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THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS vs.

GREGORIO PERFECTO
G.R. No. L-18463, October 4, 1922
MALCOLM, J

FACTS:
An article in La Nacion on September 7, 1920, edited by Gregorio Perfecto, was alleged
to have insulted the Ministers of the Crown or other persons in authority representing the
King of Spain, invoking violations of Article 256 of the Spanish Civil Code.

Perfecto was judged guilty by the municipal court and again in the Court of First Instance
of Manila.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, Article 256 of the Spanish Civil Code is still applicable with the case at
bar?

RULING:

It is a general principle of public law that on acquisition of territory, the previous political
relations of the cede region are totally abrogated. The signing of The Treaty of Paris
between Spain and the United States is a testament to that principle. More so, we no
longer have a king nor its representative for the provision to protect.

Further, majority of the members of the Court are of the opinion that The Philippine Libel
Law, Act No. 277 has had the effect of repealing so much of Article 256 of the Spanish
Civil Code, as relates to written defamation, abuse or insult.
2

JOSUE JAVELLANA, petitioner,


vs.
THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE SECRETARY OF NATIONAL
DEFENSE, THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE AND THE SECRETARY OF
FINANCE
G.R. No. L-36142, March 31, 1973
CONCEPCION, C.J.

FACTS:

Congress passed Resolution No. 2, on March 16, 1967, amended by Resolution No. 4,
and adopted on June 17, 1969, a calling for a Constitution Convention (ConCon) to
propose amendments to the Constitution.

Republic Act No. 6132, approved on August 24, 1970, implemented Resolution No. 2.

On June 1, 1971, the ConCon began proposing amendments to the 1935 Constitution.

Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Proclamation No. 1081 on September 21, 1972,
putting the entire Philippines under Martial Law.

The ConCon approved the proposed Constitution on November 29, 1972. The following
day, Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 73, “submitting to the Filipino people for
ratification or rejection, the Constitution as proposed by the 1971 ConCon, appropriating
funds therefor and setting the plebiscite on November 15, 1973.

On December 17, 1972, Marcos issued an order temporarily suspending the effects of
P.D. 1081 for the purpose of free and open debate on the proposed Constitution.

December 23, 1972, Marcos announced the postponement of the plebiscite.


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December 31, same year, Presidential Decree No. 86 – Creating Citizen’s Assembly – to
be consulted on certain public questions, was issued by Marcos.

On January 1, 1973, General Order No. 20 was issued, directing that the plebiscite
scheduled to be held on January 15, 1973 be postponed until further notice, more so,
pursuant to the 1935 Constitution for Congress to meet in regular session on January 22,
1973, as a legislative authority, to advance P.D. No. 73.

The submission of the proposed Constitution to the Citizen’s Assemblies was not made to
the public until January 11, 1973.

On January 17, 1973, Proclamation No. 1102, “Announcing the Ratification by the
Filipino people of the Constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention” was
read by the Secretary of Justice. Said proclamation pronounced, among others, that 95%
of the members of the Citizen’s Assemblies voted to adopt the proposed Constitution and
that there was no need for a plebiscite because the vote of the Citizen’s Assemblies be
deemed a vote in a plebiscite.

Petitioner, along with others in a barrage of cases known as “Ratification Cases”, sought
restrain for the implementation of the provisions of the proposed Constitution, arguing
that the same was null and void as the Presidents has no authority to proclaim the
ratification of the same.

ISSUE:

1. Is the issue of the validity of Proclamation No. 1102 a justiciable, or political and
therefore, non-judiciable question?

2. Has the Constitution proposed by the 1971 ConCon been ratified validly (with
substantial, if not strict, compliance) conformably to the applicable constitutional and
statutory provisions?
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3. Has the aforementioned proposed Constitution acquiesced in (with or without valid


ratification) by the people?

4. Are the petitioners entitled to relief?

5. Is the aforementioned Constitution in force?

RULING:

1. Six justices held that the issue presents a justiciable and non-political question. Two
justices did not vote squarely on this but inferred that the Court should keep hands-off out
of respect to the people’s will, assuming there has been approval. Otherwise, the Court
may determine from both factual and legal angles whether or not Article XV of the 1935
Constitution has been complied with. Three justices held that the issue is political, hence,
beyond the ambit of the Court.

2. Six justices held that the proposed Constitution was not validly ratified in accordance
with Article XV, Section 1 of the 1935 Constitution, which provides only one way for
ratification, that is. “in an election or plebiscite held in accordance with law and
participated in only by qualified and duly registered voters. A justice qualified his vote,
that in the traditional concepts, the referendum in the Citizen’s Assemblies fell short of
the ratification. But in an orthodox point of view, the people may be deemed to have cast
their vote favorably through the Citizen;s Assembly and hence, there has been substantial
compliance with the requirement of the 1935 Constitution. Two justices, in their view,
held that there was substantial compliance with the ratification requirement. No majority
vote has been reached by the Court on this issue.

3. Four justices held that the people have already accepted the 1973 Constitution. Two,
however, held that there was no expression by the people qualified to vote all over the
Philippines of their acceptance or repudiation of the proposed Constitution. A justice
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stated that due to shortness of time to ascertain facts, cannot invoke for the application of
the doctrine stated in some American decisions, whereby, say, a New Constitution,
setting aside the validity of its ratification, once accepted by the people, must be accorded
recognition by the Court. Two justices, meanwhile, stated that there was no means of
knowing, to the point of judicial certainty, whether the people have accepted the
proposed Constitution.

4. Six justices voted to discuss the petition. Two however, voted in their view that “The
effectivity of the said Constitution, in the final analysis, is the basic and ultimate question
posed by these cases to resolve, which considerations, other than judicial, and therefore,
beyond the competence of the Court, are relevant and unavoidable. Four justices voted to
deny the respondents’ motion to dismiss and give due course to the petitions.

5. Four justices held that it is in force by virtue of the people’s acceptance thereof. Four
justices cast no vote in view of their votes in the third question that they could not state
with judicial certainty whether the people have accepted or not the 1973 Constitution.
Two justices voted that the same Constitution in question was not in force. There were
not enough votes to declare the New Constitution in force.

Accordingly, with majority six votes and four dissenting votes, all ratification cases are
being dismissed.

That being the verdict, there is no further judicial obstacle to the New Constitution from
being in force and in effect.
6

BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES (BFAR) EMPLOYEES


UNION, REGIONAL OFFICE NO. VII, CEBU CITY
vs.
COMMISSION ON AUDIT
G.R. No. 169815, 580 SCRA 295, August 13, 2008
PUNO, C.J.

FACTS:

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Employees Union of Regional Office
No. VII, Cebu City gave its one hundred thirty (130) employees the Food Basket
Allowance.

A resolution was passed by said union requesting and indorsed by the Regional Director
to the Bureau Director for recommendation for approval to the Undersecretary for
Fisheries and Livestock of the Department of Agriculture. Justification for the request
was on the issue of high cost of living that has greatly affected economic conditions that
the employees could hardly cope up with.

It was disallowed by the Commission on Audit Legal and Adjudication Office (COA-
LAO) Regional Office No. VII, Cebu City for being without legal basis, in contravention
with the General Appropriations Act of 1999 – itself a law.

Petitioner’s appeal and motion for reconsideration by virtue of Sections 9 and 10 of


Article II of the Constitution were denied by the respondent, hence the appeal to the
Court.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the grant of the Food Basket Allowance was unconstitutional?
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RULING:

The Court denied the petition to reverse the decision of COA-LAO. Sections 9 and 10 of
Article II of the Constitution are not self-executing provisions ready for enforcement.
They are mere guidelines for legislation and do not enforce rights enshrined in the
Constitution.
8

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY (Nadeco),


THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK,
vs.
JOSE YULO TOBIAS
G.R. No. L-17467, 7 SCRA 692, April 23, 1963
CONCEPCION, J.

FACTS:

On March 22, 1960, Nadeco seeks to recover from defendant Jose Yulo Tobias a sum of
money plus interest and attorney’s fees under a promissory note issued by the defendant
on May 13, 1946.

Defendant filed a motion to dismiss, invoking prescription. Plaintiff assailed the


defendant upon his theory since the Statute of Limitations cannot run against an
instrumentality of the Government.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the plaintiff is exempted from the Statute of Limitations, hence, recover
the sum certain in money?

RULING:

The plaintiff herein does not exercise sovereign powers and cannot therefore, invoke
exemptions from the Statute of Limitations. It is an agency for the performance of purely
corporate, proprietary or business functions. It is like all other corporations capitalized by
the Government. In fact, the plaintiff was sentenced to pay costs in Batongbacal v.
Nadeco (49 O.G. 229) and Nadeco vs. CIR, L-13209 (9/30/59), despite the fact that “no
costs shall be allowed against the Republic of the Philippines, unless otherwise provided
by law”, pursuant to Rule `131, Section 1, of the Rules of Court.
9

MARIANO E. GARCIA
vs.
THE CHIEF OF STAFF and THE ADJUTANT GENERAL, ARMED FORCES OF
THE PHILIPPINES and/or THE CHAIRMAN, PHILIPPINE VETERANS
BOARD and/or THE AUDITOR GENERAL OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. L-20213, 16 SCRA 120, January 31, 1966
REGALA, J.

FACTS:

On December 1, 1961, Mariano E. Garcia filed an action with the Court of First Instance
to collect a sum of money against the defendants.

The complaint stemmed from the injuries suffered by the plaintiff while undergoing
military training at Camp Floridablance in Pampanga. He filed his claim under
Commonwealth Act 400 and in April 1947, submitted some papers in support of his
disability benefits claim to the Adjutant General’s Office but was disallowed thereafter.

After further demands for said claim, on November 24, 1958, the Adjutant General
denied his claim on the ground that CA 400 was already repealed by Republic Act No.
610 which took effect on January 1,1950.

Because of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff, he was deprived of his vision, rendering
him permanently disabled and by the reason of the unjustified refusal by the defendant to
pay plaintiff’s claim, the latter was deprived pension and suffered moral damages
thereby, and attorney’s fees from the same.

The Philippine Veterans Administration Office and the Chief of Staff of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines filed separate motions to dismiss the complaints on the ground
of prescription and that the plaintiff failed to exhaust all administrative remedies before
coming to court.
10

The lower court dismissed the complaint on the ground that it has prescribed. Motion for
reconsideration was also denied, hence, the plaintiff interposed the appeal.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the lower court is right in dismissing the complaint?

RULING:

The Supreme Court upheld the CFI’s ruling but ruled not on the ground of prescription
but the mere fact that the CFI has no jurisdiction over the subject matter, it being a money
claim against the Government.
Any recovery of money against the Government should be filed with the Auditor
General, in line with the principle that the State cannot be sued without its consent.

The well-established rule that no recourse to court can be had until all administrative
remedies had been exhausted and that action against administrative officers should not be
entertained if superior administrative officers could grant relief is squarely applicable to
this case.
11

PHILIPPINE ROCK INDUSTRIES, INC.


vs.
BOARD OF LIQUIDATORS, as Liquidator of the defunct REPARATIONS
COMMISSION
G.R. No. 84992, December 15,1989
GRINO-AQUINO, J.

FACTS:

The Board of Liquidators, as part of its administration of Reparations Commission’s


assets and liabilities for liquidation, sold a rock pulverizing machinery to PhilRock.

PhilRock filed a complaint in the Regional Trial Court of Manila against The Board for
the defective machine and demanded the following: a) replacement of the defective
machine or refund the purchase price at 31% of its contract price; b) payment of damages
for losses incurred in maintaining the plant at Php 5,000.00 a month and Php 4,000.00 a
month as unrealized profit and exemplary damages; and c) Php 50,000.00 as attorney’s
fees plus expenses and costs of the trial.

The RTC ruled in PhilRock’s favor. The Solicitor General, acting in behalf of the State,
filed an appeal on the ground that the source of payment for damages are public funds,
hence, exempt from attachment and execution. The RTC, despite the appeal, issued a
Writ of Execution. The Board of Liquidators filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition
in the Court of Appeals where the writ was set aside. PhilRock filed this petition for
review.
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ISSUE:

Whether or not, the funds of REPACOM in the account of The Board of Liquidators in
the Philippine National Bank may be garnished to satisfy a money judgment against The
Board?

RULING:

There can be no garnishment as The Board of Liquidators is a government agency created


under Executive Order 372 to administer the assets and pay the liabilities of REPACOM.
It has no juridical personality, separate and distinct form its principal, the State. The State
enjoys immunity from suit, except when it conducts business through some government
owned and controlled corporations. The disbursement of public funds is in the discretion
of the legislature and diversion of public funds for other purposes would disrupt the
State’s functions of giving out public service.
13

ESTRELLA B. ONDOY
vs.
VIRGILIO IGNACIO, Proprietor M/B LADY ESTRELLITA and/or IMPERIAL
FISHING ENTERPRISES and/or THE SECRETARY OF LABOR and/or THE
COMPENSATION APPEALS AND REVIEW STAFF, Department of Labor
G.R. No. L-47178, May 16, 1980
FERNANDO, C.J.

FACTS:
Estrella Ondoy, mother of one Jose Ondoy, an employee who worked under Virgilio
Ignacio, filed a case asking for compensation for her son.

Jose Ondoy was aboard the ship of the respondent’s company as an employ. Private
respondent’s chief engineer and oiler submitted affidavits to the effect that indeed Ondoy
was on board the ship and was supposed to have been invited his friends for a drinking
spree. The affidavit of the chief mate, to the effect that the deceased died in the line of
duty, was ignored by the hearing officer, dismissing it for lack of merit. A motion for
reconsideration was duly filed but in an order by the Secretary of Labor, the motion was
also dismissed on the same ground, hence this review.

ISSUE:
Whether or not compensation for the death of the petitioner’s son can be granted?

RULING:
Yes. It was held in Agustin v. Workmen’s Compensation Commission that, “As between
a laborer, usually poor and unlettered, and the employer, who has resources to secure able
legal advice, the law has reason to demand from the latter stricter compliance. Social
justice in these cases is not equality of protection.
14

GREGORIO AGLIPAY
vs.
JUAN RUIZ,
G.R. No. L-45459, March 13, 1937
LAUREL, J.

FACTS:

Monsignor Gregorio Aglipay. Supreme Head of the Philippine Independent Church seeks
a writ of prohibition to prevent responded Juan Ruiz, Director of Post from continuing
selling commemorative stamps of the Thirty Third International International Eucharistic
Congress to be held in Manila.

Petitioner invoked the inviolability of the separation of Church and State and that no
public money or property be appropriated, applied or used, directly or indirectly, for the
use, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church,
denomination, sectarian institution or system of religion, or for use, benefit or support of
any priest, preacher, minister or other religious teacher or dignitary as such, except when
such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary as such, except when such priest, preacher,
minister, or dignitary as such, is assigned to the armed forces or to any penal institution,
orphanage, or leprosarium.

The respondent issued the postage stamps under provisions of Act. No. 4052, though
greater part thereof remained unsold, hence the petition for writ of prohibition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the Director of Posts violated the Constitution in issuing and selling the
stamps?
15

RULING:

Under Act No. 4052, the Director of Posts is given the discretion to determine the design
of new stamps to be issued, bearing in mind as to what would be most advantageous to
the government. This would not mean, however, that there is authority to violate the
Constitution. Said Act did not contemplate any religious purpose. The stamps did not
favor the Roman Catholic Church nor the money deprived from the sale thereof were
given to that church. The purpose of issuing said stamps was actually to take advantage
of an international event and would be an opportunity time to give publicity to the
Philippines and attract tourists to the country. The design in fact showed the map of the
Philippines with location of the event as to te City of Manila and bore the inscription
“Seat XXXXIII International Eucharistic Congress (February 3-7, 2018). Petition is
denied.
16

PANGASINAN TRANSPORTATION CO., INC.


vs.
THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
G.R. No. 47065, June 26, 1940
LAUREL, J.

FACTS:

Pantranco seeks to augment its bus lines with additional ten (10) more buses. The Public
Service Commision granted the application for certificate of public conveyance upon
conditions that the petitioner must conform to, including its businesses. Petitioner
contested that Section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 454 giving legislative powers to the
respondent constituted a complete and total abdication by the Legislature of its functions
and premises.

ISSUES:

1. Whether or not Section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 454, without limitation,


constitute a complete and total abdication by the Legislature of its functions?

2. Whether or not, assuming its constitutionality, applies only to future certificates and
not valid against those already subsisting before the same took effect or those prior to
June 8, 1939?

RULING:

On the first issue, what has been delegated to the Commission is the administrative
function, involving the use of discretion to carry out the will of the National Assembly,
having in view, the promotion of public interests in a proper and suitable manner.
Growing complexities of modern life, multiplication of subjects of governmental
regulation and the increased difficulty of administering laws, necessitates delegation of
17

powers to some extent and with certain limits, giving rise to the principle of “subordinate
legislation”.

On the second issue, Statutes for regulation of public utilities are a proper exercise of
police powers. The State can impose restrictions on franchises for the promotion of
general welfare. The business of a common carrier is imbued with public interest and as
such, it ceased to be just a “juris privati” only.
18

ROMEO F. EDU
vs.
HON. VICENTE G. ERICTA and TEDDY C. GALO
G.R. No. L-32096, October 24, 1970
FERNANDO, J.

FACTS:

Respondent Gallo assailed the validity of the Reflector Law as being violative of the due
process clause and should the Act be sustained to be without infirmity, followed it up
with his manifestation seeking that the Administration Order No. 2 implementing such
legislation be nullified for undue exercise of legislative power.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the Reflector Law is constitutional and Administrative Order No. 2
valid?

RULING:

The Reflector Law is constitutional. Police power is the State authority to enact
legislation that may interfere with the personal liberty or property in order to promote the
general welfare. In the case at bar, public safety is the legislative intent and the Court
turning a blind eye to the hazards of traffic by condemning a statute of this character is a
betrayal and lack of concern for the general welfare.

Administrative Order No. 2, on the other hand, is also valid as the Legislature did not
abrogate its power to enact laws. To avoid an unlawful delegation, the Statute must be
complete in all its terms and provisions before it leaves the Legislature and there must be
a standard that defines legislative policy, marks its limits, maps out its boundaries and
specified the public agency to apply it. There is categorical affirmation as to the power of
19

the Land Transportation Commission to promulgate rules and regulations to give life to
an translate into actuality the very intent of the law.
20

MAURICIO CRUZ
vs.
STANTON YOUNGBERG
G.R. No. L-34674, October 26, 1931
OSTRAND, J.

FACTS:

Petitioner brought a petition for writ of mandatory injunction against respondent,


requiring the latter to issue a permit for the landing of ten large cattle imported by the
petitioner and for the slaughter thereof. The petitioner questioned the constitutionality of
the Act No, 3155, which prohibits importation of cattle from foreign countries. He further
stressed that the Act’s sole purpose was to prevent the introduction of cattle diseases in
the country. Respondent asserted that the petition did not state facts to constitute a cause
of action. The demurrer was based on two reasons, namely, (1) that if Act No. 3155 were
declared unconstitutional and void, the petitioner would not be entitled to relief
demanded because Act No. 3052 would automatically become effective and would
prohibit respondent from giving the permit prayed for; and that Act No. 3155 was
constitutional, and therefore, valid.

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not, Act No. 3155 is unconstitutional?

2. Whether or not, there was undue delegation of legislative power when the lower court
did not hold the power of the Governor General given by Act No. 3155 to prohibit the
importation?

3. Whether or not, Act No. 3155 amended Section 3 of the Tariff Law?

RULING:
21

1. The Act was constitutional. It was passed to protect the cattle industry and to prevent
the introduction of cattle diseases through importation of cattle. Promotion of industries
affecting public welfare and the development of resources of the country are recognized
objects within the scope of police power. At the time of its legislation, it is of necessity
and the Legislature did not exceed its legislative power in enacting the same.

2. There was no undue delegation of power, as the true distinction of delegation of power
is between the delegation to make the law, which necessarily involves discretion as to
what it shall be, and conferring an authority or discretion as to its execution, to be
exercised and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done, to the latter, no valid
objection can be made.

3. The Act did not effectively amend the Tariff Law. It made no reference to the Tariff
Law. It is a complete statute in itself. It does not permit the importation of articles, whose
importation is prohibited by the Tariff Law. It is not a tariff measure but a quarantine
measure. It merely supplements but did not amend the Tariff Law. Supplementary and
amendatory are two different animals.
22

MAXIMO CALALANG
vs.
A. D. WILLIAMS, ET AL
G.R. No. 47800 , December 2, 1940
LAUREL, J.

FACTS:

National Traffic Commission was assailed by Maximo Calalang, a private citizen, for a
writ of prohibition against respondent’s resolution prohibiting animal-drawn vehicles
from passing along designated areas for some certain period of time.

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not, the promulgation of rules and regulations by the respondents


constitutes undue delegation of legislative power?

2. Whether or not, the promulgated rules and regulations interfered with legitimate
business or trade, abridging the right to personal liberty and freedom of locomotion?

3. Whether or not, the promulgated rules and regulations infringed upon the constitutional
precept of promoting social justice?

RULING:

1. The rules and regulations is constitutional. It must be said that delegation of legislative
power in its truest sense, is delegation to make the law, as distinguished from conferring
an authority or discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of
the law. Said rules and regulations merely carries out what has been laid down by the
National Assembly in Commonwealth Act No. 548.
23

2. In its exercise of its police power, the State, in order to promote general welfare, may
interfere with personal liberty, property and with business and occupations. Persons and
properties may be subjected to restraints and burdens to secure general comfort, health
and prosperity of the State.

3. Promotion of social justice must not be hinged or achieved through mistaken sympathy
towards any given group. Social justice is anchored on the promotion of the general
welfare through the government’s adoption of measures that insure economic stability of
all competent elements of society, keeping in mind the time-honored principle of “salus
populi est suprema lex”.
24

ROBERT V. TOBIAS
vs.
HON. CITY MAYOR BENJAMIN S. ABALOS
G.R. No. L-114783, December 8, 1994
BIDIN, J.

FACTS:

Invoking their rights as taxpayers and as residents of Mandaluyong, herein petitioners


assail the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 7675, otherwise known as "An Act
Converting the Municipality of Mandaluyong into a Highly Urbanized City to be known
as the City of Mandaluyong."

Petitioner's first objection to the aforequoted provision of R.A. No. 7675 is that it
contravenes the "one subject-one bill" rule, as enunciated in Article VI, Section 26(1) of
the Constitution, to wit:
Sec. 26(1). Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject
which shall be expressed in the title thereof.

Petitioners' second and third objections involve Article VI, Sections 5(1) and (4) of the
Constitution, which provide, to wit:
Sec. 5(1). The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two
hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from
legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila
area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a
uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected
through a party list system of registered national, regional and sectoral parties or
organizations.
Sec. 5(4). Within three years following the return of every census, the Congress
shall make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standard provided in
this section.
25

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not R.A. 7675 is unconstitutional for it contravenes the "one subject-one
bill" rule, as enunciated in Article VI, Section 26(1) of the Constitution?

2. Whether or not, R.A 7675 violates Section 5(1) of Article VI of the Constitution on
the limit of number of representatives?

3. Whether or not, there was any census to show that Mandaluyong and San Juan had
each attained the minimum requirement of 250,000 inhabitants to justify their separation
into two legislative districts, unless otherwise proved that the requirements were not met?

RULING:

With regards to the first contention of “one subject-one bill rule”, the creation of a
separate congressional district for Mandaluyong is not a separate and distinct subject
from its conversion into a HUC but is a natural and logical consequence. In addition, a
liberal construction of the "one title-one subject" rule has been invariably adopted by this
court so as not to cripple or impede legislation. Thus, in Sumulong v. Comelec (73 Phil.
288 [1941]), we ruled that the constitutional requirement as now expressed in Article VI,
Section 26(1) "should be given a practical rather than a technical construction. It should
be sufficient compliance with such requirement if the title expresses the general subject
and all the provisions are germane to that general subject."

As to the contention that the assailed law violates the present limit on the number of
representatives as set forth in the Constitution, a reading of the applicable provision,
Article VI, Section 5(1), as aforequoted, shows that the present limit of 250 members is
not absolute. The Constitution clearly provides that the House of Representatives shall be
composed of not more than 250 members, "unless otherwise provided by law." The
inescapable import of the latter clause is that the present composition of Congress may be
26

increased, if Congress itself so mandates through a legislative enactment. Therefore, the


increase in congressional representation mandated by R.A. No. 7675 is not
unconstitutional.

On the third constitutional issue raised by petitioners to the effect that there is no mention
in the assailed law of any census to show that Mandaluyong and San Juan had each
attained the minimum requirement of 250,000 inhabitants to justify their separation into
two legislative districts, the same does not suffice to strike down the validity of R.A. No.
7675. The said Act enjoys the presumption of having passed through the regular
congressional processes, including due consideration by the members of Congress of the
minimum requirements for the establishment of separate legislative districts. At any rate,
it is not required that all laws emanating from the legislature must contain all relevant
data considered by Congress in the enactment of said laws.
27

MILAGROS E. AMORES
vs.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL and EMMANUEL
JOEL J. VILLANUEVA
G.R. No. 189600, June 29, 2010
CARPIO MORALES, J.

FACTS:

Via this petition for certiorari, Milagros E. Amores (petitioner) challenges the
Decision of May 14, 2009 and Resolution No. 09-130 of August 6, 2009 of the House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal (public respondent), which respectively dismissed
petitioner’s Petition for Quo Warranto questioning the legality of the assumption of office
of Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva (private respondent) as representative of the party-list
organization Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) in the House of
Representatives, and denied petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration.

In her Petition for Quo Warranto1 seeking the ouster of private respondent,
petitioner alleged that, among other things, private respondent assumed office without a
formal proclamation issued by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC); he was
disqualified to be a nominee of the youth sector of CIBAC since, at the time of the filing
of his certificates of nomination and acceptance, he was already 31 years old or beyond
the age limit of 30 pursuant to Section 9 of Republic Act (RA) No. 7941, otherwise
known as the Party-List System Act; and his change of affiliation from CIBAC’s youth
sector to its overseas Filipino workers and their families sector was not effected at least
six months prior to the May 14, 2007 elections so as to be qualified to represent the new
sector under Section 15 of RA No. 7941.

Petitioner contends that, among other things, public respondent created


distinctions in the application of Sections 9 and 15 of RA No. 7941 that are not found in
the subject provisions, fostering interpretations at war with equal protection of the laws;
28

and NBC Resolution No. 07-60, which was a partial proclamation of winning party-list
organizations, was not enough basis for private respondent to assume office on July 10,
2007, especially considering that he admitted receiving his own Certificate of
Proclamation only on December 13, 2007.

ISSUES:

The Court adopts the issues framed by public respondent, to wit: (1) whether
petitioner’s Petition for Quo Warranto was dismissible for having been filed
unseasonably; and (2) whether Sections 9 and 15 of RA No. 7941 apply to private
respondent.

RULING:

On the first issue, the Court finds that public respondent committed grave abuse
of discretion in considering petitioner’s Petition for Quo Warranto filed out of time. Its
counting of the 10-day reglementary period provided in its Rules 8 from the issuance of
NBC Resolution No. 07-60 on July 9, 2007 is erroneous.

Considering, however, that the records do not disclose the exact date of private
respondent’s proclamation, the Court overlooks the technicality of timeliness and rules on
the merits. Alternatively, since petitioner’s challenge goes into private respondent’s
qualifications, it may be filed at anytime during his term. Qualifications for public office
are continuing requirements and must be possessed not only at the time of appointment or
election or assumption of office but during the officer's entire tenure. Once any of the
required qualifications is lost, his title may be seasonably challenged.

On the second and more substantial issue, the Court shall first discuss the age
requirement for youth sector nominees under Section 9 of RA No. 7941 reading:
Section 9. Qualifications of Party-List Nominees. No person shall be nominated
as party-list representative unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a
29

registered voter, a resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one (1)year
immediately preceding the day of the election, able to read and write, a bona fide member
of the party or organization which he seeks to represent for at least ninety (90) days
preceding the day of the election, and is at least twenty-five (25) years of age on the day
of the election.

In case of a nominee of the youth sector, he must at least be twenty-five (25) but not
more than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election. Any youth sectoral
representative who attains the age of thirty (30) during his term shall be allowed to
continue in office until the expiration of his term.

The Court finds no textual support for public respondent’s interpretation that Section 9
applied only to those nominated during the first three congressional terms after the
ratification of the Constitution or until 1998, unless a sectoral party is thereafter
registered exclusively as representing the youth sector.

Respecting Section 15 of RA No. 7941, the Court fails to find even an iota of textual
support for public respondent’s ratiocination that the provision did not apply to private
respondent’s shift of affiliation from CIBAC’s youth sector to its overseas Filipino
workers and the family sector as there was no resultant change in party-list affiliation.
Section 15 reads:
Section 15. Change of Affiliation; Effect. Any elected party-list representative
who changes his political party or sectoral affiliation during his term of office shall forfeit
his seat: Provided, That if he changes his political party or sectoral affiliation within six
(6) months before an election, he shall not be eligible for nomination as party-list
representative under his new party or organization.

What is clear is that the wording of Section 15 covers changes in both political party and
sectoral affiliation. And the latter may occur within the same party since multi-sectoral
party-list organizations are qualified to participate in the Philippine party-list system.
Hence, a nominee who changes his sectoral affiliation within the same party will only be
30

eligible for nomination under the new sectoral affiliation if the change has been effected
at least six months before the elections. Again, since the statute is clear and free from
ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted
interpretation. This is the plain meaning rule or verba legis, as expressed in the maxim
index animi sermo or speech is the index of intention.
31

SPOUSES PNP DIRECTOR ELISEO D. DELA PAZ (Ret.)


and MARIA FE C. DELA PAZ,
vs.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS and the SENATE
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS JOSE BALAJADIA, JR.
G.R. No. 184849, February 13, 2009
NACHURA, J.

FACTS:

This is a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court filed
on October 28, 2008 by petitioners-spouses General (Ret.) Eliseo D. dela Paz (Gen. Dela
Paz) and Mrs. Maria Fe C. dela Paz (Mrs. Dela Paz) assailing, allegedly for having been
rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, the
orders of respondent Senate Foreign Relations Committee (respondent Committee),
through its Chairperson, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago (Senator Santiago), (1)
denying petitioners’ Challenge to Jurisdiction with Motion to Quash Subpoenae and (2)
commanding respondent Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Jose Balajadia, Jr. (Balajadia) to
immediately arrest petitioners during the Senate committee hearing last October 23,
2008. The petition thus prays that respondent Committee be enjoined from conducting its
hearings involving petitioners, and to enjoin Balajadia from implementing the verbal
arrest order against them.

The antecedents are as follow –

On October 6, 2008, a Philippine delegation of eight (8) senior Philippine National Police
(PNP) officers arrived in Moscow, Russia to attend the 77th General Assembly Session
of the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO)-INTERPOL in St. Petersburg
from October 6-10, 2008. With the delegation was Gen. Dela Paz, then comptroller and
special disbursing officer of the PNP. Gen. Dela Paz, however, was to retire from the
PNP on October 9, 2008.
32

On October 11, 2008, Gen. Dela Paz was apprehended by the local authorities at the
Moscow airport departure area for failure to declare in written form the 105,000 euros
[approximately ₱6,930,000.00] found in his luggage. In addition, he was also found to
have in his possession 45,000 euros (roughly equivalent to ₱2,970,000.00).

Petitioners were detained in Moscow for questioning. After a few days, Gen. Dela Paz
and the PNP delegation were allowed to return to the Philippines, but the Russian
government confiscated the euros.

On October 21, 2008, Gen. Dela Paz arrived in Manila, a few days after Mrs. Dela Paz.
Awaiting them were subpoenae earlier issued by respondent Committee for the
investigation it was to conduct on the Moscow incident on October 23, 2008.
On October 23, 2008, respondent Committee held its first hearing. Instead of attending
the hearing, petitioners filed with respondent Committee a pleading denominated
Challenge to Jurisdiction with Motion to Quash Subpoena.2Senator Santiago
emphatically defended respondent Committee’s jurisdiction and commanded Balajadia to
arrest petitioners.

Hence, the Petition.

ISSUES:

Whether or not, respondent Committee is devoid of any jurisdiction to investigate the


Moscow incident as the matter does not involve state to state relations as provided in
paragraph 12, Section 13, Rule 10 of the Senate Rules of Procedure (Senate Rules). They
further claim that respondent Committee violated the same Senate Rules when it issued
the warrant of arrest without the required signatures of the majority of the members of
respondent Committee. They likewise assail the very same Senate Rules because the
same were not published as required by the Constitution, and thus, cannot be used as the
basis of any investigation involving them relative to the Moscow incident.
33

RULING:

The issue partakes of the nature of a political question that, in Tañada v. Cuenco, was
characterized as a question which, under the Constitution, is to be decided by the people
in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been
delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. Further, pursuant to
this constitutional grant of virtually unrestricted authority to determine its own rules, the
Senate is at liberty to alter or modify these rules at any time it may see fit, subject only to
the imperatives of quorum, voting and publication.

Thus, it is not for this Court to intervene in what is clearly a question of policy, an issue
dependent upon the wisdom, not the legality, of the Senate’s action.

The arrest order issued against the petitioners has been rendered ineffectual. In the
legislative inquiry held on November 15, 2008, jointly by the respondent Committee and
the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Gen. Dela Paz voluntarily appeared and answered
the questions propounded by the Committee members. Having submitted himself to the
jurisdiction of the Senate Committees, there was no longer any necessity to implement
the order of arrest. Furthermore, in the same hearing, Senator Santiago granted the
motion of Gen. Dela Paz to dispense with the presence of Mrs. Dela Paz for humanitarian
considerations. Consequently, the order for her arrest was effectively withdrawn.
34

AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR., et al,


vs.
EXEC. SECRETARY EDUARDO R. ERMITA, et al,
G.R. No. 164978, October 13, 2005
CARPIO, J.

FACTS:

This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of
preliminary injunction to declare unconstitutional the appointments issued by President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (President Arroyo) through Executive Secretary Eduardo R.
Ermita (Secretary Ermita) to Florencio B. Abad, Avelino J. Cruz, Jr., Michael T.
Defensor, Joseph H. Durano, Raul M. Gonzalez, Alberto G. Romulo, Rene C. Villa, and
Arthur C. Yap (respondents) as acting secretaries of their respective departments. The
petition also seeks to prohibit respondents from performing the duties of department
secretaries. Respondents took their oath of office and assumed duties as acting
secretaries.

On 8 September 2004, Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (Senator Pimentel), Edgardo J. Angara


(Senator Angara), Juan Ponce Enrile (Senator Enrile), Luisa P. Ejercito-Estrada (Senator
Ejercito-Estrada), Jinggoy E. Estrada (Senator Estrada), Panfilo M. Lacson (Senator
Lacson), Alfredo S. Lim (Senator Lim), Jamby A.S. Madrigal (Senator Madrigal), and
Sergio R. Osmea, III (Senator Osmea) (petitioners) filed the present petition as Senators
of the Republic of the Philippines.

Congress adjourned on 22 September 2004. On 23 September 2004, President Arroyo


issued ad interim appointments to respondents as secretaries of the departments to which
they were previously appointed in an acting capacity.

Petitioners and respondents maintain two diametrically opposed lines of thought.


Petitioners assert that the President cannot issue appointments in an acting capacity to
35

department secretaries while Congress is in session because the law does not give the
President such power. In contrast, respondents insist that the President can issue such
appointments because no law prohibits such appointments

ISSUE:

The petition questions the constitutionality of President Arroyos appointment of


respondents as acting secretaries without the consent of the Commission on
Appointments while Congress is in session.

RULING:

The law expressly allows the President to make such acting appointment. Section 17,
Chapter 5, Title I, Book III of EO 292 states that The President may temporarily
designate an officer already in the government service or any other competent person to
perform the functions of an office in the executive branch. Thus, the President may even
appoint in an acting capacity a person not yet in the government service, as long as the
President deems that person competent.

Petitioners assert that Section 17 does not apply to appointments vested in the President
by the Constitution, because it only applies to appointments vested in the President by
law. Petitioners forget that Congress is not the only source of law. Law refers to the
Constitution, statutes or acts of Congress, municipal ordinances, implementing rules
issued pursuant to law, and judicial decisions.

Finally, petitioners claim that the issuance of appointments in an acting capacity is


susceptible to abuse. Petitioners fail to consider that acting appointments cannot exceed
one year as expressly provided in Section 17(3), Chapter 5, Title I, Book III of EO 292.
The law has incorporated this safeguard to prevent abuses, like the use of acting
appointments as a way to circumvent confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.
36

In distinguishing ad interim appointments from appointments in an acting capacity, a


noted textbook writer on constitutional law has observed:

Ad-interim appointments must be distinguished from appointments in an acting capacity.


Both of them are effective upon acceptance. But ad-interim appointments are extended
only during a recess of Congress, whereas acting appointments may be extended any time
there is a vacancy. Moreover ad-interim appointments are submitted to the Commission
on Appointments for confirmation or rejection; acting appointments are not submitted to
the Commission on Appointments. Acting appointments are a way of temporarily filling
important offices but, if abused, they can also be a way of circumventing the need for
confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.
37

ATTY. EVILLO C. PORMENTO,


vs.
JOSEPH ERAP EJERCITO
ESTRADA and COMMISSION
ON ELECTIONS
G.R. No. 191988, August 31, 2010
CORONA, C.J.

FACTS:

The petition asks whether private respondent Joseph Ejercito Estrada is covered by the
ban on the President from any reelection. Private respondent was elected President of the
Republic of the Philippines in the general elections held on May 11, 1998. He sought the
presidency again in the general elections held on May 10, 2010. Petitioner Atty. Evillo C.
Pormento opposed private respondent’s candidacy and filed a petition for
disqualification. However, his petition was denied by the Second Division of public
respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC). His motion for reconsideration was
subsequently denied by the COMELEC en banc.

ISSUE:

What is the proper interpretation of the following provision of Section 4, Article VII of
the Constitution: “(t)he President shall not be eligible for any reelection” as applied to
Estrada?

RULING:

Private respondent was not elected President the second time he ran. Since the issue on
the proper interpretation of the phrase any reelection will be premised on a person’s
second (whether immediate or not) election as President, there is no case or controversy
to be resolved in this case. No live conflict of legal rights exists. There is in this case no
38

definite, concrete, real or substantial controversy that touches on the legal relations of
parties having adverse legal interests. No specific relief may conclusively be decreed
upon by this Court in this case that will benefit any of the parties herein. As such, one of
the essential requisites for the exercise of the power of judicial review, the existence of an
actual case or controversy, is sorely lacking in this case.

As a rule, this Court may only adjudicate actual, ongoing controversies. The Court is not
empowered to decide moot questions or abstract propositions, or to declare principles or
rules of law which cannot affect the result as to the thing in issue in the case before it. In
other words, when a case is moot, it becomes non-justiciable.

An action is considered moot when it no longer presents a justiciable controversy because


the issues involved have become academic or dead or when the matter in dispute has
already been resolved and hence, one is not entitled to judicial intervention unless the
issue is likely to be raised again between the parties. There is nothing for the court to
resolve as the determination thereof has been overtaken by subsequent events.

Assuming an actual case or controversy existed prior to the proclamation of a President


who has been duly elected in the May 10, 2010 elections, the same is no longer true
today. Following the results of that elections, private respondent was not elected
President for the second time. Thus, any discussion of his reelection will simply be
hypothetical and speculative. It will serve no useful or practical purpose
39

DENNIS A.B. FUNA


vs.
ACTING SECRETARY OF JUSTICE ALBERTO C. AGRA, IN HIS OFFICIAL
CONCURRENT CAPACITIES AS ACTING SECRETARY OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND AS ACTING SOLICITOR GENERAL,
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY LEANDRO R. MENDOZA, OFFICE OF THE
PRESIDENT
G.R. No. 191644, February 19, 2013
BERSAMIN, J.

FACTS:

The petitioner alleges that on March 1, 2010, President Gloria M. Macapagal-Arroyo


appointed Agra as the Acting Secretary of Justice following the resignation of Secretary
Agnes VST Devanadera in order to vie for a congressional seat in Quezon Province; that
on March 5, 2010, President Arroyo designated Agra as the Acting Solicitor General in a
concurrent capacity;1 that on April 7, 2010, the petitioner, in his capacity as a taxpayer, a
concerned citizen and a lawyer, commenced this suit to challenge the constitutionality of
Agra’s concurrent appointments or designations, claiming it to be prohibited under
Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution; that during the pendency of the suit,
President Benigno S. Aquino III appointed Atty. Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz as the Solicitor
General; and that Cadiz assumed as the Solicitor General and commenced his duties as
such on August 5, 2010.

ISSUE:

Did the designation of Agra as the Acting Secretary of Justice, concurrently with his
position of Acting Solicitor General, violate the constitutional prohibition against dual or
multiple offices for the Members of the Cabinet and their deputies and assistants?
40

RULING:

The petition is meritorious.

The designation of Agra as Acting Secretary of Justice concurrently with his position of
Acting Solicitor General was unconstitutional and void for being in violation of the
constitutional prohibition under Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.

At the center of the controversy is the correct application of Section 13, Article VII of the
1987 Constitution, viz:
Section 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their
deputies or assistants shall not, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any
other office or employment during their tenure. They shall not, during said tenure,
directly or indirectly practice any other profession, participate in any business, or be
financially interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege
granted by the Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof,
including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They shall
strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their office.

A relevant and complementing provision is Section 7, paragraph (2), Article IX-B of the
1987 Constitution, to wit:
Section 7. x x x

Unless otherwise allowed by law or the primary functions of his position, no


appointive official shall hold any other office or employment in the Government or any
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or
controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.

Since the evident purpose of the framers of the 1987 Constitution is to impose a stricter
prohibition on the President, Vice-President, members of the Cabinet, their deputies and
assistants with respect to holding multiple offices or employment in the government
41

during their tenure, the exception to this prohibition must be read with equal severity. On
its face, the language of Section 13, Article VII is prohibitory so that it must be
understood as intended to be a positive and unequivocal negation of the privilege of
holding multiple government offices or employment. Verily, wherever the language used
in the constitution is prohibitory, it is to be understood as intended to be a positive and
unequivocal negation. The phrase "unless otherwise provided in this Constitution" must
be given a literal interpretation to refer only to those particular instances cited in the
Constitution itself, to wit: (t)he Vice-President being appointed as a member of the
Cabinet under Section 3, par. (2), Article VII; or acting as President in those instances
provided under Section 7, pars. (2) and (3), Article VII; and, the Secretary of Justice
being ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of Section 8 (1),
Article VIII.

Being designated as the Acting Secretary of Justice concurrently with his position of
Acting Solicitor General, therefore, Agra was undoubtedly covered by Section 13, Article
VII, supra, whose text and spirit were too clear to be differently read. Hence, Agra could
not validly hold any other office or employment during his tenure as the Acting Solicitor
General, because the Constitution has not otherwise so provided
42

JOSE MONDANO,
vs.
FERNANDO SILVOSA, JOSE ARREZA and OLIMPIO EPIS
G.R. No. L-7708, May 30, 1955
PADILLA, J.

FACTS:

The petitioner is the duly elected and qualified mayor of the municipality of Mainit,
province of Surigao. On 27 February 1954 Consolacion Vda. de Mosende filed a sworn
complaint with the Presidential Complaints and Action Committee accusing him of (1)
rape committed on her daughter Caridad Mosende; and (2) concubinage for cohabiting
with her daughter in a place other than the conjugal dwelling. On March 6, the Assistant
Executive Secretary indorsed the complaint to the respondent provincial governor for
immediate investigation, appropriate action and report. On April 10, the petitioner
appeared before the provincial governor in obedience to his summons and was served
with a copy of the complaint filed by the provincial governor with provincial board. On
the same day, the provincial governor issued Administrative Order No. 8 suspending the
petitioner from office. Thereafter, the Provincial Board proceeded to hear the charges
preferred against the petitioner over his objection. The petitioner prays for a writ of
prohibition with preliminary injunction to enjoin the respondents from further proceeding
with the hearing of the administrative case against him and for a declaration that the order
of suspension issued by the respondent provincial governor is illegal and without legal
effect. On 4 May 1954 the writ of preliminary injunction prayed for was issued after
filing and approval of a bond for P500.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the suspension order by the provincial governor is illegal?

RULING:
43

The suspension is illegal. Section 10, paragraph 1, Article VII, of the Constitution
provides: "The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, or
offices, exercise general supervision over all local governments as may be provided by
law, and take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Under this constitutional
provision the President has been invested with the power of control of all the executive
departments, bureaus, or offices, but not of all local governments over which he has been
granted only the power of general supervision as may be provided by law. The
Department head as agent of the President has direct control and supervision over all
bureaus and offices under his jurisdiction as provided for in section 79 (c) of the Revised
Administrative Code, but he does not have the same control of local governments as that
exercised by him over bureaus and offices under his jurisdiction. Likewise, his authority
to order the investigation of any act or conduct of any person in the service of any bureau
or office under his department is confined to bureaus or offices under his jurisdiction and
does not extend to local governments over which, as already stated, the President
exercises only general supervision as may be provided by law. If the provisions of section
79 (c) of the Revised Administrative Code are to be construed as conferring upon the
corresponding department head direct control, direction, and supervision over all local
governments and that for the reason he may order the investigation of an official of a
local government for malfeasance in office, such interpretation would be contrary to the
provisions of paragraph 1, section 10, Article VII, of the Constitution. If "general
supervision over all local governments" is to be construed as the same power granted to
the Department Head in section 79 (c) of the Revised Administrative Code, then there
would no longer be a distinction or difference between the power of control and that of
supervision. In administrative law supervision means overseeing or the power or
authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. If the latter
fail or neglect to fulfill them the former may take such action or step as prescribed by law
to make them perform their duties. Control, on the other hand, means the power of an
officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the
performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the
latter.
44

RAMON P. BINAMIRA
vs.
PETER D. GARRUCHO, JR.
G.R. No. 92008, July 30, 1990
CRUZ, J.

FACTS:

In this petition for quo warranto, Ramon P. Binamira seeks reinstatement to the office of
General Manager of the Philippine Tourism Authority from which he claims to have been
removed without just cause in violation of his security of tenure. He complains, though,
that on January 2, 1990, his resignation was demanded by respondent Garrucho as the
new Secretary of Tourism.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the petition for quo warranto should be granted?

RULING:

The petition is dismissed. The issue presented in this case is starkly simple.

Section 23-A of P.D. 564, which created the Philippine Tourism Authority, provides as
follows:
Section 23-A. General Manager-Appointment and Tenure. — The General
Manager shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines and shall serve for a term
of six (6) years unless sooner removed for cause; Provided, that upon the expiration of his
term, he shall serve as such until his successor shall have been appointed and qualified.
(As amended by P.D. 1400).
45

It is not disputed that the petitioner was not appointed by the President of the Philippines
but only designated by the Minister of Tourism. There is a clear distinction between
appointment and designation that the petitioner has failed to consider.

Appointment may be defined as the selection, by the authority vested with the power, of
an individual who is to exercise the functions of a given office. When completed, usually
with its confirmation, the appointment results in security of tenure for the person chosen
unless he is replaceable at pleasure because of the nature of his office. Designation, on
the other hand, connotes merely the imposition by law of additional duties on an
incumbent official, as where, in the case before us, the Secretary of Tourism is designated
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Tourism Authority, or where, under
the Constitution, three Justices of the Supreme Court are designated by the Chief Justice
to sit in the Electoral Tribunal of the Senate or the House of Representatives. It is said
that appointment is essentially executive while designation is legislative in nature.
Designation may also be loosely defined as an appointment because it likewise involves
the naming of a particular person to a specified public office. That is the common
understanding of the term. However, where the person is merely designated and not
appointed, the implication is that he shall hold the office only in a temporary capacity and
may be replaced at will by the appointing authority. In this sense, the designation is
considered only an acting or temporary appointment, which does not confer security of
tenure on the person named.
46

JORGE B. VARGAS
vs.
EMILIO RILLORAZA, JOSE BERNABE, MANUEL ESCUDERO, and THE
SOLICITOR GENERAL OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. L-1612, February 26, 1948
HILADO, J.

FACTS:

Under Section 14 of the People’s Court Act or Commonwealth Act 682, the President
could designate judges of First Instance, judges-at-large of First Instance or Cadastral
judges to sit as substitute justices of the Supreme Court in treason cases without
necessarily possessing the constitutional qualifications of a regular Supreme Court
justice. Section 14 of the same Act says: “Any justice of the Supreme Court who held any
office or position under the Philippine Executive Commission or under the government
called Philippine Republic may not sit and vote in any case brought to that court under
Section 13 hereof, in which the accused is a person who held any office or position under
either or both the Philippine Executive Commission or the Philippine Republic or any
branch, instrumentality, and/or agency thereof…” Petitioner assailed the validity of said
provision.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, Section 14 of the People’s Court Act is unconstitutional?

RULING:

Section 14 of the People’s Court Act is unconstitutional. It is well known to the legal
profession that no act of the legislature should become a law if it is repugnant to the
Constitution. Article VIII, Section 4 and 5 of the Constitution do not admit any
composition of the Supreme Court other that the Chief Justice and Associate Justices.
47

And the infringement is enhanced and aggravated where a majority of the members of the
Court – as in this case, are replaced by judges of First Instance. It is distinctly another
Supreme Court in addition to the one regular Supreme Court. The Constitution provides
for only one Supreme Court.
48

REP. RAUL A. DAZA


vs.
REP. LUIS C. SINGSON and HON. RAOUL V. VICTORINO IN THE LATTER'S
CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENTS
G.R. No. 86344, December 21, 1989
CRUZ, J.

FACTS:

After the congressional elections of May 11, 1987, the House of Representatives
proportionately apportioned its twelve seats in the Commission on Appointments.
Petitioner was a member but when the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP)
reorganized, it resulted into a political readjustment. On the basis of this development, the
House of Representatives revised its representation in the Commission on Appointments,
replacing the petitioner with the respondent. Hence, the petitioner came to the Supreme
Court to challenge his removal on the contention that his election to the chamber is
permanent and that the reorganization of the LDP was not valid since it is not a duly
registered political party. The respondent on the other hand, argued that he was
improperly impleaded because the real party is the House of Representatives. He further
stated that the issue raised by the petitioner is political in nature and so, the Court has no
jurisdiction over it.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the issue raised by the petitioner is political in nature and therefore,
beyond the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court?

RULING:

The issue presented before the Court is justiciable rather political, involving the legality
and not the wisdom of the act complained of or the manner of filling the Commission on
49

Appointments, as prescribed by the Constitution. Even if the question were political in


nature, it would still come within the powers of the Supreme Court’s power of review
under the expanded jurisdiction conferred upon the Court by Article VIII, Section 1, of
the Constitution, which includes the authority to determine whether grave abuse of
discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction has been committed by any branch
or instrumentality of the government. As for the alleged technical flaw in the designation
of the respondent, assuming the existence of such a defect, the same maybe brushed
aside, conformably to the existing doctrine, so that the important constitutional issue
raised maybe addressed. Lastly, it was resolved that issue in favor of the authority of the
House of Representatives to change its representation in the Commission on
Appointments to reflect at any time the changes that may transpire in the political
alignment of its membership. IT is understood that such changes must be permanent and
do not include the temporary alliances or factional divisions not involving severance of
political loyalties or formal disaffiliation and permanent shifts of allegiance from one
political party to another.
50

SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR.


vs.
HAYDEE B. YORAC
G.R. No. 93867 192 SCRA 358, December 18, 1990
CRUZ, J.

FACTS:

Haydee Yorac was designated by President Corazon C. Aquino as Acting Chairman of


the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), in place of Chairman Hilarion C. Davide,
who was earlier named to head the fact-finding commission to investigate the December
1989 coup d’etat attempt. Petitioner challenged the designation.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the designation made by the President violated the constitutional
independence of the COMELEC?

RULING:

Yorac’s designation as chairman of COMELEC is unconstitutional. Although executive


in nature, the Constitutional Commissions, to which COMELEC is one, are not under the
control of the President in the discharge of their functions. Administrative expediency is
not a valid justification for such designation. It is internal matter of the Constitutional
Commissions whomsoever they choose to sit as acting chairman, and they are not
precluded from choosing Yorac from among themselves to sit as Acting Chairman,
pursuant to the enumerated safeguards of Constitutional Commissions as independent
bodies. Article IX-C, Section 1 (2) of the Constitution states: “In no case shall any
member (of the Commission on Elections) be appointed or designated in a temporary or
acting capacity…”
51

BASES CONVERSION AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY


vs.
COMMISSION ON AUDIT
G.R. No. 178160, February 26, 2009
CARPIO, J.

FACTS:

On 13 March 1992, Congress approved Republic Act (RA) No. 7227 creating the Bases
Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA). Section 9 of RA No. 7227 states that
the BCDA Board of Directors (Board) shall exercise the powers and functions of the
BCDA. Under Section 10, the functions of the Board include the determination of the
organizational structure and the adoption of a compensation and benefit scheme at least
equivalent to that of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Accordingly, the Board
determined the organizational structure of the BCDA and adopted a compensation and
benefit scheme for its officials and employees.

On 20 December 1996, the Board adopted a new compensation and benefit scheme which
included a P10,000 year-end benefit granted to each contractual employee, regular
permanent employee, and Board member. In a memorandum dated 25 August 1997,
Board Chairman Victoriano A. Basco (Chairman Basco) recommended to President Fidel
V. Ramos (President Ramos) the approval of the new compensation and benefit scheme.
In a memorandum dated 9 October 1997, President Ramos approved the new
compensation and benefit scheme.

In 1999, the BSP gave a P30,000 year-end benefit to its officials and employees. In 2000,
the BSP increased the year-end benefit from P30,000 to P35,000. Pursuant to Section 10
of RA No. 7227 which states that the compensation and benefit scheme of the BCDA
shall be at least equivalent to that of the BSP, the Board increased the year-end benefit of
BCDA officials and employees from P10,000 to P30,000. Thus in 2000 and 2001, BCDA
officials and employees received a P30,000 year-end benefit, and, on 1 October 2002, the
52

Board passed Resolution No. 2002-10-193 approving the release of a P30,000 year-end
benefit for 2002.

Aside from the contractual employees, regular permanent employees, and Board
members, the full-time consultants of the BCDA also received the year-end benefit.

On 20 February 2003, State Auditor IV Corazon V. Espao of the COA issued Audit
Observation Memorandum (AOM) No. 2003-004 stating that the grant of year-end
benefit to Board members was contrary to Department of Budget and Management
(DBM) Circular Letter No. 2002-2 dated 2 January 2002. In Notice of Disallowance
(ND) No. 03-001-BCDA-(02) dated 8 January 2004, Director IV Rogelio D. Tablang
(Director Tablang), COA, Legal and Adjudication Office-Corporate, disallowed the grant
of year-end benefit to the Board members and full-time consultants. In Decision No.
2004-013[9] dated 13 January 2004, Director Tablang concurred with AOM No. 2003-
004 and ND No. 03-001-BCDA-(02).

In a letter dated 20 February 2004, BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Rufo
Colayco requested the reconsideration of Decision No. 2004-013. In a Resolution dated
22 June 2004, Director Tablang denied the request. The BCDA filed a notice of appeal
dated 8 September 2004 and an appeal memorandum dated 23 December 2004 with the
COA.

In Decision No. 2007-020 the COA affirmed the disallowance of the year-end benefit
granted to the Board members and full-time consultants and held that the presumption of
good faith did not apply to them.

Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with prayer for the issuance of a temporary
restraining order and a writ of preliminary injunction. The petition seeks to nullify
Decision No. 2007-020 dated 12 April 2007 of the Commission on Audit (COA).
53

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not, the board members and consultants are entitled to the Year-end
Bonus?

2. Whether or not, the denial of year-end benefit to the Board members and full-time
consultants violates Section 1, Article III of the Constitution?

3. Whether or not, the Supreme Court is estopped from correcting the decision of Pres.
Ramos who approved of the YEB that has been received by the Board and Consultants
since 1997?

RULING:

1. Section 9 of RA No. 7227 states that Board members are entitled to a per diem:

Members of the Board shall receive a per diem of not more than Five thousand pesos
(P5,000) for every board meeting: Provided, however, That the per diem collected per
month does not exceed the equivalent of four (4) meetings: Provided, further, That the
amount of per diem for every board meeting may be increased by the President but such
amount shall not be increased within two (2) years after its last increase.

Section 9 specifies that Board members shall receive a per diem for every board meeting;
limits the amount of per diem to not more than P5,000; and limits the total amount of per
diem for one month to not more than four meetings. In Magno v. Commission on Audit,
Cabili v. Civil Service Commission, De Jesus v. Civil Service Commission, Molen, Jr. v.
Commission on Audit, and Baybay Water District v. Commission on Audit, the Court
held that the specification of compensation and limitation of the amount of compensation
in a statute indicate that Board members are entitled only to the per diem authorized by
law and no other. In Baybay Water District, the Court held that:
54

By specifying the compensation which a director is entitled to receive and by limiting the
amount he/she is allowed to receive in a month, x x x the law quite clearly indicates that
directors x x x are authorized to receive only the per diem authorized by law and no other
compensation or allowance in whatever form.

Also, DBM Circular Letter No. 2002-2 states that, Members of the Board of Directors of
agencies are not salaried officials of the government. As non-salaried officials they are
not entitled to PERA, ADCOM, YEB and retirement benefits unless expressly provided
by law. RA No. 7227 does not state that the Board members are entitled to a year-end
benefit.

2. The Court is not impressed. Every presumption should be indulged in favor of the
constitutionality of RA No. 7227 and the burden of proof is on the BCDA to show that
there is a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution. In Abakada Guro Party List v.
Purisima, the Court held that:

A law enacted by Congress enjoys the strong presumption of constitutionality. To justify


its nullification, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not a
doubtful and unequivocal one. To invalidate a law based on x x x baseless supposition is
an affront to the wisdom not only of the legislature that passed it but also of the executive
which approved it.

The BCDA failed to show that RA No. 7227 unreasonably singled out Board members
and full-time consultants in the grant of the year-end benefit. It did not show any clear
and unequivocal breach of the Constitution. The claim that there is no difference between
regular officials and employees, and Board members and full-time consultants because
both groups have mouths to feed and stomachs to fill is fatuous. Surely, persons are not
automatically similarly situated thus, automatically deserving of equal protection of the
laws just because they both have mouths to feed and stomachs to fill. Otherwise, the
existence of a substantial distinction would become forever highly improbable.
55

3. The State is not estopped from correcting a public officer’s erroneous application of a
statute, and an unlawful practice, no matter how long, cannot give rise to any vested
right.

The Court, however, notes that the Board members and full-time consultants received the
year-end benefit in good faith. The Board members relied on (1) Section 10 of RA No.
7227 which authorized the Board to adopt a compensation and benefit scheme; (2) the
fact that RA No. 7227 does not expressly prohibit Board members from receiving
benefits other than the per diem authorized by law; and (3) President Ramos approval of
the new compensation and benefit scheme which included the granting of a year-end
benefit to each contractual employee, regular permanent employee, and Board member.
The full-time consultants relied on Section 10 of RA No. 7227 which authorized the
Board to adopt a compensation and benefit scheme. There is no proof that the Board
members and full-time consultants knew that their receipt of the year-end benefit was
unlawful. In keeping with Magno, De Jesus, Molen, Jr.,and Kapisanan ng mga
Manggagawa sa Government Service Insurance System (KMG) v. Commission on Audit,
the Board members and full-time consultants are not required to refund the year-end
benefits they have already received.

The petition is partially granted. Commission on Audit Decision No. 2007-020 dated 12
April 2007 is affirmed with modification that the Board members and full-time
consultants of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority are not required to
refund the year-end benefits they have already received.
56

ANICETO ALCANTARA
vs.
DIRECTOR OF PRISONS
G.R. No. L-6, November 29, 1945
FERIA, J.

FACTS:

Petitioner was convicted by the Court First Instance of Ilocos Sur (Criminal case No. 23)
of the crime of illegal discharge of firearms with less serious physical injuries. Upon
appeal, the Court of Appeals of Northern Luzon at Baguio modified said sentence (CA-
G.R. No. 790) and sentence the petitioner to an indeterminate penalty of from four
months four months and twenty-one days of arresto mayor to three years, nine months
and three days of prison correccional. The sentence as modified became final on
September 12, 1944, and June 23, 1945, petitioner commenced serving his sentence.

Petitioner now questions the validity of the decision of the Court of Appeals of Northern
Luzon, on the sole ground that said court was only a creation of the so-called Republic of
the Philippines during the Japanese military occupation of the Islands; that the Court of
Appeals was not authorized by Commonwealth Act No. 3 to hold sessions in Baguio, and
that only the two Justices constituted the majority which promulgated the decision in
question.

The petition is for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus and for the release of the
petitioner on the ground that the latter is unlawfully imprisoned and restrained of his
liberty by the respondent Director of Prison in the provincial jail at Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the decision of the Court of Appeals is valid?


57

RULING:

Even assuming that the Court of Appeals of Northern Luzon was a new court created by
the belligerent occupant or the de facto governments established by him, the judgments of
such court, like those of the court which were continued during the Japanese occupation,
were good and valid and remain good and valid, and therefore enforceable now after the
liberation or occupation of the Philippines, provided that such judgments do not have a
political complexion, as this court held in its decision in the abovementioned case of Co
Kim Cham vs. Valdez Tan Keh and Dizon supra, in accordance with the authorities
therein cited.

Obviously, the sentence which petitioner is now serving has no political complexion. He
was charged with and convicted of an offense punishable under the municipal law of the
Commonwealth, the Revised Penal Code. Therefore, the sentence of the Court of First
Instance of Ilocos Sur, as modified by the Court of Appeals of Northern Luzon, is valid
and enforceable.
58

JOSE A. ANGARA
vs.
THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION, PEDRO YNSUA, MIGUEL CASTILLO, and
DIONISIO C. MAYOR
G.R. No. L-45081, July 15, 1936
LAUREL, J.

FACTS:

Jose A. Angara filed for a petition for the issuance of a writ of prohibition to restrain and
prohibit the Electoral Commission, one of the respondents, from taking further
cognizance of the protest filed by Pedro Ynsua, another respondent, against the election
of said petitioner as member of the National Assembly for the first assembly district of
the Province of Tayabas.

The facts of this case as they appear in the petition and as admitted by the respondents are
as follows:
(1) That in the elections of September 17, 1935, the petitioner, Jose A. Angara, and the
respondents, Pedro Ynsua, Miguel Castillo and Dionisio Mayor, were candidates voted
for the position of member of the National Assembly for the first district of the Province
of Tayabas;
(2) That on October 7, 1935, the provincial board of canvassers, proclaimed the petitioner
as member-elect of the National Assembly for the said district, for having received the
most number of votes;
(3) That on November 15, 1935, the petitioner took his oath of office;
(4) That on December 3, 1935, the National Assembly in session assembled, passed the
following resolution:
[No. 8]
RESOLUCION CONFIRMANDO LAS ACTAS DE AQUELLOS DIPUTADOS
CONTRA QUIENES NO SE HA PRESENTADO PROTESTA.
59

Se resuelve: Que las actas de eleccion de los Diputados contra quienes no se


hubiere presentado debidamente una protesta antes de la adopcion de la presente
resolucion sean, como por la presente, son aprobadas y confirmadas.
Adoptada, 3 de diciembre, 1935.
(5) That on December 8, 1935, the herein respondent Pedro Ynsua filed before the
Electoral Commission a "Motion of Protest" against the election of the herein petitioner,
Jose A. Angara, being the only protest filed after the passage of Resolutions No. 8
aforequoted, and praying, among other-things, that said respondent be declared elected
member of the National Assembly for the first district of Tayabas, or that the election of
said position be nullified;
(6) That on December 9, 1935, the Electoral Commission adopted a resolution, paragraph
6 of which provides:
6. La Comision no considerara ninguna protesta que no se haya presentado en o
antes de este dia.
(7) That on December 20, 1935, the herein petitioner, Jose A. Angara, one of the
respondents in the aforesaid protest, filed before the Electoral Commission a "Motion to
Dismiss the Protest", alleging (a) that Resolution No. 8 of Dismiss the Protest", alleging
(a) that Resolution No. 8 of the National Assembly was adopted in the legitimate exercise
of its constitutional prerogative to prescribe the period during which protests against the
election of its members should be presented; (b) that the aforesaid resolution has for its
object, and is the accepted formula for, the limitation of said period; and (c) that the
protest in question was filed out of the prescribed period;
(8) That on December 27, 1935, the herein respondent, Pedro Ynsua, filed an "Answer to
the Motion of Dismissal" alleging that there is no legal or constitutional provision barring
the presentation of a protest against the election of a member of the National Assembly
after confirmation;
(9) That on December 31, 1935, the herein petitioner, Jose A. Angara, filed a "Reply" to
the aforesaid "Answer to the Motion of Dismissal";
(10) That the case being submitted for decision, the Electoral Commission promulgated a
resolution on January 23, 1936, denying herein petitioner's "Motion to Dismiss the
Protest."
60

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not, the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and
the subject matter of the controversy?

2. Whether or not, the Electoral Commission acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction
in assuming to the cognizance of the protest in filed against the election of the herein
petitioner notwithstanding the previous confirmation of such election by resolution of the
National Assembly?

RULING:

1. While the government as established by the Constitution follows fundamentally the


theory of separation of power into the legislative, the executive and the judicial, the
system of checks and balances and the overlapping of functions and duties often makes
difficult the delimitation of the powers granted. In cases of conflict between the several
departments and among the agencies thereof, the judiciary, with the Supreme Court as the
final arbiter, is the only constitutional mechanism devised finally to resolve the conflict
and allocate constitutional boundaries. Judicial supremacy is but the power of judicial
review in actual and appropriate cases and controversies, and is the power and duty to see
that no one branch or agency of the government transcends the Constitution, which is the
source of all authority.

2. The Electoral Commission is an independent constitutional creation with specific


powers and functions to execute and perform, closer for purposes of classification to the
legislative than to any of the other two departments of the governments. It is the sole
judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of members of the
National Assembly. Under the organic law prevailing before the present Constitution
went into effect, each house of the legislature was respectively the sole judge of the
elections, returns, and qualifications of their elective members. The present Constitution
61

has transferred all the powers previously exercised by the legislature with respect to
contests relating to the elections, returns and qualifications of its members, to the
Electoral Commission. Such transfer of power from the legislature to the Electoral
Commission was full, clear and complete, and carried with it ex necessitate rei the
implied power inter alia to prescribe the rules and regulations as to the time and manner
of filing protests. The avowed purpose in creating the Electoral Commission was to have
an independent constitutional organ pass upon all contests relating to the election, returns
and qualifications of members of the National Assembly, devoid of partisan influence or
consideration, which object would be frustrated if the National Assembly were to retain
the power to prescribe rules and regulations regarding the manner of conducting said
contests. Section 4 of article VI of the Constitution repealed not only section 18 of the
Jones Law making each house of the Philippine Legislature respectively the sole judge of
the elections, returns and qualifications of its elective members, but also section 478 of
Act No. 3387 empowering each house to prescribe by resolution the time and manner of
filing contests against the election of its members, the time and manner of notifying the
adverse party, and bond or bonds, to be required, if any, and to fix the costs and expenses
of contest. The confirmation by the National Assembly of the election, contested or not,
is not essential before such member-elect may discharge the duties and enjoy the
privileges of a member of the National Assembly. Such confirmation by the National
Assembly of the election of any member against whom no protest had been filed prior to
said confirmation, does not and cannot deprive the Electoral Commission of its incidental
power to prescribe the time within which protests against the election of any member of
the National Assembly should be filed.
62

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF BENIGNO


S. AQUINO, JR., RAMON MITRA, JR., FRANCISCO RODRIGO, AND
NAPOLEON RAMA
vs.
HON JUAN PONCE ENRILE, SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE; GEN.
ROMEO ESPINO, CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMED FORCES OF THE
PHILIPPINES; AND GEN. FIDEL V. RAMOS, CHIEF, PHILIPPINE
CONSTABULARY
G.R. No. L-35546 , September 17, 1974
MAKALINTAL, C.J.

FACTS:

The petitioners were arrested and held pursuant to General Order No. 2 of the President
(September 22, 1972), "for being participants or for having given aid and comfort in the
conspiracy to seize political and state power in the country and to take over the
Government by force ..."

General Order No. 2 was issued by the President in the exercise of the powers he
assumed by virtue of Proclamation No. 1081 (September 21, 1972) placing the entire
country under martial law.

The case, and all other cases consolidated herein, are all petitions for habeas corpus, the
petitioners having been arrested and detained by the military by virtue of the President's
Proclamation No. 1081, dated September 21, 1972.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the arrests made were legal on the pretext of martial law?
63

RULING:

The test is not whether the President's decision is correct but whether, in suspending the
writ, he did or did not act arbitrarily. Applying this test, the finding by the Justices is that
there was no arbitrariness in the President's proclamation of martial law pursuant to the
1935 Constitution. The factual bases for the suspension of the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus, particularly in regard to the existence of a state of rebellion in the country,
had not disappeared, indeed had been exacerbated, as events shortly before said
proclamation clearly demonstrated.
64

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS (DECS) and


DIRECTOR OF CENTER FOR EDUCATIONAL MEASUREMENT
vs.
ROBERTO REY C. SAN DIEGO and JUDGE TERESITA DIZON-CAPULONG,
G.R. No. 89572
180 SCRA 533, December 21, 1989
CRUZ, J.

FACTS:

MECS Order No. 12, Series of 1972 says that: “A student shall be allowed only three (3)
chances to take the NMAT. After three (3) successive failures, a student shall not be
allowed to take the NMAT for the fourth time.”

The private respondent is a graduate of the University of the East with a degree of
Bachelor of Science in Zoology. The petitioner claims that he took the NMAT three
times and flunked it as many times. When he applied to take it again, the petitioner
rejected his application on the basis of the aforesaid rule. He then went to the Regional
Trial Court of Valenzuela, Metro Manila, to compel his admission to the test.

In his original petition for mandamus, he first invoked his constitutional rights to
academic freedom and quality education. By agreement of the parties, the private
respondent was allowed to take the NMAT scheduled on April 16, 1989, subject to the
outcome of his petition. 2 In an amended petition filed with leave of court, he squarely
challenged the constitutionality of MECS Order No. 12, Series of 1972, containing the
above-cited rule. The additional grounds raised were due process and equal protection.

After hearing, the respondent judge rendered a decision on July 4, 1989, declaring the
challenged order invalid and granting the petition. Judge Teresita Dizon-Capulong held
that the petitioner had been deprived of his right to pursue a medical education through
an arbitrary exercise of the police power.
65

ISSUE:

Whether or not, a person who has thrice failed the National Medical Admission Test
(NMAT) is entitled to take it again, thus, depriving one’s right to medical education
through arbitrary exercise of police power?

RULING:

In Tablarin v. Gutierrez, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the NMAT as
a measure intended to limit the admission to medical schools only to those who have
initially proved their competence and preparation for a medical education.

This question is perhaps most usefully approached by recalling that the regulation of the
practice of medicine in all its branches has long been recognized as a reasonable method
of protecting the health and safety of the public. That the power to regulate and control
the practice of medicine includes the power to regulate admission to the ranks of those
authorized to practice medicine, is also well recognized. Thus, legislation and
administrative regulations requiring those who wish to practice medicine first to take and
pass medical board examinations have long ago been recognized as valid exercises of
governmental power. Similarly, the establishment of minimum medical educational
requirements-i.e., the completion of prescribed courses in a recognized medical school-
for admission to the medical profession, has also been sustained as a legitimate exercise
of the regulatory authority of the state.

There is no need to redefine here the police power of the State. Suffice it to repeat that
the power is validly exercised if (a) the interests of the public generally, as distinguished
from those of a particular class, require the interference of the State, and (b) the means
employed are reasonably necessary to the attainment of the object sought to be
accomplished and not unduly oppressive upon individuals.5
In other words, the proper exercise of the police power requires the concurrence of a
lawful subject and a lawful method.
66

The subject of the challenged regulation is certainly within the ambit of the police power.
It is the right and indeed the responsibility of the State to ensure that the medical
profession is not infiltrated by incompetents to whom patients may unwarily entrust their
lives and health.

While every person is entitled to aspire to be a doctor, he does not have a constitutional
right to be a doctor. A person cannot insist on being a physician if he will be a menace to
his patients. If one who wants to be a lawyer may prove better as a plumber, he should be
so advised.

The right to quality education invoked by the private respondent is not absolute. The
Constitution also provides that "every citizen has the right to choose a profession or
course of study, subject to fair, reasonable and equitable admission and academic
requirements.
67

SHIGENORI KURODA
vs.
Major General RAFAEL JALANDONI, Brigadier General CALIXTO DUQUE,
Colonel MARGARITO TORALBA, Colonel IRENEO BUENCONSEJO, Colonel
PEDRO TABUENA, Major FEDERICO ARANAS, MELVILLE S. HUSSEY and
ROBERT PORT
G.R. No. L-2662, 42 O.G. 4282, March 26, 1949
MORAN, C.J.

FACTS:

Shigenori Kuroda, formerly a Lieutenant-General of the Japanese Imperial Army and


Commanding General of the Japanese Imperial Forces in The Philippines during a period
covering 1943 and 1944 who is charged before a military commission convened by the
Chief of Staff of the Armed forces of the Philippines with having unlawfully disregarded
and failed "to discharge his duties as such command, permitting them to commit brutal
atrocities and other high crimes against noncombatant civilians and prisoners of the
Imperial Japanese Forces in violation of the laws and customs of war" — comes before
the Court seeking to establish the illegality of Executive Order No. 68 of the President of
the Philippines: to enjoin and prohibit respondents Melville S. Hussey and Robert Port
from participating in the prosecution of petitioner's case before the Military Commission
and to permanently prohibit respondents from proceeding with the case of petitioner.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the military commission has jurisdiction to try petitioner for acts
committed in violation of the Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention because the
Philippines is not a signatory to the first and signed the second only in 1947?
68

RULING:

It cannot be denied that the rules and regulation of the Hague and Geneva conventions
form part of and are wholly based on the generally accepted principles of international
law. In fact, these rules and principles were accepted by the two belligerent nation the
United State and Japan who were signatories to the two conventions. Such rule and
principles therefore form part of the law of our nation even if the Philippines was not a
signatory to the conventions embodying them, for our Constitution has been deliberately
general and extensive in its scope and is not confined to the recognition of rule and
principle of international law as continued inn treaties to which our government may
have been or shall be a signatory.

