congress, is beyond doubt a revision, not a
mere amendment.

Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service (G.R.
No. 197676, February 4, 2014)
On June 29, 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
signed into law Republic Act No. 9646, otherwise
known as the Real Estate Service Act of the
Philippines. The law aims to professionalize the real
estate service sector under a regulatory scheme of
licensing, registration and supervision of real estate
service practitioners (real estate brokers, appraisers,
assessors, consultants and salespersons) in the
country. Prior to its enactment, the real estate service
practitioners were under the supervision of the
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the
Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection
(BTRCP), in the exercise of its consumer regulation
functions. Such authority has been transferred to the
Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) through the
Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service
(PRBRES), created under the new law.
On July 21, 2010, the implementing rules and
regulations (IRR) of R.A. No. 9646 were promulgated
by the PRBRES, upon approval of the PRC, under
Resolution No. 02, Series of 2010.
On December 7, 2010, the petitioners, Remman
Enterprises, Inc. (REI) and the Chamber of Real Estate
and Builders Association (CREBA), instituted Civil Case
No. 10-124776 in the Regional Trial Court of Manila,
Branch 42. Petitioners sought to declare as void and
unconstitutional the following provisions of R.A. No.

SEC. 28.Exemptions from the Acts Constituting the

Practice of Real Estate Service. The provisions of this
Act and its rules and regulations shall not apply to the
(a) Any person, natural or juridical, who shall directly
perform by himself/herself the acts mentioned in
Section 3 hereof with reference to his/her or its own
property, except real estate developers;
SEC. 29. Prohibition Against the Unauthorized Practice
of Real Estate Service. No person shall practice or
offer to practice real estate service in the Philippines
or offer himself/herself as real estate service
practitioner, or use the title, word, letter, figure or any
sign tending to convey the impression that one is a
real estate service practitioner, or advertise or indicate
in any manner whatsoever that one is qualified to
practice the profession, or be appointed as real
property appraiser or assessor in any national
government entity or local government unit, unless
he/she has satisfactorily passed the licensure
examination given by the Board, except as otherwise
provided in this Act, a holder of a valid certificate of
registration, and professional identification card or a
valid special/temporary permit duly issued to him/her
by the Board and the Commission, and in the case of
real estate brokers and private appraisers, they have
paid the required bond as hereto provided.
SEC. 32.Corporate Practice of the Real Estate Service.
(a) No partnership or corporation shall engage in the

business of real estate service unless it is duly

registered with the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC), and the persons authorized to act
for the partnership or corporation are all duly
registered and licensed real estate brokers, appraisers
or consultants, as the case may be. The partnership or
corporation shall regularly submit a list of its real
estate service practitioners to the Commission and to
the SEC as part of its annual reportorial requirements.
There shall at least be one (1) licensed real estate
broker for every twenty (20) accredited salespersons.
(b) Divisions or departments of partnerships and
corporations engaged in marketing or selling any real
estate development project in the regular course of
business must be headed by full-time registered and
licensed real estate brokers.
(c) Branch offices of real estate brokers, appraisers or
consultants must be manned by a duly licensed real
estate broker, appraiser or consultant as the case may
In case of resignation or termination from employment
of a real estate service practitioner, the same shall be
reported by the employer to the Board within a period
not to exceed fifteen (15) days from the date of
effectivity of the resignation or termination.
Subject to the provisions of the Labor Code, a
corporation or partnership may hire the services of
registered and licensed real estate brokers, appraisers
or consultants on commission basis to perform real
estate services and the latter shall be deemed
independent contractors and not employees of such

Whether or not R.A. No. 9646 violates the one
title-one subject rule under Article VI, Section 26 (1)
of the Philippine Constitution
Whether R.A. No. 9646 conflicts with PD 957, as
amended by EO 648, with respect to the exclusive
jurisdiction of the HLURB to regulate real estate
Whether R.A. No. 9646 violates the right of the
petitioners to due process
Whether Republic Act No. 9646, particularly
Section 28(a), violates the equal protection clause
1. R.A. No. 9646 does not violate the one title-one
subject rule under Article VI, Section 26 (1) of the
Philippine Constitution
The one title-one subject rule does not require
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
The rule is sufficiently complied with if the title is
comprehensive enough as to include the general
object which the statute seeks to effect. It is satisfied if
all the parts of the statute are related, and are
germane to the subject matter expressed in the title,
or as long as they are not inconsistent with or foreign
to the general subject and title.
An act having a single general subject, indicated in the
title, may contain any number of provisions, no matter
how diverse they may be, so long as they are not
inconsistent with or foreign to the general subject, and
may be considered in furtherance of such subject by

providing for the method and means of carrying out

the general object.
Since the marketing aspect of real estate development
projects entails the performance of those acts and
transactions defined as real estate service practices
under Section 3(g) of R.A. No. 9646, it is logically
covered by the regulatory scheme to professionalize
the entire real estate service sector.
The inclusion of real estate developers, the petitioners
in particular, in the coverage of R.A. No. 9646 is well
within the scope of the title of the law which states:
An Act Regulating the Practice of Real Estate Service
in the Philippines, Creating for the Purpose a
Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service,
Appropriating Funds Therefor and For Other Purposes
Hence, such inclusion of the real estate developers
does not violate the one title-one subject rule.
2. R.A. No. 9646 does not conflict with PD 957, as
amended by EO 648, with respect to the exclusive
jurisdiction of the HLURB to regulate real estate
The HLURB supervises only those real estate service
practitioners engaged in the sale of subdivision lots
and condominium projects, specifically for violations of
the provisions of P.D. No. 957, and not the entire real
estate service sector which is now under the
regulatory powers of the PRBRES. HLURBs supervision
of brokers and dealers to effectively implement the
provisions of P.D. No. 957 does not foreclose the
regulation of the real estate service as a profession.
Plainly, there is no inconsistency or contradiction in the

