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G.

R No 225973, August 08, 2017


Saturnino C. Ocampo vs. Rear Admiral Ernesto C. Enriquiz
Peralta, J.:

Facts
Petitioners argue that the main issue of the petition does not deal on the wisdom of the
actions of President Duterte and the public respondent but their violation of the 1987 Constitution,
laws, and jurisprudence. The petitions challenging the intended burial of the mortal remains of
Ferdinand E. Marcos, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LMNB). Petitioners failed to show that
President Duterte violated the due process and equal protection clauses in issuing verbal order to
public respondents that authorized Marcos’ burial to LNMB. More so, even if subject to review
by the Court, President Duterte did not gravely abuse his discretion when he allowed Marcos’
burial at LNMB because it was already show that the latter is qualified as a Medal of Valor
Awardee, a war veteran, and retired military personnel, and not disqualified due to dishonorable
separation/revertion/discharge from service or conviction by final judgment of an offense
involving moral turpitude.
Petitioner claim to have legal standing to file the petition because they have already
sustained direct injury as a result of the act being question in this case. With respect to petitioners
who are human rights violation victims (HRRV’s) during the martial law they contend that their
right to dispute Marcos’ burial at the LNMB rests on their right to full and effective remedy
entitlement to reparation as guaranteed be the State under Constitution as well as domestic and
international law. Essentially, petitioners decry that Marcos’ burial at the LNMB results in illegal
use of public funds, re-traumatization, historical revisionism, disregard of their stage recognition
as heroes and their rights to effective reparation and to satisfaction.
Petitioners cannot also maintain that Marcos’ burial at the LNMG serves no legitimate
public purpose and that no valid emulative recognition should given him in view of his sins as
recognized by law and jurisprudence. They have not proven that Marcos was actually not qualified
and in fact disqualified under the provision of Armed Forces of the Philipiines Regulation G 161-
375. As we pointed out, such unwarranted interpretation is tantamount to judicial legislation,
hence, unconstitutional. It is not Marcos’ burial at the LNMB that would result in the “re-
traumatization” of HVVR’s but the act of requiring them to recount their harrowing experiences
in the course of legal proceedings instituted by them or families to seek justice and reparation for
the gross human rights. Petitioners claim that the filing of an MR before public respondent and the
Office of the President would have been an exercise in futility, and direct resort to this Court is
justified.
On November 11, 2016, Lagman et al. filed a “Manifestation praying “that the Honorable
Supreme Court may consider reissuing the Status (qou) Ante Order and/or advising the Respondent
not to proceed with the said burial pending resolution of the motion/s for reconsideration to be
interposed seasonably. On the same day, Ocampo et al. also filed an “Extremely Urgent Motion”
praying, among others, to (direct) respondent to hold in abeyance or refrain from executing any
plans on the interment of the remains of Marcos for Reconsideration to be filed by petitioners, and
the finality of the Honorable Court’s Decision”.
Petitioners-movants reiterate that AFP Regulations G 161-375 does not have the force and
effect of Law and cannot be valid source of any right, obligation or power for violating the
Constitution, international and Municipal laws, and foreign and local jurisprudence, which, cannot
be disregard as they are deemed incorporated in administrative regulation. Ocampo et al. maintain
that Marcos’ burial at the LNMB violates the Constitution, the basic principles of which are respect
for human rights and dignity and public accountability. Rosales et al. hold that the spectate of
burying Marcos at the LNMB undermines the recognition of his crimes and takes away the very
historical premises on which so much of our present constitutional design and order is anchored.
And, Latiph expresses that Marcos was an epitome of anti-democracy, representing oppression
and tyranny which the Constitution rejects.

Issue/s
1. Whether President Duterte’s determination to have the remains of Marcos interred at the LNMB
poses a justiciable controversy.
2. Whether petitioners have locus standi to file the instant petitions.
3. Whether the Issuance and implementation of the assailed memorandum and directive violate the
Constitution, domestic and international laws.

