Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 30

Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) v.

Presidential Agrarian Reform

Council (PARC), et al., G.R. No. 171101, November 22, 2011



On July 5, 2011, the Supreme Court en banc voted unanimously (11-0) to DISMISS/DENY the
petition filed by HLI and AFFIRM with MODIFICATIONS the resolutions of the PARC revoking HLI’s
Stock Distribution Plan (SDP) and placing the subject lands in Hacienda Luisita under compulsory
coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the government.

The Court however did not order outright land distribution. Voting 6-5, the Court noted
that there are operative facts that occurred in the interim and which the Court cannot validly
ignore. Thus, the Court declared that the revocation of the SDP must, by application of the operative
fact principle, give way to the right of the original 6,296 qualified farmworkers-beneficiaries (FWBs) to
choose whether they want to remain as HLI stockholders or [choose actual land distribution]. It thus
ordered the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to “immediately schedule meetings with the said
6,296 FWBs and explain to them the effects, consequences and legal or practical implications of their
choice, after which the FWBs will be asked to manifest, in secret voting, their choices in the ballot,
signing their signatures or placing their thumbmarks, as the case may be, over their printed names.”

The parties thereafter filed their respective motions for reconsideration of the Court decision.


(1) Is the operative fact doctrine available in this case?

(2) Is Sec. 31 of RA 6657 unconstitutional?
(3) Can’t the Court order that DAR’s compulsory acquisition of Hacienda Lusita cover the full 6,443
hectares allegedly covered by RA 6657 and previously held by Tarlac Development Corporation
(Tadeco), and not just the 4,915.75 hectares covered by HLI’s SDP?
(4) Is the date of the “taking” (for purposes of determining the just compensation payable to HLI) November
21, 1989, when PARC approved HLI’s SDP?
(5) Has the 10-year period prohibition on the transfer of awarded lands under RA 6657 lapsed on May 10,
1999 (since Hacienda Luisita were placed under CARP coverage through the SDOA scheme on May
11, 1989), and thus the qualified FWBs should now be allowed to sell their land interests in Hacienda
Luisita to third parties, whether they have fully paid for the lands or not?
(6) THE CRUCIAL ISSUE: Should the ruling in the July 5, 2011 Decision that the qualified FWBs be given
an option to remain as stockholders of HLI be reconsidered?


[The Court PARTIALLY GRANTED the motions for reconsideration of respondents PARC, et
al. with respect to the option granted to the original farmworkers-beneficiaries (FWBs) of Hacienda
Luisita to remain with petitioner HLI, which option the Court thereby RECALLED and SET ASIDE.
It reconsidered its earlier decision that the qualified FWBs should be given an option to remain as
stockholders of HLI, and UNANIMOUSLY directed immediate land distribution to the qualified FWBs.]

1. YES, the operative fact doctrine is applicable in this case.

[The Court maintained its stance that the operative fact doctrine is applicable in this case since,
contrary to the suggestion of the minority, the doctrine is not limited only to invalid or unconstitutional
laws but also applies to decisions made by the President or the administrative agencies that have the
force and effect of laws. Prior to the nullification or recall of said decisions, they may have produced
acts and consequences that must be respected. It is on this score that the operative fact doctrine
should be applied to acts and consequences that resulted from the implementation of the PARC
Resolution approving the SDP of HLI. The majority stressed that the application of the operative fact
doctrine by the Court in its July 5, 2011 decision was in fact favorable to the FWBs because not only
were they allowed to retain the benefits and homelots they received under the stock distribution
scheme, they were also given the option to choose for themselves whether they want to remain as
stockholders of HLI or not.]

2. NO, Sec. 31 of RA 6657 NOT unconstitutional.

[The Court maintained that the Court is NOT compelled to rule on the constitutionality of Sec.
31 of RA 6657, reiterating that it was not raised at the earliest opportunity and that the resolution
thereof is not the lis mota of the case. Moreover, the issue has been rendered moot and
academic since SDO is no longer one of the modes of acquisition under RA 9700. The majority
clarified that in its July 5, 2011 decision, it made no ruling in favor of the constitutionality of Sec. 31 of
RA 6657, but found nonetheless that there was no apparent grave violation of the Constitution that
may justify the resolution of the issue of constitutionality.]

3. NO, the Court CANNOT order that DAR’s compulsory acquisition of Hacienda Lusita cover the
full 6,443 hectares and not just the 4,915.75 hectares covered by HLI’s SDP.

[Since what is put in issue before the Court is the propriety of the revocation of the SDP, which
only involves 4,915.75 has. of agricultural land and not 6,443 has., then the Court is constrained to
rule only as regards the 4,915.75 has. of agricultural land.Nonetheless, this should not prevent the
DAR, under its mandate under the agrarian reform law, from subsequently subjecting to agrarian
reform other agricultural lands originally held by Tadeco that were allegedly not transferred to HLI but
were supposedly covered by RA 6657.

However since the area to be awarded to each FWB in the July 5, 2011 Decision appears too
restrictive – considering that there are roads, irrigation canals, and other portions of the land that are
considered commonly-owned by farmworkers, and these may necessarily result in the decrease of the
area size that may be awarded per FWB – the Court reconsiders its Decision and resolves to give the
DAR leeway in adjusting the area that may be awarded per FWB in case the number of actual qualified
FWBs decreases. In order to ensure the proper distribution of the agricultural lands of Hacienda Luisita
per qualified FWB, and considering that matters involving strictly the administrative implementation
and enforcement of agrarian reform laws are within the jurisdiction of the DAR, it is the latter which
shall determine the area with which each qualified FWB will be awarded.

On the other hand, the majority likewise reiterated its holding that the 500-hectare portion of
Hacienda Luisita that have been validly converted to industrial use and have been acquired by
intervenors Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) and Luisita Industrial Park Corporation
(LIPCO), as well as the separate 80.51-hectare SCTEX lot acquired by the government, should be
excluded from the coverage of the assailed PARC resolution. The Court however ordered that the
unused balance of the proceeds of the sale of the 500-hectare converted land and of the 80.51-hectare
land used for the SCTEX be distributed to the FWBs.]

4. YES, the date of “taking” is November 21, 1989, when PARC approved HLI’s SDP.
[For the purpose of determining just compensation, the date of “taking” is November 21, 1989
(the date when PARC approved HLI’s SDP) since this is the time that the FWBs were considered to
own and possess the agricultural lands in Hacienda Luisita. To be precise, these lands became subject
of the agrarian reform coverage through the stock distribution scheme only upon the approval of the
SDP, that is, on November 21, 1989. Such approval is akin to a notice of coverage ordinarily issued
under compulsory acquisition. On the contention of the minority (Justice Sereno) that the date of the
notice of coverage [after PARC’s revocation of the SDP], that is, January 2, 2006, is determinative of
the just compensation that HLI is entitled to receive, the Court majority noted that none of the cases
cited to justify this position involved the stock distribution scheme. Thus, said cases do not squarely
apply to the instant case. The foregoing notwithstanding, it bears stressing that the DAR's land
valuation is only preliminary and is not, by any means, final and conclusive upon the landowner. The
landowner can file an original action with the RTC acting as a special agrarian court to determine just
compensation. The court has the right to review with finality the determination in the exercise of what
is admittedly a judicial function.]

