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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW REQUIREMENTS FOR ENFORCEMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE

ISSUANCES
GMA NETWORK, INC., vs. MOVIE AND TELEVISION
REVIEW AND CLASSIFCATION BOARD

MTRCBs authority of law is expressed in


Section 7 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) no. 1986:

FACTS
SECTION 7. REQUIREMENT OF PRIOR REVIEW.
-- No motion picture, television program or
related publicity material shall be imported,
exported, produced, copied, distributed, sold,
leased, exhibited or broadcasted by television
without prior permit issued by the BOARD
after review of the motion picture, television
program or publicity material. (Emphasis
mine.)

Petitioner GMA Network, Inc. operates and manages the


UHF Television station, EMC channel 27. On January 7,
2000, the public respondent MTRCB issued an order of
suspension to the network for the airing of MURO AMI:
THE MAKING without securing first a valid permit. The
penalty of suspension was issued pursuant to MTRCBs
Memorandum Circular 98-17, issued on December
15, 1998 and which provided for penalties for
exhibiting program without a valid permit from the
MTRCB. The GMA Network moved for reconsideration
and likewise sent the Board with a letter-protest. Both
such motion and letter-protest were denied by the
MTRCB.

The only exemptions from the MTRCBs power


of review are those expressly mentioned in
Section 7,[6] such as (1) television programs
imprinted or exhibited by the Philippine
Government and/or departments and agencies,
and (2) newsreels.

Aggrieved, the petitioner sought relief from the Court of


Appeals. The appellate court, however, affirmed in toto
the decision of the MTRCB and dismissed the GMA
Networks petition. According to the Court of Appeals,
the program subject of the present dispute is a
publicity program for the movie MURO AMI. Rebutting
such finding, the GMA network avers that the subject
program is a public affairs program.

In this case, the Supreme Court adopted the


finding that the subject program was a publicity
program for the movie Muro Ami.
Furthermore, the Honorable Court held that
GMA Networks assertion that the subject
program is a public affairs program did not
make any difference. The Court has already
ruled that public affairs programs1 are within
the purview of MTRCBs power of review.

Hence, petitioner elevated the case to the Supreme


Court.

ISSUE

(2) None. The Order of Suspension issued by the


MTRCB is null and void for such order was not
published or filed with the Office of the National
Administrative Registrar of the University of
the Philippines College of Law.

(1) Whether or not the MTRCB has the power or


authority to review the show Muro Ami: The
Making;
(2) Whether or not the Order of Suspension
issued by MTRCB is enforceable against the
petitioner.

Section 3 of the Administrative Code of 1987


provides that each agency is REQUIRED to file
with the Office of the National Administrative
Register (ONAR) of the University of the
Philippines Law Center three certified copies of
every rule adopted by it. Administrative
issuances which are not published or filed

HELD
(1) Yes. The MTRCB is empowered under the law
to screen, review, and examine ALL motion
pictures, television programs, including
publicity materials.

As described in this case, such are programs that are described as a


variety of news treatment; a cross between pure television news and
news-related commentaries, analysis and/or exchange of opinions.

CASE DIGESTS AND NOTES | BY: TINA SIUAGAN

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW REQUIREMENTS FOR ENFORCEMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE


ISSUANCES
with the ONAR are ineffective and may not
be enforced. [Emphases mine.]
Since the assailed Memorandum Circular has
not yet been filed in ONAR as of the date when
the dispute in this case arose, the same has yet
to be effective. Consequently, GMA Network
may not be bound by said circular and the latter
cannot be meted out with the sanctions
provided therein. It may not be binding upon
GMA.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is PARTIALLY
GRANTED. The decision of the Court of Appeals dated
June 18, 2001, insofar as it affirmed the public
respondent Movie and Television Review and
Classification Boards jurisdiction over Muro Ami: The
Making,
is
hereby
AFFIRMED
with
the
MODIFICATION that the suspension order issued
against petitioner GMA Network, Inc. pursuant to
Memorandum Circular No. 98-17 is hereby declared null
and void.
No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.

