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Political Law: Concepts,

Principles, Relevant
Provisions and Related
Jurisprudence (Del
Castillo cases)
PROFESSOR VICTORIA V. LOANZON
Calling Out Powers of the President
Lagman et al. v. Medialdea, G.R. No. 231774, July 4,
2017, Castillo, J.:
Facts: Effective May 23, 2017, and for a period not
exceeding 60 days, President Duterte issued
Proclamation No. 216 declaring a state of martial law
and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus in the whole of Mindanao. The President
submitted to Congress on May 25, 2017, a written Report
on the factual basis of Proclamation No. 216. The Report
pointed out that for decades, Mindanao has been
plagued with rebellion and lawless violence which only
escalated and worsened with the passing of time.
Calling Out Powers of the President
According to the Report, the lawless activities of the ASG,
Maute Group, and other criminals, brought about undue
constraints and difficulties to the military and
government personnel, particularly in the performance
of their duties and functions, and untold hardships to the
civilians. After the submission of the Report and the
briefings, the Senate issued a resolution expressing full
support to the martial law proclamation and finding
Proclamation No. 216 "to be satisfactory, constitutional
and in accordance with the law". In the same
Resolution, the Senate declared that it found "no
compelling reason to revoke the same".
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: Is the factual basis of the declaration of
Martial law a political question?
Answer: No. The Court said that the factual basis of the
declaration of martial law or the suspension of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is not a political
question. Section 18 of Article VII allows judicial
review of the declaration of martial law and suspension
of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Clearly
the framers of the 1987 Constitution intended that the
Court will take cognizance of a petition in keeping with
the principle of checks and balances.
Note: Remember Baker v. Carr
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: What is the nature of the proceeding which
looks into the factual basis of the declaration of Martial
Law?
Answer: The unique features of the third paragraph of
Section 18, Article VII clearly indicate that it should be
treated as sui generis separate and different from those
enumerated in Article VIII. It calls for a different rule on
standing as any citizen may file it. Said provision of the
Constitution also limits the issue to the sufficiency of the
factual basis of the exercise by the Chief Executive of
his emergency powers. It looks into the acts prior to the
declaration of Martial Law.
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: Distinguish between the checking powers of
congress and the Supreme Court in the exercise of the
“Calling Out” powers of the President.
Answer: 1. The Court may strike down the presidential
proclamation in an appropriate proceeding filed by any
citizen on the ground of lack of sufficient factual basis. On
the other hand, Congress may revoke the proclamation or
suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the
President. Both are in keeping with the principle of checks
and balances.
Calling Out Powers of the President
2. The Court's review power is passive; it is only initiated by
the filing of a petition "in an appropriate proceeding" by a
citizen. Congress' review mechanism is automatic in the sense
that it may be activated by Congress itself at any time after
the proclamation or suspension was made.
3. In reviewing the sufficiency of the factual basis of the
proclamation or suspension, the Court considers only the
information and data available to the President prior to or at
the time of the declaration; it is not allowed td "undertake
an independent investigation beyond the pleadings."
On the other hand, Congress may take into consideration not
only data available prior to, but likewise events supervening
the declaration.
Calling Out Powers of the President
4. Unlike the Court which does not look into the absolute
correctness of the factual basis, Congress could probe
deeper and further; it can delve into the accuracy of the
facts presented before it.
Calling Out Powers of the President
Conclusion:
The power to review by the Court and the power to
revoke by Congress are not only totally different but
likewise independent from each other although
concededly, they have the same trajectory, which is,
the nullification of the presidential proclamation.
Needless to say, the power of the Court to review can
be exercised independently from the power of
revocation of Congress.
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: What is the distinction in the exercise the
extraordinary powers of the President under paragraph
3 of Section 18 of Article VII from the 1973 Constitution?
Answer: The framers of the 1987 Constitution
reformulated the scope of the extraordinary powers of
the President as Commander-in-Chief and the review of
the said presidential action. In particular, the President's
extraordinary powers of suspending the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus and imposing martial law are
subject to the veto powers of the Court and Congress.
The duration of the declaration of martial law and the
suspension of habeas corpus is limited to 60 days.
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: What are the specific powers of the President
as Commander-in-Chief?
Answer: The President as the Commander-in-Chief
wields the extraordinary powers of:
a) calling out the armed forces;
b) suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus; and
c) declaring martial law.
These powers may be resorted to only under specified
conditions.
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: What is the most benign (kindest) of the three
extraordinary powers of the President?
Answer: Among the three extraordinary powers, the calling
out power is the most benign and involves ordinary police
action. The President may resort to this extraordinary
power whenever it becomes necessary to prevent or
suppress lawless violence, invasion, or rebellion. "[T]he
power to call is fully discretionary to the President;" the only
limitations being that he acts within permissible
constitutional boundaries or in a manner not constituting
grave abuse of discretion. In fact, "the actual use to which
the President puts the armed forces is x x x not subject to
judicial review."
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: Cite the instances when the President can suspend
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus?
Answer: The extraordinary powers of suspending the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and/or declaring
martial law may be exercised only when there is actual
invasion or rebellion, and public safety requires it. The 1987
Constitution imposed the following limits in the exercise of
these powers:
"(1) a time limit of sixty days;
(2) review and possible revocation by Congress; [and]
(3) review and possible nullification by the Supreme Court."
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: Discuss the scope of the powers to declare martial
law and to suspend the writ of habeas corpus.
Answer: The powers to declare martial law and to suspend
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus involve curtailment
and suppression of civil rights and individual freedom. Thus,
the declaration of martial law serves as a warning to citizens
that the Executive Department has called upon the military
to assist in the maintenance of law and order, and while the
emergency remains, the citizens must, under pain of arrest
and punishment, not act in a manner that will render it more
difficult to restore order and enforce the law. As such, their
exercise requires more stringent safeguards by the
Congress, and review by the Court.
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: What are the safeguards which the Constitution has
put in place against the President's prerogative to declare a
state of martial law?
Answer: The acts that the President may perform do not give
him unbridled discretion to infringe on the rights of civilians
during martial law. This is because martial law does not
suspend the operation of the Constitution, neither does it
supplant the operation of civil courts or legislative
assemblies. Moreover, the guarantees under the Bill of Rights
remain in place during its pendency. And in such instance
where the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is also
suspended, such suspension applies only to those judicially
charged with rebellion or offenses connected with invasion.
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: What is the scope of the power of judicial review of
the court in the “Calling Out” powers of the President?
Answer: It is beyond doubt that the power of judicial
review does not extend to calibrating the President's
decision pertaining to which extraordinary power to avail
given a set of facts or conditions. To do so would be
tantamount to an incursion into the exclusive domain of
the Executive and an infringement on the prerogative
that solely, at least initially, lies with the President. As
Commander-in-Chief, the President’s powers are broad
enough to include his prerogative to address exigencies
or threats that endanger the government, and the very
integrity of the State.
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: Is the recommendation of the Secretary of National
Defense necessary in the exercise of the “Calling Out”
powers of the President?
Answer: The recommendation of, or consultation with, the
Secretary of National Defense, or other high-ranking military
officials, is not a condition for the President to declare martial
law. A plain reading of Section 18, Article VII of the
Constitution shows that the President's power to declare
martial law is not subject to any condition except for the
requirements of actual invasion or rebellion and that public
safety requires it. Besides, it would be contrary to common
sense if the decision of the President is made dependent on
the recommendation of his mere alter ego.
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: Is the Proclamation of Martial Law by President
Duterte vague?
Answer: No. The void-for-vagueness doctrine holds that a law is
facially invalid if "men of common intelligence must necessarily
guess at its meaning and differ as to its application." "[A] statute
or act may be said to be vague when it lacks comprehensible
standards that men of common intelligence must necessarily
guess at its meaning and differ in its application. [In such
instance, the statute] is repugnant to the Constitution in two
respects: (1) it violates due process for failure to accord persons,
especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of the conduct to
avoid; and (2) it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in
carrying out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary flexing of the
Government muscle."
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: Will the “void for vagueness” apply to penal
statutes?
Answer: No. The vagueness doctrine is an analytical tool
developed for testing "on their faces" statutes in free speech
cases or, as they are called in American law, First
Amendment cases. A facial challenge is allowed to be made
to a vague statute and also to one which is overbroad
because of possible "'chilling effect' on protected speech
that comes from statutes violating free speech. A person who
does not know whether his speech constitutes a crime under
an overbroad or vague law may simply restrain himself from
speaking in order to avoid being charged of a crime. The
overbroad or vague law thus “chills him into silence.”
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: What is the "sufficiency of factual basis test“?
Answer: Under the doctrine of contemporaneous
construction, the phrase "sufficiency of factual basis" should
be understood as the only test for judicial review of the
President's power to declare martial law and suspend the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus under Section 18,
Article VII of the Constitution. The Court does not need to
satisfy itself that the President's decision is correct, rather it
only needs to determine whether the President's decision had
sufficient factual bases.
The Court concluded, therefore, that Section 18, Article VII
limits the scope of judicial review by the introduction of the
"sufficiency of the factual basis" test.
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: What are the factors in determining the sufficiency
of the factual basis of the declaration of martial law?
Answer: Section 18, Article VII itself sets the parameters for
determining the sufficiency of the factual basis for the
declaration of martial law and/or the suspension of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, "namely (1) actual
invasion or rebellion, and (2) public safety requires the
exercise of such power.“
Without the concurrence of the two conditions, the
President's declaration of martial law and/or suspension
of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus must be
struck down.
Calling Out Powers of the President
Question: What are the elements of rebellion?
Answer: The elements of rebellion are:
1. That there be (a) public uprising, and (b) taking up
arms against the Government; and
2. That the purpose of the uprising or movement is either:
(a) to remove from the allegiance to said Government
or its laws the territory of the Philippines or any part
thereof, or any body of land, naval or other armed
forces; or (b) to deprive the Chief Executive or
Congress, wholly or partially, of any of their powers or
prerogatives.
Due Process
Question: What is due process?
Answer: DUE PROCESS MEANS:
1. There shall be a law prescribed in harmony with the
general powers of the legislature;
2. It shall be reasonable in its operation;
3. It shall be enforced according to the regular
methods of procedure prescribed; and
4. It shall be applicable alike to all citizens of the State
or to all of a class (People v. Cayat, G.R. No. L-45987,
May 5, 1939)
Due Process
Question: What is the purpose of due process?
Answer: The due process clause is a shield against any possible
intrusion of the government including any kind of abuse and
arbitrariness on the part of any of the branches of government.
The due process clause serves the following purposes:
1. To prevent undue encroachment against the life, liberty and
property of individuals.
2. To secure the individual from the arbitrary exercise of powers
of government, unrestrained by the established principles of
private rights and distributive justice.
3. To protect property from confiscation by legislative
enactments from seizure, forfeiture and destruction without
trial and conviction.
Due Process
Question: What are the two types of due process?
Answer: The two types of due process are:
1. Substantial due process; and
2. Procedural due process
Question: What are the essential elements of due
process?
Answer: The essential elements of due process:
1. The right to notice; and
2. The right to be heard
Due Process
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH, and
MA. MARGARITA M. GALON v. PHIL PHARMA WEALTH
(PPW, Inc), INC., G.R. No. 182358, February 20, 2013, DEL
CASTILLO, J.:
PPW, Inc. alleged that it was not accorded due process
when the DOH suspended its accreditation for a two-
year period. The DOH held that it gave PPW, Inc. a copy
of the Report on Violative Products it distributed.
Due Process
Question: Was there denial of due process?
Answer: No. Due process constitutes both substantive
and procedural due process. When DOH supplied
PPW,Inc. with the list under the Report on Violative
Products, it was given sufficient notice. In fact, when it
referred the matter to its counsel, PPW,Inc. was given
the opportunity to be heard as well.
Thus, it was not denied due process.
State Immunity: Concept and Basis
Concept and Basis: The Constitution declares,
rather superfluously, that the State may not be
sued without its consent. This provision is
merely recognition of the sovereign character
of the State and an express affirmation of the
unwritten rule insulating it from the jurisdiction
of the courts of justice (Cruz, Philippine Political
Law, 1993: 29).
Immunity from Suit
Question: What is ‘the royal prerogative of dishonesty’?
Answer: The concept of ‘the royal prerogative of
dishonesty’ is a recognition of the sovereign character
of the State and an express affirmation of the unwritten
rule effectively insulating it from the jurisdiction of
courts. It is based on the very essence of sovereignty. A
sovereign is exempt from suit, not because of any
formal conception or obsolete theory, but on the
logical and practical ground that there can be no legal
right as against the authority that makes the law on
which the right depends.
Immunity from Suit: Waiver of State Immunity
Question: May the state waive its immunity from suit?
Answer: Yes. The State’s consent may be given either
expressly or impliedly. Express consent may be made
through a general law or a special law.
Implied consent, on the other hand, is conceded when
the State itself commences litigation, thus opening itself
to a counterclaim or when it enters into a contract. In
this situation, the government is deemed to have
descended to the level of the other contracting party
and to have divested itself of its sovereign immunity.
Immunity from Suit
Facts: Aggrieved by the two-year suspension, PPW, Inc.
filed a suit against DOH seeking reinstatement of its
accreditation. DOH moved for dismissal of the suit
invoking immunity from suit.
Question: Is the legal argument of DOH tenable.
Answer: Yes. The DOH can validly invoke state immunity
for the following reasons: 1. DOH is an unincorporated
agency which performs sovereign or governmental
functions; and 2. The Complaint seeks to hold the DOH
solidarily and jointly liable with the other defendants for
damages which constitutes a charge or financial
liability against the state.
Immunity from Suit: Liability under a Contract
Question: Is there a distinction on the liability of the state
when it executes a contract with a third person?
Answer: The rule on liability of the state under a contract,
is not, however, without qualification. Not all contracts
entered into by the government operate as a waiver of
its non-suability; distinction must still be made between
one which is executed in the exercise of its sovereign
function and another which is done in its proprietary
capacity. The State will be deemed to have impliedly
waived its non-suability only if it has entered into a
contract in its proprietary or private capacity.
Immunity from Suit: Liability under a Contract
Question: When may the state be exempt from liability
under a contract?
Answer: When the contract involves its sovereign or
governmental capacity, no such waiver may be
implied on the part of the state. Statutory provisions
waiving state immunity are construed in strictissimi juris.
For, waiver of immunity is in derogation of sovereignty.
Immunity from Suit: Liability under a Contract
Question: DPWH refused to pay Movertrade Corporation
for breach of its contract. COA sustained the action of
DPWH. Movertrade Corporation filed an action to
question the action of COA which disallowed payment
of its claim from DPWH. Will the action filed by
Movertrade Corporation prosper?
ANSWER: No, there is no grave abuse of discretion on the
part of COA in denying Movertrade Corporation’s
money claim as the evidence on record undoubtedly
supports the factual findings of COA. In the absence of
grave abuse of discretion, the decisions
Immunity from Suit: Liability under a Contract
and resolutions of COA are accorded not only with
respect but also with finality, not only on the basis of the
doctrine of separation of powers, but also of its
presumed expertise in the laws it is entrusted to enforce.
(Movertrade Corporation v. Commission on Audit,
September 22, 2015, Del Castillo, J.)
Note: Refer to Sec.29(1) of Article VI on the need to
enact a law to disburse public funds
Money claims must first be filed with the COA
Immunity from Suit: Liability of Public Officers
Question: Can public officers be held liable for
damages?
Answer: The mantle of non-suability extends to
complaints filed against public officials for acts done in
the performance of their official functions. The suability
of a government official depends on whether the
official concerned was acting within his official or
jurisdictional capacity, and whether the acts done in
the performance of official functions will result in a
charge or financial liability against the government.
