You are on page 1of 32

2. Francisco v.

House of Representatives (2 digested cases)


3. Civil Liberties U. v. The Executive Sec.(3 d.c.)
4. Gamboa v. Teves (3 d.c.)
5. Manila Prince H. v. GSIS (4 d.c.)
6. Magallona v. Ermita (4 d.c.)

>FRANCISCO VS. HOUSE OF REPRESENTEATIVES G.R. NO.


160261

>FACTS: Within a period of 1 year, 2 impeachment proceedings were filed against Supreme Court
Chief Justice Hilario Davide. The justiciable controversy in this case was the constitutionality of the
subsequent filing of a second complaint to controvert the rules of impeachment provided for by law.
ISSUE: Whether or not the filing of the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario
G. Davide, Jr. with the House of Representatives is constitutional, and whether the resolution thereof
is a political question h; as resulted in a political crisis.
HELD: Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings which
were approved by the House of Representativesare unconstitutional. Consequently, the second
impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, is barred under paragraph 5, section 3
of Article XI of the Constitution.
REASONING:In passing over the complex issues arising from the controversy, this Court is ever
mindful of the essential truth that the inviolate doctrine of separation of powers among the legislative,
executive or judicial branches of government by no means prescribes for absolute autonomy in the
discharge by each of that part of the governmental power assigned to it by the sovereign people.
At the same time, the corollary doctrine of checks and balances which has been carefully calibrated by
the Constitution to temper the official acts of each of these three branches must be given effect without
destroying their indispensable co-equality. There exists no constitutional basis for the contention that
the exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings would upset the system of checks and
balances. Verily, the Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole and one section is not to be allowed
to defeat another. Both are integral components of the calibrated system of independence and
interdependence that insures that no branch of government act beyond the powers assigned to it bythe
Constitution.
The framers of the Constitution also understood initiation in its ordinary meaning. Thus when a
proposal reached the floor proposing that A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House
shall be necessary to initiate impeachment proceedings, this was met by a proposal to delete the line
on the ground that the vote of the House does not initiate impeachment proceeding but rather the
filing of a complaint does.
Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing and referral or endorsement of the
impeachment complaint to the House Committee on Justice or, by the filing by at least one-third of the
members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House, the meaning of
Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated, another
impeachment complaint may not be filed against the same official within a one year period.
The Court in the present petitions subjected to judicial scrutiny and resolved on the merits only the
main issue of whether the impeachment proceedings initiated against the Chief Justice transgressed
the constitutionally imposed one-year time bar rule. Beyond this, it did not go about assuming
jurisdiction where it had none, nor indiscriminately turnjusticiable issues out of decidedly political
questions. Because it is not at all the business of this Court to assert judicial dominance over the other
two great branches of the government.

Francisco vs. House of Representatives

DIGEST BY: Leah Teresa O. Receno


Facts: On July 22, 2002, the House of Representatives adopted a Resolution, sponsored by Representative Fuentabella,
which directed the Committee on Justice to conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the manner of
disbursements and expenditures by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF).
On June 2, 2003, former President Joseph Estrada held an impeachment complaint (first impeachment complaint) against
Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. and seven Associate Justices of the Supreme Court for culpable violation of the
Constitution, betrayal of public trust and other high crimes. The complaint was endorsed by Representatives Suplico,
Zamora and Dilangalen, and was referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5, 2003 in accordance with
Section 3 (2) of Article XI of the Constitution, which provides the substantial rules in initiating impeachment cases.
The House on Committee on Justice ruled on October 13, 2003 that the first impeachment complaint was sufficient in
form, but voted to dismiss the same on October 22, 2003 for being insufficient in substance.
Four months and three weeks since the filing on June 2, 2003 of the first complaint, or on October 23, 2003, a day after
the House Committee on Justice voted to dismiss it, the second impeachment complaint was filed with the Secretary
General of the House by Representatives Teodoro, Jr. and Fuentabella against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr.,
founded on the alleged results of the legislative inquiry initiated by the abovementioned House Resolution.
Thus arose the instant petitions against the House of Representatives, et al., most of which petitions contend that the
filing of the second impeachment complaint was unconstitutional as it violates the provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the
Constitution that no impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period
of one year.
On their comments on the petitions, respondent House of Representatives through Speaker De Venecia and/or its corespondents, submitted a Manifestation asserting the Court has no jurisdiction to hear, much less prohibit or enjoin the
House of Representatives, which is an independent and co-equal branch of government under the Constitution, from the
performance of its constitutionally mandated duty to initiate impeachment cases.
The Senate of the Philippines, through Senate President Drilon, also filed a Manifestation stating that insofar as it is
concerned, the petitions are plainly premature and have no basis in law or in fact, adding that as of the time of filing of the
petitions, no justiciable issue was presented before it.
Atty. Jaime Soriano filed a Petition for Leave to Intervene, questioning the status quo Resolution issued by the Court on
the ground that it would unnecessarily put Congress and the Court in a constitutional deadlock and praying for the
dismissal of all the petitions as the matter in question is not yet ripe for judicial determination. Several motions for
intervention were filed and were granted thereafter.
Issue: Whether or not the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be invoked; who can invoke it; on what issues
and at what time; and whether or not it should be exercised by the Court at this time.
Held: The matters will be discussed in seriatim.
1.

Judicial Review

The Supreme Courts power of judicial review is conferred on the judicial branch of the government in Sec. 1, Art. VII of
our present 1987 Constitution, the second paragraph of which states:
Judicial power 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 abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.
Citing the case of Angara vs. Electoral Commission, the Court expounded on the power of judicial review stating that in
cases of conflict, the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper
allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral or constituent units thereof when the
judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert 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
This moderating power to determine the proper allocation of powers of the different branches of the government and
to direct the course of government along constitutional channels is inherent in all courts as a necessary consequence of
the judicial power itself, which is the power of the court to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally
demandable and enforceable.

The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government The Constitution has provided for an
elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the
government And the judiciary in turn, with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter, effectively checks the other
departments in the exercise of its power to determine the law, and hence to declare executive and legislative acts void if
violative of the Constitution. (Angara vs. Electoral Commission)
Ensuring the potency of the power of judicial review to curb grave abuse of discretion by any branch or instrumentalities
of government, former Chief Justice Constitutional Commissioner Roberto Concepcion, in his sponsorship speech, even
states that such power is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature.
2.

Essential Requisites for Judicial Review

The courts power of judicial review, like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution, is subject to several limitations,
namely: (1) an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must
have standing to challenge; 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
possible opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.
a. StandingLocus standi or legal standing is defined as a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the
party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged. Intervenor
Soriano, in praying for the dismissal of the petitions, contends that petitioners do not have standing since only the Chief
Justice has sustained and will sustain direct personal injury. On the other hand, the Solicitor General asserts that
petitioners have standing since this Court had, in the past, accorded standing to taxpayers, voters, concerned citizens,
legislators in cases involving paramount public interest and transcendental importance.
There is, however, a difference between the rule on real-party-in-interest and the rule on standing, for the former is a
concept of civil procedure while the latter has constitutional underpinnings.
Standing is a special concern of the constitutional law because in some cases suits are brought not by parties who have
been personally injured by the operation of law or by official action taken, but by concerned citizens, taxpayers, voters
who actually sue in the public interest. Hence, the question is whether such parties have alleged such a personal stake
in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon
which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions.
On the other hand, the question as to real-party-in-interest is whether he is the party who would be benefited or injured
by the judgment, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit.
While rights personal to the Chief Justice may have been injured by the alleged unconstitutional acts of the House of
Representatives, none of the petitioners asserts a violation of the personal rights of the Chief Justice. On the contrary,
they invariably invoke the vindication of their own rights as taxpayers; members of Congress; citizens, individually or in a
class suit; and members of the bar and of the legal profession which were supposedly violated by the alleged
unconstitutional acts of the House of Representatives.
In a long line of cases, however, concerned citizens, taxpayers and legislators when specific requirements have been met
have been given standing in this Court.
When suing as a citizen, the interest of the petitioner 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. It must appear that the person complaining has been or is about to be denied some right or
privilege to which he is lawfully entitled or that he is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason of the
statute or act complained of. In fine, when the proceeding involves the assertion of a public right, the mere fact that he is
a citizen satisfies the requirement of personal interest.
In the case of a taxpayer, he is allowed to sue where there is a claim that public funds are illegally disbursed, or that pubic
money is being deflected to any improper purpose, or that there is wastage of public funds through the enforcement of an
invalid or unconstitutional law. Before he can invoke the power of judicial review, however, he must specifically prove that
he has sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation and that he would sustain a
direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the questioned statute or contract. It is not sufficient that he has merely a
general interest common to all members of the public.
As for the legislator, the Court allowed him to sue to question the validity of any official action which he claims infringes his
prerogatives as a legislator. Indeed a member of the House of Representatives has standing to maintain inviolate the
prerogatives, powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in his office.
An association has legal personality to represent its members, especially when it is composed of substantial taxpayers

and the outcome will affect their vital interests. In class suits filed in behalf of all citizens, persons intervening must be
sufficiently numerous to fully protect the interests of all concerned to enable the court to deal properly with all interests
involved in the suit, for a judgment in a class suit, whether favorable or unfavorable to the class, is, under the res judicata
principle, binding on all members of the class whether or not they were before the court. With respect to motions for
intervention, Rule 19, Section 2 of the Rules of Court requires an intervenor to possess a 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 of an officer thereof. While intervention is not a
matter of right, the courts may permit it when the applicant shows facts that satisfy the requirements of the law authorizing
intervention.
In this case, the Court granted motions to intervene except that of intervenor Soriano, who asserts an interest as a
taxpayer but failed to meet the standing requirement for bringing taxpayers suit. In praying for the dismissal of the
petitions, Soriano failed even to allege that the act of petitioners would result in illegal disbursement of public funds or in
public money being deflected to any improper purpose. Additionally, his mere interest as a member of the Bar does not
suffice to clothe him with standing.
b.

