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Tanada.

Tuviera
Proper party to file mandamus in requiring laws to be published in OG
Invoking the people's right to be informed on matters of public concern, a right recognized in Section 6, Article IV of the 1973 Philippine Constitution,
1 as well as the principle that laws to be valid and enforceable must be published in the Official Gazette or otherwise effectively promulgated,
petitioners seek a writ of mandamus to compel respondent public officials to publish, and/or cause the publication in the Official Gazette of various
presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative orders.

Sol gen (rep of respondents)


The respondents, through the Solicitor General, would have this case dismissed outright on the ground that petitioners have no legal personality or
standing to bring the instant petition. The view is submitted that in the absence of any showing that petitioners are personally and directly affected
or prejudiced by the alleged non-publication of the presidential issuances in question 2 said petitioners are without the requisite legal personality to
institute this mandamus proceeding, they are not being "aggrieved parties" within the meaning of Section 3, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, which we
quote:
SEC. 3. Petition for Mandamus.—When any tribunal, corporation, board or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law
specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use a rd enjoyment of a right or office
to which such other is entitled, and there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, the person aggrieved thereby
may file a verified petition in the proper court alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the defendant,
immediately or at some other specified time, to do the act required to be done to Protect the rights of the petitioner, and to pay the damages
sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the defendant.

Petitioners’
Upon the other hand, petitioners maintain that since the subject of the petition concerns a public right and its object is to compel the performance
of a public duty, they need not show any specific interest for their petition to be given due course.

The issue posed is not one of first impression. As early as the 1910 case of Severino vs. Governor General, 3 this Court held that while the general
rule is that "a writ of mandamus would be granted to a private individual only in those cases where he has some private or particular interest to be
subserved, or some particular right to be protected, independent of that which he holds with the public at large," and "it is for the public officers
exclusively to apply for the writ when public rights are to be subserved [Mithchell vs. Boardmen, 79 M.e., 469]," nevertheless, "when the question is
one of public right and the object of the mandamus is to procure the enforcement of a public duty, the people are regarded as the real party in
interest and the relator at whose instigation the proceedings are instituted need not show that he has any legal or special interest in the result, it
being sufficient to show that he is a citizen and as such interested in the execution of the laws

Basis:
Thus, in said case, this Court recognized the relator Lope Severino, a private individual, as a proper party to the mandamus proceedings brought to
compel the Governor General to call a special election for the position of municipal president in the town of Silay, Negros Occidental. Speaking for
this Court, Mr. Justice Grant T. Trent said:
We are therefore of the opinion that the weight of authority supports the proposition that the relator is a proper party to proceedings
of this character when a public right is sought to be enforced. If the general rule in America were otherwise, we think that it would not be
applicable to the case at bar for the reason 'that it is always dangerous to apply a general rule to a particular case without keeping in mind
the reason for the rule, because, if under the particular circumstances the reason for the rule does not exist, the rule itself is not applicable and
reliance upon the rule may well lead to error'
No reason exists in the case at bar for applying the general rule insisted upon by counsel for the respondent. The circumstances which
surround this case are different from those in the United States, inasmuch as if the relator is not a proper party to these proceedings no other
person could be, as we have seen that it is not the duty of the law officer of the Government to appear and represent the people in cases
of this character.
The reasons given by the Court in recognizing a private citizen's legal personality in the aforementioned case apply squarely to the present petition.
Clearly, the right sought to be enforced by petitioners herein is a public right recognized by no less than the fundamental law of the land. If petitioners
were not allowed to institute this proceeding, it would indeed be difficult to conceive of any other person to initiate the same, considering that the
Solicitor General, the government officer generally empowered to represent the people, has entered his appearance for respondents in this case.

Respondents:
Respondents further contend that publication in the Official Gazette is not a sine qua non requirement for the effectivity of laws where the
laws themselves provide for their own effectivity dates. It is thus submitted that since the presidential issuances in question contain special
provisions as to the date they are to take effect, publication in the Official Gazette is not indispensable for their effectivity. The point
stressed is anchored on Article 2 of the Civil Code:
Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless
it is otherwise provided,
The interpretation given by respondent is in accord with this Court's construction of said article. In a long line of decisions,4 this Court has ruled that
publication in the Official Gazette is necessary in those cases where the legislation itself does not provide for its effectivity date-for then the date of
publication is material for determining its date of effectivity, which is the fifteenth day following its publication-but not when the law itself provides
for the date when it goes into effect.
Respondents' argument, however, is logically correct only insofar as it equates the effectivity of laws with the fact of publication.
Considered in the light of other statutes applicable to the issue at hand, the conclusion is easily reached that said Article 2 does not
preclude the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette, even if the law itself provides for the date of its effectivity. Thus, Section 1
of Commonwealth Act 638 provides as follows:
Section 1. There shall be published in the Official Gazette [1] all important legisiative acts and resolutions of a public
nature of the, Congress of the Philippines; [2] all executive and administrative orders and proclamations, except such
as have no general applicability; [3] decisions or abstracts of decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals
as may be deemed by said courts of sufficient importance to be so published; [4] such documents or classes of
documents as may be required so to be published by law; and [5] such documents or classes of documents as the
President of the Philippines shall determine from time to time to have general applicability and legal effect, or which he
may authorize so to be published.
The clear object of the above-quoted provision is to give the general public adequate notice of the various laws which are to regulate their actions
and conduct as citizens. Without such notice and publication, there would be no basis for the application of the maxim "ignorantia legis non excusat."
It would be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law of which he had no notice whatsoever, not
even a constructive one.
without publication, the people have no means of knowing what presidential decrees have actually been promulgated, much less a definite way of
informing themselves of the specific contents and texts of such decrees.
The very first clause of Section I of Commonwealth Act 638 reads: "There shall be published in the Official Gazette ... ." The word "shall" used therein
imposes upon respondent officials an imperative duty. That duty must be enforced if the Constitutional right of the people to be informed on matters
of public concern is to be given substance and reality. The law itself makes a list of what should be published in the Official Gazette. Such listing, to
our mind, leaves respondents with no discretion whatsoever as to what must be included or excluded from such publication.
The publication of all presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general applicability" is mandated by law. Obviously, presidential decrees that
provide for fines, forfeitures or penalties for their violation or otherwise impose a burden or. the people, such as tax and revenue measures, fall
within this category. Other presidential issuances which apply only to particular persons or class of persons such as administrative and executive
orders need not be published on the assumption that they have been circularized to all concerned.
It is needless to add that the publication of presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general applicability" is a requirement of due process. It
is a rule of law that before a person may be bound by law, he must first be officially and specifically informed of its contents. As Justice Claudio
Teehankee said in Peralta vs. COMELEC :

In a time of proliferating decrees, orders and letters of instructions which all form part of the law of the land, the requirement of due process and the
Rule of Law demand that the Official Gazette as the official government repository promulgate and publish the texts of all such decrees, orders and
instructions so that the people may know where to obtain their official and specific contents.

The Court therefore declares that presidential issuances of general application, which have not been published, shall have no force and
effect. Some members of the Court, quite apprehensive about the possible unsettling effect this decision might have on acts done in
reliance of the validity of those presidential decrees which were published only during the pendency of this petition, have put the question
as to whether the Court's declaration of invalidity apply to P.D.s which had been enforced or implemented prior to their publication. The
answer is all too familiar. In similar situations in the past this Court had taken the pragmatic and realistic course set forth in Chicot County
Drainage District vs. Baxter Bank 8 to wit:
The courts below have proceeded on the theory that the Act of Congress, having been found to be unconstitutional,
was not a law; that it was inoperative, conferring no rights and imposing no duties, and hence affording no basis for the
challenged decree. Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425, 442; Chicago, 1. & L. Ry. Co. v. Hackett, 228 U.S. 559,
566. It is quite clear, however, that such broad statements as to the effect of a determination of unconstitutionality must
be taken with qualifications. The actual existence of a statute, prior to such a determination, is an operative fact and
may have consequences which cannot justly be ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial
declaration. The effect of the subsequent ruling as to invalidity may have to be considered in various aspects-with
respect to particular conduct, private and official. Questions of rights claimed to have become vested, of status, of prior
determinations deemed to have finality and acted upon accordingly, of public policy in the light of the nature both of the
statute and of its previous application, demand examination. These questions are among the most difficult of those
which have engaged the attention of courts, state and federal and it is manifest from numerous decisions that an all-
inclusive statement of a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified.
Consistently with the above principle, this Court in Rutter vs. Esteban 9 sustained the right of a party under the Moratorium Law, albeit
said right had accrued in his favor before said law was declared unconstitutional by this Court.
Similarly, the implementation/enforcement of presidential decrees prior to their publication in the Official Gazette is "an operative fact
which may have consequences which cannot be justly ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration ... that
an all-inclusive statement of a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified."

From the report submitted to the Court by the Clerk of Court, it appears that of the presidential decrees sought by petitioners to be published in the
Official Gazette, only Presidential Decrees Nos. 1019 to 1030, inclusive, 1278, and 1937 to 1939, inclusive, have not been so published. 10 Neither
the subject matters nor the texts of these PDs can be ascertained since no copies thereof are available. But whatever their subject matter may be, it
is undisputed that none of these unpublished PDs has ever been implemented or enforced by the government. In Pesigan vs. Angeles, 11 the Court,
through Justice Ramon Aquino, ruled that "publication is necessary to apprise the public of the contents of [penal] regulations and make the said
penalties binding on the persons affected thereby. " The cogency of this holding is apparently recognized by respondent officials considering the
manifestation in their comment that "the government, as a matter of policy, refrains from prosecuting violations of criminal laws until the same shall
have been published in the Official Gazette or in some other publication, even though some criminal laws provide that they shall take effect
immediately.

WHEREFORE, the Court hereby orders respondents to publish in the Official Gazette all unpublished presidential issuances which are of general
application, and unless so published, they shall have no binding force and effect.

SO ORDERED.
UMALI CASE (ON APPROVAL OR ON DATE OF PUBLICATION)

On 27 February 1992, the petitioner in G.R. No. 104037, a taxpayer and a resident of Gitnang Bayan Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro, filed a petition
for mandamus for himself and in behalf all individual Filipino taxpayers, to COMPEL the respondents to implement Rep. Act 7167 with respect to
taxable income of individual taxpayers earned or received on or after 1 January 1991 or as of taxable year ending 31 December 1991.

On 28 February 1992, the petitioners in G.R. No. 104069 likewise filed a petition for mandamus and prohibition on their behalf as well as for those
other individual taxpayers who might be similarly situated, to compel the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to implement the mandate of Rep. Act
7167 adjusting the personal and additional exemptions allowable to individuals for income tax purposes in regard to income earned or received in
1991, and to enjoin the respondents from implementing Revenue Regulations No. 1-92.

In the Court's resolution of 10 March 1992, these two (2) cases were consolidated. Respondents were required to comment on the petitions, which
they did within the prescribed period.

ISSUE
The principal issues to be resolved in these cases are: (1) whether or not Rep. Act 7167 took effect upon its approval by the President on 19 December
1991, or on 30 January 1992, i.e., after fifteen (15) days following its publication on 14 January 1992 in the "Malaya" a newspaper of general
circulation; and (2) assuming that Rep. Act 7167 took effect on 30 January 1992, whether or not the said law nonetheless covers or applies to
compensation income earned or received during calendar year 1991.

In resolving the first issue, it will be recalled that the Court in its resolution in Caltex (Phils.), Inc. vs. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No.
97282, 26 June 1991 –– which is on all fours with this case as to the first issue –– held:

The central issue presented in the instant petition is the effectivity of R.A. 6965 entitled "An Act Revising The Form of Taxation on Petroleum Products
from Ad Valorem to Specific, Amending For the Purpose Section 145 of the National Internal Revenue Code, As amended by Republic Act Numbered
Sixty Seven Hundred Sixty Seven."

Sec. 3 of R.A. 6965 contains the effectivity clause which provides. "This Act shall take effect upon its approval"

R.A. 6965 was approved on September 19, 1990. It was published in the Philippine Journal, a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines, on
September 20, 1990. Pursuant to the Act, an implementing regulation was issued by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Revenue Memorandum
Circular 85-90, stating that R.A. 6965 took effect on October 5, 1990. Petitioner took exception thereof and argued that the law took effect on
September 20, 1990 instead.

Pertinent is Article 2 of the Civil Code (as amended by Executive Order No. 200) which provides:

Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication either in the official Gazette or in a newspaper of
general circulation in the Philippines, unless it is otherwise provided. . . .

In the case of Tanada vs. Tuvera (L-63915, December 29, 1986, 146 SCRA 446, 452) we construed Article 2 of the Civil Code and laid down the rule:

. . .: the) clause "unless it is otherwise provided" refers to the date of effectivity and not to the requirement of publication itself, which cannot in any
event be omitted. This clause does not mean that the legislator may make the law effective immediately upon approval, or on any other date without
its previous publication.

Publication is indispensable in every case, but the legislature may in its discretion provide that the usual fifteen-day period shall be shortened or
extended

Inasmuch as R.A. 6965 has no specific date for its effectivity and neither can it become effective upon its approval notwithstanding its express
statement, following Article 2 of the Civil Code and the doctrine enunciated in Tanada, supra, R.A. 6965 took effect fifteen days after September 20,
1990, or specifically, on October 5, 1990.

Accordingly, the Court rules that Rep. Act 7167 took effect on 30 January 1992, which is after fifteen (15) days following its publication on 14 January
1992 in the "Malaya." (ANSWER FIRST ISSUE)

Coming now to the second issue, the Court is of the considered view that Rep. Act 7167 should cover or extend to compensation income earned or
received during calendar year 1991.

Sec. 29, par. (L), Item No. 4 of the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended, provides:

Upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, the President shall automatically adjust not more often than once every three years, the
personal and additional exemptions taking into account, among others, the movement in consumer price indices, levels of minimum wages, and bare
subsistence levels.
As the personal and additional exemptions of individual taxpayers were last adjusted in 1986, the President, upon the recommendation of the
Secretary of Finance, could have adjusted the personal and additional exemptions in 1989 by increasing the same even without any legislation
providing for such adjustment. But the President did not.

