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Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the Philippines vs.

Duque III
Nature: Special Civil Action in the Supreme Court. Certiorari
Petitioner: Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines
Respondents: DOH Sec. Francisco Duque III, DOH Undersecretaries Dr. Ethelyn
Nieto, Dr. Margarita Galon, Atty. Alexander Padilla and Dr. Jade Del Mundo; and Asst.
Secretaries Dr. Mario Villaverde, Dr. David Lozada and Dr. Nemesio Gako
Facts:
- Executive Order No. 51 (The Milk Code - TMC) was issued by Pres. Aquino on Oct.
28, 1986 by virtue of the legislative powers granted to her under the Freedom
Constitution.
(1)
One of the preambular clauses of TMC the law seeks to give effect to
Article 11 of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substituttes
(ICMBS), a code adopted by the WHA (World Health Assembly) in 1981.
- In 1990, the Philippine ratified the International Convention on the Rights of the
Child. Art. 24 of the instrument mandates that States should take measure to
diminish infant mortality and should ensure that all segments of society are
informed of the advantages of breastfeeding.
- From 1982 2006, the WHA adopted several resolutions to the effect that
breastfeeding should be supported, promoted and protected, hence, it should be
ensured that nutrition and health claims are not permitted for breastmilk substitutes.
- May 15, 2006 DOH issues the assailed RIRR (Revised Implementing Rules and
Regulations of E.O. 51 or A.O. No. 2006-0012) which was to take effect on July 7,
2006. The RIRR imposes a ban on all advertisements of breastmilk substitutes
- June 28, 2006 Petitioner filed the present Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition
with Prayer for the Issuance of a TRO or Writ of Preliminary injunction.
- August 15, 2006 the Court issued a Resolution granting the TRO, enjoining the
respondents from implementing the assailed RIRR.
- Petitioner assails the RIRR for going beyond the provisions of TMC thereby
amending and expanding the coverage of the said law.
- DOH meanwhile contends that the RIRR implements not only TMC but also various
international instruments regarding infant and young child nutrition. They posit that
the said international instruments are deemed part of the law of the land and
therefore may be implemented by the DOH in the RIRR.
Issue: W/n the RIRR is unconstitutional?
Sub-issue(s): W/n the RIRR is in accord with TMC? W/n pertinent international
agreements entered into by the Philippines are part of the law of the land and may thus
be implemented through an RIRR, if so, is the RIRR in accord with such international
agreements?
Note: I focused on the parts on international law. The other matters (in case maam
asks) are at the bottom of the digest.
Held: No. However what may be implemented is the RIRR based on the Milk Code
which in turn is based on the ICMBS as this is deemed part of the law of the land. The
other WHA Resolutions however cannot be imposed as they are not deemed part of the
law of the land.
Ratio:
1. Are the international instruments referred to by the respondents part of the
law of the land?
- The various international instruments invoked by respondents are:

(1) The UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child


(2) The International Convenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
(3) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against
Women
These instruments only provide general terms of the steps that States must
take to prevent child mortality. Hence, they do not have anything about the
use and marketing of breastmilk substitutes

The ICMBS and other WHA Resolutions however, are the international
instruments which have specific provisions on breastmilk substitutes
- Under the 1987 Constitution, international law can become part of domestic
law in 2 ways:
(1)
Transformation an international law is transformed into a domestic
law through a constitutional mechanism such as local legislation
Treaties become part of law of the land through this method, pursuant
to Art 7, Sec 21 wherein no treaty or international agreement shall be
valid.. unless concurred by at least 2/3 of Senate
The ICMBS and WHA Resolutions are NOT treaties as they havent been
concurred in by the required 2/3 vote.
HOWEVER, the ICMBS has been transformed into domestic law
through local legislation that is TMC.
Therefore, it is not the ICMBS per se that has the force of law but
its TMC.
o While TMC is almost a verbatim reproduction of the ICMBS, it did
not adopt the latters provision on the absolute prohibition on
advertising of products within the scope of the ICMBS. Instead
the MC provides that advertising promotion or other marketing
materials may be allowed if such materials are approved by a
committee.
(2)
Incorporation by mere constitutional declaration, international law
is deemed to have the force of domestic law
This is found under Art 2, Sec 2 The Philippines adopts generally
accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land
In Mihares v. Ranada: International law becomes customary rules
accepted as binding as a result of two elements:
1.) Established, widespread, and consistent practice on part of the
state
2.) Opinion juris sive necessitates (opinion as to law or necessity.
Generally accepted principles of international law refer to norms of
general or customary international law which are binding on all states,
valid through all kinds of human societies, and basic to legal systems
generally
Fr. Bernas has a definition similar to the one above. Customary
international law has two factors:
1.) Material factor how states behave
The consistency and the generality of the practice
2.) Psychological or subjective factor why they behave the way they
do
Once state practice has been established, now determine why
they behave they do. Is it ouor of courtesy or opinio juris (the
belief that a certain type of behavior is obligatory)
When a law satisfies the two factors it becomes part of customary
international law which is then incorporated into our domestic system

2. Since the WHA Resolutions have not been embodied in any local legislation,
have they attained the status of customary law and hence part of our law of
the land?
- The World Health Organization (WHO) is one of the international specialized
agencies of the UN.
- According to the WHO Constitution, its the WHA which determines the
policies of the WHO, the former also has the power to adopt regulations
concerning advertising and labeling of pharmaceutical and similar products
and to make recommendations to members on any matter within the
Organizations competence
- Note that the legal effect of a regulation as opposed to recommendation is
quite different
(1)
Regulations which are duly adopted by the WHA are binding on
member states
(2)
On the other hand, recommendations of the WHA do not come into
force for its members unlike regulations. Rather, they carry moral and
political weight as they constitute the judgment on a health issue of the
collective membership of the highest body in the field of health.
- The WHA resolution adopting the ICMBS and the subsequent WHA
resolutions urging states to implement the ICMBS are merely
recommendatory and legally non-binding.
- Hence, unlike the ICMBS which has become TMC through legislative
enactment, the subsequent WHA Resolutions, which provide for exclusive
breastfeeding and prohibition on advertisements and promotions of
breastmilk have not been adopted as domestic law.
- WHA Resolutions have been viewed to constitute soft law or non-binding
norms, which influence state behavior. Soft law has been noted to be a rapid
means of norm creation, in order to reflect and respond to the changing
needs and demands of constituents (of the UN.)
- As previously discussed, for an international rule to be considered
customary law, it must be established that such rule is followed by states
because it is considered obligatory (opinio juris).
- In the case at bar, respondents have not presented any evidence to prove
that the WHA Resolutions are in fact enforced or practice by member states.
Further, they failed to establish that provisions of pertinent WHA Resolutions
are customary international law that may be deemed part of law of the land.
- Hence, legislation is necessary to transform the WHA resolutions into
domestic law. They cannot thus be implemented by executive agencies
without the need of a law to be enacted by legislature.
On other issues:
W/n the petitioner is the real party in interest? Yes.
- An association has standing to file suit for its workers despite its lack of direct
interest of its members are affected by the action. An organization has standing to
assert the concerns of its constituents. (Exec Sec vs CA)
- The Court has rules that an association has the legal personality to represent its
members because the results of the case will affect their vital interests. (Purok
Bagong Silang Association Inc. vs. Yuipco)
- In the petitioners Amended Articles of Incorporation, it states that the association is
formed to represent directly or through approved representatives the
pharmaceutical and health care industry before the Philippine Government and any
of its agencies, the medical professions and the general public.
- Therefore, the petitioner, as an organization, has an interest in fulfilling its avowed
purpose of representing members who are part of the pharmaceutical and health

care industry. Petitioner is duly authorized to bring to the attention of the


government agencies and courts any grievance suffered by its members which are
directly affected by the assailed RIRR.
- The petitioner, whose legal identity is deemed fused with its members, should be
considered as a legal party-in-interest which stands to be benefited or injured by
any judgment in the case.
W/n the DOH has the power to implement the WHA Resolutions under the Revised
Administrative Code even in the absence of a domestic law? Only the provisions of the
Milk Code. (as per the discussion above)
- Section 3, Chapter 1, Title IX of the RAC of 1987 provides that the DOH shall
define the national health policy and can issue orders and regulations concerning
the implementation of established health policies.
- A.O. No 2005 -0014 which provides the national policy on infant and young child
feeding, does not declare that as part of its policy, the advertisement or promotion
of breastmilk substitutes should be absolutely prohibited.
- Only the provisions of the Milk Code, but not those of the subsequent WHA
Resolutions, can be validly implemented by the DOH through the subject RIRR.
W/n the provisions of the RIRR being in accordance with the Milk Code? Not all of them
- Assailed provisions: [1] extending the coverage to young children; [2] imposing
exclusive breastfeeding for infants from 0-6 months; [3] imposes an absolute ban
on advertising and promotion for breastmilk substitutes; [4] requiring additional
labeling requirements; [5] prohibits the dissemination of information on infant
formula; [6] forbids milk manufacturers and distributors to extend assistance in
research and continuing education Although the DOH has the power under the Milk
Code to control information regarding breastmilk vis--vis breastmilk substitutes,
this power is not absolute because it has no power to impose an absolute
prohibition in the marketing, promotion and advertising of breastmilk substitutes.
Several provisions of the Milk Code attest to the fact that such power to control
information is not absolute.
- Sections 11 and 4(f) of the RIRR are clearly violative of the Milk Code because
such provisions impose an absolute prohibition on advertising, promotion and
marketing of breastmilk substitutes, which is not provided for in the Milk Code.
Section 46 is violative of the Milk Code because the DOH has exceeded its
authority in imposing such fines or sanctions when the Milk Code does not do so.
Other assailed provisions are in accordance with the Milk Code.
W/n Section 13 of the RIRR providing a sufficient standard? Yes.
- Questioned provision, in addition to Section 26 of Rule VII provide labeling
requirements for breastmilk substitutes found to be in consonance with the Milk
Code
- The provisions in question provide reasonable means of enforcing related
provisions in the Milk Code.
W/n Section 57 of the RIRR repeals existing laws?
- Section in question only repeals orders, issuances and rules and regulations, not
laws. The provision is valid as it is within the DOHs rule-making power.
- An administrative agency has quasi-legislative or rule-making power. However,
such power is limited to making rules and regulation subjected to the boundaries
set by the granting statute and the Constitution. The power is also subject to the
doctrine of non-delegability and separability of powers. The power, which includes
amending, revising, altering or repealing, is granted to allow for flexibility in the
implementation of the laws.

W/n On Section 4, 5(w), 11, 22, 32, 47 and 52 violates the due process clause of the
Constitution (Article III Section 1)?
- Despite the fact that 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 free enterprise does not call for the
removal of protective regulations. It must be clearly explained and proven by
competent evidence just exactly how such protective regulation would result in the
restraint of trade.
- Section 4 proscription of milk manufacturers participation in any policymaking
body; Section 22 classes and seminars for women and children; Section 32
giving of assistance, support and logistics or training; Section 52 giving of
donations
- In the instant case, petitioner failed to show how the aforementioned sections
hamper the trade of breastmilk substitutes. They also failed to establish that these
activities are essential and indispensable to their trade.
Disposition: The Petition is Partially Granted. Only sections 4(f), 11 and 46 of A.O.
2006-0014 are declared null and void for being ultra vires. The TRO is lifted
insofar as the rest of the provisions of A.O. 2006-0012 is concerned.
LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY vs COURT OF APPEALS
231 SCRA 292
G.R. No. 110120 March 16, 1994
FACTS

On March 8, 1991, the Task Force Camarin Dumpsite of Our Lady of Lourdes
Parish, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City, filed a letter-complaint with the
Laguna Lake Development Authority seeking to stop the operation of the 8.6hectare open garbage dumpsite in Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan
City due to its harmful effects on the health of the residents and the possibility of
pollution of the water content of the surrounding area.

The LLDA Legal and Technical personnel found that the City Government of
Caloocan was maintaining an open dumpsite at the Camarin area without first
securing an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Environmental
Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources, as required under Presidential Decree No. 1586, and clearance from
LLDA as required under Republic Act No. 4850, as amended by Presidential
Decree No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983.

The LLDA found that the water collected from the leachate and the receiving
streams could considerably affect the quality, in turn, of the receiving waters
since it indicates the presence of bacteria, other than coliform, which may have
contaminated the sample during collection or handling.

On December 5, 1991, the LLDA issued a Cease and Desist Order ordering the
City Government of Caloocan, Metropolitan Manila Authority, their contractors,

and other entities, to completely halt, stop and desist from dumping any form or
kind of garbage and other waste matter at the Camarin dumpsite.
On September 25, 1992, the LLDA, with the assistance of the Philippine National
Police, enforced its Alias Cease and Desist Order by prohibiting the entry of all
garbage dump trucks into the Tala Estate, Camarin area being utilized as a
dumpsite.
The City Government of Caloocan filed with the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan
City an action for the declaration of nullity of the cease and desist order
In its complaint, the City Government of Caloocan sought to be declared as the
sole authority empowered to promote the health and safety and enhance the
right of the people in Caloocan City to a balanced ecology within its territorial
jurisdiction.
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
On October 16, 1992, Judge Manuel Jn. Serapio, after hearing the motion to
dismiss, issued in the consolidated cases an order denying LLDA's motion to
dismiss and granting the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the
LLDA, its agent and all persons acting for and on its behalf, from enforcing or
implementing its cease and desist order which prevents plaintiff City of Caloocan
from dumping garbage at the Camarin dumpsite during the pendency of this case
and/or until further orders of the court.
COURT OF APPEALS
On April 30, 1993, the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision holding that: (1)
the Regional Trial Court has no jurisdiction on appeal to try, hear and decide the
action for annulment of LLDA's cease and desist order, including the issuance of
a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in relation thereto, since
appeal therefrom is within the exclusive and appellate jurisdiction of the Court of
Appeals under Section 9, par. (3), of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129; and (2) the
Laguna Lake Development Authority has no power and authority to issue a cease
and desist order under its enabling law, Republic Act No. 4850, as amended by
P.D.
No.
813
and
Executive
Order
No. 927, series of 1983.

ISSUE

Whether or not the LLDA has the authority to entertain the complaint against the
dumping of garbage in the open dumpsite in Barangay Camarin authorized by
the City Government of Caloocan which is allegedly endangering the health,
safety, and welfare of the residents therein and the sanitation and quality of the
water in the area brought about by exposure to pollution caused by such open
garbage dumpsite

SUPREME COURT

Yes.

As a general rule, the adjudication of pollution cases generally pertains to the


Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB), except in cases where the special law
provides for another forum.

It must be recognized in this regard that the LLDA, as a specialized


administrative agency, is specifically mandated under Republic Act No. 4850 and
its amendatory laws to carry out and make effective the declared national
policy 20 of promoting and accelerating the development and balanced growth of
the Laguna Lake area and the surrounding provinces of Rizal and Laguna and
the cities of San Pablo, Manila, Pasay, Quezon and Caloocan 21 with due regard
and adequate provisions for environmental management and control,
preservation of the quality of human life and ecological systems, and the
prevention of undue ecological disturbances, deterioration and pollution.

Under such a broad grant and power and authority, the LLDA, by virtue of its
special charter, obviously has the responsibility to protect the inhabitants of the
Laguna Lake region from the deleterious effects of pollutants emanating from the
discharge of wastes from the surrounding areas.

In carrying out the aforementioned declared policy, the LLDA is mandated,


among others, to pass upon and approve or disapprove all plans, programs, and
projects proposed by local government offices/agencies within the region, public
corporations, and private persons or enterprises where such plans, programs
and/or projects are related to those of the LLDA for the development of the
region.
ISSUE

Whether or not the LLDA has the power and authority to issue a "cease and
desist" order under Republic Act No. 4850 and its amendatory laws
SUPREME COURT

Yes.

