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POLITICAL LAW branch of public law which deals with the organization and operation of governmental organs of the
state and defines the relation of the state with its inhabitants of territory
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW study of the structure and powers of the government of the Republic; deals with certain basic
concepts of political law such as the nature of the state, the supremacy of the constitution, the separation of powers and
the rule of majority

Every citizen should understand the mechanics and motivations of his government

Sovereignty resides in the people and government authority emanates from them
1987 Constitution
1973 and 1935 Constitution
Other organic Laws
Statutes, executive orders and decrees and judicial decisions
US Constitution (Even Spanish laws)
CONSTITUTION Body of rules and maxims in accordances with which the power of the sovereignty are habitually
PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION Written instrument enacted by directed action of the people which the fundamental
powers of government are established, limited and defined, and by which those powers are distributed among several
departments for their safe and useful exercise for the benefit of the body politic. (written, conventional and rigid)
AMENDMENT: isolated, piecemeal change; change, adds, reduces or deletes without altering principle but only a
specific provision
REVISION: revamp, rewriting of the whole instrument; alters basic principle of several provisions
1. Proposal
Upon 3/4 of members of Congress
Constitutional Convention (2/3 to call)

Only amendments may be made by people petition of at least 12% of the registered voters every
district of 3% of the Registered Voters

Congress shall provide implementation for such right (RA 6735: insufficient)


Mere amendment legislative action to cost cut expenditures

Revision CON CON

2. Ratification any amendment/revision shall be valid when ratified by majority of votes cast in a plebiscite which shall
be held not earlier than 60 days nor later than 90 days after the approval of such
Purpose of reasonable time: revisions/amendments are intended to answer present needs or current problems and
delays may no longer serve the purpose

The plebiscite may be held on the same day as regular elections (Gonzales v. Comelec)
The use of the word election" in the singular meant that the entire Constitution must be submitted for ratification
at one plebiscite only; furthermore, the people have to be given a proper frame of reference in arriving at their
decision. Thus, submission for ratification of piece-meal amendments by the Constitutional Convention (which is
tasked to revise the Constitution) was disallowed since the people had, at that time, no idea yet of what the rest
of the revised Constitution would be (Tolentino v. Comelec)


VERBA LEGIS words must be given ordinary meaning (except in technical terms)

Congress cannot contravene to dictates of the constitution ruled in Francisco v HOR who initiated an
impeachment proceeding twice against the same official within a year
RATIO LEGIS ET ANIMA where there is ambiguity, it must be interpreted according to the intent of the
framers; the reason and spirit of law

in Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary, it was held that the Court in construing a Constitution


should bear in mind the object sought to be accomplished and the evils sought to be prevented or
remedied. A doubtful provision shall be examined in light of the history of the times and the conditions
and circumstances under which the Constitution was framed.
If, however, the plain meaning of the word is not found to be clear, resort to other aids is available; it is
permissible to consult the debates and proceedings of the constitutional convention in order to arrive at
the reason and purpose of the resulting Constitution, resort thereto may be had only when other guides
fail as said proceedings are powerless to vary the terms of the Constitution when the meaning is clear.
We think it safer to construe the Constitution from what appears upon its face. The proper
interpretation, therefore, depends more on how it was understood by the people adopting it than in the
framers understanding thereof.
UT MAAIS VALEAT AUAM PEREAT interpreted as a whole
Again, in Civil Liberties Union, it was declared that sections bearing on a particular subject should be
considered and interpreted together as to effectuate the whole purpose of the Constitution and one
section is not to be allowed to defeat another, if by any reasonable construction, the two can be made to
stand together.

Self-executing provisions. 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 a 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 [Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS].
Section 26, Article II of the Constitution neither bestows a right nor elevates the privilege to the level of an enforceable
right. Like the rest of the policies enumerated in Article II, the provision does not contain any judicially enforceable
constitutional right but merely specifies a guideline for legislative or executive action. The disregard of this provision
does not give rise to any cause of action before the courts [Pamatong v. Comelec].

Qualitative Test: Whether the change will accomplish changes in nature of our basic governmental plan or
fundamental powers/framework
Quantitative Test: Change is so extensive in its provisions as to change directly the substantial entirety
(number of provisions and not degree)

Lambino v. Comelec, enumerates the distinctions between revision and amendment, as follows: Revision broadly
implies a change that alters a basic principle in the Constitution, like altering the principle of separation of powers or the
system of checks and balances. There is also revision if the change alters the substantial entirety of the Constitution. On
the other hand, amendment broadly refers to a change that adds, reduces, deletes, without altering the basic principle
involved. Revision generally affects several provisions of the Constitution; while amendment generally affects only the
specific provision being amended. The Lambino proposal constituted a revision, not simply an amendment, of the
Constitution, because it involved a change in the form of government, from presidential to parliamentary, and a shift from
the present bicameral to a a unicameral legislature.
In Imbong v. Comelec, it was held that Congress acting as a constituent body may call a con-con, thereafter, the same
congress, acting this time as a legislative body may pass necessary implementing laws since constitution is not a selfexecuting law
However, even if such is power is vested only to the Congress, it must be recalled that the president once had both the
executive and legislative powers that made the commission of an referendum valid at the time of Marcos which was
ruled in Sanidad v Comelec.


