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LA granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to

TRINIDAD WATER DISTRICT corporations or associations organized under the laws of
March 22, 2011 the Philippines, at least sixty per centum of whose capital
CARPIO, J.: is owned by such citizens, nor shall such franchise,
certificate or authorization be exclusive in character or
FACTS: for a longer period than fifty years. (Emphasis supplied)
Plain words do not require explanation. The 1935, 1973
Tawang Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TMPC) is a and 1987 Constitutions are clear - franchises for the
cooperative, registered with the Cooperative operation of a public utility cannot be exclusive in
Development Authority, and organized to provide character. The 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions
domestic water services in Barangay Tawang, La expressly and clearly state that, "nor shall such franchise
Trinidad, Benguet. x x x be exclusive in character." There is no exception.
Basic is the rule of statutory construction that when the
La Trinidad Water District (LTWD) is a local water utility law is clear and unambiguous, the court is left with no
created under Presidential Decree (PD) No. 198, as alternative but to apply the same according to its clear
amended. It is authorized to supply water for domestic, language.
industrial and commercial purposes within the WHEREFORE, Section 47 of P.D. 198 is unconstitutional.
municipality of La Trinidad, Benguet. WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. We DECLARE
Section 47 of Presidential Decree No. 198
9 October 2000, TMPC filed with the National Water UNCONSTITUTIONAL. We SET ASIDE of the RTC.
Resources Board (NWRB) an application for a certificate REINSTATE Decision of the NWRB.
of public convenience (CPC) to operate and maintain a
waterworks system in Barangay Tawang.