assailed provisions of R.A. No. 9646 and P.D. No. 957,

as amended.
The rule is that every statute must be interpreted and
brought into accord with other laws in a way that will
form a uniform system of jurisprudence. The
legislature is presumed to have known existing laws on
the subject and not to have enacted conflicting laws.
Congress, therefore, could not be presumed to have
intended Sections 28, 29 and 32 of R.A. No. 9646 to
run counter to P.D. No. 957.
3. R.A. No. 9646 does not violate the Constitutional
requirement of due process
There is no deprivation of property for the following
The law does not restrict petitioners use and
enjoyment of their property .
If the requirement of engaging the services of only
licensed real estate professionals burdens the
petitioners, it is an unavoidable consequence of a
reasonable regulatory measure.
Professionalizing the real estate service is a valid
exercise of police power, which has general welfare for
its object, considering that real property transactions
are susceptible to manipulation and corruption, and
real estate service practitioners serve a vital role in
promoting overall national progress
As between general welfare and property rights, the
latter must yield
4. R.A. No. 9646 does not violate the equal protection
The equal protection clause does not require absolute
equality among persons. The clause merely requires
that all persons should be treated alike under like
circumstances and conditions both as to privileges

conferred and as to liabilities enforced. Classification is

warranted when there are substantial distinctions
which are germane to the purpose of the law.
In the case the following circumstances constitute
substantial distinctions:
Unlike individuals or entities having isolated
transactions over their own property, real estate
developers are engaged in selling and marketing of
real property in the regular course of business
Real estate developers are the largest employers of
real estate service practitioners
There have been a large number of cases of violations
of P.D. 957, as amended, by real estate developers
Hence, the distinct treatment of the real estate
developers compared with other property owners is
reasonable and relevant to the purpose of the law.

Publication Requirements
Taada v. Tuvera (136 SCRA 27)
Petitioners seek a writ of mandamus in compelling
respondent public officials to publish and/ or cause the
publication in the Official Gazette of various
presidential decrees, letter of instructions, general
orders, proclamations, executive orders, letter of
implementation and administrative orders.
The general rule in seeking writ of mandamus is that it
would be granted to a private individual only in those
cases where he has some private or particular interest
to be subserved, or some particular right to be

protected, independent of that which he holds with the

public at large," and "it is for the public officers
exclusively to apply for the writ when public rights are
to be subserved.
The legal capacity of a private citizen was recognized
by court to make the said petition for the reason that
the right sought to be enforced by petitioners herein is
a public right recognized by no less than the
fundamental law of the land.
Whether publication in the Official Gazette is still
required considering the clause in Article 2 unless
otherwise provided.

Taada v. Tuvera (146 SCRA 446)

On 24 April 1985, the Court affirmed the necessity for
the publication to the Official Gazette all unpublished
presidential issuances which are of general application,
and unless so published, they shall have no binding
force and effect. Decision was concurred only by 3
judges. Petitioners move for reconsideration /
clarification of the decision on various questions.
Solicitor General avers that the motion is a request for
advisory opinion. February Revolution took place,
which subsequently required the new Solicitor General
to file a rejoinder on the issue (under Rule 3, Section
18 of the Rules of Court).

Unless it is otherwise provided refers to the date of
effectivity and not with the publication requirement
which cannot be omitted as public needs to be notified
for the law to become effective. The necessity for the
publication in the Official Gazette of all unpublished
presidential issuances which are of general application,
was affirmed by the court on April 24, 1985. This is
necessary to provide the general public adequate
notice of the various laws which regulate actions and
conduct as citizens. Without this, there would be no
basis for Art 3 of the Civil Code Ignorance of the law
excuses no one from compliance therewith.
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby orders respondents to
publish in the Official Gazette all unpublished
presidential issuances which are of general application,
and unless so published, they shall have no binding
force and effect.

Whether publication is still required in light of the
clause unless otherwise provided.
The clause unless it is otherwise provided, in Article
2 of the Civil Code, refers to the date of effectivity and
not to the requirement of publication itself, which
cannot in any event be omitted. This clause does not
mean that the legislature may make the law effective
immediately upon approval, or on any other date,
without its previous publication. The legislature may in
its discretion provide that the usual fifteen-day period
requirements applies to (1) all statutes, including those
of local application and private laws; (2) presidential
decrees and executive orders promulgated by the

President in the exercise of legislative powers

whenever the same are validly delegated by the
legislature or directly conferred by the Constitution; (3)
Administrative rules and regulations for the purpose of
enforcing or implementing existing law pursuant also
to a valid delegation; (4) Charter of a city
notwithstanding that it applies to only a portion of the
national territory and directly affects only the
inhabitants of that place; (5) Monetary Board circulars
to fill in the details of the Central Bank Act which
that body is supposed to enforce. Further, publication
must be in full or it is no publication at all since its
purpose is to inform the public of the contents of the
The Supreme Court declared that all laws as above
defined shall immediately upon their approval, or as
soon thereafter as possible, be published in full in the
Official Gazette, to become effective only after 15 days
from their publication, or on another date specified by
the legislature, in accordance with Article 2 of the Civil