However, House Bill 28970, which was subsequently enacted by Congress as Rep. Act 7167, was introduced in the House of Representatives in 1989
although its passage was delayed and it did not become effective law until 30 January 1992. A perusal, however, of the sponsorship remarks of
Congressman Hernando B. Perez, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, on House Bill 28970, provides an indication of the intent
of Congress in enacting Rep. Act 7167. The pertinent legislative journal contains the following:

At the outset, Mr. Perez explained that the Bill Provides for increased personal additional exemptions to individuals in view of the higher standard of
living.

The Bill, he stated, limits the amount of income of individuals subject to income tax to enable them to spend for basic necessities and have more
disposable income.

xxx xxx xxx

Mr. Perez added that inflation has raised the basic necessities and that it had been three years since the last exemption adjustment in 1986.

xxx xxx xxx

Subsequently, Mr. Perez stressed the necessity of passing the measure to mitigate the effects of the current inflation and of the implementation of
the salary standardization law. Stating that it is imperative for the government to take measures to ease the burden of the individual income tax
filers, Mr. Perez then cited specific examples of how the measure can help assuage the burden to the taxpayers.

He then reiterated that the increase in the prices of commodities has eroded the purchasing power of the peso despite the recent salary increases
and emphasized that the Bill will serve to compensate the adverse effects of inflation on the taxpayers. . . . (Journal of the House of Representatives,
May 23, 1990, pp. 32-33).

It will also be observed that Rep. Act 7167 speaks of the adjustments that it provides for, as adjustments "to the poverty threshold level." Certainly,
"the poverty threshold level" is the poverty threshold level at the time Rep. Act 7167 was enacted by Congress, not poverty threshold levels in futuro,
at which time there may be need of further adjustments in personal exemptions. Moreover, the Court can not lose sight of the fact that these
personal and additional exemptions are fixed amounts to which an individual taxpayer is entitled, as a means to cushion the devastating effects of
high prices and a depreciated purchasing power of the currency. In the end, it is the lower-income and the middle-income groups of taxpayers (not
the high-income taxpayers) who stand to benefit most from the increase of personal and additional exemptions provided for by Rep. Act 7167. To
that extent, the act is a social legislation intended to alleviate in part the present economic plight of the lower income taxpayers. It is intended to
remedy the inadequacy of the heretofore existing personal and additional exemptions for individual taxpayers.

And then, Rep. Act 7167 says that the increased personal exemptions that it provides for shall be available thenceforth, that is, after Rep. Act 7167
shall have become effective. In other words, these exemptions are available upon the filing of personal income tax returns which is, under the
National Internal Revenue Code, done not later than the 15th day of April after the end of a calendar year. Thus, under Rep. Act 7167, which became
effective, as aforestated, on 30 January 1992, the increased exemptions are literally available on or before 15 April 1992 (though not before 30
January 1992). But these increased exemptions can be available on 15 April 1992 only in respect of compensation income earned or received during
the calendar year 1991.

The personal exemptions as increased by Rep. Act 7167 cannot be regarded as available in respect of compensation income received during the 1990
calendar year; the tax due in respect of said income had already accrued, and been presumably paid, by 15 April 1991 and by 15 July 1991, at which
time Rep. Act 7167 had not been enacted. To make Rep. Act 7167 refer back to income received during 1990 would require language explicitly
retroactive in purport and effect, language that would have to authorize the payment of refunds of taxes paid on 15 April 1991 and 15 July 1991:
such language is simply not found in Rep. Act 7167.

The personal exemptions as increased by Rep. Act 7167 cannot be regarded as available only in respect of compensation income received during
1992, as the implementing Revenue Regulations No. 1-92 purport to provide. Revenue Regulations No. 1-92 would in effect postpone the availability
of the increased exemptions to 1 January-15 April 1993, and thus literally defer the effectivity of Rep. Act 7167 to 1 January 1993. Thus, the
implementing regulations collide frontally with Section 3 of Rep. Act 7167 which states that the statute "shall take effect upon its approval." The
objective of the Secretary of Finance and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in postponing through Revenue Regulations No. 1-92 the legal
effectivity of Rep. Act 7167 is, of course, entirely understandable –– to defer to 1993 the reduction of governmental tax revenues which irresistibly
follows from the application of Rep. Act 7167. But the law-making authority has spoken and the Court can not refuse to apply the law-maker's words.
Whether or not the government can afford the drop in tax revenues resulting from such increased exemptions was for Congress (not this Court) to
decide.

WHEREFORE, Sections 1, 3 and 5 of Revenue Regulations No. 1-92 which provide that the regulations shall take effect on compensation income
earned or received from 1 January 1992 are hereby SET ASIDE. They should take effect on compensation income earned or received from 1 January
1991.
Since this decision is promulgated after 15 April 1992, the individual taxpayers entitled to the increased exemptions on compensation income earned
during calendar year 1991 who may have filed their income tax returns on or before 15 April 1992 (later extended to 24 April 1992) without the
benefit of such increased exemptions, are entitled to the corresponding tax refunds and/or credits, and respondents are ordered to effect such
refunds and/or credits. No costs.

SO ORDERED.

LICERA CASE (ART.8) (OLD RULE WC FAVORS THE ACCUSED)

This is an appeal, on a question of law, by Rafael Licera from the judgment dated August 14, 1968 of the Court of First Instance of Occidental Mindoro
convicting him of the crime of illegal possession of firearm and sentencing him to imprisonment of five (5) years. We reverse the judgment of
conviction, for the reasons hereunder stated.

On December 3, 1965 the Chief of Police of Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro, filed a complaint, subscribed and sworn to by him, with the municipal
court of the said municipality, charging Rafael Licera with illegal possession of a Winchester rifle, Model 55, Caliber .30. On August 13, 1966 the
municipal court rendered judgment finding Licera guilty of the crime charged, sentencing him to suffer an indeterminate penalty ranging five years
and one day to six years and eight months of imprisonment. Licera appealed to the Court of First Instance of Occidental Mindoro.

In the Court of First Instance, the parties agreed to the joint trial of the case for illegal possession of firearm and another case, likewise filed against
Licera with the municipal court but already forwarded to the said Court of First Instance, for assault upon an agent of a person in authority, the two
offenses having arisen from the same occasion: apprehension of Licera by the Chief of Police and a patrolman of Abra de Ilog on December 2, 1965
for possession of the Winchester rifle without the requisite license or permit therefor.

On August 14, 1968 the court a quo rendered judgment acquitting Licera of the charge of assault upon an agent of a person in authority, but convicting
him of illegal possession of firearm, sentencing him to suffer five years of imprisonment, and ordering the forfeiture of the Winchester rifle in favor
of the Government.

Licera's appeal to the Court of Appeals was certified on October 16, 1974 to this Court as involving only one question of law.

Licera invokes as his legal justification for his possession of the Winschester rifle his appointment as secret agent on December 11, 1961 by Governor
Feliciano Leviste of Batangas. He claims that as secret agent, he was a "peace officer" and, thus, pursuant to People vs. Macarandang,1 was exempt
from the requirements relating to the issuance of license to possess firearms. He alleges that the court a quo erred in relying on the later case of
People vs. Mapa2 which held that section 879 of the Revised Administrative Code provides no exemption for persons appointed as secret agents by
provincial governors from the requirements relating to firearm licenses.

The principal question thus posed calls for a determination of the rule that should be applied to the case at bar that enunciated in Macarandang or
that in Mapa. (issue)

The appointment given to Licera by Governor Leviste which bears the date "December 11, 1961" includes a grant of authority to Licera to possess
the Winchester rifle in these terms: "In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court in G.R. No. L-12088 dated December 23, 1959, you will
have the right to bear a firearm ... for use in connection with the performance of your duties." Under the rule then prevailing, enunciated in
Macarandang,3 the appointment of a civilian as a "secret agent to assist in the maintenance of peace and order campaigns and detection of crimes
sufficiently put[s] him within the category of a "peace officer" equivalent even to a member of the municipal police" whom section 879 of the Revised
Administrative Code exempts from the requirements relating to firearm licenses.

Article 8 of the Civil Code of the Philippines decrees that judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution form part of this
jurisdiction's legal system. These decisions, although in themselves not laws, constitute evidence of what the laws mean. The application or
interpretation placed by the Court upon a law is part of the law as of the date of the enactment of the said law since the Court's application or
interpretation merely establishes the contemporaneous legislative intent that the construed law purports to carry into effect.4

At the time of Licera's designation as secret agent in 1961 and at the time of his apprehension for possession of the Winchester rifle without the
requisite license or permit therefor in 1965, the Macarandang rule — the Courts interpretation of section 879 of the Revised Administrative Code -
formed part of our jurisprudence and, hence, of this jurisdiction's legal system. Mapa revoked the Macarandang precedent only in 1967. Certainly,
where a new doctrine abrogates an old rule, the new doctrine should operate respectively only and should not adversely affect those favored by the
old rule, especially those who relied thereon and acted on the faith thereof. This holds more especially true in the application or interpretation of
statutes in the field of penal law, for, in this area, more than in any other, it is imperative that the punishability of an act be reasonably foreseen for
the guidance of society.

Pursuant to the Macarandang rule obtaining not only at the time of Licera's appointment as secret agent, which appointment included a grant of
authority to possess the Winchester rifle, but as well at the time as of his apprehension, Licera incurred no criminal liability for possession of the said
rifle, notwithstanding his non-compliance with the legal requirements relating to firearm licenses.
PEOPLE V. DONATO
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
HON. PROCORO J. DONATO, in his official capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch XII, Manila; RODOLFO C. SALAS, alias Commander
Bilog, respondents.

The Solicitor General for petitioner.


Jose Suarez, Romeo Capulong, Efren Mercado and Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity, Nationalism, Inc. (MABINI) for Rodolfo Salas.

DAVIDE, JR., J.:

The People of the Philippines, through the Chief State Prosecutor of the Department of Justice, the City Fiscal of Manila and the Judge Advocate
General, filed the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition, with a prayer for restraining order/preliminary injunction, to set aside the order of
respondent Judge dated July 7, 1987 granting bail to the accused Rodolfo Salas alias "Commander Bilog" in Criminal Case No. 86-48926 for Rebellion,1
and the subsequent Order dated July 30, 1987 granting the motion for reconsideration of 16 July 1987 by increasing the bail bond from P30,000.00
to P50,000.00 but denying petitioner's supplemental motion for reconsideration of July 17, 1987 which asked the court to allow petitioner to present
evidence in support of its prayer for a reconsideration of the order of 7 July 1987.

The pivotal issues presented before Us are whether the right to bail may, under certain circumstances, be denied to a person who is charged with an
otherwise bailable offense, and whether such right may be waived.

The following are the antecedents of this petition:

In the original Information2 filed on 2 October 1986 in Criminal Case No. 86-48926 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, later amended in an Amended
Information3 which was filed on 24 October 1986, private respondent Rodolfo Salas, alias "Commander Bilog", and his co-accused were charged for
the crime of rebellion under Article 134, in relation to Article 135, of the Revised Penal Code allegedly committed as follows:

That in or about 1968 and for some time before said year and continuously thereafter until the present time, in the City of Manila and elsewhere in
the Philippines, the Communist Party of the Philippines, its military arm, the New People's Army, its mass infiltration network, the National
Democratic Front with its other subordinate organizations and fronts, have, under the direction and control of said organizations' leaders, among
whom are the aforenamed accused, and with the aid, participation or support of members and followers whose whereabouts and identities are still
unknown, risen publicly and taken arms throughout the country against the Government of the Republic of the Philippines for the purpose of
overthrowing the present Government, the seat of which is in the City of Manila, or of removing from the allegiance to that government and its laws,
the country's territory or part of it;

That from 1970 to the present, the above-named accused in their capacities as leaders of the aforenamed organizations, in conspiracy with, and in
support of the cause of, the organizations aforementioned, engaged themselves in war against the forces of the government, destroying property or
committing serious violence, and other acts in the pursuit of their unlawful purpose, such as . . .

(then follows the enumeration of specific acts committed before and after February 1986).

At the time the Information was filed the private respondent and his co-accused were in military custody following their arrest on 29 September
1986 at the Philippine General Hospital, Taft Ave., Manila; he had earlier escaped from military detention and a cash reward of P250,000.00 was
offered for his
capture.4

A day after the filing of the original information, or on 3 October 1986, a petition for habeas corpus for private respondent and his co-accused was
filed with this Court5 which, as shall hereafter be discussed in detail, was dismissed in Our resolution of 16 October 1986 on the basis of the agreement
of the parties under which herein private respondent "will remain in legal custody and will face trial before the court having custody over his person"
and the warrants for the arrest of his co-accused are deemed recalled and they shall be immediately released but shall submit themselves to the
court having jurisdiction over their person.

On November 7, 1986 , private respondent filed with the court below a Motion to Quash the Information alleging that: (a) the facts alleged do not
constitute an offense; (b) the Court has no jurisdiction over the offense charged; (c) the Court has no jurisdiction over the persons of the defendants;
and (d) the criminal action or liability has been extinguished,6 to which petitioner filed an Opposition7 citing, among other grounds, the fact that in
the Joint Manifestation and Motion dated October 14, 1986, in G.R. No. 76009, private respondent categorically conceded that:

xxx xxx xxx

Par. 2 (B) — Petitioner Rodolfo Salas will remain in legal custody and face trial before the court having custody over his person.
In his Order of March 6, 1987,8 respondent Judge denied the motion to quash.

Instead of asking for a reconsideration of said Order, private respondent filed on 9 May 1987 a petition for bail,9 which herein petitioner opposed in
an Opposition filed on 27 May 198710 on the ground that since rebellion became a capital offense under the provisions of P.D. Nos. 1996, 942 and
1834, which amended Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code, by imposing the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death on those who promote, maintain,
or head a rebellion the accused is no longer entitled to bail as evidence of his guilt is strong.

On 5 June 1987 the President issued Executive Order No. 187 repealing, among others, P.D. Nos. 1996, 942 and 1834 and restoring to full force and
effect Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code as it existed before the amendatory decrees. Thus, the original penalty for rebellion, prision mayor and
a fine not to exceed P20,000.00, was restored.

Executive Order No. 187 was published in the Official Gazette in its June 15, 1987 issue (Vol. 83, No. 24) which was officially released for circulation
on June 26, 1987.

