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Topic: Section 21 Art. VII Foreign Relations: Senate Concurrence in International


Agreements
RAMON A. GONZALES (Petitioner),
- versus
RUFINO G. HECHANOVA, as Executive Secretary, MACARIO PERALTA, JR., as
Secretary of Defense, PEDRO GIMENEZ, as Auditor General, CORNELIO
BALMACEDA, as Secretary of Commerce and Industry, and SALVADOR MARINO,
Secretary of Justice (Respondents).
G.R. No. L-21897

October 22, 1963

FACTS:
Executive Secretary authorized the importation of foreign rice to be purchased from
private sources. (There was a Procurement Committee created.)
Gonzales, a rice planter, filed a petition question the validity of the attempt to import
foreign rice. He contends it is against RA 3452 which prohibits importation of rice and
corn by the Rice and Corn Admin or any other government agency.
RA 3452 AN ACT TO ADOPT A PROGRAM TO STABILIZE THE PRIZE OF
PALAY, RICE AND CORN, TO PROVIDE INCENTIVES FOR
PRODUCTION, AND TO CREATE A RICE AND CORN
ADMINISTRATION TO IMPLEMENT THE SAME, AND TO PROVIDE
FUNDS THEREFOR.
Hechanova countered that the importation is authorized by the President for military
stock pile purposes. (that the president is duty-bound to prepare for the challenge of
threats of war or emergency without waiting for special authority)
Hechanova further contends that there is no prohibition on importation made by the
Government itself.
Hechanova also argued that the Government has already entered into 2 contracts with
Vietnam and Burma. That these contracts constitute valid executive agreements under
international law; that such agreements became binding and effective upon signing
thereof by the representatives of both parties.
It is argued that when there is a conflict between a treaty and a statute
(the statute prohibiting importation), then the conflict must be resolved in favor of
the one which is latest in point of time (in this case, the treaty).
ISSUE:
What is the nature of the government contracts with Vietnam and Burma? Which
should prevail, the contracts or RA 3452?
HELD:
SC: The parties to said contracts do not appear to have regarded the same as
executive agreements. Even assuming that said contracts are executive agreements,
they are null and void, because they are inconsistent with RA 3452.

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Although the President may enter into executive agreements without previous legislative
authority, he may not, by executive agreement, enter into a transaction which is
prohibited by statutes enacted prior thereto.
Under the Constitution, the main function of the Executive is to enforce the laws
enacted by Congress. He may not defeat legislative enactments by indirectly repealing
the same through an executive agreement providing for the performance of the very act
prohibited by said laws.
**Also, the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the case. The Constitution authorizes
the nullification of a treaty not only when it conflicts with the fundamental law, but also
when it runs counter to the act of Congress.
DECISION:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered declaring that respondent Executive
Secretary had and has no power to authorize the importation in question; that he
exceeded his jurisdiction in granting said authority; said importation is not sanctioned by
law and is contrary to its provisions; and that, for lack of the requisite majority, the
injunction prayed for must be and is, accordingly denied. It is so ordered.