Anda di halaman 1dari 45

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I. Bill of Rights Procedural Due Process 1. Existence of Violation Lameyra v.

Pangilinan 322 SCRA 117 FACTS: Petitioner received a letter from the mayor informing him that he is dropped from the roll of employees of the local government unit. Petitioner claims that he was terminated without prior written notice of the charges and without investigation and hearing. HELD: Although it is clear from the Civil Service Memorandum Circular that no prior notice is required to drop from the rolls an employee who has been continuously absent without leave for at least thirty days, petitioner contests the finding that he was absent at all. He claims that he reported for work but was prevented form signing the log book. In view of the circumstances prevailing in this case, the Civil Service Commission should have considered the new evidence annexed by petitioner to his motion for reconsideration. Velayo v. Comelec 327 SCRA 713 FACTS: The Comelec issued a resolution annulling the proclamation of Velayo as mayor. Velayo claimed that he was denied due process because he was not furnished any notice of the pre-proclamation proceedings against him from beginning to end. All that petitioner received from the Comelec was its en banc resolution annulling his proclamation. HELD: Velayo is a real party-in-interest since he was the proclaimed mayor. His non-inclusion as respondent and his lack of notice of the proceedings in the Comelec which resulted to the cancellation of his proclamation constitute clear denial of due process. Uy v. Commission on Audit G.R. No. 130685 (March 21, 2000) FACTS: Governor Paredes dismissed from service more than sixty employees, allegedly to scale down the operations of the office. The Merit Systems Protection Board rendered a decision that the reduction in work force was not done in accordance with civil service rules and regulations, and ordered the reinstatement of the workers. The Commission on Audit (COA) rendered a decision ruling that the back salaries of the workers have become the personal liability of the Governor because the illegal dismissal was done in bad faith. HELD: Governor Paredes was never made a party to nor served a notice of the proceedings before the COA. Fundamental requirement of procedural due process cannot be violated before administrative agencies like COA. Summary Dismissal Board v. Torcita G.R. No. 130442 (April 6, 2000) FACTS: Respondent was charged with 12 administrative complaints which were consolidated into one major complaint, which is, conduct unbecoming of a police officer. The Summary Dismissal Board suspended respondent from service for 20 days, for simple irregularity in the performance of service. The Board later found respondent to have committed a breach of internal discipline by taking alcoholic drinks while on duty. HELD: Respondent was entitled to know that he was being charged with being drunk while in the performance of duty. Although he was given the opportunity to be heard on the multiple and broad charges filed against him, the absence of specification of the offense for which he was eventually found guilty is not a proper observance of due process. Villanueva v. Malaya G.R. No. 94617 (April 12, 2000) HELD: The RTCs granting of the writ of possession ex parte violates petitioner-lessees right to due process. A writ of possession may issue against occupants of a property subject of execution who derive their right of possession from the judgment debtor upon motion in the

execution proceedings and without need of a separate ejectment action, provided that the occupants are afforded an opportunity to explain the nature of their possession, on which basis the writ of possession will be denied or granted. Gozun v. Llangco A.M. No. MTJ-97-1136 (August 30, 2000) FACTS: The Sangguniang Bayan passed a resolution declaring the parcel of land occupied by complainant as the new site of the rural health center. Respondent issued a resolution declaring that the Sangguniang Bayan resolution is valid and enforceable and that the mayor could order the police authorities to evict complainant. HELD: Complainant was not made a party to the petition nor notified thereof. Respondent violated the rights of the complainant to due process. 2. Absence of violation Immam v. Comelec 322 SCRA 866 FACTS: Petitioner claims that the questioned Comelec order was issued without any motion for its issuance and without notice and hearing. Thus, he claimed that his right to due process was violated. HELD: The essence of due process is the opportunity to be heard. The right to be heard does not only refer to the right to present verbal arguments in court. A party can be heard through the pleadings he submits. In this case, petitioner was heard through the memorandum he submitted. Ocampo v. Office of the Ombudsman 322 SCRA 17 FACTS: A criminal complaint was filed against petitioner for estafa and falsification. The Ombudsman issued several orders to petitioner to file his counter-affidavit and controverting evidence. Petitioner failed. The Ombudsman issued the assailed resolution dismissing petitioner from service. Petitioner claimed that he was denied due process because he was not given any notice of the order declaring him to have waived his right to file his counter-affidavit. HELD: The orders of the Ombudsman requiring petitioner to submit his counter-affidavit contained a warning that if no counter-affidavit is filed within the given period, a waiver would be considered. Also, petitioner was given the opportunity to be heard. A party who chooses not to avail of the opportunity cannot complain of denial of due process National Police Commission v. Bernabe G.R. No. 129914 (May 12, 2000) FACTS: The Court of Appeals set aside the decision of the National Police Commission on the ground that respondent was denied due process in the conduct of the investigation of the charges filed against him. HELD: The essence of due process is simply to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain ones side or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. Due process does not always require a trial-type proceeding. In this case, the record shows that respondent was given notice of the complaints and an opportunity to answer. He even submitted an affidavit answering point by point the charges against him. 3. Administrative Due Process Pefianco v. Moral 322 SCRA 439 FACTS: Former DECS Secretary filed an administrative complaint against respondent for dishonesty. She was dismissed. Respondent filed a petition for mandamus to compel petitioner to furnish her a copy of the DECS Investigation Committee Report. It was denied.

HELD: A respondent in an administrative case is not entitled to be informed of the findings and recommendations of any investigating committee created to inquire into charges filed against him. He is entitled only to the administrative decision and a reasonable opportunity to meet the charges and the evidence presented during the hearings of the investigation committee. Respondent had been accorded these rights. 4. Impartiality of Judge Soriano v. Angeles G.R. No. 109920 (August 31, 2000) FACTS: This is a petition for certiorari which seeks to annul the decision of respondent judge acquitting the accused in a direct assault case filed against him by the petitioner on the ground that respondent was biased. HELD: The fact that respondent judge believed the evidence of the defense more than that of the prosecution does not indicate that she was biased. Almendra v. Asis A.M. RTJ-1590 (April 6, 2000) HELD: The mere fact that respondent judge ruled against complainant in the three cases filed before him did not amount to partiality against said complainant or warrant the conclusion that respondent rendered an unjust judgment. People v. Zheng Bai Hui G.R. No. 127580 (August 22, 2000) HELD: The questioning of the witnesses by the judge is not a sufficient sign of bias. (See also People v. Cabiles, G.R. No. 125008, October 23, 2000) Equal Protection De Guzman v. Comelec G.R. No. 129118 (July 19, 2000) FACTS: The Comelec reassigned petitioners to other stations pursuant to Section 44 of the Voters Registration Act. The Act prohibits election officers from holding office in a particular city or municipality for more than four years. Petitioners claim that the act violated the equal protection clause because not all election officials were covered by the prohibition. HELD: The law does not violate the equal protection clause. It is intended to ensure the impartiality of election officials by preventing them from developing familiarity with the people of their place of assignment. Large-scale anomalies in the registration of voters cannot be carried out without the complicity of election officers, who are the highest representatives of Comelec in a city or municipality. B. Searches and Seizures 1. Determination of Probable Cause by Judge Dizon v. Veneracion A.M. No. RTJ-97-1376 (July 20, 2000) FACTS: Respondent issued a search warrant for the seizure of 100 cars imported by the operators of Metro Manila Inc. on the ground that the value of the cars had not been paid to the supplier. Prior to the issuance of the warrant, the judge asked the witness for proof. The witness answered that there was evidence from the shipper. HELD: The judge failed to comply with the constitutional requirement that before a search warrant may be issued, there must first be a complainant and his witness, and that the judge should determine probable cause through searching questions and answers. Abdula v. Guiani 326 SCRA 1 HELD: If a judge relies solely on the certification of the prosecutor when the records are not before him, he has not personally determined the existence of probable cause. The constitutional requirement has not been satisfied. The judge does not have to personally

examine the witnesses. However, there should be a report and necessary documents supporting the certification of the prosecutor. All these should be before the judge. (See also Raro v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 108431, July 14, 2000 and Lim v. Felix, G.R. No. 940547) Tolentino v. Malangaon A.M. No. RTJ-99-1444 (August 3, 2000) FACTS: Respondent judge dismissed the case of child abuse filed by petitioner on the ground that the prosecution failed to establish probable cause. Previously, the court ordered petitioner to show cause why the court should order the arrest of the accused. However, petitioner refused to present additional affidavits on the ground that there was no need to prove the factual basis of the information. HELD: The judge must be satisfied with the existence of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. The judge may require the prosecutor to present further evidence to provide a factual basis for the finding of probable cause. 2. Particularity of Description Uy v. Bureau of Internal Revenue G.R. No. 129651 (October 20, 2000) FACTS: Petitioners claim that the search warrant issued lacks particularity. The items described in the warrant are as follows: multiple sets of books of accounts, ledgers, journals, columnar books, cash register books, sales books or records, provisional and official receipts, production record books, inventory lists, stock cards, unregistered delivery receipts, unregistered purchase and sales invoices; sales records, job orders, corporate financial records, bank statements, cancelled checks. HELD: Most of the items listed lacked particularity. The judge could have formed a more specific description of the documents, since the former employee of the petitioners furnished photocopies of the documents sought to be seized. With regard to the unregistered delivery receipts and unregistered purchase and sales invoices, they are specific. No more detailed description could have been given. Items not particularly described may be cut off, without rendering the entire warrant void. 3. Warrantless Searches and Seizure a. Incident of Arrest People v. Elamparo G.R. No. 121572 (March 31, 2000) HELD: Appellants subsequent arrest was lawful, coming as it is within the purview of in flagrante delicto arrest. The warrantless search and seizure was also lawful since it was a search incidental to a lawful arrest. People v. Sevilla G.R. No. 124077 (September 5, 2000) FACTS: A team of police officers went to the house of the accused to enforce a warrant of arrest. Some members of the Narcotics Command joined the team to look for marijuana. Accused was subsequently charged with illegal possession of marijuana. HELD: The search is illegal. It is not a search incidental to a valid arrest since the Narcotics Command joined the team of police officers for the specific purpose of conducting a search. People v. Figueroa G.R. No. 134056 (July 6, 2000) FACTS: Accused, together with NBI agents, went to the house of his co-accused and pointed to a pail in the kitchen containing prohibited drugs. NBI agents seized the item and arrested coaccused. Is the warrantless seizure valid? HELD: No. The search is not incidental to a valid arrest. The arrest of the co-accused did not precede the search. People v. Che Chun Ting

G.R. No. 130568 (March 21, 2000) FACTS: Standing outside Unit 122, accused handled two transparent bags of drugs to Mabel Po, in full view of NARCOM agents. Police officers arrested the surprised man and conducted a search of Unit 122 where they found more bags of shabu. HELD: The search of Unit 122 and the seizure of drugs found therein are illegal. A warrantless search should be limited to the premises and surroundings that are under the immediate control of the accused. Unit 122 is not even the house of the accused but that of his girlfriend. b. Moving Vehicle People v. Escao 323 SCRA 754 FACTS: During a checkpoint, a police saw a firearm on the lap of the accused. As a result, other passengers were searched and all firearms were seized. Are checkpoints illegal? HELD: As long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection is limited to a visual search, such routine checks cannot be regarded as violative of the right against unreasonable search. c. Prohibited Article in Plain View / Custodial Investigation People v. Valdez G.R. No. 129296 (September 25, 2000) FACTS: Based on a tip from an informer, police officers went to the place of the accused where they found marijuana plants being cultivated approximately twenty-five meters from the house of the accused. They uprooted the plants and arrested the accused. They asked the accused who owned the plants and the accused admitted that they belonged to him. The prosecution offered the plants and the admission of the accused as evidence. The accused claimed that the warrantless search was illegal while the police officers claimed that the plants were found in plain view. HELD: The marijuana plants were not in plain view. For the plain view doctrine to apply, the following must be present: (a) there was a valid prior intrusion based on a valid warrantless arrest in which the police are legally present in the pursuit of their official duties; (b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police who have the right to be where they were; (c) the evidence must be immediately apparent; and (d) plain view justified seizure of the evidence without further search. In this case, the police officers located the plants before they arrested the accused without a warrant. Also, they were dispatched precisely to look for the marijuana plants. The discovery was not inadvertent. The confession is also inadmissible. In trying to elicit information from the accused, the police was investigating him as a suspect. At this point, he was already under custodial investigation and had a right to counsel. People v. Deang G.R. No. 128045 (August 24, 2000) FACTS: The accused was arrested for kidnapping for ransom with homicide. He accompanied the police to his house to surrender his share of the ransom. Subsequently, the accused got convicted. He claimed that the warrantless seizure of the money was illegal. HELD: The warrantless seizure of the money was legal because it was made with the consent of the accused. 4. Warrantless Arrests a. Invalid Arrests People v. Dela Cruz G. R. No. 138516 (October 17, 2000) HELD: A warrantless arrest after the commission of a crime is illegal. The seizure of the items he stole is also illegal. Posadas v. Ombudsman G.R. No. 131492 (September 29, 2000)

FACTS: Upon the request of the University Chancellor, the NBI sent agents to the university and tried to arrest two members of a fraternity who were identified by two witnesses as responsible for the killing of a member of another fraternity. HELD: The NBI agents had no personal knowledge of any fact which might indicate that the two students were probably guilty of the crime. Their attempt to arrest them without a warrant was illegal. 5. Effect of Plea on Illegal Arrest People v. Gomez 325 SCRA 61 HELD: Any objection to the warrant of arrest or the procedure in the acquisition by the court of jurisdiction over the person of the accused must be made before he enters his plea, otherwise, the objection is deemed waived. Thus, if he fails to move for the quashing of the information against him before his arraignment, he may be estopped from assailing the illegality of his arrest. (See also People v. Buluran, 325 SCRA 476) D. Freedom of Speech and of the Press 1. Libel Jalandoni v. Drilon 327 SCRA 107 FACTS: Private respondents published a full-page advertisement in five major daily newspapers. These ads contained allegations naming petitioner who was then a PCGG Commissioner of having committed illegal and unauthorized acts. Petitioner filed a complaint for the crime of libel. HELD: In libel cases against public officials, for liability to arise, the alleged defamatory statement must relate to official conduct, even if the defamatory statement is false, unless the public official concerned proves that the statement was made with actual malice, that is, with knowledge that it was false or not. Here, petitioner failed to prove actual malice on the part of the private respondents. The statements embodied in the advertisement are covered by the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech. This carries the right to criticize the action and conduct of a public official. 2. Freedom of expression ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation v. Comelec 323 SCRA 811 FACTS: Comelec came up with a resolution prohibiting the conduct of exit polls during elections for the reason that exit polls have the tendency to cause confusion. HELD: Conducting exit polls and reporting their results are valid exercises of freedom of speech and of the press. A limitation on them may be justified only by a danger of such substantive character that the state has a right to prevent. The concern of the Comelec cannot be justified since there is no showing that exit polls cause chaos in voting centers. E. Right to Information Gonzales v. Narvasa G.R. No. 140835 (August 14, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner wrote a letter to the Executive Secretary requesting for information with respect to the names of executive officials holding multiple positions, copies of their appointments, and a list of recipients of luxury vehicles previously seized by the Bureau of Customs and turned over to the Office of the President. Petitioner filed this petition to compel the Executive Secretary to answer his letter. HELD: It is the duty of the Executive Secretary to answer the letter of the petitioner. The letter deals with matters of public concern, appointments to public offices and utilization of public property. The Executive Secretary is obliged to allow the inspection and copying of appointment papers.