In his Order of 7 July 198711 respondent Judge, taking into consideration Executive Order No. 187, granted private respondent's petition for bail,
fixed the bail bond at P30,000.00 and imposed upon private respondent the additional condition that he shall report to the court once every two (2)
months within the first ten (10) days of every period thereof. In granting the petition respondent Judge stated:

. . . There is no more debate that with the effectivity of Executive Order No. 187, the offense of rebellion, for which accused Rodolfo Salas is herein
charged, is now punishable with the penalty of prision mayor and a fine not exceeding P20,000.00, which makes it now bailable pursuant to Section
13, Article III, 1986 Constitution and Section 3, Rule 114, 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure. Unlike the old rule, bail is now a matter of right in non-
capital offenses before final judgment. This is very evident upon a reading of Section 3, Rule 114, aforementioned, in relation to Section 21, same
rule. In view, therefore, of the present circumstances in this case, said accused-applicant is now entitled to bail as a matter of right inasmuch as the
crime of rebellion ceased to be a capital offense.

As to the contention of herein petitioner that it would be dangerous to grant bail to private respondent considering his stature in the CPP-NPA
hierarchy, whose ultimate and overriding goal is to wipe out all vestiges of our democracy and to replace it with their ideology, and that his release
would allow his return to his organization to direct its armed struggle to topple the government before whose courts he invokes his constitutional
right to bail, respondent Judge replied:

True, there now appears a clash between the accused's constitutional right to bail in a non-capital offense, which right is guaranteed in the Bill of
Rights and, to quote again the prosecution, "the existence of the government that bestows the right, the paramount interest of the state." Suffice to
state that the Bill of Rights, one of which is the right to bail, is a "declaration of the rights of the individual, civil, political and social and economic,
guaranteed by the Constitution against impairment or intrusion by any form of governmental action. Emphasis is placed on the dignity of man and
the worth of individual. There is recognition of certain inherent and inalienable rights of the individual, which the government is prohibited from
violating" (Quisumbing-Fernando, Philippine Constitutional Law, 1984 Edition, p. 77). To this Court, in case of such conflict as now pictured by the
prosecution, the same should be resolved in favor of the individual who, in the eyes of the law, is alone in the assertion of his rights under the Bill of
Rights as against the State. Anyway, the government is that powerful and strong, having the resources, manpower and the wherewithals to fight
those "who oppose, threathen (sic) and destroy a just and orderly society and its existing civil and political institutions." The prosecution's fear may
or may not be founded that the accused may later on jump bail and rejoin his comrades in the field to sow further disorders and anarchy against the
duly constituted authorities. But, then, such a fear can not be a reason to deny him bail. For the law is very explicit that when it comes to bailable
offenses an accused is entitled as a matter of light to bail. Dura est lex sed lex.

In a motion to reconsider12 the above order filed on 16 July 1987, petitioner asked the court to increase the bail from P30,000.00 to P100,000.00
alleging therein that per Department of Justice Circular No. 10 dated 3 July 1987, the bail for the, provisional release of an accused should be in an
amount computed at P10,000.00 per year of imprisonment based on the medium penalty imposable for the offense and explaining that it is
recommending P100,000.00 because the private respondent "had in the past escaped from the custody of the military authorities and the offense
for which he is charged is not an ordinary crime, like murder, homicide or robbery, where after the commission, the perpetrator has achieved his
end" and that "the rebellious acts are not consummated until the well-organized plan to overthrow the government through armed struggle and
replace it with an alien system based on a foreign ideology is attained."

On 17 July 1987, petitioner filed a supplemental motion for reconsideration13 indirectly asking the court to deny bail to the private respondent and
to allow it to present evidence in support thereof considering the "inevitable probability that the accused will not comply with this main condition of
his bail –– to appear in court for trial," a conclusion it claims to be buttressed "by the following facts which are widely known by the People of the
Philippines and which this Honorable Court may have judicial notice of:

1. The accused has evaded the authorities for thirteen years and was an escapee from detention when arrested;

2. He was not arrested at his residence as he had no known address;

3. He was using the false name "Manuel Mercado Castro" at the time of his arrest and presented a Driver's License to substantiate his false
identity;

4. The address he gave "Panamitan, Kawit, Cavite," turned out to be also a false address;
5. He and his companions were on board a private vehicle with a declared owner whose identity and address were also found to be false;

6. Pursuant to Ministry Order No. 1-A dated 11 January 1982 , a reward of P250,000.00 was offered and paid for his arrest,

which "clearly indicate that the accused does not entertain the slightest intention to appear in court for trial, if released." Petitioner further argues
that the accused, who is the Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines and head of its military arm, the NPA, together with his followers,
are now engaged in an open warfare and rebellion against this government and threatens the existence of this very Court from which he now seeks
provisional release," and that while he is entitled to bail as a matter of right in view of Executive Order No. 187 which restored the original penalty
for rebellion under Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code, yet, when the interest of the State conflicts with that of an individual, that of the former
prevails for "the right of the State of self-preservation is paramount to any of the rights of an individual enshrined in the Bill of Rights of the
Constitution." Petitioner further invokes precedents in the United States of America holding "that there is no absolute constitutional barrier to
detention of potentially dangerous resident aliens pending deportation proceedings,14 and that an arrestee may be incarcerated until trial as he
presents a risk of flight;15 and sustaining a detention prior to trial of arrestee charged with serious felonies who are found after an adversary hearing
to pose threat to the safety of individuals and to the community which no condition of release can dispel.16

On 30 July 1987 respondent Judge handed down the Order17 adverted to in the introductory portion of this decision the dispositive portion of which
reads:

WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing considerations, the Court finds the "supplemental" motion for reconsideration to be without merit and
hereby denies it but finds the first motion for reconsideration to be meritorious only insofar as the amount of bail is concerned and hereby reconsiders
its Order of July 7, 1987 only to increase the amount of bail from P30,000.00 to P50,000.00, subject to the approval of this Court, and with the
additional condition that accused Rodolfo Salas shall report to the court once every two (2) months within the first ten (10) days of every period
thereof (Almendras vs. Villaluz, et al., L-31665, August 6, 1975, 66 SCRA 58).

In denying the supplemental motion for reconsideration the respondent Judge took into account the "sudden turn-about" on the part of the
petitioner in that a day earlier it filed a motion for reconsideration wherein it conceded the right of the private respondent to bail but merely asked
to increase the amount of bail; observed that it is only a reiteration of arguments in its opposition to the petition for bail of 25 May 1987; asserted
that the American precedents are not applicable since the cases involved deportation of aliens and, moreover, the U.S. Federal Constitution does not
contain a proviso on the right of an accused to bail in bailable offenses, but only an injunction against excessive bail; and quoted the concurring
opinion of the late Justice Pedro Tuason in the cases of Nava, et al. vs. Gatmaitan, L-4853, Hernandez vs. Montesa, L-4964 and Angeles vs. Abaya, L-
5108, October 11, 1951, 90 Phil, 172.

Unable to agree with said Order, petitioner commenced this petition submitting therein the following issues:

THE HONORABLE RESPONDENT JUDGE PROCORO J. DONATO ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AND IN EXCESS OF HIS JURISDICTION, AND
IN TOTAL DISREGARD OF THE PREVAILING REALITIES, WHEN HE DENIED PETITIONER'S SUPPLEMENTAL MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION WITH
PRAYER TO BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO ADDUCE EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF ITS OPPOSITION TO THE GRANT OF BAIL TO THE RESPONDENT
RODOLFO SALAS.

THE HONORABLE RESPONDENT JUDGE PROCORO J. DONATO ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AND IN EXCESS OF HIS JURISDICTION WHEN
HE GRANTED BAIL TO THE RESPONDENT RODOLFO SALAS.

in support of which petitioner argues that private respondent is estopped from invoking his right to bail, having expressly waived it in G.R. No. 76009
when he agreed to "remain in legal custody and face trial before the court having custody of his person" in consideration of the recall of the warrant
of arrest for his co-petitioners Josefina Cruz and Jose Concepcion; and the right to bail, even in non-capital offenses, is not absolute when there is
prima facie evidence that the accused is a serious threat to the very existence of the State, in which case the prosecution must be allowed to present
evidence for the denial of bail. Consequently, respondent Judge acted with grave abuse of discretion when he did not allow petitioner to present all
the evidence it may desire to support its prayer for the denial of bail and when he declared that the State has forfeited its right to do so since during
all the time that the petition for bail was pending, it never manifested, much less hinted, its intention to adduce such evidence. And that even if
release on bail may be allowed, respondent judge, in fixing the amount of bail at P50,000.00 (originally P30,000.00 only), failed to take into account
the lengthy record of private respondents' criminal background, the gravity of the pending charge, and the likelihood of flight.18

In Our resolution of 11 August 198719 We required the respondents to comment on the petition and issued a Temporary Restraining Order ordering
respondent Judge to cease and desist from implementing his order of 30 July 1987 granting bail to private respondent in the amount of P50,000.00.

In his Comment filed on 27 August 1987,20 private respondent asks for the outright dismissal of the petition and immediate lifting of the temporary
restraining order on the following grounds:

RESPONDENT SALAS NEVER WAIVED HIS RIGHT TO BAIL; NEITHER IS HE ESTOPPED FROM ASSERTING SAID RIGHT. ON THE CONTRARY IT IS PETITIONER
WHO IS ESTOPPED FROM RAISING THE SAID ISSUE FOR THE FIRST TIME ON APPEAL.

II
RESPONDENT SALAS ENJOYS NOT ONLY THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO BE PRESUMED INNOCENT BUT ALSO THE RIGHT TO BAIL.

III

RESPONDENT SALAS IS NOT CHARGED WITH A CAPITAL OFFENSE (RECLUSION PERPETUA), HENCE HE HAS THE RIGHT TO BAIL AS MANDATED BY THE
CONSTITUTION.

IV

THE ORDER OF JULY 30, 1987 DENYING PETITIONER OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT EVIDENCE IS CORRECT. PETITIONER'S ALLEGED RIGHT TO PRESENT
EVIDENCE IS NON-EXISTENT AND/OR HAD BEEN WAIVED.

THE ISSUANCE OF A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER IN THIS CASE VIOLATES NOT ONLY RESPONDENT SALAS' RIGHT TO BAIL BUT ALSO HIS OTHER
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS.

We required the petitioner to reply to the comment of private respondent.21 The reply was filed on 18 September 1987.22

In Our resolution of 15 October 198723 We gave due course to the petition and required the parties to file simultaneously their memoranda within
twenty days from notice.

In their respective manifestations and motions dated 5 November24 and 23 November 198725 petitioner and private respondents asked to be
excused from filing their Memoranda and that the petition and reply be considered as the Memorandum for petitioner and the Comment as the
Memorandum for private respondent, which We granted in Our resolution of 19 November 198726 and 1 December 1987,27 respectively.

In Our resolution of 14 September 1989 We required the Solicitor General to express his stand on the issues raised in this petitions,28 which he
complied with by filing his Manifestation on 30 May 199029 wherein he manifests that he supports the petition and submits that the Order of
respondent Judge of July 7, July 17 and July 30, 1987 should be annulled and set aside asserting that private respondent had waived the light to bail
in view of the agreement in G.R. No. 76009; that granting bail to him is accepting wide-eyed his undertaking which he is sure to break; in determining
bail, the primary consideration is to insure the attendance of the accused at the trial of the case against him which would be frustrated by the "almost
certainty that respondent Salas will lump bail of whatever amount"; and application of the guidelines provided for in Section 10 of Rule 114, 1985
Rules on Criminal Procedure on the amount of bail dictates denial of bail to private respondent. The Solicitor General likewise maintains that the
right of the petitioner to hearing on the application of private respondent for bail cannot be denied by respondent Judge.

And now on the issues presented in this case.

I.

Unquestionably, at the time the original and the amended Informations for rebellion and the application for bail were filed before the court below
the penalty imposable for the offense for which the private respondent was charged was reclusion perpetua to death. During the pendency of the
application for bail Executive Order No. 187 was issued by the President, by virtue of which the penalty for rebellion as originally provided for in
Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code was restored. The restored law was the governing law at the time the respondent court resolved the petition
for bail.

We agree with the respondent court that bail cannot be denied to the private respondent for he is charged with the crime of rebellion as defined in
Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code to which is attached the penalty of prision mayor and a fine not exceeding P20,000.00.30 It is, therefore, a
bailable offense under Section 13 of Article III of the 1987 Constitution which provides thus:

Sec. 13. All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction,
be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be prescribed by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required.

Section 3, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, as amended, also provides:

Bail, a matter of right: exception. — All persons in custody shall, before final conviction, be entitled to bail as a matter of right, except those charged
with a capital offense or an offense which, under the law at the time of its commission and at the time of the application for bail, is punishable by
reclusion perpetua, when evidence of guilt is strong.

Therefore, before conviction bail is either a matter of right or of discretion. It is a matter of right when the offense charged is punishable by any
penalty lower than reclusion perpetua.31 To that extent the right is absolute.32

And so, in a similar case for rebellion, People vs. Hernandez, et al., 99 Phil. 515, despite the fact that the accused was already convicted, although
erroneously, by the trial court for the complex crime of rebellion with multiple murders, arsons and robberies, and sentenced to life imprisonment,
We granted bail in the amount of P30,000.00 during the pendency of his appeal from such conviction. To the vigorous stand of the People that We
must deny bail to the accused because the security of the State so requires, and because the judgment of conviction appealed from indicates that
the evidence of guilt of Hernandez is strong, We held:

. . . Furthermore, individual freedom is too basic, too transcendental and vital in a republican state, like ours, to be derived upon mere general
principles and abstract consideration of public safety. Indeed, the preservation of liberty is such a major preoccupation of our political system that,
not satisfied with guaranteeing its enjoyment in the very first paragraph of section (1) of the Bill of Rights, the framers of our Constitution devoted
paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16), (17), (18), and (21) of said section (1) to the protection of several aspects of
freedom.