LTWD opposed TMPC's application. LTWD claimed that,

under Section 47 of PD No. 198, as amended, its
franchise is exclusive.
In its Resolution the NWRB approved TMPC's application
for a CPC. NWRB held that LTWD's franchise cannot be FACTS:
exclusive since exclusive franchises are unconstitutional This is a Motion for Reconsideration on the March 17,
and found that TMPC is legally and financially qualified to 2010 decision of the Court.
operate and maintain a waterworks system. The said decision directs the Judicial and Bar Council to
resume its proceedings for the nomination of candidates
LTWD filed a motion for reconsideration. The NWRB to fill the vacancy created by the compulsory retirement
denied the motion. of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno by May 17, 2010,
Then they filed to RTC. The RTC held that Section 47 is and to prepare the short list of nominees and submit it
valid. RTC ruled in favor of LTWD. to the incumbent President.
TMPC filed a motion for reconsideration. the RTC denied Movants argue that the disputed constitutional
the motion. Hence this petition. provision, Art. VII, Sec. 15 and Art. VIII, Sec. 4(1)
clearly intended the ban on midnight appointments to
cover the members of the Judiciary,
ISSUE: and they contended that the principle of stare decisis is
WON RTC erred in holding that Section 47 of PD No. 198, controlling, and insisted that the Court erred in
as amended, is valid. disobeying or abandoning the Valenzuela ruling.
RULING: ISSUES: Is the decision on March 17 2010 controlling?
The petition is meritorious.
What cannot be legally done directly cannot be done Did the Constitutional Commission extend to the
indirectly. This rule is basic and, to a reasonable mind, Judiciary the ban on presidential appointments during
does not need explanation. the period stated in Section 15, Article VII?
Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution states
that: No franchise, certificate, or any other form of HELD: Stare decisis derives its name from the Latin
authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be maxim stare decisis et non quieta movere, i.e., to
adhere to precedent and not to unsettle things that are justices related to the President within the fourth civil
settled. It simply means that a principle underlying the degree of consanguinity or affinity among the persons
decision in one case is deemed of imperative authority, whom the President might not appoint during his or her
controlling the decisions of like cases in the same court tenure. In the end, however, Commissioner Davide, Jr.
and in lower courts within the same jurisdiction, unless withdrew the proposal to include the Judiciary in Section
and until the decision in question is reversed or overruled 13, Article VII "(t)o avoid any further complication,"such
by a court of competent authority. that the final version of the second paragraph of Section
Judicial decisions assume the same authority as a statute 13, Article VII even completely omits any reference to the
itself and, until authoritatively abandoned, necessarily Judiciary, to wit:
become, to the extent that they are applicable, the
criteria that must control the actuations, not only of
those called upon to abide by them, but also of those Section 13. The spouse and relatives by consanguinity or
duty-bound to enforce obedience to them. In a affinity within the fourth civil degree of the President
hierarchical judicial system like ours, the decisions of the shall not during his tenure be appointed as Members of
higher courts bind the lower courts, but the courts of co- the Constitutional Commissions, or the Office of the
ordinate authority do not bind each other. The one Ombudsman, or as Secretaries, Undersecretaries,
highest court does not bind itself, being invested with the chairmen or heads of bureaus or offices, including
innate authority to rule according to its best lights. government-owned or controlled corporations and their
subsidiaries. DENIED.
The Court, as the highest court of the land, may be
guided but is not controlled by precedent. Thus, the
Court, especially with a new membership, is not obliged
to follow blindly a particular decision that it determines, DE CASTRO v. JBC | March 17, 2010 | Bersamin
after re-examination, to call for a rectification. The Petitioner: Arturo M. De Castro, Jaime N. Soriano,
adherence to precedents is strict and rigid in a common- Philippine Constitution Association (PHILCONSA)
law setting like the United Kingdom, where judges make Respondents: Judicial and Bar Council and President
law as binding as an Act of Parliament. But ours is not a Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
common-law system; hence, judicial precedents are not Doctrine: Article VII, Sec. 15 of the Constitution
always strictly and rigidly followed. A judicial prohibiting the President to make appointments two
pronouncement in an earlier decision may be followed as months before the next Presidential election is not
a precedent in a subsequent case only when its reasoning applicable to the Judiciary. Article VIII, Sec. 4 (1) which
and justification are relevant, and the court in the latter provides that any vacancy shall be filled within 90 days
case accepts such reasoning and justification to be from the occurrence thereof is mandatory.
applicable to the case. The application of the precedent FACTS
is for the sake of convenience and stability. ● The forthcoming retirement of Chief Justice
Puno on May 17, 2010 (7 days after the Presidential
election led Congressman Matias V. Defensor (an ex-
For the intervenors to insist that Valenzuela ought not to officio member of the JBC) to address a letter to the JBC
be disobeyed, or abandoned, or reversed, and that its requesting that the process for nominations be
wisdom should guide, if not control, the Court in this case commenced immediately.
is, therefore, devoid of rationality and foundation. They ● The JBC in its meeting en banc passed a
seem to conveniently forget that the Constitution itself resolution that they unanimously agree to start the
recognizes the innate authority of the Court en banc to process of filling up the position of Chief Justice Reynato
modify or reverse a doctrine or principle of law laid down Puno. As a result the JBC opened the position of Chief
in any decision rendered en banc or in division. Justice for application or recommendation and published
its announcement for that purpose.
The deliberations that the dissent of Justice Carpio ● Conformably with its existing practice, the JBC
Morales quoted from the records of the Constitutional “automatically considered” the 5 most senior of the
Commission did not concern either Section 15, Article VII Associate Justices of the Court: Antonio Carpio, Renato
or Section 4(1), Article VIII, but only Section 13, Article Corona, Conchita Carpio Morales, Presbiterio J. Velasco,
VII, a provision on nepotism. The records of the Jr, and Eduardo Nachura ( The last two declined their
Constitutional Commission show that Commissioner nominations). Other candidates either applied or were
Hilario G. Davide, Jr. had proposed to include judges and nominated
Candidates who accepted their nomination w/o executive positions when continued vacancies therein
conditions: Renato Corona (SC), Teresita Leonardo-De will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.
Castro (SC), Arturo Brion(SC), Edilberto Sandoval
(Sandiganbayan) The other, Section 4 (1), Article VIII (Judicial
Candidates who accepted their nomination w/ condition: Department), states: Section 4. (1). The Supreme Court
Antonio Carpio (SC), Conchita Carpio Morales (SC) shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen
Declining their nominations: Atty. Henry Villarica, Atty. Associate Justices. It may sit en banc or in its discretion,
Gregorio Batiller in division of three, five, or seven Members. Any vacancy
● In its meeting of Feb 8, the JBC resolved to shall be filled within ninety days from the occurrence
proceed to the next step of announcing the names of the thereof.
ff candidate to invite the public to file their sworn
complaint, written report or opposition if any: Carpio, Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition
Corona, Carpio-Morales, Leonardo-De Castro, Brion, contained in Section 15, Article VII to the appointment of
Sandoval Members of the Supreme Court, they could have
● Although the JBC has already begun the process explicitly done so. They could not have ignored the
for the filling of the position of Chief Justice Puno in meticulous ordering of the provisions. They would have
accordance with its rules, the JBC is not yet decided on easily and surely written the prohibition made explicit in
when to submit to the President the list of nominees for Section 15, Article VII as being equally applicable to the
the position due to the controversy (whether this was appointment of Members of the Supreme Court in Article
covered by the Constitutional prohibition prohibiting the VIII itself, most likely in Section 4 (1), Article VIII. That
President to make appointments two before the next such specification was not done only reveals that the
Presidential elections) prohibition against the President or Acting President
NOTE: Valenzuela Case making appointments within two months before the next
● In this case, the Court held that prohibitions presidential elections and up to the end of the
found in Art VII Section 15 covered even judicial President’s or Acting President’s term does not refer to
appointments. the Members of the Supreme Court.
● Petitioners say that this case is valid precedent
and must be applied in the instant case Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition
contained in Section 15, Article VII to the appointment of
In Re Appointments Dated March 30, 1998 of Hon. Members of the Supreme Court, they could have
Mateo A. Valenzuela and Hon. Placido B. Vallarta as explicitly done so. They could not have ignored the
Judges of the Regional Trial Court of Branch 62, Bago meticulous ordering of the provisions. They would have
City and of Branch 24, Cabanatuan City, respectively easily and surely written the prohibition made explicit in
(Valenzuela),7 by which the Court held that Section 15,
Section 15, Article VII as being equally applicable to the
Article VII prohibited the exercise by the President of
the power to appoint to judicial positions during the appointment of Members of the Supreme Court in Article
period therein fixed. VIII itself, most likely in Section 4 (1), Article VIII. That
such specification was not done only reveals that the
SSUE: Whether the incumbent President can appoint the prohibition against the President or Acting President
successor of Chief Justice Puno upon his retirement. making appointments within two months before the next
presidential elections and up to the end of the
HELD: President’s or Acting President’s term does not refer to
the Members of the Supreme Court.
Prohibition under Section 15, Article VII does not apply
to appointments to fill a vacancy in the Supreme Court or Section 14, Section 15, and Section 16 are obviously of
to other appointments to the Judiciary. the same character, in that they affect the power of the
President to appoint. The fact that Section 14 and Section
Two constitutional provisions are seemingly in conflict. 16 refer only to appointments within the Executive
Department renders conclusive that Section 15 also
The first, Section 15, Article VII (Executive Department), applies only to the Executive Department. This
provides: Section 15. Two months immediately before conclusion is consistent with the rule that every part of
the next presidential elections and up to the end of his the statute must be interpreted with reference to the
term, a President or Acting President shall not make context, i.e. that every part must be considered together
appointments, except temporary appointments to with the other parts, and kept subservient to the general
intent of the whole enactment. It is absurd to assume
that the framers deliberately situated Section 15 Petitioners moved to dismiss the complaint based on
between Section 14 and Section 16, if they intended the following grounds: forum shopping, lack of cause of
Section 15 to cover all kinds of presidential action, and pari delicto. The RTC initially denied the
appointments. If that was their intention in respect of motion to dismiss but later reversed itself. It ordered the
appointments to the Judiciary, the framers, if only to be dismissal of the complaint against herein petitioners
clear, would have easily and surely inserted a similar except Tala Realty a nd ordered the suspension of the
prohibition in Article VIII, most likely within Section 4 (1) proceedings in view of our decision in G.R. No. 137533.
thereof. Banco Filipino moved for reconsideration which the RTC

