TITLE: Villavicencio vs Lukban L-14639
FACTS: Justo Lukban as Manila Mayor together with the police officer, took custody of 170 women at the night of October 25 beyond the latter’s consent and knowledge and thereafter were shipped to Davao City where they were signed as laborers.
A writ of habeas corpus was filed against the mayor on behalf of those women. The court granted the writ, but the mayor was not able to bring any of the women before the court on the stipulated date.
ISSUE: Whether or not the act of mayor has a legal basis.
HELD: The supreme court said that the mayor’s acts were not legal. His intent of exterminating vice was commendable, but there was no law saying that he could force filipino women to change their domicile from manila to nother place. The women, said the court, although in a sense “lepers of society” were still filipino citizens and such they were entitled to the constitutional enjoyed by all other filipino citizens. The right to freedom of domicile was such a fundamental right that its suppression could considered tantamount to slavery.
The supreme court upheld the right of filipino citizens to freedom of domicile or the Liberty of abode. “Ours is a government of laws and not of men.”
TITLE: Tuason vs Register of Deeds 157 SCRA 613
Petitioners Sps. Tuason bought a parcel of land from Carmel Farms. By virtue of PD 293 issued by then President Marcos, the title of the Tuasons’ vendor, Carmel Farms was invalidated. Carmel Farm had earlier purchased from the Government the land which it subsequently subdivided for sale to the public, the Tuasons being one of the buyers. PD 293 made the finding that Carmel Farms failed to complete payment for said land and invalidated the title of Carmel Farms and all those derived therefrom. PD 293 further declared the members of the Malacanang Homeowners’ Association Inc. as the present bona fide occupants. Pursuant to said decree the register of deeds of Caloocan cancelled the title of the Tuasons to said property.
Whether or not PD 293 is constitutional.
The Supreme Court ruled that PD 293 is Unconstitutional. In issuing PD 293, Mr. Marcos exercised a clearly judicial function. He made a determination of facts, applied the law to said facts declaring what the legal rights of parties were in the premises. Furthermore, PD 293 is violative of due process and equal protection of the law.
TITLE: ANGARA VS. ELECTORAL COMMISSION
Jose Angara, Pedro Ynsua, Miguel Castillo and Dionision Mayor were candidates for (Sept. 17, 1935) election for position of member of National Assembly for the province of Tayabas.
Jose Angara was proclaimed (Oct. 7, 1935) by the provincial board of canvassers as the member-elect. And took oath of office (Nov. 15. 1935).
On Dec. 3, 1935, National Assembly in session passed Resolution No. 8 confirming the election of Jose Angara. On the other hand, the Electoral Commission has by resolution adopted on December 9, 1935, fixed said date as the last day for the filing of protests against the election, returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly, notwithstanding the previous confirmation made by the National Assembly as aforesaid.
Pedro Ynsua filed a motion of protest before the Electoral Commission and prays to be declared the member-elect.
Jose Angara filed a motion to dismiss protest based on Resolution No. 8 and that it was filed beyond the period for filing protests.. The motion was denied. Hence, Angara filed a writ of prohibition to restrain and prohibit the Electoral Commission from taking cognizance of the protest.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Electoral Commission has acted with grave abuse of discretion in taking cognizance of the election protest
The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government. Each department of the government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction and is supreme within its own sphere. But it does not follow from the fact that the three powers are to be kept separate and distinct that the Constitution intended them to be absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other. The Constitution has provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government. The overlapping and interlacing of functions and duties between the several departments, however, sometimes make it hard to say just where one leaves off and the other begins. In cases of conflict, the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral and constituent units thereof.
The Constitution is a definition of the powers of government. Who is to determine the nature, scope and extent of such powers? The Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. And when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. This is in truth all that is involved in what is termed “judicial supremacy” which properly is the power of judicial review under the Constitution.
Here is then presented an actual controversy involving as it does a conflict of a grave constitutional nature between the National Assembly on the one hand, and the Electoral Commission on the other. From the very nature of the republican government established in our country in the light of American experience and of our own, upon the judicial department is thrown the solemn and inescapable obligation of interpreting the Constitution and defining constitutional boundaries. The Electoral Commission, as we shall have occasion to refer hereafter, is a constitutional organ, created for a specific purpose, namely to determine all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. Although the Electoral Commission may not be interfered with, when and while acting within the limits of its authority, it does not follow that it is beyond the reach of the constitutional mechanism adopted by the people and that it is not subject to constitutional restrictions.
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. We hold, therefore, that the Electoral Commission was acting within the legitimate exercise of its constitutional prerogative in assuming to take cognizance of the protest filed by the respondent Pedro Ynsua against the election of the herein petitioner Jose A. Angara, and that the resolution of the National Assembly of December 3, 1935 can not in any manner toll the time for filing protests against the elections, returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly, nor prevent the filing of a protest within such time as the rules of the Electoral Commission might prescribe.
TITLE: MARCOS VS. MANGLAPUS (EN BANC)
FACTS: In its decision dated Sept. 15, 1989, the Court, by a vote of 8 to 7, dismissed the petition, after finding that the Pres did not act arbitrarily in determining that the return of former Pres Marcos and his family at the present time and under present circumstances pose a threat to national interest and welfare and in prohibiting their return to the Philippines. On Sept. 28, 1989, Marcos died in Hawaii. In a statement, Pres Aquino said:
“In the interest of the safety of those who will take the death of Mr. Marcos in widely and passionately conflicting ways, and for the tranquility of the state and order of society, the remains of Ferdinand E. Marcos will not be allowed to be brought to our country until such time as the government, be it under this administration or the succeeding one, shall otherwise decide.”
On Oct 2, 1989, a MR was filed by petitioners.
ISSUE: 1. Whether to bar Marcos and his family from returning to the Philippines is to deny them not only the inherent right of citizens to return to their country of birth but also the protection of the Consti and all of the rights guaranteed to Filipinos under the Consti
2. Whether the Pres has no power to bar a Filipino from his own country; if she has, she had exercised it arbitrarily
3. Whether there is no basis for barring the return of the family of Marcos
HELD: We deny. The death of Marcos, although it may be viewed as a supervening event, has not changed the factual scenario under which the Court’s decision was rendered. The threats to the government, to which the return of the Marcoses has been viewed to provide a catalytic effect, have not been shown to have ceased. On the contrary, instead of erasing fears as to the destabilization that will be caused by the return of the Marcoses, Mrs. Marcos reinforced the basis for the decision to bar their return when she called Pres Aquino “illegal,” claiming that it is Mr. Marcos, not Mrs. Aquino, who is the “legal” Pres of the Philippines, and declared that the matter “should be brought to all the courts of the world.”
It cannot be denied that the Pres, upon whom executive power is vested, has unstated residual powers which are implied from the grant of executive power and which are necessary for her to comply with her duties under the Consti. The powers of the Pres are not limited to what are expressly enumerated in the article on the Exec Dept and in scattered provisions of the Consti. This is so, notwithstanding the avowed intent of the members of the Consti Commission of 1986 to limit the powers of the Pres as a reaction to the abuses under the regime of Marcos, for the result was a limitation of specific power of the President, particularly those relating to the commander-in-chief clause, but not a diminution of the general grant of executive power.
Among the duties of the Pres under the Consti, in compliance with her oath of office, is to protect and promote the interest and welfare of the people. Her decision to bar the return of the Marcoses and subsequently, the remains of Marcos at the present time and under present circumstances is in compliance with this bounden duty. In the absence of a clear showing that she had acted with arbitrariness in arriving at this decision, the Court will not enjoin the implementation of this decision.
DISSENTING: CRUZ: Marcos dead is only an unpleasant memory, not a bolt of lightning to whip the blood. It is only a dead body waiting to be interred in this country. PARAS: The former Pres, although already dead, is still entitled to certain rights. The alleged threats to national security have remained unproved and consequently, unpersuasive. PADILLA: Marcos is a Filipino and, as such, entitled to return to, die and be buried in this country. SARMIENTO: I have gone to lengths to locate in the four comers of the Consti, by direct grant or by implication, the President’s supposed “residual” power to forbid citizens from entering the motherland. I have found none. For, if the Constitution has imposed limitations on specific powers of the Pres, it has, a fortiori, prescribed a diminution of executive power. The Charter says that the right may only be restricted by: (1) a court order; or (2) by fiat of law. Had the fundamental law intended a presidential imprimatur, it would have said so. It would have also completed the symmetry: judicial, congressional, and executive restraints on the right. No amount of presumed residual executive power can amend the Charter. It is well to note that the Bill of Rights stands primarily, a limitation not only against legislative encroachments on individual liberties, but more so, against presidential intrusions. And especially so, because the Pres is the caretaker of the military establishment that has, several times over, been unkind to part of the population it has also sworn to protect.