Furthermore, when the crimes charged against petitioner were allegedly committed the
Philippines was under the sovereignty of United States and thus we were equally bound
together with the United States and with Japan to the right and obligation contained in the
treaties between the belligerent countries. These rights and obligation were not erased by
our assumption of full sovereignty. If at all our emergency as a free state entitles us to
enforce the right on our own of trying and punishing those who committed crimes against
crimes against our people.
69

TEODORA SANTOS, assisted by her husband DONATO DE CASTRO,


JOSEFINA SANTOS, assisted by her husband Santiago Rodriguez and EMILIANA
SANTOS
vs.
LEONCIO SANTOS, THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS
ADMINISTRATION, and NATIONAL AIRPORTS CORPORATION
G.R. No. L-4699, 92 Phil. 281, November 26, 1952
PADILLA, J.

FACTS:

Teodora Santos and her nieces Emiliana and Josefina surnamed Santos complain that
from 1945 to 1949, Leoncio Santos collected from the Army of the United States of
America rentals for the use and occupation of a parcel of land, known as Lot No. 4 of
CAA Survey Plan AERO R-1, containing an area of 21,577 square meters, situated in the
Municipality of Las Piñas, Province of Rizal, more particularly described in the
complaint, belonging to them and Leoncio Santos in common by inheritance from their
ancestor, the late Paulino de los Santos, father of Teodora Santos and Leoncio Santos and
grandfather of Josefina Santos and Emiliana Santos, who died sometime in 1919, in the
proportion of 1/7 undivided share for Teodora Santos and 1/14 undivided share each for
Josefina Santos and Emiliana Santos and 5/7 undivided share for Leoncio Santos, for the
accounting of which and payment of their respective shares therein they made a demand
upon Leoncio Santos but the latter failed and refused to do so.

They also complain that they made a demand upon Leoncio Santos to have the lot
partitioned among them but the later refused to do so, he having sold the lot to the
Administrator of the Civil Aeronautics Administration on or about 13 May 1949, who is
now in possession thereof, and that the sale of the lot made by Leoncio Santos to the
Administrator of the Civil Aeronautics Administration insofar as their shares in the lot
are concerned is null and void. Upon these allegations they pray that Leoncio Santos be
ordered to render an accounting of the rentals and such other fruits, products and benefits
70

as he might have received from 1945 on and thereafter and to pay and deliver 1/7 thereof
to Teodora Santos and 1/14 thereof each to Josefina and Emiliana surname Santos; that
the parcel of land be partitioned among them in the proportion above-stated; that the
purported sale by Leoncio Santos to the National Airports Corporation, the predecessor to
the Civil Aeronautics Administration, insofar as theirs shares are concerned be declared
null and void; that the Administrator of the Civil Aeronautics Administration be directed
to vacate the portions of the lot belonging to them a reasonable rental until after
possession of their shares in the lot shall have been restored to them and to pay damages
and cost.

The Administrator of the Civil Aeronautics Administration moved to dismiss the


complaint for lack of jurisdiction and insufficiency of the complaint against him,
invoking the case of Metropolitan Transportation Service METRAN vs. Paredes, 45 Off.
Gaz., 2835, where it has been held that the suit was against the state which could not be
brought without its consent. This motion was granted on the ground that the Civil
Aeronautics Administration not being a juridical person has no capacity to sue and be
sued and for that reason it cannot come under the jurisdiction of the court.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the Civil Aeronautics Administration can invoke non-suability of the
State?

RULING:

The principle that the state or its government cannot be sued without its consent has its
root in the juridical and practical notion that the state can do no wrong. Demandable and
enforceable obligations which may be the subject of judicial action come into being
either by law, contract, quasi-contract, acts or omissions punishable by law, acts which
do not constitute or amount to a crime or a misdemeanor known at common law as torts
and in civil law as culpa aquiliana or extra contractual. An obligation or liability of the
71

state created by statute is enforceable against the officer or agent charged with the duty to
execute the law. If there should be anything demandable which had been paid or
delivered to or collected by officers or agents of the state without the authority of law, the
action would not be against the state but against the responsible officers or agents who
received what was not due the state or made the unauthorized collection.

Where and when the state or its government enters into a contract, through its officers or
agents, in furtherance of a legitimate aim and purpose and pursuant to constitutional
legislative authority, whereby mutual or reciprocal benefits accrue and rights and
obligations arise therefrom, and if the law granting the authority to enter into such
contract does not provide for or name the officer against whom action may be brought in
the event of a breach thereof, the state itself may be sued even without its consent,
because by entering into a contract the sovereign state has descended to the level of the
citizen and its consent to be used is implied from the very act of entering into such
contract.

The Civil Aeronautics Administration, even if it is not a juridical entity, cannot legally
prevent a party or parties from enforcing their propriety rights under the cloak or shield
of lack of juridical personality, because it took over all the powers and assumed all the
obligations of the defunct corporation which had entered into the contract in question. In
National Airports Corporation vs. Teodoro, G.R. No. L-5122, 30 April 1952, it was held
that the Civil Aeronautics Administration may be sued and that the principle of state
immunity from suit does not apply to it.
72

GREGORIO SARASOLA
vs.
WENCESLAO TRINIDAD
G.R. No. L-14595, 40 PHIL 252, October 11, 1919
MALCOLM, J.

FACTS:

The complaint in this case was filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila for the
purpose of having an injunction issue to restrain the defendant, the Collector of Internal
Revenue, from the alleged illegal collection of taxes in the amount of P11,739.29. The
defendant interposed a demurrer to the complaint, based on two grounds, namely: (1) that
the court had no jurisdiction of the subject-matter of the action because of the provisions
of section 1578 of the Administrative Code of 1917; and (2) that the facts stated in the
complaint did not entitle the plaintiff to the relief demanded.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, sections 1578 and 1579 of the Administrative Code of 1917 are
constitutional?

RULING:

First, the provisions, to wit:

SEC. 1578. Injunction not available to restrain collection of tax. — No court shall
have authority to grant an injunction to restrain the collection of any internal-
revenue tax.

SEC. 1579. Recovery of tax paid under protest. — When the validity of any tax is
questioned, or its amount disputed, or other question raised as to liability therefor,
73

the person against whom or against whose property the same is sought to be
enforced shall pay the tax under instant protest, or upon protest within ten days,
and shall thereupon request the decision of the Collector of Internal Revenue. If
the decision of the Collector of Internal Revenue is adverse, or if no decision is
made by him within six months from the date when his decision was requested,
the taxpayer may proceed, at any time within two years after the payment of the
tax, to bring an action against the Collector of Internal Revenue for the recovery
without interest of the sum alleged to have been illegally collected, the process to
be served upon him, upon the provincial treasurer, or upon the officer collecting
the tax.

It is well settled both on principle and authority that interest is not to be awarded against
a sovereign government, as the United States or a State, unless its consent has been
manifested by an Act of its Legislature or by a lawful contract of its executive officers. If
there be doubt upon the subject, that doubt must be resolved in favor of the State.

The only contrary dictum is to the effect that where an illegal tax has been collected, the
citizen who has paid and is obliged to bring suit against the collector is entitled to interest
from the time of the illegal exaction.

It has been urged that since interest is in the nature of damages, it is proper for allowance.
While this may be true in the general run of cases, it is not necessarily true when the
sovereign power is concerned. The state is not amenable to judgments for damages or
costs without its consent.

The reason for what superficially seems to be a harsh ruling goes back to the fundamental
conception of the nature of taxation. It is but a truism to restate that taxation is an
attribute of sovereignty. It is the strongest of all the powers of government. It involves, as
Chief Justice Marshall in his historical statement said, the power to destroy.
74

BENGZON

vs.
SECRETARY OF JUSTICE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS et al.
No. 214
299 U.S. 410 (57 S.Ct. 252, 81 L.Ed. 312), January 4, 1937
SUTHERLAND, J.

FACTS:

The suit was brought by petitioner against respondents in the Court of First Instance of
Manila, for a writ of mandamus commanding respondents to approve and order payment
of a gratuity awarded to him by section 7 of the Retirement Gratuity Law (Act 4051,
Laws of the Philippines), notwithstanding the veto of that section by the Governor-
General. The Court of First Instance, upon respondents' demurrer, dismissed the action.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the Retirement Gratuity Law is an appropriation bill and hence,
petitioner is entitled to the gratuity awarded to him by way of the vetoed Section 7 of the
same?

RULING:

It first is to be observed that the title of the act in no wise suggests that what follows is an
appropriation bill; and an examination of the act itself discloses that, with the exception
of section 10, the bill itself proposed only general legislation. Eliminating section 10, the
remaining eleven sections could stand as a generic act of legislation, leaving the specific
matter of appropriation to be dealt with by later enactment. The term 'appropriation act'
obviously would not include an act of general legislation; and a bill proposing such an act
is not converted into an appropriation bill simply because it has had engrafted upon it a
section making an appropriation. An appropriation bill is one the primary and specific
75

aim of which is to make appropriations of money from the public treasury. To say
otherwise would be to confuse an appropriation bill proposing sundry appropriations of
money with a bill proposing sundry provisions of general law and carrying an
appropriation as an incident.

If the Philippine Legislature regarded the bill as an appropriation bill, it is strange that the
words by which that body described and characterized its own proposed act afford no hint
to that effect.
76

CITY OF IRIGA
vs.
CAMARINES SUR III ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. (CASURECO III)
G.R. No. 192945, September 5, 2012
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.

FACTS:

CASURECO III is an electric cooperative duly organized and existing by virtue of


Presidential Decree (PD) 269, as amended, and registered with the National
Electrification Administration (NEA). It is engaged in the business of electric power
distribution to various end-users and consumers within the City of Iriga and the
municipalities of Nabua, Bato, Baao, Buhi, Bula and Balatan of the Province of
Camarines Sur, otherwise known as the "Rinconada area."

Sometime in 2003, petitioner City of Iriga required CASURECO III to submit a report of
its gross receipts for the period 1997-2002 to serve as the basis for the computation of
franchise taxes, fees and other charges. The latter complied and was subsequently
assessed taxes.

On January 7, 2004, petitioner made a final demand on CASURECO III to pay the
franchise taxes due for the period 1998-2003 and real property taxes due for the period
1995-2003. CASURECO III, however, refused to pay said taxes on the ground that it is
an electric cooperative provisionally registered with the Cooperative Development
Authority (CDA), and therefore exempt from the payment of local taxes.

On March 15, 2004, petitioner filed a complaint for collection of local taxes against
CASURECO III before the RTC, citing its power to tax under the Local Government
Code (LGC) and the Revenue Code of Iriga City.
77

It alleged that as of December 31, 2003, CASURECO III‟s franchise and real property
taxes liability, inclusive of penalties, surcharges and interest, amounted to Seventeen
Million Thirty-Seven Thousand Nine Hundred Thirty-Six Pesos and Eighty-Nine
Centavos (₱ 17,037,936.89) and Nine Hundred Sixteen Thousand Five Hundred Thirty-
Six Pesos and Fifty Centavos (₱ 916,536.50), respectively.

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not an electric cooperative registered under PD 269 (National


Electrification Administration) but not under RA 69381 (Cooperative Code of the
Philippines) is liable for the payment of local franchise taxes?
2. Whether or not the situs of taxation is the place where the franchise holder exercises
its franchise regardless of the place where its services or products are delivered?

3. Whether or not, the motion for reconsideration filed at the Court of Appeals Division
was filed out of time?

RULING:

1. PD 269, which took effect on August 6, 1973, granted electric cooperatives registered
with the NEA, like CASURECO III, several tax privileges, one of which is exemption
from the payment of "all national government, local government and municipal taxes and
fees, including franchise, filing, recordation, license or permit fees or taxes.

On March 10, 1990, Congress enacted into law RA 6938, otherwise known as the
"Cooperative Code of the Philippines," and RA 6939 creating the CDA. The latter law
vested the power to register cooperatives solely on the CDA, while the former provides
that electric cooperatives registered with the NEA under PD 269 which opt not to register
with the CDA shall not be entitled to the benefits and privileges under the said law.
78

On January 1, 1992, the LGC took effect, and Section 193 thereof withdrew tax
exemptions or incentives previously enjoyed by "all persons, whether natural or juridical,
including government-owned or controlled corporations, except local water districts,
cooperatives duly registered under R.A. No. 6938, non-stock and non-profit hospitals and
educational institutions."

In Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA) v. The


Secretary, Department of Interior and Local Government, the Court held that the tax
privileges granted to electric cooperatives registered with NEA under PD 269 were
validly withdrawn and only those registered with the CDA under RA 6938 may continue
to enjoy the tax privileges under the Cooperative Code.

Therefore, CASURECO III can no longer invoke PD 269 to evade payment of local
taxes. Moreover, its provisional registration with the CDA which granted it exemption for
the payment of local taxes was extended only until May 4, 1992. Thereafter, it can no
longer claim any exemption from the payment of local taxes, including the subject
franchise tax.

2. Section 137 of the Local Government Code provides that franchise tax shall be based
on gross receipts precisely because it is a tax on business, rather than on persons or
property. Since it partakes of the nature of an excise tax the situs of taxation is the place
where the privilege is exercised, in this case in the City of Iriga, where CASURECO III
has its principal office and from where it operates, regardless of the place where its
services or products are delivered. Hence, franchise tax covers all gross receipts from
Iriga City and the Rinconada area.

3. RA 9282, which took effect on April 23, 2004, expanded the jurisdiction of the Court
of Tax Appeals (CTA) to include, among others, the power to review by appeal
decisions, orders or resolutions of the Regional Trial Courts in local tax cases originally
decided or resolved by them in the exercise of their original or appellate jurisdiction.
79

Considering that RA 9282 was already in effect when the RTC rendered its decision on
February 7, 2005, CASURECO III should have filed its appeal, not with the CA, but with
the CTA Division in accordance with the applicable law and the rules of the CTA. Resort
to the CA was, therefore, improper, rendering its decision null and void for want of
jurisdiction over the subject matter. A void judgment has no legal or binding force or
efficacy for any purpose or at any place. Hence, the fact that petitioner's motion for
reconsideration from the CA Decision was belatedly filed is inconsequential, because a
void and non-existent decision would never have acquired finality.

The foregoing procedural lapses would have been sufficient to dismiss the instant petition
outright and declare the decision of the RTC final. However, the substantial merits of the
case compelled the Court to dispense with these lapses and instead, exercise the Court’s
power of judicial review.
80

SANTIAGO C. DIVINAGRACIA
vs.
CONSOLIDATED BROADCASTING SYSTEM, INC. and PEOPLE'S
BROADCASTING SERVICE, INC
G.R. No. 162272, 584 SCRA 213. April 7, 2009
TINGA, J.

FACTS:

Respondents Consolidated Broadcasting System, Inc. (CBS) and People’s Broadcasting


Service, Inc. (PBS) were incorporated in 1961 and 1965, respectively. Both are involved
in the operation of radio broadcasting services in the Philippines, they being the grantees
of legislative franchises by virtue of two laws, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7477 and R.A.
No. 7582. R.A. No. 7477, enacted on 5 May 1992, granted PBS a legislative franchise to
construct, install, maintain and operate radio and television stations within the Philippines
for a period of 25 years. R.A. No. 7582, enacted on 27 May 1992, extended CBS’s
previous legislative franchise to operate radio stations for another 25 years. The CBS and
PBS radio networks are two of the three networks that comprise the well-known "Bombo
Radyo Philippines.

Petitioner Santiago C. Divinagracia filed two complaints both dated 1 March 1999 with
the NTC, respectively lodged against PBS and CBS. He alleged that he was "the actual
and beneficial owner of Twelve percent (12%) of the shares of stock" of PBS and CBS
separately, and that despite the provisions in R.A. No. 7477 and R.A. No. 7582
mandating the public offering of at least 30% of the common stocks of PBS and CBS,
both entities had failed to make such offering. Thus, Divinagracia commonly argued in
his complaints that the failure on the part of PBS and CBS "to comply with the mandate
of their legislative franchise is a misuse of the franchise conferred upon it by law and it
continues to exercise its franchise in contravention of the law to the detriment of the
general public and of complainant who are unable to enjoy the benefits being offered by a
publicly listed company." He thus prayed for the cancellation of all the Provisional
81

Authorities or certificates of public convenience (CPCs) of PBS and CBS on account of


the alleged violation of the conditions set therein, as well as in its legislative franchises.

Petitions before the NTC and the Court of Appeals were dismissed. Hence this petition
before the Court.

ISSUE:

Whether the NTC has the power to cancel certificates of public convenience?

RULING:

This much thus is clear. Broadcast and television stations are required to obtain a
legislative franchise, a requirement imposed by the Radio Control Act and affirmed by
our ruling in Associated Broadcasting. After securing their legislative franchises, stations
are required to obtain CPCs from the NTC before they can operate their radio or
television broadcasting systems. Such requirement while traceable also to the Radio
Control Act, currently finds its basis in E.O. No. 546, the law establishing the NTC

If the restriction or sanction imposed by the administrative agency cannot trace its origin
from legislative delegation, whether it is by virtue of a specific grant or from valid
delegation of rule-making power to the administrative agency, then the action of such
administrative agency cannot be sustained. The life and authority of an administrative
agency emanates solely from an Act of Congress, and its faculties confined within the
parameters set by the legislative branch of government.

The assumed authority of the NTC to cancel CPCs or licenses, if sustained, will create a
permanent atmosphere of a less free right to express on the part of broadcast media. So
that argument could be sustained, it will have to withstand the strict scrutiny from this
Court.
82

Allowing the NTC to countermand State policy by revoking respondent’s vested legal
right to operate broadcast stations unduly gives to a mere administrative agency veto
power over the implementation of the law and the enforcement of especially vested legal
rights. That concern would not arise if Congress had similarly empowered the NTC with
the power to revoke a franchisee’s right to operate broadcast stations. But as earlier
stated, there is no such expression in the law, and by presuming such right the Court will
be acting contrary to the stated State interest as expressed in respondents’ legislative
franchises.

The presumed power to cancel would lead to utterly fatal consequences to the
constitutional right to expression, as well as the legislated right of these franchisees to
broadcast.
83

SANTIAGO A. FONACIER
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and ISABELO DE LOS REYES, JR.
G.R. No. L-5917, 96, Phil 417 (1955), January 28, 1955
BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.

FACTS:

This case was instituted in the Court of First Instance of Manila by the Iglesia Filipina
Independiente, represented by its Supreme Bishop Gerardo M. Bayaca, against Bishop
Santiago A. Fonacier seeking to require the latter to render an accounting of his
administration of all the temporal properties he has in his possession belonging to said
church and to recover the same from him on the ground that he had ceased to be the
Supreme Bishop of said religious organization. Bishop Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr., having
been elected as Supreme Bishop after the filing of the original complaint, was later made
a co-plaintiff in a supplementary complaint.

Mons. Fonacier claims as a defense that he has not been properly removed as Supreme
Bishop; that his legal successor was Juan Jamias who had been elected in accordance
with the constitution of the church; that he had already rendered an accounting of his
administration to Bishop Jamias and turned over all the properties to the latter; that
Bishop Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr. formally joined the Protestant Episcopal Church of
America and for this reason he has ceased to be a member of the Iglesia Filipina
Independiente; and that Bishops De los Reyes and Bayaca having abandoned the faith,
fundamental doctrines and practices of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, they ceased to
be members thereof and consequently, have no personality to maintain the present action.
On May 17, 1950, the court rendered judgment declaring Mons. Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr.
as the sole and legitimate Supreme Bishop of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, and
ordering Mons. Fonacier to render an accounting of his administration of the properties
and funds of the church "from the time he began occupying the position of Secretario de
Economia Temporal thereof until the present time.".
84

When the case was taken to the Court of Appeals, the latter found the decision of the
Court of origin in accordance with law and the evidence and affirmed the same in toto,
and the case is now before us by virtue of a petition for review interposed by defendant
Mons. Fonacier.

ISSUE:

Whether petitioner should still be regarded as legitimate Supreme Bishop of the Iglesia
Filipina Independiente or whether he has been properly replaced by Bishop Gerardo
Bayaca?

RULING:

The amendments of the constitution, restatement of articles of religion, and abandonment


of faith or abjuration alleged by appellant, having to do with faith, practice, doctrine,
form of worship, ecclesiastical law, custom and rule of a church having reference to the
power of excluding from the church those allegedly unworthy of membership, are
unquestionably ecclesiastical matters which are outside the province of the civil courts.

The Supreme Court affirms the validity of the election of Bishop Delos Reyes as the
Supreme Bishop based on their internal laws.
85

PRISCILLA C. MIJARES, et al.


vs.
HON. SANTIAGO JAVIER RANADA, et al.
G.R. No. 139325, 455 SCRA 397, April 12, 2005
TINGA, J.

FACTS:

On 9 May 1991, a complaint was filed with the United States District Court (US District
Court), District of Hawaii, against the Estate of former Philippine President Ferdinand E.
Marcos (Marcos Estate). The action was brought forth by ten Filipino citizens who each
alleged having suffered human rights abuses such as arbitrary detention, torture and rape
in the hands of police or military forces during the Marcos regime. The Alien Tort Act
was invoked as basis for the US District Courts jurisdiction over the complaint, as it
involved a suit by aliens for tortious violations of international law. These plaintiffs
brought the action on their own behalf and on behalf of a class of similarly situated
individuals, particularly consisting of all current civilian citizens of the Philippines, their
heirs and beneficiaries, who between 1972 and 1987 were tortured, summarily executed
or had disappeared while in the custody of military or paramilitary groups. Plaintiffs
alleged that the class consisted of approximately ten thousand (10,000) members; hence,
joinder of all these persons was impracticable.

The institution of a class action suit was warranted under Rule 23(a) and (b)(1)(B) of the
US Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the provisions of which were invoked by the
plaintiffs. Subsequently, the US District Court certified the case as a class action and
created three (3) sub-classes of torture, summary execution and disappearance victims.
Trial ensued, and subsequently a jury rendered a verdict and an award of compensatory
and exemplary damages in favor of the plaintiff class. Then, on 3 February 1995, the US
District Court, presided by Judge Manuel L. Real, rendered a Final Judgment (Final
Judgment) awarding the plaintiff class a total of One Billion Nine Hundred Sixty Four
Million Five Thousand Eight Hundred Fifty Nine Dollars and Ninety Cents
86

($1,964,005,859.90). The Final Judgment was eventually affirmed by the US Court of


Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a decision rendered on 17 December 1996.

On 20 May 1997, the present petitioners filed Complaint with the Regional Trial Court,
City of Makati (Makati RTC) for the enforcement of the Final Judgment. They alleged
that they are members of the plaintiff class in whose favor the US District Court awarded
damages. They argued that since the Marcos Estate failed to file a petition for certiorari
with the US Supreme Court after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had affirmed the
Final Judgment, the decision of the US District Court had become final and executory,
and hence should be recognized and enforced in the Philippines, pursuant to Section 50,
Rule 39 of the Rules of Court then in force.
On 5 February 1998, the Marcos Estate filed a motion to dismiss, raising, among others,
the non-payment of the correct filing fees. It alleged that petitioners had only paid Four
Hundred Ten Pesos (P410.00) as docket and filing fees, notwithstanding the fact that they
sought to enforce a monetary amount of damages in the amount of over Two and a
Quarter Billion US Dollars (US$2.25 Billion). The Marcos Estate cited Supreme Court
Circular No. 7, pertaining to the proper computation and payment of docket fees. In
response, the petitioners claimed that an action for the enforcement of a foreign judgment
is not capable of pecuniary estimation; hence, a filing fee of only Four Hundred Ten
Pesos (P410.00) was proper, pursuant to Section 7(c) of Rule 141.

On 9 September 1998, respondent Judge Santiago Javier Ranada of the Makati RTC
issued the subject Order dismissing the complaint without prejudice. Respondent judge
opined that contrary to the petitioners’ submission, the subject matter of the complaint
was indeed capable of pecuniary estimation, as it involved a judgment rendered by a
foreign court ordering the payment of definite sums of money, allowing for easy
determination of the value of the foreign judgment. On that score, Section 7(a) of Rule
141 of the Rules of Civil Procedure would find application, and the RTC estimated the
proper amount of filing fees was approximately Four Hundred Seventy Two Million
Pesos, which obviously had not been paid.
87

Not surprisingly, petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which Judge Ranada
denied in an Order dated 28 July 1999. From this denial, petitioners filed a Petition for
Certiorari under Rule 65 assailing the twin orders of respondent judge. They prayed for
the annulment of the questioned orders, and an order directing the reinstatement of Civil
Case No. 97-1052 and the conduct of appropriate proceedings thereon.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the amount of filing fees paid by the petitioners is the correct amount?

RULING:

An examination of Rule 141 of the Rules of Court readily evinces that the respondent
judge ignored the clear letter of the law when he concluded that the filing fee be
computed based on the total sum claimed or the stated value of the property in litigation.

In dismissing the complaint, the respondent judge relied on Section 7(a), Rule 141 as
basis for the computation of the filing fee of over P472 Million. The provision states:
SEC. 7. Clerk of Regional Trial Court -
(a) For filing an action or a permissive counterclaim or money claim against an
estate not based on judgment, or for filing with leave of court a third-party,
fourth-party, etc., complaint, or a complaint in intervention, and for all clerical
services in the same time, if the total sum claimed, exclusive of interest, or the
stated value of the property in litigation, is:
1. Less than P 100,00.00 P 500.00
2. P 100,000.00 or more - P 800.00
but less than P 150,000.00
3. P 150,000.00 or more but - P 1,000.00
less than P 200,000.00
4. P 200,000.00 or more but
less than P 250,000.00 - P 1,500.00
88

5. P 250,000.00 or more but


less than P 300,00.00 - P 1,750.00
6. P 300,000.00 or more but
not more than P 400,000.00 - P 2,000.00
7. P 350,000.00 or more but not
more than P400,000.00 - P 2,250.00
8. For each P 1,000.00 in excess of
P 400,000.00 - P 10.00

The above-quoted provision covers, on one hand, ordinary actions, permissive


counterclaims, third-party, etc. complaints and complaints-in-interventions, and on the
other, money claims against estates which are not based on judgment. Thus, the relevant
question for purposes of the present petition is whether the action filed with the lower
court is a money claim against an estate not based on judgment.

Petitioners complaint may have been lodged against an estate, but it is clearly based on a
judgment, the Final Judgment of the US District Court. The provision does not make any
distinction between a local judgment and a foreign judgment, and where the law does not
distinguish, we shall not distinguish.

A reading of Section 7 in its entirety reveals several instances wherein the filing fee is
computed on the basis of the amount of the relief sought, or on the value of the property
in litigation.

Petitioners rely on Section 7(b), particularly the proviso on actions where the value of the
subject matter cannot be estimated. The provision reads in full:
SEC. 7. Clerk of Regional Trial Court -
(b) For filing
1. Actions where the value
of the subject matter
cannot be estimated --- P 600.00
89

2. Special civil actions except


judicial foreclosure which
shall be governed by
paragraph (a) above --- P 600.00
3. All other actions not
involving property --- P 600.00

It is worth noting that the provision also provides that in real actions, the assessed value
or estimated value of the property shall be alleged by the claimant and shall be the basis
in computing the fees. Yet again, this provision does not apply in the case at bar. A real
action is one where the plaintiff seeks the recovery of real property or an action affecting
title to or recovery of possession of real property. Neither the complaint nor the award of
damages adjudicated by the US District Court involves any real property of the Marcos
Estate.

Thus, respondent judge was in clear and serious error when he concluded that the filing
fees should be computed on the basis of the schematic table of Section 7(a), as the action
involved pertains to a claim against an estate based on judgment.

In resolving the issue, a proper understanding is required on the nature and effects of a
foreign judgment in this jurisdiction.

The conditions required by the Philippines for recognition and enforcement of a foreign
judgment were originally contained in Section 311 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which
was taken from the California Code of Civil Procedure which, in turn, was derived from
the California Act of March 11, 1872. Remarkably, the procedural rule now outlined in
Section 48, Rule 39 of the Rules of Civil Procedure has remained unchanged down to the
last word in nearly a century. Section 48 states:
SEC. 48. Effect of foreign judgments. The effect of a judgment of a tribunal of a
foreign country, having jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment is as follows:
90

(a) In case of a judgment upon a specific thing, the judgment is conclusive upon
the title to the thing;
(b) In case of a judgment against a person, the judgment is presumptive evidence
of a right as between the parties and their successors in interest by a subsequent
title.

The Rules use the term where the value of the subject matter cannot be estimated. The
subject matter of the present case is the judgment rendered by the foreign court ordering
defendant to pay plaintiffs definite sums of money, as and for compensatory damages.
The Court finds that the value of the foreign judgment can be estimated; indeed, it can
even be easily determined. The Court is not minded to distinguish between the
enforcement of a judgment and the amount of said judgment, and separate the two, for
purposes of determining the correct filing fees. Similarly, a plaintiff suing on promissory
note for P1 million cannot be allowed to pay only P400 filing fees (sic), on the reasoning
that the subject matter of his suit is not the P1 million, but the enforcement of the
promissory note, and that the value of such enforcement cannot be estimated.

Thus, we are comfortable in asserting the obvious, that the complaint to enforce the US
District Court judgment is one capable of pecuniary estimation. But at the same time, it is
also an action based on judgment against an estate, thus placing it beyond the ambit of
Section 7(a) of Rule 141. What provision then governs the proper computation of the
filing fees over the instant complaint? For this case and other similarly situated instances,
we find that it is covered by Section 7(b)(3), involving as it does, other actions not
involving property.

Notably, the amount paid as docket fees by the petitioners on the premise that it was an
action incapable of pecuniary estimation corresponds to the same amount required for
other actions not involving property. The petitioners thus paid the correct amount of
filing fees, and it was a grave abuse of discretion for respondent judge to have applied
instead a clearly inapplicable rule and dismissed the complaint
91

It bears noting that Section 48, Rule 39 acknowledges that the Final Judgment is not
conclusive yet, but presumptive evidence of a right of the petitioners against the Marcos
Estate. Moreover, the Marcos Estate is not precluded to present evidence, if any, of want
of jurisdiction, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or
fact. This ruling, decisive as it is on the question of filing fees and no other, does not
render verdict on the enforceability of the Final Judgment before the courts under the
jurisdiction of the Philippines, or for that matter any other issue which may legitimately
be presented before the trial court. Such issues are to be litigated before the trial court,
but within the confines of the matters for proof as laid down in Section 48, Rule 39. On
the other hand, the speedy resolution of this claim by the trial court is encouraged, and
contumacious delay of the decision on the merits will not be brooked by this Court.
92

AKBAYAN CITIZENS ACTION PARTY (AKBAYAN), et al.


vs.
THOMAS G. AQUINO, et al.
G.R. No. 170516, 558 SCRA 468, July 16, 2008
CARPIO-MORALES, J.

FACTS:

Petitioners non-government organizations, Congresspersons, citizens and taxpayers seek


via the present petition for mandamus and prohibition to obtain from respondents the full
text of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) including the
Philippine and Japanese offers submitted during the negotiation process and all pertinent
attachments and annexes thereto.

Petitioners Congressmen Lorenzo R. Tanada III and Mario Joyo Aguja filed on January
25, 2005 House Resolution No. 551 calling for an inquiry into the bilateral trade
agreements then being negotiated by the Philippine government, particularly the JPEPA.
The Resolution became the basis of an inquiry subsequently conducted by the House
Special Committee on Globalization (the House Committee) into the negotiations of the
JPEPA.

The JPEPA, which will be the first bilateral free trade agreement to be entered into by the
Philippines with another country in the event the Senate grants its consent to it, covers a
broad range of topics which respondents enumerate as follows: trade in goods, rules of
origin, customs procedures, paperless trading, trade in services, investment, intellectual
property rights, government procurement, movement of natural persons, cooperation,
competition policy, mutual recognition, dispute avoidance and settlement, improvement
of the business environment, and general and final provisions.
93

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not, the refusal of the government to disclose the documents bearing on the
JPEPA negotiations violates their right to information on matters of public concern and
contravenes other constitutional provisions on transparency, such as that on the policy of
full public disclosure of all transactions involving public interest?

2. Whether or not, non-disclosure of the same documents undermines their right to


effective and reasonable participation in all levels of social, political, and economic
decision-making?

3. Whether or not, divulging the contents of the JPEPA only after the agreement has been
concluded will effectively make the Senate into a mere rubber stamp of the Executive, in
violation of the principle of separation of powers?

RULING:

1. To be covered by the right to information, the information sought must meet the
threshold requirement that it be a matter of public concern.

From the nature of the JPEPA as an international trade agreement, it is evident that the
Philippine and Japanese offers submitted during the negotiations towards its execution
are matters of public concern. This, respondents do not dispute. They only claim that
diplomatic negotiations are covered by the doctrine of executive privilege, thus
constituting an exception to the right to information and the policy of full public
disclosure. It is well-established in jurisprudence that neither the right to information nor
the policy of full public disclosure is absolute, there being matters which, albeit of public
concern or public interest, are recognized as privileged in nature. The types of
information which may be considered privileged have been elucidated in Almonte v.
Vasquez, Chavez v. PCGG, Chavez v. Public Estates Authority, and most recently in
94

Senate v. Ermita where the Court reaffirmed the validity of the doctrine of executive
privilege in this jurisdiction and dwelt on its scope.

In the present case, the ground for respondents claim of privilege is set forth in their
Comment, viz:

x x x The categories of information that may be considered privileged includes


matters of diplomatic character and under negotiation and review. In this case, the
privileged character of the diplomatic negotiations has been categorically invoked
and clearly explained by respondents particularly respondent DTI Senior
Undersecretary.

The documents on the proposed JPEPA as well as the text which is subject to
negotiations and legal review by the parties fall under the exceptions to the right
of access to information on matters of public concern and policy of public
disclosure. They come within the coverage of executive privilege. At the time
when the Committee was requesting for copies of such documents, the
negotiations were ongoing as they are still now and the text of the proposed
JPEPA is still uncertain and subject to change. Considering the status and nature
of such documents then and now, these are evidently covered by executive
privilege consistent with existing legal provisions and settled jurisprudence.

Practical and strategic considerations likewise counsel against the disclosure of


the rolling texts which may undergo radical change or portions of which may be
totally abandoned. Furthermore, the negotiations of the representatives of the
Philippines as well as of Japan must be allowed to explore alternatives in the
course of the negotiations in the same manner as judicial deliberations and
working drafts of opinions are accorded strict confidentiality.
The ground relied upon by respondents is thus not simply that the information sought
involves a diplomatic matter, but that it pertains to diplomatic negotiations then in
progress.
95

2. Whether it can accurately be said that the Filipino people were not involved in the
JPEPA negotiations is a question of fact which the Court need not resolve. Suffice it to
state that respondents had presented documents purporting to show that public
consultations were conducted on the JPEPA. Parenthetically, petitioners consider these
alleged consultations as woefully selective and inadequate.

Since it is not disputed that the offers exchanged by the Philippine and Japanese
representatives have not been disclosed to the public, the Court shall pass upon the issue
of whether access to the documents bearing on them is, as petitioners claim, essential to
their right to participate in decision-making.

The case for petitioners has, of course, been immensely weakened by the disclosure of
the full text of the JPEPA to the public since September 11, 2006, even as it is still being
deliberated upon by the Senate and, therefore, not yet binding on the Philippines. Were
the Senate to concur with the validity of the JPEPA at this moment, there has already
been, in the words of PMPF v. Manglapus, ample opportunity for discussion before [the
treaty] is approved.

The text of the JPEPA having been published, petitioners have failed to convince this
Court that they will not be able to meaningfully exercise their right to participate in
decision-making unless the initial offers are also published.

3. Being purely speculatory, given that the Senate is still deliberating on the JPEPA.
Further, concurrence by the Senate is made only after the treaty has been signed.
96

RODOLFO G. NAVARRO, et al.


vs.
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, et al.
G.R. No. 180050, 648 SCRA 400, April 12, 2011
NACHURA, J.

FACTS:

On October 2, 2006, the President of the Republic approved into law Republic Act (R.A.)
No. 9355 (An Act Creating the Province of Dinagat Islands). On December 3, 2006, the
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) conducted the mandatory plebiscite for the
ratification of the creation of the province under the Local Government Code (LGC). The
plebiscite yielded 69,943 affirmative votes and 63,502 negative votes. With the approval
of the people from both the mother province of Surigao del Norte and the Province of
Dinagat Islands (Dinagat), the President appointed the interim set of provincial officials
who took their oath of office on January 26, 2007. Later, during the May 14, 2007
synchronized elections, the Dinagatnons elected their new set of provincial officials who
assumed office on July 1, 2007.

On November 10, 2006, petitioners Rodolfo G. Navarro, Victor F. Bernal and Rene O.
Medina, former political leaders of Surigao del Norte, filed before this Court a petition
for certiorari and prohibition (G.R. No. 175158) challenging the constitutionality of R.A.
No. 9355. The Court dismissed the petition on technical grounds. Their motion for
reconsideration was also denied.

Undaunted, petitioners, as taxpayers and residents of the Province of Surigao del Norte,
filed another petition for certiorari seeking to nullify R.A. No. 9355 for being
unconstitutional. They alleged that the creation of Dinagat as a new province, if
uncorrected, would perpetuate an illegal act of Congress, and would unjustly deprive the
people of Surigao del Norte of a large chunk of the provincial territory, Internal Revenue
Allocation (IRA), and rich resources from the area. They pointed out that when the law
97

was passed, Dinagat had a land area of 802.12 square kilometers only and a population of
only 106,951, failing to comply with Section 10, Article X of the Constitution and of
Section 461 of the LGC, on both counts, viz.—

Constitution, Article X – Local Government

Section 10. No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided,


merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, except in accordance
with the criteria established in the local government code and subject to the
approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units
directly affected.

LGC, Title IV, Chapter I

Section 461. Requisites for Creation. – (a) A province may be created if it has an
average annual income, as certified by the Department of Finance, of not less than
Twenty million pesos (₱20,000,000.00) based on 1991 constant prices and either
of the following requisites:
(i) a continuous territory of at least two thousand (2,000) square kilometers, as
certified by the Lands Management Bureau; or
(ii) a population of not less than two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) inhabitants
as certified by the National Statistics Office:
Provided, That, the creation thereof shall not reduce the land area, population, and
income of the original unit or units at the time of said creation to less than the
minimum requirements prescribed herein.
(b) The territory need not be contiguous if it comprises two (2) or more islands or
is separated by a chartered city or cities which do not contribute to the income of
the province.
(c) The average annual income shall include the income accruing to the general
fund, exclusive of special funds, trust funds, transfers, and non-recurring income.
98

On February 10, 2010, the Court rendered its Decision granting the petition. The
Decision declared R.A. No. 9355 unconstitutional for failure to comply with the
requirements on population and land area in the creation of a province under the LGC.
Consequently, it declared the proclamation of Dinagat and the election of its officials as
null and void. The Decision likewise declared as null and void the provision on Article
9(2) of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the LGC (LGC-IRR), stating that, "[t]he
land area requirement shall not apply where the proposed province is composed of one
(1) or more islands" for being beyond the ambit of Article 461 of the LGC, inasmuch as
such exemption is not expressly provided in the law.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the creation of Dinagat Island as a province is constitutional?

RULING:

It must be borne in mind that the central policy considerations in the creation of local
government units are economic viability, efficient administration, and capability to
deliver basic services to their constituents. The criteria prescribed by the LGC, i.e.,
income, population and land area, are all designed to accomplish these results. In this
light, Congress, in its collective wisdom, has debated on the relative weight of each of
these three criteria, placing emphasis on which of them should enjoy preferential
consideration.

Without doubt, the primordial criterion in the creation of local government units,
particularly of a province, is economic viability. This is the clear intent of the framers of
the LGC.

The creation of a new province shall not reduce the land area, population, and income of
the original LGU or LGUs at the time of said creation to less than the prescribed
99

minimum requirements. All expenses incidental to the creation shall be borne by the
petitioners.

It bears scrupulous notice that from the above cited provisions, with respect to the
creation of barangays, land area is not a requisite indicator of viability. However, with
respect to the creation of municipalities, component cities, and provinces, the three (3)
indicators of viability and projected capacity to provide services, i.e., income, population,
and land area, are provided for.

But it must be pointed out that when the local government unit to be created consists of
one (1) or more islands, it is exempt from the land area requirement as expressly provided
in Section 442 and Section 450 of the LGC if the local government unit to be created is a
municipality or a component city, respectively. This exemption is absent in the
enumeration of the requisites for the creation of a province under Section 461 of the
LGC, although it is expressly stated under Article 9(2) of the LGC-IRR.

There appears neither rhyme nor reason why this exemption should apply to cities and
municipalities, but not to provinces. In fact, considering the physical configuration of the
Philippine archipelago, there is a greater likelihood that islands or group of islands would
form part of the land area of a newly-created province than in most cities or
municipalities. It is, therefore, logical to infer that the genuine legislative policy decision
was expressed in Section 442 (for municipalities) and Section 450 (for component cities)
of the LGC, but was inadvertently omitted in Section 461 (for provinces). Thus, when the
exemption was expressly provided in Article 9(2) of the LGC-IRR, the inclusion was
intended to correct the congressional oversight in Section 461 of the LGC – and to reflect
the true legislative intent. It would, then, be in order for the Court to uphold the validity
of Article 9(2) of the LGC-IRR.

What is more, the land area, while considered as an indicator of viability of a local
government unit, is not conclusive in showing that Dinagat cannot become a province,
considering its average annual income of ₱82,696,433.23 at the time of its creation, as
100

certified by the Bureau of Local Government Finance, which is four times more than the
minimum requirement of ₱20,000,000.00 for the creation of a province. The delivery of
basic services to its constituents has been proven possible and sustainable. Rather than
looking at the results of the plebiscite and the May 10, 2010 elections as mere fait
accompli circumstances which cannot operate in favor of Dinagat’s existence as a
province, they must be seen from the perspective that Dinagat is ready and capable of
becoming a province. This Court should not be instrumental in stunting such capacity.

As we have held in League of Cities of the Philippines v. Commission on Elections —


Ratio legis est anima. The spirit rather than the letter of the law. A statute must be read
according to its spirit or intent, for what is within the spirit is within the statute although
it is not within its letter, and that which is within the letter but not within the spirit is not
within the statute. Put a bit differently, that which is within the intent of the lawmaker is
as much within the statute as if within the letter, and that which is within the letter of the
statute is not within the statute unless within the intent of the lawmakers. Withal, courts
ought not to interpret and should not accept an interpretation that would defeat the intent
of the law and its legislators.
101

ARTURO M. DE CASTRO
vs.
JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL (JBC) and PRESIDENT GLORIA
MACAPAGAL – ARROYO
G.R. No. 191002, 615 SCRA 666, April 20, 2010
BERSAMIN, J.

FACTS:

On March 17, 2010, the Court:

1. Dismisses the petitions for certiorari and mandamus in G.R. No. 191002 and
G.R. No. 191149, and the petition for mandamus in G.R. No. 191057 for being
premature;
2. Dismisses the petitions for prohibition in G.R. No. 191032 and G.R. No.
191342 for lack of merit; and
3. Grants the petition in A.M. No. 10-2-5-SC and, accordingly, directs the Judicial
and Bar Council:
(a) To resume its proceedings for the nomination of candidates to fill the vacancy
to be created by the compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno by
May 17, 2010;
(b) To prepare the short list of nominees for the position of Chief Justice;
(c) To submit to the incumbent President the short list of nominees for the
position of Chief Justice on or before May 17, 2010; and
(d) To continue its proceedings for the nomination of candidates to fill other
vacancies in the Judiciary and submit to the President the short list of nominees
corresponding thereto in accordance with this decision.

The petitions came about with the compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Reynato S.
Puno by May 17, 2010 occurs seven days after the coming presidential elections on May
10, 2010.
102

Two provisions of the Constitution seem to be in conflict with each other. Section 4 of
Article VIII provides that any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from occurrence
thereof. It run against Section 15 of Article VII which prohibits the President from
making appointments within two months immediately preceding the next presidential
election up to the end of his term.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the President can make an appointment even with the seemingly ban on
midnight appointments?

RULING:

Section 4 (1) and 9 of Article VIII simply mean that the President is required to fill
vacancies in the courts within the time frames provided therein unless prohibited by
Section 15 of Article VII. It is noteworthy that the prohibition on appointments comes
into effect only once every six years.

Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition contained in Section 15, Article VII to
the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court, they could have explicitly done so.
They could not have ignored the meticulous ordering of the provisions. They would have
easily and surely written the prohibition made explicit in Section 15, Article VII as being
equally applicable to the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court in Article VIII
itself, most likely in Section 4 (1), Article VIII. That such specification was not done only
reveals that the prohibition against the President or Acting President making
appointments within two months before the next presidential elections and up to the end
of the President’s or Acting President’s term does not refer to the Members of the
Supreme Court.
103

There are three well-settled principles of constitutional construction: first, verba legis,
that is, wherever possible, the words used in the Constitution should be given their
ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed; second, where there is
ambiguity, ratio legis est anima, meaning that the words of the Constitution should be
interpreted in accordance with the intent of its framers; and third, ut magis valeat quam
pereat, meaning that the Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole.
104

PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION


vs.
COMELEC
G.R. No. 72915, 140 SCRA 453
December 20, 1985

FACTS:

Several cases assail the constitutionality of Batas Pambansa Blg. 883, calling for a snap
election on February 7, 1986, for the positions of President and Vice-President as there
was no vacancy to fill in. President Marcos would vacate his position only when there is
a winner proclaimed, in effect, he is giving out a conditional resignation.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, Batas Pambansa Blg. 883 is unconstitutional?

RULING:

What has been the original issue being the constitutionality of the assailed law, for failing
to muster enough votes to strike down the same, has now been transformed into a
political question, which the sovereign people would have to answer in a snap election.
The court dismissed the petition and for want of prohibition.
105

JOSEPH E. ESTRADA
vs.
ANIANO DESIERTO, et al
G.R. Nos. 146710-15, 356 SCRA 108, March 2, 2001
PUNO, J.

FACTS:

On the line in the cases at bar is the office of the President. Petitioner Joseph Ejercito
Estrada alleges that he is the President on leave while respondent Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo claims she is the President.

In the May 11, 1998 elections, petitioner Joseph Ejercito Estrada was elected President
while respondent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was elected Vice-President. Some (10)
million Filipinos voted for the petitioner believing he would rescue them from lifes
adversity. Both petitioner and the respondent were to serve a six-year term commencing
on June 30, 1998.

From the beginning of his term, however, petitioner was plagued by a plethora of
problems that slowly but surely eroded his popularity. His sharp descent from power
started on October 4, 2000. Ilocos Sur Governor, Luis Chavit Singson, a longtime friend
of the petitioner, went on air and accused the petitioner, his family and friends of
receiving millions of pesos from jueteng lords.

Consequently, he was impeached. A walk-out by prosecutors led to people trooping to


EDSA, hence, EDSA II, and Mendiola, leading to where the gods of Pasig river resides,
events that made petitioner leave Malacanang. It was said that there was constructive
resignation of the petitioner, hence, respondent Arroyo took her oath as the President,
succeeding the petitioner.
106

After his fall from the pedestal of power, the petitioner’s legal problems appeared in
clusters. Several cases previously filed against him in the Office of the Ombudsman were
set in motion. These are: (1) OMB Case No. 0-00-1629, filed by Ramon A. Gonzales on
October 23, 2000 for bribery and graft and corruption; (2) OMB Case No. 0-00-1754
filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption on November 17, 2000 for
plunder, forfeiture, graft and corruption, bribery, perjury, serious misconduct, violation of
the Code of Conduct for government Employees, etc; (3) OMB Case No. 0-00-1755 filed
by the Graft Free Philippines Foundation, Inc. on November 24, 2000 for plunder,
forfeiture, graft and corruption, bribery, perjury, serious misconduct; (4) OMB Case No.
0-00-1756 filed by Romeo Capulong, et al., on November 28, 2000 for malversation of
public funds, illegal use of public funds and property, plunder, etc., (5) OMB Case No. 0-
00-1757 filed by Leonard de Vera, et al., on November 28, 2000 for bribery, plunder,
indirect bribery, violation of PD 1602, PD 1829, PD 46, and RA 7080; and (6) OMB
Case No. 0-00-1758 filed by Ernesto B. Francisco, Jr. on December 4, 2000 for plunder,
graft and corruption.

Thus, the stage for the cases at bar was set. On February 5, petitioner filed with this Court
GR No. 146710-15, a petition for prohibition with a prayer for a writ of preliminary
injunction. It sought to enjoin the respondent Ombudsman from conducting any further
proceedings in Case Nos. OMB 0-00-1629, 1754, 1755, 1756, 1757 and 1758 or in any
other criminal complaint that may be filed in his office, until after the term of petitioner
as President is over and only if legally warranted. Thru another counsel, petitioner, on
February 6, filed GR No. 146738 for Quo Warranto. He prayed for judgment confirming
petitioner to be the lawful and incumbent President of the Republic of the Philippines
temporarily unable to discharge the duties of his office, and declaring respondent to have
taken her oath as and to be holding the Office of the President, only in an acting capacity
pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution.

ISSUES:

1. Whether or not the cases at bar involve a political question?


107

2. Whether or not the petitioner resigned as President?

3. Whether or not the petitioner is only temporarily unable to act as President?

4. Whether or not the petitioner enjoys immunity from suit. Assuming he enjoys
immunity, the extent of the immunity?

5. Whether or not the prosecution of petitioner Estrada should be enjoined due to


prejudicial publicity?

RULING:

1. To settle, the Court made the legal distinction between EDSA People Power I and
EDSA People Power II. EDSA I involves the exercise of the people power of revolution
which overthrew the whole government. EDSA II is an exercise of people power of
freedom of speech and freedom of assembly to petition the government for redress of
grievances which only affected the office of the President. EDSA I is extra constitutional
and the legitimacy of the new government that resulted from it cannot be the subject of
judicial review, but EDSA II is intra constitutional and the resignation of the sitting
President that it caused and the succession of the Vice President as President are subject
to judicial review. EDSA I presented political question; EDSA II involves legal
questions. A brief discourse on freedom of speech and of the freedom of assembly to
petition the government for redress of grievance which are the cutting edge of EDSA
People Power II is not inappropriate.

2. It is a factual question and its elements are beyond quibble: there must be an intent to
resign and the intent must be coupled by acts of relinquishment. The validity of a
resignation is not governed by any formal requirement as to form. It can be oral. It can be
written. It can be express. It can be implied. As long as the resignation is clear, it must be
given legal effect.
108

In the cases at bar, the facts show that petitioner did not write any formal letter of
resignation before he evacuated Malacanang Palace in the Afternoon of January 20, 2001
after the oath-taking of respondent Arroyo. Consequently, whether or not petitioner
resigned has to be determined from his acts and omissions before, during and after
January 20, 2001 or by the totality of prior, contemporaneous and posterior facts and
circumstantial evidence bearing a material relevance on the issue. The court ruled that the
petitioner resigned.

3. There are irrefutable facts and acts that both houses of Congress have recognized
respondent Arroyo as the President. Implicitly clear in that recognition is the premise that
the inability of petitioner Estrada is no longer temporary. Congress has clearly rejected
petitioners claim of inability.

4. Our 1935 Constitution took effect but it did not contain any specific provision on
executive immunity. Then came the tumult of the martial law years under the late
President Ferdinand E. Marcos and the 1973 Constitution was born. In 1981, it was
amended and one of the amendments involved executive immunity. Section 17, Article
VII stated:

The President shall be immune from suit during his tenure. Thereafter, no suit
whatsoever shall lie for official acts done by him or by others pursuant to his
specific orders during his tenure.

The immunities herein provided shall apply to the incumbent President referred to in
Article XVII of this Constitution.

With regards to the scope of immunity that can be claimed by petitioner as a non-sitting
President, the cases filed against petitioner Estrada are criminal in character. They
involve plunder, bribery and graft and corruption. By no stretch of the imagination can
these crimes, especially plunder which carries the death penalty, be covered by the allege
109

mantle of immunity of a non-sitting president. Petitioner cannot cite any decision of this
Court licensing the President to commit criminal acts and wrapping him with post-tenure
immunity from liability. It will be anomalous to hold that immunity is an inoculation
from liability for unlawful acts and omissions. The rule is that unlawful acts of public
officials are not acts of the State and the officer who acts illegally is not acting as such
but stands in the same footing as any other trespasser.

5. It is true that the print and broadcast media gave the case at bar pervasive publicity,
just like all high profile and high-stake criminal trials. Then and now, we now rule that
the right of an accused to a fair trial is not incompatible to a free press. To be sure,
responsible reporting enhances an accused’s right to a fair trial for, as well pointed out, a
responsible press has always been regarded as the handmaiden of effective judicial
administration, especially in the criminal field...

The press does not simply publish information about trials but guards against the
miscarriage of justice by subjecting the police, prosecutors, and judicial processes to
extensive public scrutiny and criticism.

Pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial to the right of an accused to fair trial. The
mere fact that the trial of appellant was given a day-to-day, gavel-to-gavel coverage does
not by itself prove that the publicity so permeated the mind of the trial judge and
impaired his impartiality.

Appellant can only conjure possibility of prejudice on the part of the trial judge due to the
barrage of publicity that characterized the investigation and trial of the case.
There is not enough evidence to warrant the Court to enjoin the preliminary investigation
of the petitioner by the respondent Ombudsman. Petitioner needs to offer more than
hostile headlines to discharge his burden of proof.
110

FERNANDO V. GONZALEZ
vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, RENO G. LIM, STEPHEN C. BICHARA and
THE SPECIAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS constituted per Res. dated July 23,
2010 of the Commission on Elections En Banc
GR. No. 192856, 644 SCRA 761, March 8, 2011
VILLARAMA JR., J.

FACTS:

Instant case is for petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus under Rule 65 in
relation to Rule 64 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, assailing the
Resolution dated May 8, 2010 of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Second
Division and Resolution dated July 23, 2010 of the Commission en Banc, in SPA No. 10-
074 (DC).

Petitioner Fernando V. Gonzalez and private respondent Reno G. Lim both filed
certificates of candidacy for the position of Representative of the 3rd congressional
district of the Province of Albay in the May 10, 2010 elections. Lim was the incumbent
congressman of the 3rd district while Gonzalez was former Governor of Albay, having
been elected to said position in 2004 but lost his re-election bid in 2007.

On March 30, 2010, a Petition for Disqualification and Cancellation of Certificate of


Candidacy (COC) was filed by Stephen Bichara [SPA No. 10-074 (DC)] on the ground
that Gonzalez is a Spanish national, being the legitimate child of a Spanish father and a
Filipino mother, and that he failed to elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of
majority in accordance with the provisions of Commonwealth Act (C.A.) No. 625. It was
further alleged that Gonzalez’s late registration of his certificate of birth with the Civil
Registry of Ligao City on January 17, 2006, even if accompanied by an affidavit of
election of Philippine citizenship, was not done within a reasonable time as it was in fact
registered 45 years after Gonzalez reached the age of majority on September 11, 1961.
111

Finding the petition to be both a petition for disqualification and cancellation of COC, the
Second Division ruled that the same was filed on time. On the election of Philippine
citizenship by Gonzalez, it held that what Gonzalez submitted is a mere photocopy of his
oath of allegiance which was not duly certified by the National Statistics Office, and
hence there was no compliance with the requirement of filing with the nearest civil
registry, the last act required of a valid oath of allegiance under C.A. No. 625. Further,
the Second Division found that in the late registration of Gonzalez’s birth on January 17,
2006, he declared that he is a citizen of the Philippines; this at best, was his own
conclusion, and at worst, conflicts with his purported oath of allegiance for it would have
been a superfluity to express his choice of Philippine citizenship by taking the oath of
allegiance if he was already a Filipino citizen. And the fact that Gonzalez attended formal
schooling in this country, worked in private firms and in the government service, should
not take the place of the stringent requirements of constitutional and statutory provisions
on acquisition of Philippine citizenship.

Gonzalez thru counsel received a copy of the aforesaid resolution on May 11, 2010 at
5:20 p.m. On even date, Lim petitioned the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) to
consider the votes cast for Gonzalez as stray or not counted and/or suspend his
proclamation, citing the Second Division’s May 8, 2010 resolution disqualifying
Gonzalez as a candidate for the May 10, 2010 elections. The PBOC, however, dismissed
the petition stating that the period for filing of a motion for reconsideration of the
COMELEC resolution has not yet lapsed, and hence the same is not yet final and
executory. Lim appealed the PBOC’s dismissal of his petition to the COMELEC (SPC
No. 10-006) but his appeal was eventually dismissed after he filed a motion to withdraw
the same.

Based on the results of the counting and canvassing of votes, Gonzalez emerged as the
winner having garnered a total of 96,000 votes while Lim ranked second with 68,701
votes. On May 12, 2010, the PBOC officially proclaimed Gonzalez as the duly elected
Representative of the 3rd district of Albay. Gonzalez took his oath of office on the same
112

day. On May 13, 2010, Bichara filed a Very Urgent Motion to Suspend the Effects of the
Proclamation of Fernando V. Gonzalez.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the COMELEC had lost jurisdiction over the issue of Gonzalez’s
citizenship?

RULING:

The Court has invariably held that once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken
his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the House of Representatives, the
COMELEC’s jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns, and
qualifications ends, and the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal’s (HRET’s) own
jurisdiction begins. It follows then that the proclamation of a winning candidate divests
the COMELEC of its jurisdiction over matters pending before it at the time of the
proclamation. The party questioning his qualification should now present his case in a
proper proceeding before the HRET, the constitutionally mandated tribunal to hear and
decide a case involving a Member of the House of Representatives with respect to the
latter’s election, returns and qualifications. The use of the word "sole" in Section 17,
Article VI of the Constitution and in Section 250 of the OEC underscores the exclusivity
of the Electoral Tribunals’ jurisdiction over election contests relating to its members.
113

HOLY SEE
vs.
THE HON. ERIBERTO U. ROSARIO, JR
G.R. No. 101949, 238 SCRA 524, 535, December 1, 1994
QUIASON, J.

FACTS:

This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court to reverse and
set aside the Orders dated June 20, 1991 and September 19, 1991 of the Regional Trial
Court, Branch 61, Makati, Metro Manila in Civil Case No. 90-183.

The Order dated June 20, 1991 denied the motion of petitioner to dismiss the complaint
in Civil Case No. 90-183, while the Order dated September 19, 1991 denied the motion
for reconsideration of the June 20,1991 Order.

Petitioner is the Holy See who exercises sovereignty over the Vatican City in Rome,
Italy, and is represented in the Philippines by the Papal Nuncio.

Private respondent, Starbright Sales Enterprises, Inc., is a domestic corporation engaged


in the real estate business.

This petition arose from a controversy over a parcel of land consisting of 6,000 square
meters (Lot 5-A, Transfer Certificate of Title No. 390440) located in the Municipality of
Parañaque, Metro Manila and registered in the name of petitioner.

Said Lot 5-A is contiguous to Lots 5-B and 5-D which are covered by Transfer
Certificates of Title Nos. 271108 and 265388 respectively and registered in the name of
the Philippine Realty Corporation (PRC).
114

The three lots were sold to Ramon Licup, through Msgr. Domingo A. Cirilos, Jr., acting
as agent to the sellers. Later, Licup assigned his rights to the sale to private respondent.

In view of the refusal of the squatters to vacate the lots sold to private respondent, a
dispute arose as to who of the parties has the responsibility of evicting and clearing the
land of squatters. Complicating the relations of the parties was the sale by petitioner of
Lot 5-A to Tropicana Properties and Development Corporation (Tropicana).

The private respondent filed a complaint before the RTC of Makati against the petitioner
and three other defendants: Msgr. Domingo Cirilos, who acted as agent to the sellers, the
PRC and Tropicana.

ISSUE:

Whether the Holy See can invoke sovereign immunity for non-suability?

RULING:

There are two conflicting concepts of sovereign immunity, each widely held and firmly
established. According to the classical or absolute theory, a sovereign cannot, without its
consent, be made a respondent in the courts of another sovereign. According to the newer
or restrictive theory, the immunity of the sovereign is recognized only with regard to
public acts or acts jure imperii of a state, but not with regard to private acts or acts jure
gestionis

Some states passed legislation to serve as guidelines for the executive or judicial
determination when an act may be considered as jure gestionis. The United States passed
the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, which defines a commercial activity as
"either a regular course of commercial conduct or a particular commercial transaction or
act." Furthermore, the law declared that the "commercial character of the activity shall be
determined by reference to the nature of the course of conduct or particular transaction or
115

act, rather than by reference to its purpose." The Canadian Parliament enacted in 1982 an
Act to Provide For State Immunity in Canadian Courts. The Act defines a "commercial
activity" as any particular transaction, act or conduct or any regular course of conduct
that by reason of its nature, is of a "commercial character."

The restrictive theory, which is intended to be a solution to the host of problems


involving the issue of sovereign immunity, has created problems of its own. Legal
treatises and the decisions in countries which follow the restrictive theory have difficulty
in characterizing whether a contract of a sovereign state with a private party is an act jure
gestionis or an act jure imperii.

The restrictive theory came about because of the entry of sovereign states into purely
commercial activities remotely connected with the discharge of governmental functions.
This is particularly true with respect to the Communist states which took control of
nationalized business activities and international trading.

In the case at bench, if petitioner has bought and sold lands in the ordinary course of a
real estate business, surely the said transaction can be categorized as an act jure gestionis.
However, petitioner has denied that the acquisition and subsequent disposal of Lot 5-A
were made for profit but claimed that it acquired said property for the site of its mission
or the Apostolic Nunciature in the Philippines. Private respondent failed to dispute said
claim.

Lot 5-A was acquired by petitioner as a donation from the Archdiocese of Manila. The
donation was made not for commercial purpose, but for the use of petitioner to construct
thereon the official place of residence of the Papal Nuncio. The right of a foreign
sovereign to acquire property, real or personal, in a receiving state, necessary for the
creation and maintenance of its diplomatic mission, is recognized in the 1961 Vienna
Convention on Diplomatic Relations (Arts. 20-22). This treaty was concurred in by the
Philippine Senate and entered into force in the Philippines on November 15, 1965.
116

In Article 31(a) of the Convention, a diplomatic envoy is granted immunity from the civil
and administrative jurisdiction of the receiving state over any real action relating to
private immovable property situated in the territory of the receiving state which the
envoy holds on behalf of the sending state for the purposes of the mission. If this
immunity is provided for a diplomatic envoy, with all the more reason should immunity
be recognized as regards the sovereign itself, which in this case is the Holy See.
117

KILOSBAYAN, INCORPORATED, JOVITO R. SALONGA, CIRILO A. RIGOS,


ERME CAMBA, EMILIO C. CAPULONG, JR., JOSE T. APOLO, EPHRAIM
TENDERO, FERNANDO SANTIAGO, JOSE ABCEDE, CHRISTINE TAN,
RAFAEL G. FERNANDO, RAOUL V. VICTORINO, JOSE CUNANAN, QUINTIN
S. DOROMAL, SEN. FREDDIE WEBB, SEN. WIGBERTO TAÑADA, REP.
JOKER P. ARROYO
vs.
MANUEL L. MORATO, and the PHILIPPINE GAMING MANAGEMENT
CORPORATION
G.R. No. 118910, 246 SCRA 540, November 16, 1995
MENDOZA, J.

FACTS:

Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, under respondent, signed an Equipment Lease


Agreement with Philippine Gaming Management Corporation to be used in operating
online lotteries. Petitioners contend that a previous case with an ELA has been nullified
by the Court. It is noteworthy that petitioners do not question the validity of the law
allowing lotteries.

Petitioners seek reconsideration of the Court’s decision in this case. They insist that the
decision in the first case has already settled (1) whether petitioner Kilosbayan, Inc. has a
standing to sue and (2) whether under its charter (R.A. No. 1169, as amended) the
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office can enter into any form of association or
collaboration with any party in operating an on-line lottery. Consequently, petitioners
contend, these questions can no longer be reopened.

It is the contract entered into by the PCSO and the PGMC which they are assailing. This
case, therefore, does not raise issues of constitutionality but only of contract law, which
petitioners, not being privies to the agreement, cannot raise.
118

ISSUE:

Whether the petitioners have standing to sue?

RULING:

The Court reversed the ruling in Kilosbayan, Inc. vs. Guingona, on the ground that the
petitioners have no substantial interest in the contract being challenged. It is nevertheless
insisted that the Court has in the past accorded standing to taxpayers and concerned
citizens in cases involving "paramount public interest." Taxpayers, voters, concerned
citizens and legislators have indeed been allowed to sue but then only (1) in cases
involving constitutional issues and (2) under certain conditions. Petitioners do not meet
these requirements on standing.
119

ATTY. ROMULO B. MACALINTAL


vs.
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL
G.R. No. 191618, 635 SCRA 783, November 23, 2010
NACHURA, J.

FACTS:

This petition is filed by Atty. Romulo B. Macalintal (Atty. Macalintal), that questions the
constitution of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) as an illegal and unauthorized
progeny of Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution:
The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of all contests relating
to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice-President, and
may promulgate its rules for the purpose.

While petitioner concedes that the Supreme Court is "authorized to promulgate its rules
for the purpose," he chafes at the creation of a purportedly "separate tribunal"
complemented by a budget allocation, a seal, a set of personnel and confidential
employees, to effect the constitutional mandate. Petitioner’s averment is supposedly
supported by the provisions of the 2005 Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal
(2005 PET Rules), specifically:
(1) Rule 3 which provides for membership of the PET wherein the Chief Justice
and the Associate Justices are designated as "Chairman and Members,"
respectively;
(2) Rule 8(e) which authorizes the Chairman of the PET to appoint employees and
confidential employees of every member thereof;
(3) Rule 9 which provides for a separate "Administrative Staff of the Tribunal"
with the appointment of a Clerk and a Deputy Clerk of the Tribunal who, at the
discretion of the PET, may designate the Clerk of Court (en banc) as the Clerk of
the Tribunal; and
120

(4) Rule 11 which provides for a "seal" separate and distinct from the Supreme
Court seal.

Further, petitioner highlights our decision in Buac v. COMELEC which peripherally


declared that "contests involving the President and the Vice-President fall within the
exclusive original jurisdiction of the PET, x x x in the exercise of quasi-judicial power."
On this point, petitioner reiterates that the constitution of the PET, with the designation of
the Members of the Court as Chairman and Members thereof, contravenes Section 12,
Article VIII of the Constitution, which prohibits the designation of Members of the
Supreme Court and of other courts established by law to any agency performing quasi-
judicial or administrative functions.

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not, the Presidential Electoral Tribunal is constitutional?

2. Whether or not, designation of member of the Supreme Court to any agency


performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions is constitutional?

RULING:

The Court ruled in the affirmative for both issues.

Citing Tecson v. Commission on Elections, the Supreme Court explained that this portion
of Section 4 designating it as the sole judge of all presidential and vice-presidential
election contests “is an innovation of the 1987 Constitution. The omission in the 1935
and the 1973 Constitutions to designate any tribunal to be the sole judge of presidential
and vice-presidential contests, has constrained this Court to declare, in Lopez vs. Roxas,
as ‘not (being) justiciable’ controversies or disputes involving contests on the elections,
returns and qualifications of the President or Vice-President. The constitutional lapse
prompted Congress, on 21 June 1957, to enact Republic Act No. 1793, ‘An Act
121

Constituting an Independent Presidential Electoral Tribunal to Try, Hear and Decide


Protests Contesting the Election of the President-Elect and the Vice-President-Elect of
the Philippines and Providing for the Manner of Hearing the Same.’

Accordingly, “unquestionably, the overarching framework affirmed in Tecson v.


Commission on Elections is that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction to decide
presidential and vice-presidential election protests while concurrently acting as an
independent Electoral Tribunal.” In other words, “the establishment of the PET simply
constitutionalized what was statutory before the 1987 Constitution.”

With respect to the contention that the PET exercises quasi-judicial power and that its
establishment consequently contravenes Section 12 of Article VIII of the Constitution,
the Court clarified that “the set up embodied in the Constitution and statutes characterizes
the resolution of electoral contests as essentially an exercise of judicial power.” Thus —

“It is also beyond cavil that when the Supreme Court, as PET, resolves a
presidential or vice-presidential election contest, it performs what is essentially a
judicial power. In the landmark case of Angara v. Electoral Commission, Justice
Jose P. Laurel enucleated that ‘it would be inconceivable if the Constitution had
not provided for a mechanism by which to direct the course of government along
constitutional channels.’ In fact, Angara pointed out that ‘[t]he Constitution is a
definition of the powers of government.’ And yet, at that time, the 1935
Constitution did not contain the expanded definition of judicial power found in
Article VIII, Section 1, paragraph 2 of the present Constitution.

“With the explicit provision, the present Constitution has allocated to the Supreme
Court, in conjunction with lat- ter’s exercise of judicial power inherent in all
courts, the task of deciding presidential and vice-presidential election contests,
with full authority in the exercise thereof. The power wielded by the PET is a
derivative of the plenary judicial power allocated to courts of law, expressly
122

provided in the Constitution. On the whole, the Constitution draws a thin, but,
nevertheless, distinct line between the PET and the Supreme Court.

“If the logic of petitioner is to be followed, all Members of the Court, sitting in
the Senate and House Electoral Tribunals would violate the constitutional
proscription found in Section 12, Article VIII. Surely, the petitioner will be
among the first to acknowledge that this is not so. The Constitution which, in
Section 17, Article VI, explicitly provides that three Supreme Court Justices shall
sit in the Senate and House Electoral Tribunals, respectively, effectively exempts
the Justices-Members thereof from the prohibition in Section 12, Article VIII. In
the same vein, it is the Constitution itself, in Section 4, Article VII, which
exempts the Members of the Court, constituting the PET, from the same
prohibition.

“We have previously declared that the PET is not simply an agency to which
Members of the Court were designated. Once again, the PET, as intended by the
framers of the Constitution, is to be an institution independent, but not separate,
from the judicial department, i.e., the Supreme Court. McCulloch v. State of
Maryland proclaimed that ‘[a] power without the means to use it is a nullity.’ The
vehicle for the exercise of this power, as intended by the Constitution and
specifically mentioned by the Constitutional Commissioners during the
discussions on the grant of power to this Court, is the PET. Thus, a microscopic
view, like the petitioner’s, should not constrict an absolute and constitutional
grant of judicial power.”
123

MERCURY DRUG CORPORATION


vs.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, NLRC SHERIFF and CESAR
E. LADISLA
G.R. No. 75662, 177 SCRA 580, 587, September 15, 1989
FERNAN, C.J.

FACTS:

Petitioner assails in this petition for review on certiorari the Resolution dated July 24,
1986 of the National Labor Relations Commission in NLRC Case No. RB-IV-19301-78-
T denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration of its decision dated April 30, 1986
which reversed the decision of Labor Arbiter Ceferina J. Diosana and ordered the
reinstatement of private respondent Cesar E. Ladisla to his former position with full back
wages.

Records show that private respondent Cesar E. Ladisla was employed by petitioner
Mercury Drug Corporation as a Stock Analyst at its Claro M. Recto Branch. He had been
with the company for two years and nine months when on August 15, 1977 he was
apprehended by representatives of Mercury Drug while in the act of pilfering company
property consisting of three (3) bottles of Persantin and one (1) bottle of Valoron at 100
tablets per bottle with a total value of P272.00. He admitted his guilt to the investigating
representatives of petitioner company and executed a handwritten admission. Said
admission was repeated verbally at the police station before the arresting officer as shown
in the Booking Sheet and Arrest Report which was signed and authenticated by Ladisla.
Thus, on August 19, 1977, petitioner, while simultaneously placing private respondent on
preventive suspension, filed before the Department of Labor an application for the
termination of private respondent's employment on grounds of dishonesty and breach of
trust.
124

ISSUE:

Whether or not, reinstatement of the employee is in order?

RULING:

The law in protecting the rights of the laborer, authorizes neither oppression nor self-
destruction of the employer. While the Constitution is committed to the policy of social
justice and the protection of the working class, it should not be supposed that every labor
dispute will be automatically decided in favor of labor. Management also has its own
rights, which, as such, are entitled to respect and enforcement in the interest of simple fair
play. Out of its concern for those with less privileges in life, the Supreme Court has
inclined more often than not toward the worker and upheld his cause in his conflicts with
the employer. Such favoritism, however, has not blinded the Court to the rule that justice
is in every case for the deserving, to be dispensed in the light of the established facts and
applicable law and doctrine.
125

EDGARDO NAVIA, RUBEN DIO and ANDREW BUISING


vs.
VIRGINIA PARDICO, for and in behalf and in representation of BENHUR V.
PARDICO
G.R. No. 184467, 673 SCRA 618, June 19, 2012
DEL CASTILLO, J.

FACTS:

On March 31, 2008, at around 8:30 p.m., a vehicle of Asian Land Strategies Corporation
(Asian Land) arrived at the house of Lolita M. Lapore (Lolita) located at 7A Lot 9, Block
54, Grand Royale Subdivision, Barangay Lugam, Malolos City. The arrival of the vehicle
awakened Lolita’s son, Enrique Lapore (Bong), and Benhur Pardico (Ben), who were
then both staying in her house. When Lolita went out to investigate, she saw two
uniformed guards disembarking from the vehicle. One of them immediately asked Lolita
where they could find her son Bong. Before Lolita could answer, the guard saw Bong and
told him that he and Ben should go with them to the security office of Asian Land
because a complaint was lodged against them for theft of electric wires and lamps in the
subdivision.

Shortly thereafter, Bong, Lolita and Ben were in the office of the security department of
Asian Land also located in Grand Royale Subdivision. The supervisor of the security
guards, petitioner Edgardo Navia (Navia), also arrived thereat. After a few moments,
Bong and Lolita left. Ben was left behind.

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 amparo court issued an Order dated June 26, 2008 directing,
among others, the issuance of a writ of amparo and the production of the body of Ben
before it on June 30, 2008.
126

Petitioners essentially assail the sufficiency of the amparo petition. They contend that the
writ of amparo is available only in cases where the factual and legal bases of the violation
or threatened violation of the aggrieved party’s right to life, liberty and security are clear.
Petitioners assert that in the case at bench, Virginia miserably failed to establish all these.
First, the petition is wanting on its face as it failed to state with some degree of specificity
the alleged unlawful act or omission of the petitioners constituting a violation of or a
threat to Ben’s right to life, liberty and security. And second, it cannot be deduced from
the evidence Virginia adduced that Ben is missing; or that petitioners had a hand in his
alleged disappearance. On the other hand, the entries in the logbook which bear the
signatures of Ben and Lolita are eloquent proof that petitioners released Ben on March
31, 2008 at around 10:30 p.m. Petitioners thus posit that the trial court erred in issuing the
writ and in holding them responsible for Ben’s disappearance.

ISSUE:

Whether or not, there was a proper issuance of a writ of amparo?

RULING:

Virginia’s Petition for Writ of Amparo is fatally defective and must perforce be
dismissed, but not for the reasons adverted to by the petitioners.

