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G.R. No. 47800 December 2, 1940

Doctrine: Social Justice



The National Traffic Commission, in its resolution of July 17, 1940, resolved to
recommend to the Director of the Public Works and to the Secretary of Public Works
and Communications that animal-drawn vehicles be prohibited from passing along the
following for a period of one year from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge
to traffic:

1) Rosario Street extending from Plaza Calderon de la Barca to Dasmariñas

Street from 7:30Am to 12:30 pm and from 1:30 pm to 530 pm; and

2) along Rizal Avenue extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo Street to

Echague Street from 7 am to 11pm

The Chairman of the National Traffic Commission on July 18, 1940 recommended to
the Director of Public Works with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works the
adoption of
thethemeasure proposed in the resolution aforementioned in pursuance of the provisio
ns of theCommonwealth Act No. 548 which authorizes said Director with the approva
l from the
Secretary of the Public Works and Communication to promulgate rules and regulation
s to regulate and control the use of and traffic on national roads.

On August 2, 1940, the Director recommended to the Secretary the approval of the
recommendations made by the Chairman of the National Traffic Commission with
modifications. The Secretary of Public Works approved the recommendations on
August 10,1940. The Mayor of Manila and the Acting Chief of Police of Manila have
enforced and caused to be enforced the rules and regulation. As a consequence, all
animal-drawn vehicles are not allowed to pass and pick up passengers in the places
above mentioned to the detriment not only of their owners but of the riding public as


1) Whether the rules and regulations promulgated by the respondents pursuant to the
provisions of Commonwealth Act NO. 548 constitute an unlawful inference with
legitimate business or trade and abridged the right to personal liberty and freedom of
2) Whether the rules and regulations complained of infringe upon the constitutional
precept regarding the promotion of social justice to insure the well-being and
economic security of all the people?


1) No. The promulgation of the Act aims to promote safe transit upon and avoid
obstructions on national roads in the interest and convenience of the public. In
enacting said law, the National Assembly was prompted by considerations of public
convenience and welfare. It was inspired by the desire to relieve congestion of traffic,
which is a menace to the public safety. Public welfare lies at the bottom of the
promulgation of the said law and the state in order to promote the general welfare
may interfere with personal liberty, with property, and with business and occupations.
Persons and property may be subject to all kinds of restraints and burdens in order to
secure the general comfort, health, and prosperity of the State. To this fundamental
aims of the government, the rights of the individual are subordinated. Liberty is a
blessing which should not be made to prevail over authority because society will fall
into anarchy. Neither should authority be made to prevail over liberty because then
the individual will fall into slavery. The paradox lies in the fact that the apparent
curtailment of liberty is precisely the very means of insuring its preserving.

2) No. Social justice is “neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor
anarchy,” but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic
forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception
may at least be approximated. Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of
all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure
economic stability of all the competent elements of society, through the maintenance
of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of
the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable,
or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of
all governments on the time-honored principles of salus populi estsuprema lex.

Social justice must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of interdependence

among divers and diverse units of a society and of the protection that should be
equally and evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our social and
economic life, consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state of
promoting health, comfort and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about “the greatest
good to the greatest number.”

Ondoy vs. Ignacio et. al. 97 SCRA 252 G.R. No. L-47178 May 16, 1980
[Estrella B. Ondoy, petitioner vs. Virgilio Ignacio, Proprietor M/B Lady
Estrellita and/or Imperial Fishing Enterprises and/or the Secretary of Labor
and/or The Compensation Appeals and Review Staff, Department of Labor,

Facts: The petitioner, Estrella Ondoy, is a mother of one Jose Ondoy, an employee
who worked under Virgilio Ignacio. According to the chief engineer and oiler, Jose
Andoy was aboard the ship of the respondent’s enterprise as part of the workforce. He
was invited by friends to a drinking spree, left the ship and thereafter was found dead
due to drowning. Thus the petitioner asked for compensation, however, the
testimonies by the chief engineer were dismissed by the hearing officer due to lack of
merit. Afterwards, a motion for reconsideration was also filed before the Secretary of
Labor, but was denied again due to lack of merit.

Issue: Whether or not the compensation for Jose’s death is constitutional. Whether or
not Social Justice has a role in this case.

Ruling: The Supreme Court granted the petition, granting Estrella Ondoy 6,000 pesos
as compensation for Jose’s death, 300 pesos for burial fees and 600 pesos as
attorney’s fee with the costs against respondent, Ignacio.