SC Circulars
Jadewell Parking Systems Corp. v. Hon. Lidua
(G.R. No. 169588, October 7, 2013)
Jadewell, pursuant to City Ordinance 003-2000, was
authorized to render any motorvehicle immobilized by
placing its wheels in a clamp if the vehicle is illegally
dismantled, took and carried away the clampsattached

to the wheel of the vehicles, which took place on May

7, 2003. Jadewell filed acomplaint for robbery against
the respondents with the Office of the City Prosecutor
on May 23,2003. However, the Informations were filed
with the MTC on October 2, 2003. Balajadia filed
amotion to quash.
The MTC granted the motion to quash and dismissed
the case and Jadewell's subsequent motion for
reconsideration. Jadewell's petition for certiorari with
RTC was likewise denied. Their motion for
reconsideration was also denied.
They argued that the filing of the criminal complaint
withthe Office of the City Prosecutor of Baguio City, not
the filing of the criminal information beforeCourt, is the
reckoning point in determining whether or not the
criminal action had prescribed.
Respondents argued that Zaldivia v. Reyes held that
the proceedings mentioned in Section 2 of Act No.
3326, as amended, refer to judicial proceedings.Thus,
the SC, in Zaldivia, held that the filing of the Complaint
with the Office of the ProvincialProsecutor was not a
commenced from the allegeddate of the commission of
the crime on May 7, 2003 and ended two months after
on July 7, 2003.
Whether the filing of the Complaint with the Office of
the City Prosecutor on May 23,2003 tolled the
prescription period of the commission of the offense

No. As provided in the Revised Rules on Summary
Procedure, only the filing of anInformation tolls the
prescriptive period where the crime charged is
involved in an ordinance.The respondent judge was
correct when he applied the rule in Zaldivia v. Reyes.
In Zaldivia v. Reyes, 211 SCRA 277 (1992), the
violation of a municipal ordinance in Rodriguez, Rizal
alsofeatured similar facts and issues with the present
case. In that case, the offense was committed onMay
11, 1990. The Complaint was received on May 30,
1990, and the Information was filed withthe
Metropolitan Trial Court of Rodriguez on October 2,
1990. When the representatives of the petitioner filed
the Complaint before the Provincial Prosecutor of
Baguio, the prescription period was running. It
continued to run until the filing of the Information.
They had two months to file the Information and
institute the judicial proceedings by filing the
Information with the Municipal Trial Court. The failure
of the prosecutor to seasonably file the Information is
unfortunate as it resulted in the dismissal of the case
against the private respondents. It stands that the
doctrine of Zaldivia is applicable to ordinances and
their prescription period. It also upholds the necessity
of filing the Information in court in order to toll the
period. Zaldivia also has this to say concerning the
effects of its ruling: The Court realizes that under the
above interpretation, a crime may prescribe even if
the complaint is filed seasonably with the prosecutors
office if, intentionally or not, he delays the institution
of the necessary judicial proceedings until it is too late.
However, that possibility should not justify a
misreading of the applicable rules beyond their
obvious intent as reasonably deduced from their plain

language. The remedy is not a distortion of the

meaning of the rules but a rewording thereof to
prevent the problem here sought to be corrected.

Administrative Rule v. Interpretation

Victorias Milling Co. v. SSC (G.R. No. L-16704,
March 17, 1962)
On 15 October 1958, the Social Security Commission
(SSC) issued its Circular 22 providing that effective 1
November 1958, all employers in computing the
premiums due the System, will take into consideration
and include in the Employees remuneration all
bonuses and overtime pay, as well as the cash value of
other media of remuneration. All these will comprise
the Employees remuneration or earnings, upon which
the 3-1/2% and 2- 1/2% contributions will be based, up
to a maximum of P500 for any one month. Upon
receipt of a copy thereof, Victorias Milling Company,
Inc., wrote the SSC in effect protesting against the
circular as contradictory to a previous Circular 7 (7
October 1957) , and further questioned the validity of
the circular for lack of authority on the part of the SSC
to promulgate it without the approval of the President
and for lack of publication in the Official Gazette.
Overruling these objections, the SSC ruled that Circular
22 is not a rule or regulation that needed the approval
of the President and publication in the Official Gazette
to be effective, but a mere administrative
interpretation of the statute, a mere statement of

general policy or opinion as to how the law should be

construed. Not satisfied with this ruling, petitioner
comes to the Supreme Court on appeal.
Whether Circular 22 is a rule or regulation.
There is a distinction between an administrative rule or
regulation and an administrative interpretation of a
law whose enforcement is entrusted to an
administrative body. When an administrative agency
promulgates rules and regulations, it makes a new
law with the force and effect of a valid law, while when
it renders an opinion or gives a statement of policy, it
merely interprets a pre-existing law Rules and
regulations when promulgated in pursuance of the
administrative agency by law, partake of the nature of
a statute, and compliance therewith may be enforced
by a penal sanction provided in the law. This is so
because statutes are usually couched in general terms,
after expressing the policy, purposes, objectives,
remedies and sanctions intended by the legislature.
The details and the manner of carrying out the law are
often times left to the administrative agency entrusted
with its enforcement. In this sense, it has been said
that rules and regulations are the product of a
delegated power to create new or additional legal
provisions that have the effect of law. A rule is binding
on the courts so long as the procedure fixed for its

