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ART 2.

WHEN LAW TAKES EFFECT


TAADA VS. TUVERA
FACTS: Petitioners seek a writ of mandamus to
compel respondent public officials to publish,
and/or cause the publication in the Official
Gazette of various presidential decrees, letters
of instructions, general orders, proclamations,
executive orders, letters of implementation and
administrative orders.
Respondents, through the Solicitor General
would have this case dismissed outright on the
ground that petitioners have no legal
personality or standing to bring the instant
petition. The view is submitted that in the
absence of any showing that the petitioner are
personally and directly affected or prejudiced
by the alleged non-publication of the
presidential issuances in question.
Respondent further contend that publication in
the Official Gazette is not a sine qua non
requirement for the effectivity of the law where
the law themselves provides for their own
effectivity dates.
Petitioners Contention:
Petitioners maintain that since the subject of
the petition concerns a public right and its
object is to compel the performance of a public
duty, they need not show any specific interest
for their petition to be given due course.
Respondents further contend that publication
in the Official Gazette is not a sine qua non
requirement for the effectivity of laws where
the laws themselves provide for their own
effectivity dates.
Respondents Contention:
Respondent contends that petitioners have no
legal personality or standing to bring the
instant petition. The view is submitted that in
the absence of any showing that the petitioner
are personally and directly affected or
prejudiced by the alleged non-publication of
the presidential issuances in question.
Respondent further contend that publication in
the Official Gazette is not a sine qua non
requirement for the effectivity of the law where

the law themselves provides for their own


effectivity dates.
ISSUES: Whether the presidential decrees in
question which contain special provisions as to
the date they are to take effect, publication in
the Official Gazette is not indispensable for
their effectivity?
RULING:
Publication in the Official Gazette is necessary
in those cases where the legislation itself does
not provide for its effectivity date, for then the
date of publication is material for determining
its date of effectivity, which is the 15th day
following its publication, but not when the law
itself provides for the date when it goes into
effect.
Article 2 does not preclude the requirement of
publication in the Official Gazette, even if the
law itself provides for the date of its effectivity.
The publication of all presidential issuances of
a public nature or of general applicability is
mandated by law. Obviously, presidential
decrees that provide for fines, forfeitures or
penalties for their violation or otherwise
impose burdens on the people, such as tax
revenue measures, fall within this category.
Other presidential issuances which apply only
to particular persons or class of persons such
as administrative and executive orders need
not be published on the assumption that they
have been circularized to all concern.
The Court therefore declares that presidential
issuances of general application, which have
not been published, shall have no force and
effect.

G.R. No. 179579 February 1, 2012


COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS and the DISTRICT
COLLECTOR OF THE PORT OF SUBIC,
Petitioners,
vs.
HYPERMIX FEEDS CORPORATION, Respondent.

Ratio: Petition for Review under Rule 45,


assailing the Decision and the Resolution of the
Court of Appeals (CA), which nullified the
Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 272003 on the tariff classification of wheat issued
by petitioner Commissioner of Customs.

Facts of the case:


On 7 November 2003, petitioner Commissioner
of Customs issued CMO 27-2003. Under the
Memorandum, for tariff purposes, wheat was
classified according to the following: (1)
importer or consignee; (2) country of origin;
and (3) port of discharge.5 The regulation
provided an exclusive list of corporations, ports
of discharge, commodity descriptions and
countries of origin. Depending on these factors,
wheat would be classified either as food grade
or feed grade. The corresponding tariff for food
grade wheat was 3%, for feed grade, 7%.
CMO 27-2003 further provided for the proper
procedure for protest or Valuation and
Classification Review Committee (VCRC) cases.
Under this procedure, the release of the
articles that were the subject of protest
required the importer to post a cash bond to
cover the tariff differential.6
A month after the issuance of CMO 27-2003, on
19 December 2003, respondent filed a Petition
for Declaratory Relief7 with the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Las Pias City. It anticipated the
implementation of the regulation on its
imported and perishable Chinese milling wheat
in transit from China.8 Respondent contended
that CMO 27-2003 was issued without following
the mandate of the Revised Administrative
Code on public participation, prior notice, and
publication or registration with the University
of the Philippines Law Center.
Petitioners Contention:
Petitioners alleged that: (1) the RTC did not
have jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
case, because respondent was asking for a
judicial determination of the classification of
wheat; (2) an action for declaratory relief was
improper; (3) CMO 27-2003 was an internal
administrative rule and not legislative in
nature; and (4) the claims of respondent were

speculative and premature, because the


Bureau of Customs (BOC) had yet to examine
respondents products. They likewise opposed
the application for a writ of preliminary
injunction on the ground that they had not
inflicted any injury through the issuance of the
regulation; and that the action would be
contrary to the rule that administrative
issuances are assumed valid until declared
otherwise.

Respondents Contention:
It contended that CMO 27-2003 was issued
without following the mandate of the Revised
Administrative Code on public participation,
prior notice, and publication or registration with
the University of the Philippines Law Center.
Respondent also alleged that the regulation
summarily adjudged it to be a feed grade
supplier
without
the
benefit
of
prior
assessment and examination; thus, despite
having imported food grade wheat, it would be
subjected to the 7% tariff upon the arrival of
the shipment, forcing them to pay 133% more
than was proper.
Issue: Whether or Not the determination of
whether a specific rule or set of rules issued by
an administrative agency contravenes the law
or the constitution is within the jurisdiction of
the regular courts?
Ruling of the Court: The Court upheld that
petitioners violated respondents right to due
process in the issuance of CMO 27-2003 when
they failed to observe the requirements under
the Revised Administrative Code. Petitioners
likewise violated respondents right to equal
protection of laws when they provided for an
unreasonable classification in the application of
the regulation. Finally, petitioner Commissioner
of Customs went beyond his powers of
delegated authority when the regulation
limited the powers of the customs officer to
examine and assess imported articles.Petition
is DENIED.
It is well-settled that rules and regulations,
which are the product of a delegated power to
create new and additional legal provisions that
have the effect of law,

should be within the scope of the statutory


authority granted by the legislature to the
administrative agency.

