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USAFFE Veterans Assocn vs Treasurer (105 Phil 1030)

Facts: In 1954, the USAFFE Veterans Association Inc. prayed in its complaint before the CFI that the
Romulo-Snyder Agreement be annulled, that the payments thereunder made be declared illegal and that
the defendants be restrained from disbursing any funds in from the treasury pursuant to the said
agreement.
In 1941, foreseeing the War in the Pacific, Roosevelt called into service the Armed Forces of the US and
organized the military forces of the Philippine Commonwealth. For the expenses to such incorporation,
the Congress of the US provided funds in its Appropriation Act of December 17, 1941. After the war, of
the millions transferred, there remained unexpended and uncommitted funds in possession of the
Philippine Armed Forces. The Philippine Government, badly needing funds for its activities, proposed the
retainment of the fund as loan and its subsequent repayment in ten annual installments. Hence, the
agreement in question.
Issues:
(1) Whether the money delivered to the Armed Forces of the Philippine Islands were straight payments
for military services and hence, ownership is vested to the Philippine Government upon delivery.
The Congressional Act of December 17, 1941 expressly stated shall be available for the payment to the
Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines upon its written request, either in advance of or in
reimbursement for all or any part of the estimated or actual cost. Regarding the funds as advanced means
that it is to be subsequently accounted for which means submissions of expenditures and if approved,
return of balance. Hence, there is the obligation to return of the unexpended funds.
(2) Whether the Romula-Snyder Agreement is valid absent ratification of the Congress
The agreement is not a "treaty" as the term used in the constitution. The agreement was never submitted
to the Senate for concurrence. The distinction between "executive agreements" and "treaties" is purely a
constitutional one and has no international legal significance.
Executive agreement fall into two classes: (1) agreements made purely as executive acts affecting external
relations and independent of or without legislative authorization, and (2) agreements entered into in
pursuant of acts of Congress. The Romula-Snyder agreement fall under any of these two classes.
Precisely, on September 18, 1946, the Congress specifically authorized the President to obtain such loans
with the US. Assuming that there was no legislative authorization, the agreement was legally entered into
to conform with the first category which does not need the ratification of the Senate.
Resolution:
Petition denied.