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RURAL DEVELOPMENT ASSOCITION OF FARMERS The subjects of this petition are a 9-hectare riceland worked by four tenants and

owned by petitioner Nicolas Manaay and his wife and a 5-hectare riceland worked by four tenants and owned by petitioner Augustin Hermano, Jr. The tenants were declared full owners of these lands by E.O. No. 228 as qualified farmers under P.D. No. 27. The petitioners are questioning P.D. No. 27 and E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 on grounds inter alia of separation of powers, due process, equal protection and the constitutional limitation that no private property shall be taken for public use without just compensation. They contend that President Aquino usurped legislative power when she promulgated E.O. No. 228. The said measure is invalid also for violation of Article XIII, Section 4, of the Constitution, for failure to provide for retention limits for small landowners. Moreover, it does not conform to Article VI, Section 25(4) and the other requisites of a valid appropriation. Eminent domain is an inherent power of the State that enables it to forcibly acquire private lands intended for public use upon payment of just compensation to the owner. Obviously, there is no need to expropriate where the owner is willing to sell under terms also acceptable to the purchaser, in which case an ordinary deed of sale may be agreed upon by the parties. It is only where the owner is unwilling to sell, or cannot accept the price or other conditions offered by the vendee, that the power of eminent domain will come into play to assert the paramount authority of the State over the interests of the property owner. Private rights must then yield to the irresistible demands of the public interest on the time-honored justification, as in the case of the police power, that the welfare of the people is the supreme law. Recognizing this need, the Constitution in 1935 mandated the policy of social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all the people, 1 especially the less privileged. In 1973, the new Constitution affirmed this goal adding specifically that the State shall regulate the acquisition, ownership, use, enjoyment and disposition of private property and equitably diffuse property ownership and profits. 2 Significantly, there was also the specific injunction to formulate and implement an agrarian reform program aimed at emancipating the tenant from the bondage of the soil. 3 The Constitution of 1987 was not to be outdone. Besides echoing these sentiments, it also adopted one whole and separate Article XIII on Social Justice and Human Rights, containing grandiose but undoubtedly sincere provisions for the uplift of the common people. These include a call in the following words for the adoption by the State of an agrarian reform program:

SEC. 4. The State shall, by law, undertake an agrarian reform program founded on the right of farmers and regular farmworkers, who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till or, in the case of other farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof. To this end, the State shall encourage and undertake the just distribution of all agricultural lands, subject to such priorities and reasonable retention limits as the Congress may prescribe, taking into account ecological, developmental, or equity considerations and subject to the payment of just compensation. In determining retention limits, the State shall respect the right of small landowners. The State shall further provide incentives for voluntary landsharing. Earlier, in fact, R.A. No. 3844, otherwise known as the Agricultural Land Reform Code, had already been enacted by the Congress of the Philippines on August 8, 1963, in line with the above-stated principles. This was substantially superseded almost a decade later by P.D. No. 27, which was promulgated on October 21, 1972, along with martial law, to provide for the compulsory acquisition of private lands for distribution among tenant-farmers and to specify maximum retention limits for landowners. The people power revolution of 1986 did not change and indeed even energized the thrust for agrarian reform. Thus, on July 17, 1987, President Corazon C. Aquino issued E.O. No. 228, declaring full land ownership in favor of the beneficiaries of P.D. No. 27 and providing for the valuation of still unvalued lands covered by the decree as well as the manner of their payment. This was followed on July 22, 1987 by Presidential Proclamation No. 131, instituting a comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP), and E.O. No. 229, providing the mechanics for its implementation. Subsequently, with its formal organization, the revived Congress of the Philippines took over legislative power from the President and started its own deliberations, including extensive public hearings, on the improvement of the interests of farmers. The result, after almost a year of spirited debate, was the enactment of R.A. No. 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, which President Aquino signed on June 10, 1988. This law, while considerably changing the earlier mentioned enactments, nevertheless gives them suppletory effect insofar as they are not inconsistent with its provisions. 4 The above-captioned cases have been consolidated because they involve common legal questions, including serious challenges to the constitutionality of the several measures mentioned above. They will be the subject of one common discussion and resolution, With these assumptions, the Court hereby declares that the content and manner of the just compensation provided for in the afore- quoted Section 18 of the CARP Law is not violative of the Constitution. We do not mind admitting that a certain degree of pragmatism has influenced our decision on this issue, but after all this Court is not a cloistered institution removed from the realities and demands of society or oblivious to the need for its enhancement.

