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1. Oposa v.

Factoran interest, making this civil case a class suit and proving the existence of an actual
2. Oh Cho v. Director of Lands controversy. He strengthens this conclusion by citing in the decision Section 1, Article
3. Cariño v. Insular Government 7 of the 1987 Constitution.
4. The Director, Land Management Bureau v. CA 2. The petitioners can file a class suit because they represent their generation as well as
5. Sec. of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources v. Yap generations yet unborn. Their personality to sue in behalf of the succeeding generations
6. Bangus Fry Fisherfolk v. Lanzanas can only be based on the concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right
7. Lina, Jr. v Paño to a balanced and healthful ecology is concerned. Such a right, as hereinafter
8. David v. Macapagal expounded, considers the “rhythm and harmony of nature.” Nature means the created
9. Bersamin, J., Separate Opinion, Biraogo v. Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 world in its entirety. Such rhythm and harmony indispensably include, inter alia, the
10. LLDA v. CA, GR 110120 judicious disposition, utilization, management, renewal and conservation of the
11. Henares v LTFRB, GR 158290 country’s forest, mineral, land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, off-shore areas and other
12. Social Justice Society v. Atienza, Jr. natural resources to the end that their exploration, development and utilization be
13. MMDA v. Concerned Citizens of Manila Bay equitably accessible to the present as well as future generations.
14. M.C. Mehta v. Union of India 3. Every generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve that rhythm and harmony
15. Tañada v. Angara for the full enjoyment of a balanced and healthful ecology. Put a little differently, the
--------------------------------------- minors’ assertion of their right to a sound environment constitutes, at the same time,
the performance of their obligation to ensure the protection of that right for the
Oposa v. Factoran generations to come.
 The Court does not agree with the trial court’s conclusions that the plaintiffs failed to allege
Facts: with sufficient definiteness a specific legal right involved or a specific legal wrong committed,
The principal petitioners, all minors duly represented and joined by their respective parents. and that the complaint is replete with vague assumptions and conclusions based on
Impleaded as an additional plaintiff is the Philippine Ecological Network, Inc. (PENI), a domestic, unverified data.
non-stock and non-profit corporation organized for the purpose of, inter alia, engaging in concerted 1. The complaint focuses on one specific fundamental legal right — the right to a balanced
action geared for the protection of our environment and natural resources. The petitioners alleged and healthful ecology which, for the first time in our nation’s constitutional history, is
the respondent, Honorable Fulgencio S. Factoran, Jr., then Secretary of the Department of solemnly incorporated in the fundamental law. Section 16, Article II of the 1987
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), continued approval of the Timber License Constitution explicitly provides:
Agreements (TLAs) to numerous commercial logging companies to cut and deforest the remaining Sec. 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful
forests of the country. Petitioners request the defendant, his agents, representatives and other ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
persons acting in his behalf to:

1. This right unites with the right to health which is provided for in the preceding section of the
 Cancel all existing timber license agreements in the country; same article:
 Cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or approving new timber Sec. 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health
license agreements. consciousness among them.
Plaintiffs further assert that the adverse and detrimental consequences of continued and
deforestation are so capable of unquestionable demonstration that the same may be submitted 1. While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is to be found under the Declaration of
as a matter of judicial notice. This act of defendant constitutes a misappropriation and/or Principles and State Policies and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not follow that it is less
impairment of the natural resource property he holds in trust for the benefit of plaintiff minors and important than any of the civil and political rights enumerated in the latter. Such a right
succeeding generations. Plaintiff have exhausted all administrative remedies with the defendant’s belongs to a different category of rights altogether for it concerns nothing less than self-
office. On March 2, 1990, plaintiffs served upon defendant a final demand to cancel all logging preservation and self-perpetuation — aptly and fittingly stressed by the petitioners — the
permits in the country. Defendant, however, fails and refuses to cancel the existing TLA’s to the advancement of which may even be said to predate all governments and constitutions. As a
continuing serious damage and extreme prejudice of plaintiffs. matter of fact, these basic rights need not even be written in the Constitution for they are
Issues: assumed to exist from the inception of humankind.

 Whether or not the petitioners have the right to bring action to the judicial power of the Court.  The Court are not persuaded by the trial court’s pronouncement.
 Whether or not the petitioners failed to allege in their complaint a specific legal right violated 1. The respondent Secretary did not invoke in his motion to dismiss the non-impairment
by the respondent Secretary for which any relief is provided by law. clause. If he had done so, Justice Feliciano would have acted with utmost infidelity to
 Whether or not petitioners’ proposition to have all the TLAs indiscriminately cancelled without the Government by providing undue and unwarranted benefits and advantages to the
the requisite hearing violates the requirements of due process. timber license holders because he would have forever bound the Government to strictly
Rulings: respect the said licenses according to their terms and conditions regardless of changes
In the resolution of the case, the Court held that: in policy and the demands of public interest and welfare. He was aware that as correctly
pointed out by the petitioners, into every timber license must be read Section 20 of the
Forestry Reform Code (P.D. No. 705) which provides that when the national interest so
 The petitioners have the right to bring action to the judicial power of the Court. requires, the President may amend, modify, replace or rescind any contract,
1. The case at bar is subject to judicial review by the Court. Justice Davide, Jr. precisely concession, permit, licenses or any other form of privilege granted herein .
identified in his opinion the requisites for a case to be subjected for the judicial review 2. All licenses may thus be revoked or rescinded by executive action. It is not a contract,
by the Court. According to him, the subject matter of the complaint is of common property or a property right protested by the due process clause of the Constitution.
Hence, the instant Petition is hereby GRANTED, and the challenged Order of respondent Judge
of 18 July 1991 dismissing Civil Case No. 90-777 was set aside. The petitioners amend their
complaint to implead as defendants the holders or grantees of the questioned timber license

Oh Cho v. Director of Lands

GR: All lands are acquired from the Government, either by purchase or by grant.
EXCEPTION: Lands under private ownership since time immemorial.
Application for decree of registration is a condition precedent to acquisition of title. Non-
compliance gives rise to mere possessory right.
An alien cannot acquire title to lands of the public domain by prescription.


Oh Cho, a Chinese citizen, purchased from the Lagdameos a parcel of land in Tayabas, which
they openly, continuously and adversely possessed since 1880. On January 17, 1940, Oh Cho
applied for registration of this land. The Solicitor General opposed on the ground that Oh Cho
lacked title to said land and also because he was an alien.


