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Ebralinag v. Division Superintendent of Schools of Cebu exemption.

Moreover, exemption to the requirements still disrupt school


discipline and demoralize the rest of the school population which by far
Issue: whether school children who are members of a religious sect known
constitutes the great majority." "The freedom of religious belief guaranteed
as Jehovah's Witnesses may be expelled from school (both public and
by the Constitution does not and cannot mean exemption from or non-
private), for refusing, on account of their religious beliefs, to take part in the
compliance with reasonable and nondiscriminatory laws, rules and
ag ceremony which includes playing (by a band) or singing the Philippine
regulations promulgated by competent authority." (pp. 2-3.)
national anthem, saluting the Philippine flag and reciting the patriotic
pledge. Petitioners stress, however, that while they do not take part in the
compulsory ag ceremony, they do not engage in "external acts" or behavior
All the petitioners in these two cases were expelled from their classes by the
that would offend their countrymen who believe in expressing their love of
public school authorities in Cebu for refusing to salute the ag, sing the
country through the observance of the ag ceremony. They quietly stand at
national anthem and recite the patriotic pledge as required by Republic Act
attention during the ag ceremony to show their respect for the right of those
No. 1265 of July 11, 1955, and by Department Order No. 8 dated July 21,
who choose to participate in the solemn proceedings (Annex F, Rollo of G.R.
1955 of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) making the
No. 95887, p. 50 and Rollo of G.R. No. 95770, p. 48). Since they do not
ag ceremony compulsory in all educational institutions.
engage in disruptive behavior, there is no warrant for their expulsion.
Jehovah's Witnesses admittedly teach their children not to salute the ag,
"The sole justication for a prior restraint or limitation on the exercise of
sing the national anthem, and recite the patriotic pledge for they believe
religious freedom (according to the late Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee in
that those are "acts of worship" or "religious devotion" (p. 10, Rollo) which
his dissenting opinion in G e r m a n v s . B a r a n g a n , 135 SCRA 514, 517)
they "cannot conscientiously give . . . to anyone or anything except God" (p.
is the existence of a grave and present danger of a character both grave and
8, Rollo). They feel bound by the Bible's command to "guard ourselves from
imminent, of a serious evil to public safety, public morals, public health or
idols — 1 John 5:21" (p. 9, Rollo). They consider the flag as an image or idol
any other legitimate public interest, that the State has a right (and duty) to
representing the State (p. 10, Rollo). They think the action of the local
prevent." Absent such a threat to public safety, the expulsion of the
authorities in compelling the flag salute and pledge transcends
petitioners from the schools is not justified.
constitutional limitations on the State's power and invades the sphere of the
intellect and spirit which the Constitution protects against official control (p. Moreover, the expulsion of members of Jehovah's Witnesses from the
10, Rollo). schools where they are enrolled will violate their right as Philippine citizens,
under the 1987 Constitution, to receive free education, for it is the duty of
Gerona ruling:
the State to "protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality
"'The flag is not an image but a symbol of the Republic of the education . . . and to make such education accessible to all" (Sec. 1, Art. XIV).
Philippines, an emblem of national sovereignty, of national unity and
We hold that a similar exemptions may be accorded to the Jehovah's
cohesion and freedom and liberty which it and the Constitution guarantee
Witnesses with regard to the observance of the flag ceremony out of respect
and protect.' (Gerona, et al. vs. Sec. of Education, et al., 105 Phil. 11.)
for their religious beliefs, however "bizarre" those beliefs may seem to
"The children of Jehovah's Witnesses cannot be exempted from others. Nevertheless, their right not to participate in the flag ceremony does
participation in the ag ceremony. They have no valid right to such not give them a right to disrupt such patriotic exercises.