Customs and the District Collector of the Port


of Subic vs. Hypermix Feeds Corporation, G.R.
No. 179579, February 1, 2012)

Petitioner issued Customs Memorandum Order


(CMO) No. 27-2003 prescribing guidelines, for
tariff purposes, in the applicable to importation
of wheat. Respondent filed a Petition for
Declaratory Relief with the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Las Pinas City. Petitioner filed a Motion
to Dismiss and alleged that the RTC did not
have jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
case because respondent was asking for a
judicial determination of the classification of
wheat, thus, action for declaratory relief is
improper. The Supreme Court held that the
determination of whether a specific rule or set
of rules issued by an administrative agency
contravenes the law or the constitution is
within the jurisdiction of the regular courts.
Indeed, the Constitution vests the power of
judicial review or the power to declare a law,
treaty, international or executive agreement,
presidential
decree,
order,
instruction,
ordinance, or regulation in the courts, including
the regional trial courts. This is within the
scope of judicial power, which includes the
authority of the courts to determine the validity
of the acts of the political departments.

Tariff
and
Customs
Code;
Revised
Administrative Code Customs Memorandum
Order No. 27-2003. Customs Memorandum
Order No. 27-2003 (CMO 23-2007) is invalid.
The Commissioner of Customs (1) violated the
right to due process in the issuance of CMO

Also, Section 1403 of the Tariff and customs


law mandates that the customs officer must
first assess and determine the classification of
the imported article before tariff may be
imposed. Unfortunately, CMO 23-2007 has
already classified the article even before the
customs officer had the chance to examine it.
In effect, petitioner Commissioner of Customs
diminished the powers granted by the Tariff
and Customs Code with regard to wheat
importation when it no longer required the
customs officers prior examination and
assessment of the proper classification of the
wheat. It is well-settled that rules and
regulations, which are the product of a
delegated power to create new and additional
legal provisions that have the effect of law,
should be within the scope of the statutory
authority granted by the legislature to the
administrative agency. It is required that the
regulation be germane to the objects and
purposes of the law; and that it be not in
contradiction to, but in conformity with, the
standards prescribed by law. (Commissioner of

27-2003 when he failed to observe the


requirements under the Revised Administrative
Code, (2) violated the right to equal protection
of laws when he provided for an unreasonable
classification in the application of the
regulation, and (3) went beyond his powers of
delegated authority when the regulation
limited the powers of the customs officer to
examine and assess imported articles. CMO 272003 was issued without following the mandate
of the Revised Administrative Code on public
participation, prior notice, and publication or
registration with the University of the
Philippines Law Center. For tariff purposes,
CMO 27-2003 classified wheat according to the
following: (1) importer or consignee; (2)
country of origin; and (3) port of discharge.
This is a violation of the equal protection clause
under the Constitution. The Court does not see
how the quality of wheat is affected by who
imports it, where it is discharged, or which
country it came from. Thus, on the one hand,
even if other millers excluded from CMO 272003 have imported food grade wheat, the
product would still be declared as feed grade
wheat, a classification subjecting them to 7%
tariff. On the other hand, even if the importers
listed under CMO 27-2003 have imported feed
grade wheat, they would only be made to pay
3% tariff, thus depriving the state of the taxes
due. The regulation, therefore, does not
become disadvantageous to respondent only,
but even to the state. Section 1403 of the Tariff
and Customs Law, as amended mandates that
the customs officer must first assess and
determine the classification of the imported
article before tariff may be imposed.
Unfortunately, CMO 23-2007 has already
classified the article even before the customs
officer had the chance to examine it. Finally,
Commissioner of Customs diminished the
powers granted by the Tariff and Customs Code
with regard to wheat importation when it no

longer required the customs officers prior


examination and assessment of the proper
classification of the wheat. Commissioner of
Customs vs. Hypermix Feeds Corporation, G.R.
No. 179579, February 1, 2012.

ART.3 Ignorance of the Law


Kasilag v Rodriguez

assessment of P72,948.87 on the basis of the


second return, but was protested by the
Agrava, Lucero and Gineta Law Office. At the
same time, the Commissioner, filed in the
probate proceedings a motion for the
allowance of the basic estate tax of P96,509.35
that had long been final and executory. On
1981, petitioner filed a petition for review with
the Court of Tax Appeals challenging the
second assessment. The protested assessment
was cancelled in a letter to the decedent's
estate in 1982 and CTA was notified in a
motion to dismiss on the ground that protest
had become moot and academic. The motion
was granted and petition dismissed on 1984.
ISSUES:
Whether or not the respondent Court of Tax
Appeals erred in dismissing the petitioner's
appeal on grounds of jurisdiction and lack of a
cause of action?

