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G.R. No. L-45987

May 5, 1939

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
CAYAT, defendant-appellant.
Sinai Hamada y Cario for appellant.
Office of the Solicitor-General Tuason for appellee.
MORAN, J.:
Prosecuted for violation of Act No. 1639 (secs. 2 and 3), the accused, Cayat, a native of Baguio, Benguet,
Mountain Province, was sentenced by the justice of the peace court of Baguio to pay a fine of five pesos (P5) or
suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. On appeal of the Court of First Instance, the following
information was filed against him:
That on or about the 25th day of January, 1937, in the City of Baguio, Commonwealth of the
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this court, the above-named accused, Cayat, being a member
of the non-Christian tribes, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and illegally receive, acquire, and
have in his possession and under his control or custody, one bottle of A-1-1 gin, an intoxicating liquor,
other than the so-called native wines and liquors which the members of such tribes have been
accustomed themselves to make prior to the passage of Act No. 1639.
Accused interposed a demurrer which was overruled. At the trial, he admitted all the facts alleged in the
information, but pleaded not guilty to the charge for the reasons adduced in his demurrer and submitted the case
on the pleadings. The trial court found him guilty of the crime charged and sentenced him to pay a fine of fifty
pesos (P50) or supper subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. The case is now before this court on appeal.
Sections 2 and 3 of Act No. 1639 read:
SEC. 2. It shall be unlawful for any native of the Philippine Islands who is a member of a non-Christian
tribe within the meaning of the Act Numbered Thirteen hundred and ninety-seven, to buy, receive, have
in his possession, or drink any ardent spirits, ale, beer, wine, or intoxicating liquors of any kind, other
than the so-called native wines and liquors which the members of such tribes have been accustomed
themselves to make prior to the passage of this Act, except as provided in section one hereof; and it shall
be the duty of any police officer or other duly authorized agent of the Insular or any provincial,
municipal or township government to seize and forthwith destroy any such liquors found unlawfully in
the possession of any member of a non-Christian tribe.
SEC. 3. Any person violating the provisions of section one or section two of this Act shall, upon
conviction thereof, be punishable for each offense by a fine of not exceeding two hundred pesos or by
imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, in the discretion of the court.
The accused challenges the constitutionality of the Act on the following grounds:
(1) That it is discriminatory and denies the equal protection of the laws;
(2) That it is violative of the due process clause of the Constitution: and.

(3) That it is improper exercise of the police power of the state.


Counsel for the appellant holds out his brief as the "brief for the non-Christian tribes." It is said that as these less
civilized elements of the Filipino population are "jealous of their rights in a democracy," any attempt to treat them
with discrimination or "mark them as inferior or less capable rate or less entitled" will meet with their instant
challenge. As the constitutionality of the Act here involved is questioned for purposes thus mentioned, it becomes
imperative to examine and resolve the issues raised in the light of the policy of the government towards the nonChristian tribes adopted and consistently followed from the Spanish times to the present, more often with sacrifice
and tribulation but always with conscience and humanity.
As early as 1551, the Spanish Government had assumed an unvarying solicitous attitude toward these inhabitants,
and in the different laws of the Indies, their concentration in so-called "reducciones" (communities) have been
persistently attempted with the end in view of according them the "spiritual and temporal benefits" of civilized
life. Throughout the Spanish regime, it had been regarded by the Spanish Government as a sacred "duty to
conscience and humanity" to civilize these less fortunate people living "in the obscurity of ignorance" and to
accord them the "the moral and material advantages" of community life and the "protection and vigilance afforded
them by the same laws." (Decree of the Governor-General of the Philippines, Jan. 14, 1887.) This policy had not
been deflected from during the American period. President McKinley in his instructions to the Philippine
Commission of April 7, 1900, said:
In dealing with the uncivilized tribes of the Islands, the Commission should adopt the same course
followed by Congress in permitting the tribes of our North American Indians to maintain their tribal
organization and government, and under which many of those tribes are now living in peace and
contentment, surrounded by civilization to which they are unable or unwilling to conform. Such tribal
government should, however, be subjected to wise and firm regulation; and, without undue or petty
interference, constant and active effort should be exercised to prevent barbarous practices and introduce
civilized customs.
Since then and up to the present, the government has been constantly vexed with the problem of determining
"those practicable means of bringing about their advancement in civilization and material prosperity." (See, Act
No. 253.) "Placed in an alternative of either letting them alone or guiding them in the path of civilization," the
present government "has chosen to adopt the latter measure as one more in accord with humanity and with the
national conscience." (Memorandum of Secretary of the Interior, quoted in Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro,
39 Phil., 660, 714.) To this end, their homes and firesides have been brought in contact with civilized communities
through a network of highways and communications; the benefits of public education have to them been extended;
and more lately, even the right of suffrage. And to complement this policy of attraction and assimilation, the
Legislature has passed Act No. 1639 undoubtedly to secure for them the blessings of peace and harmony; to
facilitate, and not to mar, their rapid and steady march to civilization and culture. It is, therefore, in this light that
the Act must be understood and applied.
It is an established principle of constitutional law that the guaranty of the equal protection of the laws is not equal
protection of the laws is not violated by a legislation based on reasonable classification. And the classification, to
be reasonable, (1) must rest on substantial distinctions; (2) must be germane to the purposes of the law; (3) must
not be limited to existing conditions only; and (4) must apply equally to all members of the same class.
(Borgnis vs.Falk Co., 133 N.W., 209; Lindsley vs. Natural Carbonic Gas Co., 220 U.S. 61; 55 Law. ed.,
Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro, 39 Phil., 660; People and Hongkong & Shanghai Banking
Corporation vs. Vera and Cu Unjieng, 37 Off. Gaz ., 187.)

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Act No. 1639 satisfies these requirements. The classification rests on real and substantial, not merely imaginary or
whimsical, distinctions. It is not based upon "accident of birth or parentage," as counsel to the appellant asserts,
but upon the degree of civilization and culture. "The term 'non-Christian tribes' refers, not to religious belief, but,
in a way, to the geographical area, and, more directly, to natives of the Philippine Islands of a low grade of
civilization, usually living in tribal relationship apart from settled communities." (Rubi vs. Provincial Board of
Mindoro, supra.) This distinction is unquestionably reasonable, for the Act was intended to meet the peculiar
conditions existing in the non-Christian tribes. The exceptional cases of certain members thereof who at present
have reached a position of cultural equality with their Christian brothers, cannot affect the reasonableness of the
classification thus established.
That it is germane to the purposes of law cannot be doubted. The prohibition "to buy, receive, have in his
possession, or drink any ardent spirits, ale, beer, wine, or intoxicating liquors of any kind, other than the so-called
native wines and liquors which the members of such tribes have been accustomed themselves to make prior to the
passage of this Act.," is unquestionably designed to insure peace and order in and among the non-Christian tribes.
It has been the sad experience of the past, as the observations of the lower court disclose, that the free use of
highly intoxicating liquors by the non-Christian tribes have often resulted in lawlessness and crimes, thereby
hampering the efforts of the government to raise their standard of life and civilization.
The law is not limited in its application to conditions existing at the time of its enactment. It is intended to apply
for all times as long as those conditions exist. The Act was not predicated, as counsel for appellant asserts, upon
the assumption that the non-Christians are "impermeable to any civilizing influence." On the contrary, the
Legislature understood that the civilization of a people is a slow process and that hand in hand with it must go
measures of protection and security.
Finally, that the Act applies equally to all members of the class is evident from a perusal thereof. That it may be
unfair in its operation against a certain number non-Christians by reason of their degree of culture, is not an
argument against the equality of its application.
Appellants contends that that provision of the law empowering any police officer or other duly authorized agent of
the government to seize and forthwith destroy any prohibited liquors found unlawfully in the possession of any
member of the non-Christian tribes is violative of the due process of law provided in the Constitution. But this
provision is not involved in the case at bar. Besides, to constitute due process of law, notice and hearing are not
always necessary. This rule is especially true where much must be left to the discretion of the administrative
officials in applying a law to particular cases. (McGehee, Due Process of Law p. 371, cited with approval in
Rubivs. Provincial Board of Mindoro, supra.) Due process of law means simply: (1) that there shall be a law
prescribed in harmony with the general powers of the legislative department of the government; (2) that it shall be
reasonable in its operation; (3) that it shall be enforced according to the regular methods of procedure prescribed;
and (4) that it shall be applicable alike to all citizens of the state or to all of the class. (U.S. vs. Ling Su Fan, 10
Phil., 104, affirmed on appeal by the United States Supreme Court, 218 U.S., 302: 54 Law. ed., 1049.) Thus, a
person's property may be seized by the government in payment of taxes without judicial hearing; or property used
in violation of law may be confiscated (U.S. vs. Surla, 20 Phil., 163, 167), or when the property constitutes corpus
delicti, as in the instant case (Moreno vs. Ago Chi, 12 Phil., 439, 442).
Neither is the Act an improper exercise of the police power of the state. It has been said that the police power is
the most insistent and least limitable of all powers of the government. It has been aptly described as a power coextensive with self-protection and constitutes the law of overruling necessity. Any measure intended to promote
the health, peace, morals, education and good order of the people or to increase the industries of the state, develop
its resources and add to its wealth and prosperity (Barbier vs. Connolly, 113 U.S., 27), is a legitimate exercise of

the police power, unless shown to be whimsical or capricious as to unduly interfere with the rights of an
individual, the same must be upheld.
Act No. 1639, as above stated, is designed to promote peace and order in the non-Christian tribes so as to remove
all obstacles to their moral and intellectual growth and, eventually, to hasten their equalization and unification
with the rest of their Christian brothers. Its ultimate purpose can be no other than to unify the Filipino people with
a view to a greater Philippines.
The law, then, does not seek to mark the non-Christian tribes as "an inferior or less capable race." On the contrary,
all measures thus far adopted in the promotion of the public policy towards them rest upon a recognition of their
inherent right to equality in tht enjoyment of those privileges now enjoyed by their Christian brothers. But as there
can be no true equality before the law, if there is, in fact, no equality in education, the government has endeavored,
by appropriate measures, to raise their culture and civilization and secure for them the benefits of their progress,
with the ultimate end in view of placing them with their Christian brothers on the basis of true equality. It is
indeed gratifying that the non-Christian tribes "far from retrograding, are definitely asserting themselves in a
competitive world," as appellant's attorney impressively avers, and that they are "a virile, up-and -coming people
eager to take their place in the world's social scheme." As a matter of fact, there are now lawyers, doctors and
other professionals educated in the best institutions here and in America. Their active participation in the
multifarious welfare activities of community life or in the delicate duties of government is certainly a source of
pride and gratification to people of the Philippines. But whether conditions have so changed as to warrant a partial
or complete abrogation of the law, is a matter which rests exclusively within the prerogative of the National
Assembly to determine. In the constitutional scheme of our government, this court can go no farther than to
inquire whether the Legislature had the power to enact the law. If the power exists, and we hold it does exist, the
wisdom of the policy adopted, and the adequacy under existing conditions of the measures enacted to forward it,
are matters which this court has no authority to pass upon. And, if in the application of the law, the educated nonChristians shall incidentally suffer, the justification still exists in the all-comprehending principle of salus populi
suprema est lex. When the public safety or the public morals require the discontinuance of a certain practice by
certain class of persons, the hand of the Legislature cannot be stayed from providing for its discontinuance by any
incidental inconvenience which some members of the class may suffer. The private interests of such members
must yield to the paramount interests of the nation (Cf. Boston Beer Co. vs. Mass., 97 U.S., 25; 24 law. ed., 989).
Judgment is affirmed, with costs against appellant.
Facts/Issue: Accused Cayat, a native of Baguio, Benguet, Mountain Province, and a member of the non-Christian
tribes, was found guilty of violating sections 2 and 3 of Act No. 1639 for having acquired and possessed one bottle
of A-1-1 gin, an intoxicating liquor, which is not a native wine. The law made it unlawful for any native of the
Philippines who is a member of a non-Christian tribe within the meaning of Act 1397 to buy, receive, have in his
possession, or drink any ardent spirits, ale, beer, wine or intoxicating liquors of any kind, other than the so-called
native wines and liquors which the members of such tribes have been accustomed to prior to the passage of the
law. Cayat challenges the constitutionality of Act 1639 on the grounds that it is discriminatory and denies the
equal protection of the laws, violates due process clause, and is an improper exercise of police power.
Held: It is an established principle of constitutional law that the guaranty of the equal protection of the laws is not
violated by a legislation based on reasonable classification. (1) must rest on substantial distinctions; (2) must be
germane to the purposes of the law; (3) must not be limited to existing conditions only; and (4) must apply equally
to all members of the same class.
Act No. 1639 satisfies these requirements. The classification rests on real or substantial, not merely imaginary or
whimsical distinctions. It is not based upon accident of birth or parentage, as counsel for the appellant asserts,

but upon the degree of civilization and culture. The term non-Christian tribes refers, not to religious belief but
in a way, to the geographical area and more directly, to natives of the Philippine Islands of a low grade of
civilization, usually living in tribal relationship apart from settled communities. (Rubi vs. Provincial Board of
Mindora, supra.) This distinction is unquestionably reasonable, for the Act was intended to meet the peculiar
conditions existing in the non-Christian tribes.
The prohibition enshrined in Act 1397 is designed to insure peace and order in and among non-Christian tribes. It
applies equally to all members of the class evident from perusal thereof. That it may be unfair in its operation
against a certain number of non-Christians by reason of their degree of culture, is not an argument against the
equality of its application.

ASSOCIATION OF SMALL LANDOWNERS IN THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner


vs.
HONORABLE SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN REFORM, respondent.
G.R. No. 78742
July 14, 1989
"Land for the Landless" is a slogan that underscores the acute imbalance in the distribution of this precious
resource among our people. But it is more than a slogan. Through the brooding centuries, it has become a battlecry dramatizing the increasingly urgent demand of the dispossessed among us for a plot of earth as their place in
the sun.
Recognizing this need, the Constitution in 1935 mandated the policy of social justice to "insure the well-being and
economic security of all the people," especially the less privileged. In 1973, the new Constitution affirmed this
goal adding specifically that "the State shall regulate the acquisition, ownership, use, enjoyment and disposition of
private property and equitably diffuse property ownership and profits." Significantly, there was also the specific
injunction to "formulate and implement an agrarian reform program aimed at emancipating the tenant from the
bondage of the soil."

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already been issued, to wit, the Memorandum dated July 10, 1975 (Interim Guidelines on Retention by Small
Landowners, with an accompanying Retention Guide Table), Memorandum Circular No. 11 dated April 21, 1978,
(Implementation Guidelines of LOI No. 474), Memorandum Circular No. 18-81 dated December 29,1981
(Clarificatory Guidelines on Coverage of P.D. No. 27 and Retention by Small Landowners), and DAR
Administrative Order No. 1, series of 1985 (Providing for a Cut-off Date for Landowners to Apply for Retention
and/or to Protest the Coverage of their Landholdings under Operation Land Transfer pursuant to P.D. No. 27). For
failure to file the corresponding applications for retention under these measures, the petitioners are now barred
from invoking this right.
The petitioners insist that the above-cited measures are not applicable to them because they do not own more than
seven hectares of agricultural land.
The Constitution of 1987 was not to be outdone. Besides echoing these sentiments, it also adopted one whole and
separate Article XIII on Social Justice and Human Rights, containing grandiose but undoubtedly sincere
provisions for the uplift of the common people. These include a call in the following words for the adoption by the
State of an agrarian reform program:
SEC. 4. The State shall, by law, undertake an agrarian reform program founded on the right of farmers and regular
farmworkers, who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till or, in the case of other
farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof. To this end, the State shall encourage and undertake the
just distribution of all agricultural lands, subject to such priorities and reasonable retention limits as the Congress
may prescribe, taking into account ecological, developmental, or equity considerations and subject to the payment
of just compensation. In determining retention limits, the State shall respect the right of small landowners. The
State shall further provide incentives for voluntary land-sharing.
Issue:
Whether or not all rights acquired by the tenant-farmer under P.D. No. 27, as recognized under E.O. No. 228, are
retained by him even under R.A. No. 6657.
Held:

Facts:
The petitioners in this case invoke the right of retention granted by P.D. No. 27 to owners of rice and corn lands
not exceeding seven hectares as long as they are cultivating or intend to cultivate the same. Their respective lands
do not exceed the statutory limit but are occupied by tenants who are actually cultivating such lands.

P.D. No. 27 expressly ordered the emancipation of tenant-farmer as October 21, 1972 and declared that he shall
"be deemed the owner" of a portion of land consisting of a family-sized farm except that "no title to the land
owned by him was to be actually issued to him unless and until he had become a full-fledged member of a duly
recognized farmers' cooperative." It was understood, however, that full payment of the just compensation also had
to be made first, conformably to the constitutional requirement.

According to P.D. No. 316, which was promulgated in implementation of P.D. No. 27:
When E.O. No. 228, categorically stated in its Section 1 that:
No tenant-farmer in agricultural lands primarily devoted to rice and corn shall be ejected or removed from his
farmholding until such time as the respective rights of the tenant- farmers and the landowner shall have been
determined in accordance with the rules and regulations implementing P.D. No. 27.
The petitioners claim they cannot eject their tenants and so are unable to enjoy their right of retention because the
Department of Agrarian Reform has so far not issued the implementing rules required under the above-quoted
decree. They therefore ask the Court for a writ of mandamus to compel the respondent to issue the said rules.
The public respondent argues that P.D. No. 27 has been amended by LOI 474 removing any right of retention
from persons who own other agricultural lands of more than 7 hectares in aggregate area or lands used for
residential, commercial, industrial or other purposes from which they derive adequate income for their family.
And even assuming that the petitioners do not fall under its terms, the regulations implementing P.D. No. 27 have

All qualified farmer-beneficiaries are now deemed full owners as of October 21, 1972 of the land they acquired by
virtue of Presidential Decree No. 27.
The CARP Law, for its part, conditions the transfer of possession and ownership of the land to the government on
receipt by the landowner of the corresponding payment or the deposit by the DAR of the compensation in cash or
LBP bonds with an accessible bank. Until then, title also remains with the landowner. No outright change of
ownership is contemplated either.
This should counter-balance the express provision in Section 6 of the said law that "the landowners whose lands
have been covered by Presidential Decree No. 27 shall be allowed to keep the area originally retained by them
thereunder, further, that original homestead grantees or direct compulsory heirs who still own the original

homestead at the time of the approval of this Act shall retain the same areas as long as they continue to cultivate
said homestead."
R.A. No. 6657 does provide for such limits now in Section 6 of the law, which in fact is one of its most
controversial provisions.
Retention Limits. Except as otherwise provided in this Act, no person may own or retain, directly or indirectly,
any public or private agricultural land, the size of which shall vary according to factors governing a viable familysized farm, such as commodity produced, terrain, infrastructure, and soil fertility as determined by the Presidential
Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) created hereunder, but in no case shall retention by the landowner exceed five
(5) hectares. Three (3) hectares may be awarded to each child of the landowner, subject to the following
qualifications: (1) that he is at least fifteen (15) years of age; and (2) that he is actually tilling the land or directly
managing the farm; Provided, That landowners whose lands have been covered by Presidential Decree No. 27
shall be allowed to keep the area originally retained by them thereunder, further, That original homestead grantees
or direct compulsory heirs who still own the original homestead at the time of the approval of this Act shall retain
the same areas as long as they continue to cultivate said homestead.
All rights previously acquired by the tenant- farmers under P.D. No. 27 are retained and recognized. Landowners
who were unable to exercise their rights of retention under P.D. No. 27 shall enjoy the retention rights granted by
R.A. No. 6657 under the conditions therein prescribed. Subject to the above-mentioned rulings all the petitions are
DISMISSED, without pronouncement as to costs.

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logically preclude the application of both powers at the same time on the same subject. The cases before
us present no knotty complication insofar as the question of compensable taking is concerned. To the
extent that the measures under challenge merely prescribe retention limits for landowners, there is an
exercise of the police power for the regulation of private property in accordance with the Constitution.
But where, to carry out such regulation, it becomes necessary to deprive such owners of whatever lands
they may own in excess of the maximum area allowed, there is definitely a taking under the power of
eminent domain for which payment of just compensation is imperative. The taking contemplated is not
a mere limitation of the use of the land. What is required is the surrender of the title to and the physical
possession of the said excess and all beneficial rights accruing to the owner in favor of the farmerbeneficiary. This is definitely an exercise not of the police power but of the power of eminent domain.
18.
BILL OF RIGHTS; EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE; CLASSIFICATION; DEFINED.
Classification has been defined as the grouping of persons or things similar to each other in certain
particulars and different from each other in these same particulars.
19.
ID.; ID.; ID.; REQUISITES.; EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE; CLASSIFICATION;
DEFINED. To be valid, it must conform to the following requirements: (1) it must be based on
substantial distinctions; (2) it must be germane to the purposes of the law; (3) it must not be limited to
existing conditions only; and (4) it must apply equally to all the members of the class.
20.
ID.; ID.; ID.; MEANING. Equal protection simply means that all persons or things similarly
situated must be treated alike both as to the rights conferred and the liabilities imposed.

Association of Small Landowners vs Sec of Agrarian Reform


The subjects of this petition are a 9-hectare riceland worked by four tenants and owned by petitioner Nicolas
Manaay and his wife and a 5-hectare riceland worked by four tenants and owned by petitioner Augustin Hermano,
Jr. The tenants were declared full owners of these lands by E.O. No. 228 as qualified farmers under P.D. No. 27.
The petitioners are questioning P.D. No. 27 and E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 on grounds inter alia of separation of
powers, due process, equal protection and the constitutional limitation that no private property shall be taken for
public use without just compensation.
They contend that President Aquino usurped legislative power when she promulgated E.O. No. 228. The said
measure is invalid also for violation of Article XIII, Section 4, of the Constitution, for failure to provide for
retention limits for small landowners. Moreover, it does not conform to Article VI, Section 25(4) and the other
requisites of a valid appropriation.
Eminent domain is an inherent power of the State that enables it to forcibly acquire private lands intended for
public use upon payment of just compensation to the owner. Obviously, there is no need to expropriate where the
owner is willing to sell under terms also acceptable to the purchaser, in which case an ordinary deed of sale may
be agreed upon by the parties. It is only where the owner is unwilling to sell, or cannot accept the price or other
conditions offered by the vendee, that the power of eminent domain will come into play to assert the paramount
authority of the State over the interests of the property owner. Private rights must then yield to the irresistible
demands of the public interest on the time-honored justification, as in the case of the police power, that the welfare
of the people is the supreme law.

POLITICAL LAW; POLICE POWER AND EMINENT DOMAIN; TRADITIONAL DISTINCTIONS.


There are traditional distinctions between the police power and the power of eminent domain that

21.
POLITICAL LAW; EMINENT DOMAIN; NATURE. Eminent domain is an inherent power
of the State that enables it to forcibly acquire private lands intended for public use upon payment of just
compensation to the owner.
22.
ID.; ID.; WHEN AVAILED OF. Obviously, there is no need to expropriate where the owner
is willing to sell under terms also acceptable to the purchaser, in which case an ordinary deed of sale
may be agreed upon by the parties. It is only where the owner is unwilling to sell, or cannot accept the
price or other conditions offered by the vendee, that the power of eminent domain will come into play to
assert the paramount authority of the State over the interests of the property owner. Private rights must
then yield to the irresistible demands of the public interest on the time-honored justification, as in the
case of the police power, that the welfare of the people is the supreme law.
23.
ID.; ID.; REQUIREMENTS. Basically, the requirements for a proper exercise of the power
are: (1) public use and (2) just compensation.
24.
ID.; POLITICAL QUESTION; DEFINED. The term "political question" connotes what it
means in ordinary parlance, namely, a question of policy. It refers to "those questions which, under the
Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity; or in regard to which full
discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government." It
is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure. (Taada vs.
Cuenco, 100 Phil. 1101)
25.
ID.; EMINENT DOMAIN JUST COMPENSATION; DEFINED. Just compensation is
defined as the full and fair equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the expropriator.

26.
ID.; ID.; ID.; WORD "JUST", EXPLAINED. It has been repeatedly stressed by this Court
that the measure is not the taker's gain but the owner's loss. The word "just" is used to intensify the
meaning of the word "compensation" to convey the idea that the equivalent to be rendered for the
property to be taken shall be real, substantial, full, ample.
27.
ID.; ID.; ID.; COMPENSABLE TAKING; CONDITIONS. There is compensable taking
when the following conditions concur: (1) the expropriator must enter a private property; (2) the entry
must be for more than a momentary period; (3) the entry must be under warrant or color of legal
authority; (4) the property must be devoted to public use or otherwise informally appropriated or
injuriously affected; and (5) the utilization of the property for public use must be in such a way as to
oust the owner and deprive him of beneficial enjoyment of the property.
28.
ID.; ID.; ID.; DEPOSIT NOT NECESSARY WHERE THE EXPROPRIATOR IS THE
ESTATE. Where the State itself is the expropriator, it is not necessary for it to make a deposit upon
its taking possession of the condemned property, as "the compensation is a public charge, the good faith
of the public is pledged for its payment, and all the resources of taxation may be employed in raising the
amount."
29.
ID.; ID.; ID.; DETERMINATION THEREOF, ADDRESSED TO THE COURTS OF JUSTICE.
The determination of just compensation is a function addressed to the courts of justice and may not
be usurped by any other branch or official of the government.
30.
ID.; ID.; ID.; EMINENT DOMAIN UNDER THE COMPREHENSIVE AGRARIAN REFORM
LAW; DETERMINATION MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN RELATIONS, ONLY
PRELIMINARY. The determination of the just compensation by the DAR is not by any means final
and conclusive upon the landowner or any other interested party, for Section 16 (f) clearly provides:
Any party who disagrees with the decision may bring the matter to the court of proper jurisdiction for
final determination of just compensation. The determination made by the DAR is only preliminary
unless accepted by all parties concerned. Otherwise, the courts of justice will still have the right to
review with finality the said determination in the exercise of what is admittedly a judicial function.
G.R. No. 192935
LOUIS BAROK C. BIRAOGO versus THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010
When the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert
any superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of
the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the
Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to
establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and
guarantees to them.
--- Justice Jose P. Laurel[1]
The role of the Constitution cannot be overlooked. It is through the Constitution that the fundamental powers
of government are established, limited and defined, and by which these powers are distributed among the several
departments.[2] The Constitution is the basic and paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to
which all persons, including the highest officials of the land, must defer.[3] Constitutional doctrines must remain

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steadfast no matter what may be the tides of time. It cannot be simply made to sway and accommodate the call of
situations and much more tailor itself to the whims and caprices of government and the people who run it. [4]
For consideration before the Court are two consolidated cases[5] both of which essentially assail the validity
and constitutionality of Executive Order No. 1, dated July 30, 2010, entitled Creating the Philippine Truth
Commission of 2010.

The first case is G.R. No. 192935, a special civil action for prohibition instituted by petitioner Louis
Biraogo (Biraogo) in his capacity as a citizen and taxpayer. Biraogo assails Executive Order No. 1 for being
violative of the legislative power of Congress under Section 1, Article VI of the Constitution [6] as it usurps the
constitutional authority of the legislature to create a public office and to appropriate funds therefor. [7]
The second case, G.R. No. 193036, is a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition filed by petitioners
Edcel C. Lagman, Rodolfo B. Albano Jr., Simeon A. Datumanong, and Orlando B. Fua, Sr. (petitionerslegislators) as incumbent members of the House of Representatives.
The genesis of the foregoing cases can be traced to the events prior to the historic May 2010 elections, when
then Senator Benigno Simeon Aquino III declared his staunch condemnation of graft and corruption with his
slogan, Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap. The Filipino people, convinced of his sincerity and of his
ability to carry out this noble objective, catapulted the good senator to the presidency.
To transform his campaign slogan into reality, President Aquino found a need for a special body to
investigate reported cases of graft and corruption allegedly committed during the previous administration.
Thus, at the dawn of his administration, the President on July 30, 2010, signed Executive Order No. 1
establishing the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 (Truth Commission). Pertinent provisions of said executive
order read:
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 1
CREATING THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010
WHEREAS, Article XI, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines solemnly
enshrines the principle that a public office is a public trust and mandates that public officers
and employees, who are servants of the people, must at all times be accountable to the latter,
serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, act with patriotism and
justice, and lead modest lives;
WHEREAS, corruption is among the most despicable acts of defiance of this principle
and notorious violation of this mandate;
WHEREAS, corruption is an evil and scourge which seriously affects the political,
economic, and social life of a nation; in a very special way it inflicts untold misfortune and
misery on the poor, the marginalized and underprivileged sector of society;
WHEREAS, corruption in the Philippines has reached very alarming levels, and
undermined the peoples trust and confidence in the Government and its institutions;
WHEREAS, there is an urgent call for the determination of the truth regarding certain
reports of large scale graft and corruption in the government and to put a closure to them by
the filing of the appropriate cases against those involved, if warranted, and to deter others from

6
committing the evil, restore the peoples faith and confidence in the Government and in their
public servants;
WHEREAS, the Presidents battlecry during his campaign for the Presidency in the last
elections kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap expresses a solemn pledge that if elected,
he would end corruption and the evil it breeds;
WHEREAS, there is a need for a separate body dedicated solely to investigating and
finding out the truth concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during the previous
administration, and which will recommend the prosecution of the offenders and secure justice
for all;
WHEREAS, Book III, Chapter 10, Section 31 of Executive Order No. 292, otherwise
known as the Revised Administrative Code of the Philippines, gives the President the
continuing authority to reorganize the Office of the President.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO SIMEON AQUINO III, President of the Republic
of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:
SECTION 1. Creation of a Commission. There is hereby created
the PHILIPPINE TRUTH
COMMISSION,
hereinafter
referred
to
as
the COMMISSION, which shall primarily seek and find the truth on, and toward this end,
investigate reports of graft and corruption of such scale and magnitude that shock and offend
the moral and ethical sensibilities of the people, committed by public officers and employees,
their co-principals, accomplices and accessories from the private sector, if any, during the
previous administration; and thereafter recommend the appropriate action or measure to be
taken thereon to ensure that the full measure of justice shall be served without fear or favor.
The Commission shall be composed of a Chairman and four (4) members who will act
as an independent collegial body.
SECTION 2. Powers and Functions. The Commission, which shall have all the
powers of an investigative body under Section 37, Chapter 9, Book I of the Administrative
Code of 1987, is primarily tasked to conduct a thorough fact-finding investigation of reported
cases of graft and corruption referred to in Section 1, involving third level public officers and
higher, their co-principals, accomplices and accessories from the private sector, if any, during
the previous administration and thereafter submit its finding and recommendations to the
President, Congress and the Ombudsman.

d)
Upon proper request and representation, obtain information from the courts, including
the Sandiganbayan and the Office of the Court Administrator, information or documents in
respect to corruption cases filed with the Sandiganbayan or the regular courts, as the case may
be;
e)
Invite or subpoena witnesses and take their testimonies and for that purpose, administer
oaths or affirmations as the case may be;
f)
Recommend, in cases where there is a need to utilize any person as a state witness to
ensure that the ends of justice be fully served, that such person who qualifies as a state witness
under the Revised Rules of Court of the Philippines be admitted for that purpose;
g)
Turn over from time to time, for expeditious prosecution, to the appropriate prosecutorial
authorities, by means of a special or interim report and recommendation, all evidence on
corruption of public officers and employees and their private sector co-principals, accomplices
or accessories, if any, when in the course of its investigation the Commission finds that there is
reasonable ground to believe that they are liable for graft and corruption under pertinent
applicable laws;
h)
Call upon any government investigative or prosecutorial agency such as the Department
of Justice or any of the agencies under it, and the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission, for such
assistance and cooperation as it may require in the discharge of its functions and duties;
i)
Engage or contract the services of resource persons, professionals and other personnel
determined by it as necessary to carry out its mandate;
j)
Promulgate its rules and regulations or rules of procedure it deems necessary to
effectively and efficiently carry out the objectives of this Executive Order and to ensure the
orderly conduct of its investigations, proceedings and hearings, including the presentation of
evidence;
k)
Exercise such other acts incident to or are appropriate and necessary in connection with
the objectives and purposes of this Order.
SECTION 3. Staffing Requirements. x x x.
SECTION 4. Detail of Employees. x x x.

In particular, it shall:
SECTION 5. Engagement of Experts. x x x
a)
Identify and determine the reported cases of such graft and corruption which it will
investigate;
b)
Collect, receive, review and evaluate evidence related to or regarding the cases of large
scale corruption which it has chosen to investigate, and to this end require any agency, official
or employee of the Executive Branch, including government-owned or controlled corporations,
to produce documents, books, records and other papers;
c)
Upon proper request or representation, obtain information and documents from the
Senate and the House of Representatives records of investigations conducted by committees
thereof relating to matters or subjects being investigated by the Commission;

SECTION 6. Conduct of Proceedings. x x x.


SECTION 7. Right to Counsel of Witnesses/Resource Persons. x x x.
SECTION 8. Protection of Witnesses/Resource Persons. x x x.
SECTION 9. Refusal to Obey Subpoena, Take Oath or Give Testimony. Any
government official or personnel who, without lawful excuse, fails to appear upon subpoena
issued by the Commission or who, appearing before the Commission refuses to take oath or
affirmation, give testimony or produce documents for inspection, when required, shall be

subject to administrative disciplinary action. Any private person who does the same may be
dealt with in accordance with law.
SECTION 10. Duty to Extend Assistance to the Commission.

x x x.

SECTION 11. Budget for the Commission. The Office of the President shall provide
the necessary funds for the Commission to ensure that it can exercise its powers, execute its
functions, and perform its duties and responsibilities as effectively, efficiently, and
expeditiously as possible.

7
essentially an entity within the Office of the President Proper and subject to his control. Doubtless, it constitutes a
public office, as an ad hoc body is one.[8]
To accomplish its task, the PTC shall have all the powers of an investigative body under Section 37,
Chapter 9, Book I of the Administrative Code of 1987. It is not, however, a quasi-judicial body as it cannot
adjudicate, arbitrate, resolve, settle, or render awards in disputes between contending parties. All it can do is
gather, collect and assess evidence of graft and corruption and make recommendations. It may have subpoena
powers but it has no power to cite people in contempt, much less order their arrest. Although it is a fact-finding
body, it cannot determine from such facts if probable cause exists as to warrant the filing of an information in our
courts of law. Needless to state, it cannot impose criminal, civil or administrative penalties or sanctions.

SECTION 12. Office. x x x.


SECTION 13. Furniture/Equipment. x x x.
SECTION 14. Term of the Commission. The Commission shall accomplish its
mission on or before December 31, 2012.
SECTION 15. Publication of Final Report. x x x.
SECTION 16. Transfer of Records and Facilities of the Commission. x x x.
SECTION 17. Special Provision Concerning Mandate. If and when in the judgment of
the President there is a need to expand the mandate of the Commission as defined in Section 1
hereof to include the investigation of cases and instances of graft and corruption during the
prior administrations, such mandate may be so extended accordingly by way of a supplemental
Executive Order.

SECTION 18. Separability Clause. If any provision of this Order is declared


unconstitutional, the same shall not affect the validity and effectivity of the other provisions
hereof.
SECTION 19. Effectivity. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.

The PTC is different from the truth commissions in other countries which have been created as official,
transitory and non-judicial fact-finding bodies to establish the facts and context of serious violations of human
rights or of international humanitarian law in a countrys past.[9] They are usually established by states emerging
from periods of internal unrest, civil strife or authoritarianism to serve as mechanisms for transitional justice.
Truth commissions have been described as bodies that share the following characteristics: (1) they
examine only past events; (2) they investigate patterns of abuse committed over a period of time, as opposed to a
particular event; (3) they are temporary bodies that finish their work with the submission of a report containing
conclusions and recommendations; and (4) they are officially sanctioned, authorized or empowered by the
State.[10] Commissions members are usually empowered to conduct research, support victims, and propose
policy recommendations to prevent recurrence of crimes. Through their investigations, the commissions may aim
to discover and learn more about past abuses, or formally acknowledge them. They may aim to prepare the way
for prosecutions and recommend institutional reforms.[11]
Thus, their main goals range from retribution to reconciliation. The Nuremburg and Tokyo war crime
tribunals are examples of a retributory or vindicatory body set up to try and punish those responsible for crimes
against humanity. A form of a reconciliatory tribunal is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa,
the principal function of which was to heal the wounds of past violence and to prevent future conflict by providing
a cathartic experience for victims.
The PTC is a far cry from South Africas model. The latter placed more emphasis on reconciliation than
on judicial retribution, while the marching order of the PTC is the identification and punishment of perpetrators.
As one writer[12] puts it:

DONE in the City of Manila, Philippines, this 30th day of July 2010.
(SGD.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
By the President:
(SGD.) PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR.
Executive Secretary
Nature of the Truth Commission
As can be gleaned from the above-quoted provisions, the Philippine Truth Commission (PTC) is a
mere ad hoc body formed under the Office of the President with theprimary task to investigate reports of graft and
corruption committed by third-level public officers and employees, their co-principals, accomplices and
accessories during the previous administration, and thereafter to submit its finding and recommendations to the
President, Congress and the Ombudsman. Though it has been described as an independent collegial body, it is

The order ruled out reconciliation. It translated the Draconian code spelled out by
Aquino in his inaugural speech: To those who talk about reconciliation, if they mean that
they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we
have this to say: There can be no reconciliation without justice. When we allow crimes to go
unpunished, we give consent to their occurring over and over again.
The Thrusts of the Petitions
Barely a month after the issuance of Executive Order No. 1, the petitioners asked the Court to declare it
unconstitutional and to enjoin the PTC from performing its functions. A perusal of the arguments of the
petitioners in both cases shows that they are essentially the same. The petitioners-legislators summarized them in
the following manner:
(a) E.O. No. 1 violates the separation of powers as it arrogates the power of the
Congress to create a public office and appropriate funds for its operation.

8
(b) The provision of Book III, Chapter 10, Section 31 of the Administrative Code of
1987 cannot legitimize E.O. No. 1 because the delegated authority of the President to
structurally reorganize the Office of the President to achieve economy, simplicity and
efficiency does not include the power to create an entirely new public office which was
hitherto inexistent like the Truth Commission.
(c) E.O. No. 1 illegally amended the Constitution and pertinent statutes when it
vested the Truth Commission with quasi-judicial powers duplicating, if not superseding,
those of the Office of the Ombudsman created under the 1987 Constitution and the
Department of Justice created under the Administrative Code of 1987.
(d) E.O. No. 1 violates the equal protection clause as it selectively targets for
investigation and prosecution officials and personnel of the previous administration as if
corruption is their peculiar species even as it excludes those of the other administrations, past
and present, who may be indictable.
(e) The creation of the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 violates the
consistent and general international practice of four decades wherein States constitute truth
commissions to exclusively investigate human rights violations, which customary practice
forms part of the generally accepted principles of international law which the Philippines is
mandated to adhere to pursuant to the Declaration of Principles enshrined in the Constitution.
(f) The creation of the Truth Commission is an exercise in futility, an adventure in
partisan hostility, a launching pad for trial/conviction by publicity and a mere populist
propaganda to mistakenly impress the people that widespread poverty will altogether vanish if
corruption is eliminated without even addressing the other major causes of poverty.

4] The Truth Commission does not violate the equal protection clause because it was
validly created for laudable purposes.

The OSG then points to the continued existence and validity of other executive orders and presidential
issuances creating similar bodies to justify the creation of the PTC such as Presidential Complaint and Action
Commission (PCAC) by President Ramon B. Magsaysay, Presidential Committee on Administrative Performance
Efficiency (PCAPE)by President Carlos P. Garcia and Presidential Agency on Reform and Government
Operations (PARGO) by President Ferdinand E. Marcos.[18]
From the petitions, pleadings, transcripts, and memoranda, the following are the principal issues to be
resolved:
1.
Whether or not the petitioners have the legal standing to file their
respective petitions and question Executive Order No. 1;
2.
Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the principle of
separation of powers by usurping the powers of Congress to create and to appropriate funds
for public offices, agencies and commissions;
3. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 supplants the powers of the Ombudsman
and the DOJ;
4. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the equal protection clause; and
5. Whether or not petitioners are entitled to injunctive relief.
Essential requisites for judicial review

(g) The mere fact that previous commissions were not constitutionally challenged is
of no moment because neither laches nor estoppel can bar an eventual question on the
constitutionality and validity of an executive issuance or even a statute.[13]
In their Consolidated Comment,[14] the respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor
General (OSG), essentially questioned the legal standing of petitioners and defended the assailed executive order
with the following arguments:
1] E.O. No. 1 does not arrogate the powers of Congress to create a public office
because the Presidents executive power and power of control necessarily include the inherent
power to conduct investigations to ensure that laws are faithfully executed and that, in any
event, the Constitution, Revised Administrative Code of 1987 (E.O. No. 292), [15] Presidential
Decree (P.D.) No. 1416[16] (as amended by P.D. No. 1772), R.A. No. 9970,[17] and settled
jurisprudence that authorize the President to create or form such bodies.
2] E.O. No. 1 does not usurp the power of Congress to appropriate funds because
there is no appropriation but a mere allocation of funds already appropriated by Congress.
3] The Truth Commission does not duplicate or supersede the functions of the Office
of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) and the Department of Justice (DOJ),because it is a factfinding body and not a quasi-judicial body and its functions do not duplicate, supplant or erode
the latters jurisdiction.

Before proceeding to resolve the issue of the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 1, the Court needs to
ascertain whether the requisites for a valid exercise of its power of judicial review are present.
Like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution, the power of judicial review is subject to limitations, to
wit: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person
challenging the act must have the standing to question the validity of the subject act or issuance; otherwise stated,
he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury
as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and
(4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.[19]
Among all these limitations, only the legal standing of the petitioners has been put at issue.
Legal Standing of the Petitioners
The OSG attacks the legal personality of the petitioners-legislators to file their petition for failure to
demonstrate their personal stake in the outcome of the case. It argues that the petitioners have not shown that
they have sustained or are in danger of sustaining any personal injury attributable to the creation of the PTC. Not
claiming to be the subject of the commissions investigations, petitioners will not sustain injury in its creation or
as a result of its proceedings.[20]
The Court disagrees with the OSG in questioning the legal standing of the petitioners-legislators to
assail Executive Order No. 1. Evidently, their petition primarily invokes usurpation of the power of the Congress

9
as a body to which they belong as members. This certainly justifies their resolve to take the cudgels for Congress
as an institution and present the complaints on the usurpation of their power and rights as members of the
legislature before the Court. As held in Philippine Constitution Association v. Enriquez,[21]
To the extent the powers of Congress are impaired, so is the power of each member
thereof, since his office confers a right to participate in the exercise of the powers of that
institution.
An act of the Executive which injures the institution of Congress causes a derivative
but nonetheless substantial injury, which can be questioned by a member of Congress. In such
a case, any member of Congress can have a resort to the courts.
Indeed, legislators have a legal standing to see to it that the prerogative, powers and privileges vested by
the Constitution in their office remain inviolate. Thus, they are allowed to question the validity of any official
action which, to their mind, infringes on their prerogatives as legislators.[22]

are the real partiesIt is at least the right, if not the duty, of every citizen to interfere and see
that a public offence be properly pursued and punished, and that a public grievance be
remedied. With respect to taxpayers suits, Terr v. Jordan held that the right of a citizen
and a taxpayer to maintain an action in courts to restrain the unlawful use of public funds to
his injury cannot be denied.
However, to prevent just about any person from seeking judicial interference in any
official policy or act with which he disagreed with, and thus hinders the activities of
governmental agencies engaged in public service, the United State Supreme Court laid down
the more stringent direct injury test in Ex Parte Levitt, later reaffirmed in Tileston v.
Ullman. The same Court ruled that for a private individual to invoke the judicial power to
determine the validity of an executive or legislative action, he must show that he has
sustained a direct injury as a result of that action, and it is not sufficient that he has a
general interest common to all members of the public.

With regard to Biraogo, the OSG argues that, as a taxpayer, he has no standing to question the creation
of the PTC and the budget for its operations.[23] It emphasizes that the funds to be used for the creation and
operation of the commission are to be taken from those funds already appropriated by Congress. Thus, the
allocation and disbursement of funds for the commission will not entail congressional action but will simply be an
exercise of the Presidents power over contingent funds.

This Court adopted the direct injury test in our jurisdiction. In People v. Vera, it
held that the person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and
substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain direct injury as
a result. The Vera doctrine was upheld in a litany of cases, such as, Custodio v. President of
the Senate, Manila Race Horse Trainers Association v. De la Fuente, Pascual v. Secretary of
Public Works and Anti-Chinese League of the Philippines v. Felix. [Emphases included.
Citations omitted]

As correctly pointed out by the OSG, Biraogo has not shown that he sustained, or is in danger of
sustaining, any personal and direct injury attributable to the implementation of Executive Order No. 1. Nowhere in
his petition is an assertion of a clear right that may justify his clamor for the Court to exercise judicial power and
to wield the axe over presidential issuances in defense of the Constitution. The case of David v.
Arroyo[24] explained the deep-seated rules on locus standi. Thus:

Notwithstanding, the Court leans on the doctrine that the rule on standing is a matter of procedure,
hence, can be relaxed for nontraditional plaintiffs like ordinary citizens, taxpayers, and legislators when the public
interest so requires, such as when the matter is of transcendental importance, of overreaching significance to
society, or of paramount public interest.[25]

Locus standi is defined as a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given


question. In private suits, standing is governed by the real-parties-in interest rule as
contained in Section 2, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. It provides
that every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in
interest. Accordingly, the real-party-in interest is the party who stands to be benefited or
injured by the judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. Succinctly
put, the plaintiffs standing is based on his own right to the relief sought.
The difficulty of determining locus standi arises in public suits. Here, the plaintiff
who asserts a public right in assailing an allegedly illegal official action, does so as a
representative of the general public. He may be a person who is affected no differently from
any other person. He could be suing as a stranger, or in the category of a citizen, or
taxpayer. In either case, he has to adequately show that he is entitled to seek judicial
protection. In other words, he has to make out a sufficient interest in the vindication of the
public order and the securing of relief as a citizen or taxpayer.
Case law in most jurisdictions now allows both citizen and taxpayer standing in
public actions. The distinction was first laid down in Beauchamp v. Silk, where it was held
that the plaintiff in a taxpayers suit is in a different category from the plaintiff in a citizens
suit. In the former, the plaintiff is affected by the expenditure of public funds, while in the
latter, he is but the mere instrument of the public concern. As held by the New York Supreme
Court in People ex rel Case v. Collins: In matter of mere public right, howeverthe people

Thus, in Coconut Oil Refiners Association, Inc. v. Torres,[26] the Court held that in cases of paramount
importance where serious constitutional questions are involved, the standing requirements may be relaxed and a
suit may be allowed to prosper even where there is no direct injury to the party claiming the right of judicial
review. In the firstEmergency Powers Cases,[27] ordinary citizens and taxpayers were allowed to question the
constitutionality of several executive orders although they had only an indirect and general interest shared in
common with the public.
The OSG claims that the determinants of transcendental importance[28] laid down in CREBA v. ERC and
Meralco are non-existent in this case. The Court, however, finds reason in Biraogos assertion that the petition
covers matters of transcendental importance to justify the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court. There
are constitutional issues in the petition which deserve the attention of this Court in view of their seriousness,
novelty and weight as precedents. Where the issues are of transcendental and paramount importance not only to
the public but also to the Bench and the Bar, they should be resolved for the guidance of all. [30] Undoubtedly, the
Filipino people are more than interested to know the status of the Presidents first effort to bring about a promised
change to the country. The Court takes cognizance of the petition not due to overwhelming political undertones
that clothe the issue in the eyes of the public, but because the Court stands firm in its oath to perform its
constitutional duty to settle legal controversies with overreaching significance to society.
[29]

Power of the President to Create the Truth Commission


In his memorandum in G.R. No. 192935, Biraogo asserts that the Truth Commission is a public office
and not merely an adjunct body of the Office of the President.[31]Thus, in order that the President may create a

public office he must be empowered by the Constitution, a statute or an authorization vested in him by law.
According to petitioner, such power cannot be presumed[32] since there is no provision in the Constitution or any
specific law that authorizes the President to create a truth commission. [33] He adds that Section 31 of the
Administrative Code of 1987, granting the President the continuing authority to reorganize his office, cannot serve
as basis for the creation of a truth commission considering the aforesaid provision merely uses verbs such as
reorganize, transfer, consolidate, merge, and abolish.[34] Insofar as it vests in the President the plenary
power to reorganize the Office of the President to the extent of creating a public office, Section 31 is inconsistent
with the principle of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution and must be deemed repealed upon the
effectivity thereof.[35]
Similarly, in G.R. No. 193036, petitioners-legislators argue that the creation of a public office lies within
the province of Congress and not with the executive branch of government. They maintain that the delegated
authority of the President to reorganize under Section 31 of the Revised Administrative Code: 1) does not permit
the President to create a public office, much less a truth commission; 2) is limited to the reorganization of the
administrative structure of the Office of the President; 3) is limited to the restructuring of the internal organs of the
Office of the President Proper, transfer of functions and transfer of agencies; and 4) only to achieve simplicity,
economy and efficiency.[36] Such continuing authority of the President to reorganize his office is limited, and by
issuing Executive Order No. 1, the President overstepped the limits of this delegated authority.

10
other Department/Agency or vice versa. Clearly, the provision refers to reduction of personnel, consolidation of
offices, or abolition thereof by reason of economy or redundancy of functions. These point to situations where a
body or an office is already existent but a modification or alteration thereof has to be effected. The creation of an
office is nowhere mentioned, much less envisioned in said provision. Accordingly, the answer to the question is in
the negative.
To say that the PTC is borne out of a restructuring of the Office of the President under Section 31 is a
misplaced supposition, even in the plainest meaning attributable to the term restructure an alteration of an
existing structure. Evidently, the PTC was not part of the structure of the Office of the President prior to the
enactment of Executive Order No. 1. As held in Buklod ng Kawaning EIIB v. Hon. Executive Secretary,[46]

The OSG counters that there is nothing exclusively legislative about the creation by the President of a
fact-finding body such as a truth commission. Pointing to numerous offices created by past presidents, it argues
that the authority of the President to create public offices within the Office of the President Proper has long been
recognized.[37]According to the OSG, the Executive, just like the other two branches of government, possesses the
inherent authority to create fact-finding committees to assist it in the performance of its constitutionally mandated
functions and in the exercise of its administrative functions.[38] This power, as the OSG explains it, is but an
adjunct of the plenary powers wielded by the President under Section 1 and his power of control under Section 17,
both of Article VII of the Constitution.[39]

But of course, the list of legal basis authorizing the President to reorganize any
department or agency in the executive branch does not have to end here. We must not lose
sight of the very source of the power that which constitutes an express grant of power. Under
Section 31, Book III of Executive Order No. 292 (otherwise known as the Administrative
Code of 1987), "the President, subject to the policy in the Executive Office and in order to
achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency, shall have the continuing authority to reorganize
the administrative structure of the Office of the President." For this purpose, he may transfer
the functions of other Departments or Agencies to the Office of the President. In Canonizado
v. Aguirre [323 SCRA 312 (2000)], we ruled that reorganization "involves the reduction of
personnel, consolidation of offices, or abolition thereof by reason of economy or redundancy
of functions." It takes place when there is an alteration of the existing structure of
government offices or units therein, including the lines of control, authority and
responsibility between them. The EIIB is a bureau attached to the Department of Finance. It
falls under the Office of the President. Hence, it is subject to the Presidents continuing
authority to reorganize. [Emphasis Supplied]

It contends that the President is necessarily vested with the power to conduct fact-finding investigations,
pursuant to his duty to ensure that all laws are enforced by public officials and employees of his department and in
the exercise of his authority to assume directly the functions of the executive department, bureau and office, or
interfere with the discretion of his officials.[40] The power of the President to investigate is not limited to the
exercise of his power of control over his subordinates in the executive branch, but extends further in the exercise
of his other powers, such as his power to discipline subordinates, [41] his power for rule making, adjudication and
licensing purposes[42] and in order to be informed on matters which he is entitled to know. [43]

In the same vein, the creation of the PTC is not justified by the Presidents power of control. Control is
essentially the power to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the
performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former with that of the latter. [47] Clearly, the power
of control is entirely different from the power to create public offices. The former is inherent in the Executive,
while the latter finds basis from either a valid delegation from Congress, or his inherent duty to faithfully execute
the laws.

The OSG also cites the recent case of Banda v. Ermita,[44] where it was held that the President has the
power to reorganize the offices and agencies in the executive department in line with his constitutionally granted
power of control and by virtue of a valid delegation of the legislative power to reorganize executive offices under
existing statutes.
Thus, the OSG concludes that the power of control necessarily includes the power to create offices. For
the OSG, the President may create the PTC in order to, among others, put a closure to the reported large scale graft
and corruption in the government.[45]
The question, therefore, before the Court is this: Does the creation of the PTC fall within the ambit of
the power to reorganize as expressed in Section 31 of the Revised Administrative Code? Section 31 contemplates
reorganization as limited by the following functional and structural lines: (1) restructuring the internal
organization of the Office of the President Proper by abolishing, consolidating or merging units thereof or
transferring functions from one unit to another; (2) transferring any function under the Office of the President to
any other Department/Agency or vice versa; or (3) transferring any agency under the Office of the President to any

The question is this, is there a valid delegation of power from Congress, empowering the President to
create a public office?
According to the OSG, the power to create a truth commission pursuant to the above provision finds
statutory basis under P.D. 1416, as amended by P.D. No. 1772.[48]The said law granted the President the
continuing authority to reorganize the national government, including the power to group, consolidate bureaus and
agencies, to abolish offices, to transfer functions, to create and classify functions, services and activities, transfer
appropriations, and to standardize salaries and materials. This decree, in relation to Section 20, Title I, Book III of
E.O. 292 has been invoked in several cases such as Larin v. Executive Secretary.[49]
The Court, however, declines to recognize P.D. No. 1416 as a justification for the President to create a
public office. Said decree is already stale, anachronistic and inoperable. P.D. No. 1416 was a delegation to then
President Marcos of the authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the national government including
the power to create offices and transfer appropriations pursuant to one of the purposes of the decree, embodied in
its last Whereas clause:

11
WHEREAS, the transition towards the parliamentary form of government will
necessitate flexibility in the organization of the national government.

Clearly, as it was only for the purpose of providing manageability and resiliency during the interim, P.D.
No. 1416, as amended by P.D. No. 1772, became functus oficioupon the convening of the First Congress, as
expressly provided in Section 6, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution. In fact, even the Solicitor General agrees
with this view. Thus:

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO: Because P.D. 1416 was enacted was the last whereas
clause of P.D. 1416 says it was enacted
to prepare the transition from presidential
to parliamentary. Now, in a parliamentary
form of government, the legislative and
executive powers are fused, correct?
SOLICITOR GENERAL CADIZ:

Yes, Your Honor.

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO:

That is why, that P.D. 1416 was issued. Now would you
agree with me that P.D. 1416 should not
be considered effective anymore upon the
promulgation, adoption, ratification of the
1987 Constitution.

SOLICITOR GENERAL CADIZ:


ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO:

SOLICITOR GENERAL CADIZ:

Not the whole of P.D. [No.] 1416, Your Honor.


The power of the President to reorganize the entire
National Government is deemed repealed,
at least, upon the adoption of the 1987
Constitution, correct.

x x x. The 1987 Constitution, however, brought back the presidential system of


government and restored the separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers by their
actual distribution among three distinct branches of government with provision for checks and
balances.
It would not be accurate, however, to state that "executive power" is the power to
enforce the laws, for the President is head of state as well as head of government and whatever
powers inhere in such positions pertain to the office unless the Constitution itself withholds
it. Furthermore, the Constitution itself provides that the execution of the laws is only one of
the powers of the President. It also grants the President other powers that do not involve the
execution of any provision of law, e.g., his power over the country's foreign relations.

On these premises, we hold the view that although the 1987 Constitution imposes
limitations on the exercise of specific powers of the President, it maintains intact what is
traditionally considered as within the scope of "executive power." Corollarily, the powers of
the President cannot be said to be limited only to the specific powers enumerated in the
Constitution. In other words, executive power is more than the sum of specific powers so
enumerated.
It has been advanced that whatever power inherent in the government that is neither
legislative nor judicial has to be executive. x x x.