F. Eminent Domain Santos v. Land Bank of the Philippines G.R. No. 137431 (September 7, 2000) HELD: Compensation for land expropriation for agrarian reform is valid, even if made not completely in cash. G. Prohibition Against Impairment of Contracts Harrison Motors Corporation v. Navarro G.R. No. 132269 (April 27, 2000) FACTS: Harrison Motors sold two trucks to Navarro. Subsequently, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the Land Transportation Office and the Bureau of Customers (BOC) entered in a Memorandum of Agreement which provided that for purposes of registering vehicles, a Certificate of Payment should first be obtained from the BIR. Government agents seized and detained the two trucks of Navarro after discovering that there were still unpaid taxes. HELD: The Memorandum of Agreement does not impose any additional taxes which would unduly impair the contract of sale between petitioner and private respondent. Instead, these administrative orders were passed to enforce payment of existing BIR taxes and customs duties at the time of importation. What Sec. 10 Art. III of the Constitution prohibits is the passage of a law which enlarges, abridges or in any manner changes the intention of the contracting parties. H. Rights During Investigation 1. Inapplicability a. Administrative Investigation Sebastian v. Garchitorena G.R. No. 114028 (October 18, 2000) FACTS: Some employees of the post office were investigated by the chief postal service officer in connection with missing postage stamps. During interrogation, they submitted sworn statements. The prosecution presented the sworn statements as evidence. Accused claimed that their sworn statements were not admissible in evidence since they were not assisted by counsel. HELD: The right to counsel is not imperative in administrative investigation because such inquiries are conducted merely to determine whether there are facts that merit disciplinary measures against erring public officers. b. Police Line-Up People v. Partiare G.R. No. 129970 (April 5, 2000) HELD: The accused-appellants defense that the identification made by the private complainant in the police line-up is inadmissible because the appellant stood at the line-up without the assistance of counsel is inadmissible. The stage of an investigation wherein a person is asked to stand in a police line-up is outside the mantle of protection of the right to counsel. (See also People v. Sirad, G.R. No. 130594, July 5, 2000) c. Photograph People v. Gallarde 325 SCRA 835 FACTS: Accused was charged with the crime of rape with homicide. The trial court convicted him of murder only. The trial court rejected the photographs taken of the accused immediately after the incident on the ground that the same were taken when the accused was already under the mercy of the police. HELD: The taking of pictures of an accused, even without the assistance of counsel, being purely a mechanical act, is not a violation of his constitutional rights against self-incrimination.



Gutang v. People G.R. No. 135406 (July 11, 2000) HELD: Receipt by the accused of prohibited drugs is inadmissible in evidence. 3. Custodial Investigation People v. Bariquit G.R. No. 122733 (October 2, 2000) HELD: Confession given by the accused without the assistance of counsel, while on the way to the police station, is inadmissible in evidence. People v. Valdez G.R. No. 129296 (September 25, 2000) FACTS: The accused was arrested for bank robbery. After four days, the police investigator took down his extrajudicial confession and called a lawyer who conferred with the accused for ten minutes and executed his confession. HELD: The confession is inadmissible. The moment the accused was arrested and detained, he was already under custodial investigation. The lawyer was called only on the 4th day of detention when the accused was about to put down his confession in writing. People v. Legaspi G.R. No. 117802 (April 27, 2000) FACTS: Legaspi and Franco were charged and convicted of the special complex crime of robbery with homicide. They were identified as perpetrators of the crime by someone from a group of eleven residents who were invited for questioning by the police. The accused now claims that their rights during custodial investigation were violated. HELD: No rights were transgressed inasmuch as Legaspi and Franco were not yet singled out as perpetrators of the crime on November 29, 1992. Inviting certain individuals for questioning and asking them a single question as to their whereabouts on the day of the crime do not amount to custodial investigation. When certain persons are already singled out and pinpointed as authors of the crime, they are entitled to the rights of persons under custodial investigation. 4. Sufficiency of Warning People v. Samolde G.R. No. 128551 (July 31, 2000) FACTS: The accused was arrested for murder. Before he was interrogated, he was informed of his right to remain silent, that any statement he might give could be used as evidence against him, and that he had the right to be assisted by counsel of his own choice. During trial, the prosecution offered his confession in evidence. HELD: The confession is inadmissible. The accused was given only a perfunctory recitation of his rights. This is inadequate to transmit meaningful information to the suspect. People v. Manriquez G.R. No. 122510 (March 17, 2000) FACTS: Accused were found guilty of two counts of murder. They executed an extra-judicial confession wherein they narrated their participation in the commission of the crime. They also signed a waiver in the presence of a counsel which contained that they did not want the assistance of counsel. HELD: Rights to remain silent and to counsel were violated. The lawyers explanation on the effects of the waiver is unsatisfactory. Also, the extra-judicial confession is inadmissible evidence. It is intrinsically flawed. It was merely attached as page 2 of the waiver. It was not prepared at the time the waiver was being prepared since another typewriter was used in preparing the extra-judicial confession.

People v. Obrero G.R. No. 122142 (May 17, 2000) FACTS: Appellant was charged with robbery with homicide. His extra-judicial confession was presented as evidence. HELD: Extra-judicial confession is inadmissible in evidence because counsel for accused was not independent. At the time he assisted accused-appellant, he was the station commander of the WPD and a PC captain. As part of the police force, he could not be expected to have effectively assisted the accused during the investigation. 5. Independence of Counsel People v. Base G.R. No. 109773 (March 30, 2000) HELD: While the initial choice in cases where a person under custodial investigation cannot afford the services of a lawyer is naturally lodged in the police investigators, the accused really has the final choice as he may reject the counsel chosen for him and ask for another one. A lawyer provided by the investigators is deemed engaged by the accused where he never raised any objection against the formers appointment during the course of the investigation. (See also People v. Gallardo, 323 SCRA 318) 6. Admissibility of Evidence a. Admissible Evidence People v. Lumandong 327 SCRA 650 HELD: The four fundamental requirements on the admissibility of the extrajudicial confession are: 1) the confession must be voluntary; 2 ) the confession must be made with the assistance of competent and independent counsel; 3) the confession must be express; and 4) the confession must be in writing. (See also People v. Daeng, G.R. No. 128045, August 24, 2000; People v. Llanes, G.R. No. 140268, September 18, 2000; and People v. Mameng, G.R. No. 123147, October 13, 2000) People v. Continente G.R. No. 1000801 (August 25, 2000) FACTS: The trial court convicted the accused of murder. Among the evidence the trial court relied upon were the confession of the accused. The accused argued that their confession were inadmissible in evidence, since they were not informed of their constitutional right. HELD: The written warning contained an explanation that the investigation dealt with the participation of the accused who chose not to give any statement to the investigator and a warning that any statement obtained from the accused might be used against them in court. They contained an advice that the accused might engage the service of a lawyer of their own choice and that if they could not afford the service of a lawyer, they would be provided with one for free. Despite the manifestation of the accused that they intended to give their statements, the investigator requested two lawyers to act as counsel for the accused. The lawyers conferred with the accused before their investigation. The accused were informed of their constitutional rights in the presence of their counsel. The confession are admissible in evidence. b. Inadmissible Evidence People v. Naag 322 SCRA 710 HELD: Circumstances show that the extrajudicial confession was signed without the assistance of counsel. As such, it is inadmissible. The text of the confession is darker suggesting that a different typewriter was used from that used to type the name of the accused. (See also People v. Paglinawan, 324 SCRA 97) c. Waiver People v. Hermoso G.R. No. 130590 (October 18, 2000)

HELD: When the confession of the accused was given without the assistance of counsel and the accused did not object, he waives his right to object. H. Right to Bail Lardes v. CA 324 SCRA 321 FACTS: Petitioner filed a petition for bail. The trial court granted it but imposed a condition that the approval of the bail bond would only be made after arraignment to make sure that the accused could not delay his trial by absenting himself. HELD: Bails should be granted before arraignment. Otherwise, the accused might be precluded from filing a motion to quash. I. Right to Counsel 1. Absence of Violation People v. Aquino G.R. No. 129288 (March 30, 2000) FACTS: Accused were charged with robbery with homicide. Accused claimed that he was denied of his constitutional right to counsel. HELD: Accused should have informed the trial court if he had difficulties with his counsel. He had the opportunity to present his own version of the events but he just kept quiet. Besides, accused was convicted based on the strength of the prosecution and not on the weakness of the defense. Villanueva v. People G.R. No. 135098 (April 12, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner was found guilty of the Bouncing Check Law. He appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied because it was filed out of time. Petitioner claimed that he had a difficulty in finding a new lawyer and that when the CA denied his motion for reconsideration, he was denied of his right to counsel. HELD: Petitioner was represented by counsel of his choice in the trial court, and also by a counsel de parte before the CA. There was no violation of his right to counsel when his new lawyer committed a procedural blunder. 2. Presence of Violation People v. Nadera 324 SCRA 490 FACTS: The accused was charged for raping his two daughters. He pleaded guilty. The lawyer of the accused did not cross-examine the first daughter because he was convinced that she was telling the truth. The cross examination of the second daughter centered on what she did when she saw her sister being raped. The lawyer did not present any evidence, and expressed his conformity for the admission of the evidence of the prosecution. HELD: The case should be remanded because of the neglect of the lawyer of the accused in representing his cause. I. Right to be Informed 1. Different Offense

People v. Paglinawan 324 SCRA 97 FACTS: The accused was charged with murder. During trial, it was shown that the victims also suffered injuries. HELD: A person cannot be convicted of a crime for which he has not been charged. Accused cannot be held liable for the injuries.


2. Absence of Qualifying Circumstance People v. Villar 322 SCRA 390 HELD: If no qualifiying circumstances were alleged in the information, accused cannot be sentenced to death. (See also People v. Bernaldez, 322 SCRA 762). 4. Number of Offense People v. Pambid, G.R. No. 129164 (March 15, 2000) HELD: If a person is charged only with one count of rape, even though the victim was raped more than once, the accused can only be convicted of one count of rape. (See also People v. Alnero, G.R. No. 134536, April 5, 2000) 5. Date of Commission of Crime Sumbang v. General Court Martial PRO-Region 6 G.R. No. 140188 (August 3, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner, who is a member of the Philippine Constabulary, was charged with double murder before a general court martial. The composition of the court martial was changed four times. The accused argued that his right to a speedy trial has been violated since the case has been going on for years. HELD: The prosecution had no fault in the delay since the membership of the general court martial underwent changes four times and none of the original members who heard the prosecution witnesses were reappointed in the succeeding court martial. Besides, the petitioner failed to assert his right to a speedy trial. It was only after the general court martial resumed hearing of the case in 1999 that petitioner invoked his right to a speedy trial. His silence should be interpreted as a waiver of such right. Arambulo v. Laqui G.R. No. 138596 (October 12, 2000) FACTS: A libel case was filed against the petitioner-accused. He filed a motion to quash on the ground of prescription which was denied. He filed motion for reconsideration which was also denied. Petitioner-accused filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals which was dismissed. His motion for reconsideration was also denied. Petitioner-accused later on claimed that his right to a speedy trial was violated. HELD: The right to a speedy trial is violated only when there is an unreasonable delay without the fault of the accused. Petitioner-accused is not without fault in the delay of the prosecution against her. M. Right to Confrontation People v. Crispin 327 SCRA 167 HELD: Affidavit of a witness who was not presented as such is not admissible in evidence. N. Right to Compulsory Process People v. Yambot G.R. No. 120350 (Oct. 13, 2000) FACTS: The accused were charged with kidnapping for ransom. When it was their turn to present evidence, the subpoena for the first witness was not served because she was unknown at her given address, while the subpoena for the other witness was received only three days before the hearing. At the next hearing, the two witnesses did not appear. The subpoena for the first witness remained unserved while the subpoena for the second was received four days before date of hearing. The trial court denied the request of the counsel of the accused for postponement and considered the case submitted for decision even though it issued a warrant for the arrest of the second witness.


HELD: The delay is not entirely attributable to the accused. The trial court should have granted postponement. O. Right to Speedy Disposition of Cases Dansal v. Fernandez 327 SCRA 145 FACTS: Petitioners, who were officers of the National Food Authority, were charged with estafa thru falsification of a public document in the office of the Ombudsman. An additional charge for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act was filed against the petitioners. More than one year and four months after the cases were submitted for resolution, the Office of the Ombudsman issued a resolution recommending the filing of a case for estafa thru falsification and a case for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against the petitioners. Petitioners argued that the delay in the termination of the preliminary investigation violated their right to a speedy disposition of their cases. HELD: The concept of speedy disposition of cases is a relative and flexible concept. It is consistent with reasonable delay. The protection under the speedy disposition of cases should not operate as to deprive the government of the inherent prerogative to prosecute criminal cases or in seeing to it that all who approach the bar of justice be afforded a fair opportunity to present their side. It cannot be said that petitioners found themselves in a situation oppressive to their rights simply by reason of delay. Domingo v. Sandiganbayan 322 SCRA 655 FACTS: On May 26, 1987, a complaint was filed with the Tanodbayan against petitioner for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. On July 30, 1992, a case was filed against petitioner with the Sandiganbayan. Petitioner argued that the inordinate delay in the preliminary investigation violated right to speedy disposition of his case. HELD: The delay was not undue since it was brought about by peculiar unforeseen circumstances. The SC nullified the authority of the Office of the Special Prosecutor which necessitated the issuance of AO #1 by the Ombudsman authorizing the Special Prosecutor to continue with the preliminary investigation. The assigned prosecutor retired in 1989. After the reorganization by the Ombudsman of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, the case was assigned to a new prosecutor. The subpoena sent to petitioner was return unserved because he was no longer connected with his previous office. The prosecutor issued another subpoena to give petitioner chance to file counteraffidavits which he filed only on March 1992. Castillo v. Sandiganbayan G.R. No. 109271 (March 14, 2000) FACTS: On August 25, 1986, a complaint was filed against petitioners with the Tanodbayan. On Oct. 30, 1987, the Tanodbayan recommended filing a case for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Petitioners filed motion for reinvestigation. The Ombudsman filed an information against petitioners on November 5, 1990 without first resolving the motion for reinvestigation. Petitioners argued that the case should be dismissed for unjustified delay in the filing of the information. HELD: There was no violation of right to speedy trial. The delay was not capricious nor oppressive but was brought about by frequent amendments of procedural laws in the initial stages of the case. Raro v. Sandiganbayan G.R. No. 108431 (July 14, 2000) FACTS: The complaint against petitioner for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act was referred by the Deputy Ombudsman to the NBI for investigation. The NBI recommended the prosecution of the petitioners. However, the petitioners argue that the fouryear delay in the completion of the preliminary investigation violated right to speedy disposition of cases. HELD: It took the NBI 2 years to complete its report. The resolution recommending the filing of the case against petitioner has to be reviewed. The length of time it took before the conclusion


