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9) STANLEY v. ILLINOIS, (1972) only after notice, hearing, and proof of unfitness.

In contrast, an unwed father is uniquely subject

Brief Fact Summary. Appellant had an ongoing to the more simplistic dependency proceeding.
relationship with a woman with whom he sired
and raised three children. Upon the death of the The private interest of a man and the children he
mother the children were deemed wards of the has sired and raised warrants deference and
State under an Illinois law that did not place protection. In comparison, previous case law has
children in the custody of unwed fathers. not refused to recognize those family
relationships unlegitimized by a marriage
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The statute violated ceremony.
appellants equal protection under the laws by
depriving him of custody of his children when The State claims that the interest furthered by
married fathers and unwed mothers could not be the statue is to protect the moral, emotional,
deprived of custody without being shown to be mental, and physical welfare of the minor and
unfit parents. the best interests of the community. In support of
this interest, the State asserts that most
unmarried fathers are unsuitable and neglectful
Facts. Joan Stanley lived with Peter Stanley, parents. However, the State registers no gain
appellant, intermittently for 18 years, during toward its goals when it separates children from
which time they had three children. Under the custody of fit parents. The States insistence
Illinois law the children of unwed fathers on presuming rather than proving appellants
became wards of the State upon death of the unfitness solely on the basis of convenience is
mother. When Joan died a dependency unconstitutional.
proceeding was instituted by the State and
appellants children were declared wards of the Discussion. The Court acknowledges that the
State and placed with court-appointed guardians. State has a legitimate interest in prompt
Appellant appealed upon the fact that he had efficacious procedures furthered by the
never been shown to be an unfit parent and that presumption that unwed fathers are unfit.
since married fathers and unwed mothers could However, such an interest is outweighed by the
not be deprived of their children without such a
fathers right to demonstrate that he is fit when
showing, he had been deprived of the equal
protection of laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth the right taken away from the father would be
Amendment. the right to raise his child.

Issue. Does the Illinois statute violate the

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States FULL TEXT: STANLEY VS. ILLINOIS
Constitution by distinguishing against and
burdening unwed fathers? Argued: October 19, 1971 Decided: April 3,
Held. As a matter of due process of law, Petitioner, an unwed father whose children, on
appellant was entitled to a hearing on his fitness the mother's death, were declared state wards
as a parent before his children were taken from and placed in guardianship, attacked the Illinois
him. By denying him a hearing when all other statutory scheme as violative of equal
parents whose custody of their children is protection. Under that scheme the children of
challenged are permitted one, the State denied unmarried fathers, upon the death of the mother,
appellant the equal protection of laws under the are declared dependents without any hearing on
Fourteenth Amendment. parental fitness and without proof of neglect,
Under Illinois law, children of all parents can be though such hearing and proof are required
taken from them in a neglect proceeding, but before the State assumes custody of children of
married or divorced parents and unmarried wards of the State and placed with court-
mothers. The Illinois Supreme Court, holding appointed guardians. Stanley appealed, claiming
that petitioner could properly be separated from that he had never been shown to be an unfit
his children upon mere proof that he and the parent and that since married fathers and unwed
dead mother had not been married and that mothers could not be deprived of their children
petitioner's fitness as a father was irrelevant, without such a showing, he had been deprived of
rejected petitioner's claim. the equal protection of the laws guaranteed him
by the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Illinois Supreme Court accepted the fact
1. Under the Due Process Clause of the
that Stanley's own unfitness had not been
Fourteenth Amendment petitioner was entitled
established but rejected the equal protection
to a hearing on his fitness as a parent before his
claim, holding that Stanley could properly be
children were taken from him.
separated from his children upon proof of the
(a) The fact that petitioner can apply for single fact that he and the dead mother had not
adoption or for custody and control of his been married. Stanley's actual fitness as a father
children does not bar his attack on the was irrelevant.
dependency proceeding.
Stanley presses his equal protection claim here.
(b) The State cannot, consistently with due The State continues to respond that unwed
process requirements, merely presume that fathers are presumed unfit to raise their children
unmarried fathers in general and petitioner in and that it is unnecessary to hold individualized
particular are unsuitable and neglectful parents. hearings to determine whether particular fathers
Parental unfitness must be established on the are in fact unfit parents before they are separated
basis of individualized proof. See Bell v. from their children. We granted certiorari to
Burson, 402 U.S. 535 . determine whether this method of procedure by
presumption could be allowed to stand in light
2. The denial to unwed fathers of the hearing on of the fact that Illinois allows married fathers -
fitness accorded to all other parents whose whether divorced, widowed, or separated - and
custody of their children is challenged by the mothers - even if unwed - the benefit of the
State constitutes a denial of equal protection of presumption that they are fit to raise their
the laws children.
Patrick T. Murphy argued the cause and filed a III
brief for petitioner.
The State of Illinois assumes custody of the
MR. JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of children of married parents, divorced parents,
the Court. and unmarried mothers only after a hearing and
Joan Stanley lived with Peter Stanley proof of neglect. The children of unmarried
intermittently for 18 years, during which time fathers, however, are declared dependent
they had three children. When Joan Stanley died, children without a hearing on parental fitness
Peter Stanley lost not only her but also his and without proof of neglect. Stanley's claim in
children. Under Illinois law, the children of the state courts and here is that failure to afford
unwed fathers become wards of the State upon him a hearing on his parental qualifications
the death of the mother. while extending it to other parents denied him
equal protection of the laws. We have concluded
Accordingly, upon Joan Stanley's death, in a that all Illinois parents are constitutionally
dependency proceeding instituted by the State of entitled to a hearing on their fitness before their
Illinois, Stanley's children 2 were declared children are removed from their custody. It
follows that denying such a hearing to Stanley In regard to the only issue that I consider
and those like him while granting it to other properly before the Court, I agree with the
Illinois parents is inescapably contrary to the State's argument that the Equal Protection
Equal Protection Clause. Clause is not violated when Illinois gives full
recognition only to those father-child
The judgment of the Supreme Court of Illinois is
relationships that arise in the context of family
reversed and the case is remanded to that court
units bound together by legal obligations arising
for proceedings not inconsistent with this
from marriage or from adoption proceedings.
