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FRANCE) request for arbitration, but it was refused by Libya (D). A sole arbitrator was however
appointed by the International Court of Justice on Texaco’s request, and Libya (D) was
Brief Fact Summary. Australia and New Zealand (P) requested France (D) to put an halt found to have breached its obligations under the Deeds of Concessions and was also
to atmospheric nuclear test in the South Pacific. legally bound to perform in accordance with their terms.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Declaration made through unilateral acts may have the effect Issue. Whenever reference is being made to general principles of law in the
of creating legal obligations. International arbitration context, can this be held to be a sufficient criterion for the
internationalization of a contract?
Facts. A series of nuclear tests was completed by France (D) in the South Pacific. This
action made Australia and New Zealand (P) to apply to the I.C.J. demanding that France Held. Yes. Whenever reference is been made to general principles of law in the
(D) cease testing immediately. Before the case could be completed, France (D) international arbitration context, it is always held to be a sufficient criterion for the
announced it had completed the test and did not plan any further test. So France (D) internationalization of a contract. The lack of adequate law in the state considered and
moved for the dismissal of the application. the need to protect the private contracting party against unilateral and abrupt
modifications of law in the contracting state is a justification to the recourse to general
Issue. May declaration made through unilateral act has effect of creating legal principles. Though international law involves subjects of a diversified nature, legal
obligations? international capacity is not solely attributable to a state. A private contracting party,
unlike a state, has only a limited capacity and is limited to invoke only those rights that
he derives from his contract.
Held. Yes. Declaration made through unilateral acts may have the effect of creating legal
obligations. In this case, the statement made by the President of France must be held to
constitute an engagement of the State in regard to the circumstances and intention with Discussion. Applying Libyan law or international law in the arbitration proceedings was
which they were made. Therefore, these statement made by the France (D) are relevant a conflict encountered by in this case. Though the contract itself deferred to Libyan law,
and legally binding. Application was dismissed. the court noted that Libyan law does not preclude the application of international law,
but that the two must be combined in order to verify that Libyan law complies with
international law. Even though the right of a state to nationalize is recognized by
Discussion. The unilateral statements made by French authorities were first relayed to
international law, this right in itself is not a sufficient justification not to regard its
the government of Australia. There was no need for the statements to be directed to any
contractual obligations
particular state for it to have legal effect. The general nature and characteristics of the
statements alone were relevant for evaluation of their legal implications.
333 SCRA 13; G.R. No. 128845; June 1, 2000
FACTS: International School Alliance of Educators (the School) hires both foreign and
Brief Fact Summary. A decree which attempted to nationalize all of Texaco’s (P) rights, local teachers as members of its faculty, classifying the same into two: (1) foreign-hires
interest and property in Libya was promulgated by Libya (D). and (2) local-hires.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Whenever reference is been made to general principles of law In which, the School grants foreign-hires certain benefits not accorded local-hires
in the international arbitration context, it is always held to be a sufficient criterion for including housing, transportation, shipping costs, taxes, home leave travel allowance
the internationalization of a contract. and a salary rate 25% more than local hires based on “significant economic
Facts. A decree to nationalize all Texaco’s (P) rights, interest and property in Libya was
promulgated by Libya (D). This action of the Libyan Government led Texaco (P) to
The labor union and the collective bargaining representative of all faculty members of Czechoslovakia (D) began work on damming the river in its territory when Hungary (P)
the School, contested the difference in salary rates between foreign and local-hires. stopped working on the project and negotiation could not resolve the matter which led
Hungary (P) to terminate the Treaty. Hungary (P) based its action on the fact that the
The Union claims that the point-of-hire classification employed by the School is damming of the river had been agreed to only on the ground of a joint operation and
discriminatory to Filipinos and that the grant of higher salaries to foreign-hires sharing of benefits associated with the project, to which Czechoslovakia (D) had
constitutes racial discrimination. unlawfully unilaterally assumed control of a shared resource.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Union can invoke the equal protection clause to justify its Issue. Shall watercourse states participate in the use, development and protection of an
claim of parity. international watercourse in an equitable and reasonable manner?