of the preliminary investigation may only be attributed to the adherence of the Ombudsman and NBI to the rudiments of fair play. P. Prohibition Against Cruel Punishment People v. Alicante G.R. No. 127026 (May 31, 2000) HELD: Death penalty is not cruel. Q. Double Jeopardy 1. Termination People v. Velasco G.R. No. 127444 (September 13, 2000) FACTS: Trial court acquitted respondent from a case of murder; two cases of frustrated murder and a case for illegal possession of firearms outside of his residence. The prosecution filed a petition for certiorari on the ground that the trial court deliberately and wrongfully interpreted certain facts and evidence. HELD: On the ground of double jeopardy, an acquittal is final and unappealable. Prosecution cannot accomplish through a writ of certiorari what it could not do so by appeal. 2. Different Offenses People v. Ong 322 SCRA 38 HELD: An illegal recruiter can be charged with estafa and illegal recruitment (See also People v. Meris, G.R. No. 117145, March 28, 2000) II. Citizenship Valles v. Comelec G.R. No. 137000 (August 9, 2000) FACTS: Respondent was born in Australia on May 16, 1934 to a Filipino father and an Australian mother. She ran for governor. Petitioner, her opponent, filed a case for disqualification on the ground that she is not a Filipino citizen since she was issued an alien certificate of registration; there was an application for an immigrant certificate of residence and she was a holder of an Australian passport. HELD: The respondent is a Filipino citizen since her father is a Filipino. Holding of an Australian passport and an alien certificate of registration does not constitute an effective renunciation of citizenship and does not militate against her claim of Filipino citizenship. At most, she has dual citizenship. Valles v. Comelec G.R. No. 137000 (August 9, 2000) FACTS: Respondent was born in Australia to a Filipino father and an Australian mother. Australia follows jus soli. She ran for governor. Opponent filed petition to disqualify her on the ground of dual citizenship. HELD: Dual citizenship as a disqualification refers to citizens with dual allegiance. The fact that she has dual citizenship does not automatically disqualify her from running for public office. Filing a certificate of candidacy suffices to renounce foreign citizenship because in the certificate, the candidate declares himself to be a Filipino citizen and that he will support the Philippine Constitution. Such declaration operates as an effective renunciation of foreign citizenship. III. LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT A. Party-List


Veteran Federation Party v. Comelec G.R. No. 136781 (October 6, 2000) FACTS: The Comelec proclaimed 14 party list representatives from 13 parties which obtained at least 2% of the total number of votes cast as member of the House of Rep. Upon petition by other party-list organization, it proclaimed another 38 additional party representatives althout they received less than 2% of the votes on the ground that under the Constitution it is mandatory that at least 20% of the members of House of Rep. must come from the party list system. HELD: Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution is not mandatory. It merely provides a ceiling for party list seats in the House of Representatives. The Congress is vested with power to define and prescribe the mechanics of the party-list system of representation. In the exercise of their Constitutional prerogative, Congress deemed it necessary that parties participating in the system to obtain at least 2% of the total votes cast to be entitled to a party-list seat. This is to ensure that only parties with sufficient number of constituents are actually represented in Congress. B. Attendance of Session People v. Jalosjos 324 SCRA 689 FACTS: While his appeal from a conviction of rape is pending, the accused, a Congressman was confined at the national penitentiary. Since he was reelected to his position, he argued that he should be allowed to attend the legislative sessions and committee hearings, because his confinement was depriving his constituents of their voice in Congress. HELD: Election to high government office does free accused from the common restraints of general law. Under Section II, Article VI of the Constitution, a member of the House of Rep is privileged from arrest only if offense is punishable by not more than 6 years imprisonment. Confinement of a congressman charged with a crime punishable by more than 6 years has constitutional foundations. If allowed to attend the congressional sessions, the accused would be virtually made a free man. When he was elected into office, the voters were aware of his limitations on his freedom of action. Congress can continue to function even without all its members being present. Election to the position of Congressman is not a reasonable classification in criminal law enforcement. C. Electoral Tribunal Guerrero v. Comelec G.R. No. 137004 (July 26, 2000) FACTS: A petition to disqualify respondent as a candidate for Congressman was filed with the Comelec on the ground that he was campaigning although he had not filed a certificate for candidacy. Three days before the election, respondent filed his certificate of candidacy as substitute for another candidate who withdrew. The petitioner argued that the substitution was fatally defective since the replaced candidate was an independent and the respondent ran as candidate for a political party. Respondent was proclaimed winner and assumed office. Comelec dismissed petition on the ground that the matter is now within the exclusive jurisdiction of the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal. HELD: Once a winning candidate has assumed office as a member of the House of Rep, the jurisdiction of Comelec over his qualification ends and jurisdiction of Electoral Tribunal begins. The jurisdiction of the Tribunal is not limited to constitutional qualifications only. The filing of a certificate of candidacy is a statutory qualification. D. Title of the Law De Guzman v. Comelec G.R.No. 129118 (July 19, 2000) FACTS: Section 44 of the Voters Registration Act provided that no election officer shall hold office in a particular municipality or city for more than 4 years. In accordance with it, the Comelec reassigned petitioners, who were election officers to other stations. Petitioners argued that the provision was not expressed in the title of the law, which is An Act Providing for a


General Registration of Voters, Adopting a System of Continuing Registration, Prescribing the Procedures Thereof and Authorizing the Appropriation of Fund Thereof. HELD: The contention is untenable. Section 44 is relevant to the subject matter of registration as it seeks to ensure the integrity of the registration process by providing a guideline for the Comelec to follow in the reassignment of election officers. E. Appellate Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

Villanert v. Desierto 326 SCRA 355 HELD: The law making the decision of the Ombudsman appealable to the SC is invalid because the concurrence of the SC was not obtained. (See also Tirol v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 133594, August 3, 2000) IV. Executive Department A. Immunity from Suit

Gloria v. CA G.R. No. 119903 (August 15, 2000) FACTS: Upon recommendation by the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, respondent was reassigned as superintendent in another school. Respondent filed a petition for prohibition against the Secretary on the ground that his indefinite reassignment violated his security of tenure. The Secretary argued that the filing of the case violated the immunity of the President from suit. HELD: The contention is untenable. The petition is not directed against the President. Presidential decisions may be questioned before the courts. B. Power of Control

Hutchison Ports Philippines, Ltd. V. Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority G.R. No. 131367 (August 31, 2000) FACTS: The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority conducted a bidding for the development and operation of a modern marine container terminal. It awarded the contract to petitioner. The Office of the President set aside the award and ordered a new bidding. Petitioner filed action for specific performance. HELD: The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority is under the control of the Office of the President. Therefore the President may overturn any of awards granted by it for justifiable reasons. C. Power to Call Out Armed Forces

IBP v. Zamora G.R. No. 941284 (August 15, 2000) FACTS: In view of the alarming increase in violent crimes in Metropolitan Manila, the President ordered the PNP and the Phil. Marines to conduct joint visibility patrols for crime prevention and suppression. IBP questioned validity of the order on the ground that there is no factual basis for President to exercise his power to call out the Armed Forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence. HELD: The IBP failed to support its assertion that the President acted without factual basis. The President has determined the necessity and factual basis for calling the armed forces. He asserted that violent crimes like bank and store robberies, holdups, kidnappings and carnappings continue to occur. The court can take judicial notice of the recent bombing perpetrated by lawless elements in public places. D. State of Rebellion Lacson v. Perez G.R. No. 147780 (May 10, 2001)


FACTS: On May 1, 2001, President Macapagal-Arroyo, faced by an angry mob assaulting and attempting to break into Malacaang, issued Proclamation No. 38 declaring that there was a state of rebellion in the National Capital Region. She likewise issued General Order No. 1 directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to suppress the rebellion in the National Capital Region. Warrantless arrests of several alleged leaders and promoters of the rebellion were thereafter effected. Aggrieved by the warrantless arrests, and the declaration of a state of rebellion, which allegedly gave a semblance of legality to the arrests, four related petitions were filed before the Court assailing the declaration of a state of rebellion by the President and the warrantless arrests allegedly effected by virtue thereof, as having no basis both in fact and in law. 1. On May 6, 2001, the President ordered the lifting of the declaration of a state of rebellion in Metro Manila. Accordingly, the instant petitions have been rendered moot and academic. 2. As to petitioners claim that the proclamation of a state of rebellion is being used by the authorities to justify warrantless arrests, there are actually general instructions to law enforcement officers and military agencies to implement Proclamation No. 38 and obtain regular warrants of arrests from the courts. This means that preliminary investigations will be conducted. 3. Moreover, petitioners contention that they are under imminent danger of being arrested without warrant do not justify their resort to the extraordinary remedies of mandamus and prohibition, since an individual subjected to warrantless arrest is not without adequate remedies in the ordinary course of law. 4. Petitioners cannot ask the Court to direct the courts before whom the informations against the petitioners are filed to desist from arraigning and proceeding with the trial of the case. Such relief is clearly premature considering that as of this date, no complaints or charges have been filed against any of the petitioners for any crime. 5. Hold departure orders issued against petitioners cannot be declared null and void since petitioners are not directly assailing the validity of the subject hold departure orders in their petition. 6. Petitioner Defensor-Santiago has not shown that she is in imminent danger of being arrested without a warrant. Hence, her petition of mandamus cannot be issued since such right to relief must be clear at the time of the award. 7. Petitioner Lumbao, leader of the Peoples Movement against Poverty (PMAP), argues that the declaration of a state of rebellion is violative of the doctrine of separation of powers, being an encroachment on the domain of the judiciary to interpret what took place on May 1. The Court disagreed since the President as the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines, may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence. 8. As for petitioner Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), it is not a real party-in-interest. LDP has not demonstrated any injury to itself which would justify resort to the Court. Petitioner is a juridical person not subject to arrest. Thus, it cannot claim to be threatened by a warrantless arrest. Nor is it alleged that its leaders, members and supporters are being threatened with warrantless arrest and detention for the crime of rebellion. Even if instant petition may be considered as an action for declaratory relief, the Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction in the first instance over such a petition. PETITIONS DISMISSED (However, petitioners cannot be arrested without the required judicial warrant for all acts committed in relation to or in connection with the May 1, 2001 siege) E. Legitimacy of the Arroyo Presidency Estrada v. Desierto G. R. Nos. 146710-15, March 2, 2001


Estrada V. Arroyo G.R. No. 146738 FACTS: Petitioner sought to enjoin the respondent Ombudsman from conducting any further proceedings in any criminal complaint that may be filed in his office, until after the term of petitioner as President is over and only if legally warranted. Erap also filed a Quo Warranto case, praying for judgment confirming petitioner to be the lawful and incumbent President of the Republic of the Philippines temporarily unable to discharge the duties of his office, and declaring respondent to have taken her oath as and to be holding the Office of the President, only in an acting capacity pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution. HELD: FIRST: The cases at bar pose legal and not political questions. The principal issues for resolution require the proper interpretation of certain provisions in the 1987 Constitution, notably section 1 of Article II, and section 8 of Article VII, and the allocation of governmental powers under section II of Article VII. The issues likewise call for a ruling on the scope of presidential immunity from suit. They also involve the correct calibration of the right of petitioner against prejudicial publicity. As early as the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison, the doctrine has been laid down that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is . . . The Court also distinguished between EDSA People Power I and EDSA People Power II. EDSA I involves the exercise of the people power of revolution which overthrew the whole government. EDSA II is an exercise of people power of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly to petition the government for redress of grievances which only affected the office of the President. EDSA I is extra constitutional and the legitimacy of the new government that resulted from it cannot be the subject of judicial review, but EDSA II is intra constitutional and the resignation of the sitting President that it caused and the succession of the Vice President as President are subject to judicial review. EDSA I presented political question; EDSA II involves legal questions. SECOND: Using the totality test, the SC held that petitioner resigned as President. a. The proposal for a snap election for president in May where he would not be a candidate is an indicium that petitioner had intended to give up the presidency even at that time. b. The Angara diary shows that the President wanted only five-day period promised by Reyes, as well as to open the second envelop to clear his name. "If the envelope is opened, on Monday, he says, he will leave by Monday. "The President says. Pagod na pagod na ako. Ayoko na masyado nang masakit. Pagod na ako sa red tape, bureaucracy, intriga. (I am very tired. I dont want any more of this its too painful. Im tired of the red tape, the bureaucracy, the intrigue.) "I just want to clear my name, then I will go. The SC held that this is high grade evidence that the petitioner has resigned. The intent to resign is clear when he said x x x Ayoko na masyado nang masakit. Ayoko na are words of resignation. c. During the negotiations, the resignation of the petitioner was treated as a given fact. The only unsettled points at that time were the measures to be undertaken by the parties during and after transition period. d. His resignation was also confirmed by his leaving Malacaang. In the press release containing his final statement, (1) he acknowledged the oath-taking of the respondent as President of the Republic albeit with the reservation about its legality; (2) he emphasized he was leaving the Palace, the seat of the presidency, for the sake of peace and in order to begin the healing process of our nation. He did not say he was leaving the Palace due to any kind of inability and he was going to re-assume the presidency as soon as the disability disappears; (3) he expressed his gratitude to the people for the opportunity to serve them. Without doubt, he was referring to the past opportunity given him to serve the people as President; (4) he assured that he will not shirk from any future challenge that may come ahead in the same service of our country. Petitioners reference is to a future challenge after occupying the office of the president which he has given up; and (5) he called on his supporters to join him in the promotion of a constructive national spirit of reconciliation and