5. NO, the 10-year period prohibition on the transfer of awarded lands under RA 6657 has NOT
lapsed on May 10, 1999; thus, the qualified FWBs should NOT yet be allowed to sell their land
interests in Hacienda Luisita to third parties.

[Under RA 6657 and DAO 1, the awarded lands may only be transferred or conveyed after 10
years from the issuance and registration of the emancipation patent (EP) or certificate of land
ownership award (CLOA). Considering that the EPs or CLOAs have not yet been issued to the
qualified FWBs in the instant case, the 10-year prohibitive period has not even started. Significantly,
the reckoning point is the issuance of the EP or CLOA, and not the placing of the agricultural lands
under CARP coverage. Moreover, should the FWBs be immediately allowed the option to sell or
convey their interest in the subject lands, then all efforts at agrarian reform would be rendered
nugatory, since, at the end of the day, these lands will just be transferred to persons not entitled to
land distribution under CARP.]

6. YES, the ruling in the July 5, 2011 Decision that the qualified FWBs be given an option to remain
as stockholders of HLI should be reconsidered.

[The Court reconsidered its earlier decision that the qualified FWBs should be given an option
to remain as stockholders of HLI, inasmuch as these qualified FWBs will never gain control [over the
subject lands] given the present proportion of shareholdings in HLI. The Court noted that the share of
the FWBs in the HLI capital stock is [just] 33.296%. Thus, even if all the holders of this 33.296%
unanimously vote to remain as HLI stockholders, which is unlikely, control will never be in the hands
of the FWBs. Control means the majority of [sic] 50% plus at least one share of the common shares
and other voting shares. Applying the formula to the HLI stockholdings, the number of shares that will
constitute the majority is 295,112,101 shares (590,554,220 total HLI capital shares divided by 2 plus
one [1] HLI share). The 118,391,976.85 shares subject to the SDP approved by PARC substantially
fall short of the 295,112,101 shares needed by the FWBs to acquire control over HLI.]

Malaga vs. Penachos (Digest)

Ma. Elena Malaga, et. al. vs. Manuel R. Penachos, Jr., et.al.

GR No. 86995 03 September 1992

Chartered Institution and GOCC, defined.

FACTS: The Iloilo State College of Fisheries (ISCOF) through its Pre-qualifications, Bids and Awards
Committee (PBAC) caused the publication in the November 25, 26 and 28, 1988 issues of the Western
Visayas Daily an Invitation to Bid for the construction of a Micro Laboratory Building at ISCOF. The
notice announced that the last day for the submission of pre-qualification requirements was on
December 2, 1988, and that the bids would be received and opened on December 12, 1988 at 3 o'clock
in the afternoon.

Petitioners Malaga and Najarro, doing business under the name of BE Construction and Best Built
Construction, respectively, submitted their pre-qualification documents at two o'clock in the afternoon
of December 2, 1988. Petitioner Occeana submitted his own PRE-C1 on December 5, 1988. All three of
them were not allowed to participate in the bidding as their documents were considered late.

On December 12, 1988, the petitioners filed a complaint with the Iloilo RTC against the officers of PBAC
for their refusal without just cause to accept them resulting to their non-inclusion in the list of pre-
qualified bidders. They sought to the resetting of the December 12, 1988 bidding and the acceptance of
their documents. They also asked that if the bidding had already been conducted, the defendants be
directed not to award the project pending resolution of their complaint.

On the same date, Judge Lebaquin issued a restraining order prohibiting PBAC from conducting the
bidding and award the project. The defendants filed a motion to lift the restraining order on the ground
that the court is prohibited from issuing such order, preliminary injunction and preliminary mandatory
injunction in government infrastructure project under Sec. 1 of P.D. 1818. They also contended that the
preliminary injunction had become moot and academic as it was served after the bidding had been
awarded and closed.

On January 2, 1989, the trial court lifted the restraining order and denied the petition for preliminary
injunction. It declared that the building sought to be constructed at the ISCOF was an infrastructure
project of the government falling within the coverage of the subject law.

ISSUE: Whether or not ISCOF is a government instrumentality subject to the provisions of PD 1818?

RULING: The 1987 Administrative Code defines a government instrumentality as follows:

Instrumentality refers to any agency of the National Government, not integrated within the department
framework, vested with special functions or jurisdiction by law, endowed with some if not all corporate
powers, administering special funds, and enjoying operational autonomy, usually through a charter. This
term includes regulatory agencies, chartered institutions, and government-owned or controlled
corporations. (Sec. 2 (5) Introductory Provisions).

The same Code describes a chartered institution thus:

Chartered institution - refers to any agency organized or operating under a special charter, and vested
by law with functions relating to specific constitutional policies or objectives. This term includes the
state universities and colleges, and the monetary authority of the state. (Sec. 2 (12) Introductory

It is clear from the above definitions that ISCOF is a chartered institution and is therefore covered by
P.D. 1818.

There are also indications in its charter that ISCOF is a government instrumentality. First, it was created
in pursuance of the integrated fisheries development policy of the State, a priority program of the
government to effect the socio-economic life of the nation. Second, the Treasurer of the Republic of the
Philippines shall also be the ex-officio Treasurer of the state college with its accounts and expenses to be
audited by the Commission on Audit or its duly authorized representative. Third, heads of bureaus and
offices of the National Government are authorized to loan or transfer to it, upon request of the
president of the state college, such apparatus, equipment, or supplies and even the services of such
employees as can be spared without serious detriment to public service. Lastly, an additional amount of
P1.5M had been appropriated out of the funds of the National Treasury and it was also decreed in its
charter that the funds and maintenance of the state college would henceforth be included in the
General Appropriations Law.

Nevertheless, it does not automatically follow that ISCOF is covered by the prohibition in the said decree
as there are irregularities present surrounding the transaction that justified the injunction issued as
regards to the bidding and the award of the project (citing the case of Datiles vs. Sucaldito).

Case Brief: Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities vs

Secretary of Education


ETC., petitioner,
G.R. No. L-5279 October 31, 1955
Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities assailed the constitutionality
of Act No. 2706, known as the “Act making the Inspection and Recognition of
private schools and colleges obligatory for the Secretary of Public Instruction.”

As contended by PACU, the Act is unconstitutional because of the following

reasons: 1) The act deprives the owner of the school and colleges as well as
teachers and parents of liberty and property without due process of law; 2) it
will also deprive the parents of their natural rights and duty to rear their
children for civic efficiency; and 3) its provisions conferred on the Secretary of
Education unlimited powers and discretion to prescribe rules and standards
constitute towards unlawful delegation of legislative powers.

Additionally, the association contended that the Constitution guaranteed every

citizen the right to own and operate a school and any law requiring previous
governmental approval or permit before such person could exercise the said

On the contrary, the Department of Education maintained that 1) the matters

does not contain justiciable controversy and thus does not need court decision or
intervention; 2) petitioners are inestoppels to challenge the validity of the said
act; and 3) the Act is constitutionally valid.