TITLE: Casibang vs. Aquino (Aug. 20, 1979)
FACTS: J. Makasiar
Remegio Yu was proclaimed as Mayor of Rosales Pangasinan in the 1971 local elections, winning by 501 votes over Dante Casibang. On November 1971, Casibang filed an election protest against Yu based on irregularities in counting and vote buying. The CFI of Pangasinan gave due course to the protest.
In September 1972, martial law was enforced. On January 1973, the 1973 Constitution was ratified which effectively superseded the 1935 Constitution.
On October 1973, Casibang completed presenting his evidence for the election case. Yu then moved to dismiss the election protest on the ground that the trial court had lost jurisdiction over the case because the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution posed a political question to the case.
Yu relied on the following relevant provisions of the 1973 Constitution mainly:
a) Art. XVII, Sec. 9 which states that “All officials and employees in the existing Government shall continue in office until otherwise provided by law or decreed by the incumbent President…”
b) Art. XI, Sec. 2 which states “The Batasang Pambansa shall enact a local government code which may not be amended except by a majority vote of all its members…”
Yu contended that as the proclaimed Mayor in the 1971 elections, he was the one who was protected by Art. XVII, Sec. 9 to continue in office at the pleasure of the President until the Batasang Pambansa enacts a new local government code. He asserts that Art. XI, Sec. 2 intended for a complete revamp of the local government organization such that the present local government offices were deemed abolished, and existing only until a the new local government code is enacted. Since this was the policy of the 1935 Constitution, such policy posed a political question to the case that is beyond the review of the courts.
The trial court ruled in favor of Yu and dismissed the electoral protest. The court said that the enactment of the 1935 Constitution has tainted the case with a political issue.
ISSUES: (1) Did Art. XVII, Sec. 9 render the election protest cases of the 1971 local elections moot and academic?
(2) Did the said provisions of the 1935 Constitution pose a political question to the electoral protest?
(1) No. The local election protests did not become moot and academic. The right of locally elected officials to continue in office indefinitely did not arise by virtue of Art. XVII, Sec. 9. Their right arose from their being proclaimed as winners in the local elections.
Thus, any question on the validity of their proclamation can still be determined. The SC reasoned that if in fact and in law, the local officials were not duly elected to their positions, then they should not be allowed to enjoy the indefinite term of office given to them by the said constitutional provision.
In the case, the SC distinguished ‘term of office’ from ‘right to hold office.’
‘Term’ of office refers to the period or length of time during which an occupant is entitled to hold office.
‘Right to hold office’ is the just and legal claim to enjoy the powers and responsibilities of office.
The issue in the case refers to Yu’s right to hold office. On the other hand, Art. XVII, Sec. 9 pertains only to term of office. Since term of office depends on one’s right to hold it, then Yu’s right to hold office-the subject of the electoral protest-must still be determined.
(2) No. In the case, the SC distinguished a political from justiciable question:
Political question – it is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality of a particular measure.
Justiciable question – implies a given right, legally demandable and enforceable, an action or omission violative of such right and a remedy granted by law for said breach of right.
The SC said the only issue in the electoral protest is who is legally entitled to be Mayor. The judgment in the case will not in any way interfere with Art. XVII, Sec. 9, as it will merely resolve who between Yu and Casibang is the duly elected mayor and thus entitled to enjoy the extended term as mandated by the said provision. Whoever wins the protest will be the one subject to the provisions of the new local government code that will be enacted.
The SC reversed the trial court’s decision and ordered the election protest to proceed.
TITLE: Garcia VS Executive Secretary
The president issued Executive Order 475 which change the additional duty imposed on imported articles from 9% to 5% ad valorem tax except in the cases of crude oil and other oil products. Later on, after studies were made by the Tariff Commission. A report on special duty on crude oil and other oil products was given to the president and the latter issued EO 478 which imposed tax of P0.95 per liter of crude oil and P1.00 per liter of other oil products.
Petitioner assails the validity of the EO’s and argues that they are contrary to Arts 6, Sec 26 of the Constitution which vests the power to enact revenue bills to congress. Petitioner further argues that EO 475 and 478 contravene sec 401 of the Tariff and Customs Code which authorizes the President, according to the petitioner, to increase, reduce or remove tariff duties only when necessary to protect local industries or products but not for purposes of raising additional revenue.
WON the Executive Orders were Constitutional
The court held that the Executive Orders were constitutional. It is true that the enactment of appropriation, revenue and tariff bills are within the power of the legislative rather than the executive as expressed in the pertinent provisions of the Constitution. It does not follow however, that EO 475 and 478, assuming that they may be characterized as revenue measures, are prohibited to be enacted instead by congress.
Sec 28(2), Art. 6 of the Constitution provides that “the Congress may by law, authorizes president to fix within specified limits and subjects to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose tariff rates, imports and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues and other duties or imposts within the framework of the National Development program of the Government.
The Court held that the levying of the customs duties on imported goods has the effect of protecting local industries. Simultaneously, however, the very same customs duties also produces governmental revenue. In the instant case, since the Philippines produces 10-15% of the crude oil consumed here, the imposition of increased tariff rates and special duty on imported crude oil may be seen to have some “protective” impact upon indigenous oil production.
TITLE: Araneta vs. Dinglasan
FACTS: During World War II, on December 16, 1941, Congress enacted Commonwealth Act No. 671 otherwise known as the Emergency Powers Act. Under this law, Congress delegated its legislative power to the President during a time of war as provided for in Section 26 Art. VI of the Constitution. On June 21, 1947 Pursuant to this delegation, the President issued Executive Orders regulating rentals for houses and lots for residential buildings. The petitioner, is under prosecution for violation of the provisions of this Executive Order, and prays for the issuance of the Writ of Prohibition contending that the Emergency Powers Act has ceased to have any force and effect.
ISSUE: When did the Emergency Powers Act become inoperative?
HELD: The SC ruled that Act No. 671 became inoperative when Congress met in regular session on May 25, 1946. Since the assailed executive orders were issued after the said date, they were issued without authority of law. Commonwealth Act No. 671 does not fix the duration of its effectiveness, but Article VI of the Constitution provides that any law passed by virtue thereof should be “for a limited period.” Emergency, in order to justify the delegation of emergency powers, must be temporary or it cannot be said to be an emergency. It is to be presumed that Commonwealth Act No. 671 was approved with this limitation in view. The assertion that new legislation is needed to repeal the act would not be in harmony with the Constitution. If a new and different law were necessary to terminate the delegation, the period for the delegation, would be unlimited, indefinite, negative and uncertain; that which was intended to meet a temporary emergency may become permanent law. After the convening of Congress new legislation had to be approved if the continuation of the emergency powers, or some of them, was desired. The fact that Congress was able to hold a regular session denotes that the emergency such as war which caused congress to delegate its legislative powers to the president no longer existed. The holding of a regular session by Congress has made the Emergency Powers Act automatically inoperative.
Justice Moral = Act no. 671 should have become inoperative when Congress held a special session on June 9, 1945. The SC did not appreciate the fact that a special session also signifies that congress is no longer prevented to conduct sessions by the threat of war or emergency. Also there shouldn’t have been a blanket voiding of all executive orders after Act no. 671 became inoperative since those laws have created rights for the people and have been issued in good faith. There should have been a careful deliberation by congress for each executive order on whether or not they could stand as valid laws on their own.
TITLE: Chiongbian vs. Orbos
Ponente: J. Mendoza
FACTS: Pursuant to Art. X, §18 of the 1987 Constitution, Congress passed R.A. No. 6734, the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, calling for a plebiscite to be held in the provinces and cities of Mindanao. In the plebiscite, four provinces voted in favor of creating an autonomous region. These are the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. In accordance with the constitutional provision, these provinces became the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
On the other hand, with respect to provinces and cities not voting in favor of the Autonomous Region, Art. XIX, § 13 of R.A. No. 6734 provides: “That only the provinces and cities voting favorably in such plebiscites shall be included in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The provinces and cities which in the plebiscite do not vote for inclusion in the Autonomous Region shall remain in the existing administrative regions. Provided, however, that the President may, by administrative determination, merge the existing regions.