Theory on Conventional Sovereignty supreme over other departments since it exercises powers that are
sovereign powers in nature
Inferior merely a creation of legislative
Co-equal most popular, observed in our jurisdiction

Question of validity of the adoption of subject to judicial review

Political in nature are not answered, but entertains judicial question (whether discharged within the limits of
power or followed prescribed procedure)

Expression of supremacy of constitution

For checking, legitimating and symbolic

Where there must be an actual case or controversy raised by a proper party and raised at the earliest
opportunity and where the decision of the constitutional question must be determinative of the case itself

The term 'political question connotes what it means in ordinary parlance, namely a question of policy. It refers
to 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 legislative or executive branch of
government. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure.
RA 6735
Ruled inadequate and insufficient in Santiago v Comelec
INITIATIVE entirely work of electorate to propose, enact, approve or reject
REFERENDUM begun and consented by the legislature
PLEBISCITE initiative is approved or rejected
PETITION (must contain): Must be complete or else invalid automatically
Full context of proposed law
Proposition measure of proposed law
Not one of the exceptions
Abstract or Summary
STATE is a community of persons more or less numerous, permanently occupying a definite portion of territory and
possessed of an independent government organized for political ends to which the great body of inhabitants render
habitual obedience (legal concept)
NATION indicates a relation of birth or origin and implies a common race, usually characterized by community of
language and customs (racial concept)
Elements of a State:
1. People constituents, inhabitants, electorate
2. Territory
The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all
other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial and aerial
domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas
Components: Terrestrial, Fluvial, Maritime and Aerial domains.
Archipelago Doctrine: The waters around, between and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their
breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines
This articulates the archipelagic doctrine of national territory, based on the principle that an archipelago, which consists

of a number of islands separated by bodies of water, should be treated as one integral unit.
Straight baseline method: Imaginary straight lines are drawn joining the outermost points of outermost islands of the
archipelago, enclosing an area the ratio of which should not be more than 9:1 (water to land); provided that the drawing
of baselines shall not depart, to any appreciable extent, from the general configuration of the archipelago. The waters
within the baselines shall be considered internal waters; while the breadth of the territorial sea shall then be measured
from the baselines.
UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provides (i) Contiguous Zone of 12 miles; (ii) Exclusive Economic Zone of 200
miles. Although the contiguous zone and most of the exclusive economic zone may not, technically, be part of the
territory of the State, nonetheless, the coastal State enjoys preferential rights over the marine resources found within
these zones.
12NM (Territorial sea) Full jurisdiction and control, 24NM (Contiguous Zone) Customs and immigration laws while 200
NM EEZ may now apply innocent passage
In Magalona v. Ermita, petitioners challenged the constitutionality of RA 9522 that accordingly it reduces the maritime
territory and reach of sovereignty of the PH and that it opens our waters to maritime passage by vessels/aircraft.
However it was ruled by the Court that it does not in any way reduce the territory of the country but only delimits the
boundaries set forth by International law. passage rights in exchange for right to claim waters landward from
baselines subject to territorial sovereignty. While claims outside (Kalayaan island for example) are governed by Rules on
general international law
No modern state can validly invoke its sovereignty to absolute forbid innocent passage that is exercised in accordance
with customary international law without risking retaliory measures from the international community.
3. Government
The agency or instrumentality through which the will of the State is formulated, expressed and realized.
Traditionally, the functions of government have been classified into constituent, which are mandatory for the Government
to perform because they constitute the very bonds of society, such as the maintenance of peace and order, regulation of
property and property rights, the administration of justice, etc; and ministrant, those intended to promote the welfare,
progress and prosperity of the people, and which are merely optional for Government to perform.
In Shipside, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, it was held that the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), created
under R.A. 7227, performs functions which are basically proprietary in nature. The promotion of economic and social
development of Central Luzon, in particular, and the countrys goal for enhancement, in general, do not make BCDA
equivalent to Government. Other corporations, such as SSS, GSIS, NIA, although performing functions aimed at
promoting public interest and public welfare, are not invested with government attributes. [Thus, with the transfer to
BCDA of Camp Wallace, the government no longer had a right or interest to protect; the real party in interest to recover
the property is, thus, the BCDA, not the Republic of the Philippines.]
In PVTA v. CIR, the Court noted that the distinction between the two functions had become blurred. See also Edu v.
Ericta, where the Supreme Court declared that, as early as the 1935 Constitution, we had already repudiated the laissez
faire doctrine. The repudiation of the laissez faire doctrine is reiterated in Association of Philippine Coconut Desiccators
v. Philippine Coconut Authority, G.R. No. 110526, February 10, 1998, where it was held that although the 1987
Constitution enshrines free enterprise as a policy, it nevertheless reserves to the Government the power to intervene
whenever necessary to promote the general welfare, as reflected in Secs. 6 and 19, Art. XII.
Doctrine of Parens Patriae. Literally, parent of the people. As such, the Government may act as guardian of the rights