Section 1 of Act No. 2706 provides that “It shall be the duty of the Secretary of
Public Instruction to maintain a general standard of efficiency in all private
schools and colleges of the Philippines so that the same shall furnish adequate
instruction to the public, in accordance with the class and grade of instruction
given in them, and for this purpose said Secretary or his duly-authorized
representative shall have authority to advise, inspect, and regulate said schools
and colleges in order to determine the efficiency of instruction given in the

Whether or not Act No. 2706 is unconstitutional.

No, Act No. 2706 is constitutional.
The organic law provides that the state has the power to regulate private schools
for the development of morals, civic efficiency, and scientific aptitude of students.
The court found no justiciable controversy. The power of the courts to declare a
law unconstitutional arises only when the interest of litigant require the use of
judicial authority for their protection against actual interference. As such, judicial
power is limited to the decision of actual cases and controversies. Thus, the court
does not sit to adjudicate a mere academic question, such as that provided by the
petitioner. On this phase of the litigation, the court conclude that there has been
no undue delegation of legislative power even if the petitioners appended a list of
circulars and memoranda issued by the Department of Education.

Mariano, Jr. vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 118577, March 7, 1995

Sunday, January 25, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts: Two petitions are filed assailing certain provisions of RA 7854, An

Act Converting The Municipality of Makati Into a Highly Urbanized City to be
known as the City of Makati, as unconstitutional.

Section 52 of RA 7854 is said to be unconstitutional for it increased the legislative

district of Makati only by special law in violation of Art. VI, Sec. 5(4) requiring a
general reapportionment law to be passed by Congress within 3 years following
the return of every census. Also, the addition of another legislative district in
Makati is not in accord with Sec. 5(3), Art. VI of the Constitution for as of the
1990 census, the population of Makati stands at only 450,000.

Issue: Whether or not the addition of another legislative district in Makati

is unconstitutional

Held: Reapportionment of legislative districts may be made through a

special law, such as in the charter of a new city. The Constitution clearly provides
that Congress shall be composed of not more than 250 members, unless
otherwise fixed by law. As thus worded, the Constitution did not preclude
Congress from increasing its membership by passing a law, other than a general
reapportionment law. This is exactly what was done by Congress in enacting RA
7854 and providing for an increase in Makati’s legislative district. Moreover, to
hold that reapportionment can only be made through a general apportionment
law, with a review of all the legislative districts allotted to each local government
unit nationwide, would create an inequitable situation where a new city or
province created by Congress will be denied legislative representation for an
indeterminate period of time. The intolerable situations will deprive the people of
a new city or province a particle of their sovereignty.

Petitioner cannot insist that the addition of another legislative district in Makati is
not in accord with Sec. 5(3), Art. VI of the Constitution for as of the 1990 census,
the population of Makati stands at only 450,000. Said section provides that a city
with a population of at least 250,000 shall have at least one representative. Even
granting that the population of Makati as of the 1990 census stood at 450,000,
its legislative district may still be increased since it has met the minimum
population requirement of 250,000.

Macasiano vs NHA
G.R. No. 96541, Aug. 24, 1993
o Requisites for exercise of judicial review: (1) that the question must be raised by the
proper party; (2) that there must be an actual case or controversy; (3) that the question
must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and, (4) that the decision on the
constitutional or legal question must be necessary to the determination of the case
o LEGAL STANDING: a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party
has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is
being challenged.
o EXCEPTIONS TO LEGAL STANDING: Mandamus and Taxpayer's Suits
o REQUISITES FOR MANDAMUS: a writ of mandamus may be issued to a citizen only
when the public right to be enforced and the concomitant duty of the state are
unequivocably set forth in the Constitution.
o WHEN TAXPAYER SUIT MAY PROSPER: A taxpayer's suit can prosper only if the
governmental acts being questioned involve disbursement of public funds upon the
theory that the expenditure of public funds by an officer of the state for the purpose of
administering an unconstitutional act constitutes a misapplication of such funds, which
may be enjoined at the request of a taxpayer.
o ACTUAL CONTROVERSY: one which involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of
opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution; the case must not be moot or
academic or based on extra-legal or other similar considerations not cognizable by a
court of justice.


The Republic of the Philippines through the PCGG entered into a Consignment
Agreement with Christie’s of New York, selling 82 Old Masters Paintings and antique
silverware seized from Malacanang and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila alleged to
be part of the ill-gotten wealth of the late Pres. Marcos, his relatives and cronies. Prior
to the auction sale, COA questioned the Consignment Agreement, there was already
opposition to the auction sale. Nevertheless, it proceeded as scheduled and the
proceeds of $13,302,604.86 were turned over to the Bureau of Treasury.


o Whether or not PCGG has jurisdiction and authority to enter into an agreement with
Christie’s of New York for the sale of the artworks


On jurisdiction of the Court to exercise judicial review

The rule is settled that no question involving the constitutionality or validity of a law or
governmental act may be heard and decided by the court unless there is compliance
with the legal requisites for judicial inquiry, namely: that the question must be raised by
the proper party; that there must be an actual case or controversy; that the question
must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and, that the decision on the
constitutional or legal question must be necessary to the determination of the case
itself. But the most important are the first two (2) requisites.

Standing of Petitioners

On the first requisite, we have held that one having no right or interest to protect cannot
invoke the jurisdiction of the court as party-plaintiff in an action. This is premised on
Sec. 2, Rule 3, of the Rules of Court which provides that every action must be
prosecuted and defended in the name of the real party-in-interest, and that all persons
having interest in the subject of the action and in obtaining the relief demanded shall be
joined as plaintiffs. The Court will exercise its power of judicial review only if the case is
brought before it by a party who has the legal standing to raise the constitutional or legal
question. "Legal standing" means a personal and substantial interest in the case such
that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental
act that is being challenged. The term "interest" is material interest, an interest in issue
and to be affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in the question
involved, or a mere incidental interest. Moreover, the interest of the party plaintiff must
be personal and not one based on a desire to vindicate the constitutional right of some
third and related party.

EXCEPTIONS TO LEGAL STANDING: Mandamus and Taxpayer’s Suit:

There are certain instances however when this Court has allowed exceptions to the rule
on legal standing, as when a citizen brings a case for mandamus to procure the
enforcement of a public duty for the fulfillment of a public right recognized by the
Constitution, and when a taxpayer questions the validity of a governmental act
authorizing the disbursement of public funds.

Petitioners claim that as Filipino citizens, taxpayers and artists deeply concerned with
the preservation and protection of the country's artistic wealth, they have the legal
personality to restrain respondents Executive Secretary and PCGG from acting contrary
to their public duty to conserve the artistic creations as mandated by the 1987
Constitution, particularly Art. XIV, Secs. 14 to 18, on Arts and Culture, and R.A. 4846
known as "The Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act," governing the
preservation and disposition of national and important cultural properties. Petitioners
also anchor their case on the premise that the paintings and silverware are public
properties collectively owned by them and by the people in general to view and enjoy as
great works of art. They allege that with the unauthorized act of PCGG in selling the art
pieces, petitioners have been deprived of their right to public property without due
process of law in violation of the Constitution.

