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On April 15, 1994, respondent Navarro, Secretary of Department of Trade and Industry and
a representative of the Philippine government, signed in the Final Act Embodying the Results of
the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Negotiations. Bys signing the Final Act, the Philippines agreed
to submit the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization that require the Philippines,
among others, to place nationals and products of member-countries on the same footing as
Filipinos and local products. To that effect, the President ratified and submitted the same to the
Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section21, Article VII of the Constitution. Hence the
petitioner assailed the WTO Agreement for violating the mandate of the 1987 Constitution to
develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos . . .
(to) give preference to qualified Filipinos (and to) promote the preferential use of Filipino labor,
domestic materials and locally produced goods.
Whether the provisions of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization
contravene the provisions of Sec. 19, Art. II, and Secs. 10 and 12, Art. XII, all of the 1987
Philippines Constitution.
The court ruled the petition in favor of the respondents. Article II of the Constitution is a
"declaration of principles and state policies." These principles in Article II are not intended to be
self-executing principles ready for enforcement through the courts. They are used by the
judiciary as aids or as guides in the exercise of its power of judicial review, and by the legislature
in its enactment of laws.
The provisions of Sec. 10 and 12, Article XII of the Constitution, general principles relating
to the national economy and patrimony, is enforceable only in regard to the grants or rights,
privileges and concessions covering national economy and patrimony and not to every aspect of
trade and commerce. While the Constitution mandates a bias in favor of Filipino goods, services,
labor and enterprises, at the same time, it recognizes the need for business exchange with the
rest of the world on the bases of equality and reciprocity and limits protection of Filipino
enterprises only against foreign competition and trade practices that are unfair. In other words,
the Constitution did not intend to pursue an isolationist policy.
On the other hand, there is no basis on the contention that under WTO, local industries will
all be wiped out and that Filipino will be deprived of control of the economy, in fact, WTO
recognizes need to protect weak economies like the Philippines.