By its express terms, Republic Act No. 4850, as amended by P.D. No. 813 and
Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983, authorizes the LLDA to "make, alter or
modify order requiring the discontinuance or pollution." 24 (Emphasis supplied)
Section 4, par. (d) explicitly authorizes the LLDA to make whatever order may be
necessary in the exercise of its jurisdiction.

To be sure, the LLDA was not expressly conferred the power "to issue an exparte cease and desist order" in a language, as suggested by the City
Government of Caloocan, similar to the express grant to the defunct National
Pollution Control Commission under Section 7 of P.D. No. 984 which, admittedly
was not reproduced in P.D. No. 813 and E.O. No. 927, series of 1983. However,

it would be a mistake to draw therefrom the conclusion that there is a denial of


the power to issue the order in question when the power "to make, alter or modify
orders requiring the discontinuance of pollution" is expressly and clearly
bestowed upon the LLDA by Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983.
The immediate response to the demands of "the necessities of protecting vital
public interests" gives vitality to the statement on ecology embodied in the
Declaration of Principles and State Policies or the 1987 Constitution. Article II,
Section 16 which provides:
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.
As a constitutionally guaranteed right of every person, it carries the correlative
duty of non-impairment. This is but in consonance with the declared policy of the
state "to protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health
consciousness among them." 28 It is to be borne in mind that the Philippines is
party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Alma Conference
Declaration of 1978 which recognize health as a fundamental human right.

GUERRERO'S TRANSPORT SERVICES, INC. vs.BLAYLOCK TRANSPORTATION


SERVICES EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION-KILUSAN (BTEA-KILUSAN), LABOR
ARBITER FRANCISCO M. DE LOS REYES and JOSE CRUZ
FACTS

In 1972, the US Naval Base authorities in Subic conducted a public bidding for a
5-year contract for the right to operate and/or manage the transportation services
inside the naval base. This bidding was won by Santiago Guerrero, owneroperator of Guerreros Transport Services, Inc. (Guerrero), over Concepcion
Blayblock, the then incumbent concessionaire doing business under the name of
Blayblock Transport Services Blayblock. Blayblocks 395 employees are
members of the union BTEA-KILUSAN (the Union).

When Guererro commenced its operations, it refused to employ the members of


the Union. Thus, the Union filed a complaint w/ the NLRC against Guerrero to
compel it to employ its members, pursuant to Art. 1, Sec. 2 of the RP-US Base
Agreement. The case was dismissed by the NLRC upon Guerreros MTD on
jurisdictional grounds, there being no employer-employee relationship between
the parties. Upon appeal, the Sec. of Labor remanded the case to the NLRC. The
NLRC issued a Resolution ordering Guererro to absorb all complainants who
filed their applications on or before the deadline set by Guerrero, except those
who may have derogatory records w/ the US Naval Authorities in Subic. The
Sec. of Labor affirmed.

Guerrero claims that it substantially complied w/ the decision of the Sec. of Labor
affirming the NLRC Resolution, & that any non-compliance was attributable to the

individual complainants who failed to submit themselves for processing &


examination. The Labor Arbiter ordered the reinstatement of 129 individuals. The
Union filed a Motion for Issuance of Writ of Execution. The order wasnt appealed
so it was declared final & executory

Subsequently, the parties arrived at a Compromise Agreement wherein they


agreed to submit to the Sec. of Labor the determination of members of the Union
who shall be reinstated by Guerrero, w/c determination shall be final. The
agreement is deemed to have superseded the Resolution of the NLRC. The Sec.
of Labor ordered the absorption of 175 members of the Union subject to 2
conditions.

ISSUE

Whether or not the said members of the Union were entitled to be reinstated by
Guerrero.

RULING

YES. Pursuant to Sec. 6 of Art. I of the RP-US Labor Agreement, the US Armed
Forces undertook, consistent w/ military requirements, "to provide security for
employment, and, in the event certain services are contracted out, the US Armed
Forces shall require the contractor or concessioner to give priority consideration
to affected employees for employment.

A treaty has 2 aspects as an international agreement between states, and as


municipal law for the people of each state to observe. As part of the municipal
law, the aforesaid provision of the treaty enters into and forms part of the contract
between Guerrero and the US Naval Base authorities. In view of said stipulation,
the new contractor (Guerrero) is, therefore, bound to give "priority" to the
employment of the qualified employees of the previous contractor (Blaylock). It is
obviously in recognition of such obligation that Guerrero entered into the
aforementioned Compromise Agreement.

Under the Compromise Agreement, the parties agreed to submit to the Sec. of
Labor the determination as to who of the members of the Union shall be
absorbed or employed by Guerrero, and that such determination shall be
considered as final. The Sec. of Labor issued an Order directing the NLRC,
through Labor Arbiter Francisco de los Reyes, to implement the absorption of the
175 members into Guerrero's Transport Services, subject to the following
conditions:

a) that they were bona fide employees of the Blaylock Transport Service at the
time its concession expired; and
b) that they should pass final screening and approval by the appropriate
authorities of the U.S. Naval Base concerned.

For this purpose, Guerrero is ordered to submit to and secure from the
appropriate authorities of the U.S. naval Base at Subic, Zambales the requisite
screening and approval, the names of the members of the Union.

Considering that the Compromise Agreement of the parties is more than a mere
contract and has the force and effect of any other judgment, it is, therefore,
conclusive upon the parties and their privies. For it is settled that a compromise
has, upon the parties, the effect and authority of res judicata and is enforceable
by execution upon approval by the court.

SHIGENORI KURODA, petitioner, vs. Major General RAFAEL


JALANDONI,Brigadier General CALIXTO DUQUE, Colonel MARGARITO
TORALBA, ColonelIRENEO BUENCONSEJO, Colonel PEDRO TABUENA, Major
FEDERICOARANAS, MELVILLE S. HUSSEY and ROBERT PORT,
respondents.\MORAN,
Doctrine:
Rules and regulations of the Hague and Geneva conventions form part of and are
wholly based on the generally accepted principals of international law. They 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 rules and principles of international law
as contained in treaties to which our government may have been or shall be a signatory.
Facts:
- A Military commission was empaneled under the authority of Executive Order 68 of the
President of the Philippines, which was issued on July 29, 1947. This is an act
establishing a national war crimes office and prescribing rules and regulation governing
the trial of accused war criminals.- Shigenori Kuroda, formerly a Lieutenant-General of
the Japanese Imperial Army and Commanding General of the Japanese Imperial Forces
in The Philippines from1943-1944, is charged before a military commission convened
by the Chief of Staff of the Armed forces of the Philippines with having unlawfully
disregarded and failed to discharge his duties as such command, permitting them to
commit brutal atrocities and other high crimes against noncombatant civilians and
prisoners of the Imperial Japanese Forces in violation of the laws and customs of war".Melville Hussey and Robert Port, American lawyers, were appointed prosecutors in
behalf of USA.- Kuroda challenges the legality of the EO No. 68 and the personality as
prosecutors of Hussey and Port.- Kurodas arguments were: (1)EO No. is illegal on the
ground that it violates not only the provisions of our constitutional law but also our local
laws; (2) Military Commission has no Jurisdiction to try him for acts committed in
violation of the Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention because the Philippines
is not a signatory to the first and signed the second only in 1947 and, therefore, he is
charged with crime not based on law, national or international; and (3) Hussey and
Port have no personality as prosecutors in this case because they are not qualified to

practice law in Philippines in accordance with our Rules of court and the appointment of
said attorneys as prosecutors is violative of our national sovereignty.
Issues/Held:
(1) WON EO No. 68 is valid and constitutional? [Yes it is a valid because it is based on
the generally accepted principles of international law which form part of our laws.]
(2) WON rules and regulations of the Hague and Geneva Conventions form part of the
law of the nation even if Philippines was not a signatory to the conventions embodying
them? [Yes, they form part of our laws.]
(3) WON the American lawyers could participate in the prosecution of this case?[Yes,
they can.]
Ratio:
(1) The order is valid and constitutional. Article 2 of our Constitution provides in its
section 3, that- The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy and
adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the nation.
In accordance with the generally accepted principle of international law
of the present day including the Hague Convention the Geneva Convention and
significant precedents of international jurisprudence established by the United Nation,
all those person military or civilian who have been guilty of planning preparing or waging
a war of aggression and of the commission of crimes and offenses consequential and
incidental thereto in violation of the laws and customs of war, of humanity and
civilization are held accountable therefor. Consequently, in the promulgation and
enforcement of Execution Order No. 68, the President of the Philippines has acted in
conformity with the generally accepted and policies of international law which are part of
our Constitution. The promulgation of said executive order is an exercise by the
President of his power as Commander in chief of all our armed forces as upheld by this
Court in the case of Yamashita vs. Styer. Consequently, the President as Commander in
Chief is fully empowered to consummate this unfinished aspect of war namely the trial
and punishment of war criminal through the issuance and enforcement of Executive
Order No. 68.(2) Rules and regulations of the Hague and Geneva conventions form part
of and are wholly based on the generally accepted principals of international law. In fact,
these rules and principles were accepted by the two belligerent nations, the United
States and Japan, who were signatories to the two Conventions.
Such rule and principles therefore form part of the law of our nation even if the
Philippines was not a signatory to the conventions embodying them, for our Constitution
has been deliberately general and extensive in its scope and is not confined to the
recognition of rules and principles of international law as contained in treaties to which
our government may have been or shall be a signatory.
Furthermore when the crimes charged against petitioner were allegedly committed the
Philippines was under the sovereignty of United States and thus we were equally bound
together with the United States and with Japan to the right and obligation contained in
the treaties between the belligerent countries.(3) There is nothing in said executive
order which requires that counsel appearing before said commission must be attorneys
qualified to practice law in the Philippines in accordance with the Rules of Court.
Respondent Military Commission is a special military tribunal governed by a special law

and not by the Rules of court which govern ordinary civil court. Secondly, the
appointment of the two American attorneys is not violative of our nation sovereignty. It is
only fair and proper that United States, which has submitted the vindication of crimes
against her government and her people to a tribunal of our nation, should be allowed
representation in the trial of those very crimes. If there has been any relinquishment of
sovereignty it has not been by our government but by the United
States Government which has yielded to us the trial and punishment of her enemies
Lao Ichong vs Jaime Hernandez
Constitutional Law Treaties May Be Superseded by Municipal Laws in the
Exercise of Police Power
Lao Ichong is a Chinese businessman who entered the country to take advantage of
business opportunities herein abound (then) particularly in the retail business. For
some time he and his fellow Chinese businessmen enjoyed a monopoly in the local
market in Pasay. Until in June 1954 when Congress passed the RA 1180 or the Retail
Trade Nationalization Act the purpose of which is to reserve to Filipinos the right to
engage in the retail business. Ichong then petitioned for the nullification of the said Act
on the ground that it contravened several treaties concluded by the RP which, according
to him, violates the equal protection clause (pacta sund servanda). He said that as a
Chinese businessman engaged in the business here in the country who helps in the
income generation of the country he should be given equal opportunity.
ISSUE: Whether or not a law may invalidate or supersede treaties or generally accepted
principles.
HELD: Yes, a law may supersede a treaty or a generally accepted principle. In this
case, there is no conflict at all between the raised generally accepted principle and with
RA 1180. The equal protection of the law clause does not demand absolute equality
amongst residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like
circumstances and conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced;
and, that the equal protection clause is not infringed by legislation which applies only to
those persons falling within a specified class, if it applies alike to all persons within such
class, and reasonable grounds exist for making a distinction between those who fall
within such class and those who do not.
For the sake of argument, even if it would be assumed that a treaty would be in conflict
with a statute then the statute must be upheld because it represented an exercise of the
police power which, being inherent could not be bargained away or surrendered through
the medium of a treaty. Hence, Ichong can no longer assert his right to operate his
market stalls in the Pasay city market.

Gonzales vs Hechanova On October 29, 2011


Constitutional Law Treaty vs Executive Agreements Statutes Can Repeal
Executive Agreements
Then President Diosdado Macapagal entered into two executive agreements with
Vietnam and Burma for the importation of rice without complying with the requisite of
securing a certification from the Natl Economic Council showing that there is a shortage
in cereals. Hence, Hechanova authorized the importation of 67000 tons of rice from
abroad to the detriment of our local planters. Gonzales, then president of the Iloilo Palay
and Corn Planters Association assailed the executive agreements. Gonzales averred
that Hechanova is without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, because RA 3452
prohibits the importation of rice and corn by the Rice and Corn Administration or any
other government agency.
ISSUE: Whether or not RA 3452 prevails over the 2 executive agreements entered into
by Macapagal.
HELD: Under the Constitution, the main function of the Executive is to enforce laws
enacted by Congress. The former may not interfere in the performance of the legislative
powers of the latter, except in the exercise of his veto power. He may not defeat
legislative enactments that have acquired the status of laws, by indirectly repealing the
same through an executive agreement providing for the performance of the very act
prohibited by said laws. In the event of conflict between a treaty and a statute, the one
which is latest in point of time shall prevail, is not applicable to the case at bar,
Hechanova not only admits, but, also, insists that the contracts adverted to are not
treaties. No such justification can be given as regards executive agreements not
authorized by previous legislation, without completely upsetting the principle of
separation of powers and the system of checks and balances which are fundamental in
our constitutional set up.
As regards the question whether an executive or an international agreement may be
invalidated by our courts, suffice it to say that the Constitution of the Philippines has
clearly settled it in the affirmative, by providing that the SC may not be deprived of its
jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal, certiorari, or writ of
error, as the law or the rules of court may provide, final judgments and decrees of
inferior courts in All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, law,
ordinance, or executive order or regulation is in question. In other words, our
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.
In Re: Garcia 2 SCRA 985
Facts:
Arturo E. Garcia has applied for admission to the practice of law in the Philippines
without submitting to the required bar examinations. In his verified petition, he avers,
among others, that he is a Filipino citizen born in Bacolod City, of Filipino parentage;

that he had taken and finished in Spain the course of "Bachillerato Superior"; that he
was approved, selected and qualified by the "Instituto de Cervantes" for admission to
the Central University of Madrid where he studied and finished the law course
graduating as "Licenciado en derecho"; and thereafter he was allowed to practice the
law profession in Spain; and that under the provisions of the Treaty on Academic
Degrees and the Exercise of Profession between the RP and Spain, he is entitled to
practice the law profession in the Philippines without submitting to the required bar
examinations.
Issue:
Whether treaty can modify regulations governing admission to the Philippine Bar.
Held:
The court resolved to deny the petition. The provision of the treaty on Academic
Degrees and Exercise of Profession between the RP and Spain cannot be invoked by
the applicant. Said treaty was intended to govern Filipino citizens desiring to practice
thair profession in Spain, and the citizens of Spain desiring to practice their profession
in the Philippines. Applicant is a Filipino citizen desiring to practice profession in the
Philippines. He is therefore subject to the laws of his own country and is not entitled to
the privileges extended to Spanish nationals desiring to practice in the Philippines. The
privileges provided in the treaty invoked by the applicant are made expressly subject to
the laws and regulations on the contracting state in whose territory it is desired to
exercise the legal profession.
The aforementioned Treaty, concluded between the RP and Spain could not have been
intended to modify the laws and regulations governing admission to the practice of law
in the Philippines, for the reason that the Executive Department may not encroach upon
the constitutional prerogative of the Supreme Court to promulgate rules for admission to
the practice of law in the Philippines, the power to repeal, alter or supplement such rules
being reserved only to the Congress of the Philippines.
LIM vs. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
Facts:
Beginning January of year 2002, personnel from the armed forces of the United States
of America started arriving in Mindanao to take part, in conjunction with the Philippine
military, in Balikatan 02-1. They are a simulation of joint military maneuvers pursuant
to the Mutual Defense Treaty a bilateral defense agreement entered into by the
Philippines and the United States in 1951. Its aim is to enhance the strategic and
technological capabilities of our armed forces through joint training with its American
counterparts; the Balikatan is the largest such training exercise directly supporting the
MDTs objectives. It is this treaty to which the VFA adverts and the obligations
thereunder which it seeks to reaffirm.

