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EN BANC wine, or intoxicating liquors of any kind, other than the Indies, their concentration in so-called "reducciones"

G.R. No. L-45987 May 5, 1939 so-called native wines and liquors which the members (communities) have been persistently attempted with
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, of such tribes have been accustomed themselves to the end in view of according them the "spiritual and
plaintiff-appellee, make prior to the passage of this Act, except as temporal benefits" of civilized life. Throughout the
vs. provided in section one hereof; and it shall be the duty Spanish regime, it had been regarded by the Spanish
CAYAT,​ defendant-appellant. of any police officer or other duly authorized agent of Government as a sacred "duty to conscience and
Sinai Hamada y Cariño for appellant. the Insular or any provincial, municipal or township humanity" to civilize these less fortunate people living
Office of the Solicitor-General Tuason for appellee. government to seize and forthwith destroy any such "in the obscurity of ignorance" and to accord them the
MORAN, J.: liquors found unlawfully in the possession of any "the moral and material advantages" of community life
Prosecuted for violation of Act No. 1639 (secs. 2 and member of a non-Christian tribe. and the "protection and vigilance afforded them by the
3), the accused, Cayat, a native of Baguio, Benguet, SEC. 3. Any person violating the provisions of section same laws." (Decree of the Governor-General of the
Mountain Province, was sentenced by the justice of one or section two of this Act shall, upon conviction Philippines, Jan. 14, 1887.) This policy had not been
the peace court of Baguio to pay a fine of five pesos thereof, be punishable for each offense by a fine of deflected from during the American period. President
(P5) or suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case of not exceeding two hundred pesos or by imprisonment McKinley in his instructions to the Philippine
insolvency. On appeal of the Court of First Instance, for a term not exceeding six months, in the discretion Commission of April 7, 1900, said:
the following information was filed against him: of the court. In dealing with the uncivilized tribes of the Islands, the
That on or about the 25th day of January, 1937, in the The accused challenges the constitutionality of the Commission should adopt the same course followed
City of Baguio, Commonwealth of the Philippines, and Act on the following grounds: by Congress in permitting the tribes of our North
within the jurisdiction of this court, the above-named (1) That it is discriminatory and denies the equal American Indians to maintain their tribal organization
accused, Cayat, being a member of the non-Christian protection of the laws; and government, and under which many of those
tribes, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and (2) That it is violative of the due process clause of the tribes are now living in peace and contentment,
illegally receive, acquire, and have in his possession Constitution: and. surrounded by civilization to which they are unable or
and under his control or custody, one bottle of A-1-1 (3) That it is improper exercise of the police power of unwilling to conform. Such tribal government should,
gin, an intoxicating liquor, other than the so-called the state. however, be subjected to wise and firm regulation;
native wines and liquors which the members of such Counsel for the appellant holds out his brief as the and, without undue or petty interference, constant and
tribes have been accustomed themselves to make "brief for the non-Christian tribes." It is said that as active effort should be exercised to prevent barbarous
prior to the passage of Act No. 1639. these less civilized elements of the Filipino population practices and introduce civilized customs.
Accused interposed a demurrer which was overruled. are "jealous of their rights in a democracy," any Since then and up to the present, the government has
At the trial, he admitted all the facts alleged in the attempt to treat them with discrimination or "mark been constantly vexed with the problem of
information, but pleaded not guilty to the charge for them as inferior or less capable rate or less entitled" determining "those practicable means of bringing
the reasons adduced in his demurrer and submitted will meet with their instant challenge. As the about their advancement in civilization and material
the case on the pleadings. The trial court found him constitutionality of the Act here involved is questioned prosperity." (See, Act No. 253.) "Placed in an
guilty of the crime charged and sentenced him to pay for purposes thus mentioned, it becomes imperative alternative of either letting them alone or guiding them
a fine of fifty pesos (P50) or supper subsidiary to examine and resolve the issues raised in the light in the path of civilization," the present government
imprisonment in case of insolvency. The case is now of the policy of the government towards the "has chosen to adopt the latter measure as one more
before this court on appeal. Sections 2 and 3 of Act non-Christian tribes adopted and consistently followed in accord with humanity and with the national
No. 1639 read: from the Spanish times to the present, more often conscience." (Memorandum of Secretary of the
SEC. 2. It shall be unlawful for any native of the with sacrifice and tribulation but always with Interior, quoted in Rubi vs. Provincial Board of
Philippine Islands who is a member of a non-Christian conscience and humanity. Mindoro, 39 Phil., 660, 714.) To this end, their homes
tribe within the meaning of the Act Numbered Thirteen As early as 1551, the Spanish Government had and firesides have been brought in contact with
hundred and ninety-seven, to buy, receive, have in his assumed an unvarying solicitous attitude toward civilized communities through a network of highways
possession, or drink any ardent spirits, ale, beer, these inhabitants, and in the different laws of the and communications; the benefits of public education
have to them been extended; and more lately, even possession, or drink any ardent spirits, ale, beer, approval in Rubi vs.Provincial Board of Mindoro,
the right of suffrage. And to complement this policy of wine, or intoxicating liquors of any kind, other than the supra.) Due process of law means simply: (1) that
attraction and assimilation, the Legislature has so-called native wines and liquors which the members there shall be a law prescribed in harmony with the
passed Act No. 1639 undoubtedly to secure for them of such tribes have been accustomed themselves to general powers of the legislative department of the
the blessings of peace and harmony; to facilitate, and make prior to the passage of this Act.," is government; (2) that it shall be reasonable in its
not to mar, their rapid and steady march to civilization unquestionably designed to insure peace and order in operation; (3) that it shall be enforced according to the
and culture. It is, therefore, in this light that the Act and among the non-Christian tribes. It has been the regular methods of procedure prescribed; and (4) that
must be understood and applied. sad experience of the past, as the observations of the it shall be applicable alike to all citizens of the state or
It is an established principle of constitutional law that lower court disclose, that the free use of highly to all of the class. (U.S. vs. Ling Su Fan, 10 Phil., 104,
the guaranty of the equal protection of the laws is not intoxicating liquors by the non-Christian tribes have affirmed on appeal by the United States Supreme
equal protection of the laws is not violated by a often resulted in lawlessness and crimes, thereby Court, 218 U.S., 302: 54 Law. ed., 1049.) Thus, a
legislation based on reasonable classification. And hampering the efforts of the government to raise their person's property may be seized by the government
the classification, to be reasonable, (1) must rest on standard of life and civilization. in payment of taxes without judicial hearing; or
substantial distinctions; (2) must be germane to the The law is not limited in its application to conditions property used in violation of law may be confiscated
purposes of the law; (3) must not be limited to existing existing at the time of its enactment. It is intended to (U.S. vs. Surla, 20 Phil., 163, 167), or when the
conditions only; and (4) must apply equally to all apply for all times as long as those conditions exist. property constitutes corpus delicti, as in the instant
members of the same class. (Borgnis vs. Falk Co., The Act was not predicated, as counsel for appellant case (Moreno vs. Ago Chi, 12 Phil., 439, 442).
133 N.W., 209; Lindsley vs. Natural Carbonic Gas asserts, upon the assumption that the non-Christians Neither is the Act an improper exercise of the police
Co., 220 U.S. 61; 55 Law. ed., Rubi vs. Provincial are "impermeable to any civilizing influence." On the power of the state. It has been said that the police
Board of Mindoro, 39 Phil., 660; People and contrary, the Legislature understood that the power is the most insistent and least limitable of all
Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation vs. Vera civilization of a people is a slow process and that powers of the government. It has been aptly
and Cu Unjieng, 37 Off. Gaz ., 187.) hand in hand with it must go measures of protection described as a power co-extensive with
Act No. 1639 satisfies these requirements. The and security. self-protection and constitutes the law of overruling
classification rests on real and substantial, not merely Finally, that the Act applies equally to all members of necessity. Any measure intended to promote the
imaginary or whimsical, distinctions. It is not based the class is evident from a perusal thereof. That it health, peace, morals, education and good order of
upon "accident of birth or parentage," as counsel to may be unfair in its operation against a certain the people or to increase the industries of the state,
the appellant asserts, but upon the degree of number non-Christians by reason of their degree of develop its resources and add to its wealth and
civilization and culture. "The term 'non-Christian culture, is not an argument against the equality of its prosperity (Barbier vs. Connolly, 113 U.S., 27), is a
tribes' refers, not to religious belief, but, in a way, to application. legitimate exercise of the police power, unless shown
the geographical area, and, more directly, to natives Appellants contends that that provision of the law to be whimsical or capricious as to unduly interfere
of the Philippine Islands of a low grade of civilization, empowering any police officer or other duly with the rights of an individual, the same must be
usually living in tribal relationship apart from settled authorized agent of the government to seize and upheld.
communities." (Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro, forthwith destroy any prohibited liquors found Act No. 1639, as above stated, is designed to
supra.) This distinction is unquestionably reasonable, unlawfully in the possession of any member of the promote peace and order in the non-Christian tribes
for the Act was intended to meet the peculiar non-Christian tribes is violative of the due process of so as to remove all obstacles to their moral and
conditions existing in the non-Christian tribes. The law provided in the Constitution. But this provision is intellectual growth and, eventually, to hasten their
exceptional cases of certain members thereof who at not involved in the case at bar. Besides, to constitute equalization and unification with the rest of their
present have reached a position of cultural equality due process of law, notice and hearing are not always Christian brothers. Its ultimate purpose can be no
with their Christian brothers, cannot affect the necessary. This rule is especially true where much other than to unify the Filipino people with a view to a
reasonableness of the classification thus established. must be left to the discretion of the administrative greater Philippines.
That it is germane to the purposes of law cannot be officials in applying a law to particular cases. The law, then, does not seek to mark the
doubted. The prohibition "to buy, receive, have in his (McGehee, Due Process of Law p. 371, cited with non-Christian tribes as "an inferior or less capable
race." On the contrary, all measures thus far adopted members of the class may suffer. The private
in the promotion of the public policy towards them rest interests of such members must yield to the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH.
upon a recognition of their inherent right to equality in paramount interests of the nation (Cf. Boston Beer Respondent.
tht enjoyment of those privileges now enjoyed by their Co. vs. Mass., 97 U.S., 25; 24 law. ed., 989).
Christian brothers. But as there can be no true Judgment is affirmed, with costs against appellant. x --------------------------------------------- x
equality before the law, if there is, in fact, no equality Avanceña, C.J., Villa-Real, Imperial, Diaz, Laurel, and
in education, the government has endeavored, by Conception, JJ., concur. RODOLFO S. BELTRAN, doing G.R. No. 139147
appropriate measures, to raise their culture and business under the name and style, OUR LADY OF
civilization and secure for them the benefits of their EN BANC FATIMA BLOOD
progress, with the ultimate end in view of placing BANK, FELY G. MOSALE, doing Present:
them with their Christian brothers on the basis of true business under the name and style,
equality. It is indeed gratifying that the non-Christian RODOLFO S. BELTRAN, doing G.R. No. 133640 MOTHER SEATON BLOOD BANK; DAVIDE, JR.,
tribes "far from retrograding, are definitely asserting business under the name and style, OUR LADY OF C.J.,
themselves in a competitive world," as appellant's FATIMA BLOOD BANK, FELY G. MOSALE, doing PEOPLES BLOOD BANK, INC.; PUNO,
attorney impressively avers, and that they are "a virile, business under the name and style, MOTHER MARIA VICTORIA T. VITO, M.D., PANGANIBAN,
up-and -coming people eager to take their place in the SEATON BLOOD BANK; PEOPLES BLOOD BANK, doing business under the name and QUISUMBING,
world's social scheme." As a matter of fact, there are INC.; MARIA VICTORIA T. VITO, M.D., doing style, AVENUE BLOOD BANK; YNARES-SANTIAGO,
now lawyers, doctors and other professionals business under the name and style, AVENUE BLOOD JESUS M. GARCIA, M.D., doing
educated in the best institutions here and in America. BANK; JESUS M. GARCIA, M.D., doing business SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ,
Their active participation in the multifarious welfare under the name and style, HOLY REDEEMER business under the name and style, CARPIO,
activities of community life or in the delicate duties of BLOOD BANK, ALBERT L. LAPITAN, doing business HOLY REDEEMER BLOOD BANK,
government is certainly a source of pride and under the name and style, BLUE CROSS BLOOD AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,
gratification to people of the Philippines. But whether TRANSFUSION SERVICES; EDGARDO R. RODAS, ALBERT L. LAPITAN, doing CORONA,
conditions have so changed as to warrant a partial or M.D., doing business under the name and style, business under the name and style,
complete abrogation of the law, is a matter which RECORD BLOOD BANK, in their individual capacities CARPIO-MORALES,
rests exclusively within the prerogative of the National and for and in behalf of PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION BLUE CROSS BLOOD CALLEJO, SR.,
Assembly to determine. In the constitutional scheme OF BLOOD BANKS, TRANSFUSION SERVICES; AZCUNA,
of our government, this court can go no farther than to Petitioners, EDGARDO R. RODAS, M.D., doing TINGA,
inquire whether the Legislature had the power to business under the name and style,
enact the law. If the power exists, and we hold it does CHIZO-NAZARIO,​*​ and
exist, the wisdom of the policy adopted, and the - versus RECORD BLOOD BANK, in their GARCIA, JJ.
adequacy under existing conditions of the measures Individual capacities and for
enacted to forward it, are matters which this court has and in behalf of PHILIPPINE Promulgated:
no authority to pass upon. And, if in the application of THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH, ASSOCIATION OF BLOOD BANKS,
the law, the educated non-Christians shall incidentally Respondent. Petitioners, November 25, 2005
suffer, the justification still exists in the - versus
all-comprehending principle of salus populi suprema x ------------------------------------------------ x
est lex. When the public safety or the public morals THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH,
require the discontinuance of a certain practice by DOCTORS BLOOD CENTER, G.R. No. 133661 Respondent.
certain class of persons, the hand of the Legislature Petitioner,
cannot be stayed from providing for its discontinuance
by any incidental inconvenience which some - versus
x why respondent Secretary of Health should not be this Act, extendable to a maximum period of two (2)
------------------------------------------------------------------------ held in contempt of court. years by the Secretary.
---------------- x This case was originally assigned to the Third Division
of this Court and later consolidated with G.R. Nos.
DECISION 133640 and 133661 in a resolution dated August 4, Section 23 of Administrative Order No. 9 provides:
1999.​[5]
AZCUNA, J.: Petitioners comprise the majority of the Board of Section 23. Process of Phasing Out. -- ​The
Directors of the Philippine Association of Blood Department shall effect the phasing-out of all
Banks, a duly registered non-stock and non-profit commercial blood banks over a period of two (2)
Before this Court are petitions assailing primarily the association composed of free standing blood banks. years, extendible for a maximum period of two (2)
constitutionality of Section 7 of Republic Act No. years after the effectivity of R.A. 7719. The decision
7719, otherwise known as the National Blood Public respondent Secretary of Health is being sued to extend shall be based on the result of a careful
Services Act of 1994, and the validity of in his capacity as the public official directly involved study and review of the blood supply and demand and
Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 9, series of 1995 or and charged with the enforcement and public safety.​[8]
the Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act implementation of the law in question.
No. 7719.
The facts of the case are as follows: Blood banking and blood transfusion services in the
G.R. No. 133640,​[1] entitled Rodolfo S. Beltran, doing country have been arranged in four (4) categories:
business under the name and style, Our Lady of Republic Act No. 7719 or the National Blood Services blood centers run by the Philippine National Red
Fatima Blood Bank, et al., vs. The Secretary of Health Act of 1994 was enacted into law on April 2, 1994. Cross (PNRC), government-run blood services,
and G.R. No. 133661,​[2] entitled Doctors Blood Bank The Act seeks to provide private hospital blood banks, and commercial blood
Center vs. Department of Health are petitions for services.
certiorari and mandamus, respectively, seeking the an adequate supply of safe blood by promoting
annulment of the following: (1) Section 7 of Republic voluntary blood donation and by regulating blood Years prior to the passage of the National Blood
Act No. 7719; and, (2) Administrative Order (A.O.) No. banks in the country. It was approved by then Services Act of 1994, petitioners have already been
9, series of 1995. Both petitions likewise pray for the President Fidel V. Ramos on May 15, 1994 and was operating commercial blood banks under Republic Act
issuance of a writ of prohibitory injunction enjoining subsequently published in the Official Gazette on No. 1517, entitled An Act Regulating the Collection,
the Secretary of Health from implementing and August 18, 1994. The law took effect on August 23, Processing and Sale of Human Blood, and the
enforcing the aforementioned law and its 1994. Establishment and Operation of Blood Banks and
Implementing Rules and Regulations; and, for a Blood Processing Laboratories. The law, which was
mandatory injunction ordering and commanding the On April 28, 1995, Administrative Order No. 9, Series enacted on June 16, 1956, allowed the establishment
Secretary of Health to grant, issue or renew of 1995, constituting the Implementing Rules and and operation by licensed physicians of blood banks
petitioners license to operate free standing blood Regulations of said law was promulgated by and blood processing laboratories. The Bureau of
banks (FSBB). respondent Secretary of the Department of Health Research and Laboratories (BRL) was created in
(DOH).​[6] 1958 and was given the power to regulate clinical
The above cases were consolidated in a resolution of laboratories in 1966 under Republic Act No. 4688. In
the Court En Banc dated June 2, 1998.​[3] Section 7 of R.A. 7719 [7]​
​ provides: 1971, the Licensure Section was created within the
BRL. It was given the duty to enforce the licensure
G.R. No. 139147,​[4] entitled Rodolfo S. Beltran, doing Section 7. Phase-out of Commercial Blood Banks requirements for blood banks as well as clinical
business under the name and style, Our Lady of - ​All commercial blood banks shall be phased-out laboratories. Due to this development, Administrative
Fatima Blood Bank, et al., vs. The Secretary of over a period of two (2) years after the effectivity of Order No. 156, Series of 1971, was issued. The new
Health, on the other hand, is a petition to show cause rules and regulations triggered a stricter enforcement
of the Blood Banking Law, which was characterized program and the formation of the Regional Blood
by frequent spot checks, immediate suspension and Councils. It was further found, among other things, that blood
communication of such suspensions to hospitals, a sold by persons to blood commercial banks are three
more systematic record-keeping and frequent In August 1992, Senate Bill No. 1011, entitled An Act times more likely to have any of the four (4) tested
communication with blood banks through monthly Promoting Voluntary Blood Donation, Providing for an infections or blood transfusion transmissible diseases,
information bulletins. Unfortunately, by the 1980s, Adequate Supply of Safe Blood, Regulating Blood namely, malaria, syphilis, Hepatitis B and Acquired
financial difficulties constrained the BRL to reduce the Banks and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof, Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) than those
frequency of its supervisory visits to the blood and for other Purposes was introduced in the donated to PNRC.​[15]
banks.​[9] Senate.​[12] Commercial blood banks give paid donors varying
Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, House rates around P50 to P150, and because of this
Meanwhile, in the international scene, concern for the Bills No. 384, 546, 780 and 1978 were being arrangement, many of these donors are poor, and
safety of blood and blood products intensified when deliberated to address the issue of safety of the often they are students, who need cash immediately.
the dreaded disease Acute Immune Deficiency Philippine blood bank system. Subsequently, the Since they need the money, these donors are not
Syndrome (AIDS) was first described in 1979. In Senate and House Bills were referred to the usually honest about their medical or social history.
1980, the International Society of Blood Transfusion appropriate committees and subsequently Thus, blood from healthy, voluntary donors who give
[13]
(ISBT) formulated the Code of Ethics for Blood consolidated.​ their true medical and social history are about three
Donation and Transfusion. In 1982, the first case of In January of 1994, the New Tropical Medicine times much safer than blood from paid donors.​[16]
transfusion-associated AIDS was described in an Foundation, with the assistance of the U.S. Agency
infant. Hence, the ISBT drafted in 1984, a model for a for International Development (USAID) released its What the study also found alarming is that many
national blood policy outlining certain principles that final report of a study on the Philippine blood banking Filipino doctors are not yet fully trained on the specific
should be taken into consideration. By 1985, the ISBT system entitled Project to Evaluate the Safety of the indications for blood component transfusion. They are
had disseminated guidelines requiring AIDS testing of Philippine Blood Banking System. It was revealed that not aware of the lack of blood supply and do not feel
blood and blood products for transfusion.​[10] of the blood units collected in 1992, 64.4 % were the need to adjust their practices and use of blood
supplied by commercial blood banks, 14.5% by the and blood products. It also does not matter to them
In 1989, another revision of the Blood Banking PNRC, 13.7% by government hospital-based blood where the blood comes from.​[17]
Guidelines was made. The DOH issued banks, and 7.4% by private hospital-based blood On August 23, 1994, the National Blood Services Act
Administrative Order No. 57, Series of 1989, which banks. During the time the study was made, there providing for the phase out of commercial blood
classified banks into primary, secondary and tertiary were only twenty-four (24) registered or licensed banks took effect. On April 28, 1995, Administrative
depending on the services they provided. The free-standing or commercial blood banks in the Order No. 9, Series of 1995, constituting the
standards were adjusted according to this country. Hence, with these numbers in mind, the Implementing Rules and Regulations of said law was
classification. For instance, floor area requirements study deduced that each commercial blood bank promulgated by DOH.
varied according to classification level. The new produces five times more blood than the Red Cross
guidelines likewise required Hepatitis B and HIV and fifteen times more than the government-run blood The phase-out period was extended for two years by
testing, and that the blood bank be headed by a banks. The study, therefore, showed that the the DOH pursuant to Section 7 of Republic Act No.
pathologist or a hematologist.​[11] Philippines heavily relied on commercial sources of 7719 and Section 23 of its Implementing Rules and
blood. The study likewise revealed that 99.6% of the Regulations. Pursuant to said Act, all commercial
In 1992, the DOH issued Administrative Order No. donors of commercial blood banks and 77.0% of the blood banks should have been phased out byMay 28,
118-A institutionalizing the National Blood Services donors of private-hospital based blood banks are paid 1998. Hence, petitioners were granted by the
Program (NBSP). The BRL was designated as the donors. Paid donors are those who receive Secretary of Health their licenses to open and operate
central office primarily responsible for the NBSP. The remuneration for donating their blood. Blood donors of a blood bank only until May 27, 1998.
program paved the way for the creation of a the PNRC and government-run hospitals, on the other
committee that will implement the policies of the hand, are mostly voluntary.​[14]
On May 20, 1998, prior to the expiration of the entitled Doctors Blood Centervs. Department of In the Consolidated Comment, respondent Secretary
licenses granted to petitioners, they filed a petition for Health, docketed as G.R. No. 133661. [20]
​ This was of Health submitted that blood from commercial blood
certiorari with application for the issuance of a writ of consolidated with G.R. No. 133640.​[21] banks is unsafe and therefore the State, in the
preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order exercise of its police power, can close down
under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court assailing the Similarly, the petition attacked the constitutionality of commercial blood banks to protect the public. He
constitutionality and validity of the aforementioned Act Republic Act No. 7719 and its implementing rules and cited the record of deliberations on Senate Bill No.
and its Implementing Rules and Regulations. The regulations, thus, praying for the issuance of a license 1101 which later became Republic Act No. 7719, and
case was entitled Rodolfo S. Beltran, doing business to operate commercial blood banks beyond May 27, the sponsorship speech of Senator Orlando Mercado.
under the name and style, Our Lady of Fatima Blood 1998. Specifically, with regard to Republic Act No.
Bank, docketed as G.R. No. 133640. 7719, the petition submitted the following questions​[22] The rationale for the closure of these commercial
for resolution: blood banks can be found in the deliberations of
On June 1, 1998, petitioners filed an Amended Senate Bill No. 1011, excerpts of which are quoted
Petition for Certiorari with Prayer for Issuance of a 1. Was it passed in the below:
Temporary Restraining Order, writ of preliminary exercise of police power, and was it a valid exercise
mandatory injunction and/or status quo ante order.​[18] of such power? Senator Mercado: I am providing over a period of
In the aforementioned petition, petitioners assail the two years to phase out all commercial blood banks.
constitutionality of the questioned legal provisions, 2. Does it not amount to So that in the end, the new section would have a
namely, Section 7 of Republic Act No. 7719 and deprivation of property without due process? provision that states:
Section 23 of Administrative Order No. 9, Series of
1995, on the following grounds:​ ​[19] 3. Does it not unlawfully ALL COMMERCIAL BLOOD BANKS SHALL BE
impair the obligation of contracts? PHASED OUT OVER A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS
1. The questioned legal provisions of the National AFTER THE EFFECTIVITY OF THIS ACT. BLOOD
Blood Services Act and its Implementing Rules violate 4. With the commercial blood banks being abolished SHALL BE COLLECTED FROM VOLUNTARY
the equal protection clause for irrationally and with no ready machinery to deliver the same DONORS ONLY AND THE SERVICE FEE TO BE
discriminating against free standing blood banks in a supply and services, does R.A. 7719 truly serve the CHARGED FOR EVERY BLOOD PRODUCT
manner which is not germane to the purpose of the public welfare? ISSUED SHALL BE LIMITED TO THE NECESSARY
law; EXPENSES ENTAILED IN COLLECTING AND
2. The questioned provisions of the On June 2, 1998, this Court issued a Resolution PROCESSING OF BLOOD. THE SERVICE FEE
National Blood Services Act and its Implementing directing respondent DOH to file a consolidated SHALL BE MADE UNIFORM THROUGH
Rules represent undue delegation if not outright comment. In the same Resolution, the Court issued a GUIDELINES TO BE SET BY THE
abdication of the police power of the state; and, temporary restraining order (TRO) for respondent to DEPARTMENTOF HEALTH.
cease and desist from implementing and enforcing I am supporting Mr. President, the finding of a study
3. The questioned provisions of the Section 7 of Republic Act No. 7719 and its called Project to Evaluate the Safety of the Philippine
National Blood Services Act and its Implementing implementing rules and regulations until further orders Blood Banking System. This has been taken note of.
Rules are unwarranted deprivation of personal liberty. from the Court.​[23] This is a study done with the assistance of the USAID
by doctors under the New Tropical Medicine
On August 26, 1998, respondent Secretary of Health Foundation in Alabang.
filed a Consolidated Comment on the petitions for Part of the long-term measures proposed by this
On May 22, 1998, the Doctors Blood Center filed a certiorari and mandamus in G.R. Nos. 133640 and particular study is to improve laws, outlaw buying and
similar petition for mandamus with a prayer for the 133661, with opposition to the issuance of a selling of blood and legally define good manufacturing
issuance of a temporary restraining order, preliminary temporary restraining order.​[24] processes for blood. This goes to the very heart of my
prohibitory and mandatory injunction before this Court
amendment which seeks to put into law the principle If we give the responsibility of the testing of blood to Senator Mercado: Today, across the country,
that blood should not be subject of commerce of man. those commercial blood banks, they will cut corners hundreds of poverty-stricken, sickly and weak
The Presiding Officer [Senator Aquino]: What does because it will protect their profit. Filipinos, who, unemployed, without hope and without
the sponsor say? In the first place, the people who sell their blood are money to buy the next meal, will walk into a
Senator Webb: Mr. President, just for clarity, I would the people who are normally in the high-risk category. commercial blood bank, extend their arms and plead
like to find out how the Gentleman defines a So we should stop the system of selling and buying that their blood be bought. They will lie about their
commercial blood bank. I am at a loss at times what a blood so that we can go into a national voluntary age, their medical history. They will lie about when
commercial blood bank really is. blood program. they last sold their blood. For doing this, they will
Senator Mercado: We have a definition, I believe, in It has been said here in this report, and I quote: receive close to a hundred pesos. This may tide them
the measure, Mr. President. Why is buying and selling of blood not safe? This is over for the next few days. Of course, until the next
The Presiding Officer [Senator Aquino]: ​It is a not safe because a donor who expects payment for bloodletting.
business where profit is considered. his blood will not tell the truth about his illnesses and
will deny any risky social behavior such as sexual This same blood will travel to the posh city hospitals
Senator Mercado: If the Chairman of the Committee promiscuity which increases the risk of having syphilis and urbane medical centers. This same blood will
would accept it, we can put a provision on Section 3, or AIDS or abuse of intravenous addictive drugs. now be bought by the rich at a price over 500% of the
a definition of a commercial blood bank, which, as Laboratory tests are of limited value and will not value for which it was sold. Between this buying and
defined in this law, exists for profit and engages in the detect early infections. Laboratory tests are required selling, obviously, someone has made a very fast
buying and selling of blood or its components. only for four diseases in the Philippines. There are buck.
other blood transmissible diseases we do not yet
Senator Webb: That is a good description, Mr. screen for and there could be others where there are Every doctor has handled at least one
President. no tests available yet. transfusion-related disease in an otherwise normal
A blood bank owner expecting to gain profit from patient. Patients come in for minor surgery of the
Senator Mercado: I refer, Mr. President, to a letter selling blood will also try his best to limit his hand or whatever and they leave with hepatitis B. A
written by Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, the Chief of Staff, expenses. Usually he tries to increase his profit by patient comes in for an appendectomy and he leaves
Undersecretary of Health, to the good Chairperson of buying cheaper reagents or test kits, hiring cheaper with malaria. The worst nightmare: A patient comes in
the Committee on Health. manpower or skipping some tests altogether. He may for a Caesarian section and leaves with AIDS.
In recommendation No. 4, he says: also try to sell blood even though these have
The need to phase out all commercial blood banks infections in them. Because there is no existing We do not expect good blood from donors who sell
within a two-year period will give the Department of system of counterchecking these, the blood bank their blood because of poverty. The humane
Health enough time to build up governments owner can usually get away with many unethical dimension of blood transfusion is not in the act of
capability to provide an adequate supply of blood for practices. receiving blood, but in the act of giving it
the needs of the nation...the use of blood for The experience of Germany, Mr. President is
transfusion is a medical service and not a sale of illustrative of this issue. The reason why contaminated For years, our people have been at the mercy of
commodity. blood was sold was that there were corners cut by commercial blood banks that lobby their interests
Taking into consideration the experience of the commercial blood banks in the testing process. They among medical technologists, hospital administrators
National Kidney Institute, which has succeeded in were protecting their profits.​[25] and sometimes even physicians so that a proactive
making the hospital 100 percent dependent on system for collection of blood from healthy donors
voluntary blood donation, here is a success story of a The sponsorship speech of Senator Mercado further becomes difficult, tedious and unrewarding.
hospital that does not buy blood. All those who are elucidated his stand on the issue:
operated on and need blood have to convince their The Department of Health has never institutionalized
relatives or have to get volunteers who would donate a comprehensive national program for safe blood and
blood for voluntary blood donation even if this is a serious
public health concern and has fallen for the linen of Should Not be Held in Contempt of Court, docketed patronizing blood supplies from commercial blood
commercial blood bankers, hook, line and sinker as G.R. No. 139147, citing public respondents willful banks.​[33] In doing so, he was merely performing his
because it is more convenient to tell the patient to buy disobedience of or resistance to the restraining order regular functions and duties as the Secretary of
blood. issued by the Court in the said case. Petitioners Health to protect the health and welfare of the public.
alleged that respondents act constitutes Moreover, the DOH is the main proponent of the
Commercial blood banks hold us hostage to their circumvention of the temporary restraining order and voluntary blood donation program espoused by
threat that if we are to close them down, there will be a mockery of the authority of the Court and the orderly Republic Act No. 7719, particularly Section 4 thereof
no blood supply. This is true if the Government does administration of justice.​[29]​Petitioners added that which provides that, in order to ensure the adequate
not step in to ensure that safe supply of blood. We despite the issuance of the temporary restraining supply of human blood, voluntary blood donation shall
cannot allow commercial interest groups to dictate order in G.R. No. 133640, respondent, in his effort to be promoted through public education, promotion in
policy on what is and what should be a humanitarian strike down the existence of commercial blood banks, schools, professional education, establishment of
effort. This cannot and will never work because their disseminated misleading information under the guise blood services network, and walking blood donors.
interest in blood donation is merely monetary. We of health advisories, press releases, leaflets, Hence, by authority of the law, respondent Secretary
cannot expect commercial blood banks to take the brochures and flyers stating, among others, that this contends that he has the duty to promote the program
lead in voluntary blood donation. Only the year [1998] all commercial blood banks will be closed of voluntary blood donation. Certainly, his act of
Government can do it, and the Government must do by 27 May. Those who need blood will have to rely on encouraging the public to donate blood voluntarily and
it.​[26] government blood banks.​[30] Petitioners further educating the people on the risks associated with
On May 5, 1999, petitioners filed a Motion for claimed that respondent Secretary of Health blood coming from a paid donor promotes general
Issuance of Expanded Temporary Restraining Order announced in a press conference during the Blood health and welfare and which should be given more
for the Court to order respondent Secretary of Health Donors Week that commercial blood banks are illegal importance than the commercial businesses of
to cease and desist from announcing the closure of and dangerous and that they are at the moment petitioners.​[34]
commercial blood banks, compelling the public to protected by a restraining order on the basis that their
source the needed blood from voluntary donors only, commercial interest is more important than the lives of On July 29, 1999, interposing personal and
and committing similar acts that will ultimately cause the people. These were all posted in bulletin boards substantial interest in the case as taxpayers and
the shutdown of petitioners blood banks.​[27] and other conspicuous places in all government citizens, a Petition-in-Intervention was filed
On July 8, 1999, respondent Secretary filed his hospitals as well as other medical and health interjecting the same arguments and issues as laid
Comment and/or Opposition to the above motion centers.​[31] down by petitioners in G.R. No. 133640 and 133661,
stating that he has not ordered the closure of namely, the unconstitutionality of the Acts, and, the
commercial blood banks on account of the Temporary In respondent Secretarys Comment to the Petition to issuance of a writ of prohibitory injunction. The
Restraining Order (TRO) issued on June 2, 1998 by Show Cause Why Public Respondent Should Not Be intervenors are the immediate relatives of individuals
the Court. In compliance with the TRO, DOH had Held in Contempt of Court, dated January 3, 2000, it who had died allegedly because of shortage of blood
likewise ceased to distribute the health advisory was explained that nothing was issued by the supply at a critical time.​[35]
leaflets, posters and flyers to the public which state department ordering the closure of commercial blood The intervenors contended that Republic Act No.
that blood banks are closed or will be closed. banks. The subject health advisory leaflets pertaining 7719 constitutes undue delegation of legislative
According to respondent Secretary, the same were to said closure pursuant to Republic Act No. 7719 powers and unwarranted deprivation of personal
printed and circulated in anticipation of the closure of were printed and circulated prior to the Courts liberty.​[36]
the commercial blood banks in accordance with R.A. issuance of a temporary restraining order on June 21, In a resolution, dated September 7, 1999, and without
No. 7719, and were printed and circulated prior to the 1998.​[32] giving due course to the aforementioned petition, the
issuance of the TRO.​[28] Public respondent further claimed that the primary Court granted the Motion for Intervention that was
purpose of the information campaign was to promote filed by the above intervenors on August 9, 1999.
On July 15, 1999, petitioners in G.R. No. 133640 filed the importance and safety of voluntary blood donation
a Petition to Show Cause Why Public Respondent and to educate the public about the hazards of
In his Comment to the petition-in-intervention, provisions of the Act that the Legislature intended
respondent Secretary of Health stated that the sale of V primarily to safeguard the health of the people and
blood is contrary to the spirit and letter of the Act that WHETHER OR NOT R.A. 7719 IS A VALID has mandated several measures to attain this
blood donation is a humanitarian act and blood EXERCISE OF POLICE POWER; and, objective. One of these is the phase out of
transfusion is a professional medical service and not commercial blood banks in the country. The law has
a sale of commodity (Section 2[a] and [b] of Republic VI sufficiently provided a definite standard for the
Act No. 7719). The act of selling blood or charging WHETHER OR NOT SECTION 7 OF R.A. 7719 AND guidance of the Secretary of Health in carrying out its
fees other than those allowed by law is even ITS IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS provisions, that is, the promotion of public health by
penalized under Section 12.​[37] TRULY SERVE PUBLIC WELFARE. providing a safe and adequate supply of blood
through voluntary blood donation. By its provisions, it
Thus, in view of these, the Court is now tasked to As to the first ground upon which the constitutionality has conferred the power and authority to the
pass upon the constitutionality of Section 7 of of the Act is being challenged, it is the contention of Secretary of Health as to its execution, to be
Republic Act No. 7719 or the National Blood Services petitioners that the phase out of commercial or free exercised under and in pursuance of the law.
Act of 1994 and its Implementing Rules and standing blood banks is unconstitutional because it is Congress may validly delegate to administrative
Regulations. an improper and unwarranted delegation of legislative agencies the authority to promulgate rules and
In resolving the controversy, this Court deems it power. According to petitioners, the Act was regulations to implement a given legislation and
necessary to address the issues and/or questions incomplete when it was passed by the Legislature, effectuate its policies.​[40] The Secretary of Health has
raised by petitioners concerning the constitutionality and the latter failed to fix a standard to which the been given, under Republic Act No. 7719, broad
of the aforesaid Act in G.R. No. 133640 and 133661 Secretary of Health must conform in the performance powers to execute the provisions of said Act. Section
as summarized hereunder: of his functions. Petitioners also contend that the 11 of the Act states:
two-year extension period that may be granted by the
I Secretary of Health for the phasing out of commercial SEC. 11. Rules and Regulations. The implementation
WHETHER OR NOT SECTION 7 OF R.A. 7719 blood banks pursuant to Section 7 of the Act of the provisions of the Act shall be in accordance
CONSTITUTES UNDUE DELEGATION OF constrained the Secretary to legislate, thus with the rules and regulations to be promulgated by
LEGISLATIVE POWER; constituting undue delegation of legislative power. the Secretary, within sixty (60) days from the approval
In testing whether a statute constitutes an undue hereof
II delegation of legislative power or not, it is usual to
WHETHER OR NOT SECTION 7 OF R.A. 7719 AND inquire whether the statute was complete in all its This is what respondent Secretary exactly did when
ITS IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS terms and provisions when it left the hands of the DOH, by virtue of the administrative bodys authority
VIOLATE THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE; Legislature so that nothing was left to the judgment of and expertise in the matter, came out with
the administrative body or any other appointee or Administrative Order No.9, series of 1995 or the
III delegate of the Legislature.​[38] Except as to matters of Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act
WHETHER OR NOT SECTION 7 OF R.A. 7719 AND detail that may be left to be filled in by rules and No. 7719. Administrative Order. No. 9 effectively filled
ITS IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS regulations to be adopted or promulgated by in the details of the law for its proper implementation.
VIOLATE THE NON-IMPAIRMENT CLAUSE; executive officers and administrative boards, an act of
the Legislature, as a general rule, is incomplete and Specifically, Section 23 of Administrative Order No. 9
hence invalid if it does not lay down any rule or provides that the phase-out period for commercial
IV definite standard by which the administrative board blood banks shall be extended for another two years
WHETHER OR NOT SECTION 7 OF R.A. 7719 AND may be guided in the exercise of the discretionary until May 28, 1998 based on the result of a careful
ITS IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS powers delegated to it.​[39] study and review of the blood supply and demand and
CONSTITUTE DEPRIVATION OF PERSONAL Republic Act No. 7719 or the National Blood Services public safety. This power to ascertain the existence of
LIBERTY AND PROPERTY; Act of 1994 is complete in itself. It is clear from the facts and conditions upon which the Secretary may
effect a period of extension for said phase-out can be f) to mobilize all sectors of the community formulated. Class legislation, discriminating against
delegated by Congress. The true distinction between to participate in mechanisms for voluntary and some and favoring others is prohibited but
the power to make laws and discretion as to its non-profit collection of blood; classification on a reasonable basis and not made
execution is illustrated by the fact that the delegation arbitrarily or capriciously is permitted. The
of power to make the law, which necessarily involves g) to mandate the Department of Health to classification, however, to be reasonable: (a) must be
a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring an establish and organize a National Blood Transfusion based on substantial distinctions which make real
authority or discretion as to its execution, to be Service Network in order to rationalize and improve differences; (b) must be germane to the purpose of
exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first the provision of adequate and safe supply of blood; the law; (c) must not be limited to existing conditions
cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection can be only; and, (d) must apply equally to each member of
made.​[41] h) to provide for adequate assistance to the class.​[43]
institutions promoting voluntary blood donation and Republic Act No. 7719 or The National Blood
In this regard, the Secretary did not go beyond the providing non-profit blood services, either through a Services Act of 1994, was enacted for the promotion
powers granted to him by the Act when said system of reimbursement for costs from patients who of public health and welfare. In the aforementioned
phase-out period was extended in accordance with can afford to pay, or donations from governmental study conducted by the New Tropical Medicine
the Act as laid out in Section 2 thereof: and non-governmental entities; Foundation, it was revealed that the Philippine blood
SECTION 2. Declaration of Policy In order to promote banking system is disturbingly primitive and unsafe,
public health, it is hereby declared the policy of the i) to require all blood collection units and and with its current condition, the spread of infectious
state: blood banks/centers to operate on a non-profit basis; diseases such as malaria, AIDS, Hepatitis B and
syphilis chiefly from blood transfusion is unavoidable.
a) to promote and encourage voluntary j) to establish scientific and professional The situation becomes more distressing as the study
blood donation by the citizenry and to instill public standards for the operation of blood collection units showed that almost 70% of the blood supply in the
consciousness of the principle that blood donation is a and blood banks/centers in the Philippines; country is sourced from paid blood donors who are
humanitarian act; three times riskier than voluntary blood donors
k) to regulate and ensure the safety of all because they are unlikely to disclose their medical or
b) to lay down the legal principle that the activities related to the collection, storage and social history during the blood screening.​[44]
provision of blood for transfusion is a medical service banking of blood; and, The above study led to the passage of Republic Act
and not a sale of commodity; No. 7719, to instill public consciousness of the
c) to provide for adequate, safe, affordable l) to require upgrading of blood importance and benefits of voluntary blood donation,
and equitable distribution of blood supply and blood banks/centers to include preventive services and safe blood supply and proper blood collection from
products; education to control spread of blood transfusion healthy donors. To do this, the Legislature decided to
transmissible diseases. order the phase out of commercial blood banks to
d) to inform the public of the need for improve the Philippine blood banking system, to
voluntary blood donation to curb the hazards caused Petitioners also assert that the law and its regulate the supply and proper collection of safe
by the commercial sale of blood; implementing rules and regulations violate the equal blood, and so as not to derail the implementation of
protection clause enshrined in the Constitution the voluntary blood donation program of the
e) to teach the benefits and rationale of because it unduly discriminates against commercial or government. In lieu of commercial blood banks,
voluntary blood donation in the existing health free standing blood banks in a manner that is not non-profit blood banks or blood centers, in strict
subjects of the formal education system in all public germane to the purpose of the law.​[42] adherence to professional and scientific standards to
and private schools as well as the non-formal system; be established by the DOH, shall be set in place.​[45]
What may be regarded as a denial of the equal Based on the foregoing, the Legislature never
protection of the laws is a question not always easily intended for the law to create a situation in which
determined. No rule that will cover every case can be unjustifiable discrimination and inequality shall be
allowed. To effectuate its policy, a classification was Police power of the state is validly exercised if (a) the asseverate that, indeed, under the Civil Code, the
made between nonprofit blood banks/centers and interest of the public generally, as distinguished from human body and its organs like the heart, the kidney
commercial blood banks. those of a particular class, requires the interference of and the liver are outside the commerce of man but
the State; and, (b) the means employed are this cannot be made to apply to human blood
We deem the classification to be valid and reasonable reasonably necessary to the attainment of the because the latter can be replenished by the body. To
for the following reasons: objective sought to be accomplished and not unduly treat human blood equally as the human organs
One, it was based on substantial distinctions. The oppressive upon individuals.​[46] would constitute invalid classification.​ ​[48]
former operates for purely humanitarian reasons and In the earlier discussion, the Court has mentioned of Petitioners likewise claim that the phase out of the
as a medical service while the latter is motivated by the avowed policy of the law for the protection of commercial blood banks will be disadvantageous to
profit. Also, while the former wholly encourages public health by ensuring an adequate supply of safe them as it will affect their businesses and existing
voluntary blood donation, the latter treats blood as a blood in the country through voluntary blood donation. contracts with hospitals and other health institutions,
sale of commodity. Attaining this objective requires the interference of the hence Section 7 of the Act should be struck down
Two, the classification, and the consequent phase out State given the disturbing condition of the Philippine because it violates the non-impairment clause
of commercial blood banks is germane to the purpose blood banking system. provided by the Constitution.
of the law, that is, to provide the nation with an In serving the interest of the public, and to give As stated above, the State, in order to promote the
adequate supply of safe blood by promoting voluntary meaning to the purpose of the law, the Legislature general welfare, may interfere with personal liberty,
blood donation and treating blood transfusion as a deemed it necessary to phase out commercial blood with property, and with business and occupations.
humanitarian or medical service rather than a banks. This action may seriously affect the owners Thus, persons may be subjected to certain kinds of
commodity. This necessarily involves the phase out of and operators, as well as the employees, of restraints and burdens in order to secure the general
commercial blood banks based on the fact that they commercial blood banks but their interests must give welfare of the State and to this fundamental aim of
operate as a business enterprise, and they source way to serve a higher end for the interest of the government, the rights of the individual may be
their blood supply from paid blood donors who are public. subordinated.​[49]
considered unsafe compared to voluntary blood
donors as shown by the USAID-sponsored study on The Court finds that the National Blood Services Act Moreover, in the case of Philippine Association of
the Philippine blood banking system. is a valid exercise of the States police power. Service Exporters, Inc. v. Drilon,​[50] settled is the rule
Three, the Legislature intended for the general Therefore, the Legislature, under the circumstances, that the non-impairment clause of the Constitution
application of the law. Its enactment was not solely to adopted a course of action that is both necessary and must yield to the loftier purposes targeted by the
address the peculiar circumstances of the situation reasonable for the common good. Police power is the government. The right granted by this provision must
nor was it intended to apply only to the existing State authority to enact legislation that may interfere submit to the demands and necessities of the States
conditions. with personal liberty or property in order to promote power of regulation. While the Court understands the
Lastly, the law applies equally to all commercial blood the general welfare.​[47] grave implications of Section 7 of the law in question,
banks without exception. It is in this regard that the Court finds the related the concern of the Government in this case, however,
Having said that, this Court comes to the inquiry as to grounds and/or issues raised by petitioners, namely, is not necessarily to maintain profits of business firms.
whether or not Republic Act No. 7719 constitutes a deprivation of personal liberty and property, and In the ordinary sequence of events, it is profits that
valid exercise of police power. violation of the non-impairment clause, to be suffer as a result of government regulation.