If they quietly stand at attention during the ag ceremony while their It must be emphasized that the individual right involved is n o t the right to
classmates and teachers salute the ag, sing the national anthem and recite travel from the Philippines to other countries or within the Philippines.
the patriotic pledge, we do not see how such conduct may possibly disturb
The President has determined that the destabilization caused by the return
the peace, or pose "a grave and present danger of a serious evil to public
of the Marcoses would wipe away the gains achieved during the past few
safety, public morals, public health or any other legitimate public interest
years and lead to total economic collapse. Given what is within our
that the State has a right (and duty) to prevent" (German vs. Barangan, 135
individual and common knowledge of the state of the economy, we cannot
SCRA 514, 517).
argue with that determination. WHEREFORE, and it being our well-
If they quietly stand at attention during the ag ceremony while their considered opinion that the President did not act arbitrarily or with grave
classmates and teachers salute the ag, sing the national anthem and recite abuse of discretion in determining that the return of former President
the patriotic pledge, we do not see how such conduct may possibly disturb Marcos and his family at the present time and under present circumstances
the peace, or pose "a grave and present danger of a serious evil to public poses a serious threat to national interest and welfare and in prohibiting
safety, public morals, public health or any other legitimate public interest their return to the Philippines, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED
that the State has a right (and duty) to prevent" (German vs. Barangan, 135
Manotoc v. CA
SCRA 514, 517).
Does a person facing a criminal indictment and provisionally released on bail
have an unrestricted right to travel?
Section 6
Petitioner Ricardo L. Manotoc, Jr., is one of the two principal stockholders
Marcos v. Manglapus of Trans-Insular Management, Inc. and the Manotoc Securities, Inc., a stock
brokerage house. Having transferred the management of the latter into the
Marcos, in his deathbed, has signied his wish to return to the Philippines to
hands of professional men, he holds no officer-position in said business, but
die. But Mrs. Aquino, considering the dire consequences to the nation of his
acts as president of the former corporation.
return at a time when the stability of government is threatened from various
directions and the economy is just beginning to rise and move forward, has Pending disposition of SEC Case No. 001826, the Securities and Exchange
stood firmly on the decision to bar the return of Mr. Marcos and his family. Commission requested the then Commissioner of Immigration, Edmundo
Reyes, not to clear petitioner for departure and a memorandum to this
This petition for mandamus and prohibition asks the Court to order the
effect was issued by the Commissioner on February 4, 1980 to the Chief of
respondents to issue travel documents to Mr. Marcos and the immediate
the Immigration Regulation Division.
members of his family and to enjoin the implementation of the President's
decision to bar their return to the Philippines When a Torrens title submitted to and accepted by Manotoc Securities, Inc.
was suspected to be a fake, six of its clients led six separate criminal
ISSUE: whether or not, in the exercise of the powers granted by the
complaints against petitioner and one Raul Leveriza, Jr., as president and
Constitution, the President may prohibit the Marcoses from returning to the
vice-president, respectively, of Manotoc Securities, Inc.
Philippines.
In all cases, petitioner has been admitted to bail in the total amount of
P105,000.00, with FGU Insurance Corporation as surety.
On March 1, 1982, petitioner led before each of the trial courts a motion The constitutional right to travel being invoked by petitioner is not an
entitled, "motion for permission to leave the country", stating as ground absolute right.
therefor his desire to go to the United States, "relative to his business
To our mind, the order of the trial court releasing petitioner on bail
transactions and opportunities."
constitutes such lawful order as contemplated by the above-quoted
Petitioner thus led a petition for certiorari and mandamus before the then constitutional provision. Finding the decision of the appellate court to be in
Court of Appeals 44 seeking to annul the orders dated March 9 and 26, 1982, accordance with law and jurisprudence, the Court nds that no gainful
of Judges Camilon and Pronove, respectively, as well as the communication- purpose will be served in discussing the other issues raised by petitioner.
request of the Securities and Exchange Commission, denying his leave to WHEREFORE, the petition for review is hereby dismissed, with costs against
travel abroad. He likewise prayed for the issuance of the appropriate writ petitioner. SO ORDERED.
commanding the Immigration Commissioner and the Chief of the Aviation
Silverio vs. CA
Security Command (AVSECOM) to clear him for departure.
This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court
On September 20, 1984, the Court in a resolution e n b a n c denied
praying that the Decision of respondent Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
petitioner's motion for leave to go abroad p e n d e n t e lit e
15827, entitled "Ricardo C. Silverio v. Hon. Benigno C. Gaviola, etc., et al.,"
A court has the power to prohibit a person admitted to bail from leaving the dated 31 January 1990, as well as the Resolution of 29 June 1990 denying
Philippines. This is a necessary consequence of the nature and function of a reconsideration, be set aside. On 14 October 1985, Petitioner was charged
bail bond. with violation of Section 20 (4) of the Revised Securities Act in Criminal Case
No. CBU-6304 of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu. In due time, he posted
Rule 114, Section 1 of the Rules of Court denes bail as the security required
bail for his provisional liberty
and given for the release of a person who is in the custody of the law, that
he will appear before any court in which his appearance may be required as On 26 January 1988, or more than two (2) years after the filing of the
stipulated in the bail bond or recognizance. Information, respondent People of the Philippines filed an Urgent ex parte
Motion to cancel the passport of and to issue a hold-departure Order against
The condition imposed upon petitioner to make himself available at all times
accused-petitioner on the ground that he had gone abroad several times
whenever the court requires his presence operates as a valid restriction on
without the necessary Court approval resulting in postponements of the
his right to travel.
arraignment and scheduled hearings.