Ripeness and Prematurity

For a case to be considered ripe for adjudication, it is a prerequisite that something had by then been accomplished or
performed by either branch before a court may come into the picture. Only then may the courts pass on the validity of
what was done, if and when the latter is challenged in an appropriate proceeding.
The instant petitions raise the issue of the validity of the filing of the second impeachment complaint against the Chief
Justice in accordance with the House Impeachment Rules adopted by 12th Congress, the constitutionality of which is
questioned. The questioned acts having been carried out, i.e. the second impeachment complaint had been filed with the
House of Representatives and the 2001 Rules have already been promulgated and enforced, the prerequisite that the
alleged unconstitutional act should be accomplished and performed before suit, has been complied with.
c.

Justiciability

Political questions are 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 Legislature or executive branch of the
Government. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure.
Citing Chief Justice Concepcion, when he became a Constitutional Commissioner: The powers of government are
generally considered divided into three branches: the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judiciary. Each one is supreme
within its own sphere and independent of the others. Because of that supremacy power to determine whether a given law
is valid or not is vested in courts of justice courts of justice determine the limits of powers of the agencies and offices of
the government as well as those of its officers. The judiciary is the final arbiter on the question whether or not a branch of
government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, or so capriciously as to
constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction. This is not only a judicial power
but also a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature a duty which cannot be abdicated by the mere specter of the
political law doctrine.
The determination of a truly political question from a non-justiciable political question lies in the answer to the question of
whether there are constitutionally imposed limits on powers or functions conferred upon political bodies. If there are, then
our courts are duty-bound to examine whether the branch or instrumentality of the government properly acted within such
limits. This Court thus now applies this standard to the present controversy.
The Court held that it has no jurisdiction over the issue that goes into the merits of the second impeachment complaint.
More importantly, any discussion of this would require this Court to make a determination of what constitutes an
impeachable offense. Such a determination is a purely political question which the Constitution has left to the sound
discretion of the legislation.
On the other hand, issues regarding the constitutionality of Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the House Impeachment
Rules adopted by the 12th Congress, as a result thereof, barring the second impeachment complaint under Section 3(5)
of Article XI of the Constitution, constitute the very lis mota or crux of the instant controversy.
3. ConclusionThis Court did not heed the call to adopt a hands-off stance as far as the question of the constitutionality of
initiating the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide is concerned. The Court found the existence in full of
all the requisite conditions for its exercise of its constitutionally vested power and duty of the judicial review over an issue
whose resolution precisely called for the construction or interpretation of a provision of the fundamental law of the land.
What lies in here is an issue of a genuine constitutional material which only this Court can properly and competently
address and adjudicate in accordance with the clear-cut allocation of powers under our system of government. Face-toface with a matter or problem that squarely falls under the Courts jurisdiction, no other course of action can be had but for
it to pass upon that problem head on.

This Court in the present petitions subjected to judicial scrutiny and resolved on the merits only the main issue of whether
the impeachment proceedings initiated against the Chief Justice transgressed the constitutionally imposed one-year time
bar rule. Beyond this, it did not go about assuming jurisdiction where it had none, nor indiscriminately turn justiciable
issues out of decidedly political questions. Because it not at all the business of this Court to assert judicial dominance
over the other two great branches of the government.
The Court, therefore, held sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings, which
were approved by the House of Representatives on November 28, 2001, are unconstitutional. Consequently, the second
impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., which was filed on October 23, 2003, is barred under
paragraph 5, section 3 of Article XI of the Constitution.
Personal Observation: This is a very recent case. Everything I learned regarding jurisdiction is consistent to the
principles applied in the case.
Generally, if the case is not justiciable, even if the court has the power and authority to hear and decide the case, the
court will refuse to decide or exercise its jurisdiction. To be the subject of control of the court, 3 elements must be present:
1.

Actual controversy;

2.

A case must be ripe for adjudication;

3.

Parties to the case must have legal standing.

These three were given and were exhaustively explained in the case above.
Also, there are 2 Phases of Judicial Power:
1.

Settlement of actual claims between two opposing claims or rights;

2.

Duty to check acts of government done with grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

The present controversy falls under the second phase since, as the Court explained, it involves a genuine constitutional
issue, which this Court has the right and duty to adjudicate.

Civil Liberties Union VS. Executive


Secretary
FACTS:
Petitioners: Ignacio P. Lacsina, Luis R. Mauricio, Antonio R. Quintos and Juan T. David for petitioners in 83896 and
Juan T. David for petitioners in 83815. Both petitions were consolidated and are being resolved jointly as both seek
a declaration of the unconstitutionality of Executive Order No. 284 issued by President Corazon C. Aquino on July
25, 1987.
Executive Order No. 284, according to the petitioners allows members of the Cabinet, their undersecretaries and
assistant secretaries to hold other than government offices or positions in addition to their primary positions. The
pertinent provisions of EO 284 is as follows:
Section 1: A cabinet member, undersecretary or assistant secretary or other appointive officials of the Executive
Department may in addition to his primary position, hold not more than two positions in the government and
government corporations and receive the corresponding compensation therefor.
Section 2: If they hold more positions more than what is required in section 1, they must relinquish the excess
position in favor of the subordinate official who is next in rank, but in no case shall any official hold more than two
positions other than his primary position.
Section 3: AT least 1/3 of the members of the boards of such corporation should either be a secretary, or
undersecretary, or assistant secretary.
The petitioners are challenging EO 284s constitutionality because it adds exceptions to Section 13 of Article VII
other than those provided in the constitution. According to the petitioners, the only exceptions against holding any
other office or employment in government are those provided in the Constitution namely: 1. The Vice President
may be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet under Section 3 par.2 of Article VII. 2. The secretary of justice is an
ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of Sec. 8 of article VIII.

Issue:
Whether or not Executive Order No. 284 is constitutional.

Decision:
No. It is unconstitutional. Petition granted. Executive Order No. 284 was declared null and void.
Ratio:
In the light of the construction given to Section 13 of Article VII, Executive Order No. 284 is unconstitutional. By
restricting the number of positions that Cabinet members, undersecretaries or assistant secretaries may hold in
addition their primary position to not more that two positions in the government and government corporations, EO
284 actually allows them to hold multiple offices or employment in direct contravention of the express mandate of
Sec. 13 of Article VII of the 1987 Constitution prohibiting them from doing so, unless otherwise provided in the
1987 Constitution itself.
The phrase unless otherwise provided in this constitution must be given a literal interpretation to refer only to
those particular instances cited in the constitution itself: Sec. 3 Art VII and Sec. 8 Art. VIII.

CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION vs. THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY


FACTS:
The two petitions in this case sought to declare unconstitutional Executive Order No.
284 issued by President Corazon C. Aquino. The assailed law provides that:
Sec. 1. Even if allowed by law or by the ordinary functions of his
position, a member of the Cabinet, undersecretary or assistant secretary or
other appointive officials of the Executive Department may, in addition to his
primary position, hold not more than two positions in the government
and government corporations and receive the corresponding
compensation therefor; Provided, that this limitation shall not apply to ad
hoc bodies or committees, or to boards, councils or bodies of which the
President is the Chairman.
The petitioners alleged that the cited provision of EO 284 contravenes the provision of
Sec. 13, Article VII which declares:
The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their
deputies or assistants shall not, unless otherwise provided in this
Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure. They
shall not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly practice any other
profession, participate in any business, or be financially interested in any
contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the
Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including
government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They shall
strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their office.
The petitioners maintained that the phrase "unless otherwise provided in this
Constitution" used in Section 13 of Article VII meant that the exception must be expressly
provided in the Constitution.
Public respondents, on the other hand, maintain that the phrase "unless otherwise
provided in the Constitution" in Section 13, Article VII makes reference to Section 7, par. (2),
Article I-XB insofar as the appointive officials mentioned therein are concerned. The provision
relied upon by the respondents provides:
Sec. 7. . . . . .
Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his
position, no appointive official shall hold any other office or employment in
the government or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof,
including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.
ISSUE No. 1 : Does the prohibition in Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution
insofar as Cabinet members, their deputies or assistants are concerned admit of the
broad exceptions made for appointive officials in general under Section 7, par. (2),
Article I-XB?
No.
The intent of the framers of the Constitution was to impose a stricter prohibition on the
President and his official family in so far as holding other offices or employment in the
government or elsewhere is concerned.
Although Section 7, Article I-XB already contains a blanket prohibition against the
holding of multiple offices or employment in the government subsuming both elective and
appointive public officials, the Constitutional Commission should see it fit to formulate another
provision, Sec. 13, Article VII, specifically prohibiting the President, Vice-President, members of
the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants from holding any other office or employment during
their tenure, unless otherwise provided in the Constitution itself. While all other appointive
officials in the civil service are allowed to hold other office or employment in the government
during their tenure when such is allowed by law or by the primary functions of their positions,
members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants may do so only when expressly
authorized by the Constitution itself. In other words, Section 7, Article I-XB is meant to lay
down the general rule applicable to all elective and appointive public officials and employees,

