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Cang vs CA
The allegations of abandonment in the petition for adoption, even absent the written
consent of petitioner, sufficiently vested the lower court with jurisdiction since abandonment
of the child by his natural parents is one of the circumstances under which our statutes and
jurisprudence[16] dispense with the requirement of written consent to the adoption of their
minor children.
However, in cases where the father opposes the adoption primarily because his consent
thereto was not sought, the matter of whether he had abandoned his child becomes a
proper issue for determination. The issue of abandonment by the oppositor natural
parent is a preliminary issue that an adoption court must first confront. Only upon
failure of the oppositor natural father to prove to the satisfaction of the court that he did not
abandon his child may the petition for adoption be considered on its merits.
In the instant case, records disclose that petitioners conduct did not manifest a settled
purpose to forego all parental duties and relinquish all parental claims over his children as to
constitute abandonment. Physical estrangement alone, without financial and moral
desertion, is not tantamount to abandonment. While admittedly, petitioner was
physically absent as he was then in the United States, he was not remiss in his natural and
legal obligations of love, care and support for his children. He maintained regular
communication with his wife and children through letters and telephone. He used to send
packages by mail and catered to their whims.
Parental authority and responsibility are inalienable and may not be transferred or
renounced except in cases authorized by law. The right attached to parental authority, being
purely personal, the law allows a waiver of parental authority only in cases of adoption,
guardianship and surrender to a childrens home or an orphan institution. When a parent
entrusts the custody of a minor to another, such as a friend or godfather, even in a
document, what is given is merely temporary custody and it does not constitute a
renunciation of parental authority. Even if a definite renunciation is manifest, the law still
disallows the same.

this Court has held that the exceptions to the rule that factual findings of the trial court are
final and conclusive and may not be reviewed on appeal are the following:
1. when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible;
2. when there is a grave abuse of discretion;
3. when the finding is grounded entirely on speculations, surmises or conjectures;
4. when the judgment of the Court of Appeals is based on misapprehension of facts;
5. when the findings of fact are conflicting;
6. when the Court of Appeals, in making its findings, went beyond the issues of the case
and the same is contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee;
7. when the findings of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the trial court;
8. when the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on
which they are based;
9. when the Court of Appeals manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed
by the parties and which, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion
Paul M. Florendo
University of Nueva Caceres
College of Law


As a rule, factual findings of the lower courts are final and binding upon this Court. This
Court is not expected nor required to examine or contrast the oral and documentary
evidence submitted by the parties. However, although this Court is not a trier of facts,
it has the authority to review and reverse the factual findings of the lower courts
if it finds that these do not conform to the evidence on record.


10. when the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the absence of
evidence and are contradicted by the evidence on record.

Razon vs Tagitis
This Decision reflects the nature of the Writ of Amparo a protective remedy against
violations or threats of violation against the rights to life, liberty and security. It embodies,
as a remedy, the courts directive to police agencies to undertake specified courses of action
to address the disappearance of an individual, in this case, Engr. Morced N. Tagitis. It does
not determine guilt nor pinpoint criminal culpability for the disappearance; rather, it
determines responsibility, or at least accountability, for the enforced disappearance for
purposes of imposing the appropriate remedies to address the disappearance.
Responsibility refers to the extent the actors have been established by substantial
evidence to have participated in whatever way, by action or omission, in an enforced
disappearance, as a measure of the remedies this Court shall craft, among them, the
directive to file the appropriate criminal and civil cases against the responsible parties in the
proper courts. Accountability, on the other hand, refers to the measure of remedies that
should be addressed to those who exhibited involvement in the enforced disappearance
without bringing the level of their complicity to the level of responsibility defined above; or
who are imputed with knowledge relating to the enforced disappearance and who carry the
burden of disclosure; or those who carry, but have failed to discharge, the burden of
extraordinary diligence in the investigation of the enforced disappearance. In all these
cases, the issuance of the Writ of Amparo is justified by our primary goal of addressing the
disappearance, so that the life of the victim is preserved and his liberty and security are
Reiteration in the case of Burgos vs Esperon:
The beneficial purpose of the Writ of Amparo has been served in the present case. As we
held in Razon, Jr. v. Tagitis, the writ merely embodies the Courts directives to police
agencies to undertake specified courses of action to address the enforced
disappearance of an individual. The Writ of Amparo serves both a preventive and a curative
role. It is curative as it facilitates the subsequent punishment of perpetrators through the
investigation and remedial action that it directs. The focus is on procedural curative
remedies rather than on the tracking of a specific criminal or the resolution of administrative