As petitioner has failed to satisfy the trial courts and the appellate court of
Petitioner is facing a criminal charge. He has posted bail but has violated the
the urgency of his travel, the duration thereof, as well as the consent of his
conditions thereof by failing to appear before the Court when required.
surety to the proposed travel, We nd no abuse of judicial discretion in their
Warrants for his arrest have been issued. Those orders and processes would
having denied petitioner's motion for permission to leave the country, in
be rendered nugatory if an accused were to be allowed to leave or to
much the same way, albeit with contrary results, that We found no
remain, at his pleasure, outside the territorial confines of the country.
reversible error to have been committed by the appellate court in allowing
Holding an accused in a criminal case within the reach of the Courts by
Shepherd to leave the country after it had satisfied itself that she would
preventing his departure from the Philippines must be considered as a valid
comply with the conditions of her bail bond.
restriction on his right to travel so that he may be dealt with in accordance
with law. The offended party in any criminal proceeding is the People of the for their respective positions. b. But then, it is not enough that the
Philippines. It is to their best interest that criminal prosecutions should run information sought is of public interest.
their course and proceed to finality without undue delay, with an accused
For Mandamus to lie in a given case, the information must not be among
holding himself amenable at all times to Court Orders and processes.
the species exempted by law from the operation of the constitutional
WHEREFORE, the judgment under review is hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against
guarantee.
petitioner, Ricardo C. Silverio. SO ORDERED.
In the instant, case while refusing to confirm or deny the claims of eligibility,
SECTION 7
the respondent has failed to cite any provision in the Civil Service Law which
Legaspi v. CSC would limit the petitioner's right to know who are, and who are not, civil
service eligibles. We take judicial notice of the fact that the names of those
The fundamental right of the people to information on matters of public
who pass the civil service examinations, as in bar examinations and licensure
concern is invoked in this special civil action for Mandamus instituted by
examinations for various professions, are released to the public. Hence,
petitioner Valentin L. Legaspi against the Civil Service Commission.
there is nothing secret about one's civil service eligibility, if actually
In case of denial of access, the government agency has the burden of possessed. Petitioner's request is, therefore, neither unusual nor
showing that the information requested is not of public concern, or, if it is unreasonable. And when, as in this case, the government employees
of public concern, that the same has been exempted by law from the concerned claim to be civil service eligibles, the public, through any citizen,
operation of the guarantee. To hold otherwise will serve to dilute the has a right to verify their professed eligibilities from the Civil Service
constitutional right. As aptly observed, ". . . the government is in an Commission.
advantageous position to marshall and interpret arguments against release
The civil service eligibility of a sanitarian being of public concern, and in the
. . ." To safeguard the constitutional right, every denial of access by the
absence of express limitations under the law upon access to the register of
government agency concerned is subject to review by the courts, and in the
civil service eligibles for said position, the duty of the respondent
proper case, access may be compelled by a writ of Mandamus.
Commission to confirm or deny the civil service eligibility of any person
The information sought by the petitioner in this case is the truth of the claim occupying the position becomes imperative. Mandamus, therefore lies.
of certain government employees that they are civil service eligibles for the WHEREFORE:, the Civil Service Commission is ordered to open its register of
positions to which they were appointed. The Constitution expressly declares eligibles for the position of sanitarian, and to confirm or deny, the civil
as a State policy that: Appointments in the civil service shall be made only service eligibility of Julian Sibonghanoy and Mariano Agas for said position
according to merit and fitness to be determined, as far as practicable, and in the Health Department of Cebu City, as requested by the petitioner
except as to positions which are policy determining, primarily confidential Valentin L. Legaspi.
or highly technical, by competitive examination. (Art. IX, B, Sec. 2. [2]).