CASE DIGESTS AND NOTES | BY: TINA SIUAGAN

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW REQUIREMENTS FOR ENFORCEMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE


ISSUANCES
LORENZO M. TANADA, ABRAHAM F. SARMIENTO,
and
MOVEMENT
OF
ATTORNEYS
FOR
BROTHERHOOD, INTEGRITY, AND NATIONALISM,
INC. (MABINI) vs. HON. JUAN C. TUVERA, in his
capacity as Executive Assistant to the President,
HON. JOAQUIN VENUS, in his capacity as Deputy
Executive Assistant to the President, MELQUIADES P.
DE LA CRUZ, ETC., ET. AL.

when necessary, does not require that the same be


made in the Official Gazette.

FACTS

HELD

In April 1985, the Honorable Supreme Court ordered


respondents HON. JUAN C. TUVERA, Hon. JOAQUIN
VENUS, Melquiades Dela Cruz et.al. to publish in the
Official Gazette all unpublished presidential issuances
which are of general application, and unless so
published, they shall have no binding force and effect.2

The Supreme Court in this case explained that laws


should refer to all laws and not only to those of general
application. This is so because, strictly speaking, all laws
relate to the people IN GENERAL albeit there are some,
which do not apply to them directly.

ISSUE
What acts or statues are contemplated in the term
laws under Article 2 of the Civil Code?

The Court further opined:


In the aforesaid case, the government, speaking through
the Solicitor general, contend that the publication in the
Official Gazette is not a condition sin qua non
requirement for the effectivity of laws, where the laws
themselves provide for their own effectivity dates. In
addition, the Supreme Court in said case interpreted the
provision of ARTICLE 2 of the Civil Code in resolving the
issues therein:
ART. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following
the completion of their publication in the Official
Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. This Code shall
take effect one year after such publication.
In the present case, the same petitioners filed a motion
for reconsideration/clarification, seeking clarification of
the following matters, among others, from the Supreme
Court:
(1) What is meant by law of public nature or
general applicability;
(2) Must a distinction be made between laws of
general applicability and laws which are not;
Meanwhile, the Solicitor General maintains that the
clause unless it is otherwise provided in Article 2 of
the Civil Code meant that the publication required
therein was not always imperative; that publication,
2

Dispositive portion of the decision of the Honorable Supreme Court in


GR NO. L-63915, dated April 24, 1985.

We hold therefore that all statutes, including those of


local application and private laws, shall be published as
a condition for their effectivity, which shall begin fifteen
days after publication unless a different effectivity date
is fixed by the legislature.
Covered by this rule are presidential decrees and
executive orders promulgated by the President in the
exercise of legislative powers whenever the same are
validly delegated by the legislature or, at present,
directly conferred by the Constitution. Administrative
rules and regulations must a also be published if
their purpose is to enforce or implement existing law
pursuant also to a valid delegation.
Interpretative regulations and those merely internal
in nature, that is, regulating only the personnel of the
administrative agency and not the public, need not be
published. Neither is publication required of the socalled letters of instructions issued by administrative
superiors concerning the rules or guidelines to be
followed by their subordinates in the performance of
their duties.
Accordingly, even the charter of a city must be
published notwithstanding that it applies to only a
portion of the national territory and directly affects only
the inhabitants of that place. All presidential decrees
must be published, including even, say, those naming a

CASE DIGESTS AND NOTES | BY: TINA SIUAGAN

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW REQUIREMENTS FOR ENFORCEMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE


ISSUANCES
public place after a favored individual or exempting him
from certain prohibitions or requirements. The circulars
issued by the Monetary Board must be published if they
are meant not merely to interpret but to "fill in the
details" of the Central Bank Act which that body is
supposed to enforce.3
However, no publication is required of the instructions
issued by, say, the Minister of Social Welfare on the case
studies to be made in petitions for adoption or the rules
laid down by the head of a government agency on the
assignments or workload of his personnel or the
wearing of office uniforms.
Parenthetically, municipal ordinances are not covered
by this rule but by the Local Government Code.

WHEREFORE, it is hereby declared that all laws as


above defined shall immediately upon their approval, or
as soon thereafter as possible, be published in full in the
Official Gazette, to become effective only after fifteen
days from their publication, or on another date specified
by the legislature, in accordance with Article 2 of the
Civil Code.
SO ORDERED.

It may be implied from this statement that administrative rules and


regulations that are merely interpretative does not require publication
in the Official Gazette.

CASE DIGESTS AND NOTES | BY: TINA SIUAGAN