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A. Sources of International Law
1987 Constitution Art II Sec 2
The Philippines renounces war as
an instrument of national policy, adopts
the generally accepted principles of
international law as part of the law of the
land and adheres to the policy of peace,
equality, justice, freedom, cooperation,
and amity with all nations.
B. Bayan Muna v. Alberto Romulo
Under international law, there is no
difference between treaties and
executive agreements in terms of their
binding effects on the contracting states
concerned, as long as the negotiating
functionaries have remained within their
powers. However, a treaty has greater
dignity than an executive agreement,
because its constitutional efficacy is
beyond doubt, a treaty having behind it
the authority of the President, the
Senate, and the people; a ratified treaty,
unlike an executive agreement, takes
precedence over any prior statutory
enactment. Petitioner, in this case,
argues that the Non-Surrender
Agreement between the Philippines and
the US is of dubious validity, partaking as
it does of the nature of a treaty; hence, it
must be duly concurred in by the Senate.
Petitioner relies on the case,
Commissioner of Customs v. Eastern Sea
Trading, in which the Court stated:
international agreements involving
political issues or changes of national
policy and those involving international
arrangements of a permanent character
usually take the form of treaties; while
those embodying adjustments of detail
carrying out well established national
policies and traditions and those
involving arrangements of a more or less
temporary nature take the form of
executive agreements. According to
petitioner, the subject of the Agreement
does not fall under any of the subjectcategories that are enumerated in the
Eastern Sea Trading case that may be
covered by an executive agreement, such
as commercial/consular relations, mostfavored nation rights, patent rights,
trademark and copyright protection,
postal and navigation arrangements and
settlement of claims. The Supreme Court
held, however, that the categorization of
subject matters that may be covered by
international agreements mentioned in
Eastern Sea Trading is not cast in stone.

There are no hard and fast rules on the

propriety of entering, on a given subject,
into a treaty or an executive agreement
as an instrument of international
relations. The primary consideration in
the choice of the form of agreement is
the parties intent and desire to craft an
international agreement in the form they
so wish to further their respective
interests. The matter of form takes a
back seat when it comes to effectiveness
and binding effect of the enforcement of
a treaty or an executive agreement, as
the parties in either international
agreement each labor under the pacta
sunt servanda principle. Bayan Muna, as
represented by Rep. Satur Ocampo, et al.
v. Alberto Romulo, in his capacity as
Executive Secretary, et al. G.R. No.
159618, February 1, 2011.
Petitioner Bayan Muna is a duly
registered party-list group established to
represent the marginalized sectors of
society. Respondent Blas F. Ople, now
deceased, was the Secretary of Foreign
Affairs during the period material to this
case. Respondent Alberto Romulo was
impleaded in his capacity as then
Executive Secretary.
Rome Statute
Criminal Court




Having a key determinative bearing on

this case is the Rome Statute establishing
the International Criminal Court (ICC)
with the power to exercise its
jurisdiction over persons for the most
serious crimes of international concern x
x x and shall be complementary to the
national criminal jurisdictions. The
serious crimes adverted to cover those
considered grave under international law,
such as genocide, crimes against
humanity, war crimes, and crimes of
On December 28, 2000, the RP, through
Charge dAffaires Enrique A. Manalo,
signed the Rome Statute which, by its
acceptance or approval by the signatory
states. As of the filing of the instant
petition, only 92 out of the 139 signatory
countries appear to have completed the
ratification, approval and concurrence
process. The Philippines is not among the

