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Case Title: Date: September 15, 1989

FERDINAND E. MARCOS, IMELDA R. G.R. No.: 88211


MARCOS, FERDINAND R. MARCOS, JR.,
Ponente: CORTES, J.
IRENE M. ARANETA, IMEE MANOTOC,
TOMAS MANOTOC, GREGORIO Nature of Action: petition for review on
ARANETA, PACIFICO E. MARCOS, certiorari
NICANOR YIGUEZ and PHILIPPINE Topic: Marcoses request to return to the
CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION Philippines
(PHILCONSA), represented by its
President, CONRADO F. ESTRELLA,
petitioners,
vs.
HONORABLE RAUL MANGLAPUS,
CATALINO MACARAIG, SEDFREY
ORDOEZ, MIRIAM DEFENSOR
SANTIAGO, FIDEL RAMOS, RENATO DE
VILLA, in their capacity as Secretary of
Foreign Affairs, Executive Secretary,
Secretary of Justice, Immigration
Commissioner, Secretary of National
Defense and Chief of Staff, respectively,
respondents.

Facts:
This case pertains to a dictator forced out of office and into exile after causing twenty years of
political, economic and social havoc in the country and who within the short space of three
years seeks to return.

This petition for mandamus and prohibition asks the Courts to order the respondents to issue
travel documents to Mr. Marcos and the immediate members of his family and to enjoin the
implementation of the President's decision to bar their return to the Philippines.

The petitioners contend that the President is without power to impair the liberty of abode of the
Marcoses because only a court may do so "within the limits prescribed by law." Nor may the
President impair their right to travel because no law has authorized her to do so. They advance
the view that before the right to travel may be impaired by any authority or agency of the
government, there must be legislation to that effect.

On the other hand, respondents argue for the primacy of the right of the State to national
security over individual rights. Respondents also point out that the decision to ban Mr. Marcos
and family from returning to the Philippines for reasons of national security and public safety
has international precedents.

Issue: Whether or not, in the exercise of the powers granted by the Constitution, the President
may prohibit the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines.

Ruling: Yes.
WHEREFORE, and it being our well-considered opinion that the President did not act arbitrarily
or with grave abuse of discretion in determining that the return of former President Marcos and
his family at the present time and under present circumstances poses a serious threat to
national interest and welfare and in prohibiting their return to the Philippines, the instant petition
is hereby DISMISSED.

Ratio:
The Constitution declares among the guiding principles that "[t]he prime duty of theGovernment
is to serve and protect the people" and that "[t]he maintenance of peace and order,the
protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential
for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy." [Art. II, Secs. 4 and 5.]
Admittedly, service and protection of the people, the maintenance of peace and order, the
protection of life, liberty and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essentially
ideals to guide governmental action. But such does not mean that they are empty words. Thus,
in the exercise of presidential functions, in drawing a plan of government, and in directing
implementing action for these plans, or from another point of view, in making any decision as
President of the Republic, the President has to consider these principles, among other things,
and adhere to them.

Faced with the problem of whether or not the time is right to allow the Marcoses to return to the
Philippines, the President is, under the Constitution, constrained to consider these basic
principles in arriving at a decision. More than that, having sworn to defend and uphold the
Constitution, the President has the obligation under the Constitution to protect the people,
promote their welfare and advance the national interest. It must be borne in mind that the
Constitution, aside from being an allocation of power is also a social contract whereby the
people have surrendered their sovereign powers to the State for the common good.

To the President, the problem is one of balancing the general welfare and the common good
against the exercise of rights of certain individuals. The power involved is the President's
residual power to protect the general welfare of the people. It is founded on the duty of the
President, as steward of the people.

Under the Constitution, judicial power includes the duty to determine whether or not there has
been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any
branch or instrumentality of the Government." [Art. VIII, Sec. 1] Given this wording, the Court
cannot agree with the Solicitor General that the issue constitutes a political question which is
beyond the jurisdiction of the Court to decide.

The present Constitution limits resort to the political question doctrine and broadens the scope
of judicial inquiry into areas which the Court, under previous constitutions, would have normally
left to the political departments to decide. But nonetheless there remain issues beyond the
Court's jurisdiction the determination of which is exclusively for the President, for Congress or
for the people themselves through a plebiscite or referendum.

Accordingly, the question for the Court to determine is whether or not there exist factual bases
for the President to conclude that it was in the national interest to bar the return of the
Marcoses to the Philippines. If such postulates do exist, it cannot be said that she has acted, or
acts, arbitrarily or that she has gravely abused her discretion in deciding to bar their return.