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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No.

L-64279 April 30, 1984 ANSELMO L. PESIGAN and MARCELINO L. PESIGAN, petitioners, vs. JUDGE DOMINGO MEDINA ANGELES, Regional Trial Court, Caloocan City Branch 129, acting for REGIONAL TRIAL COURT of Camarines Norte, now presided over by JUDGE NICANOR ORIO, Daet Branch 40; DRA. BELLA S. MIRANDA, ARNULFO V. ZENAROSA, ET AL., respondents. Quiazon, De Guzman Makalintal and Barot for petitioners. The Solicitor General for respondents.

farmers through dispersal as the Director of Animal Industry may see fit, in the case of carabaos" (78 OG 3144). Doctor Miranda distributed the carabaos among twenty-five farmers of Basud, and to a farmer from the Vinzons municipal nursery (Annex 1). The Pesigans filed against Zenarosa and Doctor Miranda an action for replevin for the recovery of the carabaos allegedly valued at P70,000 and damages of P92,000. The replevin order could not be executed by the sheriff. In his order of April 25, 1983 Judge Domingo Medina Angeles, who heard the case at Daet and who was later transferred to Caloocan City, dismissed the case for lack of cause of action. The Pesigans appealed to this Court under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court and section 25 of the Interim Rules and pursuant to Republic Act No. 5440, a 1968 law which superseded Rule 42 of the Rules of Court. We hold that the said executive order should not be enforced against the Pesigans on April 2, 1982 because, as already noted, it is a penal regulation published more than two months later in the Official Gazette dated June 14, 1982. It became effective only fifteen days thereafter as provided in article 2 of the Civil Code and section 11 of the Revised Administrative Code. The word "laws" in article 2 (article 1 of the old Civil Code) includes circulars and regulations which prescribe penalties. Publication is necessary to apprise the public of the contents of the regulations and make the said penalties binding on the persons affected thereby. (People vs. Que Po Lay, 94 Phil. 640; Lim Hoa Ting vs. Central Bank of the Phils., 104 Phil. 573; Balbuna vs. Secretary of Education, 110 Phil. 150.) The Spanish Supreme Court ruled that "bajo la denominacion generica de leyes, se comprenden tambien los reglamentos, Reales decretos, Instrucciones, Circulares y Reales ordenes dictadas de conformidad con las mismas por el Gobierno en uso de su potestad (1 Manresa, Codigo Civil, 7th Ed., p. 146.) Thus, in the Que Po Lay case, a person, convicted by the trial court of having violated Central Bank Circular No. 20 and sentenced to six months' imprisonment and to pay a fine of P1,000, was acquitted by this Court because the circular was published in the Official Gazette three months after his conviction. He was not bound by the circular. That ruling applies to a violation of Executive Order No. 626-A because its confiscation and forfeiture provision or sanction makes it a penal statute. Justice and fairness dictate that the public must be informed of that provision by means of publication in the Gazette before violators of the executive order can be bound thereby. The cases of Police Commission vs. Bello, L-29960, January 30, 1971, 37 SCRA 230 and Philippine Blooming Mills vs. Social Security System, 124 Phil. 499, cited by the respondents, do not involve the enforcement of any penal regulation.

AQUINO, J.:+.wph!1 At issue in this case is the enforceability, before publication in the Official Gazette of June 14, 1982, of Presidential Executive Order No. 626-A dated October 25, 1980, providing for the confiscation and forfeiture by the government of carabaos transported from one province to another. Anselmo L. Pesigan and Marcelo L. Pesigan, carabao dealers, transported in an Isuzu ten-wheeler truck in the evening of April 2, 1982 twenty-six carabaos and a calf from Sipocot, Camarines Sur with Padre Garcia, Batangas, as the destination. They were provided with (1) a health certificate from the provincial veterinarian of Camarines Sur, issued under the Revised Administrative Code and Presidential Decree No. 533, the Anti-Cattle Rustling Law of 1974; (2) a permit to transport large cattle issued under the authority of the provincial commander; and (3) three certificates of inspection, one from the Constabulary command attesting that the carabaos were not included in the list of lost, stolen and questionable animals; one from the LIvestock inspector, Bureau of Animal Industry of Libmanan, Camarines Sur and one from the mayor of Sipocot. In spite of the permit to transport and the said four certificates, the carabaos, while passing at Basud, Camarines Norte, were confiscated by Lieutenant Arnulfo V. Zenarosa, the town's police station commander, and by Doctor Bella S. Miranda, provincial veterinarian. The confiscation was basis on the aforementioned Executive Order No. 626-A which provides "that henceforth, no carabao, regardless of age, sex, physical condition or purpose and no carabeef shall be transported from one province to another. The carabaos or carabeef transported in violation of this Executive Order as amended shall be subject to confiscation and forfeiture by the government to be distributed ... to deserving

Commonwealth Act No. 638 requires that all Presidential executive orders having general applicability should be published in the Official Gazette. It provides that "every order or document which shag prescribe a penalty shall be deemed to have general applicability and legal effect." Indeed, the practice has always been to publish executive orders in the Gazette. Section 551 of the Revised Administrative Code provides that even bureau "regulations and orders shall become effective only when approved by the Department Head and published in the Official Gazette or otherwise publicly promulgated". (See Commissioner of Civil Service vs. Cruz, 122 Phil. 1015.) In the instant case, the livestock inspector and the provincial veterinarian of Camarines Norte and the head of the Public Affairs Office of the Ministry of Agriculture were unaware of Executive Order No. 626-A. The Pesigans could not have been expected to be cognizant of such an executive order. It results that they have a cause of action for the recovery of the carabaos. The summary confiscation was not in order. The recipients of the carabaos should return them to the Pesigans. However, they cannot transport the carabaos to Batangas because they are now bound by the said executive order. Neither can they recover damages. Doctor Miranda and Zenarosa acted in good faith in ordering the forfeiture and dispersal of the carabaos. WHEREFORE, the trial court's order of dismissal and the confiscation and dispersal of the carabaos are reversed and set aside. Respondents Miranda and Zenarosa are ordered to restore the carabaos, with the requisite documents, to the petitioners, who as owners are entitled to possess the same, with the right to dispose of them in Basud or Sipocot, Camarines Sur. No costs. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G.R. No. L-62243 October 12, 1984 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. HON. REGINO VERIDIANO II, as Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Zambales and Olongapo City, Branch I, and BENITO GO BIO, JR., respondents. The Solicitor General for petitioner. Anacleto T. Lacanilao and Carmelino M. Roque for respondents.

RELOVA, J.:+.wph!1 Private respondent Benito Go Bio, Jr. was charged with violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 in Criminal Case No. 5396 in the then Court of First Instance of Zambales, presided by respondent judge. The information reads: t.hqw That on or about and during the second week of May 1979, in the City of Olongapo, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, guaranteeing the authenticity and genuineness of the same and with intent to defraud one Filipinas Tan by means of false pretenses and pretending to have sufficient funds deposited in the Bank of the Philippine Island, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously make and issue Bank of Philippine Island Check No. D-357726 in the amount of P200,000.00 Philippine Currency, said accused well knowing that he has no sufficient funds at the Bank of the Philippine Island and upon presentation of the said check to the bank for encashment, the same was dishonored for the reason that the said accused has no sufficient funds with the said bank and despite repeated demands made by Filipinas Tan on the accused to redeem the said check or pay the amount of P200,000.00, said accused failed and continues to fail to redeem the said check or to pay the said amount, to the damage and prejudice of said Filipinas Tan in the aforementioned amount of P200,000.00 Philippine Currency. (pp. 23-24, Rollo) Before he could be arraigned respondent Go Bio, Jr. filed a Motion to Quash the information on the ground that the information did not charge an offense, pointing out that at the alleged commission of the offense, which was about the second week of May 1979, Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 has not yet taken effect. The prosecution opposed the motion contending, among others, that the date of the dishonor of the check, which is on September 26, 1979, is the date of the commission of the offense; and that assuming that the effectivity of the law Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 is on June 29, 1979, considering that the offense was committed on September 26, 1979, the said law is applicable. In his reply, private respondent Go Bio, Jr. submits that what Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 penalizes is not the fact of the dishonor of the check but the act of making or drawing and issuing a check without sufficient funds or credit. Resolving the motion, respondent judge granted the same and cancelled the bail bond of the accused. In its order of August 23, 1982, respondent judge said: t.hqw The Court finds merit to the contention that the accused cannot be held liable for bouncing checks prior to the effectivity of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 although the check may have matured after the effectivity of the said law. No less than the Minister of Justice decreed that the date of the drawing or making and issuance of the bouncing check is the date to reckon with and not on the date

of the maturity of the check. (Resolution No. 67, S. 1981, People's Car vs. Eduardo N. Tan, Feb. 3, 1981; Resolution No. 192, S. 1981, Ricardo de Guia vs. Agapito Miranda, March 20, 1981). Hence, the Court believes that although the accused can be prosecuted for swindling (Estafa, Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code), the Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 cannot be given a retroactive effect to apply to the above entitled case. (pp. 49- 50, Rollo) Hence, this petition for review on certiorari, petitioner submitting for review respondent judge's dismissal of the criminal action against private respondent Go Bio, Jr. for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22, otherwise known as the Bouncing Checks Law. Petitioner contends that Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 was published in the April 9, 1979 issue of the Official Gazette. Fifteen (15) days therefrom would be April 24, 1979, or several days before respondent Go Bio, Jr. issued the questioned check around the second week of May 1979; and that respondent judge should not have taken into account the date of release of the Gazette for circulation because Section 11 of the Revised Administrative Code provides that for the purpose of ascertaining the date of effectivity of a law that needed publication, "the Gazette is conclusively presumed to be published on the day indicated therein as the date of issue." Private respondent Go Bio, Jr. argues that although Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 was published in the Official Gazette issue of April 9, 1979, nevertheless, the same was released only on June 14, 1979 and, considering that the questioned check was issued about the second week of May 1979, then he could not have violated Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 because it was not yet released for circulation at the time. We uphold the dismissal by the respondent judge of the criminal action against the private respondent. The Solicitor General admitted the certification issued by Ms. Charito A. Mangubat, Copy Editor of the Official Gazette Section of the Government Printing Office, stating-t.hqw This is to certify that Volume 75, No. 15, of the April 9, 1979 issue of the Official Gazette was officially released for circulation on June 14, 1979. (p. 138, Rollo) It is therefore, certain that the penal statute in question was made public only on June 14, 1979 and not on the printed date April 9, 1979. Differently stated, June 14, 1979 was the date of publication of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22. Before the public may be bound by its contents especially its penal provisions, the law must be published and the people officially informed of its contents and/or its penalties. For, if a statute had not been published before its violation, then in the eyes of the law there was no such law to be violated and, consequently, the accused could not have committed the alleged crime.

The effectivity clause of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 specifically states that "This Act shall take effect fifteen days after publication in the Official Gazette." The term "publication" in such clause should be given the ordinary accepted meaning, that is, to make known to the people in general. If the Batasang Pambansa had intended to make the printed date of issue of the Gazette as the point of reference in determining the effectivity of the statute in question, then it could have so stated in the special effectivity provision of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22. When private respondent Go Bio, Jr. committed the act, complained of in the Information as criminal, in May 1979, there was then no law penalizing such act. Following the special provision of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22, it became effective only on June 29, 1979. As a matter of fact, in May 1979, there was no law to be violated and, consequently, respondent Go Bio, Jr. did not commit any violation thereof. With respect to the allegation of petitioner that the offense was committed on September 26, 1979 when the check was presented for encashment and was dishonored by the bank, suffice it to say that the law penalizes the act of making or drawing and issuance of a bouncing check and not only the fact of its dishonor. The title of the law itself states: AN ACT PENALIZING THE MAKING OR DRAWING AND ISSUANCE OF A CHECK WITHOUT SUFFICIENT FUNDS OR CREDIT AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. and, Sections 1 and 2 of said Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 provide: t.hqw SECTION 1. Checks without sufficient funds. Any person who makes or draws and issues any check to apply on account or for value, knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds ... shall be punished ... The same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who, having sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a check, shall fail to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit to cover the full amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date appearing thereon, for which reason it is dishonored by the drawee bank. xxx xxx xxx SECTION 2. Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. The making, drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is refused by the drawee because of insufficient funds ... . (Emphasis supplied) ACCORDINGLY, the order of respondent judge dated August 23, 1982 is hereby AFFIRMED. No costs. SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-63915 April 24, 1985 LORENZO M. TAADA, ABRAHAM F. SARMIENTO, and MOVEMENT OF ATTORNEYS FOR BROTHERHOOD, INTEGRITY AND NATIONALISM, INC. [MABINI], petitioners, vs. HON. JUAN C. TUVERA, in his capacity as Executive Assistant to the President, HON. JOAQUIN VENUS, in his capacity as Deputy Executive Assistant to the President , MELQUIADES P. DE LA CRUZ, in his capacity as Director, Malacaang Records Office, and FLORENDO S. PABLO, in his capacity as Director, Bureau of Printing, respondents.

d] Proclamation Nos.: 1126, 1144, 1147, 1151, 1196, 1281, 1319-1526, 1529, 1532, 1535, 1538, 1540-1547, 1558, 1561-1588, 1590-1595, 1594-1600, 1606-1609, 1628, 1630-1649, 1694-1695, 1697-1701, 1705-1723, 1734, 1737-1742, 1744, 1746-1751, 1752, 1754, 1762, 1787, 1789-1795, 1797, 1800, 1802-1804, 1806-1807, 1814, 1816, 1825-1826, 1829, 1831-1832, 1835-1836, 1840, 1843-1844, 1846-1847, 1849, 1853-1858, 1860, 1868, 1870, 1876-1889, 1892, 1900, 1918, 1923, 1933, 1963, 1965-1966, 1968-1984, 1986-2028, 2030-2044, 2145, 2147-2161, 2163-2244.

1270, 1550161217311764181218391866, 1952, 2046-

e] Executive Orders Nos.: 411, 413, 414, 427, 429-454, 471, 474-492, 494-507, 509-510, 522, 524-528, 531-532, 538, 543-544, 549, 551-553, 560, 563, 567-568, 570, 574, 594, 598-604, 609, 611- 647, 649-677, 679-703, 705-707, 786, 788-852, 854-857.

457536, 593, 712-

f] Letters of Implementation Nos.: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11-22, 25-27, 39, 50, 51, 59, 76, 80-81, 92, 94, 95, 107, 120, 122, 123. g] Administrative Orders Nos.: 347, 348, 352-354, 360- 378, 380433, 436-439. The respondents, through the Solicitor General, would have this case dismissed outright on the ground that petitioners have no legal personality or standing to bring the instant petition. The view is submitted that in the absence of any showing that petitioners are personally and directly affected or prejudiced by the alleged non-publication of the presidential issuances in 2 question said petitioners are without the requisite legal personality to institute this mandamus proceeding, they are not being "aggrieved parties" within the meaning of Section 3, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, which we quote: SEC. 3. Petition for Mandamus.When any tribunal, corporation, board or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use a rd enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled, and there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, the person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the defendant, immediately or at some other specified time, to do the act required to be done to Protect the rights of the petitioner, and to pay the damages sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the defendant. Upon the other hand, petitioners maintain that since the subject of the petition concerns a public right and its object is to compel the performance of a public duty, they need not show any specific interest for their petition to be given due course. The issue posed is not one of first impression. As early as the 3 1910 case of Severino vs. Governor General, this Court held that while the general rule is that "a writ of mandamus would be granted to a private individual only in those cases where he has some private or particular interest to be subserved, or some particular right to be protected, independent of that which he

ESCOLIN, J.: Invoking the people's right to be informed on matters of public concern, a right recognized in Section 6, Article IV of the 1973 1 Philippine Constitution, as well as the principle that laws to be valid and enforceable must be published in the Official Gazette or otherwise effectively promulgated, petitioners seek a writ of mandamus to compel respondent public officials to publish, and/or cause the publication in the Official Gazette of various presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative orders. Specifically, the publication issuances is sought: of the following presidential

a] Presidential Decrees Nos. 12, 22, 37, 38, 59, 64, 103, 171, 179, 184, 197, 200, 234, 265, 286, 298, 303, 312, 324, 325, 326, 337, 355, 358, 359, 360, 361, 368, 404, 406, 415, 427, 429, 445, 447, 473, 486, 491, 503, 504, 521, 528, 551, 566, 573, 574, 594, 599, 644, 658, 661, 718, 731, 733, 793, 800, 802, 835, 836, 923, 935, 961, 1017-1030, 1050, 1060-1061, 1085, 1143, 1165, 1166, 1242, 1246, 1250, 1278, 1279, 1300, 1644, 1772, 1808, 1810, 1813-1817, 1819-1826, 1829-1840, 1842-1847. b] Letter of Instructions Nos.: 10, 39, 49, 72, 107, 108, 116, 130, 136, 141, 150, 153, 155, 161, 173, 180, 187, 188, 192, 193, 199, 202, 204, 205, 209, 211-213, 215-224, 226-228, 231-239, 241245, 248, 251, 253-261, 263-269, 271-273, 275-283, 285-289, 291, 293, 297-299, 301-303, 309, 312-315, 325, 327, 343, 346, 349, 357, 358, 362, 367, 370, 382, 385, 386, 396-397, 405, 438440, 444- 445, 473, 486, 488, 498, 501, 399, 527, 561, 576, 587, 594, 599, 600, 602, 609, 610, 611, 612, 615, 641, 642, 665, 702, 712-713, 726, 837-839, 878-879, 881, 882, 939-940, 964,997,1149-1178,1180-1278. c] General Orders Nos.: 14, 52, 58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64 & 65.

holds with the public at large," and "it is for the public officers exclusively to apply for the writ when public rights are to be subserved [Mithchell vs. Boardmen, 79 M.e., 469]," nevertheless, "when the question is one of public right and the object of the mandamus is to procure the enforcement of a public duty, the people are regarded as the real party in interest and the relator at whose instigation the proceedings are instituted need not show that he has any legal or special interest in the result, it being sufficient to show that he is a citizen and as such interested in the execution of the laws [High, Extraordinary Legal Remedies, 3rd ed., sec. 431]. Thus, in said case, this Court recognized the relator Lope Severino, a private individual, as a proper party to the mandamus proceedings brought to compel the Governor General to call a special election for the position of municipal president in the town of Silay, Negros Occidental. Speaking for this Court, Mr. Justice Grant T. Trent said: We are therefore of the opinion that the weight of authority supports the proposition that the relator is a proper party to proceedings of this character when a public right is sought to be enforced. If the general rule in America were otherwise, we think that it would not be applicable to the case at bar for the reason 'that it is always dangerous to apply a general rule to a particular case without keeping in mind the reason for the rule, because, if under the particular circumstances the reason for the rule does not exist, the rule itself is not applicable and reliance upon the rule may well lead to error' No reason exists in the case at bar for applying the general rule insisted upon by counsel for the respondent. The circumstances which surround this case are different from those in the United States, inasmuch as if the relator is not a proper party to these proceedings no other person could be, as we have seen that it is not the duty of the law officer of the Government to appear and represent the people in cases of this character. The reasons given by the Court in recognizing a private citizen's legal personality in the aforementioned case apply squarely to the present petition. Clearly, the right sought to be enforced by petitioners herein is a public right recognized by no less than the fundamental law of the land. If petitioners were not allowed to institute this proceeding, it would indeed be difficult to conceive of any other person to initiate the same, considering that the Solicitor General, the government officer generally empowered to represent the people, has entered his appearance for respondents in this case. Respondents further contend that publication in the Official Gazette is not a sine qua non requirement for the effectivity of laws where the laws themselves provide for their own effectivity dates. It is thus submitted that since the presidential issuances in question contain special provisions as to the date they are to take effect, publication in the Official Gazette is not indispensable for their effectivity. The point stressed is anchored on Article 2 of the Civil Code:

Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided, ... The interpretation given by respondent is in accord with this 4 Court's construction of said article. In a long line of decisions, this Court has ruled that publication in the Official Gazette is necessary in those cases where the legislation itself does not provide for its effectivity date-for then the date of publication is material for determining its date of effectivity, which is the fifteenth day following its publication-but not when the law itself provides for the date when it goes into effect. Respondents' argument, however, is logically correct only insofar as it equates the effectivity of laws with the fact of publication. Considered in the light of other statutes applicable to the issue at hand, the conclusion is easily reached that said Article 2 does not preclude the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette, even if the law itself provides for the date of its effectivity. Thus, Section 1 of Commonwealth Act 638 provides as follows: Section 1. There shall be published in the Official Gazette [1] all important legisiative acts and resolutions of a public nature of the, Congress of the Philippines; [2] all executive and administrative orders and proclamations, except such as have no general applicability; [3] decisions or abstracts of decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals as may be deemed by said courts of sufficient importance to be so published; [4] such documents or classes of documents as may be required so to be published by law; and [5] such documents or classes of documents as the President of the Philippines shall determine from time to time to have general applicability and legal effect, or which he may authorize so to be published. ... The clear object of the above-quoted provision is to give the general public adequate notice of the various laws which are to regulate their actions and conduct as citizens. Without such notice and publication, there would be no basis for the application of the maxim "ignorantia legis non excusat." It would be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law of which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one. Perhaps at no time since the establishment of the Philippine Republic has the publication of laws taken so vital significance that at this time when the people have bestowed upon the President a power heretofore enjoyed solely by the legislature. While the people are kept abreast by the mass media of the debates and deliberations in the Batasan Pambansa and for the diligent ones, ready access to the legislative records no such publicity accompanies the law-making process of the President. Thus, without publication, the people have no means of knowing what presidential decrees have actually been promulgated, much less a definite way of informing themselves of the specific contents and texts of such decrees. As the Supreme Court of Spain ruled: "Bajo la denominacion generica de leyes, se comprenden tambien los reglamentos, Reales decretos, Instrucciones, Circulares y Reales ordines dictadas de conformidad con las mismas por el Gobierno en uso de su 5 potestad.

The very first clause of Section I of Commonwealth Act 638 reads: "There shall be published in the Official Gazette ... ." The word "shall" used therein imposes upon respondent officials an imperative duty. That duty must be enforced if the Constitutional right of the people to be informed on matters of public concern is to be given substance and reality. The law itself makes a list of what should be published in the Official Gazette. Such listing, to our mind, leaves respondents with no discretion whatsoever as to what must be included or excluded from such publication. The publication of all presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general applicability" is mandated by law. Obviously, presidential decrees that provide for fines, forfeitures or penalties for their violation or otherwise impose a burden or. the people, such as tax and revenue measures, fall within this category. Other presidential issuances which apply only to particular persons or class of persons such as administrative and executive orders need not be published on the assumption that they have 6 been circularized to all concerned. It is needless to add that the publication of presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general applicability" is a requirement of due process. It is a rule of law that before a person may be bound by law, he must first be officially and specifically informed of its contents. As Justice Claudio Teehankee said in Peralta vs. 7 COMELEC : In a time of proliferating decrees, orders and letters of instructions which all form part of the law of the land, the requirement of due process and the Rule of Law demand that the Official Gazette as the official government repository promulgate and publish the texts of all such decrees, orders and instructions so that the people may know where to obtain their official and specific contents. The Court therefore declares that presidential issuances of general application, which have not been published, shall have no force and effect. Some members of the Court, quite apprehensive about the possible unsettling effect this decision might have on acts done in reliance of the validity of those presidential decrees which were published only during the pendency of this petition, have put the question as to whether the Court's declaration of invalidity apply to P.D.s which had been enforced or implemented prior to their publication. The answer is all too familiar. In similar situations in the past this Court had taken the pragmatic and realistic course set forth in Chicot 8 County Drainage District vs. Baxter Bank to wit: The courts below have proceeded on the theory that the Act of Congress, having been found to be unconstitutional, was not a law; that it was inoperative, conferring no rights and imposing no duties, and hence affording no basis for the challenged decree. Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425, 442; Chicago, 1. & L. Ry. Co. v. Hackett, 228 U.S. 559, 566. It is quite clear, however, that such broad statements as to the effect of a determination of unconstitutionality must be taken with qualifications. The actual existence of a statute, prior to such a determination, is an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot justly be ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration. The effect of the subsequent ruling as to invalidity

may have to be considered in various aspects-with respect to particular conduct, private and official. Questions of rights claimed to have become vested, of status, of prior determinations deemed to have finality and acted upon accordingly, of public policy in the light of the nature both of the statute and of its previous application, demand examination. These questions are among the most difficult of those which have engaged the attention of courts, state and federal and it is manifest from numerous decisions that an all-inclusive statement of a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified. Consistently with the above principle, this Court in Rutter vs. 9 Esteban sustained the right of a party under the Moratorium Law, albeit said right had accrued in his favor before said law was declared unconstitutional by this Court. Similarly, the implementation/enforcement of presidential decrees prior to their publication in the Official Gazette is "an operative fact which may have consequences which cannot be justly ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration ... that an all-inclusive statement of a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified." From the report submitted to the Court by the Clerk of Court, it appears that of the presidential decrees sought by petitioners to be published in the Official Gazette, only Presidential Decrees Nos. 1019 to 1030, inclusive, 1278, and 1937 to 1939, inclusive, 10 have not been so published. Neither the subject matters nor the texts of these PDs can be ascertained since no copies thereof are available. But whatever their subject matter may be, it is undisputed that none of these unpublished PDs has ever been implemented or enforced by the government. In Pesigan vs. 11 Angeles, the Court, through Justice Ramon Aquino, ruled that "publication is necessary to apprise the public of the contents of [penal] regulations and make the said penalties binding on the persons affected thereby. " The cogency of this holding is apparently recognized by respondent officials considering the manifestation in their comment that "the government, as a matter of policy, refrains from prosecuting violations of criminal laws until the same shall have been published in the Official Gazette or in some other publication, even though some criminal laws provide that they shall take effect immediately. WHEREFORE, the Court hereby orders respondents to publish in the Official Gazette all unpublished presidential issuances which are of general application, and unless so published, they shall have no binding force and effect. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G.R. No. 86675 December 19, 1989

MRCA, INC., petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. BENJAMIN V. PELAYO, Judge, Regional Trial court, National Capital Judicial Region, Branch 168, Pasig, M.M., SPOUSES DOMINGO SEBASTIAN, JR. & LILIA TIOSECO SEBASTIAN, and EXPECTACION P. TIOSECO, respondents. Ramon A. Gonzales for petitioner. Tanjuatco, Oreta, Tanjuatco, Berenguer and Sanvicente for private respondents.

does not affect or change vested rights." (Aguillon vs. Director of Lands, 17 Phil. 508). In a later case, this Court held thus: It is a well-established rule of statutory construction that statutes regulating the procedure of the courts will be construed as applicable to actions pending and undetermined at the time of their passage. Procedural laws are retrospective in that sense and to that extent. As the resolution of October 1, 1945, relates to the mode of procedure, it is applicable to cases pending in courts at the time of its adoption; but it can not be invoked in and applied to the present case in which the decision had become final before said resolution became effective. In this case, the motion for reconsideration filed by the defendant was denied on July 17, 1944, and a second motion for re-hearing or consideration could not be filed after the expiration of the period of fifteen days from promulgation of the order or judgment deducting the time in which the first motion had been pending in this Court (Section 1, Rule 54); for said period had already expired before the adoption of the resolution on October 1, 1945. Therefore, the Court cannot now permit or allow the petitioner to file any pleading or motion in the present case." (People vs. Sumilang, 77 Phil. 765- 766.) The Manchester ruling was applied retroactively in Sun Insurance Office, Ltd., et al. vs. Asuncion, et al., G.R. Nos. 7993738, February 13, 1989, a case that was already pending before Manchester was promulgated. The complaint in this case was filed on March 24, 1988, or ten months after Manchester was promulgated on May 7, 1987, hence, Manchester should apply except for the fact that it was modified in the Sun Insurance case, where we ruled that the court may allow payment of the proper filing fee "within a reasonable time but in no case beyond the prescriptive or reglementary period." We quote: 1. It is not simply the filing of the complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading, but the payment of the prescribed docket fee, that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject-matter or nature of the action. Where the filing of the initiatory pleading is not accompanied by payment of the docket fee, the court may allow payment of the fee within a reasonable time but in no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period. (p. 80, Rollo.) Intent to cheat the government of the proper filing fees may not be presumed from the petitioner's omission to specify in the body and prayer of its complaint the amounts of moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees that it claims to have suffered and/or incurred in its transaction with the private respondents. The petitioner might not have computed its damages yet, or probably did not have the evidence to prove them at the time it filed its complaint. In accordance with our ruling in Sun Insurance Office, Ltd., the petitioner may be allowed to amend its complaint for the purpose of specifying, in terms of pesos, how much it claims as damages, and to pay the requisite filing fees therefor, provided its right of action has not yet prescribed. This the petitioner is ready to do. WHEREFORE, the petition for review is granted.

GRIO-AQUINO, J.: The petitioner prays this Court to set aside the decision promulgated on January 18, 1989 by the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. No. SP 15745, affirming the order of the Regional Trial Court dismissing the complaint for non-payment of the proper filing fees as the prayer of the complaint failed to specify the amounts of moral damages, exemplary damages, attorney's fees and litigation expenses sought to be recovered by it from the defendants, but left them "to the discretion of this Honorable Court" or "to be proven during the trial." Invoking the decision of this Court in Manchester Development Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, 149 SCRA 562, the private respondents (defendants in Civil Case No. 55740 of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Metro Manila, entitled MRCA, Inc. vs. Spouses Domingo Sebastian, Jr., et al." filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on July 15, 1988. The petitioner opposed the motion, but the trial court granted it in its order of August 10, 1988 (p. 54, Rollo). The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court, hence, this petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Petitioner argues that since the decision in Manchester had not yet been published in the Official Gazette when its complaint was filed, the ruling therein was ineffective; that said ruling may not be given retroactive effect because it imposes a new penalty for its non-observance; the dismissal of the complaint for want of jurisdiction; and, that it should not apply to the present case because the petitioner herein (plaintiff in the trial court) had no fraudulent intent to deprive the government of the proper docketing fee, unlike the Manchester case where enormous amounts of damages were claimed in the body of the complaint, but the amounts were not mentioned in the prayer thereof, to mislead the clerk of court in computing the filing fees to be paid. Petitioner's argument regarding the need for publication of the Manchester ruling in the Official Gazette before it may be applied to other cases is not well taken. As pointed out by the private respondents in their comment on the petition, publication in the Official Gazette is not a prerequisite for the effectivity of a court ruling even if it lays down a new rule of procedure, for "it is a doctrine well established that the procedure of the court may be changed at any time and become effective at once, so long as it

The Order of the Regional Trial Court is hereby set aside. The complaint in Civil Case No. 55740 (MRCA, Inc. vs. Domingo Sebastian, Jr. and Lilia Tioseco Sebastian) is reinstated and the petitioner is allowed to amend the same by specifying the amounts of damages it seeks to recover from the defendants (private respondents) and to pay the proper filing fees therefor as computed by the Clerk of Court. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 84111 December 22, 1989 JIMMY O. YAOKASIN, petitioner, vs. THE COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, SALVADOR M. MISON and the DISTRICT COLLECTOR OF THE PORT OF TACLOBAN, VICENTE D. YUTANGCO, respondents.

On June 14, 1988, without modifying his decision, the District Collector of Customs ordered the warehouse, wherein the bags of sugar were stored, to be sealed. On June 19, 1988, the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Board (EIIB) filed a Motion for Reconsideration (Annex I, Petition, p. 278, Rollo), for "further hearing on the merits" (p. 279, Rollo), based on evidence that the seized sugar was of foreign origin. Petitioner opposed the motion for being merely pro forma and/or that the same was, in effect, a motion for new trial. Hearing Officer Paula Alcazaren set reconsideration for hearing on July 13, 1988. the Motion for

But before that, or on July 4, 1988, the Commissioner of Customs by "2nd Indorsement" returned to the District Collector of Customs the: ... folder of Tacloban S.I. No. 06-01 (R.P. vs. 9000 bags/sacks of refined sugar, MR. JIMMY YAOKASIN, consignee/claimant), together with the proposed decision, for hearing and/or resolution of the government is motion for reconsideration ... . (p. 437, Rollo, Emphasis Ours.) On the same date, July 4, 1988, petitioner applied for and secured a writ of replevin from the Regional Trial Court of Leyte (CC 7627, Branch VII), through a Petition/Complaint for certiorari Prohibition with Replevin and Damages with Preliminary Injunction and/or Restraining Order (Annex L, Petition, p. 288, Rollo). On July 12, 1988, respondent District Collector of Customs filed an Answer assailing the court's jurisdiction. On the same day, the District Collector and the Commissioner of Customs filed in the Court of Appeals a Petition for certiorari and Prohibition with Application for a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or Restraining Order to annul the July 4, 1988 "Order Granting Replevin with Temporary Restraining Order" (CA-G.R. SP NO. 15090; p. 396, Rollo). On July 15, 1988, the Collector of Customs reconsidered his June 7, 1988 decision, as follows: WHEREFORE, the undersigned hereby reconsiders his Decision, finds that the 9,000 bags/sacks of refined sugar in question are of foreign origin, smuggled into the country, and declares them forfeited in favor of the government. Considering the provision in the quoted Customs Memorandum Order, especially the latter part thereof prohibiting the release of the articles in question to the claimant, and considering also that the said sacks of sugar are presently stored in the bodega of claimant, and considering further that there are no facilities for storage in Tacloban City, for security reasons, the Honorable Commissioner of Customs is respectfully and earnestly urged to order the immediate transfer of the sugar from the said bodega to any Customs Warehouse, preferably in Manila and to this end to order the setting aside of such sum of money in order to effectively accomplish this purpose." (p. 11, Rollo.)

GRIO-AQUINO, J.: This petition questions the power of automatic review of the Commissioner of Customs over the decision of the Collector of Customs in protest and seizure cases. On May 27, 1988, the Philippine Coast Guard seized 9000 bags/ sacks of refined sugar, which were being unloaded from the M/V Tacloban, and turned them over to the custody of the Bureau of Customs. The petitioner presented a sales invoice from the Jordan Trading of Iloilo (Annex A, Petition) to prove that the sugar was purchased locally. The District Collector of Customs, however, proceeded with the seizure of the bags of sugar. On June 3 and 6, 1988, show-cause hearings were conducted. On June 7, 1988, the District Collector of Customs ordered the release of the sugar as follows: WHEREFORE, premises considered subject Nine Thousand (9,000) sacks/bags of refined sugar are hereby ordered released to Mr. Jimmy O. Yaokasin, consignee/claimant and the immediate withdrawal of Customs Guard within its bodega's premises. (p. 276, Rollo.) On June 10, 1988, the decision, together with the entire records of the case, were transmitted to, and received by, the Commissioner of Customs (Annex H, Petition, p. 277, Rollo).

Also, on the same day, the Court of Appeals: (a) gave due course to respondent's petition; and (b) restrained Judge Pedro S. Espina, Regional Trial Court, Leyte, from further proceeding in Civil Case No. 7627, and from enforcing his Order of July 4, 1988. It is petitioner's contention that the June 7, 1988 decision of the District Collector of Customs became final and executory, in view of the absence of an appeal therefrom by the "aggrieved party" (himself) within the 15-day period provided for in Sec. 2313 of the Tariff and Customs Code. Hence, the release of the 9,000 bags of sugar must be upheld. On the other hand, the District Collector and the Commissioner of Customs argue that since the June 7, 1988 decision is adverse to the government, the case should go to the Commissioner of Customs on automatic review, pursuant to Memorandum Order No. 20-87, dated May 18, 1987, of former Acting Commissioner of Customs Alexander Padilla, which provides: CUSTOMS MEMORANDUM ORDER NO. 20-87 TO: All Collectors of Customs and Others Concerned Effective immediately, you are hereby directed to implement strictly the following Decisions of the Collector of Customs in seizure and protest cases are subject to review by the Commissioner upon appeal as provided under existing laws; provided, however, that where a decision of the Collector of Customs in such seizure and protest cases is adverse to the government it shall automatically be reviewed by the Commissioner of Customs. (PD. No. 1, Annex C.) In view thereof, no releases in any seizure or like cases may be effected unless and until the decision of the Collector has been confirmed in writing by the Commissioner of Customs. For immediate and strict compliance. (Sgd.) ALEXANDER Acting Commissioner of Customs (p. 436, Rollo; Emphasis Ours) The memorandum order implements Section 12 (Art. IV, Part. IV, Vol. I) of the Integrated Reorganization Plan (hereafter, "PLAN") which provides: 12. The Collector of Customs at each principal port of entry shall be the official head of the customs service in his port and district responsible to the Commissioner. He shall have the authority to take final action on the enforcement of tariff and customs laws within his collection district and on administrative matters in accordance with Chapter III, Part II of this Plan. Decisions of the A. PADILLA

Collector of Customs in seizure and protest cases are subject to review by the Commissioner upon appeal as provided under existing laws; provided, however, that where a decision of a Collector of Customs in such seizure and protest cases is adverse to the government, it shall automatically be reviewed by the Commissioner of Customs which, if affirmed, shall automatically be elevated for final review by the Secretary of Finance; provided, further that if within thirty days from receipt of the records of the case by the Commissioner of Customs or the Secretary of Finance, no decision is rendered by the Commissioner of Customs or the Secretary of Finance, the decision under review shall become final and executory . (Emphasis supplied) In Presidential Decree No. 1, dated September 24, 1972, former President Marcos decreed and ordered that the Plan be (4 adopted, approved, and made as part of the law of the land." Under the 1987 Constitution, "[a]ll existing laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations, letters of instruction, and other executive issuances not inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed, or revoked" (Sec. 3, Art. XVIII). While some provisions of the Plan have ceased to be operative because of subsequent reorganizations, other provisions, such as Section 12 have not been repealed by subsequent legislation. Section 12 of the Plan applies to petitioner's shipment of 9,000 bags of sugar. Taxes being the lifeblood of the Government, Section 12, which the Commissioner of Customs in his Customs Memorandum Order No. 20-87, enjoined all collectors to follow strictly, is intended to protect the interest of the Government in the collection of taxes and customs duties in those seizure and protest cases which, without the automatic review provided therein, neither the Commissioner of Customs nor the Secretary of Finance would probably ever know about. Without the automatic review by the Commissioner of Customs and the Secretary of Finance, a collector in any of our country's far-flung ports, would have absolute and unbridled discretion to determine whether goods seized by him are locally produced, hence, not dutiable or of foreign origin, and therefore subject to payment of customs duties and taxes. His decision, unless appealed by the aggrieved party (the owner of the goods), would become final with 'the no one the wiser except himself and the owner of the goods. The owner of the goods cannot be expected to appeal the collector's decision when it is favorable to him. A decision that is favorable to the taxpayer would correspondingly be unfavorable to the Government, but who will appeal the collector's decision in that case certainly not the collector. Evidently, it was to cure this anomalous situation (which may have already defrauded our government of huge amounts of uncollected taxes), that the provision for automatic review by the Commissioner of Customs and the Secretary of Finance of unappealed seizure and protest cases was conceived to protect the government against corrupt and conniving customs collectors. Section 12 of the Plan and Section 2313 of the Tariff and Customs Code do not conflict with each other. They may coexist. Section 2313 of the Code provides for the procedure for the review of the decision of a collector in seizure and protest cases

upon appeal by the aggrieved party, i.e., the importer or owner of the goods. On the other hand, Section 12 of the Plan refers to the general procedure in appeals in seizure and protest cases with a special proviso on automatic review when the collector's decision is adverse to the government. Section 2313 and the proviso in Section 12, although they both relate to the review of seizure and protest cases, refer to two different situations when the collector's decision is adverse to the importer or owner of the goods, and when the decision is adverse to the government. The decision of the Court in the case of Sy Man vs. Jacinto (93 Phil. 1093 [19531]), which the petitioner invokes as precedent, is riot in point. In the present case the Acting Commissioner, in issuing the memorandum circular, was directing strict compliance with an existing provision of law, which mandates automatic review of decisions of collectors in seizure and protest cases which are adverse to the government. On the other hand, in Sy Man, the memorandum order of the Insular Collector of Customs directed the elevation of records in seizure and forfeiture cases for automatic review even if he had not been expressly granted such power under the then existing law. The objection to the enforcement of Section 12 of the Plan and CMO No. 20-87 on the ground that they had not been published in the Official Gazette, is not well taken. The Plan, as part of P.D. No. 1, was "adopted, approved and made as part of the law of the land" and published in Volume 68, No. 40, p. 7797 of the Official Gazette issue of October 2, 1972. Article 2 of the Civil Code, which requires laws to be published in the Official Gazette, does not apply to CMO No. 20-87 which is only an administrative order of the Commissioner of Customs addressed to his subordinates. the customs collectors. Commonwealth Act No. 638 (an Act to Provide for the Uniform Publication and Distribution of the Official Gazette) enumerates what shall be published in the Official Gazette besides legislative acts and resolutions of a public nature of the Congress of the Philippines. Executive and administrative orders and proclamations, shall also be published in the Official Gazette, except such as have no general applicability." CMO No. 20-87 requiring collectors of customs to comply strictly with Section 12 of the Plan, is an issuance which is addressed only to particular persons or a class of persons (the customs collectors). "It need not be published, on the assumption that it has been circularized to all concerned" (Tanada vs. Tuvera, 136 SCRA 27). WHEREFORE, the petition for review is denied for lack of merit. The temporary restraining order which we issued in this case is hereby made permanent. Cost against the petitioner. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC

G.R. No. 46623 December 7, 1939 MARCIAL KASILAG, petitioner, vs. RAFAELA RODRIGUEZ, URBANO ROQUE, SEVERO MAPILISAN and IGNACIO DEL ROSARIO, respondents. Luis M. Kasilag Fortunato de Leon for respondents. for petitioner.

IMPERIAL, J.: This is an appeal taken by the defendant-petitioner from the decision of the Court of Appeals which modified that rendered by the court of First Instance of Bataan in civil case No. 1504 of said court and held: that the contract Exhibit "1" is entirely null and void and without effect; that the plaintiffs-respondents, then appellants, are the owners of the disputed land, with its improvements, in common ownership with their brother Gavino Rodriguez, hence, they are entitled to the possession thereof; that the defendant-petitioner should yield possession of the land in their favor, with all the improvements thereon and free from any lien; that the plaintiffs-respondents jointly and severally pay to the defendant-petitioner the sum of P1,000 with interest at 6 percent per annum from the date of the decision; and absolved the plaintiffs-respondents from the cross-complaint relative to the value of the improvements claimed by the defendant-petitioner. The appealed decision also ordered the registrar of deeds of Bataan to cancel certificate of title No. 325, in the name of the deceased Emiliana Ambrosio and to issue in lieu thereof another certificate of title in favor of the plaintiffs-respondents and their brother Gavino Rodriguez, as undivided owners in equal parts, free of all liens and incumbrances except those expressly provided by law, without special pronouncement as to the costs. The respondents, children and heirs of the deceased Emiliana Ambrosio, commenced the aforesaid civil case to the end that they recover from the petitioner the possession of the land and its improvements granted by way of homestead to Emiliana Ambrosio under patent No. 16074 issued on January 11, 1931, with certificate of title No. 325 issued by the registrar of deeds of Bataan on June 27, 1931 in her favor, under section 122 of Act No. 496, which land was surveyed and identified in the cadastre of the municipality of Limay, Province of Bataan, as lot No. 285; that the petitioner pay to them the sum of P650 being the approximate value of the fruits which he received from the land; that the petitioner sign all the necessary documents to transfer the land and its possession to the respondents; that he petitioner be restrained, during the pendency of the case, from conveying or encumbering the land and its improvements; that the registrar of deeds of Bataan cancel certificate of title No. 325 and issue in lieu thereof another in favor of the respondents, and that the petitioner pay the costs of suit. The petitioner denied in his answer all the material allegations of the complaint and by way of special defense alleged that he was in possession of the land and that he was receiving the fruits thereof by virtue of a mortgage contract, entered into between


him and the deceased Emiliana Ambrosio on May 16, 1932, which was duly ratified by a notary public; and in counterclaim asked that the respondents pay him the sum of P1,000 with 12 per cent interest per annum which the deceased owed him and that, should the respondents be declared to have a better right to the possession of the land, that they be sentenced to pay him the sum of P5,000 as value of all the improvements which he introduced upon the On May 16, 1932 Emiliana Ambrosio, in life, and the petitioner executed the following public deed: "This agreement, made and entered into this 16th day of May, 1932, by and between Emiliana Ambrosio, Filipino, of legal age, widow and resident of Limay, Bataan, P.L., hereinafter called the party of the first part, and Marcial Kasilag, Filipino, of legal age, married to Asuncion Roces, and resident at 312 Perdigon Street, Manila, P.L., hereinafter called party of the second part. WITNESSETH: That the parties hereto hereby covenant and agree to and with each other as follows: ARTICLE I. That the party of the first part is the absolute registered owner of a parcel of land in the barrio of Alngan, municipality of Limay, Province of Bataan, her title thereto being evidenced by homestead certificate of title No. 325 issued by the Bureau of Lands on June 11, 1931, said land being lot No. 285 of the Limay Cadastre, General Land Registration Office Cadastral Record No. 1054, bounded and described as follows: Beginning at point marked 1 on plan E-57394, N. 84 32' W. 614.82 m. from B.B.M. No. 3, thence N. 66 35' E. 307.15 m. to point "2"; S. 5 07' W. to point "5"; S.6 10' E. 104.26 m. to point "4"; S. 82 17' W. to point "5"; S. 28 53' W. 72.26 m. to point "6"; N. 71 09' W. to point "7"; N. 1 42' E. 173.72 m. to point 1, point of beginning, "Containing an area of 6.7540 hectares. "Points 1,2,6 and 7, B.L.; points 3,4 and 5, stakes; points 4, 5 and 6 on bank of Alangan River. "Bounded on the North, by property claimed by Maria Ambrosio; on the East, by Road; on the South, by Alangan River and property claimed by Maxima de la Cruz; and on the West, by property claimed by Jose del Rosario. "Bearing true. Declination 0 51' E. "Surveyed under authority of sections 12-22, Act No. 2874 and in accordance with existing regulations of the Bureau of Lands, by Mamerto Jacinto, public land surveyor, on July 8, 1927 and approved on February 25, 1931. ARTICLE II. That the improvements on the above described land consist of the following: Four (4) mango trees, fruit bearing: one hundred ten (110) hills of bamboo trees; one (1) tamarind and six (6) boga trees. ARTICLE III. That the assessed value of the land is P940 and the assessed value of the improvements is P860, as evidenced by tax declaration No. 3531 of the municipality of Limay, Bataan. ARTICLE IV. That for and in consideration of the sum of one thousand pesos (P1,000) Philippine currency, paid by the party of

second part to the party of the first part, receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, the party of the first part hereby encumbers and hypothecates, by way of mortgage, only the improvements described in Articles II and III hereof, of which improvements the party of the first part is the absolute owner. ARTICLE V. That the condition of said mortgage is such that if the party of the first part shall well and truly pay, or cause to paid to the party of the second part, his heirs, assigns, or executors, on or before the 16th day of November, 1936, or four and onehalf (4) years after date of the execution of this instrument, the aforesaid sum of one thousand pesos (P1,000) with interest at 12 per cent per annum, then said mortgage shall be and become null and void; otherwise the same shall be and shall remain in full force and effect, and subject to foreclosure in the manner and form provided by law for the amount due thereunder, with costs and also attorney's fees in the event of such ARTICLE VI. That the party of the first part shall pay all taxes and assessments which are or may become due on the above described land and improvements during the term of this agreement. ARTICLE VII. That within thirty (30) days after date of execution of this agreement, the party of the first part shall file a motion before the Court of First Instance at Balanga, Bataan, P. I., requesting cancellation of Homestead Certificate of Title No. 325 referred to in Article I hereof and the issuance, in lieu thereof, of a certificate of title under the provisions of Land Registration Act No. 496, as amended by Act 3901. ARTICLE III. It if further agreed that if upon the expiration of the period of time (4) years stipulated in this mortgage, the mortgagor should fail to redeem this mortgage, she would execute a deed of absolute sale of the property herein described for the same amount as this mortgage, including all unpaid interests at the rate of 12 per cent per annum, in favor of the mortgagee. ARTICLE IX. That in the event the contemplated motion under Article VII hereof is not approved by the Court, the foregoing contract of sale shall automatically become null and void, and the mortgage stipulated under Article IV and V shall remain in full force and effect. In testimony whereof, the parties hereto have hereunto set their hands the day and year first herein before written. (Sgd.) MARCIAL KASILAG (Sgd.) EMILIANA AMBROSIO Signed in the presence of: (Sgd.) ILLEGIBLE (Sgd.) GAVINO RODRIGUEZ.




the law in holding that Exhibit 1 is an absolute deed of sale of the land and its improvements and that it is void and without any legal effect. The cardinal rule in the interpretation of contracts is to the effect that the intention of the contracting parties should always prevail because their will has the force of law between them. Article 1281 of the Civil Code consecrates this rule and provides, that if the terms of a contract are clear and leave no doubt as to the intention of the contracting parties, the literal sense of its stipulations shall be followed; and if the words appear to be contrary to the evident intention of the contracting parties, the intention shall prevail. The contract set out in Exhibit 1 should be interpreted in accordance with these rules. As the terms thereof are clear and leave no room for doubt, it should be interpreted according to the literal meaning of its clauses. The words used by the contracting parties in Exhibit 1 clearly show that they intended to enter into the principal contract of loan in the amount of P1,000, with interest at 12 per cent per annum, and into the accessory contract of mortgage of the improvements on the land acquired as homestead, the parties having moreover, agreed upon the pacts and conditions stated in the deed. In other words, the parties entered into a contract of mortgage of the improvements on the land acquired as homestead, to secure the payment of the indebtedness for P1,000 and the stipulated interest thereon. In clause V the parties stipulated that Emiliana Ambrosio was to pay, within four and a half years, or until November 16, 1936, the debt with interest thereon, in which event the mortgage would not have any effect; in clause VI the parties agreed that the tax on the land and its improvements, during the existence of the mortgage, should be paid by the owner of the land; in clause VII it was covenanted that within thirty days from the date of the contract, the owner of the land would file a motion in the Court of First Instance of Bataan asking that certificate of title No. 325 be cancelled and that in lieu thereof another be issued under the provisions of the Land Registration Act No. 496, as amended by Act No. 3901; in clause VIII the parties agreed that should Emiliana Ambrosio fail to redeem the mortgage within the stipulated period of four years and a half, she would execute an absolute deed of sale of the land in favor of the mortgagee, the petitioner, for the same amount of the loan of P1,000 including unpaid interest; and in clause IX it was stipulated that in case the motion to be presented under clause VII should be disapproved by the Court of First Instance of Bataan, the contract of sale would automatically become void and the mortgage would subsist in all its force. Another fundamental rule in the interpretation of contracts, not less important than those indicated, is to the effect that the terms, clauses and conditions contrary to law, morals and public order should be separated from the valid and legal contract and when such separation can be made because they are independent of the valid contract which expresses the will of the contracting parties. Manresa, commenting on article 1255 of the Civil Code and stating the rule of separation just mentioned, gives his views as follows: On the supposition that the various pacts, clauses or conditions are valid, no difficulty is presented; but should they be void, the question is as to what extent they may produce the nullity of the

Before me this day personally appeared Emiliana Ambrosio without cedula by reason of her sex, to me known and known to me to be the person who signed the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged to me that she executed the same as her free and voluntary act and deed. I hereby certify that this instrument consists of three (3) pages including this page of the acknowledgment and that each page thereof is signed by the parties to the instrument and the witnesses in their presence and in the presence of each other, and that the land treated in this instrument consists of only one parcel. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my notarial seal, this 16th day of May, 1932. (Sgd.) Notary Public NICOLAS NAVARRO

My commission expires December 31, 1933.

Doc. Page Book No. IV


No. of


178 register

One year after the execution of the aforequoted deed, that is, in 1933, it came to pass that Emiliana Ambrosio was unable to pay the stipulated interests as well as the tax on the land and its improvements. For this reason, she and the petitioner entered into another verbal contract whereby she conveyed to the latter the possession of the land on condition that the latter would not collect the interest on the loan, would attend to the payment of the land tax, would benefit by the fruits of the land, and would introduce improvements thereon. By virtue of this verbal contract, the petitioner entered upon the possession of the land, gathered the products thereof, did not collect the interest on the loan, introduced improvements upon the land valued at P5,000, according to him and on May 22, 1934 the tax declaration was transferred in his name and on March 6, 1936 the assessed value of the land was increased from P1,020 to P2,180. After an analysis of the conditions of Exhibit "1" the Court of Appeals came to the conclusion and so held that the contract entered into by and between the parties, set out in the said public deed, was one of absolute purchase and sale of the land and its improvements. And upon this ruling it held null and void and without legal effect the entire Exhibit 1 as well as the subsequent verbal contract entered into between the parties, ordering, however, the respondents to pay to the petitioner, jointly and severally, the loan of P1,000 with legal interest at 6 per cent per annum from the date of the decision. In this first assignment of error the petitioner contends that the Court of Appeals violated


principal obligation. Under the view that such features of the obligation are added to it and do not go to its essence, a criterion based upon the stability of juridical relations should tend to consider the nullity as confined to the clause or pact suffering therefrom, except in case where the latter, by an established connection or by manifest intention of the parties, is inseparable from the principal obligation, and is a condition, juridically speaking, of that the nullity of which it would also occasion. (Manresa, Commentaries on the Civil Code, Volume 8, p. 575.) The same view prevails in the Anglo-American law, as condensed in the following words: Where an agreement founded on a legal consideration contains several promises, or a promise to do several things, and a part only of the things to be done are illegal, the promises which can be separated, or the promise, so far as it can be separated, from the illegality, may be valid. The rule is that a lawful promise made for a lawful consideration is not invalid merely because an unlawful promise was made at the same time and for the same consideration, and this rule applies, although the invalidity is due to violation of a statutory provision, unless the statute expressly or by necessary implication declares the entire contract void. . . . (13 C. J., par. 470, p. 512; New York Cent. etc. R. Co. v. Gray, 239 U.S., 583; 60 Law ed., 451; U.S. v. Mora, 97 U.S., 413, 24 Law. ed., 1017; U.S. v. Hodson, 10 Wall, 395; 19 Law ed. 937; Gelpcke v. Dubuque, 1 Wall. 175, 17 Law ed., 520; U.S. v. Bradly, 10 Pet. 343, 9 Law. ed., 448; Borland v. Prindle, 144 Fed 713; Western Union Tel. Co. v. Kansas Pac. R. Co., 4 Fed., 284; Northern Pac. R. Co. v. U.S., 15 Ct. Cl., 428.) Addressing ourselves now to the contract entered into by the parties, set out in Exhibit 1, we stated that the principal contract is that of loan and the accessory that of mortgage of the improvements upon the land acquired as a homestead. There is no question that the first of these contract is valid as it is not against the law. The second, or the mortgage of the improvements, is expressly authorized by section 116 of Act No. 2874, as amended by section 23 of Act No. 3517, reading: SEC. 116. Except in favor of the Government or any of its branches, units or institutions, or legally constituted banking corporations, lands acquired under the free patent or homestead provisions shall not be subject to encumbrance or alienation from the date of the approval of the application and for a term of five years from and after the date of issuance of the patent or grant, nor shall they become liable to the satisfaction of any debt contracted prior to the expiration of said period; but the improvements or crops on the land may be mortgaged or pledged to qualified persons, associations, or corporations. It will be recalled that by clause VIII of Exhibit 1 the parties agreed that should Emiliana Ambrosio fail to redeem the mortgage within the stipulated period of four and a half years, by paying the loan together with interest, she would execute in favor of the petitioner an absolute deed of sale of the land for P1,000, including the interest stipulated and owing. The stipulation was verbally modified by the same parties after the expiration of one year, in the sense that the petitioner would take possession of the land and would benefit by the fruits thereof on condition that

he would condone the payment of interest upon the loan and he would attend to the payment of the land tax. These pacts made by the parties independently were calculated to alter the mortgage a contract clearly entered into, converting the latter into a contract of antichresis. (Article 1881 of the Civil Code.) The contract of antichresis, being a real encumbrance burdening the land, is illegal and void because it is legal and valid. The foregoing considerations bring us to the conclusion that the first assignment of error is well-founded and that error was committed in holding that the contract entered into between the parties was one of absolute sale of the land and its improvements and that Exhibit 1 is null and void. In the second assignment of error the petitioner contends that the Court of Appeals erred in holding that he is guilty of violating the Public Land Act because he entered into the contract, Exhibit 1. The assigned error is vague and not specific. If it attempts to show that the said document is valid in its entirety, it is not wellfounded because we have already said that certain pacts thereof are illegal because they are prohibited by section 116 of Act No. 2874, as amended. In the third assignment of error the petitioner insists that his testimony, as to the verbal agreement entered into between him and Emiliana Ambrosio, should have been accepted by the Court of Appeals; and in the fourth and last assignment of error the same petitioner contends that the Court of Appeals erred in holding that he acted in bad faith in taking possession of the land and in taking advantage of the fruits thereof, resulting in the denial of his right to be reimbursed for the value of the improvements introduced by him. We have seen that subsequent to the execution of the contract, Exhibit 1, the parties entered into another verbal contract whereby the petitioner was authorized to take possession of the land, to receive the fruits thereof and to introduce improvements thereon, provided that he would renounce the payment of stipulated interest and he would assume payment of the land tax. The possession by the petitioner and his receipt of the fruits of the land, considered as integral elements of the contract of antichresis, are illegal and void agreements because, as already stated, the contract of antichresis is a lien and such is expressly prohibited by section 116 of Act No. 2874, as amended. The Court of Appeals held that the petitioner acted in bad faith in taking possession of the land because he knew that the contract he made with Emiliana Ambrosio was an absolute deed of sale and, further, that the latter could not sell the land because it is prohibited by section 116. The Civil Code does not expressly define what is meant by bad faith, but section 433 provides that "Every person who is unaware of any flaw in his title, or in the manner of its acquisition, by which it is invalidated, shall be deemed a possessor in good faith"; and provides further, that "Possessors aware of such flaw are deemed possessors in bad faith". Article 1950 of the same Code, covered by Chapter II relative to prescription of ownership and other real rights, provides, in turn, that "Good faith on the part of the possessor consists in his belief that the person from whom he received the thing was the owner of the same, and could transmit the title thereto." We do not have before us a case of prescription of ownership, hence, the last article is not squarely in point. In resume, it may be stated that a person is deemed a possessor in


bad faith when he knows that there is a flaw in his title or in the manner of its acquisition, by which it is invalidated. Borrowing the language of Article 433, the question to be answered is whether the petitioner should be deemed a possessor in good faith because he was unaware of any flaw in his title or in the manner of its acquisition by which it is invalidated. It will be noted that ignorance of the flaw is the keynote of the rule. From the facts found established by the Court of Appeals we can neither deduce nor presume that the petitioner was aware of a flaw in his title or in the manner of its acquisition, aside from the prohibition contained in section 116. This being the case, the question is whether good faith may be premised upon ignorance of the laws. Manresa, commenting on article 434 in connection with the preceding article, sustains the affirmative. He says: "We do not believe that in real life there are not many cases of good faith founded upon an error of law. When the acquisition appears in a public document, the capacity of the parties has already been passed upon by competent authority, and even established by appeals taken from final judgments and administrative remedies against the qualification of registrars, and the possibility of error is remote under such circumstances; but, unfortunately, private documents and even verbal agreements far exceed public documents in number, and while no one should be ignorant of the law, the truth is that even we who are called upon to know and apply it fall into error not infrequently. However, a clear, manifest, and truly unexcusable ignorance is one thing, to which undoubtedly refers article 2, and another and different thing is possible and excusable error arising from complex legal principles and from the interpretation of conflicting doctrines. But even ignorance of the law may be based upon an error of fact, or better still, ignorance of a fact is possible as to the capacity to transmit and as to the intervention of certain persons, compliance with certain formalities and appreciation of certain acts, and an error of law is possible in the interpretation of doubtful doctrines. (Manresa, Commentaries on the Spanish Civil Code. Volume IV, pp. 100, 101 and 102.) According to this author, gross and inexcusable ignorance of law may not be the basis of good faith, but possible, excusable ignorance may be such basis. It is a fact that the petitioner is not conversant with the laws because he is not a lawyer. In accepting the mortgage of the improvements he proceeded on the wellgrounded belief that he was not violating the prohibition regarding the alienation of the land. In taking possession thereof and in consenting to receive its fruits, he did not know, as clearly as a jurist does, that the possession and enjoyment of the fruits are attributes of the contract of antichresis and that the latter, as a lien, was prohibited by section 116. These considerations again bring us to the conclusion that, as to the petitioner, his ignorance of the provisions of section 116 is excusable and may, therefore, be the basis of his good faith. We do not give much importance to the change of the tax declaration, which consisted in making the petitioner appear as the owner of the land, because such an act may only be considered as a sequel to the change of possession and enjoyment of the fruits by the petitioner, to about which we have stated that the petitioner's ignorance of the law is

possible and excusable. We, therefore, hold that the petitioner acted in good faith in taking possession of the land and enjoying its fruits. The petitioner being a possessor in good faith within the meaning of article 433 of the Civil Code and having introduced the improvements upon the land as such, the provisions of article 361 of the same Code are applicable; wherefore, the respondents are entitled to have the improvements and plants upon indemnifying the petitioner the value thereof which we fix at P3,000, as appraised by the trial court; or the respondents may elect to compel the petitioner to have the land by paying its market value to be fixed by the court of origin. The respondents also prayed in their complaint that the petitioner be compelled to pay them the sum of P650, being the approximate value of the fruits obtained by the petitioner from the land. The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court denying the claim or indemnity for damages, being of the same opinion as the trial court that the respondents may elect to compel the petitioner to have the land. The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court that the respondents have not established such damages. Under the verbal contract between the petitioner and the deceased Emiliana Ambrosio, during the latter's lifetime, the former would take possession of the land and would receive the fruits of the mortgaged improvements on condition that he would no longer collect the stipulated interest and that he would attend to the payment of the land tax. This agreement, at bottom, is tantamount to the stipulation that the petitioner should apply the value of the fruits of the land to the payment of stipulated interest on the loan of P1,000 which is, in turn, another of the elements characterizing the contract of antichresis under article 1881 of the Civil Code. It was not possible for the parties to stipulate further that the value of the fruits be also applied to the payment of the capital, because the truth was that nothing remained after paying the interest at 12% per annum. This interest, at the rate fixed, amounted to P120 per annum, whereas the market value of the fruits obtainable from the land hardly reached said amount in view of the fact that the assessed value of said improvements was, according to the decision, P860. To this should be added the fact that, under the verbal agreement, from the value of the fruits had to be taken a certain amount to pay the annual land tax. We mention these data here to show that the petitioner is also not bound to render an accounting of the value of the fruits of the mortgaged improvements for the reason stated that said value hardly covers the interest earned by the secured indebtednes. For all the foregoing considerations, the appealed decision is reversed, and we hereby adjudge: (1) that the contract of mortgage of the improvements, set out in Exhibit 1, is valid and binding; (2) that the contract of antichresis agreed upon verbally by the parties is a real incumbrance which burdens the land and, as such, is a null and without effect; (3) that the petitioner is a possessor in good faith; (4) that the respondents may elect to have the improvements introduced by the petitioner by paying the latter the value thereof, P3,000, or to compel the petitioner to buy and have the land where the improvements or plants are found, by paying them its market value to be filed by the court of origin, upon hearing the parties; (5) that the respondents have a right to


the possession of the land and to enjoy the mortgaged improvements; and (6) that the respondents may redeem the mortgage of the improvements by paying to the petitioner within three months the amount of P1,000, without interest, as that stipulated is set off by the value of the fruits of the mortgaged improvements which petitioner received, and in default thereof the petitioner may ask for the public sale of said improvements for the purpose of applying the proceeds thereof to the payment of his said credit. Without special pronouncement as to the costs in all instances. So ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No. 75082 January 31, 1989 JOSE F. PUZON, petitioner-appellant, vs. ALEJANDRA ABELLERA, substituted by TOMASA D. DOMONDON, oppositor-appellee. De Guzman, Florendo & Apolinar Law Office for petitionerappellant. Sixto A. Domondon and Hector D. Domondon for oppositorappellee.

conditions, of certain claims of titles to parcels of land that have been declared public land, by virtue of judicial decisions rendered within the forty years next preceeding the approval of this act' (now inoperative). Subsequently, in a case entitled Republic, et al. v. Hon. Pio R. Marcos, et al., 29 SCRA 517 (1969), We declared all titles issued under RA 931 null and void since the said Act was applicable only to places that were covered by cadastral proceedings, not to the City of Baguio which was covered by a townsite reservation under Civil Reservation Case No. 1, G.L.R.O. Record No. 211 filed before the enactment of Cadastral Act No. 2259 on 11 February 1913. This was followed by another case also entitled Republic v. Marcos, 52 SCRA 238 (1973), where We reiterated the above ruling. The ruling in these case was subsequently enacted into law as incorporated in Presidential Decree No. 1271 which took effect on 22 December 1977 with the title "An act nullifying decrees of registration and certificates of title covering lands within the Baguio Townsite Reservation Case No. 1, G.L.R.O. Record No. 211 pursuant to Republic Act No. 931, as amended, but considering as valid certain titles of such lands that are alienable and disposable under certain conditions and for other purposes." Hence, the lot in question was reverted to the public domain. On 10 October 1977, certain real properties in Baguio City, which included two (2) properties of the oppositor-appellee, one of which is the land involved in this appeal, were auctioned off. Allegedly, the real property taxes on the land in question for the years 1971 to 1977 had not been paid. Having been previously informed of the scheduled auction sale of tax delinquent properties in Baguio City, petitioner Puzon gained interest in the property in question. He examined the title of said land and all other documents evidencing transactions over the same. At the auction sale petitioner Puzon was declared winner in the bidding over the lot in question, being the lone bidder, and paid to the City Treasurer a total sum of only P3,253.95 which included his bid and other petty sums. One year after the tax sale, petitioner Puzon was given a certificate of sale over the parcel of land sold to him. He went to the Registry of Deeds in order to register said certificate and to secure a new title in his name but was advised to first go to court for an order confirming said sale. Hence, petitioner filed this suit to consolidate his ownership over the property. In the meantime, while trying to avail of the provisions of PD 1271 in oppositor-appellee's behalf, Tomasa Domondon found out that the two lands of the former had been auctioned off for alleged tax deliquencies for the years 1971 to 1977, one of which is the land purchased by petitioner Puzon Domondon then arranged a meeting with the latter to discuss the matter with him. But when the latter failed to appear at the appointed time and place. Domondon consigned with the Court the amount of P4,780.00 after having verified that Puzon paid only P3,252.95 for a two-hectare land which could have commanded a very much higher price. She then filed her opposition to petitioner Puzon's petition for consolidation. The lower court ruled in favor of the then oppositor, declaring null and void the aforesaid auction sale and illegal the assessment made. This ruling was affirmed by the then Intermediate Appellate Court (IAC), hence

PARAS, J.: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the then First Civil Cases Division of the Intermediate Appellate Court ** in AC-G.R. CV No. 04690, dated 13 March 1986, affirming in toto the decision of the then Court of First Instance of Baguio and Benguet, Branch IV, sitting as a Land Registration Court, in Administrative Case No. 2091. It is the contention of petitioner that: THE HONORABLE APPELLATE COURT COMMITTED GRAVE AND REVERSIBLE ERROR IN UPHOLDING THAT LANDS WITHIN THE BAGUIO TOWNSITE RESERVATION WHOSE TITLES HAVE BEEN ISSUED IN CIVIL RESERVATION CASE NO. 1, G.L.R.O. RECORD NO. 211 PURSUANT TO REPUBLIC ACT 931, AS AMENDED, ARE NOT SUBJECT TO REALTY TAX. (Petition, p. 7, Rollo) The oppositor-appellee (now deceased and substituted by her only child Tomasa Domondon) was the registered owner of the land in question, a two-hectare lot known as Lot 1-B subdivision plan (LRC) PSU-33174, Res. Sec. 2, Km. 3 Asin Road, Baguio City and covered by TCT No. 8103. The said land was part of a bigger tract of public land but titled in a judicial reopening proceeding pursuant to the provisions of RA 931, as amended, entitled "An act to authorize the filing in the court, under certain


this present petition. As stated by the lower court and adopted by the IAC, the issues are "whether the (property) involved herein can be considered tax (delinquent) and, if, so, has there been a valid tax sale of the same as to place the Court under no recourse but to confirm said (sale) and order the (title) thereof transferred in the name of petitioner Jose F. Puzon . ." (p. 23, Rollo). In concluding that the assessments made for the years 1971 to 1977 were legal, petitioner contends that PD 1271 is curative in nature. Section 1 of the said Decree states in part: SECTION 1. All orders and decisions issued by the Court of First Instance of Baguio and Benguet in connection with the proceedings for the reopening of Civil Reservation Case No. 1, GLRO Record No. 21 1, covering lands within the Baguio Townsite Reservation, and decreeing such lands in favor of private individuals or entities, are hereby declared null and void and without force and effect; PROVIDED, HOWEVER that all certificates of titles issued on or before July 31, 1973 shall be considered valid and the lands covered by them shall be deemed to have been conveyed in fee simple to the registered owners upon a showing of, and compliance with, the following conditions.. . (74 O.G. No. 19, pp- 3583-3584). The petitioner submits that: 'upon compliance with certain requirements the titles so issued are validated and deemed to have been conveyed in fee simple.... The validation of the title retroacts to the very day the title was originally issued' (pp. 45, Rollo). We agree with the petitioner. The intent of the law necessarily makes such titles valid from, the time they were issued. The ninth "whereas" clause of PD 1271 states: WHEREAS, there are holders of titles who, before the promulgation of the decision of the Supreme Court on July 31, 1973, had acted in good faith and relied, although mistakenly, on the indefeasibility of torrens certificates of titles and who had introduced substantial improvements on the land covered by the certificates. (74 O.G. No. 19, p. 3583) The foregoing necessarily implies that the intent of the law is to recognize the effects of certain acts of ownership done in good faith by persons with torrens titles issued in their favor before the cut-off date stated, honestly believing that they had validly acquired the lands. And such would be possible only by validating all the said titles issued before 31 July 1973, effective on their respective dates of issue. However, the validity of these titles would not become operative unless and after the conditions stated in PD 1271 are met. Hence, the phrase "upon a showing, and compliance with, the following conditions," (Sec. 1, PD 1271) While it may be argued that Article 4 of the New Civil Code prohibits the retroactive application of laws unless expressly provided therein, such rule allows some exceptions. As We have held in the case of Nilo v. Court of Appeals, 128 SCRA 519, "a statute operates prospectively only and never retroactively, unless the legislative intent to the contrary is made manifest either by the express terms of the statute or by necessary implications." As pointed out above, PD 1271 falls under one of the exceptions.