Whether or not Oh Cho had title

Whether or not Oh Cho is entitled to a decree of registration


Oh Cho failed to show that he has title to the lot, which may be confirmed under the Land
Registration Act.

All lands that were not acquired from the Government, either by purchase or by grant, belong to
the public domain. An exception to the rule would be any land that should have been in the
possession of an occupant and of his predecessors in interest since time immemorial, for such
possession would justify the presumption that the land had never been part of the public domain
or that it had been a private property even before the Spanish conquest.

The applicant does not come under the exception, for the earliest possession of the lot by his first
predecessor in interest began in 1880.

Under the Public Land Act, Oh Cho is not entitled to a decree of registration of the lot, because
he is an alien disqualified from acquiring lands of the public domain.

Oh Cho's predecessors in interest would have been entitled toa decree of registration had they
applied for the same. The application for the registration of the land was a condition precedent,
which was not complied with by the Lagmeos. Hence, the most they had was mere possessory
right, not title. This possessory right was what was transferred to Oh Cho, but since the latter is
an alien, the possessory right could never ripen to ownership by prescription. As an alien, Oh Cho
is disqualified from acquiring title over public land by prescription.
The Director, Land Management Bureau v. CA
Cariño v. Insular Government “failure to prove possession according to the manner and no. of years required by law”

Respondent Aquilino Cariño filed a petition for registration for Lot 6 which is a sugar land claimed
to be owned by his mother of whom after she died he became the administrator of the property in
behalf of his brothers and sisters. By virtue of a deed of extrajudicial settlement, he became the
sole owner of the property. Report from the land investigator showed that the lot is agricultural in
nature. Respondent claims that the improvements introduced were in the form of bamboo clumps,
sugarcane and mango trees with the house of the tenant; that the land is free from claim and
conflict and is not covered by existing public land application and no patent or title has been issued Whether unclassified lands of the public domain are automatically deemed agricultural land,
to it; that the respondent is on continuous, open and exclusive possession of the land as inherited therefore making these lands alienable.
from his deceased mother. Respondent is the sole witness for his petition and the only oppositor
is the Bureau of Lands. The court granted the petition of the respondent. The petitioner filed a HELD:
review for certiorari contending that the respondent failed to submit proof of his fee simple title and No. To prove that the land subject of an application for registration is alienable, the applicant must
has not overthrown the presumption that the land is a portion of the public domain belonging to establish the existence of a positive act of the government such as a presidential proclamation or
the state. an executive order, an administrative action, investigative reports of the Bureau of Lands
investigators, and a legislative act or statute.
Issue: Whether or not the respondent established proof of his muniment of title to merit registration
of land in his favor? A positive act declaring land as alienable and disposable is required. In keeping with the
presumption of state ownership, the Court has time and again emphasized that there must be a
Ruling: positive act of the government, such as an official proclamation, declassifying inalienable public
land into disposable land for agricultural or other purposes.
The petition of the respondent is covered by the Land Registration Act providing that a person
alleging in his petition or application ownership in fee simple must present muniments of title to The Regalian Doctrine dictates that all lands of the public domain belong to the State, that the
substantiate his claim of ownership, presenting evidence of his possession in the concept of an State is the source of any asserted right to ownership of land and charged with the conservation
owner in a manner and number of years required by law. The manner shall be open, continuous, of such patrimony.
exclusive, and notorious possession of the property known as agricultural land of the public
domain for 30 years preceding the filing of application for confirmation (Commonwealth Act No. All lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to belong
141). to the State. Thus, all lands that have not been acquired from the government, either by purchase
or by grant, belong to the State as part of the inalienable public domain.
Possession of public land however long never confers title upon the possessor unless occupant
of the same is under claim of ownership for the required period. Even in the absence of opposition Bangus Fry Fisherfolk v. Lanzanas
the court can deny registration of land under the Torrens System on ground that an applicant failed
to establish his ownership by a fee simple on the property sought to be registered. FACTS:

The respondent only traced his own possession in the land in 1949 by virtue of extrajudicial On 30 June 1997, Regional Executive Director Antonio G. Principe (RED Principe) of Region IV,
settlement and order and at the same time he filed his application for registration in 1975 thus he Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), issued an Environmental Clearance
was in possession of said land only for 26 years. His mere allegation that his mother was in Certificate (ECC) in favor of respondent National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR). The ECC
possession of the land since 1911 is self serving and hearsay and is inadmissible as evidence. authorized NAPOCOR to construct a temporary mooring facility in Minolo Cove, Sitio Minolo,
The tax receipts and tax declaration he offered as evidence do not substantiate clear proof of Barangay San Isidro, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. The Sangguniang Bayan of Puerto Galera
ownership. Thus, with his failure to prove that his predecessor-in-interest occupied the land under has declared Minolo Cove, a mangrove area and breeding ground for bangus fry, an eco-tourist
the condition laid down by law, he can only establish his possession of the land from 1949. zone.[3]
Respondent failed to prove his muniment of title for the registration of the land under the
Registration Act with failure to present convincing and positive proof of his continuous, open, The mooring facility would serve as the temporary docking site of NAPOCORs power barge,
uninterrupted and notorious occupation of lot 6 in the concept of an owner for at least 30 years. which, due to turbulent waters at its former mooring site in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro, required
relocation to a safer site like Minolo Cove. The 14.4 megawatts power barge would provide the
Secretary of DENR vs Yap main source of power for the entire province of Oriental Mindoro pending the construction of a
Natural Resources and Environmental Laws: Regalian Doctrine land-based power plant in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro. The ECC for the mooring facility was valid
GR No. 167707; Oct 8, 2008 for two years counted from its date of issuance or until 30 June 1999.[4]