Quite apart from the religious or quasi-religious
connotations that marriage has - and has
historically enjoyed - for a large proportion of
FOOTNOTES: this Nation's citizens, it is in law an essentially
[ Footnote 10 ] Predicating a finding of contractual relationship, the parties to which
constitutional invalidity under the Equal have legally enforceable rights and duties, with
Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment respect both to each other and to any children
on the observation that a State has accorded born to them. Stanley and the mother of these
bedrock procedural rights to some, but not to all children never entered such a relationship. The
similarly situated, is not contradictory to our record is silent as to whether they ever privately
holding in Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270 exchanged such promises as would have bound
(1971). In that case a due process, rather than an them in marriage under the common law. any
equal protection, claim was raised in the state event, Illinois has not recognized common-law
courts. marriages since 1905. Stanley did not seek the
burdens when he could have freely assumed
The federal courts were, in our opinion, barred them.
from reversing the state conviction on grounds
of contravention of the Equal Protection Clause Where there is a valid contract of marriage, the
when that clause had not been referred to for law of Illinois presumes that the husband is the
consideration by the state authorities. Here, in father of any child born to the wife during the
contrast, we dispose of the case on the marriage; as the father, he has legally
constitutional premise raised below, reaching the enforceable rights and duties with respect to that
result by a method of analysis readily available child. When a child is born to an unmarried
to the state court. woman, Illinois recognizes the readily
identifiable mother, but makes no presumption
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER, with whom as to the identity of the biological father.
dissenting. It does, however, provide two ways, one
voluntary and one involuntary, in which that
The only constitutional issue raised and decided father may be identified. First, he may marry the
in the courts of Illinois in this case was whether mother and acknowledge the child as his own;
the Illinois statute that omits unwed fathers from this has the legal effect of legitimating the child
the definition of "parents" violates the Equal and gaining for the father full recognition as a
Protection Clause. We granted certiorari to parent.
consider whether the Illinois Supreme Court
properly resolved that equal protection issue Second, a man may be found to be the biological
when it unanimously upheld the statute against father of the child pursuant to a paternity suit
petitioner Stanley's attack initiated by the mother; in this case, the child
remains illegitimate, but the adjudicated father is
made liable for the support of the child until the
latter attains age 18 or is legally adopted by THE HONORABLE JUDGE ANGELINA S.
another. Ill. Rev. Stat., c. 106 3/4, 52. GUTIERREZ, Presiding Judge of Branch
XXXVII of the Regional Trial Court of the
Stanley argued before the Supreme Court of
National Capital Judicial Region with seat at
Illinois that the definition of "parents," set out in
Ill. Rev. Stat., c. 37, 701-14, as including "the
LOURDES QUISUMBING, in her capacity as
father and mother of a legitimate child, or the
Chairman of the BOARD OF MEDICAL
survivor of them, or the natural mother of an
illegitimate child, [or] . . . any adoptive parent,"
3 violates the Equal Protection Clause in that it
treats unwed mothers and unwed fathers
differently. Stanley then enlarged upon his equal FACTS:
protection argument when he brought the case
- The petitioners sought admission into colleges
here; he argued before this Court that Illinois is
or schools of medicine for the school year 1987-
not permitted by the Equal Protection Clause to
distinguish between unwed fathers and any of
the other biological parents included in the - However, the petitioners either did not take or
statutory definition of legal "parents." did not successfully take the National Medical
Admission Test (NMAT) required by the Board
The Illinois Supreme Court correctly held that
of Medical Education, one of the public
the State may constitutionally distinguish
respondents, and administered by the private
between unwed fathers and unwed mothers.
respondent, the Center for Educational
Here, Illinois' different treatment of the two is
Measurement (CEM).
part of that State's statutory scheme for
protecting the welfare of illegitimate children. In - On 5 March 1987, the petitioners filed with the
almost all cases, the unwed mother is readily Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial
identifiable, generally from hospital records, and Region, a Petition for Declaratory Judgment and
alternatively by physicians or others attending Prohibition with a prayer for Temporary
the child's birth. Unwed fathers, as a class, are Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction.
not traditionally quite so easy to identify and
locate. Many of them either deny all
responsibility or exhibit no interest in the child - The petitioners sought to enjoin the Secretary
or its welfare; and, of course, many unwed of Education, Culture and Sports, the Board of
fathers are simply not aware of their parenthood. Medical Education and the Center for
Educational Measurement from enforcing
Section 5 (a) and (f) of Republic Act No. 2382,
10) TABLARIN VS. GUTIERREZ as amended, and MECS Order No. 52, series of
1985, dated 23 August 1985 and from requiring
the taking and passing of the NMAT as a
condition for securing certificates of eligibility
LABAO, in their behalf and in behalf of
for admission, from proceeding with accepting
applicants for admission into the Medical
applications for taking the NMAT and from
Colleges during the school year 1987-88 and
administering the NMAT as scheduled on 26
future years who have not taken or successfully
April 1987 and in the future.
hurdled tile National Medical Admission Test
(NMAT). petitioners, - After hearing on the petition for issuance of
preliminary injunction, the trial court denied
said petition on 20 April 1987. The NMAT was
conducted and administered as previously the Philippines, beginning with the school year
scheduled. 1986-1987.