Indeed, the Executive is given much leeway in ensuring that our laws are faithfully executed. As stated
above, the powers of the President are not limited to those specific powers under the Constitution. [53] One of the
recognized powers of the President granted pursuant to this constitutionally-mandated duty is the power to
create ad hoccommittees. This flows from the obvious need to ascertain facts and determine if laws have been
faithfully executed. Thus, in Department of Health v. Camposano,[54] the authority of the President to issue
Administrative Order No. 298, creating an investigative committee to look into the administrative charges filed
against the employees of the Department of Health for the anomalous purchase of medicines was upheld. In said
case, it was ruled:

Yes, Your Honor.[50]

While the power to create a truth commission cannot pass muster on the basis of P.D. No. 1416 as amended
by P.D. No. 1772, the creation of the PTC finds justification under Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution,
imposing upon the President the duty to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed. Section 17 reads:
Section 17. The President shall have control of all the executive departments,
bureaus, and offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed. (Emphasis
supplied).
As correctly pointed out by the respondents, the allocation of power in the three principal branches of
government is a grant of all powers inherent in them. The Presidents power to conduct investigations to aid him in
ensuring the faithful execution of laws in this case, fundamental laws on public accountability and transparency
is inherent in the Presidents powers as the Chief Executive. That the authority of the President to conduct
investigations and to create bodies to execute this power is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution or in
statutes does not mean that he is bereft of such authority.[51] As explained in the landmark case of Marcos v.
Manglapus:[52]

The Chief Executives power to create the Ad hoc Investigating Committee cannot
be doubted. Having been constitutionally granted full control of the Executive Department,
to which respondents belong, the President has the obligation to ensure that all executive
officials and employees faithfully comply with the law. With AO 298 as mandate, the legality
of the investigation is sustained. Such validity is not affected by the fact that the investigating
team and the PCAGC had the same composition, or that the former used the offices and
facilities of the latter in conducting the inquiry. [Emphasis supplied]
It should be stressed that the purpose of allowing ad hoc investigating bodies to exist is to allow an
inquiry into matters which the President is entitled to know so that he can be properly advised and guided in the
performance of his duties relative to the execution and enforcement of the laws of the land. And if history is to be
revisited, this was also the objective of the investigative bodies created in the past like the PCAC, PCAPE,
PARGO, the Feliciano Commission, the Melo Commission and the Zenarosa Commission. There being no
changes in the government structure, the Court is not inclined to declare such executive power as non-existent just
because the direction of the political winds have changed.

12
On the charge that Executive Order No. 1 transgresses the power of Congress to appropriate funds for
the operation of a public office, suffice it to say that there will be no appropriation but only an allotment or
allocations of existing funds already appropriated. Accordingly, there is no usurpation on the part of the
Executive of the power of Congress to appropriate funds. Further, there is no need to specify the amount to be
earmarked for the operation of the commission because, in the words of the Solicitor General, whatever funds the
Congress has provided for the Office of the President will be the very source of the funds for the
commission.[55] Moreover, since the amount that would be allocated to the PTC shall be subject to existing
auditing rules and regulations, there is no impropriety in the funding.
Power of the Truth Commission to Investigate
The Presidents power to conduct investigations to ensure that laws are faithfully executed is well
recognized. It flows from the faithful-execution clause of the Constitution under Article VII, Section 17
thereof.[56] As the Chief Executive, the president represents the government as a whole and sees to it that all laws
are enforced by the officials and employees of his department. He has the authority to directly assume the
functions of the executive department.[57]
Invoking this authority, the President constituted the PTC to primarily investigate reports of graft and
corruption and to recommend the appropriate action. As previously stated, no quasi-judicial powers have been
vested in the said body as it cannot adjudicate rights of persons who come before it. It has been said that Quasijudicial powers involve the power to hear and determine questions of fact to which the legislative policy is to
apply and to decide in accordance with the standards laid down by law itself in enforcing and administering the
same law.[58] In simpler terms, judicial discretion is involved in the exercise of these quasi-judicial power, such
that it is exclusively vested in the judiciary and must be clearly authorized by the legislature in the case of
administrative agencies.
The distinction between the power to investigate and the power to adjudicate was delineated by the
Court in Cario v. Commission on Human Rights.[59] Thus:
"Investigate," commonly understood, means to examine, explore, inquire or delve or
probe into, research on, study. The dictionary definition of "investigate" is "to observe or study
closely: inquire into systematically: "to search or inquire into: x x to subject to an official
probe x x: to conduct an official inquiry." The purpose of investigation, of course, is to
discover, to find out, to learn, obtain information. Nowhere included or intimated is the notion
of settling, deciding or resolving a controversy involved in the facts inquired into by
application of the law to the facts established by the inquiry.
The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o follow up step by
step by patient inquiry or observation. To trace or track; to search into; to examine and inquire
into with care and accuracy; to find out by careful inquisition; examination; the taking of
evidence; a legal inquiry;" "to inquire; to make an investigation," "investigation" being in turn
described as "(a)n administrative function, the exercise of which ordinarily does not require a
hearing. 2 Am J2d Adm L Sec. 257; x x an inquiry, judicial or otherwise, for the discovery and
collection of facts concerning a certain matter or matters."
"Adjudicate," commonly or popularly understood, means to adjudge, arbitrate,
judge, decide, determine, resolve, rule on, settle. The dictionary defines the term as "to settle
finally (the rights and duties of the parties to a court case) on the merits of issues raised: x x to
pass judgment on: settle judicially: x x act as judge." And "adjudge" means "to decide or rule
upon as a judge or with judicial or quasi-judicial powers: x x to award or grant judicially in a
case of controversy x x."

In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority.
To determine finally. Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense;" and "adjudge" means:
"To pass on judicially, to decide, settle or decree, or to sentence or condemn. x x. Implies a
judicial determination of a fact, and the entry of a judgment." [Italics included. Citations
Omitted]
Fact-finding is not adjudication and it cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of justice, or
even a quasi-judicial agency or office. The function of receiving evidence and ascertaining therefrom the facts of a
controversy is not a judicial function. To be considered as such, the act of receiving evidence and arriving at
factual conclusions in a controversy must be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to the factual
conclusions to the end that the controversy may be decided or resolved authoritatively, finally and definitively,
subject to appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law. [60] Even respondents themselves admit that the
commission is bereft of any quasi-judicial power.[61]
Contrary to petitioners apprehension, the PTC will not supplant the Ombudsman or the DOJ or erode their
respective powers. If at all, the investigative function of the commission will complement those of the two
offices. As pointed out by the Solicitor General, the recommendation to prosecute is but a consequence of the
overall task of the commission to conduct a fact-finding investigation.[62] The actual prosecution of suspected
offenders, much less adjudication on the merits of the charges against them, [63] is certainly not a function given to
the commission. The phrase, when in the course of its investigation, under Section 2(g), highlights this fact and
gives credence to a contrary interpretation from that of the petitioners. The function of determining probable
cause for the filing of the appropriate complaints before the courts remains to be with the DOJ and the
Ombudsman.[64]
At any rate, the Ombudsmans power to investigate under R.A. No. 6770 is not exclusive but is shared with
other similarly authorized government agencies. Thus, in the case of Ombudsman v. Galicia,[65] it was written:
This power of investigation granted to the Ombudsman by the 1987 Constitution and
The Ombudsman Act is not exclusive but is shared with other similarly authorized
government agencies such as the PCGG and judges of municipal trial courts and municipal
circuit trial courts. The power to conduct preliminary investigation on charges against public
employees and officials is likewise concurrently shared with the Department of Justice.
Despite the passage of the Local Government Code in 1991, the Ombudsman retains
concurrent jurisdiction with the Office of the President and the local Sanggunians to
investigate complaints against local elective officials. [Emphasis supplied].

Also, Executive Order No. 1 cannot contravene the power of the Ombudsman to investigate criminal cases
under Section 15 (1) of R.A. No. 6770, which states:
(1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or
omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission
appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. It has primary jurisdiction over cases
cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of its primary jurisdiction, it may take
over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of government, the investigation of
such cases. [Emphases supplied]

The act of investigation by the Ombudsman as enunciated above contemplates the conduct of a
preliminary investigation or the determination of the existence of probable cause. This is categorically out of the
PTCs sphere of functions. Its power to investigate is limited to obtaining facts so that it can advise and guide the

President in the performance of his duties relative to the execution and enforcement of the laws of the land. In this
regard, the PTC commits no act of usurpation of the Ombudsmans primordial duties.
The same holds true with respect to the DOJ. Its authority under Section 3 (2), Chapter 1, Title III, Book IV
in the Revised Administrative Code is by no means exclusive and, thus, can be shared with a body likewise tasked
to investigate the commission of crimes.
Finally, nowhere in Executive Order No. 1 can it be inferred that the findings of the PTC are to be accorded
conclusiveness. Much like its predecessors, the Davide Commission, the Feliciano Commission and the Zenarosa
Commission, its findings would, at best, be recommendatory in nature. And being so, the Ombudsman and the
DOJ have a wider degree of latitude to decide whether or not to reject the recommendation. These offices,
therefore, are not deprived of their mandated duties but will instead be aided by the reports of the PTC for possible
indictments for violations of graft laws.
Violation of the Equal Protection Clause
Although the purpose of the Truth Commission falls within the investigative power of the President, the
Court finds difficulty in upholding the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 1 in view of its apparent
transgression of the equal protection clause enshrined in Section 1, Article III (Bill of Rights) of the 1987
Constitution. Section 1 reads:
Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due
process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.
The petitioners assail Executive Order No. 1 because it is violative of this constitutional
safeguard. They contend that it does not apply equally to all members of the same class such that the intent of
singling out the previous administration as its sole object makes the PTC an adventure in partisan
hostility.[66] Thus, in order to be accorded with validity, the commission must also cover reports of graft and
corruption in virtually all administrations previous to that of former President Arroyo. [67]
The petitioners argue that the search for truth behind the reported cases of graft and corruption must
encompass acts committed not only during the administration of former President Arroyo but also during prior
administrations where the same magnitude of controversies and anomalies[68] were reported to have been
committed against the Filipino people. They assail the classification formulated by the respondents as it does not
fall under the recognized exceptions because first, there is no substantial distinction between the group of
officials targeted for investigation by Executive Order No. 1 and other groups or persons who abused their public
office for personal gain; and second, the selective classification is not germane to the purpose of Executive Order
No. 1 to end corruption.[69] In order to attain constitutional permission, the petitioners advocate that the
commission should deal with graft and grafters prior and subsequent to the Arroyo administration with the strong
arm of the law with equal force.[70]

13
distinctions and is germane to the evils which the Executive Order seeks to correct. [72] To distinguish the Arroyo
administration from past administrations, it recited the following:
First. E.O. No. 1 was issued in view of widespread reports of large scale graft and
corruption in the previous administration which have eroded public confidence in public
institutions. There is, therefore, an urgent call for the determination of the truth regarding
certain reports of large scale graft and corruption in the government and to put a closure to
them by the filing of the appropriate cases against those involved, if warranted, and to deter
others from committing the evil, restore the peoples faith and confidence in the Government
and in their public servants.
Second. The segregation of the preceding administration as the object of fact-finding
is warranted by the reality that unlike with administrations long gone, the current
administration will most likely bear the immediate consequence of the policies of the previous
administration.
Third. The classification of the previous administration as a separate class for
investigation lies in the reality that the evidence of possible criminal activity, the evidence that
could lead to recovery of public monies illegally dissipated, the policy lessons to be learned to
ensure that anti-corruption laws are faithfully executed, are more easily established in the
regime that immediately precede the current administration.
Fourth. Many administrations subject the transactions of their predecessors to
investigations to provide closure to issues that are pivotal to national life or even as a routine
measure of due diligence and good housekeeping by a nascent administration like the
Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), created by the late President Corazon
C. Aquino under Executive Order No. 1 to pursue the recovery of ill-gotten wealth of her
predecessor
former
President
Ferdinand
Marcos
and
his
cronies,
and
the Saguisag Commission created by former President Joseph Estrada under Administrative
Order No, 53, to form an ad-hoc and independent citizens committee to investigate all the
facts and circumstances surrounding Philippine Centennial projects of his predecessor,
former President Fidel V. Ramos.[73] [Emphases supplied]
Concept of the Equal Protection Clause
One of the basic principles on which this government was founded is that of the equality of right which
is embodied in Section 1, Article III of the 1987 Constitution. The equal protection of the laws is embraced in the
concept of due process, as every unfair discrimination offends the requirements of justice and fair play. It has been
embodied in a separate clause, however, to provide for a more specific guaranty against any form of undue
favoritism or hostility from the government. Arbitrariness in general may be challenged on the basis of the due
process clause. But if the particular act assailed partakes of an unwarranted partiality or prejudice, the sharper
weapon to cut it down is the equal protectionclause.[74]

Position of respondents
According to respondents, while Executive Order No. 1 identifies the previous administration as the
initial subject of the investigation, following Section 17 thereof, the PTC will not confine itself to cases of large
scale graft and corruption solely during the said administration.[71] Assuming arguendo that the commission
would confine its proceedings to officials of the previous administration, the petitioners argue that no offense is
committed against the equal protection clause for the segregation of the transactions of public officers during the
previous administration as possible subjects of investigation is a valid classification based on substantial

According to a long line of decisions, equal protection simply requires that all persons or things
similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed.[75] It requires
public bodies and institutions to treat similarly situated individuals in a similar manner. [76] The purpose of the
equal protection clause is to secure every person within a states jurisdiction against intentional and arbitrary
discrimination, whether occasioned by the express terms of a statue or by its improper execution through the
states duly constituted authorities.[77] In other words, the concept of equal justice under the law requires the
state to govern impartially, and it may not draw distinctions between individuals solely on differences that are
irrelevant to a legitimate governmental objective.[78]

The equal protection clause is aimed at all official state actions, not just those of the legislature.[79] Its
inhibitions cover all the departments of the government including the political and executive departments, and
extend to all actions of a state denying equal protection of the laws, through whatever agency or whatever guise is
taken. [80]
It, however, does not require the universal application of the laws to all persons or things without
distinction. What it simply requires is equality among equals as determined according to a valid classification.
Indeed, the equal protection clause permits classification. Such classification, however, to be valid must pass the
test of reasonableness. The test has four requisites: (1) The classification rests on substantial distinctions; (2) It is
germane to the purpose of the law; (3) It is not limited to existing conditions only; and (4) It applies equally to all
members of the same class.[81] Superficial differences do not make for a valid classification.[82]
For a classification to meet the requirements of constitutionality, it must include or embrace all persons
who naturally belong to the class.[83] The classification will be regarded as invalid if all the members of the class
are not similarly treated, both as to rights conferred and obligations imposed. It is not necessary that the
classification be made with absolute symmetry, in the sense that the members of the class should possess the same
characteristics in equal degree. Substantial similarity will suffice; and as long as this is achieved, all those covered
by the classification are to be treated equally. The mere fact that an individual belonging to a class differs from
the other members, as long as that class is substantially distinguishable from all others, does not justify the nonapplication of the law to him.[84]
The classification must not be based on existing circumstances only, or so constituted as to preclude
addition to the number included in the class. It must be of such a nature as to embrace all those who may thereafter
be in similar circumstances and conditions. It must not leave out or underinclude those that should otherwise fall
into a certain classification. As elucidated in Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers' Union[85] and reiterated in a
long line of cases,[86]
The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of equality in the
application of the laws upon all citizens of the state. It is not, therefore, a requirement, in order
to avoid the constitutional prohibition against inequality, that every man, woman and child
should be affected alike by a statute. Equality of operation of statutes does not mean
indiscriminate operation on persons merely as such, but on persons according to the
circumstances surrounding them. It guarantees equality, not identity of rights. The Constitution
does not require that things which are different in fact be treated in law as though they were
the same. The equal protection clause does not forbid discrimination as to things that are
different. It does not prohibit legislation which is limited either in the object to which it is
directed or by the territory within which it is to operate.
The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows classification.
Classification in law, as in the other departments of knowledge or practice, is the grouping of
things in speculation or practice because they agree with one another in certain particulars. A
law is not invalid because of simple inequality. The very idea of classification is that of
inequality, so that it goes without saying that the mere fact of inequality in no manner
determines the matter of constitutionality. All that is required of a valid classification is that it
be reasonable, which means that the classification should be based on substantial distinctions
which make for real differences, that it must be germane to the purpose of the law; that it must
not be limited to existing conditions only; and that it must apply equally to each member of the
class. This Court has held that the standard is satisfied if the classification or distinction is
based on a reasonable foundation or rational basis and is not palpably arbitrary. [Citations
omitted]

14
Applying these precepts to this case, Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as violative of the
equal protection clause. The clear mandate of the envisioned truth commission is to investigate and find out the
truth concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during the previous administration[87] only. The
intent to single out the previous administration is plain, patent and manifest. Mention of it has been made in at
least three portions of the questioned executive order. Specifically, these are:
WHEREAS, there is a need for a separate body dedicated solely to investigating and finding
out the truth concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during theprevious
administration, and which will recommend the prosecution of the offenders and secure justice
for all;
SECTION 1. Creation of a Commission. There is hereby created the PHILIPPINE TRUTH
COMMISSION, hereinafter referred to as the COMMISSION, which shall primarily seek
and find the truth on, and toward this end, investigate reports of graft and corruption of such
scale and magnitude that shock and offend the moral and ethical sensibilities of the people,
committed by public officers and employees, their co-principals, accomplices and accessories
from the private sector, if any, during the previous administration; and thereafter recommend
the appropriate action or measure to be taken thereon to ensure that the full measure of justice
shall be served without fear or favor.
SECTION 2. Powers and Functions. The Commission, which shall have all the powers of an
investigative body under Section 37, Chapter 9, Book I of the Administrative Code of 1987, is
primarily tasked to conduct a thorough fact-finding investigation of reported cases of graft and
corruption referred to in Section 1, involving third level public officers and higher, their coprincipals, accomplices and accessories from the private sector, if any, during the previous
administration and thereafter submit its finding and recommendations to the President,
Congress and the Ombudsman. [Emphases supplied]
In this regard, it must be borne in mind that the Arroyo administration is but just a member of a class,
that is, a class of past administrations. It is not a class of its own. Not to include past administrations similarly
situated constitutes arbitrariness which the equal protection clause cannot sanction. Such discriminating
differentiation clearly reverberates to label the commission as a vehicle for vindictiveness and selective
retribution.
Though the OSG enumerates several differences between the Arroyo administration and other past
administrations, these distinctions are not substantial enough to merit the restriction of the investigation to the
previous administration only. The reports of widespread corruption in the Arroyo administration cannot be
taken as basis for distinguishing said administration from earlier administrations which were also blemished by
similar widespread reports of impropriety. They are not inherent in, and do not inure solely to, the Arroyo
administration. As Justice Isagani Cruz put it, Superficial differences do not make for a valid classification. [88]

The public needs to be enlightened why Executive Order No. 1 chooses to limit the scope of the
intended investigation to the previous administration only. The OSG ventures to opine that to include other past
administrations, at this point, may unnecessarily overburden the commission and lead it to lose its
effectiveness.[89] The reason given is specious. It is without doubt irrelevant to the legitimate and noble objective
of the PTC to stamp out or end corruption and the evil it breeds.[90]
The probability that there would be difficulty in unearthing evidence or that the earlier reports involving
the earlier administrations were already inquired into is beside the point. Obviously, deceased presidents and cases
which have already prescribed can no longer be the subjects of inquiry by the PTC. Neither is the PTC expected to

conduct simultaneous investigations of previous administrations, given the bodys limited time and
resources. The law does not require the impossible (Lex non cogit ad impossibilia).[91]
Given the foregoing physical and legal impossibility, the Court logically recognizes the unfeasibility of
investigating almost a centurys worth of graft cases. However, the fact remains that Executive Order No. 1
suffers from arbitrary classification. The PTC, to be true to its mandate of searching for the truth, must not
exclude the other past administrations. The PTC must, at least, have the authority to investigate all past
administrations. While reasonable prioritization is permitted, it should not be arbitrary lest it be struck down for
being unconstitutional. In the often quoted language of Yick Wo v. Hopkins,[92]

Though the law itself be fair on its face and impartial in appearance, yet, if applied
and administered by public authority with an evil eye and an unequal hand, so as practically
to make unjust and illegal discriminations between persons in similar circumstances, material
to their rights, the denial of equal justice is still within the prohibition of the
constitution. [Emphasis supplied]
It could be argued that considering that the PTC is an ad hoc body, its scope is limited. The Court,
however, is of the considered view that although its focus is restricted, the constitutional guarantee of equal
protection under the laws should not in any way be circumvented. The Constitution is the fundamental and
paramount law of the nation to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights
determined and all public authority administered.[93] Laws that do not conform to the Constitution should be
stricken down for being unconstitutional.[94] While the thrust of the PTC is specific, that is, for investigation of
acts of graft and corruption, Executive Order No. 1, to survive, must be read together with the provisions of the
Constitution. To exclude the earlier administrations in the guise of substantial distinctions would only confirm
the petitioners lament that the subject executive order is only an adventure in partisan hostility. In the case
of US v. Cyprian,[95] it was written: A rather limited number of such classifications have routinely been held or
assumed to be arbitrary; those include: race, national origin, gender, political activity or membership in a political
party, union activity or membership in a labor union, or more generally the exercise of first amendment rights.

15
particular act, event or report to be focused on unlike the investigative commissions created in the past. The equal
protection clause is violated by purposeful and intentional discrimination.[103]
To disprove petitioners contention that there is deliberate discrimination, the OSG clarifies that the
commission does not only confine itself to cases of large scale graft and corruption committed during the previous
administration.[104] The OSG points to Section 17 of Executive Order No. 1, which provides:

SECTION 17. Special Provision Concerning Mandate. If and when in the judgment of the
President there is a need to expand the mandate of the Commission as defined in Section 1
hereof to include the investigation of cases and instances of graft and corruption during the
prior administrations, such mandate may be so extended accordingly by way of a supplemental
Executive Order.

The Court is not convinced. Although Section 17 allows the President the discretion to expand the
scope of investigations of the PTC so as to include the acts of graft and corruption committed in other past
administrations, it does not guarantee that they would be covered in the future. Such expanded mandate of the
commission will still depend on the whim and caprice of the President. If he would decide not to include them,
the section would then be meaningless. This will only fortify the fears of the petitioners that the Executive Order
No. 1 was crafted to tailor-fit the prosecution of officials and personalities of the Arroyo administration. [105]

The Court tried to seek guidance from the pronouncement in the case of Virata v.
Sandiganbayan,[106] that the PCGG Charter (composed of Executive Orders Nos. 1, 2 and 14) does not violate the
equal protection clause. The decision, however, was devoid of any discussion on how such conclusory statement
was arrived at, the principal issue in said case being only the sufficiency of a cause of action.
A final word

To reiterate, in order for a classification to meet the requirements of constitutionality, it must include or
embrace all persons who naturally belong to the class.[96] Such a classification must not be based on existing
circumstances only, or so constituted as to preclude additions to the number included within a class, but must be of
such a nature as to embrace all those who may thereafter be in similar circumstances and conditions. Furthermore,
all who are in situations and circumstances which are relative to the discriminatory legislation and which are
indistinguishable from those of the members of the class must be brought under the influence of the law and
treated by it in the same way as are the members of the class.[97]
The Court is not unaware that mere underinclusiveness is not fatal to the validity of a law under the
equal protection clause.[98] Legislation is not unconstitutional merely because it is not all-embracing and does
not include all the evils within its reach.[99] It has been written that a regulation challenged under the equal
protection clause is not devoid of a rational predicate simply because it happens to be incomplete. [100] In several
instances, the underinclusiveness was not considered a valid reason to strike down a law or regulation where the
purpose can be attained in future legislations or regulations. These cases refer to the step by step
process.[101] With regard to equal protection claims, a legislature does not run the risk of losing the entire
remedial scheme simply because it fails, through inadvertence or otherwise, to cover every evil that might
conceivably have been attacked.[102]
In Executive Order No. 1, however, there is no inadvertence. That the previous administration was
picked out was deliberate and intentional as can be gleaned from the fact that it was underscored at least three
times in the assailed executive order. It must be noted that Executive Order No. 1 does not even mention any

The issue that seems to take center stage at present is - whether or not the Supreme Court, in the exercise
of its constitutionally mandated power of Judicial Review with respect to recent initiatives of the legislature and
the executive department, is exercising undue interference. Is the Highest Tribunal, which is expected to be the
protector of the Constitution, itself guilty of violating fundamental tenets like the doctrine of separation of
powers? Time and again, this issue has been addressed by the Court, but it seems that the present political
situation calls for it to once again explain the legal basis of its action lest it continually be accused of being a
hindrance to the nations thrust to progress.
The Philippine Supreme Court, according to Article VIII, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution, is vested
with Judicial Power that 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 of abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
government.
Furthermore, in Section 4(2) thereof, it is vested with the power of judicial review which is the power to
declare a treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction,
ordinance, or regulation unconstitutional. This power also includes the duty to rule on the constitutionality of the
application, or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances, and other
regulations. These provisions, however, have been fertile grounds of conflict between the Supreme Court, on one

hand, and the two co-equal bodies of government, on the other. Many times the Court has been accused of
asserting superiority over the other departments.
To answer this accusation, the words of Justice Laurel would be a good source of enlightenment, to wit:
And when the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the
other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn
and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the
Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and
guarantees to them.[107]
Thus, the Court, in exercising its power of judicial review, is not imposing its own will upon a co-equal
body but rather simply making sure that any act of government is done in consonance with the authorities and
rights allocated to it by the Constitution. And, if after said review, the Court finds no constitutional violations of
any sort, then, it has no more authority of proscribing the actions under review. Otherwise, the Court will not be
deterred to pronounce said act as void and unconstitutional.
It cannot be denied that most government actions are inspired with noble intentions, all geared towards
the betterment of the nation and its people. But then again, it is important to remember this ethical principle: The
end does not justify the means. No matter how noble and worthy of admiration the purpose of an act, but if the
means to be employed in accomplishing it is simply irreconcilable with constitutional parameters, then it cannot
still be allowed.[108] The Court cannot just turn a blind eye and simply let it pass. It will continue to uphold the
Constitution and its enshrined principles.
The Constitution must ever remain supreme. All must bow to the mandate of this
law. Expediency must not be allowed to sap its strength nor greed for power debase its
rectitude.[109]

16
accessories during the previous administration, and to submit its finding and recommendations to the President,
Congress and the Ombudsman. PTC has all the powers of an investigative body. But it is not a quasi-judicial body
as it cannot adjudicate, arbitrate, resolve, settle, or render awards in disputes between contending parties. All it can
do is gather, collect and assess evidence of graft and corruption and make recommendations. It may have
subpoena powers but it has no power to cite people in contempt, much less order their arrest. Although it is a factfinding body, it cannot determine from such facts if probable cause exists as to warrant the filing of an information
in our courts of law.
Petitioners asked the Court to declare it unconstitutional and to enjoin the PTC from performing its functions.
They argued that:
(a) E.O. No. 1 violates separation of powers as it arrogates the power of the Congress to create a public office and
appropriate funds for its operation.
(b) The provision of Book III, Chapter 10, Section 31 of the Administrative Code of 1987 cannot legitimize E.O.
No. 1 because the delegated authority of the President to structurally reorganize the Office of the President to
achieve economy, simplicity and efficiency does not include the power to create an entirely new public office
which was hitherto inexistent like the Truth Commission.
(c) E.O. No. 1 illegally amended the Constitution and statutes when it vested the Truth Commission with quasijudicial powers duplicating, if not superseding, those of the Office of the Ombudsman created under the 1987
Constitution and the DOJ created under the Administrative Code of 1987.
(d) E.O. No. 1 violates the equal protection clause as it selectively targets for investigation and prosecution
officials and personnel of the previous administration as if corruption is their peculiar species even as it excludes
those of the other administrations, past and present, who may be indictable.
Respondents, through OSG, questioned the legal standing of petitioners and argued that:

Lest it be misunderstood, this is not the death knell for a truth commission as nobly envisioned by the
present administration. Perhaps a revision of the executive issuance so as to include the earlier past
administrations would allow it to pass the test of reasonableness and not be an affront to the
Constitution. Of all the branches of the government, it is the judiciary which is the most interested in knowing the
truth and so it will not allow itself to be a hindrance or obstacle to its attainment. It must, however, be emphasized
that the search for the truth must be within constitutional bounds for ours is still a government of laws and not of
men.[110]
WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. Executive Order No. 1 is hereby
declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it is violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
As also prayed for, the respondents are hereby ordered to cease and desist from carrying out the
provisions of Executive Order No. 1.
SO ORDERED.

1] E.O. No. 1 does not arrogate the powers of Congress because the Presidents executive power and power of
control necessarily include the inherent power to conduct investigations to ensure that laws are faithfully executed
and that, in any event, the Constitution, Revised Administrative Code of 1987, PD No. 141616 (as amended), R.A.
No. 9970 and settled jurisprudence, authorize the President to create or form such bodies.
2] E.O. No. 1 does not usurp the power of Congress to appropriate funds because there is no appropriation but a
mere allocation of funds already appropriated by Congress.
3] The Truth Commission does not duplicate or supersede the functions of the Ombudsman and the DOJ, because
it is a fact-finding body and not a quasi-judicial body and its functions do not duplicate, supplant or erode the
latters jurisdiction.
4] The Truth Commission does not violate the equal protection clause because it was validly created for laudable
purposes.
ISSUES:

FACTS:
Pres. Aquino signed E. O. No. 1 establishing Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 (PTC) dated July 30, 2010.
PTC is a mere ad hoc body formed under the Office of the President with the primary task to investigate reports of
graft and corruption committed by third-level public officers and employees, their co-principals, accomplices and

1. WON the petitioners have legal standing to file the petitions and question E. O. No. 1;
2. WON E. O. No. 1 violates the principle of separation of powers by usurping the powers of Congress to create
and to appropriate funds for public offices, agencies and commissions;
3. WON E. O. No. 1 supplants the powers of the Ombudsman and the DOJ;
4. WON E. O. No. 1 violates the equal protection clause.

RULING:
The power of judicial review is subject to limitations, to wit: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy
calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have the standing to question the
validity of the subject act or issuance; otherwise stated, he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case
such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of
constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very
lis mota of the case.
1. The petition primarily invokes usurpation of the power of the Congress as a body to which they belong as
members. To the extent the powers of Congress are impaired, so is the power of each member thereof, since his
office confers a right to participate in the exercise of the powers of that institution.
Legislators have a legal standing to see to it that the prerogative, powers and privileges vested by the Constitution
in their office remain inviolate. Thus, they are allowed to question the validity of any official action which, to their
mind, infringes on their prerogatives as legislators.
With regard to Biraogo, he has not shown that he sustained, or is in danger of sustaining, any personal and direct
injury attributable to the implementation of E. O. No. 1.
Locus standi is a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question. In private suits, standing is
governed by the real-parties-in interest rule. It provides that every action must be prosecuted or defended in the
name of the real party in interest. Real-party-in interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the
judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the avails of the suit.

17
3. PTC will not supplant the Ombudsman or the DOJ or erode their respective powers. If at all, the investigative
function of the commission will complement those of the two offices. The function of determining probable cause
for the filing of the appropriate complaints before the courts remains to be with the DOJ and the Ombudsman.
PTCs power to investigate is limited to obtaining facts so that it can advise and guide the President in the
performance of his duties relative to the execution and enforcement of the laws of the land.
4. Court finds difficulty in upholding the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 1 in view of its apparent
transgression of the equal protection clause enshrined in Section 1, Article III (Bill of Rights) of the 1987
Constitution.
Equal protection requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights
conferred and responsibilities imposed. It requires public bodies and institutions to treat similarly situated
individuals in a similar manner. The purpose of the equal protection clause is to secure every person within a
states jurisdiction against intentional and arbitrary discrimination, whether occasioned by the express terms of a
statue or by its improper execution through the states duly constituted authorities.
There must be equality among equals as determined according to a valid classification. Equal protection clause
permits classification. Such classification, however, to be valid must pass the test of reasonableness. The test has
four requisites: (1) The classification rests on substantial distinctions; (2) It is germane to the purpose of the law;
(3) It is not limited to existing conditions only; and (4) It applies equally to all members of the same class.
The classification will be regarded as invalid if all the members of the class are not similarly treated, both as to
rights conferred and obligations imposed.

Difficulty of determining locus standi arises in public suits. Here, the plaintiff who asserts a public right in
assailing an allegedly illegal official action, does so as a representative of the general public. He has to show that
he is entitled to seek judicial protection. He has to make out a sufficient interest in the vindication of the public
order and the securing of relief as a citizen or taxpayer.

Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as violative of the equal protection clause. The clear mandate of
truth commission is to investigate and find out the truth concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption
during the previous administration only. The intent to single out the previous administration is plain, patent and
manifest.

The person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such
that he has sustained, or will sustain direct injury as a result. The Court, however, finds reason in Biraogos
assertion that the petition covers matters of transcendental importance to justify the exercise of jurisdiction by the
Court. There are constitutional issues in the petition which deserve the attention of this Court in view of their
seriousness, novelty and weight as precedents

Arroyo administration is but just a member of a class, that is, a class of past administrations. It is not a class of its
own. Not to include past administrations similarly situated constitutes arbitrariness which the equal protection
clause cannot sanction. Such discriminating differentiation clearly reverberates to label the commission as a
vehicle for vindictiveness and selective retribution. Superficial differences do not make for a valid classification.

The Executive is given much leeway in ensuring that our laws are faithfully executed. The powers of the President
are not limited to those specific powers under the Constitution. One of the recognized powers of the President
granted pursuant to this constitutionally-mandated duty is the power to create ad hoc committees. This flows from
the obvious need to ascertain facts and determine if laws have been faithfully executed. The purpose of allowing
ad hoc investigating bodies to exist is to allow an inquiry into matters which the President is entitled to know so
that he can be properly advised and guided in the performance of his duties relative to the execution and
enforcement of the laws of the land.
2. There will be no appropriation but only an allotment or allocations of existing funds already appropriated. There
is no usurpation on the part of the Executive of the power of Congress to appropriate funds. There is no need to
specify the amount to be earmarked for the operation of the commission because, whatever funds the Congress has
provided for the Office of the President will be the very source of the funds for the commission. The amount that
would be allocated to the PTC shall be subject to existing auditing rules and regulations so there is no impropriety
in the funding.

The PTC must not exclude the other past administrations. The PTC must, at least, have the authority to investigate
all past administrations.
The Constitution is the fundamental and paramount law of the nation to which all other laws must conform and in
accordance with which all private rights determined and all public authority administered. Laws that do not
conform to the Constitution should be stricken down for being unconstitutional.
WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. Executive Order No. 1 is hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL
insofar as it is violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
FACTS: The genesis of the foregoing cases can be traced to the events prior to the historic May 2010 elections,
when then Senator Benigno Simeon Aquino III declared his staunch condemnation of graft and corruption with his
slogan, "Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap." The Filipino people, convinced of his sincerity and of his ability
to carry out this noble objective, catapulted the good senator to the presidency.
The first case is G.R. No. 192935, a special civil action for prohibition instituted by petitioner Louis Biraogo
(Biraogo) in his capacity as a citizen and taxpayer. Biraogo assails Executive Order No. 1 for being violative of

18
the legislative power of Congress under Section 1, Article VI of the Constitution as it usurps the constitutional
authority of the legislature to create a public office and to appropriate funds therefor.

INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE, SENATOR AQUILINO M. PIMENTEL III, and DOJ-COMELEC


FACT FINDING TEAM, Respondents.

Violation of the Equal Protection Clause

For resolution are the separate motions for reconsideration filed by movants Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) 1 in
G.R. No. 199118 and Jose Miguel T. Arroyo (Mike Arroyo ) 2 in G.R. No. 199082 praying that the Court take a
second look at our September 18, 2012 Decision3 dismissing their petitions and supplemental petitions against
respondents Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Department of Justice (DOJ), Senator Aquilino M. Pimentel
III (Senator Pimentel), Joint DOJ-Comelec Preliminary Investigation Committee (Joint Committee) and DOJComelec Fact-Finding Team (Fact-Finding Team), et al.

The petitioners assail Executive Order No. 1 because it is violative of this constitutional safeguard. They contend
that it does not apply equally to all members of the same class such that the intent of singling out the "previous
administration" as its sole object makes the PTC an "adventure in partisan hostility." Thus, in order to be accorded
with validity, the commission must also cover reports of graft and corruption in virtually all administrations
previous to that of former President Arroyo.
The equal protection clause is aimed at all official state actions, not just those of the legislature. Its inhibitions
cover all the departments of the government including the political and executive departments, and extend to all
actions of a state denying equal protection of the laws, through whatever agency or whatever guise is taken.
Applying these precepts to this case, Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as violative of the equal
protection clause. The clear mandate of the envisioned truth commission is to investigate and find out the truth
"concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during the previous administration"only. The intent to
single out the previous administration is plain, patent and manifest. Mention of it has been made in at least three
portions of the questioned executive order.
G.R. No. 199082

For a better perspective, we briefly state the relevant factual and procedural antecedents as found by the Court in
the assailed decision, to wit:
On August 15, 2011, the Comelec and the DOJ issued Joint Order No. 001-2011 creating and constituting a Joint
Committee and Fact-Finding Team (referred to as Joint Panel) on the 2004 and 2007 National Elections electoral
fraud and manipulation cases. The Joint Committee was mandated to conduct the necessary preliminary
investigation on the basis of the evidence gathered and the charges recommended by the Fact-Finding Team. The
Fact-Finding Team, on the other hand, was created for the purpose of gathering real, documentary, and testimonial
evidence which can be utilized in the preliminary investigation to be conducted by the Joint Committee. Pursuant
to Section 74 of the Joint Order, on August 23, 2011, the Joint Committee promulgated its Rules of Procedure.

July 23, 2013

JOSE MIGUEL T. ARROYO, Petitioner,


vs.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE; COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; HON. LEILA DE LIMA, in her
capacity as Secretary of the Department of Justice; HON. SIXTO BRILLANTES, JR., in his capacity as
Chairperson of the Commission on Elections; and the JOINT DOJ-COMELEC PRELIMINARY
INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE and FACT-FINDING TEAM, Respondents.
G.R. No. 199085
BENJAMIN S. ABALOS, SR., Petitioner,
vs.
HON. LEILA DE LIMA, in capacity as Secretary of Justice; HON. SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR., in his
capacity as COMELEC Chairperson; RENE V. SARMIENTO, LUCENITO N. TAGLE, ARMANDO V.
VELASCO, ELIAS R. YUSOPH, CHRISTIAN ROBERT S. LIM AND AUGUSTO C. LAGMAN, in their
capacity as COMELEC COMMISSIONERS; CLARO A. ARELLANO, GEORGE C. DEE, JACINTO G.
ANG, ROMEO B. FORTES AND MICHAEL D. VILLARET, in their capacity as CHAIRPERSON AND
MEMBERS, RESPECTIVELY, OF THE JOINT DOJ-COMELEC PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION
COMMITTEE ON THE 2004 AND 2007 ELECTION FRAUD,Respondents.
G.R. No. 199118
GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, Petitioner,
vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, represented by Chairperson Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr., DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE, represented by Secretary Leila M. De Lima, JOINT DOJ-COMELEC PRELIMINARY

In its Initial Report5 dated October 20, 2011, the Fact-Finding Team concluded that manipulation of the results in
the May 14, 2007 senatorial elections in the provinces of North and South Cotabato, and Maguindanao was indeed
perpetrated.6 The Fact-Finding Team recommended, among others, that petitioner Benjamin S. Abalos, Sr.
(Abalos) be subjected to preliminary investigation for electoral sabotage for conspiring to manipulate the election
results in North and South Cotabato; that GMA and Abalos be subjected to another preliminary investigation for
manipulating the election results in Maguindanao;7 and, that Mike Arroyo be subjected to further
investigation.8 The case was docketed as DOJ-Comelec Case No. 001-2011.
Meanwhile, on October 17, 2011, Senator Pimentel filed a ComplaintAffidavit 9 for Electoral Sabotage against
petitioners and twelve others, and several John Does and Jane Does. The case was docketed as DOJ-Comelec Case
No. 002-2011.
On October 24, 2011, the Joint Committee issued two subpoenas against petitioners in DOJ-Comelec Case Nos.
001-2011 and 002-2011.10 On November 3, 2011, petitioners, through counsel, appeared before the Joint
Committee11 and respondents therein were ordered to submit their Counter-Affidavits by November 14, 2011.12
Thereafter, petitioners filed before the Court separate Petitions for Certiorari and Prohibition with Prayer for the
Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction assailing the creation of
the Joint Panel.13 The petitions were eventually consolidated.
On November 14, 2011, Mike Arroyo filed a Motion to Defer Proceedings 14 before the Joint Committee, in view
of the pendency of his petition before the Court. On the same day, GMA filed before the Joint Committee an
Omnibus Motion Ad Cautelam15 to require Senator Pimentel to furnish her with documents referred to in his
complaint-affidavit and for the production of election documents as basis for the charge of electoral sabotage.
GMA prayed that she be allowed to file her counter-affidavit within ten (10) days from receipt of the requested
documents.16Petitioner Abalos, for his part, filed a Motion to Suspend Proceedings (Ex Abundante Ad
Cautelam),17 in view of the pendency of his petition brought before the Court.

In an Order18 dated November 15, 2011, the Joint Committee denied the aforesaid motions of petitioners. GMA,
subsequently, filed a motion for reconsideration.19
On November 16, 2011, the Joint Committee promulgated a Joint Resolution which was later indorsed to the
Comelec.20 On November 18, 2011, the Comelec en banc issued a Resolution21 approving and adopting the Joint
Resolution subject to modifications. The Comelec resolved, among others, that an information for electoral
sabotage be filed against GMA and Abalos, while the charges against Mike Arroyo be dismissed for insufficiency
of evidence.
On even date, pursuant to the above Resolution, the Comelecs Law Department filed with the Regional Trial
Court (RTC), Pasay City, an Information against petitioner GMA, Governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr., and Atty.
Lintang H. Bedol, for violation of Section 42(b)(3) of Republic Act (RA) No. 9369, amending Section 27 (b) of
RA 6646, docketed as Criminal Case No. RPSY-11-04432-CR.22 The case was raffled to Branch 112 and the
corresponding Warrant of Arrest was issued which was served on GMA on the same day. 23
On November 18, 2011, GMA filed with the RTC an Urgent Omnibus Motion Ad Cautelam24 with leave to allow
the Joint Committee to resolve the motion for reconsideration filed by GMA, to defer issuance of a warrant of
arrest and a hold departure order, and to proceed to judicial determination of probable cause. She, likewise, filed
with the Comelec a Motion to Vacate Ad Cautelam25 praying that its Resolution be vacated for being null and
void. The RTC, nonetheless, issued a Warrant for her arrest which was duly served. GMA was later arraigned and
she entered a plea of "not guilty." She was, for some time, on hospital arrest but was able to obtain temporary
liberty when her motion for bail was granted. At present, she is again on hospital arrest by virtue of a warrant
issued in another criminal case.
On September 18, 2012, the Court rendered the assailed Decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petitions and supplemental petitions are DISMISSED. Comelec
Resolution No. 9266 dated August 2, 2011, Joint Order No. 001-2011 dated August 15, 2011, and the FactFinding Teams Initial Report dated October 20, 2011, are declared VALID. However, the Rules of Procedure on
the Conduct of Preliminary Investigation on the Alleged Election Fraud in the 2004 and 2007 National Elections is
declared INEFFECTIVE for lack of publication.
In view of the constitutionality of the Joint Panel and the proceedings having been conducted in accordance with
Rule 112 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure and Rule 34 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure, the conduct of the
preliminary investigation is hereby declared VALID.
Let the proceedings in the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City, Branch 112, where the criminal cases for electoral
sabotage against petitioners GMA and Abalos are pending, proceed with dispatch.
SO ORDERED.26
Hence, these motions for reconsideration.
Issues

19
Mike Arroyo reiterates his arguments on the independence of the Comelec as basis in nullifying the subject joint
DOJ-Comelec resolutions. Echoing Justice Arturo Brion in his Dissenting and Concurring Opinion, 27 Mike
Arroyo insists that the creation of the Joint Panel undermines the decisional independence of the Comelec. 28
Mike Arroyo also maintains that the DOJ should conduct preliminary investigation only when deputized by the
Comelec but not exercise concurrent jurisdiction.29 Finally, as has been repeatedly pointed out in his earlier
pleadings before the Court, Mike Arroyo claims that the proceedings involving the electoral sabotage case were
rushed because of pressures from the executive branch of the government. 30
For her part, GMA claims that in availing of the procedural remedies available, she merely exercised her earnest
efforts to defend herself and should not have been deemed by the Court as acts which purportedly tend to
demonstrate that she either waived or forfeited her right to submit her counter-affidavit and countervailing
evidence.31 Citing several cases decided by the Court, she likewise faults the Court in not upholding her right to
ask for additional time within which to submit her counter-affidavit and countervailing evidence.32 GMA
highlights that the subject Comelec Resolution creating the Joint Panel is different from the previous Comelec
resolutions requesting the DOJ Secretary to assign prosecutors to assist the Comelec, as the latter emphasize the
role of the DOJ as deputized agency in the conduct of preliminary investigation. She maintains that it is the
Comelec and not the Joint Committee that has the primary, if not exclusive, authority to conduct preliminary
investigation of election cases.33
In their Consolidated Comment,34 respondents defend the creation of the Joint Committee and argue that it does
not undermine the independence of the Comelec as a constitutional body because it is still the Comelec that
ultimately determines probable cause.35 As to the conduct of the preliminary investigation, respondents maintain
that no rights were violated as GMA was afforded the opportunity to defend herself, submit her counter-affidavit
and other countervailing evidence.36 They, thus, consider GMAs claim of availing of the remedial measures as
"delaying tactics" employed to thwart the investigation of charges against her by the Joint Committee.37
The Courts Ruling
Clearly from the above discussion, movants raise issues that have been thoroughly explained by the Court in the
assailed decision. The issues were all addressed and the explanation was exhaustive, thus, we find no reason to
disturb the Courts conclusions.
At any rate, if only to address the motions of the movants herein and to put an end to the questions attached to the
creation of the Joint Panel and, consequently, to the performance of their assigned tasks, we hereby reiterate our
findings and conclusions made in the assailed decision.
This is not the first time that the Court is confronted with the issue of whether the Comelec has the exclusive
power to investigate and prosecute cases of violations of election laws. In Barangay Association for National
Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) Party-List v. Commission on Elections,38 the constitutionality of
Section 4339 of RA 936940 had already been raised by petitioners therein and addressed by the Court. While
recognizing the Comelecs exclusive power to investigate and prosecute cases under Batas Pambansa Bilang 881
or the Omnibus Election Code, the Court pointed out that the framers of the 1987 Constitution did not have such
intention. This exclusivity is thus a legislative enactment that can very well be amended by Section 43 of RA
9369. Therefore, under the present law, the Comelec and other prosecuting arms of the government, such as the
DOJ, now exercise concurrent jurisdiction in the investigation and prosecution of election offenses.

20
Indeed, as aptly pointed out by GMA, there is a discrepancy between Comelec Resolution No. 3467 41 dated
January 12, 2001 and Joint Order No. 001-2011, dated August 15, 2011, creating and constituting a Joint
Committee and Fact-Finding Team on the 2004 and 2007 National Elections electoral fraud and manipulation
cases. However, GMA seemed to miss the date when these two resolutions were promulgated by the Comelec. It
is noteworthy that Comelec Resolution No. 3467 was issued when Section 265 of the Omnibus Election Code was
still effective, while Joint Order No. 001-2011 as well as Comelec Resolution Nos. 873342 and 905743 mentioned
in the assailed decision but missed out by GMA in her motion, were issued during the effectivity of Section 43 of
RA 9369, giving the Comelec and other prosecuting arms of the government the concurrent jurisdiction to
investigate and prosecute election offenses. This amendment paved the way for the discrepancy. In Comelec
Resolution No. 3467, the Comelec maintained the continuing deputation of prosecutors and the Comelec Law
Department was tasked to supervise the investigatory and prosecutory functions of the task force pursuant to the
mandate of the Omnibus Election Code. However, with the amendment, the Comelec likewise changed the tenor
of the later resolutions to reflect the new mandate of the Comelec and other prosecuting arms of the government
now exercising concurrent jurisdiction. Thus, the Comelec Law Department and the Office of the Chief State
Prosecutor of the DOJ were tasked to jointly supervise the investigatory and prosecutory functions of the
Comelec-DOJ Task Force. Considering, therefore, that the later resolutions, including Joint Order No. 001-2011,
were issued pursuant to Section 43 of RA 9369 amending Section 265 of BP 881 which was declared
"constitutional" in Banat, there is no reason for us to declare otherwise. To maintain the previous role of other
prosecuting arms of the government as mere deputies despite the amendment would mean challenging Section 43
of RA 9369 anew which has already been settled in Banat.
To be sure, the creation of a Joint Committee is not repugnant to the concept of "concurrent jurisdiction"
authorized by the amendatory law. As we explained in our September 18, 2012 Decision:
x x x The doctrine of concurrent jurisdiction means equal jurisdiction to deal with the same subject matter.
Contrary to the contention of the petitioners, there is no prohibition on simultaneous exercise of power between
two coordinate bodies. What is prohibited is the situation where one files a complaint against a respondent initially
with one office (such as the Comelec) for preliminary investigation which was immediately acted upon by said
office and the re-filing of substantially the same complaint with another office (such as the DOJ). The subsequent
assumption of jurisdiction by the second office over the cases filed will not be allowed. Indeed, it is a settled rule
that the body or agency that first takes cognizance of the complaint shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of
the others.
xxxx
None of these problems would likely arise in the present case. The Comelec and the DOJ themselves agreed that
they would exercise their concurrent jurisdiction jointly. Although the preliminary investigation was conducted on
the basis of two complaints the initial report of the Fact-Finding Team and the complaint of Senator Pimentel
both complaints were filed with the Joint Committee. Consequently, the complaints were filed with and the
preliminary investigation was conducted by only one investigative body. Thus, we find no reason to disallow the
exercise of concurrent jurisdiction jointly by those given such authority. This is especially true in this case given
the magnitude of the crimes allegedly committed by petitioners. The joint preliminary investigation also serves to
maximize the resources and manpower of both the Comelec and the DOJ for the prompt disposition of the cases. 44
Notwithstanding the grant of concurrent jurisdiction, the Comelec and the DOJ nevertheless included a provision
in the assailed Joint Order whereby the resolutions of the Joint Committee finding probable cause for election
offenses shall still be approved by the Comelec in accordance with the Comelec Rules of Procedure. 45 With more
reason, therefore, that we cannot consider the creation of the Joint Committee as an abdication of the Comelecs
independence enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.

Finally, we focus on the validity of the preliminary investigation conducted by the Joint Committee.
The procedure in conducting the preliminary investigation is governed by Rule 112 of the Revised Rules on
Criminal Procedure and Rule 34 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure. Under both Rules, 46 the respondent shall
submit his counter-affidavit and that of his witnesses and other supporting documents relied upon for his defense,
within ten (10) days from receipt of the subpoena, with the complaint and supporting affidavits and
documents.47Also in both Rules, respondent is given the right to examine evidence, but such right of examination
is limited only to the documents or evidence submitted by complainants which she may not have been furnished
and to copy them at her expense.48
As to the alleged denial of GMAs right to examine documents, we maintain that no right was violated in view of
the limitation of such right as set forth above. We reiterate our explanation in the assailed decision, to wit:
While it is true that Senator Pimentel referred to certain election documents which served as bases in the
allegations of significant findings specific to the protested municipalities involved, there were no annexes or
attachments to the complaint filed. As stated in the Joint Committees Order dated November 15, 2011 denying
GMAs Omnibus Motion Ad Cautelam, Senator Pimentel was ordered to furnish petitioners with all the
supporting evidence. However, Senator Pimentel manifested that he was adopting all the affidavits attached to the
Fact-Finding Teams Initial Report. Therefore, when GMA was furnished with the documents attached to the
Initial Report, she was already granted the right to examine as guaranteed by the Comelec Rules of Procedure and
the Rules on Criminal Procedure. Those were the only documents submitted by the complainants to the
Committee. If there are other documents that were referred to in Senator Pimentels complaint but were not
submitted to the Joint Committee, the latter considered those documents unnecessary at that point (without
foreclosing the relevance of other evidence that may later be presented during the trial) as the evidence submitted
before it were considered adequate to find probable cause against her. x x x491wphi1
Neither was GMAs right violated when her motion for extension of time within which to submit her counteraffidavit and countervailing evidence was consequently denied. The Rules use the term "shall" in requiring the
respondent to submit counter-affidavit and other countervailing evidence within ten (10) days from receipt of the
subpoena. It is settled that the use of the word "shall" which is a word of command, underscores the mandatory
character of the rule.50 As in any other rule, though, liberality in the application may be allowed provided that the
party is able to present a compelling justification for the non-observance of the mandatory rules. In the 2008
Revised Manual for Prosecutors, investigating prosecutors allow or grant motions or requests for extension of time
to submit counter-affidavits when the interest of justice demands that respondent be given reasonable time or
sufficient opportunity to engage the services of counsel; examine voluminous records submitted in support of the
complaint or undertake research on novel, complicated or technical questions or issues of law and facts of the
case.51
In this case, GMA claimed that she could not submit her counteraffidavit within the prescribed period because she
needed to examine documents mentioned in Senator Pimentels complaint-affidavit. It appeared, however, that
said documents were not submitted to the Joint Committee and the only supporting documents available were
those attached to the Initial Report of the Fact-Finding Team. Admittedly, GMA was furnished those documents.
Thus, at the time she asked for the extension of time within which to file her counter-affidavit, she very well knew
that the documents she was asking were not in the record of the case. Obviously, she was not furnished those
documents because they were not submitted to the Joint Committee. Logically, she has no right to examine said
documents. We cannot, therefore, fault the Joint Committee in consequently denying her motion for extension to
file counter-affidavit as there was no compelling justification for the non-observance of the period she was earlier
required to follow.

And as we held in the assailed decision:


There might have been overzealousness on the part of the Joint Committee in terminating the investigation,
endorsing the Joint Resolution to the Comelec for approval, and in filing the information in court.
However, speed in the conduct of proceedings by a judicial or quasijudicial officer cannot per se be instantly
attributed to an injudicious performance of functions. The orderly administration of justice remains the paramount
consideration with particular regard to the peculiar circumstances of each case. To be sure, petitioners were given
the opportunity to present countervailing evidence. Instead of complying with the Joint Committees directive,
several motions were filed but were denied by the Joint Committee. Consequently, petitioners right to submit
counter-affidavit and countervailing evidence was forfeited. Taking into account the constitutional right to speedy
disposition of cases and following the procedures set forth in the Rules on Criminal Procedure and the Comelec
Rules of Procedure, the Joint Committee finally reached its conclusion and referred the case to the Comelec. The
latter, in turn, performed its task and filed the information in court. Indeed, petitioners were given the opportunity
to be heard. They even actively participated in the proceedings and in fact filed several motions before the Joint
Committee. Consistent with the constitutional mandate of speedy disposition of cases, unnecessary delays should
be avoided.52
Finally, in our assailed decision, we already took judicial notice that not only did GMA enter a plea of "not
guilty," she also filed a Motion for Bail and after due hearing, it was granted. Apparently, she benefited from the
RTC Order giving her temporary liberty. In filing the motion before the RTC and actively participating therein,
she has chosen to seek judicial remedy before the RTC where the electoral sabotage case is pending instead of the
executive remedy of going back to the Joint Committee for the submission of her counter-affidavit and
countervailing evidence. Besides, as thoroughly discussed in the assailed decision, the irregularity or even the
absence of preliminary investigation does not impair the validity of the information filed against her.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Motions for Reconsideration are DENIED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 189698

February 22, 2010

ELEAZAR P. QUINTO and GERINO A. TOLENTINO, JR., Petitioners,


vs.
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Respondent.
Upon a careful review of the case at bar, this Court resolves to grant the respondent Commission on Elections
(COMELEC) motion for reconsideration, and the movants-intervenors motions for reconsideration-inintervention, of this Courts December 1, 2009 Decision (Decision). 1
The assailed Decision granted the Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition filed by Eleazar P. Quinto and Gerino A.
Tolentino, Jr. and declared as unconstitutional the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of Republic
Act No. 9369,2 Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code3 and Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution No.
8678,4mainly on the ground that they violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution and suffer from
overbreadth. The assailed Decision thus paved the way for public appointive officials to continue discharging the
powers, prerogatives and functions of their office notwithstanding their entry into the political arena.

21
In support of their respective motions for reconsideration, respondent COMELEC and movants-intervenors submit
the following arguments:
(1) The assailed Decision is contrary to, and/or violative of, the constitutional proscription against the
participation of public appointive officials and members of the military in partisan political activity;
(2) The assailed provisions do not violate the equal protection clause when they accord differential
treatment to elective and appointive officials, because such differential treatment rests on material and
substantial distinctions and is germane to the purposes of the law;
(3) The assailed provisions do not suffer from the infirmity of overbreadth; and
(4) There is a compelling need to reverse the assailed Decision, as public safety and interest demand
such reversal.
We find the foregoing arguments meritorious.
I.
Procedural Issues
First, we shall resolve the procedural issues on the timeliness of the COMELECs motion for reconsideration
which was filed on December 15, 2009, as well as the propriety of the motions for reconsideration-in-intervention
which were filed after the Court had rendered its December 1, 2009 Decision.
i. Timeliness of COMELECs Motion for Reconsideration
Pursuant to Section 2, Rule 56-A of the 1997 Rules of Court,5 in relation to Section 1, Rule 52 of the same
rules,6COMELEC had a period of fifteen days from receipt of notice of the assailed Decision within which to
move for its reconsideration. COMELEC received notice of the assailed Decision on December 2, 2009, hence,
had until December 17, 2009 to file a Motion for Reconsideration.
The Motion for Reconsideration of COMELEC was timely filed. It was filed on December 14, 2009. The
corresponding Affidavit of Service (in substitution of the one originally submitted on December 14, 2009) was
subsequently filed on December 17, 2009 still within the reglementary period.
ii. Propriety of the Motions for Reconsideration-in-Intervention
Section 1, Rule 19 of the Rules of Court provides:
A person who has legal interest in the matter in litigation or in the success of either of the parties, or an interest
against both, or is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the
custody of the court or of an officer thereof may, with leave of court, be allowed to intervene in the action. The
court shall consider whether or not the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of
the original parties, and whether or not the intervenors rights may be fully protected in a separate proceeding.