of people who may be disadvantaged or suffering from some disability or misfortune.

Evident in the ruling of GPI v. Monte de Piedad where the funds have been returned to the constituents of the
Philippines and Cabanas v. Pilapil who determined the mother of the child as the administrator of inheritance from
deceased father than the uncle since the welfare of the child is of paramount importance.
DE FACTO: government of fact, exercises power but without legal title; Kinds: That which takes possession or control of,
or usurps, by force or by the voice of the majority, the rightful legal government and maintains itself against the will of the
latter; that which is established by the inhabitants of a territory who rise in insurrection against the parent state; and that
which is established by the invading forces of an enemy who occupy a territory in the course of war. The last is
denominated a de facto government of paramount force.
DE JURE: With rightful title but no control or power because this has been withdrawn or have not yet entered the
exercise thereof.
Court ruled in LLBP v. Aquino that the Cory administration is not only a de facto but a de jure government for having
been accepted by the people which is in effective control of the country.
4. Sovereignty: The supreme and uncontrollable power inherent in a State by which that State is governed.

Legal, which is the power to issue final commands; or Political, which is the sum total of all the influences which
lie behind the law.


Internal, or the supreme power over everything within its territory; or External, also known as independence,
which is freedom from external control.

Characteristics: permanence, exclusiveness, comprehensiveness, absoluteness, indivisibility, inalienability,

In Laurel v Misa, it was established that despite a belligerent occupation, a Filipinos allegiance must remain in the
Philippines and the Filipinos.

Political laws are abrogated: In People v. Perfecto, the act done of publishing an article directed to the alleged
concealment of documents cannot be punished according to the laws that have been enforced to protect the
Spanish crown who was not anymore the ruler at that time.


While municipal laws remain in force: In Vilas v. City of Manila, court ruled that the obligations incurred by the
city remain to be in force for the cesion did not operate as an extinction of municipal corporations.

Effects of belligerent occupation: No change in sovereignty.

Alcantara v. Director of Prisons: the sentence of the accused is of no political complexion therefore proceedings
are valid since it is punishable under municipal law.

Ruffy v. Chief of Staff: a soldier on leave could not be held guilty on the breach of discipline or neglect of duty
but for an act that constitutes an offense specified in the articles of war, must be subject then to military
jurisdiction for trial.

However, political laws, except the law on treason, are suspended [Laurel v. Misa]; municipal laws remain in force
unless repealed by the belligerent occupant. At the end of the belligerent occupation, when the occupant is ousted from
the territory, the political laws which had been suspended during the occupation shall automatically become effective
again, under the doctrine of jus postliminium.
Dominium refers to the capacity to own or acquire property, including lands held by the State in its proprietary capacity;
while Imperium is the authority possessed by the State embraced in the concept of sovereignty.
Laws of political complexion. Which penalizes either a new act not defined in the municipal laws or acts already
penalized as a crime against the legitimate government but taken out and penalized as a new offense committed against
belligerent occupant. They are penalized for public rather than private reasons which tend to be in favor of the enemy.
These described the relationship of individuals and belligerent.
The State cannot be sued without its consent
BASIS: There can be no legal right against the authority which makes the law on which the right depends [Republic v.
Villasor, where it may limit claimants action only up to the completion of proceedings anterior to the stage of execution
and that the power of courts ends when judgment is rendered since funds may not be seized], However, it may be sued
if it gives consent, whether express or implied. The doctrine is also known as the Royal Prerogative of Dishonesty.
But funds belonging to government corporations (whose charters provide that they can sue and be sued) that are
deposited with a bank are not exempt from garnishment; it was held that if the funds belong to a public corporation or a
government- owned or controlled corporation which is clothed with a personality of its own, then the funds are not
exempt from garnishment. This is so because when the government enters into commercial business, it abandons its
sovereign capacity and is to be treated like any other corporation. NHA is one such corporation; thus, its funds are not
exempt from garnishment or execution.
In order that suit may lie against the state, there must be consent, either express or implied. Where no consent is
shown, state immunity from suit may be invoked as a defense by the courts sua sponte at any stage of the proceedings,
because waiver of immunity, being in derogation of sovereignty, will not be inferred lightly and must be construed in
strictissimi juris. Accordingly, the complaint (or counterclaim) against the State must allege the existence of such consent
(and where the same is found), otherwise, the complaint may be dismissed
1. EXPRESS. Express consent can be given only by an act of the legislative body
An example of a general law granting consent is CA327, as amended by PD 1445, which requires that all money claims
against the government must first be filed with the Commission on Audit before suit is instituted in court. The Department
of Agriculture may be sued for money claims based on a contract entered into in its governmental capacity, because of
the express consent contained in Act No. 3038, provided that the claim be first brought to the Commission on Audit in
accordance with CA 327, as amended [Department of Agriculture v. NLRC]
But in Amigable v. Cuenca, an action for the recovery of the value of the property taken by the government and
converted into a public street without payment of just compensation was allowed, despite the failure of the property
owner to file his claim with the Auditor General. Invoking Ministerio v. City of Cebu, the Supreme Court said that suit may
lie because the doctrine of State immunity cannot be used to perpetrate an injustice. This ruling was reiterated in De los

