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Friday, May 7, 2010

North cotabato vs. GRP gr no. 183591

FACTS: The Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) brought about
by the Government of the republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation
Front (MILF) as an aspect of Tripoli Agreement of Peace in 2001 is scheduled to be signed in
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
This agreement was petitioned by the Province of North Cotabato for Mandamus and
Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary
Restraining Order. The agreement mentions "Bangsamoro Juridical Entity" (BJE) to which it
grants the authority and jurisdiction over the Ancestral Domain and Ancestral Lands of the
Bangsamoro; authority and jurisdiction over all natural resources within internal waters. The
agreement is composed of two local statutes: the organic act for autonomous region in
Muslim Mindanao and the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA).

ISSUE: Whether or not the GRP violated the Constitutional and statutory provisions on
public consultation and the right to information when they negotiated and initiated the MOA-
AD and Whether or not the MOA-AD brought by the GRP and MILF is constitutional

HELD:GRP violated the Constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation and
the right to information when they negotiated and initiated the MOA-AD and it are
unconstitutional because it is contrary to law and the provisions of the constitution thereof.

REASONING: The GRP is required by this law to carry out public consultations on both
national and local levels to build consensus for peace agenda and process and the
mobilization and facilitation of people’s participation in the peace process.

Article III (Bill of Rights)

Sec. 7. The right of people on matters of public concern shall be recognized, access to
official records and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or
decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development shall
be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.

Article II
Sec. 28. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law , that state adopts and
implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.

LGC (1991), “require all national agencies and officers to conduct periodic consultations. No
project or program be implemented unless such consultations are complied with and
approval mus be obtained.”

Article VII (Executive Department)

Sec. 21. No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred
in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.

Article X. (Local Government)

Sec. 1. The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the
province, cities, municipalities and barangays. There shall be autonomous regions on Muslim
Mindanao and the Cordillera as hereinafter provided.

Sec. 15. There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the
Cordilleras consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities and geographical areas sharing
common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures and
other relevant characteristics within the framework of this constitution and the national
sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.

Section 16. The President shall exercise general supervision over autonomous regions to
ensure that laws are faithfully executed.

Sec. 18. The creation of autonomous region shall be effective when approved by a majority
of the votes cast by the constituents units in a plebiscite called for the purpose, provided
that only provinces, cities and geographic areas voting favourably in such plebiscite shall be
included in the autonomous region.

Sec. 20. Within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to the provisions of this Constitution and
national laws, the organic act of autonomous regions shall provide for legislative powers
1. Administrative organization;
2. Creation of sources of revenues;
3. Ancestral domain and natural resources;
4. Personal, family, and property relations;
5. Regional urban and rural planning development;
6. Economic, social, and tourism development;
7. Educational policies;
8. Preservation and development of the cultural heritage; and
9. Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare
of the people of the region.

The President has sole authority in the treaty-making.


Section 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by:
1. The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members; or
2. A constitutional convention.

Section 4. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution under Section 1 hereof shall
be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not
earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the approval of such amendment or

MOA-AD states that all provisions thereof which cannot be reconciled with the present
constitution and laws “shall come into force upon signing of a comprehensive compact and
upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework.” The president’s authority is
limited to proposing constitutional amendments. She cannot guarantee to any third party
that the required amendments will eventually be put in place nor even be submitted to a
plebiscite. MOA-AD itself presents the need to amend therein.

Bayan vs Zamora


The United States panel met with the Philippine panel to discussed, among others, the
possible elements of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). This resulted to a series of
conferences and negotiations which culminated on January 12 and 13, 1998. Thereafter,
President Fidel Ramos approved the VFA, which was respectively signed by Secretary Siazon
and United States Ambassador Thomas Hubbard.

Pres. Joseph Estrada ratified the VFA on October 5, 1998 and on May 27, 1999, the senate
approved it by (2/3) votes.

Cause of Action:

Petitioners, among others, assert that Sec. 25, Art XVIII of the 1987 constitution is applicable
and not Section 21, Article VII.

Following the argument of the petitioner, under they provision cited, the “foreign military
bases, troops, or facilities” may be allowed in the Philippines unless the following conditions
are sufficiently met:
a) it must be a treaty,
b) it must be 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
c) recognized as such by the other contracting state.