promulgation is followed and its scope is within the

statutory authority granted by the legislature, even if
the courts are not in agreement with the policy stated
therein or its innate wisdom On the other hand,
administrative interpretation of the law is at best
merely advisory, for it is the courts that finally
determine what the law means.
While it is true that terms or words are to be
interpreted in accordance with their well-accepted
meaning in law, nevertheless, when such term or word
is specifically defined in a particular law, such
interpretation must be adopted in enforcing that
particular law, for it can not be gainsaid that a
particular phrase or term may have one meaning for
one purpose and another meaning for some other
compensation should mean For the purposes of this
Act. RA1792 amended such definition by deleting
some exceptions authorized in the original Act. By
virtue of this express substantial change in the
phraseology of the law, whatever prior executive or
judicial construction may have been given to the
phrase in question should give way to the clear
mandate of the new law.
The Supreme Court affirmed the appealed resolution,
with costs against appellant.





RMBSA v. HDMF (333 SCRA 777)



PETITIONER a law firm, was exempted for the period 1
January to 31 December 1995 from the Pag~IBIG Fund
coverage by respondent HDMF because of a superior
retirement plan.
On 1 September 1995, the HDMF Board of Trustees
issued Board Resolution amending and modifying the
Rules and Regulations Implementing R.A. No. 7742. As
amended, for a company to be entitled to a waiver or
suspension of Fund coverage, it must have a plan
providing for both provident/ retirement and housing
benefits superior to those provided under the
Pag~IBIG Fund.
On 16 November 1995, PETITIONER filed with the
respondent an application for Waiver or Suspension of
Fund Coverage because of its superior retirement plan
and that HDMFs amendment to the law is invalid.
However, HDMF disapproved PETITIONER's application.
On 31 March 1997, PETITIONER filed a petition for
review before the Court of Appeals. Court of Appeals
dismissed the petition on the ground that the coverage
of employers and employees under the Home
Development Mutual Fund is mandatory in character
as clearly worded in Section 4 of P.D. No. 1752, as
amended by R.A. No. 7742.
On 6 November 1997, PETITIONER filed a petition
before the Supreme Court .

WON HDMFs Amendments to the Rules and

Regulations Implementing Republic Act No. 7742 is
being contrary to law.
Supreme Court ruled:
The controversy lies in the legal signification of the
words "and/or."
In the instant case, the legal meaning of the words
"and/or" should be taken in its ordinary signification,
i.e., "either and or; e.g. butter and/or eggs means
butter and eggs or butter or eggs.
HDMF contends that in promulgating the amendments
to the rules and regulations which require the
existence of a plan providing for both provident and
housing benefits for exemption from the Fund
Coverage, the were merely exercising its rule-making
power and It had the option to use "and" only instead
of "or" in the rules on waiver in order to effectively
implement the Pag-IBIG Fund Law.
SC said that although It is without doubt that the HDMF
Board has rule~making power however, it is
well~settled that rules and regulations, should be
within the scope of the statutory authority granted by
the legislature to the administrative agency.
The HDMF cannot, in the exercise of its rule~making
power, issue a regulation not consistent with the law.
Its amendments must remain consistent with the law
they intend to carry out. Only Congress can repeal or
amend the law.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. HDMF is hereby

directed to refund to petitioner all sums of money it
collected from the latter.

WON Section 40 (b) of Republic Act No. 7160 applies
retroactively to those removed from office before it
took effect on January 1, 1992.

Grego v. COMELEC (274 SCRA 481)

Sec 40 (b) of Republic Act 7160 (the Local Government
Code) which took effect on January 1, 1992,
disqualifies a person for any elective position on the
ground that had been removed from office as a result
of an administrative case.
On October 31, 1981, Basco was removed from his
position as Deputy Sheriff upon a finding of serious
misconduct in an administrative complaint.
He ran as a candidate for Councilor, won and assumed
office for three terms during the Elections of January
18, 1988; May 11, 1992 and May 8, 1995. As in the
past, respondents right to office was contested.
On May 13, 1995, petitioner, seeks for the
respondents disqualification, pursuant to the above
provision, contending that as long as a candidate was
once removed from office due to an administrative
case, regardless of whether it took place during or
prior to the effectivity of the Code, the disqualification
Respondent contends that the petitioner is not entitled
to said relief because Section 40 par. b of the LGC may
not be validly applied to persons who were dismissed
prior to its effectivity. To do so would make it ex post
facto, bill of attainder, and retroactive legislation which
impairs vested rights

No. It is a settled issue that Section 40 (b) of Republic
Act No. 7160 does not have any retroactive effect.
Laws operate only prospectively and not retroactively.
A statute, despite the generality in its language, must
not be so construed as to overreach acts, events or
matters which transpired before its passage: Lex
prospicit, non respicit. The law looks forward, not



Solicitor General v
December 11, 1991)





In Metropolitan Traffic Command, West Traffic District
vs. Hon. Arsenio M. Gonong, the Court held that the
confiscation of the license plates of motor vehicles for
traffic violations was not among the sanctions that
could be imposed by the Metro Manila Commission
under PD 1605 and was permitted only under the
conditions laid down by LOI 43 in the case of stalled
vehicles obstructing the public streets.
It was there also observed that even the confiscation
of driver's licenses for traffic violations was not directly
prescribed by the decree nor was it allowed by the
decree to be imposed by the Commission.