22
Pursuant to the foregoing rule, this Court has held that a motion for intervention shall be entertained when the
following requisites are satisfied: (1) the would-be intervenor shows that he has a substantial right or interest in the
case; and (2) such right or interest cannot be adequately pursued and protected in another proceeding. 7

Prescinding from our rule and ruling case law, we find that the IBP-Cebu City Chapter has failed to present a
specific and substantial interest sufficient to clothe it with standing to intervene in the case at bar. Its invoked
interest is, in character, too indistinguishable to justify its intervention.

Upon the other hand, Section 2, Rule 19 of the Rules of Court provides the time within which a motion for
intervention may be filed, viz.:

We now turn to the substantive issues.


II.

SECTION 2. Time to intervene. The motion for intervention may be filed at any time before rendition of
judgment by the trial court. A copy of the pleading-in-intervention shall be attached to the motion and served on
the original parties. (italics supplied)
This rule, however, is not inflexible. Interventions have been allowed even beyond the period prescribed in the
Rule, when demanded by the higher interest of justice. Interventions have also been granted to afford
indispensable parties, who have not been impleaded, the right to be heard even after a decision has been rendered
by the trial court,8 when the petition for review of the judgment has already been submitted for decision before the
Supreme Court,9 and even where the assailed order has already become final and executory. 10 In Lim v.
Pacquing,11 the motion for intervention filed by the Republic of the Philippines was allowed by this Court to
avoid grave injustice and injury and to settle once and for all the substantive issues raised by the parties.
In fine, the allowance or disallowance of a motion for intervention rests on the sound discretion of the court 12 after
consideration of the appropriate circumstances.13 We stress again that Rule 19 of the Rules of Court is a rule of
procedure whose object is to make the powers of the court fully and completely available for justice.14 Its purpose
is not to hinder or delay, but to facilitate and promote the administration of justice. 15
We rule that, with the exception of the IBP Cebu City Chapter, all the movants-intervenors may properly
intervene in the case at bar.
First, the movants-intervenors have each sufficiently established a substantial right or interest in the case.
As a Senator of the Republic, Senator Manuel A. Roxas has a right to challenge the December 1, 2009 Decision,
which nullifies a long established law; as a voter, he has a right to intervene in a matter that involves the electoral
process; and as a public officer, he has a personal interest in maintaining the trust and confidence of the public in
its system of government.
On the other hand, former Senator Franklin M. Drilon and Tom V. Apacible are candidates in the May 2010
elections running against appointive officials who, in view of the December 1, 2009 Decision, have not yet
resigned from their posts and are not likely to resign from their posts. They stand to be directly injured by the
assailed Decision, unless it is reversed.
Moreover, the rights or interests of said movants-intervenors cannot be adequately pursued and protected in
another proceeding. Clearly, their rights will be foreclosed if this Courts Decision attains finality and forms part
of the laws of the land.
With regard to the IBP Cebu City Chapter, it anchors its standing on the assertion that "this case involves the
constitutionality of elections laws for this coming 2010 National Elections," and that "there is a need for it to be
allowed to intervene xxx so that the voice of its members in the legal profession would also be heard before this
Highest Tribunal as it resolves issues of transcendental importance."16

Substantive Issues
The assailed Decision struck down Section 4(a) of Resolution 8678, the second proviso in the third paragraph of
Section 13 of Republic Act (RA) 9369, and Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, on the following grounds:
(1) They violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution because of the differential treatment of
persons holding appointive offices and those holding elective positions;
(2) They are overbroad insofar as they prohibit the candidacy of all civil servants holding appointive
posts: (a) without distinction as to whether or not they occupy high/influential positions in the
government, and (b) they limit these civil servants activity regardless of whether they be partisan or
nonpartisan in character, or whether they be in the national, municipal or barangay level; and
(3) Congress has not shown a compelling state interest to restrict the fundamental right of these public
appointive officials.
We grant the motions for reconsideration. We now rule that Section 4(a) of Resolution 8678, Section 66 of the
Omnibus Election Code, and the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of RA 9369 are not
unconstitutional, and accordingly reverse our December 1, 2009 Decision.
III.
Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution 8678 Compliant with Law
Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution 8678 is a faithful reflection of the present state of the law and
jurisprudence on the matter, viz.:
Incumbent Appointive Official. - Under Section 13 of RA 9369, which reiterates Section 66 of the Omnibus
Election Code, any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active members of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines, and officers and employees in government-owned or -controlled corporations, shall be
considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy.
Incumbent Elected Official. Upon the other hand, pursuant to Section 14 of RA 9006 or the Fair Election
Act,17which repealed Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code18 and rendered ineffective Section 11 of R.A. 8436
insofar as it considered an elected official as resigned only upon the start of the campaign period corresponding to
the positions for which they are running,19 an elected official is not deemed to have resigned from his office upon
the filing of his certificate of candidacy for the same or any other elected office or position. In fine, an elected
official may run for another position without forfeiting his seat.

These laws and regulations implement Section 2(4), Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution, which prohibits civil
service officers and employees from engaging in any electioneering or partisan political campaign.
The intention to impose a strict limitation on the participation of civil service officers and employees in partisan
political campaigns is unmistakable. The exchange between Commissioner Quesada and Commissioner Foz
during the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission is instructive:

23
Nothing herein provided shall be understood to prevent any officer or employee from expressing his views on
current political problems or issues, or from mentioning the names of his candidates for public office whom he
supports: Provided, That public officers and employees holding political offices may take part in political and
electoral activities but it shall be unlawful for them to solicit contributions from their subordinates or subject them
to any of the acts involving subordinates prohibited in the Election Code.
Section 261(i) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 (the Omnibus Election Code) further makes intervention by civil
service officers and employees in partisan political activities an election offense, viz.:

MS. QUESADA.
xxxx
Secondly, I would like to address the issue here as provided in Section 1 (4), line 12, and I quote: "No officer or
employee in the civil service shall engage, directly or indirectly, in any partisan political activity." This is almost
the same provision as in the 1973 Constitution. However, we in the government service have actually experienced
how this provision has been violated by the direct or indirect partisan political activities of many government
officials.
So, is the Committee willing to include certain clauses that would make this provision more strict, and which
would deter its violation?
MR. FOZ. Madam President, the existing Civil Service Law and the implementing rules on the matter are more
than exhaustive enough to really prevent officers and employees in the public service from engaging in any form
of partisan political activity. But the problem really lies in implementation because, if the head of a ministry, and
even the superior officers of offices and agencies of government will themselves violate the constitutional
injunction against partisan political activity, then no string of words that we may add to what is now here in this
draft will really implement the constitutional intent against partisan political activity. x x x 20 (italics supplied)
To emphasize its importance, this constitutional ban on civil service officers and employees is presently reflected
and implemented by a number of statutes. Section 46(b)(26), Chapter 7 and Section 55, Chapter 8 both of
Subtitle A, Title I, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 respectively provide in relevant part:

SECTION 261. Prohibited Acts. The following shall be guilty of an election offense:
xxxx
(i) Intervention of public officers and employees. Any officer or employee in the civil service, except those
holding political offices; any officer, employee, or member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, or any police
force, special forces, home defense forces, barangay self-defense units and all other para-military units that now
exist or which may hereafter be organized who, directly or indirectly, intervenes in any election campaign or
engages in any partisan political activity, except to vote or to preserve public order, if he is a peace officer.
The intent of both Congress and the framers of our Constitution to limit the participation of civil service officers
and employees in partisan political activities is too plain to be mistaken.
But Section 2(4), Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution and the implementing statutes apply only to civil servants
holding apolitical offices. Stated differently, the constitutional ban does not cover elected officials,
notwithstanding the fact that "[t]he civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and
agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original
charters."21 This is because elected public officials, by the very nature of their office, engage in partisan political
activities almost all year round, even outside of the campaign period. 22 Political partisanship is the inevitable
essence of a political office, elective positions included.23
The prohibition notwithstanding, civil service officers and employees are allowed to vote, as well as express their
views on political issues, or mention the names of certain candidates for public office whom they support. This is
crystal clear from the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, viz.:

Section 44. Discipline: General Provisions:


xxxx
(b) The following shall be grounds for disciplinary action:
xxxx
(26) Engaging directly or indirectly in partisan political activities by one holding a non-political office.
xxxx
Section 55. Political Activity. No officer or employee in the Civil Service including members of the Armed
Forces, shall engage directly or indirectly in any partisan political activity or take part in any election except to
vote nor shall he use his official authority or influence to coerce the political activity of any other person or body.

MS. AQUINO: Mr. Presiding Officer, my proposed amendment is on page 2, Section 1, subparagraph 4, lines 13
and 14. On line 13, between the words "any" and "partisan," add the phrase ELECTIONEERING AND OTHER;
and on line 14, delete the word "activity" and in lieu thereof substitute the word CAMPAIGN.
May I be allowed to explain my proposed amendment?
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Treas): Commissioner Aquino may proceed.
MS. AQUINO: The draft as presented by the Committee deleted the phrase "except to vote" which was adopted in
both the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions. The phrase "except to vote" was not intended as a guarantee to the right to
vote but as a qualification of the general prohibition against taking part in elections.

Voting is a partisan political activity. Unless it is explicitly provided for as an exception to this prohibition, it will
amount to disenfranchisement. We know that suffrage, although plenary, is not an unconditional right. In other
words, the Legislature can always pass a statute which can withhold from any class the right to vote in an election,
if public interest so required. I would only like to reinstate the qualification by specifying the prohibited acts so
that those who may want to vote but who are likewise prohibited from participating in partisan political campaigns
or electioneering may vote.
MR. FOZ: There is really no quarrel over this point, but please understand that there was no intention on the part
of the Committee to disenfranchise any government official or employee. The elimination of the last clause of this
provision was precisely intended to protect the members of the civil service in the sense that they are not being
deprived of the freedom of expression in a political contest. The last phrase or clause might have given the
impression that a government employee or worker has no right whatsoever in an election campaign except to vote,
which is not the case. They are still free to express their views although the intention is not really to allow them to
take part actively in a political campaign.24
IV.
Section 4(a) of Resolution 8678, Section 13 of RA 9369, and Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code Do Not
Violate the Equal Protection Clause
We now hold that Section 4(a) of Resolution 8678, Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, and the second
proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of RA 9369 are not violative of the equal protection clause of the
Constitution.
i. Farias, et al. v. Executive Secretary, et al. is Controlling
In truth, this Court has already ruled squarely on whether these deemed-resigned provisions challenged in the case
at bar violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution in Farias, et al. v. Executive Secretary, et al. 25
In Farias, the constitutionality of Section 14 of the Fair Election Act, in relation to Sections 66 and 67 of the
Omnibus Election Code, was assailed on the ground, among others, that it unduly discriminates against appointive
officials. As Section 14 repealed Section 67 (i.e., the deemed-resigned provision in respect of elected officials) of
the Omnibus Election Code, elected officials are no longer considered ipso facto resigned from their respective
offices upon their filing of certificates of candidacy. In contrast, since Section 66 was not repealed, the limitation
on appointive officials continues to be operative they are deemed resigned when they file their certificates of
candidacy.
The petitioners in Farias thus brought an equal protection challenge against Section 14, with the end in view of
having the deemed-resigned provisions "apply equally" to both elected and appointive officials. We held,
however, that the legal dichotomy created by the Legislature is a reasonable classification, as there are material
and significant distinctions between the two classes of officials. Consequently, the contention that Section 14 of
the Fair Election Act, in relation to Sections 66 and 67 of the Omnibus Election Code, infringed on the equal
protection clause of the Constitution, failed muster. We ruled:
The petitioners' contention, that the repeal of Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code pertaining to elective
officials gives undue benefit to such officials as against the appointive ones and violates the equal protection
clause of the constitution, is tenuous.

24
The equal protection of the law clause in the Constitution is not absolute, but is subject to reasonable
classification. If the groupings are characterized by substantial distinctions that make real differences, one class
may be treated and regulated differently from the other. The Court has explained the nature of the equal protection
guarantee in this manner:
The equal protection of the law clause is against undue favor and individual or class privilege, as well as hostile
discrimination or the oppression of inequality. It is not intended to prohibit legislation which is limited either in
the object to which it is directed or by territory within which it is to operate. It does not demand absolute equality
among residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions
both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. The equal protection clause is not infringed by legislation
which applies only to those persons falling within a specified class, if it applies alike to all persons within such
class, and reasonable grounds exist for making a distinction between those who fall within such class and those
who do not.
Substantial distinctions clearly exist between elective officials and appointive officials. The former occupy their
office by virtue of the mandate of the electorate. They are elected to an office for a definite term and may be
removed therefrom only upon stringent conditions. On the other hand, appointive officials hold their office by
virtue of their designation thereto by an appointing authority. Some appointive officials hold their office in a
permanent capacity and are entitled to security of tenure while others serve at the pleasure of the appointing
authority.
Another substantial distinction between the two sets of officials is that under Section 55, Chapter 8, Title I,
Subsection A. Civil Service Commission, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. 292),
appointive officials, as officers and employees in the civil service, are strictly prohibited from engaging in any
partisan political activity or take (sic) part in any election except to vote. Under the same provision, elective
officials, or officers or employees holding political offices, are obviously expressly allowed to take part in political
and electoral activities.
By repealing Section 67 but retaining Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, the legislators deemed it proper
to treat these two classes of officials differently with respect to the effect on their tenure in the office of the filing
of the certificates of candidacy for any position other than those occupied by them. Again, it is not within the
power of the Court to pass upon or look into the wisdom of this classification.
Since the classification justifying Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006, i.e., elected officials vis--vis appointive
officials, is anchored upon material and significant distinctions and all the persons belonging under the same
classification are similarly treated, the equal protection clause of the Constitution is, thus, not infringed. 26
The case at bar is a crass attempt to resurrect a dead issue. The miracle is that our assailed Decision gave it new
life. We ought to be guided by the doctrine of stare decisis et non quieta movere. This doctrine, which is really
"adherence to precedents," mandates that once a case has been decided one way, then another case involving
exactly the same point at issue should be decided in the same manner. 27 This doctrine is one of policy grounded on
the necessity for securing certainty and stability of judicial decisions. As the renowned jurist Benjamin Cardozo
stated in his treatise The Nature of the Judicial Process:
It will not do to decide the same question one way between one set of litigants and the opposite way between
another. "If a group of cases involves the same point, the parties expect the same decision. It would be a gross
injustice to decide alternate cases on opposite principles. If a case was decided against me yesterday when I was a
defendant, I shall look for the same judgment today if I am plaintiff. To decide differently would raise a feeling of

resentment and wrong in my breast; it would be an infringement, material and moral, of my rights." Adherence to
precedent must then be the rule rather than the exception if litigants are to have faith in the even-handed
administration of justice in the courts.28
Our Farias ruling on the equal protection implications of the deemed-resigned provisions cannot be minimalized
as mere obiter dictum. It is trite to state that an adjudication on any point within the issues presented by the case
cannot be considered as obiter dictum.29 This rule applies to all pertinent questions that are presented and resolved
in the regular course of the consideration of the case and lead up to the final conclusion, and to any statement as to
the matter on which the decision is predicated.30 For that reason, a point expressly decided does not lose its value
as a precedent because the disposition of the case is, or might have been, made on some other ground; or even
though, by reason of other points in the case, the result reached might have been the same if the court had held, on
the particular point, otherwise than it did.31 As we held in Villanueva, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, et al.:32
A decision which the case could have turned on is not regarded as obiter dictum merely because, owing to the
disposal of the contention, it was necessary to consider another question, nor can an additional reason in a
decision, brought forward after the case has been disposed of on one ground, be regarded as dicta. So, also, where
a case presents two (2) or more points, any one of which is sufficient to determine the ultimate issue, but the court
actually decides all such points, the case as an authoritative precedent as to every point decided, and none of such
points can be regarded as having the status of a dictum, and one point should not be denied authority merely
because another point was more dwelt on and more fully argued and considered, nor does a decision on one
proposition make statements of the court regarding other propositions dicta. 33 (italics supplied)

25
government, and foreign affairs). With the fact that they both head executive offices, there is no valid justification
to treat them differently when both file their [Certificates of Candidacy] for the elections. Under the present state
of our law, the Vice-President, in the example, running this time, let us say, for President, retains his position
during the entire election period and can still use the resources of his office to support his campaign.38
Sad to state, this conclusion conveniently ignores the long-standing rule that to remedy an injustice, the
Legislature need not address every manifestation of the evil at once; it may proceed "one step at a time." 39 In
addressing a societal concern, it must invariably draw lines and make choices, thereby creating some inequity as to
those included or excluded.40 Nevertheless, as long as "the bounds of reasonable choice" are not exceeded, the
courts must defer to the legislative judgment.41 We may not strike down a law merely because the legislative aim
would have been more fully achieved by expanding the class.42 Stated differently, the fact that a legislative
classification, by itself, is underinclusive will not render it unconstitutionally arbitrary or invidious.43 There is no
constitutional requirement that regulation must reach each and every class to which it might be applied; 44 that the
Legislature must be held rigidly to the choice of regulating all or none.
Thus, any person who poses an equal protection challenge must convincingly show that the law creates a
classification that is "palpably arbitrary or capricious."45 He must refute all possible rational bases for the differing
treatment, whether or not the Legislature cited those bases as reasons for the enactment, 46 such that the
constitutionality of the law must be sustained even if the reasonableness of the classification is "fairly
debatable."47 In the case at bar, the petitioners failed and in fact did not even attempt to discharge this heavy
burden. Our assailed Decision was likewise silent as a sphinx on this point even while we submitted the following
thesis:

ii. Classification Germane to the Purposes of the Law


The Farias ruling on the equal protection challenge stands on solid ground even if reexamined.
To start with, the equal protection clause does not require the universal application of the laws to all persons or
things without distinction.34 What it simply requires is equality among equals as determined according to a valid
classification.35 The test developed by jurisprudence here and yonder is that of reasonableness, 36 which has four
requisites:
(1) The classification rests on substantial distinctions;
(2) It is germane to the purposes of the law;
(3) It is not limited to existing conditions only; and
(4) It applies equally to all members of the same class.37
Our assailed Decision readily acknowledged that these deemed-resigned provisions satisfy the first, third and
fourth requisites of reasonableness. It, however, proffers the dubious conclusion that the differential treatment of
appointive officials vis--vis elected officials is not germane to the purpose of the law, because "whether one
holds an appointive office or an elective one, the evils sought to be prevented by the measure remain," viz.:
For example, the Executive Secretary, or any Member of the Cabinet for that matter, could wield the same
influence as the Vice-President who at the same time is appointed to a Cabinet post (in the recent past, elected
Vice-Presidents were appointed to take charge of national housing, social welfare development, interior and local

... [I]t is not sufficient grounds for invalidation that we may find that the statutes distinction is unfair,
underinclusive, unwise, or not the best solution from a public-policy standpoint; rather, we must find that there is
no reasonably rational reason for the differing treatment. 48
In the instant case, is there a rational justification for excluding elected officials from the operation of the deemed
resigned provisions? I submit that there is.
An election is the embodiment of the popular will, perhaps the purest expression of the sovereign power of the
people.49 It involves the choice or selection of candidates to public office by popular vote. 50 Considering that
elected officials are put in office by their constituents for a definite term, it may justifiably be said that they were
excluded from the ambit of the deemed resigned provisions in utmost respect for the mandate of the sovereign
will. In other words, complete deference is accorded to the will of the electorate that they be served by such
officials until the end of the term for which they were elected. In contrast, there is no such expectation insofar as
appointed officials are concerned.
The dichotomized treatment of appointive and elective officials is therefore germane to the purposes of the law.
For the law was made not merely to preserve the integrity, efficiency, and discipline of the public service; the
Legislature, whose wisdom is outside the rubric of judicial scrutiny, also thought it wise to balance this with the
competing, yet equally compelling, interest of deferring to the sovereign will. 51 (emphasis in the original)
In fine, the assailed Decision would have us "equalize the playing field" by invalidating provisions of law that
seek to restrain the evils from running riot. Under the pretext of equal protection, it would favor a situation in
which the evils are unconfined and vagrant, existing at the behest of both appointive and elected officials, over
another in which a significant portion thereof is contained. The absurdity of that position is self-evident, to say the
least.

26
The concern, voiced by our esteemed colleague, Mr. Justice Nachura, in his dissent, that elected officials (vis--vis
appointive officials) have greater political clout over the electorate, is indeed a matter worth exploring but not by
this Court. Suffice it to say that the remedy lies with the Legislature. It is the Legislature that is given the
authority, under our constitutional system, to balance competing interests and thereafter make policy choices
responsive to the exigencies of the times. It is certainly within the Legislatures power to make the deemedresigned provisions applicable to elected officials, should it later decide that the evils sought to be prevented are of
such frequency and magnitude as to tilt the balance in favor of expanding the class. This Court cannot and should
not arrogate unto itself the power to ascertain and impose on the people the best state of affairs from a public
policy standpoint.
iii. Mancuso v. Taft Has Been Overruled
Finding no Philippine jurisprudence to prop up its equal protection ruling, our assailed Decision adverted to, and
extensively cited, Mancuso v. Taft.52 This was a decision of the First Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals
promulgated in March 1973, which struck down as unconstitutional a similar statutory provision. Pathetically, our
assailed Decision, relying on Mancuso, claimed:
(1) The right to run for public office is "inextricably linked" with two fundamental freedoms freedom
of expression and association;
(2) Any legislative classification that significantly burdens this fundamental right must be subjected to
strict equal protection review; and
(3) While the state has a compelling interest in maintaining the honesty and impartiality of its public
work force, the deemed-resigned provisions pursue their objective in a far too heavy-handed manner as
to render them unconstitutional.

Letter Carriers elucidated on these principles, as follows:


Until now, the judgment of Congress, the Executive, and the country appears to have been that partisan political
activities by federal employees must be limited if the Government is to operate effectively and fairly, elections are
to play their proper part in representative government, and employees themselves are to be sufficiently free from
improper influences. The restrictions so far imposed on federal employees are not aimed at particular parties,
groups, or points of view, but apply equally to all partisan activities of the type described. They discriminate
against no racial, ethnic, or religious minorities. Nor do they seek to control political opinions or beliefs, or to
interfere with or influence anyone's vote at the polls.
But, as the Court held in Pickering v. Board of Education, 59 the government has an interest in regulating the
conduct and the speech of its employees that differ(s) significantly from those it possesses in connection with
regulation of the speech of the citizenry in general. The problem in any case is to arrive at a balance between the
interests of the (employee), as a citizen, in commenting upon matters of public concern and the interest of the
(government), as an employer, in promoting the efficiency of the public services it performs through its
employees. Although Congress is free to strike a different balance than it has, if it so chooses, we think the
balance it has so far struck is sustainable by the obviously important interests sought to be served by the
limitations on partisan political activities now contained in the Hatch Act.
It seems fundamental in the first place that employees in the Executive Branch of the Government, or those
working for any of its agencies, should administer the law in accordance with the will of Congress, rather than in
accordance with their own or the will of a political party. They are expected to enforce the law and execute the
programs of the Government without bias or favoritism for or against any political party or group or the members
thereof. A major thesis of the Hatch Act is that to serve this great end of Government-the impartial execution of
the laws-it is essential that federal employees, for example, not take formal positions in political parties, not
undertake to play substantial roles in partisan political campaigns, and not run for office on partisan political
tickets. Forbidding activities like these will reduce the hazards to fair and effective government.

It then concluded with the exhortation that since "the Americans, from whom we copied the provision in question,
had already stricken down a similar measure for being unconstitutional[,] it is high-time that we, too, should
follow suit."

There is another consideration in this judgment: it is not only important that the Government and its employees in
fact avoid practicing political justice, but it is also critical that they appear to the public to be avoiding it, if
confidence in the system of representative Government is not to be eroded to a disastrous extent.

Our assailed Decisions reliance on Mancuso is completely misplaced. We cannot blink away the fact that the
United States Supreme Court effectively overruled Mancuso three months after its promulgation by the United
States Court of Appeals. In United States Civil Service Commission, et al. v. National Association of Letter
Carriers AFL-CIO, et al.53 and Broadrick, et al. v. State of Oklahoma, et al.,54 the United States Supreme Court
was faced with the issue of whether statutory provisions prohibiting federal 55 and state56 employees from taking an
active part in political management or in political campaigns were unconstitutional as to warrant facial
invalidation. Violation of these provisions results in dismissal from employment and possible criminal sanctions.

Another major concern of the restriction against partisan activities by federal employees was perhaps the
immediate occasion for enactment of the Hatch Act in 1939. That was the conviction that the rapidly expanding
Government work force should not be employed to build a powerful, invincible, and perhaps corrupt political
machine. The experience of the 1936 and 1938 campaigns convinced Congress that these dangers were
sufficiently real that substantial barriers should be raised against the party in power-or the party out of power, for
that matter-using the thousands or hundreds of thousands of federal employees, paid for at public expense, to man
its political structure and political campaigns.

The Court declared these provisions compliant with the equal protection clause. It held that (i) in regulating the
speech of its employees, the state as employer has interests that differ significantly from those it possesses in
regulating the speech of the citizenry in general; (ii) the courts must therefore balance the legitimate interest of
employee free expression against the interests of the employer in promoting efficiency of public services; (iii) if
the employees expression interferes with the maintenance of efficient and regularly functioning services, the
limitation on speech is not unconstitutional; and (iv) the Legislature is to be given some flexibility or latitude in
ascertaining which positions are to be covered by any statutory restrictions. 57 Therefore, insofar as government
employees are concerned, the correct standard of review is an interest-balancing approach, a means-end scrutiny
that examines the closeness of fit between the governmental interests and the prohibitions in question. 58

A related concern, and this remains as important as any other, was to further serve the goal that employment and
advancement in the Government service not depend on political performance, and at the same time to make sure
that Government employees would be free from pressure and from express or tacit invitation to vote in a certain
way or perform political chores in order to curry favor with their superiors rather than to act out their own beliefs.
It may be urged that prohibitions against coercion are sufficient protection; but for many years the joint judgment
of the Executive and Congress has been that to protect the rights of federal employees with respect to their jobs
and their political acts and beliefs it is not enough merely to forbid one employee to attempt to influence or coerce
another. For example, at the hearings in 1972 on proposed legislation for liberalizing the prohibition against
political activity, the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission stated that the prohibitions against active

27
participation in partisan political management and partisan political campaigns constitute the most significant
safeguards against coercion . . .. Perhaps Congress at some time will come to a different view of the realities of
political life and Government service; but that is its current view of the matter, and we are not now in any position
to dispute it. Nor, in our view, does the Constitution forbid it.
Neither the right to associate nor the right to participate in political activities is absolute in any event. 60 x x x
xxxx
As we see it, our task is not to destroy the Act if we can, but to construe it, if consistent with the will of Congress,
so as to comport with constitutional limitations. (italics supplied)
Broadrick likewise definitively stated that the assailed statutory provision is constitutionally permissible, viz.:
Appellants do not question Oklahoma's right to place even-handed restrictions on the partisan political conduct of
state employees. Appellants freely concede that such restrictions serve valid and important state interests,
particularly with respect to attracting greater numbers of qualified people by insuring their job security, free from
the vicissitudes of the elective process, and by protecting them from political extortion. Rather, appellants
maintain that however permissible, even commendable, the goals of s 818 may be, its language is
unconstitutionally vague and its prohibitions too broad in their sweep, failing to distinguish between conduct that
may be proscribed and conduct that must be permitted. For these and other reasons, appellants assert that the sixth
and seventh paragraphs of s 818 are void in toto and cannot be enforced against them or anyone else.
We have held today that the Hatch Act is not impermissibly vague. 61 We have little doubt that s 818 is similarly
not so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning. 62 Whatever other problems
there are with s 818, it is all but frivolous to suggest that the section fails to give adequate warning of what
activities it proscribes or fails to set out explicit standards' for those who must apply it. In the plainest language, it
prohibits any state classified employee from being an officer or member of a partisan political club or a
candidate for any paid public office. It forbids solicitation of contributions for any political organization,
candidacy or other political purpose and taking part in the management or affairs of any political party or in any
political campaign. Words inevitably contain germs of uncertainty and, as with the Hatch Act, there may be
disputes over the meaning of such terms in s 818 as partisan, or take part in, or affairs of political parties. But
what was said in Letter Carriers, is applicable here: there are limitations in the English language with respect to
being both specific and manageably brief, and it seems to us that although the prohibitions may not satisfy those
intent on finding fault at any cost, they are set out in terms that the ordinary person exercising ordinary common
sense can sufficiently understand and comply with, without sacrifice to the public interest.' x x x

invalidation so narrows it as to remove the seeming threat or deterrence to constitutionally protected expression.
Application of the overbreadth doctrine in this manner is, manifestly, strong medicine. It has been employed by
the Court sparingly and only as a last resort. x x x
x x x But the plain import of our cases is, at the very least, that facial over-breadth adjudication is an exception to
our traditional rules of practice and that its function, a limited one at the outset, attenuates as the otherwise
unprotected behavior that it forbids the State to sanction moves from pure speech toward conduct and that
conduct-even if expressive-falls within the scope of otherwise valid criminal laws that reflect legitimate state
interests in maintaining comprehensive controls over harmful, constitutionally unprotected conduct. Although
such laws, if too broadly worded, may deter protected speech to some unknown extent, there comes a point where
that effect-at best a prediction-cannot, with confidence, justify invalidating a statute on its face and so prohibiting
a State from enforcing the statute against conduct that is admittedly within its power to proscribe. To put the
matter another way, particularly where conduct and not merely speech is involved, we believe that the overbreadth
of a statute must not only be real, but substantial as well, judged in relation to the statute's plainly legitimate
sweep. It is our view that s 818 is not substantially overbroad and that whatever overbreadth may exist should be
cured through case-by-case analysis of the fact situations to which its sanctions, assertedly, may not be applied.
Unlike ordinary breach-of-the peace statutes or other broad regulatory acts, s 818 is directed, by its terms, at
political expression which if engaged in by private persons would plainly be protected by the First and Fourteenth
Amendments. But at the same time, s 818 is not a censorial statute, directed at particular groups or viewpoints.
The statute, rather, seeks to regulate political activity in an even-handed and neutral manner. As indicted, such
statutes have in the past been subject to a less exacting overbreadth scrutiny. Moreover, the fact remains that s 818
regulates a substantial spectrum of conduct that is as manifestly subject to state regulation as the public peace or
criminal trespass. This much was established in United Public Workers v. Mitchell, and has been unhesitatingly
reaffirmed today in Letter Carriers. Under the decision in Letter Carriers, there is no question that s 818 is valid at
least insofar as it forbids classified employees from: soliciting contributions for partisan candidates, political
parties, or other partisan political purposes; becoming members of national, state, or local committees of political
parties, or officers or committee members in partisan political clubs, or candidates for any paid public office;
taking part in the management or affairs of any political party's partisan political campaign; serving as delegates or
alternates to caucuses or conventions of political parties; addressing or taking an active part in partisan political
rallies or meetings; soliciting votes or assisting voters at the polls or helping in a partisan effort to get voters to the
polls; participating in the distribution of partisan campaign literature; initiating or circulating partisan nominating
petitions; or riding in caravans for any political party or partisan political candidate.
x x x It may be that such restrictions are impermissible and that s 818 may be susceptible of some other improper
applications. But, as presently construed, we do not believe that s 818 must be discarded in toto because some
persons arguably protected conduct may or may not be caught or chilled by the statute. Section 818 is not
substantially overbroad and it not, therefore, unconstitutional on its face. (italics supplied)

xxxx
[Appellants] nevertheless maintain that the statute is overbroad and purports to reach protected, as well as
unprotected conduct, and must therefore be struck down on its face and held to be incapable of any constitutional
application. We do not believe that the overbreadth doctrine may appropriately be invoked in this manner here.
xxxx
The consequence of our departure from traditional rules of standing in the First Amendment area is that any
enforcement of a statute thus placed at issue is totally forbidden until and unless a limiting construction or partial

It bears stressing that, in his Dissenting Opinion, Mr. Justice Nachura does not deny the principles enunciated in
Letter Carriers and Broadrick. He would hold, nonetheless, that these cases cannot be interpreted to mean a
reversal of Mancuso, since they "pertain to different types of laws and were decided based on a different set of
facts," viz.:
In Letter Carriers, the plaintiffs alleged that the Civil Service Commission was enforcing, or threatening to
enforce, the Hatch Acts prohibition against "active participation in political management or political campaigns."
The plaintiffs desired to campaign for candidates for public office, to encourage and get federal employees to run
for state and local offices, to participate as delegates in party conventions, and to hold office in a political club.

In Broadrick, the appellants sought the invalidation for being vague and overbroad a provision in the (sic)
Oklahomas Merit System of Personnel Administration Act restricting the political activities of the States
classified civil servants, in much the same manner as the Hatch Act proscribed partisan political activities of
federal employees. Prior to the commencement of the action, the appellants actively participated in the 1970
reelection campaign of their superior, and were administratively charged for asking other Corporation
Commission employees to do campaign work or to give referrals to persons who might help in the campaign, for
soliciting money for the campaign, and for receiving and distributing campaign posters in bulk.
Mancuso, on the other hand, involves, as aforesaid, an automatic resignation provision. Kenneth Mancuso, a full
time police officer and classified civil service employee of the City of Cranston, filed as a candidate for
nomination as representative to the Rhode Island General Assembly. The Mayor of Cranston then began the
process of enforcing the resign-to-run provision of the City Home Rule Charter.
Clearly, as the above-cited US cases pertain to different types of laws and were decided based on a different set of
facts, Letter Carriers and Broadrick cannot be interpreted to mean a reversal of Mancuso. x x x (italics in the
original)
We hold, however, that his position is belied by a plain reading of these cases. Contrary to his claim, Letter
Carriers, Broadrick and Mancuso all concerned the constitutionality of resign-to-run laws, viz.:
(1) Mancuso involved a civil service employee who filed as a candidate for nomination as representative
to the Rhode Island General Assembly. He assailed the constitutionality of 14.09(c) of the City Home
Rule Charter, which prohibits "continuing in the classified service of the city after becoming a candidate
for nomination or election to any public office."
(2) Letter Carriers involved plaintiffs who alleged that the Civil Service Commission was enforcing, or
threatening to enforce, the Hatch Acts prohibition against "active participation in political management
or political campaigns"63 with respect to certain defined activities in which they desired to engage. The
plaintiffs relevant to this discussion are:
(a) The National Association of Letter Carriers, which alleged that its members were desirous
of, among others, running in local elections for offices such as school board member, city
council member or mayor;
(b) Plaintiff Gee, who alleged that he desired to, but did not, file as a candidate for the office
of Borough Councilman in his local community for fear that his participation in a partisan
election would endanger his job; and
(c) Plaintiff Myers, who alleged that he desired to run as a Republican candidate in the 1971
partisan election for the mayor of West Lafayette, Indiana, and that he would do so except for
fear of losing his job by reason of violation of the Hatch Act.
The Hatch Act defines "active participation in political management or political campaigns" by cross-referring to
the rules made by the Civil Service Commission. The rule pertinent to our inquiry states:
30. Candidacy for local office: Candidacy for a nomination or for election to any National, State, county, or
municipal office is not permissible. The prohibition against political activity extends not merely to formal

28
announcement of candidacy but also to the preliminaries leading to such announcement and to canvassing or
soliciting support or doing or permitting to be done any act in furtherance of candidacy. The fact that candidacy, is
merely passive is immaterial; if an employee acquiesces in the efforts of friends in furtherance of such candidacy
such acquiescence constitutes an infraction of the prohibitions against political activity. (italics supplied)
Section 9(b) requires the immediate removal of violators and forbids the use of appropriated funds thereafter to
pay compensation to these persons.64
(3) Broadrick was a class action brought by certain Oklahoma state employees seeking a declaration of
unconstitutionality of two sub-paragraphs of Section 818 of Oklahomas Merit System of Personnel
Administration Act. Section 818 (7), the paragraph relevant to this discussion, states that "[n]o employee in the
classified service shall be a candidate for nomination or election to any paid public office" Violation of
Section 818 results in dismissal from employment, possible criminal sanctions and limited state employment
ineligibility.
Consequently, it cannot be denied that Letter Carriers and Broadrick effectively overruled Mancuso. By no stretch
of the imagination could Mancuso still be held operative, as Letter Carriers and Broadrick (i) concerned virtually
identical resign-to-run laws, and (ii) were decided by a superior court, the United States Supreme Court. It was
thus not surprising for the First Circuit Court of Appeals the same court that decided Mancuso to hold
categorically and emphatically in Magill v. Lynch 65 that Mancuso is no longer good law. As we priorly explained:
Magill involved Pawtucket, Rhode Island firemen who ran for city office in 1975. Pawtuckets "Little Hatch Act"
prohibits city employees from engaging in a broad range of political activities. Becoming a candidate for any city
office is specifically proscribed,66 the violation being punished by removal from office or immediate dismissal.
The firemen brought an action against the city officials on the ground that that the provision of the city charter was
unconstitutional. However, the court, fully cognizant of Letter Carriers and Broadrick, took the position that
Mancuso had since lost considerable vitality. It observed that the view that political candidacy was a fundamental
interest which could be infringed upon only if less restrictive alternatives were not available, was a position which
was no longer viable, since the Supreme Court (finding that the governments interest in regulating both the
conduct and speech of its employees differed significantly from its interest in regulating those of the citizenry in
general) had given little weight to the argument that prohibitions against the coercion of government employees
were a less drastic means to the same end, deferring to the judgment of Congress, and applying a "balancing" test
to determine whether limits on political activity by public employees substantially served government interests
which were "important" enough to outweigh the employees First Amendment rights.67
It must be noted that the Court of Appeals ruled in this manner even though the election in Magill was
characterized as nonpartisan, as it was reasonable for the city to fear, under the circumstances of that case, that
politically active bureaucrats might use their official power to help political friends and hurt political foes. Ruled
the court:
The question before us is whether Pawtucket's charter provision, which bars a city employee's candidacy in even a
nonpartisan city election, is constitutional. The issue compels us to extrapolate two recent Supreme Court
decisions, Civil Service Comm'n v. Nat'l Ass'n of Letter Carriers and Broadrick v. Oklahoma. Both dealt with
laws barring civil servants from partisan political activity. Letter Carriers reaffirmed United Public Workers v.
Mitchell, upholding the constitutionality of the Hatch Act as to federal employees. Broadrick sustained
Oklahoma's "Little Hatch Act" against constitutional attack, limiting its holding to Oklahoma's construction that
the Act barred only activity in partisan politics. In Mancuso v. Taft, we assumed that proscriptions of candidacy in
nonpartisan elections would not be constitutional. Letter Carriers and Broadrick compel new analysis.

xxxx
What we are obligated to do in this case, as the district court recognized, is to apply the Courts interest balancing
approach to the kind of nonpartisan election revealed in this record. We believe that the district court found more
residual vigor in our opinion in Mancuso v. Taft than remains after Letter Carriers. We have particular reference to
our view that political candidacy was a fundamental interest which could be trenched upon only if less restrictive
alternatives were not available. While this approach may still be viable for citizens who are not government
employees, the Court in Letter Carriers recognized that the government's interest in regulating both the conduct
and speech of its employees differs significantly from its interest in regulating those of the citizenry in general.
Not only was United Public Workers v. Mitchell "unhesitatingly" reaffirmed, but the Court gave little weight to
the argument that prohibitions against the coercion of government employees were a less drastic means to the
same end, deferring to the judgment of the Congress. We cannot be more precise than the Third Circuit in
characterizing the Court's approach as "some sort of 'balancing' process". 68 It appears that the government may
place limits on campaigning by public employees if the limits substantially serve government interests that are
"important" enough to outweigh the employees' First Amendment rights. x x x (italics supplied)
Upholding thus the constitutionality of the law in question, the Magill court detailed the major governmental
interests discussed in Letter Carriers and applied them to the Pawtucket provision as follows:
In Letter Carriers[,] the first interest identified by the Court was that of an efficient government, faithful to the
Congress rather than to party. The district court discounted this interest, reasoning that candidates in a local
election would not likely be committed to a state or national platform. This observation undoubtedly has substance
insofar as allegiance to broad policy positions is concerned. But a different kind of possible political intrusion into
efficient administration could be thought to threaten municipal government: not into broad policy decisions, but
into the particulars of administration favoritism in minute decisions affecting welfare, tax assessments, municipal
contracts and purchasing, hiring, zoning, licensing, and inspections. Just as the Court in Letter Carriers identified a
second governmental interest in the avoidance of the appearance of "political justice" as to policy, so there is an
equivalent interest in avoiding the appearance of political preferment in privileges, concessions, and benefits. The
appearance (or reality) of favoritism that the charter's authors evidently feared is not exorcised by the nonpartisan
character of the formal election process. Where, as here, party support is a key to successful campaigning, and
party rivalry is the norm, the city might reasonably fear that politically active bureaucrats would use their official
power to help political friends and hurt political foes. This is not to say that the city's interest in visibly fair and
effective administration necessarily justifies a blanket prohibition of all employee campaigning; if parties are not
heavily involved in a campaign, the danger of favoritism is less, for neither friend nor foe is as easily identified.
A second major governmental interest identified in Letter Carriers was avoiding the danger of a powerful political
machine. The Court had in mind the large and growing federal bureaucracy and its partisan potential. The district
court felt this was only a minor threat since parties had no control over nominations. But in fact candidates sought
party endorsements, and party endorsements proved to be highly effective both in determining who would emerge
from the primary election and who would be elected in the final election. Under the prevailing customs, known
party affiliation and support were highly significant factors in Pawtucket elections. The charter's authors might
reasonably have feared that a politically active public work force would give the incumbent party, and the
incumbent workers, an unbreakable grasp on the reins of power. In municipal elections especially, the small size
of the electorate and the limited powers of local government may inhibit the growth of interest groups powerful
enough to outbalance the weight of a partisan work force. Even when nonpartisan issues and candidacies are at
stake, isolated government employees may seek to influence voters or their co-workers improperly; but a more
real danger is that a central party structure will mass the scattered powers of government workers behind a single
party platform or slate. Occasional misuse of the public trust to pursue private political ends is tolerable, especially
because the political views of individual employees may balance each other out. But party discipline eliminates

29
this diversity and tends to make abuse systematic. Instead of a handful of employees pressured into advancing
their immediate superior's political ambitions, the entire government work force may be expected to turn out for
many candidates in every election. In Pawtucket, where parties are a continuing presence in political campaigns, a
carefully orchestrated use of city employees in support of the incumbent party's candidates is possible. The danger
is scarcely lessened by the openness of Pawtucket's nominating procedure or the lack of party labels on its ballots.
The third area of proper governmental interest in Letter Carriers was ensuring that employees achieve
advancement on their merits and that they be free from both coercion and the prospect of favor from political
activity. The district court did not address this factor, but looked only to the possibility of a civil servant using his
position to influence voters, and held this to be no more of a threat than in the most nonpartisan of elections. But
we think that the possibility of coercion of employees by superiors remains as strong a factor in municipal
elections as it was in Letter Carriers. Once again, it is the systematic and coordinated exploitation of public
servants for political ends that a legislature is most likely to see as the primary threat of employees' rights.
Political oppression of public employees will be rare in an entirely nonpartisan system. Some superiors may be
inclined to ride herd on the politics of their employees even in a nonpartisan context, but without party officials
looking over their shoulders most supervisors will prefer to let employees go their own ways.
In short, the government may constitutionally restrict its employees' participation in nominally nonpartisan
elections if political parties play a large role in the campaigns. In the absence of substantial party involvement, on
the other hand, the interests identified by the Letter Carriers Court lose much of their force. While the employees'
First Amendment rights would normally outbalance these diminished interests, we do not suggest that they would
always do so. Even when parties are absent, many employee campaigns might be thought to endanger at least one
strong public interest, an interest that looms larger in the context of municipal elections than it does in the national
elections considered in Letter Carriers. The city could reasonably fear the prospect of a subordinate running
directly against his superior or running for a position that confers great power over his superior. An employee of a
federal agency who seeks a Congressional seat poses less of a direct challenge to the command and discipline of
his agency than a fireman or policeman who runs for mayor or city council. The possibilities of internal
discussion, cliques, and political bargaining, should an employee gather substantial political support, are
considerable. (citations omitted)
The court, however, remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings in respect of the petitioners
overbreadth charge. Noting that invalidating a statute for being overbroad is "not to be taken lightly, much less to
be taken in the dark," the court held:
The governing case is Broadrick, which introduced the doctrine of "substantial" overbreadth in a closely
analogous case. Under Broadrick, when one who challenges a law has engaged in constitutionally unprotected
conduct (rather than unprotected speech) and when the challenged law is aimed at unprotected conduct, "the
overbreadth of a statute must not only be real, but substantial as well, judged in relation to the statute's plainly
legitimate sweep." Two major uncertainties attend the doctrine: how to distinguish speech from conduct, and how
to define "substantial" overbreadth. We are spared the first inquiry by Broadrick itself. The plaintiffs in that case
had solicited support for a candidate, and they were subject to discipline under a law proscribing a wide range of
activities, including soliciting contributions for political candidates and becoming a candidate. The Court found
that this combination required a substantial overbreadth approach. The facts of this case are so similar that we may
reach the same result without worrying unduly about the sometimes opaque distinction between speech and
conduct.
The second difficulty is not so easily disposed of. Broadrick found no substantial overbreadth in a statute
restricting partisan campaigning. Pawtucket has gone further, banning participation in nonpartisan campaigns as
well. Measuring the substantiality of a statute's overbreadth apparently requires, inter alia, a rough balancing of the

number of valid applications compared to the number of potentially invalid applications. Some sensitivity to
reality is needed; an invalid application that is far-fetched does not deserve as much weight as one that is probable.
The question is a matter of degree; it will never be possible to say that a ratio of one invalid to nine valid
applications makes a law substantially overbroad. Still, an overbreadth challenger has a duty to provide the court
with some idea of the number of potentially invalid applications the statute permits. Often, simply reading the
statute in the light of common experience or litigated cases will suggest a number of probable invalid applications.
But this case is different. Whether the statute is overbroad depends in large part on the number of elections that are
insulated from party rivalry yet closed to Pawtucket employees. For all the record shows, every one of the city,
state, or federal elections in Pawtucket is actively contested by political parties. Certainly the record suggests that
parties play a major role even in campaigns that often are entirely nonpartisan in other cities. School committee
candidates, for example, are endorsed by the local Democratic committee.
The state of the record does not permit us to find overbreadth; indeed such a step is not to be taken lightly, much
less to be taken in the dark. On the other hand, the entire focus below, in the short period before the election was
held, was on the constitutionality of the statute as applied. Plaintiffs may very well feel that further efforts are not
justified, but they should be afforded the opportunity to demonstrate that the charter forecloses access to a
significant number of offices, the candidacy for which by municipal employees would not pose the possible
threats to government efficiency and integrity which Letter Carriers, as we have interpreted it, deems significant.
Accordingly, we remand for consideration of plaintiffs' overbreadth claim. (italics supplied, citations omitted)
Clearly, Letter Carriers, Broadrick, and Magill demonstrate beyond doubt that Mancuso v. Taft, heavily relied
upon by the ponencia, has effectively been overruled.69 As it is no longer good law, the ponencias exhortation
that "[since] the Americans, from whom we copied the provision in question, had already stricken down a similar
measure for being unconstitutional[,] it is high-time that we, too, should follow suit" is misplaced and
unwarranted.70
Accordingly, our assailed Decisions submission that the right to run for public office is "inextricably linked" with
two fundamental freedoms those of expression and association lies on barren ground. American case law has
in fact never recognized a fundamental right to express ones political views through candidacy,71 as to invoke a
rigorous standard of review.72 Bart v. Telford73 pointedly stated that "[t]he First Amendment does not in terms
confer a right to run for public office, and this court has held that it does not do so by implication either." Thus,
ones interest in seeking office, by itself, is not entitled to constitutional protection. 74 Moreover, one cannot bring
ones action under the rubric of freedom of association, absent any allegation that, by running for an elective
position, one is advancing the political ideas of a particular set of voters. 75
Prescinding from these premises, it is crystal clear that the provisions challenged in the case at bar, are not
violative of the equal protection clause. The deemed-resigned provisions substantially serve governmental
interests (i.e., (i) efficient civil service faithful to the government and the people rather than to party; (ii)
avoidance of the appearance of "political justice" as to policy; (iii) avoidance of the danger of a powerful political
machine; and (iv) ensuring that employees achieve advancement on their merits and that they be free from both
coercion and the prospect of favor from political activity). These are interests that are important enough to
outweigh the non-fundamental right of appointive officials and employees to seek elective office.1avvphi1
En passant, we find it quite ironic that Mr. Justice Nachura cites Clements v. Fashing 76 and Morial, et al. v.
Judiciary Commission of the State of Louisiana, et al.77 to buttress his dissent. Maintaining that resign-to-run
provisions are valid only when made applicable to specified officials, he explains:
U.S. courts, in subsequent cases, sustained the constitutionality of resign-to-run provisions when applied to
specified or particular officials, as distinguished from all others, 78 under a classification that is germane to the

30
purposes of the law. These resign-to-run legislations were not expressed in a general and sweeping provision, and
thus did not violate the test of being germane to the purpose of the law, the second requisite for a valid
classification. Directed, as they were, to particular officials, they were not overly encompassing as to be
overbroad. (emphasis in the original)
This reading is a regrettable misrepresentation of Clements and Morial. The resign-to-run provisions in these cases
were upheld not because they referred to specified or particular officials (vis--vis a general class); the questioned
provisions were found valid precisely because the Court deferred to legislative judgment and found that a
regulation is not devoid of a rational predicate simply because it happens to be incomplete. In fact, the equal
protection challenge in Clements revolved around the claim that the State of Texas failed to explain why some
public officials are subject to the resign-to-run provisions, while others are not. Ruled the United States Supreme
Court:
Article XVI, 65, of the Texas Constitution provides that the holders of certain offices automatically resign their
positions if they become candidates for any other elected office, unless the unexpired portion of the current term is
one year or less. The burdens that 65 imposes on candidacy are even less substantial than those imposed by 19.
The two provisions, of course, serve essentially the same state interests. The District Court found 65 deficient,
however, not because of the nature or extent of the provision's restriction on candidacy, but because of the manner
in which the offices are classified. According to the District Court, the classification system cannot survive equal
protection scrutiny, because Texas has failed to explain sufficiently why some elected public officials are subject
to 65 and why others are not. As with the case of 19, we conclude that 65 survives a challenge under the
Equal Protection Clause unless appellees can show that there is no rational predicate to the classification scheme.
The history behind 65 shows that it may be upheld consistent with the "one step at a time" approach that this
Court has undertaken with regard to state regulation not subject to more vigorous scrutiny than that sanctioned by
the traditional principles. Section 65 was enacted in 1954 as a transitional provision applying only to the 1954
election. Section 65 extended the terms of those offices enumerated in the provision from two to four years. The
provision also staggered the terms of other offices so that at least some county and local offices would be
contested at each election. The automatic resignation proviso to 65 was not added until 1958. In that year, a
similar automatic resignation provision was added in Art. XI, 11, which applies to officeholders in home rule
cities who serve terms longer than two years. Section 11 allows home rule cities the option of extending the terms
of municipal offices from two to up to four years.
Thus, the automatic resignation provision in Texas is a creature of the State's electoral reforms of 1958. That the
State did not go further in applying the automatic resignation provision to those officeholders whose terms were
not extended by 11 or 65, absent an invidious purpose, is not the sort of malfunctioning of the State's
lawmaking process forbidden by the Equal Protection Clause. A regulation is not devoid of a rational predicate
simply because it happens to be incomplete. The Equal Protection Clause does not forbid Texas to restrict one
elected officeholder's candidacy for another elected office unless and until it places similar restrictions on other
officeholders. The provision's language and its history belie any notion that 65 serves the invidious purpose of
denying access to the political process to identifiable classes of potential candidates. (citations omitted and italics
supplied)
Furthermore, it is unfortunate that the dissenters took the Morial line that "there is no blanket approval of
restrictions on the right of public employees to become candidates for public office" out of context. A correct
reading of that line readily shows that the Court only meant to confine its ruling to the facts of that case, as each
equal protection challenge would necessarily have to involve weighing governmental interests vis--vis the
specific prohibition assailed. The Court held:

The interests of public employees in free expression and political association are unquestionably entitled to the
protection of the first and fourteenth amendments. Nothing in today's decision should be taken to imply that public
employees may be prohibited from expressing their private views on controversial topics in a manner that does not
interfere with the proper performance of their public duties. In today's decision, there is no blanket approval of
restrictions on the right of public employees to become candidates for public office. Nor do we approve any
general restrictions on the political and civil rights of judges in particular. Our holding is necessarily narrowed by
the methodology employed to reach it. A requirement that a state judge resign his office prior to becoming a
candidate for non-judicial office bears a reasonably necessary relation to the achievement of the state's interest in
preventing the actuality or appearance of judicial impropriety. Such a requirement offends neither the first
amendment's guarantees of free expression and association nor the fourteenth amendment's guarantee of equal
protection of the laws. (italics supplied)

31
Such a myopic view obviously fails to consider a different, yet equally plausible, threat to the government posed
by the partisan potential of a large and growing bureaucracy: the danger of systematic abuse perpetuated by a
"powerful political machine" that has amassed "the scattered powers of government workers" so as to give itself
and its incumbent workers an "unbreakable grasp on the reins of power."80 As elucidated in our prior exposition:81
Attempts by government employees to wield influence over others or to make use of their respective positions
(apparently) to promote their own candidacy may seem tolerable even innocuous particularly when viewed in
isolation from other similar attempts by other government employees. Yet it would be decidedly foolhardy to
discount the equally (if not more) realistic and dangerous possibility that such seemingly disjointed attempts, when
taken together, constitute a veiled effort on the part of an emerging central party structure to advance its own
agenda through a "carefully orchestrated use of [appointive and/or elective] officials" coming from various levels
of the bureaucracy.

Indeed, the Morial court even quoted Broadrick and stated that:
In any event, the legislature must have some leeway in determining which of its employment positions require
restrictions on partisan political activities and which may be left unregulated. And a State can hardly be faulted for
attempting to limit the positions upon which such restrictions are placed. (citations omitted)

[T]he avoidance of such a "politically active public work force" which could give an emerging political
machine an "unbreakable grasp on the reins of power" is reason enough to impose a restriction on the candidacies
of all appointive public officials without further distinction as to the type of positions being held by such
employees or the degree of influence that may be attendant thereto. (citations omitted)

V.

ii. Limitation on Candidacy Regardless of Type of Office Sought, Valid

Section 4(a) of Resolution 8678, Section 13 of RA 9369, and Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code Do Not
Suffer from Overbreadth
Apart from nullifying Section 4(a) of Resolution 8678, Section 13 of RA 9369, and Section 66 of the Omnibus
Election Code on equal protection ground, our assailed Decision struck them down for being overbroad in two
respects, viz.:
(1) The assailed provisions limit the candidacy of all civil servants holding appointive posts without due
regard for the type of position being held by the employee seeking an elective post and the degree of
influence that may be attendant thereto;79 and
(2) The assailed provisions limit the candidacy of any and all civil servants holding appointive positions
without due regard for the type of office being sought, whether it be partisan or nonpartisan in character,
or in the national, municipal or barangay level.
Again, on second look, we have to revise our assailed Decision.
i. Limitation on Candidacy Regardless of Incumbent Appointive Officials Position, Valid
According to the assailed Decision, the challenged provisions of law are overly broad because they apply
indiscriminately to all civil servants holding appointive posts, without due regard for the type of position being
held by the employee running for elective office and the degree of influence that may be attendant thereto.
Its underlying assumption appears to be that the evils sought to be prevented are extant only when the incumbent
appointive official running for elective office holds an influential post.