while Section 13, Article VII is meant to be the exception applicable only to the President, the
Vice- President, Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants.
The phrase "unless otherwise provided in this Constitution" must be given a literal
interpretation to refer only to those particular instances cited in the Constitution itself, to wit:
the Vice-President being appointed as a member of the Cabinet under Section 3, par. (2),
Article VII; or acting as President in those instances provided under Section 7, pars. (2) and (3),
Article VII; and, the Secretary of Justice being ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council
by virtue of Section 8 (1), Article VIII.
ISSUE No. 2: Does the prohibition apply to positions held in ex officio capacity?
The prohibition against holding dual or multiple offices or employment under Section
13, Article VII of the Constitution must not, however, be construed as applying to posts
occupied by the Executive officials specified therein without additional compensation in an exofficio capacity as provided by law and as required by the primary functions of said officials'
office. The reason is that these posts do no comprise "any other office" within the
contemplation of the constitutional prohibition but are properly an imposition of additional
duties and functions on said officials. The term ex-officio means "from office; by virtue of
office." Ex-officio likewise denotes an "act done in an official character, or as a consequence of
office, and without any other appointment or authority than that conferred by the office." The
additional duties must not only be closely related to, but must be required by the official's
primary functions. If the functions required to be performed are merely incidental, remotely
related, inconsistent, incompatible, or otherwise alien to the primary function of a cabinet
official, such additional functions would fall under the purview of "any other office" prohibited
by the Constitution.
ISSUE No. 3: Can the respondents be obliged to reimburse the perquisites they have
received from the offices they have held pursuant to EO 284?
During their tenure in the questioned positions, respondents may be considered de
facto officers and as such entitled to emoluments for actual services rendered. It has been
held that "in cases where there is no de jure officer, a de facto officer, who, in good faith has
had possession of the office and has discharged the duties pertaining thereto, is legally
entitled to the emoluments of the office, and may in an appropriate action recover the salary,
fees and other compensations attached to the office. Any per diem, allowances or other
emoluments received by the respondents by virtue of actual services rendered in the
questioned positions may therefore be retained by them.
Overall, Executive Order No. 284 is unconstitutional as it actually allows a member of
the cabinet, undersecretary or assistant secretary or other appointive officials of the Executive
Department to hold multiple offices or employment in direct contravention of the express
mandate of Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution prohibiting them from doing so,
unless otherwise provided in the 1987 Constitution itself.

Civil Liberties Union vs Executive Secretary


194 SCRA 317 Political Law Ex Officio Officials Members of the Cabinet Singularity of Office EO
284
In July 1987, then President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order No. 284 which allowed members of
the Cabinet, their undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to hold other government offices or positions in
addition to their primary positions subject to limitations set therein. The Civil Liberties Union (CLU) assailed
this EO averring that such law is unconstitutional. The constitutionality of EO 284 is being challenged by
CLU on the principal submission that it adds exceptions to Sec 13, Article 7 of the Constitution which
provides:
Sec. 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall not, unless
otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure. They shall not, during said
tenure, directly or indirectly practice any other profession, participate in any business, or be financially interested in any contract
with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof,
including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the
conduct of their office.

CLU avers that by virtue of the phrase unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, the only exceptions
against holding any other office or employment in Government are those provided in the Constitution,
namely: (i) The Vice-President may be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet under Sec 3, par. (2), Article
7; and (ii) the Secretary of Justice is an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of Sec 8
(1), Article 8.
ISSUE: Whether or not EO 284 is constitutional.
HELD: No, it is unconstitutional. It is clear that the 1987 Constitution seeks to prohibit the President, VicePresident, members of the Cabinet, their deputies or assistants from holding during their tenure multiple
offices or employment in the government, except in those cases specified in the Constitution itself and as
above clarified with respect to posts held without additional compensation in an ex-officio capacity as
provided by law and as required by the primary functions of their office, the citation of Cabinet members
(then called Ministers) as examples during the debate and deliberation on the general rule laid down for all
appointive officials should be considered as mere personal opinions which cannot override the constitutions
manifest intent and the peoples understanding thereof.
In the light of the construction given to Sec 13, Art 7 in relation to Sec 7, par. (2), Art IX-B of the 1987
Constitution, EO 284 is unconstitutional. Ostensibly restricting the number of positions that Cabinet
members, undersecretaries or assistant secretaries may hold in addition to their primary position to not more
than 2 positions in the government and government corporations, EO 284 actually allows them to hold

multiple offices or employment in direct contravention of the express mandate of Sec 13, Art 7 of the 1987
Constitution prohibiting them from doing so, unless otherwise provided in the 1987 Constitution itself.

Detailed Digest of Gamboa vs. Finance Secretary, G.R. No. 176579, June 28,
2011

WILSON P. GAMBOA vs. FINANCE


SECRETARY TEVES
G.R. No. 176579, promulgated June 28, 2011
X----------------------------------------------------------------------------X
DECISION
CARPIO, J.:
I.

THE FACTS
This is a petition to nullify the sale of shares of stock of Philippine Telecommunications Investment
Corporation (PTIC) by the government of the Republic of the Philippines, acting through the Inter-Agency
Privatization Council (IPC), to Metro Pacific Assets Holdings, Inc. (MPAH), an affiliate of First Pacific Company
Limited (First Pacific), a Hong Kong-based investment management and holding company and a shareholder of
the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT).
The petitioner questioned the sale on the ground that it also involved an indirect sale of 12 million shares
(or about 6.3 percent of the outstanding common shares) of PLDT owned by PTIC to First Pacific. With the this
sale, First Pacifics common shareholdings in PLDT increased from 30.7 percent to 37 percent, thereby increasing
the total common shareholdings of foreigners in PLDT to about 81.47%. This, according to the petitioner, violates
Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which limits foreign ownership of the capital of a public
utility to not more than 40%.

II.

THE ISSUE
Does the term capital in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refer to the total common shares only,
or to the total outstanding capital stock (combined total of common and non-voting preferred shares) of PLDT, a
public utility?

III. THE RULING


[The Court partly granted the petition and held that the term capital in Section 11, Article XII of the
Constitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors of a public utility, or in the
instant case, to the total common shares of PLDT.]

Section 11, Article XII (National Economy and Patrimony) of the 1987 Constitution mandates the
Filipinization of public utilities, to wit:

Section 11. No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the
operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to
corporations or associations organized under the laws of the Philippines, at least sixty per
centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens; nor shall such franchise, certificate, or
authorization be exclusive in character or for a longer period than fifty years. Neither shall any
such franchise or right 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. The State
shall encourage equity participation in public utilities by the general public. The participation of
foreign investors in the governing body of any public utility enterprise shall be limited to their
proportionate share in its capital, and all the executive and managing officers of such corporation
or association must be citizens of the Philippines. (Emphasis supplied)
The term capital in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to
vote in the election of directors, and thus in the present case only to common shares, and not to the total
outstanding capital stock comprising both common and non-voting preferred shares [of PLDT].
xxx

xxx

xxx

Indisputably, one of the rights of a stockholder is the right to participate in the control or management of
the corporation. This is exercised through his vote in the election of directors because it is the board of directors
that controls or manages the corporation. In the absence of provisions in the articles of incorporation denying
voting rights to preferred shares, preferred shares have the same voting rights as common shares. However,
preferred shareholders are often excluded from any control, that is, deprived of the right to vote in the election of
directors and on other matters, on the theory that the preferred shareholders are merely investors in the
corporation for income in the same manner as bondholders. xxx.
Considering that common shares have voting rights which translate to control, as opposed to preferred
shares which usually have no voting rights, the term capital in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers
only to common shares. However, if the preferred shares also have the right to vote in the election of directors,
then the term capital shall include such preferred shares because the right to participate in the control or
management of the corporation is exercised through the right to vote in the election of directors. In short, the term
capital in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution refers only to shares of stock that can vote in the election of
directors.
xxx

xxx

xxx

Mere legal title is insufficient to meet the 60 percent Filipino-owned capital required in the Constitution.
Full beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock, coupled with 60 percent of the voting
rights, is required. The legal and beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock must rest in
the hands of Filipino nationals in accordance with the constitutional mandate. Otherwise, the corporation is
considered as non-Philippine national[s].
xxx

xxx

xxx

To construe broadly the term capital as the total outstanding capital stock, including both common
and non-voting preferred shares, grossly contravenes the intent and letter of the Constitution that the State shall
develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. A broad definition
unjustifiably disregards who owns the all-important voting stock, which necessarily equates to control of the public
utility.
We shall illustrate the glaring anomaly in giving a broad definition to the term capital. Let us assume
that a corporation has 100 common shares owned by foreigners and 1,000,000 non-voting preferred shares owned
by Filipinos, with both classes of share having a par value of one peso (P1.00) per share. Under the broad
definition of the term capital, such corporation would be considered compliant with the 40 percent constitutional
limit on foreign equity of public utilities since the overwhelming majority, or more than 99.999 percent, of the total
outstanding capital stock is Filipino owned. This is obviously absurd.
In the example given, only the foreigners holding the common shares have voting rights in the election of
directors, even if they hold only 100 shares. The foreigners, with a minuscule equity of less than 0.001 percent,
exercise control over the public utility. On the other hand, the Filipinos, holding more than 99.999 percent of the