- Petitioners accordingly filed this Special Civil - 8. No applicant shall be issued the
Action for certiorari with this Court to set aside requisite Certificate of Eligibility for Admission
the Order of the respondent judge denying the (CEA), or admitted for enrollment as first year
petition for issuance of a writ of preliminary student in any medical college, beginning the
injunction. school year, 1986-87, without the required
NMAT qualification as called for under this
-Republic Act 2382, as amended by Republic
Order. (Underscoring supplied)
Acts Nos. 4224 and 5946, known as the
"Medical Act of 1959" defines its basic - Pursuant to MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, the
objectives in the following manner: private respondent Center conducted NMATs for
entrance to medical colleges during the school
Section 1. Objectives. This Act provides for
year 1986-1987. In December 1986 and in April
and shall govern (a) the standardization and
1987, respondent Center conducted the NMATs
regulation of medical education (b) the
for admission to medical colleges during the
examination for registration of physicians; and
school year 1987.1988.
(c) the supervision, control and regulation of the
practice of medicine in the Philippines. ISSUES:
- The statute, among other things, created a - Petitioners raise the question of whether or not
Board of Medical Education a writ of preliminary injunction may be issued to
enjoin the enforcement of Section 5 (a) and (f)
- Section 7 prescribes certain minimum
of Republic Act No. 2382, as amended, and
requirements for applicants to medical schools:
MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, pending
Admission requirements. The medical resolution of the issue of constitutionality of the
college may admit any student who has not been assailed statute and administrative order. The
convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction fundamental issue is of course the
of any offense involving moral turpitude and constitutionality of the statute or order assailed.
who presents (a) a record of completion of a
bachelor's degree in science or arts; (b) a
certificate of eligibility for entrance to a medical 1. The petitioners invoke a number of provisions
school from the Board of Medical Education; (c) of the 1987 Constitution which are, in their
a certificate of good moral character issued by assertion, violated by the continued
two former professors in the college of liberal implementation of Section 5 (a) and (f) of
arts; and (d) birth certificate. Nothing in this act Republic Act 2381, as amended, and MECS
shall be construed to inhibit any college of Order No. 52, s. 1985. The provisions invoked
medicine from establishing, in addition to the read as follows:
preceding, other entrance requirements that may
(a) Article 11, Section 11: "The state values the
be deemed admissible.
dignity of every human person and guarantees
- MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, issued by the full respect of human rights. "
then Minister of Education, Culture and Sports
(b) Article II, Section l3: "The State recognizes
and dated 23 August 1985, established a uniform
the vital role of the youth in nation building and
admission test called the National Medical
shall promote and protect their physical, moral,
Admission Test (NMAT) as an additional
spiritual, intellectual and social well being. It
requirement for issuance of a certificate of
shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and
eligibility for admission into medical schools of
nationalism, and encourage their involvement in such education accessible to all who qualify
public and civic affairs." under "fair, reasonable and equitable admission
and academic requirements. "
(c) Article II, Section 17: "The State shall give
priority to education, science and technology, ABOUT EQUAL PROTECTION
arts, culture and sports to foster patriotism and
2. Petitioners have contended, finally, that
nationalism, accelerate social progress and to
MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, is in conflict with
promote total human liberation and
the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
development. "
More specifically, petitioners assert that that
(d) Article XIV, Section l: "The State shall portion of the MECS Order which provides that
protect and promote the right of all citizens to the cutoff score for the successful applicants,
quality education at all levels and take based on the scores on the NMAT, shall be
appropriate steps to make such education determined every-year by the Board of Medical
accessible to all. " 11 Education after consultation with the
Association of Philippine Medical Colleges.
(e) Article XIV, Section 5 (3): "Every citizen has
a right to select a profession or course of study, "infringes the requirements of equal protection."
subject to fair, reasonable and equitable They assert, in other words, that students
admission and academic requirements." seeking admission during a given school year,
e.g., 1987-1988, when subjected to a different
Article II of the 1987 Constitution sets forth in
cutoff score than that established for an, e.g.,
its second half certain "State policies" which the
earlier school year, are discriminated against and
government is enjoined to pursue and promote.
that this renders the MECS Order "arbitrary and
The petitioners here have not seriously
undertaken to demonstrate to what extent or in
what manner the statute and the administrative Different cutoff scores for different school years
order they assail collide with the State policies may be dictated by differing conditions
embodied in Sections 11, 13 and 17. They have obtaining during those years. Thus, the
not, in other words, discharged the burden of appropriate cutoff score for a given year may be
proof which lies upon them. a function of such factors as the number of
students who have reached the cutoff score
Turning to Article XIV, Section 1, of the 1987
established the preceding year; the number of
Constitution, we note that once more petitioners
places available in medical schools during the
have failed to demonstrate that the statute and
current year; the average score attained during
regulation they assail in fact clash with that
the current year; the level of difficulty of the test
provision. On the contrary we may note-in
given during the current year, and so forth.
anticipation of discussion infra that the
statute and the regulation which petitioners To establish a permanent and immutable cutoff
attack are in fact designed to promote "quality score regardless of changes in circumstances
education" at the level of professional schools. from year to year, may wen result in an
unreasonable rigidity. The above language in
When one reads Section 1 in relation to Section
MECS Order No. 52, far from being arbitrary or
5 (3) of Article XIV as one must one cannot but
capricious, leaves the Board of Medical
note that the latter phrase of Section 1 is not to
Education with the measure of flexibility needed
be read with absolute literalness. The State is not
to meet circumstances as they change.
really enjoined to take appropriate steps to make
quality education accessible to all who might We conclude that prescribing the NMAT and
for any number of reasons wish to enroll in a requiring certain minimum scores therein as a
professional school but rather merely to make condition for admission to medical schools in
the Philippines, do not constitute an - Joy claims that she was told that from June 26
unconstitutional imposition. to July 14, 1997, she only earned a total of
NT$9,000.15 According to her, Wacoal deducted
WHEREFORE, the Petition for certiorari is
NT$3,000 to cover her plane ticket to Manila.16
DISMISSED and the Order of the respondent
trial court denying the petition for a writ of - On October 15, 1997, Joy filed a complaint
preliminary injunction is AFFIRMED. Costs with the National Labor Relations Commission
against petitioners. against petitioner and Wacoal. She claimed that
she was illegally dismissed.
