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TANADA vs TUVERA, 136 SCRA 27 (1985) (Escolin) FACTS: Lorenzo Tanada and co-petitioners asked for a writ of mandamus

that NUMEROUS presidential decrees, letters of instruction, general orders, proclamations, executive orders, letters of implementation and administrative orders of President Ferdinand Marcos be published in the Official Gazette or wherever promulgated. They invoked the peoples right to be informed on matters of public concern, as recognized by Section 6, Article IV of the 1973 constitution. The Solicitor General asked that the petition be dismissed because the petitioners had no legal standing because they were not aggrieved parties. He also added that the laws cited had their own effectivity dates and did not have to be published following Article 2 of the Civil Code (Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided.). ISSUE: WON the petitioners had legal standing to make the petition and WON a law can be enforced WITHOUT publication in the Official Gazette HELD: Yes and No. RATIO: The petitioners have legal standing because the right sought to be enforced is a public right, in fact a constitutional one. If they were disallowed from making the petition, it would be inconceivable that anyone would, considering that the petition was opposed by Marcoss Solicitor General, in fact the lawyer charged to represent the people! The Solicitor General was correct that the Supreme Court had previously ruled that that the effectivity dates in laws need not depend on the date of publication, as provided for by Article 2 of the Civil Code. However, this does not mean the laws do not need to be published. Section 1 of Commonwealth Act 638 expressly requires the publication of specific public documents, including executive orders and proclamations with general applicability (unlike those applying only to a specific person or class of persons). Without publication, citizens could not be held liable for ignorance of the law, as explained in Pesigan vs Angeles. Also, in Peral ta vs COMELEC: Before a person may be bound by law, he must first be officially and specifically informed of its contents. Informing the public was all the more important because President Marcos had, unlike any other president in history, had the power to write laws. The respondents were ordered to publish all unpublished presidential issuances which were of general application, or these would be declared not binding. Petition granted.

OBITER: No further provisions had to be laid down by the court because none of the cited

issuances had been enforced. Erasing the past by judicial declaration is not always as easy because rights may have been vested in people, the laws may have influenced acts, etc. (concur with reservation) CJ Fernando: Concurred, except to clarify that the Constitution did not state that laws had to be published in the Official Gazette to be binding. Publication is elementary fairness, but he disagreed that notice should be published specifically in the Official Gazette. Because all laws are equal, a later law can legally provide for a different means of publication other than the Official Gazette as stated in the Civil Code. (concur) Teehankeee: Emphasized that the Solicitor Generals claim that laws which have no effectivity date have to be published following the Civil Code. This interpretation violates due process and the basis for excusing no one from ignorance of the law. (concur) Melencio-Herrera: Clarified that a decree, once published, should have a date of effectivity retroactive to one stated within the decree. This would create ex post facto laws prohibited by the Constitution. (concur with qualification) Plana: Publication is not required for effectivity under the 1973 Constitution, and neither does Commonwealth Act No. 638 Due process requires that the public be informed, but not necessarily through the Official Gazette. The Civil Code also makes provision for a different mode of notice, not just for a different effectivity date. (concur): Gutierrez, Jr.: Reserved his vote regarding the necessity of publication specifically being in the Official Gazette.