However, petitioners alleged that Traffic Enforces

continued with the confiscation of drivers licenses and
removal of license plates. Dir General Cesar P.
Nazareno of the PNP assured the Court that his office
had never authorized the removal of the license plates
of illegally parked vehicles.

Whether or Not Ordinance 11 is justified on the basis

of the General Welfare Clause embodied in the Local
Government Code;

Later, the Metropolitan Manila Authority issued

Ordinance No. 11, authorizing itself "to detach the
license plate/tow and impound attended/ unattended/
abandoned motor vehicles illegally parked or
obstructing the flow of traffic in Metro Manila."

No. The Court holds that there is a valid delegation of
legislative power to promulgate such measures, it
appearing that the requisites of such delegation are
present. These requisites are:
1)the completeness of the statute making the
delegation; and
2)the presence of a sufficient standard.

The Court issued a resolution requiring the

Metropolitan Manila Authority and the Solicitor Gen. to
submit separate comments in light of the contradiction
between the Ordinance and the SC ruling.

The measures in question are enactments of local

governments acting only as agents of the national
legislature. Necessarily, the acts of these agents must
reflect and conform to the will of their principal.

The MMA defended the ordinance on the ground that it

was adopted pursuant to the power conferred upon it
by EO 32 (formulation of policies, promulgation of
resolutions). The Sol Gen expressed the view that the
ordinance was null and void because it represented an
invalid exercise of a delegated legislative power.

To test the validity of such acts in the specific case

now before us, we apply the particular requisites of a
valid ordinance as laid down by the accepted
principles governing municipal corporations. According
to Elliot, a municipal ordinance, to be valid:

The flaw in the measure was that it violated existing

law, specifically PD 1605, which does not permit, and
so impliedly prohibits, the removal of license plates
and the confiscation of driver's licenses for traffic
violations in Metropolitan Manila. He made no mention,
however, of the alleged impropriety of examining the
said ordinance in the absence of a formal challenge to
its validity.


not contravene the Constitution or any statute;

not be unfair or oppressive;
not be partial or discriminatory;
not prohibit but may regulate trade;
not be unreasonable; and
be general and consistent with public policy;

Magtajas v. Pryce (G.R. No. 111097, July 20,


There was instant opposition when PAGCOR
announced the opening of a casino in Cagayan de Oro
City. Civic organizations angrily denounced the
project.The trouble arose when in 1992, flush with its
tremendous success in several cities, PAGCOR decided
to expand its operations to Cagayan de Oro City.he
reaction of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cagayan
de Oro City was swift and hostile. On December 7,
1992, it enacted Ordinance No. 3353.Nor was this all.
On January 4, 1993, it adopted a sterner Ordinance No.
3375-93Pryce assailed the ordinances before the Court
of Appeals, where it was joined by PAGCOR as
challenge succeeded. On March 31, 1993, the Court of
Appeals declared the ordinances invalid and issued the
writ prayed for to prohibit their enforcement
WON Ordinance 3353 and 3375-93 valid
Local Government Code, local government units are
authorized to prevent or suppress, among others,
"gambling and other prohibited games of chance."
Obviously, this provision excludes games of chance
which are not prohibited but are in fact permitted by
law.The rationale of the requirement that the
ordinances should not contravene a statute is
obvious.Casino gambling is authorized by P.D. 1869.
This decree has the status of a statute that cannot be
amended or nullified by a mere ordinance. Hence, it
was not competent for the Sangguniang Panlungsod of
Cagayan de Oro City to enact Ordinance No. 3353
prohibiting the use of buildings for the operation of a

casino and Ordinance No. 3375-93 prohibiting the

operation of casinos. For all their praiseworthy
motives, these ordinances are contrary to P.D. 1869
and the public policy announced therein and are
therefore ultra vires and void.
Primicias v. Urdaneta (93 SCRA 462)
A criminal complaint was filed against plaintiff
Primiscias forviolation of Municipal Ordinance No. 3,
Series of 1964 after being apprehended by a member
of the Municipal Police for overtaking a truck.
Primiscias thereafter filed for the annulment of the
subject ordinance with prayer for issuance of
preliminary injunction to restrain defendants from
enforcing the said ordinance. The Court of First
Instance rendered Ordinance No. 3,S-1964 as null and
void, and repealed by RA 4136 also known asthe Land
Transportation and Traffic Code. Appellant appealed
the decision.
Whether or not the Municipal Order is not definite in its
terms or ambiguous
Whether or not Ordinance No. 3, Series of 1964
enacted by theMunicipal Council of Urdaneta,
Pangasinan is null and void.
Yes, the terms of Municipal Order 3 was ambiguous
and not definite. Vehicular Traffic is not defined and
no distinctions were made between cars, trucks,
buses, etc.