RP-US Non-Surrender Agreement

On May 9, 2003, then Ambassador
Francis J. Ricciardone sent US Embassy
Note No. 0470 to the Department of
Foreign Affairs (DFA) proposing the terms
of the non-surrender bilateral agreement
(Agreement, hereinafter) between the
USA and the RP.
Via Exchange of Notes No. BFO-028-037
dated May 13, 2003 (E/N BFO-028-03,
hereinafter), the RP, represented by then
DFA Secretary Ople, agreed with and
accepted the US proposals embodied
under the US Embassy Note adverted to
and put in effect the Agreement with the
US government. In esse, the Agreement
aims to protect what it refers to and
defines as persons of the RP and US
from frivolous and harassment suits that
might be brought against them in
international tribunals.8 It is reflective of
the increasing pace of the strategic
between the two countries. As of May 2,
2003, similar bilateral agreements have
been effected by and between the US
and 33 other countries.
The Agreement pertinently provides as
1. For purposes of this Agreement,
personnel or nationals of one Party.
2. Persons of one Party present in the
territory of the other shall not, absent the
express consent of the first Party,
(a) be surrendered or transferred by any
means to any international tribunal for
any purpose, unless such tribunal has
been established by the UN Security
Council, or
(b) be surrendered or transferred by any
means to any other entity or third
country, or expelled to a third country,
for the purpose of surrender to or
transfer to any international tribunal,
unless such tribunal has been established
by the UN Security Council.
3. When the [US] extradites, surrenders,
or otherwise transfers a person of the
Philippines to a third country, the [US]
will not agree to the surrender or transfer
of that person by the third country to any

tribunal has been established by the UN
Security Council, absent the express
consent of the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines [GRP].
4. When the [GRP] extradites, surrenders,
or otherwise transfers a person of the
[USA] to a third country, the [GRP] will
not agree to the surrender or transfer of
that person by the third country to any
tribunal has been established by the UN
Security Council, absent the express
consent of the Government of the [US].
5. This Agreement shall remain in force
until one year after the date on which
one party notifies the other of its intent
to terminate the Agreement. The
provisions of this Agreement shall
continue to apply with respect to any act
occurring, or any allegation arising,
before the effective date of termination.
In response to a query of then Solicitor
General Alfredo L. Benipayo on the status
Ambassador Ricciardone replied in his
letter of October 28, 2003 that the
exchange of diplomatic notes constituted
a legally binding agreement under
international law; and that, under US law,
the said agreement did not require the
advice and consent of the US Senate.
In this proceeding, petitioner imputes
grave abuse of discretion to respondents
Agreement and prays that it be struck
down as unconstitutional, or at least
declared as without force and effect.
Issue: Whether or not the RP-US NON
SURRENDER AGREEMENT is void ab initio
for contracting obligations that are either
immoral or otherwise at variance with
universally recognized principles of
international law.
Ruling: The petition is bereft of merit.
Validity of




Petitioners initial challenge against the

Agreement relates to form, its threshold
posture being that E/N BFO-028-03
cannot be a valid medium for concluding
the Agreement.

Petitioners contentionperhaps taken

unaware of certain well-recognized
international doctrines, practices, and
jargonsis untenable. One of these is the
doctrine of incorporation, as expressed in
Section 2, Article II of the Constitution,
wherein the Philippines adopts the
jurisprudence as part of the law of the
land and adheres to the policy of peace,
cooperation, and amity with all nations.
An exchange of notes falls into the
agreements, which is an internationally
agreement. The United Nations Treaty
Collections (Treaty Reference Guide)
defines the term as follows:
An exchange of notes is a record of a
routine agreement, that has many
similarities with the private law contract.
The agreement consists of the exchange
of two documents, each of the parties
being in the possession of the one signed
by the representative of the other. Under
the usual procedure, the accepting State
repeats the text of the offering State to
record its assent. The signatories of the
letters may be government Ministers,
diplomats or departmental heads. The
technique of exchange of notes is
frequently resorted to, either because of
its speedy procedure, or, sometimes, to
avoid the process of legislative approval.
In another perspective, the terms
exchange of notes and executive
interchangeably, exchange of notes
being considered a form of executive
agreement that becomes binding through
executive action. On the other hand,
executive agreements concluded by the
President sometimes take the form of
exchange of notes and at other times
Commissioner to the Philippines Francis
B. Sayre observed in his work, The
Constitutionality of Trade Agreement
The point where ordinary correspondence
between this and other governments