The assailed Decision also held that the challenged provisions of law are overly broad because they are made to
apply indiscriminately to all civil servants holding appointive offices, without due regard for the type of elective
office being sought, whether it be partisan or nonpartisan in character, or in the national, municipal or barangay
level.
This erroneous ruling is premised on the assumption that "the concerns of a truly partisan office and the
temptations it fosters are sufficiently different from those involved in an office removed from regular party politics
[so as] to warrant distinctive treatment,"82 so that restrictions on candidacy akin to those imposed by the
challenged provisions can validly apply only to situations in which the elective office sought is partisan in
character. To the extent, therefore, that such restrictions are said to preclude even candidacies for nonpartisan
elective offices, the challenged restrictions are to be considered as overbroad.
Again, a careful study of the challenged provisions and related laws on the matter will show that the alleged
overbreadth is more apparent than real. Our exposition on this issue has not been repudiated, viz.:
A perusal of Resolution 8678 will immediately disclose that the rules and guidelines set forth therein refer to the
filing of certificates of candidacy and nomination of official candidates of registered political parties, in
connection with the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections. 83 Obviously, these rules and guidelines,
including the restriction in Section 4(a) of Resolution 8678, were issued specifically for purposes of the May 10,
2010 National and Local Elections, which, it must be noted, are decidedly partisan in character. Thus, it is clear
that the restriction in Section 4(a) of RA 8678 applies only to the candidacies of appointive officials vying for
partisan elective posts in the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections. On this score, the overbreadth challenge
leveled against Section 4(a) is clearly unsustainable.
Similarly, a considered review of Section 13 of RA 9369 and Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, in
conjunction with other related laws on the matter, will confirm that these provisions are likewise not intended to
apply to elections for nonpartisan public offices.

32
The only elections which are relevant to the present inquiry are the elections for barangay offices, since these are
the only elections in this country which involve nonpartisan public offices.84
In this regard, it is well to note that from as far back as the enactment of the Omnibus Election Code in 1985,
Congress has intended that these nonpartisan barangay elections be governed by special rules, including a separate
rule on deemed resignations which is found in Section 39 of the Omnibus Election Code. Said provision states:
Section 39. Certificate of Candidacy. No person shall be elected punong barangay or kagawad ng sangguniang
barangay unless he files a sworn certificate of candidacy in triplicate on any day from the commencement of the
election period but not later than the day before the beginning of the campaign period in a form to be prescribed
by the Commission. The candidate shall state the barangay office for which he is a candidate.
xxxx
Any elective or appointive municipal, city, provincial or national official or employee, or those in the civil or
military service, including those in government-owned or-controlled corporations, shall be considered
automatically resigned upon the filing of certificate of candidacy for a barangay office.
Since barangay elections are governed by a separate deemed resignation rule, under the present state of law, there
would be no occasion to apply the restriction on candidacy found in Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, and
later reiterated in the proviso of Section 13 of RA 9369, to any election other than a partisan one. For this reason,
the overbreadth challenge raised against Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code and the pertinent proviso in
Section 13 of RA 9369 must also fail. 85
In any event, even if we were to assume, for the sake of argument, that Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code
and the corresponding provision in Section 13 of RA 9369 are general rules that apply also to elections for
nonpartisan public offices, the overbreadth challenge would still be futile. Again, we explained:
In the first place, the view that Congress is limited to controlling only partisan behavior has not received judicial
imprimatur, because the general proposition of the relevant US cases on the matter is simply that the government
has an interest in regulating the conduct and speech of its employees that differs significantly from those it
possesses in connection with regulation of the speech of the citizenry in general. 86
Moreover, in order to have a statute declared as unconstitutional or void on its face for being overly broad,
particularly where, as in this case, "conduct" and not "pure speech" is involved, the overbreadth must not only be
real, but substantial as well, judged in relation to the statutes plainly legitimate sweep. 87
In operational terms, measuring the substantiality of a statutes overbreadth would entail, among other things, a
rough balancing of the number of valid applications compared to the number of potentially invalid
applications.88In this regard, some sensitivity to reality is needed; an invalid application that is far-fetched does not
deserve as much weight as one that is probable.89 The question is a matter of degree.90 Thus, assuming for the sake
of argument that the partisan-nonpartisan distinction is valid and necessary such that a statute which fails to make
this distinction is susceptible to an overbreadth attack, the overbreadth challenge presently mounted must
demonstrate or provide this Court with some idea of the number of potentially invalid elections (i.e. the number of
elections that were insulated from party rivalry but were nevertheless closed to appointive employees) that may in
all probability result from the enforcement of the statute.91

The state of the record, however, does not permit us to find overbreadth. Borrowing from the words of Magill v.
Lynch, indeed, such a step is not to be taken lightly, much less to be taken in the dark, 92 especially since an
overbreadth finding in this case would effectively prohibit the State from enforcing an otherwise valid measure
against conduct that is admittedly within its power to proscribe.93
This Court would do well to proceed with tiptoe caution, particularly when it comes to the application of the
overbreadth doctrine in the analysis of statutes that purportedly attempt to restrict or burden the exercise of the
right to freedom of speech, for such approach is manifestly strong medicine that must be used sparingly, and only
as a last resort.94
In the United States, claims of facial overbreadth have been entertained only where, in the judgment of the court,
the possibility that protected speech of others may be muted and perceived grievances left to fester (due to the
possible inhibitory effects of overly broad statutes) outweighs the possible harm to society in allowing some
unprotected speech or conduct to go unpunished.95 Facial overbreadth has likewise not been invoked where a
limiting construction could be placed on the challenged statute, and where there are readily apparent constructions
that would cure, or at least substantially reduce, the alleged overbreadth of the statute.96
In the case at bar, the probable harm to society in permitting incumbent appointive officials to remain in office,
even as they actively pursue elective posts, far outweighs the less likely evil of having arguably protected
candidacies blocked by the possible inhibitory effect of a potentially overly broad statute.a1f
In this light, the conceivably impermissible applications of the challenged statutes which are, at best, bold
predictions cannot justify invalidating these statutes in toto and prohibiting the State from enforcing them
against conduct that is, and has for more than 100 years been, unquestionably within its power and interest to
proscribe.97 Instead, the more prudent approach would be to deal with these conceivably impermissible
applications through case-by-case adjudication rather than through a total invalidation of the statute itself. 98
Indeed, the anomalies spawned by our assailed Decision have taken place. In his Motion for Reconsideration,
intervenor Drilon stated that a number of high-ranking Cabinet members had already filed their Certificates of
Candidacy without relinquishing their posts.99 Several COMELEC election officers had likewise filed their
Certificates of Candidacy in their respective provinces.100 Even the Secretary of Justice had filed her certificate of
substitution for representative of the first district of Quezon province last December 14, 2009 101 even as her
position as Justice Secretary includes supervision over the City and Provincial Prosecutors, 102 who, in turn, act as
Vice-Chairmen of the respective Boards of Canvassers.103 The Judiciary has not been spared, for a Regional Trial
Court Judge in the South has thrown his hat into the political arena. We cannot allow the tilting of our electoral
playing field in their favor.
For the foregoing reasons, we now rule that Section 4(a) of Resolution 8678 and Section 13 of RA 9369, which
merely reiterate Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, are not unconstitutionally overbroad.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Court RESOLVES to GRANT the respondents and the intervenors Motions for
Reconsideration; REVERSE and SET ASIDE this Courts December 1, 2009 Decision; DISMISS the Petition;
and ISSUE this Resolution declaring as not UNCONSTITUTIONAL (1) Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution
No. 8678, (2) the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of Republic Act No. 9369, and (3) Section
66 of the Omnibus Election Code.
SO ORDERED.

33
Quinto V. COMELEC
COMELEC issued a resolution declaring appointive officials who filed their certificate of candidacy as ipso facto
resigned from their positions.
FACTS:
Petitioners Eleazar P. Quinto and Gerino A. Tolentino, Jr. filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition against the
COMELEC for issuing a resolution declaring appointive officials who filed their certificate of candidacy as ipso
facto resigned from their positions. In this defense, the COMELEC avers that it only copied the provision from
Sec. 13 of R.A. 9369.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the said COMELEC resolution was valid.

VICTORIA C. GUTIERREZ, JOEL R. PEREZ, ARACELI L. YAMBOT, CORAZON F. SORIANO,


LORNA P. TAMOR, ROMEO S. CONSIGNADO, DIVINA R. SULIT, ESTRELITA F. IRESARE,
ROSALINDA L. ALPAY, AUREA L. ILAGAN AND ALL THE OTHER CONCERNED EMPLOYEES
OF THE OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL,Petitioners,
vs.
DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, HONORABLE SECRETARY EMILIA T.
BONCODIN AND DIRECTOR LUZ M. CANTOR, Respondents,
The Facts and the Case
Congress enacted in 1989 Republic Act (R.A.) 6758, called the Compensation and Position Classification Act of
1989 to rationalize the compensation of government employees. Its Section 12 directed the consolidation of
allowances and additional compensation already being enjoyed by employees into their standardized salary rates.
But it exempted certain additional compensations that the employees may be receiving from such consolidation.
Thus:

HELD:
NO.
In the Farias case, the petitioners challenged Sec. 14 of RA. 9006 repealing Sec. 66 of the Omnibus Election
Code (OEC) for giving undue benefit to elective officials in comparison with appointive officials. Incidentally, the
Court upheld the substantial distinctions between the two and pronounced that there was no violation of the equal
protection clause.
However in the present case, the Court held that the discussion on the equal protection clause was an obiter dictum
since the issue raised therein was against the repealing clause. It didnt squarely challenge Sec. 66.
Sec. 13 of RA. 9369 unduly discriminated appointive and elective officials. Applying the 4 requisites of a valid
classification, the proviso does not comply with the second requirement that it must be germane to the purpose
of the law.
The obvious reason for the challenged provision is to prevent the use of a governmental position to promote ones
candidacy, or even to wield a dangerous or coercive influence of the electorate. The measure is further aimed at
promoting the efficiency, integrity, and discipline of the public service by eliminating the danger that the
discharge of official duty would be motivated by political considerations rather than the welfare of the public. The
restriction is also justified by the proposition that the entry of civil servants to the electorate arena, while still in
office, could result in neglect or inefficiency in the performance of duty because they would be attending to their
campaign rather than to their office work.
Sec. 13 of RA. 9369 pertains to all civil servants holding appointive posts without distinction as to whether they
occupy high positions in government or not. Certainly, a utility worker in the government will also be considered
as ipso facto resigned once he files his certificate of candidacy for the election. This scenario is absurd for, indeed,
it is unimaginable how he can use his position in the government to wield influence in the political world.
The provision s directed to the activity any and all public offices, whether they be partisan or non partisan in
character, whether they be in the national, municipal or brgy. level. Congress has not shown a compelling state
interest to restrict the fundamental right involved on such a sweeping scale.
G.R. No. 153266

March 18, 2010

Section 12. Consolidation of Allowances and Compensation. -- All allowances, except for representation and
transportation allowances; clothing and laundry allowances; subsistence allowance of marine officers and
crew on board government vessels and hospital personnel; hazard pay; allowances of foreign service
personnel stationed abroad; and such other additional compensation not otherwise specified herein as may
be determined by the DBM, shall be deemed included in the standardized salary rates herein prescribed.
Such other additional compensation, whether in cash or in kind, being received by incumbents only as of
July 1, 1989 not integrated into the standardized salary rates shall continue to be authorized.
Pursuant to the above, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issued NCC 59 dated September 30,
1989,1 covering the offices of the national government, state universities and colleges, and local government units.
NCC 59 enumerated the specific allowances and additional compensations which were deemed integrated in the
basic salaries and these included the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) and Inflation Connected Allowance
(ICA). The DBM re-issued and published NCC 59 on May 3, 2004.2
The DBM also issued Corporate Compensation Circular (CCC) 10 dated October 2, 1989, 3 covering all
government-owned or controlled corporations and government financial institutions. The DBM re-issued this
circular on February 15, 19994 and published it on March 16, 1999. Accordingly, the Commission on Audit
(COA) disallowed the payments of honoraria and other allowances which were deemed integrated into the
standardized salary rates. Employees of government-owned or controlled corporations questioned the validity of
CCC 10 due to its non-publication. In De Jesus v. Commission on Audit,5 this Court declared CCC 10 ineffective
because of such non-publication. Until then, it ordered the COA to pass on audit the employees honoraria which
they were receiving prior to the effectivity of R.A. 6758.
Meanwhile, the DBM also issued Budget Circular 2001-03 dated November 12, 2001,6 clarifying that only the
exempt allowances under Section 12 of R.A. 6758 may continue to be granted the employees; all others were
deemed integrated in the standardized salary rates. Thus, the payment of allowances and compensation such as
COLA, amelioration allowance, and ICA, among others, which were already deemed integrated in the basic salary
were unauthorized. The Courts ruling in subsequent cases involving government-owned or controlled
corporations followed the De Jesus ruling.
On May 16, 2002 employees of the Office of the Solicitor General filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus in
G.R. 153266, questioning the propriety of integrating their COLA into their standardized salary rates. Employees

of other offices of the national government followed suit. In addition, petitioners in G.R. 159007 questioned the
disallowance of the allowances and fringe benefits that the COA auditing personnel assigned to the Government
Service Insurance System (GSIS) used to get. Petitioners in G.R. 173119 questioned the disallowance of the ICA
that used to be paid to the officials and employees of the Insurance Commission.
The Court caused the consolidation of the petitions and treated them as a class suit for all government employees,
excluding the employees of government-owned or controlled corporations and government financial institutions. 7
On October 26, 2005 the DBM issued National Budget Circular 2005-5028 which provided that all Supreme Court
rulings on the integration of allowances, including COLA, of government employees under R.A. 6758 applied
only to specific government-owned or controlled corporations since the consolidated cases covering the national
government employees are still pending with this Court. Consequently, the payment of allowances and other
benefits to them, such as COLA and ICA, remained prohibited until otherwise provided by law or ruled by this
Court. The circular further said that all agency heads and other responsible officials and employees found to have
authorized the grant of COLA and other allowances and benefits already integrated in the basic salary shall be
personally held liable for such payment.
The Issues Presented
The common issues presented in these consolidated cases are:

34
Section 12. Consolidation of Allowances and Compensation. -- All allowances, except for representation and
transportation allowances; clothing and laundry allowances; subsistence allowance of marine officers and
crew on board government vessels and hospital personnel; hazard pay; allowances of foreign service
personnel stationed abroad; and such other additional compensation not otherwise specified herein as may
be determined by the DBM, shall be deemed included in the standardizedsalary rates herein prescribed.
Such other additional compensation, whether in cash or in kind, being received by incumbents only as of
July 1, 1989 not integrated into the standardized salary rates shall continue to be authorized.
As will be noted from the first sentence above, "all allowances" were deemed integrated into the standardized
salary rates except the following:
(1) representation and transportation allowances;
(2) clothing and laundry allowances;
(3) subsistence allowances of marine officers and crew on board government vessels;
(4) subsistence allowances of hospital personnel;
(5) hazard pay;

1. Whether or not the COLA should be deemed integrated into the standardized salary rates of the
concerned government employees by virtue of Section 12 of R.A. 6758;

(6) allowances of foreign service personnel stationed abroad; and

2. Whether or not the ICA may still be paid to officials and employees of the Insurance Commission;

(7) such other additional compensation not otherwise specified in Section 12 as may be determined by
the DBM.

3. Whether or not the GSIS may still pay the allowances and fringe benefits to COA auditing personnel
assigned to it;
4. Whether or not the non-publication of NCC 59 dated September 30, 1989 in the Official Gazette or
newspaper of general circulation nullifies the integration of the COLA into the standardized salary rates;
and
5. Whether or not the grant of COLA to military and police personnel to the exclusion of other
government employees violates the equal protection clause.
The Courts Ruling
One. Petitioners espouse the common theory that the DBM needs to promulgate rules and regulations before the
COLA that they were getting prior to the passage of R.A. 6758 can be deemed integrated in their standardized
salary rates. Respondent DBM counters that R.A. 6758 already specified the allowances and benefits that were not
to be integrated in the new salary rates. All other allowances, DBM adds, such as COLA, are deemed integrated
into those salary rates.
At the heart of the present controversy is Section 12 of R.A. 6758 which is quoted anew for clarity:

But, while the provision enumerated certain exclusions, it also authorized the DBM to identify such other
additional compensation that may be granted over and above the standardized salary rates. In Philippine Ports
Authority Employees Hired After July 1, 1989 v. Commission on Audit, 9 the Court has ruled that while Section 12
could be considered self-executing in regard to items (1) to (6), it was not so in regard to item (7). The DBM still
needed to amplify item (7) since one cannot simply assume what other allowances were excluded from the
standardized salary rates. It was only upon the issuance and effectivity of the corresponding implementing rules
and regulations that item (7) could be deemed legally completed.
Delegated rule-making is a practical necessity in modern governance because of the increasing complexity and
variety of public functions. Congress has endowed administrative agencies like respondent DBM with the power
to make rules and regulations to implement a given legislation and effectuate its policies. 10 Such power is,
however, necessarily limited to what the law provides. Implementing rules and regulations cannot extend the law
or expand its coverage, as the power to amend or repeal a statute belongs to the legislature. Administrative
agencies implement the broad policies laid down in a law by "filling in" only its details. The regulations must be
germane to the objectives and purposes of the law and must conform to the standards prescribed by law. 11
In this case, the DBM promulgated NCC 59 [and CCC 10]. But, instead of identifying some of the additional
exclusions that Section 12 of R.A. 6758 permits it to make, the DBM made a list of what allowances and benefits
are deemed integrated into the standardized salary rates. More specifically, NCC 59 identified the following
allowances/additional compensation that are deemed integrated:

35
(1) Cost of Living Allowance (COLA);
(2) Inflation connected allowance;
(3) Living Allowance;
(4) Emergency Allowance;
(5) Additional Compensation of Public Health Nurses assigned to public health nursing;
(6) Additional Compensation of Rural Health Physicians;
(7) Additional Compensation of Nurses in Malacaang Clinic;
(8) Nurses Allowance in the Air Transportation Office;
(9) Assignment Allowance of School Superintendents;
(10) Post allowance of Postal Service Office employees;
(11) Honoraria/allowances which are regularly given except the following:
a. those for teaching overload;
b. in lieu of overtime pay;
c. for employees on detail with task forces/special projects;
d. researchers, experts and specialists who are acknowledged authorities in their field of
specialization;

(13) Laundry Allowance of employees except those hospital/sanitaria personnel who attend directly to
patients and who by the nature of their duties are required to wear uniforms, prison guards and
uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Integrated National Police; and
(14) Incentive allowance/fee/pay except those authorized under the General Appropriations Act and
Section 33 of P.D. 807.
The drawing up of the above list is consistent with Section 12 above. R.A. 6758 did not prohibit the DBM from
identifying for the purpose of implementation what fell into the class of "all allowances." With respect to what
employees benefits fell outside the term apart from those that the law specified, the DBM, said this Court in a
case,12 needed to promulgate rules and regulations identifying those excluded benefits. This leads to the inevitable
conclusion that until and unless the DBM issues such rules and regulations, the enumerated exclusions in items (1)
to (6) remain exclusive. Thus so, not being an enumerated exclusion, COLA is deemed already incorporated in the
standardized salary rates of government employees under the general rule of integration.
In any event, the Court finds the inclusion of COLA in the standardized salary rates proper. In National Tobacco
Administration v. Commission on Audit,13 the Court ruled that the enumerated fringe benefits in items (1) to (6)
have one thing in commonthey belong to one category of privilege called allowances which are usually granted
to officials and employees of the government to defray or reimburse the expenses incurred in the performance of
their official functions. Consequently, if these allowances are consolidated with the standardized salary rates, then
the government official or employee will be compelled to spend his personal funds in attending to his duties. On
the other hand, item (7) is a "catch-all proviso" for benefits in the nature of allowances similar to those
enumerated.14
Clearly, COLA is not in the nature of an allowance intended to reimburse expenses incurred by officials and
employees of the government in the performance of their official functions. It is not payment in consideration of
the fulfillment of official duty.15 As defined, cost of living refers to "the level of prices relating to a range of
everyday items"16 or "the cost of purchasing those goods and services which are included in an accepted standard
level of consumption."17 Based on this premise, COLA is a benefit intended to cover increases in the cost of
living. Thus, it is and should be integrated into the standardized salary rates.
Two. Petitioning officials and employees of the Insurance Commission question the disallowance of their ICA on
the ground that it is a benefit similar to the educational assistance granted by the Court in National Tobacco
Administration18 based on the second sentence of Section 12 of R.A. 6758 that reads:

e. lecturers and resource persons;


f. Municipal Treasurers deputized by the Bureau of Internal Revenue to collect and remit
internal revenue collections; and
g. Executive positions in State Universities and Colleges filled by designation from among
their faculty members.
(12) Subsistence Allowance of employees except those authorized under EO [Executive Order] 346 and
uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Integrated National Police;

Such other additional compensation, whether in cash or in kind, being received by incumbents only as of July 1,
1989 not integrated into the standardized salary rates shall continue to be authorized.
In National Tobacco Administration, the Court interpreted this provision as referring to benefits in the nature of
financial assistance, or a bonus or other payment made to employees in addition to guaranteed hourly wages, as
contradistinguished from the allowance in the first sentence, which cannot, strictly speaking, be treated as a bonus
or additional income. In financial assistance, reimbursement is not necessary, while in the case of allowance,
reimbursement is required.19
To be entitled to the financial assistance under this provision, the following requisites must concur: (1) the
recipients were incumbents when R.A. 6758 took effect on July 1, 1989; (2) they were in fact, receiving the same,
at the time; and (3) such additional compensation is distinct and separate from the excepted allowances under
CCC 10, as it is not integrated into the standardized salary rates.201awph!1

In this case, ICA, like COLA, falls under the general rule of integration. The DBM specifically identified it as an
allowance or additional compensation integrated into the standardized salary rates. By its very nature, ICA is
granted due to inflation and upon determination that the current salary of officials and employees of the Insurance
Commission is insufficient to address the problem. The DBM determines whether a need for ICA exists and the
fund from which it will be taken. The Insurance Commission cannot, on its own, determine what allowances are
necessary and then grant them to its officials and employees without the approval of the DBM.
Moreover, ICA does not qualify under the second sentence of Section 12 of R.A. 6758 since the employees failed
to show that they were actually receiving it as of June 30, 1989 or immediately prior to the implementation of
R.A. 6758. The Commissioner of the Insurance Commission requested for authority to grant ICA from the DBM
for the years 198121 and 198422 only. There is no evidence that the ICA were paid in subsequent years. In the
absence of a subsequent authorization granting or restoring ICA to the officials and employees of the Insurance
Commission, there can be no valid legal basis for its continued grant from July 1, 1986.
Three. Petitioners COA auditing personnel assigned to the GSIS question the disallowance of their allowances and
fringe benefits based on the allowances given to GSIS personnel, namely:
5.6. Payment of other allowances/fringe benefits and all other forms of compensation granted on top of
basic salary, whether in cash or in kind, x x x shall be discontinued effective November 1, 1989. Payment
made for such allowances/fringe benefits after said date shall be considered as illegal disbursement of
public funds.
They alleged that since CCC 10 was declared ineffective, the disallowance should be lifted until the issuance was
published on March 16, 1999.
But, although petitioners alleged that the subject benefits were withheld from them on the basis of CCC 10, it is
clear that the benefits were actually withheld from them on the basis of Section 18 of R.A. 6758, which reads:
Section 18. Additional Compensation of Commission on Audit Personnel and of Other Agencies. - In order to
preserve the independence and integrity of the Commission on Audit (COA), its officials and employees are
prohibited from receiving salaries, honoraria, bonuses, allowances or other emoluments from any
government entity, local government unit, and government-owned and controlled corporations, and
government financial institution, except those compensation paid directly by the COA out of its
appropriations and contributions.1avvphi1
Government entities, including government-owned or controlled corporations including financial
institutions and local government units are hereby prohibited from assessing or billing other government
entities, government-owned or controlled corporations including financial institutions or local government
units for services rendered by its officials and employees as part of their regular functions for purposes of
paying additional compensation to said officials and employees.
As aptly pointed out by the COA, Section 18 of R.A. 6758 was complete in itself and was operative without the
aid of any supplementary or enabling legislation.23 The implementing rules and regulations were necessary only
for those provisions, such as item (7) of Section 12, which requires further clarification and interpretation. Thus,
notwithstanding the initial non-publication of CCC 10, the disallowance of petitioners allowances and fringe
benefits as COA auditing personnel assigned to the GSIS was valid upon the effectivity of R.A. 6758.

36
In Tejada v. Domingo,24 this Court explained that COA personnel assigned to auditing units of government-owned
or controlled corporations or government financial institutions can receive only such salaries, allowances or fringe
benefits paid directly by the COA out of its appropriations and contributions. The contributions referred to are the
cost of audit services which did not include the extra emoluments or benefits, such as bank equity pay, longevity
pay, amelioration allowance, and meal allowance, which petitioners claim. The COA is further barred from
assessing or billing government-owned or controlled corporations and government financial institutions for
services rendered by its personnel as part of their regular audit functions for purposes of paying additional
compensation to such personnel.
In upholding the disallowance, the Court ruled in Villarea v. Commission on Audit 25 that valid reasons exist to
treat COA officials differently from other national government officials. The primary function of an auditor is to
prevent irregular, unnecessary, excessive or extravagant expenditures of government funds. To be able to properly
perform their constitutional mandate, COA officials need to be insulated from unwarranted influences, so that they
can act with independence and integrity.
Rightly so, the disallowance in this case is valid.
Four. Petitioners argue that since CCC 10 dated October 2, 1989 covering all government-owned or controlled
corporations and government financial institutions was ineffective until its re-issuance and publication on March
16, 1999, its counterpart, NCC 59 dated September 30, 1989 covering the offices of the national government, state
universities and colleges, and local government units should also be regarded as ineffective until its re-issuance
and publication on May 3, 2004. Thus, the COLA should not be deemed integrated into the standardized salary
rates from 1989 to 2004. Respondents counter that the fact that NCC 59 was not published should not be
considered as an obstacle to the integration of COLA into the standardized salary rates. Accordingly, Budget
Circular 2001-03, insofar as it reiterates NCC 59, should not be treated as ineffective since it merely reaffirms the
fact of consolidation of COLA into the employees salary as mandated by Section 12 of R.A. 6758.
It is a settled rule that publication is required as a condition precedent to the effectivity of a law to inform the
public of its contents before their rights and interests are affected by the same.26 Administrative rules and
regulations must also be published if their purpose is to enforce or implement existing law pursuant also to a valid
delegation.27
Nonetheless, as previously discussed, the integration of COLA into the standardized salary rates is not dependent
on the publication of CCC 10 and NCC 59. This benefit is deemed included in the standardized salary rates of
government employees since it falls under the general rule of integration"all allowances."
More importantly, the integration was not by mere legal fiction since it was factually integrated into the
employees salaries. Records show that the government employees were informed by their respective offices of
their new position titles and their corresponding salary grades when they were furnished with the Notices of
Position Allocation and Salary Adjustment (NPASA). The NPASA provided the breakdown of the employees
gross monthly salary as of June 30, 1989 and the composition of his standardized pay under R.A. 6758. 28 Notably,
the COLA was considered part of the employees monthly income.
In truth, petitioners never really suffered any diminution in pay as a consequence of the consolidation of COLA
into their standardized salary rates. There is thus nothing in these cases which can be the subject of a back pay
since the amount corresponding to COLA was never withheld from petitioners in the first place. 29

Consequently, the non-publication of CCC 10 and NCC 59 in the Official Gazette or newspaper of general
circulation does not nullify the integration of COLA into the standardized salary rates upon the effectivity of R.A.
6758. As the Court has said in Philippine International Trading Corporation v. Commission on Audit,30 the
validity of R.A. 6758 should not be made to depend on the validity of its implementing rules.
Five. Petitioners contend that the continued grant of COLA to military and police personnel under CCC 10 and
NCC 59 to the exclusion of other government employees violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
But as respondents pointed out, while it may appear that petitioners are questioning the constitutionality of these
issuances, they are in fact attacking the very constitutionality of Section 11 of R.A. 6758. It is actually this
provision which allows the uniformed personnel to continue receiving their COLA over and above their basic pay,
thus:
Section 11. Military and Police Personnel. - The base pay of uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines and the Integrated National Police shall be as prescribed in the salary schedule for these
personnel in R.A. 6638 and R.A. 6648. The longevity pay of these personnel shall be as prescribed under
R.A. 6638, and R.A. 1134 as amended by R.A. 3725 and R.A. 6648: Provided, however, That the longevity
pay of uniformed personnel of the Integrated National Police shall include those services rendered as
uniformed members of the police, jail and fire departments of the local government units prior to the police
integration.
All existing types of allowances authorized for uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
and Integrated National Police such as cost of living allowance, longevity pay, quarters allowance,
subsistence allowance, clothing allowance, hazard pay and other allowances shall continue to be authorized.
Nothing is more settled than that the constitutionality of a statute cannot be attacked collaterally because
constitutionality issues must be pleaded directly and not collaterally. 31
In any event, the Court is not persuaded that the continued grant of COLA to the uniformed personnel to the
exclusion of other national government officials run afoul the equal protection clause of the Constitution. The
fundamental right of equal protection of the laws is not absolute, but is subject to reasonable classification. If the
groupings are characterized by substantial distinctions that make real differences, one class may be treated and
regulated differently from another. The classification must also be germane to the purpose of the law and must
apply to all those belonging to the same class.32
To be valid and reasonable, the classification must satisfy the following requirements: (1) it must rest on
substantial distinctions; (2) it must be germane to the purpose of the law; (3) it must not be limited to existing
conditions only; and (4) it must apply equally to all members of the same class.33
It is clear from the first paragraph of Section 11 that Congress intended the uniformed personnel to be continually
governed by their respective compensation laws. Thus, the military is governed by R.A. 6638, 34 as amended by
R.A. 916635 while the police is governed by R.A. 6648,36 as amended by R.A. 6975.37
Certainly, there are valid reasons to treat the uniformed personnel differently from other national government
officials. Being in charged of the actual defense of the State and the maintenance of internal peace and order, they
are expected to be stationed virtually anywhere in the country. They are likely to be assigned to a variety of low,

37
moderate, and high-cost areas. Since their basic pay does not vary based on location, the continued grant of COLA
is intended to help them offset the effects of living in higher cost areas.38
WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition in G.R. No. 172713 and DENIES the petitions in G.R. 153266,
159007, 159029, 170084, 173119, 176477, 177990 and A.M. 06-4-02-SB.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 172087

March 15, 2011

PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORPORATION (PAGCOR), Petitioner,


vs.
THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE (BIR), represented herein by HON. JOSE MARIO BUAG, in
his official capacity as COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Public Respondent,
JOHN DOE and JANE DOE, who are persons acting for, in behalf, or under the authority of
Respondent.Public and Private Respondents.
For resolution of this Court is the Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition1 with prayer for the issuance of a
Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction, dated April 17, 2006, of petitioner Philippine
Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), seeking the declaration of nullity of Section 1 of Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 9337 insofar as it amends Section 27 (c) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, by excluding
petitioner from exemption from corporate income tax for being repugnant to Sections 1 and 10 of Article III of the
Constitution. Petitioner further seeks to prohibit the implementation of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Revenue
Regulations No. 16-2005 for being contrary to law.
The undisputed facts follow.
PAGCOR was created pursuant to Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1067-A2 on January 1, 1977. Simultaneous to its
creation, P.D. No. 1067-B3 (supplementing P.D. No. 1067-A) was issued exempting PAGCOR from the payment
of any type of tax, except a franchise tax of five percent (5%) of the gross revenue.4 Thereafter, on June 2, 1978,
P.D. No. 1399 was issued expanding the scope of PAGCOR's exemption. 5
To consolidate the laws pertaining to the franchise and powers of PAGCOR, P.D. No. 1869 6 was issued. Section
13 thereof reads as follows:
Sec. 13. Exemptions. x x x
(1) Customs Duties, taxes and other imposts on importations. - All importations of equipment, vehicles,
automobiles, boats, ships, barges, aircraft and such other gambling paraphernalia, including accessories
or related facilities, for the sole and exclusive use of the casinos, the proper and efficient management
and administration thereof and such other clubs, recreation or amusement places to be established under
and by virtue of this Franchise shall be exempt from the payment of duties, taxes and other imposts,
including all kinds of fees, levies, or charges of any kind or nature.
Vessels and/or accessory ferry boats imported or to be imported by any corporation having existing
contractual arrangements with the Corporation, for the sole and exclusive use of the casino or to be used
to service the operations and requirements of the casino, shall likewise be totally exempt from the

38
payment of all customs duties, taxes and other imposts, including all kinds of fees, levies, assessments or
charges of any kind or nature, whether National or Local.

Security System, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office,
thus:

(2) Income and other taxes. - (a) Franchise Holder: No tax of any kind or form, income or otherwise, as
well as fees, charges, or levies of whatever nature, whether National or Local, shall be assessed and
collected under this Franchise from the Corporation; nor shall any form of tax or charge attach in any
way to the earnings of the Corporation, except a Franchise Tax of five percent (5%)of the gross revenue
or earnings derived by the Corporation from its operation under this Franchise. Such tax shall be due and
payable quarterly to the National Government and shall be in lieu of all kinds of taxes, levies, fees or
assessments of any kind, nature or description, levied, established, or collected by any municipal,
provincial or national government authority.

(c) Government-owned or Controlled Corporations, Agencies or Instrumentalities. - The provisions of existing


special general laws to the contrary notwithstanding, all corporations, agencies or instrumentalities owned and
controlled by the Government, except the Government Service and Insurance Corporation (GSIS), the Social
Security System (SSS), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC), the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes
Office (PCSO), and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), shall pay such rate of tax
upon their taxable income as are imposed by this Section upon corporations or associations engaged in similar
business, industry, or activity.9

(b) Others: The exemption herein granted for earnings derived from the operations conducted
under the franchise, specifically from the payment of any tax, income or otherwise, as well as
any form of charges, fees or levies, shall inure to the benefit of and extend to corporation(s),
association(s), agency(ies), or individual(s) with whom the Corporation or operator has any
contractual relationship in connection with the operations of the casino(s) authorized to be
conducted under this Franchise and to those receiving compensation or other remuneration
from the Corporation as a result of essential facilities furnished and/or technical services
rendered to the Corporation or operator.
The fee or remuneration of foreign entertainers contracted by the Corporation or operator in pursuance
of this provision shall be free of any tax.
(3) Dividend Income. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, in the event the
Corporation should declare a cash dividend income corresponding to the participation of the private
sector shall, as an incentive to the beneficiaries, be subject only to a final flat income rate of ten percent
(10%) of the regular income tax rates. The dividend income shall not in such case be considered as part
of the beneficiaries' taxable income; provided, however, that such dividend income shall be totally
exempted from income or other form of taxes if invested within six (6) months from the date the
dividend income is received in the following:
(a) operation of the casino(s) or investments in any affiliate activity that will ultimately
redound to the benefit of the Corporation; or any other corporation with whom the Corporation
has any existing arrangements in connection with or related to the operations of the casino(s);

With the enactment of R.A. No. 933710 on May 24, 2005, certain sections of the National Internal Revenue Code
of 1997 were amended. The particular amendment that is at issue in this case is Section 1 of R.A. No. 9337, which
amended Section 27 (c) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 by excluding PAGCOR from the
enumeration of GOCCs that are exempt from payment of corporate income tax, thus:
(c) Government-owned or Controlled Corporations, Agencies or Instrumentalities. - The provisions of existing
special general laws to the contrary notwithstanding, all corporations, agencies, or instrumentalities owned and
controlled by the Government, except the Government Service and Insurance Corporation (GSIS), the Social
Security System (SSS), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC), and the Philippine Charity
Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), shall pay such rate of tax upon their taxable income as are imposed by this Section
upon corporations or associations engaged in similar business, industry, or activity.
Different groups came to this Court via petitions for certiorari and prohibition11 assailing the validity and
constitutionality of R.A. No. 9337, in particular:
1) Section 4, which imposes a 10% Value Added Tax (VAT) on sale of goods and properties; Section 5,
which imposes a 10% VAT on importation of goods; and Section 6, which imposes a 10% VAT on sale
of services and use or lease of properties, all contain a uniform proviso authorizing the President, upon
the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, to raise the VAT rate to 12%. The said provisions were
alleged to be violative of Section 28 (2), Article VI of the Constitution, which section vests in Congress
the exclusive authority to fix the rate of taxes, and of Section 1, Article III of the Constitution on due
process, as well as of Section 26 (2), Article VI of the Constitution, which section provides for the "no
amendment rule" upon the last reading of a bill;

(b) Government bonds, securities, treasury notes, or government debentures; or

2) Sections 8 and 12 were alleged to be violative of Section 1, Article III of the Constitution, or the
guarantee of equal protection of the laws, and Section 28 (1), Article VI of the Constitution; and

(c) BOI-registered or export-oriented corporation(s).7

3) other technical aspects of the passage of the law, questioning the manner it was passed.

PAGCOR's tax exemption was removed in June 1984 through P.D. No. 1931, but it was later restored by Letter of
Instruction No. 1430, which was issued in September 1984.
8

On January 1, 1998, R.A. No. 8424, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, took effect.
Section 27 (c) of R.A. No. 8424 provides that government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) shall pay
corporate income tax, except petitioner PAGCOR, the Government Service and Insurance Corporation, the Social

On September 1, 2005, the Court dismissed all the petitions and upheld the constitutionality of R.A. No. 9337.12
On the same date, respondent BIR issued Revenue Regulations (RR) No. 16-2005,13 specifically identifying
PAGCOR as one of the franchisees subject to 10% VAT imposed under Section 108 of the National Internal
Revenue Code of 1997, as amended by R.A. No. 9337. The said revenue regulation, in part, reads:
Sec. 4. 108-3. Definitions and Specific Rules on Selected Services.

39
xxxx

SECTION 1 OF R.A. NO. 9337 IS NOT VIOLATIVE OF SECTION 1 AND SECTION 10, ARTICLE III OF
THE 1987 CONSTITUTION.

(h) x x x
III
Gross Receipts of all other franchisees, other than those covered by Sec. 119 of the Tax Code, regardless of how
their franchisees may have been granted, shall be subject to the 10% VAT imposed under Sec.108 of the Tax
Code. This includes, among others, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), and its
licensees or franchisees.
Hence, the present petition for certiorari.
PAGCOR raises the following issues:
I
WHETHER OR NOT RA 9337, SECTION 1 (C) IS NULL AND VOID AB INITIO FOR BEING REPUGNANT
TO THE EQUAL PROTECTION [CLAUSE] EMBODIED IN SECTION 1, ARTICLE III OF THE 1987
CONSTITUTION.
II
WHETHER OR NOT RA 9337, SECTION 1 (C) IS NULL AND VOID AB INITIO FOR BEING REPUGNANT
TO THE NON-IMPAIRMENT [CLAUSE] EMBODIED IN SECTION 10, ARTICLE III OF THE 1987
CONSTITUTION.
III
WHETHER OR NOT RR 16-2005, SECTION 4.108-3, PARAGRAPH (H) IS NULL AND VOID AB
INITIOFOR BEING BEYOND THE SCOPE OF THE BASIC LAW, RA 8424, SECTION 108, INSOFAR AS
THE SAID REGULATION IMPOSED VAT ON THE SERVICES OF THE PETITIONER AS WELL AS
PETITIONERS LICENSEES OR FRANCHISEES WHEN THE BASIC LAW, AS INTERPRETED BY
APPLICABLE JURISPRUDENCE, DOES NOT IMPOSE VAT ON PETITIONER OR ON PETITIONERS
LICENSEES OR FRANCHISEES.14
The BIR, in its Comment15 dated December 29, 2006, counters:
I
SECTION 1 OF R.A. NO. 9337 AND SECTION 13 (2) OF P.D. 1869 ARE BOTH VALID AND
CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS OF LAWS THAT SHOULD BE HARMONIOUSLY CONSTRUED
TOGETHER SO AS TO GIVE EFFECT TO ALL OF THEIR PROVISIONS WHENEVER POSSIBLE.
II

BIR REVENUE REGULATIONS ARE PRESUMED VALID AND CONSTITUTIONAL UNTIL STRICKEN
DOWN BY LAWFUL AUTHORITIES.
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), by way of Manifestation In Lieu of Comment,16 concurred with the
arguments of the petitioner. It added that although the State is free to select the subjects of taxation and that the
inequity resulting from singling out a particular class for taxation or exemption is not an infringement of the
constitutional limitation, a tax law must operate with the same force and effect to all persons, firms and
corporations placed in a similar situation. Furthermore, according to the OSG, public respondent BIR exceeded its
statutory authority when it enacted RR No. 16-2005, because the latter's provisions are contrary to the mandates of
P.D. No. 1869 in relation to R.A. No. 9337.
The main issue is whether or not PAGCOR is still exempt from corporate income tax and VAT with the enactment
of R.A. No. 9337.
After a careful study of the positions presented by the parties, this Court finds the petition partly meritorious.
Under Section 1 of R.A. No. 9337, amending Section 27 (c) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1977,
petitioner is no longer exempt from corporate income tax as it has been effectively omitted from the list of GOCCs
that are exempt from it. Petitioner argues that such omission is unconstitutional, as it is violative of its right to
equal protection of the laws under Section 1, Article III of the Constitution:
Sec. 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be
denied the equal protection of the laws.
In City of Manila v. Laguio, Jr.,17 this Court expounded the meaning and scope of equal protection, thus:
Equal protection requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights
conferred and responsibilities imposed. Similar subjects, in other words, should not be treated differently, so as to
give undue favor to some and unjustly discriminate against others. The guarantee means that no person or class of
persons shall be denied the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in like
circumstances. The "equal protection of the laws is a pledge of the protection of equal laws." It limits
governmental discrimination. The equal protection clause extends to artificial persons but only insofar as their
property is concerned.
xxxx
Legislative bodies are allowed to classify the subjects of legislation. If the classification is reasonable, the law may
operate only on some and not all of the people without violating the equal protection clause. The classification
must, as an indispensable requisite, not be arbitrary. To be valid, it must conform to the following requirements:
1) It must be based on substantial distinctions.

40
2) It must be germane to the purposes of the law.

HON. ROXAS. Mr. Chairman, I wonder if in the revenue gainers if we factored in an amount that would reflect
the VAT and other sales taxes---

3) It must not be limited to existing conditions only.


CHAIRMAN ENRILE. No, were talking of this measure only. We will not --- (discontinued)
4) It must apply equally to all members of the class.18
It is not contested that before the enactment of R.A. No. 9337, petitioner was one of the five GOCCs exempted
from payment of corporate income tax as shown in R.A. No. 8424, Section 27 (c) of which, reads:
(c) Government-owned or Controlled Corporations, Agencies or Instrumentalities. - The provisions of existing
special or general laws to the contrary notwithstanding, all corporations, agencies or instrumentalities owned and
controlled by the Government, except the Government Service and Insurance Corporation (GSIS), the Social
Security System (SSS), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC), the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes
Office (PCSO), and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), shall pay such rate of tax
upon their taxable income as are imposed by this Section upon corporations or associations engaged in similar
business, industry, or activity.19
A perusal of the legislative records of the Bicameral Conference Meeting of the Committee on Ways on Means
dated October 27, 1997 would show that the exemption of PAGCOR from the payment of corporate income tax
was due to the acquiescence of the Committee on Ways on Means to the request of PAGCOR that it be exempt
from such tax.20 The records of the Bicameral Conference Meeting reveal:
HON. R. DIAZ. The other thing, sir, is we --- I noticed we imposed a tax on lotto winnings.
CHAIRMAN ENRILE. Wala na, tinanggal na namin yon.
HON. R. DIAZ. Tinanggal na ba natin yon?
CHAIRMAN ENRILE. Oo.
HON. R. DIAZ. Because I was wondering whether we covered the tax on --- Whether on a universal basis, we
included a tax on cockfighting winnings.
CHAIRMAN ENRILE. No, we removed the --HON. R. DIAZ. I . . . (inaudible) natin yong lotto?
CHAIRMAN ENRILE. Pati PAGCOR tinanggal upon request.
CHAIRMAN JAVIER. Yeah, Philippine Insurance Commission.
CHAIRMAN ENRILE. Philippine Insurance --- Health, health ba. Yon ang request ng Chairman, I will accept.
(laughter) Pag-Pag-ibig yon, maliliit na sa tao yon.

HON. ROXAS. No, no, no, no, from the --- arising from the exemption. Assuming that when we release the
money into the hands of the public, they will not use that to --- for wallpaper. They will spend that eh, Mr.
Chairman. So when they spend that--CHAIRMAN ENRILE. Theres a VAT.
HON. ROXAS. There will be a VAT and there will be other sales taxes no. Is there a quantification? Is there an
approximation?
CHAIRMAN JAVIER. Not anything.
HON. ROXAS. So, in effect, we have sterilized that entire seven billion. In effect, it is not circulating in the
economy which is unrealistic.
CHAIRMAN ENRILE. It does, it does, because this is taken and spent by government, somebody receives it in
the form of wages and supplies and other services and other goods. They are not being taken from the public and
stored in a vault.
CHAIRMAN JAVIER. That 7.7 loss because of tax exemption. That will be extra income for the taxpayers.
HON. ROXAS. Precisely, so they will be spending it. 21
The discussion above bears out that under R.A. No. 8424, the exemption of PAGCOR from paying corporate
income tax was not based on a classification showing substantial distinctions which make for real differences, but
to reiterate, the exemption was granted upon the request of PAGCOR that it be exempt from the payment of
corporate income tax.
With the subsequent enactment of R.A. No. 9337, amending R.A. No. 8424, PAGCOR has been excluded from
the enumeration of GOCCs that are exempt from paying corporate income tax. The records of the Bicameral
Conference Meeting dated April 18, 2005, of the Committee on the Disagreeing Provisions of Senate Bill No.
1950 and House Bill No. 3555, show that it is the legislative intent that PAGCOR be subject to the payment of
corporate income tax, thus:
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. RECTO). Yes, Osmea, the proponent of the amendment.
SEN. OSMEA. Yeah. Mr. Chairman, one of the reasons why we're even considering this VAT bill is we want to
show the world who our creditors, that we are increasing official revenues that go to the national budget.
Unfortunately today, Pagcor is unofficial.
Now, in 2003, I took a quick look this morning, Pagcor had a net income of 9.7 billion after paying some small
taxes that they are subjected to. Of the 9.7 billion, they claim they remitted to national government seven billion.

41
Pagkatapos, there are other specific remittances like to the Philippine Sports Commission, etc., as mandated by
various laws, and then about 400 million to the President's Social Fund. But all in all, their net profit today should
be about 12 billion. That's why I am questioning this two billion. Because while essentially they claim that the
money goes to government, and I will accept that just for the sake of argument. It does not pass through the
appropriation process. And I think that at least if we can capture 35 percent or 32 percent through the
budgetary process, first, it is reflected in our official income of government which is applied to the national
budget, and secondly, it goes through what is constitutionally mandated as Congress appropriating and
defining where the money is spent and not through a board of directors that has absolutely no
accountability.

REP. TEVES. Mr. Chairman.


xxxx
THE CHAIRMAN (REP. LAPUS). Congressman Teves.
REP. TEVES. Yeah. Pagcor is controlled under Section 27, that is on income tax. Now, we are talking here
on value-added tax. Do you mean to say we are going to amend it from income tax to value-added tax, as far
as Pagcor is concerned?

REP. PUENTEBELLA. Well, with all due respect, Mr. Chairman, follow up lang.
There is wisdom in the comments of my good friend from Cebu, Senator Osmea.

THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. RECTO). No. We are just amending that section with regard to the exemption
from income tax of Pagcor.

SEN. OSMEA. And Negros.

xxxx

REP. PUENTEBELLA. And Negros at the same time ay Kasimanwa. But I would not want to put my friends from
the Department of Finance in a difficult position, but may we know your comments on this knowing that as
Senator Osmea just mentioned, he said, "I accept that that a lot of it is going to spending for basic services," you
know, going to most, I think, supposedly a lot or most of it should go to government spending, social services and
the like. What is your comment on this? This is going to affect a lot of services on the government side.

REP. NOGRALES. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman.


THE CHAIRMAN (REP. LAPUS). Congressman Nograles.
REP. NOGRALES. Just a point of inquiry from the Chair. What exactly are the functions of Pagcor that are
VATable? What will we VAT in Pagcor?

THE CHAIRMAN (REP. LAPUS). Mr. Chair, Mr. Chair.


THE CHAIRMAN (REP. LAPUS). This is on own income tax. This is Pagcor income tax.
SEN. OSMEA. It goes from pocket to the other, Monico.
REP. NOGRALES. No, that's why. Anong i-va-Vat natin sa kanya. Sale of what?
REP. PUENTEBELLA. I know that. But I wanted to ask them, Mr. Senator, because you may have your own prejudgment on this and I don't blame you. I don't blame you. And I know you have your own research. But will this
not affect a lot, the disbursements on social services and other?
REP. LOCSIN. Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, if I can add to that question also. Wouldn't it be easier for you to
explain to, say, foreign creditors, how do you explain to them that if there is a fiscal gap some of our richest
corporations has [been] spared [from] taxation by the government which is one rich source of revenues. Now, why
do you save, why do you spare certain government corporations on that, like Pagcor? So, would it be easier for
you to make an argument if everything was exposed to taxation?

xxxx
REP. VILLAFUERTE. Mr. Chairman, my question is, what are we VATing Pagcor with, is it the . . .
REP. NOGRALES. Mr. Chairman, this is a secret agreement or the way they craft their contract, which basis?
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. RECTO). Congressman Nograles, the Senate version does not discuss a VAT on
Pagcor but it just takes away their exemption from non-payment of income tax.22

REP. TEVES. Mr. Chair, please.


THE CHAIRMAN (REP. LAPUS). Can we ask the DOF to respond to those before we call Congressman Teves?
MR. PURISIMA. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Yes, from definitely improving the collection, it will help us because it will then enter as an official revenue
although when dividends declare it also goes in as other income. (sic)
xxxx

Taxation is the rule and exemption is the exception.23 The burden of proof rests upon the party claiming
exemption to prove that it is, in fact, covered by the exemption so claimed.24 As a rule, tax exemptions are
construed strongly against the claimant.25 Exemptions must be shown to exist clearly and categorically, and
supported by clear legal provision.26
In this case, PAGCOR failed to prove that it is still exempt from the payment of corporate income tax, considering
that Section 1 of R.A. No. 9337 amended Section 27 (c) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 by
omitting PAGCOR from the exemption. The legislative intent, as shown by the discussions in the Bicameral
Conference Meeting, is to require PAGCOR to pay corporate income tax; hence, the omission or removal of
PAGCOR from exemption from the payment of corporate income tax. It is a basic precept of statutory

construction that the express mention of one person, thing, act, or consequence excludes all others as expressed in
the familiar maxim expressio unius est exclusio alterius.27 Thus, the express mention of the GOCCs exempted
from payment of corporate income tax excludes all others. Not being excepted, petitioner PAGCOR must be
regarded as coming within the purview of the general rule that GOCCs shall pay corporate income tax, expressed
in the maxim: exceptio firmat regulam in casibus non exceptis. 28
PAGCOR cannot find support in the equal protection clause of the Constitution, as the legislative records of the
Bicameral Conference Meeting dated October 27, 1997, of the Committee on Ways and Means, show that
PAGCORs exemption from payment of corporate income tax, as provided in Section 27 (c) of R.A. No. 8424, or
the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, was not made pursuant to a valid classification based on substantial
distinctions and the other requirements of a reasonable classification by legislative bodies, so that the law may
operate only on some, and not all, without violating the equal protection clause. The legislative records show that
the basis of the grant of exemption to PAGCOR from corporate income tax was PAGCORs own request to be
exempted.
Petitioner further contends that Section 1 (c) of R.A. No. 9337 is null and void ab initio for violating the nonimpairment clause of the Constitution. Petitioner avers that laws form part of, and is read into, the contract even
without the parties expressly saying so. Petitioner states that the private parties/investors transacting with it
considered the tax exemptions, which inure to their benefit, as the main consideration and inducement for their
decision to transact/invest with it. Petitioner argues that the withdrawal of its exemption from corporate income
tax by R.A. No. 9337 has the effect of changing the main consideration and inducement for the transactions of
private parties with it; thus, the amendatory provision is violative of the non-impairment clause of the
Constitution.
Petitioners contention lacks merit.
The non-impairment clause is contained in Section 10, Article III of the Constitution, which provides that no law
impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed. The non-impairment clause is limited in application to laws
that derogate from prior acts or contracts by enlarging, abridging or in any manner changing the intention of the
parties.29 There is impairment if a subsequent law changes the terms of a contract between the parties, imposes
new conditions, dispenses with those agreed upon or withdraws remedies for the enforcement of the rights of the
parties.30
As regards franchises, Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution 31 provides that no franchise or right shall be
granted except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress
when the common good so requires.32
In Manila Electric Company v. Province of Laguna,33 the Court held that a franchise partakes the nature of a grant,
which is beyond the purview of the non-impairment clause of the Constitution.34 The pertinent portion of the case
states:
While the Court has, not too infrequently, referred to tax exemptions contained in special franchises as being in
the nature of contracts and a part of the inducement for carrying on the franchise, these exemptions, nevertheless,
are far from being strictly contractual in nature. Contractual tax exemptions, in the real sense of the term and
where the non-impairment clause of the Constitution can rightly be invoked, are those agreed to by the taxing
authority in contracts, such as those contained in government bonds or debentures, lawfully entered into by them
under enabling laws in which the government, acting in its private capacity, sheds its cloak of authority and
waives its governmental immunity. Truly, tax exemptions of this kind may not be revoked without impairing the

42
obligations of contracts. These contractual tax exemptions, however, are not to be confused with tax exemptions
granted under franchises. A franchise partakes the nature of a grant which is beyond the purview of the nonimpairment clause of the Constitution. Indeed, Article XII, Section 11, of the 1987 Constitution, like its precursor
provisions in the 1935 and the 1973 Constitutions, is explicit that no franchise for the operation of a public utility
shall be granted except under the condition that such privilege shall be subject to amendment, alteration or repeal
by Congress as and when the common good so requires. 35
In this case, PAGCOR was granted a franchise to operate and maintain gambling casinos, clubs and other
recreation or amusement places, sports, gaming pools, i.e., basketball, football, lotteries, etc., whether on land or
sea, within the territorial jurisdiction of the Republic of the Philippines.36 Under Section 11, Article XII of the
Constitution, PAGCORs franchise is subject to amendment, alteration or repeal by Congress such as the
amendment under Section 1 of R.A. No. 9377. Hence, the provision in Section 1 of R.A. No. 9337, amending
Section 27 (c) of R.A. No. 8424 by withdrawing the exemption of PAGCOR from corporate income tax, which
may affect any benefits to PAGCORs transactions with private parties, is not violative of the non-impairment
clause of the Constitution.
Anent the validity of RR No. 16-2005, the Court holds that the provision subjecting PAGCOR to 10% VAT is
invalid for being contrary to R.A. No. 9337. Nowhere in R.A. No. 9337 is it provided that petitioner can be
subjected to VAT. R.A. No. 9337 is clear only as to the removal of petitioner's exemption from the payment of
corporate income tax, which was already addressed above by this Court.
As pointed out by the OSG, R.A. No. 9337 itself exempts petitioner from VAT pursuant to Section 7 (k) thereof,
which reads:
Sec. 7. Section 109 of the same Code, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:
Section 109. Exempt Transactions. - (1) Subject to the provisions of Subsection (2) hereof, the following
transactions shall be exempt from the value-added tax:
xxxx
(k) Transactions which are exempt under international agreements to which the Philippines is a signatory or under
special laws, except Presidential Decree No. 529.37
Petitioner is exempt from the payment of VAT, because PAGCORs charter, P.D. No. 1869, is a special law that
grants petitioner exemption from taxes.
Moreover, the exemption of PAGCOR from VAT is supported by Section 6 of R.A. No. 9337, which retained
Section 108 (B) (3) of R.A. No. 8424, thus:
[R.A. No. 9337], SEC. 6. Section 108 of the same Code (R.A. No. 8424), as amended, is hereby further amended
to read as follows:
SEC. 108. Value-Added Tax on Sale of Services and Use or Lease of Properties.

