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Landmark Case: MAXIMO CALALANG vs A. D. WILLIAMS, ET AL., G.R. No.

47800 legitimate business or trade and abridged the right to personal liberty and freedom of
December 2, 1940 locomotion?
This case is named Calalang vs Williams (G.R. No. L-22545 November 28, 1969) 2) Whether the rules and regulations complained of infringe upon the constitutional
when aA traffic regulation in Manila banned calesas from some streets in Manila precept regarding the promotion of social justice to insure the well-being and
during certain afternoon hours. A citizen challenged this regulation. Because of Justice economic security of all the people?
Jose P. Laurel's definition of what social justice is, this case had been a Landmark Held:
Case. 1) No. The promulgation of the Act aims to promote safe transit upon and avoid
obstructions on national roads in the interest and convenience of the public. In
MAXIMO CALALANG vs A. D. WILLIAMS, ET AL., G.R. No. 47800 December 2, 1940 enacting said law, the National Assembly was prompted by considerations of public
Digested Case / Case Digest -- Landmark Case convenience and welfare. It was inspired by the desire to relieve congestion of traffic,
which is a menace to the public safety. Public welfare lies at the bottom of the
Doctrine: Social Justice: Saluspopuliest suprema lex. promulgation of the said law and the state in order to promote the general welfare may
interfere with personal liberty, with property, and with business and occupations.
LAUREL, J.: Persons and property may be subject to all kinds of restraints and burdens in order to
secure the general comfort, health, and prosperity of the State. To this fundamental
Facts: aims of the government, the rights of the individual are subordinated. Liberty is a
blessing which should not be made to prevail over authority because society will fall
The National Traffic Commission, in its resolution of July 17, 1940, resolved to into anarchy. Neither should authority be made to prevail over liberty because then the
recommend to the Director of the Public Works and to the Secretary of Public Works individual will fall into slavery. The paradox lies in the fact that the apparent
and Communications that animal-drawn vehicles be prohibited from passing along the curtailment of liberty is precisely the very means of insuring its preserving.
following for a period of one year from the date of the opening of the Colgante Bridge
to traffic: 2) No. Social justice is “neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor
1) Rosario Street extending from Plaza Calderon de la Barca to Dasmariñas anarchy,” but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic
Street from 7:30Am to 12:30 pm and from 1:30 pm to 530 pm; and forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception
2) along Rizal Avenue extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo Street to may at least be approximated. Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all
Echague Street from 7 am to 11pm the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure
The Chairman of the National Traffic Commission on July 18, 1940 recommended to economic stability of all the competent elements of society, through the maintenance
the Director of Public Works with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works the of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the
adoption of community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or
thethemeasure proposed in the resolution aforementioned in pursuance of the provisio extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all
ns of theCommonwealth Act No. 548 which authorizes said Director with the approval governments on the time-honored principles of saluspopuliestsupremalex.
from the Social justice must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of interdependence
Secretary of the Public Works and Communication to promulgate rules and regulation among divers and diverse units of a society and of the protection that should be
s to regulate and control the use of and traffic on national roads. equally and evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our social and
On August 2, 1940, the Director recommended to the Secretary the approval of the economic life, consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state of
recommendations made by the Chairman of the National Traffic Commission with promoting health, comfort and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about “the greatest
modifications. The Secretary of Public Works approved the recommendations on good to the greatest number.”
August 10,1940. The Mayor of Manila and the Acting Chief of Police of Manila have
enforced and caused to be enforced the rules and regulation. As a consequence, all De Knecht v. Bautista
animal-drawn vehicles are not allowed to pass and pick up passengers in the places Eminent Domain> Genuine Necessity
above mentioned to the detriment not only of their owners but of the riding public as Facts:
well.  The plan to extend EDSA to Roxas Boulevard to be ultimately linked to the Cavite
Issues: Coastal Road Project,
1) Whether the rules and regulations promulgated by the respondents pursuant to the originally called for the expropriation of properties along Cuneta Avenue in Pasay City.
provisions of Commonwealth Act NO. 548 constitute an unlawful inference with
 Later on, however, the Ministry of Public Highways decided to make the proposed Issue: WON there is a genuine need to expropriate the properties owned by De
extension pass through Knecht and others similarly situated on the ground that the choice of properties to be
Fernando Rein and Del Pan Streets. expropriated seemed arbitrarily made by the DPWH
 Because of the protests of residents of the latter, the Commission on Human Ruling:
Settlements recommended the NO. The choice of Fernando Rein and Del Pan Streets is arbitrary and should not
reversion to the original plan, but the Ministry argued the new route withh save the receive judicial approval. The Human Settlements Commission concluded that the
government P2 million. cost factor is so minimal that it can be disregarded in making a choice between the
The government filed expropriation proceedings against the owners of Fernando Rein two lines. The factor of functionality strongly militates against the choice of Fernando
and Del Pan streets, Rein and Del Pan streets, while the factor of social and economic impact bears
among whom was petitioner De Knecht grievously on the residents of Cuneta Avenue. While the issue would seem to boil
Petitioner’s contention: down to a choice between people, on one hand, and progress and development, on
 The choice of property to be expropriated cannot be without rhyme or reason. The the other, it is to be remembered that progress and development are carried out for
condemnor may not the benefit of the people.
choose any property it wants. Where the legislature has delegated a power of eminent WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari and prohibition is hereby granted. The order
do-main, the question of the necessity for taking a particular fine for the intended of June 14, 1979 authorizing the Republic of the Philippines to take or enter upon the
improvement rests in the discretion of the grantee power subject however to review by possession of the properties sought to be condemned is set aside and the respondent
the courts in case of fraud, bad faith or gross abuse of discretion. The choice of Judge is permanently enjoined from taking any further action on Civil Case No. 7001-
property must be examined for bad faith, arbitrariness or capriciousness and due P, entitled"Republic of the Philippines vs. Concepcion Cabarrus Vda. de Santos, etc."
process determination as to whether or not the proposed location was proper in terms except to dismiss said case.
of the public interests. Even the claim of respondent's Secretary Baltazar Aquino that
there would be a saving of P2 million under his new plan must be reviewed for it bears No. L-55167 May 21,1987
no relation to the site of the proposed EDSA extension As envisioned
by the government, the EDSA extension would be linked to the Cavite Expressway.
Logically then, the proposed extension must point to the south and not detour to the PATRICIA L. TIONGSON, PATRICIA L. GO, assisted by her husband EDWARD
north. GO, ROBERTO LAPERAL III, ELISA R. MANOTOK, JESUS R. MANOTOK,
Respondent’s counter-argument: MIGUEL A. B. SISON, SEVERINO MANOTOK III, JOSE MARIA MANOTOK and
 There was no sudden change of plan in the selection of the site of the EDSA JESUS MANOTOK, represented herein by their father and judicial guardian
Extension to Roxas Blvd. JESUS MANOTOK, JR., IGNACIO R. MANOTOK., and FAUSTO C. MANOTOK,
 When the Ministry of Public Highways decided to change the site of EDSA petitioners,
Extension to RoxasBoulevard fromCuneta Avenue to the Del Pan - Fernando Streets, vs.
the residents of Del Pan and Fernando Rein Streets who were to be adversely NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY and the REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES,
affected by the construction of EDSA Extension to Roxas Boulevard along Del Pan - respondents
Fernando Rein Streets were duly notified of such proposed project. Petitioner herein
was one of those notified.
 It be conceded that the Cuneta Avenue line goes southward and outward (from the
city center while the Del Pan - Fernando Rein Streets line follows northward and GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:
inward direction. It must be stated that both lines, Cuneta Avenue and Del Pan -
Fernando Rein Streets lines, meet satisfactorily planning and design criteria and
therefore are both acceptable. In selecting the Del Pan - Fernando Rein Streets line Before us are two petitions. The first one challenges the constitutionality of
the Government did not do so because it wanted to save the motel located along Presidential Decree No. 1669 which provides for the expropriation of the
Cuneta Avenue but because it wanted to minimize the social impact factor or problem property known as the "Tambunting Estate" and the second challenges the
involved constitutionality of Presidential Decree No.1670 which provides for the
expropriation of the property along the Estero de Sunog-Apog. In both cases,
the petitioners maintain that the two decrees are unconstitutional and should be
declared null and void because:
(1) They deprived the petitioners of their properties On January 28, 1980, the President issued the challenged Presidential Decrees
without due process of law. Nos. 1669 and 1670 which respectively declared the Tambunting Estate and the
Sunog-Apog area expropriated.
(2) The petitioners were denied to their right to just
compensation Presidential Decree No. 1669, provides, among others:

(3) The petitioners' right to equal protection of the law Section 1. The real properties known as the
was violated. "Tambunting Estate" and covered by TCT Nos. 119059,
122450, 122459, 122452 and Lots Nos. 1- A, 1-C, 1-D, l-
(4) The decrees are vague, defective, and patently E, 1-F and 1-H of (LRC) Psd-230517 (Previously
erroneous. covered by TCT No. 119058) of the Register of Deeds
of Manila with an area of 52,688.70 square meters,
more or less are hereby declared expropriated. The
(5) The petitioners' properties are not proper subjects National Housing Authority hereinafter referred to as
for expropriation considering their location and other the "Authority" is designated administrator of the
relevant circumstances. National Government with authority to immediately
take possession, control, disposition, with the power
On June 11, 1977, the President of the Philippines issued Letter of Instruction of demolition of the expropriated properties and their
(LOI) No. 555 instituting a nationwide slum improvement and resettlement improvements and shall evolve and implement a
program (SIR). On the same date, the President also issued LOI No. 557, comprehensive development plan for the condemned
adopting slum improvement as a national housing policy. properties.

In compliance with LOI No. 555, the Governor of Metro Manila issued, on July xxx xxxxxx
21, 1977, Executive Order No.6-77 adopting the Metropolitan Manila Zonal
Improvement Program which included the properties known as the Tambunting Section 6. Notwithstanding any provision of law or
Estate and the Sunog-Apog area in its priority list for a zonal improvement decree to the contrary and for the purpose of
program (ZIP) because the findings of the representative of the City of Manila expropriating this property pegged at the -.market
and the National Housing Authority (NHA) described these as blighted value determined by the City Assessor pursuant to
communities. Presidential Decree No. 76, as amended, particularly
by Presidential Decree No. 1533 which is in force and
On March 18, 1978, a fire razed almost the entire Tambunting Estate. Following in effect at the time of the issuance of this decree. In
this calamity, the President and the Metro Manila Governor made public assessing the market value, the City Assessor
announcement that the national government would acquire the property for the pursuant consider existing conditions in the area
fire victims. The President also designated the NHA to negotiate with the notably, that no improvement has been undertaken on
owners of the property for the acquisition of the same. This, however, did not the land and that the land is squatted upon by resident
materialize as the negotiations for the purchase of the property failed. families which should considerably depress the
expropriation cost. Subject to the foregoing, the just
On December 22, 1978, the President issued Proclamation No. 1810 declaring all compensation for the above property should not
sites Identified by the Metro Manila local governments and approved by the exceed a maximum of SEVENTEEN MILLION PESOS
Ministry of Human Settlements to be included in the ZIP upon proclamation of (Pl7,000,000.00) which shall be payable to the owners
the President. The Tambunting Estate and the Sunog-Apog area were among within a period of five (5) years in five (5) equal
the sites included. installments.
Presidential Decree No. 1670, on the other hand, provides: covering the properties in question be cancelled and new certificates of title be
issued in the name of the Republic of the Philippines.
Section 1. The real property along the Estero de
Sunog-Apog in Tondo, Manila formerly consisting of However, the Register of Deeds in her letter to NHA's general-manager,
Lots Nos 55-A, 55-B and 55-C, Block 2918 of the requested the submission of the owner's copy of the certificates of title of the
subdivision plan Psd-1 1746, covered by TCT Nos. properties in question to enable her to implement the aforementioned decrees.
49286, 49287 and 49288, respectively, of the Registry
of Deeds of Manila, and formerly owned by the Subsequently, petitioner Elisa R. Manotok, one of the owners of the properties
Manotok Realty, Inc., with an area of 72,428.6 square to be expropriated, received from the NHA a letter informing her that the latter
meters, more or less, is hereby declared expropriated. had deposited, on July 16, 1980, with the Philippine National Bank the total
The National Housing Authority hereinafter referred to amount of P5,000,000.00 which included the amount of P3,400,000.00
as the 'Authority' is designated administrator of the representing the first annual installment for the Tambunting Estate pursuant to
National Government with authority to immediately P.D. No. 1669; and another P5,000,000.00 which also included the amount of
take possession, control and disposition, with the P1,600,000.00 representing the first annual installment for the Sunog-Apog area
power of demolition of the expropriated properties and under P.D. No. 1670. The petitioner was also informed that she was free to
their improvements and shall evolve and imagine withdraw her share in the properties upon surrender by her of the titles
implement a comprehensive development plan for the pertaining to said properties and that if petitioner failed to avail herself of the
condemned properties. said offer, the NHA would be constrained to take the necessary legal steps to
implement the decrees.
xxx xxxxxx
On August 19, 1980, petitioner Elisa R. Manotok wrote a letter to the NHA
Section 6. Notwithstanding any provision of law or alleging, inter alia, that the amounts of compensation for the expropriation of
decree to the contrary and for the purpose of the properties of the petitioners as fixed in the decrees do not constitute the
expropriating this property pegged at the market value "just compensation" envisioned in the Constitution. She expressed veritable
determined by the City Assessor pursuant to doubts about the constitutionality of the said decrees and informed the NHA
Presidential Decree No. 76, as amended, particularly that she did not believe that she was obliged to withdraw the amount of
by Presidential Decree No. 1533 which is in force and P5,000,000.00 or surrender her titles over the properties.
in effect at the time of the issuance of this decree. In
assessing the market value, the City Assessor shall In the meantime, some officials of the NHA circulated instructions to the
consider existing conditions in the area notably, that tenants-occupants of the properties in dispute not to pay their rentals to the
no improvement has been undertaken on the land and petitioners for their lease-occupancy of the properties in view of the passage of
that the land is squatted upon by resident families P.D. Nos. 1669 and 1670. Hence, the owners of the Tambunting Estate filed a
which should considerably depress the expropriation petition to declare P.D. No. 1669 unconstitutional. The owners of the Sunog-
cost. Subject to the foregoing, the just compensation Apog area also filed a similar petition attacking the constitutionality of P.D. No.
for the above property should not exceed a maximum 1670.
of EIGHT MILLION PESOS (P8,000,000.00), which shall
be payable to the owners within a period of five (5)
years in five equal installment. On September 27, 1982, the lessees of the Tambunting Estate and the Sunog-
Apog area filed a motion for leave to intervene together with their petition for
intervention alleging that they are themselves owners of the buildings and
On April 4, 1980, the National Housing Authority, through its general-manager, houses built on the properties to be expropriated and as such, they are real
wrote the Register of Deeds of Manila, furnishing it with a certified copy of P.D. parties-in-interest to the present petitions.
Nos. 1669 and 1670 for registration, with the request that the certificates of title
The petitioners maintain that the Presidential Decrees providing for the direct compensation be determined with due process of law which does not
expropriation of the properties in question violate their constitutional right to necessarily entail judicial process.
due process and equal protection of the law because by the mere passage of
the said decrees their properties were automatically expropriated and they were The public respondents, further argue that since the Constitution lays down no
immediately deprived of the ownership and possession thereof without being procedure by which the authority to expropriate may be carried into effect, Rule
given the chance to oppose such expropriation or to contest the just 67 of the Revised Rules of Court which is invoked by the petitioners may be
compensation to which they are entitled. said to have been superseded by the challenged decrees insofar as they are
applicable to the properties in question and, therefore, there is no need to follow
The petitioners argue that the government must first have filed a complaint with the said rule for due process to be observed. Moreover, the public respondents
the proper court under Rule 67 of the Revised Rules of Court in order to fulfill maintain that it cannot be fairly said that the petitioners' valuations were
the requirements of due process. 'They contend that the determination of just ignored in fixing the ceiling amount of the properties in question because the
compensation should not have been vested solely with the City Assessor and only reason why the determination appeared unilateral was because said
that a maximum or fixed amount of compensation should not have been petitioners did not actually state any valuation in their sworn declaration of true
imposed by the said decrees. Petitioners likewise state that by providing for the market value of their respective properties, and as far as payment in
maximum amount of just compensation and by directing the City Assessor to installments is concerned, the same can be justified by the fact that the
take into consideration the alleged existing conditions of the properties in properties in question are only two of the four hundred and fifteen (415) slums
question, namely: that no "improvement has been undertaken on the land and and blighted areas in Metro Manila and two of the two hundred and fifty one
that the land is squatted upon by resident families which should considerably (251) sites for ungrading under the ZIP and that to immediately acquire and
depress the expropriation costs," the City Assessor is forced to accept, as upgrade all those sites would obviously entail millions and millions of pesos.
actual and existing conditions of the property, the foregoing statements in the The financial constraints, therefore, require a system of payment of just
decrees when in fact the Sunog-Apog area has been subdivided into compensation. Thus, the respondent states that the payment of just
subdivision lots and leased to the occupants thereof under contracts of lease, compensation in installments did not arise out of ill will or the desire to
making them lessees and not squatters as assumed by Presidential Decree No. discriminate.
1670. Moreover, each subdivision lot is surrounded by adobe walls constructed
by the particular owner of the property: the houses were required to have septic We start with fundamentals.
tanks by the City Hall and the, owners themselves: there is a drainage system;
and there are adequate water facilities.
The power of eminent domain is inherent in every state and the provisions in
the Constitution pertaining to such power only serve to limit its exercise in
As far as the Tambunting Estate is concerned, the petitioners maintain that order to protect the individual against whose property the power is sought to be
aside from the residential houses in the area, there are buildings and structures enforced. We pointed out the constitutional limitations in the case of Republic
of strong materials on the lots fronting Rizal Avenue Extension, most of which vs. Juan (92 SCRA 26, 40):
are leased to proprietors of business establishments under long term contracts
of lease which use the same for their furniture business from which they secure
substantial income. To begin with, it must be emphasized that plaintiff-
appellee in this instant case is the Republic of the
Philippines which is exercising its right of eminent
The Government as represented by the Solicitor-General and the NHA, on the domain inherent in it as a body sovereign. In the
other hand, contends that the power of eminent domain is inherent in the State exercise of its sovereign right the State is not subject
and when the legislature itself or the President through his law-making to any limitation other than those imposed by the
prerogatives exercises this power, the public use and public necessity of the Constitution which are: first, the taking must be for a
expropriation, and the fixing of the just compensation become political in public use; secondly, the payment of just
nature, and the courts must respect the decision of the law-making body, unless compensation must be made: and thirdly, due process
the legislative decision is clearly and evidently arbitrary, unreasonable, and must be observed in the taking...
devoid of logic and reason; and that all that is required is that just
The challenged decrees are uniquely unfair in the procedures adopted and the adequately funded, genuinely sincere, and more solidly grounded on basic
powers given to the respondent NHA. rights and democratic procedures is needed.

The Tambunting subdivision is summarily proclaimed a blighted area and We re-examine the decisions validating expropriations under martial law and
directly expropriated by decree without the slightest semblance of a hearing or apply established principles of justice and fairness which have been with us
any proceeding whatsoever. The expropriation is instant and automatic to take since the advent of constitutional government. We return to older and more
effect immediately upon the signing of the decree. No deposit before taking is sound precedents.
required under the decree. The P3,400,000.00 appropriated from the general
fund is not a deposit but constitutes an installment payment for the property, The due process clause cannot be rendered nugatory everytime a specific
the maximum price of which is fixed so as not to exceed P17,000,000.00. There decree or law orders the expropriation of somebody's property and provides its
is no provision for any interests to be paid on the unpaid installments spread own peculiar manner of taking the same. Neither should the courts adopt a
out over a period of five years. Not only are the owners given absolutely no hands-off policy just because the public use has been ordained as existing by
opportunity to contest the expropriation, plead their side, or question the the decree or the just compensation has been fixed and determined beforehand
amount of payments fixed by decree, but the decisions, rulings, orders, or by a statute.
resolutions of the NHA are expressly declared as beyond the reach of judicial
review. An appeal may be made to the Office of the President but the courts are
completely enjoined from any inquiry or participation whatsoever in the The case of Dohany v. Rogers, (74 L.ed. 904.'912, 281. U.S. 362-370)
expropriation of the subdivision or its incidents. underscores the extent by which the due process clause guarantees protection
from arbitrary exercise of the power of eminent domain.
In some decisions promulgated before the February, 1986 political upheaval,
this Court presumed the validity of the beautiful "whereases" in presidential The due process clause does not guarantee to the
decrees governing expropriations and legitimated takings of private property citizen of a state any particular form or method of state
which, in normal times, would have been constitutionally suspect. There were procedure. Under it he may neither claim a right to trial
then the avowed twin purposes of martial law to first quell the Communist by jury nor a right of appeal. Its requirements are
rebellion and second to reform society. Thus, in Haguisan v. Emilia (131 SCRA satisfied if he has reasonable opportunity to be heard
517) the Court sustained the contention that prior hearing is no longer and to present his claim or defense, due regard being
necessary under P.D. No. 42 in ascertaining the value of the property to be had to the nature of the proceeding and the character
expropriated and before the government may take possession. There was a of the rights which may be affected by it. Reetz v.
disregard in the decree for Section 2 of Rule 67 which requires the court having Michigan, 188 U.S. 505, 508, 47 L.ed. 563, 566, 23 Sup.
jurisdiction over the proceedings to promptly ascertain and fix the provisional Ct. Rep. 390; Missouri ex rel. Hurwitz v. North, 271 U.S.
value of the property for purposes of the initial taking or entry by the 40, 70 L.ed. 818, 46 Sup. Ct. Rep. 384: Bauman v. Ross,
Government into the premises. In National Housing Authority v. Reyes (123 167 U.S. 548, 593, 42 L.ed. 270, 289, 17 Sup. Ct. Rep.
SCRA 245) the Court upheld the decrees which state that the basis for just 966; A. Backus Jr. & Sons v. Fort Street Union Depot
compensation shall be the market value declared by the owner for tax purposes Co. 169 U.S. 569, 42 L. ed. 859, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 445.
or such market value as determined by the government assessor, whichever is
lower. In other words, although due process does not always necessarily demand that
a proceeding be had before a court of law, it still mandates some form of
Subsequent developments have shown that a disregard for basic liberties and proceeding wherein notice and reasonable opportunity to be heard are given to
the shortcut methods embodied in the decrees on expropriation do not achieve the owner to protect his property rights. We agree with the public respondents
the desired results. Far from disappearing, squatter colonies and blighted areas that there are exceptional situations when, in the exercise of the power of
have multiplied and proliferated. It appears that constitutionally suspect eminent domain, the requirement of due process may not necessarily entail
methods or authoritarian procedures cannot, be the basis for social justice. A judicial process. But where it is alleged that in the taking of a person's property,
program to alleviate problems of the urban poor which is well studied, his right to due process of law has been violated, the courts will have to step in
and probe into such an alleged violation.
Thus, certain portions of the decision in De Knecht v. Bautista, (100 SCRA 660, The basis for the exercise of the power of eminent domain is necessity. This
666-667) state: Court stated in City of Manila v. Chinese Community of Manila (40 Phil. 349) that
"(t)he very foundation of the right to exercise eminent domain is a genuine
There is no question as to the right of the Republic of necessity and that necessity must be of a public character.
the Philippines to take private property for public use
upon the payment of just compensation. Section 2, In City of Manila v. Arellano Law Colleges (85 Phil. 663), we reiterated that a
Article IV of the Constitution of the Philippines necessity must exist for the taking of private property for the proposed uses
provides: 'Private property shall not be taken for public and purposes but accepted the fact that modern decisions do not call for
use without just compensation. absolute necessity. It is enough if the condemnor can show a reasonable or
practical necessity, which of course, varies with the time and peculiar
It is recognized, however, that the government may not circumstances of each case.
capriciously or arbitrarily choose what private property
should be taken. In J.M. Tuazon & Co., Inc. v. Land In the instant petitions, there is no showing whatsoever as to why the properties
tenure Administration, 31 SCRA 413, 433, the Supreme involved were singled out for expropriation through decrees or what necessity
Court said: impelled the particular choices or selections. In expropriations through
legislation, there are, at least, debates in Congress open to the public, scrutiny
xxx xxxxxx by individual members of the legislature, and very often, public hearings before
the statute is enacted. Congressional records can be examined. In these
petitions, the decrees show no reasons whatsoever for the choice of the
It is obvious then that a land-owner is covered by the properties as housing projects. The anonymous adviser who drafted the
mantle of protection due process affords. It is a decrees for the President's signature cannot be questioned as to any possible
mandate of reason. It frowns on arbitrariness, it is the error or partiality, act of vengeance, or other personal motivations which may
antithesis of any governmental act that smacks of have led him to propose the direct expropriation with its onerous provisions.
whim or caprice. It negates state power to act in an
oppressive manner. It is, as had been stressed so
often, the embodiment of the sporting Idea of fair play. The Tambunting estate or at least the western half of the subdivision fronting
In that sense, it stands as a guaranty of justice. 'That is Rizal Avenue Extension is valuable commercial property. It is located at the
the standard that must be met by any governmental junction where three main city streets converge — Rizal Avenue from downtown
agency in the exercise of whatever competence is Manila, Jose Abad Santos Street from Binondo, and Aurora Boulevard leading
entrusted to it As was so emphatically stressed by the to Retiro Street and other points in Quezon City. The Libiran Furniture
present Chief Justice, 'Acts of Congress, as well as Company, alone, which fronts the entrance to Jose Abad Santos Street is
those of the Executive, can deny due process only clearly a multi-million peso enterprise. It is a foregone conclusion that the
under pain of nullity... favored squatters allowed to buy these choice lots would lose no time, once it is
possible to do so, to either lease out or sell their lots to wealthy merchants even
as they seek other places where they can set up new squatter colonies. The
In the same case the Supreme Court concluded: public use and social justice ends stated in the whereas clauses of P.D. 1669
and P.D. 1670 would not be served thereby.
With due recognition then of the power of Congress to
designate the particular property to be taken and how The provision of P.D. 1669 which allows NHA, at its sole option, to put portions
much thereof may be condemned in the exercise of the of the expropriated area to commercial use in order to defray the development
power of expropriation, it is still a judicial question costs of its housing projects cannot stand constitutional scrutiny. The
whether in the exercise of such competence, the party Government, for instance, cannot expropriate the flourishing Makati commercial
adversely affected is the victim of partiality and area in order to earn money that would finance housing projects all over the
prejudice, That the equal protection clause will not country. The leading case of Guido v. Rural Progress Administration (84 Phil.
allow. (p. 436)
847) may have been modified in some ways by the provisions of the new This is hardly the due process of law which the state is expected to observe
Constitution on agrarian and urban land reform and on housing. The principle of when it exercises the power of eminent domain.
non-appropriation of private property for private purposes, however, remains.
The legislature, according to the Guido case, may not take the property of one The government states that there is no arbitrary determination of the fair market
citizen and transfer it to another, even for a full compensation, when the public value of the property by the government assessors because if the owner is not
interest is not thereby promoted. The Government still has to prove that satisfied with the assessor's action, he may within sixty (60) days appeal to the
expropriation of commercial properties in order to lease them out also for Board of Assessment Appeals of the province or city as the case may be and if
commercial purposes would be "public use" under the Constitution. said owner is still unsatisfied, he may appeal further to the Central Board of
Assessment Appeals pursuant to P.D. No. 464. The Government argues that
P.D. No. 1670 suffers from a similar infirmity. There is no showing how the with this procedure, the due process requirement is fulfilled.
President arrived at the conclusion that the Sunog-Apog area is a blighted
community. The many pictures submitted as exhibits by the petitioners show a We cannot sustain this argument.
well-developed area subdivided into residential lots with either middle-income
or upper class homes. There are no squatters. The provisions of the decree on
the relocation of qualified squatter families and on the re-blocking and re- Presidential Decree No. 464, as amended, otherwise known as the Real Property
alignment of existing structures to allow the introduction of basic facilities and Tax Code, provides for the procedure on how to contest assessments but does
services have no basis in fact The area is well-developed with roads, drainage not deal with questions as to the propriety of the expropriation and the manner
and sewer facilities, water connection to the Metropolitan Waterworks and of payment of just compensation in the exercise of the power of eminent
Sewerage System electric connections to Manila Electric Company, and domain. We find this wholly unsatisfactory. It cannot in anyway substitute for
telephone connections to the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. the expropriation proceeding under Rule 67 of the Revised Rules of Court.
There are many squatter colonies in Metro Manila in need of upgrading. The
Government should have attended to them first. There is no showing for a need Another infirmity from which the questioned decrees suffer is the determination
to demolish the existing valuable improvements in order to upgrade Sunog- of just compensation.
Apog.
Pursuant to P.D. 1533, the basis of the just compensation is the market value of
After a careful examination of the questioned decrees, we find P.D. Nos. 1669 the property "prior to the recommendation or decision of the appropriate
and 1670 to be violative of the petitioners' right to due process of law and, Government Office to acquire the property." (see also Republic v. Santos, (1 41
therefore, they must fail the test of constitutionality. SCRA 30, 35).