Ratio Decidendi: The principle of social justice applied in this case is a matter of
protection, and not equality. The Supreme Court recognized the right of petitioner to
claim a compensation from the respondent, as Jose did drown while “in the actual
performance of his duty.” To fortify this ruling, the SC cited cases wherein, with
accordance to the constitutional scheme of social justice and protection to labor,
Workmen’s Compensation Act, which dealt with the right of workers for
compensation for personal injury, was applied. Among them is a case where there was
no direct testimony attesting that the deceased drowned while in the performance of
his duty, however, the compensation was sustained. Lastly from another case, the SC
quoted that “as between a laborer, usually poor and unlettered, and the employer, who
has resources to secure able legal advice, the law has reason to demand from the latter
strict compliance. Social justice in these cases is not equality but protection.


Facts and arguments

On May 25, 1920, Robert T. Meyer, while an instructor in Zion Parochial School, a
one-room schoolhouse in Hampton, Nebraska, taught the subject of reading in the
German language to 10-year-old Raymond Parpart, a fourth-grader. The Hamilton
County Attorney entered the classroom and discovered Parpart reading from the Bible
in German. He charged Meyer with violating the Siman Act.[3]

Meyer was tried and convicted in the district court for Hamilton county, Nebraska,
and fined $25 (about $305 in 2017 dollars). The Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed
his conviction by a vote of 4 to 2. The majority thought the law a proper response to
"the baneful effects" of allowing immigrants to educate their children in their mother
tongue, with results "inimical to our own safety." The dissent called the Siman Act the
work of "crowd psychology."[3]

Meyer appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States. His lead attorney was
Arthur Mullen, an Irish Catholic and a prominent Democrat, who had earlier failed in
his attempt to obtain an injunction against enforcement of the Siman Act from the
Nebraska State Supreme Court. Oral arguments expressed conflicting interpretations
of the World War I experience. Mullen attributed the law to "hatred, national bigotry
and racial prejudice engendered by the World War." Opposing counsel countered that
"it is the ambition of the State to have its entire population 100 per cent.

Majority opinion
In his decision, Justice McReynolds stated that the "liberty" protected by the Due
Process clause "[w]ithout doubt...denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint
but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common
occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring
up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and
generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the
orderly pursuit of happiness by free men."

Analyzing in that context the liberty of the teacher and of parents with respect to
their children, McReynolds wrote: "Practically, education of the young is only
possible in schools conducted by especially qualified persons who devote
themselves thereto. The calling always has been regarded as useful and
honorable, essential, indeed, to the public welfare. Mere knowledge of the
German language cannot reasonably be regarded as harmful. Heretofore it has
been commonly looked upon as helpful and desirable. Plaintiff in error taught
this language in school as part of his occupation. His right thus to teach and the
right of parents to engage him so to instruct their children, we think, are within
the liberty of the amendment." And further: "Evidently the Legislature has
attempted materially to interfere with the calling of modern language teachers, with
the opportunities of pupils to acquire knowledge, and with the power of parents to
control the education of their own."

And finally: "That the state may do much, go very far, indeed, in order to improve the
quality of its citizens, physically, mentally and morally, is clear; but the individual has
certain fundamental rights which must be respected. The protection of the
Constitution extends to all, to those who speak other languages as well as to those
born with English on the tongue. Perhaps it would be highly advantageous if all had
ready understanding of our ordinary speech, but this cannot be coerced by methods
which conflict with the Constitution—a desirable end cannot be promoted by
prohibited means."

He allowed that wartime circumstances might justify a different understanding, but

that Nebraska had not demonstrated sufficient need "in time of peace and domestic
tranquility" to justify "the consequent infringement of rights long freely enjoyed."


Facts of the case

On November 7, 1922, the voters of Oregon passed an initiative amending Oregon
Law Section 5259, the Compulsory Education Act. The citizens' initiative was
primarily aimed at eliminating parochial schools, including Catholic schools.

The Sisters of the Holy Names and Hill Military Academy separately sued Walter
Pierce, the governor of Oregon, along with Isaac H. Van Winkle, the state attorney
general, and Stanley Myers, district attorney of Multnomah County (of which
Portland is the county seat, and where both the Sisters and the Academy were
headquartered). The two cases, heard and decided together, were slanted along
slightly different lines. The Sisters' case alleges that:

the enactment conflicts with the right of parents to choose schools where their
children will receive appropriate mental and religious training, the right of the child
to influence the parents' choice of a school, the right of schools and teachers therein
to engage in a useful business or profession. (268 U.S. 510, 532).

The schools won their case before a three-judge panel of the Oregon District Court,
which granted an injunction against the Act. The defendants appealed their case
directly to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court heard the case on 16
and 17 March 1925.

The Court deliberated for about 10 weeks before issuing their decision on 1 June 1925.
The Court unanimously upheld the lower court's decision, and the injunction against
the amended Act.

Associate Justice James Clark McReynolds wrote the opinion of the Court. He stated
that children were not "the mere creature[s] of the state" (268 U.S. 510, 535), and that,
by its very nature, the traditional American understanding of the term liberty
prevented the state from forcing students to accept instruction only from public
schools. He stated that this responsibility belonged to the child's parents or guardians,
and that the ability to make such a choice was a "liberty" protected by the Fourteenth


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 right.