Immunity from Suit: Liability of Public Officers
Question: What principle will govern the liability of state
for acts performed by public officers?
Answer: The rule is that if the judgment against public
officials will require the state itself to perform an
affirmative act to satisfy the same, such as the
appropriation of the amount needed to pay the
damages awarded against them, the suit must be
regarded as against the state. In such a situation, the
state may move to dismiss the complaint on the ground
that it has been filed without its consent.
Immunity from Suit: Personal Liability of Public Officers
Question: When may a public official be held
personally liable for his acts?
Answer: A public official can be held personally
accountable for acts claimed to have been
performed in connection with official duties where he
has acted ultra vires or where there is showing of bad
faith.
DOCTRINE OF PRIMARY ADMINISTRATIVE JURISDICTION
Question: What is the doctrine of primary jurisdiction under
Administrative Law?
Answer: Under the principle of primary jurisdiction, courts cannot
or will not determine a controversy involving question within the
jurisdiction of an administrative body prior to the decision of that
question by the administrative tribunal where the:
1. Question demands administrative determination requiring
special knowledge, experience and services of the
administrative tribunal;
2. Question requires determination of technical and intricate
issues of a fact; and
3. Uniformity of ruling is essential to comply with purposes of the
regulatory statute administered.
DOCTRINE OF PRIMARY ADMINISTRATIVE JURISDICTION
Question: What are the exceptions to the doctrine of primary
jurisdiction?
Answer: Exceptions to the Doctrine of Primary Jurisdiction
1. Where there is estoppel on the part of the party invoking the
doctrine;
2. Where the challenged administrative act is patently illegal,
amounting to lack of jurisdiction;
3. Where there is unreasonable delay or official inaction that will
irretrievably prejudice the complainant;
Exceptions to Primary Jurisdiction
4. Where the amount involved is relatively small so as to
make the rule impractical and oppressive;
5. Where the question involved is purely legal and will
ultimately have to be decided by the courts of justice;
6. Where judicial intervention is urgent;
7. When its application may cause great and irreparable
damage;
8. Where the controverted acts violate due process;
Exceptions to Primary Jurisdiction
9. When the issue of non-exhaustion of administrative
remedies has been rendered moot;
10. When there is no other plain, speedy and adequate
remedy;
11. When strong public interest is involved; and
12. In quo warranto proceedings (The Province of Aklan
v. Jody King Construction and Development Corp., G.R.
Nos. 197592 & 202623, November 27, 2013).
Sovereignty: Concept of Imperium and Dominium
Question: Distinguish between imperium and
dominium.
Answer: Imperium is the authority possessed by the
state embraced in the concept of sovereignty while
dominium refers to the capacity of the state to own
or acquire property including those lands held by
the state in its proprietary capacity.
Sovereignty: Jurisdiction over Persons and Things
Question: Cite instances when the state will have no power
and jurisdiction over persons and things within its territory.
Answer: The state cannot exercise power and jurisdiction
over the following persons and things within its territory:
1. Foreign heads of state, diplomatic representatives, and
consuls to a certain degree;
2. Foreign state property, including embassies, consulates
and public vessels in non-commercial activities;
3. Acts of state;
Sovereignty: Jurisdiction over Persons and Things
4. Foreign merchant vessels exercising right of
innocent passage or involuntary entry, such as arrival
under stress;
5. Foreign armies passing through or stationed in its
territory with its permission; and
6. Such other persons or property, including
organizations like the United Nations, World Health
Organization, Asian Development Bank, over which it
may, by agreement, waive jurisdiction.
Sovereignty: Jurisdiction over Persons and Things
Question: What is extraterritorial jurisdiction?
Answer: The extraterritorial jurisdiction is the authority of the
state to exercise power and jurisdiction beyond and
outside its territory under the following circumstances:
1. When it asserts its personal jurisdiction over its nationals
abroad, or the exercise of its rights or punish certain
offenses committed outside its territory against its
national interests even if the offenders are non-resident
aliens;
2. When the local state waives its jurisdiction over persons
and things within its territory, such as when a foreign
Sovereignty: Jurisdiction over Persons and Things
army is stationed therein remains under the jurisdiction
of the sending state;
3. When it establishes a colonial protectorate, or
administers a trust territory or occupies an enemy
territory in the course of war;
4. When it enjoys easements or servitudes (i.e.
easement of innocent passage, freedom of over flight)
5. When it exercises limited jurisdiction over the
contiguous zone; and
6. When it exercises the principle of extraterrioriality.
Sovereignty: Postwar Occupation
Question: What is the doctrine of juris postlimini?
Answer: The doctrine of juris postlimini is a principle in
Public International Law where a territory which has
been occupied by an enemy state resumes power
and jurisdiction during the progress of war through
conquest or otherwise, the legal state of things existing
prior to the hostile occupation is re-established.
(Aruego, International Law)
Findings of Facts of a Constitutional Commission
DARAGA PRESS, INC. (DPI) v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT and
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION in AUTONOMOUS REGION
IN MUSLIM MINDANAO, G.R. No. 201042, June 16, 2015,
EN BANC, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: DBM Secretary Andaya requested COA to
ascertain the liability of the DepED to settle its pending
obligation to DPI in the amount of P63.638M. COA found
irregularities in the transaction which included, among
others, ghost delivery of books and no appropriation for
the same in G.A.A. Despite this, DPI filed its money claim
with COA. COA denied payment. DPI assailed the
action of COA.
Findings of Facts of a Constitutional Commission
Question: Will DPI’s claim prosper?
Answer: NO. The respondent COA committed no grave
abuse of discretion in denying the money claim.
Decisions and resolutions of the respondent COA may
be reviewed and nullified only on the ground of grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction.
Findings of Facts of a Constitutional Commission
Question: When does grave abuse of discretion exist?
Answer: Grave abuse of discretion exists when there is
an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to
perform a duty enjoined by law or to act in
contemplation of law as when the judgment rendered is
not based on law and evidence but on caprice, whim,
and despotism.
Primary Responsibility of COA
Question: What is the primary responsibility of COA?
Answer: The respondent COA, as the duly authorized
agency to adjudicate money claims against
government agencies and instrumentalities, pursuant to
Section 26 of Presidential Decree No. 1445, has
acquired special knowledge and expertise in handling
matters falling under its specialized jurisdiction.
Read Sec. 2(1), D, Article IX
General Rule: Post audit Accounting System
Exception to the Rule: Pre-audit (weak internal control)
Separation of Powers: Concept and Principle
The starting point of the principle of separation of
powers is the assumption of the division of the
functions of the government into three distinct
classes: the executive, the legislative and the
judicial.
The government established by the Constitution
follows fundamentally the theory of separation of
powers into the legislative, the executive and the
judicial [Angara v. Electoral Commission, G.R. No.
45081. July 15, 1936].
Separation of Powers -Primary Jurisdiction of COA
and the Power of Judicial Review
Question: What will impel the Court to scrutinize the
findings of facts of COA?
Answer: It is the general policy of the Court to sustain the
decisions of administrative authorities, especially one that was
constitutionally created like herein respondent COA, not only on
the basis of the doctrine of separation of powers, but also of their
presumed expertise in the laws they are entrusted to enforce. It
is, in fact, an oft-repeated rule that findings of administrative
agencies are accorded not only respect but also finality when
the decision and order are not tainted with unfairness or
arbitrariness that would amount to grave abuse of discretion.
Burden of Proof on Money Claims
against the Government
Question: In case of money claims against the
government, who has the burden of proof to hold the
latter liable?
Answer: The party who has a money claim against the
government has the burden of proof. In this case, DPI
has the burden to show, by substantial evidence, that it
is entitled to the money claim. It has to prove the actual
delivery of the subject textbooks by presenting
substantial evidence or evidence that a reasonable
mind might accept as adequate to support such
conclusion.
Burden of Proof on Money Claims
against the Government
Question: Will the principle of quantum meruit apply in
money claims against the government?
Answer: The principle of quantum meruit allows a party
to recover "as much as he reasonably deserves.” The
principle of quantum meruit presupposes that an actual
delivery of the goods has been made. The party has to
present convincing evidence to prove the actual claim.
In contracts which call delivery of goods, the party must
prove delivery of the items and that the same have
been properly acknowledged by the government
agency.
Bill of Rights: The Rule on Chain of Custody
Facts: The RTC found the accused guilty. In her appeal
to the Court of Appeals, she argued that the trial court
erred in finding her guilty despite the prosecution’s
failure to prove the same beyond reasonable doubt
and noncompliance with Section 21 of RA 9165 and
its Implementing Rules and Regulations resulting to a
broken chain of custody over the confiscated drugs.
Question: Will the appeal prosper? Should the accused
be acquitted?
Bill of Rights: The Rule on Chain of Custody
Answer: The appeal will not prosper and her
conviction should be affirmed. Accused capitalizes
on the prosecution’s alleged failure to comply with
the requirements of law with respect to the proper
marking, inventory and taking of photograph of the
seized specimen. However, the appellant failed to
contest the admissibility in evidence of the seized
item during trial.
It is settled that an accused may still be found guilty,
despite the failure to faithfully observe the
Bill of Rights:The Rule on Chain of Custody
requirements provided under Section 21 of RA 9165, for
as long as the chain of custody remains unbroken.
Note: Instances when objection may be raised to
exclude evidence – custodial investigation,
preliminary investigation, arraignment, trial before
promulgation of judgment
Right to counsel: custodial investigation, preliminary
investigation, arraignment, promulgation of judgment
Bill of Rights: The Rule on Extrajudicial Confession
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NIEVES CONSTANCIO y
BACUNGAY, ERNESTO BERRY y BACUNGAY, G.R. No.
206226, April 4, 2016, SECOND DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO,
J.:
Facts: The RTC found Constancio and Berry guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape with Homicide
and sentenced them to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua.
The CA affirmed the RTC decision finding that Constancio
and Berry conspired to abduct, rape, and kill “AAA.”
The Rule on Extrajudicial Confession
The CA gave credence to Berry’s extrajudicial confession
as contained in the Sinumpaang Salaysay which he
executed with the assistance of Atty. Suarez. Berry’s
extrajudicial confession was admitted as corroborative
evidence of facts that likewise tend to establish the guilt
of his co-accused and cousin, Constancio as shown by
the circumstantial evidence extant in the records.
Berry insisted that when he executed his extrajudicial
confession, he was not provided with a competent and
independent counsel of his own choice in violation of
Section 12, Article III of the Constitution.
Bill of Rights: The Rule on Extrajudicial Confession
Question: Can Berry move for the exclusion of his
extrajudicial confession?
Answer: No. Berry’s confession is admissible because it
was voluntarily executed with the assistance of a
competent and independent counsel in the person of
Atty. Suarez. In default of proof that Atty. Suarez was
remiss in his duties, as in this case, it must be held that
the custodial investigation of Berry was regularly
conducted. For this reason, Berry’s extrajudicial
confession is admissible in evidence against him.
Bill of Rights: The Rule on Extrajudicial Confession
Question: What is the nature of the response of a
suspect in a broadcast interview?
Answer: It is already settled that statements
spontaneously made by a suspect to news reporters
on a televised interview are deemed voluntary and
are admissible in evidence. In this case, there was no
ample proof to show that appellant Berry’s narration of
events to ABS-CBN reporter Dindo Amparo was the
product of intimidation or coercion, thus making the
same admissible in evidence.
Bill of Rights: The Rule on Extrajudicial Confession
Question: What is the general rule on admissibility of
extrajudicial confession?
Answer: The general rule on admissibility of
extrajudicial confession states that where the
prosecution has sufficiently established that the
respective extrajudicial confession of the accused
was obtained in accordance with the constitutional
guarantees, the confession is admissible, and is
evidence of a high order.
Note: Sec.12(1), Article III- Miranda Rights
Bill of Rights: Promulgation of Judgment in Absentia
Question: May judgment be promulgated in the
absence of the accused?
ANSWER: Yes. There is no reason to postpone the
promulgation because petitioner’s absence was
unjustifiable. Hence, no abuse of discretion could be
attributed to the RTC in promulgating its Decision
despite the absence of accused. (Almuete v. People,
Del Castillo, J.)
Bill of Rights: The Right to Speedy Disposition of Cases
LUZ S. ALMEDA v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN
(MINDANAO) and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, G.R.
No. 204267, July 25, 2016, SECOND DIVISION, DEL
CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: In 2001, School Superintendent Almeda, and
several other public officers and employees were
charged administratively and criminally before the
Ombudsman improper use and disbursement of the
Countrywide Development Fund. The Graft Investigation
and Prosecution Officer found that probable cause
existed to indict petitioner and her co-accused for
violation of Sections 3(e) and (g) of RA 3019.
Bill of Rights: The Right to Speedy Disposition of Cases
Almeda sought for the dismissal of OMB-MIN-01-0183 as
against her, with additional prayer for injunctive relief.
She alleged that the Ombudsman’s failure to promptly
act on her case for nine years from the filing of her
motion for reconsideration, or from July 2003 to
September 2012, is a violation of her constitutional right
to a speedy disposition of her case.
Question: Is Almeda’s right to speedy disposition of case
violated?
Bill of Rights: The Right to Speedy Disposition of Cases
Answer: YES. Section 16, Article III of the 1987 Constitution
guarantees that "[a]ll persons shall have the right to a
speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial,
quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies." This right
applies to all cases pending before all judicial, quasi-
judicial or administrative bodies; it is not limited to the
accused in criminal proceedings but extends to all
parties in all cases, be it civil or administrative in nature,
as well as all proceedings, either judicial or quasi-
judicial. Hence, any party to a case may demand
expeditious action from all officials who are tasked with
the administration of justice.
The Right to Speedy Disposition of Cases
Question: What is the rationale behind the right to speedy
disposition of cases?
Answer: The right to speedy disposition of cases is not
merely hinged towards the objective of spurring
dispatch in the administration of justice but also to
prevent the oppression of the citizen by holding a
criminal prosecution suspended over him for an
indefinite time. This looming unrest as well as the
tactical disadvantages carried by the passage of time
should be weighed against the State and in favor of the
individual.
Bill of Rights: The Right to Speedy Disposition of Cases
Question: What are the essential factors to consider if
there is a violation of the right to a speedy disposition
of a case?
Answer: The right to a speedy disposition of a case, like
the right to speedy trial, is deemed violated only when
the proceeding is attended by vexatious, capricious,
and oppressive delays; or when unjustified
postponements of the trial are asked for and secured,
or when without cause or justifiable motive a long
period of time is allowed to elapse without the party
having his case tried.
Bill of Rights: The Right to Speedy Disposition of Cases
Question: What is the balancing test under the right to
speedy disposition of a case?
Answer: The balancing test used to determine whether a
defendant has been denied his right to a speedy trial, or
a speedy disposition of a case looks into the conduct of
both the prosecution and the defendant. Both are
weighed, and such factors as length of the delay,
reason for the delay, the defendant's assertion or non-
assertion of his right, and prejudice to the defendant
resulting from the delay, are considered.
The Right to Speedy Disposition of Cases
Question: What is the duty of the state in the prosecution of
cases?
Answer: It is the State’s duty to expedite the same "within
the bounds of reasonable timeliness."A defendant has
no duty to bring himself to trial; the State has that duty
as well as the duty of insuring that the trial is consistent
with due process. It is the duty of the prosecutor to
speedily resolve the complaint, as mandated by the
Constitution, regardless of whether the accused did not
object to the delay or that the delay was with his
acquiescence provided that it was not due to causes
directly attributable to him.
The Right to Speedy Disposition of Cases
Question: How should prejudice be assessed in prosecuting
a criminal offense?