The decrees, do not by themselves, provide for any form of hearing or In these petitions, a maximum amount of compensation was imposed by the
procedure by which the petitioners can question the propriety of the decrees and these amounts were only a little more than the assessed value of
expropriation of their properties or the reasonableness of the just the properties in 1978 when, according to the government, it decided to acquire
compensation. Having failed to provide for a hearing, the Government should said properties.
have filed an expropriation case under Rule 67 of the Revised Rules of Court but
it did not do so. Obviously, it did not deem it necessary because of the The fixing of the maximum amounts of compensation and the bases thereof
enactment of the questioned decrees which rendered, by their very passage, which are the assessed values of the properties in 1978 deprive the petitioner of
any questions with regard to the expropriation of the properties, moot and the opportunity to prove a higher value because, the actual or symbolic taking
academic. In effect, the properties, under the decrees were "automatically of such properties occurred only in 1980 when the questioned decrees were
expropriated." This became more evident when the NHA wrote the Register of promulgated.
Deeds and requested her to cancel the certificate of titles of the petitioners,
furnishing said Register of Deeds only with copies of the decrees to support its
request. According to the government, the cut-off year must be 1978 because it was in
this year that the government decided to acquire the properties and in the case
of the Tambunting Estate, the President even made a public announcement that December 2, 1969, petitioner had not actually taken
the government shall acquire the estate for the fire victims. possession of the property sought to be expropriated
and secondly, We find the valuation determined by the
The decision of the government to acquire a property through eminent domain Court of Appeals to be just, fair and reasonable.
should be made known to the property owner through a formal notice wherein a
hearing or a judicial proceeding is contemplated as provided for in Rule 67 of National Power Corporation v. Court of Appeals, (1 29 SCRA 665, 673):
the Rules of Court. This shall be the time of reckoning the value of the property
for the purpose of just compensation. A television or news announcement or xxx xxxxxx
the mere fact of the property's inclusion in the Zonal Improvement Program
(ZIP) cannot suffice because for the compensation to be just, it must
approximate the value of the property at the time of its taking and the (5) And most importantly,on the issue of just
government can be said to have decided to acquire or take the property only compensation, it is now settled doctrine, following the
after it has, at the least, commenced a proceeding, judicial or otherwise, for this leading case of Alfonso v. Pasay City, (1,06 PhiL 1017
purpose. (1960)), that no determine due compensation for lands
appropriated by the Government, the basis should be
the price or value at the time it was taken from the
In the following cases, we have upheld the determination of just compensation owner and appropriated by the Government.
and the rationale behind it either at the time of the actual taking of the
government or at the time of the judgment by the court, whichever came first.
The owner of property expropriated by the State is
entitled to how much it was worth at the time of the
Municipality of Daet v. Court of Appeals, (93 SCRA 503, 506, 519): taking. This has been clarified in Republic v. PNB (1
SCRA 957) thus: 'It is apparent from the foregoing that,
...And in the case of J.M. Tuason& Co., Inc. v. Land when plaintiff takes possession before the institution
Tenure Administration, 31 SCRA 413, the Court, of the condemnation proceedings, the value should be
speaking thru now Chief Justice Fernando, reiterated fixed as of the time of the taking of said possession,
the 'wen-settled (rule) that just compensation means not of filing of the complainant, and that the latter
the equivalent for the value of the property at the time should be the basis for the determination of the value,
of its taking. Anything beyond that is more and when the of the property involved coincides with or is
anything short of that is less, than just compensation. subsequent to, the commencement of the
It means a fair and full equivalent for the loss proceedings. Indeed, otherwise, the provision of Rule
sustained, which is the measure of the indemnity, not 619, section 3, directing that compensation "be
whatever gain would accrue to the expropriating entity. determined as of the date of the filing of the
complaints" would never be operative. municipality of
xxx xxxxxx La Carlota v. The Spouses Baltazar, et al., 45 SCRA 235
(1972)).
We hold that the decision of the Court of Appeals
fixing the market value of the property to be that Furthermore, the so-called "conditions" of the properties should not be
obtaining, at least, as of the date of the rendition of the determined through a decree but must be shown in an appropriate proceeding
judgment on December 2, 1969 as prayed by private in order to arrive at a just valuation of the property. In the case of Garcia v.
respondent, which the Court fixed at P200.00 per Court of Appeals, (102 SCRA 597, 608) we ruled:
square meter is in conformity with doctrinal rulings
hereinabove cited that the value should be fixed as of ...Hence, in estimating the market value, all the
the time of the taking of the possession of the property capabilities of the property and all the uses to which it
because firstly, at the time judgment was rendered on may be applied or for which it is adapted are to be
considered and not merely the condition it is in at the questioned decrees to likewise transgress the petitioners' right to just
time and the use to which it is then applied by the compensation. Having violated the due process and just compensation
owner. All the facts as to the condition of the property guarantees, P. D. Nos. 1669 and 1670 are unconstitutional and void.
and its surroundings, its improvements and
capabilities may be shown and considered in WHEREFORE, the petitions in G.R. No. 55166 and G.R. No. 55167 are hereby
estimating its value. GRANTED. Presidential Decree Numbers 1669 and 1670 which respectively
proclaimed the Tambunting Estate and the Estero de Sunog-Apog area
In P.D. No. 76, P.D. No. 464, P.D. No. 794, and P.D. No. 1533, the basis for expropriated, are declared unconstitutional and, therefore, null and void ab
determining just compensation was fixed at the market value declared by the initio.
owner or the market value determined by the assessor, whichever is lower.
SO ORDERED.
P.D.s 1669 and 1670 go further. There is no mention of any market value
declared by the owner. Sections 6 of the two decrees peg just compensation at
the market value determined by the City Assessor. The City Assessor is warned Sumulong vs. Guerrero [No. L-48685,September 30, 1987]
by the decrees to "consider existing conditions in the area notably, that no Post under case digests, Political Law at Thursday, March 01, 2012 Posted
improvement has been undertaken on the land and that the land is squatted by Schizophrenic Mind
upon by resident families which should considerably depress the expropriation Facts: On December 5, 1997 the National Housing Authority (NHA) filed a complaint
costs." for expropriation of parcels of land for the expansion of BagongNayon Hosing Project
to provide housing facilities to low-salaried government employees, covering
In other cases involving expropriations under P.D. Nos. 76, 464, 794, and 1533, approximately twenty five (25) hectares in Antipolo, Rizal. This included the lots of
this Court has decided to invalidate the mode of fixing just compensation under petitioners Lorenzo Sumulong (6,667 sq.m.) and Emilia Vidanes-Balaoing (3,333
said decrees. (See Export Processing Zone Authority v. Hon. Ceferino E. Dulay, sq.m.). The land sought to be expropriated were valued by the NHA at
et al. G.R. No. 59603) With more reason should the method in P.D.s 1669 and one peso (P1.00) per square meter adopting the market value fixed by the provincial
1670 be declared infirm. assessor in accordance with presidential decrees prescribing the valuation of property
in expropriation proceedings.
The market value stated by the city assessor alone cannot substitute for the
court's judgment in expropriation proceedings. It is violative of the due process
and the eminent domain provisions of the Constitution to deny to a property Together with the complaint was a motion for immediate possession of the properties.
owner the opportunity to prove that the valuation made by a local assessor is The NHA deposited the amount of P158,980.00 with the Phil. Nat’l Bank, representing
wrong or prejudiced. The statements made in tax documents by the assessor the “total market value” of the subject 25 ha. of land, pursuant to P.D. No. 1224 which
may serve as one of the factors to be considered but they cannot exclude or defines “the policy on the expropriation of private property for socialized housing upon
prevail over a court determination made after expert commissioners have payment of just compensation.”
examined the property and all pertinent circumstances are taken into account
and after the parties have had the opportunity to fully plead their cases before a
competent and unbiased tribunal. To enjoin this Court by decree from looking
into alleged violations of the due process, equal protection, and eminent On January 17, 1978, respondent Judge Buenaventura S. Guerrero issued a writ of
domain clauses of the Constitution is impermissible encroachment on its possession pertaining to the subject parcels of land. Petitioners filed a motion for
independence and prerogatives. reconsideration on the ground that they had been deprived of the possession of their
property without due process of law. This was however, denied. Hence, this petition
challenging the orders of respondent Judge and assailing the constitutionality of P.D.
The maximum amounts, therefore, which were provided for in the questioned No. 1224, as amended.
decrees cannot adequately reflect the value of the property and, in any case,
should not be binding on the property owners for, as stated in the above cases,
there are other factors to be taken into consideration. We, thus, find the
Petitioners contend that the taking of their property subsumed under the topics of due weight to and leave undisturbed the NHA’s choice and the size of the site for the
public use, just compensation, and due process. project. The right to use, enjoyment and disposal of private property is tempered by
and has to yield to the demands of the common good.

Issues:
(3) Yes. The provisions on just compensation found in Presidential Decrees No. 1224,
(1) Whether “socialized housing” as defined in P.D. 1224, as amended, for the 1259, and 1313 are the same provisions found in P.D. No.’s 76, 464, 794, and 1533
purpose of condemnation proceedings is not “public use” since it will benefit only “a which were declared unconstitutional for being encroachments on judicial prerogative.
handful of people, bereft of public character,” hence it is not a valid exercise of the Just compensation means the value of the property at the time of the taking. It means
State’s power of eminent domain. a fair and full equivalent for the loss sustained. Tax values can serve as guides but
cannot be absolute substitute for just compensation.

(2) Whether NHA has the discretion to determine the size of the property/properties to
be expropriated. (4) Yes. The petitioners were denied of due process. P.D. 1224, as amended, violates
procedural due process as it allows immediate taking of possession, control and
disposition of property without giving the owner his day in court. Respondent Judge
(3) Whether P.D. 1224, as amended, allows unjust and unfair valuations arbitrarily ordered the issuance of a writ of possession without notice and without hearing.
fixed by government assessors.
Separate Opinions

(4) Whether petitioners were denied due process because theirparcels of land were
immediately possessed by the NHA by virtue of the writ of possession ordered by the
respondent judge. GUTIERREZ, JR., J., dissenting:

I agree with the dissenting opinion penned by Justice Medialdea. The disputed
Held: contractual commitment having been given too restrictive a meaning by the dominant
party, the Court should step in with a more liberal and reasonable interpretation.
(1) P.D. 1224 defines “socialized housing” as, “the construction of dwelling units for
the middle and lower class members of our society, including the construction of the
supporting infrastructure and other facilities.” The “public use” requirement for a valid I have no objection to the proposition that ownership restrictions which are intended to
exercise of the power of eminent domain is a flexible and evolving concept influenced avoid overcrowding, deterioration of roads, unsanitary conditions, ugly surroundings,
by changing conditions. The taking to be valid must be for public use. As long as the and lawless behaviour in residential areas may be enforced through the Court's
purpose of the taking is public, then the power of eminent domain comes into play. It is coercive powers. There is absolutely no showing, however, that two families living in
accurate to state then that at present, whatever may be beneficially employed for the one big residence in Forbes Park would lead to any of the above unpleasant
general welfare satisfies the requirement of public use. Ergo, “socialized housing” falls consequences.
within the confines of “public use.”
I believe that the zeal with which the private respondent enforces the disputed single
family restriction is intended to insure that Forbes Park real estate values remain
(2) The State acting through the NHA is vested with broad discretion to designate the higher much, much higher than the values in any other residential area in the whole
particular property/properties to be taken for socialized housing purposes and how country. In other words, what the Court is protecting are not sanitation, peace and
much thereof may be expropriated. Absent a clear showing of fraud, bad faith, or order, comfort, or aesthetic surroundings which would not in the least bit be affected
gross abuse of discretion, which petitioners failed to demonstrate, the Court will give by two families sharing one big house in Forbes Park, but inflated land values and an
elitist life style. Under the disputed provision, one family could hire a battalion of time of "surging unrest and dissatisfaction" (The phrase is Justice
servants, drivers, yayas, gardeners, butlers, footmen, grooms, cooks, laundresses and Laurel's, appearing in his concurring opinion in AngTibay v. Court,
other lackeys without violating the single family rule. It is not overcrowding which is cited with approval in Antamok Goldfields Mining Co. v. Court, 70
sought to be avoided but something else. Phil. 340 [1940]), when there was the fear expressed in many
quarters that a constitutional democracy, in view of its commitment
Metro Manila has run out of available residential land for its huge and still exploding to the claims of property, would not be able to cope effectively with
population. Land use has to be rationalized. Without sacrificing their comfort and the problems of poverty and misery that unfortunately afflict so
security, the rich have to yield a little. I consider it a waste of scarce resources if many of our people, is not susceptible to the indictment that the
property worth several millions of pesos is limited in its use to one solitary family, no government therein established is impotent to take the necessary
matter how small, when it could comfortably house two or more families in the kind of remedial measures. The framers saw to that. The welfare state
comfort and luxury which is undreamed of even to upper middle income people. The concept is not alien to the philosophy of our Constitution. (Cf
very rich have the right to enforce their exclusive lifestyles through voluntary 'Private property does not constitute for anyone an absolute and
compliance but when the Courts step in to validate and enforce an unreasonable unconditioned right. ...All men are equal in their right to a decent life.
restriction, I am constrained to dissent. ... It is not a system of justice where one man is very wealthy and
another very poor. Where such a situation exists on a national
scale, it becomes a matter of social justice. ... [In the Philippines,
I am not suggesting that affluent suburban enclaves should be allowed to deteriorate while] a few have far more than they need, the vast majority lack
into monotonous box-like government housing projects or, worse, into slums or even the barest essentials of life. Pastoral Letter of the Catholic
squatter colonies. My only concern is with this Court's validating restrictions whose Hierarchy, May 1, 1968) It is implicit in quite a few of its provisions.
obvious purpose is to jack up property values to heights which are incongruous It suffices to mention two.
against the grinding poverty and hand-to-mouth subsistence of the overwhelming
masses of our people.
There is the clause on the promotion of social justice to ensure the
well-being and economic security of all the people, (Art. 11, Sec. 5,
The provisions of the Constitution on Social Justice and Human Rights (Article XIII, Constitution of the Philippines) as well as the pledge of protection to
Constitution) emphasize the social function of land. Congress must give the "highest" labor with the specific authority to regulate the relations between
priority to measures which enhance the right of all the people to human dignity and landowners and tenants and between labor and capital. (Art. XIV,
reduce social, economic, and political inequalities through the equitable diffusion of Sec. 6, Id.) This particularized reference to the rights of working
wealth and political power (id, Section 1). The State is mandated to undertake, in men whether in industry and agriculture certainly cannot preclude
cooperation with the private sector, a continuing housing program and an urban land attention to and concern for the rights of consumers, who are the
reform program which seek to make available at affordable cost decent housing and objects of solicitude in the legislation now complained of. The police
basic services to underprivileged and homeless citizens, (id. Section 9). I am afraid power as an attribute to promote the common weal would be diluted
that the Court's decision in this Forbes Park case does not in any way help achieve considerably of its reach and effectiveness if on the mere plea that
these constitutional objectives. the liberty to contract would be restricted, the statute complained of
may be characterized as a denial of due process. The right to
The present Constitution expresses the impatience of the framers with what they property cannot be pressed to such an unreasonable extreme.
perceived as an unfortunate lack of attention to the most pressing problem faced by
the country. But even under the 1935 Constitution, the Court was less than I realize the difficulty in pinpointing the line where restrictions on property ownership
enthusiastic when asked to enforce contractual commitments based on a laissez faire go beyond the constitutional bounds of reasonableness. Each case must be resolved
theory of government. In Alalayan v. National Power Corporation (24 SCRA 172,181- on its particular merits. Insofar as this petition is concerned, however, I concur the
182 [1968]) the Court ruled: dissenting minority. I vote to grant the petition.

It is to be admitted of course that property rights find shelter in


specific constitutional provisions, one of which is the due process
clause. It is equally certain that our fundamental law framed at a
Luz Farms v. Secretary of DAR workers” includes the livestock and poultry industry, hence, since they do not intend to
G.R. No. 86889 December 4, 1990 include the latter, they used “farmworkers” to have distinction.

Facts: Hence, there is merit on the petitioner’s argument that the product-sharing plan
applied to “corporate farms” in the contested provisions is unreasonable for being
consficatory and violative of the due process of aw.\
On 10 June 1988, RA 6657 was approved by the President of the Philippines, which
includes, among others, the raising of livestock, poultry and swine in its coverage.
Olmstead v. United States
Petitioner Luz Farms, a corporation engaged in the livestock and poultry business,
avers that it would be adversely affected by the enforcement of sections 3(b), 11, 13, Brief Fact Summary. The conversations of various individuals involved in illegal
16 (d), 17 and 32 of the said law. Hence, it prayed that the said law be declared liquor sales were tapped.
unconstitutional. The mentioned sections of the law provies, among others, the
product-sharing plan, including those engaged in livestock and poultry business. Synopsis of Rule of Law. “A standard which would forbid the reception of evidence,
if obtained by other than nice ethical conduct by government officials, would make
society suffer and give criminals greater immunity than has been known heretofore. In
Luz Farms further argued that livestock or poultry raising is not similar with crop or the absence of controlling legislation by Congress, those who realize the difficulties in
tree farming. That the land is not the primary resource in this undertaking and bringing offenders to justice may well deem it wise that the exclusion of evidence
represents no more than 5% of the total investments of commercial livestock and should be confined to cases where rights under the Constitution would be violated by
poultry raisers. That the land is incidental but not the principal factor or consideration admitting it.”
in their industry. Hence, it argued that it should not be included in the coverage of RA
6657 which covers “agricultural lands”. Facts. Various individuals were convicted of liquor related crimes, including
conspiracy. The operation grossed a substantial amount of money. The leading
conspirator and the general manager of the business was one of the Petitioners,
Issue: Whether or not certain provisions of RA 6657 is unconstitutional for including in Olmstead (the “Petitioner”). The main office of the business was in Seattle and there
its definition of “Agriculture” the livestock and poultyr industry? were three telephones in the office, each on a different line. There were also
telephones in an office the Petitioner had in his own home, at the home of his
associates and various other places in Seattle. A lot of communication occurred
Ruling: between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.
“The information which led to the discovery of the conspiracy and its nature and extent
was largely obtained by intercepting messages on the telephones of the conspirators
The Court held YES. by four federal prohibition officers. Small wires were inserted along the ordinary
telephone wires from the residences of four of the [suspects] and those leading from
the chief office. The insertions were made without trespass upon any property of the
Looking into the transcript of the Constitutional Commission on the meaning of the defendants. They were made in the basement of the large office building. The taps
word “agriculture”, it showed that the framers never intended to include livestock and from house lines were made in the streets near the houses.”
poultry industry in the coverage of the constitutionally mandated agrarian reform Various conversations were taped and testified to by government witnesses.
program of the government.
Issue. “[W]hether the use of evidence of private telephone conversations between the
defendants and others, intercepted by means of wire tapping, amounted to a violation
Further, Commissioner Tadeo pointed out that the reasin why they used the term of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments[?]”
“farmworkers” rather than “agricultural workers” in the said law is because “agricultural
Held. “The [Fourth] amendment does not forbid what was done here. There was no Facts. Oklahoma defined a “habitual criminal” as a person who, “having been
searching. There was no seizure. The evidence was secured by the use of the sense convicted two or more times for crimes ‘amounting to felonies involving moral
of hearing and that only. There was no entry of the houses or offices of the turpitude’ either in Oklahoma or another State, is thereafter convicted of such a felony
defendants. By the invention of the telephone 50 years ago, and its application for the in Oklahoma and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment in a Oklahoma penal
purpose of extending communications, one can talk with another at a far distant place. institution.” Such habitual criminals could be subject to forced sterilization. The
The language of the amendment cannot be extended and expanded to include Petitioner had been twice arrested for theft offenses before being arrested and
telephone wires, reaching to the whole world from the defendant’s house or office. The confined for armed robbery. During his third incarceration, the Act was passed and
intervening wires are not part of his house or office, any more than are the highways proceedings were instituted against him.
along which they are stretched.”
“Congress may, of course, protect the secrecy of telephone messages by making Issue. May the State sterilize an individual against his will for being convicted of three
them, when intercepted, inadmissible in evidence in federal criminal trials, by direct felonies involving moral turpitude?
legislation, and thus depart from the common law of evidence. But the courts may not
adopt such a policy by attributing an enlarged and unusual meaning to the Fourth Held. No. Supreme Court of Oklahoma ruling reversed.
Amendment. The reasonable view is that one who installs in his house a telephone Justice William Douglas (J. Douglas) notes that sterilization of habitual offenders in no
instrument with connecting wires intends to project his voice to those quite outside, way guarantees that new offenders will not be born. Furthermore, there is no
and that the wires beyond his house, and messages while passing over them, are not guarantee that habitual offenders would spawn offenders themselves.
within the protection of the Fourth Amendment. Here those who intercepted the J. Douglas cannot justify the distinction between larceny (involving moral turpitude)
projected voices were not in the house of either party to the conversation.” and embezzlement (not involving moral turpitude) in the eyes of the statute. This is
“Neither the cases we have cited nor any of the many federal decisions brought to our clear discrimination in J. Douglas’s view. In terms of fines and imprisonment the
attention hold the Fourth Amendment to have been violated as against a defendant, crimes are identical to the State. Only when it comes to sterilization do the crimes
unless there has been an official search and seizure of his person or such a seizure of differ. As such, equal protection is violated.
his papers or his tangible material effects or an actual physical invasion of his house Concurrence. Chief Justice Harlan Stone (J. Stone) concurs in the judgment, but rests
‘or curtilage’ for the purpose of making a seizure. [The court thought], therefore, that his decision on due process grounds, arguing that the invasion of personal liberty is
the wire tapping here disclosed did not amount to a search or seizure within the too great.
meaning of the Fourth Amendment.”
Additionally, “[t]he common-law rule is that the admissibility of evidence is not affected
by the illegality of the means by which it was obtained.” Discussion. Skinner represents the Supreme Court of the United States’ growing
“A standard which would forbid the reception of evidence, if obtained by other than awareness of the right to reproductive autonomy. Unlike later cases that focus on due
nice ethical conduct by government officials, would make society suffer and give process and a right to privacy, the majority in Skinner holds that sterilization in the
criminals greater immunity than has been known heretofore. In the absence of present situation violates equal protection principles.
controlling legislation by Congress, those who realize the difficulties in bringing
offenders to justice may well deem it wise that the exclusion of evidence should be Griswold v. Connecticut
confined to cases where rights under the Constitution would be violated by admitting
it.” Brief Fact Summary. Appellants were charged with violating a statute preventing the
distribution of advice to married couples regarding the prevention of conception.
Skinner v. Oklahoma Appellants claimed that the statute violated the 14th Amendment to the United States
Constitution.
Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, Skinner (Petitioner), was sentenced to
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The right of a married couple to privacy is protected by the
involuntary sterilization under Oklahoma’s Habitual Criminal Sterilization Act (the Act) Constitution.
and now alleges that the Act deprives him of equal protection under the laws.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The right to have offspring is a fundamental right, requiring Facts. Appellant Griswold, Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood League of
a compelling state interest to interfere with it. Connecticut and Appellant Buxton, a licensed physician who served as Medical
Director for the League at its Center in New Haven, were arrested and charged with
giving information, instruction, and medical advice to married persons on means of Facts. Appellee William Baird was convicted under a Massachusetts State law for
preventing conception. Appellants were found guilty as accessories and fined $100 exhibiting contraceptive articles and for giving a woman a package of Emko vaginal
each. Appellants appealed on the theory that the accessory statute as applied violated foam. The Massachusetts Supreme Court set aside the conviction for exhibiting
the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Appellants claimed standing contraceptives on the grounds that it violated Appellee’s First Amendment rights, but
based on their professional relationship with the married people they advised. sustained the conviction for giving away the foam. The law permitted married persons
to obtain contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, but forbid single persons from
Issue. Does the Constitution provide for a privacy right for married couples? obtaining them.