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 same.”


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.

Then Metro Manila Mayor Antonio Villegas approved the appointing of 91 women
street sweepers in the City of Manila. But the appointing would still have to be
approved by the Office of Civil Service Commission under Commissioner Abelardo
Subido. Subido refused to extend approval to such appointments on the ground that
appointing women to manual labor is against Memorandum Circular No. 18 series of
1964. Subido pointed out that putting women workers with men workers outside
under the heat of the sun and placing them under manual labor exposes them to
contempt and ridicule and constitutes a violation of the traditional dignity and respect
accorded Filipino womanhood. Villegas however pointed out that the said Memo has
already been set aside by the Office of the President hence the same is no longer in

ISSUE: Whether or not the appointment of said women workers should be confirmed
by the Civil Service Commissioner.

HELD: Yes, the appointments must be confirmed. The basis of Subido was not on
any law or rule but simply on his own concept of what policy to pursue, in this
instance in accordance with his own personal predilection. Here he appeared to be
unalterably convinced that to allow women laborers to work outside their offices as
street sweepers would run counter to Filipino tradition. A public official must be able
to point to a particular provision of law or rule justifying the exercise of a challenged

Nothing is better settled in the law than that a public official exercises power, not
rights. The government itself is merely an agency through which the will of the state
is expressed and enforced. Its officers therefore are likewise agents entrusted with the
responsibility of discharging its functions. As such there is no presumption that they
are empowered to act. There must be a delegation of such authority, either express or
implied. In the absence of a valid grant, they are devoid of power. It must be
conceded that departmental zeal may not be permitted to outrun the authority
conferred by statute. Neither the high dignity of the office nor the righteousness of the
motive then is an acceptable substitute. Otherwise the rule of law becomes a myth.
Such an eventuality, we must take all pains to avoid.

Oposa vs. Factoran Case Digest (G.R. No. 101083, July 30, 1993)


The plaintiffs in this case are all minors duly represented and joined by their parents.
The first complaint was filed as a taxpayer's class suit at the Branch 66 (Makati,
Metro Manila), of the Regional Trial Court, National capital Judicial Region against
defendant (respondent) Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural
Reasources (DENR). Plaintiffs alleged that they are entitled to the full benefit, use
and enjoyment of the natural resource treasure that is the country's virgin tropical
forests. They further asseverate that they represent their generation as well as
generations yet unborn and asserted that continued deforestation have caused a
distortion and disturbance of the ecological balance and have resulted in a host of
environmental tragedies.

Plaintiffs prayed that judgement be rendered ordering the respondent, his agents,
representatives and other persons acting in his behalf to cancel all existing Timber
License Agreement (TLA) in the country and to cease and desist from receiving,
accepting, processing, renewing or approving new TLAs.

Defendant, on the other hand, filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the
complaint had no cause of action against him and that it raises a political question.

The RTC Judge sustained the motion to dismiss, further ruling that granting of the
relief prayed for would result in the impairment of contracts which is prohibited by
the Constitution.

Plaintiffs (petitioners) thus filed the instant special civil action for certiorari and asked
the court to rescind and set aside the dismissal order on the ground that the respondent
RTC Judge gravely abused his discretion in dismissing the action.


(1) Whether or not the plaintiffs have a cause of action.

(2) Whether or not the complaint raises a political issue.
(3) Whether or not the original prayer of the plaintiffs result in the impairment of


First Issue: Cause of Action.

Respondents aver that the petitioners failed to allege in their complaint a specific legal
right violated by the respondent Secretary for which any relief is provided by law.
The Court did not agree with this. The complaint focuses on one fundamental legal
right -- the right to a balanced and healthful ecology which is incorporated in Section
16 Article II of the Constitution. The said right carries with it the duty to refrain from
impairing the environment and implies, among many other things, the judicious
management and conservation of the country's forests. Section 4 of E.O. 192
expressly mandates the DENR to be the primary government agency responsible for
the governing and supervising the exploration, utilization, development and
conservation of the country's natural resources. The policy declaration of E.O. 192 is
also substantially re-stated in Title XIV Book IV of the Administrative Code of 1987.
Both E.O. 192 and Administrative Code of 1987 have set the objectives which will
serve as the bases for policy formation, and have defined the powers and functions of
the DENR. Thus, right of the petitioners (and all those they represent) to a balanced
and healthful ecology is as clear as DENR's duty to protect and advance the said right.

A denial or violation of that right by the other who has the correlative duty or
obligation to respect or protect or respect the same gives rise to a cause of action.
Petitioners maintain that the granting of the TLA, which they claim was done with
grave abuse of discretion, violated their right to a balance and healthful ecology.
Hence, the full protection thereof requires that no further TLAs should be renewed or
After careful examination of the petitioners' complaint, the Court finds it to be
adequate enough to show, prima facie, the claimed violation of their rights.