AGENCY INC. VS. CABILES - She asked for the return of her placement fee,
the withheld amount for repatriation costs,
payment of her salary for 23 months as well as
AGENCY, INC., Petitioner,
moral and exemplary damages. She identified
vs. Wacoal as Sameer Overseas Placement Agencys
foreign principal.
JOY C. CABILES, Respondent.
- Sameer Overseas Placement Agency alleged
FACTS: that respondent's termination was due to her
"This case involves an overseas Filipino worker inefficiency, negligence in her duties, and her
with shattered dreams. It is our duty, given the "failure to comply with the work requirements
facts and the law, to approximate justice for her." [of] her foreign [employer]." The agency also
claimed that it did not ask for a placement fee.
-Petitioner, Sameer Overseas Placement Agency,
Inc., is a recruitment and placement agency. - Petitioner added that Wacoal's accreditation
Responding to an ad it published, respondent, with petitioner had already been transferred to
Joy C. Cabiles, submitted her application for a the (Pacific), Thus, petitioner asserts that it was
quality control job in Taiwan. already substituted by Pacific Manpower.

- Joys application was accepted. Joy was later - On July 29, 1998, the Labor Arbiter dismissed
asked to sign a oneyear employment contract for Joys complaint. Acting Executive Labor Arbiter
a monthly salary of NT$15,360.00. She alleged Pedro C.Ramos ruled that her complaint was
that Sameer Overseas Agency required her to based on mere allegations.
pay a placement fee of P70,000.00 when she - Joy appealed to the National Labor Relations
signed the employment contract. Commission.
- Joy was deployed to work for Taiwan Wacoal, - In a resolution dated March 31, 2004, the
Co. Ltd. (Wacoal) on June 26, 1997. She alleged National Labor Relations Commission declared
that in her employment contract, she agreed to that Joy was illegally dismissed. It found that
work as quality control for one year. In Taiwan, Sameer Overseas Placement Agency failed to
she was asked to work as a cutter. prove that there were just causes for termination.
- Sameer Overseas Placement Agency claims Furthermore, procedural dueprocess was not
that on July 14, 1997, a certain Mr. Huwang observed in terminating respondent.
from Wacoal informed Joy, without prior notice, - NLRC refused to entertain the issue of the
that she was terminated and that "she should alleged transfer of obligations to Pacific. It did
immediately report to their office to get her not acquire jurisdiction over that issue because
salary and passport." She was asked to "prepare Sameer Overseas Placement Agency failed to
for immediate repatriation."
appeal the Labor Arbiters decision not to rule the unexpired term, whichever is less was
on the matter. reinstated in Republic Act No. 8042 upon
promulgation of Republic Act No. 10022 in
- The National Labor Relations Commission
awarded respondent only three (3) months worth
of salary in the amount of NT$46,080, the RULING ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL
reimbursement of the NT$3,000 withheld from ISSUE
her, and attorneys fees of NT$300.46
In the hierarchy of laws, the Constitution is
- Aggrieved by the ruling, Sameer Overseas supreme. No branch or office of the government
Placement Agency caused the filing of a petition may exercise its powers in any manner
for certiorari with the Court of Appeals assailing inconsistent with the Constitution, regardless of
the National Labor Relations Commissions the existence of any law that supports such
resolutions exercise. The Constitution cannot be trumped by
any other law. All laws must be read in light of
- The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of
the Constitution. Any law that is inconsistent
the National Labor Relations Commission with
with it is a nullity.
respect to the finding of illegal dismissal, Joys
entitlement to the equivalent of three months Thus, when a law or a provision of law is null
worth of salary, reimbursement of withheld because it is inconsistent with the Constitution,
repatriation expense, and attorneys fees. the nullity cannot be cured by reincorporation or
reenactment of the same or a similar law or
- Dissatisfied, Sameer Overseas Placement
provision. A law or provision of law that was
Agency filed this petition.
already declared unconstitutional remains as
ISSUE: Whether or not Cabiles was entitled to such unless circumstances have so changed as to
the unexpired portion of her salary due to illegal warrant a reverse conclusion.
The Court observed that the reinstated clause,
RULING: (CASE DIGEST) this time as provided in Republic Act. No.
10022, violates the constitutional rights to equal
YES. The Court held that the award of the three- protection and due process.96 Petitioner as well
month equivalent of respondents salary should as the Solicitor General have failed to show any
be increased to the amount equivalent to the compelling change in the circumstances that
unexpired term of the employment contract. would warrant us to revisit the precedent.
In Serrano v. Gallant Maritime Services, Inc. The Court declared, once again, the clause, or
and Marlow Navigation Co., Inc., this court for three (3) months for every year of the
ruled that the clause or for three (3) months for unexpired term, whichever is less in Section 7
every year of the unexpired term, whichever is of Republic Act No. 10022 amending Section 10
less is unconstitutional for violating the equal of Republic Act No. 8042 is declared
protection clause and substantive due process. unconstitutional and, therefore, null and void.