Held. The First Amendment has a penumbra where privacy is protected from Issue. Is there a rational ground for the different treatment of married and unmarried
governmental intrusion, which although not expressly included in the Amendment, is persons under the Massachusetts State law?
necessary to make the express guarantees meaningful. The association of marriage is
a privacy right older than the Bill of Rights, and the State’s effort to control marital Held. The dissimilar treatment of similarly situated married and unmarried persons
activities in this case is unnecessarily broad and therefore impinges on protected under the Massachusetts law violates the Equal Protection Clause.
Constitutional freedoms. First, the deterrence of premarital sex cannot be reasonably regarded as the purpose
of the law, because the ban has at best a marginal relating to the proffered objective.
Dissent. Justice Stewart and Justice Black. Although the law is silly, it is not
unconstitutional. The citizens of Connecticut should use their rights under the 9th and
Second, if health is the rationale of the law, it is both discriminatory and overbroad.
10th Amendment to convince their elected representatives to repeal it if the law does
not conform to their community standards.
Third, the right to obtain contraceptives must be the same for married and unmarried
Concurrence. Justice Goldberg, the Chief Justice, and Justice Brennan. The right to individuals.
privacy in marriage is so basic and fundamental that to allow it to be infringed because
it is not specifically addressed in the first eight amendments is to give the 9th Dissent. Chief Justice Burger. The law is a justified exercise of the State’s police
Amendment no effect.
power because of the hazards of introducing a foreign substance into the human
Justice Harlan. The relevant statute violates the Due Process Clause of the 14th
body.
Amendment because if violates the basic values implicit in the concept of ordered
liberty.
Discussion. The right of privacy is the right of the individual, married or single, to be
free from unwarranted government intrusion.
Discussion. The right to privacy in marriage is not specifically protected in either the
Bill of Rights or the Constitution. Nonetheless, it is a right so firmly rooted in tradition
that its protection is mandated by various Constitutional Amendments, including the __________________________________________________
1st, 9th and 14th Amendments.
Poe v. Ullman
Eisenstadt v. Baird
Facts of the case
Brief Fact Summary. Appellee was convicted for exhibiting and distributing
contraceptive articles under a law that forbid single as opposed to married people from An old Connecticut law prohibited the use of contraceptive devices and the giving of
obtaining contraceptives. medical advice in the use of those devices. The law also applied to married couples.
The Connecticut Attorney General threatened to enforce the law against three
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Dissimilar treatment between married and unmarried individuals in this case including Jane Doe (Doe v. Pullman). Mrs. Doe, having
persons is unconstitutional when the dissimilar treatment is unrelated to a rational recovered from a tough pregnancy which threatened her life and left her with several
State objective. emotional and physical disabilities, was informed by her physician that any additional
pregnancies could be fatal. She challenged the Connecticut law since it criminalized sexual privacy protected by the Bill of Rights or its penumbras, or among the rights
her use of contraceptives. reserved to the people by the Ninth Amendment?

Question Held. The right to personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but the right is not
unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation.
Did the Connecticut law violate liberty protected by due process of the Fourteenth The abortion laws in effect in the majority of the States are of relatively recent vintage,
Amendment? deriving from statutory changes generally enacted in the latter half of the 19th century.
At common law abortion performed before quickening (the first recognizable
movement of the fetus in utero) was not an indictable offense, and it is doubtful that
Conclusion abortion was ever a firmly established common law crime even when it destroyed a
quick fetus.
The Court chose to dismiss the case because it involved the threatened and not actual
application of the Connecticut law. Since the statute had been on the state's books for
Three reasons have been advanced for the historical enactment of criminal abortion
over three-quarters of a century without ever having been enforced, the Court found
laws. The first is that the laws are the product of a Victorian social concern to
no sense of "immediacy which is an indispensable condition of constitutional
discourage illicit sexual conduct, but this argument has been taken seriously by
adjudication."
neither courts nor commentators. The second reason is that the abortion procedure is
hazardous, therefore the State’s concern is to protect pregnant women. However,
Roe v. Wade modern medical techniques have altered the situation, with abortions being relatively
safe particularly in the first trimester. The third reason is the State’s interest is in
Brief Fact Summary. Appellant Jane Roe, a pregnant mother who wished to obtain protecting the prenatal life. However, this is somewhat negated by the fact that the
an abortion, sued on behalf of all woman similarly situated in an effort to prevent the pregnant woman cannot be prosecuted for the act of abortion.
enforcement of Texas statutes criminalizing all abortions except those performed to
save the life of the mother. For the stage prior to the approximate end of the first trimester, the abortion decision
must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman’s attending physician,
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Statutes that make criminal all abortions except when and may not be criminalized by statute.
medically advised for the purpose of saving the life of the mother are an
unconstitutional invasion of privacy.
For the stage subsequent to the approximate end of the first trimester, the State may
regulate abortion in ways reasonably related to maternal health based upon the
Facts. Texas statutes made it a crime to procure or attempt an abortion except when State’s interest in promoting the health of the mother.
medically advised for the purpose of saving the life of the mother. Appellant Jane Roe
sought a declaratory judgment that the statutes were unconstitutional on their face and
an injunction to prevent defendant Dallas County District Attorney from enforcing the For the stage subsequent to viability, the State may regulate and even proscribe
statutes. Appellant alleged that she was unmarried and pregnant, and that she was abortion, except where necessary for the preservation of the mother’s life, based upon
unable to receive a legal abortion by a licensed physician because her life was not the State’s interest in the potential of the potential life of the unborn child.
threatened by the continuation of her pregnancy and that she was unable to afford to
travel to another jurisdiction to obtain a legal abortion. Appellant sued on behalf of Bowers v. Hardwick (No. 85-140)
herself and all other women similarly situated, claiming that the statutes were
unconstitutionally vague and abridged her right of personal privacy, protected by the
First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Syllabus

After being charged with violating the Georgia statute criminalizing sodomy by
Issue. Do the Texas statutes improperly invade a right possessed by the appellant to committing that act with another adult male in the bedroom of his home, respondent
terminate her pregnancy embodied in the concept of personal liberty contained in the Hardwick (respondent) brought suit in Federal District Court, challenging the
Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, in the personal marital, familial, and constitutionality of the statute insofar as it criminalized consensual sodomy. The court
granted the defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The Court of
Appeals reversed and remanded, holding that the Georgia statute violated Issue: Petitioner contends:
respondent's fundamental rights. A. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NATIONAL COMPUTERIZED
IDENTIFICATION REFERENCE SYSTEM REQUIRES A LEGISLATIVE ACT. THE
Held: The Georgia statute is constitutional. Pp. 190-196. ISSUANCE OF A.O. NO. 308 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE
PHILIPPINES IS, THEREFORE, AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL USURPATION OF THE
(a) The Constitution does not confer a fundamental right upon homosexuals to engage
LEGISLATIVE POWERS OF THE CONGRESS OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE
in sodomy. None of the fundamental rights announced in this Court's prior cases
PHILIPPINES.
involving family relationships, marriage, or procreation bear any resemblance to the
B. THE APPROPRIATION OF PUBLIC FUNDS BY THE PRESIDENT FOR THE
right asserted in this case. And any claim that those cases stand for the proposition
IMPLEMENTATION OF A.O. NO. 308 IS AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL USURPATION
that any kind of private sexual conduct between consenting adults is constitutionally
OF THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT OF CONGRESS TO APPROPRIATE PUBLIC FUNDS
insulated from state proscription is unsupportable. Pp. 190-191.
FOR EXPENDITURE.
(b) Against a background in which many States have criminalized sodomy and still do, C. THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A.O. NO. 308 INSIDIOUSLY LAYS THE
to claim that a right to engage in such conduct is "deeply rooted in this Nation's history GROUNDWORK FOR A SYSTEM WHICH WILL VIOLATE THE BILL OF RIGHTS
and tradition" or "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty" is, at best, facetious. Pp. ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION."
191-194.
(c) There should be great resistance to expand the reach of the Due Process Clauses Held: IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is granted and Administrative Order No. 308
to cover new fundamental rights. Otherwise, the Judiciary necessarily would take upon entitled "Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System"
itself further authority to govern the country without constitutional authority. The declared null and void for being unconstitutional. SO ORDERED.
claimed right in this case falls far short of overcoming this resistance. Pp. 194-195.

(d) The fact that homosexual conduct occurs in the privacy of the home does not Ratio: It cannot be simplistically argued that A.O. No. 308 merely implements the
affect the result.Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 557, distinguished. Pp. 195-196. Administrative Code of 1987. It establishes for the first time a National Computerized
(e) Sodomy laws should not be invalidated on the asserted basis that majority belief Identification Reference System. Such a System requires a delicate adjustment of
that sodomy is immoral is an inadequate rationale to support the laws. P. 196. various contending state policies — the primacy of national security, the extent of
privacy interest against dossier-gathering by government, the choice of policies, etc.
Ople v Torres G.R. No. 127685. July 23, 1998. Indeed, the dissent of Mr. Justice Mendoza states that the A.O. No. 308 involves the
all-important freedom of thought.

Nor is it correct to argue as the dissenters do that A.O. No. 308 is not a law
Facts: Petitioner Ople prays that we invalidate Administrative Order No. 308 entitled because it confers no right, imposes no duty, affords no protection, and creates no
"Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System" on two office. Under A.O. No. 308, a citizen cannot transact business with government
important constitutional grounds, viz: one, it is a usurpation of the power of Congress agencies delivering basic services to the people without the contemplated
to legislate, and two, it impermissibly intrudes on our citizenry's protected zone of identification card. No citizen will refuse to get this identification card for no one can
privacy. We grant the petition for the rights sought to be vindicated by the petitioner avoid dealing with government. It is thus clear as daylight that without the ID, a citizen
need stronger barriers against further erosion. will have difficulty exercising his rights and enjoying his privileges. Given this reality,
the contention that A.O. No. 308 gives no right and imposes no duty cannot stand.
A.O. No. 308 was published in four newspapers of general circulation on January
22, 1997 and January 23, 1997. On January 24, 1997, petitioner filed the instant
petition against respondents, then Executive Secretary Ruben Torres and the heads In view of standing
of the government agencies, who as members of the Inter-Agency Coordinating Petitioner Ople is a distinguished member of our Senate. As a Senator, petitioner is
Committee, are charged with the implementation of A.O. No. 308. On April 8, 1997, possessed of the requisite standing to bring suit raising the issue that the issuance of
we issued a temporary restraining order enjoining its implementation. A.O. No. 308 is a usurpation of legislative power. As taxpayer and member of the
Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), petitioner can also impugn the legality
of the misalignment of public funds and the misuse of GSIS funds to implement A.O. need to provide our citizens and foreigners with the facility to conveniently transact
No. 308. business with basic service and social security providers and other government
instrumentalities and (2) the need to reduce, if not totally eradicate, fraudulent
The ripeness for adjudication of the petition at bar is not affected by the fact that transactions and misrepresentations by persons seeking basic services. It is
the implementing rules of A.O. No. 308 have yet to be promulgated. Petitioner Ople debatable whether these interests are compelling enough to warrant the issuance of
assails A.O. No. 308 as invalid per se and as infirmed on its face. His action is not A.O. No. 308. But what is not arguable is the broadness, the vagueness, the
premature for the rules yet to be promulgated cannot cure its fatal defects. Moreover, overbreadth of A.O. No. 308 which if implemented will put our people's right to privacy
the respondents themselves have started the implementation of A.O. No. 308 without in clear and present danger.
waiting for the rules. As early as January 19, 1997, respondent Social Security System
(SSS) caused the publication of a notice to bid for the manufacture of the National The heart of A.O. No. 308 lies in its Section 4 which provides for a Population
Identification (ID) card. Reference Number (PRN) as a "common reference number to establish a linkage
among concerned agencies" through the use of "Biometrics Technology" and
"computer application designs." A.O. No. 308 should also raise our antennas for a
In view of the need for Legislative Act further look will show that it does not state whether encoding of data is limited to
An administrative order is an ordinance issued by the President which relates to biological information alone for identification purposes. In fact, the Solicitor General
specific aspects in the administrative operation of government. It must be in harmony claims that the adoption of the Identification Reference System will contribute to the
with the law and should be for the sole purpose of implementing the law and carrying "generation of population data for development planning." This is an admission that
out the legislative policy. the PRN will not be used solely for identification but for the generation of other data
with remote relation to the avowed purposes of A.O. No. 308. Clearly, the
Administrative power is concerned with the work of applying policies and enforcing indefiniteness of A.O. No. 308 can give the government the roving authority to store
orders as determined by proper governmental organs. 21 It enables the President to and retrieve information for a purpose other than the identification of the individual
fix a uniform standard of administrative efficiency and check the official conduct of his through his PRN .
agents. To this end, he can issue administrative orders, rules and regulations.
Prescinding from these precepts, we hold that A.O. No. 308 involves a subject that is His transactions with the government agency will necessarily be recorded —
not appropriate to be covered by an administrative order. An administrative order is: whether it be in the computer or in the documentary file of the agency. The individual's
"Sec. 3. Administrative Orders. — Acts of the President which relate to particular file may include his transactions for loan availments, income tax returns, statement of
aspects of governmental operation in pursuance of his duties as administrative head assets and liabilities, reimbursements for medication, hospitalization, etc. The more
shall be promulgated in administrative orders." frequent the use of the PRN, the better the chance of building a huge and formidable
information base through the electronic linkage of the files. The data may be gathered
Petitioner claims that A.O. No. 308 is not a mere administrative order but a law and for gainful and useful government purposes; but the existence of this vast reservoir of
hence, beyond the power of the President to issue. He alleges that A.O. No. 308 personal information constitutes a covert invitation to misuse, a temptation that may
establishes a system of identification that is all-encompassing in scope, affects the life be too great for some of our authorities to resist.
and liberty of every Filipino citizen and foreign resident, and more particularly, violates
their right to privacy. Well to note, the computer linkage gives other government agencies access to the
Petitioner's sedulous concern for the Executive not to trespass on the lawmaking information. Yet, there are no controls to guard against leakage of information. When
domain of Congress is understandable. The blurring of the demarcation line between the access code of the control programs of the particular computer system is broken,
the power of the Legislature to make laws and the power of the Executive to execute an intruder, without fear of sanction or penalty, can make use of the data for whatever
laws will disturb their delicate balance of power and cannot be allowed. purpose, or worse, manipulate the data stored within the system. It is plain and we
hold that A.O. No. 308 falls short of assuring that personal information which will be
gathered about our people will only be processed for unequivocally specified
In view of right to privacy purposes. 60 The lack of proper safeguards in this regard of A.O. No. 308 may
Unlike the dissenters, we prescind from the premise that the right to privacy is a interfere with the individual's liberty of abode and travel by enabling authorities to track
fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution, hence, it is the burden of down his movement; it may also enable unscrupulous persons to access confidential
government to show that A.O. No. 308 is justified by some compelling state interest information and circumvent the right against self-incrimination; it may pave the way for
and that it is narrowly drawn. A.O. No. 308 is predicated on two considerations: (1) the "fishing expeditions" by government authorities and evade the right against
unreasonable searches and seizures. The possibilities of abuse and misuse of the that the law applies to assemblies against the government because they are being
PRN, biometrics and computer technology are accentuated when we consider that the tolerated. As a content-based legislation, it cannot pass the strict scrutiny test.
individual lacks control over what can be read or placed on his ID, much less verify the
correctness of the data encoded. They threaten the very abuses that the Bill of Rights Issue: Whether or not the implementation of B.P. No. 880 volated their rights as
seeks to prevent. organizations and individuals when the rally they participated in on October 6, 2005

In Morfe v. Mutuc, we upheld the constitutionality of R.A. 3019, the Anti-Graft and Held:Petitioners’ standing cannot be seriously challenged. Their right as
Corrupt Practices Act, as a valid police power measure. We declared that the law, in Citizens to engage in peaceful assembly and exercise the right of petition, as
compelling a public officer to make an annual report disclosing his assets and guaranteed by the Constitution, is directly affected by B.P. No. 880 which requires a
liabilities, his sources of income and expenses, did not infringe on the individual's right permit for all who would publicly assemble in the nation’s streets and parks.
to privacy. The law was enacted to promote morality in public administration by They have, in fact, purposely engaged in public assemblies without the required
curtailing and minimizing the opportunities for official corruption and maintaining a permits to press their claim that no such permit can be validly required without
standard of honesty in the public service. violating the Constitutional guarantee. Respondents, on the other hand, have
challenged such action as contrary to law and dispersed the public assemblies held
In no uncertain terms, we also underscore that the right to privacy does not bar all without the permit.
incursions into individual privacy. The right is not intended to stifle scientific and
technological advancements that enhance public service and the common good. It
merely requires that the law be narrowly focused and a compelling interest justify such Sec. 4 Art. III Section 4 of Article III of the Constitution
intrusions. Intrusions into the right must be accompanied by proper safeguards and
Sec. 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of
well-defined standards to prevent unconstitutional invasions.
the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the
government for redress of grievances

Bayan et.al. vs. Ermita The first point to mark is that the right to peaceably assemble and petition for redress
Facts:Petitioners come in three groups. of grievances is, together with freedom of speech, of expression, and of the press,
Bayan et al, Jess del Prado et al, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), et al, KMU, et al a right that enjoys primacy in the realm of constitutional protection. For these rights
.,The rally was scheduled to proceed along España Avenue in front of the University constitute the very basis of a functional democratic polity, without which all the other
of Santo Tomas and going towards Mendiola bridge. Police officers blocked them rights would be meaningless and unprotected Rights to peaceful assembly to petition
along Morayta Street and prevented them from proceeding further. They were then the government for a redress of grievances and, for that matter, to organize or form
forcibly dispersed, causing injuries on one of them. Three other rallyists were arrested associations for purposes not contrary to law, as well as to engage in peaceful
in the case of Bayan, et al allege that they are citizens and taxpayers of the concerted activities. These rights are guaranteed by no less than the Constitution,
Philippinesand that their rights as organizations and individuals were violated when particularly Sections 4 and 8 of the Bill of Rights, Section 2(5) of Article IX, and
the rally they participated in on October 6, 2005 was violently dispersed by policemen Section 3 of Article XIII. Jurisprudence abounds with hallowed pronouncements
implementing Batas Pambansa (B.P.) No. 880All petitioners assail Batas Pambansa defending and promoting the people’s exercise of these rights It is very clear,
No. 880, some of them in toto and others only Sections 4, 5, 6, 12, 13(a), and 14(a), therefore, that B.P. No. 880 is not an absolute ban of public assemblies but a
as well as the policy of CPR, "Calibrated Preemptive Response". They seek to restriction that simply regulates the time, place and manner of the assemblies, it as a
stop violent dispersals of rallies under the "no permit, no rally" policy and the CPR "content-neutral" regulation of the time, place, and manner of holding public
policy recently announced. Bayan et al argued that B.P. No. 880 requires a permit assemblies A fair and impartial reading of B.P. No. 880 thus readily shows that it
before one can stage a public assembly regardless of the presence or absence of a refers to all kinds of public assemblies that would use public places. The reference to
clear and present danger. It also curtails the choice of venue and is thus repugnant to "lawful cause" does not make it content-based because assemblies really have to be
the freedom of expression clause as the time and place of a public assembly form part for lawful causes ,otherwise they would not be "peaceable" and entitled to protection.
of the message for which the expression is sought. Furthermore, it is not content- Neither are the words "opinion," "protesting" and "influencing" in the definition of public
neutral as it does not apply to mass actions in support of the government. The words assembly content based, since they can refer to any subject. The words "petitioning
"lawful cause," "opinion," "protesting or influencing" suggest the exposition of some the government for redress of grievances" come from the wording of the Constitution,
cause not espoused by the government. Also, the phrase "maximum tolerance" shows so its use cannot be avoided. Finally, maximum tolerance is for the protection and
benefit of all rallyists and is independent of the content of the expressions in the rally. Even before they got married, Tecson received several reminders from his District
Furthermore, the permit can only be denied on the ground of clear and present danger Manager regarding the conflict of interest which his relationship with Bettsy might
to public order, public safety, public convenience, public morals or public health the engender. Still, love prevailed, and Tecson married Bettsy in September 1998.
so-called calibrated preemptive response policy has no place in our legal firm ament Tecson’s superior reminded him that he and Bettsy should decide which one of them
and must be struck down as a darkness that shrouds freedom. It merely confuses would resign from their jobs. Tecson requested for time to comply with the company
our people and is used by some police agents to justify abuses. On the other hand, policy against entering into a relationship with an employee of a competitor company.
B.P. No.880 cannot be condemned as unconstitutional; it does not curtail or unduly He explained that Astra, Bettsy’s employer, was planning to merge with Zeneca,
restrict freedoms; it merely regulates the use of public places as to the time, place another drug company; and Bettsy was planning to avail of the redundancy package
and manner of assemblies. Far from being insidious, "maximum tolerance" is for the to be offered by Astra.
benefit of rallyists not the government. The delegation to the mayors of the power to Tecson again requested for more time resolve the problem. Thereafter, Tecson
issue rally "permits" is valid because it is subject to the constitutionally-sound "clear applied for a transfer in Glaxo’s milk division, thinking that since Astra did not have a
and present danger "standard. In this Decision, the Court goes even one step further milk division, the potential conflict of interest would be eliminated. His application was
in safeguarding liberty by giving local governments a deadline of 30 days within which denied in view of Glaxo’s “least-movement-possible” policy.
to designate specific freedom parks as provided under B.P. No. 880. If, after that Glaxo transferred Tecson to the Butuan City-Surigao City-Agusan del Sur sales area.
period, no such parks are so identified in accordance with Section 15 of the law, Tecson asked Glaxo to reconsider its decision, but his request was denied. Tecson
defied the transfer order and continued acting as medical representative in the
all public parks and plazas of the municipality or city concerned shall in effect Camarines Sur-Camarines Norte sales area.
be deemed freedom parks; no prior permit of whatever kind shall be required to hold DEVELOPMENT OF THE CASE: Because the parties failed to resolve the issue at the
an assembly therein. The only requirement will be written notices to the police and the grievance machinery level, they submitted the matter for voluntary arbitration, but
mayor’s office to allow proper coordination and orderly activities. Tecson declined the offer. On November 15, 2000, the National Conciliation and
Mediation Board (NCMB) rendered its Decision declaring as valid Glaxo’s policy on
DUNCAN ASSOCIATION OF DETAILMAN-PTGWO and PEDRO A.
relationships between its employees and persons employed with competitor
TECSON, petitioners,
companies, and affirming Glaxo’s right to transfer Tecson to another sales territory.
vs.
CA sustained; MR denied.
GLAXO WELLCOME PHILIPPINES, INC., Respondent.
Petitioner’s Contention: that Glaxo’s policy against employees marrying employees of
FACTS: Petitioner Pedro A. Tecson (Tecson) was hired by respondent Glaxo
competitor companies violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution because
Wellcome Philippines, Inc. (Glaxo) as medical representative on October 24, 1995,
it creates invalid distinctions among employees on account only of marriage. They
after Tecson had undergone training and orientation.
claim that the policy restricts the employees’ right to marry; that Tecson was
Thereafter, Tecson signed a contract of employment which stipulates, among
constructively dismissed
others, that he agrees to study and abide by existing company rules; to disclose to
GLAXO argues: that the company policy prohibiting its employees from having a
management any existing or future relationship by consanguinity or affinity with co-
relationship with and/or marrying an employee of a competitor company is a valid
employees or employees of competing drug companies and should management find
exercise of its management prerogatives and does not violate the equal protection
that such relationship poses a possible conflict of interest, to resign from the company.
clause;
Code of Conduct of Glaxo similarly provides these conditions; that otherwise, the
The policy is also aimed at preventing a competitor company from gaining access to
management and the employee will explore the possibility of a “transfer to another
its secrets, procedures and policies; that Tecson can no longer question the assailed
department in a non-counterchecking position” or preparation for employment outside
company policy because when he signed his contract of employment, he was aware
the company after six months.
that such policy was stipulated therein.
Tecson was initially assigned to market Glaxo’s products in the Camarines Sur- ISSUE: WON Glaxo’s policy against its employees marrying employees from
Camarines Norte sales area. Subsequently, Tecson entered into a romantic
competitor companies is valid
relationship with Bettsy, an employee of Astra Pharmaceuticals3(Astra), a competitor HELD: The Court finds no merit in the petition.
of Glaxo. Bettsy was Astra’s Branch Coordinator in Albay. She supervised the district
Glaxo has a right to guard its trade secrets, manufacturing formulas, marketing
managers and medical representatives of her company and prepared marketing
strategies and other confidential programs and information from competitors,
strategies for Astra in that area.
especially so that it and Astra are rival companies in the highly competitive
pharmaceutical industry.
The prohibition against personal or marital relationships with employees of competitor respondent officials of the Government, in their professed efforts to defend and
companies upon Glaxo’s employees is reasonable under the circumstances because preserve democratic institutions are actually trampling upon the very freedom
relationships of that nature might compromise the interests of the company. In laying guaranteed and protected by the constitution.
down the assailed company policy, Glaxo only aims to protect its interests against the
possibility that a competitor company will gain access to its secrets and procedures. ISSUE:
That Glaxo possesses the right to protect its economic interests cannot be denied. No Whether or not PP1017 and GO No. 5 are constitutional
less than the Constitution recognizes the right of enterprises to adopt and enforce
such a policy to protect its right to reasonable returns on investments and to HELD:
expansion and growth. The assailed PP1017 is unconstitutional insofar as it grants President Arroyo the
Indeed, while our laws endeavor to give life to the constitutional policy on social justice authority to promulgate decrees. legislative power is peculiarly within the province of
and the protection of labor, it does not mean that every labor dispute will be decided in the Legislature, Section 1, Article VI categorically states that "the legislative power
favor of the workers. The law also recognizes that management has rights which are shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines, which shall consist of a Senate
also entitled to respect and enforcement in the interest of fair play.21 and a House of Representatives". To be sure, neither martial law nor a state of
EQUAL-PROTECTION: Glaxo does not impose an absolute prohibition against rebellion nor a state of emergency can justify President Arroyo's exercise of legislative
relationships between its employees and those of competitor companies. Its power by issuing decrees. It follows that these decrees are void and, therefore, cannot
employees are free to cultivate relationships with and marry persons of their own be enforced. With respect to "laws", she cannot call the military to enforce or
choosing. What the company merely seeks to avoid is a conflict of interest between implement certain laws such as customs laws, laws governing family and property
the employee and the company that may arise out of such relationships. relations, laws on obligations and contracts, and the like. She can only order the
Moreover, records show that Glaxo gave Tecson several chances to eliminate the military under PP1017, to enforce laws pertinent to its duty to suppress lawless
conflict of interest brought about by his relationship with Bettsy. violence.
PETITION DENIED.
Ang Tibay vs Court of Industrial Relations