On February 1, 2002, petitioners Arthur D. Lim and Paulino P. Ersando filed this petition
for certiorari and prohibition, attacking the constitutionality of the joint exercise.
Issue:
Whether Balikatan 02-1 activities covered by the Visiting Forces Agreement?
Ruling:
To resolve this, it is necessary to refer to the VFA itself. The VFA permits United States
personnel to engage, on an impermanent basis, in activities, the exact meaning of
which was left undefined. The sole encumbrance placed on its definition is couched in
the negative, in that United States personnel must abstain from any activity
inconsistent with the spirit of this agreement, and in particular, from any political activity.
The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Articles 31 and 32 contains provisos
governing interpretations of international agreements. It clearly provides that the
cardinal rule of interpretation must involve an examination of the text, which is
presumed to verbalize the parties intentions. The Convention likewise dictates what
may be used as aids to deduce the meaning of terms, which it refers to as the context of
the treaty, as well as other elements may be taken into account alongside the aforesaid
context.
It appeared farfetched that the ambiguity surrounding the meaning of the
word .activities arose from accident. It was deliberately made that way to give both
parties a certain leeway in negotiation. In this manner, visiting US forces may sojourn in
Philippine territory for purposes other than military. As conceived, the joint exercises
may include training on new techniques of patrol and surveillance to protect the nations
marine resources, sea search-and-rescue operations to assist vessels in distress,
disaster relief operations, civic action projects such as the building of school houses,
medical and humanitarian missions, and the like.
Under these auspices, the VFA gives legitimacy to the current Balikatan exercises. It is
only logical to assume that .Balikatan 02-1, a mutual anti- terrorism advising, assisting
and training exercise, falls under the umbrella of sanctioned or allowable activities in
the context of the agreement.
Agustin vs Edu, 88 SCRA 195, L- 49112, February 22, 1979
Facts : This is a petition questioning the validity of a Letter of Instruction providing for an
early warning device mandatory for motor vehicles. It is assailed in this prohibition
proceeding as being violative to the constitutional guarantee of due process in as far as
the rules and regulations for its implementation are concerned.
The assailed Letter of Instruction No. 229 of President Ferdinand Marcos aimed to
prevent road accidents and in the interest of safety on all streets, highways including
expressways. All motorist and motor vehicle owners shall have at all times one pair of

early warning device. These hazards posed by such obstructions to traffic have been
recognized by international bodies concerned with traffic safety, the 1968 Vienna
Convention on Roads and Signs and the United Nations Organization (UN). Philippine
Government under P.D. No. 207 ratified the said Vienna convention requiring the
installation of road signs and devices.
Herein respondent Edu in his capacity as Land Transportation Commisioner set forth
the implementing rules and regulations of the said instruction.
Issue : Whether or not the assailed Letter of Instruction is invalid and violated
constitutional guarantees of due process.
Held : The assailed Letter of Instruction was a valid exercise of police power and there
was no unlawful delegation of legislative power on the part of the respondent. As
identified, police power is a state authority to enact legislation that may interfere
personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare. In this case, the
particular exercise of police power was clearly intended to promote public safety.
It cannot be disputed that the Declaration of Principle found in the Constitution
possesses relevance: The Philippines ------ adopts the generally accepted principles of
international law as part of the law of the nation. Thus, as impressed in the 1968
Vienna Convention it is not for this country to repudiate a commitment to which it had
pledged its word. Our countrys word was resembled in our own act of legislative
ratification of the said Hague and Vienna Conventions thru P.D. No. 207 . The concept
of Pacta sunt servanda stands in the way of such an attitude which is, moreoever, at
war with the principle of international morality.
In Santiago vs Far Eatern Broadcasting Company , it was held that the constitutionality
of the law will not be considered unless the point is specially pleaded, insisted upon and
adequately argued. Equal protection is not a talismanic formula at the mere invocation
of which a party to a lawsuit can rightfully expect success will crown his efforts. The law
is anything but that.
Petition is DISMISSED and the restraining order is lifted.
J.B.L. Reyes vs. Bagatsing, GR No. 65366 October 25, 1983
Retired Justice Jose B.L. Reyes, in behalf of the Anti-Bases Coalition, sought for a
permit from the City of Manila to hold a peaceful march and rally on October 26, 1983
starting from Luneta to the gates of the United States embassy. The objective of the
rally was to peacefully protest the removal of all foreign military bases and to present a
petition containing such to a representative of the Embassy so it may be delivered to the
United States Ambassador. This petition was to initially compel the Mayor of the City of
Manila to make a decision on the application for a permit but it was discovered that a
denial has already been sent through mail. It also included a provision that if it be held
somewhere else, permit may be issued. The respondent mayor alleges that holding the
rally in front of the US Embassy is a violation of the resolutions during the Vienna

Convention on Diplomatic Relations adopted in 1961 and of which the Philippines is a


signatory. In the doctrine of incorporation, the Philippines has to comply with such
generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. The
petitioner, on the other hand, contends that the denial of the permit is a violation of the
constitutional right of the freedom of speech and expression.
Issues :
1. Whether or not the Anti-Bases Coalition should be allowed to hold a peaceful protest
rally in front of the US Embassy
2. Whether or not the denial of the exercise of the constitutional rights of free speech
and peaceably assembly was justified by clear and present danger.
Ruling : The petition was granted. The Supreme Court granted the mandatory injunction
allowing the proposed march and rally. The court found that there was no clear and
present danger of a substantive evil to a legitimate public interest that would justify the
denial of the exercise of the constitutional rights of free speech and peaceably
assembly.
Our country is signatory of the Vienna Convention. It is binding in our laws. The second
paragraph of its Article 22 that the receiving state is under a special duty to take
appropriate steps tp protect the premise of the mission against any intrusion or damage
and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.
The constitution adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of
the law of the land. That being the case, if there were clear and present danger of any
intrusion or damage, or disturbance of the of the peace of the mission, or impairment of
its dignity, there would be a justification for the denial of the permit insofar as the
terminal point would be the embassy.
Mejoff vs. Directors of Prison, 90 Phil. 70, L- 4254 September 26, 1951
Fact:The petitioner was a Russian national who was brought into the country as a
secret operative of the Japanese forces. Upon liberation, he was arrested as a
Japanese spy by the U.S Army. Thereafter, the Peoples Court ordered his release but
the Board of Commissioners of Immigration declared that the he had entered the
country illegally and ordered his deportation. After repeated failures to have have him
deported, the authorities moved him to Bilibid where he was detained up to time of
petition.
Issue: Whether or not an alien person who claims to be stateless may indefinitely kept
in detention.

Ruling: The Court decides that an alien who illegally stayed in the Philippines have no
right of asylum even if they claimed as stateless. Foreign nationals, not enemies,
against whom no charge had been made other than their permission to stay has
expired, may not be indefinitely kept in detention for the reason that protection against
deprivation of liberty without due process of law and except for crimes committed
against the laws of the land is not limited to Philippine citizen citizens but extends to all
residents, except enemy aliens.
Mejoff entry to our country was not unlawful; he was brought by the armed forces of a
de facto government whose decrees were law during the occupation.
He has the right to life and liberty and all other fundamental rights as applied to human
beings, as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights approved by the
General Assembly of the United Nation, of our country is a member. The theory on
which the court is given the power to act is that the warrant for his deportation which
was not executed is functus officio and the alien is being held without any authority of
law. The possibility that he might join or aid disloyal elements if turned out at large does
not justify prolonged detention, the remedy in that case being to impose conditions in
the order of release and exact bail in reasonable amount with sufficient sureties.
The petition was denied.
Sanders v. Veridiano GR L-46930 (June10, 1988)
FACTS:
Petitioner Sanders was the special services director of the U.S. Naval Station. Petitioner
Moreau was the
commanding officer of the Subic Naval Base. Private respondent Rossi is an American
citizen with permanent residence in the Philippines. Private respondent Rossi and Wyer
were both employed as game room attendants in the special services department of the
NAVSTA.
On October 3, 1975, the private respondents were advised that their employment had
been converted from permanent full-time to permanent part-time. They instituted
grievance proceedings to the rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of Defense.
The hearing officer recommended for reinstatement of their permanent full-time status.
However, in a letter addressed to petitioner Moreau, Sanders disagreed with the hearing
officer's report. The letter contained the statements that: a ) "Mr. Rossi tends to alienate
most co-workers and supervisors;" b) "Messrs. Rossi and Wyers have proven,
according to their immediate supervisors, to be difficult employees to supervise;" and c)
"even though the grievants were under oath not to discuss the case with anyone, (they)
placed the records in public places where others not involved in the case could hear."

Before the start of the grievance hearings, a-letter from petitioner Moreau was sent to
the Chief of Naval Personnel explaining the change of the private respondent's
employment status. So, private respondent filed for damages alleging that the letters
contained libelous imputations and that the prejudgment of the grievance proceedings
was an invasion of their personal and proprietary rights.
However, petitioners argued that the acts complained of were performed by them in the
discharge of their official duties and that, consequently, the court had no jurisdiction over
them under the doctrine of state immunity. However, the motion was denied on the main
ground that the petitioners had not presented any evidence that their acts were official
in nature.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the petitioners were performing their official duties?
RULING:
Yes. Sanders, as director of the special services department of NAVSTA, undoubtedly
had supervision over its personnel, including the private respondents. Given the official
character of the letters, the petitioners were being sued as officers of the United States
government because they have acted on behalf of that government and within the
scope of their authority. Thus, it is that government and not the petitioners personally
that is responsible for their acts.
It is stressed at the outset that the mere allegation that a government functionary is
being sued in his personal capacity will not automatically remove him from the
protection of the law of public officers and, if appropriate, the doctrine of state immunity.
By the same token, the mere invocation of official character will not suffice to insulate
him from suability and liability for an act imputed to him as a personal tort committed
without or in excess of his authority. These well-settled principles are applicable not only
to the officers of the local state but also where the person sued in its courts pertains to
the government of a foreign state, as in the present case.
Assuming that the trial can proceed and it is proved that the claimants have a right to
the payment of damages, such award will have to be satisfied not by the petitioners in
their personal capacities but by the United States government as their principal. This will
require that government to perform an affirmative act to satisfy the judgment, viz, the
appropriation of the necessary amount to cover the damages awarded, thus making the
action a suit against that government without its consent.
The practical justification for the doctrine, as Holmes put it, is that "there can be no legal
right against the authority which makes the law on which the right depends. In the case
of foreign states, the rule is derived from the principle of the sovereign equality of states
which wisely admonishes that par in parem non habet imperium and that a contrary
attitude would "unduly vex the peace of nations."

17
Our adherence to this precept is formally expressed in Article II, Section 2, of our
Constitution, where we reiterate from our previous charters that the Philippines "adopts
the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED.
G.R. No. 88211 September 15, 1989
Marcos v. Manglapus
FACTS:
It is a case of a dictator President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines forced out of
office and into exile after causing twenty years of political, economic and social havoc in
the country and who within the short space of three years seeks to return to the
Philippines to die.
But Mrs. Aquino, considering the dire consequences to the nation of his 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 stood firmly on the decision to bar the
return of Mr. Marcos and his family.
Issue: 1 .Whether or not the ban of Mr. Marcos and family from returning to the
Philippines has international precedents?
2. Whether or not the President acted in grave abuse of discretion in determining the
return of the Marcoses?
HELD:
NO, The right to return to one's country is not among the rights specifically guaranteed
in the Bill of Rights, which treats only of the liberty of abode and the right to travel, but it
is our well-considered view that the right to return may be considered, as a generally
accepted principle of international law and, under our Constitution, is part of the law of
the land [Art. II, Sec. 2 of the Constitution.]
However, it is distinct and separate from the right to travel and enjoys a different
protection under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, i.e., against
being "arbitrarily deprived" thereof [Art. 12 (4).]
The Declaration speaks of the "right to freedom of movement and residence within the
borders of each state" [Art. 13(l)] separately from the "right to leave any country,
including his own, and to return to his country." [Art. 13(2).]

On the other hand, the Covenant guarantees the "right to liberty of movement and
freedom to choose his residence" [Art. 12(l)] and the right to "be free to leave any
country, including his own."
[Art. 12(2)] which rights may be restricted by such laws as "are necessary to protect
national security, public order, public health or morals or enter qqqs own country" of
which one cannot be "arbitrarily deprived." [Art. 12(4).]
It would therefore be inappropriate to construe the limitations to the right to return to
one's country in the same context as those pertaining to the liberty of abode and the
right to travel.
2. NO.The President did not act arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion in
determining that the return of former President Marcos and his family at the present
time and under present circumstances poses a serious threat to national interest and
welfare and in prohibiting their return to the Philippines.
The power involved is the President's residual power to protect the general welfare of
the people. It is founded on the duty of the President, as steward of the people.
Petition is Dismissed
Asaali vs Commissioner of Customs 27 scra 313
Territoriality of Philippine Laws
On September 10, 1950 a customs patrol intercepted five sailing vessels in question on
the high seas. After ordering the vessels to stop, the custom officers boarded and found
on board their cargoes which were not covered by the required import license. The five
sailing vessels are all of Philippine registry and came to Saudaku British North Borneo.
ISSUE: Whether or not the interception and seizure by custom officials on the high seas
is valid on the contention that the seizure was effected outside our territorial waters.
HELD: The SC held that it is a settled doctrine of International Law that a state has the
right to protect itself and its revenues, a right not limited to its own territory but extending
to the high seas. The Revised Penal Code leaves no doubt as to its application and
enforceability not only within the Philippines, its interior waters and maritime zone but
also outside of its jurisdiction while on Philippine ship.
RAZON vs TAGITIS
SUMMARY:
The incorporation method applies when, by mere constitutional declaration, international
law is deemed to have the force of domestic law. In this case, WHILE THE
PHILIPPINES IS NOT YET FORMALLY BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THE

CONVENTION ON ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE (OR BY THE SPECIFIC TERMS