Pursuant to the authority granted by this provision, then President Corazon C. Aquino issued EO No. 429, “providing for the Reorganization of the Administrative Regions in Mindanao.” Such order, in effect, transferred some of the provinces and cities from one region to another.
In the present Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition, Petitioners contend that Art. XIX, §13 of R.A. No. 6734 is unconstitutional because it unduly delegates legislative power to the President by authorizing him to “merge [by administrative determination] the existing regions” or at any rate provides no standard for the exercise of the power delegated.
ISSUE: Whether the power to “merge” administrative regions is legislative in character, as petitioners contend, or whether it is executive in character, as respondents claim it is, and, in any event, whether Art. XIX, §13 is invalid because it contains no standard to guide the President’s discretion.
HELD: It will be useful to recall first the nature of administrative regions and the basis and purpose for their creation. On September 9, 1968, R.A. No. 5435 was passed “authorizing the President of the Philippines, with the help of a Commission on Reorganization, to reorganize the different executive departments, bureaus, offices, agencies and instrumentalities of the government, including banking or financial institutions and corporations owned or controlled by it.” The purpose was to promote “simplicity, economy and efficiency in the government.”
Accordingly, the Reorganization Commission prepared an Integrated Reorganization Plan which divided the country into eleven administrative regions. 6 By P.D. No. 1, the Plan was approved and made part of the law of the land on September 24, 1972. P.D. No. 1 was twice amended in 1975, first by P.D. No. 742 which “restructur[ed] the regional organization of Mindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi” and later by P.D. No. 773 which further “restructur[ed] the regional organization of Mindanao and divid[ed] Region IX into two sub-regions.” In 1978, P.D. No. 1555 transferred the regional center of Region IX from Jolo to Zamboanga City.
Thus the creation and subsequent reorganization of administrative regions have been by the President pursuant to authority granted to him by law. In conferring on the President the power “to merge [by administrative determination] the existing regions” following the establishment of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Congress merely followed the pattern set in previous legislation dating back to the initial organization of administrative regions in 1972. The choice of the President as delegate is logical because the division of the country into regions is intended to facilitate not only the administration of local governments but also the direction of executive departments which the law requires should have regional offices. As this Court observed in Abbas, “while the power to merge administrative regions is not expressly provided for in the Constitution, it is a power which has traditionally been lodged with the President to facilitate the exercise of the power of general supervision over local governments [see Art. X, §4 of the Constitution].” The regions themselves are not territorial and political divisions like provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays but are “mere groupings of contiguous provinces for administrative purposes.”
There is, therefore, no abdication by Congress of its legislative power in conferring on the President the power to merge administrative regions.
As to the question of standard, a legislative standard need not be expressed. It may simply be gathered or implied. Nor need it be found in the law challenged because it may be embodied in other statutes on the same subject as that of the challenged legislation.
With respect to the power to merge existing administrative regions, the standard is to be found in the same policy underlying the grant to the President in R.A. No. 5435 of the power to reorganize the Executive Department, to wit: “to promote simplicity, economy and efficiency in the government to enable it to pursue programs consistent with national goals for accelerated social and economic development and to improve the service in the transaction of the public business.” Indeed, as the original eleven administrative regions were established in accordance with this policy, it is logical to suppose that in authorizing the President to “merge [by administrative determination] the existing regions” in view of the withdrawal from some of those regions of the provinces now constituting the Autonomous Region, the purpose of Congress was to reconstitute the original basis for the organization of administrative regions.
The regrouping is done only on paper. It involves no more than are definition or redrawing of the lines separating administrative regions for the purpose of facilitating the administrative supervision of local government units by the President and insuring the efficient delivery of essential services. There will be no “transfer” of local governments from one region to another except as they may thus be regrouped so that a province like Lanao del Norte, which is at present part of Region XII, will become part of Region IX.
WHEREFORE, the petitions for certiorari and prohibition are DISMISSED for lack of merit.
TITLE: KURODA v. JALANDONI
FACTS: Executive Order No. 68 was issued by President Manuel Roxas establishing a National War Crimes Office prescribing rule and regulation governing the trial of accused war criminals.
Kuroda, a former Lieutenant-General of the Japanese Imperial Army and Commanding General of the Japanese Imperial Forcer in the Philippines, is charged before a military Commission for violation of war crimes. He has unlawfully disregarded and failed to discharge his duties and permitting his army to commit brutal atrocities and other high crimes against noncombatant civilians and prisoners of the Imperial Forces in violation of the laws and customs of war.
Kuroda has the following contentions:
a. EO 68 is unconstitutional enacted by the President having no legislative power.
b. The Military Commission has no jurisdiction to try petitioner for acts committed in violation of the Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention because the Philippines is not a the said convention.
ISSUE: (1) Whether or not EO 68 is constitutional.
(2) Whether or not the Hague Convention on Rules and Regulation covering Land Warfare shall be applicable to the Philippines.
HELD: Yes. Under the Constitution, “The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy and adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the nation.
In accordance with the generally accepted principle of international law, all those person military or civilian who have been guilty of planning, preparing or waging war of aggression and of the commission of crimes and offenses consequential and incidental thereto in violation of laws and customs of war, of humanity and civilization are held accountable therefore.
Consequently, in the promulgation and enforcement of EO 68, the President has acted in conformity with the generally accepted principles of international law which are part of our constitution.
The rules and regulation of the Hague and Geneva conventions form part of and are wholly based on the generally accepted principals of international law. Such rules 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 as continued in treaties to which our government may have been or shall be a signatory.
A military commission was empanelled to try Lt. Gen. Kuroda for violation of the laws and customs of land warfare. The commission was empanelled under the authority of EO 68 of the President.
Under our constitution, The Legislative powers shall be vested in a exclusively to the Congress of the Philippines, except for some exceptions which allow the President to enact laws.
EO 68 is essentially legislative in nature. It confers upon the military commissions jurisdictions to try all persons to try charge with war crimes.
EO 68 likewise violates the fundamental guarantees of the due process and equal protection of law.
Hence, EO 68 is void.
TITLE: SECRETARY OF JUSTICE VS LANTION GR139465, JAN 18, 2000
FACTS: The Department of Justice (DOJ) received from the Department of Foreign Affairs a request for the extradition of Mark Jimenez (MJ) to the US. Documents for said extradition (warrant of arrest, etc..) were attached along with the request. Charges against MJ were as follows: conspiracy, attempt to evade tax, false statement or entry, election contributions in the name of another.
The DOJ then proceeded with the technical evaluation and assessment of the extradition treaty. MJ then requested for copies of all the documents included in the extradition request however the Secretary of Justice denied request on the following grounds:
1. Premature to secure him copies prior to the completion of the evaluation. The DOJ is still evaluating whether the procedures and requirements under the relevant law (PD 1069-Philippine Extradition Law) and treaty (RP-US Extradition Treaty) have been complied with by the Requesting Government.
2. The U.S. requested for the prevention of unauthorized disclosure of the information in the documents.
MJ filed in the RTC-Manila for petition of mandamus, certiorari, and prohibition insisting on his constitutional right to due process (right to be furnished the request and supporting papers, right to be heard which consists in having a reasonable period of time to oppose the request, and to present evidence is support of the opposition). The RTC ruled in favor of the MJ. Secretary of Justice was made to issue a copy of the requested papers, as well as conducting further proceedings.
Thus this petition, arguing that Honorable Lantion (Presiding Judge of RTC Manila) acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in making such orders.
1. WON MJ is entitled to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the proceedings.
2. Would MJ’s entitlement to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the proceedings constitute a breach of the legal duties of the Philippine Government under the RP-Extradition Treaty?
HELD: 1. Yes. The evaluation process made by the DOJ sets the wheels for the extradition process which may ultimately result in the deprivation of the liberty of the prospective extradite. A favorable action in an extradition request exposes a person to eventual extradition to a foreign country, thus exhibiting the penal aspect of the process. The evaluation process itself is like a preliminary investigation since both procedures may have the same result – the arrest and imprisonment of the respondent. Clearly, there’s an impending threat to a prospective extraditee’s liberty as early as during the evaluation stage. Thus, the extraditee must be accorded due process rights of notice & hearing. The SC ruled that the private respondent be furnished a copy of the extradition request and its supporting papers and to give him a reasonable period of time within which to file his comment with supporting evidence.