The promotion of public health is a fundamental unmeritorious. Furthermore, the freedom to contract is not absolute;
obligation of the State. The health of the people is a Petitioners are of the opinion that the Act is all contracts and all rights are subject to the police
primordial governmental concern. Basically, the unconstitutional and void because it infringes on the power of the State and not only may regulations
National Blood Services Act was enacted in the freedom of choice of an individual in connection to which affect them be established by the State, but all
exercise of the States police power in order to what he wants to do with his blood which should be such regulations must be subject to change from time
promote and preserve public health and safety. outside the domain of State intervention. Additionally, to time, as the general well-being of the community
and in relation to the issue of classification, petitioners may require, or as the circumstances may change, or
as experience may demonstrate the necessity.​[51] This the National Blood Services Act of 1994 and its SO ORDERED.
doctrine was reiterated in the case of Vda. de Implementing Rules and Regulations.
Genuino v. Court of Agrarian Relations​[52] where the The fundamental criterion is that all reasonable ADOLFO S. AZCUNA
Court held that individual rights to contract and to doubts should be resolved in favor of the Associate Justice
property have to give way to police power exercised constitutionality of a statute. Every law has in its favor
for public welfare. the presumption of constitutionality. For a law to be EN BANC
nullified, it must be shown that there is a clear and G.R. No. 88211 October 27, 1989
As for determining whether or not the shutdown of unequivocal breach of the Constitution. The ground FERDINAND E. MARCOS, IMELDA R. MARCOS,
commercial blood banks will truly serve the general for nullity must be clear and beyond reasonable FERDINAND R. MARCOS. JR., IRENE M.
public considering the shortage of blood supply in the doubt.​[56] Those who petition this Court to declare a ARANETA, IMEE M. MANOTOC, TOMAS
country as proffered by petitioners, we maintain that law, or parts thereof, unconstitutional must clearly MANOTOC, GREGORIO ARANETA, PACIFICO E.
the wisdom of the Legislature in the lawful exercise of establish the basis therefor. Otherwise, the petition MARCOS, NICANOR YÑIGUEZ and PHILIPPINE
its power to enact laws cannot be inquired into by the must fail. CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION (PHILCONSA),
Court. Doing so would be in derogation of the represented by its President, CONRADO F.
principle of separation of powers.​[53] Based on the grounds raised by petitioners to ESTRELLA, ​petitioners,
challenge the constitutionality of the National Blood vs.
That, under the circumstances, proper regulation of all Services Act of 1994 and its Implementing Rules and HONORABLE RAUL MANGLAPUS, CATALINO
blood banks without distinction in order to achieve the Regulations, the Court finds that petitioners have MACARAIG, SEDFREY ORDOÑEZ, MIRIAM
objective of the law as contended by petitioners is, of failed to overcome the presumption of constitutionality DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, FIDEL RAMOS, RENATO
course, possible; but, this would be arguing on what of the law. As to whether the Act constitutes a wise DE VILLA, in their capacity as Secretary of
the law may be or should be and not what the law is. legislation, considering the issues being raised by Foreign Affairs, Executive Secretary, Secretary of
Between is and ought there is a far cry. The wisdom petitioners, is for Congress to determine.​[57] Justice, Immigration Commissioner, Secretary of
and propriety of legislation is not for this Court to pass National Defense and Chief of Staff, respectively,
upon.​[54] WHEREFORE​, premises considered, the Court respondents.
renders judgment as follows: RESOLUTION
Finally, with regard to the petition for contempt in G.R.
No. 139147, on the other hand, the Court finds 1. In G.R. Nos. 133640 and EN BANC:
respondent Secretary of Healths explanation 133661, the Court ​UPHOLDS THE VALIDITY of In its decision dated September 15,1989, the Court,
satisfactory. The statements in the flyers and posters Section 7 of Republic Act No. 7719, otherwise known by a vote of eight (8) to seven (7), dismissed the
were not aimed at influencing or threatening the Court as the National Blood Services Act of 1994, and petition, after finding that the President did not act
in deciding in favor of the constitutionality of the law. Administrative Order No. 9, Series of 1995 or the arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion in
Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act determining that the return of former President
Contempt of court presupposes a contumacious No. 7719. The petitions are ​DISMISSED​. Marcos and his family at the present time and under
attitude, a flouting or arrogant belligerence in defiance Consequently, the Temporary Restraining Order present circumstances pose a threat to national
of the court.​[55] There is nothing contemptuous about issued by this Court on June 2, 1998, is ​LIFTED​. interest and welfare and in prohibiting their return to
the statements and information contained in the the Philippines. On September 28, 1989, former
health advisory that were distributed by DOH before 2. In G.R. No. 139147, the President Marcos died in Honolulu, Hawaii. In a
the TRO was issued by this Court ordering the former petition seeking to cite the Secretary of Health in statement, President Aquino said:
to cease and desist from distributing the same. contempt of court is ​DENIED​ for lack of merit. In the interest of the safety of those who will take the
death of Mr. Marcos in widely and passionately
In sum, the Court has been unable to find any No costs. conflicting ways, and for the tranquility of the state
constitutional infirmity in the questioned provisions of and order of society, the remains of Ferdinand E.
Marcos will not be allowed to be brought to our 1. It must be emphasized that as in all motions That the President has powers other than those
country until such time as the government, be it under for reconsideration, the burden is upon the movants, expressly stated in the Constitution is nothing new.
this administration or the succeeding one, shall petitioner herein, to show that there are compelling This is recognized under the U.S. Constitution from
otherwise decide. [Motion for Reconsideration, p. 1; reasons to reconsider the decision of the Court. which we have patterned the distribution of
Rollo, p, 443.] 2. After a thorough consideration of the matters governmental powers among three (3) separate
On October 2, 1989, a Motion for Reconsideration raised in the motion for reconsideration, the Court is branches.
was filed by petitioners, raising the following major of the view that no compelling reasons have been Article II, [section] 1, provides that "The Executive
arguments: established by petitioners to warrant a reconsideration Power shall be vested in a President of the United
1. to bar former President Marcos and his of the Court's decision. States of America." In Alexander Hamilton's widely
family from returning to the Philippines is to deny The death of Mr. Marcos, although it may be viewed accepted view, this statement cannot be read as mere
them not only the inherent right of citizens to return to as a supervening event, has not changed the factual shorthand for the specific executive authorizations
their country of birth but also the protection of the scenario under which the Court's decision was that follow it in [sections] 2 and 3. Hamilton stressed
Constitution and all of the rights guaranteed to rendered. The threats to the government, to which the the difference between the sweeping language of
Filipinos under the Constitution; return of the Marcoses has been viewed to provide a article II, section 1, and the conditional language of
2. the President has no power to bar a Filipino catalytic effect, have not been shown to have ceased. article I, [section] 1: "All legislative Powers herein
from his own country; if she has, she had exercised it On the contrary, instead of erasing fears as to the granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United
arbitrarily; and destabilization that will be caused by the return of the States . . ." Hamilton submitted that "[t]he [article III
3. there is no basis for barring the return of the Marcoses, Mrs. Marcos reinforced the basis for the enumeration [in sections 2 and 31 ought therefore to
family of former President Marcos. Thus, petitioners decision to bar their return when she called President be considered, as intended merely to specify the
prayed that the Court reconsider its decision, order Aquino "illegal," claiming that it is Mr. Marcos, not principal articles implied in the definition of execution
respondents to issue the necessary travel documents Mrs. Aquino, who is the "legal" President of the power; leaving the rest to flow from the general grant
to enable Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos, Ferdinand R. Philippines, and declared that the matter "should be of that power, interpreted in confomity with other parts
Marcos, Jr., Irene M. Araneta, Imee M. Manotoc, brought to all the courts of the world." [Comment, p. 1; of the Constitution...
Tommy Manotoc and Gregorio Araneta to return to Philippine Star, October 4, 1989.] In Myers v. United States, the Supreme Court —
the Philippines, and enjoin respondents from 3. Contrary to petitioners' view, it cannot be accepted Hamilton's proposition, concluding that the
implementing President Aquino's decision to bar the denied that the President, upon whom executive federal executive, unlike the Congress, could exercise
return of the remains of Mr. Marcos, and the other power is vested, has unstated residual powers which power from sources not enumerated, so long as not
petitioners, to the Philippines. are implied from the grant of executive power and forbidden by the constitutional text: the executive
Commenting on the motion for reconsideration, the which are necessary for her to comply with her duties power was given in general terms, strengthened by
Solicitor General argued that the motion for under the Constitution. The powers of the President specific terms where emphasis was regarded as
reconsideration is moot and academic as to the are not limited to what are expressly enumerated in appropriate, and was limited by direct expressions
deceased Mr. Marcos. Moreover, he asserts that "the the article on the Executive Department and in where limitation was needed. . ." The language of
'formal' rights being invoked by the Marcoses under scattered provisions of the Constitution. This is so, Chief Justice Taft in Myers makes clear that the
the label 'right to return', including the label 'return of notwithstanding the avowed intent of the members of constitutional concept of inherent power is not a
Marcos' remains, is in reality or substance a 'right' to the Constitutional Commission of 1986 to limit the synonym for power without limit; rather, the concept
destabilize the country, a 'right' to hide the Marcoses' powers of the President as a reaction to the abuses suggests only that not all powers granted in the
incessant shadowy orchestrated efforts at under the regime of Mr. Marcos, for the result was a Constitution are themselves exhausted by internal
destabilization." [Comment, p. 29.] Thus, he prays limitation of specific power of the President, enumeration, so that, within a sphere properly
that the Motion for Reconsideration be denied for lack particularly those relating to the commander-in-chief regarded as one of "executive' power, authority is
of merit. clause, but not a diminution of the general grant of implied unless there or elsewhere expressly limited.
We deny the motion for reconsideration. executive power. [TRIBE, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
158-159 (1978).]
And neither can we subscribe to the view that a AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY,​ plaintiff-appellant, Treasurer that suit would be taken in court to question
recognition of the President's implied or residual vs. the legality of the ordinances under which, the said
powers is tantamount to setting the stage for another CITY OF MANILA,​ defendant-appellee. fees were being collected (Annex C), which was done
dictatorship. Despite petitioners' strained analogy, the City Fiscal Eugenio Angeles and Juan Nabong for on the same date by filing the complaint that gave rise
residual powers of the President under the appellant. to this action. In its complaint plaintiff prays that
Constitution should not be confused with the power of Assistant City Fiscal Arsenio Nañawa for appellee. judgment be rendered declaring the said Municipal
the President under the 1973 Constitution to legislate FELIX, J.: Ordinance No. 3000, as amended, and Ordinances
pursuant to Amendment No. 6 which provides: Plaintiff-appellant is a foreign, non-stock, non-profit, Nos. 2529, 3028 and 3364 illegal and
Whenever in the judgment of the President (Prime religious, missionary corporation duly registered and unconstitutional, and that the defendant be ordered to
Minister), there exists a grave emergency or a threat doing business in the Philippines through its refund to the plaintiff the sum of P5,891.45 paid under
or imminence thereof, or whenever the interim Philippine agency established in Manila in November, protest, together with legal interest thereon, and the
Batasang Pambansa or the regular National 1898, with its principal office at 636 Isaac Peral in costs, plaintiff further praying for such other relief and
Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any said City. The defendant appellee is a municipal remedy as the court may deem just equitable.
matter for any reason that in his judgment requires corporation with powers that are to be exercised in Defendant answered the complaint, maintaining in
immediate action, he may, in order to meet the conformity with the provisions of Republic Act No. turn that said ordinances were enacted by the
exigency, issue the necessary decrees, orders, or 409, known as the Revised Charter of the City of Municipal Board of the City of Manila by virtue of the
letters of instruction, which shall form part of the law Manila. power granted to it by section 2444, subsection (m-2)
of the land, In the course of its ministry, plaintiff's Philippine of the Revised Administrative Code, superseded on
There is no similarity between the residual powers of agency has been distributing and selling bibles and/or June 18, 1949, by section 18, subsection (1) of
the President under the 1987 Constitution and the gospel portions thereof (except during the Japanese Republic Act No. 409, known as the Revised Charter
power of the President under the 1973 Constitution occupation) throughout the Philippines and translating of the City of Manila, and praying that the complaint
pursuant to Amendment No. 6. First of all, the same into several Philippine dialects. On May 29 be dismissed, with costs against plaintiff. This answer
Amendment No. 6 refers to an express grant of 1953, the acting City Treasurer of the City of Manila was replied by the plaintiff reiterating the
power. It is not implied. Then, Amendment No. 6 informed plaintiff that it was conducting the business unconstitutionality of the often-repeated ordinances.
refers to a grant to the President of the specific power of general merchandise since November, 1945, Before trial the parties submitted the following
of legislation. without providing itself with the necessary Mayor's stipulation of facts:
4. Among the duties of the President under the permit and municipal license, in violation of Ordinance COME NOW the parties in the above-entitled case,
Constitution, in compliance with his (or her) oath of No. 3000, as amended, and Ordinances Nos. 2529, thru their undersigned attorneys and respectfully
office, is to protect and promote the interest and 3028 and 3364, and required plaintiff to secure, within submit the following stipulation of facts:
welfare of the people. Her decision to bar the return of three days, the corresponding permit and license 1. That the plaintiff sold for the use of the purchasers
the Marcoses and subsequently, the remains of Mr. fees, together with compromise covering the period at its principal office at 636 Isaac Peral, Manila,
Marcos at the present time and under present from the 4th quarter of 1945 to the 2nd quarter of Bibles, New Testaments, bible portions and bible
circumstances is in compliance with this bounden 1953, in the total sum of P5,821.45 (Annex A). concordance in English and other foreign languages
duty. In the absence of a clear showing that she had Plaintiff protested against this requirement, but the imported by it from the United States as well as
acted with arbitrariness or with grave abuse of City Treasurer demanded that plaintiff deposit and Bibles, New Testaments and bible portions in the
discretion in arriving at this decision, the Court will not pay under protest the sum of P5,891.45, if suit was to local dialects imported and/or purchased locally; that
enjoin the implementation of this decision. be taken in court regarding the same (Annex B). To from the fourth quarter of 1945 to the first quarter of
ACCORDINGLY, the Court resolved to DENY the avoid the closing of its business as well as further 1953 inclusive the sales made by the plaintiff were as
Motion for Reconsideration for lack of merit." fines and penalties in the premises on October 24, follows:
1953, plaintiff paid to the defendant under protest the
Quarter Amount of Sales
EN BANC said permit and license fees in the aforementioned
G.R. No. L-9637 April 30, 1957 amount, giving at the same time notice to the City
exempt from real estate taxes; and that it was never
4th quarter 1945 P1,244.21 1st quarter 1950 18,562.46
required to pay any municipal license fee or tax
before the war, nor does the American Bible Society
1st quarter 1946 2,206.85 2nd quarter 1950 21,816.32 in the United States pay any license fee or sales tax
for the sale of bible therein. Plaintiff further tried to
2nd quarter 1946 1,950.38 3rd quarter 1950 25,004.55 establish that it never made any profit from the sale of
its bibles, which are disposed of for as low as one
third of the cost, and that in order to maintain its
3rd quarter 1946 2,235.99 4th quarter 1950 45,287.92 operating cost it obtains substantial remittances from
its New York office and voluntary contributions and
4th quarter 1946 3,256.04 1st quarter 1951 37,841.21 gifts from certain churches, both in the United States
and in the Philippines, which are interested in its
missionary work. Regarding plaintiff's contention of
1st quarter 1947 13,241.07 2nd quarter 1951 29,103.98
lack of profit in the sale of bibles, defendant retorts
that the admissions of plaintiff-appellant's lone
2nd quarter 1947 15,774.55 3rd quarter 1951 20,181.10 witness who testified on cross-examination that bibles
bearing the price of 70 cents each from
3rd quarter 1947 14,654.13 4th quarter 1951 22,968.91 plaintiff-appellant's New York office are sold here by
plaintiff-appellant at P1.30 each; those bearing the
price of $4.50 each are sold here at P10 each; those
4th quarter 1947 12,590.94 1st quarter 1952 23,002.65 bearing the price of $7 each are sold here at P15
each; and those bearing the price of $11 each are
1st quarter 1948 11,143.90 2nd quarter 1952 17,626.96 sold here at P22 each, clearly show that plaintiff's
contention that it never makes any profit from the sale
of its bible, is evidently untenable.
2nd quarter 1948 14,715.26 3rd quarter 1952 17,921.01
After hearing the Court rendered judgment, the last
part of which is as follows:
3rd quarter 1948 38,333.83 4th quarter 1952 24,180.72 As may be seen from the repealed section (m-2) of
the Revised Administrative Code and the repealing
4th quarter 1948 16,179.90 1st quarter 1953 29,516.21 portions (o) of section 18 of Republic Act No. 409,
although they seemingly differ in the way the
2. That the parties hereby reserve the right to present legislative intent is expressed, yet their meaning is
1st quarter 1949 23,975.10 practically the same for the purpose of taxing the
evidence of other facts not herein stipulated.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that this case merchandise mentioned in said legal provisions, and
2nd quarter 1949 17,802.08 be set for hearing so that the parties may present that the taxes to be levied by said ordinances is in the
further evidence on their behalf. (Record on Appeal, nature of percentage graduated taxes (Sec. 3 of
pp. 15-16). Ordinance No. 3000, as amended, and Sec. 1, Group
3rd quarter 1949 16,640.79
When the case was set for hearing, plaintiff proved, 2, of Ordinance No. 2529, as amended by Ordinance
among other things, that it has been in existence in No. 3364).
4th quarter 1949 15,961.38 the Philippines since 1899, and that its parent society IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS,
is in New York, United States of America; that its, this Court is of the opinion and so holds that this case
contiguous real properties located at Isaac Peral are
should be dismissed, as it is hereby dismissed, for Predicated on this constitutional mandate, The business, trade or occupation of the plaintiff
lack of merits, with costs against the plaintiff. plaintiff-appellant contends that Ordinances Nos. involved in this case is not particularly mentioned in
Not satisfied with this verdict plaintiff took up the 2529 and 3000, as respectively amended, are Section 3 of the Ordinance, and the record does not
matter to the Court of Appeals which certified the unconstitutional and illegal in so far as its society is show that a permit is required therefor under existing
case to Us for the reason that the errors assigned to concerned, because they provide for religious laws and ordinances for the proper supervision and
the lower Court involved only questions of law. censorship and restrain the free exercise and enforcement of their provisions governing the
Appellant contends that the lower Court erred: enjoyment of its religious profession, to wit: the sanitation, security and welfare of the public and the
1. In holding that Ordinances Nos. 2529 and 3000, as distribution and sale of bibles and other religious health of the employees engaged in the business of
respectively amended, are not unconstitutional; literature to the people of the Philippines. the plaintiff. However, sections 3 of Ordinance 3000
2. In holding that subsection m-2 of Section 2444 of Before entering into a discussion of the constitutional contains item No. 79, which reads as follows:
the Revised Administrative Code under which aspect of the case, We shall first consider the 79. All other businesses, trades or occupations not
Ordinances Nos. 2592 and 3000 were promulgated, provisions of the questioned ordinances in relation to mentioned in this Ordinance, except those upon
was not repealed by Section 18 of Republic Act No. their application to the sale of bibles, etc. by which the
409; appellant. The records, show that by letter of May 29, City is not empowered to license or to tax P5.00
3. In not holding that an ordinance providing for taxes 1953 (Annex A), the City Treasurer required plaintiff Therefore, the necessity of the permit is made to
based on gross sales or receipts, in order to be valid to secure a Mayor's permit in connection with the depend upon the power of the City to license or tax
under the new Charter of the City of Manila, must first society's alleged business of distributing and selling said business, trade or occupation.
be approved by the President of the Philippines; and bibles, etc. and to pay permit dues in the sum of P35 As to the license fees that the Treasurer of the City of
4. In holding that, as the sales made by the for the period covered in this litigation, plus the sum of Manila required the society to pay from the 4th
plaintiff-appellant have assumed commercial P35 for compromise on account of plaintiff's failure to quarter of 1945 to the 1st quarter of 1953 in the sum
proportions, it cannot escape from the operation of secure the permit required by Ordinance No. 3000 of of P5,821.45, including the sum of P50 as
said municipal ordinances under the cloak of religious the City of Manila, as amended. This Ordinance is of compromise, Ordinance No. 2529, as amended by
privilege. general application and not particularly directed Ordinances Nos. 2779, 2821 and 3028 prescribes the
The issues. — As may be seen from the proceeding against institutions like the plaintiff, and it does not following:
statement of the case, the issues involved in the contain any provisions whatever prescribing religious SEC. 1. FEES. — Subject to the provisions of section
present controversy may be reduced to the following: censorship nor restraining the free exercise and 578 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Manila,
(1) whether or not the ordinances of the City of enjoyment of any religious profession. Section 1 of as amended, there shall be paid to the City Treasurer
Manila, Nos. 3000, as amended, and 2529, 3028 and Ordinance No. 3000 reads as follows: for engaging in any of the businesses or occupations
3364, are constitutional and valid; and (2) whether the SEC. 1. PERMITS NECESSARY. — It shall be below enumerated, quarterly, license fees based on
provisions of said ordinances are applicable or not to unlawful for any person or entity to conduct or engage gross sales or receipts realized during the preceding
the case at bar. in any of the businesses, trades, or occupations quarter in accordance with the rates herein
Section 1, subsection (7) of Article III of the enumerated in Section 3 of this Ordinance or other prescribed: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That a person
Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, businesses, trades, or occupations for which a permit engaged in any businesses or occupation for the first
provides that: is required for the proper supervision and time shall pay the initial license fee based on the
(7) No law shall be made respecting an establishment enforcement of existing laws and ordinances probable gross sales or receipts for the first quarter
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and governing the sanitation, security, and welfare of the beginning from the date of the opening of the
the free exercise and enjoyment of religious public and the health of the employees engaged in business as indicated herein for the corresponding
profession and worship, without discrimination or the business specified in said section 3 hereof, business or occupation.
preference, shall forever be allowed. No religion test WITHOUT FIRST HAVING OBTAINED A PERMIT xxx xxx xxx
shall be required for the exercise of civil or political THEREFOR FROM THE MAYOR AND THE GROUP 2. — Retail dealers in new (not yet used)
rights. NECESSARY LICENSE FROM THE CITY merchandise, which dealers are not yet subject to the
TREASURER. payment of any municipal tax, such as (1) retail
dealers in general merchandise; (2) retail dealers Passing upon this point the lower Court categorically Administrative Code and We shall now copy
exclusively engaged in the sale of . . . books, stated that Republic Act No. 409 expressly repealed hereunder the provisions of Section 18, subdivision
including stationery. the provisions of Chapter 60 of the Revised (o) of Republic Act No. 409, which reads as follows:
xxx xxx xxx Administrative Code but in the opinion of the trial (o) To tax and fix the license fee on dealers in general
As may be seen, the license fees required to be paid Judge, although Section 2444 (m-2) of the former merchandise, including importers and indentors,
quarterly in Section 1 of said Ordinance No. 2529, as Manila Charter and section 18 (o) of the new except those dealers who may be expressly subject to
amended, are not imposed directly upon any religious seemingly differ in the way the legislative intent was the payment of some other municipal tax under the
institution but upon those engaged in any of the expressed, yet their meaning is practically the same provisions of this section.
business or occupations therein enumerated, such as for the purpose of taxing the merchandise mentioned Dealers in general merchandise shall be classified as
retail "dealers in general merchandise" which, it is in both legal provisions and, consequently, (a) wholesale dealers and (b) retail dealers. For
alleged, cover the business or occupation of selling Ordinances Nos. 2529 and 3000, as amended, are to purposes of the tax on retail dealers, general
bibles, books, etc. be considered as still in full force and effect merchandise shall be classified into four main
Chapter 60 of the Revised Administrative Code which uninterruptedly up to the present. classes: namely (1) luxury articles, (2) semi-luxury
includes section 2444, subsection (m-2) of said legal Often the legislature, instead of simply amending the articles, (3) essential commodities, and (4)
body, as amended by Act No. 3659, approved on pre-existing statute, will repeal the old statute in its miscellaneous articles. A separate license shall be
December 8, 1929, empowers the Municipal Board of entirety and by the same enactment re-enact all or prescribed for each class but where commodities of
the City of Manila: certain portions of the preexisting law. Of course, the different classes are sold in the same establishment,
(M-2) To tax and fix the license fee on (a) dealers in problem created by this sort of legislative action it shall not be compulsory for the owner to secure
new automobiles or accessories or both, and (b) retail involves mainly the effect of the repeal upon rights more than one license if he pays the higher or highest
dealers in new (not yet used) merchandise, which and liabilities which accrued under the original statute. rate of tax prescribed by ordinance. Wholesale
dealers are not yet subject to the payment of any Are those rights and liabilities destroyed or dealers shall pay the license tax as such, as may be
municipal tax. preserved? The authorities are divided as to the effect provided by ordinance.
For the purpose of taxation, these retail dealers shall of simultaneous repeals and re-enactments. Some For purposes of this section, the term "General
be classified as (1) retail dealers in general adhere to the view that the rights and liabilities merchandise" shall include poultry and livestock,
merchandise, and (2) retail dealers exclusively accrued under the repealed act are destroyed, since agricultural products, fish and other allied products.
engaged in the sale of (a) textiles . . . (e) books, the statutes from which they sprang are actually The only essential difference that We find between
including stationery, paper and office supplies, . . .: terminated, even though for only a very short period these two provisions that may have any bearing on
PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That the combined total tax of time. Others, and they seem to be in the majority, the case at bar, is that, while subsection (m-2)
of any debtor or manufacturer, or both, enumerated refuse to accept this view of the situation, and prescribes that the combined total tax of any dealer or
under these subsections (m-1) and (m-2), whether consequently maintain that all rights an liabilities manufacturer, or both, enumerated under subsections
dealing in one or all of the articles mentioned herein, which have accrued under the original statute are (m-1) and (m-2), whether dealing in one or all of the
SHALL NOT BE IN EXCESS OF FIVE HUNDRED preserved and may be enforced, since the articles mentioned therein, shall not be in excess of
PESOS PER ANNUM. re-enactment neutralizes the repeal, therefore, P500 per annum, the corresponding section 18,
and appellee's counsel maintains that City continuing the law in force without interruption. subsection (o) of Republic Act No. 409, does not
Ordinances Nos. 2529 and 3000, as amended, were (Crawford-Statutory Construction, Sec. 322). contain any limitation as to the amount of tax or
enacted in virtue of the power that said Act No. 3669 Appellant's counsel states that section 18 (o) of license fee that the retail dealer has to pay per
conferred upon the City of Manila. Appellant, Republic Act No, 409 introduces a new and wider annum. Hence, and in accordance with the weight of
however, contends that said ordinances are longer in concept of taxation and is different from the provisions the authorities above referred to that maintain that "all
force and effect as the law under which they were of Section 2444(m-2) that the former cannot be rights and liabilities which have accrued under the
promulgated has been expressly repealed by Section considered as a substantial re-enactment of the original statute are preserved and may be enforced,
102 of Republic Act No. 409 passed on June 18, provisions of the latter. We have quoted above the since the reenactment neutralizes the repeal,
1949, known as the Revised Manila Charter. provisions of section 2444(m-2) of the Revised therefore continuing the law in force without
interruption", We hold that the questioned ordinances power that binds and elevates man to its Creator" "We do not mean to say that religious groups and the
of the City of Manila are still in force and effect. (Aglipay vs. Ruiz, 64 Phil., 201).It has reference to press are free from all financial burdens of
Plaintiff, however, argues that the questioned one's views of his relations to His Creator and to the government. See Grosjean vs. American Press Co.,
ordinances, to be valid, must first be approved by the obligations they impose of reverence to His being and 297 U.S., 233, 250, 80 L. ed. 660, 668, 56 S. Ct. 444.
President of the Philippines as per section 18, character, and obedience to His Will (Davis vs. We have here something quite different, for example,
subsection (ii) of Republic Act No. 409, which reads Beason, 133 U.S., 342). The constitutional guaranty from a tax on the income of one who engages in
as follows: of the free exercise and enjoyment of religious religious activities or a tax on property used or
(ii) To tax, license and regulate any business, trade or profession and worship carries with it the right to employed in connection with activities. It is one thing
occupation being conducted within the City of Manila, disseminate religious information. Any restraints of to impose a tax on the income or property of a
not otherwise enumerated in the preceding such right can only be justified like other restraints of preacher. It is quite another to exact a tax from him
subsections, including percentage taxes based on freedom of expression on the grounds that there is a for the privilege of delivering a sermon. The tax
gross sales or receipts, subject to the approval of the clear and present danger of any substantive evil imposed by the City of Jeannette is a flat license tax,
PRESIDENT, except amusement taxes. which the State has the right to prevent". (Tañada and payment of which is a condition of the exercise of
but this requirement of the President's approval was Fernando on the Constitution of the Philippines, Vol. these constitutional privileges. The power to tax the
not contained in section 2444 of the former Charter of 1, 4th ed., p. 297). In the case at bar the license fee exercise of a privilege is the power to control or
the City of Manila under which Ordinance No. 2529 herein involved is imposed upon appellant for its suppress its enjoyment. . . . Those who can tax the
was promulgated. Anyway, as stated by appellee's distribution and sale of bibles and other religious exercise of this religious practice can make its
counsel, the business of "retail dealers in general literature: exercise so costly as to deprive it of the resources
merchandise" is expressly enumerated in subsection In the case of Murdock vs. Pennsylvania, it was held necessary for its maintenance. Those who can tax the
(o), section 18 of Republic Act No. 409; hence, an that an ordinance requiring that a license be obtained privilege of engaging in this form of missionary
ordinance prescribing a municipal tax on said before a person could canvass or solicit orders for evangelism can close all its doors to all those who do
business does not have to be approved by the goods, paintings, pictures, wares or merchandise not have a full purse. Spreading religious beliefs in
President to be effective, as it is not among those cannot be made to apply to members of Jehovah's this ancient and honorable manner would thus be
referred to in said subsection (ii). Moreover, the Witnesses who went about from door to door denied the needy. . . .
questioned ordinances are still in force, having been distributing literature and soliciting people to It is contended however that the fact that the license
promulgated by the Municipal Board of the City of "purchase" certain religious books and pamphlets, all tax can suppress or control this activity is unimportant
Manila under the authority granted to it by law. published by the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. if it does not do so. But that is to disregard the nature
The question that now remains to be determined is The "price" of the books was twenty-five cents each, of this tax. It is a license tax — a flat tax imposed on
whether said ordinances are inapplicable, invalid or the "price" of the pamphlets five cents each. It was the exercise of a privilege granted by the Bill of Rights
unconstitutional if applied to the alleged business of shown that in making the solicitations there was a . . . The power to impose a license tax on the exercise
distribution and sale of bibles to the people of the request for additional "contribution" of twenty-five of these freedom is indeed as potent as the power of
Philippines by a religious corporation like the cents each for the books and five cents each for the censorship which this Court has repeatedly struck
American Bible Society, plaintiff herein. pamphlets. Lesser sum were accepted, however, and down. . . . It is not a nominal fee imposed as a
With regard to Ordinance No. 2529, as amended by books were even donated in case interested persons regulatory measure to defray the expenses of policing
Ordinances Nos. 2779, 2821 and 3028, appellant were without funds. the activities in question. It is in no way apportioned. It
contends that it is unconstitutional and illegal because On the above facts the Supreme Court held that it is flat license tax levied and collected as a condition to
it restrains the free exercise and enjoyment of the could not be said that petitioners were engaged in the pursuit of activities whose enjoyment is
religious profession and worship of appellant. commercial rather than a religious venture. Their guaranteed by the constitutional liberties of press and
Article III, section 1, clause (7) of the Constitution of activities could not be described as embraced in the religion and inevitably tends to suppress their
the Philippines aforequoted, guarantees the freedom occupation of selling books and pamphlets. Then the exercise. That is almost uniformly recognized as the
of religious profession and worship. "Religion has Court continued: inherent vice and evil of this flat license tax."
been spoken of as a profession of faith to an active
Nor could dissemination of religious information be that the act of distributing and selling bibles, etc. is powerless to license or tax the business of plaintiff
conditioned upon the approval of an official or purely religious and does not fall under the above Society involved herein for, as stated before, it would
manager even if the town were owned by a legal provisions. impair plaintiff's right to the free exercise and
corporation as held in the case of Marsh vs. State of It may be true that in the case at bar the price asked enjoyment of its religious profession and worship, as
Alabama (326 U.S. 501), or by the United States itself for the bibles and other religious pamphlets was in well as its rights of dissemination of religious beliefs,
as held in the case of Tucker vs. Texas (326 U.S. some instances a little bit higher than the actual cost We find that Ordinance No. 3000, as amended is also
517). In the former case the Supreme Court of the same but this cannot mean that appellant was inapplicable to said business, trade or occupation of
expressed the opinion that the right to enjoy freedom engaged in the business or occupation of selling said the plaintiff.
of the press and religion occupies a preferred position "merchandise" for profit. For this reason We believe Wherefore, and on the strength of the foregoing
as against the constitutional right of property owners. that the provisions of City of Manila Ordinance No. considerations, We hereby reverse the decision
"When we balance the constitutional rights of owners 2529, as amended, cannot be applied to appellant, for appealed from, sentencing defendant return to plaintiff
of property against those of the people to enjoy in doing so it would impair its free exercise and the sum of P5,891.45 unduly collected from it. Without
freedom of press and religion, as we must here, we enjoyment of its religious profession and worship as pronouncement as to costs. It is so ordered.
remain mindful of the fact that the latter occupy a well as its rights of dissemination of religious beliefs. Bengzon, Padilla, Montemayor, Bautista Angelo,
preferred position. . . . In our view the circumstance With respect to Ordinance No. 3000, as amended, Labrador, Concepcion and Endencia, JJ., concur.
that the property rights to the premises where the which requires the obtention the Mayor's permit
deprivation of property here involved, took place, before any person can engage in any of the EN BANC
were held by others than the public, is not sufficient to businesses, trades or occupations enumerated
justify the State's permitting a corporation to govern a therein, We do not find that it imposes any charge G.R. No. 115455 October 30, 1995
community of citizens so as to restrict their upon the enjoyment of a right granted by the ARTURO M. TOLENTINO, ​petitioner,
fundamental liberties and the enforcement of such Constitution, nor tax the exercise of religious vs.
restraint by the application of a State statute." practices. In the case of Coleman vs. City of Griffin, THE SECRETARY OF FINANCE and THE
(Tañada and Fernando on the Constitution of the 189 S.E. 427, this point was elucidated as follows: COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,
Philippines, Vol. 1, 4th ed., p. 304-306). An ordinance by the City of Griffin, declaring that the respondents.
Section 27 of Commonwealth Act No. 466, otherwise practice of distributing either by hand or otherwise, G.R. No. 115525 October 30, 1995
known as the National Internal Revenue Code, circulars, handbooks, advertising, or literature of any JUAN T. DAVID, ​petitioner,
provides: kind, whether said articles are being delivered free, or vs.
SEC. 27. EXEMPTIONS FROM TAX ON whether same are being sold within the city limits of TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, JR., as Executive
CORPORATIONS. — The following organizations the City of Griffin, without first obtaining written Secretary; ROBERTO DE OCAMPO, as Secretary
shall not be taxed under this Title in respect to income permission from the city manager of the City of Griffin, of Finance; LIWAYWAY VINZONS-CHATO, as
received by them as such — shall be deemed a nuisance and punishable as an Commissioner of Internal Revenue; and their
(e) Corporations or associations organized and offense against the City of Griffin, does not deprive AUTHORIZED AGENTS OR REPRESENTATIVES,
operated exclusively for religious, charitable, . . . or defendant of his constitutional right of the free respondents.
educational purposes, . . .: Provided, however, That exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and G.R. No. 115543 October 30, 1995
the income of whatever kind and character from any worship, even though it prohibits him from introducing RAUL S. ROCO and the INTEGRATED BAR OF
of its properties, real or personal, or from any activity and carrying out a scheme or purpose which he sees THE PHILIPPINES, ​petitioners,
conducted for profit, regardless of the disposition fit to claim as a part of his religious system. vs.
made of such income, shall be liable to the tax It seems clear, therefore, that Ordinance No. 3000 THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF
imposed under this Code; cannot be considered unconstitutional, even if applied FINANCE; THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE
Appellant's counsel claims that the Collector of to plaintiff Society. But as Ordinance No. 2529 of the BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE AND BUREAU
Internal Revenue has exempted the plaintiff from this City of Manila, as amended, is not applicable to OF CUSTOMS, ​respondents.
tax and says that such exemption clearly indicates plaintiff-appellant and defendant-appellee is G.R. No. 115544 October 30, 1995
PHILIPPINE PRESS INSTITUTE, INC.; EGP G.R. No. 115873 October 30, 1995 On June 27, 1995 the matter was submitted for
PUBLISHING CO., INC.; KAMAHALAN COOPERATIVE UNION OF THE PHILIPPINES, resolution.
PUBLISHING CORPORATION; PHILIPPINE petitioner, I. Power of the Senate to propose
JOURNALISTS, INC.; JOSE L. PAVIA; and OFELIA vs. amendments to revenue bills. Some of the petitioners
L. DIMALANTA, ​petitioners, HON. LIWAYWAY V. CHATO, in her capacity as (Tolentino, Kilosbayan, Inc., Philippine Airlines (PAL),
vs. the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, HON. Roco, and Chamber of Real Estate and Builders
HON. LIWAYWAY V. CHATO, in her capacity as TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, JR., in his capacity as Association (CREBA)) reiterate previous claims made
Commissioner of Internal Revenue; HON. Executive Secretary, and HON. ROBERTO B. DE by them that R.A. No. 7716 did not "originate
TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, JR., in his capacity as OCAMPO, in his capacity as Secretary of Finance, exclusively" in the House of Representatives as
Executive Secretary; and HON. ROBERTO B. DE respondents. required by Art. VI, §24 of the Constitution. Although
OCAMPO, in his capacity as Secretary of Finance, G.R. No. 115931 October 30, 1995 they admit that H. No. 11197 was filed in the House of
respondents. PHILIPPINE EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHERS Representatives where it passed three readings and
G.R. No. 115754 October 30, 1995 ASSOCIATION, INC. and ASSOCIATION OF that afterward it was sent to the Senate where after
CHAMBER OF REAL ESTATE AND BUILDERS PHILIPPINE BOOK SELLERS, ​petitioners, first reading it was referred to the Senate Ways and
ASSOCIATIONS, INC., (CREBA), ​petitioner, vs. Means Committee, they complain that the Senate did
vs. HON. ROBERTO B. DE OCAMPO, as the Secretary not pass it on second and third readings. Instead what
THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, of Finance; HON. LIWAYWAY V. CHATO, as the the Senate did was to pass its own version (S. No.
respondent. Commissioner of Internal Revenue; and HON. 1630) which it approved on May 24, 1994. Petitioner
G.R. No. 115781 October 30, 1995 GUILLERMO PARAYNO, JR., in his capacity as Tolentino adds that what the Senate committee
KILOSBAYAN, INC., JOVITO R. SALONGA, CIRILO the Commissioner of Customs,​ respondents. should have done was to amend H. No. 11197 by
A. RIGOS, ERME CAMBA, EMILIO C. CAPULONG, RESOLUTION striking out the text of the bill and substituting it with
JR., JOSE T. APOLO, EPHRAIM TENDERO, the text of S. No. 1630. That way, it is said, "the bill
FERNANDO SANTIAGO, JOSE ABCEDE, MENDOZA, J.: remains a House bill and the Senate version just
CHRISTINE TAN, FELIPE L. GOZON, RAFAEL G. These are motions seeking reconsideration of our becomes the text (only the text) of the House bill."
FERNANDO, RAOUL V. VICTORINO, JOSE decision dismissing the petitions filed in these cases The contention has no merit.
CUNANAN, QUINTIN S. DOROMAL, MOVEMENT for the declaration of unconstitutionality of R.A. No. The enactment of S. No. 1630 is not the only instance
OF ATTORNEYS FOR BROTHERHOOD, 7716, otherwise known as the Expanded in which the Senate proposed an amendment to a
INTEGRITY AND NATIONALISM, INC. ("MABINI"), Value-Added Tax Law. The motions, of which there House revenue bill by enacting its own version of a
FREEDOM FROM DEBT COALITION, INC., and are 10 in all, have been filed by the several petitioners revenue bill. On at least two occasions during the
PHILIPPINE BIBLE SOCIETY, INC. and WIGBERTO in these cases, with the exception of the Philippine Eighth Congress, the Senate passed its own version
TAÑADA, ​petitioners, Educational Publishers Association, Inc. and the of revenue bills, which, in consolidation with House
vs. Association of Philippine Booksellers, petitioners in bills earlier passed, became the enrolled bills. These
THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE SECRETARY G.R. No. 115931. were:
OF FINANCE, THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL The Solicitor General, representing the respondents, R.A. No. 7369 (AN ACT TO AMEND THE OMNIBUS
REVENUE and THE COMMISSIONER OF filed a consolidated comment, to which the Philippine INVESTMENTS CODE OF 1987 BY EXTENDING
CUSTOMS, ​respondents. Airlines, Inc., petitioner in G.R. No. 115852, and the FROM FIVE (5) YEARS TO TEN YEARS THE
G.R. No. 115852 October 30, 1995 Philippine Press Institute, Inc., petitioner in G.R. No. PERIOD FOR TAX AND DUTY EXEMPTION AND
PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC., ​petitioner, 115544, and Juan T. David, petitioner in G.R. No. TAX CREDIT ON CAPITAL EQUIPMENT) which was
vs. 115525, each filed a reply. In turn the Solicitor approved by the President on April 10, 1992. This Act
THE SECRETARY OF FINANCE and General filed on June 1, 1995 a rejoinder to the PPI's is actually a consolidation of H. No. 34254, which was
COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, reply. approved by the House on January 29, 1992, and S.
respondents.
No. 1920, which was approved by the Senate on NATIONAL INTERNAL REVENUE CODE, AS OFFERING, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE THE
February 3, 1992. AMENDED (February 24, 1993) NATIONAL INTERNAL REVENUE CODE, AS
R.A. No. 7549 (AN ACT GRANTING TAX House Bill No. 1470, October 20, 1992 AMENDED, BY INSERTING A NEW SECTION AND
EXEMPTIONS TO WHOEVER SHALL GIVE Senate Bill No. 35, November 19, 1992 REPEALING CERTAIN SUBSECTIONS THEREOF
REWARD TO ANY FILIPINO ATHLETE WINNING A 4. R.A. NO. 7649 (May 5, 1994)
MEDAL IN OLYMPIC GAMES) which was approved AN ACT REQUIRING THE GOVERNMENT OR ANY House Bill No. 9187, November 3, 1993
by the President on May 22, 1992. This Act is a OF ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS, Senate Bill No. 1127, March 23, 1994
consolidation of H. No. 22232, which was approved INSTRUMENTALITIES OR AGENCIES INCLUDING Thus, the enactment of S. No. 1630 is not the only
by the House of Representatives on August 2, 1989, GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR CONTROLLED instance in which the Senate, in the exercise of its
and S. No. 807, which was approved by the Senate CORPORATIONS (GOCCS) TO DEDUCT AND power to propose amendments to bills required to
on October 21, 1991. WITHHOLD THE VALUE-ADDED TAX DUE AT THE originate in the House, passed its own version of a
On the other hand, the Ninth Congress passed RATE OF THREE PERCENT (3%) ON GROSS House revenue measure. It is noteworthy that, in the
revenue laws which were also the result of the PAYMENT FOR THE PURCHASE OF GOODS AND particular case of S. No. 1630, petitioners Tolentino
consolidation of House and Senate bills. These are SIX PERCENT (6%) ON GROSS RECEIPTS FOR and Roco, as members of the Senate, voted to
the following, with indications of the dates on which SERVICES RENDERED BY CONTRACTORS (April approve it on second and third readings.
the laws were approved by the President and dates 6, 1993) On the other hand, amendment by substitution, in the
the separate bills of the two chambers of Congress House Bill No. 5260, January 26, 1993 manner urged by petitioner Tolentino, concerns a
were respectively passed: Senate Bill No. 1141, March 30, 1993 mere matter of form. Petitioner has not shown what
1. R.A. NO. 7642 5. R.A. NO. 7656 substantial difference it would make if, as the Senate
AN ACT INCREASING THE PENALTIES FOR TAX AN ACT REQUIRING GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR actually did in this case, a separate bill like S. No.
EVASION, AMENDING FOR THIS PURPOSE THE CONTROLLED CORPORATIONS TO DECLARE 1630 is instead enacted as a substitute measure,
PERTINENT SECTIONS OF THE NATIONAL DIVIDENDS UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS TO "taking into Consideration . . . H.B. 11197."
INTERNAL REVENUE CODE (December 28, 1992). THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT, AND FOR OTHER Indeed, so far as pertinent, the Rules of the Senate
House Bill No. 2165, October 5, 1992 PURPOSES (November 9, 1993) only provide:
Senate Bill No. 32, December 7, 1992 House Bill No. 11024, November 3, 1993 RULE XXIX
2. R.A. NO. 7643 Senate Bill No. 1168, November 3, 1993 AMENDMENTS
AN ACT TO EMPOWER THE COMMISSIONER OF 6. R.A. NO. 7660 xxx xxx xxx
INTERNAL REVENUE TO REQUIRE THE PAYMENT AN ACT RATIONALIZING FURTHER THE §68. Not more than one amendment to the
OF THE VALUE-ADDED TAX EVERY MONTH AND STRUCTURE AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE original amendment shall be considered.
TO ALLOW LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS TO DOCUMENTARY STAMP TAX, AMENDING FOR No amendment by substitution shall be entertained
SHARE IN VAT REVENUE, AMENDING FOR THIS THE PURPOSE CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE unless the text thereof is submitted in writing.
PURPOSE CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THE NATIONAL INTERNAL REVENUE CODE, AS Any of said amendments may be withdrawn before a
NATIONAL INTERNAL REVENUE CODE (December AMENDED, ALLOCATING FUNDS FOR SPECIFIC vote is taken thereon.
28, 1992) PROGRAMS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES §69. No amendment which seeks the inclusion of
House Bill No. 1503, September 3, 1992 (December 23, 1993) a legislative provision foreign to the subject matter of
Senate Bill No. 968, December 7, 1992 House Bill No. 7789, May 31, 1993 a bill (rider) shall be entertained.
3. R.A. NO. 7646 Senate Bill No. 1330, November 18, 1993 xxx xxx xxx
AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE COMMISSIONER OF 7. R.A. NO. 7717 §70-A. A bill or resolution shall not be amended by
INTERNAL REVENUE TO PRESCRIBE THE PLACE AN ACT IMPOSING A TAX ON THE SALE, BARTER substituting it with another which covers a subject
FOR PAYMENT OF INTERNAL REVENUE TAXES OR EXCHANGE OF SHARES OF STOCK LISTED distinct from that proposed in the original bill or
BY LARGE TAXPAYERS, AMENDING FOR THIS AND TRADED THROUGH THE LOCAL STOCK resolution. (emphasis added).