solidarity. Certainly, the national spirit of reconciliation and solidarity could not be attained if he did not give up the presidency. The press release was petitioners valedictory, his final act of farewell. His presidency is now in the past tense. THIRD: The petitioner is permanently unable to act as President. Section 11 of Article VII provides that Congress has the ultimate authority under the Constitution to determine whether the President is incapable of performing his functions. Both houses of Congress have recognized respondent Arroyo as the President. The House of Representative passed on January 24, 2001 House Resolution No. l75 which states: RESOLUTION EXPRESSING THE SUPPORT OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO THE ASSUMPTION INTO OFFICE BY VICE PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO AS PRESIDENT OFTHE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, EXTENDING ITS CONGRATULATIONS AND EXPRESSING ITS SUPPORT FOR HER ADMINISTRATION AS A PARTNER IN THE ATTAINMENT OF THE NATIONS GOALS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION. The Senate also passed Senate Resolution No. 82 which states: RESOLUTION CONFIRMING PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYOS NOMINATION OF SEN. TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, JR. AS VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES Implicitly clear in that recognition is the premise that the inability of petitioner Estrada is no longer temporary. Congress has clearly rejected petitioners claim of inability. Even if petitioner can prove that he did not resign, still, he cannot successfully claim that he is a President on leave on the ground that he is merely unable to govern temporarily. That claim has been laid to rest by Congress and the decision that respondent Arroyo is the de jure President made by a co-equal branch of government cannot be reviewed by the Supreme Court. FOURTH: The petitioner does not enjoy immunity from suit. The Supreme Court rejected petitioners argument that he cannot be prosecuted for the reason that he must first be convicted in the impeachment proceedings. The impeachment trial of petitioner Estrada was aborted by the walkout of the prosecutors and by the events that led to his loss of the presidency. On February 7, 2001, the Senate passed Senate Resolution No. 83 Recognizing that the Impeachment Court is Functus Officio. Since the Impeachment Court is now functus officio, it is untenable for petitioner to demand that he should first be impeached and then convicted before he can be prosecuted. The plea, if granted, would put a perpetual bar against his prosecution. The debates in the Constitutional Commission make it clear that when impeachment proceedings have become moot due to the resignation of the President, the proper criminal and civil cases may already be filed against him. The SC also ruled in In re: Saturnino Bermudez that incumbent Presidents are immune from suit or from being brought to court during the period of their incumbency and tenure but not beyond. Considering the peculiar circumstance that the impeachment process against the petitioner has been aborted and thereafter he lost the presidency, petitioner cannot demand as a condition sine qua non to his criminal prosecution before the Ombudsman that he be convicted in the impeachment proceedings. Also, petitioner cannot cite any decision of the SC licensing the President to commit criminal acts and wrapping him with post-tenure immunity from liability. The rule is that unlawful acts of public officials are not acts of the State and the officer who acts illegally is not acting as such but stands in the same footing as any other trespasser. FIFTH: Petitioner was not denied the right to impartial trial. Pervasive publicity is not per se prejudicial to the right of an accused to fair trial. The mere fact that the trial of appellant was given a day-to-day, gavel-to-gavel coverage does not by itself prove that the publicity so permeated the mind of the trial judge and impaired his impartiality. In the case at bar, the records do not show that the trial judge developed actual bias against appellant as a consequence of the extensive media coverage of the pre-trial and trial of his case. The totality of circumstances of the case does not prove that the trial judge acquired a fixed opinion as a result of prejudicial publicity which is incapable if change even by evidence


presented during the trial. Appellant has the burden to prove this actual bias and he has not discharged the burden. V. Judicial Department A. Judicial Review Gonzales v. Narvasa G.R. No. 140835 (August 14, 2000) FACTS: The president issued EO 43 creating the Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform to recommend amendments to the Constitution. Petitioner, in his capacity as taxpayer, filed a petition assailing constitutionality of the Commission. HELD: The Preparatory Commission was created by the President by virtue of EO 43. An amount was set aside for its operation from the funds of the Office of the President. There was no exercise by Congress of its taxing or spending powers. Petitioner cannot question the constitutionality of the Commission in his capacity as taxpayer. Gonzales v. Narvasa G.R. No. 140835 (August 14, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner filed a petition in his capacity as taxpayer questioning the constitutionality of the creation by the President of seventy positions for presidential advisers on the ground that the President did not have the power to create these positions. HELD: Petitioner has not proven that he has sustained any injury as a result of the appointment of presidential advisers. Bayan v. Zamora G.R. No. 138570 (Oct. 10, 2000) FACTS: Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) was entered into by the Philippines and United States to regulate conditions of presence of US military personnels in the Philippines. The Senate concurred with the VFA. Petitioners who are taxpayers and members of Congress questioned its validity. HELD: Petitioners failed to show that they have sustained or are in danger of sustaining any direct injury as a result of the enforcement of VFA. As taxpayers, they failed to show how the VFA will involve the exercise of Congress of its taxing or spending powers. Members of Congress standing cannot be upheld absent a clear showing of any direct injury to their person or to the institution to which they belong. Further, IBP has no standing. IBP v. Zamora G.R. No. 141284 (August 15, 2000) FACTS: In view of the alarming increase in violent crimes in Metropolitan Manila, the President ordered the PNP and the Phil. Marines to conduct joint visibility patrols for crime prevention and suppression. The IBP questioned validity of the order invoking its responsibility to uphold the rule of law. HELD: The mere invocation by the IBP of its duty to preserve the rule of law is not sufficient to clothe it with standing in this case. This is too general an interest which is shared by the whole citizenry. The IBP has failed to show any specific injury it has suffered or may suffer by virtue of the questioned order. The presumed possible injury is highly speculative. Militante v. CA GR. No. 107040 (April 12, 2000) FACTS: Pres. Marcos issued PD 1315 in 1975 expropriating 40 hectares in Caloocan for distribution to their occupants. The lots of petitioners were included in the coverage of the decree. However, these lots were not among those acquired by government in 1978 and 1979. On May 14, 1980, Proclamation No. 1967 indentified 244 sites in Metropolitan Manila as areas for priority development and urban land reform zones. In 1981, the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission (HSRC) declared the lots of petitioner to be outside the reform area. Because the National Housing Authority (NHA) failed to evict the squatters on his lots, petitioner questioned the constitutionality of PD 1315.


HELD: The lots of petitioners are not in danger of expropriation. PD. 1315 was issued in 1975. It is doubtful that the government will still desire to expropriate the lots of petitioner. Moreover, the HSRC certified that the lots were outside the Urban Land Reform Zone. In 1987, petitioner negotiated with the NHA for the price of his lots therefore, he is estopped from asserting that PD 1315 to be unconstitutional. B. Form of Decision 1. Void Decision People v. Nadera 324 SCRA 490 FACTS: The accused was charged with rape. The trial court convicted him. The decision merely narrated the evidence of the prosecution and a republic act. HELD: The trial court failed to state the factual and legal reasons on which it based the conviction of the accused. There is nothing to indicate the reason for the decision. No reason is given why the trial court found the testimonies of the witnesses credible. Madrid v. CA GR No. 130683 (May 31, 2000) FACTS: The accused was convicted of homicide by the trial court. The decision summarized the testimonies of witnesses from both sides. It then stated that the testimonies of the witnesses for the prosecution convinced the court. On the other hand, the demeanor of the defense witnesses were not credible. The decision added that the aggravating circumstance of evident premeditation and abuse of superior strength were present. HELD: The decision does not indicate what the trial court found in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses to consider them straightforward when they are in fact contradictory and confused. Neither does the decision contain any justification for the appreciation of aggravating circumstances against the accused. The decision failed to comply with the constitutional requirement that a decision must expressly state the facts and the law on which it is based Yao v. CA GR. No. 132428 (October 24, 2000) FACTS: The MTC convicted petitioner of unfair competition. Petitioner appealed to RTC. The RTC confirmed his conviction. In its decision, it stated that it found no cogent reason to disturb the finding of fact of the MTC. HELD: The decision of the RTC fell short of the constitutional requirement. Parties to a litigation should be informed of how it was decided, with an explanation of the factual and legal reasons that led to the conclusion of the court. The decision in question should be struck close as a nullity. People v. Dumaguing G.R. No. 135516 (September 20, 2000) FACTS: The trial court convicted the accused of rape. The decision simply stated that the accused was guilty of raping his own daughter and that the evidence of the prosecution was not controverted by the accused. HELD: The trial court failed to comply with the requirement that it should state clearly and distinctly the facts on which it is based. 2. Valid Decision People v. Ordonez G.R. No. 129593 (July 10, 2000) FACTS: The trial court convicted the accused of illegal recruitment and estafa. The accused argued that the decision did not comply with Section 14, Article VIII of the constitution, because it merely paraphrased the testimonies of the witnesses. HELD: The trial court went over the testimonies of every witness of both parties. After summarizing the testimonies, the trial court stated in its decision that it found that the accused


informed the complainants that they would be going to Korea to work when in fact they landed in Kuala Lumpur instead; that one of the complainants had no job waiting, and the other complainant landed in jail at the time he arrived in Kuala Lumpur and had to be returned to the Philippines. The decision complied with the requirement. VI. Constitutional Commissions A. Term of Commissioners Gaminde v. Commission on Audit G.R. No. 140335 (December 13, 2000) FACTS: On June 11, 1993, the President appointed petitioner as Commissioner of the CSC for a term expiring on February 2, 1999. She took her oath of office on June 22, 1993 and was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments on September 7, 1993. The Commission on Audit issued a decision that her term expired on Feb. 2, 1999. HELD: The constitution adopted a rotational system for the appointment of the Chairman and Commissioners of the Constitutional Commissions. The operation of the rotational plan requires that the terms of the first Commissioners should start on a common date and any vacancy before the expiration of the term should be filled only for the unexpired balance of the term. Consequently, the term of the first Chairman and Commissioners of the Constitutional Commissions must start on a common date, irrespective of variations in the dates of appointments and qualifications of the appointees in order that the expiration of the first terms should lead to the regular recurrence of the two-year interval between the expiration of the terms. February 2, 1987 is the proper starting point of the terms of office of the first appointees to the Constitutional Commission, as the beginning of the term of office is understood to coincide with the effectivity of the Constitution upon its ratification. B. Civil Service Commission 1. Reassignment

Chato v. Zenarosa GR No. 120539 (October 20, 2000) HELD: A government employee may be transferred. De Guzman v. Comelec G.R. No. 129118 (July 19, 2000) FACTS: Section 44 of the Voters Registration Act provided that no election officer shall hold office in a particular municipality or city for more than 4 years. In accordance with it, the Comelec reassigned petitioners, who were election officers to other stations. Petitioners argued that the law violated their security of tenure. HELD: What the guarantee of security of tenure seeks to prevent is the capricious exercise of the power to dismiss. Where it is the legislature which furnishes the ground for the transfer of a class of employees, no such capriciousness can be raised for so long as the remedy proposed to cure a perceived evil is germane to the purpose of the law. Gloria v. CA G.R. No. 119903 (August 15, 2000) FACTS: Respondent was appointed School Division Superintendent, Division of City Schools, Quezon City. Upon recommendation of the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, the President reassigned him as Superintendent of the Marikina Institute of Science and Technology on the ground that he is an expert in vocational and technical education. Respondent questioned the validity of his reassignment on the ground that it is indefinite and it violated his security of tenure. HELD: There is nothing to show that the reassignment of respondent is temporary. The evidence or intention to reassign respondent had no definite period. It is violative of his security of tenure. Padolino v. Fernandez


G.R. No. 133511 (October 10, 2000) FACTS: Respondent was Finance and Management Division Chief. The petitioner, the Secretary of Science and Technology issued an order providing for the reassignment of branch, division and section chiefs. The order provided that their return would be the subject of a separate order. Pursuant to the order, respondent was reassigned to the Office of the Director of Finance and Management Service in Taguig. Respondent argued that this violated her security of tenure. HELD: The order violated the security of tenure of respondent and hence invalid. The order contains no definite duration of the reassignment. The reassignment of respondent reduced her to a mere subordinate without authority to supervise anyone. 2. Reorganization Canonizado v. Aguirre 323 SCRA 312 FACTS: Petitioners were incumbent commissioners of the National Police Commission when Republic Act. No. 8851, otherwise known as the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, took effect. Section 8 of Republic Act. No. 8851 provided that the terms of office of the incumbent commissioners were deemed expired. Petitioners claimed that this violated their security of tenure. HELD: Petitioners are members of the civil service. Republic Act No. 8551 did not expressly abolish the positions of petitioners. Under RA No. 6975, the National Police Commission was under the Department of Interior and Local Government, while under Republic Act. No. 8551 it is made an agency attached to the Department of Interior and Local Government. The organizational structure and the composition of the National Police Commission remain essentially the same except for the addition of the Chief of PNP as ex-officio member. The powers and duties of the National Police Commission remain basically unchanged. No bona fide reorganization of the NPC having been mandated by Congress and insofar as RA 8851 declares the office of the petitioner as expired resulting in their separation from office, it is tantamount to removing civil service employees from office without legal cause therefore, it must be struck down for being constitutionally infirm. 3. Lack of Eligibility Cuevas v. Bacal G.R. No. 139382 (December 6, 2000) FACTS: Respondent passed the Career Executive Service Examination. She was appointed Regional Director of the Public Attorneys Office. Later, she was designated as acting chief Public Attorney. Upon change of administration, respondent was appointed Regional Director. Respondent argued she was removed without cause. HELD: The rank level of respondent is Rank level III. The position of Chief Public Attorney required rank level I. As respondent does not have the required Rank, her appointment to that position cannot be considered permanent and she cannot claim the right to a security of tenure. C. Commission on Elections 1. Power to Appoint Employees De Guzman v. Comelec G.R. No. 129118 (July 19, 2000) FACTS: Section 44 of the Voters Registration Act provided that no election officer shall hold office in a particular municipality or city for more than 4 years. In accordance with it, the Comelec reassigned petitioners, who were election officers to other stations. Petitioner argue that the law undermined the constitutional authority of the Comelec to appoint its own officials. HELD: The law merely provides the basis for the transfer of an election officers and does not deprive the Comelec of its power to appoint its officials. 2. Judicial Review Ambil v. Comelec G.R. No. 143398 (October 25, 2000)


FACTS: Petitioner and respondent were opposing candidates for governor. Petitioner won. Respondent filed election protest with the Commission on Elections. A member of its first division prepared the resolution but he retired before it could be promulgated. A new member was appointed to replace the retired commissioner. The first division issued a resolution declaring the previously prepared resolution void, because it had not been promulgated. HELD: Petition should be denied because the SC had no power to review interlocutory orders or final resolutions of a division of Comelec. It must first be reviewed by the Comelec en banc before it can be brought to the SC. ABS-CBN v. Comelec 323 SCRA 811 FACTS: Comelec approved Resolution 98-1419 on April 21, 1998 which prohibited the conduct of exit polls. Petitioners questioned the validity of the resolution by filing a petition for certiorari in the SC. Solicitor General argued that case should be dismissed for failure to exhaust all available remedies by failure to file a motion for reconsideration before the Comelec. HELD: Considering that the resolution was issued only 20 days before the election and that the petitioners got a copy of it only on May 4, 1998, there was hardly any opportunity to move for reconsideration and to obtain and swift resolution in time for the May 11 elections. The petition also involves transcendental constitutional issues therefore, direct resort to SC is justified. Salva v. Makalintal G.R. No. 132603 (September 8, 2000) FACTS: The Sangguniang Pambayan of Calaca Batangas approved an ordinance merging Barangay San Rafael with another Barangay. The Sanggunian Panlalawigan passed a resolution instructing the Comelec to hold a plebiscite. The Comelec passed a resolution calling for a plebiscite. The officials and residents of San Rafael filed a case in RTC to prohibit the plebiscite on the ground that the ordinance and the resolutions were invalid. The RTC ruled that it had no jurisdiction over the case because only the Supreme Court can review the resolution of the Commission on Elections. HELD: The issuance of the Resolution of the Comelec was a ministerial duty which may be enjoined by law and is part of its administrative functions. Any question pertaining to its validity may be taken in an ordinary civil action before the RTC. 3. Decision Soller v. Comelec G.R. No. 139853 (Sept.5, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner and respondent were opposing candidates for mayor. Petitioner was proclaimed elected. Respondent filed with Comelec a petition for annulment of proclamation. A week later, he filed an election protest in the RTC. Petitioner moved to dismiss the protest on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, forum shopping, and failure to state a cause of action. The RTC denied motion. Respondent also filed certiorari with Comelec en banc which was later denied. HELD: The authority to resolve petitions for certiorari involving incidental issues of election protests falls within the jurisdiction of the Division of the Comelec and not with the Comelec en banc. If the principal case is cognizable on appeal by a Division, there is no reason why petitions for certiorari relating to incidents of election protest should not be referred first to a Division of the Comelec for resolution. D. Commission on Audit Laysa v. Commission on Audit G.R. No. 12813 (October 18, 2000) FACTS: As a result of an audit of the Fishery Sector Program Fund of the Department of Agriculture, Regional Office No. V was found to not have complied with the rules on bidding, submission of documents to support claim of disbursement. Petitioner, Director of the office, argued that since the Fishery Sector Program is a special program for research and