RULING: Yes. The Labor Code’s and the Constitution’s provisions impregnably Held. Yes. Watercourse states shall participate in the use, development and protection of
institutionalize in this jurisdiction the long honored legal truism of "equal pay for equal an international watercourse in an equitable and reasonable manner. Hungary (P) was
work." Persons who work with substantially equal qualifications, skill, effort and deprived of its rights to an equitable and reasonable share of the natural resources of
responsibility, under similar conditions, should be paid similar salaries. the Danube by Czechoslovakia (D) and also failed to respect the proportionality that is
required by international law. Cooperative administration must be reestablished by the
If an employer accords employees the same position and rank, the presumption is that parties of what remains of the project.
these employees perform equal work. If the employer pays one employee less than the
rest, it is not for that employee to explain why he receives less or why the others receive Discussion. The Court’s decision was that the joint regime must be restored. In order to
more. That would be adding insult to injury. achieve most of the Treaty’s objectives, common utilization of shared water resources
was necessary. Hence, the defendant was not authorized to proceed without the
The employer in this case has failed to discharge this burden. There is no evidence here plaintiff’s consent.
that foreign-hires perform 25% more efficiently or effectively than the local-hires. Both
groups have similar functions and responsibilities, which they perform under similar
Hence, the Court finds the point-of-hire classification employed by respondent School to
justify the distinction in the salary rates of foreign-hires and local hires to be an invalid The case was brought before the Court by Application by the United States following the
classification. There is no reasonable distinction between the services rendered by occupation of its Embassy in Tehran by Iranian militants on 4 November 1979, and the
foreign-hires and local-hires. capture and holding as hostages of its diplomatic and consular staff. On a request by the
United States for the indication of provisional measures, the Court held that there was
GABCIKOVO-NAGYMAROS PROJECT (HUNGARY/SLOVAKIA) no more fundamental prerequisite for relations between States than the inviolability of
diplomatic envoys and embassies, and it indicated provisional measures for ensuring the
immediate restoration to the United States of the Embassy premises and the release of
Brief Fact Summary. Hungary (P) claimed that Czechoslovakia (D) violated the
the hostages. In its decision on the merits of the case, at a time when the situation
provisions of a treaty when it appropriated the waters of the Danube River to construct
complained of still persisted, the Court, in its Judgment of 24 May 1980, found that Iran
a dam.
had violated and was still violating obligations owed by it to the United States under
conventions in force between the two countries and rules of general international law,
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Watercourse states shall participate in the use, development that the violation of these obligations engaged its responsibility, and that the Iranian
and protection of an international watercourse in an equitable and reasonable manner. Government was bound to secure the immediate release of the hostages, to restore the
Embassy premises, and to make reparation for the injury caused to the United States
Facts. In 1977, Hungary (P) and Czechoslovakia (D) signed a Treaty for the construction Government. The Court reaffirmed the cardinal importance of the principles of
of dams and other projects along the Danube River that bordered both nations. international law governing diplomatic and consular relations. It pointed out that while,
during the events of 4 November 1979, the conduct of militants could not be directly MARCOS VS MANGLAPUS
attributed to the Iranian State — for lack of sufficient information — that State had G.R. No. 88211 September 15 1989
however done nothing to prevent the attack, stop it before it reached its completion or
oblige the militants to withdraw from the premises and release the hostages. The Court FACTS:
noted that, after 4 November 1979, certain organs of the Iranian State had endorsed the
acts complained of and decided to perpetuate them, so that those acts were transformed Former President Marcos, after his and his family spent three year exile in Hawaii, USA,
into acts of the Iranian State. The Court gave judgment, notwithstanding the absence of sought to return to the Philippines. The call is about to request of Marcos family to order
the Iranian Government and after rejecting the reasons put forward by Iran in two the respondents to issue travel order to them and to enjoin the petition of the
communications addressed to the Court in support of its assertion that the Court could President's decision to bar their return to the Philippines.
not and should not entertain the case. The Court was not called upon to deliver a further
judgment on the reparation for the injury caused to the United States Government since, ISSUE:
by Order of 12 May 1981, the case was removed from the List following discontinuance. Whether or not, in the exercise of the powers granted by the Constitution, the President
may prohibit the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines.