Ildefonso O. Elegado vs. Court of Tax Appeals


and Commissioner of Internal Revenue
G.R. No. L-68385, 12 May 1989, First Division
(Cruz, J)
FACTS:
On March 14, 1976, Warren Taylor Graham, an
American national formerly resident in the
Philippines, died in Oregon USA. His son Ward
Graham filed an estate tax return on
September 19, 1976 with the Philippine
Revenue Representative in San Francisco USA,
for the deceased shares of stocks in the
Philippines. On February 9, 1978, the
Commissioner of Internal Revenue assessed
the return in the amount of P96,509.35,
protested by the law firm of Bump, Young and
Walker on behalf of the estate but was denied
by the Commissioner. No further action was
taken by the estate in pursuit of the protest.
In 1977, Ward Graham, the designated
executor,
appointed
petitioner
Ildefonso
Elegado as the attorney-in-fact for the
allowance of the will in the Philippines. The will
was allowed in 1978 after probate proceedings
in the Court of First Instance of Rizal, after
which, petitioner filed a second estate tax
return with the Bureau of Internal Revenue in
1980.
The
Commissioner
imposed
an

HELD:
No. The finality of the first assessment
deprived the petitioner cause of action to
appeal for the second assessment. The CTA
indeed has no jurisdiction to act on the
petitioner's appeal from an assessment that
had already been cancelled because of the
finality of the first assessment. Since the
assessment
no
longer
controversial
or
reviewable, the respondent court has no
justification to rule on the petition except to
dismiss it.
RATIO DECIDENDI:
The first assessment is final and executory,
after the protest was denied by the CTA and no
further action was taken by the estate in
pursuit of the protest within the reglementary
period of 30 days after receipt of notice of
denial. The law firm that lodged the protest
appears to have accepted its denial evidenced
and acknowledged by validity and finality of
the first assessment evidence by the letter of
the estate of Warren Taylor Graham in forming
that said liability has been paid although no
payment had not yet been received.

the unpaid billing and to recover various


damages.
Meanwhile, the sheriff served notices of
garnishment on the UP's depository banks,
namely: Land Bank of the Philippines (Buendia
Branch) and the Development Bank of the
Philippines (Commonwealth Branch). The UP
assailed said garnishment of funds. Stern
Builders and dela Cruz, meanwhile, again
sought the release of the garnished funds.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the funds of UP are subject to
garnishment
HELD:

ART.4 Retroactive effect


University of the Philippines (UP) v. Agustin
Dizon
GR No. 171182, 23 August 2012, First Division
(Bersamin, J.)
FACTS:
The UP entered into a General Construction
Agreement with respondent Stern Builders
Corporation
(Stern
Builders)
for
the
construction of the extension building and the
renovation of the College of Arts and Sciences
Building in the campus of the UP in Los Banos
(UPLB). In the course of the implementation of
the contract, Stern Builders submitted 3
progress billings corresponding to the work
accomplished, but the UP paid only two of the
billings. The third billing was not paid due to its
disallowance by the Commission on Audit
(COA). Despite the lifting of the disallowance,
the UP failed to pay the billing, prompting Stern
Builders to sue the UP and officials to collect

Despite its establishment as a body corporate,


the UP remains to be a "chartered institution"
performing a legitimate government function.
The UP is a government instrumentality,
performing the State's constitutional mandate
of promoting quality and accessible education.
As a government instrumentality, the UP
administers special funds sourced from the
fees and income enumerated under Act No.
1870 and Section 1 of Executive Order No. 714
and from the yearly appropriations, to achieve
the purposes laid down by Section 2 of Act
1870, as expanded in Republic Act No. 9500.
All funds going into the possession of the UP,
including any interest accruing from the
deposit of such funds in any banking
institution, constitute a "special trust fund", the
disbursement of which should always be
aligned with the UP's mission and purpose, and
should always be subject to auditing by the
COA.
The funds of the UP are government funds that
are public in character. They include the
income accruing from the use of real property
ceded to the UP that may be spend only for the
attainment of its institutional objectives.
Hence, the funds subject of this action could
not be validly made the subject of writ of
execution or garnishment. The adverse
judgment rendered against the UP in a suit to
which it had impliedly consented was not
immediately enforceable by execution against
the UP, because suability of the State did not
necessarily mean its liability.

****

as they alighted from the van. Several initiation


rites were experienced by the neophytes like
the Indian run, Bicol express and rounds. They
were asked to recite provisions and principles
of the fraternity and were hit everytime they
made a mistake.
Accused fraternity members, Dizon and
Villareal, asked the head of the initiation rites
(Victorino) to reopen the initiation. Fraternity
members subjected neophytes to paddling and
additional hours of physical pain. After the last
session of beatings, Lenny Villa could not walk.
Later that night, he was feeling cold and his
condition worsened. He was brought to the
hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
Criminal case was filed against 26 fraternity
members and was subsequently found guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
homicide
and
penalized
with
reclusion
perpetua.
On January 10 2002, CA modified the criminal
liability of each of the accused according to
individual participation. 19 of the the accused
were acquitted, 4 of the appellants were found
guilty of slight physical injuries, and 2 of the
accused-appellants (Dizon and Villareal) were
found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of homicide.