Proceeding from such assumption, petitioner invokes the doctrine of command responsibility
to implicate the high-ranking civilian and military authorities she impleaded as respondents
in her amparo petition. Thus, petitioner seeks from this Court a pronouncement holding the
respondents as complicit in her abduction and torture, as well as liable for the return of her
It must be stated at the outset that the use by the petitioner of the doctrine of command
responsibility as the justification in impleading the public respondents in her amparo
petition, is legally inaccurate, if not incorrect. The doctrine of command responsibility is
a rule of substantive law that establishes liability and, by this account, cannot be
a proper legal basis to implead a party-respondent in an amparo petition.
Caram vs Segui

Paul M. Florendo
University of Nueva Caceres
College of Law


Melissa Roxas vs GMA


The RTC had dismissed petitioners petition for the issuance of a writ of amparo which
petitioner filed in order for her to regain parental authority and custody of Julian Yusay
Caram (Baby Julian), her biological child, from the respondent officers of the Department of
Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Section 1 of the Rule on the Writ of Amparo provides as follows:

SECTION 1. Petition. The petition for a writ of amparo is a remedy available to any person
whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful
actor omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity.

The writ shall cover extralegal killings and enforced disappearances or threats thereof.

This pronouncement on the coverage of the writ was further cemented in the latter case of
Lozada, Jr. v. Macapagal-Arroyo where this Court explicitly declared that as it stands, the writ
of amparo is confined only to cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, or
to threats thereof. As to what constitutes "enforced disappearance," the Court in Navia v.
Pardico enumerated the elementsconstituting "enforced disappearances" as the term is
statutorily defined in Section 3(g) of R.A. No. 985 to wit:
(a) that there be an arrest, detention, abduction or any form of deprivation of liberty;
(b) that it be carried out by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, the
State ora political organization;
(c) that it be followed by the State or political organizations refusal to acknowledge
or give information on the fate or whereabouts of the person subject of the
amparopetition; and,

Paul M. Florendo
University of Nueva Caceres
College of Law


In the landmark case of Secretary of National Defense, et al. v. Manalo, et al. this Court held:
[T]he AmparoRule was intended to address the intractable problem of "extralegal killings"
and "enforced disappearances," its coverage, in its present form, is confined to these two
instances or to threats thereof. "Extralegal killings" are "killings committed without due
process of law, i.e., without legal safeguards or judicial proceedings." On the other hand,
"enforced disappearances" are "attended by the following characteristics: an arrest,
detention or abduction of a person by a government official or organized groups or private
individuals acting with the direct or indirect acquiescence of the government; the refusal of
the State to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the person concerned or a refusal to
acknowledge the deprivation of liberty which places such persons outside the protection of


(d) that the intention for such refusal isto remove subject person from the protection
of the law for a prolonged period of time.

Christina's directly accusing the respondents of forcibly separating her from her child and
placing the latter up for adoption, supposedly without complying with the necessary legal
requisites to qualify the child for adoption, clearly indicates that she is not searching for a
lost child but asserting her parental authority over the child and contesting custody over
him. Since it is extant from the pleadings filed that what is involved is the issue of child
custody and the exercise of parental rights over a child, who, for all intents and purposes,
has been legally considered a ward of the State, the Amparo rule cannot be properly applied.

Tapuz vs. Judge Del Rosario



(a) The personal circumstances of the petitioner;

(b) The name and personal circumstances of the respondent
responsible for the threat, act or omission, or, if the name is unknown or
uncertain, the respondent may be described by an assumed appellation;
(c) The right to life, liberty and security of the aggrieved party
violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission
of the respondent, and how such threat or violation is committed
with the attendant circumstances detailed in supporting affidavits;
(d) The investigation conducted, if any, specifying the names,
personal circumstances, and addresses of the investigating authority
or individuals, as well as the manner and conduct of the
investigation, together with any report.
(e) The actions and recourses taken by the petitioner to determine the
fate or whereabouts of the aggrieved party and the identity of the person
responsible for the threat, act or omission; and
(f) The relief prayed for.