Respondents, on the other hand, argue that Section 21 Article VII is applicable so that, what
is requires for such treaty to be valid and effective is the concurrence in by at least two-
thirds of all the members of the senate.


Is the VFA governed by the provisions of Section 21, Art VII or of Section 25, Article XVIII of
the Constitution?


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 and in a
limited sense, however, the provisions of section 21, Article VII will find applicability with
regard to the issue and for the sole purpose of determining the number of votes required to
obtain the valid concurrence of the senate.
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.

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

Plaridel M. Abaya vs. Hon. Secretary Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr.


On May 7, 2004 Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the Department of Public Works and
Highways (DPWH) issued a Resolution No. PJHL-A-04-012. It was approved by DPWH Acting
Secretary Florante Soriquez. This resolution recommended the award to China Road &
Bridge Corporation of the contract for the implementation of civil works for Contract Package
No. I (CP I), which consists of the improvement/rehabilitation of the San Andres-Virac-Jct.
Bago-Viga road, with the lengt of 79.818 kilometers, in the island province of Catanduanes.

This Loan Agreement No. PH-204 was executed by and between the JBIC and the Philippine
Government pursuant to the exchange of Notes executed by and between Mr. Yoshihisa Ara,
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Philippines, and then Foreign
Affairs Secretary Siazon, in behalf of their respective governments.


Whether or not the Loan Agreement No. PH-204 between the JBIC and the Philippine
Government is a kind of a treaty.


The Loan Agreement No. PH-204 taken in conjunction with the Exchange of Notes dated
December 27, 1999 between the Japanese Government and the Philippine Government is an
executive agreement.

An “exchange of notes” is a record of a routine agreement that has many similarities with
the private law contract. The agreement consists of the exchange of two documents, each of
the parties being in the possession of the one signed by the representative of the other.

…treaties, agreements, conventions, charters, protocols, declarations, memoranda of

understanding, modus vivendi and exchange of notes all are refer to international
instruments binding at international law.

Although these instruments differ from each other by title, they all have common features
and international law has applied basically the same rules to all these instruments. These
rules are the result of long practice among the States, which have accepted them as binding
norms in their mutual relations. Therefore, they are regarded as international customary

That case was dismissed by the SCORP last Feb. 14 2007.

What the petitioners wanted was that Foreign funded projects also undergo the procurement
The dismissal of the case somehow gave justification for the delay of the implementing rules
for foreign funded projects (IRR-B) of the procurement law
If we recall the decision of the Abaya vs Ebdane was used by the DOJ when the
DOTC Secretary was asking for an opinion from the former, during the ZTE controversy.
as ruled by the Supreme Court in Abaya v. Ebdane, an
exchange of notes is considered a form of an executive agreement, which
becomes binding through executive action without need of a vote by the
Senate and that (like treaties and conventions, it is an international
instrument binding at international law,
The second issue involves an examination of the coverage of
Republic Act No. 9184, otherwise known as the “Government
Procurement Reform Act”. Section 4 of the said Act provides that it shall
apply to:
… the Procurement of infrastructure Projects, Goods and
Consulting Services, regardless of source of funds, whether local
or foreign, by all branches and instrumentalities of government, its
departments, offices and agencies, including government-owned
and/or -controlled corporations and local government units,
subject to the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 138. Any
treaty or international or executive agreement affecting the
subject matter of this Act to which the Philippine government is a
signatory shall be observed.

Kuroda vs Jalandoni, 83 Phil. 195, L-2662, March 26, 1949

Facts : Shigenori Kuroda, a former Lieutenant-General of the Japanese Imperial Army and
Commanding General of the Imperial Forces of the Philippines was charged before a Military
Commission convened by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He had
unlawfully disregarded and failed to discharge his duties as a commander to control the
operations of members of his command.
Petitioner was duly prosecuted for acts committed in violation of the Hague Convention and
the Geneva Convention through the issuance and enforcement of Executive Order No. 68.
Executive Order No. 68 provided the organization of such military commissions, established
National War Crimes Office and prescribing rules and regulations governing the trial of
accused war criminals.
Attorneys Melville Hussey and Robert Port of the United States of America participated in the
prosecution of the case in behalf of the United States of America.

Issue : Whether or not Executive Order No. 68 is legal and constitutional.

Held : This court holds that the Executive Order No. 68 is legal and constitutional as
provided in Sec. 3, Art. II of the Constitution, that-
“ The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, and adopts the
generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the nation.”