Second Issue: Political Issue.

Second paragraph, Section 1 of Article VIII of the constitution provides for the
expanded jurisdiction vested upon the Supreme Court. It allows the Court to rule upon
even on the wisdom of the decision of the Executive and Legislature and to declare
their acts as invalid for lack or excess of jurisdiction because it is tainted with grave
abuse of discretion.

Third Issue: Violation of the non-impairment clause.

The Court held that the Timber License Agreement is an instrument by which the
state regulates the utilization and disposition of forest resources to the end that public
welfare is promoted. It is not a contract within the purview of the due process clause
thus, the non-impairment clause cannot be invoked. It can be validly withdraw
whenever dictated by public interest or public welfare as in this case. The granting of
license does not create irrevocable rights, neither is it property or property rights.

Moreover, the constitutional guaranty of non-impairment of obligations of contract is

limit by the exercise by the police power of the State, in the interest of public health,
safety, moral and general welfare. In short, the non-impairment clause must yield to
the police power of the State.

The instant petition, being impressed with merit, is hereby GRANTED and the RTC
decision is SET ASIDE.

CASE DIGEST: Guingona, Jr. vs. Carague

G.R. No. 94571. April 22, 1991


The 1990 budget consists of P98.4 Billion in automatic appropriation (with P86.8
Billion for debt service) and P155.3 Billion appropriated under RA 6831, otherwise
known as the General Approriations Act, or a total of P233.5 Billion, while the
appropriations for the DECS amount to P27,017,813,000.00.

The said automatic appropriation for debt service is authorized by PD No. 18, entitled
“ Amending Certain Provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four Thousand Eight
Hundred Sixty, as Amended (Re: Foreign Borrowing Act), “by PD No. 1177, entitled
“Revising the Budget Process in Order to Institutionalize the Budgetary Innovations
of the New Society,” and by PD No.1967, entitled “An Act Strengthening the
Guarantee and Payment Positions of the Republic of the Philippines on its Contingent
Liabilities Arising out of Relent and Guaranteed Loans by Appropriating Funds For
The Purpose.”

The petitioners were questioning the constitutionality of the automatic appropriation

for debt service, it being higher than the budget for education, therefore it is against
Section 5(5), Article XIV of the Constitution which mandates to “assign the highest
budgetary priority to education.”


Whether or not the automatic appropriation for debt service is unconstitutional; it

being higher than the budget for education.


No. While it is true that under Section 5(5), Article XIV of the Constitution Congress
is mandated to “assign the highest budgetary priority to education,” it does not
thereby follow that the hands of Congress are so hamstrung as to deprive it the power
to respond to the imperatives of the national interest and for the attainment of other
state policies or objectives.

Congress is certainly not without any power, guided only by its good judgment, to
provide an appropriation, that can reasonably service our enormous debt…It is not
only a matter of honor and to protect the credit standing of the country. More
especially, the very survival of our economy is at stake. Thus, if in the process
Congress appropriated an amount for debt service bigger than the share allocated to
education, the Court finds and so holds that said appropriation cannot be thereby
assailed as unconstitutional


DIZON-CAPULONG, in her capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court
of Valenzuela, Metro Manila, Branch 172, respondents.


Private respondent, San Diego, is a graduate of the University of the East with a
degree of B.S. in Zoology. The petitioner claims that he took the National Medical
Admission Test (NMAT) three times and flunked it as many times. When he applied
to take it again, the petitioner rejected his application on the basis of the NMAT rule:

h) A student shall be allowed only three (3) chances to take the NMAT. After three
(3) successive failures, a student shall not be allowed to take the NMAT for the
fourth time.

He then went to RTC Valenzuela to compel his admission to the test. In his petition,
he squarely challenged the constitutionality of MECS Order No. 12, Series of 1972,
containing the above-cited rule. The additional grounds raised were due process and
equal protection.


Whether respondent was deprived of his right to a medical education through an

arbitrary exercise of the police power.


The regulation of the practice of medicine in all its branches has long been recognized
as a reasonable method of protecting the health and safety of the public. Thus,
legislation and administrative regulations requiring those who wish to practice
medicine first to take and pass medical board examinations is a valid exercises of
governmental power.

The Court agreed that the government is entitled to prescribe an admission test like
the NMAT as a means of achieving its stated objective of “upgrading the selection of
applicants into medical schools” and of “improving the quality of medical education
in the country.”

The subject of the challenged regulation is certainly within the ambit of the police
power. It is the right and indeed the responsibility of the State to insure that the
medical profession is not infiltrated by incompetents to whom patients may unwarily
entrust their lives and health. The three-flunk rule is intended to insulate the medical
schools and ultimately the medical profession from the intrusion of those not qualified
to be doctors.