ART.6 Waiver of Rights


Facts:
Seven Freshmen Law students of Ateneo de
Manila University School of Law have been
initiated by the Aquila Legis Juris Fraternity on
February 1991. The initiation rites started when
the neophytes were met by some members of
the mentioned fraternity at the lobby of the
Ateneo Law School. They were consequently
brought to a house and briefed on what will be
happening during the days when they will be
initiated. They were informed that there will be
physical beatings and that the neophytes can
quit anytime they want. They were brought to
another house to commence their initiation.
The neophytes were insulted and threatened
even before they got off the van. Members of
the fraternity delivered blows to the neophytes

Accused Villareal petitioned for review on


Certriori under Rue 45 on the grounds that the
CA made 2 reversible errors: first, denial of due
process and second, conviction absent proof
beyond reasonable doubt. Consequently,
petitioner Villareal died on 13 March 2011 and
filed a Notice of Death of Party on 10 August
2011.
Issues:
WON Criminal liability for personal penalties of
the accused is extinguished by death
WON There is an invalid waiver
WON Acquittal of Escalona, Ramos, Saruca, and
Adriano is valid
WON Accused fraternity members are guilty of
intentional homicide
Held:

Extinguishment of Criminal Liabilities


Yes, criminal liability of the accused, Artemio
Villareal, is extinguished by death. The Court
took note of counsel for petitioners Notice of
Death when it has been received while the
petition was pending resolution. Personal
penalties refer to the service of personal or
imprisonment
penalties,
while
pecuniary
penalties refer to fines, costs, civil liability.
Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code states that
the criminal liability of a convict for personal
penalties is totally extinguished by death of the
convict. His pecuniary penalty has been
extinguished since the death of the accused
happened before his final judgment. Therefore,
the death of the petitioner for both personal
and pecuniary penalties including his civil
liability has ended. His petition has also been
dismissed and the criminal case against him
has been closed and terminated.
Invalid Waiver
In an Order dated July 28, 1993, the trial court
set dates for the reception evidence for
accused, Boyet Dizon, on the 8th, 15th, and
22nd of September; and the 5th and 12th of
October 1993. The Order likewise stated that
it will not entertain any postponement and
that all the accused who have not yet
presented the respective evidence should be
ready at all times down the line, with their
evidence on all said dates. Failure on their part
to present evidence when required shall
therefore be construed as waiver to present
evidence. Pursuant to that order, the trial
court expected Dizon to present evidence on
the next trial dateAugust 25, 1993instead
of his originally assigned dates. Dizons counsel
was not able to present evidence on the
accelerated date. Consequently, the trial court
ruled that the failure of Dizon to present
evidence amounted to a waiver of that right.
Dizon thus argues that he was deprived of due
process of law when the trial court forfeited his
right to present evidence.
Applying
the
ruling
in
Crisostomo
v.
Sandiganbayan, Dizons failure to present
evidence on the accelerated date only waives
his right to present for trial on such date only
and not for the succeeding trial dates.
Stripping the accused of all of his pre-assigned

trail dates constitutes a patent denial of the


constitutionally guaranteed right to due
process. However, and invalid waiver does not
per se work to vacate a finding of guilt in the
criminal case or to enforce an automatic
remand of the case to the trial court. As held in
People v. Bodoso, where face have adequately
been represented in a criminal case, and no
procedural unfairness or irregularity has
prejudiced either the prosecution or the
defense as a result of the invalid waiver, a rule
is that a guilty verdict may nevertheless be
upheld if the judgment is supported beyond
reasonable doubt by the evidence on record.
Acquittal
Accused Escalon, Ramos, Saruca, and Adriano
were acquitted in the ground of the violation of
their right to a speedy trial enshrined in
Section 14(2) and 16, Article III of the 1987
Constitution. The right is deemed violated
when the proceeding is attended by unjustified
postponements, or when a long period of time
is allowed to elapse without the case being
tried and for no cause and or justifiable motive.
The unexplained interval or inactivity of the
Sandiganbayan for close to five years since the
arraignment of the accused amounts to an
unreasonable delay in the disposition of cases
a clear violation of the right of the accused to
a speedy disposition of cases.
Homicide
Accused fraternity members lacked the
requisite criminal intent to be found guilty of
intentional homicide, however the absence of
malicious intent does not automatically mean
that they are devoid of any criminal liability.
The Revised Penal Code also punishes felonies
that are committed by means of culpa (fault).
Reckless imprudence or negligence consists of
a voluntary act done, without malice, from
which an immediate personal harm, injury or
material damage results by reason of an
inexcusable lack of precaution or advertence
on the part of the person committing it. There
was patent recklessness in the hazing of Lenny
Villa. The collective acts of the fraternity
members were tantamount to recklessness,
which made the resulting death of Lenny a

culpable felony. Organizations owe to their


initiates a duty of care not to cause them injury
in the process
With the foregoing facts, we rule that the
accused are guilty of reckless imprudence
result in homicide, criminal responsibility
rebounds to all those who directly participated
in and contributed to the infliction of physical
injuries.