Answer: Prejudice should be assessed in the light of the
interest of the defendant that the speedy trial was
designed to protect, namely: to prevent oppressive pre-
trial incarceration; to minimize anxiety and concerns of
the accused to trial; and to limit the possibility that his
defense will be impaired. Of these, the most serious is
the last, because the inability of a defendant
adequately to prepare his case skews the fairness of the
entire system.
The Right to Speedy Disposition of Cases
Question: Why is delay considered a two-edged sword?
Answer: Delay is a two-edge sword. It is the government
that bears the burden of proving its case beyond
reasonable doubt. The passage of time may make it
difficult or impossible for the government to carry its
burden. Not only should the adjudication of cases be
"done in an orderly manner that is in accord with the
established rules of procedure but must also be
promptly decided to better serve the ends of justice.
Excessive delay in the disposition of cases renders the
rights of the people guaranteed by the Constitution and
by various legislations inutile."
The Writ of Amparo
EDGARDO NAVIA, RUBEN DIO and ANDREW BUISING v.
VIRGINIA PARDICO, for and in behalf and in
representation of BENHUR PARDICO, G.R. No. 184467,
June 19, 2012, EN BANC, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: Exasperated with the mysterious disappearance
of her husband, Virginia filed a Petition for Writ of
Amparo before the RTC of Malolos City. Finding the
petition sufficient in form and substance, the trial court
issued the Writ of Amparo against the petitioners who
are all private persons and in charge of securing a
private subdivision and the production of the body of
Ben before it on June 30, 2008.
The Writ of Amparo
Question: Can a writ of amparo be issued when all the
accused are private individuals?
Answer: NO. It is clear that for the protective writ of
amparo to issue, it must also be shown and proved by
substantial evidence that the disappearance was
carried out by, or with the authorization, support or
acquiescence of, the State or a political organization,
followed by a refusal to acknowledge the same or give
information on the fate or whereabouts of said missing
persons, with the intention of removing them from the
protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.
The Writ of Amparo
Question: May a writ of amparo include a private
individual?
Answer: Section 1 of A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC provides that a
writ of amparo may lie against a private individual or
entity. But even if the person sought to be held
accountable or responsible in an amparo petition is a
private individual or entity, still, government involvement
in the disappearance remains an indispensable
element. This hallmark of State participation
differentiates an enforced disappearance case from an
ordinary case of a missing person under R.A. No. 9851.
The Writ of Amparo
Question: What are the mandatory allegations to support
a claim for issuance of the writ of amparo?
Answer: In an amparo petition, proof of disappearance
alone is not enough. It is likewise essential to establish
that such disappearance was carried out with the direct
or indirect authorization, support or acquiescence of
the government. Thus, in the absence of an allegation
or proof that the government or its agents had a hand in
the disappearance or that they failed to exercise
extraordinary diligence in investigating his case, the
Court will definitely not hold the government or its
agents either as responsible or accountable persons.
Bill of Rights: The Rule on Chain of Custody
Question: What are the essential elements to prove sale
of illegal drugs in a buy-bust operation?
Answer: In the prosecution of illegal sale of drugs to
prosper, the following elements must be proven: “(1)
the identity of the buyer and the seller, the object and
the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold
and the payment for it.”
Unreasonable Search and Seizures:
Basis for Issuance of a Search Warrant
PETRON LPG DEALERS ASSOCIATION and TOTAL GAZ LPG DEALERS
ASSOCIATION v. NENA C. ANG, ALISON C. SY, NELSON C. ANG,
RENATO C. ANG, and/or OCCUPANTS OF NATIONAL PETROLEUM
CORPORATION, G.R. No. 199371, February 3, 2016, SECOND
DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: Petitioners requested the assistance of the National
Bureau of Investigation in the surveillance, investigation,
apprehension and prosecution of respondents for alleged
illegal trading of LPG products and/or under filling,
possession and/or sale of underfilled LPG products in
violation of Sections 2(a) and (c), in relation to Sections 3
and 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 33 as amended by
Presidential Decree No. 1865.
Unreasonable Search and Seizures:
Basis for Issuance of a Search Warrant
The agents of the NBI conducted several surveillance in the
outlets and warehouses of the respondents. Jemil, one of
the NBI agents assigned to the team conducted a “test-
buy” operations. The Barba Gas employee took De Jemil’s
empty cylinder and replaced it with a filled one. De Jemil
paid P510.00 for the filled cylinder and received a dated
receipt for the purchase.
Based on this “test-buy” incident, two applications for search
warrants were given due course by the trial court. The
respondents moved to quash the warrants raising, among
others, that the applicants have no personal knowledge of
the charges, as well as the truthfulness and authenticity of
said certifications, among others.
Unreasonable Search and Seizures:
Basis for Issuance of a Search Warrant
Question: As judge, will uphold the opposition of the
respondents?
Answer: No. As judge, I will uphold the validity of the warrant.
The facts discovered during surveillance conducted by De
Jemil and Antonio — on the basis of information and
evidence provided by petitioners — constitute personal
knowledge which could form the basis for the issuance of a
search warrant. As declared in Cupcupin v. People, the
surveillance and investigation conducted by an agent of
the NBI obtained from confidential information supplied to
him enabled him to gain personal knowledge of the illegal
activities complained of.
Unreasonable Search and Seizures:
Basis for Issuance of a Search Warrant
Question: What are the requisites for the valid issuance of a
search warrant?
Answer: The requisites for the issuance of a search warrant
are: (1) probable cause is present; (2) such probable
cause must be determined personally by the judge; (3) the
judge must examine, in writing and under oath or
affirmation, the complainant and the witnesses he or she
may produce; (4) the applicant and the witnesses testify on
the facts personally known to them; and (5) the warrant
specifically describes the place to be searched and the
things to be seized.
Unreasonable Search and Seizures:
Basis for Issuance of a Search Warrant
Question: What is “probable cause” in the issuance of a search
warrant?
Answer: Probable cause for a search warrant is defined as such
facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably
discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been
committed and that the objects sought in connection with the
offense are in the place sought to be searched. A finding of
probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that,
more likely than not, a crime has been committed and that it
was committed by the accused. Probable cause demands
more than bare suspicion; it requires less than evidence which
would justify conviction.
Unreasonable Search and Seizures:
Basis for Issuance of a Search Warrant
Question: What is the basis of the issuance of a search
warrant by the trial judge?
Answer: The judge, in determining probable cause, is to consider
the totality of the circumstances made known to him and not by
a fixed and rigid formula, and must employ a flexible, totality of
the circumstances standard.
Probable cause for purposes of issuing a search warrant refers to
“such facts and circumstances which could lead a reasonably
discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been
committed and that the item(s), article(s) or object(s) sought in
connection with said offense or subject to seizure and
destruction by law is in the place to be searched.
Unreasonable Search and Seizures:
Basis for Issuance of a Search Warrant
Question: What is the nature of “probable cause” in the
filing of information?
Answer: Probable cause for purposes of filing a criminal
information refers to “such facts as are sufficient to
engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been
committed and that respondents are probably guilty
thereof. It is such set of facts and circumstances which
would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to
believe that the offense charged in the Information, or
any offense included therein, has been committed by
the person sought to be arrested.”
Bill of Rights: Basis of the Constitutional Guarantee
of Right to Information
HAZEL MA. C. ANTOLIN v. ABELARDO T. DOMONDON, JOSE A.
GANGAN, and VIOLETA J. JOSEF, G.R. No. 165036, July 5,
2010, FIRST DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: Antolin took the CPA licensure examinations in
October 1997. Out of 6,481 examinees, only 1,171 passed.
Unfortunately, petitioner did not make it. Convinced that she
deserved to pass the examinations, she wrote to respondent
Abelardo T. Domondon, Acting Chairman of the Board of
Accountancy, and requested that her answer sheets be re-
corrected. These consisted merely of shaded marks, so she
requested for (a) the questionnaire in each of the seven
subjects (b) her answer
Bill of Rights: Basis of the Constitutional Guarantee
of Right to Information
sheets; (c) the answer keys to the questionnaires, and (d)
an explanation of the grading system used in each
subject.
Domondon denied petitioner’s request.
Petitioner argues that she has a right to obtain copies of the
examination papers because her constitutional right to
information as well as the Code of Conduct and Ethical
Standards for Public Officials and Employee support her
right to demand access to the Examination Papers.
Bill of Rights: Basis of the Constitutional Guarantee
of Right to Information
Question: Can the request of Antolin for her Examination
Paper to include her Answer Sheet and the
Questionnaire be compelled by a Writ of Mandamus?
Answer: NO. Any claim for re-correction or revision of her
1997 examination cannot be compelled by mandamus.
As ruled in Agustin-Ramos v. Sandoval: The function of
reviewing and re-assessing the petitioners’ answers to
the examination questions, in the light of the facts and
arguments presented by them x x x is a discretionary
function of the Medical Board, not a ministerial and
mandatory one, hence, not within the scope of the writ
of mandamus.
Bill of Rights: Basis of the Constitutional Guarantee
of Right to Information
Question: What will entitle a party to the issuance of
the Writ of Mandamus?
Answer: For a writ of mandamus to issue, the applicant
must have a well-defined, clear, and certain legal
right to the thing demanded. The corresponding duty
of the respondent to perform the required act must
be equally clear. The duty of the respondent is purely
ministerial because the law specifically commands
him to perform a particular act.
Bill of Rights: Basis of the Constitutional Guarantee
of Right to Information
Question: Is access to the Examination Paper to an accountancy
professional examination subject to the protection of the right to
information under the Constitution?
Answer: Like all the constitutional guarantees, the right to
information is not absolute. The people's right to information is
limited to "matters of public concern," and is further "subject to
such limitations as may be provided by law." Similarly, the
State's policy of full disclosure is limited to "transactions involving
public interest," and is "subject to reasonable conditions
prescribed by law". The Court conceded that national board
examinations is a matter of public concern. On the other hand,
the Court realized that there may be valid reasons to limit
access to the Examination Papers to protect its integrity.
Separation of Powers: Judicial Stability
Question: What is the doctrine of judicial stability?
ANSWER: Under the doctrine of judicial stability or non-
interference, “no court can interfere by injunction with the
judgments or orders of another court of concurrent jurisdiction
having the power to grant the relief sought by injunction. The
rationale for the rule is founded on the concept of jurisdiction: a
court that acquires jurisdiction over the case and renders
judgment therein has jurisdiction over its judgment, to the
exclusion of all other coordinate courts, for its execution and
over all its incidents, and to control, in furtherance of justice, the
conduct of ministerial officers acting in connection with this
judgment.”(United Alloy Philippines v. UCPB, November 25, 2015,
Del Castillo, J.)
Separation of Powers: President’s Prerogative
Facts: At the end of World War II, the U.S. government
and Imperial government of Japan entered into a
Reparations Agreement to help rehabilitate the
Philippines and payment other forms of damages.
After a lapse of more than 50 years, a group of women
known as “comfort lolas” filed an action in court
asking the Philippine government to seek
compensation for each of the individual victims and a
public apology from Japan. Will the action prosper?
Separation of Powers: President’s Prerogative
ANSWER: No, the case must fail.
The Constitution has entrusted to the Executive Department
the conduct of foreign relations for the Philippines. Whether
or not to espouse petitioners’ claim against the Government
of Japan is left to the exclusive determination and judgment
of the Executive Department.
The Court cannot interfere with or question the wisdom of the
conduct of foreign relations by the Executive Department.
Accordingly, the Court cannot direct the Executive
Department, either by writ of certiorari or injunction, to
conduct our foreign relations with Japan in a certain
manner. (Vinuya vs. Romulo, 732 SCRA 595, G.R. No. 162230
August 12, 2014, Del Castillo, J)
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AZUCENA SAAVEDRA BATUIGAS,
G.R. No. 183110, October 7, 2013, SECOND DIVISION, DEL
CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: After all the jurisdictional requirements mandated by
Section 9 of CA 473 had been complied with, the Office of the
Solicitor General (OSG) filed its Motion to Dismiss on the ground
that Azucena failed to allege that she is engaged in a lawful
occupation or in some known lucrative trade. Neither the OSG
nor the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor appeared on the day
of the hearing. Hence, Azucena’s counsel moved that the
evidence be presented ex-parte, which the RTC granted. During
the November 5, 2004 ex-parte hearing, no representative from
the OSG appeared despite due notice.
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
Question: Was the decision of the court granting the petition
proper despite the absence of the OSG during the hearing?
Answer: Yes. Azucena is entitled to become a Filipino
citizen. An alien woman marrying a Filipino, native born or
naturalized, becomes ipso facto a Filipina provided she is
not disqualified to be a citizen of the Philippines under
Section 4 of CA 473. Likewise, an alien woman married to
an alien who is subsequently naturalized here follows the
Philippine citizenship of her husband the moment he takes
his oath as Filipino citizen, provided that she does not suffer
from any of the disqualifications under said Section 4.
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
Question: How may an alien become a Filipino citizen?
Answer: Under existing laws, an alien may acquire
Philippine citizenship through either judicial
naturalization under CA 473 or administrative
naturalization under Republic Act No. 9139 (the
"Administrative Naturalization Law of 2000"). A third
option, called derivative naturalization, which is
available to alien women married to Filipino husbands is
found under Section 15 of CA 473, which provides that
“any woman who is now or may hereafter be married to
a citizen of the Philippines and who might herself be
lawfully naturalized shall be deemed a citizen of the
Philippines.”
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
Question: How can one avail of derivative citizenship?
Answer: Under Section 15 of C.A. No. 473, foreign women
who are married to Philippine citizens may be deemed
ipso facto Philippine citizens and it is neither necessary
for them to prove that they possess other qualifications
for naturalization at the time of their marriage nor do
they have to submit themselves to judicial naturalization.
Copying from similar laws in the United States which has
since been amended, the Philippine legislature retained
Section 15 of CA 473, which then reflects its intent to
confer Filipino citizenship to the alien wife thru derivative
naturalization.
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
Question: Discuss the steps by which derivative
naturalization may be achieved.
Answer: Regarding the steps that should be taken by an
alien woman married to a Filipino citizen in order to
acquire Philippine citizenship, the procedure followed in
the Bureau of Immigration is as follows: The alien woman
must file a petition for the cancellation of her alien
certificate of registration alleging, among other things,
that she is married to a Filipino citizen and that she is not
disqualified from acquiring her husband’s citizenship
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
pursuant to Section 4 of Commonwealth Act No. 473,
as amended. Upon the filing of said petition, which
should be accompanied or supported by the joint
affidavit of the petitioner and her Filipino husband to
the effect that the petitioner does not belong to any of
the groups disqualified by the cited section from
becoming naturalized Filipino citizen the Bureau of
Immigration conducts an investigation and thereafter
promulgates its order or decision granting or denying
the petition.
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
Question: If one’s petition for derivative naturalization is denied
by the Bureau of Immigration, can she avail of another relief?
Answer: Yes. The fact that her application for derivative
naturalization under Section 15 of CA 473 was denied should
not prevent her from seeking judicial naturalization under the
same law. It is to be remembered that her application at the
CID was denied not because she was found to be disqualified,
but because her husband’s citizenship was not proven. Even if
the denial was based on other grounds, it is proper, in a
judicial naturalization proceeding, for the courts to determine
whether there are in fact grounds to deny her of Philippine
citizenship based on regular judicial naturalization
proceedings.
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
Question: What is the main objective of granting citizenship to an
alien wife?