(A) Rate and Base of Tax. There shall be levied, assessed and collected, a value-added tax equivalent to ten
percent (10%) of gross receipts derived from the sale or exchange of services, including the use or lease of
properties: x x x
xxxx
(B) Transactions Subject to Zero Percent (0%) Rate. The following services performed in the Philippines by
VAT-registered persons shall be subject to zero percent (0%) rate;
xxxx
(3) Services rendered to persons or entities whose exemption under special laws or international agreements to
which the Philippines is a signatory effectively subjects the supply of such services to zero percent (0%) rate;

43
(2) Income and other taxes. - (a) Franchise Holder: No tax of any kind or form, income or otherwise, as well as
fees, charges or levies of whatever nature, whether National or Local, shall be assessed and collected under this
Franchise from the Corporation; nor shall any form of tax or charge attach in any way to the earnings of the
Corporation, except a Franchise Tax of five (5%) percent of the gross revenue or earnings derived by the
Corporation from its operation under this Franchise. Such tax shall be due and payable quarterly to the National
Government and shall be in lieu of all kinds of taxes, levies, fees or assessments of any kind, nature or description,
levied, established or collected by any municipal, provincial, or national government authority.
(b) Others: The exemptions herein granted for earnings derived from the operations conducted under the franchise
specifically from the payment of any tax, income or otherwise, as well as any form of charges, fees or levies, shall
inure to the benefit of and extend to corporation(s), association(s), agency(ies), or individual(s) with whom the
Corporation or operator has any contractual relationship in connection with the operations of the casino(s)
authorized to be conducted under this Franchise and to those receiving compensation or other remuneration from
the Corporation or operator as a result of essential facilities furnished and/or technical services rendered to the
Corporation or operator.

x x x x38
As pointed out by petitioner, although R.A. No. 9337 introduced amendments to Section 108 of R.A. No. 8424 by
imposing VAT on other services not previously covered, it did not amend the portion of Section 108 (B) (3) that
subjects to zero percent rate services performed by VAT-registered persons to persons or entities whose
exemption under special laws or international agreements to which the Philippines is a signatory effectively
subjects the supply of such services to 0% rate.
Petitioner's exemption from VAT under Section 108 (B) (3) of R.A. No. 8424 has been thoroughly and
extensively discussed in Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Acesite (Philippines) Hotel Corporation.39 Acesite
was the owner and operator of the Holiday Inn Manila Pavilion Hotel. It leased a portion of the hotels premises to
PAGCOR. It incurred VAT amounting to P30,152,892.02 from its rental income and sale of food and beverages to
PAGCOR from January 1996 to April 1997. Acesite tried to shift the said taxes to PAGCOR by incorporating it in
the amount assessed to PAGCOR. However, PAGCOR refused to pay the taxes because of its tax-exempt status.
PAGCOR paid only the amount due to Acesite minus VAT in the sum of P30,152,892.02. Acesite paid VAT in
the amount of P30,152,892.02 to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, fearing the legal consequences of its nonpayment. In May 1998, Acesite sought the refund of the amount it paid as VAT on the ground that its transaction
with PAGCOR was subject to zero rate as it was rendered to a tax-exempt entity. The Court ruled that PAGCOR
and Acesite were both exempt from paying VAT, thus:
xxxx
PAGCOR is exempt from payment of indirect taxes
It is undisputed that P.D. 1869, the charter creating PAGCOR, grants the latter an exemption from the payment of
taxes. Section 13 of P.D. 1869 pertinently provides:
Sec. 13. Exemptions.
xxxx

Petitioner contends that the above tax exemption refers only to PAGCOR's direct tax liability and not to indirect
taxes, like the VAT.
We disagree.
A close scrutiny of the above provisos clearly gives PAGCOR a blanket exemption to taxes with no distinction on
whether the taxes are direct or indirect. We are one with the CA ruling that PAGCOR is also exempt from indirect
taxes, like VAT, as follows:
Under the above provision [Section 13 (2) (b) of P.D. 1869], the term "Corporation" or operator refers to
PAGCOR. Although the law does not specifically mention PAGCOR's exemption from indirect taxes, PAGCOR
is undoubtedly exempt from such taxes because the law exempts from taxes persons or entities contracting with
PAGCOR in casino operations. Although, differently worded, the provision clearly exempts PAGCOR from
indirect taxes. In fact, it goes one step further by granting tax exempt status to persons dealing with PAGCOR in
casino operations. The unmistakable conclusion is that PAGCOR is not liable for the P30, 152,892.02 VAT and
neither is Acesite as the latter is effectively subject to zero percent rate under Sec. 108 B (3), R.A. 8424.
(Emphasis supplied.)
Indeed, by extending the exemption to entities or individuals dealing with PAGCOR, the legislature clearly
granted exemption also from indirect taxes. It must be noted that the indirect tax of VAT, as in the instant case,
can be shifted or passed to the buyer, transferee, or lessee of the goods, properties, or services subject to VAT.
Thus, by extending the tax exemption to entities or individuals dealing with PAGCOR in casino operations,
it is exempting PAGCOR from being liable to indirect taxes.
The manner of charging VAT does not make PAGCOR liable to said tax.
It is true that VAT can either be incorporated in the value of the goods, properties, or services sold or leased, in
which case it is computed as 1/11 of such value, or charged as an additional 10% to the value. Verily, the seller or
lessor has the option to follow either way in charging its clients and customer. In the instant case, Acesite followed
the latter method, that is, charging an additional 10% of the gross sales and rentals. Be that as it may, the use of
either method, and in particular, the first method, does not denigrate the fact that PAGCOR is exempt from an
indirect tax, like VAT.

44
VAT exemption extends to Acesite

No costs.

Thus, while it was proper for PAGCOR not to pay the 10% VAT charged by Acesite, the latter is not liable for the
payment of it as it is exempt in this particular transaction by operation of law to pay the indirect tax. Such
exemption falls within the former Section 102 (b) (3) of the 1977 Tax Code, as amended (now Sec. 108 [b] [3] of
R.A. 8424), which provides:

SO ORDERED.

Section 102. Value-added tax on sale of services.- (a) Rate and base of tax - There shall be levied, assessed and
collected, a value-added tax equivalent to 10% of gross receipts derived by any person engaged in the sale of
services x x x; Provided, that the following services performed in the Philippines by VAT registered persons shall
be subject to 0%.
xxxx
(3) Services rendered to persons or entities whose exemption under special laws or international agreements to
which the Philippines is a signatory effectively subjects the supply of such services to zero (0%) rate (emphasis
supplied).
The rationale for the exemption from indirect taxes provided for in P.D. 1869 and the extension of such exemption
to entities or individuals dealing with PAGCOR in casino operations are best elucidated from the 1987 case
ofCommissioner of Internal Revenue v. John Gotamco & Sons, Inc., where the absolute tax exemption of the
World Health Organization (WHO) upon an international agreement was upheld. We held in said case that the
exemption of contractee WHO should be implemented to mean that the entity or person exempt is the contractor
itself who constructed the building owned by contractee WHO, and such does not violate the rule that tax
exemptions are personal because the manifest intention of the agreement is to exempt the contractor so that no
contractor's tax may be shifted to the contractee WHO. Thus, the proviso in P.D. 1869, extending the exemption to
entities or individuals dealing with PAGCOR in casino operations, is clearly to proscribe any indirect tax, like
VAT, that may be shifted to PAGCOR.40
Although the basis of the exemption of PAGCOR and Acesite from VAT in the case of The Commissioner of
Internal Revenue v. Acesite (Philippines) Hotel Corporation was Section 102 (b) of the 1977 Tax Code, as
amended, which section was retained as Section 108 (B) (3) in R.A. No. 8424, 41 it is still applicable to this case,
since the provision relied upon has been retained in R.A. No. 9337.421avvphi1
It is settled rule that in case of discrepancy between the basic law and a rule or regulation issued to implement said
law, the basic law prevails, because the said rule or regulation cannot go beyond the terms and provisions of the
basic law.43 RR No. 16-2005, therefore, cannot go beyond the provisions of R.A. No. 9337. Since PAGCOR is
exempt from VAT under R.A. No. 9337, the BIR exceeded its authority in subjecting PAGCOR to 10% VAT
under RR No. 16-2005; hence, the said regulatory provision is hereby nullified.
WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTLY GRANTED. Section 1 of Republic Act No. 9337, amending Section 27
(c) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, by excluding petitioner Philippine Amusement and Gaming
Corporation from the enumeration of government-owned and controlled corporations exempted from corporate
income tax is valid and constitutional, while BIR Revenue Regulations No. 16-2005 insofar as it subjects
PAGCOR to 10% VAT is null and void for being contrary to the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as
amended by Republic Act No. 9337.

ROMA DRUG and ROMEO


RODRIGUEZ, as Proprietor
of ROMA DRUG
versus
THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
OF GUAGUA, PAMPANGA, THE
PROVINCIAL PROSECUTOR OF
PAMPANGA, BUREAU OF FOOD
& DRUGS (BFAD) and GLAXO
SMITHKLINE

G.R. No. 149907

April 16, 2009

On 14 August 2000, a team composed of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) operatives and inspectors of
the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) conducted a raid on petitioner Roma Drug, a
duly registered sole proprietorship of petitioner Romeo Rodriguez (Rodriguez) operating a drug store located at
San Matias, Guagua, Pampanga. The raid was conducted pursuant to a search warrant [1] issued by the Regional
Trial Court (RTC), Branch 57, Angeles City. The raiding team seized several imported medicines,
including Augmentin (375mg.)
tablets, Orbenin (500mg.)
capsules, Amoxil (250mg.)
capsules
and Ampiclox (500mg.).[2] It appears that Roma Drug is one of six drug stores which were raided on or around the
same time upon the request of SmithKline Beecham Research Limited (SmithKline), a duly registered corporation
which is the local distributor of pharmaceutical products manufactured by its parent London-based corporation.
The local SmithKline has since merged with Glaxo Wellcome Phil. Inc to form Glaxo SmithKline, private
respondent in this case. The seized medicines, which were manufactured by SmithKline, were imported directly
from abroad and not purchased through the local SmithKline, the authorized Philippine distributor of these
products.
The NBI subsequently filed a complaint against Rodriguez for violation of Section 4 (in relation to Sections
3 and 5) of Republic Act No. 8203, also known as the Special Law on Counterfeit Drugs (SLCD), with the Office
of the Provincial Prosecutor in San Fernando, Pampanga. The section prohibits the sale of counterfeit drugs, which
under Section 3(b)(3), includes an unregistered imported drug product. The term unregistered signifies the
lack of registration with the Bureau of Patent, Trademark and Technology Transfer of a trademark, tradename or
other identification mark of a drug in the name of a natural or juridical person, the process of which is governed
under Part III of the Intellectual Property Code.
In this case, there is no doubt that the subject seized drugs are identical in content with their Philippineregistered counterparts. There is no claim that they were adulterated in any way or mislabeled at least. Their
classification as counterfeit is based solely on the fact that they were imported from abroad and not purchased
from the Philippine-registered owner of the patent or trademark of the drugs.
During preliminary investigation, Rodriguez challenged the constitutionality of the SLCD. However,
Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Celerina C. Pineda skirted the challenge and issued a Resolution dated 17 August
2001 recommending that Rodriguez be charged with violation of Section 4(a) of the SLCD. The recommendation
was approved by Provincial Prosecutor Jesus Y. Manarang approved the recommendation. [3]
Hence, the present Petition for Prohibition questing the RTC-Guagua Pampanga and the Provincial
Prosecutor to desist from further prosecuting Rodriguez, and that Sections 3(b)(3), 4 and 5 of the SLCD be

45
declared unconstitutional. In gist, Rodriguez asserts that the challenged provisions contravene three provisions of
the Constitution. The first is the equal protection clause of the Bill of Rights. The two other provisions are Section
11, Article XIII, which mandates that the State make essential goods, health and other social services available to
all the people at affordable cost; and Section 15, Article II, which states that it is the policy of the State to
protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.
Through its Resolution dated 15 October 2001, the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining
the RTC from proceeding with the trial against Rodriguez, and the BFAD, the NBI and Glaxo Smithkline from
prosecuting the petitioners.[4]
Glaxo Smithkline and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) have opposed the petition, the latter in
behalf of public respondents RTC, Provincial Prosecutor and Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD). On the
constitutional issue, Glaxo Smithkline asserts the rule that the SLCD is presumed constitutional, arguing that both
Section 15, Article II and Section 11, Article XIII are not self-executing provisions, the disregard of which can
give rise to a cause of action in the courts. It adds that Section 11, Article XIII in particular cannot be work to
the oppression and unlawful of the property rights of the legitimate manufacturers, importers or distributors, who
take pains in having imported drug products registered before the BFAD. Glaxo Smithkline further claims that
the SLCD does not in fact conflict with the aforementioned constitutional provisions and in fact are in accord with
constitutional precepts in favor of the peoples right to health.

72.2. Where the act is done privately and on a non-commercial scale or for a non-commercial
purpose: Provided, That it does not significantly prejudice the economic interests of the owner
of
the
patent;
72.3. Where the act consists of making or using exclusively for experimental use of the
invention for scientific purposes or educational purposes and such other activities directly
related
to
such
scientific
or
educational
experimental
use;
72.4. In the case of drugs and medicines, where the act includes testing, using, making or
selling the invention including any data related thereto, solely for purposes reasonably related
to the development and submission of information and issuance of approvals by government
regulatory agencies required under any law of the Philippines or of another country that
regulates the manufacture, construction, use or sale of any product: Provided, That, in order to
protect the data submitted by the original patent holder from unfair commercial use provided
in Article 39.3 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
(TRIPS Agreement), the Intellectual Property Office, in consultation with the appropriate
government agencies, shall issue the appropriate rules and regulations necessary therein not
later than one hundred twenty (120) days after the enactment of this law;

II.

72.5. Where the act consists of the preparation for individual cases, in a pharmacy or by a
medical professional, of a medicine in accordance with a medical shall apply after a drug or
medicine has been introduced in the Philippines or anywhere else in the world by the patent
owner, or by any party authorized to use the invention: Provided, further, That the right to
import the drugs and medicines contemplated in this section shall be available to any
government agency or any private third party; xxx[7]

The constitutional aspect of this petition raises obviously interesting questions. However, such questions
have in fact been mooted with the passage in 2008 of Republic Act No. 9502, also known as the Universally
Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008.[6]

The unqualified right of private third parties such as petitioner to import or possess unregistered imported
drugs in the Philippines is further confirmed by the Implementing Rules to Republic Act No. 9502
promulgated on 4 November 2008.[8] The relevant provisions thereof read:

Section 7 of Rep. Act No. 9502 amends Section 72 of the Intellectual Property Code in that the later
law unequivocally grants third persons the right to import drugs or medicines whose patent were registered in
the Philippines by the owner of the product:

Rule 9. Limitations on Patent Rights. The owner of a patent has no right to


prevent third parties from performing, without his authorization, the acts referred to in Section
71 of the IP Code as enumerated hereunder:

The Office of the Solicitor General casts the question as one of policy wisdom of the law that is, beyond the
interference of the judiciary.[5] Again, the presumption of constitutionality of statutes is invoked, and the assertion
is made that there is no clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution presented by the SLCD.

Sec. 7. Section 72 of Republic Act No. 8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual
Property Code of the Philippines, is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 72. Limitations of Patent Rights. The owner of a patent has no right to
prevent third parties from performing, without his authorization, the acts referred to in Section
71 hereof in the following circumstances:
72.1. Using a patented product which has been put on the market in the Philippines
by the owner of the product, or with his express consent, insofar as such use is performed after
that product has been so put on the said market: Provided, That, with regard to drugs and
medicines, the limitation on patent rights shall apply after a drug or medicine has been
introduced in the Philippines or anywhere else in the world by the patent owner,
or by any party authorized to use the invention: Provided,
further, That the right to import the drugs and medicines contemplated in this
section shall be available to any government agency or any private third party;

(i) Introduction in the Philippines or Anywhere Else in the World.


Using a patented product which has been put on the market in the Philippines by the
owner of the product, or with his express consent, insofar as such use is performed after that
product has been so put on the said market: Provided, That, with regard to drugs and
medicines, the limitation on patent rights shall apply after a drug or medicine has been
introduced in the Philippines or anywhere else in the world by the patent owner, or by any
party authorized to use the invention: Provided, further, That the right to import the drugs and
medicines contemplated in this section shall be available to any government agency or any
private third party. (72.1)
The drugs and medicines are deemed introduced when they have been sold or
offered for sale anywhere else in the world. (n)

It may be that Rep. Act No. 9502 did not expressly repeal any provision of the SLCD. However, it is
clear that the SLCOs classification of unregistered imported drugs as counterfeit drugs, and of corresponding

criminal penalties therefore are irreconcilably in the imposition conflict with Rep. Act No. 9502 since the latter
indubitably grants private third persons the unqualified right to import or otherwise use such drugs. Where a
statute of later date, such as Rep. Act No. 9502, clearly reveals an intention on the part of the legislature to
abrogate a prior act on the subject that intention must be given effect. [9] When a subsequent enactment covering a
field of operation coterminus with a prior statute cannot by any reasonable construction be given effect while the
prior law remains in operative existence because of irreconcilable conflict between the two acts, the latest
legislative expression prevails and the prior law yields to the extent of the conflict. [10] Irreconcilable inconsistency
between two laws embracing the same subject may exist when the later law nullifies the reason or purpose of the
earlier act, so that the latter loses all meaning and function.[11] Legis posteriors priores contrarias abrogant.
For the reasons above-stated, the prosecution of petitioner is no longer warranted and the quested writ of
prohibition should accordingly be issued.
III.
Had the Court proceeded to directly confront the constitutionality of the assailed provisions of the
SLCD, it is apparent that it would have at least placed in doubt the validity of the provisions. As written, the law
makes a criminal of any person who imports an unregistered drug regardless of the purpose, even if the medicine
can spell life or death for someone in the Philippines. It does not accommodate the situation where the drug is out
of stock in the Philippines, beyond the reach of a patient who urgently depends on it. It does not allow husbands,
wives, children, siblings, parents to import the drug in behalf of their loved ones too physically ill to travel and
avail of the meager personal use exemption allotted by the law. It discriminates, at the expense of health, against
poor Filipinos without means to travel abroad to purchase less expensive medicines in favor of their wealthier
brethren able to do so. Less urgently perhaps, but still within the range of constitutionally protected behavior, it
deprives Filipinos to choose a less expensive regime for their health care by denying them a plausible and safe
means of purchasing medicines at a cheaper cost.
The absurd results from this far-reaching ban extends to implications that deny the basic decencies of
humanity. The law would make criminals of doctors from abroad on medical missions of such humanitarian
organizations such as the International Red Cross, the International Red Crescent, Medicin Sans Frontieres,
and other like-minded groups who necessarily bring their own pharmaceutical drugs when they embark on their
missions of mercy. After all, they are disabled from invoking the bare personal use exemption afforded by the
SLCD.
Even worse is the fact that the law is not content with simply banning, at civil costs, the importation of
unregistered drugs. It equates the importers of such drugs, many of whom motivated to do so out of altruism or
basic human love, with the malevolents who would alter or counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs for reasons of profit
at the expense of public safety. Note that the SLCD is a special law, and the traditional treatment of penal
provisions of special laws is that of malum prohibitumor punishable regardless of motive or criminal intent. For
a law that is intended to help save lives, the SLCD has revealed itself as a heartless, soulless legislative piece.
The challenged provisions of the SLCD apparently proscribe a range of constitutionally permissible
behavior. It is laudable that with the passage of Rep. Act No. 9502, the State has reversed course and allowed for a
sensible and compassionate approach with respect to the importation of pharmaceutical drugs urgently necessary
for the peoples constitutionally-recognized right to health.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED in part. A writ of prohibition is hereby ISSUED commanding
respondents from prosecuting petitioner Romeo Rodriguez for violation of Section 4 or Rep. Act No. 8203. The
Temporary Restraining Order dated 15 October 2001 is hereby made PERMANENT. No pronouncements as to
costs.
SO ORDERED.

46
Equal Protection Access to Medicine
Roma Drug, owned by Rodriguez, was raided by the NBI upon request of Smithkline a pharmaceutical company
(now Glaxo Smithkline). RD is apparently one of 6 pharmacies who are directly importing 5 medicines produced
by Smithknline from abroad. RD is not purchasing those medicines via local Smithkline the authorized
distributor of Smithkline in the Philippines. Smithkline Phil avers that because the medicines were not purchased
from a Philippine registered counterpart of Smithkline then the products imported by RD are considered as
counterfeit or unregistered imported drug product - as defined by RA 8203 Special Law on Counterfeit
Drugs. Notwithstanding RDs motion for reconsideration, the provincial prosecutor recommended that Rodriguez
be tried. Rodriguez assails the constitutionality of RA 8203 averring, among other things, that it has violated his
right to equal protection as it banned him access from such medicines.
ISSUE: Whether or not SLCD violates equal protection.
HELD: The SC ruled in favor of RD. The SC denounced SLCD for it violated equal protection. It does not allow
private 3rd parties to import such medicines abroad even in cases of life and death nor does it allow the importation
by 3rd parties in cases wherein the stocks of such medicine would run out. It discriminates at the expense of
Filipinos who cannot travel abroad to purchase such medicines yet need them badly. Nevertheless, the flawed
intention of Congress had been abrogated by the passage of RA 9502 Universally Accessible Cheaper and
Quality Medicines Act of 2008 and its IRR. This law does not expressly repeal SLCD but it emphasized that any
medicine introduced into the Philippines by its patent holder be accessible to anyone. It provides that the right to
import drugs and medicines shall be available to any government agency OR ANY PRIVATE 3 rd PARTY. The
SC noted that this law provided and recognized the constitutionally-guaranteed right of the public to health.

G.R. No. L-45685

November 16, 1937

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS and HONGKONG & SHANGHAI BANKING
CORPORATION,petitioners,
vs.
JOSE O. VERA, Judge . of the Court of First Instance of Manila, and MARIANO CU
UNJIENG, respondents.
Office of the Solicitor General Tuason and City Fiscal Diaz for the Government.
De Witt, Perkins and Ponce Enrile for the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
Vicente J. Francisco, Feria and La O, Orense and Belmonte, and Gibbs and McDonough for respondent Cu
Unjieng.
No appearance for respondent Judge.
This is an original action instituted in this court on August 19, 1937, for the issuance of the writ
of certiorariand of prohibition to the Court of First Instance of Manila so that this court may review the actuations
of the aforesaid Court of First Instance in criminal case No. 42649 entitled "The People of the Philippine Islands
vs. Mariano Cu Unjieng, et al.", more particularly the application of the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng therein for
probation under the provisions of Act No. 4221, and thereafter prohibit the said Court of First Instance from taking
any further action or entertaining further the aforementioned application for probation, to the end that the
defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng may be forthwith committed to prison in accordance with the final judgment of
conviction rendered by this court in said case (G. R. No. 41200). 1
Petitioners herein, the People of the Philippine and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, are
respectively the plaintiff and the offended party, and the respondent herein Mariano Cu Unjieng is one of the
defendants, in the criminal case entitled "The People of the Philippine Islands vs. Mariano Cu Unjieng, et al.",

criminal case No. 42649 of the Court of First Instance of Manila and G.R. No. 41200 of this court. Respondent
herein, Hon. Jose O. Vera, is the Judge ad interim of the seventh branch of the Court of First Instance of Manila,
who heard the application of the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng for probation in the aforesaid criminal case.
The information in the aforesaid criminal case was filed with the Court of First Instance of Manila on
October 15, 1931, petitioner herein Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation intervening in the case as
private prosecutor. After a protracted trial unparalleled in the annals of Philippine jurisprudence both in the length
of time spent by the court as well as in the volume in the testimony and the bulk of the exhibits presented, the
Court of First Instance of Manila, on January 8, 1934, rendered a judgment of conviction sentencing the defendant
Mariano Cu Unjieng to indeterminate penalty ranging from four years and two months of prision correccional to
eight years of prision mayor, to pay the costs and with reservation of civil action to the offended party, the
Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Upon appeal, the court, on March 26, 1935, modified the sentence
to an indeterminate penalty of from five years and six months of prision correccional to seven years, six months
and twenty-seven days of prision mayor, but affirmed the judgment in all other respects. Mariano Cu Unjieng filed
a motion for reconsideration and four successive motions for new trial which were denied on December 17, 1935,
and final judgment was accordingly entered on December 18, 1935. The defendant thereupon sought to have the
case elevated on certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States but the latter denied the petition
forcertiorari in
November, 1936. This court, on
November 24, 1936, denied the petition
subsequently filed by the defendant for leave to file a second alternative motion for reconsideration or new trial
and thereafter remanded the case to the court of origin for execution of the judgment.
The instant proceedings have to do with the application for probation filed by the herein respondent Mariano
Cu Unjieng on
November 27, 1936, before the trial court, under the provisions of Act No. 4221 of the
defunct Philippine Legislature. Herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng states in his petition, inter alia, that he is
innocent of the crime of which he was convicted, that he has no criminal record and that he would observe good
conduct in the future. The Court of First Instance of Manila, Judge Pedro Tuason presiding, referred the
application for probation of the Insular Probation Office which recommended denial of the same June 18, 1937.
Thereafter, the Court of First Instance of Manila, seventh branch, Judge Jose O. Vera presiding, set the petition for
hearing on April 5, 1937.
On April 2, 1937, the Fiscal of the City of Manila filed an opposition to the granting of probation to the
herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng. The private prosecution also filed an opposition on April 5, 1937,
alleging, among other things, that Act No. 4221, assuming that it has not been repealed by section 2 of Article XV
of the Constitution, is nevertheless violative of section 1, subsection (1), Article III of the Constitution
guaranteeing equal protection of the laws for the reason that its applicability is not uniform throughout the Islands
and because section 11 of the said Act endows the provincial boards with the power to make said law effective or
otherwise in their respective or otherwise in their respective provinces. The private prosecution also filed a
supplementary opposition on April 19, 1937, elaborating on the alleged unconstitutionality on Act No. 4221, as an
undue delegation of legislative power to the provincial boards of several provinces (sec. 1, Art. VI, Constitution).
The City Fiscal concurred in the opposition of the private prosecution except with respect to the questions raised
concerning the constitutionality of Act No. 4221.
On June 28, 1937, herein respondent Judge Jose O. Vera promulgated a resolution with a finding that "las
pruebas no han establecido de unamanera concluyente la culpabilidad del peticionario y que todos los hechos
probados no son inconsistentes o incongrentes con su inocencia" and concludes that the herein respondent
Mariano Cu Unjieng "es inocente por duda racional" of the crime of which he stands convicted by this court in
G.R. No. 41200, but denying the latter's petition for probation for the reason that:

47
. . . Si este Juzgado concediera la poblacion solicitada por las circunstancias y la historia social
que se han expuesto en el cuerpo de esta resolucion, que hacen al peticionario acreedor de la misma, una
parte de la opinion publica, atizada por los recelos y las suspicacias, podria levantarse indignada contra
un sistema de probacion que permite atisbar en los procedimientos ordinarios de una causa criminal
perturbando la quietud y la eficacia de las decisiones ya recaidas al traer a la superficie conclusiones
enteramente differentes, en menoscabo del interes publico que demanda el respeto de las leyes y del
veredicto judicial.
On July 3, 1937, counsel for the herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng filed an exception to the resolution
denying probation and a notice of intention to file a motion for reconsideration. An alternative motion for
reconsideration or new trial was filed by counsel on July 13, 1937. This was supplemented by an additional
motion for reconsideration submitted on July 14, 1937. The aforesaid motions were set for hearing on July 31,
1937, but said hearing was postponed at the petition of counsel for the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng because a
motion for leave to intervene in the case as amici curiae signed by thirty-three (thirty-four) attorneys had just been
filed with the trial court. Attorney Eulalio Chaves whose signature appears in the aforesaid motion subsequently
filed a petition for leave to withdraw his appearance as amicus curiae on the ground that the motion for leave to
intervene as amici curiae was circulated at a banquet given by counsel for Mariano Cu Unjieng on the evening of
July 30, 1937, and that he signed the same "without mature deliberation and purely as a matter of courtesy to the
person who invited me (him)."
On August 6, 1937, the Fiscal of the City of Manila filed a motion with the trial court for the issuance of an
order of execution of the judgment of this court in said case and forthwith to commit the herein respondent
Mariano Cu Unjieng to jail in obedience to said judgment.
On August 7, 1937, the private prosecution filed its opposition to the motion for leave to intervene as amici
curiae aforementioned, asking that a date be set for a hearing of the same and that, at all events, said motion
should be denied with respect to certain attorneys signing the same who were members of the legal staff of the
several counsel for Mariano Cu Unjieng. On August 10, 1937, herein respondent Judge Jose O. Vera issued an
order requiring all parties including the movants for intervention as amici curiae to appear before the court on
August 14, 1937. On the last-mentioned date, the Fiscal of the City of Manila moved for the hearing of his motion
for execution of judgment in preference to the motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae but, upon objection of
counsel for Mariano Cu Unjieng, he moved for the postponement of the hearing of both motions. The respondent
judge thereupon set the hearing of the motion for execution on August 21, 1937, but proceeded to consider the
motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae as in order. Evidence as to the circumstances under which said
motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae was signed and submitted to court was to have been heard on August
19, 1937. But at this juncture, herein petitioners came to this court on extraordinary legal process to put an end to
what they alleged was an interminable proceeding in the Court of First Instance of Manila which fostered "the
campaign of the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng for delay in the execution of the sentence imposed by this
Honorable Court on him, exposing the courts to criticism and ridicule because of the apparent inability of the
judicial machinery to make effective a final judgment of this court imposed on the defendant Mariano Cu
Unjieng."
The scheduled hearing before the trial court was accordingly suspended upon the issuance of a temporary
restraining order by this court on August 21, 1937.
To support their petition for the issuance of the extraordinary writs of certiorari and prohibition, herein
petitioners allege that the respondent judge has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of his jurisdiction:

I. Because said respondent judge lacks the power to place respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng under probation for the
following reason:
(1) Under section 11 of Act No. 4221, the said of the Philippine Legislature is made to apply only to the
provinces of the Philippines; it nowhere states that it is to be made applicable to chartered cities like the
City of Manila.
(2) While section 37 of the Administrative Code contains a proviso to the effect that in the absence of a
special provision, the term "province" may be construed to include the City of Manila for the purpose of
giving effect to laws of general application, it is also true that Act No. 4221 is not a law of general
application because it is made to apply only to those provinces in which the respective provincial boards
shall have provided for the salary of a probation officer.
(3) Even if the City of Manila were considered to be a province, still, Act No. 4221 would not be
applicable to it because it has provided for the salary of a probation officer as required by section 11
thereof; it being immaterial that there is an Insular Probation Officer willing to act for the City of
Manila, said Probation Officer provided for in section 10 of Act No. 4221 being different and distinct
from the Probation Officer provided for in section 11 of the same Act.
II. Because even if the respondent judge originally had jurisdiction to entertain the application for probation of the
respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng, he nevertheless acted without jurisdiction or in excess thereof in continuing to
entertain the motion for reconsideration and by failing to commit Mariano Cu Unjieng to prison after he had
promulgated his resolution of June 28, 1937, denying Mariano Cu Unjieng's application for probation, for the
reason that:
(1) His jurisdiction and power in probation proceedings is limited by Act No. 4221 to the granting or
denying of applications for probation.
(2) After he had issued the order denying Mariano Cu Unjieng's petition for probation on June 28, 1937,
it became final and executory at the moment of its rendition.
(3) No right on appeal exists in such cases.
(4) The respondent judge lacks the power to grant a rehearing of said order or to modify or change the
same.
III. Because the respondent judge made a finding that Mariano Cu Unjieng is innocent of the crime for which he
was convicted by final judgment of this court, which finding is not only presumptuous but without foundation in
fact and in law, and is furthermore in contempt of this court and a violation of the respondent's oath of office as ad
interim judge of first instance.
IV. Because the respondent judge has violated and continues to violate his duty, which became imperative when
he issued his order of June 28, 1937, denying the application for probation, to commit his co-respondent to jail.
Petitioners also avers that they have no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of
law.

48
In a supplementary petition filed on September 9, 1937, the petitioner Hongkong and Shanghai Banking
Corporation further contends that Act No. 4221 of the Philippine Legislature providing for a system of probation
for persons eighteen years of age or over who are convicted of crime, is unconstitutional because it is violative of
section 1, subsection (1), Article III, of the Constitution of the Philippines guaranteeing equal protection of the
laws because it confers upon the provincial board of its province the absolute discretion to make said law
operative or otherwise in their respective provinces, because it constitutes an unlawful and improper delegation to
the provincial boards of the several provinces of the legislative power lodged by the Jones Law (section 8) in the
Philippine Legislature and by the Constitution (section 1, Art. VI) in the National Assembly; and for the further
reason that it gives the provincial boards, in contravention of the Constitution (section 2, Art. VIII) and the Jones
Law (section 28), the authority to enlarge the powers of the Court of First Instance of different provinces without
uniformity. In another supplementary petition dated September 14, 1937, the Fiscal of the City of Manila, in
behalf of one of the petitioners, the People of the Philippine Islands, concurs for the first time with the issues
raised by other petitioner regarding the constitutionality of Act No. 4221, and on the oral argument held on
October 6, 1937, further elaborated on the theory that probation is a form of reprieve and therefore Act. No. 4221
is an encroachment on the exclusive power of the Chief Executive to grant pardons and reprieves. On October 7,
1937, the City Fiscal filed two memorandums in which he contended that Act No. 4221 not only encroaches upon
the pardoning power to the executive, but also constitute an unwarranted delegation of legislative power and a
denial of the equal protection of the laws. On October 9, 1937, two memorandums, signed jointly by the City
Fiscal and the Solicitor-General, acting in behalf of the People of the Philippine Islands, and by counsel for the
petitioner, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, one sustaining the power of the state to impugn the
validity of its own laws and the other contending that Act No. 4221 constitutes an unwarranted delegation of
legislative power, were presented. Another joint memorandum was filed by the same persons on the same day,
October 9, 1937, alleging that Act No. 4221 is unconstitutional because it denies the equal protection of the laws
and constitutes an unlawful delegation of legislative power and, further, that the whole Act is void: that the
Commonwealth is not estopped from questioning the validity of its laws; that the private prosecution may
intervene in probation proceedings and may attack the probation law as unconstitutional; and that this court may
pass upon the constitutional question in prohibition proceedings.
Respondents in their answer dated August 31, 1937, as well as in their oral argument and memorandums,
challenge each and every one of the foregoing proposition raised by the petitioners.
As special defenses, respondents allege:
(1) That the present petition does not state facts sufficient in law to warrant the issuance of the writ
of certiorari or of prohibition.
(2) That the aforesaid petition is premature because the remedy sought by the petitioners is the very
same remedy prayed for by them before the trial court and was still pending resolution before the trial
court when the present petition was filed with this court.
(3) That the petitioners having themselves raised the question as to the execution of judgment before the
trial court, said trial court has acquired exclusive jurisdiction to resolve the same under the theory that its
resolution denying probation is unappealable.
(4) That upon the hypothesis that this court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of First Instance to
decide the question as to whether or not the execution will lie, this court nevertheless cannot exercise
said jurisdiction while the Court of First Instance has assumed jurisdiction over the same upon motion of
herein petitioners themselves.

(5) That upon the procedure followed by the herein petitioners in seeking to deprive the trial court of its
jurisdiction over the case and elevate the proceedings to this court, should not be tolerated because it
impairs the authority and dignity of the trial court which court while sitting in the probation cases is "a
court of limited jurisdiction but of great dignity."
(6) That under the supposition that this court has jurisdiction to resolve the question submitted to and
pending resolution by the trial court, the present action would not lie because the resolution of the trial
court denying probation is appealable; for although the Probation Law does not specifically provide that
an applicant for probation may appeal from a resolution of the Court of First Instance denying probation,
still it is a general rule in this jurisdiction that a final order, resolution or decision of an inferior court is
appealable to the superior court.
(7) That the resolution of the trial court denying probation of herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng
being appealable, the same had not become final and executory for the reason that the said respondent
had filed an alternative motion for reconsideration and new trial within the requisite period of fifteen
days, which motion the trial court was able to resolve in view of the restraining order improvidently and
erroneously issued by this court.lawphi1.net
(8) That the Fiscal of the City of Manila had by implication admitted that the resolution of the trial court
denying probation is not final and unappealable when he presented his answer to the motion for
reconsideration and agreed to the postponement of the hearing of the said motion.
(9) That under the supposition that the order of the trial court denying probation is not appealable, it is
incumbent upon the accused to file an action for the issuance of the writ ofcertiorari with mandamus, it
appearing that the trial court, although it believed that the accused was entitled to probation,
nevertheless denied probation for fear of criticism because the accused is a rich man; and that, before a
petition for certiorari grounded on an irregular exercise of jurisdiction by the trial court could lie, it is
incumbent upon the petitioner to file a motion for reconsideration specifying the error committed so that
the trial court could have an opportunity to correct or cure the same.
(10) That on hypothesis that the resolution of this court is not appealable, the trial court retains its
jurisdiction within a reasonable time to correct or modify it in accordance with law and justice; that this
power to alter or modify an order or resolution is inherent in the courts and may be exercise either motu
proprio or upon petition of the proper party, the petition in the latter case taking the form of a motion for
reconsideration.
(11) That on the hypothesis that the resolution of the trial court is appealable as respondent allege, said
court cannot order execution of the same while it is on appeal, for then the appeal would not be availing
because the doors of probation will be closed from the moment the accused commences to serve his
sentence (Act No. 4221, sec. 1; U.S. vs. Cook, 19 Fed. [2d], 827).
In their memorandums filed on October 23, 1937, counsel for the respondents maintain that Act No. 4221 is
constitutional because, contrary to the allegations of the petitioners, it does not constitute an undue delegation of
legislative power, does not infringe the equal protection clause of the Constitution, and does not encroach upon the
pardoning power of the Executive. In an additional memorandum filed on the same date, counsel for the
respondents reiterate the view that section 11 of Act No. 4221 is free from constitutional objections and contend,
in addition, that the private prosecution may not intervene in probation proceedings, much less question the
validity of Act No. 4221; that both the City Fiscal and the Solicitor-General are estopped from questioning the

49
validity of the Act; that the validity of Act cannot be attacked for the first time before this court; that probation in
unavailable; and that, in any event, section 11 of the Act No. 4221 is separable from the rest of the Act. The last
memorandum for the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng was denied for having been filed out of time but was
admitted by resolution of this court and filed anew on
November 5, 1937. This memorandum elaborates on
some of the points raised by the respondents and refutes those brought up by the petitioners.
In the scrutiny of the pleadings and examination of the various aspects of the present case, we noted that the
court below, in passing upon the merits of the application of the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng and in denying
said application assumed the task not only of considering the merits of the application, but of passing upon the
culpability of the applicant, notwithstanding the final pronouncement of guilt by this court. (G.R. No. 41200.)
Probation implies guilt be final judgment. While a probation case may look into the circumstances attending the
commission of the offense, this does not authorize it to reverse the findings and conclusive of this court, either
directly or indirectly, especially wherefrom its own admission reliance was merely had on the printed briefs,
averments, and pleadings of the parties. As already observed by this court in Shioji vs. Harvey ([1922], 43 Phil.,
333, 337), and reiterated in subsequent cases, "if each and every Court of First Instance could enjoy the privilege
of overruling decisions of the Supreme Court, there would be no end to litigation, and judicial chaos would result."
A becoming modesty of inferior courts demands conscious realization of the position that they occupy in the
interrelation and operation of the intergrated judicial system of the nation.
After threshing carefully the multifarious issues raised by both counsel for the petitioners and the
respondents, this court prefers to cut the Gordian knot and take up at once the two fundamental questions
presented, namely, (1) whether or not the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 has been properly raised in these
proceedings; and (2) in the affirmative, whether or not said Act is constitutional. Considerations of these issues
will involve a discussion of certain incidental questions raised by the parties.
To arrive at a correct conclusion on the first question, resort to certain guiding principles is necessary. It is a
well-settled rule that the constitutionality of an act of the legislature will not be determined by the courts unless
that question is properly raised and presented inappropriate cases and is necessary to a determination of the case;
i.e., the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota presented. (McGirr vs. Hamilton and Abreu [1915], 30
Phil., 563, 568; 6 R. C. L., pp. 76, 77; 12 C. J., pp. 780-782, 783.)
The question of the constitutionality of an act of the legislature is frequently raised in ordinary actions.
Nevertheless, resort may be made to extraordinary legal remedies, particularly where the remedies in the ordinary
course of law even if available, are not plain, speedy and adequate. Thus, in Cu Unjieng vs. Patstone ([1922]), 42
Phil., 818), this court held that the question of the constitutionality of a statute may be raised by the petitioner
inmandamus proceedings (see, also, 12 C. J., p. 783); and in Government of the Philippine Islands vs.
Springer([1927], 50 Phil., 259 [affirmed in Springer vs. Government of the Philippine Islands (1928), 277 U. S.,
189; 72 Law. ed., 845]), this court declared an act of the legislature unconstitutional in an action of quo
warranto brought in the name of the Government of the Philippines. It has also been held that the constitutionality
of a statute may be questioned in habeas corpus proceedings (12 C. J., p. 783; Bailey on Habeas Corpus, Vol. I,
pp. 97, 117), although there are authorities to the contrary; on an application for injunction to restrain action under
the challenged statute (mandatory, see Cruz vs. Youngberg [1931], 56 Phil., 234); and even on an application for
preliminary injunction where the determination of the constitutional question is necessary to a decision of the case.
(12 C. J., p. 783.) The same may be said as regards prohibition and certiorari.(Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad [1925],
47 Phil., 385; [1926], 271 U. S., 500; 70 Law. ed., 1059; Bell vs. First Judicial District Court [1905], 28 Nev., 280;
81 Pac., 875; 113 A. S. R., 854; 6 Ann. Cas., 982; 1 L. R. A. [N. S], 843, and cases cited). The case of Yu Cong
Eng vs. Trinidad, supra, decided by this court twelve years ago was, like the present one, an original action
forcertiorari and prohibition. The constitutionality of Act No. 2972, popularly known as the Chinese Bookkeeping
Law, was there challenged by the petitioners, and the constitutional issue was not met squarely by the respondent

in a demurrer. A point was raised "relating to the propriety of the constitutional question being decided in original
proceedings in prohibition." This court decided to take up the constitutional question and, with two justices
dissenting, held that Act No. 2972 was constitutional. The case was elevated on writ of certiorari to the Supreme
Court of the United States which reversed the judgment of this court and held that the Act was invalid. (271 U. S.,
500; 70 Law. ed., 1059.) On the question of jurisdiction, however, the Federal Supreme Court, though its Chief
Justice, said:
By the Code of Civil Procedure of the Philippine Islands, section 516, the Philippine supreme
court is granted concurrent jurisdiction in prohibition with courts of first instance over inferior tribunals
or persons, and original jurisdiction over courts of first instance, when such courts are exercising
functions without or in excess of their jurisdiction. It has been held by that court that the question of the
validity of the criminal statute must usually be raised by a defendant in the trial court and be carried
regularly in review to the Supreme Court. (Cadwallader-Gibson Lumber Co. vs. Del Rosario, 26 Phil.,
192). But in this case where a new act seriously affected numerous persons and extensive property
rights, and was likely to cause a multiplicity of actions, the Supreme Court exercised its discretion to
bring the issue to the act's validity promptly before it and decide in the interest of the orderly
administration of justice. The court relied by analogy upon the cases of Ex parte Young (209 U. S.,
123;52 Law ed., 714; 13 L. R. A. [N. S.] 932; 28 Sup. Ct. Rep., 441; 14 Ann. Ca., 764; Traux vs. Raich,
239 U. S., 33; 60 Law. ed., 131; L. R. A. 1916D, 545; 36 Sup. Ct. Rep., 7; Ann. Cas., 1917B, 283; and
Wilson vs. New, 243 U. S., 332; 61 Law. ed., 755; L. R. A. 1917E, 938; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 298; Ann.
Cas. 1918A, 1024). Although objection to the jurisdiction was raise by demurrer to the petition, this is
now disclaimed on behalf of the respondents, and both parties ask a decision on the merits. In view of
the broad powers in prohibition granted to that court under the Island Code, we acquiesce in the desire
of the parties.
The writ of prohibition is an extraordinary judicial writ issuing out of a court of superior jurisdiction and
directed to an inferior court, for the purpose of preventing the inferior tribunal from usurping a jurisdiction with
which it is not legally vested. (High, Extraordinary Legal Remedies, p. 705.) The general rule, although there is a
conflict in the cases, is that the merit of prohibition will not lie whether the inferior court has jurisdiction
independent of the statute the constitutionality of which is questioned, because in such cases the interior court
having jurisdiction may itself determine the constitutionality of the statute, and its decision may be subject to
review, and consequently the complainant in such cases ordinarily has adequate remedy by appeal without resort
to the writ of prohibition. But where the inferior court or tribunal derives its jurisdiction exclusively from an
unconstitutional statute, it may be prevented by the writ of prohibition from enforcing that statute. (50 C. J.,
670; Ex parte Round tree [1874, 51 Ala., 42; In re Macfarland, 30 App. [D. C.], 365; Curtis vs. Cornish [1912],
109 Me., 384; 84 A., 799; Pennington vs. Woolfolk [1880], 79 Ky., 13; State vs. Godfrey [1903], 54 W. Va., 54;
46 S. E., 185; Arnold vs. Shields [1837], 5 Dana, 19; 30 Am. Dec., 669.)
Courts of First Instance sitting in probation proceedings derived their jurisdiction solely from Act No. 4221
which prescribes in detailed manner the procedure for granting probation to accused persons after their conviction
has become final and before they have served their sentence. It is true that at common law the authority of the
courts to suspend temporarily the execution of the sentence is recognized and, according to a number of state
courts, including those of Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Ohio, the power is inherent in the courts
(Commonwealth vs. Dowdican's Bail [1874], 115 Mass., 133; People vs. Stickel [1909], 156 Mich., 557; 121 N.
W., 497; People ex rel. Forsyth vs. Court of Session [1894], 141 N. Y., 288; Weber vs. State [1898], 58 Ohio St.,
616). But, in the leading case of Ex parte United States ([1916], 242 U. S., 27; 61 Law. ed., 129; L. R. A., 1917E,
1178; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 72; Ann. Cas. 1917B, 355), the Supreme Court of the United States expressed the opinion
that under the common law the power of the court was limited to temporary suspension, and brushed aside the
contention as to inherent judicial power saying, through Chief Justice White:

50
Indisputably under our constitutional system the right to try offenses against the criminal laws and
upon conviction to impose the punishment provided by law is judicial, and it is equally to be conceded
that, in exerting the powers vested in them on such subject, courts inherently possess ample right to
exercise reasonable, that is, judicial, discretion to enable them to wisely exert their authority. But these
concessions afford no ground for the contention as to power here made, since it must rest upon the
proposition that the power to enforce begets inherently a discretion to permanently refuse to do so. And
the effect of the proposition urged upon the distribution of powers made by the Constitution will become
apparent when it is observed that indisputable also is it that the authority to define and fix the
punishment for crime is legislative and includes the right in advance to bring within judicial discretion,
for the purpose of executing the statute, elements of consideration which would be otherwise beyond the
scope of judicial authority, and that the right to relieve from the punishment, fixed by law and
ascertained according to the methods by it provided belongs to the executive department.
Justice Carson, in his illuminating concurring opinion in the case of Director of Prisons vs. Judge of First
Instance of Cavite (29 Phil., 265), decided by this court in 1915, also reached the conclusion that the power to
suspend the execution of sentences pronounced in criminal cases is not inherent in the judicial function. "All are
agreed", he said, "that in the absence of statutory authority, it does not lie within the power of the courts to grant
such suspensions." (at p. 278.) Both petitioner and respondents are correct, therefore, when they argue that a Court
of First Instance sitting in probation proceedings is a court of limited jurisdiction. Its jurisdiction in such
proceedings is conferred exclusively by Act No. 4221 of the Philippine Legislature.
It is, of course, true that the constitutionality of a statute will not be considered on application for
prohibition where the question has not been properly brought to the attention of the court by objection of some
kind (Hill vs. Tarver [1901], 130 Ala., 592; 30 S., 499; State ex rel. Kelly vs. Kirby [1914], 260 Mo., 120; 168 S.
W., 746). In the case at bar, it is unquestionable that the constitutional issue has been squarely presented not only
before this court by the petitioners but also before the trial court by the private prosecution. The respondent, Hon.
Jose O Vera, however, acting as judge of the court below, declined to pass upon the question on the ground that
the private prosecutor, not being a party whose rights are affected by the statute, may not raise said question. The
respondent judge cited Cooley on Constitutional Limitations (Vol. I, p. 339; 12 C. J., sec. 177, pp. 760 and 762),
and McGlue vs. Essex County ([1916], 225 Mass., 59; 113 N. E., 742, 743), as authority for the proposition that a
court will not consider any attack made on the constitutionality of a statute by one who has no interest in defeating
it because his rights are not affected by its operation. The respondent judge further stated that it may not motu
proprio take up the constitutional question and, agreeing with Cooley that "the power to declare a legislative
enactment void is one which the judge, conscious of the fallibility of the human judgment, will shrink from
exercising in any case where he can conscientiously and with due regard to duty and official oath decline the
responsibility" (Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed., Vol. I, p. 332), proceeded on the assumption that Act No. 4221
is constitutional. While therefore, the court a quo admits that the constitutional question was raised before it, it
refused to consider the question solely because it was not raised by a proper party. Respondents herein reiterates
this view. The argument is advanced that the private prosecution has no personality to appear in the hearing of the
application for probation of defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng in criminal case No. 42648 of the Court of First
Instance of Manila, and hence the issue of constitutionality was not properly raised in the lower court. Although,
as a general rule, only those who are parties to a suit may question the constitutionality of a statute involved in a
judicial decision, it has been held that since the decree pronounced by a court without jurisdiction is void, where
the jurisdiction of the court depends on the validity of the statute in question, the issue of the constitutionality will
be considered on its being brought to the attention of the court by persons interested in the effect to be given the
statute.(12 C. J., sec. 184, p. 766.) And, even if we were to concede that the issue was not properly raised in the
court below by the proper party, it does not follow that the issue may not be here raised in an original action
of certiorari and prohibitions. It is true that, as a general rule, the question of constitutionality must be raised at
the earliest opportunity, so that if not raised by the pleadings, ordinarily it may not be raised at the trial, and if not
raised in the trial court, it will not considered on appeal. (12 C. J., p. 786. See, also, Cadwallader-Gibson Lumber

Co. vs. Del Rosario, 26 Phil., 192, 193-195.) But we must state that the general rule admits of exceptions. Courts,
in the exercise of sounds discretion, may determine the time when a question affecting the constitutionality of a
statute should be presented. (In re Woolsey [1884], 95 N. Y., 135, 144.) Thus, in criminal cases, although there is
a very sharp conflict of authorities, it is said that the question may be raised for the first time at any stage of the
proceedings, either in the trial court or on appeal. (12 C. J., p. 786.) Even in civil cases, it has been held that it is
the duty of a court to pass on the constitutional question, though raised for the first time on appeal, if it appears
that a determination of the question is necessary to a decision of the case. (McCabe's Adm'x vs. Maysville & B. S.
R. Co., [1910], 136 ky., 674; 124 S. W., 892; Lohmeyer vs. St. Louis Cordage Co. [1908], 214 Mo., 685; 113 S.
W. 1108; Carmody vs. St. Louis Transit Co., [1905], 188 Mo., 572; 87 S. W., 913.) And it has been held that a
constitutional question will be considered by an appellate court at any time, where it involves the jurisdiction of
the court below (State vs. Burke [1911], 175 Ala., 561; 57 S., 870.) As to the power of this court to consider the
constitutional question raised for the first time before this court in these proceedings, we turn again and point with
emphasis to the case of Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, supra. And on the hypotheses that the Hongkong & Shanghai
Banking Corporation, represented by the private prosecution, is not the proper party to raise the constitutional
question here a point we do not now have to decide we are of the opinion that the People of the Philippines,
represented by the Solicitor-General and the Fiscal of the City of Manila, is such a proper party in the present
proceedings. The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal
and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustained, direct injury as a result of its
enforcement. It goes without saying that if Act No. 4221 really violates the constitution, the People of the
Philippines, in whose name the present action is brought, has a substantial interest in having it set aside. Of grater
import than the damage caused by the illegal expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound inflicted upon the
fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid statute. Hence, the well-settled rule that the state can challenge
the validity of its own laws. In Government of the Philippine Islands vs. Springer ([1927]), 50 Phil., 259 (affirmed
in Springer vs. Government of the Philippine Islands [1928], 277 U.S., 189; 72 Law. ed., 845), this court declared
an act of the legislature unconstitutional in an action instituted in behalf of the Government of the Philippines. In
Attorney General vs. Perkins ([1889], 73 Mich., 303, 311, 312; 41 N. W. 426, 428, 429), the State of Michigan,
through its Attorney General, instituted quo warranto proceedings to test the right of the respondents to renew a
mining corporation, alleging that the statute under which the respondents base their right was unconstitutional
because it impaired the obligation of contracts. The capacity of the chief law officer of the state to question the
constitutionality of the statute was though, as a general rule, only those who are parties to a suit may question the
constitutionality of a statute involved in a judicial decision, it has been held that since the decree pronounced by a
court without jurisdiction in void, where the jurisdiction of the court depends on the validity of the statute in
question, the issue of constitutionality will be considered on its being brought to the attention of the court by
persons interested in the effect to begin the statute. (12 C.J., sec. 184, p. 766.) And, even if we were to concede
that the issue was not properly raised in the court below by the proper party, it does not follow that the issue may
not be here raised in an original action of certiorari and prohibition. It is true that, as a general rule, the question of
constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity, so that if not raised by the pleadings, ordinarily it may
not be raised a the trial, and if not raised in the trial court, it will not be considered on appeal. (12 C.J., p. 786. See,
also, Cadwallader-Gibson Lumber Co. vs. Del Rosario, 26 Phil., 192, 193-195.) But we must state that the general
rule admits of exceptions. Courts, in the exercise of sound discretion, may determine the time when a question
affecting the constitutionality of a statute should be presented. (In re Woolsey [19884], 95 N.Y., 135, 144.) Thus,
in criminal cases, although there is a very sharp conflict of authorities, it is said that the question may be raised for
the first time at any state of the proceedings, either in the trial court or on appeal. (12 C.J., p. 786.) Even in civil
cases, it has been held that it is the duty of a court to pass on the constitutional question, though raised for first
time on appeal, if it appears that a determination of the question is necessary to a decision of the case. (McCabe's
Adm'x vs. Maysville & B. S. R. Co. [1910], 136 Ky., 674; 124 S. W., 892; Lohmeyer vs. St. Louis, Cordage Co.
[1908], 214 Mo. 685; 113 S. W., 1108; Carmody vs. St. Louis Transit Co. [1905], 188 Mo., 572; 87 S. W., 913.)
And it has been held that a constitutional question will be considered by an appellate court at any time, where it
involves the jurisdiction of the court below (State vs. Burke [1911], 175 Ala., 561; 57 S., 870.) As to the power of
this court to consider the constitutional question raised for the first time before this court in these proceedings, we
turn again and point with emphasis to the case of Yu Cong Eng. vs. Trinidad, supra. And on the hypothesis that the

51
Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, represented by the private prosecution, is not the proper party to
raise the constitutional question here a point we do not now have to decide we are of the opinion that the
People of the Philippines, represented by the Solicitor-General and the Fiscal of the City of Manila, is such a
proper party in the present proceedings. The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a
statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct
injury as a result of its enforcement. It goes without saying that if Act No. 4221 really violates the Constitution,
the People of the Philippines, in whose name the present action is brought, has a substantial interest in having it set
aside. Of greater import than the damage caused by the illegal expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound
inflicted upon the fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid statute. Hence, the well-settled rule that the
state can challenge the validity of its own laws. In Government of the Philippine Islands vs. Springer ([1927]), 50
Phil., 259 (affirmed in Springer vs. Government of the Philippine Islands [1928], 277 U.S., 189; 72 Law. ed.,
845), this court declared an act of the legislature unconstitutional in an action instituted in behalf of the
Government of the Philippines. In Attorney General vs. Perkings([1889], 73 Mich., 303, 311, 312; 41 N.W., 426,
428, 429), the State of Michigan, through its Attorney General, instituted quo warranto proceedings to test the
right of the respondents to renew a mining corporation, alleging that the statute under which the respondents base
their right was unconstitutional because it impaired the obligation of contracts. The capacity of the chief law
officer of the state to question the constitutionality of the statute was itself questioned. Said the Supreme Court of
Michigan, through Champlin, J.:
. . . The idea seems to be that the people are estopped from questioning the validity of a law
enacted by their representatives; that to an accusation by the people of Michigan of usurpation their
government, a statute enacted by the people of Michigan is an adequate answer. The last proposition is
true, but, if the statute relied on in justification is unconstitutional, it is statute only in form, and lacks
the force of law, and is of no more saving effect to justify action under it than if it had never been
enacted. The constitution is the supreme law, and to its behests the courts, the legislature, and the people
must bow . . . The legislature and the respondents are not the only parties in interest upon such
constitutional questions. As was remarked by Mr. Justice Story, in speaking of an acquiescence by a
party affected by an unconstitutional act of the legislature: "The people have a deep and vested interest
in maintaining all the constitutional limitations upon the exercise of legislative powers." (Allen vs.
Mckeen, 1 Sum., 314.)
In State vs. Doane ([1916], 98 Kan., 435; 158 Pac., 38, 40), an original action (mandamus) was brought by
the Attorney-General of Kansas to test the constitutionality of a statute of the state. In disposing of the question
whether or not the state may bring the action, the Supreme Court of Kansas said:
. . . the state is a proper party indeed, the proper party to bring this action. The state is
always interested where the integrity of its Constitution or statutes is involved.
"It has an interest in seeing that the will of the Legislature is not disregarded,
and need not, as an individual plaintiff must, show grounds of fearing more specific
injury. (State vs. Kansas City 60 Kan., 518 [57 Pac., 118])." (State vs. Lawrence, 80
Kan., 707; 103 Pac., 839.)
Where the constitutionality of a statute is in doubt the state's law officer, its Attorney-General, or
county attorney, may exercise his bet judgment as to what sort of action he will bring to have the matter
determined, either by quo warranto to challenge its validity (State vs. Johnson, 61 Kan., 803; 60 Pac.,
1068; 49 L.R.A., 662), by mandamus to compel obedience to its terms (State vs. Dolley, 82 Kan., 533;
108 Pac., 846), or by injunction to restrain proceedings under its questionable provisions (State ex rel.
vs. City of Neodesha, 3 Kan. App., 319; 45 Pac., 122).