The 1987 Constitution strengthens further the right to bail by explicitly providing that it shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus is suspended. This overturns the Court's ruling in Garcia-Padilla vs. Enrile, et al., supra., to wit:

The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus must, indeed, carry with it the suspension of the right to bail, if the government's
campaign to suppress the rebellion is to be enhanced and rendered effective. If the right to bail may be demanded during the continuance of the
rebellion, and those arrested, captured and detained in the course thereof will be released, they would, without the least doubt, rejoin their comrades
in the field thereby jeopardizing the success of government efforts to bring to an end the invasion, rebellion or insurrection.

Upon the other hand, if the offense charged is punishable by reclusion perpetua bail becomes a matter of discretion. It shall be denied if the evidence
of guilt is strong. The court's discretion is limited to determining whether or not evidence of guilt is strong.33 But once it is determined that the
evidence of guilt is not strong, bail also becomes a matter of right. In Teehankee vs. Director of Prisons, supra., We held:

The provision on bail in our Constitution is patterned after similar provisions contained in the Constitution of the United States and that of many
states of the Union. And it is said that:

The Constitution of the United States and the constitution of the many states provide that all persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except
for capital offenses, where the proof is evident or the presumption of guilt is great, and, under such provisions, bail is a matter of right which no court
or judge can properly refuse, in all cases not embraced in the exceptions. Under such provisions bail is a matter of right even in cases of capital
offenses, unless the proof of guilt is evident or the presumption thereof is great!34

Accordingly, the prosecution does not have the right to present evidence for the denial of bail in the instances where bail is a matter of right. However,
in the cases where the grant of bail is discretionary, due process requires that the prosecution must be given an opportunity to present, within a
reasonable time, all the evidence that it may desire to introduce before the court should resolve the motion for bail.35

We agree, however, with petitioner that it was error for the respondent court to fix the bond at P30,000.00, then later at P50,000.00 without hearing
the prosecution. The guidelines for the fixing of the amount of bail provided for in Section 10 of Rule 114 of the Rules of Court are not matters left
entirely to the discretion of the court. As We stated in People vs. Dacudao, et al., 170 SCRA, 489, 495:

Certain guidelines in the fixing of a bailbond call for the presentation of evidence and reasonable opportunity for the prosecution to refute it. Among
them are the nature and circumstances of the crime, character and reputation of the accused, the weight of the evidence against him, the probability
of the accused appearing at the trial, whether or not the accused is a fugitive from justice, and whether or not the accused is under bond in other
case. . . .

In the instant case petitioner has sufficiently made out allegations which necessitate a grant of an opportunity to be heard for the purpose of
determining the amount of bail, but not for the denial thereof because aforesaid Section 10 of Rule 114 does not authorize any court to deny bail.

II.

It must, however, be stressed that under the present state of the law, rebellion is no longer punishable by prision mayor and fine not exceeding
P20,000.00. Republic Act No. 6968 approved on 24 October 1990 and which took effect after publication in at least two newspapers of general
circulation, amended, among others, Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code by increasing the penalty for rebellion such that, as amended, it now
reads:

Article 135. Penalty for rebellion, insurrection or coup d'etat. ––– Any person who promotes, maintains, or heads a rebellion or insurrection
shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

Any person merely participating or executing the commands of others in a rebellion or insurrection shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

xxx xxx xxx

This amendatory law cannot apply to the private respondent for acts allegedly committed prior to its effectivity. It is not favorable to him. "Penal
laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they favor the person guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual criminal, as this term is defined in Rule 5
of Article 62 of this Code, although at the time of the publication of such laws a final sentence has been pronounced and the convict is serving the
same.36

III.
We agree with Petitioner that private respondent has, however, waived his right to bail in G.R. No. 76009.

On 3 October 1986, or the day following the filing of the original information in Criminal Case No. 86-48926 with the trial court, a petition for habeas
corpus for herein private respondent, and his co-accused Josefina Cruz and Jose Concepcion, was filed with this Court by Lucia Cruz, Aida Concepcion
Paniza and Beatriz Salas against Juan Ponce Enrile, Gen. Fidel Ramos, Brig. Gen. Renato de Villa, Brig. Gen. Ramon Montaño, and Col. Saldajeno
praying, among others, that the petition be given due course and a writ of habeas corpus be issued requiring respondents to produce the bodies of
herein private respondent and his co-accused before the Court and explain by what authority they arrested and detained them. The following
proceedings took place thereafter in said case:

1. In a resolution of 7 October 1986 We issued a writ of habeas corpus, required respondents to make a return of the writ on or before the
close of office hours on 13 October and set the petition for hearing on 14 October 1986 at 10:00 o'clock in the morning.

2. On 13 October 1986 respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor General, filed a Return To The Writ of Habeas Corpus alleging therein
that private respondent and Josefina Cruz alias "Mrs. Mercado", and Jose Milo Concepcion alias "Eugene Zamora" were apprehended by the military
on September 29, 1986 in the evening at the Philippine General Hospital Compound at Taft Ave., Mangga being leaders or members of the Communist
Party of the Philippines, New People's Army and National Democratic Front, organizations dedicated to the overthrow of the Government through
violent means, and having actually committed acts of rebellion under Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. After their arrest they were
forthwith charged with rebellion before Branch XII of the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Region in Criminal Case No. 86-48926 and on 3 October
warrants for their arrest were issued and respondents continue to detain them because of the warrants of arrest and the pendency of the criminal
cases against them. Respondents further allege that, contrary to the allegation in the petition, herein private respondent was not a member of the
NDF panel involved in peace negotiations with the Government; neither is he and his companions Cruz and Concepcion covered by any, safe conduct
pass issued by competent authorities.

3. At the hearing on 14 October 1986 the parties informed the Court of certain agreements reached between them. We issued a resolution
reading as follows:

When this case was called for hearing this morning, Attorneys Romeo Capulong, Arno V. Sanidad, Efren H. Mercado, Edgardo Pamin-tuan, Casiano
Sabile, Ramon Cura, and William Chua appeared for the petitioners with Atty. Capulong arguing for the petitioners. Solicitor General Sedfrey Ordonez,
Assistant Solicitor General Romeo C. de la Cruz and Trial Attorney Josue E. Villanueva appeared for the respondents, with Solicitor General Ordoñez
arguing for the respondents.

Petitioners' counsel, Atty. Romeo Capulong, manifested in open Court that in conformity with the agreement reached with the government, the
petition for habeas corpus will be withdrawn with detainee Rodolfo Salas to remain under custody, whereas his co-detainees Josefina Cruz and Jose
Milo Concepcion will be released immediately.

Solicitor General Sedfrey Ordoñez, also in open Court, confirmed the foregoing statement made by petitioners' counsel regarding the withdrawal of
the petition for habeas corpus, declaring that no objection will be interposed to the immediate release of detainees Josefina Cruz and Jose Milo
Concepcion, and that no bond will be required of them, but they will continue to face trial with their co-accused, Rodolfo Salas; further, that they
will not be rearrested on the basis of the warrants issued by the trial court provided that they manifest in open Court their willingness to subject
themselves to the jurisdiction of the Court and to appear in court when their presence is required.

In addition, he stated that he is willing to confer with petitioners' counsel today relative to the compromise agreement that they have previously
undertaken to submit.

Upon manifestation of petitioners' counsel, Atty. Romeo Capulong, that on his oath as member of the Bar, the detainees Josefina Cruz and Jose Milo
Concepcion have agreed to subject themselves to the jurisdiction of the trial court, the Court ordered their immediate release.

Thereafter, the Court approved the foregoing manifestations and statements and required both parties to SUBMIT to the Court their compromise
agreement by 4:00 o'clock this afternoon. Teehankee, C.J., is on official leave.

4. At 3:49 o'clock in the afternoon of 14 October 1986 the parties submitted a Joint Manifestation and Motion duly signed by Atty. Romeo
Capulong, counsel for petitioners, and Solicitor General Sedfrey Ordoñez, Assistant Solicitor General Romeo C. de la Cruz and Trial Attorney Josue S.
Villanueva, counsel for respondents, which reads as follows:

COME NOW petitioners and the respondents, assisted by their respective counsel, and to this Honorable Tribunal respectfully manifest:

1. That in the discussion between Romeo Capulong, petitioners' counsel, and Solicitor General Sedfrey A. Ordoñez on October 13, 1986
exploratory talks were conducted to find out how the majesty of the law may be preserved and human considerations may be called into play.

2. That in the conference both counsel agreed to the following terms of agreement:

a. The petition for habeas corpus will be withdrawn by petitioners and Josefina Cruz and Jose Milo Concepcion will be immediately released
but shall appear at the trial of the criminal case for rebellion (People v. Rodolfo Salas, et al., Criminal Case No. 4886 [should be 86-48926], Regional
Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region) filed against them under their personal recognizance.
b. Petitioner Rodolfo Salas will remain in legal custody and face trial before the court having custody over his person.

c. The warrant of arrest for the persons of Josefina Cruz and Jose Milo Concepcion is hereby deemed recalled in view of formal manifestation
before the Supreme Court that they will submit themselves to the court having jurisdiction over their person.

3. That on October 14, the Solicitor General was able to obtain the conformity of the Government to the foregoing terms which were likewise
accepted by petitioner (sic) and their counsel of record.

4. That the two counsel submitted their oral manifestation during the hearing on October 14 and the present manifestation in compliance
with the resolution announced in court this morning.

WHEREFORE, it is prayed that the petition for habeas corpus be dismissed.

5. On 16 October 1986 We issued the following resolution:

G.R. No. 76009 [In the Matter of the Petition for Habeas Corpus of Rodolfo Salas, Josefina Cruz and Jose Milo Concepcion, et al. v. Hon. Juan Ponce
Enrile, Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, Brig. Gen. Renato de Villa, Brig. Gen. Ramon Montaño and Col. Virgilio Saldajeno] considering the Joint Manifestation
and Motion dated October 14, 1986 filed by Attorneys Romeo Capulong, Arno V. Sanidad, Efren H. Mercado and Ricardo Fernandez, Jr. as counsel
for petitioners and Solicitor General Sedfrey A. Ordonez and Assistant Solicitor General Romeo C. de la Cruz and Trial Attorney Josue S. Villanueva as
counsel for respondents which states that they have entered into an agreement whereby: [a] the petition for habeas corpus will be withdrawn by
petitioners, and Josefina Cruz and Jose Milo Concepcion will be immediately released but shall appear at the trial of the criminal case for rebellion
[People vs. Rodolfo Salas, et al., Criminal Case No. 4886, Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region, Branch XII, Manila], filed against them,
on their personal recognizance; [b] petitioner Rodolfo Salas will remain in legal custody and face trial before the court having custody over his person;
and [c] the warrant of arrest for the person of Josefina Cruz and Jose Milo Concepcion is hereby deemed recalled in view of the formal manifestation
before this Court that they will submit themselves to the court having jurisdiction over their person and in view of the said agreement, the petition
for habeas corpus be dismissed, the Court Resolved to DISMISS the petition for habeas corpus but subject to the condition that petitioners' lead
counsel, Atty. Capulong, upon his oath as member of the Bar, shall abide by his commitment to ensure the appearance of Josefina Cruz and Jose Milo
Concepcion at the trial of the criminal case for rebellion filed against them. Teehankee, C.J., is on official leave.

It is the stand of the petitioner that private respondent, "in agreeing to remain in legal custody even during the pendency of the trial of his criminal
case, [he] has expressly waived his right to bail."37 Upon the other hand, private respondent asserts that this claim is totally devoid of factual and
legal basis, for in their petition for habeas corpus they precisely questioned the legality of the arrest and the continued detention of Rodolfo Salas,
Josefina Cruz and Jose Milo Concepcion, which was not resolved by this Court or by the compromise agreement of the parties but left open for further
determination in another proceeding. Moreover, the matter of the right to bail was neither raised by either party nor resolved by this Court, and the
legal steps promptly taken by private respondent after the agreement was reached, like the filing of the motion to quash on 7 November 1986 and
the petition for bail on 14 May 1987, were clear and positive assertions of his statutory and constitutional rights to be granted not only provisional
but final and permanent liberty. Finally, private respondent maintains that the term "legal custody" as used in the Joint Manifestation and Motion
simply means that private respondent agreed to continue to be in the custody of the law or in custodia legis and nothing else; it is not to be interpreted
as waiver.

Interestingly, private respondent admits that:

"Custody" has been held to mean nothing less than actual imprisonment. It is also defined as the detainer of a person by virtue of a lawful authority,
or the "care and possession of a thing or person." (Bouviers Law Dictionary, Third Ed, Vol. I, pp. 741-742 citing Smith v. Com. 59 Pa. 320 and Rolland
v. Com. 82 Pa. 306)

He further admits that, in the light of Section 1 of Rule 114 of the Rules of Court and settled jurisprudence, the "constitutional right to bail is subject
to the limitation that the person applying for admission to bail should be in the custody of the law or otherwise deprived of his liberty."38

When the parties in G.R. No. 76009 stipulated that:

b. Petitioner Rodolfo Salas will remain in legal custody and face trial before the court having custody over his person.

they simply meant that Rodolfo Salas, herein respondent, will remain in actual physical custody of the court, or in actual confinement or detention,
as distinguished from the stipulation concerning his co-petitioners, who were to be released in view of the recall of the warrants of arrest against
them; they agreed, however, "to submit themselves to the court having jurisdiction over their persons." Note should be made of the deliberate care
of the parties in making a fine distinction between legal custody and court having custody over the person in respect to Rodolfo Salas and court
having jurisdiction over the persons of his co-accused. Such a fine distinction was precisely intended to emphasize the agreement that Rodolfo Salas
will not be released, but should remain in custody. Had the parties intended otherwise, or had this been unclear to private respondent and his
counsel, they should have insisted on the use of a clearer language. It must be remembered that at the time the parties orally manifested before this
Court on 14 October 1986 the terms and conditions of their agreement and prepared and signed the Joint Manifestation and Motion, a warrant of
arrest had already been issued by the trial court against private respondent and his co-accused. The stipulation that only the warrants of arrest for
Josefina Cruz and Jose Milo Concepcion shall be recalled and that only they shall be released, further confirmed the agreement that herein petitioner
shall remain in custody of the law, or detention or confinement.
In defining bail as:

. . . the security given for the release of a person in custody of the law, . . .