denominated executive agreements or
exchange of notes or otherwise begin,

may sometimes be difficult of ready

ascertainment. x x x
It is fairly clear from the foregoing
disquisition that E/N BFO-028-03be it
viewed as the Non-Surrender Agreement
itself, or as an integral instrument of
acceptance thereof or as consent to be
concluding a legally binding international
written contract among nations.
Agreement Not Immoral/Not at Variance
with Principles of International Law
Petitioner urges that the Agreement be
struck down as void ab initio for imposing
immoral obligations and/or being at
recognized principles of international law.
The immoral aspect proceeds from the
fact that the Agreement, as petitioner
would put it, leaves criminals immune
from responsibility for unimaginable
conscience of humanity; x x x it
precludes our country from delivering an
American criminal to the [ICC] x x x.63
The above argument is a kind of recycling
of petitioners earlier position, which, as
already discussed, contends that the RP,
by entering into the Agreement, virtually
abdicated its sovereignty and in the
process undermined its treaty obligations
under the Rome Statute, contrary to
international law principles.
The Court is not persuaded. Suffice it to
state in this regard that the nonsurrender agreement, as aptly described
by the Solicitor General, is an assertion
by the Philippines of its desire to try and
punish crimes under its national law. x x
x The agreement is a recognition of the
primacy and competence of the countrys
judiciary to try offenses under its national
criminal laws and dispense justice fairly
and judiciously.
Petitioner, we believe, labors under the
erroneous impression that the Agreement
would allow Filipinos and Americans
committing high crimes of international
concern to escape criminal trial and
punishment. This is manifestly incorrect.
Persons who may have committed acts
penalized under the Rome Statute can be
prosecuted and punished in the
Philippines or in the US; or with the
consent of the RP or the US, before the
ICC, assuming, for the nonce, that all the

formalities necessary to bind both

countries to the Rome Statute have been
met. For perspective, what the
Agreement contextually prohibits is the
surrender by either party of individuals to
international tribunals, like the ICC,
without the consent of the other party,
which may desire to prosecute the crime
under its existing laws. With the view we
take of things, there is nothing immoral
or violative of international law concepts
in the act of the Philippines of assuming
criminal jurisdiction pursuant to the nonsurrender agreement over an offense
considered criminal by both Philippine
laws and the Rome Statute.

V. Ordinances
White Light Corp vs City of Manila
Police Power Not Validly
Infringement of Private Rights


On 3 Dec 1992, then Mayor Lim signed into law

Ord 7774 entitled An Ordinance prohibiting
short time admission in hotels, motels, lodging
establishments in the City of Manila. White Light
Corp is an operator of mini hotels and motels
who sought to have the Ordinance be nullified as
the said Ordinance infringes on the private
rights of their patrons. The RTC ruled in favor of
WLC. It ruled that the Ordinance strikes at the
personal liberty of the individual guaranteed by
the Constitution. The City maintains that the
ordinance is valid as it is a valid exercise of
police power. Under the LGC, the City is
empowered to regulate the establishment,
restaurants, beerhouses, hotels, motels, inns,
pension houses, lodging houses and other
similar establishments, including tourist guides
and transports. The CA ruled in favor of the City.
ISSUE: Whether or not Ord 7774 is valid.
HELD: The SC ruled that the said ordinance is
null and void as it indeed infringes upon
individual liberty. It also violates the due process
clause which serves as a guaranty for protection
against arbitrary regulation or seizure. The said
ordinance invades private rights. Note that not
all who goes into motels and hotels for wash up
rate are really there for obscene purposes only.
Some are tourists who needed rest or to wash
up or to freshen up. Hence, the infidelity sought
to be avoided by the said ordinance is more or
less subjected only to a limited group of people.
The SC reiterates that individual rights may be
adversely affected only to the extent that may

fairly be required by the legitimate demands of

public interest or public welfare.

VI. Administrative Issuances, Rules

and Regulations
A. Administrative Code Book IV, Ch 11
Administrative Issuances
SECTION 50. General Classification of
Issuances.The administrative issuances
of Secretaries and heads of bureaus,
offices or agencies shall be in the form of
circulars or orders.
(1) Circulars shall refer to issuances
regulations, and procedures promulgated
pursuant to law, applicable to individuals
Government and designed to supplement
provisions of the law or to provide means
information relating thereto; and
(2) Orders shall refer to issuances
directed to particular offices, officials, or
employees, concerning specific matters
transfer of personnel, for observance or
compliance by all concerned.
SECTION 51. Numbering System of
Issuances.Every circular or order issued
pursuant to the preceding section shall
properly be identified as such and
chronologically numbered. Each class of
issuance shall begin with number 1 for
each calendar year.
SECTION 52. Official Logbook.Each
department, bureau, office or agency
shall keep and preserve a logbook in
which shall be recorded in chronological
order, all final official acts, decisions,
transactions or contracts, pertaining to
the department, bureau, office or agency.
Whenever the performance of an official
act is in issue, the date and the time
record in the logbook shall be controlling.
The logbook shall be in the custody of the
chief Administrative Officer concerned
and shall be open to the public for
Application of the Classification of
Issuances.(1) The Records Management
and Archives Office in the General