equity, cannot vote in the election of directors and hence, have no control over the public utility. This starkly
circumvents the intent of the framers of the Constitution, as well as the clear language of the Constitution, to place
the control of public utilities in the hands of Filipinos. It also renders illusory the State policy of an independent
national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos.
The example given is not theoretical but can be found in the real world, and in fact exists in the present
case.
xxx

xxx

xxx

[O]nly holders of common shares can vote in the election of directors [of PLDT], meaning only common
shareholders exercise control over PLDT. Conversely, holders of preferred shares, who have no voting rights in the
election of directors, do not have any control over PLDT. In fact, under PLDTs Articles of Incorporation, holders of
common shares have voting rights for all purposes, while holders of preferred shares have no voting right for any
purpose whatsoever.
It must be stressed, and respondents do not dispute, that foreigners hold a majority of the common
shares of PLDT. In fact, based on PLDTs 2010 General Information Sheet (GIS), which is a document required to
be submitted annually to the Securities and Exchange Commission, foreigners hold 120,046,690 common shares
of PLDT whereas Filipinos hold only 66,750,622 common shares. In other words, foreigners hold 64.27% of the
total number of PLDTs common shares, while Filipinos hold only 35.73%. Since holding a majority of the common
shares equates to control, it is clear that foreigners exercise control over PLDT. Such amount of control
unmistakably exceeds the allowable 40 percent limit on foreign ownership of public utilities expressly mandated in
Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution.
As shown in PLDTs 2010 GIS, as submitted to the SEC, the par value of PLDT common shares is P5.00
per share, whereas the par value of preferred shares is P10.00 per share. In other words, preferred shares have
twice the par value of common shares but cannot elect directors and have only 1/70 of the dividends of common
shares. Moreover, 99.44% of the preferred shares are owned by Filipinos while foreigners own only a minuscule
0.56% of the preferred shares. Worse, preferred shares constitute 77.85% of the authorized capital stock of PLDT
while common shares constitute only 22.15%. This undeniably shows that beneficial interest in PLDT is not with
the non-voting preferred shares but with the common shares, blatantly violating the constitutional requirement of
60 percent Filipino control and Filipino beneficial ownership in a public utility.
The legal and beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock must rest in the hands
of Filipinos in accordance with the constitutional mandate. Full beneficial ownership of 60 percent of the
outstanding capital stock, coupled with 60 percent of the voting rights, is constitutionally required for the States
grant of authority to operate a public utility. The undisputed fact that the PLDT preferred shares, 99.44% owned by
Filipinos, are non-voting and earn only 1/70 of the dividends that PLDT common shares earn, grossly violates the
constitutional requirement of 60 percent Filipino control and Filipino beneficial ownership of a public utility.
In short, Filipinos hold less than 60 percent of the voting stock, and earn less than 60 percent of the
dividends, of PLDT. This directly contravenes the express command in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution
that [n]o franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted
except to x x x corporations x x x organized under the laws of the Philippines, at least sixty per centum of whose
capital is owned by such citizens x x x.
To repeat, (1) foreigners own 64.27% of the common shares of PLDT, which class of shares exercises
the sole right to vote in the election of directors, and thus exercise control over PLDT; (2) Filipinos own only
35.73% of PLDTs common shares, constituting a minority of the voting stock, and thus do not exercise control
over PLDT; (3) preferred shares, 99.44% owned by Filipinos, have no voting rights; (4) preferred shares earn only
1/70 of the dividends that common shares earn; (5) preferred shares have twice the par value of common shares;
and (6) preferred shares constitute 77.85% of the authorized capital stock of PLDT and common shares only
22.15%. This kind of ownership and control of a public utility is a mockery of the Constitution.
Incidentally, the fact that PLDT common shares with a par value of P5.00 have a current stock market
value of P2,328.00 per share, while PLDT preferred shares with a par value of P10.00 per share have a current
stock market value ranging from only P10.92 to P11.06 per share, is a glaring confirmation by the market that
control and beneficial ownership of PLDT rest with the common shares, not with the preferred shares.
xxx

xxx

xxx

WHEREFORE, we PARTLY GRANT the petition and rule that the term capital in Section 11, Article XII
of the 1987 Constitution refers only to shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors, and thus in the
present case only to common shares, and not to the total outstanding capital stock (common and non-voting
preferred shares). Respondent Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission is DIRECTED to apply

this definition of the term capital in determining the extent of allowable foreign ownership in respondent Philippine
Long Distance Telephone Company, and if there is a violation of Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution, to
impose the appropriate sanctions under the law.

Gamboa v. Teves (Case Digest)


Gamboa v. Teves etal., GR No. 176579, October 9, 2012
Facts:
The issue started when petitioner Gamboa questioned the indirect sale of shares involving almost 12
million shares of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) owned by PTIC to First
Pacific. Thus, First Pacifics common shareholdings in PLDT increased from 30.7 percent to 37
percent, thereby increasing the total common shareholdings of foreigners in PLDT to about 81.47%.
The petitioner contends that it violates the Constitutional provision on filipinazation of public utility,
stated in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which limits foreign ownership of
the capital of a public utility to not more than 40%. Then, in 2011, the court ruled the case in favor of
the petitioner, hence this new case, resolving the motion for reconsideration for the 2011 decision filed
by the respondents.
Issue: Whether or not the Court made an erroneous interpretation of the term capital in its 2011
decision?
Held/Reason: The Court said that the Constitution is clear in expressing its State policy of developing
an economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. Asserting the ideals that our Constitutions Preamble
want to achieve, that is to conserve and develop our patrimony , hence, the State should fortify a
Filipino-controlled economy. In the 2011 decision, the Court finds no wrong in the construction of the
term capital which refers to the shares with voting rights, as well as with full beneficial ownership
(Art. 12, sec. 10) which implies that the right to vote in the election of directors, coupled with benefits,
is tantamount to an effective control. Therefore, the Courts interpretation of the term capital was not
erroneous. Thus, the motion for reconsideration is denied.

Wilson Gamboa vs Secretary Margarito Teves


Mercantile Law Corporation Code Capital What Capital means
In 1928, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) was granted a franchise to engage in the
business of telecommunications. Telecommunications is a nationalized area of activity where a corporation
engaged therein must have 60% of its capital be owned by Filipinos as provided for by Section 11, Article XII
(National Economy and Patrimony) of the 1987 Constitution, to wit:
Section 11. No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility
shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under the
laws of the Philippines, at least sixty per centum of whosecapital is owned by such citizens; xxx
In 1999, First Pacific, a foreign corporation, acquired 37% of PLDT common shares. Wilson Gamboa
opposed said acquisition because at that time, 44.47% of PLDT common shares already belong to various
other foreign corporations. Hence, if First Pacifics share is added, foreign shares will amount to 81.47% or
more than the 40% threshold prescribed by the Constitution.
Margarito Teves, as Secretary of Finance, and the other respondents argued that this is okay because in
totality, most of the capital stocks of PLDT is Filipino owned. It was explained that all PLDT subscribers,
pursuant to a law passed by Marcos, are considered shareholders (they hold serial preferred shares).
Broken down, preferred shares consist of 77.85% while common shares consist of 22.15%.
Gamboa argued that the term capital should only pertain to the common shares because that is the share
which is entitled to vote and thus have effective control over the corporation.
ISSUE: What does the term capital pertain to? Does the term capital in Section 11, Article XII of the
Constitution refer to common shares or to the total outstanding capital stock (combined total of common and
non-voting preferred shares)?
HELD: Gamboa is correct. Capital only pertains to common shares. It will be absurd for capital to pertain as
inclusive of non-voting shares. This is because a corporation consisting of 1,000,000 capital stocks, 100 of
which are common shares which are foreign owned and the rest (999,900 shares) are preferred shares
which are non-voting shares and are Filipino owned, would seem compliant to the constitutional requirement
here 99.999% is Filipino owned. But if scrutinized, the controlling stock the voting stock or that
miniscule .001% is foreign owned. That is absurd.

In this case, it is true that at least 77.85% of the capital is owned by Filipinos (the PLDT subscribers). But
these subscribers, who hold non-voting preferred shares, have no control over the corporation. Hence,
capital should only pertain to common shares.
Thus, to be compliant with the constitution, 60% of the common shares of PLDT should be Filipino owned.
That is not so in this case as it appears that 81.47% of the common shares are already foreign owned (split
between First Pacific (37%) and a Japanese corporation).
When may preferred shares be considered part of the capital share?
If the preferred shares are allowed to vote like common shares.

Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, G.R. No. 122156, February 3, 1997

DECISION
(En Banc)
BELLOSILLO, J.:
I.