The Court is as acutely anxious as the rest of our people to see the goal of agrarian reform achieved at last after the frustrations and deprivations of our peasant masses during all these disappointing decades. We are aware that invalidation of the said section will result in the nullification of the entire program, killing the farmers hopes even as they approach realization and resurrecting the spectre of discontent and dissent in the restless countryside. That is not in our view the intention of the Constitution, and that is not what we shall decree today. Admittedly, the compensation contemplated in the law will cause the landowners, big and small, not a little inconvenience. As already remarked, this cannot be avoided. Nevertheless, it is devoutly hoped that these countrymen of ours, conscious as we know they are of the need for their forebearance and even sacrifice, will not begrudge us their indispensable share in the attainment of the ideal of agrarian reform. Otherwise, our pursuit of this elusive goal will be like the quest for the Holy Grail. 1. R.A. No. 6657, P.D. No. 27, Proc. No. 131, and E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 are SUSTAINED against all the constitutional objections raised in the herein petitions. 2. Title to all expropriated properties shall be transferred to the State only upon full payment of compensation to their respective owners. 3. All rights previously acquired by the tenant- farmers under P.D. No. 27 are retained and recognized. 4. Landowners who were unable to exercise their rights of retention under P.D. No. 27 shall enjoy the retention rights granted by R.A. No. 6657 under the conditions therein prescribed. ======== PLDT vs. NTC FACTS: On 22 June 1958, RA 2090 was enacted granting Felix Alberto & Co. (later ETCI) a franchise to establish radio stations for domestic and transoceanic telecommunications. On 13 May 1987, ETCI filed an application with the NTC for the issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity to operate, etc. a Cellular Mobile Telephone System and an alpha numeric paging system in Metro Manila and in the Southern Luzon regions, with a prayer for provisional authority to operate within Metro Manila. PLDT filed an opposition with a motion to dismiss. On 12 November 1987, NTC overruled PLDTs opposition and declared RA 2090 should be liberally construed so as to include the operation of a cellular mobile telephone service as part of services of the franchise. On 12 December 1988, NTC granted ETCI provisional authority to install, operate, and maintain a cellular mobile telephone service initially in Metro Manila subject to the terms and

conditions set forth in its order, including an interconnection agreement to be entered with PLDT. PLDT filed a motion to set aside order which was denied by the NTC on 8 May 1989. PLDT challenged the 12 December 1988 and 8 May 1989 NTC orders before the Supreme Court through a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition. ISSUES: (1) Whether the provisional authority was properly granted. (2) Whether ETCIs franchise includes operation of cellular mobile telephone system (CMTS) (3) Whether PLDT can refuse interconnection with ETCI. RULING: (1) The provisional authority granted by the NTC (which is the regulatory agency of the National Government over all telecommunications entities) has a definite expiry period of 18 months unless sooner renewed; may be revoked, amended or revised by the NTC; covers one of four phases; limited to Metro Manila only; and does not authorize the installation and operation of an alphanumeric paging system. It was further issued after due hearing, with PLDT attending and granted after a prima facie showing that ETCI had the necessary legal, financial and technical capabilities; and that public interest, convenience and necessity so demanded. Provisional authority would be meaningless if the grantee were not allowed to operate, as its lifetime is limited and may be revoked by the NTC at any time in accordance with law. (2) The NTC construed the technical term radiotelephony liberally as to include the operation of a cellular mobile telephone system. The construction given by an administrative agency possessed of the necessary special knowledge, expertise and experience and deserves great weight and respect. It can only be set aside by judicial intervention on proof of gross abuse of discretion, fraud or error of law. (3) The NTC merely exercised its delegated authority to regulate the use of telecommunication networks when it decreed interconnection. PLDT cannot refuse interconnection as such is mandated under RA 6949 or the Municipal Telephone Act of 1989. What interconnection seeks to accomplish is to enable the system to reach out to the greatest number of people possible in line with governmental policies. With the broader reach, public interest and convenience will be better served. Public need, public interest, and the common good are the decisive, if not the ultimate, considerations. To these public and national interests, public utility companies must yield. The NTC order does not deprive PLDT due process as it allows the parties themselves to discuss and agree upon the specific terms and conditions of the interconnection agreement instead of the NTC itself laying down the standards of interconnection which it can very well impose. ====== PAMATONG V COMELEC

Last December 1 was the deadline for the filing of Certificate of Candidacies (COCs) for the 2010 Elections. In the end, a total of 99 filed their COCs for President. Among the lesser known presidentiables include someone called "Manok" (because apparently he can mimic a cock's crow), a six-star general, and a future "emperor of the world." Considering that we would be having automated elections next year and the list of all candidates are to be written in the ballots while voters are supposed to shade the circles corresponding to their choices, would all 99 candidates be included? No. Aside from disqualification petitions filed against the aspirants, the Comelec can also motu propio deny due course to the COCs. Aside from the qualifications set forth under the Constitution, a candidate should also have the capacity and resources to launch a national campaign. Under the Constitution (Article II, Section 26), "the State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service xxx." Would the Comelec's act of disqualifying the so-called "nuisance" candidates violate this constitutional provision?