development, bureaucratic adherence to prescribed rules and procedures stifles research and development. HELD: Verification of whether officials of an agency properly discharged their fiscal responsibilities and whether an agency complied with internal audit controls in the collection and disbursement of government funds are part of the functions of the Commission on Audit. 1. Prevention of Unnecessary Expenses Polloso v. Gangan G.R. No. 140563 (July 14, 2000) FACTS: The National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) hired the legal service of petitioner, a private lawyer. The Commission on Audit disallowed the payment of his compensation, since he was hired without complying with Circular No. 86-255 which requires prior written approval by the Solicitor General as well as the Commission on Audit. Petitioner argued that circular is unconstitutional because it restricted the practice of law. HELD: The claim is bereft of merit. The circular simply sets forth the prerequisite for the government agency in hiring a private lawyer which are reasonable safeguards to prevent irregular, unnecessary, excessive and extravagant expenditures of government funds. Uy v. Commission on Audit G.R. No. 130685 (March 21, 2000) FACTS: Petitioners were permanent employees of the Provincial Engineering Office who were dismissed by the governor allegedly to scale down the operations of that office. Petitioners filed a petition for reinstatement with the Merit Protection System Board. The board held that the reduction in work force was not done in accordance with the civil service rules since it was made without comparing the relative fitness, efficiency and length of service of the employees. It ordered the reinstatement of petitioners and payment of their back salaries. The decision became final. The Commission on Audit disallowed the payment of back salaries on the ground that it should be the personal liability of the governor since illegal dismissal was done in bad faith. HELD: The decision of the Merit System Protection Board has become final and executory. The Commission on Audit cannot be allowed to set it aside since payment cannot be described as irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or unconscionable. VII. Local Government Pimentel v. Aguirre G.R. No. 132988 July 19, 2000) A. Ombudsman 1. Form of Complaint Raro v. Sandiganbayan G.R. No. 108431 (July 14, 2000) FACTS: Upon complaint of an employee of a corporation which was authorized by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to operate a small town lottery, the Ombudsman filed a criminal case against petitioner for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Petitioner argued that the complaint was sworn to before a notary public and the affidavits of witnesses against him were sworn to before a provincial fiscal not deputized by the Ombudsman. HELD: Under Section 12, Article XI of the Constitution, the Ombudsman is required to act on complaints filed in any form or manner. The charges are valid. 2. Investigation Raro v. Sandiganbayan G.R. No. 108431 (July 14, 2000)


FACTS: The Deputy Ombudsman referred the complaint against petitioner for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act to the NBI for investigation. The NBI recommended the prosecution of the case. Petitioner argued that by referring the complaint to the NBI, the office of the Ombudsman abdicated its duty to conduct preliminary investigation. HELD: The Office of the Ombudsman did not delegate the conduct of the preliminary investigation to the NBI. What was delegated was only the fact-finding function, preparatory to the preliminary investigation still to be conducted by the Ombudsman. 3. State immunity from Suit A. Applicability Calub v. CA G.R. No. 115634 (April 27, 2000) FACTS: Petitioners, who were officers of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources seized two motor vehicles for transporting illegally cut lumber. The owner and the driver filed a case against them for the recovery of the possession of the motor vehicle. HELD: The acts for which petitioners are being called to account were performed by them in the discharge of their official duties. A suit against them is a suit against the state. It cannot prosper without the consent of the state. B. Law Enforcement Armed Forces Integrated Bar Of The Philippines v. Zamora G.R. NO. 141284 (August 15, 2000) FACTS: The petitioner argues that the order of the President for the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Marines to carry out joint visibility patrols to prevent and restrain crime, violated the prohibition on the appointment of the members of the Armed Forces who are in active service to civilian positions. HELD: The SC held that there was actually no appointment of the members of the Armed Forces to civilian positions. The members of the Philippine Marines were not integrated as members of the PNP. The participation of the Chief of Staff in civilian law enforcement does not mean that he was appointed to a civilian post, since the head of the PNP is the one actually vested with authority in these operations. Philippine National Police Integrated Bar Of The Philippines v. Zamora G.R. NO. 141284 (August 15, 2000) FACTS: The petitioner argues that the order of the President for the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Marines to carry out joint visibility patrols to prevent and restrain crime, violated the principle of supremacy of civilian authority over the military and the civilian character of the police force. HELD: The participation of the Philippine Marines constitutes a permissible use of military assets for civilian law enforcement. The civilian character of the police force is also not affected by this participation. The members of the PNP are the ones in charge of the operations. They are the ones who will direct and supervise the deployment of the Philippine Marines. Visiting Forces Agreement Bayan v. Zamora G.R. NO. 138570 (October 10. 2000) The Visiting Forces Agreement, for which Senate concurrence was sought and received on May 27, 1999, is the subject of a number of Constitutional challenges.


Issue 1: Do the Petitioners have legal standing as concerned citizens, taxpayers, or legislators to question the constitutionality of the VFA? Petitioners Bayan Muna, etc. have no standing. A party bringing a suit challenging the Constitutionality of a law must show not only that the law is invalid, but that he has sustained or is in immediate danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement, and not merely that he suffers thereby in some indefinite way. Petitioners have failed to show that they are in any danger of direct injury as a result of the VFA. As taxpayers, they have failed to establish that the VFA involves the exercise by Congress of its taxing or spending powers. A taxpayer's suit refers to a case where the act complained of directly involves the illegal disbursement of public funds derived from taxation. Before he can invoke the power of judicial review, he must specifically prove that he has sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation and that he will sustain a direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the questioned statute or contract. It is not sufficient that he has merely a general interest common to all members of the public. Clearly, inasmuch as no public funds raised by taxation are involved in this case, and in the absence of any allegation by petitioners that public funds are being misspent or illegally expended, petitioners, as taxpayers, have no legal standing to assail the legality of the VFA. Similarly, the petitioner-legislators (Tanada, Arroyo, etc.) do not possess the requisite locus standi to sue. In the absence of a clear showing of any direct injury to their person or to the institution to which they belong, they cannot sue. The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is also stripped of standing in these cases. The IBP lacks the legal capacity to bring this suit in the absence of a board resolution from its Board of Governors authorizing its National President to commence the present action. Notwithstanding, in view of the paramount importance and the constitutional significance of the issues raised, the Court may brush aside the procedural barrier and takes cognizance of the petitions. Issue 2: Is the VFA governed by section 21, Art. VII, or section 25, Art. XVIII of the Constitution? Section 25, Art XVIII, not section 21, Art. VII, applies, as the VFA involves the presence of foreign military troops in the Philippines. The Constitution contains two provisions requiring the concurrence of the Senate on treaties or international agreements. Section 21, Article VII reads: [n]o treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate." Section 25, Article XVIII, provides:"[a]fter the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America concerning Military Bases, foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and, when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State." Section 21, Article VII deals with treaties or international agreements in general, in which case, the concurrence of at least two-thirds (2/3) of all the Members of the Senate is required to make the treaty valid and binding to the Philippines. This provision lays down the general rule on treaties. All treaties, regardless of subject matter, coverage, or particular designation or appellation, requires the concurrence of the Senate to be valid and effective. In contrast, Section 25, Article XVIII is a special provision that applies to treaties which involve the presence of foreign military bases, troops or facilities in the Philippines. Under this provision, the concurrence of the Senate is only one of the requisites to render compliance with the constitutional requirements and to consider the agreement binding on the Philippines. Sec 25 further requires that "foreign military bases, troops, or facilities" may be allowed in the Philippines only by virtue of a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate, ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a national referendum held for that purpose if so required by Congress, and recognized as such by the other contracting state. On the whole, the VFA is an agreement which defines the treatment of US troops visiting the Philippines. It provides for the guidelines to govern such visits of military personnel, and further defines the rights of the US and RP government in the matter of criminal jurisdiction, movement of vessel and aircraft, import and export of equipment, materials and supplies. Undoubtedly, Section 25, Article XVIII, which specifically deals with treaties involving foreign military bases, troops, or facilities, should apply in the instant case. To a certain extent,


however, the provisions of Section 21, Article VII will find applicability with regard to determining the number of votes required to obtain the valid concurrence of the Senate. It is specious to argue that Section 25, Article XVIII is inapplicable to mere transient agreements for the reason that there is no permanent placing of structure for the establishment of a military base. The Constitution makes no distinction between "transient" and "permanent". We find nothing in Section 25, Article XVIII that requires foreign troops or facilities to be stationed or placed permanently in the Philippines. When no distinction is made by law; the Court should not distinguish. We do not subscribe to the argument that Section 25, Article XVIII is not controlling since no foreign military bases, but merely foreign troops and facilities, are involved in the VFA. The proscription covers "foreign military bases, troops, or facilities." Stated differently, this prohibition is not limited to the entry of troops and facilities without any foreign bases being established. The clause does not refer to "foreign military bases, troops, or facilities" collectively but treats them as separate and independent subjects, such that three different situations are contemplated a military treaty the subject of which could be either (a) foreign bases, (b) foreign troops, or (c) foreign facilities any of the three standing alone places it under the coverage of Section 25, Article XVIII. Issue 3: Was Sec 25 Art XVIIIs requisites satisfied to make the VFA effective? Section 25, Article XVIII disallows foreign military bases, troops, or facilities in the country, unless the following conditions are sufficiently met: (a) it must be under a treaty; (b) the treaty must be duly concurred in by the Senate and, when so required by Congress, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum; and (c) recognized as a treaty by the other contracting state. There is no dispute as to the presence of the first two requisites in the case of the VFA. The concurrence handed by the Senate through Resolution No. 18 is in accordance with the Constitution, as there were at least 16 Senators that concurred. As to condition (c), the Court held that the phrase "recognized as a treaty" means that the other contracting party accepts or acknowledges the agreement as a treaty. To require the US to submit the VFA to the US Senate for concurrence pursuant to its Constitution, is to accord strict meaning to the phrase. Well-entrenched is the principle that the words used in the Constitution are to be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed, in which case the significance thus attached to them prevails. Its language should be understood in the sense they have in common use. The records reveal that the US Government, through Ambassador Hubbard, has stated that the US has fully committed to living up to the terms of the VFA. For as long as the US accepts or acknowledges the VFA as a treaty, and binds itself further to comply with its treaty obligations, there is indeed compliance with the mandate of the Constitution. Worth stressing too, is that the ratification by the President of the VFA, and the concurrence of the Senate, should be taken as a clear and unequivocal expression of our nation's consent to be bound by said treaty, with the concomitant duty to uphold the obligations and responsibilities embodied thereunder. Ratification is generally held to be an executive act, undertaken by the head of the state, through which the formal acceptance of the treaty is proclaimed. A State may provide in its domestic legislation the process of ratification of a treaty. In our jurisdiction, the power to ratify is vested in the President and not, as commonly believed, in the legislature. The role of the Senate is limited only to giving or withholding its consent, or concurrence, to the ratification. With the ratification of the VFA it now becomes obligatory and incumbent on our part, under principles of international law (pacta sunt servanda), to be bound by the terms of the agreement. Thus, no less than Section 2, Article II declares 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 peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation and amity with all nations. Sequestration Republic v. Saludares 327 SCRA 449 FACTS: The PCGG issued a writ of sequestration against the Lianga Bay Logging Company, which was later lifted by the Sandiganbayan. PCGG filed a Motion for Reconsideration, but it was denied. Private respondent, on the other hand, filed a complaint for collection of a sum of money against the company with prayer for preliminary attachment where PCGG was not impleaded as defendant nor was the sequestration made known to the RTC. The Court granted the preliminary attachment, and because of failure of company to answer complaint, it also


declared the company in default and ruled in favor of private respondent. Petitioner argues that RTC has no jurisdiction over the case since the sequestered assets are under custodia legis of the PCGG. HELD: The SC ruled that the order of default of the RTC is affirmed but should be held in abeyance until the sequestration case is determined. However, the order of attachment was declared null and void. The Court said that the disputed properties of the company were already under custodia legis by virtue of a valid writ of sequestration issued by the PCGG when the judge issued the writ of attachment. Since the writ of sequestration was already subsisting, it could not be interfered with by the RTC because the PCGG is a coordinate and equal body. Public Corporations I. Metropolitan Manila Development Authority

MMDA v. Bel-Air Village Association, Inc. G.R. NO. 135962 (March 27, 2000) FACTS: Respondent filed a case against petitioner enjoining them from opening the Neptune Street and prohibiting the demolition of the perimeter wall. The trial court denied issuance of a preliminary injunction. On appeal, the appellate court ruled that the MMDA has no authority to order the opening of Neptune Street, and cause the demolition of its perimeter walls. It held that the authority is lodged in the City Council of Makati by ordinance. Hence this petition. HELD: The MMDA has no power to enact ordinances for the welfare of the community. Hence, its proposed opening of Neptune Street which was not mandated by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Makati City, is illegal. II. Powers A. Expropriation Heirs Of Suguitan v. City Of Mandaluyong G.R. NO. 139087 (March 14, 2000) FACTS: The Sangguniang Panglungsod of Mandaluyong City issued a resolution authorizing Mayor Abalos to institute expropriation proceedings over the property of Suguitan. The city filed a complaint for expropriation when Suguitan refused to sell the property. The city later assumed possession of the property by virtue of a writ of possession issued by the trial court. The court later issued an order of expropriation. Petitioners argue that the local government units delegated power of eminent domain must be exercised through the issuance of an ordinance, not by mere resolution. HELD: The law may delegate the power of eminent domain to local government units that shall exercise the same through an ordinance. The local government unit failed to comply with this requirement when they exercised their power of eminent domain through a resolution. The Local Government Codes requirement of an ordinance prevails over the Implementing Rules and Regulations requiring the issuance of a resolution. B. Power To Sue And Be Sued Mancenido v. CA G.R. NO. 118605(April 12, 2000) FACTS: Petitioners, who are public school teachers, filed a case against the provincial officials to compel them to pay their claims for unpaid salary increases. In this petition for review on certiorari, they argue that the CA erred in recognizing the authority of the council of the provincial officials to file a notice of appeal. HELD: The SC held that in resolving whether a local government official may secure the services of private counsel in an action filed against him in his official capacity, the nature of the action and the relief sought are to be considered. In view of the damages sought in the case at bar which, if granted, could result in personal liability, respondents could not be deemed to be improperly represented by private counsel.