PURPOSE CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE EXCHANGE OR THROUGH INITIAL PUBLIC
Nor is there merit in petitioners' contention that, with powers of the proposed Senate. Accordingly they House, however, the Senate certainly can pass its
regard to revenue bills, the Philippine Senate proposed the following provision: own version on the same subject matter. This follows
possesses less power than the U.S. Senate because All bills appropriating public funds, revenue or tariff from the coequality of the two chambers of Congress.
of textual differences between constitutional bills, bills of local application, and private bills shall That this is also the understanding of book authors of
provisions giving them the power to propose or originate exclusively in the Assembly, but the Senate the scope of the Senate's power to concur is clear
concur with amendments. may propose or concur with amendments. In case of from the following commentaries:
Art. I, §7, cl. 1 of the U.S. Constitution reads: disapproval by the Senate of any such bills, the The power of the Senate to propose or concur with
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the Assembly may repass the same by a two-thirds vote amendments is apparently without restriction. It would
House of Representatives; but the Senate may of all its members, and thereupon, the bill so seem that by virtue of this power, the Senate can
propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills. repassed shall be deemed enacted and may be practically re-write a bill required to come from the
Art. VI, §24 of our Constitution reads: submitted to the President for corresponding action. House and leave only a trace of the original bill. For
All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills In the event that the Senate should fail to finally act example, a general revenue bill passed by the lower
authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local on any such bills, the Assembly may, after thirty days house of the United States Congress contained
application, and private bills shall originate exclusively from the opening of the next regular session of the provisions for the imposition of an inheritance tax .
in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may same legislative term, reapprove the same with a vote This was changed by the Senate into a corporation
propose or concur with amendments. of two-thirds of all the members of the Assembly. And tax. The amending authority of the Senate was
The addition of the word "exclusively" in the Philippine upon such reapproval, the bill shall be deemed declared by the United States Supreme Court to be
Constitution and the decision to drop the phrase "as enacted and may be submitted to the President for sufficiently broad to enable it to make the alteration.
on other Bills" in the American version, according to corresponding action. [Flint v. Stone Tracy Company, 220 U.S. 107, 55 L.
petitioners, shows the intention of the framers of our The special committee on the revision of laws of the ed. 389].
Constitution to restrict the Senate's power to propose Second National Assembly vetoed the proposal. It (L. TAÑADA AND F. CARREON, POLITICAL LAW
amendments to revenue bills. Petitioner Tolentino deleted everything after the first sentence. As OF THE PHILIPPINES 247 (1961))
contends that the word "exclusively" was inserted to rewritten, the proposal was approved by the National The above-mentioned bills are supposed to be
modify "originate" and "the words 'as in any other bills' Assembly and embodied in Resolution No. 38, as initiated by the House of Representatives because it
(sic) were eliminated so as to show that these bills amended by Resolution No. 73. (J. ARUEGO, KNOW is more numerous in membership and therefore also
were not to be like other bills but must be treated as a YOUR CONSTITUTION 65-66 (1950)). The proposed more representative of the people. Moreover, its
special kind." amendment was submitted to the people and ratified members are presumed to be more familiar with the
The history of this provision does not support this by them in the elections held on June 18, 1940. needs of the country in regard to the enactment of the
contention. The supposed indicia of constitutional This is the history of Art. VI, §18 (2) of the 1935 legislation involved.
intent are nothing but the relics of an unsuccessful Constitution, from which Art. VI, §24 of the present The Senate is, however, allowed much leeway in the
attempt to limit the power of the Senate. It will be Constitution was derived. It explains why the word exercise of its power to propose or concur with
recalled that the 1935 Constitution originally provided "exclusively" was added to the American text from amendments to the bills initiated by the House of
for a unicameral National Assembly. When it was which the framers of the Philippine Constitution Representatives. Thus, in one case, a bill introduced
decided in 1939 to change to a bicameral legislature, borrowed and why the phrase "as on other Bills" was in the U.S. House of Representatives was changed by
it became necessary to provide for the procedure for not copied. Considering the defeat of the proposal, the Senate to make a proposed inheritance tax a
lawmaking by the Senate and the House of the power of the Senate to propose amendments corporation tax. It is also accepted practice for the
Representatives. The work of proposing amendments must be understood to be full, plenary and complete Senate to introduce what is known as an amendment
to the Constitution was done by the National "as on other Bills." Thus, because revenue bills are by substitution, which may entirely replace the bill
Assembly, acting as a constituent assembly, some of required to originate exclusively in the House of initiated in the House of Representatives.
whose members, jealous of preserving the Representatives, the Senate cannot enact revenue (I. CRUZ, PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW 144-145
Assembly's lawmaking powers, sought to curtail the measures of its own without such bills. After a (1993)).
revenue bill is passed and sent over to it by the
In sum, while Art. VI, §24 provides that all bills because neither H. No. 11197 nor S. No. 1630 covers two subject matters: not only investigation of
appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing was passed by both houses of Congress." deposits in banks but also investigation of
increase of the public debt, bills of local application, In point of fact, in several instances the provisions of investments in government securities. Now, since the
and private bills must "originate exclusively in the S. No. 1630, clearly appear to be mere amendments two bills differ in their subject matter, I believe that no
House of Representatives," it also adds, "but the of the corresponding provisions of H. No. 11197. The law can be enacted.
Senate may propose or concur with amendments." In very tabular comparison of the provisions of H. No. Ruling on the point of order raised, the chair (Speaker
the exercise of this power, the Senate may propose 11197 and S. No. 1630 attached as Supplement A to Jose B. Laurel, Jr.) said:
an entirely new bill as a substitute measure. As the basic petition of petitioner Tolentino, while THE SPEAKER. The report of the conference
petitioner Tolentino states in a high school text, a showing differences between the two bills, at the committee is in order. It is precisely in cases like this
committee to which a bill is referred may do any of the same time indicates that the provisions of the Senate where a conference should be had. If the House bill
following: bill were precisely intended to be amendments to the had been approved by the Senate, there would have
(1) to endorse the bill without changes; (2) to House bill. been no need of a conference; but precisely because
make changes in the bill omitting or adding sections Without H. No. 11197, the Senate could not have the Senate passed another bill on the same subject
or altering its language; (3) to make and endorse an enacted S. No. 1630. Because the Senate bill was a matter, the conference committee had to be created,
entirely new bill as a substitute, in which case it will be mere amendment of the House bill, H. No. 11197 in and we are now considering the report of that
known as a committee bill; or (4) to make no report at its original form did not have to pass the Senate on committee.
all. second and three readings. It was enough that after it (2 CONG. REC. NO. 13, July 27, 1955, pp. 3841-42
(A. TOLENTINO, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE was passed on first reading it was referred to the (emphasis added))
PHILIPPINES 258 (1950)) Senate Committee on Ways and Means. Neither was III. The President's certification. The fallacy in
To except from this procedure the amendment of bills it required that S. No. 1630 be passed by the House thinking that H. No. 11197 and S. No. 1630 are
which are required to originate in the House by of Representatives before the two bills could be distinct and unrelated measures also accounts for the
prescribing that the number of the House bill and its referred to the Conference Committee. petitioners' (Kilosbayan's and PAL's) contention that
other parts up to the enacting clause must be There is legislative precedent for what was done in because the President separately certified to the need
preserved although the text of the Senate amendment the case of H. No. 11197 and S. No. 1630. When the for the immediate enactment of these measures, his
may be incorporated in place of the original body of House bill and Senate bill, which became R.A. No. certification was ineffectual and void. The certification
the bill is to insist on a mere technicality. At any rate 1405 (Act prohibiting the disclosure of bank deposits), had to be made of the version of the same revenue
there is no rule prescribing this form. S. No. 1630, as were referred to a conference committee, the bill which at the moment was being considered.
a substitute measure, is therefore as much an question was raised whether the two bills could be the Otherwise, to follow petitioners' theory, it would be
amendment of H. No. 11197 as any which the Senate subject of such conference, considering that the bill necessary for the President to certify as many bills as
could have made. from one house had not been passed by the other are presented in a house of Congress even though
II. S. No. 1630 a mere amendment of H. No. and vice versa. As Congressman Duran put the the bills are merely versions of the bill he has already
11197. Petitioners' basic error is that they assume question: certified. It is enough that he certifies the bill which, at
that S. No. 1630 is an independent and distinct bill. MR. DURAN. Therefore, I raise this question of the time he makes the certification, is under
Hence their repeated references to its certification order as to procedure: If a House bill is passed by the consideration. Since on March 22, 1994 the Senate
that it was passed by the Senate "in substitution of House but not passed by the Senate, and a Senate was considering S. No. 1630, it was that bill which
S.B. No. 1129, taking into consideration P.S. Res. No. bill of a similar nature is passed in the Senate but had to be certified. For that matter on June 1, 1993
734 and H.B. No. 11197," implying that there is never passed in the House, can the two bills be the the President had earlier certified H. No. 9210 for
something substantially different between the subject of a conference, and can a law be enacted immediate enactment because it was the one which
reference to S. No. 1129 and the reference to H. No. from these two bills? I understand that the Senate bill at that time was being considered by the House. This
11197. From this premise, they conclude that R.A. in this particular instance does not refer to bill was later substituted, together with other bills, by
No. 7716 originated both in the House and in the investments in government securities, whereas the bill H. No. 11197.
Senate and that it is the product of two "half-baked in the House, which was introduced by the Speaker,
As to what Presidential certification can accomplish, passage, except when the President certifies to the The purpose for which three readings on separate
we have already explained in the main decision that necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public days is required is said to be two-fold: (1) to inform
the phrase "except when the President certifies to the calamity or emergency. Upon the last reading of a bill, the members of Congress of what they must vote on
necessity of its immediate enactment, etc." in Art. VI, no amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote and (2) to give them notice that a measure is
§26 (2) qualifies not only the requirement that "printed thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the progressing through the enacting process, thus
copies [of a bill] in its final form [must be] distributed yeas and nays entered in the Journal. enabling them and others interested in the measure to
to the members three days before its passage" but The exception is based on the prudential prepare their positions with reference to it. (1 J. G.
also the requirement that before a bill can become a consideration that if in all cases three readings on SUTHERLAND, STATUTES AND STATUTORY
law it must have passed "three readings on separate separate days are required and a bill has to be printed CONSTRUCTION §10.04, p. 282 (1972)). These
days." There is not only textual support for such in final form before it can be passed, the need for a purposes were substantially achieved in the case of
construction but historical basis as well. law may be rendered academic by the occurrence of R.A. No. 7716.
Art. VI, §21 (2) of the 1935 Constitution originally the very emergency or public calamity which it is IV. Power of Conference Committee. It is
provided: meant to address. contended (principally by Kilosbayan, Inc. and the
(2) No bill shall be passed by either House Petitioners further contend that a "growing budget Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and
unless it shall have been printed and copies thereof in deficit" is not an emergency, especially in a country Nationalism, Inc. (MABINI)) that in violation of the
its final form furnished its Members at least three like the Philippines where budget deficit is a chronic constitutional policy of full public disclosure and the
calendar days prior to its passage, except when the condition. Even if this were the case, an enormous people's right to know (Art. II, §28 and Art. III, §7) the
President shall have certified to the necessity of its budget deficit does not make the need for R.A. No. Conference Committee met for two days in executive
immediate enactment. Upon the last reading of a bill, 7716 any less urgent or the situation calling for its session with only the conferees present.
no amendment thereof shall be allowed and the enactment any less an emergency. As pointed out in our main decision, even in the
question upon its passage shall be taken immediately Apparently, the members of the Senate (including United States it was customary to hold such sessions
thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered on the some of the petitioners in these cases) believed that with only the conferees and their staffs in attendance
Journal. there was an urgent need for consideration of S. No. and it was only in 1975 when a new rule was adopted
When the 1973 Constitution was adopted, it was 1630, because they responded to the call of the requiring open sessions. Unlike its American
provided in Art. VIII, §19 (2): President by voting on the bill on second and third counterpart, the Philippine Congress has not adopted
(2) No bill shall become a law unless it has readings on the same day. While the judicial a rule prescribing open hearings for conference
passed three readings on separate days, and printed department is not bound by the Senate's acceptance committees.
copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to of the President's certification, the respect due It is nevertheless claimed that in the United States,
the Members three days before its passage, except coequal departments of the government in matters before the adoption of the rule in 1975, at least staff
when the Prime Minister certifies to the necessity of committed to them by the Constitution and the members were present. These were staff members of
its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or absence of a clear showing of grave abuse of the Senators and Congressmen, however, who may
emergency. Upon the last reading of a bill, no discretion caution a stay of the judicial hand. be presumed to be their confidential men, not
amendment thereto shall be allowed, and the vote At any rate, we are satisfied that S. No. 1630 received stenographers as in this case who on the last two
thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the thorough consideration in the Senate where it was days of the conference were excluded. There is no
yeas and nays entered in the Journal. discussed for six days. Only its distribution in advance showing that the conferees themselves did not take
This provision of the 1973 document, with slight in its final printed form was actually dispensed with by notes of their proceedings so as to give petitioner
modification, was adopted in Art. VI, §26 (2) of the holding the voting on second and third readings on Kilosbayan basis for claiming that even in secret
present Constitution, thus: the same day (March 24, 1994). Otherwise, sufficient diplomatic negotiations involving state interests,
(2) No bill passed by either House shall become time between the submission of the bill on February 8, conferees keep notes of their meetings. Above all, the
a law unless it has passed three readings on separate 1994 on second reading and its approval on March public's right to know was fully served because the
days, and printed copies thereof in its final form have 24, 1994 elapsed before it was finally voted on by the Conference Committee in this case submitted a report
been distributed to its Members three days before its Senate on third reading.
showing the changes made on the differing versions provisions of the Rules, and the reason for the each House. Both the enrolled bill and the legislative
of the House and the Senate. requirement in the provision cited by the gentleman journals certify that the measure was duly enacted
Petitioners cite the rules of both houses which provide from Pangasinan is when there are only certain words i.e., in accordance with Article VI, Sec. 26 (2) of the
that conference committee reports must contain "a or phrases inserted in or deleted from the provisions Constitution. We are bound by such official
detailed, sufficiently explicit statement of the changes of the bill included in the conference report, and we assurances from a coordinate department of the
in or other amendments." These changes are shown cannot understand what those words and phrases government, to which we owe, at the very least, a
in the bill attached to the Conference Committee mean and their relation to the bill. In that case, it is becoming courtesy.
Report. The members of both houses could thus necessary to make a detailed statement on how those (Id. at 710. (emphasis added))
ascertain what changes had been made in the original words and phrases will affect the bill as a whole; but It is interesting to note the following description of
bills without the need of a statement detailing the when the entire bill itself is copied verbatim in the conference committees in the Philippines in a 1979
changes. conference report, that is not necessary. So when the study:
The same question now presented was raised when reason for the Rule does not exist, the Rule does not Conference committees may be of two types: free or
the bill which became R.A. No. 1400 (Land Reform exist. instructed. These committees may be given
Act of 1955) was reported by the Conference (2 CONG. REC. NO. 2, p. 4056. (emphasis added)) instructions by their parent bodies or they may be left
Committee. Congressman Bengzon raised a point of Congressman Tolentino was sustained by the chair. without instructions. Normally the conference
order. He said: The record shows that when the ruling was appealed, committees are without instructions, and this is why
MR. BENGZON. My point of order is that it is out of it was upheld by viva voce and when a division of the they are often critically referred to as "the little
order to consider the report of the conference House was called, it was sustained by a vote of 48 to legislatures." Once bills have been sent to them, the
committee regarding House Bill No. 2557 by reason 5. (Id., conferees have almost unlimited authority to change
of the provision of Section 11, Article XII, of the Rules p. 4058) the clauses of the bills and in fact sometimes
of this House which provides specifically that the Nor is there any doubt about the power of a introduce new measures that were not in the original
conference report must be accompanied by a detailed conference committee to insert new provisions as legislation. No minutes are kept, and members'
statement of the effects of the amendment on the bill long as these are germane to the subject of the activities on conference committees are difficult to
of the House. This conference committee report is not conference. As this Court held in Philippine Judges determine. One congressman known for his idealism
accompanied by that detailed statement, Mr. Speaker. Association v. Prado, 227 SCRA 703 (1993), in an put it this way: "I killed a bill on export incentives for
Therefore it is out of order to consider it. opinion written by then Justice Cruz, the jurisdiction of my interest group [copra] in the conference committee
Petitioner Tolentino, then the Majority Floor Leader, the conference committee is not limited to resolving but I could not have done so anywhere else." The
answered: differences between the Senate and the House. It conference committee submits a report to both
MR. TOLENTINO. Mr. Speaker, I should just may propose an entirely new provision. What is houses, and usually it is accepted. If the report is not
like to say a few words in connection with the point of important is that its report is subsequently approved accepted, then the committee is discharged and new
order raised by the gentleman from Pangasinan. by the respective houses of Congress. This Court members are appointed.
There is no question about the provision of the Rule ruled that it would not entertain allegations that, (R. Jackson, Committees in the Philippine Congress,
cited by the gentleman from Pangasinan, but this because new provisions had been added by the in COMMITTEES AND LEGISLATURES: A
provision applies to those cases where only portions conference committee, there was thereby a violation COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS 163 (J. D. LEES AND M.
of the bill have been amended. In this case before us of the constitutional injunction that "upon the last SHAW, eds.)).
an entire bill is presented; therefore, it can be easily reading of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be In citing this study, we pass no judgment on the
seen from the reading of the bill what the provisions allowed." methods of conference committees. We cite it only to
are. Besides, this procedure has been an established Applying these principles, we shall decline to look into say that conference committees here are no different
practice. the petitioners' charges that an amendment was from their counterparts in the United States whose
After some interruption, he continued: made upon the last reading of the bill that eventually vast powers we noted in Philippine Judges
MR. TOLENTINO. As I was saying, Mr. became R.A. No. 7354 and that copies thereof in its Association v. Prado, supra. At all events, under Art.
Speaker, we have to look into the reason for the final form were not distributed among the members of VI, §16(3) each house has the power "to determine
the rules of its proceedings," including those of its FOR THESE PURPOSES AMENDING AND holding that there was sufficient description of the
committees. Any meaningful change in the method REPEALING THE RELEVANT PROVISIONS OF subject of the law in its title, including the repeal of
and procedures of Congress or its committees must THE NATIONAL INTERNAL REVENUE CODE, AS franking privileges, this Court held:
therefore be sought in that body itself. AMENDED, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. To require every end and means necessary for the
V. The titles of S. No. 1630 and H. No. 11197. By stating that R.A. No. 7716 seeks to accomplishment of the general objectives of the
PAL maintains that R.A. No. 7716 violates Art. VI, §26 "[RESTRUCTURE] THE VALUE-ADDED TAX (VAT) statute to be expressed in its title would not only be
(1) of the Constitution which provides that "Every bill SYSTEM [BY] WIDENING ITS TAX BASE AND unreasonable but would actually render legislation
passed by Congress shall embrace only one subject ENHANCING ITS ADMINISTRATION, AND FOR impossible. [Cooley, Constitutional Limitations, 8th
which shall be expressed in the title thereof." PAL THESE PURPOSES AMENDING AND REPEALING Ed., p. 297] As has been correctly explained:
contends that the amendment of its franchise by the THE RELEVANT PROVISIONS OF THE NATIONAL The details of a legislative act need not be specifically
withdrawal of its exemption from the VAT is not INTERNAL REVENUE CODE, AS AMENDED AND stated in its title, but matter germane to the subject as
expressed in the title of the law. FOR OTHER PURPOSES," Congress thereby clearly expressed in the title, and adopted to the
Pursuant to §13 of P.D. No. 1590, PAL pays a expresses its intention to amend any provision of the accomplishment of the object in view, may properly
franchise tax of 2% on its gross revenue "in lieu of all NIRC which stands in the way of accomplishing the be included in the act. Thus, it is proper to create in
other taxes, duties, royalties, registration, license and purpose of the law. the same act the machinery by which the act is to be
other fees and charges of any kind, nature, or PAL asserts that the amendment of its franchise must enforced, to prescribe the penalties for its infraction,
description, imposed, levied, established, assessed or be reflected in the title of the law by specific reference and to remove obstacles in the way of its execution. If
collected by any municipal, city, provincial or national to P.D. No. 1590. It is unnecessary to do this in order such matters are properly connected with the subject
authority or government agency, now or in the future." to comply with the constitutional requirement, since it as expressed in the title, it is unnecessary that they
PAL was exempted from the payment of the VAT is already stated in the title that the law seeks to should also have special mention in the title.
along with other entities by §103 of the National amend the pertinent provisions of the NIRC, among (Southern Pac. Co. v. Bartine, 170 Fed. 725)
Internal Revenue Code, which provides as follows: which is §103(q), in order to widen the base of the (227 SCRA at 707-708)
§103. Exempt transactions. — The following shall VAT. Actually, it is the bill which becomes a law that is VI. Claims of press freedom and religious
be exempt from the value-added tax: required to express in its title the subject of legislation. liberty. We have held that, as a general proposition,
xxx xxx xxx The titles of H. No. 11197 and S. No. 1630 in fact the press is not exempt from the taxing power of the
(q) Transactions which are exempt under specifically referred to §103 of the NIRC as among State and that what the constitutional guarantee of
special laws or international agreements to which the the provisions sought to be amended. We are free press prohibits are laws which single out the
Philippines is a signatory. satisfied that sufficient notice had been given of the press or target a group belonging to the press for
R.A. No. 7716 seeks to withdraw certain exemptions, pendency of these bills in Congress before they were special treatment or which in any way discriminate
including that granted to PAL, by amending §103, as enacted into what is now R.A. against the press on the basis of the content of the
follows: No. 7716. publication, and R.A. No. 7716 is none of these.
§103. Exempt transactions. — The following shall In Philippine Judges Association v. Prado, supra, a Now it is contended by the PPI that by removing the
be exempt from the value-added tax: similar argument as that now made by PAL was exemption of the press from the VAT while
xxx xxx xxx rejected. R.A. No. 7354 is entitled AN ACT maintaining those granted to others, the law
(q) Transactions which are exempt under CREATING THE PHILIPPINE POSTAL discriminates against the press. At any rate, it is
special laws, except those granted under Presidential CORPORATION, DEFINING ITS POWERS, averred, "even nondiscriminatory taxation of
Decree Nos. 66, 529, 972, 1491, 1590. . . . FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES, PROVIDING constitutionally guaranteed freedom is
The amendment of §103 is expressed in the title of FOR REGULATION OF THE INDUSTRY AND FOR unconstitutional."
R.A. No. 7716 which reads: OTHER PURPOSES CONNECTED THEREWITH. It With respect to the first contention, it would suffice to
AN ACT RESTRUCTURING THE VALUE-ADDED contained a provision repealing all franking privileges. say that since the law granted the press a privilege,
TAX (VAT) SYSTEM, WIDENING ITS TAX BASE It was contended that the withdrawal of franking the law could take back the privilege anytime without
AND ENHANCING ITS ADMINISTRATION, AND privileges was not expressed in the title of the law. In offense to the Constitution. The reason is simple: by
granting exemptions, the State does not forever waive withdrawn, in addition to exemptions which are (Respondents' Consolidated Comment on the Motions
the exercise of its sovereign prerogative. partially withdrawn, in an effort to broaden the base of for Reconsideration, pp. 58-60)
Indeed, in withdrawing the exemption, the law merely the tax. The PPI asserts that it does not really matter that the
subjects the press to the same tax burden to which The PPI says that the discriminatory treatment of the law does not discriminate against the press because
other businesses have long ago been subject. It is press is highlighted by the fact that transactions, "even nondiscriminatory taxation on constitutionally
thus different from the tax involved in the cases which are profit oriented, continue to enjoy exemption guaranteed freedom is unconstitutional." PPI cites in
invoked by the PPI. The license tax in Grosjean v. under R.A. No. 7716. An enumeration of some of support of this assertion the following statement in
American Press Co., 297 U.S. 233, 80 L. Ed. 660 these transactions will suffice to show that by and Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105, 87 L. Ed.
(1936) was found to be discriminatory because it was large this is not so and that the exemptions are 1292 (1943):
laid on the gross advertising receipts only of granted for a purpose. As the Solicitor General says, The fact that the ordinance is "nondiscriminatory" is
newspapers whose weekly circulation was over such exemptions are granted, in some cases, to immaterial. The protection afforded by the First
20,000, with the result that the tax applied only to 13 encourage agricultural production and, in other cases, Amendment is not so restricted. A license tax
out of 124 publishers in Louisiana. These large for the personal benefit of the end-user rather than for certainly does not acquire constitutional validity
papers were critical of Senator Huey Long who profit. The exempt transactions are: because it classifies the privileges protected by the
controlled the state legislature which enacted the (a) Goods for consumption or use which are in First Amendment along with the wares and
license tax. The censorial motivation for the law was their original state (agricultural, marine and forest merchandise of hucksters and peddlers and treats
thus evident. products, cotton seeds in their original state, them all alike. Such equality in treatment does not
On the other hand, in Minneapolis Star & Tribune Co. fertilizers, seeds, seedlings, fingerlings, fish, prawn save the ordinance. Freedom of press, freedom of
v. Minnesota Comm'r of Revenue, 460 U.S. 575, 75 L. livestock and poultry feeds) and goods or services to speech, freedom of religion are in preferred position.
Ed. 2d 295 (1983), the tax was found to be enhance agriculture (milling of palay, corn, sugar The Court was speaking in that case of a license tax,
discriminatory because although it could have been cane and raw sugar, livestock, poultry feeds, fertilizer, which, unlike an ordinary tax, is mainly for regulation.
made liable for the sales tax or, in lieu thereof, for the ingredients used for the manufacture of feeds). Its imposition on the press is unconstitutional because
use tax on the privilege of using, storing or consuming (b) Goods used for personal consumption or use it lays a prior restraint on the exercise of its right.
tangible goods, the press was not. Instead, the press (household and personal effects of citizens returning Hence, although its application to others, such those
was exempted from both taxes. It was, however, later to the Philippines) or for professional use, like selling goods, is valid, its application to the press or to
made to pay a special use tax on the cost of paper professional instruments and implements, by persons religious groups, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, in
and ink which made these items "the only items coming to the Philippines to settle here. connection with the latter's sale of religious books and
subject to the use tax that were component of goods (c) Goods subject to excise tax such as pamphlets, is unconstitutional. As the U.S. Supreme
to be sold at retail." The U.S. Supreme Court held that petroleum products or to be used for manufacture of Court put it, "it is one thing to impose a tax on income
the differential treatment of the press "suggests that petroleum products subject to excise tax and services or property of a preacher. It is quite another thing to
the goal of regulation is not related to suppression of subject to percentage tax. exact a tax on him for delivering a sermon."
expression, and such goal is presumptively (d) Educational services, medical, dental, A similar ruling was made by this Court in American
unconstitutional." It would therefore appear that even hospital and veterinary services, and services Bible Society v. City of Manila, 101 Phil. 386 (1957)
a law that favors the press is constitutionally suspect. rendered under employer-employee relationship. which invalidated a city ordinance requiring a
(See the dissent of Rehnquist, J. in that case) (e) Works of art and similar creations sold by the business license fee on those engaged in the sale of
Nor is it true that only two exemptions previously artist himself. general merchandise. It was held that the tax could
granted by E.O. No. 273 are withdrawn "absolutely (f) Transactions exempted under special laws, not be imposed on the sale of bibles by the American
and unqualifiedly" by R.A. No. 7716. Other or international agreements. Bible Society without restraining the free exercise of
exemptions from the VAT, such as those previously (g) Export-sales by persons not VAT-registered. its right to propagate.
granted to PAL, petroleum concessionaires, (h) Goods or services with gross annual sale or The VAT is, however, different. It is not a license tax.
enterprises registered with the Export Processing receipt not exceeding P500,000.00. It is not a tax on the exercise of a privilege, much less
Zone Authority, and many more are likewise totally a constitutional right. It is imposed on the sale, barter,
lease or exchange of goods or properties or the sale With respect to the first contention, it is claimed that class, who are equally homeless, should likewise be
or exchange of services and the lease of properties the application of the tax to existing contracts of the exempted.
purely for revenue purposes. To subject the press to sale of real property by installment or on deferred The sale of food items, petroleum, medical and
its payment is not to burden the exercise of its right payment basis would result in substantial increases in veterinary services, etc., which are essential goods
any more than to make the press pay income tax or the monthly amortizations to be paid because of the and services was already exempt under §103, pars.
subject it to general regulation is not to violate its 10% VAT. The additional amount, it is pointed out, is (b) (d) (1) of the NIRC before the enactment of R.A.
freedom under the Constitution. something that the buyer did not anticipate at the time No. 7716. Petitioner is in error in claiming that R.A.
Additionally, the Philippine Bible Society, Inc. claims he entered into the contract. No. 7716 granted exemption to these transactions,
that although it sells bibles, the proceeds derived from The short answer to this is the one given by this Court while subjecting those of petitioner to the payment of
the sales are used to subsidize the cost of printing in an early case: "Authorities from numerous sources the VAT. Moreover, there is a difference between the
copies which are given free to those who cannot are cited by the plaintiffs, but none of them show that "homeless poor" and the "homeless less poor" in the
afford to pay so that to tax the sales would be to a lawful tax on a new subject, or an increased tax on example given by petitioner, because the second
increase the price, while reducing the volume of sale. an old one, interferes with a contract or impairs its group or middle class can afford to rent houses in the
Granting that to be the case, the resulting burden on obligation, within the meaning of the Constitution. meantime that they cannot yet buy their own homes.
the exercise of religious freedom is so incidental as to Even though such taxation may affect particular The two social classes are thus differently situated in
make it difficult to differentiate it from any other contracts, as it may increase the debt of one person life. "It is inherent in the power to tax that the State be
economic imposition that might make the right to and lessen the security of another, or may impose free to select the subjects of taxation, and it has been
disseminate religious doctrines costly. Otherwise, to additional burdens upon one class and release the repeatedly held that 'inequalities which result from a
follow the petitioner's argument, to increase the tax on burdens of another, still the tax must be paid unless singling out of one particular class for taxation, or
the sale of vestments would be to lay an prohibited by the Constitution, nor can it be said that it exemption infringe no constitutional limitation.'" (Lutz
impermissible burden on the right of the preacher to impairs the obligation of any existing contract in its v. Araneta, 98 Phil. 148, 153 (1955). Accord, City of
make a sermon. true legal sense." (La Insular v. Machuca Go-Tauco Baguio v. De Leon, 134 Phil. 912 (1968); Sison, Jr. v.
On the other hand the registration fee of P1,000.00 and Nubla Co-Siong, 39 Phil. 567, 574 (1919)). Ancheta, 130 SCRA 654, 663 (1984); Kapatiran ng
imposed by §107 of the NIRC, as amended by §7 of Indeed not only existing laws but also "the reservation mga Naglilingkod sa Pamahalaan ng Pilipinas, Inc. v.
R.A. No. 7716, although fixed in amount, is really just of the essential attributes of sovereignty, is . . . read Tan, 163 SCRA 371 (1988)).
to pay for the expenses of registration and into contracts as a postulate of the legal order." Finally, it is contended, for the reasons already noted,
enforcement of provisions such as those relating to (Philippine-American Life Ins. Co. v. Auditor General, that R.A. No. 7716 also violates Art. VI, §28(1) which
accounting in §108 of the NIRC. That the PBS 22 SCRA 135, 147 (1968)) Contracts must be provides that "The rule of taxation shall be uniform
distributes free bibles and therefore is not liable to pay understood as having been made in reference to the and equitable. The Congress shall evolve a
the VAT does not excuse it from the payment of this possible exercise of the rightful authority of the progressive system of taxation."
fee because it also sells some copies. At any rate government and no obligation of contract can extend Equality and uniformity of taxation means that all
whether the PBS is liable for the VAT must be to the defeat of that authority. (Norman v. Baltimore taxable articles or kinds of property of the same class
decided in concrete cases, in the event it is assessed and Ohio R.R., 79 L. Ed. 885 (1935)). be taxed at the same rate. The taxing power has the
this tax by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. It is next pointed out that while §4 of R.A. No. 7716 authority to make reasonable and natural
VII. Alleged violations of the due process, equal exempts such transactions as the sale of agricultural classifications for purposes of taxation. To satisfy this
protection and contract clauses and the rule on products, food items, petroleum, and medical and requirement it is enough that the statute or ordinance
taxation. CREBA asserts that R.A. No. 7716 (1) veterinary services, it grants no exemption on the sale applies equally to all persons, forms and corporations
impairs the obligations of contracts, (2) classifies of real property which is equally essential. The sale of placed in similar situation. (City of Baguio v. De Leon,
transactions as covered or exempt without reasonable real property for socialized and low-cost housing is supra; Sison, Jr. v. Ancheta, supra)
basis and (3) violates the rule that taxes should be exempted from the tax, but CREBA claims that real Indeed, the VAT was already provided in E.O. No.
uniform and equitable and that Congress shall "evolve estate transactions of "the less poor," i.e., the middle 273 long before R.A. No. 7716 was enacted. R.A. No.
a progressive system of taxation." 7716 merely expands the base of the tax. The validity
of the original VAT Law was questioned in Kapatiran but to evolve, a progressive tax system. Otherwise, (f) Transactions exempted under special laws,
ng Naglilingkod sa Pamahalaan ng Pilipinas, Inc. v. sales taxes, which perhaps are the oldest form of or international agreements.
Tan, 163 SCRA 383 (1988) on grounds similar to indirect taxes, would have been prohibited with the (g) Export-sales by persons not VAT-registered.
those made in these cases, namely, that the law was proclamation of Art. VIII, §17(1) of the 1973 (h) Goods or services with gross annual sale or
"oppressive, discriminatory, unjust and regressive in Constitution from which the present Art. VI, §28(1) receipt not exceeding P500,000.00.
violation of Art. VI, §28(1) of the Constitution." (At was taken. Sales taxes are also regressive. (Respondents' Consolidated Comment on the Motions
382) Rejecting the challenge to the law, this Court Resort to indirect taxes should be minimized but not for Reconsideration, pp. 58-60)
held: avoided entirely because it is difficult, if not On the other hand, the transactions which are subject
As the Court sees it, EO 273 satisfies all the impossible, to avoid them by imposing such taxes to the VAT are those which involve goods and
requirements of a valid tax. It is uniform. . . . according to the taxpayers' ability to pay. In the case services which are used or availed of mainly by higher
The sales tax adopted in EO 273 is applied similarly of the VAT, the law minimizes the regressive effects income groups. These include real properties held
on all goods and services sold to the public, which are of this imposition by providing for zero rating of certain primarily for sale to customers or for lease in the
not exempt, at the constant rate of 0% or 10%. transactions (R.A. No. 7716, §3, amending §102 (b) ordinary course of trade or business, the right or
The disputed sales tax is also equitable. It is imposed of the NIRC), while granting exemptions to other privilege to use patent, copyright, and other similar
only on sales of goods or services by persons transactions. (R.A. No. 7716, §4, amending §103 of property or right, the right or privilege to use industrial,
engaged in business with an aggregate gross annual the NIRC). commercial or scientific equipment, motion picture
sales exceeding P200,000.00. Small corner sari-sari Thus, the following transactions involving basic and films, tapes and discs, radio, television, satellite
stores are consequently exempt from its application. essential goods and services are exempted from the transmission and cable television time, hotels,
Likewise exempt from the tax are sales of farm and VAT: restaurants and similar places, securities, lending
marine products, so that the costs of basic food and (a) Goods for consumption or use which are in investments, taxicabs, utility cars for rent, tourist
other necessities, spared as they are from the their original state (agricultural, marine and forest buses, and other common carriers, services of
incidence of the VAT, are expected to be relatively products, cotton seeds in their original state, franchise grantees of telephone and telegraph.
lower and within the reach of the general public. fertilizers, seeds, seedlings, fingerlings, fish, prawn The problem with CREBA's petition is that it presents
(At 382-383) livestock and poultry feeds) and goods or services to broad claims of constitutional violations by tendering
The CREBA claims that the VAT is regressive. A enhance agriculture (milling of palay, corn sugar cane issues not at retail but at wholesale and in the
similar claim is made by the Cooperative Union of the and raw sugar, livestock, poultry feeds, fertilizer, abstract. There is no fully developed record which can
Philippines, Inc. (CUP), while petitioner Juan T. David ingredients used for the manufacture of feeds). impart to adjudication the impact of actuality. There is
argues that the law contravenes the mandate of (b) Goods used for personal consumption or use no factual foundation to show in the concrete the
Congress to provide for a progressive system of (household and personal effects of citizens returning application of the law to actual contracts and
taxation because the law imposes a flat rate of 10% to the Philippines) and or professional use, like exemplify its effect on property rights. For the fact is
and thus places the tax burden on all taxpayers professional instruments and implements, by persons that petitioner's members have not even been
without regard to their ability to pay. coming to the Philippines to settle here. assessed the VAT. Petitioner's case is not made
The Constitution does not really prohibit the (c) Goods subject to excise tax such as concrete by a series of hypothetical questions asked
imposition of indirect taxes which, like the VAT, are petroleum products or to be used for manufacture of which are no different from those dealt with in
regressive. What it simply provides is that Congress petroleum products subject to excise tax and services advisory opinions.
shall "evolve a progressive system of taxation." The subject to percentage tax. The difficulty confronting petitioner is thus apparent.
constitutional provision has been interpreted to mean (d) Educational services, medical, dental, He alleges arbitrariness. A mere allegation, as here,
simply that "direct taxes are . . . to be preferred [and] hospital and veterinary services, and services does not suffice. There must be a factual foundation
as much as possible, indirect taxes should be rendered under employer-employee relationship. of such unconstitutional taint. Considering that
minimized." (E. FERNANDO, THE CONSTITUTION (e) Works of art and similar creations sold by the petitioner here would condemn such a provision as
OF THE PHILIPPINES 221 (Second ed. (1977)). artist himself. void on its face, he has not made out a case. This is
Indeed, the mandate to Congress is not to prescribe, merely to adhere to the authoritative doctrine that
where the due process and equal protection clauses Act of 1948 (R.A. No. 296) and the Judiciary The State shall promote industrialization and full
are invoked, considering that they are not fixed rules Reorganization Act of 1980 (B.P. Blg. 129). The employment based on sound agricultural
but rather broad standards, there is a need for proof power thus apportioned constitutes the court's development and agrarian reform, through industries
of such persuasive character as would lead to such a "jurisdiction," defined as "the power conferred by law that make full and efficient use of human and natural
conclusion. Absent such a showing, the presumption upon a court or judge to take cognizance of a case, to resources, and which are competitive in both
of validity must prevail. the exclusion of all others." (United States v. Arceo, 6 domestic and foreign markets. However, the State
(Sison, Jr. v. Ancheta, 130 SCRA at 661) Phil. 29 (1906)) Without an actual case coming within shall protect Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign
Adjudication of these broad claims must await the its jurisdiction, this Court cannot inquire into any competition and trade practices.
development of a concrete case. It may be that allegation of grave abuse of discretion by the other In the pursuit of these goals, all sectors of the
postponement of adjudication would result in a departments of the government. economy and all regions of the country shall be given
multiplicity of suits. This need not be the case, VIII. Alleged violation of policy towards optimum opportunity to develop. Private enterprises,
however. Enforcement of the law may give rise to cooperatives. On the other hand, the Cooperative including corporations, cooperatives, and similar
such a case. A test case, provided it is an actual case Union of the Philippines (CUP), after briefly surveying collective organizations, shall be encouraged to
and not an abstract or hypothetical one, may thus be the course of legislation, argues that it was to adopt a broaden the base of their ownership.
presented. definite policy of granting tax exemption to §15. The Congress shall create an agency to
Nor is hardship to taxpayers alone an adequate cooperatives that the present Constitution embodies promote the viability and growth of cooperatives as
justification for adjudicating abstract issues. provisions on cooperatives. To subject cooperatives instruments for social justice and economic
Otherwise, adjudication would be no different from the to the VAT would therefore be to infringe a development.
giving of advisory opinion that does not really settle constitutional policy. Petitioner claims that in 1973, Petitioner's contention has no merit. In the first place,
legal issues. P.D. No. 175 was promulgated exempting it is not true that P.D. No. 1955 singled out
We are told that it is our duty under Art. VIII, §1, ¶2 to cooperatives from the payment of income taxes and cooperatives by withdrawing their exemption from
decide whenever a claim is made that "there has sales taxes but in 1984, because of the crisis which income and sales taxes under P.D. No. 175, §5. What
been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or menaced the national economy, this exemption was P.D. No. 1955, §1 did was to withdraw the
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or withdrawn by P.D. No. 1955; that in 1986, P.D. No. exemptions and preferential treatments theretofore
instrumentality of the government." This duty can only 2008 again granted cooperatives exemption from granted to private business enterprises in general, in
arise if an actual case or controversy is before us. income and sales taxes until December 31, 1991, but, view of the economic crisis which then beset the
Under Art . VIII, §5 our jurisdiction is defined in terms in the same year, E.O. No. 93 revoked the exemption; nation. It is true that after P.D. No. 2008, §2 had
of "cases" and all that Art. VIII, §1, ¶2 can plausibly and that finally in 1987 the framers of the Constitution restored the tax exemptions of cooperatives in 1986,
mean is that in the exercise of that jurisdiction we "repudiated the previous actions of the government the exemption was again repealed by E.O. No. 93,
have the judicial power to determine questions of adverse to the interests of the cooperatives, that is, §1, but then again cooperatives were not the only
grave abuse of discretion by any branch or the repeated revocation of the tax exemption to ones whose exemptions were withdrawn. The
instrumentality of the government. cooperatives and instead upheld the policy of withdrawal of tax incentives applied to all, including
Put in another way, what is granted in Art. VIII, §1, ¶2 strengthening the cooperatives by way of the grant of government and private entities. In the second place,
is "judicial power," which is "the power of a court to tax exemptions," by providing the following in Art. XII: the Constitution does not really require that
hear and decide cases pending between parties who §1. The goals of the national economy are a cooperatives be granted tax exemptions in order to
have the right to sue and be sued in the courts of law more equitable distribution of opportunities, income, promote their growth and viability. Hence, there is no
and equity" (Lamb v. Phipps, 22 Phil. 456, 559 and wealth; a sustained increase in the amount of basis for petitioner's assertion that the government's
(1912)), as distinguished from legislative and goods and services produced by the nation for the policy toward cooperatives had been one of
executive power. This power cannot be directly benefit of the people; and an expanding productivity vacillation, as far as the grant of tax privileges was
appropriated until it is apportioned among several as the key to raising the quality of life for all, concerned, and that it was to put an end to this
courts either by the Constitution, as in the case of Art. especially the underprivileged. indecision that the constitutional provisions cited were
VIII, §5, or by statute, as in the case of the Judiciary adopted. Perhaps as a matter of policy cooperatives
should be granted tax exemptions, but that is left to 48 L. Ed. 971, 973 (1904)). It is not right, as petitioner Demaisip the following insulting and defamatory
the discretion of Congress. If Congress does not grant in G.R. No. 115543 does in arguing that we should words and expressions to wit: "Tonto ka nga klase
exemption and there is no discrimination to enforce the public accountability of legislators, that sang tao, quin pierde mo ang asunto ko, nagastohan
cooperatives, no violation of any constitutional policy those who took part in passing the law in question by ako sing linibo sang ulihi nag pabakal ikaw kay Purita;
can be charged. voting for it in Congress should later thrust to the pasuguiron ka P30.00 lang ang nabayad ko pero
Indeed, petitioner's theory amounts to saying that courts the burden of reviewing measures in the flush linibo ang gasto ko," which, translated into English
under the Constitution cooperatives are exempt from of enactment. This Court does not sit as a third runs as follows: "You are a foolish class of person,
taxation. Such theory is contrary to the Constitution branch of the legislature, much less exercise a veto you had to lose my case, I spent thousands of pesos
under which only the following are exempt from power over legislation. and later you allowed yourself to be sold to Purita;
taxation: charitable institutions, churches and WHEREFORE, the motions for reconsideration are you had been telling people that I paid you only
parsonages, by reason of Art. VI, §28 (3), and denied with finality and the temporary restraining P30.00 when I spent thousand of pesos for my case,"
non-stock, non-profit educational institutions by order previously issued is hereby lifted. and other similar words of import.
reason of Art. XIV, §4 (3). SO ORDERED. Six days later, or on September 3, 1964, the same
CUP's further ground for seeking the invalidation of Narvasa, C.J., Feliciano, Melo, Kapunan, Francisco Doriquez was indicted before the same court for
R.A. No. 7716 is that it denies cooperatives the equal and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur. discharge of firearm, committed, in the language of
protection of the law because electric cooperatives Padilla and Vitug, JJ., maintained their separate the information, as follows:
are exempted from the VAT. The classification opinion. That on or about April 22, 1964, in the Municipality of
between electric and other cooperatives (farmers Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Bellosillo and Puno, Batad, Province of Iloilo, Philippines, and within the
cooperatives, producers cooperatives, marketing JJ, maintained their dissenting opinion. jurisdiction of this Court, the said accused, armed with
cooperatives, etc.) apparently rests on a Panganiban, J., took no part. a revolver and without intent to kill, did then and there
congressional determination that there is greater need willfully, unlawfully and feloniously discharge twice
to provide cheaper electric power to as many people EN BANC said revolver at one Attorney Sixto Demaisip.
as possible, especially those living in the rural areas, G.R. Nos. L-24444-45 July 29, 1968 Upon arraignment, he pleaded not guilty to the two
than there is to provide them with other necessities in THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, indictments. On December 3, 1964 he moved to
life. We cannot say that such classification is plaintiff-appellee, dismiss both informations, claiming that (1) the court a
unreasonable. vs. quo has no jurisdiction over the offense of grave oral
We have carefully read the various arguments raised ROMEO DORIQUEZ,​ defendant-appellant. defamation in virtue of Republic Act 3828 which
against the constitutional validity of R.A. No. 7716. Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee. enlarged the original exclusive jurisdiction of city and
We have in fact taken the extraordinary step of Gregorio M. Rubias for defendant-appellant. municipal courts; and (2) the institution of the criminal
enjoining its enforcement pending resolution of these CASTRO, J.: action for discharge of firearm places him in double
cases. We have now come to the conclusion that the The appellant Romeo Doriquez, on August, 28, 1964, jeopardy or he had already been in jeopardy once in
law suffers from none of the infirmities attributed to it was charged with the offense of grave oral the municipal court of Batad, Iloilo which dismissed,
by petitioners and that its enactment by the other defamation before the Court of First Instance of Iloilo, without his consent, the information charging him with
branches of the government does not constitute a by virtue of an information which recites: . the offense of alarm and scandal, allegedly based on
grave abuse of discretion. Any question as to its That on or about April 22, 1964, in the Municipality of the self-same facts relied upon by Fiscal Simeon A.
necessity, desirability or expediency must be Batad, Province of Iloilo, Philippines, and within the Barranco in support of the aforesaid information for
addressed to Congress as the body which is jurisdiction of this Court, the above-named defendant, discharge of firearm.
electorally responsible, remembering that, as Justice with deliberate intent of bringing Attorney Sixto In its order of March 8, 1965 the court a quo denied
Holmes has said, "legislators are the ultimate Demaisip into discredit, disrepute and public the motion to dismiss. The subsequent motion for
guardians of the liberties and welfare of the people in contempt, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and reconsideration was likewise denied by the trial court
quite as great a degree as are the courts." (Missouri, feloniously speak and utter in a loud voice and in the in its order of March 20, 1965. From these two orders,
Kansas & Texas Ry. Co. v. May, 194 U.S. 267, 270, presence of many persons against the said Attorney the present appeal was interposed.