Yes, the Supreme Court ruled that subject ordinance

has been repealed by the enactment of RA 4316 and
has therefor, become null and void stating that a later
law prevails over an earlier law. The Supreme Court
further averred that local ordinances, in this case, a
municipal ordinance, are inferior in status and
subordinate to the laws of the state and whenever
there is conflict between an ordinance and a statute,
the ordinance must give way.
Bagatsing v. Ramirez (74 SCRA 306)
Aside from the issue on publication, private
respondent bewails that the market stall fees imposed
in the disputed City Ordinance No. 7522, which
regulates public markets and prescribes fees for
rentals of stalls, are diverted to the exclusive private
use of the Asiatic Integrated Corporation since the
collection of said fees had been let by the City of
Manila to the said corporation in a "Management and
Operating Contract."
Does the delegation of the collection of taxes to a
private entity invalidates a tax ordinance and defeats
its public purpose?
No. The assumption is of course saddled on erroneous
premise. The fees collected do not go direct to the
private coffers of the corporation. Ordinance No. 7522
was not made for the corporation but for the purpose
of raising revenues for the city. That is the object it
serves. The entrusting of the collection of the fees
does not destroy the public purpose of the ordinance.
So long as the purpose is public, it does not matter

whether the agency through which the money is

dispensed is public or private. The right to tax depends
upon the ultimate use, purpose and object for which
the fund is raised. It is not dependent on the nature or
character of the person or corporation whose
intermediate agency is to be used in applying it. The
people may be taxed for a public purpose, although it
be under the direction of an individual or private

Whereas Clause as Aid

People v. Echavez (95 SCRA 663)
Petitioner Ello filed with the lower court against 16
persons charging them with squatting, as penalized in
dismissed the case on the grounds that 1) the accused
entered the land through stealth and strategy and not
with the use of force, intimidation, or threat or taking
advantage of the absence of the owner (as described
in the Presidential Decree); and 2) under the rule of
ejusdem genernis, the decree does not apply to the
cultivation of a grazing land.
Whether or not Presidential Decree 771 penalizes
squatting and similar acts also apply to agricultural

No. The preamble shows that it was intended to apply

to squatting in urban communities or particularly to
complainant involves pasture lands in rural areas. The
rule of ejusdem generis (of the same kind) does not
apply to this case.
StatCon maxim: A preamble may restrict
otherwise appears to be a broad scope of a law.


Llamado v. CA (G.R. No. 84850, June 29, 1989)

Ricardo Llamado and Jacinto Pascual were Treasurer
and President of Pan Asia Finance Corporation.Leon
Gaw delivered P180,000 to Llamado with assurance
that the amount would be repaid on 4 November1983
with 12% interest and a share of the profits of the
corporation. On said date, Gaw deposited the check
but it was dishonored. Informing Llamado of the
dishonor, Llamado offered in writing to pay Gaw a
portion of the amount equivalent to 10% thereof on 14
or 15 November and the balance rolled over for a
period of 90days. Llamado failed to do so. Gaw filed a
complaint against Llamado and Pascual for violation of
BP 22.Pascual remains at large. Llamado contends he
signed the check in blank.
Whether or not Llamado is personally liable for the
bounced check.
Llamados claim that he signed the check in blank is
hardly a defense. By signing the check, he made
himself prone to being charged with violation of BP 22.
It became incumbent upon him to prove his

defenses.As treasurer of the corporation who signed

the check in his capacity as corporate officer, lack of
involvement in the negotiation for the transaction is
not a defense. Llamado is personally liable even if the
check was in the name of the corporation. Third
paragraph of Section 1, BP 22, states that where the
check is drawn by a corporation, company or entity,
the person(s) who actually signed the check in behalf
of such drawer shall be liable under this Act.It must
be noted that the check was issued for a valuable
consideration (P180,000). Had the money been
intended to be returned when the investment was
successful, the check need not be issued. A receipt
and their written agreement would have sufficed.

Aids to Construction: Headings

Kare v. Platon (G.R. No. L-35902, October 28,
The petitioner filed a motion of protest in the Court of
First Instance of Albay contesting the election of one of
the respondents, Francisco Perfecto. The respondent
Judge of the Court of First Instance of Albay entered an
order on which required the petitioner to give two
kinds of bond in order that proper proceedings might
be taken on his motion of protest. These two kinds of
bond were personal bond for P3,000 and a cash bond
of P2,000 to be deposited with the provincial treasurer

of Albay within the time specified in the order. These

sums were later changed so that the cash bond was
for P1,500 and the personal bond for P3,500.
Whether or not the court has the right to choose in
which form the petitioner would give his payment,
through bond or through cash deposit
Court will require a personal bond. Cash deposit on
discretion of the petitioner
Ratio: Section 482 of the Election Law states that
Before the court shall entertain any such contest or
counter-contest or admit an appeal, the party filing the
contest, counter-contest, or appeal shall give bond in
an amount fixed by the court with two sureties
satisfactory to it, conditioned that he will pay all
expenses and costs incident to such motion or appeal,
or shall deposit cash in court in lieu of such bond. The
Supreme Court held that while the respondent judge
holds that the court may require either a bond or a
cash deposit, the petitioner maintains that it is to him
alone the choice is given to file a personal bond or to
make a cash deposit in lieu thereof. The Supreme
Court ruled that the court may only require a personal
bond, and that the contestant may make a cash
deposit in lieu thereof.
StatCon maxim: The rule accepted by most of the
authorities is that if the chapter or section heading has
been inserted merely for convenience or reference,
and not as integral part of the statute, it should not be
allowed to control interpretation.