Considering, however, that during the years 1971-1977 the land in question was still part of the public domain, the oppositorappellee could not, in those years, obviously be held liable for real property taxes over the land in question. Since the validity of her title would take effect retroactively only after having complied with the conditions set in PD 1271, only then could she be held liable for taxes for the period starting 1971 to 1977. It would be absurd then to hold the oppositor-appellee liable for taxes over a piece of land which she did not own (it being public land) or use. Consequently, the tax sale was prematurely conducted. The oppositor-appellee should have first been given the opportunity to settle the taxes assessed for the years 1971-1977 after having complied with PD 1271. As to the validity of the auction sale, We reiterate that it was prematurely held, hence, null and void for the above reasons. But even on the evidence presented by the parties, assuming that the sale was properly and seasonably held, it has been clearly shown by the trial court and the IAC that the oppositor-appellee was not properly notified. The holding of the tax sale despite the absence of the requisite notice was tantamount to a violation of her substantial right to due process. As held by the IAC, . . . Under these provisions (referring to Secs. 59, 65, 73 and 76 of PD 464, the Real Property Tax Code) notice to the delinquent owner is required as a prerequisite to a valid tax sale. Failure to notify the registered owner shall vitiate the sale.' (Cabrera v. Prov. Treasurer, 75 Phil. 780) Tax sales are administrative proceedings. AndAdministrative proceedings established for the sale of private lands for non-payment of taxes being in personam (Pantaleon v. Santos, L-10289, July 31, 1957), it is essential that there be actual notice to the delinquent, otherwise the sale is null and void although preceded by proper advertisement or publication." (Vivencio v. Quintos, CA-G.R. No. 44697, Jan. 23, 1975, 72 O.G. No. 11, March 15, 1975.) (Decision of the IAC, 13 March 1986, pp. 27-28, Rollo) We do not see the above findings of fact of the trial court, as adopted by the IAC, to be contrary to the evidence presented nor tainted with partiality or indiscretion. Hence, We accord them great respect (Premier Insurance and Surety Corporation v. IAC, 141 SCRA 432; Vda. de Roxas v. IAC, 143 SCRA 77; Republic v. IAC, 144 SCRA 705). WHEREFORE, the appealed decisions is hereby MODIFIED accordingly, that is the land should really be considered owned by the respondent and her title thereto must not be disturbed BUT she must pay the real property taxes thereon for the years 1971-1977. As to the other matters raised, We find no reason to deviate from the findings of the lower court and, thus, AFFIRM the same. SO ORDERED.


Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G.R. No. L-44466 January 30, 1989 MAGDALENA V. ACOSTA, JULIANA V. ACOSTA and ROSITA V. ACOSTA, petitioners, vs. HON. JUDGE ANDRES B. PLAN, Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Isabela, Branch II, HON. SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES, THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS, and BERNARDINO MAGDAY, respondents. Florentino E. Estillore for petitioners. The Solicitor General for respondents.

entire records of the case to the Court of Appeals as provided in Section 16, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court. On June 16, 1976, respondent Judge dismissed the appeal for failure to file a record on appeal (Annex L, p. 56, Rollo). A motion for reconsideration (Annex M, p. 57, Rollo) of the dismissal order was filed by the appellants on July 26, 1976. On August 10, 1976, they mailed their record on appeal to the Court. On August 23, 1976, the lower court denied their motion for reconsideration (Annex 0, p. 60, Rollo). Hence, this petition for certiorari by the appellants raising the lone legal question of whether for the perfection of an appeal by a pauper litigant, the timely submission of a record on appeal is required. Under the Rules of Court then in force, a record on appeal was indeed required to be filed by a pauper appellant although it did not have to be printed. As argued by the Solicitor General in his brief. Petitioners contend, however, that having been allowed by the lower court to appeal as paupers, they are not required to file a record on appeal since the entire record of the case shall be transmitted to the appellate court and the case shall be heard upon the original record so transmitted without printing the same. Sec. 16, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court, provides: Sec. 16. Appeal by pauper. Where a party desiring to appeal shall establish to the satisfaction of the trial court that he is a pauper and unable to pay the expenses of prosecuting the appeal, and that the case is of such importance, by reason of the amount involved, or the nature of the questions raised, that it ought to be reviewed by the appellate court, the trial judge may enter an order entitling the party to appeal as pauper. The clerk shall transmit to the appellate court the entire record of the case, including the evidence taken on trial and the record on appeal, and the case shall be heard in the appellate court upon the original record so transmitted without printing the same.' (Emphasis types supplied.) 'It is clear that even a pauper litigant is required to file a record on appeal. What is not required of him is the filing of a printed record on appeal, and, of course, an appeal bond, since the cited Rule is designed to help the pauper litigant who may not be able to pay the expenses of prosecuting the appeal. In contrast, Sec. 17 of the same Rule 41 which refers to appeals in certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto and employee's liability cases categorically provides that 'the original record of the case shall be transmitted to the appellate court in lieu of the record on appeal.' In other words, appeals in special civil actions do not require record on appeal; they are perfected by the mere filing of the notice of appeal (Embroidery and Apparel Control and Inspection Board vs. Cloribel, 20 SCRA 517 [1967]). 'Indeed, records on appeal have been filed by pauper litigants as a matter of course (Tiozon vs. Court of Appeals, 70 SCRA 284 ,[1976]).' (pp. 7-9, Brief for the Respondents; p. 109, Rollo.) However, under B.P. Blg. 129, which has overtaken this case before it could be decided, a record on appeal is no longer required for the perfection of an appeal. This new rule was given

GRINO-AQUINO, J.: The only issue in this petition for review on certiorari is whether the petitioners' appeal from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Isabela in Civil Case No. 1201, may be dismissed for tardiness in submitting their record on appeal. On January 8, 1962, the petitioners filed an accion publiciana (Civil Case No. 1201) in the Court of First Instance of Isabela against the private respondent Bernardino Magday. After the defendant had filed his answer, the complaint was amended on August 25, 1971, to implead the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Bureau of Lands as additional defendants. Magday filed an amended answer. The Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Director of Lands filed separate answers to the amended complaint. After the parties had submitted a stipulation of facts, the court, upon plaintiffs' motion for judgment on the pleadings and/or summary judgment, which the defendant did not oppose, rendered judgment on October 3, 1975, dismissing the complaint with costs against the plaintiffs (Annex F, pp. 35- 46, Rollo). The plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration (Annex G, p. 47, Rollo) of the decision. It was denied by the respondent Judge on December 12, 1975 (Annex H, p. 50, Rollo). On December 22, 1975, they filed a motion for leave to appeal as paupers (Annex J, p. 52, Rollo) and on December 23, 1975, they filed a notice of appeal (Annex I, p. 51, Rollo). The trial court granted on January 19, 1976 their motion to appeal as paupers (Annex K, p. 55, Rollo). Believing that as pauper litigants they did not have to submit a record on appeal, they waited for the trial court to elevate the


retroactive effect in Alday vs. Camilon, 120 SCRA 521 where We Ruled: The reorganization having been declared to have been completed, Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 is now in full force and effect. A record on appeal is no longer necessary for taking an appeal. The same proviso appears in Section 18 of the Interim Rules and Guidelines issued by this Court on January 11, 1983. Being procedural in nature, those provisions may be applied retroactively for the benefit of petitioners, as appellants. 'Statutes regulating the procedure of the courts will be construed as applicable to actions pending undetermined at the time of their passage. Procedural laws are retrospective in that sense and to that extent.' (People vs. Sumilang, 77 Phil. 764).' (Cited in Palomo Building Tenants Association, Inc. vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 133 SCRA 168; De Guzman vs. Court of Appeals, 137 SCRA 731; and Lagunzad vs. Court of Appeals, 154 SCRA 199.) WHEREFORE, the decision dated October 3, 1975, of the trial court and its orders of June 16, 1976 and August 23, 1976 are hereby set aside. The trial court is hereby ordered to forward the entire records of Civil Case No. 1201 to the Court of Appeals for the determination and disposition of the petitioners' appeal on the merits. SO ORDERED.

Rizaldy Zshornack initiated proceedings on June 28,1976 by filing in the Court of First Instance of Rizal Caloocan City a complaint against COMTRUST alleging four causes of action. Except for the third cause of action, the CFI ruled in favor of Zshornack. The bank appealed to the Intermediate Appellate Court which modified the CFI decision absolving the bank from liability on the fourth cause of action. The pertinent portions of the judgment, as modified, read: IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the Court renders judgment as follows: 1. Ordering the defendant COMTRUST to restore to the dollar savings account of plaintiff (No. 25-4109) the amount of U.S $1,000.00 as of October 27, 1975 to earn interest together with the remaining balance of the said account at the rate fixed by the bank for dollar deposits under Central Bank Circular 343; 2. Ordering defendant COMTRUST to return to the plaintiff the amount of U.S. $3,000.00 immediately upon the finality of this decision, without interest for the reason that the said amount was merely held in custody for safekeeping, but was not actually deposited with the defendant COMTRUST because being cash currency, it cannot by law be deposited with plaintiffs dollar account and defendant's only obligation is to return the same to plaintiff upon demand; xxx xxx xxx

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G.R. No. L-66826 August 19, 1988 BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, petitioner, vs. THE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and ZSHORNACK respondents. Pacis & Reyes Law Office for petitioner. Ernesto T. Zshornack, Jr. for private respondent.

5. Ordering defendant COMTRUST to pay plaintiff in the amount of P8,000.00 as damages in the concept of litigation expenses and attorney's fees suffered by plaintiff as a result of the failure of the defendant bank to restore to his (plaintiffs) account the amount of U.S. $1,000.00 and to return to him (plaintiff) the U.S. $3,000.00 cash left for safekeeping. Costs against defendant COMTRUST. SO ORDERED. [Rollo, pp. 47-48.] Undaunted, the bank comes to this Court praying that it be totally absolved from any liability to Zshornack. The latter not having appealed the Court of Appeals decision, the issues facing this Court are limited to the bank's liability with regard to the first and second causes of action and its liability for damages. 1. We first consider the first cause of action, On the dates material to this case, Rizaldy Zshornack and his wife, Shirley Gorospe, maintained in COMTRUST, Quezon City Branch, a dollar savings account and a peso current account. On October 27, 1975, an application for a dollar draft was accomplished by Virgilio V. Garcia, Assistant Branch Manager of COMTRUST Quezon City, payable to a certain Leovigilda D. Dizon in the amount of $1,000.00. In the application, Garcia indicated that the amount was to be charged to Dollar Savings Acct. No. 25-4109, the savings account of the Zshornacks; the charges for commission, documentary stamp tax and others totalling P17.46 were to be charged to Current Acct. No. 210465-

CORTES, J.: The original parties to this case were Rizaldy T. Zshornack and the Commercial Bank and Trust Company of the Philippines [hereafter referred to as "COMTRUST."] In 1980, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (hereafter referred to as BPI absorbed COMTRUST through a corporate merger, and was substituted as party to the case.


29, again, the current account of the Zshornacks. There was no indication of the name of the purchaser of the dollar draft. On the same date, October 27,1975, COMTRUST, under the signature of Virgilio V. Garcia, issued a check payable to the order of Leovigilda D. Dizon in the sum of US $1,000 drawn on the Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, with an indication that it was to be charged to Dollar Savings Acct. No. 25-4109. When Zshornack noticed the withdrawal of US$1,000.00 from his account, he demanded an explanation from the bank. In answer, COMTRUST claimed that the peso value of the withdrawal was given to Atty. Ernesto Zshornack, Jr., brother of Rizaldy, on October 27, 1975 when he (Ernesto) encashed with COMTRUST a cashier's check for P8,450.00 issued by the Manila Banking Corporation payable to Ernesto. Upon consideration of the foregoing facts, this Court finds no reason to disturb the ruling of both the trial court and the Appellate Court on the first cause of action. Petitioner must be held liable for the unauthorized withdrawal of US$1,000.00 from private respondent's dollar account. In its desperate attempt to justify its act of withdrawing from its depositor's savings account, the bank has adopted inconsistent theories. First, it still maintains that the peso value of the amount withdrawn was given to Atty. Ernesto Zshornack, Jr. when the latter encashed the Manilabank Cashier's Check. At the same time, the bank claims that the withdrawal was made pursuant to an agreement where Zshornack allegedly authorized the bank to withdraw from his dollar savings account such amount which, when converted to pesos, would be needed to fund his peso current account. If indeed the peso equivalent of the amount withdrawn from the dollar account was credited to the peso current account, why did the bank still have to pay Ernesto? At any rate, both explanations are unavailing. With regard to the first explanation, petitioner bank has not shown how the transaction involving the cashier's check is related to the transaction involving the dollar draft in favor of Dizon financed by the withdrawal from Rizaldy's dollar account. The two transactions appear entirely independent of each other. Moreover, Ernesto Zshornack, Jr., possesses a personality distinct and separate from Rizaldy Zshornack. Payment made to Ernesto cannot be considered payment to Rizaldy. As to the second explanation, even if we assume that there was such an agreement, the evidence do not show that the withdrawal was made pursuant to it. Instead, the record reveals that the amount withdrawn was used to finance a dollar draft in favor of Leovigilda D. Dizon, and not to fund the current account of the Zshornacks. There is no proof whatsoever that peso Current Account No. 210-465-29 was ever credited with the peso equivalent of the US$1,000.00 withdrawn on October 27, 1975 from Dollar Savings Account No. 25-4109. 2. As for the second cause of action, the complaint filed with the trial court alleged that on December 8, 1975, Zshornack entrusted to COMTRUST, thru Garcia, US $3,000.00 cash (popularly known as greenbacks) for safekeeping, and that the

agreement was embodied in a document, a copy of which was attached to and made part of the complaint. The document reads: Makati Cable Address: Philippines "COMTRUST" COMMERCIAL BANK AND TRUST COMPANY of the Philippines Quezon City Branch December 8, 1975 MR. RIZALDY T. ZSHORNACK &/OR MRS SHIRLEY E. ZSHORNACK Sir/Madam: We acknowledged (sic) having received from you today the sum of US DOLLARS: THREE THOUSAND ONLY (US$3,000.00) for safekeeping. Received by: (Sgd.) VIRGILIO V. GARCIA It was also alleged in the complaint that despite demands, the bank refused to return the money. In its answer, COMTRUST averred that the US$3,000 was credited to Zshornack's peso current account at prevailing conversion rates. It must be emphasized that COMTRUST did not deny specifically under oath the authenticity and due execution of the above instrument. During trial, it was established that on December 8, 1975 Zshornack indeed delivered to the bank US $3,000 for safekeeping. When he requested the return of the money on May 10, 1976, COMTRUST explained that the sum was disposed of in this manner: US$2,000.00 was sold on December 29, 1975 and the peso proceeds amounting to P14,920.00 were deposited to Zshornack's current account per deposit slip accomplished by Garcia; the remaining US$1,000.00 was sold on February 3, 1976 and the peso proceeds amounting to P8,350.00 were deposited to his current account per deposit slip also accomplished by Garcia. Aside from asserting that the US$3,000.00 was properly credited to Zshornack's current account at prevailing conversion rates, BPI now posits another ground to defeat private respondent's


claim. It now argues that the contract embodied in the document is the contract of depositum (as defined in Article 1962, New Civil Code), which banks do not enter into. The bank alleges that Garcia exceeded his powers when he entered into the transaction. Hence, it is claimed, the bank cannot be liable under the contract, and the obligation is purely personal to Garcia. Before we go into the nature of the contract entered into, an important point which arises on the pleadings, must be considered. The second cause of action is based on a document purporting to be signed by COMTRUST, a copy of which document was attached to the complaint. In short, the second cause of action was based on an actionable document. It was therefore incumbent upon the bank to specifically deny under oath the due execution of the document, as prescribed under Rule 8, Section 8, if it desired: (1) to question the authority of Garcia to bind the corporation; and (2) to deny its capacity to enter into such contract. [See, E.B. Merchant v. International Banking Corporation, 6 Phil. 314 (1906).] No sworn answer denying the due execution of the document in question, or questioning the authority of Garcia to bind the bank, or denying the bank's capacity to enter into the contract, was ever filed. Hence, the bank is deemed to have admitted not only Garcia's authority, but also the bank's power, to enter into the contract in question. In the past, this Court had occasion to explain the reason behind this procedural requirement. The reason for the rule enunciated in the foregoing authorities will, we think, be readily appreciated. In dealing with corporations the public at large is bound to rely to a large extent upon outward appearances. If a man is found acting for a corporation with the external indicia of authority, any person, not having notice of want of authority, may usually rely upon those appearances; and if it be found that the directors had permitted the agent to exercise that authority and thereby held him out as a person competent to bind the corporation, or had acquiesced in a contract and retained the benefit supposed to have been conferred by it, the corporation will be bound, notwithstanding the actual authority may never have been granted ... Whether a particular officer actually possesses the authority which he assumes to exercise is frequently known to very few, and the proof of it usually is not readily accessible to the stranger who deals with the corporation on the faith of the ostensible authority exercised by some of the corporate officers. It is therefore reasonable, in a case where an officer of a corporation has made a contract in its name, that the corporation should be required, if it denies his authority, to state such defense in its answer. By this means the plaintiff is apprised of the fact that the agent's authority is contested; and he is given an opportunity to adduce evidence showing either that the authority existed or that the contract was ratified and approved. [Ramirez v. Orientalist Co. and Fernandez, 38 Phil. 634, 645- 646 (1918).] Petitioner's argument must also be rejected for another reason. The practical effect of absolving a corporation from liability every time an officer enters into a contract which is beyond corporate

powers, even without the proper allegation or proof that the corporation has not authorized nor ratified the officer's act, is to cast corporations in so perfect a mold that transgressions and wrongs by such artificial beings become impossible [Bissell v. Michigan Southern and N.I.R. Cos 22 N.Y 258 (1860).] "To say that a corporation has no right to do unauthorized acts is only to put forth a very plain truism but to say that such bodies have no power or capacity to err is to impute to them an excellence which does not belong to any created existence with which we are acquainted. The distinction between power and right is no more to be lost sight of in respect to artificial than in respect to natural persons." [Ibid.] Having determined that Garcia's act of entering into the contract binds the corporation, we now determine the correct nature of the contract, and its legal consequences, including its enforceability. The document which embodies the contract states that the US$3,000.00 was received by the bank for safekeeping. The subsequent acts of the parties also show that the intent of the parties was really for the bank to safely keep the dollars and to return it to Zshornack at a later time, Thus, Zshornack demanded the return of the money on May 10, 1976, or over five months later. The above arrangement is that contract defined under Article 1962, New Civil Code, which reads: Art. 1962. A deposit is constituted from the moment a person receives a thing belonging to another, with the obligation of safely keeping it and of returning the same. If the safekeeping of the thing delivered is not the principal purpose of the contract, there is no deposit but some other contract. Note that the object of the contract between Zshornack and COMTRUST was foreign exchange. Hence, the transaction was covered by Central Bank Circular No. 20, Restrictions on Gold and Foreign Exchange Transactions, promulgated on December 9, 1949, which was in force at the time the parties entered into the transaction involved in this case. The circular provides: xxx xxx xxx 2. Transactions in the assets described below and all dealings in them of whatever nature, including, where applicable their exportation and importation, shall NOT be effected, except with respect to deposit accounts included in sub-paragraphs (b) and (c) of this paragraph, when such deposit accounts are owned by and in the name of, banks. (a) Any and all assets, provided they are held through, in, or with banks or banking institutions located in the Philippines, including money, checks, drafts, bullions bank drafts, deposit accounts (demand, time and savings), all debts, indebtedness or obligations, financial brokers and investment houses, notes, debentures, stocks, bonds, coupons, bank acceptances, mortgages, pledges, liens or other rights in the nature of security, expressed in foreign currencies, or if payable abroad, irrespective of the currency in which they are expressed, and belonging to


any person, firm, partnership, association, branch office, agency, company or other unincorporated body or corporation residing or located within the Philippines; (b) Any and all assets of the kinds included and/or described in subparagraph (a) above, whether or not held through, in, or with banks or banking institutions, and existent within the Philippines, which belong to any person, firm, partnership, association, branch office, agency, company or other unincorporated body or corporation not residing or located within the Philippines; (c) Any and all assets existent within the Philippines including money, checks, drafts, bullions, bank drafts, all debts, indebtedness or obligations, financial securities commonly dealt in by bankers, brokers and investment houses, notes, debentures, stock, bonds, coupons, bank acceptances, mortgages, pledges, liens or other rights in the nature of security expressed in foreign currencies, or if payable abroad, irrespective of the currency in which they are expressed, and belonging to any person, firm, partnership, association, branch office, agency, company or other unincorporated body or corporation residing or located within the Philippines. xxx xxx xxx 4. (a) All receipts of foreign exchange shall be sold daily to the Central Bank by those authorized to deal in foreign exchange. All receipts of foreign exchange by any person, firm, partnership, association, branch office, agency, company or other unincorporated body or corporation shall be sold to the authorized agents of the Central Bank by the recipients within one business day following the receipt of such foreign exchange . Any person, firm, partnership, association, branch office, agency, company or other unincorporated body or corporation, residing or located within the Philippines, who acquires on and after the date of this Circular foreign exchange shall not, unless licensed by the Central Bank, dispose of such foreign exchange in whole or in part, nor receive less than its full value, nor delay taking ownership thereof except as such delay is customary; Provided, further, That within one day upon taking ownership, or receiving payment, of foreign exchange the aforementioned persons and entities shall sell such foreign exchange to designated agents of the Central Bank. xxx xxx xxx 8. Strict observance of the provisions of this Circular is enjoined; and any person, firm or corporation, foreign or domestic, who being bound to the observance thereof, or of such other rules, regulations or directives as may hereafter be issued in implementation of this Circular, shall fail or refuse to comply with, or abide by, or shall violate the same, shall be subject to the penal sanctions provided in the Central Bank Act. xxx xxx xxx Paragraph 4 (a) above was modified by Section 6 of Central Bank Circular No. 281, Regulations on Foreign Exchange,

promulgated on November 26, 1969 by limiting its coverage to Philippine residents only. Section 6 provides: SEC. 6. All receipts of foreign exchange by any resident person, firm, company or corporation shall be sold to authorized agents of the Central Bank by the recipients within one business day following the receipt of such foreign exchange. Any resident person, firm, company or corporation residing or located within the Philippines, who acquires foreign exchange shall not, unless authorized by the Central Bank, dispose of such foreign exchange in whole or in part, nor receive less than its full value, nor delay taking ownership thereof except as such delay is customary; Provided, That, within one business day upon taking ownership or receiving payment of foreign exchange the aforementioned persons and entities shall sell such foreign exchange to the authorized agents of the Central Bank. As earlier stated, the document and the subsequent acts of the parties show that they intended the bank to safekeep the foreign exchange, and return it later to Zshornack, who alleged in his complaint that he is a Philippine resident. The parties did not intended to sell the US dollars to the Central Bank within one business day from receipt. Otherwise, the contract of depositum would never have been entered into at all. Since the mere safekeeping of the greenbacks, without selling them to the Central Bank within one business day from receipt, is a transaction which is not authorized by CB Circular No. 20, it must be considered as one which falls under the general class of prohibited transactions. Hence, pursuant to Article 5 of the Civil Code, it is void, having been executed against the provisions of a mandatory/prohibitory law. More importantly, it affords neither of the parties a cause of action against the other. "When the nullity proceeds from the illegality of the cause or object of the contract, and the act constitutes a criminal offense, both parties being in pari delicto, they shall have no cause of action against each other. . ." [Art. 1411, New Civil Code.] The only remedy is one on behalf of the State to prosecute the parties for violating the law. We thus rule that Zshornack cannot recover under the second cause of action. 3. Lastly, we find the P8,000.00 awarded by the courts a quo as damages in the concept of litigation expenses and attorney's fees to be reasonable. The award is sustained. WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby MODIFIED. Petitioner is ordered to restore to the dollar savings account of private respondent the amount of US$1,000.00 as of October 27, 1975 to earn interest at the rate fixed by the bank for dollar savings deposits. Petitioner is further ordered to pay private respondent the amount of P8,000.00 as damages. The other causes of action of private respondent are ordered dismissed. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila



In Gonzales, the main issue was the unconstitutionality of the presidential veto of certain provision particularly Section 16 of the General Appropriations Act of 1990, R.A. No. 6831. This Court, in disposing of the issue, stated The political question doctrine neither interposes an obstacle to judicial determination of the rival claims. The jurisdiction to delimit constitutional boundaries has been given to this Court. It cannot abdicate that obligation mandated by the 1987 Constitution, although said provision by no means does away with the applicability of the principle in appropriate cases. Sec. 1. The judicial power shad be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. With the Senate maintaining that the President's veto is unconstitutional and that charge being controverted , there is an actual case or justiciable controversy between the Upper House of Congress and the executive department that may be taken cognizance of by this Court. The questions raised in the instant petition are I. IS THE APPROPRIATION OF P86 BILLION IN THE P233 BILLION 1990 BUDGET VIOLATIVE OF SECTION 5, ARTICLE XIV OF THE CONSTITUTION? II. ARE PD No. 81, PD No. 1177 AND PD No. 1967 STILL OPERATIVE UNDER THE CONSTITUTION? III. ARE THEY VIOLATIVE OF SECTION 29(l), ARTICLE VI OF 6 THE CONSTITUTION? There is thus a justiciable controversy raised in the petition which this Court may properly take cognizance of On the first issue, the petitioners aver According to Sec. 5, Art. XIV of the Constitution: (5) The State shall assign the highest budgetary priority to education and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment. The reason behind the said provision is stated, thus: In explaining his proposed amendment, Mr. Ople stated that all the great and sincere piety professed by every President and every Congress of the Philippines since the end of World War II for the economic welfare of the public schoolteachers always ended up in failure and this failure, he stated, had caused mass

G.R. No. 94571 April 22, 1991 TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, JR. and AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR., petitioners, vs. HON. GUILLERMO CARAGUE, in his capacity as Secretary, Budget & Management, HON. ROZALINA S. CAJUCOM in her capacity as National Treasurer and COMMISSION ON AUDIT, respondents. Ramon A. Gonzales for petitioners.

GANCAYCO, J.:p This is a case of first impression whereby petitioners question the constitutionality of the automatic appropriation for debt service in the 1990 budget. As alleged in the petition, the facts are as follows: The 1990 budget consists of P98.4 Billion in automatic appropriation (with P86.8 Billion for debt service) and P155.3 Billion appropriated under Republic Act No. 6831, otherwise known as the General Appropriations Act, or a total of P233.5 1 Billion, while the appropriations for the Department of 2 Education, Culture and Sports amount to P27,017,813,000.00. The said automatic appropriation for debt service is authorized by P.D. No. 81, entitled "Amending Certain Provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four Thousand Eight Hundred Sixty, as Amended (Re: Foreign Borrowing Act)," by P.D. No. 1177, entitled "Revising the Budget Process in Order to Institutionalize the Budgetary Innovations of the New Society," and by P.D. No. 1967, entitled "An Act Strenghthening the Guarantee and Payment Positions of the Republic of the Philippines on Its Contingent Liabilities Arising out of Relent and Guaranteed Loan by Appropriating Funds For The Purpose. There can be no question that petitioners as Senators of the Republic of the Philippines may bring this suit where a 3 constitutional issue is raised. Indeed, even a taxpayer has personality to restrain unlawful expenditure of public funds. The petitioner seek the declaration of the unconstitutionality of P.D. No. 81, Sections 31 of P.D. 1177, and P.D. No. 1967. The petition also seeks to restrain the disbursement for debt service under the 1990 budget pursuant to said decrees. Respondents contend that the petition involves a pure political question which is the repeal or amendment of said laws addressed to the judgment, wisdom and patriotism of the legislative body and not this Court.


defection of the best and brightest teachers to other careers, including menial jobs in overseas employment and concerted actions by them to project their grievances, mainly over low pay and abject working conditions. He pointed to the high expectations generated by the February Revolution, especially keen among public schoolteachers, which at present exacerbate these long frustrated hopes. Mr. Ople stated that despite the sincerity of all administrations that tried vainly to respond to the needs of the teachers, the central problem that always defeated their pious intentions was really the one budgetary priority in the sense that any proposed increase for public schoolteachers had to be multiplied many times by the number of government employees in general and their equitable claims to any pay standardization such that the pay rate of teachers is hopelessly pegged to the rate of government workers in general. This, he stated, foredoomed the prospect of a significant pay increase for teachers. Mr. Ople pointed out that the recognition by the Constitution of the highest priority for public schoolteachers, and by implication, for all teachers, would ensure that the President and Congress would be strongly urged by a constitutional mandate to grant to them such a level of remuneration and other incentives that would make teaching competitive again and attractive to the best available talents in the nation. Finally, Mr. Ople recalled that before World War II, teaching competed most successfully against all other career choices for the best and the brightest of the younger generation. It is for this reason, he stated, that his proposed amendment if approved, would ensure that teaching would be restored to its lost glory as the career of choice for the most talented and most publicspirited of the younger generation in the sense that it would become the countervailing measure against the continued decline of teaching and the wholesale desertion of this noble profession presently taking place. He further stated that this would ensure that the future and the quality of the population would be asserted as a top priority against many clamorous and importunate but less important claims of the present . (Journal of the Constitutional Commission, Vol. II, p. 1172) However, as against this constitutional intention, P86 Billion is appropriated for debt service while only P27 Billion is appropriated for the Department of Education in the 1990 budget. It plain, therefore, that the said appropriation for debt services is inconsistent with the Constitution, hence, viod (Art. 7, New Civil 7 Code). While it is true that under Section 5(5), Article XIV of the Constitution Congress is mandated to "assign the highest budgetary priority to education" in order to "insure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment," it does not thereby follow that the hands of Congress are so hamstrung as to deprive it the power to respond to the imperatives of the national interest and for the attainment of other state policies or objectives.

As aptly observed by respondents, since 1985, the budget for education has tripled to upgrade and improve the facility of the public school system. The compensation of teachers has been doubled. The amount of 8 P29,740,611,000.00 set aside for the Department of Education, Culture and Sports under the General Appropriations Act (R.A. No. 6831), is the highest budgetary allocation among all department budgets. This is a clear compliance with the aforesaid constitutional mandate according highest priority to education. Having faithfully complied therewith, Congress is certainly not without any power, guided only by its good judgment, to provide an appropriation, that can reasonably service our enormous debt, the greater portion of which was inherited from the previous administration. It is not only a matter of honor and to protect the credit standing of the country. More especially, the very survival of our economy is at stake. Thus, if in the process Congress appropriated an amount for debt service bigger than the share allocated to education, the Court finds and so holds that said appropriation cannot be thereby assailed as unconstitutional. Now to the second issue. The petitioners made the following observations: To begin with, Rep. Act 4860 entitled "AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES TO OBTAIN SUCH FOREIGN LOANS AND CREDITS, OR TO INCUR SUCH FOREIGN INDEBTEDNESS, AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO FINANCE APPROVED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES OR PROJECTS, AND TO GUARANTEE, IN BEHALF OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, FOREIGN LOANS OBTAINED OR BONDS ISSUED BY CORPORATIONS OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES INCLUDING THOSE INCURRED FOR PURPOSES OF RELENDING TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR, APPROPRIATING THE NECESSARY FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, provides: Sec. 2. The total amount of loans, credits and indebtedness, excluding interests, which the President of the Philippines is authorized to incur under this Act shall not exceed one billion United States dollars or its equivalent in other foreign currencies at the exchange rate prevailing at the time the loans, credits and indebtedness are incurred: Provided, however, That the total loans, credits and indebtedness incurred under this Act shall not exceed two hundred fifty million in the fiscal year of the approval of this Act, and two hundred fifty million every fiscal year thereafter, all in United States dollars or its equivalent in other currencies. Sec. 5. It shall be the duty of the President, within thirty days after the opening of every regular session, to report to the Congress the amount of loans, credits and indebtedness contracted, as well as the guarantees extended, and the purposes and projects for which the loans, credits and indebtedness were incurred, and the guarantees extended, as well as such loans which may be reloaned to Filipino owned or controlled corporations and similar purposes.


Sec. 6. The Congress shall appropriate the necessary amount out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to cover the payment of the principal and interest on such loans, credits or indebtedness as and when they shall become due. However, after the declaration of martial law, President Marcos issued PD 81 amending Section 6, thus: Sec. 7. Section six of the same Act is hereby further amended to read as follows: Sec. 6. Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, and in order to enable the Republic of the Philippines to pay the principal, interest, taxes and other normal banking charges on the loans, credits or indebtedness, or on the bonds, debentures, securities or other evidences of indebtedness sold in international markets incurred under the authority of this Act, the proceeds of which are deemed appropriated for the projects, all the revenue realized from the projects financed by such loans, credits or indebtedness, or on the bonds, debentures, securities or other evidences of indebtedness, shall be turned over in full, after deducting actual and necessary expenses for the operation and maintenance of said projects, to the National Treasury by the government office, agency or instrumentality, or governmentowned or controlled corporation concerned, which is hereby appropriated for the purpose as and when they shall become due. In case the revenue realized is insufficient to cover the principal, interest and other charges, such portion of the budgetary savings as may be necessary to cover the balance or deficiency shall be set aside exclusively for the purpose by the government office, agency or instrumentality, or governmentowned or controlled corporation concerned: Provided, That, if there still remains a deficiency, such amount necessary to cover the payment of the principal and interest on such loans, credit or indebtedness as and when they shall become due is hereby appropriated out of any funds in the national treasury not otherwise appropriated: . . . President Marcos also issued PD 1177, which provides: Sec. 31. Automatic appropriations. All expenditures for (a) personnel retirement premiums, government service insurance, and other similar fixed expenditures, (b) principal and interest on public debt, (c) national government guarantees of obligations which are drawn upon, are automatically appropriated; Provided, that no obligations shall be incurred or payments made from funds thus automatically appropriated except as issued in the form of regular budgetary allotments. and PD 1967, which provides: Sec. 1. There is hereby appropriated, out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such amounts as may be necessary to effect payments on foreign or domestic loans, or foreign or domestic loans whereon creditors make a call on the direct and indirect guarantee of the Republic of the Philippines, obtained by:

a. The Republic of the Philippines the proceeds of which were relent to government-owned or controlled corporations and/or government financial institutions; b. government-owned or controlled corporations and/or government financial institutions the proceeds of which were relent to public or private institutions; c. government-owned or controlled corporations and/or financial institutions and guaranteed by the Republic of the Philippines; d. other public or private institutions and guaranteed by government-owned or controlled corporations and/or government financial institutions. Sec. 2. All repayments made by borrower institutions on the loans for whose account advances were made by the National Treasury will revert to the General Fund. Sec. 3. In the event that any borrower institution is unable to settle the advances made out of the appropriation provided therein, the Treasurer of the Philippines shall make the proper recommendation to the Minister of Finance on whether such advances shall be treated as equity or subsidy of the National Government to the institution concerned, which shall be considered in the budgetary program of the Government. In the "Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing Fiscal Year 1990," which accompanied her budget message to Congress, the President of the Philippines, Corazon C. Aquino, stated: Sources Appropriation The P233.5 billion budget proposed for fiscal year 1990 will require P132.1 billion of new programmed appropriations out of a total P155.3 billion in new legislative authorization from Congress. The rest of the budget, totalling P101.4 billion, will be sourced from existing appropriations: P98.4 billion from Automatic Appropriations and P3.0 billion from Continuing Appropriations (Fig. 4). And according to Figure 4, . . ., P86.8 billion out of the P98.4 Billion are programmed for debt service. In other words, the President had, on her own, determined and set aside the said amount of P98.4 Billion with the rest of the appropriations of P155.3 Billion to be determined and fixed by Congress, which is 9 now Rep. Act 6831. Petitioners argue that the said automatic appropriations under the aforesaid decrees of then President Marcos became functus oficio when he was ousted in February, 1986; that upon the expiration of the one-man legislature in the person of President Marcos, the legislative power was restored to Congress on February 2, 1987 when the Constitution was ratified by the people; that there is a need for a new legislation by Congress providing for automatic appropriation, but Congress, up to the present, has not approved any such law; and thus the said P86.8 Billion automatic appropriation in the 1990 budget is an


administrative act that rests on no law, and thus, it cannot be enforced. Moreover, petitioners contend that assuming arguendo that P.D. No. 81, P.D. No. 1177 and P.D. No. 1967 did not expire with the ouster of President Marcos, after the adoption of the 1987 Constitution, the said decrees are inoperative under Section 3, Article XVIII which provides Sec. 3. All existing laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations, letters of instructions, and other executive issuances not inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed, or revoked." (Emphasis supplied.) They then point out that since the said decrees are inconsistent with Section 24, Article VI of the Constitution, i.e., Sec. 24. All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local application, and private bills shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments . (Emphasis supplied.) whereby bills have to be approved by the President, then a law must be passed by Congress to authorize said automatic appropriation. Further, petitioners state said decrees violate Section 29(l) of Article VI of the Constitution which provides as follows Sec. 29(l). No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. They assert that there must be definiteness, certainty and 11 exactness in an appropriation, otherwise it is an undue delegation of legislative power to the President who determines 12 in advance the amount appropriated for the debt service. The Court is not persuaded. Section 3, Article XVIII of the Constitution recognizes that "All existing laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations, letters of instructions and other executive issuances not inconsistent with the Constitution shall remain operative until amended, repealed or revoked." This transitory provision of the Constitution has precisely been adopted by its framers to preserve the social order so that legislation by the then President Marcos may be recognized. Such laws are to remain in force and effect unless they are inconsistent with the Constitution or, are otherwise amended, repealed or revoked. An examination of the aforecited presidential decrees show the clear intent that the amounts needed to cover the payment of the principal and interest on all foreign loans, including those guaranteed by the national government, should be made available when they shall become due precisely without the

necessity of periodic enactments of separate laws appropriating funds therefor, since both the periods and necessities are incapable of determination in advance. The automatic appropriation provides the flexibility for the effective execution of debt management policies. Its political wisdom has been convincingly discussed by the Solicitor General as he argues . . . First, for example, it enables the Government to take advantage of a favorable turn of market conditions by redeeming high-interest securities and borrowing at lower rates, or to shift from short-term to long-term instruments, or to enter into arrangements that could lighten our outstanding debt burden debt-to-equity, debt to asset, debt-to-debt or other such schemes. Second, the automatic appropriation obviates the serious difficulties in debt servicing arising from any deviation from what has been previously programmed. The annual debt service estimates, which are usually made one year in advance, are based on a mathematical set or matrix or, in layman's parlance, "basket" of foreign exchange and interest rate assumptions which may significantly differ from actual rates not even in proportion to changes on the basis of the assumptions. Absent an automatic appropriation clause, the Philippine Government has to await and depend upon Congressional action, which by the time this comes, may no longer be responsive to the intended conditions which in the meantime may have already drastically changed. In the meantime, also, delayed payments and arrearages may have supervened, only to worsen our debt service-to-total expenditure ratio in the budget due to penalties and/or demand for immediate payment even before due dates. Clearly, the claim that payment of the loans and indebtedness is conditioned upon the continuance of the person of President Marcos and his legislative power goes against the intent and purpose of the law. The purpose is foreseen to subsist with or 13 without the person of Marcos. The argument of petitioners that the said presidential decrees did not meet the requirement and are therefore inconsistent with Sections 24 and 27 of Article VI of the Constitution which requires, among others, that "all appropriations, . . . bills authorizing increase of public debt" must be passed by Congress and approved by the President is untenable. Certainly, the framers of the Constitution did not contemplate that existing laws in the statute books including existing presidential decrees appropriating public money are reduced to mere "bills" that must again go through the legislative million The only reasonable interpretation of said provisions of the Constitution which refer to "bills" is that they mean appropriation measures still to be passed by Congress. If the intention of the framers thereof were otherwise they should have expressed their decision in a more direct or express manner. Well-known is the rule that repeal or amendment by implication is frowned upon. Equally fundamental is the principle that construction of the Constitution and law is generally applied prospectively and not retrospectively unless it is so clearly stated.


On the third issue that there is undue delegation of legislative 14 power, in Edu vs. Ericta, this Court had this to say What cannot be delegated is the authority under the Constitution to make laws and to alter and repeal them; the test is the completeness of the statute in all its terms and provisions when it leaves the hands of the legislature. To determine whether or not there is an undue delegation of legislative power, the inequity must be directed to the scope and definiteness of the measure enacted. The legislature does not abdicate its function when it describes what job must be done, who is to do it, and what is the scope of his authority. For a complex economy, that may indeed be the only way in which legislative process can go forward . . . To avoid the taint of unlawful delegation there must be a standard, which implies at the very least that the legislature itself determines matters of principle and lays down fundamental policy ... The standard may be either express or implied . . . from the policy and purpose of the act considered as whole . . . In People vs. Vera, this Court said "the true distinction is between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves discretion as to what the law shall be, and conferring authority or discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection can be made." Ideally, the law must be complete in all its essential terms and conditions when it leaves the legislature so that there will be nothing left for the delegate to do when it reaches him except enforce it. If there are gaps in the law that will prevent its enforcement unless they are first filled, the delegate will then have been given the opportunity to step in the shoes of the legislature and exercise a discretion essentially legislative in 16 order to repair the omissions. This is invalid delegation. The Court finds that in this case the questioned laws are complete in all their essential terms and conditions and sufficient standards are indicated therein. The legislative intention in R.A. No. 4860, as amended, Section 31 of P.D. No. 1177 and P.D. No. 1967 is that the amount needed should be automatically set aside in order to enable the Republic of the Philippines to pay the principal, interest, taxes and other normal banking charges on the loans, credits or indebtedness incurred as guaranteed by it when they shall become due without the need to enact a separate law appropriating funds therefor as the need arises. The purpose of these laws is to enable the government to make prompt payment and/or advances for all loans to protect and maintain the credit standing of the country. Although the subject presidential decrees do not state specific amounts to be paid, necessitated by the very nature of the problem being addressed, the amounts nevertheless are made certain by the legislative parameters provided in the decrees. The Executive is not of unlimited discretion as to the amounts to be

disbursed for debt servicing. The mandate is to pay only the principal, interest, taxes and other normal banking charges on the loans, credits or indebtedness, or on the bonds, debentures or security or other evidences of indebtedness sold in international markets incurred by virtue of the law, as and when they shall become due. No uncertainty arises in executive implementation as the limit will be the exact amounts as shown by the books of the Treasury. The Government budgetary process has been graphically described to consist of four major phases as aptly discussed by the Solicitor General: The Government budgeting process consists of four major phases: 1. Budget preparation. The first step is essentially tasked upon the Executive Branch and covers the estimation of government revenues, the determination of budgetary priorities and activities within the constraints imposed by available revenues and by borrowing limits, and the translation of desired priorities and activities into expenditure levels. Budget preparation starts with the budget call issued by the Department of Budget and Management. Each agency is required to submit agency budget estimates in line with the requirements consistent with the general ceilings set by the Development Budget Coordinating Council (DBCC). With regard to debt servicing, the DBCC staff, based on the macro-economic projections of interest rates (e.g. LIBOR rate) and estimated sources of domestic and foreign financing, estimates debt service levels. Upon issuance of budget call, the Bureau of Treasury computes for the interest and principal payments for the year for all direct national government borrowings and other liabilities assumed by the same. 2. Legislative authorization. At this stage, Congress enters the picture and deliberates or acts on the budget proposals of the President, and Congress in the exercise of its own judgment and wisdom formulates an appropriation act precisely following the process established by the Constitution, which specifies that no money may be paid from the Treasury except in accordance with an appropriation made by law. Debt service is not included in the General Appropriation Act, since authorization therefor already exists under RA No. 4860 and 245, as amended and PD 1967. Precisely in the fight of this subsisting authorization as embodied in said Republic Acts and PD for debt service, Congress does not concern itself with details for implementation by the Executive, but largely with annual levels and approval thereof upon due deliberations as part of the whole obligation program for the year. Upon such approval, Congress has spoken and cannot be said to have delegated its wisdom to the Executive, on whose part lies the implementation or execution of the legislative wisdom. 3. Budget Execution. Tasked on the Executive, the third phase of the budget process covers the various operational aspects of


budgeting. The establishment of obligation authority ceilings, the evaluation of work and financial plans for individual activities, the continuing review of government fiscal position, the regulation of funds releases, the implementation of cash payment schedules, and other related activities comprise this phase of the budget cycle. Release from the debt service fired is triggered by a request of the Bureau of the Treasury for allotments from the Department of Budget and Management, one quarter in advance of payment schedule, to ensure prompt payments. The Bureau of Treasury, upon receiving official billings from the creditors, remits payments to creditors through the Central Bank or to the Sinking Fund established for government security issues (Annex F). 4. Budget accountability. The fourth phase refers to the evaluation of actual performance and initially approved work targets, obligations incurred, personnel hired and work accomplished are compared with the targets set at the time the agency budgets were approved. There being no undue delegation of legislative power as clearly above shown, petitioners insist nevertheless that subject presidential decrees constitute undue delegation of legislative power to the executive on the alleged ground that the appropriations therein are not exact, certain or definite, invoking in support therefor the Constitution of Nebraska, the constitution under which the case of State v. Moore, 69 NW 974, cited by petitioners, was decided. Unlike the Constitution of Nebraska, however, our Constitution does not require a definite, certain, exact or "specific appropriation made by law." Section 29, Article VI of our 1987 Constitution omits any of these words and simply states: Section 29(l). No money shall be paid out of the treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. More significantly, there is no provision in our Constitution that provides or prescribes any particular form of words or religious recitals in which an authorization or appropriation by Congress shall be made, except that it be "made by law," such as precisely the authorization or appropriation under the questioned presidential decrees. In other words, in terms of time horizons, an appropriation may be made impliedly (as by past but subsisting legislations) as well as expressly for the current fiscal year (as by enactment of laws by the present Congress), just as said appropriation may be made in general as well as in specific terms. The Congressional authorization may be embodied in annual laws, such as a general appropriations act or in special provisions of laws of general or special application which appropriate public funds for specific public purposes, such as the questioned decrees. An appropriation measure is sufficient if the legislative intention clearly and certainly appears from the language employed (In re Continuing Appropriations, 32 P. 272), 17 whether in the past or in the present. Thus, in accordance with Section 22, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, President Corazon C. Aquino submitted to Congress the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing for the Fiscal Year 1990. The proposed 1990 expenditure

program covering the estimated obligation that will be incurred by the national government during the fiscal year amounts to P233.5 Billion. Of the proposed budget, P86.8 is set aside for debt servicing as follows: National Government Debt Service Expenditures, 1990 (in million pesos) Domestic Foreign Total RA 245, as RA 4860 amended as amended, PD 1967 Interest Payments P36,861 P18,570 P55,431 Principal Amortization 16,310 15,077 31,387 Total P53,171 P33,647 P86,818

as authorized under P.D. 1967 and R.A. 4860 and 245, as amended. The Court, therefor, finds that R.A. No. 4860, as amended by P.D. No. 81, Section 31 of P.D. 1177 and P.D. No. 1967 constitute lawful authorizations or appropriations, unless they are repealed or otherwise amended by Congress. The Executive was thus merely complying with the duty to implement the same. There can be no question as to the patriotism and good motive of petitioners in filing this petition. Unfortunately, the petition must fail on the constitutional and legal issues raised. As to whether or not the country should honor its international debt, more especially the enormous amount that had been incurred by the past administration, which appears to be the ultimate objective of the petition, is not an issue that is presented or proposed to be addressed by the Court. Indeed, it is more of a political decision for Congress and the Executive to determine in the exercise of their wisdom and sound discretion. WHEREFORE, the petition pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED. is DISMISSED, without


Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-5691 December 27, 1910 S. D. MARTINEZ and his wife, CARMEN ONG DE MARTINEZ, plaintiffs-appellees, vs. WILLIAM VAN BUSKIRK, defendant-appellant. Lionel D. Hargis for appellant. Sanz and Oppisso for appellee.

on which street they came into collision with the carromata in which the plaintiff, Carmen Ong de Martinez, was riding. The defendant himself was not with the vehicle on the day in question. Upon these facts the court below found the defendant guilty of negligence and gave judgment against him for P442.50, with interest thereon at the rate of 6 per cent per annum from the 17th day of October, 1908, and for the costs of the action. The case is before us on an appeal from that judgment. There is no general law of negligence in the Philippine Islands except that embodied in the Civil Code. The provisions of that code pertinent to this case are Art. 1902. A person who by an act or omission causes damage to another when there is fault or negligence shall be obliged to repair the damage so done. Art. 1903. The obligation imposed by preceding article is demandable, not only for personal acts and omissions, but also for those of the persons for whom they should be responsible. The father, and on his death or incapacity the mother, is liable for the damages caused by the minors who live with them. Guardians are liable for the damages caused by minors or incapacitated persons who are under their authority and live with them. Owners of directors of an establishment or enterprise are equally liable for the damages caused by the employees in the service of the branches in which the latter may be employed or on account of their duties. The State is liable in this sense when it acts through a special agent, but not when the damages should have been caused by the official to whom properly it pertained to do the act performed, in which case the provisions of the preceding article shall be applicable. Finally, masters or directors of arts and trades are liable for the damages caused by their pupils or apprentices while they are under their custody. The liability referred to in this article shall cease when the persons mentioned therein prove that they employed all the diligence of a good father of a family to avoid the damage. Passing the question whether or not an employer who has furnished a gentle and tractable team and a trusty and capable driver is, under the last paragraph of the above provisions, liable for the negligence of such driver in handling the team, we are of the opinion that the judgment must be reversed upon the ground that the evidence does not disclose that the cochero was negligent.

MORELAND, J.: The facts found by the trial court are undisputed by either party in this case. They are That on the 11th day of September, 1908, the plaintiff, Carmen Ong de Martinez, was riding in a carromata on Calle Real, district of Ermita, city of Manila, P.I., along the left-hand side of the street as she was going, when a delivery wagon belonging to the defendant used for the purpose of transportation of fodder by the defendant, and to which was attached a pair of horses, came along the street in the opposite direction to that the in which said plaintiff was proceeding, and that thereupon the driver of the said plaintiff's carromata, observing that the delivery wagon of the defendant was coming at great speed, crowded close to the sidewalk on the left-hand side of the street and stopped, in order to give defendant's delivery wagon an opportunity to pass by, but that instead of passing by the defendant's wagon and horses ran into the carromata occupied by said plaintiff with her child and overturned it, severely wounding said plaintiff by making a serious cut upon her head, and also injuring the carromata itself and the harness upon the horse which was drawing it.

These facts are not dispute, but the defendant presented evidence to the effect that the cochero, who was driving his delivery wagon at the time the accident occurred, was a good servant and was considered a safe and reliable cochero; that the delivery wagon had sent to deliver some forage at Paco Livery Stable on Calle Herran, and that for the purpose of delivery thereof the cochero driving the team as defendant's employee tied the driving lines of the horses to the front end of the delivery wagon and then went back inside of the wagon for the purpose of unloading the forage to be delivered; that while unloading the forage and in the act of carrying some of it out, another vehicle drove by, the driver of which cracked a whip and made some other noises, which frightened the horses attached to the delivery wagon and they ran away, and the driver was thrown from the inside of the wagon out through the rear upon the ground and was unable to stop the horses; that the horses then ran up and


While the law relating to negligence in this jurisdiction may possibly be some what different from that in Anglo-Saxon countries, a question we do not now discuss, the rules under which the fact of negligence is determined are, nevertheless, generally the same. That is to say, while the law designating the person responsible for a negligent act may not be the same here as in many jurisdictions, the law determining what is a negligent act is the same here, generally speaking, as elsewhere. (Supreme court of Spain, 4 December, 1903; 16 May, 1893; 27 June, 1894; 9 April, 1896; 14 March, 1901; 2 March, 1904; 7 February, 1905; 16 June, 1905; 23 June, 1905; 13 April, 1903; 7 March, 1902; 12 June, 1900; 2 March, 1907; 18 March, 1898; 3 June, 1901.) It appears from the undisputed evidence that the horses which caused the damage were gentle and tractable; that the cochero was experienced and capable; that he had driven one of the horses several years and the other five or six months; that he had been in the habit, during all that time, of leaving them in the condition in which they were left on the day of the accident; that they had never run away up to that time and there had been, therefore, no accident due to such practice; that to leave the horses and assist in unloading the merchandise in the manner described on the day of the accident was the custom of all cochero who delivered merchandise of the character of that which was being delivered by the cochero of the defendant on the day in question, which custom was sanctioned by their employers. In our judgment, the cochero of the defendant was not negligent in leaving the horses in the manner described by the evidence in this case, either under Spanish or American jurisprudence. (Lynch vs. Nurdin, 1 Q. B., 422; Rumsey vs. Nelson, 58 Vt., 590; Drake vs. Mount, 33 N. J. L., 442; Hoboken Land and Improvement Co. vs. Lally, 48 N. J. L., 604; Wasmer vs. D. L. & W. R. R. Co., 80 N. Y., 212.) In the case of Hayman vs. Hewitt (Peake N. P. Cas., pt. 2, p. 170), Lord Kenyon said: He was performing his duty while removing the goods into the house, and, if every person who suffered a cart to remain in the street while he took goods out of it was obliged to employ another to look after the horses, it would be impossible for the business of the metropolis to go on. In the case of Griggs vs. Fleckenstein (14 Minn., 81), the court said: The degree of care required of the plaintiff, or those in charged of his horse, at the time of the injury, is that which would be exercised by a person of ordinary care and prudence under like circumstances. It can not be said that the fact of leaving the horse unhitched is in itself negligence. Whether it is negligence to leave a horse unhitched must be depend upon the disposition of the horse; whether he was under the observation and control of some person all the time, and many other circumstances; and is a question to be determined by the jury from the facts of each case.

In the case of Belles vs. Kellner (67 N. J. L., 255), it was held that it was error on the part of the trial court to refuse to charge that "it is not negligence for the driver of a quite, gentle horse to leave him unhitched and otherwise unattended on the side of a public highways while the driver is upon the sidewalk loading goods on the wagon." The said court closed its opinion with these words: There was evidence which could have fully justified the jury in finding that the horse was quite and gentle, and that the driver was upon the sidewalk loading goods on the wagon, at time of the alleged injury, and that the horse had been used for years in that way without accident. The refusal of the trial court to charge as requested left the jury free to find was verdict against the defendant, although the jury was convinced that these facts were In the case of Southworth vs. Ry. Co. (105 Mass., 342), it was held: That evidence that a servant, whom traders employed to deliver goods, upon stopping with his horse and wagon to deliver a parcel at a house from fifty to a hundred rods from a railroad crossing, left the horse unfastened for four or five minutes while he was in the house, knowing that it was not afraid of cars, and having used it for three or four months without ever hitching it or knowing it to start, is not conclusive, as a matter of law, of a want of due care on his part. The duty, a violation of which is claimed to be negligence in the respect in question, is to exercise reasonable care and prudence. Where reasonable care is employed in doing an act not itself illegal or inherently likely to produce damage to others, there will be no liability, although damage in fact ensues. (Milwaukee Ry. Co. vs. Arms, 91 U. S., 489; Parrott vs. Wells, 15 Wall., 524; Brown vs. Kendall, 6 Cushing, 292; Jackson Architectural Iron Works vs. Hurlbut, 158 N. Y., 34 Westerfield vs. Levis, 43 La. An., 63; Niosi vs. Empire Steam Laundry, 117 Cal., 257.) The act of defendant's driver in leaving the horses in the manner proved was not unreasonable or imprudent. Acts the performance of which has not proved destructive or injurious and which have, therefore, been acquiesced in by society for so long a time that they have ripened into custom, can not be held to be themselves unreasonable or imprudent. Indeed the very reason why they have been permitted by society is that they beneficial rather than prejudicial.itc-alf Accidents sometimes happen and injuries result from the most ordinary acts of life. But such are not their natural or customary results. To hold that, because such an act once resulted in accident or injury, the actor is necessarily negligent, is to go far. The fact that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is sometimes successfully invoked in such a case, does not in any sense militate against the reasoning presented. That maxim at most only creates a prima facie case, and that only in the absence of proof of the circumstances under which the act complained of was performed. It is something invoked in favor of the plaintiff before defendant's case showing the conditions and circumstances under which the injury occurred, the creative reason for the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur disappears. This is demonstrated by the case of Inland and Seaboard Costing Co. vs. Tolson (139 U.S., 551), where the court said (p. 554):


. . . The whole effect of the instruction in question, as applied to the case before the jury, was that if the steamboat, on a calm day and in smooth water, was thrown with such force against a wharf properly built, as to tear up some of the planks of the flooring, this would be prima facie evidence of negligence on the part of the defendant's agent in making the landing, unless upon the whole evidence in the case this prima facie evidence was rebutted. As such damage to a wharf is not ordinarily done by a steamboat under control of her officers and carefully managed by them, evidence that such damage was done in this case was prima facie, and, if unexplained, sufficient evidence of negligence on their part, and the jury might properly be so instructed. There was presented in this case, and by the plaintiffs themselves, not only the fact of the runway and the accident resulting therefrom, but also the conditions under which the runaway occurred. Those conditions showing of themselves that the defendant's cochero was not negligent in the management of the horse, the prima facie case in plaintiffs' favor, if any, was destroyed as soon as made. It is a matter of common knowledge as well as proof that it is the universal practice of merchants to deliver merchandise of the kind of that being delivered at the time of the injury, in the manner in which that was then being delivered; and that it is the universal practice to leave the horses in the manner in which they were left at the time of the accident. This is the custom in all cities. It has not been productive of accidents or injuries. The public, finding itself unprejudiced by such practice, has acquiesced for years without objection. Ought the public now, through the courts, without prior objection or notice, to be permitted to reverse the practice of decades and thereby make culpable and guilty one who had every reason and assurance to believe that he was acting under the sanction of the strongest of all civil forces, the custom of a people? We think not. The judgement is reversed, without special finding as to costs. So ordered. Arellano, C. J., Mapa, Johnson, Carson and Trent, JJ., concur. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No. L-50654 November 6, 1989 RUDY GLEO ARMIGOS, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, CRISTITO MATA, and JUDGE L. D. CARPIO, in his capacity as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Davao del Sur, Branch V, respondents. David W. Natividad for petitioner.

Calamba, Garcia, respondents.







PADILLA, J.: Review on certiorari of the decisio * of the Court of Appeals, which dismissed the petition filed and docketed therein as CAG.R. No. SP-07192-R, entitled: "Rudy Gleo Armigos, petitioner, versus Judge L.D. Carpio, respondent," and the resolution denying the motion for reconsideration of said decision. The undisputed facts are as follows: The private respondent, Cristito Mata, filed a complaint against the herein petitioner with the Municipal Court of Digos, Davao del Sur, docketed as Civil Case No. 971, for the collection of damages and attorney's fees. After trial, judgment was rendered in favor of the private respondent and against the herein petitioner. A copy of the decision was received by the petitioner on 8 June 1977, and the following day, 9 June 1977, he filed a notice of appeal with the said municipal court, and on 24 June 1977, he completed the other requirements for the perfection of an appeal, including the filing of an appeal bond and the payment of the appellate court docket fee. However, when the case was elevated to the Court of First Instance of Davao del Sur (Branch V) for the consideration of the appeal, the presiding judge thereof ruled that the appeal was filed beyond the reglementary period; consequently, he dismissed the appeal. Whereupon, the petitioner filed a petition for certiorari, mandamus with preliminary injunction with the Court of Appeals, claiming that from 8 June 1977, when he received a copy of the decision of the municipal court, to 24 June 1977, when he perfected his appeal, only fifteen (15) days had elapsed so that the decision of the Court of First Instance of Davao del Sur, dismissing his appeal for having been filed beyond the reglementary period, is erroneous and contrary to law. The petitioner contended that the computation of the period to appeal should commence on the hour he received copy of the decision, so that the first of the 1 5-day period comprising 24 hours is from 4:00 o'clock p.m. of 9 June 1977 to 4:00 o'clock p.m. of 10 June 1977 and the last day, from 4:00 o'clock p.m. of 23 June 1977 to 4:00 o'clock p.m. of 24 June 1977. The Court of Appeals, however, rejected the novel interpretation suggested as it would result in many confusing situations and many unreliable testimonies as to the time a copy of a decision, order or pleading is received, and cited the case of Republic of 1 the Philippines vs. Encarnacion, where this Court held that when a law was to be effective upon approval by the President and the President signed the same on 16 June 1950, the law should be considered to have taken effect not on the exact hour when the President signed the same on 16 June 1950 but from the very first minute or hour of said day of 16 June 1950.


The petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the appellate court's decision, but his motion was denied in a resolution promulgated on 7 December 1978. Hence, the present recourse. We find no merit in the petition. The rule stated in Article 13 of the Civil Code to the effect that "In computing a period, the first day shall be excluded, and the last day included" is similar, but not Identical to Section 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure which provided that "Unless otherwise specially provided, the time within which an act is required by law to be done shall be computed by excluding the first day and including the last; and if the last be Sunday or a legal holiday it shall be excluded", as well as the old Rule 28 of the Rules of Court which stated that "In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by the Rules of Court, by order of a court, or by any other applicable statute, the day of the act, event or default after which the designated period of time begins to run is not to be included. The last day of the period so computed is to be included, unless it is a Sunday or a legal holiday, in which event the time shall run until the end of the next day which is neither a Sunday or a legal holiday." In applying this rule, the Court considered the day as synonymous with the date and we find no cogent reason to adopt a different view. Besides, human memory on dates or days is frail and unless the day is an extraordinary one for a person, there is no reasonable certainty of its correctness. What more for the exact hour when a pleading, order or decision is received by a party? Petitioner's suggestion, however, may find application in appeals in habeas corpus cases where the law requires that such appeals 2 should be made within 48 hours from notice of judgment. While it is true that rules of procedure are to be interpreted liberally so that the real matter in dispute may be submitted to the judgment of the court, and that the trial court is vested with discretion to allow or admit an appeal filed out of time, this discretion is not unconditional. There must be justifiable reason to warrant such action, since the perfection of an appeal in the manner and within the period laid down by law is not only mandatory but jurisdictional, and in the absence of any justifying circumstance, the court has no jurisdiction to approve or admit an 3 appeal filed out of time. In the instant case, the petitioner failed to prove, or even claim, that his failure to appeal on time was due to fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. With costs against the petitioner. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC

G.R. No. L-29131

August 27, 1969

NATIONAL MARKETING CORPORATION, plaintiff-appellant, vs. MIGUEL D. TECSON, ET AL., defendants, MIGUEL D. TECSON, defendant-appellee, THE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER, petitioner. Government Corporate Counsel Leopoldo M. Abellera and Trial Atty. Antonio M. Brillantes for plaintiff-appellant. Antonio T. Lacdan for defendant-appellee. Office of the Solicitor General for petitioner. CONCEPCION, C.J.: This appeal has been certified to us by the Court of Appeals only one question of law being involved therein. On November 14, 1955, the Court of First Instance of Manila rendered judgment, in Civil Case No. 20520 thereof, entitled "Price Stabilization Corporation vs. Miguel D. Tecson and Alto Surety and Insurance Co., Inc.," the dispositive part of which reads as follows: For the foregoing consideration, the Court decides this case: (a) Ordering the defendants Miguel D. Tecson and Alto Surety Insurance Co., Inc. to pay jointly and severally plaintiff PRATRA the sum of P7,200.00 plus 7% interest from May 25, 1960 until the amount is fully paid, plus P500.00 for attorney's fees, and plus costs; (b) ordering defendant Miguel D. Tecson to indemnify his co-defendant Alto Surety & Insurance Co., Inc. on the crossclaim for all the amounts it would be made to pay in this decision, in case defendant Alto Surety & Insurance Co., Inc. pay the amount adjudged to plaintiff in this decision. From the date of such payment defendant Miguel D. Tecson would pay the Alto Surety & Insurance Co., Inc., interest at 12% per annum until Miguel D. Tecson has fully reimbursed plaintiff of the said amount. Copy of this decision was, on November 21, 1955, served upon the defendants in said case. On December 21, 1965, the National Marketing Corporation, as successor to all the properties, assets, rights, and choses in action of the Price Stabilization Corporation, as plaintiff in that case and judgment creditor therein, filed, with the same court, a complaint, docketed as Civil Case No. 63701 thereof, against the same defendants, for the revival of the judgment rendered in said Case No. 20520. Defendant Miguel D. Tecson moved to dismiss said complaint, upon the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter thereof and prescription of action. Acting upon the motion and plaintiff's opposition thereto, said Court issued, on February 14, 1966, an order reading: Defendant Miguel Tecson seeks the dismissal of the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction and prescription.