Petitioners' arguments are devoid of merit. They lack basis in fact and in law. They
themselves allege that the paintings were donated by private persons from different
parts of the world to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila Foundation, which is a non-
profit and non-stock corporations established to promote non-Philippine arts. The
foundation's chairman was former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos, while its president was
Bienvenido R. Tantoco. On this basis, the ownership of these paintings legally belongs
to the foundation or corporation or the members thereof, although the public has been
given the opportunity to view and appreciate these paintings when they were placed on

Similarly, as alleged in the petition, the pieces of antique silverware were given to the
Marcos couple as gifts from friends and dignitaries from foreign countries on their silver
wedding and anniversary, an occasion personal to them. When the Marcos
administration was toppled by the revolutionary government, these paintings and
silverware were taken from Malacañang and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and
transferred to the Central Bank Museum. The confiscation of these properties by the
Aquino administration however should not be understood to mean that the ownership of
these paintings has automatically passed on the government without complying with
constitutional and statutory requirements of due process and just compensation. If these
properties were already acquired by the government, any constitutional or statutory
defect in their acquisition and their subsequent disposition must be raised only by the
proper parties — the true owners thereof — whose authority to recover emanates from
their proprietary rights which are protected by statutes and the Constitution. Having
failed to show that they are the legal owners of the artworks or that the valued pieces
have become publicly owned, petitioners do not possess any clear legal right
whatsoever to question their alleged unauthorized disposition.

Requisites for a Mandamus Suit

Further, although this action is also one of mandamus filed by concerned citizens, it
does not fulfill the criteria for a mandamus suit. In Legaspi v. Civil Service Commission,
this Court laid down the rule that a writ of mandamus may be issued to a citizen only
when the public right to be enforced and the concomitant duty of the state are
unequivocably set forth in the Constitution. In the case at bar, petitioners are not after
the fulfillment of a positive duty required of respondent officials under the 1987
Constitution. What they seek is the enjoining of an official act because it is
constitutionally infirmed. Moreover, petitioners' claim for the continued enjoyment and
appreciation by the public of the artworks is at most a privilege and is unenforceable as
a constitutional right in this action for mandamus.
When a Taxpayer's Suit may prosper

Neither can this petition be allowed as a taxpayer's suit. Not every action filed by a
taxpayer can qualify to challenge the legality of official acts done by the government. A
taxpayer's suit can prosper only if the governmental acts being questioned involve
disbursement of public funds upon the theory that the expenditure of public funds by an
officer of the state for the purpose of administering an unconstitutional act constitutes a
misapplication of such funds, which may be enjoined at the request of a taxpayer.
Obviously, petitioners are not challenging any expenditure involving public funds but the
disposition of what they allege to be public properties. It is worthy to note that petitioners
admit that the paintings and antique silverware were acquired from private sources and
not with public money.

Actual Controversy

For a court to exercise its power of adjudication, there must be an actual case of
controversy — one which involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite
legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution; the case must not be moot or academic or
based on extra-legal or other similar considerations not cognizable by a court of justice.
A case becomes moot and academic when its purpose has become stale, such as the
case before us. Since the purpose of this petition for prohibition is to enjoin respondent
public officials from holding the auction sale of the artworks on a particular date — 11
January 1991 — which is long past, the issues raised in the petition have become moot
and academic.

At this point, however, we need to emphasize that this Court has the discretion to take
cognizance of a suit which does not satisfy the requirements of an actual case or legal
standing when paramount public interest is involved. We find however that there is no
such justification in the petition at bar to warrant the relaxation of the rule.

CASE DIGEST : Legaspi Vs Civil Serv. Comm.

G.R. No. L-72119 May 29, 1987 VALENTIN L. LEGASPI, petitioner, vs. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION,

FACTS : The fundamental right of the people to information on matters of public concern is invoked in
this special civil action for mandamus instituted by petitioner Valentin L. Legaspi against the Civil Service
Commission. The respondent had earlier denied Legaspi's request for information on the civil service
eligibilities of certain persons employed as sanitarians in the Health Department of Cebu City. These
government employees, Julian Sibonghanoy and Mariano Agas, had allegedly represented themselves
as civil service eligibles who passed the civil service examinations for sanitarians.

ISSUE : WON the petitioner has legal to access government records to validate the civil service
eligibilities of the Health Department employees
HELD : The constitutional guarantee to information on matters of public concern is not absolute. It does
not open every door to any and all information. Under the Constitution, access to official records, papers,
etc., are "subject to limitations as may be provided by law" The law may therefore exempt certain types of
information from public scrutiny, such as those affecting national security It follows that, in every case, the
availability of access to a particular public record must be circumscribed by the nature of the information
sought, i.e., (a) being of public concern or one that involves public interest, and, (b) not being exempted
by law from the operation of the constitutional guarantee. The threshold question is, therefore, whether or
not the information sought is of public interest or public concern. This question is first addressed to the
government agency having custody of the desired information. However, as already discussed, this does
not give the agency concerned any discretion to grant or deny access. In case of denial of access, the
government agency has the burden of showing that the information requested is not of public concern, or,
if it is of public concern, that the same has been exempted by law from the operation of the guarantee. To
hold otherwise will serve to dilute the constitutional right. As aptly observed, ". . . the government is in an
advantageous position to marshall and interpret arguments against release . . ." (87 Harvard Law Review
1511 [1974]). To safeguard the constitutional right, every denial of access by the government agency
concerned is subject to review by the courts, and in the proper case, access may be compelled by a writ
of Mandamus Public office being a public trust it is the legitimate concern of citizens to ensure that
government positions requiring civil service eligibility are occupied only by persons who are eligibles.
Public officers are at all times accountable to the people even as to their eligibilities for their respective
positions. In the instant, case while refusing to confirm or deny the claims of eligibility, the respondent has
failed to cite any provision in the Civil Service Law which would limit the petitioner's right to know who are,
and who are not, civil service eligibles. We take judicial notice of the fact that the names of those who
pass the civil service examinations, as in bar examinations and licensure examinations for various
professions, are released to the public. Hence, there is nothing secret about one's civil service eligibility, if
actually possessed. Petitioner's request is, therefore, neither unusual nor unreasonable. And when, as in
this case, the government employees concerned claim to be civil service eligibles, the public, through any
citizen, has a right to verify their professed eligibilities from the Civil Service Commission. The civil service
eligibility of a sanitarian being of public concern, and in the absence of express limitations under the law
upon access to the register of civil service eligibles for said position, the duty of the respondent
Commission to confirm or deny the civil service eligibility of any person occupying the position becomes
imperative. Mandamus, therefore lies

G.R. No. 206794 November 26, 2013


This was a petition for the issuance of a status quo to enjoin the implementation of the Money
Ban Resolution issued by COMELEC. The said ban prohibits the withdrawal of cash, encashment
of checks and conversion of any monetary instrument into cash from May 8 to 13, 2013 exceeding
One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00) or its equivalent in any foreign currency, per day in
banks, finance companies, quasi-banks, pawnshops, remittance companies and institutions
performing similar functions. However, all other non-cash transactions are not covered. For this
purpose, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and other financial agencies of the government are
hereby deputized to implement with utmost dispatch and ensure strict compliance with this
resolution without violating the provisions of Republic Act No. 1405 , as amended, and Republic
Act No. 6426.
Whether or the COMELEC’s resolution was exercised in excess of its duty.