FACTS: Petitioners, claiming to be fisherfolks from Minolo, San Isidro, Puerto Galera,[5] sought
This petition is for a review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) affirming that reconsideration of the ECC issuance. RED Principe, however, denied petitioners plea on 15 July
of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Kalibo Aklan, which granted the petition for declaratory relief 1997. On 21 July 1997, petitioners filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch
filed by respondents-claimants Mayor Jose Yap et al, and ordered the survey of Boracay for titling 7, for the cancellation of the ECC and for the issuance of a writ of injunction to stop the construction
purposes. of the mooring facility. Impleaded as defendants were the following: (1) NAPOCOR, (2) RED
Principe, (3) DENR Region IV Technical Director for Environment Oscar Dominguez, (4) Oriental
On Nov. 10, 1978, President Marcos issued Proclamation No. 1801 declaring Boracay Island as Mindoro Electric Cooperative (ORMECO), which is engaged in the distribution of electricity in
a tourist zone and marine reserve. Claiming that Proc. No. 1801 precluded them from filing an Oriental Mindoro, and (5) certain officials of Puerto Galera.[6] Petitioners subsequently amended
application for a judicial confirmation of imperfect title or survey of land for titling purposes, their complaint to include as additional defendants the elective officials of Oriental Mindoro
respondents-claimants filed a petition for declaratory relief with the RTC in Kalibo, Aklan. represented by then Governor Rodolfo G. Valencia. Petitioners further prayed for the demolition
The Republic, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) opposed the petition countering of mooring structures that respondents had already built.
that Boracay Island was an unclassified land of the public domain. It formed part of the mass of
lands classified as “public forest,” which was not available for disposition pursuant to section 3(a) On 28 July 1997, prior to the filing of the amended complaint, the trial court issued a 20-day
of PD No. 705 or the Revised Forestry Code. temporary restraining order enjoining the construction of the mooring facility. However, the trial
court lifted the same on 6 August 1997 on NAPOCORs manifestation that the provincial
ISSUE: government of Oriental Mindoro was the one undertaking the construction of the mooring
On 28 August 1997, before filing their answers, respondents ORMECO and the provincial officials
of Oriental Mindoro moved to dismiss the complaint. These respondents claimed that petitioners
failed to exhaust administrative remedies, rendering the complaint without cause of action. They
also asserted that the Manila RTC has no jurisdiction to enjoin the construction of the mooring
facility in Oriental Mindoro, which lies outside the Manila RTCs territorial jurisdiction.

Petitioners opposed the motion on the ground that there was no need to exhaust administrative
remedies. They argued that the issuance of the ECC was in patent violation of Presidential Decree
No. 1605,[8] Sections 26 and 27 of Republic Act No. 7160,[9] and the provisions of DENR
Department Administrative Order No. 96-37 (DAO 96-37) on the documentation of ECC
applications. Petitioners also claimed that the implementation of the ECC was in patent violation
of its terms.

In its order of 7 November 1997, the trial court granted the motion and dismissed petitioners
complaint. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Whether the trial court erred in dismissing petitioners complaint for lack of cause of action
and lack of jurisdiction.

RULING: Congress introduced Sections 26 and 27 in the Local Government Code to emphasize
the legislative concern for the maintenance of a sound ecology and clean environment.[26] These
provisions require every national government agency or government-owned and controlled
corporation to hold prior consultations with the local government unit concerned and to secure the
prior approval of its sanggunian before implementing any project or program that may cause
pollution, climatic change, depletion of non-renewable resources, loss of cropland, rangeland, or
forest cover and extinction of animal or plant species. Sections 26 and 27 respectively provide:
Section 26. Duty of National Government Agencies in the Maintenance of Ecological Balance. - It
shall be the duty of every national agency or government-owned or controlled corporation
authorized or involved in the planning and implementation of any project or program that may
cause pollution, climatic change, depletion of non-renewable resources, loss of crop land,
rangeland, or forest cover and extinction of animal or plant species, to consult with the local
government units, non-governmental organizations, and other sectors concerned and explain the
goals and objectives of the project or program, its impact upon the people and the community in
terms of environmental or ecological balance, and the measures that will be undertaken to prevent
or minimize the adverse effects thereof.

Section 27. Prior Consultations Required. - No project or program shall be implemented by

government authorities unless the consultations mentioned in Section x x x 26 hereof are complied
David v. Macapagal
with, and prior approval of the sanggunian concerned is obtained: Provided, That occupants in
areas where such projects are to be implemented shall not be evicted unless appropriate
relocation sites have been provided, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Facts:
On February 24, 2006, as the nation celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Edsa People Power
The Court commends petitioners for their courageous efforts to safeguard and maintain the I, President Arroyo issued PP 1017 declaring a state of national emergency and call upon the
ecological balance of Minolo Cove. This Court recognizes the utmost importance of protecting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), to prevent and
environment.[33] Indeed, we have called for the vigorous prosecution of violators of environmental suppress acts of terrorism and lawless violence in the country. The Office of the President
laws.[34] Legal actions to achieve this end, however, must be done in accordance with established announced the cancellation of all programs and activities related to the 20th anniversary
rules of procedure that were intended, in the first place, to achieve orderly and efficient celebration of Edsa People Power I; and revoked the permits to hold rallies issued earlier by the
administration of justice. local governments and dispersal of the rallyists along EDSA. The police arrested (without warrant)
petitioner Randolf S. David, a professor at the University of the Philippines and newspaper
WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition for lack of merit. SO ORDERED. columnist. Also arrested was his companion, Ronald Llamas, president of party-list Akbayan.