Arrangement and Ordering

De Castro v. JBC (G. R. No. 191002)
a. March 17, 2010 and April 20, 2010 decisions
b. J. Carpio-Morales dissenting opinion

Legislative History/Origin of Statute

United States v. Serapio (23 Phil. 584)
U.S. v. De Guzman (30 Phil. 416)
Schneckenburger v. Moran (G.R. No. L-44896,
July 31, 1936)
a. include dissenting opinion
The petitioner was duly accredited honorary consul of
Uruguay at Manila, Philippine Islands on June 11, 1934.
He was subsequently charged in the Court of First
Instance of Manila with the crime of falsification of a
private document. He objected to the jurisdiction of
the court on the ground that both under the
Constitution of the United States and the Constitution
of the Philippines the court below had no jurisdiction to
try him.
In support of this petition counsel for the petitioner
(1) That the Court of First Instance of Manila is without
jurisdiction to try the case filed against the petitioner
for the reason that under Article III, section 2, of the
Constitution of the United States, the Supreme Court
of the United States has original jurisdiction in all
cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers,
and consuls, and such jurisdiction excludes the courts
of the Philippines; and

(2) that even under the Constitution of the Philippines

original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors,
other public ministers, and consuls, is conferred
exclusively upon the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
*CFI: overruled his motion.
Hence, he filed this PETITION FOR A WRIT OF
PROHIBITION with a view to preventing the Court of
First Instance of Manila from taking cognizance of the
criminal action filed against him.
WON that the Court of First Instance of Manila has
jurisdiction to try the petitioner and not the SC as
provided in the constitution
YES. the original jurisdiction possessed and exercised
by the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands at the
time of the adoption of the Constitution was NOT
The Constitution of the United States provides that the
Supreme Court shall have "original jurisdiction" in all
cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers,
and consuls. In construing this constitutional provision,
the Supreme Court of the United States held that the
"original jurisdiction thus conferred upon the Supreme
Court by the Constitution was not exclusive
jurisdiction, and that such grant of original
The laws in force in the Philippines prior to the
inauguration of the Commonwealth conferred upon the
Courts of the First Instance original jurisdiction in all
criminal cases to which a penalty of more than six

months' imprisonment or a fine exceeding one

hundred dollars might be imposed. (Act No. 136, sec.
56.) Such jurisdiction included the trial of criminal
actions brought against consuls for, as we have
already indicated, consuls, not being entitled to the
privileges and immunities of ambassadors or
ministers, are subject to the laws and regulations of
the country where they reside jurisdiction did not
prevent Congress from conferring original jurisdiction
in cases affecting consuls on the subordinate courts of
the Union.
LAUREL J., concurring
What the Constitution prohibits is merely the
deprivation of the Supreme Court of its original
jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other
public ministers and consuls and while it must be
admitted that original jurisdiction if made concurrent
no longer remains exclusive, it is also true that
jurisdiction does not cease to be original merely
because it is concurrent.
Before the approval of the Constitution, jurisdiction
over consuls was exercisable by our courts. This is
more so now that the Independence Law and
Constitution framed and adopted pursuant thereto are
in force. The fact that the National Assembly has not
enacted any law determining what courts of the of the
Philippines shall exercise concurrent jurisdiction with
the Supreme Court is of no moment. This can not
mean and should not be interpreted to mean that the
original jurisdiction vested in the Supreme Court by
the Constitution is not concurrent with other national
courts of inferior category.

Realities existing





Gamboa v. Finance Sec. (G.R. No. 176579)

This is a petition to nullify the sale of shares of stock of
Philippine Telecommunications Investment Corporation
(PTIC) by the government of the Republic of the
Privatization Council (IPC), to Metro Pacific Assets
Holdings, Inc. (MPAH), an affiliate of First Pacific
Company Limited (First Pacific), a Hong Kong-based
investment management and holding company and a
shareholder of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone
Company (PLDT).
The petitioner questioned the sale on the ground that
it also involved an indirect sale of 12 million shares (or
about 6.3 percent of the outstanding common shares)
of PLDT owned by PTIC to First Pacific. With the this
sale, First Pacifics common shareholdings in PLDT
increased from 30.7 percent to 37 percent, thereby
increasing the total common shareholdings of
foreigners in PLDT to about 81.47%. This, according to
the petitioner, violates Section 11, Article XII of the
1987 Philippine Constitution which limits foreign
ownership of the capital of a public utility to not more
than 40%.
Does the term capital in Section 11, Article XII of the
Constitution refer to the total common shares only, or
to the total outstanding capital stock (combined total
of common and non-voting preferred shares) of PLDT,
a public utility?

[The Court partly granted the petition and held that
the term capital in Section 11, Article XII of the
Constitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to
vote in the election of directors of a public utility, or in
the instant case, to the total common shares of PLDT.]
Aquino v. COMELEC (62 SCRA 275)
In January 1975, a petition for prohibition was filed to
seek the nullification of some Presidential Decrees
issued by then President Ferdinand Marcos. It was
alleged that Marcos does not hold any legal office nor
possess any lawful authority under either the 1935
Constitution or the 1973 Constitution and therefore
proclamations, decrees and orders.
Whether or not the Marcos government is a lawful
Yes. First of, this is actually a quo warranto
proceedings and Benigno Aquino, Jr. et al, have no
legal personality to sue because they have no claim to
the office of the president. Only the Solicitor General
or the person who asserts title to the same office can
legally file such a quo warranto petition.
On the issue at bar, the Supreme Court affirmed the
validity of Martial Law Proclamation No. 1081 issued on
September 22, 1972 by President Marcos because
there was no arbitrariness in the issuance of said
proclamation pursuant to the 1935 Constitution; that