Consequently, Banco Filipino elevated the case to the

Court of Appeals (CA) via Rule 65. The CA granted the
petition, finding that the RTC should have hypothetically
admitted the truth of the factual allegations in the
complaint—including the validity of the trust
agreement—when it ruled on the motion to dismiss.[15]
The CA also said that the proceedings should not have
been suspended because the matter resolved in G.R. No.
137533, which originated from an ejectment suit, is
distinct and separate from the subject matter of the case
TALA REALTY SERVICES CORP., petitioner, v. BANCO for reconveyance.[16] The CA subsequently denied
FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK, Respondent. petitioners' motion for reconsideration.[17]
Hence, this appeal under Rule 45 where petitioners
FACTS: principally claim that Banco Filipino's action for
Banco Filipino filed a complaint with the (RTC) of Manila reconveyance is already barred by stare decisis and
against Tala Realty Services Corporation, Inc. (Tala conclusiveness of judgment considering the en banc
Realty) and the individual petitioners. This was one of the decision in G.R. No. 137533, as reiterated in the April 7,
17 reconveyance cases instituted by Banco Filipino 2009 consolidated decision in G.R. Nos. 130088, 131469,
against Tala Realty covering properties located in 155171, 155201, and 166608[18] and the June 27, 2012
different parts of the Philippines. decision in G.R No. 188302.[19] They also argue that
Banco Filipino availed of the wrong remedy when they
The complaint alleged that the properties were covered filed a petition for certiorari with the CA instead of an
by a trust agreement between Banco Filipino, as trustor- ordinary appeal. In response,[20] Banco Filipino insists
beneficiary, and Tala Realty, as trustee. that it availed of the correct mode of review and
counters that G.R. No. 137533 cannot apply because it
The trust agreement was essentially a sale and lease- involved an ejectment suit, which is distinct from its
back arrangement wherein Banco Filipino sold various action for reconveyance. It cites the final rulings in G.R.
properties to Tala Realty, including the one located in Nos. 144700,[21] 130184,[22] 139166,[23] 167255[24]
Sta. Cruz, Manila, while the latter concurrently leased to and 144705[25]—which commonly held that the
Banco Filipino the same property for a period of 20 years, elements of forum shopping, litis pendentia and res
renewable for another 20 at the option of Banco Filipino. judicata were not present in Banco Filipino's various
reconveyance cases—as the controlling precedents.
Banco Filipino admitted that the purpose of the trust ISSUE: WON
agreement was t o "allow more flexibility in the opening
of branches and to enable the bank to acquire new RULING:
branch [sites]," since at that time, Banco Filipino was
concerned about keeping within the 50% capital asset Clearly in light of the Decisions of this Court in G.R. Nos.
threshold for banks under the General Banking Act. 129887 and 137980, which we follow as precedents,
However, sometime in August 1992, Tala Realty claimed respondent Banco Filipino may not be ejected on the
ground of expiration of the lease. However, since it
the property for itself and threatened to eject Banco stopped paying the rents beginning April 1994, its
Filipino. eviction from the premises is justified.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed
Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA- G.R. SP No.
44257 is MODIFIED insofar as it denies petitioner
Tala's prayer for ejectment of respondent Banco Filipino.

Judgment is rendered ordering respondent Banco

Filipino to vacate the subject premises and to restore
possession thereof to petitioner Tala. Respondent is also
ordered to pay Tala the monthly rental of P21,100.00
computed from April 1994 up to the time it vacates the
n both cases, we applied the time-honored principle of
stare decisis et non quieta movere, which literally means
"to adhere to precedents, and not to unsettle things
which are established," to settle the issue of whether
Banco Filipino can recover the properties subject of the
void trust agreement. The rule of stare decisis is a bar to
any attempt to re-litigate the same issue where the same
questions relating to the same event have been put
forward by parties similarly situated as in a previous case
litigated and decided by a competent court.[33] Thus, PHILIPPINE HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS INC VS. CIR
the Court's ruling in G.R. No. 137533[34] regarding the
nullity of the trust agreement—the very same agreement
which Banco Filipino seeks to enforce in the proceedings FACTS:
a quo—applies with full force to the present case. Petitioner Philippine Health Care Providers, Inc. is a
Consequently, Banco Filipino's action for reconveyance domestic corporation engaged in providing the medical
of the Sta. Cruz property based on the void trust services enumerated below to individuals who enter into
agreement cannot prosper and must be dismissed for health care agreements with it:
lack of cause of action. – Preventive medical services such as periodic
monitoring of health problems, family planning
It is the Court's duty to follow the precedents laid down counseling, consultation and advices on diet, exercise
in G.R. No. 137533,[35] G.R. No. 188302[36] and G.R. and other healthy habits, and immunization;
Nos. 130088, 131469, 155171, 155201 and 166608.[37] – Diagnostic medical services such as routine physical
The doctrine of stare decisis is one of policy grounded on examinations, x-rays, urinalysis, fecalysis, complete
the necessity for securing certainty and stability of blood count, and the like and
judicial decisions. As well stated by Justice Cardozo in his – Curative medical services which pertain to the
book, The Nature of the Judicial Process: performing of other remedial and therapeutic processes
x x x It will not do to decide the same question one way in the event of an injury or sickness on the part of the
between one set of litigants and the opposite way enrolled member.
between another. "If a group of cases involves the same
point, the parties expect the same decision. It would be On January 27, 2000, respondent Commissioner of
a gross injustice to decide alternate cases on opposite Internal Revenue (CIR) sent petitioner a formal demand
principles. If a case was decided against me yesterday letter and the corresponding assessment notices
when I was defendant, I shall look for the same judgment demanding the payment of deficiency taxes, including
today if I am plaintiff. To decide differently would raise a surcharges and interest, for the taxable years 1996 and
feeling of resentment and wrong in my breast; it would 1997 in the total amount of P224,702,641.18.
be an infringement, material and moral, of my rights." x
x x Adherence to precedent must then be the rule rather The deficiency [documentary stamp tax (DST)]
than the exception if litigants are to have faith in the assessment was imposed on petitioner’s health care
even-handed administration of justice in the courts.[38] agreement with the members of its health care program
(Emphasis supplied.) pursuant to Section 185 of the 1997 Tax Code