The Court held to dismiss the case, as it became moot and academic. The Court has issued a
Status Quo Ante on May 10, 2013, thus the Money Ban Resolution was not in force during the
most critical period of the elections. In addition, nothing in the exceptions of “moot and
academic” principle relates to the case at bar. The Court considers it significant that the BSP and
the Monetary Board continue to possess full and sufficient authority to address the COMELEC’s
concerns and to limit banking transactions to legitimate purposes without need for any formal
COMELEC resolution if and when the need arises. Likewise, the Congress should take note of the
Money Ban Resolution and the evil it sought to prevent in application of its plenary power for
future elections, thus rendering unnecessary further action on the merits of the assailed
Money Ban Resolution at this point.

Francisco Tatad vs Jesus Garcia, Jr.

243 SCRA 436 – Business Organization – Corporation Law – Corporate Nationality – Public
Utility – Nationality Requirement in Nationalized Areas of Activity
In 1989, the government planned to build a railway transit line along EDSA. No bidding was
made but certain corporations were invited to prequalify. The only corporation to qualify was
the EDSA LRT Consortium which was obviously formed for this particular undertaking. An
agreement was then made between the government, through the Department of
Transportation and Communication (DOTC), and EDSA LRT Consortium. The agreement
was based on the Build-Operate-Transfer scheme provided for by law (RA 6957, amended
by RA 7718). Under the agreement, EDSA LRT Consortium shall build the facilities, i.e.,
railways, and shall supply the train cabs. Every phase that is completed shall be turned over
to the DOTC and the latter shall pay rent for the same for 25 years. By the end of 25 years,
it was projected that the government shall have fully paid EDSA LRT Consortium. Thereafter,
EDSA LRT Consortium shall sell the facilities to the government for $1.00.
However, Senators Francisco Tatad, John Osmeña, and Rodolfo Biazon opposed the
implementation of said agreement as they averred that EDSA LRT Consortium is a foreign
corporation as it was organized under Hongkong laws; that as such, it cannot own a public
utility such as the EDSA railway transit because this falls under the nationalized areas of
activities. The petition was filed against Jesus Garcia, Jr. in his capacity as DOTC Secretary.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petition shall prosper.
HELD: No. The Supreme Court made a clarification. The SC ruled that EDSA LRT
Consortium, under the agreement, does not and will not become the owner of a public utility
hence, the question of its nationality is misplaced. It is true that a foreign corporation cannot
own a public utility but in this case what EDSA LRT Consortium will be owning are the facilities
that it will be building for the EDSA railway project. There is no prohibition against a foreign
corporation to own facilities used for a public utility. Further, it cannot be said that EDSA LRT
Consortium will be the one operating the public utility for it will be DOTC that will operate the
railway transit. DOTC will be the one exacting fees from the people for the use of the railway
and from the proceeds, it shall be paying the rent due to EDSA LRT Consortium. All that
EDSA LRT Consortium has to do is to build the facilities and receive rent from the use thereof
by the government for 25 years – it will not operate the railway transit. Although EDSA LRT
Consortium is a corporation formed for the purpose of building a public utility it does not
automatically mean that it is operating a public utility. The moment for determining the
requisite Filipino nationality is when the entity applies for a franchise, certificate or any other
form of authorization for that purpose.

Oposa vs Factoran

Natural and Environmental Laws; Constitutional Law: Intergenerational Responsibility

GR No. 101083; July 30 1993


A taxpayer’s class suit was filed by minors Juan Antonio Oposa, et al., representing their generation and
generations yet unborn, and represented by their parents against Fulgencio Factoran Jr., Secretary of
DENR. They prayed that judgment be rendered ordering the defendant, his agents, representatives and
other persons acting in his behalf to:

1. Cancel all existing Timber Licensing Agreements (TLA) in the country;

2. Cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing, or appraising new TLAs;

and granting the plaintiffs “such other reliefs just and equitable under the premises.” They alleged that
they have a clear and constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology and are entitled to
protection by the State in its capacity as parens patriae. Furthermore, they claim that the act of the
defendant in allowing TLA holders to cut and deforest the remaining forests constitutes a
misappropriation and/or impairment of the natural resources property he holds in trust for the benefit
of the plaintiff minors and succeeding generations.

The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the following grounds:

1. Plaintiffs have no cause of action against him;

2. The issues raised by the plaintiffs is a political question which properly pertains to the
legislative or executive branches of the government.

Do the petitioner-minors have a cause of action in filing a class suit to “prevent the misappropriation or
impairment of Philippine rainforests?”


Yes. Petitioner-minors assert that they represent their generation as well as generations to come. The
Supreme Court ruled that they can, for themselves, for others of their generation, and for the
succeeding generation, file a class suit. Their personality to sue in behalf of succeeding generations is
based on the concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a balanced and healthful
ecology is concerned. Such a right considers the “rhythm and harmony of nature” which indispensably
include, inter alia, the judicious disposition, utilization, management, renewal and conservation of the
country’s forest, mineral, land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, offshore areas and other natural resources to
the end that their exploration, development, and utilization be equitably accessible to the present as
well as the future generations.

Needless to say, every generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve that rhythm and harmony
for the full enjoyment of a balanced and healthful ecology. Put a little differently, the minor’s assertion
of their right to a sound environment constitutes at the same time, the performance of their obligation
to ensure the protection of that right for the generations to come.

Kilosbayan vs Morato
Legal Standing


G.R. NO. 118910. July 30, 1993
MANUEL L. MORATO, in his capacity as Chairman of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and the

1. GR 113375 (KIlosbayan vs. Guingona) held invalidity of the contract between Philippine Charity
Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and the privately owned Philippine Gaming Management Corporation
(PGMC) for the operation of a nationwide on-line lottery system. The contract violated the provision
in the PCSO Charter which prohibits PCSO from holding and conducting lotteries through a
collaboration, association, or joint venture.
2. Both parties again signed an Equipment Lease Agreement (ELA) for online lottery equipment and
accessories on January 25, 1995. The agreement are as follow:
4. Rental is 4.3% of gross amount of ticket sales by PCSO at which in no case be less than an annual
rental computed at P35,000 per terminal in commercial operation.
5. Rent is computed bi-weekly.
6. Term is 8 years.
7. PCSO is to employ its own personnel and responsible for the facilities.
8. Upon expiration of term, PCSO can purchase the equipment at P25M.
3. Kilosbayan again filed a petition to declare amended ELA invalid because:
4. It is the same as the old contract of lease.
5. It is still violative of PCSO’s charter.
6. It is violative of the law regarding public bidding. It has not been approved by the President and
it is not most advantageous to the government.
4. PCSO and PGMC filed separate comments
0. ELA is a different lease contract with none of the vestiges in the prior contract.
1. ELA is not subject to public bidding because it fell in the exception provided in EO No. 301.
2. Power to determine if ELA is advantageous vests in the Board of Directors of PCSO.
3. Lack of funds. PCSO cannot purchase its own online lottery equipment.
4. Petitioners seek to further their moral crusade.
5. Petitioners do not have a legal standing because they were not parties to the contract.