The participation of the two American attorneys although under our law, they are not
qualified to practice law is valid and constitutional. Military Commission is a special military
tribunal governed by special law not by Rules of the Court, which govern ordinary civil
courts. There is nothing in Executive Order No.68 which requires counsels need to be
qualified to practice law in the Philippines. In fact, it is common in military tribunals that
counsels for the parties are usually military personnel.
Under the doctrine of incorporation, although the Philippines was not a signatory of the
Hague and Geneva Conventions, international jurisprudence is automatically incorporated in
Philippine law, thus making war crimes punishable in the Philippines.
The Military Commission having been convened by virtue of a valid law, with jurisdiction
over the crimes charged which fall under the provisions of Executive Order No 68, and
having jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner by having said petitioner in its custody,
the court will not interfere with the due process of such Military Commission.
Petition is denied with costs de oficio.

Gonzales vs. Hechanova 9 SCRA 230


Respondent executive secretary authorized importation of 67,000 tons of foreign rice to be

purchased from private sources. Ramon A. Gonzales, a rice planter and president of ilo-ilo
palay and corn planters asso., filed and averring that in making or attempting to make
importation of foreign rice are acting without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction because
RA 2207, explicitly prohibits the importation of rice and corn by Rice and Corn
Administration or any government agency.


Whether an international agreement may be invalidated by our courts.


The power of judicial review is vested with the supreme court in consonace to section 2 art.
VIII of the constitution. the alleged consummation of the contracts with vietnam and burma
does not render this case academic. RA 2207, enjoins our government not from entering
contracts for the purchase of rice, but from entering rice, except under conditions prescribed
in said act.

A judicial declaration of illegality of the proposed importation would not compel our
government to default in the performance of such obligations as it mat have contracted with
the sellers of rice in question because aside from the fact that said obligations may be
complied without importing the said commodity into the phils., the proposed importation
may still be legalized by complying with the provisions of the aforementioned law.

Tanada vs Angara, 272 SCRA 18, May 2, 1997

Facts : This is a petition seeking to nullify the Philippine ratification of the World Trade
Organization (WTO) Agreement. Petitioners question the concurrence of herein respondents
acting in their capacities as Senators via signing the said agreement.

The WTO opens access to foreign markets, especially its major trading partners, through the
reduction of tariffs on its exports, particularly agricultural and industrial products. Thus,
provides new opportunities for the service sector cost and uncertainty associated with
exporting and more investment in the country. These are the predicted benefits as reflected
in the agreement and as viewed by the signatory Senators, a “free market” espoused by

Petitioners on the other hand viewed the WTO agreement as one that limits, restricts and
impair Philippine economic sovereignty and legislative power. That the Filipino First policy of
the Constitution was taken for granted as it gives foreign trading intervention.

Issue : Whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of the Senate in giving its concurrence of the said WTO

Held: In its Declaration of Principles and state policies, the Constitution “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. By
the doctrine of incorporation, the country is bound by generally accepted principles of
international law, which are considered automatically part of our own laws. Pacta sunt
servanda – international agreements must be performed in good faith. A treaty is not a mere
moral obligation but creates a legally binding obligation on the parties.

Through WTO the sovereignty of the state cannot in fact and reality be considered as
absolute because it is a regulation of commercial relations among nations. Such as when
Philippines joined the United Nations (UN) it consented to restrict its sovereignty right under
the “concept of sovereignty as autolimitation.” What Senate did was a valid exercise of
authority. As to determine whether such exercise is wise, beneficial or viable is outside the
realm of judicial inquiry and review. The act of signing the said agreement is not a legislative
restriction as WTO allows withdrawal of membership should this be the political desire of a
member. Also, it should not be viewed as a limitation of economic sovereignty. WTO remains
as the only viable structure for multilateral trading and the veritable forum for the
development of international trade law. Its alternative is isolation, stagnation if not
economic self-destruction. Thus, the people be allowed, through their duly elected officers,
make their free choice.
Petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.