A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC or The Rule on the Writ of Amparo was promulgated to arrest the
rampant extralegal killings and enforced disappearances in the country. Its purpose is to
provide an expeditious and effective relief “to any person whose right to life, liberty and
security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a
public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity.”

Ben’s right to life, liberty and security is firmly settled as the parties do not dispute his
identity as the same person summoned and questioned at petitioners’ security office on
the night of March 31, 2008. Such uncontroverted fact ipso facto established Ben’s
127

inherent and constitutionally enshrined right to life, liberty and security. Article 6 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights recognizes every human being’s
inherent right to life, while Article 9 thereof ordains that everyone has the right to liberty
and security. The right to life must be protected by law while the right to liberty and
security cannot be impaired except on grounds provided by and in accordance with law.
This overarching command against deprivation of life, liberty and security without due
process of law is also embodied in our fundamental law.

The pivotal question now that confronts us is whether Ben’s disappearance as alleged in
Virginia’s petition and proved during the summary proceedings conducted before the
court a quo, falls within the ambit of A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC and relevant laws.

It does not. Section 1 of A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC provides:

SECTION 1. Petition. – The petition for a writ of amparo is a remedy available to any
person whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by
an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or
entity.

The writ shall cover extralegal killings and enforced disappearances or threats thereof.

While Section 1 provides A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC’s coverage, said Rules does not,
however, define extralegal killings and enforced disappearances. This omission was
intentional as the Committee on Revision of the Rules of Court which drafted A.M. No.
07-9-12-SC chose to allow it to evolve through time and jurisprudence and through
substantive laws as may be promulgated by Congress. Then, the budding jurisprudence
on amparo blossomed in Razon, Jr. v. Tagitis when this Court defined enforced
disappearances. The Court in that case applied the generally accepted principles of
international law and adopted the International Convention for the Protection of All
Persons from Enforced Disappearance’s definition of enforced disappearances, as "the
arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the
128

State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or


acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty
or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such
a person outside the protection of the law.
129

PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORPORATION (PAGCOR)


vs.
THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE (BIR), represented herein by HON.
JOSE MARIO BUÑAG, in his official capacity as COMMISSIONER OF
INTERNAL REVENUE
G.R. No. 172087, 645 SCRA 338, March 15, 2011
PERALTA, J.

FACTS:

For resolution of this Court is the Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition1 with prayer for
the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction, dated April
17, 2006, of petitioner Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR),
seeking the declaration of nullity of Section 1 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9337 insofar as
it amends Section 27 (c) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, by excluding
petitioner from exemption from corporate income tax for being repugnant to Sections 1
and 10 of Article III of the Constitution. Petitioner further seeks to prohibit the
implementation of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Revenue Regulations No. 16-2005
for being contrary to law.

The undisputed facts follow.

PAGCOR was created pursuant to Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1067-A on January 1,
1977. Simultaneous to its creation, P.D. No. 1067-B (supplementing P.D. No. 1067-A)
was issued exempting PAGCOR from the payment of any type of tax, except a franchise
tax of five percent (5%) of the gross revenue. Thereafter, on June 2, 1978, P.D. No. 1399
was issued expanding the scope of PAGCOR's exemption.

PAGCOR's tax exemption was removed in June 1984 through P.D. No. 1931, but it was
later restored by Letter of Instruction No. 1430, which was issued in September 1984.
130

On January 1, 1998, R.A. No. 8424, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue
Code of 1997, took effect. Section 27 (c) of R.A. No. 8424 provides that government-
owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) shall pay corporate income tax, except
petitioner PAGCOR, the Government Service and Insurance Corporation, the Social
Security System, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and the Philippine Charity
Sweepstakes Office.

With the enactment of R.A. No. 9337 on May 24, 2005, certain sections of the National
Internal Revenue Code of 1997 were amended. The particular amendment that is at issue
in this case is Section 1 of R.A. No. 9337, which amended Section 27 (c) of the National
Internal Revenue Code of 1997 by excluding PAGCOR from the enumeration of GOCCs
that are exempt from payment of corporate income tax.

Different groups came to this Court via petitions for certiorari and prohibition assailing
the validity and constitutionality of R.A. No. 9337.

On September 1, 2005, the Court dismissed all the petitions and upheld the
constitutionality of R.A. No. 9337.

On the same date, respondent BIR issued Revenue Regulations (RR) No. 16-¬2005,
specifically identifying PAGCOR as one of the franchisees subject to 10% VAT imposed
under Section 108 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended by R.A.
No. 9337.

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not PAGCOR is still exempt from corporate income tax and VAT with the
enactment of R.A. No. 9337?
131

RULING:

Under Section 1 of R.A. No. 9337, amending Section 27 (c) of the National Internal
Revenue Code of 1977, petitioner is no longer exempt from corporate income tax as it
has been effectively omitted from the list of GOCCs that are exempt from it. Petitioner
argues that such omission is unconstitutional, as it is violative of its right to equal
protection of the laws under Section 1, Article III of the Constitution.

Equal protection requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated
alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. Similar subjects, in other
words, should not be treated differently, so as to give undue favor to some and unjustly
discriminate against others. The guarantee means that no person or class of persons shall
be denied the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other classes
in like circumstances. The "equal protection of the laws is a pledge of the protection of
equal laws." It limits governmental discrimination. The equal protection clause extends to
artificial persons but only insofar as their property is concerned.

Legislative bodies are allowed to classify the subjects of legislation. If the classification
is reasonable, the law may operate only on some and not all of the people without
violating the equal protection clause. The classification must, as an indispensable
requisite, not be arbitrary. To be valid, it must conform to the following requirements:
1) It must be based on substantial distinctions.
2) It must be germane to the purposes of the law.
3) It must not be limited to existing conditions only.
4) It must apply equally to all members of the class.

A perusal of the legislative records of the Bicameral Conference Meeting of the


Committee on Ways on Means dated October 27, 1997 would show that the exemption of
PAGCOR from the payment of corporate income tax was due to the acquiescence of the
Committee on Ways on Means to the request of PAGCOR that it be exempt from such
tax.
132

PAGCOR cannot find support in the equal protection clause of the Constitution, as the
legislative records of the Bicameral Conference Meeting dated October 27, 1997, of the
Committee on Ways and Means, show that PAGCOR’s exemption from payment of
corporate income tax, as provided in Section 27 (c) of R.A. No. 8424, or the National
Internal Revenue Code of 1997, was not made pursuant to a valid classification based on
substantial distinctions and the other requirements of a reasonable classification by
legislative bodies, so that the law may operate only on some, and not all, without
violating the equal protection clause. The legislative records show that the basis of the
grant of exemption to PAGCOR from corporate income tax was PAGCOR’s own request
to be exempted.

Petitioner further contends that Section 1 (c) of R.A. No. 9337 is null and void ab initio
for violating the non-impairment clause of the Constitution. Petitioner avers that laws
form part of, and is read into, the contract even without the parties expressly saying so.
Petitioner states that the private parties/investors transacting with it considered the tax
exemptions, which inure to their benefit, as the main consideration and inducement for
their decision to transact/invest with it. Petitioner argues that the withdrawal of its
exemption from corporate income tax by R.A. No. 9337 has the effect of changing the
main consideration and inducement for the transactions of private parties with it; thus, the
amendatory provision is violative of the non-impairment clause of the Constitution.

Petitioner’s contention lacks merit.

The non-impairment clause is contained in Section 10, Article III of the Constitution,
which provides that no law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed. The
non-impairment clause is limited in application to laws that derogate from prior acts or
contracts by enlarging, abridging or in any manner changing the intention of the
parties.29 There is impairment if a subsequent law changes the terms of a contract
between the parties, imposes new conditions, dispenses with those agreed upon or
withdraws remedies for the enforcement of the rights of the parties.
133

Although the basis of the exemption of PAGCOR and Acesite from VAT in the case of
The Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Acesite (Philippines) Hotel Corporation was
Section 102 (b) of the 1977 Tax Code, as amended, which section was retained as Section
108 (B) (3) in R.A. No. 8424,41 it is still applicable to this case, since the provision relied
upon has been retained in R.A. No. 9337.

It is settled rule that in case of discrepancy between the basic law and a rule or regulation
issued to implement said law, the basic law prevails, because the said rule or regulation
cannot go beyond the terms and provisions of the basic law. RR No. 16-2005, therefore,
cannot go beyond the provisions of R.A. No. 9337. Since PAGCOR is exempt from VAT
under R.A. No. 9337, the BIR exceeded its authority in subjecting PAGCOR to 10%
VAT under RR No. 16-2005; hence, the said regulatory provision is nullified.
134

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


vs.
JOSE PATRIARCA, JR., alias "KA DJANGO," CARLOS NARRA, alias "KA
JESSIE" and TEN (10) JOHN DOES
G.R. No. 135457, 395 Phil. 690, September 29, 2000
BUENA, J.

FACTS:

Respondent Patriarca, a New People’s Army member, was convicted to suffer


imprisonment by way of reclusion perpetua for the murder of Alberto Arevalo and was
also charged with Murder for the killing of one Rudy de Borja and a certain Elmer Cadag
under Informations docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 2665 and 2672, respectively.

Respondent applied for amnesty under Proclamation No. 724 entitled "Granting Amnesty
to Rebels, Insurgents, and All Other Persons Who Have or May Have Committed Crimes
Against Public Order, Other Crimes Committed in Furtherance of Political Ends, and
Violations of the Article of War, and Creating a National Amnesty Commission." The
National Amnesty Board granted his petition on the ground that his prior acts, though
criminal, were in the furtherance of his political belief of rebellion.

ISSUE:

What is the implication of the amnesty granted to the respondent?

RULING:

Amnesty commonly denotes a general pardon to rebels for their treason or other high
political offenses, or the forgiveness which one sovereign grants to the subjects of
another, who have offended, by some breach, the law of nations. Amnesty looks
backward, and abolishes and puts into oblivion, the offense itself; it so overlooks and
135

obliterates the offense with which he is charged, that the person released by amnesty
stands before the law precisely as though he had committed no offense.

Paragraph 3 of Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code provides that criminal liability is
totally extinguished by amnesty, which completely extinguishes the penalty and all its
effects.
136

PHILIPPINE COCONUT PRODUCERS FEDERATION, INC. (COCOFED),


MANUEL V. DEL ROSARIO, DOMINGO P. ESPINA, SALVADOR P.
BALLARES, JOSELITO A. MORALEDA, PAZ M. YASON, VICENTE A.
CADIZ, CESARIA DE LUNA TITULAR, and RAYMUNDO C. DE VILLA
vs.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. Nos. 177857-58, 663 SCRA 514, September 4, 2012
VELASCO, JR., J.

FACTS:

The instant motion is but a mere reiteration or rehash of the arguments that have already
been previously pleaded, discussed and resolved by the Court in its January 24, 2012
Decision. And considering that the motion’s arguments are unsubstantial to warrant a
reconsideration or at least a modification, this Court finds no reason to modify or let
alone reverse the challenged Decision.

As of 1983,1 the Class A and B San Miguel Corporation (SMC) common shares in the
names of the 14 CIIF Holding Companies are 33,133,266 shares. From 1983 to
November 19, 2009 when the Republic of the Philippines representing the Presidential
Commission on Good Government (PCGG) filed the "Motion To Approve Sale of CIIF
SMC Series I Preferred Shares," the common shares of the CIIF Holding companies
increased to 753,848,312 Class A and B SMC common shares.

ISSUE:

What is the nature of the San Miguel Corporation shares?


137

RULING:

Certain development altered the factual situation then obtaining in G.R. Nos. 177857-58,
there is, therefore, a compelling need to clarify the fallo of the January 24, 2012 Decision
to reconcile it, vis-a-vis the shares of stocks in SMC which were declared owned by the
Government, with this development. Resolution issued by the Court on September 17,
2009 in the then consolidated cases docketed as G.R. Nos. 177857-58, G.R. No. 178193
and G.R. No. 180705. In that Resolution which has long become final and executory, the
Court, upon motion of COCOFED and with the approval of the Presidential Commission
on Good Government, granted the conversion of 753,848,312 Class "A" and Class "B"
SMC common shares registered in the name of the CIIF companies to SMC Series 1
Preferred Shares of 753,848,312, subject to certain terms and conditions.

Respondent Republic, thru the PCGG, is directed to cause the CIIF companies, including
their respective directors, officers, employees, agents, and all other persons acting in their
behalf, to perform such acts and execute such documents as required to effectuate the
conversion of the common shares into SMC Series 1 Preferred Shares, within ten (10)
days from receipt of the Court’s Resolution.

Once the conversion is accomplished, the SMC Common Shares previously registered in
the names of the CIIF companies shall be released from sequestration.

The CIIF block of SMC shares, as converted, is the same shares of stocks that are subject
matter of, and declared as owned by the Government in, the January 24, 2012 Decision.
Hence, the need to clarify.

The Court resolves to deny with finality the instant Motion for Reconsideration dated
February 14, 2012 for lack of merit.

The Court further resolved to clarify that the 753,848,312 SMC Series 1 preferred shares
of the CIIF companies converted from the CIIF block of SMC shares, with all the
138

dividend earnings as well as all increments arising from, but not limited to, the exercise
of preemptive rights subject of the September 17, 2009 Resolution, shall now be the
subject matter of the January 24, 2012 Decision and shall be declared owned by the
Government and be used only for the benefit of all coconut farmers and for the
development of the coconut industry.
139

POINDEXTER V. GREENHOW, 114 U.S. 270 (1885)


ARGUED MARCH 20, 23-25
DECIDED APRIL 20, 1885
114 U.S. 270

FACTS:

The plaintiff in error, who was also plaintiff below, brought his action in detinue on the
twenty-sixth day of April, 1883, against Samuel C. Greenhow, for the recovery of
specific personal property, to-wit, one office desk of the value of $30, before a police
justice in the city of Richmond, who dismissed the same for want of Jurisdiction. An
appeal was taken by the plaintiff to the hustings court for the city of Richmond, where the
facts were found by agreement of parties to be as follows: That the plaintiff was a
resident of the city of Richmond, in the state of Virginia; that he owed to the state of
Virginia, for taxes on property owned by him in said city for the year 1882, $12.45,
which said t xes were due and leviable for, under the laws of Virginia, on the first day of
December, 1882; that the defendant, Samuel C. Greenhow, was the treasurer of the city
of Richmond, and as such is charged by law with the duty of collecting taxes due to the
state of Virginia by all residents of said city; that on the twenty-fifth day of April, 1883,
the defendant, as such treasurer and collector of taxes, made upon the plaintiff demand
for the payment of the taxes due by him to the state as aforesaid; that the plaintiff, when
demand was so made for payment of his taxes, tendered to the defendant in payment
thereof 45 cents in lawful money of the United States, and coupons issued by the state of
Virginia under the provisions of the act of the general assembly of that state of March 30,
1871, entitled 'An act to provide for the funding and payment of the public debt; that said
coupons so tendered by plaintiff were all due and past maturity, and amounted in the
aggregate to $12, and were all cut from bonds issued by the said state of Virginia under
the provisions of the said act of March 30, 1871; that the said coupons and money so
tendered by the plaintiff amounted together to exactly the sum so due the state by the
plaintiff for taxes; that the defendant refused to receive the said coupons and money so
tendered in payment of the plaintiff's taxes; that the defendant, after said tender was
140

made, as he deemed himself required to do by the acts of assembly of Virginia, entered


the plaintiff's place of business in said city, [114 U.S. 270, 274] and levied upon, and
took possession of the desk, the property of the plaintiff now sued for, for the purpose of
selling the same to pay the taxes due from him; and that the said desk is of the value of
$30, and still remains in possession of the defendant for the purpose aforesaid, he having
refused to return the same to the plaintiff on demand.

ISSUE:

Whether the act of the General Assembly of the State of Virginia was beyond its
jurisdiction?

RULING:

The acts of assembly in question must be taken together, as one is but amendment to the
other. The scheme of the whole is indivisible. It cannot be separated into parts. It must
stand or fall together. The substantive part of it, which forbids the tax collector to receive
coupons in payment of taxes, as we have already declared, as, indeed, on all sides is
admitted, cannot stand, because it is not consistent with the constitution. That which is
merely auxiliary to the main design must also fall with the principal of which it is merely
an incident; and it follows that the acts in question are not laws of Virginia, and are
therefore not within the sections of the Revised Statutes referred to, nor obligatory upon
the courts of the United States.

The whole legislation, in all its parts, as to creditors affected by it and not consenting to
it, must be pronounced null and void. Such is the sentence of the constitution itself, the
fundamental and supreme law for Virginia, as for all the states and for all the people, both
of the states separately and of the United States, and which speaks with sovereign and
commanding voice, expecting and receiving ready and cheerful obedience, not so much
for the display of its power, as on account of the majesty of its authority and the justice of
its mandates.
141

The judgment of the hustings court of the city of Richmond is accordingly reversed, and
the cause remanded, with directions to re der judgment upon the agreed statement of facts
in favor of the plaintiff.
142

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by THE HONORABLE


SECRETARY OF FINANCE, THE HONORABLE COMMISSIONER OF
BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE, THE HONORABLE COMMISSIONER OF
CUSTOMS, and THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS OF THE PORT OF SUBIC
vs.
HON. RAMON S. CAGUIOA, et al.
G.R. No. 168584, 536 SCRA 193, October 15, 2007
CARPIO-MORALES, J.

FACTS:

Petitioners seek via petition for certiorari and prohibition to annul (1) the May 4, 2005
Order issued by public respondent Judge Ramon S. Caguioa of the Regional Trial Court
(RTC), Branch 74, Olongapo City, granting private respondents’ application for the
issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and (2) the Writ of Preliminary Injunction
that was issued pursuant to such Order, which stayed the implementation of Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 9334, AN ACT INCREASING THE EXCISE TAX RATES IMPOSED ON
ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO PRODUCTS, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE
SECTIONS 131, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145 AND 288 OF THE NATIONAL INTERNAL
REVENUE CODE OF 1997, AS AMENDED.

Petitioners likewise seek to enjoin, restrain and inhibit public respondent from enforcing
the impugned issuances and from further proceeding with the trial of Civil Case No. 102-
0-05.

The relevant facts are as follows:


In 1992, Congress enacted Republic Act (R.A) No. 7227 or the Bases Conversion and
Development Act of 1992 which, among other things, created the Subic Special
Economic and Freeport Zone (SBF) and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
143

R.A. No. 7227 envisioned the SBF to be developed into a "self-sustaining, industrial,
commercial, financial and investment center to generate employment opportunities in and
around the zone and to attract and promote productive foreign investments." In line with
this vision, Section 12 of the law provided:
(b) The Subic Special Economic Zone shall be operated and managed as a separate
customs territory ensuring free flow or movement of goods and capital within, into and
exported out of the Subic Special Economic Zone, as well as provide incentives such as
tax and duty-free importations of raw materials, capital and equipment. However,
exportation or removal of goods from the territory of the Subic Special Economic Zone to
the other parts of the Philippine territory shall be subject to customs duties and taxes
under the Customs and Tariff Code and other relevant tax laws of the Philippines;
(c) The provisions of existing laws, rules and regulations to the contrary notwithstanding,
no taxes, local and national, shall be imposed within the Subic Special Economic Zone…

ISSUE:

(1) Whether or not, R.A. No. 9334 should not be interpreted as altering, modifying or
amending the provisions of R.A. No. 7227 because repeals by implication are not
favored?

(2) Whether or not, a general law like R.A. No. 9334 cannot amend R.A. No. 7727,
which is a special law?

(3) Whether or not, respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess in jurisdiction in conclusively and unjustly issuing the injunctive writ in
favor of private respondents despite the absence of the legal requisites for its issuance?

RULING:

1. It is beyond cavil that R.A. No. 7227 granted private respondents’ exemption from
local and national taxes, including excise taxes, on their importations of general
144

merchandise, for which reason they enjoyed tax-exempt status until the effectivity of
R.A. No. 9334.

By subsequently enacting R.A. No. 9334, however, Congress expressed its intention to
withdraw private respondents’ tax exemption privilege on their importations of cigars,
cigarettes, distilled spirits, fermented liquors and wines.

2. Section 131 of the NIRC before and after its amendment by R.A. No. 9334 provides
that:
…provision of any special or general law to the contrary notwithstanding, the
importation of cigars and cigarettes, distilled spirits, fermented liquors and wines
into the Philippines, even if destined for tax and duty free shops, shall be subject
to all applicable taxes, duties, charges, including excise taxes due thereon. This
shall apply to cigars and cigarettes, distilled spirits, fermented liquors and wines
brought directly into the duly chartered or legislated freeports of the Subic
Economic Freeport Zone, created under Republic Act No. 7227; the Cagayan
Special Economic Zone and Freeport, created under Republic Act No. 7922…

3. The Court finds that public respondent had also ventured into the delicate area which
courts are cautioned from taking when deciding applications for the issuance of the writ
of preliminary injunction. Having ruled preliminarily against the prima facie validity of
R.A. No. 9334, he assumed in effect the proposition that private respondents in their
petition for declaratory relief were duty bound to prove, thereby shifting to petitioners the
burden of proving that R.A. No. 9334 is not unconstitutional or invalid.

It cannot be overemphasized that any injunction that restrains the collection of taxes,
which is the inevitable result of the suspension of the implementation of the assailed
Section 6 of R.A. No. 9334, is a limitation upon the right of the government to its lifeline
and wherewithal.
145

The power to tax emanates from necessity; without taxes, government cannot fulfill its
mandate of promoting the general welfare and well-being of the people. That the
enforcement of tax laws and the collection of taxes are of paramount importance for the
sustenance of government has been repeatedly observed. Taxes being the lifeblood of the
government that should be collected without unnecessary hindrance, every precaution
must be taken not to unduly suppress it.

The writ of certiorari to nullify and set aside the Order of May 4, 2005 as well as the Writ
of Preliminary Injunction issued by respondent Judge Caguioa on May 11, 2005 is
granted. The assailed Order and Writ of Preliminary Injunction are hereby declared null
and void and accordingly set aside. The writ of prohibition prayed for is, however, is
denied.
146

ATTY. ELIAS OMAR A. SANA


vs.
CAREER EXECUTIVE SERVICE BOARD
G.R. No. 192926, 660 SCRA 130, November 15, 2011
CARPIO, J.

FACTS:

Before the Court is a petition for certiorari and prohibition assailing Executive Order No.
883, series of 2010 (EO 883), which granted Career Executive Service Officer (CESO)
rank to eligible lawyers in the executive branch, and a related administrative issuance,
Career Executive Service Board (CESB) Resolution No. 870, for violating Section 15,
Article VII of the Constitution.

On 28 May 2010, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (President Arroyo) issued EO 883


granting the rank of CESO III or higher to officers and employees occupying legal
positions in the government executive service who have obtained graduate degrees in law
and successfully passed the bar examinations (Section 1). EO 883 invoked the granting of
CESO rank to government personnel who successfully complete certain graduate
programs, such as Masters in Public Safety Administration (MPSA) and Masters in
National Security Administration (MNSA) as basis for the granting of CESO rank to
government lawyers in the executive service.

On 2 June 2010, the CESB issued Resolution No. 870 finding no legal impediment for
the President to vest CESO rank to executive officials during the periods covered by the
constitutional ban on midnight appointment and statutory ban on pre-election
appointment. CESB Resolution No. 870 reasoned:

1. In its legal sense, appointment to a position pertains to selection, by the authority


vested with the power, of an individual who is to exercise the functions of a given office.
147

2. Appointment to a CES rank cannot properly be deemed synonymous to an appointment


to a position in the legal sense for it is merely a completion of a previous appointment
and does not entail the conferment of an authority to exercise the functions of an office.

3. In the CES concept, the word appoint means a step in the bestowal of a CES rank, to
which one is entitled after having complied with all the requirements prescribed by the
CESB.

The CESB subsequently endorsed to President Arroyo its recommendation to vest CESO
rank to 13 officials from various departments and agencies, including three members of
the CESB who signed CESB Resolution No. 870. On 10 June 2010, President Arroyo
appointed the 13 officials to varying CESO ranks.
On 30 July 2010, President Benigno S. Aquino III (President Aquino) issued EO 3
expressly revoking EO 883 (Section 1) and [a]ll x x x administrative orders,
proclamations, rules and regulations that conflict with EO 3 (Section 2). As basis for the
repeal, the fifth Whereas clause of EO 3 provides that EO 883 encroaches upon the power
of the CESB to promulgate rules, standards and procedures on the selection,
classification, compensation and career development of members of the Career Executive
service x x x vested by law with the [CESB] x x x.

On 4 August 2010, petitioner Atty. Elias Omar A. Sana (petitioner) filed the present
petition, contending that EO 883 and the subsequent appointment of the 13 executive
officials to CESO rank are void for violating the constitutional ban on midnight
appointment under Section 15, Article VII of the Constitution. Petitioner theorizes that
appointments to positions and ranks in the CES are executive in nature and, if made
within the period provided under Section 15, Article VII, fall under its prohibition.
Petitioner submits that CESB Resolution No. 870 circumvents Section 15, Article VII by
distinguishing the terms appoint and appointment. He contends that CESB Resolution
No. 870 cannot give new meaning to presidential issuances, laws, and the Constitution
148

ISSUE:

Whether or not, EO 883 and the subsequent appointment of the 13 executive officials to
CESO rank are void for violating the constitutional ban on midnight appointment under
Section 15, Article VII of the Constitution?

RULING:

The petition on the threshold ground of mootness.

The petition seeks a review of the constitutionality of EO 883 and CESB Resolution No.
870 for being repugnant to Section 15, Article VII of the Constitution. At the time this
petition was filed, however, President Aquino had already issued EO 3 revoking EO 883
expressly (under Section 1) and CESB Resolution No. 870 impliedly (under Section 2).
EO 883 and CESB Resolution No. 870 having ceased to have any force and effect, the
Court finds no reason to reach the merits of the petition and pass upon these issuances’
validity. To do so would transgress the requirement of case and controversy as
precondition for the Courts exercise of judicial review.

The Court had relaxed the case and controversy requirement to resolve moot issues. In
those instances, however, the issues presented were grounded on peculiar set of facts
giving rise to important constitutional questions capable of repetition yet evading review
or indicating intent on the part of potential or actual parties to place a constitutional
question beyond the ambit of judicial review by performing acts rendering moot an
incipient or pending justiciable controversy.

The question whether an appointment to a CESO rank of an executive official amount to


an appointment for purposes of the constitutional ban on midnight appointment, while
potentially recurring, holds no certainty of evading judicial review as the question can be
decided even beyond the appointments-ban period under Section 15, Article VII of the
Constitution.
149

The petitioner does not allege to have suffered any violation of a right vested in him
under EO 883. He was not among the 13 officials granted CESO ranking by President
Arroyo. The CESB itself stated that no conferment of CESO rank was ever made by
President [Arroyo] in relation to EO 883. Hence, for the Court to nevertheless reach the
merits of this petition and determine the constitutionality of EO 883 and CESB
Resolution No. 870 despite their unquestioned repeal and the absence of any resulting
prejudice to petitioner’s rights is to depart from its constitutional role of settling actual
controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable.
150

SMART COMMUNICATIONS, INC.


vs.
THE CITY OF DAVAO, represented herein by its Mayor HON. RODRIGO R.
DUTERTE, and the SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD OF DAVAO CITY
G.R. No. 155491, 565 SCRA 237, September 16, 2008
NACHURA, J.

FACTS:

This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court filed by
Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) against the City of Davao, represented by its Mayor,
Hon. Rodrigo R. Duterte, and the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Davao City, to annul the
Decision dated July 19, 2002 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) and its Order dated
September 26, 2002 in Sp. Civil Case No. 28,976-2002.

On February 18, 2002, Smart filed a special civil action for declaratory relief under Rule
63 of the Rules of Court, for the ascertainment of its rights and obligations under the Tax
Code of the City of Davao, particularly Section 1, Article 10 thereof, the pertinent portion
of which reads:

Notwithstanding any exemption granted by any law or other special law, there is hereby
imposed a tax on businesses enjoying a franchise, at a rate of seventy-five percent (75%)
of one percent (1%) of the gross annual receipts for the preceding calendar year based on
the income or receipts realized within the territorial jurisdiction of Davao City.

Smart contends that its telecenter in Davao City is exempt from payment of franchise tax
to the City, on the following grounds: (a) the issuance of its franchise under Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 7294 subsequent to R.A. No. 7160 shows the clear legislative intent to exempt
it from the provisions of R.A. 7160; (b) Section 137 of R.A. No. 7160 can only apply to
exemptions already existing at the time of its effectivity and not to future exemptions; (c)
151

the power of the City of Davao to impose a franchise tax is subject to statutory limitations
such as the in lieu of all taxes clause found in Section 9 of R.A. No. 7294; and (d) the
imposition of franchise tax by the City of Davao would amount to a violation of the
constitutional provision against impairment of contracts.

On March 2, 2002, respondents filed their Answer in which they contested the tax
exemption claimed by Smart. They invoked the power granted by the Constitution to
local government units to create their own sources of revenue.

On May 17, 2002, a pre-trial conference was held. Inasmuch as only legal issues were
involved in the case, the RTC issued an order requiring the parties to submit their
respective memoranda and, thereafter, the case would be deemed submitted for
resolution.

On July 19, 2002, the RTC rendered its DecisioN denying the petition. The trial court
noted that the ambiguity of the in lieu of all taxes provision in R.A. No. 7294, on whether
it covers both national and local taxes, must be resolved against the taxpayer. The RTC
ratiocinated that tax exemptions are construed in strictissimi juris against the taxpayer
and liberally in favor of the taxing authority and, thus, those who assert a tax exemption
must justify it with words too plain to be mistaken and too categorical not to be
misinterpreted. On the issue of violation of the non-impairment clause of the
Constitution, the trial court cited Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority v. Marcos,
and declared that the citys power to tax is based not merely on a valid delegation of
legislative power but on the direct authority granted to it by the fundamental law. It added
that while such power may be subject to restrictions or conditions imposed by Congress,
any such legislated limitation must be consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy.

Smart filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the trial court in an Order
dated September 26, 2002.
152

ISSUE:

Whether Smart is liable to pay the franchise tax imposed by the City of Davao?

RULING:

The Court ruled in the affirmative.

On March 27, 1992, Smart’s legislative franchise (R.A. No. 7294) took effect. Section 9
thereof, quoted hereunder, is at the heart of the present controversy:

Section 9. Tax provisions. The grantee, its successors or assigns shall be liable to
pay the same taxes on their real estate buildings and personal property, exclusive
of' this franchise, as other persons or corporations which are now or hereafter may
be required by law to pay. In addition thereto, the grantee, its successors or
assigns shall pay a franchise tax equivalent to three percent (3%) of all gross
receipts of the business transacted under this franchise by the grantee, its
successors or assigns and the said percentage shall be in lieu of all taxes on this
franchise or earnings thereof: Provided, That the grantee, its successors or assigns
shall continue to be liable for income taxes payable under Title II of the National
Internal Revenue Code pursuant to Section 2 of Executive Order No. 72 unless
the latter enactment is amended or repealed, in which case the amendment or
repeal shall be applicable thereto.

The grantee shall file the return with and pay the tax due thereon to the
Commissioner of Internal Revenue or his duly authorized representative in
accordance with the National Internal Revenue Code and the return shall be
subject to audit by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

On January 1, 1992, two months ahead of Smarts franchise, the Local Government Code
(R.A. No. 7160) took effect. Section 137, in relation to Section 151 of R.A. No. 7160,
153

allowed the imposition of franchise tax by the local government units; while Section 193
thereof provided for the withdrawal of tax exemption privileges granted prior to the
issuance of R.A. No. 7160 except for those expressly mentioned therein, viz.:

Section 137. Franchise Tax. Notwithstanding any exemption granted by any law
or other special law, the province may impose a tax on businesses enjoying a
franchise, at the rate not exceeding fifty percent (50%) of one percent (1%) of the
gross annual receipts for the preceding calendar year based on the incoming
receipt, or realized, within its territorial jurisdiction...

Section 152. … The rates of taxes that the city may levy may exceed the
maximum rates allowed for the province or municipality by not more than fifty
percent (50%) except the rates of professional and amusement taxes.

Smart argues that it is not covered by Section 137, in relation to Section 151 of R.A. No.
7160, because its franchise was granted after the effectivity of the said law. We agree
with Smarts contention on this matter. The withdrawal of tax exemptions or incentives
provided in R.A. No. 7160 can only affect those franchises granted prior to the effectivity
of the law. The intention of the legislature to remove all tax exemptions or incentives
granted prior to the said law is evident in the language of Section 193 of R.A. No. 7160.
No interpretation is necessary.

Tax exemptions are never presumed and are strictly construed against the taxpayer and
liberally in favor of the taxing authority. They can only be given force when the grant is
clear and categorical. The surrender of the power to tax, when claimed, must be clearly
shown by a language that will admit of no reasonable construction consistent with the
reservation of the power. If the intention of the legislature is open to doubt, then the
intention of the legislature must be resolved in favor of the State.

It should be noted that the in lieu of all taxes clause in R.A. No. 7294 has become functus
officio with the abolition of the franchise tax on telecommunications companies. As
154

admitted by Smart in its pleadings, it is no longer paying the 3% franchise tax mandated
in its franchise. Currently, Smart along with other telecommunications companies pays
the uniform 10% value-added tax.

Smart gives another perspective of the in lieu of all taxes clause in Section 9 of R.A. No.
7294 in order to avoid the payment of local franchise tax. It says that, viewed from
another angle, the in lieu of all taxes clause partakes of the nature of a tax exclusion and
not a tax exemption. A tax exemption means that the taxpayer does not pay any tax at all.
Smart pays VAT, income tax, and real property tax. Thus, what it enjoys is more
accurately a tax exclusion.

However, as previously held by the Court, both in their nature and effect, there is no
essential difference between a tax exemption and a tax exclusion. An exemption is an
immunity or a privilege; it is the freedom from a charge or burden to which others are
subjected. An exclusion, on the other hand, is the removal of otherwise taxable items
from the reach of taxation, e.g., exclusions from gross income and allowable deductions.
An exclusion is, thus, also an immunity or privilege which frees a taxpayer from a charge
to which others are subjected. Consequently, the rule that a tax exemption should be
applied in strictissimi juris against the taxpayer and liberally in favor of the government
applies equally to tax exclusions.

Another argument of Smart is that the imposition of the local franchise tax by the City of
Davao would violate the constitutional prohibition against impairment of contracts. The
franchise, according to petitioner, is in the nature of a contract between the government
and Smart.

However, the Court foind that there is no violation of Article III, Section 10 of the 1987
Philippine Constitution. As previously discussed, the franchise of Smart does not
expressly provide for exemption from local taxes. Absent the express provision on such
exemption under the franchise, we are constrained to rule against it. The in lieu of all
155

taxes clause in Section 9 of R.A. No. 7294 leaves much room for interpretation. Due to
this ambiguity in the law, the doubt must be resolved against the grant of tax exemption.

Moreover, Smart’s franchise was granted with the express condition that it is subject to
amendment, alteration, or repeal.
156

JESUS T. TANCHANCO
vs.
SANDIGANBAYAN
GR Nos. 141675-96, 512 Phil. 590, Nov 25, 2005
TINGA, J.

FACTS:

Tanchanco served as NFA Administrator from 1972 to 1986, during the presidency of
Ferdinand Marcos. His co-petitioner Romeo Lacson (Lacson) was the Deputy
Administrator of the NFA when he was the Administrator.

On 6 May 1988, Tanchanco and Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG)


entered into a Cooperation Agreement, occasioned by the desire of Tanchanco to
cooperate with the Philippine government in connection with the latter's efforts in the
location and pursuit of government properties "purloined" by Ferdinand and Imelda
Marcos, their agents and others who hold property on their behalf.

In return for the above, the Philippines hereby represents and agrees as follows:

(1) At a time to be mutually agreed upon between Tanchanco and the Philippines,
the Philippines shall move to dismiss all actions that are presently pending against
Tanchanco before the Sandiganbayan and any such other courts;

(2) The Philippines shall lift any sequestration orders against Tanchanco's
properties, if any, and rescind hold orders it may have issued against his/her
actions;

(3) The Philippines shall not bring any additional civil or criminal charges against
Tanchanco, arising from:
157

(A) Service in or for the Marcos government;

(B) Any other actions revealed by Tanchanco pursuant to his/her cooperation as


defined in this Agreement.

Nonetheless, a criminal case, docketed as Criminal Case No. 16950, was filed in 1991
against Tanchanco with the Sandiganbayan for malversation of public funds in the
amount of P10,000,000.00 from the Philippine National Bank. Tanchanco filed a Motion
for Reinvestigation, wherein he argued that the case should be dismissed as he had been
granted immunity from the said suit by the PCGG. Eventually, the Sandiganbayan First
Division agreed with Tanchanco and in a Resolution dated 27 October 2000, the case was
ordered dismissed.
However, Criminal Case No. 16950 proved to be only just one of several attempts of the
government to prosecute Tanchanco. In 1997, a total of 22 Information were filed with
the Sandiganbayan against Tanchanco. He was charged with 21 counts of Malversation
of Public Funds under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, and one count of Failure of
Accountable Officer to Render Accounts under Article 218 of the same Code. Lacson
was charged as a co-defendant in four of the information for Malversation of Public
Funds. These cases were consolidated and raffled to the Sandiganbayan Second Division.
On 2 September 1997, Tanchanco and Lacson pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

On 26 November 1997, Tanchanco and Lacson filed a Motion to Quash and/or Dismiss
all 22 cases, citing as basis the Cooperation Agreement which was said to have granted
immunity to Tanchanco from criminal prosecution

ISSUE:

Whether or not, the PCGG, in entering into the Cooperation Agreement, acted within the
scope of its statutory authority to extend immunity so broad?
158

RULING:

Executive Order No. 14, as amended by E.O. No. 14-A, defines "the jurisdiction over
cases involving the ill-gotten wealth of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Mrs.
Imelda R. Marcos, members of their immediate family, close relatives, subordinates,
close and/or business associates, dummies, agents and nominees." It is Section 5 thereof,
as amended, which authorizes the PCGG to grant immunity from criminal prosecution, in
the following manner:

Sec. 5. The Presidential Commission on Good Government is authorized to grant


immunity from criminal prosecution to any person who provides information or
testifies in any investigation conducted by such Commission to establish the
unlawful manner in which any respondent, defendant or accused has acquired or
accumulated the property or properties in question in any case where such
information or testimony is necessary to ascertain or prove the latter's guilt or his
civil liability. The immunity thereby granted shall be continued to protect the
witness who repeats such testimony before the Sandiganbayan when required to
do so by the latter or by the Commission.

The Cooperation Agreement, validly undertaken between the PCGG and Tanchanco as it
was, precludes the prosecution of Tanchanco under the subject charges. The
Sandiganbayan acted with grave abuse of discretion in refusing to dismiss the charges
despite its lack of jurisdiction to continue hearing the cases against Tanchanco. The
present petition, insofar as it relates to Tanchanco, must be granted. It goes without
saying though that this ruling does not shield all grantees under Section 5 of E.O. No. 14-
A from all kinds of criminal prosecution. The extent of immunity available to each
particular grantee depends on their respective immunity agreements with the PCGG and
the surrounding facts.
Criminal immunity must be specifically granted. The Court cannot uphold a grant of
criminal immunity to a person whom the State never intended to exempt from
prosecution, or who performed no act to the benefit of the State that may have served as
159

basis for a possible grant of exemption. It should be emphasized that the grant of
immunity to Tanchanco did not have the effect of obviating all consequential culpabilities
arising from Tanchanco's acts. Only Tanchanco's own criminal liability was extirpated,
for the reason that the government saw a higher social value in eliciting information from
him rather than engaging in his prosecution. No correlative tradeoff occurred as to
Lacson, so there’s any reason in law or in equity to exempt him as well.

It may seem unsettling to some that Lacson will have to endure criminal prosecution
while Tanchanco would be discharged, or that Tanchanco will need not answer for
whatever culpable acts of his during his service in the Marcos government. Yet the Court
is not the guarantor of karmic warrants, but only of legal ones. The Cooperation
Agreement, entered into in the judgment of the State that it would serve a higher end of
justice, is a valid document, enforceable as to Tanchanco before this Court and other
courts of the land.
160

GENARO URSAL
vs.
COURT OF TAX APPEALS and JESUSA SAMSON,
G.R. Nos. L-10123 & L-10355
101 Phil. 209, April 26, 1957
BENGZON, J.

FACTS:

In these two cases Genaro Ursal as City Assessor of Cebu challenges the correctness of
the order of the Court of Tax Appeals dismissing his appeals to that body from two
rulings of the Cebu Board of Assessment Appeals.

The record shows that said city assessors in the exercise of his powers assessed for
taxation certain real properties of Consuelo Noel and Jesusa Samson in the City of Cebu,
and that upon protest of the taxpayers, the Cebu Board of Assessment Appeals reduced
the assessments. It also shows he took the matter to the Court of Tax Appeals insisting on
his valuation; but said Court refused to entertain the appeal saying it was late, and,
besides, the assessor had no personality to bring the matter before it under section 11 of
Republic Act No. 1125, which reads as follows:

"SEC. 11. Who may appeal; effect of appeal. — Any person, association or
corporation adversely affected by a decision or ruling of the Collector of Internal
Revenue, the Collector of Customs or any provincial or city Board of Assessment
Appeals may file an appeal in the Court of Tax Appeals within thirty days after
the receipt of such decision or ruling."

ISSUE:

What is the jurisdiction of the Court of Tax Appeals?


161

RULING:

The Court is of view that the assessor had no personality to resort to the Court of Tax
Appeals. The rulings of the Board of Assessment Appeals did not "adversely affect" him.
At most it was the City of Cebu that had been adversely affected in the sense that it could
not thereafter collect higher realty taxes from the abovementioned property owners. His
opinion, it is true had been overruled; but the overruling indicted no material damage
upon him or his office. And the Court of Tax Appeals was not created to decide mere
conflicts of opinion between administrative officers or agencies. Imagine an income tax
examiner resorting to the Court of Tax Appeals whenever the Collector of Internal
Revenue modifies, or lower his assessment on the return of a tax payer.

Republic Act No. 1125 creating the Court of Tax Appeals did not grant it blanket
authority to decide any and all tax disputes. Defining such special court’s jurisdiction, the
Act necessarily limited its authority to those matters enumerated therein. In line with this
idea we recently approved said court’s order rejecting an appeal to it by Lopez & Sons
from the decision of the Collector of Customs, because in our opinion its jurisdiction
extended only to a review of the decisions of the Commissioner of Customs, as provided
by the statute — and not to decisions of the Collector of Customs. (Lopez & Sons v. The
Court of Tax Appeals, 100 Phil., 850, 53 Off. Gaz., [10] 3065).

The appellant invites attention to the fact that the Court of Tax Appeals is the successor
of the former Central Board of Tax Appeals created by Commonwealth Act No. 530 and
of the Board of Tax Appeals established by Executive Order No. 401-A, and that said
Commonwealth Act No. 530 (section 2) explicitly authorized the city assessor to appeal
to the Central Board of Tax Appeals. Here is precisely another argument against his
position: as Republic Act No. 1125 failed to reenact such express permission, it is
deemed withheld.

Oversight could not have been the cause of such withholding, since there were proper
grounds therefor: (a) discipline and command responsibility in the executive branches;
162

and (b) instead of being another superior administrative agency as was the former Board
of Tax Appeals 2 the Court of Tax Appeals as created by Republic Act No. 1125 is a part
of the judicial system presumably to act only on protests of private persons adversely
affected by the tax, custom, or assessment.

There is no merit to the contention that section 2 of Commonwealth Act No. 530 is still in
force and justifies Ursal’s appeal. Apart from the reasons already advanced, Republic Act
No. 1125 is a complete law by itself and expressly enumerates the matters which the
Court of Tax Appeals may consider; such enumeration excludes all others by implication.
Expressio unius est exclusio alterius.

"parts of an original act which are omitted from the act as revised are to be
considered as annulled and repealed, provided it clearly appears to have been the
intention of the legislature to cover the whole subject by the revision." (82 C. J. S.
p. 501.)

Inasmuch as the Court agreed to the appellant’s lack of personality before the Court of
Tax Appeals, it is deemed unnecessary to review the question whether or not his appeal
had been perfected in due time.

The challenge order is affirmed.


163

US VS. RUIZ

136 SCRA 487

Facts:

USA had a naval base in Subic, Zambales, which was provided in the Military
Bases Agreement between the Philippines and US. In May, 1972, Eligio de Guzman land
Co., Inc. responded to the invitation of bids by the US for some repair projects.
Afterward, the company received two telegrams from the US to confirm its price
proposals and for the name of its bonding company, which the company complied to,
interpreting it as an acceptance of its bidding officer. The company received a letter
which them that did not qualify to receive an award for the projects, and that the projects
were awarded to other group, leading said company to file a suit for this specific
performance.

Issue: Whether or not the US naval base exercised governmental functions in bidding for
said contracts to be able to invoke state immunity.

Held:

Yes. The Supreme Court held that the contract relates to the exercise of its
sovereign functions. The repairs of the US naval base are devoted to the defense of both
the United States and the Philippines. This makes it indisputably a governmental function
and not a commercial or business function of the US.

The traditional role of the state immunity exempts a state from being sued in the
courts of another state without its consent or waiver. This rule is a necessary consequence
of the principle of independence and equality of states. However, the rules of
international law are not petrified; they are continually and evolving and because the
activities of states have multiplied. State immunity now only extends to acts of jure
imperii or sovereign and governmental acts, and does not cover that of jure gestionis or
private, commercial, and proprietary acts.
164

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. NLRC

263 SCRA 290

Facts:

In December of 1978, the full ownership of PNEI was transferred to its creditor,
National Investment Development Corporation (NIDC) following the latter’s foreclosure
of PNEI assets, which was then transferred to APT. The management committee
presented a report to the SEC that recommended the sale of the company through
privatization in accordance with the rules of the APT and recommended the retrenchment
of 500 employees of PNEI, which was carried out during the months of November and
December of 1992 and January of 1993. This then resulted to the filing of several labor
complaints against PNEI and APT for unfair labor practice, for non-payment of 13th
month pay, and various other claims.

When a writ of execution was issued for the garnishment of the credits, interests,
and bank deposits of both companies, the Land Bank of the Philippines declared that the
funds of APT, being a GOCC, were considered public in nature and cannot be subject to
garnishment.

Issue: Whether or not APT, being a GOCC, is immune from suit.

Held:

Yes, the immunity from suit of the state is not really absolute for it does not say
that the state may not be sued under any circumstance. On the contrary, as correctly
phrased, the doctrine only conveys, the state may not be sued without its consent; its clear
import then is that the State may at times be sued. The States consent may be given either
expressly or impliedly. Express consent may be made through a general law or a special
law. In this jurisdiction, the general law waiving the immunity of the state from suit is
found in Act No. 3083, where the Philippine government consents and submits to be sued
upon any money claim involving liability arising from contract, express or implied,
which could serve as a basis of civil action between private parties. Implied consent, on
165

the other hand, is conceded when the State itself commences litigation, thus opening
itself to a counter-claim, or when it enters into a contract.

However, suability does not necessarily mean liability on the part of the particular
instrumentality or agency of the government. Government funds and properties may not
be seized under writs of execution or garnishment to satisfy such judgments.
Disbursements of public funds must be covered by the correspondent appropriation as
required by law. The functions and public services rendered by the State cannot be
allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of public funds from their
legitimate and specific objects, as appropriated by law.
166

TORIO VS. FONTANILLA

85 SCRA 599

Facts:

On October 21, 1978, the municipal council of Malasiqui, Pangasinan passed 2


resolutions: one for management of the town fiesta celebration and the other for the
creation of the Malasiqui Town Fiesta Executive Committee. The Executive Committee,
in turn, organized a sub-committee on entertainment and stage with Jose Macaraeg as
Chairman. The council appropriated the amount of P100.00 for the construction of 2
stages, one for the "zarzuela" and another for the cancionan. While the zarzuela was
being held, the stage collapsed. Vicente Fontanilla was pinned underneath and died in the
afternoon of the following day. Fontanilla’s heirs filed a complaint for damages with the
CFI of Manila against the municipality, the municipal council and the municipal council
members. Defendant municipality argued that as a legally and duly organized public
corporation it performs sovereign functions and the holding of a town fiesta was an
exercise of its governmental functions from which no liability can arise to answer for the
negligence of any of its agents, while defendant councilors maintained that they merely
acted as agents of the municipality in carrying out the municipal ordinance providing for
the management of the town fiesta celebration and as such they are likewise not liable for
damages as the undertaking was not one for profit and that they exercised due care and
diligence in implementing the municipal ordinance. CFI held that the municipal council
exercised due diligence in selecting the person to construct the stage and dismissed the
complaint. CA reversed the decision and held all defendants solidarily liable for
damages.

Issues: Whether or not the celebration of a town fiesta authorized by a municipal council
constitutes jure imperii or jure gestionis of the municipality.

Held:

The holding of the town fiesta in 1959 by the municipality of Malsiqui


Pangasinan was an exercise of a private or proprietary function of the municipality.
167

Section 2282 of the Charter on Municipal Law of the Revised Administrative Code
simply gives authority to the municipality to celebrate a yearly fiesta but it does not
impose upon it a duty to observe one. The mere fact that the celebration, as claimed was
not to secure profit or gain but merely to provide entertainment to the town inhabitants is
not a conclusive test. No governmental or public policy of the state is involved in the
celebration of a town fiesta. Therefore, said municipality acted in jure gestionis or
private, commercial, and proprietary acts in conducting the fiesta, thus allowing it to be
sued.
168

AGGABAO VS. COMELEC

449 SCRA 400, 404-405

Facts:

Georgidi B. Aggabao and Anthony Miranda were rival candidates for Congress of
the 4th District of Isabela during the May 2004 elections. During the canvassing of the
certificates of canvass of votes for the municipalities of Cordon and San Agustin,
Miranda moved for the exclusion of the 1st copy of the COCV on grounds that it was (1)
tampered with, (2) prepared under duress, (3) differed from other authentic copies, and
(4) contained manifest errors. Aggabao objected arguing that the grounds raised by
Miranda are proper only for a pre- proclamation controversy which is not allowed in
elections for Members of the House of Representatives. On June 14, 2004, Miranda was
proclaimed as duly elected congressman for the 4th District of Isabela.

Issue: Whether or not Aggabao petition for certiorari is proper.

Held:

The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal has sole and exclusive


jurisdiction over all contests involving the election, returns, and qualifications of
members of the HOR. Thus, since Miranda has already been proclaimed, taken oath, and
assumed office, Aggabao’s recourse would’ve been to file an electoral protest to HRET
and not a petition for certiorari. The allegation that Miranda’s proclamation is null and
void ab initio does not divest the HRET of its jurisdiction.
169

APARRI VS. COURT OF APPEALS

127 SCRA 231

Facts:

On January 15, 1960, private respondent approved the following resolution #13,
hereby appointing petitioner Mr. Bruno Aparri as general manager of NARRA with all
the rights, prerogatives and compensations to take effect on January 16, 1960. The board
of directors then approved resolution # 24, stating that the incumbent general manager
shall perform his duty up to the close of office hour on March 31, 1962 in accordance
with the provisions of section 8, sub-section 2 of RA 1160. It hereby fixes the term of
office of the incumbent general manager until March 31, 1962. Petitioner filed a
mandamus with preliminary injunction with the first instance court, praying for the
annulment of the resolution of NARRA board.

Issue: Whether or not board resolution No. 24 constitutes a removal or dismissal of


petitioner without cause.

Held:

It was affirmed that the term of office of petitioner expired on March 31, 1962. It
is necessary in each case to interpret the word "Term" with the purview of the statutes so
as to effectuate the statutory scheme pertaining to the office under examination. In the
case at bar, the term of office is not fixed by law. However, the power to fix the term is
rested in the board of directors subject to the recommendation of the Office of Economic
Coordination and the approval of the President of the Philippines.

Resolution No. 24 speaks of no removal but an expiration of the term of office of


the petitioner. The statute is undeniably clear. "It is the rule in statutory construction that
if the words and phrases of a statute are not obscure or ambiguous. Its meaning and
intention of the legislative must be determined from the language employed and where
there is no ambiguity in words, there is no room for construction.” The petitioner in this
case was not removed before the expiration of his term rather, his right to hold office
ceased by expiration on March 31, 1962.
170

BASES CONVERSION AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY VS. COA

G.R. NO. 178160, FEBRUARY 26, 2009, 580 SCRA 295

Facts:

The Bases Conversion Development Authority was created as a government


corporation by virtue of Republic Act (R.A.) 7227. The Board of Directors then adopted
a compensation and benefit scheme which granted its officers and employees several
benefits, among which are the (1) Loyalty Service Award for 1995, (2) Children's
Allowance, (3) Anniversary Bonus, and (4) 8th step salary increment effective January,
1995.

On May 22, 1996, State Auditor Nida M. Blanco of the COA, disallowed the
Loyalty Service Award for 1995, the Children's Allowance for the period January to
December of 1995, the Anniversary Bonus for 1995, and the 8th step salary increase
effective January 1995, for being excessive and/or illegal and not in accordance with the
Central Bank benefit package.

Petitioners filed for reconsideration, which was approved by Pres. Ramos on


October 6, 1997. COA then lifted the disallowance only for the Anniversary Bonus,
prompting BCDA to file a petition for certiorari.

Issue: Whether or not COA acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction for the disallowance of the Loyalty Service Award, 8th Step
Increment, and Children’s Allowance.

Held: Supreme Court holds that COA acted with grave abuse of discretion with regards to
the disallowance of the Child Allowance. Petitioner's charter permits its Board to grant a
compensation and benefit package to its personnel higher than that of the Central Bank
provided the same is reasonable. Considering the present economic actualities, we find
that petitioner's award of Children's Allowance is not excessive and, therefore, in
accordance with law. The disallowance of the Loyalty Service Award and 8th Step
Increment is proper.
171

CHUA-QUA V. CLAVE,

G.R. No. 49549, August 30, 1990, 189 SCRA 117

Facts:

Petitioner worked for private respondent Tay Yung High School since 1963. In
1976, petitioner became the class adviser of the sixth grade class where Bobby Qua was
enrolled. Eventually, the Petitioner who was then 30 years of age and Qua, 16 years of
age, fell in love and got married. Respondent then suspended petitioner without pay and
filed for her termination "for abusive and unethical conduct unbecoming of a dignified
school teacher and that her continued employment is inimical to the best interest, and
would downgrade the high moral values, of the school."

Issue: Whether or not the dismissal was valid on the ground of immorality and grave
misconduct due to the antecedent facts resulting to petitioner’s marriage with her student.

Held:

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the petitioner and declared the dismissal
saying “Private respondent utterly failed to show that petitioner took advantage of her
position to court her student. If the two eventually fell in love, despite the disparity in
their ages and academic levels, this only lends substance to the truism that the heart has
reasons of its own which reason does not know. But, definitely, yielding to this gentle
and universal emotion is not to be so casually equated with immorality. The deviation of
the circumstances of their marriage from the usual societal pattern cannot be considered
as a defiance of contemporary social mores.” Since there is no proof that the petitioner
used her position to court her student, the charge against petitioner has not been
substantiated and her dismissal is illegal and unwarranted.
172

DE LOS SANTOS V. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT

G.R. 71998-99, June 2, 1993, 223 SCRA 1

Facts:

Petitioners are co-owners of a parcel of land in Barrio Wawa, Binangonan, Rizal.


In October 1981, private contractor and Provincial Engineer of Rizal Lorenzo Cadiente
constructed a road 9 meters wide and 128.70 meters long occupying 1,165 square meters
of their parcel of land and an artificial creek 23.20 meters wide and 128.69 meters long,
occupying an area of 2,906 square meters of their property without their knowledge or
consent. The petitioners filed two cases, which were later consolidated. The Solicitor
General filed a motion to dismiss both cases on several grounds, one of which states that
the cases are suits against the State and cannot prosper without the State’s consent.
Petitioners elevated the case to the Supreme Court, which was referred back to the
Intermediate Appellate Court, which was then dismissed for the same reason, leading
petitioners to elevate the case to the Supreme Court via petition for certiorari.

Issue: Whether or not the cases are suits against the State and whether or not the cases
may prosper.

Held:

Yes, the cases are suits against the State. However, the doctrine of State Immunity
cannot be used to shield the State against suit for perpetrating an injustice to a citizen,
thus it is only right that the petitioners be awarded damages in the form of legal interest
on the price of the land from the time of the unlawful taking.
173

FAROLAN JR. V. COURT OF TAX APPEALS

G.R. No. 42204, January 21, 1993, 217 SCRA 298, 306

Facts:

On January 30, 1972, the vessel S/S "Pacific Hawk" arrived at the Port of Manila
carrying, among others, 80 bales of screen net consigned to Bagong Buhay Trading. Said
importation was declared through a customs broker which was classified under Tariff
Heading No. 39.06-B of the Tariff and Customs Code at 35% ad valorem. Since the
customs examiner found the subject shipment reflective of the declaration, Bagong
Buhay paid the duties and taxes due which was paid through the Bank of Asia.
Thereafter, the customs appraiser made a return of duty.

Acting on the strength of an information that the shipment consisted of "mosquito


net" made of nylon, the Office of the Collector of Customs ordered a re-examination of
the shipment which revealed that the shipment consisted of 80 bales of screen net, each
bale containing 20 rolls or a total of 1,600 rolls. The value of the shipment was re-
appraised. Furthermore, the Collector of Customs determined the subject shipment as
made of synthetic (polyethylene) woven fabric classifiable under Tariff Heading No.
51.04-B at 100% ad valorem. Thus, Bagong Buhay Trading was assessed P272,600.00 as
duties and taxes due on the shipment in question. Since the shipment was also
misdeclared as to quantity and value, the Collector of Customs forfeited the subject
shipment in favor of the government. Petitioner then filed an appeal to the Collector of
Customs and Court of Tax Appeals, but was denied both times.

However, the Court of Tax Appeals reversed the decision of the Commissioner
declaring that the latter erred in imputing fraud upon private respondent because fraud is
never presumed and thus concluded that the forfeiture was not in accordance with law.

Private respondents filed a petition for the release of the questioned goods and
filed a cash bond to secure the release of 64 of the 80 bales originally delivered, while 16
bales remained missing. Private respondent demands that the Bureau of Customs be
ordered to pay for damages for the 43,050 yards it actually lost.
174

Issue: Whether or not the Collector of Customs may be held liable.

Held:

The Bureau of Customs cannot be held liable as it would violate the Doctrine of
State Immunity. Since it demands that the Commissioner of Customs to pay for actual
damages it sustained, for which ultimately liability will fall on the government, this case
has been converted technically into a suit against the state.

As an unincorporated government agency without any separate juridical


personality of its own, the Bureau of Customs enjoys immunity from suit. As an agency,
the Bureau of Customs performs the governmental function of collecting revenues which
is definitely not a proprietary function.
175

TAÑADA VS. ANGARA

G.R. NO. 1182595, 1997

Facts:

This is a case petition by Sen. Wigberto Tanada, together with other lawmakers,
taxpayers, and various NGO’s to nullify the ratification by the President of the
Philippines of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement and for the prohibition
of its implementation and enforcement. Petitioners argue that the WTO Agreement
violates several provisions of Art. 2 of the 1987 Constitution and will be detrimental to
the growth of our National Economy.

Issue: Whether or not the question at bar poses a justiciable controversy and whether or
not the provisions of the WTO Agreement contravenes Art. 2 Sec. 19 of the Constitution.

Held:

Since the question at bar seeks to answer whether an act of the Senate has
contravened the constitution, it falls under the category of a justiciable controversy.
Where an action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to have infringed the
Constitution, it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the
dispute. As explained by former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, “the judiciary is the
final arbiter on the question of whether or not a branch of government or any of its
officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction or so capriciously as to
constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. This is not only a
judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature.”

On the second question at bar, although the constitution does provide that “the
State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled
by Filipinos,” the provisions on this article merely legislative guides and do not embody
enforceable constitutional rights.
176

LAWYERS AGAINST MONOPOLY AND POVERTY (LAMP) vs. DBM

G.R. No. 164987, 2012

Facts:

Petitioners contend that the General Appropriations Act of 2004 prohibits the
automatic or direct allowance of lump sums to individual senators and congressmen for
the funding of projects. The GAA does not empower individual members of Congress to
propose, select and identify programs and projects to be funded out of the PDAF.
Petitioners argue that this runs against the principle of separation of powers because
Members of Congress, being given the option to allocate the funds given to them for their
chosen projects, will be executing Executive Powers vested only in the Executive
Department.

Issue: Whether or not petitioners have fulfilled all of the requisites of judicial review in
the case at bar. Whether or not the implementation of PDAF is unconstitutional.

Held:

Yes, petitioners have fulfilled the requisites of judicial review. The case at bar
questions the disbursement of public funds derived from taxation, thus the petitioners, as
taxpayers, are the proper party for the filing of the case at bar. The petition complains of
illegal disbursement of public funds derived from taxation and this is sufficient reason to
say that there indeed exists a definite, concrete, real or substantial controversy before the
Court. Also, the court rules that the petition is also of paramount public interest,
warranting it jurisdiction over the case.

However, the Supreme Court held that it is constitutional. “To justify the
nullification of the law or its implementation, there must be a clear and unequivocal, not
a doubtful, breach of the Constitution. In case of doubt in the sufficiency of proof
establishing unconstitutionality, the Court must sustain legislation because “to invalidate
[a law] based on x x x baseless supposition is an affront to the wisdom not only of the
177

legislature that passed it but also of the executive which approved it.” There is no
convincing proof that there were direct releases of funds to the Members of Congress,
who actually spend them according to their sole discretion. Devoid of any pertinent
evidentiary support that illegal misuse of PDAF in the form of kickbacks has become a
common exercise of unscrupulous Members of Congress, the Court cannot indulge the
petitioner’s request for rejection of a law which is outwardly legal and capable of lawful
enforcement.
178

BANAT vs. COMELEC

G.R. No. 177508, 2009

Facts:

This is a petition for Prohibition with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary
restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction filed by petitioner Barangay
Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) Party List assailing
the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 9369 and enjoining respondent COMELEC
from implementing the statute.

On 7 May 2007, petitioner filed this petition for prohibition alleging that RA 9369
violated Section 26(1), Article VI of the Constitution. Petitioner also assails the
constitutionality of Sections 34, 37, 38, and 43 of RA 9369. According to petitioner,
these provisions are of questionable application and doubtful validity for failing to
comply with the provisions of the Constitution.

Petitioner argues that: (1) the title of RA 9369 is misleading because it speaks of
poll automation but contains substantial provisions dealing with the manual canvassing of
election returns. Petitioner also alleges that Sections 34, 37, 38, and 43 are neither
embraced in the title nor germane to the subject matter of RA 9369. (2) Sections 37 and
38 violate the Constitution by impairing the powers of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal
(PET) and the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET). Petitioner claims that in entertaining pre-
proclamation cases, Congress and the COMELEC en banc undermine the independence
and encroach upon the jurisdiction of the PET and the SET. (3) Section 43 is
unconstitutional because it gives the other prosecuting arms of the government
concurrent power with the COMELEC to investigate and prosecute election offenses. (4)
Section 34 which fixes the per diem of poll watchers of the dominant majority and
dominant minority parties at election day. Petitioner argues that this violates the freedom
of the parties to contract and their right to fix the terms and conditions of the contract
179

they see as fair, equitable and just. Petitioner adds that this is a purely private contract
using private funds which cannot be regulated by law.

Issues:

Whether or not RA 9369 is unconstitutional, vis a vis whether Sections 37 and 38


violate Section 17, Article VI and Paragraph 7, Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution;
Whether Section 43 violates Section 2 Paragraph 6, Article IX-C of the Constitution; and
whether Section 34 violates Section 10, Article III of the Constitution.

Held:

The petition is denied. RA 9369 is constitutional. For the first issue, the Court
rules that RA 9369 is an amendatory act entitled An Act Amending Republic Act No.
8436, Entitled An Act Authorizing the Commission on Elections to Use an Automated
Election System in the May 11, 1998 National or Local Elections and in Subsequent
National and Local Electoral Exercises, to Encourage Transparency, Credibility, Fairness
and Accuracy of Elections, Amending for the Purpose Batas Pambansa Blg. 881, as
Amended, Republic Act No. 7166 and Other Related Election Laws, Providing Funds
Therefor and For Other Purposes. Clearly, the subject matter of RA 9369 covers the
amendments to RA 8436, Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 (BP 881),Republic Act No. 7166
(RA 7166),and other related election laws to achieve its purpose of promoting
transparency, credibility, fairness, and accuracy in the elections. The provisions of RA
9369 assailed by petitioner deal with amendments to specific provisions of RA 7166 and
BP 881, specifically: (1) Sections 34, 37 and 38 amend Sections 26, 30 and 15 of RA
7166, respectively; and(2) Section 43 of RA 9369 amends Section 265 of BP
881.Therefore, the assailed provisions are germane to the subject matter of RA 9369
which is to amend RA 7166 and BP 881, among others.

For the second issue, the COMELEC maintains that the amendments introduced
by Section 37 pertain only to the adoption and application of the procedures on pre-
proclamation controversies in case of any discrepancy, incompleteness, erasure or
alteration in the certificates of canvass. The COMELEC adds that Section 37 does not
180

provide that Congress and the COMELEC en banc may now entertain pre-proclamation
cases for national elective posts.

For the third issue, Section 2(6), Article IX-C of the Constitution vests in the
COMELEC the power to investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of
violations of election laws, including acts or omissions constituting election frauds,
offenses, and malpractices. COMELEC has the exclusive power to conduct preliminary
investigations and prosecute election offenses, it likewise authorizes the COMELEC to
avail itself of the assistance of other prosecuting arms of the government. In the 1993
COMELEC Rules of Procedure, the authority of the COMELEC was subsequently
qualified and explained.

For the fourth issue, the OSG argues that petitioner erroneously invoked the non-
impairment clause because this only applies to previously perfected contracts. In this
case, there is no perfected contact and, therefore, no obligation will be impaired. Both the
COMELEC and the OSG argue that the law is a proper exercise of police power and it
will prevail over a contract. According to the COMELEC, poll watching is not just an
ordinary contract but is an agreement with the solemn duty to ensure the sanctity of votes.
The role of poll watchers is vested with public interest which can be regulated by
Congress in the exercise of its police power. The OSG further argues that the assurance
that the poll watchers will receive fair and equitable compensation promotes the general
welfare. The OSG also states that this was a reasonable regulation considering that the
dominant majority and minority parties will secure a copy of the election returns and are
given the right to assign poll watchers inside the polling precincts.
181

GARCIA v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

G.R. No. 198554, July 30, 2012, 677 SCRA 750

Facts:

Garcia, tried by the Special General Court Martial NR 2, was charged with and
convicted of violation of the 96th Article of War (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and
Gentleman) and violation of the 97th Article of War (Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order
and Military Discipline) for failing to disclose all his assets in his Sworn Statement of
Assets and Liabilities and Net worth for the year 2003 as required by RA 3019, as
amended in relation to RA 6713.

Garcia, among others, argued that the confirmation issued by the OP directing his
two-year detention in a penitentiary had already been fully served following his
preventive confinement subject to Article 29 of the RPC (Revised Penal Code). He was
released on December 16, 2010 after a preventive confinement for six years and two
months. He was initially confined at his quarters at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo
before he was transferred to the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (ISAFP) Detention Center, and latter to the Camp Crame Custodial Detention
Center.

Hence, on September 16, 2011, or a week after the OP confirmed the sentence of
the court martial against him, Garcia was arrested and detained and continues to be
detained, for 2 years, at the maximum security compound of the National Penitentiary in
Muntinlupa. The OP stated that Art 29 of the RPC is not applicable in Military Courts for
it is separate and distinct from ordinary courts.

Issue: (1) Whether or not Article 29 of the RPC is applicable in Military Courts; and (2)
Whether or not the application of Article 29 of the RPC in the Articles of War is in
accordance with the Equal Protection Clause of the 1987 Constitution
182

Held:

For the first issue, the Court ruled that applying the provisions of Article 29 of the
Revised Penal Code (RPC) (Period of preventive imprisonment deducted from time of
imprisonment), the time within which the petitioner was under preventive confinement
should be credited to the sentence confirmed by the Office of the President, subject to the
conditions set forth by the same law.

The Court held that “the General Court Martial is a court within the strictest sense
of the word and acts as a criminal court.” As such, certain provisions of the RPC, insofar
as those that are not provided in the Articles of War and the Manual for Courts-Martial,
can be supplementary. “Absent any provision as to the application of a criminal concept
in the implementation and execution of the General Court Martial’s decision, the
provisions of the Revised Penal Code, specifically Article 29 should be applied. In fact,
the deduction of petitioner’s (Garcia) period of confinement to his sentence has been
recommended in the Staff Judge Advocate Review.”

For the second issue, the Court further held that the application of Article 29 of
the RPC in the Articles of War is in accordance with the Equal Protection Clause of the
1987 Constitution. “The concept of equal justice under the law requires the state to
govern impartially, and it may not draw distinctions between individuals solely on
differences that are irrelevant to a legitimate governmental objective.

It, however, does not require the universal application of the laws to all persons or
things without distinction. What it simply requires is equality among equals as
determined according to a valid classification. Indeed, the equal protection clause permits
classification,” held the Court.
183

FROILAN VS PAN ORIENTAL SHIPPING

G.R. No. L-6060, September 30, 1954

Facts:

Plaintiff, Fernando Froilan filed a complaint against the defendant-appellant, Pan


Oriental Shipping Co., alleging that he purchased from the Shipping Commission the
vessel for P200,000, paying P50,000 down and agreeing to pay the balance in
instalments. To secure the payment of the balance of the purchase price, he executed a
chattel mortgage of said vessel in favor of the Shipping Commission. For various
reasons, among them the non-payment of the installments, the Shipping Commission tool
possession of said vessel and considered the contract of sale cancelled. The Shipping
Commission chartered and delivered said vessel to the defendant-appellant Pan Oriental
Shipping Co. subject to the approval of the President of the Philippines. Plaintiff
appealed the action of the Shipping Commission to the President of the Philippines and,
in its meeting the Cabinet restored him to all his rights under his original contract with
the Shipping Commission. Plaintiff had repeatedly demanded from the Pan Oriental
Shipping Co. the possession of the vessel in question but the latter refused to do so.

Plaintiff, prayed that, upon the approval of the bond accompanying his complaint,
a writ of replevin be issued for the seizure of said vessel with all its equipment and
appurtenances, and that after hearing, he be adjudged to have the rightful possession
thereof . The lower court issued the writ of replevin prayed for by Froilan and by virtue
thereof the Pan Oriental Shipping Co. was divested of its possession of said vessel.

Pan Oriental protested to this restoration of Plaintiff ‘s rights under the contract of
sale, for the reason that when the vessel was delivered to it, the Shipping Administration
had authority to dispose of said authority to the property, Plaintiff having already
relinquished whatever rights he may have thereon. Plaintiff paid the required cash of
P10,000.00 and as Pan Oriental refused to surrender possession of the vessel, he filed an
action to recover possession thereof and have him declared the rightful owner of said
property. The Republic of the Philippines was allowed to intervene in said civil case
184

praying for the possession of the in order that the chattel mortgage constituted thereon
may be foreclosed.

Issues: Whether or not the Court has jurisdiction over the intervenor with regard to the
counterclaim.

Rulings:

Yes. The Supreme Court held that the government impliedly allowed itself to be
sued when it filed a complaint in intervention for the purpose of asserting claim for
affirmative relief against the plaintiff to the recovery of the vessel. The immunity of the
state from suits does not deprive it of the right to sue private parties in its own courts.
When the government enters into a contract, for the State is then deem to have divested
itself of the mantle of sovereign immunity and descended to the level of the ordinary
individual. Having done so, it becomes subject to judicial action and processes. The state
as plaintiff may avail itself of the different forms of actions open to private litigants. In
short, by taking the initiative in an action against a private party, the state surrenders its
privileged position and comes down to the level of the defendant. The latter automatically
acquires, within certain limits, the right to set up whatever claims and other defenses he
might have against the state.
185

Gayo vs. Verceles

G.R. No. 150477, Feb. 28, 2005

Facts:

Verceles is running for mayor and was subsequently proclaimed as the winner in
that election. Her proclamation was however questioned for the reason that she is a
greencard holder and has not complied with the residence requirement.

Issue: Whether or not Verceles has not fulfilled the residency requirement for election by
being a greencard holder.

Ruling:

Supreme Court held that when Verceles abandoned her “greencard holder” status
when she surrendered her alien registration receipt card before the Immigration and
Naturalization Service of the American Embassy in Manila prior to her filing for
certificate of candidacy. Thus, when Verceles filed her certificate of candidacy, she
qualified to run as an elective official because of such waiver of permanent resident status
in a foreign country.
186

Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) v.

Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC), et al.,

G.R. No. 171101, November 22, 2011

Facts:

On July 5, 2011, the Supreme Court en banc voted unanimously (11-0) to


DISMISS/DENY the petition filed by HLI and AFFIRM with MODIFICATIONS the
resolutions of the PARC revoking HLI’s Stock Distribution Plan (SDP) and placing the
subject lands in Hacienda Luisita under compulsory coverage of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the government.

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

Issues: (1) Is the operative fact doctrine available in this case? (2) Is Sec. 31 of RA 6657
unconstitutional?

Held:

For the first issue, the court ruled that YES, the operative fact doctrine is
applicable in this case. The Court maintained its stance that the operative fact doctrine is
applicable in this case. Contrary to the suggestion of the minority, the doctrine is not
187

limited only to invalid or unconstitutional laws but also applies to decisions made by the
President or the administrative agencies that have the force and effect of laws. Prior to the
nullification or recall of said decisions, they may have produced acts and consequences
that must be respected. It is on this score that the operative fact doctrine should be
applied to acts and consequences that resulted from the implementation of the PARC
Resolution approving the SDP of HLI.

The majority stressed that the application of the operative fact doctrine by the
Court in its July 5, 2011 decision was in fact favorable to the FWBs because not only
were they allowed to retain the benefits and homelots they received under the stock
distribution scheme, they were also given the option to choose for themselves whether
they want to remain as stockholders of HLI or not.