C. Registration Of Tricycle And Licensing Of Drivers Land Transportation Office v. City Of Butuan 322 SCRA 805 FACTS: The issue in this case is whether under the present set-up the power of the LTO to register, tricycles in particular, as well as to issue licenses for the driving thereof, has likewise devolved to local government units. HELD: The SC ruled that the registration and licensing functions are vested in the LTO while franchising and regulatory responsibilities are vested in the LTFRB. Under the Local Government Code, LGUs have the power to regulate the operation of tricycle for hire and to grant franchise for the operation thereof. III. Qualification Of Local Elective Officials

Torayno v. COMELEC G.R. NO. 137329 (August 9, 2000) FACTS: This case involves a petition for quo warranto filed against the respondent on the ground that he was not able to fulfill the requirement of residency of 1-yr in Cagayan de Oro City when he ran for mayor. Respondent previously served as governor of Misamis Oriental for 3 consecutive terms before he registered as a voter in Cagayan de Oro City and subsequently ran for mayor. HELD: Respondent was able to fulfill the residency requirement needed for him to qualify as a mayoralty candidate. He bought a house in Cagayan de Oro City in 1973. He actually resided there before he registered as a voter in that city in 1997. IV. Legislation Malonzo v. Zamora 323 SCRA 875 FACTS: A supplemental budget was passed by the councilors upon three readings held on the same day. They were charged with misconduct. HELD: There is no law prohibiting the holding of the three readings of a proposed ordinance in one session day. V. Recall Afiado v. COMELEC G.R. NO. 141787 (September 18, 2000) FACTS: This case involves a petition asking for the annulment of a resolution calling for the recall of the vice-mayor. The barangay officials in a preparatory recall assembly passed this resolution. The proclaimed mayor at that time was the son of the previous mayor who had already served for 3 consecutive terms. The father ran for a 4th term but withdrew, and was substituted by the son. The opponent filed a petition asking for the annulment of the substitution. When the SC ruled that the substitution was invalid, the vice-mayor became the mayor. Hence this petition. HELD: The specific purpose of the preparatory recall assembly was to revive the vice-mayor. However, the resolution does not apply to the vice-mayor anymore, since she gave up the office of vice-mayor when she assumed the position of mayor. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW I. Regulations A. Power Philippine Registered Electrical Practicioners v. Francia 322 SCRA 587 FACTS: Petitioner assails a resolution issued by the Board of Electrical Engineering which provided for a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Program for electrical engineers which required that they must earn credit units of CPE before their licenses could be renewed. Before these credit units could be earned, they must first apply for accreditation with the Institute of


Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines. Petitioner argues that the resolution is violative of the equal protection and due process clauses, prohibition against bills of attainder and ex post facto laws, and mandate for the protection of the rights of workers. HELD: The SC denied the petition for being moot and academic. President Ramos had later issued E.O. No. 266, which imposed upon registered professionals, the completion of the CPE as a pre-requisite for the renewal of their licenses. SGMC Realty Corporation v. Office Of The President G.R. NO. 126999 (August 30, 2000) FACTS: On October 23, 1995, petitioner got a copy of the decision of the Board of Commissioner of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board. Petitioner filed an appeal to the Office of the President on November 20, 1995, but this was denied for having been filed outside of the required period. Petitioner argues that the period for appeal is actually 30 days pursuant to the Rules of Procedure of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board and Administrative Order No. 18, Series of 1987. HELD: The SC ruled that the 30-day period of appeal is subject to the qualification that there are no other statutory periods of appeal applicable. Section 15 of Presidential Decree No. 957 and Section 2 of P.D. No. 1344 provide that the decision of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board shall become final after the lapse of 15 days from the date of its receipt. The period of appeal of 30 days in the Rules of Procedure of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board is invalid for being in conflict with Presidential Decree Nos. 957 and 1344. Zabat v. CA G.R. NO. 122089 (August 23, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner filed this case questioning the award of a certain lot to the respondent by the Awards and Arbitration Committee of the National Housing Authority which declared petitioners as absentee owners. The National Housing Authority signed a contract to sell with respondent, and sent a notice of demolition to petitioner. Hence this petition. HELD: The SC ruled that petitioner should have exhausted all applicable administrative remedies. All decisions of the Awards and Arbitration Committee are subject to review by the General Manager. Petitioner should have appealed the award of the lot and the execution of the contract to sell to the Office of the President. Province Of Zamboanga Del Norte v. CA G.R. NO. 109853 (October 11, 2000) FACTS: Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperation increased the fuel compensation charge without the approval of the Energy Regulatory Board. As a result, petitioner filed a complaint with the RTC. HELD: The Energy Regulatory Board has jurisdiction over the fixing of power rates to be charged by electric cooperatives. Petitioner should have exhausted the available administrative remedies before resorting to the court. Pimentel v. Aguirre G.R. No. 132988 (July 19, 2000) FACTS: This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition seeking to annul Section 1 of Administrative Order No. 372, issued by the President, insofar as it requires local government units to reduce their expenditures by 25% of their authorized regular appropriations for nonpersonal services and to enjoin respondents from implementing Section 4 of the Order, which withholds a portion of their internal revenue allotments. HELD: Section 1 of the AO does not violate local fiscal autonomy. Local fiscal autonomy does not rule out any manner of national government intervention by way of supervision, in order to ensure that local programs, fiscal and otherwise, are consistent with national goals. AO 372 is merely directory and has been issued by the President consistent with his powers of supervision over local governments. A directory order cannot be characterized as an exercise of the power


of control. The AO is intended only to advise all government agencies and instrumentalities to undertake cost-reduction measures that will help maintain economic stability in the country. It does not contain any sanction in case of noncompliance. The Local Government Code also allows the President to interfere in local fiscal matters, provided that certain requisites are met: (1) an unmanaged public sector deficit of the national government; (2) consultations with the presiding officers of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the presidents of the various local leagues; (3) the corresponding recommendation of the secretaries of the Department of Finance, Interior and Local Government, and Budget and Management; and (4) any adjustment in the allotment shall in no case be less than 30% of the collection of national internal revenue taxes of the third fiscal year preceding the current one. Section 4 of AO 372 cannot be upheld. A basic feature of local fiscal autonomy is the automatic release of the shares of LGUs in the national internal revenue. This is mandated by the Constitution and the Local Government Code. Section 4 which orders the withholding of 10% of the LGUs IRA clearly contravenes the Constitution and the law. Solar Entertainment and People of the Philippines v. Hon. How G. R. No. 140863 (August 22, 2000) FACTS: The question raised in this case is whether or not the trial court can indefinitely suspend the arraignment of the accused until the petition for review with the Secretary of Justice has been resolved, without violating RA 8493, otherwise known as The Speedy Trial Act of 1998. HELD: The power of the Secretary of Justice to review resolutions of his subordinates even after the information has already been filed in court is well-settled. Procedurally speaking, after the filing of the information, the court is in complete control of the case and any disposition therein is subject to its sound discretion. The decision to suspend arraignment to await the resolution of an appeal with the Secretary of Justice is an exercise of such discretion. Thus, public respondent did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it suspended arraignment to await the resolution of her petition for review with the Secretary of Justice. The SC stressed that the court is not bound to adopt the resolution of the Secretary of Justice since the court is mandated to independently evaluate or assess the merits of the case, and may either agree or disagree with the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice. The authority of the Secretary of Justice to review resolutions of his subordinates even after an information has already been filed in court does not present an irreconcilable conflict with the Speedy Trial Act. Section 7 of the Act prescribing the 30-day period for the arraignment of the accused is not absolute. In fact, Section 10 of the law enumerates periods of delay that shall be excluded in computing the time within which trial must commence. The exceptions provided in the Act reflect the fundamentally recognized principle that the concept of speedy trial is a relative term and must necessarily be a flexible concept. Recently, the DOJ issued Memorandum Order No. 12 dated July 3, 2000 mandating that the period for the disposition of appeals/petition for review shall be 75 days. In view of this memorandum, the indefinite suspension of proceedings in the trial court because of a pending petition for review with the Secretary of Justice is now unlikely to happen. Isagani Cruz and Europa v. Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, et al FACTS: Petitioners Isagani Cruz and Cesar Europa brought this suit for prohibition and mandamus as citizens and taxpayers, assailing the constitutionality of certain provisions of RA 8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations. The Solicitor General is of the view that the IPRA is partly unconstitutional on the ground that it grants ownership over natural resources to indigenous peoples and prays that the petition be granted in part. The Commission on Human Rights asserts that IPRA is an expression of the principle of parens patriae and that the State has the responsibility to protect and guarantee the rights of those who are at a serious disadvantage like indigenous people. It prays that the petition be dismissed.


HELD: After due deliberation, 7 voted to dismiss the petition, while 7 other members of the Court voted to grant the petition. As the votes were equally divided and the necessary majority was not obtained, the case was redeliberated upon. However, after redeliberation, the voting remained the same. Accordingly, pursuant to Rule 56, Section 7 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, the petition is DISMISSED. PUBLIC OFFICERS I. Appointment Marohombsar v. CA 326 SCRA 62 FACTS: Private respondent was first appointed as Technical Assistant. The position was subsequently reclassified and retitled to Executive Assistant II. Since the private respondent did not possess the appropriate civil service eligibility required of the position, she was extended a temporary appointment only. She was later extended a permanent appointment when she acquired a Career Service Professional Eligibility. When petitioner became the President of MSU, private respondent was later dismissed. Petitioner argues that the dismissal was legal since the private respondents appointment lacks the requisite confirmation by the Board of Regents. HELD: Ad interim appointments are permanent but their terms are only until the Board disapproves them. There is absolutely no showing that the Board of Regents disapproved private respondents appointment. Since the private respondent holds an appointment under permanent status, he enjoys security of tenure as guaranteed by law. II. Termination Salvador v. CA G.R. NO. 127501 (May 5, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner had been a permanent employee of the DENR when it was reorganized under E.O. No. 192. This resulted in the conversion of the positions of several employees to coterminous. The petitioner was one of the employees who were offered a coterminous position. Petitioner later filed a complaint along with other employees. The court decided in their favor, and ordered the reinstatement of the employees. DENR failed to comply with this order. Meanwhile, petitioner applied for a new opening in the company but was ignored. HELD: Petitioner was covered by the decision of the court and thus entitled to reinstatement. His act of applying for a new position cannot be construed against him. III. Administrative Case

Conseares v. Almeida 324 SCRA 388 HELD: A case against a public officer should not be dismissed even if the complainant has withdrawn it. (See also Lapea v. Pamarang 325 SCRA 440; and Farrales v. Camorista 327 SCRA 84) Secretary Of Education, Culture And Sports v. CA G.R. NO. 128559 (October 4, 2000) FACTS: The Secretary of Education, Culture, and Sports filed charges against several public school teachers for refusing to obey his return-to-work order, thus incurring unauthorized absences for participating in a mass action. HELD: The SC held that petitioners were liable for their participation in the mass actions which actually amounted to a strike since they were involved in the concerted and unauthorized stoppage of work. IV. Rights, Privileges And Benefits

Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports v. CA G.R. No. 128559 (October 4, 2000) HELD: A public officer found guilty is not entitled to backwages.


ELECTION LAW I. Certificate Of Candidacy A. Deficiency

Conquilla v. COMELEC G.R. NO. 139801 (May 31, 2000) FACTS: Alarilla filed his Certificate of Candidacy without indicating the position he was aspiring for. However, he attached a Certification which indicated that he was being nominated for the position of municipal mayor. He was later proclaimed as the mayor-elect. Petitioner argues that the Certificate of Candidacy should be declared null and void for failing to specify the elective position that Alarilla was running for. HELD: Alarillas failure to specify the public office he was seeking in his Certificate of Candidacy was not a fatal defect. First, there was an attached certification which stated that he was being nominated for the position of municipal mayor. Second, Alarilla had rectified the deficiency by filing an Amended Certificate. Third, there was a Certified List of Candidates listing Alarilla for the position of mayor. Finally, Alarilla was elected mayor. If substantial compliance with the Election Law should give way to a mere technicality, the will of the electorate, as far as Alarilla is concerned, would be frustrated. B. Disqualification II. Casting of Votes A. Postponement of Election Basher v. COMELEC G.R. NO. 139028 (April 12, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent were candidates for Punong Barangay. The election was declared a failure and a special one was scheduled. Again, the election failed and was reset. However, the voting only started at 9PM because of the prevailing tension in the locality. Private respondent was proclaimed the winner. Petitioner filed a petition with the COMELEC to declare the election as a failure alleging that no election was conducted in the place and at the time prescribed by law. COMELEC dismissed the petition. HELD: The SC ordered the conduct of a special election. The Court held that the peculiar set of facts in the present case show not merely a failure of election but the absence of a valid electoral exercise. The place where the voting was conducted was illegal. As to the time of voting, the law provides that the casting of votes shall start at 7 in the morning and end at 3 in the afternoon. The election officer did not follow the procedure laid down by law for election postponement or suspension or the declaration of a failure of election. The electorate was also not given ample notice of the exact schedule and venue of the election. B. Failure of Election Banaga v. COMELEC G.R. NO. 134696 (July 31, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner had filed a petition for declaration of failure of election on grounds of vote buying and glaring discrepancies in the election returns. The COMELEC dismissed the case declaring that the above grounds do not fall within the scope of failure of election. HELD: To warrant a declaration of failure of election, the commission of fraud must be such that it prevented or suspended the holding of an election, or fatally affected the preparation and transmission, custody and canvass of the election returns. These essential facts ought to have been alleged clearly by petitioner, but he did not. Benito v. COMELEC G.R. No. 134913 (Jan 19, 2001) FACTS: Benito and private respondent Pagayawan were 2 of 8 candidates vying for the position of municipal mayor in Calanogas, Lanao del Sur during the May 11, 1998 elections. 5


precincts clustered in the Sultan Disimban Elementary School were met with violence when some 30 armed men appeared at the school premises and fired shots into the air. This sowed panic among the voters and elections officials, causing them to scatter in different directions. It happened before noon at the day of election. A spot report reported the incident. Both parties are contending contrary facts. Petitioner alleged that the voting never resumed even after the lawless elements left. On the other hand, private respondent alleged that voting resumed when the armed men left around 1 pm in the afternoon. Petitioner is only asking, however, a declaration of failure of elections on the first three precincts, not with the entire five precincts. During the counting, the ballots from the three precincts were excluded. Nevertheless, the winner was the private respondent. And even if the votes from the three excluded precincts were added, private respondent still emerged as the winner. Petitioner then filed a petition to declare failure of election and to call a special election. COMELEC however denied the petition and affirmed the proclamation. HELD: Petition Dismissed. 1. Two preconditions must exist before a failure of election may be declared: (1) no voting has been held in any precinct due to force majeure, violence or terrorism; and (2) the votes not cast therein are sufficient to affect the results of the election. The cause of such failure may arise before or after the casting of votes or on the day of the election. 2. Whether there was a resumption of voting is essentially a question of fact. Such are not proper subjects of inquiry in a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. 3. Voting in all five precincts resumed after peace and order was re-established in the Disimban Elementary School. There was no objection raised to the count of votes in the said two precincts during the counting of votes at the counting center. So why a selective objection to the three precincts herein? 4. Petitioner equates failure of elections to the low percentage of votes cast vis--vis the number of registered voters in the subject election precincts. However, there can be a failure of election in a political unit only if the will of the majority has been defiled and cannot be ascertained. But if it can be determined, it must be accorded respect. After all, there is no provision in our election laws which requires that a majority of registered voters must cast their votes. All the law requires is that a winning candidate must be elected by a plurality of valid votes, regardless of the actual number of ballots cast. 5. The power to throw out or annul an election should be exercised with the utmost care and only under circumstances which demonstrate beyond doubt either that the disregard of the law had been so fundamental or so persistent and continuous that it is impossible to distinguish what votes are lawful and what are unlawful, or to arrive at any certain result whatsoever, or that the great body of voters have been prevented by violence, intimidation and threats from exercising their franchise. C. Jurisdiction to declare a failure of elections Carlos v. Angeles G.R. No. 142907 (Nov. 29, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent were candidates for the position of mayor of the municipality of Valenzuela, Metro Manila (later converted into a City) during the May 11, 1998 elections. The Board of Canvassers proclaimed petitioner as the mayor. The private respondent filed an election protest with the RTC. The court came up with revision reports which also showed that the petitioner got the highest number of votes. Nevertheless, in its decision, the trial court set aside the final tally of valid votes because of its finding of "significant badges of fraud," which it attributed to the present petitioner. The court then declared private respondent as the winner. The petitioner appealed to the COMELEC, and also filed a petition to the SC questioning the decision of the RTC. The private respondent questioned the jurisdiction of the SC. HELD: Both the SC and COMELEC have concurrent jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus over decisions of trial courts of general jurisdiction (RTCs) in election cases involving elective municipal officials. The Court that takes jurisdiction first shall