It is our view, in the first instance, that the appeal is rule of practice and procedure, constituting one of the absolute absence of deviousness, with no intention
premature. main tenets of our remedial law." In order to stress its (howsoever disguised) of causing undue delay.
Section 2 of Rule 41 of the Revised Rules of Court disapproval of appeals from interlocutory orders, this Because, however, all the cogent issues are now
provides: Court, in the aforementioned case, assessed treble before us, we will treat the instant appeal as a petition
Only final judgments or orders shall be subject to costs against the appellant therein, jointly and for certiorari. This positive and pragmatic approach
appeal. No interlocutory or incidental judgment or severally, with its counsel. will definitively resolve the contentions of Doriquez
order shall stay the progress of an action, nor shall it The rationale underlying the rule that an interlocutory and thus dissipate any and all speculation on the part
be the subject of an appeal until final judgment or order is not appealable is, basically, the avoidance of of all concerned as to the correctness of their
order is rendered for one party or the other. "multiplicity of appeals in a single case." If very respective positions. 1äwphï1.ñët
Construing the aforequoted section, this Court has interlocutory order or judgment may be appealed, and 1. Doriquez maintains that the municipal court of
repeatedly and uniformly held that a judgment or the appeal stays the progress of the action, there Batad, Iloilo, not the Court of First instance of Iloilo,
order may be appealed only when it is final — in the could arise countless appeals in a single case, and has original exclusive jurisdiction over the offense of
sense that it completely disposes of the cause and the magnitude and extent of the delay in the final grave oral defamation which, under article 358 of the
definitively adjudicates the respective rights of the disposition thereof will be such that, conceivably, in a Revised Penal Code, is punishable by arresto mayor
parties, leaving thereafter no substantial proceeding number of instances, the parties may not survive the in its maximum period to prision correccional in its
to be had in connection with the case except the case.​5 This Court has consistently frowned upon — minimum period, reasoning that the exclusive original
proper execution of the judgment or order; and that, and has firmly stricken down — piecemeal appeals, jurisdiction of municipal and city courts has been
conversely, an interlocutory order or judgment is not "because it [piece-meal appeal] delays the speedy enlarged by Republic Act No. 3828 to include
appealable for it does not decide the action with disposition of the case, and is often resorted to as a offenses for which the penalty provided by law is
finality and leaves substantial proceedings still to be means of draining the resources of the poorer party imprisonment for not more than three years, or a fine
had.​1 It is an elementary rule of adjective law that an and of compelling it to submit out of sheer exhaustion, of not more than three thousand pesos, or both such
order denying a motion to dismiss is interlocutory, even if its demands should be conformable to reason imprisonment and fine.
hence not appealable, because it "does not terminate and justice."​6 The appellant is in error.
the proceedings, nor finally dispose of the contentions Two alternative remedies were forthwith available to The rule is now beyond all area of dispute that in view
of the parties."​2 An order, for example, rejecting a Doriquez after the denial of his motion for of the latest amendment to section 87(c) of the
motion to dismiss based on lack of jurisdiction​3 is reconsideration, namely, (1) proceed immediately to Judiciary Act of 1948 and also taking into account the
interlocutory because after such denial proceedings of trial on the merits and interpose as integral part of his unaltered provisions of section 44(f) of the same Act,
substance are still to be had by the trial court, such as defense the grounds stated in his motion to dismiss, the zone of concurrent jurisdiction of municipal and
hearing of the case on the merits and rendition of final and, in the event of an adverse decision, appeal to city courts and courts of first instance has been
judgment. the proper Court for resolution of all pertinent issues, considerably widened. This jurisdictional parity
The latest unequivocal restatement of the rule that including those he has posed in the present appeal; embraces all offenses for which the penalty provided
interlocutory orders are not appealable was made in (2) interpose a petition for certiorari to enable this by law is imprisonment for more than six months but
Ramos vs. Ardant Trading Corporation.​4 Concluding Court to dispose, on the merits, the issues raised not exceeding three years (for six years with respect
that the appeal therein was premature, Mr. Chief herein, anchoring said petition on the twin grounds to city courts and municipal courts in the capitals of
Justice Roberto Concepcion emphasized that "the that (a) the court a quo acted without jurisdiction or in provinces and sub-provinces vis-a-vis the courts of
orders denying defendant's motion for dismissal and excess of its jurisdiction in taking cognizance of the first instance), or a fine of more than two hundred
its subsequent motion for reconsideration are offense of grave oral defamation, and (b) the trial pesos but not exceeding three thousand pesos (or six
interlocutory in nature, and hence, not appealable judge committed grave abuse of discretion in refusing thousand pesos in the proper cases), or both such
until after the rendition of judgment on that, merits. to dismiss the information for discharge of firearm in imprisonment and fine. This confluence of jurisdiction
Defendant's appeal contravenes the explicit the face of his avowal that the said indictment places was first clearly etched in Esperat vs. Avila, et al,.​7
provisions of Rule 41, Section 2, of the Rules of Court him in peril of a second jeopardy. This latter action and the rule in that case was affirmed in Le Hua Sia
... which, moreover, incorporates a well-established should of course be availed of with candor and vs. Reyes,​8​ and Andico vs. Roan, et al.​9
In Esperat vs. Avila, Mr. Justice J.B.L. Reyes justice of the peace and municipal courts, concurrent within the town limits and without any justifiable
delineated with specificity the respective jurisdictional with the court of first instance. purpose thus causing alarm upon the general public.
boundaries of the various trial courts. Said Mr. Justice It follows, therefore, that the exclusive original This plea of Doriquez is obviously untenable.
Reyes: jurisdiction of the justice of the peace and municipal For double jeopardy to attach in his favor, the
The fallacy in petitioner's argument lies in his failure to courts is confined only to cases where the prescribed accused must prove, among other things, that there is
consider section 44(f) of the same Judiciary Act of penalty is imprisonment for 6 months or less, or fine "identity of offenses," so that, in the language of
1948, in conjunction with its section 87(c). Note that of P200.00 or less, whereas, the exclusive original section 9, Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Court, his
notwithstanding the various amendments received by jurisdiction of the court of first instance covers cases "conviction or acquittal ... or the dismissal of the case
section 87, section 44(f) remained unaltered, thereby where the penalty is incarceration for more than 3 (without his express consent) shall be a bar to
indicating the intention of the legislators to retain the years (or 6 years in the case of city courts and another prosecution for the same offense charged or
original jurisdiction of the court of first instance in municipal courts in provincial capitals), or fine of more for any attempt to, commit the same or frustration
certain cases. The fact that the jurisdiction of the than P3,000.00 (or P6,000.00 in proper cases), or thereof, or for any offense which necessarily includes
municipal or city courts was enlarged in virtue of the both such imprisonment and fine. Between these or is necessarily included in the offense charged in
amendment of section 87(c), cannot be taken as a exclusive jurisdictions lies a zone where the the former complaint or information." It is altogether
repeal or withdrawal of the jurisdiction conferred on jurisdiction is concurrent. This is the proper evident, however, that the offense of discharge of
the court of first instance. Not only is implied repeal construction to be placed on the provisions involved firearm is not the crime of alarm and scandal, nor is it
disfavored by the law, but also, it is a cardinal herein, regardless of what may have been the prior an attempt or a frustration of the latter felony. Neither
principle that a statute must be so construed as to rulings on the matter. may it be asserted that every crime of discharge of
harmonize all apparent conflict's, and give effect to all The offense of grave oral defamation which carries a firearm produces the offense of alarm and scandal.
its provision whenever possible. maximum penalty of prision correccional in its Nor could the reverse situation be true, for the less
Actually, there is nothing irreconcilable between minimum period (or incarceration not exceeding 2 grave felony of discharge of firearm does not include
sections 44(f) and 87(c) of the Judiciary Act. years and 4 months) falls within the above-described or subsume the offense of alarm and scandal which is
As therein provided the court of first instance was zone of concurrent jurisdiction. Consequently, the a light felony.
given original jurisdiction over cases where the court a quo did not err in assuming jurisdiction. Although the indictment for alarm and scandal filed
penalty prescribed by law is imprisonment for fore 2. Doriquez likewise contends that the filing of the under article 155(1) of the Revised Penal Code and
more than 6 months or fine of more than P200.00; the information for discharge of firearm has placed him in the information for discharge of firearm instituted
justices of the peace and municipal or city courts of peril of double jeopardy as he had previously been under article 258 of the same Code are closely
chartered cities, over cases where the penalty is charged with the offense of alarm and scandal in a related in fact (as the two apparently arose from the
imprisonment for not more than 3 years, and fine of complaint filed in the municipal court of Batad, Iloilo, same factual setting, the firing of a revolver by the
not more than P3,000.00. In other words, where the upon the same facts which constitute the basis of the accused being a common element), they are definitely
prescribed penalty is imprisonment for more than 6 indictment for discharge of firearm. The said diverse in law. Firstly, the two indictments do not
months, but not exceeding 3 years, or fine of more complaint, which was allegedly dismissed without his describe the same felony - alarm and scandal is an
than P200.00 but not exceeding P3,000.00 the justice consent, recites: offense against public order while discharge of firearm
of the peace or municipal court only has concurrent That on or about 12:00 p.m, April 21, 1964, at the is a crime against persons. Secondly, the
(and not exclusive) original jurisdiction with the court gate in front of the Municipal Building, Poblacion, indispensable element of the former crime is the
of first instance. And, it may be stated that this Batad, Iloilo, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of discharge of a firearm calculated to cause alarm or
concurrent jurisdiction between the inferior courts, this Honorable Court, the above-named accused did danger to the public, while the gravamen of the latter
and the court of first instance was not provided for the then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously with is the discharge of a firearm against or at a certain
first time in Republic Act No. 3828. Under Republic deliberate intent to cause alarm in the public, person, without intent to kill.
Act 2613, crimes the penalties for which do not discharge his License Revolver caliber .22 The plea of double jeopardy cannot therefore be
exceed 3 years, or fine of not more than P3,000.00, SN-368383 one on the ground and one into the air accorded merit, as the two indictments are perfectly
were specifically placed within the jurisdiction of the
distinct in point of law howsoever closely they may IMELDA ROMUALDEZ-MARCOS, ​petitioner, issued declaring (petitioner) disqualified and
appear to be connected in fact.​10 vs. canceling the certificate of candidacy."​7
It is a cardinal rule that the protection against double COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and CIRILO ROY On March 29, 1995, petitioner filed an
jeopardy may be invoked only for the same offense​11 MONTEJO, ​respondents. Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy,
or identical offense.​12 A single act may offend against changing the entry "seven" months to "since
two (or more) entirely distinct and unrelated KAPUNAN, ​J.: childhood" in item no. 8 of the amended certificate.​8
provisions of law, and if one provision requires proof A constitutional provision should be construed as to On the same day, the Provincial Election Supervisor
of an additional fact or element which the other does give it effective operation and suppress the mischief of Leyte informed petitioner that:
not, an acquittal or conviction or a dismissal of the at which it is aimed.​1 The 1987 Constitution mandates [T]his office cannot receive or accept the
information under one does not bar prosecution under that an aspirant for election to the House of aforementioned Certificate of Candidacy on the
the other.​13 Phrased elsewise, where two different Representatives be "a registered voter in the district in ground that it is filed out of time, the deadline for the
laws (or articles of the same code) define two crimes, which he shall be elected, and a resident thereof for a filing of the same having already lapsed on March 20,
prior jeopardy as to one of them is no obstacle to a period of not less than one year immediately 1995. The Corrected/Amended Certificate of
prosecution of the other, although both offenses arise preceding the election."​2 The mischief which this Candidacy should have been filed on or before the
from the same facts, if each crime involves some provision — reproduced verbatim from the 1973 March 20, 1995 deadline.​9
important act which is not an essential element of the Constitution — seeks to prevent is the possibility of a Consequently, petitioner filed the Amended/Corrected
other.​14 "stranger or newcomer unacquainted with the Certificate of Candidacy with the COMELEC's Head
In the case at bar, granting that the two indictments conditions and needs of a community and not Office in Intramuros, Manila on
arose from the same act — a contention traversed by identified with the latter, from an elective office to March 31, 1995. Her Answer to private respondent's
the State — they describe and constitute, serve that community."​3 petition in SPA No. 95-009 was likewise filed with the
nevertheless, essentially different felonies having Petitioner Imelda Romualdez-Marcos filed her head office on the same day. In said Answer,
fundamentally diverse indispensable elements. Certificate of Candidacy for the position of petitioner averred that the entry of the word "seven" in
Hence, there can be no such "identity of offenses" as Representative of the First District of Leyte with the her original Certificate of Candidacy was the result of
would support the suggestion that double jeopardy Provincial Election Supervisor on March 8, 1995, an "honest misinterpretation" 10 ​ which she sought to
has ensued. The trial judge, therefore, did not commit providing the following information in item no. 8:​4 rectify by adding the words "since childhood" in her
abuse of discretion in refusing to dismiss the RESIDENCE IN THE CONSTITUENCY WHERE I Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy and that
information for discharge of firearm. SEEK TO BE ELECTED IMMEDIATELY "she has always maintained Tacloban City as her
In sum, we hold that the instant appeal is premature, PRECEDING THE ELECTION: __________ Years domicile or residence. 11 ​ Impugning respondent's
and that — even if it were treated as a petition for and ​seven​ Months. motive in filing the petition seeking her
certiorari — the contentions and arguments of the On March 23, 1995, private respondent Cirilo Roy disqualification, she noted that:
appellant cannot be accorded credit. Montejo, the incumbent Representative of the First When respondent (petitioner herein) announced that
ACCORDINGLY, the present appeal is dismissed. District of Leyte and a candidate for the same she was intending to register as a voter in Tacloban
This case is hereby ordered remanded to the court of position, filed a "Petition for Cancellation and City and run for Congress in the First District of Leyte,
origin for immediate trial on the merits. Costs against Disqualification"​5 with the Commission on Elections petitioner immediately opposed her intended
the appellant. alleging that petitioner did not meet the constitutional registration by writing a letter stating that "she is not a
Concepcion, C.J., Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Makalintal, requirement for residency. In his petition, private resident of said city but of Barangay Olot, Tolosa,
Zaldivar, Sanchez, Angeles and Fernando, JJ., respondent contended that Mrs. Marcos lacked the Leyte. After respondent had registered as a voter in
concur. Constitution's one year residency requirement for Tolosa following completion of her six month actual
candidates for the House of Representatives on the residence therein, petitioner filed a petition with the
EN BANC evidence of declarations made by her in Voter COMELEC to transfer the town of Tolosa from the
Registration Record 94-No. 3349772​6 and in her First District to the Second District and pursued such
G.R. No. 119976 September 18, 1995 Certificate of Candidacy. He prayed that "an order be a move up to the Supreme Court, his purpose being
to remove respondent as petitioner's opponent in the Legislative District of Leyte since childhood, although amendment only as a matter of form. But in the
congressional election in the First District. He also she only became a resident of the Municipality of instant case, the amendment cannot be considered
filed a bill, along with other Leyte Congressmen, Tolosa for seven months. She asserts that she has as a matter of form or an inconsequential deviation.
seeking the creation of another legislative district to always been a resident of Tacloban City, a The change in the number of years of residence in the
remove the town of Tolosa out of the First District, to component of the First District, before coming to the place where respondent seeks to be elected is a
achieve his purpose. However, such bill did not pass Municipality of Tolosa. substantial matter which determines her qualification
the Senate. Having failed on such moves, petitioner Along this point, it is interesting to note that prior to as a candidacy, specially those intended to suppress,
now filed the instant petition for the same objective, her registration in Tolosa, respondent announced that accurate material representation in the original
as it is obvious that he is afraid to submit along with she would be registering in Tacloban City so that she certificate which adversely affects the filer. To admit
respondent for the judgment and verdict of the can be a candidate for the District. However, this the amended certificate is to condone the evils
electorate of the First District of Leyte in an honest, intention was rebuffed when petitioner wrote the brought by the shifting minds of manipulating
orderly, peaceful, free and clean elections on May 8, Election Officer of Tacloban not to allow respondent candidate, of the detriment of the integrity of the
1995. 12​ since she is a resident of Tolosa and not Tacloban. election.
On April 24, 1995, the Second Division of the She never disputed this claim and instead implicitly Moreover, to allow respondent to change the seven
Commission on Elections (COMELEC), by a vote of 2 acceded to it by registering in Tolosa. (7) month period of her residency in order to prolong it
to 1, 13
​ came up with a Resolution 1) finding private This incident belies respondent's claim of "honest by claiming it was "since childhood" is to allow an
respondent's Petition for Disqualification in SPA misinterpretation or honest mistake." Besides, the untruthfulness to be committed before this
95-009 meritorious; 2) striking off petitioner's Certificate of Candidacy only asks for RESIDENCE. Commission. The arithmetical accuracy of the 7
Corrected/Amended Certificate of Candidacy of Since on the basis of her Answer, she was quite months residency the respondent indicated in her
March 31, 1995; and 3) canceling her original aware of "residence of origin" which she interprets to certificate of candidacy can be gleaned from her entry
Certificate of Candidacy. 14​ Dealing with two primary be Tacloban City, it is curious why she did not cite in her Voter's Registration Record accomplished on
issues, namely, the validity of amending the original Tacloban City in her Certificate of Candidacy. Her January 28, 1995 which reflects that she is a resident
Certificate of Candidacy after the lapse of the explanation that she thought what was asked was her of Brgy. Olot, Tolosa, Leyte for 6 months at the time
deadline for filing certificates of candidacy, and actual and physical presence in Tolosa is not easy to of the said registration (Annex A, Petition). Said
petitioner's compliance with the one year residency believe because there is none in the question that accuracy is further buttressed by her letter to the
requirement, the Second Division held: insinuates about Tolosa. In fact, item no. 8 in the election officer of San Juan, Metro Manila, dated
Respondent raised the affirmative defense in her Certificate of Candidacy speaks clearly of "Residency August 24, 1994, requesting for the cancellation of
Answer that the printed word "Seven" (months) was a in the CONSTITUENCY ​where I seek to be elected her registration in the Permanent List of Voters
result of an "honest misinterpretation or honest immediately preceding the election." Thus, the thereat so that she can be re-registered or transferred
mistake" on her part and, therefore, an amendment explanation of respondent fails to be persuasive. to Brgy. Olot, Tolosa, Leyte. The dates of these three
should subsequently be allowed. She averred that From the foregoing, respondent's defense of an (3) different documents show the respondent's
she thought that what was asked was her "actual and honest mistake or misinterpretation, therefore, is consistent conviction that she has transferred her
physical" presence in Tolosa and not residence of devoid of merit. residence to Olot, Tolosa, Leyte from Metro Manila
origin or domicile in the First Legislative District, to To further buttress respondent's contention that an only for such limited period of time, starting in the last
which she could have responded "since childhood." In amendment may be made, she cited the case of week of August 1994 which on March 8, 1995 will
an accompanying affidavit, she stated that her Alialy v​. COMELEC ​(2 SCRA 957). The reliance of only sum up to 7 months. The Commission, therefore,
domicile is Tacloban City, a component of the First respondent on the case of Alialy is misplaced. The cannot be persuaded to believe in the respondent's
District, to which she always intended to return case only applies to the "inconsequential deviations contention that it was an error.
whenever absent and which she has never which cannot affect the result of the election, or xxx xxx xxx
abandoned. Furthermore, in her memorandum, she deviations from provisions intended primarily to Based on these reasons the Amended/Corrected
tried to discredit petitioner's theory of disqualification secure timely and orderly conduct of elections." The Certificate of Candidacy cannot be admitted by this
by alleging that she has been a resident of the First Supreme Court in that case considered the Commission.
xxx xxx xxx registration in the permanent list of voters that she It is evident from these circumstances that she was
Anent the second issue, and based on the foregoing may be re-registered or transferred to Barangay Olot, not a resident of the First District of Leyte "since
discussion, it is clear that respondent has not Tolosa, Leyte. These facts manifest that she could not childhood."
complied with the one year residency requirement of have been a resident of Tacloban City since To further support the assertion that she could have
the Constitution. childhood up to the time she filed her certificate of not been a resident of the First District of Leyte for
In election cases, the term "residence" has always candidacy because she became a resident of many more than one year, petitioner correctly pointed out
been considered as synonymous with "domicile" places, including Metro Manila. This debunks her that on January 28, 1995 respondent registered as a
which imports not only the intention to reside in a claim that prior to her residence in Tolosa, Leyte, she voter at precinct No. 18-A of Olot, Tolosa, Leyte. In
fixed place but also personal presence in-that place, was a resident of the First Legislative District of Leyte doing so, she placed in her Voter Registration Record
coupled with conduct indicative of such intention. since childhood. that she resided in the municipality of Tolosa for a
Domicile denotes a fixed permanent residence to In this case, respondent's conduct reveals her lack of period of six months. This may be inconsequential as
which when absent for business or pleasure, or for intention to make Tacloban her domicile. She argued by the respondent since it refers only to her
like reasons, one intends to return. (Perfecto Faypon registered as a voter in different places and on residence in Tolosa, Leyte. But her failure to prove
vs. Eliseo Quirino, 96 Phil 294; Romualdez vs. several occasions declared that she was a resident of that she was a resident of the First District of Leyte
RTC-Tacloban, 226 SCRA 408). In respondent's Manila. Although she spent her school days in prior to her residence in Tolosa leaves nothing but a
case, when she returned to the Philippines in 1991, Tacloban, she is considered to have abandoned such convincing proof that she had been a resident of the
the residence she chose was not Tacloban but San place when she chose to stay and reside in other district for six months only. 15

Juan, Metro Manila. Thus, her ​animus revertendi is different places. In the case of ​Romualdez vs​. RTC In a Resolution promulgated a day before the May 8,
pointed to Metro Manila and not Tacloban. (226 SCRA 408) the Court explained how one 1995 elections, the COMELEC ​en banc denied
This Division is aware that her claim that she has acquires a new domicile by choice. There must petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration 16
​ of the April
been a resident of the First District since childhood is concur: (1) residence or bodily presence in the new 24, 1995 Resolution declaring her not qualified to run
nothing more than to give her a color of qualification locality; (2) intention to remain there; and (3) intention for the position of Member of the House of
where she is otherwise constitutionally disqualified. It to abandon the old domicile. In other words there Representatives for the First Legislative District of
cannot hold ground in the face of the facts admitted must basically be ​animus manendi ​with ​animus non Leyte. 17​
​ The Resolution tersely stated:
by the respondent in her affidavit. Except for the time revertendi​. When respondent chose to stay in Ilocos After deliberating on the Motion for Reconsideration,
that she studied and worked for some years after and later on in Manila, coupled with her intention to the Commission RESOLVED to DENY it, no new
graduation in Tacloban City, she continuously lived in stay there by registering as a voter there and substantial matters having been raised therein to
Manila. In 1959, after her husband was elected expressly declaring that she is a resident of that warrant re-examination of the resolution granting the
Senator, she lived and resided in San Juan, Metro place, she is deemed to have abandoned Tacloban petition for disqualification. 18​
Manila where she was a registered voter. In 1965, City, where she spent her childhood and school days, On May 11, 1995, the COMELEC issued a Resolution
she lived in San Miguel, Manila where she was again as her place of domicile. allowing petitioner's proclamation should the results of
a registered voter. In 1978, she served as member of Pure intention to reside in that place is not sufficient, the canvass show that she obtained the highest
the Batasang Pambansa as the representative of the there must likewise be conduct indicative of such number of votes in the congressional elections in the
City of Manila and later on served as the Governor of intention. Respondent's statements to the effect that First District of Leyte. On the same day, however, the
Metro Manila. She could not have served these she has always intended to return to Tacloban, COMELEC reversed itself and issued a second
positions if she had not been a resident of the City of without the accompanying conduct to prove that Resolution directing that the proclamation of petitioner
Manila. Furthermore, when she filed her certificate of intention, is not conclusive of her choice of residence. be suspended in the event that she obtains the
candidacy for the office of the President in 1992, she Respondent has not presented any evidence to show highest number of votes. 19 ​
claimed to be a resident of San Juan, Metro Manila. that her conduct, one year prior the election, showed In a Supplemental Petition dated 25 May 1995,
As a matter of fact on August 24, 1994, respondent intention to reside in Tacloban. Worse, what was petitioner averred that she was the overwhelming
wrote a letter with the election officer of San Juan, evident was that prior to her residence in Tolosa, she winner of the elections for the congressional seat in
Metro Manila requesting for the cancellation of her had been a resident of Manila. the First District of Leyte held May 8, 1995 based on
the canvass completed by the Provincial Board of the House of Representatives as required by the 1987 coupled with the intention to remain for an unlimited
Canvassers on May 14, 1995. Petitioner alleged that Constitution. As it were, residence, for the purpose of time. A man can have but one domicile for the same
the canvass showed that she obtained a total of meeting the qualification for an elective position, has purpose at any time, but he may have numerous
70,471 votes compared to the 36,833 votes received a settled meaning in our jurisdiction. places of residence. His place of residence is
by Respondent Montejo. A copy of said Certificate of Article 50 of the Civil Code decrees that "[f]or the generally his place of domicile, but it is not by any
Canvass was annexed to the Supplemental Petition. exercise of civil rights and the fulfillment of civil means necessarily so since no length of residence
On account of the Resolutions disqualifying petitioner obligations, the domicile of natural persons is their without intention of remaining will constitute domicile.
from running for the congressional seat of the First place of habitual residence." In ​Ong vs​. ​Republic 20 ​ For political purposes the concepts of residence and
District of Leyte and the public respondent's this court took the concept of domicile to mean an domicile are dictated by the peculiar criteria of political
Resolution suspending her proclamation, petitioner individual's "permanent home", "a place to which, laws. As these concepts have evolved in our election
comes to this court for relief. whenever absent for business or for pleasure, one law, what has clearly and unequivocally emerged is
Petitioner raises several issues in her Original and intends to return, and depends on facts and the fact that residence for election purposes is used
Supplemental Petitions. The principal issues may be circumstances in the sense that they disclose intent." synonymously with domicile.
21​
classified into two general areas: Based on the foregoing, domicile includes the twin In ​Nuval vs​. Guray​, 24
​ the Court held that "the term
I​. The issue of Petitioner's qualifications elements of "the fact of residing or physical presence residence. . . is synonymous with domicile which
Whether or not petitioner was a resident, for election in a fixed place" and ​animus manendi​, or the intention imports not only intention to reside in a fixed place,
purposes, of the First District of Leyte for a period of of returning there permanently. but also personal presence in that place, coupled with
one year at the time of the May 9, 1995 elections. Residence, in its ordinary conception, implies the conduct indicative of such intention." 25 ​ ​Larena vs​.
II​. The Jurisdictional Issue factual relationship of an individual to a certain place. Teves 26 ​ reiterated the same doctrine in a case
a) Prior to the elections It is the physical presence of a person in a given area, involving the qualifications of the respondent therein
Whether or not the COMELEC properly exercised its community or country. The essential distinction to the post of Municipal President of Dumaguete,
jurisdiction in disqualifying petitioner outside the between residence and domicile in law is that Negros Oriental. Faypon vs​. ​Quirino​, 27
​ held that the
period mandated by the Omnibus Election Code for residence involves the intent to leave when the absence from residence to pursue studies or practice
disqualification cases under Article 78 of the said purpose for which the resident has taken up his a profession or registration as a voter other than in
Code. abode ends. One may seek a place for purposes such the place where one is elected does not constitute
b) After the Elections as pleasure, business, or health. If a person's intent loss of residence. 28 ​ So settled is the concept (of
Whether or not the House of Representatives be to remain, it becomes his domicile; if his intent is to domicile) in our election law that in these and other
Electoral Tribunal assumed exclusive jurisdiction over leave as soon as his purpose is established it is election law cases, this Court has stated that the
the question of petitioner's qualifications after the May residence. 22​ It is thus, quite perfectly normal for an mere absence of an individual from his permanent
8, 1995 elections. individual to have different residences in various residence without the intention to abandon it does not
I​. Petitioner's qualification places. However, a person can only have a single result in a loss or change of domicile.
A perusal of the Resolution of the COMELEC's domicile, unless, for various reasons, he successfully The deliberations of the 1987 Constitution on the
Second Division reveals a startling confusion in the abandons his domicile in favor of another domicile of residence qualification for certain elective positions
application of settled concepts of "Domicile" and choice. In ​Uytengsu vs​. ​Republic​, 23 ​ we laid this have placed beyond doubt the principle that when the
"Residence" in election law. While the COMELEC distinction quite clearly: Constitution speaks of "residence" in election law, it
seems to be in agreement with the general There is a difference between domicile and residence. actually means only "domicile" to wit:
proposition that for the purposes of election law, "Residence" is used to indicate a place of abode, Mr. Nolledo: With respect to Section 5, I
residence is synonymous with domicile, the whether permanent or temporary; "domicile" denotes remember that in the 1971 Constitutional Convention,
Resolution reveals a tendency to substitute or mistake a fixed permanent residence to which, when absent, there was an attempt to require residence in the place
the concept of domicile for actual residence, a one has the intention of returning. A man may have a not less than one year immediately preceding the day
conception not intended for the purpose of residence in one place and a domicile in another. of the elections. So my question is: What is the
determining a candidate's qualifications for election to Residence is not domicile, but domicile is residence Committee's concept of residence of a candidate for
the legislature? Is it actual residence or is it the satisfied the constitution's residency qualification Having been forced by private respondent to register
concept of domicile or constructive residence? requirement. The said statement becomes material in her place of actual residence in Leyte instead of
Mr. Davide: Madame President, insofar as the only when there is or appears to be a deliberate petitioner's claimed domicile, it appears that petitioner
regular members of the National Assembly are attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact which had jotted down her period of stay in her legal
concerned, the proposed section merely provides, would otherwise render a candidate ineligible. It would residence or domicile. The juxtaposition of entries in
among others, "and a resident thereof", that is, in the be plainly ridiculous for a candidate to deliberately Item 7 and Item 8 — the first requiring actual
district for a period of not less than one year and knowingly make a statement in a certificate of residence and the second requiring domicile —
preceding the day of the election. This was in effect candidacy which would lead to his or her coupled with the circumstances surrounding
lifted from the 1973 Constitution, the interpretation disqualification. petitioner's registration as a voter in Tolosa obviously
given to it was domicile. ​29 It stands to reason therefore, that petitioner merely led to her writing down an unintended entry for which
xxx xxx xxx committed an honest mistake in jotting the word she could be disqualified. This honest mistake should
Mrs. Rosario Braid: The next question is on "seven" in the space provided for the residency not, however, be allowed to negate the fact of
Section 7, page 2. I think Commissioner Nolledo has qualification requirement. The circumstances leading residence in the First District if such fact were
raised the same point that "resident" has been to her filing the questioned entry obviously resulted in established by means more convincing than a mere
interpreted at times as a matter of intention rather the subsequent confusion which prompted petitioner entry on a piece of paper.
than actual residence. to write down the period of her actual stay in Tolosa, We now proceed to the matter of petitioner's domicile.
Mr. De los Reyes:Domicile. Leyte instead of her period of residence in the First In support of its asseveration that petitioner's domicile
Ms. Rosario Braid: Yes, So, would the district, which was "since childhood" in the space could not possibly be in the First District of Leyte, the
gentleman consider at the proper time to go back to provided. These circumstances and events are amply Second Division of the COMELEC, in its assailed
actual residence rather than mere intention to reside? detailed in the COMELEC's Second Division's Resolution of April 24,1995 maintains that "except for
Mr. De los Reyes:But we might encounter some questioned resolution, albeit with a different the time when (petitioner) studied and worked for
difficulty especially considering that a provision in the interpretation. For instance, when herein petitioner some years after graduation in Tacloban City, she
Constitution in the Article on Suffrage says that announced that she would be registering in Tacloban continuously lived in Manila." The Resolution
Filipinos living abroad may vote as enacted by law. City to make her eligible to run in the First District, additionally cites certain facts as indicative of the fact
So, we have to stick to the original concept that it private respondent Montejo opposed the same, that petitioner's domicile ought to be any place where
should be by domicile and not physical residence. ​30 claiming that petitioner was a resident of Tolosa, not she lived in the last few decades except Tacloban,
In ​Co vs​. ​Electoral Tribunal of the House of Tacloban City. Petitioner then registered in her place Leyte. First, according to the Resolution, petitioner, in
Representatives​, 31 ​ this Court concluded that the of actual residence in the First District, which is 1959, resided in San Juan, Metro Manila where she
framers of the 1987 Constitution obviously adhered to Tolosa, Leyte, a fact which she subsequently noted was also registered voter. Then, in 1965, following the
the definition given to the term residence in election down in her Certificate of Candidacy. A close look at election of her husband to the Philippine presidency,
law, regarding it as having the same meaning as said certificate would reveal the possible source of the she lived in San Miguel, Manila where she as a voter.
domicile. 32
​ confusion: the entry for residence (Item No. 7) is In 1978 and thereafter, she served as a member of
In the light of the principles just discussed, has followed immediately by the entry for residence in the the Batasang Pambansa and Governor of Metro
petitioner Imelda Romualdez Marcos satisfied the constituency where a candidate seeks election thus: Manila. "She could not, have served these positions if
residency requirement mandated by Article VI, Sec. 6 7. RESIDENCE (complete Address): ​Brgy. she had not been a resident of Metro Manila," the
of the 1987 Constitution? Of what significance is the Olot, Tolosa, Leyte COMELEC stressed. Here is where the confusion
questioned entry in petitioner's Certificate of POST OFFICE ADDRESS FOR ELECTION lies.
Candidacy stating her residence in the First PURPOSES: ​Brgy. Olot, Tolosa, Leyte We have stated, many times in the past, that an
Legislative District of Leyte as seven (7) months? 8. RESIDENCE IN THE CONSTITUENCY individual does not lose his domicile even if he has
It is the fact of residence, not a statement in a WHERE I SEEK TO lived and maintained residences in different places.
certificate of candidacy which ought to be decisive in BE ELECTED IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE Residence, it bears repeating, implies a factual
determining whether or not and individual has ELECTION:_________ Years and ​Seven ​Months. relationship to a given place for various purposes.
The absence from legal residence or domicile to other than his residence of origin has not been [I]n February 1986 (she claimed that) she and her
pursue a profession, to study or to do other things of a deemed sufficient to constitute abandonment or loss family were abducted and kidnapped to Honolulu,
temporary or semi-permanent nature does not of such residence. It finds justification in the natural Hawaii. In November 1991, she came home to
constitute loss of residence. Thus, the assertion by desire and longing of every person to return to his Manila. In 1992, respondent ran for election as
the COMELEC that "she could not have been a place of birth. This strong feeling of attachment to the President of the Philippines and filed her Certificate of
resident of Tacloban City since childhood up to the place of one's birth must be overcome by positive Candidacy wherein she indicated that she is a
time she filed her certificate of candidacy because proof of abandonment for another. resident and registered voter of San Juan, Metro
she became a resident of many places" flies in the From the foregoing, it can be concluded that in its Manila.
face of settled jurisprudence in which this Court above-cited statements supporting its proposition that Applying the principles discussed to the facts found
carefully made distinctions between (actual) petitioner was ineligible to run for the position of by COMELEC, what is inescapable is that petitioner
residence and domicile for election law purposes. In Representative of the First District of Leyte, the held various residences for different purposes during
Larena vs​.​ Teves​, 33​
​ ​supra​, we stressed: COMELEC was obviously referring to petitioner's the last four decades. None of these purposes
[T]his court is of the opinion and so holds that a various places of (actual) residence, not her domicile. unequivocally point to an intention to abandon her
person who has his own house wherein he lives with In doing so, it not only ignored settled jurisprudence domicile of origin in Tacloban, Leyte. Moreover, while
his family in a municipality without having ever had on residence in election law and the deliberations of petitioner was born in Manila, as a minor she naturally
the intention of abandoning it, and without having the constitutional commission but also the provisions followed the domicile of her parents. She grew up in
lived either alone or with his family in another of the Omnibus Election Code (B.P. 881). 35 ​ Tacloban, reached her adulthood there and eventually
municipality, has his residence in the former What is undeniable, however, are the following set of established residence in different parts of the country
municipality, notwithstanding his having registered as facts which establish the fact of petitioner's domicile, for various reasons. Even during her husband's
an elector in the other municipality in question and which we lift verbatim from the COMELEC's Second presidency, at the height of the Marcos Regime's
having been a candidate for various insular and Division's assailed Resolution: 36
​ powers, petitioner kept her close ties to her domicile
provincial positions, stating every time that he is a In or about 1938 when respondent was a little over 8 of origin by establishing residences in Tacloban,
resident of the latter municipality. years old, she established her domicile in Tacloban, celebrating her birthdays and other important
More significantly, in ​Faypon vs​. Quirino​, 34 ​ We Leyte (Tacloban City). She studied in the Holy Infant personal milestones in her home province, instituting
explained that: Academy in Tacloban from 1938 to 1949 when she well-publicized projects for the benefit of her province
A citizen may leave the place of his birth to look for graduated from high school. She pursued her college and hometown, and establishing a political power
"greener pastures," as the saying goes, to improve his studies in St. Paul's College, now Divine Word base where her siblings and close relatives held
lot, and that, of course includes study in other places, University in Tacloban, where she earned her degree positions of power either through the ballot or by
practice of his avocation, or engaging in business. in Education. Thereafter, she taught in the Leyte appointment, always with either her influence or
When an election is to be held, the citizen who left his Chinese School, still in Tacloban City. In 1952 she consent. These well-publicized ties to her domicile of
birthplace to improve his lot may desire to return to went to Manila to work with her cousin, the late origin are part of the history and lore of the quarter
his native town to cast his ballot but for professional speaker Daniel Z. Romualdez in his office in the century of Marcos power in our country. Either they
or business reasons, or for any other reason, he may House of Representatives. In 1954, she married were entirely ignored in the COMELEC'S Resolutions,
not absent himself from his professional or business ex-President Ferdinand E. Marcos when he was still a or the majority of the COMELEC did not know what
activities; so there he registers himself as voter as he congressman of Ilocos Norte and registered there as the rest of the country always knew: the fact of
has the qualifications to be one and is not willing to a voter. When her husband was elected Senator of petitioner's domicile in Tacloban, Leyte.
give up or lose the opportunity to choose the officials the Republic in 1959, she and her husband lived Private respondent in his Comment, contends that
who are to run the government especially in national together in San Juan, Rizal where she registered as a Tacloban was not petitioner's domicile of origin
elections. Despite such registration, the ​animus voter. In 1965, when her husband was elected because she did not live there until she was eight
revertendi ​to his home, to his domicile or residence of President of the Republic of the Philippines, she lived years old. He avers that after leaving the place in
origin has not forsaken him. This may be the with him in Malacanang Palace and registered as a 1952, she "abandoned her residency (​sic​) therein for
explanation why the registration of a voter in a place voter in San Miguel, Manila. many years and . . . (could not) re-establish her
domicile in said place by merely expressing her presumption that the wife automatically gains the or place of actual residence. The article obviously
intention to live there again." We do not agree. husband's domicile by operation of law upon marriage cannot be understood to refer to domicile which is a
First, minor follows the domicile of his parents. As cannot be inferred from the use of the term fixed,
domicile, once acquired is retained until a new one is "residence" in Article 110 of the Civil Code because fairly-permanent concept when it plainly connotes the
gained, it follows that in spite of the fact of petitioner's the Civil Code is one area where the two concepts are possibility of transferring from one place to another
being born in Manila, Tacloban, Leyte was her well delineated. Dr. Arturo Tolentino, writing on this not only once, but as often as the husband may deem
domicile of origin by operation of law. This domicile specific area explains: fit to move his family, a circumstance more consistent
was not established only when her father brought his In the Civil Code, there is an obvious difference with the concept of actual residence.
family back to Leyte contrary to private respondent's between domicile and residence. Both terms imply The right of the husband to fix the actual residence is
averments. relations between a person and a place; but in in harmony with the intention of the law to strengthen
Second, domicile of origin is not easily lost. To residence, the relation is one of fact while in domicile and unify the family, recognizing the fact that the
successfully effect a change of domicile, one must it is legal or juridical, independent of the necessity of husband and the wife bring into the marriage different
demonstrate: 37 ​ physical presence. 40 ​ domiciles (of origin). This difference could, for the
1. An actual removal or an actual change of Article 110 of the Civil Code provides: sake of family unity, be reconciled only by allowing
domicile; Art. 110. — The husband shall fix the residence of the the husband to fix a single place of actual residence.
2. A ​bona fide intention of abandoning the family. But the court may exempt the wife from living Very significantly, Article 110 of the Civil Code is
former place of residence and establishing a new one; with the husband if he should live abroad unless in found under Title V under the heading: RIGHTS AND
and the service of the Republic. OBLIGATIONS BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE.
3. Acts which correspond with the purpose. A survey of jurisprudence relating to Article 110 or to Immediately preceding Article 110 is Article 109 which
In the absence of clear and positive proof based on the concepts of domicile or residence as they affect obliges the husband and wife to live together, thus:
these criteria, the residence of origin should be the female spouse upon marriage yields nothing Art. 109. — The husband and wife are obligated to
deemed to continue. Only with evidence showing which would suggest that the female spouse live together, observe mutual respect and fidelity and
concurrence of all three requirements can the automatically loses her domicile of origin in favor of render mutual help and support.
presumption of continuity or residence be rebutted, for the husband's choice of residence upon marriage. The duty to live together can only be fulfilled if the
a change of residence requires an actual and Article 110 is a virtual restatement of Article 58 of the husband and wife are physically together. This takes
deliberate abandonment, and one cannot have two Spanish Civil Code of 1889 which states: into account the situations where the couple has
legal residences at the same time. 38 ​ In the case at La mujer esta obligada a seguir a su marido donde many residences (as in the case of the petitioner). If
bench, the evidence adduced by private respondent quiera que fije su residencia. Los Tribunales, sin the husband has to stay in or transfer to any one of
plainly lacks the degree of persuasiveness required to embargo, podran con justa causa eximirla de esta their residences, the wife should necessarily be with
convince this court that an abandonment of domicile obligacion cuando el marido transende su residencia him in order that they may "live together." Hence, it is
of origin in favor of a domicile of choice indeed a ultramar o' a pais extranjero. illogical to conclude that Art. 110 refers to "domicile"
occurred. To effect an abandonment requires the Note the use of the phrase "​donde quiera su fije de and not to "residence." Otherwise, we shall be faced
voluntary act of relinquishing petitioner's former residencia​" in the aforequoted article, which means with a situation where the wife is left in the domicile
domicile with an ​intent ​to supplant the former domicile wherever (the husband) ​wishes to establish while the husband, for professional or other reasons,
with one of her own choosing (​domicilium residence​. This part of the article clearly contemplates stays in one of their (various) residences. As Dr.
voluntarium​). only actual residence because it refers to a positive Tolentino further explains:
In this connection, it cannot be correctly argued that act of fixing a family home or residence. Moreover, Residence and Domicile — Whether the word
petitioner lost her domicile of origin by operation of this interpretation is further strengthened by the "residence" as used with reference to particular
law as a result of her marriage to the late President phrase "​cuando el marido translade su residencia​" in matters is synonymous with "domicile" is a question of
Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1952. For there is a clearly the same provision which means, "when the husband some difficulty, and the ultimate decision must be
established distinction between the Civil Code shall transfer ​his residence," referring to another made from a consideration of the purpose and intent
concepts of "domicile" and "residence." 39 ​ The positive act of relocating the family to another home with which the word is used. Sometimes they are
used synonymously, at other times they are the other. Of course where the property rights of one case where a wife was ordered to follow and live with
distinguished from one another. of the pair are invaded, an action for restitution of her husband, who had changed his domicile to the
xxx xxx xxx such rights can be maintained. But we are disinclined City of New Orleans. The decision referred to (Bahn
Residence in the civil law is a material fact, referring to sanction the doctrine that an order, enforcible (​sic​) v. Darby, 36 La. Ann., 70) was based on a provision
to the physical presence of a person in a place. A by process of contempt, may be entered to compel of the Civil Code of Louisiana similar to article 56 of
person can have two or more residences, such as a the restitution of the purely personal right of the Spanish Civil Code. It was decided many years
country residence and a city residence. Residence is consortium. At best such an order can be effective for ago, and the doctrine evidently has not been fruitful
acquired by living in place; on the other hand, no other purpose than to compel the spouses to live even in the State of Louisiana. In other states of the
domicile can exist without actually living in the place. under the same roof; and he experience of those American Union the idea of enforcing cohabitation by
The important thing for domicile is that, once countries where the courts of justice have assumed to process of contempt is rejected. (21 Cyc., 1148).
residence has been established in one place, there be compel the cohabitation of married people shows that In a decision of January 2, 1909, the Supreme Court
an intention to stay there permanently, even if the policy of the practice is extremely questionable. of Spain appears to have affirmed an order of the
residence is also established in some other Thus in England, formerly the Ecclesiastical Court Audiencia Territorial de Valladolid requiring a wife to
place. 41
​ entertained suits for the restitution of conjugal rights return to the marital domicile, and in the alternative,
In fact, even the matter of a common residence at the instance of either husband or wife; and if the upon her failure to do so, to make a particular
between the husband and the wife during the facts were found to warrant it, that court would make disposition of certain money and effects then in her
marriage is not an iron-clad principle; In cases a mandatory decree, enforceable by process of possession and to deliver to her husband, as
applying the Civil Code on the question of a common contempt in case of disobedience, requiring the administrator of the ganancial property, all income,
matrimonial residence, our jurisprudence has delinquent party to live with the other and render rents, and interest which might accrue to her from the
recognized certain situations 42 ​ where the spouses conjugal rights. Yet this practice was sometimes property which she had brought to the marriage. (113
could not be compelled to live with each other such criticized even by the judges who felt bound to Jur. Civ., pp. 1, 11) But it does not appear that this
that the wife is either allowed to maintain a residence enforce such orders, and in ​Weldon v​. Weldon ​(9 P.D. order for the return of the wife to the marital domicile
different from that of her husband or, for obviously 52), decided in 1883, Sir James Hannen, President in was sanctioned by any other penalty than the
practical reasons, revert to her original domicile (apart the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the consequences that would be visited upon her in
from being allowed to opt for a new one). In ​De la High Court of Justice, expressed his regret that the respect to the use and control of her property; and it
Vina vs​.​Villareal 43
​ this Court held that "[a] married English law on the subject was not the same as that does not appear that her disobedience to that order
woman may acquire a residence or domicile separate which prevailed in Scotland, where a decree of would necessarily have been followed by
from that of her husband during the existence of the adherence, equivalent to the decree for the restitution imprisonment for contempt.
marriage where the husband has given cause for of conjugal rights in England, could be obtained by Parenthetically when Petitioner was married to then
divorce." 44
​ Note that the Court allowed the wife either the injured spouse, but could not be enforced by Congressman Marcos, in 1954, petitioner was obliged
to obtain new residence or to choose a new domicile imprisonment. Accordingly, in obedience to the — by virtue of Article 110 of the Civil Code — to
in such an event. In instances where the wife actually growing sentiment against the practice, the follow her husband's actual place of residence fixed
opts, .under the Civil Code, to live separately from her Matrimonial Causes Act (1884) abolished the remedy by him. The problem here is that at that time, Mr.
husband either by taking new residence or reverting of imprisonment; though a decree for the restitution of Marcos had several places of residence, among
to her domicile of origin, the Court has held that the conjugal rights can still be procured, and in case of which were San Juan, Rizal and Batac, Ilocos Norte.
wife could not be compelled to live with her husband disobedience may serve in appropriate cases as the There is no showing which of these places Mr.
on pain of contempt. In ​Arroyo vs​. ​Vasques de Arroyo basis of an order for the periodical payment of a Marcos did fix as his family's residence. But assuming
45​
the Court held that: stipend in the character of alimony. that Mr. Marcos had fixed any of these places as the
Upon examination of the authorities, we are In the voluminous jurisprudence of the United States, conjugal residence, what petitioner gained upon
convinced that it is not within the province of the only one court, so far as we can discover, has ever marriage was actual residence. She did not lose her
courts of this country to attempt to compel one of the attempted to make a preemptory order requiring one domicile of origin.
spouses to cohabit with, and render conjugal rights to, of the spouses to live with the other; and that was in a
On the other hand, the common law concept of domiciliary intention clearly manifested in her letters provision is often made on grounds of necessity.