Juan Muñoz was charged before a Hong Kong Court with several counts of
offenses in violation of Hong Kong laws. If convicted, he faces a jail term of 7 to
14 years for each charge. After Juan Muñoz was arrested in the Philippines, the
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region filed with the RTC of Manila a petition
for the extradition of Juan Muñoz. On December 20, 2001, Judge X of RTC-Manila
allowed Juan Muñoz to post bail. However, the government of Hong Kong alleged
that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction in admitting him to bail because “there is nothing in the
Constitution or statutory law providing that a potential extraditee a right to bail,
the right being limited solely to criminal proceedings.” May Juan Muñoz, a
potential extradite, be granted bail on the basis of clear and convincing evidence
that he is not a flight risk and will abide with all the orders and processes of the
extradition court?


Yes. In a unanimous decision the SC remanded to the Manila RTC, to determine whether
Juan Muñoz is entitled to bail on the basis of “clear and convincing evidence.” If Muñoz is not
entitled to such, the trial court should order the cancellation of his bail bond and his
immediate detention; and thereafter, conduct the extradition proceedings with dispatch.

“If bail can be granted in deportation cases, we see no justification why it should not also be
allowed in extradition cases. Likewise, considering that the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights applies to deportation cases, there is no reason why it cannot be invoked in
extradition cases. After all, both are administrative proceeding where the innocence or guilt
of the person detained is not in issue,” the Court said.

Citing the various international treaties giving recognition and protection to human rights,
the Court saw the need to reexamine its ruling in Government of United States of America v.
Judge Purganan which limited the exercise of the right to bail to criminal proceedings. (visit

It said that while our extradition law does not provide for the grant of bail to an extraditee,
there is no provision prohibiting him or her from filing a motion for bail, a right under the

It further said that even if a potential extradite is a criminal, an extradition proceeding is not
by its nature criminal, for it is not punishment for a crime, even though such punishment
may follow extradition. It added that “extradition is not a trial to determine the guilt or
innocence of potential extraditee. Nor is it a full-blown civil action, but one that is merely
administrative in character. (GR No. 153675, Government of Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region v. Judge Olalia, Jr. and Muñoz, April 19, 2007)

Note: In Government of United States of America v. Judge Purganan, September

24, 2002, The SC ruled that Mark Jimenez is not entitled to the right to bail and
provisional liberty while the extradition proceedings are pending except upon a
clear and convincing showing (1) that, once granted bail, the applicant will not be
a flight risk or a danger to the community; and (2) that there exist special,
humanitarian and compelling circumstances.

Agustin vs Edu
88 SCRA 195


This case is a petition assailing the validity or the constitutionality of Letter of Instruction No.
229 issued by President Ferdinand E. Marcos, requiring all vehicle owners, users or drivers to
procure early warning devices to be installed a distance away from a vehicle when it is
stalled or is disabled. In compliance with such letter of instruction, the Commissioner of the
Land Transportation Office issued Administrative Order No. 1 directing compliance with such
Instruction. This petition alleges that such letter of instruction and subsequent
administrative order are unlawful and unconstitutional as it violates the provisions on due
process, equal protection of the law and undue delegation of police power.


Whether or not Letter of Instruction No. 229 and the subsequent Administrative Order issued
are unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court ruled for the dismissal of the petition. The statutes in question are
deemed not unconstitutional. These were definitely in the exercise of police power as such
were established to promote public welfare and public safety. In fact, the letter of instruction
is based on the constitutional provision of adopting the generally accepted principles of
international law as part of the law of the land. The letter of instruction mentions, as its
premise and basis, the resolutions of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals
and the discussions on traffic safety by the United Nations, and that such Letter was issued
in consideration of a growing number of road accidents due to stalled or parked vehicles on
the streets and highways.

Mejoff vs Director of Prisons

90 Phil 70 September 26, 1951


This is a second petition for habeas corpus by Boris Mejoff, the first having been denied in a
decision of this Court on July 30, 1949. "The petitioner Boris Mejoff is an alien of Russian
descent who was brought to this country from Shanghai as a secret operative by the
Japanese forces during the latter's regime in these Islands. Upon liberation, he was arrested
as a Japanese spy by U. S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps. Thereafter, the People's Court
ordered his release. But the Deportation Board taking his case up found that having no
travel documents, Mejoff was an illegal alien in this country, and consequently referred the
matter to the immigration authorities. After the corresponding investigation, the Immigration
Board of Commissioners declared on April 5, 1948 that Mejoff had entered the Philippines
illegally in 1944, without inspection and admission by the immigration officials at a
designated port of entry and, therefore, it ordered that he be deported on the first available
transportation to Russia. The petitioner was then under custody, he having been arrested on
March 18, 1948. In October 1948, after repeated failures to ship this deportee abroad, the
authorities moved him to Bilibid Prison at Muntinglupa where he has been confined up to the
present time, inasmuch as the Commissioner of Immigration believes it is for the best
interests of the country to keep him under detention while arrangements for his departure
are being made. Two years having elapsed since the aforesaid decision was promulgated,
the Government has not found ways and means of removing the petitioner out of the
country, and none are in sight, although, it should be said in fairness to the deportation
authorities that it was through no fault of theirs that no ship or country would take the