OF THE ROME STATUTE) AND HAS NOT FORMALLY DECLARED ENFORCED
DISAPPEARANCE AS A SPECIFIC CRIME, THE ABOVE RECITAL SHOWS THAT
ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE AS A STATE PRACTICE HAS BEEN REPUDIATED
BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, SO THAT THE BAN ON IT IS NOW A
GENERALLY ACCEPTED PRINCIPLE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, WHICH WE
SHOULD CONSIDER A PART OF THE LAW OF THE LAND, AND WHICH WE
SHOULD ACT UPON TO THE EXTENT ALREADY ALLOWED UNDER OUR LAWS
AND THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS THAT BIND us.
BINDING EFFECT OF UN ACTION ON THE PHILIPPINES
The Philippines has neither signed nor ratified the Convention, so that the
country is not yet committed to enact any law penalizing enforced disappearance as a
crime.
Separately from the Constitution (but still pursuant to its terms), the Court is
guided, in acting on Amparo cases, by the reality that the Philippines is a member of the
UN, bound by its Charter and by the various conventions we signed and ratified,
particularly the conventions touching on humans rights.
Under the UN Charter, the Philippines pledged to "promote universal respect for,
and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinctions
as to race, sex, language or religion."
Although no universal agreement has been reached on the precise extent of the
"human rights and fundamental freedoms" guaranteed to all by the Charter,it was the
UN itself that issued the Declaration on enforced disappearance, and this Declaration
states: Any act of enforced disappearance is an offence to dignity. It is condemned as a
denial of the purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and as a grave and flagrant
violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and reaffirmed and developed in international instruments
in this field. [Emphasis supplied]
In the recent case of Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the
Philippines v. Duque III,we held that: Under the 1987 Constitution, international law can
become part of the sphere of domestic law either by transformation or incorporation.
The transformation method requires that an international law be transformed into a
domestic law through a constitutional mechanism such as local legislation. The
incorporation method applies when, by mere constitutional declaration, international law
is deemed to have the force of domestic law. [Emphasis supplied]
We characterized "generally accepted principles of international law" as norms of
general or customary international law that are binding on all states.
[G]enerally accepted principles of international law, by virtue of the incorporation
clause of the Constitution, form part of the laws of the land even if they do not derive
from treaty obligations. The classical formulation in international law sees those
customary rules accepted as binding result from the combination [of] two elements: the
established, widespread, and consistent practice on the part of States; and a
psychological element known as the opinion juris sive necessitates (opinion as to law or

necessity). Implicit in the latter element is a belief that the practice in question is
rendered obligatory by the existence of a rule of law requiring it
The material sources of custom include State practice, State legislation,
international and national judicial decisions, recitals in treaties and other international
instruments, a pattern of treaties in the same form, the practice of international organs,
and resolutions relating to legal questions in the UN General Assembly.Sometimes
referred to as "evidence" of international law, these sources identify the substance and
content of the obligations of States and are indicative of the "State practice" and "opinio
juris" requirements of international law.
We note the following in these respects:
First, barely two years from the adoption of the Declaration, the Organization of
American States (OAS) General Assembly adopted the Inter-American Convention on
Enforced Disappearance of Persons in June 1994.State parties undertook under this
Convention "not to practice, permit, or tolerate the forced disappearance of persons,
even in states of emergency or suspension of individual guarantees."
One of the key provisions includes the States obligation to enact the crime of
forced disappearance in their respective national criminal laws and to establish
jurisdiction over such cases when the crime was committed within their jurisdiction,
when the victim is a national of that State, and "when the alleged criminal is within its
territory and it does not proceed to extradite him," which can be interpreted as
establishing universal jurisdiction among the parties to the Inter-American Convention.
Second, in Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights has no explicit
provision dealing with the protection against enforced disappearance.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), however, has applied the
Convention in a way that provides ample protection for the underlying rights affected by
enforced disappearance through the Conventions Article 2 on the right to life; Article 3
on the prohibition of torture; Article 5 on the right to liberty and security; Article 6,
paragraph 1 on the right to a fair trial; and Article 13 on the right to an effective remedy.
Third, in the United States, the status of the prohibition on enforced
disappearance as part of customary international law is recognized in the most recent
edition of Restatement of the Law: The Third,which provides that "[a] State violates
international law if, as a matter of State policy, it practices, encourages, or condones
(3) the murder or causing the disappearance of individuals."
The court further elaborated on the significance of UN declarations, as follows:
These U.N. declarations are significant because they specify with great precision the
obligations of member nations under the Charter.
Since their adoption, "(m)embers can no longer contend that they do not know
what human rights they promised in the Charter to promote."
Moreover, a U.N. Declaration is, according to one authoritative definition, "a
formal and solemn instrument, suitable for rare occasions when principles of great and
lasting importance are being enunciated."

Accordingly, it has been observed that the Universal Declaration of Human


Rights "no longer fits into the dichotomy of binding treaty against non-binding
pronouncement,' but is rather an authoritative statement of the international community."
Thus, a Declaration creates an expectation of adherence, and "insofar as the
expectation is gradually justified by State practice, a declaration may by custom become
recognized as laying down rules binding upon the States."
Indeed, several commentators have concluded that the Universal Declaration
has become, in toto, a part of binding, customary international law. [Citations omitted]
Fourth, in interpreting Article 2 (right to an effective domestic remedy) of the
International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which the Philippines
is both a signatory and a State Party, the UN Human Rights Committee, under the
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, has stated that the act of enforced
disappearance violates Articles 6 (right to life), 7 (prohibition on torture, cruel, inhuman
or degrading treatment or punishment) and 9 (right to liberty and security of the person)
of the ICCPR, and the act may also amount to a crime against humanity.
Fifth, Article 7, paragraph 1 of the 1998 Rome Statute establishing the
International Criminal Court (ICC) also covers enforced disappearances insofar as they
are defined as crimes against humanity, i.e., crimes "committed as part of a widespread
or systematic attack against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack."
While more than 100 countries have ratified the Rome Statute, the Philippines is
still merely a signatory and has not yet ratified it.
We note that Article 7(1) of the Rome Statute has been incorporated in the
statutes of other international and hybrid tribunals, including Sierra Leone Special Court,
the Special Panels for Serious Crimes in Timor-Leste, and the Extraordinary Chambers
in the Courts of Cambodia.
In addition, the implementing legislation of State Parties to the Rome Statute of
the ICC has given rise to a number of national criminal provisions also covering
enforced disappearance.
WHILE THE PHILIPPINES IS NOT YET FORMALLY BOUND BY THE TERMS
OF THE CONVENTION ON ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE (OR BY THE SPECIFIC
TERMS OF THE ROME STATUTE) AND HAS NOT FORMALLY DECLARED
ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE AS A SPECIFIC CRIME, THE ABOVE RECITAL
SHOWS THAT ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE AS A STATE PRACTICE HAS BEEN
REPUDIATED BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, SO THAT THE BAN ON IT IS
NOW A GENERALLY ACCEPTED PRINCIPLE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, WHICH WE
SHOULD CONSIDER A PART OF THE LAW OF THE LAND, AND WHICH WE
SHOULD ACT UPON TO THE EXTENT ALREADY ALLOWED UNDER OUR LAWS
AND THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS THAT BIND us.

In General Comment No. 31, the UN Human Rights Committee opined that the
right to an effective remedy under Article 2 of the ICCPR includes the obligation of the
State to investigate ICCPR violations promptly, thoroughly, and effectively.
Rights Committee further stated in the same General Comment No. 31 that
failure to investigate as well as failure to bring to justice the perpetrators of ICCPR
violations could in and of itself give rise to a separate breach of the Covenant
IN RELATION TO THIS CASE
These rulings (based from the case) serve as the backdrop for the Rule on the
Writ of Amparo, which the Court made effective on October 24, 2007
. Although the Amparo Rule still has gaps waiting to be filled through substantive
law, as evidenced primarily by the lack of a concrete definition of "enforced
disappearance," the materials cited above, among others, provide ample guidance and
standards on how, through the medium of the Amparo Rule, the Court can provide
remedies and protect the constitutional rights to life, liberty and security that underlie
every enforced disappearance.
FACTS:
Engineer Morced N. Tagitis (Tagitis), a consultant for the World Bank and the
Senior Honorary Counselor for the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Scholarship
Programme, together with Arsimin Kunnong (Kunnong), an IDB scholar, arrived in Jolo
by boat in the early morning of October 31, 2007 from a seminar in Zamboanga City.
They immediately checked-in at ASY Pension House. Tagitis asked Kunnong to
buy him a boat ticket for his return trip the following day to Zamboanga. When Kunnong
returned from this errand, Tagitis was no longer around. Kunnong looked for Tagitis and
even sent a text message to the latters Manila-based secretary, who advised Kunnong
to simply wait for Tagitis return.
On November 4, 2007, Kunnong and Muhammad Abdulnazeir N. Matli, a UP
professor of Muslim studies and Tagitis fellow student counselor at the IDB, reported
Tagitis disappearance to the Jolo Police Station.
More than a month later, or on December 28, 2007, the respondent, May Jean
Tagitis, through her attorney-in-fact, filed a Petition for the Writ of Amparo (petition)
directed against Lt. Gen. Alexander Yano, Commanding General, Philippine Army; Gen.
Avelino I. Razon, Chief, Philippine National Police (PNP); Gen. Edgardo M. Doromal,
Chief, Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (CIDG); Sr. Supt. Leonardo A.
Espina, Chief, Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response; Gen. Joel Goltiao,
Regional Director, ARMM-PNP; and Gen. Ruben Rafael, Chief, Anti-Terror Task Force
Comet (collectively referred to as petitioners), with the Court of Appeals (CA). On the
same day, the CA immediately issued the Writ of Amparo and set the case for hearing
on January 7, 2008.
On March 7, 2008, the CA issued its decision confirming that the disappearance
of Tagitis was an ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE UNDER THE UNITED NATIONS

(UN) DECLARATION ON THE PROTECTION OF ALL PERSONS FROM ENFORCED


DISAPPEARANCES.
The CA ruled that when military intelligence pinpointed the investigative arm of
the PNP (CIDG) to be involved in the abduction, the missing-person case qualified as
an enforced disappearance.
Hence, the CA extended the privilege of the writ to Tagitis and his family, and
directed the petitioners to exert extraordinary diligence and efforts to protect the life,
liberty and security of Tagitis, with the obligation to provide monthly reports of their
actions to the CA. At the same time, the CA dismissed the petition against the then
respondents from the military, Lt. Gen Alexander Yano and Gen. Ruben Rafael, based
on the finding that it was PNP-CIDG, not the military, that was involved.
On March 31, 2008, the petitioners moved to reconsider the CA decision, but the
CA denied the motion in its Resolution dated April 9, 2008. Aggrieved, the petitioners
filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court.
PERTINENT ISSUES:
1.
Whether or not the requirement that the pleader must state the ultimate facts, i.e.
complete in every detail in stating the threatened or actual violation of a victims rights,
is indispensable in an amparo petition.
2.
Whether or not the presentation of substantial evidence by the petitioner to prove
her allegations is sufficient for the court to grant the privilege of the writ.
3.
Whether or not the writ of amparo determines guilt nor pinpoint criminal
culpability for the alleged enforced disappearance of the subject of the petition for the
writ.
ANSWERS:
1.
No. However, it must contain details available to the petitioner under the
circumstances, while presenting a cause of action showing a violation of the victims
rights to life, liberty and security through State or private party action.
2.
Yes.
3.
No.
SUPREME COURT RULINGS:
1. REQUIREMENTS IN AN AMPARO PETITION
The requirement that the pleader must state the ultimate facts must be read in light of
the nature and purpose of the proceeding, which addresses a situation of uncertainty
The framers of the Amparo Rule never intended Section 5(c) to be complete in every
detail in stating the threatened or actual violation of a victims rights. As in any other
initiatory pleading, the pleader must of course state the ultimate facts constituting the
cause of action, omitting the evidentiary details. In an Amparo petition, however, this
requirement must be read in light of the nature and purpose of the proceeding, which
addresses a situation of uncertainty; the petitioner may not be able to describe with
certainty how the victim exactly disappeared, or who actually acted to kidnap, abduct or
arrest him or her, or where the victim is detained, because these information may

purposely be hidden or covered up by those who caused the disappearance. In this type
of situation, to require the level of specificity, detail and precision that the petitioners
apparently want to read into the Amparo Rule is to make this Rule a token gesture of
judicial concern for violations of the constitutional rights to life, liberty and security. To
read the Rules of Court requirement on pleadings while addressing the unique Amparo
situation, the test in reading the petition should be to determine whether it contains the
details available to the petitioner under the circumstances, while presenting a cause of
action showing a violation of the victims rights to life, liberty and security through State
or private party action. The petition should likewise be read in its totality, rather than in
terms of its isolated component parts, to determine if the required elements namely, of
the disappearance, the State or private action, and the actual or threatened violations of
the rights to life, liberty or security are present.
2. EVIDENCE REQUIRED IN AN AMPARO PETITION
Burden of proof of Amparo petitioner [T]he Amparo petitioner needs only to properly
comply with the substance and form requirements of a Writ of Amparo petition, as
discussed above, and prove the allegations by substantial evidence. Once a rebuttable
case has been proven, the respondents must then respond and prove their defenses
based on the standard of diligence required. The rebuttable case, of course, must show
that an enforced disappearance took place under circumstances showing a violation of
the victims constitutional rights to life, liberty or security, and the failure on the part of
the investigating authorities to appropriately respond.
Substantial evidence required in amparo proceedings The [characteristics of amparo
proceedings] namely, of being summary and the use of substantial evidence as the
required level of proof (in contrast to the usual preponderance of evidence or proof
beyond reasonable doubt in court proceedings) reveal the clear intent of the framers
of the Amparo Rule to have the equivalent of an administrative proceeding, albeit
judicially conducted, in addressing Amparo situations. The standard of diligence
required the duty of public officials and employees to observe extraordinary diligence
point, too, to the extraordinary measures expected in the protection of constitutional
rights and in the consequent handling and investigation of extra- judicial killings and
enforced disappearance cases. Thus, in these proceedings, the Amparo petitioner
needs only to properly comply with the substance and form requirements of a Writ of
Amparo petition, as discussed above, and prove the allegations by substantial
evidence. Once a rebuttable case has been proven, the respondents must then respond
and prove their defenses based on the standard of diligence required. The rebuttable
case, of course, must show that an enforced disappearance took place under
circumstances showing a violation of the victims constitutional rights to life, liberty or
security, and the failure on the part of the investigating authorities to appropriately
respond. The landmark case of Ang Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations provided the
Court its first opportunity to define the substantial evidence required to arrive at a valid
decision in administrative proceedings. To directly quote Ang Tibay: Substantial
evidence is more than a mere scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. The statute
provides that the rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law and equity shall not be

controlling. The obvious purpose of this and similar provisions is to free administrative
boards from the compulsion of technical rules so that the mere admission of matter
which would be deemed incompetent in judicial proceedings would not invalidate the
administrative order. But this assurance of a desirable flexibility in administrative
procedure does not go so far as to justify orders without a basis in evidence having
rational probative force.
Minor inconsistencies in the testimony should not affect the credibility of the witness
As a rule, minor inconsistencies such as these indicate truthfulness rather than
prevarication and only tend to strengthen their probative value, in contrast to
testimonies from various witnesses dovetailing on every detail; the latter cannot but
generate suspicion that the material circumstances they testified to were integral parts
of a well thought of and prefabricated story.
3. ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES in relation to THE WRIT OF AMPARO
The writ of amparo does not determine guilt nor pinpoint criminal culpability for the
disappearance, rather, it determines responsibility, or at least accountability , for the
enforced disappearance for purposes of imposing the appropriate remedies to address
the disappearance [The writ of amparo is] a protective remedy against violations or
threats of violation against the rights to life, liberty and security. It embodies, as a
remedy, the courts directive to police agencies to undertake specified courses of action
to address the disappearance of an individual, in this case, Engr. Morced N. Tagitis. It
does not determine guilt nor pinpoint criminal culpability for the disappearance; rather, it
determines responsibility, or at least accountability, for the enforced disappearance for
purposes of imposing the appropriate remedies to address the disappearance.
Responsibility refers to the extent the actors have been established by substantial
evidence to have participated in whatever way, by action or omission, in an enforced
disappearance, as a measure of the remedies this Court shall craft, among them, the
directive to file the appropriate criminal and civil cases against the responsible parties in
the proper courts. Accountability, on the other hand, refers to the measure of remedies
that should be addressed to those who exhibited involvement in the enforced
disappearance without bringing the level of their complicity to the level of responsibility
defined above; or who are imputed with knowledge relating to the enforced
disappearance and who carry the burden of disclosure; or those who carry, but have
failed to discharge, the burden of extraordinary diligence in the investigation of the
enforced disappearance. In all these cases, the issuance of the Writ of Amparo is
justified by our primary goal of addressing the disappearance, so that the life of the
victim is preserved and his liberty and security are restored.
The Amparo Rule should be read, too, as a work in progress, as its directions and finer
points remain to evolve through time and jurisprudence and through the substantive
laws that Congress may promulgate [T]he unique situations that call for the issuance
of the writ, as well as the considerations and measures necessary to address these
situations, may not at all be the same as the standard measures and procedures in
ordinary court actions and proceedings. In this sense, the Rule on the Writ of Amparo
(Amparo Rule) issued by this Court is unique. The Amparo Rule should be read, too, as