Section 1 of Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of Court admits no other meaning or interpretation for the term "in custody of the law" than that as above
indicated. The purpose of bail is to relieve an accused from imprisonment until his conviction and yet secure his appearance at the trial.39 It
presupposes that the person applying for it should be in the custody of the law or otherwise deprived of liberty.40

Consequently, having agreed in G.R. No. 76009 to remain in legal custody, private respondent had unequivocably waived his right to bail.

But, is such waiver valid?

Article 6 of the Civil Code expressly provides:

Art. 6. Rights may be waived, unless the waiver is contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third
person with a right recognized by law.

Waiver is defined as "a voluntary and intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a known existing legal right, advantage, benefit, claim or
privilege, which except for such waiver the party would have enjoyed; the voluntary abandonment or surrender, by a capable person, of a right
known by him to exist, with the intent that such right shall be surrendered and such person forever deprived of its benefit; or such conduct as
warrants an inference of the relinquishment of such right; or the intentional doing of an act inconsistent with claiming it."41

As to what rights and privileges may be waived, the authority is settled:

. . . the doctrine of waiver extends to rights and privileges of any character, and, since the word "waiver" covers every conceivable right, it is the
general rule that a person may waive any matter which affects his property, and any alienable right or privilege of which he is the owner or which
belongs to him or to which he is legally entitled, whether secured by contract, conferred with statute, or guaranteed by constitution, provided such
rights and privileges rest in the individual, are intended for his sole benefit, do not infringe on the rights of others, and further provided the waiver
of the right or privilege is not forbidden by law, and does not contravene public policy; and the principle is recognized that everyone has a right to
waive, and agree to waive, the advantage of a law or rule made solely for the benefit and protection of the individual in his private capacity, if it can
be dispensed with and relinquished without infringing on any public right, and without detriment to the community at large. . . .

Although the general rule is that any right or privilege conferred by statute or guaranteed by constitution may be waived, a waiver in derogation of
a statutory right is not favored, and a waiver will be inoperative and void if it infringes on the rights of others, or would be against public policy or
morals and the public interest may be waived.

While it has been stated generally that all personal rights conferred by statute and guaranteed by constitution may be waived, it has also been said
that constitutional provisions intended to protect property may be waived, and even some of the constitutional rights created to secure personal
liberty are subjects of waiver.42

In Commonwealth vs. Petrillo,43 it was held:

Rights guaranteed to one accused of a crime fall naturally into two classes: (a) those in which the state, as well as the accused, is interested; and (b)
those which are personal to the accused, which are in the nature of personal privileges. Those of the first class cannot be waived; those of the second
may be.

It is "competent for a person to waive a right guaranteed by the Constitution, and to consent to action which would be invalid if taken against his
will."44

This Court has recognized waivers of constitutional rights such as, for example, the right against unreasonable searches and seizures;45 the right to
counsel and to remain silent;46 and the right to be heard.47

Even the 1987 Constitution expressly recognizes a waiver of rights guaranteed by its Bill of Rights.1âwphi1 Section 12(l) of Article III thereof on the
right to remain silent and to have a competent and independent counsel, preferably of his own choice states:

. . . These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.

This provision merely particularizes the form and manner of the waiver; it, nevertheless, clearly suggests that the other rights may be waived in some
other form or manner provided such waiver will not offend Article 6 of the Civil Code.

We hereby rule that the right to bail is another of the constitutional rights which can be waived. It is a right which is personal to the accused and
whose waiver would not be contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third person with a right
recognized by law.
The respondent Judge then clearly acted with grave abuse of discretion in granting bail to the private respondent.

WHEREFORE, the Orders of respondent Judge of July 7, 1987 and July 30, 1987 in Criminal Case No. 86-48926 entitled People of the Philippines vs.
Rodolfo C. Salas alias Commander Bilog/Henry, Josefina Cruz alias Mrs. Mercado, and Jose Milo Concepcion alias Eugene Zamora, for Rebellion, are
hereby NULLIFIED and SET ASIDE.

SO ORDERED.

MARCIAL KASILAG, petitioner,


vs.
RAFAELA RODRIGUEZ, URBANO ROQUE, SEVERO MAPILISAN and IGNACIO DEL ROSARIO, respondents.

This is an appeal taken by the defendant-petitioner from the decision of the Court of Appeals which modified that rendered by the court
of First Instance of Bataan in civil case No. 1504 of said court and held: that the contract Exhibit "1" is entirely null and void and without
effect; that the plaintiffs-respondents, then appellants, are the owners of the disputed land, with its improvements, in common ownership
with their brother Gavino Rodriguez, hence, they are entitled to the possession thereof; that the defendant-petitioner should yield
possession of the land in their favor, with all the improvements thereon and free from any lien; that the plaintiffs-respondents jointly and
severally pay to the defendant-petitioner the sum of P1,000 with interest at 6 percent per annum from the date of the decision; and
absolved the plaintiffs-respondents from the cross-complaint relative to the value of the improvements claimed by the defendant-
petitioner. The appealed decision also ordered the registrar of deeds of Bataan to cancel certificate of title No. 325, in the name of the
deceased Emiliana Ambrosio and to issue in lieu thereof another certificate of title in favor of the plaintiffs-respondents and their brother
Gavino Rodriguez, as undivided owners in equal parts, free of all liens and incumbrances except those expressly provided by law, without
special pronouncement as to the costs.

The respondents, children and heirs of the deceased Emiliana Ambrosio, commenced the aforesaid civil case to the end that they recover
from the petitioner the possession of the land and its improvements granted by way of homestead to Emiliana Ambrosio under patent No.
16074 issued on January 11, 1931, with certificate of title No. 325 issued by the registrar of deeds of Bataan on June 27, 1931 in her
favor, under section 122 of Act No. 496, which land was surveyed and identified in the cadastre of the municipality of Limay, Province of
Bataan, as lot No. 285; that the petitioner pay to them the sum of P650 being the approximate value of the fruits which he received from
the land; that the petitioner sign all the necessary documents to transfer the land and its possession to the respondents; that he petitioner
be restrained, during the pendency of the case, from conveying or encumbering the land and its improvements; that the registrar of deeds
of Bataan cancel certificate of title No. 325 and issue in lieu thereof another in favor of the respondents, and that the petitioner pay the
costs of suit.

The petitioner denied in his answer all the material allegations of the complaint and by way of special defense alleged that he was in
possession of the land and that he was receiving the fruits thereof by virtue of a mortgage contract, entered into between him and the
deceased Emiliana Ambrosio on May 16, 1932, which was duly ratified by a notary public; and in counterclaim asked that the respondents
pay him the sum of P1,000 with 12 per cent interest per annum which the deceased owed him and that, should the respondents be
declared to have a better right to the possession of the land, that they be sentenced to pay him the sum of P5,000 as value of all the
improvements which he introduced upon the land.lawphil.net

On May 16, 1932 Emiliana Ambrosio, in life, and the petitioner executed the following public deed:

"This agreement, made and entered into this 16th day of May, 1932, by and between Emiliana Ambrosio, Filipino, of legal age, widow
and resident of Limay, Bataan, P.L., hereinafter called the party of the first part, and Marcial Kasilag, Filipino, of legal age, married to
Asuncion Roces, and resident at 312 Perdigon Street, Manila, P.L., hereinafter called party of the second part.

WITNESSETH: That the parties hereto hereby covenant and agree to and with each other as follows:

ARTICLE I. That the party of the first part is the absolute registered owner of a parcel of land in the barrio of Alngan, municipality
of Limay, Province of Bataan, her title thereto being evidenced by homestead certificate of title No. 325 issued by the Bureau of
Lands on June 11, 1931, said land being lot No. 285 of the Limay Cadastre, General Land Registration Office Cadastral Record
No. 1054, bounded and described as follows:

Beginning at point marked 1 on plan E-57394, N. 84º 32' W. 614.82 m. from B.B.M. No. 3, thence N. 66º 35' E. 307.15 m. to point "2"; S.
5º 07' W. to point "5"; S.6º 10' E. 104.26 m. to point "4"; S. 82º 17' W. to point "5"; S. 28º 53' W. 72.26 m. to point "6"; N. 71º 09' W. to
point "7"; N. 1º 42' E. 173.72 m. to point 1, point of beginning, "Containing an area of 6.7540 hectares. "Points 1,2,6 and 7, B.L.; points
3,4 and 5, stakes; points 4, 5 and 6 on bank of Alangan River. "Bounded on the North, by property claimed by Maria Ambrosio; on the
East, by Road; on the South, by Alangan River and property claimed by Maxima de la Cruz; and on the West, by property claimed by
Jose del Rosario. "Bearing true. Declination 0º 51' E. "Surveyed under authority of sections 12-22, Act No. 2874 and in accordance with
existing regulations of the Bureau of Lands, by Mamerto Jacinto, public land surveyor, on July 8, 1927 and approved on Februa ry 25,
1931.

ARTICLE II. That the improvements on the above described land consist of the following:

Four (4) mango trees, fruit bearing: one hundred ten (110) hills of bamboo trees; one (1) tamarind and six (6) boñga trees.

ARTICLE III. That the assessed value of the land is P940 and the assessed value of the improvements is P860, as evidenced
by tax declaration No. 3531 of the municipality of Limay, Bataan.

ARTICLE IV. That for and in consideration of the sum of one thousand pesos (P1,000) Philippine currency, paid by the party of
second part to the party of the first part, receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, the party of the first part hereby encumbers
and hypothecates, by way of mortgage, only the improvements described in Articles II and III hereof, of which improvements the
party of the first part is the absolute owner.

ARTICLE V. That the condition of said mortgage is such that if the party of the first part shall well and truly pay, or cause to paid
to the party of the second part, his heirs, assigns, or executors, on or before the 16th day of November, 1936, or four and one-
half (4½) years after date of the execution of this instrument, the aforesaid sum of one thousand pesos (P1,000) with interest at
12 per cent per annum, then said mortgage shall be and become null and void; otherwise the same shall be and shall remain in
full force and effect, and subject to foreclosure in the manner and form provided by law for the amount due thereunder, with
costs and also attorney's fees in the event of such foreclosure.lawphil.net

ARTICLE VI. That the party of the first part shall pay all taxes and assessments which are or may become due on the above
described land and improvements during the term of this agreement.

ARTICLE VII. That within thirty (30) days after date of execution of this agreement, the party of the first part shall file a motion
before the Court of First Instance at Balanga, Bataan, P. I., requesting cancellation of Homestead Certificate of Title No. 325
referred to in Article I hereof and the issuance, in lieu thereof, of a certificate of title under the provisions of Land Registration
Act No. 496, as amended by Act 3901.

ARTICLE III. It if further agreed that if upon the expiration of the period of time (4½) years stipulated in this mortgage, the
mortgagor should fail to redeem this mortgage, she would execute a deed of absolute sale of the property herein described for
the same amount as this mortgage, including all unpaid interests at the rate of 12 per cent per annum, in favor of the mortgagee.

ARTICLE IX. That in the event the contemplated motion under Article VII hereof is not approved by the Court, the foregoing
contract of sale shall automatically become null and void, and the mortgage stipulated under Article IV and V shall remain in full
force and effect.

In testimony whereof, the parties hereto have hereunto set their hands the day and year first herein before written.

(Sgd.) MARCIAL KASILAG

(Sgd.) EMILIANA AMBROSIO

Signed in the presence of:

(Sgd.) ILLEGIBLE

(Sgd.) GAVINO RODRIGUEZ.

PHILIPPINE ISLANDS } ss.


BALANGA, BATAAN } ss.

Before me this day personally appeared Emiliana Ambrosio without cedula by reason of her sex, to me known and known to me
to be the person who signed the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged to me that she executed the same as her free and
voluntary act and deed.

I hereby certify that this instrument consists of three (3) pages including this page of the acknowledgment and that each page
thereof is signed by the parties to the instrument and the witnesses in their presence and in the presence of each other, and that
the land treated in this instrument consists of only one parcel.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my notarial seal, this 16th day of May, 1932.

(Sgd.) NICOLAS NAVARRO


Notary Public

My commission expires December 31, 1933.

Doc. No. 178


Page 36 of my register
Book No. IV

One year after the execution of the aforequoted deed, that is, in 1933, it came to pass that Emiliana Ambrosio was unable to pay the
stipulated interests as well as the tax on the land and its improvements. For this reason, she and the petitioner entered into another verbal
contract whereby she conveyed to the latter the possession of the land on condition that the latter would not collect the interest on the
loan, would attend to the payment of the land tax, would benefit by the fruits of the land, and would introduce improvements thereon. By
virtue of this verbal contract, the petitioner entered upon the possession of the land, gathered the products thereof, did not collect the
interest on the loan, introduced improvements upon the land valued at P5,000, according to him and on May 22, 1934 the tax declaration
was transferred in his name and on March 6, 1936 the assessed value of the land was increased from P1,020 to P2,180.

After an analysis of the conditions of Exhibit "1" the Court of Appeals came to the conclusion and so held that the contract entered into
by and between the parties, set out in the said public deed, was one of absolute purchase and sale of the land and its improvements.
And upon this ruling it held null and void and without legal effect the entire Exhibit 1 as well as the subsequent verbal contract entered
into between the parties, ordering, however, the respondents to pay to the petitioner, jointly and severally, the loan of P1,000 with legal
interest at 6 per cent per annum from the date of the decision. In this first assignment of error the petitioner contends that the Court of
Appeals violated the law in holding that Exhibit 1 is an absolute deed of sale of the land and its improvements and that it is void and
without any legal effect.