Topic: Right to self organization
Extent and Scope of Right

1. Benjamin Victoriano (hereinafter referred to as Appellee), a member of the religious sect known as
the "Iglesia ni Cristo", had been in the employ of the Elizalde Rope Factory, Inc. (hereinafter referred
to as Company) since 1958.

2. As such employee, he was a member of the Elizalde Rope Workers' Union (hereinafter referred to as
Union) which had with the Company a collective bargaining agreement containing a closed shop
provision which reads as follows:
Membership in the Union shall be required as a condition of employment for all permanent employees
workers covered by this Agreement.

3. The collective bargaining agreement expired on March 3, 1964 but was renewed the following day,
March 4, 1964.

4. Under Section 4(a), paragraph 4, of Republic Act No. 875, prior to its amendment by Republic Act
No. 3350, the employer was not precluded "from making an agreement with a labor organization to
require as a condition of employment membership therein, if such labor organization is the
representative of the employees." On June 18, 1961, however, Republic Act No. 3350 was enacted,
introducing an amendment to — paragraph (4) subsection (a) of section 4 of Republic Act No. 875, as
follows: ... "but such agreement shall not cover members of any religious sects which prohibit
affiliation of their members in any such labor organization".

5. Being a member of a religious sect that prohibits the affiliation of its members with any labor
organization, Appellee presented his resignation to appellant Union in 1962, and when no action was
taken thereon, he reiterated his resignation on September 3, 1974. Thereupon, the Union wrote a formal
letter to the Company asking the latter to separate Appellee from the service in view of the fact that he
was resigning from the Union as a member.

6. The management of the Company in turn notified Appellee and his counsel that unless the Appellee
could achieve a satisfactory arrangement with the Union, the Company would be constrained to dismiss
him from the service. This prompted Appellee to file an action for injunction, docketed as Civil Case
No. 58894 in the Court of First Instance of Manila to enjoin the Company and the Union from
dismissing Appellee. 1 In its answer, the Union invoked the "union security clause" of the collective
bargaining agreement; assailed the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 3350; and contended that the
Court had no jurisdiction over the case, pursuant to Republic Act No. 875, Sections 24 and 9 (d) and

CFI - Manila: enjoining the defendant Elizalde Rope Factory, Inc. from dismissing the plaintiff from
his present employment and sentencing the defendant Elizalde Rope Workers' Union to pay the
plaintiff P500 for attorney's fees and the costs of this action

Appeal to this Court on purely questions of law.

WON RA 3350 introducing an amendment to paragraph (4) subsection (a) of section
4 of Republic Act No. 875, as follows: ... "but such agreement shall not cover
members of any religious sects which prohibit affiliation of their members in any such
labor organization" is unconstitutional

WON RA 3350 infringes on the fundamental right to form lawful associations when it
"prohibits all the members of a given religious sect from joining any labor union if
such sect prohibits affiliations of their members thereto" 5 ; and, consequently,
deprives said members of their constitutional right to form or join lawful associations
or organizations guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and thus becomes obnoxious to
Article III, Section 1 (6) of the 1935 Constitution


1. NO. R.A. No. 3350 is constitutional on all counts. It must be pointed out that the
free exercise of religious profession or belief is superior to contract rights. In case of
conflict, the latter must, therefore, yield to the former.

2. No. What the exception provides, therefore, is that members of said religious sects cannot be
compelled or coerced to join labor unions even when said unions have closed shop agreements with the
employers; that in spite of any closed shop agreement, members of said religious sects cannot be
refused employment or dismissed from their jobs on the sole ground that they are not members of the
collective bargaining union.
If, notwithstanding their religious beliefs, the members of said religious sects prefer to sign up with the
labor union, they can do so. If in deference and fealty to their religious faith, they refuse to sign up,
they can do so; the law does not coerce them to join; neither does the law prohibit them from joining;
and neither may the employer or labor union compel them to join. Republic Act No. 3350, therefore,
does not violate the constitutional provision on freedom of association.


The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) was created by Presidential Decree No. 232
as an independent public corporation to promote the rapid integrated development and
growth of the coconut and other palm oil industry in all its aspects and to ensure that
coconut farmers become direct participants in, and beneficiaries of, such development
and growth through a regulatory scheme set up by law.

PCA is also in charge of the issuing of licenses to would-be coconut plant operators.
In March 1993, however, PCA issued Board Resolution No. 018-93 which no longer
require those wishing to engage in coconut processing to apply for licenses as a
condition for engaging in such business. The purpose of which is to promote free
enterprise unhampered by protective regulations and unnecessary bureaucratic red
tapes. But this caused cut-throat competition among operators specifically in
congested areas, underselling, smuggling, and the decline of coconut-based
commodities. The Association of Philippine Coconut Desiccators (APCD) then filed
a petition for mandamus to compel PCA to revoke B.R. No. 018-93.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petition should be granted.