exercise exclusive jurisdiction over the case. Relative to the appeal that petitioner filed with the COMELEC, the same would not bar the present action as an exception to the rule because under the circumstances, appeal would not be a speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. The power to nullify an election must be exercised with the greatest care with a view not to disenfranchise the voters, and only under circumstances that clearly call for such drastic remedial measure. More importantly, the trial court has no jurisdiction to declare a failure of election. It is the COMELEC en banc that is vested with exclusive jurisdiction to declare a failure of election. Assuming that the trial court has jurisdiction to declare a failure of election, the extent of that power is limited to the annulment of the election and the calling of special elections. The result is a failure of election for that particular office. In such case, the court cannot declare a winner. III. Counting Of Ballots A. Counting of Votes Villarosa vs. HRET G.R. No. 143351, September 14, 2000 FACTS: Quintos contested the proclamation of Amelita Villarosa. Issue: whether JTV votes should be counted in favor of Villarosa. JTV is the nickname of Villarosas husband, who is the incumbent representative of Occidental Mindoro. HELD: Villarosas use of JTV as her nickname was a clever ploy to make a mockery of the election process. HRET did not commit grave abuse of discretion in holding that the only issue for its determination was whether "JTV" votes or variations thereof should be counted in favor of VILLAROSA and in ruling that such votes are stray votes. Columbres vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 142038, September 18, 2000 Two issues: (1) Whether the findings of fact of the COMELEC Division, especially in matters of appreciation of ballots, is absolute and cannot be the subject of a motion for reconsideration before the COMELEC en banc; (2) Whether in appreciation of ballots, when a ballot is found to be marked, absent any evidence aliunde, there is the presumption that the markings were placed by a third person, and therefore, should not invalidate the ballot. HELD: (1) No. What is being challenged is not the sufficiency of evidence but the appreciation thereof by the COMELEC Division. If the appreciation of the Division is erroneous, there is the implication that such finding or ruling is contrary to law and thus, may be a proper subject of a motion for reconsideration. (2) No. There is no such presumption in law. Instead, the legal presumption is that the sanctity of the ballot has been protected and preserved. The case was remanded back to the COMELEC en banc. B. Defects In Ballot Pacris v. Pagalilawan Adm. Matter No. RTJ-98-1403 (August 14, 2000) FACTS: This case involves the election protest filed by the private respondent against the petitioner who was declared as mayor. The case was decided in favor of the private respondent. Petitioner argues that the respondent invalidated several ballots cast in his favor due to undetached upper stubs. HELD: The SC upheld the validity of the ballots. The Court declared that the voters must not be disenfranchised because of the failure of the election officials to perform their duties, one of


which involves the detachment of the upper stubs. Also, a ballot should not be invalidated because it was not signed at the back C. Effect of Failure to Authenticate Ballots Malabaguio v. COMELEC G.R. No. 142507 ( December 1, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent were both candidates for the position of Punong Barangay in Barangay 172, Kalookan City. Private respondent was proclaimed as the duly elected Punong Barangay. The petitioner filed an election protest case with the MTC. The rendered a judgment declaring the petitioner as the winner. Private respondent filed a case with the COMELEC. The 2nd Division set aside the MTCs decision, and declared the private respondent as the winner. A Motion for Reconsideration was filed, but was denied by the COMELEC en banc. The petitioner now questions the disregarding of the 57 ballots cast in favor of petitioner which do not bear the signatures of the chairmen of the board of election inspectors, considering that private respondent won by only 54 votes over petitioner. HELD: In invalidating the 57 ballots, the COMELEC relied on several laws which basically said that the signatures of the particular authorities are needed to validate the ballots. However, the SC ruled that It is correct to postulate that administrative findings of facts are accorded great respect, and even finality when supported by substantial evidence. Nevertheless, when it can be shown that administrative bodies grossly misappreciated evidence of such nature as to compel a contrary conclusion, this Court has not hesitated to reverse their factual findings. Factual findings of administrative agencies are not infallible and will be set aside when they fail the test of arbitrariness. The COMELEC has already promulgated a new set of rules which states that the failure to authenticate the ballots shall not invalidate them. Rather, the Board of Election Inspectors shall merely note such failure in the minutes and declare the failure to authenticate the ballots as an election offense. Consequently, the absence of the Chairmen's signature at the back of the ballot should not be a reason to invalidate the 57 ballots which are genuine. Hence, all votes indicated in these ballots must be counted in favor of the petitioner because the intent of the voters to vote for him is crystal. IV. Canvassing

Immam v. COMELEC 322 SCRA 866 FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent both ran for mayor. Of the 55 precincts, only the votes cast in 41 precincts were certified as counted. Private respondent filed a petition with the COMELEC to count the ballots cast at the elections and for holding of special elections with prayer for issuance of a TRO &/or writ of preliminary injunction. While the petition was pending, the petitioner was proclaimed as the mayor. Private respondent filed a case asking that the proclamation of the petitioner be declared void. COMELEC suspended the effects and consequences of petitioners proclamation. Hence this petition. HELD: The effects of proclamation of only one candidate may be suspended where the validity of his election is still subject to determination. COMELEC has jurisdiction to suspend oath-taking of proclaimed candidate on account of incomplete canvass of votes. A canvass cannot be reflective of the true vote of the electorate unless all returns are considered and none is omitted. This is true when the election returns missing or not counted will affect the results of the election. V. Pre-Proclamation Cases A. Correction Of Manifest Errors

Angelia v. COMELEC G.R. NO. 139468 (MAY 31, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent were candidates for the position of member of the Sangguniang Bayan. Petitioner was proclaimed as a member, ranking 8th with 4 votes more that the private respondent. Private respondent filed a petition to annul the proclamation presenting


copies of Election Returns which showed a tally of 92 votes for private respondent but indicated a corresponding total in words and figures of only 82 votes. There was also a copy which showed a tally of only 13 votes for private respondent but indicated a corresponding total in words and figures of 18 votes. These copies were supported by affidavits from a poll clerk and the chairperson of the Board of Election Inspectors. COMELEC annulled the proclamation of petitioner. Hence this petition. HELD: In accordance with the Courts ruling in Castromayor v. COMELEC, the expedient action to take is to direct the Municipal Board of Canvassers to reconvene and, after notice and hearing in accordance with Rule 27, 7 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, to effect the necessary corrections, if any, in the election returns and, on the basis thereof, proclaim the winning candidate/s. B. Defective Returns 1. Formal Defects Ocampo v. COMELEC 326 SCRA 636 HELD: Formal defects are not grounds for excluding an election return. 2. Statistically Improbable Returns Velayo v. COMELEC G.R. NO. 135613 (March 9, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent were candidates for mayor. Private respondent filed several cases with the COMELEC. Petitioner was proclaimed as mayor. COMELEC en banc issued a resolution annulling the proclamation and declaring private respondent as the winner. Hence this petition. HELD: Standing alone and without more, the bare fact that a candidate for public office received zero votes in one or two precincts cannot adequately support a finding that the subject election returns are statistically improbable. The doctrine on statistical improbability must be viewed restrictively, the utmost care being taken lest in penalizing the fraudulent and corrupt practices, innocent voters become disenfranchised. Moreover, the doctrine involves a question of fact and a more prudential approach prohibits its determination ex parte. Ocampo v. COMELEC 325 SCRA 636 HELD: If only one candidate obtained all the votes in some precincts, this is not sufficient to make the election returns statistically improbable. 3. Duress Sebastian v. COMELEC 327 SCRA 406 HELD: Duress cannot be raised as an issue in a pre-proclamation case. VI. Election Contests A. Payment of Docket Fee

Enojas v. Gacott 322 SCRA 272 HELD: An election protest should not be dismissed despite a deficiency in the docket fee, because it involves public interest. Soller v. COMELEC G.R. No. 139853 (September 5, 2000) HELD: An election protest should be dismissed if the correct docket fee is not paid. B. Verification Soller v. COMELEC G.R. NO. 139853 (September 5, 2000)


FACTS: This case involves an election protest filed by respondent against petitioner who was proclaimed as mayor. The protest included a verification stating that it was respondent who prepared the protest and, that he read and understood all its allegations. HELD: The SC declared the verification as insufficient because of the failure of respondent to state that the contents of the election protest are true, correct and of his personal knowledge. The SC held that the protest should be considered as an unsigned pleading because of the lack of the proper verification. C. Certificate Of Absence Of Forum Shopping Soller v. COMELEC G.R. No. 139853 (September 5, 2000) HELD: Election protest should contain certificate of non-forum shopping. Barroso v. Ampig G.R. NO. 138218 (March 17, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent were candidates for mayor. Private respondent filed several cases against the petitioner with the COMELEC. He also filed criminal complaints with the Law Department of the COMELEC. Petitioner was proclaimed the winner. Private respondent filed an election protest with the RTC. Of the 5 cases which he had previously filed, he only mentioned the 3 as pending. HELD: Rules of Civil Procedure generally do not apply to election cases, except by analogy or in a suppletory character. Election contests are subject to the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. Rule 35 which is applicable in this case, does not require that the petition contesting the election of a municipal official be accompanied by a certification or any statement against forum shopping. Applying the Rules of Civil Procedure suppletorily, the failure to comply with the nonforum shopping requirements does not automatically warrant the dismissal of the case with prejudice. D. Motion To Dismiss Maruhom v. COMELEC G.R. NO. 139397 (May 5, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent were candidates for mayor. Because of several irregularities, anomalies and electoral frauds, the petitioner was illegally proclaimed as the winner. Petitioner filed a case with the COMELEC to annul the proclamation, but later withdrew it. He also filed an election protest with the RTC. Petitioner orally moved for dismissal of the protest, but it was denied. The court ordered the Revision Committee to convene and start the revision of the ballots. Petitioner alleges that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in dismissing the petition. HELD: The SC held that the summary dismissal of petitioners Motion to Dismiss was not a grave abuse of discretion by the COMELEC. The filing of the motion to dismiss, in fact, appears to be part of a perfidious plot to prevent the early termination of the proceedings as evidenced by a confluence of events clearly showing a pattern of delay employed by petitioner to avert the revision ballots. Also, a motion to dismiss is not a prohibited pleading in an election contest filed before the regular courts. E. Certiorari Beso v. Aballe 326 SCRA 100 HELD: The COMELEC has jurisdiction over a petition for certiorari in election contests pending in the inferior courts. F. Motion For Reconsideration Columbres v. COMELEC G.R. NO. 142038 (September 18, 2000)


FACTS: Petitioner filed an election protest against respondent who was proclaimed as mayor. The RTC decided in favor of petitioner, but the decision was reversed by the 2 nd Division of the COMELEC in an appeal filed by respondent. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration questioning the decision of the division to validate the marked ballots cast in favor of the respondent. The MR was denied by the COMELEC en banc which declared that findings of fact cannot be a subject of an MR. Hence this petition. HELD: Any question on the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the assailed ruling of a Division is also a proper subject for a motion for reconsideration. G. Execution Pending Appeal Fermo v. COMELEC G.R. NO. 140179 (March 13, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent were candidates for Punong Barangay. The latter was proclaimed as the winner. Petitioner filed an election protest. The court ruled in favor of petitioner. Private respondent appealed this decision to COMELEC. Petitioner filed a motion for execution pending appeal which was granted by the court. The private respondent appealed this decision to the COMELEC, which the latter reversed. Hence this petition. HELD: COMELEC did not err in reversing the decision. Only one ground was used by petitioner to support his petition i.e. shortness of term, which the SC considered as insufficient. The order of COMELEC for the petitioner to relinquish his post to the private respondent pending final resolution of the appeal is a logical and necessary consequence of the denial of execution pending appeal. VII. Election Offenses A. Jurisdiction Juan v. People 322 SCRA 125 HELD: It is the RTC which has jurisdiction over election offenses. B. Procedure Laurel v. Presiding Judge, RTC Of Manila G.R. NO. 131778 (January 28, 2000) C. Offenses 1. Transfer Of Government Employee Regalado v. CA 325 SCRA 516 FACTS: Mayor Navarro appointed Barba as a nursing attendant. When he ran for mayor, the petitioner was appointed as OIC-mayor. Petitioner issued a memorandum informing Barba that she would be reassigned. This transfer was made without prior approval of COMELEC. Barba filed a complaint against petitioner for violation of 261 (h) of the Omnibus Election Code. Petitioner was later charged and convicted of the offense. HELD: Indeed, appointing authorities can transfer or detail personnel, as the exigencies of public service require. However, during election period, as such personnel movement could be used for electioneering or even to harass subordinates who are of different political persuasion, 261 (h) of the Omnibus Election Code, as amended, prohibits the same unless approved by the COMELEC. 2. Carrying Firearm Caa v. Gebusion A.M. NO. P-98-1284 (March 30, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner (judge) filed a complaint against private respondent (Sheriff IV in the same court as petitioner) for violation of the Civil Service Law, the Firearms Law, and the Omnibus


Election Code. In addition, respondent was also accused of carrying a revolver without a license and of threatening to kill complainant for having filed the above charges. An investigation was conducted, and the respondent was found guilty of several of the charges. HELD: The SC ruled that respondent should be dismissed from service. One of the reasons is that by possessing a firearm without the necessary license, he committed a serious misconduct. VIII. Party-List System Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC G.R. No. 1136781 (October 6, 2000) FACTS: On May 11, 1998, the first election for the party-list scheme was held simultaneously with the national elections. One hundred and twenty-three parties, organizations and coalitions participated. On June 26, 1998, the COMELEC en banc proclaimed thirteen party-list representatives from twelve parties and organizations, which had obtained at least two percent of the total number of votes cast for the party-list system. Thirty-eight defeated parties and organizations promptly filed suit in the COMELEC, pleading for their own proclamations. Hence, COMELEC ordered the proclamation of the 38 parties. Such move filled up the 52 seats allotted for the party-list reps. Aggrieved, the proclaimed parties asked the SC to annul the COMELEC action and instead to proclaim additional seats, so that each of them would have three party-list reps. HELD: 1. Is the 20% allocation for party-list representatives mandatory or is it merely a ceiling? SC: The 20% allocation is only a ceiling and not mandatory.