2. In this case, there exists a clear conflict between the obligation of the Philippine Government to comply with the provisions of the treaty (granting due process to the extradition case causes delay in the extradition process) and its equally significant role of protection of its citizens of its right of due process.
The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with situations in which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the provisions of the constitution or statute of the local state. Efforts should be done to harmonize them. In a situation, however, where the conflict is irreconcilable and a choice has to be made between a rule of international law and municipal law, jurisprudence dictates that municipal law should be upheld by the municipal courts. The doctrine of incorporation decrees that rules of international law are given equal standing, but are not superior to, national legislative enactments.
In this case however, there is no conflict between international law and municipal law. The United States and the Philippines share a mutual concern about the suppression and punishment of crime in their respective jurisdictions. At the same time, both States accord common due process protection to their respective citizens. In fact, neither the Treaty nor the Extradition Law precludes the rights of due process from a prospective extradite.
Kapunan, separate concurring opinion: While the evaluation process conducted by the DOJ is not exactly a preliminary investigation of criminal cases, it is akin to a preliminary investigation because it involves the basic constitutional rights of the person sought to be extradited. A person ordered extradited is arrested, forcibly taken from his house, separated from his family and delivered to a foreign state. His rights of abode, to privacy, liberty and pursuit of happiness are taken away from him-a fate as harsh and cruel as a conviction of a criminal offense. For this reason, he is entitled to have access to the evidence against him and the right to controvert them.
Panganiban, dissenting: There are essentially 2 stages in extradition: 1. Preliminary or evaluation stage (where the executive authority of the requested state ascertains whether the extradition request is supported by the documents and information required under the extradition treaty) and 2. The extradition hearing. This instant petition refers only to the first stage which generally does not include the grant of notice and hearing to the prospective extraditee. The evaluation stage is essentially ministerial wherein there is merely an ascertainment of whether the extradition request is accompanied by proper requirements set forth by extradition laws and treaties. In the case at bar, there is really no threat of any deprivation of his liberty at the present stage of the extradition process. His requests will constitute “over-due process” and unnecessarily delay the proceedings.
Puno, dissenting: In extradition proceedings, there is no accused and the guilt or innocence will not be passed upon by our executive officials nor by the extradition judge. Hence constitutional rights that are only relevant to determine the guilt and innocence of an accused cannot be invoked by an extraditee. Case at bar does not involve guilt or innocence of an accused but the interpretation of an extradition treaty where at stake is our government’s international obligation to surrender to a foreign state a citizen of its own so he can be tried for an alleged offense committed within that jurisdiction.
TITLE: Alih vs. Gastro, Cruz, J.
FACTS: On November 25, 1984, a contingent of more than two hundred Philippine marines and elements of the home defense forces raided the compound occupied by the petitioners at Gov. Alvarez street, Zamboanga City, in search of loose firearms, ammunition and other explosives. The military operation was commonly known and dreaded as a “zona.” The initial reaction of the people inside the compound was to resist the invasion with a burst of gunfire. No one was hurt as presumably the purpose was merely to warn the intruders and deter them from entering. The soldiers returned fire and a bloody shoot-out ensued, resulting in a number of casualties.
The besieged compound surrendered the following morning, and sixteen male occupants were arrested, later to be finger-printed, paraffin-tested and photographed over their objection. The military also inventoried and confiscated nine M16 rifles, one M14 rifle, nine rifle grenades, and several rounds of ammunition found in the premises.
On December 21, 1984, the petitioners filed with the Supreme Court a petition for prohibition and mandamus with preliminary injunction and restraining order. Their purpose was to recover the articles seized from them, to prevent these from being used as evidence against them, and to challenge their finger-printing, photographing and paraffin-testing as violative of their right against self-incrimination.
The Court, treating the petition as an injunction suit with a prayer for the return of the articles alleged to have been illegally seized, referred it for hearing to Judge Omar Amin of RTC, Zamboanga City for reception of evidence.
ISSUE: WoN the search conducted was legal and the arms collected admissible as evidence
HELD: The search is illegal and all the articles seized as a result thereof are inadmissible in evidence against the petitioners in any proceedings. However, the said articles shall remain in custodia legis pending the outcome of the criminal cases. Article IV, Section 3, of the 1973 Constitution provides:
“Sec. 3. The rights of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall not be violated, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined by the judge, or such other responsible officer as may be authorized by law, after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
It was also declared in Article IV, Section 4(2) that
“Sec. 4(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.”
The respondents, while admitting the absence of the required search warrant, sought to justify their act on the ground that they were acting under superior orders. There was also the suggestion that the measure was necessary because of the aggravation of the peace and order problem generated by the assassination of Mayor Cesar Climaco. “Superior orders” cannot countermand the Constitution. The fact that the petitioners were suspected of the Climaco killing did not excuse the constitutional short-cuts the respondents took.
The precarious state of lawlessness in Zamboanga City at the time in question certainly did not excuse the non-observance of the constitutional guaranty against unreasonable searches and seizures. There was no state of hostilities in the area to justify, assuming it could, the repressions committed therein against the petitioners. It is also fallacious to conclude that the petitioners were unquestionably guilty on the strength alone of unsubstantiated reports that they were stockpiling weapons.
The record does not disclose that the petitioners were wanted criminals or fugitives from justice. At the time of the “zona,” they were merely suspected of the mayor’s slaying and had not in fact even been investigated for it. As mere suspects, they were presumed innocent and not guilty as summarily pronounced by the military. Indeed, even if they were, they would not have been any less entitled to the protection of the Constitution, which covers both the innocent and the guilty.
The respondents cannot even plead the urgency of the raid because it was in fact not urgent. They knew where the petitioners were. They had every opportunity to get a search warrant before making the raid. If they were worried that the weapons inside the compound would be spirited away, they could have surrounded the premises in the meantime, as a preventive measure.
If follows that as the search of the petitioners’ premises was violative of the Constitution, all the firearms and ammunition taken from the raided compound are inadmissible in evidence in any of the proceedings against the petitioners. These articles are “fruits of the poisonous tree.”
TITLE: ARTHUR D. LIM and PAULINO R. ERSANDO, petitioners,
HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY as alter ego of HER EXCELLENCEY GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, and HONORABLE ANGELO REYES in his capacity as Secretary of National Defense, respondents. April 11, 2002
FACTS: Beginning January 2002, personnel from the Armed Forced of the US started arriving in Mindanao to take part, in conjunction with the AFP, in Balikatan 02-1. The exercise is rooted in the international campaign of the USA against terrorism, and pursuant to the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the USA.
Arthur Lim, Paulino Ersando, SANLAKAS, and PM, all files a petition for certiorari and prohibition attacking the constitutionality of the joint military exercise; they argued that the Mutual Defense Treaty and the VFA do not authorize American soldiers to engage in combat operations in the Philippine territory.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Balikatan 02-1 violates the constitution, and whether or not American soldiers can engage in combat in the Philippines.
HELD: On the first issue: no. The VFA permits US personnel to engage in “activities,” the exact meaning of which was left undefined. But the sole encumbrance placed on its definition is cuched in the negative, in that the US personnel must “abstain from any activity inconsistent with the spirit of this agreement, and in particular, from anu political activity.” All other activities are fair game.
It appeared farfetched that the ambiguity surrounding the meaning of the word “activity” arose from accident. It was deliberately made that way to give both parties a certain leeway in negotiation. As conceived, joint exercises may include training on new techniques of patrol and surveillance to protect the marine resources, sea search and rescue operations. Disaster relief operations, civic action project, and the like.
Under these auspices, the VFA gives legitimacy to the current Balikatan 02-1, “a ‘mutual anti-terrorism advising, assisting, and training exercise,” falls under the umbrella of sanctioned activities in the context of the agreement.
On the second issue: no. Neither the MDT nor the VFA allow foreign troops to engage in a offensive war on Philippine territory. The constitution further disallows such combat activity. From the perspective of international law, a treaty is favored over municipal law pursuant to the principle of pacta sunct servanda. Furthermore, a party to a treaty is not allowed to invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty. However, the constitution has vested the courts to review, revise , reverse, mdify, or affirm, on appeal on certiorari any treaty in violation of the constitution.