"matrimonial domicile" appears to have been to the PCGG Chairman. She could not have gone Adopting the same view held by several American
incorporated, as a result of our jurisprudential straight to her home in San Juan, as it was in a state authorities, this court in ​Marcelino vs​. Cruz ​held that:
51
experiences after the drafting of the Civil Code of of disrepair, having been previously looted by
1950, into the New Family Code. To underscore the vandals. Her "homes" and "residences" following her The difference between a mandatory and directory
difference between the intentions of the Civil Code arrival in various parts of Metro Manila merely provision is often determined on grounds of
and the Family Code drafters, the term residence has qualified as temporary or "actual residences," not expediency, the reason being that less injury results
been supplanted by the term domicile in an entirely domicile. Moreover, and proceeding from our to the general public by disregarding than enforcing
new provision (Art. 69) distinctly different in meaning discussion pointing out specific situations where the the letter of the law.
and spirit from that found in Article 110. The provision female spouse either reverts to her domicile of origin In ​Trapp v​. ​Mc Cormick​, a case calling for the
recognizes revolutionary changes in the concept of or chooses a new one during the subsistence of the interpretation of a statute containing a limitation of
women's rights in the intervening years by making the marriage, it would be highly illogical for us to assume thirty (30) days within which a decree may be entered
choice of domicile a product of mutual agreement that she cannot regain her original domicile upon the without the consent of counsel, it was held that "the
between the spouses. 46 ​ death of her husband absent a positive act of statutory provisions which may be thus departed from
Without as much belaboring the point, the term selecting a new one where situations exist within the with impunity, without affecting the validity of statutory
residence may mean one thing in civil law (or under subsistence of the marriage itself where the wife proceedings, are usually those which relate to the
the Civil Code) and quite another thing in political law. gains a domicile different from her husband. mode or time of doing that which is essential to effect
What stands clear is that insofar as the Civil Code is In the light of all the principles relating to residence the aim and purpose of the Legislature or some
concerned-affecting the rights and obligations of and domicile enunciated by this court up to this point, incident of the essential act." Thus, in said case, the
husband and wife — the term residence should only we are persuaded that the facts established by the statute under examination was construed merely to
be interpreted to mean "actual residence." The parties weigh heavily in favor of a conclusion be directory.
inescapable conclusion derived from this supporting petitioner's claim of legal residence or The mischief in petitioner's contending that the
unambiguous civil law delineation therefore, is that domicile in the First District of Leyte. COMELEC should have abstained from rendering a
when petitioner married the former President in 1954, II. The jurisdictional issue decision after the period stated in the Omnibus
she kept her domicile of origin and merely gained a Petitioner alleges that the jurisdiction of the Election Code because it lacked jurisdiction, lies in
new home, not a ​domicilium necessarium​. COMELEC had already lapsed considering that the the fact that our courts and other quasi-judicial bodies
Even assuming for the sake of argument that assailed resolutions were rendered on April 24, 1995, would then refuse to render judgments merely on the
petitioner gained a new "domicile" after her marriage fourteen (14) days before the election in violation of ground of having failed to reach a decision within a
and only acquired a right to choose a new one after Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code. 48 ​ given or prescribed period.
her husband died, petitioner's acts following her return Moreover, petitioner contends that it is the House of In any event, with the enactment of Sections 6 and 7
to the country clearly indicate that she not only Representatives Electoral Tribunal and not the of R.A. 6646 in relation to Section 78 of B.P. 881, 52 ​ it
impliedly but expressly chose her domicile of origin COMELEC which has jurisdiction over the election of is evident that the respondent Commission does not
(assuming this was lost by operation of law) as her members of the House of Representatives in lose jurisdiction to hear and decide a pending
domicile. This "choice" was unequivocally expressed accordance with Article VI Sec. 17 of the Constitution. disqualification case under Section 78 of B.P. 881
in her letters to the Chairman of the PCGG when This is untenable. even after the elections.
petitioner sought the PCGG's permission to It is a settled doctrine that a statute requiring rendition As to the House of Representatives Electoral
"rehabilitate (our) ancestral house in Tacloban and of judgment within a specified time is generally Tribunal's supposed assumption of jurisdiction over
Farm in Olot, Leyte. . . to make them livable for the construed to be merely directory, 49 ​ "so that the issue of petitioner's qualifications after the May 8,
Marcos family to have a home in our homeland." 47 ​ non-compliance with them does not invalidate the 1995 elections, suffice it to say that HRET's
Furthermore, petitioner obtained her residence judgment on the theory that if the statute had intended jurisdiction as the sole judge of all contests relating to
certificate in 1992 in Tacloban, Leyte, while living in such result it would have clearly indicated it." 50 ​ The the elections, returns and qualifications of members of
her brother's house, an act which supports the difference between a mandatory and a directory Congress begins only after a candidate has become a
member of the House of Representatives. 53​ Petitioner The sanctity of the people's will must be observed at on the ground that the latter lacked the residence
not being a member of the House of Representatives, all times if our nascent democracy is to be preserved. qualification as a candidate for congressman which,
it is obvious that the HRET at this point has no In any challenge having the effect of reversing a under Section 6, Art. VI of the 1987 the Constitution,
jurisdiction over the question. democratic choice, expressed through the ballot, this should be for a period not less than one (1) year
It would be an abdication of many of the ideals Court should be ever so vigilant in finding solutions immediately preceding the May 8, 1995 elections. The
enshrined in the 1987 Constitution for us to either to which would give effect to the will of the majority, for petition was docketed as SPA No. 95-113 and was
ignore or deliberately make distinctions in law solely sound public policy dictates that all elective offices are assigned to the Second Division of the Commission
on the basis of the personality of a petitioner in a filled by those who have received the highest number on Elections (COMELEC).
case. Obviously a distinction was made on such a of votes cast in an election. When a challenge to a On April 25, 1995, a day after said petition for
ground here. Surely, many established principles of winning candidate's qualifications however becomes disqualification was filed, petitioner filed another
law, even of election laws were flouted for the sake inevitable, the ineligibility ought to be so noxious to certificate of candidacy amending the certificate dated
perpetuating power during the pre-EDSA regime. We the Constitution that giving effect to the apparent will March 20, 1995. This time, petitioner stated in Item 8
renege on these sacred ideals, including the meaning of the people would ultimately do harm to our of his certificate that he had resided in the
and spirit of EDSA ourselves bending established democratic institutions. constituency where he sought to be elected for one (l)
principles of principles of law to deny an individual On March 20, 1995, petitioner Agapito A. Aquino filed year and thirteen (13) days.​3
what he or she justly deserves in law. Moreover, in his Certificate of Candidacy for the position of On May 2, 1995, petitioner filed his Answer dated
doing so, we condemn ourselves to repeat the Representative for the new Second Legislative District April 29, 1995 praying for the dismissal of the
mistakes of the past. of Makati City. Among others, Aquino provided the disqualification case.​4
WHEREFORE, having determined that petitioner following information in his certificate of candidacy, On the same day, May 2, 1995, a hearing was
possesses the necessary residence qualifications to viz​:. conducted by the COMELEC wherein petitioner
run for a seat in the House of Representatives in the (7) RESIDENCE (Complete Address): 284 testified and presented in evidence, among others, his
First District of Leyte, the COMELEC's questioned AMAPOLA COR. ADALLA STS., PALM VILLAGE, Affidavit dated May 2, 1995,​5 lease contract between
Resolutions dated April 24, May 7, May 11, and May MAKATI. petitioner and Leonor Feliciano dated April 1, 1994,​6
25, 1995 are hereby SET ASIDE. Respondent xxx xxx xxx Affidavit of Leonor Feliciano dated April 28,1995​7 and
COMELEC is hereby directed to order the Provincial (8) RESIDENCE IN THE CONSTITUENCY Affidavit of Daniel Galamay dated April 28, 1995.​8
Board of Canvassers to proclaim petitioner as the WHERE I SEEK TO BE ELECTED IMMEDIATELY After hearing of the petition for disqualification, the
duly elected Representative of the First District of PRECEDING THE ELECTION: ______ Years and ​10 Second Division of the COMELEC promulgated a
Leyte. Months. Resolution dated May 6, 1995, the ​decretal portion of
SO ORDERED. xxx xxx xxx which reads:
Feliciano, J., is on leave. THAT I AM ELIGIBLE for said Office; That I will WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, this
support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Commission (Second Division) RESOLVES to
EN BANC the Philippines and will maintain true faith and DISMISS the instant: petition for Disqualification
allegiance thereto; That I will obey the law, rules and against respondent AGAPITO AQUINO and declares
G.R. No. 120265 September 18, 1995 decrees promulgated by the duly constituted him ELIGIBLE to run for the Office of Representative
AGAPITO A. AQUINO, ​petitioner, authorities; That the obligation imposed to such is in the Second Legislative District of Makati City.
vs. assumed voluntarily, without mental reservation or SO ORDERED.​9
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, MOVE MAKATI, purpose of evasion, and that the facts therein are true On May 7, 1995, Move Makati and Mateo Bedon filed
MATEO BEDON and JUANITO ICARO, to the best of my knowledge.​1 a Motion for Reconsideration of the May 6, 1995
respondents. On April 24, 1995, Move Makati, a duly registered resolution with the COMELEC ​en banc​.
political party, and Mateo Bedon, Chairman of the Meanwhile, on May 8, 1995, elections were held. In
KAPUNAN, ​J.: LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP of Barangay Cembo, Makati Makati City where three (3) candidates vied for the
City, filed a petition to disqualify Agapito A. Aquino​2 congressional seat in the Second District, petitioner
garnered thirty eight thousand five hundred forty the elections is lodged exclusively in the House of the COMELEC ​en banc​. Petitioner's raises the
seven (38,547) votes as against another candidate, Representatives Electoral Tribunal pursuant to following errors for consideration, to wit:
Agusto Syjuco, who obtained thirty five thousand nine Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. A
hundred ten (35,910) votes.​10 Resolving petitioner's motion to lift suspension of his THE COMELEC HAS NO JURISDICTION TO
On May 10, 1995, private respondents Move Makati proclamation, the COMELEC ​en banc issued an DETERMINE AND ADJUDGE THE
and Bedon filed an Urgent Motion ​Ad Cautelum to Order on June 2, 1995, the decretal portion thereof DISQUALIFICATION ISSUE INVOLVING
Suspend Proclamation of petitioner. Thereafter, they residing: CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES AFTER THE MAY
filed an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration of the Pursuant to the said provisions and considering the 8, 1995 ELECTIONS, SUCH DETERMINATION
COMELEC's Second Division resolution dated May 6, attendant circumstances of the case, the Commission BEING RESERVED TO AND LODGE EXCLUSIVELY
1995 and a 2nd Urgent Motion ​Ad Cautelum ​to RESOLVED to proceed with the promulgation but to WITH THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE
Suspend Proclamation of petitioner. suspend its rules, to accept the filing of the aforesaid ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL
On May 15, 1995, COMELEC ​en banc issued an motion, and ​to allow the parties to be heard thereon B
Order suspending petitioner's proclamation. The because the issue of jurisdiction now before the ASSUMING ​ARGUENDO THAT THE COMELEC
dispositive portion of the order reads: Commission has to be studied with more reflection HAS JURISDICTION, SAID JURISDICTION CEASED
WHEREFORE, pursuant to the provisions of Section and judiciousness​. 12
​ IN THE INSTANT CASE AFTER THE ELECTIONS,
6 of Republic Act No. 6646, the Board of Canvassers On the same day, June 2, 1995, the COMELEC ​en AND THE REMEDY/IES AVAILABLE TO THE
of the City of Makati is hereby directed to complete banc issued a Resolution reversing the resolution of ADVERSE PARTIES LIE/S IN ANOTHER FORUM
the canvassing of election returns of the Second the Second Division dated May 6, 1995. The fallo WHICH, IT IS SUBMITTED, IS THE HRET
District of Makati, but to suspend the proclamation of reads as follows: CONSISTENT WITH SECTION 17, ARTICLE VI OF
respondent Agapito A. Aquino should he obtain the WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, petitioners' THE 1987 CONSTITUTION
winning number of votes for the position of Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of the C
Representative of the Second District of the City of Second Division, promulgated on May 6, 1995, is THE COMELEC COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF
Makati, until the motion for reconsideration filed by the GRANTED. Respondent Agapito A. Aquino is DISCRETION WHEN IT PROCEEDED TO
petitioners on May 7, 1995, shall have been resolved declared ineligible and thus disqualified as a PROMULGATE ITS QUESTIONED DECISION
by the Commission. candidate for the Office of Representative of the (ANNEX "C", PETITION) DESPITE IT OWN
The Executive Director, this Commission, is directed Second Legislative District of Makati City in the May RECOGNITION THAT A THRESHOLD ISSUE OF
to cause the immediate implementation of this Order. 8, 1995 elections, for lack of the constitutional JURISDICTION HAS TO BE JUDICIOUSLY
The Clerk of Court of the Commission is likewise qualification of residence. Consequently, the order of REVIEWED AGAIN, ASSUMING ​ARGUENDO THAT
directed to inform the parties by the fastest means suspension of proclamation of the respondent should THE COMELEC HAS JURISDICTION, THE
available of this Order, and to calendar the hearing of he obtain the winning number of votes, issued by this COMELEC COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF
the Motion for Reconsideration on May 17, 1995, at Commission on May 15, 1995 is now made DISCRETION, AND SERIOUS ERROR IN
10:00 in the morning, PICC Press Center, Pasay City. permanent. DIRECTING WITHOUT NOTICE THE SUSPENSION
SO ORDERED.​11 Upon the finality of this Resolution, the Board of OF THE PROCLAMATION OF THE PETITIONER AS
On May 16, 1995, petitioner filed his Canvassers of the City of Makati shall immediately THE WINNING CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE
Comment/Opposition with urgent motion to lift order of reconvene and, on the basis of the completed AND DESPITE THE MINISTERIAL NATURE OF
suspension of proclamation. canvass of election returns, determine the winner out SUCH DUTY TO PROCLAIM (PENDING THE
On June 1, 1995, petitioner filed a "Motion to File of the remaining qualified candidates, who shall be FINALITY OF THE DISQUALIFICATION CASE
Supplemental Memorandum and Motion to Resolve immediately be proclaimed. AGAINST THE PETITIONER) IF ONLY NOT TO
Urgent Motion to Resolve Motion to Lift Suspension of SO ORDERED. 13 ​ THWART THE PEOPLE'S WILL.
Proclamation" wherein he manifested his intention to Hence, the instant Petition for ​Certiorari 14
​ assailing D
raise, among others, the issue of whether of not the the orders dated May 15, 1995 and June 2, 1995, as THE COMELEC'S FINDING OF NON-COMPLIANCE
determination of the qualifications of petitioner after well as the resolution dated June 2, 1995 issued by WITH THE RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT OF ONE
YEAR AGAINST THE PETITIONER IS CONTRARY Petitioner conveniently confuses the distinction and hearing of the action, inquiry or protest and, upon
TO EVIDENCE AND TO APPLICABLE LAWS AND between an unproclaimed candidate to the House of motion of the complainant or any intervenor, may
JURISPRUDENCE. Representatives and a member of the same. during the pendency thereof order the suspension of
E Obtaining the highest number of votes in an election the proclamation of such candidate whenever the
IN ANY CASE, THE COMELEC CRITICALLY ERRED does not automatically vest the position in the winning evidence of guilt is strong.
IN FAILING TO APPRECIATE THE LEGAL candidate. Section 17 of Article VI of the 1987 Under the above-quoted provision, not only is a
IMPOSSIBILITY OF ENFORCING THE ONE YEAR Constitution reads: disqualification case against a candidate allowed to
RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT OF The Senate and the House of Representatives shall continue after the election (and does not oust the
CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES IN NEWLY have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole COMELEC of its jurisdiction), but his obtaining the
CREATED POLITICAL DISTRICTS WHICH WERE judge of all contests relating to the election, returns highest number of votes will not result in the
ONLY EXISTING FOR LESS THAN A YEAR AT THE and qualifications of their respective Members. suspension or termination of the proceedings against
TIME OF THE ELECTION AND BARELY FOUR Under the above-stated provision, the electoral him when the evidence of guilt is strong. While the
MONTHS IN THE CASE OF PETITIONER'S tribunal clearly assumes jurisdiction over all contests phrase "when the evidence of guilt is strong" seems
DISTRICT IN MAKATI OF CONGRESSIONAL. relative to the election, returns and qualifications of to suggest that the provisions of Section 6 ought to be
F candidates for either the Senate or the House only applicable only to disqualification cases under Section
THE COMELEC COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR when the latter become ​members of either the Senate 68 of the Omnibus Election Code, Section 7 of R.A.
AMOUNTING TO LACK OF JURISDICTION WHEN or the House of Representatives. A candidate who 6646 allows the application of the provisions of
IT ORDERED THE BOARD OF CANVASSERS TO has not been proclaimed 16 ​ and who has not taken his Section 6 to cases involving disqualification based on
"DETERMINE AND PROCLAIM THE WINNER OUT oath of office cannot be said to be a member of the ineligibility under Section 78 of B.P. 881. Section 7
OF THE REMAINING QUALIFIED CANDIDATES" House of Representatives subject to Section. 17 of states:
AFTER THE ERRONEOUS DISQUALIFICATION OF the Constitution. While the proclamation of a winning Sec. 7. Petition to Deny Due Course or to Cancel a
YOUR PETITIONER IN THAT SUCH DIRECTIVE IS candidate in an election is ministerial, B.P. 881 in Certificate of Candidacy​. — The procedure
IN TOTAL DISREGARD OF THE WELL SETTLED conjunction with Sec 6 of R.A. 6646 allows hereinabove provided shall apply to petition to deny
DOCTRINE THAT A SECOND PLACE CANDIDATE suspension of proclamation under circumstances due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy
OR PERSON WHO WAS REPUDIATED BY THE mentioned therein. Thus, petitioner's contention that based on Sec. 78 of ​Batas Pambansa​ 881.
ELECTORATE IS A LOSER AND CANNOT BE "after the conduct of the election and (petitioner) has II
PROCLAIMED AS SUBSTITUTE been established the winner of the electoral exercise We agree with COMELEC's contention that in order
WINNER.​15 from the moment of election, the COMELEC is that petitioner could qualify as a candidate for
I automatically divested of authority to pass upon the Representative of the Second District of Makati City
In his first three assignments of error, petitioner question of qualification" finds no basis, because even the latter "must prove that he has established not just
vigorously contends that after the May 8, 1995 after the elections the COMELEC is empowered by residence but ​domicile ​of choice. 17​
elections, the COMELEC lost its jurisdiction over the Section 6 (in relation to Section 7) of R.A. 6646 to The Constitution requires that a person seeking
question of petitioner's qualifications to run for continue to hear and decide questions relating to election to the House of Representatives should be a
member of the House of Representatives. He claims qualifications of candidates Section 6 states: resident of the ​district ​in which he seeks election for a
that jurisdiction over the petition for disqualification is Sec. 6. Effect of Disqualification Case​. — Any period of not less than one (l) year prior to the
exclusively lodged with the House of Representatives candidate, who has been declared by final judgment elections. 18​ Residence, for election law purposes, has
Electoral Tribunal (HRET). Given the yet unresolved to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes a settled meaning in our jurisdiction.
question of jurisdiction, petitioner avers that the cast for him shall not be counted. If for any reason a In ​Co v​. Electoral Tribunal of the House of
COMELEC committed serious error and grave abuse candidate is not declared by final judgment before an Representatives 19 ​ this Court held that the term
of discretion in directing the suspension of his election to be disqualified and he is voted for and "residence" has always been understood as
proclamation as the winning candidate in the Second receives the winning number of votes in such election, synonymous with "​domicile​" not only under the
Congressional District of Makati City. We disagree. the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial
previous Constitutions but also under the 1987 The framers of the Constitution adhered to the earlier parents Benigno and Aurora. 25 ​ Thus, from data
Constitution. The Court there held: 20
​ definition given to the word "residence" which furnished by petitioner himself to the COMELEC at
The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission regarded it as having the same meaning as ​domicile​. various times during his political career, what stands
reveal that the meaning of residence ​vis-a-vis the Clearly, the place "where a party actually or consistently clear and unassailable is that this
qualifications of a candidate for Congress continues constructively has his permanent home," 21 ​ where he, domicile ​of origin of record up to the time of filing of
to remain the same as that of ​domicile​, to wit: no matter where he may be found at any given time, his most recent certificate of candidacy for the 1995
Mr. Nolledo: With respect to Section 5, I eventually intends to return and remain, ​i​.​e​., his elections was Concepcion, Tarlac.
remember that in the 1971 Constitutional Convention, domicile, is that to which the Constitution refers when Petitioner's alleged connection with the Second
there was an attempt to require residence in the place it speaks of residence for the purposes of election District of Makati City is an alleged lease agreement
not less than one year immediately preceding the day law. The manifest purpose of this deviation from the of condominium unit in the area. As the COMELEC, in
of elections. So my question is: What is the usual conceptions of residency in law as explained in its disputed Resolution noted:
Committee's concept of domicile or constructive Gallego vs​. Vera at 22 ​ is "to exclude strangers or The intention not to establish a permanent home in
residence? newcomers unfamiliar with the conditions and needs Makati City is evident in his leasing a condominium
Mr. Davide: Madame President, insofar as the of the community" from taking advantage of favorable unit instead of buying one. While a lease contract
regular members of the National Assembly are circumstances existing in that community for electoral maybe indicative of respondent's intention to reside in
concerned, the proposed section merely provides, gain. While there is nothing wrong with the practice of Makati City it does not engender the kind of
among others, and a resident thereof', that is, in the establishing residence in a given area for meeting permanency required to prove abandonment of one's
district, for a period of not less than one year election law requirements, this nonetheless defeats original ​domicile ​especially since, by its terms, it is
preceding the day of the election. This was in effect the essence of representation, which is to place only for a period of two (2) years, and respondent
lifted from the 1973 Constitution, ​the interpretation through the assent of voters those most cognizant Aquino himself testified that his intention was really
given to it was domicile ​(emphasis ours) Records of and sensitive to the needs of a particular district, if a for only one (l) year because ​he has other
the 1987 Constitutional Convention, Vol. II, July 22, candidate falls short of the period of residency "residences" in Manila or Quezon City​.​ 26 ​
1986, p. 87). mandated by law for him to qualify. That purpose While property ownership is not and should never be
xxx xxx xxx could be obviously best met by individuals who have an ​indicia ​of the right to vote or to be voted upon, the
Mrs. Rosario Braid: The next question is on either had actual residence in the area for a given fact that petitioner himself claims that he has other
section 7, page 2. I think Commissioner Nolledo has period or who have been domiciled in the same area residences in Metro Manila coupled with the short
raised the same point that "resident" has been either by origin or by choice. It would, therefore, be length of time he claims to be a resident of the
interpreted at times as a matter of intention rather imperative for this Court to inquire into the threshold condominium unit in Makati (and the fact, of his stated
than actual residence. question as to whether or not petitioner actually was a domicile in Tarlac) "indicate that the sole purpose of
Mr. De Los Reyes: Domicile​. resident for a period of one year in the area now (petitioner) in transferring his physical residence" 27
​ is
Ms. Rosario Braid: Yes, So, ​would the encompassed by the Second Legislative District of not to acquire's new residence or ​domicile ​"but only to
gentlemen consider at the proper time to go back to Makati at the time of his election or whether or not he qualify as a candidate for Representative of the
actual residence rather than mere intention to reside? was domiciled in the same. Second District of Makati City." 28 ​ The absence of
Mr. De los Reyes:But We might encounter some As found by the COMELEC ​en banc petitioner in his clear and positive proof showing a successful
difficulty especially considering that the provision in Certificate of Candidacy for the May 11, 1992 abandonment of ​domicile ​under the conditions stated
the Constitution in the Article on Suffrage says that elections, indicated not only that he was a ​resident ​of above, the lack of identification — sentimental, actual
Filipinos living abroad may vote as enacted by law. San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac in 1992 but that he was or otherwise — with the area, and the suspicious
So, ​we have to stick to the original concept that it a ​resident of the same for 52 years immediately circumstances under which the lease agreement was
should be by domicile and not physical and actual preceding that election. 23
​ At the time, his certificate effected all belie petitioner's claim of residency for the
residence​. (Records of the 1987 Constitutional indicated that he was also a registered voter of the period required by the Constitution, in the Second
Commission, Vol. II, July 22, 1986, p. 110). same district. 24 ​ His birth certificate places District of Makati. As the COMELEC ​en banc
Concepcion, Tarlac as the birthplace of both of his emphatically pointed out:
[T]he lease agreement was executed mainly to from running in the Senate because of the In these cases, the pendulum of judicial opinion in our
support the one year residence requirement as a constitutional two-term limit, and had to shop around country has swung from one end to the other. In the
qualification for a candidate of Representative, by for a place where he could run for public office. early case of ​Topacio v​. Paredes​. 32 ​ we declared as
establishing a commencement date of his residence. Nothing wrong with that, but he must first prove with valid, votes cast in favor of a disqualified, ineligilble or
If a perfectly valid lease agreement cannot, by itself reasonable certainty that he has effected a change of dead candidate provided the people who voted for
establish; a ​domicile ​of choice, this particular lease residence for election law purposes for the period such candidate believed in good faith that at the time
agreement cannot do better. 29 ​ required by law. This he has not effectively done. of the elections said candidate was either qualified,
Moreover, his assertion that he has transferred his III eligible or alive. The votes cast in favor of a
domicile ​from Tarlac to Makati is a bare assertion The next issue here is whether or not the COMELEC disqualified, ineligible or dead candidate who obtained
which is hardly supported by the facts in the case at erred in issuing it Order instructing the Board of the next higher number of votes cannot be proclaimed
bench. ​Domicile ​of origin is not easily lost. To Canvassers of Makati City to proclaim as winner the as winner. According to this Court in the said case,
successfully effect a change of ​domicile​, petitioner candidate receiving the next higher number of votes. "there is not, strictly speaking, a contest, that wreath
must prove an actual removal or an actual change of The answer must be in the negative. of victory cannot be transferred from an ineligible
domicile​; a ​bona fide ​intention of abandoning the To contend that Syjuco should be proclaimed candidate to any other candidate when the sole
former place of residence and establishing a new one because he was the "first" among the qualified question is the eligibility of the one receiving the
and definite acts which correspond with the purpose.​30 candidates in the May 8, 1995 elections is to plurality of the legally cast ballots."
These requirements are hardly met by the evidence misconstrue the nature of the democratic electoral Then in ​Ticson v​. Comelec​, 33 ​ this Court held that
adduced in support of petitioner's claims of a change process and the sociological and psychological votes cast in favor of a non-candidate in view of his
of ​domicile ​from Tarlac to the Second District of underpinnings behind voters' preferences. The result unlawful change of party affiliation (which was then a
Makati. In the absence of clear and positive proof, the suggested by private respondent would lead not only ground for disqualification) cannot be considered in
domicile of origin be deemed to continue to our reversing the doctrines firmly entrenched in the the canvassing of election returns and the votes fall
requirements are hardly met by the evidence adduced two cases of ​Labo ​vs​. Comelec 31 ​ but also to a into the category of invalid and nonexistent votes
in support of petitioner's claims of a change of massive disenfranchisement of the thousands of because a disqualified candidate is no candidate at all
domicile from Tarlac to the Second District of Makati. voters who cast their vote in favor of a candidate they and is not a candidate in the eyes of the law. As a
In the absence of clear and positive proof, the believed could be validly voted for during the result, this Court upheld the proclamation of the only
domicile ​of origin should be deemed to continue. elections. Had petitioner been disqualified before the candidate left in the disputed position.
Finally, petitioner's submission that it would be legally elections, the choice, moreover, would have been In ​Geronimo v​. Ramos 34 ​ we reiterated our ruling in
impossible to impose the one year residency different. The votes for Aquino given the acrimony Topacio v​. Paredes ​that the candidate who lost in an
requirement in a newly created political district is which attended the campaign, would not have election cannot be proclaimed the winner in the event
specious and lacks basis in logic. A new political automatically gone to second placer Syjuco. The the candidate who ran for the portion is ineligible. We
district is not created out of thin air. It is carved out nature of the playing field would have substantially held in ​Geronimo​:
from part of a real and existing geographic area, in changed. To simplistically assume that the second [I]t would be extremely repugnant to the basic concept
this case the old Municipality of Makati. That people placer would have received the other votes would be of the constitutionally guaranteed right to suffrage if a
actually lived or were domiciled in the area to substitute our judgment for the mind of the voter. candidate who has not acquired the majority or
encompassed by the new Second District cannot be The second placer is just that, a second placer. He plurality of votes is proclaimed a winner and imposed
denied. Modern-day carpetbaggers cannot be allowed lost the elections. He was repudiated by either a as the representative of a constituency, the majority of
take advantage of the creation of new political districts majority or plurality of voters. He could not be which have positively declared through their ballots
by suddenly transplanting themselves in such new considered the first among qualified candidates that they do not choose him.
districts, prejudicing their genuine residents in the because in a field which excludes the disqualified Sound policy dictates that public elective offices are
process of taking advantage of existing conditions in candidate, the conditions would have substantially filled by those who have received the highest number
these areas. It will be noted, as COMELEC did in its changed. We are not prepared to extrapolate the of votes cast in the election for that office, and it is
assailed resolution, that petitioner was disqualified results under such circumstances. fundamental idea in all republican forms of
government that no one can be declared elected and and his subsequent disqualification does not make Finally, there is the question of whether or not the
no measure can be declared carried unless he or it respondent Ortega the mayor-elect. This is the import private respondent, who filed the quo warranto
receives a majority or plurality of the legal votes cast of the recent case of ​Abella v​. Comelec ​(201 SCRA petition, can replace the petitioner as mayor. He
in the elections. (20 Corpus Juris 2nd, S 243, p. 676.) 253 [1991]), wherein we held that: cannot. The simple reason is that as he obtained only
However, in ​Santos v​. Comelec 35 ​ we made a While it is true that SPC No​. 88-546 was originally a the second highest number of votes in the election, he
turnabout from our previous ruling in ​Geronimo v​. petition to deny due course to the certificate of was obviously not the choice of the people of Baguio
Ramos and pronounced that "votes cast for a candidacy of Larrazabal and was filed before City.
disqualified candidate fall within the category of Larrazabal could be proclaimed the fact remains that The latest ruling of the Court in this issue is ​Santos v​.
invalid or non-existent votes because a disqualified the local elections of Feb. 1, 1988 in the province of Commission on Election​, (137 SCRA 740) decided in
candidate is no candidate at all in the eyes of the Leyte proceeded with Larrazabal considered as a 1985. In that case, the candidate who placed second
law," reverting to our earlier ruling in ​Ticson v​. bona fide candidate​. The voters of the province voted was proclaimed elected after the votes for his winning
Comelec​. for her in the sincere belief that she was a qualified rival, who was disqualified as a turncoat and
In the more recent cases of ​Labo, Jr​. v​. Comelec 36 ​ candidate for the position of governor​.​Her votes was considered a non-candidate, were all disregarded as
Abella v​. Comelec​; 37 ​ and ​Benito v​. Comelec​, 38
​ this counted and she obtained the highest number of stray. In effect, the second placer won by default.
Court reiterated and upheld the ruling in ​Topacio v​. votes​. The net effect is that petitioner lost in the That decision was supported by eight members of the
Paredes and ​Geronimo v​. Ramos to the effect that the election. He was repudiated by the electorate. . . Court then (Cuevas ​J​., ponente​, with Makasiar,
ineligibility of a candidate receiving the next higher What matters is that ​in the event a candidate for an Concepcion, Jr., Escolin, Relova, De la Fuente,
number of votes to be declared elected, and that a elected position who is voted for and who obtains the Alampay, and Aquino, ​JJ​., concurring) with three
minority or defeated candidate cannot be declared highest number of votes is disqualified for not dissenting (Teehankee, acting ​C​.​J​.​, Abad Santos and
elected to the office. In these cases, we put emphasis possessing the eligibility, requirements at the time of Melencio-Herrera) and another two reserving their
on our pronouncement in ​Geronimo v​.​ Ramos ​that: the election as provided by law, the candidate who votes (Plana and Gutierrez, Jr.). One was on official
The fact that a candidate who obtained the highest obtains the second highest number of votes for the leave (Fernando, ​C​.​J​.)
number of votes is later declared to be disqualified or same position cannot assume the vacated position​. Re-examining that decision, the Court finds, and so
not eligible for the office to which he was elected does (Emphasis supplied). holds, that it should be reversed in favor of the earlier
not necessarily entitle the candidate who obtained the Our ruling in ​Abella applies squarely to the case at case of ​Geronimo v​. Santos (136 SCRA 435), which
second highest number of votes to be declared the bar and we see no compelling reason to depart represents the more logical and democratic rule. That
winner of the elective office. The votes cast for a therefrom. Like Abella, petitioner Ortega lost in the case, which reiterated the doctrine first announced in
dead, disqualified, or non-eligible person may be valid election. He was repudiated by the electorate. He was 1912 in ​Topacio vs​. Paredes (23 Phil. 238) was
to vote the winner into office or maintain him there. obviously not the choice of the people of Baguio City. supported by ten members of the Court. . . .
However, in the absence of a statute which clearly Thus, while respondent Ortega (G.R. No. 105111) The rule, therefore, is: the ineligibility of a candidate
asserts a contrary political and legislative policy on originally filed a disqualification case with the receiving majority votes does not entitle the eligible
the matter, if the votes were cast in sincere belief that Comelec (docketed as SPA-92-029) seeking to deny candidate receiving the next highest number of votes
candidate was alive, qualified, or eligible; they should due course to petitioner's (Labo's) candidacy, the to be declared elected. A minority or defeated
not be treated as stray, void or meaningless. same did not deter the people of Baguio City from candidate cannot be deemed elected to the office.
Synthesizing these rulings we declared in the latest voting for petitioner Labo, who, by then, was allowed Indeed, this has been the rule in the United States
case of ​Labo, Jr​.​ v​.​ COMELEC ​that: 39​ by the respondent Comelec to be voted upon, the since 1849 (State ex rel. Dunning v. Giles, 52 Am.
While Ortega may have garnered the second highest resolution for his disqualification having yet to attain Dec. 149).
number of votes for the office of city mayor, the fact the degree of finality (Sec. 78, Omnibus Election It is therefore incorrect to argue that since a candidate
remains that he was not the choice of the sovereign Code). has been disqualified, the votes intended for the
will. Petitioner Labo was overwhelmingly voted by the And in the earlier case of ​Labo v​. Comelec​. (​supra​), disqualified candidate should, in effect, be considered
electorate for the office of mayor in the belief that he We held: null and void. This would amount to disenfranchising
was then qualified to serve the people of Baguio City the electorate in whom, sovereignty resides. At the
risk of being repetitious, the people of Baguio City formulation, the runner-up in an election cannot be petitioner ​Vicente Agote y Matol ​seeks to annul and
opted to elect petitioner Labo ​bona fide without any construed to have obtained a majority or plurality of set aside the following resolutions of the Court of
intention to missapply their franchise, and in the votes cast where an "ineligible" candidate has Appeals in ​CA-G.R. SP No. 2991-UDK, ​to wit:
honest belief that Labo was then qualified to be the garnered either a majority or plurality of the votes. 1. ​Resolution dated September 14, 1999,​[1]
person to whom they would entrust the exercise of the In fine, we are left with no choice but to affirm the dismissing the Petition for ​Certiorari with Prayer for
powers of the government. Unfortunately, petitioner COMELEC's conclusion declaring herein petitioner the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order filed
Labo turned out to be disqualified and cannot assume ineligible for the elective position of Representative of by the petitioner against the Honorable Manuel F.
the office. Makati City's Second District on the basis of Lorenzo, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court,
Whether or not the candidate whom the majority respondent commission's finding that petitioner lacks Manila, Branch 43 for refusing to retroactively apply in
voted for can or cannot be installed, under no the one year residence in the district mandated by the his favor Republic Act No. 8294​[2]​; and,
circumstances can a minority or defeated candidate 1987 Constitution. A democratic government is 2. ​Resolution dated February 8, 2000,​[3] ​denying
be deemed elected to the office. Surely, the 12,602 necessarily a government of laws. In a republican petitioners motion for reconsideration.
votes cast for petitioner Ortega is not a larger number government those laws are themselves ordained by As culled from the pleadings on record, the following
than the 27,471 votes cast for petitioner Labo (as the people. Through their representatives, they dictate are the undisputed factual antecedents:
certified by the Election Registrar of Baguio City; ​rollo​, the qualifications necessary for service in government Petitioner Vicente Agote y Matol was earlier charged
p. 109; G.R. No. 105111). positions. And as petitioner clearly lacks one of the before the sala of respondent judge with Illegal
This, it bears repeating, expresses the more logical essential qualifications for running for membership in Possession of Firearms under Presidential Decree
and democratic view. We cannot, in another shift of the House of Representatives, not even the will of a No. 1866​[4] and violation of COMELEC Resolution No.
the pendulum, subscribe to the contention that the majority or plurality of the voters of the Second District 2826​[5] (Gun Ban), docketed as Criminal Cases No.
runner-up in an election in which the winner has been of Makati City would substitute for a requirement 96-149820 and 96-149821, respectively, allegedly
disqualified is actually the winner among the mandated by the fundamental law itself. committed, as follows:
remaining qualified candidates because this clearly WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant CRIMINAL CASE NO. 96-149820
represents a minority view supported only by a petition is hereby DISMISSED. Our Order restraining That on or about April 27, 1996 in the City of Manila,
scattered number of obscure American state and respondent COMELEC from proclaiming the Philippines, the said accused did then and there
English court decisions. 40​ These decisions neglect candidate garnering the next highest number of votes willfully, unlawfully, knowingly have in possession and
the possibility that the runner-up, though obviously in the congressional elections for the Second District under his custody and control, One (1) .38 cal. Rev.
qualified, could receive votes so measly and of Makati City is made PERMANENT. without serial no. with four (4) live bullets. Without first
insignificant in number that the votes they receive SO ORDERED. having secured from the proper authorities the
would be tantamount to rejection. Theoretically, the Regalado, Melo, Puno and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., necessary license therefor.
"second placer" could receive just one vote. In such a concur. CONTRARY TO LAW.
case, it is absurd to proclaim the totally repudiated Feliciano, J., is on leave. CRIMINAL CASE NO. 96-149821
candidate as the voters' "choice." Moreover, even in That on or about April 27, 1996, in the City of Manila,
instances where the votes received by the second EN BANC Philippines, the said accused did then and there,
placer may not be considered numerically [G.R. No. 142675. July 22, 2005] willfully, unlawfully and knowingly have in his
insignificant, voters preferences are nonetheless so VICENTE AGOTE Y MATOL, ​petitioner, vs. ​HON. possession and under his custody and control one (1)
volatile and unpredictable that the result among MANUEL F. LORENZO, Presiding Judge, RTC, .38 cal. Rev. without serial number, with four (4) live
qualified candidates, should the equation change Branch 43, Manila and PEOPLE OF THE ammunition/bullets in the chamber, by then and there
because of the disqualification of an ineligible PHILIPPINES, ​respondents​. carrying the same along V. Mapa Ext. Sta. Mesa, this
candidate, would not be self-evident. Absence of the DECISION City, which is a public place on the aforesaid date
apparent though ineligible winner among the choices GARCIA, ​J​.: which is covered by an election period, without first
could lead to a shifting of votes to candidates other In this appeal by way of a petition for review on securing the written authority from the COMELEC, as
than the second placer. By any mathematical certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court,
provided for by the COMELEC Resolution No. 2828, Therefrom, petitioner went to the Court of Appeals on [same courts] in the exercise of their original
in relation to RA No. 7166 (Gun Ban). a petition for ​certiorari with prayer for a temporary jurisdiction must be brought directly to the Supreme
CONTRARY TO LAW. restraining order, thereat docketed as ​CA-G.R. SP Court in cases where the appellant raises only
On arraignment, petitioner pleaded Not Guilty to both No. 2991-UDK. questions of law[11]​​ , ​petitioner should have appealed
charges. Thereafter, the two (2) cases were tried In the herein assailed ​resolution dated September the trial courts ruling to this Court by way of a petition
jointly. 14, 1999,​[8] ​the appellate court dismissed petitioners for review on ​certiorari​in accordance with Rule 45 of
Eventually, in a decision dated May 18, 1999, the trial recourse on two (2) grounds, to wit: (a) the remedy of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended,​[12]
court rendered a judgment of conviction in both certiorari availed of by petitioner is improper since he pursuant to Rule 41, Section 2 (c) of the same Rules,
cases, separately sentencing petitioner to an should have appealed from the July 15, 1999 order of viz​:
indeterminate penalty of ten (10) years and one (1) the trial court; and (b) lack of jurisdiction, as the issue SEC. 2. Modes of appeal.
day of ​prision mayor, ​as minimum, to eighteen (18) involved is a pure question of law cognizable by the (a) xxx xxx xxx
years eight (8) months and one (1) day of ​reclusion Supreme Court. (b) xxx xxx xxx
temporal, ​as maximum, in accordance with PD. No. With his motion for reconsideration having been (c) Appeal by ​certiorari​. In all cases where only
1866 in ​Crim. Case No. 96-149820 ​(illegal denied by the appellate court in its subsequent questions of law are raised or involved, the appeal
possession of firearm), and to a prison term of one (1) resolution of February 8, 2000,​[9] ​petitioner is now shall be to the Supreme Court by petition for review
year in ​Crim. Case No. 96-149821 ​(violation of the with us, submitting for resolution the following issues: on ​certiorari​ in accordance with Rule 45.