Matias V. Defensor, an ex officio member of the


JBC, addressed a letter to the JBC, requesting
that the process for nominations to the office of
the Chief Justice be commenced immediately.
In its January 18, 2010 meeting en banc, the
JBC passed a resolution which stated that they
have unanimously agreed to start the process
of filling up the position of Chief Justice to be
vacated on May 17, 2010 upon the retirement
of the incumbent Chief Justice. As a result, the
JBC opened the position of Chief Justice for
application or recommendation, and published
for that purpose its announcement in the
Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star.
In its meeting of February 8, 2010, the JBC
resolved to proceed to the next step of
announcing the names of the following
candidates to invite to the public to file their
sworn complaint, written report, or opposition,
if any, not later than February 22, 2010.
Although it has already begun the process for
the filling of the position of Chief Justice Puno
in accordance with its rules, the JBC is not yet
decided on when to submit to the President its
list of nominees for the position due to the
controversy in this case being unresolved. The
compiled cases which led to this case and the
petitions of intervenors called for either the
prohibition of the JBC to pass the shortlist,
mandamus for the JBC to pass the shortlist, or
that the act of appointing the next Chief Justice
by GMA is a midnight appointment. A
precedent frequently cited by the parties is the
In Re Appointments Dated March 30, 1998 of
Hon. Mateo A. Valenzuela and Hon. Placido B.
Vallarta as Judges of the RTC of Branch 62,
Bago City and of Branch 24, Cabanatuan City,
respectively, shortly referred to here as the
Valenzuela case, by which the Court held that
Section 15, Article VII prohibited the exercise
by the President of the power to appoint to
judicial positions during the period therein
fixed.
Issues:

ART. 8 Stare Decisis

WON Petitioners have locus standi

Facts: This case is based on multiple cases


field with dealt with the controversy that has
arisen from the forthcoming compulsory
requirement of Chief Justice Puno on May 17,
2010 or seven days after the presidential
election. On December 22, 2009, Congressman

WON There is a justiciable controversy ripe for


judicial determination
WON Section 15, Article VII
appointments to the Judiciary

applies

to

WON mandamus and prohibition will lie to


compel the submission of the shortlist of
nominees by the JBC?
Held:
Petitioners standing
As indicated in Agan, Jr. v. Philippine
International
Air
Terminals
Co.,
Inc:
Accordingly, it has been held that the interest
of a person assailing the constitutionality of a
statute must be direct and personal. He must
be able to show, not only that the law or any
government act is invalid, but also that he
sustained or is in imminent danger of
sustaining some direct injury as a result of its
enforcement, and not merely that he suffers
thereby in some indefinite way. Even as early
as in 1937, in People v. Vera, the Court adopted
the direct injury test for determining whether a
petitioner in a public action had locus standi.
There, the Court held that the person who
would assail 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. Vera was followed in
Custodio v. President of the Senate, Manila
Race Horse Trainers Association v. De la
Fuente, Anti-Chinese League of the Philippines
v. Felix, and Pascual v. Secretary of Public
Works. Yet, the Court has also held that the
requirement of locus standi, being a mere
procedural technicality, can be waived by the
Court in the exercise of its discretion. For
instance, in 1949, in Araneta v. Dinglasan, the
Court liberalized the approach when the cases
had transcendental importance.
Petitioners De Castro (G.R. No. 191002),
Soriano (G.R. No. 191032) and Peralta (G.R. No.
191149) all assert their right as citizens filing
their petitions on behalf of the public who are
directly affected by the issue of the
appointment of the next Chief Justice. De
Castro and Soriano further claim standing as
taxpayers, with Soriano averring that he is
affected by the continuing proceedings in the
JBC, which involve unnecessary, if not, illegal
disbursement of public funds.
PHILCONSA alleges itself to be a non-stock,
non-profit organization existing under the law
for the purpose of defending, protecting, and

preserving the Constitution and promoting its


growth and flowering. It also alleges that the
Court has recognized its legal standing to file
cases on constitutional issues in several cases.
In A.M. No. 10-2-5-SC, Mendoza states that he
is a citizen of the Philippines, a member of the
Philippine Bar engaged in the active practice of
law, and a former Solicitor General, former
Minister of Justice, former Member of the
Interim Batasang Pambansa and the Regular
Batasang Pambansa, and former member of
the Faculty of the College of Law of the
University of the Philippines.
The petitioners in G.R. No. 191342 are the
Governors of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines (IBP) for Southern Luzon and
Eastern Visayas. They allege that they have the
legal standing to enjoin the
submission of the list of nominees by the JBC to
the President, for an adjudication of the
proper interpretation and application of the
constitutional ban on midnight appointments
with regard to respondent JBCs function in
submitting the list of nominees is well within
the concern of petitioners, who are duty bound
to ensure that obedience and respect for the
Constitution is upheld, most especially by
government offices, such as respondent JBC,
who are specifically tasked to perform crucial
functions in the whole scheme of our
democratic institution. They further allege
that, reposed in them as members of the Bar,
is a clear legal interest in the process of
selecting the members of the Supreme Court,
and in the selection of the Chief Justice,
considering
that
the
person
appointed
becomes a member of the body that has
constitutional supervision and authority over
them and other members of the legal
profession.
In any event, the Court retains the broad
discretion to waive the requirement of legal
standing in favor of any petitioner when the
matter
involved
has
transcendental
importance,
or
otherwise
requires
a
liberalization of the requirement.
Justciability