69 Phil. 635 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – Due Process in Administrative


Other Issue on Constructive dismissal:
Bodies
Remedial Law – Civil Procedure – Motion For New Trial; Grounds
The Court finds no merit in petitioners’ contention that Tescon was constructively
dismissed when he was transferred from the Camarines Norte-Camarines Sur sales Teodoro Toribio owns and operates Ang Tibay, a leather company which supplies the
area to the Butuan City-Surigao City-Agusan del Sur sales area, and when he was Philippine Army. Due to alleged shortage of leather, Toribio caused the lay off of a
excluded from attending the company’s seminar on new products which were directly number of his employees. However, the National Labor Union, Inc. (NLU) questioned
competing with similar products manufactured by Astra. Constructive dismissal is the validity of said lay off as it averred that the said employees laid off were members
defined as a quitting, an involuntary resignation resorted to when continued of NLU while no members of the rival labor union (National Worker’s Brotherhood)
employment becomes impossible, unreasonable, or unlikely; when there is a demotion were laid off. NLU claims that NWB is a company dominated union and Toribio was
in rank or diminution in pay; or when a clear discrimination, insensibility or disdain by merely busting NLU.
an employer becomes unbearable to the employee.30 None of these conditions are The case reached the Court of Industrial Relations (CIR) where Toribio and NWB won.
present in the instant case. Eventually, NLU went to the Supreme Court invoking its right for a new trial on the
ground of newly discovered evidence. The Supreme Court agreed with NLU. The
David v. Arroyo Solicitor General, arguing for the CIR, filed a motion for reconsideration.
GR No. 171396; May 3, 2006
ISSUE: Whether or not the National Labor Union, Inc. is entitled to a new trial.
FACTS:
HELD: Yes. The records show that the newly discovered evidence or documents
President Arroyo issued PP1017 declaring a state of national emergency. This case
obtained by NLU, which they attached to their petition with the SC, were evidence so
covers the seven consolidated petitions for cetiorari assailing the constitutionality of
inaccessible to them at the time of the trial that even with the exercise of due diligence
PP1017 and General Order No. 5 implementing the former. it is alleged that in doing
they could not be expected to have obtained them and offered as evidence in the
so, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo committed grave abuse of discretion and that
Court of Industrial Relations. Further, the attached documents and exhibits are of such had figured in an automobile accident in 1986. To settle the case amicably, Atty. de
far-reaching importance and effect that their admission would necessarily mean the Vera received -- on his client’s behalf -- a $12,000 check, which he then deposited in
modification and reversal of the judgment rendered (said newly obtained records his personal account. Because of his irregular deposit of his client's funds, respondent
include books of business/inventory accounts by Ang Tibay which were not previously was suspended from the practice of law for three years, upon the recommendation of
accessible but already existing). the hearing referee. The case was not decided on the merits, because Atty. de Vera
resigned from the California Bar. Later, his resignation was accepted by the Supreme
The SC also outlined that administrative bodies, like the CIR, although not strictly Court of California. On the second ground, complainant averred that respondent’s
bound by the Rules of Court must also make sure that they comply to the transfer of membership from the Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas and Muntinlupa
requirements of due process. For administrative bodies, due process can be complied (PPLM) IBP Chapter to the Agusan del Sur IBP Chapter was a circumvention of the
with by observing the following: rotation rule. Allegedly, Atty. de Vera made the transfer for the sole purpose of
(1) The right to a hearing which includes the right of the party interested or becoming IBP national president. Complainant stressed that respondent neither
affected to present his own case and submit evidence in support thereof. resided in Agusan del Sur nor held office there. A companion case, Bar Matter No.
1227, referred to the letter-request of respondent, asking the Supreme Court to
(2) Not only must the party be given an opportunity to present his case and to schedule his oath-taking as IBP national president. On the other hand, AM No. 05-5-
adduce evidence tending to establish the rights which he asserts but the tribunal must 15-SC referred to the letter-report of IBP National President Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz,
consider the evidence presented. furnishing the Court with the May 13, 2005, IBP Resolution removing Atty. de Vera
(3) While the duty to deliberate does not impose the obligation to decide right, it from the latter’s positions as IBP board member and executive vice-president, for
does imply a necessity which cannot be disregarded, namely, that of having committing acts inimical to the board and the IBP in general. The controversy in these
something to support its decision. A decision with absolutely nothing to support it is a two consolidated cases started when the IBP board[1] approved the withdrawal of a
nullity, a place when directly attached. Petition[2] docketed at the Supreme Court as “Integrated Bar of the Philippines et al v.
Senate of the Philippines et al. - SC-R165108. Subsequently, during the plenary
(4) Not only must there be some evidence to support a finding or conclusion but the session held at the 10th National IBP Convention,[3] respondent allegedly made some
evidence must be “substantial.” Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla It untruthful statements, innuendos, and blatant lies in connection with the IBP board's
means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to Resolution to withdraw the Petition On May 12, 2005, IBP Governor Romulo A. Rivera
support a conclusion. wrote to IBP National President Cadiz, praying for the removal of the IBP board
membership of Atty. de Vera, who had allegedly committed acts inimical to the board
(5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at
and the IBP in general. The following day,[4] during its 20th regular meeting, the IBP
least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected.
board resolved by a twothirds vote to remove respondent from his positions as a
(6) The administrative body or any of its judges, therefore, must act on its or his member of the board of governors and as the executive vice-president (EVP) of the
own independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy, and not simply IBP. On June 13, 2005, the IBP board took note of the vacancy in the EVP position,
accept the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision. brought about by the removal of Atty. de Vera. In his stead, IBP Governor Pura
Angelica Y. Santiago was formally elected and declared as EVP. On June 20, 2005,
(7) The administrative body should, in all controversial questions, render its decision Atty. Santiago voluntarily relinquished that position. Thus, on June 25, 2005, during its
in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various issues last regular meeting, the IBP board elected a new EVP in the person of IBP Governor
involved, and the reasons for the decisions rendered. The performance of this duty is Jose Vicente B. Salazar. On June 28, 2005, IBP National President Cadiz requested
inseparable from the authority conferred upon it. the Supreme Court's approval of Atty. Salazar's election and assumption of office as
Chapter 29 Velez v. De Vera: Velez v. De Vera: national president, in the event that Atty. de Vera would be disbarred or suspended
from the practice of law; or should his removal from his positions as member of the
* Succession to the IBP Presidency The Facts In AC No. 6697, Complainant Zoilo 2003-2005 board of governors and as EVP of the IBP be approved by the Court.
Antonio Velez sought the suspension or disbarment of Respondent Atty. Leonard de Protesting the election of both Atty. Santiago and Atty. Salazar, respondent also
Vera (1) for misrepresentation through his concealment of the suspension order denied having committed acts inimical to the IBP and its board. He maintained that his
rendered against him by the State Bar of California; and (2) for violation of the removal from his two positions had been done without due notice and due process.
“rotation rule” enunciated in Administrative Matter No. 491. The first ground concerned The Issues 3. Whether on May 13, 2005, the board of governors validly removed
an administrative case filed against Atty. de Vera before the State Bar of California. respondent from his positions as governor and EVP of the IBP
The action arose from an insurance case he had handled involving Julius Wills III, who
Third Issue: Validity of the Removal Validity of the Removal The Court ruled that the CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
constitutional provision on due process safeguarded life, liberty and property. The
position of EVP of the IBP, however, was not a property within the constitutional This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court
sense. Further, there was no right to security of tenure over that position, as all that seeking to nullify and set aside the Decision 1 dated 9 August 2007 and
was required to remove any member of the board of governors for cause was a Resolution2 dated 18 October 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 96022,
resolution adopted by two thirds of the remaining board members. Furthermore, in which affirmed Resolutions No. 05-1200 and No. 06-1500 dated 24 August 2005 and
administrative proceedings, the essence of due process was simply the opportunity to 23 August 2006, respectively, of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), dismissing
explain one’s side. The cross-examination of witnesses was not indispensable to due petitioner Police Officer 2 (PO2) Ruel C. Montoya from the police service.
process. Neither was an actual hearing always essential, especially under the factual
milieu of this case. Atty. de Vera’s actuations during the IBP National Convention in
question had been witnessed by all the members of the board, upon whose shoulders The following are the factual antecedents:
the determination of the cause for removal of an IBP governor was placed, subject to
the approval of the Supreme Court. Atty. de Vera received a copy of the Complaint Montoya, a member of the Philippine National Police (PNP), was assigned to the
against him; indeed, he was present in the meeting when the matter was taken up. Central Police District (CPD) in Quezon City, when the National Police Commission
From the transcript of stenographic notes of the meeting on May 13, 2005, in which he (NAPOLCOM) issued Special Order No. 10443 on 9 September 1998 dropping him
was removed, it was patent that he had been given a fair opportunity to defend himself from the rolls, effective 15 August 1998, for failure to attend the Law Enforcement and
against the accusations of Atty. Rivera. Under the IBP rules, the expulsion of an IBP Enhancement Course (LEEC) at the Special Training Unit, National Capital Region
governor was done via a Resolution adopted by two thirds of the remaining members. Police Office (NCRPO), Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City. Montoya had been absent
The phrase “remaining members” excluded the complainant and the respondent. Of without official leave (AWOL) for a period of 67 days, from 23 January 1998 to 31
the 7 remaining members qualified to vote, 5 voted for expulsion, while 2 voted March 1998.
against it. The five votes still added up to the two thirds vote required for expulsion.
Removal for Cause Removal for Cause Conflicts and disagreements of varying On 15 December 1998, four months after he was dropped from the rolls, Montoya filed
degrees of intensity are inherent in the internal life of an organization. Like that of any a Motion for Reconsideration thereof addressed to the PNP Regional Director for the
other organization, however, the effectiveness of the IBP would be diluted if the National Capital Region (NCR), explaining that on 22 January 1998, he went to the
conflicts are brought outside its governing body. The impression would be that the Baler Police Station/Police Station 2 to have his Sick Leave Form approved by the
IBP, which speaks through its board of governors, does not and cannot authoritatively station commander. Allegedly due to the fact that his name had already been
speak for its members. Its prestige and reputation with lawyers, as well as with the forwarded to the NCRPO for the LEEC, his Sick Leave Form was not approved.
general public, would diminish accordingly. Because of the importance of retaining Montoya averred that his failure to attend the LEEC was beyond his control, since he
group cohesiveness and unity, no fault was attributed to the expulsion from the board was suffering from arthritis with on and off symptoms of severe body pain. Montoya
of Atty. de Vera, who had insisted on bringing to the public his disagreement with a attached to his Motion a certification simply dated 1998, issued by a certain Dr. Jesus
policy/resolution approved by the majority after due discussion. The cause for G. de Guzman, and authenticated by Police Chief Inspector (P/CINSP.) Ethel Y.
expulsion was legal, because the effectiveness of the board as a governing body was Tesoro, Chief, Medical Service, CPD.
being lessened.

Upon the recommendation of the Chief of the NCRPO Legal Division, the NCR
G.R. No. 180146 December 18, 2008
Regional Director issued on 11 June 1999 Special Order No. 990 canceling Special
Order No. 1044. Montoya was also preventively suspended for 30 days, from 8 June
PO2 RUEL C. MONTOYA, petitioner, to 8 July 1999, pending Summary Proceedings of his administrative liability. The 67
vs. days when Montoya went on absence without leave (AWOL) were immediately
POLICE DIRECTOR REYNALDO P. VARILLA, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, NATIONAL deducted from his leave credits.
CAPITAL REGION, POLICE OFFICE and ATTY. RUFINO JEFFREY L. MANERE,
REGIONAL LEGAL AFFAIRS SERVICE, respondents.
The Summary Dismissal Proceedings against Montoya were conducted by Hearing
Officer Police Superintendent (P/Supt.) Francisco Don C. Montenegro of the Central
DECISION Police District Office (CPDO), and based on his findings, the NCR Regional Director
rendered a Decision4 on 23 June 2000 dismissing Montoya from the police service for
Serious Neglect of Duty (due to AWOL), effective immediately. Montoya received a was notified of the summary hearing conducted by the Summary Hearing
copy of said Decision on 20 July 2000. Officer nor was he given a chance to explain his side and submit
controverting evidence on his behalf. On the other hand, what appeared on
Allegedly unassisted by counsel, Montoya filed on 1 August 2000 with the CPD office the record is the fact that the Summary Hearing Officer, who was tasked to
a Petition for Review/Motion for Reconsideration5 of the 23 June 2000 Decision of the resolve this case, conducted the hearing ex-parte. Thereafter, he
NCR Regional Director, which he addressed to the PNP Chief. In a Memorandum recommended for the [Montoya’s] dismissal from the police service on the
issued on 3 July 2002 by the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management of ground that the latter failed to inform his superiors about his physical
the PNP Headquarters, Montoya’s Petition/Motion was denied for lack of jurisdiction, predicament since [Montoya] did nothing to have the officers of STU, NCRPO
since a disciplinary action involving demotion or dismissal from service imposed by a notified of his sickness in order that appropriate actions can be instituted.
PNP regional director may only be appealed to the Regional Appellate Board (RAB). Summary Hearing Officer further concluded that sixty-seven days is too long
for a period (sic) for [Montoya] to allow even one day of reporting to STU,
NCRPO to present his Medical Certificate and seek proper action for his
Montoya next filed on 2 September 2002 an appeal of the 23 June 2000 Decision of ailment.
the NCR Regional Director before the RAB of the National Capital Region (RAB-
NCR), alleging lack of due process considering that he was not even notified of any
hearing by the Summary Hearing Officer and was thus deprived of the opportunity to The RAB-NCR decreed in the end:
present evidence in his defense. The Summary Hearing Officer in the Summary
Dismissal Proceedings against him recommended his dismissal from police service Wherefore, premises considered, the decision appealed from is hereby
based on his failure to report for the LEEC, without even looking into his side of the reversed and movant-appellant PO2 Ruel Catud Montoya is hereby ordered
controversy. to be reinstated in the police service without loss of seniority rights and with
full payment of his salaries and backwages covering the period effective from
On 11 December 2002, the RAB-NCR rendered its Decision6 granting Montoya’s the time of his dismissal from the service up to his reinstatement. 7
appeal and ordering his reinstatement. Pertinent provisions of the said Decision read:
Thereafter, the NCR Regional Director authorized Police Senior Superintendent
The Summary Hearing Officer (SHO), P/Supt. Francisco Don Montenegro, (P/SSupt.) Rufino Jeffrey L. Manere (Manere) to appeal several RAB-NCR decisions
conducted the hearing ex-parte on the basis only of the Motion for involving different police officers,8 including the Decision dated 11 December 2002 on
Reconsideration filed by the [herein petitioner Montoya] in which he Montoya’s case, before the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). The
categorically stated that on January 22, 1998, when he went to Police Station NCR Regional Director assailed the RAB-NCR decision reinstating Montoya in the
2 to have his sick leave form approved, he was informed that his name was police service on the following grounds:
already forwarded to NCRPO to undergo LEEC schooling. With that
information, the SHO concluded that appellant, PO2 Montoya, should have a. Failure to file a Notice of Appeal with the NCRPO prior to his appeal to the
proceeded to STU, NCRPO to inform his superior about his physical Appellate Board, as provided by Sec. 2, Rule III, MC # 91-007;
predicament. However, [Montoya] did nothing to have the officers of STU,
NCRPO notified of his sickness in order that appropriate actions can be b. The Board erred to take cognizance of the case despite the fact that the
instituted. Sixty-seven days is too long for a period for [Montoya] to allow decision of the NCRPO dated 23 June 2000 had already become final and
even one day of reporting to STU, NCRPO to present his Medical Certificate executory.
and seek proper action for his ailment. Thus, [Montoya] was ordered
dismissed from the Police Service.
c. The Board erred in giving backwages despite the "no work, no pay" policy.
xxxx
On 8 August 2003, Montoya, together with the other police personnel 9 reinstated in
the service by RAB-NCR (hereinafter collectively referred to as Montoya, et al.), filed
This Board, after careful review and evaluation of the records and before the DILG an Urgent Motion to Dismiss and/or Opposition to the Appeal of the
arguments/evidence presented by herein [Montoya] finds this appeal NCR Regional Director.
meritorious and tenable. Nothing on the records would show that [Montoya]
On 10 November 2003, DILG Secretary Jose D. Lina, Jr. issued an Order denying the The CSC denied the Motion for Reconsideration of Montoya, et al., in Resolution No.
appeal of the NCR Regional Director.10 DILG Secretary Lina noted that the NCR 06-1500 dated 23 August 2006 for lack of new evidence or any valid reason that
Regional Director received a copy of the RAB-NCR decision on Montoya’s case on 10 warrants the setting aside or modification of its Resolution No. 05-1200.
February 2003, but it only appealed the same to the DILG on 30 April 2003, beyond
the 15-day reglementary period for appeals. DILG Secretary Lina also declared that Montoya, et al., sought recourse to the Court of Appeals via a Petition
neither Manere nor the NCR Regional Director has personality to appeal the RAB- for Certiorari under Rule 43 with Application for Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
NCR decision to the DILG. The right to appeal from the decision of the RAB to the and Preliminary Injunction, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 96022.
DILG is available only to the active complainant or the respondent who was imposed a
penalty of demotion in rank, forced resignation, or dismissal from the service. Manere,
representing the NCR Regional Director, is not a party complainant or a respondent On 9 August 2007, the Court of Appeals promulgated its Decision dismissing CA-G.R.
aggrieved by the adverse decision, hence, he cannot appeal the said decision. SP No. 96022, since there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the CSC in
Similarly, there is no specific provision allowing the NCR Regional Director, in his issuing Resolutions No. 05-1200 and No. 06-1500. The dispositive portion of said
capacity as the judge and/or arbiter of PNP disciplinary cases, to file an appeal to the Decision states:
DILG from the decision of the RAB. Finally, DILG Secretary Lina explained that the
filing of an appeal by "either party" under Section 45 of Republic Act No. Wherefore this Court DENIES the instant petition and AFFIRMS Resolution
697511 covers only demotion and dismissal from the service and never exoneration No. 05-1200 dated August 24, 2005 and Resolution No. 06-1500 dated
and suspension. Thus, the appeal of the RAB-NCR decision exonerating Montoya August 23, 2006 of the Civil Service Commission. Accordingly, the Order
should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction and for the reason that the said decision dated November 10, 2003 of the DILG Secretary Jose D. Lina, Jr. affirming
had already become final and executory. The dispositive portion of DILG Secretary the nine (9) decisions of the Regional Appellate Board reinstating [Montoya,
Lina’s decision reads: et al.] to the police service is SET ASIDE. The decisions of the NCRPO
Regional Director dismissing petitioners-police officers Enrique C. Paulino,
WHEREFORE, the instant appeals are hereby denied for lack of merit. The Rebecca P. Fernandez, Donato L. Geda, Marlo S. Quiambao, Danilo De
assailed decisions of the Regional Appellate Board – National Capital Leon Nuqui, Ruel C. Montoya, Cecilia Z. de Leon, Alberto S. Mendoza and
Region, 4th Division, are hereby affirmed in toto.12 Rodolfo C. de Leon are hereby AFFIRMED.14

The NCR Regional Director, represented by Manere, appealed the Order dated 10 Aggrieved, Montoya filed his own Motion for Reconsideration in CA-G.R. SP No.
November 2003 of DILG Secretary Lina to the Civil Service Commission (CSC). The 96022, but it was denied by the Court of Appeals in its Resolution dated 18 October
NCR Regional Director asserted its right to appeal citing Civil Service Commission v. 2007.
Dacoycoy.13
Hence, the present Petition15 in which Montoya raises the following issues:
On 23 March 2004, the NCR Regional Director issued Special Order No. 611
reinstating Montoya, et al., without prejudice to the pending appeal of the NCR I. WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT MANERE FAILED TO EXHAUST
Regional Director before the CSC. ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES.

Subsequently, the CSC issued on 24 August 2005 Resolution No. 05-1200 which II. WHETHER OR NOT MANERE HAS THE LEGAL PERSONALITY TO
recognized the right of the PNP disciplining authorities to appeal the decision of the APPEAL THE DECISION EXONERATING THE PETITIONER.
RAB-NCR to the DILG. The CSC set aside the 10 November 2003 Order of DILG
Secretary Lina and affirmed the decisions of the NCR Regional Director dismissing III. WHETHER OR NOT THE RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF PETITIONER
Montoya, et al., from police service. According to the CSC, Montoya, in particular, was WAS VIOLATED.
guilty of laches and abandonment of his position. It also held that the 11 December
2002 Decision of the RAB-NCR on Montoya’s case, affirmed by DILG Secretary Lina,
was based on mere affidavits which were not substantiated. IV. WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER DELAYED IN APPEALING THE
DECISION SUMMARILY DISMISSING HIM.
V. WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER DESERVED TO BE DISMISSED The cardinal precept is that where there is a violation of basic constitutional rights,
FROM SERVICE. courts are ousted from their jurisdiction. The violation of a party’s right to due process
raises a serious jurisdictional issue which cannot be glossed over or disregarded at
The Court finds merit in the Petition at bar. will. Where the denial of the fundamental right of due process is apparent, a decision
rendered in disregard of that right is void for lack of jurisdiction.21 The rule must be
equally true for quasi-judicial administrative bodies, for the constitutional guarantee
Though procedural rules in administrative proceedings are less stringent and often that no man shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process is
applied more liberally, administrative proceedings are not exempt from basic and unqualified by what type of proceedings (whether judicial or administrative) he stands
fundamental procedural principles, such as the right to due process in investigations to lose the same. Consequently, the Decision dated 23 June 2000 of the NCR
and hearings. The right to substantive and procedural due process is applicable to Regional Director dismissing Montoya from service is void for having been rendered in
administrative proceedings.16 violation of the latter’s due process.

Well-settled is the rule that the essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be The foregoing finding of this Court precludes a ruling that Montoya delayed appealing
heard or, as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one’s the NCR Regional Director’s Decision of 23 June 2000, and the said decision has
side or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained already become final and executory.
of.17 Unarguably, this rule, as it is stated, strips down administrative due process to its
most fundamental nature and sufficiently justifies freeing administrative proceedings
from the rigidity of procedural requirements. In particular, however, due process in The Court reviews the vital dates. Montoya was able to receive a copy of the 23 June
administrative proceedings has also been recognized to include the following: (1) the 2000 Decision of the NCR Regional Director dismissing him from service on 20 July
right to actual or constructive notice of the institution of proceedings which may affect 2000. He erroneously filed his Petition for Review/Motion for Reconsideration with the
a respondent’s legal rights; (2) a real opportunity to be heard personally or with the PNP Chief on 1 August 2000. The PNP denied Montoya’s Petition/Motion on 3 July
assistance of counsel, to present witnesses and evidence in one’s favor, and to 2002, two years after the filing thereof, citing lack of jurisdiction, considering that the
defend one’s rights; (3) a tribunal vested with competent jurisdiction and so constituted proper appellate body is the RAB-NCR. Thus, Montoya was only able to file his appeal
as to afford a person charged administratively a reasonable guarantee of honesty as of the decision of the NCR Regional Director before the RAB-NCR on 2 September
well as impartiality; and (4) a finding by said tribunal which is supported by substantial 2002.
evidence submitted for consideration during the hearing or contained in the records or
made known to the parties affected.18 Section 45 of Republic Act No. 6975, otherwise known as the DILG Act of 1990,
provides:
Hence, even if administrative tribunals exercising quasi-judicial powers are not strictly
bound by procedural requirements, they are still bound by law and equity to observe SEC. 45. Finality of Disciplinary Action. – The disciplinary action imposed
the fundamental requirements of due process. Notice to enable the other party to be upon a member of the PNP shall be final and executory: Provided, That a
heard and to present evidence is not a mere technicality or a trivial matter in any disciplinary action imposed by the Regional Director or by the PLEB involving
administrative or judicial proceedings.19 In the application of the principle of due demotion or dismissal from the service may be appealed to the Regional
process, what is sought to be safeguarded is not lack of previous notice but the denial Appellate Board within ten (10) days from receipt of the copy of the
of the opportunity to be heard.20 notice of decision: Provided, further, That the disciplinary action imposed by
the Chief of the PNP involving demotion or dismissal may be appealed to the
In the instant case, the Summary Dismissal Proceedings against Montoya were flawed National Appellate Board within ten (10) days from receipt thereof: Provided,
from the very beginning when these were conducted without due notice to him. The furthermore, That, the Regional or National Appellate Board, as the case may
NCR Regional Director, through Manere, never contested the fact that the Hearing be, shall decide the appeal within sixty (60) days from receipt of the notice of
Officer proceeded with his investigation without giving notice to Montoya. Without appeal: Provided, finally, That failure of the Regional Appellate Board to act
notice, Montoya was unable to attend the hearings, present written or oral arguments, on the appeal within said period shall render the decision final and executory
and submit evidence in his favor; he was completely deprived of the opportunity to be without prejudice, however, to the filing of an appeal by either party with
heard on the administrative charges against him and was irrefragably denied due the Secretary. (Underscoring supplied.)
process.
Obviously, Montoya’s appeal on 2 September 2002 with the RAB-NCR, the appellate herein respondent Dacoycoy, to implead the Civil Service Commission as
body with jurisdiction, was filed way beyond 10 days from his receipt of a copy of the public respondent as the government agency tasked with the duty to enforce
NCR Regional Director’s decision on 20 July 2000. the constitutional and statutory provisions on the civil service.