Answer: The main objective of extending the citizenship privilege
to an alien wife is to maintain a unity of allegiance among family
members, thus: “It is, therefore, not congruent with our cherished
traditions of family unity and identity that a husband should be a
citizen and the wife an alien, and that the national treatment of
one should be different from that of the other. Thus, it cannot be
that the husband’s interests in property and business activities
reserved by law to citizens should not form part of the conjugal
partnership and be denied to the wife, nor that she herself
cannot, through her own efforts but for the benefit of the
partnership, acquire such interests.”
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
Question: Distinguish between a judicial declaration of
the citizenship of an individual from a Petition for Judicial
Naturalization.
Answer: In the first, the petitioner believes he is a Filipino
citizen and asks a court to declare or confirm his status
as a Philippine citizen. In the second, the petitioner
acknowledges he is an alien, and seeks judicial
approval to acquire the privilege of becoming a
Philippine citizen based on requirements required under
CA 473.
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
Question: What are the assertions that one must make in
the Petition for Naturalization?
Answer: The Petitioner must make the following assertions:
that one is not opposed to organized government nor is
affiliated with any association or group of persons that
uphold and teach doctrines opposing all organized
governments; that one is not defending or teaching the
necessity or propriety of violence, personal assault, or
assassination for the success and predominance of
men’s ideas; that one is neither a polygamist nor
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
believes in polygamy; that the nation of which one is
a subject is not at war with the Philippines; that one
intends in good faith to become a citizen of the
Philippines and to renounce absolutely and forever
all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince,
potentate, state or sovereignty, and that one will
reside continuously in the Philippines from the time of
the filing of the Petition up to the time of
naturalization.
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
Question: REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. HUANG TE FU,
a.k.a. ROBERT UY, G.R. No. 200983, March 18, 2015,
SECOND DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: Respondent Huang Te Fu, a.k.a. Robert Uy — a
citizen of the Republic of China (Taiwan) — filed a sworn
Declaration of Intent to Become [a] Citizen of the
Philippines with the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).
The case was tried by RTC-QC Br.96. In his petition, Robert
Uy stated that his trade or profession is a businessman
engaged in the manufacture of zipper, in which he has
been connected since 1992 with a amonthly income of
P15,000.00, and that he is married to a Filipina.
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
The trial court granted the petition and the C.A. affirmed
it.
The OSG appealed the decision. It said that respondent
failed to prove that he is engaged in a lucrative trade,
profession or lawful occupation; that respondent’s
admission during trial that he is not even in the payroll of
his employer belies his claim that he is the general
manager thereof, as well as his claim that he is
engaged in a lucrative trade; that respondent’s
declared monthly income is not even sufficient for his
family, much less could it be considered “lucrative”;
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
that respondent’s admission that he received
allowances from his parents to answer for the daily
expenses of his family further proves the point that he
does not have a lucrative trade; and that respondent’s
act of falsely declaring himself a Filipino citizen in the
August 2001 deed of sale proves lack of good moral
character and defiance of the constitutional
prohibition regarding foreign ownership of land.
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
Question: Will the opposition of the OSG prosper?
Answer: Yes. The Supreme Court reversed the grant of
citizenship to Robert Uy. The Court said that the alleged
employment in his family’s zipper business was
contrived for the sole purpose of complying with the
legal requirements prior to obtaining Philippine
citizenship.
In Republic v. Hong, it was held in essence that an
applicant for naturalization must show full and complete
compliance with the requirements of the naturalization
law; otherwise, his petition for naturalization will be
denied.
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
Naturalization proceedings are imbued with the highest
public interest. Naturalization laws should be rigidly
enforced and strictly construed in favor of the
government and against the applicant.
Note that in determining the existence of a lucrative
income, the courts should consider only the applicant’s
income; his or her spouse’s income should not be
included in the assessment.
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. KERRY LAO ONG, G.R. No.
175430, June 18, 2012, FIRST DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: Ong alleged in his petition that he has been a
businessman/business manager since 1989, earning an
average annual income of P150,000.00. When he
testified, however, he said that he has been a
businessman since he graduated from college in 1978.
Moreover, Ong did not specify or describe the nature of
his business. As proof of his income, Ong presented four
tax returns for the years 1994 to 1997.
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
The trial court granted the petition. The Court of Appeals
affirmed the decision by including in Ong’s income the
income of his spouse.
The OSG appealed the decision to the S.C. It argued
that naturalization laws being construed against the
applicant, lucrative trade or profession should not
include the spouse’s income. Petitioner must prove
sufficient source to funds to support himself and his
family.
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
Question: Is the legal argument of the OSG tenable?
Answer: Yes. The S.C. reversed the decision. It said that it
was erroneous on the part of the C.A. to include the
spouse’s income to prove that Petitioner has lucrative
income. It also noted that Ong does not own any real
property; that his income was not sufficient to support
four children considering they are enrolled in private
schools; and that Ong’s income had an appreciable
margin over his known expenses
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
Question: May the Supreme Court review the findings of
facts in judicial proceedings for naturalization?
Answer: Yes, the Court may do so. The Court is not
precluded from reviewing the factual existence of the
applicant’s qualifications. A naturalization proceeding
is so infused with public interest that it has been
differently categorized and given special treatment.
The grant of a petition for naturalization does not
preclude the reopening of that case and giving the
government another opportunity to present new
evidence.
Citizenship: Naturalization thru Judicial Process
A decision or order granting citizenship will not even
constitute res judicata to any matter or reason
supporting a subsequent judgment cancelling the
certification of naturalization already granted, on the
ground that it had been illegally or fraudulently
procured.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. HEIRS OF MAXIMO PUYAT, G.R.
No. 175055, June 27, 2012, FIRST DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: Gloria and Maximo Puyat, both deceased, are the
registered owners of 46.8731 hectares of riceland in Cabantuan
City. Respondents-heirs are pro-indiviso co-owners of the
property. The records do not disclose when the DAR placed
44.3090 hectares of Puyats land under Operation Land Transfer
pursuant to PD 27. It is, however, clear that the DAR issued
several emancipation patents in favor of various farmer-
beneficiaries in December 1989. All of the said patents were
annotated on Puyats Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 1773 on
March 20, 1990, and thereby caused the concomitant partial
cancellation of Puyat’s title.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
The heirs alleged that they did not receive
compensation for the cancellation of their title over the
awarded portions of the property. More than two years
after the award of titles to the beneficiaries, DAR
ordered the Land Bank of the Philippines (“LBP”) to pay
just compensation. The heirs questioned the basis of the
just compensation because the same used the
parameters under P.D. 27 when there is a newly-
enacted law known as the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program. The heirs demanded that the just
compensation be computed based on the guidelines
of the new law.
Question: Is the argument of the heirs tenable?
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
Answer: YES. When the government takes property pursuant
to PD 27, but does not pay the landowner his just
compensation until after RA 6657 has taken effect in 1988, it
becomes more equitable to determine the just
compensation using RA 6657. In Land Bank of the
Philippines v. Natividad, the Court explained that it would
certainly be inequitable to determine just compensation
based on the guideline provided by PD 27 and EO 228
considering the DAR’s failure to determine just
compensation for a considerable length of time. This is
especially imperative considering that just compensation
should be the full and fair equivalent of the property taken
from its owner by the expropriator, the equivalent being
real, substantial, full and ample.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
Question: Are courts bound by the formulae stipulated
under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program?
Answer: The determination of just compensation is a
judicial function; hence, courts cannot be unduly
restricted in their determination thereof. To do so would
deprive the courts of their judicial prerogatives and
reduce them to the bureaucratic function of inputting
data and arriving at the valuation. While the courts
should be mindful of the different formulae created by
the DAR in arriving at just compensation, they are not
strictly bound to adhere thereto if the situations before
them do not warrant it.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ENRIQUE LIVIOCO, G.R. No.
170685, September 22, 2010, FIRST DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: Livioco was the owner of 30.6329 hectares of
sugarland located in Dapdap, Mabalacat, Pampanga.
Livioco offered the property to DAR for acquisition under
the CARP at P30.00 per square meter, for a total of
P9,189,870.00. The voluntary-offer-to-sell (VOS) form he
submitted to the DAR indicated that his property is
adjacent to residential subdivisions and to an
international paper mill.
Following Section 17 of Republic Act (RA) No. 6657 and
DAR Administrative Order No. 17, series of 1989, the LBP
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
set the price at P3.21 per square meter or a total of
P827,943.48 for 26 hectares. Livioco was not satisfied
with the valuation and filed a suit.
LBP also assailed the Decision of the trial court which
valued the land as of 1997 when the rule is that just
compensation must be valued at the time of taking,
which in this case was in 1988. CA assented to the
valuation of Livioco’s property as a residential land. LBP
maintained that it is not the State’s policy to purchase
residential land but only agricultural lands under CARP.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
Question: Is the legal argument of LBP tenable?
Answer: Yes, LBP’s argument is proper. For purposes of
just compensation, the fair market value of an
expropriated property is determined by its character
and its price at the time of taking. As to the character
of the property, both trial and appellate courts erred in
treating the land as residential and accepting the
change in the character of the property, without any
proof that authorized land conversion had taken place.
In expropriation cases (including cases involving lands
for agrarian reform), the property’s character refers to
its actual use at the time of taking, not its potential uses.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
Question: Can the eruption of Mount Pinatubo and other
circumstances necessarily convert the property from
agricultural to residential?
Answer: No. First, there was no conversion order from
DAR, or even an application for conversion with DAR, to
justify the CA’s decision to treat the property as
residential. Second, respondent himself testified that his
property was not affected by the volcanic ashfall, which
can only mean that its nature as an agricultural land
was not drastically affected. The Mt. Pinatubo eruption
only served to make his property attractive to
government agencies as a resettlement area
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
but none of these government plans panned out; hence,
his property remained agricultural. Third, the
circumstance that respondent’s property was
surrounded by residential subdivisions was already in
existence when he offered it for sale sometime between
1987 and 1988. It was not therefore a drastic change
caused by volcanic eruption. All together, these
circumstances negate the CA’s ruling that the subject
property should be treated differently because of the
natural calamity.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
SPOUSES NILO and ERLINDA MERCADO v. LAND BANK OF
THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. No. 196707, June 17, 2015, SECOND
DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: Spouses Mercado were the registered owners of
9.8940 hectares of agricultural land and 5.2624 hectares
of their aforesaid property was placed under the CARP
coverage, for which petitioners were offered
P287,227.16 as just compensation. Petitioner rejected
respondent’s valuation claiming that the fair market
value of their property is ₱250,000.00 per hectare.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
Petitioner filed an action in court to determine just
compensation.
The RTC fixed the just compensation of the subject
portion at ₱25.00 per square meter or P250,000 per
hectare. Respondent eventually filed a Petition for
Review before the CA. The CA emphasized the
mandatory nature of complying with the formula, as set
forth under DAR A.O. No. 5, series of 1998, in computing
just compensation.
Question: Is the trial court strictly bound by the rules set
by DAR?
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
Answer: Both Section 17 of RA 6657 and the DAR A.O. No.
5 rules should be used as springboard to determine just
compensation. However, the Court may deviate from
these rules with a clear explanation why it has done so.
The rule is that the RTC must consider the guidelines set
forth in Section 17 of RA 6657 and as translated into a
formula embodied in DAR A.O. No. 5. However, it may
deviate from these factors/formula if the circumstances
warrant or, as stated in the case of Sta. Romana, "if the
situations before it do not warrant its application." In
such a case, the RTC, must clearly explain the reason
for deviating from the aforesaid factors or formula.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
Question: What are basic limitations on the exercise of
the power of eminent domain in CARP cases?
Answer: Eminent domain refers to the inherent power of
the State to take private property for public use. This
power has two basic limitations: (1) the taking must be
for public use; and (2) just compensation must be given
to the owner of the property taken. Notably, in agrarian
reform cases, the taking of private property for
distribution to landless farmers is considered to be one
for public use. Just compensation is defined as the full
and fair equivalent of the property expropriated.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, represented by
HON. NASSER C. PANGANDAMAN v. SUSIE IRENE GALLE,
G.R. No. 171836, August 11, 2014, SECOND DIVISION, DEL
CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: In August 1992, LBP valued 356.2257 hectares of
the estate of Galle at ₱6,083,545.26. Galle rejected the
amount but LBP deposited the same in the form of cash
and bonds. On November 17, 1993, the Zamboanga
City Registry of Deeds cancelled Galle’s titles and
transferred the entire estate to the State.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
On November 25, 1994, new titles were issued in the
name of "Patalon Estate Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries
Association" (PEARA) for 307.5369 hectares.
Galle instituted action against the government for
"Cancellation of of Transfer Certificates of Title and
Reconveyance, Determination and Payment of Just
Compensation, and Damages." The trial court issued an
Order, among others, declaring just compensation for
plaintiff’s expropriated landholdings at an amount not
less than ₱345,311,112.00 and directing LBP to pay
plaintiff the said amount.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
DAR and LBP assailed the decision since the trial court
failed to consider Section 17 of R.A. 6657 and apply the
valuation formula of DAR Administrative Order No. 6,
Series of1992, as amended. Section 17 is an
enumeration of the factors that shall be considered in
the determination of just compensation.DAR and LBP
contend that because the Court did not determine just
compensation using the formula in an administrative
issuance, DAR Administrative Order No. 6, the Court
consequently failed to consider Section 17 of RA 6657.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
Question: In determination of just compensation under
CARP, is a need to consider the administrative order of
DAR in computing for just compensation?
Answer: YES. While the Supreme Court acknowledges
that Galle’s estate was expropriated to the extent of
356.8257 hectares as the CA has found, the
computation of the exact amount of just compensation
remains an issue that must be resolved, taking into
consideration both Section 17 of RA 6657 and AOs 6 and
11.The need to apply the parameters required by the
law cannot be doubted. The courts must apply them.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
Question: In cases involving agrarian reform land, can
CARP restrict the court’s judicial determination of just
compensation?
Answer: In the exercise of the Court’s essentially judicial
function of determining just compensation, the trial
courts s are not granted unlimited discretion and must
consider and apply the R.A. No. 6657-enumerated
factors and the DAR formula that reflect these factors.
These factors and formula provide the uniform
framework or structure for the computation of the just
compensation for a property subject to agrarian reform.
Eminent Domain and the Agrarian Reform Law
Question: What is the remedy in the event that the trial
court did not consider the factors set forth under CARP
and the various issuances of the DAR?
Answer: There is a need to remand the case to the trial
court in order to properly compute the just
compensation that Galle and her heirs are entitled to,
including interest and attorney’s fees, if any.
This prevents any arbitrariness and ensures uniformity.
Eminent Domain: Easement of Aerial Right of Way
NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. SPOUSES RODOLFO
ZABALA and LILIA BAYLON, G.R. No. 173520, January 30,
2013, SECOND DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: NAPOCOR instituted expropriation proceedings
against Spouses Zabala and Baylon for aerial easement
of right of way for its 230 KV Limay-Hermosa
Transmission Lines. The RTC ruled that since the spouses
Zabala were deprived of the beneficial use of their
property, they are entitled to the actual or basic value
of their property. Thus, it fixed the just compensation at
₱150.00 per square meter. NAPOCOR appealed to the
CA.
Eminent Domain: Easement of Aerial Right of Way
NAPOCOR imputed error on the part of the RTC in not
applying Section 3A of Republic Act (RA) No. 6395
which limits its liability to easement fee of not more
than 10% of the market value of the property traversed
by its transmission lines.
Question: Is the contention of NAPOCOR that RA 6395 is
controlling as to the determination of just
compensation by the Court?
Eminent Domain: Easement of Aerial Right of Way
Answer: NO. Section 3A of RA No. 6395 cannot restrict the
constitutional power of the courts to determine just
compensation. In insisting that the just compensation
cannot exceed 10% of the market value of the affected
property, NAPOCOR relies heavily on Section 3A of RA
No. 6395.