We hold that the petitions set forth an actual


case or controversy that is ripe for judicial
determination. The reality is that the JBC
already commenced the proceedings for the
selection of the nominees to be included in a
short list to be submitted to the President for
consideration of which of them will succeed
Chief Justice Puno as the next Chief Justice.
Although the position is not yet vacant, the fact
that the JBC began the process of nomination
pursuant to its rules and practices, although it
has yet to decide whether to submit the list of
nominees to the incumbent outgoing President
or to the next President, makes the situation
ripe for judicial determination.
The ripeness of the controversy for judicial
determination may not be doubted. The
challenges to the authority of the JBC to open
the process of nomination and to continue the
process until the submission of the list of
nominees; the insistence of some of the
petitioners to compel the JBC through
mandamus to submit the short list to the
incumbent President; the counter-insistence of
the intervenors to prohibit the JBC from
submitting the short list to the incumbent
President on the ground that said list should be
submitted instead to the next President; the
strong position that the incumbent President is
already prohibited under Section 15, Article VII
from making any appointments, including
those to the Judiciary, starting on May 10, 2010
until June 30, 2010; and the contrary position
that the incumbent President is not so
prohibited are only some of the real issues for
determination. All such issues establish the
ripeness of the controversy, considering that
for some the short list must be submitted
before the vacancy actually occurs by May 17,
2010. The outcome will not be an abstraction,
or a merely hypothetical exercise. The
resolution of the controversy will surely settle
with finality the nagging questions that are
preventing the JBC from moving on with the
process that it already began, or that are
reasons persuading the JBC to desist from the
rest of the process.
Section 15, Article VII prohibition
Two constitutional provisions are seemingly in
conflict.

The first, Section 15, Article VII (Executive


Department), provides:
Section 15. Two months immediately before the
next presidential elections and up to the end of
his term, a President or Acting President shall
not make appointments, except temporary
appointments to executive positions when
continued vacancies therein will prejudice
public service or endanger public safety.
The other, Section 4 (1), Article VIII (Judicial
Department), states:
Section 4. (1). The Supreme Court shall be
composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen
Associate Justices. It may sit en banc or in its
discretion, in division of three, five, or seven
Members. Any vacancy shall be filled within
ninety days from the occurrence thereof.
In the consolidated petitions, the petitioners,
with the exception of Soriano, Tolentino and
Inting, submit that the incumbent President
can appoint the successor of Chief Justice Puno
upon his retirement on May 17, 2010, on the
ground that the prohibition against presidential
appointments under Section 15, Article VII does
not extend to appointments in the Judiciary.
The Court agrees with the submission.
First. The records of the deliberations of the
Constitutional Commission reveal that the
framers devoted time to meticulously drafting,
styling, and arranging the Constitution. Such
meticulousness indicates that the organization
and arrangement of the provisions of the
Constitution were not arbitrarily or whimsically
done by the framers, but purposely made to
reflect their intention and manifest their vision
of what the Constitution should contain. The
Constitution consists of 18 Articles, three of
which embody the allocation of the awesome
powers of government among the three great
departments, the Legislative (Article VI), the
Executive (Article VII), and the Judicial
Departments (Article VIII). The arrangement
was a true recognition of the principle of
separation of powers that underlies the
political structure
As can be seen, Article VII is devoted to the
Executive Department, and, among others, it
lists the powers vested by the Constitution in

the President. The presidential power of


appointment is dealt with in Sections 14, 15
and 16 of the Article. Had the framers intended
to extend the prohibition contained in Section
15, Article VII to the appointment of Members
of the Supreme Court, they could have
explicitly done so. They could not have ignored
the meticulous ordering of the provisions. They
would have easily and surely written the
prohibition made explicit in Section 15, Article
VII as being equally applicable to the
appointment of Members of the Supreme Court
in Article VIII itself, most likely in Section 4 (1),
Article VIII. Although Valenzuela came to hold
that the prohibition covered even judicial
appointments, it cannot be disputed that the
Valenzuela dictum did not firmly rest on the
deliberations of the Constitutional Commission.
Moreover, the usage in Section 4(1), Article VIII
of the word shall an imperative, operating to
impose a duty that may be enforced should
not be disregarded. Thereby, Sections 4(1)
imposes on the President the imperative duty
to make an appointment of a Member of the
Supreme Court within 90 days from the
occurrence of the vacancy. The failure by the
President to do so will be a clear disobedience
to the Constitution. The 90-day limitation fixed
in Section 4(1), Article VIII for the President to
fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court was
undoubtedly a special provision to establish a
definite mandate for the President as the
appointing power, and cannot be defeated by
mere judicial interpretation in Valenzuela to the
effect that Section 15, Article VII prevailed
because it was couched in stronger negative
language.
Second. Section 15, Article VII does not apply
as well to all other appointments in the
Judiciary. There is no question that one of the
reasons underlying the adoption of Section 15
as part of Article VII was to eliminate midnight
appointments from being made by an outgoing
Chief Executive. Given the background and
rationale for the prohibition in Section 15,
Article VII, we have no doubt that the
Constitutional
Commission
confined
the
prohibition to appointments made in the
Executive Department. The framers did not
need to extend the prohibition to appointments
in the Judiciary, because their establishment of
the JBC and their subjecting the nomination
and screening of candidates for judicial

positions to the unhurried and deliberate prior


process of the JBC ensured that there would no
longer be midnight appointments to the
Judiciary. Indeed, the
creation of the JBC was precisely intended to
de-politicize the Judiciary by doing away with
the intervention of the Commission on
Appointments
Third. As earlier stated, the non-applicability of
Section 15, Article VII to appointments in the
Judiciary was confirmed by then Senior
Associate Justice Regalado to the JBC itself
when it met on March 9, 1998 to discuss the
question raised by some sectors about the
constitutionality of xxx appointments to the
Court of Appeals in light of the forthcoming
presidential elections. He assured that on the
basis of the (Constitutional) Commissions
records, the election ban had no application to
appointments to the Court of Appeals. This
confirmation was accepted by the JBC, which
then
submitted
to
the
President
for
consideration the nominations for the eight
vacancies in the Court of Appeals.
The fault of Valenzuela was that it accorded no
weight and due consideration to the
confirmation of Justice Regalado. Valenzuela
was weak, because it relied on interpretation to
determine the intent of the framers rather than
on the deliberations of the Constitutional
Commission. Much of the unfounded doubt
about the Presidents power to appoint during
the period of prohibition in Section 15, Article
VII could have been dispelled since its
promulgation
on
November
9,
1998,
hadValenzuela properly acknowledged and
relied on the confirmation of a distinguished
member of the Constitutional Commission like
Justice Regalado.
Fourth. Of the 23 sections in Article VII, three
(i.e., Section 14, Section15, and Section 16)
concern the appointing powers of the
President. Section 14, Section 15, and Section
16 are obviously of the same character, in that
they affect the power of the President to
appoint. The fact that Section 14 and Section
16 refer only to appointments within the
Executive Department renders conclusive that
Section 15 also applies only to the Executive
Department. This conclusion is consistent with