Santos v. Intermediate Appellate Court, where it was held that the public respondents belief that the property is public,
even if buttressed by statements of other public officials, is no reason for the unjust taking of petitioners property; after
all, the TCT was in the name of the petitioner.
In EPG Construction v. Secretary Vigilar, the ruling in Ministerio was invoked when the respondent DPWH Secretary
denied the money claims of petitioners even after the DPWH Auditor interposed no objection to the payment and the
DBM had ordered the release of the amount under a corresponding Advise of Allotment it issued. Where in Ministerio,
the Court said that the doctrine cannot serve as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice on a citizen, in this case the
Supreme Court declared that it is just as important, if not more so, that there be fidelity to legal norms on the part of
officialdom if the rule of law were to be maintained.
In Santiago v. Republic, an action for the revocation of a donation because of the failure of the defendant to comply with
stipulated conditions was allowed, inasmuch as the action did not involve a money claim.
When the State commences litigation, it becomes vulnerable to a counterclaim [See: Froilan v. Pan Oriental Shipping].
Intervention by the State would constitute commencement of litigation, except when the State intervenes not for the
purpose of asking for any affirmative relief, but only for the purpose of resisting the claim precisely because of immunity
from suit [Lim v. Brownell]
When the State enters into a business contract.
In U. S. v. Ruiz, it was held that the contract for the repair of wharves was a contract in jus imperii, because the wharves
were to be used in national defense, a governmental function. In JUSMAG Phil. v. NLRC, the engagement of the
services of private respondent was held to be performance of a governmental function by JUSMAG, on behalf of the
United States. Accordingly, JUSMAG may not be sued under such a contract. In Republic of Indonesia v. Vinzon, , it was
held that contracts entered into by a sovereign state in connection with the establishment of a diplomatic mission,
including contracts for the upkeep or maintenance of air conditioning units, generator sets, electrical facilities, water
heaters and water motor pumps of the embassy and the Ambassadors residence, are contracts in jure imperii. The fact
that the contract contains a provision that any legal action arising out of the agreement shall be settled according to the
laws of the Philippines and by a specified court of the Philippines does not necessarily mean a waiver of the states
sovereign immunity from suit.
Conversely, in U.S. v. Guinto, the contract bidded out for barbershop facilities in the Clark Field US Air Force Base was
deemed commercial. Similarly, in a companion case, U.S. v. Rodrigo, a contract for restaurant services within the Camp
John Hay Air Station was likewise held commercial in character.
Note, however, that in Republic v. Sandiganbayan, the Court held that even if, in exercising the power of eminent
domain, the State exercises a power jus imperii, as distinguished from its proprietary right of jus gestionis, where
property has been taken without just compensation being paid, the defense of immunity from suit cannot be set up in an
action for payment by the owner.
On the assumption that decision is rendered against the public officer or agency impleaded, will the enforcement thereof
require an affirmative act from the State, such as the appropriation of the needed amount to satisfy the judgment? If so,
then it is a suit against the State.
In Tan v. Director of Forestry, the Supreme Court said that State immunity from suit may be invoked as long as the suit
really affects the property, rights or interests of the State and not merely those of the officers nominally made party