As enunciated in Gonzales vs. Hechanove, the SC may not be deprived of such power. Constitution authorizes the nullification of a treaty, not only when it conflicts with the fundamental law, but, also, when it runs counter to an act of congress. Notwithstanding the principle on pacta sunct servanda, from the perspective of municipal law, the international law cannot reign supreme over the local laws. Thus, notwithstanding any provision in the UN charter allowing foreign troops to engaged in offensive combat activities in the country, the US personnel engaging in the Balikatan 02-1 pursuant to the VFA may not engage in any offensive combat therein.
TITLE: Calalang vs. Williams
FACTS (Laurel, J.): The National Traffic Commission, in its resolution of 17 July 1940, resolved to recommend to the Director of Public Works and to the Secretary of Public Works and Communications that animal-drawn vehicles be prohibited from passing along Rosario Street extending from Plaza Calderon de la Barca to Dasmariñas Street, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and along Rizal Avenue extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo Street to Echague Street, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., from a period of one year from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic. The Chairman of the National Traffic Commission recommended to the Director of Public Works the adoption of the measure proposed in the resolution, in pursuance of the provisions of Commonwealth Act 548, which authorizes said Director of Public Works, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, to promulgate rules and regulations to regulate and control the use of and traffic on national roads. On 2 August 1940, the Director of Public Works, in his first indorsement to the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, recommended to the latter the approval of the recommendation made by the Chairman of the National Traffic Commission, with the modification that the closing of Rizal Avenue to traffic to animal-drawn vehicles be limited to the portion thereof extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo Street to Azcarraga Street. On 10 August 1940, the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, in his second indorsement addressed to the Director of Public Works, approved the recommendation of the latter that Rosario Street and Rizal Avenue be closed to traffic of animal-drawn vehicles, between the points and during the hours as indicated, for a period of 1 year from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic. The Mayor of Manila and the Acting Chief of Police of Manila have enforced and caused to be enforced the rules and regulations thus adopted. Maximo Calalang, in his capacity as a private citizen and as a taxpayer of Manila, brought before the Supreme court the petition for a writ of prohibition against A. D. Williams, as Chairman of the National Traffic Commission; Vicente Fragante, as Director of Public Works; Sergio Bayan, as Acting Secretary of Public Works and Communications; Eulogio Rodriguez, as Mayor of the City of Manila; and Juan Dominguez, as Acting Chief of Police of Manila.
ISSUE: Whether the rules and regulations promulgated by the Director of Public Works infringe upon the constitutional precept regarding the promotion of social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all the people.
HELD: No. The promotion of social justice is to be achieved not through a mistaken sympathy towards any given group. Social justice is “neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy,” but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated. Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est suprema lex. Social justice, therefore, must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of interdependence among divers and diverse units of a society and of the protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our social and economic life, consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state of promoting the health, comfort, and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about “the greatest good to the greatest number.”
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the Writ of Prohibition Prayed for is hereby denied, with costs against the petitioner.
TITLE: POSTIGO v. Philippine Tuberculosis Society
24 January 2006 | Quisumbing, J;
FACTS: Dr. Perla Postigo, et al., were regular employees of PTSI. They retired on various dates from 1996 to 1998. Upon retirement from service, some of the petitioners who were compulsory members of Govt. Service Insurance System (GSIS) obtained retirement benefits from the GSIS. At the time petitioners retired, Art. 287 (Retirement) of the Labor Code had been amended by R.A. 7641 (The Retirement Pay Law). R.A. 7641 granted retirement pay to qualified employees in the private sector, in the absence of any retirement plan or agreement with the company. Petitioners claimed from the respondent their retirement benefits under R.A. 7641 because the respondent did not have a retirement plan for its employees, aside from its contribution to the GSIS. The respondent denied their claims on the ground that the accommodation extended by the GSIS to the petitioners removed them from the coverage of the law. Petitioners sought the opinion of the Bureau of Working Conditions of DOLE which confirmed their entitlement to the retirement benefits provided in R.A 7641. The same opinion was rendered by the respondent’s legal counsel, Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento, to its BOD, but the respondent still refused to pay the petitioners their retirement benefits. The petitioners then filed a complaint before the Labor Arbiter (LA) which ruled that petitioners were entitled to the retirement benefits under R.A 7641. Respondent appealed to NLRC which dismissed the appeal for failure to post the required cash or security bond. Instead of posting the required cash or security bond, respondent filed a Motion to Reduce Bond on the ground of erroneous computation by the LA of the monetary award. CA reversed the NLRC’s decision and held that the requirement of posting an appeal bond has been substantially satisfied.
ISSUE: Are petitioners entitled to the retirement benefits under R.A. 7641?
HELD: YES, they are entitled to the retirement benefits provided in R.A. 7641. RA 7641 or the Retirement Pay Law shall apply to all employees in the private sector, regardless of their position, designation or status and irrespective of the method by which their wages are paid. They shall include part-time employees, employees of service and other job contractors and domestic helpers or persons in the personal service of another. The law does not cover employees of retail, service and agricultural establishments or operations employing not more than (10) employees or workers and employees of the National Government and its political subdivisions, including Government-owned and/or controlled corporations, if they are covered by the Civil Service Law and its regulations.
In the present case, respondent is a non-profit but private corporation organized under the Corporation Code, and the petitioners are covered by the Labor Code, and not by the Civil Service Law. Since the petitioners are employees in the private sector, they are entitled to the retirement benefits of R.A. 7641. Even assuming that by virtue of their compulsory inclusion in the GSIS, the petitioners became employees in the public sector, they are still entitled to the benefits of R.A 7641 since they are not covered by the Civil Service Law and its regulations. The accommodation under R.A. 7641 extending GSIS coverage to PTSI employees did not take away from the petitioners the beneficial coverage afforded by R.A. 7641. Hence, the retirement pay payable under Art. 287 of the Labor Code should be considered apart from the retirement benefits claimable by the petitioners under the Social Security Law or, as in this case, the GSIS Law.
2 classes of corp. recognized by the 1987 Consti:
(1) Private Corp. created under a general law (Corp. Code)
-covered by the provisions of Labor Code
(2) GOCCs created by special charters
-covered by the Civil Service Law
TITLE: Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Company, PT & T,
National Labor Relations Commission and Grace de Guzman, respondents.
FACTS: Grace de Guzman was initially hired by PT & T as a reliever as a “Supernumerary Project Worker,” for a fixed period in place of an employee who went on maternity leave. Under the Reliever Agreement, her employment was to be immediately terminated upon expiration of the agreed period. Her services were again engaged as a reliever which was likewise terminated pursuant to the Reliever Agreement. She was finally asked to join the company as a probationary employee, the probationary period to cover 150 days. In the job application form that was furnished her to be filled up for the purpose, she indicated in the portion for civil status therein that she was single although she had contracted marriage a few months earlier. When PT & T supposedly learned about the same later, its branch supervisor in Baguio City, sent Grace a memorandum requiring her to explain the discrepancy. In that memorandum, she was reminded about the company’s policy of not accepting married women for employment. Unsatisfied of her explanation, PT & T dismissed her from employment. She then filed a complaint for illegal dismissal with the Labor Abiter. At the preliminary conference, Grace volunteered the information, and this was incorporated in the stipulation of facts between the parties, that she had failed to remit the amount of P2,380.75 of her collections. She then executed a promissory note for that amount in favor of PT & T. The Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of Grace and declared that she already gained the status of a regular employee and was illegally dismissed. The Labor Arbiter ordered her reinstatement with backwages it being apparent that she had been discriminated against on account of her having contracted marriage in violation of company rules. The NLRC affirmed the Labor Arbiter’s decision with the modification that Grace de Guzman deserved to be suspended for three months in view of the dishonest nature of her acts which should not be condoned. PT & T’s motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not Grace de Guzman’s dismissal was justified.
HELD: No. There are numerous laws which support and command the State to ensure equal treatment and employment opportunities for both men and women. The Constitution, cognizant of the disparity in rights between men and women in almost all phases of social and political life, provides a gamut of protective provisions.
