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Ichong vs Hernandez

FACTS:
The Legislature passed R.A. 1180 (An Act to Regulate the Retail Business). Its purpose was to prevent
persons who are not citizens of the Phil. from having a stranglehold upon the peoples economic life.
a prohibition against aliens and against associations, partnerships, or corporations the capital of which
are not wholly owned by Filipinos, from engaging directly or indirectly in the retail trade
aliens actually engaged in the retail business on May 15, 1954 are allowed to continue their business,
unless their licenses are forfeited in accordance with law, until their death or voluntary retirement. In case
of juridical persons, ten years after the approval of the Act or until the expiration of term.
Citizens and juridical entities of the United States were exempted from this Act.
provision for the forfeiture of licenses to engage in the retail business for violation of the laws on
nationalization, economic control weights and measures and labor and other laws relating to trade,
commerce and industry.
provision against the establishment or opening by aliens actually engaged in the retail business of
additional stores or branches of retail business
Lao Ichong, in his own behalf and behalf of other alien residents, corporations and partnerships affected
by the Act, filed an action to declare it unconstitutional for the ff: reasons:
1.
it denies to alien residents the equal protection of the laws and deprives them of their liberty and
property without due process
2.

the subject of the Act is not expressed in the title

3.

the Act violates international and treaty obligations

4.
the provisions of the Act against the transmission by aliens of their retail business thru hereditary
succession
ISSUE: WON the Act deprives the aliens of the equal protection of the laws.
HELD: The law is a valid exercise of police power and it does not deny the aliens the equal protection of
the laws. There are real and actual, positive and fundamental differences between an alien and a citizen,
which fully justify the legislative classification adopted.
RATIO:
The equal protection clause does not demand absolute equality among residents. It merely requires that
all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges conferred
and liabilities enforced.
The classification is actual, real and reasonable, and all persons of one class are treated alike.
The difference in status between citizens and aliens constitutes a basis for reasonable classification in the
exercise of police power.
Official statistics point out to the ever-increasing dominance and control by alien of the retail trade. It is
this domination and control that is the legislatures target in the enactment of the Act.
The mere fact of alienage is the root cause of the distinction between the alien and the national as a
trader. The alien is naturally lacking in that spirit of loyalty and enthusiasm for the Phil. where he
temporarily stays and makes his living. The alien owes no allegiance or loyalty to the State, and the State
cannot rely on him/her in times of crisis or emergency.

While the citizen holds his life, his person and his property subject to the needs of the country, the alien
may become the potential enemy of the State.
The alien retailer has shown such utter disregard for his customers and the people on whom he makes
his profit. Through the illegitimate use of pernicious designs and practices, the alien now enjoys a
monopolistic control on the nations economy endangering the national security in times of crisis and
emergency.