A statute or provision which was declared
unconstitutional is not a law. It confers no
rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no RULING: (ABT EQUAL PROTECTION
protection; it creates no office; it is inoperative CLAUSE) (FULL TEXT)
as if it has not been passed at all.
- The Office of the Solicitor General also argued
The Court said that they are aware that the that the clause was valid and constitutional.
clause or for three (3) months for every year of However, since the parties never raised the issue
of the constitutionality of the clause as reinstated In Serrano, we identified the classifications
in Republic Act No. 10022, its contention is that made by the reinstated clause. It distinguished
it is beyond judicial review. between fixed-period overseas workers and
fixed period local workers.
On the other hand, respondent argued that the
clause was unconstitutional because it infringed It also distinguished between overseas workers
on workers right to contract. with employment contracts of less than one year
and overseas workers with employment
We observe that the reinstated clause, this time
contracts of at least one year.
as provided in Republic Act. No. 10022, violates
the constitutional rights to equal protection and The Congress classification may be subjected to
due process. judicial review. In Serrano, there is a "legislative
classification which impermissibly interferes
We reiterate our finding in Serrano v. Gallant
with the exercise of a fundamental right or
Maritime that limiting wages that should be
operates to the peculiar disadvantage of a
recovered by an illegally dismissed overseas
suspect class."
worker to three months is both a violation of due
process and the equal protection clauses of the Under the Constitution, labor is afforded
Constitution. special protection. Thus, this court in
Serrano, "[i]mbued with the same sense of
Equal protection of the law is a guarantee that
obligation to afford protection to labor, . . .
persons under like circumstances and falling
employ[ed] the standard of strict judicial
within the same class are treated alike, in terms
scrutiny, for it perceive[d] in the subject
of "privileges conferred and liabilities enforced."
clause a suspect classification prejudicial to
It is a guarantee against "undue favor and
individual or class privilege, as well as hostile
discrimination or the oppression of inequality." We also noted in Serrano that before the passage
of Republic Act No. 8042, the money claims of
The equal protection clause does not infringe on
illegally terminated overseas and local workers
this legislative power. A law is void on this
with fixed-term employment were computed in
basis, only if classifications are made arbitrarily.
the same manner.
There is no violation of the equal protection
clause if the law applies equally to persons Their money claims were computed based on
within the same class and if there are reasonable the "unexpired portions of their contracts." The
grounds for distinguishing between those falling adoption of the reinstated clause in Republic Act
within the class and those who do not fall within No. 8042 subjected the money claims of
the class. A law that does not violate the equal illegally dismissed overseas workers with an
protection clause prescribes a reasonable unexpired term of at least a year to a cap of three
classification. months worth of their salary.
A reasonable classification "(1) must rest on There was no such limitation on the money
substantial distinctions; (2) must be germane to claims of illegally terminated local workers with
the purposes of the law; (3) must not be limited fixed-term employment.
to existing conditions only; and (4) must apply
We observed that illegally dismissed overseas
equally to all members of the same class."
workers whose employment contracts had a term
The reinstated clause does not satisfy the of less than one year were granted the amount
requirement of reasonable classification. equivalent to the unexpired portion of their
employment contracts.
Meanwhile, illegally dismissed overseas differentiated treatment in terms of the
workers with employment terms of at least a computation of money claims.
year were granted a cap equivalent to three
We also find that the classifications are not
months of their salary for the unexpired portions
relevant to the purpose of the law, which is to
of their contracts.
"establish a higher standard of protection
Observing the terminologies used in the clause, and promotion of the welfare of migrant
we also found that "the subject clause creates a workers, their families and overseas Filipinos
sub-layer of discrimination among OFWs whose in distress, and for other purposes."
contract periods are for more than one year:
Putting a cap on the money claims of certain
those who are illegally dismissed with less than
overseas workers does not increase the standard
one year left in their contracts shall be entitled to
of protection afforded to them.
their salaries for the entire unexpired portion
thereof, while those who are illegally dismissed Meanwhile, these overseas workers who are
with one year or more remaining in their impressed with an expectation of a stable job
contracts shall be covered by the reinstated overseas for the longer contract period disregard
clause, and their monetary benefits limited to other opportunities only to be terminated earlier.
their salaries for three months only. They are left with claims that are less than what
others in the same situation would receive. The
Overseas workers regardless of their
reinstated clause, therefore, creates a situation
classifications are entitled to security of tenure,
where the law meant to protect them makes
at least for the period agreed upon in their
violation of rights easier and simply benign to
contracts. This means that they cannot be
the violator.
dismissed before the end of their contract terms
without due process. If they were illegally WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The
dismissed, the workers right to security of decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED
tenure is violated. with modification. Petitioner Sameer Overseas
Placement Agency is ORDERED to pay
The rights violated when, say, a fixed-period
respondent Joy C. Cabiles the amount equivalent
local worker is illegally terminated are neither
to her salary for the unexpired portion of her
greater than nor less than the rights violated
employment contract at an interest of 6% per
when a fixed-period overseas worker is illegally
annum from the finality of this judgment.
Petitioner is also ORDERED to reimburse
It is state policy to protect the rights of workers respondent the withheld NT$3,000.00 salary and
without qualification as to the place of pay respondent attorney's fees of NT$300.00 at
employment. In both cases, the workers are an interest of 6% per annum from the finality of
deprived of their expected salary, which they this judgment.
could have earned had they not been illegally
The clause, "or for three (3) months for every
year of the unexpired term, whichever is less" in
For both workers, this deprivation translates to Section 7 of Republic Act No. 10022 amending
economic insecurity and disparity. Section 10 of Republic Act No. 8042 is declared
unconstitutional and, therefore, null and void.