COMELEC Resolution on gun ban). (1) whether the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing By reason, then, of the availability to petitioner of the
Meanwhile, on June 6, 1997, Republic Act No. 8294​[6] his petition for ​certiorari​; and (2) whether the courts remedy of a petition for review under Rule 45, his
was approved into law. below erred in not giving Rep. Act No. 8294 a right to resort to a petition for ​certiorari under Rule 65
Pointing out, among others, that the penalty for illegal retroactive application. was effectively foreclosed, precisely because one of
possession of firearms under P.D. No. 1866 has The petition is partly meritorious. the requirements for the availment of the latter
already been reduced by the subsequent enactment At the outset, it must be stressed that petitioner never remedy is that ​there should be no appeal, or any
of Rep. Act No. 8294, hence, the latter law, being put in issue the factual findings of the trial court. What plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary
favorable to him, should be the one applied in he questions is said courts legal conclusion that Rep. course of law​,[13]
​ the remedies of appeal and ​certiorari
determining his penalty for illegal possession of Act No. 8294 cannot be retroactively applied to him. being mutually exclusive and not alternative or
firearms, petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the Unquestionably, the issue raised is one purely of law. successive.​[14]
May 18, 1999 decision of the trial court. As we have said in ​Macawiwili ​Gold Mining and As correctly observed by the Court of Appeals, what
In its order dated July 15, 1999,​[7] however, the trial Development Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals​:[10] ​ petitioner should have done was to take an appeal
court denied petitioners motion, saying: For a question to be one of law, the same must not from the trial courts order of July 15, 1999 which
While the law (R.A. 8294) is indeed favorable to the involve an examination of the probative value of the denied his motion for reconsideration of the May 18,
accused and therefore should be made retroactive we evidence presented by the litigants or any one of 1999 judgment of conviction.
are also guided by Art. 4 of the Civil Code which them. And the distinction is well-known: there is a Petitioners case is worse compounded by the fact that
states that laws shall have no retroactive effect, question of law in a given case when the doubt or even his period for appeal had already prescribed
unless the contrary is provided. Republic Act 8294 did difference arises as to what the law is on a certain when he filed with the Court of Appeals his ​certiorari
not so provide that it shall have a retroactive effect. state of facts; there is a question of fact when the petition in CA-G.R. SP No. 2991-UDK. The ​Rollo ​of
The Supreme Court likewise in the case of Padilla vs. doubt or difference arises as to the truth or the said case reveals that petitioner received his copy of
CA declared: The trial court and the respondent court falsehood of the facts alleged. the trial courts order denying his motion for
are bound to apply the governing law at the time of Considering that ​judgments of regional trial courts in reconsideration on ​July 20, 1999. ​As the same ​Rollo
the appellants commission of the offense for it is a the exercise of their original jurisdiction are to be shows, it was only on ​August 23, 1999​, or after more
rule that laws are repealed only by subsequent ones. elevated to the Court of Appeals in cases when than fifteen (15) days when petitioner filed his wrong
Indeed, it is the duty of judicial officers to respect and appellant raises questions of fact or mixed questions remedy of ​certiorari​ with the appellate court.
apply the law as it stands. of fact and law, ​while appeals from judgments of the
Be that as it may, the Court feels that it must squarely prison term ranging from ten (10) years and one (1) bigger in diameter than .38 caliber and 9 millimeter
address the issue raised in this case regarding the day of ​prision mayor​, as minimum, to (18) eighteen such as caliber .40, .41, .44, .45 and also lesser
retroactivity of Rep. Act No. 8294, what with the years, eight (8) months and one (1) day of ​reclusion calibered firearms but considered powerful such as
reality that the provisions thereof are undoubtedly temporal, as maximum, in accordance with P.D. No. caliber .357 and caliber .22 center-fire magnum and
favorable to petitioner. For this purpose, then, we 1866, Section 1 of which reads: other firearms with firing capability of full automatic
shall exercise our prerogative to set aside SECTION 1. Unlawful Manufacture, Sale, Acquisition, and by burst of two or three: ​Provided, however,
technicalities in the Rules and hold the bull by its Disposition or Possession of Firearms or Ammunition That no other crime was committed by the person
horns, so to speak. After all, the power of this Court to or Instruments Used or Intended to be Used in the arrested. ​(Emphasis supplied)
suspend its own rules whenever the interest of justice Manufacture of Firearms of Ammunition. ​The penalty Based on the foregoing, petitioner contends that the
requires is not without legal authority or precedent. In of reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reduced penalty under Rep. Act No. 8294 should be
Solicitor General, et. al. vs. The Metropolitan Manila reclusion perpetua shall be imposed ​upon any the one imposed on him. Significantly, in its
Authority,[15]​
​ we held: person who shall unlawfully manufacture, deal in, Manifestation In Lieu of Comment,​[17] ​the Office of
Unquestionably, the Court has the power to suspend acquire, dispose, or possess any firearm, part of the Solicitor General agrees with the petitioner,
procedural rules in the exercise of its inherent power, firearm, ammunition or machinery, tool or instrument positing further that the statement made by this Court
as expressly recognized in the Constitution, to used or intended to be used in the manufacture of any in ​People vs. Jayson[18] ​ ​to the effect that the
promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice and firearm or ammunition. (Emphasis supplied) provisions for a lighter penalty under Rep. Act No.
procedure in all courts. In proper cases, procedural When Rep. Act No. 8294 took effect on July 6, 8294 does not apply if another crime has been
rules may be relaxed or suspended in the interest of 1997,​[16] the penalty for illegal possession of firearms committed, should not be applied to this case
substantial justice, which otherwise may be was lowered, depending on the class of firearm because the proviso in Section 1 of said law that ​no
miscarried because of a rigid and formalistic possessed, ​viz​: other crime was committed must refer only to those
adherence to such rules. xxx SECTION 1. Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. crimes committed with the ​use of an unlicensed
xxx xxx xxx 1866, as amended, is hereby further amended to read firearm and not when the other crime is not related to
We have made similar rulings in other cases, thus: as follows: the use thereof or where the law violated merely
Be it remembered that rules of procedure are but SECTION 1. Unlawful Manufacture, Sale, Acquisition, criminalizes the possession of the same, like in the
mere tools designed to facilitate the attainment of Disposition or Possession of Firearms or Ammunition case of election gun ban, as here.
justice. Their strict and rigid application, which would or Instruments Used or Intended to be Used in the As early as August 1997, the month after Rep. Act
result in technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than Manufacture of Firearms or Ammunition. ​The penalty No. 8294 took effect,​[19] this Court has pronounced in
promote substantial justice, must always be avoided. of prision correccional in its maximum period ​and Gonzales vs. Court of Appeals[20] ​ that said law must
xxx Time and again, this Court has suspended its own a fine of not less than Fifteen thousand pesos be given retroactive effect in favor of those accused
rules and excepted a particular case from their (P15,000) shall be imposed upon any person who under P.D. No. 1866. Since then, this Court had
operation whenever the higher interests of justice so shall unlawfully manufacture, deal in, acquire, consistently adhered to the ​Gonzales​ ruling.​[21]
require. dispose, or possess any low powered firearm, such For sure, in ​People vs. Valdez​,[22]
​ ​where the accused
We shall now proceed to determine whether the as rimfire handgun, .380 or .32 and other firearm of was charged with the complex crime of multiple
provisions of Rep. Act No. 8294 amending P.D. No. similar firepower, part of firearm, ammunition, or murder with double frustrated murder and illegal
1866 can be retroactively applied to this case. machinery, tool or instrument used or intended to be possession of firearms and ammunitions under two
Here, the two (2) crimes for which petitioner was used in the manufacture of any firearm or separate informations​, ​this Court even took a bolder
convicted by the trial court, i.e., (1) illegal possession ammunition: ​Provided, That no other crime was stance by applying Rep. Act No. 8294 retroactively so
of firearms under P.D. No. 1866 and (2) violation of committed. that the accused therein may not be convicted of the
COMELEC Resolution No. 2826 on gun ban, were The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period separate crime of illegal possession of firearms, but
both committed by the petitioner on April 27, 1996. and a fine of Thirty thousand pesos (P30,000) shall refused to apply the same retroactively so as to
For the crime of illegal possession of firearms in Crim. be imposed if the firearm is classified as high aggravate the crime of murder. The ​Valdez ruling had
Case No. 96-149820, he ​was sentenced to suffer a powered firearm which includes those with bores been applied in a host of subsequent cases.​[23]
Yet, in other cases,​[24] although the Court had given In ​Almeida​, it should be noted that the unlicensed paragraph. Verily, where the law does not distinguish,
Rep. Act No. 8294 retroactive effect so as to prevent firearm was merely found lying around, together with neither should we.(Emphasis supplied).
the conviction of an accused of the separate crime of the prohibited drugs, and therefore, was not being The aforementioned ruling ​was reiterated and applied
illegal possession of firearm when the said unlicensed used in the commission of an offense. in the subsequent cases of ​People vs. Garcia​,[28] ​
firearm was ​used to commit the crime of murder or Given this Courts aforequoted pronouncement in where the judgment of conviction of the
homicide, the Court did not ​appreciate this use of Almeida, ​can the accused in the present case still be accused-appellants for illegal possession of firearms
such unlicensed firearm as an aggravating separately convicted of two (2) offenses of illegal was set aside there being another crime kidnapping
circumstance as provided therein, when the use of an possession of firearms and violation of gun ban, more for ransom which they were perpetrating at the same
unlicensed firearm was not specifically alleged in the so because as in ​Almeida, ​the unlicensed firearm was time; ​People vs. Bernal​,[29] ​ where the Court
information, as required by the Rules on Criminal not actually used or discharged in committing the retroactively applied Rep. Act No. 8294 in
Procedure. other offense? accused-appellants favor because it would mean his
In the light of the existing rulings and jurisprudence on In ​People vs. ​Walpan M. Ladjaalam​,[27] ​ this Court, acquittal from the separate offense of illegal
the matter, the present case takes center stage interpreting the subject proviso in Section 1 of Rep. possession of firearms; and ​People vs.
presenting, this time, another twist, so to speak. Act No. 8294, applied the basic principles in criminal Bustamante​,[30]
​ where, in refusing to convict the
Petitioner, who was charged of illegal possession of law, and categorically held: accused-appellant of the separate offense of illegal
firearms was also charged of another offense: xxx ​A simple reading thereof shows that if an possession of firearms, the Court declared that
Violation of COMELEC Resolution No. 2826 (Gun unlicensed firearm is used in the commission of insofar as it is favorable to the appellant, the
Ban), but the unlicensed firearm was not used or any crime, there can be no separate offense of provisions of Rep. Act No. 8294 should be applied
discharged in this case. The question then which simple illegal possession of firearms. ​Hence, if the liberally and retroactively in that appellant must be
appears to be of first impression, is whether or not the other crime is murder or homicide, illegal possession acquitted of the charge of illegal possession of
unlicensed firearm should be actually used and of firearms becomes merely an aggravating firearms.
discharged in the course of committing the other circumstance, not a separate offense. Since direct Guided by the foregoing, the Court cannot but set
crime in order that Sec. 1, Rep. Act No. 8294 will assault with multiple attempted homicide was aside petitioners conviction in Criminal Case No.
apply so that no separate crime of illegal possession committed in this case, appellant can no longer be 96-149820 for illegal possession of firearm since
of firearms may be charged. held liable for illegal possession of firearms. another crime was committed at the same time, ​i.e​.,
Let us take a look at the jurisprudence once again. In Moreover, penal laws are construed liberally in favor violation of COMELEC Resolution No. 2826 or the
Cupcupin vs. People​,[25] ​ the accused was charged of the accused. In this case, the plain meaning of RA Gun Ban.
and convicted for two (2) separate crimes of illegal 8294s simple language is most favorable to herein Admittedly, this ruling is not without misgivings
possession of firearms, and illegal possession of appellant. Verily, no other interpretation is justified, for considering that it would mean petitioners acquittal of
prohibited drugs. In the more recent case of ​People the language of the new law demonstrates the the more serious offense of illegal possession of
vs. Almeida​,[26]
​ however, although the accused was legislative intent to favor the accused. Accordingly, firearms which carries a much heavier penalty than
acquitted of the separate charge of illegal possession appellant cannot be convicted of two separate violation of the COMELEC gun-ban resolution.
of firearm for lack of evidence, the Court nevertheless offenses of illegal possession of firearms and direct However, as we have rationalized in ​Ladjaalam:[31]

made the following clear pronouncement: assault with attempted homicide. xxx xxx Indeed, the accused may evade conviction for
Furthermore, in any event, the Court has ruled in xxx xxx xxx illegal possession of firearms by using such weapons
previous cases that in view of the enactment of xxx ​The law is clear: the accused can be convicted in committing an even lighter offense, like alarm and
Republic Act No. 8294, ​there can be no separate of simple illegal possession of firearms, provided scandal or slight physical injuries, both of which are
offense of illegal possession of firearms and that no other crime was committed by the person punishable by arresto menor. This consequence,
ammunition if there is another crime committed arrested. If the intention of the law in the second however, necessarily arises from the language of RA
such as, in this case, that of illegal possession of paragraph were to refer only to homicide and murder, 8294, whose wisdom is not subject to the Courts
dangerous drugs. ​(Emphasis supplied) it should have expressly said so, as it did in the third review. Any perception that the result reached here
appears unwise should be addressed to Congress.
Indeed, the Court has no discretion to give statutes a from custody is hereby ORDERED unless detained Walpan Ladjaalam being then the owner of a
new meaning detached from the manifest intendment for some other lawful cause. residential house located at Rio Hondo,​[4] this City,
and language of the legislature. Our task is SO ORDERED. conspiring and confederating together, mutually
constitutionally confined only to applying the law and Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Panganiban, Quisumbing, aiding and assisting x x x his co-accused wife Nur-in
jurisprudence to the proven facts, and we have done Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Ladjaalam and Ahmad Sailabbi y Hajaraini, did then
so in this case. Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Callejo, and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, maintain
The solemn power and duty of the Court to interpret Sr., Azcuna, Tinga, ​and​ Chico-Nazario, JJ., ​concur​. said house as a den, where regulated drug [was]
and apply the law does not include the power to used in any form.​[5]
correct by reading into the law what is not written THIRD DIVISION The second Information​[6] charged appellant with
therein. While we understand respondent ​Peoples [G.R. Nos. 136149-51. September 19, 2000] illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. We
contention that the use of the firearm seemed to have PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, ​appellee, vs. quote it below:
been the main consideration during the deliberations WALPAN LADJAALAM ​y MIHAJIL alias WARPAN, That on or about September 24, 1997, in the City of
of the subject provision of Rep. Act No. 8294, the fact appellant. Zamboanga, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of
remains that the word use never found its way into the DECISION this Honorable Court, the above-named accused,
final version of the bill which eventually became Rep. PANGANIBAN, ​J​.: conspiring and confederating together, mutually
Act No. 8294. The Courts hands are now tied and it Republic Act No. 8294 penalizes simple illegal aiding and assisting with one another, without any
cannot supply the perceived deficiency in the final possession of firearms, provided that the person justifiable reason or purpose other than to use it in the
version without contravening the most basic principles arrested committed no other crime. Furthermore, if commission of crime, did then and there, wilfully,
in the interpretation of penal laws which had always the person is held liable for murder or homicide, illegal unlawfully, and feloniously have in their possession
leaned in favor of the accused. Under our system of possession of firearms is an aggravating and under their custody and control, the following
government where powers are allocated to the three circumstance, but not a separate offense. Hence, weapons, to wit: one (1) M14 rifle with SN 1555225
(3) great branches, only the Legislature can remedy where an accused was convicted of direct assault with magazines and seven (7) rounds of live
such deficiency, if any, by proper amendment of Sec. with multiple attempted homicide for firing an ammunition; two (2) magazines with twenty (20) and
1 of Rep. Act No. 8294. unlicensed M-14 rifle at several policemen who were twenty[-one] (21) rounds of live [ammunition]; one (1)
As written, Sec. 1, Rep. Act No. 8294 restrains the about to serve a search warrant, he cannot be held homemade caliber .38 revolver with five (5) live
Court from convicting petitioner of the separate crime guilty of the separate offense of illegal possession of ammunition; one (1) M-79 (single) rifle with pouch and
of illegal possession of firearm despite the fact that, firearms. Neither can such unlawful act be considered with five (5) empty shell[s]; one (1) home made
as in ​Almeida​, the unlicensed firearm was not actually to have aggravated the direct assault. caliber .38 with SN-311092 with five live ammunition
The Case
used. For sure, there is, in this case, closer relation and one empty shell of [a] cal. 38 x x x Smith and
between possession of unlicensed firearm and Walpan Ladjaalam ​y Mihajil, also known as Warpan, Wesson; two (2) .38 Caliber paltik revolver with Serial
violation of the COMELEC gun-ban than the illegal appeals before us the September 17, 1998 Decision​[1] Number 311092 and one defaced M79 grenade
possession of unlicensed firearm to the crime of of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Zamboanga City launcher paltik, without first having obtained the
illegal possession of prohibited drugs in ​Almeida. (Branch 16), which found him guilty of three out of the necessary license and or permit therefor from
WHEREFORE​, Criminal Case No. 96-149820 for four charges lodged against him. authorities concerned, in flagrant violation of the
illegal possession of firearms is hereby DISMISSED Filed against appellant were four Informations,​[2] all aforementioned law.​[7]
while the judgment of conviction in Criminal Case No. signed by Assistant Regional State Prosecutor The third Information,​[8] for multiple attempted murder
96-149821 for violation of COMELEC Resolution No. Ricardo G. Cabaron and dated September 25, 1997. with direct assault, was worded thus:
2826 in relation to Rep. Act No. 7166 (Gun Ban), is The first Information​[3] was for maintaining a den for That on or about September 24, 1997, in the City of
AFFIRMED. the use of regulated drugs. It reads as follows: Zamboanga, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of
Since petitioner has already served more than the That on or about September 24, 1997, in the City of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused
penalty imposed upon him by the trial court in Zamboanga, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of being then armed with M-14 Armalite Rifles, M-16
Criminal Case No. 96-149821, his immediate release this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, Armalite Rifles and other assorted firearms and
Prosecutions Version
explosives, conspiring and confederating together, The arraignment of appellant on all four (4) charges
[13]
mutually aiding and assisting x x x one another and took place on January 6, 1998, during which he In its Brief,​ the Office of the Solicitor General
with intent to kill, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully entered a plea of not guilty.​[11] After pretrial, the presents the facts in this wise:
and feloniously try and attempt to kill SPO1 WILLIAM assailed Decision was rendered, the dispositive part At 1:45 p.m. of September 24, 1997, PO3 Allan
B. JONES, JR., PO3 ENRIQUE C. RIVERA[,] SPO1 of which reads: Marcos Obut filed an application for the issuance of a
AMADO A. MIRASOL, JR., and SPO1 RICARDO J. WHEREFORE​, the Court finds accused ​WALPAN search warrant against appellant, his wife and some
LACASTESANTOS, in the following manner, to wit: LADJAALAM y MIHAJIL​ a.k.a. ​WARPAN​ - John Does (Exh. C). After the search warrant was
by then and there firing their M-14 x x x Armalite 1. in Criminal Case No. 14636, ​GUILTY BEYOND issued about 2:30 p.m. of the same day, a briefing
Rifles, M-16 Armalite Rifles and other assorted REASONABLE DOUBT of Violation of Section 15-A, was conducted inside the office of the
firearms and explosives, aimed and directed at the Article III, of Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise known Anti-Vice/Narcotics Unit of the Zamboanga City Police
fatal parts of the bodies of the above-named police as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended, Office in connection with the service of the search
officers, well known to the accused as members of and SENTENCES said accused to the penalty of warrant. The briefing was conducted by SPO2 Felipe
the Philippine National Police, Zamboanga City Police RECLUSION PERPETUA and to pay a fine of ​FIVE Gaganting, Chief of the Anti-Vice/Narcotics Unit.
Office, and as such, agents of a person in authority, HUNDRED THOUSAND (P500,000.00) and to pay During the briefing, PO3 Renato Dela Pea was
who at the time of the attack were engaged in the the costs; assigned as presentor of the warrant. SPO1 Ricardo
performance of their duties, that is, on the occasion 2. In Criminal Case No. 14637, ​NOT GUILTY of Lacastesantos and PO3 Enrique Rivera were
when said officers were about to serve the Search Violation of Section 16, Article III, in relation to designated to conduct the search. Other policemen
Warrant legally issued by the Regional Trial Court, Section 21, Article IV, of Republic Act No. 6425, were assigned as perimeter guards (TSN, March 3,
this City, to the person of the accused thus otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1998, pp. 33-36).
commencing the commission of crime of multiple 1972, as amended, and ​ACQUITS him of said crime After the briefing, more than thirty (30) policemen
murder directly by overt acts, and if the accused did with costs de oficio; headed by Police Superintendent Edwin Soledad
not accomplish their unlawful purpose, that is, to kill 3. in Criminal Case No. 14638, ​GUILTY BEYOND proceeded to the house of appellant and his wife at
the above-named Police Officers, it was not by reason REASONABLE DOUBT of the crime of Illegal Rio Hondo on board several police vehicles (TSN,
of their own voluntary desistance but rather because Possession of Firearm and Ammunition penalized March 4, 1998, p. 32; April 22, 1998, p. 54). Before
of the fact that all the above-named police officers under Presidential Decree No. 1866, as amended by they could reach appellants house, three (3) persons
were able to seek cover during the firing and were not Republic Act. No. 8294, and ​SENTENCES said sitting at a nearby store ran towards the house
hit by the bullets and explosives fired by the accused accused to suffer an indeterminate penalty of ​SIX (6) shouting, [P]olice, raid, raid (Ibid., March 3, 1998, pp.
and also by the fact said police officers were able to YEARS of prision correccional as minimum to ​EIGHT 41, 43-44; April 23, 1998, p. 4). When the policemen
wrestle with two (2) of the accused namely: Walpan (8) YEARS of prision mayor as maximum and to pay were about ten (10) meters from the main gate of the
Ladjaalam y Mihajil a.k.a. Warpan and Ahmad a fine [of] ​THIRTY THOUSAND (P30,000.00) and pay house, they were met by a rapid burst of gunfire
Sailabbi y Hajairani, who were subdued and the costs; coming from the second floor of the house. There was
subsequently placed under arrest; whereas accused 4. in Criminal Case No. 14639, ​GUILTY BEYOND also gunfire at the back of the house (Ibid., March 5,
PO2 Nurhakim T. Hadjula was able to make good his REASONABLE DOUBT of the crime of Direct Assault 1998, pp. 14-16).
escape and has remained at-large.​[9] with Multiple Attempted Homicide and ​SENTENCES SPO1 Mirasol, SPO2 Lacastesantos, PO3 Rivera,
In the fourth Information, appellant was charged with said accused to an indeterminate penalty of ​TWO (2) and PO3 Dela Pea who were with the first group of
illegal possession of drugs.​[10] YEARS and FOUR (4) MONTHS of prision policemen saw appellant fire an M14 rifle towards
On December 21, 1997, the cases against Nur-in correccional as minimum to ​SIX (6) YEARS of prision them. They all knew appellant. When they were fired
Ladjaalam and Ahmad Sailabbi ​y Hajaraini were correccional as maximum and to pay a fine of ​ONE upon, the group, together with SPO2 Gaganting, PO3
dismissed upon motion of the Office of the City THOUSAND (P1,000.00) and to pay the costs. Obut and Superintendent Soledad, sought cover at
Prosecutor, which had conducted a reinvestigation of (emphasis in the original) the concrete fence to observe the movements at the
the cases as ordered by the lower court. The accused Hence, this appeal.​[12] second floor of the house while other policemen
The Facts
were consequently released from jail.
surrounded the house (Ibid., March 4, 1998, pp. After Lacastesantos and Mirasol entered appellants the back of his house. Appellant told them to escape
50-51). house, Rivera, Dela Pea, Gregorio and Obut followed because the police are already here. They scampered
In front of the house was an extension building and entered the house. After identifying themselves and ran away because there were already shots.
connected to the concrete fence (Ibid., pp. 45-46, as members of the PNP Anti-Vice/Narcotics Unit, Locson jumped over the fence and ran towards the
57-59, 73-76). Gaganting, Mirasol, Lacastesantos, Obut presented to the old women a copy of the seashore. Upon reaching a place near the Fisheries
Gregorio, and Obut entered the door of the extension search warrant. Dela Pea and Rivera then searched School, he took a tricycle and went home (Ibid., pp.
building. Gaganting opened the main (steel) gate of appellants room on the ground floor in the presence 17-19).
the house. The other members of the team then of Punong Barangay Elhano (TSN, March 3, 1998, The following day, September 25, 1997, he went to
entered. Lacastesantos and Mirasol entered the pp. 41-43). On top of a table was a pencil case (Exh. the police station and executed an affidavit (Exh. M)
house through the main door and went inside the sala J) with fifty (50) folded aluminum foils inside (Exhs. narrating what transpired at appellants house [o]n the
of the ground floor while other policemen surrounded J-1 to J-50), each containing methamphetamine afternoon of September 24, 1997.
the house. Two (2) old women were in the sala hydrochloride or shabu. After the search and before returning to the police
together with a young girl and three (3) children. One Other items were found during the search, namely, station, P03 Dela Pea prepared a Receipt for Property
of the old women took the children to the second floor assorted coins in different denominations (Exh. W; Seized (Exh. P & 3) listing the properties seized
while the young girl remained seated at the corner TSN, April 28, 1998, pp. 23-25), one (1) homemade during the search. The receipt was signed by Dela
(Ibid., pp. 19-21). .38 caliber revolver (Exh. B-2) with five (5) live Pea as the seizure officer, and by Punong Barangay
Lacastesantos and Mirasol proceeded to the second [ammunition], one (1) M79 single rifle with [a] pouch Hadji Hussin Elhano and radio reporter Jun Cayona
floor where they earlier saw appellant firing an M14 containing five (5) empty shells of an M79 rifle (Exh. as witnesses. A copy of the receipt was given to
rifle at them through the window. While they were B-4), and one (1) empty shell of an M14 rifle (TSN, appellant but he refused to acknowledge the
going upstairs, appellant noticed their presence. He April 23, 1998, pp. 30-32). properties seized (TSN, April 23, 1998, pp. 11-12).
went inside the bedroom and, after breaking and Rino Bartolome Locson was an informer of the An examination conducted by Police Inspector
removing the jalousies, jumped from the window to Anti-Vice/Narcotics Unit of the Zamboanga Police. Mercedes D. Diestro, Forensic Chemist of the PNP
the roof of a neighboring house. Seeing this, Mirasol [O]n the morning of September 24, 1997, he was Crime Laboratory Service Office 9, on the paraffin
rushed downstairs and asked help from the other instructed by SPO2 Gaganting to go to appellants casts taken from both hands of appellant yielded
members of the raiding team to arrest appellant. house to buy shabu. Locson knew appellant as a positive for gunpowder nitrates (Exh. A-3), giving rise
Lacastesantos went to the second floor and shouted seller of shabu (TSN, April 22, 1998, p. 5) and had to the possibility that appellant had fired a gun before
to the policemen outside not to fire in the direction of been to appellants house about fifteen (15) times the examination (TSN, March 3, 1998, p. 11).
the second floor because there were children. Mirasol before. He went to Rio Hondo and arrived at Gunpowder residue examinations conducted on
and SPO1 Cesar Rabuya arrested appellant at the appellants house at 3:20 p.m. He bought P300.00 September 26, 1997 showed that the following
back of his house after a brief chase (Ibid., pp. 21-23). worth of shabu from appellant. The latter got three (3) firearms were fired (Exh. B-5): a .38 caliber revolver
At the second floor, Lacastesantos saw an M14 rifle decks of shabu from his waist bag. Appellant (homemade) with Serial No. 311092 (Exh. B-1),
(Exh. B-3) with magazine on top of the sofa at the instructed Locson to go behind the curtain where another .38 caliber revolver (homemade) without a
sala on the second floor (Ibid., P. 27). The rifle bore there was a table. There were six (6) persons already serial number (Exh. B-2), a Cal. 7.62 mm M14 U.S.
Serial No. 1555225. He removed the magazine from smoking. There was a lighted kerosene lamp made of rifle with Serial No. 1555225 (Exh. B-3), and an M79
the rifle and the bullet inside the chamber of the rifle. a medicine bottle placed on the table. They asked rifle without a serial number (Exh. B-4). They were
He counted seventeen (17) live ammunition inside the Locson to smoke shabu and Locson obliged. He fired within five (5) days prior to the examination
magazine. He saw two (2) more M14 rifle magazines placed the three (3) decks of shabu he bought on the (TSN, March 3, 1998, pp. 16-21).
on the sofa, one with twenty (20) live ammunition table (Ibid., pp. 8-15). With respect to the crystalline substances, an
(Exh. G-3) and another with twenty-one (21) live While they were smoking shabu, Locson heard examination conducted by Police Inspector Susan M.
ammunition (Exh. G-4). He likewise saw three (3) gunfire coming from appellants house. They all stood Cayabyab, likewise a Forensic Chemist of the PNP
M16 rifle magazines (Exh. G-2) in a corner at the and entered appellants compound but were instructed Crime Laboratory Service Office 9, on the fifty (50)
second floor (TSN, March 5, 1998, pp. 23-32, 53-57). to pass [through] the other side. They met appellant at pieces of folded aluminum foils each containing white
crystalline granules with a total weight of 1.7426 arrested by four (4) persons. Not one of those who knows ​for a fact that there are plenty of person who
grams (Exh. J-1 to J-50) yielded positive results for arrested him testified in Court. He was handcuffed are engaged in selling shabu in that place​, in that
the presence of methamphetamine hydrochloride and placed inside a jeep parked at Rio Hondo area known as Aplaya, Rio Hondo. One of them is
(shabu) (Exh. L). However, the examination of one (1) Elementary School.According to him, he did not fire a Hadji Agbi (tsn, pp.11-14, id).
crystalline stone weighing 83.2674 grams (Exh. K) gun at the policemen from [t]he second floor of his After his arrest Walpan Ladjaalam was brought to the
yielded negative results for the presence of house. He said the ​policemen [were] ​the one[s] who police station where he stayed for one day and one
methamphetamine hydrochloride (Exh. L). fire[d] at us (tsn, p. 5, id.). If he fired a gun at the night before he was transferred to the City jail. While
The records of the Regional Operation and Plans policemen for sure they [would] die ​[b]ecause the at the police station, he was not able to take a bath.
Division of the PNP Firearm and Explosive Section door is very near x x x the vicinity of my house​. He He smokes two packs of cigarette a day. While he
show that appellant had not applied/filed any does not own the M14 rifle (Exh. B-3) which according was at the police station, he smoked [a] cigarette
application for license to possess firearm and to policemen, he used in firing at them. The gun does given to him by his younger sister. He lighted the
ammunition or x x x been given authority to carry [a] not belong to him. He does not have a gun like that cigarettes with [a] match. From the police station, he
firearm outside of his residence (Exh. X)​[14] (tsn, p. 15, id.). A policeman also owns an M14 rifle was brought to the PNP Regional Office at R.T. Lim
Defenses Version
but he does not know the policeman (tsn, pp. 16-17, Boulevard where he was subject to paraffin
Appellant Ladjaalam agrees with the narration of facts id). He said that the M79 rifle (Exh. B-4), the three (3) examination (tsn, pp. 24-26, May 4, 1998).
given by the lower court.​[15] Hence, we quote the empty M16 rifle magazines (Exh. G; G-1 to G-2), the During the raid conducted on his house, his cousin
pertinent parts of the assailed Decision: two (2) M14 magazines with live ammunition (Exh. Boy Ladjaalam, Ating Sapadi, and Jecar (​Sikkal​)
Accused Walpan Ladjaalam y Mihajil a.k.a. Warpan, G-3; G-4); the two (2) caliber .38 revolvers (Exhs. B-1; Usman, the younger brother of his wife were killed.
30 years old, married, gave his occupation as B-2), the fifty (50) aluminum foils each containing Walpan Ladjaalam said that he saw that ​it was the
smuggling (tsn, p. 2, May 4, 1998). He used to go to shabu (Exhs. J-1 to J-50) placed inside a pencil case policeman who shot them[,] only I do not know his
Labuan in Malaysia and bring cigarettes to the (Exh. J, the assorted coins placed inside a blue bag name​. ​They were killed at the back of his house​. He
Philippines without paying taxes (tsn, pp. 40-41, id). (Exh. W) and the white crystalline stone (Exh. K) all said that no charges were filed against the one
He said that his true name [was] Abdul Nasser do not belong to him. He said that the policemen just responsible for their death (tsn, pp. 30-33- May 4,
Abdurakman and that Warpan or Walpan Ladjaalam produced those things as their evidence. The firearms 1998).
[was] only his alias. However, he admitted that more do not belong to him. They were brought by the Anilhawa Ahamad, more or less 80 years old, a
people kn[e]w him as Walpan Ladjaalam rather than policemen (tsn, p. 43, May 4, 1998). Regarding the widow was in the house of Walpan Ladjaalam whom
Abdul Nasser Abdurakman (tsn. pp. 39-40; 46-47, id). blue bag containing assorted coins, he said: ​that is he calls ​Hadji Id at the time the police raided the
He testified that [o]n the afternoon of September 24, not ours, I think this (is) theirs, xxx they just brought house. She is the mother of Ahma Sailabbi. She was
1997, when he was arrested by the police, he was that as their evidence​ (tsn, pp. 15-24, id.) together with Babo Dandan, two small children and a
sleeping in the house of Dandao, a relative of his wife. Walpan Ladjaalam declared there were occupants helper when ​soldiers entered the house. ​(W)hen they
He was alone. He slept in Dandaos house and not in who were renting his extension house. He affirmed arrived, they kept on firing (their guns) even inside the
his house because they ha[d] a sort of a conference that he owns that house. Four (4) persons were house (tsn, p.5, May 5, 1998). They were armed with
as Dandaos daughter was leaving for Saudi Arabia. staying in the extension house. He could only short and long firearms. They searched the house
He noticed the presence of policemen in his recognize the husband whose name is Momoy. They and scattered things and got what they wanted. They
neighborhood at Aplaya, Rio Hondo when he heard are from Jolo. They left the place already because entered the room of Walpan Ladjaalam. They tried to
shots. He woke up and went out of the house and that they were afraid when the police raided the place. open a bag containing jewelry. When Anilhawa tried
was the time that he was arrested. He said he was (tsn, pp. 8-10, May 4, 1998). He does not know to bring the bag outside the room, they grabbed the
arrested ​xxx [at] the other side of my house; at the prosecution witness Rino Locson y Bartolome. bag from her and poked a gun at her. At that time
other side of the fence where I was sleeping. xxx. At Although Locson recognized him, in his case he does Walpan Ladjaalam was not in the house. Ahamad
the back of my house (tsn, p. 7, id.). He does not not know Locson and he does not recognize him (tsn, Sailabbi was also not in the house. A Search Warrant
know who arrested him ​considering that the one who p.11, id). He did not sell anything to Locson and did was shown to Anilhawa after the search was
arrested me does not have nameplate​. He was not entertain him. He is not selling shabu but he conducted and just before the policemen left the
place. Anilhawa Ahamad said that ​it was already late Murkisa Usman, 30 years old, married, declared that However, the lower court nullified the said Warrant
in the afternoon[;] before they left that was the time [o]n the afternoon of September 24, 1997, she was because it had been issued for more than one specific
the Search Warrant (was) given to us by xxx sitting at the door of her house watching her children offense,​[17] in violation of Section 3, Rule 126 of the
Barangay Captain Hussin Elhano (tsn, pp.6-8, May 5, playing when a motorcyle, driven by a person, Rules of Court.​[18]​ The court ​a quo​ ruled:
1998). Barangay Chairman Elhano arrived ​already stopped near her house. The driver was Gaganting It should be stated at the outset that Search Warrant
late in the afternoon, almost sundown (tsn, p. 9, id). whom she called a soldier. He went down from his No. 20 is totally ​null and void because it was issued
Anilhaw declared that aside from a bag containing motorcycle, pulled a gun and poked it at Murkisa. for more than one specific offense x x x contrary to
jewelry and a bag full of money, she had not seen Murkisa stood up and raised her hands. She got her Section 3, Rule 1[2]6 of the Rules of Court which
anything else that was taken from Walpan Ladjaalams children and when she was about to enter the room of provides that ​A search warrant shall not issue but
house (tsn, pp. 9-12, id). her house, Gaganting again poked a gun at her and upon probable cause ​in connection with one specific
Akmad (Ahmad) Sailabbi, 37 years old, married there was a shot​. As a result of firing, three persons offense xxx​. In Tambasan vs. People, 246 SCRA 184
testified that about 4:00 oclock [o]n the afternoon of died, namely, Sikkal Usman, Boy Ladjaalam and Atip (1995), the Supreme Court ruled that a search
September 24, 1997, ha was standing in front of his Sapali Sali (tsn, pp. 8-10, May 5, 1998). warrant for more than one offense - a scatter shot
house when policemen arrived and immediately Barangay Captain Hadji Hussin Elhano, 51 years old, warrant - violates Section 3, Rule 126 of the [R]evised
arrested him. He was about to go to the City Proper to testified that about 4:00 o clock [o]n the afternoon of Rules of Court and is totally null and void.​[19]
buy articles he was intending to bring to Sabah. He September 24, 1997, he was fetched by two (emphasis in the original)
had ​around P50,000.00 placed inside a waist bag tied policemen at Catabangan where he was attending a Nevertheless, the trial court deemed appellants arrest
around his waist. The policemen told him to lie down seminar. Because of traffic along the way, they as valid. It emphasized that he had shot at the officers
in prone position and a policeman searched his back. arrived at the Rio Hondo already late in the afternoon. who were trying to serve the void search warrant. This
They pulled his waist bag and took his DiaStar wrist He saw policemen were already inside the house. fact was established by the testimonies of several
watch. He was shot three times and was hit on the Upon entering the gate, he saw Walpan at the gate police officers,​[20] who were participants in the raid,
forehead leaving a scar. His injury was not treated. already handcuffed. Walpan called him but the police and confirmed by the laboratory report on the paraffin
He was taken to the police station where he was advised him not to approach Walpan. The search was tests conducted on the firearms and appellant.​[21]
detained for one day and one night. He was detained already over and things were already taken inside the Additionally, the judge noted that Appellant
at the City Jail for three months and five days after house. When he went inside the house, he saw ​the Ladjaalam, based on his statements in his Counter
which he was released (tsn, pp. 25-29, May 5, 1998). things that they (policemen) searched, the firearms Affidavit, impliedly contradicted his assertions in open
Melba Usma, 20 years old, a widow, testified that [o]n and the shabu (tsn, p. 17. May 8, 1998). He did not court that there had been no exchange of gunfire
the afternoon of September 24, 1997, she was in the see the Search Warrant. What was shown to him during the raid.​[22] The trial court concluded that the
house of her parents lying together with her husband were the things recovered during the search which testimonies of these officers must prevail over
Sikkal Usma. There is only one house between her were being listed. They were being counted and appellants narration that he was not in his house
parents house and the house of Walpan Ladjaalam. placed on a table. ​Upon seeing the things that were when the raid was conducted.
Her husband Sikkal Usman is the brother of Nur-in recovered during the search, I just signed the receipt Prescinding from this point, the court ​a quo validated
Ladjaalam, Walpans wife. When Melba heard shots, (Exh. P; P-1) of the things x x x taken during the the arrest of appellant, reasoning thus:
she went downstairs. A policeman was looking for her search (tsn, pp. 17-18. May 8, 1998)​. He saw three Under the circumstances, the policemen ​had authority
husband. The policeman called her husband. When dead bodies at the side of the fence when he went to to pursue and arrest Walpan Ladjaalam and
her husband went down, he was instructed by the the other side of the house. The three persons were confiscate the firearm he used in shooting at the
policeman to lie down in prone position. Then the killed outside the fence of Walpan Ladjaalam (tsn, p. policemen and to enter his house to effect said arrest
policeman shot her husband. The policeman had two 18, id).​[16] and confiscation of the firearm. Under Rule 113,
The Trial Courts Ruling
other companions who also shot her husband while Section 5 (a), of the Rules of Court, ​A peace officer or
he was lying down in prone position (tsn, pp.2-7, May The trial court observed that the house of appellant a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a
5, 1998). was raided on September 24, 1997 by virtue of person xxx (w)hen in his presence, the person to be
Search Warrant No. 20 issued on the same day. arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit an offense. An offense is The testimony of Rino Bartolome Locson, witnesses and the negative statements of the
committed in the presence or within the view of an corroborated by SPO1 Ricardo Lacastesantos and accused, the former deserve more credence.​[29]
officer, within the meaning of the rule authorizing an SPO1 Amado Mirasol, Jr. clearly established that In conclusion, the trial court explained appellants
arrest without a warrant, when the officer sees the Walpan Ladjaalam operated and maintained a drug liability in this manner:
offense, although at a distance, or hears the den in his extension house where shabu or x x x. The act of the accused in firing an M14 rifle to
disturbances created thereby and proceeds at once to methamphetamine hydrochloride, a regulated drug, the policemen who were about to enter his house to
the scene thereof. At the time the policemen entered was sold, and where persons or customers bought serve a search warrant constitutes the crime of direct
the house of accused Walpan Ladjaalam after he had and used shabu or methamphetamine hydrochloride assault with multiple attempted homicide[,] not
fired shots at the policemen who intended to serve the by burning the said regulated drug and sniffing its multiple attempted murder with direct assault[,]
Search Warrant to him, the accused was engaged in smoke with the use of an aluminum foil tooter. A drug considering that no policeman was hit and injured by
the commission of a crime, and was pursued and den is a lair or hideaway where prohibited or the accused and no circumstance was proved to
arrested after he committed the crime of shooting at regulated drugs are used in any form or are found. Its qualify the attempted killing to attempted murder.
the policemen who were about to serve the Search existence [may be] proved not only by direct evidence The accused Walpan Ladjaalam a.k.a. ​Warpan
Warrant.​[23] but may also be established by proof of facts and cannot be held liable [for] the crime of Violation of
As a consequence of the legal arrest, the seizure of circumstances, including evidence of the general Section 16, Article III, in relation to Section 21, Article
the following was also deemed valid: the M14 rifle reputation of the house, or its general reputation IV, of Republic Act 6425 otherwise known as the
(with a magazine containing seventeen live among police officers. The uncorroborated testimony Dangerous Drugs Act of 1992, as amended, because
ammunition)​[24] used by appellant against the police of accused Walpan Ladjaalam a.k.a. ​Warpan that he the fifty (50) pieces of folded aluminum foils having a
elements, two M14 magazines, and three other M16 did not maintain an extension house or a room where total weight of 1.7426 grams all containing
rifle magazines.​[25] ​The trial court observed that these drug users who allegedly buy shabu from him inhales methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu allegedly
items were in plain view of the pursuing police or smokes shabu cannot prevail over the testimonies found in his house are inadmissible as evidence
officers. Moreover, it added that these same items of Locson, SPO1 Lacastesantos, and SPO1 Mirasol. against him considering that they were seized after [a]
were evidence [of] the commission of a crime and/or He admitted that he is the owner of the extension search conducted by virtue of Search Warrant No. 20
contraband and therefore, subject to seizure​[26] since house but he alleged that there were four (4) which is totally null and void as it was issued for more
appellant had not applied for a license to possess occupants who rented that extension house. He knew than one offense, and were not found in ​plain view of
firearm and had not been given authority to carry the name of only one of the four occupants who are the police officers who seized them. Neither could the
firearm outside his residence.​[27] allegedly from Jolo, a certain Momoy, the husband. accused be held liable for illegal possession of
For being incredible and unsupported by evidence, Aside from being uncorroborated, Walpans testimony firearms and ammunition except for the (1) M14 rifle
appellants claim that the items that were seized by was not elaborated by evidence as to when or for how with Serial Number 1555225 and with magazine
the police officers had been planted was disbelieved long was the extension house rented, the amount of containing fifteen (15) live ammunition and two more
by the trial court. It ruled that if the police officers rental paid, or by any other document showing that M14 rifle magazines with twenty (20) and twenty-one
wanted to plant evidence to incriminate him, they the extension house was in fact rented. The defense (21) live ammunition respectively considering that the
could have done so during the previous raids or those of denial put up by accused Walpan Ladjaalam a.k.a. policemen who recovered or seized the other firearms
conducted after his arrest. To its mind, it was 'Warpan is a weak defense. Denial is the weakest and ammunition did not testify in court. The blue bag
unbelievable that they would choose to plant defense and cannot prevail over the positive and containing assorted coins cannot be returned to the
evidence, when they were accompanied by the categorical testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. accused Walpan Ladjaalam a.k.a. ​Warpan because
barangay chairman and a radio reporter who might Denials, if unsubstantiated by clear and convincing according to the accused the blue bag and assorted
testify against them. It then dismissed these evidence, are negative and self-serving evidence coins do not belong to him[;] instead the said assorted
allegations, saying that frame-up, like alibi, was an which deserve no weight in law and cannot be given coins should be turned over to the National
inherently weak defense.​[28] evidentiary weight over the testimony of credible Treasury.​[30]
The Issues
The trial court also convicted the accused of the crime witnesses who testify on affirmative matters. As
of maintaining a drug den. It reasoned as follows: between the positive declaration of the prosecution
In his Brief, appellant submits the following view the setting of a relevant event has long been A: Yes.
Assignment of Errors: recognized to be within the discretion of the trial Q: What did you see inside the house?
I judge.​[36] Here, there is no reason to disturb the A: I, together with SPO1 Ricardo Lacastesantos,
The trial court erred when it concluded that appellant exercise of that discretion.​[37] entered the main door of the house of Walfran [sic]
Second Issue: ​Credibility of Prosecution Witnesses
Walpan Ladjaalam y Mihajil [had] fired first at the Ladjaalam at the ground floor. We went inside the
police officers who went to his house to serve a Appellant, in essence, questions the credibility of the sala on the ground floor of his house[;] I saw two old
search warrant upon him which led to an exchange of prosecution witnesses.​[38] Suffice it to state that the woman.
fire between Ladjaalam and the police officer. trial courts assessment of their credibility is generally xxxxxxxxx
II accorded respect, even finality.​[39] After carefully PROSECUTOR NUVAL:
The trial court erred when it denied the appellant the examining the records and finding no material Q: Now, what did you do with these two old women?
right and opportunity for an ocular inspection of the inconsistencies to support appellants claim, we A: I did not mind those two old women because those
scene of the firefight and where the house of the cannot exempt this case from the general rule.​[40] two women were sitting on the ground floor. I was
appellant [was] located. Quite the contrary, the testimonies of these witnesses concentrating on the second floor because Ladjaalam
III positively showed that appellant had fired upon the was firing towards our group so, I, together with
The trial court erred when it ruled that the approaching police elements, and that he had Ricardo Lacastesantos, went upstairs to the second
presumption of regularity in the performance of their subsequently attempted to escape. SPO1 Amado floor of the house.
duties [excluded] the claim of the appellant that the Mirasol Jr.​[41]​ testified thus: Q: Were you able to go to the second floor of the
firearms and methamphetamine hydrochloride (i.e. PROSECUTOR NUVAL: house?
shabu) were planted by the police.​[31] Q: And, this trail is towards the front of the house of A: Yes.
In the interest of simplicity, we shall take up these the accused? Q: What happened when you were already on the
issues ​seriatim​: (a) denial of the request for ocular A: Yes. second floor?
inspection, (b) credibility of the prosecution witnesses, Q: And its there where you were met by a volley of A: While we were proceeding to the second floor,
and (c) the defense of frame-up. In addition, we shall fire? Walfan [sic] Ladjaalam, noticed our presence and
also discuss the proper crimes and penalties to be A: Yes, Your Honor. immediately went inside the bedroom [o]n the second
imposed on appellant. COURT: floor and he went immediately and jumped from the
The Courts Ruling
Q: How far were you from the concrete fen[c]e when window of his house x x x leading to the roof of the
The appeal has no merit. you were met by a volley of fire? ... You said you were neighbors house.
First Issue: ​Denial of Request for Ocular Inspection
fired upon? xxxxxxxxx
Appellant insists that the trial court erred in denying A: More or less, five (5) meters. COURT:
his request for an ocular inspection of the Ladjaalam xxxxxxxxx Reform. That is leading
residence. He argues that an ocular inspection would PROSECUTOR NUVAL: Q: What happened when you entered and he jumped
have afforded the lower court a better perspective and Q: Now, you said you were able to enter the house to the roofing of the neighbors house?
an idea with respect to the scene of the crime.​[32] We after the gate was opened by your colleague Felipe A: Immediately, I myself, we immediately went
do not agree. Gaganting ... I will reform that question. downstairs and asked the assistance of the members
We fail to see the need for an ocular inspection in this Q: Who opened the gate Mr. Witness? of the raiding team to arrest Walfan Ladjaalam.
case, especially in the light of the clear testimonies of A: SPO2 Felipe Gaganting, Efren Gregorio and Allan xxxxxxxxx
the prosecution witnesses.​[33] We note in particular Marcos Obut. PROSECUTOR NUVAL:
that the defense had even requested SPO1 Amado Q: And, at that time you were hiding at the concrete Q: Were you able to go down?
Mirasol Jr. to sketch the subject premises to give the fence? A: Yes.
lower court a fairly good idea of appellants house.​[34] A: Yes. Q: What happened when you were there?
Viewing the site of the raid would have only delayed Q: Now, when this gate was opened, you said you A: We immediately went out and I asked the
the proceedings.​[35] Moreover, the question whether to went inside the house, right? assistance of the members of the raiding team and
the investigator of the unit especially SPO1 Cesar COURT: A: Yes.
Rabuya. I was able to manage to arrest Walfan So, a[si]de from the magazine attached to the M14 xxxxxxxxx
Ladjaalam.​[42] rifle you found six more magazines? PROSECUTOR NUVAL:
What happened thereafter was narrated by Senior A: Yes, so, all in all six magazines, three empty M16 Q: What about, Madam Witness this Exhibit B-3,
Police Officer Ricardo Lacastesantos,​[43]​ as follows: rifle magazines and three M14. which is the M14 rifle. What did you do with this?
Q: What did you notice [o]n the second floor? Q: The M16 magazines [were] empty? A: SPO3 Abu did the swabbing both in the chamber
A: I went where the firing came from, so, I saw [an] A: Empty. and the barrel wherein I observed there [were] black
M14 rifle and I shouted from the outside, do not fire at Q: How about the M14? and traces of brown residue on the bolt, chamber and
the second floor because there [are] a lot of children A: Found with [ammunition]. in the barrel.
here. xxxxxxxxx Q: And, that indicates Madam Witness...?