For the second issue, the court ruled that NO, Sec. 31 of RA 6657 NOT
unconstitutional. The Court maintained that the Court is NOT compelled to rule on the
constitutionality of Sec. 31 of RA 6657, reiterating that it was not raised at the earliest
opportunity and that the resolution thereof is not the lis mota of the case. Moreover, the
issue has been rendered moot and academic since SDO is no longer one of the modes of
acquisition under RA 9700. The majority clarified that in its July 5, 2011 decision, it
made no ruling in favor of the constitutionality of Sec. 31 of RA 6657, but found
nonetheless that there was no apparent grave violation of the Constitution that may justify
the resolution of the issue of constitutionality.
188

JUSMAG V. NLRC

239 SCRA 224, 1994

FACTS:

Private respondent was one of the seventy-four (74) security assistance support
personnel (SASP) working at JUSMAG-Philippines. When dismissed, he held the
position of Illustrator 2 and was the incumbent President of JUSMAG PHILIPPINES-
FILIPINO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION (JPFCEA). His services were
terminated allegedly due to the abolition of his position. Private respondent filed a
complaint with the Department of Labor and Employment on the ground that he was
illegally suspended and dismissed from service by JUSMAG and asked for reinstatement.
JUSMAG then filed a Motion to Dismiss invoking its immunity from suit as an agency of
the United States and alleged lack of employer-employee relationship and that it has no
juridical personality to sue and be sued. Labor Arbiter Daniel C. Cueto dismissed the
subject complaint "for want of jurisdiction,” leading private respondent to appeal to the
National Labor Relations Commission, assailing the ruling that petitioner is immune from
suit for alleged violation of our labor laws.

NLRC reversed the ruling of the Labor Arbiter as it held that petitioner had lost
its right not to be sued. The resolution was predicated on two grounds: (1) the principle of
estoppels that JUSMAG failed to refute the existence of employer-employee relationship
under the "control test"; and (2) JUSMAG has waived its right to immunity from suit
when it hired the services of private respondent.

Issue: Whether or not JUSMAG can claim State Immunity.

Held:

In the case at bar, the Court recognizes and adopts the generally accepted
principles of international law as part of the law of the land. “Immunity of State from suit
is one of these universally recognized principles.” In international law, "immunity" is
commonly understood as an exemption of the state and its organs from the judicial
jurisdiction of another state. This is anchored on the principle of the sovereign equality of
189

states under which one state cannot assert jurisdiction over another in violation of the
maxim par in parem non habet imperium (an equal has no power over an equal).
Wherefore, no, JUSMAG cannot be sued.
190

Legarda v. De Castro,

P.E.T. Case No. 003, January 18, 2008, 542 SCRA 125

Facts:

Loren B. Legarda filed an election protest against Noli L. de Castro before the
Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET). De Castro filed a motion for its outright dismissal
but the PET confirmed its jurisdiction over the protest. De Castro filed a motion for
reconsideration assailing the PET resolution. He argues that where the correctness of the
number of votes is the issue, the best evidence are the ballots; that the process of
correcting the manifest errors in the certificates of canvass or election returns is a
function of the canvassing bodies; that once the canvassing bodies had done their
functions, no alteration or correction of manifest errors can be made; that since the
authority of the Tribunal involves an exercise of judicial power to determine the facts
based on the evidence presented and to apply the law based on the established facts, it
cannot perform the ministerial function of canvassing election returns; that the averments
contained in the protest are mere conclusions of law which are inadequate to form a valid
cause of action; and that the allegations are not supported by facts. He also contends that
the Tribunal cannot correct the manifest errors on the statements of votes (SOV) and
certificates of canvass (COC).

Issues: Whether or not the PET can correct the manifest errors in the SOV and COC;
Whether or not there is there a need to resort to revision of ballots; Whether or not the
election protest sufficient in form and substance.

Held:

For the first issue, the Court ruled that the constitutional function as well as the
power and the duty to be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and
qualification of the President and Vice-President is expressly vested in the PET, in
Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution. Included therein is the duty to correct manifest
errors in the SOVs and COCs.
191

For the second issue, the Court agreed that the ballots are the best and most
conclusive evidence in an election contest where the correctness of the number of votes
of each candidate is involved. However, we do not find any reason to resort to revision in
the first part of the protest, considering that the protestant concedes the correctness of the
ballot results, concerning the number of votes obtained by both protester and protestee,
and reflected in the election returns. Protestant merely seeks the correction of manifest
errors, that is, errors in the process of different levels of transposition and addition of
votes. Revision of ballots in case of manifest errors, in these circumstances, might only
cause unwarranted delay in the proceedings.

For the third issue, in the instant protest, protester enumerated all the provinces,
municipalities and cities where she questions all the results in all the precincts therein.
The protest here is sufficient in form and substantively, serious enough on its face to pose
a challenge to protestee's title to his office. The instant protest consists of alleged ultimate
facts, not mere conclusions of law, that need to be proven in due time.

Considering that the court finds the protest sufficient in form and substance, we
must again stress that nothing as yet has been proved as to the veracity of the allegations.
The protest is only sufficient for the Tribunal to proceed and give the protestant the
opportunity to prove her case pursuant to Rule 61 of the PET Rules. Although said rule
only pertains to revision of ballots, nothing herein prevents the Tribunal from allowing or
including the correction of manifest errors, pursuant to the Tribunals rule-making power
under Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution.
192

Lung Center of the Philippines v. Quezon City

433 SCRA 119, 138

Facts:

The petitioner Lung Center of the Philippines is the registered owner of a parcel
of land located at Quezon City and erected in the middle is a hospital known as the Lung
Center of the Philippines. The petitioner accepts paying and non-paying patients. It also
renders medical services to out-patients, both paying and non-paying, as well as private
leases. Both the land and the hospital building of the petitioner were assessed for real
property taxes in the amount of P4,554,860 by the City Assessor of Quezon City. The
petitioner filed a Claim for Exemption from real property taxes with the City Assessor,
stating that it is a charitable institution within the context of Section 28(3), Article VI of
the 1987 Constitution.

Issues: Whether the petitioner is a charitable institution within the context of Presidential
Decree No. 1823 and the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions and Section 234(b) of Republic
Act No. 7160; Whether the real properties of the petitioner are exempt from real property
taxes.

Held:

For the first issue, the Court ruled YES. The Court held that the petitioner is a
charitable institution within the context of the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions. The test
whether an enterprise is charitable or not is whether it exists to carry out a purpose
reorganized in law as charitable or whether it is maintained for gain, profit, or private
advantage. Hence, the Lung Center was organized for the welfare and benefit of the
Filipino people.

As a general principle, a charitable institution does not lose its character as such
and its exemption from taxes simply because it derives income from paying patients, so
long as the money received is devoted to charitable objects and no money inures to the
193

private benefit of the persons managing or operating the institution. As well as the reason
of donation in the form of subsidies granted by the government.

For the second issue, the Court ruled NO. Those portions of its real property that
are leased to private entities are not exempt from real property taxes as these are not
actually, directly and exclusively used for charitable purposes.

The petitioner failed to prove that the entirety of its real property is actually,
directly and exclusively used for charitable purposes. While portions of the hospital are
used for the treatment of patients and the dispensation of medical services to them,
whether paying or non-paying, other portions thereof are being leased to private
individuals for their clinics and a canteen.

Hence, the portions of the land leased to private entities as well as those parts of
the hospital leased to private individuals are not exempt from such taxes. On the other
hand, the portions of the land occupied by the hospital and portions of the hospital used
for its patients, whether paying or non-paying, are exempt from real property taxes.
194

Marcos v. Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines

G.R. No. L-4663 May 30, 1951 89 Phil, 246 (1951)

Facts:

Petitioners instituted two special civil actions of mandamus against respondents,


alleging that respondents Military Tribunals unlawfully excluded them from the
enjoyment of their right to appear as counsel for the accused prosecuted before said
tribunals; that they are entitled being attorneys duly admitted to practice law in the
Philippine Courts. Meanwhile, respondents maintained that according to Section 17,
Article 17 of the Constitution, “No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives
shall directly or indirectly appear as counsel before any court. . .in any criminal case
wherein an offer or employee of the Government is accused of an offense committed in
relation to his office.”

Issue: Is the above prohibition applicable to petitioners?

Ratio:

Yes. The Supreme Court held that the said law applies to petitioners, being
members of the Congress. Furthermore, the words ‘any court’ refers not only to civil
courts but also to military courts, or a court-martial; that a court-martial is a court, and the
prosecution of an accused before it is a criminal and not an administrative case. Thus,
under certain conditions, another prosecution of a defendant for the same offense would
already constitute double jeopardy.

Wherefore, as the petitioners are disqualified to appear as counsel for the accused
in court-martial, the respondents did not unlawfully exclude them from the enjoyment of
any right, and hence the petitions for mandamus in these two cases are denied with costs
against the petitioners.
195

National Amnesty Commission v. Commission on Audit

481 Phil. 279, 294 (2004)

Facts:

Petitioner National Amnesty Commission (NAC) is a government agency created


in 1994 by then President Fidel V. Ramos through Proclamation No. 347. The NAC is
tasked to receive, process and review amnesty applications. It is composed of 7 members:
a Chairperson, three regular members appointed by the President, and the Secretaries of
Justice, National Defense and Interior and Local Government as ex officio members.

After personally attending the initial NAC meetings, the three ex officio members
turned over said responsibility to their representatives who were paid honoraria.
However, in 1997, NAC resident auditor Eulalia disallowed on audit the payment of
honoraria to these representatives pursuant to COA Memorandum No. 97-038.

Meanwhile, in 1999, the NAC passed Administrative Order No. 2 (the new
Implementing Rules and Regulations of Proclamation No. 347), which was approved by
then President Joseph Estrada. Section 1, Rule II thereof provides that ex officio
members may designate their representatives to the Commission. Said Representatives
shall be entitled to per diems, allowances, bonuses and other benefits as may be
authorized by law.

Petitioner invoked Administrative Order No. 2 in assailing before the COA the
rulings of the resident auditor and the National Government Audit Office disallowing
payment of honoraria to the ex officio members' representatives, to no avail.

Issues: Whether or not COA committed grave abuse of discretion in implementing COA
Memorandum No. 97-038 without the required notice and publication under Article 2 of
the Civil Code; Whether or not COA committed grave abuse of discretion in disallowing
the payment of honoraria on the ground of lack of authority of representatives to attend
the NAC meetings in behalf of the ex officio members.
196

Held:

For the first issue, the court ruled NO. COA Memorandum No. 97-038 does not
need, for validity and effectivity, the publication required by Article 2 of the Civil Code:
Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their
publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. This Code shall take
effect one year after such publication. This issue was clarified in Tañada vs Tuvera: All
statutes, including those of local application and private laws, shall be published as a
condition for their effectivity, which shall begin fifteen days after publication unless a
different effectivity date is fixed by the legislature.

Covered by this rule are presidential decrees and executive orders promulgated by
the President in the exercise of legislative powers whenever the same are validly
delegated by the legislature or, at present, directly conferred by the Constitution.
Administrative rules and regulations must also be published if their purpose is to enforce
or implement existing law pursuant to a valid delegation.

Interpretative regulations and those merely internal in nature, that is, regulating
only the personnel of the administrative agency and not the public, need not be published.
Neither is publication required of the so-called letters of instructions issued by
administrative superiors concerning the rules or guidelines to be followed by their
subordinates in the performance of their duties.

COA Memorandum No. 97-038 is merely an internal and interpretative regulation


or letter of instruction which does not need publication to be effective and valid. It is not
an implementing rule or regulation of a statute but a directive issued by the COA to its
auditors to enforce the self-executing prohibition imposed by Section 13, Article VII of
the Constitution on the President and his official family, their deputies and assistants, or
their representatives from holding multiple offices and receiving double compensation.

For the second issue, the Courts ruled NO. The COA is correct that there is no
legal basis to grant per diem, honoraria or any allowance whatsoever to the NAC ex
officio members' official representatives. The representatives in fact assumed their
responsibilities not by virtue of a new appointment but by mere designation from the ex
197

officio members who were themselves also designated as such. There is a considerable
difference between an appointment and designation. An appointment is the selection by
the proper authority of an individual who is to exercise the powers and functions of a
given office; a designation merely connotes an imposition of additional duties, usually by
law, upon a person already in the public service by virtue of an earlier appointment.

Designation does not entail payment of additional benefits or grant upon the
person so designated the right to claim the salary attached to the position. Without an
appointment, a designation does not entitle the officer to receive the salary of the
position. The legal basis of an employee's right to claim the salary attached thereto is a
duly issued and approved appointment to the position, and not a mere designation.
198

Oxales v. United Laboratories, Inc.,

G.R. No. 152991, July 21, 2008, 559 SCRA 26

Facts:

Sometime in 1959, UNILAB established the United Retirement Plan (URP), a


comprehensive retirement program aimed at providing for retirement, resignation,
disability, and death benefits of its members. An employee of UNILAB becomes a
member of the URP upon his regularization in the company. The URP mandates the
compulsory retirement of any member-employee who reaches the age of 60.

Both UNILAB and the employee contribute to the URP, where UNILAB provides
for the account of the employee an actuarially-determined amount to Trust Fund A, while
the employee chips in 2½% of his monthly salary to Trust Fund B. Upon retirement, the
employee gets both amounts standing in his name in Trust Fund A and Trust Fund B.

As retirement benefits, the employee receives (1) from Trust Fund A a lump sum
of 1½ month’s pay per year of service “based on the member’s last or terminal basic
monthly salary,” and (2) whatever the employee has contributed to Trust Fund B,
together with the income minus any losses incurred. The URP excludes commissions,
overtime, bonuses, or extra compensations in the computation of the basic salary for
purposes of retirement.

Oxales joined UNILAB on September 1, 1968. He was compulsorily retired by


UNILAB when he reached his 60th birthday on September 7, 1994, after having rendered
service of twenty-five (25) years, eleven (11) months, and six (6) days. He was then
Director of Manufacturing Services Group.

In computing the retirement benefits of Oxales based on the 1½ months for every
year of service under the URP, UNILAB took into account only his basic monthly salary.
It did not include as part of the salary base the permanent and regular bonuses, reasonable
199

value of food allowances, 1/12 of the 13th month pay, and the cash equivalent of service
incentive leave.

Thus, Oxales received from Trust Fund A P1,599,179.00, instead of


P4,260,255.70. He also received P176,313.06, instead of P456,039.20 as cash equivalent
of his unused sick leaves. Lastly, he received P397,738.33 from his contributions to
Trust Fund B. In sum, Oxales received the total amount of P2,173,230.39 as his
retirement benefits.

On August 21, 1997, Oxales wrote UNILAB, claiming that he should have been
paid P1,775,907.23 more in retirement pay and unused leave credits. He insisted that his
bonuses, allowances and 13th month pay should have been factored in the computation of
his retirement benefits

On September 9, 1997, UNILAB wrote back and reminded Oxales about the
provision of the URP excluding any commissions, overtime, bonuses or extra
compensations in the computation of the basic salary of the retiring employee.

Disgruntled, Oxales filed a complaint with the Labor Arbiter for (1) the correct
computation of his retirement benefits, (2) recovery of the cash equivalent of his unused
sick leaves, (3) damages, and (4) attorney’s fees. He argued that in the computation of
his retirement benefits, UNILAB should have included in his basic pay the following, to
wit: (a) cash equivalent of not more than five (5) days service incentive leave; (b) 1/12th
of 13th month pay; and (c) all other benefits he has been receiving.

Efforts were exerted for a possible amicable settlement. As this proved futile, the
parties were required to submit their respective pleadings and position papers.

On June 30, 1998, Labor Arbiter Romulus A. Protasio rendered a decision


dismissing the complaint for lack of merit. Labor Arbiter held that the URP clearly
excludes commission, overtime, bonuses, or other extra compensation. Hence, the
benefits asked by Oxales to be included in the computation of his retirement benefits
should be excluded.
200

The Arbiter also held that the inclusion of the fringe benefits claimed by Oxales
would put UNILAB in violation of the terms and conditions set forth by the Bureau of
Internal Revenue (BIR) when it approved the URP as a tax-qualified plan. Also, any
overpayment of benefits would adversely affect the actuarial soundness of the plan. It
would also expose the trustees of the URP to liabilities and prejudice the other employees
and the BIR might even withdraw the tax exemption granted to the URP. Lastly, the
Labor Arbiter opined that the URP precludes the application of the provisions of R.A.
No. 7641.

Oxales appealed to the NLRC. On February 8, 1999, the NLRC affirmed the
decision of the Labor Arbiter.

The NLRC ruled that the interpretation by Oxales of R.A. No. 7641 is selective.
He only culled the provisions that are beneficial to him, putting in grave doubt the
sincerity of his motives. For instance, he claims that the value of the food benefits and
other allowances should be included in his monthly salary as multiplicand to the number
of his years of service with UNILAB. At the same time, however, he does not intend to
reduce the 1½ month salary as multiplier under the URP to ½ under R.A. No. 7641.

The NLRC agreed with the Labor Arbiter that the provisions of R.A. No. 7641 do
not apply in view of the URP. The NLRC also took into account the fact that the benefits
granted to Oxales by virtue of the URP was even higher than what R.A. No. 7641
requires. His motion for reconsideration having been denied, Oxales filed with the CA a
petition for certiorari under Rule 65.

In a decision promulgated on April 12, 2002, the CA dismissed the petition. The
CA ruled that the petition of Oxales calls for a review of the factual findings of the Labor
Arbiter as affirmed by the NLRC. It is not the normal function of the CA in a special
civil action for certiorari to inquire into the correctness of the evaluation of the evidence
by the Labor Arbiter. Its authority is confined only to issues of jurisdiction or grave
abuse of discretion. Just like the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC, the CA also held that R.A.
No. 7641 is applicable only in the absence of a retirement plan or agreement providing
for the retirement benefits of employees in an establishment. Finally, the CA denied the
201

claim of Oxales to moral and exemplary damages. According to the appellate court, he
failed to prove the presence of bad faith or fraud on the part of UNILAB. His mere
allegations of having suffered sleepless nights, serious anxiety, and mental anguish are
not enough. No premium should be placed on the right to litigate.

Left with no other option, Oxales filed the present recourse under Rule 45 of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

Issues:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals and NLRC committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in their rulings;

Held:

The clear language of the URP should be respected. A retirement plan in a


company partakes the nature of a contract, with the employer and the employee as the
contracting parties. It creates a contractual obligation in which the promise to pay
retirement benefits is made in consideration of the continued faithful service of the
employee for the requisite period.

The employer and the employee may establish such stipulations, clauses, terms,
and conditions as they may deem convenient. The obligations arising from the agreement
between the employer and the employee have the force of law between them and should
be complied with in good faith. However, though the employer and the employee are
given the widest latitude possible in the crafting of their contract, such right is not
absolute. There is no such thing as absolute freedom of contract. A limitation is
provided for by the law itself. Their stipulations, clauses, terms, and conditions should
not be contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy. Indeed, the
law respects the freedom to contract but, at the same time, is very zealous in protecting
the contracting parties and the public in general.
202

Viewed from the foregoing, We rule that Oxales is not entitled to the additional
retirement benefits he is asking. The URP is very clear: “basic monthly salary” for
purposes of computing the retirement pay is “the basic monthly salary, or if daily, means
the basic rate of pay converted to basic monthly salary of the employee excluding any
commissions, overtime, bonuses, or extra compensations.”

The URP is not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public
policy to merit its nullification. We, thus, sustain it. At first blush, the URP seems to be
disadvantageous to the retiring employee because of the exclusion of commissions,
overtime, bonuses, or extra compensations in the computation of the basic monthly
salary. However, a close reading of its provisions would reveal otherwise. Therefore, the
Court of Appeals and NLRC acted correctly in their rulings and did not commit grave
abuse of discretion.
203

Magdalo Para sa Pagbabago v. Commission on Elections,

G.R. No. 190793, June 19, 2012, 673 SCRA 651

Facts:

On 2 July 2009, Petitioner Magdalo sa Pagbabago (MAGDALO) filed its Petition


for Registration with the COMELEC, seeking its registration and/or accreditation as a
regional political party based in the NCR for participation in the 10 May 2010 National
and Local Elections. In the Petition, MAGDALO was represented by its Chairperson,
Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV, and its Secretary General, Francisco Ashley L. Acedillo
(Acedillo).

On 26 October 2009, the COMELEC denied the Petition for Registration as it was
not in accordance with Art. IX-C, Section 2(5) of the Constitution. It is common
knowledge that the party’s organizer and Chairman, and some members participated in
the take-over of the Oakwood Premier Apartments in Ayala Center, Makati City on July
27, 2003, wherein several innocent civilian personnel were held hostage. This and the
fact that they were in full battle gear at the time of the mutiny clearly show their purpose
in employing violence and using unlawful means to achieve their goals in the process
defying the laws of organized societies.

MAGDALO filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was elevated to the


COMELEC En Banc for resolution. MAGDALO also filed a Manifestation of Intent to
Participate in the Party-List System of Representation in the 10 May 2010 Elections, in
which it stated that its membership includes former members of the AFP, Anti-
Corruption Advocates, Reform-minded citizens. They filed an Amended Manifestation,
in which they manifest that the instant MANIFESTATION is being filed ex abutanti (sic)
cautelam (out of the abundance of caution) only and subject to the outcome of the
resolution of the Motion for Reconsideration that is still pending. It is not in any way
intended to preempt the ruling of the Commission but merely to preserve the possibility
204

of pursuing the Party’s participation in the Party-List System of Representation in the


eventuality that their Petition is approved.

The COMELEC En Banc denied the Motion for Reconsideration. In the instant
Petition, MAGDALO argues that the findings of the assailed resolutions on the basis of
which the Petition was denied are based on pure speculation. The assailed Resolutions
effectively preempted the court trying the case. The subject Resolutions unfairly jumped
to the conclusion that the founders of the Magdalo committed mutiny, held innocent
civilian personnel as hostage, employed violence and used unlawful means and in the
process defied the laws of organized society purportedly during the Oakwood incident
when even the court trying their case, (RTC Makati) has not yet decided the case against
them; and the Resolution violates the constitutional presumption of innocence in favor of
founders of the Magdalo and their basic right of to due process of law.

On the other hand, the COMELEC asserts that it had the power to ascertain the
eligibility of MAGDALO for registration and accreditation as a political party. It
contends that this determination, as well as that of assessing whether MAGDALO
advocates the use of force, would entail the evaluation of evidence, which cannot be
reviewed by this Court in a petition for certiorari.

However, MAGDALO maintains that although it concedes that the COMELEC


has the authority to assess whether parties applying for registration possess all the
qualifications and none of the disqualifications under the applicable law, the latter
nevertheless committed grave abuse of discretion in basing its determination on pure
conjectures instead of on the evidence on record.

Issue:

Whether the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion when it denied the Petition
for Registration filed by MAGDALO on the ground that the latter seeks to achieve its
goals through violent or unlawful means. Whether or not the case is moot and academic.
205

HELD:

This Court rules in the negative, but without prejudice to MAGDALOs filing
anew of a Petition for Registration. The COMELEC has a constitutional and statutory
mandate to ascertain the eligibility of parties and organizations to participate in electoral
contests provided in Sec. 5 Article VI, and in Sec. 2 Art IX.

RA No. 7941, otherwise known as the Party-List System Act, reads in part:

Thus, to join electoral contests, a party or organization must undergo the two-step
process of registration and accreditation, as this Court explained in Liberal Party v.
COMELEC: Registration is the act that bestows juridical personality for purposes of our
election laws; Accreditation, on the other hand, relates to the privileged participation that
our election laws grant to qualified registered parties. Accreditation can only be granted
to a registered political party, organization or coalition; stated otherwise, a registration
must first take place before a request for accreditation can be made. Once registration has
been carried out, accreditation is the next natural step to follow.

Considering the constitutional and statutory authority of the COMELEC to


ascertain the eligibility of parties or organizations seeking registration and accreditation,
the pertinent question now is whether its exercise of this discretion was so capricious or
whimsical as to amount to lack of jurisdiction. In view of the facts available to the
COMELEC at the time it issued its assailed Resolutions, this Court rules that respondent
did not commit grave abuse of discretion.

The COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in taking judicial notice of the
Oakwood incident. MAGDALO contends that it was grave abuse of discretion for the
COMELEC to have denied the Petition for Registration not on the basis of facts or
evidence on record, but on mere speculation and conjectures. This argument cannot be
given any merit. Under the Rules of Court, judicial notice may be taken of matters that
are of public knowledge, or are capable of unquestionable demonstration. Further,
Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known as the Revised Administrative Code,
specifically empowers administrative agencies to admit and give probative value to
evidence commonly acceptable by reasonably prudent men, and to take notice of
206

judicially cognizable facts. The Oakwood incident was widely known and extensively
covered by the media made it a proper subject of judicial notice. Thus, the COMELEC
did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it treated these facts as public knowledge,
and took cognizance thereof without requiring the introduction and reception of evidence
thereon.

The COMELEC also did not commit grave abuse of discretion in finding that
MAGDALO uses violence or unlawful means to achieve its goals. In the instant Petition,
MAGDALO claims that it did not resort to violence when it took over Oakwood because
(a) no one, either civilian or military, was held hostage; (b) its members immediately
evacuated the guests and staff of the hotel; and (c) not a single shot was fired during the
incident.

Under Article IX-C, Section 2(5) of the 1987 Constitution, parties, organizations
and coalitions that seek to achieve their goals through violence or unlawful means shall
be denied registration. This disqualification is reiterated in Section 61 of B.P. 881, which
provides that no political party which seeks to achieve its goal through violence shall be
entitled to accreditation.

Violence is the unjust or unwarranted exercise of force, usually with the


accompaniment of vehemence, outrage or fury. It also denotes physical force unlawfully
exercised; abuse of force; that force which is employed against common right, against the
laws, and against public liberty. The Oakwood incident was one that was attended with
violence. As publicly announced by the leaders of MAGDALO during the siege, their
objectives were to express their dissatisfaction with the administration of former
President Arroyo, and to divulge the alleged corruption in the military and the supposed
sale of arms to enemies of the state. Ultimately, they wanted the President, her cabinet
members, and the top officials of the AFP and the PNP to resign. To achieve these goals,
MAGDALO opted to seize a hotel occupied by civilians, march in the premises in full
battle gear with ammunitions, and plant explosives in the building. These brash methods
by which MAGDALO opted to ventilate the grievances of its members and withdraw its
support from the government constituted clear acts of violence.
207

The COMELEC did not, therefore, commit grave abuse of discretion when it
treated the Oakwood standoff as a manifestation of the predilection of MAGDALO for
resorting to violence or threats thereof in order to achieve its objectives.

On the issue on mootness, although the subject Petition for Registration filed by
MAGDALO was intended for the elections on even date, it specifically asked for
accreditation as a regional political party for purposes of subsequent elections.

The moot and academic principle is not a magical formula that can automatically
dissuade the courts in resolving a case. Courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and
academic, if: first, there is a grave violation of the Constitution; second, the exceptional
character of the situation and the paramount public interest is involved; third, when [the]
constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the
bench, the bar, and the public; and fourth, the case is capable of repetition yet evading
review.

The second and fourth exceptions are clearly present in the case at bar. The
instant action brings to the fore matters of public concern, as it challenges the very notion
of the use of violence or unlawful means as a ground for disqualification from party
registration. Moreover, considering the expressed intention of MAGDALO to join
subsequent elections, as well as the occurrence of supervening events pertinent to the
case at bar, it remains prudent to examine the issues raised and resolve the arising legal
questions once and for all.
208

Philconsa v. Enriquez

G.R. No. 113888, 1994

Facts:

Petitioners assailed the validity of RA 7663 or General Appropriations Act of


1994. The GAA contains a special provision that allows any members of the Congress
the Realignment of Allocation for Operational Expenses, provided that the total of said
allocation is not exceeded.

Philconsa claims that only the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives are the ones authorized under the Constitution to realign savings, not the
individual members of Congress themselves. The President then signed the law, but
vetoed certain provisions and imposed certain provisional conditions, namely that the
AFP Chief of Staff is authorized to use savings to augment the pension funds under the
Retirement and Separation Benefits of the AFP.

Issue: Whether or not RA 7663 is violative of Article VI, Section 25 (5) of 1987
Constitution.

Held:

Yes. Only the Senate President and the Speaker of the House are allowed to
approve the realignment. Furthermore, two conditions must be met: 1) the funds to be
realigned are actually savings, and 2) the transfer is for the purpose of augmenting the
items of expenditures to which said transfer to be made.

As to the certain condition given to the AFP Chief of Staff, it is violative of


Sections 25(5) and 29(1) of the Article VI of the Constitution. The list of those who may
be authorized to transfer funds is exclusive. The AFP Chief of Staff may not be given
authority.
209

Pichay v. Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for

Legal Affairs Investigative and Adjudication Division,

G.R. No. 196425, July 24, 2012, 677 SCRA 408

Facts:

On November 15, 2010, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III issued Executive
Order No. 13 (E.O. 13), abolishing the PAGC and transferring its functions to the Office
of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs(ODESLA), more particularly to its
newly-established Investigative and Adjudicatory Division (IAD). Respondent Finance
Secretary Cesar V. Purisima filed before the IAD-ODESLA a complaint-affidavit for
grave misconduct against petitioner Prospero A. Pichay, Jr., Chairman of the Board of
Trustees of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), as well as the incumbent
members of the LWUA Board of Trustees, namely, Renato Velasco, Susana Dumlao
Vargas, Bonifacio Mario M. Pena, Sr. and Daniel Landingin, which arose from the
purchase by the LWUA of Four Hundred Forty-Five Thousand Three Hundred Seventy
Seven (445,377) shares of stock of Express Savings Bank, Inc. On April 14, 2011,
petitioner received an Order3 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr.
requiring him and his co-respondents to submit their respective written explanations
under oath. In compliance therewith, petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss Ex Abundante
Ad Cautelam manifesting that a case involving the same transaction and charge of grave
misconduct entitled, "Rustico B. Tutol, et al. v. Prospero Pichay, et al.", and docketed as
OMB-C-A-10-0426-I, is already pending before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Issue: Whether E.O. 13 is unconstitutional for abrogating unto an administrative office a


quasi-judicial function through and E.O. and not through legislative enactment by
Congress.
210

Ruling:

No, because the President has Continuing Authority to Reorganize the Executive
Department under E.O. 292. In the case of Buklod ng Kawaning EIIB v. Zamora the
Court affirmed that the President's authority to carry out are organization in any branch or
agency of the executive department is an express grant by the legislature by virtue of
Section 31, Book III, E.O. 292(the Administrative Code of 1987), "the President, subject
to the policy of the Executive Office and in order to achieve simplicity, economy and
efficiency, shall have the continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure
of the Office of the President. "The law grants the President this power in recognition of
the recurring need of every President to reorganize his office "to achieve simplicity,
economy and efficiency." The Office of the President is the nerve center of the Executive
Branch. To remain effective and efficient, the Office of the President must be capable of
being shaped and reshaped by the President in the manner he deems fit to carry out his
directives and policies. After all, the Office of the President is the command post of the
President. (Emphasis supplied)Clearly, the abolition of the PAGC and the transfer of its
functions to a division specially created within the ODESLA is properly within the
prerogative of the President under his continuing "delegated legislative authority to
reorganize" his own office pursuant to E.O. 292.The President's power to reorganize the
Office of the President under Section31 (2) and (3) of EO 292 should be distinguished
from his power to reorganize the Office of the President Proper. Under Section 31 (1) of
EO292, the President can reorganize the Office of the President Proper by abolishing,
consolidating or merging units, or by transferring functions from one unit to another. In
contrast, under Section 31 (2) and (3) of EO 292, the President's power to reorganize
offices outside the Office of the President Proper but still within the Office of the
President is limited to merely transferring functions or agencies from the Office of the
President to Departments or agencies, and vice versa.
211

Re: Appointment of Mateo A. Valenzuela and Placido B. Vallarte

298 SCRA 408

Facts:

On March 30, 1998, The President signed appointments of Hon. Mateo


Valenzuela and Hon. Placido Vallarta as Judges of RTC-Bago City and Cabanatuan City,
respectively. These appointments were deliberated, as it seemed to be expressly
prohibited by Art 7 Sec 15 of the Constitution:

Two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end
of his term, a President or Acting President shall not make appointments, except
temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will
prejudice public service or endanger public safety."

A meeting was held on March 9, 1998 by the Judicial and Bar Council to discuss
the constitutionality of appointments to the Court of Appeals (CA) in light of the
forthcoming 1998 Presidential elections. Senior Associate Justice Florenz Regalado,
Consultant of the Council and Member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, was in
the position that “election ban had no application to the CA based on the Commission’s
records”. This hypothesis was then submitted to the President for consideration together
with the Council’s nominations for 8 vacancies in the CA.

The Chief Justice (CJ) received on April 6, 1998, an official communication from
the Executive Secretary transmitting the appointments of 8 Associate Justices of CA duly
signed on March 11, 1998 (day immediately before the commencement of the ban on
appointments), which implies that the President’s Office did not agree with the
hypothesis.

The President, addressed to the JBC, requested on May 4, 1998 the transmission
of the “list of final nominees” for the vacancy in view of the 90 days imposed by the
Constitution (from Feb 13, date present vacancy occurred). In behalf of the JBC, CJ sent
212

the reply on May 6 that no session has been scheduled after the May elections for the
reason that they apparently did not share the same view (hypothesis) proposed by the JBC
shown by the uniformly dated March 11, 1998 appointments. However, it appeared that
the Justice Secretary and the other members of the Council took action without waiting
for the CJ reply. This prompted CJ to call for a meeting on May 7. On this day, CJ
received a letter from the President in reply of the May 6 letter where the President
expressed his view that Article 7 Sec 15 only applied to executive appointments, the
whole article being entitled “EXECUTIVE DEPT”. He posited that appointments in the
Judiciary have special and specific provisions, as follows:

Article 8 Sec. 4

"The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associate
Justices. It may sit en banc or in its discretion, in divisions of three, five, or seven
Members. Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the occurrence thereof."

Article 8 Sec. 9

"The Members of the Supreme Court and judges in lower courts shall be
appointed by the President from the list of at least three nominees prepared by the
Judicial and Bar Council for every vacancy. Such appointments need no confirmation.

On May 12, CJ received from Malacañang, the appointments of the 2 Judges of


the RTC mentioned. Considering the pending proceedings and deliberations on this
matter, the Court resolved by refraining the appointees from taking their oaths. However,
Judge Valenzuela took oath in May 14, 1998 claiming he did so without knowledge on
the on-going deliberations. It should be noted that the originals of the appointments for
both judges had been sent to and received by the CJ on May 12 and is still in the latter’s
office and had not been transmitted yet. According to Judge Valenzuela, he did so
because of the May 7 Malacañang copy of his appointment.

In construing Article 7 and 8: when there are no presidential election, Art8 shall
apply where vacancies in SC shall be filled within 90 days otherwise prohibition in Art7
must be considered where the President shall not make any appointments. According to
213

Fr. Bernas, the reason for prohibition is in order not to tie the hands of the incoming Pres
through midnight appointments.

Issue: Whether or not the President can fill vacancies in the judiciary pursuant to Article
8 Sec 4 and 9, during the appointment ban period stated in Article 7 Sec 15.

Held:

Article 8 Sec 4 and 9 simply mean that the “President is required to fill vacancies
in the courts within the time frames provided therein unless prohibited by Article VII
Sec. 15. Thus, the President is neither required to make appointments to the courts nor
allowed to do so. Likewise, the prohibition on appointments comes into effect only once
every six years. The Court also pointed out that Article8 Sec4 and 9 should prevail over
Article7 Sec15 as they may be considered later expressions of the people when they
adopted the Constitution.

The Supreme Court, in an en banc decision, declared the appointments signed by


the President on March 30, 1998 of Hon. Valenzuela and Hon. Vallarta VOID. They are
ordered to cease and desist from discharging the office of Judge of the Courts to which
they were respectively appointed on the said date. They come within the operation of the
prohibition on appointments. While the filling of judiciary vacancies is in the public
interest, there is no compelling reason to justify such appointment within the 2 months
appointment ban.

In view of Valenzuela’s oath taking, the authenticity of the letter of which was not
verified from the Office of the Court Administrator, SC reiterated the standing practice
and procedures in appointments to the Judiciary that originals of all appointments are to
be sent by the Office of the President to the Office of the Chief Justice. The Clerk of
Court of the SC, in the Chief Justice’s behalf, will advise the appointee of their
appointments as well as the date of commencement of the pre-requisite orientation
seminar to be conducted by the Philippine Judicial Academy for new judges.
214

Ruiz vs. Cabahug

G.R. No. L-9990, September 30, 1957, 54 O.G 351

Facts:

The Secretary of National Defense, defendant Hon. Sotero B. Cabahug, accepted


the bid of Allied Technologists, Inc. on July 31, 1950 for the furnishing of the
architectural and engineering services in the construction of the Veterans Hospital at the
price of Php 302, 700. The architectural requirements were submitted by Allied
Technologies through Enrique Ruiz, Jose Herrera and Pablo Panlillo and were approved
by the United States Veterans Administration and a contract was signed due to the
technical objection to the capacity of the said company in the practice of architecture and
upon the advice of the Secretary of Justice. The defendants allegedly took 15% of the
sum due to Allied Technologies, Inc. at the time of the payment of the contract price for
the reason that Panlillo asserted that he is the sole architect of the Veterans Hospital,
excluding Ruiz and Herrera, the assertion of which was abetted by defendant Jimenez
(the first cause of action). The plaintiffs were to be deprived of their share of professional
services and their professional prestige and standing were to be gravely damaged unless
the defendants are prevented from recognizing Panlillo as the sole architect. Furthermore,
the second cause of action is Title II of the contract where at any time prior to six months
after completion and acceptance of the work under Title I, the Government may direct
Allied Technologists, Inc. to do the services stated in said Title II yet nevertheless the
completion the government declined to direct the plaintiffs to perform the job.

Issue: Whether or not the government can be sued for withholding the 15% of the sum
and depriving the plaintiffs of their share

Held:

The case is a not a suit against the government, which could not be sued without
its consent. It was found that the government has already allotted the full amount for the
contract price; it was the defendant-officials which were responsible for the allegation.
This was to be directed to the officials alone, where they are compelled to act in
215

accordance with the rights established by Ruiz and Herrera or to desist them from paying
and recognizing the rights and interests in the funds retained and the credit for the job
finished. The order of dismissal was reversed and set aside and the case was remanded to
the court a quo for further proceedings with costs against the defendants.
216

Senate v Ermita

G.R. No. 169777, April 20, 2006, 488 SCRA 1

Facts:

In 2005, scandals involving anomalous transactions about the North Rail Project
as well as the Garci tapes surfaced. This prompted the Senate to conduct a public hearing
to investigate the said anomalies particularly the alleged overpricing in the NRP. The
investigating Senate committee issued invitations to certain department heads and
military officials to speak before the committee as resource persons. Ermita submitted
that he and some of the department heads cannot attend the said hearing due to pressing
matters that need immediate attention. AFP Chief of Staff Senga likewise sent a similar
letter. Drilon, the senate president, excepted the said requests for they were sent belatedly
and arrangements were already made and scheduled. Subsequently, GMA issued EO 464
which took effect immediately.

EO 464 basically prohibited Department heads, Senior officials of executive


departments who in the judgment of the department heads are covered by the executive
privilege; Generals and flag officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and such
other officers who in the judgment of the Chief of Staff are covered by the executive
privilege; Philippine National Police (PNP) officers with rank of chief superintendent or
higher and such other officers who in the judgment of the Chief of the PNP are covered
by the executive privilege; Senior national security officials who in the judgment of the
National Security Adviser are covered by the executive privilege; and Such other officers
as may be determined by the President, from appearing in such hearings conducted by
Congress without first securing the president’s approval.

The department heads and the military officers who were invited by the Senate
committee then invoked EO 464 to except themselves. Despite EO 464, the scheduled
hearing proceeded with only 2 military personnel attending. For defying President
Arroyo’s order barring military personnel from testifying before legislative inquiries
217

without her approval, Brig. Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan were relieved from their
military posts and were made to face court martial proceedings. EO 464’s
constitutionality was assailed for it is alleged that it infringes on the rights and duties of
Congress to conduct investigation in aid of legislation and conduct oversight functions in
the implementation of laws.

Issue: Whether or not EO 464 is constitutional.

Held:

The SC ruled that EO 464 is constitutional in part. The SC ruled that Section 1
and Section 2a are valid. The rest invalid. To determine the validity of the provisions of
EO 464, the SC sought to distinguish Section 21 from Section 22 of Art 6 of the 1987
Constitution. The Congress’ power of inquiry is expressly recognized in Section 21 of
Article VI of the Constitution. Although there is no provision in the Constitution
expressly investing either House of Congress with power to make investigations and
exact testimony to the end that it may exercise its legislative functions advisedly and
effectively, such power is so far incidental to the legislative function as to be implied. In
other words, the power of inquiry – with process to enforce it – is an essential and
appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function. A legislative body cannot legislate
wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the
legislation is intended to affect or change; and where the legislative body does not itself
possess the requisite information – which is not infrequently true – recourse must be had
to others who do possess it.

Section 22 on the other hand provides for the Question Hour. The Question Hour
is closely related with the legislative power, and it is precisely as a complement to or a
supplement of the Legislative Inquiry. The appearance of the members of Cabinet would
be very, very essential not only in the application of check and balance but also, in effect,
in aid of legislation. Section 22 refers only to Question Hour, whereas, Section 21 would
refer specifically to inquiries in aid of legislation, under which anybody for that matter,
may be summoned and if he refuses, he can be held in contempt of the House. A
distinction was thus made between inquiries in aid of legislation and the question hour.
218

While attendance was meant to be discretionary in the question hour, it was compulsory
in inquiries in aid of legislation. Sections 21 and 22, therefore, while closely related and
complementary to each other, should not be considered as pertaining to the same power
of Congress. One specifically relates to the power to conduct inquiries in aid of
legislation, the aim of which is to elicit information that may be used for legislation,
while the other pertains to the power to conduct a question hour, the objective of which is
to obtain information in pursuit of Congress’ oversight function. Ultimately, the power
of Congress to compel the appearance of executive officials under Section 21 and the
lack of it under Section 22 find their basis in the principle of separation of powers.

While the executive branch is a co-equal branch of the legislature, it cannot


frustrate the power of Congress to legislate by refusing to comply with its demands for
information. When Congress exercises its power of inquiry, the only way for department
heads to exempt themselves therefrom is by a valid claim of privilege. They are not
exempt by the mere fact that they are department heads. Only one executive official may
be exempted from this power — the President on whom executive power is vested,
hence, beyond the reach of Congress except through the power of impeachment. It is
based on her being the highest official of the executive branch, and the due respect
accorded to a co-equal branch of government which is sanctioned by a long-standing
custom. The requirement then to secure presidential consent under Section 1, limited as
it is only to appearances in the question hour, is valid on its face. For under Section 22,
Article VI of the Constitution, the appearance of department heads in the question hour is
discretionary on their part. Section 1 cannot, however, be applied to appearances of
department heads in inquiries in aid of legislation. Congress is not bound in such
instances to respect the refusal of the department head to appear in such inquiry, unless a
valid claim of privilege is subsequently made, either by the President herself or by the
Executive Secretary.

When Congress merely seeks to be informed on how department heads are


implementing the statutes which it has issued, its right to such information is not as
imperative as that of the President to whom, as Chief Executive, such department heads
must give a report of their performance as a matter of duty. In such instances, Section 22,
219

in keeping with the separation of powers, states that Congress may only request their
appearance. Nonetheless, when the inquiry in which Congress requires their appearance
is ‘in aid of legislation’ under Section 21, the appearance is mandatory for the same
reasons stated in Arnault.
220

Suplico v National Economic Development Authority

G.R No. 178830, July 14, 2008 558 SCRA 329

Facts:

Petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, with application for the
issuance of a TRO and/or preliminary injunction were filed and consolidated in the SC.
The prayers of the said petitions, among others, sought the annulment of the award of the
contract for the national broadband network to respondent ZTE Corporation and to enjoin
any activity in connection with the said deal.

On October 2, 2007, during a meeting, Pres. GMA, acting in her official capacity
informed Pres. Hu Jintao of China that the Philippine Government had decided not to
continue with the ZTE-NBN project. Later, the Solicitor General made a manifestation
and motion stating that in an endorsement by the Legal Division of the DOTC, it has
been informed that the Philippine Government has decided not to continue with the ZTE-
NBN Project. That said, there is no more justiciable controversy for the Court to resolve.
The public respondents then prayed that the present petitions be dismissed.

The petitioners, in their respective replies, argued that the endorsement is self-
serving and not a sufficient basis that the deal has been permanently scrapped. Assuming
arguendo that the petition has become moot, the Court may still take cognizance thereof
to educate the bench and the bar. Further, because of the transcendental importance of the
issues raised, the Court should take cognizance of this case despite its apparent mootness.

The petitioners ultimately contended the declarations made by officials belonging


to the executive branch on the Philippine Government’s decision not to continue with the
ZTE-NBN Project are self-serving, hence, inadmissible.

Issue: Whether or not the Court may take judicial notice of the acts of President GMA.
221

HELD:

The SC dismissed the petition. It held that it has no alternative but to take judicial
notice of the official act of the President. Under the Section 1 Rule 129, it is mandatory
and the Court has no alternative but to take judicial notice of the official acts of the
President of the Philippines, who heads the executive branch of our government. It is
further provided in the said rule that the court shall take judicial notice of the foregoing
facts without introduction of evidence. Since we consider the act of cancellation by
President Macapagal-Arroyo of the proposed ZTE-NBN Project during the meeting of
October 2, 2007 with the Chinese President in China as an official act of the executive
department, the Court must take judicial notice of such official act without need of
evidence.

Moreover, under Section 2, paragraph (m) of Rule 131 of the Rules of Court, the
official duty of the executive officials of informing this Court of the government’s
decision not to continue with the ZTE-NBN Project is also presumed to have been
regularly performed, absent proof to the contrary. The Court finds no factual or legal
basis to disregard this disputable presumption in the present instance.
222

Zandueta v. De La Costa,

G.R. No. L-46267, November 28, 1938, 66 Phil. 115

Facts:

Prior to the promulgation of Commonwealth Act No.145, the petitioner, the


Honorable Francisco Zandueta was discharging the office of judge of first instance, Ninth
Judicial District, comprising solely the City of Manila, and was presiding over the Fifth
Branch of the Court of First Instance of said city, by virtue of an ad interim appointment
issued by the President of the Philippines in his favor on June 2, 1936, and confirmed by
the Commission on Appointments of the National Assembly.

On November 7, 1936, the date on which Commonwealth Act No. 145, otherwise
known as the Judicial Reorganization Law, took effect, the petitioner received from the
President of the Commonwealth a new ad interim appointment as judge of first instance,
this time of the Fourth Judicial District, with authority to preside over the Courts of First
Instance of Manila and Palawan.

The National Assembly adjourned without its Commission on Appointments


having acted on said ad interim appointment. Another ad interim appointment to the same
office was issued in favor of said petitioner, pursuant to which he took a new oath. After
his appointment and qualification as judge of first instance of the Fourth Judicial District,
the petitioner, acting as executive judge, performed several executive acts.

On May 19, 1938, the Commission on Appointments of the National Assembly


disapproved the aforesaid ad interim appointment of said petitioner. On August 1, 1938,
the President of the Philippines appointed the herein respondent, Honorable Sixto de la
Costa, judge of first instance of the Fourth Judicial District, with authority to preside over
the Fifth Branch of the Court of First Instance of Manila and the Court of First Instance
of Palawan, and his appointment was approved by the Commission on Appointments
223

Issue: Whether or not the petitioner may question the validity of Commonwealth Act No.
145 to entitle him to repossess the office occupied by him prior to the appointment issued
in his favor by virtue of the assailed statute

Held:

When a judge of first instance, presiding over a branch of a Court of First Instance
of a judicial district by virtue of a legal and valid appointment, accepts another
appointment to preside over the same branch of the same Court of First Instance, in
addition to another court of the same category, enters into the discharge of the functions
of his new office and receives the corresponding salary, he abandons his old office and
cannot claim to repossess it or question the constitutionality of the law by virtue of which
his new appointment has been issued.

The rule of equity, sanctioned by jurisprudence, is that when a public official


voluntarily accepts an appointment to an office newly created or reorganized by law,
which new office is incompatible with the one formerly occupied by him, qualifies for
the discharge of the functions thereof by taking the necessary oath, and enters into the
performance of his duties by executing acts inherent in said newly created or reorganized
office and receiving the corresponding salary, he will be considered to have abandoned
the office he was occupying by virtue of his former appointment and he cannot question
the constitutionality of the law by virtue of which he was last appointed. He is exempted
from said rule only when his non-acceptance of the new appointment may affect public
interest or when he is compelled to accept it by reason of legal exigencies.

In the case under consideration, the petitioner was free to accept or not the ad
interim appointment issued by the President of the Commonwealth in his favor, in
accordance with said Commonwealth Act No. 145. If the petitioner believed that
Commonwealth Act No.145 is unconstitutional, he should have refused to accept the
appointment offered him or, at least, he should have accepted it with reservation, had he
believed that his duty of obedience to the laws compelled him to do so, and afterwards
resort to the power entrusted with the final determination of the question whether a law is
unconstitutional or not.
224

The petitioner, being aware of his constitutional and legal rights and obligations,
by implied order of the law(art. 2, Civil Code), accepted the office and entered into the
performance of the duties inherent therein, after taking the necessary oath, thereby acting
with full knowledge that if he voluntarily accepted the office to which he was appointed,
he would later be stopped from questioning the validity of said appointment by alleging
that the law, by virtue of which his appointment was issued, is unconstitutional. The
petition for quo warranto instituted is denied and the same is dismissed with costs to the
petitioner.
225

Jandy J. Agoy, petitioner vs. Araneta Center, Inc.

G.R. No. 196358

Facts:

Petitioner’s case for review on the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of his case on
serious misconduct and dishonesty was denied by the Supreme through a minute
resolution dated 15 June 2011. Petitioner’s motion to rescind said minute resolution was
again denied through the Court’s 21 September 2011 resolution. Upon receipt, Agoy filed
a motion to rescind the same or have his case resolved by the Court En Banc for proper
disposition through a signed resolution or decision.

Issues: Whether or not the copies of the minute resolutions dated 15 June 2011 and 21
September 2011 that Agoy received are authentic; whether or not it was proper for the
court to deny his petition through a minute resolution.

Ruling:

For the first issue, the court ruled in affirmative. The stated minute resolutions
signed by the Assistant Clerk of Court and the Deputy Clerk of Court are authentic. The
signatories are duly authorized by the Court. As held in Borromeo vs. Court of Appeals
(264 SCRA 388), minute resolutions are the results of the deliberations by the Justices of
the Court but are promulgated by the Clerk of Court or his assistants to effect prompt
dispatch of the actions of the Court.

For the second issue, the court ruled in affirmative. It is proper for the Court to
deny Agoy’s petition through a minute resolution. While the Constitution requires every
court to state in its decision clearly and distinctly the fact and the law on which it is
based, the Constitution requires the court, in denying due course to a petition for review,
merely to state the legal basis for such denial. Such legal basis is the absence of
reversible error in the challenged decision, resolution or order of the court. In addition,
when there is no reversible error in the decision of the CA and the Court denies the
226

petition, there is no need for it to fully explain the denial, since it already means that it
agrees with and adopts the findings and conclusions of the CA. The motion to rescind
was denied for lack of merit.
227

Pastor Endencia vs Saturnino David

G.R. No. L-6355-56, August 31, 1953

Facts:

Saturnino David, the then Collector of Internal Revenue, ordered the taxing of
Justice Pastor Endencia’s and Justice Fernando Jugo’s (and other judges’) salary pursuant
to Sec. 13 of Republic Act No. 590 which provides that:

“No salary wherever received by any public officer of the Republic of the
Philippines shall be considered as exempt from the income tax, payment of which is
hereby declared not to be a diminution of his compensation fixed by the Constitution or
by law.”

The judges however argued that under the case of Perfecto vs. Meer, judges are
exempt from taxation – this is also in observance of the doctrine of separation of powers,
i.e., the executive, to which the Internal Revenue reports, is separate from the judiciary;
that under the Constitution, the judiciary is independent and the salaries of judges may
not be diminished by the other branches of government; that taxing their salaries is
already a diminution of their benefits/salaries (see Section 9, Art. VIII, Constitution).

The Solicitor General, arguing in behalf of the CIR, states that the decision in
Perfecto vs Meer was rendered ineffective when Congress enacted Republic Act No. 590.

Issue: Whether or not Sec 13 of RA 590 is constitutional.

Held:

No. The said provision is a violation of the separation of powers. Only courts
have the power to interpret laws. Congress makes laws but courts interpret them. In Sec.
13, R.A. 590, Congress is already encroaching upon the functions of the courts when it
inserted the phrase: “payment of which [tax] is hereby declared not to be a diminution of
his compensation fixed by the Constitution or by law.”
228

Here, Congress is already saying that imposing taxes upon judges is not a
diminution of their salary. This is a clear example of interpretation or ascertainment of
the meaning of the phrase “which shall not be diminished during their continuance in
office,” found in Section 9, Article VIII of the Constitution, referring to the salaries of
judicial officers. This act of interpreting the Constitution or any part thereof by the
Legislature is an invasion of the well-defined and established province and jurisdiction of
the Judiciary.

The interpretation and application of the Constitution and of statutes is within the
exclusive province and jurisdiction of the judicial department, and that in enacting a law,
the Legislature may not legally provide therein that it be interpreted in such a way that it
may not violate a Constitutional prohibition, thereby tying the hands of the courts in their
task of later interpreting said statute, especially when the interpretation sought and
provided in said statute runs counter to a previous interpretation already given in a case
by the highest court of the land.
229

Blandina Hilado vs Jose Gutierrez David

84 Phil 569, April 23, 1945

Facts:

In April 1945, Blandina Hilado filed a complaint to have some deeds of sale
annulled against Selim Assad. Attorney Delgado Dizon represented Hilado. Assad was
represented by a certain Atty. Ohnick.

In January 1946, Atty. Vicente Francisco replaced Atty. Ohnick as counsel for
Assad and he thenafter entered his appearance in court.

In May 1946 or four months later, Atty. Dizon filed a motion to have Atty.
Francisco be disqualified because Atty. Dizon found out that in June 1945, Hilado
approached Atty. Francisco to ask for additional legal opinion regarding her case and for
which Atty. Francisco sent Hilado a legal opinion letter.

Atty. Francisco opposed the motion for his disqualification. In his opposition, he
said that no material information was relayed to him by Hilado; that in fact, upon hearing
Hilado’s story, Atty. Francisco advised her that her case will not win in court; but that
later, Hilado returned with a copy of the Complaint prepared by Atty. Dizon; that
however, when Hilado returned, Atty. Francisco was not around but an associate in his
firm was there (a certain Atty. Federico Agrava); that Atty. Agrava attended to Hilado;
that after Hilado left, leaving behind the legal documents, Atty. Agrava then prepared a
legal opinion letter where it was stated that Hilado has no cause of action to file suit; that
Atty. Agrava had Atty. Francisco sign the letter; that Atty. Francisco did not read the
letter as Atty. Agrava said that it was merely a letter explaining why the firm cannot take
on Hilado’s case.

Atty. Francisco also pointed out that he was not paid for his advice; that no
confidential information was relayed because all Hilado brought was a copy of the
Complaint which was already filed in court; and that, if any, Hilado already waived her
230

right to disqualify Atty. Francisco because he was already representing Assad in court for
four months in the said case. Judge Jose Gutierrez David ruled in favor of Atty.
Francisco.

Issue: Whether or not Atty. Francisco should be disqualified in the said civil case.

Held:

Yes. There already existed an attorney-client relationship between Hilado and


Atty. Francisco. Hence, Atty. Francisco cannot act as counsel against Hilado without the
latter’s consent.

As ruled by the Supreme Court, to constitute an attorney-client relationship, it is


not necessary that any retainer should have been paid, promised, or charged for; neither is
it material that the attorney consulted did not afterward undertake the case about which
the consultation was had. If a person, in respect to his business affairs or troubles of any
kind, consults with his attorney in his professional capacity with the view to obtaining
professional advice or assistance, and the attorney voluntarily permits or acquiesces in
such consultation, then the professional employment must be regarded as established.
231

Macalintal v. Presidential Electoral Tribunal

G.R. No. 191618, June 7, 2011

Facts:

Confronting us is an undesignated petition[1] filed by Atty. Romulo B. Macalintal


(Atty. Macalintal), that questions the constitution of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal
(PET) as an illegal and unauthorized progeny of Section 4, Par. 2 Article VII of the
Constitution:

“The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of all contests
relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice-President, and
may promulgate its rules for the purpose.”

Grudgingly, petitioner throws us a bone by acknowledging that the invoked


constitutional provision does allow the "appointment of additional personnel."

Further, petitioner highlights our decision in Buac v. COMELEC which


peripherally declared that "contests involving the President and the Vice-President fall
within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the PET,

Issues: Whether the constitution of the PET, composed of the Members of this Court, is
unconstitutional, and violates Section 4, Article VII and Section 12, Article VIII of the
Constitution.

Ruling:

Petitioner is unmistakably estopped from assailing the jurisdiction of the PET


before which tribunal he had ubiquitously appeared and had acknowledged its
jurisdiction in 2004.

His failure to raise a seasonable constitutional challenge at that time, coupled with
his unconditional acceptance of the Tribunal's authority over the case he was defending,
translates to the clear absence of an indispensable requisite for the proper invocation of
232

this Court's power of judicial review. Even on this score alone, the petition ought to be
dismissed outright.

Although the subsequent adoption of the parliamentary form of government under


the 1973 Constitution might have implicitly affected Republic Act No. 1793, the statutory
set-up, nonetheless, would now be deemed revived under the present Section 4,
paragraph 7, of the 1987 Constitution.

In accordance to Former Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno’s separate opinion:

The Court is unanimous on the issue of jurisdiction. It has no jurisdiction on the


Tecson and Valdez petitions. Petitioners cannot invoke Article VII, Section 4, Par. 7 of
the Constitution which provides:

"The Supreme Court, sitting en banc shall be the sole judge of all contests relating
to the election, returns and qualifications of the President or Vice President and may
promulgate its rules for the purpose."

The word "contest" in the provision means that the jurisdiction of this Court can
only be invoked after the election and proclamation of a President or Vice
President.There can be no "contest" before a winner is proclaimed.

The PET is not simply an agency to which Members of the Court were
designated. Once again, the PET, as intended by the framers of the Constitution, is to be
an institution independent, but not separate, from the judicial department,... i.e., the
Supreme Court.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. Costs against petitioner.


233

Noceda vs. Directo

G.R. No. 119730. September 2, 1999

Facts:

On September 16, 1986, Aurora Arbizo-Directo filed a complaint against her


nephew, Rodolfo Noceda for Recovery of Possession and Ownership and
Rescission/Annulment of Donation Respondent alleged that she and her co-heirs have
extrajudicially settled the property they inherited from their late father on August 19,
1981, consisting of a parcel of land, described as Lot No. 1121, situated in Bitoong, San
Isidro, Cabangan, Zambales. She donated a portion of her hereditary share to her nephew,
but the latter occupied a bigger area, claiming ownership thereof since September 1985.

Judgment was rendered in favor of respondent on November 6, 1991, where the


RTC (a) declared the Extra-Judicial Settlement-Partition dated August 19, 1981 valid; (b)
declared the Deed of Donation dated June 1, 1981 revoked; (c) ordered defendant to
vacate and reconvey that donated portion of Lot 2, Lot 1121 subject of the Deed of
Donation dated June 1, 1981 to the plaintiff or her heirs or assigns; (d) ordered the
defendant to remove the house built inside the donated portion at the defendants expense
or pay a monthly rental of P300.00 Philippine Currency; and (e) ordered the defendant to
pay attorney’s fees in the amount of P5,000.00.

On January 5, 1995, spouses Rodolfo Dahipon and Cecilia Obispo- Dahipon filed
a complaint for recovery of ownership and possession, and annulment of sale and
damages against spouses Antonio and Dominga Arbizo, spouses Rodolfo and Erna
Noceda, and Aurora Arbizo-Directo. Spouses Dahipon alleged that they were the
registered owners of a parcel of land, consisting of 127,298 square meters, situated in
Barangay San Isidro, Cabangan, Zambales and claimed that the defendants purchased
portions of the land from them without paying the full amount. Except for Aurora, a
compromise agreement was entered into by the parties, as a result of which, a deed of
234

absolute sale was executed. For her part, Aurora questioned Dahipons alleged ownership
over the same parcel of land by filing an adverse claim.

In the meantime, a decision was rendered in CA-G.R. CV No. 38126 on March


31, 1995 with the following fallo:

WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered, ORDERING defendant Rodolfo


Noceda to VACATE the portion known as Lot C of Lot 1121 per Exhibit E, which was
allotted to plaintiff Aurora Arbizo-Directo. Except for this modification, the Decision
dated November 6, 1991 of the RTC, Iba, Zambales, Branch 71, in Civil Case No. RTC-
354-I, is hereby AFFIRMED in all other respects. Costs against defendant Rodolfo
Noceda.[3]

Petitioners filed a petition for review with this Court, which was docketed as G.R.
No. 119730. The Court found no reversible error, much less grave abuse of discretion,
with the factual findings of the two courts below, and thus denied the petition on
September 2, 1999.[4] The decision became final and executory, and a writ of execution
was duly issued by the RTC.

On December 4, 2003, petitioners instituted an action for quieting of title against


respondent. In the complaint, petitioners admitted that Civil Case No. RTC-354-I was
decided in favor of respondent and a writ of execution had been issued, ordering them to
vacate the property. However, petitioners claimed that the land, which was the subject
matter of Civil Case No. RTC-354-I, was the same parcel of land owned by spouses
Dahipon from whom they purchased a portion; and that a title was, in fact, issued in their
name. Petitioners prayed for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin the
implementation of the Writ of Execution dated March 6, 2001 in Civil Case No. RTC-
354-I, and that a declaration be made that the property bought, occupied and now titled in
the name of [petitioners] was formerly part and subdivision of Lot No. 1121 Pls-468-D,
covered by OCT No. P-9036 in the name of Cecilia Obispo-Dahipon.
235

Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of res judicata. Respondent


averred that petitioners. The trial court denied the motion, holding that there was no
identity of causes of action.

On January 25, 2006, respondent filed a Demurrer to Evidence, stating that the
claim of ownership and possession of petitioners on the basis of the title emanating from
that of Cecilia Obispo-Dahipon was already raised in the previous case. On February 22,
2006, the trial court issued a resolution granting the demurrer to evidence. The CA
affirmed.

Issue: Whether or not the principle of res judicata or doctrine of conclusiveness of


judgment is applicable under the facts obtaining in the present case.

Held:

Under the principle of conclusiveness of judgment, such material fact becomes


binding and conclusive on the parties. When a right or fact has been judicially tried and
determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, or when an opportunity for such trial has
been given, the judgment of the court, as long as it remains unreversed, should be
conclusive upon the parties and those in privity with them. Thus, petitioners can no
longer question respondents ownership over Lot No. 1121 in the instant suit for quieting
of title. Simply put, conclusiveness of judgment bars the relitigation of particular facts or
issues in another litigation between the same parties on a different claim or cause of
action.
236

People of the Philippines vs Atty. Raul Sesbreno

G.R. No. 121764, September 9, 1999

Facts:

Atty. Sesbreno and Atty. Ramon Ceniza are opposing counsels in a civil case. At
one point in said civil case, Atty. Ceniza asked for a transfer of hearing. It was granted
but Sesbreno and his client still appeared on the supposed trial date because they denied
that they ever received notice of the postponement. Sesbreno then filed a motion to have
Ceniza reimburse them the expenses they made that day. Ceniza opposed said motion and
he showed evidence that Sebreno in fact received the notice of the postponement of the
hearing. The trial court then directed Sesbreno to show cause why he should not be
subject to contempt. In the subsequent pleadings, Ceniza accused Sesbreno of
misrepresentation prevarication, and “telling a barefaced and documented lie.” Sesbreno
then filed a Reply where he accused Ceniza of being an irresponsible person, cannot be
trusted, like Judas, a liar and irresponsible childish prankster. Ceniza then filed a libel
case against Sesbreno.

Issue: Whether or not the libel case should prosper.

Held:

No. Pleadings filed in court are covered by privileged communication. They are
privileged insofar as they are relevant to the cause in hand or subject of inquiry.
HOWEVER, both lawyers are advised by the Supreme Court to refrain from using
language unbecoming of a member of the Bar and to extend courtesy and respect to their
brothers in the profession. They were warned that a repetition of same infraction will be
dealt with severely. In keeping with the dignity of the legal profession, a lawyer’s
language should be dignified. Choice of language is a very important requirement in the
preparation of pleadings. Appropriately, in the assertion of their client’s rights, lawyers
— even those gifted with superior intellect — are enjoined to rein up their tempers.
Greater care and circumspection must be exercised in the preparation of their pleadings
and to refrain from using abrasive and offensive language.
237

PRUDENTIAL BANK vs. JUDGE JOSE P. CASTRO

and ATTY. BENJAMIN M. GRECIA.

A.C. No. 2756, 1988 June 27, En Banc

Facts:

Acting on the letter-appeal, dated June 6, 1988, filed on behalf of respondent


Judge by his children, seeking clarification of the Decision of June 5, 1986, on whether or
not the Order of this Court forfeiting all of said Judge's retirement benefits and pay
"exclude the monetary value of his accumulated leave credits which he earned during his
thirty six (36) years of service in the government, the last eleven (11) years of which
were spent in the Judiciary," and praying that the same be so excluded considering their
need for funds for the continuing medication of respondent Judge, now afflicted with
liver cancer on its terminal stage, the Court RESOLVED, out of humanitarian
considerations, and following the precedent in Cathay Pacific Airways, Ltd. vs. Hon.
Romillo, Jr., 143 SCRA 396 [1986]), to AMEND the first paragraph of the dispositive
portion of its Decision of June 5, 1986

Held:

Respondent Judge is hereby ordered dismissed from the service, with forfeiture of
all retirement benefits and pay and with prejudice to reinstatement in any branch of the
government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities. He may, however, enjoy all
vacation and sick leave benefits that he has earned during the period of his government
service. This decision is immediately executory.
238

SMITH, BELL & CO., INC., vs. Court of Appeals and Joseph Bengzon Chua

G . R . No . 110668 . February 6 , 1997

Facts:

In July 1982, the plaintiffs, doing business under the style of Tic Hin Chiong,
Importer, bought and imported to the Philippines from the firm Chin Gact Co ., Ltd . of
Taipei , Taiwan , 50 metric tons of Dicalcium Phospate , These were contained in 1 , 250
bags and shipped from the Port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan for the Port of Manila . On July 27,
1982 ,

this shipment was insured by the defendant First Insurance Co and stamped by
Smith, Bell and Co as “claim agent. `against all risks’. Upon arrival, the shipped goods
were not complete (of the 1,250 bags of the imported material , 600 were damaged by
tearing at the sides of the container bags and the contents partly empty. Also, the contents
of the damaged bags were found to be 18, 546 . 0 kg short). October 16, the plaintiff filed
with Smith, Bell, and Co., Inc a formal statement of claim with proof of loss and a
demand for settlement of the corresponding value of the losses. But Smith, Bell and Co.
denied liability. They said that a claim agent is not personally liable under a policy in
which it has not even taken part of.

Issue: Whether or not a local settling or claim agent of a disclosed principal, a foreign
insurance company, can be held jointly and severally liable with said principal under the
latter’s marine cargo insurance policy, given that the agent is not a party to the insurance
contract-

Held:

No. In accordance to the court’s ruling on Salonga v. Warner, Barnes & Co: An
adjustment and settlement agent is no different from any other agent from the point of
view of his responsibility, for he also acts in a representative capacity. Whenever he
adjusts or settles a claim, he does it in behalf of his principal, and his action is binding not
239

upon himself but upon his principal. And here again, the ordinary rule of agency applies.
Thus, an adjustment and settlement agent do not include personal liability. His functions
are merely to settle and adjust claims in behalf of his principal if those claims are proven
and undisputed, and if the claim is disputed or is disapproved by the principal, like in the
instant case, the agent does not assume any personal liability. The recourse of the insured
is to press his claim against the principal.

There is also an absence in solidary liability. There is a solidary liability only


when the obligation expressly so states, or when the law or the nature of the obligation
requires solidarity. The Insurance Code is quite clear as to the purpose and role of a
resident agent. Such agent, as a representative of the foreign insurance company, is
tasked only to receive legal processes on behalf of its principal and not to answer
personally for any insurance claims.

Sec. 190: On whom any notice provided by law or by any insurance policy, proof
of loss, summons and other legal processes may be served in all actions or other legal
proceedings against such company, and consenting that service upon such general agent
shall be admitted and held as valid as if served upon the foreign company at its home
office. In the case at bar, the trial court had to order the service of summons upon First
Insurance Co., Ltd. which would not have been necessary if petitioner was its resident
agent.

Lastly, being a mere agent and representative, petitioner is also not the real party -
in - interest in this case. Also, respondent Court also contends that “the interest of justice
is better served by holding the settling agent jointly and severally liable with its principal.

“As no law backs up such pronouncement, the appellate Court is thus resorting to
equity. However , equity which has been aptly described as“ justice outside legality ,“ is
availed of only in the absence of , and never against , statutory law or judicial
pronouncements.
240

IN RE: PETITION OF ARTURO EFREN GARCIA for admission to the Philippine


Bar without taking the examination. ARTURO EFREN GARCIA, petitioner
2 SCRA 984 August 15, 1961
Barrera, J.,

Facts:

Petitioner, Arturo Efren Garcia Filipino citizen born in Bacolor City, Province of Negros
Occidental. He obtained the degree of "Bachillerato Superior". He was approved, selected
and qualified by the "Instituto de Cervantes" for admission to the Central University of
Madrid wherein her studied law and attained "Licenciado En Derecho", allowing him to
practice profession in Spain. Petitioner wanted to practice profession in the Philippines
without taking the Bar Examination and the said petition is base on the ground that; “The
Nationals of each of the two countries who shall have obtained recognition of the validity
of their academic degrees by virtue of the stipulations of this Treaty, can practice their
professions within the territory of the Other.”

Issue:

Whether or not Arturo Efren Garcia can practice law in the Philippines without taking the
Bar Examination.

Held.

No. The treaty provides that it should be a national of either one state who wishes to
practice profession on the other which is not a valid ground since the petitioner is a
Filipino national, who should be governed by the laws of the Philippines. The law
provides that before one can practice the profession of Law it is mandatory that the said
person (Filipino) have taken and passed the Bar. The treaty between Spain and
Philippines; Treaty on Academic Degrees of the Philippines and Spanish State does not
intend to change the rules and regulations of the contracting state.
241

Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration v. Court of Appeals

65 SCRA 416 July 25, 1975

Fernando, J.:

Facts:

Petitioners was held liable to provide the overtime pay of their employees in pursuant to
the Commonwealth Act No. 444 as indicated that said petitioner that time, now
respondents that they were not provided overtime pay. At the now case at bar, petitioners
alleged that issue which was decided then was was out of the courts jurisdiction hence
petitioner is actually exercising ministrant function.

Issue:

Whether or not the Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration is exercising ministrant


functions and that the courts have no jurisdiction over the matter

Held:

No. The motion for reconsideration was denied it was on the grounds that the growing
complexities of the society renders that the ministrant and constituent functions of the
state is rather irrelevant and that traditional classification have continuously changed due
to the need of the government to address the needs of the state. The previously known
ministrant functions are changing as the state is continuously becoming a dynamic body
which adheres to the needs of its people.
242

RE: PETITION FOR A.M. No. 08-2-01-0 RECOGNITION OF THE EXEMPTION


OF THE Present: GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM FROM
PUNO, C.J., PAYMENT OF LEGAL FEES. CARPIO, CORONA,
GOVERNMENT SERVICE CARPIO MORALES,
INSURANCE SYSTEM, VELASCO, JR. Petitioner. NACHURA, LEONARDO-DE
CASTRO, BRION, PERALTA, BERSAMIN, DEL CASTILLO, ABAD,
VILLARAMA, JR., PEREZ and MENDOZA, JJ.

A.M. NO. 08-2-01-0 February 11, 2010

CORONA, J.

Facts:

The GSIS filed petition for a recognition of its body as a government controlled
organization and thereby should be exempted from paying legal fees based on Section 22,
Rule 141 of the Rules of Court. The said provision states that agencies and
instrumentalities of the Philippines are exempt from paying legal fees and that local
government corporations and government-owned or controlled corporations with or
without its original charters are not exempt from paying such fees. The petitioner wanted
the court to recognize the power of congress to repeal, amend or modify a rule of
procedure promulgated by the court

Issue:

1. Whether or not the legislature may exempt the Government Service Insurance
System (GSIS) from legal fees imposed by the Court on government-owned and
controlled corporations and local government units.

2. Whether or not the congress can repeal, amend or modify a rule of procedure
promulgated by the court.

Held:

1. No. The GSIS cannot invoke the right to social security of government employees
because it is a corporate entity whose personality is separate and distinct from that of its
243

individual members. Rule 141, Section 22 of the rules of court indicates that local
government corporations and government-owned or controlled corporations with or
without its original charters are not exempt from paying such fees.

2. No. The Judiciary have fiscal autonomy therefore it can fees as it deems suitable
and that said petition constitutionally impairs the court’s guaranteed fiscal autonomy and
erodes its independence. The payment of legal fees is a vital component of the rules
promulgated by this court concerning pleading, practice and procedure, it it cannot be
validly annulled, changed or modified by Congress. As one of the safeguards of this
court's institutional independence, the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice
and procedure is now the court’s exclusive domain.
244

Re: Request for copy of 2008 statement of assets, liabilities and networth [SALN]
and personal data sheet or curriculum vitae of the justices of the Supreme Court
and officers and employees of the judiciary & Re: Request of Philippine Center for
Investigative Journalism [PCIJ] for the 2008 statement of assets,liabilities and net
worth [SALN] and personal data sheets of the Court of Appeals Justices

June 13, 2012 A.M. No. 09-8-6-SC

Mendoza, J.:

Facts:

Rowena Paraan, Research Director of Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism


requested a copies of the Statement of Accounts Liabilities and Networth and Personal
Data Sheet or Curriculum Vitae of the Justices of the Supreme Court for the purpose of
updating their database of government officials. Aside from Paraan, Karol M. Ilagan
writer-researcher of the same organization also requested copies of the same records.
There were also other letters, Subpeona duces tecum and Subpeona ad testicum duces
tecum were filed requesting similar documents of different justices and judges of the
courts. The request of the record of Atty. Alejandrino where denied by the court.

Issue: Whether or not the Supreme Court should provide copies of records of judges,
justices and litigants.

Held.

Yes the Supreme Court should provide requested documents of its officials however the
request should adhere to the process of the courts. It should be filed to the Clerk of Courts
of the Supreme Court. The court can also deny request if it is malicious in nature or made
in bad faith or if it’s due to “Fishing Expedition” or an intention to get back at the judge.
The indepence of the judiciary is constitutionally important as to the right of information.
That Section 7 of Article III (Right of the people of information) and Section 17 of
Article XI (The disclosure of information of public officer shall be in accordance with
law) are of equal importance.
245

Senate of the Philippines v.