As for lack of jurisdiction, as the amount involved is less than P10,000 as actually these proceedings are a revival of a decision issued by this same court, the matter of jurisdiction must be admitted. But as for prescription. Plaintiffs admit the decision of this Court became final on December 21, 1955. This case was filed exactly on December 21, 1965 but more than ten years have passed a year is a period of 365 days (Art. 13, CCP). Plaintiff forgot that 1960, 1964 were both leap years so that when this present case was filed it was filed two days too late. The complaint insofar as Miguel Tecson is concerned is, therefore, dismissed as having prescribed.1wph1.t The National Marketing Corporation appealed from such order to the Court of Appeals, which, on March 20, 1969t certified the case to this Court, upon the ground that the only question therein raised is one of law, namely, whether or not the present action for the revival of a judgment is barred by the statute of limitations. Pursuant to Art. 1144(3) of our Civil Code, an action upon a judgment "must be brought within ten years from the time the right of action accrues," which, in the language of Art. 1152 of the same Code, "commences from the time the judgment sought to be revived has become final." This, in turn, took place on December 21, 1955, or thirty (30) days from notice of the judgment which was received by the defendants herein on 1 November 21, 1955 no appeal having been taken therefrom. The issue is thus confined to the date on which ten (10) years from December 21, 1955 expired. Plaintiff-appellant alleges that it was December 21, 1965, but appellee Tecson maintains otherwise, because "when the laws speak of years ... it shall be understood that years are of three hundred sixty-five days each" according to Art. 13 of our Civil Code and, 1960 and 1964 being leap years, the month of February in both had 29 days, so that ten (10) years of 365 days each, or an aggregate of 3,650 days, from December 21, 1955, expired on December 19, 1965. The lower court accepted this view in its appealed order of dismissal. Plaintiff-appellant insists that the same "is erroneous, because a year means a calendar year (Statutory Construction, Interpretation of Laws, by Crawford, p. 383) and since what is being computed here is the number of years, a calendar year should be used as the basis of computation. There is no question that when it is not a leap year, December 21 to December 21 of the following year is one year. If the extra day in a leap year is not a day of the year, because it is the 366th day, then to what year does it belong? Certainly, it must belong to the year where it 2 falls and, therefore, that the 366 days constitute one year." The very conclusion thus reached by appellant shows that its theory contravenes the explicit provision of Art. 13 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, limiting the connotation of each "year" as the term is used in our laws to 365 days. Indeed, prior to the approval of the Civil Code of Spain, the Supreme Court thereof had held, on March 30, 1887, that, when the law spoke of months, it meant a "natural" month or "solar" month, in the absence of express provision to the contrary . Such provision was

incorporated into the Civil Code of Spain, subsequently 3 promulgated. Hence, the same Supreme Court declared that, pursuant to Art. 7 of said Code, "whenever months ... are referred to in the law, it shall be understood that the months are of 30 days," not the "natural," or "solar" or "calendar" months, unless they are "designated by name," in which case "they shall be computed by the actual number of days they have. This concept was later, modified in the Philippines, by Section 13 of the Revised Administrative Code, Pursuant to which, "month shall be 4 understood to refer to a calendar month." In the language of this 5 Court, in People vs. Del Rosario, with the approval of the Civil Code of the Philippines (Republic Act 386) ... we have reverted to the provisions of the Spanish Civil Code in accordance with which a month is to be considered as the regular 30-day month ... and not the solar or civil month," with the particularity that, whereas the Spanish Code merely mentioned "months, days or nights," ours has added thereto the term "years" and explicitly ordains that "it shall be understood that years are of three hundred sixty-five days." Although some members of the Court are inclined to think that this legislation is not realistic, for failure to conform with ordinary experience or practice, the theory of plaintiff-appellant herein cannot be upheld without ignoring, if not nullifying, Art. 13 of our Civil Code, and reviving Section 13 of the Revised Administrative Code, thereby engaging in judicial legislation, and, in effect, repealing an act of Congress. If public interest demands a reversion to the policy embodied in the Revised Administrative Code, this may be done through legislative process, not by judicial decree. WHEREFORE, the order appealed from should be as it is hereby affirmed, without costs. It is so ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-37048 March 7, 1933

MANUELA BARRETTO GONZALEZ, plaintiff-appellee, vs. AUGUSTO C. GONZALEZ, defendant-appellant. AUGUSTO C. GONZALEZ, Jr., ET AL., intervenors-appellees. Quintin Paredes and Barrera and Reyes for appellant. DeWitt, Perkins and Brady for plaintiff-appellee. Camus and Delgado for intervenors-appellees. HULL, J.: Plaintiff and defendant are citizens of the Philippine Islands and at present residents of the City of Manila. They were married in the City of Manila on January 19, 1919, and lived together as man and wife in the Philippine Islands until the spring of 1926. They voluntarily separated and since that time have not lived together as man and wife. Of this union four children were born


who are now 11, 10, 8 and 6 years of age. Negotiations between the parties, both being represented by attorneys, continued for several months, whereupon it was mutually agreed to allow the plaintiff for her support and that of her children, five hundred pesos (P500) monthly; this amount to be increased in case of illness or necessity, and the title of certain properties to be put in her name. Shortly after this agreement the husband left the Islands, betook himself to Reno, Nevada, and secured in that jurisdiction an absolute divorce on the ground of desertion, which decree was dated November 28, 1927. Shortly thereafter the defendant moved to California and returned to these Islands in August 1928, where he has since remained. On the same date that he secured a divorce in Nevada he went through the forms of marriage with another citizen of these Islands and now has three children as a result of that marriage. Defendant, after his departure from these Islands, reduced the amount he had agreed to pay monthly for the support of his wife and four minor children and has not made the payments fixed in the Reno divorce as alimony. Shortly after his return his wife brought action in the Court of First Instance of Manila requesting that the courts of the Philippine Islands confirm and ratify the decree of divorce issued by the courts of the State of Nevada; that section 9 of Act No. 2710, which reads as follows: The decree of divorce shall dissolve the community of property as soon as such decree becomes final, but shall not dissolve the bonds of matrimony until one year thereafter. The bonds of matrimony shall not be considered as dissolved with regard to the spouse who, having legitimate children, has not delivered to each of them or to the guardian appointed by the court, within said period of one year, the equivalent of what would have been due to them as their legal portion if said spouse had died intestate immediately after the dissolution of the community of property. be enforced, and that she and the defendant deliver to the guardian ad litem the equivalent of what would have been due to their children as their legal portion from the respective estates had their parents did intestate on November 28, 1927. It is also prayed that the community existing between plaintiff and defendant be declared dissolved and the defendant be ordered to render an accounting and to deliver to the plaintiff her share of the community property, that the defendant be ordered to pay the plaintiff alimony at the rate of five hundred pesos (P500) per month, that the defendant be ordered to pay the plaintiff, as counsel fees, the sum of five thousand pesos (P5000), and that the defendant be ordered to pay plaintiff the expenses incurred in educating the three minor sons. A guardian ad litem was appointed for the minor children, and they appear as intervenors and join their mother in these proceedings. The Court of First Instance, after hearing, found against the defendant and granted judgment as prayed for by the plaintiff and intervenors, with the exception of reducing attorneys fees to three thousand, and also granted costs of the action against the defendant. From this judgment defendant appeals and makes the following assignment of errors:

I. The lower court erred in not declaring that paragraph 2 of section 9 of the Philippine Divorce Law, is unconstitutional, null and void. II. The lower court erred in holding that section 9 of Act No. 2710 (Divorce Law) applies to the Nevada decree of divorce issued in favor of appellant Augusto C. Gonzalez, said decree being entitled to confirmation and recognition. III. The lower court erred in not dismissing the complaint in intervention for lack of cause of action against appellant and appellee. IV. The lower court erred in not declaring the notice of lis pendens filed by intervenors to be null and void. V. The lower court erred in ordering the appellant to pay the sum of P500 per month for the support not only of his children but also of his ex-wife, appellee herein, Manuela Barretto. VI. The lower court erred in not holding that plaintiff- appellee, Manuela Barretto, is not entitled to support from her ex-husband, herein appellant, over and beyond the alimony fixed by the divorce decree in Exhibit A. VII. The lower court erred in condemning defendant appellant to pay to plaintiff-appellee P3,000 attorney's fees. VIII. The lower court erred in denying appellant's motion for new trial. While the parties in this action are in dispute over financial matters they are in unity in trying to secure the courts of this jurisdiction to recognize and approve of the Reno divorce. On the record here presented this can not be done. The public policy in this jurisdiction on the question of divorce is clearly set forth in Act No. 2710, and the decisions of this court: Goitia vs. Campos Rueda (35 Phil., 252); Garcia Valdez vs. Soteraa Tuason (40 Phil., 943-952); Ramirez vs. Gmur (42 Phil., 855); Chereau vs. Fuentebella (43 Phil., 216); Fernandez vs. De Castro (48 Phil., 123); Gorayeb vs. Hashim (50 Phil., 22); Francisco vs. Tayao (50 Phil., 42); Alkuino Lim Pang vs. Uy Pian Ng Shun and Lim Tingco (52 Phil., 571); and the late case of Cousins Hix vs. Fluemer, decided March 21, 1931, and reported in 55 Phil., 851. The entire conduct of the parties from the time of their separation until the case was submitted to this court, in which they all prayed that the Reno divorce be ratified and confirmed, clearly indicates a purpose to circumvent the laws of the Philippine Islands regarding divorce and to secure for themselves a change of status for reasons and under conditions not authorized by our law. At all times the matrimonial domicile of this couple has been within the Philippine Islands and the residence acquired in the State of Nevada by the husband of the purpose of securing a divorce was not a bona fide residence and did not confer jurisdiction upon the Court of that State to dissolve the bonds if matrimony in which he had entered in 1919. While the decisions of this court heretofore in refusing to recognize the validity of foreign divorce has usually been expressed in the negative and


have been based upon lack of matrimonial domicile or fraud or collusion, we have not overlooked the provisions of the Civil Code now in force in these Islands. Article 9 thereof reads as follows: The laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity or persons, are binding upon Spaniards even though they reside in a foreign country. And article 11, the last part of which reads: . . . the prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts and their property, and those intended to promote public order and good morals, shall nor be rendered without effect by any foreign laws or judgments or by anything done or any agreements entered into a foreign country. It is therefore a serious question whether any foreign divorce relating to citizens of the Philippine Islands, will be recognized in this jurisdiction, except it be for a cause, and under conditions for which the courts of Philippine Islands would grant a divorce. The lower court in granting relief as prayed for frankly stated that the securing of the divorce, the contracting of another marriage and the bringing into the world of innocent children brings about such a condition that the court must grant relief. The hardships of the existing divorce laws of the Philippine Islands are well known to the members of the Legislature. It is of no moment in this litigation what he personal views of the writer on the subject of divorce may be. It is the duty of the courts to enforce the laws of divorce as written by the Legislature if they are constitutional. Courts have no right to say that such laws are too strict or too liberal. Litigants by mutual agreement can not compel the courts to approve of their own actions or permit the personal relations of the citizens of these Islands to be affected by decrees of foreign courts in a manner which our Government believes is contrary to public order and good morals. Holding the above views it becomes unnecessary to discuss the serious constitutional question presented by appellant in his first assignment of error. The judgment of the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila must therefore be reversed and defendant absolved from the demands made against him in this action. This, however, without prejudice to any right of maintenance that plaintiff and the intervenors may have against defendant. No special pronouncement as to costs. So ordered. Avancea, C.J., Street, Villamor Ostrand, Abad Santos, Vickers, Imperial and Butte JJ., concur. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-19671 November 29, 1965

PASTOR B. TENCHAVEZ, plaintiff-appellant, vs. VICENTA F. ESCAO, ET AL., defendants-appellees. I. V. Binamira & F. B. Barria for Jalandoni & Jarnir for defendants-appellees. REYES, J.B.L., J.: Direct appeal, on factual and legal questions, from the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Cebu, in its Civil Case No. R4177, denying the claim of the plaintiff-appellant, Pastor B. Tenchavez, for legal separation and one million pesos in damages against his wife and parents-in-law, the defendants1 appellees, Vicente, Mamerto and Mena, all surnamed "Escao," 2 respectively. The facts, supported by the evidence of record, are the following: Missing her late afternoon classes on 24 February 1948 in the University of San Carlos, Cebu City, where she was then enrolled as a second year student of commerce, Vicenta Escao, 27 years of age (scion of a well-to-do and socially prominent Filipino family of Spanish ancestry and a "sheltered colegiala"), exchanged marriage vows with Pastor Tenchavez, 32 years of age, an engineer, ex-army officer and of undistinguished stock, without the knowledge of her parents, before a Catholic chaplain, Lt. Moises Lavares, in the house of one Juan Alburo in the said city. The marriage was the culmination of a previous love affair and was duly registered with the local civil register. Vicenta's letters to Pastor, and his to her, before the marriage, indicate that the couple were deeply in love. Together with a friend, Pacita Noel, their matchmaker and go-between, they had planned out their marital future whereby Pacita would be the governess of their first-born; they started saving money in a piggy bank. A few weeks before their secret marriage, their engagement was broken; Vicenta returned the engagement ring and accepted another suitor, Joseling Lao. Her love for Pastor beckoned; she pleaded for his return, and they reconciled. This time they planned to get married and then elope. To facilitate the elopement, Vicenta had brought some of her clothes to the room of Pacita Noel in St. Mary's Hall, which was their usual trysting place. Although planned for the midnight following their marriage, the elopement did not, however, materialize because when Vicente went back to her classes after the marriage, her mother, who got wind of the intended nuptials, was already waiting for her at the college. Vicenta was taken home where she admitted that she had already married Pastor. Mamerto and Mena Escao were surprised, because Pastor never asked for the hand of Vicente, and were disgusted because of the great scandal that the clandestine marriage would provoke (t.s.n., vol. III, pp. 1105-06). The following morning, the Escao spouses sought priestly advice. Father Reynes suggested a recelebration to validate what he believed to be an invalid marriage, from the standpoint of the Church, due to the lack of authority from the Archbishop or the parish priest for the officiating chaplain to celebrate the marriage. The recelebration did not take place, because on 26 plaintiff-appellant.


February 1948 Mamerto Escao was handed by a maid, whose name he claims he does not remember, a letter purportedly coming from San Carlos college students and disclosing an amorous relationship between Pastor Tenchavez and Pacita Noel; Vicenta translated the letter to her father, and thereafter would not agree to a new marriage. Vicenta and Pastor met that day in the house of Mrs. Pilar Mendezona. Thereafter, Vicenta continued living with her parents while Pastor returned to his job in Manila. Her letter of 22 March 1948 (Exh. "M"), while still solicitous of her husband's welfare, was not as endearing as her previous letters when their love was aflame. Vicenta was bred in Catholic ways but is of a changeable disposition, and Pastor knew it. She fondly accepted her being called a "jellyfish." She was not prevented by her parents from communicating with Pastor (Exh. "1-Escao"), but her letters became less frequent as the days passed. As of June, 1948 the newlyweds were already estranged (Exh. "2-Escao"). Vicenta had gone to Jimenez, Misamis Occidental, to escape from the scandal that her marriage stirred in Cebu society. There, a lawyer filed for her a petition, drafted by then Senator Emmanuel Pelaez, to annul her marriage. She did not sign the petition (Exh. "B-5"). The case was dismissed without prejudice because of her non-appearance at the hearing (Exh. "B-4"). On 24 June 1950, without informing her husband, she applied for a passport, indicating in her application that she was single, that her purpose was to study, and she was domiciled in Cebu City, and that she intended to return after two years. The application was approved, and she left for the United States. On 22 August 1950, she filed a verified complaint for divorce against the herein plaintiff in the Second Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada in and for the County of Washoe, on the ground of "extreme cruelty, entirely mental in character." On 21 October 1950, a decree of divorce, "final and absolute", was issued in open court by the said tribunal. In 1951 Mamerto and Mena Escao filed a petition with the Archbishop of Cebu to annul their daughter's marriage to Pastor (Exh. "D"). On 10 September 1954, Vicenta sought papal dispensation of her marriage (Exh. "D"-2). On 13 September 1954, Vicenta married an American, Russell Leo Moran, in Nevada. She now lives with him in California, and, by him, has begotten children. She acquired American citizenship on 8 August 1958. But on 30 July 1955, Tenchavez had initiated the proceedings at bar by a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Cebu, and amended on 31 May 1956, against Vicenta F. Escao, her parents, Mamerto and Mena Escao, whom he charged with having dissuaded and discouraged Vicenta from joining her husband, and alienating her affections, and against the Roman Catholic Church, for having, through its Diocesan Tribunal, decreed the annulment of the marriage, and asked for legal separation and one million pesos in damages. Vicenta claimed a valid divorce from plaintiff and an equally valid marriage to her present husband, Russell Leo Moran; while her parents denied that they had in any way influenced their daughter's acts, and counterclaimed for moral damages.

The appealed judgment did not decree a legal separation, but freed the plaintiff from supporting his wife and to acquire property to the exclusion of his wife. It allowed the counterclaim of Mamerto Escao and Mena Escao for moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees against the plaintiff-appellant, to the extent of P45,000.00, and plaintiff resorted directly to this Court. The appellant ascribes, as errors of the trial court, the following: 1. In not declaring legal separation; in not holding defendant Vicenta F. Escao liable for damages and in dismissing the complaint;. 2. In not holding the defendant parents Mamerto Escano and the heirs of Doa Mena Escao liable for damages;. 3 In holding the plaintiff liable for and requiring him to pay the damages to the defendant parents on their counterclaims; and. 4. In dismissing the complaint and in denying the relief sought by the plaintiff. That on 24 February 1948 the plaintiff-appellant, Pastor Tenchavez, and the defendant-appellee, Vicenta Escao, were validly married to each other, from the standpoint of our civil law, is clearly established by the record before us. Both parties were then above the age of majority, and otherwise qualified; and both consented to the marriage, which was performed by a Catholic priest (army chaplain Lavares) in the presence of competent witnesses. It is nowhere shown that said priest was not duly authorized under civil law to solemnize marriages. The chaplain's alleged lack of ecclesiastical authorization from the parish priest and the Ordinary, as required by Canon law, is irrelevant in our civil law, not only because of the separation of Church and State but also because Act 3613 of the Philippine Legislature (which was the marriage law in force at the time) expressly provided that SEC. 1. Essential requisites. Essential requisites for marriage are the legal capacity of the contracting parties and consent. (Emphasis supplied) The actual authority of the solemnizing officer was thus only a formal requirement, and, therefore, not essential to give the 3 marriage civil effects, and this is emphasized by section 27 of said marriage act, which provided the following: SEC. 27. Failure to comply with formal requirements. No marriage shall be declared invalid because of the absence of one or several of the formal requirements of this Act if, when it was performed, the spouses or one of them believed in good faith that the person who solemnized the marriage was actually empowered to do so, and that the marriage was perfectly legal. The good faith of all the parties to the marriage (and hence the validity of their marriage) will be presumed until the contrary is positively proved (Lao vs. Dee Tim, 45 Phil. 739, 745; Francisco


vs. Jason, 60 Phil. 442, 448). It is well to note here that in the case at bar, doubts as to the authority of the solemnizing priest arose only after the marriage, when Vicenta's parents consulted Father Reynes and the archbishop of Cebu. Moreover, the very act of Vicenta in abandoning her original action for annulment and subsequently suing for divorce implies an admission that her marriage to plaintiff was valid and binding. Defendant Vicenta Escao argues that when she contracted the marriage she was under the undue influence of Pacita Noel, whom she charges to have been in conspiracy with appellant Tenchavez. Even granting, for argument's sake, the truth of that contention, and assuming that Vicenta's consent was vitiated by fraud and undue influence, such vices did not render her marriage ab initio void, but merely voidable, and the marriage remained valid until annulled by a competent civil court. This was never done, and admittedly, Vicenta's suit for annulment in the Court of First Instance of Misamis was dismissed for nonprosecution. It is equally clear from the record that the valid marriage between Pastor Tenchavez and Vicenta Escao remained subsisting and undissolved under Philippine law, notwithstanding the decree of absolute divorce that the wife sought and obtained on 21 October 1950 from the Second Judicial District Court of Washoe County, State of Nevada, on grounds of "extreme cruelty, entirely mental in character." At the time the divorce decree was issued, Vicenta 4 Escao, like her husband, was still a Filipino citizen. She was then subject to Philippine law, and Article 15 of the Civil Code of the Philippines (Rep. Act No. 386), already in force at the time, expressly provided: Laws relating to family rights and duties or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon the citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad. The Civil Code of the Philippines, now in force, does not admit absolute divorce, quo ad vinculo matrimonii; and in fact does not even use that term, to further emphasize its restrictive policy on the matter, in contrast to the preceding legislation that admitted absolute divorce on grounds of adultery of the wife or concubinage of the husband (Act 2710). Instead of divorce, the present Civil Code only provides for legal separation (Title IV, Book 1, Arts. 97 to 108), and, even in that case, it expressly prescribes that "the marriage bonds shall not be severed" (Art. 106, subpar. 1). For the Philippine courts to recognize and give recognition or effect to a foreign decree of absolute divorce betiveen Filipino citizens could be a patent violation of the declared public policy of the state, specially in view of the third paragraph of Article 17 of the Civil Code that prescribes the following: Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which have for their object public order, policy and good customs, shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country.

Even more, the grant of effectivity in this jurisdiction to such foreign divorce decrees would, in effect, give rise to an irritating and scandalous discrimination in favor of wealthy citizens, to the detriment of those members of our polity whose means do not permit them to sojourn abroad and obtain absolute divorces outside the Philippines. From this point of view, it is irrelevant that appellant Pastor Tenchavez should have appeared in the Nevada divorce court. Primarily because the policy of our law cannot be nullified by acts of private parties (Civil Code,Art. 17, jam quot.); and additionally, because the mere appearance of a non-resident consort cannot confer jurisdiction where the court originally had none (Area vs. Javier, 95 Phil. 579). From the preceding facts and considerations, there flows as a necessary consequence that in this jurisdiction Vicenta Escao's divorce and second marriage are not entitled to recognition as valid; for her previous union to plaintiff Tenchavez must be declared to be existent and undissolved. It follows, likewise, that her refusal to perform her wifely duties, and her denial of consortium and her desertion of her husband constitute in law a wrong caused through her fault, for which the husband is entitled to the corresponding indemnity (Civil Code, Art. 2176). Neither an unsubstantiated charge of deceit nor an anonymous letter charging immorality against the husband constitute, contrary to her claim, adequate excuse. Wherefore, her marriage and cohabitation with Russell Leo Moran is technically "intercourse with a person not her husband" from the standpoint of Philippine Law, and entitles plaintiff-appellant Tenchavez to a decree of "legal separation under our law, on the basis of adultery" (Revised Penal Code, Art. 333). The foregoing conclusions as to the untoward effect of a marriage after an invalid divorce are in accord with the previous doctrines and rulings of this court on the subject, particularly those that were rendered under our laws prior to the approval of the absolute divorce act (Act 2710 of the Philippine Legislature). As a matter of legal history, our statutes did not recognize divorces a vinculo before 1917, when Act 2710 became effective; and the present Civil Code of the Philippines, in disregarding absolute divorces, in effect merely reverted to the policies on the subject prevailing before Act 2710. The rulings, therefore, under the Civil Code of 1889, prior to the Act above-mentioned, are now, fully applicable. Of these, the decision in Ramirez vs. Gmur, 42 Phil. 855, is of particular interest. Said this Court in that case: As the divorce granted by the French Court must be ignored, it results that the marriage of Dr. Mory and Leona Castro, celebrated in London in 1905, could not legalize their relations; and the circumstance that they afterwards passed for husband and wife in Switzerland until her death is wholly without legal significance. The claims of the very children to participate in the estate of Samuel Bishop must therefore be rejected. The right to inherit is limited to legitimate, legitimated and acknowledged natural children. The children of adulterous relations are wholly excluded. The word "descendants" as used in Article 941 of the Civil Code cannot be interpreted to include illegitimates born of adulterous relations. (Emphasis supplied)


Except for the fact that the successional rights of the children, begotten from Vicenta's marriage to Leo Moran after the invalid divorce, are not involved in the case at bar, the Gmur case is authority for the proposition that such union is adulterous in this jurisdiction, and, therefore, justifies an action for legal separation on the part of the innocent consort of the first marriage, that stands undissolved in Philippine law. In not so declaring, the trial court committed error. True it is that our ruling gives rise to anomalous situations where the status of a person (whether divorced or not) would depend on the territory where the question arises. Anomalies of this kind are not new in the Philippines, and the answer to them was given in Barretto vs. Gonzales, 58 Phil. 667: The hardship of the existing divorce laws in the Philippine Islands are well known to the members of the Legislature. It is the duty of the Courts to enforce the laws of divorce as written by Legislature if they are constitutional. Courts have no right to say that such laws are too strict or too liberal. (p. 72) The appellant's first assignment of error is, therefore, sustained. However, the plaintiff-appellant's charge that his wife's parents, Dr. Mamerto Escao and his wife, the late Doa Mena Escao, alienated the affections of their daughter and influenced her conduct toward her husband are not supported by credible evidence. The testimony of Pastor Tenchavez about the Escao's animosity toward him strikes us to be merely conjecture and exaggeration, and are belied by Pastor's own letters written before this suit was begun (Exh. "2-Escao" and "Vicenta," Rec. on App., pp. 270-274). In these letters he expressly apologized to the defendants for "misjudging them" and for the "great unhappiness" caused by his "impulsive blunders" and "sinful pride," "effrontery and audacity" [sic]. Plaintiff was admitted to the Escao house to visit and court Vicenta, and the record shows nothing to prove that he would not have been accepted to marry Vicente had he openly asked for her hand, as good manners and breeding demanded. Even after learning of the clandestine marriage, and despite their shock at such unexpected event, the parents of Vicenta proposed and arranged that the marriage be recelebrated in strict conformity with the canons of their religion upon advice that the previous one was canonically defective. If no recelebration of the marriage ceremony was had it was not due to defendants Mamerto Escao and his wife, but to the refusal of Vicenta to proceed with it. That the spouses Escao did not seek to compel or induce their daughter to assent to the recelebration but respected her decision, or that they abided by her resolve, does not constitute in law an alienation of affections. Neither does the fact that Vicenta's parents sent her money while she was in the United States; for it was natural that they should not wish their daughter to live in penury even if they did not concur in her decision to divorce Tenchavez (27 Am. Jur. 130132). There is no evidence that the parents of Vicenta, out of improper motives, aided and abetted her original suit for annulment, or her subsequent divorce; she appears to have acted independently, and being of age, she was entitled to judge what was best for her and ask that her decisions be respected. Her parents, in so

doing, certainly cannot be charged with alienation of affections in the absence of malice or unworthy motives, which have not been shown, good faith being always presumed until the contrary is proved. SEC. 529. Liability of Parents, Guardians or Kin. The law distinguishes between the right of a parent to interest himself in the marital affairs of his child and the absence of rights in a stranger to intermeddle in such affairs. However, such distinction between the liability of parents and that of strangers is only in regard to what will justify interference. A parent isliable for alienation of affections resulting from his own malicious conduct, as where he wrongfully entices his son or daughter to leave his or her spouse, but he is not liable unless he acts maliciously, without justification and from unworthy motives. He is not liable where he acts and advises his child in good faith with respect to his child's marital relations in the interest of his child as he sees it, the marriage of his child not terminating his right and liberty to interest himself in, and be extremely solicitous for, his child's welfare and happiness, even where his conduct and advice suggest or result in the separation of the spouses or the obtaining of a divorce or annulment, or where he acts under mistake or misinformation, or where his advice or interference are indiscreet or unfortunate, although it has been held that the parent is liable for consequences resulting from recklessness. He may in good faith take his child into his home and afford him or her protection and support, so long as he has not maliciously enticed his child away, or does not maliciously entice or cause him or her to stay away, from his or her spouse. This rule has more frequently been applied in the case of advice given to a married daughter, but it is equally applicable in the case of advice given to a son. Plaintiff Tenchavez, in falsely charging Vicenta's aged parents with racial or social discrimination and with having exerted efforts and pressured her to seek annulment and divorce, unquestionably caused them unrest and anxiety, entitling them to recover damages. While this suit may not have been impelled by actual malice, the charges were certainly reckless in the face of the proven facts and circumstances. Court actions are not established for parties to give vent to their prejudices or spleen. In the assessment of the moral damages recoverable by appellant Pastor Tenchavez from defendant Vicente Escao, it is proper to take into account, against his patently unreasonable claim for a million pesos in damages, that (a) the marriage was celebrated in secret, and its failure was not characterized by publicity or undue humiliation on appellant's part; (b) that the parties never lived together; and (c) that there is evidence that appellant had originally agreed to the annulment of the marriage, although such a promise was legally invalid, being against public policy (cf. Art. 88, Civ. Code). While appellant is unable to remarry under our law, this fact is a consequence of the indissoluble character of the union that appellant entered into voluntarily and with open eyes rather than of her divorce and her second marriage. All told, we are of the opinion that appellant should recover P25,000 only by way of moral damages and attorney's fees. With regard to the P45,000 damages awarded to the defendants, Dr. Mamerto Escao and Mena Escao, by the court below, we


opine that the same are excessive. While the filing of this unfounded suit must have wounded said defendants' feelings and caused them anxiety, the same could in no way have seriously injured their reputation, or otherwise prejudiced them, lawsuits having become a common occurrence in present society. What is important, and has been correctly established in the decision of the court below, is that said defendants were not guilty of any improper conduct in the whole deplorable affair. This Court, therefore, reduces the damages awarded to P5,000 only. Summing up, the Court rules: (1) That a foreign divorce between Filipino citizens, sought and decreed after the effectivity of the present Civil Code (Rep. Act 386), is not entitled to recognition as valid in this jurisdiction; and neither is the marriage contracted with another party by the divorced consort, subsequently to the foreign decree of divorce, entitled to validity in the country; (2) That the remarriage of divorced wife and her co-habitation with a person other than the lawful husband entitle the latter to a decree of legal separation conformably to Philippine law; (3) That the desertion and securing of an invalid divorce decree by one consort entitles the other to recover damages; (4) That an action for alienation of affections against the parents of one consort does not lie in the absence of proof of malice or unworthy motives on their part. WHEREFORE, the decision under appeal is hereby modified as follows; (1) Adjudging plaintiff-appellant Pastor Tenchavez entitled to a decree of legal separation from defendant Vicenta F. Escao; (2) Sentencing defendant-appellee Vicenta Escao to pay plaintiff-appellant Tenchavez the amount of P25,000 for damages and attorneys' fees; (3) Sentencing appellant Pastor Tenchavez to pay the appellee, Mamerto Escao and the estate of his wife, the deceased Mena Escao, P5,000 by way of damages and attorneys' fees. Neither party to recover costs. Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P. and Zaldivar, JJ., concur. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G.R. No. L-68470 October 8, 1985

ALICE REYES VAN DORN, petitioner, vs. HON. MANUEL V. ROMILLO, JR., as Presiding Judge of Branch CX, Regional Trial Court of the National Capital Region Pasay City and RICHARD UPTON respondents.

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:\ In this Petition for certiorari and Prohibition, petitioner Alice Reyes Van Dorn seeks to set aside the Orders, dated September 15, 1983 and August 3, 1984, in Civil Case No. 1075-P, issued by respondent Judge, which denied her Motion to Dismiss said case, and her Motion for Reconsideration of the Dismissal Order, respectively. The basic background facts are that petitioner is a citizen of the Philippines while private respondent is a citizen of the United States; that they were married in Hongkong in 1972; that, after the marriage, they established their residence in the Philippines; that they begot two children born on April 4, 1973 and December 18, 1975, respectively; that the parties were divorced in Nevada, United States, in 1982; and that petitioner has re-married also in Nevada, this time to Theodore Van Dorn. Dated June 8, 1983, private respondent filed suit against petitioner in Civil Case No. 1075-P of the Regional Trial Court, Branch CXV, in Pasay City, stating that petitioner's business in Ermita, Manila, (the Galleon Shop, for short), is conjugal property of the parties, and asking that petitioner be ordered to render an accounting of that business, and that private respondent be declared with right to manage the conjugal property. Petitioner moved to dismiss the case on the ground that the cause of action is barred by previous judgment in the divorce proceedings before the Nevada Court wherein respondent had acknowledged that he and petitioner had "no community property" as of June 11, 1982. The Court below denied the Motion to Dismiss in the mentioned case on the ground that the property involved is located in the Philippines so that the Divorce Decree has no bearing in the case. The denial is now the subject of this certiorari proceeding. Generally, the denial of a Motion to Dismiss in a civil case is interlocutory and is not subject to appeal. certiorari and Prohibition are neither the remedies to question the propriety of an interlocutory order of the trial Court. However, when a grave abuse of discretion was patently committed, or the lower Court acted capriciously and whimsically, then it devolves upon this Court in a certiorari proceeding to exercise its supervisory authority and to correct the error committed which, in such a 1 case, is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. Prohibition would then lie since it would be useless and a waste of time to go ahead with 2 the proceedings. Weconsider the petition filed in this case within the exception, and we have given it due course. For resolution is the effect of the foreign divorce on the parties and their alleged conjugal property in the Philippines.


Petitioner contends that respondent is estopped from laying claim on the alleged conjugal property because of the representation he made in the divorce proceedings before the American Court that they had no community of property; that the Galleon Shop was not established through conjugal funds, and that respondent's claim is barred by prior judgment. For his part, respondent avers that the Divorce Decree issued by the Nevada Court cannot prevail over the prohibitive laws of the Philippines and its declared national policy; that the acts and declaration of a foreign Court cannot, especially if the same is contrary to public policy, divest Philippine Courts of jurisdiction to entertain matters within its jurisdiction. For the resolution of this case, it is not necessary to determine whether the property relations between petitioner and private respondent, after their marriage, were upon absolute or relative community property, upon complete separation of property, or upon any other regime. The pivotal fact in this case is the Nevada divorce of the parties. The Nevada District Court, which decreed the divorce, had obtained jurisdiction over petitioner who appeared in person before the Court during the trial of the case. It also obtained jurisdiction over private respondent who, giving his address as No. 381 Bush Street, San Francisco, California, authorized his attorneys in the divorce case, Karp & Gradt Ltd., to agree to the divorce on the ground of incompatibility in the understanding that there were neither community property nor community 3 obligations. As explicitly stated in the Power of Attorney he executed in favor of the law firm of KARP & GRAD LTD., 336 W. Liberty, Reno, Nevada, to represent him in the divorce proceedings: xxx xxx xxx You are hereby authorized to accept service of Summons, to file an Answer, appear on my behalf and do an things necessary and proper to represent me, without further contesting, subject to the following: 1. That my spouse seeks a divorce on the ground of incompatibility. 2. That there is no community of property to be adjudicated by the Court. 3. 'I'hat there are no community obligations to be adjudicated by the court. xxx xxx xxx

It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 5 15 of the Civil Code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces the same being considered contrary to our concept of public police and morality. However, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national 6 law. In this case, the divorce in Nevada released private respondent from the marriage from the standards of American law, under which divorce dissolves the marriage. As stated by the Federal Supreme Court of the United States in Atherton vs. Atherton, 45 L. Ed. 794, 799: The purpose and effect of a decree of divorce from the bond of matrimony by a court of competent jurisdiction are to change the existing status or domestic relation of husband and wife, and to free them both from the bond. The marriage tie when thus severed as to one party, ceases to bind either. A husband without a wife, or a wife without a husband, is unknown to the law. When the law provides, in the nature of a penalty. that the guilty party shall not marry again, that party, as well as the other, is still absolutely freed from the bond of the former marriage. Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner. He would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioner's husband entitled to exercise control over conjugal assets. As he is bound by the Decision of his own country's Court, which validly exercised jurisdiction over him, and whose decision he does not repudiate, he is estopped by his own representation before said Court from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property. To maintain, as private respondent does, that, under our laws, petitioner has to be considered still married to private respondent and still subject to a wife's obligations under Article 109, et. seq. of the Civil Code cannot be just. Petitioner should not be obliged to live together with, observe respect and fidelity, and render support to private respondent. The latter should not continue to be one of her heirs with possible rights to conjugal property. She should not be discriminated against in her own country if the ends of justice are to be served. WHEREFORE, the Petition is granted, and respondent Judge is hereby ordered to dismiss the Complaint filed in Civil Case No. 1075-P of his Court. Without costs. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No. 80116 June 30, 1989

There can be no question as to the validity of that Nevada divorce in any of the States of the United States. The decree is binding on private respondent as an American citizen. For instance, private respondent cannot sue petitioner, as her husband, in any State of the Union. What he is contending in this case is that the divorce is not valid and binding in this jurisdiction, the same being contrary to local law and public policy.


IMELDA MANALAYSAY PILAPIL, petitioner, vs. HON. CORONA IBAY-SOMERA, in her capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch XXVI; HON. LUIS C. VICTOR, in his capacity as the City Fiscal of Manila; and ERICH EKKEHARD GEILING, respondents.

REGALADO, J.: An ill-starred marriage of a Filipina and a foreigner which ended in a foreign absolute divorce, only to be followed by a criminal infidelity suit of the latter against the former, provides Us the opportunity to lay down a decisional rule on what hitherto appears to be an unresolved jurisdictional question. On September 7, 1979, petitioner Imelda Manalaysay Pilapil, a Filipino citizen, and private respondent Erich Ekkehard Geiling, a German national, were married before the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths at Friedensweiler in the Federal Republic of Germany. The marriage started auspiciously enough, and the couple lived together for some time in Malate, Manila where their 1 only child, Isabella Pilapil Geiling, was born on April 20, 1980. Thereafter, marital discord set in, with mutual recriminations between the spouses, followed by a separation de facto between them. After about three and a half years of marriage, such connubial disharmony eventuated in private respondent initiating a divorce proceeding against petitioner in Germany before the Schoneberg Local Court in January, 1983. He claimed that there was failure of their marriage and that they had been living apart since April, 2 1982. Petitioner, on the other hand, filed an action for legal separation, support and separation of property before the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch XXXII, on January 23, 1983 where the 3 same is still pending as Civil Case No. 83-15866. On January 15, 1986, Division 20 of the Schoneberg Local Court, Federal Republic of Germany, promulgated a decree of divorce on the ground of failure of marriage of the spouses. The custody of the child was granted to petitioner. The records show that under German law said court was locally and internationally competent for the divorce proceeding and that the dissolution of said marriage was legally founded on and authorized by the 4 applicable law of that foreign jurisdiction. On June 27, 1986, or more than five months after the issuance of the divorce decree, private respondent filed two complaints for adultery before the City Fiscal of Manila alleging that, while still married to said respondent, petitioner "had an affair with a certain William Chia as early as 1982 and with yet another man named Jesus Chua sometime in 1983". Assistant Fiscal Jacinto A. de los Reyes, Jr., after the corresponding investigation, recommended the dismissal of the cases on the ground of insufficiency of 5 evidence. However, upon review, the respondent city fiscal

approved a resolution, dated January 8, 1986, directing the filing 6 of two complaints for adultery against the petitioner. The complaints were accordingly filed and were eventually raffled to two branches of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. The case entitled "People of the Philippines vs. Imelda Pilapil and William Chia", docketed as Criminal Case No. 87-52435, was assigned to Branch XXVI presided by the respondent judge; while the other case, "People of the Philippines vs. Imelda Pilapil and James Chua", docketed as Criminal Case No. 87-52434 went to the sala 7 of Judge Leonardo Cruz, Branch XXV, of the same court. On March 14, 1987, petitioner filed a petition with the Secretary of Justice asking that the aforesaid resolution of respondent fiscal 8 be set aside and the cases against her be dismissed. A similar petition was filed by James Chua, her co-accused in Criminal Case No. 87-52434. The Secretary of Justice, through the Chief State Prosecutor, gave due course to both petitions and directed the respondent city fiscal to inform the Department of Justice "if the accused have already been arraigned and if not yet arraigned, to move to defer further proceedings" and to elevate 9 the entire records of both cases to his office for review. Petitioner thereafter filed a motion in both criminal cases to defer 10 her arraignment and to suspend further proceedings thereon. As a consequence, Judge Leonardo Cruz suspended proceedings in Criminal Case No. 87-52434. On the other hand, respondent judge merely reset the date of the arraignment in Criminal Case No. 87-52435 to April 6, 1987. Before such scheduled date, petitioner moved for the cancellation of the arraignment and for the suspension of proceedings in said Criminal Case No. 87-52435 until after the resolution of the petition for review then pending before the Secretary of Justice. 11 A motion to quash was also filed in the same case on the 12 ground of lack of jurisdiction, which motion was denied by the respondent judge in an order dated September 8, 1987. The same order also directed the arraignment of both accused therein, that is, petitioner and William Chia. The latter entered a plea of not guilty while the petitioner refused to be arraigned. Such refusal of the petitioner being considered by respondent judge as direct contempt, she and her counsel were fined and the former was ordered detained until she submitted herself for 13 arraignment. Later, private respondent entered a plea of not 14 guilty. On October 27, 1987, petitioner filed this special civil action for certiorari and prohibition, with a prayer for a temporary restraining order, seeking the annulment of the order of the lower court denying her motion to quash. The petition is anchored on the main ground that the court is without jurisdiction "to try and decide the charge of adultery, which is a private offense that cannot be prosecuted de officio (sic), since the purported complainant, a foreigner, does not qualify as an offended spouse having obtained a final divorce decree under his national law 15 prior to his filing the criminal complaint." On October 21, 1987, this Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the respondents from implementing the aforesaid order of September 8, 1987 and from further proceeding with Criminal Case No. 87-52435. Subsequently, on March 23, 1988 Secretary of Justice Sedfrey A. Ordoez acted on the aforesaid petitions for review and, upholding petitioner's ratiocinations,


issued a resolution directing the respondent city fiscal to move for 16 the dismissal of the complaints against the petitioner. We find this petition meritorious. The writs prayed for shall accordingly issue. Under Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of adultery, as well as four other crimes against chastity, cannot be prosecuted except upon a sworn written complaint filed by the offended spouse. It has long since been established, with unwavering consistency, that compliance with this rule is a 18 jurisdictional, and not merely a formal, requirement. While in point of strict law the jurisdiction of the court over the offense is vested in it by the Judiciary Law, the requirement for a sworn written complaint is just as jurisdictional a mandate since it is that 19 complaint which starts the prosecutory proceeding and without which the court cannot exercise its jurisdiction to try the case. Now, the law specifically provides that in prosecutions for adultery and concubinage the person who can legally file the complaint should be the offended spouse, and nobody else. Unlike the offenses of seduction, abduction, rape and acts of lasciviousness, no provision is made for the prosecution of the crimes of adultery and concubinage by the parents, grandparents or guardian of the offended party. The so-called exclusive and successive rule in the prosecution of the first four offenses above mentioned do not apply to adultery and concubinage. It is significant that while the State, as parens patriae, was added and vested by the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure with the power to initiate the criminal action for a deceased or incapacitated victim in the aforesaid offenses of seduction, abduction, rape and acts of lasciviousness, in default of her parents, grandparents or guardian, such amendment did not include the crimes of adultery and concubinage. In other words, only the offended spouse, and no other, is authorized by law to initiate the action therefor. Corollary to such exclusive grant of power to the offended spouse to institute the action, it necessarily follows that such initiator must have the status, capacity or legal representation to do so at the time of the filing of the criminal action. This is a familiar and express rule in civil actions; in fact, lack of legal capacity to sue, as a ground for a motion to dismiss in civil cases, is determined as of the filing of the complaint or petition. The absence of an equivalent explicit rule in the prosecution of criminal cases does not mean that the same requirement and rationale would not apply. Understandably, it may not have been found necessary since criminal actions are generally and fundamentally commenced by the State, through the People of the Philippines, the offended party being merely the complaining witness therein. However, in the so-called "private crimes" or those which cannot be prosecuted de oficio, and the present prosecution for adultery is of such genre, the offended spouse assumes a more predominant role since the right to commence the action, or to refrain therefrom, is a matter exclusively within his power and option. This policy was adopted out of consideration for the aggrieved party who might prefer to suffer the outrage in silence rather than 20 go through the scandal of a public trial. Hence, as cogently

argued by petitioner, Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code thus presupposes that the marital relationship is still subsisting at the time of the institution of the criminal action for, adultery. This is a logical consequence since the raison d'etre of said provision of law would be absent where the supposed offended party had ceased to be the spouse of the alleged offender at the time of the 21 filing of the criminal case. In these cases, therefore, it is indispensable that the status and capacity of the complainant to commence the action be definitely established and, as already demonstrated, such status or capacity must indubitably exist as of the time he initiates the action. It would be absurd if his capacity to bring the action would be determined by his status before or subsequent to the commencement thereof, where such capacity or status existed prior to but ceased before, or was acquired subsequent to but did not exist at the time of, the institution of the case. We would thereby have the anomalous spectacle of a party bringing suit at the very time when he is without the legal capacity to do so. To repeat, there does not appear to be any local precedential jurisprudence on the specific issue as to when precisely the status of a complainant as an offended spouse must exist where a criminal prosecution can be commenced only by one who in law can be categorized as possessed of such status. Stated differently and with reference to the present case, the inquiry ;would be whether it is necessary in the commencement of a criminal action for adultery that the marital bonds between the complainant and the accused be unsevered and existing at the time of the institution of the action by the former against the latter. American jurisprudence, on cases involving statutes in that jurisdiction which are in pari materia with ours, yields the rule that after a divorce has been decreed, the innocent spouse no longer has the right to institute proceedings against the offenders where the statute provides that the innocent spouse shall have the exclusive right to institute a prosecution for adultery. Where, however, proceedings have been properly commenced, a divorce subsequently granted can have no legal effect on the prosecution 22 of the criminal proceedings to a conclusion. In the cited Loftus case, the Supreme Court of Iowa held that 'No prosecution for adultery can be commenced except on the complaint of the husband or wife.' Section 4932, Code. Though Loftus was husband of defendant when the offense is said to have been committed, he had ceased to be such when the prosecution was begun; and appellant insists that his status was not such as to entitle him to make the complaint. We have repeatedly said that the offense is against the unoffending spouse, as well as the state, in explaining the reason for this provision in the statute; and we are of the opinion that the unoffending spouse must be such when the prosecution is commenced. (Emphasis supplied.) We see no reason why the same doctrinal rule should not apply in this case and in our jurisdiction, considering our statutory law and jural policy on the matter. We are convinced that in cases of such nature, the status of the complainant vis-a-vis the accused


must be determined as of the time the complaint was filed. Thus, the person who initiates the adultery case must be an offended spouse, and by this is meant that he is still married to the accused spouse, at the time of the filing of the complaint. In the present case, the fact that private respondent obtained a valid divorce in his country, the Federal Republic of Germany, is admitted. Said divorce and its legal effects may be recognized in 23 the Philippines insofar as private respondent is concerned in view of the nationality principle in our civil law on the matter of status of persons. Thus, in the recent case of Van Dorn vs. Romillo, Jr., et al., after a divorce was granted by a United States court between Alice Van Dornja Filipina, and her American husband, the latter filed a civil case in a trial court here alleging that her business concern was conjugal property and praying that she be ordered to render an accounting and that the plaintiff be granted the right to manage the business. Rejecting his pretensions, this Court perspicuously demonstrated the error of such stance, thus: There can be no question as to the validity of that Nevada divorce in any of the States of the United States. The decree is binding on private respondent as an American citizen. For instance, private respondent cannot sue petitioner, as her husband, in any State of the Union. ... It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces the same being considered contrary to our concept of public policy and morality. However, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national law. ... Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner. He would have no standing to sue in the case below as petitioner's husband entitled to exercise 25 control over conjugal assets. ... Under the same considerations and rationale, private respondent, being no longer the husband of petitioner, had no legal standing to commence the adultery case under the imposture that he was the offended spouse at the time he filed suit. The allegation of private respondent that he could not have brought this case before the decree of divorce for lack of knowledge, even if true, is of no legal significance or consequence in this case. When said respondent initiated the divorce proceeding, he obviously knew that there would no longer be a family nor marriage vows to protect once a dissolution of the marriage is decreed. Neither would there be a danger of introducing spurious heirs into the family, which is said to be one of the reasons for the particular formulation of our law 26 on adultery, since there would thenceforth be no spousal relationship to speak of. The severance of the marital bond had the effect of dissociating the former spouses from each other, hence the actuations of one would not affect or cast obloquy on the other.

The aforecited case of United States vs. Mata cannot be successfully relied upon by private respondent. In applying Article 433 of the old Penal Code, substantially the same as Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code, which punished adultery "although the marriage be afterwards declared void", the Court merely stated that "the lawmakers intended to declare adulterous the infidelity of a married woman to her marital vows, even though it should be made to appear that she is entitled to have her marriage contract declared null and void, until and unless she actually secures a formal judicial declaration to that effect". Definitely, it cannot be logically inferred therefrom that the complaint can still be filed after the declaration of nullity because such declaration that the marriage is void ab initio is equivalent to stating that it never existed. There being no marriage from the beginning, any complaint for adultery filed after said declaration of nullity would no longer have a leg to stand on. Moreover, what was consequently contemplated and within the purview of the decision in said case is the situation where the criminal action for adultery was filed before the termination of the marriage by a judicial declaration of its nullity ab initio. The same rule and requisite would necessarily apply where the termination of the marriage was effected, as in this case, by a valid foreign divorce. Private respondent's invocation of Donio-Teves, et al. vs. 27 Vamenta, hereinbefore cited, must suffer the same fate of inapplicability. A cursory reading of said case reveals that the offended spouse therein had duly and seasonably filed a complaint for adultery, although an issue was raised as to its sufficiency but which was resolved in favor of the complainant. Said case did not involve a factual situation akin to the one at bar or any issue determinative of the controversy herein. WHEREFORE, the questioned order denying petitioner's motion to quash is SET ASIDE and another one entered DISMISSING the complaint in Criminal Case No. 87-52435 for lack of jurisdiction. The temporary restraining order issued in this case on October 21, 1987 is hereby made permanent. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION

G.R. No. 88582 March 5, 1991 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. HEINRICH S. RITTER, accused-appellant, The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee. Esteban B. Bautista for accused-appellant.


GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:p The appellant challenges his conviction of the crime involving a young girl of about 12 years old who had been allegedly raped and who later died because of a foreign object left inside her vaginal canal. Heinrich Stefan Ritter was charged with the crime of rape with homicide under an information which reads: That on or about the tenth (10th day of October, 1986 in the City of Olongapo, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused with lewd design and with intent to kill one Rosario Baluyot, a woman under twelve (12) years of age, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of said Rosario Baluyot and inserted a foreign object into the vaginal canal of said Rosario Baluyot which caused her death shortly thereafter, to the damage and prejudice of her relatives. (66) When arraigned, the accused pleaded "Not Thereafter, the case was set for trial on the merits. Guilty".

and put them on top of the table. Other things which were taken out and placed on top of a table were three (3) other objects which he described as like that of a vicks inhaler. One of these objects the accused played with his hands and placed it on his palms. The color of which is grayish blue which turned out later to be the foreign object which was inserted inside the vagina of Rosario Baluyot. The other objects were later established to be anti-nasal inhalers against pollution purchased by the accused in Bangkok when he went there as a tourist. While Rosario was in the bathroom, accused told Ramirez to lay down on bed, and so did the accused. He then started masturbating the young boy and also guided the boy's hand for him to be masturbated, so that they masturbated each other, while they were both naked, and he gave Jessie Ramirez an erection. When Rosario Baluyot came out of the bathroom, she was told to remove her clothes by accused and to join him in bed. The accused then placed himself between the two (2) children and accused started fingering Rosario. At this time, Ramirez was already sleepy, but Rosario touched him to call his attention. He looked, and he saw accused placing his penis against the vagina of Rosario and that he was trying to penetrate the vagina but it would not fit. After what he saw, Ramirez did not anymore bother to look because he was sleepy and fell asleep. The following morning, the accused, whom the juveniles described as an "American, paid Ramirez alias "Egan" P200.00 and Rosario P300.00. He then left them in the hotel. After the American left, they went downstairs, and Rosario told Egan that the American inserted something in her vagina. But they could not do anything anymore, because the American had already left, and neither did they report the matter to the police. Sometime the following day, Jessie saw Rosario and he asked her whether the object was already removed from her body and Rosario said "Yes". However, Jessie Ramirez claimed that on the evening of that same date, he saw Rosario and she was complaining of pain in her vagina and when Egan asked her, she said that the foreign object was not yet removed. Then there was another occasion wherein Jessie was summoned and when he came he saw Rosario writhing in pain and when he tried to talk to Rosario she scolded him with defamatory remarks. Thereafter, he did not see Rosario anymore because he already went home to his aunt's house who resided at Barrio Barretto and resumed his studies in the primary grades. On May 14, 1987, Gaspar Alcantara, a defense witness, while garbage scavenging at Lot 21, near the gate of the U.S. Naval Base saw Rosario at Magsaysay Drive near the Happy Bake Shop near Lot 21, being ogled by people because Rosario's skirt was bloodied and she was unconscious and foul smelling. Since nobody helped Rosario, he took pity on her condition and brought her to the Olongapo City General Hospital in an unconscious condition, via jeepney. He went to the Information desk and he was the one who gave the personal circumstances of Rosario as to her name, age, her residence as Nagbakulaw, Lower Kalaklan, and Gaspar Alcantara signed as "guardian" of Rosario, while Rosario was already in the emergency room. Although Gaspar

To prove the guilt of the accused, the prosecutor presented the following witnesses, namely: (1) Jessie Ramirez, (2) Maria Burgos y Turla, (3) P/Cpl. Mariano Victoria, (4) Policarpio Baluyot, (5) Dr. Reino Rosete, (6) Sumulong Daniel, (7) Jessica Herrera, (8) Sister Eva Palencia, (9) Conrado Salonga, (10) Dr. Devonne Loop, (11) Dr. Leo Cruz, (12) Paul Maclor, (13) Aida Sarmiento, (14) Patricia Prollamanta (15) Mel Santos, (16) Lorna Limos, (17) Eduard Lee Bungarner, (18) Ronaldo Marquez, (19) Tom Bonte, (20) 2nd Asst. City Fiscal Nini Alcala, (21) lst Asst. City Fiscal Dorentino Z. Floresta, (22) Corazon Caber, (23) Rodolfo Mercurio and (24) Fe Israel. On the other hand, the defense offered in evidence Exhibits "1" to "24" and the testimonies of (1) Heinrich S. Ritter, (2) Father Roque Villanueva, (3) Angelita Amulong (4) Gaspar Alcantara, (5) Dr. Val Barcinal and (6) Dr. Pedro C. Solis. The facts of the case upon which the lower court based its finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt are summarized in its decision, as follows: The people's evidence show that on October 10, 1986 about midnight, accused Heinrich Stefan Ritter brought a boy and girl namely: Jessie Ramirez and Rosario Baluyot inside his hotel room at MGM Hotel along Magsaysay Drive, Olongapo City. These two (2) children were chosen from among a bunch of street children. Once inside the hotel room accused told them to take a bath. Jessie Ramirez, alias "Egan", was the first to take a bath and when he came out Rosario Baluyot went to the bathroom to do the same. While Rosario Baluyot was inside the bathroom, accused Ritter took out some pictures depicting dressed up young boys,


Alcantara denied that he did not know the name of Rosario Baluyot when he brought her to the hospital, this is belied by the testimony of the Information clerk Lorna Limos, who was then on duty. Limos testified that it was Alcantara who supplied the personal circumstances of Rosario. The Court gives more credence to the testimony of Miss Limos as against Gaspar Alcantara who became a defense witness, for the reason that through his own testimony, Gaspar Alcantara claimed that even prior to May 14, 1987, he had already known Rosario Baluyot for more than one (1) year, because he has seen the said girl go to the house of his twin brother, Melchor Alcantara, who is his immediate neighbor. Rosario used to visit a girl by the name of "Nora" who was then in the custody of his brother. His brother Melchor was also living with their mother, brother and sister-in-law and their two (2) children in his house. Rosario as per Gaspar's testimony even stays for one week or a few days at his brother's house when she visits Nora. So the Court can safely assume that of all the more than one (1) year that he had regularly seen Rosario at his brother's house, he must have already did come to know the name of Rosario Baluyot including her age. In his testimony in Court he stated that he even asked Rosario for movie and softdrinks money which can safely be concluded that he knows her very well. It is against normal behavior especially to a Filipino who have a characteristic of curiosity not to have found out the real name of the girl he claims to know only as "Tomboy". While Rosario Baluyot was confined at the Olongapo City General Hospital, nobody was attending to her since she is a street child, having stowed away from the custody of her grandmother. Three (3) good samaritans who belong to religious and civic organizations, in the persons of Jessica Herrera, Fe Israel and Sr. Eva Palencia, in one of their missions in the hospital chanced upon Rosario Baluyot who was all alone with no relatives attending to her and after finding out that she was only 12 years old decided to help her. After a short interview with Rosario, regarding her name and age only because she clamped up about her residence and her relatives, they decided to help her by providing her the medicine she needed during her confinement in readiness for an operation. It was Fe Israel who was able to get the name and age of Rosario Baluyot from Rosario Baluyot herself when she saw her for the first time. For Fe Israel, the age of Rosario Baluyot was an important factor because their program assisted only indigent patients from infants up to 13 years old. Rosario's first ailment at the Olongapo City General Hospital was loose bowel movement and vomiting, which was first suspected as gastro-enteritis, but which came out later as symptoms of peritonitis due to a massive infection in the abdominal cavity. Subsequently, on May 17, 1987, after she was examined by the physicians at the hospital, it was found out that there was a foreign object lodged in her vaginal canal and she had vaginal discharge tinged with blood and foul smelling odor emanating from her body. One of the doctors who attended to her was Dr. Barcinal, an OB-GYNE. Dr. Barcinal tried to extract the foreign object by means of a forceps, but several attempts proved futile because said object was deeply embedded in the vaginal canal and was

covered by tissues. Her abdomen was enlarged, tender and distended, symptoms of peritonitis. The patient was feverish and incoherent when she was scheduled for operation on May 19, 1987, after the first attempt for an operation on May 17 was aborted allegedly because the consent of Dr. Reino Rosete, the hospital director was not obtained. The surgeon who operated on her was Dr. Rosete himself. He testified that Rosario had to be operated even in that condition in order to save her life. Her condition was guarded. This was corroborated by Dr. Leo Cruz, the anesthesiologist during Rosario's operation. It was in the evening of May 19 at about 7:00 p.m. when Dr. Rosete opened her abdomen by making a 5 inch incision on her stomach. He found out that the fallopian tubes were congested with pus and so with the peritonieum, and the pelvic cavity, and patches of pus in the liver, although the gallbladder and kidney appeared to have septicemia, poisoning of the blood. The peritonitis and septicemia were traced to have been caused through infection by the foreign object which has been lodged in the intra-vaginal canal of Rosario. The foreign object which was already agreed upon by both parties that it is a portion of a sexual vibrator was extracted from the vagina of Rosario while under anesthesia. Said object was coated with tissues, pus and blood. Dr. Rosete gave it to the assisting surgical nurse for safekeeping and gave instructions to release it to the authorized person. This object was shown by the nurse to Dr. Leo Cruz. Dr. Rosete considered the operation successful and the patient was alive when he left her under Dr. Cruz. Dr. Cruz stayed with said patient in the ward for about 30 minutes and thereafter he left. The following day, Rosario got serious and it was Dr. Leo Cruz who pronounced her death at 2:00 to 2:15 in the afternoon of May 20, 1987. Thereafter, a death certificate was prepared under the direction of Dr. Cruz which was indicated therein that the cause of death was cardio-respiratory arrest, secondary to septicemia caused by the foreign object lodged in the intra uteral vaginal canal of Rosario Baluyot. The foreign object was washed by nurse Obedina, then placed it in a transparent small jar and labelled "Rosario Baluyot". Jessica Herrera asked the nurse for the foreign object, and it was given to her under proper receipt. Herrera then showed the same to the persons who helped financially Rosario's case, and afterwards she gave it to Sister Eva Palencia. Sis. Palencia was in custody of the said object until Mr. Salonga came and asked her for the object. After Rosario Baluyot died, Sis. Palencia and a companion went to Gaspar Alcantara to ask him in locating the relatives of Rosario. They were able to trace Rosario's grandmother, Mrs. Maria Burgos Turla, and informed her that her granddaughter was already dead and lying in state at St. Martin Funeral Parlor. Mrs. Turla went there with her son, who shouldered all the burial expenses for Rosario. Subsequently, Sis. Palencia, Fr. Cullens and Mr. Salonga came to her residence at Sta. Rita and asked her if she was interested in filing a case against the person who caused the


death of her granddaughter. Of course she agreed. Hence, she was brought to the Fiscal's (City) Office to file the same. After the case was filed against the herein accused, Atty. Edmundo Legaspi with his messenger came to her house and told her that the accused was willing to settle the case, but that accused Ritter had only P15,000.00. The old woman did not accept it because she knows that the accused is liable to pay damages anyway. After that, she received a letter from Atty. Legaspi telling her to get a lawyer for her case. By this time, Mrs. Turla, who wanted to have the case settled once and for all giving the reason that she can no longer bear the situation, sent her nephew, Conrado Marcelo to Atty. Legaspi. Her nephew obliged and told her that she will be paid at the office of Atty. Legaspi. On a date not clear in the records, she went with her nephew Conrado Marcelo, and Roberto Sundiam, an assistant barangay tanod of Sta. Rita, and while they were there, she saw Ritter arrive at the law office. Ritter and Atty. Legaspi talked at the office near the bathroom, and thereafter Ritter left. After he left, Atty. Legaspi told Rosario's grandmother that they are willing to settle for P20,000.00, but that Ritter left only P15,000.00, so she received the money with the understanding that there was a balance of P5,000.00 yet. She was made to sign a statement, and she was asked to change the age of her granddaughter Rosario. With the document prepared, she and the lawyer's messenger went to the Fiscal's office to have it subscribed, and was subscribed before an assistant city fiscal. But the balance of P5,000.00 was not paid, because later on Atty. Legaspi became the OIC of Olongapo City and he could no longer attend to it. Atty. Legaspi, during one of the hearings before the Court even apologized to her. As to the case, P/Cpl. Marino Victoria, as criminal investigator of Station "A", was directed by Col. Daos, Station Commander of the Olongapo Police Department to make a follow up of the case of Rosario Baluyot. On the other hand, since the suspect who inserted the foreign object inside Rosario's vagina was said to be an American, the NISRA Subic Naval Base also conducted its investigation headed by criminal investigator Agent Conrado Salonga. Coordinating with the local police and with Sister Eva Palencia, since Rosario was a street child at Magsaysay Drive, they rounded up about 43 street children and from some of them they learned that Rosario Baluyot was with Jessie Ramirez with an American at the MGM Hotel when the foreign object was inserted in her vagina. After finding Jessie Ramirez, they asked him about Rosario Baluyot. They found out that indeed he was with Rosario Baluyot sometime before Christmas of 1986 with an American, who brought them to the said hotel. Jessie Ramirez was taken inside the U.S. Naval Base, Olongapo City and took his statement. Then he was brought to Mr. Edward Lee Bungarner, a cartographer, and out of the description supplied by Ramirez, a composite drawing was photocopied and copies thereof were distributed to the local police and to the sentries at the gate of the U.S. Naval Base. Some American servicemen who had resemblance to the composite drawing were photographed and these were shown to Jessie Ramirez, but the result was negative. Aside

from the physical description by Ramirez about the appearance of the suspect, he also described him as having the mannerisms of a homo-sexual. After obtaining information that foreign homo-sexuals frequented Ermita, Manila, and thinking that the so-called American may be European or Australian national, the team composed of Agent Salonga, Mr. Heinsell, P/Cpl. Marino Victoria and P/Cpl. Andres Montaon, Jessie Ramirez and Michael Johnson, another juvenile, proceeded to Manila. They first went to the Manila NISRA Office, and thereafter checked in a hotel. That was on September 23, 1987. On the first night, they went to Luneta Park where foreign homosexuals were said to be frequenting, but the result was negative. Then on September 25, at about 11:00 p.m., while they were standing at the corner of A. Mabini and M.H. del Pilar Street, a male caucasian who looked like a homosexual stopped by admiringly infront of the two (2) juveniles, Ramirez and Johnson. Jessie Ramirez then reported to Mr. Salonga that this foreigner had a similarity with the American suspect, so the two minors were instructed to follow the foreigner and to strike a conversation. They did, and when they returned, Jessie Ramirez told them that indeed the said foreigner was the one who brought him and Rosario Baluyot to the MGM Hotel. Bobby Salonga told Ramirez that this foreigner had no beard while the one previously described by Ramirez had a beard. Jessie Ramirez told them that maybe he have just shaved it off. The said caucasian then entered a bar, and after several minutes he came out, and Jessie Ramirez upon his signal with his thumbs up, as a signal to confirm that the said foreigner is the suspect, arrested Ritter and brought him to the Manila Western Police District. It could be mentioned at this stage that in this operation they were accompanied by two (2) policemen from the Western Police District. The foreigner was hand cuffed and was told that he was a suspect for Rape with Homicide. After the arrest, they first went to the pension house of the suspect in Ermita, Manila to get his shoulder bag which contained his personal belongings, and from there they brought him to the Western Police Department. At the said police headquarters, they were allowed a permissive search by the foreigner of his clutch bag and his small shoulder bag and confiscated his passport, I.D., 3 inhalers, money in the form of dollars and travellers checks amounting about $1,500.00 and about P100.00, all duly receipted for. From the passport they learned that the suspect's name was Heinrich Stefan Ritter, an Austrian national. During the questioning of Hitter, Salonga and his team already left the headquarters and went to their hotel, because at this time Jessie Ramirez was already shaking with fear after he identified the accused. The following day, they brought the accused to Olongapo and was detained at the Olongapo City Jail. The case for Rape with Homicide was filed against him at the City Fiscal of Olongapo. At the preliminary investigation, accused was assisted by his own counsel. The private complainant was Maria Burgos Turla because it was she who had custody of Rosario Baluyot after her mother Anita Burgos died on January 12, 1982, and their father Policarpio Baluyot had left them under her custody. When this case was filed, the


father's whereabouts was unknown, and he only appeared when the trial of this case before the Court was already in progress. And upon his (Policarpio Baluyot) own admission, he only learned about the death of his daughter Rosario Baluyot from the newspaper, long after Rosario was already gone. The defense tried to dislodge the case by claiming that there could be no crime of Rape with Homicide because the suspect was described as an American while Ritter is an Austrian. Also advanced by the defense is that, it is a case of mistaken identity. That Rosario Baluyot was at the time of the commission of the offense, already more than 13 years old, she having been born on December 26, 1973 as per baptismal certificate, wherein it appears that Rosario Baluyot was baptized on December 25, 1974 and was born on December 26, 1973 as testified to by Fr. Roque Villanueva of St. James Parish Church who issued the Baptismal Certificate, having custody and possession of the book of baptism for the year 1975, but admitted that he had no personal knowledge about the matters or entries entered therein. Likewise, the defense's stand is that the accused cannot be liable for Homicide because a vibrator is not a weapon of death but it is a thing for the purpose of giving sexual pleasure, and that the death of Rosario Baluyot was due to the incompetence of Dr. Rosete, the surgeon and Director of the Olongapo City General Hospital, who operated on her. (Rollo, pp. 109-116) On March 29, 1989, the trial court rendered its decision. The dispositive portion of the decision reads as follows: WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the Court holds, that the prosecution has established the GUILT of the accused beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of Rape with Homicide as defined and penalized in Art. 335 No. 3 of the Revised Penal Code, and hereby sentences HEINRICH STEFAN RITTER to a penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA, to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the sum of SIXTY THOUSAND PESOS (P60,000.00) Philippine Currency, and TEN THOUSAND PESOS (Pl0,000.00) by way of attorney's fees to the private prosecutors and to pay the costs. (Rollo, p. 126) The accused now comes to this Court on the following assigned errors allegedly committed by the court: I THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED AND ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN FINDING THAT THE ALLEGED OFFENSE WAS COMMITTED ON OCTOBER 10, 1986 AND THAT IT WAS ACCUSED-APPELLANT WHO COMMITTED IT. II THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED AND ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN FINDING THAT ROSARIO BALUYOT WAS LESS THAN TWELVE (12) YEARS OLD WHEN THE ALLEGED

OFFENSE WAS COMMITTED AND IN HOLDING THAT THERE WAS RAPE WITH HOMICIDE. III THE TRIAL COURT GRAVELY ERRED AND ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN GIVING CREDENCE TO AND NOT REJECTING THE PROSECUTION'S EVIDENCE AND IN NOT UPHOLDING THAT OF THE DEFENSE AND ACQUITTING THE ACCUSED. Inasmuch as it is the bounden duty of this Court to affirm a judgment of conviction only if the guilt of the accused has been proved beyond reasonable doubt, it behooves us to exert the most painstaking effort to examine the records in the light of the arguments of both parties if only to satisfy judicial conscience that the appellant indeed committed the criminal act (See People v. Villapaa, 161 SCRA 73 [1988]). The appellant was convicted by the trial court of the crime of rape with homicide of a young girl who died after the rape because of a foreign object, believed to be a sexual vibrator, left inside her vagina. As stated by the trial court one crucial issue in this case is the age of the victimwhether or not Rosario Baluyot was less than twelve (12) years old at the time the alleged incident happened on October 10, 1986. The age is important in determining whether or not there was statutory rape, Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code defines the third type of rape as having carnal knowledge of a woman under 12 years of age, in which case force, intimidation, deprivation of reason or unconscious state do not have to be present. The trial court found that Rosario was below 12 years old when she was sexually abused by the accused and, therefore, rape was committed inspite of the absence of force or intimidation. In resolving the issue, the trial court put great weight on the testimonies of the victim's grandmother and father who testified that she was born on December 22, 1975. These oral declarations were admitted pursuant to then Rule 130, Section 33 of the Rules of Court where, in the absence of a birth certificate, the act or declaration about pedigree may be received in evidence on any notable fact in the life of a member of the family. Since birth is a matter of pedigree within the rule which permits the admission of hearsay evidence, oral declarations are therefore admissible as proof of birth (Decision, p. 54). The grandmother, Maria Burgos Turla, testified that she remembered Rosario's birth date because her brother died in Pampanga and her daughter, Anita (Rosario's mother) was the only one who failed to attend the funeral because the latter has just given birth allegedly to Rosario (T.S.N. p. 8, Jan. 13, 1988).