HELD: Yes. Our Constitutions, beginning with the 1935 document, have repudiated
laissez-faire as an economic principle. Although the present Constitution enshrines
free enterprise as a policy, it nonetheless reserves to the government the power to
intervene whenever necessary to promote the general welfare. As such, free enterprise
does not call for the removal of “protective regulations” for the benefit of the general
public. This is so because under Art. 12, Secs. 6 and 9, it is very clear that the
government reserves the power to intervene whenever necessary to promote the
general welfare and when the public interest so requires.

NOTE (In the first “whereas” clause of the questioned resolution as set out above, the
PCA invokes a policy of free enterprise that is “unhampered by protective regulations
and unnecessary bureaucratic red tape” as justification for abolishing the licensing
system. There can be no quarrel with the elimination of “unnecessary red tape.” That
is within the power of the PCA to do and indeed it should eliminate red tape. Its
success in doing so will be applauded. But free enterprise does not call for removal of
“protective regulations.”

Our Constitutions, beginning with the 1935 document, have

repudiated laissez-faire as an economic principle. 18Although the present Constitution
enshrines free enterprise as a policy, 19 it nonetheless reserves to the government the
power to intervene whenever necessary to promote the general welfare. This is clear
from the following provisions of Art. XII of the Constitution which, so far as pertinent,

Sec. 6. . . . Individuals and private groups, including corporations, cooperatives, and

similar collective organizations, shall have the right to own, establish, and operate
economic enterprises, subject to the duty of the State to promote distributive justice
and to intervene when the common good so demands.

Sec. 19. The State shall regulate or prohibit monopolies when the public interest so
requires. No combinations in restraint of trade or unfair competition shall be allowed.
(Emphasis added).

At all events, any change in policy must be made by the legislative department of the
government. The regulatory system has been set up by law. It is beyond the power of
an administrative agency to dismantle it. Indeed, petitioner charges the PCA of
seeking to render moot a case filed by some of its members questioning the grant of
licenses to certain parties by adopting the resolution in question. It is alleged that
members of petitioner complained to the court that the PCA had authorized the
establishment and operation of new plants in areas which were already crowded, in
violation of its Administrative Order No. 002, series of 1991. In response, the
Regional Trial Court issued a writ of preliminary injunction, enjoining the PCA from
issuing licenses to the private respondent in that case.)))


These are four consolidated cases questioning the constitutionality of the

Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Act (R.A. No. 6657 and related laws i.e., Agrarian
Land Reform Code or R.A. No. 3844).

Brief background: Article XIII of the Constitution on Social Justice and Human
Rights includes a call for the adoption by the State of an agrarian reform program.
The State shall, by law, undertake an agrarian reform program founded on the right of
farmers and regular farmworkers, who are landless, to own directly or collectively the
lands they till or, in the case of other farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits
thereof. RA 3844 was enacted in 1963. P.D. No. 27 was promulgated in 1972 to
provide for the compulsory acquisition of private lands for distribution among
tenant-farmers and to specify maximum retention limits for landowners. In 1987,
President Corazon Aquino issued E.O. No. 228, declaring full land ownership in favor
of the beneficiaries of PD 27 and providing for the valuation of still unvalued lands
covered by the decree as well as the manner of their payment. In 1987, P.P. No. 131,
instituting a comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP) was enacted; later, E.O.
No. 229, providing the mechanics for its (PP131’s) implementation, was also enacted.
Afterwhich is the enactment of R.A. No. 6657, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law
in 1988. This law, while considerably changing the earlier mentioned enactments,
nevertheless gives them suppletory effect insofar as they are not inconsistent with its
[Two of the consolidated cases are discussed below]

G.R. No. 78742: (Association of Small Landowners vs Secretary)

The Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. sought exception from
the land distribution scheme provided for in R.A. 6657. The Association is comprised
of landowners of ricelands and cornlands whose landholdings do not exceed 7
hectares. They invoke that since their landholdings are less than 7 hectares, they
should not be forced to distribute their land to their tenants under R.A. 6657 for they
themselves have shown willingness to till their own land. In short, they want to be
exempted from agrarian reform program because they claim to belong to a different

G.R. No. 79777: (Manaay vs Juico)

Nicolas Manaay questioned the validity of the agrarian reform laws (PD 27, EO 228,
and 229) on the ground that these laws already valuated their lands for the agrarian
reform program and that the specific amount must be determined by the Department
of Agrarian Reform (DAR). Manaay averred that this violated the principle in
eminent domain which provides that only courts can determine just compensation.
This, for Manaay, also violated due process for under the constitution, no property
shall be taken for public use without just compensation.

Manaay also questioned the provision which states that landowners may be paid for
their land in bonds and not necessarily in cash. Manaay averred that just
compensation has always been in the form of money and not in bonds.