defendants. In this case, the Court said that the promotion of public welfare and the protection of the inhabitants near the
public forest are property rights and interests of the State. In Veterans Manpower and Protective Services, Inc. v. Court
of Appeals, 214 SCRA 286, the suit for damages filed against the PC Chief and the PC-SUSIA would require an
affirmative act of appropriation should damages be awarded, and is, therefore, a suit against the State.
1. Incorporated. If the charter provides that the agency can sue and be sued, then suit will lie, including one for tort. The
provision in the charter constitutes express consent on the part of the State to be sued.
Municipal corporations are agencies of the State when they are engaged in governmental functions and, therefore,
should enjoy the sovereign immunity from suit. However, they are subject to suit even in the performance of such
functions because their respective charters provide that they can sue and be sued [Municipality of San Fernando, La
Union v. Judge Firme]
In National Irrigation Administration v. Court of Appeals, The Supreme Court reiterated that NIA is a corporate body
performing proprietary functions, whose charter, P.D. 552, provides that it may sue and be sued.
In Philippine National Railways v. Intermediate Appellate Court, it was held that although the charter of PNR is silent on
whether it may sue or be sued, it had already been ruled in Malong v. PNR, that the PNR is not performing any
governmental function and may, therefore, be sued.
NOTE: When charter is silent, look at function
2. Unincorporated. Inquire into principal functions of the agency:
a. If governmental: NO suit without consent
In the Veterans Manpower case, the Court said that the PC Chief and PC-SUSIA are instrumentalities of the national
government exercising primarily governmental functions (regulating the organization and operation of private detective,
watchmen or security guard agencies), and thus may not be sued without consent. In Farolan v. Court of Tax Appeals,
the Supreme Court said that the Bureau of Customs, being an unincorporated agency without a separate juridical
personality, enjoys immunity from suit. It is invested with an inherent power of sovereignty, namely the power of taxation;
it performs governmental functions. In Mobil Philippines Exploration v. Customs Arrastre Service, it was held that the
Customs Arrastre Service is merely an adjunct of the Bureau of Customs. A suit against it is, therefore, a suit against the
Bureau of Customs, an unincorporated agency performing primarily governmental functions. [NOTE: Even in the
exercise of proprietary functions incidental to its primarily governmental functions, an unincorporated agency still cannot
be sued without its consent.]
But in Department of Agriculture v. NLRC, because of the express consent contained in Act No. 3038 (where the
Philippine Government consents and submits to be sued upon any money claim involving liability arising from contract,
express or implied, which could serve as a basis of civil action between private parties), the Department of Agriculture
could be sued on the contract for security services entered into by it (subject to prior filing of the claim with the
Commission on Audit), despite it being an unincorporated agency performing primarily governmental functions.
b. If proprietary: suit will prosper because when the State engages in principally proprietary functions, then it descends
to the level of a private individual, and may, therefore, be vulnerable to suit.
The doctrine of State immunity also applies to complaints filed against officials of the State for acts performed by them in

the discharge of their duties within the scope of their authority.

In Sanders v. Veridiano, the Supreme Court spoke of a number of well recognized exceptions when a public officer may
be sued without the prior consent of the State, viz: (1) to compel him to do an act required by law; (2) to restrain him
from enforcing an act claimed to be unconstitutional; (3) to compel the payment of damages from an already
appropriated assurance fund or to refund tax over-payments from a fund already available for the purpose; (4) to secure
a judgment that the officer impleaded may satisfy by himself without the State having to do a positive act to assist him;
and (5) where the government itself has violated its own laws, because the doctrine of state immunity cannot be used to
perpetrate an injustice.
The unauthorized acts of government officials are not acts of state; thus, the public officer may be sued and held
personally liable in damages for such acts [Shauf v. Court of Appeals], Where a public officer has committed an ultra
vires act, or where there is a showing of bad faith, malice or gross negligence, the officer can be held personally
accountable, even if such acts are claimed to have been performed in connection with official duties [Wylie v. Rarang].
Thus, the PCGG or any of its members, may be held civilly liable (for the sale of an aircraft to Fuller Aircraft, which was
void) if they did not act with good faith and within the scope of their authority in the performance of official duties
[Republic v. Sandiganbayan]. Likewise, in U.S. v. Reyes, petitioner Bradford, Activity Exchange Manager at JUSMAG
Headquarters, was held personally liable, inasmuch as the search of respondent Montoya at the JUSMAG parking lot
(which subjected respondent to embarrassment) was held to be beyond the scope and even beyond the Managers
official functions. Similarly, in Republic v. Hon. Edilberto Sandoval, even as the Supreme Court dismissed the suit
against the Republic of the Philippines, the action for damages against the military personnel and the policemen
responsible for the 1989 Mendiola massacre was upheld, inasmuch as the initial findings of the Davide Commission
(tasked by President Aquino to investigate the incident) showed that there was, at least, negligence on their part when
they fired their guns.
Where the public official is sued in his personal capacity, the doctrine of state immunity will not apply, even if the acts
complained of were committed while the public official was occupying a'public position. In Lansang v. Court of Appeals,
the petitioner was sued for allegedly personal motives in ordering the ejectment of the General Assembly of the Blind,
Inc. (GABI) from the Rizal Park; thus, the case was not deemed a suit against the State.
Immunity is enjoyed by other States, consonant with the public international law principle of par in parem non habet
imperium. The Head of State, who is deemed the personification of the State, is inviolable, and thus, enjoys immunity
from suit.
The States diplomatic agents, including consuls to a certain extent, are also exempt from the jurisdiction of local courts
and admiinistraive tribunals.
A foreign agent, operating within a territory, can be cloaked with immunity from suit but only as long as it can be
established that he is acting within the directives of the sending State. The cloak of protection is removed the moment
the foreign agent is sued in his individual capacity, as when he is sought to be made liable for whatever damage he may
have caused by his act done with malice or in bad faith or beyond the scope of his authority or jurisdiction. In Minucher v.
Court of Appeals, it was sufficiently established that respondent Arthur Scalzo an agent of the US Drug Enforcement
Agency, was tasked to conduct surveillance on suspected drug activities within the country, and having ascertained the
target, to inform the local law enforcers who would then be expected to make the arrest. In conducting this surveillance
and later, acting as the poseur- buyer during the buy-bust operation, and then becoming a principal witness in the
criminal case against Minucher, Scalzo can hardly be said to have acted beyond the scope of his official functions or
duties. He should, therefore, be accorded diplomatic immunity.