The cardinal rule in the interpretation of contracts is to the effect that the intention of the contracting parties should always prevail because
their will has the force of law between them. Article 1281 of the Civil Code consecrates this rule and provides, that if the terms of a contract
are clear and leave no doubt as to the intention of the contracting parties, the literal sense of its stipulations shall be followed; and if the
words appear to be contrary to the evident intention of the contracting parties, the intention shall prevail. The contract set out in Exhibit 1
should be interpreted in accordance with these rules. As the terms thereof are clear and leave no room for doubt, it should be interpreted
according to the literal meaning of its clauses. The words used by the contracting parties in Exhibit 1 clearly show that they intended to
enter into the principal contract of loan in the amount of P1,000, with interest at 12 per cent per annum, and into the accessory contract
of mortgage of the improvements on the land acquired as homestead, the parties having moreover, agreed upon the pacts and conditions
stated in the deed. In other words, the parties entered into a contract of mortgage of the improvements on the land acquired as homestead,
to secure the payment of the indebtedness for P1,000 and the stipulated interest thereon. In clause V the parties stipulated that Emiliana
Ambrosio was to pay, within four and a half years, or until November 16, 1936, the debt with interest thereon, in which event the mortgage
would not have any effect; in clause VI the parties agreed that the tax on the land and its improvements, during the existence of the
mortgage, should be paid by the owner of the land; in clause VII it was covenanted that within thirty days from the date of the contract,
the owner of the land would file a motion in the Court of First Instance of Bataan asking that certificate of title No. 325 be cancelled and
that in lieu thereof another be issued under the provisions of the Land Registration Act No. 496, as amended by Act No. 3901; in clause
VIII the parties agreed that should Emiliana Ambrosio fail to redeem the mortgage within the stipulated period of four years and a half,
she would execute an absolute deed of sale of the land in favor of the mortgagee, the petitioner, for the same amount of the loan of
P1,000 including unpaid interest; and in clause IX it was stipulated that in case the motion to be presented under clause VII should be
disapproved by the Court of First Instance of Bataan, the contract of sale would automatically become void and the mortgage would
subsist in all its force.

Another fundamental rule in the interpretation of contracts, not less important than those indicated, is to the effect that the terms, clauses
and conditions contrary to law, morals and public order should be separated from the valid and legal contract and when such separation
can be made because they are independent of the valid contract which expresses the will of the contracting parties. Manresa, commenting
on article 1255 of the Civil Code and stating the rule of separation just mentioned, gives his views as follows:

On the supposition that the various pacts, clauses or conditions are valid, no difficulty is presented; but should they be void, the
question is as to what extent they may produce the nullity of the principal obligation. Under the view that such features of the
obligation are added to it and do not go to its essence, a criterion based upon the stability of juridical relations should tend to
consider the nullity as confined to the clause or pact suffering therefrom, except in case where the latter, by an established
connection or by manifest intention of the parties, is inseparable from the principal obligation, and is a condition, juridically
speaking, of that the nullity of which it would also occasion. (Manresa, Commentaries on the Civil Code, Volume 8, p. 575.)

The same view prevails in the Anglo-American law, as condensed in the following words:
Where an agreement founded on a legal consideration contains several promises, or a promise to do several things, and a part
only of the things to be done are illegal, the promises which can be separated, or the promise, so far as it can be separated,
from the illegality, may be valid. The rule is that a lawful promise made for a lawful consideration is not invalid merely because
an unlawful promise was made at the same time and for the same consideration, and this rule applies, although the invalidity is
due to violation of a statutory provision, unless the statute expressly or by necessary implication declares the entire contract
void. . . . (13 C. J., par. 470, p. 512; New York Cent. etc. R. Co. v. Gray, 239 U.S., 583; 60 Law ed., 451; U.S. v. Mora, 97 U.S.,
413, 24 Law. ed., 1017; U.S. v. Hodson, 10 Wall, 395; 19 Law ed. 937; Gelpcke v. Dubuque, 1 Wall. 175, 17 Law ed., 520; U.S.
v. Bradly, 10 Pet. 343, 9 Law. ed., 448; Borland v. Prindle, 144 Fed 713; Western Union Tel. Co. v. Kansas Pac. R. Co., 4 Fed.,
284; Northern Pac. R. Co. v. U.S., 15 Ct. Cl., 428.)

Addressing ourselves now to the contract entered into by the parties, set out in Exhibit 1, we stated that the principal contract is that of
loan and the accessory that of mortgage of the improvements upon the land acquired as a homestead. There is no question that the first
of these contract is valid as it is not against the law. The second, or the mortgage of the improvements, is expressly authorized by section
116 of Act No. 2874, as amended by section 23 of Act No. 3517, reading:

SEC. 116. Except in favor of the Government or any of its branches, units or institutions, or legally constituted banking
corporations, lands acquired under the free patent or homestead provisions shall not be subject to encumbrance or alienation
from the date of the approval of the application and for a term of five years from and after the date of issuance of the patent or
grant, nor shall they become liable to the satisfaction of any debt contracted prior to the expiration of said period; but the
improvements or crops on the land may be mortgaged or pledged to qualified persons, associations, or corporations.

It will be recalled that by clause VIII of Exhibit 1 the parties agreed that should Emiliana Ambrosio fail to redeem the mortgage within the
stipulated period of four and a half years, by paying the loan together with interest, she would execute in favor of the petitioner an absolute
deed of sale of the land for P1,000, including the interest stipulated and owing. The stipulation was verbally modified by the same parties
after the expiration of one year, in the sense that the petitioner would take possession of the land and would benefit by the fruits thereof
on condition that he would condone the payment of interest upon the loan and he would attend to the payment of the land tax. These
pacts made by the parties independently were calculated to alter the mortgage a contract clearly entered into, converting the latter into a
contract of antichresis. (Article 1881 of the Civil Code.) The contract of antichresis, being a real encumbrance burdening the land, is illegal
and void because it is legal and valid.

The foregoing considerations bring us to the conclusion that the first assignment of error is well-founded and that error was committed in
holding that the contract entered into between the parties was one of absolute sale of the land and its improvements and that Exhibit 1 is
null and void. In the second assignment of error the petitioner contends that the Court of Appeals erred in holding that he is guilty of
violating the Public Land Act because he entered into the contract, Exhibit 1. The assigned error is vague and not specific. If it attempts
to show that the said document is valid in its entirety, it is not well-founded because we have already said that certain pacts thereof are
illegal because they are prohibited by section 116 of Act No. 2874, as amended.

In the third assignment of error the petitioner insists that his testimony, as to the verbal agreement entered into between him and Emiliana
Ambrosio, should have been accepted by the Court of Appeals; and in the fourth and last assignment of error the same petitioner contends
that the Court of Appeals erred in holding that he acted in bad faith in taking possession of the land and in taking advantage of the fruits
thereof, resulting in the denial of his right to be reimbursed for the value of the improvements introduced by him.

We have seen that subsequent to the execution of the contract, Exhibit 1, the parties entered into another verbal contract whereby the
petitioner was authorized to take possession of the land, to receive the fruits thereof and to introduce improvements thereon, provided
that he would renounce the payment of stipulated interest and he would assume payment of the land tax. The possession by the petitioner
and his receipt of the fruits of the land, considered as integral elements of the contract of antichresis, are illegal and void agreements
because, as already stated, the contract of antichresis is a lien and such is expressly prohibited by section 116 of Act No. 2874, as
amended. The Court of Appeals held that the petitioner acted in bad faith in taking possession of the land because he knew that the
contract he made with Emiliana Ambrosio was an absolute deed of sale and, further, that the latter could not sell the land because it is
prohibited by section 116. The Civil Code does not expressly define what is meant by bad faith, but section 433 provides that "Every
person who is unaware of any flaw in his title, or in the manner of its acquisition, by which it is invalidated, shall be deemed a possessor
in good faith"; and provides further, that "Possessors aware of such flaw are deemed possessors in bad faith". Article 1950 of the same
Code, covered by Chapter II relative to prescription of ownership and other real rights, provides, in turn, that "Good faith on the part of
the possessor consists in his belief that the person from whom he received the thing was the owner of the same, and could transmit the
title thereto." We do not have before us a case of prescription of ownership, hence, the last article is not squarely in point. In resume, it
may be stated that a person is deemed a possessor in bad faith when he knows that there is a flaw in his title or in the manner of its
acquisition, by which it is invalidated.

Borrowing the language of Article 433, the question to be answered is whether the petitioner should be deemed a possessor in good faith
because he was unaware of any flaw in his title or in the manner of its acquisition by which it is invalidated. It will be noted that ignorance
of the flaw is the keynote of the rule. From the facts found established by the Court of Appeals we can neither deduce nor presume that
the petitioner was aware of a flaw in his title or in the manner of its acquisition, aside from the prohibition contained in section 116. This
being the case, the question is whether good faith may be premised upon ignorance of the laws. Manresa, commenting on article 434 in
connection with the preceding article, sustains the affirmative. He says:
"We do not believe that in real life there are not many cases of good faith founded upon an error of law. When the acquisition appears in
a public document, the capacity of the parties has already been passed upon by competent authority, and even established by appeals
taken from final judgments and administrative remedies against the qualification of registrars, and the possibility of error is remote under
such circumstances; but, unfortunately, private documents and even verbal agreements far exceed public documents in number, and
while no one should be ignorant of the law, the truth is that even we who are called upon to know and apply it fall into error not infrequently.
However, a clear, manifest, and truly unexcusable ignorance is one thing, to which undoubtedly refers article 2, and another and different
thing is possible and excusable error arising from complex legal principles and from the interpretation of conflicting doctrines.

But even ignorance of the law may be based upon an error of fact, or better still, ignorance of a fact is possible as to the capacity
to transmit and as to the intervention of certain persons, compliance with certain formalities and appreciation of certain acts, and
an error of law is possible in the interpretation of doubtful doctrines. (Manresa, Commentaries on the Spanish Civil Code. Volume
IV, pp. 100, 101 and 102.)

According to this author, gross and inexcusable ignorance of law may not be the basis of good faith, but possible, excusable ignorance
may be such basis. It is a fact that the petitioner is not conversant with the laws because he is not a lawyer. In accepting the mortgage of
the improvements he proceeded on the well-grounded belief that he was not violating the prohibition regarding the alienation of the land.
In taking possession thereof and in consenting to receive its fruits, he did not know, as clearly as a jurist does, that the possession and
enjoyment of the fruits are attributes of the contract of antichresis and that the latter, as a lien, was prohibited by section 116. These
considerations again bring us to the conclusion that, as to the petitioner, his ignorance of the provisions of section 116 is excusable and
may, therefore, be the basis of his good faith. We do not give much importance to the change of the tax declaration, which consisted in
making the petitioner appear as the owner of the land, because such an act may only be considered as a sequel to the change of
possession and enjoyment of the fruits by the petitioner, to about which we have stated that the petitioner's ignorance of the law is possible
and excusable. We, therefore, hold that the petitioner acted in good faith in taking possession of the land and enjoying its fruits.

The petitioner being a possessor in good faith within the meaning of article 433 of the Civil Code and having introduced the improvements
upon the land as such, the provisions of article 361 of the same Code are applicable; wherefore, the respondents are entitled to have the
improvements and plants upon indemnifying the petitioner the value thereof which we fix at P3,000, as appraised by the trial court; or the
respondents may elect to compel the petitioner to have the land by paying its market value to be fixed by the court of origin.

The respondents also prayed in their complaint that the petitioner be compelled to pay them the sum of P650, being the approximate
value of the fruits obtained by the petitioner from the land. The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court denying the claim
or indemnity for damages, being of the same opinion as the trial court that the respondents may elect to compel the petitioner to have the
land. The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court that the respondents have not established such damages. Under the
verbal contract between the petitioner and the deceased Emiliana Ambrosio, during the latter's lifetime, the former would take possession
of the land and would receive the fruits of the mortgaged improvements on condition that he would no longer collect the stipulated interest
and that he would attend to the payment of the land tax. This agreement, at bottom, is tantamount to the stipulation that the petitioner
should apply the value of the fruits of the land to the payment of stipulated interest on the loan of P1,000 which is, in turn, another of the
elements characterizing the contract of antichresis under article 1881 of the Civil Code. It was not possible for the parties to stipulate
further that the value of the fruits be also applied to the payment of the capital, because the truth was that nothing remained after paying
the interest at 12% per annum. This interest, at the rate fixed, amounted to P120 per annum, whereas the market value of the fruits
obtainable from the land hardly reached said amount in view of the fact that the assessed value of said improvements was, according to
the decision, P860. To this should be added the fact that, under the verbal agreement, from the value of the fruits had to be taken a
certain amount to pay the annual land tax. We mention these data here to show that the petitioner is also not bound to render an
accounting of the value of the fruits of the mortgaged improvements for the reason stated that said value hardly covers the interest earned
by the secured indebtednes.

For all the foregoing considerations, the appealed decision is reversed, and we hereby adjudge: (1) that the contract of mortgage of the
improvements, set out in Exhibit 1, is valid and binding; (2) that the contract of antichresis agreed upon verbally by the parties is a real
incumbrance which burdens the land and, as such, is a null and without effect; (3) that the petitioner is a possessor in good faith; (4) that
the respondents may elect to have the improvements introduced by the petitioner by paying the latter the value thereof, P3,000, or to
compel the petitioner to buy and have the land where the improvements or plants are found, by paying them its market value to be filed
by the court of origin, upon hearing the parties; (5) that the respondents have a right to the possession of the land and to enjoy the
mortgaged improvements; and (6) that the respondents may redeem the mortgage of the improvements by paying to the petitioner within
three months the amount of P1,000, without interest, as that stipulated is set off by the value of the fruits of the mortgaged improvements
which petitioner received, and in default thereof the petitioner may ask for the public sale of said improvements for the purpose of applying
the proceeds thereof to the payment of his said credit. Without special pronouncement as to the costs in all instances. So ordered.

Van Dorn vs Romillo


Van Dorn vs. Romillo
139 SCRA 139

FACTS:

Alice Reyes Van Dorn, a Filipino Citizen and private respondent, Richard Upton, a US citizen, was married in Hong Kong in 1979. They established
their residence in the Philippines and had 2 children. They were divorced in Nevada, USA in 1982 and petitioner remarried, this time with Theodore
Van Dorn. A suit against petitioner was filed on June 8, 1983, stating that petitioner’s business in Ermita Manila, the Galleon Shop, is a conjugal
property with Upton and prayed therein that Alice be ordered to render an accounting of the business and he be declared as the administrator of the
said property.

ISSUE: Whether or not the foreign divorce between the petitioner and private respondent in Nevada is binding in the Philippines where petitioner is a
Filipino citizen.

HELD:

Private respondent is no longer the husband of the petitioner. He would have no standing to sue petitioner to exercise control over conjugal assets. He
is estopped by his own representation before the court from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property. Furthermore, aliens may obtain
divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national law. Petitioner is not bound to her
marital obligations to respondent by virtue of her nationality laws. She should not be discriminated against her own country if the end of justice is to
be served.