1. Whether or not there was a violation of the equal protection clause.

2. Whether or not there is a violation of due process.

3. Whether or not just compensation, under the agrarian reform program, must be in
terms of cash.


1. No. The Association had not shown any proof that they belong to a different class
exempt from the agrarian reform program. Under the law, classification has been
defined as the grouping of persons or things similar to each other in certain particulars
and different from each other in these same particulars. To be valid, it must conform
to the following requirements:

(1) it must be based on substantial distinctions;

(2) it must be germane to the purposes of the law;

(3) it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and

(4) it must apply equally to all the members of the class.

Equal protection simply means that all persons or things similarly situated must be
treated alike both as to the rights conferred and the liabilities imposed. The
Association have not shown that they belong to a different class and entitled to a
different treatment. The argument that not only landowners but also owners of other
properties must be made to share the burden of implementing land reform must be
rejected. There is a substantial distinction between these two classes of owners that is
clearly visible except to those who will not see. There is no need to elaborate on this
matter. In any event, the Congress is allowed a wide leeway in providing for a valid
classification. Its decision is accorded recognition and respect by the courts of justice
except only where its discretion is abused to the detriment of the Bill of Rights. In the
contrary, it appears that Congress is right in classifying small landowners as part of
the agrarian reform program.

2. No. It is true that the determination of just compensation is a power lodged in the
courts. However, there is no law which prohibits administrative bodies like the DAR
from determining just compensation. In fact, just compensation can be that amount
agreed upon by the landowner and the government – even without judicial
intervention so long as both parties agree. The DAR can determine just compensation
through appraisers and if the landowner agrees, then judicial intervention is not
needed. What is contemplated by law however is that, the just compensation
determined by an administrative body is merely preliminary. If the landowner does
not agree with the finding of just compensation by an administrative body, then it can
go to court and the determination of the latter shall be the final determination. This is
even so provided by RA 6657:

Section 16 (f): Any party who disagrees with the decision may bring
the matter to the court of proper jurisdiction for final determination of
just compensation.

3. No. Money as [sole] payment for just compensation is merely a concept

in traditional exercise of eminent domain. The agrarian reform program is a
revolutionary exercise of eminent domain. The program will require billions of pesos
in funds if all compensation have to be made in cash – if everything is in cash, then
the government will not have sufficient money hence, bonds, and other securities, i.e.,
shares of stocks, may be used for just compensation.


Facts: On January 30, 1990, the people of the provinces of Benguet, Mountain
Province, Ifugao, Abra and Kalinga-Apayao and the city of Baguio cast their votes in
a plebiscite held pursuant to Republic Act No. 6766 entitled “An Act Providing for an
Organic Act for the Cordillera Autonomous Region.”
The official Commission on Elections (COMELEC) results of the plebiscite showed
that the creation of the Region was approved by a majority of 5,889 votes in only the
Ifugao Province and was overwhelmingly rejected by 148,676 votes in the rest of the
provinces and city above-mentioned.
Consequently, the COMELEC, on February 14, 1990, issued Resolution No. 2259
stating that the Organic Act for the Region has been approved and/or ratified by
majority of the votes cast only in the province of Ifugao.
the petitioner filed a petition with COMELEC to declare the non-ratification of the
Organic Act for the Region. The petitioners maintain that there can be no valid
Cordillera Autonomous Region in only one province as the Constitution and Republic
Act No. 6766 require that the said Region be composed of more than one constituent

Issue: The question raised in this petition is whether or not the province of Ifugao,
being the only province which voted favorably for the creation of the Cordillera
Autonomous Region can, alone, legally and validly constitute such Region.

Held: The sole province of Ifugao cannot validly constitute the Cordillera
Autonomous Region.
It is explicit in Article X, Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution. The keywords —
provinces, cities, municipalities and geographical areas connote that “region” is
to be made up of more than one constituent unit. The term “region” used in its
ordinary sense means two or more provinces. This is supported by the fact that
the thirteen (13) regions into which the Philippines is divided for administrative
purposes are groupings of contiguous provinces. Ifugao is a province by itself. To
become part of a region, it must join other provinces, cities, municipalities, and
geographical areas. It joins other units because of their common and distinctive
historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures and other relevant
characteristics. The Constitutional requirements are not present in this case.