The United Nations, as well as its organs and specialized agencies, are likewise beyond the jurisdiction of local courts
[Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations; Convention on Privileges and Immunities of Specialized
Agencies of the United Nations; World Health Organization v. Aquino, supra.].
In Lasco v. UNRFNRE (United Nations Revolving Fund for Natural Resources Exploration), the Supreme Court upheld
the diplomatic immunity of private respondent as established by the letter of the Department of Foreign Affairs
recognizing and confirming such immunity in accordance with the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of
the UN of which the Philippines is a signatory.
Even other international organizations or international agencies may be immune from the jurisdiction of local courts and
local administrative tribunals.
In SEAFDEC v. NLRC, and SEAFDEC v. Acosta, it was held that SEAFDEC, as an international agency, enjoys
diplomatic immunity. It was established through an international agreement to which the Philippines became a signatory
on January 16, 1968. The purpose of the Center is to contribute to the promotion of fisheries development in Southeast
Asia by mutual cooperation among the member governments of the Center. The invocation by private respondents of the
doctrine of estoppel is unavailing, because estoppel does not confer jurisdiction on a tribunal that has none over a cause
of action.
In Callado v. IRRI, the Court upheld anew the constitutionality of Sec. 3, P.D. 1620, which provides that the International
Rice Research Institute (IRRI) shall enjoy immunity from any penal, civil and administrative proceedings, except insofar
as that immunity has been expressly waived by the Director General of the Institute or his authorized representative.
Citing International Catholic Migration Commission v. Calleja, the Court stated that the letter of the Acting Secretary of
Foreign Affairs to the Secretary of Labor and Employment constituted a categorical recognition by the Executive Branch
of the Government that IRRI enjoys immunities accorded to international organizations, a determination held to be a
political question conclusive upon the Courts in order not to embarrass a political department of the government.
Preamble: To walk before the Constitution; does not form part of the supreme law; not a source of rights; serves as an
aid in legislation expresses aims
Manifestations of a Republican State:
(1) Ours is a government of laws and not of men; [Villavicencio v. Lukban, where even if the purpose of act by mayor
was to uphold public morals, such cannot be done for there is no law authorizing it]; (2) Rule of the majority; (3)
Presence of elections through popular will; (4) Accountability of public officials; (5) Bill of Rights.; (6) Legislature cannot
pass irrepealable laws; (7) Separation of powers and system of checks and balances; (8) Non-suability
The renunciation of war is a generally accepted principle expressed in UN Charter. Article VI, Section 23 empowers the
Congress to declare not war (for this is an aggressive war) but the existence of a state of war. (defensive)
The phrase generally accepted principles of international law refers to norms of general or customary international law
which are binding on all states, e.g., renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy, sovereign immunity, a
persons right to life, liberty and due process, and pacta sunt servanda [Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of