Other courts have reached the same conclusion (See State vs. St. Louis S. W. Ry. Co. [1917], 197 S. W.,
1006; State vs. S.H. Kress & Co. [1934], 155 S., 823; State vs. Walmsley [1935], 181 La., 597; 160 S., 91; State
vs. Board of County Comr's [1934], 39 Pac. [2d], 286; First Const. Co. of Brooklyn vs. State [1917], 211 N.Y.,
295; 116 N.E., 1020; Bush vs. State {1918], 187 Ind., 339; 119 N.E., 417; State vs. Watkins [1933], 176 La., 837;
147 S., 8, 10, 11). In the case last cited, the Supreme Court of Luisiana said:
It is contended by counsel for Herbert Watkins that a district attorney, being charged with the duty
of enforcing the laws, has no right to plead that a law is unconstitutional. In support of the argument
three decisions are cited, viz.: State ex rel. Hall, District Attorney, vs. Judge of Tenth Judicial District
(33 La. Ann., 1222); State ex rel. Nicholls, Governor vs. Shakespeare, Mayor of New Orleans (41 Ann.,
156; 6 So., 592); and State ex rel., Banking Co., etc. vs. Heard, Auditor (47 La. Ann., 1679; 18 So., 746;
47 L. R. A., 512). These decisions do not forbid a district attorney to plead that a statute is
unconstitutional if he finds if in conflict with one which it is his duty to enforce. In State ex rel. Hall,
District Attorney, vs. Judge, etc., the ruling was the judge should not, merely because he believed a
certain statute to be unconstitutional forbid the district attorney to file a bill of information charging a
person with a violation of the statute. In other words, a judge should not judicially declare a statute
unconstitutional until the question of constitutionality is tendered for decision, and unless it must be
decided in order to determine the right of a party litigant. Stateex rel. Nicholls, Governor, etc., is
authority for the proposition merely that an officer on whom a statute imposes the duty of enforcing its
provisions cannot avoid the duty upon the ground that he considers the statute unconstitutional, and
hence in enforcing the statute he is immune from responsibility if the statute be unconstitutional.
State ex rel. Banking Co., etc., is authority for the proposition merely that executive officers, e.g., the
state auditor and state treasurer, should not decline to perform ministerial duties imposed upon them by
a statute, on the ground that they believe the statute is unconstitutional.
It is the duty of a district attorney to enforce the criminal laws of the state, and, above all, to
support the Constitution of the state. If, in the performance of his duty he finds two statutes in conflict
with each other, or one which repeals another, and if, in his judgment, one of the two statutes is
unconstitutional, it is his duty to enforce the other; and, in order to do so, he is compelled to submit to
the court, by way of a plea, that one of the statutes is unconstitutional. If it were not so, the power of the
Legislature would be free from constitutional limitations in the enactment of criminal laws.
The respondents do not seem to doubt seriously the correctness of the general proposition that the state may
impugn the validity of its laws. They have not cited any authority running clearly in the opposite direction. In fact,
they appear to have proceeded on the assumption that the rule as stated is sound but that it has no application in
the present case, nor may it be invoked by the City Fiscal in behalf of the People of the Philippines, one of the
petitioners herein, the principal reasons being that the validity before this court, that the City Fiscal is estopped
from attacking the validity of the Act and, not authorized challenge the validity of the Act in its application outside
said city. (Additional memorandum of respondents, October 23, 1937, pp. 8,. 10, 17 and 23.)
The mere fact that the Probation Act has been repeatedly relied upon the past and all that time has not been
attacked as unconstitutional by the Fiscal of Manila but, on the contrary, has been impliedly regarded by him as
constitutional, is no reason for considering the People of the Philippines estopped from nor assailing its validity.
For courts will pass upon a constitutional questions only when presented before it in bona fide cases for
determination, and the fact that the question has not been raised before is not a valid reason for refusing to allow it
to be raised later. The fiscal and all others are justified in relying upon the statute and treating it as valid until it is
held void by the courts in proper cases.

52
It remains to consider whether the determination of the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 is necessary to the
resolution of the instant case. For, ". . . while the court will meet the question with firmness, where its decision is
indispensable, it is the part of wisdom, and just respect for the legislature, renders it proper, to waive it, if the case
in which it arises, can be decided on other points." (Ex parte Randolph [1833], 20 F. Cas. No. 11, 558; 2 Brock.,
447. Vide, also Hoover vs. wood [1857], 9 Ind., 286, 287.) It has been held that the determination of a
constitutional question is necessary whenever it is essential to the decision of the case (12 C. J., p. 782, citing
Long Sault Dev. Co. vs. Kennedy [1913], 158 App. Div., 398; 143 N. Y. Supp., 454 [aff. 212 N.Y., 1: 105 N. E.,
849; Ann. Cas. 1915D, 56; and app dism 242 U.S., 272]; Hesse vs. Ledesma, 7 Porto Rico Fed., 520; Cowan vs.
Doddridge, 22 Gratt [63 Va.], 458; Union Line Co., vs. Wisconsin R. Commn., 146 Wis., 523; 129 N. W., 605), as
where the right of a party is founded solely on a statute the validity of which is attacked. (12 C.J., p. 782, citing
Central Glass Co. vs. Niagrara F. Ins. Co., 131 La., 513; 59 S., 972; Cheney vs. Beverly, 188 Mass., 81; 74 N.E.,
306). There is no doubt that the respondent Cu Unjieng draws his privilege to probation solely from Act No. 4221
now being assailed.
Apart from the foregoing considerations, that court will also take cognizance of the fact that the Probation
Act is a new addition to our statute books and its validity has never before been passed upon by the courts; that
may persons accused and convicted of crime in the City of Manila have applied for probation; that some of them
are already on probation; that more people will likely take advantage of the Probation Act in the future; and that
the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng has been at large for a period of about four years since his first conviction. All
wait the decision of this court on the constitutional question. Considering, therefore, the importance which the
instant case has assumed and to prevent multiplicity of suits, strong reasons of public policy demand that the
constitutionality of Act No. 4221 be now resolved. (Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad [1925], 47 Phil., 385; [1926], 271
U.S., 500; 70 Law. ed., 1059. See 6 R.C.L., pp. 77, 78; People vs. Kennedy [1913], 207 N.Y., 533; 101 N.E., 442,
444; Ann. Cas. 1914C, 616; Borginis vs. Falk Co. [1911], 147 Wis., 327; 133 N.W., 209, 211; 37 L.R.A. [N.S.]
489; Dimayuga and Fajardo vs. Fernandez [1922], 43 Phil., 304.) In Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, supra, an
analogous situation confronted us. We said: "Inasmuch as the property and personal rights of nearly twelve
thousand merchants are affected by these proceedings, and inasmuch as Act No. 2972 is a new law not yet
interpreted by the courts, in the interest of the public welfare and for the advancement of public policy, we have
determined to overrule the defense of want of jurisdiction in order that we may decide the main issue. We have
here an extraordinary situation which calls for a relaxation of the general rule." Our ruling on this point was
sustained by the Supreme Court of the United States. A more binding authority in support of the view we have
taken can not be found.
We have reached the conclusion that the question of the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 has been properly
raised. Now for the main inquiry: Is the Act unconstitutional?
Under a doctrine peculiarly American, it is the office and duty of the judiciary to enforce the Constitution.
This court, by clear implication from the provisions of section 2, subsection 1, and section 10, of Article VIII of
the Constitution, may declare an act of the national legislature invalid because in conflict with the fundamental
lay. It will not shirk from its sworn duty to enforce the Constitution. And, in clear cases, it will not hesitate to give
effect to the supreme law by setting aside a statute in conflict therewith. This is of the essence of judicial duty.
This court is not unmindful of the fundamental criteria in cases of this nature that all reasonable doubts
should be resolved in favor of the constitutionality of a statute. An act of the legislature approved by the executive,
is presumed to be within constitutional limitations. The responsibility of upholding the Constitution rests not on
the courts alone but on the legislature as well. "The question of the validity of every statute is first determined by
the legislative department of the government itself." (U.S. vs. Ten Yu [1912], 24 Phil., 1, 10; Case vs. Board of
Health and Heiser [1913], 24 Phil., 250, 276; U.S. vs. Joson [1913], 26 Phil., 1.) And a statute finally comes
before the courts sustained by the sanction of the executive. The members of the Legislature and the Chief

Executive have taken an oath to support the Constitution and it must be presumed that they have been true to this
oath and that in enacting and sanctioning a particular law they did not intend to violate the Constitution. The
courts cannot but cautiously exercise its power to overturn the solemn declarations of two of the three grand
departments of the governments. (6 R.C.L., p. 101.) Then, there is that peculiar political philosophy which bids the
judiciary to reflect the wisdom of the people as expressed through an elective Legislature and an elective Chief
Executive. It follows, therefore, that the courts will not set aside a law as violative of the Constitution except in a
clear case. This is a proposition too plain to require a citation of authorities.
One of the counsel for respondents, in the course of his impassioned argument, called attention to the fact
that the President of the Philippines had already expressed his opinion against the constitutionality of the
Probation Act, adverting that as to the Executive the resolution of this question was a foregone conclusion.
Counsel, however, reiterated his confidence in the integrity and independence of this court. We take notice of the
fact that the President in his message dated September 1, 1937, recommended to the National Assembly the
immediate repeal of the Probation Act (No. 4221); that this message resulted in the approval of Bill No. 2417 of
the Nationality Assembly repealing the probation Act, subject to certain conditions therein mentioned; but that
said bill was vetoed by the President on September 13, 1937, much against his wish, "to have stricken out from the
statute books of the Commonwealth a law . . . unfair and very likely unconstitutional." It is sufficient to observe in
this connection that, in vetoing the bill referred to, the President exercised his constitutional prerogative. He may
express the reasons which he may deem proper for taking such a step, but his reasons are not binding upon us in
the determination of actual controversies submitted for our determination. Whether or not the Executive should
express or in any manner insinuate his opinion on a matter encompassed within his broad constitutional power of
veto but which happens to be at the same time pending determination in this court is a question of propriety for
him exclusively to decide or determine. Whatever opinion is expressed by him under these circumstances,
however, cannot sway our judgment on way or another and prevent us from taking what in our opinion is the
proper course of action to take in a given case. It if is ever necessary for us to make any vehement affirmance
during this formative period of our political history, it is that we are independent of the Executive no less than of
the Legislative department of our government independent in the performance of our functions, undeterred by
any consideration, free from politics, indifferent to popularity, and unafraid of criticism in the accomplishment of
our sworn duty as we see it and as we understand it.
The constitutionality of Act No. 4221 is challenged on three principal grounds: (1) That said Act encroaches
upon the pardoning power of the Executive; (2) that its constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power and
(3) that it denies the equal protection of the laws.
1. Section 21 of the Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, commonly known as the Jones Law, in force at the
time of the approval of Act No. 4221, otherwise known as the Probation Act, vests in the Governor-General of the
Philippines "the exclusive power to grant pardons and reprieves and remit fines and forfeitures". This power is
now vested in the President of the Philippines. (Art. VII, sec. 11, subsec. 6.) The provisions of the Jones Law and
the Constitution differ in some respects. The adjective "exclusive" found in the Jones Law has been omitted from
the Constitution. Under the Jones Law, as at common law, pardon could be granted any time after the commission
of the offense, either before or after conviction (Vide Constitution of the United States, Art. II, sec. 2; In re Lontok
[1922], 43 Phil., 293). The Governor-General of the Philippines was thus empowered, like the President of the
United States, to pardon a person before the facts of the case were fully brought to light. The framers of our
Constitution thought this undesirable and, following most of the state constitutions, provided that the pardoning
power can only be exercised "after conviction". So, too, under the new Constitution, the pardoning power does not
extend to "cases of impeachment". This is also the rule generally followed in the United States (Vide Constitution
of the United States, Art. II, sec. 2). The rule in England is different. There, a royal pardon can not be pleaded in
bar of an impeachment; "but," says Blackstone, "after the impeachment has been solemnly heard and determined,
it is not understood that the king's royal grace is further restrained or abridged." (Vide, Ex parte Wells [1856], 18
How., 307; 15 Law. ed., 421; Com. vs. Lockwood [1872], 109 Mass., 323; 12 Am. Rep., 699; Sterling vs. Drake

53
[1876], 29 Ohio St., 457; 23 am. Rep., 762.) The reason for the distinction is obvious. In England, Judgment on
impeachment is not confined to mere "removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of
honor, trust, or profit under the Government" (Art. IX, sec. 4, Constitution of the Philippines) but extends to the
whole punishment attached by law to the offense committed. The House of Lords, on a conviction may, by its
sentence, inflict capital punishment, perpetual banishment, perpetual banishment, fine or imprisonment, depending
upon the gravity of the offense committed, together with removal from office and incapacity to hold office. (Com.
vs. Lockwood, supra.) Our Constitution also makes specific mention of "commutation" and of the power of the
executive to impose, in the pardons he may grant, such conditions, restrictions and limitations as he may deem
proper. Amnesty may be granted by the President under the Constitution but only with the concurrence of the
National Assembly. We need not dwell at length on the significance of these fundamental changes. It is sufficient
for our purposes to state that the pardoning power has remained essentially the same. The question is: Has the
pardoning power of the Chief Executive under the Jones Law been impaired by the Probation Act?
As already stated, the Jones Law vests the pardoning power exclusively in the Chief Executive. The exercise
of the power may not, therefore, be vested in anyone else.
". . . The benign prerogative of mercy reposed in the executive cannot be taken away nor fettered by any
legislative restrictions, nor can like power be given by the legislature to any other officer or authority. The
coordinate departments of government have nothing to do with the pardoning power, since no person properly
belonging to one of the departments can exercise any powers appertaining to either of the others except in cases
expressly provided for by the constitution." (20 R.C.L., pp., , and cases cited.) " . . . where the pardoning power is
conferred on the executive without express or implied limitations, the grant is exclusive, and the legislature can
neither exercise such power itself nor delegate it elsewhere, nor interfere with or control the proper exercise
thereof, . . ." (12 C.J., pp. 838, 839, and cases cited.) If Act No. 4221, then, confers any pardoning power upon the
courts it is for that reason unconstitutional and void. But does it?
In the famous Killitts decision involving an embezzlement case, the Supreme Court of the United States
ruled in 1916 that an order indefinitely suspending sentenced was void. (Ex parte United States [1916], 242 U.S.,
27; 61 Law. ed., 129; L.R.A. 1917E, 1178; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 72; Ann. Cas. 1917B, 355.) Chief Justice White, after
an exhaustive review of the authorities, expressed the opinion of the court that under the common law the power
of the court was limited to temporary suspension and that the right to suspend sentenced absolutely and
permanently was vested in the executive branch of the government and not in the judiciary. But, the right of
Congress to establish probation by statute was conceded. Said the court through its Chief Justice: ". . . and so far
as the future is concerned, that is, the causing of the imposition of penalties as fixed to be subject, by probation
legislation or such other means as the legislative mind may devise, to such judicial discretion as may be adequate
to enable courts to meet by the exercise of an enlarged but wise discretion the infinite variations which may be
presented to them for judgment, recourse must be had Congress whose legislative power on the subject is in the
very nature of things adequately complete." (Quoted in Riggs vs. United States [1926], 14 F. [2d], 5, 6.) This
decision led the National Probation Association and others to agitate for the enactment by Congress of a federal
probation law. Such action was finally taken on March 4, 1925 (chap. 521, 43 Stat. L. 159, U.S.C. title 18, sec.
724). This was followed by an appropriation to defray the salaries and expenses of a certain number of probation
officers chosen by civil service. (Johnson, Probation for Juveniles and Adults, p. 14.)
In United States vs. Murray ([1925], 275 U.S., 347; 48 Sup. Ct. Rep., 146; 72 Law. ed., 309), the Supreme
Court of the United States, through Chief Justice Taft, held that when a person sentenced to imprisonment by a
district court has begun to serve his sentence, that court has no power under the Probation Act of March 4, 1925 to
grant him probation even though the term at which sentence was imposed had not yet expired. In this case of
Murray, the constitutionality of the probation Act was not considered but was assumed. The court traced the
history of the Act and quoted from the report of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States House of
Representatives (Report No. 1377, 68th Congress, 2 Session) the following statement:

Prior to the so-called Killitts case, rendered in December, 1916, the district courts exercised a
form of probation either, by suspending sentence or by placing the defendants under state probation
officers or volunteers. In this case, however (Ex parte United States, 242 U.S., 27; 61 L. Ed., 129;
L.R.A., 1917E, 1178; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 72 Ann. Cas. 1917B, 355), the Supreme Court denied the right
of the district courts to suspend sentenced. In the same opinion the court pointed out the necessity for
action by Congress if the courts were to exercise probation powers in the future . . .
Since this decision was rendered, two attempts have been made to enact probation legislation. In
1917, a bill was favorably reported by the Judiciary Committee and passed the House. In 1920, the
judiciary Committee again favorably reported a probation bill to the House, but it was never reached for
definite action.
If this bill is enacted into law, it will bring the policy of the Federal government with reference to
its treatment of those convicted of violations of its criminal laws in harmony with that of the states of the
Union. At the present time every state has a probation law, and in all but twelve states the law applies
both to adult and juvenile offenders. (see, also, Johnson, Probation for Juveniles and Adults [1928],
Chap. I.)
The constitutionality of the federal probation law has been sustained by inferior federal courts. In Riggs vs.
United States supra, the Circuit Court of Appeals of the Fourth Circuit said:
Since the passage of the Probation Act of March 4, 1925, the questions under consideration have
been reviewed by the Circuit Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit (7 F. [2d], 590), and the
constitutionality of the act fully sustained, and the same held in no manner to encroach upon the
pardoning power of the President. This case will be found to contain an able and comprehensive review
of the law applicable here. It arose under the act we have to consider, and to it and the authorities cited
therein special reference is made (Nix vs. James, 7 F. [2d], 590, 594), as is also to a decision of the
Circuit Court of Appeals of the Seventh Circuit (Kriebel vs. U.S., 10 F. [2d], 762), likewise construing
the Probation Act.
We have seen that in 1916 the Supreme Court of the United States; in plain and unequivocal language,
pointed to Congress as possessing the requisite power to enact probation laws, that a federal probation law as
actually enacted in 1925, and that the constitutionality of the Act has been assumed by the Supreme Court of the
United States in 1928 and consistently sustained by the inferior federal courts in a number of earlier cases.
We are fully convinced that the Philippine Legislature, like the Congress of the United States, may legally
enact a probation law under its broad power to fix the punishment of any and all penal offenses. This conclusion is
supported by other authorities. In Ex parte Bates ([1915], 20 N. M., 542; L.R.A. 1916A, 1285; 151 Pac., 698, the
court said: "It is clearly within the province of the Legislature to denominate and define all classes of crime, and to
prescribe for each a minimum and maximum punishment." And in State vs. Abbott ([1910], 87 S.C., 466; 33
L.R.A. [N. S.], 112; 70 S. E., 6; Ann. Cas. 1912B, 1189), the court said: "The legislative power to set punishment
for crime is very broad, and in the exercise of this power the general assembly may confer on trial judges, if it sees
fit, the largest discretion as to the sentence to be imposed, as to the beginning and end of the punishment and
whether it should be certain or indeterminate or conditional." (Quoted in State vs. Teal [1918], 108 S. C., 455; 95
S. E., 69.) Indeed, the Philippine Legislature has defined all crimes and fixed the penalties for their violation.
Invariably, the legislature has demonstrated the desire to vest in the courts particularly the trial courts large
discretion in imposing the penalties which the law prescribes in particular cases. It is believed that justice can best
be served by vesting this power in the courts, they being in a position to best determine the penalties which an
individual convict, peculiarly circumstanced, should suffer. Thus, while courts are not allowed to refrain from

54
imposing a sentence merely because, taking into consideration the degree of malice and the injury caused by the
offense, the penalty provided by law is clearly excessive, the courts being allowed in such case to submit to the
Chief Executive, through the Department of Justice, such statement as it may deem proper (see art. 5, Revised
Penal Code), in cases where both mitigating and aggravating circumstances are attendant in the commission of a
crime and the law provides for a penalty composed of two indivisible penalties, the courts may allow such
circumstances to offset one another in consideration of their number and importance, and to apply the penalty
according to the result of such compensation. (Art. 63, rule 4, Revised Penal Code; U.S. vs. Reguera and
Asuategui [1921], 41 Phil., 506.) Again, article 64, paragraph 7, of the Revised Penal Code empowers the courts
to determine, within the limits of each periods, in case the penalty prescribed by law contains three periods, the
extent of the evil produced by the crime. In the imposition of fines, the courts are allowed to fix any amount
within the limits established by law, considering not only the mitigating and aggravating circumstances, but more
particularly the wealth or means of the culprit. (Art. 66, Revised Penal Code.) Article 68, paragraph 1, of the same
Code provides that "a discretionary penalty shall be imposed" upon a person under fifteen but over nine years of
age, who has not acted without discernment, but always lower by two degrees at least than that prescribed by law
for the crime which he has committed. Article 69 of the same Code provides that in case of "incomplete selfdefense", i.e., when the crime committed is not wholly excusable by reason of the lack of some of the conditions
required to justify the same or to exempt from criminal liability in the several cases mentioned in article 11 and 12
of the Code, "the courts shall impose the penalty in the period which may be deemed proper, in view of the
number and nature of the conditions of exemption present or lacking." And, in case the commission of what are
known as "impossible" crimes, "the court, having in mind the social danger and the degree of criminality shown
by the offender," shall impose upon him either arresto mayor or a fine ranging from 200 to 500 pesos. (Art. 59,
Revised Penal Code.)
Under our Revised Penal Code, also, one-half of the period of preventive imprisonment is deducted form the
entire term of imprisonment, except in certain cases expressly mentioned (art. 29); the death penalty is not
imposed when the guilty person is more than seventy years of age, or where upon appeal or revision of the case by
the Supreme Court, all the members thereof are not unanimous in their voting as to the propriety of the imposition
of the death penalty (art. 47, see also, sec. 133, Revised Administrative Code, as amended by Commonwealth Act
No. 3); the death sentence is not to be inflicted upon a woman within the three years next following the date of the
sentence or while she is pregnant, or upon any person over seventy years of age (art. 83); and when a convict shall
become insane or an imbecile after final sentence has been pronounced, or while he is serving his sentenced, the
execution of said sentence shall be suspended with regard to the personal penalty during the period of such
insanity or imbecility (art. 79).
But the desire of the legislature to relax what might result in the undue harshness of the penal laws is more
clearly demonstrated in various other enactments, including the probation Act. There is the Indeterminate
Sentence Law enacted in 1933 as Act No. 4103 and subsequently amended by Act No. 4225, establishing a system
of parole (secs. 5 to 100 and granting the courts large discretion in imposing the penalties of the law. Section 1 of
the law as amended provides; "hereafter, in imposing a prison sentence for an offenses punished by the Revised
Penal Code, or its amendments, the court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence the maximum
term of which shall be that which, in view of the attending circumstances, could be properly imposed under the
rules of the said Code, and to a minimum which shall be within the range of the penalty next lower to that
prescribed by the Code for the offense; and if the offense is punished by any other law, the court shall sentence the
accused to an indeterminate sentence, the maximum term of which shall not exceed the maximum fixed by said
law and the minimum shall not be less than the minimum term prescribed by the same." Certain classes of
convicts are, by section 2 of the law, excluded from the operation thereof. The Legislature has also enacted the
Juvenile Delinquency Law (Act No. 3203) which was subsequently amended by Act No. 3559. Section 7 of the
original Act and section 1 of the amendatory Act have become article 80 of the Revised Penal Code, amended by
Act No. 4117 of the Philippine Legislature and recently reamended by Commonwealth Act No. 99 of the National
Assembly. In this Act is again manifested the intention of the legislature to "humanize" the penal laws. It allows,

in effect, the modification in particular cases of the penalties prescribed by law by permitting the suspension of the
execution of the judgment in the discretion of the trial court, after due hearing and after investigation of the
particular circumstances of the offenses, the criminal record, if any, of the convict, and his social history. The
Legislature has in reality decreed that in certain cases no punishment at all shall be suffered by the convict as long
as the conditions of probation are faithfully observed. It this be so, then, it cannot be said that the Probation Act
comes in conflict with the power of the Chief Executive to grant pardons and reprieves, because, to use the
language of the Supreme Court of New Mexico, "the element of punishment or the penalty for the commission of
a wrong, while to be declared by the courts as a judicial function under and within the limits of law as announced
by legislative acts, concerns solely the procedure and conduct of criminal causes, with which the executive can
have nothing to do." (Ex parte Bates, supra.) In Williams vs. State ([1926], 162 Ga., 327; 133 S.E., 843), the court
upheld the constitutionality of the Georgia probation statute against the contention that it attempted to delegate to
the courts the pardoning power lodged by the constitution in the governor alone is vested with the power to pardon
after final sentence has been imposed by the courts, the power of the courts to imposed any penalty which may be
from time to time prescribed by law and in such manner as may be defined cannot be questioned."
We realize, of course, the conflict which the American cases disclose. Some cases hold it unlawful for the
legislature to vest in the courts the power to suspend the operation of a sentenced, by probation or otherwise, as to
do so would encroach upon the pardoning power of the executive. (In re Webb [1895], 89 Wis., 354; 27 L.R.A.,
356; 46 Am. St. Rep., 846; 62 N.W., 177; 9 Am. Crim., Rep., 702; State ex rel. Summerfield vs. Moran [1919], 43
Nev., 150; 182 Pac., 927; Ex parte Clendenning [1908], 22 Okla., 108; 1 Okla. Crim. Rep., 227; 19 L.R.A. [N.S.],
1041; 132 Am. St. Rep., 628; 97 Pac., 650; People vs. Barrett [1903], 202 Ill, 287; 67 N.E., 23; 63 L.R.A., 82; 95
Am. St. Rep., 230; Snodgrass vs. State [1912], 67 Tex. Crim. Rep., 615; 41 L. R. A. [N. S.], 1144; 150 S. W.,
162;Ex parte Shelor [1910], 33 Nev., 361;111 Pac., 291; Neal vs. State [1898], 104 Ga., 509; 42 L. R. A., 190; 69
Am. St. Rep., 175; 30 S. E. 858; State ex rel. Payne vs. Anderson [1921], 43 S. D., 630; 181 N. W., 839; People
vs. Brown, 54 Mich., 15; 19 N. W., 571; States vs. Dalton [1903], 109 Tenn., 544; 72 S. W., 456.)
Other cases, however, hold contra. (Nix vs. James [1925; C. C. A., 9th], 7 F. [2d], 590; Archer vs. Snook
[1926; D. C.], 10 F. [2d], 567; Riggs. vs. United States [1926; C. C. A. 4th], 14]) [2d], 5; Murphy vs. States
[1926], 171 Ark., 620; 286 S. W., 871; 48 A. L. R., 1189; Re Giannini [1912], 18 Cal. App., 166; 122 Pac., 831;
Re Nachnaber [1928], 89 Cal. App., 530; 265 Pac., 392; Ex parte De Voe [1931], 114 Cal. App., 730; 300 Pac.,
874; People vs. Patrick [1897], 118 Cal., 332; 50 Pac., 425; Martin vs. People [1917], 69 Colo., 60; 168 Pac.,
1171; Belden vs. Hugo [1914], 88 Conn., 50; 91 A., 369, 370, 371; Williams vs. State [1926], 162 Ga., 327; 133
S. E., 843; People vs. Heise [1913], 257 Ill., 443; 100 N. E., 1000; Parker vs. State [1893], 135 Ind., 534; 35 N. E.,
179; 23 L. R. A., 859; St. Hillarie, Petitioner [1906], 101 Me., 522; 64 Atl., 882; People vs. Stickle [1909], 156
Mich., 557; 121 N. W., 497; State vs. Fjolander [1914], 125 Minn., 529; State ex rel. Bottomnly vs. District Court
[1925], 73 Mont., 541; 237 Pac., 525; State vs. Everitt [1913], 164 N. C., 399; 79 S. E., 274; 47 L. R. A. [N. S.],
848; Stateex rel. Buckley vs. Drew [1909], 75 N. H., 402; 74 Atl., 875; State vs. Osborne [1911], 79 N. J. Eq.,
430; 82 Atl. 424; Ex parte Bates [1915], 20 N. M., 542; L. R. A., 1916 A. 1285; 151 Pac., 698; People vs. ex rel.
Forsyth vs. Court of Session [1894], 141 N. Y., 288; 23 L. R. A., 856; 36 N. E., 386; 15 Am. Crim. Rep., 675;
People ex rel. Sullivan vs. Flynn [1907], 55 Misc., 639; 106 N. Y. Supp., 928; People vs. Goodrich [1914], 149 N.
Y. Supp., 406; Moore vs. Thorn [1935], 245 App. Div., 180; 281 N. Y. Supp., 49; Re Hart [1914], 29 N. D., 38; L.
R. A., 1915C, 1169; 149 N. W., 568; Ex parte Eaton [1925], 29 Okla., Crim. Rep., 275; 233 P., 781; State vs. Teal
[1918], 108 S. C., 455; 95 S. E., 69; State vs. Abbot [1910], 87 S. C., 466; 33 L.R.A., [N. S.], 112; 70 S. E., 6;
Ann. Cas., 1912B, 1189; Fults vs. States [1854],34 Tenn., 232; Woods vs. State [1814], 130 Tenn., 100; 169 S.
W., 558; Baker vs. State [1814], 130 Tenn., 100; 169 S. W., 558; Baker vs. State [1913],70 Tex., Crim. Rep., 618;
158 S. W., 998; Cook vs. State [1914], 73 Tex. Crim. Rep., 548; 165 S. W., 573; King vs. State [1914], 72 Tex.
Crim. Rep., 394; 162 S. W., 890; Clare vs. State [1932], 122 Tex. Crim. Rep., 394; 162 S. W., 890; Clare vs. State
[1932], 122 Tex. Crim. Rep., 211; 54 S. W. [2d], 127; Re Hall [1927], 100 Vt., 197; 136 A., 24; Richardson vs.
Com. [1921], 131 Va., 802; 109 S.E., 460; State vs. Mallahan [1911], 65 Wash., 287; 118 Pac., 42; State ex rel.
Tingstand vs. Starwich [1922], 119 Wash., 561; 206 Pac., 29; 26 A. L. R., 393; 396.) We elect to follow this long

55
catena of authorities holding that the courts may be legally authorized by the legislature to suspend sentence by the
establishment of a system of probation however characterized. State ex rel. Tingstand vs. Starwich ([1922], 119
Wash., 561; 206 Pac., 29; 26 A. L. R., 393), deserved particular mention. In that case, a statute enacted in 1921
which provided for the suspension of the execution of a sentence until otherwise ordered by the court, and
required that the convicted person be placed under the charge of a parole or peace officer during the term of such
suspension, on such terms as the court may determine, was held constitutional and as not giving the court a power
in violation of the constitutional provision vesting the pardoning power in the chief executive of the state. (Vide,
also, Re Giannini [1912], 18 Cal App., 166; 122 Pac., 831.)
Probation and pardon are not coterminous; nor are they the same. They are actually district and different
from each other, both in origin and in nature. In People ex rel. Forsyth vs. Court of Sessions ([1894], 141 N. Y.,
288, 294; 36 N. E., 386, 388; 23 L. R. A., 856; 15 Am. Crim. Rep., 675), the Court of Appeals of New York said:
. . . The power to suspend sentence and the power to grant reprieves and pardons, as understood
when the constitution was adopted, are totally distinct and different in their nature. The former was
always a part of the judicial power; the latter was always a part of the executive power. The suspension
of the sentence simply postpones the judgment of the court temporarily or indefinitely, but the
conviction and liability following it, and the civil disabilities, remain and become operative when
judgment is rendered. A pardon reaches both the punishment prescribed for the offense and the guilt of
the offender. It releases the punishment, and blots out of existence the guilt, so that in the eye of the law,
the offender is as innocent as if he had never committed the offense. It removes the penalties and
disabilities, and restores him to all his civil rights. It makes him, as it were, a new man, and gives him a
new credit and capacity. (Ex parte Garland, 71 U. S., 4 Wall., 333; 18 Law. ed., 366; U. S. vs. Klein, 80
U. S., 13 Wall., 128; 20 Law. ed., 519; Knote vs. U. S., 95 U. S., 149; 24 Law. ed., 442.)
The framers of the federal and the state constitutions were perfectly familiar with the principles
governing the power to grant pardons, and it was conferred by these instruments upon the executive with
full knowledge of the law upon the subject, and the words of the constitution were used to express the
authority formerly exercised by the English crown, or by its representatives in the colonies. (Ex
parte Wells, 59 U. S., 18 How., 307; 15 Law. ed., 421.) As this power was understood, it did not
comprehend any part of the judicial functions to suspend sentence, and it was never intended that the
authority to grant reprieves and pardons should abrogate, or in any degree restrict, the exercise of that
power in regard to its own judgments, that criminal courts has so long maintained. The two powers, so
distinct and different in their nature and character, were still left separate and distinct, the one to be
exercised by the executive, and the other by the judicial department. We therefore conclude that a statute
which, in terms, authorizes courts of criminal jurisdiction to suspend sentence in certain cases after
conviction, a power inherent in such courts at common law, which was understood when the
constitution was adopted to be an ordinary judicial function, and which, ever since its adoption, has been
exercised of legislative power under the constitution. It does not encroach, in any just sense, upon the
powers of the executive, as they have been understood and practiced from the earliest times. (Quoted
with approval in Directors of Prisons vs. Judge of First Instance of Cavite [1915], 29 Phil., 265, Carson,
J., concurring, at pp. 294, 295.)
In probation, the probationer is in no true sense, as in pardon, a free man. He is not finally and completely
exonerated. He is not exempt from the entire punishment which the law inflicts. Under the Probation Act, the
probationer's case is not terminated by the mere fact that he is placed on probation. Section 4 of the Act provides
that the probation may be definitely terminated and the probationer finally discharged from supervision only after
the period of probation shall have been terminated and the probation officer shall have submitted a report, and the
court shall have found that the probationer has complied with the conditions of probation. The probationer, then,

during the period of probation, remains in legal custody subject to the control of the probation officer and of
the court; and, he may be rearrested upon the non-fulfillment of the conditions of probation and, when rearrested,
may be committed to prison to serve the sentence originally imposed upon him. (Secs. 2, 3, 5 and 6, Act No.
4221.)
The probation described in the act is not pardon. It is not complete liberty, and may be far from it.
It is really a new mode of punishment, to be applied by the judge in a proper case, in substitution of the
imprisonment and find prescribed by the criminal laws. For this reason its application is as purely a
judicial act as any other sentence carrying out the law deemed applicable to the offense. The executive
act of pardon, on the contrary, is against the criminal law, which binds and directs the judges, or rather is
outside of and above it. There is thus no conflict with the pardoning power, and no possible
unconstitutionality of the Probation Act for this cause. (Archer vs. Snook [1926], 10 F. [2d], 567, 569.)
Probation should also be distinguished from reprieve and from commutation of the sentence. Snodgrass vs.
State ([1912], 67 Tex. Crim. Rep., 615;41 L. R. A. [N. S.], 1144; 150 S. W., 162), is relied upon most strongly by
the petitioners as authority in support of their contention that the power to grant pardons and reprieves, having
been vested exclusively upon the Chief Executive by the Jones Law, may not be conferred by the legislature upon
the courts by means of probation law authorizing the indefinite judicial suspension of sentence. We have
examined that case and found that although the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas held that the probation statute
of the state in terms conferred on the district courts the power to grant pardons to persons convicted of crime, it
also distinguished between suspensions sentence on the one hand, and reprieve and commutation of sentence on
the other. Said the court, through Harper, J.:
That the power to suspend the sentence does not conflict with the power of the Governor to grant
reprieves is settled by the decisions of the various courts; it being held that the distinction between a
"reprieve" and a suspension of sentence is that a reprieve postpones the execution of the sentence to a
day certain, whereas a suspension is for an indefinite time. (Carnal vs. People, 1 Parker, Cr. R., 262; In
re Buchanan, 146 N. Y., 264; 40 N. E., 883), and cases cited in 7 Words & Phrases, pp. 6115, 6116. This
law cannot be hold in conflict with the power confiding in the Governor to grant commutations of
punishment, for a commutations is not but to change the punishment assessed to a less punishment.
In State ex rel. Bottomnly vs. District Court ([1925], 73 Mont., 541; 237 Pac., 525), the Supreme Court of
Montana had under consideration the validity of the adult probation law of the state enacted in 1913, now found in
sections 12078-12086, Revised Codes of 1921. The court held the law valid as not impinging upon the pardoning
power of the executive. In a unanimous decision penned by Justice Holloway, the court said:
. . . . the term "pardon", "commutation", and "respite" each had a well understood meaning at the
time our Constitution was adopted, and no one of them was intended to comprehend the suspension of
the execution of the judgment as that phrase is employed in sections 12078-12086. A "pardon" is an act
of grace, proceeding from the power intrusted with the execution of the laws which exempts the
individual on whom it is bestowed from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed
(United States vs. Wilson, 7 Pet., 150; 8 Law. ed., 640); It is a remission of guilt (State vs. Lewis, 111
La., 693; 35 So., 816), a forgiveness of the offense (Cook vs. Middlesex County, 26 N. J. Law, 326; Ex
parte Powell, 73 Ala., 517; 49 Am. Rep., 71). "Commutation" is a remission of a part of the punishment;
a substitution of a less penalty for the one originally imposed (Lee vs. Murphy, 22 Grat. [Va.] 789; 12
Am. Rep., 563; Rich vs. Chamberlain, 107 Mich., 381; 65 N. W., 235). A "reprieve" or "respite" is the
withholding of the sentence for an interval of time (4 Blackstone's Commentaries, 394), a postponement
of execution (Carnal vs. People, 1 Parker, Cr. R. [N. Y.], 272), a temporary suspension of execution
(Butler vs. State, 97 Ind., 373).

56
Few adjudicated cases are to be found in which the validity of a statute similar to our section
12078 has been determined; but the same objections have been urged against parole statutes which vest
the power to parole in persons other than those to whom the power of pardon is granted, and these
statutes have been upheld quite uniformly, as a reference to the numerous cases cited in the notes to
Woods vs. State (130 Tenn., 100; 169 S. W.,558, reported in L. R. A., 1915F, 531), will disclose. (See,
also, 20 R. C. L., 524.)
We conclude that the Probation Act does not conflict with the pardoning power of the Executive. The
pardoning power, in respect to those serving their probationary sentences, remains as full and complete as if the
Probation Law had never been enacted. The President may yet pardon the probationer and thus place it beyond the
power of the court to order his rearrest and imprisonment. (Riggs vs. United States [1926],
14 F. [2d], 5, 7.)
2. But while the Probation Law does not encroach upon the pardoning power of the executive and is not for
that reason void, does section 11 thereof constitute, as contended, an undue delegation of legislative power?
Under the constitutional system, the powers of government are distributed among three coordinate and
substantially independent organs: the legislative, the executive and the judicial. Each of these departments of the
government derives its authority from the Constitution which, in turn, is the highest expression of popular will.
Each has exclusive cognizance of the matters within its jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere.
The power to make laws the legislative power is vested in a bicameral Legislature by the Jones Law
(sec. 12) and in a unicamiral National Assembly by the Constitution (Act. VI, sec. 1, Constitution of the
Philippines). The Philippine Legislature or the National Assembly may not escape its duties and responsibilities by
delegating that power to any other body or authority. Any attempt to abdicate the power is unconstitutional and
void, on the principle that potestas delegata non delegare potest. This principle is said to have originated with the
glossators, was introduced into English law through a misreading of Bracton, there developed as a principle of
agency, was established by Lord Coke in the English public law in decisions forbidding the delegation of judicial
power, and found its way into America as an enlightened principle of free government. It has since become an
accepted corollary of the principle of separation of powers. (5 Encyc. of the Social Sciences, p. 66.) The classic
statement of the rule is that of Locke, namely: "The legislative neither must nor can transfer the power of making
laws to anybody else, or place it anywhere but where the people have." (Locke on Civil Government, sec. 142.)
Judge Cooley enunciates the doctrine in the following oft-quoted language: "One of the settled maxims in
constitutional law is, that the power conferred upon the legislature to make laws cannot be delegated by that
department to any other body or authority. Where the sovereign power of the state has located the authority, there
it must remain; and by the constitutional agency alone the laws must be made until the Constitution itself is
charged. The power to whose judgment, wisdom, and patriotism this high prerogative has been intrusted cannot
relieve itself of the responsibilities by choosing other agencies upon which the power shall be devolved, nor can it
substitute the judgment, wisdom, and patriotism of any other body for those to which alone the people have seen
fit to confide this sovereign trust." (Cooley on Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed., Vol. I, p. 224. Quoted with
approval in U. S. vs. Barrias [1908], 11 Phil., 327.) This court posits the doctrine "on the ethical principle that
such a delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate by the
instrumentality of his own judgment acting immediately upon the matter of legislation and not through the
intervening mind of another. (U. S. vs. Barrias, supra, at p. 330.)
The rule, however, which forbids the delegation of legislative power is not absolute and inflexible. It admits
of exceptions. An exceptions sanctioned by immemorial practice permits the central legislative body to delegate
legislative powers to local authorities. (Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro [1919], 39 Phil., 660; U. S. vs.
Salaveria [1918], 39 Phil., 102; Stoutenburgh vs. Hennick [1889], 129 U. S., 141; 32 Law. ed., 637; 9 Sup. Ct.

Rep., 256; State vs. Noyes [1855], 30 N. H., 279.) "It is a cardinal principle of our system of government, that
local affairs shall be managed by local authorities, and general affairs by the central authorities; and hence while
the rule is also fundamental that the power to make laws cannot be delegated, the creation of the municipalities
exercising local self government has never been held to trench upon that rule. Such legislation is not regarded as a
transfer of general legislative power, but rather as the grant of the authority to prescribed local regulations,
according to immemorial practice, subject of course to the interposition of the superior in cases of necessity."
(Stoutenburgh vs. Hennick, supra.) On quite the same principle, Congress is powered to delegate legislative power
to such agencies in the territories of the United States as it may select. A territory stands in the same relation to
Congress as a municipality or city to the state government. (United States vs. Heinszen [1907], 206 U. S., 370; 27
Sup. Ct. Rep., 742; 51 L. ed., 1098; 11 Ann. Cas., 688; Dorr vs. United States [1904], 195 U.S., 138; 24 Sup. Ct.
Rep., 808; 49 Law. ed., 128; 1 Ann. Cas., 697.) Courts have also sustained the delegation of legislative power to
the people at large. Some authorities maintain that this may not be done (12 C. J., pp. 841, 842; 6 R. C. L., p. 164,
citing People vs. Kennedy [1913], 207 N. Y., 533; 101 N. E., 442; Ann. Cas., 1914C, 616). However, the question
of whether or not a state has ceased to be republican in form because of its adoption of the initiative and
referendum has been held not to be a judicial but a political question (Pacific States Tel. & Tel. Co. vs. Oregon
[1912], 223 U. S., 118; 56 Law. ed., 377; 32 Sup. Cet. Rep., 224), and as the constitutionality of such laws has
been looked upon with favor by certain progressive courts, the sting of the decisions of the more conservative
courts has been pretty well drawn. (Opinions of the Justices [1894], 160 Mass., 586; 36 N. E., 488; 23 L. R. A.,
113; Kiernan vs. Portland [1910], 57 Ore., 454; 111 Pac., 379; 1132 Pac., 402; 37 L. R. A. [N. S.], 332; Pacific
States Tel. & Tel. Co. vs. Oregon, supra.) Doubtless, also, legislative power may be delegated by the Constitution
itself. Section 14, paragraph 2, of article VI of the Constitution of the Philippines provides that "The National
Assembly may by law authorize the President, subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, to fix
within specified limits, tariff rates, import or export quotas, and tonnage and wharfage dues." And section 16 of
the same article of the Constitution provides that "In times of war or other national emergency, the National
Assembly may by law authorize the President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may
prescribed, to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out a declared national policy." It is beyond the scope of
this decision to determine whether or not, in the absence of the foregoing constitutional provisions, the President
could be authorized to exercise the powers thereby vested in him. Upon the other hand, whatever doubt may have
existed has been removed by the Constitution itself.
The case before us does not fall under any of the exceptions hereinabove mentioned.
The challenged section of Act No. 4221 in section 11 which reads as follows:
This Act shall apply only in those provinces in which the respective provincial boards have provided for
the salary of a probation officer at rates not lower than those now provided for provincial fiscals. Said
probation officer shall be appointed by the Secretary of Justice and shall be subject to the direction of
the Probation Office. (Emphasis ours.)
In testing whether a statute constitute an undue delegation of legislative power or not, it is usual to inquire
whether the statute was complete in all its terms and provisions when it left the hands of the legislature so that
nothing was left to the judgment of any other appointee or delegate of the legislature. (6 R. C. L., p. 165.) In the
United States vs. Ang Tang Ho ([1922], 43 Phil., 1), this court adhered to the foregoing rule when it held an act of
the legislature void in so far as it undertook to authorize the Governor-General, in his discretion, to issue a
proclamation fixing the price of rice and to make the sale of it in violation of the proclamation a crime. (See and
cf. Compaia General de Tabacos vs. Board of Public Utility Commissioners [1916], 34 Phil., 136.) The general
rule, however, is limited by another rule that to a certain extent matters of detail may be left to be filled in by rules
and regulations to be adopted or promulgated by executive officers and administrative boards. (6 R. C. L., pp. 177179.)

57
For the purpose of Probation Act, the provincial boards may be regarded as administrative bodies endowed
with power to determine when the Act should take effect in their respective provinces. They are the agents or
delegates of the legislature in this respect. The rules governing delegation of legislative power to administrative
and executive officers are applicable or are at least indicative of the rule which should be here adopted. An
examination of a variety of cases on delegation of power to administrative bodies will show that the ratio
decidendiis at variance but, it can be broadly asserted that the rationale revolves around the presence or absence of
a standard or rule of action or the sufficiency thereof in the statute, to aid the delegate in exercising the
granted discretion. In some cases, it is held that the standard is sufficient; in others that is insufficient; and in still
others that it is entirely lacking. As a rule, an act of the legislature is incomplete and hence invalid if it does not
lay down any rule or definite standard by which the administrative officer or board may be guided in the exercise
of the discretionary powers delegated to it. (See Schecter vs. United States [1925], 295 U. S., 495; 79 L. ed., 1570;
55 Sup. Ct. Rep., 837; 97 A.L.R., 947; People ex rel. Rice vs. Wilson Oil Co. [1936], 364 Ill., 406; 4 N. E. [2d],
847; 107 A.L.R., 1500 and cases cited. See also R. C. L., title "Constitutional Law", sec 174.) In the case at bar,
what rules are to guide the provincial boards in the exercise of their discretionary power to determine whether or
not the Probation Act shall apply in their respective provinces? What standards are fixed by the Act? We do not
find any and none has been pointed to us by the respondents. The probation Act does not, by the force of any of its
provisions, fix and impose upon the provincial boards any standard or guide in the exercise of their discretionary
power. What is granted, if we may use the language of Justice Cardozo in the recent case of Schecter, supra, is a
"roving commission" which enables the provincial boards to exercise arbitrary discretion. By section 11 if the Act,
the legislature does not seemingly on its own authority extend the benefits of the Probation Act to the provinces
but in reality leaves the entire matter for the various provincial boards to determine. In other words, the provincial
boards of the various provinces are to determine for themselves, whether the Probation Law shall apply to their
provinces or not at all. The applicability and application of the Probation Act are entirely placed in the hands of
the provincial boards. If the provincial board does not wish to have the Act applied in its province, all that it has to
do is to decline to appropriate the needed amount for the salary of a probation officer. The plain language of the
Act is not susceptible of any other interpretation. This, to our minds, is a virtual surrender of legislative power to
the provincial boards.
"The true distinction", says Judge Ranney, "is between the delegation of power to make the law, which
necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring an 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." (Cincinnati, W. & Z. R. Co. vs. Clinton County Comrs. [1852]; 1 Ohio St., 77, 88. See also, Sutherland on
Statutory Construction, sec 68.) To the same effect are the decision of this court in Municipality of Cardona vs.
Municipality of Binangonan ([1917], 36 Phil., 547); Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro ([1919],39 Phil., 660)
andCruz vs. Youngberg ([1931], 56 Phil., 234). In the first of these cases, this court sustained the validity of the
law conferring upon the Governor-General authority to adjust provincial and municipal boundaries. In the second
case, this court held it lawful for the legislature to direct non-Christian inhabitants to take up their habitation on
unoccupied lands to be selected by the provincial governor and approved by the provincial board. In the third case,
it was held proper for the legislature to vest in the Governor-General authority to suspend or not, at his discretion,
the prohibition of the importation of the foreign cattle, such prohibition to be raised "if the conditions of the
country make this advisable or if deceased among foreign cattle has ceased to be a menace to the agriculture and
livestock of the lands."
It should be observed that in the case at bar we are not concerned with the simple transference of details of
execution or the promulgation by executive or administrative officials of rules and regulations to carry into effect
the provisions of a law. If we were, recurrence to our own decisions would be sufficient. (U. S. vs. Barrias [1908],
11 Phil., 327; U.S. vs. Molina [1914], 29 Phil., 119; Alegre vs. Collector of Customs [1929], 53 Phil., 394; Cebu
Autobus Co. vs. De Jesus [1931], 56 Phil., 446; U. S. vs. Gomez [1915], 31 Phil., 218; Rubi vs. Provincial Board
of Mindoro [1919], 39 Phil., 660.)

58
It is connected, however, that a legislative act may be made to the effect as law after it leaves the hands of
the legislature. It is true that laws may be made effective on certain contingencies, as by proclamation of the
executive or the adoption by the people of a particular community (6 R. C. L., 116, 170-172; Cooley,
Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed., Vol. I, p. 227). In Wayman vs. Southard ([1825], 10 Wheat. 1; 6 Law. ed.,
253), the Supreme Court of the United State ruled that the legislature may delegate a power not legislative which it
may itself rightfully exercise.(Vide, also, Dowling vs. Lancashire Ins. Co. [1896], 92 Wis., 63; 65 N. W., 738; 31
L. R. A., 112.) The power to ascertain facts is such a power which may be delegated. There is nothing essentially
legislative in ascertaining the existence of facts or conditions as the basis of the taking into effect of a law. That is
a mental process common to all branches of the government. (Dowling vs. Lancashire Ins. Co., supra; In
re Village of North Milwaukee [1896], 93 Wis., 616; 97 N.W., 1033; 33 L.R.A., 938; Nash vs. Fries [1906], 129
Wis., 120; 108 N.W., 210; Field vs. Clark [1892], 143 U.S., 649; 12 Sup. Ct., 495; 36 Law. ed., 294.)
Notwithstanding the apparent tendency, however, to relax the rule prohibiting delegation of legislative authority
on account of the complexity arising from social and economic forces at work in this modern industrial age
(Pfiffner, Public Administration [1936] ch. XX; Laski, "The Mother of Parliaments", foreign Affairs, July, 1931,
Vol. IX, No. 4, pp. 569-579; Beard, "Squirt-Gun Politics", in Harper's Monthly Magazine, July, 1930, Vol. CLXI,
pp. 147, 152), the orthodox pronouncement of Judge Cooley in his work on Constitutional Limitations finds
restatement in Prof. Willoughby's treatise on the Constitution of the United States in the following language
speaking of declaration of legislative power to administrative agencies: "The principle which permits the
legislature to provide that the administrative agent may determine when the circumstances are such as require the
application of a law is defended upon the ground that at the time this authority is granted, the rule of public policy,
which is the essence of the legislative act, is determined by the legislature. In other words, the legislature, as it its
duty to do, determines that, under given circumstances, certain executive or administrative action is to be taken,
and that, under other circumstances, different of no action at all is to be taken. What is thus left to the
administrative official is not the legislative determination of what public policy demands, but simply the
ascertainment of what the facts of the case require to be done according to the terms of the law by which he is
governed." (Willoughby on the Constitution of the United States, 2nd ed., Vol. II, p. 1637.) In Miller vs. Mayer,
etc., of New York [1883], 109 U.S., 3 Sup. Ct. Rep., 228; 27 Law. ed., 971, 974), it was said: "The efficiency of
an Act as a declaration of legislative will must, of course, come from Congress, but the ascertainment of the
contingency upon which the Act shall take effect may be left to such agencies as it may designate." (See, also, 12
C.J., p. 864; State vs. Parker [1854], 26 Vt., 357; Blanding vs. Burr [1859], 13 Cal., 343, 258.) The legislature,
then may provide that a contingencies leaving to some other person or body the power to determine when the
specified contingencies has arisen. But, in the case at bar, the legislature has not made the operation of the
Prohibition Act contingent upon specified facts or conditions to be ascertained by the provincial board. It leaves,
as we have already said, the entire operation or non-operation of the law upon the provincial board. the discretion
vested is arbitrary because it is absolute and unlimited. A provincial board need not investigate conditions or find
any fact, or await the happening of any specified contingency. It is bound by no rule, limited by no principle of
expendiency announced by the legislature. It may take into consideration certain facts or conditions; and, again, it
may not. It may have any purpose or no purpose at all. It need not give any reason whatsoever for refusing or
failing to appropriate any funds for the salary of a probation officer. This is a matter which rest entirely at its
pleasure. The fact that at some future time we cannot say when the provincial boards may appropriate funds
for the salaries of probation officers and thus put the law into operation in the various provinces will not save the
statute. The time of its taking into effect, we reiterate, would yet be based solely upon the will of the provincial
boards and not upon the happening of a certain specified contingency, or upon the ascertainment of certain facts or
conditions by a person or body other than legislature itself.
The various provincial boards are, in practical effect, endowed with the power of suspending the operation
of the Probation Law in their respective provinces. In some jurisdiction, constitutions provided that laws may be
suspended only by the legislature or by its authority. Thus, section 28, article I of the Constitution of Texas
provides that "No power of suspending laws in this state shall be exercised except by the legislature"; and section
26, article I of the Constitution of Indiana provides "That the operation of the laws shall never be suspended,

except by authority of the General Assembly." Yet, even provisions of this sort do not confer absolute power of
suspension upon the legislature. While it may be undoubted that the legislature may suspend a law, or the
execution or operation of a law, a law may not be suspended as to certain individuals only, leaving the law to be
enjoyed by others. The suspension must be general, and cannot be made for individual cases or for particular
localities. In Holden vs. James ([1814], 11 Mass., 396; 6 Am. Dec., 174, 177, 178), it was said:
By the twentieth article of the declaration of rights in the constitution of this commonwealth, it is
declared that the power of suspending the laws, or the execution of the laws, ought never to be exercised
but by the legislature, or by authority derived from it, to be exercised in such particular cases only as the
legislature shall expressly provide for. Many of the articles in that declaration of rights were adopted
from the Magna Charta of England, and from the bill of rights passed in the reign of William and Mary.
The bill of rights contains an enumeration of the oppressive acts of James II, tending to subvert and
extirpate the protestant religion, and the laws and liberties of the kingdom; and the first of them is the
assuming and exercising a power of dispensing with and suspending the laws, and the execution of the
laws without consent of parliament. The first article in the claim or declaration of rights contained in the
statute is, that the exercise of such power, by legal authority without consent of parliament, is illegal. In
the tenth section of the same statute it is further declared and enacted, that "No dispensation by non
obstante of or to any statute, or part thereof, should be allowed; but the same should be held void and of
no effect, except a dispensation be allowed of in such statute." There is an implied reservation of
authority in the parliament to exercise the power here mentioned; because, according to the theory of the
English Constitution, "that absolute despotic power, which must in all governments reside somewhere,"
is intrusted to the parliament: 1 Bl. Com., 160.
The principles of our government are widely different in this particular. Here the sovereign and
absolute power resides in the people; and the legislature can only exercise what is delegated to them
according to the constitution. It is obvious that the exercise of the power in question would be equally
oppressive to the subject, and subversive of his right to protection, "according to standing laws,"
whether exercised by one man or by a number of men. It cannot be supposed that the people when
adopting this general principle from the English bill of rights and inserting it in our constitution,
intended to bestow by implication on the general court one of the most odious and oppressive
prerogatives of the ancient kings of England. It is manifestly contrary to the first principles of civil
liberty and natural justice, and to the spirit of our constitution and laws, that any one citizen should
enjoy privileges and advantages which are denied to all others under like circumstances; or that ant one
should be subject to losses, damages, suits, or actions from which all others under like circumstances are
exempted.
To illustrate the principle: A section of a statute relative to dogs made the owner of any dog liable to the
owner of domestic animals wounded by it for the damages without proving a knowledge of it vicious disposition.
By a provision of the act, power was given to the board of supervisors to determine whether or not during the
current year their county should be governed by the provisions of the act of which that section constituted a part. It
was held that the legislature could not confer that power. The court observed that it could no more confer such a
power than to authorize the board of supervisors of a county to abolish in such county the days of grace on
commercial paper, or to suspend the statute of limitations. (Slinger vs. Henneman [1875], 38 Wis., 504.) A similar
statute in Missouri was held void for the same reason in State vs. Field ([1853, 17 Mo., 529;59 Am. Dec., 275.) In
that case a general statute formulating a road system contained a provision that "if the county court of any county
should be of opinion that the provisions of the act should not be enforced, they might, in their discretion, suspend
the operation of the same for any specified length of time, and thereupon the act should become inoperative in
such county for the period specified in such order; and thereupon order the roads to be opened and kept in good
repair, under the laws theretofore in force." Said the court: ". . . this act, by its own provisions, repeals the
inconsistent provisions of a former act, and yet it is left to the county court to say which act shall be enforce in

their county. The act does not submit the question to the county court as an original question, to be decided by that
tribunal, whether the act shall commence its operation within the county; but it became by its own terms a law in
every county not excepted by name in the act. It did not, then, require the county court to do any act in order to
give it effect. But being the law in the county, and having by its provisions superseded and abrogated the
inconsistent provisions of previous laws, the county court is . . . empowered, to suspend this act and revive the
repealed provisions of the former act. When the question is before the county court for that tribunal to determine
which law shall be in force, it is urge before us that the power then to be exercised by the court is strictly
legislative power, which under our constitution, cannot be delegated to that tribunal or to any other body of men in
the state. In the present case, the question is not presented in the abstract; for the county court of Saline county,
after the act had been for several months in force in that county, did by order suspend its operation; and during that
suspension the offense was committed which is the subject of the present indictment . . . ." (See Mitchell vs. State
[1901], 134 Ala., 392; 32 S., 687.)
True, the legislature may enact laws for a particular locality different from those applicable to other
localities and, while recognizing the force of the principle hereinabove expressed, courts in may jurisdiction have
sustained the constitutionality of the submission of option laws to the vote of the people. (6 R.C.L., p. 171.) But
option laws thus sustained treat of subjects purely local in character which should receive different treatment in
different localities placed under different circumstances. "They relate to subjects which, like the retailing of
intoxicating drinks, or the running at large of cattle in the highways, may be differently regarded in different
localities, and they are sustained on what seems to us the impregnable ground, that the subject, though not
embraced within the ordinary powers of municipalities to make by-laws and ordinances, is nevertheless within the
class of public regulations, in respect to which it is proper that the local judgment should control." (Cooley on
Constitutional Limitations, 5th ed., p. 148.) So that, while we do not deny the right of local self-government and
the propriety of leaving matters of purely local concern in the hands of local authorities or for the people of small
communities to pass upon, we believe that in matters of general of general legislation like that which treats of
criminals in general, and as regards the general subject of probation, discretion may not be vested in a manner so
unqualified and absolute as provided in Act No. 4221. True, the statute does not expressly state that the provincial
boards may suspend the operation of the Probation Act in particular provinces but, considering that, in being
vested with the authority to appropriate or not the necessary funds for the salaries of probation officers, they
thereby are given absolute discretion to determine whether or not the law should take effect or operate in their
respective provinces, the provincial boards are in reality empowered by the legislature to suspend the operation of
the Probation Act in particular provinces, the Act to be held in abeyance until the provincial boards should decide
otherwise by appropriating the necessary funds. The validity of a law is not tested by what has been done but by
what may be done under its provisions. (Walter E. Olsen & Co. vs. Aldanese and Trinidad [1922], 43 Phil., 259;
12 C. J., p. 786.)
It in conceded that a great deal of latitude should be granted to the legislature not only in the expression of
what may be termed legislative policy but in the elaboration and execution thereof. "Without this power,
legislation would become oppressive and yet imbecile." (People vs. Reynolds, 5 Gilman, 1.) It has been said that
popular government lives because of the inexhaustible reservoir of power behind it. It is unquestionable that the
mass of powers of government is vested in the representatives of the people and that these representatives are no
further restrained under our system than by the express language of the instrument imposing the restraint, or by
particular provisions which by clear intendment, have that effect. (Angara vs. Electoral Commission [1936], 35
Off. Ga., 23; Schneckenburger vs. Moran [1936], 35 Off. Gaz., 1317.) But, it should be borne in mind that a
constitution is both a grant and a limitation of power and one of these time-honored limitations is that, subject to
certain exceptions, legislative power shall not be delegated.
We conclude that section 11 of Act No. 4221 constitutes an improper and unlawful delegation of legislative
authority to the provincial boards and is, for this reason, unconstitutional and void.