ISSUE: whether or not they are entitled to the documents sought, by virtue
Public office being a public trust, [Const., Art. XI, Sec: 1] it is the legitimate of their constitutional right to information.
concern of citizens to ensure that government positions requiring civil
The information sought by petitioners in this case is the truth of reports that
service eligibility are occupied only by persons who are eligibles. Public
certain Members of the Batasang Pambansa belonging to the opposition
officers are at all times accountable to the people even as to their eligibilities
were able to secure "clean" loans from the GSIS immediately before the
February 7, 1986 election through the intercession of the former First Lady, and third alternative acts sought to be done by petitioners, is meritorious.
Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos. However, the same cannot be said with regard to the first act sought by
petitioners, i.e., "to furnish petitioners the list of the names of the Batasang
Respondent maintains that a confidential relationship exists between the
Pambansa members belonging to the UNIDO and PDP-Laban who were able
GSIS and its borrowers. It is argued that a policy of confidentiality restricts
to secure clean loans immediately before the February 7 election thru the
the indiscriminate dissemination of information.
intercession/marginal note of the then First Lady Imelda Marcos." Although
Yet, respondent has failed to cite any law granting the GSIS the privilege of citizens are afforded the right to information and, pursuant thereto, are
confidentiality as regards the documents subject of this petition. His entitled to "access to official records," the constitution does not accord
position is apparently based merely on considerations of policy. The them a right to compel custodians of official records to prepare lists,
judiciary does not settle policy issues. The Court can only declare what the abstracts, summaries and the like in their desire to acquire information or
law is, and not what the law should be. Under our system of government, matters of public concern. It must be stressed that it is essential for a writ
policy issues are within the domain of the political branches of the of mandamus to issue that the applicant has a well-defined, clear and
government, and of the people themselves as the repository of all State certain legal right to the thing demanded and that it is the imperative duty
power. of defendant to perform the act required. The corresponding duty of the
respondent to perform the required act must be clear and specific [Lemi v.
When the information requested from the government intrudes into the Valencia, G.R. No. L-20768, November 29, 1968, 126 SCRA 203; Ocampo v.
privacy of a citizen, a potential conict between the rights to information and Subido, G.R. No. L-28344, August 27, 1976, 72 SCRA 443.] The request of the
to privacy may arise. However, the competing interests of these rights need petitioners fails to meet this standard, there being no duty on the part of
not be resolved in this case. Apparent from the above-quoted statement of respondent to prepare the list requested. WHEREFORE, the instant petition
the Court in M o r f e is that the right to privacy belongs to the individual in is hereby granted and respondent General Manager of the Government
his private capacity, and not to public and governmental agencies like the Service Insurance System is ORDERED to allow petitioners access to
GSIS. Moreover, the right cannot be invoked by juridical entities like the documents and records evidencing loans granted to Members of the former
GSIS. As held in the case of V a s s a r C olle g e v. L o o s e Wills B is c uit C o Batasang Pambansa, as petitioners may specify, inspection, not
. [197 F. 982 (1912)], a corporation has no right of privacy in its name since incompatible with this decision, as the GSIS may deem necessary.
the entire basis of the right to privacy is an injury to the feelings and
sensibilities of the party and a corporation would have no such ground for AKBAYAN
relief.
SECTION 8
In ne, petitioners are entitled to access to the documents evidencing loans
SSSEA V. CA
granted by the GSIS, subject to reasonable regulations that the latter may
promulgate relating to the manner and hours of examination, to the end ISSUE: whether or not the Regional Trial Court can enjoin the Social Security
that damage to or loss of the records may be avoided, that undue System Employees Association (SSSEA) from striking and order the striking
interference with the duties of the custodian of the records may be employees to return to work. Collaterally, it is whether or not employees of
prevented and that the right of other persons entitled to inspect the records the Social Security System (SSS) have the right to strike.
may be insured [Legaspi v. Civil Service Commission, s u p r a at p. 538,
quoting Subido v. Ozaeta, 80 Phil. 383, 387.] The petition, as to the second
since the employees of the SSS, are government employees, they are not
allowed to strike, and may be enjoined by the Regional Trial Court, which
had jurisdiction over the SSS' complaint for damages, from continuing with
their strike.

Does the Regional Trial Court have jurisdiction to hear the case initiated by
the SSS and to enjoin the strikers from continuing with the strike and to
order them to return to work?