1. Whether or not petitioner Kilosbayan, Incorporated has a legal standing to sue.

2. Whether or not the ELA between PCSO and PGMC in operating an online lottery is valid.

In the resolution of the case, the Court held that:
1. Petitioners do not have a legal standing to sue.
1. STARE DECISIS cannot apply. The previous ruling sustaining the standing of the petitioners is a
departure from the settled rulings on real parties in interest because no constitutional issues
were actually involved.
2. LAW OF THE CASE (opinion delivered on a former appeal) cannot also apply. Since the present
case is not the same one litigated by the parties before in Kilosbayan vs. Guingona, Jr., the ruling
cannot be in any sense be regarded as “the law of this case”. The parties are the same but the
cases are not.
3. RULE ON “CONCLUSIVENESS OF JUDGMENT” cannot still apply. An issue actually and directly
passed upon and determine in a former suit cannot again be drawn in question in any future
action between the same parties involving a different cause of action. But the rule does not
apply to issues of law at least when substantially unrelated claims are involved. When the
second proceeding involves an instrument or transaction identical with, but in a form separable
from the one dealt with in the first proceeding, the Court is free in the second proceeding to
make an independent examination of the legal matters at issue.
4. Since ELA is a different contract, the previous decision does not preclude determination of the
petitioner’s standing.
5. Standing is a concept in constitutional law and here no constitutional question is actually
involved. The more appropriate issue is whether the petitioners are ‘real parties of interest’.
6. Question of contract of law: The real parties are those who are parties to the agreement or are
bound either principally or are prejudiced in their rights with respect to one of the contracting
parties and can show the detriment which would positively result to them from the contract.
7. Petitioners do not have such present substantial interest. Questions to the nature or validity of
public contracts maybe made before COA or before the Ombudsman.
2. Equipment Lease Agreement (ELA) is valid.
1. It is different with the prior lease agreement: PCSO now bears all losses because the operation
of the system is completely in its hands.
2. Fixing the rental rate to a minimum is a matter of business judgment and the Court is not
inclined to review.
3. Rental rate is within the 15% net receipts fixed by law as a maximum. (4.3% of gross receipt is
discussed in the dissenting opinion of Feliciano, J.)
4. In the contract, it stated that the parties can change their agreement. Petitioners state that this
would allow PGMC to control and operate the on-line lottery system. The Court held that the
claim is speculative. In any case, in the construction of statutes, the resumption is that in making
contracts, the government has acted in good faith. The doctrine that the possibility of abuse is
not a reason for denying power.
5. It was held in Kilosbayan Vs. Guingona that PCSO does not have the power to enter into any
contract which would involve it in any form of “collaboration, association, or joint venture” for
the holding of sweepstakes activities. This only mentions that PCSO is prohibited from investing
in any activities that would compete in their own activities.
6. It is claimed that ELA is a joint venture agreement which does not compete with their own
activities. The Court held that is also based on speculation. Evidence is needed to show that the
transfer of technology would involve the PCSO and its personnel in prohibited association with
the PGMC.
7. O. 301 (on law of public bidding) applies only to contracts for the purchase of supplies,
materials and equipment and not on the contracts of lease. Public bidding for leases are only for
privately-owned buildings or spaces for government use or of government owned buildings or
spaces for private use.

Petitioners have no standing. ELA is a valid lease contract. The motion for reconsideration of petitioners
is DENIED with finality.


– versus –
SPEAKER PROSPERO C. NOGRALES, Representative, Majority, House of
Representatives, Respondents
G.R. No. 187910
– versus
SPEAKER PROSPERO C. NOGRALES, Speaker of the House of
Representatives, Congress of the Philippines, Respondents.
The two petitions, filed by their respective petitioners in their capacities as
concerned citizens and taxpayers, prayed for the nullification of House Resolution
No. 1109 entitled “A Resolution Calling upon the Members of Congress to Convene
for the Purpose of Considering Proposals to Amend or Revise the Constitution, Upon
a Three-fourths Vote of All the Members of Congress,” convening the Congress into a
Constituent Assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution. In essence, both petitions
seek to trigger a justiciable controversy that would warrant a definitive
interpretation by this Court of Section 1, Article XVII, which provides for the
procedure for amending or revising the Constitution. The petitioners contend that
the House Resolution contradicts the procedures set forth by the 1987 Constitution
regarding the amendment or revision of the same as the separate voting of the
members of each House (the Senate and the House of Representatives) is deleted
and substituted with a vote of three-fourths of all the Members of Congress (i.e., ¾
of the “members of Congress” without distinction as to which institution of Congress
they belong to).
Whether the court has the power to review the case of the validity of House
Resolution No. 1109.
No. The Supreme Court cannot indulge petitioners’ supplications. While some may
interpret petitioners’ moves as vigilance in preserving the rule of law, a careful
perusal of their petitions would reveal that they cannot hurdle the bar of
justiciability set by the Court before it will assume jurisdiction over cases involving
constitutional disputes.
The Court’s power of review may be awesome, but it is limited to actual cases and
controversies dealing with parties having adversely legal claims, to be exercised after
full opportunity of argument by the parties, and limited further to the constitutional
question raised or the very lis mota presented. The “case-or-controversy”
requirement bans this court from deciding “abstract, hypothetical or contingent
questions,” lest the court give opinions in the nature of advice concerning legislative
or executive action

An aspect of the “case-or-controversy” requirement is the requisite of “ripeness.” In

the United States, courts are centrally concerned with whether a case involves
uncertain contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may
not occur at all. Another approach is the evaluation of the twofold aspect of
ripeness: first, the fitness of the issues for judicial decision; and second, the hardship
to the parties entailed by withholding court consideration. In our jurisdiction, the
issue of ripeness is generally treated in terms of actual injury to the plaintiff. Hence,
a question is ripe for adjudication when the act being challenged has had a direct
adverse effect on the individual challenging it. An alternative road to review similarly
taken would be to determine whether an action has already been accomplished or
performed by a branch of government before the courts may step in.

In the present case, the fitness of petitioners’ case for the exercise of judicial review
is grossly lacking. In the first place, petitioners have not sufficiently proven any
adverse injury or hardship from the act complained of. In the second place, House
Resolution No. 1109 only resolved that the House of Representatives shall convene
at a future time for the purpose of proposing amendments or revisions to the
Constitution. No actual convention has yet transpired and no rules of procedure have
yet been adopted. More importantly, no proposal has yet been made, and hence, no
usurpation of power or gross abuse of discretion has yet taken place. In short, House
Resolution No. 1109 involves a quintessential example of an uncertain contingent
future event that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may not occur at all. The
House has not yet performed a positive act that would warrant an intervention from
this Court.