As a general rule, the perfection of an appeal in the manner and within the period Subsequently, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Civil Service
permitted by law is not only mandatory but also jurisdictional, and the failure to perfect Commission and held respondent not guilty of nepotism. Who now may
the appeal renders the judgment of the court final and executory. 22 The Court, appeal the decision of the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court? Certainly
however, reiterates its previous pronouncements herein that the Summary Dismissal not the respondent, who was declared not guilty of the charge. Nor the
Proceedings were conducted without notice to Montoya and in violation of his right to complainant George P. Suan, who was merely a witness for the
due process. The violation of Montoya’s fundamental constitutional right deprived the government. Consequently, the Civil Service Commission has become
NCR Regional Director of jurisdiction over Montoya’s administrative case; and the the party adversely affected by such ruling, which seriously prejudices
decision rendered by the NCR Regional Director therein was void. A void judgment the civil service system. Hence, as an aggrieved party, it may appeal the
does not become final and executory and may be challenged at any time. decision of the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court. By this ruling, we
now expressly abandon and overrule extant jurisprudence that "the phrase
A decision of the court (or, in this case, a quasi-judicial administrative body) without ‘party adversely affected by the decision’ refers to the government employee
jurisdiction is null and void; hence, it can never logically become final and executory. against whom the administrative case is filed for the purpose of disciplinary
Such a judgment may be attacked directly or collaterally. 23 Any judgment or decision action which may take the form of suspension, demotion in rank or salary,
rendered notwithstanding the violation of due process may be regarded as a "lawless transfer, removal or dismissal from office" and not included are "cases where
thing which can be treated as an outlaw and slain at sight, or ignored wherever it the penalty imposed is suspension for not more than thirty (30) days or fine in
exhibits its head."24 an amount not exceeding thirty days salary" or "when the respondent is
exonerated of the charges, there is no occasion for appeal." In other words,
we overrule prior decisions holding that the Civil Service Law "does not
The Court also observes that it took the PNP two years to deny Montoya’s contemplate a review of decisions exonerating officers or employees
Petition/Motion before it, even though the PNP Chief manifestly did not have from administrative charges" enunciated in Paredes v. Civil Service
jurisdiction over the same. While Montoya did err in first filing his appeal with the PNP Commission; Mendez v. Civil Service Commission; Magpale v. Civil Service
Chief, the prompt denial thereof would have spurred Montoya to re-file his appeal Commission; Navarro v. Civil Service Commission and Export Processing
sooner before the appropriate forum, the RAB-NCR. Zone Authority and more recently Del Castillo v. Civil Service
Commission.25 (Emphasis ours.)
As to the issue of whether the NCR Regional Director may appeal the Decisions dated
11 December 2002 and 10 November 2003 of the RAB-NCR and DILG Secretary Subsequently, the Court qualified its declarations in Dacoycoy. In National Appellate
Lina, respectively, the Court answers in the negative. Board of the National Police Commission v. Mamauag,26 citing Mathay, Jr. v. Court of
Appeals,27 this Court elucidated that:
Prior to Dacoycoy, case law held that dismissal of the charges against or exoneration
of respondents in administrative disciplinary proceedings is final and not subject to RA 6975 itself does not authorize a private complainant to appeal a decision
appeal even by the government. On 29 April 1999, the Court promulgated its Decision of the disciplining authority. Sections 43 and 45 of RA 6975 authorize
in Dacoycoy, in which it made the following pronouncements: "either party" to appeal in the instances that the law allows appeal. One
party is the PNP member-respondent when the disciplining authority
At this point, we have necessarily to resolve the question of the party imposes the penalty of demotion or dismissal from the service. The
adversely affected who may take an appeal from an adverse decision of the other party is the government when the disciplining authority imposes
appellate court in an administrative civil service disciplinary case. There is no the penalty of demotion but the government believes that dismissal
question that respondent Dacoycoy may appeal to the Court of Appeals from from the services is the proper penalty.
the decision of the Civil Service Commission adverse to him. He was the
respondent official meted out the penalty of dismissal from the service. On
appeal to the Court of Appeals, the court required the petitioner therein,
However, the government party that can appeal is not the disciplining demotion or dismissal should not be the one appealing the subsequent exoneration of
authority or tribunal which previously heard the case and imposed the the public officer or employee, squarely applies to the NCR Regional Director.
penalty of demotion or dismissal from the service. The government
party appealing must be one that is prosecuting the administrative case In Pleyto v. Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection
against the respondent. Otherwise, an anomalous situation will result Group,28 the Court explained:
where the disciplining authority or tribunal hearing the case, instead of being
impartial and detached, becomes an active participant in prosecuting the
respondent. Thus, in Mathay, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, decided It is a well-known doctrine that a judge should detach himself from cases
after Dacoycoy, the Court declared: where his decision is appealed to a higher court for review. The raison
d'etre for such doctrine is the fact that a judge is not an active combatant in
such proceeding and must leave the opposing parties to contend their
To be sure, when the resolutions of the Civil Service Commission individual positions and the appellate court to decide the issues without his
were brought before the Court of Appeals, the Civil Service active participation. When a judge actively participates in the appeal of his
Commission was included only as a nominal party. As a quasi- judgment, he, in a way, ceases to be judicial and has become adversarial
judicial body, the Civil Service Commission can be likened to a instead.
judge who should "detach himself from cases where his decision is
appealed to a higher court for review."
The court or the quasi-judicial agency must be detached and impartial, not
only when hearing and resolving the case before it, but even when its
In instituting G.R. No. 126354, the Civil Service Commission judgment is brought on appeal before a higher court. The judge of a court or
dangerously departed from its role as adjudicator and became an the officer of a quasi-judicial agency must keep in mind that he is an
advocate. Its mandated function is to "hear and decide adjudicator who must settle the controversies between parties in accordance
administrative cases instituted by or brought before it directly or on with the evidence and the applicable laws, regulations, and/or jurisprudence.
appeal, including contested appointments and to review decisions His judgment should already clearly and completely state his findings of fact
and actions of its offices and agencies," not to litigate. and law. There must be no more need for him to justify further his judgment
when it is appealed before appellate courts. When the court judge or the
While Dacoycoy established that the government could appeal the decision quasi-judicial officer intervenes as a party in the appealed case, he inevitably
exonerating respondent public officer or employee from administrative charges, it forsakes his detachment and impartiality, and his interest in the case
was Mamauag which specifically required that the government party appealing must becomes personal since his objective now is no longer only to settle the
be the one prosecuting the case and not the disciplining authority or tribunal which controversy between the original parties (which he had already accomplished
heard the administrative case. by rendering his judgment), but more significantly, to refute the appellant’s
assignment of errors, defend his judgment, and prevent it from being
In the present case, Montoya appealed to the RAB-NCR the 23 June 2000 Decision of overturned on appeal.
the NCR Regional Director dismissing him from service. The RAB-NCR, in its 11
December 2002 Decision, reversed the appealed decision of the NCR Regional The NCR Regional Director, in actively appealing the reversal of his Decision, had
Director and ordered Montoya’s reinstatement. The NCR Regional Director then inevitably forsaken his impartiality and had become adversarial. His interest was only
appealed the decision of the RAB-NCR to the Office of the DILG Secretary. DILG in seeing to it that his decision would be reinstated.
Secretary Lina, in his Decision dated 10 November 2003, affirmed the decision of the
RAB-NCR. Once more, the NCR Regional Director filed an appeal with the CSC, The party who has the personality and interest to appeal the decisions of the RAB-
where he was able to secure a favorable ruling. NCR and DILG Secretary Lina exonerating Montoya from the administrative charges
against him and reinstating him to the service is the PNP as a bureau. It was the PNP,
It is beyond dispute that the NCR Regional Director was acting as the investigating in the exercise of its authority to implement internal discipline among its members,
and disciplining authority when he rendered his Decision dated 23 June 2000 which instigated the administrative investigation of Montoya, so it may be deemed the
dismissing Montoya from the service. The pronouncement in Mamauag, that the prosecuting government party. And it is the PNP which stands to suffer as a result of
disciplining authority or tribunal which heard the case and imposed the penalty of
the purportedly wrongful exoneration of Montoya, since it would be compelled to take Furthermore, Montoya’s assertion that DILG Secretary Lina’s decision should have
back to its fold a delinquent member. first been appealed to the Office of the President before the CSC is baseless.

Given all of the foregoing, the Court upholds the decision of the RAB-NCR, affirmed PNP personnel fall under the administrative control and supervision of the
by DILG Secretary Lina, reinstating Montoya to the service. It was only the RAB-NCR DILG,32 which, in turn, is under the administrative control and supervision of the CSC.
which properly acquired jurisdiction over the appeal filed before it and was able to
render a decision after a consideration of both sides to the controversy. In Go v. In Mendoza v. NAPOLCOM,33 the Court settled that the one and only Philippine police
National Police Commission,29 the Court already issued a caveat, worth reiterating force, the PNP, shall be civilian in character34 and, consequently, falls under the civil
herein: service pursuant to Section 2(1), Article IX-B of the Constitution, which states:

We conclude that petitioner was denied the due process of law and that not Section 2. (1). The civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions,
even the fact that the charge against him is serious and evidence of his guilt instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including government-
is – in the opinion of his superiors – strong can compensate for the owned or controlled corporations with original charters.
procedural shortcut evident in the record of this case. It is precisely in cases
such as this that the utmost care be exercised lest in the drive to clean up the
ranks of the police those who are innocent are denied justice or, through It is already explicitly provided in Section 45 of the DILG Act of 1990 that the decision
blunder, those who are guilty are allowed to escape punishment. of the Regional Director imposing upon a PNP member the administrative penalty of
demotion or dismissal from the service is appealable to the RAB. From the RAB
Decision, the aggrieved party may then appeal to the DILG Secretary.
Before finally writing finis to this case, the Court still finds it necessary to address the
remaining issue on the supposed failure of the NCR Regional Director to exhaust
administrative remedies. Montoya argues that the NCR Regional Director failed to Now the question is, from the DILG Secretary, where can the aggrieved party appeal?
exhaust administrative remedies when he appealed the 10 November 2003 Decision
of DILG Secretary Lina directly to the CSC, without first filing an appeal with the Office In the event the DILG Secretary renders an unfavorable decision, his decision may be
of the President. appealed to the CSC.35

Under the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies, before a party is allowed Section 91 of the DILG Act of 1990 provides:
to seek the intervention of the court, it is a pre-condition that he should have availed
himself of all the means of administrative processes afforded him. Hence, if a remedy SEC. 91. Application of Civil Service Laws. – The Civil Service Law and its
within the administrative machinery can still be resorted to by giving the administrative implementing rules and regulations shall apply to all personnel of the
officer concerned every opportunity to decide on a matter that comes within his Department [DILG].
jurisdiction, then such remedy should be exhausted first before court’s judicial power
can be sought.30 The administrative agency concerned is in the best position to
correct any previous error committed in its forum.31 Consequently, case law on administrative disciplinary proceedings under the Civil
Service Law also applies to administrative disciplinary proceedings against PNP
members. The Civil Service Law referred to in Section 91 of the DILG Act of 1990 is
Montoya’s reliance on the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is Subtitle A, Title I, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (E.O. No. 292). Section
misplaced, for said doctrine does not find application in the instant case. The doctrine 47 of Chapter 6 thereof provides, inter alia, that in cases where the decision rendered
intends to preclude premature resort from a quasi-judicial administrative body to the by a bureau or office (i.e., RAB of the PNP) is appealable to the Commission, the
court. Such is not the situation in this case. Montoya is questioning the supposed same may initially be appealed to the department (i.e., DILG) and finally to the
premature resort of the NCR Regional Director from the decision of the DILG Commission (i.e., CSC).36
Secretary to the CSC, instead of to the Office of the President; obviously, he is
challenging the resort from one administrative body to another.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant Petition for Review
on Certiorari is GRANTED. The Decision dated 9 August 2007 and Resolution dated
18 October 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 96022 CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Philippine National Police is ORDERED to
reinstate petitioner PO2 Ruel C. Montoya to the police service without loss of seniority This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of
rights and with full payment of his salaries and backwages covering the period Court, whereby petitioner Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) prays for the
effective from the time of his dismissal from the service up to his reinstatement. reversal of the Decision[1] dated 30 June 2006 and Resolution[2] dated 26 October
2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 89689 which, in turn, reversed and
SO ORDERED. set aside the Ombudsmans Orders dated 11 January 2005 and 28 April 2005 in OMB-
ADM-0-01-0502. The Ombudsman found respondent Leopoldo F. Bungubung
(Bungubung) administratively liable for grave misconduct, dismissing him from the
service and imposing the accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of
Republic v. Pilipinas ShellPetroleum Corp. retirement benefits, and his perpetual disqualification from reemployment in
SUMMARY: government service.
The OEA informed Pilipinas Shell that the latter’s contributions to the OPSF were
insufficient. As a consequence, a surcharge was imposed upon Pilipinas Shell. The The Hon. Simeon V. Marcelo represented the Ombudsman, with powers and functions
surcharge was imposed pursuant to a Department of Finance Circular. Pilipinas Shell provided under Article XI, Section 13 of the 1987 Constitution and the provisions of
challenged this and refused to pay the surcharges, claiming the payments it made Republic Act No. 6770, otherwise known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989.
were based on a valid interpretation of a Department of Finance Order and
Department of Energy Circular. However, the DOE only reiterated its demand for Bungubung is the Manager of the Port District Office (PDO) of Manila, Philippine Ports
Pilipinas Shell to settle the surcharges due. The Office of the President affirmed the Authority (PPA), South Harbor, Port Area, Manila. He is also the Chairman of the
DOE. CA reversed, ruling that the Department of Finance Circular was ineffective for Ports District Security Bids and Awards Committee (PDSBAC) of the PPA.
failure to comply with the requirement to file with ONAR. SC affirmed CA.
DOCTRINE: On 24 September 2001, Roberto C. Doromal (Doromal), the President of Combat
The requirements of publication and filing were put in place as safeguards against Security & Executive Protection Agency (CSEPA), a security agency that participated
abuses on the part of lawmakers, and as guarantees to the constitutional right to due in the bidding for security services for the PPA, filed a Complaint-Affidavit[3] dated 7
process and information on matters of public concerns, and therefore, require September 2001 against Bungubung before PPA Resident Ombudsman Manolo M.
strict compliance. Strict compliance with the requirements of publication cannot be Mabini, alleging as follows:
annulled by a mere allegation that parties were notified of the existence of the
implementing rules 3. That sometime in June 1995, my aforesaid wife was instrumental
in negotiating and concluding a contract for Security Services with
the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), more particularly at the Port
HONORABLE OMBUDSMAN SIMEON V. District of Manila (PDO-Manila) for two (2) years starting August 1,
MARCELO, 1995;
Petitioner,
xxxx
- versus -
6. That after a service contract was signed by PPA and this agency
LEOPOLDO F. BUNGUBUNG and HON. on January 28, 1999, the Port District Manager of PDO-Manila, Mr.
C O U R T O F AP P E A L S , Leopoldo Bungubung and other PPA officials asked for certain
Respondents. amounts from my said wife as balato for winning the award where
x---------------------------------------------x (sic) the latter obliged herself to give;

7. That initially, Mr. Leopoldo Bungubung and other PPA officials


DECISION demanded amounts ranging from P10,000 a month down to P2,000
for him (Bungubung) and his subordinates, respectively; and my
wife directed our staff, particularly the Billing and Collection Clerk
and Cashier to include in our records and books of account these of Mr. Norman Vincent Bungubung, son of Chairman Bungubung
disbursements as Representation expense; at #45 Buencamino St., BF Homes, Paranaque City.[4]

8. That when my late wife died on May 3, 2000, the same In support of the allegations in his Complaint-Affidavit, Doromal submitted an affidavit
arrangement was pursued and carried over through the period that I of his secretary Evalyn Cruz (Cruz) and an alleged blue book of CSEPA. Cruz
was already the one dealing with PPA, and that, sometime in late recounted in her affidavit another incident wherein she personally handed over the
April 2000, when the security force was increased to 184 Security amount of P50,000.00 cash to Bungubung at his office on 16 January 2001. The
guards at North Harbor-Special Take-Over Unit (STU), the amount CSEPA blue book purportedly detailed monthly balato or payola paid to PPA officials
demanded by Mr. Bungubung was also increased to P40,000 a from July 2000 to February 2001, recorded therein as representation expenses. It was
month and sometimes P50,000; allegedly prepared by a certain Evalyn M. Ebora (Ebora), and approved by Doromal.

xxxx Thereafter, PPA Resident Ombudsman Mabini released a Memorandum/Investigation


Report[5] dated 25 September 2001, recommending the following:
10. That sometime in late February, 2001, one of office staff
received a telephone call from a certain Capt. Valenzuela of the Port a. That criminal complaint be filed against Mr. Leopoldo F.
Police Dept. of PPA and because I was not around, said Capt. Bungubung for violation of Section 3(b) of R.A. 3019; Section
Valenzuela left a message advising me to see Mr. Leopoldo 7(d) of R.A. 6713 and Art. 211 of the RPC for demanding and
Bungubung for some important matters; receiving balato from COMBAT in the total amount of P320,000
more or less;
11. That upon receipt of the advise (sic) from my office staff, I went b. That likewise, an administrative complaint be filed against Mr.
to PPA, with my secretary, Ms. Evalyn Cruz, to see Mr. Leopoldo Leopoldo F. Bungubung for Grave Misconduct and Conduct
Bungubung at his office located at old PNR Bldg., South Harbor, Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service arising from the
Port Area, Manila and at the same time personally delivered a sum above criminal act;
of money amounting to P50,000 as earlier requested by him c. That Mr. Leopoldo F. Bungubung be placed under Preventive
(Bungubung). Suspension for a period of six (6) months without pay pursuant
to Section 24 of R.A. 6770.
12. That during the course of my conversation with Mr. Leopoldo
Bungubung after giving the P50,000, he asked from me a vehicle, From the foregoing, the following complaints were filed against Bungubung
Mitsubishi Pajero (late model) van, to be due and delivered before the Ombudsman: (1) an administrative complaint for Grave Misconduct and
supposedly to him in the middle part of March 2001 while there is no Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, docketed as OMB-ADM-0-01-
award of the winning bidder yet; and that I asked the said Bid 0502 (OMB-0-01-0793); and (2) a criminal complaint for violation of Section 3(b) of the
Committee Chairman, Mr. Bungubung to give me a grace period of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, docketed as OMB-0-01-0793.
two (2) months to produce what he was asking from me.
Unfortunately, however, due to the expensive value of the said After the parties submitted the required pleadings, a preliminary conference
Pajero van, I was not able to deliver. Hence, on March 30, 2001, I was held on 21 February 2002 in OMB-ADM-0-01-0502, the administrative
was served a Notice of Award of the winning bidder which is STAR case. Bungubung manifested therein that he was submitting the case for
SPECIAL WATCHMAN & DETECTIVE AGENCY, INC. an agency resolution. Doromal, however, was still undecided on whether to opt for the conduct of
comparatively smaller than mine; a formal investigation or to submit the case for resolution at once. In a Manifestation
filed on 25 February 2002, Doromal informed the Ombudsman that he was opting
13. That taking a cue from the Pajero van being asked, I instructed instead for the conduct of a formal investigation for purposes of submission of
my men to conduct an investigation and there, they found a late evidence and affidavits of witnesses.[6]
model Pajero van with Plate No. WLA-674 parked in from of the Doromals aforecited manifestation notwithstanding, the Ombudsman, in an Order
residence of Mr. Leopoldo Bungubung and later verified to have dated 6 March 2002, through Graft Investigation Officer II Joselito P. Fangon, ordered
been registered and transferred on 12 March 2001 under the name the submission of the case for resolution.
The parties were then required to submit their respective Memoranda. Bungubung filed a Motion for Reconsideration [11] of the 11 January 2005 Order of the
Ombudsman in OMB-ADM-0-01-0502, but it was denied by the Ombudsman in
On 28 November 2002, Graft Investigation Officer II Fangon drafted a another Order[12] dated 28 April 2005, to wit:
Decision[7] which recommended the dismissal of the administrative case against
Bungubung, without prejudice to its re-filing. WHEREFORE, the Motion for Reconsideration dated 21
However, Ombudsman Marcelo disapproved Graft Investigation Officer II Fangons 28 January 2005 filed by respondent Leopoldo F. Bungubung is
November 2002 Decision, and issued another Order [8] dated 11 January 2005 finding DENIED. The Order dated 11 January 2005 finding him liable for
Bungubung liable for grave misconduct (which absorbed the lesser offense of conduct Grave Misconduct thereby ordering him dismissed from the service,
prejudicial to the best interest of the service) and ordering Bungubungs dismissal from together with its accessory penalties, is hereby AFFIRMED.
service, together with the accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of
retirement benefits, and respondents perpetual disqualification from reemployment in Bungubung then sought recourse to the Court of Appeals via a Petition for Review
government service. The dispositive part of Ombudsman Marcelos 11 January under Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No.
2005 Order reads: 89689. He asserted therein that the Ombudsman erred in (a) holding that there was
substantial evidence to make him liable for grave misconduct, resulting in his
dismissal from service and imposition upon him of the accessory penalties; and (b)
WHEREFORE, the 28 November 2002 Decision prepared ordering him dismissed from the service, when the Constitution merely empowered
by the former Administrative Adjudication Bureau (AAB), this Office, said office to make a recommendation of dismissal. Pending resolution of CA-G.R. SP
recommending the dismissal (without prejudice to its re-filing) of the No. 89689 by the Court of Appeals, Bungubung filed therein a Motion for Issuance of a
administrative complaint against [Bungubung] is hereby Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction to enjoin the
DISAPPROVED. Ombudsman and the PPA General Manager from implementing the Order dated 11
January 2005 which dismissed him from service.[13] The Court of Appeals granted the
Respondent LEOPOLDO F. BUNGUBUNG, Port District TRO on 3 June 2005.[14]
Manager, Manila Port District, Philippine Ports Authority, is hereby
found liable for Grave Misconduct and, as such, is DISMISSED from In the meantime, Doromal executed an Ex-Parte Manifestation and Motion to
the service. The penalty of dismissal shall carry with it the accessory Withdraw Complaint[15] dated 18 August 2005 and an Affidavit of
penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement Desistance[16] dated 23 August 2005, which he filed before the Ombudsman. In his Ex-
benefits, and [Bungubungs] perpetual disqualification from Parte Manifestation and Motion to Withdraw Complaint and Affidavit of
reemployment in the government service. Desistance, Doromal expressed his desire to withdraw his Complaint-Affidavit against
Bungubung and desist from the continuance of both OMB-ADM-0-01-0502 and OMB-
0-01-0793. Doromal explicitly admitted in said documents that his allegations in the
In the interim, the Ombudsman issued an Order[9] dated 10 September administrative and criminal complaints against Bungubung were all fabricated. He
2003 in OMB-0-01-0793, for the filing of the criminal complaint against Bungubung, further confessed that Bungubung never demanded or received any balato from him
after finding that there was probable cause to indict him for violation of Section 3(b) of or his wife in exchange for the award of the PPA security service contract; nor did
the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.[10] Bungubung ask for a Mitsubishi Pajero van from him.
The Ombudsman took into consideration its aforementioned 10 September
2003 Order in OMB-0-01-0793, when it found in OMB-ADM-0-01-0502 that On 30 June 2006, the Court of Appeals issued a Decision in CA-G.R. SP No.
Bungubung took advantage of his position as Chairman of the PDSBAC of the PPA, 89689 ruling in Bungubungs favor, and reversing and setting aside the Orders
using it as leverage in soliciting cash and a Mitsubishi Pajero van from the bidders as dated 11 January 2005 and 28 April 2005 of the Ombudsman. It further absolved
consideration for the award of the security contract. According to the Ombudsman, Bungubung from liability for the charge of grave misconduct, finding no substantial
such actuations constitute conduct grossly prejudicial to the best interest of the evidence that Bungubung committed the same.
service. It rejected Bungubungs denial and instead gave credence to the attestation of
Cruz that she personally delivered the P50,000.00 to Bungubung. According to the appellate court:

There is merit in the petition.


Indeed, there is absence of substantial evidence to hold occurred denies that it did. This is positive denial which has
[Bungubung] liable for grave misconduct. the same weight as a contrary assertion.

To begin with, [Doromal] and his witness failed to appear at 2. The finding that the van was acquired after the failed
the preliminary conference on February 21, 2005 to attest to the solicitation and before the award readily assumes as true
truth of the contents of their affidavits. For such failure, their private respondents bare assertion that petitioner asked
affidavits are inadmissible as they are hearsay evidence. him for a van.

xxxx Allegedly taking cue from his failure to deliver a Pajero van,
[Doromal] had [Bungubungs] home cased and saw a Pajero in front
By not appearing at the preliminary conference and of his house. If this is the case, why was this not mentioned by
affirming their affidavits, We can not readily conclude that the [Doromal] when he filed a civil case to stop the award of the security
contents thereof are true. It is highly probable that [Doromal] is only service contract on ground of irregularities in the bidding? Neither
sour graping for losing the PPA 2001 service contract. As early was this matter brought up during the hearing on the application for
as January 18, 2001, the bids for the 2001 service contract were a TRO. [Doromal] only brought up this matter about a Pajero in his
already opened and authenticated. Thus, it can not be said that the affidavit-complaint of September 7, 2001 after hearing that
bids were manipulated or rigged to favour somebody. [Bungubungs] son has a newly-bought Pajero.