ALICE REYES VAN DORN, petitioner,


vs.
HON. MANUEL V. ROMILLO, JR., as Presiding Judge of Branch CX, Regional Trial Court of the National
Capital Region Pasay City and RICHARD UPTON respondents.

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:\

In this Petition for certiorari and Prohibition, petitioner Alice Reyes Van Dorn seeks to set aside the Orders, dated September 15, 1983 and August 3, 1984, in Civil
Case No. 1075-P, issued by respondent Judge, which denied her Motion to Dismiss said case, and her Motion for Reconsideration of the Dismissal Order,
respectively.

The basic background facts are that petitioner is a citizen of the Philippines while private respondent is a citizen of
the United States; that they were married in Hongkong in 1972; that, after the marriage, they established their
residence in the Philippines; that they begot two children born on April 4, 1973 and December 18, 1975,
respectively; that the parties were divorced in Nevada, United States, in 1982; and that petitioner has re-married
also in Nevada, this time to Theodore Van Dorn.

Dated June 8, 1983, private respondent filed suit against petitioner in Civil Case No. 1075-P of the Regional Trial
Court, Branch CXV, in Pasay City, stating that petitioner's business in Ermita, Manila, (the Galleon Shop, for short),
is conjugal property of the parties, and asking that petitioner be ordered to render an accounting of that business,
and that private respondent be declared with right to manage the conjugal property. Petitioner moved to dismiss the
case on the ground that the cause of action is barred by previous judgment in the divorce proceedings before the
Nevada Court wherein respondent had acknowledged that he and petitioner had "no community property" as of
June 11, 1982. The Court below denied the Motion to Dismiss in the mentioned case on the ground that the property
involved is located in the Philippines so that the Divorce Decree has no bearing in the case. The denial is now the
subject of this certiorari proceeding.

Generally, the denial of a Motion to Dismiss in a civil case is interlocutory and is not subject to appeal. certiorari and
Prohibition are neither the remedies to question the propriety of an interlocutory order of the trial Court. However,
when a grave abuse of discretion was patently committed, or the lower Court acted capriciously and whimsically,
then it devolves upon this Court in a certiorari proceeding to exercise its supervisory authority and to correct the
error committed which, in such a case, is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. 1 Prohibition would then lie since it would
be useless and a waste of time to go ahead with the proceedings. 2 Weconsider the petition filed in this case within
the exception, and we have given it due course.

For resolution is the effect of the foreign divorce on the parties and their alleged conjugal property in the Philippines.

Petitioner contends that respondent is estopped from laying claim on the alleged conjugal property because of the
representation he made in the divorce proceedings before the American Court that they had no community of
property; that the Galleon Shop was not established through conjugal funds, and that respondent's claim is barred
by prior judgment.
For his part, respondent avers that the Divorce Decree issued by the Nevada Court cannot prevail over the
prohibitive laws of the Philippines and its declared national policy; that the acts and declaration of a foreign Court
cannot, especially if the same is contrary to public policy, divest Philippine Courts of jurisdiction to entertain matters
within its jurisdiction.

For the resolution of this case, it is not necessary to determine whether the property relations between petitioner and
private respondent, after their marriage, were upon absolute or relative community property, upon complete
separation of property, or upon any other regime. The pivotal fact in this case is the Nevada divorce of the parties.

The Nevada District Court, which decreed the divorce, had obtained jurisdiction over petitioner who appeared in
person before the Court during the trial of the case. It also obtained jurisdiction over private respondent who, giving
his address as No. 381 Bush Street, San Francisco, California, authorized his attorneys in the divorce case, Karp &
Gradt Ltd., to agree to the divorce on the ground of incompatibility in the understanding that there were neither
community property nor community obligations. 3 As explicitly stated in the Power of Attorney he executed in favor of
the law firm of KARP & GRAD LTD., 336 W. Liberty, Reno, Nevada, to represent him in the divorce proceedings:

xxx xxx xxx

You are hereby authorized to accept service of Summons, to file an Answer, appear on my behalf
and do an things necessary and proper to represent me, without further contesting, subject to the
following:

1. That my spouse seeks a divorce on the ground of incompatibility.

2. That there is no community of property to be adjudicated by the Court.

3. 'I'hat there are no community obligations to be adjudicated by the court.

xxx xxx xxx 4

There can be no question as to the validity of that Nevada divorce in any of the States of the United States. The
decree is binding on private respondent as an American citizen. For instance, private respondent cannot sue
petitioner, as her husband, in any State of the Union. What he is contending in this case is that the divorce is not
valid and binding in this jurisdiction, the same being contrary to local law and public policy.

It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code, 5 only Philippine nationals are
covered by the policy against absolute divorces the same being considered contrary to our concept of public police
and morality. However, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided
they are valid according to their national law. 6 In this case, the divorce in Nevada released private respondent from
the marriage from the standards of American law, under which divorce dissolves the marriage. As stated by
the Federal Supreme Court of the United States in Atherton vs. Atherton, 45 L. Ed. 794, 799:

The purpose and effect of a decree of divorce from the bond of matrimony by a court of competent
jurisdiction are to change the existing status or domestic relation of husband and wife, and to free
them both from the bond. The marriage tie when thus severed as to one party, ceases to bind either.
A husband without a wife, or a wife without a husband, is unknown to the law. When the law
provides, in the nature of a penalty. that the guilty party shall not marry again, that party, as well as
the other, is still absolutely freed from the bond of the former marriage.

Thus, pursuant to his national law, private respondent is no longer the husband of petitioner. He would have no
standing to sue in the case below as petitioner's husband entitled to exercise control over conjugal assets. As he is
bound by the Decision of his own country's Court, which validly exercised jurisdiction over him, and whose decision
he does not repudiate, he is estopped by his own representation before said Court from asserting his right over the
alleged conjugal property.

To maintain, as private respondent does, that, under our laws, petitioner has to be considered still married to private
respondent and still subject to a wife's obligations under Article 109, et. seq. of the Civil Code cannot be just.
Petitioner should not be obliged to live together with, observe respect and fidelity, and render support to private
respondent. The latter should not continue to be one of her heirs with possible rights to conjugal property. She
should not be discriminated against in her own country if the ends of justice are to be served.

WHEREFORE, the Petition is granted, and respondent Judge is hereby ordered to dismiss the Complaint filed in
Civil Case No. 1075-P of his Court.

Without costs.

SO ORDERED.

IN THE MATTER OF THE TESTATE ESTATE OF EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN, DECEASED.


ADOLFO C. AZNAR, Executor and LUCY CHRISTENSEN, Heir of the deceased, Executor and Heir-appellees,
vs.
HELEN CHRISTENSEN GARCIA, oppositor-appellant.

M. R. Sotelo for executor and heir-appellees.


Leopoldo M. Abellera and Jovito Salonga for oppositor-appellant.

LABRADOR, J.:

This is an appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Davao, Hon. Vicente N. Cusi, Jr., presiding, in
Special Proceeding No. 622 of said court, dated September 14, 1949, approving among things the final accounts of
the executor, directing the executor to reimburse Maria Lucy Christensen the amount of P3,600 paid by her to Helen
Christensen Garcia as her legacy, and declaring Maria Lucy Christensen entitled to the residue of the property to be
enjoyed during her lifetime, and in case of death without issue, one-half of said residue to be payable to Mrs. Carrie
Louise C. Borton, etc., in accordance with the provisions of the will of the testator Edward E. Christensen. The will
was executed in Manila on March 5, 1951 and contains the following provisions:

3. I declare ... that I have but ONE (1) child, named MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN (now Mrs. Bernard
Daney), who was born in the Philippines about twenty-eight years ago, and who is now residing at No. 665
Rodger Young Village, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

4. I further declare that I now have no living ascendants, and no descendants except my above named
daughter, MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN DANEY.

xxx xxx xxx

7. I give, devise and bequeath unto MARIA HELEN CHRISTENSEN, now married to Eduardo Garcia, about
eighteen years of age and who, notwithstanding the fact that she was baptized Christensen, is not in any
way related to me, nor has she been at any time adopted by me, and who, from all information I have now
resides in Egpit, Digos, Davao, Philippines, the sum of THREE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED PESOS
(P3,600.00), Philippine Currency the same to be deposited in trust for the said Maria Helen Christensen with
the Davao Branch of the Philippine National Bank, and paid to her at the rate of One Hundred Pesos
(P100.00), Philippine Currency per month until the principal thereof as well as any interest which may have
accrued thereon, is exhausted..

xxx xxx xxx

12. I hereby give, devise and bequeath, unto my well-beloved daughter, the said MARIA LUCY
CHRISTENSEN DANEY (Mrs. Bernard Daney), now residing as aforesaid at No. 665 Rodger Young Village,
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., all the income from the rest, remainder, and residue of my property and
estate, real, personal and/or mixed, of whatsoever kind or character, and wheresoever situated, of which I
may be possessed at my death and which may have come to me from any source whatsoever, during her
lifetime: ....
It is in accordance with the above-quoted provisions that the executor in his final account and project of partition
ratified the payment of only P3,600 to Helen Christensen Garcia and proposed that the residue of the estate be
transferred to his daughter, Maria Lucy Christensen.

Opposition to the approval of the project of partition was filed by Helen Christensen Garcia, insofar as it deprives her
(Helen) of her legitime as an acknowledged natural child, she having been declared by Us in G.R. Nos. L-11483-84
an acknowledged natural child of the deceased Edward E. Christensen. The legal grounds of opposition are (a) that
the distribution should be governed by the laws of the Philippines, and (b) that said order of distribution is contrary
thereto insofar as it denies to Helen Christensen, one of two acknowledged natural children, one-half of the estate in
full ownership. In amplification of the above grounds it was alleged that the law that should govern the estate of the
deceased Christensen should not be the internal law of California alone, but the entire law thereof because several
foreign elements are involved, that the forum is the Philippines and even if the case were decided in California,
Section 946 of the California Civil Code, which requires that the domicile of the decedent should apply, should be
applicable. It was also alleged that Maria Helen Christensen having been declared an acknowledged natural child of
the decedent, she is deemed for all purposes legitimate from the time of her birth.

The court below ruled that as Edward E. Christensen was a citizen of the United States and of the State of California
at the time of his death, the successional rights and intrinsic validity of the provisions in his will are to be governed
by the law of California, in accordance with which a testator has the right to dispose of his property in the way he
desires, because the right of absolute dominion over his property is sacred and inviolable (In re McDaniel's Estate,
77 Cal. Appl. 2d 877, 176 P. 2d 952, and In re Kaufman, 117 Cal. 286, 49 Pac. 192, cited in page 179, Record on
Appeal). Oppositor Maria Helen Christensen, through counsel, filed various motions for reconsideration, but these
were denied. Hence, this appeal.

The most important assignments of error are as follows:

THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN IGNORING THE DECISION OF THE HONORABLE SUPREME COURT THAT
HELEN IS THE ACKNOWLEDGED NATURAL CHILD OF EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN AND, CONSEQUENTLY,
IN DEPRIVING HER OF HER JUST SHARE IN THE INHERITANCE.

II

THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ENTIRELY IGNORING AND/OR FAILING TO RECOGNIZE THE EXISTENCE
OF SEVERAL FACTORS, ELEMENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES CALLING FOR THE APPLICATION OF
INTERNAL LAW.

III

THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO RECOGNIZE THAT UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW,
PARTICULARLY UNDER THE RENVOI DOCTRINE, THE INTRINSIC VALIDITY OF THE TESTAMENTARY
DISPOSITION OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN
SHOULD BE GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF THE PHILIPPINES.

IV

THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT DECLARING THAT THE SCHEDULE OF DISTRIBUTION SUBMITTED BY
THE EXECUTOR IS CONTRARY TO THE PHILIPPINE LAWS.

THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT DECLARING THAT UNDER THE PHILIPPINE LAWS HELEN
CHRISTENSEN GARCIA IS ENTITLED TO ONE-HALF (1/2) OF THE ESTATE IN FULL OWNERSHIP.
There is no question that Edward E. Christensen was a citizen of the United States and of the State of California at
the time of his death. But there is also no question that at the time of his death he was domiciled in the Philippines,
as witness the following facts admitted by the executor himself in appellee's brief:

In the proceedings for admission of the will to probate, the facts of record show that the deceased Edward E.
Christensen was born on November 29, 1875 in New York City, N.Y., U.S.A.; his first arrival in the
Philippines, as an appointed school teacher, was on July 1, 1901, on board the U.S. Army Transport
"Sheridan" with Port of Embarkation as the City of San Francisco, in the State of California, U.S.A. He
stayed in the Philippines until 1904.

In December, 1904, Mr. Christensen returned to the United States and stayed there for the following nine
years until 1913, during which time he resided in, and was teaching school in Sacramento, California.

Mr. Christensen's next arrival in the Philippines was in July of the year 1913. However, in 1928, he again
departed the Philippines for the United States and came back here the following year, 1929. Some nine
years later, in 1938, he again returned to his own country, and came back to the Philippines the following
year, 1939.

Wherefore, the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing stipulation of facts be admitted and approved by
this Honorable Court, without prejudice to the parties adducing other evidence to prove their case not
covered by this stipulation of facts.
1äw phï1.ñët

Being an American citizen, Mr. Christensen was interned by the Japanese Military Forces in the Philippines
during World War II. Upon liberation, in April 1945, he left for the United States but returned to the
Philippines in December, 1945. Appellees Collective Exhibits "6", CFI Davao, Sp. Proc. 622, as Exhibits
"AA", "BB" and "CC-Daney"; Exhs. "MM", "MM-l", "MM-2-Daney" and p. 473, t.s.n., July 21, 1953.)

In April, 1951, Edward E. Christensen returned once more to California shortly after the making of his last
will and testament (now in question herein) which he executed at his lawyers' offices in Manila on March 5,
1951. He died at the St. Luke's Hospital in the City of Manila on April 30, 1953. (pp. 2-3)

In arriving at the conclusion that the domicile of the deceased is the Philippines, we are persuaded by the fact that
he was born in New York, migrated to California and resided there for nine years, and since he came to the
Philippines in 1913 he returned to California very rarely and only for short visits (perhaps to relatives), and
considering that he appears never to have owned or acquired a home or properties in that state, which would
indicate that he would ultimately abandon the Philippines and make home in the State of California.