The petition may include a general prayer for other just and equitable


Paul M. Florendo
University of Nueva Caceres
College of Law


The writ of amparo was originally conceived as a response to the extraordinary rise in the
number of killings and enforced disappearances, and to the perceived lack of available and
effective remedies to address these extraordinary concerns. It is intended to address
violations of or threats to the rights to life, liberty or security, as an extraordinary and
independent remedy beyond those available under the prevailing Rules, or as a remedy
supplemental to these Rules. What it is not, is a writ to protect concerns that are
purely property or commercial. Neither is it a writ that we shall issue on
amorphous and uncertain grounds. Consequently, the Rule on the Writ of Amparo in line
with the extraordinary character of the writ and the reasonable certainty that its issuance
demands requires that every petition for the issuance of the Pwrit must be supported by
justifying allegations of fact, to wit:


We reiterate the ruling in Soliven vs. Makasiar that the Judge does not have to personally
examine the complainant and his witnesses. The Prosecutor can perform the same functions
as a commissioner for the taking of the evidence. However, there should be a report and
necessary documents supporting the Fiscals bare certification. All of these should be before
the Judge.
criminal prosecutions may not be restrained or stayed by injunction, preliminary or final.
There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Among the exceptions are enumerated in
Brocka vs. Enrile as follows:
a) To afford adequate protection to the constitutional rights of the accused (Hernandez
vs. Albano, et al., L-19272, January 25, 1967, 19 SCRA 95);
b) When necessary for the orderly administration of justice or to avoid oppression or
multiplicity of actions (Dimayuga, et al. vs. Fernandez, 43 Phil. 304; Hernandez vs.
Albano, supra; Fortun vs. Labang, et al., L-38383, May 27, 1981, 104 SCRA 607);
c) When there is a pre-judicial question which is sub judice (De Leon vs. Mabanag, 70
Phil. 202);
d) When the acts of the officer are without or in excess of authority (Planas vs. Gil, 67
Phil. 62);
e) Where the prosecution is under an invalid law, ordinance or regulation (Young vs.
Rafferty, 33 Phil. 556; Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, 47 Phil. 385, 389);
f) When double jeopardy is clearly apparent (Sangalang vs. People and Avendia, 109
Phil. 1140);
g) Where the court has no jurisdiction over the offense (Lopez vs. City Judge, L-25795,
October 29, 1966, 18 SCRA 616);
h) Where it is a case of persecution rather than prosecution (Rustia vs. Ocampo, CA-G.R.
No. 4760, March 25, 1960);
i) Where the charges are manifestly false and motivated by the lust for vengeance
(Recto vs. Castelo, 18 L.J., [1953], cited in Raoa vs. Alvendia, CA-G.R. No. 30720-R,
October 8, 1962; Cf. Guingona, et al. vs. City Fiscal, L-60033, April 4, 1984, 128 SCRA
577); and
j) When there is clearly no prima facie case against the accused and a motion to quash
on that ground has been denied (Salonga vs. Pao, et al., L-59524, February 18, 1985,
134 SCRA 438).
k) Preliminary injunction has been issued by the Supreme Court to prevent the
threatened unlawful arrest of petitioners (Rodriguez vs. Castelo, L-6374, August 1,
1953). (cited in Regalado, Remedial Law Compendium, p. 188, 1988 Ed.)
Vivares vs St. Therese College

The writ of habeas data is a remedy available to any person whose right to privacy in life,
liberty or security is violated or threatened by an unlawful act or omission of a public official
or employee, or of a private individual or entity engaged in the gathering, collecting or
storing of data or information regarding the person, family, home and correspondence of the
aggrieved party.11 It is an independent and summary remedy designed to protect the image,
privacy, honor, information, and freedom of information of an individual, and to provide a
forum to enforce ones right to the truth and to informational privacy. It seeks to protect a
persons right to control information regarding oneself, particularly in instances in which
such information is being collected through unlawful means in order to achieve unlawful
In developing the writ of habeas data, the Court aimed to protect an individuals right to
informational privacy, among others. A comparative law scholar has, in fact, defined habeas
data as a procedure designed to safeguard individual freedom from abuse in the
information age.13 The writ, however, will not issue on the basis merely of an alleged
unauthorized access to information about a person. Availment of the writ requires the
existence of a nexus between the right to privacy on the one hand, and the right
to life, liberty or security on the other. Thus, the existence of a persons right to
Paul M. Florendo
University of Nueva Caceres
College of Law