The father likewise testified that as far as he could remember, Rosario was born on December 22, 1975 (T.S.N., p. 4, Jan. 27, 1988) and he was certain that Rosario was more than one (1) year old when she was baptized (T.S.N., p. 45, Jan. 27, 1988). The trial court further added that their testimony is supported by the clinical record and the death certificate indicating that she was 12 years old when she was admitted at the Olongapo City General Hospital for treatment. The age was supplied by Rosario's alleged guardian, Gaspar Alcantara to the hospital's clinical record clerk, Lorna Limos. Fe Israel, a social worker who interviewed Rosario Baluyot also testified that she was told by Rosario that she was 12 years old. The trial court accepted this as adequate evidence of the truth. Moreover, Jessie Ramirez, the principal witness in this case declared that he was born on September 5, 1973 and that he was older than Rosario Baluyot. Therefore, since he was 13 years old in 1986, Rosario must have been less than 12 yeas old in 1986. (Decision, p. 55) The trial court concluded that the oral declarations of the grandmother and father supported by other independent evidence such as the clinical record, death certificate and the testimonies of Fe Israel and Jessie Ramirez, rendered the baptismal certificate presented by the defense without any probative or evidentiary value. (Decision, p. 55) The findings of the trial court with respect to Rosario Baluyot's age cannot stand the application of evidentiary rules. The trial court relied on Section 33, Rule 130 (now Section 40 of Rule 130 of the 1989 Revised Rules of Court). For oral evidence to be admissible under this Rule, the requisites are: (1) That the declarant must be dead or outside of the Philippines or unable to testify; (2) That pedigree is in issue; (3) That the person whose pedigree is in question must be related to the declarant by birth or marriage; (4) That the declaration must be made before controversy occurred or ante litem motam; and the

The victim's grandmother and father whose declarations regarding Rosario's age were admitted by the trial court are both alive, in the Philippines and able to testify as they both did testify in court. Their declarations were made at the trial which is certainly not before the controversy arose. The other witnesses who testified on Rosario's age are not members of the victim's family. The testimonies of Rosario's relatives must be weighed according to their own personal knowledge of what happened and not as hearsay evidence on matters of family history. At this point, we find the evidence regarding Rosario's age of doubtful value. The trial court justified the admissibility of the grandmother's testimony pursuant to the ruling laid down in U.S. v. Bergantino, (3 Phil., 118 [1903]) where the Court accepted the testimony of the mother that her daughter was 14 years old and 4 months old. The mother stated that she knew the age because the child was born about the time of the cholera epidemic of 1889. This was not hearsay, but came from one who had direct knowledge of the child's birth. It is however, equally true that human memory on dates or days is frail and unless the day is an extraordinary or unusual one for the witness, there is no reasonable assurance of its correctness. (People v. Dasig 93 Phil. 618, 632 [1953]) With respect to the grandmother's testimony, the date of the brother's death or funeral was never established, which indicates that the day was rather insignificant to be remembered. The father's declaration is likewise not entirely reliable. His testimony in court does not at all show that he had direct knowledge of his daughter's birth. He was certain though that she was more than one (1) year old at the time she was baptized. The other witnesses are not at all competent to testify on the victim's age, nor was there any basis shown to establish their competence for the purpose. The clinical records were based on Gaspar Alcantara's incompetent information given when he brought the victim to the hospital. Alcantara came to know her only about a year before her death. He had absolutely no knowledge about the circumstances of Rosario's birth. The death certificate relied upon by the trial court was merely based on the clinical records. It is even less reliable as a record of birth. All the evidence presented by the prosecution showing that Rosario Baluyot was less than 12 years old at the time of the alleged incident are not adequate to establish the exact date of birth, much less offset a documentary record showing a different date. The defense presented Rosario Baluyot's baptismal certificate which the trial court rejected as being hearsay and of no value. As against the oral declarations made by interested witnesses establishing Rosario's age to be less

(5) That the relationship between the declarant and the person whose pedigree is in question must as a general rule be shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. These requirements were not satisfied by the evidence for the prosecution nor do the declarations fall within the purview of the rule.


than 12 years old, the evidence on record is more convincing and worthy of belief. (See Filinvest Land, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 183 SCRA 664, 673 [1990]). By virtue of a subpoena duces tecum and ad testificandum, issued by the lower court to the St. James Parish Church, Subic, Zambales, Fr. Roque Villanueva a Roman Catholic priest testified and stated that he is the head of said parish. He brought with him Baptismal Register No. 9 entitled "Liber Baptisnorum", a latin term for baptismal book or record. On page 151, No. 3 of the said Registry Book, there appears the name of Rosario Baluyot who was baptized on December 25, 1974, and born on December 26, 1973. Parents are Policarpio Baluyot and Anita Burgos, residents of Subic, Zambales. Edita R. Milan appears as the only sponsor with Olongapo City as her address. In the case of Macadangdang v. Court of appeals (100 SCRA 73 [1980]), we held that: xxx xxx xxx In our jurisprudence, this Court has been more definite in its pronouncements on the value of baptismal certificates. It thus ruled that while baptismal and marriage certificates may be considered public documents, they are evidence only to prove the administration of the sacraments on the dates therein specifiedbut not the veracity of the status or declarations made therein with respect to his kinsfolk and/or citizenship (Paa v. Chan, L-25945, Oct. 31, 1967). Again, in the case of Fortus v. Novero (L-22378, 23 SCRA 1331 [1968]), this Court held that a baptismal certificate is conclusive proof only of the baptism administered, in conformity with the rites of the Catholic Church by the priest who baptized the child, but it does not prove the veracity of the declarations and statements contained in the certificate that concern the relationship of the person baptized. Such declarations and statements, in order that their truth may be admitted, must indispensably be shown by proof recognized by law. (At pp. 84-85) In the same light, the entries made in the Registry Book may be considered as entries made in the course of business under Section 43 of Rule 130, which is an exception to the hearsay rule. The baptisms administered by the church are one of its transactions in the exercise of ecclesiastical duties and recorded in a book of the church during the course of its business. (U.S. v. de Vera, 28 Phil. 105 [1914] Hence, the certificate (Exhibit "22") presented by the defense that Rosario Baluyot was baptized on December 25, 1974 may be admitted in evidence as proof of baptism. Policarpio Baluyot, the victim's father testified that he had in his possession a baptismal certificate different from the one presented in court. However, no other baptismal record was ever presented to prove a date different from that brought by the official custodian. Since the baptismal certificate states that Rosario was baptized on December 25, 1974, it is therefore highly improbable that Rosario could have been born on December 22, 1975. She could not have been baptized before she was born. Exhibit "22" may be proof

only of baptism but it puts a lie to the declaration that Rosario was born in 1975. With the father's assertion that Rosario was more than one (1) year old when she was baptized, we are then more inclined to agree that Rosario was born in 1973 as stated in the Baptismal Registry. In the case of People v. Rebancos (172 SCRA 425 [1989]), the Court stated: xxx xxx xxx . . . Although no birth certificate was presented because her birth had allegedly not been registered, her baptismal certificate, coupled by her mother's testimony, was sufficient to establish that Mary Rose was below twelve years old when she was violated by Rebancos. (At. p. 426) Unfortunately, in the instant case, nobody could corroborate the date on a more reliable document as to Rosario's birth which could serve as sufficient proof that she was born on December 26, 1973. Therefore, she was more than 12 years old at the time of the alleged incident on October 10, 1986. Moreover, it is not incumbent upon the defense to prove Rosario's age. The burden of proof lies on the prosecution to prove that Rosario was less than 12 years old at the time of the alleged incident in a charge of statutory rape. The prosecution failed in this respect. Since Rosario was not established to have been under 12 years of age at the time of the alleged sexual violation, it was necessary to prove that the usual elements of rape were present; i.e. that there was force of intimidation or that she was deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious in accordance with Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. We agree with the defense that there was no proof of such facts. On the contrary, the evidence shows that Rosario submitted herself to the sexual advances of the appellant. In fact, she appears to have consented to the act as she was paid P300.00 the next morning while her companion, Jessie Ramirez was paid P200.00 (T.S.N. p. 50, January 6, 1988). The environmental circumstances coupled with the testimonies and evidence presented in court clearly give the impression that Rosario Baluyot, a poor street child, was a prostitute inspite of her tender age. Circumstances in life may have forced her to submit to sex at such a young age but the circumstances do not come under the purview of force or intimidation needed to convict for rape. In view of these clear facts which the prosecution failed to refute, no rape was committed. But was Ritter guilty of homicide? The trial court justified its ruling by saying that the death of the victim was a consequence of the insertion of the foreign object into the victim's vagina by the appellant.


We now ask "Was the appellant responsible for the sexual vibrator left inside Rosario's vagina which led to her death? The trial court convicted the accused based on circumstantial evidence. Unfortunately, the circumstances are capable of varying interpretations and are not enough to justify conviction. Jessie Ramirez, the principal witness did not actually see the object inserted in Rosario's vagina. Neither could he identify the object (Exhibit "C-2") taken from Rosario as the same object which the appellant was holding at that time of the alleged incident. In his sworn statement given to the police investigator on September 4, 1987, he answered that: xxx xxx xxx T Habang kayo ay nasa loob ng kuwarto ng otel, mayroon ka bang napansin na inilabas ng kano sa kanyang daladalahan kung mayroon man? S Ang Amerikano ay may dala-dalang shoulder bag na kulay itim, at napansin ko na may inilabas siya sa kanyang bag na parang vicks inhaler, na kanyang inamoy-amoy habang nasa otel kami at pagkatapos niya ay inilapag niya sa lamiseta. T Ilarawan mo nga sa akin ang bagay na nakita mong inilabas ng Amerikano? S Ito ay may habang tatlong pulgada at ang takip nito ay may habang dalawang pulgada. Iyong takip ay bilog na patulis at may tabang mga kalahating pulgada. Hindi ko napansin ang hugis ng dulo ng bagay na may takip dahil natatakpan ng kamay at ilong ng Amerikano. T Ipinakikita ko sa iyo ang isang larawan. Tignan mong mabuti ang larawang ito at sabihin mo nga sa akin kung makikilala mo ang mga bagay na nasa larawang ito, na may kinalaman sa nakita mong kinuha ng Amerikano sa kanyang bag? S Napansin ko na ang kulay asul na bagay sa larawan ay katulad na katulad noong takip ng bagay na inilabas ng Amerikano sa kanyang bag. Kaya lang ay bakit naging kulay asul gayong ng makita ko ito ay kulay puti ? (Exhibit "A", p. 2; Emphasis Supplied) Presumably, what Jessie Ramirez saw was merely the Vicks inhaler which the appellant does not deny having possessed at that time. He was certain that the object was white. (T.S.N. p. 91, January 6, 1988) Later, Ramirez retracted and corrected himself. He said that it was grayish in color with color blue (Medyo kulay abo na may kulay na parang blue). (T.S.N. p. 92, January 6, 1988) The inconsistency of the witness' testimony casts doubt as

to the veracity of the statements made especially when he answered on additional cross-examination that the reason why he concluded that Exhibit "C-2" was the same object being held by Ritter was because it was the only one shown to him by the prosecution (T.S.N. pp. 109-110, January 6, 1988). Jessie Ramirez was not all certain about the sexual vibrator because he did not actually see it in the possession of the appellant. What he merely remembers is the revelation made by Rosario the next morning that the foreigner inserted something inside her vagina. The trial court admitted such statement as part of the res gestae. In a strained effort to accept such statement as part of res gestae, the trial court focused the test of admissibility on the lapse of time between the event and the utterance. For the average 13 years old, the insertion of a mechanical device or anything for that matter into the vagina of a young girl is undoubtedly startling. For Rosario and Jessie, however, there must be more evidence to show that the statement, given after a night's sleep had intervened, was given instinctively because the event was so startling Res gestae does not apply. (Section 42, Rule 130, Rules of Court) Even if it were established that the appellant did insert something inside Rosario's vagina, the evidence is still not adequate to impute the death of Rosario to the appellant's alleged act. Jessie Ramirez testified that Rosario was able to remove the object inserted in her vagina. We quote: Q Now, you also stated on direct examination that later on Rosario even categorically admitted to you that she was already able to remove the object allegedly inserted inside her vagina, is that correct? A Yes, sir. xxx xxx xxx ATTY. CARAAN: Q Will you kindly tell to this Honorable Court the exact words used by Rosario Baluyot later on when you met her when you asked her and when she told you that she was already able to remove that object from her vagina? A "Oy, Jessie, natanggal na, "she told me that. I asked her, "Was it already removed?" And she answered, "Yes, it was removed." But the same night, she again complained of pain of her stomach. She sent one of her friends to call for me. And as a matter of fact, Tomboy was uttering defamatory words against me as she was groaning in pain. (TSN, Jan. 6,1988, pp. 72-73) This encounter happened on the night of the day following the day after both children were invited by the foreigner to the hotel. (T.S.N. p. 73, January 6, 1988). Rosario was said to


be groaning in pain so we can just imagine the distress she was undergoing at this point in time. If the device inserted by the appellant caused the pain, it is highly inconceivable how she was able to endure the pain and discomfort until May, 1987, seven (7) months after the alleged incident. Evidence must not only proceed from the mouth of a credible witness but it must be credible in itself such as the common experience and observation of mankind can approve as probable under the circumstances. (People vs. Patog, 144 SCRA 429 [1986]). At this juncture, we find Dr. Pedro Solis' testimony rather significant. Dr. Pedro Solis, a witness for the defense is considered an expert witness. (A Doctor of Medicine and a graduate of the State University in 1940, a degree of Bachelor of Laws and member of the Bar 1949, and a graduate of the Institute of Criminology University. He was awarded Post Graduate Diploma in Criminology in 1963, and also a graduate of United Nations Asia and Far East Asia Institute on the Prevention of Crimes in Tokyo Japan 1965. He was appointed Medico Legal Officer of the National Bureau of Investigation in 1940 until 1944. He became Chief Medico Legal Officer in 1970 and became the Deputy Director of the NBI up to 1984. He is at present a Professorial Lecturer on Legal Medicine at the UP, FEU, UE, and Fatima College of Medicine; a Medico Legal Consultant of the PGH Medical Center, Makati Medical Center, UERM Medical Center, MCU Medical Center. He has been with the NBI for 43 years. He has attended no less than 13 conferences abroad. He is the author of the textbooks entitled "Legal Medicine" and "Medical Jurisprudence".) With his impressive legal and medical background, his testimony is too authoritative to ignore. We quote the pertinent portions of his testimony: Q Now Dr. Solis, would you kindly go over this object marked as Exh. "C-2" which object was described as a part of a sexual vibrator battery operated. Now, given this kind of object, would you kindly tell us what would be the probable effect upon a 12 years old girl when it is inserted into her vagina? A Well, this vibrator must be considered a foreign body placed into a human being and as such be considered a foreign object. As a foreign object, the tendency of the body may be: No. 1expel the foreign bodyNo. 2.The tendency of the body is to react to that foreign body. One of the reactions that maybe manifested by the person wherein such foreign body is concerned is to cover the foreign body with human tissue, in a way to avoid its further injury to the body. Now, the second reaction is irritation thereby producing certain manifest symptoms and changes in the area where the foreign body is located. In severe cases, the symptoms manifestation might not only be localized but may be felt all over the body, we call it systemic reaction. Now, considering the fact that this foreign body as shown to me is already not complete, this shows exposure of its different parts for the body to react. If

there is mechanism to cause the foreign body to vibrate, there must be some sort of power from within and that power must be a dry cell battery. [The] composition of the battery are, manganese dioxide ammonium, salts, water and any substance that will cause current flow. All of these substances are irritants including areas of the container and as such, the primary reaction of the body is to cause irritation on the tissues, thereby inflammatory changes develop and in all likelihood, aside from those inflammatory changes would be a supervening infection in a way that the whole generative organ of the woman will suffer from diseased process causing her the systemic reaction like fever, swelling of the area, and other systemic symptoms. . . . . (TSN., pp. 13-15, October 19,1988) xxx xxx xxx Q Now, given this object, how long would it take, Doctor before any reaction such as an infection would set in, how many days after the insertion of this object in the vagina of a 12 year old girl? A In the example given to me, considering that one of the ends is exposed, in a way that vaginal secretion has more chance to get in, well, liberation of this irritant chemicals would be enhanced and therefore in a shorter period of time, there being this vaginal reaction. Q How many days or weeks would you say would that follow after the insertion? A As I said, with my experience at the NBI, insertion of any foreign body in the vaginal canal usually developed within, a period of two (2) weeks . . . xxx xxx xxx Q . . . [T]he subject in this case was allegedly raped, and a sexual vibrator was inserted in her vagina on October 10, 1986 and she was operated on, on May 19, 1987 the following year, so it took more than 7 months before this was extracted, would you say that it will take that long before any adverse infection could set in inside the vagina? A Infection and inflamatory changes will develop in a shorter time. (TSN., Oct. 19,1988, p. 18) xxx xxx xxx Q When you said shorter, how long would that be, Doctor? A As I said, in my personal experience, hair pins, cottonballs and even this lipstick of women usually, there are only about two (2) weeks time that the patient suffer some abnormal symptoms. Q Now, considering that this is a bigger object to the object that you mentioned, this object has a shorter time?


A Yes, Sir shorter time. (TSN., Oct. 19. 1988, p. 20) The trial court, however, ruled that "there is no hard and fast rule as to the time frame wherein infection sets in upon insertion of a foreign body in the vagina canal. For Dr. Solis, the time frame is not more than 10 months, and this case is still within the said time frame." A more generous time interval may be allowed in noncriminal cases. But where an accused is facing a penalty of reclusion perpetua, the evidence against him cannot be based on probabilities which are less likely than those probabilities which favor him. It should be clarified that the time frame depends upon the kind of foreign body lodged inside the body. An examination of the object gave the following results: (1) Color: Blue Size: (a) Circumference3.031 inches (b) Lengthapproximately 2.179 inches. Composition: Showed the general characteristics of a styrene-butadiene plastic. (2) The specimen can be electrically operated by means of a battery as per certification dated 01 June 1988, signed by Mr. Rodolfo D. Mercuric, Shipboard Electrical Systems Mechanics, Foreman II, SRF Shop 51, Subic (see attached certification). (3) No comparative examination was made on specimen #1 and vibrator depicted in the catalog because no actual physical dimensions and/or mechanical characteristics were shown in the catalog. (Exhibit "LL") The vibrator end was further subjected to a macrophotographic examination on the open end portion which revealed the following: Result of Examination Macro-photographic examination on the open end portion of specimen #1 shows the following inscription: MABUCHI MOTOR JAPAN RE 14 PAT (Exhibit "MM") From the above results, the subject object is certainly not considered as inert and based on Dr. Solis' testimony, it is more likely that infection should set in much earlier. Considering also that the object was inserted inside the vagina which is part of the generative organ of a woman, an organ which is lined with a very thin layer of membrane with plenty of blood supply, this part of the body is more susceptible to infection. (T.S.N. p. 34, October 19, 1988) The truth of Dr. Solis' testimony is more probable under the circumstances of the case. We see no reason why his

opinions qualified by training and experience should not be controlling and binding upon the Court in the determination of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. (People v. Tolentino, 166 SCRA 469 [1988]). Dr. Barcinal, another witness for the defense also testified that he examined Rosario Baluyot on May 17, 1986 as a referral patient from the Department of Surgery to give an OB-GYN clearance to the patient prior to operation. (T.S.N. p. 6, September 28, 1988) Q And how many times did you examine this patient Rosario Baluyot on that day? A I examined her twice on that day. Q The first time that you examined her, what is the result of your findings, if any? A My first examination, I examined the patient inside the delivery room. The patient was brought to the delivery room wheel-chaired then from the wheel chair, the patient was ambigatory (sic). She was able to walk from the door to the examining table. On examination, the patient is conscious, she was fairly nourished, fairly developed, she had fever, she was uncooperative at that time and examination deals more on the abdomen which shows slightly distended abdomen with muscle guarding with tenderness all over, with maximum tenderness over the hypogastric area. (T.S.N. p. 5, September 28, 1988) xxx xxx xxx Q What about your second examination to the patient, what was your findings, if any? A In my second examination, I repeated the internal examination wherein I placed my index finger and middle finger inside the vagina of the patient and was able to palpate a hard object. After which, I made a speculum examination wherein I was able to visualize the inner portion of the vaginal canal, there I saw purulent foul smelling, blood tints, discharge in the vaginal canal and a foreign body invaded on the posterior part of the vaginal canal. xxx xxx xxx A I referred back to Dr. Fernandez about my findings and he asked me to try to remove the said foreign object by the use of forceps which I tried to do so also but I failed to extract the same. Q All this time that you were examining the patient Rosario Baluyot both in the first and second instance, Rosario Baluyot was conscious and were you able to talk to her when you were examining her? A Yes, sir.


Q And did you ask her why there is a foreign object lodge inside her vagina? A Yes, Sir I asked her. Q And what did she tell you, if any? A She said in her own words that "GINAMIT AKO NG NEGRO AT SIYA ANG NAGLAGAY NITO." Q Did she also tell you when, this Negro who used her and who inserted and placed the foreign object on her vagina? A Yes, Sir I asked her and she said he used me three (3) months ago from the time I examined her. Q Now, you said that you referred the patient to the ward, what happened next with your patient? A To my knowledge, the patient is already scheduled on operation on that date. Q Meaning, May 17, 1987? A Yes, Sir I was presuming that the patient would undergo surgery after that? (TSN, Sept. 28,1988, pp. 8-9; Emphasis supplied) The trial court debunked Dr. Barcinals testimony considering Rosario's condition at that time. It ruled that it is inconceivable that she would be striking a normal conversation with the doctors and would be sitting on the examination table since Gaspar Alcantara stated that when he brought Rosario Baluyot to the hospital, she was unconscious and writhing in pain. It was not improbable for Rosario Baluyot to still be conscious and ambulant at that time because there were several instances testified to by different witnesses that she was still able to talk prior to her operation: (1) Fe Israel, a witness for the prosecution and a member of the Olongapo Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement testified that as a member of this group she visits indigent children in the hospital every Saturday and after office hours on working days. On the Saturday prior to Rosario's death which was May 17, she was still able to talk to Rosario Baluyot. In fact, one of her groupmates helped Rosario go to the comfort room to urinate. (T.S.N., pp. 16-19, May 25, 1988) (2) Angelita Amulong, a witness for the defense is another para social worker who worked at Pope John 23rd Community Center under Sister Eva Palencia. In one of her hospital visits, she encountered Rosario Baluyot in the

month of May, 1987. She actually saw a child who happened to be Rosario Baluyot seated on the cement floor and when she asked why she was seated there, she was told that it was too hot in the bed. She saw Rosario Baluyot for about 2 or 3 days successively. (T.S.N. pp. 10-13, September 7, 1988) (3) Gaspar Alcantara, the person who brought Rosario to the hospital actually testified that she was conscious (T.S.N. p. 36, September 14, 1988) but writhing in pain. He took pity on her so he brought her to the hospital (T.S.N. p. 12, September 14, 1988) From the above testimonies, it is clear that Rosario was still conscious and could still answer questions asked of her although she was complaining of stomach pains. Unfortunately, the medical attention given to her failed to halt the aggravation of her condition. The operation on May 19 was too late. Rosario died because of septicemia, which in layman's language is blood poisoning, and peritonitis, which is massive infection, in the abdominal cavity caused by the foreign object or the cut sexual vibrator lodged in the vagina of the victim. This led to the infection from the uterus to the fallopian tubes and into the peritoneum and the abdominal cavity. The trial court convicted the accused citing the rationale of Article 4 of the RPC He who is the cause of the cause is the cause of the evil caused. But before the conviction is affirmed, we must first follow the rule as stated in the case of Urbano vs. Intermediate Appellate Court (157 SCRA 1 [1988]) to wit: The rule is that the death of the victim must be the direct, natural and logical consequence of the wounds inflicted upon him by the accused. And since we are dealing with a criminal conviction, the proof that the accused caused the victim's death must convince a rational mind beyond reasonable doubt. (Emphasis supplied) In People v. Tempongko, Jr., (144 SCRA 583, 592 [1986]), we explained that: xxx xxx xxx The basic principle in every criminal prosecution is that accusation is not synonymous with guilt. The accused is presumed innocent until the contrary is proved by the prosecution. If the prosecution fails, it fails utterly, even if the defense is weak or, indeed, even if there is no defense at all. The defendant faces the full panoply of state authority with all "The People of the Philippines" arrayed against him. In a manner of speaking, he goes to bat with all the bases loaded. The odds are heavily against him. It is important, therefore, to equalize the positions of the prosecution and


the defense by presuming the innocence of the accused until the state is able to refute the presumption by proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. (At. p. 592) The evidence for the accused maybe numerically less as against the number of witnesses and preponderance of evidence presented by the prosecution but there is no direct and convincing proof that the accused was responsible for the vibrator left inside the victim's vagina which caused her death seven (7) months after its insertion. What the prosecution managed to establish were mere circumstances which were not sufficient to overcome the constitutional presumption of innocence. While circumstantial evidence may suffice to support a conviction it is imperative, though, that the following requisites should concur: (a) There is more than one circumstance; (b) The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and (c) The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt. (Rule 133, Sec. 4 Revised Rules of Court) For the well-entrenched rule in evidence is that "before conviction can be had upon circumstantial evidence, the circumstances proved should constitute an unbroken chain which leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the defendant, to the exclusion of all others, as the author of the crime (People v. Subano, 73 Phil. 692 [1942]; Emphasis supplied). It must fairly exclude every reasonable hypothesis of innocence (Dorado v. Court of Appeals, 153 SCRA 420, 433 [1987]). In this case the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution does not conclusively point to the liability of the appellant for the crime charged. (People v. Tolentino, supra) We are aware of the wide publicity given to the plight of Rosario Baluyot and how her death exemplified starkly the daily terrors that most street children encounter as they sell their bodies in order to survive. At an age when innocence and youthful joys should preponderate in their lives, they experience life in its most heartless and inhuman form. Instead of nothing more than gentle disappointments occupying their young minds, they daily cope with tragedies that even adults should never be made to carry. It is with distressing reluctance that we have to seemingly set back the efforts of Government to dramatize the death of Rosario Baluyot as a means of galvanizing the nation to care for its street children. It would have meant a lot to social workers and prosecutors alike if one pedophile-killer could be brought to justice so that his example would arouse public concern, sufficient for the formulation and implementation of meaningful remedies. However, we cannot convict on anything less than proof beyond reasonable doubt. The protections of the Bill of Rights and our criminal justice system are as much, if not more so, for

the perverts and outcasts of society as they are for normal, decent, and law-abiding people. The requirement of proof which produces in an unprejudiced mind moral certainty or conviction that the accused did commit the offense has not been satisfied. By way of emphasis, we reiterate some of the factors arousing reasonable doubt: 1. The evidence on Rosario Baluyot's baptism creates reasonable doubt about her being less than 12 years old when the carnal knowledge took place. If the evidence for the prosecution is to be believed, she was not yet born on the date she was baptized. 2. Since the proof of Rosario's being under 12 years of age is not satisfactory, the prosecution has to prove force, intimidation, or deprivation of reason in order to convict for rape. There is no such proof. In fact, the evidence shows a willingness to submit to the sexual act for monetary considerations. 3. The only witness to the fact of Ritter's placing a vibrator inside the vagina of Rosario was Jessie Ramirez. This witness did not see Ritter insert the vibrator. The morning after the insertion, he was only told by Rosario about it. Two days later, he allegedly met Rosario who informed him that she was able to remove the object. And yet, Ramirez testified that on the night of that second encounter, he saw Rosario groaning because of pain in her stomach. She was even hurling invectives. Ramirez' testimony is not only hearsay, it is also contradictory. 4. It was improbable, according to expert medical testimony, for a foreign object with active properties to cause pain, discomfort, and serious infection only after seven months inside a young girl's vaginal canal. Infection would have set in much earlier. Jessie Ramirez recalled that the incident happened in December of 1986. (TSN., January 6, 1988, pp. 15-17) The evidence, however shows that the appellant was not here in the Philippines that December. As per the Commission on Immigration Arrival and Departure Report, Heinrich Ritter arrived in the Philippines on October 7, 1986 and left on October 12, 1986. He never returned until September 23, 1987 (Exhibits "DD" and "EE") The incident could have happened only in October, but then it would have been highly improbable for the sexual vibrator to stay inside the vagina for seven (7) months with the kind of serious complications it creates. 5. The gynecologist who attended to Rosario during her hospital confinement testified that she told him "Ginamit ako ng Negro at siya ang naglagay nito." The accused is not a black. Noteworthy is the fact that nothing was mentioned about Rosario's activities after the hotel incident. Considering Dr. Barcinal's testimony indicating that she was "used" by a


"Negro" three (3) months prior to admission in the hospital and Rosario's unfortunate profession, there is always the possibility that she could have allowed herself to be violated by this perverse kind of sexual behavior where a vibrator or vibrators were inserted into her vagina between October, 1986 and May, 1987. Moreover, the long delay of seven (7) months after the incident in reporting the alleged crime renders the evidence for the prosecution insufficient to establish appellant's guilty connection with the requisite moral certainty. ( See People v. Mula Cruz, 129 SCRA 156 [1984]). The established facts do not entirely rule out the possibility that the appellant could have inserted a foreign object inside Rosario's vagina. This object may have caused her death. It is possible that the appellant could be the guilty person. However, the Court cannot base an affirmance of conviction upon mere possibilities. Suspicions and possibilities are not evidence and therefore should not be taken against the accused. (People v. Tolentino, supra) Well-established is the rule that every circumstance favorable to the accused should be duly taken into account. This rule applies even to hardened criminals or those whose bizarre behaviour violates the mores of civilized society. The evidence against the accused must survive the test of reason. The strongest suspicion must not be allowed to sway judgment. (See Sacay v. Sandiganbayan, 142 SCRA 593 [1986]). As stated in the case of People v. Ng (142 SCRA 615 [1986]): . . . [F]rom the earliest years of this Court, it has emphasized the rule that reasonable doubt in criminal cases must be resolved in favor of the accused. The requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt calls for moral certainty of guilt. It has been defined as meaning such proof "to the satisfaction of the court, keeping in mind the presumption of innocence, as precludes every reasonable hypothesis except that which it is given to support. It is not sufficient for the proof to establish a probability, even though strong, that the fact charged is more likely to be true than the contrary. It must establish the truth of the fact to a reasonable and moral certaintya certainty that convinces and satisfies the reason and the conscience of those who are to act upon it. (Moreno, Philippine Law Dictionary, 1972 Edition, p. 379, citing U.S. v. Reyes, 3 Phil. 3). . . . In the instant case, since there are circumstances which prevent our being morally certain of the guilt of the appellant, he is, therefore, entitled to an acquittal. This notwithstanding, the Court can not ignore the acts of the appellant on the children, Jessie Ramirez and Rosario Baluyot in October, 1986 at the MGM Hotel. Inspite of his flat denials, we are convinced that he comes to this country not to look at historical sights, enrich his intellect or indulge in legitimate pleasures but in order to satisfy the urgings of a sick mind.

With the positive Identification and testimony by Jessie Ramirez that it was the appellant who picked him and Rosario from among the children and invited them to the hotel; and that in the hotel he was shown pictures of young boys like him and the two masturbated each other, such actuations clearly show that the appellant is a pedophile. When apprehended in Ermita, he was sizing up young children. Dr. Solis defined pedophilia in his book entitled Legal Medicine, 1987 edition, as follows: PedophiliaA form of sexual perversion wherein a person has the compulsive desire to have sexual intercourse with a child of either sex. Children of various ages participate in sexual activities, like fellatio, cunnilingus, fondling with sex organs, or anal sexual intercourse. Usually committed by a homosexual between a man and a boy the latter being a passive partner. Ritter was prosecuted for rape with homicide and not pedophilia, assuming this is a crime by itself. Pedophilia is clearly a behavior offensive to public morals and violative of the declared policy of the state to promote and protect the physical, moral, spiritual and social well-being of our youth. (Article II, Section 13, 1987 Constitution) (Harvey v. Defensor Santiago, 162 SCRA 840, 848 [1989]). Pedophiles, especially thrill seeking aliens have no place in our country. In this case, there is reasonable ground to believe that the appellant committed acts injurious not only to Rosario Baluyot but also to the public good and domestic tranquility of the people. The state has expressly committed itself to defend the right of children to assistance and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their development. (Art. XV, Section 3 [2] . . . (Harvey v. Santiago, supra). The appellant has abused Filipino children, enticing them with money. The appellant should be expelled from the country. Furthermore, it does not necessarily follow that the appellant is also free from civil liability which is impliedly instituted with the criminal action. (Rule III, Section 1) The well-settled doctrine is that a person while not criminally liable, may still be civilly liable. We reiterate what has been stated in Urbano v. IAC, supra. . . . While the guilt of the accused in a criminal prosecution must be established beyond reasonable doubt, only a preponderance of evidence is required in a civil action for damages. (Article 29, Civil Code). The judgment of acquittal extinguishes the civil liability of the accused only when it includes a declaration that the facts from which the civil liability might arise did not exist. (Padilla v. Court of Appeals, 129 SCRA 559). The reason for the provisions of Article 29 of the Civil Code, which provides that the acquittal of the accused on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt does not necessarily exempt him from


civil liability for the same act or omission, has been explained by the Code Commission as follows: The old rule that the acquittal of the accused in a criminal case also releases him from civil liability is one of the most serious flaws in the Philippine legal system. It has given rise to numberless instances of miscarriage of justice, where the acquittal was due to a reasonable doubt in the mind of the court as to the guilt of the accused. The reasoning followed is that inasmuch as the civil responsibility is derived from the criminal offense, when the latter is not proved, civil liability cannot be demanded. This is one of those causes where confused thinking leads to unfortunate and deplorable consequences. Such reasoning fails to draw a clear line of demarcation between criminal liability and civil responsibility, and to determine the logical result of the distinction. The two liabilities are separate and distinct from each other. One affects the social order and the other, private rights. One is for the punishment or correction of the offender while the other is for the reparation of damages suffered by the aggrieved party. The two responsibilities are so different from each other that article 1813 of the present (Spanish) Civil Code reads thus: "There may be a compromise upon the civil action arising from a crime; but the public action for the imposition of the legal penalty shall not thereby be extinguished." It is just and proper that, for the purposes of the imprisonment of or fine upon the accused, the offense should be proved beyond reasonable doubt. But for the purpose of indemnifying the complaining party, why should the offense also be proved beyond reasonable doubt? Is not the invasion or violation of every private right to be proved only by a preponderance of evidence? Is the right of the aggrieved person any less private because the wrongful act is also punishable by the criminal law? For these reasons, the Commission recommends the adoption of the reform under discussion. It will correct a serious defect in our law. It will close up an inexhaustible source of injusticea cause for disillusionment on the part of the innumerable persons injured or wronged. Rosario Baluyot is a street child who ran away from her grandmother's house. Circumstances forced her to succumb and enter this unfortunate profession. Nonetheless, she has left behind heirs who have certainly suffered mental anguish, anxiety and moral shock by her sudden and incredulous death as reflected in the records of the case. Though we are acquitting the appellant for the crime of rape with homicide, we emphasize that we are not ruling that he is innocent or blameless. It is only the constitutional presumption of innocence and the failure of the prosecution to build an airtight case for conviction which saved him, not that the facts of unlawful conduct do not exist. As earlier stated, there is the likelihood that he did insert the vibrator whose end was left inside Rosario's vaginal canal and that the vibrator may have caused her death. True, we cannot convict on probabilities or possibilities but civil liability does not require proof beyond reasonable doubt. The Court can

order the payment of indemnity on the facts found in the records of this case. The appellant certainly committed acts contrary to morals, good customs, public order or public policy (see Article 21 Civil Code). As earlier mentioned, the appellant has abused Filipino children, enticing them with money. We can not overstress the responsibility for proper behavior of all adults in the Philippines, including the appellant towards young children. The sexual exploitation committed by the appellant should not and can not be condoned. Thus, considering the circumstances of the case, we are awarding damages to the heirs of Rosario Baluyot in the amount of P30,000.00. And finally, the Court deplores the lack of criminal laws which will adequately protect street children from exploitation by pedophiles, pimps, and, perhaps, their own parents or guardians who profit from the sale of young bodies. The provisions on statutory rape and other related offenses were never intended for the relatively recent influx of pedophiles taking advantage of rampant poverty among the forgotten segments of our society. Newspaper and magazine articles, media exposes, college dissertations, and other studies deal at length with this serious social problem but pedophiles like the appellant will continue to enter the Philippines and foreign publications catering to them will continue to advertise the availability of Filipino street children unless the Government acts and acts soon. We have to acquit the appellant because the Bill of Rights commands us to do so. We, however, express the Court's concern about the problem of street children and the evils committed against them. Something must be done about it. WHEREFORE, the appealed judgment is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Appellant HEINRICH STEFAN RITTER is ACQUITTED on grounds of reasonable doubt. The appellant is ordered to pay the amount of P30,000.00 by way of moral and exemplary damages to the heirs of Rosario Baluyot. The Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation is hereby directed to institute proper deportation proceedings against the appellant and to immediately expel him thereafter with prejudice to re-entry into the country. SO ORDERED. Fernan, C.J., Feliciano, Bidin and Davide, Jr., JJ, concur



Argued December 13, 1971 Reargued October 11, 1972 Decided January 22, 1973 A pregnant single woman (Roe) brought a class action challenging the constitutionality of the Texas criminal abortion laws, which proscribe procuring or attempting an abortion except on medical advice for the purpose of saving the mother's life. A licensed physician (Hallford), who had two state abortion prosecutions pending against him, was permitted to intervene. A childless married couple (the Does), the wife not being pregnant, separately attacked the laws, basing alleged injury on the future possibilities of contraceptive failure, pregnancy, unpreparedness for parenthood, and impairment of the wife's health. A threejudge District Court, which consolidated the actions, held that Roe and Hallford, and members of their classes, had standing to sue and presented justiciable controversies. Ruling that declaratory, though not injunctive, relief was warranted, the court declared the abortion statutes void as vague and overbroadly infringing those plaintiffs' Ninth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The court ruled the Does' complaint not justiciable. Appellants directly appealed to this Court on the injunctive rulings, and appellee cross-appealed from the District Court's grant of declaratory relief to Roe and Hallford. Held: 1. While 28 U.S.C. 1253 authorizes no direct appeal to this Court from the grant or denial of declaratory relief alone, review is not foreclosed when the case is properly before the Court on appeal from specific denial of injunctive relief and the arguments as to both injunctive and declaratory relief are necessarily identical. P. 123. 2. Roe has standing to sue; the Does and Hallford do not. Pp. 123-129. (a) Contrary to appellee's contention, the natural termination of Roe's pregnancy did not moot her suit. Litigation involving pregnancy, which is "capable of repetition, yet evading review," is an exception to the usual federal rule that an actual controversy [410 U.S. 113, 114] must exist at review stages and not simply when the action is initiated. Pp. 124-125. (b) The District Court correctly refused injunctive, but erred in granting declaratory, relief to Hallford, who alleged no federally protected right not assertable as a defense

against the good-faith state prosecutions pending against him. Samuels v. Mackell, 401 U.S. 66 . Pp. 125-127. (c) The Does' complaint, based as it is on contingencies, any one or more of which may not occur, is too speculative to present an actual case or controversy. Pp. 127-129. 3. State criminal abortion laws, like those involved here, that except from criminality only a life-saving procedure on the mother's behalf without regard to the stage of her pregnancy and other interests involved violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which protects against state action the right to privacy, including a woman's qualified right to terminate her pregnancy. Though the State cannot override that right, it has legitimate interests in protecting both the pregnant woman's health and the potentiality of human life, each of which interests grows and reaches a "compelling" point at various stages of the woman's approach to term. Pp. 147164. (a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman's attending physician. Pp. 163, 164. (b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health. Pp. 163, 164. (c) For the stage subsequent to viability the State, in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life, may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother. Pp. 163-164; 164-165. 4. The State may define the term "physician" to mean only a physician currently licensed by the State, and may proscribe any abortion by a person who is not a physician as so defined. P. 165. 5. It is unnecessary to decide the injunctive relief issue since the Texas authorities will doubtless fully recognize the Court's ruling [410 U.S. 113, 115] that the Texas criminal abortion statutes are unconstitutional. P. 166. 314 F. Supp. 1217, affirmed in part and reversed in part.


BLACKMUN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C. J., and DOUGLAS, BRENNAN, STEWART, MARSHALL, and POWELL, JJ., joined. BURGER, C. J., post, p. 207, DOUGLAS, J., post, p. 209, and STEWART, J., post, p. 167, filed concurring opinions. WHITE, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which REHNQUIST, J., joined, post, p. 221. REHNQUIST, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 171. Sarah Weddington reargued the cause for appellants. With her on the briefs were Roy Lucas, Fred Bruner, Roy L. Merrill, Jr., and Norman Dorsen. Robert C. Flowers, Assistant Attorney General of Texas, argued the cause for appellee on the reargument. Jay Floyd, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for appellee on the original argument. With them on the brief were Crawford C. Martin, Attorney General, Nola White, First Assistant Attorney General, Alfred Walker, Executive Assistant Attorney General, Henry Wade, and John B. Tolle. * [410 U.S. 113, 116] [ Footnote * ] Briefs of amici curiae were filed by Gary K. Nelson, Attorney General of Arizona, Robert K. Killian, Attorney General of Connecticut, Ed W. Hancock, Attorney General of Kentucky, Clarence A. H. Meyer, Attorney General of Nebraska, and Vernon B. Romney, Attorney General of Utah; by Joseph P. Witherspoon, Jr., for the Association of Texas Diocesan Attorneys; by Charles E. Rice for Americans United for Life; by Eugene J. McMahon for Women for the Unborn et al.; by Carol Ryan for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists et al.; by Dennis J. Horan, Jerome A. Frazel, Jr., Thomas M. Crisham, and Dolores V. Horan for Certain Physicians, Professors and Fellows of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology; by Harriet F. Pilpel, Nancy F. Wechsler, and Frederic S. Nathan for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., et al.; by Alan F. Charles for the National Legal Program on Health Problems of the Poor et al.; by Marttie L. Thompson for State Communities Aid Assn.; by [410 U.S. 113, 116] Alfred L. Scanlan, Martin J. Flynn, and Robert M. Byrn for the National Right to Life Committee; by Helen L. Buttenwieser for the American Ethical Union et al.; by Norma G. Zarky for the American Association of University Women et al.; by Nancy Stearns for New Women Lawyers et al.; by the California

Committee to Legalize Abortion et al.; and by Robert E. Dunne for Robert L. Sassone. MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN delivered the opinion of the Court. This Texas federal appeal and its Georgia companion, Doe v. Bolton, post, p. 179, present constitutional challenges to state criminal abortion legislation. The Texas statutes under attack here are typical of those that have been in effect in many States for approximately a century. The Georgia statutes, in contrast, have a modern cast and are a legislative product that, to an extent at least, obviously reflects the influences of recent attitudinal change, of advancing medical knowledge and techniques, and of new thinking about an old issue. We forthwith acknowledge our awareness of the sensitive and emotional nature of the abortion controversy, of the vigorous opposing views, even among physicians, and of the deep and seemingly absolute convictions that the subject inspires. One's philosophy, one's experiences, one's exposure to the raw edges of human existence, one's religious training, one's attitudes toward life and family and their values, and the moral standards one establishes and seeks to observe, are all likely to influence and to color one's thinking and conclusions about abortion. In addition, population growth, pollution, poverty, and racial overtones tend to complicate and not to simplify the problem. Our task, of course, is to resolve the issue by constitutional measurement, free of emotion and of predilection. We seek earnestly to do this, and, because we do, we [410 U.S. 113, 117] have inquired into, and in this opinion place some emphasis upon, medical and medical-legal history and what that history reveals about man's attitudes toward the abortion procedure over the centuries. We bear in mind, too, Mr. Justice Holmes' admonition in his now-vindicated dissent in Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45, 76 (1905): "[The Constitution] is made for people of fundamentally differing views, and the accident of our finding certain opinions natural and familiar or novel and even shocking ought not to conclude our judgment upon the question whether statutes embodying them conflict with the Constitution of the United States." I


The Texas statutes that concern us here are Arts. 1191-1194 and 1196 of the State's Penal Code. 1 These make it a crime to "procure an abortion," as therein [410 U.S. 113, 118] defined, or to attempt one, except with respect to "an abortion procured or attempted by medical advice for the purpose of saving the life of the mother." Similar statutes are in existence in a majority of the States. 2 [410 U.S. 113, 119] Texas first enacted a criminal abortion statute in 1854. Texas Laws 1854, c. 49, 1, set forth in 3 H. Gammel, Laws of Texas 1502 (1898). This was soon modified into language that has remained substantially unchanged to the present time. See Texas Penal Code of 1857, c. 7, Arts. 531-536; G. Paschal, Laws of Texas, Arts. 2192-2197 (1866); Texas Rev. Stat., c. 8, Arts. 536-541 (1879); Texas Rev. Crim. Stat., Arts. 1071-1076 (1911). The final article in each of these compilations provided the same exception, as does the present Article 1196, for an abortion by "medical advice for the purpose of saving the life of the mother." 3 [410 U.S. 113, 120] II Jane Roe, 4 a single woman who was residing in Dallas County, Texas, instituted this federal action in March 1970 against the District Attorney of the county. She sought a declaratory judgment that the Texas criminal abortion statutes were unconstitutional on their face, and an injunction restraining the defendant from enforcing the statutes. Roe alleged that she was unmarried and pregnant; that she wished to terminate her pregnancy by an abortion "performed by a competent, licensed physician, under safe, clinical conditions"; that she was unable to get a "legal" abortion in Texas because her life did not appear to be threatened by the continuation of her pregnancy; and that she could not afford to travel to another jurisdiction in order to secure a legal abortion under safe conditions. She claimed that the Texas statutes were unconstitutionally vague and that they abridged her right of personal privacy, protected by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. By an amendment to her complaint Roe purported to sue "on behalf of herself and all other women" similarly situated. James Hubert Hallford, a licensed physician, sought and was granted leave to intervene in Roe's action. In his complaint he alleged that he had been arrested previously for violations

of the Texas abortion statutes and [410 U.S. 113, 121] that two such prosecutions were pending against him. He described conditions of patients who came to him seeking abortions, and he claimed that for many cases he, as a physician, was unable to determine whether they fell within or outside the exception recognized by Article 1196. He alleged that, as a consequence, the statutes were vague and uncertain, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, and that they violated his own and his patients' rights to privacy in the doctor-patient relationship and his own right to practice medicine, rights he claimed were guaranteed by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. John and Mary Doe, 5 a married couple, filed a companion complaint to that of Roe. They also named the District Attorney as defendant, claimed like constitutional deprivations, and sought declaratory and injunctive relief. The Does alleged that they were a childless couple; that Mrs. Doe was suffering from a "neural-chemical" disorder; that her physician had "advised her to avoid pregnancy until such time as her condition has materially improved" (although a pregnancy at the present time would not present "a serious risk" to her life); that, pursuant to medical advice, she had discontinued use of birth control pills; and that if she should become pregnant, she would want to terminate the pregnancy by an abortion performed by a competent, licensed physician under safe, clinical conditions. By an amendment to their complaint, the Does purported to sue "on behalf of themselves and all couples similarly situated." The two actions were consolidated and heard together by a duly convened three-judge district court. The suits thus presented the situations of the pregnant single woman, the childless couple, with the wife not pregnant, [410 U.S. 113, 122] and the licensed practicing physician, all joining in the attack on the Texas criminal abortion statutes. Upon the filing of affidavits, motions were made for dismissal and for summary judgment. The court held that Roe and members of her class, and Dr. Hallford, had standing to sue and presented justiciable controversies, but that the Does had failed to allege facts sufficient to state a present controversy and did not have standing. It concluded that, with respect to the requests for a declaratory judgment, abstention was


not warranted. On the merits, the District Court held that the "fundamental right of single women and married persons to choose whether to have children is protected by the Ninth Amendment, through the Fourteenth Amendment," and that the Texas criminal abortion statutes were void on their face because they were both unconstitutionally vague and constituted an overbroad infringement of the plaintiffs' Ninth Amendment rights. The court then held that abstention was warranted with respect to the requests for an injunction. It therefore dismissed the Does' complaint, declared the abortion statutes void, and dismissed the application for injunctive relief. 314 F. Supp. 1217, 1225 (ND Tex. 1970). The plaintiffs Roe and Doe and the intervenor Hallford, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1253, have appealed to this Court from that part of the District Court's judgment denying the injunction. The defendant District Attorney has purported to cross-appeal, pursuant to the same statute, from the court's grant of declaratory relief to Roe and Hallford. Both sides also have taken protective appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. That court ordered the appeals held in abeyance pending decision here. We postponed decision on jurisdiction to the hearing on the merits. 402 U.S. 941 (1971).[410 U.S. 113, 123] III It might have been preferable if the defendant, pursuant to our Rule 20, had presented to us a petition for certiorari before judgment in the Court of Appeals with respect to the granting of the plaintiffs' prayer for declaratory relief. Our decisions in Mitchell v. Donovan, 398 U.S. 427 (1970), and Gunn v. University Committee, 399 U.S. 383 (1970), are to the effect that 1253 does not authorize an appeal to this Court from the grant or denial of declaratory relief alone. We conclude, nevertheless, that those decisions do not foreclose our review of both the injunctive and the declaratory aspects of a case of this kind when it is properly here, as this one is, on appeal under 1253 from specific denial of injunctive relief, and the arguments as to both aspects are necessarily identical. See Carter v. Jury Comm'n, 396 U.S. 320 (1970); Florida Lime Growers v. Jacobsen, 362 U.S. 73, 80 -81 (1960). It would be destructive of time and energy for

all concerned were we to rule otherwise. Cf. Doe v. Bolton, post, p. 179. IV We are next confronted with issues of justiciability, standing, and abstention. Have Roe and the Does established that "personal stake in the outcome of the controversy," Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 204(1962), that insures that "the dispute sought to be adjudicated will be presented in an adversary context and in a form historically viewed as capable of judicial resolution," Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83, 101 (1968), and Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727, 732 (1972)? And what effect did the pendency of criminal abortion charges against Dr. Hallford in state court have upon the propriety of the federal court's granting relief to him as a plaintiffintervenor? [410 U.S. 113, 124] A. Jane Roe. Despite the use of the pseudonym, no suggestion is made that Roe is a fictitious person. For purposes of her case, we accept as true, and as established, her existence; her pregnant state, as of the inception of her suit in March 1970 and as late as May 21 of that year when she filed an alias affidavit with the District Court; and her inability to obtain a legal abortion in Texas. Viewing Roe's case as of the time of its filing and thereafter until as late as May, there can be little dispute that it then presented a case or controversy and that, wholly apart from the class aspects, she, as a pregnant single woman thwarted by the Texas criminal abortion laws, had standing to challenge those statutes. Abele v. Markle, 452 F.2d 1121, 1125 (CA2 1971); Crossen v. Breckenridge, 446 F.2d 833, 838-839 (CA6 1971); Poe v. Menghini, 339 F. Supp. 986, 990-991 (Kan. 1972). See Truax v. Raich,239 U.S. 33 (1915). Indeed, we do not read the appellee's brief as really asserting anything to the contrary. The "logical nexus between the status asserted and the claim sought to be adjudicated," Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S., at 102 , and the necessary degree of contentiousness, Golden v. Zwickler, 394 U.S. 103 (1969), are both present. The appellee notes, however, that the record does not disclose that Roe was pregnant at the time of the District Court hearing on May 22, 1970, 6 or on the following June 17 when the court's opinion and judgment were filed. And he suggests that Roe's case must now be moot because she and all other members of her


class are no longer subject to any 1970 pregnancy. [410 U.S. 113, 125] The usual rule in federal cases is that an actual controversy must exist at stages of appellate or certiorari review, and not simply at the date the action is initiated. United States v. Munsingwear, Inc.,340 U.S. 36 (1950); Golden v. Zwickler, supra; SEC v. Medical Committee for Human Rights, 404 U.S. 403 (1972). But when, as here, pregnancy is a significant fact in the litigation, the normal 266-day human gestation period is so short that the pregnancy will come to term before the usual appellate process is complete. If that termination makes a case moot, pregnancy litigation seldom will survive much beyond the trial stage, and appellate review will be effectively denied. Our law should not be that rigid. Pregnancy often comes more than once to the same woman, and in the general population, if man is to survive, it will always be with us. Pregnancy provides a classic justification for a conclusion of nonmootness. It truly could be "capable of repetition, yet evading review." Southern Pacific Terminal Co. v. ICC, 219 U.S. 498, 515 (1911). See Moore v. Ogilvie, 394 U.S. 814, 816 (1969); Carroll v. Princess Anne, 393 U.S. 175, 178179 (1968); United States v. W. T. Grant Co., 345 U.S. 629, 632 -633 (1953). We, therefore, agree with the District Court that Jane Roe had standing to undertake this litigation, that she presented a justiciable controversy, and that the termination of her 1970 pregnancy has not rendered her case moot. B. Dr. Hallford. The doctor's position is different. He entered Roe's litigation as a plaintiff-intervenor, alleging in his complaint that he: "[I]n the past has been arrested for violating the Texas Abortion Laws and at the present time stands charged by indictment with violating said laws in the Criminal District Court of Dallas County, Texas to-wit: (1) The State of Texas vs. [410 U.S. 113, 126] James H. Hallford, No. C-69-5307-IH, and (2) The State of Texas vs. James H. Hallford, No. C-69-2524-H. In both cases the defendant is charged with abortion . . . ." In his application for leave to intervene, the doctor made like representations as to the abortion charges pending in the state court. These representations were also repeated in

the affidavit he executed and filed in support of his motion for summary judgment. Dr. Hallford is, therefore, in the position of seeking, in a federal court, declaratory and injunctive relief with respect to the same statutes under which he stands charged in criminal prosecutions simultaneously pending in state court. Although he stated that he has been arrested in the past for violating the State's abortion laws, he makes no allegation of any substantial and immediate threat to any federally protected right that cannot be asserted in his defense against the state prosecutions. Neither is there any allegation of harassment or bad-faith prosecution. In order to escape the rule articulated in the cases cited in the next paragraph of this opinion that, absent harassment and bad faith, a defendant in a pending state criminal case cannot affirmatively challenge in federal court the statutes under which the State is prosecuting him, Dr. Hallford seeks to distinguish his status as a present state defendant from his status as a "potential future defendant" and to assert only the latter for standing purposes here. We see no merit in that distinction. Our decision in Samuels v. Mackell, 401 U.S. 66 (1971), compels the conclusion that the District Court erred when it granted declaratory relief to Dr. Hallford instead of refraining from so doing. The court, of course, was correct in refusing to grant injunctive relief to the doctor. The reasons supportive of that action, however, are those expressed in Samuels v. Mackell, supra, and in Younger v. [410 U.S. 113, 127] Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971); Boyle v. Landry, 401 U.S. 77(1971); Perez v. Ledesma, 401 U.S. 82 (1971); and Byrne v. Karalexis, 401 U.S. 216 (1971). See also Dombrowski v. Pfister, 380 U.S. 479 (1965). We note, in passing, that Younger and its companion cases were decided after the three-judge District Court decision in this case. Dr. Hallford's complaint in intervention, therefore, is to be dismissed. 7 He is remitted to his defenses in the state criminal proceedings against him. We reverse the judgment of the District Court insofar as it granted Dr. Hallford relief and failed to dismiss his complaint in intervention. C. The Does. In view of our ruling as to Roe's standing in her case, the issue of the Does' standing in their case has little significance.


The claims they assert are essentially the same as those of Roe, and they attack the same statutes. Nevertheless, we briefly note the Does' posture. Their pleadings present them as a childless married couple, the woman not being pregnant, who have no desire to have children at this time because of their having received medical advice that Mrs. Doe should avoid pregnancy, and for "other highly personal reasons." But they "fear . . . they may face the prospect of becoming [410 U.S. 113, 128] parents." And if pregnancy ensues, they "would want to terminate" it by an abortion. They assert an inability to obtain an abortion legally in Texas and, consequently, the prospect of obtaining an illegal abortion there or of going outside Texas to some place where the procedure could be obtained legally and competently. We thus have as plaintiffs a married couple who have, as their asserted immediate and present injury, only an alleged "detrimental effect upon [their] marital happiness" because they are forced to "the choice of refraining from normal sexual relations or of endangering Mary Doe's health through a possible pregnancy." Their claim is that sometime in the future Mrs. Doe might become pregnant because of possible failure of contraceptive measures, and at that time in the future she might want an abortion that might then be illegal under the Texas statutes. This very phrasing of the Does' position reveals its speculative character. Their alleged injury rests on possible future contraceptive failure, possible future pregnancy, possible future unpreparedness for parenthood, and possible future impairment of health. Any one or more of these several possibilities may not take place and all may not combine. In the Does' estimation, these possibilities might have some real or imagined impact upon their marital happiness. But we are not prepared to say that the bare allegation of so indirect an injury is sufficient to present an actual case or controversy. Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S., at 41 -42; Golden v. Zwickler, 394 U.S., at 109 -110; Abele v. Markle, 452 F.2d, at 1124-1125; Crossen v. Breckenridge, 446 F.2d, at 839. The Does' claim falls far short of those resolved otherwise in the cases that the Does urge upon us, namely, Investment Co. Institute v. Camp, 401 U.S. 617 (1971); Data Processing Service v. Camp, 397 U.S.

150 (1970); [410 U.S. 113, 129] and Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 (1968). See also Truax v. Raich, 239 U.S. 33 (1915). The Does therefore are not appropriate plaintiffs in this litigation. Their complaint was properly dismissed by the District Court, and we affirm that dismissal. V The principal thrust of appellant's attack on the Texas statutes is that they improperly invade a right, said to be possessed by the pregnant woman, to choose to terminate her pregnancy. Appellant would discover this right in the concept of personal "liberty" embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause; or in personal, marital, familial, and sexual privacy said to be protected by the Bill of Rights or its penumbras, see Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965); Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972); id., at 460 (WHITE, J., concurring in result); or among those rights reserved to the people by the Ninth Amendment, Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S., at 486 (Goldberg, J., concurring). Before addressing this claim, we feel it desirable briefly to survey, in several aspects, the history of abortion, for such insight as that history may afford us, and then to examine the state purposes and interests behind the criminal abortion laws. VI It perhaps is not generally appreciated that the restrictive criminal abortion laws in effect in a majority of States today are of relatively recent vintage. Those laws, generally proscribing abortion or its attempt at any time during pregnancy except when necessary to preserve the pregnant woman's life, are not of ancient or even of common-law origin. Instead, they derive from statutory changes effected, for the most part, in the latter half of the 19th century. [410 U.S. 113, 130] 1. Ancient attitudes. These are not capable of precise determination. We are told that at the time of the Persian Empire abortifacients were known and that criminal abortions were severely punished. 8 We are also told, however, that abortion was practiced in Greek times as well as in the Roman Era, 9 and that "it was resorted to without scruple." 10 The Ephesian, Soranos, often described as the greatest of the ancient gynecologists, appears to have been generally opposed to Rome's prevailing free-abortion practices. He found it necessary to think first


of the life of the mother, and he resorted to abortion when, upon this standard, he felt the procedure advisable. 11 Greek and Roman law afforded little protection to the unborn. If abortion was prosecuted in some places, it seems to have been based on a concept of a violation of the father's right to his offspring. Ancient religion did not bar abortion. 12 2. The Hippocratic Oath. What then of the famous Oath that has stood so long as the ethical guide of the medical profession and that bears the name of the great Greek (460(?)-377(?) B. C.), who has been described [410 U.S. 113, 131] as the Father of Medicine, the "wisest and the greatest practitioner of his art," and the "most important and most complete medical personality of antiquity," who dominated the medical schools of his time, and who typified the sum of the medical knowledge of the past? 13 The Oath varies somewhat according to the particular translation, but in any translation the content is clear: "I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion," 14 or "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly, I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy." 15 Although the Oath is not mentioned in any of the principal briefs in this case or in Doe v. Bolton, post, p. 179, it represents the apex of the development of strict ethical concepts in medicine, and its influence endures to this day. Why did not the authority of Hippocrates dissuade abortion practice in his time and that of Rome? The late Dr. Edelstein provides us with a theory: 16 The Oath was not uncontested even in Hippocrates' day; only the Pythagorean school of philosophers frowned upon the related act of suicide. Most Greek thinkers, on the other hand, commended abortion, at least prior to viability. See Plato, Republic, V, 461; Aristotle, Politics, VII, 1335b 25. For the Pythagoreans, however, it was a matter of dogma. For them the embryo was animate from the moment of conception, and abortion meant destruction of a living being. The abortion clause of the Oath, therefore, "echoes Pythagorean doctrines," [410 U.S. 113, 132] and "[i]n no other stratum of Greek opinion were such views held or

proposed in the same spirit of uncompromising austerity." 17 Dr. Edelstein then concludes that the Oath originated in a group representing only a small segment of Greek opinion and that it certainly was not accepted by all ancient physicians. He points out that medical writings down to Galen (A. D. 130-200) "give evidence of the violation of almost every one of its injunctions." 18 But with the end of antiquity a decided change took place. Resistance against suicide and against abortion became common. The Oath came to be popular. The emerging teachings of Christianity were in agreement with the Pythagorean ethic. The Oath "became the nucleus of all medical ethics" and "was applauded as the embodiment of truth." Thus, suggests Dr. Edelstein, it is "a Pythagorean manifesto and not the expression of an absolute standard of medical conduct." 19 This, it seems to us, is a satisfactory and acceptable explanation of the Hippocratic Oath's apparent rigidity. It enables us to understand, in historical context, a longaccepted and revered statement of medical ethics. 3. The common law. It is undisputed that at common law, abortion performed before "quickening" - the first recognizable movement of the fetus in utero, appearing usually from the 16th to the 18th week of pregnancy 20 - was not an indictable offense. 21 The absence [410 U.S. 113, 133] of a common-law crime for prequickening abortion appears to have developed from a confluence of earlier philosophical, theological, and civil and canon law concepts of when life begins. These disciplines variously approached the question in terms of the point at which the embryo or fetus became "formed" or recognizably human, or in terms of when a "person" came into being, that is, infused with a "soul" or "animated." A loose consensus evolved in early English law that these events occurred at some point between conception and live birth. 22 This was "mediate animation." Although [410 U.S. 113, 134] Christian theology and the canon law came to fix the point of animation at 40 days for a male and 80 days for a female, a view that persisted until the 19th century, there was otherwise little agreement about the precise time of formation or animation. There was agreement, however, that prior to this


point the fetus was to be regarded as part of the mother, and its destruction, therefore, was not homicide. Due to continued uncertainty about the precise time when animation occurred, to the lack of any empirical basis for the 40-80-day view, and perhaps to Aquinas' definition of movement as one of the two first principles of life, Bracton focused upon quickening as the critical point. The significance of quickening was echoed by later common-law scholars and found its way into the received common law in this country. Whether abortion of a quick fetus was a felony at common law, or even a lesser crime, is still disputed. Bracton, writing early in the 13th century, thought it homicide. 23 But the later and predominant view, following the great common-law scholars, has been that it was, at most, a lesser offense. In a frequently cited [410 U.S. 113, 135] passage, Coke took the position that abortion of a woman "quick with childe" is "a great misprision, and no murder." 24 Blackstone followed, saying that while abortion after quickening had once been considered manslaughter (though not murder), "modern law" took a less severe view. 25 A recent review of the common-law precedents argues, however, that those precedents contradict Coke and that even post-quickening abortion was never established as a common-law crime. 26 This is of some importance because while most American courts ruled, in holding or dictum, that abortion of an unquickened fetus was not criminal under their received common law, 27 others followed Coke in stating that abortion [410 U.S. 113, 136] of a quick fetus was a "misprision," a term they translated to mean "misdemeanor." 28 That their reliance on Coke on this aspect of the law was uncritical and, apparently in all the reported cases, dictum (due probably to the paucity of common-law prosecutions for post-quickening abortion), makes it now appear doubtful that abortion was ever firmly established as a common-law crime even with respect to the destruction of a quick fetus. 4. The English statutory law. England's first criminal abortion statute, Lord Ellenborough's Act, 43 Geo. 3, c. 58, came in 1803. It made abortion of a quick fetus, 1, a capital crime, but in 2 it provided lesser penalties for the felony of abortion before quickening, and thus preserved the "quickening" distinction. This contrast was

continued in the general revision of 1828, 9 Geo. 4, c. 31, 13. It disappeared, however, together with the death penalty, in 1837, 7 Will. 4 & 1 Vict., c. 85. 6, and did not reappear in the Offenses Against the Person Act of 1861, 24 & 25 Vict., c. 100, 59, that formed the core of English anti-abortion law until the liberalizing reforms of 1967. In 1929, the Infant Life (Preservation) Act, 19 & 20 Geo. 5, c. 34, came into being. Its emphasis was upon the destruction of "the life of a child capable of being born alive." It made a willful act performed with the necessary intent a felony. It contained a proviso that one was not to be [410 U.S. 113, 137] found guilty of the offense "unless it is proved that the act which caused the death of the child was not done in good faith for the purpose only of preserving the life of the mother." A seemingly notable development in the English law was the case of Rex v. Bourne, 1939. 1 K. B. 687. This case apparently answered in the affirmative the question whether an abortion necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman was excepted from the criminal penalties of the 1861 Act. In his instructions to the jury, Judge Macnaghten referred to the 1929 Act, and observed that that Act related to "the case where a child is killed by a wilful act at the time when it is being delivered in the ordinary course of nature." Id., at 691. He concluded that the 1861 Act's use of the word "unlawfully," imported the same meaning expressed by the specific proviso in the 1929 Act, even though there was no mention of preserving the mother's life in the 1861 Act. He then construed the phrase "preserving the life of the mother" broadly, that is, "in a reasonable sense," to include a serious and permanent threat to the mother's health, and instructed the jury to acquit Dr. Bourne if it found he had acted in a good-faith belief that the abortion was necessary for this purpose. Id., at 693-694. The jury did acquit. Recently, Parliament enacted a new abortion law. This is the Abortion Act of 1967, 15 & 16 Eliz. 2, c. 87. The Act permits a licensed physician to perform an abortion where two other licensed physicians agree (a) "that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman, or of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family, greater than if the pregnancy were


terminated," or (b) "that there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as [410 U.S. 113, 138] to be seriously handicapped." The Act also provides that, in making this determination, "account may be taken of the pregnant woman's actual or reasonably foreseeable environment." It also permits a physician, without the concurrence of others, to terminate a pregnancy where he is of the good-faith opinion that the abortion "is immediately necessary to save the life or to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman." 5. The American law. In this country, the law in effect in all but a few States until mid-19th century was the pre-existing English common law. Connecticut, the first State to enact abortion legislation, adopted in 1821 that part of Lord Ellenborough's Act that related to a woman "quick with child." 29 The death penalty was not imposed. Abortion before quickening was made a crime in that State only in 1860. 30In 1828, New York enacted legislation 31 that, in two respects, was to serve as a model for early anti-abortion statutes. First, while barring destruction of an unquickened fetus as well as a quick fetus, it made the former only a misdemeanor, but the latter second-degree manslaughter. Second, it incorporated a concept of therapeutic abortion by providing that an abortion was excused if it "shall have been necessary to preserve the life of such mother, or shall have been advised by two physicians to be necessary for such purpose." By 1840, when Texas had received the common law, 32 only eight American States [410 U.S. 113, 139] had statutes dealing with abortion. 33 It was not until after the War Between the States that legislation began generally to replace the common law. Most of these initial statutes dealt severely with abortion after quickening but were lenient with it before quickening. Most punished attempts equally with completed abortions. While many statutes included the exception for an abortion thought by one or more physicians to be necessary to save the mother's life, that provision soon disappeared and the typical law required that the procedure actually be necessary for that purpose. Gradually, in the middle and late 19th century the quickening distinction disappeared from the statutory law of most States and the

degree of the offense and the penalties were increased. By the end of the 1950's, a large majority of the jurisdictions banned abortion, however and whenever performed, unless done to save or preserve the life of the mother. 34 The exceptions, Alabama and the District of Columbia, permitted abortion to preserve the mother's health. 35 Three States permitted abortions that were not "unlawfully" performed or that were not "without lawful justification," leaving interpretation of those standards to the courts. 36 In [410 U.S. 113, 140] the past several years, however, a trend toward liberalization of abortion statutes has resulted in adoption, by about one-third of the States, of less stringent laws, most of them patterned after the ALI Model Penal Code, 230.3, 37 set forth as Appendix B to the opinion in Doe v. Bolton, post, p. 205. It is thus apparent that at common law, at the time of the adoption of our Constitution, and throughout the major portion of the 19th century, abortion was viewed with less disfavor than under most American statutes currently in effect. Phrasing it another way, a woman enjoyed a substantially broader right to terminate a pregnancy than she does in most States today. At least with respect to the early stage of pregnancy, and very possibly without such a limitation, the opportunity [410 U.S. 113, 141] to make this choice was present in this country well into the 19th century. Even later, the law continued for some time to treat less punitively an abortion procured in early pregnancy. 6. The position of the American Medical Association. The anti-abortion mood prevalent in this country in the late 19th century was shared by the medical profession. Indeed, the attitude of the profession may have played a significant role in the enactment of stringent criminal abortion legislation during that period. An AMA Committee on Criminal Abortion was appointed in May 1857. It presented its report, 12 Trans. of the Am. Med. Assn. 7378 (1859), to the Twelfth Annual Meeting. That report observed that the Committee had been appointed to investigate criminal abortion "with a view to its general suppression." It deplored abortion and its frequency and it listed three causes of "this general demoralization":