the Philippines v. Duque

Under the 1987 Constitution, international law can become part of the sphere of domestic law either by transformation or
by incorporation. The transformation method requires that an international law principle be transformed into domestic law
through a constitutional mechanism, such as local legislation. The incorporation method applies when, by mere
constitutional declaration, international law is deemed to have the force of domestic law
Doctrine of incorporation. By virtue of this clause, our Courts have applied the rules of international law in a number of
cases even if such rules had not previously been subject of statutory enactments, because these generally accepted
principles of international law are automatically part of our own laws. In Kuroda v. Jalandoni, the petitioner challenged
jurisdiction of the military mission trying him on the contention that PH is not a signatory of the Hague Convention but
court ruled to be still bound by it since it embodies generally accepted principle of international law crimes against
nations, and in Co Kim Chan v. Valdez Tan Keh, where the offense committed have still been validly accepted and
deemed effective since the McArthur proclamation only pertained to invalidation of laws that are of political complexion.
The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals or local courts are confronted with situations in
which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the provisions of the constitution or statute of
the local state. Efforts should first be exerted to harmonize them, so as to give effect to both. In a situation, however,
where the conflict is irreconcilable and a choice has to be made between a rule of international law and municipal law,
jurisprudence dictates that municipal law should be upheld by the municipal courts. In Ichong v. Hernandez, the reason
given by the Court was that the Retail Trade National Law was passed in the exercise of the police power which cannot
be bargained away through the medium of a treaty or a contract. In Gonzales v. Hechanova, and In Re: Garcia, on the
basis of separation of powers and the rule-making powers of the Supreme Court, respectively. The high tribunal also
noted that courts are organs of municipal law and are accordingly bound by it in all circumstances.
Proof: The president as the commander-in-chief of AFP
Demonstrated in Alih v. Catro, where unwarranted searches or seizures remain to be unenforceable for it infringes the
rights of individuals,
Primary duty of the government is to serve and protect the people based on the inherent right of every state to
existence and self-preservation. With this, the state may take up all necessary action to repel any threat to its security.
(Sec 4 more of from external control)
In People v. Lagman, constituents may not refuse to join the military force provided in the National Defense Act for the
sovereignty of the state is at stake.
Also, the maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty and property, and the promotion of the general
welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.
Right to bear arms. The right to bear arms is a statutory, not a constitutional right. The license to carry a firearm is
neither a property nor a property right. Neither does it create a vested right. Even if it were a property right, it cannot be
considered absolute as to be placed beyond the reach of police power. The maintenance of peace and order, and the
protection of the people against violence are constitutional duties of the State, and the right to bear arms is to be
construed in connection and in harmony with these constitutional duties [Chavez v. Romulo]


Delineate boundaries and avoid encroachments by misunderstanding on the limits of jurisdiction.
Preambles imploring the aid of Almighty God, does not violate the separation clause for it does not confer rights and
not a part of the supreme law but merely recognizes the population of Filipinos who are predominantly Christian. What
this principle prohibits are the laws which may favor any particular religion or sect (Engel v. Vitale, a law which creates a
prayer despite the tolerance to those who wish not to participate was still declared a violation)
One of the most serious problems is the imbalance of the rich and the poor where clearly, want is a constant companion
therefore oppression is close by.
In Philippine Long Distance Telco v. NLRC, it was defined that social justice is not intended to countenance wrongdoing
simply because it is committed by the underprivileged where it mitigates the penalty but does not condone the offense
not because they happened to be poor but because their hands are clean and motives blameless.
In Calalang v. Williams, it defined that social justice is neither communism nor despotism nor atomism nor anarchy but
humanization of laws and equalization of social and economic forces by state so that justice may at least be
approximated. It means the promotion of welfare of the people, the adoption by government of measures to insure
economic stability and social equilibrium through the exercise of powers underlying principle of salus populi est suprema

Children are born and molded either to become useful citizens or troublemakers;

equally protects mother and life of the unborn from conception against abortion

State cannot unreasonably interfere with the exercise by parents of natural duty to rear child but may regulate
under police power

It was ruled that it is incompetent for government to prohibit the teaching of the German language since theres
nothing inherently harmful; in fact improves childs mental being in Meyer v. Nebraska

In Pierce v. Society of Sisters, the prohibited establishment of private schools and confine education in public
schools was annulled because it would standardize the thinking of children who are not mere creatures of the

An alien who enticed Filipino children with money then sexually abused them is automatically expelled from
country ruled in People v. Ritter

Finally in Cabanas case, the court resolved the case in favor of mother instead of uncle under the doctrine of
parens patriae


To be prepared to assume responsibility of leadership

In DepEd v. San Diego, court concluded that it is not enough to invoke right to quality education instead, one
must show that he is entitled because of preparation and promise therefore the validity of rule prohibiting any
student from NMAT if they have already failed 3 consecutive times was valid

Also, in Virtuoso v. Municipal Judge, a 17 year old accused of robbery was released on recognition of parents
and counsel


RA 9262: VAWC is a classification under the law therefore not violative of equal protection of the law as ruled in
Philippine Tel Co v. NLRC dismissal from work because of status of being married
*19: independent natl economy, 20: role of private sector*
In Taada v. Tuvera, the WTO was held to be constitutional despite the clamor that it violates the national economy and
patrimony clause as ruled in Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS where it saw a particular landmark that needs the assurance
that a Filipino more than an alien holds the majority of its taxes since the provisions are self executory and complete in
itself. What the constitution prohibits is the unfair competition between players which the former case does not tolerate.
Fleshed out in RA 7160 where it gives autonomy through decentralization of administration to strengthen the LGUs
does not connote independence
A post in public office is not a constitutional right but a mere privilege which could be regulated by the state to ensure the
sanctity of elections.
It is a pronouncement in the bill of rights where it is the duty of oficialdom to give information even if no one demands
What documents are of public interest?