For this reason, we cannot subscribe to the
argument that "[overseas workers] are
contractual employees who can never acquire
regular employment status, unlike local
workers" because it already justifies
Art has traditionally been viewed as the groups which contribute significantly to the
expression of everything that is true, good and Filipinos cultural legacy."
beautiful. As such, it is perceived to evoke and
In connection with this mandate, the NCCA is
produce a spirit of harmony. Art is also
vested with the power to "advise the President
considered as a civilizing force, a catalyst of
on matters pertaining to culture and the arts,
nation-building. The notion of art and artists as
including the creation of a special decoration or
privileged expressions of national culture helped
award, for persons who have significantly
shape the grand narratives of the nation and
contributed to the development and promotion
shared symbols of the people. The artist does not
of Philippine culture and arts."
simply express his/her own individual
inspiration but articulates the deeper aspirations CCP Board of Trustees and the NCCA have been
of history and the soul of the people. mandated by law to promote, develop and
protect the Philippine national culture and the
The law recognizes this role and views art as
arts, and authorized to give awards to deserving
something that "reflects and shapes values,
Filipino artists, the two bodies decided to team
beliefs, aspirations, thereby defining a peoples
up and jointly administer the National Artists
national identity." If unduly politicized,
Award.9 Thereafter, they reviewed the
however, art and artists could stir controversy
guidelines for the nomination, selection and
and may even cause discord, as what happened
administration of the National Artists Award.
in this case.
On September 19, 2003, Executive Order No.
236, s. 2003, entitled Establishing the Honors
History of the Order of National Artists Code of the Philippines to Create an Order of
Precedence of Honors Conferred and for Other
On April 27, 1972, former President Ferdinand
Purposes, was issued.
E. Marcos issued Proclamation No. 10014 and,
upon recommendation of the Board of Trustees The National Artists Award was renamed the
of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Order of National Artists and raised to the level
created the category of Award and Decoration of of a Cultural Order, fourth in precedence among
National Artist to be awarded to Filipinos who the orders and decorations that comprise the
have made distinct contributions to arts and Honors of the Philippines. Executive Order No.
letters. In the same issuance, Fernando 236, s. 2003, recognizes the vital role of the
Amorsolo was declared as the first National NCCA and the CCP in identifying Filipinos who
Artist. have made distinct contributions to arts and
letters and states that the National Artist
On April 3, 1992, Republic Act No. 7356,
recognition is conferred "upon the
otherwise known as the Law Creating the
recommendation of the Cultural Center of the
National Commission for Culture and the Arts,
Philippines and the National Commission for
was signed into law. It established the National
Culture and the Arts." Executive Order No. 236,
Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)
s. 2003, further created a Committee on Honors
and gave it an extensive mandate over the
to "assist the President in evaluating
development, promotion and preservation of the
nominations for recipients of Honors," including
Filipino national culture and arts and the
the Order of National Artists, and presidential
Filipino cultural heritage.
Among the specific mandates of the NCCA
The Committee on Honors has been allowed to
under Republic Act No. 7356 is to "extend
"authorize relevant department or government
recognition of artistic achievement through
agencies to maintain Honors and/or Awards
awards, grants and services to artists and cultural
Committees to process nominations for Honors was held to discuss, among others, the
and/or Presidential Awards."14 In this evaluation of the 2009 Order of National Artists
connection, Section 2.4(A) of the Implementing and the convening of the National Artist Award
Rules and Regulations 15 of Executive Order Secretariat. The nomination period was set for
No. 236, s. 2003, states: September 2007 to December 31, 2007, which
was later extended to February 28, 2008. The
All nominations from the various awards
pre-screening of nominations was held from
committees must be submitted to the Committee
January to March 2008.
on Honors via the Chancellery of Philippine
Orders and State Decorations. The Chancellery On April 3, 2009, the First Deliberation Panel
shall process nominations for the consideration met.17 A total of 87 nominees18 were
of the Committee on Honors. The Committee on considered during the deliberation and a
Honors shall screen and recommend these preliminary shortlist 19 of 32 names was
nominations to the President. compiled.
The Committee on Honors shall, as a general On April 23, 2009, the Second Deliberation
rule, serve as a screening committee to ensure Panel shortlisted 13 out of the 32 names in the
that nominations received from the various preliminary shortlist.On May 6, 2009, the final
awards committees meet two tests: that there has deliberation was conducted by the 30-member
not been an abuse of discretion in making the Final Deliberation Panel comprised of the CCP
nomination, and that the nominee is in good Board of Trustees and the NCCA Board of
standing. Should a nomination meet these Commissioners and the living National
criteria, a recommendation to the President for Artists.From the 13 names in the second
conferment shall be made. shortlist, a final list of four names was agreed
upon namely: Manuel Conde, Ramon Santos,
The President of the Philippines takes the
Lazaro Francisco and Federico Aguilar-Alcuaz.
recommendations of the Committee on Honors
in the highest consideration when making the CCP and NCCA submitted this recommendation
final decision on the conferment of awards. to the President. According to respondents, the
(Emphasis supplied.) aforementioned letter was referred by the Office
of the President to the Committee on Honors.
Executive Order No. 435, s. 2005, entitled
Meanwhile, the Office of the President allegedly
Amending Section 5(IV) of Executive Order No.
received nominations from various sectors,
236 Entitled "Establishing the Honors Code of
cultural groups and individuals strongly
the Philippines to Create an Order of Precedence
endorsing private respondents Cecile Guidote-
of Honors Conferred and for Other Purposes"
Alvarez, Carlo Magno Jose Caparas, Francisco
was subsequently issued on June 8, 2005. It
Masa and Jose Moreno. The Committee on
amended the wording of Executive Order No.