"The first of these causes is a wide-spread popular ignorance of the true character of the crime - a belief, even among mothers themselves, that the foetus is not alive till after the period of quickening. "The second of the agents alluded to is the fact that the profession themselves are frequently supposed careless of foetal life . . . . "The third reason of the frightful extent of this crime is found in the grave defects of our laws, both common and statute, as regards the independent and actual existence of the child before birth, as a living being. These errors, which are sufficient in most instances to prevent conviction, are based, and only based, upon mistaken and exploded medical dogmas. With strange inconsistency, the law fully acknowledges the foetus in utero and its inherent rights, for civil purposes; while personally and as criminally affected, it fails to recognize it, [410 U.S. 113, 142] and to its life as yet denies all protection." Id., at 7576. The Committee then offered, and the Association adopted, resolutions protesting "against such unwarrantable destruction of human life," calling upon state legislatures to revise their abortion laws, and requesting the cooperation of state medical societies "in pressing the subject." Id., at 28, 78. In 1871 a long and vivid report was submitted by the Committee on Criminal Abortion. It ended with the observation, "We had to deal with human life. In a matter of less importance we could entertain no compromise. An honest judge on the bench would call things by their proper names. We could do no less." 22 Trans. of the Am. Med. Assn. 258 (1871). It proffered resolutions, adopted by the Association, id., at 38-39, recommending, among other things, that it "be unlawful and unprofessional for any physician to induce abortion or premature labor, without the concurrent opinion of at least one respectable consulting physician, and then always with a view to the safety of the child - if that be possible," and calling "the attention of the clergy of all denominations to the perverted views of morality entertained by a large class of females - aye, and men also, on this important question." Except for periodic condemnation of the criminal abortionist, no further formal AMA action took place until 1967. In that year, the

Committee on Human Reproduction urged the adoption of a stated policy of opposition to induced abortion, except when there is "documented medical evidence" of a threat to the health or life of the mother, or that the child "may be born with incapacitating physical deformity or mental deficiency," or that a pregnancy "resulting from legally established statutory or forcible rape or incest may constitute a threat to the mental or physical health of the [410 U.S. 113, 143] patient," two other physicians "chosen because of their recognized professional competence have examined the patient and have concurred in writing," and the procedure "is performed in a hospital accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals." The providing of medical information by physicians to state legislatures in their consideration of legislation regarding therapeutic abortion was "to be considered consistent with the principles of ethics of the American Medical Association." This recommendation was adopted by the House of Delegates. Proceedings of the AMA House of Delegates 40-51 (June 1967). In 1970, after the introduction of a variety of proposed resolutions, and of a report from its Board of Trustees, a reference committee noted "polarization of the medical profession on this controversial issue"; division among those who had testified; a difference of opinion among AMA councils and committees; "the remarkable shift in testimony" in six months, felt to be influenced "by the rapid changes in state laws and by the judicial decisions which tend to make abortion more freely available;" and a feeling "that this trend will continue." On June 25, 1970, the House of Delegates adopted preambles and most of the resolutions proposed by the reference committee. The preambles emphasized "the best interests of the patient," "sound clinical judgment," and "informed patient consent," in contrast to "mere acquiescence to the patient's demand." The resolutions asserted that abortion is a medical procedure that should be performed by a licensed physician in an accredited hospital only after consultation with two other physicians and in conformity with state law, and that no party to the procedure should be required to violate personally held moral principles. 38 Proceedings[410 U.S. 113, 144] of the AMA House of Delegates 220


(June 1970). The AMA Judicial Council rendered a complementary opinion. 39 7. The position of the American Public Health Association. In October 1970, the Executive Board of the APHA adopted Standards for Abortion Services. These were five in number: "a. Rapid and simple abortion referral must be readily available through state and local public [410 U.S. 113, 145] health departments, medical societies, or other nonprofit organizations. "b. An important function of counselling should be to simplify and expedite the provision of abortion services; it should not delay the obtaining of these services. "c. Psychiatric consultation should not be mandatory. As in the case of other specialized medical services, psychiatric consultation should be sought for definite indications and not on a routine basis. "d. A wide range of individuals from appropriately trained, sympathetic volunteers to highly skilled physicians may qualify as abortion counselors. "e. Contraception and/or sterilization should be discussed with each abortion patient." Recommended Standards for Abortion Services, 61 Am. J. Pub. Health 396 (1971). Among factors pertinent to life and health risks associated with abortion were three that "are recognized as important": "a. the skill of the physician, "b. the environment in which the abortion is performed, and above all "c. the duration of pregnancy, as determined by uterine size and confirmed by menstrual history." Id., at 397. It was said that "a well-equipped hospital" offers more protection "to cope with unforeseen difficulties than an office or clinic without such resources. . . . The factor of gestational age is of overriding importance." Thus, it was recommended that abortions in the second trimester and early abortions in the presence of existing medical complications be performed in hospitals as inpatient procedures. For pregnancies in the first trimester, [410 U.S. 113, 146] abortion in the hospital with or without overnight stay "is probably the safest practice." An abortion in an extramural facility, however, is an acceptable alternative "provided arrangements exist in advance to admit patients promptly if unforeseen complications develop." Standards for an abortion facility

were listed. It was said that at present abortions should be performed by physicians or osteopaths who are licensed to practice and who have "adequate training." Id., at 398. 8. The position of the American Bar Association. At its meeting in February 1972 the ABA House of Delegates approved, with 17 opposing votes, the Uniform Abortion Act that had been drafted and approved the preceding August by the Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. 58 A. B. A. J. 380 (1972). We set forth the Act in full in the margin. 40 The [410 U.S. 113, 147] Conference has appended an enlightening Prefatory Note. 41 VII Three reasons have been advanced to explain historically the enactment of criminal abortion laws in the 19th century and to justify their continued existence. [410 U.S. 113, 148] It has been argued occasionally that these laws were the product of a Victorian social concern to discourage illicit sexual conduct. Texas, however, does not advance this justification in the present case, and it appears that no court or commentator has taken the argument seriously. 42 The appellants and amici contend, moreover, that this is not a proper state purpose at all and suggest that, if it were, the Texas statutes are overbroad in protecting it since the law fails to distinguish between married and unwed mothers. A second reason is concerned with abortion as a medical procedure. When most criminal abortion laws were first enacted, the procedure was a hazardous one for the woman. 43 This was particularly true prior to the [410 U.S. 113, 149] development of antisepsis. Antiseptic techniques, of course, were based on discoveries by Lister, Pasteur, and others first announced in 1867, but were not generally accepted and employed until about the turn of the century. Abortion mortality was high. Even after 1900, and perhaps until as late as the development of antibiotics in the 1940's, standard modern techniques such as dilation and curettage were not nearly so safe as they are today. Thus, it has been argued that a State's real concern in enacting a criminal abortion law was to protect the pregnant woman, that is, to restrain her from submitting to a procedure that placed her life in serious jeopardy. Modern medical techniques have altered this situation. Appellants and various amici refer


to medical data indicating that abortion in early pregnancy, that is, prior to the end of the first trimester, although not without its risk, is now relatively safe. Mortality rates for women undergoing early abortions, where the procedure is legal, appear to be as low as or lower than the rates for normal childbirth. 44Consequently, any interest of the State in protecting the woman from an inherently hazardous procedure, except when it would be equally dangerous for her to forgo it, has largely disappeared. Of course, important state interests in the areas of health and medical standards do remain. [410 U.S. 113, 150] The State has a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion, like any other medical procedure, is performed under circumstances that insure maximum safety for the patient. This interest obviously extends at least to the performing physician and his staff, to the facilities involved, to the availability of after-care, and to adequate provision for any complication or emergency that might arise. The prevalence of high mortality rates at illegal "abortion mills" strengthens, rather than weakens, the State's interest in regulating the conditions under which abortions are performed. Moreover, the risk to the woman increases as her pregnancy continues. Thus, the State retains a definite interest in protecting the woman's own health and safety when an abortion is proposed at a late stage of pregnancy. The third reason is the State's interest - some phrase it in terms of duty - in protecting prenatal life. Some of the argument for this justification rests on the theory that a new human life is present from the moment of conception. 45 The State's interest and general obligation to protect life then extends, it is argued, to prenatal life. Only when the life of the pregnant mother herself is at stake, balanced against the life she carries within her, should the interest of the embryo or fetus not prevail. Logically, of course, a legitimate state interest in this area need not stand or fall on acceptance of the belief that life begins at conception or at some other point prior to live birth. In assessing the State's interest, recognition may be given to the less rigid claim that as long as at least potential life is involved, the State may assert interests beyond the protection of the pregnant woman alone. [410 U.S. 113, 151] Parties challenging state abortion laws have sharply disputed in some courts the

contention that a purpose of these laws, when enacted, was to protect prenatal life. 46 Pointing to the absence of legislative history to support the contention, they claim that most state laws were designed solely to protect the woman. Because medical advances have lessened this concern, at least with respect to abortion in early pregnancy, they argue that with respect to such abortions the laws can no longer be justified by any state interest. There is some scholarly support for this view of original purpose. 47 The few state courts called upon to interpret their laws in the late 19th and early 20th centuries did focus on the State's interest in protecting the woman's health rather than in preserving the embryo and fetus.48 Proponents of this view point out that in many States, including Texas, 49 by statute or judicial interpretation, the pregnant woman herself could not be prosecuted for self-abortion or for cooperating in an abortion performed upon her by another. 50 They claim that adoption of the "quickening" distinction through received common [410 U.S. 113, 152] law and state statutes tacitly recognizes the greater health hazards inherent in late abortion and impliedly repudiates the theory that life begins at conception. It is with these interests, and the weight to be attached to them, that this case is concerned. VIII The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however, going back perhaps as far as Union Pacific R. Co. v. Botsford, 141 U.S. 250, 251 (1891), the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution. In varying contexts, the Court or individual Justices have, indeed, found at least the roots of that right in the First Amendment, Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 557, 564 (1969); in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 8 -9 (1968), Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 350 (1967), Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616 (1886), see Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 478 (1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting); in the penumbras of the Bill of Rights, Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S., at 484 -485; in the Ninth Amendment, id., at 486 (Goldberg, J., concurring); or in the concept of liberty guaranteed by the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, see Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390,


399 (1923). These decisions make it clear that only personal rights that can be deemed "fundamental" or "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty," Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319, 325 (1937), are included in this guarantee of personal privacy. They also make it clear that the right has some extension to activities relating to marriage, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967); procreation, Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 -542 (1942); contraception, Eisenstadt v. Baird,405 U.S., at 453 -454; id., at 460, 463-465 [410 U.S. 113, 153] (WHITE, J., concurring in result); family relationships, Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 166 (1944); and child rearing and education, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 535 (1925), Meyer v. Nebraska, supra. This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. The detriment that the State would impose upon the pregnant woman by denying this choice altogether is apparent. Specific and direct harm medically diagnosable even in early pregnancy may be involved. Maternity, or additional offspring, may force upon the woman a distressful life and future. Psychological harm may be imminent. Mental and physical health may be taxed by child care. There is also the distress, for all concerned, associated with the unwanted child, and there is the problem of bringing a child into a family already unable, psychologically and otherwise, to care for it. In other cases, as in this one, the additional difficulties and continuing stigma of unwed motherhood may be involved. All these are factors the woman and her responsible physician necessarily will consider in consultation. On the basis of elements such as these, appellant and some amici argue that the woman's right is absolute and that she is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she alone chooses. With this we do not agree. Appellant's arguments that Texas either has no valid interest at all in regulating the abortion decision, or no

interest strong enough to support any limitation upon the woman's sole determination, are unpersuasive. The [410 U.S. 113, 154] Court's decisions recognizing a right of privacy also acknowledge that some state regulation in areas protected by that right is appropriate. As noted above, a State may properly assert important interests in safeguarding health, in maintaining medical standards, and in protecting potential life. At some point in pregnancy, these respective interests become sufficiently compelling to sustain regulation of the factors that govern the abortion decision. The privacy right involved, therefore, cannot be said to be absolute. In fact, it is not clear to us that the claim asserted by some amici that one has an unlimited right to do with one's body as one pleases bears a close relationship to the right of privacy previously articulated in the Court's decisions. The Court has refused to recognize an unlimited right of this kind in the past. Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905) (vaccination); Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200(1927) (sterilization). We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation. We note that those federal and state courts that have recently considered abortion law challenges have reached the same conclusion. A majority, in addition to the District Court in the present case, have held state laws unconstitutional, at least in part, because of vagueness or because of overbreadth and abridgment of rights. Abele v. Markle, 342 F. Supp. 800 (Conn. 1972), appeal docketed, No. 72-56; Abele v. Markle, 351 F. Supp. 224 (Conn. 1972), appeal docketed, No. 72730; Doe v. Bolton, 319 F. Supp. 1048 (ND Ga. 1970), appeal decided today, post, p. 179; Doe v. Scott, 321 F. Supp. 1385 (ND Ill. 1971), appeal docketed, No. 70-105; Poe v. Menghini, 339 F. Supp. 986 (Kan. 1972); YWCA v. Kugler, 342 F. Supp. 1048 (NJ 1972); Babbitz v. McCann, [410 U.S. 113, 155] 310 F. Supp. 293 (ED Wis. 1970), appeal dismissed, 400 U.S. 1 (1970); People v. Belous, 71 Cal. 2d 954, 458 P.2d 194 (1969), cert. denied, 397 U.S. 915 (1970); State v. Barquet, 262 So.2d 431 (Fla. 1972). Others have sustained state statutes. Crossen v. Attorney General, 344 F. Supp. 587 (ED Ky. 1972), appeal docketed, No. 72-256;


Rosen v. Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, 318 F. Supp. 1217 (ED La. 1970), appeal docketed, No. 70-42; Corkey v. Edwards, 322 F. Supp. 1248 (WDNC 1971), appeal docketed, No. 71-92; Steinberg v. Brown, 321 F. Supp. 741 (ND Ohio 1970); Doe v. Rampton (Utah 1971), appeal docketed, No. 71-5666; Cheaney v. State, ___ Ind. ___, 285 N. E. 2d 265 (1972); Spears v. State, 257 So.2d 876 (Miss. 1972); State v. Munson, 86 S. D. 663, 201 N. W. 2d 123 (1972), appeal docketed, No. 72-631. Although the results are divided, most of these courts have agreed that the right of privacy, however based, is broad enough to cover the abortion decision; that the right, nonetheless, is not absolute and is subject to some limitations; and that at some point the state interests as to protection of health, medical standards, and prenatal life, become dominant. We agree with this approach. Where certain "fundamental rights" are involved, the Court has held that regulation limiting these rights may be justified only by a "compelling state interest," Kramer v. Union Free School District, 395 U.S. 621, 627 (1969); Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618, 634 (1969), Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 406 (1963), and that legislative enactments must be narrowly drawn to express only the legitimate state interests at stake. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S., at 485 ; Aptheker v. Secretary of State, 378 U.S. 500, 508 (1964); Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 307 -308 (1940); see [410 U.S. 113, 156] Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S., at 460 , 463-464 (WHITE, J., concurring in result). In the recent abortion cases, cited above, courts have recognized these principles. Those striking down state laws have generally scrutinized the State's interests in protecting health and potential life, and have concluded that neither interest justified broad limitations on the reasons for which a physician and his pregnant patient might decide that she should have an abortion in the early stages of pregnancy. Courts sustaining state laws have held that the State's determinations to protect health or prenatal life are dominant and constitutionally justifiable. IX The District Court held that the appellee failed to meet his burden of demonstrating that the Texas statute's infringement upon

Roe's rights was necessary to support a compelling state interest, and that, although the appellee presented "several compelling justifications for state presence in the area of abortions," the statutes outstripped these justifications and swept "far beyond any areas of compelling state interest." 314 F. Supp., at 1222-1223. Appellant and appellee both contest that holding. Appellant, as has been indicated, claims an absolute right that bars any state imposition of criminal penalties in the area. Appellee argues that the State's determination to recognize and protect prenatal life from and after conception constitutes a compelling state interest. As noted above, we do not agree fully with either formulation. A. The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a "person" within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well-known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, [410 U.S. 113, 157] for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment. The appellant conceded as much on reargument. 51 On the other hand, the appellee conceded on reargument 52 that no case could be cited that holds that a fetus is a person within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Constitution does not define "person" in so many words. Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment contains three references to "person." The first, in defining "citizens," speaks of "persons born or naturalized in the United States." The word also appears both in the Due Process Clause and in the Equal Protection Clause. "Person" is used in other places in the Constitution: in the listing of qualifications for Representatives and Senators, Art. I, 2, cl. 2, and 3, cl. 3; in the Apportionment Clause, Art. I, 2, cl. 3;53 in the Migration and Importation provision, Art. I, 9, cl. 1; in the Emolument Clause, Art. I, 9, cl. 8; in the Electors provisions, Art. II, 1, cl. 2, and the superseded cl. 3; in the provision outlining qualifications for the office of President, Art. II, 1, cl. 5; in the Extradition provisions, Art. IV, 2, cl. 2, and the superseded Fugitive Slave Clause 3; and in the Fifth, Twelfth, and Twenty-second Amendments, as well as in 2 and 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. But in nearly all


these instances, the use of the word is such that it has application only postnatally. None indicates, with any assurance, that it has any possible pre-natal application. 54 [410 U.S. 113, 158] All this, together with our observation, supra, that throughout the major portion of the 19th century prevailing legal abortion practices were far freer than they are today, persuades us that the word "person," as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn. 55 This is in accord with the results reached in those few cases where the issue has been squarely presented. McGarvey v. Magee-Womens Hospital, 340 F. Supp. 751 (WD Pa. 1972); Byrn v. New York City Health & Hospitals Corp., 31 N. Y. 2d 194, 286 N. E. 2d 887 (1972), appeal docketed, No. 72-434; Abele v. Markle, 351 F. Supp. 224 (Conn. 1972), appeal docketed, No. 72730. Cf. Cheaney v. State, ___ Ind., at ___, 285 N. E. 2d, at 270; Montana v. Rogers, 278 F.2d 68, 72 (CA7 1960), aff'd sub nom. Montana v. Kennedy, 366 U.S. 308 (1961); Keeler v. Superior Court, 2 Cal. 3d 619, 470 P.2d 617 (1970); State v. Dickinson, 28[410 U.S. 113, 159] Ohio St. 2d 65, 275 N. E. 2d 599 (1971). Indeed, our decision in United States v. Vuitch, 402 U.S. 62 (1971), inferentially is to the same effect, for we there would not have indulged in statutory interpretation favorable to abortion in specified circumstances if the necessary consequence was the termination of life entitled to Fourteenth Amendment protection. This conclusion, however, does not of itself fully answer the contentions raised by Texas, and we pass on to other considerations. B. The pregnant woman cannot be isolated in her privacy. She carries an embryo and, later, a fetus, if one accepts the medical definitions of the developing young in the human uterus. See Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary 478-479, 547 (24th ed. 1965). The situation therefore is inherently different from marital intimacy, or bedroom possession of obscene material, or marriage, or procreation, or education, with which Eisenstadt and Griswold, Stanley, Loving, Skinner, and Pierce and Meyer were respectively concerned. As we have intimated above, it is reasonable and appropriate for a State to decide that at some point in time another interest, that of health of the mother or that of potential human life, becomes significantly involved. The woman's privacy is no longer

sole and any right of privacy she possesses must be measured accordingly. Texas urges that, apart from the Fourteenth Amendment, life begins at conception and is present throughout pregnancy, and that, therefore, the State has a compelling interest in protecting that life from and after conception. We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer. [410 U.S. 113, 160] It should be sufficient to note briefly the wide divergence of thinking on this most sensitive and difficult question. There has always been strong support for the view that life does not begin until live birth. This was the belief of the Stoics. 56 It appears to be the predominant, though not the unanimous, attitude of the Jewish faith. 57 It may be taken to represent also the position of a large segment of the Protestant community, insofar as that can be ascertained; organized groups that have taken a formal position on the abortion issue have generally regarded abortion as a matter for the conscience of the individual and her family. 58 As we have noted, the common law found greater significance in quickening. Physicians and their scientific colleagues have regarded that event with less interest and have tended to focus either upon conception, upon live birth, or upon the interim point at which the fetus becomes "viable," that is, potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid. 59 Viability is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks. 60 The Aristotelian theory of "mediate animation," that held sway throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Europe, continued to be official Roman Catholic dogma until the 19th century, despite opposition to this "ensoulment" theory from those in the Church who would recognize the existence of life from [410 U.S. 113, 161] the moment of conception. 61 The latter is now, of course, the official belief of the Catholic Church. As one brief amicus discloses, this is a view strongly held by many non-Catholics as well, and by many physicians. Substantial problems for precise definition of this view


are posed, however, by new embryological data that purport to indicate that conception is a "process" over time, rather than an event, and by new medical techniques such as menstrual extraction, the "morning-after" pill, implantation of embryos, artificial insemination, and even artificial wombs. 62 In areas other than criminal abortion, the law has been reluctant to endorse any theory that life, as we recognize it, begins before live birth or to accord legal rights to the unborn except in narrowly defined situations and except when the rights are contingent upon live birth. For example, the traditional rule of tort law denied recovery for prenatal injuries even though the child was born alive. 63 That rule has been changed in almost every jurisdiction. In most States, recovery is said to be permitted only if the fetus was viable, or at least quick, when the injuries were sustained, though few [410 U.S. 113, 162] courts have squarely so held. 64 In a recent development, generally opposed by the commentators, some States permit the parents of a stillborn child to maintain an action for wrongful death because of prenatal injuries. 65 Such an action, however, would appear to be one to vindicate the parents' interest and is thus consistent with the view that the fetus, at most, represents only the potentiality of life. Similarly, unborn children have been recognized as acquiring rights or interests by way of inheritance or other devolution of property, and have been represented by guardians ad litem. 66 Perfection of the interests involved, again, has generally been contingent upon live birth. In short, the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense. X In view of all this, we do not agree that, by adopting one theory of life, Texas may override the rights of the pregnant woman that are at stake. We repeat, however, that the State does have an important and legitimate interest in preserving and protecting the health of the pregnant woman, whether she be a resident of the State or a nonresident who seeks medical consultation and treatment there, and that it has still another important and legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of human life. These interests are separate and distinct. Each grows in substantiality as the woman approaches [410

U.S. 113, 163] term and, at a point during pregnancy, each becomes "compelling." With respect to the State's important and legitimate interest in the health of the mother, the "compelling" point, in the light of present medical knowledge, is at approximately the end of the first trimester. This is so because of the now-established medical fact, referred to above at 149, that until the end of the first trimester mortality in abortion may be less than mortality in normal childbirth. It follows that, from and after this point, a State may regulate the abortion procedure to the extent that the regulation reasonably relates to the preservation and protection of maternal health. Examples of permissible state regulation in this area are requirements as to the qualifications of the person who is to perform the abortion; as to the licensure of that person; as to the facility in which the procedure is to be performed, that is, whether it must be a hospital or may be a clinic or some other place of less-than-hospital status; as to the licensing of the facility; and the like. This means, on the other hand, that, for the period of pregnancy prior to this "compelling" point, the attending physician, in consultation with his patient, is free to determine, without regulation by the State, that, in his medical judgment, the patient's pregnancy should be terminated. If that decision is reached, the judgment may be effectuated by an abortion free of interference by the State. With respect to the State's important and legitimate interest in potential life, the "compelling" point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother's womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion [410 U.S. 113, 164] during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother. Measured against these standards, Art. 1196 of the Texas Penal Code, in restricting legal abortions to those "procured or attempted by medical advice for the purpose of saving the life of the mother," sweeps too broadly. The statute makes no distinction between abortions performed early in pregnancy and those performed later, and it limits to a single reason, "saving" the mother's life, the legal


justification for the procedure. The statute, therefore, cannot survive the constitutional attack made upon it here. This conclusion makes it unnecessary for us to consider the additional challenge to the Texas statute asserted on grounds of vagueness. See United States v. Vuitch, 402 U.S., at 67 -72. XI To summarize and to repeat: 1. A state criminal abortion statute of the current Texas type, that excepts from criminality only a life-saving procedure on behalf of the mother, without regard to pregnancy stage and without recognition of the other interests involved, is violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. (a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman's attending physician. (b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health. (c) For the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life [410 U.S. 113, 165] may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother. 2. The State may define the term "physician," as it has been employed in the preceding paragraphs of this Part XI of this opinion, to mean only a physician currently licensed by the State, and may proscribe any abortion by a person who is not a physician as so defined. In Doe v. Bolton, post, p. 179, procedural requirements contained in one of the modern abortion statutes are considered. That opinion and this one, of course, are to be read together. 67 This holding, we feel, is consistent with the relative weights of the respective interests involved, with the lessons and examples of medical and legal history, with the lenity of the common law, and with the demands of the profound problems of the present day. The decision leaves the State free to place increasing restrictions on abortion as the

period of pregnancy lengthens, so long as those restrictions are tailored to the recognized state interests. The decision vindicates the right of the physician to administer medical treatment according to his professional judgment up to the points where important[410 U.S. 113, 166] state interests provide compelling justifications for intervention. Up to those points, the abortion decision in all its aspects is inherently, and primarily, a medical decision, and basic responsibility for it must rest with the physician. If an individual practitioner abuses the privilege of exercising proper medical judgment, the usual remedies, judicial and intra-professional, are available. XII Our conclusion that Art. 1196 is unconstitutional means, of course, that the Texas abortion statutes, as a unit, must fall. The exception of Art. 1196 cannot be struck down separately, for then the State would be left with a statute proscribing all abortion procedures no matter how medically urgent the case. Although the District Court granted appellant Roe declaratory relief, it stopped short of issuing an injunction against enforcement of the Texas statutes. The Court has recognized that different considerations enter into a federal court's decision as to declaratory relief, on the one hand, and injunctive relief, on the other. Zwickler v. Koota, 389 U.S. 241, 252 -255 (1967); Dombrowski v. Pfister,380 U.S. 479 (1965). We are not dealing with a statute that, on its face, appears to abridge free expression, an area of particular concern under Dombrowski and refined in Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S., at 50 . We find it unnecessary to decide whether the District Court erred in withholding injunctive relief, for we assume the Texas prosecutorial authorities will give full credence to this decision that the present criminal abortion statutes of that State are unconstitutional. The judgment of the District Court as to intervenor Hallford is reversed, and Dr. Hallford's complaint in intervention is dismissed. In all other respects, the judgment [410 U.S. 113, 167] of the District Court is affirmed. Costs are allowed to the appellee. It is so ordered.


Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-16439 July 20, 1961 ANTONIO GELUZ, petitioner, vs. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS and OSCAR LAZO, respondents. Mariano H. de Joya for petitioner. A.P. Salvador for respondents. REYES, J.B.L., J.: This petition for certiorari brings up for review question whether the husband of a woman, who voluntarily procured her abortion, could recover damages from physician who caused the same. The litigation was commenced in the Court of First Instance of Manila by respondent Oscar Lazo, the of Nita Villanueva, against petitioner Antonio Geluz, a physician. Convinced of the merits of the complaint upon the evidence adduced, the trial court rendered judgment favor of plaintiff Lazo and against defendant Geluz, ordering the latter to pay P3,000.00 as damages, P700.00 attorney's fees and the costs of the suit. On appeal, Court of Appeals, in a special division of five, sustained the award by a majority vote of three justices as against two, who rendered a separate dissenting opinion. The facts are set forth in the majority opinion as follows: Nita Villanueva came to know the defendant (Antonio Geluz) for the first time in 1948 through her aunt Paula Yambot. In 1950 she became pregnant by her present husband before they were legally married. Desiring to conceal her pregnancy from her parent, and acting on the advice of her aunt, she had herself aborted by the defendant. After her marriage with the plaintiff, she again became pregnant. As she was then employed in the Commission on Elections and her pregnancy proved to be inconvenient, she had herself aborted again by the defendant in October 1953. Less than two years later, she again became pregnant. On February 21, 1955, accompanied by her sister Purificacion and the latter's daughter Lucida, she again repaired to the defendant's clinic on Carriedo and P. Gomez streets in Manila, where the three met the defendant and his wife. Nita was again aborted, of a two-month old foetus, in consideration of the sum of fifty pesos, Philippine currency. The plaintiff was at this

time in the province of Cagayan, campaigning for his election to the provincial board; he did not know of, nor gave his consent, to the abortion. It is the third and last abortion that constitutes plaintiff's basis in filing this action and award of damages. Upon application of the defendant Geluz we granted certiorari. The Court of Appeals and the trial court predicated the award of damages in the sum of P3,000.06 upon the provisions of the initial paragraph of Article 2206 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. This we believe to be error, for the said article, in fixing a minimum award of P3,000.00 for the death of a person, does not cover the case of an unborn foetus that is not endowed with personality. Under the system of our Civil Code, "la criatura abortiva no alcanza la categoria de persona natural y en consscuencia es un ser no nacido a la vida del Derecho" (Casso-Cervera, "Diccionario de Derecho Privado", Vol. 1, p. 49), being incapable of having rights and obligations. Since an action for pecuniary damages on account of personal injury or death pertains primarily to the one injured, it is easy to see that if no action for such damages could be instituted on behalf of the unborn child on account of the injuries it received, no such right of action could derivatively accrue to its parents or heirs. In fact, even if a cause of action did accrue on behalf of the unborn child, the same was extinguished by its prenatal death, since no transmission to anyone can take place from on that lacked juridical personality (or juridical capacity as distinguished from capacity to act). It is no answer to invoke the provisional personality of a conceived child (conceptus pro nato habetur) under Article 40 of the Civil Code, because that same article expressly limits such provisional personality by imposing the condition that the child should be subsequently born alive: "provided it be born later with the condition specified in the following article". In the present case, there is no dispute that the child was dead when separated from its mother's womb. The prevailing American jurisprudence is to the same effect; and it is generally held that recovery can not had for the death of an unborn child (Stafford vs. Roadway Transit Co., 70 F. Supp. 555; Dietrich vs. Northampton, 52 Am. Rep. 242; and


numerous cases collated in the editorial note, 10 ALR, (2d) 639). This is not to say that the parents are not entitled to collect any damages at all. But such damages must be those inflicted directly upon them, as distinguished from the injury or violation of the rights of the deceased, his right to life and physical integrity. Because the parents can not expect either help, support or services from an unborn child, they would normally be limited to moral damages for the illegal arrest of the normal development of the spes hominis that was the foetus, i.e., on account of distress and anguish attendant to its loss, and the disappointment of their parental expectations (Civ. Code Art. 2217), as well as to exemplary damages, if the circumstances should warrant them (Art. 2230). But in the case before us, both the trial court and the Court of Appeals have not found any basis for an award of moral damages, evidently because the appellee's indifference to the previous abortions of his wife, also caused by the appellant herein, clearly indicates that he was unconcerned with the frustration of his parental hopes and affections. The lower court expressly found, and the majority opinion of the Court of Appeals did not contradict it, that the appellee was aware of the second abortion; and the probabilities are that he was likewise aware of the first. Yet despite the suspicious repetition of the event, he appeared to have taken no steps to investigate or pinpoint the causes thereof, and secure the punishment of the responsible practitioner. Even after learning of the third abortion, the appellee does not seem to have taken interest in the administrative and criminal cases against the appellant. His only concern appears to have been directed at obtaining from the doctor a large money payment, since he sued for P50,000.00 damages and P3,000.00 attorney's fees, an "indemnity" claim that, under the circumstances of record, was clearly exaggerated. The dissenting Justices of the Court of Appeals have aptly remarked that: It seems to us that the normal reaction of a husband who righteously feels outraged by the abortion which his wife has deliberately sought at the hands of a physician would be highminded rather than mercenary; and that his primary concern would be to see to it that the medical profession was purged of an unworthy member rather than turn his wife's

indiscretion to personal profit, and with that idea in mind to press either the administrative or the criminal cases he had filed, or both, instead of abandoning them in favor of a civil action for damages of which not only he, but also his wife, would be the beneficiaries. It is unquestionable that the appellant's act in provoking the abortion of appellee's wife, without medical necessity to warrant it, was a criminal and morally reprehensible act, that can not be too severely condemned; and the consent of the woman or that of her husband does not excuse it. But the immorality or illegality of the act does not justify an award of damage that, under the circumstances on record, have no factual or legal basis. The decision appealed from is reversed, and the complaint ordered dismissed. Without costs. Let a copy of this decision be furnished to the Department of Justice and the Board of Medical Examiners for their information and such investigation and action against the appellee Antonio Geluz as the facts may warrant. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 26795 July 31, 1970 CARMEN QUIMIGUING, Suing through her parents, ANTONIO QUIMIGUING and JACOBA CABILIN,plaintiffsappellants, vs. FELIX ICAO, defendant-appellee. Torcuato L. Galon for plaintiffs-appellants. Godardo Jacinto for defendant-appellee. REYES, J.B.L., J.: Appeal on points of law from an order of the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga del Norte (Judge Onofre Sison Abalos, presiding), in its Civil Case No. 1590, dismissing a complaint for support and damages, and another order denying amendment of the same pleading. The events in the court of origin can be summarized as follows: Appellant, Carmen Quimiguing, assisted by her parents, sued Felix Icao in the court below. In her complaint it was averred that the parties were neighbors in Dapitan City, and had close and confidential relations; that defendant Icao, although married, succeeded


in having carnal intercourse with plaintiff several times by force and intimidation, and without her consent; that as a result she became pregnant, despite efforts and drugs supplied by defendant, and plaintiff had to stop studying. Hence, she claimed support at P120.00 per month, damages and attorney's fees. Duly summoned, defendant Icao moved to dismiss for lack of cause of action since the complaint did not allege that the child had been born; and after hearing arguments, the trial judge sustained defendant's motion and dismissed the complaint. Thereafter, plaintiff moved to amend the complaint to allege that as a result of the intercourse, plaintiff had later given birth to a baby girl; but the court, sustaining defendant's objection, ruled that no amendment was allowable, since the original complaint averred no cause of action. Wherefore, the plaintiff appealed directly to this Court. We find the appealed orders of the court below to be untenable. A conceived child, although as yet unborn, is given by law a provisional personality of its own for all purposes favorable to it, as explicitly provided in Article 40 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. The unborn child, therefore, has a right to support from its progenitors, particularly of the defendant-appellee (whose paternity is deemed admitted for the purpose of the motion to dismiss), even if the said child is only "en ventre de sa mere;" just as a conceived child, even if as yet unborn, may receive donations as prescribed by Article 742 of the same Code, and its being ignored by the parent in his testament may result in preterition of a forced heir that annuls the institution of the testamentary heir, even if such child should be born after the death of the testator Article 854, Civil Code). ART. 742. Donations made to conceived and unborn children may be accepted by those persons who would legally represent them if they were already born. ART. 854. The preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious. If the omitted compulsory heirs should die before the testator, the institution shall be

effectual, without prejudice to the right of 'representation. It is thus clear that the lower court's theory that Article 291 of the Civil Code declaring that support is an obligation of parents and illegitimate children "does not contemplate support to children as yet unborn," violates Article 40 aforesaid, besides imposing a condition that nowhere appears in the text of Article 291. It is true that Article 40 prescribing that "the conceived child shall be considered born for all purposes that are favorable to it" adds further "provided it be born later with the conditions specified in the following article" (i.e., that the foetus be alive at the time it is completely delivered from the mother's womb). This proviso, however, is not a condition precedent to the right of the conceived child; for if it were, the first part of Article 40 would become entirely useless and ineffective. Manresa, in his Commentaries (5th Ed.) to the corresponding Article 29 of the Spanish Civil Code, clearly points this out: Los derechos atribuidos al nasciturus no son simples expectativas, ni aun en el sentido tecnico que la moderna doctrina da a esta figura juridica sino que constituyen un caso de los propiamente Ilamados 'derechos en estado de pendenci'; el nacimiento del sujeto en las condiciones previstas por el art. 30, no determina el nacimiento de aquellos derechos (que ya existian de antemano), sino que se trata de un hecho que tiene efectos declarativos. (1 Manresa, Op. cit., page 271) A second reason for reversing the orders appealed from is that for a married man to force a woman not his wife to yield to his lust (as averred in the original complaint in this case) constitutes a clear violation of the rights of his victim that entitles her to claim compensation for the damage caused. Says Article 21 of the Civil Code of the Philippines: ART. 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. The rule of Article 21 is supported by Article 2219 of the same Code: ART 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases: (3) Seduction, abduction, rape or other lascivious acts:


xxx xxx xxx (10) Acts and actions referred to in Articles 21, 26, 27, 28 .... Thus, independently of the right to Support of the child she was carrying, plaintiff herself had a cause of action for damages under the terms of the complaint; and the order dismissing it for failure to state a cause of action was doubly in error. WHEREFORE, the orders under appeal are reversed and set aside. Let the case be remanded to the court of origin for further proceedings conformable to this decision. Costs against appellee Felix Icao. So ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-39110 November 28, 1933 ANTONIA L. DE JESUS, ET AL., plaintiff-appellant, vs. CESAR SYQUIA, defendant-appellant. Jose Sotelo for plaintiffs-appellants. Vicente J. Francisco for defendant-appellant. STREET, J.: This action was instituted in the Court of First Instance of Manila by Antonia Loanco de Jesus in her own right and by her mother, Pilar Marquez, as next friend and representative of Ismael and Pacita Loanco, infants, children of the first-named plaintiff, for the purpose of recovering from the defendant, Cesar Syquia, the sum of thirty thousand pesos as damages resulting to the first-named plaintiff from breach of a marriage promise, to compel the defendant to recognize Ismael and Pacita as natural children begotten by him with Antonia, and to pay for the maintenance of the three the amount of five hundred pesos per month, together with costs. Upon hearing the cause, after answer of the defendant, the trial court erred a decree requiring the defendant to recognize Ismael Loanco as his natural child and to pay maintenance for him at the rate of fifty pesos per month, with costs, dismissing the action in other respects. From this judgment both parties appealed, the plaintiffs from so much of the decision as denied part of the relief sought by them, and the defendant from that feature of the decision

which required him to recognize Ismael Loanco and to pay for his maintenance. At the time with which we are here concerned, the defendant, Cesar Syquia was of the age of twenty-three years, and an unmarried scion of the prominent family in Manila, being possessed of a considerable property in his own right. His brother-in-law, Vicente Mendoza is the owner of a barber shop in Tondo, where the defendant was accustomed to go for tonsorial attention. In the month of June Antonia Loanco, a likely unmarried girl of the age of twenty years, was taken on as cashier in this barber shop. Syquia was not long in making her acquaintance and amorous relations resulted, as a consequence of which Antonia was gotten with child and a baby boy was born on June 17, 1931. The defendant was a constant visitor at the home of Antonia in the early months of her pregnancy, and in February, 1931, he wrote and placed in her hands a note directed to the padre who has expected to christen the baby. This note was as follows: Saturday, 1:30 p. m. February 14, 1931 Rev. FATHER, The baby due in June is mine and I should like for my name to be given to it. CESAR SYQUIA The occasion for writing this note was that the defendant was on the eve of his departure on a trip to China and Japan; and while he was abroad on this visit he wrote several letters to Antonia showing a paternal interest in the situation that had developed with her, and cautioning her to keep in good condition in order that "junior"(meaning the baby to be, "Syquia, Jr.") might be strong, and promising to return to them soon. The baby arrived at the time expected, and all necessary anticipatory preparations were made by the defendant. To this he employed his friend Dr. Crescenciano Talavera to attend at the birth, and made arrangements for the hospitalization of the mother in Saint Joseph's Hospital of the City of Manila, where she was cared for during confinement. When Antonio was able to leave the hospital, Syquia took her, with her mother and the baby, to a house at No. 551 Camarines Street, Manila, where they lived together for about a year in regular family style, all household expenses, including gas and electric light, being defrayed by Syquia. In course of time, however, the defendant's


ardor abated and, when Antonia began to show signs of a second pregnancy the defendant decamped, and he is now married to another woman. A point that should here be noted is that when the time came for christening the child, the defendant, who had charge of the arrangement for this ceremony, caused the name Ismael Loanco to be given to him, instead of Cesar Syquia, Jr., as was at first planned. The first question that is presented in the case is whether the note to the padre, quoted above, in connection with the letters written by the defendant to the mother during pregnancy, proves an acknowledgment of paternity, within the meaning of subsection 1 of article 135 of the Civil Code. Upon this point we have no hesitancy in holding that the acknowledgment thus shown is sufficient. It is a universal rule of jurisprudence that a child, upon being conceived, becomes a bearer of legal rights and capable of being dealt with as a living person. The fact that it is yet unborn is no impediment to the acquisition of rights. The problem here presented of the recognition of unborn child is really not different from that presented in the ordinary case of the recognition of a child already born and bearing a specific name. Only the means and resources of identification are different. Even a bequest to a living child requires oral evidence to connect the particular individual intended with the name used. It is contended however, in the present case that the words of description used in the writings before us are not legally sufficient to indemnify the child now suing as Ismael Loanco. This contention is not, in our opinion, well founded. The words of recognition contained in the note to the padre are not capable of two constructions. They refer to a baby then conceived which was expected to be born in June and which would thereafter be presented for christening. The baby came, and though it was in the end given the name of Ismael Loanco instead of Cesar Syquia, Jr., its identity as the child which the defendant intended to acknowledge is clear. Any doubt that might arise on this point is removed by the letters Exhibit F, G, H, and J. In these letters the defendant makes repeated reference to junior as the baby which Antonia, to whom the letters were addressed, was then carrying in her womb, and the

writer urged Antonia to eat with good appetite in order that junior might be vigorous. In the last letter (Exhibit J) written only a few days before the birth of the child, the defendant urged her to take good care of herself and of junior also. It seems to us that the only legal question that can here arise as to the sufficiency of acknowledgment is whether the acknowledgment contemplated in subsection 1 of article 135 of the Civil Code must be made in a single document or may be made in more than one document, of indubitable authenticity, written by the recognizing father. Upon this point we are of the opinion that the recognition can be made out by putting together the admissions of more than one document, supplementing the admission made in one letter by an admission or admissions made in another. In the case before us the admission of paternity is contained in the note to the padreand the other letters suffice to connect that admission with the child then being carried by Antonia L. de Jesus. There is no requirement in the law that the writing shall be addressed to one, or any particular individual. It is merely required that the writing shall be indubitable. The second question that presents itself in this case is whether the trial court erred in holding that Ismael Loanco had been in the uninterrupted possession of the status of a natural child, justified by the conduct of the father himself, and that as a consequence, the defendant in this case should be compelled to acknowledge the said Ismael Loanco, under No. 2 of article 135 of the Civil Code. The facts already stated are sufficient, in our opinion, to justify the conclusion of the trial court on this point, and we may add here that our conclusion upon the first branch of the case that the defendant had acknowledged this child in writings above referred to must be taken in connection with the facts found by the court upon the second point. It is undeniable that from the birth of this child the defendant supplied a home for it and the mother, in which they lived together with the defendant. This situation continued for about a year, and until Antonia became enciente a second time, when the idea entered the defendant's head of abandoning her. The law fixes no period during which a child must be in the continuous possession of the status of a natural child; and the period in this case was long enough to evince the father's resolution


to concede the status. The circumstance that he abandoned the mother and child shortly before this action was started is unimportant. The word "continuous" in subsection 2 of article 135 of the Civil Code does not mean that the concession of status shall continue forever, but only that it shall not be of an intermittent character while it continues. What has been said disposes of the principal feature of the defendant's appeal. With respect to the appeal of the plaintiffs, we are of the opinion that the trial court was right in refusing to give damages to the plaintiff, Antonia Loanco, for supposed breach of promise to marry. Such promise is not satisfactorily proved, and we may add that the action for breach of promise to marry has no standing in the civil law, apart from the right to recover money or property advanced by the plaintiff upon the faith of such promise. This case exhibits none of the features necessary to maintain such an action. Furthermore, there is no proof upon which a judgment could be based requiring the defendant to recognize the second baby, Pacita Loanco. Finally, we see no necessity or propriety in modifying the judgment as to the amount of the maintenance which the trial court allowed to Ismael Loanco. And in this connection we merely point out that, as conditions change, the Court of First Instance will have jurisdiction to modify the order as to the amount of the pension as circumstances will require. The judgment appealed from is in all respects affirmed, without costs. So ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-770 April 27, 1948 ANGEL T. LIMJOCO, petitioner, vs. INTESTATE ESTATE OF PEDRO O. FRAGRANTE, deceased, respondent. Angel Limjoco, Jr. and Delfin L. Gonzales for petitioner. Bienvenido A. Tan for respondent. HILADO, J.: Under date of May 21, 1946, the Public Service Commission, through Deputy Commissioner Fidel Ibaez, rendered its decision in case No. 4572 of Pedro O. Fragante, as applicant for a certificate of

public convenience to install, maintain and operate an ice plant in San Juan, Rizal, whereby said commission held that the evidence therein showed that the public interest and convenience will be promoted in a proper and suitable manner "by authorizing the operation and maintenance of another ice plant of two and one-half (2-) tons in the municipality of San Juan; that the original applicant Pedro O. Fragante was a Filipino Citizen at the time of his death; and that his intestate estate is financially capable of maintaining the proposed service". The commission, therefore, overruled the opposition filed in the case and ordered "that under the provisions of section 15 of Commonwealth Act No. 146, as amended a certificate of public convenience be issued to the Intestate Estate of the deceased Pedro Fragante, authorizing said Intestate Estate through its Special or Judicial Administrator, appointed by the proper court of competent jurisdiction, to maintain and operate an ice plant with a daily productive capacity of two and one-half (2-1/2) tons in the Municipality of San Juan and to sell the ice produced from said plant in the said Municipality of San Juan and in the Municipality of Mandaluyong, Rizal, and in Quezon City", subject to the conditions therein set forth in detail (petitioner's brief, pp. 33-34). Petitioner makes four assignments of error in his brief as follows: 1. The decision of the Public Service Commission is not in accordance with law. 2. The decision of the Public Service Commission is not reasonably supported by evidence. 3. The Public Service Commission erred in not giving petitioner and the Ice and Cold Storage Industries of the Philippines, Inc., as existing operators, a reasonable opportunity to meet the increased demand. 4. The decision of the Public Service Commission is an unwarranted departure from its announced policy with respect to the establishment and operation of ice plant. (Pp. 1-2, petitioner's brief.) In his argument petitioner contends that it was error on the part of the commission to allow the substitution of the legal representative of the estate of Pedro O. Fragante for the latter as party applicant in the case then pending before the commission, and in subsequently granting to said estate the


certificate applied for, which is said to be in contravention of law. If Pedro O. Fragante had not died, there can be no question that he would have had the right to prosecute his application before the commission to its final conclusion. No one would have denied him that right. As declared by the commission in its decision, he had invested in the ice plant in question P 35,000, and from what the commission said regarding his other properties and business, he would certainly have been financially able to maintain and operate said plant had he not died. His transportation business alone was netting him about P1,440 a month. He was a Filipino citizen and continued to be such till his demise. The commission declared in its decision, in view of the evidence before it, that his estate was financially able to maintain and operate the ice plant. The aforesaid right of Pedro O. Fragante to prosecute said application to its conclusion was one which by its nature did not lapse through his death. Hence, it constitutes a part of the assets of his estate, for which a right was property despite the possibility that in the end the commission might have denied application, although under the facts of the case, the commission granted the application in view of the financial ability of the estate to maintain and operate the ice plant. Petitioner, in his memorandum of March 19, 1947, admits (page 3) that the certificate of public convenience once granted "as a rule, should descend to his estate as an asset". Such certificate would certainly be property, and the right to acquire such a certificate, by complying with the requisites of the law, belonged to the decedent in his lifetime, and survived to his estate and judicial administrator after his death. If Pedro O. Fragrante had in his lifetime secured an option to buy a piece of land and during the life of the option he died, if the option had been given him in the ordinary course of business and not out of special consideration for his person, there would be no doubt that said option and the right to exercise it would have survived to his estate and legal representatives. In such a case there would also be the possibility of failure to acquire the property should he or his estate or legal representative fail to comply with the conditions of the option. In the case at bar Pedro O. Fragrante's undoubted right to apply for and acquire the desired certificate of

public convenience the evidence established that the public needed the ice plant was under the law conditioned only upon the requisite citizenship and economic ability to maintain and operate the service. Of course, such right to acquire or obtain such certificate of public convenience was subject to failure to secure its objective through nonfulfillment of the legal conditions, but the situation here is no different from the legal standpoint from that of the option in the illustration just given. Rule 88, section 2, provides that the executor or administrator may bring or defend actions, among other cases, for the protection of the property or rights of the deceased which survive, and it says that such actions may be brought or defended "in the right of the deceased". Rule 82, section 1, paragraph (a), mentions among the duties of the executor or administrator, the making of an inventory of all goods, chattels, rights, credits, and estate of the deceased which shall come to his possession or knowledge, or to the possession of any other person for him. In his commentaries on the Rules of Court (Volume II, 2nd ed., pages 366, 367) the present chief Justice of this Court draws the following conclusion from the decisions cited by him: Therefore, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, any action affecting the property or rights (emphasis supplied) of a deceased person which may be brought by or against him if he were alive, may likewise be instituted and prosecuted by or against the administrator, unless the action is for recovery of money, debt or interest thereon, or unless, by its very nature, it cannot survive, because death extinguishes the right . ... It is true that a proceeding upon the application for a certificate of public convenience before the Public Service Commission is not an "action". But the foregoing provisions and citations go to prove that the decedent's rights which by their nature are not extinguished by death go to make up a part and parcel of the assets of his estate which, being placed under the control and management of the executor or administrator, can not be exercised but by him in representation of the estate for the benefit of the creditors, devisees or legatees, if any, and the heirs of the decedent. And if


the right involved happens to consist in the prosecution of an unfinished proceeding upon an application for a certificate of public convenience of the deceased before the Public Service Commission, it is but logical that the legal representative be empowered and entitled in behalf of the estate to make the right effective in that proceeding. Manresa (Vol. III, 6th ed., p. 11) says that No. 10 of article 334 and article 336 of the Civil Code, respectively, consider as immovable and movable things rights which are not material. The same eminent commentator says in the cited volume (p. 45) that article 336 of the Civil Code has been deficiently drafted in that it is not sufficiently expressive of all incorporeal rights which are also property for juridical purposes. Corpus Juris (Vol. 50, p. 737) states that in the broad sense of the term, property includes, among other things, "an option", and "the certificate of the railroad commission permitting the operation of a bus line", and on page 748 of the same volume we read: However, these terms (real property, as estate or interest) have also been declared to include every species of title, inchoate or complete, and embrace rights which lie in contract, whether executory or executed. (Emphasis supplied.) Another important question raised by petitioner is whether the estate of Pedro O. Fragrante is a "person" within the meaning of the Public Service Act. Words and Phrases, First Series, (Vol. 6, p, 5325), states the following doctrine in the jurisdiction of the State of Indiana: As the estate of the decedent is in law regarded as a person, a forgery committed after the death of the man whose name purports to be signed to the instrument may be prosecuted as with the intent to defraud the estate. Billings vs. State, 107 Ind., 54, 55, 6 N. E. 914, 7 N. E. 763, 57 Am. Rep. 77. The Supreme Court of Indiana in the decision cited above had before it a case of forgery committed after the death of one Morgan for the purpose of defrauding his estate. The objection was urged that the information did not aver that the forgery was committed with the intent to defraud any person. The Court, per Elliott, J., disposed of this objection as follows:

. . . The reason advanced in support of this proposition is that the law does not regard the estate of a decedent as a person. This intention (contention) cannot prevail. The estate of the decedent is a person in legal contemplation. "The word "person" says Mr. Abbot, "in its legal signification, is a generic term, and includes artificial as well as natural persons," 2 Abb. Dict. 271; Douglas vs. Pacific, etc. Co., 4 Cal. 304; Planters', etc., Bank vs. Andrews, 8 Port. (Ala.) 404. It said in another work that 'persons are of two kinds: natural and artificial. A natural person is a human being. Artificial persons include (1) a collection or succession of natural persons forming a corporation; (2) a collection of property to which the law attributes the capacity of having rights and duties. The latter class of artificial persons is recognized only to a limited extent in our law. "Examples are the estate of a bankrupt or deceased person." 2 Rapalje & L. Law Dict. 954. Our own cases inferentially recognize the correctness of the definition given by the authors from whom we have quoted, for they declare that it is sufficient, in pleading a claim against a decedent's estate, to designate the defendant as the estate of the deceased person, naming him. Ginn vs. Collins, 43 Ind. 271. Unless we accept this definition as correct, there would be a failure of justice in cases where, as here, the forgery is committed after the death of a person whose name is forged; and this is a result to be avoided if it can be done consistent with principle. We perceive no difficulty in avoiding such a result; for, to our minds, it seems reasonable that the estate of a decedent should be regarded as an artificial person. It is the creation of law for the purpose of enabling a disposition of the assets to be properly made, and, although natural persons as heirs, devises, or creditors, have an interest in the property, the artificial creature is a distinct legal entity. The interest which natural persons have in it is not complete until there has been a due administration; and one who forges the name of the decedent to an instrument purporting to be a promissory note must be regarded as having intended to defraud the estate of the decedent, and not the natural persons having diverse interests in it, since ha cannot be presumed to have known who those persons were, or what was the nature of their respective interest. The fraudulent intent is against the artificial


person, the estate and not the natural persons who have direct or contingent interest in it. (107 Ind. 54, 55, 6 N.E. 914-915.) In the instant case there would also be a failure of justice unless the estate of Pedro O. Fragrante is considered a "person", for quashing of the proceedings for no other reason than his death would entail prejudicial results to his investment amounting to P35,000.00 as found by the commission, not counting the expenses and disbursements which the proceeding can be presumed to have occasioned him during his lifetime, let alone those defrayed by the estate thereafter. In this jurisdiction there are ample precedents to show that the estate of a deceased person is also considered as having legal personality independent of their heirs. Among the most recent cases may be mentioned that of " Estate of Mota vs. Concepcion, 56 Phil., 712, 717, wherein the principal plaintiff was the estate of the deceased Lazaro Mota, and this Court gave judgment in favor of said estate along with the other plaintiffs in these words: . . . the judgment appealed from must be affirmed so far as it holds that defendants Concepcion and Whitaker are indebted to he plaintiffs in the amount of P245,804.69 . . . . Under the regime of the Civil Code and before the enactment of the Code of Civil Procedure, the heirs of a deceased person were considered in contemplation of law as the continuation of his personality by virtue of the provision of article 661 of the first Code that the heirs succeed to all the rights and obligations of the decedent by the mere fact of his death. It was so held by this Court in Barrios vs. Dolor, 2 Phil., 44, 46. However, after the enactment of the Code of Civil Procedure, article 661 of the Civil Code was abrogated, as held in Suiliong & Co. vs. Chio-Taysan, 12 Phil., 13, 22. In that case, as well as in many others decided by this Court after the innovations introduced by the Code of Civil Procedure in the matter of estates of deceased persons, it has been the constant doctrine that it is the estate or the mass of property, rights and assets left by the decedent, instead of the heirs directly, that becomes vested and charged with his rights and obligations which survive after his demise. The heirs were formerly considered as the continuation of the decedent's personality simply by legal fiction, for they might not have been flesh and blood the reason was

one in the nature of a legal exigency derived from the principle that the heirs succeeded to the rights and obligations of the decedent. Under the present legal system, such rights and obligations as survive after death have to be exercised and fulfilled only by the estate of the deceased. And if the same legal fiction were not indulged, there would be no juridical basis for the estate, represented by the executor or administrator, to exercise those rights and to fulfill those obligations of the deceased. The reason and purpose for indulging the fiction is identical and the same in both cases. This is why according to the Supreme Court of Indiana in Billings vs. State, supra, citing 2 Rapalje & L. Dictionary, 954, among the artificial persons recognized by law figures "a collection of property to which the law attributes the capacity of having rights and duties", as for instance, the estate of a bankrupt or deceased person. Petitioner raises the decisive question of whether or not the estate of Pedro O. Fragrante can be considered a "citizen of the Philippines" within the meaning of section 16 of the Public Service Act, as amended, particularly the proviso thereof expressly and categorically limiting the power of the commission to issue certificates of public convenience or certificates of public convenience and necessity "only to citizens of the Philippines or of the United States or to corporations, copartnerships, associations, or joint-stock companies constituted and organized under the laws of the Philippines", and the further proviso that sixty per centum of the stock or paid-up capital of such entities must belong entirely to citizens of the Philippines or of the United States. Within the Philosophy of the present legal system, the underlying reason for the legal fiction by which, for certain purposes, the estate of the deceased person is considered a "person" is the avoidance of injustice or prejudice resulting from the impossibility of exercising such legal rights and fulfilling such legal obligations of the decedent as survived after his death unless the fiction is indulged. Substantially the same reason is assigned to support the same rule in the jurisdiction of the State of Indiana, as announced in Billings vs. State, supra, when the Supreme Court of said State said: . . . It seems reasonable that the estate of a decedent should be regarded as an artificial


person. it is the creation of law for the purpose of enabling a disposition of the assets to be properly made . . . . Within the framework and principles of the constitution itself, to cite just one example, under the bill of rights it seems clear that while the civil rights guaranteed therein in the majority of cases relate to natural persons, the term "person" used in section 1 (1) and (2) must be deemed to include artificial or juridical persons, for otherwise these latter would be without the constitutional guarantee against being deprived of property without due process of law, or the immunity from unreasonable searches and seizures. We take it that it was the intendment of the framers to include artificial or juridical, no less than natural, persons in these constitutional immunities and in others of similar nature. Among these artificial or juridical persons figure estates of deceased persons. Hence, we hold that within the framework of the Constitution, the estate of Pedro O. Fragrante should be considered an artificial or juridical person for the purposes of the settlement and distribution of his estate which, of course, include the exercise during the judicial administration thereof of those rights and the fulfillment of those obligations of his which survived after his death. One of those rights was the one involved in his pending application before the Public Service Commission in the instant case, consisting in the prosecution of said application to its final conclusion. As stated above, an injustice would ensue from the opposite course. How about the point of citizenship? If by legal fiction his personality is considered extended so that any debts or obligations left by, and surviving, him may be paid, and any surviving rights may be exercised for the benefit of his creditors and heirs, respectively, we find no sound and cogent reason for denying the application of the same fiction to his citizenship, and for not considering it as likewise extended for the purposes of the aforesaid unfinished proceeding before the Public Service Commission. The outcome of said proceeding, if successful, would in the end inure to the benefit of the same creditors and the heirs. Even in that event petitioner could not allege any prejudice in the legal sense, any more than he could have done if Fragrante had lived longer and obtained the desired certificate. The fiction of such

extension of his citizenship is grounded upon the same principle, and motivated by the same reason, as the fiction of the extension of personality. The fiction is made necessary to avoid the injustice of subjecting his estate, creditors and heirs, solely by reason of his death to the loss of the investment amounting to P35,000, which he has already made in the ice plant, not counting the other expenses occasioned by the instant proceeding, from the Public Service Commission of this Court. We can perceive no valid reason for holding that within the intent of the constitution (Article IV), its provisions on Philippine citizenship exclude the legal principle of extension above adverted to. If for reasons already stated our law indulges the fiction of extension of personality, if for such reasons the estate of Pedro O. Fragrante should be considered an artificial or juridical person herein, we can find no justification for refusing to declare a like fiction as to the extension of his citizenship for the purposes of this proceeding. Pedro O. Fragrante was a Filipino citizen, and as such, if he had lived, in view of the evidence of record, he would have obtained from the commission the certificate for which he was applying. The situation has suffered but one change, and that is, his death. His estate was that of a Filipino citizen. And its economic ability to appropriately and adequately operate and maintain the service of an ice plant was the same that it received from the decedent himself. In the absence of a contrary showing, which does not exist here, his heirs may be assumed to be also Filipino citizens; and if they are not, there is the simple expedient of revoking the certificate or enjoining them from inheriting it. Upon the whole, we are of the opinion that for the purposes of the prosecution of said case No. 4572 of the Public Service Commission to its final conclusion, both the personality and citizenship of Pedro O. Fragrante must be deemed extended, within the meaning and intent of the Public Service Act, as amended, in harmony with the constitution: it is so adjudged and decreed. Decision affirmed, without costs. So ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION


G.R. No. L-27956 April 30, 1976 DIONISIO DUMLAO, in his own behalf and in his capacity as Administrator of the Testate Estate of the late Pedro Oria; FAUSTA DUMLAO, AMADO DUMLAO, and BENJAMIN DUMLAO, plaintiffsappellants, vs. QUALITY PLASTIC PRODUCTS, INC., defendant-appellee. Castillo & Castillo for appellants. Eugenio T. Estavillo for appellee. AQUINO, J.:p On February 28, 1962 the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan in Civil Case No. T-662 rendered a judgment ordering defendants Vicente Soliven, Pedro Oria, Santiago Laurencio, Marcelino Sumalbag and Juana Darang to pay solidarity Quality Plastic Products, Inc. the sum of P3,667.03 plus the legal rate of interest from November, 1958. The lower court directed that in case the defendants failed to pay the said amount before its decision became final, then Quality Plastic Products, Inc. "is hereby authorized to foreclose the bond, Exhibit A, in accordance with law, for the satisfaction of the judgment". (Under that bond the four sureties bound themselves to answer solidarity for the obligations of the principal, Vicente Soliven and certain real properties of the sureties were "given as security for" their undertaking). Upon defendants' failure to pay the amount of the judgment and after the decision had become final, the lower court, on motion of Quality Plastic Products, Inc., ordered the "foreclosure" of the surety bond and the sale at public auction of the land of Pedro Oria which he had given as security under the bond. Oria's land, which was covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 28732 and has an area of nine and six-tenths hectares, was levied upon and sold by the sheriff at public auction on September 24, 1962. The sale was confirmed by the lower court in its order of November 20, 1962. It turned out that Oria died on April 23, 1959 or long before June 13, 1960 when the action was filed. Oria's death was not known to Quality Plastic Products, Inc. Nor were the representatives of Quality Plastic Products, Inc. aware that in the same Tayug court Special Proceeding No. T-212, Testate Estate of the deceased Pedro Oria, was pending.

The summons and copies of the complaint for the five defendants in Civil Case No. T-662 had been personally served on June 24, 1960 by a deputy sheriff on Soliven, the principal in the bond, who acknowledged such service by signing on the back of the original summons in his own behalf and again signing for his co-defendants. On March 1, 1963 Dionisio, Fausta, Amado and Benjamin, all surnamed Dumlao and all testamentary heirs in Oria's duly probated will, sued Quality Plastic Products, Inc., also in the Tayug court for the annulment of the judgment against Oria and the execution against his land. (Dionisio Dumlao also sued in his capacity as administrator of Oria's testate estate). The ground for annulment was lack of jurisdiction over the person of the deceased Oria (Civil Case No. T- 873). It was only when Quality Plastic Products, Inc. received the summons in Civil Case No. T-873 that it learned that Oria was already dead at the time the prior case, Civil Case No. T-662, was filed. Quality Plastic Products, Inc. in its answer alleged that Oria's heirs were aware of the suit against Soliven and his sureties and that the said heirs were estopped to question the court's jurisdiction over Oria. After hearing the lower court held that it acquired jurisdiction over Soliven and the other defendants in Civil Case No. T-662 by reason of their voluntary appearance. It reasoned out that Soliven acted in bad faith because he did not apprise the court that Oria was dead. It specifically ruled that "it had acquired jurisdiction over the person" of Oria and that the judgment was valid as to him. From that decision the plaintiffs appealed. The four assignments of error of appellants Dumlao may be boiled down to the issue as to the validity of the lower court's judgment against the deceased Pedro Oria who, being already in the other world, was never served with summons. There is no difficulty in resolving that issue. Since no jurisdiction was acquired over Oria, the judgment against him is a patent nullity (Ang Lam vs. Rosillosa and Santiago, 86 Phil. 447; Asuncion vs. Nieto, 4 Phil. 97; Gorostiaga vs. Sarte, 68 Phil. 4). As far as Oria was concerned, the lower court's judgment against him in Civil Case No. T-662 is void for lack of jurisdiction over his person. He was not, and he could not have


been, validly served with summons. He had no more civil personality. His juridical capacity, which is the fitness to be the subject of legal relations, was lost through death. (Arts. 37 and 42, Civil Code). The lower court erred in ruling that since Soliven's counsel also appeared as counsel for Oria, there was a voluntary appearance which enabled the court to acquire jurisdiction over Oria, as contemplated in section 23, Rule 14 of the Revised Rules of Court. Soliven's counsel could not have validly appeared for a dead co-defendant. Estoppel has no application to this case. But from the fact that appellants Dumlao had to sue Quality Plastic Products, Inc. in order to annul the judgment against Oria, it does not follow that they are entitled to claim attorney's fees against that corporation. The parties herein agreed in their stipulation of facts that Quality Plastic Products, Inc. was unaware of Oria's death. Appellants Dumlao in effect conceded that the appellee acted in good faith in joining Oria as a co-defendant. WHEREFORE, the lower court's decision is reversed and set aside. Its judgment in Civil Case No. T-662 against Pedro Oria is declared void for lack of jurisdiction. The execution sale of Oria's land covered by OCT No. 28732 is also void. No costs. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 85140 May 17, 1990 TOMAS EUGENIO, SR., petitioner, vs. HON. ALEJANDRO M. VELEZ, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 20, Cagayan de Oro City, DEPUTY SHERIFF JOHNSON TAN, JR., Deputy Sheriff of Branch 20, Regional Trial Court, Cagayan de Oro City, and the Private Respondents, the petitioners in Sp. Proc. No. 88-55, for "Habeas Corpus", namely: CRISANTA VARGASSANCHEZ, SANTOS and NARCISA VARGAS-BENTULAN, respondents. G.R. No. 86470 May 17, 1990. TOMAS EUGENIO, petitioner-appellant, vs. HON. ALEJANDRO M. VELEZ, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court,

Branch 20, Cagayan de Oro City, CRISANTA VARGAS-SANCHEZ, FELIX VARGAS, ERNESTO VARGAS, NATIVIDAD VARGAS-CAGAPE, NENITA VARGAS-CADENAS, LUDIVINA VARGAS-DE LOS SANTOS and NARCISA VARGASBENTULAN, respondents-appellees. Maximo G. Rodriguez for petitioner. Erasmo B. Damasing and Oliver Asis Improso for respondents. PADILLA, J.: On 5 October 1988, petitioner came to this Court with a petition for certiorari and prohibition with application for restraining order and/or injunction (docketed as G.R. No. 85140) seeking to enjoin respondent Judge from proceeding with the Habeas Corpus case (Sp. Proc. No. 88- 55, RTC, Branch 20, Cagayan de Oro City), * the respondent Sheriff from enforcing and implementing the writ and orders of the respondent Judge dated 28, 29, and 30 September 1988, and to declare said writ and orders as null and void. In a resolution issued on 11 October 1988, this Court required comment from the respondents on the petition but denied the application for a temporary restraining order. The records disclose the following: Unaware of the death on 28 August 1988 of (Vitaliana Vargas Vitaliana for brevity), her full blood brothers and sisters, herein private respondents (Vargases', for brevity) filed on 27 September 1988, a petition for habeas corpus before the RTC of Misamis Oriental (Branch 20, Cagayan de Oro City) alleging that Vitaliana was forcibly taken from her residence sometime in 1987 and confined by herein petitioner in his palacial residence in Jasaan, Misamis Oriental. Despite her desire to escape, Vitaliana was allegedly deprived of her liberty without any legal authority. At the time the petition was filed, it was alleged that Vitaliana was 25 years of age, single, and living with petitioner Tomas Eugenio. The respondent court in an order dated 28 September 1988 issued the writ of habeas corpus, but the writ was returned unsatisfied. Petitioner refused to surrender the body of Vitaliana (who had died on 28 August 1988) to the respondent sheriff, reasoning that a corpse cannot be the subject of habeas corpus proceedings; besides, according to petitioner, he had already obtained a burial


permit from the Undersecretary of the Department of Health, authorizing the burial at the palace quadrangle of the Philippine Benevolent Christian Missionary, Inc. (PBCM), a registered religious sect, of which he (petitioner) is the Supreme President and Founder. Petitioner also alleged that Vitaliana died of heart failure due to toxemia of pregnancy in his residence on 28 August 1988. As her common law husband, petitioner claimed legal custody of her body. These reasons were incorporated in an explanation filed before the respondent court. Two (2) orders dated 29 and 30 September 1988 were then issued by respondent court, directing delivery of the deceased's body to a funeral parlor in Cagayan de Oro City and its autopsy. Petitioner (as respondent in the habeas corpus proceedings) filed an urgent motion to dismiss the petition therein, claiming lack of jurisdiction of the court over the nature of the action under sec. 1(b) of Rule 16 in relation to sec. 2, Rule 72 of the Rules of Court. 1 A special proceeding for habeas corpus, petitioner argued, is not applicable to a dead person but extends only to all cases of illegal confinement or detention of a live person. Before resolving the motion to dismiss, private respondents (as petitioners below) were granted leave to amend their petition. 2 Claiming to have knowledge of the death of Vitaliana only on 28 September 1988 (or after the filing of the habeas corpus petition), private respondents (Vargases') alleged that petitioner Tomas Eugenia who is not in any way related to Vitaliana was wrongfully interfering with their (Vargases') duty to bury her. Invoking Arts. 305 and 308 of the Civil Code, 3 the Vargases contended that, as the next of kin in the Philippines, they are the legal custodians of the dead body of their sister Vitaliana. An exchange of pleadings followed. The motion to dismiss was finally submitted for resolution on 21 October 1988. In the absence of a restraining order from this Court, proceedings continued before the respondent court; the body was placed in a coffin, transferred to the Greenhills Memorial Homes in Cagayan de Oro City, viewed by the presiding Judge of respondent court, and examined by a duly authorized government pathologist. 4

Denying the motion to dismiss filed by petitioner, the court a quo held in an order, 5 dated 17 November 1988, that: It should be noted from the original petition, to the first amended petition, up to the second amended petition that the ultimate facts show that if the person of Vitaliana Vargas turns out to be dead then this Court is being prayed to declare the petitioners as the persons entitled to the custody, interment and/or burial of the body of said deceased. The Court, considering the circumstance that Vitaliana Vargas was already dead on August 28, 1988 but only revealed to the Court on September 29, 1988 by respondent's counsel, did not lose jurisdiction over the nature and subject matter of this case because it may entertain this case thru the allegations in the body of the petition on the determination as to who is entitled to the custody of the dead body of the late Vitaliana Vargas as well as the burial or interment thereof, for the reason that under the provisions of Sec. 19 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, which reads as follows: Sec. 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction: (1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation; xxx xxx xxx (5) In all actions involving the contract of marriage and marital relations; (6) In all cases not within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions: xxx xxx xxx it so provides that the Regional Trial Court has exclusive original jurisdiction to try this case. The authority to try the issue of custody and burial of a dead person is within the lawful jurisdiction of this Court because of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 and because of the allegations of the pleadings in this case, which are enumerated in Sec. 19, pars. 1, 5 and 6 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. Thereafter, the court a quo proceeded as in or civil cases and, in due course, rendered a decision on 17 January 1989, 6 resolving the main issue of whether or not said court acquired jurisdiction over the case by treating it as an action for custody of a dead body, without the petitioners having to file a separate civil action for such relief, and


without the Court first dismissing the original petition for habeas corpus. Citing Sections 19 and 20 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 (the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1981), 7 Sections 5 and 6 of Rule 135 of the Rules of Court 8 Articles 305 and 308 in relation to Article 294 of the Civil Code and Section 1104 of the Revised Administrative Code, 9 the decision stated: . . . . By a mere reading of the petition the court observed that the allegations in the original petition as well as in the two amended petitions show that Vitaliana Vargas has been restrained of her liberty and if she were dead then relief was prayed for the custody and burial of said dead person. The amendments to the petition were but elaborations but the ultimate facts remained the same, hence, this court strongly finds that this court has ample jurisdiction to entertain and sit on this case as an action for custody and burial of the dead body because the body of the petition controls and is binding and since this case was raffled to this court to the exclusion of all other courts, it is the primary duty of this court to decide and dispose of this case. . . . . 10 Satisfied with its jurisdiction, the respondent court then proceeded to the matter of rightful custody over the dead body, (for purposes of burial thereof). The order of preference to give support under Art. 294 was used as the basis of the award. Since there was no surviving spouse, ascendants or descendants, the brothers and sisters were preferred over petitioner who was merely a common law spouse, the latter being himself legally married to another woman. 11 On 23 January 1989, a new petition for review with application for a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction was filed with this Court (G.R. No. 86470). Raised therein were pure questions of law, basically Identical to those raised in the earlier petition (G.R. No. 85140); hence, the consolidation of both cases. 12 On 7 February 1989, petitioner filed an urgent motion for the issuance of an injunction to maintain status quo pending appeal, which this Court denied in a resolution dated 23 February 1989 stating that "Tomas Eugenio has so far failed to sufficiently establish a clear legal right to the custody of the dead body of Vitaliana Vargas, which now needs a decent burial." The petitions were then submitted for decision without further pleadings.