Petitioner Pamatong filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for President. Respondent COMELEC declared petitioner and 35 others as nuisance candidates who could not wage a nationwide campaign and/or are not nominated by a political party or are not supported by a registered political party with a national constituency. Pamatong filed a Petition For Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court claiming that the COMELEC violated his right to "equal access to opportunities for public service" under Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, by limiting the number of qualified candidates only to those who can afford to wage a nationwide campaign and/or are nominated by political parties. The COMELEC supposedly erred in disqualifying him since he is the most qualified among all the presidential candidates, i.e., he possesses all the constitutional and legal qualifications for the office of the president, he is capable of waging a national campaign since he has numerous national organizations under his leadership, he also has the capacity to wage an international campaign since he has practiced law in other countries, and he has a platform of government.

ISSUE: Is there a constitutional right to run for or hold public office? RULING: No. What is recognized in Section 26, Article II of the Constitution is merely a privilege subject to limitations imposed by law. It neither bestows such a right nor elevates the privilege to the level of an enforceable right. There is nothing in the plain language of the provision which suggests such a thrust or justifies an interpretation of the sort. The "equal access" provision is a subsumed part of Article II of the Constitution, entitled "Declaration of Principles and State Policies." The provisions under the Article are generally considered not self-executing, and there is no plausible reason for according a different treatment to the "equal access" provision. Like the rest of the policies enumerated in Article II, the provision does not contain any judicially enforceable constitutional right but merely specifies a guideline for legislative or executive action. The disregard of the provision does not give rise to any cause of action before the courts. Obviously, the provision is not intended to compel the State to enact positive measures that would accommodate as many people as possible into public office. Moreover, the provision as written leaves much 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 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 impreciseness. Certainly, it was not the intention of the framers to inflict on the people an operative but amorphous foundation from which innately unenforceable rights may be sourced. The privilege of equal access to opportunities to public office may be subjected to limitations. Some valid limitations specifically on the privilege to seek elective office are found in the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code on "Nuisance Candidates. As long as the limitations apply to everybody equally without discrimination, however, the equal access clause is not violated. Equality is not sacrificed as long as the burdens engendered by the limitations are meant to be borne by any one who is minded to file a

certificate of candidacy. In the case at bar, there is no showing that any person is exempt from the limitations or the burdens which they create. The rationale behind the prohibition against nuisance candidates and the disqualification of candidates who have not evinced a bona fide intention to run for office is easy to divine. The State has a compelling interest to ensure that its electoral exercises are rational, objective, and orderly. Towards this end, the State takes into account the practical considerations in conducting elections. Inevitably, the greater the number of candidates, the greater the opportunities for logistical confusion, not to mention the increased allocation of time and resources in preparation for the election. The organization of an election with bona fide candidates standing is onerous enough. To add into the mix candidates with no serious intentions or capabilities to run a viable campaign would actually impair the 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.

Article 3, SECTION 7- Philippines Constitution The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.

LEGASPI V. CSC eligibility of sanitary people 1. The right to information enshrined in the Bill of Rights is self executing. They supply the rules by means of which the right to information may be enjoyed by guaranteeing the right and mandating the duty to afford access to sources of information. Hence, the fundamental right therein recognized may be asserted by the people upon the ratification of the constitution without need for any ancillary act of the legislature. What may be provided by the legislature are reasonable conditions and limitations upon the access to be afforded which must, of necessity be consistent with the declared state policy of full disclosure of all transactions involving public interest. 2. Government agencies are without discretion in refusing disclosure of, or access to, information of public concern. This is not to lose sight of the reasonable regulations which may be imposed by said agencies in custody of public records on the manner in which the right to information may be exercised by the public. 3. In determining whether or not a particular information is of public concern, there is no rigid test which can be applied. It a term that eludes exact definition.

VALMONTE V. BELMONTE loans from GSIS; Imelda Marcos as guarantor - The right to information goes hand-in-hand with the constitutional policies of full public disclosure and honesty in the public service. It is meant to enhance the widening role of the citizenry in the governmental decisionmaking as well as in checking abuse in the government. 2. Right to information is not absolute, it is limited to matters of public concern and interest, and is further subject to limitations as may be imposed by law. 3. Public nature of the loanable funds of the GSIS and the public office held by the alleged borrowers make the information sought clearly a manner of public interest and concern. 4. The right to privacy belongs to the individual in his private capacity and cannot be invoked by juridical entities like the GSIS. - Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform - The information to which the public is entitled to are those concerning matters of public concern, a term which embrace[s] a broad spectrum of subjects which the

public may want to know, either because these directly affect their lives, or simply because such matters naturally arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen. It is for the courts to determine in a case by case basis whether the matter at issue is of interest or importance, as it relates to or affects the public.