Article III, Sections 1 and 2 of Republic Act No. 6766 provide that the Cordillera
Autonomous Region is to be administered by the Cordillera government consisting of
the Regional Government and local government units. It further provides that:
“SECTION 2. The Regional Government shall exercise powers and functions
necessary for the proper governance and development of all provinces, cities,
municipalities, and barangay or ili within the Autonomous Region . . .”
From these sections, it can be gleaned that Congress never intended that a single
province may constitute the autonomous region. Otherwise, we would be faced
with the absurd situation of having two sets of officials, a set of provincial
officials and another set of regional officials exercising their executive and
legislative powers over exactly the same small area.


n 1958, Felix Alberto & Co., Inc (FACI) was granted by Congress a franchise to build
radio stations (later construed as to include telephony). FACI later changed its name
to Express Telecommunications Co., Inc. (ETCI). In 1987, ETCI was granted by the
National Telecommunications Commission a provisional authority to build a
telephone system in some parts of Manila. Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.
(PLDT) opposed the said grant as it avers, among others, that ETCI is not qualified
because its franchise has already been invalidated when it failed to exercise it within
10 years from 1958; that in 1987, the Albertos, owners of more than 40% of ETCI’s
shares of stocks, transferred said stocks to the new stockholders (Cellcom, Inc.? – not
specified in the case); that such transfer involving more than 40% shares of stocks
amounted to a transfer of franchise which is void because the authorization of
Congress was not obtained. The NTC denied PLDT. PLDT then filed a petition for
certiorari and prohibition against the NTC.

ISSUE: Whether or not PLDT’s petition should prosper.


1. PLDT cannot attack ETCI’s franchise in a petition for certiorari. It cannot be collaterally
attacked. It should be directly attacked through a petition for quo warranto which is the correct
procedure. A franchise is a property right and cannot be revoked or forfeited without due
process of law. The determination of the right to the exercise of a franchise, or whether the
right to enjoy such privilege has been forfeited by non-user, is more properly the subject of the
prerogative writ of quo warranto. Further, for any violation of the franchise, it should be the
government who should be filing a quo warranto proceeding because it was the government
who granted it in the first place.
2. The transfer of more than 40% of the shares of stocks is not tantamount to a transfer of
franchise. There is a distinction here. There is no need to obtain authorization of Congress for
the mere transfer of shares of stocks. Shareholders can transfer their shares to anyone. The
only limitation is that if the transfer involves more than 40% of the corporation’s stocks, it
should be approved by the NTC. The transfer in this case was shown to have been approved
by the NTC. What requires authorization from Congress is the transfer of franchise; and the
person who shall obtain the authorization is the grantee (ETCI). A distinction should be made
between shares of stock, which are owned by stockholders, the sale of which requires only
NTC approval, and the franchise itself which is owned by the corporation as the grantee
thereof, the sale or transfer of which requires Congressional sanction. Since stockholders own
the shares of stock, they may dispose of the same as they see fit. They may not, however,
transfer or assign the property of a corporation, like its franchise. In other words, even if the
original stockholders had transferred their shares to another group of shareholders, the
franchise granted to the corporation subsists as long as the corporation, as an entity, continues
to exist. The franchise is not thereby invalidated by the transfer of the shares. A corporation
has a personality separate and distinct from that of each stockholder. It has the right of
continuity or perpetual succession.

NOTE IMPT: The decisive consideration are public need, public interest, and the common good. Those were the overriding
factors which motivated NTC in granting provisional authority to ETCI. Article II, Section 24 of the 1987 Constitution, recognizes the
vital role of communication and information in nation building. It is likewise a State policy to provide the environment for the emergence
of communications structures suitable to the balanced flow of information into, out of, and across the country (Article XVI, Section 10,
Ibid.). A modern and dependable communications network rendering efficient and reasonably priced services is also indispensable for
accelerated economic recovery and development. To these public and national interests, public utility companies must bow and yield.

Despite the fact that there is a virtual monopoly of the telephone system in the country at present. service is sadly inadequate. Customer
demands are hardly met, whether fixed or mobile. There is a unanimous cry to hasten the development of a modern, efficient, satisfactory
and continuous telecommunications service not only in Metro Manila but throughout the archipelago. The need therefor was dramatically
emphasized by the destructive earthquake of 16 July 1990. It may be that users of the cellular mobile telephone would initially be limited
to a few and to highly commercialized areas. However, it is a step in the right direction towards the enhancement of the
telecommunications infrastructure, the expansion of telecommunications services in, hopefully, all areas of the country, with chances of
complete disruption of communications minimized. It will thus impact on, the total development of the country's telecommunications
systems and redound to the benefit of even those who may not be able to subscribe to ETCI.

Free competition in the industry may also provide the answer to a much-desired improvement in the quality and delivery of this type of
public utility, to improved technology, fast and handy mobile service, and reduced user dissatisfaction. After all, neither PLDT nor any
other public utility has a constitutional right to a monopoly position in view of the Constitutional proscription that no franchise certificate
or authorization shall be exclusive in character or shall last longer than fifty (50) years (ibid., Section 11; Article XIV Section 5, 1973
Constitution; Article XIV, Section 8, 1935 Constitution). Additionally, the State is empowered to decide whether public interest demands
that monopolies be regulated or prohibited (1987 Constitution. Article XII, Section 19).