As in the case of Tan v. Macapagal, as long as any proposed amendment is still

unacted on by it, there is no room for the interposition of judicial oversight. Only
after it has made concrete what it intends to submit for ratification may the
appropriate case be instituted. Until then, the courts are devoid of jurisdiction

A party will be allowed to litigate only when he can demonstrate that (1) he has
personally suffered some actual or threatened injury because of the allegedly illegal
conduct of the government; (2) the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action;
and (3) the injury is likely to be redressed by the remedy being sought. In the cases at
bar, petitioners have not shown the elemental injury in fact that would endow them
with the standing to sue. Locus standi requires a personal stake in the outcome of a
controversy for significant reasons. It assures adverseness and sharpens the
presentation of issues for the illumination of the Court in resolving difficult
constitutional questions. The lack of petitioners’ personal stake in this case is no
more evident than in Lozano’s three-page petition that is devoid of any legal or
jurisprudential basis.

Neither can the lack of locus standi be cured by the claim of petitioners that they are
instituting the cases at bar as taxpayers and concerned citizens. A taxpayer’s suit
requires that the act complained of directly involves the illegal disbursement of
public funds derived from taxation. It is undisputed that there has been no allocation
or disbursement of public funds in this case as of yet.

The possible consequence of House Resolution No. 1109 is yet unrealized and does
not infuse petitioners with locus standi

The rule on locus standi is not a plain procedural rule but a constitutional
requirement derived from Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution, which mandates
courts of justice to settle only “actual controversies involving rights which are legally
demandable and enforceable.”
Moreover, while the Court has taken an increasingly liberal approach to the rule of
locus standi, evolving from the stringent requirements of “personal injury” to the
broader “transcendental importance” doctrine, such liberality is not to be abused. It
is not an open invitation for the ignorant and the ignoble to file petitions that prove
nothing but their cerebral deficit.
League of Cities v. Comelec

These are consolidated petitions for prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
injunction or temporary restraining order filed by the League of Cities of the Philippines, City of
Iloilo, City of Calbayog, and Jerry P. Treñas assailing the constitutionality of the subject Cityhood
Laws and enjoining the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and respondent municipalities from
conducting plebiscites pursuant to the Cityhood Laws.

During the 11th Congress, Congress enacted into law 33 bills converting 33 municipalities into cities.
However, Congress did not act on bills converting 24 other municipalities into cities.
During the 12th Congress, Congress enacted into law Republic Act No. 9009 (RA 9009), which took
effect on 30 June 2001. RA 9009 amended Section 450 of the Local Government Code by increasing
the annual income requirement for conversion of a municipality into a city from P20 million to P100
million. The rationale for the amendment was to restrain, in the words of Senator Aquilino Pimentel,
“the mad rush” of municipalities to convert into cities solely to secure a larger share in the Internal
Revenue Allotment despite the fact that they are incapable of fiscal independence.

After the effectivity of RA 9009, the House of Representatives of the 12th Congress adopted Joint
Resolution No. 29, which sought to exempt from the P100 million income requirement in RA 9009
the 24 municipalities whose cityhood bills were not approved in the 11th Congress. However, the
12th Congress ended without the Senate approving Joint Resolution No. 29.

During the 13th Congress, the House of Representatives re-adopted Joint Resolution No. 29 as Joint
Resolution No. 1 and forwarded it to the Senate for approval. However, the Senate again failed to
approve the Joint Resolution. Following the advice of Senator Aquilino Pimentel, 16 municipalities
filed, through their respective sponsors, individual cityhood bills. The 16 cityhood bills contained a
common provision exempting all the 16 municipalities from the P100 million income requirement in
RA 9009.

On 22 December 2006, the House of Representatives approved the cityhood bills. The Senate also
approved the cityhood bills in February 2007, except that of Naga, Cebu which was passed on 7 June
2007. The cityhood bills lapsed into law (Cityhood Laws) on various dates from March to July 2007
without the President’s signature.

The Cityhood Laws direct the COMELEC to hold plebiscites to determine whether the voters in each
respondent municipality approve of the conversion of their municipality into a city.

Petitioners filed the present petitions to declare the Cityhood Laws unconstitutional for violation of
Section 10, Article X of the Constitution, as well as for violation of the equal protection clause.
Petitioners also lament that the wholesale conversion of municipalities into cities will reduce the
share of existing cities in the Internal Revenue Allotment because more cities will share the same
amount of internal revenue set aside for all cities under Section 285 of the Local Government Code.

The petitions raise the following fundamental issues:
1. Whether the Cityhood Laws violate Section 10, Article X of the Constitution; and
2. Whether the Cityhood Laws violate the equal protection clause.

We grant the petitions.
The Cityhood Laws violate Sections 6 and 10, Article X of the Constitution, and are thus
First, applying the P100 million income requirement in RA 9009 to the present case is a prospective,
not a retroactive application, because RA 9009 took effect in 2001 while the cityhood bills became
law more than five years later.

Second, the Constitution requires that Congress shall prescribe all the criteria for the creation of a
city in the Local Government Code and not in any other law, including the Cityhood Laws.

Third, the Cityhood Laws violate Section 6, Article X of the Constitution because they prevent a fair
and just distribution of the national taxes to local government units.

Fourth, the criteria prescribed in Section 450 of the Local Government Code, as amended by RA
9009, for converting a municipality into a city are clear, plain and unambiguous, needing no resort
to any statutory construction.

Fifth, the intent of members of the 11th Congress to exempt certain municipalities from the coverage
of RA 9009 remained an intent and was never written into Section 450 of the Local Government

Sixth, the deliberations of the 11th or 12th Congress on unapproved bills or resolutions are not
extrinsic aids in interpreting a law passed in the 13th Congress.

Seventh, even if the exemption in the Cityhood Laws were written in Section 450 of the Local
Government Code, the exemption would still be unconstitutional for violation of the equal protection

[ A.M. NO. RTJ-09-2175, July 28, 2009 ]



The administrative case stemmed from the Sinumpaang Salaysay of Venancio P. Inonog, filed with the
Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) charging Judge Francisco B. Ibay of the Regional Trial Court
(RTC), Branch 135, Makati City with gross abuse of authority. The complaint involved an incident in
the Makati City Hall basement parking lot for which respondent judge cited complainant in contempt of
court because complainant parked his superior's vehicle at the parking space reserved for respondent

Respondent judge blamed the usurpation of the said parking space for the delay in the promulgation
of the decision in 4 criminal cases scheduled at 8:00 a.m. of March 18, 2005 because the latter had a
hard time looking for another parking space. That same day, respondent judge issued another order,
finding complainant guilty of contempt.


Whether or not respondent judge is guilty of gross abuse of authority.