informational privacy and a showing, at least by substantial evidence, of an actual or
threatened violation of the right to privacy in life, liberty or security of the victim are
Without an actionable entitlement in the first place to the right to informational privacy, a
habeas data petition will not prosper.
The provision, when taken in its proper context, as a whole, irresistibly conveys the idea that
habeas data is a protection against unlawful acts or omissions of public officials and of
private individuals or entities engaged in gathering, collecting, or storing data about the
aggrieved party and his or her correspondences, or about his or her family. Such individual
or entity need not be in the business of collecting or storing data.
To engage in something is different from undertaking a business endeavour. To engage
means to do or take part in something. It does not necessarily mean that the activity must
be done in pursuit of a business. What matters is that the person or entity must be
gathering, collecting or storing said data or information about the aggrieved party or his or
her family. Whether such undertaking carries the element of regularity, as when one pursues
a business, and is in the nature of a personal endeavour, for any other reason or even for no
reason at all, is immaterial and such will not prevent the writ from getting to said person or

MOST REV. PEDRO ARIGO, et. al., Petitioners,

SCOTT H. SWIFT, et. al., Respondents.
G.R. No. 206510
September 16, 2014
PONENTE: Villarama
TOPIC: Writ of kalikasan, UNCLOS, Immunity from suit
The USS Guardian is an Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship of the US Navy. In
December 2012, the US Embassy in the Philippines requested diplomatic clearance for the said
vessel to enter and exit the territorial waters of the Philippines and to arrive at the port of Subic
Bay for the purpose of routine ship replenishment, maintenance, and crew liberty. On January 6,
2013, the ship left Sasebo, Japan for Subic Bay, arriving on January 13, 2013 after a brief stop
for fuel in Okinawa, Japan.
On January 15, 2013, the USS Guardian departed Subic Bay for its next port of call in
Makassar, Indonesia. On January 17, 2013 at 2:20 a.m. while transiting the Sulu Sea, the ship ran
aground on the northwest side of South Shoal of the Tubbataha Reefs, about 80 miles eastsoutheast of Palawan. No one was injured in the incident, and there have been no reports of
leaking fuel or oil.
Petitioners claim that the grounding, salvaging and post-salvaging operations of the
USS Guardian cause and continue to cause environmental damage of such magnitude as to affect
the provinces of Palawan, Antique, Aklan, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental,
Zamboanga del Norte, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, which events violate their constitutional
rights to a balanced and healthful ecology.
1. Whether or not petitioners have legal standing.
2. Whether or not US respondents may be held liable for damages caused by USS Guardian.
3. Whether or not the waiver of immunity from suit under VFA applies in this case.
Paul M. Florendo
University of Nueva Caceres
College of Law




First issue: YES.

The US respondents were sued in their official capacity as commanding officers of the
US Navy who had control and supervision over the USS Guardian and its crew. The alleged act
or omission resulting in the unfortunate grounding of the USS Guardian on the TRNP was
committed while they were performing official military duties. Considering that the satisfaction
of a judgment against said officials will require remedial actions and appropriation of funds by
the US government, the suit is deemed to be one against the US itself. The principle of State
immunity therefore bars the exercise of jurisdiction by this Court over the persons of respondents
Swift, Rice and Robling.
During the deliberations, Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio took the position
that the conduct of the US in this case, when its warship entered a restricted area in violation of
R.A. No. 10067 and caused damage to the TRNP reef system, brings the matter within the ambit
of Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). He explained
that while historically, warships enjoy sovereign immunity from suit as extensions of their
flag State, Art. 31 of the UNCLOS creates an exception to this rule in cases where they fail
to comply with the rules and regulations of the coastal State regarding passage through the
latters internal waters and the territorial sea.
In the case of warships, as pointed out by Justice Carpio, they continue to enjoy
sovereign immunity subject to the following exceptions:
Article 30: Non-compliance by warships with the laws and regulations of the coastal State
If any warship does not comply with the laws and regulations of the coastal State concerning
passage through the territorial sea and disregards any request for compliance therewith which is
made to it, the coastal State may require it to leave the territorial sea immediately.
Paul M. Florendo
University of Nueva Caceres
College of Law