In November 1950, the General Assembly asked the Court a series of questions as to the According to Section 1, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution: "The executive power shall
position of a State which attached reservations to its signature of the multilateral be vested in the President of the Philippines." The phrase, however, does not define what
Convention on Genocide if other States, signatories of the same Convention, objected to is meant by executive power although the same article tackles on exercises of certain
these reservations. The Court considered, in its Advisory Opinion of 28 May 1951, that, powers by the President such as appointing power during recess of the
even if a convention contained no article on the subject of reservations, it did not follow Congress (S.16), control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices (Section
that they were prohibited. The character of the convention, its purposes and its 17), power to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures,
provisions must be taken into account. It was the compatibility of the reservation with after conviction by final judgment (Section 19), treaty making power (Section
the purpose of the convention which must furnish the criterion of the attitude of the 21), borrowing power (Section 20), budgetary power (Section 22), informing
State making the reservation, and of the State which objected thereto. The Court did not power (Section 23).
consider that it was possible to give an absolute answer to the abstract question put to The Constitution may have grant powers to the President, it cannot be said to be limited
it. As regards the effects of the reservation in relations between States, the Court only to the specific powers enumerated in the Constitution. Whatever power inherent in
considered that a State could not be bound by a reservation to which it had not the government that is neither legislative nor judicial has to be executive.
consented. Every State was therefore free to decide for itself whether the State which
formulated the reservation was or was not a party to the convention. The situation SECRETARY OF JUSTICE v. LANTION
presented real disadvantages, but they could only be remedied by the insertion in the
convention of an article on the use of reservations. A third question referred to the FACTS:
effects of an objection by a State which was not yet a party to the convention, either Secretary Of Justice Franklin Drilon, representing the Government of the Republic of the
because it had not signed it or because it had signed but not ratified it. The Court was of Philippines, signed in Manila the “extradition Treaty Between the Government of the
the opinion that, as regards the first case, it would be inconceivable that a State which Philippines and the Government of the U.S.A. The Philippine Senate ratified the said
had not signed the convention should be able to exclude another State from it. In the Treaty.
second case, the situation was different : the objection was valid, but it would not
produce an immediate legal effect ; it would merely express and proclaim the attitude On June 18, 1999, the Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign
which a signatory State would assume when it had become a party to the convention. In Affairs U.S Note Verbale No. 0522 containing a request for the extradition of private
all the foregoing, the Court adjudicated only on the specific case referred to it, namely, respondent Mark Jiminez to the United States.
the Genocide Convention.
On the same day petitioner designate and authorizing a panel of attorneys to take charge “In a situation, however, where the conflict is irreconcilable and a choice has to be made
of and to handle the case. Pending evaluation of the aforestated extradition documents, between a rule of international law and a municipal law, jurisprudence dictates that
Mark Jiminez through counsel, wrote a letter to Justice Secretary requesting copies of municipal law should be upheld by the municipal courts, for the reason that such courts
the official extradition request from the U.S Government and that he be given ample time are organs of municipal law and are accordingly bound by it in all circumstances.
to comment on the request after he shall have received copies of the requested papers
but the petitioner denied the request for the consistency of Article 7 of the RP-US “The fact that international law has been made part of the law of the land does not
Extradition Treaty stated in Article 7 that the Philippine Government must present the pertain to or imply the primacy of international law over national or municipal law in
interests of the United States in any proceedings arising out of a request for extradition. the municipal sphere. The doctrine of incorporation, as applied in most countries,
decrees that rules of international law are given equal standing with, but are not
ISSUE: Whether or not to uphold a citizen’s basic due process rights or the governments superior to, national legislative enactments. Accordingly, the principle lex posterior
ironclad duties under a treaty. derogate priori takes effect – a treaty may repeal a statute and a statute may repeal a
treaty. In states where the Constitution is the highest law of the land, such as the
RULING: Petition dismissed. Republic of the Philippines, both statutes and treaties may be invalidated if they are in
conflict with the constitution.
The human rights of person, whether citizen or alien , and the rights of the accused
guaranteed in our Constitution should take precedence over treaty rights claimed by a
contracting state. The duties of the government to the individual deserve preferential
consideration when they collide with its treaty obligations to the government of another
state. This is so although we recognize treaties as a source of binding obligations under
generally accepted principles of international law incorporated in our Constitution as Generally Accepted Principles of International Law – Police Power
part of the law of the land.