a work in progress, as its directions and finer points remain to evolve through time and
jurisprudence and through the substantive laws that Congress may promulgate.
The concept of enforced disappearances is neither defined nor penalized in this
jurisdiction The Amparo Rule expressly provides that the writ shall cover extralegal
killings and enforced disappearances or threats thereof. We note that although the writ
specifically covers enforced disappearances, this concept is neither defined nor
penalized in this jurisdiction. The records of the Supreme Court Committee on the
Revision of Rules (Committee) reveal that the drafters of the Amparo Rule initially
considered providing an elemental definition of the concept of enforced disappearance:
x x x In the end, the Committee took cognizance of several bills filed in the House of
Representatives and in the Senate on extrajudicial killings and enforced
disappearances, and resolved to do away with a clear textual definition of these terms in
the Rule. The Committee instead focused on the nature and scope of the concerns
within its power to address and provided the appropriate remedy therefor, mindful that
an elemental definition may intrude into the ongoing legislative efforts. As the law now
stands, extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances in this jurisdiction are not
crimes penalized separately from the component criminal acts undertaken to carry out
these killings and enforced disappearances and are now penalized under the Revised
Penal Code and special laws. The simple reason is that the Legislature has not spoken
on the matter; the determination of what acts are criminal and what the corresponding
penalty these criminal acts should carry are matters of substantive law that only the
Legislature has the power to enact under the countrys constitutional scheme and power
structure. Source of the power of the Supreme Court to act on extrajudicial killings and
enforced disappearances Even without the benefit of directly applicable substantive
laws on extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances, however, the Supreme
Court is not powerless to act under its own constitutional mandate to promulgate rules
concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice
and procedure in all courts, since extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, by
their nature and purpose, constitute State or private party violation of the constitutional
rights of individuals to life, liberty and security. Although the Courts power is strictly
procedural and as such does not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights, the
legal protection that the Court can provide can be very meaningful through the
procedures it sets in addressing extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. The
Court, through its procedural rules, can set the procedural standards and thereby
directly compel the public authorities to act on actual or threatened violations of
constitutional rights. To state the obvious, judicial intervention can make a difference
even if only procedurally in a situation when the very same investigating public
authorities may have had a hand in the threatened or actual violations of constitutional
rights.
DISPOSITIVE: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals dated
March 7, 2008 under the following terms:
1.
Recognition that the disappearance of Engineer Morced N. Tagitis is an enforced
disappearance covered by the Rule on the Writ of Amparo;

2.
Without any specific pronouncement on exact authorship and responsibility,
declaring the government (through the PNP and the PNP-CIDG) and Colonel Julasirim
Ahadin Kasim accountable for the enforced disappearance of Engineer Morced N.
Tagitis;
3.
Confirmation of the validity of the Writ of Amparo the Court of Appeals issued;
4.
Holding the PNP, through the PNP Chief, and the PNP-CIDG, through its Chief,
directly responsible for the disclosure of material facts known to the government and to
their offices regarding the disappearance of Engineer Morced N. Tagitis, and for the
conduct of proper investigations using extraordinary diligence, with the obligation to
show investigation results acceptable to this Court;
5.
Ordering Colonel Julasirim Ahadin Kasim impleaded in this case and holding him
accountable with the obligation to disclose information known to him and to his assets
in relation with the enforced disappearance of Engineer Morced N. Tagitis;
6.
Referring this case back to the Court of Appeals for appropriate proceedings
directed at the monitoring of the PNP and PNP-CIDG investigations, actions and the
validation of their results; the PNP and the PNP-CIDG shall initially present to the Court
of Appeals a plan of action for further investigation, periodically reporting their results to
the Court of Appeals for consideration and action;
7.
Requiring the Court of Appeals to submit to this Court a quarterly report with its
recommendations, copy furnished the incumbent PNP and PNP-CIDG Chiefs as
petitioners and the respondent, with the first report due at the end of the first quarter
counted from the finality of this Decision;
8.
The PNP and the PNP-CIDG shall have one (1) full year to undertake their
investigations; the Court of Appeals shall submit its full report for the consideration of
this Court at the end of the 4th quarter counted from the finality of this Decision;
The abovementioned directives and those of the Court of Appeals made pursuant to
this Decision were given to, and were directly enforceable against, whoever may be the
incumbent Chiefs of the Philippine National Police and its Criminal Investigation and
Detection Group, under pain of contempt from the Supreme Court when the initiatives
and efforts at disclosure and investigation constitute less than the extraordinary
diligence that the Rule on the Writ of Amparo and the circumstances of this case
demand.
Given the unique nature of Amparo cases and their varying attendant circumstances,
the aforementioned directives particularly, the referral back to and monitoring by the
CA are specific to this case and are not standard remedies that can be applied to
every Amparo situation.
The Supreme Court likewise affirmed the dismissal of the Amparo petition with respect
to General Alexander Yano, Commanding General, Philippine Army, and General Ruben
Rafael, Chief, Anti-Terrorism Task Force Comet, Zamboanga City.
Collector of Internal Revenue vs Antonio Campos Rueda [G.R. L-13250] October
29, 1971

En Banc
Facts:
Maria Cerdiera is a Spanish national (Filipina married to a Spanish citizen), lived in
Morocco and died there. In the Philippines, she left intangible properties. The person
tasked as administrator of the intangible properties is Antonio Campos Rueda. He filed
a provisional estate and inheritance tax return on all properties left by her. The Collector
of Internal Revenue, the respondent, pending the investigation of the tax value of the
properties, issued an assessment for estate tax worth P111,592.48 and inheritance tax
worth P187,791.48 with a total amount of P369,383.96. These tax liabilities were paid
by Antonio Rueda.
Later, Campos Rueda filed an amended tax return wherein the properties worth
P396,308.90 are claimed as exempted from taxes. Respondent, still pending
investigation on the same subject, issued another assessment for estate tax worth
P202,262.40 and inheritance taxed worth P267,402.84 with a total amount of
P469,665.24.
Issues:
Respondents reply to the request for exemption of taxes, etc.:
(1) There is no reciprocity as it did not meet the requirements mentioned in Section 122
of the National Internal Revenue Code. Tangier is a mere principality and not a foreign
country.
(Note: As argued, section 122, in relation to the case, grants certain exemption of taxes
provided that reciprocity be met and for reciprocity to be met, Tangier must be a foreign
country within the meaning of Section 122).
(2) Respondent denied request for exemption because the law of Tangier is not
reciprocal to Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code.
(3) Respondent demanded the payment of the sums of 239,439.49 representing
deficiency estate and inheritance tax including ad valorem penalties, surcharges,
interests and compromise penalties.
The Court of Tax Appeals ruled:
(1) Tangier allows a similar law for the exemption of taxes. Such exemption is sufficient
to entitle Antonio Rueda to the exemption benefits. There is no lacking of reciprocity.
The Collector of Internal Revenue asked a question of law:

(1) Whether the requisites of statehood is necessary (sine qua non) for the acquisition
of international personality.
(2) Whether acquisition of international personality is required for a foreign country to
fall within the exemption of Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code.
The Supreme Court referred the case back to the Court of Tax Appeals to determine
whether the alleged law of Tangier did grant the reciprocal tax exemption required by
Section 122.
Held:
(1) Requisite of Statehood is necessary.
It does not admit of doubt that if a foreign country is to be identified with a state, it is
required in line with Pounds formulation that:it be a politically organized sovereign
community independent of outside control bound by penalties of nationhood, legally
supreme within its territory, acting through a government functioning under a regime of
law.
(2) Tangier is a state.
(3) Section 122 does not require that the foreign country possess an international
personality. In other words, international personality is not a requisite.
(4)
Supreme Court affirms Court of Tax Appeals ruling. (Note: Look at the ruling of
the Court of Appeals found in the issue.
Province of North Cotabato v. Government of the Republic of the Philippines (G.R. Nos.
183591, 183752, 183893, 183951, & 183962) (14 October 2008)
Facts:
On 8 August 2008, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), represented
by the GRP Peace Panel and the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (PAPP), and the Moro
Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were scheduled to sign the Memorandum of Agreement on the
Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) Aspect of the previous GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of
2001 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The MOA-AD included, among others, a stipulation that creates the Bangsamoro
Juridical Entity (BJE), to which the GRP grants the authority and jurisdiction over the ancestral
domain and ancestral lands of the Bangsamorodefined as the present geographic area of the
ARMM constituted by Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, and Marawi City,
as well as the municipalities of Lanao del Norte which voted for inclusion in the ARMM in the
2001 plebiscite. The BJE is then granted the power to build, develop, and maintain its own
institutions. The MOA-AD also described the relationship of the GRP and the BJE as
associative, characterized by shared authority and responsibility. It further provides that its

provisions requiring amendments to the existing legal framework shall take effect upon
signing of a Comprehensive Compact.
Before the signing, however, the Province of North Cotabato sought to compel the
respondents to disclose and furnish it with complete and official copies of the MOA-AD, as well
as to hold a public consultation thereon, invoking its right to information on matters of public
concern. A subsequent petition sought to have the City of Zamboanga excluded from the BJE.
The Court then issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on 4 August 2008, directing the
public respondents and their agents to cease and desist from formally signing the MOA-AD.
Issues and Ruling:
1. W/N the President has the power to pursue reforms that would require new legislation
and constitutional amendments.
YES. However, the stipulation in the MOA-AD that virtually guarantees that necessary changes
shall be effected upon the legal framework of the GRP must be struck down as unconstitutional
as it is inconsistent with the limits of the Presidents authority to propose constitutional
amendments. Because although the Presidents power to conduct peace negotiations is implicitly
included in her powers as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief, and, in the course of
conducting peace negotiations, may validly consider implementing even those policies that
require changes to the Constitution, she may not unilaterally implement them without the
intervention of Congress, or act in any way as if the assent of that body were assumed as a
certainty.
2. W/N there is a violation of the peoples right to information on matters of public
concern (1987 Constitution, Art. III, Sec. 7) under a state policy of full disclosure of all
its transactions involving public interest (1987 Constitution, Art. II, Sec. 28), including
public consultation under RA No. 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991).
YES. At least three pertinent laws animate these constitutional imperatives and justify the
exercise of the peoples right to be consulted on relevant matters relating to the peace agenda:
a. EO No. 3, which enumerates the functions and responsibilities of the PAPP, is replete
with mechanics for continuing consultations on both national and local levels and for a
principal forum for consensus-building. In fact, it is the duty of the PAPP to conduct
regular dialogues to seek relevant information, comments, advice, and recommendations
from peace partners and concerned sectors of society;
b. RA No. 7160 (LGC) requires all national offices to conduct consultations before any
project or program critical to the environment and human ecology including those that
may call for the eviction of a particular group of people residing in such locality, is
implemented therein. The MOA-AD is one peculiar program that unequivocally and
unilaterally vests ownership of a vast territory to the Bangsamoro people, which could
pervasively and drastically result to the diaspora or displacement of a great number of
inhabitants from their total environment;
c. RA No. 8371 (IPRA) provides for clear-cut procedure for the recognition and delineation
of ancestral domain, which entails, among other things, the observance of the free and

prior informed consent of the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples


(ICC/IP).
3. W/N the GRP Peace Panel and the PAPP committed grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
YES. The PAPP committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent
consultation process, as mandated by EO No. 3, RA No. 7160, and RA No. 8371. The furtive
process by which the MOA-AD was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the
legal authority, and amounts to a whimsical, capricious, oppressive, arbitrary, and despotic
exercise thereof. It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal to perform the
duty enjoined.
4. W/N the MOA-AD is constitutional.
NO. It cannot be reconciled with the present Constitution and laws. Not only its specific
provisions, but the very concept underlying them, namely, the associative relationship envisioned
between the GRP and the BJE, are unconstitutional, for the concept presupposes that the
associated entity is a state and implies that the same is on its way to independence. While there is
a clause in the MOA-AD stating that the provisions thereof inconsistent with the present legal
framework will not be effective until that framework is amended, the same does not cure its
defect. The inclusion of provisions in the MOA-AD establishing an associative relationship
between the BJE and the Central Government is, itself, a violation of the Memorandum of
Instructions From The President addressed to the government peace panel. Moreover, as the
clause is worded, it virtually guarantees that the necessary amendments to the Constitution and
the laws will eventually be put in place. Neither the GRP Peace Panel nor the President herself is
authorized to make such a guarantee. Upholding such an act would amount to authorizing a
usurpation of the constituent powers vested only in Congress, a Constitutional Convention, or the
people themselves through the process of initiative, for the only way that the Executive can
ensure the outcome of the amendment process is through an undue influence or interference with
that process.
5. W/N the GRP can invoke executive privilege.
NO. Respondents effectively waived such defense after it unconditionally disclosed the official
copies of the final draft of the MOA-AD, for judicial compliance and public scrutiny.
Carpio-Morales, J.
The peoples right to information on matters of public concern under Sec. 7, Art. III of the
Constitution is in splendid symmetry with the state policy of full public disclosure of all its
transactions involving public interest under Sec. 28, Art. II of the Constitution.
The right to information guarantees the right of the people to demand information, while the
policy of public disclosure recognizes the duty of officialdom to give information even if nobody
demands.
The IPRA does not grant the Executive Department or any government agency the power to
delineate and recognize an ancestral domain claim by mere agreement or compromise.

An association is formed when two states of unequal power voluntarily establish durable links.
In the basic model, one state, the associate, delegates certain responsibilities to the other, the
principal, while maintaining its international status as a state. Free associations represent a
middle ground between integration and independence.
The recognized sources of international law establish that the right to self-determination of a
people is normally fulfilled through internal self-determinationa peoples pursuit of its
political, economic, social, and cultural development within the framework of an existing state. A
right to external self-determination (which in this case potentially takes the form of the assertion
of a right to unilateral secession) arises only in the most extreme of cases and, even then, under
carefully defined circumstances.
That the authority of the President to conduct peace negotiations with rebel groups is not
explicitly mentioned in the Constitution does not mean that she has no such authority.
The President has authority, as stated in her oath of office, only to preserve and defend the
Constitution. Such presidential power does not, however, extend to allowing her to change the
Constitution, but simply to recommend proposed amendments or revision. As long as she limits
herself to recommending these changes and submits to the proper procedure for constitutional
amendments and revision, her mere recommendation need not be construed as an
unconstitutional act.
Public statements of a state representative may be construed as a unilateral declaration only when
the following conditions are present: the statements were clearly addressed to the international
community, the state intended to be bound to that community by its statements, and that not to
give legal effect to those statements would be detrimental to the security of international
intercourse. Plainly, unilateral declarations arise only in peculiar circumstances.