Petitioner protested the assessment in a letter dated

February 23, 2000. As respondent did not act on the
protest, petitioner filed a petition for review in the Court
of Tax Appeals (CTA) seeking the cancellation of the result, our ruling in that case has already become final.67
deficiency VAT and DST assessments. When a minute resolution denies or dismisses a petition
for failure to comply with formal and substantive
CTA’s decision: Cancelled the DST assessment. Ordered requirements, the challenged decision, together with its
the payment of VAT deficiency. findings of fact and legal conclusions, are deemed
sustained.68 But what is its effect on other cases?
CIR appealed the decision to the CA contending that
petitioner’s health care agreement was a contract of With respect to the same subject matter and the same
insurance subject to DST under Section 185 of the 1997 issues concerning the same parties, it constitutes res
Tax Code. judicata.69 However, if other parties or another subject
matter (even with the same parties and issues) is
CA’s decision: The health care agreement was in the involved, the minute resolution is not binding precedent.
nature of a non-life insurance contract subject to DST. Thus, in CIR v. Baier-Nickel,70 the Court noted that a
previous case, CIR v. Baier-Nickel71 involving the same
SC’s decision on Petition for Review: Denied on the parties and the same issues, was previously disposed of
ground that petitioner’s health care agreement during by the Court thru a minute resolution dated February 17,
the pertinent period was in the nature of non-life 2003 sustaining the ruling of the CA. Nonetheless, the
insurance which is a contract of indemnity, citing Blue Court ruled that the previous case "ha(d) no bearing" on
Cross Healthcare, Inc. v. Olivares and Philamcare Health the latter case because the two cases involved different
Systems, Inc. v. CA. It ruled that petitioner’s contention subject matters as they were concerned with the taxable
that it is a health maintenance organization (HMO) and income of different taxable years.72
not an insurance company is irrelevant because
contracts between companies like petitioner and the Besides, there are substantial, not simply formal,
beneficiaries under their plans are treated as insurance distinctions between a minute resolution and a decision.
contracts. Moreover, DST is not a tax on the business The constitutional requirement under the first paragraph
transacted but an excise on the privilege, opportunity or of Section 14, Article VIII of the Constitution that the facts
facility offered at exchanges for the transaction of the and the law on which the judgment is based must be
business. expressed clearly and distinctly applies only to decisions,
not to minute resolutions. A minute resolution is signed
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration and only by the clerk of court by authority of the justices,
supplemental motion for reconsideration. unlike a decision. It does not require the certification of
the Chief Justice. Moreover, unlike decisions, minute
ISSUE: The Court Bound By A Minute Resolution In resolutions are not published in the Philippine Reports.
Another Case? Finally, the proviso of Section 4(3) of Article VIII speaks of
a decision.73 Indeed, as a rule, this Court lays down
RULING: doctrines or principles of law which constitute binding
: whether this Court is bound by the ruling of the CA64 in precedent in a decision duly signed by the members of
CIR v. Philippine National Bank65 that a health care the Court and certified by the Chief Justice.
agreement of Philamcare Health Systems is not an
insurance contract for purposes of the DST. Accordingly, since petitioner was not a party in G.R. No.
148680 and since petitioner’s liability for DST on its
In support of its argument, petitioner cites the August 29, health care agreement was not the subject matter of G.R.
2001 minute resolution of this Court dismissing the No. 148680, petitioner cannot successfully invoke the
appeal in Philippine National Bank (G.R. No. 148680).66 minute resolution in that case (which is not even binding
Petitioner argues that the dismissal of G.R. No. 148680 precedent) in its favor. Nonetheless, in view of the
by minute resolution was a judgment on the merits; reasons already discussed, this does not detract in any
hence, the Court should apply the CA ruling there that a way from the fact that petitioner’s health care
health care agreement is not an insurance contract. agreements are not subject to DST.

It is true that, although contained in a minute resolution,

our dismissal of the petition was a disposition of the
merits of the case. When we dismissed the petition, we
effectively affirmed the CA ruling being questioned. As a
EDNA DIAGO LHUILLIER v. BRITISH AIRWAYS, Petitioner contends that in Santos III v. Northwest Orient
GR No. 171092, 2010-03-15 Airlines,33 the cause of action was based on a breach of
FACTS: contract while her cause of action arose from the
tortious conduct of the airline personnel and violation of
She alleged that on February 28, 2005, she took the Civil Code provisions on Human Relations.34 In
respondent's flight 548 from London,... United Kingdom addition, she claims that our pronouncement in Santos III
to Rome, Italy. v. Northwest Orient Airlines35 that "the allegation of
willful misconduct resulting in a tort is insufficient to
Once on board, she allegedly requested Julian Halliday exclude the case from the comprehension of the Warsaw
(Halliday), one of the respondent's flight attendants, to Convention," is more of an obiter dictum rather than the
assist her in placing her hand-carried luggage in the ratio decidendi.36 She maintains that the fact that said
overhead bin. However, Halliday allegedly refused to acts occurred aboard a plane is merely incidental, if not
help and assist her, and... even sarcastically remarked irrelevant.37
that "If I were to help all 300 passengers in this flight, I
would have a broken back!" We disagree with the position taken by the petitioner.
Black defines obiter dictum as "an opinion entirely
Upon arrival in Rome, petitioner complained to unnecessary for the decision of the case" and thus "are
respondent's ground manager and demanded an not binding as precedent."38 In Santos III v. Northwest
apology. However, the latter declared that the flight Orient Airlines,39 Augusto Santos III categorically put in
stewards were "only doing their job." issue the applicability of Article 28(1) of the Warsaw
Convention if the action is based on tort.
Thus, petitioner filed the complaint for damages, praying
that respondent be ordered to pay P5 million as moral In the said case, we held that the allegation of willful
damages, P2 million as nominal damages, P1 million as misconduct resulting in a tort is insufficient to exclude
exemplary damages, P300,000.00 as attorney's fees, the case from the realm of the Warsaw Convention. In
P200,000.00 as litigation expenses, and cost of the... suit. fact, our ruling that a cause of action based on tort did
not bring the case outside the sphere of the Warsaw
respondent, by way of special appearance through Convention was our ratio decidendi in disposing of the
counsel, filed a Motion to Dismiss[4] on grounds of lack specific issue presented by Augusto Santos III. Clearly,
of jurisdiction over the case and over the person of the the contention of the herein petitioner that the said
respondent. Respondent alleged that only the courts of ruling is an obiter dictum is without basis.
London, United Kingdom... or Rome, Italy, have
jurisdiction over the complaint for damages pursuant to
the Warsaw Convention,[5] Article 28(1)
Thus, since a) respondent is domiciled in London; b)
respondent's principal place of business is in London; c) FACTS
petitioner bought her ticket in Italy (through Jeepney
Travel S.A.S, in Rome);[6] and d) Rome, Italy is The petition stemmed from a complaint filed before the RTC
petitioner's place of destination, then it... follows that by Mariano, Cynthia and Adelfa, all surnamed Rivera
(hereinafter Riveras) against Vicente Florentino
the complaint should only be filed in the proper courts of (hereinafter private respondent) and the latter as third-
London, United Kingdom or Rome, Italy. party plaintiff against Teofila Mendoza, et al., as third-party
defendants (hereinafter Mendozas), for rescission,
annulment, redemption, reconveyance and damages,
Likewise, it was alleged that the case must be dismissed docketed as Civil Case No. 5761-M.
for lack of jurisdiction over the person of the respondent
because the summons was erroneously served on Euro- On October 20, 1986, the RTC rendered a decision, the
Philippine Airline Services, Inc. which is not its resident dispositive portion of which reads:
agent in the Philippines.
PREMISES CONSIDERED, judgment is hereby rendered for
the plaintiffs Riveras and third parties defendants Mendozas
the RTC of Makati City, Branch 132, issued an Order[10] and adversely to the defendant and third-party plaintiff
granting respondent's Motion to Dismiss Florentino