Honors purportedly processed these nominations
236, s. 2003, on the Order of National Artists
and invited resource persons to validate the
and clarified that the NCCA and the CCP "shall
qualifications and credentials of the nominees.
advise the President on the conferment of the
Order of National Artists." Acting on this recommendation, Proclamation
No. 1823 declaring Manuel Conde a National
Controversy Surrounding the 2009
Artist was issued on June 30, 2009.
Order of National Artists Subsequently, on July 6, 2009, Proclamation
Nos. 1824 to 1829 were issued declaring Lazaro
Petitioners alleged that on January 30, 2007, a Francisco, Federico AguilarAlcuaz and private
joint meeting of the NCCA Board of respondents Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Masa
Commissioners and the CCP Board of Trustees and Moreno, respectively, as National Artists.
This was subsequently announced to the public adversely affect their right to live a meaningful
by then Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita on life as it detracts not only from their right to
July 29, 2009. enjoy their honor as a fruit of their lifelong labor
but also from the respect of their peers.
Convinced that, by law, it is the exclusive
province of the NCCA Board of Commissioners The cultural workers, academics and CAP claim
and the CCP Board of Trustees to select those to be Filipinos who are deeply concerned with
who will be conferred the Order of National the preservation of the countrys rich cultural
Artists and to set the standard for entry into that and artistic heritage. As taxpayers, they are
select group, petitioners instituted this petition concerned about the use of public monies for
for prohibition, certiorari and injunction (with illegal appointments or spurious acts of
prayer for restraining order) praying that the discretion.
Order of National Artists be conferred on Dr.
All of the petitioners claim that former President
Santos and that the conferment of the Order of
Macapagal-Arroyo gravely abused her discretion
National Artists on respondents Guidote-
in disregarding the results of the rigorous
Alvarez, Caparas, Masa and Moreno be enjoined
screening and selection process for the Order of
and declared to have been rendered in grave
National Artists and in substituting her own
abuse of discretion.
choice for those of the Deliberation Panels.
All of the petitioners claim that former President
According to petitioners, the Presidents
Macapagal-Arroyo gravely abused her discretion
discretion to name National Artists is not
in disregarding the results of the rigorous
absolute but limited. In particular, her discretion
screening and selection process for the Order of
on the matter cannot be exercised in the absence
National Artists and in substituting her own
of or against the recommendation of the NCCA
choice for those of the Deliberation Panels.
and the CCP.
According to petitioners, the Presidents
discretion to name National Artists is not In adding the names of respondents Caparas,
absolute but limited. In particular, her discretion Guidote-Alvarez, Maosa and Moreno while
on the matter cannot be exercised in the absence dropping Dr. Santos from the list of conferees,
of or against the recommendation of the NCCA the Presidents own choices constituted the
and the CCP. majority of the awardees in utter disregard of the
choices of the NCCA and the CCP and the arts
Contention of the Parties
and culture community which were arrived at
A perusal of the pleadings submitted by the after a long and rigorous process of screening
petitioners reveals that they are an aggrupation and deliberation. Moreover, the name of Dr.
of at least three groups, the National Artists, Santos as National Artist for Music was deleted
cultural workers and academics, and the from the final list submitted by the NCCA and
Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP). the CCP Boards without clearly indicating the
basis thereof.
The National Artists assert an "actual as well as
legal interest in maintaining the reputation of the For petitioners, the Presidents discretion to
Order of National Artists." name National Artists cannot be exercised to
defeat the recommendations made by the CCP
In particular, they invoke their right to due
and NCCA Boards after a long and rigorous
process not to have the honor they have been
screening process and with the benefit of
conferred with diminished by the irregular and
expertise and experience. The addition of four
questionable conferment of the award on
names to the final list submitted by the Boards
respondents Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Maosa
of the CCP and the NCCA and the deletion of
and Moreno. For petitioners, this would
one name from the said list constituted a On the merits, respondent Caparas contends that
substitution of judgment by the President and a no grave abuse of discretion attended his
unilateral reconsideration without clear proclamation as National Artist. The former
justification of the decision of the First, Second President considered the respective
and Final Deliberation Panels composed of recommendations of the NCCA and the CCP
experts. Boards and of the Committee on Honors in
eventually declaring him (Caparas) as National
Petitioners further argue that the choice of
respondent Guidote Alvarez was illegal and
unethical because, as the then Executive The function of the NCCA and the CCP Boards
Director of the NCCA and presidential adviser is simply to advise the President. The award of
on culture and arts, she was disqualified from the Order of National Artists is the exclusive
even being nominated. Moreover, such action on prerogative of the President who is not bound in
the part of the former President constituted any way by the recommendation of the NCCA
grave abuse of discretion as it gave preferential and the CCP Boards. The implementing rules
treatment to respondent Guidote-Alvarez by and regulations or guidelines of the NCCA
naming the latter a National Artist despite her cannot restrict or limit the exclusive power of
not having been nominated and, thus, not the President to select the recipients of the Order
subjected to the screening process provided by of National Artists.
the rules for selection to the Order of National
The original position of the Office of the
Artists. Her inclusion in the list by the President
Solicitor General (OSG) was similar to that of
represented a clear and manifest favor given by
respondent Caparas.
the President in that she was exempted from the
process that all other artists have to undergo. The OSG argued that, while the President
exercises control over the NCCA and the CCP,
According to petitioners, it may be said that the
the President has the duty to faithfully execute
President used a different procedure to qualify
the laws, including the NCCA-CCP guidelines
respondent Guidote-Alvarez. This was clearly
for selection of National Artists and the
grave abuse of discretion for being manifest and
implementing rules of Executive Order No. 236,
undue bias violative of the equal protection
s. 2003.