Sec. 16. Residence is a term used with many shades of meaning from mere temporary presence to the most
permanent abode. Generally, however, it is used to denote something more than mere physical presence.
(Goodrich on Conflict of Laws, p. 29)

As to his citizenship, however, We find that the citizenship that he acquired in California when he resided in
Sacramento, California from 1904 to 1913, was never lost by his stay in the Philippines, for the latter was a territory
of the United States (not a state) until 1946 and the deceased appears to have considered himself as a citizen of
California by the fact that when he executed his will in 1951 he declared that he was a citizen of that State; so that
he appears never to have intended to abandon his California citizenship by acquiring another. This conclusion is in
accordance with the following principle expounded by Goodrich in his Conflict of Laws.

The terms "'residence" and "domicile" might well be taken to mean the same thing, a place of permanent
abode. But domicile, as has been shown, has acquired a technical meaning. Thus one may be domiciled in
a place where he has never been. And he may reside in a place where he has no domicile. The man with
two homes, between which he divides his time, certainly resides in each one, while living in it. But if he went
on business which would require his presence for several weeks or months, he might properly be said to
have sufficient connection with the place to be called a resident. It is clear, however, that, if he treated his
settlement as continuing only for the particular business in hand, not giving up his former "home," he could
not be a domiciled New Yorker. Acquisition of a domicile of choice requires the exercise of intention as well
as physical presence. "Residence simply requires bodily presence of an inhabitant in a given place,
while domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to make it one's
domicile." Residence, however, is a term used with many shades of meaning, from the merest temporary
presence to the most permanent abode, and it is not safe to insist that any one use et the only proper one.
(Goodrich, p. 29)

The law that governs the validity of his testamentary dispositions is defined in Article 16 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines, which is as follows:

ART. 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated.

However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of succession and to the
amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by
the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the
property and regardless of the country where said property may be found.

The application of this article in the case at bar requires the determination of the meaning of the term "national
law"is used therein.

There is no single American law governing the validity of testamentary provisions in the United States, each state of
the Union having its own private law applicable to its citizens only and in force only within the state. The "national
law" indicated in Article 16 of the Civil Code above quoted can not, therefore, possibly mean or apply to any general
American law. So it can refer to no other than the private law of the State of California.

The next question is: What is the law in California governing the disposition of personal property? The decision of
the court below, sustains the contention of the executor-appellee that under the California Probate Code, a testator
may dispose of his property by will in the form and manner he desires, citing the case of Estate of McDaniel, 77 Cal.
Appl. 2d 877, 176 P. 2d 952. But appellant invokes the provisions of Article 946 of the Civil Code of California, which
is as follows:

If there is no law to the contrary, in the place where personal property is situated, it is deemed to follow the
person of its owner, and is governed by the law of his domicile.

The existence of this provision is alleged in appellant's opposition and is not denied. We have checked it in the
California Civil Code and it is there. Appellee, on the other hand, relies on the case cited in the decision and testified
to by a witness. (Only the case of Kaufman is correctly cited.) It is argued on executor's behalf that as the deceased
Christensen was a citizen of the State of California, the internal law thereof, which is that given in the abovecited
case, should govern the determination of the validity of the testamentary provisions of Christensen's will, such law
being in force in the State of California of which Christensen was a citizen. Appellant, on the other hand, insists that
Article 946 should be applicable, and in accordance therewith and following the doctrine of the renvoi, the question
of the validity of the testamentary provision in question should be referred back to the law of the decedent's
domicile, which is the Philippines.

The theory of doctrine of renvoi has been defined by various authors, thus:

The problem has been stated in this way: "When the Conflict of Laws rule of the forum refers a jural matter
to a foreign law for decision, is the reference to the purely internal rules of law of the foreign system; i.e., to
the totality of the foreign law minus its Conflict of Laws rules?"

On logic, the solution is not an easy one. The Michigan court chose to accept the renvoi, that is, applied the
Conflict of Laws rule of Illinois which referred the matter back to Michigan law. But once having determined
the the Conflict of Laws principle is the rule looked to, it is difficult to see why the reference back should not
have been to Michigan Conflict of Laws. This would have resulted in the "endless chain of references" which
has so often been criticized be legal writers. The opponents of the renvoi would have looked merely to the
internal law of Illinois, thus rejecting the renvoi or the reference back. Yet there seems no compelling logical
reason why the original reference should be the internal law rather than to the Conflict of Laws rule. It is true
that such a solution avoids going on a merry-go-round, but those who have accepted the renvoi theory avoid
this inextricabilis circulas by getting off at the second reference and at that point applying internal law.
Perhaps the opponents of the renvoi are a bit more consistent for they look always to internal law as the rule
of reference.

Strangely enough, both the advocates for and the objectors to the renvoi plead that greater uniformity will
result from adoption of their respective views. And still more strange is the fact that the only way to achieve
uniformity in this choice-of-law problem is if in the dispute the two states whose laws form the legal basis of
the litigation disagree as to whether the renvoi should be accepted. If both reject, or both accept the
doctrine, the result of the litigation will vary with the choice of the forum. In the case stated above, had the
Michigan court rejected the renvoi, judgment would have been against the woman; if the suit had been
brought in the Illinois courts, and they too rejected the renvoi, judgment would be for the woman. The same
result would happen, though the courts would switch with respect to which would hold liability, if both courts
accepted the renvoi.

The Restatement accepts the renvoi theory in two instances: where the title to land is in question, and where
the validity of a decree of divorce is challenged. In these cases the Conflict of Laws rule of the situs of the
land, or the domicile of the parties in the divorce case, is applied by the forum, but any further reference
goes only to the internal law. Thus, a person's title to land, recognized by the situs, will be recognized by
every court; and every divorce, valid by the domicile of the parties, will be valid everywhere. (Goodrich,
Conflict of Laws, Sec. 7, pp. 13-14.)

X, a citizen of Massachusetts, dies intestate, domiciled in France, leaving movable property in


Massachusetts, England, and France. The question arises as to how this property is to be distributed among
X's next of kin.

Assume (1) that this question arises in a Massachusetts court. There the rule of the conflict of laws as to
intestate succession to movables calls for an application of the law of the deceased's last domicile. Since by
hypothesis X's last domicile was France, the natural thing for the Massachusetts court to do would be to turn
to French statute of distributions, or whatever corresponds thereto in French law, and decree a distribution
accordingly. An examination of French law, however, would show that if a French court were called upon to
determine how this property should be distributed, it would refer the distribution to the national law of the
deceased, thus applying the Massachusetts statute of distributions. So on the surface of things the
Massachusetts court has open to it alternative course of action: (a) either to apply the French law is to
intestate succession, or (b) to resolve itself into a French court and apply the Massachusetts statute of
distributions, on the assumption that this is what a French court would do. If it accepts the so-
called renvoidoctrine, it will follow the latter course, thus applying its own law.

This is one type of renvoi. A jural matter is presented which the conflict-of-laws rule of the forum refers to a
foreign law, the conflict-of-laws rule of which, in turn, refers the matter back again to the law of the forum.
This is renvoi in the narrower sense. The German term for this judicial process is 'Ruckverweisung.'"
(Harvard Law Review, Vol. 31, pp. 523-571.)

After a decision has been arrived at that a foreign law is to be resorted to as governing a particular case, the
further question may arise: Are the rules as to the conflict of laws contained in such foreign law also to be
resorted to? This is a question which, while it has been considered by the courts in but a few instances, has
been the subject of frequent discussion by textwriters and essayists; and the doctrine involved has been
descriptively designated by them as the "Renvoyer" to send back, or the "Ruchversweisung", or the
"Weiterverweisung", since an affirmative answer to the question postulated and the operation of the
adoption of the foreign law in toto would in many cases result in returning the main controversy to be
decided according to the law of the forum. ... (16 C.J.S. 872.)

Another theory, known as the "doctrine of renvoi", has been advanced. The theory of the doctrine
of renvoi is that the court of the forum, in determining the question before it, must take into account the
whole law of the other jurisdiction, but also its rules as to conflict of laws, and then apply the law to the
actual question which the rules of the other jurisdiction prescribe. This may be the law of the forum. The
doctrine of the renvoi has generally been repudiated by the American authorities. (2 Am. Jur. 296)
The scope of the theory of renvoi has also been defined and the reasons for its application in a country explained by
Prof. Lorenzen in an article in the Yale Law Journal, Vol. 27, 1917-1918, pp. 529-531. The pertinent parts of the
article are quoted herein below:

The recognition of the renvoi theory implies that the rules of the conflict of laws are to be understood as
incorporating not only the ordinary or internal law of the foreign state or country, but its rules of the conflict of
laws as well. According to this theory 'the law of a country' means the whole of its law.

xxx xxx xxx

Von Bar presented his views at the meeting of the Institute of International Law, at Neuchatel, in 1900, in the
form of the following theses:

(1) Every court shall observe the law of its country as regards the application of foreign laws.

(2) Provided that no express provision to the contrary exists, the court shall respect:

(a) The provisions of a foreign law which disclaims the right to bind its nationals abroad as regards
their personal statute, and desires that said personal statute shall be determined by the law of the
domicile, or even by the law of the place where the act in question occurred.

(b) The decision of two or more foreign systems of law, provided it be certain that one of them is
necessarily competent, which agree in attributing the determination of a question to the same
system of law.

xxx xxx xxx

If, for example, the English law directs its judge to distribute the personal estate of an Englishman who has
died domiciled in Belgium in accordance with the law of his domicile, he must first inquire whether the law of
Belgium would distribute personal property upon death in accordance with the law of domicile, and if he
finds that the Belgian law would make the distribution in accordance with the law of nationality — that is the
English law — he must accept this reference back to his own law.

We note that Article 946 of the California Civil Code is its conflict of laws rule, while the rule applied in In re
Kaufman, Supra, its internal law. If the law on succession and the conflict of laws rules of California are to be
enforced jointly, each in its own intended and appropriate sphere, the principle cited In re Kaufman should apply to
citizens living in the State, but Article 946 should apply to such of its citizens as are not domiciled in California but in
other jurisdictions. The rule laid down of resorting to the law of the domicile in the determination of matters with
foreign element involved is in accord with the general principle of American law that the domiciliary law should
govern in most matters or rights which follow the person of the owner.

When a man dies leaving personal property in one or more states, and leaves a will directing the manner of
distribution of the property, the law of the state where he was domiciled at the time of his death will be
looked to in deciding legal questions about the will, almost as completely as the law of situs is consulted in
questions about the devise of land. It is logical that, since the domiciliary rules control devolution of the
personal estate in case of intestate succession, the same rules should determine the validity of an attempted
testamentary dispostion of the property. Here, also, it is not that the domiciliary has effect beyond the
borders of the domiciliary state. The rules of the domicile are recognized as controlling by the Conflict of
Laws rules at the situs property, and the reason for the recognition as in the case of intestate succession, is
the general convenience of the doctrine. The New York court has said on the point: 'The general principle
that a dispostiton of a personal property, valid at the domicile of the owner, is valid anywhere, is one of the
universal application. It had its origin in that international comity which was one of the first fruits of
civilization, and it this age, when business intercourse and the process of accumulating property take but
little notice of boundary lines, the practical wisdom and justice of the rule is more apparent than ever.
(Goodrich, Conflict of Laws, Sec. 164, pp. 442-443.)
Appellees argue that what Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines pointed out as the national law is the
internal law of California. But as above explained the laws of California have prescribed two sets of laws for its
citizens, one for residents therein and another for those domiciled in other jurisdictions. Reason demands that We
should enforce the California internal law prescribed for its citizens residing therein, and enforce the conflict of laws
rules for the citizens domiciled abroad. If we must enforce the law of California as in comity we are bound to go, as
so declared in Article 16 of our Civil Code, then we must enforce the law of California in accordance with the
express mandate thereof and as above explained, i.e., apply the internal law for residents therein, and its conflict-of-
laws rule for those domiciled abroad.

It is argued on appellees' behalf that the clause "if there is no law to the contrary in the place where the property is
situated" in Sec. 946 of the California Civil Code refers to Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines and that the
law to the contrary in the Philippines is the provision in said Article 16 that the national law of the deceased should
govern. This contention can not be sustained. As explained in the various authorities cited above the national law
mentioned in Article 16 of our Civil Code is the law on conflict of laws in the California Civil Code, i.e., Article 946,
which authorizes the reference or return of the question to the law of the testator's domicile. The conflict of laws rule
in California, Article 946, Civil Code, precisely refers back the case, when a decedent is not domiciled in California,
to the law of his domicile, the Philippines in the case at bar. The court of the domicile can not and should not refer
the case back to California; such action would leave the issue incapable of determination because the case will then
be like a football, tossed back and forth between the two states, between the country of which the decedent was a
citizen and the country of his domicile. The Philippine court must apply its own law as directed in the conflict of laws
rule of the state of the decedent, if the question has to be decided, especially as the application of the internal law of
California provides no legitime for children while the Philippine law, Arts. 887(4) and 894, Civil Code of the
Philippines, makes natural children legally acknowledged forced heirs of the parent recognizing them.

The Philippine cases (In re Estate of Johnson, 39 Phil. 156; Riera vs. Palmaroli, 40 Phil. 105; Miciano vs. Brimo, 50
Phil. 867; Babcock Templeton vs. Rider Babcock, 52 Phil. 130; and Gibbs vs. Government, 59 Phil. 293.) cited by
appellees to support the decision can not possibly apply in the case at bar, for two important reasons, i.e., the
subject in each case does not appear to be a citizen of a state in the United States but with domicile in the
Philippines, and it does not appear in each case that there exists in the state of which the subject is a citizen, a law
similar to or identical with Art. 946 of the California Civil Code.

We therefore find that as the domicile of the deceased Christensen, a citizen of California, is the Philippines, the
validity of the provisions of his will depriving his acknowledged natural child, the appellant, should be governed by
the Philippine Law, the domicile, pursuant to Art. 946 of the Civil Code of California, not by the internal law of
California..

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby reversed and the case returned to the lower court with
instructions that the partition be made as the Philippine law on succession provides. Judgment reversed, with costs
against appellees.