Petitioners have legal standing

Locus standi is a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question.
Specifically, it is a partys personal and substantial interest in a case where he has sustained or
will sustain direct injury as a result of the act being challenged, and calls for more than just a
generalized grievance. However, the rule on standing is a procedural matter which this Court
has relaxed for non-traditional plaintiffs like ordinary citizens, taxpayers and legislators when the
public interest so requires, such as when the subject matter of the controversy is of
transcendental importance, of overreaching significance to society, or of paramount public
In the landmark case of Oposa v. Factoran, Jr., we recognized the public right of
citizens to a balanced and healthful ecology which, for the first time in our constitutional
history, is solemnly incorporated in the fundamental law. We declared that the right to a
balanced and healthful ecology need not be written in the Constitution for it is assumed, like
other civil and polittcal rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, to exist from the inception of
mankind and it is an issue of transcendental importance with intergenerational implications. Such
right carries with it the correlative duty to refrain from impairing the environment.
On the novel element in the class suit filed by the petitioners minors in Oposa, this
Court ruled that not only do ordinary citizens have legal standing to sue for the enforcement of
environmental rights, they can do so in representation of their own and future generations.
Second issue: YES.

Article 31: Responsibility of the flag State for damage caused by a warship or other government
ship operated for non-commercial purposes
The flag State shall bear international responsibility for any loss or damage to the coastal State
resulting from the non-compliance by a warship or other government ship operated for noncommercial purposes with the laws and regulations of the coastal State concerning passage
through the territorial sea or with the provisions of this Convention or other rules of international
Article 32: Immunities of warships and other government ships operated for non-commercial
With such exceptions as are contained in subsection A and in articles 30 and 31,
nothing in this Convention affects the immunities of warships and other government ships
operated for non-commercial purposes. A foreign warships unauthorized entry into our
internal waters with resulting damage to marine resources is one situation in which the
above provisions may apply.
But what if the offending warship is a non-party to the UNCLOS, as in this case, the US?
According to Justice Carpio, although the US to date has not ratified the UNCLOS, as a matter
of long-standing policy the US considers itself bound by customary international rules on the
traditional uses of the oceans as codified in UNCLOS.
Moreover, Justice Carpio emphasizes that the US refusal to join the UNCLOS was centered on
its disagreement with UNCLOS regime of deep seabed mining (Part XI) which considers the
oceans and deep seabed commonly owned by mankind, pointing out that such has nothing to
do with its the US acceptance of customary international rules on navigation.
The Court also fully concurred with Justice Carpios view that non-membership in the UNCLOS
does not mean that the US will disregard the rights of the Philippines as a Coastal State over its
internal waters and territorial sea. We thus expect the US to bear international responsibility
under Art. 31 in connection with the USS Guardian grounding which adversely affected the
Tubbataha reefs. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine that our long-time ally and trading partner,
which has been actively supporting the countrys efforts to preserve our vital marine resources,
would shirk from its obligation to compensate the damage caused by its warship while transiting
our internal waters. Much less can we comprehend a Government exercising leadership in
international affairs, unwilling to comply with the UNCLOS directive for all nations to cooperate
in the global task to protect and preserve the marine environment as provided in Article 197 of
Article 197: Cooperation on a global or regional basis
States shall cooperate on a global basis and, as appropriate, on a regional basis, directly or
through competent international organizations, in formulating and elaborating international rules,
standards and recommended practices and procedures consistent with this Convention, for the
protection and preservation of the marine environment, taking into account characteristic
regional features.
In fine, the relevance of UNCLOS provisions to the present controversy is beyond dispute.
Although the said treaty upholds the immunity of warships from the jurisdiction of Coastal
States while navigating the latters territorial sea, the flag States shall be required to leave
the territorial sea immediately if they flout the laws and regulations of the Coastal State,
and they will be liable for damages caused by their warships or any other government
vessel operated for non-commercial purposes under Article 31.
Third issue: NO.
The waiver of State immunity under the VF A pertains only to criminal jurisdiction and
not to special civil actions such as the present petition for issuance of a writ of Kalikasan. In fact,
Paul M. Florendo
University of Nueva Caceres
College of Law





it can be inferred from Section 17, Rule 7 of the Rules that a criminal case against a person
charged with a violation of an environmental law is to be filed separately.
The Court considered a view that a ruling on the application or non-application of
criminal jurisdiction provisions of the VFA to US personnel who may be found responsible for
the grounding of the USS Guardian, would be premature and beyond the province of a petition
for a writ of Kalikasan.
The Court also found unnecessary at this point to determine whether such waiver of
State immunity is indeed absolute. In the same vein, we cannot grant damages which have
resulted from the violation of environmental laws. The Rules allows the recovery of damages,
including the collection of administrative fines under R.A. No. 10067, in a separate civil suit or
that deemed instituted with the criminal action charging the same violation of an environmental

Paul M. Florendo
University of Nueva Caceres
College of Law