Ruling:
1.An “actual case or controversy” is one which involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of
opposite legal claims, susceptible of judicial resolution as distinguished from a hypothetical or
abstract difference or dispute.
Moreover, the limitation on the power of judicial review to actual cases and controversies
carries the assurance that the courts will not intrude into areas committed to the other branches of
government. Those areas pertain to questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by
the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been
delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. As they are concerned with
questions of policy and issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality of a particular measure,
political questions used to be beyond the ambit of judicial review.
The Court agrees with the OSG that President Duterte’s decision to have the remains of
Marcos interred at the LNMB involves a political question that is not a justiciable controversy.
In the exercise of his powers under the Constitution and E.O. No. 292 (Administrative Code of
1987) to allow the interment of Marcos at the LNMB, which is a land of the public domain devoted
for national military cemetery and military shrine purposes, President Duterte decided a question
of policy based on his wisdom that it shall promote national healing and forgiveness.

2. Locus standi, a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question, requires that a party
alleges such personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness
which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of
difficult constitutional questions.
Petitioners, who filed their respective petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus,
in their capacities as citizens, human rights violations victims, legislators, members of the Bar and
taxpayers, have no legal standing to file such petitions because they failed to show that they have
suffered or will suffer direct and personal injury as a result of the interment of Marcos at the
LNMB.

3. Constitutionality. The President’s decision to bury Marcos at the LNMB is in accordance with
the Constitution, the law or jurisprudence.
Petitioners argue that the burial of Marcos at the LNMB should not be allowed because it
has the effect of not just rewriting history as to the Filipino people’s act of revolting against an
authoritarian ruler but also condoning the abuses committed during the Martial Law, thereby
violating the letter and spirit of the 1987 Constitution, which is a “post-dictatorship charter” and a
“human rights constitution.” For them, the ratification of the Constitution serves as a clear
condemnation of Marcos’ alleged “heroism.” To support their case, petitioners invoke Sections 2,
11, 13, 23, 26, 27 and 28 of Article II, Sec. 17 of Art. VII, Sec. 3(2) of Art. XIV, Sec. 1 of Art. XI,
and Sec. 26 of Art. XVII of the Constitution.

There is no merit to the contention.

As the OSG logically reasoned out, while the Constitution is a product of our collective history as
a people, its entirety should not be interpreted as providing guiding principles to just about
anything remotely related to the Martial Law period such as the proposed Marcos burial at
the LNMB.
Tañada v. Angara already ruled that the provisions in Article II of the Constitution
are not self-executing. Thus:
By its very title, Article II of the Constitution is a “declaration of principles and state
policies.” The counterpart of this article in the 1935 Constitution is called the “basic political creed
of the nation” by Dean Vicente Sinco. These principles in Article II are not intended to be self-
executing principles ready for enforcement through the courts. They are used by the judiciary as
aids or as guides in the exercise of its power of judicial review, and by the legislature in its
enactment of laws. Therefore, the petitions must be dismissed.

GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM vs. APOLINARIO C. PAUIG

FACTS:
Respondent Apolinario C. Pauig (Pauig) was the Municipal Agriculturist of the
Municipality of San Pablo, lsabela. He started in the government service on February 12, 1964 as
Emergency Laborer on casual status. Later, he became a temporary employee from July 5, 1972
to July 18, 1977. On July 19, 1977, he became a permanent employee, and on August 1, 1977, he
became a GSIS member.
On November 3, 2004, he retired from the service upon reaching the mandatory retirement
age of 65 years old. But when he filed his retirement papers with the GSIS-Cauayan, the latter
processed his claim based on a Record of Creditable Service and a Total Length of Service of only
twenty-seven (27) years. Disagreeing with the computation, Pauig wrote a letter-complaint to the
GSIS, arguing that his first fourteen (14) years in the government service had been. erroneously
omitted.
The GSIS ratiocinated that Pauig's first fourteen (14) years in the government were
excluded in the computation of his retirement benefits because during those years, no premium
payments were remitted to it.
Aggrieved, Pauig filed a case before the RTC. the RTC rendered a Decision in favor of
Pauig. GSIS then filed a motion for reconsideration, which was later denied. Thus, the instant
petition.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the GSIS should include Pauig's first fourteen (14) years in government
service for the calculation of the latter's retirement benefits claim.
HELD:
No. Retirement benefits are given to government employees to reward them for giving the
best years of their lives to the service of their country. This is especially true with those in
government service occupying positions of leadership or positions requiring management skills
because the years they devote to government service could be spent more profitably elsewhere,
such as in lucrative appointments in the private sector.
The doctrine of liberal construction cannot be applied in this case, where the law invoked
is clear, unequivocal and leaves no room for interpretation or construction. To uphold Pauig's
position will contravene the very words of the law, and will defeat the ends which it seeks to attain.
Pauig claims that his service in the government from February 12, 1964 to July 18, 1977 should
be credited for the purpose of computing his retirement benefits is unmeritorious. Compulsory
coverage under the GSIS had previously and consistently included regular and permanent
employees, and expressly excluded casual, substitute or temporary employees from its retirement
insurance plan.
Based on the records, Pauig began his career in the government on February 12, 1964 as
Emergency Laborer on a casual status. Then, he became a temporary employee from July 5, 1972
to July 18, 1977. However, the Court notes that it was not until 1997 that the compulsory
membership in the GSIS was extended to employees other than those on permanent status.

GR 170195
SSC & SSS vs Teresita Favila

FACTS

Respondent filed a claim with the SSS for pension benefits, and averred therein that after
she was married to Florante Favila, the latter designated her as the sole beneficiary in the E-1 Form
he submitted before petitioner SSS, Quezon City Branch on June 30, 1970. When they begot their
children Jofel, Floresa and Florante II, her husband likewise designated each one of them as
beneficiaries. Teresa further averred that when Florante died, his pension benefits under the SSS
were given to their only minor child at that time, Florante II, but only until his emancipation at age
21. Believing that as the surviving legal wife she is likewise entitled to receive Florante’s pension
benefits, Teresa subsequently filed her claim for said benefits before the SSS. The SSS, however,
denied the claim.

Resolving Teresita’s claim, the SSC stated that the surviving spouse entitlement to an SSS
member’s death benefits is dependent on two factors which must concur at the time of the latters
death, to wit:(1) legality of the marital relationship; and (2) dependency for support. As to
dependency for support, the SSC opined that same is affected by factors such as separation de
facto of the spouses, marital infidelity and such other grounds sufficient to disinherit a spouse
under the law. Thus, although Teresa is the legal spouse and one of Florantes designated
beneficiaries, the SSC ruled that she is disqualified from claiming the death benefits because she
was deemed not dependent for support from Florante due to marital infidelity.

The Court of Appeals, however, reversed the SSCs decision.


ISSUE/S

Is Teresita a primary beneficiary in contemplation of the Social Security Law as to be


entitled to death benefits accruing from the death of Florante.

RULING

Under Sec. 8(e) and (k) of RA 1161, for a spouse to qualify as a primary beneficiary under
paragraph (k) thereof, he/she must not only be a legitimate spouse but also a dependent as defined
under paragraph (e), that is, one who is dependent upon the member for support. There is no
question that Teresa was Florantes legal wife. What is at point, however, is whether Teresa is
dependent upon Florante for support in order for her to fall under the term "dependent spouse"
under Section 8(k) of RA 1161.

In SSS v. Aguas, "the obvious conclusion is that a wife who is already separated de facto
from her husband cannot be said to be dependent for support upon the husband, absent any showing
to the contrary. Conversely, if it is proved that the husband and wife were still living together at
the time of his death, it would be safe to presume that she was dependent on the husband for
support, unless it is shown that she is capable of providing for herself."