Q: Now, that rifle you said [was an] M14, where did Q: So, where are the three M16 magazines? A: It indicates that the gun was fired.
you find this? A: In the corner. Q: Recently?
A: At the sala set. Q: What did you do with [these] three magazines of A: Because of the traces of brown residue, it could be
Q: This sala set where is this located? M16? possible that the gun was fired before the incident x x
A: Located [on] the second floor of the house. A: I turned [them] over to the investigator. x.
Q: Is there a sala [o]n the second floor? Q: Can you identify them? COURT:
A: Yes. A: Yes, because of my initials[.] Q: There is also black residue?
Q: Can you still identify that M14 rifle which you said Q: Where are your initials? A: Yes.
you recovered from the sale set? A: On the magazines. Q: What does it indicate?
A: Yes. Q: RJL? A: It indicates that the firearm was recently fired.
Q: Why can you identify that? A: RJL.​[44] Q: And, where is this swab used at the time of the
A: The Serial No. of M14 is 1555225 and I marked it These were confirmed by the results of the paraffin swabbing of this Exhibit?
with my initial. tests conducted on appellant and on the weapons A: This one.
Q: Now, I have here M14 rifle[;] will you please tell us seized during the raid. Both of his hands as well as PROSECUTOR NUVAL:
where is the Serial No. of this? the weapons, particularly the M-14 which he had May we ask that this be marked as Exhibit B-3-A.
A: 1555225 and I put my initial, RJL. used, were positive for gunpowder nitrate. Police COURT:
FISCAL NUVAL: Inspector Mercedes Delfin-Diestro explained in open Q: The firing there indicates that the gun was recently
This is already marked as our Exhibit B-3 with court: fired, during the incident?
magazine, one magazine and seven round Q: Okay. Now, what was the result of your A: Yes.
[ammunition]. examination, Madam Witness? Q: And also before the incident it was fired because of
Q: After recovering this, what did you do with this A: The result of the examination [was] that both hands the brown residue?
firearm? of the subject person, ha[d] presence of gun powder A: Yes, Your Honor.​[45]​ (emphasis supplied)
A: When I recovered it I removed the bullets inside nitrates. Duly proven from the foregoing were the two
the chamber[.] I removed the magazine and I turned it Q: What do you mean Madam Witness, what does elements​[46] of the crime of illegal possession of
over to the investigator. that indicate? firearms. Undoubtedly, the established fact that
Q: Where did you turn it over? A: It indicates there is presence of powder nitrates. appellant had fired an M-14 rifle upon the
A: At the crime scene. Q: Can we conclude that he fired a gun? approaching police officers clearly showed the
Q: Now, that magazine, can you still identify this? A: I cannot conclude that he fired a gun because existence of the firearm or weapon and his
A: Yes. there are so many circumstances [why] a person possession thereof. Sufficing to satisfy the second
Q: Why? [would be] positive on his hands for gun powder element was the prosecutions Certification​[47] stating
A: I put x x x markings. nitrates. that he had not filed any application for license to
xxxxxxxxx Q: But, most likely, he fired a gun? possess a firearm, and that he had not been given
authority to carry any outside his residence.​[48] [are you] referring to, is this [what] you are referring to The trial court was also correct in convicting appellant
Further, it should be pointed out that his possession [as] your house or the house of your neighbors [from] of direct assault​[55] with multiple counts of attempted
and use of an M-14 rifle were obviously unauthorized which you said you heard gunshots? homicide. It found that [t]he act of the accused [of]
because this weapon could not be licensed in favor A Our house. firing an M14 rifle [at] the policemen[,] who were
of, or carried by, a private individual.​[49] Q Now, in paragraph 6 of your Counter-Affidavit you about to enter his house to serve a search warrant x x
Third Issue: ​Defense of Frame-up
stated and I quote: that [o]n that afternoon of x constituted such complex crime.​[56]
From the convoluted arguments strewn before us by September 24, 1997, I was at home in my house We note that direct assault with the use of a weapon
appellant, we gather that the main defense he raises Aplaya, Riohondo, Bo. Campo Muslim, my carries the penalty of ​prision correccional in its
is frame-up. He claims that the items seized from his companions in my house [were] the two old women medium and maximum periods, while attempted
house were planted, and that the entire Zamboanga and my children, is this correct? homicide carries the penalty of ​prision correccional​.​[57]
police force was out to get him at all cost. A They were not there. Hence, for the present complex crime, the penalty for
This Court has invariably held that the defense of Q Now, in that statement Mr. Witness, you said that direct assault, which constitutes the most serious
frame-up is inherently weak, since it is easy to you were at home in [your] house at Aplaya, crime, should be imposed and applied in its maximum
fabricate, but terribly difficult to disprove.​[50] Absent Riohondo, Bo. Campo Muslim[;] which is which now, period.​[58]
Illegal Possession of Firearms
any showing of an improper motive on the part of the you were in your house or you were in your
police officers,​[51] coupled with the presumption of neighbors[] house at that time when you heard Aside from finding appellant guilty of direct assault
regularity in the performance of their duty, such gunshots? with multiple attempted homicide, the trial court
defense cannot be given much credence.​[52] Indeed, A I was in the house near my house. convicted him also of the separate offense of illegal
after examining the records of this case, we conclude Q So, your statement particularly paragraph 6 of your possession of firearms under PD 1866, as amended
that appellant has failed to substantiate his claim. On Counter-Affidavit that you were at home in [your] by RA 8294, and sentenced him to 6 years of ​prision
the contrary, his statements in his Counter Affidavit house at Aplaya Riohondo Bo. Campo Muslim, is x x correccional​ to 8 years of ​prision mayor​.
are inconsistent with his testimony during the trial.​[53] x not correct? The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) disagrees,
He testified thus: A Yes, Sir. This is not correct.​[54] on the ground that the trial court should not have
Crime and Punishment
Q Now, Mr. Witness, do you remember having applied the new law. It contends that under the facts
executed an Affidavit/ a Counter-Affidavit? The trial court convicted appellant of three crimes: (1) of the case, the applicable law should have been PD
A I could not remember. maintenance of a drug den, (2) direct assault with 1866, as worded prior to its amendment by RA 8294.
Q I have here a Counter-Affidavit and it was signed attempted homicide, and (3) illegal possession of The trial courts ruling and the OSGs submission
before this representation on the 8th day of December firearms. We will discuss each of these. exemplify the legal communitys difficulty in grappling
Maintenance of a Drug Den
1997[;] tell us whose signature is this appearing with the changes brought about by RA 8294. Hence,
above the typewritten name We agree with the trial court that appellant was guilty before us now are opposing views on how to interpret
FISCAL NUVAL: of maintenance of a drug den, an offense for which he Section 1 of the new law, which provides as follows:
Q . . . . Walpan Ladjaalam, whose signature is this? was correctly sentenced to ​reclusion perpetua​. His SECTION 1. Section 1 of Presidential Decree No.
(Showing) guilt was clearly established by the testimony of 1866, as amended, is hereby further amended to read
A Yes, Sir. This is mine. Prosecution Witness Rino Bartolome Locson, who as follows:
Q Now, in paragraph[s] 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8; you himself had used the extension house of appellant as Section 1. ​Unlawful Manufacture, Sale, Acquisition,
stated in this Counter-Affidavit which I quote: that I a drug den on several occasions, including the time of Disposition or Possession of Firearms or Ammunition
was resting and sleeping when I heard the gunshots the raid. The formers testimony was corroborated by Instruments Used or Intended to be Used in the
and I noticed that the shots were directed towards our all the raiding police officers who testified before the Manufacture of Firearms or Ammunition. ​-- The
house.. and I inspected and x x x we were attacked court. That appellant did not deny ownership of the penalty of ​prision correccional in its maximum period
by armed persons.. and I was apprehended by the house and its extension lent credence to the and a fine of not less than Fifteen thousand pesos
persons who attacked x x x our house; [the] house prosecutions story. (P15,000) shall be imposed upon any person who
Direct Assault with Multiple Attempted Homicide
you are referring to [in] this paragraph, whose house shall unlawfully manufacture, deal in, acquire,
dispose, or possess any low powered firearm, such Citing ​People v. Jayson,[59]
​ the OSG argues that the appellant can no longer be held liable for illegal
as rimfire handgun, .380 or .32 and other firearm of foregoing provision does not cover the specific facts possession of firearms.
similar firepower, part of firearm, ammunition, or of this case. Since another crime -- direct assault with Moreover, penal laws are construed liberally in favor
machinery, tool or instrument used or intended to be multiple unlawful homicide -- was committed, of the accused.​[62] In this case, the plain meaning of
used in the manufacture of any firearm or appellant cannot be convicted of simple illegal RA 8294s simple language is most favorable to herein
ammunition: ​Provided, That no other crime was possession of firearms under the second paragraph of appellant. Verily, no other interpretation is justified, for
committed. the aforecited provision. Furthermore, since there was the language of the new law demonstrates the
The penalty of ​prision mayor in its minimum period no killing in this case, illegal possession cannot be legislative intent to favor the accused.​[63] Accordingly,
and a fine of Thirty thousand pesos (P30,000) shall deemed as an aggravating circumstance under the appellant cannot be convicted of two separate
be imposed if the firearm is classified as high third paragraph of the provision. Based on these offenses of illegal possession of firearms and direct
powered firearm which includes those with bores premises, the OSG concludes that the applicable law assault with attempted homicide. Moreover, since the
bigger in diameter than .30 caliber and 9 millimeter is not RA 8294, but PD 1866 which, as worded prior crime committed was direct assault and not homicide
such as caliber .40, .41, .44, .45 and also lesser the new law, penalizes simple illegal possession of or murder, illegal possession of firearms cannot be
calibered firearms but considered powerful such as firearms even if another crime is committed at the deemed an aggravating circumstance.
caliber .357 and caliber .22 centerfire magnum and same time.​[60] We reject the OSGs contention that PD 1866, as
other firearms with firing capability of full automatic Applying a different interpretation, the trial court posits worded prior to its amendment by RA 8294, should be
and by burst of two or three: ​Provided, however, That that appellant should be convicted of illegal applied in this case. When the crime was committed
no other crime was committed by the person arrested. possession of firearms, in addition to direct assault on September 24, 1997, the original language of PD
If homicide or murder is committed with the use of an with multiple attempted homicide. It did not explain its 1866 had already been expressly superseded by RA
unlicensed firearm, such use of an unlicensed firearm ruling, however. Considering that it could not have 8294 which took effect on July 6, 1997.​[64] In other
shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance. been ignorant of the ​proviso[61] ​ ​in the second words, no longer in existence was the earlier
If the violation of this Section is in furtherance of or paragraph, it seemed to have construed no other provision of PD 1866, which justified a conviction for
incident to, or in connection with the crime of rebellion crime as referring only to homicide and murder, in illegal possession of firearms separate from any other
or insurrection, sedition, or attempted ​coup detat, both of which illegal possession of firearms is an crime. It was replaced by RA 8294 which, among
such violation shall be absorbed as an element of the aggravating circumstance. In other words, if a crime other amendments to PD 1866, contained the specific
crime of rebellion or insurrection, sedition, or other than murder or homicide is committed, a person proviso​ that no other crime was committed.
attempted ​coup detat. may still be convicted of illegal possession of Furthermore, the OSGs reliance on ​People v.
The same penalty shall be imposed upon the owner, firearms. In this case, the other crime committed was Jayson[65]
​ ​is misplaced. True, this Court sustained the
president, manager, director or other responsible direct assault with multiple attempted homicide; conviction of appellant for illegal possession of
officer of any public or private firm, company, hence, the trial court found appellant guilty of illegal firearms, although he had also committed homicide.
corporation or entity, who shall willfully or knowingly possession of firearms. We explained, however, that the criminal case for
allow any of the firearms owned by such firm, We cannot accept either of these interpretations homicide [was] not before us for consideration.
company, corporation or entity to be used by any because they ignore the plain language of the statute. Just as unacceptable is the interpretation of the trial
person or persons found guilty of violating the A simple reading thereof shows that if an unlicensed court. We find no justification for limiting the ​proviso in
provisions of the preceding paragraphs or willfully or firearm is used in the commission of any crime, there the second paragraph to murder and homicide. The
knowingly allow any of them to use unlicensed can be no separate offense of simple illegal law is clear: the accused can be convicted of simple
firearms or firearms without any legal authority to be possession of firearms. Hence, if the other crime is illegal possession of firearms, provided that no other
carried outside of their residence in the course of their murder or homicide, illegal possession of firearms crime was committed by the person arrested. If the
employment. becomes merely an aggravating circumstance, not a intention of the law in the second paragraph were to
The penalty of ​arresto mayor shall be imposed upon separate offense. Since direct assault with multiple refer only to homicide and murder, it should have
any person who shall carry any licensed firearm attempted homicide was committed in this case, expressly said so, as it did in the third paragraph.
outside his residence without legal authority therefor.
Verily, where the law does not distinguish, neither MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD S. Certificate and Certificate of Live Birth, the petitioner
should we. POE-LLAMANZARES,​ Petitioners, was given the name "Mary Grace Natividad Contreras
The Court is aware that this ruling effectively vs. Militar." 1​
exonerates appellant of illegal possession of an M-14 COMELEC AND ESTRELLA C. ELAMPARO When petitioner was five (5) years old, celebrity
rifle, an offense which normally carries a penalty Respondents. spouses Ronald Allan Kelley Poe (a.k.a. Fenando
heavier than that for direct assault. While the penalty x-----------------------x Poe, Jr.) and Jesusa Sonora Poe (a.k.a. Susan
for the first is ​prision mayor​, for the second it is only G.R. No. 221698-700 Roces) filed a petition for her adoption with the
prision correccional​. Indeed, the accused may evade MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD S. Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of San Juan City. On 13
conviction for illegal possession of firearms by using POE-LLAMANZARES,​ Petitioners, May 1974, the trial court granted their petition and
such weapons in committing an even lighter vs. ordered that petitioner's name be changed from "Mary
offense,​[66] like alarm and scandal​[67] or slight physical COMELEC, FRANCISCO S. TATAD, ANTONIO P. Grace Natividad Contreras Militar" to "Mary Grace
injuries,​[68] both of which are punishable by ​arresto CONTRERAS AND AMADO D. VALDEZ Natividad Sonora Poe." Although necessary notations
menor​.[69]
​ This consequence, however, necessarily Respondents. were made by OCR-Iloilo on petitioner's foundling
arises from the language of RA 8294, whose wisdom DECISION certificate reflecting the court decreed adoption,​2 the
is not subject to the Courts review. Any perception PEREZ, ​J.: petitioner's adoptive mother discovered only
that the result reached here appears unwise should Before the Court are two consolidated petitions under sometime in the second half of 2005 that the lawyer
be addressed to Congress. Indeed, the Court has no Rule 64 in relation to Rule 65 of the Rules of Court who handled petitioner's adoption failed to secure
discretion to give statutes a new meaning detached with extremely urgent application for an ​ex parte from the OCR-Iloilo a new Certificate of Live Birth
from the manifest intendment and language of the issuance of temporary restraining ​order/status quo indicating petitioner's new name and the name of her
legislature. Our task is constitutionally confined only ante ​order and/or writ of preliminary injunction adoptive parents. 3​ Without delay, petitioner's mother
to applying the law and jurisprudence​[70] to the proven assailing the following: (1) 1 December 2015 executed an affidavit attesting to the lawyer's
facts, and we have done so in this case. Resolution of the Commission on Elections omission which she submitted to the OCR-Iloilo. On 4
WHEREFORE​, the appealed Decision is hereby (COMELEC) Second Division; (2) 23 December 2015 May 2006, OCR-Iloilo issued a new Certificate of Live
AFFIRMED ​with the ​MODIFICATION ​that appellant is Resolution of the COMELEC ​En Banc, ​in SPA No. Birth in the name of Mary Grace Natividad Sonora
found guilty only of two offenses: (1) direct assault 15-001 (DC); (3) 11 December 2015 Resolution of the Poe.​4
and multiple attempted homicide with the use of a COMELEC First Division; and ( 4) 23 December 2015 Having reached the age of eighteen (18) years in
weapon, for which he is sentenced to 2 years and 4 Resolution of the COMELEC ​En Banc, ​in SPA No. 1986, petitioner registered as a voter with the local
months to 6 years of ​prision correccional​; and (2) 15-002 (DC), SPA No. 15-007 (DC) and SPA No. COMELEC Office in San Juan City. On 13 December
maintaining a drug den, for which he was correctly 15-139 (DC) for having been issued without 1986, she received her COMELEC Voter's
sentenced by the trial court to ​reclusion perpetua​. jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion Identification Card for Precinct No. 196 in Greenhills,
Costs against appellant. amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. San Juan, Metro Manila.​5
Let a copy of this Decision be furnished the Congress The Facts On 4 April 1988, petitioner applied for and was issued
of the Philippines for a possible review, at its sound Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares Philippine Passport No. F927287​6 by the Department
discretion, of RA 8294. (petitioner) was found abandoned as a newborn infant of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Subsequently, on 5 April
SO ORDERED. in the Parish Church of Jaro, Iloilo by a certain 1993 and 19 May 1998, she renewed her Philippine
Melo, (Chairman), Vitug, Purisima, ​and Edgardo Militar (Edgardo) on 3 September 1968. passport and respectively secured Philippine
Gonzaga-Reyes, JJ., ​concur. Parental care and custody over petitioner was passed Passport Nos. L881511 and DD156616.​7
on by Edgardo to his relatives, Emiliano Militar Initially, the petitioner enrolled and pursued a degree
EN BANC (Emiliano) and his wife. Three days after, 6 in Development Studies at the University of the
March 8, 2016 September 1968, Emiliano reported and registered Philippines​8 but she opted to continue her studies
G.R. No. 221697 petitioner as a foundling with the Office of the Civil abroad and left for the United States of America
Registrar of Iloilo City (OCR-Iloilo). In her Foundling (U.S.) in 1988. Petitioner graduated in 1991 from
Boston College in Chestnuts Hill, Massachusetts semester;​20​coordination with property movers for the property was issued in the couple's name by the
where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in relocation of their household goods, furniture and cars Register of Deeds of Quezon City on 1June 2006.
Political Studies.​9 from the U.S. to the Philippines;​21 and inquiry with On 7 July 2006, petitioner took her Oath of Allegiance
On 27 July 1991, petitioner married Teodoro Misael Philippine authorities as to the proper procedure to be to the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to
Daniel V. Llamanzares (Llamanzares), a citizen of followed in bringing their pet dog into the country.​22 As Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9225 or the Citizenship
both the Philippines and the U.S., at Sanctuario de early as 2004, the petitioner already quit her job in the Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003.​36 Under the
San Jose Parish in San Juan City. 10 ​ Desirous of U.S.​23 same Act, she filed with the Bureau of Immigration
being with her husband who was then based in the Finally, petitioner came home to the Philippines on 24 (BI) a sworn petition to reacquire Philippine
U.S., the couple flew back to the U.S. two days after May 2005​24 and without delay, secured a Tax citizenship together with petitions for derivative
the wedding ceremony or on 29 July 1991. ​11 Identification Number from the Bureau of Internal citizenship on behalf of her three minor children on 10
While in the U.S., the petitioner gave birth to her Revenue. Her three (3) children immediately July 2006.​37 As can be gathered from its 18 July 2006
eldest child Brian Daniel (Brian) on 16 April 1992.​12 followed​25 while her husband was forced to stay in the Order, the BI acted favorably on petitioner's petitions
Her two daughters Hanna MacKenzie (Hanna) and U.S. to complete pending projects as well as to and declared that she is deemed to have reacquired
Jesusa Anika (Anika) were both born in the arrange the sale of their family home there.​26 her Philippine citizenship while her children are
Philippines on 10 July 1998 and 5 June 2004, The petitioner and her children briefly stayed at her considered as citizens of the Philippines.​38
respectively. 13
​ mother's place until she and her husband purchased Consequently, the BI issued Identification Certificates
On 18 October 2001, petitioner became a naturalized a condominium unit with a parking slot at One Wilson (ICs) in petitioner's name and in the names of her
American citizen. 14 ​ She obtained U.S. Passport No. Place Condominium in San Juan City in the second three (3) children. 39

017037793 on 19 December 2001. 15 ​ half of 2005.​27 The corresponding Condominium Again, petitioner registered as a voter of ​Barangay
On 8 April 2004, the petitioner came back to the Certificates of Title covering the unit and parking slot Santa Lucia, San Juan City on 31 August 2006.​40 She
Philippines together with Hanna to support her were issued by the Register of Deeds of San Juan also secured from the DFA a new Philippine Passport
father's candidacy for President in the May 2004 City to petitioner and her husband on 20 February bearing the No. XX4731999.​41 This passport was
elections. It was during this time that she gave birth to 2006.​28 Meanwhile, her children of school age began renewed on 18 March 2014 and she was issued
her youngest daughter Anika. She returned to the attending Philippine private schools. Philippine Passport No. EC0588861 by the DFA.​42
U.S. with her two daughters on 8 July 2004. 16 ​ On 14 February 2006, the petitioner made a quick trip On 6 October 2010, President Benigno S. Aquino III
After a few months, specifically on 13 December to the U.S. to supervise the disposal of some of the appointed petitioner as Chairperson of the Movie and
2004, petitioner rushed back to the Philippines upon family's remaining household belongings.​29 She Television Review and Classification Board
learning of her father's deteriorating medical travelled back to the Philippines on 11 March 2006.​30 (MTRCB).​43 Before assuming her post, petitioner
condition. 17​ Her father slipped into a coma and In late March 2006, petitioner's husband officially executed an "Affidavit of Renunciation of Allegiance to
eventually expired. The petitioner stayed in the informed the U.S. Postal Service of the family's the United States of America and Renunciation of
country until 3 February 2005 to take care of her change and abandonment of their address in the American Citizenship" before a notary public in Pasig
father's funeral arrangements as well as to assist in U.S.​31 The family home was eventually sold on 27 City on 20 October 2010,​44 in satisfaction of the legal
the settlement of his estate.​18 April 2006.​32 Petitioner's husband resigned from his requisites stated in Section 5 of R.A. No. 9225.​45 The
According to the petitioner, the untimely demise of her job in the U.S. in April 2006, arrived in the country on following day, 21 October 2010 petitioner submitted
father was a severe blow to her entire family. In her 4 May 2006 and started working for a major Philippine the said affidavit to the BI​46 and took her oath of office
earnest desire to be with her grieving mother, the company in July 2006.​33 as Chairperson of the MTRCB.​47 From then on,
petitioner and her husband decided to move and In early 2006, petitioner and her husband acquired a petitioner stopped using her American passport.​48
reside permanently in the Philippines sometime in the 509-square meter lot in Corinthian Hills, Quezon City On 12 July 2011, the petitioner executed before the
first quarter of 2005.​19 The couple began preparing for where they built their family home​34 and to this day, is Vice Consul of the U.S. Embassy in Manila an
their resettlement including notification of their where the couple and their children have been "Oath/Affirmation of Renunciation of Nationality of the
children's schools that they will be transferring to residing.​35 A Transfer Certificate of Title covering said United States."​49 On that day, she accomplished a
Philippine schools for the next sworn questionnaire before the U.S. Vice Consul
wherein she stated that she had taken her oath as stated in her COC that she is a natural-born Filipino Department of Justice (DOJ) has primary jurisdiction
MTRCB Chairperson on 21 October 2010 with the citizen and that she is a resident of the Philippines for to revoke the BI's July 18, 2006 Order;
intent, among others, of relinquishing her American at least ten (10) years and eleven (11) months up to (2) the petition failed to state a cause of action
citizenship.​50 In the same questionnaire, the petitioner the day before the 9 May 2016 Elections.​61 because it did not contain allegations which, if
stated that she had resided outside of the U.S., On the issue of citizenship, Elamparo argued that hypothetically admitted, would make false the
specifically in the Philippines, from 3 September 1968 petitioner cannot be considered as a natural-born statement in her COC that she is a natural-born
to 29 July 1991 and from May 2005 to present.​51 Filipino on account of the fact that she was a Filipino citizen nor was there any allegation that there
On 9 December 2011, the U.S. Vice Consul issued to foundling.​62 Elamparo claimed that international law was a willful or deliberate intent to misrepresent on
petitioner a "Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the does not confer natural-born status and Filipino her part;
United States" effective 21 October 2010.​52 citizenship on foundlings.​63 Following this line of (3) she did not make any material misrepresentation
On 2 October 2012, the petitioner filed with the reasoning, petitioner is not qualified to apply for in the COC regarding her citizenship and residency
COMELEC her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for reacquisition of Filipino citizenship under R.A. No. qualifications for:
Senator for the 2013 Elections wherein she answered 9225 for she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen to a. the 1934 Constitutional Convention deliberations
"6 years and 6 months" to the question "Period of begin with.​64​Even assuming ​arguendo ​that petitioner show that foundlings were considered citizens;
residence in the Philippines before May 13, 2013."​53 was a natural-born Filipino, she is deemed to have b. foundlings are presumed under international law to
Petitioner obtained the highest number of votes and lost that status when she became a naturalized have been born of citizens of the place where they
was proclaimed Senator on 16 May 2013. 54 ​ American citizen.​65 According to Elamparo, are found;
On 19 December 2013, petitioner obtained Philippine natural-born citizenship must be continuous from c. she reacquired her natural-born Philippine
Diplomatic Passport No. DE0004530. 55 ​ birth.​66 citizenship under the provisions of R.A. No. 9225;
On 15 October 2015, petitioner filed her COC for the On the matter of petitioner's residency, Elamparo d. she executed a sworn renunciation of her American
Presidency for the May 2016 Elections. 56 ​ In her COC, pointed out that petitioner was bound by the sworn citizenship prior to the filing of her COC for President
the petitioner declared that she is a natural-born declaration she made in her 2012 COC for Senator in the May 9, 2016 Elections and that the same is in
citizen and that her residence in the Philippines up to wherein she indicated that she had resided in the full force and effect and has not been withdrawn or
the day before 9 May 2016 would be ten (10) years country for only six ( 6) years and six ( 6) months as recanted;
and eleven (11) months counted from 24 May 2005.​57 of May 2013 Elections. Elamparo likewise insisted e. the burden was on Elamparo in proving that she did
The petitioner attached to her COC an "Affidavit that assuming ​arguendo ​that petitioner is qualified to not possess natural-born status;
Affirming Renunciation of U.S.A. Citizenship" regain her natural-born status under R.A. No. 9225, f. residence is a matter of evidence and that she
subscribed and sworn to before a notary public in she still fell short of the ten-year residency reestablished her domicile in the Philippines as early
Quezon City on 14 October 2015. 58 ​ requirement of the Constitution as her residence as May 24, 2005;
Petitioner's filing of her COC for President in the could only be counted at the earliest from July 2006, g. she could reestablish residence even before she
upcoming elections triggered the filing of several when she reacquired Philippine citizenship under the reacquired natural-born citizenship under R.A. No.
COMELEC cases against her which were the subject said Act. Also on the assumption that petitioner is 9225;
of these consolidated cases. qualified to reacquire lost Philippine Citizenship, h. statement regarding the period of residence in her
Origin of Petition for ​Certiorari ​in G.R. No. 221697 Elamparo is of the belief that she failed to reestablish 2012 COC for Senator was an honest mistake, not
A day after petitioner filed her COC for President, her domicile in the Philippines.​67 binding and should give way to evidence on her true
Estrella Elamparo (Elamparo) filed a petition to deny Petitioner seasonably filed her Answer wherein she date of reacquisition of domicile;
due course or cancel said COC which was docketed countered that: i. Elamparo's petition is merely an action to usurp the
as SPA No. 15-001 (DC) and raffled to the COMELEC (1) the COMELEC did not have jurisdiction over sovereign right of the Filipino people to decide a
Second Division.​59​She is convinced that the Elamparo's petition as it was actually a petition for purely political question, that is, should she serve as
COMELEC has jurisdiction over her petition.​60 quo warranto ​which could only be filed if Grace Poe the country's next leader.​68
Essentially, Elamparo's contention is that petitioner wins in the Presidential elections, and that the
committed material misrepresentation when she
After the parties submitted their respective categories of citizens in the 193 5 Constitution is claim that she could have validly reestablished her
Memoranda, the petition was deemed submitted for indicative of the framers' intent to exclude them.​74 domicile in the Philippines prior to her reacquisition of
resolution. Therefore, the burden lies on petitioner to prove that Philippine citizenship. In effect, his position was that
On 1 December 2015, the COMELEC Second she is a natural-born citizen.​75 petitioner did not meet the ten (10) year residency
Division promulgated a Resolution finding that Neither can petitioner seek refuge under international requirement for President.
petitioner's COC, filed for the purpose of running for conventions or treaties to support her claim that Unlike the previous COMELEC cases filed against
the President of the Republic of the Philippines in the foundlings have a nationality.​76 According to Tatad, petitioner, Contreras' petition,​85 docketed as SPA No.
9 May 2016 National and Local Elections, contained international conventions and treaties are not 15-007 (DC), limited the attack to the residency issue.
material representations which are false. The ​fallo ​of self-executory and that local legislations are He claimed that petitioner's 2015 COC for President
the aforesaid Resolution reads: necessary in order to give effect to treaty obligations should be cancelled on the ground that she did not
WHEREFORE​, in view of all the foregoing assumed by the Philippines.​77 He also stressed that possess the ten-year period of residency required for
considerations, the instant Petition to Deny Due there is no standard state practice that automatically said candidacy and that she made false entry in her
Course to or Cancel Certificate of Candidacy is confers natural-born status to foundlings.​78 COC when she stated that she is a legal resident of
hereby ​GRANTED​. Accordingly, the Certificate of Similar to Elamparo's argument, Tatad claimed that the Philippines for ten (10) years and eleven (11)
Candidacy for President of the Republic of the petitioner cannot avail of the option to reacquire months by 9 May 2016.​86 Contreras contended that
Philippines in the May 9, 2016 National and Local Philippine citizenship under R.A. No. 9225 because it the reckoning period for computing petitioner's
Elections filed by respondent Mary Grace Natividad only applies to former natural-born citizens and residency in the Philippines should be from 18 July
Sonora Poe Llamanzares is hereby ​CANCELLED​.69 ​ petitioner was not as she was a foundling.​79 2006, the date when her petition to reacquire
Motion for Reconsideration of the 1 December 2015 Referring to petitioner's COC for Senator, Tatad Philippine citizenship was approved by the BI.​87 He
Resolution was filed by petitioner which the concluded that she did not comply with the ten (10) asserted that petitioner's physical presence in the
COMELEC ​En Banc ​resolved in its 23 December year residency requirement.​80 Tatad opined that country before 18 July 2006 could not be valid
2015 Resolution by denying the same.​70 petitioner acquired her domicile in Quezon City only evidence of reacquisition of her Philippine domicile
Origin of Petition for ​Certiorari ​in G.R. Nos. from the time she renounced her American citizenship since she was then living here as an American citizen
221698-700 which was sometime in 2010 or 2011.​81 Additionally, and as such, she was governed by the Philippine
This case stemmed from three (3) separate petitions Tatad questioned petitioner's lack of intention to immigration laws.​88
filed by Francisco S. Tatad (Tatad), Antonio P. abandon her U.S. domicile as evinced by the fact that In her defense, petitioner raised the following
Contreras (Contreras) and Amado D. Valdez (Valdez) her husband stayed thereat and her frequent trips to arguments:
against petitioner before the COMELEC which were the U.S.​82 First, ​Tatad's petition should be dismissed outright for
consolidated and raffled to its First Division. In support of his petition to deny due course or cancel failure to state a cause of action. His petition did not
In his petition to disqualify petitioner under Rule 25 of the COC of petitioner, docketed as SPA No. 15-139 invoke grounds proper for a disqualification case as
the COMELEC Rules of Procedure,​71 docketed as (DC), Valdez alleged that her repatriation under R.A. enumerated under Sections 12 and 68 of the
SPA No. 15-002 (DC), Tatad alleged that petitioner No. 9225 did not bestow upon her the status of a Omnibus Election Code.​89 Instead, Tatad completely
lacks the requisite residency and citizenship to qualify natural-born citizen.​83 He advanced the view that relied on the alleged lack of residency and
her for the Presidency.​72 former natural-born citizens who are repatriated under natural-born status of petitioner which are not among
Tatad theorized that since the Philippines adheres to the said Act reacquires only their Philippine the recognized grounds for the disqualification of a
the principle of ​jus sanguinis, ​persons of unknown citizenship and will not revert to their original status as candidate to an elective office.​90
parentage, particularly foundlings, cannot be natural-born citizens.​84 Second, ​the petitions filed against her are basically
considered natural-born Filipino citizens since blood He further argued that petitioner's own admission in petitions for ​quo warranto ​as they focus on
relationship is determinative of natural-born status.​73 her COC for Senator that she had only been a establishing her ineligibility for the Presidency.​91 A
Tatad invoked the rule of statutory construction that resident of the Philippines for at least six (6) years petition for ​quo warranto ​falls within the exclusive
what is not included is excluded. He averred that the and six (6) months prior to the 13 May 2013 Elections jurisdiction of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET)
fact that foundlings were not expressly included in the operates against her. Valdez rejected petitioner's and not the COMELEC.​92
Third, ​the burden to prove that she is not a committed material misrepresentation in her COC 2. Resolution dated 11 December 2015, rendered
natural-born Filipino citizen is on the respondents.​93 when she declared therein that she has been a through its First Division, in the consolidated cases
Otherwise stated, she has a presumption in her favor resident of the Philippines for a period of ten (10) SPA No. 15-002 (DC) entitled ​Francisco ​S. ​Tatad,
that she is a natural-born citizen of this country. years and eleven (11) months as of the day of the petitioner, vs. Mary Grace Natividad Sonora
Fourth, ​customary international law dictates that elections on 9 May 2016. The COMELEC First Poe-Llamanzares, respondent; ​SPA No. 15-007 (DC)
foundlings are entitled to a nationality and are Division concluded that she is not qualified for the entitled ​Antonio P. Contreras, petitioner, vs. Mary
presumed to be citizens of the country where they are elective position of President of the Republic of the Grace Natividad Sonora Poe-Llamanzares,
found.​94 Consequently, the petitioner is considered as Philippines. The dispositive portion of said Resolution respondent; ​and SPA No. 15-139 (DC) entitled
a natural-born citizen of the Philippines.​95 reads: Amado D. Valdez, petitioner, v. Mary Grace Natividad
Fifth, ​she claimed that as a natural-born citizen, she WHEREFORE​, premises considered, the Sonora Poe-Llamanzares, respondent.
has every right to be repatriated under R.A. No. 9225 Commission ​RESOLVED​, as it hereby ​RESOLVES​, 3. Resolution dated 23 December 2015 of the
or the right to reacquire her natural-born status.​96 to ​GRANT the Petitions and cancel the Certificate of Commission En Banc, upholding the 1 December
Moreover, the official acts of the Philippine Candidacy of ​MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD SONORA 2015 Resolution of the Second Division.
Government enjoy the presumption of regularity, to POE-LLAMANZARES for the elective position of 4. Resolution dated 23 December 2015 of the
wit: the issuance of the 18 July 2006 Order of the BI President of the Republic of the Philippines in Commission En Banc, upholding the 11 December
declaring her as natural-born citizen, her appointment connection with the 9 May 2016 Synchronized Local 2015 Resolution of the First Division.
as MTRCB Chair and the issuance of the decree of and National Elections. The procedure and the conclusions from which the
adoption of San Juan RTC.​97 She believed that all Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration seeking a questioned Resolutions emanated are tainted with
these acts reinforced her position that she is a reversal of the COMELEC First Division's Resolution. grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
natural-born citizen of the Philippines.​98 On 23 December 2015, the COMELEC ​En Banc jurisdiction. The petitioner is a QUALIFIED
Sixth, ​she maintained that as early as the first quarter issued a Resolution denying petitioner's motion for CANDIDATE for President in the 9 May 2016 National
of 2005, she started reestablishing her domicile of reconsideration. Elections.
choice in the Philippines as demonstrated by her Alarmed by the adverse rulings of the COMELEC, The issue before the COMELEC is whether or not the
children's resettlement and schooling in the country, petitioner instituted the present petitions for ​certiorari COC of petitioner should be denied due course or
purchase of a condominium unit in San Juan City and with urgent prayer for the issuance of an ​ex parte cancelled "on the exclusive ground" that she made in
the construction of their family home in Corinthian temporary restraining ​order/status quo ante ​order the certificate a false material representation. The
Hills.​99 and/or writ of preliminary injunction. On 28 December exclusivity of the ground should hedge in the
Seventh, ​she insisted that she could legally 2015, temporary restraining orders were issued by the discretion of the COMELEC and restrain it from going
reestablish her domicile of choice in the Philippines Court enjoining the COMELEC and its representatives into the issue of the qualifications of the candidate for
even before she renounced her American citizenship from implementing the assailed COMELEC the position, if, as in this case, such issue is yet
as long as the three determinants for a change of Resolutions until further orders from the Court. The undecided or undetermined by the proper authority.
domicile are complied with.​100​She reasoned out that Court also ordered the consolidation of the two The COMELEC cannot itself, in the same cancellation
there was no requirement that renunciation of foreign petitions filed by petitioner in its Resolution of 12 case, decide the qualification or lack thereof of the
citizenship is a prerequisite for the acquisition of a January 2016. Thereafter, oral arguments were held candidate.
new domicile of choice.​101 in these cases. We rely, first of all, on the Constitution of our
Eighth, ​she reiterated that the period appearing in the The Court GRANTS the petition of Mary Grace Republic, particularly its provisions in Article IX, C,
residency portion of her COC for Senator was a Natividad S. Poe-Llamanzares and to ANNUL and Section 2:
mistake made in good faith.​102 SET ASIDE the: Section 2. ​The Commission on Elections shall
In a Resolution​103 promulgated on 11 December 2015, 1. Resolution dated 1 December 2015 rendered exercise the following powers and functions:
the COMELEC First Division ruled that petitioner is through its Second Division, in SPA No. 15-001 (DC), (1) Enforce and administer all laws and regulations
not a natural-born citizen, that she failed to complete entitled ​Estrella ​C. ​Elamparo, petitioner, vs. Mary relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite,
the ten (10) year residency requirement, and that she Grace Natividad Sonora Poe-Llamanzares. initiative, referendum, and recall.
(2) Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all voters; investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute The tribunals which have jurisdiction over the
contests relating to the elections, returns, and cases of violations of election laws, including acts or question of the qualifications of the President, the
qualifications of all elective regional, provincial, and omissions constituting election frauds, offenses, and Vice-President, Senators and the Members of the
city officials, and appellate jurisdiction over all malpractices. House of Representatives was made clear by the
contests involving elective municipal officials decided (7) Recommend to the Congress effective measures Constitution. There is no such provision for
by trial courts of general jurisdiction, or involving to minimize election spending, including limitation of candidates for these positions.
elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of places where propaganda materials shall be posted, Can the COMELEC be such judge?
limited jurisdiction. and to prevent and penalize all forms of election The opinion of Justice Vicente V. Mendoza in
Decisions, final orders, or rulings of the Commission frauds, offenses, malpractices, and nuisance Romualdez-Marcos v. Commission on Elections,104 ​
on election contests involving elective municipal and candidacies. which was affirmatively cited in the ​En Banc ​decision
barangay offices shall be final, executory, and not (8) Recommend to the President the removal of any in ​Fermin v. COMELEC105 ​ ​is our guide. The citation in
appealable. officer or employee it has deputized, or the imposition Fermin ​reads:
(3) Decide, except those involving the right to vote, all of any other disciplinary action, for violation or Apparently realizing the lack of an authorized
questions affecting elections, including determination disregard of, or disobedience to its directive, order, or proceeding for declaring the ineligibility of candidates,
of the number and location of polling places, decision. the COMELEC amended its rules on February 15,
appointment of election officials and inspectors, and (9) Submit to the President and the Congress a 1993 so as to provide in Rule 25 § 1, the following:
registration of voters. comprehensive report on the conduct of each Grounds for disqualification. ​- Any candidate who
(4) Deputize, with the concurrence of the President, election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, or recall. does not possess all the qualifications of a candidate
law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Not any one of the enumerated powers approximate as provided for by the Constitution or by existing law
Government, including the Armed Forces of the the exactitude of the provisions of Article VI, Section or who commits any act declared by law to be
Philippines, for the exclusive purpose of ensuring 17 of the same basic law stating that: grounds for disqualification may be disqualified from
free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall continuing as a candidate.
(5) Register, after sufficient publication, political each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the The lack of provision for declaring the ineligibility of
parties, organizations, or coalitions which, in addition sole judge of all contests relating to the election, candidates, however, cannot be supplied by a mere
to other requirements, must present their platform or returns, and qualifications of their respective rule. Such an act is equivalent to the creation of a
program of government; and accredit citizens' arms of Members. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed cause of action which is a substantive matter which
the Commission on Elections. Religious of nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the COMELEC, in the exercise of its rule-making
denominations and sects shall not be registered. the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief power under Art. IX, A, §6 of the Constitution, cannot
Those which seek to achieve their goals through Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of do it. It is noteworthy that the Constitution withholds
violence or unlawful means, or refuse to uphold and the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the from the COMELEC even the power to decide cases
adhere to this Constitution, or which are supported by case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of involving the right to vote, which essentially involves
any foreign government shall likewise be refused proportional representation from the political parties an inquiry into ​qualifications ​based on ​age, residence
registration. and the parties or organizations registered under the and ​citizenship ​of voters. [Art. IX, C, §2(3)]
Financial contributions from foreign governments and party-list system represented therein. The senior The assimilation in Rule 25 of the COMELEC rules of
their agencies to political parties, organizations, Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman. grounds for ineligibility into grounds for disqualification
coalitions, or candidates related to elections constitute or of the last paragraph of Article VII, Section 4 which is contrary to the evident intention of the law. For not
interference in national affairs, and, when accepted, provides that: only in their grounds but also in their consequences
shall be an additional ground for the cancellation of The Supreme Court, sitting ​en banc, ​shall be the sole are proceedings for "disqualification" different from
their registration with the Commission, in addition to judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, those for a declaration of "ineligibility."
other penalties that may be prescribed by law. and qualifications of the President or Vice-President, "Disqualification" proceedings, as already stated, are
(6) File, upon a verified complaint, or on its own and may promulgate its rules for the purpose. based on grounds specified in § 12 and §68 of the
initiative, petitions in court for inclusion or exclusion of Omnibus Election Code and in §40 of the Local
Government Code and are for the purpose of barring for and he has won, either he will not be proclaimed for disqualification may be disqualified from continuing
an individual from ​becoming a candidate or from or his proclamation will be set aside. as a candidate.​107
continuing as a candidate ​for public office. In a word, Second is the fact that the determination of a was in the 2012 rendition, drastically changed to:
their purpose is to ​eliminate a candidate from the race candidates' eligibility, ​e.g., ​his citizenship or, as in this Grounds. ​- Any candidate who, in action or protest in
either from the start or during its progress. case, his domicile, may take a long time to make, which he is a party, is declared by final decision of a
"Ineligibility," on the other hand, refers to the lack of extending beyond the beginning of the term of the competent court, guilty of, or found by the
the qualifications prescribed in the Constitution or the office. This is amply demonstrated in the companion Commission to be suffering from any disqualification
statutes for ​holding public office ​and the purpose of case (G.R. No. 120265, ​Agapito A. Aquino v. provided by law or the Constitution.
the proceedings for declaration of ineligibility is to COMELEC) where the determination of Aquino's A Petition to Disqualify a Candidate invoking grounds
remove the incumbent from office. residence was still pending in the COMELEC even for a Petition to Deny to or Cancel a Certificate of
Consequently, that an individual possesses the after the elections of May 8, 1995. This is contrary to Candidacy or Petition to Declare a Candidate as a
qualifications for a public office does not imply that he the summary character proceedings relating to Nuisance Candidate, or a combination thereof, shall
is not disqualified from becoming a candidate or certificates of candidacy. That is why the law makes be summarily dismissed.
continuing as a candidate for a public office and vice the receipt of certificates of candidacy a ministerial Clearly, the amendment done in 2012 is an
versa. We have this sort of dichotomy in our duty of the COMELEC and its officers. ​The law is acceptance of the reality of absence of an authorized
Naturalization Law. (C.A. No. 473) That an alien has satisfied if candidates state in their certificates of proceeding for determining ​before election ​the
the qualifications prescribed in §2 of the Law does not candidacy that they are eligible for the position which qualifications of candidate. Such that, as presently
imply that he does not suffer from any of [the] they seek to fill, leaving the determination of their required, to disqualify a candidate there must be a
disqualifications provided in §4. qualifications to be made after the election and only in declaration by a final judgment of a competent court
Before we get derailed by the distinction as to the event they are elected. Only in cases involving that the candidate sought to be disqualified "is guilty
grounds and the consequences of the respective charges of false representations made in certificates of or found by the Commission to be suffering from
proceedings, the importance of the opinion is in its of candidacy is the COMELEC given jurisdiction. any disqualification provided by law or the
statement that "the lack of provision for declaring the Third is the policy underlying the prohibition against Constitution."
ineligibility of candidates, however, cannot be pre-proclamation cases in elections for President, Insofar as the qualification of a candidate is
supplied by a mere rule". Justice Mendoza lectured in Vice President, Senators and members of the House concerned, Rule 25 and Rule 23 are flipsides of one
Romualdez-Marcos ​that: of Representatives. (R.A. No. 7166, § 15) The to the other. Both ​do not allow, ​are not authorizations,
Three reasons may be cited to explain the absence of purpose is to preserve the prerogatives of the House are not vestment of jurisdiction, for the COMELEC to
an authorized proceeding for determining ​before of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and the other determine the qualification of a candidate. The facts
election ​the qualifications of a candidate. Tribunals as "sole judges" under the Constitution of of qualification must beforehand be established in a
First is the fact that unless a candidate wins and is the ​election, returns ​and ​qualifications ​of members of prior proceeding before an authority properly vested
proclaimed elected, there is no necessity for Congress of the President and Vice President, as the with jurisdiction. The prior determination of
determining his eligibility for the office. In contrast, case may be.​106 qualification may be by statute, by executive order or
whether an individual should be disqualified as a To be sure, the authoritativeness of the ​Romualdez by a judgment of a competent court or tribunal.
candidate for acts constituting election offenses ​(e.g., pronouncements as reiterated in ​Fermin, ​led to the If a candidate cannot be disqualified without a prior
vote buying, over spending, commission of prohibited amendment through COMELEC Resolution No. 9523, finding that he or she is suffering from a
acts) is a prejudicial question which should be on 25 September 2012 of its Rule 25. This, the 15 disqualification "provided by law or the Constitution,"
determined lest he wins because of the very acts for February1993 version of Rule 25, which states that: neither can the certificate of candidacy be cancelled
which his disqualification is being sought. That is why Grounds for disqualification. ​-Any candidate who does or denied due course on grounds of false
it is provided that if the grounds for disqualification are not possess all the qualifications of a candidate as representations regarding his or her qualifications,
established, a candidate will not be voted for; if he provided for by the Constitution or by existing law or without a prior authoritative finding that he or she is
has been voted for, the votes in his favor will not be who commits any act declared by law to be grounds not qualified, such prior authority being the necessary
counted; and if for some reason he has been voted measure by which the falsity of the representation can
be found. The only exception that can be conceded The factual issue is not who the parents of petitioner There is a disputable presumption that things have
are self-evident facts of unquestioned or are, as their identities are unknown, but whether such happened according to the ordinary course of nature
unquestionable veracity and judicial confessions. parents are Filipinos. Under Section 4, Rule 128: and the ordinary habits of life.​113 All of the foregoing
Such are, anyway, bases equivalent to prior decisions Sect. 4. ​Relevancy, collateral matters ​- Evidence must evidence, that a person with typical Filipino features is
against which the falsity of representation can be have such a relation to the fact in issue as to induce abandoned in Catholic Church in a municipality where
determined. belief in its existence or no-existence. Evidence on the population of the Philippines is overwhelmingly
The need for a predicate finding or final collateral matters shall not be allowed, except when it Filipinos such that there would be more than a 99%
pronouncement in a proceeding under Rule 23 that tends in any reasonable degree to establish the chance that a child born in the province would be a
deals with, as in this case, alleged false probability of improbability of the fact in issue. Filipino, would indicate more than ample probability if
representations regarding the candidate's citizenship The Solicitor General offered official statistics from the not statistical certainty, that petitioner's parents are
and residence, forced the COMELEC to rule Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)​111 that from 1965 Filipinos. That probability and the evidence on which it
essentially that since foundlings​108 are not mentioned to 1975, the total number of foreigners born in the is based are admissible under Rule 128, Section 4 of
in the enumeration of citizens under the 1935 Philippines was 15,986 while the total number of the Revised Rules on Evidence.