While rules of procedure do not strictly apply to 1. [Bungubung] presented proof that on May 4, 2001, [Doromal]
administrative cases as long as defendants right to due process is filed a false hit-and-run report involving the Pajero with plate
not violated, its liberal application in administrative cases does not WLA 674 of [Bungubungs] son. This shows the extent that
allow admission of hearsay evidence, i.e. affidavits not identified by [Doromal] would go just to spite [Bungubung].
affiants, as this would violate the constitutional right of petitioner to 2. The President of Star Security Agency declared under oath
due process and his substantive right not to be adjudged guilty on that he did not give [Bungubung] any Pajero;
the basis of hearsay evidence. 3. The Pajero was acquired by [Bungubungs] son from a certain
Teresito Uy as evidenced by a notarized deed of sale;
xxxx 4. It is unfair to assume that [Bungubungs] son could not afford
the price of a used Pajero. He put up a glass and aluminum
In the instant case, [Bungubung], in denying the assertion business after getting married.
of Evalyn Cruz in her affidavit that she gave him P50,000.00, and in
describing her claim as a self-serving fabrication, is positive From the foregoing, [the Ombudsman] should have
evidence that what she claimed did not occur. This holds true with dismissed the complaint for lack of substantial evidence to support
respect to [Bungubungs] positive denial of [Doromals] assertion that it.
he gave [Bungubung] another P50,000.00 in late February 2001 and
that he also demanded a late model Pajero from [Doromal].
The fallo of the Court of Appeals 30 June 2006 Decision reads:
[The Ombudsman] accepted as credible [Doromals] claim
that [Bungubung] asked for a late model Pajero in exchange for the WHEREFORE, the petition for review is GRANTED and GIVEN
2001 security service contract. x x x DUE COURSE. The Orders[17] of the Ombudsman dated January
11, 200[5] and April 28, 200[5] are reversed and set aside and a
The following must, however, be considered: new one issued absolving petitioner from liability for the charge of
grave misconduct.[18]
1. The rule on positive and negative testimonies do not
apply where a person who is in a position to know if a fact
The Ombudsman filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the afore-quoted guilty of Grave Misconduct and dismissing him from service with all the accessory
Decision, which the appellate court denied in its Resolution dated 26 October 2006 for penalties incident thereto.
lack of merit, thus:
Bungubung counters that the Court of Appeals correctly held that there was no
Notably, the issues raised in the motion have already been substantial evidence to hold him liable for grave misconduct; and that the reliance by
thoroughly threshed out and passed upon in the assailed decision. the Ombudsman on the affidavits of Doromal and Cruz in determining his
No novel or new matters were introduced therein. administrative liability, despite the fact that the contents thereof were not personally
attested to by the affiants before the Ombudsman, was a clear violation of his right to
The disquisition made by the Supreme Court in Dela Cruz due process. He also avers that the Court of Appeals was correct in giving credence
vs. Department of Education, Culture and Sports-Cordillera to the Ex-ParteManifestation and Motion to Withdraw the Complaint and Affidavit of
Administrative Region is most helpful, We have long held that Desistance, filed by Doromal with the Ombudsman in August 2005, as proof of
affidavits are deemed hearsay evidence because the adverse party Bungubungs lack of culpability.
is deprived of the opportunity to cross-examine the affiants. Hence,
affidavits are generally deemed inadmissible or rejected outright The present Petition must fail.
unless the affiants themselves are placed on the witness stand to
testify thereon. Before proceeding to the merits of the instant Petition, this Court deems it
necessary to first address the allegation of Bungubung that he was denied due
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant Motion process by the Ombudsman. The fact that no formal hearing took place is not
for Reconsideration is DENIED for lack of merit.[19] sufficient ground to say that due process was not afforded Bungubung. It is well-
settled that in administrative proceedings, including those before the Ombudsman,
cases may be submitted for resolution on the basis of affidavits and pleadings. The
Consequently, the Ombudsman filed this Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule standard of due process that must be met in administrative tribunals allows a certain
45 of the Revised Rules of Court based on the following grounds: degree of latitude as long as fairness is not ignored. It is, therefore, not legally
objectionable for being violative of due process for an administrative agency to resolve
I. a case based solely on position papers, affidavits or documentary evidence
THE RELIANCE BY THE OMBUDSMAN ON THE AFFIDAVITS OF submitted by the parties as affidavits of witnesses may take the place of their
ROBERTO DOROMAL AND HIS WITNESS IN DETERMINING direct testimonies.[20] Undoubtedly, due process in administrative proceedings is an
[BUNGUBUNG]S ADMINISTRATIVE LIABILITY WAS PROPER. IT opportunity to explain one's side or an opportunity to seek reconsideration of the
DID NOT DEPRIVE [BUNGUBUNG] OF DUE PROCESS; action or ruling complained of,[21] which requirement was afforded Bungubung.[22]
In Manggagawa ng Komunikasyon sa Pilipinas v. National Labor Relations
II. Commission,[23] this Court held that:
THE FINDING OF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFENSE FOR GRAVE
MISCONDUCT AGAINST [BUNGUBUNG] IS SUPPORTED BY [A]ctual adversarial proceeding becomes necessary only for
SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE; clarification or when there is a need to propound searching
questions to unclear witnesses. This is a procedural right which the
III. employee must, however, ask for it is not an inherent right, and
AS CONSEQUENTLY HELD BY THE SUPREME COURT, THE summary proceedings may be conducted. This is to correct the
FINDINGS OF THE OMBUDSMAN DESERVE GREAT WEIGHT, common but mistaken perception that procedural due process
AND MUST BE ACCORDED FULL RESPECT AND CREDIT. entails lengthy oral arguments. Hearings in administrative
proceedings and before quasi-judicial agencies are neither
oratorical contests nor debating skirmishes where cross
The Ombudsman prays that this Court render a Decision nullifying and setting aside examination skills are displayed. Non-verbal devices such as written
the Decision dated 30 June 2006 and Resolution dated 26 October 2006 of the Court explanations, affidavits, positions papers or other pleadings can
of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 89689, and affirming the Ombudsmans Orders dated establish just as clearly and concisely aggrieved parties
11 January 2005 and 28 April 2005 in OMB-ADM-0-01-0502 which found Bungubung predicament or defense. What is essential is ample opportunity to
be heard, meaning, every kind of assistance that management must more than a mere scintilla of evidence. It means such relevant
accord the employee to prepare adequately for his defense. evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion, even if other minds equally reasonable might
After the filing of the Complaint, Bungubung was allowed by the Ombudsman conceivably opine otherwise. Second, in reviewing administrative
to submit the following: (a) a counter-affidavit refuting the charges against him; (b) a decisions of the executive branch of the government, the findings of
rejoinder-affidavit; and (c) a Motion for Reconsideration of the 11 January 2005 Order facts made therein are to be respected so long as they are
of the Ombudsman. Moreover, Bungubung had the option to subject the case to a supported by substantial evidence. Hence, it is not for the reviewing
formal investigation, but his Manifestation dated 21 February 2002 before the court to weigh the conflicting evidence, determine the credibility of
Ombudsman was evidence that he did not choose to do so and, instead, agreed to witnesses, or otherwise substitute its judgment for that of the
submit the case for resolution on the basis of the affidavits on record. These facts administrative agency with respect to the sufficiency of
establish that Bungubung was not deprived of his right to due process, having ample evidence. Third, administrative decisions in matters within the
opportunity to present his side before the Ombudsman. In fact, it was only later on in a executive jurisdiction can only be set aside on proof of gross abuse
Manifestation filed on 25 February 2002 that Doromal changed his mind and informed of discretion, fraud, or error of law. These principles negate the
the Ombudsman that he was opting instead for the conduct of a formal investigation. power of the reviewing court to re-examine the sufficiency of the
evidence in an administrative case as if originally instituted therein,
That point having been settled, this Court moves on to determine the merits and do not authorize the court to receive additional evidence that
of the Petition at bar. was not submitted to the administrative agency concerned.

The Petition primarily involves questions of fact, pitting against each other the As stated above, the fundamental rule in administrative proceedings is that the
findings of fact of the Court of Appeals and those of the Ombudsman, both of which complainant has the burden of proving, by substantial evidence, the allegations in
depended on the probative weight to be given to the affidavits of Doromal, Cruz, and his complaint.Section 27 of the Ombudsman Act is unequivocal: Findings of fact by
the alleged CSEPA blue book. the Office of the Ombudsman when supported by substantial evidence are
We stress the procedural tenet that a petition for review on certiorari filed with conclusive. Conversely, therefore, when the findings of fact by the Ombudsman are
this Court under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court shall raise only questions of not adequately supported by substantial evidence, they shall not be binding upon the
law.[24] A question of law has been defined as one that does not call for any courts. Such is the case in the present Petition.
examination of the probative value of the evidence presented by the parties; [25] a
question of fact arises when the doubt or difference pertains to the truth or falsehood Substantial evidence, which is more than a mere scintilla but is such relevant
of alleged facts or when the query necessarily solicits calibration of the whole evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion,
evidence considering mostly the credibility of witnesses, existence and relevancy of would suffice to hold one administratively liable. [30] The standard of substantial
specific surrounding circumstances, their relation to one another and to the whole and evidence is satisfied when there is reasonable ground to believe that respondent is
probabilities of the situation.[26] We have consistently held that in a petition for review responsible for the misconduct complained of,[31] even if such evidence might not be
on certiorari, this Court does not sit as an arbiter of facts for it is not the function of the overwhelming or even preponderant. [32] While substantial evidence does not
Supreme Court to analyze or weigh all over again the evidence already considered in necessarily import preponderance of evidence as is required in an ordinary civil
the proceedings below.[27] Such factual findings can be questioned only if, among case,[33] or evidence beyond reasonable doubt as is required in criminal cases, [34] it
other exceptions,[28] the findings of fact are conflicting and the findings of the Court of should be enough for a reasonable mind to support a conclusion. There is none here.
Appeals are contrary to those of the lower court and/or administrative agency, which
exceptional circumstances are present herein, thus, justifying the review by this Court Bungubung is being charged with the administrative offense of Grave
of the factual findings of the Ombudsman and the Court of Appeals. Misconduct, which has been authoritatively defined in Amosco v. Judge Magro[35] as:

In Montemayor v. Bundalian,[29] this Court laid down the following guidelines for the Misconduct in office has a definite and well-understood legal
judicial review of decisions rendered by administrative agencies in the exercise of their meaning. By uniform legal definition, it is a misconduct such as
quasi-judicial power: affects his performance of his duties as an officer and not such only
as affects his character as a private individual. In such cases, it has
First, the burden is on the complainant to prove by substantial been said at all times, it is necessary to separate the character of
evidence the allegations in his complaint. Substantial evidence is the man from the character of the officer x x x. It is settled that
misconduct, misfeasance, or malfeasance warranting removal from Agency, Inc., the winning bidder, who denied giving any
office of an officer, must have direct relation to and be connected money or a Pajero to Bungubung;
with the performance of official duties amounting either to (b) Affidavit of a certain Rufino Valenzuela, who denied
maladministration or willful, intentional neglect and failure to giving instructions for Doromal to go to Bungubungs office;
discharge the duties of the office. x x x. (c) A copy of the petition in Civil Case No. 01-100678,
entitled Roberto C. Doromal, etc. v. Philippine Ports
In In re: Impeachment of Horilleno,[36] this Court authoritatively defined Authority, et al., questioning the legality of the case filed by
serious misconduct -- Doromal against Bungubung before the RTC to show that
Doromal never mentioned therein that Bungubung
[S]ufficient cause must exist in the judgment of the Supreme Court requested for a Pajero from him;
involving serious misconduct. The adjective is serious; that is, (d) A copy of the Deed of Sale of the Pajero executed by
important, weighty, momentous, and not trifling. The noun is Teresito Uy in favor of Norman Vincent Bungubung, as
misconduct; that is, a transgression of some established and proof that the said vehicle was bought and is now owned
definite rule of action, more particularly, unlawful behavior or gross by Bungubungs son;
negligence by the public officer. x x x. (e) A copy of the Traffic Incident Report of the Central
Police Traffic Enforcement Office to evidence the
Being guided accordingly by the aforementioned evidentiary rules and fabricated hit and run charge made by an employee of
jurisprudence, this Court finds that the evidence on record in the present case does CSEPA against the Pajero owned by Bungubungs son;
not constitute substantial evidence of Bungubungs administrative culpability for grave and
misconduct. (f) PSBAC Resolutions establishing that the award of the
PPA Security Contracts was made by public bidding.
Within the field of administrative law, while strict rules of evidence are not
applicable to quasi-judicial proceedings, nevertheless, in adducing evidence
constitutive of substantial evidence, the basic rule that mere allegation is not evidence The Ombudsman chose to give more credence to Doromals allegations and
cannot be disregarded.[37] evidence when it found that Bungubung took advantage of his position as Chairman of
the PSBAC and used it as leverage in soliciting cash and a Mitsubishi Pajero van from
In his Affidavit-Complaint, Doromal accused Bungubung of soliciting and the bidders as a consideration for the award of the PPA security service
receiving P100,000.00 from him and a Mitsubishi Pajero van from another bidder in contract. However, Doromals evidence is hardly substantive.
exchange for the award of the security services contract of the PPA. Doromal also
accused Bungubung and other PPA employees of demanding and receiving balato in First, Doromals allegation that Bungubung acquired the Mitsubishi Pajero van
consideration of the award of the PPA Security Service Contract. from another bidder after failing to successfully solicit the same from him is highly
suspect, since Doromal only narrated the alleged solicitation in his Affidavit-Complaint
In addition to his Complaint-Affidavit, Doromal submitted a Reply-Affidavit, as against Bungubung filed with the Ombudsman on 7 September 2001. He failed to
well as the following supporting documents: mention such a significant circumstance in Civil Case No. 01100678, Roberto C.
Doromal v. Philippine Ports Authority, before the RTC or in his petition for TRO in the
(a) Affidavit of Evalyn Cruz, his secretary; same case, both of which were filed ahead of his Affidavit-Complaint before the
(b) CSEPA blue book detailing the Ombudsman.
monthly balato or payola paid to PPA officials and
employees, referred to therein as representation expenses. Second, little weight should be given to the CSEPA blue book allegedly
detailing the monthly payola or balato paid to PPA officials and employees from July
On the other hand, Bungubung filed his Counter-Affidavit and Rejoinder- 2000 to February 2001, recorded therein as representation expenses. According to
Affidavit. In his defense, Bungubung further submitted the following evidence: the CSEPA blue book, the following PPA key officials received monthly representation
allowances:
(a) Affidavit of Celso A. Fernandez, President and
Chairman of Star Special Watchman and Detective NAME POSITION PERIOD TOTAL AMOUNT
Mr. Cecilio AGM Operations July 2000-Feb 2001 P200,000.00 declarations and statements, greater weight is generally given to positive testimonies
Leopoldo Port District July 2000-Feb 2001 P300,000.00 than to mere denials.[38]
Bungubung Manager
Ted Alcalde District Manager July 2000-Feb 2001 P144,000.00 In this instance, however, Bungubungs denial of the allegations against him
Capt. Gamis Chief of Port Police July 2000-Feb 2001 P144,000.00 are supported by his own controverting evidence. In contrast, Doromals Complaint-
North Harbor Affidavit and Cruzs Affidavit support only each other.
Felix Barcala Chief of Port Police July 2000-Feb 2001 P35,000.00
South Harbor Finally, this Court cannot ignore Doromals Ex-Parte Manifestation and Motion
to Withdraw Complaint dated 18 August 2005 and Affidavit of Desistance dated 23
Alex Cruz July 2000- Feb 2001 P144,000.00
August 2005, which he filed with the Ombudsman. In both documents, Doromal
expressed his desire to withdraw his Complaint-Affidavit filed with the Ombudsman
The CSEPA blue book, however, is evidently self-serving. The entries therein and desist from the continuance of the criminal and administrative complaints against
were purportedly made by a certain Ebora, who was never presented to personally Bungubung. Doromal explicitly admitted therein that he merely fabricated all his
identify the entries she made or confirm the same. The only other person involved in allegations against Bungubung.
the preparation of the blue book was Doromal who supposedly approved the entries
therein. The blue book is not audited, nor is it subject to review by an independent While this Court looks with disfavor on affidavits of desistance, still, its effect
party. The blue book then can easily be manufactured. Considering the seriousness of on the instant case cannot be ignored. Doromals Affidavit of Desistance includes an
the charges which may arise against the public officers named therein, the entries in explicit admission that he fabricated the charges against Bungubung. Therefore,
the blue book must not be accepted at face value when the entries therein are Doromals Affidavit of Desistance is an express repudiation of the material points
uncorroborated by any other evidence. alleged in his Complaint-Affidavit, and not a mere expression of his lack of interest to
Third, while the Ombudsman gave much weight and credit to Doromals pursue his complaints against Bungubung. Since Doromal willfully and knowingly
evidence, it lightly brushed aside that submitted by Bungubung. Among Bungubungs executed his Affidavit of Desistance, there being no showing that he was made to do
evidence which the Ombudsman failed to consider was a copy of the Traffic Accident so fraudulently or under duress, then it may be admitted and considered as evidence
Incident Report prepared by the Central Police Traffic Enforcement Office, stating that which considerably puts into question the probative value of the Affidavit-Complaint he
on 4 May 2001, Doromal filed a false report of a hit-and-run incident which supposedly executed earlier and he now repudiates.
occurred on 1 May 2001 involving the Mitsubishi Pajero van of Bungubungs son. The
report was made by the police investigator in his official capacity; thus, it enjoys the In Gaviola v. Salcedo,[39] which involved an administrative case for
presumption of regularity and is a prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. The
suspension or disbarment against a lawyer, this Court gave probative value to the
filing of the false report establishes ill motive on the part of Doromal specifically Affidavit of Desistance of the complainant, pronouncing that while the filing of an
directed against Bungubung. Affidavit of Desistance by the complainant for lack of interest does not ipso facto result
in the termination of the administrative case, it was constrained to dismiss the charges
Fourth, the main defense put up by Bungubung is complete denial, a defense
since such charges cannot be proven without the evidence of the complainant and her
which is said to be the weakest, seldom believed or given weight, as it is easy to witnesses. Such is the case at bar. Essentially, the administrative case against
fabricate. Nonetheless, Bungubungs denial of -- (a) Cruzs allegation in her affidavit Bungubung was based on the allegations made by Doromal in his Affidavit-Complaint,
that she personally gave Bungubung P50,000.00 on 16 January 2001; (b) Doromals without which, the case against Bungubung collapses.
assertion in his affidavit that he gave Bungubung another P50,000.00 in late February
2001; and (c) Doromals assertion that Bungubung demanded from him a late model The Court of Appeals therefore took proper notice of Doromals Ex-
Mitsubishi Pajero van -- is given weight in this instance. Parte Motion to Withdraw the Affidavit-Complaint and Affidavit of Desistance since
they cast a different light on the evidence previously considered by the Ombudsman.
In the absence of corroborative evidence, the Court would not be prepared to
accept the usual lame defense of denial over the straightforward and positive After evaluating the totality of evidence on record, this Court reaches the
declaration of a witness since denials constitute self-serving negative evidence which inescapable conclusion that complainant Doromal failed to present substantial
cannot be accorded greater evidentiary weight than the declaration of credible evidence that Bungubung is administratively liable for grave misconduct.
witnesses who testify on affirmative matters. Thus, in the case of contradictory
As this Court declared in Ang Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations, [40] the assurance On February 13, 2003, spouses Felipe and Luzviminda Acosta (respondent spouses)
of a desirable flexibility in administrative procedure does not go so far as to justify also applied for SLUP for a bathing establishment over Lot Nos. 4512 and 4514.
orders without a basis in evidence having rational probative force. According to the respondent spouses, they acquired Lot Nos. 4512 and 4514 through
a March 19, 1998 Affidavit of Waiver of Rights executed by Rogelio Maranon, a
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition for Review registered survey claimant, and a February 9, 1999 Joint Affidavit of Waiver of Rights,
on Certiorari is DENIED. The Decision dated 30 June 2006 and Order dated 26 executed by Arturo Besaga, Jr.,10 and Digna Matalang Coching (another respondent
October 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 89689 are AFFIRMED. in this case), also registered survey claimants.

No Costs. On September 10, 2003, the respondents challenged the petitioner's SLUP application
before the DENR. On December 1, 2003, the RED issued the order giving due course
SO ORDERED. to the petitioner's SLUP application and rejecting the respondents' SLUP application.
The RED later denied the respondents' motion for reconsideration on July 26, 2004.

G.R. No. 194061, April 20, 2015 The respondent spouses received the July 26, 2004 order on August 16, 2004. They
tiled on. August 25, 2004, through registered mail, an Appeal Memorandum to the
Office of the DENR Secretary, copy furnished the petitioner's lawyer and the
EMELIE L. BESAGA, Petitioner, v. SPOUSES FELIPE ACOSTA AND LUZVIMINDA Office of the RED. The appeal fee was paid on September 10, 2004. Respondent
ACOSTA AND DIGNA MATALANG COCHING, Respondent. Digna Matalang Coching received the July 26, 2004 order on August 30, 2004 and
filed her appeal (which adopted the appeal of the respondent spouses) on September
DECISION 16, 2004.

BRION, J.: While the appeal was pending in the Office of the DENR Secretary, the RED issued a
Certificate of Finality11 declaring the December 1, 2003 and July 26, 2004 orders final
and executory for failure of the respondents to file a Notice of Appeal.
We resolve the present petition for review on certiorari1 assailing the October 30, 2009
decision2 and the October 1, 2010 resolution3 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA- On December 10, 2004, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer
G.R.'SP No. 100616. (PENRO) issued the SLUP12 to the petitioner covering Lot Nos. 4512, 4513 and 4514.
On November 18, 2005, the SLUP was converted into a Special Forest Land-Use
The CA affirmed the decision4 of the Office of the President setting aside the Agreement for Tourism Purposes (FLAgT).
resolution5 of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
Secretary. The DENR Secretary earlier affirmed the orders dated December 1, On August 6, 2006, the DENR Secretary rendered a decision (i) vacating the
20036 and July 26, 20047 of the DENR Regional Executive Director (RED), Region IV- December 1, 2003 and July 26, 2004 orders of the RED; (ii) amending the coverage of
B-MIMAROPA.8 the SLUP of the petitioner to cover Lot No. 4513 only; and (iii) giving due course to the
SLUP of the respondent spouses to cover Lot Nos. 4512 and 4514.
The Antecedents9
Acting on the motion for reconsideration13 filed by the petitioner, the DENR Secretary
The dispute involved Lot Nos. 4512 and 4514 located at Barangay Port Barton, San reversed his August 6, 2006 decision on October 17, 2006 and held that the
Vicente, Palawan, which are parts of a six-hectare timberland. December 1, 2003 and July 26, 2004 orders of the RED have attained finality
because: (i) the respondent spouses filed an Appeal Memorandum, instead of a
On February 11, 2003, Emelie L. Besaga (petitioner) applied for a Special Land Use Notice of Appeal; (ii) the Appeal Memorandum was directly filed with the DENR
Permit (SLUP) for Lot Nos. 4512, 4513 and 4514 for a bathing establishment. Secretary and not with the RED; and (iii) the respondent spouses failed to pay the
According to the petitioner, the lots are covered by Tax Declaration No. 048 in the required appeal fees within the reglementary period.
name of her father, the late Arturo Besaga, Sr. who allegedly occupied the land during
his lifetime. The Office of the President reversed the October 17, 2006 resolution of the DENR
Secretary.
The Office of the President's Ruling19
The CA, through the assailed decision and resolution, affirmed the decision of the
Office of the President. The Office of the President reversed the October 17, 2006 resolution of the DENR
Secretary.
The petitioner filed the present petition to contest the CA's ruling.
It held that the orders of the RED did not become final because there is no law, rule or
The DENR's Findings regulation prohibiting an appellant to file an appeal memorandum, instead of a notice
of appeal, to the office concerned. It further held that the appeal memorandum itself
The RED, relying mainly on the report14 prepared by the chief of Forest Management serves as a sufficient notice of the party's intention to elevate the case to a higher
Services ruled in favor of the petitioner. authority. The Office of the President observed that in a plethora of cases, notices of
appeal are filed directly with the DENR, rather than with the RED, which practice has
The report gave credence to Tax Declaration No. 048, 15 which purportedly showed not since been prohibited nor made as a ground for the outright dismissal of the
that Lot Nos. 4512, 4513 and 4514 are parts of the six (6) hectare timberland occupied appeal. Finally, it found that the respondent spouses paid the appeal fees. All of these
by the petitioner's father during his lifetime. The RED also gave weight to the negate the finding that the respondent spouses did not perfect their appeal to the
statements of two former Barangay Captains of Port Barton and the document signed DENR Secretary.
by the alleged occupants of the said six (6) hectare timberland supporting the
petitioner's claim. As to the merits of the case, the Office of the President found that Tax Declaration No.
048 did not cover Lot Nos. 4512, 4513 and 4514 but Lot No. 4741, which is entirely
The DENR Secretary reversed the orders of the RED in his decision dated August 6, different and distinct from the contested lots. It gave credence to the Affidavit of
2006.16 Waiver of Rights executed by Rogelio Maranon and the Joint Affidavit of Waiver of
Rights jointly executed by Arturo Besaga, Jr. and Digna Matalang Coching in favor of
He ruled that the petitioner cannot claim preferential right to apply for an SLUP over the respondent spouses. No countervailing proof was presented by the petitioner to
Lot Nos. 4512 and 4514 in view of her sweeping allegation that the said lots are part impugn these affidavits.
of the six (6) hectare timberland, which his father possessed in his lifetime and whose
possession she tacked. The DENR Secretary asked: if indeed the petitioner tacked The CA's Ruling
the possession of his father and she was the actual occupant over Lot Nos. 4512 and
4514, why was she not made the survey claimants of the said lots? The CA sustained the Office of the President. Citing decisions of this Court, it held that
rules of procedure are construed liberally in proceedings before administrative bodies.
The DENR Secretary found that the respondent spouses have a preferential right over They are not to be applied in a very rigid and technical manner, as they are used only
Lot Nos. 4512 and 4514. Rogelio Maranon, the registered survey claimant and to hold secure and not to override substantial justice.
occupant of Lot No. 4512, waived and transferred his right over the lot in favor of the
respondent spouses in a duly-notarized Affidavit of Waiver of Rights. The respondent The CA ruled that the orders of the RED have not attained finality.
spouses derived their right over Lot No. 4514 from Arturo Besaga, Jr. and Digna
Matalang Coching, the registered survey claimants, who executed a duly-notarized The Petition
Joint-Affidavit of Waiver of Rights over the said lot. The DENR Secretary held that
these are the legal and vital documents (disregarded by the chief of Forest The petitioner seeks reversal of the CA decision and resolution for being contrary to
Management Services) which support the preferential rights of the respondent law and jurisprudence. She submits that the respondent spouses failed to perfect an
spouses over Lot Nos. 4512 and 4514. appeal in the administrative proceedings. She argues that the perfection of an appeal
in the manner and within the period prescribed by law is not only mandatory but also
The DENR Secretary, however, reversed his August 6, 2006 decision in a jurisdictional and that failure to conform to the rules will render the judgment sought to
resolution17 dated October 17, 2006. He ruled that the respondent spouses failed to be reviewed final and unappealable. She adds that the liberal interpretation of the
perfect the appeal because they filed a Memorandum of Appeal instead of a Notice of rules has no clear application in the present case because the respondents failed to
Appeal contrary to Section 1(a) of DENR Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. adequately explain their non-compliance therewith.
87, series of 1990.18
As is proper under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, the petitioner does not raise any V. WHETHER THE PERFECTION OF APPEAL IN ACCORDANCE WITH
factual questions. SECTION 1 (A) OF DAO NO. 87, SERIES OF 1990 IS NOT ONLY
MANDATORY BUT JURISDICTIONAL; AND
Respondent's Comment20
VI. WHETHER THE ORDERS DATED DECEMBER 1, 2003 AND JULY 23,
The respondent spouses ask for the petition's dismissal for lack of merit. They submit 2014 CAN STILL BE MODIFIED AND SET ASIDE BY THE HONORABLE
that the CA acted in accordance with law and jurisprudence in upholding the ruling of COURT OF APPEALS.
the Office of the President.