No legislative enactments or executive issuances can
prevent the courts from determining whether the right of
the property owners to just compensation has been
violated. It is a judicial function that cannot "be usurped
by any other branch or official of the government.”
Delay in Payment of Just Compensation
CITY OF ILOILO represented by HON. JERRY P. TREÑAS,
City Mayor v.HON. LOLITA CONTRERAS-BESANA,
Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 32, and
ELPIDIO JAVELLANA, G.R. No. 168967, February 12, 2010,
SECOND DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: In 1981, the City of Iloilo expropriated the property
of Javellana to be used as a school site for La Paz High
School. In 1983, the trial court issued an Writ of
Possession and authorized the petitioner to take
immediate possession of the Javellana Property.
Since1984, the expropriation proceedings remained
dormant.
Delay in Payment of Just Compensation
In 2000, Javellana filed an Ex Parte MotionManifestation,
where he alleged that when he finally sought to
withdraw the ₱40,000.00 allegedly deposited by the
petitioner, he discovered that no such deposit was ever
made.
Javellana demanded his just compensation as well as
interest. Attempts at an amicable resolution and a
negotiated sale were unsuccessful.
In 2003, Javellana filed a Complaint against petitioner
for Recovery of Possession, Fixing and Recovery of
Rental and Damages.
Delay in Payment of Just Compensation
Question: Will the case prosper despite the fact that the
action was filed more than 25 years after the Writ of
Possession was issued?
Answer: Yes, the case will prosper. It is arbitrary and
capricious for the government to initiate expropriation
proceedings, seize a person’s property, allow the order
of expropriation to become final, but then fail to justly
compensate the owner for over 25 years. This is
government at its most high-handed and irresponsible,
and should be condemned in the strongest possible
terms.
Delay in Payment of Just Compensation
Question: Can the City of Iloilo be held liable for
damages for the delay in the payment of just
compensation?
Answer: Yes. For its failure to properly compensate the
landowner, the City of Iloilo is liable for damages. In
Manila International Airport Authority v. Rodriguez, the
Court held that a government agency’s prolonged
occupation of private property without the benefit of
expropriation proceedings undoubtedly entitled the
landowner to damages: “Such pecuniary loss entitles
him to adequate compensation in the form of actual or
compensatory damages, which in this case should be
the legal interest (6%).
Delay in Payment of Just Compensation
Question: Was is the basis of the award of damages in
expropriation cases?
Answer: The award of damages is based on the
principle that interest "runs as a matter of law and
follows from the right of the landowner to be placed in
as good position as money can accomplish, as of the
date of the taking.”
Stages of an Expropriation Case
Question: What are the distinct phases of an
expropriation case?
Answer: Expropriation proceedings have two stages.
The first phase ends with an order of dismissal, or a
determination that the property is to be acquired for a
public purpose. The second phase consists of the
determination of just compensation. It ends with an
order fixing the amount to be paid to the landowner.
Both orders, being final, are appealable.
Finality of Order in Expropriation Cases
Question: When does an order in an expropriation case
become final?
Answer: An order of condemnation or dismissal is final
when the trial court resolves the question of whether
or not the government has properly and legally
exercised its power of eminent domain. Once the first
order becomes final and no appeal thereto is taken,
the authority to expropriate and its public use can no
longer be questioned. Once it has become final, and
the government’s right to expropriate the property for
a public use is no longer subject to review.
Basis of Computation of Just Compensation
Question: What is the reckoning date to determine just
compensation?
Answer: As to the reckoning date for the determination
of just compensation, the computation should be the
date when the expropriation complaint was filed. Just
compensation is to be ascertained as of the time of
the taking, which usually coincides with the initiation
of the expropriation proceedings. Where the institution
of the action precedes entry into the property, the just
compensation is to be ascertained as of the time of
the filing of the complaint.
Law on Public Officers: Complainant’s Burden
MICHAELINA RAMOS BALASBAS v. PATRICIA B.
MONAYAO, G.R. No. 190524, February 17, 2014,
SECOND DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: Petitioner accused respondent Patricia B.
Monayao – then employed by the DSWD – of
misrepresentation, fraud, dishonesty and refusal to
implement DENR Order in a land dispute filed
sometime in 1987 by petitioner’s brother against
respondent’s father. It appears that in said case,
respondent appeared in lieu of her father, who she
claimed passed away.
Law on Public Officers: Complainant’s Burden
However, she presented a 1992 deed of sale purportedly
executed by her father, which was simulated
considering that as early as 1987, respondent’s father
was already deceased.
Petitioner pursued her complained before the Mayor of
the municipality of Alfonso Lista in Ifugao Province
where respondent transferred. No action was taken on
the complaint because the CSC said that the subject
matter of the complaint was purely personal. Thus, this
appeal.
Law on Public Officers: Act of Dishonesty
The Court dismissed the petition holding that acts and
omissions (dishonesty) of the respondent arising out of
her private transactions do not constitute as
administrative offenses.
Question: What is dishonesty?
Answer: Dishonesty is defined as the concealment or
distortion of truth in a matter of fact relevant to one’s
office or connected with the performance of his duty. It
implies a disposition to lie, cheat, deceive, or defraud;
untrustworthiness; lack of integrity; lack of honesty,
probity, or integrity in principle; and lack of fairness and
straight forwardness.
Law on Public Officers: Definition of Misconduct
Question: What is misconduct?
Answer: Misconduct is a transgression of some
established or definite rule of action, is a forbidden
act, is a dereliction of duty, is willful in character, and
implies wrongful intent and not mere error in judgment.
More particularly it is an unlawful behavior by the
public officer.
Law on Public Officers: Non-Disclosure of Information
MACARIO CATIPON, JR. v. JEROME JAPSON, G.R. No.
191787, June 22, 2015, SECOND DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO,
J.:
Facts: Catipon holds a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce
from the Baguio Colleges Foundation despite a
deficiency of 1.5 units in Military Science, pursuant to a
school policy allowing students with deficiencies of not
more than 12 units to be included in the list of
graduates. However, a restriction came after, which is,
that the deficiency must be cured before the student
can be considered a graduate.
Law on Public Officers: Non-Disclosure of Information
Catipon qualified for a post in the SSS. Catipon took the
Career Service Professional Examination (CSPE) with a
rating of 80.52%. Eventually, petitioner was promoted to
Senior Analyst and Officer-in-Charge Branch Head of
the SSS at Bangued, Abra.
Catipon was only able to remove his 1.5 deficiency after
passing the CSPE. Jerome Japson, a former Senior
Member Services Representative of SSS Bangued, filed a
letter-complaint with the Civil Service Commission-CAR
Regional Director, alleging that petitioner made
deliberate false entries in his CSPE application.
Law on Public Officers: Non-Disclosure of Information

After preliminary investigation, petitioner was charged


with Dishonesty, Falsification of Official documents,
Grave Misconduct and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best
Interest of the Service by the CSC-CAR. Petitioner
pleaded good faith, lack of malice, and honest
mistake. He maintained that at the time of his
application to take the CSPE, he was of the honest
belief that the policy of the CSC – that any deficiency
in the applicant’s educational requirement may be
substituted by his length of service – was still subsisting.
Law on Public Officers: Non-Disclosure of Information
The CSC-CAR, through Director IV Atty. Lorenzo S.
Danipog, rendered a Decision, Catipon was
exonerated of the charges of Dishonesty,
Falsification of Official Documents and Grave
Misconduct. However, he was found guilty of
Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the
Service.
Law on Public Officers: Non-Disclosure of Information
Question: Can Caitpon, relying on his knowledge of an old
rule which has already been modified, thereby affecting his
qualifications, be held guilty of conduct prejudicial to the
best interest of government service?
Answer: Yes. Catipon was negligent in filling up his CSPE
application form and in failing to verify beforehand the
specific requirements for the CSPE examination. His claim
of good faith and absence of deliberate intent or willful
desire to defy or disregard the rules relative to the CSPE is
not a defense as to exonerate him from the charge of
conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service; under
the Philippine legal system, ignorance of the law excuses
no one from compliance therewith.
Law on Public Officers: Role of the CSC
Question: What is the primary responsibility of the Civil
Service Commission?
Answer: The CSC, as the central personnel agency of the
Government, has jurisdiction over disputes involving
the removal and separation of all employees of
government branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities
and agencies, including government-owned or
controlled corporations with original charters. Simply
put, it is the sole arbiter of controversies relating to the
civil service.
Law on Public Officers: Judicial Intervention
Question: Was recourse to the court proper under the set of
facts?
Answer: No. As correctly stated by the appellate court,
non-exhaustion of administrative remedies renders
petitioner’s CA petition premature and thus dismissible.
The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies
requires that before a party is allowed to seek the
intervention of the court, he or she should have availed
himself or herself of all the means of administrative
processes afforded him or her. The administrative
agency concerned – in this case the Commission Proper
– is in the "best position to correct any previous error
committed in its forum.”
Law on Public Officers: Equity and Justice
Question: Can Catipon invoke equity and justice and appeal
that his eligibility be not revoked?
Answer: The Court cannot consider petitioner's plea that "in
the interest of justice and in the spirit of the policy which
promotes and preserves civil service eligibility." The act of
using a fake or spurious civil service eligibility for one's
benefit not only amounts to violation of the civil service
examinations or CSPE; it also results in prejudice to the
government and the public in general. It is a transgression
of the law which has no place in the public service.“A
person aspiring for public office must observe honesty,
candor, and faithful compliance with the law. Nothing less
is expected.”
Public Officers: Suspension and Effect of Acquittal
Question: When may a trial court continue to exercise the
power of judicial review challenging the order of
suspension pendente lite when the petitioner had already
been acquitted?
ANSWER: For a court to exercise its power of adjudication,
there must be an actual case or controversy.
In Mattel, Inc. v. v. Francisco, the Court has ruled that
"Where the issue has become moot and academic, there
is no justiciable controversy, and an adjudication thereof
would be of no practical use or value as courts do not sit
to satisfy scholarly interest, however intellectually
challenging."
Public Officers: Suspension and Effect of Acquittal

In fine, the Court reiterated that the issue on the


validity or invalidity of petitioner's suspension had
been mooted considering his acquittal by the
Sandiganbayan in its November 24, 2009 Decision.
(Abdul v. Sandiganbayan, December 2, 2013, Del
Castillo, J.)
Law on Public Officers: Elective Officials
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the
NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION (NPC) v. ATTY.
RICHARD B. RAMBUYONG, G.R. No. 167810, October 4,
2010, FIRST DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Question: Can an incumbent Vice Mayor (of Ipil,
Zamboanga Sibugay) appear as counsel of a party
adverse to the National Power Corporation?
Answer: NO. A sanggunian member cannot appear as
counsel of a party adverse to the National Power
Corporation (NPC), which is an instrumentality of the
government.
Law on Public Officers: Elective Officials
Section 446 of the Local Government Code provides that
the sangguniang bayan, the legislative body of the
municipality, shall be composed of the municipal vice
mayor as the presiding officer. Thus, pursuant to Sec.
90(b) (1) of the Local Government Code, Atty.
Rambuyong, as sanggunian member, cannot appear
as counsel of a party adverse to the NPC, which is an
instrumentality of government.
Administrative Law: National Instrumentality
Question: What is a national instrumentality?
Answer: Section 2 of the Administrative Code of 1987 is
clear and unambiguous. It categorically provides that
the term “instrumentality” includes government-owned
or controlled corporations.
Law on Public Officers: Citizenship Requirement
ROMMEL C. ARNADO v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and
FLORANTE CAPITAN, G.R. No. 210164, August 18, 2015,
EN BANC, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: Arnado is a natural-born Filipino citizen who lost his
Philippine citizenship after he was naturalized as citizen of
the United States of America (USA). He applied for
repatriation under Republic Act No. 9225 in San Francisco,
USA. He took an Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the
Philippines and he received an Order of Approval of
Citizenship Retention and Re- acquisition was issued in his
favor. He executed an Affidavit of Renunciation of his
foreign citizenship. He filed his Certificate of Candidacy
(CoC) for the mayoralty post in 2010.
Law on Public Officers: Citizenship Requirement
In 2013, Arnado once again filed his CoC.
Capitan, Amado's lone rival for the mayoralty post, filed
a Petition seeking to disqualify him from running for
municipal mayor of Kauswagan and/or to cancel his
CoC based on the ruling of the Court in Maquiling. The
resolution of said petition was, however, overtaken by
the May 13, 2013 elections where Arnado garnered
8,902 votes (84% of the total votes cast) while Capitan
obtained 1,707 (16% ofthe total votes cast) votes only.
On May 14, 2013, Arnado was proclaimed as the
winning candidate.
Law on Public Officers: Citizenship Requirement
Unfazed, Capitan filed another Petition10 this time
seeking to nullify Amado's proclamation. He argued
that with the April 16, 2013 Decision of this Court in
Maquiling, there is no doubt that Amado is disqualified
from running for any local elective office. Hence,
Arnado's proclamation is void and without any legal
effect. The COMELEC Second Division noted that
Amado failed to execute another Affidavit of
Renunciation for purposes of the May 13, 2013
elections.
Hence, this Petition.
Law on Public Officers: Citizenship Requirement
Question: Will a subsequent compliance of the act of
renunciation of a foreign citizenship suffice to qualify a
candidate to run in an election?
Answer: NO. Arnado has not yet satisfied the twin
requirements of Section 5(2) o f RA 9225 at the time he
filed his CoC for the May 13, 2013 elections; subsequent
compliance does not suffice. Under Section 4(d) of the
Local Government Code, a person with "dual
citizenship" is disqualified from running for any elective
local position.
A candidate must possess the necessary qualifications
on that date of election.
Law on Public Officers: Citizenship Requirement
Question: Can popular vote cure the ineligibility of a
candidate?
Answer: In Maquiling, the Court emphasized that popular
vote does not cure the ineligibility of a candidate. Thus,
while Arnado won by landslide majority during the 2013
elections, garnering 84% of the total votes cast, the
same "cannot override the constitutional and statutory
requirements for qualifications and disqualifications." If
in Velasco, the Court ruled that popular vote cannot
override the required qualifications under Section 39 of
the LGC, a fortiori, there is no reason why the Court
should not follow the same policy when it comes to
Law on Public Officers: Citizenship Requirement
disqualifications enumerated under Section 4064 of the
same law. After all, "[t]he qualifications set out in
[Section 39] are roughly half of the requirements for
election to local public offices. The other half is
contained in the succeeding section which lays down
the circumstances that disqualify local candidates."
In short, Arnaldo’s victory cannot cure the defect of his
candidacy. Garnering the most number of votes does
not validate the election of a disqualified candidate
because the application of constitutional and statutory
provisions on disqualification is not a matter of
popularity.
Law on Public Officers: Citizenship Requirement
Question: What is dual citizenship under the Local
Government Code?
Answer: In Mercado v. Manzano, it was clarified that the
phrase "dual citizenship" in said Section 4(d) must be
understood as referring to "dual allegiance."
Subsequently, Congress enacted RA 9225 allowing
natural-born citizens of the Philippines who have lost
their Philippine citizenship by reason of their
naturalization abroad to reacquire Philippine citizenship
and to enjoy full civil and political rights upon
compliance with the requirements of the law.
Law on Public Officers: Citizenship Requirement
They may now run for public office in the Philippines
provided that they: (1) meet the qualifications for
holding such public office as required by the
Constitution and existing laws; and, (2) make a
personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign
citizenships before any public officer authorized to
administer an oath prior to or at the time of filing of
their CoC.