Eduardo R. Ermita , in his capacity as Executive Secretary

G.R. No. 169777 April 20, 2006

Carpio Morales, J.:

Facts:

Executive Order 464 was issued by Eduardo Ermita in his capacity as Executive
Secretary as an alter ego of the President. The Executive Order forbids the military and
other officials to appear in the Senate which conducts inquiry in aid of legislation without
the authorization of the President and that two military officials namely, Col. Balutan and
Brig. Gen. Gudani were relieved from their duty and were made to face martial
proceedings for failing to adhere to the executive order. The Senate now contests the
constitutionality of the said order from Executive Secretary Ermita.

Issue:

1. Whether E.O. 464 contravenes the power of inquiry vested in Congress;


2. Whether E.O. 464 violates the right of the people to information on matters of public
concern; and
3. Whether respondents have committed grave abuse of discretion when they
implemented E.O. 464 prior to its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

Held:

1. No it does not contravene the power of inquiry vested in the Congress. The
Executive Order 464 does not contravene the power of inquiry vested in the Congress.
Article VI of the Constitution vested the Congress the power to conduct inquiry in aid of
legislation however the said executive order does not contravene that for the said order
only mandates executive official to secure a permit from the President before appearing
in the inquiry. And as for the military the constitution provides that the Head of the
Executive (President) shall be the Commander-in-chief of the military under Article VII
Section 18.
246

2. Yes is t violates the right to public information. It contravenes the right of the
people to public information. Executive privilege which the executive used as a defense
is not validly acceptable for this privilege only adheres to confidential information such
as public safety and close doors meetings of the president with it cabinet members which
requires secrecy due to national security. The matter regarding the railway is actually a
public matter (an actual controversy) to which the said party have a right to know.

3. Yes there was an abuse of discretion though the not the entire E.O No. 414 is
unconstitutional. There was a grave abuse of discretion in invoking Executive privilege
however not all provisions under Executive Order 414 that the petition was partly grated.
Sections 2(b) and 3 of Executive Order No. 464 (series of 2005), "Ensuring Observance
of the Principle of Separation of Powers, Adherence to the Rule on Executive Privilege
and Respect for the Rights of Public Officials Appearing in Legislative Inquiries in Aid
of Legislation Under the Constitution, and For Other Purposes," were declared void while
Sections 1 and 2(a) remained valid.
247

Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority

297 U.S. 288 February 17, 1936

Hughes J.;

Facts:

The case at bar is a certiorari regarding a decision made in favor of the stockholders of
Alabama Power Company regarding a contract that had been entered into by the
Company and the Tennessee Valley Authority involving the sale and exchange of electric
power generated at a government dam, and the acquisition by the Authority of certain
transmission lines from the Power Company.

Issue:

Whether or not the congress have exercise grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction.

Held:

No the congress did not exceed in its power in implementing and administering the
Tennessee Valley Authority. In order to know whether there was a matter needs to be
resolved the court should discern first whether the construction of the statute is fairly
possible by which the question may be avoided. The power of judicial review is limited
on the basis that the question involved is a political question which the judiciary
department cannot decide upon as related to the doctrine of ultra vires. This dormant
power of the judiciary could only be applied if there was really a grave abuse of
discretion amounting in excess or lack of jurisdiction.
248

Capt. Ernesto Caballero v. Philippine Coast Guard et al.

G.R. No. 174312 September 22, 2008

REYES, R.T., J.:

Facts:

Captain Ernesto Caballero was a subject of a complaint filed by Jennifer Liwanag in


August of 2002, who is a dentist and civilian employee of the Philippine Coast Guard
located in Port Area Manila. The complaint against Capt. Caballero was eventually
referred to the Office of Coast Guard Judge Advocate but despite the issuance of the
subpeona directing him to appear before the investigation officers and submit his counter
affidavit, the petitioner failed to appear or comply. The petitioner filed before the
Regional Trial Court a petition for certiorari and a prohibition with the application of the
temporary restraining order (TRO) against respondents, Philippine Coast Guard
Efficiency and Separation Board and Dr. Liwanag.

The Regional Trial Court rendered a decision in favor of the petitioner granting the writ
of injunction base on the grounds that the petitioner’s procedure is hereby declared
improper and irregular and that the proceedings were null and void because the board has
no jurisdiction over Dra. Jennifer Liwanag’s case. Now, petition for certiorari was raised
by the petitioner for the last ruling that the certiorari filed was set aside and reversed and
that the new judgment dismissed the prior petition for lack of merit.

Issues:

1. Whether or not the honorable court of appeals ruled in accordance with the
prevailing laws and jurisprudence, particularly the ruling of this court in the case of
Soriano III v. Lista, (399 SCRA 437) which held that uniformed personnel of the
Philippine Coast Guard are still covered by the military law on administrative discipline,
thereby vesting jurisdiction of the PCG-ESB.
2. Whether or not the manifested bias of the members of the Philippine Coast Guard
Efficiency and Separation Board against the petitioner has ousted them of its jurisdiction
to try and decide the case of the petitioner.
249

Held:

1. Yes, the ruling was in accordance with the prevailing jurisprudence. On March
30, 1998 President Fidel V. Ramos issued the Executive Order (EO) No. 475[21] which
transferred the PCG from the Department of National Defense (DND) to the Office of the
President. The transfer was made pursuant to the President’s authority under Section 31,
Chapter 10, Title III, Book III of EO No. 292 (Administrative Code of 1987) to
reorganize the Office of the President through the transfer of any agency or function to
the Office of the President. EO No. 475 contains a third whereas clause,[22] which states
that the Philippine Coast Guard remains a subordinate unit of the Philippine Navy. The
administrative discipline is vested in the Philippine Coast Guard Efficiency and
Separation Board as indicated in Section 1 of E.O. 475 that The PCG is hereby
transferred from the Office of the President to the DOTC. The DOTC shall exercise
administrative supervision over the PCG.

2. No there was there is no manifest bias or prejudice of the members of the Philippine
Coast Guard Efficiency and Separation Board. The allegations of the petitioner was acted
with prejudice.
250

City of Cebu v. Apolonio M. Dedamo, Jr.

G.R. No. 172852 January 30, 2013

Reyes, J.

Facts:

This case is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court
seeking annulment and setting aside the decision dated November 30, 2005 of the Court
of Appeals ordering the now petitioner, the City of Cebu to pay 12% legal interest per
annum on the unpaid balance of just compensation paid to now respondent Antonio
Dedamo Jr. The case originated the exercise of petitioners power of eminent domain and
that the original owners of the parcel of land which amounts to ₱20,826,339.50, prior to
the Regional Trial Courts recommendation on the price of the property there was
1,786,400.00 pesos provided to the spouses Dedamo as probational payment. The Court
of Appeals then favored the respondent and imposed 12% legal interest per annum on the
unpaid balance on the just compensation. Now petitioner prays on the court to annul the
prior decision.

Issue:

Whether or not the petition at bar should prosper.

Held:

It should not prosper. The petition was denied in accordance with the doctrine of Res
Judicata, under the principle of conclusiveness of judgment, when a right or fact has been
judicially tried and determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, or when an
opportunity for such trial has been given, the judgment of the court, as long as it remains
unreversed, should be conclusive upon the parties and those in privity with them.14
Stated differently, conclusiveness of judgment bars the re-litigation in a second case of a
fact or question already settled in a previous case. As this was indicated on C , Section 47
Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.
251

Henry Duenas, Jr., v.

House of Representative Electoral Tribunal and Angelito Reyes

G.R. No. 185401 July 21, 2009

Corona, J.;

Facts:

The petitioner have file to the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal an election
protest which prays the revision/recount in 170 of the 732 precincts in the 2nd legislative
district of Taguig City for the he have not conceded defeat from the private respondent
Angelito “Jett” P. Reyes who was proclaimed as the winner with 28, 564 votes against
the 27, 107 votes gained by the petitioner. The respondents agreed the revision of ballot
since it is not more than 50% of the total number precincts of the 2nd legislative district.
It appears the HRET cannot discern or discover the fake or spurious ballots.Petition filed
a motion for reconsideration but the HRET denied his motion in an order dated October
21, 2008.16 On the same day, the HRET issued another order directing petitioner to
augment his cash deposit in the amount of ₱320,000 to cover the expenses of the revision
of ballots in the remaining 75% counter-protested precincts within a non-extendible
period of ten days from notice. Instead of complying with the order, petitioner filed an
urgent motion to withdraw/abandon the remaining 75% counter-protested precincts on
October 27, 2008.18 This was denied by the HRET in Resolution No. 08-353 dated
November 27, 2008, reiterating its order directing the continuation of the revision of
ballots in the remaining 75% counter-protested precincts and recalling its order requiring
petitioner to augment his cash deposit. The Tribunal instead ordered the use of its own
funds for the revision of the remaining 75% counter-protested precinct.

Issue:

Whether or not the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal have committed grave
abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, in issuing Resolution No.
08-353 dated November 27, 2008.
252

Held:

There were no grave abuse of discretion. As the law provides that the House of
Representative Electoral Tribunal as the "sole judge" of all contests relating to the
elections, returns, and qualifications of members of the House of Representatives.
Moreover, it averred that under its plenary powers, it could motu proprio review the
validity of every ballot involved in a protest or counter-protest. In the case at bar
petitioner wanted the court to review a matter which is not under under their jurisdiction
and in this case the court exercises judicial restraint. The petition was dismissed and
Resolution No. 08-353 dated November 27, 2008 of the House of Representatives
Electoral Tribunal was affirmed.
253

Pastor Endencia and Fernando Jugo v.

Saturnino David as Collector of Internal Revenue

G.R. No. L-6355-56 August 31, 1953

Montemayor J.;

Facts:

There was an ordered passed by Saturnino David as a Collector of Internal Revenue to


deduct tax from the salary of Justice Pastor Edencia and Justice Fernando Jugo because
of the similarities both was jointly submitted for determination in the lower court. The
said taxing of salaries was in pursuant to Republic Act No. 590 Section 13 which states
that no salary wherever received by any public officer of the Republic of the Philippines
shall considered as exempt from income tax, payment of which is hereby declared not to
be a diminution of his compensation fixed by the Constitution or by law.

Issue:

Whether or not Republic Act No. 590 is unconstitutional.

Held:

Yes it was unconstitutional. The judiciary have fiscal autonomy and that is a safeguard of
the said branch from possible oppression from the other branches. It was clearly indicated
in Article VIII Section 9 that members of the Supreme court shall receive a compensation
fixed by law, which shall not be diminished during their continuance of office. It was
unconstitutional on the grounds that only the judiciary has the power to interpret laws.
The Congress is incharge of legislation only and not the interpretation. In Republic Act
590’s phrase “payment of which is hereby declared not to be a diminution of his
compensation fixed by the Constitution or by law.” that phrase clearly indicates that
there was an encroachment of power exercised by the Legislative. The said act violates
the doctrine of Separation of Powers.
254

Amos Francia Jr et. al v. Municipality of Meycauayan Bulacan

G.R. No. 170432 March 24, 2008

Corona, J.:

Facts:

Petitioner filed a motion for certiorari against the previous ruling which favors the
respondent of taking possession of the respondents property with just compensation. The
object of the issue was said to be not a raw land and was in fact developed and was
planned for further development. The property was planned to be part of the
establishment of a common public terminal for all types of public utility vehicles with a
weighing scales of heavy trucks.The court ruled out that construction of a public terminal
would improve the flow of vehicular traffic during rush hours. The court then ordered
after the Municipality of Meycauayan has deposited with this Court the fifteen percent
(15%) of the fair market value of the property based on the current tax declaration of the
property to be expropriated, it may take immediate possession of the property upon
issuance of writ of possession that this court will issue for that purpose. Further, the
purposes of assessment and determination of the area needed that will suit the purpose of
expropriation and just compensation of the lot sought to be expropriated, the court hereby
appoints commissioners to be composed of the officer-in-charge of this court, Lerida
Socorro E. Joson and one each from the Municipality of Meycauayan and the now
petitioner.

Issue:

Whether or not the Municipality of Meycauyan Bulacan can take into possession the said
property of the petitioner.

Held:

Yes. The Municipality of Meycauyan can exercise the power of eminent domain base on
the doctrine of delegation of powers. It was indicated in Section 25 Article II that the
local government shall be ensured with autonomy and that under Section 19 of Republic
255

Act 7160; A local government unit may, through its chief executive and acting pursuant
to an ordinance, exercise the power of eminent domain for public use, or purpose, or
welfare for the benefit of the poor and the landless, upon payment of just compensation,
pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution and pertinent laws; Provided, however,
That the power of eminent domain may not be exercised unless a valid and definite offer
has been previously made to the owner, and that such offer was not accepted; Provided,
further, That the local government unit may immediately take possession of the property
upon the filing of the expropriation proceedings and upon making a deposit with the
proper court of at least fifteen percent (15%) of the fair market value of the property
based on the current tax declaration of the property to be expropriated; Provided, finally,
That, the amount to be paid for the expropriated property shall be determined by the
proper court, based on the fair market value at the time of the taking of the property
256

Joseph E. Estrada v. Aniano Desierto in his capacity as Ombudsman et. al.

G.R. No. 146738 March 2, 2001

Puno, J.;

Facts:

The case at bar is regarding the office of the president. Estrada who won the presidential
election in 1998 faced several allegations under his administration. The plethora of
problems started with the accusations of Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson stated on
national television that his family and friends were receiving millions of pesos from
jueteng. The accusation of Chavit Singson was followed by Senator Teofisto Guingona’s
accusation that the petitioner received a sum of P220 million jueteng money. The chaos
leads to the call for resignation on air by Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin who have issued
a pastoral statement in behalf of the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Manila. In
November 1 of the same year several cabinet members resigned from their position. The
political temperature heated up upon the start of the impeachment trial in December.
Though the trial was adjourned because of the season the year started with the collective
resignation of the public prosecutors and the resignation of Senator Pimentel as Senate
President. On the 20th of that month and year the petitioner release a statement of leaving
the Malacanang and submitted a letter to let the Vice President have the role of Acting
President base on Section 11 of Article VII of the constitution. With all these facts
provided the petitioner contests that he was just on leave and that he did not resign.

Issues:

1. Whether or not the petitions present a justiciable controversy

2. Whether or not the petitioner Estrada is a President on leave while respondent


Arroyo is an Acting President.

3. Whether or not conviction in the impeachment proceedings is a condition


precedent for the criminal prosecution of petitioner Estrada. In the negative and on the
257

assumption that petitioner is still President, whether he is immune from criminal


prosecution.

4. Whether the prosecution of petitioner Estrada should be enjoined on the ground of


prejudicial publicity.

Held:

1. Yes the petition is justiciable question. The question at bar is a justiciable


question and not Political. It is regarding the interpretation of Article VII Section 11 and
Section 1 Article II of the constitution.

2. Yes it was a resignation. All elements of resignation was present such as the
acknowledgement of the oath taking, he states that he was leaving the office and did not
provide on when he will resume, his expressed gratitude to the people which indicates
past opportunity and the request from his supporters to join him in the promotion of
constructive national spirit of reconciliation.

3. The criminal proceedings states that the petitioner was no longer the president for
the president have the safeguard of presidential immunity from suits.

4. No there were no prejudicial publicity. The petitioner was not able to provide
enough evidence on this allegation and that the right to free trial and free press is
incompatible.
258

Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation v. Cayetano Pacana III et. al.

G.R. No. 171673 May 30, 2011

Leonardo - De Castro J.;

Facts:

Petitioner was obliged to provide P 12, 002, 157. 28 to respondents for they have won a
labor arbitration case against petitioner on the grounds of illegal dismissal, unfair labor
practice, reimbursement of unpaid Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) benefits. The
petitioner contends on a motion the decision on the grounds that the liability of Banahaw
Broadcasting Corporation and Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation is solidary, that
BBC was not a duly authorized representative, it was IBC who effected the termination
of the respondents (DXWG personnels), the DXWG are members of the IBC Union and
not employees of the petitioner and that the sequestered property of the petitioner cannot
be levied on. The petition then was denied. The petitioner filed a certiorari now on the
grounds that BBC is government owned and should be exempt it is base on the grounds
that IBC, BBC and RPN-9 were actually government own broadcasting corporation but
later on was reconstituted to Benidicto. On November 3, 1990 Benedicto and the
Republic executed an agreement that in exchange from civil and criminal immunity
ceded to the government some of his properties and rights of IBC, 100% of total assets
including DXWG Iligan.

Issues:

1. Whether or not Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation governmental functions.

2. Whether or not the National Labor Relations Commission have resulted to grave
abuse of discretion in dismissing the appeal.
259

Held:

1. Banahaw Broadcasting does not carry governmental function for it is commercial


in nature.
2. There was no grave abuse of discretion of National Labor Relations Commission
and the court affirmed its decision and the petition to review certiorari was
denied.
260

Norlainie Mitmug Limbona v. Commission on Election and Malik Bobby Alingan

G.R. No. 181097 June 25, 2008

Ynares-Santiago J.;

Facts:

Petitioner is filed a certiorari on the previous ruling of disqualification against her and
alleging that the Commission on Election err because of the abuse of discretion. The
petitioner was previously disqualified due to residency, then it was reversed and the
petitioner run for office in place of Mohammad Limbona, the petitioner then won the
election however upon the petition filed by the respondent she was then disqualified.

Issue:

1. Whether or not the petitioner should be disqualified.

2. Whether or not the Commission on Election have abused its discretion on the
ruling of disqualification.

Held:

1. The petitioner should be disqualified base on the qualification of residency. The


petitioners original domicile was in Maguing, Lanao Del Norte and that due to marriage
the petitioner changed domicile based on Article 68 and 69 of the Family Code. That the
husband and wife are obliged to live together and fix the family domicile.

2. The Commission on Election did not abuse its discretion for it is their
constitutional function to secure that those running for public positions adheres to the
qualification provided in the constitution.
261

Louis Barok Biraogo v. The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010

G.R. No. 192935 December 7, 2010

Mendoza, J.;

Facts

In line with the May 2010 elected president’s platform of “kung walang corrupt, walang
mahirap” a special body was formed by Benigno Simeon Aquino named as The
Philippine Truth Commission in accordance with Executive Order No. 1. The said ad hoc
body formed under the Office of the President was tasked with the investigation of
reports of graft and corruption. The commission was described as collegial body it is
essentially an entity with the office of the President. The said entity was contended by the
petitioner as unconstitutional base on the grounds that (1) it violates the separation of
powers, it encroaches the legislative branch which is vested with power to create public
office and the appropriation of funds for its operation, (2) it is a violation of the of
Chapter 10 Section 31 of the Administrative Code of 1987 because the delegated
authority of the President to structurally reorganize the office of the President does not
include the power to create an entirely new office, (3) it was an illegal duplication the
power of the Ombudsman and Department of Justice aside from the possibility that it
may also exceed the power of the two mentioned entity and (4) it is a violation of the
equal protection clause.

Issue

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

2.Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the principle of separation of powers by
usurping the powers of Congress to create and to appropriate funds for public offices,
agencies and commissions;
262

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

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

Held

1. Yes the petitioner have legal standing. Evidently the petition invokes the usurpation of
power of the Congress which the petitioners belong.

2. The President have the power to reorganize office but the Philippine Truth
Commission does not essentially belongs to the office of the president so it cannot be
held that it is reorganization. While the contention that the Executive can create an
investigating committee to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed is a valid ground
base on\ Article VII Section 17 of the Philippine constitution.

3. The power to investigate is vested to the head of the Executive branch base of faithful
execution clause of Article VII Section 17. Fact-finding is not adjudication and cannot be
compared to the judicial function of the court of justice neither equivalent to the quasi-
judicial agency or office. Rather than supplanting or eroding the power of the Department
of Justice and the Ombudsman the Presidential Truth Commission will actually
compliment the two offices.

4. Yes it violates the equal protection clause, though the president have the power to find
or conduct investigation if laws are faithfully executed still the constitution should still
remain supreme from all laws. The court recognizes the infeasibility of investigating
almost a century's worth of graft cases whether for the possibility of the order to be a
vehicle for vindictiveness and selective retribution if possible for the reason that since it’s
a lot of graft cases they may center their investigation to the recent past administration
provided that the body have limited time and resources based on the doctrine of Lex non
cognit impossiblia.

Therefore the Executive Order No. 1 is ruled as unconstitutional.


263

Rep. Raul Daza v. Rep. Luis Singson and Hon. Raoul Victorino in his capacity as
secretary of the Commission of Appointments

G.R. No. 86344 December 21, 1989

Cruz, J.;

Facts

The petitioner was contesting the his removal from the Commision of Appointments
wherein there should be 12 seats should be proportionally apportioned among several
political parties represented in that chamber in accordance with Article VI Section 18.
During that time the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino was reorganized resulting the
political realignment in the House of Representative. Twenty-four members of the
Liberal Party joined the LDP, reducing their former members to a total of seventeen. In
regards with the realignment the seat occupied by Daza was withdrawn and given to a
member of the newly formed LDP and the chamber elected a new set of representatives
consisting of its original members except for the petitioner. The petitioner seek relief
from the Supreme Court challenging his removal from the commission and the
assumption of Singson of the seat that he previously occupied. This contention is base on
his allegation that his seat is permanent and that the reorganization of the House is not
base on permanent political realignment because the newly formed party is not duly
registered and has not yet attained political stability.

Issue

Whether or not the question raised by the petitioner is a political question.

Held

The court has competence to decide the matter for what is involved is legality and not
wisdom of the act of the chamber. As defined political question connotes, in legal
parlance, what it means in ordinary parlance, namely, a question of policy. In other
words, ... it refers "to those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by
the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority
264

has been delegated to the Legislature or executive branch of the Government." It is


concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure.
Even if the question raised at bar is a political question the Supreme Court still have
authority to decide on the matter base of the expanded power of judicial review base on
Article VII Section 1 of the Philippine Constitution.
265

Jocelyn Limkaichong v. Commission on Election

G.R. No. 179120 April 1, 2009


Peralta , J.;

Facts

The petition at bar includes the Joint Resolution of the Commission on Election regarding
the disqualification of Jocelyn D. Sy Limkaichong who is a candidate for congresswoman
for the First District of Negros on the ground that said candidate is not a Filipino citizen
because her mother renounces her Filipino citizenship upon marrying the Chinese father
of the said election candidate. Th COMELEC En Banc arrived at a resolution affirming
the disqualification 2 days after counting of votes. The said candidate won the election
and in accordance with Resolution No. 8062 she was proclaimed as the winner. Paras the
rival candidate of Limkaichong filed a petition to the COMELEC with regards with the
proclamation however Limkaichong contends that since the winner of the election have
been proclaimed the COMELEC no longer have jurisdiction over the matter and petition
should be filed to House of Representative Electoral Tribunal.

Issue

1. Whether or not the proclamation done by the COMELEC is valid.


2. Whether or not COMELEC should still exercise jurisdiction over the matter.

Ruling

1. The proclamation was valid in accordance with Resolution No. 8062 the policy
guideline that states that there should be no suspension on the proclamation of election
winners with pending disqualification case. It was rather a pending disqualification case
because of the timely filing for the motion for reconsideration which renders the
suspension of the execution of the May 17,2007 Joint Resolution as base on Section 2
Rule 19 of Commission of Election Rules of Procedure.
266

2. The Commission on Election do not jurisdiction over the matter and that the proper
authority is the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal. Once a winning candidate
has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the House of
Representatives, the jurisdiction of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal
begins over election contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications, and mere
allegation as to the invalidity of her proclamation does not divest the Electoral Tribunal
of its jurisdiction.
267

Emma Gallardo-Corro et. al. v. Efren Don Gallardo et. al.


G.R. No. 136228 January 30, 2001

Bellosillo, J.;

Facts

The case at bar is an offshoot of a conflict among the children of the spouses Dr.
Marcelino Gallardo, Sr. and Patrocinia Vda. de Gallardo. Sometime in 1943 the patriarch
of the Gallardo clan, Dr. Marcelino Gallardo, Sr., died leaving behind several properties
in Dumaguete City, particularly referring to Lots Nos. 2, 1015, 1026, 1028, 6136, 1014
and 4347. He was survived by his wife Patrocinia Vda. de Gallardo and children Caridad
Gallardo-Bocanegra, Jose Gallardo, Marcelina Gallardo-Arenas, Emma Gallardo-Corro,
Marcelino Gallardo, Jr., Felicisimo Gallardo and Teresita Gallardo. The petitioners
alleged that they were convinced to sign documents such as "Assignment of Shares of
Inheritance," "Deed of Quit Claims of Undivided Share," and "Extrajudicial Settlement of
Estate and Deed of Absolute Sale," thru bad faith believing that it was in pursuance of the
housing loan and will be used as collateral of the respondent. The case was postponed
several times but on 6 October 1980 the case was dismissed without prejudice, perhaps
by reason of the parties efforts to settle amicably they being members of the same family.
The defendants moved for reconsideration but manifested that they would agree to a
dismissal if it was with prejudice.A petition was filed by defendants and a motion for
certiorari.

Issue

Whether or not the case should be dismiss on the grounds of res judicata.

Held

The petition was denied. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 4 September 1998
declaring void all the proceedings in Civil Case No. 11861 and dismissing the case
268

instead was affirmed. As the court ruled out that the confluence of the foregoing
considerations impels the court to withhold our imprimatur to the continuation of Civil
Case No. 11861, in absolute fidelity the court’s trust. That it was time indeed to put an
end to the litigation among the members of the same family.
269

United Church of Christ in the Philippines Inc. v.

Bradford United Church of Christ Inc., et. al.

G.R. No. 171905 June 20, 2012


Perez, J.;

Facts:

The case at bar is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of
Civil Procedure assailing the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 83159
which affirmed the Securities and Exchange Commission Decision in SEC Case No. C-
00194. Petitioner United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Inc. is a religious
corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines. It is a national
confederation of incorporated and unincorporated self-governing Evangelical churches of
different denominations, devised for fellowship, mutual counsel and cooperation. It is the
ecclesiastical successor of the Evangelical Church of the Philippines, the Philippine
Methodist Church and the United Evangelical Church of the Philippines.Respondent
Bradford United Church of Christ, Inc., formerly known as Bradford Memorial Church,
is likewise a religious corporation with a personality separate and distinct from UCCP. It
was organized at the turn of the 20th century but it was incorporated only on 14
December 197.Before Branch 2 of the MTCC of Mandaue City, the petitioner Bradford
United Church of Christ, Inc. (BUCCI) filed a Complaint for unlawful detainer and
damages against herein respondents Dante Ando, Abenigo Augis, Edgar Cardones,
Zacarias Gutierrez, Cornelio Ibarra, Jr., Zenaida Ibarra, Teofilo Lirasan, Eunice Lirasan,
Ruth Mission, Dolly Resales and Eunice Tambangan, in their capacities as Members of
the Mandaue Bradford Church Council, the Mandaue Bradford Church (MBC), and the
United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Inc. (UCCPI). This Complaint was docketed
thereat as Civil Case No. 4936. The Complaint should not be dismissed for its failure to
comply with the requirement on the certification against forum-shopping under Rule 7,
Section 5 of the Rules of Court. A petition was file to the Regional Trial Court but it was
dismissed with prejudice and BUCCI was ruled out to be guilty of forum-shopping.
270

Issue:

Whether the Court of Appeals is correct in holding that petitioner is guilty of forum
shopping for filing the ejectment or unlawful detainer during the pendency of action for
recovery of ownership, and for failing to disclose the pendency of the certification of non
forum-shopping.

Held

No base on Rule 7 Section 5. The Petition was granted. The December 10, 2010 Decision
of the Court of Appeals and its January 26, 2011 Resolution in CA-GR. SP No. 01935
were reversed and set aside. The Municipal Trial Court in Cities of Mandaue City,
Branch 2 was directed to give due course to the complaint for unlawful detainer and
damages, docketed thereat as Civil Case No. 4936, instituted therein by petitioner
Bradford United Church of Christ, Inc. against therein respondents.
271

Rommel Jalosjos v. Commission on Election and Dan Erasmo, Sr,

G.R. No. 192474 June 26, 2012

Abad, J.;

Facts

Rommel Jalosjos filed a candidacy for Governor of Zamboanga Sibugay for the Election
of 2010 which leads to filing of Dan Erasmo Sr. of the petition to cancel the Certificate of
Candidacy on grounds that he failed to comply with the one year residency requirement
of the Local Government Code.Jalosjos was was born in Quezon City who migrated to
Australia while he was eight years of age. In 2008 he returned to the Philippines and
lived in Zamboanga and took and oath of allegiance to the Philippines and he was issued
by a certificate by the Department of Foreign Affairs. After which he registered himself
as a voter of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay which was approved by the Commission on
Election and was affirmed by the Municipal Trial Court and the Regional Trial
Court.COMELEC held that Jalosjos failed to present ample proof of a bona fide intention
to establish a domicile in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. It held that when he first moved back
to the Philippines, he was merely a guest or transient at his brother's house in Ipil, and for
this reason, he cannot claim Ipil as his domicile. Meanwhile, Jalosjos won the elections.

Issue

Whether or not the Commission on Election is erred in holding that petitioner did not
present ample proof of a bona fide intention to establish domicile at Ipil, Zamboanga
Sibugay.

Held

Yes the Commission on election erred in the decision. The facts show that Jalosjos'
domicile of origin was Quezon city. When he acquired Australian citizenship, Australia
became his domicile by operation of law and by choice. On the other hand, when he
came to the Philippines in November 2008 to live with his brother in Zamboanga
Sibugay, it is evident that Jalosjos did so with intent to change his domicile for good. He
272

left Australia, gave up his Australian citizenship, and renounced his allegiance to that
country and reacquired his old citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance to the
Philippines. By his acts, Jalosjos forfeited his legal right to live in Australia, clearly
proving that he gave up his domicile there. And he has since lived nowhere else except in
Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. The court granted the petition and sets aside the Resolution of
the COMELEC Second Division dated February 11, 2010 and the Resolution of the
COMELEC En Banc dated May 4, 2010 that disqualified petitioner Rommel Jalosjos
from seeking election as Governor of Zamboanga Sibugay.
273

Panfilo Lacson et al v. Secretary Hernando Peres et al

G.R. No. 147780 May 10, 2001

Melo, J.;

Facts

A state of rebellion was declared by the President Macapagal Arroyo along with this she
issued Proclamation No. 38 on May 1, 2001 and General Order No. 1 ordering the
suppression of the rebellion in NCR to the AFP and the PNP . Several alleged members
and leaders of the rebelling were subjected to warrantless arrest. Petitioner filed for
prohibition, injunction, mandamus and habeas corpus with an application for the issuance
of temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. Petitioners assail the
declaration of Proc. No. 38 and the warrantless arrests allegedly affected by virtue
thereof. Petitioners furthermore pray that the appropriate court, wherein the information
against them were filed, would desist arraignment and trial until this instant petition is
resolved. They also contend that they are allegedly faced with impending warrantless
arrests and unlawful restraint being that hold departure orders were issued against them.

Issue

Whether or not Proclamation No. 38, warrantless arrests and hold departure orders
allegedly affected by the same are valid

Held

No. President Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the lifting of Proc. No. 38 on May 6, 2006,
accordingly the instant petition has been rendered moot and academic. Respondents have
declared that the Justice Department and the police authorities intend to obtain regular
warrants of arrests from the courts for all acts committed prior to and until May 1, 2001.
Under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, authorities may only resort to
warrantless arrests of persons suspected of rebellion in suppressing the rebellion if the
274

circumstances so warrant, thus the warrantless arrests are not based on Proc. No. 38.
Petitioner’s prayer for mandamus and prohibition is improper at this time because an
individual warrantlessly arrested has adequate remedies in law: Rule 112 of the Rules of
Court, providing for preliminary investigation, Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code,
providing for the period in which a warrantlessly arrested person must be delivered to the
proper judicial authorities, otherwise the officer responsible for such may be penalized
for the delay of the same. If the detention should have no legal ground, the arresting
officer can be charged with arbitrary detention, not prejudicial to claim of damages under
Article 32 of the Civil Code. Petitioners were neither assailing the validity of the subject
hold departure orders, nor were they expressing any intention to leave the country in the
near future. To declare the hold departure orders null and void ab initio must be made in
the proper proceedings initiated for that purpose. Petitioners’ prayer for relief regarding
their alleged impending warrantless arrests is premature being that no complaints have
been filed against them for any crime, furthermore, the writ of habeas corpus is uncalled
for since its purpose is to relieve unlawful restraint which Petitioners are not subjected to.
Petition is dismissed. Respondents, consistent and congruent with their undertaking
earlier adverted to, together with their agents, representatives, and all persons acting in
their behalf, are hereby enjoined from arresting Petitioners without the required judicial
warrants for all acts committed in relation to or in connection with the May 1, 2001 siege
of Malacañang.
275

Lockheed Detective and Watchman Agency, Inc. v. University of the Philippines

G.R. No. 185918 April 18, 2012


Villarama Jr., J.;

Facts

University of the Philippines entered into a contract for security services with the
petitioner, Lockheed Detective and Watchman Agency, Inc. in 1998. There have been
several guards assigned in the University of the Philippines who have filed a case in
relation with the improper payment of wages.

Issue

Whether or not the University of the Philippines having its original charter can invoke
immunity from suit.

Held

No. University of the Philippines have given that it’s consent to suit upon entering the
contact with private individuals. The University of the Philippines is a juridical
personality separate and distinct from the government and has the capacity to sue and be
sued
276

Atty. Romulo Macalintal v. Presidential Electoral Tribunal

G.R. No. 191618 November 23, 201

Nachura, J.;

Facts

The petitioner is questioning the constitutionality of Presidential Electoral Tribunal on


the basis of 4,[2] Article VII of the Constitution which states that the Supreme Court,
sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and
qualifications of the President or Vice-President, and may promulgate its rules for the
purpose.

Issue

Whether or not the Presidential Electoral Tribunal is unconstitutional and violates Section
4, Article VII of the constitution

Held

No. The word "contest" in the provision means that the jurisdiction of this Court can only
be invoked after the election and proclamation of a President or Vice President.There can
be no "contest" before a winner is proclaimed.
277

Manuel Mamba et. al. v. Edgar Lara et. al.

G.R. No. 165109 December 14, 2009

Del Castillo, J.;

Facts

A resolution was passed authorizing Governor Edgard Lara to engage the services of and
appoint Preferred Ventures Corporation as financial advisor or consultant for the issuance
and flotation of bonds to fund the priority projects of the governor without cost and
commitment which also ratified the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) entered into by
Gov. Lara and Preferred Ventures Corporation which provides that the provincial
government of Cagayan shall pay Preferred Ventures Corporation a one-time fee of 3%
of the amount of bonds floated. In addition, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, authorized
Gov. Lara to negotiate, sign and execute contracts or agreements pertinent to the flotation
of the bonds of the provincial government in an amount not to exceed P500 million for
the construction and improvement of his priority projects, including the construction of
the New Cagayan Town Center, to be approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Subsequently, Lara issued the Notice of Award to Asset Builders Corporation, giving to
the latter the planning, design, construction and site development of the town center
project.

Petitioners Manuel N. Mamba, Raymund P. Guzman and Leonides N. Fausto filed a


Petition for Annulment of Contracts and Injunction with prayer for a Temporary
Restraining Order/Writ of Preliminary Injunction against the respondents (Gov. Lara et
al.). The RTC, however, dismissed their petition on the grounds that the petitioners have
no locus standi to file a case as they are not party to the contract and (2) that the
controversy is in the nature of a political question, thus, the court can’t take cognizance
of it.
278

Issues

1.Whether or not the petitioners have locus standi to sue as taxpayers


2.Whether or not the controversy is in the nature of a political question

Held

1. Yes the petitioners have legal standing to sue as taxpayer base on Ratio Decidendi
which means A taxpayer is allowed to sue where there is a claim that public funds are
illegally disbursed, or that the public money is being deflected to any improper purpose,
or that there is wastage of public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or
unconstitutional law.

2. The case at bar is justiciable and not political.


279

Suzette Nicolas y Sombilon v.

Alberto Romulo in capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs et. al

G.R. No. 175888 February 11, 2009

Acuna, J.;

Facts

These are petitions for certiorari, etc. as special civil actions and/or for review of the
Decision of the Court of Appeals in Lance Corporal Daniel J. Smith v. Hon. Benjamin T.
Pozon, et al., in CA-G.R. SP No. 97212, dated January 2, 2007. Saniel committed rape
against Nicole and was convicted of the said crime. Smith was an American serviceman
convicted of a crime against our penal laws and the crime was committed within the
country’s jurisdiction. But pursuant to the Visiting Forces Agreement, which is a treaty
between the US and Philippines, the US embassy was granted custody over Smith.
Nicole, together with the other petitioners appealed before the Supreme Court contesting
the validity of the Visiting forces Agreement on the grounds that it was not ratified by the
US senate in the same way our senate ratified the VFA.

Issue

1. Whether or not the Visiting Forces Agreement is constitutional.

2. Whether or not the Visiting Forces Agreement is not a self executing provision.

Held

1. The VFA is constitutional because it is also it is another form of implementation of its


provision

2. Yes is a self-executing Agreement hence the parties intend its provisions to be


enforceable, precisely because the VFA is intended to carry out obligations and
undertakings under the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty. As a matter of fact, the VFA has
been implemented and executed, with the US faithfully complying with its obligation to
produce Smith before the court during the trial.
280

Nicos Industrial Corporation et al v. The Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 88709 February 11, 1992

Cruz, J.;

Facts

The order of the dismissal of The Writ of Preliminary Injunction is assailed by the
petitioner on the principal ground that it violates aforementioned constitutional
requirements. The petitioners complain that it is not a reasoned decision and does not
clearly distinctly explain how it was reached by the Trial Court and that the sheriff was
irregular hence the publication is not in general circulation. The petitioners complain that
there was no analysis of their testimonial evidence or of their 21 exhibits, the trial court
merely confining itself to the pronouncement that the sheriff's sale was valid and that it
had no jurisdiction over the derivative suit. There was therefore no adequate factual or
legal basis for the decision that could justify its review and affirmance by the Court of
Appeals.

Issue

Whether or not the decision of the Court of Appeals is unconstitutional.

Held

The challenged decision of the Court of Appeals was set aside on the grounds of lack
of basis. The case was remanded to the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan, Branch 10,
for revision, within 30 days from notice, of the Order of June 6, 1986, conformably
to the requirements of Article VIII, Section 14, of the Constitution, subject to the appeal
thereof, if desired, in accordance with law.
281

Esther Pagano v. Juan Nazarro, Jr. et al

G.R. No. 149072 September 21, 2007


Chico-Nazario, J.;

Facts

This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, assailing
the Decision dated 7 March 2001, rendered by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
53323. In reversing the Decision, dated 4 January 1999, rendered by Branch 10 of the
Regional Trial Court of La Trinidad, Benguet, the Court of Appeals declared that the
petitioner, Esther S. Pagano, may still be held administratively liable for dishonesty,
grave misconduct and malversation of public funds through falsification of official
documents.

Issue

Whether or not a government employee who has been separated from the Civil Service
by operation of law pursuant to Section 66 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 881 or The
Omnibus Election Code may still be administratively charged under Civil Service laws,
rules and regulations.

Held

Yes, In this case at bar the petition was denied and the assailed Decision of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 53323, promulgated on 7 March 2001, was affirmed. The
Office of the Provincial Governor of Benguet was directed to proceed with
Administrative Case No. 98-01 against the petitioner, Esther S. Pagano, for dishonesty,
grave misconduct and malversation of public funds through falsification of official
documents.
282

Soledad Ramos et. al. v. Teresita Ramos et. al.

G.R. No. 144294 March 11, 2003

Panganiban, J.;

Facts

The case at bar is petition for certiorari regarding a decision on a parcel of land located at
Tondo Manila. Petitioners are children of the late Paulino V. Chanliongco Jr., who was
the co-owner of a parcel of land known as Lot No. 2-G of Subdivision Plan SWO No.
7308. Situated in Tondo, Manila, it was co-owned by him, his sister Narcisa, and his
brothers Mario and Antonio. By virtue of a Special Power of Attorney executed by the
co-owners in favor of Narcisa, her daughter Adoracion C. Mendoza had sold the lot to
herein respondents on different days in September 1986. Because of conflict among the
heirs of the co-owners as to the validity of the sale, respondents filed with the Regional
Trial Court a Complaint for interpleader to resolve the various ownership claims.
Issue

Whether or not the the Court of Appeals erred in denying petitioner's Motion and
allowing its Decision dated September 25, 1995 to take its course, in spite of its
knowledge that the lower court did not acquire jurisdiction over the person of petitioners
and passing petitioners property in favor of respondents, hence without due process of
law.

Held

No, the Court of Appeals have not committed an error. It is well settled that a decision
that has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable. A final judgment may no
longer be modified in any respect. The petition was denied and the resolution was
affirmed.
283

Regina Ongsiako Reyes v. Commission on Elections

G.R. No. 207264 October 22, 2013

Perez, J’;

Facts:

The case at bar is Petition for Certiorari with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order
and/or Preliminary Injunction and/or Status Quo Ante Order dated 7 June 2013 filed by
petitioner Regina Ongsiako Reyes, assailing the Resolutions dated 27 March 2013 and 14
May 2013 issued by public respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in SPA
No. 13-053. The assailed Resolutions ordered the cancellation of the Certificate of
Candidacy of petitioner for the position of Representative of the lone district of
Marinduque. The petition for certiorari originated from the cancellation of the petitioners
certificate for candidacy due to failure to comply to Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9225 or the
Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003.

Issue

1. Whether or not the Commission on Election has the jurisdiction over the petitioner
who is a duly proclaimed winner and who has already taken her oath of office for the
position of member of the House of Representative.

2. Whether or not the Commission on Election Erred in its ruling that the petitioner is
eligible to run for office

Held

1. The Commission on Election has no jurisdiction over the matter for in accordance with
Section 17, Article 6 of the 1987 Constitution, the House of Representative Electoral
Tribunal has the exclusive jurisdiction to be the sole judge of all contests relating to the
election returns and qualification of the members of House of Representative.

2. No, there was no abuse of discretion in the decision of the Commission of Election. In
accordance with R.A 9925, for a respondent to reacquire Filipino citizenship and become
284

eligible for public office, the law requires that she must have accomplished the following
1) take the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines before the consul-general
of the Philippine Consulate in the USA, and 2) make a personal and sworn renunciation
of her American citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an oath. In
the case at bar, there is no showing that petitioner complied with the requirements.
Petitioner’s oath of office as Provincial Administrator cannot be considered as the oath of
allegiance in compliance with RA 9225. As to the issue of residency, the court approved
the ruling if the COMELEC that a Filipino citizen who becomes naturalized elsewhere
effectively abandons his domicile of origin. Upon reacquisition of Filipino citizenship, he
must still show that he chose to establish his domicile in the Philippines through positive
acts, and the period of his residency shall be counted from the time he made it his
domicile of choice. In this case, there is no showing that the petitioner reacquired her
Filipino citizenship pursuant to RA 9225 so as to conclude that the petitioner renounced
her American citizenship, it follows that she has not abandoned her domicile of choice in
the USA. Petitioner claim that she served as Provincial Administrator of the province of
Marinduque from January 18, 2011 to July 13, 2011 is not sufficient to prove her one-
year residency for she has never recognized her domicile in Marinduque as she remains
to be an American citizen. No amount of her stay in the said locality can substitute the
fact that she has not abandoned her domicile of choice in the USA.
285

Sanlakas et. al. v. Angelo Reyes in his capacity as Executive Secretary et. al.

G.R. No. 159085 February 3, 2004

Tinga, J.;

Facts

The case at bar is in relation with the Oakwood Mutiny which happen in the wee hours of
July 27, 2003. Three hundred Junior AFP publicly, they complained of the corruption in
the AFP and declared their withdrawal of support for the government, demanding the
resignation of the President, Secretary of Defense and the PNP Chief. These acts
constitute a violation of Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code, and by virtue of
Proclamation No. 427 and General Order No. 4, the Philippines was declared under the
State of Rebellion. Negotiations took place and the officers went back to their barracks in
the evening of the same day. On August 1, 2003, both the Proclamation and General
Orders were lifted, and Proclamation No. 435, declaring the Cessation of the State of
Rebellion was issued.

Issue

Whether or Not Proclamation No. 427 and General Order No. 4 are constitutional

Whether or Not the petitioners have a legal standing or locus standi to bring suit

Held

The Court rendered that the both the Proclamation No. 427 and General Order No. 4 are
constitutional. Section 18, Article VII does not expressly prohibit declaring state or
rebellion. The President in addition to its Commander-in-Chief Powers is conferred by
the Constitution executive powers. It is not disputed that the President has full
discretionary power to call out the armed forces and to determine the necessity for the
exercise of such power. While the Court may examine whether the power was exercised
within constitutional limits or in a manner constituting grave abuse of discretion, none of
the petitioners here have, by way of proof, supported their assertion that the President
286

acted without factual basis. The issue of the circumvention of the report is of no merit as
there was no indication that military tribunals have replaced civil courts or that military
authorities have taken over the functions of Civil Courts. The issue of usurpation of the
legislative power of the Congress is of no moment since the President, in declaring a state
of rebellion and in calling out the armed forces, was merely exercising a wedding of her
Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief powers. These are purely executive powers,
vested on the President by Sections 1 and 18, Article VII, as opposed to the delegated
legislative powers contemplated by Section 23 (2), Article VI. The fear on warrantless
arrest is unreasonable, since any person may be subject to this whether there is rebellion
or not as this is a crime punishable under the Revised Penal Code, and as long as a valid
warrantless arrest is present.

Legal standing or locus standi has been defined as a personal and substantial interest in
the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the
governmental act that is being challenged. The gist of the question of standing is whether
a party alleges "such personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that
concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of Issue upon which the court
depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. Based on the foregoing,
petitioners Sanlakas and PM, and SJS Officers/Members have no legal standing to sue.
Only petitioners Rep. Suplico et al. and Sen. Pimentel, as Members of Congress, have
standing to challenge the subject issuances. It sustained its decision in Philippine
Constitution Association v. Enriquez, that the extent the powers of Congress are
impaired, so is the power of each member thereof, since his office confers a right to
participate in the exercise of the powers of that institution
287

Eliseo Soriano v. Ma, Consoliza Laguardis in her capacity as Chairperson of the


Movie and Television Review and Classification Board

G.R. No. 164785 April 29, 2009

Velasco, Jr. J.;

Facts

In these two petitions for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65, petitioner Eliseo F.
Soriano seeks to nullify and set aside an order and a decision of the Movie and Television
Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) in connection with certain utterances he
made in his television show, Ang Dating Daan. The origin of the certiorari was the order
for suspension of the show of Soriano which airs 10pm. On August 10, 2004, at around
10:00 p.m., petitioner, as host of the program Ang Dating Daan, aired on UNTV 37,
made obscene remarks against INC. Two days after, before the MTRCB, separate but
almost identical affidavit-complaints were lodged by Jessie L. Galapon and seven other
private respondents, all members of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), against petitioner in
connection with the above broadcast. Respondent Michael M. Sandoval, who felt directly
alluded to in petitioner‟s remark, was then a minister of INC and a regular host of the TV
program Ang Tamang Daan.

Issue

Whether or not Soriano’s statement is a part of religious discourse.

Held.

No because of the obscenity of the words that he have used on national television and the
power vested on Laguardia gives her the authority to protect the young viewers base on
the doctrine of parens patriae.
288

SPOUSES CHARLIE FORTALEZA and OFELIA FORTALEZA v. SPOUSES


RAUL LAPITAN and RONA LAPITAN

G.R. No. 178288 August 15, 2012

Del Castillo, J.;

Facts

Spouses Charlie and Ofelia Fortaleza (spouses Fortaleza) obtained a loan from spouses
Rolando and Amparo Lapitan (creditors) in the amount of P1.2 million subject to 34%
interest per annum. As security, spouses Fortaleza executed on January 28, 1998 a Deed
of Real Estate Mortgage6 over their residential house and lot situated in Barrio Anos,
Municipality of Los Baños, Laguna (subject property) registered under Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-412512.7

When spouses Fortaleza failed to pay the indebtedness including the interests and
penalties, the creditors applied for extrajudicial foreclosure of the Real Estate Mortgage
before the Office of the Clerk of Court and Ex-Officio Sheriff of Calamba City. The
public auction sale was set on May 9, 2001.

At the sale, the creditors’ son Dr. Raul Lapitan and his wife Rona (spouses Lapitan)
emerged as the highest bidders with the bid amount of P2.5 million. Then, they were
issued a Certificate of Sale8 which was registered with the Registry of Deeds of Calamba
City and annotated at the back of TCT No. T-412512 under Entry No. 615683 on
November 15, 2002.9 The one-year redemption period expired without the spouse's
Fortaleza redeeming the mortgage. Thus, spouses Lapitan executed an affidavit of
consolidation of ownership on November 20, 2003 and caused the cancellation of TCT
No. T-412512 and the registration of the subject property in their names under TCT No.
T-53594510 on February 4, 2004. Despite the foregoing, the spouses Fortaleza refused
spouses Lapitan’s formal demand to vacate and surrender possession of the subject
property. The repeated failure of spouses Fortaleza to appear at the scheduled hearings,
289

the RTC allowed spouses Lapitan to present evidence ex parte. The contention of the
petitioner is that the property is a family home and cannot be foreclosed.

Issue

Whether or not the Court of Appeals violated two - raffle rule prescribed by and long
established under the Revised Internal Rules of the Court of Appeals when it immediately
rendered the assailed decision barely after the submission of the parties briefs that the
honorable court engaged in procedural shortcuts and acted undue haste and indecent
speed , thus rendering its decision null and void and characterized by manifest bias and
partiality to the respondents.

Held

There were no error, impartialness or unfairness of judgment by the Court of Appeals,


furthermore the petition was denied and the prior decision dated January 10, 2007 and the
Resolution dated June 6, 2007 were both affirmed.
290

Province of North Cotabato vs Government of the Republic of the Philippines


G.R. No. 183591 October 14 2008

Carpio Morales, J.;

Fact

Subject of these consolidated cases is the extent of the powers of the President in
pursuing the peace process. While the facts surrounding this controversy center on the
armed conflict in Mindanao between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation
Front (MILF), the legal issue involved has a bearing on all areas in the country where
there has been a long-standing armed conflict. Yet again, the Court is tasked to perform a
delicate balancing act. It must uncompromisingly delineate the bounds within which the
President may lawfully exercise her discretion, but it must do so in strict adherence to the
Constitution, lest its ruling unduly restricts the freedom of action vested by that same
Constitution in the Chief Executive precisely to enable her to pursue the peace process
effectively.On August 5, 2008, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the
Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were scheduled to sign a Memorandum of
Agreement of the Ancestral Domain Aspect of the GRP - MILF Tripoli Agreement on
Peace of 2001 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Invoking the right to information on matters
of public concern, the petitioners seek to compel respondents to disclose and furnish them
the complete and official copies of the MA-AD and to prohibit the slated signing of the
MOA-AD and the holding of public consultation thereon. They also pray that the MOA-
AD be declared unconstitutional. The Court issued a TRO enjoining the GRP from
signing the same.

Issue

1. Whether or not the constitutionality and the legality of the MOA is ripe for
adjudication;
2. Whether or not there is a violation of the people's right to information on matters of
public concern (Art 3 Sec. 7) under a state policy of full disclosure of all its transactions
involving public interest (Art 2, Sec 28) including public consultation under RA 7160
(Local Government Code of 1991)
291

3. Whether or not the signing of the MOA, the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines would be binding itself
a) to create and recognize the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) as a separate state, or a
juridical, territorial or political subdivision not recognized by law;
b) to revise or amend the Constitution and existing laws to conform to the MOA;
c) to concede to or recognize the claim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for ancestral
domain in violation of Republic Act No. 8371 Section 3 Chapter VII

Held

1. Yes, the petitions are ripe for adjudication. The failure of the respondents to consult the
local government units or communities affected constitutes a departure by respondents
from their mandate under EO No. 3. Moreover, the respondents exceeded their authority
by the mere act of guaranteeing amendments to the Constitution. Any alleged violation of
the Constitution by any branch of government is a proper matter for judicial review.
As the petitions involve constitutional issues which are of paramount public interest or of
transcendental importance, the Court grants the petitioners, petitioners-in-intervention
and intervening respondents the requisite locus standi in keeping with the liberal stance
adopted in David v. Macapagal- Arroyo.
In Pimentel, Jr. v. Aguirre, this Court held:
x x x [B]y the mere enactment of the questioned law or the approval of the challenged
action, the dispute is said to have ripened into a judicial controversy even without any
other overt act . Indeed, even a singular violation of the Constitution and/or the law is
enough to awaken judicial duty.x x x x
By the same token, when an act of the President, who in our constitutional scheme is a
coequal of Congress, is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution and the laws
x x x settling the dispute becomes the duty and the responsibility of the courts.
That the law or act in question is not yet effective does not negate ripeness.

2. Yes. The Court finds that there is a grave violation of the Constitution involved in the
matters of public concern (Sec 7 Art III) under a state policy of full disclosure of all its
transactions involving public interest (Art 2, Sec 28) including public consultation under
292

RA 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991).


(Sec 7 ArtIII) The right to information guarantees the right of the people to demand
information, while Sec 28 recognizes the duty of officialdom to give information even if
nobody demands. The complete and effective exercise of the right to information
necessitates that its complementary provision on public disclosure derive the same self-
executory nature, subject only to reasonable safeguards or limitations as may be provided
by law.
The contents of the MOA-AD is a matter of paramount public concern involving public
interest in the highest order. In declaring that the right to information contemplates steps
and negotiations leading to the consummation of the contract, jurisprudence finds no
distinction as to the executory nature or commercial character of the agreement.
E.O. No. 3 itself is replete with mechanics for continuing consultations on both national
and local levels and for a principal forum for consensus-building. In fact, it is the duty of
the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process to conduct regular dialogues to seek
relevant information, comments, advice, and recommendations from peace partners and
concerned sectors of society.

3.
a) to create and recognize the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) as a separate state, or a
juridical, territorial or political subdivision not recognized by law;

Yes. The provisions of the MOA indicate, among other things, that the Parties aimed to
vest in the BJE the status of an associated state or, at any rate, a status closely
approximating it.
The concept of association is not recognized under the present Constitution.

No province, city, or municipality, not even the ARMM, is recognized under our laws as
having an “associative” relationship with the national government. Indeed, 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
293

the Philippine State, much less does it provide for a transitory status that aims to prepare
any part of Philippine territory for independence.

The BJE is a far more powerful entity than the autonomous region recognized in the
Constitution. It is not merely an expanded version of the ARMM, the status of its
relationship with the national government being fundamentally different from that of the
ARMM. Indeed, BJE is a state in all but name as it meets the criteria of a state laid down
in the Montevideo Convention, namely, a permanent population, a defined territory, a
government, and a capacity to enter into relations with other states.

Even assuming arguendo that the MOA-AD would not necessarily sever any portion of
Philippine territory, the spirit animating it – which has betrayed itself by its use of the
concept of association – runs counter to the national sovereignty and territorial integrity
of the Republic.

The defining concept underlying the relationship between the national government and
the BJE being itself contrary to the present Constitution, it is not surprising that many of
the specific provisions of the MOA-AD on the formation and powers of the BJE are in
conflict with the Constitution and the laws. The BJE is more of a state than an
autonomous region. But even assuming that it is covered by the term “autonomous
region” in the constitutional provision just quoted, the MOA-AD would still be in conflict
with it.

b) to revise or amend the Constitution and existing laws to conform to the MOA:

The MOA-AD provides that “any provisions of the MOA-AD requiring amendments to
the existing legal framework shall come into force upon the signing of a Comprehensive
Compact and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework,” implying an
amendment of the Constitution to accommodate the MOA-AD. This stipulation, in effect,
guaranteed to the MILF the amendment of the Constitution .
294

It will be observed that the President has authority, as stated in her oath of office, only to
preserve and defend the Constitution. Such presidential power does not, however, extend
to allowing her to change the Constitution, but simply to recommend proposed
amendments or revision. As long as she limits herself to recommending these changes
and submits to the proper procedure for constitutional amendments and revision, her
mere recommendation need not be construed as an unconstitutional act.

The “suspensive clause” in the MOA-AD viewed in light of the above-discussed


standards.

Given the limited nature of the President’s authority to propose constitutional


amendments, she cannot guarantee to any third party that the required amendments will
eventually be put in place, nor even be submitted to a plebiscite. The most she could do is
submit these proposals as recommendations either to Congress or the people, in whom
constituent powers are vested.

c) to concede to or recognize the claim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for ancestral
domain in violation of Republic Act No. 8371 (THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS
ACT OF 1997),
particularly Section 3(g) & Chapter VII (DELINEATION,
RECOGNITION OF ANCESTRAL DOMAINS)
This strand begins with the statement that it is “the birthright of all Moros and all
Indigenous peoples of Mindanao to identify themselves and be accepted as
‘Bangsamoros.’” It defines “Bangsamoro people” as the natives or original inhabitants of
Mindanao and its adjacent islands including Palawan and the Sulu archipelago at the time
of conquest or colonization, and their descendants whether mixed or of full blood,
including their spouses.

Thus, the concept of “Bangsamoro,” as defined in this strand of the MOA-AD, includes
not only “Moros” as traditionally understood even by Muslims, but all indigenous
295

peoples of Mindanao and its adjacent islands. The MOA-AD adds that the freedom of
choice of indigenous peoples shall be respected. What this freedom of choice consists in
has not been specifically defined. The MOA-AD proceeds to refer to the “Bangsamoro
homeland,” the ownership of which is vested exclusively in the Bangsamoro people by
virtue of their prior rights of occupation. Both parties to the MOA-AD acknowledge that
ancestral domain does not form part of the public domain.

Republic Act No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 provides for clear-
cut procedure for the recognition and delineation of ancestral domain, which entails,
among other things, the observance of the free and prior informed consent of the
Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples. Notably, the statute does not grant
the Executive Department or any government agency the power to delineate and
recognize an ancestral domain claim by mere agreement or compromise.

Two, Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 requires all national
offices to conduct consultations before any project or program critical to the environment
and human ecology including those that may call for the eviction of a particular group of
people residing in such locality, is implemented therein. The MOA-AD is one peculiar
program that unequivocally and unilaterally vests ownership of a vast territory to the
Bangsamoro people, which could pervasively and drastically result to the diaspora or
displacement of a great number of inhabitants from their total environment.

The presidential adviser on peace process committed a grave abuse of discretion because
the MOA-AD cannot be reconciled with the constitution for it was unconstitutional.
296

Jose Vera et al v. Jose Avelino et al

G.R. No. L-543 August 31, 1946

Bengzon J.;

Facts

Pursuant to a constitutional provision (section 4, Article X), the Commission on elections


submitted, last May, to the President and the Congress of the Philippines, its report on the
national elections held the preceding month, and, among other things, stated that, by
reason of certain specified acts of terrorism and violence in the Provinces of Pampanga,
Nueva Ecija, Bulacan and Tarlac, the voting in said region did not reflect the true and
free expression of the popular will.

Issue

Whether or not the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the case

Held

It is a political question because its matter of wisdom of the action of the other branch
and the Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction with the matter for in doing so it will
be an encroachment of power which violates the doctrine of the separation of power.
297

CHARLIE VIOS and SPS. ROGELIO and TERESITA ANTONIO, and as nominal
party, Hon. Emilio L. Leachon, Presiding Judge, RTC, Br. 224, Quezon City v.
MANUEL PANTANGCO, JR.,

G.R. No. 163103 February 6, 2009

Brion, J.;

Facts

On November 13, 1996, petitioner Vios filed with the RTC, Branch 224, Quezon City a
Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus with Prayer for a Writ of Preliminary Mandatory
Injunction, assailing both the MTC decision and the writ of execution. Petitioner Vios
assailed the MTC decision for being contrary to the evidence on record; he attacked the
propriety of the writ of execution, on the other hand, on the ground that the MTC
decision is not yet final because Atty. Sollano, to whom a copy of the decision was sent,
had previously withdrawn as petitioner Vios' counsel. Pantangco initially filed a Motion
to Dismiss the petition; via a Manifestation, he asked that the motion to dismiss be treated
as his Answer to the petition.

Issue

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in the judgment for they have disregarded
Pantangco's Petition for Declaration of Nullity of the RTC Decision.

Held

There was an error in the ruling of the Court of Appeals therefore the petition was
partially denied.
298

LOLITA DADUBO, petitioner, vs. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION and the


DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES

G.R. No. 106498

FACT:

Petitioner Lolita A. Dadubo, Senior Accounts Analyst and Rosario B. Cidro, Cash
Supervisor, of the Development Bank of the Philippines, Borongan Branch were
administratively charged with conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. DBP
found Dadubo guilty of dishonesty for embezzlement of bank funds. She was penalized
with dismissal from the service. Dadubo appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board
(MSPB) which affirmed the decision of the DBP. However, DBP was reversed by the
Civil Service Commission which reduced Dadubo's penalty to suspension for six months.
DBP moved for reconsideration. The Commission acting favorably on the motion,
promulgated Resolution No. 92-8789 affirming the earlier findings of the DBP as to
Dadubo's guilt. Dadubo has brought her case to this Court in this petitioner for certiorari.
She claims that CSC Resolution No. 92-878 failed to comply with the constitutional
requirement to state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which the decision is
based

ISSUE: WON the Civil Service Commission’s resolution failed to comply with the
constitutional requirement to state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which
the decision is based

HELD: The rule is that the findings of fact of administrative bodies, if based on
substantial evidence, are controlling on the reviewing authority. It is settled that it is not
for the appellate court to substitute its own judgment for that of the administrative agency
on the sufficiency of the evidence and the credibility of the witnesses. Administrative
decisions on matters within their jurisdiction are entitled to respect and can only be set
aside on proof of grave abuse of discretion, fraud or error of law. None of these vices has
been shown in this case. As this Court has held, "the standard of due process that must
be met in administrative tribunals allows a certain latitude as long as the element of
fairness is not ignored." Appreciation of the evidence submitted by the parties was, to
repeat, the prerogative of the administrative body, subject to reversal only upon a clear
showing of arbitrariness. Nevertheless, the allegations and the evidence presented
sufficiently proved her guilt of embezzlement of bank funds, which in unquestionably
prejudicial to the best interest of the bank. The Court also dismissed the petitioner's
complaint that CSC Resolution No. 92-878 failed to comply with the constitutional
requirement to state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which a decision is
based. We have held that this provision applies only to courts of justice and not to
administrative bodies like the civil service.
299

BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS vs.

CARLOS LEOBRERA AND COURT OF APPEALS

G.R. No. 137147 January 29, 2002

Facts:

1. The petitioner was granted a credit facility and revolving fund by BPI consisting of
several amounts. Both were secured by a mortgage. The facility was granted as part of an
amicable settlement between BPI and Leobrera wherein the latter agreed to drop his
claims for damages against the former for its alleged failure to deliver on time three
export letters of credit opened in Leobrera's favor. In 1984, the facility was entirely
converted into a revolving promissory note line. The line was last renewed on 21 March
1986 evidenced by two 90-day promissory notes.

2. Leobrera also obtained from BPI a separate three-year term loan in the amount of P
500,000.00 evidenced by Promissory Note. This three-year term loan was secured by a
third real estate mortgage. Upon maturity of the 90-day notes, BPI and Leobrera
negotiated on the terms of their renewal. No agreement having been reached by them, so
BPI demanded the full payment of the loan.

3. Leobrera failed to settle his loan account thus BPI prepared to foreclose the real estate
mortgages securing the same. Before BPI could institute foreclosure proceedings
however, Leobrera filed on 6 January 1987 a complaint for damages with a prayer for the
issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin BPI from foreclosing the
mortgages.

4. The trial court issued an order restraining BPI from foreclosing the real estate
mortgages securing the 90 day loans and, after hearing, issued a writ of preliminary
injunction. Meanwhile, on 9 February 1987, the bank wrote Leobrera claiming that he
failed to pay the amortization due on the three-year term loan, as a result of which, BPI
opted to accelarate the maturity of the loan and called the entire loan due and
demandable. Leobrera likewise failed to remit the amount due and BPI thus threatened to
foreclose the real estate mortgage securing the loan.
300

5. Before BPI could foreclose the mortgage, petitioner filed with the trial court on 11
March 1987 a "Motion to File Supplemental Complaint," attaching the supplemental
complaint which prayed for the issuance of an injunction to restrain BPI from foreclosing
the third mortgage. The next day, 12 March 1987, the trial court granted Leobrera's
motion to file the supplemental complaint and issued a restraining order enjoining BPI
from proceeding with any "Legal, court or other action" arising from the promissory note
evidencing the three-year term loan.

Issue: Whether or not the court erred in admitting the supplemental complaint

YES.

RULING:

1. The Court ruled that when the cause of action stated in the supplemental complaint is
different from the causes of action mentioned in the original complaint, the court should
not admit the supplemental complaint; the parties may file supplemental pleadings only
to supply deficiencies in aid of an original pleading, but not to introduce new and
independent causes of action.

As to the supplemental complaint, what likewise militates against its admission is the fact
that the matters involved therein are entirely different from the causes of action
mentioned in the original complaint.

2. The petitioner's main cause of action in the original complaint filed in Civil Case No.
15644 concerned BPI's threat to foreclose two real estate mortgages securing the two 90
day promissory notes executed by petitioner in 1986. Petitioner alleges that this
threatened foreclosure violated the terms of the 1980 amicable settlement between BPI
and petitioner.While the supplemental complaint alleged acts of harassment committed
by BPI in unreasonably opting to declare petitioner in default and in demanding full
liquidation of the 1985 three-year term loan. This three-year term loan, as previously
mentioned, was entirely distinct and separate from the two promissory notes. It was
independent of the 1980 amicable settlement between petitioner and BPI which gave rise
to the credit facility subject of the original complaint. Although there is Identity in the
remedies asked for in the original and supplemental complaints, i.e. injunction,
petitioner's subsequent cause of action giving rise to the claim for damages in the
supplemental complaint is unrelated to the amicable settlement which brought about the
grant of the credit facilities, the breach of which settlement is alleged to be the basis of
the original complaint.
301

As the allegations reveal, the P 500,000.00 three-year term loan is a transaction


independent of the P 800,000.00 credit facility and BPI's questioned act of threatening to
foreclose the properties securing said loan was the result of an alleged default by
petitioner in the payment of the amortization due for 9 February 1987 and not because of
any circumstance related to the 1980 amicable settlement.

The two causes of action being entirely different, the latter one could not be successfully
pleaded by supplemental complaint.
302

US. Vs. Dorr

2 Phil 332

Facts

Fred L. Dorr and a number of other persons (Dorr, et al.) were convicted of
violating Section 8 of Act No. 292 which punishes the utterance of "seditious words or
speeches" and the writing, publication, or circulation of "scurrilous libels against the
Government of the United States or the Insular Government of the Philippine Islands" or
other libels against the same entities which (1) "tend to disturb or obstruct any lawful
officer in executing his office", (2) "tend to instigate others to cabal or meet together for
unlawful purposes", (3) "suggest or incite rebellious conspiracies or riots", or (4) "tend to
stir up the people against the lawful authorities or to disturb the peace of the community,
the safety, and order of the Government". The same provision also punishes the
deliberate concealment of the aforementioned acts.

The charge against Dorr et al. stemmed from an article published in the
newspaper Manila Freedom criticizing the appointment by the Civil Commission of
certain persons— including Trinidad H. Pardo de Tavera— to key government positions.
The said article referred to the aforementioned appointees as "rascals" and "corrupt" and
called certain government offices organized by the Civil Commission as "rotten" and
"corrupt".

Issue

Whether or not the publication of the subject article falls within the purview of Section 8
of Act No. 292.

Held

No. The article in question produces none of the effects enumerated in Section 8
of Act No. 292. In addition, the same provision refers to libel of the government in
general, and not of specific individuals.
303

Ildefonso Santiago vs. Bureau of Plant Industry


G.R. No. L-48214, December 19, 1978

FACTS:
In January 1971, Ildefonso Santiago gratuitously donated a parcel of land to the Bureau
of Plant Industry. The terms of the donation are; that the Bureau should construct a
building on the said lot and that the building should be finished by December 7, 1974,
that the Bureau should install lighting facilities on the said lot. However, come 1976 there
were still no improvements on the lot. This prompted Santiago to file a case pleading for
the revocation of such contract of donation. The trial court dismissed the petition
claiming that it is a suit against the government and should not prosper without the
consent of the government.

ISSUE: Whether or not the state has not waived its immunity from suit.

HELD: No. The government has waived its immunity and such waiver is implied by
virtue of the terms provided in the deed of donation. The government is a beneficiary of
the terms of the donation. But the government through the Bureau of Plant Industry has
breached the terms of the deed by not complying with such, therefore, the donor Santiago
has the right to have his day in court and be heard. Further, to not allow the donor to be
heard would be unethical and contrary to equity which the government so advances. Case
should prosper.
304

Rodolfo Garcia v. Primo Miro

GR Number 167409

Facts:

Julieta Ortega filed a letter complaint before the Ombudsman-Visayas (Primo Miro)
charging the petitioner with the crime of murder and the administrative offense of grave
misconduct and abuse of authority. Complaint arose from the death of Ortega’s husband
as a result of a vehicular mishap between a car driven by the petitioner and the
motorcycle driven by the deceased. It was treated as 2 separate criminal and
administrative complaints. In an evaluation report, Graft Investigation Officer (GIO) Yap
found the letter to be sufficient in form and substance, concluding that the offense
charged is not related to the functions of the petitioner as a judge and can be the subject
of preliminary investigation. Provincial prosecutor manifested that the OCA and Office
of the Ombudsman would be more appropriate to conduct investigation. GIO Yap found
that there exists probable cause for the crime of Reckless Imprudence Resulting to
Homicide. Information for the crime was filed against the petitioner but petitioner filed a
motion to quash. MCTC issued an order granting the motion. Respondents filed a motion
for reconsideration which was granted. Petitioner filed his motion for reconsideration
which was denied. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the petition was correctly filed directly before the Supreme Court.

Ruling:

No. The present petition was directly filed in the Supreme Court in utter disregard of the
rule on the hierarchy of courts, warranting outright dismissal. In the case of Vergara, Sr.
v. Suelto, the court stressed that the Supreme Court is the court of last resort, and
must so remain if it is to satisfactorily perform the functions assigned to it.
Supervision over all inferior courts and court personnel is vested by the Constitution in
the Supreme Court. However, the prerogative extends to administrative supervision. The
Ombudsman cannot encroach upon the Courts to oversee judges and court
personnel and take the proper administrative action against them if they commit
any violation of the laws. The criminal case filed against the petitioner is not related to
the performance of his duties as a judge. The administrative aspect of the case was
endorsed to the Office of the Court Administrator and the Ombudsman only proceeded
with the criminal aspect of the case.
305

Syquia vs. Almeda Lopez

GR No. L-1648

Facts
The plaintiffs named Pedro, Gonzalo, and Leopoldo, all surnamed Syquia, are the
undivided joint owners of three apartment buildings situated in the City of Manila known
as the North Syquia Apartments, South Syquia Apartments and Michel Apartments
located at 1131 M. H. del Pilar, 1151 M. H. del Pilar and at 1188 A. Mabini streets,
respectively.
About the middle of the year 1945, said plaintiffs executed three lease contracts in
favor of the United States of America. The term or period for the three leases was to be
"for the duration of the war and six months thereafter, unless sooner terminated by the
United States of America." The apartment buildings were used for billeting and
quartering officers of the U. S. armed forces stationed in the Manila area.
The petitioners filed before the Municipal Court of Manila an action for unlawful
detainer (desahucio) against Moore and Tillman and the 64 persons occupying
apartments. The Municipal Court dismissed the action with costs against the plaintiff on
the ground that the matter included or involved in the action should be a proper subject
matter of representations between the Government of the United States of America and
the Philippines.
The Court of First Instance of Manila affirmed the order of the municipal court
dismissing plaintiffs’ complaint on the ground that said suit must be regarded as one
against the United States Government itself, which cannot be sued without its consent,
specially by the citizens of another country.
The Counsel for the petitioners insisted before the Supreme Court that the latter
should render a decision, on the merits, particularly on the question of jurisdiction of the
Municipal Court over the original action, not only for the satisfaction of the parties
involved but also to serve as a guide in future cases involving cases of similar nature such
as contracts of lease entered into between the Government of the United States of
America on one side and Filipino citizens on the other regarding properties of the latter.

Issues
Whether or not the decision of NATIVIDAD ALMEDA LOPEZ, JUDGE OF
MUNICIPAL COURT OF MANILA and CONRADO V. SANCHEZ, JUDGE OF
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA constitutional or not.

Ruling
The Supreme Court found that the Municipal Court of Manila committed no error
in dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction and that the Court of First Instance acted
correctly in affirming the municipal court's order of dismissal. Case dismissed, without
pronouncements as to costs.
306

Philippine National Bank


vs.
Hon. Judge Javier Pabalan, Judge Of The Court Of First Instance, Branch Iii, La
Union, Agoo Tobacco Planters Association, Inc., Philippine Virginia Tobacco
Administration, And Panfilo P. Jimenez, Deputy Sheriff, La Union.
G.R. No. L-33112 83 SCRA 595 June 15, 1978

Facts:
On December 17, 1970, Judge Javier Pabalan issued a writ of execution followed
thereafter by a notice of garnishment on the funds of Philippine Virginia Tobacco
Administration (PVTA) in the sum of P12,724.66 deposited with the Philippine National
Bank in La Union. PNB La Union filed an administrative complaint against Pabalan for
grave abuse of discretion, alleging that the latter failed to recognize that the questioned
funds are of public character and therefore may not be garnished, attached, nor may be
levied upon. The PNB La Union Branch invoked the doctrine of non-suability, putting a
bar on the notice of garnishment.

Issue:
Whether or not the Philippine National Bank may be sued.

Held:
Yes. Funds of public corporations which can sue and be sued are not exempt from
garnishment. PVTA is also a public corporation with the same attributes, a similar
outcome is attributed. The government has entered with them into a commercial business
hence it has abandoned its sovereign capacity and has stepped down to the level of a
corporation. Therefore, it is subject to rules governing ordinary corporations and in effect
can be sued. Therefore, the petition of PNB La Union is denied.
307

Gaudencio Rayo vs. Court Of First Instance of Bulacan


G.R. No. L-55273-83, 110 SCRA 460 December 19, 1981

Facts:
At the height of the infamous typhoon "Kading", the respondent opened
simultaneously all the three floodgates of the Angat Dam which resulted in a sudden,
precipitate and simultaneous opening of said floodgates several towns in Bulacan were
inundated. The petitioners filed for damages against the respondent corporation.