Agustin is the owner of a Volkswagen Beetle Car. He is assailing the validity of Letter of
The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted Instruction No 229 which requires all motor vehicles to have early warning devices
with situation in which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law particularly to equip them with a pair of “reflectorized triangular early warning devices”.
and the provision of the constitution or statute of the local state. Agustin is arguing that this order is unconstitutional, harsh, cruel and unconscionable to
the motoring public. Cars are already equipped with blinking lights which is already
Petitioner (Secretary of Justice) is ordered to furnish Mark Jimenez copies of the enough to provide warning to other motorists. And that the mandate to compel
extradition request and its supporting papers, and to grant him (Mark Jimenez) a motorists to buy a set of reflectorized early warning devices is redundant and would
reasonable period within which to file his comment with supporting evidence. only make manufacturers and dealers instant millionaires.
ISSUE: Whether or not the said is EO is valid.
“Under the Doctrine of Incorporation, rules of international law form part of the law of
the land and no further legislative action is needed to make such rules applicable in the HELD: Such early warning device requirement is not an expensive redundancy, nor
domestic sphere. oppressive, for car owners whose cars are already equipped with 1) ‘blinking-lights in
the fore and aft of said motor vehicles,’ 2) ‘battery-powered blinking lights inside motor
“The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted vehicles,’ 3) ‘built-in reflectorized tapes on front and rear bumpers of motor vehicles,’ or
with situations in which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international 4) ‘well-lighted two (2) petroleum lamps (the Kinke) . . . because: Being universal among
law and the provisions of the constitution or statute of the local state. the signatory countries to the said 1968 Vienna Conventions, and visible even under
adverse conditions at a distance of at least 400 meters, any motorist from this country
“Efforts should first be exerted to harmonize them, so as to give effect to both since it is or from any part of the world, who sees a reflectorized rectangular early warning device
to be presumed that municipal law was enacted with proper regard for the generally installed on the roads, highways or expressways, will conclude, without thinking, that
accepted principles of international law in observance of the incorporation clause in the somewhere along the travelled portion of that road, highway, or expressway, there is a
above cited constitutional provision. motor vehicle which is stationary, stalled or disabled which obstructs or endangers
passing traffic. On the other hand, a motorist who sees any of the aforementioned other enactment of such salutary measures calculated to insure communal peace, safety, good
built-in warning devices or the petroleum lamps will not immediately get adequate order, and welfare.”
advance warning because he will still think what that blinking light is all about. Is it an
It was thus a heavy burden to be shouldered by Agustin, compounded by the fact that
emergency vehicle? Is it a law enforcement car? Is it an ambulance? Such confusion or
the particular police power measure challenged was clearly intended to promote public
uncertainty in the mind of the motorist will thus increase, rather than decrease, the
safety. It would be a rare occurrence indeed for this Court to invalidate a legislative or
danger of collision.
executive act of that character. None has been called to our attention, an indication of its
On Police Power being non-existent. The latest decision in point, Edu v. Ericta, sustained the validity of
the Reflector Law, an enactment conceived with the same end in view. Calalang v.
The Letter of Instruction in question was issued in the exercise of the police power. That
Williams found nothing objectionable in a statute, the purpose of which was: “To
is conceded by petitioner and is the main reliance of respondents. It is the submission of
promote safe transit upon, and avoid obstruction on roads and streets designated as
the former, however, that while embraced in such a category, it has offended against the
national roads . . .” As a matter of fact, the first law sought to be nullified after the
due process and equal protection safeguards of the Constitution, although the latter
effectivity of the 1935 Constitution, the National Defense Act, with petitioner failing in
point was mentioned only in passing. The broad and expansive scope of the police
his quest, was likewise prompted by the imperative demands of public safety.