Law on Public Officers: Standards of Morality
PO2 PATRICK MEJIA GABRIEL v. SHERIFF WILLIAM JOSE R.
RAMOS, Regional Trial Court, Branch 166, Pasig City,
A.M. No. P-06-2256, April 10, 2013, RESOLUTION,
SECOND DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: Sheriff Ramos was charged with Alarms and
Scandals and Violation of Domicile. He destroyed
personal belongings inside the house of Consolacion
Dela Cruz Favillar, the mother of his common-law-wife,
Jenelita Dela Cruz and thereafter indiscriminately fired
a gun outside the said house. Jenelita has been the
mistress of Ramos for 15 years.
Law on Public Officers: Standards of Morality
Complainant alleged that as a public officer, Ramos
violated Section 1, Article XI of the Constitution.
For his defense, Ramos admitted his common-law
relationship with Jenelita but denied living under
scandalous or revolting circumstances as to shock
common decency. He argued that their relationship
having spanned 15 years already and the fact that
they have two children dispel any vestiges of
immorality. He alleged Consolacion resented the fact
that he and Jeneilta were transferring to another place
and thus charged him with Violation of Domicile.
Law on Public Officers: Standards of Morality
Question: Will the length of an illicit relationship and the
tolerance of the members of society to such
relationship be sufficient to condone the immoral act
of Ramos?
Answer: The illicit relationship between a married man
and a woman not his wife will remain illicit
notwithstanding the lapse of considerable number of
years they have been living together. Passage of time
does not legitimize illicit relationship; neither does
other people's perceived tolerance or acquiescence
or indifference toward such relationship.
Law on Public Officers: Standards of Morality
Question: What is immorality?
Answer: Immorality has been defined to include not
only sexual matters but also "conducts inconsistent
with rectitude, or indicative of corruption, indecency,
depravity, and dissoluteness; or is willful, flagrant or
shameless conduct showing moral indifference to
opinions of respectable members of the community,
and an inconsiderate attitude toward good order and
public welfare."
Law on Public Officers: Standards of Morality
Question: What is the appropriate penalty for Ramos for
his behavior?
Answer: Ramos is found GUILTY of immorality and
conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the
service. Accordingly, he is meted the penalty
of SUSPENSION for twelve (12) months without pay,
with WARNING that commission of the same or similar
act will merit a more severe penalty. He
is ADMONISHED to terminate his common-law
relationship with Jenelita Dela Cruz Favillar.
Law on Public Officers: Gross Neglect
GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM (GSIS) v.
ROGELIO MANALO, G.R. No. 208979, 21 September
2016, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: GSIS and the CSC found Manalo guilty of serious
dishonesty and grave misconduct for his failure to
perform his task of checking the completeness and
authenticity of the application forms and supporting
documents submitted and for deliberately using his
access/operator and terminal codes to process fake
membership records and create policy contracts –
which thus led to the granting of anomalous loans to
non-existent GSIS members.
Law on Public Officers: Gross Neglect
C.A. found Manalo guilty of gross neglect. The CA said
that responsibility of Computer Operator was merely
ministerial and it added that there is no evidence to
prove that respondent directly participated in the
approval and grant of spurious loans to these fake
members, or that he benefited from these loans; his
only fault is that fictitious persons and persons already
separated from the service were entered into the
membership database and issued membership
records.
GSIS appealed the decision of the Court of Appeals.
Law on Public Officers: Gross Neglect
Question: What is gross neglect?
Answer: Gross neglect of duty or gross negligence refers to
negligence characterized by the want of even slight care,
or by acting or omitting to act in a situation where there is a
duty to act, not inadvertently but willfully and intentionally,
with a conscious indifference to the consequences, insofar
as other persons may be affected. It is the omission of that
care that even inattentive and thoughtless men never fail to
give to their own property. It denotes a flagrant and
culpable refusal or unwillingness of a person to perform a
duty. In cases involving public officials, gross negligence
occurs when a breach of duty is flagrant and palpable.
Law on Public Officers: Misconduct
Question: What is misconduct?
Answer: Misconduct, on the other hand, is a
transgression of some established and definite rule of
action, more particularly, unlawful behavior or gross
negligence by the public officer. To warrant dismissal
from the service, the misconduct must be grave,
serious, important, weighty, momentous, and not
trifling.
Law on Public Officers: Dishonesty
Question: What is dishonesty?
Answer: Dishonesty is defined as a disposition to lie,
cheat, deceive, or defraud; unworthiness; lack of
integrity; lack of honesty, probity or integrity in
principle; lack of fairness and straightforwardness;
disposition to defraud, deceive, or betray.
Law on Public Officers: Gross Neglect of Duty
Question: Given the facts, what is the appropriate
charge against Manalo?
Answer: For failing to perform his duty which thus
caused the creation of 17 anomalous policy records
which were in turn used to defraud GSIS of P621,165.00,
respondent is guilty not of grave misconduct or
dishonesty, but gross neglect of duty which is punished
with dismissal under Rule 10, Section 46(A)(2) of the
Revised Rules of Administrative Cases in the Civil
Service.
Law on Public Officers: Dismissal from Service
Question: What is the proper remedy against Manalo?
Answer: The appropriate penalty is dismissal from
government service for gross neglect of duty, with
cancellation of civil service eligibility; forfeiture of
retirement and other benefits, except accrued leave
credits, if any; perpetual disqualification from re-
employment in any government agency or
instrumentality, including any government-owned and
controlled corporation or government financial
institution; and bar from taking civil service
examinations.
Law on Public Officers: Fiduciary Duty
GLORIA G. HALLASGO v. COA Region X, et al., G.R. No.
171340, September 11, 2009, EN BANC, DEL CASTILLO,
J.:
Facts: Petitioner (Hallasgo) was the Municipal Treasurer
of the Municipality of Damulog, Bukidnon. On 15 June
2001, she was accused before the Office of the Deputy
Ombudsman for Mindanao of unauthorized withdrawal
of monies of the public treasury amounting to
malversation of public funds by outgoing and
incumbent officials of the municipality.
Law on Public Officers: Fiduciary Duty
The salient points of the audit teams findings of the audit
team are summarized as follows: 1. alleged unrecorded
withdrawals of P360,000.00 through three (3) checks
made without supporting vouchers; 2. alleged
unliquidated cash advances of P171,256.00; 3. alleged
unrecorded withdrawals of P700,000.00 encashed by
petitioner on 16 June 1997 under PNB Check No.
586577-W for P350,000.00 and LBP Check No. 15627907
for P350,000.00; 4. Petitioner failed to remit intact and
promptly the amounts she received in cash totalling
P980,000.00, thus exposing government funds to
probable misuse/misapplication.
Law on Public Officers: Fiduciary Duty
The Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Hallasgo guilty
of GRAVE MISCONDUCT.
The Ombudsman imposed the penalty of DISMISSAL
from the service. The Court of Appeals affirmed the
dismissal of Hallasgo.
Hence, this appeal
Law on Public Officers: Fiduciary Duty
Question: Is Hallasgo guilty of misconduct?
Answer: Yes. Misconduct in office implies a wrongful
intention and not a mere error of judgment. In the
instant case, the respondent appears to have used her
expertise in financial management to obfuscate the
subject transactions for the purposes of concealing
financial anomalies. Her acts cannot be considered as
done in good faith or constituting only errors of
judgment. It is to be emphasized that the tasks and
functions of a treasurer is highly fiduciary in nature.
Public office is a public trust.
Law on Public Officers: Misconduct
Question: What is misconduct?
Answer: Misconduct generally means wrongful,
improper or unlawful conduct motivated by a
premeditated, obstinate or intentional purpose. It is a
transgression of some established and definite rule of
action, a forbidden act, a dereliction of duty. Qualified
by the term gross, it means conduct that is "out of all
measure beyond allowance; flagrant; shameful; such
conduct as is not to be excused.“
Law on Public Officers: Penalty for Misconduct
Question: What is the appropriate penalty for Treasurer
Hallasgo?
Answer: There is sufficient evidence on record which
demonstrates a pattern of negligence and gross
misconduct on the part of the petitioner that fully
satisfies the standard of substantial evidence to support
the conclusion.
She should be DISMISSED from service with forfeiture of all
retirement benefits except accrued leave credits, with
prejudice to reemployment in any branch or
instrumentality of the government, including
government-owned and controlled corporations.
Law on Public Officers: Substantial Evidence
Question: What is the substantial evidence to support
Hallasgo’s misconduct?
Answer: Hallasgo’s failure to keep current and accurate
records, repeated withdrawal of funds without the
appropriate disbursement vouchers, failure to ensure
the timely liquidation of her cash advances even after
the lapse of over a year, and failure to account for
funds in her custody not only constitute violations of
applicable laws, but also reflect poorly on the
government and provide ripe opportunity for fraud and
corruption.
Law on Public Officers: Separation from Service
EFREN M. HERRERA and ESTHER C.GALVEZ, for and on
their behalf and on behalf of OTHER
SEPARATED,UNREHIRED and RETIRED EMPLOYEES OF THE
NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. NATIONAL POWER
CORPORATION,THE DEPARTMENT OF BUDGETAND
MANAGEMENT and THEOFFICE OF THE
SOLICITORGENERAL, G.R. No. 166570, December 18,
2009, SECOND DIVISION, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: Congress enacted RA No. 9136 to provide a
framework for the restructuring of the electric power
industry, including the privatization of NPCs assets and
liabilities.
Law on Public Officers: Separation from Service
One necessary consequence of the reorganization was
the displacement of employees from the Department of
Energy, the Energy Regulatory Board, the National
Electrification Administration and the NPC. To soften the
blow from the severance of employment, Congress
provided in Section 63 of the EPIRA, for a separation
package superior than those provided under existing
laws.
All NPC employees, including the petitioners, were
separated from the service. As a result, all the
employees who held permanent positions at the NPC as
Law on Public Officers: Separation from Service
of June 26, 2001 opted for and were paid the
corresponding separation pay equivalent to one and a
half months salary per year of service. Nonetheless, in
addition to the separation package mandated by the
EPIRA, a number of NPC employees also claimed
retirement benefits under CA No. 186, as amended.
Under these laws, government employees who have
rendered at least 20 years of service one and a half
months salary for every year of service over 20 but
below 30 years, and two months’ salary for every year
of service in excess of 30 years.
Law on Public Officers: Separation from Service
The NPC argued that the grant of retirement benefits to
displaced employees in addition to separation pay was
inconsistent with the constitutional proscription on the
grant of a double gratuity.
The Petitioners filed an action for Declaratory Relief
before the RTC of Quezon City. It ruled that the
petitioners are not entitled to receive retirement benefits
under Commonwealth Act No. 186 (CA No. 186),as
amended, over and above the separation benefits they
received under Republic Act (RA) No. 9136, otherwise
known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001
(EPIRA).
Law on Public Officers: Separation from Service
Question: Are the petitioners entitled to separate
benefits under two different laws?
Answer: No. Absent explicit statutory authority, the
cannot provide an imprimatur to the grant of separation
pay and retirement benefits from one single act of
involuntary separation from the service, lest there be
duplication of purpose and depletion of government
resources.
Law on Public Officers: Separation from Service
Question: What is the nature of separation pay in a
reorganization of a government entity?
Answer: Within the context of government reorganization,
separation pay and retirement benefits arising from the
same cause, are in consideration of the same services
and granted for the same purpose. Whether
denominated as separation pay or retirement benefits,
these financial benefits reward government service and
provide monetary assistance to employees involuntarily
separated due to bona fide reorganization.
Law on Public Officers: Separation from Service
Thus, absent an express provision of law to the contrary,
separation due to reorganization gives rise to two
possible scenarios: first, when the separated employee
is not yet entitled to retirement benefits, second, when
the employee is qualified to retire.
In the first case, the employees separation pay shall be
computed based on the period of service rendered in
the government prior to the reorganization.
In the second case, where an employee is qualified to
retire, he or she may opt to claim separation or
retirement benefits.
Law on Public Officers: Nature of Civil Service
EUGENIO S. CAPABLANCA v. CIVIL SERVICE
COMMISSION, G.R. No. 179370, November 19, 2009, EN
BANC, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: Capablanca was initially conscripted as PO1 with
a temporary status. He took the PNP Entrance
Examination conducted by the NAPOLCOM and passed
the same. Then he took the Career Service Professional
Examination-Computer Assisted Test (CSP-CAT) given
by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and likewise
passed the same. Thereafter, he was given permanent
status as PO1.
Law on Public Officers: Nature of Civil Service
The CSC Caraga Regional Office XIII (CSC Caraga)
through its Regional Director (Clavite-Vidal) informed
PO1 Capablanca about certain alleged irregularities
relative to the CSP-CAT because the person in the
picture pasted in the Picture Seat Plan (PS-P) is different
from the person whose picture is attached in the
Personal Data Sheet (PDS)" and that the signature
appearing in the PS-P was different from the signature
affixed to the PDS. The CSC further informed petitioner
that such findings of alleged examination irregularities
constituted the offense of dishonesty if prima facie
evidence was established.
Law on Public Officers: Nature of Civil Service
CSC-Caraga conceded that NAPOLCOM had the sole
authority to conduct the entrance and promotional
examinations of police officers. However, it took
cognizance of case since Capablanca’s permanent
appointment was based on his Civil Service eligibility.
To enjoin, CSC from conducting its investigation
Capablanca sought relief from the trial court.
The trial court ruled that CSC had no jurisdiction over
Capablanca.
Law on Public Officers: Nature of Civil Service
CSC appealed the decision to the C.A. The Court of
Appeals found that PO1 Capablanca prematurely
resorted to court intervention when the remedy of
appeal to the CSC Central Office was still available.
Hence, this petition by Capablanca.
Law on Public Officers: Exhaustion of
Administrative Remedies
Question: Was Capablanca’s resort to the trial court
under the circumstances proper?
Answer: No. Capablanca failed to exhaust administrative
remedies by appealing before the CSC Central Office
instead of filing a petition before the trial court.
Law on Public Officers: Jurisdiction of the CSC
Question: Did the CSC have the jurisdiction over
Capablanca’s civil service eligibility?
Answer: Yes. The CSC, as the central personnel agency
of the Government, is mandated to establish a career
service, to strengthen the merit and rewards system,
and to adopt measures to promote morale, efficiency
and integrity in the civil service. The civil service
embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities,
and agencies of the government, including
government-owned or controlled corporations with
original charters.
Law on Public Officers: Jurisdiction of the CSC
Question: Are uniformed men of the PNP subject to CSC
laws and regulations?
Answer: Yes. Uniformed members of the PNP are considered
employees of the National Government, and all personnel
of the PNP are subject to civil service laws and regulations.
Petitioner cannot evade liability under the pretense that
another agency has primary jurisdiction over him. Settled is
the rule that jurisdiction is conferred only by the
Constitution or the law. When it clearly declares that a
subject matter falls within the jurisdiction of a tribunal, the
party involved in the controversy must bow and submit
himself to the tribunal on which jurisdiction is conferred.
Law on Public Officers: Midnight Appointment
LEAH M. NAZARENO, et al. v. CITY OF DUMAGUETE,
represented by CITY MAYOR AGUSTIN PERDICES,
DOMINADOR DUMALAG, JR., ERLINDA TUMONGHA,
JOSEPHINE MAE FLORES AND ARACELI CAMPOS,
G.R. No. 181559, October 2, 2009, EN BANC, DEL
CASTILLO, J.
Facts: Former Dumaguete City Mayor Remollo sought re-
election in the May 2001 elections, but lost to
respondent Mayor Perdices. Thereafter, on June 5, 7,
and 11, 2001, outgoing Mayor Remollo promoted 15 city
hall employees, and regularized another 74 city hall
employees, including the herein 52 petitioners.