Petitioners opposed the prayer of the respondents from dismissal of the case and
contended that the respondent corporation is merely performing a propriety functions and
that under its own organic act, it can sue and be sued in court.

Issues:
Whether or not the respondent performs governmental functions with respect to
the management and operation of the Angat Dam.

Whether or not the power of the respondent to sue and be sued under its organic
charter includes the power to be sued for tort.

Held:
The government has organized a private corporation, put money in it and has
allowed it to sue and be sued in any court under its charter.

It is not necessary to write an extended dissertation on whether or not the NPC


performs a governmental function with respect to the management and operation of the
Angat Dam. It is sufficient to say that the government has organized a private
corporation, put money in it and has allowed it to sue and be sued in any court under its
charter. (R.A. No. 6395, Sec. 3 (d).) As a government owned and controlled corporation,
it has a personality of its own, distinct and separate from that of the Government.
Moreover, the charter provision that the NPC can "sue and be sued in any court" is
without qualification on the cause of action and accordingly it can include a tort claim
such as the one instituted by the petitioners.
308

The Holy See


V.
The Hon. Eriberto U. Rosario, Jr., As Presiding Judge Of The Regional Trial Court
Of Makati, Branch 61 And Starbright Sales Enterprises, Inc.
G.R. No. 101949 December 1, 1994

Facts:
Petitioner is the Holy See who exercises sovereignty over the Vatican City in
Rome, Italy, and is represented in the Philippines by the Papal Nuncio; Private
respondent, Starbright Sales Enterprises, Inc., is a domestic corporation engaged in the
real estate business. This petition arose from a controversy over a parcel of land
consisting of 6,000 square meters located in the Municipality of Paranaque registered in
the name of petitioner. Said lot was contiguous with two other lots registered in the name
of the Philippine Realty Corporation (PRC).

The three lots were sold to Ramon Licup, through Msgr. Domingo A. Cirilos, Jr.,
acting as agent to the sellers. Later, Licup assigned his rights to the sale to private
respondent. In view of the refusal of the squatters to vacate the lots sold to private
respondent, a dispute arose as to who of the parties has the responsibility of evicting and
clearing the land of squatters. Complicating the relations of the parties was the sale by
petitioner of Lot 5-A to Tropicana Properties and Development Corporation (Tropicana).
private respondent filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 61, Makati,
Metro Manila for annulment of the sale of the three parcels of land, and specific
performance and damages against petitioner, represented by the Papal Nuncio, and three
other defendants: namely, Msgr. Domingo A. Cirilos, Jr., the PRC and Tropicana
petitioner and Msgr. Cirilos separately moved to dismiss the complaint — petitioner for
lack of jurisdiction based on sovereign immunity from suit, and Msgr. Cirilos for being
an improper party. An opposition to the motion was filed by private respondent.

The trial court issued an order denying, among others, petitioner’s motion to
dismiss after finding that petitioner “shed off [its] sovereign immunity by entering into
the business contract in question”. Petitioner forthwith elevated the matter to us. In its
petition, petitioner invokes the privilege of sovereign immunity only on its own behalf
and on behalf of its official representative, the Papal Nuncio.

Issue:
Whether the Holy See is immune from suit insofar as its business relations
regarding selling a lot to a private entity

Held:
There are two conflicting concepts of sovereign immunity, each widely held and
firmly established. According to the classical or absolute theory, a sovereign cannot,
without its consent, be made a respondent in the courts of another sovereign. According
to the newer or restrictive theory, the immunity of the sovereign is recognized only with
regard to public acts or acts jure imperii of a state, but not with regard to private acts or
acts jure gestionis.
309

If the act is in pursuit of a sovereign activity, or an incident thereof, then it is an


act jure imperii, especially when it is not undertaken for gain or profit.
In the case at bench, if petitioner has bought and sold lands in the ordinary course of a
real estate business, surely the said transaction can be categorized as an act jure gestionis.
However, petitioner has denied that the acquisition and subsequent disposal of Lot 5-A
were made for profit but claimed that it acquired said property for the site of its mission
or the Apostolic Nunciature in the Philippines. Private respondent failed to dispute said
claim.

Lot 5-A was acquired by petitioner as a donation from the Archdiocese of Manila.
The donation was made not for commercial purpose, but for the use of petitioner to
construct thereon the official place of residence of the Papal Nuncio. The right of a
foreign sovereign to acquire property, real or personal, in a receiving state, necessary for
the creation and maintenance of its diplomatic mission, is recognized in the 1961 Vienna
Convention on Diplomatic Relations (Arts. 20-22). This treaty was concurred in by the
Philippine Senate and entered into force in the Philippines on November 15, 1965.
The decision to transfer the property and the subsequent disposal thereof are likewise
clothed with a governmental character. Petitioner did not sell Lot 5-A for profit or gain. It
merely wanted to dispose off the same because the squatters living thereon made it
almost impossible for petitioner to use it for the purpose of the donation. The fact that
squatters have occupied and are still occupying the lot, and that they stubbornly refuse to
leave the premises, has been admitted by private respondent in its complaint
Private respondent is not left without any legal remedy for the redress of its grievances.
Under both Public International Law and Transnational Law, a person who feels
aggrieved by the acts of a foreign sovereign can ask his own government to espouse his
cause through diplomatic channels.

Private respondent can ask the Philippine government, through the Foreign
Office, to espouse its claims against the Holy See. Its first task is to persuade the
Philippine government to take up with the Holy See the validity of its claims. Of course,
the Foreign Office shall first make a determination of the impact of its espousal on the
relations between the Philippine government and the Holy See (Young, Remedies of
Private Claimants Against Foreign States, Selected Readings on Protection by Law of
Private Foreign Investments 905, 919 [1964]). Once the Philippine government decides
to espouse the claim, the latter ceases to be a private cause.

WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is GRANTED and the complaint in


Civil Case No. 90-183 against petitioner is DISMISSED
310

Ang Tibay, Represented By Toribio Teodoro, Manager and Proprietor, And


National Workers Brotherhood
vs.
The Court Of Industrial Relations And National Labor Union, Inc.
G.R. No. L-46496 February 27, 1940

Facts:
There was agreement between Ang Tibay and the National Labor Union Inc
(NLU). The NLU alleged that the supposed lack of leather material claimed by Toribio
Teodoro was but a scheme adopted to systematically discharge all the members of the
NLU, from work. And this averment is desired to be proved by the petitioner with the
records of the Bureau of Customs and Books of Accounts of native dealers in leather.
That National Worker's Brotherhood Union of Ang Tibay is a company or employer
union dominated by Toribio Teodoro, which was alleged by the NLU as an illegal one.
The CIR, decided the case and elevated it to the Supreme Court, but a motion for new
trial was raised by the NLU. But the Ang Tibay filed a motion for opposing the said
motion.

Issue:
Whether or Not, the motion for new trial is meritorious to be granted.

Held:
To begin with the issue before us is to realize the functions of the CIR. The CIR
is a special court whose functions are specifically stated in the law of its creation which is
the Commonwealth Act No. 103). It is more an administrative board than a part of the
integrated judicial system of the nation. It is not intended to be a mere receptive organ of
the government. Unlike a court of justice which is essentially passive, acting only when
its jurisdiction is invoked and deciding only cases that are presented to it by the parties
litigant, the function of the CIR, as will appear from perusal of its organic law is more
active, affirmative and dynamic. It not only exercises judicial or quasi-judicial functions
in the determination of disputes between employers and employees but its functions are
far more comprehensive and extensive. It has jurisdiction over the entire Philippines, to
consider, investigate, decide, and settle any question, matter controversy or disputes
arising between, and/ or affecting employers and employees or laborers, and landlords
and tenants or farm-laborers, and regulates the relations between them, subject to, and in
accordance with, the provisions of CA 103.

As laid down in the case of Goseco v. CIR, the SC had the occasion to point out
that the CIR is not narrowly constrained by technical rules of procedure, and equity and
substantial merits of the case, without regard to technicalities or legal forms and shall not
be bound by any technical rules of legal evidence but may inform its mind in such
manner as it may deem just and equitable.

The fact, however, that the CIR may be said to be free from rigidity of certain
procedural requirements does not mean that it can in justiciable cases coming before it,
311

entirely ignore or disregard the fundamental and essential requirements of due process in
trials and investigations of an administrative character. There cardinal primary rights
which must be respected even in proceedings of this character:

(1) the right to a hearing, which includes the right to present one's cause and submit
evidence in support thereof;
(2) The tribunal must consider the evidence presented;
(3) The decision must have something to support itself;
(4) The evidence must be substantial;
(5) The decision must be based on the evidence presented at the hearing; or at least
contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected;
(6) The tribunal or body or any of its judges must act on its own independent
consideration of the law and facts of the controversy, and not simply accept the views of
a subordinate;
(7) The Board or body should, in all controversial questions, render its decision in such
manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various Issue involved, and the
reason for the decision rendered.

The failure to grasp the fundamental issue involved is not entirely attributable to
the parties adversely affected by the result. Accordingly, the motion for a new trial should
be, and the same is hereby granted, and the entire record of this case shall be remanded to
the CIR, with instruction that it reopen the case receive all such evidence as may be
relevant, and otherwise proceed in accordance with the requirements set forth. So
ordered.
312

Jose A. Angara
vs.
The Electoral Commission, Pedro Ynsua, Miguel Castillo, And Dionisio C. Mayor
G.R. No. L-45081 July 15, 1936

Facts:
In the elections of Sept 17, 1935, Angara, and the respondents, Pedro Ynsua et al.
were candidates voted for the position of member of the National Assembly for the first
district of the Province of Tayabas. On Oct 7, 1935, Angara was proclaimed as member-
elect of the NA for the said district. On November 15, 1935, he took his oath of office.
On Dec 3, 1935, the NA in session assembled, passed Resolution No. 8 confirming the
election of the members of the National Assembly against whom no protest had thus far
been filed. On Dec 8, 1935, Ynsua, filed before the Electoral Commission a “Motion of
Protest” against the election of Angara. On Dec 9, 1935, the EC adopted a resolution, par.
6 of which fixed said date as the last day for the filing of protests against the election,
returns and qualifications of members of the NA, notwithstanding the previous
confirmation made by the NA. Angara filed a Motion to Dismiss arguing that by virtue of
the NA proclamation, Ynsua can no longer protest. Ynsua argued back by claiming that
EC proclamation governs and that the EC can take cognizance of the election protest and
that the EC cannot be subject to a writ of prohibition from the SC.

Issues:
Whether or not the SC has jurisdiction over such matter.

Held:
The SC ruled in favor of Angara. The SC emphasized that in cases of conflict
between the several departments and among the agencies thereof, the judiciary, with the
SC as the final arbiter, is the only constitutional mechanism devised finally to resolve the
conflict and allocate constitutional boundaries.

That judicial supremacy is but the power of judicial review in actual and
appropriate cases and controversies, and is the power and duty to see that no one branch
or agency of the government transcends the Constitution, which is the source of all
authority.

That the Electoral Commission is an independent constitutional creation with


specific powers and functions to execute and perform, closer for purposes of
classification to the legislative than to any of the other two departments of the
government. That the Electoral Commission is the sole judge of all contests relating to
the election, returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly
313

Judge Renato A. Fuentes


Vs.
Office Of The Ombudsman-Mindanao, Graft Investigation Officer Ii,
Marivic A. Trabajo-Daray, Antonio E.
G.R. No. 124295 October 23, 2001

Facts:
Pursuant to the government’s plan to construct its first fly-over in Davao City, the
Republic of the Philippines filed an expropriation case against the owners of the
properties affected by the project. The expropriation case was presided by Judge Renato
A. Fuentes. The government won the expropriation case. DPWH still owed the
defendants-lot owners. The lower court granted Tessie Amadeo’s motion for the
issuance of a writ of execution against the DPWH to satisfy her unpaid claim. On May 3,
1994, respondent Sheriff Paralisan issued a Notice of Levy, addressed to the Regional
Director of the DPWH, Davao City, describing the properties subject of the levy as ‘All
scrap iron/junks found in the premises of the Department of Public Works and Highways
depot at Panacan, Davao City. The auction sale pushed through and Alex Bacquial
emerged as the highest bidder. Meanwhile, Alex Bacquial, together with respondent
Sheriff Paralisan, attempted to withdraw the auctioned properties on May 19, 1994. They
were, however, prevented from doing so by the custodian of the subject DPWH
properties, a certain Engr. Ramon Alejo, who claimed that his office was totally unaware
of the auction sale, and informed the sheriff that many of the properties within the
holding area of the depot were still serviceable and were due for repair and rehabilitation.

On the basis of letters from Congressman Manuel M. Garcia of the Second


District of Davao City and Engineer Ramon A. Alejo, the Court Administrator, Supreme
Court directed Judge Renato A. Fuentes and Sheriff Norberto Paralisan to comment on
the report recommending the filing of an administrative case against the sheriff and other
persons responsible for the anomalous implementation of the writ of execution. The
Department of Public Works and Highways, through the Solicitor General, filed an
administrative complaint against Sheriff Norberto Paralisan for conduct prejudicial to the
best interest of the service.

The Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao recommended that Judge Renato A.


Fuentes be charged before the Sandiganbayan with violation of Republic Act No. 3019,
Section 3 (e) and likewise be administratively charged before the Supreme Court with
acts unbecoming of a judge. Director Valenzuela filed with the Office of the Deputy
Ombudsman for Mindanao a criminal complaint charging Judge Rentao A. Fuentes with
violation of Republic Act No. 3019, Section 3 (e). Fuentes filed with the Office of the
Ombudsman-Mindanao a motion to dismiss complaint and/or manifestation to forward all
records to the Supreme Court.

Petitioner alleged that the respondent Ombudsman-Mindanao committed a grave


abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when he initiated a
criminal complaint against petitioner for violation of R.A. No. 3019, Section 3 [e]. And
he conducted an investigation of said complaint against petitioner. Thus, he encroached
314

on the power of the Supreme Court of administrative supervision over all courts and its
personnel. The Solicitor General submitted that the Ombudsman may conduct an
investigation because the Supreme Court is not in possession of any record which would
verify the propriety of the issuance of the questioned order and writ. Moreover, the Court
Administrator has not filed any administrative case against petitioner judge that would
pose similar issues on the present inquiry of the Ombudsman-Mindanao.

Issue:
Whether the Ombudsman may conduct an investigation of acts of a judge in the
exercise of his official functions alleged to be in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act, in the absence of an administrative charge for the same acts before the
Supreme Court.

Held:
No. Republic Act No. 6770, otherwise known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989,
provides: “Sec. 15. Powers, Functions and Duties. - The Office of the Ombudsman shall
have the following powers, functions and duties: (1) Investigate and prosecute on its own
or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee,
office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or
inefficient. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and,
in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any stage, from any
investigatory agency of Government, the investigation of such cases.”

Thus, the Ombudsman may not initiate or investigate a criminal or administrative


complaint before his office against petitioner judge, pursuant to his power to investigate
public officers. The Ombudsman must indorse the case to the Supreme Court, for
appropriate action. Article VIII, Section 6 of the Constitution exclusively vests in the
Supreme Court administrative supervision over all courts and court personnel, from the
Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals to the lowest municipal trial court clerk.

Hence, it is the Supreme Court that is tasked to oversee the judges and court
personnel and take the proper administrative action against them if they commit any
violation of the laws of the land. No other branch of government may intrude into this
power, without running afoul of the independence of the judiciary and the doctrine of
separation of powers.

Petitioner’s questioned order directing the attachment of government property and


issuing a writ of execution were done in relation to his office, well within his official
functions. The order may be erroneous or void for lack or excess of jurisdiction.
However, whether or not such order of execution was valid under the given
circumstances, must be inquired into in the course of the judicial action only by the
Supreme Court that is tasked to supervise the courts. “No other entity or official of the
Government, not the prosecution or investigation service of any other branch, not any
functionary thereof, has competence to review a judicial order or decision--whether final
and executory or not--and pronounce it erroneous so as to lay the basis for a criminal or
administrative complaint for rendering an unjust judgment or order.
315

Caoibes vs. Ombudsman


G.R. No. 132177, July 19, 2001

Facts:

On May 23, 1997, respondent Florentino M. Alumbres, Presiding Judge of


Branch 255 of the Regional Trial Court of Las Pinas City, filed before the Office of the
Ombudsman, a Criminal Complaint for physical injuries, malicious mischief for the
destruction of complainant’s eyeglasses, and assault upon a person in authority.
Alumbres alleged that on May 20, 1997, at the hallway on the third floor of the Hall of
Justice, Las Pinas City, he requested petitioner Judge Caoibes (Presiding Judge of RTC
253) to return the executive table he borrowed from respondent; that petitioner did not
answer so respondent reiterated his request but before he could finish talking, petitioner
blurted "Tarantado ito ah," and boxed him at his right eyebrow and left lower jaw so that
the right lens of his eyeglasses was thrown away, rendering his eyeglasses unserviceable.
He prayed that criminal charges be filed before the Sandiganbayan against the petitioner.

On June 13, 1997, Respondent Judge lodged an administrative case with the SC
praying for the dismissal of petitioner from the judiciary on the ground of grave
misconduct or conduct unbecoming a judicial officer using the same facts as above.

On June 25, 1997, the Office of the Ombudsman required petitioner to file a
counter-affidavit within 10 days from receipt thereof. Instead of filing a counter-affidavit,
petitioner filed on an "Ex-Parte Motion for Referral to the Honorable Supreme Court,"
praying that the Office of the Ombudsman hold its investigation of the case, and refer the
same to the SC which is already investigating the case. Petitioner contended that the SC,
not the Office of the Ombudsman, has the authority to make a preliminary determination
of the respective culpability of petitioner and respondent Judge who, both being members
of the bench, are under its exclusive supervision and control.

On August 22, 1997, the Office of the Ombudsman denied the motion for referral
to the SC stating that under Section 15 (1) of Republic Act No. 6770, it is within its
jurisdiction to investigate on the criminal charges. It likewise denied petitioner’s motion
for reconsideration.

Issue:

Whether or not the Office of the Ombudsman should defer action on the case
pending resolution of the administrative case

Held:
It appears that the present case involves two members of the judiciary who were
entangled in a fight within court premises over a piece of office furniture. Under Section
6, Article VIII of the Constitution, it is the Supreme Court which is vested with exclusive
administrative supervision over all courts and its personnel. Prescinding from this
premise, the Ombudsman cannot determine for itself and by itself whether a criminal
316

complaint against a judge, or court employee, involves an administrative matter. The


Ombudsman is duty bound to have all cases against judges and court personnel filed
before it, referred to the Supreme Court for determination as to whether and
administrative aspect is involved therein. This rule should hold true regardless of whether
an administrative case based on the act subject of the complaint before the Ombudsman is
already pending with the Court. For, aside from the fact that the Ombudsman would not
know of this matter unless he is informed of it, he should give due respect for and
recognition of the administrative authority of the Court, because in determining whether
an administrative matter is involved, the Court passes upon not only administrative
liabilities but also other administrative concerns, as is clearly conveyed in the case of
Maceda vs. Vasquez.

The Ombudsman cannot dictate to, and bind the Court, to its findings that a case
before it does or does not have administrative implications. To do so is to deprive the
Court of the exercise of its administrative prerogatives and to arrogate unto itself a power
not constitutionally sanctioned. This is a dangerous policy which impinges, as it does, on
judicial independence.

Maceda is emphatic that by virtue of its constitutional power of administrative


supervision over all courts and court personnel, from the Presiding Justice of the Court of
Appeals down to the lowest municipal trial court clerk, it is only the Supreme Court that
can oversee the judges’ and court personnel’s compliance with all laws, and take the
proper administrative action against them if they commit any violation thereof. No other
branch of government may intrude into this power, without running afoul of the doctrine
of separation of powers.
317

GUALBERTO J. DE LA LLANA vs. MANUEL ALBA


G.R. No. L-57883 March 12, 1982

Facts:
De La Llana, et. al. filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief and/or for Prohibition
seeking to enjoin respondent Minister of the Budget, respondent Chairman of the
Commission on Audit, and respondent Minister of Justice from taking any action
implementing Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. Petitioners sought to bolster their claim by
imputing lack of good faith in its enactment and characterizing as an undue delegation of
legislative power to the President his authority to fix the compensation and allowances of
the Justices and judges thereafter appointed and the determination of the date when the
reorganization shall be deemed completed.

Issue:
Whether or not BP 129 entitled "An act reorganizing the Judiciary, Appropriating
Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes" is constitutional

Held:
The petition is dismissed.
(1) Petitioners have convincingly shown that in their capacity as tax payers, their
standing to sue has been amply demonstrated.

(2) Confronted with what appears to be a crisis situation that calls for a remedy,
the Batasang Pambansa had no choice. It had to act, before the ailment became even
worse. Time was of the essence, and yet it did not hesitate to be duly mindful, as it ought
to be, of the extent of its coverage before enacting Batas Pambansa Blg. 129.

(3) There is no denying, therefore, the need for "institutional reforms,"


characterized in the Report as "both pressing and urgent."

(4) Cabinet Bill No. 42, which later became the basis of Batas Pambansa Blg.
129, was introduced. Stress was laid by the sponsor that the enactment of such Cabinet
Bill would, firstly, result in the attainment of more efficiency in the disposal of cases.
Secondly, the improvement in the quality of justice dispensed by the courts is expected as
a necessary consequence of the easing of the court's dockets. Thirdly, the structural
changes introduced in the bill, together with the reallocation of jurisdiction and the
revision of the rules of procedure, are designated to suit the court system to the
exigencies of the present day Philippine society, and hopefully, of the foreseeable future."

(5) Nothing is bettersettled in our law than that the abolition of an office within
the competence of a legitimate body if done in good faith suffers from no infirmity. This
conclusion flows from the fundamental proposition that the legislature may abolish courts
inferior to the Supreme Court and therefore may reorganiz e them territorially or
otherwise thereby necessitating new appointments and commissions. Section 11. The
Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall hold office during good
behavior until they reach the age of seventy years or become incapacitated to discharge
318

the duties of their office. The Supreme Courten banc shall have the power to discipline
judges of lower courts, or order their dismissal by a vote of a majority of the Members
who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon.

(6) The challenged statute creates an intermediate appellate court, regional trial
courts, metropolitan trial courts of the national capital region, and other metropolitan trial
courts, municipal trial courts in cities, as well as in municipalities, and municipal circuit
trial courts. There is even less reason then to doubt the fact that ex isting inferior courts
were abolished. For the Batasang Pambansa, the establishment of such new inferior
courts was the appropriate response to the grave and urgent problems that pressed for
solution. Certainly, there could be differences of opinion as to the appropriate remedy.

(7) I t is likewise undeniable that the Batasang Pambansa retains its full authority
to enact whatever legislation may be necessary to carryout national policy as usually
formulated in a caucus of the majority party. It is understandable then why in Fortun v .
Labang it was stressed that with the provision transferring to the Supreme Court
administrative supervision over the Judiciary, there is a greater need "to preserve
unimpaired the independence of the judiciary, especially so at present, where to all
intents and purposes, there is a fusion between the executive and the legislative
branches."

(8) To be more specific, petitioners contend that the abolition of the existing
inferior courts collides with the security of tenure enjoyed by incumbent Justices and
judges under Article X , Section 7 of the Constitution. Removal is, of course, to be
distinguished from termination by virtue of the abolition of the office. There can be no
tenure to a non-existent office. After the abolition, there is in law no occupant. I n case of
removal, there is an office with an occupant who would thereby lose his position. It is in
that sense that from the standpoint of strict law, the question of any impairment of
security of tenure does not arise

(9) To be specific, the Batasang Pambansa is expressly vested with the authority
to re organize inferior courts and in the process to abolish ex isting ones.

(10) Petitioners would characterize as an undue delegation of legislative power to


the President the grant of authority to fix the compensation and the allowances of the
Justices and judges thereafter appointed. The language of the statute is quite clear. The
questioned provisions reads as follows: "Intermediate Appellate Justices, Regional Trial
Judges, Metropolitan Trial Judges, municipal Trial Judges, and Municipal Circuit Trial
Judges shall receive such receive such compensation and allowances as may be
authorized by the President along the guidelines set forth in Letter of Implementation No.
93 pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 985, as amended by Presidential Decree No.
1597." The existence of a standard is thus clear.

(11) The challenged legislation is entirely the product of the efforts of the
legislative body. The work of justices was limited, as set forth in the Executive Order, to
319

submitting alternative plan for reorganization. That is more in the nature of scholarly
studies.
320

Francisco I. Chavez
Vs.
Public Estates Authority And Amari Coastal Bay Development Corporation
G.R. No. 133250 July 9, 2002

Facts:

On November 20, 1973, the government through the Commissioner of Public


Highways signed a contract with the Construction and Development Corporation of the
Philippines (CDCP) to reclaim certain foreshore and offshore areas of Manila Bay. The
contract also included the construction of Phases I and II of the Manila-Cavite Coastal
Road. CDCP obligated itself to carry out all the works in consideration of fifty percent of
the total reclaimed land. On April 25, 1995 the PEA entered into a Joint Venture
Agreement (JVA) with AMARI to develop the Freedom Islands. This JVA was entered
into through negotiation without public bidding. The Senate Committee on Government
Corporations and Public Enterprises, and the Committee on Accountability of Public
Officers and Investigations, conducted a joint investigation. Among the conclusion are:
that the reclaimed lands PEA seeks to transfer to AMARI under the JVA are lands of the
public domain which the government has not classified as alienable lands and therefore
PEA cannot alienate these lands, the certificates of the title covering the Freedom Islands
are thus void, and the JVA itself is illegal. On December 5, 1997, President Ramos
created a Legal Task Force to conduct a study on the legality of the JVA. The Task Force
upheld the legality of the JVA, contrary to the conclusions of the Senate Committees. On
April 27, 1998, Petitioner as taxpayer filed the instant petition for mandamus with prayer
for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and TRO. Petitioner contends the
government stands to lose billions of pesos in the sale by PEA of the reclaimed lands to
AMARI. Petitioner prays that PEA publicly disclose the terms of any renegotiation of the
JVA. Furthermore, petitioner assails the sale to AMARI of lands of the public domains as
blatant violation of Sec 3, Art XII of the Constitution prohibiting the sale of alienable
lands of the public domain to private corporations. Petitioner assert that he seeks to
enjoin the loss of billion of pesos in properties of the State that are of public dominion

Issue:
Whether or not the petitioner has legal standing to bring the suit.

Held:
The petitioner has standing to bring the taxpayers suit because the petition seeks
to compel PEA to comply with its constitutional duties. These duties are particularly in
answer of the right of citizens to information on matters of public concern, and of a
constitutional provision intended to insure the equitable distribution of alienable lands of
the public domain among Filipino citizens. Furthermore, the court considered that the
petition raised matters of transcendental importance to the public. The mere fact that the
petitioner is a citizen satisfies the requirement of personal interest when the proceeding
involves the assertion of a public right. Also, ordinary taxpayers have a right to initiate
and prosecute actions questioning the validity of acts or orders of government agencies or
instrumentalities if the issues raise are of paramount public interest and if they
321

immediately affect the social, economic and moral wellbeing of the people. The amended
JVA does not make the issue moot and academic since this compels the court to insure
the government itself does not violate a provision of the Constitution intended to
safeguard the national patrimony. The content of the amended JVA seeks to transfer title
and ownership of reclaimed lands to a single corporation. The court does not hesitate to
resolve the legal or constitutional issues raised to formulate controlling principles to
guide the bench, bar and the public.

The instant case raises constitutional issues of transcendental importance to the


public. Court can resolve this case without determining any factual issue related to the
case. The instant case is a petition for mandamus which falls under the original
jurisdiction of the Court. Furthermore, PEA was under a positive legal duty to disclose to
the public the terms and conditions for the sale of its lands. The principle of exhaustion of
administrative remedies does not apply when the issue involved is purely legal or
constitutional question. The right to information includes official information on on-
going negotiations before a final agreement as required by the constitution. The Supreme
Court granted the petition. PEA and Amari Coastal Bay Development Corporation are
permanently enjoined from implementing the amended JVA which is hereby declared
null and void ab initio.
322

Barangay Association For National Advancement And Transparency (Banat)


Vs.
Commission On Elections (Sitting As The National Board Of Canvassers),
G.R. No. 179271 April 21, 2009

Facts:

Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT)


filed before the National Board of Canvassers (NBC) a petition to proclaim the full
number of party list representatives provided by the Constitution. However, the
recommendation of the head of the legal group of COMELEC’s national board of
canvassers to declare the petition moot and academic was approved by the COMELEC en
banc. BANAT filed for petition for certiorari and mandamus assailing the resolution of
COMELEC to their petition to proclaim the full number of party list representatives
provided by the Constitution.

The COMELEC, sitting as the NBC, promulgated a resolution proclaiming


thirteen (13) parties as winners in the party-list elections in May 2007. The COMELEC
announced that, upon completion of the canvass of the party-list results, it would
determine the total number of seats of each winning party, organization, or coalition in
accordance with Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC formula.

Bayan Muna, Abono, and Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action,
Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms (A Teacher) asked the
COMELEC, acting as NBC, to reconsider its decision to use the Veterans formula.
COMELEC denied the consideration.

Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher filed for certiorari with mandamus and
prohibition assailing the resolution of the COMELEC in its decision to use the Veterans
formula.

Issues:

Whether or not the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives in Section5(2),
Article VI of the Constitution mandatory or merely a ceiling

Whether or not the three-seat limit in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 is constitutional

Whether or not the two percent threshold prescribed in Section 11(b) of RA 7941
toqualify for one seat is constitutional

How shall the party-list representatives be allocated?

Does the Constitution prohibit the major political parties from participating in theparty-
list elections? If not, can the major political parties be barred from participatingin the
party-list elections?
323

Held:

The 20% allocation of party-list representatives is merely a ceiling; party list


representatives cannot be more than 20% of the members of the House of
Representatives.

Yes, it is constitutional. The three-seat cap, as a limitation to the number of seats


that a qualified party-list organization may occupy, remains a valid statutory device that
prevents any party from dominating the party-list elections.

The second clause of Section 11(b) of R. A. 7941 “those garnering more than two
percent (2%) of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total
number of votes” is unconstitutional. The two percent threshold only in relation to the
distribution of the additional seats presents an unwarranted obstacle to the full
implementation of Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution and prevents the
attainment of "the broadest possible representation of party, sectoral or group interests in
the House of Representatives."

In determining the allocation of seats for party-list representatives under Section


11 of R.A. No. 7941, the following procedure shall be observed:1. The parties,
organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest to the lowest based on the
number of votes they garnered during the elections.2. The parties, organizations, and
coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list
system shall be entitled to one guaranteed seateach.3. Those garnering sufficient number
of votes, according to the ranking in paragraph 1, shall be entitled to additional seats in
proportion to their total number of votes until all the additional seats are allocated.4. Each
party, organization, or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats.

Neither the Constitution nor R.A. No. 7941 prohibits major political parties from
participating in the party-list system. On the contrary, the framers of the Constitution
clearly intended the major political parties to participate in party-list elections through
their sectoral wings. Also, in defining a "party" that participates in party-list elections as
either "a political party or a sectoral party," R.A. No. 7941 also clearly intended that
major political parties will participate in the party-list elections. Excluding the major
political parties in party-list elections is manifestly against the Constitution, the intent of
the Constitutional Commission, and R.A. No. 7941. However, by the vote of 8-7, the
Court decided to continue the ruling in Veterans disallowing major political parties from
participating in the party-list elections, directly or indirectly.
324

League Of Cities Of The Philippines (Lcp)


Vs.
Commission On Elections
G.R. No. 176951 February 15, 2011

Facts:

During the 12th Congress, Congress enacted into law RA 9009 amending Section
450 of the Local Government Code by increasing the annual income requirement for
conversion of a municipality into a city from P20 million to P100 million to restrain the
mad rush´ of municipalities to convert into cities solely to secure a larger share in the
Internal Revenue Allotment despite the fact that they are incapable of fiscal
independence. Prior to its enactment, a total of 57 municipalities had cityhood bills
pending in Congress. Congress did not act on 24 cityhood bills during the 11th Congress.
During the 12th Congress, the House of Representatives adopted Joint Resolution No. 29.
This Resolution reached the Senate. However, the 12th

Congress adjourned without the Senate approving Joint Resolution No. 29.During
the 13th Congress, 16 of the 24 municipalities mentioned in the unapproved Joint
Resolution No. 29 filed between November and December of 2006, through their
respective sponsors in Congress, individual cityhood bills containing a common
provision, as follows:

Exemption from Republic Act No. 9009-The City of shall be exempted from the
income requirement prescribed under Republic Act No. 9009.These cityhood bills lapsed
into law on various dates from March to July 2007 after President Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo failed to sign them. Petitioners filed the present petition ns to declare the
Cityhood Laws unconstitutional for violation of Section 10, Article X of the Constitution,
as well as for violation of the equal protection clause. Petitioners also lament that the
wholesale conversion of municipalities into cities will reduce the share of existing cities
in the Internal Revenue Allotment because more cities will share the same amount of
internal revenue set aside for all cities under Section 285 of the Local Government Code.

Issue:
Whether or not the Cityhood Laws violate Section 10, Article X of the
Constitution and the equal protection clause

Held:
Yes, the Cityhood Laws violate both the Constitution and the equal protection
clause. There is no substantial distinction between municipalities with pending cityhood
bills in the 11th Congress and municipalities that did not have pending bills. The mere
pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th Congress is not a material difference to
distinguish one municipality from another for the purpose of the income requirement.
The pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th Congress does not affect or determine the
level of income of a municipality. Municipalities with pending cityhood bills in the 11th
Congress might even have lower annual income than municipalities that did not have
325

pending cityhood bills. In short, the classification criterion − mere pendency of a


cityhood bill in the 11th Congress − is not rationally related to the purpose of the law
which is to prevent fiscally non-viable municipalities from converting into cities.

Moreover, the fact of pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th Congress limits the
exemption to a specific condition existing at the time of passage of RA 9009. That
specific condition will never happen again. This violates the requirement that a valid
classification must not be limited to existing conditions only.

The exemption provision in the Cityhood Laws gives the 16 municipalities a


unique advantage based on an arbitrary date − the filing of their cityhood bills before the
end of the 11th Congress – as against all other municipalities that want to convert into
cities after the effectivity of RA 9009.

In addition, limiting the exemption only to the 16 municipalities violates the


requirement that the classification must apply to all similarly situated. Municipalities with
the same income as the 16 respondent municipalities cannot convert into cities, while the
16 respondent municipalities can. Clearly, as worded, the exemption provision found in
the Cityhood Laws, even if it were written in Section 450 of the Local Government Code,
would still be unconstitutional for violation of the equal protection clause.

Section 10, Article X of the Constitution expressly provides that "no city shall be
created except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code."
This provision can only be interpreted in one way, that is, all the criteria for the creation
of cities must be embodied exclusively in the Local Government Code. In this case, the
Cityhood Laws, which are unmistakably laws other than the Local Government Code,
provided an exemption from the increased income requirement for the creation of cities
under Section 450 of the Local Government Code, as amended by RA 9009. Clearly, the
Cityhood Laws contravene the letter and intent of Section 10, Article X of the
Constitution.
326

Jorge B. Vargas
Vs.
Emilio Rilloraza, Jose Bernabe, Manuel Escudero, Judges Of The People's
Court, And The Solicitor General Of The Philippines
G.R. No. L-1612 February 26, 1948

Facts:
Petitioner assails the validity of Sec. 14 of the The People's Court Act,
Commonwealth Act 682, which provided that the President could designate Judges of
First Instance, Judges-at-large of First Instance or Cadastral Judges to sit as substitute
Justices of the Supreme Court in treason cases without them necessarily having to
possess the required constitutional qualifications of a regular Supreme Court Justice.

Issue:
Whether or not Sec. 14 of CA 682 is constitutional

Held:
No. Sec. 14 of CA 582 is unconstitutional. Article VIII, sections 4 and 5, of the
Constitution do not admit any composition of the Supreme Court other than the Chief
Justice and Associate Justices therein mentioned appointed as therein provided. And the
infringement is enhanced and aggravated where a majority of the members of the Court
— as in this case — are replaced by judges of first instance. It is distinctly another
Supreme Court in addition to this. And the constitution provides for only one Supreme
Court.

Grounds for disqualification added by section 14 of Commonwealth Act No. 682


to those already existing at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and continued by
it is not only arbitrary and irrational but positively violative of the organic law.

Constitutional requirement (Art. VIII Sec 5) provides that the members of the
Supreme Court should be appointed by the President with the consent of the CoA,
"Unless provided by law" in Sec 4 cannot be construed to authorize any legislation which
would alter the composition of the Supreme Court, as determined by the Constitution.

However temporary or brief may be the participation of a judge designated under


Sec. 14 of PCA, there is no escaping the fact the he would be participating in the
deliberations and acts of the SC, as the appellate tribunal, and his vote would count as
much as that any regular Justice of the Court. "A temporary member" therefore would be
a misnomer, as that position is not contemplated by the Constitution, where Sec.4 of Art.
VIII only provides A Chief Justice and Associate Justices who have to be thus appointed
and confirmed (Sec5).
327

Datu Michael Abas Kida,


Vs.
Senate Of The Philippines
G.R. No. 196271 October 18, 2011

Facts:
On June 30, 2011, Republic Act (RA) No. 10153, entitled “An Act Providing for
the Synchronization of the Elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
(ARMM) with the National and Local Elections and for Other Purposes” was enacted,
resetting the next ARMM regular elections to May 2013 to coincide with the regular
national and local elections of the country.

The history of ARMM instituted first by the provisions of Article X of the 1987
Constitution, mandated the creation of autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the
Cordilleras specifically Sections 15 to 22 wherein the congress promulgated the Republic
Act (RA) No. 6734 which is the organic act that established the ARMM and scheduled
the first regular elections for the ARMM regional officials. Following aforementioned
article is the RA No. 9054 which amended the ARMM Charter and reset the regular
elections for the ARMM regional officials to the second Monday of September 2001. RA
No. 9140 further reset the first regular elections to November 26, 2001. RA No. 9333
reset for the third time the ARMM regional elections to the 2ndMonday of August 2005
and on the same date every 3 years thereafter.

Pursuant to RA No. 9333, the next ARMM regional elections should have been
held on August 8, 2011. COMELEC had begun preparations for these elections and had
accepted certificates of candidacies for the various regional offices to be elected.
In these consolidated petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus filed
directly with the Supreme Court, the petitioners assailed the constitutionality of RA No.
10153.

Issues:
1. Whether or not the 1987 Constitution mandates the synchronization of
elections.
2. Whether or not the passage of RA No. 10153 violates Section 26(2), Article VI
of the 1987 Constitution.

Held:
1. YES, the 1987 Constitution mandates the synchronization of elections. While
the Constitution does not expressly state that Congress has to synchronize national and
local elections, the clear intent towards this objective can be gleaned from the Transitory
Provisions (Article XVIII) of the Constitution, which show the extent to which the
Constitutional Commission, by deliberately making adjustments to the terms of the
incumbent officials, sought to attain synchronization of elections. The Constitutional
Commission exchanges, read with the provisions of the Transitory Provisions of the
Constitution, all serve as patent indicators of the constitutional mandate to hold
328

synchronized national and local elections, starting the second Monday of May 1992 and
for all the following elections.

From the perspective of the Constitution, autonomous regions are considered one
of the forms of local governments, as evident from Article X of the Constitution entitled
Local Government. Autonomous regions are established and discussed under Sections 15
to 21 of this Article the article wholly devoted to Local Government.

In this case, the ARMM elections, although called “regional” elections, should be
included among the elections to be synchronized as it is a “local” election based on the
wording and structure of the Constitution.

Thus, the Supreme Court find the contention that the synchronization mandated
by the Constitution does not include the regional elections of the ARMM unmeritorious.

2. NO, the passage of RA No. 10153 DOES NOT violate Section 26(2), Article
VI of the 1987 Constitution which refers to the three-readings-on-separate-days
requirement.

Before bills passed by either the House or the Senate can become law or statute
they must pass through three readings on separate days, with the EXCEPTION of when
the President certifies to the necessity of the bill’s immediate enactment. The Court, in
Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, explained the effect of the President’s certification of
necessity in the following manner:

The presidential certification dispensed with the requirement not only of printing
but also that of reading the bill on separate days.The phrase “except when the President
certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment, etc.” in Art. VI, Section 26[2]
qualifies the two stated conditions before a bill can become a law: [i] the bill has passed
three readings on separate days and [ii] it has been printed in its final form and distributed
three days before it is finally approved.

In the present case, the records show that the President wrote to the Speaker of the
House of Representatives to certify the necessity of the immediate enactment of a law
synchronizing the ARMM elections with the national and local elections. Following the
Tolentino ruling, the Supreme Court held the President’s certification exempted both the
House and the Senate from having to comply with the three separate readings
requirement.
329

China National Machinery & Equipment Corp. (Group)


Vs.
Hon. Cesar D. Santamaria
G.R. No. 185572 February 7, 2012

Facts:
On 14 September 2002, petitioner China National Machinery& Equipment Corp.
(Group) (CNMEG), represented by its chairperson, Ren Hongbin, entered into a
Memorandum of Understanding with the North Luzon Railways Corporation(North rail),
represented by its president, Jose L. Cortes, Jr. for the conduct of a feasibility study on a
possible railway line from Manila to San Fernando, La Union (the North rail Project).On
30 August 2003, the Export Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank)and the Department of
Finance of the Philippines (DOF) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (Aug 30
MOU), wherein China agreed to extend Preferential Buyer‘s Credit to the Philippine
government to finance the North rail Project.

The Chinese government designated EXIM Bank as the lender, while the
Philippine government named the DOF as the borrower. Under the Aug 30 MOU, EXIM
Bank agreed to extend an amount not exceeding USD 400,000,000 in favor of the DOF,
payable in 20 years, with a 5-year grace period, and at the rate of 3% per annum. On
October 2003, the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Wang Chungui (Amb. Wang),
wrote a letter to DOF Secretary Jose Isidro Camacho (Sec. Camacho) informing him of
CNMEG‘s designation as the Prime Contractor for the North rail Project. On 30
December 2003, North rail and CNMEG executed a Contract Agreement for the
construction of Section I, Phase I of the NorthLuzon Railway System from Caloocan to
Malolos on a turnkey basis(the Contract Agreement).

The contract price for the NorthrailProject was pegged at USD 421,050,000.On
26 February 2004, the Philippine government and EXIM Bankentered into a counterpart
financial agreement Buyer Credit Loan Agreement No. BLA 04055 (the Loan
Agreement). In the Loan Agreement, EXIM Bank agreed to extend Preferential Buyer‘s
Creditin the amount of USD 400,000,000 in favor of the Philippine government in order
to finance the construction of Phase I of the Northrail Project .On 13 February 2006,
respondents filed a Complaint for Annulment of Contract and Injunction with Urgent
Motion for Summary Hearing to Determine the Existence of Facts and Circumstances
Justifying he Issuance of Writs of Preliminary Prohibitory and Mandatory Injunction
and/or TRO against CNMEG, the Office of the Executive Secretary, the DOF, the
Department of Budget and Management, the National Economic Development Authority
and Northrail.

The case was filed before the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial
Region, Makati City, Branch 145 (RTC Br. 145). In the Complaint, respondents alleged
that the Contract Agreement and the Loan Agreement were void for being contrary to (a)
the Constitution; (b) Republic Act No. 9184 (R.A. No. 9184), otherwise known as the
Government Procurement Reform Act; (c) Presidential Decree No.1445, otherwise
known as the Government Auditing Code; and (d) Executive Order No. 292, otherwise
330

known as the Administrative Code. On 15 May 2007, RTC Br. 145 issued an Omnibus
Order denying CNMEG‘s Motion to Dismiss and setting the case for summary hearing to
determine whether the injunctive reliefs prayed for should be issued. CNMEG then filed
a Motion for Reconsideration, which was denied by the trial court in an Order dated 10
March 2008.Thus, CNMEG filed before the CA a Petition for Certiorari with Prayer for
the Issuance of TRO and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction dated 4 April 2008.the
appellate court dismissed the Petition for Certiorari.

Subsequently, CNMEG filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was denied by


the CA in a Resolution dated 5 December 2008. Petitioner claims that the EXIM
Bankextended financial assistance to Northrail because the bank was mandated by the
Chinese government, and not because of any motivation to do business in the Philippines,
it is clear from the foregoing provisions that the Northrail Project was a purely
commercial transaction. Respondents alleged that the Contract Agreement and the Loan
Agreement were void for being contrary to(a) the Constitution; (b) Republic Act No.
9184 (R.A. No. 9184), otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act;
(c)Presidential Decree No. 1445, otherwise known as the Government Auditing Code;
and (d) Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known as the Administrative Code.

Issues:
Whether or not petitioner CNMEG is an agent of the sovereign People‘s Republic of
China. Whether or not the Northrail contracts are products of an executive agreement
between two sovereign states.

Held:

The instant Petition is denied. Petitioner China National Machinery & Equipment Corp.
(Group) is not entitled to immunity from suit, and the Contract Agreement is not an
executive agreement. CNMEG‘s prayer for the issuance of a TRO and/or Writ of
Preliminary Injunction is denied for being moot and academic. The Court explained the
doctrine of sovereign immunity in Holy See v. Rosario, to wit: There are two conflicting
concepts of sovereign immunity, each widely held and firmly established. According to
the classical or absolute theory, a sovereign cannot, without its consent, bemade a
respondent in the courts of another sovereign. According to the newer or restrictive
theory, the immunity of the sovereign is recognized only with regard to public acts or acts
jure imperii of a state, but not with regard to private acts or acts jure gestionis. As it
stands now, the application of the doctrine of immunity from suit has been restricted to
sovereign or governmental activities (jureimperii). The mantle of state immunity cannot
be extended to commercial, private and proprietary acts (jure gestionis).
331

British American Tobacco


Vs.
Jose Isidro N. Camacho In His Capacity As Secretary Of The Department Of
Finance And Guillermo L. Parayno, Jr., In His Capacity As Commissioner Of The
Bureau Of Internal Revenue, Respondents. Philip Morris Philippines
Manufacturing, Inc., Fortune Tobacco, Corp., Mighty Corporation, And Jt
International
G.R. No. 163583. August 20, 2008

Facts:
RA 8240, entitled "An Act Amending Sections 138, 139, 140, and 142 of the
NIRC, as Amended and For Other Purposes", took effect on January 1, 1997. In the same
year, Congress passed RA 8424 or The Tax Reform Act of 1997, re-codifying the NIRC.
Section 142 was renumbered as Section 145 of the NIRC. Paragraph (c) of Section 145
provides for four tiers of tax rates based on the net retail price per pack of cigarettes. To
determine the applicable tax rates of existing cigarette brands, a survey of the net retail
prices per pack of cigarettes was conducted As such, new brands of cigarettes shall be
taxed according to their current net retail price while existing or "old" brands shall be
taxed based on their net retail price as of October 1, 1996.

To implement RA 8240, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued Revenue


Regulations No. 1-97, which classified the existing brands of cigarettes as those duly
registered or active brands prior to January 1, 1997. New brands, or those registered after
January 1, 1997, shall be initially assessed at their suggested retail price until such time
that the appropriate survey to determine their current net retail price is conducted.
petitioner British American Tobacco introduced into the market Lucky Strike Filter,
Lucky Strike Lights and Lucky Strike Menthol Lights cigarettes, with a suggested retail
price of P9.90 per pack. Pursuant to Sec. 145 (c) quoted above, the Lucky Strike brands
were initially assessed the excise tax at P8.96 per pack. H petitioner filed before the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati, a petition for injunction with prayer for the
issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or writ of preliminary injunction.
Said petition sought to enjoin the implementation of Section 145 of the NIRC, Revenue
Regulations Nos. 1-97, 9-2003, 22-2003 and Revenue Memorandum Order No. 6-2003
on the ground that they discriminate against new brands of cigarettes, in violation of the
equal protection and uniformity provisions of the Constitution. The trial court rendered a
decision upholding the constitutionality of Section 145 of the NIRC, Revenue
Regulations Nos. 1-97, 9-2003, 22-2003 and Revenue Memorandum Order No. 6-2003.
The trial court also lifted the writ of preliminary injunction. The dispositive portion of the
decision reads: Petitioner brought the instant petition for review directly with this Court
on a pure question of law. Intervenor Fortune Tobacco further contends that petitioner is
estopped from questioning the constitutionality of Section 145 and its implementing rules
and regulations because it entered into the cigarette industry fully aware of the existing
tax system and its consequences. Petitioner imported cigarettes into the country knowing
that its suggested retail price, which will be the initial basis of its tax classification, will
be confirmed and validated through a survey by the BIR to determine the correct tax that
would be levied on its cigarettes.
332

Issue:
Whether or not (1) Section 145 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), as
recodified by Republic Act (RA) 8424; (2) RA 9334, which further amended Section 145
of the NIRC on January 1, 2005; (3) Revenue Regulations Nos. 1-97, 9-2003, and 22-
2003; and (4) Revenue Memorandum Order No. 6-2003 are violative of the equal
protection and uniformity clauses of the Constitution.

Held:
Whether Congress acted improvidently in derogating, to a limited extent, the
state's interest in promoting fair competition among the players in the industry, while
pursuing other state interests regarding the simplification of tax administration of sin
products, elimination of potential areas for abuse and corruption in tax collection,
buoyant and stable revenue generation, and ease of projection of revenues through the
classification freeze provision, and whether the questioned provision is the best means to
achieve these state interests, necessarily go into the wisdom of the assailed law which we
cannot inquire into, much less overrule.

The classification freeze provision has not been shown to be precipitated by a


veiled attempt, or hostile attitude on the part of Congress to unduly favor older brands
over newer brands. On the contrary, we must reasonably assume, owing to the respect
due a co-equal branch of government and as revealed by the Congressional deliberations,
that the enactment of the questioned provision was impelled by an earnest desire to
improve the efficiency and effectivity of the tax administration of sin products. For as
long as the legislative classification is rationally related to furthering some legitimate
state interest, as here, the rational-basis test is satisfied and the constitutional challenge is
perfunctorily defeated. We do not sit in judgment as a supra-legislature to decide, after a
law is passed by Congress, which state interest is superior over another, or which method
is better suited to achieve one, some or all of the state's interests, or what these interests
should be in the first place. This policy-determining power, by constitutional fiat, belongs
to Congress as it is its function to determine and balance these interests or choose which
ones to pursue. Time and again we have ruled that the judiciary does not settle policy
issues. The Court can only declare what the law is and not what the law should be. Under
our system of government, policy issues are within the domain of the political branches
of government and of the people themselves as the repository of all state power. 74 Thus,
the legislative classification under the classification freeze provision, after having been
shown to be rationally related to achieve certain legitimate state interests and done in
good faith, must, perforce, end our inquiry.

WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED and the decision of the


Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 61, in Civil Case No. 03-1032, is AFFIRMED
with MODIFICATION. As modified, this Court declares that: (1) Section 145 of the
NIRC, as amended by Republic Act No. 9334, is CONSTITUTIONAL; and that
(2)Section 4 (B) (e) (c), 2nd paragraph of Revenue Regulations No. 1-97, as amended by
Section 2 of Revenue Regulations 9-2003, and Sections II (1) (b), II (4) (b), II (6), II (7),
III (Large Tax Payers Assistance Division II) II (b) of Revenue Memorandum Order No.
333

6-2003, insofar as pertinent to cigarettes packed by machine, are INVALID insofar as


they grant the BIR the power to reclassify or update the classification of new brands
every two years or earlier.
334

Rodolfo B. Garcia,
Vs.
Primo C. Miro Et Al.
G.R. No. 167409 March 20, 2009

Facts:
Julieta Ortega filed a letter complaint before the Ombudsman-Visayas (Primo
Miro) charging the petitioner with the crime of murder and the administrative offense of
grave abuse of authority. Complainant arose from death of Ortega’s husband as a result
of vehicular mishap between a car driven by the petitioner and the motorcycle driven by
the deceased. It was treated as two (2) separate criminal and administrative complaints. In
an evaluation report, Graft Investigation Officer (GIO) Yap found the letter to be
sufficient in form and substance, concluding that the offense charged is not related to the
functions of the petitioner as a judge and can be subject of preliminary investigation.
Provincial prosecutor manifested that the OCA and Office of the Ombudsman would be
more appropriate to conduct investigation. GIO Yap found that there exists probable
cause for the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to Homicide. Information for the
crime was filed against the petitioner but petitioner filed motion to quash. MCTC issued
an order granting the motion. Respondents filed a motion for reconsideration which was
granted. Petitioner filed his motion for reconsideration which was denied. Hence, this
petition.

Issue:
Whether or not the petition was correctly filed directly before the Supreme Court.

Held:
No. The present petition was directly filed in the Supreme Court in utter disregard
of the rule on the Heirarchy of Courts, warranting outright dismissal. In the case of
Vergara,Sr v. Suleto, the Court stressed that the Supreme Court is the court of last resort,
and must so remain if it is to satisfactorily perform the functions assigned to it.
Supervision over all inferior courts and court personnel is vested by the Constitution in
the Supreme Court. However, the prerogative extends to administrative supervision. The
ombudsman cannot encroach upon the Courts to oversee judges and court personnel and
take the proper administrative action against them if they commit any violation of the
laws. The criminal case filed against the petitioner is not related to the performance of his
duties as a judge. The Administrative aspect of the case was endorsed to the office of the
Court Administrator and the Ombudsman only proceeded with the criminal aspect of the
case.
335

Teofisto Guingona, Vs.


Commission On Elections
G.R. No. 191846 May 6, 2010

Facts:
The petitioners cited various media reports as regards the preparation for 10 May
2010election such as overpriced ballot secrecy folders, failed product of indelible ink,
wrong supply of ultra violet ink, malfunctioning of PCOS machines. In light of the
foregoing alarming developments, petitioners filed a special civil action for mandamus
and pray that the Court order respondent COMELEC to explain the complete details of its
preparations for the impending election.

Respondent COMELEC contends petitioners have no legal standing to file the


present special civil action for mandamus.

Issue:
WON petitioners are real party-in-interest and mandamus is the proper remedy

Held:
The Court granted the petition in part. If the petition is anchored on the people’s
right to information on matters of public concern, any citizen can be the real party in
interest. The requirement of personal interest is satisfied by the mere fact that the
petitioner is a citizen, and therefore, part of the general public which possesses the right.
It is not enough, however, that the information petitioners seek in a writ of mandamus is a
matter of public concern. For mandamus to lie in a given case, the information must not
be among the species exempted by law from the operation of the constitutional guarantee.

In this case, respondent COMELEC failed to cite any provision of law exempting
the information sought by petitioners from the coverage of the government’s
constitutional duty to disclose fully information of public concern. Petitioners’ prayer to
compel COMELEC to explain fully its preparations for the coming 10May 2010 elections
finds overwhelming support in the Constitution, specifically under Section 7 of Article III
and Section 28 of Article II on the people’s right to information and the State’s
corresponding duty of full public disclosure of all transactions involving public interest.
336

Evelio B. Javier
Vs.
The Commission On Elections, And Arturo F. Pacificador
G.R. Nos. L-68379-81 September 22, 1986

Facts:
Javier and Pacificador, a member of the KBL under Marcos, were rivals to be
members of the Batasan in May 1984 in Antique. During election, Javier complained of
“massive terrorism, intimidation, duress, vote-buying, fraud, tampering and falsification
of election returns under duress, threat and intimidation, snatching of ballot boxes
perpetrated by the armed men of Pacificador.” COMELEC just referred the complaints to
the AFP. On the same complaint, the 2nd Division of the Commission on Elections
directed the provincial board of canvassers of Antique to proceed with the canvass but to
suspend the proclamation of the winning candidate until further orders. On June 7, 1984,
the same 2nd Division ordered the board to immediately convene and to proclaim the
winner without prejudice to the outcome of the case before the Commission. On certiorari
before the SC, the proclamation made by the board of canvassers was set aside as
premature, having been made before the lapse of the 5-day period of appeal, which the
Javier had seasonably made. Javier pointed out that the irregularities of the election must
first be resolved before proclaiming a winner. Further, Opinion, one of the
Commissioners should inhibit himself as he was a former law partner of Pacificador.
Also, the proclamation was made by only the 2nd Division but the Constitute requires
that it be proclaimed by the COMELEC en banc. In Feb 1986, during pendency, Javier
was gunned down. The Solicitor General then moved to have the petition close it being
moot and academic by virtue of Javier’s death.

Issue:
Whether or not there had been due process in the proclamation of Pacificador.

Held:
The SC ruled in favor of Javier and has overruled the Sol-Gen’s tenor. The SC has
repeatedly and consistently demanded “the cold neutrality of an impartial judge” as the
indispensable imperative of due process. To bolster that requirement, we have held that
the judge must not only be impartial but must also appear to be impartial as an added
assurance to the parties that his decision will be just. The litigants are entitled to no less
than that. They should be sure that when their rights are violated they can go to a judge
who shall give them justice. They must trust the judge, otherwise they will not go to him
at all. They must believe in his sense of fairness, otherwise they will not seek his
judgment. Without such confidence, there would be no point in invoking his action for
the justice they expect.

Due process is intended to insure that confidence by requiring compliance with


what Justice Frankfurter calls the rudiments of fair play. Fair play calls for equal justice.
There cannot be equal justice where a suitor approaches a court already committed to the
other party and with a judgment already made and waiting only to be formalized after the
litigants shall have undergone the charade of a formal hearing. Judicial (and also
337

extrajudicial) proceedings are not orchestrated plays in which the parties are supposed to
make the motions and reach the denouement according to a prepared script. There is no
writer to foreordain the ending. The judge will reach his conclusions only after all the
evidence is in and all the arguments are filed, on the basis of the established facts and the
pertinent law.
338

Lahm v. Mayor
A.C. No. 7430 15 February 2012

Facts:
On 5 September 2006, a certain David Edward Toze filed a complaint for illegal
dismissal before the Labor Arbitration Branch of the National Labor Relations
Commission against the members of the Board of Trustees of the International School,
Manila. The case was raffled to the sala of the respondent, Labor Arbiter Jovencio Ll.
Mayor, Jr. During the proceedings, Toze filed a Verified Motion for the Issuance of a
Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction, to which the complainants,
Martin Lahm III and James P. Concepcion, opposed. Thereafter, the respondent issued an
Order directing the parties in the said case to maintain the status quo ante, which
consequently reinstated Toze to his former position as superintendent of the International
School Manila. Despite the complainants’ motion for an early resolution of their motion
to dismiss the said case, respondent maintained his Order. Thus, the complaint praying
for the respondent’s disbarment for alleged gross misconduct and violation of lawyer’s
oath.

Issue:
Is the respondent guilty for the gross misconduct and violation of lawyer’s oath?

Held:
Yes. The Supreme Court concurred with the conclusion of the Investigating
Commissioner of the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline that respondent guilty for the
gross misconduct and violation of lawyer’s oath. Gross misconduct is any inexcusable,
shameful or flagrant unlawful conduct on the part of a person concerned with the
administration of justice; i.e., conduct prejudicial to the rights of the parties or to the right
determination of the cause. The motive behind this conduct is generally a premeditated,
obstinate or intentional purpose.

Under the 2005 Rules of Procedure of the NLRC, the labor arbiters no longer
have the authority to issue writs of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining
orders. However, the respondent, in violation of the said rule, vehemently insist that he
has the authority to issue writs of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining
order.

Further, the unfounded insistence of the respondent on his supposed authority to


issue writs of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order, taken together
with the delay in the resolution of the said motion for reconsideration, would clearly
show that the respondent deliberately intended to cause prejudice to the complainants.

In stubbornly insisting that he has the authority to issue writs of preliminary


injunction and/or temporary restraining order contrary to the clear import of the 2005
Rules of Procedure of the NLRC, the respondent violated Canon 1 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility which mandates lawyers to obey the laws of the land and
promote respect for law and legal processes.
339

Placido L. Mapa, Jr Vs. Sandiganbayan


G.R. No. 100295 April 26, 1994

Facts:
Petitioner herein was charged with violation of Anti Graft and Corrupt
Practices.However he was granted an immunity from suit by the PCGG related to the
previous charges against him, provided that he will testify as witness against the
Marcoses in criminal proceedings in the United States Vs Ferdinand Marcos, during the
RICO, where Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda Marcos were being tried for
charges of corruption. All the expenses of Mapa were shouldered by the PCCG when
they flew to New York to testify against the Marcoses. During the trial, Ferdinand
Marcos died and La Bella, the American prosecutor dispensed the testimony of Mapa and
thereby acquitted Imelda Marcos. Since Mapa, was not able to testify, it was contended
that the immunity from suit of Mapa took without force and effect. However, the record
shows that the petitioners provided information to the PCGG relating to the prosecution
of the RICO cases against the Marcoses in New York. Hence this petition.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the immunity given by the PCGG to Mapa is still in effect and
force.

Held:
Yes. Under Sec. 5, EO 14, the PCGG has the separate power to grant immunity to
any person from being prosecuted provided they will meet the conditions provided by the
PCGG.

In the case at bar, Mapa was granted immunity from the prosecution or criminal
case where he is being tried, and the PCGG even shouldered all the expenses of Mapa
when they flew to New York to testify implying that Mapa was able to meet the
conditions and the PCGG accepted the information given by him (MAPA) to testify
against the Marcoses during the RICO trial. Failure of the petitioner to testify on the
RICO can not nullify the immunity given to him by the PCGG since the petitioner was
able to satisfy the requirements both of the law and the parties’ implementing
agreements. Though the petitioners were not able to testify against the Marcoses in
RICO, it can be said that it not their own fault.

Wherefore, the petitioner must be acquitted on the basis of the immunity granted
by the PCGG, which under the law has the power to grant immunity.

TWO KINDS OF IMMUNITY CAN BE GRANTED:


1. Transactional Immunity - is broader aint he scope of its protection. By its
grant the witness can no longer be prosecuted for any offence whatsoever arising out of
the act or transaction.
2. Used-and-derivative-use - a witnessed is only assured that his or her
particular testimony and evidence derived from it will not be used against him or her in a
subsequent prosecution.
340

Bernardino Marcelino
Vs.
The Hon. Fernando Cruz
G.R. No. L-42428 March 18, 1983

Facts:
Bernardino Marcelino was charged for the crime of rape. On August 4, 1975, the
prosecution finished presenting evidence against Marcelino and rested its case. On the
same date, the attorneys of both parties in the criminal case moved for time within which
to submit their respective memoranda. The presiding judge, Fernando Cruz, Jr., gave
them 30 days or until September 4, 1975. Only Marcelino submitted a memoranda.

On November 28, 1975, Judge Cruz filed with the Clerk of Court a copy of his
decision, his decision bears the same date of November 28, 1975. The promulgation of
the decisions was scheduled in January 1976. Marcelino is now contending that the court
can no longer promulgate judgment because by January 1976, the 3-month period (90 day
period) within which lower courts must decide on cases had already lapsed, thus, the
lower court lost its jurisdiction over the case.

Issue:
Whether or not Judge Cruz had resolved the case within the allotted period.

Held:
Yes. The case is deemed submitted for decision on September 4, 1975 (date of
last day of filing of the memoranda by the respective parties). From that day, the 3-month
period begins to run so Judge Cruz had until December 4, 1975 to rule on the case. Judge
Cruz made a rendition of his decision on November 28, 1975. The date of rendition is the
date of filing of the decision with the clerk of court. Hence, Judge Cruz was able to rule
on the case within the 3-month period because November 28, 1975 was merely the 85th
day from September 4, 1975.

The date of promulgation of a decision, in this case it was set in January 1976,
could not serve as the reckoning date because the same necessarily comes at a later date.

Is the period to decide provided for by the Constitution mandatory?

Section 11 (1), Art 10 of the 1987 Constitution provides that “upon the effectivity
of this constitution, the maximum period within which case or matter shall be decided or
resolved from the date of its submission shall be; 18 months for the Supreme Court, 12
months for the inferior courts and 3 months for lower courts. In practice, the Supreme
Court is liberal when it comes to this provision. The provision is mandatory, its merely
directive. Extensions can be granted in meritorious cases. To interpret such provision as
mandatory will only be detrimental to the justice system. Nevertheless, the SC warned
lower court judges to resolve cases within the prescribed period and not take this liberal
construction as an excuse to dispose of cases at later periods.
341

Ma. J. Angelina G. Matibag Vs. Alfredo L. Benipayo


G.R. No. 149036 April 2, 2002

Facts:
Herein petitioner Matibag was appointed by the COMELEC en banc as “Acting
Director IV” of the EID and was reappointed twice for the same position in a temporary
capacity. Meanwhile, then PGMA also made appointments, ad interim, of herein
respondents Benipayo, Borra and Tuason, as COMELEC Chairman and Commissioners,
respectively. Their appointments were renewed thrice by PGMA, the last one during the
pendency of the case, all due to the failure of the Commission of Appointments to act
upon the confirmation of their appointments.

Respondent Benipayo, acting on his capacity as COMELEC Chairman, issued a


memorandum removing petitioner as Acting Director IV and reassigning her to the Law
Department. Petitioner requested for reconsideration but was denied. Thus, petitioner
filed the instant petition questioning the appointment and the right to remain in office of
herein respondents, claiming that their ad interim appointments violate the constitutional
provisions on the independence of the COMELEC, as well as on the prohibitions on
temporary appointments and reappointments of its Chairman and members.

Issue:
(1) Whether the ad interim appointments made by PGMA were prohibited under
the Constitution
(2) Whether the ad interim appointments made by PGMA were temporary in
character

Held:
No. (1) While the Constitution mandates that the COMELEC “shall be
independent”, this provision should be harmonized with the President’s power to extend
ad interim appointments. To hold that the independence of the COMELEC requires the
Commission on Appointments to first confirm ad interim appointees before the
appointees can assume office will negate the President’s power to make ad interim
appointments. This is contrary to the rule on statutory construction to give meaning and
effect to every provision of the law. It will also run counter to the clear intent of the
framers of the Constitution. The original draft of Section 16, Article VII of the
Constitution – on the nomination of officers subject to confirmation by the Commission
on Appointments – did not provide for ad interim appointments. The original intention of
the framers of the Constitution was to do away with ad interim appointments because the
plan was for Congress to remain in session throughout the year except for a brief 30-day
compulsory recess. However, because of the need to avoid disruptions in essential
government services, the framers of the Constitution thought it wise to reinstate the
provisions of the 1935 Constitution on ad interim appointments. Clearly, the
reinstatement in the present Constitution of the ad interim appointing power of the
President was for the purpose of avoiding interruptions in vital government services that
otherwise would result from prolonged vacancies in government offices, including the
three constitutional commissions.
342

Evidently, the exercise by the President in the instant case of her constitutional
power to make ad interim appointments prevented the occurrence of the very evil sought
to be avoided by the second paragraph of Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution. This
power to make ad interim appointments is lodged in the President to be exercised by her
in her sound judgment. Under the second paragraph of Section 16, Article VII of the
Constitution, the President can choose either of two modes in appointing officials who
are subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. First, while Congress is
in session, the President may nominate the prospective appointee, and pending consent of
the Commission on Appointments, the nominee cannot qualify and assume office.
Second, during the recess of Congress, the President may extend an ad interim
appointment which allows the appointee to immediately qualify and assume office.
Whether the President chooses to nominate the prospective appointee or extend an ad
interim appointment is a matter within the prerogative of the President because the
Constitution grants her that power. This Court cannot inquire into the propriety of the
choice made by the President in the exercise of her constitutional power, absent grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on her part, which has not
been shown in the instant case.

In fine, we rule that the ad interim appointments extended by the President to


Benipayo, Borra and Tuason, as COMELEC Chairman and Commissioners, respectively,
do not constitute temporary or acting appointments prohibited by Section 1 (2), Article
IX-C of the Constitution.

(2) An ad interim appointment is a permanent appointment because it takes effect


immediately and can no longer be withdrawn by the President once the appointee has
qualified into office. The fact that it is subject to confirmation by the Commission on
Appointments does not alter its permanent character. The Constitution itself makes an ad
interim appointment permanent in character by making it effective until disapproved by
the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of Congress. The second
paragraph of Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution provides as follows:

“The President shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of
the Congress, whether voluntary or compulsory, but such appointments shall be effective
only until disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment
of the Congress.”

Thus, the ad interim appointment remains effective until such disapproval or next
adjournment, signifying that it can no longer be withdrawn or revoked by the President.

While an ad interim appointment is permanent and irrevocable except as provided


by law, an appointment or designation in a temporary or acting capacity can be
withdrawn or revoked at the pleasure of the appointing power. A temporary or acting
appointee does not enjoy any security of tenure, no matter how briefly. This is the kind of
appointment that the Constitution prohibits the President from making to the three
independent constitutional commissions, including the COMELEC.
343

In the instant case, the President did in fact appoint permanent Commissioners to
fill the vacancies in the COMELEC, subject only to confirmation by the Commission on
Appointments. Benipayo, Borra and Tuason were extended permanent appointments
during the recess of Congress. They were not appointed or designated in a temporary or
acting capacity. The ad interim appointments of Benipayo, Borra and Tuason are
expressly allowed by the Constitution which authorizes the President, during the recess of
Congress, to make appointments that take effect immediately.
344

Oposa Vs. Factoran, Jr


G.R. NO. 101083. 224 SCRA 792 July 30, 1993

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

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

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

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

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

Issues:

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


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

Held:
First Issue: Cause of Action. Respondents aver that the petitioners failed to allege
in their complaint a specific legal right violated by the respondent Secretary for which
any relief is provided by law. The Court did not agree with this. The complaint focuses
on one fundamental legal right -- the right to a balanced and healthful ecology which is
incorporated in Section 16 Article II of the Constitution. The said right carries with it the
duty to refrain from impairing the environment and implies, among many other things,
the judicious management and conservation of the country's forests. Section 4 of E.O.
192 expressly mandates the DENR to be the primary government agency responsible for
345

the governing and supervising the exploration, utilization, development and conservation
of the country's natural resources. The policy declaration of E.O. 192 is also substantially
re-stated in Title XIV Book IV of the Administrative Code of 1987. Both E.O. 192 and
Administrative Code of 1987 have set the objectives which will serve as the bases for
policy formation, and have defined the powers and functions of the DENR. Thus, right of
the petitioners (and all those they represent) to a balanced and healthful ecology is as
clear as DENR's duty to protect and advance the said right.

A denial or violation of that right by the other who has the correlative duty or
obligation to respect or protect or respect the same gives rise to a cause of action.
Petitioners maintain that the granting of the TLA, which they claim was done with grave
abuse of discretion, violated their right to a balance and healthful ecology. Hence, the full
protection thereof requires that no further TLAs should be renewed or granted.

After careful examination of the petitioners' complaint, the Court finds it to be


adequate enough to show, prima facie, the claimed violation of their rights.

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

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

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


contract is limit by the exercise by the police power of the State, in the interest of public
health, safety, moral and general welfare. In short, the non-impairment clause must yield
to the police power of the State.
346

Pambansang Koalisyon Ng Mga Samahang Magsasaka At Manggagawa Sa


Niyugan (Pksmmn) Vs.
Executive Secretary
G.R. Nos. 147036-37 April 10, 2012

Facts:
In 1976 President Marcos enacted P.D. 961, the Coconut Industry Code, which
consolidated and codified existing laws relating to the coconut industry. The Code
provided that surpluses from the CCS Fund and the CID Fund collections, not used for
replanting and other authorized purposes, were to be invested by acquiring shares of
stock of corporations, including the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), engaged in
undertakings related to the coconut and palm oil industries. UCPB was to make such
investments and equitably distribute these for free to coconut farmers. These investments
constituted the Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF). P.D. 961 also provided that the
coconut levy funds (coco-levy funds) shall be owned by the coconut farmers in their
private capacities.

Issue:
Does appropriating public funds violate substantive due process?

Held:
Yes. The coco-levy funds were raised pursuant to law to support a proper
governmental purpose. They were raised with the use of the police and taxing powers of
the State for the benefit of the coconut industry and its farmers in general. The Court has
also recently declared that the coco-levy funds are in the nature of taxes and can only be
used for public purpose.

In COCOFED v. Republic, the Court held as unconstitutional Section 2 of P.D.


755 for “effectively authorizing the PCA to utilize portions of the CCS Fund to pay the
financial commitment of the farmers to acquire UCPB and to deposit portions of the CCS
Fund levies with UCPB interest free. And as there also provided, the CCS Fund, CID
Fund and like levies that PCA is authorized to collect shall be considered as non-special
or fiduciary funds to be transferred to the general fund of the Government, meaning they
shall be deemed private funds.”

Section 2 of P.D. 755, Article III, Section 5 of P.D. 961, and Article III, Section 5
of P.D. 1468 completely ignore the fact that coco-levy funds are public funds raised
through taxation. And since taxes could be exacted only for a public purpose, they cannot
be declared private properties of individuals although such individuals fall within a
distinct group of persons.

But the assailed provisions, which removed the coco-levy funds from the general
funds of the government and declared them private properties of coconut farmers, do not
appear to have a color of social justice for their purpose. The declarations do not
distinguish between wealthy coconut farmers and the impoverished ones. Consequently,
347

such declarations are void since they appropriate public funds for private purpose and,
therefore, violate the citizens’ right to substantive due process.
348

Philippine Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals

Vs.

Commission On Audit

G.R. No. 169752 September 25, 2007

Facts:

The petitioner was incorporated as a juridical entity over one hundred years ago
by virtue of Act No. 1285, enacted on January 19, 1905, by the Philippine Commission.
The petitioner, at the time it was created, was composed of animal aficionados and
animal propagandists. The objects of the petitioner, as stated in Section 2 of its charter,
shall be to enforce laws relating to cruelty inflicted upon animals or the protection of
animals in the Philippine Islands, and generally, to do and perform all things which may
tend in any way to alleviate the suffering of animals and promote their welfare.

At the time of the enactment of Act No. 1285, the original Corporation Law, Act
No. 1459, was not yet in existence. Act No. 1285 antedated both the Corporation Law
and the constitution of the SEC.

For the purpose of enhancing its powers in promoting animal welfare and
enforcing laws for the protection of animals, the petitioner was initially imbued under its
charter with the power to apprehend violators of animal welfare laws. In addition, the
petitioner was to share 1/2 of the fines imposed and collected through its efforts for
violations of the laws related thereto.

Subsequently, however, the power to make arrests as well as the privilege to


retain a portion of the fines collected for violation of animal-related laws were recalled by
virtue of C.A. No. 148. Whereas, the cruel treatment of animals is now an offense against
the State, penalized under our statutes, which the Government is duty bound to enforce;

When the COA was to perform an audit on them they refuse to do so, by the
reason that they are a private entity and not under the said commission. It argued that
COA covers only government entities. On the other hand the COA decided that it is a
government entity.

Issue:

Whether or not the said petitioner is a private entity.