In the early morning of February 25, 2006, operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection
Group (CIDG) of the PNP, on the basis of PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5, raided the Daily Tribune
offices in Manila and attempt to arrest was made against representatives of ANAKPAWIS,
GABRIELA and BAYAN MUNA whom suspected of inciting to sedition and rebellion. On March 3,
2006, President Arroyo issued PP 1021 declaring that the state of national emergency has ceased
to exist. Petitioners filed seven (7) certiorari with the Supreme Court and three (3) of those petitions
impleaded President Arroyo as respondent questioning the legality of the proclamation, alleging
that it encroaches the emergency powers of Congress and it violates the constitutional guarantees Bersamin, J., Separate Opinion, Biraogo v. Philippine Truth Commission of 2010
of freedom of the press, of speech and assembly.
I register my full concurrence with the Majority’s well reasoned conclusion to strike down Executive
Issue: Order No. 1 (E.O. No. 1) for its incurable unconstitutionality.
1.) Whether or not Presidential Proclamation No. 1017 is unconstitutional?
2.) Whether or not the warantless arrest of Randolf S. David and Ronald Llamas and the dispersal I share and adopt the perspectives of my colleagues in the Majority on why the issuance has to
of KMU and NAFLU-KMU members during rallies were valid? be struck down. I render this Separate Opinion only to express some thoughts on a few matters.
3.) Whether or not proper to implead President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as respondent in the
petitions? I
4.) Whether or not the petitioners have a legal standing in questioning the constitutionality of the Locus Standi of Petitioners
5.) Whether or not the concurrence of Congress is necessary whenever the alarming powers I hold that the petitioners have locus standi.
incident to Martial Law are used?
In particular reference to the petitioners in G.R. No. 193036,I think that their being incumbent
Ruling: Members of the House of Representatives gave them the requisite legal standing to challenge E.
O. No. 1 as an impermissible intrusion of the Executive into the domain of the Legislature. Indeed,
1.) The Court finds and so holds that PP 1017 is constitutional insofar as it constitutes a call by to the extent that the powers of Congress are impaired, so is the power of each Member, whose
the President for the AFP to prevent or suppress lawless violence whenever becomes necessary office confers a right to participate in the exercise of the powers of that institution; consequently,
as prescribe under Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution. However, there were extraneous an act of the Executive that injures the institution of Congress causes a derivative but nonetheless
provisions giving the President express or implied power substantial injury that a Member of Congress can assail.1 Moreover, any intrusion of one
(A) To issue decrees; (" Legislative power is peculiarly within the province of the Department in the domain of another Department diminishes the enduring idea underlying the
Legislature. Section 1, Article VI categorically states that "[t]he legislative power shall be vested incorporation in the Fundamental Law of the time-honored republican concept of separation of
in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of powers.
(B) To direct the AFP to enforce obedience to all laws even those not related to lawless Justice Mendoza’s main opinion, which well explains why the petitioners have locus standi, is
violence as well as decrees promulgated by the President[The absence of a law defining "acts of congruent with my view on the matter that I expressed in De Castro v. Judicial and Bar Council,
terrorism" may result in abuse and oppression on the part of the police or military]; and et al.,2viz:
(C) To impose standards on media or any form of prior restraint on the press, are ultra
vires and unconstitutional. The Court also rules that under Section 17, Article XII of the Black defines locus standi as “a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question.” In
Constitution, the President, in the absence of legislative legislation, cannot take over privately- public or constitutional litigations, the Court is often burdened with the determination of the locus
owned public utility and private business affected with public interest. Therefore, the PP No. 1017 standi of the petitioners due to the ever-present need to regulate the invocation of the intervention
is only partly unconstitutional. of the Court to correct any official action or policy in order to avoid obstructing the efficient
functioning of public officials and offices involved in public service. It is required, therefore, that
2.) The warrantless arrest of Randolf S. David and Ronald Llamas; the dispersal and warrantless the petitioner must have a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy, for, as indicated in
arrest of the KMU and NAFLU-KMU members during their rallies are illegal, in the absence of Agan, Jr. v. Philippine International Air Terminals Co., Inc.:
proof that these petitioners were committing acts constituting lawless violence, invasion or
rebellion and violating BP 880; the imposition of standards on media or any form of prior restraint The question on legal standing is whether such parties have “alleged such a personal stake in the
on the press, as well as the warrantless search of the Tribune offices and whimsical seizure of its outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the
articles for publication and other materials, are declared unconstitutional because there was no presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult
clear and present danger of a substantive evil that the state has a right to prevent. constitutional questions.” Accordingly, it has been held that the interest of a person assailing the
constitutionality of a statute must be direct and personal. He must be able to show, not only that
3.) It is not proper to implead President Arroyo as respondent. Settled is the doctrine that the the law or any government act is invalid, but also that he sustained or is in imminent danger of
President, during his tenure of office or actual incumbency, may not be sued in any civil or criminal sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement, and not merely that he suffers thereby
case, and there is no need to provide for it in the Constitution or law. in some indefinite way. It must appear that the person complaining has been or is about to be
denied some right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled or that he is about to be subjected to
4.) This Court adopted the “direct injury” test in our jurisdiction. In People v. Vera, it held that the some burdens or penalties by reason of the statute or act complained of.
person who impugns the validity of a statute must have “a personal and substantial interest in the
case such that he has sustained, or will sustain direct injury as a result.” Therefore, the court ruled It is true that as early as in 1937, in People v. Vera, the Court adopted the direct injury test for
that the petitioners have a locus standi, for they suffered “direct injury” resulting from “illegal arrest” determining whether a petitioner in a public action had locus standi. There, the Court held that the
and “unlawful search” committed by police operatives pursuant to PP 1017. person who would assail the validity of a statute must have “a personal and substantial interest in
the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain direct injury as a result.” Vera was followed in
5.) Under Article XII Section 17 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, in times of national emergency, Custodio v. President of the Senate, Manila Race Horse Trainers’ Association v. De la Fuente,
when the public interest so requires, the President may temporarily take over a privately owned Anti-Chinese League of the Philippines v. Felix, and Pascual v. Secretary of Public Works.
public utility or business affected with public interest only if there is congressional authority or
approval. There must enactment of appropriate legislation prescribing the terms and conditions Yet, the Court has also held that the requirement of locus standi, being a mere procedural
under which the President may exercise the powers that will serves as the best assurance that technicality, can be waived by the Court in the exercise of its discretion. For instance, in 1949, in
due process of law would be observed. Araneta v. Dinglasan, the Court liberalized the approach when the cases had “transcendental
importance.” Some notable controversies whose petitioners did not pass the direct injury testwere Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR. They also found the water to have been directly
allowed to be treated in the same way as in Araneta v. Dinglasan. contaminated by the operation of the dumpsite.
· LLDA issued a Cease and Desist Order against the City Government and other entities to
In the 1975 decision in Aquino v. Commission on Elections, this Court decided to resolve the completely halt, stop and desist from dumping any form or kind of garbage and other waste matter
issues raised by the petition due to their “far-reaching implications,” even if the petitioner had no on the Camarin dumpsite.
personality to file the suit. The liberal approach of Aquino v. Commission on Elections has been · The City Government went to the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City to file an action for
adopted in several notable cases, permitting ordinary citizens, legislators, and civic organizations the declaration of nullity of the cease and desist order and sought to be declared as the sole
to bring their suits involving the constitutionality or validity of laws, regulations, and rulings. 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.
However, the assertion of a public right as a predicate for challenging a supposedly illegal or · LLDA sought to dismiss the complaint, invoking the Pollution Control Law that the review of
unconstitutional executive or legislative action rests on the theory that the petitioner represents cease and desist orders of that nature falls under the Court of Appeals and not the RTC.
the public in general. Although such petitioner may not be as adversely affected by the action · RTC denied LLDA’s motion to dismiss, and issued a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining
complained against as are others, it is enough that he sufficiently demonstrates in his petition that LLDA from enforcing the cease and desist order during the pendency of the case.
he is entitled to protection or relief from the Court in the vindication of a public right. · The Court of Appeals promulgated a decision that ruled that the LLDA has no power and
authority to issue a cease and desist order enjoining the dumping of garbage.
Quite often, as here, the petitioner in a public action sues as a citizen or taxpayer to gain locus · The residents seek a review of the decision.
standi. That is not surprising, for even if the issue may appear to concern only the public in general,
such capacities nonetheless equip the petitioner with adequate interest to sue. In David v. ISSUE
Macapagal-Arroyo, the Court aptly explains why: WoN the LLDA has authority and power to issue an order which, in its nature and effect was
Case law in most jurisdictions now allows both “citizen” and “taxpayer” standing in public actions.
The distinction was first laid down in Beauchamp v. Silk, where it was held that the plaintiff in a THEORY OF THE PARTIES
taxpayer’s suit is in a different category from the plaintiff in a citizen’s suit. In the former, the plaintiff City Government of Caloocan: As a local government unit, pursuant to the general welfare
is affected by the expenditure of public funds, while in the latter, he is but the mere instrument of provision of the Local Government Code, they have the mandate to operate a dumpsite and
the public concern. As held by the New York Supreme Court in People ex rel Case v. Collins: “In determine the effects to the ecological balance over its territorial jurisdiction.
matter of mere public right, however…the people are the real parties…It is at least the right, if not LLDA: As an administrative agency which was granted regulatory and adjudicatory powers and
the duty, of every citizen to interfere and see that a public offence be properly pursued and functions by RA No. 4850, it is invested with the power and authority to issue a cease and desist
punished, and that a public grievance be remedied.” With respect to taxpayer’s suits, Terr v. order pursuant to various provisions in EO No. 927.
Jordan held that “the right of a citizen and a taxpayer to maintain an action in courts to restrain the
unlawful use of public funds to his injury cannot be denied.” RULING
xxx 1. LLDA is mandated by law to manage the environment, preserve the quality of human life
and ecological systems and prevent undue ecological disturbances, deterioration and pollution in
In any event, the Court retains the broad discretion to waive the requirement of legal standing in the Laguna Lake area and surrounding provinces and cities, including Caloocan.
favor of any petitioner when the matter involved has transcendental importance, or otherwise · While pollution cases are generally under the Pollution Adjudication Board under the
requires a liberalization of the requirement. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, it does not preclude mandate from special
laws that provide another forum.
Yet, if any doubt still lingers about the locus standi of any petitioner, we dispel the doubt now in · In this case, RA No. 4850 provides that mandate to the LLDA. It is mandated to pass upon
order to remove any obstacle or obstruction to the resolution of the essential issue squarely or approve or disapprove plans and programs of local government offices and agencies within the
presented herein. We are not to shirk from discharging our solemn duty by reason alone of an region and their underlying environmental/ecological repercussions.
obstacle more technical than otherwise. In Agan, Jr. v. Philippine International Air Terminals Co., · The DENR even recognized the primary jurisdiction of the LLDA over the case when the
Inc., we pointed out: “Standing is a peculiar concept in constitutional law because in some cases, DENR acted as intermediary at a meeting among the representatives of the city government,
suits are not brought by parties who have been personally injured by the operation of a law or any LLDA and the residents.
other government act but by concerned citizens, taxpayers or voters who actually sue in the public
interest.” But even if, strictly speaking, the petitioners “are not covered by the definition, it is still 2. LLDA has the authority to issue the cease and desist order.
within the wide discretion of the Court to waive the requirement and so remove the impediment to a. Explicit in the law.
its addressing and resolving the serious constitutional questions raised.” · §4, par. (3) explicitly authorizes the LLDA to make whatever order may be necessary in the
exercise of its jurisdiction.
LLDA v. CA, GR 110120 · While LLDA was not expressly conferred the power “to issue an ex-parte cease and desist
order” in that language, the provision granting authority to “make (…) orders requiring the
FACTS discontinuance of pollution”, has the same effect.
· The residents of Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City raised a complaint with the
Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), seeking to stop the operation of the City Government b. Necessarily implied powers.
of Caloocan of an 8.6 hectare open garbage dumpsite in Tala Estate, due to its harmful effects on · Assuming arguendo that the cease and desist order” was not expressly conferred by law,
the health of the residents and the pollution of the surrounding water. there is jurisprudence enough to the effect.
· LLDA discovered that the City Government of Caloocan has been maintaining the open · While it is a fundamental rule that an administrative agency has only such power as expressly
dumpsite at the Camarin Area without a requisite Environmental Compliance Certificate from the granted to it by law, it is likewise a settled rule that an administrative agency has also such powers
as are necessarily implied in the exercise of its express powers. Otherwise, it will be reduced to a Section 4 “to grant preferential and exclusive Certificates of Public Convenience (CPC) or
“toothless” paper agency. franchises to operators of NGVs based on the results of the DOTC surveys.”
· In Pollution Adjudication Board vs Court of Appeals, the Court ruled that the PAB has the In addition, under the Clean Air Act, it is the DENR that is tasked to set the emission standards for
power to issue an ex-parte cease and desist order on prima facie evidence of an establishment fuel use and the task of developing an action plan. As far as motor vehicles are concerned, it
exceeding the allowable standards set by the anti-pollution laws of the country. devolves upon the DOTC and the line agency whose mandate is to oversee that motor vehicles
· LLDA has been vested with sufficiently broad powers in the regulation of the projects within prepare an action plan and implement the emission standards for motor vehicles, namely the
the Laguna Lake region, and this includes the implementation of relevant anti-pollution laws in the LTFRB.
No. Petitioners are unable to pinpoint the law that imposes an indubitable legal duty on
Henares v LTFRB, GR 158290 respondents that will justify a grant of the writ of mandamus compelling the use of CNG for public
utility vehicles. The legislature should provide first the specific statutory remedy to the complex
FACTS environmental problems bared by herein petitioners before any judicial recourse by mandamus is
Citing statistics from National and International agencies, petitioners prayed for a writ of
mandamus commanding respondents Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board In addition, the petition had been mooted by the issuance of Executive Order No. 290, which
(LTFRB) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to require public implemented a program on the use of CNG by public vehicles. The court was assured that the
utility vehicles (PUVs) to use compressed natural gas (CNG) as alternative fuel. Petitioners allege implementation for a cleaner environment is being addressed.
that the particulate matters (PM) – complex mixtures of dust, dirt, smoke, and liquid droplets,
varying in sizes and compositions emitted into the air from various engine combustions – have Social Justice Society v. Atienza, Jr.
caused detrimental effects on health, productivity, infrastructure and the overall quality of life. In
addition, they allege that with the continuing high demand for motor vehicles, the energy and Facts: On November 20, 2001, The Sangguniang Panglunsod of Maynila enacted Ordinance No.
transport sectors are likely to remain the major sources of harmful emissions. They cited studies 8027. Hon. Jose L. Atienza, jr. approved the said ordinance on November 28, 2001. and it became
showing that vehicular emissions in Metro Manila have resulted to the prevalence of chronic effective on December 28, 2001. Ordinance No. 8027 reclassified the area of Pandacan and Sta.
obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD); that pulmonary tuberculosis is highest among jeepney Ana from industrial to commercial and directed the owners and operators of businesses disallowed
drivers; and that the children in Metro Manila showed more compromised pulmonary function than under Section 1 to cease and desist from operating their businesses within six months from the
their rural counterparts. Petitioners infer that these are mostly due to the emissions of PUVs. date of effectivity of the ordinance. Among the businesses situated in the area are the so-called
Pandacan Terminals of the oil companies Caltex, Petron and Shell.
Asserting their right to clean air, petitioners contend that the bases for their petition for a writ of
mandamus to order the LTFRB to require PUVs to use CNG as an alternative fuel, lie in Section However, on June 26, 2002, the City of Manila and the Department of Energy entered into a
16,12 Article II of the 1987 Constitution, in Oposa v. Factoran, Jr. and Section 414 of Republic Act memorandum of understanding with the oil companies in which they agreed that :scaling down of
No. 8749 otherwise known as the “Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999.” Pandacan Terminals was the most viable and practicable option. Under the memorandum of
understanding, the City of Manila and the Department of Energy permits the Oil Companies to
Petitioners insist that since it is the LTFRB and the DOTC that are the government agencies continuously operate in compliance with legal requirements, within the limited area resulting from
clothed with power to regulate and control motor vehicles, particularly PUVs, and with the same the joint operations and the scale down program.
agencies’ awareness and knowledge that the PUVs emit dangerous levels of air pollutants, then,
the responsibility to see that these are curbed falls under respondents’ functions and a writ of The Sangguniang Panlungsod ratified the memorandum of understanding in Resolution No. 97.
mandamus should issue against them. In that resolution, the Sanggunian declared that the memorandum of understanding was effective
only for a period of six months starting July 25, 2002. Thereafter, on January 30, 2003, the
On the other hand, the Solicitor General said that the respondent government agencies, the DOTC Sanggunian adopted Resolution No. 13 extending the validity of Resolution No. 97 to April 30,
and the LTFRB, are not in a position to compel the PUVs to use CNG as alternative fuel. He 2003 and authorizing Mayor Atienza to issue special business permits to the oil companies.
explained that the function of the DOTC is limited to implementing the emission standards set forth Resolution No. 13, s. 2003 also called for a reassessment of the ordinance.
in Rep. Act No. 8749 and the said law only goes as far as setting the maximum limit for the
emission of vehicles, but it does not recognize CNG as alternative engine fuel. He recommended Issues:
that the petition should be addressed to Congress for it to come up with a policy that would compel 1. Whether respondent has the mandatory legal duty to enforce Ordinance No. 8027 and order
the use of CNG as alternative fuel. the removal of the Pandacan Terminals, and
2. Whether the June 26, 2002 MOU and the resolutions ratifying it can amend or repeal Ordinance
ISSUES No. 8027