RULING: (aa) declaring the lease contract) terminated;

(bb) ordering the defendant Florentino to turn over the Nolasco20 where, reiterating the earlier pronouncements
possession of the leased premises to the Riveras, with made in Contreras v. Felix,21 we said:
Florentino being permitted to take all removable
improvements at his expense in accordance with the lease

(cc) ordering Florentino to pay the Riveras annual lease

rental of P500.00 for the year 1982 up to the time
possession had been delivered to the Riveras and to
compensate in cash or in kind the Riveras' claim for damage
for unrealized annual harvest of 100 cavans from 1978 up
to the present;

(dd) ordering further Florentino to pay the Riveras and the

Mendozas attorney's fees in the amount of P20,000.00;

(ee) dismissing for lack of merit the counterclaims in the

original complaint and the third-party complaint of

On November 3, 1976, Petitioner Pilar Pagsigiban obtained
a loan from Respondent Planters Development Bank
Considering that the crux of the controversy centers on a
("Bank") for P4,500.00, secured by a mortgage over a
perceived vagueness in the fallo of the trial court's
parcel of land.
decision, it is necessary to restate the guidelines on the
contents of a proper dispositive portion enunciated
The Promissory Note for the said loan stipulated for the first
in Velarde v. Social JusticeSociety,12 viz:
payment to be made on May 3, 1977 and payments every
six months thereafter at P1,018.14 with 19% interest for
In a civil case as well as in a special civil action, the unpaid amortizations. It also contained an acceleration
disposition should state whether the complaint or petition clause.
is granted or denied, the specific relief granted, and the
costs. The following test of completeness may be Initial payment was made in July 6, 1977, followed by
applied. First, the parties should know their rights and several payments in the total amount of P11,900.00.
obligations. Second, they should know how to execute the However, only four of these payments were applied to the
decision under alternative contingencies. Third, there loan, while the rest were "temporarily lodged to accounts
should be no need for further proceedings to dispose of the payable since the account was already past due".
issues. Fourth, the case should be terminated by according
the proper relief. The "proper relief" usually depends upon In 1984, the property was foreclosed extrajudicially upon
what the parties seek in their pleadings. It may declare Petition by the bank for failure to pay an outstanding
their rights and duties, command the performance of balance of P29,554.81. This resulted in the property being
positive prestations, or order them to abstain from specific sold to the bank for P8,163.00, and later claimed a
acts. The disposition must also adjudicate costs. deficiency of P21,391.81.

Petitioner filed an action for annulment of sale by Petitioner,

which the lower court granted. However, it was overturned
by CA.

It bears stressing that a decision that has acquired finality,
as in this case, becomes immutable and unalterable.15 A
final judgment may no longer be modified in any respect, Hence, the instant petition. Pagsibigan claims that (1) he
even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous did not receive P215,000 from Cabasal, and (2) the lower
conclusions of fact or law.16 In short, once a judgment courts erred in ordering him to pay P20,000 attorney's fees
becomes final and executory, it can no longer be disturbed and expenses of litigation.
no matter how erroneous it may be17 and nothing further
can be done therewith except to execute it.18 The Court's Ruling

It is settled rule that "the operative part in every The petition is partly meritorious.
decision is the dispositive portion or the fallo, and
where there is conflict between the fallo and the body of A Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court
the decision, the fallo controls. This rule rests on the theory
should cover only questions of law. Questions of fact are
that the fallo is the final order while the opinion in the body
not reviewable. A question of law exists when the doubt
is merely a statement, ordering nothing."19 We expounded
centers on what the law is on a certain set of facts. A
on the underlying reason behind this rule in Republic v.
question of fact exists when the doubt centers on the truth
or falsity of the alleged facts.12

There is a question of law if the issue raised is capable of

being resolved without need of reviewing the probative
value of the evidence. The issue to be resolved must be
limited to determining what the law is on a certain set of
facts. Once the issue invites a review of the evidence, the
question posed is one of fact.

Whether Pagsibigan received P215,000 from Cabasal is a

question of fact. It can only be resolved after reviewing the
probative value of the evidence. Thus, it is not reviewable.

In the instant case, the lower courts totally failed to justify

the award of attorney's fees and expenses of litigation.
There was no factual or legal justification stated in the texts
of the lower courts' decisions. The RTC merely stated in the
dispositive portion of its 26 February 2002 Decision that,
"Accused is also ordered to pay attorney's

fees in the amount of P20,000.00 to complainant and costs

of suit." Thus, the award is disallowed. WEEK 11 and 12

WHEREFORE, we GRANT in part the petition. BAYAN MUNA v. ALBERTO ROMULO. G.R. No. 159618;
We AFFIRM with MODIFICATION the 30 January 2004 February 1, 2011.
Decision and 26 May 2004 Resolution of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 76291. The award of P20,000
FACTS: In 2000, the RP, through Charge d’Affaires Enrique
attorney's fees and expenses of litigation is DELETED.
A. Manalo, signed the Rome Statute which, by its terms, is
“subject to ratification, acceptance or approval” by the
signatory states.