Art. 136 of the Labor Code explicitly prohibits discrimination merely by reason of the marriage of a female employee. In the case at bar, PT & T’s policy of not accepting or considering as disqualified from work any woman worker who contracts marriage runs afoul of the test of, and the right against, discrimination, afforded all women workers by our labor laws and by no less than the Constitution. Contrary to PT & T’s assertion that it dismissed Grace from employment on account of her dishonesty, the record discloses clearly that her ties with the company were dissolved principally because of the company’s policy that married women are not qualified for employment in PT & T, and not merely because of her supposed acts of dishonesty. Verily, Grace’s act of concealing the true nature of her status from PT & T could not be properly characterized as willful or in bad faith as she was moved to act the way she did mainly because she wanted to retain a permanent job in a stable company. While loss of confidence is a just cause for termination of employment, it should not be simulated. It must rest on an actual breach of duty committed by the employee and not on the employer’s caprices. Furthermore, it should never be used as a subterfuge for causes which are improper, illegal, or unjustified. In the present controversy, PT & T’s expostulations that it dismissed Grace, not because the latter got married but because she concealed that fact. This Court should be spared the ennui of strained reasoning and the tedium of propositions which confuse through less than candid arguments. Indeed, PT & T glosses over the fact that it was its unlawful policy against married women, both on the aspects of qualification and retention, which compelled Grace to conceal her supervenient marriage. It was, however, that very policy alone which was the cause of Grace’s secretive conduct now complained of. It is then apropos to recall the familiar saying that he who is the cause of the cause is the cause of the evil caused. Finally, PT & T’s collateral insistence on the admission of Grace that she supposedly misappropriated company funds, as an additional ground to dismiss her from employment, is somewhat insincere and self-serving. The fact is that she was dismissed solely because of her concealment of her marital status, and not on the basis of that supposed defalcation of company funds. That the labor arbiter would thus consider PT & T’s submissions on this supposed dishonesty as a mere afterthought, just to bolster its case for dismissal, is a perceptive conclusion born of experience in labor cases. Grace, it must be observed, had gained regular status at the time of her dismissal. When she was served her walking papers on January 29, 1992, she was about to complete the probationary period of 150 days as she was contracted as a probationary employee on September 2, 1991. That her dismissal would be effected just when her probationary period was winding down clearly raises the plausible conclusion that it was done in order to prevent her from earning security of tenure. On the other hand, her earlier stints with the company as reliever were undoubtedly those of a regular employee, even if the same were for fixed periods, as she performed activities which were essential or necessary in the usual trade and business of PT & T. Further, it is not relevant that the rule is not directed against all women but just against married women. And, where the employer discriminates against married women, but not against married men, the variable is sex and the discrimination is unlawful. Upon the other hand, a requirement that a woman employee must remain unmarried could be justified as a “bona fide occupational qualification,” or BFOQ, where the particular requirements of the job would justify the same, but not on the ground of a general principle, such as the desirability of spreading work in the workplace. A requirement of that nature would be valid provided it reflects an inherent quality reasonably necessary for satisfactory job performance. PT & T’s policy is not only in derogation of the provisions of Article 136 of the Labor Code on the right of a woman to be free from any kind of stipulation against marriage in connection with her employment, but it likewise assaults good morals and public policy, tending as it does to deprive a woman of the freedom to choose her status, a privilege that by all accounts inheres in the individual as an intangible and inalienable right. Carried to its logical consequences, it may even be said that PT & T’s policy against legitimate marital bonds would encourage illicit or common-law relations and subvert the sacrament of marriage. In the final reckoning, the danger of just such a policy against marriage followed by PT & T PT & T is that it strikes at the very essence, ideals and purpose of marriage as an inviolable social institution and, ultimately, of the family as the foundation of the nation.
TITLE: Oposa vs. Factoran (224 SCRA 792)
FACTS: Petitioners were all minors represented by respective parents and Philippine Ecological Network, Inc. (PENI), a domestic corporation engaged in concerted action geared for the protection of our environment and natural resources. Defendant Factoran, Jr., was then Secretary of the DENR. Petitioners pray that defendant should cancel all existing timber license agreements and cease from engaging on timber license agreements for petitioners were concerned about the preservation of our natural resources. They alleged that due to this timber license agreements, our natural resources are depleting because of deforestation which would result to global warming and other calamities.
Petitioner invoked Art. II sec. 16 of the Constitution. Judge dismissed the complaint with the following grounds:
1. there is no cause of action
2. it is a political question
3. it would result in the impairment of contracts
ISSUE: WoN the judge erred in ruling against petitioners? –> yes.
HELD: Section 16, Art II of the Constitution states that “The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.”
While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is to be found under the Declaration of Principles and State Policies and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not follow that it is less important than any of the civil and political rights enumerated in the latter. Such a right belongs to a different category of rights altogether for it concerns nothing less than self-preservation and self-perpetuation – aptly and fittingly stressed by the petitioners – the advancement of which may even be said to predate all governments and constitutions. As a matter of fact, these basic rights need not even be written in the Constitution for they are assumed to exist from the inception of humankind. If they are now explicitly mentioned in the fundamental charter, it is because of the well-founded fear of its framers that unless the rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and to health are mandated as state policies by the Constitution itself, thereby highlighting their continuing importance and imposing upon the state a solemn obligation to preserve the first and protect and advance the second, the day would not be too far when all else would be lost not only for the present generation, but also for those to come – generations which stand to inherit nothing but parched earth incapable of sustaining life.
The right to a balanced and healthful ecology carries with it the correlative duty to refrain from impairing the environment.
The judge erred in ruling against petitioners because there is a cause of action, it is not a political question and it does not impair contracts as guaranteed by our Constitution.
Insofar as the impairment of contracts is concerned, timber license is not a contract protected by our Constitution. A timber license is an instrument by which the State regulates the utilization and disposition of forest resources to the end that public welfare is promoted. A timber license is not a contract within the purview of the due process clause; it is only a license or privilege, which can be validly withdrawn whenever dictated by public interest or public welfare as in this case.
SC: Petition GRANTED.
TITLE: VENECIO VILLAR, INOCENCIO F. RECITIS, NOVERTO BARRETO, RUFINO G. SALCON, JR., EDGARDO DE LEON, JR., REGLOBEN LAXAMANA, and ROMEO GUILATCO, JR., petitioners,
TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF THE PHILIPPINES (TIP), DEMETRIO A. QUIRINO, JR., in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of TIP, TERESITA U. QUIRINO, in her capacity as President of TIP, and OSCAR M. SOLIVEN, in his capacity as Vice-President/Dean for Students and Alumni Affairs of TIP, respondents.
FACTS: The following students of the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) were denied enrollment in the following school year by reason of their exercise of freedom of assembly:
STUDENTS ACADEMIC RECORD SY Salcon, Jr. 1 failing grade ’84 – 85 Guilatco, Jr. 1 failing grade ’84 – 85 Villar 3 failing grades ’83 – 84 Recitis 1 failing grade
2 failing grades ’83 – 84
’84 – 85 Barreto 11 failing grades
6 failing grades ’83 – 84
’84 – 85 De Leon, Jr. 3 failing grades out of 4 ’84 – 85 Laxamana 5 failing grades out of 5 ’84 – 85
Hence a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition was filed by the petitioners herein. The following academic records were also taken into consideration in deciding the right to enroll in TIP.
ISSUE: Whether or not the exercise of the freedom of assembly can be a basis for denial to enroll of students.
HELD: The Court held in the negative. In the Malabanan v. Ramento decision, this Court held that the invocation of the right to freedom of peaceable assembly and the right to free speech are embraced in the concept of freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is identified with the liberty to discuss publicly and truthfully, any matter of public interest without censorship or punishment and which is not to be limited, much less denied, except on a showing of a clear and present danger of a substantive evil that the state has a right to prevent.
Therefore, the petition is granted to petitioners Villar, Recitis, Salcon, Jr. and Guilatco, Jr. nullifying the action taken by respondents in violation of their constitutional rights.
However, petitioners Barreto, de Leon, Jr. and Laxamana could be denied enrollment in view of such failing grades. The constitutional provision on academic freedom enjoyed by institutions of higher learning justifies such refusal. The academic freedom enjoyed by “institutions of higher learning” includes the right to set academic standards to determine under what circumstances failing grades suffice for the expulsion of students. Therefore, TIP is under no obligation to admit them this coming academic year.