Whether the respondent is the agency responsible to implement the suggested alternative of Held: Yes to both, Petition granted
requiring public utility vehicles to use compressed natural gas (cng)
Whether the respondent can be compelled to require public utility vehicles to use compressed Ratio:
natural gas through a writ of mandamus 1. Rule 65, Section 316 of the Rules of Court- mandamus may be filed when any tribunal,
corporation, board, officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law
RULING specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust or station. The petitioner should have
a well-defined, clear and certain legal right to the performance of the act and it must be the clear
Mandamus is available only to compel the doing of an act specifically enjoined by law as a duty. and imperative duty of respondent to do the act required to be done.
Here, there is no law that mandates the respondents LTFRB and the DOTC to order owners of
motor vehicles to use CNG. At most the LTFRB has been tasked by E.O. No. 290 in par. 4.5 (ii),
Mandamus will not issue to enforce a right, or to compel compliance with a duty, which is PD 1152 Philippine Environmental Code Section 17. Upgrading of Water Quality.–– Where
questionable or over which a substantial doubt exists. Unless the right to the relief sought is the quality of water has deteriorated t o a degree where it s state will adversely affect its
unclouded, mandamus will not issue. When a mandamus proceeding concerns a public right best u sage, the government agencies concerned shall take such measures as may be
and its object is to compel a public duty, the people who are interested in the execution of necessary to upgrade the quality of such water to meet the prescribed water quality
the laws are regarded as the real parties in interest and they need not show any specific standards. Section 20. Clean-up Operations.––It shall be the responsibility of the polluter to
interest. Petitioners are citizens of manila and thus have a direct interest in the ordinances. contain , remove and clean - up water pollution incidents at his own expense. In case of
his failure to do so, the government agencies concerned shall undertake containment,
On the other hand, the Local Government Code imposes upon respondent the duty, as city mayor, removal and clean-up operations and expenses incurred in said operation shall be charged
to "enforce all laws and ordinances relative to the governance of the city. "One of these is against the persons and/ or entities responsible for such pollution.
Ordinance No. 8027. As the chief executive of the city, he has the duty to enforce Ordinance No.
8027 as long as it has not been repealed by the Sanggunian or annulled by the courts. He has no HELD:
other choice. It is his ministerial duty to do so.
(1) Sec. 17 does not in any way state that the government agencies concerned ought to
These officers cannot refuse to perform their duty on the ground of an alleged invalidity of the confine themselves to the containment, removal, and cleaning operations when a specific
statute imposing the duty. The reason for this is obvious. It might seriously hinder the pollution incident occurs. On the contrary, Sec. 17 requires them to act even in the absence
transaction of public business if these officers were to be permitted in all cases to question the of a specific pollution incident, as long as water quality “has deteriorated to a degree where
constitutionality of statutes and ordinances imposing duties upon them and which have not its state will adversely affect its best usage.” Section 17 & 20 are of general application and are
judicially been declared unconstitutional. Officers of the government from the highest to the not for specific pollution incidents only. The fact that the pollution of the Manila Bay is of such
lowest are creatures of the law and are bound to obey it. magnitude and scope that it is well -nigh impossible to draw the line between a specific
and a general pollution incident.
2. Need not resolve this issue. Assuming that the terms of the MOU were inconsistent with
Ordinance No. 8027, the resolutions which ratified it and made it binding on the City of Manila (2) The Cleaning or Rehabilitation of Manila Bay Can be Compelled by Mandamus. While the
expressly gave it full force and effect only until April 30, 2003. implementation of the MMDA's mandated tasks may entail a decision-making process, the
enforcement of the law or the very act of doing what the law exacts to be done is ministerial
MMDA v. Concerned Citizens of Manila Bay in nature and may be compelled by mandamus. Under what other judicial discipline
describes as “continuing mandamus ,” the Court may, under extraordinary circumstances,
On January 29, 1999, respondents Concerned Residents of Manila Bay filed a complaint before issue directives with the end in view of ensuring that its decision would not be set to naught
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Imus, Cavite against several government agencies, among them by administrative inaction or indifference.
the petitioners, for the cleanup, rehabilitation, and protection of the Manila Bay, and to submit to
the RTC a concerted concrete plan of action for the purpose. The complaint alleged that the water NOTE: This continuing mandamus is no longer applicable, since this is institutionalized in the
quality of the Manila Bay had fallen way below the allowable standards set by law, which was rules of procedure for environmental cases.
confirmed by DENR’s Water Quality Management Chief, Renato T. Cruz that water samples 20 days – Temporary restraining order
collected from different beaches around the Manila Bay showed that the amount of fecal coliform
content ranged from 50,000 to 80,000 most probable number (MPN)/ml which is beyond the M.C. Mehta v. Union of India
standard 200 MPN/100ml or the SB level under DENR Administrative Order No. 34-90.The
reckless, wholesale, accumulated and ongoing acts of omission or commission [of the defendants] Introduction:
resulting in the clear and present danger to public health and in the depletion and contamination
of the marine life of Manila Bay, the RTC held petitioners liable and ordered to clean up and M.C. Mehta v. Union of India[1]is a landmark judgement delivered by Supreme Court regarding
rehabilitate Manila Bay and to restore its water quality to class B waters fit for swimming, skin- the remedial aspect while enforcing fundamental rights. Being the protector of the fundamental
diving, and other forms of contact recreation. rights SC chooses liberal construction of the provisions to while deciding the case. This case also
paved the way for the doctrine of absolute liability in the Indian legal system and portrayed the
Herein petitioners appealed before the Court of Appeals contending that the pertinent provisions importance of PIL for the deprived section of the society.
of the Environment Code (PD 1152) relate only to the cleaning of specific pollution incidents and
do not cover cleaning in general. They also asserted that the cleaning of the Manila Bay is not a Justice Bhagwati wrote the judgement by keeping in mind the ground realities of the poor section
ministerial act which can be compelled by mandamus. The CA sustained RTC’s decision stressing of this country and their capability to question for fundamental rights. At the same time, reasoning
that petitioners were not required to do tasks outside of their basic functions under existing laws, applied also differentiated between a company and a state-owned company.
hence, this appeal.
Below paragraphs briefly describe the facts, issues, reasoning applied and findings of the author
ISSUES: respectively.