WILLIAM C. REAGAN, ET. AL vs.COMMISSIONER OF INTERNALREVENUE


FACTS: Petitioner Reagan, a civilian employee of an American corporation providing technical
assistance to the US Air Force in the Philippines, questioned the payment of the income tax
assessed on him by respondent CIR on an amount realized by him on a sale of his automobile to
a member of the US Marine Corps, the transaction having taken place at the Clark Field Air Base
at Pampanga. It is his contention, that in legal contemplation the sale was made outside
Philippine territory and therefore beyond our jurisdictional power to tax. He seeks that an
amount of P2,979.00 as the income tax paid by him be refunded.
ISSUE: WON the Clark Field Air Base is a foreign property therefore excluded from thepower of
Philippine taxation.
HELD: NO. By the [Military Bases] Agreement, it should be noted, the Philippine Government
merely consents that the United States exercise jurisdiction in certain cases. The consent was
given purely as a matter of comity, courtesy, or expediency over the bases as part of the
Philippine territory or divested itself completely of jurisdiction over offenses committed therein.
This provision is not and cannot on principle or authority be construed as a limitation upon the

rights of the Philippine Government. The State is not precluded from allowing another power to
participate in the exercise of jurisdictional right over certain portions of its territory. If it does so,
it by no means follows that such areas become impressed with an alien character. They retain
their status as native soil. They are still subject to its authority. Its jurisdiction may be
diminished, but it does not disappear. So it iswith the bases under lease to the American armed
forces by virtue of the military bases agreement of 1947. They are not and cannot be foreign
territory.
TAADA VS. ANGARA
272 SCRA 18
Facts:
On April 15, 1994, respondent Navarro, Secretary of Department of Trade and Industry and a
representative of the Philippine government, signed in the Final Act Embodying the Results of
the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Negotiations. Bys signing the Final Act, the Philippines
agreed to submit the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization that require the
Philippines, among others, to place nationals and products of member-countries on the same
footing as Filipinos and local products. To that effect, the President ratified and submitted the
same to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section21, Article VII of the Constitution.
Hence the petitioner assailed the WTO Agreement for violating the mandate of the 1987
Constitution to develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled
by Filipinos . . . (to) give preference to qualified Filipinos (and to) promote the preferential use
of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods.
Issue: Whether the provisions of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization
contravene the provisions of Sec. 19, Art. II, and Secs. 10 and 12, Art. XII, all of the 1987
Philippines Constitution.
Held:
The court ruled the petition in favor of the respondents.
Article II of the Constitution is a "declaration of principles and state policies." These principles
in Article II are not intended to be self-executing principles ready for enforcement through the
courts. They are used by the judiciary as aids or as guides in the exercise of its power of judicial
review, and by the legislature in its enactment of laws.
The provisions of Sec. 10 and 12, Article XII of the Constitution, general principles relating to
the national economy and patrimony, is enforceable only in regard to the grants or rights,
privileges and concessions covering national economy and patrimony and not to every aspect of
trade and commerce. While the Constitution mandates a bias in favor of Filipino goods, services,
labor and enterprises, at the same time, it recognizes the need for business exchange with the rest
of the world on the bases of equality and reciprocity and limits protection of Filipino enterprises
only against foreign competition and trade practices that are unfair. In other words, the
Constitution did not intend to pursue an isolationist policy.

On the other hand, there is no basis on the contention that under WTO, local industries will all be
wiped out and that Filipino will be deprived of control of the economy, in fact, WTO recognizes
need to protect weak economies like the Philippines.

People v. Perfecto
G.R. No. L-18463, October 4, 1922
"The important question is here squarely presented of whether article 256 of the
Spanish Penal Code, punishing "Any person who, by . . . writing, shall defame, abuse,
or insult any Minister of the Crown or other person in authority . . .," is still in force."
public law: It is a general principle of the public law that on acquisition of territory the
previous political relations of the ceded region are totally abrogated -- "political" being
used to denominate the laws regulating the relations sustained by the inhabitants to the
sovereign.
FACTS:
This is a case relating to the loss of some documents which constituted the records of
testimony given by witnesses in the Senate investigation of oil companies. The
newspaper La Nacion, edited by Mr. Gregorio Perfecto, published an article about it to
the effect that "the author or authors of the robbery of the records from the iron safe of
the Senate have, perhaps, but followed the example of certain Senators who secured
their election through fraud and robbery."
Consequently, the Attorney-General, through a resolution adopted by the Philippine
Senate, filed an information alleging that the editorial constituted a violation of article
256 of the Penal Code.
The defendant Gregorio Perfecto was found guilty in the municipal court and again in
the Court of First Instance of Manila.
ISSUEs:
Whether or not article 256 of the Spanish Penal Code was abrogated with the change
from Spanish to American sovereignty
Whether or not Perfecto is guilty of libel
HELD:
It is a general principle of the public law that on acquisition of territory the previous
political relations of the ceded region are totally abrogated -- "political" being used to
denominate the laws regulating the relations sustained by the inhabitants to the
sovereign.

On American occupation of the Philippines, by instructions of the President to the


Military Commander, and by proclamation of the latter, the municipal laws of the
conquered territory affecting private rights of person and property and providing for the
punishment of crime (e.g. the Spanish Penal Code) were nominally continued in force in
so far as they were compatible with the new order of things.
Article 256 was enacted by the Government of Spain to protect Spanish officials who
were the representatives of the King. But with the change of sovereignty, a new
government, and a new theory of government, was set up in the Philippines. No longer
is there a Minister of the Crown or a person in authority of such exalted position that the
citizen must speak of him only with bated breath. Said article is contrary to the genius
and fundamental principles of the American character and system of
government. It was crowded out by implication as soon as the United States established
its authority in the Philippine Islands.
"From an entirely different point of view, it must be noted that this article punishes
contempts against executive officials, although its terms are broad enough to cover the
entire official class. Punishment for contempt of non-judicial officers has no place in a
government based upon American principles. Our official class is not, as in monarchies,
an agent of some authority greater than the people but it is an agent and servant of the
people themselves. These officials are only entitled to respect and obedience when they
are acting within the scope of their authority and jurisdiction. The American system of
government is calculated to enforce respect and obedience where such respect and
obedience is due, but never does it place around the individual who happens to occupy
an official position by mandate of the people any official halo, which calls for drastic
punishment for contemptuous remarks."
DECISION:
To summarize, the result is, that all the members of the court are of the opinion,
although for different reasons, that the judgment should be reversed and the defendant
and appellant acquitted, with costs de officio. So ordered
Macariola v. Asuncion, 114 SCRA 77, May 31, 1982
(En Banc), J. Makasiar
Facts: When the decision in Civil Case No. 3010 rendered by respondent Hon. Judge
Elias B. Asuncion of Court of First Instance of Leyte became final on June 8, 1863 for
lack of an appeal, a project of partition was submitted to him which he later approved in
an Order dated October 23, 1963. Among the parties thereto was complainant
Bernardita R. Macariola.
One of the properties mentioned in the project of partition was Lot 1184. This lot
according to the decision rendered by Judge Asuncion was adjudicated to the plaintiffs

Reyes in equal shares subdividing Lot 1184 into five lots denominated as Lot 1184-A to
1184-E.
On July 31, 1964 Lot 1184-E was sold to Dr. Arcadio Galapon who later sold a portion of
Lot 1184-E to Judge Asuncion and his wife Victoria Asuncion. Thereafter spouses
Asuncion and spouses Galapon conveyed their respective shares and interests in Lot
1184-E to the Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries Inc. wherein Judge
Asuncion was the president.
Macariola then filed an instant complaint on August 9, 1968 docketed as Civil Case No.
4234 in the CFI of Leyte against Judge Asuncion with "acts unbecoming a judge"
alleging that Judge Asuncion in acquiring by purchase a portion of Lot 1184-E violated
Article 1491 par. 5 of the New Civil Code, Art. 14, pars. 1 and 5 of the Code of
Commerce, Sec. 3 par. H of R.A. 3019, Sec. 12 Rule XVIII of the Civil Service Rules
and Canon 25 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics.
On November 2, 1970, Judge Jose Nepomuceno of the CFI of Leyte rendered a
decision dismissing the complaints against Judge Asuncion.
After the investigation, report and recommendation conducted by Justice Cecilia Munoz
Palma of the Court of Appeals, she recommended on her decision dated March 27,
1971 that Judge Asuncion be exonerated.
Issue: Does Judge Asuncion, now Associate Justice of Court of Appeals violated any
law in acquiring by purchase a parcel of Lot 1184-E which he previously decided in a
Civil Case No. 3010 and his engagement in business by joining a private corporation
during his incumbency as a judge of the CFI of Leyte constitute an "act unbecoming of a
judge"?
Ruling: No. The respondent Judge Asuncion's actuation does not constitute of an "act
unbecoming of a judge." But he is reminded to be more discreet in his private and
business activities.
SC ruled that the prohibition in Article 1491 par. 5 of the New Civil Code applies only to
operate, the sale or assignment of the property during the pendency of the litigation
involving the property. Respondent judge purchased a portion of Lot 1184-E on March 6,
1965, the in Civil Case No. 3010 which he rendered on June 8, 1963 was already final
because none of the parties therein filed an appeal within the reglementary period.
Hence, the lot in question was no longer subject to litigation. Furthermore, Judge
Asuncion did not buy the lot in question directly from the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 3010
but from Dr. Arcadio Galapon who earlier purchased Lot1184-E from the plaintiffs Reyes
after the finality of the decision in Civil Case No. 3010.

SC stated that upon the transfer of sovereignty from Spain to the US and later on from
the US to the Republic of the Philippines, Article 14 of Code of Commerce must be
deemed to have been abrogated because where there is change of sovereignty, the
political laws of the former sovereign, whether compatible or not with those of the new
sovereign, are automatically abrogated, unless they are expressly re-enacted by
affirmative act of the new sovereign. There appears no enabling or affirmative act that
continued the effectivity of the aforestated provision of the Code of Commerce,
consequently, Art. 14 of the Code of Commerce has no legal and binding effect and
cannot apply to the respondent Judge Asuncion.
Respondent Judge cannot also be held liable to par. H, Section 3 of R.A. 3019 because
the business of the corporation in which respondent participated had obviously no
relation or connection with his judicial office.
SC stated that respondent judge and his wife deserve the commendation for their
immediate withdrawal from the firm 22 days after its incorporation realizing that their
interest contravenes the Canon 25 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics.

Constitutional Law. Political Law. Effects of Cession.


PERALTA v. DIRECTOR OF PRISONS
75 PHIL 285
FACTS:
William Peralta was prosecuted for the crime of robbery and was sentenced to life
imprisonment as defined and penalized by Act No. 65 of the National Assembly of the
Republic of the Philippines. The petition for habeas corpus is based on the contention
that the Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction created by Ordinance No. 7
was a political instrumentality of the military forces of Japan and which is repugnant to
the aims of the Commonwealth of the Philippines for it does not afford fair trial and
impairs the constitutional rights of the accused.
ISSUE:
1. Is the creation of court by Ordinance No. 7 valid?
2. Is the sentence of life imprisonment valid?
3. By principle of postliminy, did the punitive sentence cease to be valid from the time
of the restoration of the Commonwealth?
HELD:
There is no room for doubt to the validity of Ordinance No. 7 since the criminal
jurisdiction established by the invader is drawn entirely from the law martial as defined
in the usages of nations. It is merely a governmental agency. The sentence rendered,
likewise, is good and valid since it was within the power and competence of the
belligerent occupant to promulgate Act No. 65. All judgments of political complexion of
the courts during Japanese regime ceased to be valid upon reoccupation of the Islands,

as such, the sentence which convicted the petitioner of a crime of a political complexion
must be considered as having ceased to be valid.
LAUREL v. MISA
77 PHIL 856
FACTS:
Anastacio Laurel filed a petition for habeas corpus contending that he cannot be
prosecuted for the crime of treason defined and penalized by the Article 114 of the
Revised Penal Code on the grounds that the sovereignty of the legitimate government
and the allegiance of Filipino citizens was then suspended, and that there was a change
of sovereignty over the Philippines upon the proclamation of the Philippine Republic.
ISSUE:
1. Is the absolute allegiance of the citizens suspended during Japanese occupation?
2. Is the petitioner subject to Article 114 of the Revised Penal Code?
HELD:
The absolute and permanent allegiance of the inhabitants of a territory occupied by the
enemy of their legitimate government on sovereign is not abrogated or severed by the
enemy occupation because the sovereignty of the government or sovereign de jure is
not transferred to the occupier. There is no such thing as suspended allegiance.
The petitioner is subject to the Revised Penal Code for the change of form of
government does not affect the prosecution of those charged with the crime of treason
because it is an offense to the same government and same sovereign people.
CO KIM CHAM v EUSEBIO VALDEZ TAN KEH
G.R. No. L-5

September 17, 1945

FACTS:
The respondent judge refused to take cognizance of the proceedings in a civil case
which were initiated during the Japanese military occupation on the ground that the
proclamation issued by General MacArthur that all laws, regulations and processes of
any other government in the Philippines than that of the said Commonwealth are null
and void and without legal effect in areas of the Philippines free of enemy occupation
and control had the effect of invalidating and nullifying all judicial proceedings and
judgments of the court of the Philippines during the Japanese military occupation, and
that the lower courts have no jurisdiction to take cognizance of and continue judicial
proceedings pending in the courts of the defunct Republic of the Philippines in the
absence of an enabling law granting such authority.

During the Japanese occupation, no substantial change was effected in the organization
and jurisdiction of the different courts that functioned during the Philippine Executive
Commission, and in the laws they administered and enforced.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not under the rules of international law the judicial acts and proceedings
of the courts during a de facto government are good and valid.
2. Whether it was the intention of the Gen McArthur to annul and void thereby all
judgments and judicial proceedings of the courts established in the Philippines during
the Japanese military occupation.
3. Whether the present courts of the Commonwealth, which were the same court
existing prior to, and continued during, the Japanese military occupation of the
Philippines, may continue those proceedings pending in said courts at the time the
Philippines were reoccupied and liberated by the United States and Filipino forces, and
the Commonwealth of the Philippines were reestablished in the Islands.
HELD:
1. It is a legal truism in political and international law that all acts and proceedings of the
legislative, executive, and judicial departments of a de facto government are good and
valid. The doctrine upon this subject is thus summed up by Halleck, in his work on
International Law (Vol. 2, p. 444): The right of one belligerent to occupy and govern the
territory of the enemy while in its military possession, is one of the incidents of war, and
flows directly from the right to conquer. We, therefore, do not look to the Constitution or
political institutions of the conqueror, for authority to establish a government for the
territory of the enemy in his possession, during its military occupation, nor for the rules
by which the powers of such government are regulated and limited. Such authority and
such rules are derived directly from the laws war, as established by the usage of the of
the world, and confirmed by the writings of publicists and decisions of courts in fine,
from the law of nations. . . . The municipal laws of a conquered territory, or the laws
which regulate private rights, continue in force during military occupation, excepts so far
as they are suspended or changed by the acts of conqueror. . . . He, nevertheless, has
all the powers of a de facto government, and can at his pleasure either change the
existing laws or make new ones.
According to that well-known principle in international law, the fact that a territory which
has been occupied by an enemy comes again into the power of its legitimate
government of sovereignty, does not, except in a very few cases, wipe out the effects of
acts done by an invader, which for one reason or another it is within his competence to
do. Thus judicial acts done under his control, when they are not of a political
complexion, administrative acts so done, to the extent that they take effect during the
continuance of his control, and the various acts done during the same time by private
persons under the sanction of municipal law, remain good.