Also stated in the case:
What cannot be stressed too sufficiently is that among the most important social, economic, and cultural rights is the right to education not only in the elementary and high school grades but also on the college level. The constitutional provision as to the State maintaining “a system of free public elementary education and, in areas where finances permit, establish and maintain a system of free public education” up to the high school level does not per se exclude the exercise of that right in colleges and universities.
Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides: “Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.”
TITLE: Soriao v Pineda (Court of Appeals decision)
FACTS: Louie Soriao was an high school student in the sub province of Dinalungan Aurora (SY1993-1994). Due to his reputation of talking back to the school authority during the past years, he was refused readmission to complete his fourth and final year of high school through a verbal notice not to readmit.
Soriano questioned the notice, averring he was deprived of a hearing on the matter and thus the verbal notice was a denial of his right to due process.
The administration ignored the student’s plea to reconsider its decision to deny him readmission claiming, “it was their prerogative” .
Seeking further remedies to no avail, Soriano filed a petition for certiorari to the CA
ISSUE: WON Soriao was denied his right to education?
HELD:The Court of Appeals, invoking The 1987 Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ordered Araceli R. Pineda, Head Teacher II of Juan C. Angara Memorial High School, Dinalungan, Aurora to allow Louie Soriao to enroll and to study after he was meted out a disciplinary action without due process of law,(Sec 1 & 2 Art XIV, Sec 13 & 17 Art II)
TITLE: PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF SERVICE EXPORTERS, INC vs DRILON
FACTS: PASEI assailed the constitutionality of department order no.1 of the Department of Labor and Employment, stating that such measure is for discrimination against females, and does not apply to all workers but only to domestic helpers and females with similar skills and it is violation of the right to travel, it is also likewise violation of the exercise of police power, because police power being legislative and not executive, in character.
ISSUE: Whether or not the department order is constitutional.
HELD: Yes. The department order applies only to female contract workers but it does not make an undue discrimination between sexes, equality before the law under the constitution does not import a perfect identity rights among all men and women, it admits classifications, provided that 1. Such classifications rest on substantial distinctions; 2. They are germane to the purposes of the law;3. They are not confined to existing conditions; 4. They all apply equally to all members of the same class. The classification made to female workers rest on substantial distinctions. Women Domestic workers abroad are being ill treated in a massive basis, there’s no evidence that men suffers the same.
The deployment ban is not a violation of the right to travel because the right to travel is subject, among other things to the requirements of public safety.
It is a settled rule that police power is primarily lodged in the legislative, but is doesn’t mean that such power may not be validly delegated, the Labor code vest the DOLE with the rule making powers in the enforcement whereof.
TITLE: ASSOCIATION OF PHILIPPINE COCONUT DESICCATORS V. PHILIPPINE COCONUT AUTHORITY
APCD brought this suit for certiorari and mandamus against PCA to invalidate the latter’s Board Resolution No. 018-93 and the certificates of registration issued under it on the ground that the resolution in question is beyond the power of the PCA to adopt, and to compel said administrative agency to comply instead with the mandatory provisions of statutes regulating the desiccated coconut industry, in particular, and the coconut industry, in general.
On November 5, 1992, seven desiccated coconut processing companies belonging to the APCD brought suit in the RTC of Makati to enjoin the PCA from issuing permits to certain applicants for the establishment of new desiccated coconut processing plants. APCD alleged that the issuance of licenses to the applicants would violate PCA’s Administrative Order No. 02, series of 1991, as the applicants were seeking permits to operate in areas considered “congested” under the administrative order.
On November 6, 1992, the trial court issued a temporary restraining order and, on November 25, 1992, a writ of preliminary injunction, enjoining the PCA from processing and issuing licenses to Primex Products, Inc., Coco Manila, Superstar (Candelaria) and Superstar (Davao) upon the posting of a bond in the amount of P100,000.00.
Subsequently and while the case was pending in the RTC, the Governing Board of the PCA issued on March 24, 1993 Resolution No. 018-93, providing for the withdrawal of the PCA from all regulation of the coconut product processing industry. While it continues the registration of coconut product processors, the registration would be limited to the “monitoring” of their volumes of production and administration of quality standards.
The PCA then proceeded to issue “certificates of registration” to those wishing to operate desiccated coconut processing plants, prompting APCD to appeal to the Office of the President of the Philippines on April 26, 1993 not to approve the resolution in question. Despite follow-up letters sent on May 25 and June 2, 1993, APCD received no reply from the Office of the President. The “certificates of registration” issued in the meantime by the PCA has enabled a number of new coconut mills to operate.
Whether or not PCA Board Resolution No. 018-93 is null and void for being an undue exercise of legislative power by an administrative body.
YES. PCA Resolution No. 018-93 and all certificates of registration issued under it are hereby declared NULL and VOID for having been issued in excess of the power of the PCA to adopt or issue.
Under Art. II, § 3(a) of the Revised Coconut Code (P.D. No. 1468), the role of the PCA is “To formulate and adopt a general program of development for the coconut and other palm oil industry in all its aspects.” By limiting the purpose of registration to merely “monitoring volumes of production [and] administration of quality standards” of coconut processing plants, the PCA in effect abdicates its role and leaves it almost completely to market forces how the coconut industry will develop.
Instead of determining the qualifications of market players and preventing the entry into the field of those who are unfit, the PCA now relies entirely on competition – with all its wastefulness and inefficiency – to do the weeding out, in its naive belief in survival of the fittest. The result can very well be a repeat of 1982 when free enterprise degenerated into a “free-for-all,” resulting in cut-throat competition, underselling, the production of inferior products and the like, which badly affected the foreign trade performance of the coconut industry.
Our Constitutions, beginning with the 1935 document, have repudiated laissez-faire as an economic principle. Although the present Constitution enshrines free enterprise as a policy, it nonetheless reserves to the government the power to intervene whenever necessary to promote the general welfare.
At all events, any change in policy must be made by the legislative department of the government. The regulatory system has been set up by law. It is beyond the power of an administrative agency to dismantle it.
TITLE: BASCO v PAGCOR, G.R. No. 91649, 5/14/91
FACTS: PAGCOR was created under PD 1869 to enable the Government to regulate and centralize all games of chance authorized by existing franchise permitted by law. The instant petition sees to annul PD 1869 because it is allegedly contrary to morals, public policy and order, and to the declared national policy of the “new restored democracy” and the people’s will as expressed in the 1987 Constitution. The decree is said to have a “gambling objective” and therefore is contrary to Sections 11 (Personal Dignity and Human Rights), 12 (Family) and 13 (Role of Youth) of Article II, Sec. 1 (Social Justice) of Article VIII and Sec. 2 (Educational Values) of Article XIV of the present Constitution.
ISSUE: Whether or not the PAGCOR Charter runs counter to the state policies enunciated in Sections 11, 12 and 13 of Article II, Sec. 1 of Article VIII and Sec. 3 (2) of Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution.
Suffice it to state that these provisions are merely statements of principles and policies. As such, they are basically not self – executing, meaning a law should be passed by Congress to clearly define and effectuate such principles.
Every law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality. Therefore, for PD 1869 to be nullified, it must be shown that there is a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not merely a doubtful and equivocal one. In other words, the grounds for nullity must be clear and beyond reasonable doubt. Based on the grounds raised by petitioners to challenge the constitutionality of PD 1869, the Court finds that petitioners have failed to overcome the presumption. The dismissal of this petition is therefore, inevitable. But as to whether PD 1869 remains a wise legislation considering the issues of “morality, monopoly, trend to free enterprise, privatization as well as the state principles on social justice, role of youth and educational values” being raised, is up for the Congress to determine.
Separate Concurring Opinion:
Padilla, J.: I do not subscribe to gambling in any form. It demeans the human personality, destroys self-confidence and eviscerates one’s self-respect, which in the long run will corrode whatever is left of the Filipino moral character. Gambling is reprehensible whether maintained by government or privatized. The revenues realized by the government out of “legalized” gambling will, in the long run, be more than offset and negated by the irreparable damage to the people’s moral values. I submit that the sooner the legislative department outlaws all forms of gambling, as a fundamental state policy, and the sooner the executive implements such policy, the better it will be for the nation.