2. Are the 2% threshold requirement and the three-seat limit provided in Section 11(b) of RA
7941 constitutional? SC: Yes. Congress was vested with the broad power to define and prescribe the mechanics of the party-list system.

3. How then should the additional seats of a qualified party be determined? SC: As to the
method of allocating additional seats, the first step is to rank all the participating parties according to the votes they each obtained. The percentage of their respective votes as against the total number of votes cast for the party-list system is then determined. All those that garnered at least two percent of the total votes cast have an assured or guaranteed seat in the House of Representatives. Thereafter, those garnering more than two percent of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes. The formula for additional seats of other qualified parties is: no.of votes of concerned party divided by no.of votes of first party multiplied by no. of additional seats allocated to the first party. As for the first party, just take it at face value. ( 5% = 2 seats ) IX. Right of Suffrage - Special Registration before the General Elections Akbayan vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 147066 (March 26,2001) Betito vs. Benipayo G.R. No. 147179 (March 26,2001) FACTS: Consolidated cases regarding the Right to Suffrage. Petitioners are asking the COMELEC to hold a special registration before the May 14, 2001 General Election. After hearings, meetings and consultations, the COMELEC denied the request for special registration on the grounds (1) it is against the law, and (2) impossibility. The case was elevated to SC. HELD: 1. The right of suffrage is not at all absolute. It is subject to existing substantive and procedural requirements. As to the procedural limitation, the right of a citizen to vote is necessarily conditioned upon the process of registration. The act of registration is an indispensable precondition to the right of suffrage. The State, undoubtedly then, in the exercise of its


inherent police power, may then enact laws to safeguard and regulate the act of voters registration. 2. The period barring any registration before the general elections has its purpose. It is meant to complement the prohibitive period for filing petitions for exclusion of voters from the list. Stated otherwise, if a special registration is conducted on a later date, the period for filing petitions for exclusion must likewise be adjusted to a later date. If not, then there can be no challenge to the voters list. It will then open the registration process to abuse.

3. Petitioners cannot also rely on the standby or residual powers of the COMELEC, under Sec
28, R.A. 8436 [which provides that if the COMELEC cannot observe the periods and dates prescribed by law for certain pre-election acts, it can fix another period]. Sec 28 relies on the sound premise that these certain pre-election acts are still capable of being reasonably performed vis--vis the remaining period before the date of election and the conduct of other related pre-election activities required under the law. COMELEC has stressed that there is an operational impossibility in conducting the special registration such as the additional printing of the official ballots, election returns and other forms and paraphernalia. Undergoing the long process of preparing for the elections would result in the postponement of the elections to June 10. 4. It is an accepted doctrine in administrative law that the determination of administrative agency as to the operation, implementation and application of a law would be accorded great weight considering that these specialized government bodies are, by their nature and functions, in the best position to know what they can possibly do or not do, under prevailing circumstances. 5. The law does not require that the impossible be done. There is no obligation to do an impossible thing. 6. COMELEC, in denying the request of petitioners to hold a special registration, acted within the bounds and confines of the applicable law on the matter. It merely exercised a prerogative that chiefly pertains to it and one which squarely falls within the proper sphere of its constitutionally mandated powers. X. Powers of the COMELEC Ambil v. COMELEC G.R. No. 143398 (October 25, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent were candidates for the position of Governor, Eastern Samar during the May 11, 1998 elections. The Provincial Board of Canvassers proclaimed petitioner as the duly elected Governor. Private respondent filed an election protest with the COMELEC, which was assigned to the First Division. Commissioner X prepared and signed a proposed resolution in the case. Commissioner Y dissented, while Commissioner Z wanted to see both positions first before giving her decision. On 2/15/00, Commissioner X retired and was replaced. On 2/24/00, petitioner and respondent received a purported resolution in favor of private respondent promulgated on 2/14/00 and signed by Commissioners X, Y, and Z. The First Division later declared that the parties should ignore the resolution since it was not yet promulgated. The Division later set a date for promulgation of a resolution of the case, and said that the aggrieved party could then challenge it through a Motion for Reconsideration before the Commission en banc or through a certiorari case before the SC. The petitioner filed this case to annul the order for the promulgation of the resolution and to direct the First Division to deliberate anew on the case. HELD: The SC dismissed the case for prematurity. It ruled that it has no power to review via certiorari, an interlocutory order or even a final resolution of a Division of the Commission on Elections. The instant case does not fall under any of the recognized exceptions to the rule in certiorari cases dispensing with a motion for reconsideration prior to the filing of a petition. In truth, the exceptions do not apply to election cases where a motion for reconsideration is mandatory by Constitutional fiat to elevate the case to the Comelec en banc, whose final decision is what is reviewable via certiorari before the Supreme Court.


The SC declared the resolution signed by Commissioner X as void for various reasons. First, one who is no longer a member of the Commission at the time the final decision or resolution is promulgated cannot validly take part in that resolution or decision. Second, the Clerk of the 1st Division denied the release or promulgation of the resolution on 2/14/00 resolution. Third, the 1st Division even later said that the parties should ignore the resolution since it was not yet promulgated. Lastly, Commissioner Z could not have affixed her signature on the resolution, since on the same date an order was issued where she said that she still wanted to see both positions before making her decision. Soller v. COMELEC G.R. NO. 139853 (September 5, 2000) FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent (Saulong) were both candidates for mayor of the municipality of Bansud, Oriental Mindoro in the May 11, 1998 elections. The petitioner was proclaimed as mayor by the municipal board of canvassers. Private respondent filed a petition with the COMELEC to annul the proclamation. Later, private respondent filed an election protest against petitioner with the RTC. The COMELEC dismissed the pre-proclamation case filed by private respondent, while the RTC denied petitioner's motion to dismiss. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but said motion was denied. Petitioner then filed with the COMELEC a petition for certiorari contending that respondent RTC acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in not dismissing private respondent's election protest. The COMELEC en banc dismissed petitioner's suit. Petitioner now questions this decision of the COMELEC en banc. HELD: The SC has ruled in previous cases that the COMELEC, sitting en banc, does not have the requisite authority to hear and decide election cases including pre-proclamation controversies in the first instance. This power pertains to the divisions of the Commission. Any decision by the Commission en banc as regards election cases decided by it in the first instance is null and void. In the SCs view, the authority to resolve petition for certiorari involving incidental issues of election protest, like the questioned order of the trial court, falls within the division of the COMELEC and not on the COMELEC en banc. Salva v. Makalintal G.R. NO. 132603 (September 18, 2000) FACTS: The petitioners filed with the RTC a class suit against the Sangguniang Panglalawigan of Batangas, Sangguniang Pambayan of Calaca, Batangas, and the COMELEC for annulment of Ordinance No. 05 and Resolution No. 345 both enacted by the Sangguniang Panglalawigan of Batangas, and COMELEC Resolution No. 2987. Ordinance No. 05 declared the abolition of Barangay San Rafael and its merger with Barangay Dacanlao, municipality of Calaca, Batangas and accordingly instructed the COMELEC to conduct the required plebiscite. Resolution No. 345 affirmed the effectivity of Ordinance No. 05, thereby overriding the veto exercised by the governor of Batangas. Ordinance No. 05 was vetoed by the governor of Batangas for being ultra vires, particularly, as it was not shown that the essential requirements regarding the attestations or certifications of several government agencies were obtained. The COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 2987, providing for the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the required plebiscite scheduled on February 28, 1998, to decide the issue of the abolition of barangay San Rafael and its merger with barangay Dacanlao, Calaca, Batangas. The trial court denied the petition saying that any petition or action questioning an act, resolution or decision of the COMELEC must be brought before the Supreme Court. The petitioners contend that when the COMELEC exercises its quasi-judicial functions under Section 52 of the Omnibus Election Code, its acts are subject to the exclusive review by this Court; but when the COMELEC performs a purely ministerial duty, such act is subject to scrutiny by the Regional Trial Court. Petitioners submit that the conduct of a plebiscite, pursuant to Ordinance No. 05 and Resolution No. 345, is not adjudicatory or quasi-judicial in nature but simply ministerial or administrative in nature and only in obedience to the aforesaid Ordinance and Resolution.


HELD: The SC ruled that What is contemplated by the term final orders, rulings and decisions of the COMELEC reviewable by certiorari by the Supreme Court as provided by law are those rendered in actions or proceedings before the COMELEC and taken cognizance of by the said body in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers. Briefly, COMELEC Resolution No. 2987 which provides for the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the required plebiscite, was not issued pursuant to the COMELECs quasi-judicial functions but merely as an incident of its inherent administrative functions over the conduct of plebiscites, thus, the said resolution may not be deemed as a final order reviewable by certiorari by this Court. Any question pertaining to the validity of said resolution may be well taken in an ordinary civil action before the trial courts. XI. Recall Election Afiado vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 141787 (September 18, 2000) FACTS: The Preparatory Recall Assembly passed Resolution No. 1 for the recall of Vice-Mayor Amelita Navarro. The issue is whether an elective official who became City Mayor by legal succession can be the subject of a recall election by virtue of a Preparatory Recall Assembly Resolution that was passed when said elective official was still the Vice-Mayor. HELD: The assumption by legal succession of the petitioner as the new Mayor of Santiago City is a supervening event that rendered the recall proceeding against her moot and academic. A perusal of the said Resolution reveals that the person subject of the recall process is a specific elective official in relation to her specific office. PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW A. Extradition Secretary of Justice v. Hon. Lantion and Mark Jimenez G.R. No. 139465, October 17, 2000 overturning 322 SCRA 160 (Jan. 18, 2000) By virtue of an extradition treaty between the US and the Philippines, the US requested for the extradition of Mark Jimenez for violations of US tax and election laws. Pending evaluation of the extradition documents by the Philippine government, Jimenez requested for copies of the US' extradition request. The Secetary of Justice denied that request. ISSUE: During the evaluation stage of the extradition proceedings, is private respondent entitled to the two basic due process rights of notice and hearing? HELD: Private respondent is bereft of the right to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the extradition process. Extradition is a proceeding sui generis. It is not a criminal proceeding which will call into operation all the rights of an accused guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The process of extradition does not involve the determination of the guilt or innocence of an accused. His guilt or innocence will be adjudged in the court of the state where he will be extradited. Dissent (original decision): Under the extradition treaty, the prospective extraditee may be provisionally arrested pending the submission of the request. Because of this possible consequence, the evaluation process is akin to an administrative agency conducting an investigative proceeding, and partakes of the nature of a criminal investigation. Thus, the basic due process rights of notice and hearing are indispensable. Assuming that the extradition treaty does not allow for such rights, the Constitutional right to procedural due process must override treaty obligations. When there is a conflict between international law obligations and the Constitution, the Constitution must prevail. B. Conflicts between international law and Philippine law


Secretary of Justice v. Hon. Lantion and Mark Jimenez 322 SCRA 160 (Jan. 18, 2000) The observance of our country's duties under a treaty is compelled by, first, the principle of pacta sunt servanda (the obligation to keep their agreement in good faith), and seond by the Constitution's doctrine of incorporation, as the Constitution provides that the generally accepted principles of international law form "part of the law of the land." Under the doctrine of incorporation, rules of international law form part of the law of the land and no further legislative action id needed to make such rules applicable in the domestic sphere. Thus, a treaty obligation has the force and effect of a statute, and is given equal treatment with the latter. The Constitution, as the Supreme law of the Land, may invalidate a treaty inconsistent with it, as it does in case of an unconstitutional statute. In the case of a conflict between a treaty and a statute, the principle of lex posterior derogat priori appliesa treaty may repeal a prior statute, and a later statute may repeal an existing treaty. C. Equal protection under the Constitution and international law International School Alliance of Educators v. Quisumbing and International School G.R. No. 128845 (June 1, 2000) International School (IS) pays its teachers who are hired from abroad, or foreign-hires, a higher salary than its local-hires, whether the latter are Filipino or not (most are Filipino, but some are American). It justifies this under the 'dislocation factor' that foreigners must be given a higher salary both to attract them to teach here, and to compensate them for the "significant economic disadvantages" involved in coming here. The Teacher's Union cries discrimination. HELD: Discrimination exists. Equal pay for equal work is a principal long honored in this jurisdiction, as it rests on fundamental norms of justice 1. Art. XIII, Sec. 1 of the Constitution (Social Justice and Human Rights) exhorts Congress to give the highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and ennhance the right od all people to human dignity, reduce social, economic, and political inequalitites." The Constitution also provides that labor is entitled to "humane conditions of work.". These conditions are not restricted to the physical workplace, but include as well the manner by which employers treat their employees. Lastly, the Constitution directs the State to promote "equality of employment opportunities for all," "regardless of sex, race, or creed." It would be an affront to both the spirit and the letter of these provisions if the State closes its eyes to unequal and discriminatory terms and conditions of employment. 2. International law, which springs from general principles of law, likewise proscribes discrimination. General principles of law include principles of equity, i.e., fairness and justice, based on the test of what is reasonable. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and numerous other international Conventions all embody the general principle against discrimination, the very antithesis of fairness and justice. The Philippines, through its Constitution, has incorporated this principle as part of its national laws. D. Treaties vs. Executive Agreements Bayan v. Zamora G.R. No. 138570, Oct. 10, 2000 It is inconsequential whether the United States treats the VFA only as an executive agreement because, under international law, an executive agreement is as binding as a treaty. As long as the VFA possesses the elements of an agreement under international law, the said agreement is to be taken equally as a treaty. A treaty, as defined by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, is "an international instrument concluded between States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments, and whatever its particular designation." There are many other terms used for a treaty or international agreement, some of which are: act, protocol, agreement, compromis d' arbitrage, concordat, convention, declaration, exchange of notes, pact, statute, charter and modus vivendi. All writers, from Hugo Grotius onward, have pointed out that the names or titles of international agreements included under the general term treaty have little or no legal significance. Article 2(2) of the


Vienna Convention provides that "the provisions of paragraph 1 regarding the use of terms in the present Convention are without prejudice to the use of those terms, or to the meanings which may be given to them in the internal law of the State." Thus, in international law, there is no difference between treaties and executive agreements in their binding effect upon states concerned, as long as the negotiating functionaries have remained within their powers. International law continues to make no distinction between treaties and executive agreements: they are equally binding obligations upon nations. In our jurisdiction, we have recognized the binding effect of executive agreements even without the concurrence of the Senate or Congress. In Commissioner of Customs vs. Eastern Sea Trading, we said:". . . the right of the Executive to enter into binding agreements without the necessity of subsequent Congressional approval has been confirmed by long usage. From the earliest days of our history we have entered into executive agreements covering such subjects as commercial and consular relations, most-favored-nation rights, patent rights, trademark and copyright protection, postal and navigation arrangements and the settlement of claims. The validity of these has never been seriously questioned by our courts.