Constitution,​109 they then cannot be citizens. As the Filipinos born in the country was 10,558,278. The To assume otherwise is to accept the absurd, if not
COMELEC stated in oral arguments, when petitioner statistical probability that any child born in the the virtually impossible, as the norm. In the words of
admitted that she is a foundling, she said it all. This Philippines in that decade is natural-born Filipino was the Solicitor General:
borders on bigotry. Oddly, in an effort at tolerance, the 99.83%. ​For her part, petitioner presented census Second. It is contrary to common sense because
COMELEC, after saying that it cannot rule that herein statistics for Iloilo Province for 1960 and 1970, also foreigners do not come to the Philippines so they can
petitioner possesses blood relationship with a Filipino from the PSA. In 1960, there were 962,532 Filipinos get pregnant and leave their newborn babies behind.
citizen when "it is certain that such relationship is and 4,734 foreigners in the province; ​99.62% ​of the We do not face a situation where the probability is
indemonstrable," proceeded to say that "she now has population were Filipinos. In 1970, the figures were such that every foundling would have a 50% chance
the burden to present evidence to prove her natural 1,162,669 Filipinos and 5,304 foreigners, or ​99.55%​. of being a Filipino and a 50% chance of being a
filiation with a Filipino parent." Also presented were figures for the child producing foreigner. We need to frame our questions properly.
The fact is that petitioner's blood relationship with a ages (15-49). In 1960, there were 230,528 female What are the chances that the parents of anyone born
Filipino citizen is DEMONSTRABLE. Filipinos as against 730 female foreigners or ​99.68%. in the Philippines would be foreigners? Almost zero.
At the outset, it must be noted that presumptions In the same year, there were 210,349 Filipino males What are the chances that the parents of anyone born
regarding paternity is neither unknown nor and 886 male aliens, or ​99.58%. ​In 1970, there were in the Philippines would be Filipinos? 99.9%.
unaccepted in Philippine Law. The Family Code of the 270,299 Filipino females versus 1, 190 female aliens, According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, from
Philippines has a whole chapter on Paternity and or ​99.56%. ​That same year, there were 245,740 2010 to 2014, on a yearly average, there were
Filiation.​110 That said, there is more than sufficient Filipino males as against only 1,165 male aliens or 1,766,046 children born in the Philippines to Filipino
evider1ce that petitioner has Filipino parents and is 99.53%. ​COMELEC did not dispute these figures. parents, as opposed to 1,301 children in the
therefore a natural-born Filipino. Parenthetically, the Notably, Commissioner Arthur Lim admitted, during Philippines of foreign parents. Thus, for that sample
burden of proof was on private respondents to show the oral arguments, that at the time petitioner was period, the ratio of non-Filipino children to natural
that petitioner is not a Filipino citizen. The private found in 1968, the majority of the population in Iloilo born Filipino children is 1:1357. This means that the
respondents should have shown that both of was Filipino.​112 statistical probability that any child born in the
petitioner's parents were aliens. Her admission that Other circumstantial evidence of the nationality of Philippines would be a natural born Filipino is 99.93%.
she is a foundling did not shift the burden to her petitioner's parents are the fact that she was From 1965 to 1975, the total number of foreigners
because such status did not exclude the possibility abandoned as an infant in a Roman Catholic Church born in the Philippines is 15,986 while the total
that her parents were Filipinos, especially as in this in Iloilo City.1âwphi1 She also has typical Filipino number of Filipinos born in the Philippines is
case where there is a high probability, if not certainty, features: height, flat nasal bridge, straight black hair, 15,558,278. For this period, the ratio of non-Filipino
that her parents are Filipinos. almond shaped eyes and an oval face. children is 1:661. This means that the statistical
probability that any child born in the Philippines on
that decade would be a natural born Filipino is The ascertainment of that intent is but in keeping with There is a need, because we are relating the
99.83%. the fundamental principle of constitutional conditions that are [required] to be Filipino.
We can invite statisticians and social anthropologists construction that the intent of the framers of the Sr. Montinola:
to crunch the numbers for us, but I am confident that organic law and of the people adopting it should be But that is the interpretation of the law, therefore,
the statistical probability that a child born in the given effect. The primary task in constitutional there is no [more] need for amendment.
Philippines would be a natural born Filipino will not be construction is to ascertain and thereafter assure the Sr. Rafols:
affected by whether or not the parents are known. If at realization of the purpose of the framers and of the The amendment should read thus:
all, the likelihood that a foundling would have a people in the adoption of the Constitution. It may also "Natural or illegitimate of a foreign father and a
Filipino parent might even be higher than 99.9%. be safely assumed that the people in ratifying the Filipino mother recognized by one, or the children of
Filipinos abandon their children out of poverty or Constitution were guided mainly by the explanation unknown parentage."
perhaps, shame. We do not imagine foreigners offered by the framers.​115 Sr. Briones:
abandoning their children here in the Philippines As pointed out by petitioner as well as the Solicitor The amendment [should] mean children born in the
thinking those infants would have better economic General, the deliberations of the 1934 Constitutional Philippines of unknown parentage.
opportunities or believing that this country is a tropical Convention show that the framers intended foundlings Sr. Rafols:
paradise suitable for raising abandoned children. I to be covered by the enumeration. The following The son of a Filipina to a Foreigner, although this
certainly doubt whether a foreign couple has ever exchange is recorded: [person] does not recognize the child, is not unknown.
considered their child excess baggage that is best left Sr. Rafols: For an amendment. I propose that after President:
behind. subsection 2, the following is inserted: "The natural Does the gentleman accept the amendment or not?
To deny full Filipino citizenship to all foundlings and children of a foreign father and a Filipino mother not Sr. Rafols:
render them stateless just because there may be a recognized by the father. I do not accept the amendment because the
theoretical chance that one among the thousands of xxxx amendment would exclude the children of a Filipina
these foundlings might be the child of not just one, but President: with a foreigner who does not recognize the child.
two, foreigners is downright discriminatory, irrational, [We] would like to request a clarification from the Their parentage is not unknown and I think those of
and unjust. It just doesn't make any sense. Given the proponent of the amendment. The gentleman refers overseas Filipino mother and father [whom the latter]
statistical certainty - 99.9% - that any child born in the to natural children or to any kind of illegitimate does not recognize, should also be considered as
Philippines would be a natural born citizen, a decision children? Filipinos.
denying foundlings such status is effectively a denial Sr. Rafols: President:
of their birthright. There is no reason why this To all kinds of illegitimate children. It also includes The question in order is the amendment to the
Honorable Court should use an improbable natural ​children of unknown parentage, ​natural or amendment from the Gentleman from Cebu, Mr.
hypothetical to sacrifice the fundamental political illegitimate children of unknown parents. Briones.
rights of an entire class of human beings. Your Honor, Sr. Montinola: Sr. Busion:
constitutional interpretation and the use of common For clarification. The gentleman said "of unknown Mr. President, don't you think it would be better to
sense are not separate disciplines. parents." Current codes consider them Filipino, that leave this matter in the hands of the Legislature?
As a matter of law, foundlings are as a class, is, I refer to the Spanish Code wherein all children of Sr. Roxas:
natural-born citizens. While the 1935 Constitution's unknown parentage born in Spanish territory are Mr. President, my humble opinion is that these cases
enumeration is silent as to foundlings, there is no considered Spaniards, because the presumption is are ​few and far in between, that the constitution need
restrictive language which would definitely exclude that a child of unknown parentage is the son of a [not] refer to them. ​By international law ​the principle
foundlings either. Because of silence and ambiguity in Spaniard. This may be applied in the Philippines in that children or people born in a country of unknown
the enumeration with respect to foundlings, there is a that a child of unknown parentage born in the parents are citizens in this nation is recognized, and it
need to examine the intent of the framers. In ​Nitafan Philippines is deemed to be Filipino, and there is no is not necessary to include a provision on the subject
v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue,114 ​ this Court need ... exhaustively.116

held that: Sr. Rafols:
Though the Rafols amendment was not carried out, it Filipinos because they are already impliedly so neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other
was not because there was any objection to the recognized. conditions prejudicial to their development." Certainly,
notion that persons of "unknown parentage" are not In other words, the constitutional silence is fully these provisions contradict an intent to discriminate
citizens but only because their number was not explained in terms of linguistic efficiency and the against foundlings on account of their unfortunate
enough to merit specific mention. Such was the avoidance of redundancy. The policy is clear: it is to status.
account,​117 cited by petitioner, of delegate and recognize foundlings, as a class, as Filipinos under Domestic laws on adoption also support the principle
constitution law author Jose Aruego who said: Art. IV, Section 1 (3) of the 1935 Constitution. This that foundlings are Filipinos. These laws do not
During the debates on this provision, Delegate Rafols inclusive policy is carried over into the 1973 and 1987 provide that adoption confers citizenship upon the
presented an amendment to include as Filipino Constitution. It is appropriate to invoke a famous adoptee. Rather, the adoptee must be a Filipino in the
citizens the illegitimate children with a foreign father of scholar as he was paraphrased by Chief Justice first place to be adopted. The most basic of such laws
a mother who was a citizen of the Philippines, and Fernando: the constitution is not silently silent, it is is Article 15 of the Civil Code which provides that
also foundlings; but this amendment was defeated silently vocal. 118
​ "[l]aws relating to family rights, duties, status,
primarily because the Convention believed that the The Solicitor General makes the further point that the conditions, legal capacity of persons are binding on
cases, being ​too few to warrant the inclusion of a framers "worked to create a just and humane society," citizens of the Philippines even though living abroad."
provision in the Constitution to apply to them​, should that "they were reasonable patriots and that it would Adoption deals with status, and a Philippine adoption
be governed by statutory legislation. Moreover, it was be unfair to impute upon them a discriminatory intent court will have jurisdiction only if the adoptee is a
believed that the rules of international law were against foundlings." He exhorts that, given the grave Filipino. In ​Ellis and Ellis v. Republic,119
​ a child left by
already clear to the effect that illegitimate children implications of the argument that foundlings are not an unidentified mother was sought to be adopted by
followed the citizenship of the mother, and that natural-born Filipinos, the Court must search the aliens. This Court said:
foundlings followed the nationality of the place where records of the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions "for In this connection, it should be noted that this is a
they were found​, thereby ​making unnecessary the an express intention to deny foundlings the status of proceedings ​in rem, ​which no court may entertain
inclusion in the Constitution of the proposed Filipinos. The burden is on those who wish to use the unless it has jurisdiction, not only over the subject
amendment. constitution to discriminate against foundlings to show matter of the case and over the parties, ​but also over
This explanation was likewise the position of the that the constitution really intended to take this path to the res, ​which is the personal status of Baby Rose as
Solicitor General during the 16 February 2016 Oral the dark side and inflict this across the board well as that of petitioners herein. Our Civil Code (Art.
Arguments: marginalization." 15) adheres to the theory that jurisdiction over the
We all know that the Rafols proposal was rejected. We find no such intent or language permitting status of a natural person is determined by the latter's
But note that what was declined was the proposal for discrimination against foundlings. On the contrary, all nationality. Pursuant to this theory, we have
a textual and explicit recognition of foundlings as three Constitutions guarantee the basic right to equal jurisdiction over the status of Baby Rose, she being a
Filipinos. And so, the way to explain the constitutional protection of the laws. All exhort the State to render citizen of the Philippines​, but not over the status of the
silence is by saying that it was the view of Montinola social justice. Of special consideration are several petitioners, who are foreigners.​120 (Underlining
and Roxas which prevailed that there is no more need provisions in the present charter: Article II, Section 11 supplied)
to expressly declare foundlings as Filipinos. which provides that the "State values the dignity of Recent legislation is more direct. R.A. No. 8043
Obviously, it doesn't matter whether Montinola's or every human person and guarantees full respect for entitled "An Act Establishing the Rules to Govern the
Roxas' views were legally correct. Framers of a human rights," Article XIII, Section 1 which mandates Inter-Country Adoption of Filipino Children and For
constitution can constitutionalize rules based on Congress to "give highest priority to the enactment of Other Purposes" (otherwise known as the
assumptions that are imperfect or even wrong. They measures that protect and enhance the right of all the "Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995"), R.A. No. 8552,
can even overturn existing rules. This is basic. What people to human dignity, reduce social, economic, entitled "An Act Establishing the Rules and Policies
matters here is that Montinola and Roxas were able to and political inequalities x x x" and Article XV, Section on the Adoption of Filipino Children and For Other
convince their colleagues in the convention that there 3 which requires the State to defend the "right of Purposes" (otherwise known as the Domestic
is no more need to expressly declare foundlings as children to assistance, including proper care and Adoption Act of 1998) and this Court's A.M. No.
nutrition, and special protection from all forms of 02-6-02-SC or the "Rule on Adoption," all expressly
refer to "Filipino children" and include foundlings as even if they do not derive from treaty obligations. UNCRC imposes the following obligations on our
among Filipino children who may be adopted. Generally accepted principles of international law country:
It has been argued that the process to determine that include international custom as evidence of a general Article 7
the child is a foundling leading to the issuance of a practice accepted as law, and general principles of 1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth
foundling certificate under these laws and the law recognized by civilized nations.​125 International and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right
issuance of said certificate are acts to acquire or customary rules are accepted as binding as a result to acquire a nationality and as far as possible, the
perfect Philippine citizenship which make the from the combination of two elements: the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.
foundling a naturalized Filipino at best. This is established, widespread, and consistent practice on 2. States Parties shall ensure the implementation of
erroneous. Under Article IV, Section 2 "Natural-born the part of States; and a psychological element known these rights in accordance with their national law and
citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines as the ​opinionjuris sive necessitates ​(opinion as to their obligations under the relevant international
from birth without having to perform any act to acquire law or necessity). Implicit in the latter element is a instruments in this field, in particular where the child
or perfect their Philippine citizenship." In the first belief that the practice in question is rendered would otherwise be stateless.
place, "having to perform an act" means that the act obligatory by the existence of a rule of law requiring In 1986, the country also ratified the 1966
must be personally done by the citizen. In this it.​126 "General principles of law recognized by civilized International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
instance, the determination of foundling status is done nations" are principles "established by a process of (ICCPR). Article 24 thereof provide for the right of
not by the child but by the authorities.​121 Secondly, the reasoning" or judicial logic, based on principles which every child "to acquire a nationality:"
object of the process is the determination of the are "basic to legal systems generally,"​127 such as Article 24
whereabouts of the parents, not the citizenship of the "general principles of equity, ​i.e., ​the general 1. Every child shall have, without any discrimination
child. Lastly, the process is certainly not analogous to principles of fairness and justice," and the "general as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or
naturalization proceedings to acquire Philippine principle against discrimination" which is embodied in social origin, property or birth, the right, to such
citizenship, or the election of such citizenship by one the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the measures of protection as are required by his status
born of an alien father and a Filipino mother under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and as a minor, on the part of his family, society and the
1935 Constitution, which is an act to perfect it. Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the State.
In this instance, such issue is moot because there is Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the 2. Every child shall be registered immediately after
no dispute that petitioner is a foundling, as evidenced Convention Against Discrimination in Education, the birth and shall have a name.
by a Foundling Certificate issued in her favor.​122 The Convention (No. 111) Concerning Discrimination in 3. Every child has the right to acquire a nationality.
Decree of Adoption issued on 13 May 1974, which Respect of Employment and Occupation."​128 These The common thread of the UDHR, UNCRC and
approved petitioner's adoption by Jesusa Sonora Poe are the same core principles which underlie the ICCPR is to obligate the Philippines to grant
and Ronald Allan Kelley Poe, expressly refers to Philippine Constitution itself, as embodied in the due nationality from birth and ensure that no child is
Emiliano and his wife, Rosario Militar, as her process and equal protection clauses of the Bill of stateless. This grant of nationality must be at the time
"foundling parents," hence effectively affirming Rights.​129 of birth, and it cannot be accomplished by the
petitioner's status as a foundling.​123 Universal Declaration of Human Rights ("UDHR") has application of our present naturalization laws,
Foundlings are likewise citizens under international been interpreted by this Court as part of the generally Commonwealth Act No. 473, as amended, and R.A.
law. Under the 1987 Constitution, an international law accepted principles of international law and binding No. 9139, both of which require the applicant to be at
can become part of the sphere of domestic law either on the State.​130​ Article 15 thereof states: least eighteen (18) years old.
by transformation or incorporation. The transformation 1. Everyone has the right to a nationality. The principles found in two conventions, while yet
method requires that an international law be 2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his unratified by the Philippines, are generally accepted
transformed into a domestic law through a nationality nor denied the right to change his principles of international law. The first is Article 14 of
constitutional mechanism such as local legislation.​124 nationality. the 1930 Hague Convention on Certain Questions
On the other hand, generally accepted principles of The Philippines has also ratified the UN Convention Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws under
international law, by virtue of the incorporation clause on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Article 7 of the which a foundling is presumed to have the "nationality
of the Constitution, form part of the laws of the land of the country of birth," to wit:
Article 14 states. Additionally, as petitioner points out, the Court foundlings are recognized as citizens. These
A child whose ​parents are both unknown shall have was content with the practice of international and circumstances, including the practice of ​jus sanguinis
the ​nationality of the country of birth. If the child's regional state organs, regional state practice in Latin countries, show that it is a generally accepted
parentage is established, its nationality shall be America, and State Practice in the United States. principle of international law to presume foundlings as
determined by the rules applicable in cases where the Another case where the number of ratifying countries having been born of nationals of the country in which
parentage is known. was not determinative is ​Mijares v. Ranada, 134​ where the foundling is found.
A foundling is, until the contrary is proved, presumed only ​four countries had "either ratified or acceded Current legislation reveals the adherence of the
to have been born on the territory of the State in to"​135 the 1966 "Convention on the Recognition and Philippines to this generally accepted principle of
which it was found. (Underlining supplied) Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and international law. In particular, R.A. No. 8552, R.A.
The second is the principle that a foundling is Commercial Matters" when the case was decided in No. 8042 and this Court's Rules on Adoption,
presumed born of citizens ​of the country where he is 2005. The Court also pointed out that that nine expressly refer to "Filipino children." In all of them,
found, contained in Article 2 of the 1961 United member countries of the European Common Market foundlings are among the Filipino children who could
Nations Convention on the Reduction of had acceded to the Judgments Convention. The be adopted. Likewise, it has been pointed that the
Statelessness: Court also cited U.S. laws and jurisprudence on DFA issues passports to foundlings. Passports are by
Article 2 recognition of foreign judgments. In all, only the law, issued only to citizens. This shows that even the
A foundling found in the territory of a Contracting practices of fourteen countries were considered and executive department, acting through the DFA,
State shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be yet, there was pronouncement that recognition of considers foundlings as Philippine citizens.
considered to have been born within the territory of foreign judgments was widespread practice. Adopting these legal principles from the 1930 Hague
parents possessing the nationality of that State. Our approach in ​Razon ​and ​Mijares ​effectively takes Convention and the 1961 Convention on
That the Philippines is not a party to the 1930 Hague into account the fact that "generally accepted Statelessness is rational and reasonable and
Convention nor to the 1961 Convention on the principles of international law" are based not only on consistent with the ​jus sanguinis ​regime in our
Reduction of Statelessness does not mean that their international custom, but also on "general principles of Constitution. The presumption of natural-born
principles are not binding. While the Philippines is not law recognized by civilized nations," as the phrase is citizenship of foundlings stems from the presumption
a party to the 1930 Hague Convention, it is a understood in Article 38.1 paragraph (c) of the ICJ that their parents are nationals of the Philippines. As
signatory to the Universal Declaration on Human Statute. Justice, fairness, equity and the policy the empirical data provided by the PSA show, that
Rights, Article 15(1) ofwhich​131​effectively affirms against discrimination, which are fundamental presumption is at more than 99% and is a virtual
Article 14 of the 1930 Hague Convention. Article 2 of principles underlying the Bill of Rights and which are certainty.
the 1961 "United Nations Convention on the "basic to legal systems generally,"​136 support the In sum, all of the international law conventions and
Reduction of Statelessness" merely "gives effect" to notion that the right against enforced disappearances instruments on the matter of nationality of foundlings
Article 15(1) of the UDHR.​132 In ​Razon v. Tagitis, 133
​ and the recognition of foreign judgments, were were designed to address the plight of a defenseless
this Court noted that the Philippines had not signed or correctly considered as "generally accepted principles class which suffers from a misfortune not of their own
ratified the "International Convention for the of international law" under the incorporation clause. making. We cannot be restrictive as to their
Protection of All Persons from Enforced Petitioner's evidence​137 shows that at least sixty application if we are a country which calls itself
Disappearance." Yet, we ruled that the proscription countries in Asia, North and South America, and civilized and a member of the community of nations.
against enforced disappearances in the said Europe have passed legislation recognizing The Solicitor General's warning in his opening
convention was nonetheless binding as a "generally foundlings as its citizen. Forty-two (42) of those statement is relevant:
accepted principle of international law." ​Razon v. countries follow the ​jus sanguinis ​regime. Of the sixty, .... the total effect of those documents is to signify to
Tagitis ​is likewise notable for declaring the ban as a only thirty-three (33) are parties to the 1961 this Honorable Court that those treaties and
generally accepted principle of international law Convention on Statelessness; twenty-six (26) are not conventions were drafted because the world
although the convention had been ratified by only signatories to the Convention. Also, the Chief Justice, community is concerned that the situation of
sixteen states and had not even come into force and at the 2 February 2016 Oral Arguments pointed out foundlings renders them legally invisible. It would be
which needed the ratification of a minimum of twenty that in 166 out of 189 countries surveyed (or 87.83%), tragically ironic if this Honorable Court ended up using
the international instruments which seek to protect lost or reacquired. Congress saw it fit to decree that Morales v. Court of Appeals and Jejomar Erwin ​S.
and uplift foundlings a tool to deny them political natural-born citizenship may be reacquired even if it Binay, Jr.,147​ where we decreed reversed the
status or to accord them second-class citizenship.​138 had been once lost. It is not for the COMELEC to condonation doctrine, we cautioned that it "should be
The COMELEC also ruled​139 that petitioner's disagree with the Congress' determination. prospective in application for the reason that judicial
repatriation in July 2006 under the provisions of R.A. More importantly, COMELEC's position that decisions applying or interpreting the laws of the
No. 9225 did not result in the reacquisition of natural-born status must be continuous was already Constitution, until reversed, shall form part of the legal
natural-born citizenship. The COMELEC reasoned rejected in ​Bengson III v. HRET145​ ​where the phrase system of the Philippines." This Court also said that
that since the applicant must perform an act, what is "from birth" was clarified to mean at the time of birth: "while the future may ultimately uncover a doctrine's
reacquired is not "natural-born" citizenship but only "A person who at the time of his birth, is a citizen of a error, it should be, as a general rule, recognized as
plain "Philippine citizenship." particular country, is a natural-born citizen thereof." good law prior to its abandonment. Consequently, the
The COMELEC's rule arrogantly disregards Neither is "repatriation" an act to "acquire or perfect" people's reliance thereupon should be respected."​148
consistent jurisprudence on the matter of repatriation one's citizenship. In ​Bengson III v. HRET, ​this Court Lastly, it was repeatedly pointed out during the oral
statutes in general and of R.A. No. 9225 in particular. pointed out that there are only two types of citizens arguments that petitioner committed a falsehood
In the seminal case of ​Bengson Ill v. HRET, 140 ​ under the 1987 Constitution: natural-born citizen and when she put in the spaces for "born to" in her
repatriation was explained as follows: naturalized, and that there is no third category for application for repatriation under R.A. No. 9225 the
Moreover, repatriation results in the recovery of the repatriated citizens: names of her adoptive parents, and this misled the BI
original nationality. This means that a naturalized It is apparent from the enumeration of who are to presume that she was a natural-born Filipino. It has
Filipino who lost his citizenship will be restored to his citizens under the present Constitution that there are been contended that the data required were the
prior status as a naturalized Filipino citizen. On the only two classes of citizens: (1) those who are names of her biological parents which are precisely
other hand, if he was originally a natural-born citizen natural-born and (2) those who are naturalized in unknown.
before he lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be accordance with law. A citizen who is not a This position disregards one important fact - petitioner
restored to his former status as a natural-born naturalized Filipino, ie., did not have to undergo the was legally adopted. One of the effects of adoption is
Filipino. process of naturalization to obtain Philippine "to sever all legal ties between the biological parents
R.A. No. 9225 is a repatriation statute and has been citizenship, necessarily is a natural-born Filipino. and the adoptee, except when the biological parent is
described as such in several cases. They include Noteworthy is the absence in said enumeration of a the spouse of the adoptee."​149 Under R.A. No. 8552,
Sobejana-Condon v. COMELEC141 ​ ​where we separate category for persons who, after losing petitioner was also entitled to an amended birth
described it as an "abbreviated ​repatriation process Philippine citizenship, subsequently reacquire it. The certificate "attesting to the fact that the adoptee is the
that restores ​one's Filipino citizenship x x x." Also reason therefor is clear: as to such persons, they child of the adopter(s)" and which certificate "shall not
included is ​Parreno v. Commission on Audit,142 ​ which would either be natural-born or naturalized depending bear any notation that it is an amended issue."​150 That
cited ​Tabasa v. Court of Appeals,143​ ​ where we said on the reasons for the loss of their citizenship and the law also requires that "[a]ll records, books, and
that "[t]he repatriation of the former Filipino will allow mode prescribed by the applicable law for the papers relating to the adoption cases in the files of the
him to recover his natural-born citizenship. ​Parreno v. reacquisition thereof. As respondent Cruz was not court, the Department [of Social Welfare and
Commission on Audit144 ​ ​is categorical that "if required by law to go through naturalization Development], or any other agency or institution
petitioner reacquires his Filipino citizenship (under proceedings in order to reacquire his citizenship, he is participating in the adoption proceedings shall be kept
R.A. No. 9225), he will ... ​recover his natural-born perforce a natural-born Filipino. As such, he strictly confidential."​151 The law therefore allows
citizenship." possessed all the necessary qualifications to be petitioner to state that her adoptive parents were her
The COMELEC construed the phrase "from birth" in elected as member of the House of birth parents as that was what would be stated in her
the definition of natural citizens as implying "that Representatives.​146 birth certificate anyway. And given the policy of strict
natural-born citizenship must begin at birth and The COMELEC cannot reverse a judicial precedent. confidentiality of adoption records, petitioner was not
remain uninterrupted and continuous from birth." R.A. That is reserved to this Court. And while we may obligated to disclose that she was an adoptee.
No. 9225 was obviously passed in line with Congress' always revisit a doctrine, a new rule reversing Clearly, to avoid a direct ruling on the qualifications of
sole prerogative to determine how citizenship may be standing doctrine cannot be retroactively applied. In petitioner, which it cannot make in the same case for
cancellation of COC, it resorted to opinionatedness Petitioner presented voluminous evidence showing Commissioner Arthur Lim conceded the presence of
which is, moreover, ​erroneous. ​The whole process that she and her family abandoned their U.S. domicile the first two requisites, namely, physical presence and
undertaken by COMELEC is wrapped in grave abuse and relocated to the Philippines for good. These animus manendi, ​but maintained there was no ​animus
of discretion. evidence include petitioner's former U.S. passport non-revertendi.154
​ The COMELEC disregarded the
On Residence showing her arrival on 24 May 2005 and her return to import of all the evidence presented by petitioner on
The tainted process was repeated in disposing of the the Philippines every time she travelled abroad; the basis of the position that the earliest date that
issue of whether or not petitioner committed false e-mail correspondences starting in March 2005 to petitioner could have started residence in the
material representation when she stated in her COC September 2006 with a freight company to arrange for Philippines was in July 2006 when her application
that she has before and until 9 May 2016 been a the shipment of their household items weighing about under R.A. No. 9225 was approved by the BI. In this
resident of the Philippines for ten (10) years and 28,000 pounds to the Philippines; e-mail with the regard, COMELEC relied on ​Coquilla v. COMELEC,​155
eleven (11) months. Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry inquiring how to Japzon v. COMELEC156 ​ ​and ​Caballero v. COMELEC.
157
Petitioner's claim that she will have been a resident ship their dog to the Philippines; school records of her During the oral arguments, the private respondents
for ten (10) years and eleven (11) months on the day children showing enrollment in Philippine schools also added ​Reyes v. COMELEC.158 ​ ​Respondents
before the ​2016 elections, ​is true. starting June 2005 and for succeeding years; tax contend that these cases decree that the stay of an
The Constitution requires presidential candidates to identification card for petitioner issued on July 2005; alien former Filipino cannot be counted until he/she
have ten (10) years' residence in the Philippines titles for condominium and parking slot issued in obtains a permanent resident visa or reacquires
before the day of the elections. Since the forthcoming February 2006 and their corresponding tax Philippine citizenship, a visa-free entry under a
elections will be held on 9 May 2016, petitioner must declarations issued in April 2006; receipts dated 23 balikbayan ​stamp being insufficient. Since petitioner
have been a resident of the Philippines prior to 9 May February 2005 from the Salvation Army in the U.S. was still an American (without any resident visa) until
2016 for ten (10) years. In answer to the requested acknowledging donation of items from petitioner's her reacquisition of citizenship under R.A. No. 9225,
information of "Period of Residence in the Philippines family; March 2006 e-mail to the U.S. Postal Service her stay from 24 May 2005 to 7 July 2006 cannot be
up to the day before May 09, 2016," she put in "10 confirming request for change of address; final counted.
years 11 months" which according to her pleadings in statement from the First American Title Insurance But as the petitioner pointed out, the facts in these
these cases corresponds to a beginning date of 25 Company showing sale of their U.S. home on 27 April four cases are very different from her situation. In
May 2005 when she returned for good from the U.S. 2006; 12 July 2011 filled-up questionnaire submitted Coquilla v. COMELEC,159 ​ the only evidence presented
When petitioner immigrated to the U.S. in 1991, she to the U.S. Embassy where petitioner indicated that was a community tax certificate secured by the
lost her original domicile, which is the Philippines. she had been a Philippine resident since May 2005; candidate and his declaration that he would be
There are three requisites to acquire a new domicile: affidavit from Jesusa Sonora Poe (attesting to the running in the elections. ​Japzon v. COMELEC160 ​ ​did
1. Residence or bodily presence in a new locality; 2. return of petitioner on 24 May 2005 and that she and not involve a candidate who wanted to count
an intention to remain there; and 3. an intention to her family stayed with affiant until the condominium residence prior to his reacquisition of Philippine
abandon the old domicile.​152 To successfully effect a was purchased); and Affidavit from petitioner's citizenship. With the Court decreeing that residence is
change of domicile, one must demonstrate an actual husband (confirming that the spouses jointly decided distinct from citizenship, the issue there was whether
removal or an actual change of domicile; a ​bona fide to relocate to the Philippines in 2005 and that he the candidate's acts after reacquisition sufficed to
intention of abandoning the former place of residence stayed behind in the U.S. only to finish some work establish residence. In ​Caballero v. COMELEC, 161 ​
and establishing a new one and definite acts which and to sell the family home). the candidate admitted that his place of work was
correspond with the purpose. In other words, there The foregoing evidence were undisputed and the abroad and that he only visited during his frequent
must basically be ​animus manendi ​coupled with facts were even listed by the COMELEC, particularly vacations. In ​Reyes v. COMELEC,162 ​ the candidate
animus non revertendi. ​The purpose to remain in or at in its Resolution in the Tatad, Contreras and Valdez was found to be an American citizen who had not
the domicile of choice must be for an indefinite period cases. even reacquired Philippine citizenship under R.A. No.
of time; the change of residence must be voluntary; However, the COMELEC refused to consider that 9225 or had renounced her U.S. citizenship. She was
and the residence at the place chosen for the new petitioner's domicile had been timely changed as of disqualified on the citizenship issue. On residence,
domicile must be actual.​153 24 May 2005. At the oral arguments, COMELEC the only proof she offered was a seven-month stint as
provincial officer. The COMELEC, quoted with program."​165 Obviously, ​balikbayans ​are not ordinary submitted that COC in 2012. She said that she
approval by this Court, said that "such fact alone is transients. reckoned residency from April-May 2006 which was
not sufficient to prove her one-year residency." Given the law's express policy to facilitate the return the period when the U.S. house was sold and her
It is obvious that because of the sparse evidence on of a ​balikbayan ​and help him reintegrate into society, husband returned to the Philippines. In that regard,
residence in the four cases cited by the respondents, it would be an unduly harsh conclusion to say in she was advised by her lawyers in 2015 that
the Court had no choice but to hold that residence absolute terms that the ​balikbayan ​must leave after residence could be counted from 25 May 2005.
could be counted only from acquisition of a one year. That visa-free period is obviously granted Petitioner's explanation that she misunderstood the
permanent resident visa or from reacquisition of him to allow him to re-establish his life and reintegrate query in 2012 (period of residence before 13 May
Philippine citizenship. In contrast, the evidence of himself into the community before he attends to the 2013) as inquiring about residence as of the time she
petitioner is overwhelming and taken together leads to necessary formal and legal requirements of submitted the COC, is bolstered by the change which
no other conclusion that she decided to permanently repatriation. And that is exactly what petitioner did - the COMELEC itself introduced in the 2015 COC
abandon her U.S. residence (selling the house, taking she reestablished life here by enrolling her children which is now "period of residence in the Philippines
the children from U.S. schools, getting quotes from and buying property while awaiting the return of her up to the day before May 09, 2016." The COMELEC
the freight company, notifying the U.S. Post Office of husband and then applying for repatriation shortly would not have revised the query if it did not
the abandonment of their address in the U.S., thereafter. acknowledge that the first version was vague.
donating excess items to the Salvation Army, her No case similar to petitioner's, where the former That petitioner could have reckoned residence from a
husband resigning from U.S. employment right after Filipino's evidence of change in domicile is extensive date earlier than the sale of her U.S. house and the
selling the U.S. house) and permanently relocate to and overwhelming, has as yet been decided by the return of her husband is plausible given the evidence
the Philippines and actually re-established her Court. Petitioner's evidence of residence is that she had returned a year before. Such evidence,
residence here on 24 May 2005 (securing T.I.N, unprecedented. There is no judicial precedent that to repeat, would include her passport and the school
enrolling her children in Philippine schools, buying comes close to the facts of residence of petitioner. records of her children.
property here, constructing a residence here, There is no indication in ​Coquilla v. COMELEC,166 ​ and It was grave abuse of discretion for the COMELEC to
returning to the Philippines after all trips abroad, her the other cases cited by the respondents that the treat the 2012 COC as a binding and conclusive
husband getting employed here). Indeed, coupled Court intended to have its rulings there apply to a admission against petitioner. It could be given in
with her eventual application to reacquire Philippine situation where the facts are different. Surely, the evidence against her, yes, but it was by no means
citizenship and her family's actual continuous stay in issue of residence has been decided particularly on conclusive. There is precedent after all where a
the Philippines over the years, it is clear that when the facts-of-the case basis. candidate's mistake as to period of residence made in
petitioner returned on 24 May 2005 it was for good. To avoid the logical conclusion pointed out by the a COC ​was overcome by evidence. ​In
In this connection, the COMELEC also took it against evidence of residence of petitioner, the COMELEC Romualdez-Marcos v. COMELEC,167 ​ the candidate
petitioner that she had entered the Philippines ruled that petitioner's claim of residence of ten (10) mistakenly put seven (7) months as her period of
visa-free as a ​balikbayan. ​A closer look at R.A. No. years and eleven (11) months by 9 May 2016 in her residence where the required period was a minimum
6768 as amended, otherwise known as the "An Act 2015 COC was false because she put six ( 6) years of one year. We said that ​"[i]t is the fact of residence,
Instituting a Balikbayan Program," shows that there is and six ( 6) months as "period of residence before not a statement in a certificate of candidacy which
no overriding intent to treat ​balikbayans ​as temporary May 13, 2013" in her 2012 COC for Senator. Thus, ought to be decisive in determining whether or not an
visitors who must leave after one year. Included in the according to the COMELEC, she started being a individual has satisfied the constitutions residency
law is a former Filipino who has been naturalized Philippine resident only in November 2006. In doing qualification requirement." ​The COMELEC ought to
abroad and "comes or returns to the Philippines." 163 ​ so, the COMELEC automatically assumed as true the have looked at the evidence presented and see if
The law institutes a ​balikbayan ​program "providing the statement in the 2012 COC and the 2015 COC as petitioner was telling the truth that she was in the
opportunity to avail of the necessary training to enable false. Philippines from 24 May 2005. Had the COMELEC
the ​balikbayan ​to become economically self-reliant As explained by petitioner in her verified pleadings, done its duty, it would have seen that the 2012 COC
members of society upon their return to the she misunderstood the date required in the 2013 and the 2015 COC ​both ​correctly stated the ​pertinent
country"​164​in line with the government's "reintegration COC as the period of residence as of the day she period of residency.
The COMELEC, by its own admission, disregarded to have been attempting to hide her erroneous number, weight and substance than that presented by
the evidence that petitioner actually and physically statement in her 2012 COC for Senator ​which was petitioner.​169 It ignores, above all else, what we
returned here on 24 May 2005 not because it was expressly mentioned in her Verified Answer. consider as a primary reason why petitioner cannot
false, but only because COMELEC took the position The facts now, if not stretched to distortion, do not be bound by her declaration in her COC for Senator
that domicile could be established only from show or even hint at an intention to hide the 2012 which declaration was not even considered by the
petitioner's repatriation under R.A. No. 9225 in July statement and have it covered by the 2015 SET as an issue against her eligibility for Senator.
2006. However, it does not take away the fact that in representation. Petitioner, moreover, has on her side When petitioner made the declaration in her COC for
reality, petitioner had returned from the U.S. and was this Court's pronouncement that: Senator that she has been a resident for a period of
here to stay permanently, on 24 May 2005. When she Concededly, a candidate's disqualification to run for six (6) years and six (6) months counted up to the 13
claimed to have been a resident for ten (10) years public office does not necessarily constitute material May 2013 Elections, she naturally had as reference
and eleven (11) months, she could do so in good misrepresentation which is the sole ground for the residency requirements for election as Senator
faith. denying due course to, and for the cancellation of, a which was satisfied by her declared years of
For another, it could not be said that petitioner was COC. Further, as already discussed, the candidate's residence. It was uncontested during the oral
attempting to hide anything. As already stated, a misrepresentation in his COC must not only refer to a arguments before us that at the time the declaration
petition for ​quo warranto ​had been filed against her material fact (eligibility and qualifications for elective for Senator was made, petitioner did not have as yet
with the SET as early as August 2015. The event from office), but should evince a deliberate intent to any intention to vie for the Presidency in 2016 and
which the COMELEC pegged the commencement of mislead, misinform or hide a fact which would that the general public was never made aware by
residence, petitioner's repatriation in July 2006 under otherwise render a candidate ineligible. It must be petitioner, by word or action, that she would run for
R.A. No. 9225, was an established fact to repeat, for made with an intention to deceive the electorate as to President in 2016. Presidential candidacy has a
purposes of her senatorial candidacy. one's qualifications to run for public office.​168 length-of-residence different from that of a senatorial
Notably, on the statement of residence of six (6) years In sum, the COMELEC, with the same posture of candidacy. There are facts of residence other than
and six (6) months in the 2012 COC, petitioner infallibilism, virtually ignored a good number of that which was mentioned in the COC for Senator.
recounted that this was first brought up in the media evidenced dates all of which can evince ​animus Such other facts of residence have never been
on 2 June 2015 by Rep. Tobias Tiangco of the United manendi ​to the Philippines and ​animus non revertedi proven to be false, and these, to repeat include:
Nationalist Alliance. Petitioner appears to have to the United States of America. The veracity of the [Petitioner] returned to the Philippines on 24 May
answered the issue immediately, also in the press. events of coming and staying home was as much as 2005. (petitioner's] husband however stayed in the
Respondents have not disputed petitioner's evidence dismissed as inconsequential, the focus having been USA to finish pending projects and arrange the sale of
on this point. From that time therefore when Rep. fixed at the petitioner's "sworn declaration in her COC their family home.
Tiangco discussed it in the media, the stated period of for Senator" which the COMELEC said "amounts to a Meanwhile [petitioner] and her children lived with her
residence in the 2012 COC and the circumstances declaration and therefore an admission that her mother in San Juan City. [Petitioner] enrolled Brian in
that surrounded the statement were already matters residence in the Philippines only commence Beacon School in Taguig City in 2005 and Hanna in
of public record and were not hidden. sometime in November 2006"; such that "based on Assumption College in Makati City in 2005. Anika was
Petitioner likewise proved that the 2012 COC was this declaration, [petitioner] fails to meet the residency enrolled in Learning Connection in San Juan in 2007,
also brought up in the SET petition for ​quo warranto. requirement for President." This conclusion, as when she was already old enough to go to school.
Her Verified Answer, which was filed on 1 September already shown, ignores the standing jurisprudence In the second half of 2005, [petitioner] and her
2015, admitted that she made a mistake in the 2012 that it is the fact of residence, not the statement of the husband acquired Unit 7F of One Wilson Place
COC when she put in six ( 6) years and six ( 6) person that determines residence for purposes of Condominium in San Juan. [Petitioner] and her family
months as she misunderstood the question and could compliance with the constitutional requirement of lived in Unit 7F until the construction of their family
have truthfully indicated a longer period. ​Her answer residency for election as President. It ignores the home in Corinthian Hills was completed.
in the SET case was a matter of public record. easily researched matter that cases on questions of Sometime in the second half of 2005, [petitioner's]
Therefore, when petitioner accomplished her COC for residency have been decided favorably for the mother discovered that her former lawyer who
President on 15 October 2015, she could not be said candidate on the basis of facts of residence far less in handled [petitioner's] adoption in 1974 failed to secure
from the Office of the Civil Registrar of Iloilo a new Grace Natividad Sonora Poe-Llamanzares is hereby
Certificate of Live Birth indicating [petitioner's] new GRANTED.
name and stating that her parents are "Ronald Allan 2. dated 11 December 2015, rendered through the
K. Poe" and "Jesusa L. Sonora." COMELEC First Division, in the consolidated cases
In February 2006, [petitioner] travelled briefly to the SPA No. 15-002 (DC) entitled ​Francisco ​S. ​Tatad,
US in order to supervise the disposal of some of the petitioner, vs. Mary Grace Natividad Sonora
family's remaining household belongings.1a\^/phi1 Poe-Llamanzares, respondent; ​SPA No. 15-007 (DC)
[Petitioner] returned to the Philippines on 11 March entitled ​Antonio P. Contreras, petitioner, vs. Mary
2006. Grace Natividad Sonora Poe-Llamanzares,
In late March 2006, [petitioner's] husband informed respondent; ​and SPA No. 15-139 (DC) entitled
the United States Postal Service of the family's Amado D. Valdez, petitioner, v. Mary Grace Natividad
abandonment of their address in the US. Sonora Poe-Llamanzares, ​respondent; stating that:
The family home in the US was sole on 27 April 2006. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the
In April 2006, [petitioner's] husband resigned from his Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES,
work in the US. He returned to the Philippines on 4 to GRANT the petitions and cancel the Certificate of
May 2006 and began working for a Philippine Candidacy of MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD SONORA
company in July 2006. POE-LLAMANZARES for the elective position of
In early 2006, [petitioner] and her husband acquired a President of the Republic of the Philippines in
vacant lot in Corinthian Hills, where they eventually connection with the 9 May 2016 Synchronized Local
built their family home.​170 and National Elections.
In light of all these, it was arbitrary for the COMELEC 3. dated 23 December 2015 of the COMELEC ​En
to satisfy its intention to let the case fall under the Banc, ​upholding the 1 December 2015 Resolution of
exclusive ground of false representation, to consider the Second Division stating that:
no other date than that mentioned by petitioner in her WHEREFORE, premises considered, the
COC for Senator. Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES,
All put together, in the matter of the citizenship and to DENY the Verified Motion for Reconsideration of
residence of petitioner for her candidacy as President SENATOR MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD SONORA
of the Republic, the questioned Resolutions of the POE-LLAMANZARES. The Resolution dated 11
COMELEC in Division and ​En Banc ​are, one and all, December 2015 of the Commission First Division is
deadly diseased with grave abuse of discretion from AFFIRMED.
root to fruits. 4. dated 23 December 2015 of the COMELEC ​En
WHEREFORE, ​the petition is ​GRANTED. ​The Banc, ​upholding the 11 December 2015 Resolution of
Resolutions, to wit: the First Division.
1. dated 1 December 2015 rendered through the are hereby ​ANNULED ​and ​SET ASIDE. ​Petitioner
COMELEC Second Division, in SPA No. 15-001 (DC), MARY GRACE NATIVIDAD SONORA
entitled ​Estrella ​C. ​Elamparo, petitioner, vs. Mary POE-LLAMANZARES is ​DECLARED QUALIFIED ​to
Grace Natividad Sonora Poe-Llamanzares, be a candidate for President in the National and Local
respondent, ​stating that: Elections of 9 May 2016.
[T]he Certificate of Candidacy for President of the SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines in the May 9, 2016 JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ
National and Local Elections filed by respondent Mary Associate Justice