power which was originally identified by Chief Justice Taney of the American Supreme
Court in an 1847 decision, as “nothing more or less than the powers of government ARTURO TOLENTINO VS SECRETARY OF FINANCE
inherent in every sovereignty” was stressed in the aforementioned case of Edu v. Ericta
thus: “Justice Laurel, in the first leading decision after the Constitution came into force, Political Law – Origination of Revenue Bills – EVAT – Amendment by Substitution
Calalang v. Williams, identified police power with state authority to enact legislation that Arturo Tolentino et al are questioning the constitutionality of RA 7716 otherwise known
may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare. as the Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT) Law. Tolentino averred that this revenue bill
Persons and property could thus ‘be subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens in did not exclusively originate from the House of Representatives as required by Section
order to secure the general comfort, health and prosperity of the state. Shortly after 24, Article 6 of the Constitution. Even though RA 7716 originated as HB 11197 and that
independence in 1948, Primicias v. Fugoso reiterated the doctrine, such a competence it passed the 3 readings in the HoR, the same did not complete the 3 readings in Senate
being referred to as ‘the power to prescribe regulations to promote the health, morals, for after the 1st reading it was referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee
peace, education, good order or safety, and general welfare of the people.’ The concept thereafter Senate passed its own version known as Senate Bill 1630. Tolentino averred
was set forth in negative terms by Justice Malcolm in a pre-Commonwealth decision as that what Senate could have done is amend HB 11197 by striking out its text and
‘that inherent and plenary power in the State which enables it to prohibit all things substituting it with the text of SB 1630 in that way “the bill remains a House Bill and the
hurtful to the comfort, safety and welfare of society.’ In that sense it could be hardly Senate version just becomes the text (only the text) of the HB”. (It’s ironic however to
distinguishable as noted by this Court in Morfe v. Mutuc with the totality of legislative note that Tolentino and co-petitioner Raul Roco even signed the said Senate Bill.)
power. It is in the above sense the greatest and most powerful attribute of government.
It is, to quote Justice Malcolm anew, ‘the most essential, insistent, and at least illimitable ISSUE: Whether or not the EVAT law is procedurally infirm.
powers,’ extending as Justice Holmes aptly pointed out ‘to all the great public needs.’ Its HELD: No. By a 9-6 vote, the Supreme Court rejected the challenge, holding that such
scope, ever expanding to meet the exigencies of the times, even to anticipate the future consolidation was consistent with the power of the Senate to propose or concur with
where it could be done, provides enough room for an efficient and flexible response to amendments to the version originated in the HoR. What the Constitution simply means,
conditions and circumstances thus assuring the greatest benefits. In the language of according to the 9 justices, is that the initiative must come from the HoR. Note also that
Justice Cardozo: ‘Needs that were narrow or parochial in the past may be interwoven in there were several instances before where Senate passed its own version rather than
the present with the well-being of the nation. What is critical or urgent changes with the having the HoR version as far as revenue and other such bills are concerned. This
time.’ The police power is thus a dynamic agency, suitably vague and far from precisely practice of amendment by substitution has always been accepted. The proposition of
defined, rooted in the conception that men in organizing the state and imposing upon its Tolentino concerns a mere matter of form. There is no showing that it would make a
government limitations to safeguard constitutional rights did not intend thereby to significant difference if Senate were to adopt his over what has been done.
enable an individual citizen or a group of citizens to obstruct unreasonably the
Whether or not the said members of the Union were entitled to be reinstated by
YES. Pursuant to Sec. 6 of Art. I of the RP-US Labor Agreement, the US Armed Forces
FACTS undertook, consistent w/ military requirements, "to provide security for employment,
and, in the event certain services are contracted out, the US Armed Forces
In 1972, the US Naval Base authorities in Subic conducted a public bidding for a 5-year shall require the contractor or concessioner to give priority consideration to affected
contract for the right to operate and/or manage the transportation services inside the employees for employment.
naval base. This bidding was won by Santiago Guerrero, owner-operator of Guerrero’s
Transport Services, Inc. (Guerrero), over Concepcion Blayblock, the then A treaty has 2 aspects — as an international agreement between states, and as
incumbent concessionaire doing business under the name of Blayblock Transport municipal law for the people of each state to observe. As part of the municipal law, the
Services Blayblock. Blayblock’s 395 employees are members of the union BTEA- aforesaid provision of the treaty enters into and forms part of the contract between
KILUSAN (the Union). Guerrero and the US Naval Base authorities. In view of said stipulation, the new
contractor (Guerrero) is, therefore, bound to give "priority" to the employment of the
When Guererro commenced its operations, it refused to employ the members of the qualified employees of the previous contractor (Blaylock). It is obviously in recognition
Union. Thus, the Union filed a complaint w/ the NLRC against Guerrero to compel it to of such obligation that Guerrero entered into the aforementioned Compromise
employ its members, pursuant to Art. 1, Sec. 2 of the RP-US Base Agreement. The case Agreement.