Pamatong vs. Commission on Elections
[GR 161872, 13 April 2004]
En Banc, Tinga (J): 12 concur
Facts: Rev. Elly Velez Pamatong filed his Certificate of Candidacy for President on 17 December 2003. COMELEC refused to give due course to Pamatong’s Certificate of Candidacy. The decision, however, was not unanimous since Commissioners Luzviminda G. Tancangco and Mehol K. Sadain voted to include Pamatong as they believed he had parties or movements to back up his candidacy. On 15 January 2004, Pamatong moved for reconsideration. The COMELEC, acting on Pamatong’s MR and on similar motions filed by other aspirants for national elective positions, denied the same under the aegis of Omnibus Resolution. The COMELEC declared Pamatong and 35 others nuisance candidates who could not wage a nationwide campaign and/or are not nominated by a political party or are not supported by a registered political party with a national constituency. Commissioner Sadain maintained his vote for Pamatong. By then, Commissioner Tancangco had retired.
Pamatong filed the Petition For Writ of Certiorari, seeking to reverse the resolutions which were allegedly rendered in violation of his right to “equal access to opportunities for public service” under Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, by limiting the number of qualified candidates only to those who can afford to wage a nationwide campaign and/or are nominated by political parties. In so doing, Pamatong argues that the COMELEC indirectly amended the constitutional provisions on the electoral process and limited the power of the sovereign people to choose their leaders. The COMELEC supposedly erred in disqualifying him since he is the most qualified among all the presidential candidates, i.e., he possesses all the constitutional and legal qualifications for the office of the president, he is capable of waging a national campaign since he has numerous national organizations under his leadership, he also has the capacity to wage an international campaign since he has practiced law in other countries, and he has a platform of government. Pamatong likewise attacks the validity of the form for the Certificate of Candidacy prepared by the COMELEC. Pamatong claims that the form does not provide clear and reasonable guidelines for determining the qualifications of candidates since it does not ask for the candidate’s bio-data and his program of government.
Issue: Whether there is a constitutional right to run for or hold public office and, particularly, to seek the presidency.
Held: NO. There is no constitutional right to run for or hold public office and, particularly, to seek the presidency. What is recognized is merely a privilege subject to limitations imposed by law.
Section 26, Article II of the Constitution neither bestows such a right nor elevates the privilege to the level of an enforceable right. There is nothing in the plain language of the provision which suggests such a thrust or justifies an interpretation of the sort. The “equal access” provision is a subsumed part of Article II of the Constitution, entitled “Declaration of Principles and State Policies.” The provisions under the Article are generally considered not self-executing, and there is no plausible reason for according a different treatment to the “equal access” provision. Like the rest of the policies enumerated in Article II, the provision does not contain any judicially enforceable constitutional right but merely specifies a guideline for legislative or executive action. The disregard of the provision does not give rise to any cause of action before the courts. An inquiry into the intent of the framers produces the same determination that the provision is not self-executory.
The original wording of the present Section 26, Article II had read, “The State shall broaden opportunities to public office and prohibit public dynasties.” Commissioner (now Chief Justice) Hilario Davide, Jr. successfully brought forth an amendment that changed the word “broaden” to the phrase “ensure equal access,” and the substitution of the word “office” to “service.” The provision is not intended to compel the State to enact positive measures that would accommodate as many people as possible into public office. The approval of the “Davide amendment” indicates the design of the framers to cast the provision as simply enunciatory of a desired policy objective and not reflective of the imposition of a clear State burden.
Moreover, the provision as written leaves much to be desired if it is to be regarded as the source of positive rights. It is difficult to interpret the clause as operative in the absence of legislation since its effective means and reach are not properly defined. Words and phrases such as “equal access,” “opportunities,” and “public service” are susceptible to countless interpretations owing to their inherent impreciseness. Certainly, it was not the intention of the framers to inflict on the people an operative but amorphous foundation from which innately unenforceable rights may be sourced.
The privilege of equal access to opportunities to public office may be subjected to limitations. Some valid limitations specifically on the privilege to seek elective office are found in the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code on “Nuisance Candidates” and a COMELEC Resolution outlining the instances wherein the COMELEC may motu proprio refuse to give due course to or cancel a Certificate of Candidacy. As long as the limitations apply to everybody equally without discrimination, however, the equal access clause is not violated. Equality is not sacrificed as long as the burdens engendered by the limitations are meant to be borne by any one who is minded to file a certificate of candidacy. Herein, there is no showing that any person is exempt from the limitations or the burdens which they create.
TITLE: Valentin Legaspi vs Civil Service Commission
FACTS: Cortes, J:
The fundamental right of the people to information on matters of public concern is invoked in a special civil action for mandamus instituted by petitioner against respondent. The latter previously refused petitioner’s request for information on the civil service eligibilities of certain persons employed as sanitarians in the Health Department of Cebu city.
He claims that his right to be informed of the eligibilities of Sibonghanoy and Agas, is guaranteed by the Constitution, petitioner prays for the issuance of a writ of mandamus to compel the respondent to disclose said information.
Representing the government, the Solicitor General alleges that petitioner does not have legal standing to sue as he does not possess any clear legal right to be informed of the civil service eligibilities of the government employees concerned. And that there is no ministerial duty on the part of the Commission to furnish the petitioner with the information he seeks and that the information is not of public concern.
a. Whether petitioner has legal standing.
b. Whether petitioner has a right to the information that he seeks.
a. The court held in the affirmative.
Petitioner anchored his case upon the right of the people to information on matters of public concern, which, by nature, is a public right. Therefore it becomes apparent that when mandamus proceedings involves that assertion of a public right, the requirement of personal interest is satisfied by the mere fact that petitioner is a citizen.
b. The court held in the affirmative.
Article III, sec. 7 of the 1987 Constitution provides “The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, xxx shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.”
It is clear therefore, that government agencies are without discretion in refusing disclosure of, or access to, information of public concern. They may only impose reasonable regulation requirements on the manner in which the said right may be exercised. The right, however, is not absolute; information affecting national security is an exception to the rule.
It is the burden of the government agency concerned to prove that the information requested is not of public concern, or if it is of public concern, the law exempts it. To safeguard the constitutional right, every denial of access by the government agency concerned is subject to review by the courts, and in the proper case, access may be compelled by a writ of Mandamus.
The respondent has failed to cite any provision in the Civil Service Law which would limit the petitioner’s right to know who are, and who are not, civil service eligible. We take judicial notice of the fact that the names of those who pass the civil service examinations, as in bar examinations and licensure examinations for various professions, are released to the public.
TITLE: MA. CARMEN G. AQUINO-SARMIENTO vs. MANUEL L. MORATO
FACTS: Petitioner Sarmiento is a member of respondent Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). She requested that she be allowed to examine the board’s records pertaining to the voting slips accomplished by the individual board members after a review of the movies and television productions. It is on the basis of said slips that films are either banned, cut or classified accordingly.
The records officer informed petitioner that she has to secure prior clearance from Chairman Manuel Morato.
Petitioner’s request was denied on the ground that whenever the members of the board sit in judgment over a film, their decisions as reflected in the individual voting slips partake the nature of conscience votes and as such, are purely and completely private and personal.
It is the submission of respondents that the individual voting slips is the exclusive property of the member concerned and anybody who wants access thereto must first secure the member’s consent.
Petitioner argues that the records she wishes to examine are public in character and other than providing for reasonable conditions regulating the manner and hours of examination, respondents have no authority to deny any citizen seeking examination of the board’s records.
ISSUE: Whether or not Petitioner has a right to access the records of the MTRCB pertaining to voting slips accomplished by the individual board members.
HELD: Yes. What may be provided for by the Legislature are reasonable conditions and limitations upon the access to be afforded which must, of necessity, be consistent with the declared State Policy of full public disclosure of all transactions involving public interest (Constitution, Art. II, Sec. 28).
The decisions of the Board and the individual voting slips accomplished by the members concerned are acts made pursuant to their official functions, and as such, are neither personal nor private in nature but rather public in character. They are, therefore, public records access to which is guaranteed to the citizenry by no less than the fundamental law of the land. Being a public right, the exercise thereof cannot be made contingent on the discretion, nay, whim and caprice, of the agency charged with the custody of the official records sought to be examined. The constitutional recognition of the citizen’s right of access to official records cannot be made dependent upon the consent of the members of the board concerned, otherwise, the said right would be rendered nugatory.
POLITICAL LAW REVIEW