Between the two (2) consolidated petitions, the following issues are raised: 1. propriety of a habeas corpus proceeding under Rule 102 of the Rules of Court to recover custody of the dead body of a 25 year old female, single, whose nearest surviving claimants are full blood brothers and sisters and a common law husband. 2. jurisdiction of the RTC over such proceedings and/or its authority to treat the action as one for custody/possession/authority to bury the deceased/recovery of the dead. 3. interpretation of par. 1, Art. 294 of the Civil Code (Art. 199 of the new Family Code) which states: Art. 294. The claim for support, when proper and two or more persons are obliged to give it, shall be made in the following order: (1) From the spouse; xxx xxx xxx Section 19, Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 provides for the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts over civil cases. Under Sec. 2, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court, the writ of habeas corpus may be granted by a Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court). It is an elementary rule of procedure that what controls is not the caption of the complaint or petition; but the allegations therein determine the nature of the action, and even without the prayer for a specific remedy, proper relief may nevertheless be granted by the court if the facts alleged in the complaint and the evidence introduced so warrant. 13 When the petition for habeas corpus was filed before the court a quo, it was not certain whether Vitaliana was dead or alive. While habeas corpus is a writ of right, it will not issue as a matter of course or as a mere perfimetory operation on the filing of the petition. Judicial discretion is exercised in its issuance, and such facts must be made to appear to the judge to whom the petition is presented as, in his judgment, prima facie entitle the petitioner to the writ. 14 While the court may refuse to grant the writ if the petition is insufficient in form and substance, the writ should issue if the petition complies with the legal requirements and its averments make a prima facie case for relief. However, a judge who is asked to issue a writ of habeas corpus need not be very critical in looking into the petition for very clear grounds for the exercise of this jurisdiction. The latter's power to make full inquiry into the cause of


commitment or detention will enable him to correct any errors or defects in the petition. 15 In Macazo and Nunez vs. Nunez, 16 the Court frowned upon the dismissal of a habeas corpus petition filed by a brother to obtain custody of a minor sister, stating: All these circumstances notwithstanding, we believe that the case should not have been dismissed. The court below should not have overlooked that by dismissing the petition, it was virtually sanctioning the continuance of an adulterous and scandalous relation between the minor and her married employer, respondent Benildo Nunez against all principles of law and morality. It is no excuse that the minor has expressed preference for remaining with said respondent, because the minor may not chose to continue an illicit relation that morals and law repudiate. xxx xxx xxx The minor's welfare being the paramount consideration, the court below should not allow the technicality, that Teofilo Macazo was not originally made a party, to stand in the way of its giving the child full protection. Even in a habeas corpus proceeding the court had power to award temporary custody to the petitioner herein, or some other suitable person, after summoning and hearing all parties concerned. What matters is that the immoral situation disclosed by the records be not allowed to continue. 17 After the fact of Vitaliana's death was made known to the petitioners in the habeas corpus proceedings,amendment of the petition for habeas corpus, not dismissal, was proper to avoid multiplicity of suits. Amendments to pleadings are generally favored and should be liberally allowed in furtherance of justice in order that every case may so far as possible be determined on its real facts and in order to expedite the trial of cases or prevent circuity of action and unnecessary expense, unless there are circumstances such as inexcusable delay or the taking of the adverse party by surprise or the like, which justify a refusal of permission to amend. 18 As correctly alleged by respondents, the writ of habeas corpus as a remedy became moot and academic due to the death of the person allegedly restrained of liberty, but the issue of custody remained, which the court a quo had to resolve. Petitioner claims he is the spouse contemplated under Art. 294 of the Civil Code, the term spouse used therein

not being preceded by any qualification; hence, in the absence of such qualification, he is the rightful custodian of Vitaliana's body. Vitaliana's brothers and sisters contend otherwise. Indeed, Philippine Law does not recognize common law marriages. A man and woman not legally married who cohabit for many years as husband and wife, who represent themselves to the public as husband and wife, and who are reputed to be husband and wife in the community where they live may be considered legally mauled in common law jurisdictions but not in the Philippines.19 While it is true that our laws do not just brush aside the fact that such relationships are present in our society, and that they produce a community of properties and interests which is governed by law, 20 authority exists in case law to the effect that such form of coownership requires that the man and woman living together must not in any way be incapacitated to contract marriage. 21 In any case, herein petitioner has a subsisting marriage with another woman, a legal impediment which disqualified him from even legally marrying Vitaliana. In Santero vs. CFI of Cavite, 22 ,the Court, thru Mr. Justice Paras, interpreting Art. 188 of the Civil Code (Support of Surviving Spouse and Children During Liquidation of Inventoried Property) stated: "Be it noted however that with respect to 'spouse', the same must be the legitimate 'spouse' (not common-law spouses)." There is a view that under Article 332 of the Revised Penal Code, the term "spouse" embraces common law relation for purposes of exemption from criminal liability in cases of theft, swindling and malicious mischief committed or caused mutually by spouses. The Penal Code article, it is said, makes no distinction between a couple whose cohabitation is sanctioned by a sacrament or legal tie and another who are husband and wife de facto. 23 But this view cannot even apply to the facts of the case at bar. We hold that the provisions of the Civil Code, unless expressly providing to the contrary as in Article 144, when referring to a "spouse" contemplate a lawfully wedded spouse. Petitioner vis-a-vis Vitaliana was not a lawfully-wedded spouse to her; in fact, he was not legally capacitated to marry her in her lifetime. Custody of the dead body of Vitaliana was correctly awarded to her surviving brothers


and sisters (the Vargases). Section 1103 of the Revised Administrative Code provides: Sec. 1103. Persons charged with duty of burial. The immediate duty of burying the body of a deceased person, regardless of the ultimate liability for the expense thereof, shall devolve upon the persons hereinbelow specified: xxx xxx xxx (b) If the deceased was an unmarried man or woman, or a child, and left any kin, the duty of burial shall devolve upon the nearest of kin of the deceased, if they be adults and within the Philippines and in possession of sufficient means to defray the necessary expenses. WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED. Both petitions are hereby DISMISSED. No Costs. SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-5426 May 29, 1953 RAMON JOAQUIN, petitioner, vs. ANTONIO C. NAVARRO, respondent. Agrava, Peralta & Agrava for petitioner. Leonardo Abola for respondent. TUASON, J.: This three proceedings was instituted in the Court of First Instance of Manila in the summary settlement of states of Joaquin Navarro, Sr., his wife Angela Joaquin de Navarro, Joaquin Navarro, Jr., and Pilar Navarro, deceased. All of them having been heard jointly, Judge Rafael Amparo handed down a single decision which was appealed to the Court of Appeals, whose decision, modifying that the Court of First Instance, in turn was elevated to the Supreme Court for review. The main question represented in the first two courts related to the sequence of the deaths of Joaquin Navarro, Sr., his wife, and their children, all of whom were killed in the massacre of civilians by Japanese troops in Manila in February 1945. The trial court found the deaths of this persons to have accurred in this order: 1st. The Navarro girls, named Pilar, Concepcion and Natividad; 2nd. Joaquin Navarro, Jr.; 3rd. Angela Joaquin de Navarro, and 4th, Joaquin Navarro, Sr. The Court of Appeals concurred with the trial court except that, with regard to Angela

Joaquin de Navarro and Joaquin Navarro, Jr., the latter was declared to have survived his mother. It is this modification of the lower court's finding which is now being contested by the petitioner. The importance of the question whether Angela Joaquin de Navarro died before Joaquin Navarro, Jr., or vice versa, lies in the fact that it radically affects the rights of succession of Ramon Joaquin, the present petitioner who was an acknowledged natural child of Angela Joaquin and adopted child of the deceased spouses, and Antonio C. Navarro, respondent, son of Joaquin Navarro, Sr. by first marriage. The facts, which is not disputed, are outlined in the statement in the decision of the Court of Appeals as follows: "On February 6, 1945, while the battle for the liberation of Manila was raging, the spouses Joaquin Navarro, Sr. and Angela Joaquin, together with their three daughters, Pilar, Concepcion, and Natividad, and their son Joaquin Navarro, Jr., and the latter's wife, Adela Conde, sought refuge in the ground floor of the building known as the German Club, at the corner of San Marcelino and San Luis Streets of this City. During their stay, the building was packed with refugees, shells were exploding around, and the Club was set on fire. Simultaneously, the Japanese started shooting at the people inside the building, especially those who were trying to escape. The three daughters were hit and fell of the ground near the entrance; and Joaquin Navarro, Sr., and his son decided to abandon the premises to seek a safer heaven. They could not convince Angela Joaquin who refused to join them; and son Joaquin Navarro, Sr., his son, Joaquin Navarro, Jr., and the latter's wife, Angela Conde, and a friend and former neighbor, Francisco Lopez, dashed out of the burning edifice. As they came out, Joaquin Navarro, Jr. was shot in the head by a Japanese soldier and immediately dropped. The others lay flat on the ground in front of the Club premises to avoid the bullets. Minutes later, the German Club, already on fire, collapsed, trapping many people inside, presumably including Angela Joaquin. "Joaquin Navarro, Sr., Mrs. Joaquin Navarro, Jr., and Francisco Lopez managed to reach an air raid shelter nearby, the stayed there about three days, until February 10, 1915, when they were forced to leave the shelter be-


cause the shelling tore it open. They flied toward the St. Theresa Academy in San Marcelino Street, but unfortunately met Japanese Patrols, who fired at the refugees, killing Joaquin Navarro, Sr., and his daughter-in-law. "At the time of the masaccre, Joaquin Navarro, Sr. was aged 70; his wife Angela Joaquin was about 67 years old; Joaquin Navarro, Jr., about 30; Pilar Navarro was two or three years older than her brother; while the other sisters, Concepcion and Natividad Navarro y Joaquin, were between 23 and 25." The Court of Appeals' finding were all taken from the testimony of Francisco Lopez, who miraculously survived the holocaust, and upon them the Court of Appeals opined that, "as between the mother Angela Joaquin and the son Joaquin Navarro, Jr., the evidence of the survivorship is uncertain and insufficient" and the statutory presumption must be applied. The appellate Court's reasoning for its conclusion is thus stated: "It does not require argument to show that survivorship cannot be established by proof of the death of only one of the parties; but that there must be adequate proof that one was alive when the other had already died. Now in this case before us, the testimony of the sole witness Lopez is to the effect that Joaquin Navarro, Jr. was shot and died shortly after the living the German Club in the company of his father and the witness, and that the burning edified entirely collapsed minutes after the shooting of the son; but there is not a scintilla of evidence, direct or circumstantial, from which we may infer the condition of the mother, Angela Joaquin, during the appreciable interval from the instant his son turned his back to her, to dash out to the Club, until he died. All we can glean from the evidence is that Angela Joaquin was unhurt when her son left her to escape from the German Club; but she could have died almost immediately after, from a variety of causes. She might have been shot by the Japanese, like her daughters, killed by falling beams from the burning edifice, overcome by the fumes, or fatally struck by splinters from the exploding shells. We cannot say for certain. No evidence is available on the point. All we can decide is that no one saw her alive after her son left her aside, and that there is no proof when she died. Clearly, this circumstance alone cannot support a finding that she died latter than her

son, and we are thus compelled to fall back upon the statutory presumption. In deed, it could be said that the purpose of the presumption of survivorship would be precisely to afford a solution to uncertainties like these. Hence the son Joaquin Navarro, Jr. aged 30, must be deemed to have survived his mother, Angela Joaquin, who was admittedly above 60 years of age (Rule 123, sec. 69, subsec. (ii), Rules of Court). "The total lack of evidence on how Angela Joaquin died likewise disposes of the question whether she and her deceased children perished in the same calamity. There being no evidence to the contrary, the only guide is the occasion of the deaths, which is identical for all of them; that battle for the liberation of Manila. A second reason is that the law, in declaring that those fallen in the same battle are to be regarded as perishing in the same calamity, could not overlooked that a variety of cause of death can ( and usually do) operate in the source of combats. During the same battle, some may die from wounds, other from gages, fire, or drowning. It is clear that the law disregards episodic details, and treats the battle as an overall cause of death in applying the presumption of survivorship. "We are thus led the conclusion that the order in which the members of the Navarro-Joaquin family met their end is as follows: first, the three daughters Pilar, Concepcion, and Natividad; then the mother Angela Joaquin; then the son Joaquin Navarro, Jr., and days later (of which there is no doubt), the father Joaquin Navarro, Sr." Much space in the briefs is taken in a discussion of whether section 334(37) of Act No. 129, now section 69 (ii) of Rule 123 of the Rules of Court, has repealed article 33 of the civil code of 1889, now article 43 of the New Civil Code. It is the contention of the petitioner that it did not, and that on the assumption that there is total lack of evidence, as the Court of Appeals said, then Angela Joaquin and Joaquin Navarro, Jr. should, under article 33, be held to have died at the same time. The point is not of much if any relevancy and will be left open for the consideration when obsolute necessity there for arises. We say irrelevant because our opinion is that neither of the two provisions is applicable for the reasons to be presently set forth. Rule 123, section 69 (ii) of the Revised Rules of Court, reads:


When two person perish in the same calamity, such as wreck, battle or conflagration, and it is not (1) shown who died first, and there are no (2) particular circumstances from when it can be inferred, the survivorship is presumed from the probabilities resulting from the strength and ages of the sexes, according to the following rules: xxx xxx xxx Article 33 of the Civil Code of 1889 of the following tenor: Whenever a doubt arises as to which was the first to die to the two or more persons who would inherent one from the other, the persons who alleges the prior death of either must prove the allegation; in the absence of proof the presumption shall be that they died at the same time, and no transmission of rights from one to the other shall take place. Most provisions, as their language plainly implies, are intended as a substitute for lacks and so are not to be available when there are facts. With particular reference to section 69 (ii) of Rule 123, "the situation which it present is one in which the facts are not only unknown but unknowable. By hypothesis, there is no specific evidence as to the time of death . . . ." . . . it is assumed that no evidence can be produced. . . . Since the facts are unknown and unknowable, the law may apply the law of fairness appropriate to the different legal situation that arises." (IX Wigmore on Evidence, 1940 ed., 483.) In In re Wallace's Estate, 220 Pac. 683, which the Court of Appeals cited the applied with the respect to the deaths of the Navarro girls, pointing out that "our rule is taken from the Fourth Division of sec. 1936 of the California Code of Civil Procedure," the Supreme Court of California said: When the statue speaks of "particular circumstances from which it can be inferred" that one died before the other it means that there are circumstances from which the fact of death by one before the other may be inferred as a relation conclusion from the facts proven. The statue does not mean circumstances which would shown, or which would tend to show, probably that one died before the other. Grand Lodge A.O.W.W.vs. Miller, 8 Cal. App. 28, 96 Pac. 22. When by circumstantial evidence alone, a party seeks to prove a survivorship contrary to the statutory presumption, the circumstances by which it is sought to prove the survivorship

must be such as are competent and sufficient when tested by the general rules of evidence in civil cases. The inference of survivorship cannot rest upon mere surmise, speculation, or conjecture. As was said in Grand Lodge vs. Miller, supra, "if the matter is left to probably, then the statue of the presumption." It is manifest from the language of section 69 (ii) of Rule 123 and of that of the foregoing decision that the evidence of the survivorship need not be direct; it may be indirect, circumstantial, or inferential. Where there are facts, known or knowable, from which a rational conclusion can be made, the presumption does not step in, and the rule of preponderance of evidence controls. Are there particular circumstances on record from which reasonable inference of survivorship between Angela Joaquin and her son can be drawn? Is Francisco Lopez' testimony competent and sufficient for this purpose? For a better appreciation of this issue, it is convenient and necessary to detail the testimony, which was described by the trial court as "disinterested and trustworthy" and by the Court of Appeals as "entitled to credence." Lopez testified: Q. You said you were also heat at that time as you leave the German Club with Joaquin Navarro, Sr., Joaquin Navarro, Jr. and the latter's wife?- A. Yes, sir. Q. Did you fall? A. I fell down. Q. And you said you fell down close to Joaquin Navarro, Jr.? A. Yes, sir. Q. When the German Club collapsed where were you? A. We were out 15 meters away from the building but I could see what was going on. xxx xxx xxx Q. Could there have been an interval of fifteen minutes between the two events, that is the shooting of Joaquin Navarro, Jr. and the collapse of the German Club? A. Yes, sir, I could not say exactly, Occasions like that, you know, you are confused. Q. Could there (have) been an interval of an hour instead of fifteen minutes? A. Possible, but not probable. Q. Could it have been 40 minutes? A. Yes, sir, about 40 minutes. xxx xxx xxx Q. You also know that Angela Joaquin is already dead? A. Yes, sir.


Q. Can you tell the Honorable Court when did Angela Joaquin die? A. Well, a few minutes after we have dashed out, the German Club, which was burning, collapsed over them, including Mrs. Joaquin Navarro, Sr. xxx xxx xxx Q. From your testimony it would appear that while you can give positive evidence to the fact that Pilar, Concepcion and Natividad Navarro, and Joaquin Navarro, Jr. died, you can not give the same positive evidence to the fact that Angela Joaquin also died? A. Yes, sir, in the sense that I did not see her actually die, but when the building collapsed over her I saw and I am positive and I did not see her come out of that building so I presumed she died there. xxx xxx xxx Q. Why did you have to dash out of the German Club, you, Mr. Joaquin Navarro, Sr. and Mr. Joaquin Navarro Jr. and the latter's wife? A. Because the Japanese had set fire to the Club and they were shooting people outside, so we thought of running away rather than be roasted. xxx xxx xxx Q. You mean to say that before you jumped out of the German Club all the Navarro girls, Pilar, Concepcion, and Natividad, were already wounded? A. to my knowledge, yes. Q. They were wounded? A. Yes, sir. Q. Were they lying on the ground or not? A. On the ground near the entrance, because most of the people who were shot by the Japanese were those who were trying to escape, and as far as I can remember they were among those killed. xxx xxx xxx Q. So you noticed that they were killed or shot by the Japanese a few minutes before you left the place? A. That is what I think, because those Japanese soldiers were shooting the people inside especially those trying to escape. xxx xxx xxx Q. And none of them was not except the girls, is that what you mean? A . There were many people shot because they were trying to escape. xxx xxx xxx Q. How come that these girls were shot when they were inside the building, can you explain that? A. They were trying to escape probably.

It is our opinion that the preceding testimony contains facts quite adequate to solve the problem of survivorship between Angela Joaquin and Joaquin Navarro, Jr. and keep the statutory presumption out of the case. It is believed that in the light of the conditions painted by Lopez, a fair and reasonable inference can be arrived at, namely: that Joaquin Navarro, Jr. died before his mother. While the possibility that the mother died before the son can not be ruled out, it must be noted that this possibility is entirely speculative and must yield to the more rational deduction from proven facts that it was the other way around. Joaquin Navarro, Jr., it will be recalled, was killed, while running, in front of, and 15 meters from, the German Club. Still in the prime of life, 30, he must have negotiated that distance in five seconds or less, and so died within that interval from the time he dashed out of the building. Now, when Joaquin Navarro, Jr. with his father and wife started to flee from the clubhouse, the old lady was alive and unhurt, so much so that the Navarro father and son tried hard to have her come along. She could have perished within those five or fewer seconds, as stated, but the probabilities that she did seem very remote. True, people in the building were also killed but these, according to Lopez, were mostly refugees who had tried to slip away from it and were shot by Japanese troops. It was not very likely that Mrs. Joaquin Navarro, Sr. made an attempt to escape. She even made frantic efforts to dissuade her husband and son from leaving the place and exposing themselves to gun fire. This determination of Mrs. Angela Joaquin to stay where she was may well give an idea, at the same time, of a condition of relative safety in the clubhouse at the moment her husband, son, and daughter-in-law left her. It strongly tends to prove that, as the situation looked to her, the perils of death from staying were not so imminent. And it lends credence to Mr. Lopez' statement that the collapse of the clubhouse occurred about 40 minutes after Joaquin Navarro the son was shot in the head and dropped dead, and that it was the collapse that killed Mrs. Angela Navarro. The Court of Appeals said the interval between Joaquin Navarro's death and the breaking down of the edifice was "minutes". Even so, it was much longer than five seconds, long enough to warrant the inference that Mrs.


Angela Joaquin was sill alive when her son expired The Court of Appeals mentioned several causes, besides the collapse of the building, by which Mrs. Navarro could have been killed. All these are speculative , and the probabilities, in the light of the known facts, are against them. Dreading Japanese sharpshooters outside as evidenced by her refusal to follow the only remaining living members of her family, she could not have kept away form protective walls. Besides, the building had been set on fire trap the refugees inside, and there was no necessity for the Japanese to was their ammunition except upon those who tried to leave the premises. Nor was Angela Joaquin likely to have been killed by falling beams because the building was made of concrete and its collapse, more likely than not, was sudden. As to fumes, these do not cause instantaneous death; certainly not within the brief space of five seconds between her son's departure and his death. It will be said that all this is indulging in inferences that are not conclusive. Section 69(ii) of Rule 123 does not require that the inference necessary to exclude the presumption therein provided be certain. It is the "particular circumstances from which it (survivorship) can be inferred" that are required to be certain as tested by the rules of evidence. In speaking of inference the rule can not mean beyond doubt, for "inference is never certainty, but if may be plain enough to justify a finding of fact." (In re Bohenko's Estate, 4 N.Y.S. 2nd. 427, citing Tortora vs. State of New York, 269 N.Y. 199 N.E. 44; Hart vs. Hudson River Bridge Co., 80 N.Y.). 622.) As the California courts have said, it is enough that "the circumstances by which it is sought to prove the survivorship must be such as are competent and sufficient when tested by the general rules of evidence in civil cases." (In re Wallace's Estate,supra.) "Juries must often reason," says one author, "according to probabilities, drawing an inference that the main fact in issue existed from collateral facts not directly proving, but strongly tending to prove, its existence. The vital question in such cases is the cogency of the proof afforded by the secondary facts. How likely, according to experience, is the existence of the primary fact if certain secondary facts exist?" (1 Moore on Facts, Sec. 596.) The same author tells us of a case

where "a jury was justified in drawing the inference that the person who was caught firing a shot at an animal trespassing on his land was the person who fired a shot about an hour before at the same animal also trespassing." That conclusion was not airtight, but rational. In fact, the circumstances in the illustration leave greater room for another possibility than do the facts of the case at hand. In conclusion the presumption that Angela Joaquin de Navarro died before her son is based purely on surmises, speculations, or conjectures without any sure foundation in the evidence. the opposite theory that the mother outlived her son is deduced from established facts which, weighed by common experience, engender the inference as a very strong probability. Gauged by the doctrine of preponderance of evidence by, which civil cases are decided, this inference ought to prevail. It can not be defeated as in an instance, cited by Lord Chief Justice Kenyon, "bordering on the ridiculous, where in an action on the game laws it was suggested that the gun with which the defendant fired was not charged with shot, but that the bird might have died in consequence of the fright." (1 Moore on Facts, 63, citing Wilkinson vs. Payne, 4 T. R. 468.) It is said that part of the decision of the Court of Appeals which the appellant impugns, and which has been discussed, involves findings of fact which can not be disturbed. The point is not, in our judgment, well considered. The particular circumstances from which the parties and the Court of Appeals drew conclusions are, as above seen, undisputed, and this being the case, the correctness or incorrectness of those conclusions raises a question of law, not of fact, which the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to look into. As was said in 1 Moran Commentaries on the Rules of ?Court, 3rd Ed. 856, 857, "Undisputed evidence is one thing, and contradicted evidence is another. An incredible witness does not cease to be such because he is not impeached or contradicted. But when the evidence is purely documentary, the authenticity of which is not questioned and the only issue is the construction to be placed thereon, or where a case is submitted upon an agreement of facts, or where all the facts are stated in the judgment and the issue is the correctness of the conclusions drawn therefrom, the


question is one of law which may be reviewed by the Supreme Court." The question of whether upon given facts the operation of the statutory presumption is to be invoked is a question of law. The prohibition against intermeddling with decisions on questions of evidence refers to decisions supported by substantial evidence. By substantial evidence is meant real evidence or at least evidence about which reasonable men may disagree. Findings grounded entirely on speculations, surmises, or conjectures come within the exception to the general rule. We are constrained to reverse the decision under review, and hold that the distribution of the decedents' estates should be made in accordance with the decision of the trial court. This result precludes the necessity of passing upon the question of "reserva troncal" which was put forward on the hypothetical theory that Mrs. Joaquin Navarro's death preceded that of her son. Without costs. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 15574 September 17, 1919 SMITH, BELL & COMPANY (LTD.), petitioner, vs. JOAQUIN NATIVIDAD, Collector of Customs of the port of Cebu, respondent. Ross and Lawrence for petitioner. Attorney-General Paredes for respondent. MALCOLM, J.: A writ of mandamus is prayed for by Smith, Bell & Co. (Ltd.), against Joaquin Natividad, Collector of Customs of the port of Cebu, Philippine Islands, to compel him to issue a certificate of Philippine registry to the petitioner for its motor vessel Bato. The Attorney-General, acting as counsel for respondent, demurs to the petition on the general ground that it does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action. While the facts are thus admitted, and while, moreover, the pertinent provisions of law are clear and understandable, and interpretative American jurisprudence is found in abundance, yet the issue submitted is not lightly to be resolved. The question, flatly presented, is, whether Act. No. 2761 of the Philippine Legislature is valid or, more directly stated, whether the Government of

the Philippine Islands, through its Legislature, can deny the registry of vessels in its coastwise trade to corporations having alien stockholders. FACTS. Smith, Bell & Co., (Ltd.), is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the Philippine Islands. A majority of its stockholders are British subjects. It is the owner of a motor vessel known as the Bato built for it in the Philippine Islands in 1916, of more than fifteen tons gross The Bato was brought to Cebu in the present year for the purpose of transporting plaintiff's merchandise between ports in the Islands. Application was made at Cebu, the home port of the vessel, to the Collector of Customs for a certificate of Philippine registry. The Collector refused to issue the certificate, giving as his reason that all the stockholders of Smith, Bell & Co., Ltd., were not citizens either of the United States or of the Philippine Islands. The instant action is the result. LAW. The Act of Congress of April 29, 1908, repealing the Shipping Act of April 30, 1906 but reenacting a portion of section 3 of this Law, and still in force, provides in its section 1: That until Congress shall have authorized the registry as vessels of the United States of vessels owned in the Philippine Islands, the Government of the Philippine Islands is hereby authorized to adopt, from time to time, and enforce regulations governing the transportation of merchandise and passengers between ports or places in the Philippine Archipelago. (35 Stat. at L., 70; Section 3912, U. S. Comp Stat. [1916]; 7 Pub. Laws, 364.) The Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, commonly known as the Jones Law, still in force, provides in section 3, (first paragraph, first sentence), 6, 7, 8, 10, and 31, as follows. SEC. 3. That no law shall be enacted in said Islands which shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or deny to any person therein the equal protection of the laws. . . . SEC. 6. That the laws now in force in the Philippines shall continue in force and effect, except as altered, amended, or modified herein, until altered, amended, or repealed by the legislative authority herein provided or by Act of Congress of the United States. SEC. 7. That the legislative authority herein provided shall have power, when not


inconsistent with this Act, by due enactment to amend, alter modify, or repeal any law, civil or criminal, continued in force by this Act as it may from time to time see fit This power shall specifically extend with the limitation herein provided as to the tariff to all laws relating to revenue provided as to the tariff to all laws relating to revenue and taxation in effect in the Philippines. SEC. 8. That general legislative power, except as otherwise herein provided, is hereby granted to the Philippine Legislature, authorized by this Act. SEC. 10. That while this Act provides that the Philippine government shall have the authority to enact a tariff law the trade relations between the islands and the United States shall continue to be governed exclusively by laws of the Congress of the United States: Provided, That tariff acts or acts amendatory to the tariff of the Philippine Islands shall not become law until they shall receive the approval of the President of the United States, nor shall any act of the Philippine Legislature affecting immigration or the currency or coinage laws of the Philippines become a law until it has been approved by the President of the United States: Provided further, That the President shall approve or disapprove any act mentioned in the foregoing proviso within six months from and after its enactment and submission for his approval, and if not disapproved within such time it shall become a law the same as if it had been specifically approved. SEC. 31. That all laws or parts of laws applicable to the Philippines not in conflict with any of the provisions of this Act are hereby continued in force and effect." (39 Stat at L., 546.) On February 23, 1918, the Philippine Legislature enacted Act No. 2761. The first section of this law amended section 1172 of the Administrative Code to read as follows: SEC. 1172. Certificate of Philippine register. Upon registration of a vessel of domestic ownership, and of more than fifteen tons gross, a certificate of Philippine register shall be issued for it. If the vessel is of domestic ownership and of fifteen tons gross or less, the taking of the certificate of Philippine register shall be optional with the owner. "Domestic ownership," as used in this section, means ownership vested in some one

or more of the following classes of persons: (a) Citizens or native inhabitants of the Philippine Islands; (b) citizens of the United States residing in the Philippine Islands; (c) any corporation or company composed wholly of citizens of the Philippine Islands or of the United States or of both, created under the laws of the United States, or of any State thereof, or of thereof, or the managing agent or master of the vessel resides in the Philippine Islands Any vessel of more than fifteen gross tons which on February eighth, nineteen hundred and eighteen, had a certificate of Philippine register under existing law, shall likewise be deemed a vessel of domestic ownership so long as there shall not be any change in the ownership thereof nor any transfer of stock of the companies or corporations owning such vessel to person not included under the last preceding paragraph. Sections 2 and 3 of Act No. 2761 amended sections 1176 and 1202 of the Administrative Code to read as follows: SEC. 1176. Investigation into character of vessel. No application for a certificate of Philippine register shall be approved until the collector of customs is satisfied from an inspection of the vessel that it is engaged or destined to be engaged in legitimate trade and that it is of domestic ownership as such ownership is defined in section eleven hundred and seventy-two of this Code. The collector of customs may at any time inspect a vessel or examine its owner, master, crew, or passengers in order to ascertain whether the vessel is engaged in legitimate trade and is entitled to have or retain the certificate of Philippine register. SEC. 1202. Limiting number of foreign officers and engineers on board vessels. No Philippine vessel operating in the coastwise trade or on the high seas shall be permitted to have on board more than one master or one mate and one engineer who are not citizens of the United States or of the Philippine Islands, even if they hold licenses under section one thousand one hundred and ninety-nine hereof. No other person who is not a citizen of the United States or of the Philippine Islands shall be an officer or a member of the crew of such vessel. Any such vessel which fails to comply with the terms of this section shall be required to pay an additional tonnage tax of fifty centavos per


net ton per month during the continuance of said failure. ISSUES. Predicated on these facts and provisions of law, the issues as above stated recur, namely, whether Act No 2761 of the Philippine Legislature is valid in whole or in part whether the Government of the Philippine Islands, through its Legislature, can deny the registry of vessel in its coastwise trade to corporations having alien stockholders . OPINION. 1. Considered from a positive standpoint, there can exist no measure of doubt as to the power of the Philippine Legislature to enact Act No. 2761. The Act of Congress of April 29, 1908, with its specific delegation of authority to the Government of the Philippine Islands to regulate the transportation of merchandise and passengers between ports or places therein, the liberal construction given to the provisions of the Philippine Bill, the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, by the courts, and the grant by the Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, of general legislative power to the Philippine Legislature, are certainly superabundant authority for such a law. While the Act of the local legislature may in a way be inconsistent with the Act of Congress regulating the coasting trade of the Continental United States, yet the general rule that only such laws of the United States have force in the Philippines as are expressly extended thereto, and the abnegation of power by Congress in favor of the Philippine Islands would leave no starting point for convincing argument. As a matter of fact, counsel for petitioner does not assail legislative action from this direction (See U. S. vs. Bull [1910], 15 Phil., 7; Sinnot vs. Davenport [1859] 22 How., 227.) 2. It is from the negative, prohibitory standpoint that counsel argues against the constitutionality of Act No. 2761. The first paragraph of the Philippine Bill of Rights of the Philippine Bill, repeated again in the first paragraph of the Philippine Bill of Rights as set forth in the Jones Law, provides "That no law shall be enacted in said Islands which shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or deny to any person therein the equal protection of the laws." Counsel says that Act No. 2761 denies to Smith, Bell & Co., Ltd., the equal protection of the laws because it, in effect, prohibits the corporation from owning

vessels, and because classification of corporations based on the citizenship of one or more of their stockholders is capricious, and that Act No. 2761 deprives the corporation of its properly without due process of law because by the passage of the law company was automatically deprived of every beneficial attribute of ownership in the Bato and left with the naked title to a boat it could not use . The guaranties extended by the Congress of the United States to the Philippine Islands have been used in the same sense as like provisions found in the United States Constitution. While the "due process of law and equal protection of the laws" clause of the Philippine Bill of Rights is couched in slightly different words than the corresponding clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the first should be interpreted and given the same force and effect as the latter. (Kepner vs. U.S. [1904], 195 U. S., 100; Sierra vs. Mortiga [1907], 204 U. S.,.470; U. S. vs. Bull [1910], 15 Phil., 7.) The meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment has been announced in classic decisions of the United States Supreme Court. Even at the expense of restating what is so well known, these basic principles must again be set down in order to serve as the basis of this decision. The guaranties of the Fourteenth Amendment and so of the first paragraph of the Philippine Bill of Rights, are universal in their application to all person within the territorial jurisdiction, without regard to any differences of race, color, or nationality. The word "person" includes aliens. (Yick Wo vs. Hopkins [1886], 118 U. S., 356; Truax vs. Raich [1915], 239 U. S., 33.) Private corporations, likewise, are "persons" within the scope of the guaranties in so far as their property is concerned. (Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pac. R. R. Co. [1886], 118.U. S., 394; Pembina Mining Co. vs. Pennsylvania [1888],.125 U. S., 181 Covington & L. Turnpike Road Co. vs. Sandford [1896], 164 U. S., 578.) Classification with the end in view of providing diversity of treatment may be made among corporations, but must be based upon some reasonable ground and not be a mere arbitrary selection (Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway Co. vs. Ellis [1897],.165 U. S., 150.) Examples of laws held unconstitutional because of unlawful discrimination against


aliens could be cited. Generally, these decisions relate to statutes which had attempted arbitrarily to forbid aliens to engage in ordinary kinds of business to earn their living. (State vs.Montgomery [1900], 94 Maine, 192, peddling but see. Commonwealth vs. Hana [1907], 195 Mass., 262; Templar vs. Board of Examiners of Barbers [1902], 131 Mich., 254, barbers; Yick Wo vs. Hopkins [1886], 118 U. S.,.356, discrimination against Chinese; Truax vs. Raich [1915], 239 U. S., 33; In re Parrott [1880], 1 Fed , 481; Fraser vs. McConway & Torley Co. [1897], 82 Fed , 257; Juniata Limestone Co. vs. Fagley [1898], 187 Penn., 193, all relating to the employment of aliens by private corporations.) A literal application of general principles to the facts before us would, of course, cause the inevitable deduction that Act No. 2761 is unconstitutional by reason of its denial to a corporation, some of whole members are foreigners, of the equal protection of the laws. Like all beneficient propositions, deeper research discloses provisos. Examples of a denial of rights to aliens notwithstanding the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment could be cited. (Tragesser vs. Gray [1890], 73 Md., 250, licenses to sell spirituous liquors denied to persons not citizens of the United States; Commonwealth vs. Hana [1907], 195 Mass , 262, excluding aliens from the right to peddle; Patsone vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania [1914], 232 U. S. , 138, prohibiting the killing of any wild bird or animal by any unnaturalized foreign-born resident; Ex parte Gilleti [1915], 70 Fla., 442, discriminating in favor of citizens with reference to the taking for private use of the common property in fish and oysters found in the public waters of the State; Heim vs. McCall [1915], 239 U. S.,.175, and Crane vs. New York [1915], 239 U. S., 195, limiting employment on public works by, or for, the State or a municipality to citizens of the United States.) One of the exceptions to the general rule, most persistent and far reaching in influence is, that neither the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, broad and comprehensive as it is, nor any other amendment, "was designed to interfere with the power of the State, sometimes termed its `police power,' to prescribe regulations to promote the health, peace, morals, education,

and good order of the people, and legislate so as to increase the industries of the State, develop its resources and add to its wealth and prosperity. From the very necessities of society, legislation of a special character, having these objects in view, must often be had in certain districts." (Barbier vs. Connolly [1884], 113 U.S., 27; New Orleans Gas Co. vs. Lousiana Light Co. [1885], 115 U.S., 650.) This is the same police power which the United States Supreme Court say "extends to so dealing with the conditions which exist in the state as to bring out of them the greatest welfare in of its people." (Bacon vs.Walker [1907], 204 U.S., 311.) For quite similar reasons, none of the provision of the Philippine Organic Law could could have had the effect of denying to the Government of the Philippine Islands, acting through its Legislature, the right to exercise that most essential, insistent, and illimitable of powers, the sovereign police power, in the promotion of the general welfare and the public interest. (U. S. vs. Toribio [1910], 15 Phil., 85; Churchill and Taitvs. Rafferty [1915], 32 Phil., 580; Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro [1919], 39 Phil., 660.) Another notable exception permits of the regulation or distribution of the public domain or the common property or resources of the people of the State, so that use may be limited to its citizens. (Ex parte Gilleti [1915], 70 Fla., 442; McCready vs.Virginia [1876], 94 U. S., 391; Patsone vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania [1914], 232U. S., 138.) Still another exception permits of the limitation of employment in the construction of public works by, or for, the State or a municipality to citizens of the United States or of the State. (Atkin vs. Kansas [1903],191 U. S., 207; Heim vs.McCall [1915], 239 U.S., 175; Crane vs. New York [1915], 239 U. S., 195.) Even as to classification, it is admitted that a State may classify with reference to the evil to be prevented; the question is a practical one, dependent upon experience. (Patsone vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania [1914], 232 U. S., 138.) To justify that portion of Act no. 2761 which permits corporations or companies to obtain a certificate of Philippine registry only on condition that they be composed wholly of citizens of the Philippine Islands or of the United States or both, as not infringing Philippine Organic Law, it must be done under some one of the exceptions here


mentioned This must be done, moreover, having particularly in mind what is so often of controlling effect in this jurisdiction our local experience and our peculiar local conditions. To recall a few facts in geography, within the confines of Philippine jurisdictional limits are found more than three thousand islands. Literally, and absolutely, steamship lines are, for an Insular territory thus situated, the arteries of commerce. If one be severed, the life-blood of the nation is lost. If on the other hand these arteries are protected, then the security of the country and the promotion of the general welfare is sustained. Time and again, with such conditions confronting it, has the executive branch of the Government of the Philippine Islands, always later with the sanction of the judicial branch, taken a firm stand with reference to the presence of undesirable foreigners. The Government has thus assumed to act for the all-sufficient and primitive reason of the benefit and protection of its own citizens and of the selfpreservation and integrity of its dominion. ( In re Patterson [1902], 1 Phil., 93; Forbes vs. Chuoco, Tiaco and Crossfield [1910], 16 Phil., 534;.228 U.S., 549; In re McCulloch Dick [1918], 38 Phil., 41.) Boats owned by foreigners, particularly by such solid and reputable firms as the instant claimant, might indeed traverse the waters of the Philippines for ages without doing any particular harm. Again, some evilminded foreigner might very easily take advantage of such lavish hospitality to chart Philippine waters, to obtain valuable information for unfriendly foreign powers, to stir up insurrection, or to prejudice Filipino or American commerce. Moreover, under the Spanish portion of Philippine law, the waters within the domestic jurisdiction are deemed part of the national domain, open to public use. (Book II, Tit. IV, Ch. I, Civil Code; Spanish Law of Waters of August 3, 1866, arts 1, 2, 3.) Common carriers which in the Philippines as in the United States and other countries are, as Lord Hale said, "affected with a public interest," can only be permitted to use these public waters as a privilege and under such conditions as to the representatives of the people may seem wise. (See De Villata vs. Stanley [1915], 32 Phil., 541.) In Patsone vs. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ([1913], 232 U.S., 138), a case

herein before mentioned, Justice Holmes delivering the opinion of the United States Supreme Court said: This statute makes it unlawful for any unnaturalized foreign-born resident to kill any wild bird or animal except in defense of person or property, and `to that end' makes it unlawful for such foreign-born person to own or be possessed of a shotgun or rifle; with a penalty of $25 and a forfeiture of the gun or guns. The plaintiff in error was found guilty and was sentenced to pay the abovementioned fine. The judgment was affirmed on successive appeals. (231 Pa., 46; 79 Atl., 928.) He brings the case to this court on the ground that the statute is contrary to the 14th Amendment and also is in contravention of the treaty between the United States and Italy, to which latter country the plaintiff in error belongs . Under the 14th Amendment the objection is twofold; unjustifiably depriving the alien of property, and discrimination against such aliens as a class. But the former really depends upon the latter, since it hardly can be disputed that if the lawful object, the protection of wild life (Geer vs. Connecticut, 161 U.S., 519; 40 L. ed., 793; 16 Sup. Ct. Rep., 600), warrants the discrimination, the, means adopted for making it effective also might be adopted. . . . The discrimination undoubtedly presents a more difficult question. But we start with reference to the evil to be prevented, and that if the class discriminated against is or reasonably might be considered to define those from whom the evil mainly is to be feared, it properly may be picked out. A lack of abstract symmetry does not matter. The question is a practical one, dependent upon experience. . . . The question therefore narrows itself to whether this court can say that the legislature of Pennsylvania was not warranted in assuming as its premise for the law that resident unnaturalized aliens were the peculiar source of the evil that it desired to prevent. (Barrett vs. Indiana,. 229 U.S., 26, 29; 57 L. ed., 1050, 1052; 33 Sup. Ct. Rep., 692.) Obviously the question, so stated, is one of local experience, on which this court ought to be very slow to declare that the state legislature was wrong in its facts (Adams vs. Milwaukee, 228 U.S., 572, 583; 57 L. ed., 971,.977; 33 Sup. Ct. Rep., 610.) If


we might trust popular speech in some states it was right; but it is enough that this court has no such knowledge of local conditions as to be able to say that it was manifestly wrong. ... Judgment affirmed. We are inclined to the view that while Smith, Bell & Co. Ltd., a corporation having alien stockholders, is entitled to the protection afforded by the due-process of law and equal protection of the laws clause of the Philippine Bill of Rights, nevertheless, Act No. 2761 of the Philippine Legislature, in denying to corporations such as Smith, Bell &. Co. Ltd., the right to register vessels in the Philippines coastwise trade, does not belong to that vicious species of class legislation which must always be condemned, but does fall within authorized exceptions, notably, within the purview of the police power, and so does not offend against the constitutional provision. This opinion might well be brought to a close at this point. It occurs to us, however, that the legislative history of the United States and the Philippine Islands, and, probably, the legislative history of other countries, if we were to take the time to search it out, might disclose similar attempts at restriction on the right to enter the coastwise trade, and might thus furnish valuable aid by which to ascertain and, if possible, effectuate legislative intention. 3. The power to regulate commerce, expressly delegated to the Congress by the Constitution, includes the power to nationalize ships built and owned in the United States by registries and enrollments, and the recording of the muniments of title of American vessels. The Congress "may encourage or it may entirely prohibit such commerce, and it may regulate in any way it may see fit between these two extremes." (U.S. vs.Craig [1886], 28 Fed., 795; Gibbons vs. Ogden [1824], 9 Wheat., 1; The Passenger Cases [1849], 7 How., 283.) Acting within the purview of such power, the first Congress of the United States had not been long convened before it enacted on September 1, 1789, "An Act for Registering and Clearing Vessels, Regulating the Coasting Trade, and for other purposes." Section 1 of this law provided that for any ship or vessel to obtain the benefits of American registry, it must belong wholly to a citizen or citizens of the United States "and

no other." (1 Stat. at L., 55.) That Act was shortly after repealed, but the same idea was carried into the Acts of Congress of December 31, 1792 and February 18, 1793. (1 Stat. at L., 287, 305.).Section 4 of the Act of 1792 provided that in order to obtain the registry of any vessel, an oath shall be taken and subscribed by the owner, or by one of the owners thereof, before the officer authorized to make such registry, declaring, "that there is no subject or citizen of any foreign prince or state, directly or indirectly, by way of trust, confidence, or otherwise, interested in such vessel, or in the profits or issues thereof." Section 32 of the Act of 1793 even went so far as to say "that if any licensed ship or vessel shall be transferred to any person who is not at the time of such transfer a citizen of and resident within the United States, ... every such vessel with her tackle, apparel, and furniture, and the cargo found on board her, shall be forefeited." In case of alienation to a foreigner, Chief Justice Marshall said that all the privileges of an American bottom were ipso facto forfeited. (U.S. vs. Willings and Francis [1807], 4 Cranch, 48.) Even as late as 1873, the Attorney-General of the United States was of the opinion that under the provisions of the Act of December 31, 1792, no vessel in which a foreigner is directly or indirectly interested can lawfully be registered as a vessel of the United. States. (14 Op. Atty.-Gen. [U.S.], 340.) These laws continued in force without contest, although possibly the Act of March 3, 1825, may have affected them, until amended by the Act of May 28, 1896 (29 Stat. at L., 188) which extended the privileges of registry from vessels wholly owned by a citizen or citizens of the United States to corporations created under the laws of any of the states thereof. The law, as amended, made possible the deduction that a vessel belonging to a domestic corporation was entitled to registry or enrollment even though some stock of the company be owned by aliens. The right of ownership of stock in a corporation was thereafter distinct from the right to hold the property by the corporation (Humphreys vs. McKissock [1890], 140 U.S., 304; Queen vs. Arnaud [1846], 9 Q. B., 806; 29 Op. Atty.-Gen. [U.S.],188.) On American occupation of the Philippines, the new government found a substantive law in operation in the Islands with a civil law history which it wisely continued in force


Article fifteen of the Spanish Code of Commerce permitted any foreigner to engage in Philippine trade if he had legal capacity to do so under the laws of his nation. When the Philippine Commission came to enact the Customs Administrative Act (No. 355) in 1902, it returned to the old American policy of limiting the protection and flag of the United States to vessels owned by citizens of the United States or by native inhabitants of the Philippine Islands (Sec. 117.) Two years later, the same body reverted to the existing Congressional law by permitting certification to be issued to a citizen of the United States or to a corporation or company created under the laws of the United States or of any state thereof or of the Philippine Islands (Act No. 1235, sec. 3.) The two administration codes repeated the same provisions with the necessary amplification of inclusion of citizens or native inhabitants of the Philippine Islands (Adm. Code of 1916, sec. 1345; Adm. Code of 1917, sec. 1172). And now Act No. 2761 has returned to the restrictive idea of the original Customs Administrative Act which in turn was merely a reflection of the statutory language of the first American Congress. Provisions such as those in Act No. 2761, which deny to foreigners the right to a certificate of Philippine registry, are thus found not to be as radical as a first reading would make them appear. Without any subterfuge, the apparent purpose of the Philippine Legislature is seen to be to enact an anti-alien shipping act. The ultimate purpose of the Legislature is to encourage Philippine ship-building. This, without doubt, has, likewise, been the intention of the United States Congress in passing navigation or tariff laws on different occasions. The object of such a law, the United States Supreme Court once said, was to encourage American trade, navigation, and ship-building by giving American ship-owners exclusive privileges. (Old Dominion Steamship Co. vs. Virginia [1905], 198 U.S., 299; Kent's Commentaries, Vol. 3, p. 139.) In the concurring opinion of Justice Johnson in Gibbons vs. Ogden ([1824], 9 Wheat., 1) is found the following: Licensing acts, in fact, in legislation, are universally restraining acts; as, for example, acts licensing gaming houses, retailers of spirituous liquors, etc. The act, in this instance, is distinctly of that character, and

forms part of an extensive system, the object of which is to encourage American shipping, and place them on an equal footing with the shipping of other nations. Almost every commercial nation reserves to its own subjects a monopoly of its coasting trade; and a countervailing privilege in favor of American shipping is contemplated, in the whole legislation of the United States on this subject. It is not to give the vessel an American character, that the license is granted; that effect has been correctly attributed to the act of her enrollment. But it is to confer on her American privileges, as contradistinguished from foreign; and to preserve the. Government from fraud by foreigners, in surreptitiously intruding themselves into the American commercial marine, as well as frauds upon the revenue in the trade coastwise, that this whole system is projected. The United States Congress in assuming its grave responsibility of legislating wisely for a new country did so imbued with a spirit of Americanism. Domestic navigation and trade, it decreed, could only be carried on by citizens of the United States. If the representatives of the American people acted in this patriotic manner to advance the national policy, and if their action was accepted without protest in the courts, who can say that they did not enact such beneficial laws under the all-pervading police power, with the prime motive of safeguarding the country and of promoting its prosperity? Quite similarly, the Philippine Legislature made up entirely of Filipinos, representing the mandate of the Filipino people and the guardian of their rights, acting under practically autonomous powers, and imbued with a strong sense of Philippinism, has desired for these Islands safety from foreign interlopers, the use of the common property exclusively by its citizens and the citizens of the United States, and protection for the common good of the people. Who can say, therefore, especially can a court, that with all the facts and circumstances affecting the Filipino people before it, the Philippine Legislature has erred in the enactment of Act No. 2761? Surely, the members of the judiciary are not expected to live apart from active life, in monastic seclusion amidst dusty tomes and ancient records, but, as keen spectators of passing events and alive to the dictates of the


general the national welfare, can incline the scales of their decisions in favor of that solution which will most effectively promote the public policy. All the presumption is in favor of the constitutionally of the law and without good and strong reasons, courts should not attempt to nullify the action of the Legislature. "In construing a statute enacted by the Philippine Commission (Legislature), we deem it our duty not to give it a construction which would be repugnant to an Act of Congress, if the language of the statute is fairly susceptible of another construction not in conflict with the higher law." (In re Guaria [1913], 24. Phil., 36; U.S. vs. Ten Yu [1912], 24 Phil., 1.) That is the true construction which will best carry legislative intention into effect. With full consciousness of the importance of the question, we nevertheless are clearly of the opinion that the limitation of domestic ownership for purposes of obtaining a certificate of Philippine registry in the coastwise trade to citizens of the Philippine Islands, and to citizens of the United States, does not violate the provisions of paragraph 1 of section 3 of the Act of Congress of August 29, 1916 No treaty right relied upon Act No. 2761 of the Philippine Legislature is held valid and constitutional . The petition for a writ of mandamus is denied, with costs against the petitioner. So ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-2832 November 24, 1906 REV. JORGE BARLIN, in his capacity as apostolic administrator of this vacant bishopric and legal representative of the general interests of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church in the diocese of Nueva Caceres, plaintiff-appellee, vs. P. VICENTE RAMIREZ, ex-rector of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Parochial Church of Lagonoy, AND THE MUNICIPALITY OF LAGONOY, defendants-appellants. Manly & Gallup for appellants. Leoncio Imperial and Chicote, Miranda & Sierra for appellee WILLARD, J.:p

There had been priests of the Roman Catholic Church in the pueblo of Lagonoy, in the Province of Ambos Camarines, since 1839. On the 13th of January, 1869, the church and convent were burned. They were rebuilt between 1870 and 1873. There was evidence that this was done by the order of the provincial governor. The labor necessary for this reconstruction was performed by the people of the pueblo the direction of the cabeza debarangay. Under the law then in force, each man in the pueblo was required to work for the government, without compensation, for forty days every year. The time spent in the reconstruction of these buildings was counted as a part of the forty days. The material necessary was brought and paid for in part by the parish priest from the funds of the church and in part was donated by certain individuals of the pueblo. After the completion of the church it was always administered, until November 14, 1902, by a priest of a Roman Catholic Communion and all the people of the pueblo professed that faith and belonged to that church. The defendant, Ramirez, having been appointed by the plaintiff parish priest, took possession of the church on the 5th of July, 1901. He administered it as such under the orders of his superiors until the 14th day of November, 1902. His successor having been then appointed, the latter made a demand on this defendant for the delivery to him of the church, convent, and cemetery, and the sacred ornaments, books, jewels, money, and other property of the church. The defendant, by a written document of that date, refused to make such delivery. That document is as follows: At 7 oclock last night I received through Father Agripino Pisino your respected order of the 12th instant, wherein I am advised of the appointment of Father Pisino as acting parish priest of this town, and directed to turn over to him this parish and to report to you at the vicarage. In reply thereto, I have the honor to inform you that the town of Lagonoy, in conjunction with the parish priest thereof has seen fit to sever connection with the Pope at Rome and his representatives in these Islands, and join the Filipino Church, the head of which is at Manila. This resolution of the people was reduced to writing and triplicate copies made, of which I beg to inclose a copy herewith.


For this reason I regret to inform you that I am unable to obey your said order by delivering to Father Agripino Pisino the parish property of Lagonoy which, as I understand, is now outside of the control of the Pope and his representatives in these Islands. May God guard you many years. Lagonoy, November 14, 1902. (Signed) VICENTE RAMIREZ RT. REV. VICAR OF THIS DISTRICT. The document, a copy of which is referred to in this letter, is as follows: LAGONOY, November, 9, 1902. The municipality of this town and some of its most prominent citizens having learned through the papers from the capital of these islands of the constitution of the Filipino National Church, separate from the control of the Pope at Rome by reason of the fact that the latter has refused to either recognize or grant the rights to the Filipino clergy which have many times been urged, and it appearing to us that the reasons advanced why such offices should he given to the Filipino clergy are evidently well-founded, we have deemed it advisable to consult with the parish priest of this town as to whether it would be advantageous to join the said Filipino Church and to separate from the control of the Pope as long as he continues to ignore the rights of the said Filipino clergy, under the conditions that there will be no change in the articles of faith, and that the sacraments and other dogmas will be recognized and particularly that of the immaculate conception of the mother of our Lord, But the moment the Pope at Rome recognizes and grants the rights heretofore denied to the Filipino clergy we will return to his control. In view of this, and subject to this condition, the reverend parish priest, together with the people of the town, unanimously join in declaring that from this date they separate themselves from the obedience and control of the Pope and join the Filipino National Church. This assembly and the reverend parish priest have accordingly adopted this resolution written in triplicate, and resolved to send a copy thereof to the civil government of this province for its information, and do sign the same below. Vicente Ramirez, Francisco Israel, Ambrosia Bacon, Florentino Relloso, Macario P. Ledesma, Cecilio Obias, Balbino Imperial, Juan Preseada, Fernando Deudor, Mauricio Torres, Adriano Sabater.

At the meeting at which the resolution spoken of in this document was adopted, there were present about 100 persons of the pueblo. There is testimony in the case that the population of the pueblo was at that time 9,000 and that all but 20 of the inhabitants were satisfied with the action there taken. Although it is of no importance in the case, we are inclined to think that the testimony to this effect merely means that about 100 of the principal men of the town were in favor of the resolution and about 20 of such principal men were opposed to it. After the 14th of November, the defendant, Ramirez, continued in the possession of the church and other property and administered the same under the directions of his superior, the Obispo Maximoof the Independent Filipino Church. The rites and ceremonies and the manner of worship were the same after the 14th day of November as they were before, but the relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the defendant had been entirely severed. In January, 1904. the plaintiff brought this action against the defendant, Ramirez, alleging in his amended complaint that the Roman Catholic Church was the owner of the church building, the convent, cemetery, the books, money, and other property belonging thereto, and asking that it be restored to the possession thereof and that the defendant render an account of the property which he had received and which was retained by him, and for other relief. The answer of the defendant, Ramirez, in addition to a general denial of the allegation of the complaint, admitted that he was in the possession and administration of the property described therein with the authority of the municipality of Lagonoy and of the inhabitants of the same who were the lawful owners of the said property. After this answer had been presented, and on the 1st day of November, 1904, the municipality of Lagonox filed a petition asking that it be allowed to intervene in the case and join with the defendant, Ramirez, as a defendant therein. This petition been granted, the municipality of the 1st day of December filed an answer in which it alleged that the defendant, Ramirez, was in possession of the property described in the complaint under the authority and with the consent of the municipality of Lagonoy and that such municipality was the owner thereof.