(1) WON Sections 17 and 20 of PD 1152 under the headings, Upgrading of Water Quality and Facts:
Clean-up Operations, envisage a cleanup in general or are they limited only to the cleanup
of specific pollution incidents; Shriram Food and Fertilizer Industry, a subsidiary of Delhi Cloth Mills Limited, was engaged in the
(2) WON petitioners be compel led by mandamus to clean up and rehabilitate the Manila Bay. manufacture of a dangerous chemical. In December 1985, large amounts of oleum gas leaked
from one of the units in the heart of Delhi which resulted in the death of one person and several
APPLICABLE LAWS: were hospitalized. The leakage, resulted from the bursting of a tank containing oleum gas, was
caused by mechanical and human errors. It created a scare among the people residing nearby
and within two days, another leakage, a minor one, broke out as a result of oleum gas escaping
from the joints of a pipe. On 6th December 1985, the District Magistrate, Delhi ordered Shriram to liability can be determined. The court said to develop its own law as the previous one can-not be
stop the manufacturing and processing of hazardous chemicals and fertilizers at their applied in the present situation and here the doctrine of absolute liability was introduced in India.
establishment in Delhi and to remove such chemicals and gases from Delhi. At this particular The Court also pointed out that the measure of compensation in the kind of cases referred to must
point, M.C. Mehta moved to Supreme Court to file PIL and claim for compensation for the losses be correlated to the magnitude and capacity of the enterprise because such compensation must
caused and also demanded that the closed establishment should not restart. have a deterrent effect. The larger and more prosperous the enterprise, greater must be the
amount of compensation payable by it for the harm caused on account of an accident in the
This was soon after the Bhopal gas tragedy which subjected thousands of human lives to carrying on of the hazardous or inherently dangerous activity by the enterprise.
irreversible damage and deaths, therefore it was on the SC to take action and set an example to
prevent any future accidents caused by industries. Conclusion:

Issues: The decision made by the Supreme Court regarding compensation is completely justifiable.
Directing Delhi Legal Aid and Advice Board to take up the cases of all those who claim to have
Three major issues involved in the case were of constitutional importance are stated below: been suffered by the oleum gas and file actions on their behalf in the appropriate court for claiming
compensation against Shriram is the suitable decision which needs to be here.
What is the scope and ambit of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the
application for compensation are sought to be maintained under Article? The introduction of the doctrine of absolute liability instead of following the old doctrine of strict
Whether Article 21 is available against Shriram which is owned by Delhi Cloth Mills Limited, a liability was the best decision which can be provided to stop any of these future accidents. The
public company limited by shares and which is engaged in an industry vital to public interest and principle that came up with this historical case was the principle of Absolute liability, the polluters
with potential to affect the life and health of the people? have to pay, adequate precautionary measures be taken and highest safety standards be kept in
What is the measure of the liability of an enterprise which is engaged in a hazardous or inherently mind. After this case, the definition of Article 21 was enlarged by approving Right to clean
dangerous industry, if by reason of an accident occurring in such industry, persons die or are environment, Right to human health and Right to live pollution free from air and water as a part of
injured? Right to life.
The Supreme Court has given exemplary compensation to the victims of the oleum gas tragedy
The first question that came up before the SC, as to what is the scope and ambit of the jurisdiction and even today the Court is of the view that the compensation that was granted was not enough
of this Court under Art. 32 since the applications for compensation made by the Delhi Legal Aid as compared to the losses suffered. Till date the Hon’ble Court is thinking of providing more
and Advice Board and the Delhi Bar Association are applications sought to be maintained under compensation to the victims, as people who are living even today in the area where the tragedy
that Article. The court said that in Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India[2], court held that the took place are suffering a lot, as the oleum gas is still present in the atmosphere. I hope that the
scope and ambit of Article 32 of the Constitution of India do not merely confer power on this Court Court will definitely provide the victims with appropriate compensation because justice is required
to issue a direction, order or writ for enforcement of the fundamental rights but it also lays a and has to be done to the people suffered.
constitutional obligation on this Court to protect the fundamental rights of the people and for that
purpose this Court has all incidental and ancillary powers including the power to make and adopt Tañada v. Angara
new remedies and fashion new strategies designed to enforce the fundamental rights. The court
can innovate new methods and strategies for the purpose of securing enforcement of the Facts:
fundamental rights, particularly in the case of the poor and the disadvantaged who are denied
their basic human rights and to whom freedom and liberty have no meaning. [3] Petitioners prayed for the nullification, on constitutional grounds, of the concurrence of the
Court also cited S. P. Gupta v. Union of India[4], and emphasized that if any injury or wrong takes Philippine Senate in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement
place and the person or group of people affected are not able to approach court then any person Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO Agreement, for brevity) and for the prohibition
can appeal for the same. Basically, this shows the courts concern on PILs[5]. of its implementation and enforcement through the release and utilization of public funds, the
assignment of public officials and employees, as well as the use of government properties and
The court answered the question as affirmative and said the decision will be of the respective resources by respondent-heads of various executive offices concerned therewith.
court to decide whether a particular case falls under the category, where compensation can award
or not. They contended that WTO agreement violates the mandate of the 1987 Constitution to “develop
a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos x x x (to) give
The second question that arose for consideration was whether Article 21 is available against preference to qualified Filipinos (and to) promote the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic
Shriram which is owned by Delhi Cloth Mills Limited, a public company limited by shares and materials and locally produced goods” as (1) the WTO requires the Philippines “to place nationals
which is engaged in an industry vital to public interest and with potential to affect the life and health and products of member-countries on the same footing as Filipinos and local products” and (2)
of the people. This question particularly was very important as if court reads a private company that the WTO “intrudes, limits and/or impairs” the constitutional powers of both Congress and the
within the meaning of Art. 12 of the constitution, it would be against the doctrine of the corporate Supreme Court.
veil. As the court has to decide the question within four days, they dropped the question and said
that they do not propose to decide whether a private corporation like Shriram would fall within the FACTS
scope and ambit of Article 12, because of insufficient time to consider and reflect on this question
in depth[6]. The Philippines joined World Trade Organization as a founding member with the goal of improving
Finally, the question which was seriously debated before the Hon’ble Court was the question as Philippine access to foreign markets, especially its major trading partners, through the reduction
to what is the measure of liability of an enterprise which is engaged in a hazardous or inherently of tariffs on its exports. The President also saw in the WTO the opening of new opportunities for
dangerous industry, if by reason of an accident occurring in such industry, persons die or are the services sector, the reduction of costs and uncertainty associated with exporting and the
injured. Does the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher[7] apply or is there any other principle on which the attraction of more investments into the country. On April 15, 1994, respondent Navarro, then DTI
Secretary, signed in Marrakesh, Morocco, the Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay
Round of Multilateral Negotiations. On December 14, 1994, the Senate concurred in the ratification
of the President of the Philippines of the Agreement Establishing the WTO which includes various
agreements and associated legal instruments. On December 16, 1994,the President signed the
Instrument of Ratification.