The law may exempt certain types of information from public scrutiny, such as those affecting national security. It
follows that, in every case, the availability of access to a particular public record must be circumscribed by the
nature of the information sought, i.e., (a) being of public concern or one that involves public interest, and, (b) not
being exempted by law from the operation of the constitutional guarantee. The threshold question is, therefore,
whether or not the information sought is of public interest or public concern.

This question is first addressed to the government agency having custody of the desired information. However,
as already discussed, this does not give the agency concerned any discretion to grant or deny access. In case
of denial of access, the government agency has the burden of showing that the information requested is not of
public concern, or, if it is of public concern, that the same has been exempted by law from the operation of the
guarantee. To hold otherwise will serve to dilute the constitutional right. As aptly observed, ". . . the government
is in an advantageous position to marshall and interpret arguments against release . . ." To safeguard the
constitutional right, every denial of access by the government agency concerned is subject to review by the

courts, and in the proper case, access may be compelled by a writ of Mandamus.

In determining whether or not a particular information is of public concern there is no rigid test which can be
applied. "Public concern" like "public interest" is a term that eludes exact definition. Both terms embrace a broad
spectrum of subjects which the public may want to know, either because these directly affect their lives, or
simply because such matters naturally arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen. In the final analysis, it is for the
courts to determine in a case by case basis whether the matter at issue is of interest or importance, as it relates
to or affects the public.

Neither the congress, president, nor judiciary may encroach on fields allocated to other branches of government
Purpose: intended to prevent concentration of authority that may lead to irreversible error
According to Justice Laurel, such is to secure action and forestall over action, to prevent despotism and obtain
efficiency; not independence but INTERDEPENDENCE
Justice Frankfurter: while it is desirable that there be a certain degree of independence, it is not in the public interest for
them to deal with each other at arms length with hostile jealousy as this might result to frustration of common
Blending of Powers
When not confined to only exclusively within one depth but shared; collaborate for public good (e.g. general
Checks and Balances
A department is allowed to resist encroachment upon its prerogative, to rectify mistake committed by other states

Legislative enactments, appointments, pardon

Doctrine of Necessary Implication

What is implied in a statute is as much as part thereof as that which is expressed
Role of Judiciary
Upholding not its own supremacy but the supremacy of the Constitution through Judicial Review
Justiciable Question
Given right, legally demandable and enforceable, act/omission violative of such right and a remedy granted and
sanctioned by law for such breach of right
Political Question
matter falls under the discretion of another department or people themselves; wisdom, efficiency or practicability of law;

question of policy; sovereign capacity or full discretionary authority that has been delegated
potestas delegata non delegari potest, what is delegated cannot be sub delegated
Permissible Delegation


Tariff Powers to President

Tariff and Customs Code

Act immediately on matters affecting national economy

Fix tariff rates, import quotas, taxes

Emergency Powers

In times of war, or national emergency

Not likely for Congress to have quorum

Hamper effective solution




War or national emergency

Limited period

Subject to restrictions

To carryout national policy

Emergency power itself cannot and should no create power

Delegate to People at Large


Referendum/Plebiscite (RA 6735)

Delegate to Local Government

Grant of authority only

Not transfer of general legislative power

Delegate to Administrative Bodies

promulgation must be authorised by Congress within scope of authority

Power of subordinate legislation

Tests of Delegation:
Circumscribed by legislative restrictions, not a roving commission that will give the delegate unlimited legislative
authority; If not abdication; total surrender is invalid


Completeness Test

complete in all its essential terms and conditions

nothing left for the delegate to do but to enforce it

Sets forth therein policy

Sufficient Standard Test

Subject to standards/ adequate guidelines

Map out boundaries by defining policy and indicating circumstances

Determinable/Determinate criteria

Prevent total transference of power

From the statute itself or from another

May be Sufficient Standard (Gerochi v. DOE)

Interest of law and order,

Adequate and efficient instruction,

Public Interest

Justice and equity

Public Convenience and welfare

Standardization and regulation of Medical Education

Simplicity, economy and efficiency

Fair and equitable employment practices