349

Held:

YES. First, the Court agrees with the petitioner that the “charter test” cannot be
applied. Essentially, the “charter test” provides that the test to determine whether a
corporation is government owned or controlled, or private in nature is simple. Is it created
by its own charter for the exercise of a public function, or by incorporation under the
general corporation law? Those with special charters are government corporations subject
to its provisions, and its employees are under the jurisdiction of the CSC, and are
compulsory members of the GSIS.

And since the “charter test” had been introduced by the 1935 Constitution and not
earlier, it follows that the test cannot apply to the petitioner, which was incorporated by
virtue of Act No. 1285, enacted on January 19, 1905. Settled is the rule that laws in
general have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided. All statutes are to be
construed as having only a prospective operation, unless the purpose and intention of the
legislature to give them a retrospective effect is expressly declared or is necessarily
implied from the language used. In case of doubt, the doubt must be resolved against the
retrospective effect.

Second, a reading of petitioner’s charter shows that it is not subject to control or


supervision by any agency of the State, unlike GOCCs. No government representative
sits on the board of trustees of the petitioner. Like all private corporations, the successors
of its members are determined voluntarily and solely by the petitioner in accordance with
its by-laws, and may exercise those powers generally accorded to private corporations,
such as the powers to hold property, to sue and be sued, to use a common seal, and so
forth. It may adopt by-laws for its internal operations: the petitioner shall be managed or
operated by its officers “in accordance with its by-laws in force.”

Third. The employees of the petitioner are registered and covered by the SSS at the
latter’s initiative, and not through the GSIS, which should be the case if the employees
are considered government employees. This is another indication of petitioner’s nature
as a private entity.

Fourth. The respondents contend that the petitioner is a “body politic” because its
primary purpose is to secure the protection and welfare of animals which, in turn,
redounds to the public good. This argument, is not tenable. The fact that a certain
juridical entity is impressed with public interest does not, by that circumstance alone,
make the entity a public corporation, inasmuch as a corporation may be private although
its charter contains provisions of a public character, incorporated solely for the public
good. This class of corporations may be considered quasi-public corporations, which are
private corporations that render public service, supply public wants, or pursue other
eleemosynary objectives. While purposely organized for the gain or benefit of its
350

members, they are required by law to discharge functions for the public benefit.
Examples of these corporations are utility, railroad, warehouse, telegraph, telephone,
water supply corporations and transportation companies. It must be stressed that a quasi-
public corporation is a species of private corporations, but the qualifying factor is the
type of service the former renders to the public: if it performs a public service, then it
becomes a quasi-public corporation.

Authorities are of the view that the purpose alone of the corporation cannot be
taken as a safe guide, for the fact is that almost all corporations are nowadays created to
promote the interest, good, or convenience of the public. A bank, for example, is a
private corporation; yet, it is created for a public benefit. Private schools and universities
are likewise private corporations; and yet, they are rendering public service. Private
hospitals and wards are charged with heavy social responsibilities. More so with all
common carriers. On the other hand, there may exist a public corporation even if it is
endowed with gifts or donations from private individuals.

The true criterion, therefore, to determine whether a corporation is public or


private is found in the totality of the relation of the corporation to the State. If the
corporation is created by the State as the latter’s own agency or instrumentality to help it
in carrying out its governmental functions, then that corporation is considered public;
otherwise, it is private. Applying the above test, provinces, chartered cities, and
barangays can best exemplify public corporations. They are created by the State as its
own device and agency for the accomplishment of parts of its own public works.

Fifth. The respondents argue that since the charter of the petitioner requires the
latter to render periodic reports to the Civil Governor, whose functions have been
inherited by the President, the petitioner is, therefore, a government instrumentality.

This contention is inconclusive. By virtue of the fiction that all corporations owe
their very existence and powers to the State, the reportorial requirement is applicable to
all corporations of whatever nature, whether they are public, quasi-public, or private
corporations—as creatures of the State, there is a reserved right in the legislature to
investigate the activities of a corporation to determine whether it acted within its powers.
In other words, the reportorial requirement is the principal means by which the State may
see to it that its creature acted according to the powers and functions conferred upon it.
351

Ramon Ruffy, et al.

vs.

The Chief of Staff, et al.

G.R. No. L-533, 75 Phil 875 August 20, 1956

Facts:

During the Japanese insurrection in the Philippines, military men were assigned at
designated camps or military bases all over the country. Japanese forces went to
Mindoro thus forcing petitioner and his band move up the mountains and organize a
guerilla outfit and call it the "Bolo area". A certain Capt. Beloncio relieved Ruffy and
fellow petitioners of their position and duties in the "Bolo area" by the new authority
vested upon him because of the recent change of command. Capt. Beloncio was thus
allegedly slain by Ruffy and his fellow petitioners.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioners were subject to military law at the time the offense
was committed, which was at the time of war and the Japanese occupancy.

Held:

The Court held that the petitioners were still subject to military law since
members of the Armed Forces were still covered by the National Defense Act, Articles of
War and other laws even during an occupation. The act of unbecoming of an officer and a
gentleman is considered as a defiance of 95th Article of War held petitioners liable to
military jurisdiction and trial. Moreover, they were operating officers, which make them
even more eligible for the military court's jurisdiction.

In consideration of the foregoing, the petition has no merit and should be


dismissed. Thus, the petition is hereby denied.
352

Stronghold Insurance Company, Inc.

vs.

Tomas Cuenca, et al.

G.R. No. 173297, March 6, 2013

Facts:

Marañon filed a complaint with an application for the issuance of a writ of


preliminary attachment in the RTC against the Cuencas and Tayactac for the collection of
a sum of money and damages. The RTC granted the application for the issuance of the
writ of preliminary attachment conditioned upon the posting of a bond of P1 Million
executed in favor of the Cuencas. Marañon posted bond in the amount of P1 Million
issued by Stronghold Insurance.

Enforcing the writ of preliminary attachment, the sheriff levied upon the
equipment, supplies, materials and various other personal property belonging to Arc
Cuisine, Inc., to which the respondents where stockholders. But the levied properties
were ordered by the CA to be delivered back to the Cuencas and Tayactac due to the
damages sustained from the enforcement of the writ.

During the inventory, however, the levied properties were reportedly lost and
allegedly seen in a bakeshop owned by Maranon. Cuencas and Tayactac prayed that said
attached properties be immediately deliver to them; Stronghold Insurance be directed to
pay them the damages under the surety bond for P1 Million; Marañon be held personally
liable to them considering the insufficiency of the amount of the surety bond; and the
latter to be held liable for moral and exemplary damages, as well as attorney's fees.

The RTC held Marañon and Stronghold Insurance jointly and solidarily liable for
damages to the Cuencas and Tayactac. The CA affirmed the RTC decision.

Issue:

Whether or not the Cuencas and Tayactac recover damages arising from the wrongful
attachment of the assets of Arc Cuisine, Inc.

Held:

No. The SC held that the Cuencas and Tayactac cannot recover damages because
they are not the real-party in interest. To ensure the observance of the mandate of the
Constitution, Section 2, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court requires that unless otherwise
353

authorized by law or the Rules of Court every action must be prosecuted or defended in
the name of the real party in interest. Under the same rule, a real party in interest is one
who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or one who is entitled to
the avails of the suit. Accordingly, a person , to be a real party in interest in whose name
an action must be prosecuted, should appear to be the present real owner of the right
sought to be enforced, that is, his interest must be a present substantial interest, not a
mere expectancy, or a future, contingent, subordinate, or consequential interest.

There is no dispute that the properties subject to the levy on attachment belonged
to Arc Cuisine, Inc. alone, not to the Cuencas and Tayactac in their own right. They were
only stockholders of Arc Cuisine, Inc., which had a personality distinct and separate from
that of any or all of them. The damages occasioned to the properties by the levy on
attachment, wrongful or not, prejudiced Arc Cuisine, Inc., not them. As such, only Arc
Cuisine, Inc. had the right under the substantive law to claim and recover such damages.
This right could not also be asserted by the Cuencas and Tayactac unless they did so in
the name of the corporation itself. But that did not happen herein, because Arc Cuisine,
Inc. was not even joined in the action either as an original party or as an intervenor.

The Cuencas and Tayactac were clearly not vested with any direct interest in the
personal properties coming under the levy on attachment by virtue alone of their being
stockholders in Arc Cuisine, Inc. Their stockholdings represented only their proportionate
or aliquot interest in the properties of the corporation, but did not vest in them any legal
right or title to any specific properties of the corporation. Without doubt, Arc Cuisine,
Inc. remained the owner as a distinct legal person.

Given the separate and distinct legal personality of Arc Cuisine, Inc., the Cuencas
and Tayactac lacked the legal personality to claim the damages sustained from the levy of
the former’s properties. According to Asset Privatization Trust v. Court of Appeals, even
when the foreclosure on the assets of the corporation was wrongful and done in bad faith
the stockholders had no standing to recover for themselves moral damages; otherwise,
they would be appropriating and distributing part of the corporation’s assets prior to the
dissolution of the corporation and the liquidation of its debts and liabilities.
354

Alfredo C. Tajan

Vs.

Hon. Vicente N. Cusi, Jr.

G.R. No. L-28899. May 30, 1974.

Facts:

In a letter dated December 5, 1967 addressed to petitioner Alfredo Tajan, he was


required by respondent Judge to explain within 72 hours why he should not be removed
or suspended from the practice of law for preparing, or causing to be prepared, a petition
in court containing factual averments which petitioner knew were false.

Issue:

WON courts of first instance has jurisdiction to hear and determine the disbarment or
suspension of attorneys.

Held:

Yes. Section 38 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court states that, “Court of
Appeals or a Court of First Instance may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the
causes named in the last preceding section, and after such suspension, such attorney shall
not practice his profession until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises.”
355

Jose Topacio Nueno Et Al.

Vs.

Gerardo Angeles Et Al.

G.R. No. L-89 February 1, 1946

Facts:

Jose Topacio Nueno, Manuel De La Fuente, Eustaquio Balagtas and Carmen


Planas were elected asmembers of the Municipal Board in the general election on Dec
1940, and qualified on Jan. 1941. Nuenoand Planas subsequently resigned from their
office to run for the House of Representatives on Nov. 1941, but they were not elected.
The President of the Commonwealth then appointed Nueno to fill the vacancy he created
because of his resignation, and Delia Dino to fill the vacancy created by Carmen Planas,
since they were both from the same political party, “The Young Philippines.”On 1942,
the Japanese Army invaded the country. The regular election as provided in theElection
Code could not be held because the Japanese still occupied the country. The special
election likewise could not be held after the restoration of the Commonwealth due to
physical impossibility. Therefore the President of the Commonwealth appointed the six
respondents to the Municipal Board. The four petitioners instituted an action quo
warranto

Against six respondents, averring that their term of office of three years has not
yet expired since they have not served for such period due to the Japanese occupation.
They also assert their right to hold-over, or their right to continue in office until a
successor has been elected. Also, that their appointments are in contravention of Sec.
16, Act 357 since the party of Dino has not been represented, and that such appointments
were not submitted to the Commission on Appointments. Respondents contend that
petitioners have no right to hold public office since their term expired on Dec 1943, and
that term of office must be distinguished from tenure. Also that the appointments are
valid under the emergency powers granted upon the President.

Issues:

(1)Whether or not the petitioners have a right to hold-over of office

(2)Whether or not the appointments of the President are valid


356

Held:

(1)No. The term of office must be distinguished from the tenure of the incumbent.
The term means the time during which the officer may claim to hold the office as of right
and fixes the interval after the several incumbents shall succeed one another. The tenure
represents the term during which the incumbent actually holds office. The term of office
is not affected by hold-over, and the tenure may be shorter than the term for reasons
within or beyond the power of the incumbent. There is no principle, law or doctrine by
which the term of an office may be extended by reason of war. Sec. 27 and 2177 of the
Revised Administrative Code provided for the right to hold-over of a municipal and
provincial officer: “the incumbent shall hold-over until a successor shall be duly
qualified.”

Such phrase was suppressed by a subsequent amendment (Act No. 2774), but was
provided by a different section in the act, so it was still in effect. However, the foregoing
provisions were all repealed by Sec. 184 of the Commonwealth Act No. 357. It provided:
“The officers elected shall assume office on the first day of January next following.”

(2)Yes. Sec. 16 of the Commonwealth Act provides for the appointments to be


done by the President in case of vacancy in an elective or municipal office. The vacancies
enumerated thereof may be immediately filled in the manner provide, therefore there will
be no interregnum during which the office may be temporarily without an incumbent.
The act provides for appointment during temporary vacancy of office under subsection
(a). Subsections (b), (c), (d) and (e) provides for appointment to fill in a vacancy.
Subsection (a) cannot be applied in this case since no vacancy, temporary or otherwise,
exists in this case.

Temporary absence is not the same as vacancy since in vacancy; there is no


incumbent in public office. The petitioners were also not appointed under subsection (f),
which provides for the appointed officer to serve for the “unexpired term of office.
”Their terms, therefore, expired already on Dec. 1943, and the subsequent appointments
of the respondents are valid under Sec. 16 of Commonwealth Act 357. Dispositive Action
quo arrant is dismissed.
357

Western Mindanao Power Corporation

Vs.

Commissioner Of Internal Revenue

G.R. No. 181136 June 13, 2012

Facts:

Petitioner WMPC is a domestic corporation engaged in the production and sale of


electricity. It is registered with the BIR as a VAT taxpayer. Petitioner alleges that it sells
electricity solely to the National Power Corporation (NPC), which is in turn exempt from
the payment of all forms of taxes, duties, fees and imposts. In view thereof and pursuant
to Section 108(B) of the NIRC petitioner’s power generation services to NPC is zero-
rated. WMPC filed with the CIR applications for a tax credit certificate of its input VAT.
Noting that the CIR was not acting on its application, and fearing that its claim would
soon be barred by prescription, WMPC filed with the CTA a Petition for Review. The
CIR filed its Comment on the CTA Petition, arguing that WMPC was not entitled to the
latter’s claim for a tax refund in view of its failure to comply with the invoicing
requirements – they failed to put the word zero rated imprinted on the invoice covering
zero rated Sales. WMPC countered that the invoicing and accounting requirements laid
down in RR 795 were merely compliance requirements, which were not indispensable to
establish the claim for refund of excess and unutilized input VAT.

Issue:

Whether the CTA seriously erred in dismissing the claim of petitioner for a refund
or tax credit on input tax on the ground that the latter’s Official Receipts do not contain
the phrase zero rated

Ruling:

Thus, a taxpayer engaged in zero-rated or effectively zero-rated sale may apply


for the issuance of a tax credit certificate or refund of creditable input tax due or paid,
attributable to the sale.

In a claim for tax refund or tax credit, the applicant must prove not only
entitlement to the grant of the claim under substantive law. It must also show satisfaction
of all the documentary and evidentiary requirements for an administrative claim for a
refund or tax credit. Hence, the mere fact that petitioner’s application for zero-rating has
been approved by the CIR does not, by itself, justify the grant of a refund or tax credit.
The taxpayer claiming the refund must further comply with the invoicing and accounting
358

requirements mandated by the NIRC, as well as by revenue regulations implementing


them.

Under the NIRC, a creditable input tax should be evidenced by a VAT invoice or
official receipt, which may only be considered as such when it complies with the
requirements of RR 795, particularly Section 4.1081. This section requires, among others,
that if the sale is subject to zero percent (0%) value-added tax, the term zero-rated sale
shall be written or printed prominently on the invoice or receipt.
359

Restituto Ynot

Vs.

Intermediate Appellate Court

G.R. No. 74457 March 20, 1987

Facts:

There had been an existing law which prohibited the slaughtering of carabaos (EO
626). To strengthen the law, Marcos issued EO 626-A which not only banned the
movement of carabaos from interprovinces but as well as the movement of carabeef. On
13 Jan 1984, Ynot was caught transporting 6 carabaos from Masbate to Iloilo. He was
then charged in violation of EO 626-A. Ynot averred EO 626-A as unconstitutional for it
violated his right to be heard or his right to due process. He said that the authority
provided by EO 626-A to outrightly confiscate carabaos even without being heard is
unconstitutional. The lower court ruled against Ynot ruling that the EO is a valid exercise
of police power in order to promote general welfare so as to curb down the indiscriminate
slaughter of carabaos.

Issue:

Whether or not the law is valid.

Held:

The SC ruled that the EO is not valid as it indeed violates due process. EO 626-A
ctreated a presumption based on the judgment of the executive. The movement of
carabaos from one area to the other does not mean a subsequent slaughter of the same
would ensue. Ynot should be given to defend himself and explain why the carabaos are
being transferred before they can be confiscated. The SC found that the challenged
measure is an invalid exercise of the police power because the method employed to
conserve the carabaos is not reasonably necessary to the purpose of the law and, worse, is
unduly oppressive. Due process is violated because the owner of the property confiscated
is denied the right to be heard in his defense and is immediately condemned and
punished. The conferment on the administrative authorities of the power to adjudge the
guilt of the supposed offender is a clear encroachment on judicial functions and militates
against the doctrine of separation of powers. There is, finally, also an invalid delegation
of legislative powers to the officers mentioned therein who are granted unlimited
discretion in the distribution of the properties arbitrarily taken.
360

Republic vs. Sandiganbayan

G.R. No. 104768, July 21, 2003

Facts:

The Republic seeks to nullify and set aside resolutions of the Sandiganbayan ordering
PCGG to pay private respondent Roberto Benedicto or his corporations the value of 277
shares of stock of NOGCCI registered in his name. Petitioner invokes state immunity
from suit claiming that the order to pay the value of the delinquent shares would fix
monetary liability on a government agency thus necessitating the appropriation of public
funds to satisfy the judgment claim.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner has state of immunity?

Decision:

Petition granted, resolution set aside. PCGG failed to take stock of one of the exemptions
to the state immunity when the government itself is the suitor. The state itself is no less
the plaintiff in the main case, ergo immunity from suit cannot be effectively invoked.
361

Festejo v. Fernando

G.R. No. L-5156, March 11, 1954

Facts:

Carmen Festejo, land-owner, filed a complaint against Isaias Fernando, Director of the
Bureau of Public Works, without authority from the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur,
took three (3) parcels of her land to be used as an irrigation canal without the petitioner’s
knowledge and consent. The petitioner then demanded for the restoration of her land to
its original state stating that it caused damage to her and that she is prejudiced.

Issue:

Whether or not a case may be filed against the respondent, violating the doctrine of state
immunity.

Held:

A case may be filed against Fernando due to the fact his action is outside the scope of his
authority when he committed an act of taking the land of the petitioner without her
consent and destroying it from its original state. Therefore he is proven to have departed
to his duty that is provided by law.

Fernando, not exercising his duty and authority, may be sued as any other private
individual for being liable to an offense he made. Being a public officer, is not an excuse
to commit a grave mistake that prejudiced another particularly when he exceeds the
power that was vested upon him.

As stated in Article 32 of the Civil Code, Any public officer or employee, or any private
individual, who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner
impedes or impairs any of the following rights and liberties of another person shall be
liable.
362

Alegre v. Collector of Customs

G.R. L-30783, August 27, 1929

Facts:

The petitioner Juan B. Alegre is a producer and an exporter of abaca for a number of
years already. Alegre applied for a permit to export one hundred (100) bales of his abaca
products to England to the respondent, Collector of Customs, but the latter denied his
application and argued that the petitioner must first secure a certificate from the Fiber
Standardization Board to prevent questioning. Alegre then filed a petition for the writ of
mandamus in Court of First Instance in Manila asserting that the provisions requiring the
petitioner to first obtain a certificate from the Fiber Standardization Board is
unconstitutional and must therefore be declared void.

Issue:

Whether or not the power vested upon the Fiber Standardization Board to grade, inspect,
and issue certification for fiber is a delegation of legislative power.

Held:

The purpose and intent of the law is to create a uniform way of grading, inspecting and
issuing certificates for the exportation of abaca (Manila hemp), maguey (cantala), sisal,
and other fibers. It should thus be noted that in order to execute a law a board of
commission must be an instrument.

Such vesting of authority and power to the Fiber Standardization Board is not a
delegation of legislative power nor an administrative power but merely a power vested to
execute the law.

If the appellee’s petition to such power and authority must be declared void and
unconstitutional, the law cannot be executed, otherwise, the legislators must have to do
the grading, inspection, and issuance of certification.
363

Arquero v. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 168053, September 21, 2011

Facts:

Republic Act 6765 or “An Act Integrating Certain High Schools in the City of Puerto
Prinsesa and in the Province of Palawan with the Palawan National School (PNS) and the
Appropriating Funds Therefor” was approved by congress. Under this law, schools in the
City of Puerto Prinsesa and in the Province of Palawan were converted into national
schools and integrated with the Palawan National School (PNS). A Vocational School
Superintendent (VSS) must also be appointed by the Secretary of the Department of
Education, Culture and Sports (now DepEd) to supervise the Palawan Integrated National
Schools (PINS). However, no VSS were appointed, and then principal of PNS became
the Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of the PINS who eventually retired from the position. The
petitioner then become the Secondary School Principal of the PNS and was also
appointed as the OIC of the PINS by the DECS-Region IV Director. When a new DECS-
Region IV Director was appointed, the petitioner was instructed to turn over the direct
supervision of the PINS to Schools Division Superintendent of Palawan and a new OIC
of the PINS was appointed.

Issue:

Whether or not the security of tenure of the petitioner was violated, her being appointed
in a permanent position.

Held:

The security of the petitioner was not violated since she was merely designated and not
appointed. It should also be noted that the two distinct positions must be headed by two
different people as well, the petitioner also have no eligibility to assume the position as
the VSS of PINS and the Secondary School Principal of the PNS. Therefore the ruling of
the RTC in this case, may lead to the petitioner assuming the two position even though
she is not qualified by law.
364

Buklod ng Kawaning EIIB v. Zamora

G.R. No. 142801-802, July 10, 2001

Facts:

During President Corazon C. Aquino’s term, she ordered for the execution of the
Executive Order (EO) 127 or the creation of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation
Bureau (EIIB) as a part of Ministry of Finance and that it would be responsible for the
anti-smuggling operations in the Philippines that is outside the jurisdiction of the Bureau
of Customs. On January 2000, then President Joseph E. Estrada issued EO 191 entitled
“Deactivation of the EIIB” or an order abolishing the EIIB. The contention of this EO is
that EIIB already has a similar functions as other existing government agencies. On
March 2000, Estrada issued EO 223, providing for the separation from the service of all
personnel of EIIB.

Issue:

Whether or not the president has the power and authority to reorganize government
agencies.

Whether or not the security of tenure of the EIIB personnel was violated.

Held:

The President, having the executive power, has the power and authority to reorganize
government agencies since it is under his power of control to do so. Hence, the president
is allowed to carry out such control as to the deactivation of an executive agency, such as
bureaus, agencies or office, except those that are created by the constitution who enjoys
rights and privileges and that are protected by the constitution. The security of tenure of
the employees of the EIIB is also not violated due to the fact that the president carried out
the order in good faith since there are already other government agencies exercising the
same functions as that of the EIIB. It should also be noted that this order is carried out to
lessen the expenses of the government.
365

COMELEC v. Cruz

G.R. No. 186616, November 20, 2009

Fact:

RA 9164 or “An Act Providing for Synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan
Elections” was passed by the Congress, several issues tackling its constitutionality were
raised against its section 2 which states that “No barangay elective officials shall serve
for more than 3 consecutive terms in the same position: provided however that the term
of office shall reckoned from the 1994 barangay elections. Voluntary renunciation of
office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of
service for the full term for which the elective official was elected.”

Before the barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections in 2007, the several barangay
officials from Caloocan City filed a petition in the Regional Trial Court for declaratory
relief to declare that the RA 9164 is unconstitutional for the ground that it violates the
equal protection clause and has the retroactive effect.

Issue:

Whether or not RA 9164 violated the right of the petitioners to equal protection clause.

Held:

The equal protection clause of Article III Section 2 is equality applicable to all people
who have the same condition and situation. The petitioners being a barangay officials are
rendering them significantly distinct from all other due to their public positions. While
the constitution provides for a the 3-year, 3-term distinction of the local elective officials,
it is still under the prerogative of the legislature to determine any form of limitation to the
3-year term of the officials. Having the position in a local government office renders the
holder distinct, this recognizes that the constitution allows non-uniform treatment.
366

Domino v. Commission on Elections

G.R. No. 134015, July 19, 1999

Facts:

Domino filed his certificate of candidacy in the Province of Sarangani for the position of
representative. He indicated that he has resided in the community where he seeks to be
elected for 1 year and 2 months. Private respondents sought to cancel the certificate of
candidacy of Domino. In the petition they asserted that Domino, contrary to his
declaration in the certificate of candidacy, is not a resident, nor a registered voter, of the
province of Sarangani where he filed his constituency.

Upon the assumption of his wrong allegations, the COMELEC disqualified Domino as a
candidate for the position of Representative of the lone district of Sarangani in the May
11, 1998 elections for lacking the one-year residency requirement and likewise ordered
the cancellation of his certificate of candidacy based on his own Voter’s Registration
Record and his address indicating that he is a resident of 24 Bonifacio St., Ayala Hts.,
Old Balara,

Quezon City.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner resided in the Province of Sarangani for at least 1 year
preceding the May 11, 1998 elections.

Held:

In determining the meaning of the term “residence” the person must have not only an
intention to reside in a fixed place but also has to be living in that place. While Domino
presents a contract of lease of the house and lot in Sarangani he allegedly resides in, it is
not a sufficient evidence to prove that Domino is a resident of that place. Lack of
evidences to prove that Domino has abandoned his residence in Quezon City is
strengthened by the fact that he is still a registered voter of Quezon City. Thus, it is noted
that Domino is not a resident of the Province of Sarangani.
367

Fortich v. Corona

G.R. No. 131457, August 19, 1999

Facts:

On March 29, 1996, the government decided to convert an agricultural land into an
industrial that led to the hunger strike of the beneficiary farmers in front of the in front of
the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Compound in Quezon City in October 9,
1997. The hunger strike caused a lot of publicity. A number of Presidential Candidates
for the upcoming 1998 elections also intervened on behalf of the farmers.

The Office of the President couldn’t take the pressure rested upon them that is why they
re-opened the case and then Deputy Executive Secretary Renato C. Corona issued the so-
called, “politically motivated”, “win-win” resolution on November 7, 1997.

Issue:

Whether or not the “win-win” resolution, issued after the original decision had become
final and executory replacing the former decision.

Held:

The “win-win” resolution cannot be final and executory since the order dated June 23,
1997 has already declared that the Decision made on March 29, 1996 has already become
final and executory without anyone filing for a Motion for Reconsideration. Since the
Office of the President has already lost its jurisdiction over the matter due to its issued
order, it can no longer entertain the second motion for reconsideration of the Department
of Agrarian Reform Secretary. The second motion cannot be entertained also due to the
fact that there can only be one motion for reconsideration to be filed and that that motion
for reconsideration must be seasonably filed. This rule is required because all cases must
be put to finality at some point in time.
368

Espina v Zamora

G.R. No. 143855, September 21, 2010

Facts:

Republic Act (RA) 8762 or Retail Trade Liberalization Act was signed by President
Estrada on March 7, 2000. Unlike the preceding Republic Act 1180 that prohibits any
foreign nationals to engage in trade in the Philippines, this former act allows them to
trade but under 4 circumstances. The petitioners, presented by Espina, are alleging that
the Republic Act 8762 clearly violates Article II Section 9, 19, and 20 of the constitution.
Their contention is that it would lead to alien control and monopoly of the retail trade
industry.

The respondents, however, argued that the petitioners does not have a locus standi or
legal standing over this matter.

Issues:

Whether or not the petitioners has a legal standing over this matter.

Whether or not the RA 8762 is unconstitutional.

Held:

The petitioners has no legal standing to file the petition because no right of the petitioners
were prejudiced therefore they could not contend on the constitutionality of the Republic
Act and that the petitioner must have suffered or will suffer directly from the
consequences of this law.

The Republic Act still allows Filipinos to engage in the retail industry even if it allowed
foreigner to be engaged as well. It is to be noted that the mere reason for allowing foreign
nationals is to allow the economy to generate the development of our trade industry.

There are also no provisions in the constitution forbidding foreign nationals to engage in
retail trade, only regulations.
369

David v. Arroyo

GR No. 171396; May 3, 2006

Facts:

President Arroyo issued PP1017 declaring a state of national emergency. This case
covers the seven consolidated petitions for certiorari assailing the constitutionality of
PP1017 and General Order No. 5 implementing the former. it is alleged that in doing so,
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo committed grave abuse of discretion and that
respondent officials of the Government, in their professed efforts to defend and preserve
democratic institutions are actually trampling upon the very freedom guaranteed and
protected by the constitution.

Issue:

Whether or not PP1017 and GO No. 5 are constitutional

Held:

The assailed PP1017 is unconstitutional insofar as it grants President Arroyo the authority
to promulgate decrees. legislative power is peculiarly within the province of the
Legislature, Section 1, Article VI categorically states that “the legislative power shall be
vested in the Congress of the Philippines, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of
Representatives”. To be sure, neither martial law nor a state of rebellion nor a state of
emergency can justify President Arroyo’s exercise of legislative power by issuing
decrees. It follows that these decrees are void and, therefore, cannot be enforced. With
respect to “laws”, she cannot call the military to enforce or implement certain laws such
as customs laws, laws governing family and property relations, laws on obligations and
contracts, and the like. She can only order the military under PP1017, to enforce laws
pertaining to its duty to suppress lawless violence.
370

Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers

G.R.No. 180643, March 25 2008

Facts:

The Senate issued various Senate Resolutions directing SBRC, among others, to conduct
an investigation regarding the NBN-ZTE deal. Neri, the head of NEDA, was then invited
to testify before the Senate Blue Ribbon. He disclosed that the COMELEC Chairman
Abalos offered him P200M in exchange for his approval of the NBN Project, that he
informed PGMA about the bribery and that she instructed him not to accept the bribe.
However, when probed further on what they discussed about the NBN Project, he refused
to answer, invoking “executive privilege”. In particular, he refused to answer the
questions on (a) whether or not President Arroyo followed up the NBN Project, (b)
whether or not she directed him to prioritize it, and (c) whether or not she directed him to
approve. As a result, the Senate cited him for contempt.

Issue:

Whether or not the communications elicited by the 3 questions covered by executive


privilege.

Ruling:

The SC recognized the executive privilege which is the Presidential communications


privilege. It pertains to “communications, documents or other materials that reflect
presidential decision-making and deliberations and that the President believes should
remain confidential.” Presidential communications privilege applies to decision-making
of the President. It is rooted in the constitutional principle of separation of power and the
President’s unique constitutional role.

The claim of executive privilege is highly recognized in cases where the subject of
inquiry relates to a power textually committed by the Constitution to the President, such
as the area of military and foreign relations. The information relating to these powers
may enjoy greater confidentiality than others.
371

Lawyers League for a Better Philippines v. Aquino

G.R. No. 73748, May 22, 1986

Facts:

Then President Corazon C. Aquino issued Proclamation No. 1 on February 25, 1986
publicizing that she and her Vice President Laurel will assume power. A month after,
Proclamation No. 3 was issued explaining the assumption of power of the new president
and vice president asserting that “new government was installed through a direct exercise
of the power of the Filipino people assisted by units of the New Armed Forces of the
Philippines.”

Issue:

Whether or not the Aquino government is lawful.

Held:

Aquino regime is legitimate and lawful. It may not be a justiciable matter but the Filipino
People has already decided. Also the court ruled that the people wholeheartedly accepted
the government, it is a de jure government and the United Nations has attested and
accepted the legitimacy of the administration.
372

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation v Philippine Multi-Media System, Inc.

G.R. Nos. 175769-70, January 19, 2009

Facts:

Republic Act 8630 granted legislative authority and Provisional Authority was also
granted by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to the Philippine Multi-
Media System (PMSI), operator of Dream Broadcsating System to deliver digital direct-
to-home (DTH) television satellite to its subscribers all over the Philippines.

The Petitioner, ABS-CBN, a broadcasting corporation, argued that PMSI, allegedly,


infringed on its broadcasting rights and copyright. However, the PMSI contends of the
right granted upon them by the NTC. The IPO Bureau of Legal Affairs affirmed the
allegations of ABS-CBN and ordered PMSI to desist from rebroadcasting. CA affirmed
the decision of the IPO Bureau of Legal Affairs.

Issue:

Whether or not PMSI committed broadcasting rights and copyright infringement.

Held:

The Director of IPO strongly affirmed that PMSI did engage in rebroadcasting of any
ABS-CBN shows, thus, the petitioner’s claim is false.

PMSI merely carries out the signals from the ABS-CBN to its viewers, the former does
not in any way produce, select, or determine the programs to be shown in Channels 2 and
23, which the network holds as its own channels. The PMSI does not take the credit of
being the owner of the shows, it just retransmits the shows in accordance to
Memorandum Circular 04-08-88.

It can clearly be stated that PMSI is not a broadcasting station, thus it cannot perform one
of its function, to rebroadcast.
373

Emilio A. Gonzales III vs. Office of the President

G.R. Nos. 196231 & 196232 September 4, 2012

Facts:

In 2008, Rolando Mendoza and four others were charged with grave misconduct before
the PNP-NCR. Upon the request of petitioner Gonzales, all documents and evidences
against the 5 who were charged. On February 16, 2009, the Ombudsman declared the
accused guilty for Grave Misconduct. The accused filed a Motion for Reconsideration
thereafter. After rigorous deliberation and approval of Graft Investigation and Prosecutor
Officer Dennis L. Garcia and Director Eulogio S. Cecilio, the order was then forwarded
to Ombudsman Merceditas N. Gutierrez for final approval in whose office it remained
pending for final review and action. On the fateful day of August 23, 2010, in hopes of
having himself reinstated in the police service, Rolando Mendoza hijacked a bus full of
foreign tourists.

Due to this fateful event that tainted the Aquino Administration, there were investigations
conducted by the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) to whom must the
culpability lie. The IIRC then identified Gonzalez, the petitioner, as one who is
responsible. The Office of the President (OP) then filed a formal charge against the
petitioner on October 15, 2010. However, the petitioner contends that the OP has no
jurisdiction over them because him as a Special Prosecutor and the other as the Deputy
Ombudsman bear the constitutional attributes given to the said offices.

Issue:

Whether or not the OP has the power to subject the petitioner to administrative
investigation and thereafter remove the Deputy Ombudsman from the position.

Held:

The president is granted with the executive power which includes the power to remove a
Deputy Ombudsman and a Special Prosecutor, even though the power to discipline is
vested upon the Ombudsman. This contention on whether the president may assert his
power over the petitioners is due to fact that the Ombudsman may protect its deputy.
374

Kilusang Mayo Uno vs.

Director-General National Economic Development Authority

G.R. No. 167798, April 19, 2006

Facts:

In April 13, 2005, the President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, signed into law Executive
Order (EO) 420, or a law requiring all government agencies and government owned
corporations to create a uniform identification system. The basic contention is to reduce
government expenses and to provide convenience not only to the officials but to the
people as well.

Kilusang Mayo Uno, Bayan Muna, and other concerned groups challenged the
constitutionality of the said EO, stating that it is a clear usurpation of legislative power by
the executive branch and that it encroaches on the privacy of the citizens.

Issues:

Whether or not the EO is unconstitutional.

Held:

The Executive Order of President Arroyo is constitutional in nature. The president has the
power to direct its departments, bureaus, agencies, and offices that are under its direct
supervision to create a uniform data ID system. The President, through its order, does not
compel the Legislative, Judiciary, nor the COMELEC to follow the EO since its power
only extends to those under the direct power of the executive branch.

The purpose of this EO is to achieve savings, efficiency, reliability, compatibility, and


convenience to the public.
375

Limkaichong vs. COMELEC

G.R. No. 178831-32, April 1, 2009

Fact:

Jocelyn Limkaichong ran for the position of 1st district representative in Negros Oriental.
Olivia Paras, her rival for the said position stated that the Limkaichong should be
disqualified from candidacy because she is not a natural born Filipino citizen for the
reason that her father is Chinese and her mother already lost her citizenship when she
married a Chinese national. Limkaichong won but after 2 days, COMELEC declared her
as disqualified.

On the following days, notwithstanding their proclamation of the disqualification of


Limkaichong, the COMELEC proclaimed her as the winner, in compliance with
Resolution 8062 not suspending the proclamation of winning candidates with pending
disqualification cases, but the hearing of the disqualification case must be continued. But
Paras filed a petition before the COMELEC however, Limkaichong assailed the petition
stating that the COMELEC no longer has jurisdiction over her case because she already
won.

Issues:

Whether or not the COMELEC’s decision in proclaiming Limkaichong was wrong.

Whether or not the COMELEC still has jurisdiction over the matter.

Held:

The proclamation of Limkaichong was valid. The COMELEC Second Division rendered
its Joint Resolution dated May 17, 2007 but the Joint Resolution was suspended, there
was no impediment to the valid proclamation of Limkaichong as the winner.

The HRET must have the jurisdiction over the matter. The Supreme Court has invariably
held that once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed
office as a Member of the lower house, the COMELEC’s jurisdiction over election
contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRET’s own
jurisdiction begins.
376

Magallona v. Ermita

G.R. No. 187167, August 16, 2011

Facts:

The Republic Act (RA) 9522 was enacted by the Congress in the year 2009 to conform to
the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III) to which the
Philippines sanctioned.

The petitioner, Merlin Magallona, questions the constitutionality of the said RA and
argued that it decreases the territory of the Philippines and other contentions particularly:

1. the law abandoned the demarcation set by the Treaty of Paris and other ancillary
treaties – this also resulted to the exclusion of our claim over Sabah;

2. the law, as well as UNCLOS itself, describes the Philippine waters as


“archipelagic” waters which, in international law, opens our waters landward of the
baselines to maritime passage by all vessels (innocent passage) and aircrafts (overflight),
undermining Philippine sovereignty and national security, contravening the country’s
nuclear-free policy, and damaging marine resources, in violation of relevant
constitutional provisions;

3. the classification of the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG), as well as the Scarborough
Shoal (bajo de masinloc), as a “regime of islands” pursuant to UNCLOS results in the
loss of a large maritime area but also prejudices the livelihood of subsistence fishermen.

Issue:

Whether or not the RA 9522 is unconstitutional.

Held:

The UNCLOS III is merely a regulator for all the countries to maintain a uniform guide
of sea regulation for every country to follow. RA 9522 is a compliance to that treaty
agreed by every country and it does not in any way diminish our territory, as a matter of
fact, it increased it because it included the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Furthermore, the court stresses that all states under this treaty agreed with this treaty.
377

Metropolitan Bank Trust & Co. (Metrobank) v. Antonio O. Tobias III

G.R. No. 177780, January 25, 2012

Facts:

The respondent Tobias opened a savings account in Metrobank for his frozen meat
business, Adam Merchandising. After 6 months, the respondent opted for a loan from
Metrobank, thereafter, the bank conducted trade and credit verification. He mortgaged his
property in Malabon City, Metro Manila consisting of four parcels of land. Upon request,
Tobias restructured his loan to 5-years, however, after two months, he defaulted. Thus
prompting the mortgage to be foreclosed and the property was sold to the sole bidder,
Metrobank.

Later on, when the certificate of sale was presented for registration to the Registry of
Deeds of Malabon, they found out that proofs submitted by Tobias were all fictitious.
Estafa was then filed by the petitioner as recommended by the Presidential Anti-
Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) for falsification of public documents under
paragraph 2 (a) of Article 315, in relation to Articles 172 (1) and 171 (7) of the Revised
Penal Code.

The Court of Appeal then dismiss the case.

Issue:

Whether or not the CA erred in dismissing the petition.

Held:

Under the Doctrine of Separation of Powers, the Judiciary cannot, in any way, decide
over matters that are strictly under the supervision of the Executive Department.

Also, as contended by the court, the Metrobank was not able to stress its duty to observe
the validity of all information provided by their clients. Therefore it is their responsibility
to summon their knowledgeable employees to check thoroughly.

It is the Metrobank’s responsibility to investigate, and negligence is apperent, therefore,


they have no one to blame but themselves.
378

Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers

G.R.No. 180643, March 25, 2008

Facts:

The Senate issued various Senate Resolutions directing SBRC, among others, to conduct
an investigation regarding the NBN-ZTE deal. Neri, the head of NEDA, was then invited
to testify before the Senate Blue Ribbon. He disclosed that the COMELEC Chairman
Abalos offered him P200M in exchange for his approval of the NBN Project, that he
informed PGMA about the bribery and that she instructed him not to accept the bribe.
However, when probed further on what they discussed about the NBN Project, he refused
to answer, invoking “executive privilege”. In particular, he refused to answer the
questions on (a) whether or not President Arroyo followed up the NBN Project,(b)
whether or not she directed him to prioritize it, and (c) whether or not she directed him to
approve. As a result, the Senate cited him for contempt.

Issue:

Whether or not the communications elicited by the 3 questions covered by executive


privilege.

Ruling:

The SC recognized the executive privilege which is the Presidential communications


privilege. It pertains to “communications, documents or other materials that reflect
presidential decision-making and deliberations and that the President believes should
remain confidential.” Presidential communications privilege applies to decision-making
of the President. It is rooted in the constitutional principle of separation of power and the
President’s unique constitutional role.

The claim of executive privilege is highly recognized in cases where the subject of
inquiry relates to a power textually committed by the Constitution to the President, such
as the area of military and foreign relations. The information relating to these powers
may enjoy greater confidentiality than others.
379

Palafox v. Province of Ilocos Norte

G.R No. L-10659, January 31, 1958

Facts:

A truck driver named Sabas Torralba working for the local government of the Province of
Ilocos Norte and was exercising his duty under the Office of the District Engineer when
he accidentally ran over Proceto Palafox that rendered the victim dead. Torralba was then
jailed for reckless imprudence resulting to homicide in which he plead guilty. The heirs
of the victim filed a civil case against Torralba District Engineer, Provincial Treasurer
and the Province of Ilocos Norte where Torralba is working for.

Issues:

Whether or not the Province of Ilocos Norte is liable for the death of Palafox.

Held:

The Province of Ilocos Norte nor the District Engineer and the Provincial Treasurer are
not liable for the fault of its employees who are exercising their governmental function or
duties. Their employees’ negligent act does not constitute to the fault of the province, in
his case Torralba was exercising his duty in the construction or maintenance of roads
when he accidentally hit the victim.
380

People v. Sarcia

G.R. No. 16964, 10 September 2009

Facts:

In 1996, a 5 year-old girl, A, was playing with her cousin and two others in the yard of
Saling Crisologo near a mango tree. Suspect Richard Sarcia, then 18 or 19 years old,
suddenly appeared and invited A to the backyard of Crisologo. There, Sarcia laid A on
her back and removed her shorts and underwear then removed his own trousers and brief
before making up and down movements that made A's genital and stomach hurt.
Unknown to the appellant, the cousin of A followed them and saw the whole scene from
a far.

A's cousin went to A's mother and told her what she witnessed, but the mother was
rebuffed. Meanwhile A's father was then working in Manila and. In the year 2000,
victim's father filed a complaint for acts of lasciviousness but upon review of evidence, it
was upgraded to rape by the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Ligao, Albay. Introital
vulval laceration nor scars were absent but with perforated hymen according to Medico-
Legal findings. On January 17, 2003, Regional Trial Court Branch 13 of Ligao, Albay,
found the accused guilty of rape and is charged to fine Php50,000 for civil indemnity,
Php50,000 for moral damages and cost of suits. The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC
but modified the penalty to death and increased the civil indemnity to Php75,000;
Php25,000 for exemplary damages and Php50,000 for moral damages.

Issue:

Whether or not the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape.

Held:

The accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The inconsistencies in witnesses'


testimony does not affect its veracity since the witness has positively identified the
accused and the occurrence. The inability to recall the exact date of the occurrence of the
crime nor the delay on the date of filing should not be used to test the credibility of the
victim. Furthermore, the employment of force, threat or intimidation does not constitute a
statutory rape; only carnal knowledge must be proven to have existed. The Supreme
Court approved the decision of the Court of Appeals as to the indemnities but with
modification. The death penalty is reduced to reclusion perpetua. Php75,000 for moral
damages, Php30,000 for exemplary damages and Php75,000 for civil indemnity.
381

Philippine Constitution Association v. Gimenez

G.R. No. L-23326, December 18, 1965

Facts:

“An Act Amending Subsection ©, Section 12 of Commonwealth Act Numbered 186 As


Amended by Republic Act Numbered 3096” or Republic Act (RA) 3836 permits a
senator or any elective official in the Congress to retire regardless of their age and whose
service must be 12 years. Philippine Constitution Association, commonly known as
PHILCONSA, is a non-profit organization who questioned the constitutionality of this
act.

Issue:

Whether or not Republic Act 3836 is a relevant amendment for Sec. 12 of


Commonwealth Act Numbered 186.

Held:

The said amendment of the Sec. 12 of Commonwealth Act Numbered 186 is not in any
way related to this Republic Act for Sec. 12 is regarding the retirement benefits of those
officials retiring from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). On the other
hand, The succeeding paragraph of RA. No 3836 refers to members of Congress and
elective in any manner to the subject of CA. No. 186 establishing the GSIS and which
provides both retirement and issuance benefits to its members.
382

Public Interest Service, Inc. v Elma

G.R. No. 138965, March 5, 2007

Facts:

This case was filed to declare Magdangal B. Elma’s appointment as the Chairman of the
Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG) and as the Chief Presidential
Legal Counsel (CPLC) null and void for being contrary of the provisions of Article VII
Section 7 and 13 and Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution.

It was the 30th day of October year 1998, when Elma took oath and assumed his office as
the Chairman of the PCGG. A few months after, on January 11, 1999, during his tenure
as the Chairman of PCGG, he took oath as the CPLC but waived any compensation for
the latter office.

However, in 2001 this case was overtaken by supervening events and Camilo Sabio
became the Chairman of the PCGG as an appointment of then incumbent president Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo. While the CPLC position has not yet been filled. There no longer
exist an actual controversy due to the impeachment of then President Joseph Estrada.

Issues:

Whether or not a person can hold both the position of Chairman of the PCGG and CPLC.

Held:

Respondent Elma could not hold both office at the same time due to the fact that he did
not hold both office in an ex-officio capacity. Also, it is required to be appointed to
another post in order to exercise his primary functions or duties. In addition, even if
Article 7 Section 13 is asserted by the petitioners to have been violated, it does not cover
the case, however, said appointments are still prohibited under Article IX-B Section 7.
Thus the appointments of Respondent Elma is unconstitutional.
383

Republic v. Villasor

G.R. No. L-30671 November 28, 1973

Facts:

A decision was rendered by Court of First Instance of Cebu Judge Guillermo P. Villasor
in favor of P. J. Kiener Co., Ltd., Gavino Unchuan, and International Construction
Corporation, and against the petitioner, confirming the award in the amount of
P1,712,396.40 to the former. The respondent then ordered the decision as final and
executory and issued a Alias Writ of Execution to the Sheriffs of Rizal Province, Quezon
City as well as Manila. The Provincial Sheriffs of Rizal issued a notice to several banks
especially those with regards to the funds of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
in the form of deposits sufficient to cover the amount mentioned in the said Writ of
Execution. The funds were allocated for the retirees and pensioners of the AFP.

The case is filed due to action of Judge Villasor which is allegedly a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction.

Issue:

Whether or not the case is a violation of the doctrine of state immunity.

Held:

The State, by virtue of its sovereignty, may not be sued in its own courts except by
express authorization by the Legislature, and to subject its officers to garnishment would
be to permit indirectly what is prohibited directly. Another reason is that moneys sought
to be garnished, as long as they remain in the hands of the disbursing officer of the
Government, belong to the latter, although the defendant in garnishment may be entitled
to a specific portion thereof.
384

Sangguniang Barangay of Don Mariano Marcos v. Martinez

G.R. No. 170626, March 3, 2008

Facts:

Martinez, then Punong Barangay of Don Mariano Marcos, Bayambang, Nueva Vizcaya,
was administratively charged with Dishonesty and Graft and Corruption by the petitioner
through the filing of a complaint before the Sangguniang Bayan. Petitioner then filed
with the Sangguniang Bayan an Amended Administrative Complaint against Martinez for
Dishonesty, Misconduct in Office and Violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
Act. Petitioner claims that the courts are merely tasked with issuing the order of removal,
after the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan finds that a penalty of removal
is warranted.

Issue:

Whether or not the Sangguniang Bayan may remove Martinez, an elective local official,
from office.

Held:

If the acts allegedly committed by the barangay official would merit the penalty of
removal from office, the case should be filed with the RTC. Once the court assumes
jurisdiction, it retains jurisdiction over the case even if it would be subsequently apparent
during the trial that a penalty less than removal from office is appropriate. On the other
hand, the most extreme penalty that Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan may
impose on the elective official is suspension; if it deems that the removal of the official
from service is warranted, then it can resolve that the proper charges be filed in court.
Thus, it can be held that the Sangguniang Bayan has no power to remove an elective local
official from office.
385

Sombong v. Court of Appeals et al.

G.R. No. 111876, January 31, 1996

Facts:

Petitioner Sombong is the mother of Arabella O. Sombong. At the time when Arabella
was just 6 months, her mother brought her for treatment to the Sir John Clinic located at
Caloocan City and owned by Ty. The petitioner did not have enough money to pay the
Php300 bill that time that is why Arabella was not able to get discharged.

The petitioner contended that she paid Php1,700 even though the bill was just Php300 for
the release of Arabella, however, the spouses Ty wouldn’t give back her daughter.

On October 13, 1992, the mother of Arabella filed for a Writ of Habeas Corpus with the
Regional Trial Court.

Issue:

Is habeas corpus the proper remedy for taking back Arabella?

Held:

Habeas corpus is the proper remedy for taking back Arabella, however, the requisites
were not met. Albeit, the Writ of Habeas Corpus ought not to be issued if the restraint is
voluntary, we have held time and again that the said writ is the proper legal remedy to
enable parents to regain the custody of a minor child even if the latter be in the custody of
a third person of her own free will.

It may even be said that in custody cases involving minors, the question of illegal and
involuntary restraint of liberty is not the underlying rationale for the availability of the
writ as a remedy; rather, the writ of habeas corpus is prosecuted for the purpose of
determining the right of custody over a child.
386

Tawang Multi-Purpose Cooperative v. La Trinidad Water District

G.R. No. 166471, March 22, 2011

Facts:

Petitioner Tawang Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TMPC) was structured to supply


domestic water services for the Brgy. Twang, La Trinidad, Benguet. Respondent La
Trinidad Water District (LTWD) is a government owned and controlled corporation, a
local water utility created under PD No. 198, authorized to supply water for domestic,
industrial and commercial purpose within municipality of La Trinidad, Benguet. August
15, 2002, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) held that LTWD’s franchise
cannot be exclusive since exclusive franchises are unconstitutional under Sec. 2, Art. XII.
October 1, 2004, upon appeal of LTWD to the RTC, the latter cancelled TMPC’s CPC
and held that Sec. 47 of PD No. 198 is valid; that the ultimate purpose of the Constitution
is for the State, through its authorized agencies or instrumentalities, to be able to keep
and maintain ultimate control and supervision over the operation of public utilities. What
is repugnant to the Constitution is a grant of franchise exclusive in character so as to
preclude the State itself from granting a franchise to any other person or entity than the
present grantee when public interest so requires. November 6, 2004, RTC denied the
motion for reconsideration.

ISSUE:

Whether RTC erred in holding that Sec. 47 of PD No. 198 is valid

HELD:

Yes, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of petitioner. Quando aliquid prohibetur ex
directo, prohibetur et per obliquum – Those that cannot be done directly cannot be done
indirectly. The President, Congress, and Court cannot create indirectly franchises that are
exclusive in character by allowing the Board of Directors (BOD) of a water district and
Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to create franchises that are exclusive in
character. Sec. 47 of PD no. 198 is in conflict with the above-mentioned provision of the
Constitution. And the rule is that in case of conflict between the Constitution and a
statute, the former prevails, because the constitution is the basic law to which all other
laws must conform to.
387

Vargas v. Rilloraza

G.R. No. L-1612 February 26, 1948

Facts:

Petitioner criticizes the validity of Sec. 14 of the The People's Court Act, Commonwealth
Act 682, which stipulated that the President would be able to delegate Judges of First
Instance, Judges-at-large of First Instance or Cadastral Judges to convene as a substitute
of Justices of the Supreme Court in subversion cases without them having to possess the
required constitutional qualifications of a regular Supreme Court Justice.

Issue:

Whether or not Sec. 14 of CA 682 is constitutional

Held:

Article VIII, sections 4 and 5, of the Constitution do not acknowledge any composition of
the Supreme Court except the Chief Justice and Associate Justices that are appointed as
that which is therein provided. And the encroachment is augmented and exacerbated
through a change where majority of the members are replaced by judges of first instance.
It is distinctly another Supreme Court in addition to this. And the constitution provides
for only one Supreme Court.

Grounds for disqualification added by section 14 of Commonwealth Act No. 682 to those
already existing at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and continued by it is not
only arbitrary and irrational but positively violative of the organic law.
388

Buehs v. Bacatan

A.C. No. 6674, June 30, 2009

Facts:

This is a petition for disbarment of respondent Atty. Inocencio T. Bacatan filed on the
day of February 11, 2005 by the complainant Robert Bernhard Buehs, arising from the
alleged representation of the respondent of conflicting interests and gross misconduct for
usurpation of authority.

The respondent rendered a decision in a labor case in favor of the petitioner-employees


and ordered their employer to pay them a sum of P1,563,360.00. The respondent then
represented the employees, thus the filing of this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the respondent is guilty of gross misconduct for usurpation of authority.

Held:

The respondent is guilty of gross misconduct for usurpation of authority and gross
ignorance of the law for issuing an order without authority, and failure to update his
membership dues to the IBP; and was SUSPENDED from the practice of law for two (2)
years, with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with
more severely.
389

Dra. Baylon v. Fact-Finding Intelligence Bureau

G.R. No. 150870. December 11, 2002

Facts:

Dr. Honorata G. Baylon (petitioner), Head of the Division of Hematology and


Transfusion Medicine at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), was
designated as Program Manager of the governments National Voluntary Blood Donation
Program (Blood Donation Program) with NKTI as the lead agency in the implementation
thereof.

Issue:

Whether or not the dismissal by the Court of Appeals of her petition for review cause a
miscarriage of justice.

Held:

While substantial evidence, which is more than a mere scintilla but is such relevant
evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion suffices
to hold one administratively liable, the substantial evidence rule does not authorize any
finding to be made just as long as there is any evidence to support it; it does not excuse
administrative agencies from taking into account countervailing evidence which fairly
detracts from the evidence supporting a finding. The evidence in support of the
Ombudsman’s findings does not amount to substantial evidence.
390

Gumaru v. Quirino State College

G.R. No. 164196, June 22, 2007

Facts:

CT Gumaru Construction and Quirino State College (QSC) entered into an agreement for
the construction of the former’s building. The petitioner filed a complaint for damages
due to the fact that they should have earned if only they were the one who constructed the
other parts of the building, given the fact that they have already constructed the other
parts. The counsel of the Quirino State College moved for the dismissal of the complaint
against them. However, the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City ruled in favor of
Gumaru. QSC did not appeal, hence, the RTC of QC issued a Writ of Execution.
However, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has entered its appearance as the
counsel of QSC, they moved to quash the writ. The CA quashed the writ. Gumaru filed a
motion for reconsideration but it got denied.

Issue:

Whether or not QSC was represented properly in the RTC QC.

Held:

No, the OSG is authorized to act as the law office of the government. However, the QSC
is not a government agency nor a GOCC but a chartered institution that is why the OSG
may represent them. The lack of proper legal representation constitutes to nullification of
the case. Therefore the Writ of Execution by the RTC must be nullified and the OSG
must represent the QSC.
391

Antonio Chiao Ben Lim v. Mariano A. Zosa

G.R. No. L-40252, Dec 29, 1986

Facts:

The petitioner had offered to prove the error through several pieces of evidence, among
them an earlier birth certificate of Kim Joseph describing him as a Filipino citizen, the
birth certificates of his seven brothers and sisters all describing them as Filipinos, and a
decision of the Court of Appeals recognizing their grandfather as a Filipino citizen

Issue:

Whether or not the ruling of the court is correct?

Held:

We note that in the case at bar the petition was dismissed outright without a trial being
held, on the justification that it was not permitted. In the light of the Valencia ruling, the
Orders of the respondent judge must now be reversed, to give way to the appropriate
proceedings necessary to the resolution of the substantial issue raised by the petitioner.
The records show that the publication requirement has already been complied with. The
next step, therefore, is for the petitioner and all adverse and interested parties to be given
their day in court in a regular trial on the merits.
392

Nicos Industrial Corporation v CA

GR No. 88709 February 11, 1992

Facts:

It was in January 24, 1980, when NICOS Industrial Corporation obtained a loan of
P2,000,000.00 from private respondent United Coconut Planters Bank and to secure
payment thereof executed a real estate mortgage on two parcels of land located at
Marilao, Bulacan. The mortgage was foreclosed for the supposed non-payment of the
loan, and the sheriff's sale was held on July 11, 1983 without re-publication of the
required notices after the original date for the auction was changed without the
knowledge or consent of the mortgagor.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court’s decision is unconstitutional.

Held:

It is a requirement of due process that the parties to a litigation be informed how


it was decided, with an explanation of the factual and legal reasons that led to the
conclusions of the court. The court cannot simply say that judgment is rendered in favor
of X and against Y and just leave it at that without any justification whatsoever for its
action. The losing party is entitled to know why he lost, so he may appeal to a higher
court, if permitted, should he believe that the decision should be reversed. A decision that
does not clearly and distinctly state the facts and the law on which it is based leaves
the parties in the dark as to how it was reached and is especially prejudicial to the
losing party, who is unable to pinpoint the possible errors of the court for review by
a higher tribunal.
393

Perfecto v. Meer

G.R. No. L-2348 February 27, 1950

Facts:

Sometime in 1947, Mr. Justice Gregorio Perfecto was required to pay income tax upon
his salary as member of the Court during the year 1946 by the Collector of Internal
Revenue. After paying the amount, he filed a petition in the Court of First Instance
contending that his income is non-taxable and that what the Collector of Internal Revenue
did was unconstitutional due to the fact that his salary was decreased in violation of what
the Article VIII Section 9 provides.

Issue:

Whether or not the imposition of an income tax upon this salary in 1946 amount to an
unconstitutional decrease in the petitioner’s salary.

Held:

What the provision of Article VIII Section 9 is clear therefore there is a diminution in the
salary of Judge Perfecto. It is a clear provision that prohibits any diminution to the salary
or compensation of the members of the Supreme Court or the judges of inferior courts.
This provision intends to regard judges and members of the Supreme Court of their
independence far more great than the revenue that could come from the salary of the
aforementioned.
394

Serfino v. Far East Bank and Trust Company. Inc. (FEBTC), now BPI

G.R. No. 171845, October 10, 2012

Facts:

The spouses Serfino and spouses Cortez made a compromise agreement under the
settlement approved by the Regional Trial Court. Spouses Cortez obliged to pay the
amount of Php150,000 pesos to the petitioners through the money that Magdalena Cortez
would receive from her retirement benefits from the GSIS. In case of default, the spouses
Cortez avowed that the petitioners may be able to seize any of their properties.

When Mrs. Cortez received her retirement pay, instead of paying the spouses Serfino, she
immediately deposited the money to the account of her daughter-in-law Grace in FEBTC.
Thereafter, Serfino’s counsel sent 2 letters to FEBTC ordering them to prevent the
delivery of that said amount to the account of the daughter-in-law.

An action to recover the money deposited was filed by Serfino. The next day, Grace
withdrew money from FEBTC amounting to Php150,000. The RTC ruled that the
spouses Cortez and Grace are liable of fraud and absolved FEBTC to any liability.

Issue:

Whether or not FEBTC is liable and obligated to a third party claiming rights over a sum
of money.

Held:

FEBTC is not liable and obligated to a third party There was actually no assignment of
credit as the compromise judgment merely identified the fund fromwhich payment for the
judgment debt would be sourced. That the compromise agreement authorizes recourse in
case of default on other executable properties of the spouses Cortez, to satisfy the
judgment debt, further supports our conclusion that there was no assignment of
Magdalena’s credit with the GSIS that would have extinguished the obligation. No
damages to paid as well because there are no provisions that held FEBTC liable for it.
395

Valdez v. Torres

A.M. No. MTJ-11-1796, June 13, 2012

Facts:

This is an action against Prudential Guarantee & Assurance, Inc. (PGAI) and Charlie Tan
instituted in 2005. Fe Valdez, the petitioner, contends that she bought comprehensive
insurance policy for her motor vehicle from PGAI through Charlie Tan, broker. She also
contends that she has already paid it fully. She alleged that during the validity of her
insurance, her vehicle was damaged and it would cost her Php167,278.56 to have it fixed.
The respondents refused to pay her claim.

Complainant prayed for judgment awarding in her favor P167,278.56 as actual damages,
P50,000.00 as moral damages, P50,000.00 as exemplary damages, P50,000.00 attorney’s
fees, plus P2,000.00 appearance fees.

Despite serious efforts of the petitioner for a fast sail of her petition, it took her more than
a year waiting for the decision of the court, however, Judge Lizabeth Torres, the
respondent, left this case pending for so long that it prompted the petitioner to file an
administrative case against her.

Issue:

Whether or not the respondent is liable for gross inefficiency.

Held:

Yes, the respondent is liable. There were already sufficient amount of cases filed against
the respondent regarding the same matter. The unduly delay in rendering decisions to
cases is tantamount to gross inefficiency. In Lugares v. Torres, the court finally declared
the respondent dismissed from service. for gross inefficiency, gross ignorance of the law,
dereliction of duty, and violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct as well as
insubordination. Since a ruling of her dismissal has already been final and executory, the
penalty of suspension can no longer be imposed, however, the respondent will still be
fined Php20,000 that will be deducted on her accrued leave credits.
396

ABAKADA GURO PARTY LIST (Formerly AASJAS) OFFICERS SAMSON S.


ALCANTARA and ED VINCENT S. ALBANO, Petitioners,

vs.

THE HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA;


HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE CESAR
PURISIMA; and HONORABLE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE
GUILLERMO PARAYNO, JR., Respondent

G.R. No. 168056 September 1, 2005

FACTS

On May 24, 2005, the President, signed into R.A. No. 9337, a consolidation of three
legislative bills namely, House Bill Nos. 3555 and 3705, and Senate Bill No. 1950. The
said piece of legislation, as initiated by various groups led by the ABAKADA GURO
Party List, was challenge among others for its constitutionality particularly Sections 4, 5
and 6, amending Sections 106, 107 and 108, respectively, of the National Internal
Revenue Code (NIRC). These questioned provisions contain a uniform proviso
authorizing the President, upon recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, to raise the
VAT rate to 12%, effective January 1, 2006, after any of the following conditions have
been satisfied, to wit:

. . . That the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, shall,
effective January 1, 2006, raise the rate of value-added tax to twelve percent (12%), after
any of the following conditions has been satisfied:

(i) Value-added tax collection as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the
previous year exceeds two and four-fifth percent (2 4/5%); or

(ii) National government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds one
and one-half percent (1 ½%).

Petitioners argue that the law is unconstitutional, as it constitutes abandonment by


Congress of its exclusive authority to fix the rate of taxes under Article VI, Section 28(2)
of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. They further argue that VAT is a tax levied on the
sale or exchange of goods and services and cannot be included within the purview of
tariffs under the exemption delegation since this refers to customs duties, tolls or tribute
payable upon merchandise to the government and usually imposed on imported/exported
goods. They also said that the President has powers to cause, influence or create the
conditions provided by law to bring about the conditions precedent. Moreover, they
397

allege that no guiding standards are made by law as to how the Secretary of Finance will
make the recommendation. They claim, nonetheless, that any recommendation of the
Secretary of Finance can easily be brushed aside by the President since the former is a
mere alter ego of the latter, such that, ultimately, it is the President who decides whether
to impose the increased tax rate or not.

ISSUES

1. Whether or not R.A. No. 9337 has violated the provisions in Article VI, Section
24, and Article VI, Section 26 (2) of the Constitution.

2. Whether or not there was an undue delegation of legislative power in violation of


Article VI Sec 28 Par 1 and 2 of the Constitution.

3. Whether or not there was a violation of the due process and equal protection
under Article III Sec. 1 of the Constitution.

RULINGS

1. R.A. No. 9337 has not violated the provisions. The revenue bill exclusively
originated in the House of Representatives, the Senate was acting within its constitutional
power to introduce amendments to the House bill when it included provisions in Senate
Bill No. 1950 amending corporate income taxes, percentage, excise and franchise taxes.
Verily, Article VI, Section 24 of the Constitution does not contain any prohibition or
limitation on the extent of the amendments that may be introduced by the Senate to the
House revenue bill.

2. There is no undue delegation of legislative power but only of the discretion as to


the execution of a law. This is constitutionally permissible. Congress does not abdicate its
functions or unduly delegate power when it describes what job must be done, who must
do it, and what is the scope of his authority; in our complex economy that is frequently
the only way in which the legislative process can go forward.

3. Supreme Court held no decision on this matter. The power of the State to make
reasonable and natural classifications for the purposes of taxation has long been
established. Whether it relates to the subject of taxation, the kind of property, the rates to
be levied, or the amounts to be raised, the methods of assessment, valuation and
collection, the State’s power is entitled to presumption of validity. As a rule, the judiciary
will not interfere with such power absent a clear showing of unreasonableness,
discrimination, or arbitrariness.
398

ANG LADLAD LGBT PARTY represented herein by its Chair, DANTON


REMOTO, Petitioner,

vs.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS Respondent

G.R. No. 190582 April 8, 2010

FACTS

Petitioner is a national organization which represents the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and
trans-genders. It filed a petition for accreditation as a party-list organization to public
respondent. However, due to moral grounds, the COMELEC denied the said petition. To
support its denial, COMELEC cited certain biblical and Quran passages in their decision.
It also stated that since their ways are immoral and contrary to public policy, they are
considered nuisance. In fact, their acts are even punishable under the Revised Penal Code
in its Article 201.

A motion for reconsideration being denied, Petitioner filed this instant Petition on
Certiorari under Rule 65 of the ROC.

Ang Ladlad argued that the denial of accreditation, insofar as it justified the exclusion by
using religious dogma, violated the constitutional guarantees against the establishment of
religion. Petitioner also claimed that the Assailed Resolutions contravened its
constitutional rights to privacy, freedom of speech and assembly, and equal protection of
laws, as well as constituted violations of the Philippines’ international obligations against
discrimination based on sexual orientation.

In its Comment, the COMELEC reiterated that petitioner does not have a concrete and
genuine national political agenda to benefit the nation and that the petition was validly
dismissed on moral grounds. It also argued for the first time that the LGBT sector is not
among the sectors enumerated by the Constitution and RA 7941, and that petitioner made
untruthful statements in its petition when it alleged its national existence contrary to
actual verification reports by COMELEC’s field personnel.
399

ISSUE

1. Whether the respondent violated the Non-establishment clause of the


Constitution;

2. Whether the respondent erred in denying Petitioners application on moral and


legal grounds.

RULINGS

Respondent mistakenly opines that our ruling in Ang Bagong Bayani stands for the
proposition that only those sectors specifically enumerated in the law or related to said
sectors (labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly,
handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, and professionals) may be
registered under the party-list system. As we explicitly ruled in Ang Bagong Bayani-
OFW Labor Party v. Commission on Elections, “the enumeration of marginalized and
under-represented sectors is not exclusive”. The crucial element is not whether a sector is
specifically enumerated, but whether a particular organization complies with the
requirements of the Constitution and RA 7941.

Our Constitution provides in Article III, Section 5 that “[n]o law shall be made respecting
an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” At bottom, what
our non-establishment clause calls for is “government neutrality in religious matters.”
Clearly, “governmental reliance on religious justification is inconsistent with this policy
of neutrality.” We thus find that it was grave violation of the non-establishment clause for
the COMELEC to utilize the Bible and the Koran to justify the exclusion of Ang Ladlad.
Be it noted that government action must have a secular purpose.

Respondent has failed to explain what societal ills are sought to be prevented, or why
special protection is required for the youth. Neither has the COMELEC condescended to
justify its position that petitioner’s admission into the party-list system would be so
harmful as to irreparably damage the moral fabric of society.

We also find the COMELEC’s reference to purported violations of our penal and civil
laws flimsy, at best; disingenuous, at worst. Article 694 of the Civil Code defines a
nuisance as “any act, omission, establishment, condition of property, or anything else
which shocks, defies, or disregards decency or morality,” the remedies for which are a
prosecution under the Revised Penal Code or any local ordinance, a civil action, or
abatement without judicial proceedings. A violation of Article 201 of the Revised Penal
Code, on the other hand, requires proof beyond reasonable doubt to support a criminal
conviction. It hardly needs to be emphasized that mere allegation of violation of laws is
not proof, and a mere blanket invocation of public morals cannot replace the institution of
civil or criminal proceedings and a judicial determination of liability or culpability.
400

As such, we hold that moral disapproval, without more, is not a sufficient governmental
interest to justify exclusion of homosexuals from participation in the party-list system.
The denial of Ang Ladlad’s registration on purely moral grounds amounts more to a
statement of dislike and disapproval of homosexuals, rather than a tool to further any
substantial public interest.
401

ROGELIO Z. BAGABUYO, petitioner,

vs.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent.

G.R. No. 176970 December 8, 2008

FACTS

Cagayan de Oro only had one legislative district before. In 2006, CdO congressman
Jaraula sponsored a bill to have two legislative districts in CdO instead. The law was
passed (RA 9371) hence two legislative districts were created. Bagabuyo assailed the
validity of the said law and he went immediately to the Supreme Court. He was
contending that the 2nd district was created without a plebiscite which was required by
the Constitution.

ISSUE

Whether or not a plebiscite was required in the case at bar.

HELD

No, a plebiscite is not required in the case at bar. RA 9371 merely increased the
representation of Cagayan de Oro City in the House of Representatives and Sangguniang
Panglungsod pursuant to Section 5, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution; the criteria
established under Section 10, Article X of the 1987 Constitution only apply when there is
a creation, division, merger, abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries of a
province, city, municipality, or barangay; in this case, no such creation, division, merger,
abolition or alteration of boundaries of a local government unit took place; and R.A. No.
9371 did not bring about any change in Cagayan de Oro’s territory, population and
income classification; hence, no plebiscite is required.
402

CENON S. CERVANTES, petitioner,

vs.

THE AUDITOR GENERAL, respondent.

G.R. No. L-4043 May 26, 1952

FACTS

This is a petition to review a decision of Auditor General denying petitioner’s claim for
quarters allowance as manager of the National Abaca and other Fibers Corp. (NAFCO).

Petitioner was general manager in 1949 of NAFCO with annual salary of P15,000.00

NAFCO Board of Directors granted P400/mo. Quarters allowance to petitioner


amounting to P1,650 for 1949.

This allowance was disapproved by the Central Committee of the government enterprise
council under Executive Order No. 93 upon recommendation by NAFCO auditor and
concurred in by the Auditor general on two grounds:

a) It violates the charter of NAFCO limiting manager’s salary to P15,000/year.

b) NAFCO is in precarious financial condition.

ISSUES

1. Whether or not Executive Order No. 93 exercising control over Government


Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC) implemented under R.A. No. 51 is valid or
null and void.

2. Whether or not R.A. No. 51 authorizing presidential control over GOCCs is


Constitutional.

DECISION

R.A. No. 51 is constitutional. It is not illegal delegation of legislative power to the


executive as argued by petitioner but a mandate for the President to streamline GOCC’s
operation. Executive Order 93 is valid because it was promulgated within the 1 year
period given. Petition for review DISMISSED with costs
403

DATU MICHAEL ABAS KIDA, in his personal capacity, and in representation of


MAGUINDANAO FEDERATION OF AUTONOMOUS IRRIGATORS
ASSOCIATION, INC., HADJI MUHMINA J. USMAN, JOHN ANTHONY L. LIM,
JAMILON T. ODIN, ASRIN TIMBOL JAIYARI, MUJIB M. KALANG, ALIH AL-
SAIDI J. SAPI-E, KESSAR DAMSIE ABDIL, and BASSAM ALUH SAUPI,
Petitioners,

vs.

SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by its President JUAN PONCE


ENRILE, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, thru SPEAKER FELICIANO
BELMONTE, COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, thru its Chairman, SIXTO
BRILLANTES, JR., PAQUITO OCHOA, JR., Office of the President Executive
Secretary, FLORENCIO ABAD, JR., Secretary of Budget, and ROBERTO TAN,
Treasurer of the Philippines,Respondents.

G.R. No. 196271 February 28, 2012

FACTS

Several laws pertaining to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) were
enacted by Congress. Republic Act (RA) No. 6734 is the organic act that established the
ARMM and scheduled the first regular elections for the ARMM regional officials. RA
No. 9054 amended the ARMM Charter and reset the regular elections for the ARMM
regional officials to the second Monday of September 2001. RA No. 9140 further reset
the first regular elections to November 26, 2001. RA No. 9333 reset for the third time the
ARMM regional elections to the 2nd Monday of August 2005 and on the same date every
3 years thereafter.

Pursuant to RA No. 9333, the next ARMM regional elections should have been held on
August 8, 2011. COMELEC had begun preparations for these elections and had accepted
certificates of candidacies for the various regional offices to be elected. But on June 30,
2011, RA No. 10153 was enacted, resetting the next ARMM regular elections to May
2013 to coincide with the regular national and local elections of the country.

In these consolidated petitions filed directly with the Supreme Court, the petitioners
assailed the constitutionality of RA No. 10153.

ISSUES

1. Does the 1987 Constitution mandate the synchronization of elections [including


the ARMM
404

elections]?

2. Does the passage of RA No. 10153 violate the three-readings-on-separate-days


rule under Section 26(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution?

3. Is the grant [to the President] of the power to appoint OICs constitutional?

RULING

[The Supreme Court] DISMISSED the petitions and UPHELD the constitutionality of
RA No. 10153 in toto.]

1. YES, the 1987 Constitution mandates the synchronization of elections.

While the Constitution does not expressly state that Congress has to synchronize national
and local elections, the clear intent towards this objective can be gleaned from the
Transitory Provisions (Article XVIII) of the Constitution, which show the extent to which
the Constitutional Commission, by deliberately making adjustments to the terms of the
incumbent officials, sought to attain synchronization of elections. The Constitutional
Commission exchanges, read with the provisions of the Transitory Provisions of the
Constitution, all serve as patent indicators of the constitutional mandate to hold
synchronized national and local elections, starting the second Monday of May 1992 and
for all the following elections.

In this case, the ARMM elections, although called “regional” elections, should be
included among the elections to be synchronized as it is a “local” election based on the
wording and structure of the Constitution.