THE FACTS

Pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government, the GSIS sold in public auction its
stake in Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC). Only 2 bidders participated: petitioner Manila Prince Hotel Corporation, a
Filipino corporation, which offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares at P41.58 per share, and Renong
Berhad, a Malaysian firm, with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel operator, which bid for the same number of shares
at P44.00 per share, or P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner.
Petitioner filed a petition before the Supreme Court to compel the GSIS to allow it to match the bid of
Renong Berhad. It invoked the Filipino First Policy enshrined in 10, paragraph 2, Article XII of the 1987
Constitution, which provides that in the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy
and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos.
II. THE ISSUES
1. Whether 10, paragraph 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution is a self-executing provision and does not need
implementing legislation to carry it into effect;
2.
Assuming 10, paragraph 2, Article XII is self-executing, whether the controlling shares of the Manila Hotel
Corporation form part of our patrimony as a nation;
3. Whether GSIS is included in the term State, hence, mandated to implement 10, paragraph 2, Article XII of the
Constitution; and
4. Assuming GSIS is part of the State, whether it should give preference to the petitioner, a Filipino corporation, over
Renong Berhad, a foreign corporation, in the sale of the controlling shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation.
III. THE RULING
[The Court, voting 11-4, DISMISSED the petition.]
1. YES, 10, paragraph 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution is a self-executing provision and
does not need implementing legislation to carry it into effect.
Sec. 10, second par., of Art XII is couched in such a way as not to make it appear that it is non-selfexecuting but simply for purposes of style. But, certainly, the legislature is not precluded from enacting further laws
to enforce the constitutional provision so long as the contemplated statute squares with the Constitution. Minor
details may be left to the legislature without impairing the self-executing nature of constitutional provisions.

xxx

xxx

xxx

Respondents . . . argue that the non-self-executing nature of Sec. 10, second par., of Art. XII is implied
from the tenor of the first and third paragraphs of the same section which undoubtedly are not self-executing. The
argument is flawed. If the first and third paragraphs are not self-executing because Congress is still to enact
measures to encourage the formation and operation of enterprises fully owned by Filipinos, as in the first
paragraph, and the State still needs legislation to regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments within
its national jurisdiction, as in the third paragraph, then a fortiori, by the same logic, the second paragraph can only
be self-executing as it does not by its language require any legislation in order to give preference to qualified
Filipinos in the grant of rights, privileges and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony. A
constitutional provision may be self-executing in one part and non-self-executing in another.
xxx. Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory, positive command which is
complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. From
its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation. It is per se judicially
enforceable. When our Constitution mandates that [i]n the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering
national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos, it means just that - qualified
Filipinos shall be preferred. And when our Constitution declares that a right exists in certain specified
circumstances an action may be maintained to enforce such right notwithstanding the absence of any legislation
on the subject; consequently, if there is no statute especially enacted to enforce such constitutional right, such right
enforces itself by its own inherent potency and puissance, and from which all legislations must take their
bearings. Where there is a right there is a remedy. Ubi jus ibi remedium.
2. YES, the controlling shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation form part of our patrimony as a
nation.
In its plain and ordinary meaning, the term patrimony pertains to heritage. When the Constitution speaks
of national patrimony, it refers not only to the natural resources of the Philippines, as the Constitution could have
very well used the term natural resources, but also to the cultural heritage of the Filipinos.
xxx

xxx

xxx

For more than eight (8) decades Manila Hotel has bore mute witness to the triumphs and failures, loves
and frustrations of the Filipinos; its existence is impressed with public interest; its own historicity associated with
our struggle for sovereignty, independence and nationhood. Verily, Manila Hotel has become part of our national
economy and patrimony. For sure, 51% of the equity of the MHC comes within the purview of the constitutional
shelter for it comprises the majority and controlling stock, so that anyone who acquires or owns the 51% will have
actual control and management of the hotel. In this instance, 51% of the MHC cannot be disassociated from the
hotel and the land on which the hotel edifice stands. Consequently, we cannot sustain respondents claim that
the Filipino First Policy provision is not applicable since what is being sold is only 51% of the outstanding shares of
the corporation, not the Hotel building nor the land upon which the building stands.
3. YES, GSIS is included in the term State, hence, it is mandated to implement 10, paragraph
2, Article XII of the Constitution.
It is undisputed that the sale of 51% of the MHC could only be carried out with the prior approval of the
State acting through respondent Committee on Privatization. [T]his fact alone makes the sale of the assets of
respondents GSIS and MHC a state action. In constitutional jurisprudence, the acts of persons distinct from the
government are considered state action covered by the Constitution (1) when the activity it engages in is a
public function; (2) when the government is so significantly involved with the private actor as to make the
government responsible for his action; and, (3) when the government has approved or authorized the action. It is
evident that the act of respondent GSIS in selling 51% of its share in respondent MHC comes under the second
and third categories of state action. Without doubt therefore the transaction, although entered into by respondent
GSIS, is in fact a transaction of the State and therefore subject to the constitutional command.
When the Constitution addresses the State it refers not only to the people but also to the government as
elements of the State. After all, government is composed of three (3) divisions of power - legislative, executive and
judicial. Accordingly, a constitutional mandate directed to the State is correspondingly directed to the three (3)
branches of government. It is undeniable that in this case the subject constitutional injunction is addressed among
others to the Executive Department and respondent GSIS, a government instrumentality deriving its authority from
the State.
4. YES, GSIS should give preference to the petitioner in the sale of the controlling shares of the
Manila Hotel Corporation.

It should be stressed that while the Malaysian firm offered the higher bid it is not yet the winning
bidder. The bidding rules expressly provide that the highest bidder shall only be declared the winning bidder after
it has negotiated and executed the necessary contracts, and secured the requisite approvals. Since the Filipino
First Policy provision of the Constitution bestows preference on qualified Filipinos the mere tending of the highest
bid is not an assurance that the highest bidder will be declared the winning bidder. Resultantly, respondents are
not bound to make the award yet, nor are they under obligation to enter into one with the highest bidder. For in
choosing the awardee respondents are mandated to abide by the dictates of the 1987 Constitution the provisions
of which are presumed to be known to all the bidders and other interested parties.
xxx

xxx

xxx

Paragraph V. J. 1 of the bidding rules provides that [i]f for any reason the Highest Bidder cannot be
awarded the Block of Shares, GSIS may offer this to other Qualified Bidders that have validly submitted bids
provided that these Qualified Bidders are willing to match the highest bid in terms of price per share. Certainly, the
constitutional mandate itself is reason enough not to award the block of shares immediately to the foreign bidder
notwithstanding its submission of a higher, or even the highest, bid. In fact, we cannot conceive of
a stronger reason than the constitutional injunction itself.
In the instant case, where a foreign firm submits the highest bid in a public bidding concerning the grant
of rights, privileges and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, thereby exceeding the bid of a
Filipino, there is no question that the Filipino will have to be allowed to match the bid of the foreign entity. And if
the Filipino matches the bid of a foreign firm the award should go to the Filipino. It must be so if we are to give life
and meaning to the Filipino First Policy provision of the 1987 Constitution. For, while this may neither be expressly
stated nor contemplated in the bidding rules, the constitutional fiat is omnipresent to be simply disregarded. To
ignore it would be to sanction a perilous skirting of the basic law.

Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS

Facts:
The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government under Proclamation
50 dated 8 December 1986, decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the issued and outstanding shares of the Manila Hotel
(MHC). In a close bidding held on 18 September 1995 only two bidders participated: Manila Prince Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation,
which offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares at P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, with ITT-Sheraton
as its hotel operator, which bid for the same number of shares at P44.00 per share, or P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner. Pending the
declaration of Renong Berhard as the winning bidder/strategic partner and the execution of the necessary contracts, the Manila Prince
Hotel matched the bid price of P44.00 per share tendered by Renong Berhad in a letter to GSIS dated 28 September 1995. Manila Prince
Hotel sent a managers check to the GSIS in a subsequent letter, but which GSIS refused to accept. On 17 October 1995, perhaps
apprehensive that GSIS has disregarded the tender of the matching bid and that the sale of 51% of the MHC may be hastened by GSIS
and consummated with Renong Berhad, Manila Prince Hotel came to the Court on prohibition and mandamus.

Issue(s):
Whether the provisions of the Constitution, particularly Article XII Section 10, are self-executing.
Whether the 51% share is part of the national patrimony.
Held: A provision which lays down a general principle, such as those found in Article II of the 1987 Constitution, is usually not selfexecuting. But a provision which is complete in itself and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that
which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected, is self-executing. Thus a constitutional
provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself, so that
they can be determined by an examination and construction of its terms, and there is no language indicating that the subject is referred to
the legislature for action. In self-executing constitutional provisions, the legislature may still enact legislation to facilitate the exercise of
powers directly granted by the constitution, further the operation of such a provision, prescribe a practice to be used for its enforcement,
provide a convenient remedy for the protection of the rights secured or the determination thereof, or place reasonable safeguards around
the exercise of the right. The mere fact that legislation may supplement and add to or prescribe a penalty for the violation of a self-executing
constitutional provision does not render such a provision ineffective in the absence of such legislation. The omission from a constitution of
any express provision for a remedy for enforcing a right or liability is not necessarily an indication that it was not intended to be selfexecuting. The rule is that a self-executing provision of the constitution does not necessarily exhaust legislative power on the subject, but
any legislation must be in harmony with the constitution, further the exercise of constitutional right and make it more available. Subsequent
legislation however does not necessarily mean that the subject constitutional provision is not, by itself, fully enforceable. As against
constitutions of the past, modern constitutions have been generally drafted upon a different principle and have often become in effect
extensive codes of laws intended to operate directly upon the people in a manner similar to that of statutory enactments, and the function of
constitutional conventions has evolved into one more like that of a legislative body. Hence, unless it is expressly provided that a legislative
act is necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate, the presumption now is that all provisions of the constitution are self-executing. If the
constitutional provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead of self-executing, the legislature would have the power to ignore and
practically nullify the mandate of the fundamental law. In fine, Section 10, second paragraph, Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a
mandatory, positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its
enforcement. From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation.
In its plain and ordinary meaning, the term patrimony pertains to heritage. When the Constitution speaks of national patrimony, it refers not
only to the natural resources of the Philippines, as the Constitution could have very well used the term natural resources, but also to the
cultural heritage of the Filipinos. It also refers to Filipinos intelligence in arts, sciences and letters. In the present case, Manila Hotel has

become a landmark, a living testimonial of Philippine heritage. While it was restrictively an American hotel when it first opened in 1912, a
concourse for the elite, it has since then become the venue of various significant events which have shaped Philippine history. In the
granting of economic rights, privileges, and concessions, especially on matters involving national patrimony, when a choice has to be made
between a qualified foreigner and a qualified Filipino, the latter shall be chosen over the former.
The Supreme Court directed the GSIS, the Manila Hotel Corporation, the Committee on Privatization and the Office of the Government
Corporate Counsel to cease and desist from selling 51% of the Share of the MHC to Renong Berhad, and to accept the matching bid of
Manila Prince Hotel at P44 per shere and thereafter execute the necessary agreements and document to effect the sale, to issue the
necessary clearances and to do such other acts and deeds as may be necessary for the purpose.