59
3. It is also contended that the Probation Act violates the provisions of our Bill of Rights which prohibits the
denial to any person of the equal protection of the laws (Act. III, sec. 1 subsec. 1. Constitution of the Philippines.)
This basic individual right sheltered by the Constitution is a restraint on all the tree grand departments of our
government and on the subordinate instrumentalities and subdivision thereof, and on many constitutional power,
like the police power, taxation and eminent domain. The equal protection of laws, sententiously observes the
Supreme Court of the United States, "is a pledge of the protection of equal laws." (Yick Wo vs. Hopkins [1886],
118 U. S., 356; 30 Law. ed., 220; 6 Sup. Ct. Rep., 10464; Perley vs. North Carolina, 249 U. S., 510; 39 Sup. Ct.
Rep., 357; 63 Law. ed., 735.) Of course, what may be regarded as a denial of the equal protection of the laws in a
question not always easily determined. No rule that will cover every case can be formulated. (Connolly vs. Union
Sewer Pipe Co. [1902], 184, U. S., 540; 22 Sup. Ct., Rep., 431; 46 Law. ed., 679.) Class legislation discriminating
against some and favoring others in prohibited. But classification on a reasonable basis, and nor made arbitrarily
or capriciously, is permitted. (Finely vs. California [1911], 222 U. S., 28; 56 Law. ed., 75; 32 Sup. Ct. Rep., 13;
Gulf. C. & S. F. Ry Co. vs. Ellis [1897], 165 U. S., 150; 41 Law. ed., 666; 17 Sup. Ct. Rep., 255; Smith, Bell &
Co. vs. Natividad [1919], 40 Phil., 136.) The classification, however, to be reasonable must be based on
substantial distinctions which make real differences; it must be germane to the purposes of the law; it must not be
limited to existing conditions only, and must apply equally to each member of the class. (Borgnis vs. Falk. Co.
[1911], 147 Wis., 327, 353; 133 N. W., 209; 3 N. C. C. A., 649; 37 L. R. A. [N. S.], 489; State vs. Cooley, 56
Minn., 540; 530-552; 58 N. W., 150; Lindsley vs. Natural Carbonic Gas Co.[1911], 220 U. S., 61, 79, 55 Law. ed.,
369, 377; 31 Sup. Ct. Rep., 337; Ann. Cas., 1912C, 160; Lake Shore & M. S. R. Co. vs. Clough [1917], 242 U.S.,
375; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 144; 61 Law. ed., 374; Southern Ry. Co. vs. Greene [1910], 216 U. S., 400; 30 Sup. Ct.
Rep., 287; 54 Law. ed., 536; 17 Ann. Cas., 1247; Truax vs. Corrigan [1921], 257 U. S., 312; 12 C. J., pp. 1148,
1149.)
In the case at bar, however, the resultant inequality may be said to flow from the unwarranted delegation of
legislative power, although perhaps this is not necessarily the result in every case. Adopting the example given by
one of the counsel for the petitioners in the course of his oral argument, one province may appropriate the
necessary fund to defray the salary of a probation officer, while another province may refuse or fail to do so. In
such a case, the Probation Act would be in operation in the former province but not in the latter. This means that a
person otherwise coming within the purview of the law would be liable to enjoy the benefits of probation in one
province while another person similarly situated in another province would be denied those same benefits. This is
obnoxious discrimination. Contrariwise, it is also possible for all the provincial boards to appropriate the
necessary funds for the salaries of the probation officers in their respective provinces, in which case no inequality
would result for the obvious reason that probation would be in operation in each and every province by the
affirmative action of appropriation by all the provincial boards. On that hypothesis, every person coming within
the purview of the Probation Act would be entitled to avail of the benefits of the Act. Neither will there be any
resulting inequality if no province, through its provincial board, should appropriate any amount for the salary of
the probation officer which is the situation now and, also, if we accept the contention that, for the purpose of
the Probation Act, the City of Manila should be considered as a province and that the municipal board of said city
has not made any appropriation for the salary of the probation officer. These different situations suggested show,
indeed, that while inequality may result in the application of the law and in the conferment of the benefits therein
provided, inequality is not in all cases the necessary result. But whatever may be the case, it is clear that in section
11 of the Probation Act creates a situation in which discrimination and inequality are permitted or allowed. There
are, to be sure, abundant authorities requiring actual denial of the equal protection of the law before court should
assume the task of setting aside a law vulnerable on that score, but premises and circumstances considered, we are
of the opinion that section 11 of Act No. 4221 permits of the denial of the equal protection of the law and is on
that account bad. We see no difference between a law which permits of such denial. A law may appear to be fair
on its face and impartial in appearance, yet, if it permits of unjust and illegal discrimination, it is within the
constitutional prohibitions. (By analogy, Chy Lung vs. Freeman [1876], 292 U. S., 275; 23 Law. ed., 550;
Henderson vs. Mayor [1876], 92 U. S., 259; 23 Law. ed., 543; Ex parte Virginia [1880], 100 U. S., 339; 25 Law.

ed., 676; Neal vs. Delaware [1881], 103 U. S., 370; 26 Law. ed., 567; Soon Hing vs. Crowley [1885], 113 U. S.,
703; 28 Law. ed., 1145, Yick Wo vs. Hopkins [1886],118 U. S., 356; 30 Law. ed., 220; Williams vs. Mississippi
[1897], 170 U. S., 218; 18 Sup. Ct. Rep., 583; 42 Law. ed., 1012; Bailey vs. Alabama [1911], 219 U. S., 219; 31
Sup. Ct. Rep. 145; 55 Law. ed., Sunday Lake Iron Co. vs. Wakefield [1918], 247 U. S., 450; 38 Sup. Ct. Rep.,
495; 62 Law. ed., 1154.) In other words, statutes may be adjudged unconstitutional because of their effect in
operation (General Oil Co. vs. Clain [1907], 209 U. S., 211; 28 Sup. Ct. Rep., 475; 52 Law. ed., 754; State vs.
Clement Nat. Bank [1911], 84 Vt., 167; 78 Atl., 944; Ann. Cas., 1912D, 22). If the law has the effect of denying
the equal protection of the law it is unconstitutional. (6 R. C. L. p. 372; Civil Rights Cases, 109 U. S., 3; 3 Sup. Ct.
Rep., 18; 27 Law. ed., 835; Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, supra; State vs. Montgomery, 94 Me., 192; 47 Atl., 165; 80 A.
S. R., 386; State vs. Dering, 84 Wis., 585; 54 N. W., 1104; 36 A. S. R., 948; 19 L. R. A., 858.) Under section 11 of
the Probation Act, not only may said Act be in force in one or several provinces and not be in force in other
provinces, but one province may appropriate for the salary of the probation officer of a given year and have
probation during that year and thereafter decline to make further appropriation, and have no probation is
subsequent years. While this situation goes rather to the abuse of discretion which delegation implies, it is here
indicated to show that the Probation Act sanctions a situation which is intolerable in a government of laws, and to
prove how easy it is, under the Act, to make the guaranty of the equality clause but "a rope of sand". (Brewer, J.
Gulf C. & S. F. Ry. Co. vs. Ellis [1897], 165 U. S., 150 154; 41 Law. ed., 666; 17 Sup. Ct. Rep., 255.)lawph!1.net
Great reliance is placed by counsel for the respondents on the case of Ocampo vs. United States ([1914],
234 U. S., 91; 58 Law. ed., 1231). In that case, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the decision of
this court (18 Phil., 1) by declining to uphold the contention that there was a denial of the equal protection of the
laws because, as held in Missouri vs. Lewis (Bowman vs. Lewis) decided in 1880 (101 U. S., 220; 25 Law. ed.,
991), the guaranty of the equality clause does not require territorial uniformity. It should be observed, however,
that this case concerns the right to preliminary investigations in criminal cases originally granted by General
Orders No. 58. No question of legislative authority was involved and the alleged denial of the equal protection of
the laws was the result of the subsequent enactment of Act No. 612, amending the charter of the City of Manila
(Act No. 813) and providing in section 2 thereof that "in cases triable only in the court of first instance of the City
of Manila, the defendant . . . shall not be entitled as of right to a preliminary examination in any case where the
prosecuting attorney, after a due investigation of the facts . . . shall have presented an information against him in
proper form . . . ." Upon the other hand, an analysis of the arguments and the decision indicates that the
investigation by the prosecuting attorney although not in the form had in the provinces was considered a
reasonable substitute for the City of Manila, considering the peculiar conditions of the city as found and taken into
account by the legislature itself.
Reliance is also placed on the case of Missouri vs. Lewis, supra. That case has reference to a situation
where the constitution of Missouri permits appeals to the Supreme Court of the state from final judgments of any
circuit court, except those in certain counties for which counties the constitution establishes a separate court of
appeals called St. Louis Court of Appeals. The provision complained of, then, is found in the constitution itself
and it is the constitution that makes the apportionment of territorial jurisdiction.
We are of the opinion that section 11 of the Probation Act is unconstitutional and void because it is also
repugnant to equal-protection clause of our Constitution.
Section 11 of the Probation Act being unconstitutional and void for the reasons already stated, the next
inquiry is whether or not the entire Act should be avoided.
In seeking the legislative intent, the presumption is against any mutilation of a statute, and the
courts will resort to elimination only where an unconstitutional provision is interjected into a statute
otherwise valid, and is so independent and separable that its removal will leave the constitutional

60
features and purposes of the act substantially unaffected by the process. (Riccio vs. Hoboken, 69 N. J.
Law., 649, 662; 63 L. R. A., 485; 55 Atl., 1109, quoted in Williams vs. Standard Oil Co. [1929], 278
U.S., 235, 240; 73 Law. ed., 287, 309; 49 Sup. Ct. Rep., 115; 60 A. L. R., 596.) In Barrameda vs.
Moir ([1913], 25 Phil., 44, 47), this court stated the well-established rule concerning partial invalidity of
statutes in the following language:
. . . where part of the a statute is void, as repugnant to the Organic Law, while another part is
valid, the valid portion, if separable from the valid, may stand and be enforced. But in order to do this,
the valid portion must be in so far independent of the invalid portion that it is fair to presume that the
Legislative would have enacted it by itself if they had supposed that they could not constitutionally enact
the other. (Mutual Loan Co. vs. Martell, 200 Mass., 482; 86 N. E., 916; 128 A. S. R., 446; Supervisors
of Holmes Co. vs. Black Creek Drainage District, 99 Miss., 739; 55 Sou., 963.) Enough must remain to
make a complete, intelligible, and valid statute, which carries out the legislative intent. (Pearson vs.
Bass. 132 Ga., 117; 63 S. E., 798.) The void provisions must be eliminated without causing results
affecting the main purpose of the Act, in a manner contrary to the intention of the Legislature. (State vs.
A. C. L. R., Co., 56 Fla., 617, 642; 47 Sou., 969; Harper vs. Galloway, 58 Fla., 255; 51 Sou., 226; 26 L.
R. A., N. S., 794; Connolly vs. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 U. S., 540, 565; People vs. Strassheim, 240
Ill., 279, 300; 88 N. E., 821; 22 L. R. A., N. S., 1135; State vs. Cognevich, 124 La., 414; 50 Sou., 439.)
The language used in the invalid part of a statute can have no legal force or efficacy for any purpose
whatever, and what remains must express the legislative will, independently of the void part, since the
court has no power to legislate. (State vs. Junkin, 85 Neb., 1; 122 N. W., 473; 23 L. R. A., N. S., 839;
Vide, also,. U. S., vs. Rodriguez [1918], 38 Phil., 759; Pollock vs. Farmers' Loan and Trust Co. [1895],
158 U. S., 601, 635; 39 Law. ed., 1108, 1125; 15 Sup. Ct. Rep., 912; 6 R.C.L., 121.)
It is contended that even if section 11, which makes the Probation Act applicable only in those provinces in
which the respective provincial boards provided for the salaries of probation officers were inoperative on
constitutional grounds, the remainder of the Act would still be valid and may be enforced. We should be inclined
to accept the suggestions but for the fact that said section is, in our opinion, is inseparably linked with the other
portions of the Act that with the elimination of the section what would be left is the bare idealism of the system,
devoid of any practical benefit to a large number of people who may be deserving of the intended beneficial result
of that system. The clear policy of the law, as may be gleaned from a careful examination of the whole context, is
to make the application of the system dependent entirely upon the affirmative action of the different provincial
boards through appropriation of the salaries for probation officers at rates not lower than those provided for
provincial fiscals. Without such action on the part of the various boards, no probation officers would be appointed
by the Secretary of Justice to act in the provinces. The Philippines is divided or subdivided into provinces and it
needs no argument to show that if not one of the provinces and this is the actual situation now appropriate
the necessary fund for the salary of a probation officer, probation under Act No. 4221 would be illusory. There can
be no probation without a probation officer. Neither can there be a probation officer without the probation system.
Section 2 of the Acts provides that the probation officer shall supervise and visit the probationer. Every
probation officer is given, as to the person placed in probation under his care, the powers of the police officer. It is
the duty of the probation officer to see that the conditions which are imposed by the court upon the probationer
under his care are complied with. Among those conditions, the following are enumerated in section 3 of the Act:
That the probationer (a) shall indulge in no injurious or vicious habits;
(b) Shall avoid places or persons of disreputable or harmful character;
(c) Shall report to the probation officer as directed by the court or probation officers;

(d) Shall permit the probation officer to visit him at reasonable times at his place of abode or elsewhere;
(e) Shall truthfully answer any reasonable inquiries on the part of the probation officer concerning his
conduct or condition; "(f) Shall endeavor to be employed regularly; "(g) Shall remain or reside within a
specified place or locality;
(f) Shall make reparation or restitution to the aggrieved parties for actual damages or losses caused by
his offense;
(g) Shall comply with such orders as the court may from time to time make; and
(h) Shall refrain from violating any law, statute, ordinance, or any by-law or regulation, promulgated in
accordance with law.
The court is required to notify the probation officer in writing of the period and terms of probation. Under
section 4, it is only after the period of probation, the submission of a report of the probation officer and
appropriate finding of the court that the probationer has complied with the conditions of probation that probation
may be definitely terminated and the probationer finally discharged from supervision. Under section 5, if the court
finds that there is non-compliance with said conditions, as reported by the probation officer, it may issue a warrant
for the arrest of the probationer and said probationer may be committed with or without bail. Upon arraignment
and after an opportunity to be heard, the court may revoke, continue or modify the probation, and if revoked, the
court shall order the execution of the sentence originally imposed. Section 6 prescribes the duties of probation
officers: "It shall be the duty of every probation officer to furnish to all persons placed on probation under his
supervision a statement of the period and conditions of their probation, and to instruct them concerning the same;
to keep informed concerning their conduct and condition; to aid and encourage them by friendly advice and
admonition, and by such other measures, not inconsistent with the conditions imposed by court as may seem most
suitable, to bring about improvement in their conduct and condition; to report in writing to the court having
jurisdiction over said probationers at least once every two months concerning their conduct and condition; to keep
records of their work; make such report as are necessary for the information of the Secretary of Justice and as the
latter may require; and to perform such other duties as are consistent with the functions of the probation officer
and as the court or judge may direct. The probation officers provided for in this Act may act as parole officers for
any penal or reformatory institution for adults when so requested by the authorities thereof, and, when designated
by the Secretary of Justice shall act as parole officer of persons released on parole under Act Number Forty-one
Hundred and Three, without additional compensation."
It is argued, however, that even without section 11 probation officers maybe appointed in the provinces
under section 10 of Act which provides as follows:
There is hereby created in the Department of Justice and subject to its supervision and control, a
Probation Office under the direction of a Chief Probation Officer to be appointed by the GovernorGeneral with the advise and consent of the Senate who shall receive a salary of four eight hundred pesos
per annum. To carry out this Act there is hereby appropriated out of any funds in the Insular Treasury
not otherwise appropriated, the sum of fifty thousand pesos to be disbursed by the Secretary of Justice,
who is hereby authorized to appoint probation officers and the administrative personnel of the probation
officer under civil service regulations from among those who possess the qualifications, training and
experience prescribed by the Bureau of Civil Service, and shall fix the compensation of such probation
officers and administrative personnel until such positions shall have been included in the Appropriation
Act.

61
But the probation officers and the administrative personnel referred to in the foregoing section are clearly
not those probation officers required to be appointed for the provinces under section 11. It may be said, reddendo
singula singulis, that the probation officers referred to in section 10 above-quoted are to act as such, not in the
various provinces, but in the central office known as the Probation Office established in the Department of Justice,
under the supervision of the Chief Probation Officer. When the law provides that "the probation officer" shall
investigate and make reports to the court (secs. 1 and 4); that "the probation officer" shall supervise and visit the
probationer (sec. 2; sec. 6, par. d); that the probationer shall report to the "probationer officer" (sec. 3, par. c.),
shall allow "the probationer officer" to visit him (sec. 3, par. d), shall truthfully answer any reasonable inquiries on
the part of "the probation officer" concerning his conduct or condition (sec. 3, par. 4); that the court shall notify
"the probation officer" in writing of the period and terms of probation (sec. 3, last par.), it means the probation
officer who is in charge of a particular probationer in a particular province. It never could have been intention of
the legislature, for instance, to require the probationer in Batanes, to report to a probationer officer in the City of
Manila, or to require a probation officer in Manila to visit the probationer in the said province of Batanes, to place
him under his care, to supervise his conduct, to instruct him concerning the conditions of his probation or to
perform such other functions as are assigned to him by law.
That under section 10 the Secretary of Justice may appoint as many probation officers as there are provinces
or groups of provinces is, of course possible. But this would be arguing on what the law may be or should be and
not on what the law is. Between is and ought there is a far cry. The wisdom and propriety of legislation is not for
us to pass upon. We may think a law better otherwise than it is. But much as has been said regarding progressive
interpretation and judicial legislation we decline to amend the law. We are not permitted to read into the law
matters and provisions which are not there. Not for any purpose not even to save a statute from the doom of
invalidity.
Upon the other hand, the clear intention and policy of the law is not to make the Insular Government defray
the salaries of probation officers in the provinces but to make the provinces defray them should they desire to have
the Probation Act apply thereto. The sum of P50,000, appropriated "to carry out the purposes of this Act", is to be
applied, among other things, for the salaries of probation officers in the central office at Manila. These probation
officers are to receive such compensations as the Secretary of Justice may fix "until such positions shall have been
included in the Appropriation Act". It was the intention of the legislature to empower the Secretary of Justice to
fix the salaries of the probation officers in the provinces or later on to include said salaries in an appropriation act.
Considering, further, that the sum of P50,000 appropriated in section 10 is to cover, among other things, the
salaries of the administrative personnel of the Probation Office, what would be left of the amount can hardly be
said to be sufficient to pay even nominal salaries to probation officers in the provinces. We take judicial notice of
the fact that there are 48 provinces in the Philippines and we do not think it is seriously contended that, with the
fifty thousand pesos appropriated for the central office, there can be in each province, as intended, a probation
officer with a salary not lower than that of a provincial fiscal. If this a correct, the contention that without section
11 of Act No. 4221 said act is complete is an impracticable thing under the remainder of the Act, unless it is
conceded that in our case there can be a system of probation in the provinces without probation officers.
Probation as a development of a modern penology is a commendable system. Probation laws have been
enacted, here and in other countries, to permit what modern criminologist call the "individualization of the
punishment", the adjustment of the penalty to the character of the criminal and the circumstances of his particular
case. It provides a period of grace in order to aid in the rehabilitation of a penitent offender. It is believed that, in
any cases, convicts may be reformed and their development into hardened criminals aborted. It, therefore, takes
advantage of an opportunity for reformation and avoids imprisonment so long as the convicts gives promise of
reform. (United States vs. Murray [1925], 275 U. S., 347 357, 358; 72 Law. ed., 309; 312, 313; 48 Sup. Ct. Rep.,
146; Kaplan vs. Hecht, 24 F. [2d], 664, 665.) The Welfare of society is its chief end and aim. The benefit to the
individual convict is merely incidental. But while we believe that probation is commendable as a system and its

implantation into the Philippines should be welcomed, we are forced by our inescapable duty to set the law aside
because of the repugnancy to our fundamental law.
In arriving at this conclusion, we have endeavored to consider the different aspects presented by able
counsel for both parties, as well in their memorandums as in their oral argument. We have examined the cases
brought to our attention, and others we have been able to reach in the short time at our command for the study and
deliberation of this case. In the examination of the cases and in then analysis of the legal principles involved we
have inclined to adopt the line of action which in our opinion, is supported better reasoned authorities and is more
conducive to the general welfare. (Smith, Bell & Co. vs. Natividad [1919], 40 Phil., 136.) Realizing the conflict of
authorities, we have declined to be bound by certain adjudicated cases brought to our attention, except where the
point or principle is settled directly or by clear implication by the more authoritative pronouncements of the
Supreme Court of the United States. This line of approach is justified because:
(a) The constitutional relations between the Federal and the State governments of the United States and
the dual character of the American Government is a situation which does not obtain in the Philippines;
(b) The situation of s state of the American Union of the District of Columbia with reference to the
Federal Government of the United States is not the situation of the province with respect to the Insular
Government (Art. I, sec. 8 cl. 17 and 10th Amendment, Constitution of the United States; Sims vs.
Rives, 84 Fed. [2d], 871),
(c) The distinct federal and the state judicial organizations of the United States do not embrace the
integrated judicial system of the Philippines (Schneckenburger vs. Moran [1936], 35 Off. Gaz., p. 1317);
(d) "General propositions do not decide concrete cases" (Justice Holmes in Lochner vs. New York
[1904], 198 U. S., 45, 76; 49 Law. ed., 937, 949) and, "to keep pace with . . . new developments of times
and circumstances" (Chief Justice Waite in Pensacola Tel. Co. vs. Western Union Tel. Co. [1899], 96 U.
S., 1, 9; 24 Law. ed., 708; Yale Law Journal, Vol. XXIX, No. 2, Dec. 1919, 141, 142), fundamental
principles should be interpreted having in view existing local conditions and environment.
Act No. 4221 is hereby declared unconstitutional and void and the writ of prohibition is, accordingly,
granted. Without any pronouncement regarding costs. So ordered.
Cu Unjieng was convicted by the trial court in Manila. He filed for reconsideration which was elevated to the SC
and the SC remanded the appeal to the lower court for a new trial. While awaiting new trial, he appealed for
probation alleging that the he is innocent of the crime he was convicted of. Judge Tuason of the Manila CFI
directed the appeal to the Insular Probation Office. The IPO denied the application. However, Judge Vera upon
another request by Cu Unjieng allowed the petition to be set for hearing. The City Prosecutor countered alleging
that Vera has no power to place Cu Unjieng under probation because it is in violation of Sec. 11 Act No. 4221
which provides that the act of Legislature granting provincial boards the power to provide a system of probation to
convicted person. Nowhere in the law is stated that the law is applicable to a city like Manila because it is only
indicated therein that only provinces are covered. And even if Manila is covered by the law it is unconstitutional
because Sec 1 Art 3 of the Constitution provides equal protection of laws. The said law provides absolute
discretion to provincial boards and this also constitutes undue delegation of power. Further, the said probation law
may be an encroachment of the power of the executive to provide pardon because providing probation, in effect, is
granting freedom, as in pardon.

62
ISSUE: Whether or not equal protection is violated when the Probation Law provides that only in those
provinces in which the respective provincial boards have provided for the salary of a probation officer may the
probation system be applied.
HELD: The act of granting probation is not the same as pardon. In fact it is limited and is in a way an imposition
of penalty. There is undue delegation of power because there is no set standard provided by Congress on how
provincial boards must act in carrying out a system of probation. The provincial boards are given absolute
discretion which is violative of the constitution and the doctrine of the non delegability of power. Further, it is a
violation of equity so protected by the constitution. The challenged section of Act No. 4221 in section 11 which
reads as follows: This Act shall apply only in those provinces in which the respective provincial boards have
provided for the salary of a probation officer at rates not lower than those now provided for provincial fiscals. Said
probation officer shall be appointed by the Secretary of Justice and shall be subject to the direction of the
Probation Office. This only means that only provinces that can provide appropriation for a probation officer
may have a system of probation within their locality. This would mean to say that convicts in provinces
where no probation officer is instituted may not avail of their right to probation. The SC declared the old
probation law as unconstitutional.
FACTS:
Petitioners, People of the Philippines and Hongkong and ShanghaiBanking Corporation (HSBC) are
respectively the plaintiff and the offended party, and Mariano Cu Unjieng is one of the defendants, in the criminal
case. Hon. Jose O. Vera, is the Judge ad interim of the seventh branch of the Court of First Instance of Manila,
who heard the application of Cu Unjieng for probation. HSBC intervened in the case as private prosecutor. After a
protracted trial, the Court ofFirst Instance rendered a judgment of conviction sentencing Cu Unjieng to
indeterminate penalty ranging from 4 years and 2 months of prision correccional to 8 years of prision mayor, to
pay the costs and with reservation of civil action to the offended party, HSBC.
Upon appeal, the court, on 26 March 1935, modified the sentence to an indeterminate penalty of from 5 years and
6 months of prision correccional to 7 years, 6 months and 27 days of prision mayor, but affirmed the judgment in
all other respects. Cu Unjieng filed a motion for reconsideration and four successive motions for new trial which
were denied on 17 December 1935, and final judgment was accordingly entered on 18 December 1935. Cu
Unjieng thereupon sought to have the case elevated on certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States but the
latter denied the petition for certiorari in November, 1936. The Supreme Court, on 24 November 1936, denied the
petition subsequently filed by Cu Unjieng for leave to file a second alternative motion for reconsideration or new
trial and thereafter remanded the case to the court of origin for execution of the judgment.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the People of the Philippines is a proper party in this case.
HELD:
YES. The People of the Philippines, represented by the Solicitor General and the Fiscal of the City of Manila, is a
proper party in thepresent proceedings. The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a
statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustained, direct
injury as a result of its enforcement. It goes without saying that if Act No. 4221 really violates the constitution, the
People of the Philippines, in whose name the present action is brought, has a substantial interest in having it set
aside. Of greater import than the damage caused by the illegal expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound
inflicted upon the fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid statute. Hence, the well-settled rule that the
state can challenge the validity of its own laws.
IMELDA MARCOS, petitioner, vs., The Honorable COURT OF APPEALS; Honorable Judge
GUILLERMO L. LOJA, SR., the Presiding Judge of Branch 26 of the RTC at Manila; and the
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
In a petition for review on certiorari filed on November 5, 1996, petitioner Imelda R. Marcos prays this
Court to set aside the decision of respondent Court of Appeals promulgated in CA-G.R. SP No. 35719 on May 23,

1996, as well as its resolution of September 27, 1996 denying her motion for the reconsideration of the judgment
in said case.[1]
Preliminary, her motion for extension of time to file this petition was denied for non-compliance with
Revised Circular No. 1-88 and Circular No. 19-91 because the affidavit of service, although otherwise sufficient in
form and substance, was not signed by the affiant, and the registry receipt proving service of a copy of said motion
to the Solicitor General was not attached thereto. Hence, the petition subsequently filed by her was dismissed for
having been filed out of time in this Courts resolution of November 27, 1996. [2]
Petitioner then moved for reconsideration, explaining the cause for the procedural lapses and contending
that, on the merits, the trial court had no jurisdiction over the offenses charged; that no offenses actually charged
or that the facts alleged do not constitute the imputed offenses; and, consequently, that the court a quo gravely
abused its discretion in denying the motion to quash.
Considering the number of criminal cases filed against petitioner, relief from which is sought in the petition
at bar and the issues wherein may possibly be raised again in other cases of a similar nature, the Court resolved on
February 24, 1997 to require the Solicitor General to comment thereon, in order that the adjudication of
petitioners plaints may not go off only on procedural points. In due time, such comment was filed, albeit in
abbreviated form, the Solicitor General correctly pointing out that all the substantive issues now being raised
before us had also been extensively argued in and resolved by respondent appellate court.
Indeed, an overall review of the allegations in the present petition reveals that the same are merely a rehash
of those already submitted to respondent court and that this petition is apparently a reprise of the certiorari petition
in CA-G.R. SP No. 35719 filed in the Court of Appeals.
For facility of presentation, therefore, we need merely to reproduce herein the findings in the assailed
decision of respondent appellate court, which are fully sustained by the records, excluding therefrom those cases
pertaining to CA-G.R. SP No. 35928 (except when involved in the narration of the antecedents of this case) which
was jointly resolved by it but from which no appeals or other recourse was taken by the petitioners therein.
We accordingly give credit to respondent court and adopt its recital of the antecedents of the instant petition,
to wit:
In CA-G.R. SP No. 35719, petitioner Marcos assails the Order dated June 9, 1994 which denied her Motion to
Quash the eight (8) informations filed against her in the consolidated Criminal Case Nos. 91-101732 to 91-101739
and the other fourteen (14) informations filed against her, Benedicto and Rivera in the consolidated Criminal Case
Nos. 91-101879 to 91-101892, and Order dated August 30, 1994 which denied her Motion for Reconsideration.
xxx
On October 21, 1983, pursuant to Monetary Board Resolution Nos. 1632 and 1718 dated September 30, 1983 and
October 21, 1983, respectively, the Central Bank (CB) of the Philippines (now Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) issued
Circular No. 960. The circular, which consolidated the various rules and regulations promulgated by the CB
concerning foreign exchange non-trade transactions including those on gold and silver, prohibits in its Section 4
residents, firms, association, or corporations from maintaining foreign exchange accounts abroad without prior
authorization from the CB or without being permitted by CB regulations; and requires in Section 10 thereof all
residents who habitually earn or receive foreign exchange from invisibles locally or from abroad to submit reports
of such earnings or receipts in prescribed form with the proper CB department and to register with the Foreign
Exchange Department of the CB within 90 days from October 21, 1983. Violation of the provisions of the circular
is punishable as a criminal offense under Section 34 of R.A. No.265, as amended (the Central Bank Act).

63
On December 20, 1991 or nearly six years after the 1986 EDSA Revolution which toppled the Marcos regime,
Marcos was, for allegedly opening and maintaining foreign exchange accounts abroad on various dates from 1968
to 1991 without prior authorization from the CB or otherwise allowed by CB regulations, charged with violating
Section 4 of CB Circular 960 before the RTC of Manila in eight (8) essentially identically worded informations
docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 91-101732 to 101739, one of which reads as follows:
That from 1968 to June 6, 1991, both dates inclusive, the above-named accused, in conspiracy with her late
husband, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos, while both residing in Malacaang Palace in the City of Manila,
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did, then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously open and maintain foreign exchange accounts abroad, particularly in Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC)
in Geneva, Switzerland, in the name of Maler Establishment, later transformed into Maler Foundation, which was
organized by their dummies, nominees, fronts, agents or duly appointed administrators among them Jean Louis
Sunier who received instructions from the accused and her husband who signed with their alias JOHN LEWIS in
order to maintain two accounts, one of which is Account No. 98929 NY under Maler II with a balance of SF
16,195,258.00, without prior permission from the Central Bank of the Philippines, and such act of maintaining
foreign account abroad was not permitted under Central Bank regulations.
- (Rollo, CA-G.R. SP No.35719, pp. 45-46)
The wordings of the other seven (7) informations differed only in the dates of commission of the offense charged,
the name/s of the dummy/dummies, the balance of the foreign exchange accounts maintained abroad and the
name/s of the foreign bank/s where such accounts were maintained.
Likewise, for allegedly failing to submit a report of their foreign exchange earnings from abroad and/or to register
with the Foreign Exchange Department of the CB within the period mandated by Section 10 of CB Circular No.
960, Marcos, Benedicto and Rivera were similarly indicted on December 27, 1991 for violation of Section 10, CB
Circular No. 960 in relation to Section 34 of the Central Bank Act in five (5) informations filed with the RTC of
Manila which were docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 91-101879 91-101883. On the same date, nine (9) more
informations essentially charging the same offense were filed with the RTC of Manila, but this time only against
Marcos and Benedicto, which were docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 91-101884 to 91-101892. One of the
informations reads:
That from September 21, 1983 up to December 26, 1985, both dates inclusive, and for sometime thereafter, all
accused, conspiring and confederating with one another and with the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, all
residing and/or doing business in Manila, Philippines, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, and assisted
by their foreign agent or attorney-in-fact Stephen G. Cattaui, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously fail to submit reports in the prescribed form and/or register with the Foreign Exchange Department of
the Central Bank within 90 days from October 21, 1983 as required of them being residents habitually/customarily
earning, acquiring/receiving foreign exchange from whatever source or from invisibles locally or from abroad,
despite the fact that they actually earned interests regularly for their investment of FIFTEEN MILLION ($15million) DOLLARS, U.S. Currency, in Philippine-issued dollar-denominated treasury notes with floating rates and
in bearer form, in the name of Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas (also known as Banque Paribas) in Geneva,
Switzerland but which was transferred on May 17, 1984 to Lombard, Odier et Cie, a bank also in Geneva, for the
account of COGES 00777 being managed by Mr. Stephane Cattaui for the marcoses who also arranged the said
investment of $15-million through respondents Roberto S. Benedicto and Hector T. Rivera by using the Royal
Traders Bank in Manila as the custodian of the said dollar-denominated treasury notes, which earned, acquired or
received for the accused Imelda Romualdez Marcos and her late husband an interest of $13,229.16 for delay
(December 16-19, 1995) plus redemption of $15-million which was remitted to Lombard, Odier et Cie through
Chicago International Banking Corporation in New York, United States of America, for the credit of said Account

COGES 00777 of the Marcoses for further investment outside the Philippines without first complying with the
reporting/registering requirements of the Central Bank.
- (Rollo, CA-G.R. SP No. 35928, pp. 45-46)
On January 3, 1992, eleven (11) more informations for alleged violation of the aforesaid Section 10, CB Circular
960 were filed against Marcos and Benedicto with the same court which were docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 92101959 to 92-101969.

64
Marcos asseverates that the saving clause (Section 111, Chapter X) of CB Circular No. 1318 is invalid since the
Monetary Board has no authority to except therefrom pending criminal prosecutions, the power being purely
legislative and is not expressly granted in its charter; that even assuming ad arguendo that the Monetary Board has
the power, the same is still invalid for being an encroachment and an invalid delegation thereof, the power to
declare what constitutes a crime and how it should be punished being vested solely and exclusively in the
legislature; that even further assuming that there is no invalid delegation of power to incorporate the saving clause,
it is still invalid for being ultra vires as it is not germane to the object and purpose of the Central Bank Act which
is to stabilize the monetary system; and in any event, even if the power is unquestioned, the clause is still invalid
for being violative of the equal protection of (t)he law clause of the constitution, it having been designed solely for
the purpose of preserving the criminal cases against her and her co-accused.

xxx
All these thirty-three (33) cases were consolidated before Branch 26 of the RTC of Manila presided by herein
public respondent Judge Loja, Sr.
Marcos was arraigned on February 12, 1992 while Benedicto and Rivera were arraigned on February 28, 1994.
During the pendency of these cases, CB Circular No. 1318 (Revised Manual of Rules and Regulations Governing
Non-Trade Foreign Exchange Transactions) dated January 3, 1992 and CB Circular No. 1353 (Further
Liberalizing Foreign Exchange Regulations) dated August 24, 1992 were issued by the CB. CB Circular No. 1318
repeals insofar as inconsistent therewith all existing provisions of CB Circular No. 960, among other circulars,
while CB Circular No. 1353 repeals all the provisions of Chapter X of CB Circular No. 1318 only insofar as they
are inconsistent therewith. Both circulars, however, contain a saving clause excepting from the circular pending
criminal actions involving violations of CB Circular No. 960 and CB Circular No. 1318. (Italics supplied)
Invoking the abovementioned repeal as one of her grounds, Marcos filed a Motion to Quash on May 23, 1994
seeking the dismissal of the cases or the quashal of the informations filed against her in Criminal Case Nos. 91101732 to 91-101739 and 91-101879 to 91-101892. Respondent People of the Philippines opposed the same on
June 2, 1994. [3]
Petitioners Marcos aforesaid motion was denied by the trial court in an order dated June 9, 1994 and her
motion for reconsideration was likewise repudiated in an order of August 30, 1994. She then filed a petition for
certiorari and prohibition with respondent Court of Appeals ascribing abuse of discretion on the part of respondent
trial judge. What transpired there is best taken from the account thereof in the following portion of the impugned
decision of respondent appellate court.
In CA-G.R. SP No. 35719, Marcos relied on two grounds in taking respondent court to task, to wit: (1) respondent
court has no jurisdiction over the offenses charged; and (2) respondent court acted with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction in denying her Motion to Quash.
Anent the first ground, Marcos argues that respondent court has no jurisdiction over the cases as the informations
clearly allege that the acts complained of were committed outside Philippine territory, and that her constitutional
right to equal protection of the laws was violated, the saving clause contained in CB Circular No. 1318 which
repealed CB Circular No. 960 being patently discriminatory as it was purposedly designed to preserve the criminal
cases lodged against her and her co-accused.
As to the second ground, Marcos argues that the facts alleged in the informations, even if true, do not constitute
offenses and that in any event the offenses charged have disappeared due to repeal.

As regards the assertion that the facts alleged in the informations do not constitute an offense, Marcos contends
that since the allegations unequivocally state that foreign foundations or trust, not the Marcoses, opened and
maintained the subject Swiss accounts and earned and received the interest therefrom, she has no duty to report
any earnings and if at all, she was a mere beneficiary of the foreign foundations or trusts; and that the acts having
been committed abroad, they are beyond the jurisdiction of respondent court.
xxx
Petitioners do not dispute the validity of CB Circular No. 960, the law under which they are being prosecuted, and
of CB Circular Nos. 1318 and 1353 which they allege repealed CB Circular No. 960, nor do they challenge the
authority of the Monetary Board to issue them.
Petitioners likewise do not dispute that violation of Section 4 of CB Circular No. 960, as amended, which
provides:
SEC. 4. Foreign exchange retention abroad. No person shall promote, finance, enter into or participate in any
foreign exchange transactions where the foreign exchange involved is paid, retained, delivered or transferred
abroad while the corresponding pesos are paid for or are received in the Philippines, except when specifically
authorized by the Central Bank or otherwise allowed under Central Bank regulations.
Residents, firms, associations, or corporations unless otherwise permitted under CB regulations are prohibited
from maintaining foreign exchange accounts abroad.
Or of section 10 thereof, the pertinent portions of which provide:
SEC. 10. Reports of foreign exchange earners. All resident persons who habitually/customarily earn, acquire, or
receive foreign exchange from invisibles locally or from abroad, shall submit reports in the prescribed form of
such earnings, acquisition or receipts with the appropriate CB department. Those required to submit reports under
this section shall include, but need not necessarily be limited to the following:
xxx

xxx

xxx

Residents, firms or establishments habitually/customarily earning, acquiring or receiving foreign exchange from
sales of merchandise, services or from whatever source shall register with the Foreign Exchange Department of
the Central Bank within ninety (90) days from the date of this Circular.

is punishable as a criminal offense under Section 34 of the Central Bank Act the pertinent portion of which
provides:
SEC. 34 Proceedings upon violation of laws and regulations. -- Whenever any person or entity wilfully violates
this Act or any order, instruction, rule or regulation issued by the Monetary Board, the person or persons
responsible for such violation shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty thousand pesos and by
imprisonment of not more than five years.[4]
In respondent Court of Appeals, however, it was petitioners insistent position that violations of CB Circular
No. 960, specifically Sections 4 and 10 thereof, ceased to be punishable upon the issuance in 1992 of CB Circular
Nos. 1318 and 1353, on the theory that the latter circulars completely repealed the former, and that the
reservations made in each of the repealing clauses of the latter circulars are invalid. She now reiterates the same
contentions before us. Respondent appellate court rejected her thesis on this score; we are sufficiently persuaded
to do likewise.
The saving clause in CB Circular No. 1318, which petitioner questions, provides:
SEC. 111. Repealing Clause. All existing provisions of Circulars 363, 960 and 1028, including amendments
thereto, with the exception of the second paragraph of Section 68 of Circular 1028, as well as all other existing
Central Bank rules and regulations or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with or contrary to the provisions of
this Circular, are hereby repealed or modified accordingly: Provided, however, that regulations, violations of
which are the subject of pending actions or investigations, shall not be considered repealed insofar as such
pending actions or investigations are concerned, it being understood that as to such pending actions or
investigations, the regulations existing at the time the cause of action accrued shall govern (Italics ours).

65
petitioner concedes the greater power of the Board to repeal CB Circular No. 960 through CB Circular No. 1318,
yet she inexplicably questions the lesser and incidental power to provide for saving clauses therein.
Petitioners argument that the saving clauses are not germane to the purposes of the Central Bank Act, and
consequently ultra vires, has been roundly confuted by respondent Court of Appeals. If, as she claims, one of the
objectives of that law is to stabilize the monetary system, that is precisely why Congress punished as criminal
offenses the violations of the issuance of the Monetary Board necessary for the effective discharged of its
responsibilities, and to carry out which the Board deemed it necessary to provide for the challenged saving
clauses. Obviously, these saving clauses were dictated by the need to continue the prosecution of those who had
already committed acts of monetary destabilization. The opposite view posited by petitioner would result in an
absurdity.
Her lamentations that the aforementioned provisions are discriminatory because they are aimed at her and
her co-accused do not assume the dignity of a legal argument since they are unwarranted conjectures belied by
even the text of the circulars alone. Hence, as respondent appellate court correctly concludes, the foregoing facts
clearly disprove petitioners claim that her constitutional right to equal protection of the law was violated. Should
she nonetheless desire to pursue such objection, she may always adduce additional evidence at the trial of these
cases since that is the proper stage therefor, and not at their present posture.
Lastly, there is no need for us to tarry on petitioners hypothesis that the acts charged in the questioned
informations were committed by foreign agents or juridical persons outside Philippine territory and that, she being
supposedly a mere beneficiary, this scenario divests the trial court of jurisdiction over her insofar as the violations
resulting from such acts abroad are concerned. This is too simplistic an argument because it would have the Court
assume that she only had a passive participation thereon or, if she is to be believed, none at all.
That is why respondent Court of Appeals decided to just graciously quote, in refutation of such imposition
on judicial credulity, the perceptively succinct observation of respondent trial judge, to wit:

The assailed saving clause in CB Circular No. 1353 is as follows:


SEC. 16. Final Provisions of CB Circular No. 1318. All the provisions in Chapter X of CB Circular No. 1318
insofar as they are not inconsistent with, or contrary to the provisions of this circular, shall remain in full force and
effect: Provided, however, that any regulation on non-trade foreign exchange transactions which has been
repealed, amended or modified by this Circular, violations of which are the subject of pending actions or
investigations, shall not be considered repealed insofar as such pending actions or investigations are concerned,
it being understood that as to such pending actions or investigations, the regulations existing at the time of the
cause of action accrued shall govern (Italics also supplied).

x x x In no uncertain terms, the corresponding informations clearly state that the accused, in conspiracy with the
late president x x x opened and maintained foreign accounts abroad in the name of foundations organized by their
dummies. The same observation holds true in Criminal Cases Nos. 91-101879-92 where the accused and her coaccused are charged (with) violation of section 10, CB Circular 960. As easily gleaned therefrom, (the) criminal
informations are not only sufficient but clear in alleging that the accused earned foreign exchange without proper
reporting therof although camouflaged in the name of foundations.
x

We agree with respondent appellate court that such amendments and saving clauses are valid and were
authorized enactments under a delegated power of the Monetary Board. Section 14 of the Central Bank Act
expressly grants the Monetary Board the power to prepare and issue rules and regulations necessary for the
effective discharge of the responsibilities and exercise of the powers assigned to the Monetary Board and to the
Central Bank under this Act, and to report the same thereafter to the President and Congress. In fact, this power
of subordinate legislation and its validity was admitted by petitioner in the respondent appellate court. [5]

x x x accuseds contention that the acts charged were committed by persons or agents who managed said
foundation outside the country and therefore beyond the jurisdiction of this court is misplaced argument. As
already stated and discussed, it is the accused who (was alleged to have) maintained foreign accounts and earned
foreign exchange abroad camouflaged in the name of foreign agents and/or foundations but neither obtained
authority to do so nor reported the earnings to the Central Bank. [7] (Words in parenthesis supplied).

It cannot be plausibly claimed that there was undue delegation of legislative power in this particular instance
since it was the Central Bank itself which defined the offense and provided the penalty therefor. As respondent
Court of Appeals points out, administrative bodies have the authority to issue administrative regulations which are
penal in nature where the law itself makes the violation of the administrative regulation punishable and provides
for its penalty.[6] This is still the rule on the matter and, in the instant case, the Central Bank Act defined the
offense and its penalty while the questioned circular merely spelled out the details of the offense. Ironically,

All the way from the trial court, through the Court of Appeals, and now before this court, petitioner has
insistently repeated the selfsame issues and arguments for the quashal of the charges against her, with the result
that the same have been deep-frozen since 1991. Inevitably, the three-tiered adjudicature to which they have been
subjected has merely resulted in reiterations by the parties of their set issues, congealed arguments and invariable
conclusions.
It is time then to thaw those cases from the frigidity of their present status so that petitioner may have the
opportunity to prove her defenses on the merits, instead of having those cases indefinitely sidelined by legal

strategy contingent on expectancies. For, in the present posture thereof, it does not appear that respondent Court
of Appeals has committed any abuse of discretion, much less of a grave or arbitrary nature, as would call for the
extraordinary writ of certiorari. We accordingly uphold the denial of petitioners motion to quash so that the
interlocutory proceedings may now move on to trial wherein she can present such evidence as may possibly place
her protestations in another light as she claims.
WHEREFORE, the petition at bar is DENIED and the challenged judgment of respondent Court of
Appeals is AFFIRMED, with costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED.
Equal Protection
Marcos was charged for violating Central Bank Circ 960 which banned residents, firms, associations and
corporations from maintaining foreign exchange accounts abroad w/o permission from the CB. The circular was
issued in 1983. Any violation thereof constitutes a criminal offense. In 1991, 8 informations were filed against
Marcos accusing her of maintaining a foreign account in Switzerland from 1968-1991. On 21 Dec 1991, 14 more
informations were filed against Marcos, Benedicto and Rivera for the same offense. In January 1992, 11 more
informations were filed. The RTC consolidated the cases and Marcos was arraigned in Feb 1992. During the
pendency of these cases, CB Circ 1318 and CB Circ 1353 (Further Liberalizing Foreign Exchange Regulations)
were issued which basically allowed residents, firms, associations and corporations to maintain foreign exchange
accounts abroad but the circulars have a saving clause excepting from the circular pending criminal actions
involving violations of CB Circ 960. Marcos filed a Motion to Quash based on the new circular. The RTC denied
the Motion so did the CA hence the appeal. Marcos averred that her right to equal protection has been violated,
among others, as the new circular was purposedly designed to preserve the criminal cases lodged against her.
ISSUE: Whether or not Imeldas right to equal protection had been violated by CB Circ 1353.
HELD: The SC ruled against Imelda. The SC said Her lamentations that the aforementioned provisions are
discriminatory because they are aimed at her and her co-accused do not assume the dignity of a legal argument
since they are unwarranted conjectures belied by even the text of the circulars alone. Hence, as respondent
appellate court correctly concludes, the foregoing facts clearly disprove petitioners claim that her constitutional
right to equal protection of the law was violated. Should she nonetheless desire to pursue such objection, she may
always adduce additional evidence at the trial of these cases since that is the proper stage therefor, and not at their
present posture.

66
Sec. 47. Preventive Suspension Pending Criminal Case. Upon the filing of a complaint or
information sufficient in form and substance against a member of the PNP for grave felonies
where the penalty imposed by law is six (6) years and one (1) day or more, the court shall
immediately suspend the accused from office until the case is terminated. Such case shall be
subject to continuous trial and shall be terminated within ninety (90) days from arraignment of
the accused (Emphasis ours).
On October 11, 1993, petitioner filed a motion to lift the order for his suspension, 3 relying on Section 42 of P.D.
807 of the Civil Service Decree, that his suspension should be limited to ninety (90) days and, also, on our ruling
in Deloso v. Sandiganbayan, 4 and Layno v. Sandiganbayan. 5 In his order dated December 14, 1993 6respondent
judge denied the motion pointing out that under Section 47 of R.A. 6975, the accused shall be suspended from
office until his case is terminated. The motion for reconsideration of the order of denial was, likewise,
denied. 7 Hence, the petition for certiorari and mandamus to set aside the orders of respondent Judge and to
command him to lift petitioner's preventive suspension.
We find the petition devoid of merit.
There is no question that the case of petitioner who is charged with murder and attempted murder under the
Revised Penal Code falls squarely under Sec. 47 of RA 6975 which specifically applies to members of the PNP. In
dispute however, is whether the provision limits the period of suspension to 90 days, considering that while the
first sentence of Sec. 47 provides that the accused who is charged with grave felonies where the penalty imposed
is six (6) years and one (1) day shall be suspended from office "until the case is terminated", the second sentence
of the same section mandates that the case, which shall be subject to continuous trial, shall be terminated within 90
days from the arraignment of the accused.
Petitioner posits that as a member of the Philippine National Police, under Sec. 91 of RA 6975 which reads:
Sec. 91. The Civil Service Law and its implementing rules and regulations shall apply to all
personnel of the Department.
he is covered by the Civil Service Law, particularly Sec. 42 of PD 807 of the Civil Service Decree, which limits
the maximum period of suspension to ninety (90) days, thus:

G.R. No. 113811 October 7, 1994


ISHMAEL HIMAGAN, petitioner,
vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and HON. JUDGE HILARIO MAPAYO, RTC, Br. 11, Davao
City, respondents.

Sec. 42. Lifting of Preventive Suspension Pending Administrative Investigation. When the
administrative case against the officer or employee under preventive suspension is not finally
decided by the disciplining authority within the period of ninety (90) days after the date of
suspension of the respondent who is not a presidential appointee, the respondent shall be
automatically reinstated in the service; Provided, That when the delay in the disposition of the
case is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, the period of delay shall not
be counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided.

Victorio S. Advincula for petitioner.