Moreover, the laws recognize the expertise of
Respondent Caparas refutes the contention of
the NCCA and the CCP in the arts and tasked
the petitioning National Artists and insists that
them to screen and select the artists to be
there could be no prejudice to the latter. They
conferred the Order of National Artists. Their
remain to be National Artists and continue to
mandate is clear and exclusive as no other
receive the emoluments, benefits and other
agency possesses such expertise.
privileges pertaining to them by virtue of that
honor. On the other hand, all the other The OSG also assailed the former Presidents
petitioners failed to show any material and choice of respondent Guidote-Alvarez for being
personal injury or harm caused to them by the contrary to Republic Act No. 7356.54 Section 11
conferment of the Order of National Artists on of the said law provides:
respondents Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Maosa
and Moreno. The rule on standing may not be Sec. 11. Membership Restrictions. During
relaxed in favor of the petitioners as no question his/her term as member of the Commission, a
of constitutionality has been raised and no issue Commissioner shall not be eligible for any grant,
of transcendental importance is involved. or such other financial aid from the Commission
as an individual: Provided, however, That he/she
may compete for grants and awards on the same
level as other artists one (1) year after his/her While the Court invalidates today the
term shall have expired. proclamation of respondents Guidote-Alvarez,
Caparas, Maosa and Moreno as National
The omission of the word "award" in the first
Artists, such action should not be taken as a
portion of the above provision appears to be
pronouncement on whether they are worthy to
unintentional as shown by the proviso which
be conferred that honor. Only the President,
states that a member may compete for grants and
upon the advise of the NCCA and the CCP
awards only one year after his or her term shall
Boards, may determine that. The Court simply
have expired. As such, respondent Guidote-
declares that, as the former President committed
Alvarez is restricted and disqualified from being
grave abuse of discretion in issuing
conferred the 2009 Order of National Artists
Proclamation Nos. 1826 to 1829 dated July 6,
ISSUE: Whether or not there was grave abuse 2009, the said proclamations are invalid.
of discretion committed by former President However, nothing in this Decision should be
Arroyo read as a disqualification on the part of
respondents Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Maosa
RULING: YES. and Moreno to be considered for the honor of
The conferment of the Order of National Artists National Artist in the future, subject to
on respondents Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, compliance with the laws, rules and regulations
Maosa and Moreno was an entirely different governing said award.
matter. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby
There is grave abuse of discretion when an act is GRANTED in PART. Proclamation Nos. 1826 to
(1) done contrary to the Constitution, the law or 1829 dated July 6, 2009 proclaiming
jurisprudence or (2) executed whimsically, respondents Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, Carlo
capriciously or arbitrarily, out of malice, ill will Magno Jose Caparas, Francisco Maosa, and
or personal bias.86 Jose Moreno, respectively, as National Artists
are declared INVALID and
There was a violation of the equal protection
clause of the Constitution when the former SET ASIDE for having been issued with grave
President gave preferential treatment to abuse of discretion.
respondents Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Maosa FOOTNOTE: (EQUAL PROTECTION)
and Moreno.1wphi1 The former Presidents
constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws The rational basis scrutiny is one of three tests
and observe the rules, guidelines and policies of used by the Court to test compliance with the
the NCCA and the CCP as to the selection of the equal protection clause. It is the minimal level of
nominees for conferment of the Order of scrutiny which requires that the challenged
National Artists proscribed her from having a classification is rationally related to serving a
free and uninhibited hand in the conferment of legitimate State interest. It is used when the
the said award. The manifest disregard of the government action is a type of discrimination
rules, guidelines and processes of the NCCA and that does not warrant the intermediate and strict
the CCP was an arbitrary act that unduly favored levels of scrutiny. The intermediate or middle-
respondents Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Maosa tier test requires the government to show that (1)
and Moreno. The conferment of the Order of the challenged classification serves an important
National Artists on said respondents was State interest, and (2) the classification is at least
therefore made with grave abuse of discretion substantially related to serving that interest. It is
and should be set aside. applied to suspect classifications like gender or
The most demanding is the strict scrutiny test
which requires the government to show that (1)
the challenged classification serves a compelling
State interest, and (2) the classification is
necessary to serve that interest. It is used in
classifications based on race, national origin,
religion alienage, denial of the right to vote,
access to courts and other rights recognized as
fundamental. (Bernas, Joaquin S.J., THE 1987
edition], pp. 139-140).
Political Law- equal protection
It should be recalled too that respondent
Guidote-Alvarez was disqualified to be
nominated for being the Executive Director of
the NCCA at that time while respondents Masa
and Caparas did not make it to the preliminary
shortlist and respondent Moreno was not
included in the second shortlist. Yet, the four of
them were treated differently and considered
favorably when they were exempted from the
rigorous screening process of the NCCA and the
CCP and conferred the Order of National Artists.
The special treatment accorded to respondents
Guidote-Alvarez, Caparas, Masa and Moreno
fails to pass rational scrutiny.No real and
substantial distinction between respondents and
petitioner Abad has been shown that would
justify deviating from the laws, guidelines and
established procedures, and placing respondents
in an exceptional position. The undue
classification was not germane to the purpose of
the law. Instead, it contradicted the law and
well-established guidelines, rules and
regulations meant to carry the law into effect.
While petitioner Abad cannot claim entitlement
to the Order of National Artists, he is entitled to
be given an equal opportunity to vie for that
honor. In view of the foregoing, there was a
violation of petitioner Abads right to equal
protection, an interest that is substantial enough
to confer him standing in this case.