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Arigo v.

G.R. No. 206510

 The USS Guardian was in Subic Bay for the purpose of routine ship replenishment,
maintenance, and crew liberty.
 USS Guardian departed Subic for Indonesia, while transiting the Sulu Sea, the ship
damaged Tubbataha Reefs.
 Fleet Commander Scott Swift expressed their regret over the incident and assured that
the US will provide appropriate compensation.
 Petitioners Arigo et al. claim that the grounding and salvaging operations of the USS
Guardian caused and continue to cause environmental damage that affects many
provinces and such violates their constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology.
 Petitioners seek the institution of civil, criminal, and administrative suits against US
respondents for violation of Sections; 19, 21, 30, 20, and 26 (g) of R.A. No. 10067 (AN ACT
AS A PROTECTED AREA), they also assailed certain provisions of VFA which they want
nullified for unconstitutionality.

ISSUE: WON the Supreme Court have jurisdiction over US respondents?

HELD: NO. The matter deals with a sovereign nation and in the maxim “par in parem, non habet
imperium” where all sovereign states are equals and thus cannot assert jurisdiction over one
another because such may vex the peace among nations.

Executive department should deal with the matter due to its nature and the judiciary may not
have jurisdiction concerning the US respondents.

If the acts giving rise to a suit are those of a foreign government done by its foreign agent,
although not necessarily a diplomatic personage, but acting in his official capacity, the complaint
could be barred by the immunity of the foreign sovereign from suit without its consent. Suing a
representative of a state is believed to be, in effect, suing the state itself.

The implication, in broad terms, is that if the judgment against an ocial would require the
state itself to perform an armative act to satisfy the award, such as the appropriation of the
amount needed to pay the damages decreed against him, the suit must be regarded as being
against the state itself, although it has not been formally impleaded.