In 2003, via Exchange of Notes with the US government,

the RP, represented by then DFA Secretary Ople, finalized
a non-surrender agreement which aimed to protect certain
persons of the RP and US from frivolous and harassment
suits that might be brought against them in international

Petitioner imputes grave abuse of discretion to respondents

in concluding and ratifying the Agreement and prays that it
be struck down as unconstitutional, or at least declared as
without force and effect.

ISSUE: [1] Did respondents abuse their discretion

amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in concluding the
RP-US Non Surrender Agreement in contravention of the
Rome Statute?

[2] Is the agreement valid, binding and effective without

the concurrence by at least 2/3 of all the members of the

HELD: The Agreement does not contravene or undermine,

nor does it differ from, the Rome Statute. Far from going
against each other, one complements the other. As a
matter of fact, the principle of complementarity underpins
the creation of the ICC. According to Art. 1 of the Statute,
the jurisdiction of the ICC is to “be complementary to
national criminal jurisdictions [of the signatory states].” the
Rome Statute expressly recognizes the primary jurisdiction
of states, like the RP, over serious crimes committed within
their respective borders, the complementary jurisdiction of
the ICC coming into play only when the signatory states are
unwilling or unable to prosecute.
Also, under international law, there is a considerable themselves, are unimpeachable and certainly fall within the
difference between a State-Party and a signatory to a ambit of the police power of the State. Yet the desirability
treaty. Under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, of these ends do not sanctify any and all means for their
a signatory state is only obliged to refrain from acts which achievement. Those means must align with the
would defeat the object and purpose of a treaty. The Constitution, and our emerging sophisticated analysis of its
Philippines is only a signatory to the Rome Statute and not guarantees to the people.
a State-Party for lack of ratification by the Senate. Thus, it
is only obliged to refrain from acts which would defeat the That the Ordinance prevents the lawful uses of a wash rate
object and purpose of the Rome Statute. Any argument depriving patrons of a product and the petitioners of
obliging the Philippines to follow any provision in the treaty lucrative business ties in with another constitutional
would be premature. And even assuming that the requisite for the legitimacy of the Ordinance as a police
Philippines is a State-Party, the Rome Statute still power measure. It must appear that the interests of the
recognizes the primacy of international agreements entered public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular
into between States, even when one of the States is not a class, require an interference with private rights and the
State-Party to the Rome Statute. means must be reasonably necessary for the
accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive
The right of the Executive to enter into binding agreements of private rights. It must also be evident that no other
without the necessity of subsequent Congressional alternative for the accomplishment of the purpose less
approval has been confirmed by long usage. From the intrusive of private rights can work. More importantly, a
earliest days of our history, we have entered executive reasonable relation must exist between the purposes of the
agreements covering such subjects as commercial and measure and the means employed for its accomplishment,
consular relations, most favored-nation rights, patent for even under the guise of protecting the public interest,
rights, trademark and copyright protection, postal and personal rights and those pertaining to private property will
navigation arrangements and the settlement of claims. The not be permitted to be arbitrarily invaded. Lacking a
validity of these has never been seriously questioned by our concurrence of these requisites, the police measure shall be
courts. struck down as an arbitrary intrusion into private rights. As
held in Morfe v. Mutuc, the exercise of police power is
Executive agreements may be validly entered into without subject to judicial review when life, liberty or property is
such concurrence. As the President wields vast powers and affected. However, this is not in any way meant to take it
influence, her conduct in the external affairs of the nation away from the vastness of State police power whose
is, as Bayan would put it, “executive altogether.” The right exercise enjoys the presumption of validity. Ordinance No.
of the President to enter into or ratify binding executive 7774 is hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
agreements has been confirmed by long practice.
Tañada vs Tuvera
136 SCRA 27

