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Treasurer of the Philippine Islands,plaintiff-appellee, vs. EL MONTE DE PIEDAD Y

CAJA DE AHORRAS DE MANILA, defendant-appellant.

Digest by: Mikee Yang

DOCTRINE of PARENS PATRIAE: The government being the protector of rights of the
people has the inherent supreme power to enforce such laws that will promote the public
interest. No other party has been entrusted with such right hence as parents of the

1. June 3, 1863: devastating earthquake took place in the Philippines.
2. About 400,000 dollars were paid into the treasury of the Philippine Islands by the
Spanish Dominions for the relief of the victims.
3. The relief board allotted $365,703.50 to the various sufferers name in its resolution.
4. Feb 1, 1833: petition was raised by the governing body of the Monte de Piedad
5. The Philippine Government directed its treasurer to turnover Monte de Piedad the
sum of $80,000 of relief fund in installment of 20,000 each which were received on
February 15, March 12, April 14, and June 2, 1883.
6. June 1893: Department of Finance called upon the Monte de Piedad to return the
$80,000. Monte de Piedad declined to comply with the reason that only the
Governor General of the Philippine Islands has the right to order the
reimbursement and not the Department of Finance.
7. As a result, various petitions were filed including the heirs of those entitled to the
8. The Attorney General, representing the Philippine Islands, filed a case against
Monte de Piedad for a recover of the $80,000 with interest for the benefit of those
persons or the heirs which were published in the OG on May 3, 1912.
9. After due trial in the lower court, judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiff for
the sum of $80,000 gold or its equivalent in Philippine currency, together with legal
interest from February 28, 1912 and the costs of the cause.
10. Monte de Piedad appealed and contended that the suit could be instituted only by
intended beneficiaries themselves or by the heirs. Generally, the Philippine
Government cannot file the suit on the ground that the obligation of the former was
wiped out when there was a change of sovereignty.

WON the Philippine Government has the authority to file a suit against Monte de Piedad
for the recovery of the said amount.

YES. The Philippine government has the right to file the case as PARENS PATRIAE in
representation of the legitimate claimants. The government of the state has the right to
enforce all charities of public nature, by virtue of its general superintending authority over
the public interests, where no other person is entrusted with it.

This prerogative of PARENS PATRIAE is inherent in the supreme power of every State,
whether that power is lodged in a royal person or in the legislature, and has no affinity to
those arbitrary powers which are sometimes exerted by irresponsible monarchs to the
great detriment of the people and the destruction of their liberties. On the contrary, it is a
most beneficient functions, and often necessary to be exercised in the interest of
humanity, and for the prevention of injury to those who cannot protect themselves.

The beneficiaries of charities, who are often in capable of vindicating their rights, and
justly look for protection to the sovereign authority, acting as parens patriae. They show
that this beneficient functions has not ceased to exist under the change of government
from a monarchy to a republic; but that it now resides in the legislative department, ready
to be called into exercise whenever required for the purposes of justice and right, and is
a clearly capable of being exercised in cases of charities as in any other cases whatever.