was dismissed by the NLRC upon Guerrero’s MTD on jurisdictional grounds, there being
no employer-employee relationship between the parties. Upon appeal, the Sec. of Labor Under the Compromise Agreement, the parties agreed to submit to the Sec. of Labor the
remanded the case to the NLRC. The NLRC issued a Resolution ordering Guererro to determination as to who of the members of the Union shall be absorbed or employed by
“absorb all complainants who filed theirapplications on or before the deadline” set by Guerrero, and that such determination shall be considered as final. The Sec. of Labor
Guerrero, except those who may have derogatory records w/ the US Naval Authorities in issued an Order directing the NLRC, through Labor Arbiter Francisco de los Reyes, to
Subic. The Sec. of Labor affirmed. implement the absorption of the 175 members into Guerrero's Transport Services,
subject to the following conditions:
Guerrero claims that it substantially complied w/ the decision of the Sec. of Labor
affirming the NLRC Resolution, & that any non-compliance was attributable to the a) that they were bona fide employees of the Blaylock Transport Service at the time
individual complainants who failed to submit themselves for processing & examination. its concessionexpired; and
The LaborArbiter ordered the reinstatement of 129 individuals. The Union filed a b) that they should pass final screening and approval by the appropriate authorities of
Motion for Issuance of Writ of Execution. The order wasn’t appealed so it was declared the U.S. Naval Base concerned.
final & executory
For this purpose, Guerrero is ordered to submit to and secure from the appropriate
Subsequently, the parties arrived at a Compromise Agreement wherein they agreed to authorities of the U.S. naval Base at Subic, Zambales the requisite screening and
submit to the Sec. of Labor the determination of members of the Union who shall be approval, the names of the members of the Union.
reinstated by Guerrero, w/c determination shall be final. The agreement is deemed to
have superseded the Resolution of the NLRC. The Sec. of Labor ordered the absorption Considering that the Compromise Agreement of the parties is more than a mere contract
of 175 members of the Union subject to 2conditions. and has the force and effect of any other judgment, it is, therefore, conclusive upon the
parties and their privies. For it is settled that a compromise has, upon the parties, the
effect and authority of res judicata and is enforceable by execution upon approval by the understood as being confined only to the investigation of violations of civil and political
court. rights, and that “the rights allegedly violated not such rights but privilege to engage in
On Sept. 25 1990, in an order, the CHR cited the petitioners in contempt for carrying out
the demolition of the stalls, sari-sari stores and carinderia despite the “order to desist.”
Also, petitioners’ MD was denied. It opined “it was not the intention of the Constitutional
GR No. 100150 – January 5, 1994; Vitug Commission to create only a paper tiger limited only to investigating civil and political
rights, but it should be considered a quasi-judicial body with the power to provide
SUBJECT: Prohibition appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the

In July 1990, a “Demolition Notice” was signed by Carlos Quimpo (one of the Hence, this recourse.
petitioners), in his capacity as an Executive Officer of the QC Integrated Hawkers ISSUE: WON the CHR’s jurisdiction is confined only to the investigation of violations of
Management Council under the Office of the City Mayor and was sent and received by civil and political rights.
the private respondents (being the officers and members of the North EDSA Vendors
Association, Incorporated). HELD: Yes! The CHR is prohibited from further proceeding with the case filed before it
and from implementing the penalty for contempt.
In said Notice, the respondents were given a grace period of 3 days within which to
vacate the premises of North EDSA. Prior to their receipt of the demolition notice, the The CHR was created by the 1987 Constitution. It was formally constituted by then Pres.
PRs were informed by petitioner Quimpo that their stalls should be removed to give way C. Aquino via EO 163, in the exercise of her legislative power at the time. It succeeded
to the “People’s Park.” and superseded the Presidential Committee on Human Rights.

On July 12 1990, the group, led by their President Roque Ferno, filed a letter-complaint It can hardly be disputed that the phrase “human rights” is so generic a term that any
with the CHR against the petitioners, asking the late CHR Chairman Mary Concepcion attempt to define it, albeit not a few have tried, could at best be described as
Bautista for a letter addressed to then Mayor Brigido Simon, Jr., of QC to stop the inconclusive. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, suggests that the scope of
demolition. human rights can be understood to include those that relate to an individual’s social,
economic, cultural, political and civil relations. It thus seems to closely identify the term
On July 23 1990, the CHR issued an order, directing the petitioners “to desist from to the universally accepted traits and attributes of an individual, along with what is
demolishing the stalls and shanties at North Edsa pending resolution of the generally considered to be his inherent and inalienable rights, encompassing almost all
vendors/squatters’ complaint before the Commission” and ordered said petitioners to aspects of life.
appear before the CHR.