the rule that every part of the statute must be


interpreted with reference to the context, i.e.
that every part must be considered together
with the other parts, and kept subservient to
the general intent of the whole enactment.
Fifth, to hold like the Court did in Valenzuela
that Section 15 extends to appointments to the
Judiciary further undermines the intent of the
Constitution of ensuring the independence of
the Judicial Department from the Executive and
Legislative Departments. Such a holding will tie
the Judiciary and the Supreme Court to the
fortunes or misfortunes of political leaders
vying for the Presidency in a presidential
election. Consequently, the wisdom of having
the new President, instead of the current
incumbent President, appoint the next Chief
Justice is itself suspect, and cannot ensure
judicial independence, because the appointee
can also become beholden to the appointing
authority. In contrast, the appointment by the
incumbent President does not run the
same
risk
of
compromising
judicial
independence, precisely because her term will
end by June 30, 2010.
Sixth. The argument has been raised to the
effect that there will be no need for the
incumbent President to appoint during the
prohibition period the successor of Chief Justice
Puno within the context of Section 4 (1), Article
VIII, because anyway there will still be about 45
days of the 90 days mandated in Section 4(1),
Article VIII remaining. The argument is flawed,
because it is focused only on the coming
vacancy occurring from Chief Justice Punos
retirement by May 17, 2010. It ignores the
need to apply Section 4(1) to every situation of
a vacancy in the Supreme Court. Section 4 (3),
Article VII requires the regular elections to be
held on the second Monday of May, letting the
elections fall on May 8, at the earliest, or May
14, at the latest. If the regular presidential
elections are held on May 8, the period of the
prohibition is 115 days. If such elections are
held on May 14, the period of the prohibition is
109 days. Either period of the prohibition is
longer than the full mandatory 90-day period
to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court. The
result is that there are at least 19 occasions
(i.e., the difference between the shortest
possible period of the ban of 109 days and the

90-day mandatory period for appointments) in


which the outgoing President would be in no
position to comply with the constitutional duty
to fill up a vacancy in the Supreme Court. It is
safe to assume that the framers of the
Constitution could not have intended such an
absurdity.
Seventh. As a matter of fact, in an extreme
case, we can even raise a doubt on whether a
JBC list is necessary at all for the President
any President to appoint a Chief Justice if the
appointee is to come from the ranks of the
sitting justices of the Supreme Court. Sec. 9,
Article VIII says: The Members of the Supreme
Court xxx shall be appointed by the President
from a list of at least three nominees prepared
by the Judicial and Bar Council for any vacancy.
Such appointments need no confirmation. The
provision clearly refers to an appointee coming
into the Supreme Court from the outside, that
is, a non-member of the Court aspiring to
become one. It speaks of candidates for the
Supreme Court, not of those who are already
members or sitting justices of the Court, all of
whom have previously been vetted by the JBC.
Prohibition and Mandamus
For mandamus to lie, the following requisites
must be complied with: (a) the plaintiff has a
clear legal right to the act demanded; (b) it
must be the duty of the defendant to perform
the act, because it is mandated by law; (c) the
defendant unlawfully neglects the performance
of the duty enjoined by law; (d) the act to be
performed is ministerial, not discretionary; and
(e) there is no appeal or any other plain,
speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary
course of law.
Section 8(5) and Section 9, Article VIII,
mandate the JBC to submit a list of at least
three nominees to the President for every
vacancy in the Judiciary:
Section 8. xxx
(5) The Council shall have the principal function
of recommending appointees to the Judiciary.
xxx
Section 9. The Members of the Supreme Court
and judges of lower courts shall be appointed
by the President from a list of at least three

nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar


Council for every vacancy. Such appointments
need no confirmation.
For the lower courts, the President shall issue
the appointments within ninety days from the
submission of the list.
Under the Constitution, it is mandatory for the
JBC to submit to the President the list of
nominees to fill a vacancy in the Supreme
Court in order to enable the President to
appoint one of them within the 90-day period
from the occurrence of the vacancy. The JBC
has no discretion to submit the list to the
President after the vacancy occurs, because
that shortens the 90-day period allowed by the
Constitution for the President to make the
appointment. For the JBC to do so will be
unconscionable on its part, considering that it
will thereby effectively and illegally deprive the
President of the ample time granted under the
Constitution to reflect on the qualifications of
the nominees named in the list of the JBC
before making the appointment.
Accordingly, we find no sufficient grounds to
grant the petitions for mandamus and to issue
a writ of mandamus against the JBC. The
actions for that purpose are premature,
because it is clear that the JBC still has until
May 17, 2010, at the latest, within which to
submit the list of nominees to the President to
fill the vacancy created by the compulsory
retirement of Chief Justice Puno.