Plaintiff answered this complaint or answer in intervention, an the case was tried and final judgment in entered therein in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants. The defendants then brought the case here by a bill of exceptions. That the person in the actual possession of the church and other property described in the complaint is the defendant, Ramirez, is plainly established by the evidence. It does not appear that the municipality, as a corporate body, ever took any action in reference to this matter until they presented their petition for intervention in this case. In fact, the witnesses for the defense, when they speak of the ownership of the buildings, say that they are owned by the people of the pueblo, and one witness, the president, said that the municipality as a corporation had nothing whatever to do with the matter. That the resolution adopted on the 14th of November, and which has been quoted above, was not the action of the municipality, as such, is apparent from an inspection thereof. The witnesses for the defenses speak of a delivery of the church by the people of the pueblo to the defendant, Ramirez, but there is no evidence in the case of any such delivery. Their testimony in regard to the delivery always refers to the action taken on the 14th of November, a record of which appears that in the document above quoted. It is apparent that the action taken consisted simply in separating themselves from the Roman Catholic Church, and nothing is said therein in reference to the material property then in possession of the defendant, Ramirez. There are several grounds upon which this judgment must be affirmed. (1) As to the defendant, Ramirez, it appears that he took possession of the property as the servant or agent of the plaintiff. The only right which he had to the possession at the time he took it, was the right which was given to him by the plaintiff, and he took possession under the agreement to return that possession whenever it should be demanded of him. Under such circumstances he will not be allowed, when the return of such possession is demanded by him the plaintiff, to say that the plaintiff is not the owner of the property and is not entitled to have it delivered back to him. The principle of law that a tenant can not deny his landlords title, which is found in section 333, paragraph 2, of the Code of Civil Procedure, and also in the

Spanish law, is applicable to a case of this kind. An answer of the defendant, Ramirez, in which he alleged that he himself was the owner of the property at the time he received it from the plaintiff, or in which he alleged that the pueblo was the owner of the property at that time, would constitute no defense. There is no claim made by him that since the delivery of the possession of the property to him by the plaintiff he has acquired the title thereto by other means, nor does he is own behalf make any claim whatever either to the property or to the possession thereof. (2) The municipality of Lagonoy, in its answer, claims as such, to be the owner of the property. As we have said before, the evidence shows that it never was in the physical possession of the property. But waiving this point and assuming that the possession of Ramirez, which he alleges in his answer is the possession of the municipality, gives the municipality the rights of a possessor, the question still arises, Who has the better right to the present possession of the property? The plaintiff, in 1902, had been in the lawful possession thereof for more than thirty years and during all that time its possession had never been questioned or disturbed. That possession has been taken away from it and it has the right now to recover the possession from the persons who have so deprived it of such possession, unless the latter can show that they have a better right thereto. This was the preposition which was discussed and settled in the case of Bishop of Cebu vs. Mangaron, No. 1748, decided June 1, 1906. That decision holds that as against one who has been in possession for the length of the plaintiff has been in possession, and who had been deprived of his possession, and who can not produce any written evidence of title, the mere fact that the defendant is in possession does not entitle the defendant to retain that possession. In order that he may continue in possession, he must show a better right thereto. The evidence in this case does not show that the municipality has, as such, any right of whatever in the property in question. It has produced no evidence of ownership. Its claim of ownership is rested in its brief in this court upon the following propositions: That the property in question belonged prior to the treaty of Paris to the Spanish Government; that by the treaty of Paris the ownership


thereof passed to the Government of the United States; that by section 12 of the act of Congress of July 1, 1902, such property was transferred to the Government of the Philippine Islands, and that by the circular of that Government, dated November 11, 1902, the ownership and the right to the possession of this property passed to the municipality of Lagonoy. If for the purposes of the argument we should admit that the propositions are true, there is no evidence whatever to support the last proposition, namely that the Government of the Philippine Islands has transferred the ownership of this church to the municipality of Lagonoy. We have found no circular of the date above referred to. The one of February 10, 1903, which is probably the one intended, contains nothing that indicates any such transfer. As to the municipality of Lagonoy therefore, it is very clear that it has neither title, ownership, nor right of possession. (3) We have said that it would have no such title or ownership ever admitting that the Spanish Government was the owner of the property and it has passed by the treaty of Paris to the American Government. But this assumption is not true. As a matter of law, the Spanish Government at the time the treaty of peace was signed, was not the owner of this property, nor of any other property like it, situated in the Philippine Islands. It does not admit of doubt that from the earliest times the parish churches in the Philippine Islands were built by the Spanish Government. Law 2, title 2, book 1, of the Compilation of the Laws of the Indies is, in part, as follows: Having erected all the churches, cathedrals, and parish houses of the Spaniards and natives of our Indian possessions from their discovery at the cost and expense of our royal treasury, and applied for their service and maintenance the part of the tithes belonging to us by apostolic concession according to the division we have made. Law 3 of the same title to the construction of parochial churches such as the one in question. That law is as follows: The parish churches which was erected in Spanish towns shall be of durable and decent construction. Their costs shall be divided and paid in three parts: One by our royal treasury, another by the residents and Indian encomenderos of the place where such churches are constructed and the other part by

the Indians who abide there; and if within the limits of a city, village, or place there should be any Indians incorporated to our royal crown, we command that for our part there be contributed the same amount as the residents and encomenderos, respectively, contribute; and the residents who have no Indians shall also contribute for this purpose in accordance with their stations and wealth, and that which is so given shall be deducted from the share of the Indians should pay. Law 11 of the same title is as follows: We command that the part of the tithes which belongs to the fund for the erection of churches shall be given to their superintendents to be expended for those things necessary for these churches with the advice of the prelates and officials, and by their warrants, and not otherwise. And we request and charge the archbishops and bishops not to interfere in the collection and disbursement thereof but to guard these structures. Law 4, title 3, book 6, is as follows: In all settlements, even though the Indians are few, there shall be erected a church where mass can be decently held, and it shall have a donor with a key, notwithstanding the fact that it be the subject to or separate from a parish. Not only were all the parish churches in the Philippines erected by the King and under his direction, but it was made unlawful to erect a church without the license of the King. This provision is contained in Law 2, title 6, book 1, which is as follows: Whereas it is our intention to erect, institute, found, and maintain all cathedrals, parish churches, monasteries, votive hospitals, churches, and religious and pious establishments where they are necessary for the teaching, propagation, and preaching of the doctrine of our sacred Roman Catholic faith, and to aid to this effect with out royal treasury whenever possible, and to receive information of such places where they should be founded and are necessary, and the ecclesiastical patronage of all our Indies belonging to us: We command that there shall not be erected, instituted, founded, or maintained any cathedral, parish church, monastery, hospital, or votive churches, or other pious or religious establishment without our express permission as is provided in Law 1, title 2, and Law 1, title 3, of this book, notwithstanding any


permission heretofore given by our viceroy or other ministers, which in this respect we revoke and make null, void, and of no effect. By agreement at an early date between the Pope and the Crown of Spain, all tithes in the Indies were given by the former to the latter and the disposition made the King of the fund thus created is indicated by Law 1, title 16, book 1, which is as follows: Whereas the ecclesiastical tithes from the Indies belong to us by the apostolic concessions of the supreme pontiffs, we command the officials of our royal treasury of those provinces to collect and cause to be collected all tithes due and to become due from the crops and flocks of the residents in the manner in which it has been the custom to pay the same, and from these tithes the churches shall be provided with competent persons of good character to serve them and with all ornaments and things which may be necessary for divine worship, to the end that these churches may be well served and equipped, and we shall be informed of God, our Lord; this order shall be observed where the contrary has not already been directed by us in connection with the erection of churches. That the condition of things existing by virtue of the Laws of the Indies was continued to the present time is indicated by the royal order of the 31st of January 1856, and by the royal order of the 13th of August, 1876, both relating to the construction and repair of churches, there being authority for saying that the latter order was in force in the Philippines. This church, and other churches similarly situated in the Philippines, having been erected by the Spanish Government, and under its direction, the next question to be considered is, To whom did these churches belong? Title 28 of the third partida is devoted to the ownership of things and, after discussing what can be called public property and what can be called private property, speaks, in Law 12, of those things which are sacred, religious, or holy. That law is as follows: Law XII. HOW SACRED OR RELIGIOUS THINGS CAN NOT BE OWNED BY ANY PERSON. No sacred, religious, or holy thing, devoted to the service of God, can be the subject of ownership by any man, nor can it be considered as included in his property

holdings. Although the priests may have such things in their possession, yet they are not the owners thereof. They, hold them thus as guardians or servants, or because they have the care of the same and serve God in or without them. Hence they were allowed to take from the revenues of the church and lands what was reasonably necessary for their support; the balance, belonging to God, was to be devoted to pious purposes, such as the feeding and clothing of the poor, the support of orphans, the marrying of poor virgins to prevent their becoming evil women because of their poverty, and for the redemption of captives and the repairing of the churches, and the buying of chalices, clothing, books, and others things which they might be in need of, and other similar charitable purposes. And then taking up for consideration the first of the classes in to which this law has divided these things, it defines in Law 13, title 28, third partidaconsecrated things. That law is as follows: Sacred things, we say, are those which are consecrated by the bishops, such as churches, the altars therein, crosses, chalices, censers, vestments, books, and all other things which are intended for the service of the church, and the title to these things can not be alienated except in certain specific cases as we have already shown in the first partida of this book by the laws dealing with this subject. We say further that even where a consecrated church is razed, the ground upon which it formerly stood shall always be consecrated ground. But if any consecrated church should fall into the hands of the enemies of our faith it shall there and then cease to be sacred as long as the enemy has it under control, although once recovered by the Christians, it will again become sacred, reverting to its condition before the enemy seized it and shall have all the right and privileges formerly belonging to it. That the principles of the partida in reference to churches still exist is indicated by Sanchez Roman, whose work on the Civil Law contains the following statement: First Group. Spiritual and corporeal or ecclesiastical. A. Spiritual. From early times distinction has been made by authors and by law between things governed by divine law, called divine, and those governed by human law, called human, and although the former can not be the subject of civil juridical relations, their nature and species should be


ascertained either to identify them and exclude them from such relations or because they furnish a complete explanation of the foregoing tabulated statement, or finally because the laws of the partida deal with them. Divine things are those which are either directly or indirectly established by God for his service and sanctification of men and which are governed by divine or canonical laws. This makes it necessary to divide them into spiritual things, which are those which have a direct influence on the religious redemption of man such as the sacrament, prayers, fasts, indulgences, etc., and corporeal or ecclesiastical, which are those means more or less direct for the proper religious salvation of man. 7. First Group. Divine things. B. Corporeal or ecclesiastical things(sacred, religious, holy, and temporal belonging to the church). Corporeal or ecclesiastical things are so divided. (a) Sacred things are those devoted to God, religion, and worship in general, such as temples, altars, ornaments, etc. These things can not be alienated except for some pious purpose and in such cases as are provided for in the laws, according to which their control pertains to the ecclesiastical authorities, and in so far as their use is concerned, to the believers and the clergy (2 Derecho Civil Espaol, Sanchez Roman, p. 480; 8 Manresa, Commentaries on the Spanish Civil Code, p. 636; 3 Alcubilla, Diccionarie de La Administracion Espaola, p. 486.) The partidas defined minutely what things belonged to the public in general and what belonged to private persons. In the first group churches are not named. The present Civil Code declares in article 338 that property is of public or private ownership. Article 339, which defines public property, is as follows: Property of public ownership is That destined to the public use, such as roads, canals, rivers, torrents, ports and bridges constructed by the State, and banks, shores, roadsteads, and that of similar character. That belonging exclusively to the state without being for public use and which is destined to some public service, or to the development of the national wealth such as walls fortresses and other works for the defense of the territory, and mines, until their concession has been granted

The code also defines the property of provinces and of pueblos, and in defining what property is of public use, article 344 declares as follows: Property for public use in provinces and in towns comprises the provincial and town roads, the squares, streets, fountains, and public waters, the promenades, and public works of general service supported by the said towns or provinces. All other property possessed by either is patrimonial, and shall be governed by the provisions of this code, unless otherwise prescribe in special laws. It will be noticed that in either one of these articles is any mention made of churches. When the Civil Code undertook to define those things in a pueblo which were for the common use of the inhabitants of the pueblo, or which belonged to the State, while it mentioned a great many other things, it did not mention churches. It has been said that article 25 of the Regulations for the Execution of the Mortgage Law indicates that churches belong to the State and are public property. That article is as follows: There shall be excepted from the record required by article 2 of the law: First. Property which belongs exclusively to the eminent domain of the State, and which is for the use of all, such as the shores of the sea, islands, rivers and their borders, wagon roads, and the roads of all kinds, with the exception of railroads; streets, parks, public promenades, and commons of towns, provided they are not lands of common profit to the inhabitants; walls of cities and parks, ports, and roadsteads, and any other analogous property during the time they are in common and general use, always reserving the servitudes established by law on the shores of the sea and borders of navigable rivers. Second. Public temples dedicated to the Catholic faith. A reading of this article shows that far from proving that churches belong to the State and to the eminent domain thereof, it proves the contrary, for, if they had belonged to the State, they would have been included in the first paragraph instead of being placed in a paragraph by themselves. The truth is that, from the earliest times down to the cession of the Philippines to the United States, churches and other consecrated


objects were considered outside of the commerce of man. They were not public property, nor could they be subjects of private property in the sense that any private person could the owner thereof. They constituted a kind of property distinctive characteristic of which was that was devoted to the worship of God. But, being material things was necessary that some one should have the care and custody of them and the administration thereof, and the question occurs, To whom, under the Spanish law, was intrusted that possession and administration? For the purposes of the Spanish law there was only one religion. That was the religion professed by the Roman Catholic Church. It was for the purposes of that religion and for the observance of its rites that this church and all other churches in the Philippines were erected. The possession of the churches, their care and custody, and the maintenance of religious worship therein were necessarily, therefore, intrusted to that body. It was, by virtue of the laws of Spain, the only body which could under any circumstances have possession of, or any control over, any church dedicated to the worship of God. By virtue of those laws this possession and right of control were necessarily exclusive. It not necessary or important to give any name to this right of possession and control exercised by the Roman Catholic Church in the church buildings of the Philippines prior to 1898. It is not necessary to show that the church as a juridical person was the owner of the buildings. It is sufficient to say that this right to the exclusive possession and control of the same, for the purposes of its creation, existed. The right of patronage, existing in the King of Spain with reference to the churches in the Philippines, did not give him any right to interfere with the material possession of these buildings. Title 6 of book 1 of the Compilation of the laws of the Indies treats Del Patronazgo Real de las Indias. There is nothing in any one of the fify-one laws which compose this title which in any way indicates that the King of Spain was the owner of the churches in the Indies because he had constructed them. These laws relate to the right of presentation to ecclesiastical charges and offices. For example, Law 49 of the title commences as follows:

Because the patronage and right of presentation of all archbishops, bishops, dignitaries, prevents, curates, and doctrines and all other beneficiaries and ecclesiastical offices whatsoever belong to us. no other person can obtain or possess the same without our presentation as provided in Law 1 and other laws of this title. Title 15 of the first partida treats of the right of patronage vesting in private persons, but there is nothing in any one of its fifteen laws which in any way indicates that the private patron is the owner of the church. When it is said that this church never belonged to the Crown of Spain, it is not intended to say that the Government and had no power over it. It may be that by virtue 0f that power of emminent domain which is necessarily resides in every government, it might have appropriated this church and other churches, and private property of individuals. But nothing of this kind was ever attempted in the Philippines. It, therefore, follows that in 1898, and prior to the treaty of Paris, the Roman Catholic Church had by law the exclusive right to the possession of this church and it had the legal right to administer the same for the purposes for which the building consecrated. It was then in the full and peaceful possession of the church with the rights aforesaid. That these rights were fully protected by the treaty of Paris is very clear. That treaty, in article 8, provides, among other things, as tbllows: And it is hereby declared that the relinquishment or cession, as the case may be, to which the preceding paragraph refers, can not in any respect impair the property or rights which by law belong to the peaceful possession of property of all kinds or provinces municipalities, public or private establishments, ecclesiastical or civic bodies, or any other associations having legal capacity to acquire and possess property in the aforesaid territories renounced or ceded, or of private individuals, or whatsoever nationality such individuals may be. It is not necessary, however, to invoke the provisions of that treaty. Neither the Government of the United States, nor the Government of these Islands, has ever attempted in any way to interfere with the rights which the Roman Catholic Church had in this building when Spanish sovereignty ceased in the Philippines. Any interference that has resulted has been caused by private


individuals acting without any authority from the Government. No point is made in the brief of the appellant that any distinction should be made between the church and the convent. The convent undoubtedly was annexed to the church and, as to it, the provisions of Law 19, title 2, book 1, of the Compilation of the Laws of the Indies would apply. That law is as follows: We command that the Indians of each town or barrio shall construct such houses as maybe deemed sufficient in which the priests of such towns or barriosm may live comfortably adjoining the parish church of the place where that maybe built for the benefit of the priests in charge of such churches and engaged in the education and conversion of their Indian parishioners, and they shall not be alienated or devoted to any other purpose. The evidence in this case makes no showing in regard to the cemetery. It is always mentioned in connection with the church and convent and no point is made by possession of the church and convent, he is not also entitled to recover possession of the cemetery. So, without discussing the question as to whether the rules applicable to churches are all respects applicable to cemeteries, we hold for the purpose of this case that the plaintiff has the same right to the cemetery that he has to the church. (4) It is suggested by the appellant that the Roman Catholic Church has no legal personality in the Philippine Islands. This suggestion, made with reference to an institution which antedates by almost a thousand years any other personality in Europe, and which existed "when Grecian eloquence still flourished in Antioch, and when idols were still worshiped in the temple of Mecca," does not require serious consideration. In the preamble to the budget relating to ecclesiastical obligations, presented by Montero Rios to the Cortes on the 1st of October 1871, speaking of the Roman Cathlic Church, he says: Persecuted as an unlawful association since the early days of its existence up to the time of was the first of the Roman emperors to admit it among the juridicial entities protected by the laws of the Empire, it existed until then by the mercy and will of the faithful and depended for such existence upon pious gifts and offerings. Since the latter half of the third century, and more particularly

since the year 313, when Constantine, by the edict of Milan, inaugurated an era of protection for the church, the latter gradually entered upon the exercise of such rights as were required for the acquisition, preservation, and transmission of property the same as any other juridical entity under the laws of the Empire. (3 Dictionary of Spanish Administration, Alcubilla, p. 211, See also the royal order of the 4th of Decemher, 1890, 3 Alcubilla, 189) The judgment of the court below is affirmed, with the costs of this instance against the appellant. After the expiration of twenty days from the date hereof let judgment be entered in accordance herewith, and ten days thereafter the record be remanded to the court below for execution. So ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-5921 July 25, 1911 THE STANDARD OIL COMPANY OF NEW YORK, plaintiff-appellee, vs. JUAN CODINA ARENAS AND OTHERS, defendants; VICENTE SIXTO VILLANUEVA, appellant. Chicote and Miranda for appellant. W.A. Kincaid and Thos. L. Hartigan for appellee. ARELLANO, C.J.: On December 15, 1908, Juan Codina Arenas and Francisco Lara del Pino, as principals, and Alipio Locso, Vicente Sixto Villanueva and the Chinaman, Siy Ho, as sureties, assumed the obligation to pay, jointly and severally, to the corporation, The Standard Oil Company of New York, the sum of P3,305. 76, at three months from date, with interest at P1 per month. On April 5, 1909, The Standard Oil Company of New York sued the said five debtors for payment of the P3,305.76, together with the interest thereon at the rate of 1 per cent per month from the 15th of December, 1908, and the costs. The defendants were summoned, the record showing that summons was served on Vicente Sixto Villanueva on April 17, 1909. On May 12, 1909, Vicente Sixto Villanueva and Siy Ho were declared to be in default and


were so notified, the latter on the 14th and the former on the 15th of May, 1909. On August 28, 1909, the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila sentenced all the defendants to pay jointly and severally to the plaintiff company the sum of P3,305.76, together with the interest thereon at 1 per cent per month from December 15, 1908, until complete payment should have been made of the principal, and to pay the costs. While the judgment was in the course of execution, Elisa Torres de Villanueva, the wife of Vicente Sixto Villanueva, appeared and alleged: (1) That on July 24, 1909, the latter was declared to be insane by the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila; (2) that she was appointed his guardian by the same court; (3) that, on October 11, following, she was authorized by the court, as guardian, to institute the proper legal proceedings for the annulment of several bonds given by her husband while in a state of insanity, among them that concerned in the present cause, issued in behalf of The Standard Oil Company of New York; (4) that she, the guardian, was not aware of the proceedings had against her husband and was only by chance informed thereof; (5) that when Vicente S. Villanueva gave the bond, the subject of this suit, he was already permanently insane, was in that state when summoned and still continued so, for which reason he neither appeared nor defended himself in the said litigation; and, in conclusion, she petitioned the court to relieve the said defendant Villanueva from compliance with the aforestated judgment rendered against him in the suit before mentioned, and to reopen the trial for the introduction of evidence in behalf of the said defendant with respect to his capacity at the time of the execution of the bond in question, which evidence could not be presented in due season on account of the then existing incapacity of the defendant. The court granted the petition and the trial was reopened for the introduction of evidence, after due consideration of which, when taken, the court decided that when Vicente Villanueva, on the 15th of December, 1908, executed the bond in question, he understood perfectly well the nature and consequences of the act performed by him and that the consent that was given by him for the purpose was entirely voluntary and, consequently, valid and efficacious. As a

result of such findings the court ruled that the petition for an indefinite stay of execution of the judgment rendered in the case be denied and that the said execution be carried out. After the filing of an exception to the above ruling, a new hearing was requested "with reference to the defendant Vicente S. Villanueva" and, upon its denial, a bill of exceptions was presented in support of the appeal submitted to this court and which is based on a single assignment of error as follows: Because the lower court found that the monomania of great wealth, suffered by the defendant Villanueva, does not imply incapacity to execute a bond such as the one herein concerned. Certainly the trial court founded its judgment on the basis of the medico-legal doctrine which supports the conclusion that such monomania of wealth does not necessarily imply the result that the defendant Villanueva was not a person capable of executing a contract of bond like the one here in question. This court has not found the proof of the error attributed to the judgment of the lower court. It would have been necessary to show that such monomania was habitual and constituted a veritable mental perturbation in the patient; that the bond executed by the defendant Villanueva was the result of such monomania, and not the effect of any other cause, that is, that there was not, nor could there have been any other cause for the contract than an ostentation of wealth and this purely an effect of monomania of wealth; and that the monomania existed on the date when the bond in question was executed. With regard to the first point: "All alienists and those writers who have treated of this branch of medical science distinguish numerous degrees of insanity and imbecility, some of them, as Casper, going so far into a wealth of classification and details as to admit the existence of 60 to 80 distinct states, an enumeration of which is unnecessary. Hence, the confusion and the doubt in the minds of the majority of the authors of treatises on the subject in determining the limits of sane judgment and the point of beginning of this incapacity, there being some who consider as a sufficient cause for such incapacity, not only insanity and imbecility, but even those other chronic diseases or complaints that momentarily perturb or cloud the intelligence, as mere


monomania, somnambulism, epilepsy, drunkenness, suggestion, anger, and the divers passional states which more or less violently deprive the human will of necessary liberty." (Manresa, Commentaries on the Civil Code, Vol. V, p. 342.) In our present knowledge of the state of mental alienation such certainly has not yet been reached as to warrant the conclusion, in a judicial decision, that he who suffers the monomania of wealth, believing himself to be very wealthy when he is not, is really insane and it is to be presumed, in the absence of a judicial declaration, that he acts under the influence of a perturbed mind, or that his mind is deranged when he executes an onerous contract .The bond, as aforesaid, was executed by Vicente S. Villanueva on December 15, 1908, and his incapacity, for the purpose of providing a guardian for him, was not declared until July 24, 1909. The trial court, although it conceded as a fact that the defendant had for several years suffered from such monomania, decided, however, guided by the medico-legal doctrine above cited, that a person's believing himself to be what he is not or his taking a mere illusion for a reality is not necessarily a positive proof of insanity or incapacity to bind himself in a contract. Specifically, in reference to this case, the following facts were brought out in the testimony given by the physicians, Don Rudesino Cuervo and Don Gervasio de Ocampo, witnesses for the defendant, the first of whom had visited him some eight times during the years 1902 and 1903, and the latter, only once, in 1908. Dr. Cuervo: Q. But if you should present to him a document which in no wise concerns his houses and if you should direct him to read it, do you believe that he would understand the contents of the document? A. As to understanding it, it is possible that he might, in this I see nothing particularly remarkable; but afterwards, to decide upon the question involved, it might be that he could not do that; it depends upon what the question was. Dr. Ocampo: Q. Do you say that he is intelligent with respect to things other than those concerning greatness? A. Yes, he reasons in matters which do not refer to the question of greatness and wealth.

Q. He can take a written paper and read it and understand it, can he not? A. Read it, yes, he can read it and understand it, it is probable that he can, I have made no trial. Q. Is he not a man of considerable intelligence, only with the exception of this monomania of greatness and wealth? A. Of not much intelligence, an ordinary intelligence. Q. He knows how to read and write, does he not? A. Yes, sir I believe that he does. Mr. F.B. Ingersoll, a witness for the plaintiff, testified that as a notary he had prepared the instrument of bond and received the statements of the signers; that he explained to Mr. Villanueva its contents and when the witness asked the latter whether he wished to sign it he replied that he was willing and did in fact do so; that the defendant's mental condition appeared to the witness to be normal and regular and that he observed nothing to indicate the contrary; and that the defendant was quiet and composed and spoke in an ordinary way without giving cause fir any suspicion that there was anything abnormal. Honorable Judge Araullo testified as a witness for the plaintiff that while trying in the Court of First Instance, over which he presided, the case concerning the estate of the Chinaman Go-Cho-Co, and Mr. Villanueva having been proposed as a surety therein, the witness asked him some questions about his property, in order to ascertain whether he was solvent and would be adequate surety, and that Villanueva testified the same as many, others had done, and witness did not notice any particular disorder or perturbation of his mental faculties; that he answered the questions concerning the property that he held, stated its value, specified the place where it was situated, his answers being precisely relevant to the matter treated; that he therefore approved the bond; and that all this took place between July and September, 1908. This witness having been asked, on cross-examination, whether Mr. Villanueva, subsequent to the date mentioned, had again been surety in any other case, and whether it appeared strange to witness that Mr. Villanueva should engage in giving bonds and whether for that reason he rejected this new bond, replied that it was in that same case relative to the estate of the Chinaman


Go-Cho-Co that he endeavored to investigate, as he customarily did, with regard to whether Mr. Villanueva had given any other previous bond, and the discovered that he had in fact previously given bond in a criminal case, but that, as it had already been cancelled, he had no objection to accepting the one offered by Mr. Villanueva in the said Go-Cho-Co case. Capacity to act must be supposed to attach to a person who has not previously been declared incapable, and such capacity is presumed to continue so long as the contrary be not proved, that is, that at the moment of his acting he was incapable, crazy, insane, or out his mind: which, in the opinion of this court, has not been proved in this case. With regard to the second point, it is very obvious that in every contract there must be a consideration to substantiate the obligation, so much so that, even though it should not be expressed in the contract, it is presumed that it exists and that it is lawful, unless the debtor proves the contrary. (Civil Code, art. 1277.) In the contract of bond the consideration, general, is no other, as in all contract of pure beneficence, than the liberality of the benefactor. (Id, 1274.) Out of the ordinary, a bond may be given for some other consideration, according to the agreement and the free stipulation of the parties and may be, as in onerous and remuneratory contracts, something remunerative stipulated as an equivalent, on the part of the beneficiary of the bond. It is not clear as to the reason why Villanueva gave the bond in favor of the two members of the firm of Arenas & Co., Francisco Lara, and Juan Arenas. Lara testified that he had never had dealings with Villanueva; from which it is inferred that the latter could hardly have been moved to favor the former by the benefit of an assumed obligation to pay him some three thousand pesos, with monthly interest .But he added that Arenas & Co. obtained an agent to look for sureties for them, to whom Arenas paid a certain sum of money. The witness did not know, however, whether Arenas gave the money for the signature of the bond or simply in order that the agent might find sureties. The fact is that the sureties came with the agent and signed the bond. The appellant presented, as proof that Villanueva concealed from his family his dealings with Arenas, a note by the latter addressed to his friend, Mr. Villanueva, on

the 13th of May, 1909, that is, two days before Villanueva was declared to be in default, inviting him to a conference "for the purpose of treating of a matter of great importance of much interest to Villanueva, between 5 and 6 of that same day, in the garden and on the benches which are in front of the Delmonico Hotel, on Calle Palacio, corner of Calle Victoria, and if rained, in the bar on the corner." It can not be affirmed with certainty (the trial court considers it probable) that Villanueva engaged in the business of giving bonds for a certain consideration or remuneration; but neither can it be sustained that there was no other cause for the giving of the bond in question than the mental disorder that dominated the intellect of the person obligated, to the extent of his believing himself so oversupplied with money as to be able to risk it in behalf of any person whatever. There is no proof that the said bond was merely the product of an insensate ostentation of wealth, nor that, if Villanueva boasted of wealth in giving several bonds, among them that herein concerned, he was influenced only by the monomania of boasting of being wealthy, when he was not. Neither is there any proof whatever with respect to the third point, that is, that, granting that he was a monomaniac, he was dominated by that malady when he executed the bond now under discussion. In the interpretative jurisprudence on this kind of incapacity, to wit, lunacy or insanity, it is a rule of constant application that is not enough that there be more or less probability that a person was in a state of dementia at a given time, if there is not direct proof that, at the date of the performance of the act which it is endeavored to invalidate for want of capacity on the part of the executor, the latter was insane or demented, in other words, that he could not, in the performance of that act, give his conscious, free, voluntary, deliberate and intentional consent. The witness who as physicians testified as to extravagancies observed in Villanueva's conduct, referred, two of them, to a time prior to 1903, and another of them to the year 1908, but none to December 15, 1908, the date of the execution of the bond sought to be invalidated. the testimony of one of these witnesses shows that when Villanueva's wife endeavored, in 1908, to have her husband confined in the Hospicio de San Jose and cared for therein, objection was made by the director of the


institution who advised her that if he entered in that way and lodged in the ward for old men, as soon as he shouted and disturbed them in their sleep he would have to be locked up in the insane ward; to which Villanueva's wife replied "that her husband was not exactly insane enough to be placed among the insane." This same lady, testifying as a witness in this case, stated: that no restrictions had ever been placed upon her husband's liberty to go wherever he wished and do what he liked; that her husband had property of his own and was not deprived of its management; that he went out every morning without her knowing where he went; that she did not know whether he had engaged in the business of signing bonds, and that, with reference to the one now concerned, she had learned of it only by finding to note, before mentioned, wherein Arenas invited him to a rendezvous on the benches in front of the Delmonico Hotel; that she had not endeavored legally to deprive him of the management of his own real estate which had been inherited by him, although he did not attend to the collection of the rents and the payment of the land tax, all this being done by her, and she also it was who attended to the subsistence of the family and to all their needs. Finally, and with direct reference to the point under discussion, she was asked: Q. It is not true that, up to the date of his signing this bond, he used to go out of the house and was on the streets nearly every day? to which she replied: A. He went where he pleased, he does this even now. He goes to the markets, and buys provisions and other things. In fact I don't know where he goes go. Q. From his actions toward others, did he show any indication of not being sane when he was on the street, according to your opinion? A. Half of Manila knows him and are informed of this fact and it is very strange that this should have occurred. If you need witnesses to prove it, there are many people who can testify in regard to this particular. The only incorrectness mentioned by this lady is that her husband, when he went to the market, would return to the house with his pockets full of tomatoes and onions, and when she was asked by the judge whether he was a man of frugal habits, she replied that, as far as she knew, he had never squandered any large sum of money; that he had never

been engaged in business; that he supported himself on what she gave him; and that if he had something to count on for his living, it was the product of his lands. Such is a summary of the facts relating to the debated incapacity of the appellant, and it is very evident that it can not be concluded therefrom that, on December 15, 1908, when Villanueva subscribed the obligation now contested, he did not possess the necessary capacity to give efficient consent with respect to the bond which he freely executed. Therefore, the judgment appealed from is affirmed, with the costs of this instance against the appellant. So ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-11872 December 1, 1917 DOMINGO MERCADO and JOSEFA MERCADO, plaintiffs-appellants, vs. JOSE ESPIRITU, administrator of the estate of the deceased Luis Espiritu, defendant-appellee. Perfecto Salas Rodriguez for appellants. Vicente Foz for appellee. TORRES, J.: This is an appeal by bill of exceptions, filed by the counsel for the plaintiffs from the judgment of September 22, 1914, in which the judge of the Seventh Judicial District dismissed the complaint filed by the plaintiffs and ordered them to keep perpetual silence in regard to the litigated land, and to pay the costs of the suit. By a complaint dated April 9, 1913, counsel for Domingo and Josefa Mercado brought suit in the Court of First Instance of Bulacan, against Luis Espiritu, but, as the latter died soon thereafter, the complaint was amended by being directed against Jose Espiritu in his capacity of his administrator of the estate of the deceased Luis Espiritu. The plaintiffs alleged that they and their sisters Concepcion and Paz, all surnamed Mercado, were the children and sole heirs of Margarita Espiritu, a sister of the deceased Luis Espiritu; that Margarita Espiritu died in 1897, leaving as her paraphernal property a tract of land of 48 hectares in area situated in the barrio of Panducot, municipality of Calumpit, Bulacan, and bounded as described in paragraph 4 of


the amended complaint, which hereditary portion had since then been held by the plaintiffs and their sisters, through their father Wenceslao Mercado, husband of Margarita Espiritu; that, about the year 1910, said Luis Espiritu, by means of cajolery, induced, and fraudulently succeeded in getting the plaintiffs Domingo and Josefa Mercado to sign a deed of sale of the land left by their mother, for the sum of P400, which amount was divided among the two plaintiffs and their sisters Concepcion and Paz, notwithstanding the fact that said land, according to its assessment, was valued at P3,795; that one-half of the land in question belonged to Margarita Espiritu, and one-half of this share, that is, one-fourth of said land , to the plaintiffs, and the other one-fourth, to their two sisters Concepcion and Paz; that the part of the land belonging to the two plaintiffs could produce 180 cavanes of rice per annum, at P2.50 per cavan, was equivalent to P450 per annum; and that Luis Espiritu had received said products from 1901 until the time of his death. Said counsel therefore asked that judgment be rendered in plaintiffs' favor by holding to be null and void the sale they made of their respective shares of their land, to Luis Espiritu, and that the defendant be ordered to deliver and restore to the plaintiffs the shares of the land that fell to the latter in the partition of the estate of their deceased mother Margarita Espiritu, together with the products thereof, uncollected since 1901, or their equivalent, to wit, P450 per annum, and to pay the costs of the suit. In due season the defendant administrator answered the aforementioned complaint, denying each and all of the allegations therein contained, and in special defense alleged that the land, the subject-matter of the complaint, had an area of only 21 cavanes of seed rice; that, on May 25, 1894, its owner, the deceased Margarita Espiritu y Yutoc, the plaintiffs' mother, with the due authorization of her husband Wenceslao Mercado y Arnedo Cruz sold to Luis Espiritu for the sum of P2,000 a portion of said land, to wit, an area such as is usually required for fifteen cavanes of seed; that subsequently, on May 14, 1901, Wenceslao Mercado y Arnedo Cruz, the plaintiffs' father, in his capacity as administrator of the property of his children sold under pacto de retro to the same Luis Espiritu at the price of P375 the remainder of the said land, to wit, an area covered by six

cavanes of seed to meet the expenses of the maintenance of his (Wenceslao's) children, and this amount being still insufficient the successively borrowed from said Luis Espiritu other sums of money aggregating a total of P600; but that later, on May 17,1910, the plaintiffs, alleging themselves to be of legal age, executed, with their sisters Maria del Consejo and Maria dela Paz, the notarial instrument inserted integrally in the 5th paragraph of the answer, by which instrument, ratifying said sale under pacto de retro of the land that had belonged to their mother Margarita Espiritu, effected by their father Wenceslao Mercado in favor of Luis Espiritu for the sum of P2,600, they sold absolutely and perpetually to said Luis Espiritu, in consideration of P400, the property that had belonged to their deceased mother and which they acknowledged having received from the aforementioned purchaser. In this cross-complaint the defendant alleged that the complaint filed by the plaintiffs was unfounded and malicious, and that thereby losses and damages in the sum of P1,000 had been caused to the intestate estate of the said Luis Espiritu. He therefore asked that judgment be rendered by ordering the plaintiffs to keep perpetual silence with respect to the land in litigation and, besides, to pay said intestate estate P1,000 for losses and damages, and that the costs of the trial be charged against them. In reply to the cross-complaint, the plaintiffs denied each and all of the facts therein set forth, and in special defense alleged that at the time of the execution of the deed of sale inserted in the cross-complaint the plaintiffs were still minors, and that since they reached their majority the four years fixed by law for the annulment of said contract had not yet elapsed. They therefore asked that they be absolved from the defendant's crosscomplaint. After trial and the introduction of evidence by both parties, the court rendered the judgment aforementioned, to which the plaintiffs excepted and in writing moved for a reopening of the case and a new trial. This motion was overruled, exception was taken by the petitioners, and the proper bill of exceptions having been presented, the same was approved and transmitted to the clerk of this court. As the plaintiffs assailed the validity of the deed of sale, Exhibit 3, executed by them on


May 17, 1910, on the ground that they were minors when they executed it, the questions submitted to the decision of this court consist in determining whether it is true that the plaintiffs were then minors and therefore incapable of selling their property on the date borne by the instrument Exhibit 3; and in case they then were such, whether a person who is really and truly a minor and, notwithstanding, attests that he is of legal age, can, after the execution of the deed and within legal period, ask for the annulment of the instrument executed by him, because of some defect that invalidates the contract, in accordance with the law (Civ. Code, arts. 1263 and 1300), so that he may obtain the restitution of the land sold. The records shows it to have been fully proven that in 1891 Lucas Espiritu obtained title by composition with the State, to three parcels of land, adjoining each other, in the sitio of Panducot of the pueblo of Calumpit, Bulacan, containing altogether an area of 75 hectares, 25 ares, and 59 centares, which facts appear in the title Exhibit D; that, upon Luis Espiritu's death, his said lands passed by inheritance to his four children named Victoria, Ines, Margarita, and Luis; and that, in the partition of said decedent's estate, the parcel of land described in the complaint as containing forty-seven and odd hectares was allotted to the brother and sister Luis and Margarita, in equal shares. Margarita Espiritu, married to Wenceslao Mercado y Ardeno Cruz, had by this husband five children, Maria Consejo, Maria de la Paz, Domingo, Josefa, and Amalia, all surnamed Mercado y Espiritu, who, at the death of their mother in 1896 inherited, by operation of law, one-half of the land described in the complaint. The plaintiffs' petition for annulment of the sale and the consequent restitution to them of two-fourths of the land left by their mother, that is, of one-fourth of all the land described in the complaint, and which, they stated, amounts to 11 hectares, 86 ares and 37 centares. To this claim the defendant excepted, alleging that the land in question comprised only an area such as is customarily covered by 21 cavanes of seed. It was also duly proven that, by a notarial instrument of May 25, 1894, the plaintiffs' mother conveyed by actual and absolute sale for the sum of P2,000, to her brother Luis Espiritu a portion of the land now on

litigation, or an area such as is usually covered by about 15 cavanes of seed; and that, on account of the loss of the original of said instrument, which was on the possession of the purchaser Luis Espiritu, and furthermore because, during the revolution, the protocols or registers of public documents of the Province of Bulacan were burned, Wenceslao Mercado y Arnedo Cruz, the widower of the vendor and father of the plaintiffs, executed, at the instance of the interested party Luis Espiritu, the notarial instrument Exhibit 1, of the date of May 20, 1901, in his own name and those of his minor children Maria Consejo, Maria de la Paz, Domingo, Josefa, and Amalia, and therein set forth that it was true that the sale of said portion of land had been made by his aforementioned wife, then deceased, to Luis Espiritu in 1894. However, even prior to said date, to wit, on May 14th of the same year, 1901, the widower Wenceslao Mercado, according to the private document Exhibit 2, pledged or mortgaged to the same man, Luis Espiritu, for P375, a part, or an area covered by six cavanes of seed, of the land that had belonged to this vendor's deceased wife, to the said Luis Espiritu and which now forms a part of the land in question a transaction which Mercado was obliged to make in order to obtain funds with which "to cover his children's needs." Wenceslao Mercado, the plaintiffs' father, having died, about the year 1904, the plaintiffs Domingo and Josefa Mercado, together with their sisters Consejo and Paz, declaring themselves to be of legal age and in possession of the required legal status to contract, executed and subscribed before a notary the document Exhibit 3, on May 17, 1910, in which referring to the previous sale of the land, effected by their deceased mother for the sum of P2,600 and with her husband's permission and authorization, they sold absolutely and in perpetuity to Luis Espiritu, for the sum of P400 "as an increase" of the previous purchase price, the land described in said instrument and situated in Panducot, pueblo of Calumpit, Bulacan, of an area equal to that usually sown with 21 cavanes of seed bounded on the north by the lands of Flaviano Abreu and the heirs of Pedro Espiritu, on the east by those of Victoria Espiritu and Ines Espiritu, on the south by those of Luis Espiritu, and on the west by those of


Hermogenes Tan-Toco and by the SapangMaitu stream. In this status of the case the plaintiffs seek the annulment of the deed Exhibit 3, on the ground that on the date of its execution they were minors without legal capacity to contract, and for the further reason that the deceased purchaser Luis Espiritu availed himself of deceit and fraud in obtaining their consent for the execution of said deed. As it was proven by the testimony of the clerk of the parochial church of Apalit (plaintiffs were born in Apalit) that the baptismal register books of that parish pertaining to the years 1890-1891, were lost or burned, the witness Maria Consejo Mercado recognized and identified the book Exhibit A, which she testified had been kept and taken care of by her deceased father Wenceslao Mercado, pages 396 and 397 of which bear the attestation that the plaintiff Domingo Mercado was born on August 4, 1890, and Josefa Mercado, on July 14, 1891. Furthermore, this witness corroborated the averment of the plaintiffs' minority, by the personal registration certificate of said Domingo Mercado, of the year 1914, Exhibit C, by which it appears that in 1910 he was only 23 years old, whereby it would also be appear that Josefa Mercado was 22 years of age in 1910, and therefore, on May 17,1910, when the instrument of purchase and sale, Exhibit 3, was executed, the plaintiffs must have been, respectively, 19 and 18 years of age. The witness Maria Consejo Mercado also testified that after her father's death her brother and sisters removed to Manila to live there, although her brother Domingo used to reside with his uncle Luis Espiritu, who took charge of the administration of the property left by his predecessors in interest; that it was her uncle Luis who got for her brother Domingo the other cedula, Exhibit B, pertaining to the year 1910, where in it appears that the latter was then already 23 years of age; that she did not know why her uncle did so; that she and her brother and sisters merely signed the deed of May 17, 1910; and that her father Wenceslao Mercado, prior to his death had pledged the land to her uncle Luis Espiritu. The witness Ines Espiritu testified that after the death of the plaintiffs' father, it was Luis Espiritu who directed the cultivation of the land in litigation. This testimony was

corroborated by her sister Victoria Espiritu, who added that her nephew, the plaintiff Domingo, had lived for some time, she did not know just how long, under the control of Luis Espiritu. Roque Galang, married to a sister of Luis Espiritu, stated that the land that fell to his wife and to his sister-in-law Victoria, and which had an area of about 8 hectares less than that of the land allotted to the aforementioned Luis and Margarita produced for his wife and his sister-in-law Victoria a net and minimum yield of 507 cavanes in 1907, in spite of its being high land and of inferior quality, as compared with the land in dispute, and that its yield was still larger in 1914, when the said two sisters' share was 764 cavanes. Patricio Tanjucto, the notary before whom the deed Exhibit 3 was ratified, was a witness for the defendant. He testified that this deed was drawn up by him at the request of the plaintiff Josefa Mercado; that the grantors of the instrument assured him that they were all of legal age; that said document was signed by the plaintiffs and the other contracting parties, after it had been read to them and had been translated into the Pampangan dialect for those of them who did not understand Spanish. On cross-examination, witness added that ever since he was 18 years of age and began to court, he had known the plaintiff Josefa Mercado, who was then a young maiden, although she had not yet commenced to attend social gatherings, and that all this took place about the year 1898, for witness said that he was then [at the time of his testimony, 1914,] 34 years of age. Antonio Espiritu, 60 years of age, who knew Lucas Espiritu and the properties owned by the latter, testified that Espiritu's land contained an area of 84 cavanes, and after its owner's death, was under witness' administration during to harvest two harvest seasons; that the products yielded by a portion of this land, to wit, an area such as is sown by about 15 cavanes of seed, had been, since 1894, utilized by Luis Espiritu, by reason of his having acquired the land; and that, after Margarita Espiritu's death, her husband Wenceslao Mercado took possession of another portion of the land, containing an area of six cavanes of seed and which had been left by this deceased, and that he held same until 1901, when he conveyed it to Luis Espiritu.


The defendant-administrator, Jose Espiritu, son of the deceased Luis Espiritu, testified that the plaintiff Domingo Mercado used to live off and on in the house of his deceased father, about the year 1909 or 1910, and used to go back and forth between his father's house and those of his other relatives. He denied that his father had at any time administered the property belonging to the Mercado brother and sisters. In rebuttal, Antonio Mercado, a cousin of Wenceslao, father of the plaintiffs, testified that he mediate in several transactions in connection with a piece of land belonging to Margarita Espiritu. When shown the deed of purchase and sale Exhibit 1, he stated that he was not acquainted with its contents. This same witness also testified that he mediated in a transaction had between Wenceslao Mercado and Luis Espiritu (he did not remember the year), in which the former sold to the latter a parcel of land situated in Panducot. He stated that as he was a witness of the deed of sale he could identify this instrument were it exhibited to him; but he did not do so, for no instrument whatever was presented to him for identification. The transaction mentioned must have concerned either the ratification of the sale of the land of 15 cavanes, in 1901, attested in Exhibit 1, or the mortgage or pledge of the other parcel of 6 cavanes, given on May 14, 1901, by Wenceslao Mercado to Luis Espiritu, as may be seen by the private document Exhibit 2. In rebuttal, the plaintiff Josefa Mercado denied having gone to the house of the notary Tanjutco for the purpose of requesting him to draw up any document whatever. She stated that she saw the document Exhibit 3 for the first time in the house of her uncle Luis Espiritu on the day she signed it, on which occasion and while said document was being signed said notary was not present, nor were the witnesses thereto whose names appear therein; and that she went to her said uncle's house, because he had sent for her, as well as her brother and sisters, sending a carromata to fetch them. Victoria Espiritu denied ever having been in the house of her brother. Luis Espiritu in company with the plaintiffs, for the purpose of giving her consent to the execution of any deed in behalf of her brother. The evidence adduced at the trial does not show, even circumstantially, that the purchaser Luis Espiritu employed fraud,

deceit, violence, or intimidation, in order to effect the sale mentioned in the document Exhibit 3, executed on May 17, 1910. In this document the vendors, the brother and the sisters Domingo, Maria del Consejo, Paz and, Josefa surnamed Mercado y Espiritu, attested the certainty of the previous sale which their mother, during her lifetime, had made in behalf of said purchaser Luis Espiritu, her brother with the consent of her husband Wenceslao Mercado, father of the vendors of the portion of land situated in the barrio of Panducot, pueblo of Calumpit, Bulacan; and in consideration of the fact that the said vendor Luis Espiritu paid them, as an increase, the sum of P400, by virtue of the contract made with him, they declare having sold to him absolutely and in perpetuity said parcel of the land, waive and thenceforth any and all rights they may have, inasmuch as said sum constitutes the just price of the property. So that said document Exhibit 3 is virtually an acknowledgment of the contract of sale of the parcel or portion of land that would contain 15 cavanes of seed rice made by the vendors' mother in favor of the purchaser Luis Espiritu, their uncle, and likewise an acknowledgment of the contract of pledge or mortgage of the remainder of said land, an area of six cavanes, made with the same purchaser, at an increase of P400 over the price of P2,600, making an aggregate sum of P3,000, decomposed as follows: P2,000, collected during her lifetime, by the vendors' father; and the said increase of P400, collected by the plaintiffs. In the aforementioned sale, according to the deed of May 25, 1894, Margarita Espiritu conveyed to her brother Luis the parcel of 15 cavanes of seed, Exhibit 1, and after her death the plaintiffs' widowed father mortgaged or pledged the remaining parcel or portion of 6 cavanes of seed to her brother-in-law, Luis Espiritu, in May, 1901 (Exhibit 2). So it is that the notarial instrument Exhibit 3, which was assailed by the plaintiffs, recognized the validity of the previous contracts, and the totality of the land, consisting of an area containing 21 cavanes of seed rice, was sold absolutely and in perpetuity, the vendors receiving in exchange P400 more; and there is no conclusive proof in the record that this last document was false and simulated on account of the employment of any violence,


intimidation, fraud, or deceit, in the procuring of the consent of the vendors who executed it. Considering the relation that exists between the document Exhibit 3 and those of previous dates, Exhibits 1 and 2, and taking into the account the relationship between the contracting parties, and also the general custom that prevails in many provinces of these Islands for the vendor or debtor to obtain an increase in the price of the sale or of the pledge, or an increase in the amount loaned, without proof to the contrary, it would be improper and illegal to hold, in view of the facts hereinabove set forth, that the purchaser Luis Espiritu, now deceased, had any need to forge or simulate the document Exhibit 3 inasmuch as, since May, 1894, he has held in the capacity of owner by virtue of a prior acquisition, the parcel of land of 15 cavanes of seed, and likewise, since May, 1901, according to the contract of mortgage or pledge, the parcel of 6 cavanes, or the remainder of the total area of 21 cavanes. So that Luis Espiritu was, during his lifetime, and now, after his death, his testate or intestate estate is in lawful possession of the parcel of land situated in Panducot that contains 21 cavanes of seed, by virtue of the title of conveyance of ownership of the land measuring 15 cavanes, and, in consequence of the contract of pledge or mortgage in security for the sum of P600, is likewise in lawful possession of the remainder of the land, or an area containing 6 cavanes of seed. The plaintiffs have absolutely no right whatever to recover said first parcel of land, as its ownership was conveyed to the purchaser by means of a singular title of purchase and sale; and as to the other portion of 6 cavanes of seed, they could have redeemed it before May 17, 1910, upon the payment or the return of the sum which their deceased father Wenceslao Mercado had, during his lifetime, received as a loan under security of the pledged property; but, after the execution of the document Exhibit 3, the creditor Luis Espiritu definitely acquired the ownership of said parcel of 6 cavanes. It is therefore a rash venture to attempt to recover this latter parcel by means of the contract of final and absolute sale, set forth in the deed Exhibit 3. Moreover, the notarial document Exhibit 1, are regards the statements made therein, is of the nature of a public document and is

evidence of the fact which gave rise to its execution and of the date of the latter, even against a third person and his predecessors in interest such as are the plaintiffs. (Civ. Code, art. 1218.) The plaintiffs' father, Wenceslao Mercado, recognizing it to be perfectly true that his wife Margarita Espiritu sold said parcel of land which she inherited from her father, of an area of about "15 cavanes of seed," to her brother Luis Espiritu, by means of an instrument executed by her on May 25,1894 an instrument that disappeared or was burned and likewise recognizing that the protocols and register books belonging to the Province of Bulacan were destroyed as a result of the past revolution, at the request of his brother-in-law Luis Espiritu he had no objection to give the testimony recorded in said notarial instrument, as it was the truth regarding what had occurred, and in so doing he acted as the plaintiffs' legitimate father in the exercise of his parental authority, inasmuch as he had personal knowledge of said sale, he himself being the husband who authorized said conveyance, notwithstanding that his testimony affected his children's interest and prejudiced his own, as the owner of any fruits that might be produced by said real property. The signature and handwriting of the document Exhibit 2 were identified as authentic by one of the plaintiffs, Consejo Mercado, and as the record shows no evidence whatever that this document is false, and it does not appear to have been assailed as such, and as it was signed by the plaintiffs' father, there is no legal ground or wellfounded reason why it should be rejected. It was therefore properly admitted as evidence of the certainty of the facts therein set forth. The principal defect attributed by the plaintiffs to the document Exhibit 3 consists in that, on the date of May 17, 1910, when it was executed that they signed it, they were minors, that is, they had not yet attained the age of 21 years fixed by Act No. 1891, though no evidence appears in the record that the plaintiffs Josefa and Domingo Mercado were in fact minors, for no certified copies were presented of their baptismal certificates, nor did the plaintiffs adduce any supplemental evidence whatever to prove that Domingo was actually 19 and Josefa 18 years of age when they signed the document Exhibit 3, on May 17, 1910, inasmuch as the


copybook, Exhibit A, notwithstanding the testimony of the plaintiff Consejo Mercado, does not constitute sufficient proof of the dates of births of the said Domingo and Josefa. However, even in the doubt whether they certainly were of legal age on the date referred to, it cannot be gainsaid that in the document Exhibit 3 they stated that they were of legal age at the time they executed and signed it, and on that account the sale mentioned in said notarial deed Exhibit 3 is perfectly valid a sale that is considered as limited solely to the parcel of land of 6 cavanes of seed, pledged by the deceased father of the plaintiffs in security for P600 received by him as a loan from his brother-inlaw Luis Espiritu, for the reason that the parcel of 15 cavanes had been lawfully sold by its original owner, the plaintiffs' mother. The courts, in their interpretation of the law, have laid down the rule that the sale of real estate, made by minors who pretend to be of legal age, when in fact they are not, is valid, and they will not be permitted to excuse themselves from the fulfillment of the obligations contracted by them, or to have them annulled in pursuance of the provisions of Law 6, title 19, of the 6th Partida; and the judgment that holds such a sale to be valid and absolves the purchaser from the complaint filed against him does not violate the laws relative to the sale of minors' property, nor the juridical rules established in consonance therewith. (Decisions of the supreme court of Spain, of April 27, 1860, July 11, 1868, and March 1, 1875.) itc@alf With respect to the true age of the plaintiffs, no proof was adduced of the fact that it was Luis Espiritu who took out Domingo Mercado's personal registration certificate on April 13, 1910, causing the age of 23 years to be entered therein in order to corroborate the date of the notarial instrument of May 17th of the same year; and the supposition that he did, would also allow it to be supposed, in order to show the propriety of the claim, that the cedula Exhibit C was taken out on February 14, 1914, where in it is recorded that Domingo Mercado was on that date 23 years of age, for both these facts are not proved; neither was any proof adduced against the statement made by the plaintiffs Domingo and Josefa in the notarial instrument Exhibit 3, that, on the date when they executed it, they were already of legal

age, and, besides the annotation contained in the copybook Exhibit A, no supplemental proof of their true ages was introduced. Aside from the foregoing, from a careful examination of the record in this case, it cannot be concluded that the plaintiffs, who claim to have minors when they executed the notarial instrument Exhibit 3, have suffered positive and actual losses and damages in their rights and interests as a result of the execution of said document, inasmuch as the sale effected by the plaintiffs' mother, Margarita Espiritu, in May, 1894, of the greater part of the land of 21 cavanes of seed, did not occasion any damage or prejudice to the plaintiffs, inasmuch as their father stated in the document Exhibit 2 that he was obliged to mortgage or pledge said remaining portion of the land in order to secure the loan of the P375 furnished by Luis Espiritu and which was subsequently increased to P600 so as to provide for certain engagements or perhaps to meet the needs of his children, the plaintiff; and therefore, to judge from the statements made by their father himself, they received through him, in exchange for the land of 6 cavanes of seed, which passed into the possession of the creditor Luis Espiritu, the benefit which must have accrued to them from the sums of money received as loans; and, finally, on the execution of the impugned document Exhibit 3, the plaintiffs received and divided between themselves the sum of P400, which sum, added to that P2,000 received by Margarita Espiritu, and to that of the P600 collected by Wenceslao Mercado, widower of the latter and father of the plaintiffs, makes all together the sum of P3,000, the amount paid by the purchaser as the price of all the land containing 21 cavanes of seed, and is the just price of the property, was not impugned, and, consequently, should be considered as equivalent to, and compensatory for, the true value of said land. For the foregoing reasons, whereby the errors assigned to the judgment appealed from have been refuted, and deeming said judgment to be in accordance with law and the evidence of record, we should, and do hereby, affirm the same, with costs against the appellants. So ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC


G.R. No. L-27710 January 30, 1928 ISIDRO BAMBALAN Y PRADO, plaintiff-appellant, vs. GERMAN MARAMBA and GENOVEVA MUERONG, defendants-appellants. Pedro C. Quinto for plaintiff-appellant. Turner, Rheberg and Sanchez for defendantsappellants. ROMUALDEZ, J.: The defendants admit in their amended answer those paragraphs of the complaint wherein it is alleged that Isidro Bambalan y Colcotura was the owner, with Torrens title, of the land here in question and that the plaintiff is the sole and universal heir of the said deceased Isidro Bambalan y Colcotura, as regards the said land. This being so, the fundamental question to be resolved in this case is whether or not the plaintiff sold the land in question to the defendants. The defendants affirm they did and as proof of such transfer present document Exhibit 1, dated July 17, 1922. The plaintiff asserts that while it is true that he signed said document, yet he did so by intimidation made upon his mother Paula Prado by the defendant Genoveva Muerong, who threatened the former with imprisonment. While the evidence on this particular point does not decisively support the plaintiff's allegation, this document, however, is vitiated to the extent of being void as regards the said plaintiff, for the reason that the latter, at the time he signed it, was a minor, which is clearly shown by the record and it does not appear that it was his real intention to sell the land in question. What is deduced from the record is, that his mother Paula Prado and the latter's second husband Vicente Lagera, having received a certain sum of money by way of a loan from Genoveva Muerong in 1915 which, according to Exhibit 3, was P200 and according to the testimony of Paula Prado, was P150, and Genoveva Muerong having learned later that the land within which was included that described in said Exhibit 3, had a Torrens title issued in favor of the plaintiff's father, of which the latter is the only heir and caused the plaintiff to sign a conveyance of the land. At any rate, even supposing that the document in question, Exhibit 1, embodies all of the requisites prescribed by law for its efficacy, yet it does not, according to the provisions of section 50 of Act No. 496, bind

the land and would only be a valid contract between the parties and as evidence of authority to the register of deeds to make the proper registration, inasmuch as it is the registration that gives validity to the transfer. Therefore, the defendants, by virtue of the document Exhibit 1 alone, did not acquire any right to the property sold as much less, if it is taken into consideration, the vendor Isidro Bambalan y Prado, the herein plaintiff, was a minor. As regards this minority, the doctrine laid down in the case of Mercado and Mercado vs. Espiritu (37 Phil., 215), wherein the minor was held to be estopped from contesting the contract executed by him pretending to be age, is not applicable herein. In the case now before us the plaintiff did not pretend to be of age; his minority was well known to the purchaser, the defendant, who was the one who purchased the plaintiff's first cedula used in the acknowledgment of the document. In regard to the amount of money that the defendants allege to have given the plaintiff and her son in 1992 as the price of the land, the preponderance of evidence shows that no amount was given by the defendants to the alleged vendors in said year, but that the sum of P663.40, which appears in the document Exhibit 1, is arrived at, approximately, by taking the P150 received by Paula Prado and her husband in 1915 and adding thereto interest at the rate of 50 per cent annum, then agreed upon, or P75 a year for seven years up to July 31, 1922, the sate of Exhibit 1. The damages claimed by the plaintiff have not been sufficiently proven, because the witness Paula Prado was the only one who testified thereto, whose testimony was contradicted by that of the defendant Genoveva Muerong who, moreover, asserts that she possesses about half of the land in question. There are, therefore, not sufficient data in the record to award the damages claimed by the plaintiff. In view of the foregoing, the dispositive part of the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed, without any express findings as to the costs in this instance. So ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-1720 March 4, 1950


SIA SUAN and GAW CHIAO, petitioners, vs. RAMON ALCANTARA, respondent. Antonio Barredo for petitioners. Zosimo D. Tanalega for respondents. PARAS, J.: On August 3, 1931, a deed of sale was executed by Rufino Alcantara and his sons Damaso Alcantara and Ramon Alcantara conveying to Sia Suan five parcels of land. Ramon Alcantara was then 17 years, 10 months and 22 days old. On August 27, 1931, Gaw Chiao (husband of Sia Suan) received a letter from Francisco Alfonso, attorney of Ramon Alcantara, informing Gaw Chiao that Ramon Alcantara was a minor and accordingly disavowing the contract. After being contacted by Gaw Chiao, however, Ramon Alcantara executed an affidavit in the office of Jose Gomez, attorney of Gaw Chiao, wherein Ramon Alcantara ratified the deed of sale. On said occasion Ramon Alcantara received from Gaw Chiao the sum of P500. In the meantime, Sia Suan sold one of the lots to Nicolas Azores from whom Antonio Azores inherited the same. On August 8, 1940, an action was instituted by Ramon Alcantara in the Court of First Instance of Laguna for the annulment of the deed of sale as regards his undivided share in the two parcels of land covered by certificates of title Nos. 751 and 752 of Laguna. Said action was against Sia Suan and her husband Gaw Chiao, Antonio, Azores, Damaso Alcantara and Rufino Alcantara (the latter two being, respectively, the brother and father of Ramon Alcantara appealed to the Court of Appealed which reversed the decision of the trial court, on the ground that the deed of sale is not binding against Ramon Alcantara in view of his minority on the date of its execution, and accordingly sentenced Sia Suan to pay to Ramon Alcantara the sum of P1,750, with legal interest from December 17, 1931, in lieu of his share in the lot sold to Antonio Azores (who was absolved from the complaint), and to reconvey to Ramon Alcantara an undivided one-fourth interest in the lot originally covered by certificate of title NO. 752 of Laguna plus the cost of the suit. From this judgment Sia Suan and Gaw Chiao have come to us on appeal by certiorari. It is undeniable that the deed of sale signed by the appellee, Ramon Alcantara, On August 3, 1931, showed that he, like his co-signers

(father and brother), was then of legal age. It is not pretend and there is nothing to indicate that the appellants did not believe and rely on such recital of fact. This conclusion is decisive and very obvious in the decision of the Court of Appeals It is true that in the resolution on the for reconsideration, the Court of Appeals remarked that "The fact that when informed of appellant's minority, the appellees too no steps for nine years to protect their interest beyond requiring the appellant to execute a ratification of the sale while still a minor, strongly indicates that the appellees knew of his minority when the deed of sale was executed." But the feeble insinuation is sufficiently negative by the following positive pronouncements of the Court of Appeals as well in said resolution as in the decision. As to the complaint that the defendant is guilty of laches, suffice it to say that the appellees were informed of his minority within one (1) month after the transaction was completed. (Resolution.) Finally, the appellees were equally negligent in not taking any action to protect their interest form and after August 27, 1931, when they were notified in writing of appellant's minority. (Resolution.) . . . The fact remains that the appellees were advised within the month that appellant was a minor, through the letter of Attorney Alfonso (Exhibit 1) informing appellees of his client's desire to disaffirm the contract . . . (Decision.) The purchaser having been apprised of incapacity of his vendor shortly after the contract was made, the delay in bringing the action of annulment will not serve to bar it unless the period fixed by the statute of limitations expired before the filing of the complaint. . . . (Decision.) In support of the contend that the deed of sale is binding on the appellee, counsel for the appellants invokes the decision in Mercado and Mercado vs. Espiritu (37 Phil., 215), wherein this court held: The courts, in their interpretation of the law, have laid down the rule that the sale of real estate, made by minors who pretend to be of legal age, when it fact they are not, is valid, and they will not be permitted to excuse themselves from the fulfillment of the obligations contracted by them, or to have them annulled in pursuance of the provisions of Law 6 title 19, of the 6th Partida; and the


judgment that holds such a sale to valid and absolves the purchaser from the complaint filed against him does not violate the laws relative to the sale of minors' property, nor the juridical rules established in consonance therewith. (Decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain, of April 27, 1840, July 11, 1868, and March 1, 1875.) The Court of Appeals has refused to apply this doctrine on the ground that the appellants did not actually pay any amount in cash to the appellee and therefore did not suffer any detriment by reason of the deed of sale, it being stipulated that the consideration therefore was a pre-existing indebtedness of appellee's father, Rufino Alcantara. We are of the opinion that the Court of Appeals erred. In the first place, in the case cited, the consideration for sale consisted in greater part of pre-existing obligation. In the second place, under the doctrine, to bind a minor who represents himself to be of legal age, it is not necessary for his vendee to actually part with cash, as long as the contract is supported by a valid consideration. Since appellee's conveyance to the appellants was admittedly for and in virtue of a pre-existing indebtedness (unquestionably a valid consideration), it should produce its full force and effect in the absence of any other vice that may legally invalidate the same. It is not here claimed that the deed of sale is null and void on any ground other than the appellee's minority. Appellee's contract has become fully efficacious as a contract executed by parties with full legal capacity. The circumstance that, about one month after the date of the conveyance, the appellee informed the appellants of his minority, is of no moment, because appellee's previous misrepresentation had already estopped him from disavowing the contract. Said belated information merely leads to the inference that the appellants in fact did not know that the appellee was a minor on the date of the contract, and somewhat emphasizes appellee's had faith, when it is borne in mind that no sooner had he given said information than he ratified his deed of sale upon receiving from the appellants the sum of P500. Counsel for the appellees argues that the appellants could not have been misled as to the real age of the appellee because they were free to make the necessary investigation. The suggestion, while perhaps practicable, is

conspicuously unbusinesslike and beside the point, because the findings of the Court of Appeals do not show that the appellants knew or could suspected appellee's minority. The Court of Appeals seems to be of the opinion that the letter written by the appellee informing the appellants of his minority constituted an effective disaffirmance of the sale, and that although the choice to disaffirm will not by itself avoid the contract until the courts adjudge the agreement to be invalid, said notice shielded the appellee from laches and consequent estoppel. This position is untenable since the effect of estoppel in proper cases is unaffected by the promptness with which a notice to disaffirm is made. The appealed decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby reversed and the appellants absolved from the complaint, with costs against the appellee, Ramon Alcantara. So ordered. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-12471 April 13, 1959 ROSARIO L. DE BRAGANZA, ET AL., petitioners, vs. FERNANDO F. DE VILLA ABRILLE, respondent. Oscar M. Herrera for petitioners. R. P. Sarandi and F. Valdez Anama for respondents. BENGZON, J.: Rosario L. de Braganza and her sons Rodolfo and Guillermo petition for review of the Court of Appeal's decision whereby they were required solidarily to pay Fernando F. de Villa Abrille the sum of P10,000 plus 2 % interest from October 30, 1944. The above petitioners, it appears, received from Villa Abrille, as a loan, on October 30, 1944 P70,000 in Japanese war notes and in consideration thereof, promised in writing (Exhibit A) to pay him P10,000 "in legal currency of the P. I. two years after the cessation of the present hostilities or as soon as International Exchange has been established in the Philippines", plus 2 % per annum. Because payment had not been made, Villa Abrille sued them in March 1949. In their answer before the Manila court of first Instance, defendants claimed to have


received P40,000 only instead of P70,000 as plaintiff asserted. They also averred that Guillermo and Rodolfo were minors when they signed the promissory note Exhibit A. After hearing the parties and their evidence, said court rendered judgment, which the appellate court affirmed, in the terms above described. There can be no question about the responsibility of Mrs. Rosario L. Braganza because the minority of her consigners note release her from liability; since it is a personal defense of the minors. However, such defense will benefit her to the extent of the shares for which such minors may be responsible, (Art. 1148, Civil Code). It is not denied that at the time of signing Exhibit A, Guillermo and Rodolfo Braganza were minors-16 and 18 respectively. However, the Court of Appeals found them liable pursuant to the following reasoning: . . . . These two appellants did not make it appears in the promissory note that they were not yet of legal age. If they were really to their creditor, they should have appraised him on their incapacity, and if the former, in spite of the information relative to their age, parted with his money, then he should be contended with the consequence of his act. But, that was not the case. Perhaps defendants in their desire to acquire much needed money, they readily and willingly signed the promissory note, without disclosing the legal impediment with respect to Guillermo and Rodolfo. When minor, like in the instant case, pretended to be of legal age, in fact they were not, they will not later on be permitted to excuse themselves from the fulfillment of the obligation contracted by them or to have it annulled. (Mercado, et al. vs. Espiritu, 37 Phil., 215.) [Emphasis Ours.] We cannot agree to above conclusion. From the minors' failure to disclose their minority in the same promissory note they signed, it does not follow as a legal proposition, that they will not be permitted thereafter to assert it. They had no juridical duty to disclose their inability. In fact, according to Corpuz Juris Secundum, 43 p. 206; . . . . Some authorities consider that a false representation as to age including a contract as part of the contract and accordingly hold that it cannot be the basis of an action in tort. Other authorities hold that such misrepresentation may be the basis of such an

action, on the theory that such misrepresentation is not a part of, and does not grow out of, the contract, or that the enforcement of liability for such misrepresentation as tort does not constitute an indirect of enforcing liability on the contract. In order to hold infant liable, however, the fraud must be actual and not constructure. It has been held that his mere silence when making a contract as to age does not constitute a fraud which can be made the basis of an action of decit. (Emphasis Ours.) The fraud of which an infant may be held liable to one who contracts with him in the belief that he is of full age must be actual not constructive, and mere failure of the infant to disclose his age is not sufficient. (27 American Jurisprudence, p. 819.) The Mecado case1 cited in the decision under review is different because the document signed therein by the minor specifically stated he was of age; here Exhibit A contained no such statement. In other words, in the Mercado case, the minor was guilty of active misrepresentation; whereas in this case, if the minors were guilty at all, which we doubt it is of passive (or constructive) misrepresentation. Indeed, there is a growing sentiment in favor of limiting the scope of the application of the Mercado ruling, what with the consideration that the very minority which incapacitated from contracting should likewise exempt them from the results of misrepresentation. We hold, on this point, that being minors, Rodolfo and Guillermo Braganza could not be legally bound by their signatures in Exhibit A. It is argued, nevertheless, by respondent that inasmuch as this defense was interposed only in 1951, and inasmuch as Rodolfo reached the age of majority in 1947, it was too late to invoke it because more than 4 years had elapsed after he had become emancipated upon reaching the age of majority. The provisions of Article 1301 of the Civil Code are quoted to the effect that "an action to annul a contract by reason of majority must be filed within 4 years" after the minor has reached majority age. The parties do not specify the exact date of Rodolfo's birth. It is undenied, however, that in October 1944, he was 18 years old. On the basis of such datum, it should be held that in October 1947, he was 21 years old, and in October 1951, he was 25


years old. So that when this defense was interposed in June 1951, four years had not yet completely elapsed from October 1947. Furthermore, there is reason to doubt the pertinency of the 4-years period fixed by Article 1301 of the Civil Code where minority is set up only as a defense to an action, without the minors asking for any positive relief from the contract. For one thing, they have not filed in this case an action for annulment.2 They merely interposed an excuse from liability. Upon the other hand, these minors may not be entirely absolved from monetary responsibility. In accordance with the provisions of Civil Code, even if their written contact is unenforceable because of non-age, they shall make restitution to the extent that they have profited by the money they received. (Art. 1340) There is testimony that the funds delivered to them by Villa Abrille were used for their support during the Japanese occupation. Such being the case, it is but fair to hold that they had profited to the extent of the value of such money, which value has been authoritatively established in the so-called Ballantine Schedule: in October 1944, P40.00 Japanese notes were equivalent to P1 of current Philippine money. Wherefore, as the share of these minors was 2/3 of P70,000 of P46,666.66, they should now return P1,166.67.3Their promise to pay P10,000 in Philippine currency, (Exhibit A) can not be enforced, as already stated, since they were minors incapable of binding themselves. Their liability, to repeat, is presently declared without regard of said Exhibit A, but solely in pursuance of Article 1304 of the Civil Code. Accordingly, the appealed decision should be modified in the sense that Rosario Braganza shall pay 1/3 of P10,000 i.e., P3,333.33 4 plus 2% interest from October 1944; and Rodolfo and Guillermo Braganza shall pay jointly5 to the same creditor the total amount of P1,166.67 plus 6% interest beginning March 7, 1949, when the complaint was filed. No costs in this instance. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. Nos. L-9471 and L-9472 March 13, 1914

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. EVARISTO VAQUILAR, defendantappellant. William J. Rohde for appellant. Acting Attorney-General Harvey for appellee. TRENT, J.: The appellant, Evaristo Vaquilar, was charged in two separate informations with parricide, in one for the killing of his wife and in the other for the killing of his daughter. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, to indemnify the heirs, to the accessory penalties, and to the payment of the costs in each case. From this judgment he appealed. The two cases have been submitted to this court together. The appellant in these two cases was proven to have killed his wife and daughter in the manner charged and to have wounded other persons with a bolo. The commission of these crimes is not denied. The defendant did not testify but several witnesses were introduced in his behalf, testifying that the defendant appeared to them to be insane at and subsequent to the commission of the crimes. they also testified that he had been complaining of pains in his head and stomach prior to the killing. Our attention has been directed to the following testimony: Martin Agustin, witness for the prosecution, testified that he heard the appellant, his uncle, making a noise, and that he refused into the house and saw the appellant kill his wife and daughter; that he was cut by the appellant; that there "were seven, including the small boys and girls who were cut by him;" that he did not know of any disagreement between the appellant and the two deceased; that on the morning before she was killed that the appellant had 'felt pains in his head and stomach." The witness further stated that the appellant's "eyes were very big and red and his sight penetrating" at the time he was killing his wife and daughter, and that "according to my own eyes as he looked at me he was crazy because if he was not crazy he would not have killed his family his wife and child." Diego Agustin, a witness for the defense, testified that he helped Martin Agustin capture the appellant; that the appellant "himself used to say before that time he had felt pains in the head and the stomach;" that at the moment he was cutting those people " he looked like a madman; crazy because he


would cut everybody at random without paying any attention to who it was." Alejandra Vaquilar, the appellant's sister, testified that her brother had headache and stomach trouble about five days prior to the commission of the crimes; that "he looked very sad at the time, but I saw him run downstairs and then he pursued me;" and that "he must have been crazy because he cut me." Estanislao Canaria, who was a prisoner confined in the same jail with the appellant, testified that he had observed the appellant about five months and that sometimes "his head is not all right;" that "oftentimes since he came to the jail when he is sent for something he goes back he does without saying anything, even if he comes back he does not say anything at all;" that when the appellant returns from work he does not say a word; and that about every other night he, the appellant, cries aloud, saying, "What kind of people are you to me, what are you doing to me, you are beasts." The health officer who examined the two deceased and the other wounded parties found that the appellant's wife had five mortal wounds on the head, besides several other wounds on her hands; and that the daughter's skull was split "through and through from one side to the other." The witness stated that he made a slight examination of the defendant in the jail and that he did not notice whether defendant in the jail and that he did not notice whether defendant was suffering from any mental derangement or not. There is vast different between an insane person and one who has worked himself up into such a frenzy of anger that he fails to use reason or good judgment in what he does. Persons who get into a quarrel of fight seldom, if ever, act naturally during the fight. An extremely angry man, often, if not always, acts like a madman. The fact that a person acts crazy is not conclusive that he is insane. The popular meaning of the word "crazy" is not synonymous with the legal terms "insane," "non compos mentis," "unsound mind," "idiot," or "lunatic." In this case as before indicated, one witness testified that "according to my own eyes as he looked at me he was crazy because if he was not crazy he would not have killed his family." That witness' conception of the word "crazy" evidently is the doing of some act by a person which an ordinarily rational person would not think of doing. Another witness testified that

"he looked like a madman; crazy, because he would cut everybody at random without paying any attention to who it was." It is not at all unnatural for a murderer, caught in the act of killing his wife and child, to fly into a passion and strike promiscuously at those who attempt to capture him. The appellant's sister said "he must have been crazy because he cut me." This is another illustration of the popular conception of the word "crazy," it being thus used to describe a person or an act unnatural or out of the ordinary. The conduct of the appellant after he was confined in jail as described by his fellow prisoner is not inconsistent with the actions of a sane person. The reflection and remorse which would follow the commission of such deeds as those committed by the appellant might be sufficient to cause the person to cry out, "What kind of people are you to me; what are you doing to me; you are beast," and yet such conduct could not be sufficient to show that the person was insane at the time the deeds were committed. In People vs. Mortimer (48 Mich., 37; 11 N. W., 776), the defendant was indicated for an assault with intent to murder. The defense attempted to prove "a mental condition which would involved no guilt." The supreme court on appeal in this decision distinguished between passion and insanity as follows: But passion and insanity are very different things, and whatever indulgence the law may extend to persons under provocation, it does not treat them as freed from criminal responsibility. Those who have not lost control of their reason by mental unsoundness are bound to control their tempers and restrain their persons, and are liable to the law if they do not. Where persons allow their anger to lead them so far as to make them reckless, the fact that they have become at last too infuriated to keep them from mischief is merely the result of not applying restraint in season. There would be no safety for society if people could with impunity lash themselves into fury, and then to desperate acts of violence. That condition which springs from undisciplined and unbridled passion is clearly within legal as well as moral censure and punishment. (People vs. Finley, 38 Mich., 482; Welch vs. Ware, 32 Mich., 77.) In People vs. Foy (138 N. Y., 664), the court sad: "The court very properly continued with an explanation to the jury that 'the heat of


passion and feeling produced by motives of anger, hatred, or revenge, is not insanity. The law holds the doer of the act, under such conditions, responsible for the crime, because a large share of homicides committed are occasioned by just such motives as these.' " The Encyclopedia of Law and Procedure (vol. 12, p. 170), cites many cases on the subject of anger and emotional insanity and sums up those decisions in the following concise statement: Although there have been decisions to the contrary, it is now well settled that mere mental depravity, or moral insanity, so called, which results, not from any disease of mind, but from a perverted condition of the moral system, where the person is mentally sense, does not exempt one from responsibility for crimes committed under its influence. Care must be taken to distinguish between mere moral insanity or mental depravity and irresistable impulse resulting from disease of the mind. In the case of United States vs. Carmona (18 Phil. Rep., 62), the defendant was convicted of the crime of lesiones graves. The defendant's counsel, without raising any question as to the actual commission of the alleged acts, or the allegation that the accused committed them, confined himself to the statement, in behalf of his client, that on the night of the crime the defendant was sick with fever and out of his mind and that in one of his paroxysms he committed the said acts, wounding his wife and the other members of her family, without any motives whatever. In the decision in that case this court stated: In the absence of proof that the defendant had lost his reason or became demented a few moments prior to or during the perpetration of the crime, it is presumed that he was in a normal condition of mind. It is improper to conclude that he acted unconsciously, in order to relieve him from responsibility on the ground of exceptional mental condition, unless his insanity and absence of will are proven. Regarding the burden of proof in cases where insanity is pleaded in defense of criminal actions, we quote as follows from State vs. Bunny (24 S. C., 439; 58 Am. Rep., 262, 265): But as the usual condition of men is that of sanity, there is a presumption that the accused is sane, which certainly in the first instance affords proof of the fact. (State vs. Coleman,

20 S. C., 454.) If the killing and nothing more appears, this presumption, without other proof upon the point of sanity, is sufficiently to support a conviction and as the State must prove every element of the crime charged "beyond a reasonable doubt," it follows that this presumption affords such proof. This presumption however may be overthrow. It may be shown on the part of the accused that the criminal intent did not exist at the time the act was committed. This being exceptional is a defense, and like other defenses must be made out by the party claiming the benefit of it. "The positive existence of that degree and kind of insanity that shall work a dispensation to the prisoner in the case of established homicide is a fact to be proved as it s affirmed by him." (State vs. Stark, 1 Strob., 506.) What then is necessary to make out this defense? It surely cannot be sufficient merely to allege insanity to put his sanity "in issue." That is merely a pleading, a denial, and ineffectual without proof. In order to make not such defense, as it seems to us, sufficient proof must be shown to overcome in the first place the presumption of sanity and then any other proof that may be offered. In the case of State vs. Stickley (41 Iowa, 232), the court said (syllabus): One who, possession of a sound mind, commits a criminal act under the impulse of passion or revenge, which way temporarily dethrone reason and for the moment control the will, cannot nevertheless be shield from the consequences of the act by the plea of insanity. Insanity will only excuse the commission of a criminal act, when it is made affirmatively to appear that the person committing it was insane, and that the offense was the direct consequences of his insanity. The appellant's conduct, as appears from the record, being consistent with the acts of an enlarged criminal, and it not having been satisfactorily, shown that he was of unsound mind at the time he committed the crimes, and the facts charged in each information having been proven, and the penalty imposed being in accordance with the law, the judgments appealed from are affirmed, with costs against the appellant. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION


G.R. No. L-54135 November 21, 1991 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. POLICARPIO RAFANAN, JR., defendantappellant. The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee. Causapin, Millar & Tutana Law Office for defendant-appellant.