FACTS: Invoking the right of the people to be

White Light Corporation vs. City of Manila informed on matters of public concern as well as the
principle that laws to be valid and enforceable must
Facts: be published in the Official Gazette, petitioners filed
for writ of mandamus to compel respondent public
officials to publish and/or cause to publish various
City of Manila passes an Ordinance preventing hotels,
presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general
motels, lodging houses, pension houses and similar
orders, proclamations, executive orders, letters of
establishments offering shorttime admission as well as
implementations and administrative orders.
pro-rated or wash up rates for abbreviated stays.
The Solicitor General, representing the respondents,
moved for the dismissal of the case, contending that
Petitioners allege, among others, that the Ordinance petitioners have no legal personality to bring the
deprives their customers the Constitutional guaranty to the instant petition.
right of due process.
ISSUE: W.O.N. publication in the Official Gazette is
ISSUE: W/N the Ordinance is unconstitutional required before any law or statute becomes valid
and enforceable.
HELD: Art. 2 of the Civil Code does not preclude the
requirement of publication in the Official Gazette,
Police power, while incapable of an exact definition, has even if the law itself provides for the date of its
been purposely veiled in general terms to underscore its effectivity. The clear object of this provision is to
comprehensiveness to meet all exigencies and provide give the general public adequate notice of the
enough room for an efficient and flexible response as the various laws which are to regulate their actions and
conditions warrant. Police power is based upon the concept conduct as citizens. Without such notice and
of necessity of the State and its corresponding right to publication, there would be no basis for the
protect itself and its people. Police power has been used as application of the maxim ignoratia legis nominem
justification for numerous and varied actions by the State. excusat. It would be the height of injustive to punish
The apparent goal of the Ordinance is to minimize if not or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression
eliminate the use of the covered establishments for illicit of a law which he had no notice whatsoever, not
sex, prostitution, drug use and alike. These goals, by even a constructive one.
The requirements of an action for declaratory relief are as
The very first clause of Section 1 of CA 638 reads: follows: (1) there must be a justiciable controversy; (2) the
there shall be published in the Official Gazette…. The controversy must be between persons whose interests are
word “shall” therein imposes upon respondent adverse; (3) the party seeking declaratory relief must have
officials an imperative duty. That duty must be a legal interest in the controversy; and
enforced if the constitutional right of the people to (4) the issue involved must be ripe for judicial
be informed on matter of public concern is to be determination.[15] We find that the Petition filed by
given substance and validity. respondent before the lower court meets these
The publication of presidential issuances of public First, the subject of the controversy is the constitutionality
nature or of general applicability is a requirement of of CMO 27-2003 issued by petitioner Commissioner of
due process. It is a rule of law that before a person Customs.
may be bound by law, he must first be officially and Second, the controversy is between two parties that have
specifically informed of its contents. The Court declared adverse interests. Petitioners are summarily imposing a
that presidential issuances of general application which tariff rate that respondent is refusing to pay.
have not been published have no force and effect. Third, it is clear that respondent has a legal and substantive
interest in the implementation of CMO 27-2003.
Respondent has adequately shown that, as a regular
importer of wheat, on 14 August 2003, it has actually made
shipments of wheat from China to Subic.
Finally, the issue raised by respondent is ripe for judicial
On 7 November 2003, petitioner Commissioner of Customs
determination, because litigation is inevitable[19] for the
issued CMO 27-2003. Under the Memorandum, for tariff
simple and uncontroverted reason that respondent is not
purposes, wheat was classified according to the following:
included in the enumeration of flour millers classified as
(1) importer or consignee; (2) country of origin; and (3)
food grade wheat... importers. Thus, as the trial court
port of discharge.[5] The... regulation provided an
stated, it would have to file a protest case each time it
exclusive list of corporations, ports of discharge,
imports food grade wheat and be subjected to the 7% tariff.
commodity descriptions and countries of origin. Depending
It is therefore clear that a petition for declaratory relief is
on these factors, wheat would be classified either as food
the right remedy given the circumstances of the case.
grade or feed grade. The corresponding tariff for food grade
When an administrative rule is merely interpretative in
wheat was 3%, for feed... grade, 7%.
nature, its applicability needs nothing further than its bare
issuance, for it gives no real consequence more than what
CMO 27-2003 further provided for the proper procedure for
the law itself has already prescribed. When, on the other
protest or Valuation and Classification Review Committee
hand, the administrative rule goes beyond... merely
(VCRC) cases. Under this procedure, the release of the
providing for the means that can facilitate or render least
articles that were the subject of protest required the
cumbersome the implementation of the law but
importer to post a cash bond to cover the tariff...
substantially increases the burden of those governed, it
behooves the agency to accord at least to those directly
affected a chance to be heard, and thereafter to be... duly
A month after the issuance of CMO 27-2003, on 19
informed, before that new issuance is given the force and
December 2003, respondent filed a Petition for Declaratory
effect of law.
Relief[7] with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Las Piñas
Because petitioners failed to follow the requirements
City. It anticipated the implementation of the regulation on
enumerated by the Revised Administrative Code, the
its imported and perishable
assailed regulation must be struck down.
Going now to the content of CMO 27-3003, we likewise hold
Chinese milling wheat in transit from China.[8] Respondent
that it is unconstitutional for being violative of the equal
contended that CMO 27-2003 was issued without following
protection clause of the Constitution.
the mandate of the Revised Administrative Code on public
The equal protection clause means that no person or class
participation, prior notice, and publication or registration
of persons shall be deprived of the same protection of laws
with the University of... the Philippines Law Center.
enjoyed by other persons or other classes in the same place
in like circumstances. Thus, the guarantee of the equal
Respondent also alleged that the regulation summarily
protection of laws is not violated if there... is a reasonable
adjudged it to be a feed grade supplier without the benefit
classification. For a classification to be reasonable, it must
of prior assessment and examination; thus, despite having
be shown that (1) it rests on substantial distinctions; (2) it
imported food grade wheat, it would be subjected to the
is germane to the purpose of the law; (3) it is not limited
7% tariff upon the arrival of the shipment, forcing... them
to existing conditions only; and (4) it applies eqwhiteually
to pay 133% more than was proper.
to all members... of the same class.
Unfortunately, CMO 27-2003 does not meet these
Furthermore, respondent claimed that the equal protection
requirements. We do not see how the quality of wheat is
clause of the Constitution was violated when the regulation
affected by who imports it, where it is discharged, or which
treated non-flour millers differently from flour millers for no
country it came from.
reason at all.
The regulation, therefore, does not become
disadvantageous to respondent only, but even to the state.
Lastly, respondent asserted that the retroactive application
It is also not clear how the regulation intends to "monitor
of the regulation was confiscatory in nature.
more closely wheat importations and thus prevent their
Petitioner Commissioner of Customs also went beyond his
discuss the propriety of an action for declaratory relief.
powers when the regulation limited the customs officer's
duties mandated by Section 1403 of the Tariff and Customs Lim because Reyes was having problems in removing the
Law, as amended. lessee from the Property. Lim rejected Reyes’ offer and
The provision mandates that the customs officer must first proceeded to verify the status of Reyes’ title to the
assess and determine the classification of the imported Property. Lim learned that Reyes had already sold the
article before tariff may be imposed. Unfortunately, CMO Property to Line One Foods Corporation Lim denied
23-2007 has already classified the article even before the conniving with Keng and Harrison Lumber to defraud
customs officer had the chance to examine it. In... effect, Reyes.Reyes filed a Motion for Leave to File Amended
petitioner Commissioner of Customs diminished the powers Complaint due to supervening facts. These included the
granted by the Tariff and Customs Code with regard to filing by Lim of a complaint for estafa against Reyes as well
wheat importation when it no longer required the customs as an action for specific performance and nullification of
officer's prior examination and assessment of the proper sale and title plus damages before another trial court. The
classification of the wheat. trial court granted the motion.
It is well-settled that rules and regulations, which are the
product of a delegated power to create new and additional In his Amended Answer Lim prayed for the cancellation of
legal provisions that have the effect of law, should be within the Contract to Sell and for the issuance of a writ of
the scope of the statutory authority granted by the preliminary attachment against Reyes. The trial court
legislature to the administrative agency. It... is required denied the prayer for a writ of preliminary attachment.
that the regulation be germane to the objects and purposes
of the law; and that it be not in contradiction to, but in
conformity with, the standards prescribed by law. Lim requested in open court that Reyes be ordered to
In summary, petitioners violated respondent's right to due deposit the P10 million down payment with the cashier of
process in the issuance of CMO 27-2003 when they failed the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque. The trial court
to observe the requirements under the Revised granted this motion.
Administrative Code. Petitioners likewise violated
respondent's right to equal protection of laws when they Reyes filed a Motion to Set Aside the Order on the ground
provided... for an unreasonable classification in the the Order practically granted the reliefs Lim prayed for in
application of the regulation. Finally, petitioner his Amended Answer. The trial court denied Reyes’ motion.
Commissioner of Customs went beyond his powers of
delegated authority when the regulation limited the powers
The trial court denied Reyes’ Motion for Reconsideration. In
of the customs officer to examine and assess imported
the same order, the trial court directed Reyes to deposit the
P10 million down payment with the Clerk of Court.