The term “civil rights,” has been defined as referring:
On Aug. 1, 1990, the CHR, in its resolution, ordered the disbursement of financial
assistance of not more than P200k in favor of PRs to purchase light housing materials “to those rights that belong to every citizen of the state or country, or, in a wider sense,
and food under the Commission’s supervision and again directed the petitioners to to all its inhabitants, and are not connected with the organization or administration of
“desist from further demolition, with the warning that violation of said order would lead government. They include the rights of property, marriage, equal protection of the laws,
to a citation for contempt and arrest.” freedom of contract, etc. Or, as otherwise defined civil rights are rights appertaining to a
person by virtue of his citizenship in a state or community. It may also refer, in its
On Sept. 10, 1990, a motion to dismiss (MD) filed by the petitioners before the CHR general sense, to rights capable of being enforced or redressed in a civil action.”
questioned CHR’s jurisdiction. It was stated that the CHR’s authority should be
Political rights, on the other hand, are said to refer to the right to participate, directly or to cooperate with the said body, or who unduly withhold relevant information, or who
indirectly, in the establishment or administration of government, the right of suffrage, decline to honor summons, and the like, in pursuing its investigative work.
the right to hold public office, the right of petition and, in general, the right appurtenant
October 26, 2012
In the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, it apparent that the delegates Facts:
envisioned a CHR that would focus its attention to the more severe cases of human This is a petition of Senator Aquilino Pimentel and the other parties to ask the Supreme
rights violations. One of the delegates, for instance, mentioned such areas as the “(1) Court to require the Executive Department to transmit the Rome Statute which
protection of rights of political detainees, (2) treatment of prisoner and the prevention established the International Criminal Court for the Senate’s concurrence in accordance
of tortures, (3) fair and public trials, (4) cases of disappearances, (5) salvaging and with Sec 21, Art VII of the 1987 Constitution.
hamletting, and (6) other crimes committed against the religious.” In any event, the
It is the theory of the petitioners that ratification of a treaty, under both domestic law
delegates did not apparently take comfort in peremptorily making a conclusive
and international law, is a function of the Senate. Hence, it is the duty of the executive
delineation of the CHR’s scope of investigatorial jurisdiction. They have thus seen it fit to
department to transmit the signed copy of the Rome Statute to the Senate to allow it to
resolve, instead, that “Congress may provide for other cases of violations of human
exercise its discretion with respect to ratification of treaties. Moreover, petitioners
rights that should fall within the authority of the Commission, taking into account its
submit that the Philippines has a ministerial duty to ratify the Rome Statute under
treaty law and customary international law. Petitioners invoke the Vienna Convention
In the particular case at hand, there is no cavil that what are sought to be demolished on the Law of Treaties enjoining the states to refrain from acts which would defeat the
are the stalls, sarisari stores and carinderia, as well as temporary shanties, erected by object and purpose of a treaty when they have signed the treaty prior to ratification
PRson a land which is planned to be developed into a “People’s Park.” More than that, unless they have made their intention clear not to become parties to the treaty.[5]
the land adjoins the North EDSA of QC which, this Court can take judicial notice of, is a The Office of the Solicitor General, commenting for the respondents, questioned the
busy national highway. The consequent danger to life and limb can not thus to be standing of the petitioners to file the instant suit. It also contended that the petition at
likewise simply ignored. It is indeed paradoxical that a right which is claimed to have bar violates the rule on hierarchy of courts. On the substantive issue raised by
been violated is one that cannot, in the first place, even be invoked, if it is not, in fact, petitioners, respondents argue that the executive department has no duty to transmit
extant. Be that as it may, looking at the standards discoursed visavis the circumstances the Rome Statute to the Senate for concurrence.
obtaining in this instance, we are not prepared to conclude that the order for the
demolition of the stalls, sarisari stores and carinderia of the PRs can fall within the
compartment of “human rights violations involving civil and political rights” intended by
Whether or not the executive department has a ministerial duty to transmit the Rome
the Constitution.
Statute (or any treaty) to the Senate for concurrence.