MANILA PRINCE HOTEL VS GSIS ET AL


G.R. NO. 122156 [FEBRUARY 03, 1997]
FACTS:
The GSIS, pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government, decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the
outstanding shares. In a close bidding only two(2) bidder participated, the petitioner Manila Prince Hotel and RenongBerhad, a Malaysian
firm. First the MPH has a lower bid compare to the Malaysian firm but later matched the bid of the Malaysian firm with all the compliance of
the bidding rules imposed by the GSIS on the contracts.
Perhaps apprehensive the respondent GSIS has disregarded the matching bid and that the sale of 51% of the MHC may be hastened by
respondent GSIS and consummated with RenongBerhad. The petitioner came to the court on prohibition and mandamus. The court issued
a temporary restraining order enjoining respondents from perfecting and consummating the sale to the Malaysian firm.
The petitioner invoked Sec 10, second par. Article XII. The Filipino First Policy enshrined in the 1987 constitution. [In the grant of rights,
privileges, and concessions covering national economy and patrimony, the state shall give preference to qualified Filipinos]. Respondent,
opposing that the provision is not self-executing and requires implementing legislation, and Manila Hotel does not fall under the term
national patrimony.
ISSUES:
1. Whether Sec 10, second par. Article XII of the constitution is not self-executing?
2. Whether the 51% share of Manila Hotel does not fall under the term national patrimony?

RULINGS:
No, under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, the constitution is the fundamental, paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is
deemed written in every statute and contract. A provision which lays down a general principle is usually not self-executing. But a provision
which is complete in itself and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that which supplies sufficient
rule by means if which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected is self-executing. Sec 10, second par. Article XII of the 1987
constitution is a mandatory, positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or
rules for its enforcement. From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation. It is per se judicially
enforceable. When our constitution mandates that in the grant of rights, priveleges and concessions covering national economy and
patrimony, the state shall give preference to qualified Filipinos. It means that- qualified Filipino shall be preferred. And when our constitution
declares that a right exists in certain specified circumstances an action may be maintained to enforce such right notwithstanding the
absence of any legislation on the subject, consequently, if there is no statute especially enacted to enforce such constitutional right, such
right enforce itself by its own inherent potency and puissance, and from which all legislations must take their bearings. Where there is a
right there is a remedy. Ubi jus ibiremedium.
No, the national patrimony that should be conserved and developed refers not only to our rich natural resources but also to the cultural
heritage of our race. In its plain and ordinary meaning, the term patrimony pertains to heritage. When the constitution speaks for patrimony,
it refers not only to the natural resources of the Philippines, as the constitution could have very well used the term natural resources, but
also to the cultural heritage of the Filipinos. Manila Hotel has become a landmark- a living testimonial of Philippines heritage. Verily, Manila
Hotel has become part of our national economy and patrimony; for sure 51 % of the equity of the MHC comes within the purview of the

constitutional shelter for it comprises the majority and controlling stock, so that anyone who acquires or owns the 51% will have actual
control and management of the hotel. Wherefore the respondents are directed to cease and desist from selling 51% of the shares of the
Manila Hotel Corporation to RenongBerhad. And accept the matching bid of the manila prince hotel corporation.

Manila Prince Hotel vs. GSIS


267 SCRA 402
February 1997 En Banc
FACTS:
Pursuant to the privatization program of the government, GSIS chose to award during bidding in
September 1995 the 51% outstanding shares of the respondent Manila Hotel Corp. (MHC) to the
Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, for the amount of Php 44.00 per share against herein petitioner
which is a Filipino corporation who offered Php 41.58 per share. Pending the declaration of
Renong Berhad as the winning bidder/strategic partner of MHC, petitioner matched the formers
bid prize also with Php 44.00 per share followed by a managers check worth Php 33 million as
Bid Security, but the GSIS refused to accept both the bid match and the managers check.
One day after the filing of the petition in October 1995, the Court issued a TRO enjoining the
respondents from perfecting and consummating the sale to the Renong Berhad. In September
1996, the Supreme Court En Banc accepted the instant case.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the GSIS violated Section 10, second paragraph, Article 11 of the 1987
Constitution
COURT RULING:
The Supreme Court directed the GSIS and other respondents to cease and desist from selling the
51% shares of the MHC to the Malaysian firm Renong Berhad, and instead to accept the
matching bid of the petitioner Manila Prince Hotel.

According to Justice Bellosillo, ponente of the case at bar, Section 10, second paragraph, Article
11 of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory provision, a positive command which is complete in
itself and needs no further guidelines or implementing laws to enforce it. The Court En Banc
emphasized that qualified Filipinos shall be preferred over foreigners, as mandated by the
provision in question.
The Manila Hotel had long been a landmark, therefore, making the 51% of the equity of said
hotel to fall within the purview of the constitutional shelter for it emprises the majority and
controlling stock. The Court also reiterated how much of national pride will vanish if the nations
cultural heritage will fall on the hands of foreigners.
In his dissenting opinion, Justice Puno said that the provision in question should be interpreted as
pro-Filipino and, at the same time, not anti-alien in itself because it does not prohibit the State
from granting rights, privileges and concessions to foreigners in the absence of qualified
Filipinos. He also argued that the petitioner is estopped from assailing the winning bid of Renong
Berhad because the former knew the rules of the bidding and that the foreigners are qualified, too.

Magallona v. Ermita (Case Digest)


MAGALLONA v. ERMITA, G.R. 187167, August 16, 2011

Facts:

In 1961, Congress passed R.A. 3046 demarcating the maritime baselines of the
Philippines as an Archepelagic State pursuant to UNCLOS I of 9158, codifying the
sovereignty of State parties over their territorial sea. Then in 1968, it was amended by
R.A. 5446, correcting some errors in R.A. 3046 reserving the drawing of baselines around
Sabah.

In 2009, it was again amended by R.A. 9522, to be compliant with the UNCLOS III of 1984.
The requirements complied with are: to shorten one baseline, to optimize the location of
some basepoints and classify KIG and Scarborough Shoal as regime of islands.

Petitioner now assails the constitutionality of the law for three main reasons:

1. it reduces the Philippine maritime territory under Article 1;

2. it opens the countrys waters to innocent and sea lanes passages hence undermining
our sovereignty and security; and

3. treating KIG and Scarborough as regime of islands would weaken our claim over those
territories.

Issue: Whether R.A. 9522 is constitutional?

Ruling:

1. UNCLOS III has nothing to do with acquisition or loss of territory. it is just a codified
norm that regulates conduct of States. On the other hand, RA 9522 is a baseline law to
mark out basepoints along coasts, serving as geographic starting points to measure. it
merely notices the international community of the scope of our maritime space.

2. If passages is the issue, domestically, the legislature can enact legislation designating
routes within the archipelagic waters to regulate innocent and sea lanes passages. but in
the absence of such, international law norms operate.

the fact that for archipelagic states, their waters are subject to both passages does not
place them in lesser footing vis a vis continental coastal states. Moreover, RIOP is a
customary international law, no modern state can invoke its sovereignty to forbid such
passage.

3. On the KIG issue, RA 9522 merely followed the basepoints mapped by RA 3046 and in
fact, it increased the Phils. total maritime space. Moreover, the itself commits the Phils.
continues claim of sovereignty and jurisdiction over KIG.

If not, it would be a breach to 2 provisions of the UNCLOS III:

Art. 47 (3): drawing of basepoints shall not depart to any appreciable extent from the
general configuration of the archipelago.

Art 47 (2): the length of baselines shall not exceed 100 mm.

KIG and SS are far from our baselines, if we draw to include them, well breach the rules:
that it should follow the natural configuration of the archipelago.

Case Digest: GR No. 187167


Prof. Magallona, Hontiveros, Prof. Roque and 38 UP College of Law Students
-vsErmita Exec.Sec., Romulo Sec DFA, Andaya Sec DBM, Ventura Administrator National
Mapping & Resource Information Authority and Davide Jr.

