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MANILA PRINCE HOTEL, petitioner v GSIS, Hence, unless it is expressly provided that a legislative

respondent (DIGEST) act is necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate, the

presumption now is that all provisions of the constitution
are self-executing. If the constitutional provisions are
G.R. No. 122156; February 3, 1997 treated as requiring legislation instead of self-executing,
the legislature would have the power to ignore and
TOPIC: Non-Self Executing v Self Executing practically nullify the mandate of the fundamental law.
Constitutional Provisions
In fine, Section 10, second paragraph, Art. XII of the
1987 Constitution is a mandatory, positive command
which is complete in itself and which needs no further
guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its
FACTS: enforcement. From its very words the provision does not
require any legislation to put it in operation.
The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)
decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the
issued and outstanding shares of the Manila Hotel

In a close bidding, two bidders participated: Manila

Prince Hotel Corporation (MPHC), a Filipino
corporation, which offered to buy 51% of the MHC at
P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian
firm, with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel operator, which bid
for the same number of shares at P44.00 per share, or
P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner.

Pending the declaration of Renong Berhard as the

winning bidder and the execution of the contracts, the
MPHC matched the bid price in a letter to GSIS. MPHC
sent a manager’s check to the GSIS in a subsequent
letter, which GSIS refused to accept. On 17 October
1995, perhaps apprehensive that GSIS has disregarded
the tender of the matching bid, MPHC came to the Court
on prohibition and mandamus.

Petitioner invokes Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the

1987 Constitution and submits that the Manila Hotel has
been identified with the Filipino nation and has
practically become a historical monument which reflects
the vibrancy of Philippine heritage and culture.

Respondents assert that Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII,

of the 1987 Constitution is merely a statement of
principle and policy since it is not a self-executing
provision and requires implementing legislation(s).


Whether the provisions of the Constitution, particularly

Article XII Section 10, are self-executing.


Yes. Sec 10, Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a self-

executing provision.

A provision which lays down a general principle, such

as those found in Article II of the 1987 Constitution, is
usually not self-executing. But a provision which is
complete in itself and becomes operative without the aid
of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that which
supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it
grants may be enjoyed or protected, is self-executing.
Pamatong vs. Comelec

No. What is recognized in Section 26, Article II of the

Prefatory Statement: Constitution is merely a privilege subject to limitations
imposed by law. It neither bestows such a right nor
Last December 1 was the deadline for the filing of elevates the privilege to the level of an enforceable right.
Certificate of Candidacies (COCs) for the 2010 There is nothing in the plain language of the provision
Elections. In the end, a total of 99 filed their COCs for which suggests such a thrust or justifies an
President. Among the lesser known presidentiables interpretation of the sort.
include someone called "Manok" (because apparently
he can mimic a cock's crow), a six-star general, and a The "equal access" provision is a subsumed part of
future "emperor of the world." Considering that we Article II of the Constitution, entitled "Declaration of
would be having automated elections next year and the Principles and State Policies." The provisions under the
list of all candidates are to be written in the ballots while Article are generally considered not self-executing, and
voters are supposed to shade the circles corresponding there is no plausible reason for according a different
to their choices, would all 99 candidates be included? treatment to the "equal access" provision. Like the rest
No. Aside from disqualification petitions filed against the of the policies enumerated in Article II, the provision
aspirants, the Comelec can also motu propio deny due does not contain any judicially enforceable
course to the COCs. Aside from the qualifications set constitutional right but merely specifies a guideline for
forth under the Constitution, a candidate should also legislative or executive action. The disregard of the
have the capacity and resources to launch a national provision does not give rise to any cause of action
campaign. before the courts.