FELICIANO, J.:p Policarpio Rafanan, Jr. appeals from a decision of the then Court of First Instance of Pangasinan convicting him of the crime of rape and sentencing him to reclusion perpetua, to indemnify complainant Estelita Ronaya in the amount of P10,000.00 by way of moral damages, and to pay the costs. The facts were summarized by the trial court in the following manner: The prosecution's evidence shows that on February 27, 1976, complainant Estelita Ronaya who was then only fourteen years old was hired as a househelper by the mother of the accused, Ines Rafananalias "Baket Ines" with a salary of P30.00 a month. The accused Policarpio Rafanan and his family lived with his mother in the same house at Barangay San Nicholas, Villasis, Pangasinan. Policarpio was then married and had two children. On March 16, 1976, in the evening, after dinner, Estelita Ronaya was sent by the mother of the accused to help in their store which was located in front of their house about six (6) meters away. Attending to the store at the time was the accused. At 11:00 o'clock in the evening, the accused called the complainant to help him close the door of the store and as the latter complied and went near him, he suddenly pulled the complainant inside the store and said, "Come, let us have sexual intercourse," to which Estelita replied, "I do not like," and struggled to free herself and cried. The accused held a bolo measuring 1-1/2 feet including the handle which he pointed to the throat of the complainant threatening her with said bolo should she resist. Then, he forced her to lie down on a bamboo bed, removed her pants and after unfastening the zipper of his own pants, went on top of complainant and succeeded having carnal knowledge of her inspite of her resistance and struggle. After the sexual intercourse, the accused cautioned the

complainant not to report the matter to her mother or anybody in the house, otherwise he would kill her. Because of fear, the complainant did not immediately report the matter and did not leave the house of the accused that same evening. In fact, she slept in the house of the accused that evening and the following morning she scrubbed the floor and did her daily routine work in the house. She only left the house in the evening of March 17, 1976. Somehow, in the evening of March 17, 1976, the family of the accused learned what happened the night before in the store between Policarpio and Estelita and a quarrel ensued among them prompting Estelita Ronaya to go back to her house. When Estelita's mother confronted her and asked her why she went home that evening, the complainant could not answer but cried and cried. It was only the following morning on March 18, 1976 that the complainant told her mother that she was raped by the accused. Upon knowing what happened to her daughter, the mother Alejandra Ronaya, immediately accompanied her to the house of Patrolman Bernardo Mairina of the Villasis Police Force who lives in Barrio San Nicolas, Villasis, Pangasinan. Patrolman Mairina is a cousin of the father of the complainant. He advised them to proceed to the municipal building while he went to fetch the accused. The accused was later brought to the police headquarter with the bolo, Exhibit "E", which the accused allegedly used in threatening the complainant. 1 At arraignment, appellant entered a plea of not guilty. The case then proceeded to trial and in due course of time, the trial court, as already noted, convicted the appellant. The instant appeal is anchored on the following: Assignment of Errors 1. The lower court erred in basing its decision of conviction of appellant solely on the testimony of the complainant and her mother. 2. The lower court erred in considering the hearsay evidence for the prosecution, "Exhibits B and C". 3. The lower court erred in not believing the testimony of the expert witnesses, as to the mental condition of the accused-appellant at the time of the alleged commission of the crime of rape.


4. The lower court erred in convicting appellant who at the time of the alleged rape was suffering from insanity.2 Appellant first assails the credibility of complainant as well as of her mother whose testimonies he contends are contradictory. It is claimed by appellant that the testimony of complainant on direct examination that she immediately went home after the rape incident, is at variance with her testimony on cross examination to the effect that she had stayed in the house of appellant until the following day. Complainant, in saying that she left the house of appellant by herself, is also alleged to have contradicted her mother who stated that she (the mother) went to the store in the evening of 17 March 1979 and brought Estelita home. The apparently inconsistent statements made by complainant were clarified by her on cross examination. In any case, the inconsistencies related to minor and inconsequential details which do not touch upon the manner in which the crime had been committed and therefore did not in any way impair the credibility of the complainant. 3 The commission of the came was not seriously disputed by appellant. The testimony of complainant in this respect is clear and convincing: Fiscal Guillermo: Q Now, we go back to that time when according to you the accused pulled you from the door and brought you inside the store after you helped him closed the store. Now, after the accused pulled you from the door and brought you inside the store what happened then? A "You come and we will have sexual intercourse," he said. Q And what did you say? A "I do not like," I said. Q And what did you do, if any, when you said you do not like to have sexual intercourse with him? A I struggled and cried. Q What did the accused do after that? A He got a knife and pointed it at my throat so I was frightened and he could do what he wanted to do. He was able to do what he wanted to do. Q This "kutsilyo" you were referring to or knife, how big is that knife? Will you please demonstrate, if any? A This length, sir. (Which parties agreed to be about one and one-half [1-1/2] feet long.)

xxx xxx xxx Fiscal Guillermo: Q Now, you said that the accused was able to have sexual intercourse with you after he placed the bolo or that knife [at] your throat. Now, will you please tell the court what did the accused do immediately after placing that bolo your throat and before having sexual intercourse you? A He had sexual intercourse with me. Q What was your wearing apparel that evening? A I was wearing pants, sir. Q Aside from the pants, do you have any underwear? A Yes, sir, I have a panty. Q Now, before the accused have sexual intercourse with you what, if any, did he do with respect to your pants and your panty? A He removed them, sir. Q Now, while he was removing your pants and your panty what, if any, did you do? A I continued to struggle so that he could not remove my pants but he was stronger that's why he succeeded. Q Now, after he had removed your panty and your pants or pantsuit what else happened? A He went on top of me, sir. Q At the time what was the accused wearing by way of apparel? A He was wearing pants. Q When you said he went on top of you after he has removed your pantsuit and your panty, was he still wearing his pants? A He unbuttoned his pants and unfastened the zipper of his pants. Q And after he unbuttoned and unfastened his pants what did you see which he opened? A I saw his penis. Q Now, you said that after the accused has unzipped his pants and brought out his penis which you saw, he went on top of you. When he was already on top of you what did you do, if any? A I struggled. Q Now, you said that you struggled. What happened then when you struggled against the accused when he was on top of you? A Since he was stronger, he succeeded doing what he wanted to get. xxx xxx xxx COURT: Alright, what do you mean by he was able to succeed in what he wanted to get? Fiscal Guillermo:


Considering the condition of the witness, your honor, with tears, may we just be allowed to ask a leading question which is a follow-up question? Witness: A He inserted his private part inside my vagina. Fiscal Guillermo: Q Now, when he inserted his private part inside your vagina what did you feel, if any? A I felt something that came out from his inside. Q Now, how long, if you remember, did the accused have his penis inside your vagina:? A Around five minutes maybe, sir. Q After that what happened then? A He removed it. Q After the accused has removed his penis from your vagina what else happened? A No more, sir, he sat down. Q What, if any, did he tell you? A There was, sir. He told me not to report the matter to my mother and to anybody in their house. Q What else did he tell you? A He told me that if I told anyone what happened, he will kill me. Q After that where did you go? A I went home already, sir. 4 The principal submission of appellant is that he was suffering from a metal aberration characterized as schizophrenia when he inflicted his violent intentions upon Estelita. At the urging of his counsel, the trial court suspended the trial and ordered appellant confined at the National Mental Hospital in Mandaluyong for observation and treatment. In the meantime, the case was archived. Appellant was admitted into the hospital on 29 December 1976 and stayed there until 26 June 1978. During his confinement, the hospital prepared four (4) clinical reports on the mental and physical condition of the appellant, all signed by Dr. Simplicio N. Masikip and Dr. Arturo E. Nerit, physician-in-charge and chief, Forensic Psychiatry Service, respectively. In the first report dated 27 January 1977, the following observations concerning appellant's mental condition were set forth: On admission he was sluggish in movements, indifferent to interview, would just look up whenever questioned but refused to answer. On subsequent examinations and observations he was carelessly attired, with dishevelled hair, would stare vacuously

through the window, or look at people around him. He was indifferent and when questioned, he would just smile inappropriately. He refused to verbalize, even when persuaded, and was emotionally dull and mentally inaccessible. He is generally seclusive, at times would pace the floor, seemingly in deep thought. Later on when questioned his frequent answers are "Aywan ko, hindi ko alam." His affect is dull, he claimed to hear strange voices "parang ibon, tinig ng ibon," but cannot elaborate. He is disoriented to 3 spheres and has no idea why he was brought here. The report then concluded: In view of the foregoing examinations and observations, Policarpio Rafanan, Jr. y Gambawa is found suffering from a mental disorder called schizophrenia, manifested by carelessness in grooming, sluggishness in movements, staring vacuously, indifferen[ce], smiling inappropriately, refusal to verbalize, emotional dullness, mental inaccessibility, seclusiveness, preoccupation, disorientation, and perceptual aberrations of hearing strange sounds. He is psychotic or insane, hence cannot stand court trial. He needs further hospitalization and treatment. 5 The second report, dated 21 June 1977, contained the following description of appellant's mental condition: At present he is still seclusive, undertalkative and retarded in his reponses. There is dullness of his affect and he appeared preoccupied. He is observed to mumble alone by himself and would show periods of being irritable saying "oki naman" with nobody in particular. He claim he does not know whether or not he was placed in jail and does not know if he has a case in court. Said he does not remember having committed any wrong act and the following conclusions: In view of the foregoing examinations and observations Policarpio Rafanan, Jr. y Gambawa is at present time still psychotic or insane, manifested by periods of irritability cursing nobody in particular, seclusive, underactive, undertalkative, retarded in his response, dullness of his affect, mumbles alone by himself, preoccupied and lack of insight. He is not yet in a condition to stand court trial. He needs further hospitalization and treatment. 6 In the third report, dated 5 October 1977, appellant was described as having become


"better behaved, responsive" and "neat in person," and "adequate in his emotional tone, in touch with his surroundings and . . . free from hallucinatory experiences." During the preceding period, appellant had been allowed to leave the hospital temporarily; he stayed with a relative in Manila while coming periodically to the hospital for check-ups. During this period, he was said to have been helpful in the doing of household chores, conversed and as freely with other members of the household and slept well, although, occasionally, appellant smiled while alone. Appellant complained that at times he heard voices of small children, talking in a language he could not understand. The report concluded by saying that while appellant had improved in his mental condition, he was not yet in a position to stand trial since he needed further treatment, medication and checkups. 7 In the last report dated 26 June 1978, appellant was described as behaved, helpful in household chores and no longer talking while alone. He was said to be "fairly groomed" and "oriented" and as denying having hallucinations. The report concluded that he was in a "much improved condition" and "in a mental condition to stand court trial." 8 Trial of the case thus resumed. The defense first presented Dr. Arturo Nerit who suggested that appellant was sick one or two years before his admission into the hospital, in effect implying that appellant was already suffering from schizophrenia when he raped complainant. 9 The defense next presented Raquel Jovellano, a psychiatrist engaged in private practice, who testified that she had examined and treated the appellant. Appellant's plea of insanity rests on Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code which provides: Art. 12. Circumstances which exempt from criminal liability. The following are exempt from criminal liability: 1. An imbecile or an insane person, unless the latter has acted during a lucid interval. Where the imbecile or an insane person has committed an act which the law defines as a felony (delito), the court shall order his confinement in one of the hospitals or asylums established for persons thus afflicted, which he shall not be permitted to leave

without first obtaining the permission of the same court. xxx xxx xxx Although the Court has ruled many times in the past on the insanity defense, it was only in People vs. Formigones10 that the Court elaborated on the required standards of legal insanity, quoting extensively from the Commentaries of Judge Guillermo Guevara on the Revised Penal Code, thus: The Supreme Court of Spain held that in order that this exempting circumstance may be taken into account, it is necessary that there be a complete deprivation of intelligence in committing the act, that is, that the accused be deprived of reason; that there be no responsibility for his own acts; that heacts without the least discernment; (Decision of the Supreme Court of Spain of November 21, 1891; 47 Jur. Crim. 413.) that there be a complete absence of the power to discern, (Decision of the Supreme Court of Spain of April 29, 1916; 96 Jur. Crim. 239) or that there be a total deprivation of freedom of the will. (Decision of the Supreme Court of Spain of April 9, 1872; 6 Jur. Crim. 239) For this reason, it was held that the imbecility or insanity at the time of the commission of the act should absolutely deprive a person of intelligence or freedom of will, because mere abnormality of his mental faculties does not exclude imputability. (Decision of the Supreme Court of Spain of April 20, 1911; 86 Jur. Crim. 94, 97.) The Supreme Court of Spain likewise held that deaf-muteness cannot be [equated with] imbecility or insanity. The allegation of insanity or imbecility must be clearly proved. Without positive evidence that the defendant had previously lost his reason or was demented, a few moments prior to or during the perpetration of the crime, it will be presumed that he was in a normal condition. Acts penalized by law are always reputed to be voluntary, and it is improper to conclude that a person acted unconsciously, in order to relieve him from liability, on the basis of his mental condition, unless his insanity and absence of will are proved. (Emphasis supplied.) The standards set out in Formigones were commonly adopted in subsequent cases. 11 A linguistic or grammatical analysis of those standards suggests that Formigones established two (2)


distinguishable tests: (a) the test of cognition "complete deprivation of intelligence in committing the [criminal] act," and (b) the test of volition "or that there be a total deprivation freedom of the will." But our caselaw shows common reliance on the test of cognition, rather than on a test relating to "freedom of the will;" examination of our caselaw has failed to turn up any case where this Court has exempted an accused on the sole ground that he was totally deprived of "freedom of the will," i.e., without an accompanying "complete deprivation of intelligence." This is perhaps to be expected since a person's volition naturally reaches out only towards that which is presented as desirable by his intelligence, whether that intelligence be diseased or healthy. In any case, where the accused failed to show complete impairment or loss of intelligence, the Court has recognized at most a mitigating, not an exempting, circumstance in accord with Article 13(9) of the Revised Penal Code: "Such illness of the offender as would diminish the exercise of the will-power of the offender without however depriving him of the consciousness of his acts." 12 Schizophrenia pleaded by appellant has been described as a chronic mental disorder characterized by inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality, and often accompanied by hallucinations and delusions. Formerly calleddementia praecox, it is said to be the most common form of psychosis an usually develops between the ages 15 and 30. 13 A standard textbook in psychiatry describes some of the symptoms of schizophrenia in the following manner: Eugen Bleuler later described three general primary symptoms of schizophrenia: a disturbance of association, a disturbance of affect, and a disturbance of activity. Bleuler also stressed the dereistic attitude of the schizophrenic that is, his detachment from reality and consequent autism and the ambivalence that expresses itself in his uncertain affectivity and initiative. Thus, Bleuler's system of schizophrenia is often referred to as the four A's: association, affect, autism, and ambivalence. xxx xxx xxx Kurt Schneider described a number of firstrank symptoms of schizophrenia that he considered in no way specific for the disease but of great pragmatic value in making a diagnosis. Schneider's first-rank symptoms

include the hearing of one's thoughts spoken aloud, auditory hallucinations that comment on the patient's behavior, somatic hallucinations, the experience of having one's thoughts controlled, the spreading of one's thoughts to others, delusions, and the experience of having one's actions controlled or influenced from the outside. Schizophrenia, Schneider pointed out, also can be diagnosed exclusively on the basis of second-rank symptoms, along with an otherwise typical clinical appearances. Second-rank symptoms include other forms of hallucination, perplexity, depressive and euphoric disorders of affect, and emotional blunting. Perceptual Disorders Various perceptual disorders occur in schizophrenia . . . . Hallucinations. Sensory experiences or perceptions without corresponding external stimuli are common symptoms of schizophrenia. Most common are auditory hallucinations, or the hearing of voices. Most characteristically, two or more voices talk about the patient, discussing him in the third person. Frequently, the voices address the patient, comment on what he is doing and what is going on around him, or are threatening or obscene and very disturbing to the patient. Many schizophrenic patients experience the hearing of their own thoughts. When they are reading silently, for example, they may be quite disturbed by hearing every word they are reading clearly spoken to them. Visual hallucinations occur less frequently than auditory hallucinations in schizophrenic patients, but they are not rare. Patients suffering from organic of affective psychoses experience visual hallucinations primarily at night or during limited periods of the day, but schizophrenic patients hallucinate as much during the day as they do during the night, sometimes almost continuously. They get relief only in sleep. When visual occur in schizophrenia, they are usually seen nearby, clearly defined, in color, life size, in three dimensions, and moving. Visual hallucinations almost never in one of the other sensory modalities. xxx xxx xxx Cognitive Disorders Delusions. By definition, delusions are false ideas that cannot be corrected by reasoning, and that are idiosyncratic for the patient that is, not part of his cultural environment.


They are among the common symptoms of schizophrenia. Most frequent are delusions of persecution, which are the key symptom in the paranoid type of schizophrenia. The conviction of being controlled by some unseen mysterious power that exercises its influence from a distance is almost pathognomonic for schizophrenia. It occurs in most, if not all, schizophrenics at one time or another, and for many it is a daily experience. The modern schizophrenic whose delusions have kept up with the scientific times may be preoccupied with atomic power, X-rays, or spaceships that take control over his mind and body. Also typical for many schizophrenics are delusional fantasies about the destruction of the world. 14 In previous cases where schizophrenia was interposed as an exempting circumtance, 15 it has mostly been rejected by the Court. In each of these cases, the evidence presented tended to show that if there was impairment of the mental faculties, such impairment was not so complete as to deprive the accused of intelligence or the consciousness of his acts. The facts of the instant case exhibit much the same situation. Dr. Jovellano declared as follows: (Fiscal Guillermo:) Q Now, this condition of the accused schizophrenic as you found him, would you say doctor that he was completely devoid of any consciousness of whatever he did in connection with the incident in this case? A He is not completely devoid of consciousness. Q Would you say doctor, therefore, that he was conscious of threatening the victim at the time of the commission of the alleged rape? A Yes, he was conscious. Q And he was conscious of forcing the victim to lie down? A Yes. Q And he was also conscious of removing the panty of the victim at the time? A Yes. Q And he was also conscious and knows that the victim has a vagina upon which he will place his penis? A Yeah. Q And he was conscious enough to be competent and have an erection? A Yes. Q Would you say that those acts of a person no matter whether he is schizophrenic

which you said, it deals (sic) some kind of intelligence and consciousness of some acts that is committed? A Yes, it involves the consciousness because the consciousness there in relation to the act is what we call primitive acts of any individual. The difference only in the act of an insane and a normal individual, a normal individual will use the power of reasoning and consciousness within the standard of society while an insane causes (sic) already devoid of the fact that he could no longer withstand himself in the ordinary environment, yet his acts are within the bound of insanity or psychosis. Q Now, Doctor, of course this person suffering that ailment which you said the accused here is suffering is capable of planning the commission of a rape? A Yes, they are also capable. Q He is capable of laying in wait in order to assault? A Yes. Q And would you say that condition that ability of a person to plan a rape and to perform all the acts preparatory to the actual intercourse could be done by an insane person? A Yes, it could be done. Q Now, you are talking of insanity in its broadest sense, is it not? A Yes, sir. Q Now, is this insane person also capable of knowing what is right and what is wrong? A Well, there is no weakness on that part of the individual. They may know what is wrong but yet there is no inhibition on the individual. Q Yes, but actually, they are mentally equipped with knowledge that an act they are going to commit is wrong? A Yeah, they are equipped but the difference is, there is what we call they lost the inhibition. The reasoning is weak and yet they understand but the volition is [not] there, the drive is [not] there. 16 (Emphasis supplied) The above testimony, in substance, negates complete destruction of intelligence at the time of commission of the act charged which, in the current state of our caselaw, is critical if the defense of insanity is to be sustained. The fact that appellant Rafanan threatened complainant Estelita with death should she reveal she had been sexually assaulted by him, indicates, to the mind of the Court, that


Rafanan was aware of the reprehensible moral quality of that assault. The defense sought to suggest, through Dr. Jovellano's last two (2) answers above, that person suffering from schizophrenia sustains not only impairment of the mental faculties but also deprivation of there power self-control. We do not believe that Dr. Jovellano's testimony, by itself, sufficiently demonstrated the truth of that proposition. In any case, as already pointed out, it is complete loss of intelligence which must be shown if the exempting circumstance of insanity is to be found. The law presumes every man to be sane. A person accused of a crime has the burden of proving his affirmative allegation of insanity. 17 Here, appellant failed to present clear and convincing evidence regarding his state of mind immediately before and during the sexual assault on Estelita. It has been held that inquiry into the mental state of the accused should relate to the period immediately before or at the very moment the act is committed. 18Appellant rested his case on the testimonies of two (2) physicians (Dr. Jovellano and Dr. Nerit) which, however, did not purport to characterize his mental condition during that critical period of time. They did not specifically relate to circumtances occurring on or immediately before the day of the rape. Their testimonies consisted of broad statements based on general behavioral patterns of people afflicted with schizophrenia. Curiously, while it was Dr. Masikip who had actually observed and examined appellant during his confinement at the National Mental Hospital, the defense chose to present Dr. Nerit. Accordingly, we must reject the insanity defense of appellant Rafanan. In People vs. Puno (supra), the Court ruled that schizophrenic reaction, although not exempting because it does not completely deprive the offender of the consciousness of his acts, may be considered as a mitigating circumstance under Article 13(9) of the Revised Penal Code, i.e., as an illness which diminishes the exercise of the offender's willpower without, however, depriving him of the consciousness of his acts. Appellant should have been credited with this mitigating circumstance, although it would not have affected the penalty imposable upon him under Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code:

"in all cases in which the law prescribes a single indivisible penalty (reclusion perpetua in this case), it shall be applied by the courts regardless of any mitigating or aggravating circumstances that may have attended the commission of the deed." WHEREFORE, the Decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED, except that the amount of moral damages is increased to P30,000.00. Costs against appellant. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. 100710 September 3, 1991 BENJAMIN P. ABELLA, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and ADELINA Y. LARRAZABAL, respondents. G.R. No. 100739 September 3, 1991 ADELINA Y. LARRAZABAL, petitioner, vs. COMMSSION ON ELECTIONS and SILVESTRE DE LA CRUZ, respondents. Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr. for petitioner in 100739. Cesar A. Sevilla for petitioner in 100710. Panganiban, Benitez, Baninaga & Bautista for private respondent S. de la Cruz. GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:p The main issue in these consolidated petitions centers on who is the rightful governor of the province of Leyte 1) petitioner Adelina Larrazabal (G.R. No. 100739) who obtained the highest number of votes in the local elections of February 1, 1988 and was proclaimed as the duly elected governor but who was later declared by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) "... to lack both residence and registration qualifications for the position of Governor of Leyte as provided by Art. X, Section 12, Philippine Constitution in relation to Title II, Chapter I, Sec. 42, B.P. Blg. 137 and Sec. 89, R.A. No. 179 and is hereby disqualified as such Governor"; 2) petitioner Benjamin Abella (G.R. No. 100710), who obtained the second highest number of votes for the position of governor but was not allowed by the COMELEC to be proclaimed as governor after the disqualification of Larrazabal; or 3) Leopoldo E. Petilla, the vice-governor of the province of. Leyte.


This is the fourth time that the controversy relating to the local elections in February 1, 1988 for governor of the province of Leyte is elevated to this Court. The antecedent facts of these cases are stated in the earlier consolidated cases of BENJAMIN P. ABELLA and SILVESTRE T. DE LA CRUZ, petitioners, v. ADELINA INDAY LARRAZABAL, PROVINCIAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF LEYTE and COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondents (G.R. Nos. 87721-30) and BENJAMN P. ABELLA and SILVESTRE T. DE LA CRUZ, petitioners v. ADELINA LARRAZABAL and COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondents (G. R. No. 88004) 180 SCRA 509 [1989]), to wit: The Court has ordered the consolidation of G.R. Nos 87721-30 and G.R. No. 88004 involving the same parties and the same election in 1988 for the office of provincial governor of Leyte. Challenged in the petitions for certiorari are the resolutions of the respondent Commission on Elections dismissing the pre-proclamation and disqualification cases filed by the herein petitioners against private respondent Adelina Larrazabal. Petitioner Benjamin P. Abella was the official candidate of the Liberal Party for provincial governor of Leyte in the local election held on February 1, 1988. The private respondent is the wife of Emeterio V. Larrazabal, the original candidate of the Lakas ng BansaPDP-Laban who was disqualified by the Commission on Elections on January 18, 1988, for lack of residence. (G.R. No. 88004, Rollo, pp. 102-104) (He filed a petition for certiorari to challenge this resolution. He, however, filed an urgent ex-parte motion to withdraw petition which was granted in a resolution dated January 21, 1988 and the case was dismissed. [G.R. No. 81313]) On January 31, 1988, the day before the election, she filed her own certificate of candidacy in substitution of her husband. (Ibid., p. 48) The following day, at about 9:30 o'clock in the morning, Silvestre de la Cruz, a registered voter of Tacloban City, filed a petition with the provincial election supervisor of Leyte to disqualify her for alleged false statements in her certificate of candidacy regarding her residence. (Id., pp. 113-118) This was immediately transmitted to the main office of the Commission on Elections, which could not function, however, because all but one of

its members had not yet been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. De la Cruz then came to this Court, which issued a temporary restraining order on February 4, 1988, enjoining the provincial board of canvassers of Leyte 'from proclaiming Adelina Larrazabal as the winning candidate for the Office of the Governor in the province of Leyte, in the event that she obtains the winning margin of votes in the canvass of election returns of said province.' (Id., p. 179) On March 1, 1988, the Commission on Elections having been fully constituted, we remanded the petition thereto for appropriate action, including maintenance or lifting of the Court's temporary restraining order of February 4, 1988. (Id. pp. 182-184) In the meantime, petitioner Abella, after raising various verbal objections (later duly reduced to writing) during the canvass of the election returns, seasonably elevated them to the Commission on Elections in ten separate appeals docketed as SPC Nos. 88-627 to 88627-I. Pending resolution of these cases, Abella intervened on March 7, 1988 in the disqualification case, docketed as SPC No. 88-546, and the following day filed a complaint, with the Law Department of the COMELEC charging the private respondent with falsification and misrepresentation of her residence in her certificate of candidacy. On March 22, 1988, the public respondent consolidated the pre-proclamation and disqualification cases with the Second Division. On February 3, 1989, this Division unanimously upheld virtually all the challenged rulings of the provincial board of canvassers, mostly on the ground that the objection raised were merely formal and did not affect the validity of the returns or the ballots, and ordered the proclamation of the winner after completion of the canvass. (G.R. Nos. 87721-30, Rollo, pp. 18-50) On that same date, the disqualification case was also dismissed by a 2-1 decision, and the matter was referred to the Law Department for 'preliminary investigation for possible violation of Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code. ' (G.R. Nos. 88004, Rollo, pp. 26-40) The motion for reconsideration of the resolution on the pre-proclamation cases was denied by the COMELEC en banc on April 13, 1989, with no dissenting vote. (G.R. Nos. 87721-30, Rollo, pp. 51-56) These cases are


the subject of G.R. Nos. 87721-30, where we issued on April 18, 1989, another temporary restraining order to the provincial board of canvassers of Leyte to CEASE and DESIST from resuming the canvass of the contested returns and/or from proclaiming private respondent Adelina Larrazabal Governor of Leyte. The motion for reconsideration of the resolution on the qualification case was also denied by the COMELEC en banc on May 4, 1989, but with three commissioners dissenting. (G.R. No. 88004, Rollo, pp 47-61; penned by Commissioner Abueg, Jr., with Commissioners Africa Rama, and Yorac, dissenting) The dismissal of this case is the subject of G.R. No. 88004. (at pp. 511-513) Disposing of the consolidated petitions, this Court rendered judgment as follows: 1. In G.R.Nos. 87721-30, the decision dated February 3, 1989, the resolution dated April 13, 1989, are affirmed and the petition is DISMISSED. 2. In G.R. No. 88004, the decision dated February 3,1989, and the resolution dated May 4, 1989, are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Respondent Commission on Elections is ORDERED to directly hear and decide SPC Case No. 88-546 under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code, with authority to maintain or lift our temporary restraining order of April 18, 1989, according to its own assessment of the evidence against the private respondent. The parties are enjoined to resolve this case with all possible speed, to the end that the Governor of Leyte may be ascertained and installed without further delay. (p. 520) In view of these rulings, the COMELEC, upon motion of Larrazabal, lifted its temporary restraining order against her proclamation paving Larrazabal's proclamation and her assumption to the Office of Governor of Leyte while the hearings in the disqualification case (SPC No. 88-546) continued. On February 14, 1991, the second division in a 2-1 vote rendered a decision disqualifying Larrazabal as governor. On July 18, 1991, the Commission en banc issued a resolution which denied Larrazabal's motion to declare decision void and/or motion for reconsideration and affirmed the second division's decision. In the same resolution, the Commission disallowed Abella's proclamation as governor of Leyte.

Hence, these petitions. We treat the various Comments as Answers and decide the petitions on their merits. Acting on a most urgent petition (motion) for the issuance of a restraining order filed by petitioner Larrazabal, this Court issued a temporary restraining order on August 1, 1991. xxx xxx xxx ... [E]ffective immediately and continuing until further orders from this Court, ordering the respondent on on Elections to CEASE and DESIST from enforcing, implementing and executing the decision and resolution, respectively dated February 14, 1991 and July 18, 1991. It appearing that despite the filing of this petition before this Court and during its pendency, the incumbent Vice-Governor of Leyte Hon. Leopoldo E. Petilla, took his oath as Provincial Governor of Leyte and assumed the governorship as contained in his telegraphic message, pursuant to COMELEC resolution SPC No. 88-546, promulgated on July 18, 1991, the Court further Resolved to ORDER Hon. Leopoldo E. Petilla to MAINTAIN the status quo ante then prevailing and/or existing before the filing of this petition and to DESIST from assuming the office of the Governor and from discharging the duties and functions thereof. (Rollo-100739, p. 204) In G.R. No. 100739, petitioner Larrazabal professes that the COMELEC completely disregarded our pronouncement in G.R. No. 88004 in that instead of acting on SPC Case No. 88-546 under section 78 of the Election Code, the COMELEC proceeded with a disqualification case not contemplated in G.R. No. 88004. The argument is not meritorious. The questioned decision and resolution of the COMELEC conform with this Court's decision in G.R. No. 88004. Initially, herein respondent Silvestre T. de la Cruz (Benjamin P. Abella, petitioner in G.R. No. 100710 was allowed to intervene in the case) filed a petition with the COMELEC to disqualify petitioner Larrazabal from running as governor of Leyte on the ground that she misrepresented her residence in her certificate of candidacy as Kananga, Leyte. It was alleged that she was in fact a resident of Ormoc City like her husband who was earlier disqualified from running for the same office. The COMELEC dismissed the petition and


referred the case to its Law Department for proper action on the ground that the petition was a violation of Section 74 of the Election Code and, pursuant to it rules, should be prosecuted as an election offense under Section 262 of the Code. This Court reversed and set aside the COMELEC's ruling, to wit: The Court holds that the dismissal was improper. The issue of residence having been squarely raised before it, it should not have been shunted aside to the Law Department for a roundabout investigation of the private respondent's qualification through the filing of a criminal prosecution, if found to be warranted, with resultant disqualification of the accused in case of conviction. The COMELEC should have opted for a more direct and speedy process available under the law, considering the vital public interest involved and the necessity of resolving the question of the earliest possible time for the benefit of the inhabitants of Leyte. In the view of the Court, the pertinent provision is Section 78 in relation to Section 6 of R.A. No. 6646. Sec. 78. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy. A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. The petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided, after due notice and hearing, not later than fifteen days before the election. Section 6 of R.A. 6646 states as follows: Effect of Disqualification Case. Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted in such election, the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action, inquiry, or protest and, upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor, may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong. ... xxx xxx xxx

The above-stressed circumstances should explain the necessity for continuing the investigation of the private respondent's challenged disqualification even after the election notwithstanding that such matter is usually resolved before the election. Independently of these circumstances, such proceedings are allowed by Section 6 of RA. 6646 if for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified ... In fine, the Court directed the COMELEC to determine the residence qualification of petitioner Larrazabal in SPC Case No. 88546. Concomitant with this directive would be the disqualification of petitioner Larrazabal in the event that substantial evidence is adduced that she really lacks the residence provided by law to qualify her to run for the position of governor in Leyte. In line with the Court's directive, the COMELEC conducted hearings in SPC Case No. 88-546 to resolve the qualification of Larrazabal on the basis of two (2) legal issues raised by Silvestre T. de la Cruz namely, Larrazabal's lack of legal residence in the province of Leyte and her not being a registered voter in the province, as required by Title II, Chapter I, Section 42, B.P. Blg. 337, in relation to Article X, Section 12 of the Constitution, to wit: Sec. 42. Qualification. (1) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-three years of age on election day, a qualified voter registered as such in the barangay, municipality, city or province where he proposes to be elected, a resident therein for at least one year at the time of the filing of his certificate of candidacy, and able to read and write English, Pilipino, or any other local language or dialect. xxx xxx xxx Sec. 12. Cities that are highly urbanized, as determined by law, and component cities whose charters prohibit their voters from voting for provincial elective officials, shall be independent of the province. The voters of component cities within a province, whose charters contain no such prohibition, shall not be deprived of their right to vote for elective provincial officials. The position of petitioners De la Cruz and Abena was that respondent Larrazabal is neither a resident nor a registered voter of Kananga, Leyte as she claimed but a resident


and registered voter of Ormoc City, a component city of the province of Leyte but independent of the province pursuant to Section 12, Article X of the Constitution thereby disqualifying her for the position of governor of Leyte. They presented testimonial as well as documentary evidence to prove their stance. On the other hand, respondent Larrazabal maintained that she was a resident and a registered voter of Kananga, Leyte. She, too presented testimonial as well as documentary evidence to prove her stand. The COMELEC ruled against the respondent, now petitioner Larrazabal. In its questioned decision and resolution, the COMELEC found that petitioner Larrazabal was neither a resident of Kananga, Leyte nor a registered voter thereat. With these findings, the COMELEC disqualified the petitioner as governor of the province of Leyte. The petitioner, however, avers that the COMELEC decision is erroneous when it relied on the provisions of the Family Code to rule that the petitioner lacks the required residence to qualify her to run for the position of governor of Leyte. She opines that under "the Election Law, the matter of determination of the RESIDENCE is more on the principle of INTENTION, the animus revertendi rather than anything else." In this regard she states that ... "her subsequent physical transfer of residence to Ormoc City thereafter, did not necessarily erased (sic) or removed her Kananga residence, for as long as she had the ANIMUS REVERTENDIevidenced by her continuous and regular acts of returning there in the course of the years, although she had physically resided at Ormoc City." (Petition, Rollo, p. 40) As can be gleaned from the questioned decision, the COMELEC based its finding that the petitioner lacks the required residence on the evidence of record to the effect that despite protestations to the contrary made by the petitioner, she has established her residence at Ormoc City from 1975 to the present and not at Kananga, Leyte. Her attempt to purportedly change her residence one year before the election by registering at Kananga, Leyte to qualify her to ran for the position of governor of the province of Leyte clearly shows that she considers herself already a resident of Ormoc City. In the

absence of any evidence to prove otherwise, the reliance on the provisions of the Family Code was proper and in consonance with human experience. The petitioner did not present evidence to show that she and her husband maintain separate residences, she at Kananga, Leyte and her husband at Ormoc City. The second division of the COMELEC in its decision dated February 14, 1991 states: xxx xxx xxx But there is the more fundamental issue of residence. The only indications of a change of residence so far as respondent is concerned are: the address indicated in the application for cancellation filed by respondent indicating her postal address as Kananga, Leyte, the annotation in her Voter's affidavit for Precinct No. 15 that her registration was cancelled due to lack of residence; the testimony of Anastacia Dasigan Mangbanag that she entered into a contract of lease with option to buy with the spouses Emeterio and Inday Larrazabal over two parcels of land the witness owned in Mahawan, Kananga, Leyte; that she sees the spouses in the leased house in Kananga, that she was informed by Inday Larrazabal that the spouses had decided to buy their property because she wanted to beautify the house for their residence. She attached as annex the written contract signed by her and the spouses; and the testimony of Adolfo Larrazabal Exh. "10" cousin of the spouses that 'at a family meeting ... the political plan of the Larrazabal clan was discussed, among which were (sic) the problem of Terry's residence in Ormoc City' and that it was decided in said meeting ... that Inday Larrazabal, wife of Terry, will transfer her Ormoc Registration as a voter to Kananga, Leyte (so) she will be able to vote for Terry and also help me in my candidacy; that they have been staying in Kananga, very often as they have properties in Lonoy and a house in Mahawan. The references to residence in the documents of cancellation and registration are already assessed for their evidentiary value in relation to the documents themselves above. The question must therefore be addressed in relation to the testimony of Anastacia Dasigan Mangbanag and Adolfo V. Larrazabal. The gist of the testimonies is that they leased properties in Mahawan, Leyte and that they are seen in the house on the land leased. But the contract of lease with option to purchase itself indicates as to where the


legal residence of the Jarrazabal is. The pertinent portion states: SPS EMETERIO V. LARRAZABAL AND ADELINA Y. LARRAZABAL, both of legal age, Filipino, andresidents of Ormoc City, Philippines, hereinafter referred to as the LESSEES. The acknowledgment also indicates that Emeterio V. Larrazabal presented his Residence Certificate No. 155774914 issued in Ormoc City. The testimony of Adolfo Larrazabal reenforces this conclusion. It admits, as of the second or third week of November, that the residence of Emeterio Larrazabal was Ormoc City and that Inday Larrazabal was going to transfer her registration so she may be able to vote for him. For the purpose of running for public office, the residence requirement should be read as legal residence or domicile, not any place where a party may have properties and may visit from time to time. The Civil Code is clear that '[F]or the exercise of civil rights and the fulfillment of civil obligations, the domicile of natural persons is the place of their habitual residence. Arts. 68 and 69 of the Family Code, E.O. No. 209 also provide as follows: Art. 68. The husband and wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and support. Art. 69. The husband and wife shall fix the family domicile. In case of disagreement, the court shall decide. The court may exempt one spouse from living with the other if the latter should live abroad or there are other valid and compelling reasons for the exemption. However, such exemption shall not apply if the same is not compatible with the solidarity of the family. Husband and wife as a matter of principle live together in one legal residence which is their usual place of abode. (COMELEC decision, pp. 21-23; Rollo 100710, pp. 6769; Emphsis supplied) As regards the principle of ANIMUS REVERTENDI we ruled in the case of Faypon v. Quirino, 96 Phil. 294 [1954]): xxx xxx xxx ... [M]ere absence from one's residence or origin-domicile-to pursue studies, engage in business, or practice his avocation, is not sufficient to constitute abandonment or loss

of such residence.' ... The determination of a persons legal residence or domicile largely depends upon intention which may be inferred from his acts, activities and utterances. The party who claims that a person has abandoned or left his residence or origin must show and prove pre-ponderantly such abandonment or loss. xxx xxx xxx ... A citizen may leave the place of his birth to look for 'greener pastures' as the saying goes, to improve his life, and that, of course, includes study in other places, practice of his avocation, or engaging in business. When an election is to be held, the citizen who left his birthplace to improve his lot may desire to return to his native town to cast his ballot but for professional or business reasons, or for any other reason, he may not absent himself from the place of his professional or business activities; so there he registers as voter as he has the qualifications to be one and is not willing to give up or lose the opportunity to choose the officials who are to run the government especially in national elections. Despite such registration, the animus revertendi to his home, to his domicile or residence of origin, has not forsaken him. ... (at pp. 297-300) In the instant case, there is no evidence to prove that the petitioner temporarily left her residence in Kananga, Leyte in 1975 to pursue any calling, profession or business. What is clear is that she established her residence in Ormoc City with her husband and considers herself a resident therein. The intention of animus revertendi not to abandon her residence in Kananga, Leyte therefor, is nor present. The fact that she occasionally visits Kananga, Leyte through the years does not signify an intention to continue her residence therein. It is common among us Filipinos to often visit places where we formerly resided specially so when we have left friends and relatives therein although for intents and purposes we have already transferred our residence to other places. Anent the issue of whether or not the petitioner is a registered voter of Kananga, Leyte, the petitioner insists that she is such a registered voter based on the following antecedents: 1) She cancelled her registration in Ormoc City on November 25, 1987, and 2) she then transferred her registration to Kananga, Leyte on November 25, 1987 by registering thereat and 3) she later voted on


election day (February 1, 1988) in Kananga, Leyte. Despite the insistence of the petitioner, the evidence shows that her supposed cancellation of registration in Ormoc City and transfer of registration in Kananga, Leyte, is not supported by the records. As the COMELEC stated: The train of events, which led to respondent's g of her certificate of candidacy on the basis of her registration started on November 25, 1987, when she allegedly filed all application for cancellation of registration Exh. "2-B". Subsequent to this request, her voter's affidavit in Precinct 15, Ormoc City with Serial No. 0918394 J was annotated with the words 'cancelled upon application of the voter due to transfer of residence.' Thereafter, she registered in Precinct No. 17, Mahawan, Kananga, Leyte on November 28,1987 which registration was contained in Voter's Affidavit with Serial No. 0190840-J The cancellation of registration was submitted to the Board of Election Inspectors on January 9, 1988 (Revision Day) on the submission of the sworn application at 4:30 p.m. allegedly by a clerk from the Election Registrar's Office with only the poll clerk and the third member because the Chairman of the Board of Election Inspectors allegedly left earlier and did not come back. Exh. "3-B". We find the version pressed by respondent unworthy of belief. The story is marked by so many bizarre cirumtances not consistent with the ordinary course of events or the natural behavior of persons. Among these are: (1) The application for cancellation of registration by respondent Adelina Y. Larrazabal happened to be misplaced by a clerk in the Election Registrar's Office for Ormoc City so it was not sent to the Board of Election Inspectors in a sealed envelope; (2) The 'inadverterment' (sic) misplacement was discovered only on January 9,1988; (3) The voter's affidavit was delivered by itself without any endorsement or covering letter from the Election Registrar or anybody else; (4) The election clerk delivered the application for cancellation only towards the last hour of the revision day, allegedly at 4:30 P.M., January 9, 1988; (5) All the members of the Board of Election Inspectors had already signed the Minutes indicating that no revision of the voter's list was made as of 5:00 PM

(6) The poll clerk and the third member prepared another minutes stating that the election clerk had delivered the application for cancellation at 4:30 P.M. without any reference to the minutes they had previously signed; (7) Emeterio Larrazabal, who was supposed to have registered in Precinct 17, Mahawan, Kananga, was supposed to have filled up an application for cancellation of his registration in Precinct No. 15, Ormoc City at Precinct 17 concurrent with his registration. His application for cancellation was never submitted in evidence. (8) The serial number of the voter's affidavits of the spouses Larrazabal in Precinct No. 17 are far removed from the serial numbers of the other new registrants in November 28, 1987 in the same precinct. The most telling evidence is the list of voters (Form 2-A), Exh. "G", that the Chairman and the poll clerk had written in Part II of the same, closed by the signatures of both officials showing that there were only nine (9) additional registered voters in Precinct 17, Mahawan, Kananga, Leyte, namely, Bantasan, Merly; Conie; Limosnero Anita; Limosnero W; Pame Virginia; Savenario, Analiza; Verallo, Ofelia; Basan, Juanita; and Acgang Bonifacio. This is consistent with the list of new voters after the November 28, 1987 for Precinct No. 17, Mahawan, Kananga, Leyte submitted by the Election of Kananga to the National Central File of the Commission per certification of the Chief, National Central File Division on January 25, 1988 dated January 25, 1988, Exh. 'C'. The affidavits submitted by the Election Registrar to the Commission could only have come from the Board of Election Inspectors of Precinct No. 17, after the November 28, 1987 registration, for the Election Registrar could not have had the affidavits of these new registrants apart from those supplied by the Precinct itself. Why were not the affidavits of the Larrazabals included? Was this part of the incredibly bizarre series of inadvertence and neglect that spanned Ormoc City and Kananga? This also explains the certification dated January 29, 1988, of the Election Registrar of Kananga that as of that date Mrs. Adelina Larrazabal was not a registered voter in any of the' precincts in Kananga. Exh. "L". It was only on February 15, 1988, or two weeks after the election day that the same Registrar certified for the first time that there


were two voters lists, the first without the names of the Larrazabals and the second, which appeared only after February 1, submitted by the Chairman of the Board for Precinct 17 which contained the spouses Larrazabals' names. It might also be stressed that one set of voter's list Exh. "G" had the signature of both the Chairman, poll clerk and third member of the board, while the one which appeared later which included the names of the Larrazabal had the signature only of the Chairman. Exh. "I". From the certification of the National Central Files, it appears that the Serial Nos. of the newly registered voters were as follows: 0189821-J 018922-J 0189823-J 0189824-J 0189825-J 0189826-J 0189827-J 0189828-J 0189839-J The alleged registration of Emeterio V. Larrazabal and Adelina Y. Larrazabal are inexplicably effected through voter's affidavits with Serial Nos. 0190893J and 01 90840-J. These serial numbers are traced per record of the Commission to Precinct No. 6, municipality of Kananga, Leyte. Per official Project of precincts on file with the Commission, Precinct No. 6 is a poblacion precinct located in Kananga, Municipal High School Building. How these documents came to be used in Precinct No. 17 in Barangay Mahawan and only by the Larrazabals has never been explained. It also takes a lot of straining to believe the story about the effort to cancel registration on November 25, 1987, which application surfaced before the Board of Election inspectors for Precinct No. 15, Ormoc City only on January 9, 1988, Revision Day. As pointed out by Petitioner, it is absurd that it would only be on Revision Day, normally set aside for the purpose of receiving inclusion and exclusion orders from the courts, that the application for cancellation would be coincidentally found and delivered to the Board of Election Inspectors for Precinct 15. Furthermore, the entire membership of the Board of Inspectors for said precinct, signed a Minutes, Exh. "3-A" which indicates that no order of inclusion or exclusion was received from any court and that the board proceeded with the numbering of a total 229 voters for the precinct. The Minutes also indicates that the Board adjourned at 5:00 p.m. Exh. "3-B" which was supposedly prepared after Exh. "3A" signed only by the poll clerk and third member indicates that at 4:30 P.M. an

unidentified clerk from the Election Registrar's Office arrived with the application for cancellation of Vilma Manzano and Adelina Larrazabal. It also appears that on November 28, 1987, the Board of Election Inspectors for Precinct 15, Ormoc City prepared the list of voters for said precinct, Exh. 'N' where the name of Adelina Y. Larrazabal appears as voter No. 96 and Emeterio V. Larrazabal is listed as Voter No. 98. At the back of the list there is a certification that there was no voter which was included by court order and that to voters, one Montero and one Salvame were excluded by virtue of such order. As of January 29, 1988, when the certified true copy of the Voter's List for Precinct 15 was furnished the petitioner, no additional entry was reflected on the list which would show what transpired on January 9, 1988, as alleged by the Election Registrar for Ormoc City and the poll clerk and third member of the board of inspectors that a cancellation was effected. It taxes credulity therefore, to lend belief to Exh. "2-C", when was issued by the City Registrar for Ormoc only on February 1, 1990, which for the first time showed handwritten annotations of cancellation of the registration of Adelina Larrazabal and Vilma Manzano by witnesses Gratol and Patonog. If this evidence did not exist at the time of the entry which purports to have been on January 9, 1988, this evidence could have been used to confront within Carolina Quezon when she testified and identified Exh. "N" on April 14, 1988. In fact if these entries indicating (sic) were made, they would have been evident in Exh. 'W. The failure to confront Quezon with the entries and the late submission of Exh. "2-C" can only lead to two conclusions: these entries did not exist as of January 29, 1988 when the certification of the list of voters was made and that they were annotated in the voter's list after that date. This is consistent with Exh. "P" which was issued on February 11, 1988. The relative weight of the parties' evidence supports petitioner's thesis that respondent was not a registered voter in Precinct No. 17, Brgy. Mahawan, Kananga, Leyte, and, that she and her husband Emeterio Larrazabal continued to be registered voters in Precinct No. 15, Ormoc City. (Rollo, pp. 62-67; COMELEC decision, pp. 22-27)


The Court is bound by these factual findings as they are supported by substantial evidence: In Aratuc v. Commission on Elections (88 SCRA 251), speaking of the need to preserve the 'independence and all the needed concomitant powers' of the Commission on Elections, Justice Antonio P. Barredo declared that it is but proper that the Court should accord the greatest measures of presumption of regularity to its course of action ... to the end it may achieve its designed place in the democratic fabric of our government ... (Abella v. Larrazabal, supra) Failing in her contention that she is a resident and registered voter of Kananga, Leyte, the petitioner poses an alternative position that her being a registered voter in Ormoc City was no impediment to her candidacy for the position of governor of the province of Leyte. Section 12, Article X of the Constitution provides: Cities that are highly urbanized, as determined by law, and component cities whose charters prohibit their voters from voting for provincial elective officials, shall be independent of the province. The voters of component cities within a province, whose charters contain no such prohibition, shall not be deprived of their right to vote for elective provincial officials. Section 89 of Republic Act No. 179 creating the City of Ormoc provides: Election of provincial governor and members of the Provincial Board of the members of the Provincial Board of the Province of Leyte The qualified voters of Ormoc City shall not be qualified and entitled to vote in the election of the provincial governor and the members of the provincial board of the Province of Leyte. Relating therefore, section 89 of R.A. 179 to section 12, Article X of the Constitution one comes up with the following conclusion: that Ormoc City when organized was not yet a highly-urbanned city but is, nevertheless, considered independent of the province of Leyte to which it is geographically attached because its charter prohibits its voters from voting for the provincial elective officials. The question now is whether or not the prohibition against the 'city's registered voters' electing the provincial officials necessarily mean, a prohibition of the registered voters to be elected as provincial officials.

The petitioner citing section 4, Article X of the Constitution, to wit: Sec. 4. The President of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local governments. Provinces with respect to component cities and municipalities and cities and municipalities with respect to component barangays, shall ensure that the acts of their component units are within the scope of their prescribed powers and functions. submits that "while a Component City whose charter prohibits its voters from participating in the elections for provincial office, is indeed independent of the province, such independence cannot be equated with a highly urbanized city; rather it is limited to the administrative supervision aspect, and nowhere should it lead to the conclusion that said voters are likewise prohibited from running for the provincial offices." (Petition, p. 29) The argument is untenable. Section 12, Article X of the Constitution is explicit in that aside from highly-urbanized cities, component cities whose charters prohibit their voters from voting for provincial elective officials are independent of the province. In the same provision, it provides for other component cities within a province whose charters do not provide a similar prohibition. Necessarily, component cities like Ormoc City whose charters prohibit their voters from voting for provincial elective officials are treated like highly urbanized cities which are outside the supervisory power of the province to which they are geographically attached. This independence from the province carries with it the prohibition or mandate directed to their registered voters not to vote and be voted for the provincial elective offices. The resolution in G.R. No. 80716 entitled Peralta v. The Commission on Elections, et al. dated December 10, 1987 applies to this case. While the cited case involves Olongapo City which is classified as a highly urbanized city, the same principle is applicable. Moreover, Section 89 of Republic Act 179, independent of the constitutional provision, prohibits registered voters of Ormoc City from voting and being voted for elective offices in the province of Leyte. We agree with the COMELEC en banc that "the phrase 'shall not be qualified and entitled to vote in the election of the provincial governor and


the members of the provincial board of the Province of Leyte' connotes two prohibitions one, from running for and the second, from voting for any provincial elective official." (Resolution En Banc, p. 6) The petitioner takes exception to this interpretation. She opines that such interpretation is "wrong English" since nowhere in the provision is there any reference to a prohibition against running for provincial elective office. She states that if the prohibition to run was indeed intended, the provision should have been phrased "Shall not be qualified TO RUN in the election FOR provincial governor." A comma should have been used after the word qualified and after the word "vote" to clearly indicate that the phrase "in the election of the provincial governor" is modified separately and distinctly by the words "not qualified" and the words "not entitled to vote." (Petition, p. 19) The Court finds the petitioner's interpretation fallacious. In the case of Mapa v. Arroyo (175 SCRA 76 [1989]) this Court interpreted Section 20 of Presidential Decree No. 957 in relation to the conjunction and, to wit: Time of Completion. Every owner or developer shall construct and provide the facilities, improvements, infrastructures and other forms of development, including water supply and lighting facilities, which are offered and indicated in the approved subdivision or condominium plans. ... The Court ruled: We further reject petitioner's strained and tenuous application of the called doctrine of last antecedent in the interpretation of Section 20 and, correlatively, of Section 21. He would thereby have the enumeration of 'facilities, improvements, infrastructures and other forms of development' interpreted to mean that the demonstrative Phrase 'which are offered and indicated in the approved subdivision plans, etc,' refer only to 'other forms of development' and not to 'facilities, improvements and infrastructures.' While this subserves his purpose, such bifurcation whereby the supposed adjectives phrase is set apart from the antecedent words, is illogical and erroneous. The complete and applicable rule is ad proximum antedecens flat relationisi impediatursentencia (See Black's Law Dictionary, 4th Ed., 57 citing Brown v. Brown, Delta 3 Terry 157, 29 A. 2d 149, 153)

Relative words refer to the nearest antecedent, unless it be prevented by the context. In the present case, the employment of the word 'and' between 'facilities, improvements, infrastructures' and 'other forms of development,' far from supporting petitioner's theory, enervates it instead since it is basic in legal hermeneutics that and is not meant to separate words but is a conjunction used to denote a joinder or union. (at pp. 81-83) Applying these principles to the instant case, the conjunction and between the phrase shall not be qualified andentitled to vote refer to two prohibitions as ruled by the COMELEC in relation to the demonstrative phrase "in the election of the provincial governor and the members of the provincial board of the Province of Leyte." Finally, the petitioner contends that the February 14, 1991 decision of the COMELEC's second division is null and void on the ground that on that date, the term of Commissioner Andres Flores, one of the signatories of the majority opinion (vote was 2-1) had already expired on February 2, 1991. (Commissioner Flores was nominated by the President on January 30, 1988 and was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments on February 15, 1988. His term of office was fixed by the President for three years from February 15, 1988 to February 15, 1991.) The petitioner postulates that the President has no power to fix the terms of office of the Commissioners of the COMELEC because the Constitution impliedly fixes such terms of office. With regards to Commissioner Flores, the petitioner professes that Flores' term of three (3) years expired on February 2, 1991 based in section 1(2), Article IX, C, of the Constitution, to wit: xxx xxx xxx (2) The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, three Members shall hold office for seven years, two Members for five years, and the last Members for three years, without reappointment. Any appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity. In relation to


the Transitory Provision of the 1987 Constitution (Article XVIII) particularly Section 15 thereof, to wit: xxx xxx xxx The incumbent Members of the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit shall continue in office for one year after the ratification of this Constitution, unless they are sooner removed for cause or become incapacitated to discharge The duties of their office or appointed to a new term thereunder. In no case shall any Member serve longer than seven years including service before the ratification of this Constitution. There is no need to pass upon this constitutional issue raised by the petitioner. The Court ruled in the case ofAlger Electric, Inc. v. Court of Appeals (135 SCRA 37 [1985]): xxx xxx xxx ... This Court does not decide questions of a constitutional nature unless absolutely necessary to a decision of the case. If there exists some other ground based on statute or general law or other grounds of construction, we decide the case on a non-constitutional determination. (See Burton v. United States, 196 U.S. 283; Siler v. Louisville & Nashville R. Co. 213 U.S. 175; Berea College v. Kentucky 211 U.S. 45.) (at p. 45) Even if we concede that Commissioner Flores' term expired on February 2, 1991, we fail to see how this could validate the holding of an elective office by one who is clearly disqualified from running for that position and the continued exercise of government powers by one without legal authority to do so. The powers of this Court are broad enough to enjoin the violation of constitutional and statutory provisions by public officers especially where, as in this case, we merely affirm the decision of the COMELEC en banc promulgated at a time when Commissioner Flores was no longer a member. Moreover, under the peculiar circumstances of this case, the decision of the second division of COMELEC would still be valid under the de facto doctrine. Commissioner Flores was appointed for a three-year term from February 15, 1988 to February 15, 1991. In these three years he exercised his duties and functions as Commissioner. Granting in the absence of a statute expressly stating when the terms of

the COMELEC Chairman and members commence and expire, that his term expired on February 2, 1991 to enable a faithful compliance with the constitutional provision that the terms of office in the COMELEC are on a staggered basis commencing and ending at fixed intervals, his continuance in office until February 15, 1991 has a color of validity. Therefore, all his official acts from February 3, 1991 to February 15, 1991, are considered valid. The Court ruled in the case of Leyte Acting Vice-Governor Aurelio D. Menzon v. Leyte Acting Governor Leopoldo E. Perilla, et al. G.R. No. 90762, May 20, 1991: And finally, even granting that the President, acting through the Secretary of Local Government, possesses no power to appoint the petitioner, at the very least, the petitioner is a de facto officer entitled to compensation. There is no denying that the petitioner assumed the Office of the Vice-Governor under color of a known appointment. As revealed by the records, the petitioner was appointed by no less than the alter ego of the President, the Secretary of Local Government, after which he took his oath of office before Senator Alberto Romulo in the Office of Department of Local Government Regional Director Res Salvatierra. Concededly, the appointment has the color of validity. Petitioner Benjamin P. Abella in G.R. No. 100710 obtained the second highest number of votes, next to Larrazabal in the local elections of February 1, 1988 in the province of Leyte. The COMELEC en banc, after affirming the February 14, 1991 decision of its second division disqualifying arrazabal as governor disallowed Abella from assuming position of governor in accordance with section 6, Republic Act No. 6646 and the rulings in the cases ofFrivaldo v. Commission on Elections (174 SCRA 245 [1989]) and Labo, Jr. v. Commission on Elections (176 SCRA 1 [1989]). Abella claims that the Frivaldo and Labo cases were misapplied by the COMELEC. According to him these cases are fundamentally different from SPC No. 88546 in that the Frivaldo and Labo cases were petitions for a quowarranto filed under section 253 of the Omnibus Code, contesting the eligibility of the respondents after they had been proclaimed duly elected to the Office from which they were sought to be


unseated while SPC No. 88-546 which was filed before proclamation under section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code sought to deny due course to Larrazabal's certificate of candidacy for material misrepresentations and was seasonably filed on election day. He, therefore, avers that since under section 6 of Republic Act 6646 it is provided therein that: Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes case for him shall not be counted. the votes cast in favor of Larrazabal who obtained the highest number of votes are not considered counted making her a noncandidate, he, who obtained the second highest number of votes should be installed as regular Governor of Leyte in accordance with the Court's ruling in G.R. No. 88004. The petitioner's arguments are not persuasive. While it is true that SPC No. 88-546 was originally a petition to deny due course to the certificate of candidacy of Larrazabal and was filed before Larrazabal could be proclaimed the fact remains that the local elections of February 1, 1988 in the province of Leyte proceeded with Larrazabal considered as a bona-fide candidate. The voters of the province voted for her in the sincere belief that she was a qualified candidate for the position of governor. Her votes were counted and she obtained the highest number of votes. The net effect is that the petitioner lost in the election. He was repudiated by the electorate. In the Frivaldo and Labo cases, this is precisely the reason why the candidates who obtained the second highest number of votes were not allowed to assume the positions vacated by Frivaldo the governorship of Sorsogon, and Labo, the position of mayor in Baguio City. The nature of the proceedings therefore, is not that compelling. What matters is that in the event a candidate for an elected position who is voted for and who obtains the highest number of votes is disqualified for not possessing the eligibility requirements at the time of the election as provided by law, the candidate who obtains the second highest number of votes for the same position can not assume the vacated position. It should be stressed that in G.R. No. 88004, the Court set aside the dismissal of SPC No. 88-546, and directed the COMELEC to conduct hearings to determine whether or not Larrazabal was qualified to be a candidate for the position of

governor in the province of Leyte. This is the import of the decision in G.R. No. 88004. Thus, the Court ruled in the case of Labo, Jr. v. Commission on Elections: Finally, there is the question of whether or not the private respondent, who filed the quo warranto petition, can replace the petitioner as mayor. He cannot. The simple reason is that as he obtained only the second highest number of votes in the election, he was obviously not the choice of the people of Baguio City. The latest ruling of the Court on this issue is Santos v. Commission on Elections, (137 SCRA 740) decided in 1985. In that case, the candidate who placed second was proclaimed elected after the votes for his winning rival, who was disqualified as a turncoat and considered a non-candidate, were all disregard as stray. In effect, the second placer won by default. That decision was supported by eight members of the Court then, (Cuevas, J., ponente, with Makasiar, Concepcion, Jr., Escolin, Relova, De la Fuente, Alampay and Aquino, JJ., concurring.) with three dissenting (Teehankee, Acting C.J., Abad Santos and Melencio-Herrera, JJ.) and another two reserving their vote. (Plana and Gutierrez, Jr., JJ.) One was on official leave. (Fernando, C.J.) Re-examining that decision, the Court finds, and so holds, that it should be reversed in favor of the earlier case of Geronimo v. Ramos, (136 SCRA 435) which represents the more logical and democratic rule. That case, which reiterated the doctrine first announced in 1912 in Topacio v. Paredes, (23 Phil. 238) was supported by ten members of the Court, (Gutierrez, Jr., ponente, with Teehankee, Abad Santos, Melencio-Herrera, Plana, Escolin, Relova, De la Fuente, Cuevas and Alampay, JJ., concurring) without any dissent, although one reserved his vote, (Makasiar, J.) another took no part, (Aquino, J.) and two others were on leave. (Fernando, C.J. and Concepcion, Jr., J.) There the Court held: ... it would be extremely repugnant to the basic concept of the constitutionally guaranteed right to suffrage if a candidate who has not acquired the majority or plurality of votes is proclaimed a winner and imposed as the representative of a constituency, the majority of which have positively declared through their ballots that they do not choose him.


Sound policy dictates that public elective offices are filled by those who have received the highest number of votes cast in the election for that office, and it is a fundamental idea in all republican forms of government that no one can be declared elected and no measure can be declared carried unless he or it receives a majority or plurality of the legal votes cast in the election. (20 Corpus Juris 2nd, S 243, p. 676.) The fact that the candidate who obtained the highest number of votes is later declared to be disqualified or not eligible for the office to which he was elected does not necessarily entitle the candidate who obtained the second highest number of votes to be declared the winner of the elective office. The votes cast for a dead, disqualified, or non-eligible person may not be valid the vote the winner into office or maintain him there. However the absence of a statute which clearly asserts a contrary politics and legislative policy on the matter, if the votes were cast in the sincere belief that the candidate was alive, qualified, or eligible, they should not be treated as stray, void or meaningless. (at pp. 20-21) In sum, the Court does not find any reason to reverse and set aside the questioned decision and resolution of the COMELEC. The COMELEC has not acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or in grave abuse of discretion. WHEREFORE, the instant petitions are DISMISSED. The questioned decision of the second division of the Commission on Elections dated February 14, 1991 and the questioned Resolution en banc of the Commission dated July 18, 1991 are hereby AFFIRMED. The temporary restraining order issued on August 1, 1991 is LIFTED. Costs against the petitioners. SO ORDERED.