-writ of certiorari and prohibition assailing the constitutionality of RA 9522


Facts:
RA 3046 was passed in 1961 which provides among others the demarcation lines of the baselines
of the Philippines as an archipelago. This is in consonance with UNCLOS I.
RA 5446 amended RA 3046 in terms of typographical errors and included Section 2 in which the
government reserved the drawing of baselines in Sabah in North Borneo.
RA 9522 took effect on March 2009 amending RA 5446. The amendments, which are in

compliance with UNCLOS III in which the Philippines is one of the signatory, shortening one
baseline while optimizing the other and classifying Kalayaan Group of Island and Scarborough
Shoal as Regimes of Island.
Petitioners in their capacity as taxpayer, citizen and legislator assailed the constitutionality of
RA 9522:- it reduces the territory of the Philippines in violation to the Constitution and it opens
the country to maritime passage of vessels and aircrafts of other states to the detriment of the
economy, sovereignty, national security and of the Constitution as well. They added that the
classification of Regime of Islands would be prejudicial to the lives of the fishermen.
Issues:
1. WON the petitioners have locus standi to bring the suit; and
2. WON RA 9522 is unconstitutional
Ruling:
Petition is dismissed.
1st Issue:
The SC ruled the suit is not a taxpayer or legislator, but as a citizen suit, since it is the citizens
who will be directly injured and benefitted in affording relief over the remedy sought.
2nd Issue:
The SC upheld the constitutionality of RA 9522.
First, RA 9522 did not delineate the territory the Philippines but is merely a statutory tool to
demarcate the countrys maritime zone and continental shelf under UNCLOS III. SC emphasized
that UNCLOS III is not a mode of acquiring or losing a territory as provided under the laws of
nations. UNCLOS III is a multi-lateral treaty that is a result of a long-time negotiation to
establish a uniform sea-use rights over maritime zones (i.e., the territorial waters [12 nautical
miles from the baselines], contiguous zone [24 nautical miles from the baselines], exclusive
economic zone [200 nautical miles from the baselines]), and continental shelves. In order to
measure said distances, it is a must for the state parties to have their archipelagic doctrines
measured in accordance to the treatythe role played by RA 9522. The contention of the
petitioner that RA 9522 resulted to the loss of 15,000 square nautical miles is devoid of merit.
The truth is, RA 9522, by optimizing the location of base points, increased the Philippines total
maritime space of 145,216 square nautical miles.
Second, the classification of KGI and Scarborough Shoal as Regime of Islands is consistent with
the Philippines sovereignty. Had RA 9522 enclosed the islands as part of the archipelago, the
country will be violating UNCLOS III since it categorically stated that the length of the

baseline shall not exceed 125 nautical miles. So what the legislators did is to carefully analyze
the situation: the country, for decades, had been claiming sovereignty over KGI and Scarborough
Shoal on one hand and on the other hand they had to consider that these are located at nonappreciable distance from the nearest shoreline of the Philippine archipelago. So, the
classification is in accordance with the Philippines sovereignty and States responsible
observance of its pacta sunt servanda obligation under UNCLOS III.
Third, the new base line introduced by RA 9522 is without prejudice with delineation of the
baselines of the territorial sea around the territory of Sabah, situated in North Borneo, over
which the Republic of the Philippines has acquired dominion and sovereignty.
And lastly, the UNCLOS III and RA 9522 are not incompatible with the Constitutions
delineation of internal waters. Petitioners contend that RA 9522 transformed the internal
waters of the Philippines to archipelagic waters hence subjecting these waters to the right of
innocent and sea lanes passages, exposing the Philippine internal waters to nuclear and maritime
pollution hazards. The Court emphasized that the Philippines exercises sovereignty over the
body of water lying landward of the baselines, including the air space over it and the submarine
areas underneath, regardless whether internal or archipelagic waters. However, sovereignty will
not bar the Philippines to comply with its obligation in maintaining freedom of navigation and the
generally accepted principles of international law. It can be either passed by legislator as a
municipal law or in the absence thereof, it is deemed incorporated in the Philippines law since the
right of innocent passage is a customary international law, thus automatically incorporated
thereto.
This does not mean that the states are placed in a lesser footing; it just signifies concession of
archipelagic states in exchange for their right to claim all waters inside the baseline. In fact,
the demarcation of the baselines enables the Philippines to delimit its exclusive economic zone,
reserving solely to the Philippines the exploitation of all living and non-living resources within
such zone. Such a maritime delineation binds the international community since the delineation is
in strict observance of UNCLOS III. If the maritime delineation is contrary to UNCLOS III,
the international community will of course reject it and will refuse to be bound by it.
The Court expressed that it is within the Congress who has the prerogative to determine the
passing of a law and not the Court. Moreover, such enactment was necessary in order to comply
with the UNCLOS III; otherwise, it shall backfire on the Philippines for its territory shall be
open to seafaring powers to freely enter and exploit the resources in the waters and submarine
areas around our archipelago and it will weaken the countrys case in any international dispute
over Philippine maritime space.
The enactment of UNCLOS III compliant baselines law for the Philippine archipelago and
adjacent areas, as embodied in RA 9522, allows an internationally-recognized delimitation of the
breadth of the Philippines maritime zones and continental shelf. RA 9522 is therefore a most

vital step on the part of the Philippines in safeguarding its maritime zones, consistent with the
Constitution and our national interest.

G.R No. 187167 August 16, 2011


Magallona v. Ermita
Facts:
In 1961, Congress passed Republic Act No. 3046 (RA 3046)2 demarcating
the maritime baselines of the Philippines as an archipelagic State.3 This law
followed the framing of the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the
Contiguous Zone in 1958 (UNCLOS I),4 codifying, among others, the sovereign
right of States parties over their "territorial sea," the breadth of which,
however, was left undetermined. Attempts to fill this void during the second
round of negotiations in Geneva in 1960 (UNCLOS II) proved futile. Thus,
domestically, RA 3046 remained unchanged for nearly five decades, save for
legislation passed in 1968 (Republic Act No. 5446 [RA 5446]) correcting
typographical errors and reserving the drawing of baselines around Sabah in
North Borneo.
In March 2009, Congress amended RA 3046 by enacting RA 9522, the statute
now under scrutiny. The change was prompted by the need to make RA 3046
compliant with the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the
Sea (UNCLOS III),5 which the Philippines ratified on 27 February 1984.6
Among others, UNCLOS III prescribes the 1.) water-land ratio, length,
2.) contour of baselines of archipelagic States like the Philippines7
3.) sets the deadline for the filing of application for the extended
continental shelf.8 Complying with these requirements, RA 9522 1.)
shortened one baseline, 2.) optimized the location of some
basepoints around the Philippine archipelago and 3.) classified
adjacent territories, namely, the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and the
Scarborough Shoal, as "regimes of islands" whose islands generate
their own applicable maritime zones.

The Issues
The petition raises the following issues:
1. Whether petitioners possess locus standi to bring this suit; and
2. Whether the writs of certiorari and prohibition are the proper remedies to
assail the constitutionality of RA 9522.
3. whether RA 9522 is unconstitutional
Held: With locus standi, constitutional-- petition must fail
Ratio:
Petitioners submit: RA 9522 "dismembers a large portion of the
national territory"21 because it discards the pre-UNCLOS III
demarcation of Philippine territory under the Treaty of Paris and
related treaties, successively encoded in the definition of national
territory under the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions. Petitioners
theorize that this constitutional definition trumps any treaty or statutory
provision denying the Philippines sovereign control over waters,
beyond the territorial sea recognized at the time of the Treaty of
Paris, that Spain supposedly ceded to the United States. Petitioners
argue that from the Treaty of Paris technical description, Philippine
sovereignty over territorial waters extends hundreds of nautical miles around
the Philippine archipelago, embracing the rectangular area delineated in the
Treaty of Paris.No. Petitioners theory fails. UNCLOS III has nothing to do
with the acquisition (or loss) of territory. It is a multilateral treaty
regulating, among others, sea-use rights over maritime zones (i.e.,
the territorial waters [12 nautical miles from the baselines],
contiguous zone [24 nautical miles from the baselines], exclusive
economic zone [200 nautical miles from the baselines]), and
continental shelves that UNCLOS III delimits.23 UNCLOS III was the
culmination of decades-long negotiations among United Nations members to
codify norms regulating the conduct of States in the worlds oceans
and submarine areas, recognizing coastal and archipelagic States
graduated authority over a limited span of waters and submarine
lands along their coasts. Thus, baselines laws are nothing but statutory
mechanisms for UNCLOS III States parties to delimit with precision
the extent of their maritime zones and continental shelves. In turn,
this gives notice to the rest of the international community of the
scope of the maritime space and submarine areas within which
States parties exercise treaty-based rights, namely, the exercise of
sovereignty over territorial waters (Article 2), the jurisdiction to enforce
customs, fiscal, immigration, and sanitation laws in the contiguous zone
(Article 33), and the right to exploit the living and non-living resources in the
exclusive economic zone (Article 56) and continental shelf (Article 77).
UNCLOS III and its ancillary baselines laws play no role in the
acquisition, enlargement or, as petitioners claim, diminution of
territory. Under traditional international law typology, States acquire
(or conversely, lose) territory through occupation, accretion, cession
and prescription,25 not by executing multilateral treaties on the
regulations of sea-use rights or enacting statutes to comply with the
treatys terms to delimit maritime zones and continental shelves.
Territorial claims to land features are outside UNCLOS III, and are instead
governed by the rules on general international law.
Petitioners next submit that RA 9522s use of UNCLOS IIIs regime of islands
framework to draw the baselines, and to measure the breadth of the
applicable maritime zones of the KIG, "weakens our territorial claim" over
that area.27 Petitioners add that the KIGs (and Scarborough Shoals)