YES.The Supreme Court held that power to punish for contempt is inherent in all courts so as to
preserve order in judicial proceedings as well as to uphold the administration of justice. The courts
must exercise the power of contempt for purposes that are impersonal because that power is intended
as a safeguard not for the judges but for the functions they exercise. Thus, judges have, time and
again, been enjoined to exercise their contempt power judiciously, sparingly, with utmost restraint
and with the end in view of utilizing the same for correction and preservation of the dignity of the
court, not for retaliation or vindication. Respondent judge's act of unceremoniously citing complainant
in contempt is a clear evidence of his unjustified use of the authority vested upon him by law.

Besides possessing the requisite learning in the law, a magistrate must exhibit that hallmark of judicial
temperament of utmost sobriety and self-restraint which are indispensable qualities of every judge.
Respondent judge himself has characterized this incident as a "petty disturbance" and he should not
have allowed himself to be annoyed to a point that he would even waste valuable court time and
resources on a trivial matter.

Respondent Judge Francisco B. Ibay was found guilty of grave abuse of authority. He was ordered
to pay a FINE of Forty Thousand Pesos (P40,000.00).

Biraogo vs Philippine Truth Commission of 2010

G.R. No. 192935 December 7, 2010



x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x

G.R. No. 193036

REP. ORLANDO B. FUA, SR., Petitioners,

When the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over
the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts
the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of
authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which
that instrument secures and guarantees to them. --- Justice Jose P. Laurel


The genesis of the foregoing cases can be traced to the events prior to the historic May 2010 elections,
when then Senator Benigno Simeon Aquino III declared his staunch condemnation of graft and corruption
with his slogan, "Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap." The Filipino people, convinced of his sincerity
and of his ability to carry out this noble objective, catapulted the good senator to the presidency.

The first case is G.R. No. 192935, a special civil action for prohibition instituted by petitioner Louis
Biraogo (Biraogo) in his capacity as a citizen and taxpayer. Biraogo assails Executive Order No. 1 for
being violative of the legislative power of Congress under Section 1, Article VI of the Constitution as it
usurps the constitutional authority of the legislature to create a public office and to appropriate funds

The second case, G.R. No. 193036, is a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition filed by
petitioners Edcel C. Lagman, Rodolfo B. Albano Jr., Simeon A. Datumanong, and Orlando B. Fua, Sr.
(petitioners-legislators) as incumbent members of the House of Representatives.

Thus, at the dawn of his administration, the President on July 30, 2010, signed Executive Order No. 1
establishing the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 (Truth Commission).

1. Whether or not the petitioners have the legal standing to file their respective petitions and question
Executive Order No. 1;

2. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the principle of separation of powers by usurping the
powers of Congress to create and to appropriate funds for public offices, agencies and commissions;

3. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 supplants the powers of the Ombudsman and the DOJ;

4. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the equal protection clause; and

5. Whether or not petitioners are entitled to injunctive relief.


Legal Standing of the Petitioners

The Court, however, finds reason in Biraogo’s assertion that the petition covers matters of transcendental
importance to justify the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court. There are constitutional issues in the petition
which deserve the attention of this Court in view of their seriousness, novelty and weight as precedents.
Where the issues are of transcendental and paramount importance not only to the public but also to the
Bench and the Bar, they should be resolved for the guidance of all.Undoubtedly, the Filipino people are
more than interested to know the status of the President’s first effort to bring about a promised change to
the country. The Court takes cognizance of the petition not due to overwhelming political undertones that
clothe the issue in the eyes of the public, but because the Court stands firm in its oath to perform its
constitutional duty to settle legal controversies with overreaching significance to society.

Power of the President to Create the Truth Commission

The Chief Executive’s power to create the Ad hoc Investigating Committee cannot be doubted. Having
been constitutionally granted full control of the Executive Department, to which respondents belong, the
President has the obligation to ensure that all executive officials and employees faithfully comply with the
law. With AO 298 as mandate, the legality of the investigation is sustained. Such validity is not affected by
the fact that the investigating team and the PCAGC had the same composition, or that the former used
the offices and facilities of the latter in conducting the inquiry.

Power of the Truth Commission to Investigate

The distinction between the power to investigate and the power to adjudicate was delineated by the Court
in Cariño v. Commission on Human Rights.59 Thus:

The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o follow up step by step by patient inquiry or
observation. To trace or track; to search into; to examine and inquire into with care and accuracy; to find
out by careful inquisition; examination; the taking of evidence; a legal inquiry;" "to inquire; to make an
investigation," "investigation" being in turn described as "(a)n administrative function, the exercise of
which ordinarily does not require a hearing. 2 Am J2d Adm L Sec. 257; x x an inquiry, judicial or
otherwise, for the discovery and collection of facts concerning a certain matter or matters."

In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority. To determine finally.
Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense;" and "adjudge" means: "To pass on judicially, to decide,
settle or decree, or to sentence or condemn. x x. Implies a judicial determination of a fact, and the entry of
a judgment."

Finally, nowhere in Executive Order No. 1 can it be inferred that the findings of the PTC are to be
accorded conclusiveness. Much like its predecessors, the Davide Commission, the Feliciano Commission
and the Zenarosa Commission, its findings would, at best, be recommendatory in nature. And being so,
the Ombudsman and the DOJ have a wider degree of latitude to decide whether or not to reject the
recommendation. These offices, therefore, are not deprived of their mandated duties but will instead be
aided by the reports of the PTC for possible indictments for violations of graft laws.

Violation of the Equal Protection Clause

The petitioners assail Executive Order No. 1 because it is violative of this constitutional safeguard. They
contend that it does not apply equally to all members of the same class such that the intent of singling out
the "previous administration" as its sole object makes the PTC an "adventure in partisan hostility." Thus,
in order to be accorded with validity, the commission must also cover reports of graft and corruption in
virtually all administrations previous to that of former President Arroyo.

The equal protection clause is aimed at all official state actions, not just those of the legislature. Its
inhibitions cover all the departments of the government including the political and executive departments,
and extend to all actions of a state denying equal protection of the laws, through whatever agency or
whatever guise is taken.

Applying these precepts to this case, Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as violative of the
equal protection clause. The clear mandate of the envisioned truth commission is to investigate and find
out the truth "concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during the previous
administration"only. The intent to single out the previous administration is plain, patent and manifest.
Mention of it has been made in at least three portions of the questioned executive order.


The issue that seems to take center stage at present is - whether or not the Supreme Court, in the
exercise of its constitutionally mandated power of Judicial Review with respect to recent initiatives of the
legislature and the executive department, is exercising undue interference. Is the Highest Tribunal, which
is expected to be the protector of the Constitution, itself guilty of violating fundamental tenets like the
doctrine of separation of powers? Time and again, this issue has been addressed by the Court, but it
seems that the present political situation calls for it to once again explain the legal basis of its action lest it
continually be accused of being a hindrance to the nation’s thrust to progress.

WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. Executive Order No. 1 is hereby declared
UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it is violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

As also prayed for, the respondents are hereby ordered to cease and desist from carrying out the
provisions of Executive Order No. 1.


Macalintal vs PET, GR 191618, June 7, 2011

Posted by Pius Morados on November 13, 2011

(Admin Law, PET, Quasi-judicial power)

Facts: 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 SC’s decision dismissing the
former’s 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

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 Constitution.