Services Administration shall provide

such assistance as may be necessary to
effect general adherence to the foregoing
classification of issuances, including the
conduct of studies for developing subclassifications and guidelines to meet
peculiar needs; and
(2) All administrative issuances of a
general or permanent character shall be
compiled, indexed and published
pursuant to the provisions of this Code.
B. Administrative Code Book IV, Ch 6, Sec
SECTION 36. Authority to Prescribe Forms
and Issue Regulations.(1) The head of a
bureau or office shall prescribe forms and
issue circulars or orders to secure the
harmonious and efficient administration
of his bureau or office and to carry into
full effect the laws relating to matters
within his jurisdiction. Penalties shall not
be prescribed in any circular or order for
its violation, except as expressly allowed
by law;
(2) Heads of bureaus or offices are
authorized to issue orders regarding the
administration of their internal affairs for
the guidance of or compliance by their
officers and employees;
(3) Regional directors are authorized to
issue circulars of purely informational or
implementing nature and orders relating
to the administration of the internal
affairs of regional offices and units within
their supervision; and
(4) Issuances under paragraphs (2) and
(3) hereof shall not require, for their
effectivity, approval by the Secretary or
other authority.
C. Civil Code Art 7
Article 7. Laws are repealed only by
subsequent ones, and their violation or
non-observance shall not be excused by
disuse, or custom or practice to the
When the courts declared a law to be
inconsistent with the Constitution, the
former shall be void and the latter shall
Administrative or executive acts, orders
and regulations shall be valid only when
they are not contrary to the laws or the
Constitution. (5a)
D. Tanada vs. Tuvera 1986

This is a motion for reconsideration of the
decision promulgated on April 24, 1985.
Respondent argued that while publication was
necessary as a rule, it was not so when it was
otherwise as when the decrees themselves
declared that they were to become effective
immediately upon their approval.
1. Whether or not a distinction be made
between laws of general applicability and laws
which are not as to their publication;
2. Whether or not a publication shall be made in
publications of general circulation.
The clause unless it is otherwise provided
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 in any
other date, without its previous publication.
Laws should refer to all laws and not only to
those of general application, for strictly
speaking, all laws relate to the people in general
albeit there are some that do not apply to them
directly. A law without any bearing on the public
would be invalid as an intrusion of privacy or as
class legislation or as an ultra vires act of the
legislature. To be valid, the law must invariably
affect the public interest eve if it might be
directly applicable only to one individual, or
some of the people only, and not to the public as
a whole.
All statutes, including those of local application
and private laws, shall be published as a
condition for their effectivity, which shall begin
15 days after publication unless a different
effectivity date is fixed by the legislature.
Publication must be in full or it is no publication
at all, since its purpose is to inform the public of
the content of the law.
Article 2 of the Civil Code provides that
publication of laws must be made in the Official
Gazette, and not elsewhere, as a requirement
for their effectivity. The Supreme Court is not
called upon to rule upon the wisdom of a law or
to repeal or modify it if it finds it impractical.
The publication must be made forthwith, or at
least as soon as possible.