That not only judicial but also legislative acts of de facto governments, which are not of
a political complexion, are and remain valid after reoccupation of a territory occupied by
a belligerent occupant, is confirmed by the Proclamation issued by General Douglas
MacArthur on October 23, 1944, which declares null and void all laws, regulations and
processes of the governments established in the Philippines during the Japanese
occupation, for it would not have been necessary for said proclamation to abrogate
them if they were invalid ab initio.
2. NO. The phrase processes of any other government is broad and may refer not only
to the judicial processes, but also to administrative or legislative, as well as
constitutional, processes of the Republic of the Philippines or other governmental
agencies established in the Islands during the Japanese occupation. Taking into
consideration the fact that, as above indicated, according to the well-known principles of
international law all judgements and judicial proceedings, which are not of a political
complexion, of the de facto governments during the Japanese military occupation were
good and valid before and remained so after the occupied territory had come again into
the power of the titular sovereign, it should be presumed that it was not, and could not
have been, the intention of General Douglas MacArthur, in using the phrase processes
of any other government in said proclamation, to refer to judicial processes, in violation
of said principles of international law.
3. YES. Although in theory the authority of the local civil and judicial administration is
suspended as a matter of course as soon as military occupation takes place, in practice
the invader does not usually take the administration of justice into his own hands, but
continues the ordinary courts or tribunals to administer the laws of the country which he
is enjoined, unless absolutely prevented, to respect. An Executive Order of President
McKinley to the Secretary of War states that in practice, they (the municipal laws) are
not usually abrogated but are allowed to remain in force and to be administered by the
ordinary tribunals substantially as they were before the occupation. This enlightened
practice is, so far as possible, to be adhered to on the present occasion. And Taylor in
this connection says: From a theoretical point of view it may be said that the conqueror
is armed with the right to substitute his arbitrary will for all preexisting forms of
government, legislative, executive and judicial. From the stand-point of actual practice
such arbitrary will is restrained by the provision of the law of nations which compels the
conqueror to continue local laws and institution so far as military necessity will permit.
Undoubtedly, this practice has been adopted in order that the ordinary pursuits and
business of society may not be unnecessarily deranged, inasmuch as belligerent
occupation is essentially provisional, and the government established by the occupant
of transient character.
If the proceedings pending in the different courts of the Islands prior to the Japanese
military occupation had been continued during the Japanese military administration, the
Philippine Executive Commission, and the so-called Republic of the Philippines, it
stands to reason that the same courts, which had become reestablished and conceived
of as having in continued existence upon the reoccupation and liberation of the

Philippines by virtue of the principle of postliminy, may continue the proceedings in


cases then pending in said courts, without necessity of enacting a law conferring
jurisdiction upon them to continue said proceedings. As Taylor graphically points out in
speaking of said principles a state or other governmental entity, upon the removal of a
foreign military force, resumes its old place with its right and duties substantially
unimpaired. . . . Such political resurrection is the result of a law analogous to that which
enables elastic bodies to regain their original shape upon removal of the external force,
and subject to the same exception in case of absolute crushing of the whole fibre and
content.
Ognir vs Director of Prisons
G.R. No. L-1870, February 27, 1948
Facts:
Convicted by the General Court Martial appointed or convened during the year 1943 by
Colonel Wendel W. Fertig, Commanding Officer of the 10th Military District of Mindanao,
and sentenced to life imprisonment, for violation of the 93rd Article of War of the
Philippine Army, petitioner Ognir filed for habeas corpus, claiming that his imprisonment
is null and void because the said General Court-Martial was not legally constituted,
inasmuch as District Commander that appointed or convened it had no authority to do
so, and therefore the judgment of said court is null and void for want of jurisdiction.
Issue:
Whether or not the General Court-Martial which sentenced the petitioner to life
imprisonment, was legally appointed or convened
Ruling:
No. The General Court-Martial which sentenced the petitioner to life imprisonment, was
not legally appointed or convened. The appointment of Colonel Fertig as Commander of
the 10th Military District of Mindanao does not carry with it the power to convene the
General Court-Martial.
According to Article 8 of Commonwealth No. 408, the only officers who have such
inherent power by virtue of their position are the President of the Commonwealth and
the Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army. All other officers such as the Provost Marshall
and Commanding Officer of a separate brigade or body of troops, and Colonel Fertig
may come within the latter category, can not appoint a General Court Martial unless
expressly empowered by the President to do so.
The Judge Advocate General of the Philippine Army and Solicitor Antonio A. Torres, filed
a motion for reconsideration, raising the ground, among others, that that the decision of
the General Court-Martial which convicted the petitioner may be given the same effects
as the actuation of the civil courts during the Japanese occupation.

The court, in denying the motion, ruled that:


The contention that the proceedings of the General Court-Martial under consideration
may be given effect as the actuation of de facto officers in the same manner as the
pronouncement of Civil Tribunals set up during the second Republic. is untenable;
because there is no analogy between the decision of the courts established by the
Military Government or the so-called second Republic, and that of the General CourtMartial which convicted the petitioner. The Courts of the Commonwealth legally
constituted which were continued during the so-called Philippine Republic, and the other
courts during the Japanese occupation were legally created by laws which, under the
International Law, the military occupant had the right to promulgate. While the said
General Court-Martial was created or convened by an officer having no power or
authority to do so.
\
LAWYERS LEAGUE FOR A BETTER PHILIPPINES AND/OR OLIVER A. LOZANO
VS. PRESIDENT CORAZON C. AQUINO, ET AL.
G.R. No. 73748, May 22, 1986
FACTS:
On February 25, 1986, President Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation No. 1
announcing that she and Vice President Laurel were taking power. On March 25, 1986,
proclamation No.3 was issued providing the basis of the Aquino government
assumption of power by stating that the "new government was installed through a direct
exercise of the power of the Filipino people assisted by units of the New Armed Forces
of the Philippines."
ISSUE:
Whether or not the government of Corazon Aquino is legitimate.
HELD:
Yes. The legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable matter but belongs to
the realm of politics where only the people are the judge. The Court further held that the
people have accepted the Aquino government which is in effective control of the entire
country. It is not merely a de facto government but in fact and law a de jure government.
The community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of the new government.
Holy See vs Rosario
G.R. No. 101949
238 SCRA 524
December 1, 1994

Petitioner: The Holy See


Respondent: Hon. Elidberto Rosario, Jr., in his capacity as Presiding Judge of
RTC Makati, Branch 61 and Starbright Sales Enterprises, Inc.
FACTS: Petition arose from a controversy over a parcel of land. Lot 5-A, registered
under the name Holy See, was contiguous to Lot 5-B and 5-D under the name of
Philippine Realty Corporation (PRC). The land was donated by the Archdiocese of
Manila to the Papal Nuncio, which represents the Holy See, who exercises sovereignty
over the Vatican City, Rome, Italy, for his residence.
Said lots were sold through an agent to Ramon Licup who assigned his rights to
respondents Starbright Sales Enterprises, Inc.
When the squatters refuse to vacate the lots, a dispute arose between the two parties
because both were unsure whose responsibility was it to evict the squatters from said
lots. Respondent Starbright Sales Enterprises Inc. insists that Holy See should clear the
property while Holy See says that respondent corporation should do it or the earnest
money will be returned. With this, Msgr. Cirilios, the agent, subsequently returned the
P100,000 earnest money.
The same lots were then sold to Tropicana Properties and Development Corporation.
Starbright Sales Enterprises, Inc. filed a suit for annulment of the sale, specific
performance and damages against Msgr. Cirilios, PRC as well as Tropicana Properties
and Development Corporation. The Holy See and Msgr. Cirilos moved to dismiss the
petition for lack of jurisdiction based on sovereign immunity from suit. RTC denied the
motion on ground that petitioner already "shed off" its sovereign immunity by entering
into a business contract. The subsequent Motion for Reconsideration was also denied
hence this special civil action for certiorari was forwarded to the Supreme Court.
ISSUE: Whether or not Holy See can invoke sovereign immunity.
HELD: The Court held that Holy See may properly invoke sovereign immunity for its
non-suability. As expressed in Sec. 2 Art II of the 1987 Constitution, generally accepted
principles of International Law are adopted by our Courts and thus shall form part of the
laws of the land as a condition and consequence of our admission in the society of
nations.
It was noted in Article 31(A) of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that
diplomatic envoy shall be granted immunity from civil and administrative jurisdiction of
the receiving state over any real action relating to private immovable property. The
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) certified that the Embassy of the Holy See is a duly
accredited diplomatic missionary to the Republic of the Philippines and is thus
exempted from local jurisdiction and is entitled to the immunity rights of a diplomatic
mission or embassy in this Court.

Furthermore, it shall be understood that in the case at bar, the petitioner has bought and
sold lands in the ordinary course of real estate business, surely, the said transaction can
be categorized as an act jure gestionis. However, petitioner has denied that the
acquisition and subsequent disposal of the lot were made for profit but claimed that it
acquired said property for the site of its mission or the Apostolic Nunciature in the
Philippines.
The Holy See is immune from suit because the act of selling the lot of concern is nonpropriety in nature. The lot was acquired through a donation from the Archdiocese of
Manila, not for a commercial purpose, but for the use of petitioner to construct the
official place of residence of the Papal Nuncio thereof. The transfer of the property and
its subsequent disposal are likewise clothed with a governmental (non-proprietal)
character as petitioner sold the lot not for profit or gain rather because it merely cannot
evict the squatters living in said property.
In view of the foregoing, the petition is hereby GRANTED and the complaints were
dismissed accordingly.
G.R. No. 152154 July 15, 2003
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs.HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN(SPECIAL
FIRST DIVISION), Ferdinand E. Marcos (represented by his estate/heirs: Imelda R.
Marcos, Maria Imelda [Imee]Marcos-Manotoc, Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and Irene
Marcos-Araneta) and Imelda Romualdez Marcos
FACTS: Petitioner Republic, through the Presidential Commission on Good
Government(PCGG), represented by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), filed a
petition for forfeiture before the Sandiganbayan. Petitioner sought the declaration of the
aggregate amount of US$356 million (now estimated tobe more than US$658 million
inclusive of interest) deposited in escrow in the PNB, as ill-gotten wealth. The funds
were previously held by the following five account groups, using various foreign
foundations in certain Swiss banks. In addition, the petition sought the forfeiture of
US$25 million and US$5 million in treasury notes which exceeded the Marcos couples
salaries, other lawful income as well as income from legitimately acquired property. The
treasury notes are frozen at the Central Bank of the Philippines by virtue of thefreeze
order issued by the PCGG. Before thecase was set for pre-trial, a General Agreement
and the Supplemental Agreement dated December 28, 1993 were executed by the
Marcos children and then PCGG Chairman Magtanggol Gunigundo for a global
settlement of the assets of the Marcos family to identify, collate, cause the inventory of
and distribute all assets presumed to be owned by the Marcos family under the
conditions contained therein.
ISSUE: WON the Swiss funds can be forfeited in favor of the Republic, on the basis of
the Marcoses lawful income.

HELD: NO.RA 1379 raises the prima facie presumption that a property is unlawfully
acquired, hence subject to forfeiture, if its amount or value is manifestly disproportionate
to the official salary and other lawful income of the public officer who owns it. The
following acts must be established in order that forfeiture or seizure of the Swiss
deposits maybe effected: (1) ownership by the public officer of money or property
acquired during his incumbency, whether it be in his name or otherwise, and (2) the
extent to which the amount of that money or property exceeds, i.e., is grossly
disproportionate to, the legitimate income of the public officer. Herein, the spouses
Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were public officials during the time material to the
present case was never in dispute. The spouses accumulated salary of $304,372.43
should be held as the only known lawful income of the Marcoses since they did not file
any Statement of Assets and Liabilities(SAL), as required by law, from which their net
worth could be determined. Besides, under the1935 Constitution, Ferdinand E. Marcos
as President could not receive "any other emolument from the Government or any of its
subdivisions and instrumentalities". Likewise, under the 1973 Constitution, Ferdinand
E.Marcos as President could "not receive during his tenure any other emolument from
the Government or any other source."Their only known lawful income of $304,372.43
can therefore legally and fairly serve as basis for determining the existence of a prima
facie case of forfeiture of the Swiss funds. The Republic did not fail to establish a prima
facie case for the forfeiture of the Swiss deposits. The Swiss deposits which were
transferred to and are deposited in escrow at the Philippine National Bank in the
estimate daggregate amount of US$658,175,373.60 as of 31 January 2002, plus
interest, were forfeited in favor of the Republic.
VINUYA VS. SEC. ROMULO Leave a comment
ISABELITA C. VINUYA, VICTORIA C. DELA PEA, HERMINIHILDA, MANIMBO,
LEONOR H. SUMAWANG, CANDELARIA L. SOLIMAN, MARIA L. QUILANTANG,
MARIA L. MAGISA, NATALIA M. ALONZO, LOURDES M. NAVARO, FRANCISCA M.
ATENCIO, ERLINDA MANALASTAS, TARCILA M. SAMPANG, ESTER M. PALACIO
MAXIMA R. DELA CRUZ, BELEN A. SAGUM, FELICIDAD TURLA, FLORENCIA M.
DELA PEA, FRANCIA A. BUCO, PASTORA C. GUEVARRA, VICTORIA M. DELA
CRUZ, PETRONILA O. DELA CRUZ, ZENAIDA P. DELA CRUZ, CORAZON M. SUBA,
EMERINCIANA A. VINUYA, LYDIA A. SANCHEZ, ROSALINA M.BUCO, PATRICIA A.
ERNARDO, LUCILA H. PAYAWAL, MAGDALENA LIWAG, ESTER C. BALINGIT,
JOVITA A. DAVID, EMILIA C. MANGILIT, VERGINIA M. BANGIT, GUILLERMA S.
BALINGIT, TERECITA PANGILINAN, MAMERTA C. PUNO, CRISENCIANA C.
GULAPA, SEFERINA S. TURLA, MAXIMA B. TURLA, LEONICIA G. GUEVARRA,
ROSALINA M. CULALA, CATALINA Y. MANIO, MAMERTA T. SAGUM, CARIDAD L.
TURLA, et al.
In their capacity and as members of the Malaya Lolas Organization,
versus THE HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ALBERTO G. ROMULO, THE
HONORABLE SECRETARY OF FOREIGNAFFAIRS DELIA DOMINGO-ALBERT, THE

HONORABLE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE MERCEDITAS N. GUTIERREZ, and THE


HONORABLE SOLICITOR GENERAL ALFREDO L. BENIPAYO
G.R. No. 162230, April 28, 2010
FACTS:
This is an original Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court with an
application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction against the
Office of the Executive Secretary, the Secretary of the DFA, the Secretary of the DOJ,
and the OSG.
Petitioners are all members of the MALAYA LOLAS, a non-stock, non-profit organization
registered with the SEC, established for the purpose of providing aid to the victims of
rape by Japanese military forces in the Philippines during the Second World War.
Petitioners claim that since 1998, they have approached the Executive Department
through the DOJ, DFA, and OSG, requesting assistance in filing a claim against the
Japanese officials and military officers who ordered the establishment of the comfort
women stations in the Philippines. But officials of the Executive Department declined to
assist the petitioners, and took the position that the individual claims of the comfort
women for compensation had already been fully satisfied by Japans compliance with
the Peace Treaty between the Philippines and Japan.
Hence, this petition where petitioners pray for this court to (a) declare that respondents
committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of discretion in
refusing to espouse their claims for the crimes against humanity and war crimes
committed against them; and (b) compel the respondents to espouse their claims for
official apology and other forms of reparations against Japan before the International
Court of Justice (ICJ) and other international tribunals.
Respondents maintain that all claims of the Philippines and its nationals relative to the
war were dealt with in the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951 and the bilateral
Reparations Agreement of 1956.
On January 15, 1997, the Asian Womens Fund and the Philippine government signed a
Memorandum of Understanding for medical and welfare support programs for former
comfort women. Over the next five years, these were implemented by the Department
of Social Welfare and Development.
ISSUE:
WON the Executive Department committed grave abuse of discretion in not espousing
petitioners claims for official apology and other forms of reparations against Japan.
RULING:

Petition lacks merit. From a Domestic Law Perspective, the Executive Department has
the exclusive prerogative to determine whether to espouse petitioners claims against
Japan.
Political questions refer to those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be
decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary
authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. It
is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality of a particular
measure.
One type of case of political questions involves questions of foreign relations. It is wellestablished that the conduct of the foreign relations of our government is committed by
the Constitution to the executive and legislativethe politicaldepartments of the
government, and the propriety of what may be done in the exercise of this political
power is not subject to judicial inquiry or decision. are delicate, complex, and involve
large elements of prophecy. They are and should be undertaken only by those directly
responsible to the people whose welfare they advance or imperil.
But not all cases implicating foreign relations present political questions, and courts
certainly possess the authority to construe or invalidate treaties and executive
agreements. However, the question whether the Philippine government should espouse
claims of its nationals against a foreign government is a foreign relations matter, the
authority for which is demonstrably committed by our Constitution not to the courts but
to the political branches. In this case, the Executive Department has already decided
that it is to the best interest of the country to waive all claims of its nationals for
reparations against Japan in the Treaty of Peace of 1951. The wisdom of such decision
is not for the courts to question.
The President, not Congress, has the better opportunity of knowing the conditions which
prevail in foreign countries, and especially is this true in time of war. He has his
confidential sources of information. He has his agents in the form of diplomatic, consular
and other officials.
The Executive Department has determined that taking up petitioners cause would be
inimical to our countrys foreign policy interests, and could disrupt our relations with
Japan, thereby creating serious implications for stability in this region. For the to
overturn the Executive Departments determination would mean an assessment of the
foreign policy judgments by a coordinate political branch to which authority to make that
judgment has been constitutionally committed.
From a municipal law perspective, certiorari will not lie. As a general principle, where
such an extraordinary length of time has lapsed between the treatys conclusion and our
consideration the Executive must be given ample discretion to assess the foreign
policy considerations of espousing a claim against Japan, from the standpoint of both

the interests of the petitioners and those of the Republic, and decide on that basis if
apologies are sufficient, and whether further steps are appropriate or necessary.
In the international sphere, traditionally, the only means available for individuals to bring
a claim within the international legal system has been when the individual is able to
persuade a government to bring a claim on the individuals behalf. By taking up the case
of one of its subjects and by resorting to diplomatic action or international judicial
proceedings on his behalf, a State is in reality asserting its own right to ensure, in the
person of its subjects, respect for the rules of international law.
Within the limits prescribed by international law, a State may exercise diplomatic
protection by whatever means and to whatever extent it thinks fit, for it is its own right
that the State is asserting. Should the natural or legal person on whose behalf it is
acting consider that their rights are not adequately protected, they have no remedy in
international law. All they can do is resort to national law, if means are available, with a
view to furthering their cause or obtaining redress. All these questions remain within the
province of municipal law and do not affect the position internationally.
Even the invocation of jus cogens norms and erga omnes obligations will not alter this
analysis. Petitioners have not shown that the crimes committed by the Japanese army
violated jus cogens prohibitions at the time the Treaty of Peace was signed, or that the
duty to prosecute perpetrators of international crimes is an erga omnes obligation or has
attained the status of jus cogens.
The term erga omnes (Latin: in relation to everyone) in international law has been used
as a legal term describing obligations owed by States towards the community of states
as a whole. Essential distinction should be drawn between the obligations of a State
towards the international community as a whole, and those arising vis--vis another
State in the field of diplomatic protection. By their very nature, the former are the
concern of all States. In view of the importance of the rights involved, all States can be
held to have a legal interest in their protection; they are obligations erga omnes.
The term jus cogens (literally, compelling law) refers to norms that command
peremptory authority, superseding conflicting treaties and custom. Jus cogens norms
are considered peremptory in the sense that they are mandatory, do not admit
derogation, and can be modified only by general international norms of equivalent
authority
WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DISMISSED.
LT. COL. ROGELIO BOAC, et al. v. ERLINDA T. CADAPAN, et al.
G.R. Nos. 184461-62, 184495, 187109, 31 May 2011, EN BANC,
(Carpio Morales, J)

An amparo proceeding is not criminal in nature nor does it ascertain the


criminal liability of individuals or entities involved. Neither does it partake of a
civil or administrative suit. Rather, it is a remedial measure designed to direct
specified courses of action to government agencies to safeguard the
constitutional right to life, liberty and security of aggrieved individuals.
Command responsibility may be loosely applied in amparo cases in
order to identify those accountable individuals that have the power to
effectively implement whatever processes an amparo court would issue. In
such application, the amparo court does not impute criminal responsibility but
merely pinpoint the superiors it considers to be in the best position to protect
the rights of the aggrieved party.
There is no need to file a motion for execution for an amparo or habeas
corpus decision. Since the right to life, liberty and security of a person is at
stake, the proceedings should not be delayed and execution of any decision
thereon must be expedited as soon as possible since any form of delay, even for
a day, may jeopardize the very rights that these writs seek to immediately
protect.
Following the abduction of Sherlyn Cadapan (Sherlyn), Karen Empeo
(Karen) and Manuel Merino (Merino) by armed men from a house in San
Miguel, Hagonoy, Bulacan, spouses Asher and Erlinda Cadapan (Spouses
Cadapan) and Concepcion Empeo (Empeo) filed a petition for habeas
corpus before the Court (habeas corpus case), impleading then Generals
Romeo Tolentino and Jovito Palparan (Gen. Palparan), Lt. Col. Rogelio Boac (Lt.
Col. Boac), Arnel Enriquez and Lt. Francis Mirabelle Samson (Lt. Mirabelle) as
respondents. By Resolution of the Court, a writ of habeas corpus was issued,
returnable to the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals.
By Return of the Writ, the respondents in the habeas corpus petition
denied that Sherlyn, Karen and Merino are in the custody of the military. To
the Return were attached affidavits from the respondents, except Enriquez,
who all attested that they do not know Sherlyn, Karen and Merino; that they
had inquired from their subordinates about the reported abduction and
disappearance of the three but their inquiry yielded nothing.
The Court of Appeals dismissed the habeas corpus petition there being
no strong evidence that the missing persons are in the custody of the
respondents.
Petitioners moved for a reconsideration of the appellate courts
decision. They also moved to present newly discovered evidence consisting of
the testimonies of Adoracion Paulino, Sherlyns mother-in-law who was
allegedly threatened by soldiers; and Raymond Manalo who allegedly met
Sherlyn, Karen and Merino in the course of his detention at a military camp.

During the pendency of the motion for reconsideration, Erlinda Cadapan


and Empeo filed before this Court a Petition for Writ of Amparo (amparo
case), with Prayers for Inspection of Place and Production of Documents. The
petition impleaded the same respondents in the habeas corpus petition, with
the addition of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, then Armed Forces of
the Phil. (AFP) Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr., (Gen. Esperon) then Phil.
National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Avelino Razon (Gen. Razon), Lt. Col. Felipe
Anotado (Lt. Col. Anotado) and Donald Caigas.
Then President Arroyo was eventually dropped as respondent in light of
her immunity from suit while in office.
By Resolution, the Court issued a writ of amparo returnable to appellate
court, and ordered the consolidation of the amparo petition with the
pending habeas corpus petition.
In the habeas corpus case, the appellate court granted the Motion for
Reconsideration and ordered the immediate release of Sherlyn, Karen and
Merino in the amparo case.
In reconsidering its earlier decision in the habeas corpus case, the
appellate court relied heavily on the testimony of Manalo. It held that there is
now a clear and credible evidence that the three missing persons, (Sherlyn,
Karen and Merino), are being detained in military camps and bases under the
7th Infantry Division. Being not held for a lawful cause, they should be
immediately released from detention.
In the amparo case, the appellate court deemed it a superfluity to issue
any inspection order or production order in light of the release order. As it
earlier ruled in the habeas corpus case, it found that the three detainees right
to life, liberty and security was being violated, hence, the need to immediately
release them, or cause their release. The appellate court went on to direct the
PNP to proceed further with its investigation since there were enough leads as
indicated in the records to ascertain the truth and file the appropriate charges
against those responsible for the abduction and detention of the three.
Lt. Col. Rogelio Boac, et al. challenged before this Court, via petition for
review, the Decision of the appellate court.
Erlinda Cadapan and Concepcion Empeo, on the other hand, filed their
own petition for review also challenging the same Decision of the appellate
court only insofar as the amparo aspect is concerned.
Meanwhile, Erlinda Cadapan and Concepcion Empeo filed before the
appellate court a Motion to Cite Respondents in Contempt of Court for failure
of the respondents in the amparo and habeas corpus cases to comply with the
directive of the appellate court to immediately release the three missing
persons. By Resolution, the appellate court denied the motion, ratiocinating

that while the Court, ordered the respondents to immediately RELEASE, or


cause the release, from detention the persons of Sherlyn Cadapan, Karen
Empeo and Manuel Merino, the decision is not ipso facto executory. The use
of the term immediately does not mean that that it is automatically
executory. Neither did the decision become final and executory considering
that both parties questioned the Decision/Resolution before the Supreme
Court.
Via a petition for certiorari filed before this Court, Erlinda Cadapan and
Empeo challenged the appellate courts Resolution denying their motion to
cite respondents in contempt.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the Armed Forces Chief of Staff then Hermogenes
Esperon and the Present Chief of Staff has command responsibility
in the enforced disappearance and continued detention of the
three aggrieved parties, Sherlyn, Karen and Merino
2. Whether or not there is a need to file a motion for execution in a
Habeas Corpus decision or in an Amparo case to cause the release
of the aggrieved parties.
HELD:
Petition DISMISSED.
There is no showing that Generals Esperon, Razon and Tolentino
were even remotely accountable and responsible for the abduction and
continued detention of Sherlyn, Karen and Merino.
On the issue of whether a military commander may be held liable for the
acts of his subordinates in an amparo proceeding, a brief discussion of the
concept
of command
responsibility and
its
application
insofar
as amparo cases already decided by the Court is in order.
Rubrico v. Macapagal Arroyo expounded on the concept of command
responsibility as follows:
The evolution of the command responsibility doctrine finds
its context in the development of laws of war and armed combats.
According to Fr. Bernas, "command responsibility," in its simplest
terms, means the "responsibility of commanders for crimes
committed by subordinate members of the armed forces or other
persons subject to their control in international wars or domestic
conflict." In this sense, command responsibility is properly a form

of criminal complicity. The Hague Conventions of 1907 adopted the


doctrine of command responsibility, foreshadowing the present-day
precept of holding a superior accountable for the atrocities
committed by his subordinates should he be remiss in his duty of
control over them. As then formulated, command responsibility is
"an omission mode of individual criminal liability," whereby
the superior is made responsible forcrimes committed by his
subordinates for failing to prevent or punish the perpetrators (as
opposed to crimes he ordered). (citations omitted; emphasis in the
original; underscoring supplied)
It bears stressing that command responsibility is properly a form of
criminal complicity, and thus a substantive rule that points to criminal or
administrative liability.
An amparo proceeding is not criminal in nature nor does it ascertain the
criminal liability of individuals or entities involved. Neither does it partake of a
civil or administrative suit. Rather, it is a remedial measure designed to direct
specified courses of action to government agencies to safeguard the
constitutional right to life, liberty and security of aggrieved individuals.
Thus Razon Jr. v. Tagitis enlightens:
[An amparo proceeding] does nor determine guilt nor
pinpoint criminal culpability for the disappearance [threats thereof
or extrajudicial killings]; it determines responsibility, or at
least accountability, for the enforced disappearancefor
purposes of imposing the appropriate remedies to address the
disappearance (emphasis and underscoring supplied)
Further, Tagitis defines
accountability, viz:

what

constitutes

responsibility

x x x. Responsibility refers to the extent the actors have


been established by substantial evidence to have participated in
whatever way, by action or omission, in an enforced disappearance,
as a measure of the remedies this Court shall craft, among them,
the directive to file the appropriate criminal and civil cases against
the responsible parties in the proper courts. Accountability, on
the other hand, refers to the measure of remedies that should be
addressed to those who exhibited involvement in the enforced
disappearance without bringing the level of their complicity to the
level of responsibility defined above; or who are imputed with
knowledge relating to the enforced disappearance and who carry
the burden of disclosure; or those who carry, but have failed to
discharge, the burden of extraordinary diligence in the

and

investigation of the enforced disappearance. In all these cases, the


issuance of the Writ of Amparo is justified by our primary goal of
addressing the disappearance, so that the life of the victim is
preserved and his liberty and security are restored. (emphasis in
the original; underscoring supplied)
Rubrico categorically denies the application of command responsibility
in amparo cases to determine criminal liability. The Court maintains its
adherence to this pronouncement as far as amparo cases are concerned.
Rubrico, however, recognizes a preliminary yet limited application of
command responsibility in amparo cases to instances of determining
the responsible or accountable individuals or entities that are duty-bound to
abate any transgression on the life, liberty or security of the aggrieved party.
If command responsibility were to be invoked and applied to
these proceedings, it should, at most, be only to determine the
author who, at the first instance, is accountable for, and has
the duty to address, the disappearance and harassments
complained of, so as to enable the Court to devise remedial
measures that may be appropriate under the premises to
protect rights covered by the writ of amparo. As intimated
earlier, however, the determination should not be pursued to fix
criminal liability on respondents preparatory to criminal
prosecution, or as a prelude to administrative disciplinary
proceedings under existing administrative issuances, if there be
any. (emphasis and underscoring supplied)
In other words, command responsibility may be loosely applied
in amparo cases in order to identify those accountable individuals that have
the power to effectively implement whatever processes an amparo court would
issue. In such application, the amparo court does not impute criminal
responsibility but merely pinpoint the superiors it considers to be in the best
position to protect the rights of the aggrieved party.
Such identification of the responsible and accountable superiors may
well be a preliminary determination of criminal liability which, of course, is still
subject to further investigation by the appropriate government agency.
Relatedly, the legislature came up with Republic Act No. 9851 (RA 9851)
to include command responsibility as a form of criminal complicity in crimes
against international humanitarian law, genocide and other crimes. RA 9851 is
thus the substantive law that definitively imputes criminal liability to those
superiors who, despite their position, still fail to take all necessary and
reasonable measures within their power to prevent or repress the commission

of illegal acts or to submit these matters to the competent authorities for


investigation and prosecution.
The Court finds that the appellate court erred when it did not specifically
name the respondents that it found to be responsible for the abduction and
continued detention of Sherlyn, Karen and Merino. For, from the records, it
appears that the responsible and accountable individuals are Lt. Col. Anotado,
Lt. Mirabelle, Gen. Palparan, Lt. Col. Boac, Arnel Enriquez and Donald
Caigas. They should thus be made to comply with the September 17, 2008
Decision of the appellate court to IMMEDIATELY RELEASE Sherlyn, Karen and
Merino.
The petitions against Generals Esperon, Razon and Tolentino should be
dismissed for lack of merit as there is no showing that they were even remotely
accountable and responsible for the abduction and continued detention of
Sherlyn, Karen and Merino.
There is no need to file a motion for execution for an amparo or habeas
corpus decision.
Contrary to the ruling of the appellate court, there is no need to file a
motion for execution for an amparo or habeas corpus decision. Since the right
to life, liberty and security of a person is at stake, the proceedings should not
be delayed and execution of any decision thereon must be expedited as soon as
possible since any form of delay, even for a day, may jeopardize the very rights
that these writs seek to immediately protect.
The Solicitor Generals argument that the Rules of Court supplement the
Rule on the Writ of Amparo is misplaced. The Rules of Court only find
suppletory application in an amparo proceeding if the Rules strengthen, rather
than weaken, the procedural efficacy of the writ. As it is, the Rule dispenses
with dilatory motions in view of the urgency in securing the life, liberty or
security of the aggrieved party. Suffice it to state that a motion for execution is
inconsistent with the extraordinary and expeditious remedy being offered by
an amparo proceeding.
In fine, the appellate court erred in ruling that its directive
to immediately release Sherlyn, Karen and Merino was not automatically
executory. For that would defeat the very purpose of having summary
proceedings in amparo petitions. Summary proceedings, it bears emphasis, are
immediately executory without prejudice to further appeals that may be taken
therefrom..