Law on Public Officers: Midnight Appointment
On July 2, 2001, Mayor Perdices publicly announced at
the flag raising ceremony at the Dumaguete City Hall
grounds that he would not honor the appointments
made by former Mayor Remollo. He instructed the City
Administrator to direct the City Assistant Treasurer to
refrain from making any cash disbursements for
payments of petitioners' salary differentials based on
their new positions.
Petitioners filed an action seeking the issuance of a writ
of preliminary injunction to enjoin respondents from
taking any action or issuing any orders nullifying their
appointments.
Law on Public Officers: Professionalism in Civil Service
Relative to this main case, the CSC Field Office in
Dumaguete City, revoked and invalidated the
appointments of the petitioners as the same were done
in violation of CSC regulation which prohibits "mass
appointments."
Law on Public Officers: Professionalism in Civil Service
Question: What does the term “mass appointments”
mean?
Answer: The term refers to those issued in bulk or in large
number after the elections by an outgoing local chief
executive and there is no apparent need for their
immediate issuance.
Law on Public Officers: Professionalism in Civil Service
Question: Was the action of the CSC to invalidate the
“mass appointments” proper?
Answer: Yes. The Court finds that the CSC has the
authority to issue CSC questioned regulation and that
the invalidation of petitioners’ appointments was
warranted.
The CSC, as the central personnel agency of the
government, has statutory authority to establish rules
and regulations to promote efficiency and
professionalism in the civil service. Presidential Decree
No. 807 or the Civil Service Decree of the Philippines
Law on Public Officers: Midnight Appointment
The CSC has been authorized by statutes to "prescribe,
amend, and enforce" rules to cover the civil service.
The legislative standards to be observed and
respected in the exercise of such delegated authority
are set out in the statutes, to wit: to promote
"economical, efficient, and effective personnel
administration."
Law on Public Officers: Professionalism in Civil Service
Question: Is there a distinction between “mass
appointments” and “midnight appointment” within the
perspective of the prohibition covered by the election
ban?
Answer: It is true that there is no constitutional prohibition
against the issuance of "mass appointments" by
defeated local government officials prior to the
expiration of their terms. Clearly, this is not the same as
a "midnight appointment," proscribed by the
Constitution, which refers to those appointments made
within two months immediately prior to the next
Law on Public Officers: Midnight Appointment
presidential election. This case is a typical example of
the practice of outgoing local chief executives to issue
"midnight" appointments, especially after their
successors have been proclaimed. It does not only
cause animosities between the outgoing and the
incoming officials, but also affects efficiency in local
governance. Those appointed tend to devote their
time and energy in defending their appointments
instead of attending to their functions.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:QUASI-JUDICIAL (ADJUDICATORY)
POWERS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES
SALVA CION VILLANUEVA, TEOFILO TREDEZ, DONALD
BUNDAC, DANNY CABIGUEN, GREGORIO DELGADO,
and BILLY BUNGAR v. PALAWAN COUNCIL FOR
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, represented by Executive
Director ROMEO DORADO, and PATRICIA LOUISE
MINING AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION,
represented by Engineer FERNANDO ESGUERRA, G.R.
No. 178347, February 25, 2013, SECOND DIVISION, DEL
CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: Republic Act (RA) No. 7611called for the
establishment of the Environmentally Critical Areas
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:QUASI-JUDICIAL (ADJUDICATORY)
POWERS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES
Network (ECAN) by Palawan Council for Sustainable
Development (PCSD). PCSD promulgated the SEP
Clearance Guidelines requiring an SEP Clearance
before application for permits, licenses, patents,
grants, or concessions with the relevant government
agencies.
PCSD issued an SEP Clearance to PLMDC in Barangay
Calategas in the Municipality of Narra, Province of
Palawan. PCSD denied request of the farmers for the
recall of the subject SEP Clearance.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:QUASI-JUDICIAL (ADJUDICATORY)
POWERS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES
Aggrieved, the farmers filed a Petition for Certiorari
before the RTC-Puerto Princesa praying for the
issuance of Writ of Mandamus annulling the SEP
Clearance issued to PLMDC. The trial court denied the
petition since PCSD has no adjudicatory powers.
Thus, this appeal.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:QUASI-JUDICIAL (ADJUDICATORY)
POWERS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES
Question: What will be the basis for an administrative
agency to exercise quasi-adjudicatory powers?
Answer: There must be an enabling statute or legislative act
conferring quasi-judicial power upon the administrative
body. Normally, an agency’s power to formulate rules for
the proper discharge of its functions is always
circumscribed by the enabling statute. Otherwise, any
agency conferred with rule-making power, may
circumvent legislative intent by creating new powers for
itself through an administrative order.
Rule-making powers may not necessarily in include quasi-
adjudicatory powers.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:QUASI-JUDICIAL (ADJUDICATORY)
POWERS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES
Question: What are the factors that will indicate an
administrative agency exercises quasi-judicial
functions?
Answer: A government agency performs adjudicatory
functions when it renders decisions or awards that
determine the rights of adversarial parties, which
decisions or awards have the same effect as a
judgment of the court. These decisions are binding,
such that when they attain finality, they have the
effect of res judicata that even the courts of justice
have to respect.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:QUASI-JUDICIAL (ADJUDICATORY)
POWERS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES
The Court has held in one case, "judicial or quasi-
judicial function involves the determination of what the
law is, and what the legal rights of the contending
parties are, with respect to the matter in controversy
and, on the basis thereof and the facts obtaining, the
adjudication of their respective rights. In other words,
the tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or
quasi-judicial function must be clothed with power
and authority to pass judgment or render a decision
on the controversy construing and applying the laws
to that end."
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:QUASI-JUDICIAL (ADJUDICATORY)
POWERS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES
Question: Does ascertainment of facts constitute quasi-
judicial function?
Answer: PCSD’s receipt of documents and ascertainment
of their sufficiency and accuracy are not indicative of a
judicial function. It is, at most, an investigatory function
to determine the truth behind the claims of the project
proponent. This Court has held that the power to
investigate is not the same as adjudication, so long as
there is no final determination of the parties’ respective
rights and obligations.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:QUASI-JUDICIAL (ADJUDICATORY)
POWERS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES
Question: Does the conduct of public consultation
constitute quasi-judicial function?
Answer: The fact that an administrative agency
conducts public consultations or hearings does not
mean that it is performing quasi-judicial functions. The
purpose of public consultations is not for adversaries
to pit their claims against each other.
Note: Where an administrative body or officer does not
exercise judicial or quasi-judicial power, certiorari
does not lie.
POWERS OF COA: DISALLOWANCE OF DISBURSEMENT
RONNIE H. LUMAYNA v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, G. R.
No. 185001, September 25, 2009, EN BANC, DEL
CASTILLO, J. :
Facts: On 15 June 2001, DBM issued Local Budget
Circular No. 74 (LBC No. 74), authorizing the grant of a
maximum of 5% salary adjustment to personnel in the
LGUs effective 1 July 2001, pursuant to Republic Act
No. 9137 dated 8 June 2001.
COA affirmed the Notice of Disallowance of the 5%
salary increase of the municipal personnel of the
POWERS OF COA: DISALLOWANCE OF DISBURSEMENT
Municipality of Mayoyao, Ifugao covering the period
15 February to 30 September 2002, in the amount
of P895,891.50, and requiring petitioners to refund the
same. Also assailed is the COA Decision No. 2007-
040 dated 25 October 2007 denying the Motion for
Reconsideration.
The declaration by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in
the Resolution that the 2002 municipal budget was
operative did not include the grant of the 5% salary
increase, as the same was not contained in the said
budget but in Resolution No. 66, s. 2002.
POWER OF COA TO DISALLOW OF DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS
Question: Was the disallowance of the salary
adjustment without appropriate compliance with DBM
rules proper?
Answer: Yes. The COA correctly affirmed the
disallowance of the amount of P895,891.50. Factual
findings of administrative bodies charged with their
specific field of expertise, are afforded great weight by
the courts, and in the absence of substantial showing
that such findings were made from an erroneous
estimation of the evidence presented, they are
conclusive, and in the interest of stability of the
governmental structure, should not be disturbed.
POWER OF COA TO DISALLOW OF DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS
Question: Is there a need for the employees of the
municipality to reimburse the government the amount
they received under the erroneous resolution?
Answer: There is no need for the employees to reimburse
the amount received because they acted in good
faith. They should be held personally liable for the
refund, the same cannot be sustained. Absent a
showing of bad faith or malice, public officers are not
personally liable for damages resulting from the
performance of official duties. Every public official is
entitled to the presumption of good faith in the
discharge of official duties.
POWER OF COA TO DISALLOW OF DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS
Question: Is there a need for the employees of the
municipality to reimburse the government the amount
they received under the erroneous resolution?
Answer: There is no need for the employees to reimburse
the amount received because they acted in good
faith. They should be held personally liable for the
refund, the same cannot be sustained. Absent a
showing of bad faith or malice, public officers are not
personally liable for damages resulting from the
performance of official duties. Every public official is
entitled to the presumption of good faith in the
discharge of official duties.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:EXHAUSTION OF
ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES
EVELYN S. CABUNGCAL, ELVIRA J. CANLAS, MARIANITA
A. BULANAN, REMEDIOS S. DE JESUS, and NUNILON J.
MABINIvs. SONIA R. LORENZO, in her capacity as
Municipal Mayor of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, CECILIO DE
GUZMAN, Vice Mayor, CESARIO LOPEZ, JR., EMILIO
PACSON, BONIFACIO CACERES, JR., NAPOLEON
OCAMPO, MARIO CRUZ, PRISCILA REYES, ROLANDO
ESQUIVEL, and CRISENCIANO CABLAO in their capacity
as members of the Sangguniang Bayan of San Isidro,
Nueva Ecija, and EDUARDO N. JOSON
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:EXHAUSTION OF
ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES
Facts: Resolution No. 27 s. 2001 of the Municipality of San
Isidro declared the reorganization of all its offices of the
municipal government. Consequently, the Municipal
Mayor Sonia R. Lorenzo issued a memorandum
informing all employees of the municipal government
that, pursuant to the reorganization, all positions were
deemed vacant and that all employees must file their
respective applications for the newly created positions
listed in the approved staffing pattern on or before
January 10, 2002. Otherwise, they would not be
considered for any of the newly created positions.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:EXHAUSTION OF
ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES
Instead of submitting their respective applications,
petitioners, on January 17, 2002, filed with the CA a
Petition for Prohibition and Mandamus. Petitioners
sought to prohibit respondents from implementing the
reorganization. While the case was pending,
respondent Mayor Sonia R. Lorenzo issued a letter
terminating the services of those who did not re-apply
as well as those who were not selected for the new
positions effective April 21, 2002.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:EXHAUSTION OF
ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES
Question: Was direct resort to the Court of Appeals
proper?
• Answer: NO. The CSC which has primary jurisdiction
over the case. The CSC, as the central personnel
agency of the Government, has jurisdiction over
disputes involving the removal and separation of all
employees of government branches, subdivisions,
instrumentalities and agencies, including government-
owned or controlled corporations with original charters.
Simply put, it is the sole arbiter of controversies relating
to the civil service.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:EXHAUSTION OF
ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES
Question: What is the rule on exhaustion of
administrative remedies?
Answer: The rule on exhaustion of administrative
remedies provides that a party must exhaust all
administrative remedies to give the administrative
agency an opportunity to decide the matter and to
prevent unnecessary and premature resort to the
courts. This, however, is not an ironclad rule as it admits
of exceptions.
Election Law: Remedies and Jurisdiction of Tribunals
ROSE MARIE D. DOROMAL v. HERNAN G. BIRON and
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, G.R. No. 181809, February
17, 2010, EN BANC, DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Question: What are issues involved in an election
contest?
Answer: The following are the issues which need to
resolved in an election contest:
1. Election
2. Returns
3. Qualifications
Election Law: Remedies and Jurisdiction of Tribunals
Question: Who may file an election contest?
Answer: Only a losing candidate may file an election
contest.
Question: May a registered voter challenge the filing of
a Certificate of Candidacy by an aspirant to a
position?
Answer: Yes. A registered voter may question the
qualification of a candidate and move for the
cancellation of the COC.
Election Law: Remedies and Jurisdiction of Tribunals
Question: When may an election tribunal take
jurisdiction over an election contest?
Answer: An electoral tribunal may take cognizance of
an election contest provided that the following
conditions are met:
1. Valid proclamation;
2. Valid oath-taking; and
3. Assumption to duties
Election Law: Remedies and Jurisdiction of Tribunals
Question: When may COMELEC reject a certficate of
votes?
Answer: A certificate of votes has to be rejected if it did
not state (1) the number of votes obtained in words, (2)
the number of the precinct, (3) the total number of
voters who voted in the precinct, and (4) the time of
issuance.
Election Law: Remedies and Jurisdiction of Tribunals
Question: When may certificates of votes be considered
defective?
Answer: The certificates of votes are defective if they do
not contain (1) the thumbmarks of the members of the
BEI, (2) the total number of voters who voted in the
precinct, and (3) the time of the issuance of the
certificates, among others.
Election Law: Remedies and Jurisdiction of Tribunals
Question: When may a certificate of votes be considered
as tampered?
Answer: Before the certificate of votes may be admitted
as evidence of tampering, Section 17 of the Omnibus
Election Code requires that the certificate be duly
authenticated by testimonial or documentary evidence
presented to the board of canvassers by at least two
members of the board of election inspectors who issued
the certificate.
Election Law: Remedies and Jurisdiction of Tribunals
Question: What is the rationale behind compliance with
Section 17 of the Omnibus Code?
Answer: By requiring that the certificate of votes be duly
authenticated by at least two members of the BEI who
issued the same, the law seeks to safeguard the
integrity of the certificate from the time it is issued by
the BEI to the watcher after the counting of votes at the
precinct level up to the time that it is presented to the
board of canvassers to prove tampering.
Election Law: Remedies and Jurisdiction of Tribunals
THEMISTOCLES A. SAÑO, JR. v. COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS, THE MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF
DULAG, LEYTE, FERDINAND A. SERRANO (Acting
Chairman of the Municipal Board of Canvassers of
Dulag, Leyte) and MANUEL SIA QUE, G.R. No. 182221,
February 3, 2010, EN BANC, DEL CASTILLO J.:
Question: What is a pre-proclamation controversy?
Answer: A pre-proclamation controversy, as defined in
Batas Pambansa (BP) Blg. 881, otherwise known as the
Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines, is: any
question pertaining to or affecting the proceeding of
Election Law: Remedies and Jurisdiction of Tribunals
the board of canvassers which may be raised by any
candidate or by any registered political party or
coalition of political parties before the board or directly
with the Commission, or any matter raised under
Sections 233, 234, 235 and 236 in relation to the
preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and
appearance of the election returns.
Election Law: Remedies and Jurisdiction of Tribunals
Question: What is the nature of a pre-proclamation
controversy?
Answer: It is settled that a pre-proclamation controversy
is summary in character; indeed, it is the policy of the
law that pre-proclamation controversies be promptly
decided, so as not to delay canvass and proclamation.
The Board of Canvassers (BOC) will not look into
allegations of irregularity that are not apparent on the
face of ERs that appear otherwise authentic and duly
accomplished.