Reyes filed a Petition for Certiorari with the Court of Appeals

and prayed that the orders of the trial court be set aside for
REYES VS. LIM having been issued with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction. But the Court of Appeals
dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
Facts: Petitioner David Reyes filed a complaint for
annulment of contract and damages against respondents.
The complaint alleged that Reyes as seller and Lim as buyer Hence, this petition for review.
entered into a contract to sell a parcel of land located along
F.B. Harrison Street, Pasay City with a monthly rental of Issue: Whether on not the equity jurisdiction is an
P35,000. applicable law on the matter?

The complaint claimed that Reyes had informed Harrison Held: The instant case, the Supreme Court held that if this
Lumber to vacate the Property before the end of January was a case where there is hiatus in the law and in the Rules
1995. Reyes also informed Keng and Harrison Lumber that of Court. If this case was left alone, the hiatus will result in
if they failed to vacate by 8 March 1995, he would hold unjust enrichment to Reyes at the expense of Lim. Here the
them liable for the penalty of P400,000 a month as provided court excercised equity jurisdiction.The purpose of the
in the Contract to Sell. It was also alleged that Lim connived exercise of equity jurisdiction in this case is to prevent
with Harrison Lumber not to vacate the Property until the unjust enrichment and to ensure restitution so that
P400,000 monthly penalty would have accumulated and substantial justice may be attained in cases where the
equaled the unpaid purchase price of P18,000,000. prescribed or customary forms of ordinary law are
Keng and Harrison Lumber denied that they connived with
Lim to defraud Reyes, and that Reyes approved their The Supreme Court also state that rescission is possible
request for an extension of time to vacate the Property due only when the person demanding rescission can return
to their difficulty in finding a new location for their business. whatever he may be obliged to restore. A court of equity
Harrison Lumber claimed that it had already started will not rescind a contract unless there is restitution, that
transferring some of its merchandise to its new business is, the parties are restored to the status quo ante.
location in Malabon. In this case, it was just, equitable and proper for the trial
court to order the deposit of the P10 million down payment.
Lim filed his Answer stating that he was ready and willing The decision of the Court of Appeals.was affirmed.
to pay the balance of the purchase price. Lim requested a
meeting with Reyes through the latter’s daughter on the
signing of the Deed of Absolute Sale and the payment of ROMMEL JACINTO DANTES SILVERIO v. REPUBLIC, GR NO.
the balance but Reyes kept postponing their meeting.
174689, 2007-10-19
Reyes offered to return the P10 million down payment to
could be legally done. It was an... improper remedy
because the proper remedy was administrative, that is, that
Facts: provided under RA 9048. It was also filed in the wrong
venue as the proper venue was in the Office of the Civil
Registrar of Manila where his birth certificate is kept. More
petitioner Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio filed a petition importantly, it had no merit... since the use of his true and
for the change of his first name and sex in his birth official name does not prejudice him at all. For all these
certificate in the Regional Trial Court of Manila reasons, the Court of Appeals correctly dismissed
petitioner's petition in so far as the change of his first name
He further alleged that he is a male transsexual, that is, was concerned.
"anatomically male but feels, thinks and acts as a female"
and that he had always identified himself with girls since The birth certificate of petitioner... contained no error. All
childhood. entries therein, including those corresponding to his first
name and sex, were all correct. No correction is necessary.
Feeling trapped in a man's body, he consulted several
doctors in... the United States. He underwent psychological Article 407 of the Civil Code authorizes the entry in the civil
examination, hormone treatment and breast augmentation. registry of certain acts... and judicial decrees
His attempts to transform himself to a "woman" culminated
on January 27, 2001 when he underwent sex reassignment
surgery[2] in Bangkok, Thailand. These acts, events and judicial decrees produce... legal
consequences that touch upon the legal capacity, status
and nationality of a person. Their effects are expressly
He then sought to have his name in his birth certificate sanctioned by the laws. In contrast, sex reassignment is
changed from "Rommel Jacinto" to "Mely," and his sex from not among those acts or events mentioned in Article 407.
"male" to "female." Neither is it recognized nor even mentioned by... any law,
expressly or impliedly.
The [c]ourt rules in the affirmative.
Under the Civil Register Law, a birth certificate is a historical
the Republic of the Philippines (Republic), thru the OSG, record of the facts as they existed at the time of birth.[29]
filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals.[6] It Thus, the sex of a person is determined at birth, visually
alleged that there is no law allowing the change of entries done by the birth attendant (the physician or midwife) by...
in the birth certificate by reason of sex... alteration. examining the genitals of the infant. Considering that there
is no law legally recognizing sex reassignment, the
determination of a person's sex made at the time of his or
the Court of Appeals[7] rendered a decision[8] in favor of
her birth, if not attended by error,[30] is immutable.
the Republic.
For these reasons, while petitioner may have succeeded in
altering his body and appearance through the intervention
Issues: of modern surgery, no law authorizes the change of entry
as to sex in the civil registry for that reason. Thus, there is
The sole issue here is whether or not petitioner is entitled no legal basis for his petition for the... correction or change
to the relief asked for. of the entries in his birth certificate.


Petitioner's basis in praying for the change of his first name

was his sex reassignment. He intended to make his first
name compatible with the sex he thought he transformed
himself into through surgery.

RA 9048 does not sanction a change of first name on the

Include the ruling of the Lower Court and Court of
Appealsground of sex reassignment.

Before a person can legally change his given name, he must

present proper or reasonable cause or any compelling
reason justifying such change.[19] In addition, he must
show that he will be prejudiced by the use of his true and
official name.[20] In this case, he failed to show, or even
allege, any prejudice that he might suffer as a result of
using his true and official name.

In sum, the petition in the trial court in so far as it prayed

for the change of petitioner's first name was not within that
court's primary jurisdiction as the petition should have been
filed with the local civil registrar concerned, assuming it