J. Cruz:
Laws must come out in the open in the clear
light of the sun instead of skulking in the
shadows with their dark, deep secrets.
Mysterious pronouncements and rumored rules
cannot be recognized as binding unless their
existence and contents are confirmed by a valid
publication intended to make full disclosure and
give proper notice to the people. The furtive law
is like a scabbarded saber that cannot faint,
parry or cut unless the naked blade is drawn.
E. Commissioner of Customs vs. Hypermix
Commissioner of Customs issued CMO 27-2003
(Customs Memorandum Order). Under the
memorandum, for tariff purposes, wheat is
classified according to: 1. Importer or consignee,
2. Country of origin, and 3. Port of discharge.
Depending on these factors wheat would be
classified as either as food grade or food feed.
The corresponding tariff for food grade wheat
was 3%, for food feed grade 7%. A month after
the issuance of CMO 27-200 respondent filed a
petition for declaratory for Relief with the
Regional Trial Court of Las Pias City.
Respondent contented that CMO 27-2003 was
issued without following the mandate of the
participation, prior notice, and publication or
registration with University of the Philippines
Law Canter. Respondent also alleged that the
regulation summarily adjudged it to be a feed
grade supplier without the benefit of prior
assessment and examination, despite having
imported food grade wheat, it would be
subjected to the 7% tariff upon the arrival of the
shipment, forcing to pay 133%. Respondent also
claimed that the equal protection clause of the
Constitution was violated and asserted that the
retroactive application of the regulation was
confiscatory in nature.
Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss. They
alleged that: 1. The RTC did not have jurisdiction
over the subject matter of the case, 2. an action
for declaratory relief (Rule 63, Sec.1 who may
file petition) was improper, 3. CMO 27-2003
was internal administrative rule not legislative in
nature, and 4. The claims of respondent were
speculative and premature, because the Bureau
of Customs had yet to examine respondents
RTC held that a petition for declaratory
relief was proper remedy, and that respondent
was the proper party to file it.
Whether or not the CMO 27-2003 of the
petitioner met the requirements for the Revised

Administrative Code? Whether or not the

content of the CMO 27-2003 met the
requirement of the equal protection clause of
the Constitution?
No, they did not. The petitioners violated
respondents right to due process in the
issuance of CMO 27-2003 when they failed to
Administrative Code which are:
Sec 3. Filing. (1) Every agency shall file with the
University of the Philippines Law Center three
(3) certified copies of every rule adopted by it.
Rules in force on the date of effectively of this
Code which are not filed within three (3) months
from that date shall not thereafter be the bases
of any sanction against any party of persons.
Sec 9. Public Participation. - (1) If not otherwise
required by law, an agency shall, as far as
practicable, publish or circulate notices of
proposed rules and afford interested parties the
opportunity to submit their views prior to the
adoption of any rule. (2) In the fixing of rates, no
rule or final order shall be valid unless the
proposed rates shall have been published in a
newspaper of general circulation at least 2
weeks before the first hearing thereon.(3) In
case of opposition, the rules on contested cases
shall be observed.
No. CMO 27-2003 did not meet these
requirements. For a classification to be
reasonable, it must be shown that 1. it rests on
substantial distinctions; 2. it is germane to the
purpose of the law; 3. it is not limited to existing
conditions only; and 4. it applies equally to all
members of the same class. Petitioners violated
respondents right to equal protection of laws
when they provided for unreasonable
classification in the application of the regulation.
Petitioner Commissioner of Customs went
beyond his powers of delegated authority when
the regulation limited the powers of the customs
officer to examine and assess imported articles

VII. Presidential Issuances

A. Admin Code Book III
CHAPTER 1 - Power of Control
SECTION 1. Power of Control.The
President shall have control of all the executive
departments, bureaus, and offices. He shall
ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.
CHAPTER 2 - Ordinance Power
SECTION 2. Executive Orders.Acts of
the President providing for rules of a general or
permanent character in implementation or
execution of constitutional or statutory powers
shall be promulgated in executive orders.