Under the Constitution (Article II, Section 26), "the State Obviously, the provision is not intended to compel the
shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public State to enact positive measures that would
service xxx." Would the Comelec's act of disqualifying accommodate as many people as possible into public
the so-called "nuisance" candidates violate this office. Moreover, the provision as written leaves much
constitutional provision? to be desired if it is to be regarded as the source of
positive rights. It is difficult to interpret the clause as
operative in the absence of legislation since its effective
means and reach are not properly defined. Broadly
written, the myriad of claims that can be subsumed
CASE DIGEST under this rubric appear to be entirely open-ended.
Words and phrases such as "equal access,"
"opportunities," and "public service" are susceptible to
countless interpretations owing to their inherent
Rev. Ely Velez Pamatong Vs. Commission on impreciseness. Certainly, it was not the intention of the
Elections framers to inflict on the people an operative but
G.R. No. 161872, April 13, 2004 amorphous foundation from which innately
unenforceable rights may be sourced.

FACTS: The privilege of equal access to opportunities to public

office may be subjected to limitations. Some valid
Petitioner Pamatong filed his Certificate of Candidacy limitations specifically on the privilege to seek elective
(COC) for President. Respondent COMELEC declared office are found in the provisions of the Omnibus
petitioner and 35 others as nuisance candidates who Election Code on "Nuisance Candidates.” As long as
could not wage a nationwide campaign and/or are not the limitations apply to everybody equally without
nominated by a political party or are not supported by a discrimination, however, the equal access clause is not
registered political party with a national constituency. violated. Equality is not sacrificed as long as the
burdens engendered by the limitations are meant to be
Pamatong filed a Petition For Writ of Certiorari with the borne by any one who is minded to file a certificate of
Supreme Court claiming that the COMELEC violated his candidacy. In the case at bar, there is no showing that
right to "equal access to opportunities for public service" any person is exempt from the limitations or the burdens
under Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, by which they create.
limiting the number of qualified candidates only to those
who can afford to wage a nationwide campaign and/or The rationale behind the prohibition against nuisance
are nominated by political parties. The COMELEC candidates and the disqualification of candidates who
supposedly erred in disqualifying him since he is the have not evinced a bona fide intention to run for office
most qualified among all the presidential candidates, is easy to divine. The State has a compelling interest to
i.e., he possesses all the constitutional and legal ensure that its electoral exercises are rational, objective,
qualifications for the office of the president, he is and orderly. Towards this end, the State takes into
capable of waging a national campaign since he has account the practical considerations in conducting
numerous national organizations under his leadership, elections. Inevitably, the greater the number of
he also has the capacity to wage an international candidates, the greater the opportunities for logistical
campaign since he has practiced law in other countries, confusion, not to mention the increased allocation of
and he has a platform of government. time and resources in preparation for the election. The
organization of an election with bona fide candidates
ISSUE: standing is onerous enough. To add into the mix
candidates with no serious intentions or capabilities to
Is there a constitutional right to run for or hold public run a viable campaign would actually impair the
office? electoral process. This is not to mention the candidacies
which are palpably ridiculous so as to constitute a one-
note joke. The poll body would be bogged by irrelevant
minutiae covering every step of the electoral process,
most probably posed at the instance of these nuisance
candidates. It would be a senseless sacrifice on the part
of the State.

The question of whether a candidate is a nuisance

candidate or not is both legal and factual. The basis of
the factual determination is not before this Court. Thus,
the remand of this case for the reception of further
evidence is in order. The SC remanded to the
COMELEC for the reception of further evidence, to
determine the question on whether petitioner Elly Velez
Lao Pamatong is a nuisance candidate as contemplated
in Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code.

Obiter Dictum: One of Pamatong's contentions was

that he was an international lawyer and is thus more
qualified compared to the likes of Erap, who was only a
high school dropout. Under the Constitution (Article VII,
Section 2), the only requirements are the following: (1)
natural-born citizen of the Philippines; (2) registered
voter; (3) able to read and write; (4) at least forty years
of age on the day of the election; and (5) resident of the
Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding
such election.

At any rate, Pamatong was eventually declared a

nuisance candidate and was disqualified.