Petitioner, a policeman assigned with the medical company of the Philippine National Police Regional
Headquarters at Camp Catitigan, Davao City, was implicated in the killing of Benjamin Machitar, Jr. and the
attempted murder of Bernabe Machitar. After the informations for murder 1 and attempted murder 2 were filed with
the Regional Trial Court, Branch 11, Davao City, on September 16, 1992, the trial court issued an Order
suspending petitioner until the termination of the case on the basis of Section 47, R.A. 6975, otherwise known as
Department of Interior and Local Government Act of 1990, which provides:

He claims that an imposition of preventive suspension of over 90 days is contrary to the Civil Service Law and
would be a violation of his constitutional right to equal protection of laws. He further asserts that the requirements
in
Sec. 47 of R.A. 6975 that "the court shall immediately suspend the accused from office until the case is
terminated" and the succeeding sentence, "Such case shall be subject to continuous trial and shall be terminated
within ninety (90) days from arraignment of the accused" are both substantive and should be taken together to

67
mean that if the case is not terminated within 90 days, the period of preventive suspension must be lifted because
of the command that the trial must be terminated within ninety (90) days from arraignment.

had been suspended for four (4) months at the time he filed a motion to lift his preventive suspension. We held
that his indefinite preventive suspension violated the "equal protection clause" and shortened his term of office.
Thus:

We disagree.
First. The language of the first sentence of Sec. 47 of R.A. 6975 is clear, plain and free from ambiguity. It gives no
other meaning than that the suspension from office of the member of the PNP charged with grave offense where
the penalty is six years and one day or more shall last until the termination of the case. The suspension cannot be
lifted before the termination of the case. The second sentence of the same Section providing that the trial must be
terminated within ninety (90) days from arraignment does not qualify or limit the first sentence. The two can stand
independently of each other. The first refers to the period of suspension. The second deals with the time frame
within which the trial should be finished.
Suppose the trial is not terminated within ninety days from arraignment, should the suspension of accused be
lifted? The answer is certainly no. While the law uses the mandatory word "shall" before the phrase "be terminated
within ninety (90) days", there is nothing in R.A. 6975 that suggests that the preventive suspension of the accused
will be lifted if the trial is not terminated within that period. Nonetheless, the Judge who fails to decide the case
within the period without justifiable reason may be subject to administrative sanctions and, in appropriate cases
where the facts so warrant, to criminal 8 or civil liability. 9 If the trial is unreasonably delayed without fault of the
accused such that he is deprived of his right to a speedy trial, he is not without a remedy. He may ask for the
dismissal of the case. Should the court refuse to dismiss the case, the accused can compel its dismissal
bycertiorari, prohibition or mandamus, or secure his liberty by habeas corpus. 10
Second. Petitioner misapplies Sec. 42 of PD 807. A meticulous reading of the section clearly shows that it refers to
the lifting of preventive suspension in pending administrative investigation, not in criminal cases, as here. What is
more, Section 42 expressly limits the period of preventive suspension to ninety (90) days. Sec. 91 of R.A. 6975
which states that "The Civil Service Law and its implementing rules shall apply to all personnel of the
Department" simply means that the provisions of the Civil Service Law and its implementing rules and regulations
are applicable to members of the Philippine National Police insofar as the provisions, rules and regulations are not
inconsistent with
R.A. 6975. Certainly, Section 42 of the Civil Service Decree which limits the preventive suspension to ninety (90)
days cannot apply to members of the PNP because Sec. 47 of R.A. 6995 provides differently, that is, the
suspension where the penalty imposed by law exceeds six (6) years shall continue until the case is terminated.
Third. Petitioner's reliance on Layno and Deloso is misplaced. These cases all stemmed from charges in violation
of R.A. 3019 (1060), otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act which, unlike
R.A. 6975, is silent on the duration of the preventive suspension. Sec. 13 of R.A. 3019 reads as follows:
Suspension and loss of benefits. Any public officer against whom any criminal prosecution
under a valid information under this Act or under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code on
bribery is pending in court, shall be suspended from office. Should he be convicted by final
judgment, he shall lose all retirement or gratuity benefits under any law, but if he is acquitted,
he shall be entitled to reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive
during suspension, unless in the meantime administrative proceedings have been filed against
him.
In the case of Layno, the duly elected mayor of Lianga, Surigao del Sur, was preventively suspended after an
information was filed against him for offenses under R.A. 3019 (1060), the Anti-Graft Corrupt Practices Act. He

2. Petitioner is a duly elected municipal mayor of Lianga, Surigao del Sur. His term of office
does not expire until 1986. Were it not for this information and the suspension decreed by the
Sandiganbayan according to the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, he would have been all
this while in the full discharge of his functions as such municipal mayor. He was elected
precisely to do so. As of October 26, 1983, he has been unable to. It is a basic assumption of
the electoral process implicit in the right of suffrage that the people are entitled to the services
of elective officials of their choice. For misfeasance or malfeasance, any of them could, of
course, be proceeded against administratively or, as in this instance, criminally. In either case,
his culpability must be established. Moreover, if there be a criminal action, he is entitled to the
constitutional presumption of innocence. A preventive suspension may be justified. Its
continuance, however, for an unreasonable length of time raises a due process question. For
even if thereafter he were acquitted, in the meanwhile his right to hold office had been
nullified. Clearly, there would be in such a case an injustice suffered by him. Nor is he the
only victim. There is injustice inflicted likewise on the people of Lianga. They were deprived
of the services of the man they had elected to serve as mayor. In that sense, to paraphrase
Justice Cardozo, the protracted continuance of this preventive suspension had outrun the
bounds of reason and resulted in sheer oppression. A denial of due process is thus quite
manifest. It is to avoid such an unconstitutional application that the order of suspension should
be lifted.
3. Nor is it solely the denial of procedural due process that is apparent. There is likewise an
equal protection question. If the case against petitioner Layno were administrative in character
the Local Government Code would be applicable. It is therein clearly provided that while
preventive suspension is allowable for the causes therein enumerated, there is this emphatic
limitation on the duration thereof: "In all cases, preventive suspension shall not extend beyond
sixty days after the start of said suspension." It may be recalled that the principle against
indefinite suspension applies equally to national government officials. So it was held in the
leading case of Garcia v. Hon. Executive Secretary. According to the opinion of Justice
Barrera: "To adopt the theory of respondents that an officer appointed by the President, facing
administrative charges, can be preventively suspended indefinitely, would be to countenance a
situation where the preventive suspension can, in effect, be the penalty itself without a finding
of guilt after due hearing, contrary to the express mandate of the Constitution and the Civil
Service law." Further: "In the guise of a preventive suspension, his term of office could be
shortened and he could in effect, be removed without a finding of a cause duly established
after due hearing, in violation of the Constitution. Clearly then, the policy of the law mandated
by the Constitution frowns at a suspension of indefinite duration. In this particular case, the
mere fact that petitioner is facing a charge under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
does not justify a different rule of law. To do so would be to negate the safeguard of the equal
protection guarantee. 11
The case of Deloso, likewise, involved another elective official who
was preventively suspended as provincial governor, also under RA 3019 the Anti-Graft Law. This Court, faced
with similar factual circumstances as in Layno, applied the ruling in the latter case "in relation to the principles of
due process and equal protection."

68
It is readily apparent that Section 13 of R.A. 3019 upon which the preventive suspension of the accused
in Laynoand Deloso was based is silent with respect to the duration of the preventive suspension, such that the
suspension of the accused therein for a prolonged and unreasonable length of time raised a due process question.
Not so in the instant case. Petitioner is charged with murder under the Revised Penal Code and it is undisputed
that he falls squarely under Sec. 47 of R.A. 6975 which categorically states that his suspension shall last until the
case is terminated. The succeeding sentence of the same section requires the case to be subjected to continuous
trial which shall be terminated within ninety (90) days from arraignment of the accused. As previously
emphasized, nowhere in the law does it say that after the lapse of the 90-day period for trial, the preventive
suspension should be lifted. The law is clear, the ninety (90) days duration applies to the trial of the case not to the
suspension. Nothing else should be read into the law. When the words and phrases of the statute are clear and
unequivocal, their meaning determined from the language employed and the statute must be taken to mean exactly
what it says. 12

THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Hindi, dahil iyong iba panay


disciplinary iyon e.
SEN. PIMENTEL. Anong page iyan, Rene?
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Page 29 Preventive Suspension.
REP. GUTANG. Ang complaint kasi ng mga tao, pagka may pulis na may
criminal case at may baril pa rin at nag-uuniforme, hindi magandang
tingnan e. So parang natatakot iyong mga witnesses.
SEN. GONZALES. Anyway, kung ma-exempt na rito naman siya e.

Fourth. From the deliberations of the Bicameral Conference Committee on National Defense relative to the bill
that became R.A. 6975, the meaning of Section 47 of R.A. 6975 insofar as the period of suspension is concerned
becomes all the more clear. We quote:
So other than that in that particular section, ano ba itong "Jurisdiction in
Criminal Cases?" What is this all about?
REP. ZAMORA. In case they are charged with crimes.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Ah, the previous one is
administrative, no. Now, if it is charged with a crime, regular courts.

REP. GUTANG. Mayroong entitlement to reinstatement and pay. . . .


xxx xxx xxx
SEN. PIMENTEL. Dito sa "Preventive Suspension Pending Criminal
Case." Okay ito but I think we should also mandate the early termination
of the case. Ibig sabihin, okay, hindi ba "the suspension of the accused
from office until the case is terminated?" Alam naman natin ang takbo ng
mga kaso rito sa ating bansa e.
REP. ZAMORA. Twenty days, okay na.

SEN. GONZALES. Ano, the courts mismo ang magsasabing . . .


THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). No, the jurisdiction.
REP. ZAMORA. The jurisdiction if there is robbery.

SEN. PIMENTEL. Hindi, and ibig kong sabihin, let us just assume that a
case can be, as Rene pointed out, can run to six years bago
ma-terminate, sometimes ten years pa nga e. Okay, but maybe we should
mandate. . .

THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Okay. "Preventive Suspension


Pending Criminal Case. Upon the filing of a complaint or informations
sufficient in form and substance against a member of the PNP for grave
felonies where the penalty imposed by law is six years and one day or
more, the court shall immediately suspend the accused from the office
until the case is terminated."

REP. ZAMORA. Continuous hearing.

REP. ALBANO. Where are we now Mr. Chairman.

SEN. PIMENTEL. Ha?

THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Grave felonies ito e. Six years and
one day or more.

REP. ALBANO. The trial must be done within ninety days,

SEN. SAGUISAG. Kung five years and litigation ng Supreme Court,


ganoon ba and . . .?

SEN. PIMENTEL. Ang ibig kong sabihin kung maari sanang ilagay rito
that the case shall also be terminated in one year from the time . . . aywan
ko kung kaya nating gawin iyon.

SEN. PIMENTEL. Not only that, but the case must be terminated within a
period.
REP. ALBANO. Ninety days na ho sa Supreme Court the trial.

REP. ALBANO. One solution, Mr. Chairman.

69
case and a criminal case which could be a serious case since it is six years
and one day or more, so it must be already a grave felony.

THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Criminal case? Hindi ba that has


all been held as directory even if you put it in the law?
SEN. PIMENTEL. I know, but, iyon na nga, we are looking at some
solution to a particular situation.
SEN. ANGARA. Let's have continuous hearing and be terminated not
later than ninety days.
REP. ZAMORA. Ang point ni Ernie, that's really only the directory. All
of these, well, looks exactly the same thing.
SEN. ANGARA. No, but at least, we will shorten it up in a case like this.
We are really keen on having it quick, swift.

xxx xxx xxx


REP. ALBANO. . . .
What I mean to say is, preventive suspension, we can use the
Veloso case.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). No, that's too short, that's what I
am saying. The feeling here is, for policeman, we have to be stricter
especially if it is a criminal case.

SEN. PIMENTEL. Swift justice.

What Rene is just trying to say is, he is agreeable that the suspension is
until the case is terminated, but he just wants some administrative
balancing to expedite it. So let us study what kind of language could be
done along that line. So just on the National Police Commission . . .

REP. ALBANO. Mr. Chairman.

SEN. ANGARA. Can I suggest a language that may reflect. . .

THE CHAIRMAN. (SEN. MACEDA). Yes.

THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Okay, please.

REP. ALBANO. Following the Veloso case in Anti-graft cases before the
Sandiganbayan, the preventive suspension is only ninety days. In no case
shall it go beyond ninety days which can also be applicable here because
this is a preventive suspension.

SEN. ANGARA. "Such case shall be subject to continuous trial and be


terminated not later than . . ." whatever we agree.

SEN. PIMENTEL. No, because you can legislate at least.

So if there are any further amendments to Chapter 2 on the National Police


Commission. . . . . .13

SEN. SAGUISAG. But then the case may be anti-graft ha. The case filed
against a policeman may be anti-graft in nature. . .
SEN. PIMENTEL. Correct, correct, but is that a constitutional provision?
Is it?
REP. ALBANO. No, but as a standard procedure.
SEN. PIMENTEL. Then you can legislate.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). No, because this particular
provision is for criminal cases. I know anti-graft is a criminal case but
here we are talking, let's say, of murder, rape, treason, robbery. That's why
it is in that context that there is a difference between a purely anti-graft

THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Okay, so let's study that.

The foregoing discussions reveal the legislative intent to place on preventive suspension a member of the PNP
charged with grave felonies where the penalty imposed by law exceeds six years of imprisonment and which
suspension continues until the case against him is terminated.
The reason why members of the PNP are treated differently from the other classes of persons charged criminally
or administratively insofar as the application of the rule on preventive suspension is concerned is that policemen
carry weapons and the badge of the law which can be used to harass or intimidate witnesses against them, as
succinctly brought out in the legislative discussions.
If a suspended policeman criminally charged with a serious offense is reinstated to his post while his case is
pending, his victim and the witnesses against him are obviously exposed to constant threat and thus easily cowed
to silence by the mere fact that the accused is in uniform and armed. The imposition of preventive suspension for
over 90 days under Section 47 of
R.A. 6975 does not violate the suspended policeman's constitutional right to equal protection of the laws.

The equal protection clause exists to prevent undue favor or privilege. It is intended to eliminate discrimination
and oppression based on inequality. Recognizing the existence of real differences among men, the equal protection
clause does not demand absolute equality. It merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like
circumstances and conditions both as to the privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. 14 Thus, the equal
protection clause does not absolutely forbid classifications, such as the one which exists in the instant case. If the
classification is based on real and substantial differences; 15 is germane to the purpose of the law; 16 applies to all
members of the same
class; 17 and applies to current as well as future conditions, 18 the classification may not be impugned as violating
the Constitution's equal protection guarantee. A distinction based on real and reasonable considerations related to a
proper legislative purpose such as that which exists here is neither unreasonable, capricious nor unfounded.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is hereby DISMISSED.
SO ORDERED.
Equal Protection Suspension of PNP Members Charged with Grave Felonies
Himagan is a policeman assigned in Camp Catititgan, Davao City. He was charged for the murder of Benjamin
Machitar Jr and for the attempted murder of Benjamins younger brother, Barnabe. Pursuant to Sec 47 of RA
6975, Himagan was placed into suspension pending the murder case. The law provides that Upon the filing of a
complaint or information sufficient in form and substance against a member of the PNP for grave felonies where
the penalty imposed by law is six (6) years and one (1) day or more, the court shall immediately suspend the
accused from office until the case is terminated. Such case shall be subject to continuous trial and shall be
terminated within ninety (90) days from arraignment of the accused. Himagan assailed the suspension averring
that Sec 42 of PD 807 of the Civil Service Decree, that his suspension should be limited to ninety (90) days. He
claims that an imposition of preventive suspension of over 90 days is contrary to the Civil Service Law and would
be a violation of his constitutional right to equal protection of laws.
ISSUE: Whether or not Sec 47, RA 6975 violates equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution.
HELD: The language of the first sentence of Sec 47 of RA 6975 is clear, plain and free from ambiguity. It gives
no other meaning than that the suspension from office of the member of the PNP charged with grave offense
where the penalty is six years and one day or more shall last until the termination of the case. The suspension
cannot be lifted before the termination of the case. The second sentence of the same Section providing that the trial
must be terminated within ninety (90) days from arraignment does not qualify or limit the first sentence. The two
can stand independently of each other. The first refers to the period of suspension. The second deals with the time
from within which the trial should be finished.
The reason why members of the PNP are treated differently from the other classes of persons charged criminally
or administratively insofar as the application of the rule on preventive suspension is concerned is that policemen
carry weapons and the badge of the law which can be used to harass or intimidate witnesses against them, as
succinctly brought out in the legislative discussions.
If a suspended policeman criminally charged with a serious offense is reinstated to his post while his case is
pending, his victim and the witnesses against him are obviously exposed to constant threat and thus easily cowed
to silence by the mere fact that the accused is in uniform and armed. the imposition of preventive suspension for
over 90 days under Sec 47 of RA 6975 does not violate the suspended policemans constitutional right to equal
protection of the laws.
Suppose the trial is not terminated within ninety days from arraignment, should the suspension of accused be
lifted?

70
The answer is certainly no. While the law uses the mandatory word shall before the phrase be terminated
within ninety (90) days, there is nothing in RA 6975 that suggests that the preventive suspension of the accused
will be lifted if the trial is not terminated within that period. Nonetheless, the Judge who fails to decide the case
within the period without justifiable reason may be subject to administrative sanctions and, in appropriate cases
where the facts so warrant, to criminal or civil liability. If the trial is unreasonably delayed without fault of the
accused such that he is deprived of his right to a speedy trial, he is not without a remedy. He may ask for the
dismissal of the case. Should the court refuse to dismiss the case, the accused can compel its dismissal by
certiorari, prohibition or mandamus, or secure his liberty by habeas corpus.
FACTS: Himagan is a policeman assigned in Camp Catititgan, Davao City. He was charged for the murder of and
attempted murder. Pursuant to Sec 47 of RA 6975, Himagan was placed into suspension pending the murder case.
The law provides that Upon the filing of a complaint or information sufficient in form and substance against a
member of the PNP for grave felonies where the penalty imposed by law is six (6) years and one (1) day or more,
the court shall immediately suspend the accused from office until the case is terminated. Such case shall be subject
to continuous trial and shall be terminated within ninety (90) days from arraignment of the accused. Himagan
assailed the suspension averring that Sec 42 of PD 807 of the Civil Service Decree, that his suspension should
be limited to ninety (90) days. He claims that an imposition of preventive suspension of over 90 days is contrary to
the Civil Service Law andwould be a violation of his constitutional right to equal protection of laws.

ISSUE: Whether or not Sec 47, RA 6975 violates equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution.

HELD: No. The reason why members of the PNP are treated differently from the other classes of persons
charged criminally or administratively insofar as the application of the rule on preventive suspension is concerned
is that policemen carry weapons and the badge of the law which can be used to harass or intimidate witnesses
against them, as succinctly brought out in the legislative discussions. If a suspended policeman criminally charged
with a serious offense is reinstated to his post while his case is pending, his victim and the witnesses against him
are obviously exposed to constant threat and thus easily cowed to silence by the mere fact that the accused is in
uniform and armed. The imposition of preventive suspension for over 90 days under Sec 47 of RA 6975 does not
violate the suspended policemans constitutional right to equal protection of the laws.

G.R. No. 105371 November 11, 1993


THE PHILIPPINE JUDGES ASSOCIATION, duly rep. by its President, BERNARDO P. ABESAMIS,
Vice-President for Legal Affairs, MARIANO M. UMALI, Director for Pasig, Makati, and Pasay, Metro
Manila, ALFREDO C. FLORES, and Chairman of the Committee on Legal Aid, JESUS G. BERSAMIRA,
Presiding Judges of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 85, Quezon City and Branches 160, 167 and 166,
Pasig, Metro Manila, respectively: the NATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF THE JUDGES
ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, composed of the METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT JUDGES
ASSOCIATION rep. by its President. REINATO QUILALA of the MUNICIPAL TRIAL CIRCUIT
COURT, Manila; THE MUNICIPAL JUDGES LEAGUE OF THE PHILIPPINES rep. by its President,
TOMAS G. TALAVERA; by themselves and in behalf of all the Judges of the Regional Trial and Shari'a
Courts, Metropolitan Trial Courts and Municipal Courts throughout the Country, petitioners,
vs.
HON. PETE PRADO, in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Transportation and
Communications, JORGE V. SARMIENTO, in his capacity as Postmaster General, and the PHILIPPINE
POSTAL CORP., respondents.

71
The basic issue raised in this petition is the independence of the Judiciary. It is asserted by the petitioners that this
hallmark of republicanism is impaired by the statute and circular they are here challenging. The Supreme Court is
itself affected by these measures and is thus an interested party that should ordinarily not also be a judge at the
same time. Under our system of government, however, it cannot inhibit itself and must rule upon the challenge,
because no other office has the authority to do so. We shall therefore act upon this matter not with officiousness
but in the discharge of an unavoidable duty and, as always, with detachment and fairness.
The main target of this petition is Section 35 of R.A. No. 7354 as implemented by the Philippine Postal
Corporation through its Circular No.
92-28. These measures withdraw the franking privilege from the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the
Regional Trial Courts, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, the Municipal Trial Courts, and the Land Registration
Commission and its Registers of Deeds, along with certain other government offices.
The petitioners are members of the lower courts who feel that their official functions as judges will be prejudiced
by the above-named measures. The National Land Registration Authority has taken common cause with them
insofar as its own activities, such as sending of requisite notices in registration cases, affect judicial proceedings.
On its motion, it has been allowed to intervene.
The petition assails the constitutionality of R.A. No. 7354 on the grounds that: (1) its title embraces more than one
subject and does not express its purposes; (2) it did not pass the required readings in both Houses of Congress and
printed copies of the bill in its final form were not distributed among the members before its passage; and (3) it is
discriminatory and encroaches on the independence of the Judiciary.
We approach these issues with one important principle in mind, to wit, the presumption of the constitutionality of
statutes. The theory is that as the joint act of the Legislature and the Executive, every statute is supposed to have
first been carefully studied and determined to be constitutional before it was finally enacted. Hence, unless it is
clearly shown that it is constitutionally flawed, the attack against its validity must be rejected and the law itself
upheld. To doubt is to sustain.

The objectives of the law are enumerated in Section 3, which provides:


The State shall pursue the following objectives of a nationwide postal system:
a) to enable the economical and speedy transfer of mail and other postal matters, from sender
to addressee, with full recognition of their privacy or confidentiality;
b) to promote international interchange, cooperation and understanding through the
unhampered flow or exchange of postal matters between nations;
c) to cause or effect a wide range of postal services to cater to different users and changing
needs, including but not limited to, philately, transfer of monies and valuables, and the like;
d) to ensure that sufficient revenues are generated by and within the industry to finance the
overall cost of providing the varied range of postal delivery and messengerial services as well
as the expansion and continuous upgrading of service standards by the same.
Sec. 35 of R.A. No. 7354, which is the principal target of the petition, reads as follows:
Sec. 35. Repealing Clause. All acts, decrees, orders, executive orders, instructions, rules
and regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are repealed or
modified accordingly.
All franking privileges authorized by law are hereby repealed, except those provided for under
Commonwealth Act No. 265, Republic Acts Numbered 69, 180, 1414, 2087 and 5059. The
Corporation may continue the franking privilege under Circular No. 35 dated October 24,
1977 and that of the Vice President, under such arrangements and conditions as may obviate
abuse or unauthorized use thereof.

I
We consider first the objection based on Article VI, Sec. 26(l), of the Constitution providing that "Every bill
passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof."
The purposes of this rule are: (1) to prevent hodge-podge or "log-rolling" legislation; (2) to prevent surprise or
fraud upon the legislature by means of provisions in bills of which the title gives no intimation, and which might
therefore be overlooked and carelessly and unintentionally adopted; and (3) to fairly apprise the people, through
such publication of legislative proceedings as is usually made, of the subject of legislation that is being
considered, in order that they may have opportunity of being heard thereon, by petition or otherwise, if they shall
so desire. 1
It is the submission of the petitioners that Section 35 of R.A. No. 7354 which withdrew the franking privilege
from the Judiciary is not expressed in the title of the law, nor does it reflect its purposes.
R.A. No. 7354 is entitled "An Act Creating the Philippine Postal Corporation, Defining its Powers, Functions and
Responsibilities, Providing for Regulation of the Industry and for Other Purposes Connected Therewith."

The petitioners' contention is untenable. We do not agree that the title of the challenged act violates the
Constitution.
The title of the bill is not required to be an index to the body of the act, or to be as comprehensive as to cover
every single detail of the measure. It has been held that if the title fairly indicates the general subject, and
reasonably covers all the provisions of the act, and is not calculated to mislead the legislature or the people, there
is sufficient compliance with the constitutional requirement. 2
To require every end and means necessary for the accomplishment of the general objectives of the statute to be
expressed in its title would not only be unreasonable but would actually render legislation impossible. 3 As has
been correctly explained:
The details of a legislative act need not be specifically stated in its title, but matter germane to
the subject as expressed in the title, and adopted to the accomplishment of the object in view,
may properly be included in the act. Thus, it is proper to create in the same act the machinery
by which the act is to be enforced, to prescribe the penalties for its infraction, and to remove
obstacles in the way of its execution. If such matters are properly connected with the subject

as expressed in the title, it is unnecessary that they should also have special mention in the title
(Southern Pac. Co. v. Bartine, 170 Fed. 725).
This is particularly true of the repealing clause, on which Cooley writes: "The repeal of a statute on a given subject
is properly connected with the subject matter of a new statute on the same subject; and therefore a repealing
section in the new statute is valid, notwithstanding that the title is silent on the subject. It would be difficult to
conceive of a matter more germane to an act and to the object to be accomplished thereby than the repeal of
previous legislations connected therewith." 4
The reason is that where a statute repeals a former law, such repeal is the effect and not the subject of the statute;
and it is the subject, not the effect of a law, which is required to be briefly expressed in its title. 5 As observed in
one case, 6 if the title of an act embraces only one subject, we apprehend it was never claimed that every other act
which repeals it or alters by implication must be mentioned in the title of the new act. Any such rule would be
neither within the reason of the Constitution, nor practicable.
We are convinced that the withdrawal of the franking privilege from some agencies is germane to the
accomplishment of the principal objective of R.A. No. 7354, which is the creation of a more efficient and effective
postal service system. Our ruling is that, by virtue of its nature as a repealing clause, Section 35 did not have to be
expressly included in the title of the said law.
II
The petitioners maintain that the second paragraph of Sec. 35 covering the repeal of the franking privilege from
the petitioners and this Court under E.O. 207, PD 1882 and PD 26 was not included in the original version of
Senate Bill No. 720 or House Bill No. 4200. As this paragraph appeared only in the Conference Committee
Report, its addition, violates Article VI, Sec. 26(2) of the Constitution, reading as follows:
(2) No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on
separate days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members
three days before its passage, except when the President certifies to the necessity of its
immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. Upon the last reading of a bill,
no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately
thereafter, and the yeasand nays entered in the Journal.
The petitioners also invoke Sec. 74 of the Rules of the House of Representatives, requiring that amendment to any
bill when the House and the Senate shall have differences thereon may be settled by a conference committee of
both chambers. They stress that Sec. 35 was never a subject of any disagreement between both Houses and so the
second paragraph could not have been validly added as an amendment.
These argument are unacceptable.
While it is true that a conference committee is the mechanism for compromising differences between the Senate
and the House, it is not limited in its jurisdiction to this question. Its broader function is described thus:
A conference committee may, deal generally with the subject matter or it may be limited to
resolving the precise differences between the two houses. Even where the conference
committee is not by rule limited in its jurisdiction, legislative custom severely limits the

72
freedom with which new subject matter can be inserted into the conference bill. But
occasionally a conference committee produces unexpected results, results beyond its mandate,
These excursions occur even where the rules impose strict limitations on conference
committee jurisdiction. This is symptomatic of the authoritarian power of conference
committee (Davies, Legislative Law and Process: In a Nutshell, 1986 Ed., p.81).
It is a matter of record that the conference Committee Report on the bill in question was returned to and duly
approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Thereafter, the bill was enrolled with its
certification by Senate President Neptali A. Gonzales and Speaker Ramon V. Mitra of the House of
Representatives as having been duly passed by both Houses of Congress. It was then presented to and approved by
President Corazon C. Aquino on April 3, 1992.
Under the doctrine of separation powers, the Court may not inquire beyond the certification of the approval of a
bill from the presiding officers of Congress. Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v. Gimenez 7 laid down the rule that
the enrolled bill, is conclusive upon the Judiciary (except in matters that have to be entered in the journals like
theyeas and nays on the final reading of the
bill). 8 The journals are themselves also binding on the Supreme Court, as we held in the old (but still valid) case
of U.S. vs. Pons, 9 where we explained the reason thus:
To inquire into the veracity of the journals of the Philippine legislature when they are, as we
have said, clear and explicit, would be to violate both the, letter and spirit of the organic laws
by which the Philippine Government was brought into existence, to invade a coordinate and
independent department of the Government, and to interfere with the legitimate powers and
functions, of the Legislature.
Applying these principles, we shall decline to look into the petitioners' charges that an amendment was made upon
the last reading of the bill that eventually became R.A. No. 7354 and that copies thereof in its final form were not
distributed among the members of each House. Both the enrolled bill and the legislative journals certify that the
measure was duly enacted i.e., in accordance with Article VI, Sec. 26(2) of the Constitution. We are bound by
such official assurances from a coordinate department of the government, to which we owe, at the very least, a
becoming courtesy.
III
The third and most serious challenge of the petitioners is based on the equal protection clause.
It is alleged that R.A. No. 7354 is discriminatory because while withdrawing the franking privilege from the
Judiciary, it retains the same for the President of the Philippines, the Vice President of the Philippines; Senators
and Members of the House of Representatives, the Commission on Elections; former Presidents of the Philippines;
the National Census and Statistics Office; and the general public in the filing of complaints against public offices
and officers. 10
The respondents counter that there is no discrimination because the law is based on a valid classification in
accordance with the equal protection clause. In fact, the franking privilege has been withdrawn not only from the
Judiciary but also the Office of Adult Education, the Institute of National Language; the Telecommunications
Office; the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation; the National Historical Commission; the Armed Forces of
the Philippines; the Armed Forces of the Philippines Ladies Steering Committee; the City and Provincial
Prosecutors; the Tanodbayan (Office of Special Prosecutor); the Kabataang Barangay; the Commission on the

Filipino Language; the Provincial and City Assessors; and the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled
Persons. 11
The equal protection of the laws is embraced in the concept of due process, as every unfair discrimination offends
the requirements of justice and fair play. It has nonetheless been embodied in a separate clause in Article III Sec.
1., of the Constitution to provide for a more, specific guaranty against any form of undue favoritism or hostility
from the government. Arbitrariness in general may be challenged on the basis of the due process clause. But if the
particular act assailed partakes of an unwarranted partiality or prejudice, the sharper weapon to cut it down is the
equal protection clause.
According to a long line of decisions, equal protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated
should be treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed, 12 Similar subjects, in other
words, should not be treated differently, so as to give undue favor to some and unjustly discriminate against
others.
The equal protection clause does not require the universal application of the laws on all persons or things without
distinction. This might in fact sometimes result in unequal protection, as where, for example, a law prohibiting
mature books to all persons, regardless of age, would benefit the morals of the youth but violate the liberty of
adults. What the clause requires is equality among equals as determined according to a valid classification. By
classification is meant the grouping of persons or things similar to each other in certain particulars and different
from all others in these same particulars. 13
What is the reason for the grant of the franking privilege in the first place? Is the franking privilege extended to
the President of the Philippines or the Commission on Elections or to former Presidents of the Philippines purely
as acourtesy from the lawmaking body? Is it offered because of the importance or status of the grantee or because
of its need for the privilege? Or have the grantees been chosen pell-mell, as it were, without any basis at all for the
selection?
We reject outright the last conjecture as there is no doubt that the statute as a whole was carefully deliberated
upon, by the political departments before it was finally enacted. There is reason to suspect, however, that not
enough care or attention was given to its repealing clause, resulting in the unwitting withdrawal of the franking
privilege from the Judiciary.
We also do not believe that the basis of the classification was mere courtesy, for it is unimaginable that the
political departments would have intended this serious slight to the Judiciary as the third of the major and equal
departments the government. The same observations are made if the importance or status of the grantee was the
criterion used for the extension of the franking privilege, which is enjoyed by the National Census and Statistics
Office and even some private individuals but not the courts of justice.

73
In their Comment, the respondents point out that available data from the Postal Service Office show that from
January 1988 to June 1992, the total volume of frank mails amounted to P90,424,175.00. Of this amount, frank
mails from the Judiciary and other agencies whose functions include the service of judicial processes, such as the
intervenor, the Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman, amounted to P86,481,759. Frank mails
coming fromthe Judiciary amounted to P73,574,864.00, and those coming from the petitioners reached the total
amount of P60,991,431.00. The respondents' conclusion is that because of this considerable volume of mail from
the Judiciary, the franking privilege must be withdrawn from it.
The argument is self-defeating. The respondents are in effect saying that the franking privilege should be extended
only to those who do not need it very much, if at all, (like the widows of former Presidents) but not to those who
need it badly (especially the courts of justice). It is like saying that a person may be allowed cosmetic surgery
although it is not really necessary but not an operation that can save his life.
If the problem of the respondents is the loss of revenues from the franking privilege, the remedy, it seems to us, is
to withdraw it altogether from all agencies of government, including those who do not need it. The problem is not
solved by retaining it for some and withdrawing it from others, especially where there is no substantial distinction
between those favored, which may or may not need it at all, and the Judiciary, which definitely needs it. The
problem is not solved by violating the Constitution.
In lumping the Judiciary with the other offices from which the franking privilege has been withdrawn, Section 35
has placed the courts of justice in a category to which it does not belong. If it recognizes the need of the President
of the Philippines and the members of Congress for the franking privilege, there is no reason why it should not
recognize a similar and in fact greater need on the part of the Judiciary for such privilege. While we may
appreciate the withdrawal of the franking privilege from the Armed Forces of the Philippines Ladies Steering
Committee, we fail to understand why the Supreme Court should be similarly treated as that Committee. And
while we may concede the need of the National Census and Statistics Office for the franking privilege, we are
intrigued that a similar if not greater need is not recognized in the courts of justice.
(On second thought, there does not seem to be any justifiable need for withdrawing the privilege from the Armed
Forces of the Philippines Ladies Steering Committee, which, like former Presidents of the Philippines or their
widows, does not send as much frank mail as the Judiciary.)
It is worth observing that the Philippine Postal Corporation, as a government-controlled corporation, was created
and is expected to operate for the purpose of promoting the public service. While it may have been established
primarily for private gain, it cannot excuse itself from performing certain functions for the benefit of the public in
exchange for the franchise extended to it by the government and the many advantages it enjoys under its
charter.14 Among the services it should be prepared to extend is free carriage of mail for certain offices of the
government that need the franking privilege in the discharge of their own public functions.

In our view, the only acceptable reason for the grant of the franking privilege was the perceived need of the
grantee for the accommodation, which would justify a waiver of substantial revenue by the Corporation in the
interest of providing for a smoother flow of communication between the government and the people.

We also note that under Section 9 of the law, the Corporation is capitalized at P10 billion pesos, 55% of which is
supplied by the Government, and that it derives substantial revenues from the sources enumerated in Section 10,
on top of the exemptions it enjoys. It is not likely that the retention of the franking privilege of the Judiciary will
cripple the Corporation.

Assuming that basis, we cannot understand why, of all the departments of the government, it is the Judiciary, that
has been denied the franking privilege. There is no question that if there is any major branch of the government
that needs the privilege, it is the Judicial Department, as the respondents themselves point out. Curiously, the
respondents would justify the distinction on the basis precisely of this need and, on this basis, deny the Judiciary
the franking privilege while extending it to others less deserving.

At this time when the Judiciary is being faulted for the delay in the administration of justice, the withdrawal from
it of the franking privilege can only further deepen this serious problem. The volume of judicial mail, as
emphasized by the respondents themselves, should stress the dependence of the courts of justice on the postal
service for communicating with lawyers and litigants as part of the judicial process. The Judiciary has the lowest

appropriation in the national budget compared to the Legislative and Executive Departments; of the P309 billion
budgeted for 1993, only .84%, or less than 1%, is alloted for the judiciary. It should not be hard to imagine the
increased difficulties of our courts if they have to affix a purchased stamp to every process they send in the
discharge of their judicial functions.
We are unable to agree with the respondents that Section 35 of R.A. No. 7354 represents a valid exercise of
discretion by the Legislature under the police power. On the contrary, we find its repealing clause to be a
discriminatory provision that denies the Judiciary the equal protection of the laws guaranteed for all persons or
things similarly situated. The distinction made by the law is superficial. It is not based on substantial distinctions
that make real differences between the Judiciary and the grantees of the franking privilege.
This is not a question of wisdom or power into which the Judiciary may not intrude. It is a matter of arbitrariness
that this Court has the duty and power to correct.
IV
In sum, we sustain R.A. No. 7354 against the attack that its subject is not expressed in its title and that it was not
passed in accordance with the prescribed procedure. However, we annul Section 35 of the law as violative of
Article 3, Sec. 1, of the Constitution providing that no person shall "be deprived of the equal protection of laws."
We arrive at these conclusions with a full awareness of the criticism it is certain to provoke. While ruling against
the discrimination in this case, we may ourselves be accused of similar discrimination through the exercise of our
ultimate power in our own favor. This is inevitable. Criticism of judicial conduct, however undeserved, is a fact of
life in the political system that we are prepared to accept.. As judges, we cannot debate with our detractors. We
can only decide the cases before us as law imposes on us the duty to be fair and our own conscience gives us the
light to be right.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is partially GRANTED and Section 35 of R.A. No. 7354 is declared
UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Circular No. 92-28 is SET ASIDE insofar as it withdraws the franking privilege from
the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Regional trail Courts, the Municipal trial Courts, and the National
Land Registration Authority and its Register of Deeds to all of which offices the said privilege shall be
RESTORED. The temporary restraining order dated June 2, 1992, is made permanent.
Equal Protection Franking Privilege of the Judiciary
A report came in showing that available data from the Postal Service Office show that from January 1988 to June
1992, the total volume of frank mails amounted to P90,424,175.00, of this amount, frank mails from the Judiciary
and other agencies whose functions include the service of judicial processes, such as the intervenor, the
Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman, amounted to P86,481,759. Frank mails coming from the
Judiciary amounted to P73,574,864.00, and those coming from the petitioners reached the total amount of
P60,991,431.00. The postmasters conclusion is that because of this considerable volume of mail from the
Judiciary, the franking privilege must be withdrawn from it. Acting from this, Prado implemented Circ. No. 9228
as the IRR for the said law. PJA assailed the said law complaining that the law would adversely impair the
communication within the judiciary as it may impair the sending of judicial notices. PJA averred that the law is
discriminatory as it disallowed the franking privilege of the Judiciary but has not disallowed the franking privilege
of others such as the executive, former executives and their widows among others.
ISSUE: Whether or not there has been a violation of equal protection before the law.

74
HELD: The SC ruled that there is a violation of the equal protection clause. The judiciary needs the franking
privilege so badly as it is vital to its operation. Evident to that need is the high expense allotted to the judiciarys
franking needs. The Postmaster cannot be sustained in contending that the removal of the franking privilege from
the judiciary is in order to cut expenditure. This is untenable for if the Postmaster would intend to cut expenditure
by removing the franking privilege of the judiciary, then they should have removed the franking privilege all at
once from all the other departments. If the problem of the respondents is the loss of revenues from the franking
privilege, the remedy is to withdraw it altogether from all agencies of the government, including those who do not
need it. The problem is not solved by retaining it for some and withdrawing it from others, especially where there
is no substantial distinction between those favored, which may or may not need it at all, and the Judiciary, which
definitely needs it. The problem is not solved by violating the Constitution.
The equal protection clause does not require the universal application of the laws on all persons or things without
distinction. This might in fact sometimes result in unequal protection, as where, for example, a law prohibiting
mature books to all persons, regardless of age, would benefit the morals of the youth but violate the liberty of
adults. What the clause requires is equality among equals as determined according to a valid classification. By
classification is meant the grouping of persons or things similar to each other in certain particulars and different
from all others in these same particulars.
In lumping the Judiciary with the other offices from which the franking privilege has been withdrawn, Sec 35 has
placed the courts of justice in a category to which it does not belong. If it recognizes the need of the President of
the Philippines and the members of Congress for the franking privilege, there is no reason why it should not
recognize a similar and in fact greater need on the part of the Judiciary for such privilege.
G.R. No. L-30026 January 30, 1971
MARIO GUMABON, BLAS BAGOLBAGOL, GAUDENCIO AGAPITO, EPIFANIO PADUA and
PATERNO PALMARES, petitioners,
vs.
THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF PRISONS, respondent.
Jose W. Diokno for petitioners.
Office of the Solicitor General Felix V. Makasiar, Assistant Solicitor General Antonio A. Torres and Solicitor
Eduardo C. Abaya for respondent.
Habeas corpus, the great writ of liberty, is relied upon by petitioners, five in number, for their release from
imprisonment. Meted out life terms for the complex crime of rebellion with murder and other crimes, they would
invoke the People v. Hernandez1 doctrine, negating the existence of such an offense, a ruling that unfortunately for
them was not handed down until after their convictions had become final. Nor is this the first instance, a
proceeding of this character was instituted, as in Pomeroy v. Director of Prisons,2 likewise a petition for habeas
corpus, a similar question was presented. The answer given was in the negative. Petitioners plead for a new look
on the matter. They would premise their stand on the denial of equal protection if their plea would not be granted.
Moreover they did invoke the codal provision that judicial decisions shall form part of the legal system of the
Philippines,3 necessarily resulting in the conclusion that the Hernandez decision once promulgated calls for a
retroactive effect under the explicit mandate of the Revised Penal Code as to penal laws having such character
even if at the time of their application a final sentence has been rendered "and the convict is serving the
same."4These arguments carry considerable persuasion. Accordingly we find for petitioners, without going so far
as to overrule Pomeroy.

Petitioner Mario Gumabon, after pleading guilty, was sentenced on May 5, 1953 to suffer reclusion perpetua for
the complex crime of rebellion with multiple murder, robbery, arson and kidnapping. Petitioners Gaudencio
Agapito, Paterno Palmares and Epifanio Padua, likewise pleaded guilty to the complex crime of rebellion with
multiple murder and other offenses, and were similarly made to suffer the same penalty in decisions rendered, as
to the first two, on March 8, 1954 and, as to the third, on December 15, 1955. The last petitioner, Blas Bagolbagol,
stood trial also for the complex crime of rebellion with multiple murder and other offenses and on January 12,
1954 penalized with reclusion perpetua. Each of the petitioners has been since then imprisoned by virtue of the
above convictions. Each of them has served more than 13 years.5
Subsequently, in People v. Hernandez, 6 as above noted, this Court ruled that the information against the accused
in that case for rebellion complexed with murder, arson and robbery was not warranted under Article 134 of the
Revised Penal Code, there being no such complex offense.7 In the recently-decided case of People vs. Lava,8 we
expressly reaffirmed the ruling in the Hernandez case rejecting the plea of the Solicitor General for the
abandonment of such doctrine. It is the contention of each of the petitioners that he has served, in the light of the
above, more than the maximum penalty that could have been imposed upon him. He is thus entitled to freedom,
his continued detention being illegal.9
The fear that the Pomeroy ruling stands as an obstacle to their release on a habeas corpus proceeding prompted
petitioners, as had been mentioned, to ask that it be appraised anew and, if necessary, discarded. We can resolve
the present petition without doing so. The plea there made was unconvincing, there being a failure to invoke the
contentions now pressed vigorously by their counsel, Attorney Jose W. Diokno, as to the existence of a denial of a
constitutional right that would suffice to raise a serious jurisdictional question and the retroactive effect to be
given a judicial decision favorable to one already sentenced to a final judgment under Art. 22 of the Revised Penal
Code. To repeat, these two grounds carry weight. We have to grant this petition.
1. The fundamental issue, to repeat, is the availability of the writ of habeas corpus under the circumstances
disclosed. Its latitudinarian scope to assure that illegality of restraint and detention be avoided is one of the truisms
of the law. It is not known as the writ of liberty for nothing. The writ imposes on judges the grave responsibility of
ascertaining whether there is any legal justification for a deprivation of physical freedom. Unless there be such a
showing, the confinement must thereby cease. If there be a valid sentence it cannot, even for a moment, be
extended beyond the period provided for by law. Any deviation from the legal norms call for the termination of
the imprisonment.
Rightly then could Chafee refer to the writ as "the most important human rights provision" in the fundamental
law.10 Nor is such praise unique. Cooley spoke of it as "one of the principal safeguards to personal liberty." 11 For
Willoughby, it is "the greatest of the safeguards erected by the civil law against arbitrary and illegal imprisonment
by whomsoever detention may be exercised or ordered." 12 Burdick echoed a similar sentiment, referring to it as
"one of the most important bulwarks of liberty." 13 Fraenkel made it unanimous, for to him, "without it much else
would be of no avail." 14 Thereby the rule of law is assured.
A full awareness of the potentialities of the writ of habeas corpus in the defense of liberty coupled with its
limitations may be detected in the opinions of former Chief Justices Arellano, 15 Avancea, 16 Abad
Santos, 17Paras, 18 Bengzon, 19 and the present Chief Justice. 20 It fell to Justice Malcolm's lot, however to
emphasize quite a few times the breadth of its amplitude and of its reach. In Villavicencio v. Lukban, 21 the remedy
came in handy to challenge the validity of the order of the then respondent Mayor of Manila who, for the best of
reasons but without legal justification, ordered the transportation of more than 150 inmates of houses of ill-repute
to Davao. After referring to the writ of habeas corpus as having been devised and existing "as a speedy and
effectual remedy to relieve persons from unlawful restraint" the opinion of Justice Malcolm continued: "The
essential object and purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to inquire into all manner of involuntary restraint as

75
distinguished from voluntary, and to relieve a person therefrom if such restraint is illegal. Any restraint which will
preclude freedom of action is sufficient." 22
The liberality with which the judiciary is to construe habeas corpus petitions even if presented in pleadings on
their face devoid of merit was demonstrated in Ganaway v. Quilen, 23 where this Court, again through Justice
Malcolm, stated: "As standing alone the petition for habeas corpus was fatally defective in its allegations, this
court, on its motion, ordered before it the record of the lower court in the case entitled Thomas Casey, et al. v.
George Ganaway." 24 It is to Justice Malcolm likewise in Conde v. Rivera, 25 to whom is traceable the doctrine,
one that broadens the field of the operation of the writ, that a disregard of the constitutional right to speedy trial
ousts the court of jurisdiction and entitles the accused if "restrained of his liberty, by habeas corpus to obtain his
freedom." 26
So it is in the United States. An 1830 decision 27 of Chief Justice Marshall put the matter thus: "The writ of habeas
corpus is a high prerogative writ, known to the common law, the great object of which is the liberation of those
who may be imprisoned without sufficient cause." Then there is this affirmation from an 1869 decision 28 of the
then Chief Justice Chase: "The great writ of habeas corpus has been for centuries esteemed the best and only
sufficient defense of personal freedom." The passing of the years has only served to confirm its primacy as a
weapon on in the cause of liberty. Only the other year, Justice Fortas spoke for the United States Supreme Court
thus: "The writ of habeas corpus is the fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom against
arbitrary and lawless state action. ... The scope and flexibility of the writ its capacity to reach all manner of
illegal detention its ability to cut through barriers of form and procedural mazes have always been
emphasized and jealously guarded by courts and lawmakers. The very nature of the writ demands that it be
administered with the initiative and flexibility essential to insure that miscarriages of justice within its reach are
surfaced and corrected." 29 Justice Fortas explicitly made reference to Blackstone, who spoke of it as "the great
and efficacious writ, in all manner of illegal confinement." Implicit in his just estimate of its pre-eminent role is
his adoption of Holmes' famous dissent in Frank v. Mangum: 30 "But habeas corpus cuts through all forms and
goes to the very tissue of the structure."
2. Where, however, the detention complained of finds its origin in what has been judicially ordained, the range of
inquiry in a habeas corpus proceeding is considerably narrowed. For if "the person alleged to be restrained of his
liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a judgment or order
of a court of record, and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or make
the order," the writ does not lie. 31 That principle dates back to 1902, 32 when this Court announced that habeas
corpus was unavailing where the person detained was in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court
or magistrate. This is understandable, as during the time the Philippines was under American rule, there was
necessarily an adherence to authoritative doctrines of constitutional law there followed.
One such principle is the requirement that there be a finding of jurisdictional defect. As summarized by Justice
Bradley in Ex parte Siebold, an 1880 decision: "The only ground on which this court, or any court, without some
special statute authorizing it, will give relief on habeas corpus to a prisoner under conviction and sentence of
another court is the want of jurisdiction in such court over the person or the cause, or some other matter rendering
its proceedings void." 33
There is the fundamental exception though, that must ever be kept in mind. Once a deprivation of a constitutional
right is shown to exist, the court that rendered the judgment is deemed ousted of jurisdiction and habeas corpus is
the appropriate remedy to assail the legality of the detention. 34
3. Petitioners precisely assert a deprivation of a constitutional right, namely, the denial of equal protection.
According to their petition: "In the case at bar, the petitioners were convicted by Courts of First Instance for the

very same rebellion for which Hernandez, Geronimo, and others were convicted. The law under which they were
convicted is the very same law under which the latter were convicted. It had not and has not been changed. For the
same crime, committed under the same law, how can we, in conscience, allow petitioners to suffer life
imprisonment, while others can suffer only prision mayor?" 35
They would thus stress that, contrary to the mandate of equal protection, people similarly situated were not
similarly dealt with. What is required under this required constitutional guarantee is the uniform operation of legal
norms so that all persons under similar circumstances would be accorded the same treatment both in the privileges
conferred and the liabilities imposed. As was noted in a recent decision: "Favoritism and undue preference cannot
be allowed. For the principle is that equal protection and security shall be given to every person under
circumstances, which if not identical are analogous. If law be looked upon in terms of burden or charges, those
that fall within a class should be treated in the same fashion, whatever restrictions cast on some in the group
equally binding on the rest." 36
The argument of petitioners thus possesses a persuasive ring. The continued incarceration after the twelve-year
period when such is the maximum length of imprisonment in accordance with our controlling doctrine, when
others similarly convicted have been freed, is fraught with implications at war with equal protection. That is not to
give it life. On the contrary, it would render it nugatory. Otherwise, what would happen is that for an identical
offense, the only distinction lying in the finality of the conviction of one being before the Hernandez ruling and
the other after, a person duly sentenced for the same crime would be made to suffer different penalties. Moreover,
as noted in the petition before us, after our ruling in People v. Lava, petitioners who were mere followers would be
made to languish in jail for perhaps the rest of their natural lives when the leaders had been duly considered as
having paid their penalty to society, and freed. Such a deplorable result is to be avoided.
4. Petitioners likewise, as was made mention at the outset, would rely on Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code
which requires that penal judgment be given a retroactive effect. In support of their contention, petitioners cite
U.S. v. Macasaet, 37 U.S. vs.Parrone, 38 U.S. v. Almencion, 39 People v. Moran, 40 and People v. Parel. 41 While
reference in the above provision is made not to judicial decisions but to legislative acts, petitioners entertain the
view that it would be merely an exaltation of the literal to deny its application to a case like the present. Such a
belief has a firmer foundation. As was previously noted, the Civil Code provides that judicial decisions applying
or interpreting the Constitution, as well as legislation, form part of our legal system. Petitioners would even find
support in the well-known dictum of Bishop Hoadley:
"Whoever hath an absolute authority to interpret any written or spoken laws, it is he who is truly the law-giver to
all intents and purposes, and not the person who first thought or spoke them." It is to be admitted that
constitutional law scholars, notably
Frankfurter, 42 Powell, 43 and Thayer, 44 in discussing judicial review as well as the jurist John Chipman Gray,
were much impressed with the truth and the soundness of the above observations. We do not have to go that far
though. Enough for present purposes that both the Civil Code and the Revised Penal Code allow, if they do not
call for, a retroactive application.
It being undeniable that if the Hernandez ruling were to be given a retroactive effect petitioners had served the full
term for which they could have been legally committed, is habeas corpus the appropriate remedy? The answer
cannot be in doubt. As far back as 1910 the prevailing doctrine was announced in Cruz v. Director of
Prisons. 45Thus: "The courts uniformly hold that where a sentence imposes punishment in excess of the power of
the court to impose, such sentence is void as to the excess, and some of the courts hold that the sentence is void in
toto; but the weight of authority sustains the proposition that such a sentence is void only as to the excess imposed
in case the parts are separable, the rule being that the petitioner is not entitled to his discharge on a writ of habeas
corpus unless he has served out so much of the sentence as was valid." 46 There is a reiteration of such a principle

76
in Director v. Director of Prisons 47 where it was explicitly announced by this Court "that the only means of
giving retroactive effect to a penal provision favorable to the accused ... is the writ of habeas corpus." 48 While the
above decision speaks of a trial judge losing jurisdiction over the case, insofar as the remedy of habeas corpus is
concerned, the emphatic affirmation that it is the only means of benefiting the accused by the retroactive character
of a favorable decision holds true. Petitioners clearly have thus successfully sustained the burden of justifying
their release.
WHEREFORE, the petition for habeas corpus is granted, and it is ordered that petitioners be forthwith set at
liberty.
Mario Gumabon et al vs Director of the Bureau of Prisons
Equal Protection Hernandez Doctrine
Gumabon et al were charged for rebellion punished under Art 134 of the RPC. Their offense was complexed with
multiple murder, robbery, arson, and kidnapping. They were all sentenced to reclusion perpetua. Their sentence
had become final and executory when the Hernandez Doctrine was promulgated by the SC. Hernandez Doctrine
simply states that murder cannot be complexed to rebellion as it is necessarily absorbed therein. Hence, without
such complexion the penalty must be lower than reclusion perpetua. Gumabon precisely assert a deprivation of a
constitutional right, namely, the denial of equal protection. The petitioners were convicted by CFI for the very
same rebellion for which Hernandez and others were convicted. The law under which they were convicted is the
very same law under which the latter were convicted. It had not and has not been changed. For the same crime,
committed under the same law, how can the SC, in conscience, allow petitioners to suffer life imprisonment, while
others can suffer only prision mayor?
ISSUE: Whether or not Gumabon et al is entitled to the effects of the Hernandez Doctrine.
HELD: The SC ruled in favor of Gumabon et al. The continued incarceration after the twelve-year period when
such is the maximum length of imprisonment in accordance with the controlling doctrine, when others similarly
convicted have been freed, is fraught with implications at war with equal protection. That is not to give it life. On
the contrary, it would render it nugatory. Otherwise, what would happen is that for an identical offense, the only
distinction lying in the finality of the conviction of one being before the Hernandez ruling and the other after, a
person duly sentenced for the same crime would be made to suffer different penalties. If Gumabon et al would
continue to endure imprisonment, then this would be repugnant to equal protection, people similarly situated were
not similarly dealt with.
What is required under this constitutional guarantee is the uniform operation of legal norms so that all persons
under similar circumstances would be accorded the same treatment both in the privileges conferred and the
liabilities imposed. As was noted in a recent decision: Favoritism and undue preference cannot be allowed. For the
principle is that equal protection and security shall be given to every person under circumstances, which if not
identical are analogous. If law be looked upon in terms of burden or charges, those that fall within a class should
be treated in the same fashion, whatever restrictions cast on some in the group equally binding on the rest.
Panfilo Lacson vs Sandiganbayan, Executive Secretary, et al
Equal Protection KBG Cases Before the Sandiganbayan
On 18 May 1995, alleged members of the Kuratong Baleleng Gang were shot to death. The incident was later
sensationalized as a rub out. This implicated Lacson among others as guilty for multiple murder. The case was
raised before the Sandiganbayan. In 1996, Lacson et al filed separate motions questioning the jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan, asserting that under the amended informations, the cases fall within the jurisdiction of the RTC
pursuant to Sec 2 (par a and c) of RA 7975 An Act To Strengthen The Functional And Structural Organization Of
The Sandiganbayan, Amending For That Purpose Presidential Decree 1606, As Amended. They contend that the
said law limited the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan to cases where one or more of the principal accused are
government officials with Salary Grade (SG) 27 or higher, or PNP officials with the rank of Chief Superintendent

77
(Brigadier General) or higher. The highest ranking principal accused in the amended informations has the rank of
only a Chief Inspector, and none has the equivalent of at least SG 27. In 1997, RA 8249 was passed which
basically expanded the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. The law was authored by Lagman and Neptali
Gonzales. Lacson assailed the law as it was introduced by the authors thereof in bad faith as it was made to
precisely suit the situation in which petitioners cases were in at the Sandiganbayan by restoring jurisdiction
thereover to it, thereby violating his right to procedural due process and the equal protection clause of the
Constitution. Further, from the way the Sandiganbayan has foot-dragged for nine (9) months the resolution of a
pending incident involving the transfer of the cases to the Regional Trial Court, the passage of the law may have
been timed to overtake such resolution to render the issue therein moot, and frustrate the exercise of petitioners
vested rights under the old Sandiganbayan law (RA 7975).
ISSUE: Whether or not the right to equal protection by Lacson et al has been violated with the passage of RA
8249.
HELD: The SC ruled that RA 8249 did not violate the right of Lacson et al to equal protection. No concrete
evidence and convincing argument were presented to warrant a declaration of an act of the entire Congress and
signed into law by the highest officer of the co-equal executive department as unconstitutional. Every
classification made by law is presumed reasonable. Thus, the party who challenges the law must present proof of
arbitrariness. It is an established precept in constitutional law that the guaranty of the equal protection of the laws
is not violated by a legislation based on reasonable classification. The classification is reasonable and not arbitrary
when there is concurrence of four elements, namely:
(1) it must rest on substantial distinction;
(2) it must be germane to the purpose of the law;
(3) must not be limited to existing conditions only, and
(4) must apply equally to all members of the same class
The classification between those pending cases involving the concerned public officials whose trial has not yet
commenced and whose cases could have been affected by the amendments of the Sandiganbayan jurisdiction
under R.A. 8249, as against those cases where trial had already started as of the approval of the law, rests on
substantial distinction that makes real differences. In the first instance, evidence against them were not yet
presented, whereas in the latter the parties had already submitted their respective proofs, examined witness and
presented documents. Since it is within the power of Congress to define the jurisdiction of courts subject to the
constitutional limitations, it can be reasonably anticipated that an alteration of that jurisdiction would necessarily
affect pending cases, which is why it has to provide for a remedy in the form of a transitory provision. Thus,
Lacson et al cannot claim that Secs 4 and 7 placed them under a different category from those similarly situated
as them.
Precisely, par A of Sec 4 provides that it shall apply to all cases involving certain public officials and, under the
transitory provision in Sec 7, to all cases pending in any court. Contrary to petitioner and intervenors
arguments, the law is not particularly directed only to the Kuratong Baleleng cases. The transitory provision does
not only cover cases which are in the Sandiganbayan but also in any court. It just happened that the Kuratong
Baleleng cases are one of those affected by the law. Moreover, those cases where trial had already begun are not
affected by the transitory provision under Sec 7 of the new law (R.A. 8249).