The Law on Public Corporations (Local Governments)
DANILO A. DUvs.VENANCIO R. JAYOMA, then Municipal
Mayor of Mabini, Bohol, VICENTE GULLE, JR.,
JOVENIANO MIANO, WILFREDO MENDEZ, AGAPITO
VALLESPIN, RENE BUCIO, JESUS TUTOR, CRESCENCIO
BERNALES, EDGARDO YBANEZ, and REY PAGALAN, then
members of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Mabini,
Bohol, G.R. No. 175042, April 23, 2012, FIRST DIVISION,
DEL CASTILLO, J.:
Facts: The Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of
Mabini, Bohol, enacted Municipal Ordinance No. 1,
series of 1988 requiring the conduct of a public bidding
for the operation of a cockpit in the said municipality
The Law on Public Corporations (Local Governments)
every four (4) years. For the period January 1, 1989 to
December 31, 1992, the winning bidder was
Carabuena. But Carabuena failed to comply with the
legal requirements. The Sangguniang Bayan on
December 1, 1988 authorized Du to continue his cockpit
operation until the winning bidder complies with the
legal requirements.
On July 11, 1997, pursuant to Municipal Resolution No.
065, series of 1997, Mayor Jayoma ordered petitioner to
desist from holding any cockfighting activity effective
immediately due to irregularities in its operations.
The Law on Public Corporations (Local Governments)
Feeling aggrieved, petitioner filed a Petition for
Prohibition with the RTC against respondent mayor and
nine members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Mabinito
prevent respondents from suspending his cockpit
operation. Petitioner claimed that he has a business
permit to operate until December 31, 1997; and that the
Municipal Resolution No. 065, series of 1997, was
unlawfully issued as it deprived him of due process.
The Law on Public Corporations (Local Governments)
Question: As judge, how will you rule on the case filed by
Du?
Answer: As judge, I will dismiss the case as he has no
legal right to operate a cockpit in the municipality. The
latter allowed him to continue to operate his cockpit
only because the winning bidder failed to comply with
the legal requirements for operating a cockpit. Clearly,
under the said resolution, petitioner’s authority to
operate the cockpit would end on December 31, 1992
or upon compliance by the winning bidder with the
legal requirements for operating a cockpit, whichever
comes first.
The Law on Public Corporations (Local Governments)
Question: What is the basis for the dismissal of the case?
Answer: Petitioner has no legal right to operate a cockpit
and therefore, he has no cause of action agianst the
municipality. A cause of action is defined as "the act or
omission by which a party violates a right of another.”
Corollarily, the essential elements of a cause of action
are: (1) a right in favor of the plaintiff; (2) an obligation
on the part of the defendant to respect such right; and
(3) an act or omission on the part of the defendant in
violation of the plaintiff’s right with a resulting injury or
damage to the plaintiff for which the latter may file an
action for the recovery of damages or other
appropriate relief.
The Law on Public Corporations (Local Governments)
Question: What is the nature of a license to operate a
cockpit?
Answer: License to operate a cockpit is a mere privilege.
It is not property of which the holder may not be
deprived without due process of law, but a mere
privilege that may be revoked when public interests so
require.
Public International Law: Jus Cogens and Erga Omnes
Question: Distinguish between jus cogens and erga
omnes.
Answer: Jus cogens literally means “compelling law.”
As defined, it means a peremptory (mandatory) norm
of general international law which is recognized and
accepted by the international community of States as
a norm that does not permit of any derogation and
which can be replaced or modified only by a
subsequent norm of the same character.
Under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, a
treaty that violates a jus cogens norm will have to be
invalidated.
Public International Law: Jus Cogens and Erga Omnes

On the other hand, erga omnes literally means “in


relation to the whole.” An erga omnes refers to an
obligation of a State towards the international
community of States as a whole.
Between an erga omnes obligation and an obligation
of a State towards another State pursuant to a treaty,
an erga omnes is superior.
Public International Law: UNCLOS

Question: What is UNCLOS?


Answer: The UNCLOS is a product of international
negotiation that seeks to balance State sovereignty
(mare clausum) and the principle of freedom of the
high seas (mare liberum). The freedom to use the
world’s marine waters is one of the oldest customary
principle of international law (Anne Bardin, “Coastal
State’s Jurisdiction Over Foreign Vessels” 14 Pace Int’l.
Rev. 27, 28 [2002]). The UNCLOS gives to the coastal
State sovereign rights in varying degrees over the
different zones of the sea which are: 1) internal waters,
Public International Law: UNCLOS
2) territorial sea, 3) contiguous zone, 4) exclusive economic
zone, and 5) the high seas.
It also gives coastal states more or less jurisdiction over
foreign vessels depending on where the vessel is located
(Id. At 29).
Insofar as the internal waters and territorial sea is
concerned, the Coastal States exercise sovereignty,
subject to the UNCLOS and other rules of international law.
Such sovereignty extends to the air apace over the
territorial sea as well as to its bed and subsoil (Art. 2,
UNCLOS). (Most Rev. Pedro D. Arigo, et al. v. Scott H. Swift,
et al., G.R. No. 206510, September 16, 2014, En Banc
[Villarama, Jr.])
PIL: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Question: What is the Convention on Biological Diversity?
Answer: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a
multilateral treaty recognizing that “modern
biotechnology has great potential for human well-being if
developed and used with adequate safety measures for
the environment and human health.” Its main objectives,
as spelled out in Article I, are the “conservation of
biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components
and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising
out of the utilization of genetic resources.” (International
Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications,
Inc. v. Greenpeace Southeast Asia (Philippines), et al., GR
No. 209271, December 8, 2015, En Banc [Villarama])
PIL: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Question: What is the precautionary principle?
Answer: The precautionary principle originated in
Germany in the 1960s, expressing the normative idea
that governments are obligated to “foresee and
forestall” harm to the environment. In the following
decades, the precautionary principle has served as the
normative guideline for policymaking by many
national governments. The Rio Declaration on
Environment and Development, the outcome of the
1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development held in Rio de Janeiro, defines the rights
of the people to be involved in the development of
PIL: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
their economies, and the responsibilities of human beings to
safeguard the common environment. It states that the long
term economic progress is only ensured if it s linked with
the protection of the environment. The precautionary
approach, which indicates that lack of scientific certainty
is no reason to postpone action to avoid potentially serious
or irreversible harm to the environment. It has been
incorporated in various international legal instruments. The
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on
Biological Diversity, finalized and adopted in Montreal on
January 29, 2000, establishes an international regime
primarily aimed at regulating trade in GMOs intended for
release into the environment, in accordance with Principle
15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and
Development.
Public International Law: Right to Self-Determination
Question: What is the right to self-determination?
Answer: The right to self-determination of peoples has
gone beyond mere treaty or convention; in fact, it has
now been elevated into the status of a generally
accepted of international law. However, this right to
self-determination of peoples may be understood in
two senses, i.e., the right to internal self-determination
(a people’s pursuit of its own political, economic, social
and cultural development within the framework of an
existing State), and the right to external self-
determination (which consists of the assertion of a right
to unilateral secession). (The Province of North
Cotabato v. GRPPhilippines Peace Panel, Oct.14, 2008)
Public International Law: Associated State
Question: What is an associated state?
Answer: An association is formed when two states of
unequal power voluntarily establish durable links. In the
basic model, one state, the associate, delegates
certain responsibilities to the other, the principal, while
maintaining its international status as a state. Free
associations represent a middle ground between
integration and independence.
Public International Law: Associated State
Question: What is an associated state in the context of
public international law?
Answer: In international practice, the “associated state”
arrangement has usually been used as a transitional
device of former colonies on their way to full
independence. Examples of states that have passed
through the status of associated states as a transitional
phase are Antigua, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, Dominica,
St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada. All have since
become independent states.
Public International Law: Associated State
Question: Is the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity
constitutional?
Answer: The 1987 Constitution provides that no province,
city, or municipality, not even the Autonomous Region
for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is recognized under our
laws as having an“associative” relationship with the
national government. The concept implies powers that
go beyond anything ever granted by the Constitution to
any local or regional government. It also implies the
recognition of the associated entity as a state. The
Constitution, however, does not contemplate any state
in this jurisdiction other than the Philippine State.
Public International Law: Auto-Limitation
Question: What is the concept of auto-limitation under
public international law?
Answer: While sovereignty has traditionally been
deemed absolute and all-encompassing on the
domestic level, it is however subject to restrictions and
limitations voluntarily agreed to by the Philippines,
expressly or impliedly, as a member of the family of
nations. By the doctrine of incorporation, the country is
bound by generally accepted principles of
international law may limit certain aspects of
sovereignty. One of the oldest and most fundamental
rules in international law is pacta sunt servanda which
requires compliance of obligations in good faith.
Public International Law: Extradition and Asylum
Question: Define the term refugee.
Answer: A refugee is a person who, owing to a well-
founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race,
religion, nationality, membership of a particular social
group or political opinion, is outside the country of his
nationality and is unable or owing to such fear, is
unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that
country; or who, not having a nationality and being
outside the country of his former habitual residence, is
unable or, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to
it. (Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, Art. 1
A[2]) (Magallona, Fundamentals of Public International
Law, 2005 Ed., p. 287)
Public International Law: Extradition and Asylum
Question: What is the Non-Refoulement Principle?
Answer: The non-refoulement principle is the right of a
refugee not to be expelled or returned “in any manner
whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or
freedom would be threatened on account of his race,
religion, nationality, membership of a particular social
group or political opinion.” The prohibition of such
expulsion or return becomes an obligation of States
parties to the Convention Relating to the Status of
Refugees. (Magallona, Fundamentals of Public
International Law, 2005 Ed., p. 289)
Public International Law: State Responsibility to Aliens

Question: What is the doctrine of state responsibility to


aliens?
Answer: An important premise for the doctrine of state
responsibility to aliens to be validly invoked is that a
State is under no legal obligation in international law to
admit an alien in its territory. However, the moment it
admits an alien, it is duty-bound to provide protection
to that alien so that once the State is remiss in the
performance of this duty and the alien dies, or suffers
injury or loss, this could lead to liability on the part of
the State.
Public International Law: State Responsibility to Aliens

Question: What are the requisites for the doctrine to


apply?
Answer: The requisites for the state responsibility to
aliens doctrine to apply are:
• An act or omission in violation of international law;
• The act is attributable to the State; and
• The causes damage or injury to a third State directly, or
indirectly, to a national of the third State.
Public International Law: State Responsibility to Aliens
Question: What are the conditions to enforce the claims
under the doctrine of state responsibility to aliens?
Answer: The conditions for the enforcement of claims
under this doctrine are:
1. The nationality of the claim;
2. Exhaustion of local remedies;
3. No waiver;
4. No unreasonable delay in filing the claim; and
5. No improper conduct on the part of the injured alien.
PIL: International Humanitarian Law
Question: Define International Humanitarian Law.
Answer: International Humanitarian Law is the branch of
public international law which governs armed conflicts
to the end that the use of violence is limited and that
human suffering is mitigated or reduced by regulating
or limiting the means of military operations and by
protecting persons who do not or no longer participate
in the hostilities.(Magallona, Fundamentals of Public
International Law, 2005 ed., p. 291)

PIL: International Humanitarian Law
Question: What is the scope of International
Humanitarian Law?
Answer: International Humanitarian Law (IHL)
encompasses both humanitarian principles and
international treaties that seek to save lives and
alleviate suffering of combatants and noncombatants
during armed conflict. Its principal legal documents
are the Geneva Conventions of 1949, four treaties
signed by almost every nation in the world. The
Conventions define fundamental rights for combatants
removed from the fighting due to injury, illness, or
capture, and for civilians.
PIL: International Humanitarian Law
The 1977 Additional Protocols, which supplement the
Geneva Conventions, further expand those rights under
• Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition
of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of
August 12, 1949 (First Geneva Convention);
• Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition
of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed
Forces at Sea of August 12, 1949 (Second Geneva
Convention);
• Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners
of War of August 12, 1949 (Third Geneva Convention);
PIL: International Humanitarian Law
• Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of
Civilian Persons in Time of War of August 12, 1949
(Fourth Geneva Convention);
• Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12
August 1949 and Relating to the Protection of Victims of
International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I) of 8 June
1977; and
• Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12
August 1949 and Relating to the Protection of Victims of
Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II) of 8
June 1977.
PIL: International Humanitarian Law
Question: What are the categories of armed conflicts?
Answer: The categories of armed conflicts are:
• International Armed Conflicts
• Internal or Non-international Armed Conflicts
• War of National Liberation
PIL: International Humanitarian Law
Question: What is the principle of distinction under IHL?
Answer: An important principle to be observed under IHL
is the Principle of Distinction. Under this principle,
persons directly engaged in armed conflict must, at all
times, distinguish between civilians and combatants;
between civilian objects and military objectives, so that
only combatants and military objectives may be
subject of attack.
PIL: International Humanitarian Law
Question: What is the concept of war of national
liberation?
Answer: An armed conflict may be of such nature in
which “peoples are fighting against colonial
domination and alien occupation and against racist
regimes in the exercise of their right of self-
determination.”
This conflict involving the right of peoples to self-
determination is an international armed conflict. It is so
classified under Article I, paragraphs 3 and 4 of
Protocol I.
PIL: International Humanitarian Law
Under these provisions, this conflict which may be
referred to as “war of national liberation,” is included in
the classification set out in Article 2 common to the four
Geneva Conventions of 1949 x x x. (Magallona,
Fundamentals of Public International Law, 2005 ed., p.
307)
PIL: International Criminal Court
Question: What is the Rome Statute?
Answer: The Rome Statute established the International
Criminal Court which “shall have the power to exercise
its jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes
of international concern x x x and shall be
complementary to the national criminal jurisdictions.”
(Article I, Rome Statute) Its jurisdiction covers the crime
of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and
the crime of aggression as defined in the Statute
(Article 5, Rome Statute). The Statute was opened for
signature by all States in Rome on July 17, 1988 and
PIL: International Criminal Court
had remained open for signature until December 31,
2000 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The Philippines signed the Statute on December 28,
2000 x x x. Its provisions, however, require that it be
subject to ratification, acceptance or approval of the
signatory states (Article 25, Rome Statute). (Pimentel,
Jr. v. Office of the Executive Secretary, 462 SCRA 622,
July 6, 2005, En Banc [Puno])
PIL: International Criminal Court
Question: What is the jurisdiction of the International
Criminal Court?
Answer: The International Criminal Court (ICC) shall have
the power to exercise jurisdiction over persons for the
most serious crimes of international concern. Its
jurisdiction covers the crime of genocide, crimes
against humanity, war crimes and the crime of
aggression as defined in the Statute (Article 5, Rome
Statute). (Pimentel, Jr. v. Office of the Executive
Secretary, 462 SCRA 622, July 6, 2005, En Banc [Puno])
PIL: International Criminal Court
Question: Explain the principle of complementarity
under the ICC.
Answer: The tenth preambular paragraph of the ICC
Statute emphasizes that “the International Criminal
Court x x x shall be complementary to national criminal
jurisdiction.” This principle becomes operative in
Article 1 of the Statute. This, however, has to be
correlated with the sixth preambular paragraph of the
Statute which declares that “it is the duty of every State
to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over those
responsible for international crimes.”
PIL: International Criminal Court
The principle of complementarity produces a correlation
of the ICC jurisdiction with that of every state over
international crimes under the ICC Statute.
The principle of complementarity gives primacy to
national jurisdiction x x x.
The principle of ne bis in idem in Article 20, paragraph 3,
of ICC Statute strengthens complementarity, thus:
Unless the proceedings in the national court is for the
purpose of shielding the person concerned from
liability, or not conducted independently or impartially,
PIL: International Criminal Court
“no person who has been tried by another court for
conduct … [constituting crimes within its jurisdiction]
shall be tried by the Court with respect to the same
conduct x x x.” (Magallona, Fundamentals of Public
International Law [2005 ed.])
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Step 3 Step 4
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