They argue that to dismiss the case on the mere ground of technicalities would mean The resolution of these issues hinges on whether the orders of the RED dated
to dispense with the determination of the party having preferential right on the December 1, 2003 and July 26, 2004 have attained finality because the respondents
disputed lots and could cause the perpetuation of a wrong. They maintain that the filed a Memorandum of Appeal directly to the DENR Secretary instead of a Notice of
cases cited by the petitioner, where procedural rules were strictly enforced by this Appeal to the RED.
Court, involved violation of the rules either before the trial court, the CA or before this
Court, and not before an administrative agency like the DENR. In sum, the respondent The Court's Ruling
spouses contend that the orders of the RED have not attained finality, thus, said
orders are still subject to reversal, amendment or modification on appeal. We deny the petition.

Issues The petitioner insists that the filing of a Memorandum of Appeal instead of a Notice of
Appeal was fatal to the respondent spouses' case.
The petitioner raises the following issues:21
We are not convinced of the merits of this position.
I. WHETHER THE APPEAL INTERPOSED BY THE RESPONDENTS WAS
CORRECTLY FILED TO THE DENR SECRETARY AND NOT TO THE The crux of the dispute is Section 1(a) of DAO No. 87. It provides:
REGIONAL OFFICE AS PROVIDED UNDER SECTION 1 (A) OF DAO NO.
87, SERIES OF 1990; Section 1. Perfection of Appeals. - a) Unless otherwise provided by law or executive
order, appeals from the decisions/orders of the DENR Regional Offices shall be
II. WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENTS' APPEAL TO THE OFFICE OF THE perfected within fifteen (15) days after the receipt of a copy of the decision/order
DENR SECRETARY WAS PERFECTED DESPITE OF THEIR FAILURE TO complained of by the party adversely affected, by tiling with the Regional Office
COMPLY WITH SECTION 1 (A) OF DAO NO. 87, SERIES OF 1990; which adjudicated the case a notice of appeal, serving copies thereof upon the
prevailing party and Office of the Secretary, and paying the required fees.
III. WHETHER THE LIBERAL INTERPRETATION OF THE RULES ON APPEAL [Emphasis ours.]
INVOLVING ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS WAS CORRECTLY
APPLIED BY THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS IN THE CASE OF According to the petitioner, this provision is mandatory and jurisdictional. She argues
RESPONDENTS; that respondents filed a defective appeal because: (i) they filed a Memorandum of
Appeal instead of a Notice of Appeal; (ii) directly to the DENR and not to the Regional
Office, which adjudicated the case; and (iii) no docket fee was paid.22
IV. WHETHER THE ASSAILED ORDERS, ISSUED ON DECEMBER 1, 2003
AND JULY 26, 2004, OF THE REGIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
The petitioner cites jurisprudence to bolster her argument that the perfection of an
DENR REGION IV-MIMAROPA IN DENR CASE NO. M-003-03-F, WERE
appeal in the manner and within the period prescribed by law is not oniy mandatory
ALREADY FINAL AND EXECUTORY;
but also jurisdictional.

We accordingly review the cited cases to determine the correctness of the petitioner's
submitted position.
case.
In Asian Spirit Airlines v. Bautista,23 the CA dismissed the appeal because the
appellant failed to file his brief within the time provided by the Rules of Court. The The Nature of Administrative
appellant not only neglected to file its brief within the stipulated time but also failed to Rules of Procedure
seek an extension of time based on a cogent ground before the expiration of the time
sought to be extended. In sustaining the CA, we held that liberality in the application of It is true that the right to appeal, being merely a statutory privilege, should be
rules of procedure may not be invoked if it will result in the wanton disregard of the exercised in the manner prescribed by law. This has been consistently held in relation
rules or cause needless delay in the administration of justice. to non-observance by a party-litigant of the Rules of Court and failure to offer a valid
and acceptable excuse for non-compliance.
In Land Bank of the Philippines v. Natividad,24 we affirmed the trial court when it
considered a motion for reconsideration pro forma for not containing a notice of Yet, it is equally true that in proceedings before administrative bodies the general rule
hearing. We held that a motion that does not contain the requisite notice of hearing is has always been liberality.
nothing but a mere scrap of paper. The clerk of court does not even have the duty to
accept it, much less to bring it to the attention of the presiding judge. Strict compliance with the rules of procedure in administrative cases is not required by
law.28 Administrative rules of procedure should be construed liberally in order to
In Videogram Regulatory Board v. CA,25 the Regional Trial Court granted the promote their object to assist the parties in obtaining a just, speedy and inexpensive
petitioner a non-extendible 15-day period to file a Petition for Review from the decision determination of their respective claims and defenses.29
of the Metropolitan Trial Court. The petitioner failed to file the petition despite the
extension. We held that the requirements for perfecting an appeal within the In Birkenstock Orthopaedie GmbH and Co. KG v. Philippine Shoe Expo Marketing
reglementary period specified in the law must be strictly followed as they are Corp.,30 we held:
considered indispensable interdictions against needless delays and for orderly
discharge of judicial business. It is well-settled that the rules of procedure are mere tools aimed at facilitating the
attainment of justice, rather than its frustration. A strict and rigid application of the
In MC Engineering, Inc. v. NLRC,26 we affirm the CA when it denied due course to the rules must always be eschewed when it would subvert the primary objective of the
petitioner's appeal because of its failure to explain why another mode of service other rules, that is, to enhance fair trials and expedite justice. Technicalities should never
than personal service was resorted to. We held that an affidavit of service is required be used to defeat the substantive rights of the other party. Every party-litigant
merely as proof that service has been made to the other parties in a case. It is a must be afforded the amplest opportunity for the proper and just determination of his
requirement totally different from the requirement that an explanation be made if cause, free from the constraints of technicalities, x x x This is especially true with
personal service of pleadings was not resorted to. quasi-judicial and administrative bodies, such as the IPO, which are not bound
by technical rules of procedure. [Emphasis supplied.]
Finally, in Artistica Ceramica v. Ciudad Del Carmen Homeowner's Association,
Inc.,27 the issue was whether the petitioner properly filed a petition for certiorari under The liberality of procedure in administrative actions, however, is subject to limitations
Rule 65 instead of an appeal by certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. We imposed by the requirements of due process.31
held that as a rule, the remedy from a judgment or final order of the CA is appeal by
certiorari under Rule 45. The failure to file the appeal within the 15-day reglementary Administrative due process means reasonable opportunity to be heard. As held in Vivo
period under Rule 45 is not an excuse to use Rule 65. Rule 65 is not a substitute for a v. Pagcor.32
lost appeal,
The observance of fairness in the conduct of any investigation is at the very heart of
In sum, all these cases strictly applied the rule that the right to appeal is a mere procedural due process. The essence of due process is to be heard, and, as applied
statutory right and the party who avails of such right must comply with the law. to administrative proceedings, this means a fair and reasonable opportunity to
Otherwise, the right to appeal is lost. explain one's side, or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or
ruling complained of. Administrative due process cannot be fully equated with due
To reiterate, these involved violations of the Rules of Court while the cases were process in its strict judicial sense, for in the former a formal or trial-type hearing is not
pending in the trial court, the CA or before this Court. They do not involved violation
of administrative rules of procedure. They are not strictly applicable in the present
always necessary, and technical rules of procedure are not strictly applied. [Emphasis Memorandum of Appeal had the same practical effect had a Notice of Appeal been
supplied.] filed: inform the RED that his order is sought to be appealed to the DENR Secretary.

Where due process is present, the administrative decision is generally sustained. 33 Significantly, the respondent spouses notified the petitioner of the filing of the
Memorandum of Appeal. The petitioner subsequently filed her opposition thereto.
Thus, while this Court allows liberal construction of administrative rules of procedure When the DENR Secretary initially ruled in favor of the respondent spouses, the
to enhance fair trial and expedite justice, we are keenly aware that liberal construction petitioner tiled a motion for reconsideration of the said decision.
has no application when due process is violated. The crucial point of inquiry in cases
involving violation of administrative rules of procedure is whether such violation Clearly, the petitioner participated in every stage of the administrative proceeding. Her
disregards the basic tenets of administrative due process. If the gravity of the violation right to be heard was not compromised despite the wrong mode of appeal.
of the rules is such that due process is breached, the rules of procedure should be
strictly applied. Otherwise, the rules are liberally construed. As to the late payment of the appeal fee, suffice it to say that this Court has
disregarded late payment of appeal fees at the administrative level in order to
Liberal Construction as render substantial justice.35
Applied in the Present Case
Second, the liberal construction of DAO No. 87 would serve its purpose, i.e., grant a
It is undisputed that the respondent spouses, instead of filing a Notice of Appeal to the party the right to appeal decisions of the Regional Offices to the DENR Secretary in
RED, filed a Memorandum of Appeal to the DENR Secretary within the fifteen (15)-day order for the latter to review the findings of the former. To disallow appeal in this case
reglementary period. They paid the appeal fee, although beyond the fifteen (15)-day would not only work injustice to the respondent spouses, it would also diminish the
period. These violate Section 1 (a) of DAO No. 87 which requires the filing of a Notice DENR Secretary's power to review the decision of the RED. It would deny the DENR
of Appeal and the payment of the appeal fee within the reglementary period. Secretary the opportunity to correct, at the earliest opportunity, "errors of judgment" of
his subordinates. This is obviously not the intent of DAO No. 87.
Do these errors breach due process so as to call for the strict application of
administrative rules of procedure? Is there basis for the liberal construction of the Finally, the petitioner failed to convince us why liberality should not be applied. The
rules? petitioner does not claim that her right to due process was violated as a result of the
wrong mode of appeal. The petitioner merely asks this Court to strictly construe DAO
We uphold liberality. No. 87 and affirm the orders of the RED, which according to her, have attained finality.

First, there is no violation of due process. In fact, to sustain the position of the Between strict construction of administrative rules of procedure for their own sake and
petitioner and strictly apply Section l(a) of DAO No. 87 may violate the respondent their liberal application in order to enhance fair trials and expedite justice, we uphold
spouses right to due process as this would result to a denial of their right to appeal. the latter. After all, administrative rules of procedure do not operate in a vacuum. The
rules facilitate just, speedy and inexpensive resolution of disputes before
We stress that the respondent spouses appealed within the reglementary administrative bodies. The better policy is to apply these rules in a manner that would
period. The appeal was timely filed, albeit not directly to the office which issued the give effect rather than defeat their intended purpose.
order sought to be reviewed. They also paid the full appeal fees although beyond the
15-day period. WHEREFORE, premises considered, we DENY the petition and AFFIRM the October
30, 2009 decision and October 1, 2010 resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
We hold that these procedural lapses were neither prejudicial nor unfair to the SP No. 100616, affirming the August 13, 2007 decision of the Office of the President
petitioner. The petitioner's right to due process was not breached. in O.P. Case No. 06-K-398.

Notably, both the petitioner and the RED were furnished copies of the SO ORDERED.
Memorandum of Appeal, a fact that the petitioner did not deny.34

We agree with the observation of the Office of the President that the Memorandum of
Appeal essentially served the purpose of the Notice of Appeal. The filing of the
White Light Corp., vs City of Manila Whether herein appellant committed the crime of large scale illegal recruitment.
Police Power – Not Validly Exercised – Infringement of Private Rights RULING:
On 3 Dec 1992, then Mayor Lim signed into law Ord 7774 entitled “An Ordinance”
prohibiting short time admission in hotels, motels, lodging houses, pension houses
and similar establishments in the City of Manila. White Light Corp is an operator of NO. Section 13(b) is not overbroad. It encompasses what appellant apparently
mini hotels and motels who sought to have the Ordinance be nullified as the said considers as customary and harmless acts such as labor or employment referral.
Ordinance infringes on the private rights of their patrons. The RTC ruled in favor of NO. A conviction for large scale illegal recruitment must be based on a finding in each
WLC. It ruled that the Ordinance strikes at the personal liberty of the individual case of illegal recruitment of three or more persons whether individually or as a group.
guaranteed by the Constitution. The City maintains that the ordinance is valid as it is a In this case, only two persons, Amanita and Modesto, were proven to have been
valid exercise of police power. Under the LGC, the City is empowered to regulate the recruited by the appellant.
establishment, operation and maintenance of cafes, restaurants, beerhouses, hotels, Estrada vs. Sandiganbayan
motels, inns, pension houses, lodging houses and other similar establishments, G.R. No. 148560. November 19, 2001
including tourist guides and transports. The CA ruled in favor of the City. Petitioner: Joseph Ejercito Estrada
Respondents: Sandiganbayan (Third Division) and People of the Philippines
ISSUE: Whether or not Ord 7774 is valid. Ponente: J. Bellosillo
FACTS:
HELD: The SC ruled that the said ordinance is null and void as it indeed infringes
Section 2 of R.A. No. 7080 (An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Plunder) as
upon individual liberty. It also violates the due process clause which serves as a
amended by R.A. No. 7659 substantially provides that any public officer who
guaranty for protection against arbitrary regulation or seizure. The said ordinance
amasses, accumulates or acquires ill-gotten wealth through a combination or series of
invades private rights. Note that not all who goes into motels and hotels for wash up
overt or criminal acts in the aggregate amount or total value of at least fifty million
rate are really there for obscene purposes only. Some are tourists who needed rest or
pesos (P50,000,000.00) shall be guilty of the crime of plunder. Petitioner Joseph
to “wash up” or to freshen up. Hence, the infidelity sought to be avoided by the said
Ejercito Estrada, being prosecuted under the said Act, assailed its constitutionality,
ordinance is more or less subjected only to a limited group of people. The SC
arguing inter alia, that it abolishes the element of mens rea in crimes already
reiterates that individual rights may be adversely affected only to the extent that may
punishable under The Revised Penal Code; and as such, a violation of the
fairly be required by the legitimate demands of public interest or public welfare.
fundamental rights of the accused to due process and to be informed of the nature
Case Digest: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. CAROL M. DELA PIEDRA and cause of the accusation against him.
ISSUE:
G.R. No. 121777 24 January 2001 Whether or not the crime of plunder as defined in R.A. No. 7080 is a malum
prohibitum.
FACTS: HELD:
No. The Supreme Court held that plunder is malum in se which requires proof of
Dela Piedra was charged with illegal recruitment in a large scale. In an information criminal intent. Moreover, the legislative declaration in R.A. No. 7659 that plunder is a
filed against her, without any POEA license, she allegedly offered and promised for a heinous offense implies that it is a malum in se. The predicate crimes in the case of
fee employment in Singapore to Modesto, Amanita and Timbol, such that Modesto plunder involve acts which are inherently immoral or inherently wrong, and are
had already advanced the amount of Php2,000.00. Dela Piedra was arrested in her committed “willfully, unlawfully and criminally” by the offender, alleging his guilty
home after an investigation was made by Atty. Erlina Ramos, a lawyer of the POEA, knowledge. Thus, the crime of plunder is a malum in se.
who pretended to be an applicant, which led to an entrapment operation of the PNP-
CIS for Region IX.

ISSUES:

Is Article 13(b) of the Labor Code defining recruitment and placement void for
vagueness?
G.R. No. 178552 October 5, 2010 On August 29, 2007, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Counsels for the
Defense of Liberty (CODAL),6Senator Ma. Ana Consuelo A.S. Madrigal, Sergio
SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE ENGAGEMENT NETWORK, INC., Petitioners, Osmeña III, and Wigberto E. Tañada filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition
vs. docketed as G.R. No. 179157.
ANTI-TERRORISM COUNCIL, THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE SECRETARY Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Tagalog (BAYAN-ST), other regional
OF JUSTICE, Respondents. chapters and organizations mostly based in the Southern Tagalog Region, 7 and
individuals8 followed suit by filing on September 19, 2007 a petition for certiorari and
prohibition docketed as G.R. No. 179461 that replicates the allegations raised in the
DECISION BAYAN petition in G.R. No. 178581.
CARPIO MORALES, J.: Impleaded as respondents in the various petitions are the Anti-Terrorism
Before the Court are six petitions challenging the constitutionality of Republic Act No. Council9 composed of, at the time of the filing of the petitions, Executive Secretary
9372 (RA 9372), "An Act to Secure the State and Protect our People from Terrorism," Eduardo Ermita as Chairperson, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales as Vice
otherwise known as the Human Security Act of 2007,1signed into law on March 6, Chairperson, and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, Acting Defense Secretary
2007. and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Interior and Local Government
Following the effectivity of RA 9372 on July 15, 2007, 2 petitioner Southern Secretary Ronaldo Puno, and Finance Secretary Margarito Teves as members. All the
Hemisphere Engagement Network, Inc., a non-government organization, and Atty. petitions, except that of the IBP, also impleaded Armed Forces of the Philippines
Soliman Santos, Jr., a concerned citizen, taxpayer and lawyer, filed a petition for (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon and Philippine National Police (PNP)
certiorari and prohibition on July 16, 2007 docketed as G.R. No. 178552. On even Chief Gen. Oscar Calderon.
date, petitioners Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), National Federation of Labor Unions- The Karapatan, BAYAN and BAYAN-ST petitions likewise impleaded President Gloria
Kilusang Mayo Uno (NAFLU-KMU), and Center for Trade Union and Human Rights Macapagal-Arroyo and the support agencies for the Anti-Terrorism Council like the
(CTUHR), represented by their respective officers3 who are also bringing the action in National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of
their capacity as citizens, filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition docketed as G.R. Immigration, Office of Civil Defense, Intelligence Service of the AFP, Anti-Money
No. 178554. Laundering Center, Philippine Center on Transnational Crime, and the PNP
The following day, July 17, 2007, organizations Bagong Alyansang Makabayan intelligence and investigative elements.
(BAYAN), General Alliance Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, The petitions fail.
Leadership and Action (GABRIELA), Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Petitioners’ resort to certiorari is improper
Movement of Concerned Citizens for Civil Liberties (MCCCL), Confederation for Unity, Preliminarily, certiorari does not lie against respondents who do not exercise judicial or
Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), Kalipunan ng quasi-judicial functions. Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is clear:
Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY), Solidarity of Cavite Workers (SCW), League of Section 1. Petition for certiorari.—When any tribunal, board or
Filipino Students (LFS), Anakbayan, Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of
(PAMALAKAYA), Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Migrante, Health Alliance for its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
Democracy (HEAD), and Agham, represented by their respective officers, 4 and joined jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the
by concerned citizens and taxpayers Teofisto Guingona, Jr., Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera, ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the
Renato Constantino, Jr., Sister Mary John Manansan, OSB, Dean Consuelo Paz, Atty. proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered
Josefina Lichauco, Retired Col. Gerry Cunanan, Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, Dr. Carolina annulling or modifying the proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and granting
Pagaduan-Araullo, Renato Reyes, Danilo Ramos, Emerenciana de Jesus, Rita Baua such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require. (Emphasis and underscoring
and Rey Claro Casambre filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition docketed as G.R. supplied)
No. 178581. Parenthetically, petitioners do not even allege with any modicum of particularity how
On August 6, 2007, Karapatan and its alliance member organizations Hustisya, respondents acted without or in excess of their respective jurisdictions, or with grave
Desaparecidos, Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at para sa abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
Amnestiya (SELDA), Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace (EMJP), and The impropriety of certiorari as a remedy aside, the petitions fail just the same.
Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR), which were represented by their In constitutional litigations, the power of judicial review is limited by four exacting
respective officers5 who are also bringing action on their own behalf, filed a petition for requisites, viz: (a) there must be an actual case or controversy; (b) petitioners must
certiorari and prohibition docketed as G.R. No. 178890. possess locus standi; (c) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest
opportunity; and (d) the issue of constitutionality must be the lis mota of the case. 10
In the present case, the dismal absence of the first two requisites, which are the most Even conceding such gratuitous allegations, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG)
essential, renders the discussion of the last two superfluous. correctly points out that petitioners have yet to show any connection between the
Petitioners lack locus standi purported "surveillance" and the implementation of RA 9372.
Locus standi or legal standing requires a personal stake in the outcome of the BAYAN, GABRIELA, KMP, MCCCL, COURAGE, KADAMAY, SCW, LFS, Anakbayan,
controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation PAMALAKAYA, ACT, Migrante, HEAD and Agham, petitioner-organizations in G.R.
of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult No. 178581, would like the Court to take judicial notice of respondents’ alleged action
constitutional questions.11 of tagging them as militant organizations fronting for the Communist Party of the
Anak Mindanao Party-List Group v. The Executive Secretary12 summarized the rule on Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the National People’s Army (NPA). The tagging,
locus standi, thus: according to petitioners, is tantamount to the effects of proscription without following
Locus standi or legal standing has been defined as a personal and substantial interest the procedure under the law.15 The petition of BAYAN-ST, et al. in G.R. No. 179461
in a case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of pleads the same allegations.
the governmental act that is being challenged. The gist of the question on standing is The Court cannot take judicial notice of the alleged "tagging" of petitioners.
whether a party alleges such personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to Generally speaking, matters of judicial notice have three material requisites: (1) the
assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon matter must be one of common and general knowledge; (2) it must be well and
which the court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. authoritatively settled and not doubtful or uncertain; and (3) it must be known to be
[A] party who assails the constitutionality of a statute must have a direct and personal within the limits of the jurisdiction of the court. The principal guide in determining what
interest. It must show not only that the law or any governmental act is invalid, but also facts may be assumed to be judicially known is that of notoriety. Hence, it can be said
that it sustained or is in immediate danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result that judicial notice is limited to facts evidenced by public records and facts of general
of its enforcement, and not merely that it suffers thereby in some indefinite way. It notoriety. Moreover, a judicially noticed fact must be one not subject to a reasonable
must show that it has been or is about to be denied some right or privilege to which it dispute in that it is either: (1) generally known within the territorial jurisdiction of the
is lawfully entitled or that it is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by trial court; or (2) capable of accurate and ready determination by resorting to sources
reason of the statute or act complained of. whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questionable.
For a concerned party to be allowed to raise a constitutional question, it must show Things of "common knowledge," of which courts take judicial matters coming to the
that (1) it has personally suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the knowledge of men generally in the course of the ordinary experiences of life, or they
allegedly illegal conduct of the government, (2) the injury is fairly traceable to the may be matters which are generally accepted by mankind as true and are capable of
challenged action, and (3) the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action. ready and unquestioned demonstration. Thus, facts which are universally known, and
(emphasis and underscoring supplied.) which may be found in encyclopedias, dictionaries or other publications, are judicially
Petitioner-organizations assert locus standi on the basis of being suspected noticed, provided, they are of such universal notoriety and so generally understood
"communist fronts" by the government, especially the military; whereas individual that they may be regarded as forming part of the common knowledge of every person.
petitioners invariably invoke the "transcendental importance" doctrine and their status As the common knowledge of man ranges far and wide, a wide variety of particular
as citizens and taxpayers. facts have been judicially noticed as being matters of common knowledge. But a court
While Chavez v. PCGG13 holds that transcendental public importance dispenses with cannot take judicial notice of any fact which, in part, is dependent on the existence or
the requirement that petitioner has experienced or is in actual danger of suffering non-existence of a fact of which the court has no constructive knowledge.16 (emphasis
direct and personal injury, cases involving the constitutionality of penal legislation and underscoring supplied.)
belong to an altogether different genus of constitutional litigation. Compelling State No ground was properly established by petitioners for the taking of judicial notice.
and societal interests in the proscription of harmful conduct, as will later be elucidated, Petitioners’ apprehension is insufficient to substantiate their plea. That no specific
necessitate a closer judicial scrutiny of locus standi. charge or proscription under RA 9372 has been filed against them, three years after
Petitioners have not presented any personal stake in the outcome of the controversy. its effectivity, belies any claim of imminence of their perceived threat emanating from
None of them faces any charge under RA 9372. the so-called tagging.
KARAPATAN, Hustisya, Desaparecidos, SELDA, EMJP and PCR, petitioners in G.R. The same is true with petitioners KMU, NAFLU and CTUHR in G.R. No. 178554, who
No. 178890, allege that they have been subjected to "close security surveillance by merely harp as well on their supposed "link" to the CPP and NPA. They fail to
state security forces," their members followed by "suspicious persons" and "vehicles particularize how the implementation of specific provisions of RA 9372 would result in
with dark windshields," and their offices monitored by "men with military build." They direct injury to their organization and members.
likewise claim that they have been branded as "enemies of the [S]tate." 14 While in our jurisdiction there is still no judicially declared terrorist organization, the
United States of America17(US) and the European Union18 (EU) have both classified
the CPP, NPA and Abu Sayyaf Group as foreign terrorist organizations. The Court The mere invocation of the duty to preserve the rule of law does not, however, suffice
takes note of the joint statement of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Justice to clothe the IBP or any of its members with standing.27 The IBP failed to sufficiently
Secretary Raul Gonzales that the Arroyo Administration would adopt the US and EU demonstrate how its mandate under the assailed statute revolts against its
classification of the CPP and NPA as terrorist organizations.19 Such statement constitutional rights and duties. Moreover, both the IBP and CODAL have not pointed
notwithstanding, there is yet to be filed before the courts an application to declare the to even a single arrest or detention effected under RA 9372.
CPP and NPA organizations as domestic terrorist or outlawed organizations under RA Former Senator Ma. Ana Consuelo Madrigal, who claims to have been the subject of
9372. Again, RA 9372 has been in effect for three years now. From July 2007 up to "political surveillance," also lacks locus standi. Prescinding from the veracity, let alone
the present, petitioner-organizations have conducted their activities fully and freely legal basis, of the claim of "political surveillance," the Court finds that she has not
without any threat of, much less an actual, prosecution or proscription under RA 9372. shown even the slightest threat of being charged under RA 9372. Similarly lacking in
Parenthetically, the Fourteenth Congress, in a resolution initiated by Party-list locus standi are former Senator Wigberto Tañada and Senator Sergio Osmeña III,
Representatives Saturnino Ocampo, Teodoro Casiño, Rafael Mariano and Luzviminda who cite their being respectively a human rights advocate and an oppositor to the
Ilagan,20 urged the government to resume peace negotiations with the NDF by passage of RA 9372. Outside these gratuitous statements, no concrete injury to them
removing the impediments thereto, one of which is the adoption of designation of the has been pinpointed.
CPP and NPA by the US and EU as foreign terrorist organizations. Considering the Petitioners Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network and Atty. Soliman Santos Jr.
policy statement of the Aquino Administration21 of resuming peace talks with the NDF, in G.R. No. 178552 also conveniently state that the issues they raise are of
the government is not imminently disposed to ask for the judicial proscription of the transcendental importance, "which must be settled early" and are of "far-reaching
CPP-NPA consortium and its allied organizations. implications," without mention of any specific provision of RA 9372 under which they
More important, there are other parties not before the Court with direct and specific have been charged, or may be charged. Mere invocation of human rights advocacy
interests in the questions being raised.22 Of recent development is the filing of has nowhere been held sufficient to clothe litigants with locus standi. Petitioners must
the first case for proscription under Section 1723 of RA 9372 by the Department of show an actual, or immediate danger of sustaining, direct injury as a result of the law’s
Justice before the Basilan Regional Trial Court against the Abu Sayyaf enforcement. To rule otherwise would be to corrupt the settled doctrine of locus standi,
Group.24 Petitioner-organizations do not in the least allege any link to the Abu Sayyaf as every worthy cause is an interest shared by the general public.
Group. Neither can locus standi be conferred upon individual petitioners as taxpayers and
Some petitioners attempt, in vain though, to show the imminence of a prosecution citizens. A taxpayer suit is proper only when there is an exercise of the spending or
under RA 9372 by alluding to past rebellion charges against them. taxing power of Congress,28 whereas citizen standing must rest on direct and personal
In Ladlad v. Velasco,25 the Court ordered the dismissal of rebellion charges filed in interest in the proceeding.29
2006 against then Party-List Representatives Crispin Beltran and Rafael Mariano of RA 9372 is a penal statute and does not even provide for any appropriation from
Anakpawis, Liza Maza of GABRIELA, and Joel Virador, Teodoro Casiño and Congress for its implementation, while none of the individual petitioner-citizens has
Saturnino Ocampo of Bayan Muna. Also named in the dismissed rebellion charges alleged any direct and personal interest in the implementation of the law.
were petitioners Rey Claro Casambre, Carolina Pagaduan-Araullo, Renato Reyes, It bears to stress that generalized interests, albeit accompanied by the assertion of a
Rita Baua, Emerencia de Jesus and Danilo Ramos; and accused of being front public right, do not establish locus standi. Evidence of a direct and personal interest is
organizations for the Communist movement were petitioner-organizations KMU, key.
BAYAN, GABRIELA, PAMALAKAYA, KMP, KADAMAY, LFS and COURAGE.26 Petitioners fail to present an actual case or controversy
The dismissed rebellion charges, however, do not save the day for petitioners. For By constitutional fiat, judicial power operates only when there is an actual case or
one, those charges were filed in 2006, prior to the enactment of RA 9372, and controversy.
dismissed by this Court. For another, rebellion is defined and punished under the Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower
Revised Penal Code. Prosecution for rebellion is not made more imminent by the courts as may be established by law.
enactment of RA 9372, nor does the enactment thereof make it easier to charge a Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual
person with rebellion, its elements not having been altered. controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to
Conversely, previously filed but dismissed rebellion charges bear no relation to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to
prospective charges under RA 9372. It cannot be overemphasized that three years lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
after the enactment of RA 9372, none of petitioners has been charged. Government.30(emphasis and underscoring supplied.)
Petitioners IBP and CODAL in G.R. No. 179157 base their claim of locus standi on As early as Angara v. Electoral Commission,31 the Court ruled that the power of
their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution. The IBP zeroes in on Section 21 of RA judicial review is limited to actual cases or controversies to be exercised after full
9372 directing it to render assistance to those arrested or detained under the law.
opportunity of argument by the parties. Any attempt at abstraction could only lead to Prevailing American jurisprudence allows an adjudication on the merits when an
dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities. anticipatory petition clearly shows that the challenged prohibition forbids the conduct
An actual case or controversy means an existing case or controversy that is or activity that a petitioner seeks to do, as there would then be a justiciable
appropriate or ripe for determination, not conjectural or anticipatory, lest the decision controversy.42
of the court would amount to an advisory opinion.32 Unlike the plaintiffs in Holder, however, herein petitioners have failed to show that the
Information Technology Foundation of the Philippines v. COMELEC33 cannot be more challenged provisions of RA 9372 forbid constitutionally protected conduct or activity
emphatic: that they seek to do. No demonstrable threat has been established, much less a real
[C]ourts do not sit to adjudicate mere academic questions to satisfy scholarly interest, and existing one.
however intellectually challenging. The controversy must be justiciable—definite and Petitioners’ obscure allegations of sporadic "surveillance" and supposedly being
concrete, touching on the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests. In tagged as "communist fronts" in no way approximate a credible threat of prosecution.
other words, the pleadings must show an active antagonistic assertion of a legal right, From these allegations, the Court is being lured to render an advisory opinion, which
on the one hand, and a denial thereof on the other hand; that is, it must concern a real is not its function.43
and not merely a theoretical question or issue. There ought to be an actual and Without any justiciable controversy, the petitions have become pleas for declaratory
substantial controversy admitting of specific relief through a decree conclusive in relief, over which the Court has no original jurisdiction. Then again, declaratory actions
nature, as distinguished from an opinion advising what the law would be upon a characterized by "double contingency," where both the activity the petitioners intend to
hypothetical state of facts. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) undertake and the anticipated reaction to it of a public official are merely theorized, lie
Thus, a petition to declare unconstitutional a law converting the Municipality of Makati beyond judicial review for lack of ripeness.44
into a Highly Urbanized City was held to be premature as it was tacked on uncertain, The possibility of abuse in the implementation of RA 9372 does not avail to take the
contingent events.34 Similarly, a petition that fails to allege that an application for a present petitions out of the realm of the surreal and merely imagined. Such possibility
license to operate a radio or television station has been denied or granted by the is not peculiar to RA 9372 since the exercise of any power granted by law may be
authorities does not present a justiciable controversy, and merely wheedles the Court abused.45 Allegations of abuse must be anchored on real events before courts may
to rule on a hypothetical problem.35 step in to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and
The Court dismissed the petition in Philippine Press Institute v. Commission on enforceable.
Elections36 for failure to cite any specific affirmative action of the Commission on A facial invalidation of a statute is allowed only in free speech cases, wherein
Elections to implement the assailed resolution. It refused, in Abbas v. Commission on certain rules of constitutional litigation are rightly excepted
Elections,37 to rule on the religious freedom claim of the therein petitioners based Petitioners assail for being intrinsically vague and impermissibly broad the definition of
merely on a perceived potential conflict between the provisions of the Muslim Code the crime of terrorism46under RA 9372 in that terms like "widespread and
and those of the national law, there being no actual controversy between real litigants. extraordinary fear and panic among the populace" and "coerce the government to give
The list of cases denying claims resting on purely hypothetical or anticipatory grounds in to an unlawful demand" are nebulous, leaving law enforcement agencies with no
goes on ad infinitum. standard to measure the prohibited acts.
The Court is not unaware that a reasonable certainty of the occurrence of a perceived Respondents, through the OSG, counter that the doctrines of void-for-vagueness and
threat to any constitutional interest suffices to provide a basis for mounting a overbreadth find no application in the present case since these doctrines apply only to
constitutional challenge. This, however, is qualified by the requirement that there must free speech cases; and that RA 9372 regulates conduct, not speech.
be sufficient facts to enable the Court to intelligently adjudicate the issues. 38 For a jurisprudentially guided understanding of these doctrines, it is imperative to
Very recently, the US Supreme Court, in Holder v. Humanitarian Law outline the schools of thought on whether the void-for-vagueness and overbreadth
Project,39 allowed the pre-enforcement review of a criminal statute, challenged on doctrines are equally applicable grounds to assail a penal statute.
vagueness grounds, since plaintiffs faced a "credible threat of prosecution" and Respondents interpret recent jurisprudence as slanting toward the idea of limiting the
"should not be required to await and undergo a criminal prosecution as the sole application of the two doctrines to free speech cases. They particularly
means of seeking relief."40 The plaintiffs therein filed an action before a federal court cite Romualdez v. Hon. Sandiganbayan47 and Estrada v. Sandiganbayan.48
to assail the constitutionality of the material support statute, 18 U.S.C. §2339B (a) The Court clarifies.
(1),41 proscribing the provision of material support to organizations declared by the At issue in Romualdez v. Sandiganbayan was whether the word "intervene" in Section
Secretary of State as foreign terrorist organizations. They claimed that they intended 549 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act was intrinsically vague and
to provide support for the humanitarian and political activities of two such impermissibly broad. The Court stated that "the overbreadth and the vagueness
organizations. doctrines have special application only to free-speech cases," and are "not
appropriate for testing the validity of penal statutes." 50 It added that, at any rate, the applications. "A plaintiff who engages in some conduct that is clearly proscribed
challenged provision, under which the therein petitioner was charged, is not vague. 51 cannot complain of the vagueness of the law as applied to the conduct of others."
While in the subsequent case of Romualdez v. Commission on Elections,52 the Court In sum, the doctrines of strict scrutiny, overbreadth, and vagueness are analytical
stated that a facial invalidation of criminal statutes is not appropriate, it nonetheless tools developed for testing "on their faces" statutes in free speech cases or, as they
proceeded to conduct a vagueness analysis, and concluded that the therein subject are called in American law, First Amendment cases. They cannot be made to do
election offense53 under the Voter’s Registration Act of 1996, with which the therein service when what is involved is a criminal statute. With respect to such statute, the
petitioners were charged, is couched in precise language.54 established rule is that "one to whom application of a statute is constitutional will not
The two Romualdez cases rely heavily on the Separate Opinion55 of Justice Vicente be heard to attack the statute on the ground that impliedly it might also be taken as
V. Mendoza in the Estrada case, where the Court found the Anti-Plunder Law applying to other persons or other situations in which its application might be
(Republic Act No. 7080) clear and free from ambiguity respecting the definition of the unconstitutional." As has been pointed out, "vagueness challenges in the First
crime of plunder. Amendment context, like overbreadth challenges typically produce facial invalidation,
The position taken by Justice Mendoza in Estrada relates these two doctrines to the while statutes found vague as a matter of due process typically are invalidated [only]
concept of a "facial" invalidation as opposed to an "as-applied" challenge. He basically 'as applied' to a particular defendant." Consequently, there is no basis for petitioner's
postulated that allegations that a penal statute is vague and overbroad do not justify a claim that this Court review the Anti-Plunder Law on its face and in its entirety.
facial review of its validity. The pertinent portion of the Concurring Opinion of Justice Indeed, "on its face" invalidation of statutes results in striking them down entirely on
Mendoza, which was quoted at length in the main Estrada decision, reads: the ground that they might be applied to parties not before the Court whose activities
A facial challenge is allowed to be made to a vague statute and to one which is are constitutionally protected. It constitutes a departure from the case and controversy
overbroad because of possible "chilling effect" upon protected speech. The theory is requirement of the Constitution and permits decisions to be made without concrete
that "[w]hen statutes regulate or proscribe speech and no readily apparent factual settings and in sterile abstract contexts. But, as the U.S. Supreme Court
construction suggests itself as a vehicle for rehabilitating the statutes in a single pointed out in Younger v. Harris
prosecution, the transcendent value to all society of constitutionally protected [T]he task of analyzing a proposed statute, pinpointing its deficiencies, and requiring
expression is deemed to justify allowing attacks on overly broad statutes with no correction of these deficiencies before the statute is put into effect, is rarely if ever an
requirement that the person making the attack demonstrate that his own conduct appropriate task for the judiciary. The combination of the relative remoteness of the
could not be regulated by a statute drawn with narrow specificity." The possible harm controversy, the impact on the legislative process of the relief sought, and above all
to society in permitting some unprotected speech to go unpunished is outweighed by the speculative and amorphous nature of the required line-by-line analysis of detailed
the possibility that the protected speech of others may be deterred and perceived statutes, . . . ordinarily results in a kind of case that is wholly unsatisfactory for
grievances left to fester because of possible inhibitory effects of overly broad statutes. deciding constitutional questions, whichever way they might be decided.
This rationale does not apply to penal statutes. Criminal statutes have general in For these reasons, "on its face" invalidation of statutes has been described as
terrorem effect resulting from their very existence, and, if facial challenge is "manifestly strong medicine," to be employed "sparingly and only as a last resort," and
allowed for this reason alone, the State may well be prevented from enacting laws is generally disfavored. In determining the constitutionality of a statute, therefore, its
against socially harmful conduct. In the area of criminal law, the law cannot take provisions which are alleged to have been violated in a case must be examined in the
chances as in the area of free speech. light of the conduct with which the defendant is charged.56 (Underscoring supplied.)
The overbreadth and vagueness doctrines then have special application only to free The confusion apparently stems from the interlocking relation of the overbreadth and
speech cases. They are inapt for testing the validity of penal statutes. As the U.S. vagueness doctrines as grounds for a facial or as-applied challenge against a penal
Supreme Court put it, in an opinion by Chief Justice Rehnquist, "we have not statute (under a claim of violation of due process of law) or a speech regulation (under
recognized an 'overbreadth' doctrine outside the limited context of the First a claim of abridgement of the freedom of speech and cognate rights).
Amendment." In Broadrick v. Oklahoma, the Court ruled that "claims of facial To be sure, the doctrine of vagueness and the doctrine of overbreadth do not operate
overbreadth have been entertained in cases involving statutes which, by their terms, on the same plane.
seek to regulate only spoken words" and, again, that "overbreadth claims, if A statute or act suffers from the defect of vagueness when it lacks comprehensible
entertained at all, have been curtailed when invoked against ordinary criminal laws standards that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and
that are sought to be applied to protected conduct." For this reason, it has been held differ as to its application. It is repugnant to the Constitution in two respects: (1) it
that "a facial challenge to a legislative act is the most difficult challenge to mount violates due process for failure to accord persons, especially the parties targeted by it,
successfully, since the challenger must establish that no set of circumstances exists fair notice of the conduct to avoid; and (2) it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion
under which the Act would be valid." As for the vagueness doctrine, it is said that a in carrying out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary flexing of the Government
litigant may challenge a statute on its face only if it is vague in all its possible muscle.57 The overbreadth doctrine, meanwhile, decrees that a governmental purpose
to control or prevent activities constitutionally subject to state regulations may not be It is settled, on the other hand, that the application of the overbreadth doctrine is
achieved by means which sweep unnecessarily broadly and thereby invade the area limited to a facial kind of challenge and, owing to the given rationale of a facial
of protected freedoms.58 challenge, applicable only to free speech cases.
As distinguished from the vagueness doctrine, the overbreadth doctrine assumes that By its nature, the overbreadth doctrine has to necessarily apply a facial type of
individuals will understand what a statute prohibits and will accordingly refrain from invalidation in order to plot areas of protected speech, inevitably almost always under
that behavior, even though some of it is protected.59 situations not before the court, that are impermissibly swept by the substantially
A "facial" challenge is likewise different from an "as-applied" challenge. overbroad regulation. Otherwise stated, a statute cannot be properly analyzed for
Distinguished from an as-applied challenge which considers only extant facts being substantially overbroad if the court confines itself only to facts as applied to the
affecting real litigants, a facial invalidation is an examination of the entire law, litigants.
pinpointing its flaws and defects, not only on the basis of its actual operation to the The most distinctive feature of the overbreadth technique is that it marks an exception
parties, but also on the assumption or prediction that its very existence may cause to some of the usual rules of constitutional litigation. Ordinarily, a particular litigant
others not before the court to refrain from constitutionally protected speech or claims that a statute is unconstitutional as applied to him or her; if the litigant prevails,
activities.60 the courts carve away the unconstitutional aspects of the law by invalidating its
Justice Mendoza accurately phrased the subtitle61 in his concurring opinion that the improper applications on a case to case basis. Moreover, challengers to a law are not
vagueness and overbreadth doctrines, as grounds for a facial challenge, are not permitted to raise the rights of third parties and can only assert their own interests. In
applicable to penal laws. A litigant cannot thus successfully mount a facial challenge overbreadth analysis, those rules give way; challenges are permitted to raise the
against a criminal statute on either vagueness or overbreadth grounds. rights of third parties; and the court invalidates the entire statute "on its face," not
The allowance of a facial challenge in free speech cases is justified by the aim to avert merely "as applied for" so that the overbroad law becomes unenforceable until a
the "chilling effect" on protected speech, the exercise of which should not at all times properly authorized court construes it more narrowly. The factor that motivates courts
be abridged.62 As reflected earlier, this rationale is inapplicable to plain penal statutes to depart from the normal adjudicatory rules is the concern with the "chilling;" deterrent
that generally bear an "in terrorem effect" in deterring socially harmful conduct. In fact, effect of the overbroad statute on third parties not courageous enough to bring suit.
the legislature may even forbid and penalize acts formerly considered innocent and The Court assumes that an overbroad law’s "very existence may cause others not
lawful, so long as it refrains from diminishing or dissuading the exercise of before the court to refrain from constitutionally protected speech or expression." An
constitutionally protected rights.63 overbreadth ruling is designed to remove that deterrent effect on the speech of those
The Court reiterated that there are "critical limitations by which a criminal statute may third parties.66 (Emphasis in the original omitted; underscoring supplied.)
be challenged" and "underscored that an ‘on-its-face’ invalidation of penal statutes x x In restricting the overbreadth doctrine to free speech claims, the Court, in at least two
x may not be allowed."64 cases,67 observed that the US Supreme Court has not recognized an overbreadth
[T]he rule established in our jurisdiction is, only statutes on free speech, religious doctrine outside the limited context of the First Amendment,68 and that claims of facial
freedom, and other fundamental rights may be facially challenged. Under no case may overbreadth have been entertained in cases involving statutes which, by their terms,
ordinary penal statutes be subjected to a facial challenge. The rationale is obvious. If a seek to regulate only spoken words.69 In Virginia v. Hicks,70 it was held that rarely, if
facial challenge to a penal statute is permitted, the prosecution of crimes may be ever, will an overbreadth challenge succeed against a law or regulation that is not
hampered. No prosecution would be possible. A strong criticism against employing a specifically addressed to speech or speech-related conduct. Attacks on overly broad
facial challenge in the case of penal statutes, if the same is allowed, would effectively statutes are justified by the "transcendent value to all society of constitutionally
go against the grain of the doctrinal requirement of an existing and concrete protected expression."71
controversy before judicial power may be appropriately exercised. A facial challenge Since a penal statute may only be assailed for being vague as applied to
against a penal statute is, at best, amorphous and speculative. It would, essentially, petitioners, a limited vagueness analysis of the definition of "terrorism" in RA 9372 is
force the court to consider third parties who are not before it. As I have said in my legally impermissible absent an actual or imminent charge against them
opposition to the allowance of a facial challenge to attack penal statutes, such a test While Estrada did not apply the overbreadth doctrine, it did not preclude the operation
will impair the State’s ability to deal with crime. If warranted, there would be nothing of the vagueness test on the Anti-Plunder Law as applied to the therein petitioner,
that can hinder an accused from defeating the State’s power to prosecute on a mere finding, however, that there was no basis to review the law "on its face and in its
showing that, as applied to third parties, the penal statute is vague or overbroad, entirety."72 It stressed that "statutes found vague as a matter of due process typically
notwithstanding that the law is clear as applied to him. 65(Emphasis and underscoring are invalidated only 'as applied' to a particular defendant."73
supplied) American jurisprudence74 instructs that "vagueness challenges that do not involve the
First Amendment must be examined in light of the specific facts of the case at hand
and not with regard to the statute's facial validity."
For more than 125 years, the US Supreme Court has evaluated defendants’ claims where the expression figures only as an inevitable incident of making the element of
that criminal statutes are unconstitutionally vague, developing a doctrine hailed as coercion perceptible.
"among the most important guarantees of liberty under law." 75 [I]t is true that the agreements and course of conduct here were as in most instances
In this jurisdiction, the void-for-vagueness doctrine asserted under the due process brought about through speaking or writing. But it has never been deemed an
clause has been utilized in examining the constitutionality of criminal statutes. In at abridgement of freedom of speech or press to make a course of conduct illegal merely
least three cases,76 the Court brought the doctrine into play in analyzing an ordinance because the conduct was, in part, initiated, evidenced, or carried out by means of
penalizing the non-payment of municipal tax on fishponds, the crime of illegal language, either spoken, written, or printed. Such an expansive interpretation of the
recruitment punishable under Article 132(b) of the Labor Code, and the vagrancy constitutional guaranties of speech and press would make it practically impossible
provision under Article 202 (2) of the Revised Penal Code. Notably, the petitioners in ever to enforce laws against agreements in restraint of trade as well as many other
these three cases, similar to those in the two Romualdez and Estrada cases, were agreements and conspiracies deemed injurious to society. 79 (italics and underscoring
actually charged with the therein assailed penal statute, unlike in the present case. supplied)
There is no merit in the claim that RA 9372 regulates speech so as to permit a facial Certain kinds of speech have been treated as unprotected conduct, because they
analysis of its validity merely evidence a prohibited conduct.80 Since speech is not involved here, the Court
From the definition of the crime of terrorism in the earlier cited Section 3 of RA 9372, cannot heed the call for a facial analysis.1avvphi1
the following elements may be culled: (1) the offender commits an act punishable IN FINE, Estrada and the other cited authorities engaged in a vagueness analysis of
under any of the cited provisions of the Revised Penal Code, or under any of the the therein subject penal statute as applied to the therein petitioners inasmuch as they
enumerated special penal laws; (2) the commission of the predicate crime sows and were actually charged with the pertinent crimes challenged on vagueness grounds.
creates a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the The Court in said cases, however, found no basis to review the assailed penal statute
populace; and (3) the offender is actuated by the desire to coerce the government to on its face and in its entirety.
give in to an unlawful demand. In Holder, on the other hand, the US Supreme Court allowed the pre-enforcement
In insisting on a facial challenge on the invocation that the law penalizes speech, review of a criminal statute, challenged on vagueness grounds, since the therein
petitioners contend that the element of "unlawful demand" in the definition of plaintiffs faced a "credible threat of prosecution" and "should not be required to
terrorism77 must necessarily be transmitted through some form of expression await and undergo a criminal prosecution as the sole means of seeking relief."
protected by the free speech clause. As earlier reflected, petitioners have established neither an actual charge nor a
The argument does not persuade. What the law seeks to penalize is conduct, not credible threat of prosecution under RA 9372. Even a limited vagueness analysis of
speech. the assailed definition of "terrorism" is thus legally impermissible. The Court reminds
Before a charge for terrorism may be filed under RA 9372, there must first be a litigants that judicial power neither contemplates speculative counseling on a statute’s
predicate crime actually committed to trigger the operation of the key qualifying future effect on hypothetical scenarios nor allows the courts to be used as an
phrases in the other elements of the crime, including the coercion of the government extension of a failed legislative lobbying in Congress.
to accede to an "unlawful demand." Given the presence of the first element, any WHEREFORE, the petitions are DISMISSED.
attempt at singling out or highlighting the communicative component of the prohibition SO ORDERED.
cannot recategorize the unprotected conduct into a protected speech.
Petitioners’ notion on the transmission of message is entirely inaccurate, as it unduly
focuses on just one particle of an element of the crime. Almost every commission of a
crime entails some mincing of words on the part of the offender like in declaring to
launch overt criminal acts against a victim, in haggling on the amount of ransom or
conditions, or in negotiating a deceitful transaction. An analogy in one U.S.
case78 illustrated that the fact that the prohibition on discrimination in hiring on the
basis of race will require an employer to take down a sign reading "White Applicants
Only" hardly means that the law should be analyzed as one regulating speech rather
than conduct.
Utterances not elemental but inevitably incidental to the doing of the criminal conduct
alter neither the intent of the law to punish socially harmful conduct nor the essence of
the whole act as conduct and not speech. This holds true a fortiori in the present case