the factual bases (the circumstances of lawlessness

then present) had not disappeared but had even been
exacerbated; that the question as to the validity of the
Martial Law proclamation has been foreclosed by
Section 3(2) of Article XVII of the 1973 Constitution.
Under the (1973) Constitution, the President, if he so
desires; can continue in office beyond 1973. While his
term of office under the 1935 Constitution should have
terminated on December 30, 1973, by the general
referendum of July 27-28, 1973, the sovereign people
expressly authorized him to continue in office even
beyond 1973 under the 1973 Constitution (which was
validly ratified on January 17, 1973 by the sovereign
people) in order to finish the reforms he initiated under
Martial Law; and as aforestated, as this was the
decision of the people, in whom sovereignty
resides . . . and all government authority
emanates . . ., it is therefore beyond the scope of
judicial inquiry. The logical consequence therefore is
that President Marcos is a de jure President of the
Republic of the Philippines.
Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary (194
SCRA 317)
The petitioner are assailing the Executive Order No.
284 issued by the President allowing cabinet members,
undersecretary or asst. secretaries and other
appointive officials of the executive department to
hold 2 positions in the government and government
corporations and to receive additional compensation.
They find it unconstitutional against the provision
provided by Section 13, Article VII prohibiting the
President, Cabinet members and their deputies to hold

any other office or employment. Section 7, par. (2),

Article IX-B further states that Unless otherwise
allowed by law or by the primary functions of his
position, no appointive official shall hold any other
office or employment in the Government or any
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof,
including government-owned or controlled corporation
or their subsidiaries." In the opinion of the DOJ as
affirmed by the Solicitor General, the said Executive
Order is valid and constitutional as Section 7 of Article
IX-B stated unless otherwise allowed by law which is
construed to be an exemption from that stipulated on
Article VII, section 13, such as in the case of the Vice
President who is constitutionally allowed to become a
cabinet member and the Secretary of Justice as exofficio member of the Judicial and Bar Council.
Whether Section 7 of Article IX-B provides an
exemption to Article VII, section 13 of the constitution.
The court held it is not an exemption since the
legislative intent of both Constitutional provisions is to
prevent government officials from holding multiple
positions in the government for self enrichment which
is a betrayal of public trust. Section 7, Article I-XB is
meant to lay down the general rule applicable to all
elective and appointive public officials and employees,
while Section 13, Article VII is meant to be the
exception applicable only to the President, the VicePresident, Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and
assistants. Thus the phrase unless otherwise provided
by the Constitution in Section 13, Article VII cannot be
construed as a broad exception from Section 7 of
Article IX-B that is contrary to the legislative intent of

both constitutional provisions. Such phrase is only

limited to and strictly applies only to particular
instances of allowing the VP to become a cabinet
member and the Secretary of Justice as ex-officio
member of the Judicial and Bar Council. The court
thereby declared E.O 284 as null and void.
Poe-Llamanzares v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 221697,
March 8, 2016)

Legislative Debates
Luz Farms v. Secretary of DAR (192 SCRA 51)
This is a petition for prohibition with prayer for
restraining order and/or preliminary and permanent
injunction against the Honorable Secretary of the
Department of Agrarian Reform for acting without
jurisdiction in enforcing the assailed provisions of R.A.
No. 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 and in promulgating the
Guidelines and Procedure Implementing Production
and Profit Sharing under R.A. No. 6657, insofar as the
same apply to herein petitioner, and further from
performing an act in violation of the constitutional
rights of the petitioner. On June 10,1988, the President
of the Philippines approved R.A. No. 6657, which
includes the raising of livestock, poultry and swine in
its coverage (Rollo, p. 80). On January 2, 1989, the
Secretary of Agrarian Reform promulgated the
Guidelines and Procedures Implementing Production
and Profit Sharing as embodied in Sections 13 and 32
of R.A. No. 6657 (Rollo, p. 80). On January 9, 1989, the
Secretary of Agrarian Reform promulgated its Rules
and Regulations implementing Section 11 of R.A. No.

6657. Luz Farms, petitioner in this case, is a

corporation engaged in the livestock and poultry
business and together with others in the same
business allegedly stands to be adversely affected by
the enforcement of Section 3(b), Section 11, Section
13, Section 16(d) and 17 and Section 32 of R.A. No.
6657 otherwise known as Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Law and of the Guidelines and Procedures
Implementing Production and Profit Sharing under R.A.
No. 6657 promulgated on January 2,1989 and the
Rules and Regulations Implementing Section 11
thereof as promulgated by the DAR on January 9,1989.
Whether or not the Sections 3(b), 11, 13 and 32 of R.A.
No. 6657 (the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of
1988) is constitutional.
If legislature or the executive acts beyond the scope of
its constitutional powers, it becomes the duty of the
judiciary to declare what the other branches of the
government had assumed to do, as void? This is the
essence of judicial power conferred by the Constitution
"(I)n one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as
may be established by law" (Art. VIII, Section 1 of the
1935 Constitution; Article X, Section I of the 1973
Constitution and which was adopted as part of the
Freedom Constitution, and Article VIII, Section 1 of the
1987 Constitution) and which power this Court has
exercised in many instances (Demetria v. Alba, 148
SCRA 208 [1987]). (
reason why it was held as the court did
) PREMISES CONSIDERED, the instant petition is hereby
GRANTED. Sections 3(b), 11, 13 and 32 of R.A. No.
6657 insofar as the inclusion of the raising of livestock,

poultry and swine in its coverage as well as the

Implementing Rules and Guidelines promulgated in
accordance therewith, are hereby DECLARED null and

void for being unconstitutional and the writ of

preliminary injunction issued is hereby MADE
permanent. SO ORDERED.