Thus, it is clear from the foregoing that the 1987 Constitution mandates the
synchronization of elections, including the ARMM elections.

2. NO, the passage of RA No. 10153 DOES NOT violate the three-readings-on-
separate-days requirement in Section 26(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.

The general rule that before bills passed by either the House or the Senate can become
laws they must pass through three readings on separate days, is subject to the
EXCEPTION when the President certifies to the necessity of the bill’s immediate
405

enactment. The Court, in Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, explained the effect of the
President’s certification of necessity in the following manner:

The presidential certification dispensed with the requirement not only of printing but also
that of reading the bill on separate days. The phrase "except when the President certifies
to the necessity of its immediate enactment, etc." in Art. VI, Section 26[2] qualifies the
two stated conditions before a bill can become a law: [i] the bill has passed three readings
on separate days and [ii] it has been printed in its final form and distributed three days
before it is finally approved.

In the present case, the records show that the President wrote to the Speaker of the House
of Representatives to certify the necessity of the immediate enactment of a law
synchronizing the ARMM elections with the national and local elections. Following our
Tolentino ruling, the President’s certification exempted both the House and the Senate
from having to comply with the three separate readings requirement.

3. YES, the grant [to the President] of the power to appoint OICs in the ARMM is
constitutional

[During the oral arguments, the Court identified the three options open to Congress in
order to resolve the problem on who should sit as ARMM officials in the interim [in
order to achieve synchronization in the 2013 elections]: (1) allow the [incumbent]
elective officials in the ARMM to remain in office in a hold over capacity until those
elected in the synchronized elections assume office; (2) hold special elections in the
ARMM, with the terms of those elected to expire when those elected in the [2013]
synchronized elections assume office; or (3) authorize the President to appoint OICs,
[their respective terms to last also until those elected in the 2013 synchronized elections
assume office.]

3.1. 1st option: Holdover is unconstitutional since it would extend the terms of office of
the incumbent ARMM officials

We rule out the [hold over] option since it violates Section 8, Article X of the
Constitution. This provision states:

Section 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which
shall be determined by law, shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more
than three consecutive terms. [emphases ours]

Since elective ARMM officials are local officials, they are covered and bound by the
three-year term limit prescribed by the Constitution; they cannot extend their term
through a holdover. xxx.
406

If it will be claimed that the holdover period is effectively another term mandated by
Congress, the net result is for Congress to create a new term and to appoint the occupant
for the new term. This view – like the extension of the elective term – is constitutionally
infirm because Congress cannot do indirectly what it cannot do directly, i.e., to act in a
way that would effectively extend the term of the incumbents. Indeed, if acts that cannot
be legally done directly can be done indirectly, then all laws would be illusory. Congress
cannot also create a new term and effectively appoint the occupant of the position for the
new term. This is effectively an act of appointment by Congress and an unconstitutional
intrusion into the constitutional appointment power of the President. Hence, holdover –
whichever way it is viewed – is a constitutionally infirm option that Congress could not
have undertaken.

Even assuming that holdover is constitutionally permissible, and there had been statutory
basis for it (namely Section 7, Article VII of RA No. 9054) in the past, we have to
remember that the rule of holdover can only apply as an available option where no
express or implied legislative intent to the contrary exists; it cannot apply where such
contrary intent is evident.

Congress, in passing RA No. 10153, made it explicitly clear that it had the intention of
suppressing the holdover rule that prevailed under RA No. 9054 by completely removing
this provision. The deletion is a policy decision that is wholly within the discretion of
Congress to make in the exercise of its plenary legislative powers; this Court cannot pass
upon questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of legislation, except where an attendant
unconstitutionality or grave abuse of discretion results.

3.2. 2nd option: Calling special elections is unconstitutional since COMELEC, on its
own, has no authority to order special elections.

The power to fix the date of elections is essentially legislative in nature. [N]o elections
may be held on any other date for the positions of President, Vice President, Members of
Congress and local officials, except when so provided by another Act of Congress, or
upon orders of a body or officer to whom Congress may have delegated either the power
or the authority to ascertain or fill in the details in the execution of that power.

Notably, Congress has acted on the ARMM elections by postponing the scheduled
August 2011 elections and setting another date – May 13, 2011 – for regional elections
407

synchronized with the presidential, congressional and other local elections. By so doing,
Congress itself has made a policy decision in the exercise of its legislative wisdom that it
shall not call special elections as an adjustment measure in synchronizing the ARMM
elections with the other elections.

After Congress has so acted, neither the Executive nor the Judiciary can act to the
contrary by ordering special elections instead at the call of the COMELEC. This Court,
particularly, cannot make this call without thereby supplanting the legislative decision
and effectively legislating. To be sure, the Court is not without the power to declare an
act of Congress null and void for being unconstitutional or for having been exercised in
grave abuse of discretion. But our power rests on very narrow ground and is merely to
annul a contravening act of Congress; it is not to supplant the decision of Congress nor to
mandate what Congress itself should have done in the exercise of its legislative powers.

Thus, in the same way that the term of elective ARMM officials cannot be extended
through a holdover, the term cannot be shortened by putting an expiration date earlier
than the three (3) years that the Constitution itself commands. This is what will happen –
a term of less than two years – if a call for special elections shall prevail. In sum, while
synchronization is achieved, the result is at the cost of a violation of an express provision
of the Constitution.

3.3. 3rd option: Grant to the President of the power to appoint ARMM OICs in the
interim is valid.

The above considerations leave only Congress’ chosen interim measure – RA No. 10153
and the appointment by the President of OICs to govern the ARMM during the pre-
synchronization period pursuant to Sections 3, 4 and 5 of this law – as the only measure
that Congress can make. This choice itself, however, should be examined for any
attendant constitutional infirmity.

At the outset, the power to appoint is essentially executive in nature, and the limitations
on or qualifications to the exercise of this power should be strictly construed; these
limitations or qualifications must be clearly stated in order to be recognized. The
appointing power is embodied in Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution, which
states:

Section 16. The President shall nominate and, with the consent of the Commission on
Appointments, appoint the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public
ministers and consuls or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval
captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution. He
shall also appoint all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not
408

otherwise provided for by law, and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint.
The Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of other officers lower in rank in the
President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or
boards. [emphasis ours]

This provision classifies into four groups the officers that the President can appoint.
These are:

First, the heads of the executive departments; ambassadors; other public ministers and
consuls; officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, from the rank of colonel or
naval captain; and other officers whose appointments are vested in the President in this
Constitution;

Second, all other officers of the government whose appointments are not otherwise
provided for by law;

Third, those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint; and

Fourth, officers lower in rank whose appointments the Congress may by law vest in the
President alone.

Since the President’s authority to appoint OICs emanates from RA No. 10153, it falls
under the third group of officials that the President can appoint pursuant to Section 16,
Article VII of the Constitution. Thus, the assailed law facially rests on clear constitutional
basis.

If at all, the gravest challenge posed by the petitions to the authority to appoint OICs
under Section 3 of RA No. 10153 is the assertion that the Constitution requires that the
ARMM executive and legislative officials to be “elective and representative of the
constituent political units.” This requirement indeed is an express limitation whose non-
observance in the assailed law leaves the appointment of OICs constitutionally defective.

After fully examining the issue, we hold that this alleged constitutional problem is more
apparent than real and becomes very real only if RA No. 10153 were to be mistakenly
read as a law that changes the elective and representative character of ARMM positions.
RA No. 10153, however, does not in any way amend what the organic law of the ARMM
(RA No. 9054) sets outs in terms of structure of governance. What RA No. 10153 in fact
only does is to “appoint officers-in-charge for the Office of the Regional Governor,
Regional Vice Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly who shall
perform the functions pertaining to the said offices until the officials duly elected in the
May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed office.” This power is far different
409

from appointing elective ARMM officials for the abbreviated term ending on the
assumption to office of the officials elected in the May 2013 elections.

[T]he legal reality is that RA No. 10153 did not amend RA No. 9054. RA No. 10153, in
fact, provides only for synchronization of elections and for the interim measures that
must in the meanwhile prevail. And this is how RA No. 10153 should be read – in the
manner it was written and based on its unambiguous facial terms. Aside from its order for
synchronization, it is purely and simply an interim measure responding to the adjustments
that the synchronization requires.
410

EASTERN SHIPPING LINES, INC., petitioner,

vs.

PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION (POEA),


MINISTER OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, HEARING OFFICER ABDUL
BASAR and KATHLEEN D. SACO, respondents.

G.R. No. 76633 October 18, 1988

FACTS

The petitioner challenge the decision of Philippine Overseas Employment Administration


POEA on the principal ground that the POEA had no jurisdiction over the case of
Vitaliano Saco as he was not an overseas worker.

Vitaliano Saco was Chief Officer of the M/V Eastern Polaris when he was killed in an
accident in Tokyo, Japan, March 15, 1985. His widow sued for damages under Executive
Order No. 797 and Memorandum Circular No. 2 of the POEA. The petitioner, as owner
of the vessel, argued that the complaint was cognizable not by the POEA but by the
Social Security System and should have been filed against the State Insurance Fund. The
POEA nevertheless assumed jurisdiction and after considering the position papers of the
parties ruled in favor of the complainant.

The petitioner argues that the deceased employee should be likened to the employees of
the Philippine Air Lines who, although working abroad in its international flights, are not
considered overseas workers.

Moreover, the petitioner questions the validity of Memorandum Circular No. 2 itself as
violative of the principle of non-delegation of legislative power. It contends that no
authority had been given the POEA to promulgate the said regulation; and even with such
authorization, the regulation represents an exercise of legislative discretion which, under
the principle, is not subject to delegation.

ISSUES

Whether or not Memorandum Circular No. 2 has violated the principle of non-delegation
of legislative power.
411

RULINGS

No. There was no principles violated. The authority to issue the said regulation is clearly
provided in Section 4(a) of Executive Order No. 797. … “The governing Board of the
Administration (POEA), as hereunder provided shall promulgate the necessary rules and
regulations to govern the exercise of the adjudicatory functions of the Administration
(POEA).”

It is true that legislative discretion as to the substantive contents of the law cannot be
delegated. What can be delegated is the discretion to determine how the law may be
enforced, not what the law shall be. The ascertainment of the latter subject is a
prerogative of the legislature. This prerogative cannot be abdicated or surrendered by the
legislature to the delegate.

The reasons given above for the delegation of legislative powers in general are
particularly applicable to administrative bodies. With the proliferation of specialized
activities and their attendant peculiar problems, the national legislature has found it more
and more necessary to entrust to administrative agencies the authority to issue rules to
carry out the general provisions of the statute. This is called the “power of subordinate
legislation.”

With this power, administrative bodies may implement the broad policies laid down in a
statute by “filling in’ the details which the Congress may not have the opportunity or
competence to provide. This is effected by their promulgation of what are known as
supplementary regulations, such as the implementing rules issued by the Department of
Labor on the new Labor Code. These regulations have the force and effect of law.
412

FREEDOM FROM DEBT COALITION, AKBAYAN CITIZENS' ACTION


PARTY, ALLIANCE OF PROGRESSIVE LABOR, MARIO JOYO AGUJA, ANA
THERESIA HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL, RENATO B. MAGTUBO,
EMMANUEL JOEL J. VILLANUEVA, EDUARDO C. ZIALCITA, MA.
THERESA DIOKNO-PASCUAL, MARY ANN B. MANAHAN AND
PATROCINIO JUDE ESGUERRA III, Petitioners,

vs.

METROPOLITAN WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM (MWSS) and


the MWSS REGULATORY OFFICE (MWSS-RO), Respondents.

G.R. No. 173044 December 10, 2007

FACTS

Respondent MWSS entered into Concession Agreements with the Manila Water
Company, Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (the concessionaires), the latter acting
as contractors to perform certain functions, and as agents to exercise certain rights and
powers for the operation of the waterworks and sewerage system. As consideration for
the performance of their obligations, the concessionaires are empowered to charge and
collect water and sewerage services based on standard rates provided that their net of
return shall not exceed 12% per annum. A notice to both concessionaires that their cash
flow is likely to be affected by the change in law or government regulation, rule or order
prompted the creation of the Technical Working Group. The MWSS Regulatory Office
approved and adopted the TWG findings and recommendations that the concessionaires
are merely agents and contractors, not public utilities. Petitioners allege that the finding
by respondents that the concessionaires are not public utilities, has the effect of excluding
the rates set by such concessionaires from the limitation in the MWSS Charter and that in
turn, will have the effect of increasing the rates that can be charged against them and the
subscribers to the water service provided by the concessionaires.

ISSUE

Whether or not concessionaires herein can be considered public utilities.

RULINGS

NO. In determining whether the concessionaires are public utilities or mere agents of
MWSS, there must be an examination of the intention of MWSS and the concessionaires
at the time of the bidding process, negotiation, and execution of the Concession
Agreements. Certainly, this matter is a factual issue requiring presentation and evaluation
413

of evidence such as bidding documents, memoranda, and the testimonies of the


participants of the bidding and contract negotiations.

The MWSS Board of Trustees created a Technical Working Group (TWG) and its report
found that the: (1) intent of the Concession Agreements is for the MWSS to remain as a
public utility providing waterworks and sewerage services, while the concessionaires are
its agents and contractors, consistent with the framework of the concession arrangements;
(2) it is the MWSS that has the legislative franchise under its Charter, while the
concessionaires do not have a franchise: (3) in its operation, the MWSS contracted the
services of the concessionaires to perform certain functions and authorized them, by way
of agency, to exercise certain rights in performing their obligations; (4) during the
bidding and selection of concessionaires, the latter had submitted their bids on the basis
of MWSS representation that it would retain its status as a public utility having
jurisdiction, supervision and control over all waterworks and sewerage system within
Metro Manila, Rizal and Cavite; and (5) based on the framework of the Concession
Agreements the MERALCO ruling has no relevance to the concessionaires’ situation.
414

SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY (SJS), petitioner

vs.

DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD and PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT


AGENCY (PDEA), respondents.

G.R. No. 157870 November 3, 2008

FACTS

These consolidated petitions challenge the constitutionality of Sec. 36 of R.A. 9165, the
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, insofar as it requires mandatory drug
testing of (1) candidates for public office; (2) students of secondary and tertiary schools;
(3) officers and employees of public and private offices; and (4) persons charged before
the prosecutor’s office of a crime with an imposable penalty of imprisonment of not less
than 6 years and 1 day.

The challenged section reads:

SEC. 36. Authorized Drug Testing. Authorized drug testing shall be done by any
government forensic laboratories or by any of the drug testing laboratories accredited and
monitored by the DOH to safeguard the quality of the test results. x x x The drug testing
shall employ, among others, two (2) testing methods, the screening test which will
determine the positive result as well as the type of drug used and the confirmatory test
which will confirm a positive screening test. x x x The following shall be subjected to
undergo drug testing:

xxx xxx xxx

(c) Students of secondary and tertiary schools. Students of secondary and tertiary schools
shall, pursuant to the related rules and regulations as contained in the school's student
handbook and with notice to the parents, undergo a random drug testing x x x;

(d) Officers and employees of public and private offices. Officers and employees of
public and private offices, whether domestic or overseas, shall be subjected to undergo a
random drug test as contained in the company's work rules and regulations, x x x for
purposes of reducing the risk in the workplace. Any officer or employee found positive
for use of dangerous drugs shall be dealt with administratively which shall be a ground
for suspension or termination, subject to the provisions of Article 282 of the Labor Code
and pertinent provisions of the Civil Service Law;

xxx xxx xxx


415

(f) All persons charged before the prosecutor's office with a criminal offense having an
imposable penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) years and one (1) day shall
undergo a mandatory drug test;

(g) All candidates for public office whether appointed or elected both in the national or
local government shall undergo a mandatory drug test.

Sec. 36(g) is implemented by COMELEC Resolution No. 6486.

ISSUES

1. Do Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 impose an


additional qualification for candidates for senator? Corollarily, can Congress enact a law
prescribing qualifications for candidates for senator in addition to those laid down by the
Constitution?

2. Are paragraphs (c), (d), and (f) of Sec. 36, RA 9165 unconstitutional?

RULING

[The Court GRANTED the petition in G.R. No. 161658 and declared Sec. 36(g) of RA
9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 as UNCONSTITUTIONAL. It
alsoPARTIALLY GRANTED the petition in G.R. Nos. 157870 and 158633 by declaring
Sec. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165 CONSTITUTIONAL, but declaring its Sec.
36(f)UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The Court thus permanently enjoined all the concerned
agencies from implementing Sec. 36(f) and (g) of RA 9165.]

1. YES, Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 impose an
additional qualification for candidates for senator; NO, Congress CANNOT enact a law
prescribing qualifications for candidates for senator in addition to those laid down by the
Constitution.

In essence, Pimentel claims that Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No.
6486 illegally impose an additional qualification on candidates for senator. He points out
that, subject to the provisions on nuisance candidates, a candidate for senator needs only
to meet the qualifications laid down in Sec. 3, Art. VI of the Constitution, to wit: (1)
citizenship, (2) voter registration, (3) literacy, (4) age, and (5) residency. Beyond these
stated qualification requirements, candidates for senator need not possess any other
qualification to run for senator and be voted upon and elected as member of the Senate.
The Congress cannot validly amend or otherwise modify these qualification standards, as
416

it cannot disregard, evade, or weaken the force of a constitutional mandate, or alter or


enlarge the Constitution.

Pimentel’s contention is well-taken. Accordingly, Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 should be, as it


is hereby declared as, unconstitutional.

Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165, as sought to be implemented by the assailed COMELEC


resolution, effectively enlarges the qualification requirements enumerated in the Sec. 3,
Art. VI of the Constitution. As couched, said Sec. 36(g) unmistakably requires a
candidate for senator to be certified illegal-drug clean, obviously as a pre-condition to the
validity of a certificate of candidacy for senator or, with like effect, a condition sine qua
non to be voted upon and, if proper, be proclaimed as senator-elect. The COMELEC
resolution completes the chain with the proviso that “[n]o person elected to any public
office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has undergone mandatory drug
test.” Viewed, therefore, in its proper context, Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and the
implementing COMELEC Resolution add another qualification layer to what the 1987
Constitution, at the minimum, requires for membership in the Senate. Whether or not the
drug-free bar set up under the challenged provision is to be hurdled before or after
election is really of no moment, as getting elected would be of little value if one cannot
assume office for non-compliance with the drug-testing requirement.

2. NO, paragraphs (c) and (d) of Sec. 36, RA 9165 are NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL;
YES, paragraphs (f) thereof is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

As to paragraph (c), covering students of secondary and tertiary schools

Citing the U.S. cases of Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton and Board of Education of
Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County, et al. v. Earls, et al., the
Court deduced and applied the following principles: (1) schools and their administrators
stand in loco parentis with respect to their students; (2) minor students have contextually
fewer rights than an adult, and are subject to the custody and supervision of their parents,
guardians, and schools; (3) schools, acting in loco parentis, have a duty to safeguard the
health and well-being of their students and may adopt such measures as may reasonably
be necessary to discharge such duty; and (4) schools have the right to impose conditions
on applicants for admission that are fair, just, and non-discriminatory.

Guided by Vernonia, supra, and Board of Education, supra, the Court is of the view and
so holds that the provisions of RA 9165 requiring mandatory, random, and suspicionless
drug testing of students are constitutional. Indeed, it is within the prerogative of
educational institutions to require, as a condition for admission, compliance with
417

reasonable school rules and regulations and policies. To be sure, the right to enrol is not
absolute; it is subject to fair, reasonable, and equitable requirements.

As to paragraph (d), covering officers and employees of public and private offices

As the warrantless clause of Sec. 2, Art III of the Constitution is couched and as has been
held, “reasonableness” is the touchstone of the validity of a government search or
intrusion. And whether a search at issue hews to the reasonableness standard is judged by
the balancing of the government-mandated intrusion on the individual's privacy interest
against the promotion of some compelling state interest. In the criminal context,
reasonableness requires showing of probable cause to be personally determined by a
judge. Given that the drug-testing policy for employees—and students for that matter—
under RA 9165 is in the nature of administrative search needing what was referred to in
Vernonia as “swift and informal disciplinary procedures,” the probable-cause standard is
not required or even practicable. Be that as it may, the review should focus on the
reasonableness of the challenged administrative search in question.

The first factor to consider in the matter of reasonableness is the nature of the privacy
interest upon which the drug testing, which effects a search within the meaning of Sec. 2,
Art. III of the Constitution, intrudes. In this case, the office or workplace serves as the
backdrop for the analysis of the privacy expectation of the employees and the
reasonableness of drug testing requirement. The employees' privacy interest in an office
is to a large extent circumscribed by the company's work policies, the collective
bargaining agreement, if any, entered into by management and the bargaining unit, and
the inherent right of the employer to maintain discipline and efficiency in the workplace.
Their privacy expectation in a regulated office environment is, in fine, reduced; and a
degree of impingement upon such privacy has been upheld.

Just as defining as the first factor is the character of the intrusion authorized by the
challenged law. Reduced to a question form, is the scope of the search or intrusion clearly
set forth, or, as formulated in Ople v. Torres, is the enabling law authorizing a search
"narrowly drawn" or "narrowly focused"?

The poser should be answered in the affirmative. For one, Sec. 36 of RA 9165 and its
implementing rules and regulations (IRR), as couched, contain provisions specifically
directed towards preventing a situation that would unduly embarrass the employees or
place them under a humiliating experience. While every officer and employee in a private
establishment is under the law deemed forewarned that he or she may be a possible
subject of a drug test, nobody is really singled out in advance for drug testing. The goal is
to discourage drug use by not telling in advance anyone when and who is to be tested.
And as may be observed, Sec. 36(d) of RA 9165 itself prescribes what, in Ople, is a
narrowing ingredient by providing that the employees concerned shall be subjected to
418

“random drug test as contained in the company’s work rules and regulations x x x for
purposes of reducing the risk in the work place.”

For another, the random drug testing shall be undertaken under conditions calculated to
protect as much as possible the employee's privacy and dignity. As to the mechanics of
the test, the law specifies that the procedure shall employ two testing methods, i.e., the
screening test and the confirmatory test, doubtless to ensure as much as possible the
trustworthiness of the results. But the more important consideration lies in the fact that
the test shall be conducted by trained professionals in access-controlled laboratories
monitored by the Department of Health (DOH) to safeguard against results tampering and
to ensure an accurate chain of custody. In addition, the IRR issued by the DOH provides
that access to the drug results shall be on the “need to know” basis; that the “drug test
result and the records shall be [kept] confidential subject to the usual accepted practices
to protect the confidentiality of the test results.” Notably, RA 9165 does not oblige the
employer concerned to report to the prosecuting agencies any information or evidence
relating to the violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act received as a result
of the operation of the drug testing. All told, therefore, the intrusion into the employees’
privacy, under RA 9165, is accompanied by proper safeguards, particularly against
embarrassing leakages of test results, and is relatively minimal.

Taking into account the foregoing factors, i.e., the reduced expectation of privacy on the
part of the employees, the compelling state concern likely to be met by the search, and
the well-defined limits set forth in the law to properly guide authorities in the conduct of
the random testing, we hold that the challenged drug test requirement is, under the limited
context of the case, reasonable and, ergo, constitutional.

Like their counterparts in the private sector, government officials and employees also
labor under reasonable supervision and restrictions imposed by the Civil Service law and
other laws on public officers, all enacted to promote a high standard of ethics in the
public service. And if RA 9165 passes the norm of reasonableness for private employees,
the more reason that it should pass the test for civil servants, who, by constitutional
command, are required to be accountable at all times to the people and to serve them with
utmost responsibility and efficiency.

As to paragraph (f), covering persons charged before the prosecutor’s office with a crime
with an imposable penalty of imprisonment of not less than 6 years and 1 day

Unlike the situation covered by Sec. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165, the Court finds no valid
justification for mandatory drug testing for persons accused of crimes. In the case of
students, the constitutional viability of the mandatory, random, and suspicionless drug
testing for students emanates primarily from the waiver by the students of their right to
privacy when they seek entry to the school, and from their voluntarily submitting their
419

persons to the parental authority of school authorities. In the case of private and public
employees, the constitutional soundness of the mandatory, random, and suspicionless
drug testing proceeds from the reasonableness of the drug test policy and requirement.

We find the situation entirely different in the case of persons charged before the public
prosecutor's office with criminal offenses punishable with 6 years and 1 day
imprisonment. The operative concepts in the mandatory drug testing are “randomness”
and “suspicionless.” In the case of persons charged with a crime before the prosecutor's
office, a mandatory drug testing can never be random or suspicionless. The ideas of
randomness and being suspicionless are antithetical to their being made defendants in a
criminal complaint. They are not randomly picked; neither are they beyond suspicion.
When persons suspected of committing a crime are charged, they are singled out and are
impleaded against their will. The persons thus charged, by the bare fact of being haled
before the prosecutor’s office and peaceably submitting themselves to drug testing, if that
be the case, do not necessarily consent to the procedure, let alone waive their right to
privacy. To impose mandatory drug testing on the accused is a blatant attempt to harness
a medical test as a tool for criminal prosecution, contrary to the stated objectives of RA
9165. Drug testing in this case would violate a person’s right to privacy guaranteed
under Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution. Worse still, the accused persons are veritably
forced to incriminate themselves.
420

DANTE V. LIBAN, REYNALDO M. BERNARDO, and SALVADOR M. VIARI,


Petitioners,

vs.

RICHARD J. GORDON, Respondent.

G.R. No. 175352 January 18, 2011

FACTS

Petitioners Liban, et al., who were officers of the Board of Directors of the Quezon City
Red Cross Chapter, filed with the Supreme Court what they styled as “Petition to Declare
Richard J. Gordon as Having Forfeited His Seat in the Senate” against respondent
Gordon, who was elected Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) Board
of Governors during his incumbency as Senator.

Petitioners alleged that by accepting the chairmanship of the PNRC Board of Governors,
respondent Gordon ceased to be a member of the Senate pursuant to Sec. 13, Article VI
of the Constitution, which provides that “[n]o Senator . . . may hold any other office or
employment in the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof,
including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries, during his
term without forfeiting his seat.” Petitioners cited the case of Camporedondo vs. NLRC,
G.R. No. 129049, decided August 6, 1999, which held that the PNRC is a GOCC, in
supporting their argument that respondent Gordon automatically forfeited his seat in the
Senate when he accepted and held the position of Chairman of the PNRC Board of
Governors.

Formerly, in its Decision dated July 15, 2009, the Court, voting 7-5,[1] held that the
office of the PNRC Chairman is NOT a government office or an office in a GOCC for
purposes of the prohibition in Sec. 13, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. The PNRC
Chairman is elected by the PNRC Board of Governors; he is not appointed by the
President or by any subordinate government official. Moreover, the PNRC is NOT a
GOCC because it is a privately-owned, privately-funded, and privately-run charitable
organization and because it is controlled by a Board of Governors four-fifths of which are
private sector individuals. Therefore, respondent Gordon did not forfeit his legislative
seat when he was elected as PNRC Chairman during his incumbency as Senator.
421

The Court however held further that the PNRC Charter, R.A. 95, as amended by PD 1264
and 1643, is void insofar as it creates the PNRC as a private corporation since Section 7,
Article XIV of the 1935 Constitution states that “[t]he Congress shall not, except by
general law, provide for the formation, organization, or regulation of private
corporations, unless such corporations are owned or controlled by the Government or any
subdivision or instrumentality thereof.” The Court thus directed the PNRC to incorporate
under the Corporation Code and register with the Securities and Exchange Commission if
it wants to be a private corporation. The fallo of the Decision read:

WHEREFORE, we declare that the office of the Chairman of the Philippine National Red
Cross is not a government office or an office in a government-owned or controlled
corporation for purposes of the prohibition in Section 13, Article VI of the 1987
Constitution. We also declare that Sections 1, 2, 3, 4(a), 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 of
the Charter of the Philippine National Red Cross, or Republic Act No. 95, as amended by
Presidential Decree Nos. 1264 and 1643, are VOID because they create the PNRC as a
private corporation or grant it corporate powers.

Respondent Gordon filed a Motion for Clarification and/or for Reconsideration of the
Decision. The PNRC likewise moved to intervene and filed its own Motion for Partial
Reconsideration. They basically questioned the second part of the Decision with regard to
the pronouncement on the nature of the PNRC and the constitutionality of some
provisions of the PNRC Charter.

ISSUE

Was it correct for the Court to have passed upon and decided on the issue of the
constitutionality of the PNRC charter? Corollarily: What is the nature of the PNRC?
422

RULING

NO, it was not correct for the Court to have decided on the constitutional issue because it
was not the very lis mota of the case. The PNRC is sui generis in nature; it is neither
strictly a GOCC nor a private corporation.

The issue of constitutionality of R.A. No. 95 was not raised by the parties, and was not
among the issues defined in the body of the Decision; thus, it was not the very lis mota of
the case. We have reiterated the rule as to when the Court will consider the issue of
constitutionality in Alvarez v. PICOP Resources, Inc., thus:

This Court will not touch the issue of unconstitutionality unless it is the very lis mota. It
is a well-established rule that a court should not pass upon a constitutional question and
decide a law to be unconstitutional or invalid, unless such question is raised by the parties
and that when it is raised, if the record also presents some other ground upon which the
court may [rest] its judgment, that course will be adopted and the constitutional question
will be left for consideration until such question will be unavoidable.

This Court should not have declared void certain sections of . . . the PNRC Charter.
Instead, the Court should have exercised judicial restraint on this matter, especially since
there was some other ground upon which the Court could have based its judgment.
Furthermore, the PNRC, the entity most adversely affected by this declaration of
unconstitutionality, which was not even originally a party to this case, was being
compelled, as a consequence of the Decision, to suddenly reorganize and incorporate
under the Corporation Code, after more than sixty (60) years of existence in this country.

Since its enactment, the PNRC Charter was amended several times, particularly on June
11, 1953, August 16, 1971, December 15, 1977, and October 1, 1979, by virtue of R.A.
No. 855, R.A. No. 6373, P.D. No. 1264, and P.D. No. 1643, respectively. The passage of
several laws relating to the PNRC’s corporate existence notwithstanding the effectivity of
the constitutional proscription on the creation of private corporations by law is a
recognition that the PNRC is not strictly in the nature of a private corporation
contemplated by the aforesaid constitutional ban.

A closer look at the nature of the PNRC would show that there is none like it[,] not just in
terms of structure, but also in terms of history, public service and official status accorded
to it by the State and the international community. There is merit in PNRC’s contention
that its structure is sui generis. It is in recognition of this sui generis character of the
423

PNRC that R.A. No. 95 has remained valid and effective from the time of its enactment
in March 22, 1947 under the 1935 Constitution and during the effectivity of the 1973
Constitution and the 1987 Constitution. The PNRC Charter and its amendatory laws have
not been questioned or challenged on constitutional grounds, not even in this case before
the Court now.

[T]his Court [must] recognize the country’s adherence to the Geneva Convention and
respect the unique status of the PNRC in consonance with its treaty obligations. The
Geneva Convention has the force and effect of law. Under the Constitution, the
Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law
of the land. This constitutional provision must be reconciled and harmonized with Article
XII, Section 16 of the Constitution, instead of using the latter to negate the former. By
requiring the PNRC to organize under the Corporation Code just like any other private
corporation, the Decision of July 15, 2009 lost sight of the PNRC’s special status under
international humanitarian law and as an auxiliary of the State, designated to assist it in
discharging its obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

The PNRC, as a National Society of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent
Movement, can neither “be classified as an instrumentality of the State, so as not to lose
its character of neutrality” as well as its independence, nor strictly as a private
corporation since it is regulated by international humanitarian law and is treated as an
auxiliary of the State.

Although [the PNRC] is neither a subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the


government, nor a GOCC or a subsidiary thereof . . . so much so that respondent, under
the Decision, was correctly allowed to hold his position as Chairman thereof concurrently
while he served as a Senator, such a conclusion does not ipso facto imply that the PNRC
is a “private corporation” within the contemplation of the provision of the Constitution,
that must be organized under the Corporation Code. [T]he sui generis character of PNRC
requires us to approach controversies involving the PNRC on a case-to-case basis.

In sum, the PNRC enjoys a special status as an important ally and auxiliary of the
government in the humanitarian field in accordance with its commitments under
international law. This Court cannot all of a sudden refuse to recognize its existence,
especially since the issue of the constitutionality of the PNRC Charter was never raised
by the parties. It bears emphasizing that the PNRC has responded to almost all national
disasters since 1947, and is widely known to provide a substantial portion of the
country’s blood requirements. Its humanitarian work is unparalleled. The Court should
not shake its existence to the core in an untimely and drastic manner that would not only
have negative consequences to those who depend on it in times of disaster and armed
424

hostilities but also have adverse effects on the image of the Philippines in the
international community. The sections of the PNRC Charter that were declared void must
therefore stay.
425

THE PROVINCE OF NORTH COTABATO, duly represented by GOVERNOR


JESUS SACDALAN and/or VICE-GOVERNOR EMMANUEL PIÑOL, for and in
his own behalf, petitioners,

vs.

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE


PANEL ON ANCESTRAL DOMAIN (GRP), represented by SEC. RODOLFO
GARCIA, ATTY. LEAH ARMAMENTO, ATTY. SEDFREY CANDELARIA,
MARK RYAN SULLIVAN and/or GEN. HERMOGENES ESPERON, JR., the
latter in his capacity as the present and duly-appointed Presidential Adviser on the
Peace Process (OPAPP) or the so-called Office of the Presidential Adviser on the
Peace Process, respondents.

G.R. No. 183591 October 14 2008

FACTS

On August 5, 2008, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro
Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Agreement of
the Ancestral Domain Aspect of the GRP - MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 in
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Invoking the right to information on matters of public concern, the petitioners seek to
compel respondents to disclose and furnish them the complete and official copies of the
MA-AD and to prohibit the slated signing of the MOA-AD and the holding of public
consultation thereon. They also pray that the MOA-AD be declared unconstitutional. The
Court issued a TRO enjoining the GRP from signing the same.

ISSUES

1. Whether or not the constitutionality and the legality of the MOA is ripe for
adjudication;

2. Whether or not there is a violation of the people's right to information on matters of


public concern (Art 3 Sec. 7) under a state policy of full disclosure of all its transactions
involving public interest (Art 2, Sec 28) including public consultation under RA 7160
(Local Government Code of 1991)

3. Whether or not the signing of the MOA, the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines would be binding itself
426

a) to create and recognize the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) as a separate state, or a
juridical, territorial or political subdivision not recognized by law;

b) to revise or amend the Constitution and existing laws to conform to the MOA;

c) to concede to or recognize the claim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for ancestral
domain in violation of Republic Act No. 8371 (THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS
ACT OF 1997),

particularly Section 3(g) & Chapter VII (DELINEATION,RECOGNITION OF


ANCESTRAL DOMAINS)

RULINGS

1. Yes, the petitions are ripe for adjudication. The failure of the respondents to consult the
local government units or communities affected constitutes a departure by respondents
from their mandate under EO No. 3. Moreover, the respondents exceeded their authority
by the mere act of guaranteeing amendments to the Constitution. Any alleged violation of
the Constitution by any branch of government is a proper matter for judicial review.

As the petitions involve constitutional issues which are of paramount public interest or of
transcendental importance, the Court grants the petitioners, petitioners-in-intervention
and intervening respondents the requisite locus standi in keeping with the liberal stance
adopted in David v. Macapagal- Arroyo.

In Pimentel, Jr. v. Aguirre, this Court held:

x x x [B]y the mere enactment of the questioned law or the approval of the challenged
action, the dispute is said to have ripened into a judicial controversy even without any
other overt act . Indeed, even a singular violation of the Constitution and/or the law is
enough to awaken judicial duty.x x x x

By the same token, when an act of the President, who in our constitutional scheme is a
coequal of Congress, is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution and the laws
x x x settling the dispute becomes the duty and the responsibility of the courts.

That the law or act in question is not yet effective does not negate ripeness.

2. Yes. The Court finds that there is a grave violation of the Constitution involved in the
matters of public concern (Sec 7 Art III) under a state policy of full disclosure of all its
427

transactions involving public interest (Art 2, Sec 28) including public consultation under
RA 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991).

(Sec 7 ArtIII) The right to information guarantees the right of the people to demand
information, while Sec 28 recognizes the duty of officialdom to give information even if
nobody demands. The complete and effective exercise of the right to information
necessitates that its complementary provision on public disclosure derive the same self-
executory nature, subject only to reasonable safeguards or limitations as may be provided
by law.

The contents of the MOA-AD is a matter of paramount public concern involving public
interest in the highest order. In declaring that the right to information contemplates steps
and negotiations leading to the consummation of the contract, jurisprudence finds no
distinction as to the executory nature or commercial character of the agreement.

E.O. No. 3 itself is replete with mechanics for continuing consultations on both national
and local levels and for a principal forum for consensus-building. In fact, it is the duty of
the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process to conduct regular dialogues to seek
relevant information, comments, advice, and recommendations from peace partners and
concerned sectors of society.

3.

a) to create and recognize the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) as a separate state, or a
juridical, territorial or political subdivision not recognized by law;

Yes. The provisions of the MOA indicate, among other things, that the Parties aimed to
vest in the BJE the status of an associated state or, at any rate, a status closely
approximating it.

The concept of association is not recognized under the present Constitution.

No province, city, or municipality, not even the ARMM, is recognized under our laws as
having an “associative” relationship with the national government. Indeed, 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, much less does it provide for a transitory status that aims to prepare
any part of Philippine territory for independence.

The BJE is a far more powerful entity than the autonomous region recognized in the
Constitution. It is not merely an expanded version of the ARMM, the status of its
relationship with the national government being fundamentally different from that of the
ARMM. Indeed, BJE is a state in all but name as it meets the criteria of a state laid down
428

in the Montevideo Convention, namely, a permanent population, a defined territory, a


government, and a capacity to enter into relations with other states.

Even assuming arguendo that the MOA-AD would not necessarily sever any portion of
Philippine territory, the spirit animating it – which has betrayed itself by its use of the
concept of association – runs counter to the national sovereignty and territorial integrity
of the Republic.

The defining concept underlying the relationship between the national government and
the BJE being itself contrary to the present Constitution, it is not surprising that many of
the specific provisions of the MOA-AD on the formation and powers of the BJE are in
conflict with the Constitution and the laws. The BJE is more of a state than an
autonomous region. But even assuming that it is covered by the term “autonomous
region” in the constitutional provision just quoted, the MOA-AD would still be in conflict
with it.

b) to revise or amend the Constitution and existing laws to conform to the MOA:

The MOA-AD provides that “any provisions of the MOA-AD requiring amendments to
the existing legal framework shall come into force upon the signing of a Comprehensive
Compact and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework,” implying an
amendment of the Constitution to accommodate the MOA-AD. This stipulation, in effect,
guaranteed to the MILF the amendment of the Constitution .

It will be observed that the President has authority, as stated in her oath of office, only to
preserve and defend the Constitution. Such presidential power does not, however, extend
to allowing her to change the Constitution, but simply to recommend proposed
amendments or revision. As long as she limits herself to recommending these changes
and submits to the proper procedure for constitutional amendments and revision, her
mere recommendation need not be construed as an unconstitutional act.

The “suspensive clause” in the MOA-AD viewed in light of the above-discussed


standards.

Given the limited nature of the President’s authority to propose constitutional


amendments, she cannot guarantee to any third party that the required amendments will
eventually be put in place, nor even be submitted to a plebiscite. The most she could do is
submit these proposals as recommendations either to Congress or the people, in whom
constituent powers are vested.
429

c) to concede to or recognize the claim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for ancestral
domain in violation of Republic Act No. 8371 (THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS
ACT OF 1997),

particularly Section 3(g) & Chapter VII (DELINEATION, RECOGNITION OF


ANCESTRAL DOMAINS)

This strand begins with the statement that it is “the birthright of all Moros and all
Indigenous peoples of Mindanao to identify themselves and be accepted as
‘Bangsamoros.’” It defines “Bangsamoro people” as the natives or original inhabitants of
Mindanao and its adjacent islands including Palawan and the Sulu archipelago at the time
of conquest or colonization, and their descendants whether mixed or of full blood,
including their spouses.

Thus, the concept of “Bangsamoro,” as defined in this strand of the MOA-AD, includes
not only “Moros” as traditionally understood even by Muslims, but all indigenous
peoples of Mindanao and its adjacent islands. The MOA-AD adds that the freedom of
choice of indigenous peoples shall be respected. What this freedom of choice consists in
has not been specifically defined. The MOA-AD proceeds to refer to the “Bangsamoro
homeland,” the ownership of which is vested exclusively in the Bangsamoro people by
virtue of their prior rights of occupation. Both parties to the MOA-AD acknowledge that
ancestral domain does not form part of the public domain.

Republic Act No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 provides for clear-
cut procedure for the recognition and delineation of ancestral domain, which entails,
among other things, the observance of the free and prior informed consent of the
Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples. Notably, the statute does not grant
the Executive Department or any government agency the power to delineate and
recognize an ancestral domain claim by mere agreement or compromise.

Two, Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 requires all national
offices to conduct consultations beforeany project or program critical to the environment
and human ecology including those that may call for the eviction of a particular group of
people residing in such locality, is implemented therein. The MOA-AD is one peculiar
program that unequivocally and unilaterally vests ownership of a vast territory to the
Bangsamoro people, which could pervasively and drastically result to the diaspora or
displacement of a great number of inhabitants from their total environment.

In sum, the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process committed grave abuse of
discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent consultation process, as mandated by
E.O. No. 3, Republic Act No. 7160, and Republic Act No. 8371. The furtive process by
which the MOA-AD was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the legal
authority, and amounts to a whimsical, capricious, oppressive, arbitrary and despotic
430

exercise thereof. It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal to
perform the duty enjoined.

The MOA-AD cannot be reconciled with the present Constitution and laws. Not only its
specific provisions but the very concept underlying them, namely, the associative
relationship envisioned between the GRP and the BJE, are unconstitutional, for the
concept presupposes that the associated entity is a state and implies that the same is on its
way to independence.
431

CASAN MACODE MAQUILING, Petitioner,

vs.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ROMMEL ARNADO y CAGOCO, LINOG G.


BALUA, Respondents.

G.R. No. 195649 April 16, 2013

FACTS

Rommel Arnado is a natural born Filipino citizen who lost his citizenship upon his
naturalization as a citizen of the United States. He availed of the benefits of RA 9225 or
the Citizen Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003 and ran as Mayor of
Kauswagan,Lanao del Norte.

One of his candidates, Linog Balua, filed a petition to disqualify Arnado contending that
Arnado is a foreigner because he has been continuously using his US passport in entering
and departing the Philippines. The relevant question now is the efficacy of his
renunciation of his foreign citizenship and not the taking of the Oath of Allegiance to the
Republic of the Philippines. He cited Section 349 of the Immigration and Naturalization
Act of the United States as having the effect of repatriation when he executed his
Affidavit of Renunciation of American Citizenship. However, if indeed respondent was
divested of all the rights of an American citizen, the fact that he was still able to use his
US passport after executing his Affidavit of Renunciation repudiates this claim. Also, at
the time Arnado filed his certificate of candidacy. He was not only a Filipino citizen but,
by his own declaration, also an American citizen. It is the application of this law and not
of any foreign law that serves as the basis for Arnado’s disqualification to run for any
local elective position. RA 9225 states that “all Philippine citizens who become citizens
of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship under the
conditions of this Act.” And also, Section 5(2) requires that those who have re-acquired
Philippine citizenship and who seek elective public office, to renounce any and all
foreign citizenship. Section 40(D) of the Local Government Code which disqualifies
those with dual citizenship from running for any elective local position, indicates a policy
that anyone who seeks to run for public office must be solely and exclusively a Filipino
citizen. To allow a former Filipino who re acquired Philippine citizenship to continue
using a foreign passport is to allow a complete disregard of this policy. Petitioner Casan
Macode Maquiling, another candidate for mayor of Kauswagan, and who garnerned the
second highest number of votes in the 2010 elections, claims that due to the cancellation
of Arnado’s candidacy and the nullification of the latter’s proclamation, he should be
proclaimed as the winner.
432

ISSUES

Whether or not continued use of a foreign passport after renouncing foreign citizenship
affects one’s qualifications to run for public office.

HELD

Yes. The use of foreign passport after renouncing one’s foreign citizenship is a positive
and voluntary act of representation as to one’s nationality and citizenship; it does not
divest Filipino citizenship regained by repatriation but it recants the Oath of Renunciation
required to qualify one to run for an elective position which makes him dual a citizen.
Citizenship is not a matter of convenience. It is a badge of identity that comes with
attendant civil and political rights accorded by the state to its citizens. It likewise
demands the concomitant duty to maintain allegiance to one’s flag and country. While
those who acquire dual citizenship are afforded the right of suffrage, those who seek
election or appointment to public office are required to renounce their foreign citizenship
to be deserving of the public trust. Holding public office demands full and undivided
allegiance to the Republic and to no other. It is a continuing requirement that must be
possessed not only at the time of appointment or election or assumption of office but
during the officer’s entire tenure. Once any of the required qualifications is lost, his title
may be reasonably challenged. Therefore, the Court held Armando disqualified for any
local elective position as provided by express disqualification under Section 40(d) of the
Local Government Code. Popular vote does not cure this ineligibility of the candidate.
Otherwise, substantive requirements set by the Constitution are nugatory.

Furthermore, there is no second-placer to speak of because as reiterated in the case of


Jalosjos vs. COMELEC when the ineligibility was held to be vod ab initio, no legal effect
is produced. Hence among the qualified candidates for position, Maquiling who garnered
the highest vote should be declared as the winner.
433

CONGRESSMAN ENRIQUE T. GARCIA of the 2nd District of Bataan, Petitioner,

vs.

THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT


OF ENERGY, CALTEX PHILIPPINES, INC., PETRON CORPORATION, and
PILIPINAS SHELL CORPORATION Respondents.

G.R. No. 157584 April 2, 2009

FACTS

After years of imposing significant controls over the downstream oil industry in the
Philippines, the government decided in March 1996 to pursue a policy of deregulation by
enacting Republic Act No. 8180 (R.A. No. 8180) or the "Downstream Oil Industry
Deregulation Act of 1996."

R.A. No. 8180,... this Court concluded... the law as invalid because the three key
provisions intended to... promote free competition were shown to achieve the opposite
result;

R.A. No. 8180's provisions on tariff differential, inventory requirements, and predatory
pricing inhibited fair competition, encouraged monopolistic power, and interfered with
the free... interaction of market forces.

Congress responded... by enacting R.A. No. 8479... excluded the offensive provisions
found in the invalidated law. Nonetheless, petitioner Garcia again sought to declare the
new oil... deregulation law unconstitutional on the ground that it violated Article XII,
Section 19 of the Constitution prescribed the period for removal of price control on
gasoline and... other finished petroleum products and set the time for the full deregulation
of the local downstream oil industry.

Petitioner Garcia contended that implementing full deregulation and removing price
control at a time when the market is still dominated and controlled by an oligopoly would
be contrary to public interest, as it would only provide an opportunity for the Big 3 to
engage in price-fixing and overpricing.

Section 19 of R.A. No. 8479 is "glaringly pro-oligopoly, anti-competition, and anti-


people," and thus asked the Court to declare the provision unconstitutional.
434

ISSUE

invokes the exercise by this Court of its power of judicial review,... calling for the
exercise of judicial power.

HELD

The petition fails to satisfy the very first of these requirements - the existence of an actual
case or controversy

An actual case or controversy is one that involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion
of opposite legal claims... susceptible of judicial resolution;... the case must not be moot
or academic or based on extra-legal or other similar considerations not cognizable by a
court of justice.

The issue involved must be susceptible of judicial determination.

Excluded from these are questions of policy or wisdom, otherwise referred to as political
questions:... political questions refer "to those questions which, under the Constitution,
are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full
discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative... or executive branch of
government."
435

ARNOLD V. GUERRERO, petitioner, vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS,


HON. MANUEL B. VILLAR, JR., as the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
11th Congress, HON. ROBERTO P. NAZARENO, as the Secretary General of the
House of Representatives, 11th Congress, RODOLFO C. FARIAS and
GUILLERMO R. RUIZ, respondents.

G.R. No. 137004 July 26, 2000

FACTS

On May 8, 1998, Farias filed his Certificate of Candidacy with the COMELEC,
substituting candidate Chevylle V. Farias who withdrew on April 3, 1998. On May 9,
1998, Ruiz filed an "Urgent Ex-Parte Motion To Resolve Petition" with the COMELEC,
attaching thereto a copy of the Certificate of Candidacy of Farias..On May 10, 1998, the
Second Division of the COMELEC dismissed Ruiz’s petition, and stated, "[T]here is
none (sic) in the records to consider respondent an official candidate to speak of without
the filing of said certificate. Hence, there is no certificate of candidacy to be cancelled,
consequently, no candidate to be disqualified.. On May 11, 1998, the elections pushed
through as scheduled. The post-election tally of votes in Ilocos Norte showed that Farias
got a total of 56,369 votes representing the highest number of votes received in the first
district. Farias was duly proclaimed winner.

On May 16, 1998, Ruiz filed a motion for reconsideration, contending that Farias could
not validly substitute for ChevylleV. Farias, since the latter was not the official candidate
of the Lakas ng Makabayan Masang Pilipino (LAMMP), but was an independent
candidate. Another person cannot substitute for an independent candidate.6.On June 3,
1998, Farias took his oath of office as a member of the House of Representatives.

On June 10, 1998, petitioner herein filed his "Petition-In-Intervention" in COMELEC


Case No. SPA 98-227. Petitioner averred that he was the official candidate of the Liberal
Party (LP) in said elections for Congressman, and stood to be adversely affected by Case
No. SPA 98-227. Guerrero contended that Farias, having failed to file his Certificate of
Candidacy on or before the last day therefor, being midnight of March 27, 1998, Farias
illegally resorted to the remedy of substitution provided for under Section 77of the
Omnibus Election Code and thus, Farias disqualification was in order. Guerrero then
asked that the position of Representative of the first district of Ilocos Norte be declared
vacant and special elections called for, but disallowing the candidacy of
Farias.8.Petitioner Guerrero argues that the refusal of the COMELEC to rule on the
validity or invalidity of the certificate of candidacy of Farias amounted to grave abuse of
436

discretion on its part. He claims that COMELEC failed in its Constitutional duty to
uphold and enforce all laws relative to elections.

ISSUES

1. Whether or not the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in holding


that the determination of the validity of the certificate of candidacy of respondent Farias
is already within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Electoral Tribunal of the House of
Representatives, and;

2. Whether or not the COMELEC failed in its Constitutional duty to uphold and
enforce all laws relative to elections.

HELD

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. Costs against
petitioner.

1. NO. SC found no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COMELEC when it
held that its jurisdiction over Case No. SPA 98-277 had ceased with the assumption of
office of respondent Farias as Representative for the first district of Ilocos Norte. While
the COMELEC is vested with the power to declare valid or invalid a certificate of
candidacy, its refusal to exercise that power following the proclamation and assumption
of the position by Farias is a recognition of the jurisdictional boundaries separating the
COMELEC and the Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives (HRET).Under
Article VI, Section 17 of the Constitution, the HRET has sole and exclusive jurisdiction
over all contests relative to the election, returns, and qualifications of members of the
House of Representatives. Thus, once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his
oath, and assumed office as a member of the House of Representatives, COMELECs
jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications ends,
and the HRETs own jurisdiction begins.

Thus, the COMELECs decision to discontinue exercising jurisdiction over the case is
justifiable, in deference to the HRETs own jurisdiction and functions.
437

MANUEL B. JAPZON, Petitioner,

vs.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and JAIME S. TY, Respondents.

G.R. No. 180088 January 19, 2009

FACTS

Manuel B. Japzon (Japzon) and Jaime S. Ty (Ty) were candidates for Mayor of the
Municipality of Gen. Macarthur, Eastern Samar in the elections of May 14, 2007. Japzon
filed a petition to disqualify Ty on theground of material misrepresentation. Japzon
averred that:1. Ty was a former natural-born Filipino, born in what was then Pambujan
Sur, Hernani Eastern Samar(now Gen. Macarthur, Easter Samar) to a Chinese father and
a Filipino mother. 2. Ty migrated to the USA, became a citizen thereof, and resided
therein for the last 25 years. 3. Ty falsely represented in his COC that he was a resident of
Gen. Macarthur for one year prior to elections, and was not a permanent resident or
immigrant of any foreign country. 4. While Ty may have applied for reacquisition of his
Philippine citizenship, he never actually resided Gen Macarthur, Eastern Samar, for a
period of 1 year immediately preceding the date of election as required under the Local
Government Code. 5. Ty continued traveling to the USA and comporting himself as a US
citizen even after filing his COC and taking his Oath of Allegiance.6. He failed to
renounce his foreign citizenship as required by RA No. 9225 (Citizenship Retention and
Reacquisition Act of 2003).Ty responded to wit:1. He was a natural-born Filipino who
went to the USA to work and subsequently became a naturalized American citizen.
However, prior to filing his COC, he already filed with the Philippine Consulate General
in Los Angeles, California, USA, an application for the reacquisition of his Philippine
citizenship. 2. He executed an Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines
before the Vice Consul of the Philippine Consulate3. He applied for and was issued a
Philippine passport indicating that his residence in the Philippines wasat A. Mabini St.,
Barangay 6, Poblacion, General Macarthur, Eastern Samar. 4. He personally secured his
Community Tax Certificate (CTC) in Gen. Macarthur, Eastern Samar. 5. He was
registered as a voter at Gen Macarthur, Eastern Samar.6. He executed on 19 March 2007
a duly notarized Renunciation of Foreign Citizenship. Ty won the elections and was
proclaimed Mayor of Gen Macarthur by the BOC in the interim. The COMELEC found
that Ty complied with all the requirements of RA 9225 and dismissed the petition.
Evidence revealed that Ty executed an Oath of Allegiance in the USA and a
Renunciation of Foreign Citizenship on March 19, 2007, in compliance with R.A. No.
9225. There was no material misrepresentation in his COC. Although Ty has lost his
domicile when he was naturalized as U.S. citizen, the reacquisition of Philippine
438

citizenship and subsequent acts proved that he has been a resident of Barangay 6,
Poblacion, General Macarthur, Eastern Samar for at least 1 year prior to elections as
stated in his COC. COMELEC went on to explain that the term residence is to be
understood not in its common acceptation as referring to dwelling or habitation, but
rather to domicile or legal residence or the place where a party actually or constructively
has his permanent home, where he, no matter where he may be found at any given time,
eventually intends to return and remain (animus manendi). A domicile of origin is
acquired by every person at birth until the same is abandoned by acquisition of new
domicile (domicile of choice).Japzon’s motion for reconsideration was denied, in the
same manner as his petition with the COMELEC En Banc failed. The COMELEC En
Banc held that a Natural born Filipino who obtains foreign citizenship, and subsequently
renounces the same, constitutes acts of repatriation and hence becomes qualified to run as
a candidate for any local post.

ISSUE

Did the COMELEC err in its ruling by disregarding the parameters for the acquisition of
a new

domicile of choice and residence? Did the COMELEC err in refusing to cancel Ty’s COC
and to declare Japzon as the duly elected Mayor?

HELD

No Japzon’s arguments:

1. When Ty became a naturalized American citizen, he lost his domicile of origin.

2. Ty did not establish his residence in Gen Macarthur, Eastern Samar, just because he
reacquired his Philippine citizenship. He failed to prove that he established a new
domicile of choice.

3. Ty did not become a resident of Gen. Macarthur by merely executing the Oath of
Allegiance under Republic Act No. 9225.

4. Ty did not meet the one-year residency requirement for running as mayor.

5. Japzon is the only placer in the elections and should be declared as the duly elected
mayor.

Ty’s arguments:

1. COMELEC already found sufficient evidence to prove that Ty was a


resident of the GenMacarthur, Eastern Samar, 1 year prior to the local elections.
Findings of fact of the COMELEC arebinding on the Court.
439

2. Even if Ty is indeed disqualified from running, Japzon as the second placer cannot
take his place.

OSG’s position:

Ty failed to meet the one-year residency requirement. He was unable to prove that he
intended to remain in the Philippines for good and make it his new domicile. The OSG
still prays for the dismissal of the petition considering that Japzon cannot be declared the
duly elected Mayor even if Ty is found to be disqualified. RATIO: Ty was a natural-born
Filipino. Even if he left to work in the USA and eventually became an American citizen,
he reacquired his Philippine citizenship by taking his Oath of Allegiance to the Republic
before the Vice-Consul in Los Angeles, California in accordance with RA No. 9225. He
then, became a dual citizen. It was only on March 19, 2007 that he renounced his
American citizenship before a notary public and became a pure Philippine citizen again.
RA No 9225 imposes no residency requirement for the reacquisition or retention of
Philippine citizenship; nor does it mention any effect of reacquisition or retention of
Philippine citizenship on the current residence of the natural-born Filipino. Citizenship
and residence are independently treated in RA No 9225. Residency only becomes
relevant when the natural-born Filipino with dual citizenship runs for public office. He
must: (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. Ty
complied with the second requirement when he personally executed a Renunciation of
Foreign Citizenship on March 19, 2007 before a notary public. By the time he filed his
COC on March 28, 2007, he had already effectively renounced his American citizenship.
Under Section 39 of the Local Government Code (RA No 7160), it is required that an
elective official be a resident of the independent component cities, component cities, or
municipalites where he intends to be elected for at least 1 year immediately preceding the
day of the election. Ty admitted that he became a naturalized American citizen, which
meant he must have abandoned Gen. Macarthur, Eastern Samar as his domicile of origin
and transferred to the USA as his domicile of choice. His re-acquisition of Philippine
citizenship had no impact on his residence/domicile. He did not necessarily regain his
domicile in Gen. Macarthur, but merely had the option to establish his domicile of choice
therein. The length of his residence shall be determined from the time he made it his
domicile of choice and shall not retroact to the time of his birth. Under Papandayan Jr., vs
COMELEC, it is the fact of residence that is the decisive factor. The principle of animus
revertendi has been used to determine whether a candidate has an intention to return to
the place where he seeks to be elected. Thus, it is important to determine whether there
has been an abandonment of his former residence. Absence from residence to pursue
studies or practice his profession does not constitute loss of residence.In order to acquire
a new domicile by choice, there must concur (1) residence or bodily presence in the new
440

locality, (2) an intention to remain there, and (3) an intention to abandon the old
domicile. There must be animus manendi coupled with animus non revertendi. The
purpose to remain in or at the domicile of choice must be for an indefinite period of time;
the change of residence must be voluntary; and the residence at the place chosen for the
new domicile must be actual. The COMELEC found that Ty had been a resident of Gen
Macarthur 1 year prior to the elections. Factual findings of administrative agencies, such
as the COMELEC, are binding and conclusive on the SC, most especially since the
Constitution intended to place the COMELEC on a level higher that other administrative
organs. Ty’s intent to establish a new domicile of choice became apparent when,
immediately after reacquiring his Philippine citizenship on October 2, 2005, he applied
for a Philippine passport indicating his address at A. Mabini St., Barangay 6, Poblacion,
Gen Macarthur, Eastern Samar. He paid his community tax, securing CTCsand stating his
address in Gen Macarthur. Thereafter, Ty applied for and was registered as a voter on
July 17,2006 in the same town. He has also been bodily present in the municipality since
his arrival on May 4, 2006. His trips abroad are further manifestations of his animus
manendi and animus revertendi. Even with his trips to other countries, Ty was actually
present in Gen Macarthur, for at least 9 of the 12 months preceding the local elections.
There is nothing wrong in an individual changing residences so he could run for an
elective post, for as long as he is able to prove that he has effected a change of residence
for election law purposes for the period required by-law. Ty has proven that he had
established residence/domicile a little over a year prior to the local elections, in which he
ran for Mayor and in which he garnered the most number of votes.
441

ANASTACIO LAUREL, petitioner,

vs.

ERIBERTO MISA, as Director of Prisons, respondent

G.R. No. L-200 March 28, 1946

FACTS

A petition for habeas corpus was filed by Anastacio Laurel. He claims that a Filipino
citizen who adhered to the enemy giving the latter aid and comfort during the Japanese
occupation cannot be prosecuted for the crime of treason defined and penalized by the
Article 114 of the Revised Penal Code on the grounds that the sovereignty of the
legitimate government in the Philippines and consequently the correlative allegiance of
Filipino citizen thereto were then suspended; and that there was a change of
sovereignty over these Islands upon the proclamation of the Philippine Republic.

ISSUE

1. Whether the absolute allegiance of a Filipino Citizen to the government becomes


suspended during enemy occupation.

2. Whether the petitioner is subject to Article 114 of the Revised Penal Code.

HELD

No. The absolute and permanent allegiance (Permanent allegiance is the


unending allegiance owed by citizens or subjects to their states. Generally, a
person who owes permanent allegiance to a state is called a national.) of the
inhabitants of a territory occupied by the enemy of their legitimate government or
sovereign is not abrogated (repealed) or severed by the enemy occupation because the
sovereignty of the government or sovereign de jure is not transferred thereby to
the occupier. It remains vested in the legitimate government. (Article II, section
1, of the Constitution provides that "Sovereignty resides in the people and all government
authority emanates from them.")

What may be suspended is the exercise of the rights of sovereignty with the control and
government of the territory occupied by the enemy passes temporarily to the occupant.
The political laws which prescribe the reciprocal rights, duties and obligation of
government and citizens, are suspended in abeyance during military occupation. The
442

petitioner is subject to the Revised Penal Code for the change of form of government
does not affect the prosecution of those charged with the crime of treason because it is an

offense to the same government and same sovereign people. (Art. 114. Treason. — Any
person who, owing allegiance to (the United States or) the Government of the Philippine
Islands, not being a foreigner, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving
them aid or comfort within the Philippine Islands or elsewhere, shall be punished by
reclusion temporal to death and shall pay a fine not to exceed P20,000 pesos.)
443

REYNALDO D. LOPEZ, petitioner,

vs.

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION and ROMEO V. LUZ, JR., respondents.

G.R. No. 92140 February 19, 1991

FACTS

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 125, the Ministry (now Department) of Transportation
and Communications (DOTC) was reorganized resulting to the appointment of petitioner
Lopez, Luz, and Abellana as Harbor Masters for the South Harbor, this came about after
considering the evaluation conducted by the Placement Committee of the Philippine Ports
Authority which took into account the following: education and training; experience,
physical characteristics and personality traits; and performance of each candidate. The
records show that respondent Luz rated third.

Luz protested Lopez's appointment after it was approved by the Assistant Director of the
Civil Service Field Office, Guillermo R. Silva. The protest/appeal was also denied by the
PPA General Manager who explained that Luz was not qualified. The Civil Service
Commission (CSC) acting to respondents appeal directed that "comparative assessments"
be made by an appropriate Placement Committee. These assessments would then be the
basis of the appointments. Despite finding that the re-assessment was not in order, the
CSC directed the appointment of Luz as the Harbor Master instead of the petitioner.

ISSUE

Whether or not the CSC erred in nullifying Lopez’ appointment and instead substituting
its decision for that of the PPA.

RULING:

The role of the Civil Service Commission in establishing a career service and in
promoting the morale, efficiency, integrity, responsiveness, and courtesy among civil
servants is not disputed by petitioner Lopez. On the other hand, the discretionary power
of appointment delegated to the heads of departments or agencies of the government is
not controverted by the respondents. In the appointment, placement and promotion of
civil service employees according to merit and fitness, it is the appointing power,
especially where it is assisted by a screening committee composed of persons who are in
the best position to screen the qualifications of the nominees, who should decide on the
integrity, performance and capabilities of the future appointees. The law limits the
Commission's authority only to whether or not the appointees possess the legal
444

qualifications and the appropriate civil service eligibility, nothing else. To go beyond this
would be to set at naught the discretionary power of the appointing authority and to give
to the Commission a task which the law (Sec. 6, Rep. Act No. 6656) does not confer.
This does not mean that the Commission's act of approving or disapproving becomes
ministerial. The Court has defined the parameters within which the power of approval of
appointments shall be exercised by the respondent Commission.

In the case of Luego v. Civil Service Commission, 143SCRA 327 [1986], the Court ruled
that all the Commission is actually authorized to do is to check if the appointee possesses
the qualifications and appropriate eligibility: "If he does, his appointment is approved; if
not it is disapproved." We further ruled that the Commission has no authority to revoke
an appointment simply because it believed that the private respondent was better
qualified for that would have constituted an encroachment of the discretion vested solely
in the appointing authority. The Commission cannot exceed its power by substituting its
will for that of the appointing authority. Petition is GRANTED.
445

MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY, Petitioner,

vs.

CITY OF PASAY, SANGGUNIANG PANGLUNGSOD NG PASAY, CITY


MAYOR OF PASAY, CITY TREASURER OF PASAY, and CITY ASSESSOR OF
PASAY, Respondents.

G.R. No. 163072 April 2, 2009

FACTS

Petitioner Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) operates and administers the
Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Complex under Executive Order No. 903
(EO 903), otherwise known as the Revised Charter of the Manila International Airport
Authority. EO 903 was issued on 21 July 1983 by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
Under Sections 3 and 22 of EO 903, approximately 600 hectares of land, including the
runways, the airport tower, and other airport buildings, were transferred to MIAA. The
NAIA Complex is located along the border between Pasay City and Parañaque City.

On 28 August 2001, MIAA received Final Notices of Real Property Tax Delinquency
from the City of Pasay for the taxable years 1992 to 2001. The City of Pasay, through its
City Treasurer, issued notices of levy and warrants of levy for the NAIA Pasay
properties. MIAA received the notices and warrants of levy on 28 August 2001.

ISSUE

Whether the NAIA Pasay properties of MIAA are exempt from real property tax.

RULINGS

In Manila International Airport Authority v. Court of Appeals (2006 MIAA case), this
Court already resolved the issue of whether the airport lands and buildings of MIAA are
exempt from tax under existing laws. The 2006 MIAA case originated from a petition for
prohibition and injunction which MIAA filed with the Court of Appeals, seeking to
restrain the City of Parañaque from imposing real property tax on, levying against, and
auctioning for public sale the airport lands and buildings located in Parañaque City. The
only difference between the 2006 MIAA case and this case is that the 2006 MIAA case
involved airport lands and buildings located in Parañaque City while this case involved
airport lands and buildings located in Pasay City. The 2006 MIAA case and this case
raised the same threshold issue: whether the local government can impose real property
tax on the airport lands, consisting mostly of the runways, as well as the airport buildings,
of MIAA. In the 2006 MIAA case, this Court held:
446

To summarize, MIAA is not a government-owned or controlled corporation under


Section 2(13) of the Introductory Provisions of the Administrative Code because it is not
organized as a stock or non-stock corporation. Neither is MIAA a government-owned or
controlled corporation under Section 16, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution because
MIAA is not required to meet the test of economic viability. MIAA is a government
instrumentality vested with corporate powers and performing essential public services
pursuant to Section 2(10) of the Introductory Provisions of the Administrative Code. As a
government instrumentality, MIAA is not subject to any kind of tax by local governments
under Section 133(o) of the Local Government Code. The exception to the exemption in
Section 234(a) does not apply to MIAA because MIAA is not a taxable entity under the
Local Government Code. Such exception applies only if the beneficial use of real
property owned by the Republic is given to a taxable entity
447

GERARDO MORRERO, petitioner,

vs.

JUAN L. BOCAR and THE AUDITOR GENERAL, respondents.

G.R. No. L-45352 October 31, 1938

FACTS

Petitioner Gerardo Merrero and respondent Juan L. Bocar were candidates for
membership of the national assembly from the third district of the Province of Samar.
The provincial board of canvassers proclaimed the election of respondent Bocar with a
total of 5,213 votes as against 4,350 vote cast for the petitioner Morrero. In refusing to
accept defeat, Morrero filed with the Electoral Commission a protest alleging, among
other things, that protestee, Juan L. Bocar is ineligible to run and to even serve as
member of the National Assemby as he was not of age in accordance with the provision
of Article VI, section 2, of the Constitution of the Philippines and that his election to said
office be declared null and void; and that the herein protestant, Gerardo Morrero, be
declared the duly elected Member of the national Assembly, giving him such other
remedy as may be deemed just and equitable in the premises."

After due hearing, the Electoral Commission dismissed the protest. Accordingly, the
petitioner appealed the case before the Supreme Court to review the decision of the
Electoral commission and "issue an order prohibiting the respondent Auditor general
from passing in audit or authorizing in any way the disbursement of funds of the national
Assembly as emoluments for the respondent, Juan L. Bocar, and declaring that the latter
is without right to continue holding the office of member of the National Assembly from
the 3rd district of Samar."

ISSUE

Whether the Supreme Court may interfere and rule against the exclusive authority of the
Electoral Commission in deciding all contests relating to election, returns, and
qualifications of the Members of the National Assembly.

RULINGS

The decision as rendered by the Electoral Commission after due hearing is final and
beyond the authority of this court to review. Section 4 of Article VI of the Constitution
provides that ". . . The Electoral Commission shall be the sole judge of all contests
relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the Members of the National
Assembly." The language of this provisions is clear. It vests in the Electoral Commission
exclusive jurisdiction to pass upon the qualifications of a member of the national
448

Assembly. The judgment rendered by the commission in the exercise of such an


acknowledged power is beyond judicial interference, except, in any event, "upon a clear
showing of such arbitrary and improvident use of the power as will constitute a denial of
due process of law." (Barry vs. United States ex rel. Cunningham, 279 U. S., 597; 73
Law. ed., 867, Angara vs. Electoral Commission, 35 Off. Gaz., 23.) The petition in this
case is dismissed with costs, So ordered.
449

EDUARDO B. OLAGUER, OTHONIEL V. JIMENEZ, ESTER MISA-JIMENEZ,


CARLOS LAZARO, REYNALDO MACLANG, MAGDALENA DE LOS
SANTOS-MACLANG, TEODORICO N. DIESMOS, RENE J. MARCIANO,
DANILO R. DE OCAMPO, VICTORIANO C. AMADO and MAC ACERON,
petitioners,

vs.

MILITARY COMMISSION NO. 34, THE TRIAL COUNSEL OF MILITARY


COMMISSION NO. 34, and THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENSE,
respondents.

G.R. No. L-54558 May 22, 1987

FACTS

In 1979, Olaguer and some others were detained by military personnel and they were
placed in Camp Bagong Diwa. Logauer and his group are all civilians. They were
charged with (1) unlawful possession of explosives and incendiary devices; (2)
conspiracy to assassinate President and Mrs. Marcos; (3) conspiracy to assassinate
cabinet members Juan Ponce Enrile, Francisco Tatad and Vicente Paterno; (4) conspiracy
to assassinate Messrs. Arturo Tangco, Jose Roño and Onofre Corpus; (5) arson of nine
buildings; (6) attempted murder of Messrs. Leonardo Perez, Teodoro Valencia and
Generals Romeo Espino and Fabian Ver; and (7) conspiracy and proposal to commit
rebellion, and inciting to rebellion. On August 19, 1980, the petitioners went to the SC
and filed the instant Petition for prohibition and habeas corpus.

ISSUES

1. Whether or not the petition for habeas corpus be granted.

2. The issue is then shifted to: Whether or not a military tribunal has the jurisdiction
to try civilians while the civil courts are open and functioning.

RULINGS

1. The petition for habeas corpus has become moot and academic because by the
time the case reached the SC Olaguer and his companions were already released from
military confinement. “When the release of the persons in whose behalf the application
for a writ of habeas corpus was filed is effected, the Petition for the issuance of the writ
becomes moot and academic. 18 Inasmuch as the herein petitioners have been released
from their confinement in military detention centers, the instant Petitions for the issuance
of a writ of habeas corpus should be dismissed for having become moot and academic.”
450

But the military court created to try the case of Olaguer (and the decision it rendered) still
continues to subsist.

2. The SC nullified for lack of jurisdiction all decisions rendered by the military
courts or tribunals during the period of martial law in all cases involving civilian
defendants. A military commission or tribunal cannot try and exercise jurisdiction, even
during the period of martial law, over civilians for offenses allegedly committed by them
as long as the civil courts are open and functioning, and that any judgment rendered by
such body relating to a civilian is null and void for lack of jurisdiction on the part of the
military tribunal concerned.
451

EMMANUEL PELAEZ, petitioner,

vs.

THE AUDITOR GENERAL, respondent.

G.R. No. L-23825 December 24, 1965

FACTS

The President of the Philippines, purporting to act pursuant to Section 68 of the Revised
Administrative Code, issued Executive Orders Nos. 93 to 121, 124 and 126 to 129;
creating thirty-three (33) municipalities enumerated in the margin. Petitioner Emmanuel
Pelaez, as Vice President of the Philippines and as taxpayer, instituted the present special
civil action, for a writ of prohibition with preliminary injunction, against the Auditor
General, to restrain him, as well as his representatives and agents, from passing in audit
any expenditure of public funds in implementation of said executive orders and/or any
disbursement by said municipalities.

Petitioner alleges that said executive orders are null and void, upon the ground that said
Section 68 has been impliedly repealed by Republic Act No. 2370 effective January 1,
1960 and constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power. The third paragraph of
Section 3 of Republic Act No. 2370, reads: “Barrios shall not be created or their
boundaries altered nor their names changed except under the provisions of this Act or by
Act of Congress.”

ISSUES

Whether or not Section 68 of Revised Administrative Code constitutes an undue


delegation of legislative power.

RULINGS

Yes. It did entail an undue delegation of legislative powers. The alleged power of the
President to create municipal corporations would necessarily connote the exercise by him
of an authority even greater than that of control which he has over the executive
departments, bureaus or offices. In other words, Section 68 of the Revised Administrative
Code does not merely fail to comply with the constitutional mandate. Instead of giving
the President less power over local governments than that vested in him over the
executive departments, bureaus or offices, it reverses the process and does the exact
opposite, by conferring upon him more power over municipal corporations than that
which he has over said executive departments, bureaus or offices.
452

MARCITA MAMBA PEREZ, petitioner,

vs.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and RODOLFO E. AGUINALDO, respondents.

G.R. No. 133944 October 28, 1999

FACTS

On March 26, 1998, private respondent filed his certificate of candidacy for
Representative of the Third District of Cagayan in the May 11, 1998 elections. Four days
later, on March 30, 1998, petitioner, as a voter and citizen, filed in the COMELEC a
petition for the disqualification of private respondent as a candidate on the ground that he
had not been a resident of the district for at least one (1) year immediately before the day
of the elections as required by Art. VI, §6 of the Constitution.

On May 10, 1998, the First Division of the COMELEC, in a unanimous resolution,[11]
dismissed the petition for disqualification, finding private respondent Aguinaldo qualified
to run as representative for the Third District of Cagayan.

ISSUE

Whether the Court has jurisdiction to entertain the instant petition for certiorari and
eventually pass upon private respo