Whether or not Boris Mejoff should be released from prison pending his deportation.


The protection against deprivation of liberty without due process of law, and except for
crimes committed against the laws of the land, is not limited to Philippine citizens but
extends to all residents, except enemy aliens, regardless of nationality. Moreover, Sec. 3,
Art. II of the Constitution of the Philippines "adopts the generally accepted principles of
international law as part of the law of the Nation." And in a resolution entitled, "Universal
Declaration Of Human Rights," and approved by the General Assembly of the United
Nations, of which the Philippines is a member, at its plenary meeting on December 10, 1948,
the right to life and liberty and all other fundamental rights as applied to all human beings
were proclaimed. It was there resolved that "all human beings are born free and equal in
degree and rights" (Art. 1); that "everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedom set forth
in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language,
religion, political or other opinion, nationality or social origin, property, birth, or other status"
(Art. 2); that "every one has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national
tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the Constitution or by law"
(Art. 8); that "no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile" (Art. 9 ); etc.
Premises considered, the writ will issue commanding the respondents to release the
petitioner from custody upon these terms: that the petitioner shall be placed under the
surveillance of the immigration authorities or their agents in such form and manner as may
be deemed adequate to insure that he keep peace and be available when the Government is
ready to deport him. The surveillance shall be reasonable and the question of
reasonableness shall be submitted to this Court or to the Court of First Instance of Manila for
decision in case of abuse. No costs will be charged.

In Government of United States of America v. Hon. Guillermo G. Purganan, Presiding Judge,

RTC of Manila, Branch 42, and Mark B. Jimenez, a.k.a. Mario Batacan Crespo, G.R. No.
148571, September 24, 2002, 389 SCRA 623, it was held that the constitutional
provision on bail does not apply to extradition proceedings. It is “available only in
criminal proceedings,” thus:

x x x. As suggested by the use of the word “conviction”, the

constitutional provision on bail quoted above, as well as Section 4, Rule
114 of the Rules of Court, applies only when a person has been
arrested and detained for violation of Philippine criminal laws. It does
not apply to extradition proceedings because extradition courts do not
render judgments of conviction or acquittal.

The provision in the Constitution stating that the “right to bail

shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus is suspended” does not detract from the rule that the
constitutional right to bail is available only in criminal proceedings. It
must be noted that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus finds application “only to persons judicially charged for
rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected with invasion.”
(Sec. 18, Art. VIII, Constitution). Hence, the second sentence in the
constitutional provision on bail merely emphasizes the right to bail in
criminal proceedings for the aforementioned offenses. In cannot be
taken to mean that the right is available even in extradition
proceedings that are not criminal in nature. (Gov’t. of Hongkong
Special Administrative Region, G.R. No. 153675, April 19, 2007,
Gutierrez, J).
Q — The SC in USA v. Purganan limited the exercise of the right to bail to
criminal proceedings, however, in light of the various international treaties
giving recognition and protection to human rights, particularly the right to
life and liberty, is a reexamination of this Court’s ruling in Purganan in
order, such that, the right to bail may be available in extradition
proceedings? Explain.

ANS: Yes. First, the exercise of the State’s power to deprive an individual of his liberty is
not necessarily limited to criminal proceedings. Respondents in administrative
proceedings, such as deportation and quarantine, have likewise been detained.

Second, to limit bail to criminal proceedings would be to close our eyes to our
jurisprudential history. Philippine jurisprudence has not limited the exercise of the
right to bail to criminal proceedings only. The SC has admitted to bail persons who
are not involved in criminal proceedings. In fact, bail has been ed in this jurisdiction
to persons in detention during the pendency of administrative proceedings, taking
into cognizance the obligation of the Philippines under international conventions to
uphold human rights.