exclusion from the Philippine archipelagic baselines results in the loss of


"about 15,000 square nautical miles of territorial waters," prejudicing the
livelihood of subsistence fishermen.28 A comparison of the configuration of
the baselines drawn under RA 3046 and RA 9522 and the extent of maritime
space encompassed by each law, coupled with a reading of the text of RA
9522 and its congressional deliberations, vis--vis the Philippines obligations
under UNCLOS III, belie this view. NO. RA 9522s Use of the Framework
of Regime of Islands to Determine the Maritime Zones of the KIG and
the Scarborough Shoal, not Inconsistent with the Philippines Claim
of Sovereignty Over these Areas. The configuration of the baselines drawn
under RA 3046 and RA 9522 shows that RA 9522 merely followed the
basepoints mapped by RA 3046, save for at least nine basepoints
that RA 9522 skipped to optimize the location of basepoints and
adjust the length of one baseline (and thus comply with UNCLOS IIIs
limitation on the maximum length of baselines). Under RA 3046, as
under RA 9522, the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal lie outside of the baselines
drawn around the Philippine archipelago. This undeniable cartographic fact
takes the wind out of petitioners argument branding RA 9522 as a statutory
renunciation of the Philippines claim over the KIG, assuming that baselines
are relevant for this purpose.
Petitioners argument that the KIG now lies outside Philippine territory
because the baselines that RA 9522 draws do not enclose the KIG-- No. Had
Congress in RA 9522 enclosed the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal as part of
the Philippine archipelago, adverse legal effects would have ensued. The
Philippines would have committed a breach of two provisions of UNCLOS III.
First, Article 47 (3) of UNCLOS III requires that "[t]he drawing of such baselines
shall not depart to any appreciable extent from the general configuration of
the archipelago." Second, Article 47 (2) of UNCLOS III requires that "the length
of the baselines shall not exceed 100 nautical miles," save for three per cent
(3%) of the total number of baselines which can reach up to 125 nautical
miles.31 Although the Philippines has consistently claimed sovereignty over
the KIG32 and the Scarborough Shoal for several decades, these outlying
areas are located at an appreciable distance from the nearest shoreline of the
Philippine archipelago,33 such that any straight baseline loped around them
from the nearest basepoint will inevitably "depart to an appreciable extent
from the general configuration of the archipelago.
Petitioners argument for the invalidity of RA 9522 for its failure to textualize
the Philippines claim over Sabah in North Borneo-- is also untenable.
Section 2 of RA 5446, which RA 9522 did not repeal, keeps open the
door for drawing the baselines of Sabah:
Section 2. The definition of the baselines of the territorial sea of the Philippine
Archipelago as provided in this Actis without prejudice to the delineation
of the baselines of the territorial sea around the territory of Sabah,
situated in North Borneo, over which the Republic of the Philippines
has acquired dominion and sovereignty.
As their final argument against the validity of RA 9522, petitioners contend
that the law unconstitutionally "converts" internal waters into
archipelagic waters, hence subjecting these waters to the right of
innocent and sea lanes passage under UNCLOS III, including
overflight. Petitioners extrapolate that these passage rights indubitably
expose Philippine internal waters to nuclear and maritime pollution hazards, in
violation of the Constitution-- UNCLOS III and RA 9522 not Incompatible
with the Constitutions Delineation of Internal Waters. Whether
referred to as Philippine "internal waters" under Article I of the Constitution39
or as "archipelagic waters" under UNCLOS III (Article 49 [1]), the Philippines

exercises sovereignty over the body of water lying landward of the baselines,
including the air space over it and the submarine areas underneath. UNCLOS
III affirms this:
Article 49. Legal status of archipelagic waters, of the air space over
archipelagic waters and of their bed and subsoil:
1. The sovereignty of an archipelagic State extends to the waters enclosed
by the archipelagic baselines drawn in accordance with article 47, described as
archipelagic waters, regardless of their depth or distance from the coast.
2. This sovereignty extends to the air space over the archipelagic waters, as
well as to their bed and subsoil, and the resources contained therein.
xxxx
4. The regime of archipelagic sea lanes passage established in this Part shall not in other respects affect
the status of the archipelagic waters, including the sea lanes, or the exercise by the archipelagic State
of its sovereignty over such waters and their air space, bed and subsoil, and the resources contained
therein.
The fact of sovereignty, however, does not preclude the operation of municipal and
international law norms subjecting the territorial sea or archipelagic waters to
necessary, if not marginal, burdens in the interest of maintaining unimpeded,
expeditious international navigation, consistent with the international law principle of
freedom of navigation. Thus, domestically, the political branches of the
Philippine government, in the competent discharge of their constitutional
powers, may pass legislation designating routes within the archipelagic
waters to regulate innocent and sea lanes passage.40 Indeed, bills drawing
nautical highways for sea lanes passage are now pending in Congress.41
In the absence of municipal legislation, international law norms, now codified in UNCLOS III, operate to
grant innocent passage rights over the territorial sea or archipelagic waters, subject to the treatys
limitations and conditions for their exercise.42 Significantly, the right of innocent passage is a customary
international law,43 thus automatically incorporated in the corpus of Philippine law.44 No modern State
can validly invoke its sovereignty to absolutely forbid innocent passage that is exercised in accordance with
customary international law without risking retaliatory measures from the international community.
The fact that for archipelagic States, their archipelagic waters are subject to both the right of innocent
passage and sea lanes passage45 does not place them in lesser footing vis--vis continental coastal States
which are subject, in their territorial sea, to the right of innocent passage and the right of transit passage
through international straits. The imposition of these passage rights through archipelagic waters under
UNCLOS III was a concession by archipelagic States, in exchange for their right to claim all the
waters landward of their baselines,regardless of their depth or distance from the coast, as archipelagic
waters subject to their territorial sovereignty. More importantly, the recognition of archipelagic States
archipelago and the waters enclosed by their baselines as one cohesive entity prevents the treatment of their
islands as separate islands under UNCLOS III.46 Separate islands generate their own maritime zones,
placing the waters between islands separated by more than 24 nautical miles beyond the States territorial
sovereignty, subjecting these waters to the rights of other States under UNCLOS III.47

PROF. MERLIN M. MAGALLONA, et.al v. HON. EDUARDO ERMITA,


IN HIS CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, et.al
G.R. No. 187167, 16 July 2011, EN BANC (Carpio, J.)

The conversion of internal waters into archipelagic waters will not


risk the Philippines because an archipelagic State has sovereign power
that extends to the waters enclosed by the archipelagic baselines,
regardless of their depth or distance from the coast.
R.A. 9522 was enacted by the Congress in March 2009 to comply
with the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
(UNCLOS III), which the Philippines ratified on February 27, 1984. Such
compliance shortened one baseline, optimized the location of some
basepoints around the Philippine archipelago and classified adjacent
territories such as the Kalayaan Island Ground (KIG) and the
Scarborough Shoal as regimes of islands whose islands generate their
own applicable maritime zones.
Petitioners, in their capacities as citizens, taxpayers or
legislators assail the constitutionality of R.A. 9522 with one of their
arguments contending that the law unconstitutionally converts internal
waters into archipelagic waters, thus subjecting these waters to the right
of innocent and sea lanes passage under UNCLOS III, including
overflight. Petitioners have contended that these passage rights will
violate the Constitution as it shall expose Philippine internal waters to
nuclear and maritime pollution hazard.
ISSUE:
Whether or not R.A. 9522 is unconstitutional for converting
internal waters into archipelagic waters
HELD:
Petition DISMISSED.
The Court finds R.A. 9522 constitutional and is consistent with the
Philippines national interest. Aside from being a vital step in
safeguarding the countrys maritime zones, the law also allows an
internationally-recognized delimitation of the breadth of the Philippines
maritime zones and continental shelf.
The Court also finds that the conversion of internal waters into
archipelagic waters will not risk the Philippines as affirmed in the Article
49 of the UNCLOS III, an archipelagic State has sovereign power that
extends to the waters enclosed by the archipelagic baselines, regardless
of their depth or distance from the coast. It is further stated that the
regime of archipelagic sea lanes passage will not affect the status of its
archipelagic waters or the exercise of sovereignty over waters and air
space, bed and subsoil and the resources therein.

Furthermore, due to the absence of its own legislation regarding


routes within the archipelagic waters to regulate innocent and sea lanes
passage, the Philippines has no choice but to comply with the
international law norms. The Philippines is subject to UNCLOS III, which
grants innocent passage rights over the territorial sea or archipelagic
waters, subject to the treatys limitations and conditions for their
exercise, thus, the right of innocent passage, being a customary
international law, is automatically incorporated in the corpus of
Philippine law. If the Philippines or any country shall invoke its
sovereignty to forbid innocent passage, it shall risk retaliatory measures
from the international community. With compliance to UNCLOS III and
the enactment of R.A. 9522, the Congress has avoided such conflict.
Contrary to the contention of the petitioners, the compliance to
UNCLOS III through the R.A. 9522 will not expose Philippine internal
waters to nuclear and maritime pollution hazard. As a matter of fact, if
the Philippines did not comply with the baselines law, it will find itself
devoid of internationally acceptable baselines from where the breadth of
its maritime zones and continental shelf is measured and which will
produce two-fronted disaster: (1) open invitation to the seafaring powers
to freely enter and exploit the resources in the waters and submarine
areas around the archipelago and (2) it shall weaken the countrys case
in any international dispute over Philippine maritime space. Such
disaster was avoided through the R.A. 9522.