On its contempt powers, the CHR is constitutionally authorized to “adopt its operational
guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violations thereof in
The petition was dismissed. The Supreme Court ruled that the the President, being the
accordance with the Rules of Court.” Accordingly, the CHR acted within its authority in
head of state, is regarded as the sole organ and authority in external relations and is the
providing in its revised rules, its power “to cite or hold any person in direct or indirect
country’s sole representative with foreign nations. As the chief architect of foreign
contempt, and to impose the appropriate penalties in accordance with the procedure
policy, the President acts as the country’s mouthpiece with respect to international
and sanctions provided for in the Rules of Court.” That power to cite for contempt,
affairs. Hence, the President is vested with the authority to deal with foreign states and
however, should be understood to apply only to violations of its adopted operational
governments, extend or withhold recognition, maintain diplomatic relations, enter into
guidelines and rules of procedure essential to carry out its investigatorial powers. To
treaties, and otherwise transact the business of foreign relations. In the realm of treaty-
exemplify, the power to cite for contempt could be exercised against persons who refuse
making, the President has the sole authority to negotiate with other states.
Nonetheless, while the President has the sole authority to negotiate and enter into date has been agreed upon by the parties. Where ratification is dispensed with and no
treaties, the Constitution provides a limitation to his power by requiring the effectivity clause is embodied in the treaty, the instrument is deemed effective upon its
concurrence of 2/3 of all the members of the Senate for the validity of the treaty entered signature.
into by him. Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution provides that “no treaty or
Petitioners’ arguments equate the signing of the treaty by the Philippine representative
international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-
with ratification. It should be underscored that the signing of the treaty and the
thirds of all the Members of the Senate.”
ratification are two separate and distinct steps in the treaty-making process. As earlier
Justice Isagani Cruz, in his book on International Law, describes the treaty-making discussed, the signature is primarily intended as a means of authenticating the
process in this wise: instrument and as a symbol of the good faith of the parties. It is usually performed by
the state’s authorized representative in the diplomatic mission. Ratification, on the other
The usual steps in the treaty-making process are: negotiation, signature, ratification, and
hand, is the formal act by which a state confirms and accepts the provisions of a treaty
exchange of the instruments of ratification. The treaty may then be submitted for
concluded by its representative.
registration and publication under the U.N. Charter, although this step is not essential to
the validity of the agreement as between the parties. It should be emphasized that under our Constitution, the power to ratify is vested in the
President, subject to the concurrence of the Senate. The role of the Senate, however, is
Negotiation may be undertaken directly by the head of state but he now usually assigns
limited only to giving or withholding its consent, or concurrence, to the ratification.
this task to his authorized representatives. These representatives are provided with
Hence, it is within the authority of the President to refuse to submit a treaty to the
credentials known as full powers, which they exhibit to the other negotiators at the start
Senate or, having secured its consent for its ratification, refuse to ratify it. Although the
of the formal discussions. It is standard practice for one of the parties to submit a draft
refusal of a state to ratify a treaty which has been signed in its behalf is a serious step
of the proposed treaty which, together with the counter-proposals, becomes the basis of
that should not be taken lightly, such decision is within the competence of the President
the subsequent negotiations. The negotiations may be brief or protracted, depending on
alone, which cannot be encroached by this Court via a writ of mandamus. This Court has
the issues involved, and may even “collapse” in case the parties are unable to come to an
no jurisdiction over actions seeking to enjoin the President in the performance of his
agreement on the points under consideration.
official duties.
If and when the negotiators finally decide on the terms of the treaty, the same is opened
for signature. This step is primarily intended as a means of authenticating the
instrument and for the purpose of symbolizing the good faith of the parties; but,
significantly, it does not indicate the final consent of the state in cases where ratification
of the treaty is required. The document is ordinarily signed in accordance with the
alternat, that is, each of the several negotiators is allowed to sign first on the copy which
he will bring home to his own state.
Ratification, which is the next step, is the formal act by which a state confirms and
accepts the provisions of a treaty concluded by its representatives. The purpose of
ratification is to enable the contracting states to examine the treaty more closely and to
give them an opportunity to refuse to be bound by it should they find it inimical to their
interests. It is for this reason that most treaties are made subject to the scrutiny and
consent of a department of the government other than that which negotiated them.
The last step in the treaty-making process is the exchange of the instruments of
ratification, which usually also signifies the effectivity of the treaty unless a different