SECTION 3. Administrative Orders.Acts

of the President which relate to particular
pursuance of his duties as administrative head
shall be promulgated in administrative orders.
SECTION 4. Proclamations.Acts of the
President fixing a date or declaring a status or
condition of public moment or interest, upon the
existence of which the operation of a specific
law or regulation is made to depend, shall be
promulgated in proclamations which shall have
the force of an executive order.
SECTION 5. Memorandum Orders.Acts
of the President on matters of administrative
detail or of subordinate or temporary interest
which only concern a particular officer or office
of the Government shall be embodied in
memorandum orders.
SECTION 6. Memorandum Circulars.
Acts of the President on matters relating to
internal administration, which the President
desires to bring to the attention of all or some of
the departments, agencies, bureaus or offices of
the Government, for information or compliance,
shall be embodied in memorandum circulars.
SECTION 7. General or Special Orders.
Acts and commands of the President in his
capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines shall be issued as
general or special orders.
VIII. Lack of Applicable Law
A. Civil Code Art 9
Article 9. No judge or court shall decline to
render judgment by reason of the silence,
obscurity or insufficiency of the laws. (6)
B. Silverio vs. Republic 2007
petitioner: Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio
respondent: Republic of the Philippines
On November 26, 2002, Silverio field a petition
for the change of his first name Rommel
Jacinto to Mely and his sex from male to
female in his birth certificate in the RTC of
Manila, Branch 8, for reason of his sex
reassignment. He alleged that he is a male
transsexual, he is anatomically male but thinks
and acts like a female. The Regional Trial Court
ruled in favor of him, explaining that it is
consonance with the principle of justice and
The Republic, through the OSG, filed a petition
for certiorari in the Court of Appeals alleging
that there is no law allowing change of name by
reason of sex alteration. Petitioner filed a

reconsideration but was denied. Hence, this

WON change in name and sex in birth certificate
are allowed by reason of sex reassignment.
No. A change of name is a privilege and not a
right. It may be allowed in cases where the
name is ridiculous, tainted with dishonor, or
difficult to pronounce or write; a nickname is
habitually used; or if the change will avoid
confusion. The petitioners basis of the change
of his name is that he intends his first name
compatible with the sex he thought he
transformed himself into thru surgery. The Court
says that his true name does not prejudice him
at all, and no law allows the change of entry in
the birth certificate as to sex on the ground of
sex reassignment. The Court denied the petition.
C. Reyes vs. Lim 2003
Petitioner Reyes filed a complaint for annulment
of contract and damages against respondent
Lim and Harrison Lumber. In his complaint he
alleged that he and Lim entered into a contract
to sell a parcel of land wherein the other
respondent Harrison Lumber was occupying as
lessee. That petitioner had informed Harrison
Lumber to vacate the property and if they failed
to vacate, he will hold them liable for the
penalty of 400,000 a month as provided in the
contract to sell. He further alleged that Lim
connived with Harrison Lumber not to vacate the
property until the 400,000 monthly penalties
would have accumulated and equaled the
unpaid purchase price of 18,000. Harrison in
their answer denies the allegation of connivance
between them and Lim to defraud Reyes. They
alleged that Reyes approved their request to
extend their time to vacate the premise due to
the difficulty in finding a new location for their
business. While Lim in his answer alleged that
he was ready and willing to pay the balance of
the purchase price and requested a meeting
with Reyes but Reyes kept on postponing the
meeting and instead offered to return the
10,000,000 down payment because Reyes has a
hard time in removing the lessee to the property
but Lim rejected the offer and proceeded to
verify the status of Reyes title to the property,
and he learned that it was already sold to Line
One Corporation.
(1) Whether or not the act of Reyes constitute
unjust enrichment

(2) Whether or not the principle of unjust

enrichment applies to procedural remedies
The principle that no person may unjustly enrich
himself at the expense of another is embodied in
Article 22 of the Civil Code. This principle applies
not only to substantive rights but also to
procedural remedies. One condition for invoking
this principle is that the aggrieved party has no
other action based on contract, quasi-contract,
crime, quasi-delict or any other provision of law.
Courts can extend this condition to the hiatus in
the Rules of Court where the aggrieved party,
during the pendency of the case, has no other
recourse based on the provisional remedies of
the Rules of Court. Thus, a court may not permit
a seller to retain, pendente lite, money paid by a

buyer if the seller himself seeks rescission of the

sale because he has subsequently sold the same
property to another buyer. By seeking rescission,
a seller necessarily offers to return what he has
received from the buyer. Such a seller may not
take back his offer if the court deems it
equitable, to prevent unjust enrichment and
ensure restitution, to put the money in judicial
There is unjust enrichment when a person
unjustly retains a benefit to the loss of another,
or when a person retains money or property of
another against the fundamental principles of
justice, equity and good conscience. In this case,
it was just, equitable and proper for the trial
court to order the deposit of the P10 million
down payment to prevent unjust enrichment by
Reyes at the expense of Lim.