1. Whether the WTO Agreement violated the mandated economic nationalism by the Constitution

2. Whether the provisions of the WTO Agreement restricts and impairs Philippine sovereignty,
specifically the legislative power vested in the Congress

3. Whether the Senate concurrence in the WTO Agreement and its annexes but not in the other
documents referred to in the Final Act is defective and insufficient and thus constitutes abuse of


1. No. The Constitution did not intend to pursue an isolationist policy. It did not shut out foreign
investments, goods and services in the development of the Philippine economy. In fact, it allows
an exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity, frowning only on foreign competition that is
unfair. The constitutional policy of a self-reliant and independent national economy does not
necessarily rule out the entry of foreign investments, goods and services. It contemplates neither
economic seclusion nor mendicancy in the international community.

2. No. While sovereignty has traditionally been deemed absolute and all-encompassing on the
domestic level, it is however subject to restrictions and limitations voluntarily agreed to by the
Philippines, expressly or impliedly, as a member of the family of nations. Unquestionably, the
Constitution did not envision a hermit-type isolation of the country from the rest of the world. By
the doctrine of incorporation, the country is bound by generally accepted principles of international
law, which are considered to be automatically part of our laws. A treaty engagement is not a mere
moral obligation on the parties. By their inherent nature, treaties really limit or restrict the
absoluteness of sovereignty. The Philippines has effectively agreed to limit the exercise of its
sovereign powers of taxation, eminent domain and police power. The underlying consideration in
this partial sovereignty is the reciprocal commitment of the other contracting states in granting the
same privilege and immunities to the Philippines, its officials and its citizens. The same reciprocity
characterizes the same commitments under WTO-GATT. The point is that a portion of sovereignty
may be waived without violating the Constitution, based on the rationale that the Philippines
adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and
adheres to the policy of cooperation and amity with all nations.

3. No. The petitioners submit that concurrence in the WTO Agreement alone is flawed because it
is in effect a rejection of the Final Act. The Court held that a final act is an instrument which records
the winding up of the proceedings of a diplomatic conference and not the treaty itself. On the other
hand, the WTO Agreement itself expresses what multilateral agreements are deemed included as
its integral parts. It should be added that the Senate was well-aware of what it was concurring in
as shown by the member’s deliberation.