In this case, aside from Teresas bare allegation that she was dependent upon her husband
for support and her misplaced reliance on the presumption of dependency by reason of her valid
and then subsisting marriage with Florante, Teresa has not presented sufficient evidence to
discharge her burden of proving that she was dependent upon her husband for support at the time
of his death. On the contrary, what is clear is that she and Florante had already been separated for
about 17 years prior to the latter’s death as Florante was in fact, living with his common law wife
when he died. Whoever claims entitlement to the benefits provided by law should establish his or
her right thereto by substantial evidence. Hence, for Teresas failure to show that despite their
separation she was dependent upon Florante for support at the time of his death, Teresa cannot
qualify as a primary beneficiary. Hence, she is not entitled to the death benefits accruing on account
of Florantes death.

[T]he basic formula and its alternatives – administratively determined (as it is not found in
Republic Act No.6657, but merely set forth in DAR AO No. 5, Series of 1998) – although referred
to and even applied by the courts in certain instances, does not and cannot strictly bind the courts.
To insist that the formula must be applied with utmost rigidity whereby the valuation is drawn
following a strict mathematical computation goes beyond the intent and spirit of the law. The
suggested interpretation is strained and would render the law inutile. Statutory construction
should not kill but give life to the law. As we have established in earlier jurisprudence, the
valuation of property in eminent domain is essentially a judicial function which is vested in the
regional trial court acting as a SAC, and not in administrative agencies. The SAC, therefore, must
still be able to reasonably exercise its judicial discretion in the evaluation of the factors for just
compensation, which cannot be arbitrarily restricted by a formula dictated by the DAR, an
administrative agency. Surely, DAR AO No. 5 did not intend to straightjacket the hands of the
court in the computation of the land valuation. While it provides a formula, it could not have been
its intention to shackle the courts into applying the formula in every instance. The court shall apply
the formula after an evaluation of the three factors, or it may proceed to make its own computation
based on the extended list in Section 17 of Republic Act No. 6657, which includes other factors[.]

G.R. No. 175055 June 27, 2012


LBP v. HEIRS OF PUYAT

Facts:
Gloria and Maximo Puyat, both deceased, are the registered owners of a parcel of Riceland
consisting of 46.8731 hectares located in Nueva Ecija. Respondents are the heirs of Gloria and
Maximo Puyat, and the pro-indiviso co-owners of the subject property.

The DAR took the subject property in favor of various farmer-beneficiaries in pursuant of
PD 27 which results to cancellation of the titles of ownership of the Puyats. However, the Puyats
did not receive any compensation for the cancellation of their title over the awarded portions of
the subject property. Furthermore, the Land Bank received DAR’s instruction to pay just
compensation to the Puyats and made valuation to the said property but the Puyats rejected it on
the ground that the valuation is “ridiculously low” which lead their heirs to file a complaint for
determination and payment of just compensation in the RTC. As a result, the Land Bank and the
DAR answered that the valuation was made in strict compliance with the formula provided for
lands acquired under PD 27 and EO No. 228. Thereafter, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of
the respondents on the ground that even if the property was appropriated pursuant to PD 27, its
valuation should be made in accordance with Section 17 of RA 6657. Consequently, the Land
Bank appealed the modified decision to the CA, the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC with
modification. Unsatisfied with the result, the Land Bank filed a petition for review in the Supreme
Court.

Issue:
Whether or not PD 27 and EO No. 228 is applicable for the computation of the valuation
of the property in question.

Ruling:

No, PD 27 and EO No. 228 is not applicable to the determination of the valuation of the
property. Statutory construction should not kill but give life to the law. In this case, the court
states that RA 6657 is the applicable law with PD 27 and EO 228 having only suppletory effect
conformably with the ruling in Paris v. Alfeche case. Furthermore, to insist that the formula under
PD 27 and EO 228 must be applied with utmost rigidity whereby the valuation is drawn following
a strict mathematical computation goes beyond the intent and spirit of the law. The suggested
interpretation is strained and would render the law inutile. Therefore, RA 6657 is the applicable
law to determine the value of the said property but when it is not sufficient then PD 27 and EO
228 is the applicable laws.

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