Virtucio V. Alegarbes G.R. No. 187451


Only final decisions of this Court (Supreme
Court) are considered precedents. (Virtucio V.
Alegarbes, 2012)

subdivision. The piece of land was subdivided


into three (3) lots, Lots 138, 139, and 140. The
lots were allocated to Alegarbes (138),
Custodio (139) and Virtucio (140).
Alegarbes protested to the Director of Lands
which denied his demands wherein the
Homestead Application he filed for excluded
lots 139 and 140. He also filed an appeal to the
Secretary
of
Environment
and
Natural
Resources and was also denied. He escalated
his complaints to the Office of The President
(OP) but the OP affirmed the decision of the
Secretary.
Come 1997, Virtucio filed a complaint for
Recovery of Possession and Ownership
before the RTC for the land being claimed by
Alegarbes. Alegarbes insists that his initial
homestead application filed way back in 1949
coverst the entirety of the three lots.
RTC Ruling
Virtucio)

(filed

by

Virtucio;

favoured

The RTC favoured Virtucio by mere merits of


the facts submitted by Virtucio ordering
Alegarbes to vacate lot 140.
Court of Appeals Ruling (filed by Alegarbes;
favoured Alegarbes)
The Court of Appeals ruled in favour of
Alegarbes, declaring him as ipso jure owner of
the land. Acquisitive Prescription was the
ground for the CA Ruling wherein Alegarbes
acquired the right to the land over time
(contentions were made by Virtucio only in
1997).
Supreme Court Ruling (filed by Virtucio;
favoured Alegarbes), in relation to Article 8

Nature: The case is a review on certiorari


which seeks to reverse and to set aside the
decision of the Court of Appeals (second action
favouring Alegarbes) which reversed the
decision of the RTC (first action favouring
Virtucio).

The main defense of Virtucio is the case/


complaint filed by Custodio (the other partisan)
against Alegarbes (Custodio V. Alegarbes)
which ruled against Alegarbes. He insists that
by virtue of stare decisis - the land in
contention being the case, he should enjoy the
same benefit acquired by Custodio.

Facts: The case involves one Jose Alegarbes


who filed for a homestead application in 1949
for a 24-hectare piece of land. Come 1955, the
land was subdivided by virtue of a public lands

The court however, ruled that Custodio filed in


an earlier period thus Alegarbes Acquisitive
Prescription was interrupted which is not the
fact in the present case.

Art. 17. The forms and solemnities of


contracts,
wills,
and
other
public
instruments shall be governed by the
laws of the country in which they are
executed.
When the acts referred to are executed
before the diplomatic or consular officials
of the Republic of the Philippines in a
foreign
country,
the
solemnities
established by Philippine laws shall be
observed in their execution.
Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their
acts or property, and those which have,

for their object, public order, public policy


and good customs shall not be rendered
ineffective
by
laws
or
judgments
promulgated, or by determinations or
conventions agreed upon in a foreign
country
Raytheon International Inc. v. Stockton W.
Rouzie, Jr.
GR NO.162894, 26 February 2008, Second
Division (Tinga, J.)
FACTS:
Brand Marine Services, Inc. (BMSI), a foreign
corporation organized under the law of the
State of Connecticut, and respondent Stockton
W. Rouzie entered into a contract whereby the
respondent
was
hired
by
BSMI
as
representative to negotiate the sale of services
with the Philippine government. Respondents
secure a service contract with the government
on behalf of BMSI. In 1994, respondent filed
before
the
National
Labor
Relations
Commission (NLRC) a complaint against BMSI
and Rust International Inc. for illegal
termination, non-payment of commission, and
breach of contract. The Labor Arbiter rendered
a favorable decision for respondent. The NLRC
reversed the decision of the Labor Arbiter.
Respondent elevated the case before the
Supreme Court (SC) but it was dismissed.
In 1998, respondent filed an action for
damages before the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
against the petitioner and impleaded BMSI and
RUST, reiterating the allegations made in the
earlier labor case. The respondent also alleged
that BMSI, RUST and petitioner combined and
function as one company. The petitioner sought
the dismissal of the case on grounds of failure
to state a cause of action and forum non
conveniens. It also filed an Omnibus Motion

which was denied by the RTC. The motion for


reconsideration was also dismissed by the
lower court. Petitioner filed a motion for
certiorari before the Court of Appeals (CA)
which was also denied.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in
refusing to dismiss the complaint for failure to
state a cause of action against Raytheon
International, Inc.
2. Whether or not the CA erred in refusing to
dismiss the complaint on the ground of forum
non conveniens
HELD:
No. The SC pointed out that the CA correctly
ruled the need for a full-blown trial to
determine the alleged merging of BMSC and
RUST.
No. Petitioner contended that their written
contract with respondent included a valid
choice of law clause, the laws of the State of
Connecticut, hence, the application of the
doctrine of forum non conveniens became
necessary. Under this doctrine, a court in the
conflicts-of-law cases may refuse impositions
on its jurisdictions where it is not the most
convenient forum and the parties are not
precluded from seeking remedies elsewhere.
However,
the
SC
rejected
petitioner's
contention stating that the presence of a valid
choice of law clause did not suggest that
Philippine courts are precluded from hearing
the civil action. The jurisdiction over the nature
and subject matter of an action is conferred by
the Constitution and the law. The RTC acquired
jurisdiction over the petitioner when it
appeared voluntarily in court.