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return in the country, and whether such issue was a political question.
G.R. No. 88211, September 15, 1989 Petitioner also claimed that the President acted outside her jurisdiction.
Petitioners: FERDINAND E. MARCOS, IMELDA R. MARCOS, FERDINAND R. MARCOS, 4. According to the Marcoses, such act deprives them of their right to life,
JR., IRENE M. ARANETA, IMEE MANOTOC, TOMAS MANOTOC, GREGORIO ARANETA, liberty, property without due process and equal protection of the laws. They
PACIFICO E. MARCOS, NICANOR YÑIGUEZ and PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION also said that it deprives them of their right to travel in accordance with the
ASSOCIATION (PHILCONSA), represented by its President, CONRADO F. ESTRELLA Constitution, the UDHR, and the ICCPR.
Respondents: HONORABLE RAUL MANGLAPUS, CATALINO MACARAIG, SEDFREY 5. Respondent OSG, however, mainly argues that the issue involves a political
ORDOÑEZ, MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, FIDEL RAMOS, RENATO DE VILLA, in their question which is non-justiciable. OSG averred that when the question is
capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Executive Secretary, Secretary of Justice, whether the two rights claimed by petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and
Immigration Commissioner, Secretary of National Defense and Chief of Staff, family impinge on or collide with the more primordial and transcendental
right of the State to security and safety of its nationals, the question
Doctrine/s: When political questions are involved, the Constitution limits the becomes political and the court can not consider it.
determination to whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion. If grave
abuse is not established, the Court will not substitute its judgment for that of the Relevant Issue: W/N the question on Marco’s right to travel back to the Philippines
official concerned and decide a matter which by its nature or by law is for the latter to die is a political question
alone to decide.
Held: NO!
Facts: 1. The present Constitution limits resort to the political question doctrine and
1. Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos was deposed from the presidency via broadens the scope of judicial inquiry into areas which the Court, under
the non-violent “people power” revolution and was forced into exile. previous constitutions, would have normally left to the political
Marcos, in his deathbed, has signified his wish to return to the Philippines departments to decide. But nonetheless there remain issues beyond the
to die. But President Corazon Aquino, considering the dire consequences to Court's jurisdiction the determination of which is exclusively for the
the nation of his return at a time when the stability of government is President, for Congress or for the people themselves through a plebiscite or
threatened from various directions and the economy is just beginning to rise referendum.
and move forward, has stood firmly on the decision to bar the return of 2. There is nothing in the case before us that precludes our determination
Marcos and his family. thereof on the political question doctrine. When political questions are
2. Aquino barred Marcos from returning due to possible threats & following involved, the Constitution limits the determination to whether or not there
supervening events: has been a grave abuse of discretion. If grave abuse is not established, the
a. failed Manila Hotel coup in 1986 led by Marcos leaders Court will not substitute its judgment for that of the official concerned and
b. channel 7 taken over by rebels & loyalists decide a matter which by its nature or by law is for the latter alone to decide.
c. plan of Marcoses to return w/ mercenaries aboard a chartered 3. Pursuant to the principle of separation of powers, the Executive is supreme
plane of a Lebanese arms dealer. This is to prove that they can stir within his own sphere. However, such is not absolute. What is more, it goes
trouble from afar hand in hand with the system of checks and balances, with the authority to
d. Honasan’s failed coup determine whether or not he has so acted is vested in the Judicial
e. Communist insurgency movements Department, which, in this respect, is, in turn, constitutionally supreme.
f. secessionist movements in Mindanao 4. Accordingly, in the instant case, the question for the Court to determine is
g. devastated economy because of whether or not there exist factual bases for the President to conclude that
h. accumulated foreign debt it was in the national interest to bar the return of the Marcoses to the
i. plunder of nation by Marcos & cronies Philippines. If such postulates do exist, it cannot be said that she has acted,
3. Marcos filed for a petition of mandamus and prohibition to order the or acts, arbitrarily or that she has gravely abused her discretion in deciding
respondents to issue them their travel documents and prevent the to bar their return.
implementation of President Aquino’s decision to bar Marcos from
returning in the Philippines. Petitioner questions Aquino’s power to bar his Other Main Issues:
1. W/N the case involved the right to travel. – NO.
a. No. What is involved here is the right to return to one’s country, would break the camel's back. Thus, it cannot be said that Pres.
which is totally distinct from the right to travel/leave the country. Aquino arbitrarily barred the return of the Marcoses as they pose a
And such right to return to one’s country is not among the rights serious threat to the national interest and welfare and in
guaranteed by the Bill of Rights (but such right may still be prohibiting their return.
considered in accordance as a generally-accepted principle). c. The State is not precluded from taking pre-emptive action against
2. W/N Pres. Cory Aquino had the power to bar the return of the Marcoses. - threats to its existence if, though still nascent they are perceived as
YES apt to become serious and direct. Protection of the people is the
a. Although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitations on the exercise essence of the duty of government.
of specific powers of the President, it maintains intact what is
traditionally considered as within the scope of "executive power." Petition is DISMISSED.
Corollarily, the powers of the President cannot be said to be limited
only to the specific powers enumerated in the Constitution. In On Sept. 28, 1989, Marcos died in Honolulu, Hawaii. Pres. Aquino released a
other words, executive power is more than the sum of specific statement saying that she does not allow the remains of Marcos to be brought back
powers so enumerated. in the PH. MR was filed. SC held that petitioners failed to show any compelling reason
b. Whatever power inherent in the government that is neither to warrant reconsideration. Also, the factural scenario of the PH has not changed, as
legislative nor judicial has to be executive. there were still threats to the government.
c. The Constitution declares among the guiding principles that "[t]he
prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people"
and that "[t]he maintenance of peace and order, the protection of
life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare
are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of
democracy." Thus, in the exercise of presidential functions, in
making any decision as President of the Republic, the President has
to consider these principles, among other things, and adhere to
d. Considering the above, the power to bar the Marcoses from
returning must be treated as a matter that is appropriately
addressed to those residual unstated powers of the President
which are implicit in and correlative to the paramount duty residing
in that office to safeguard and protect general welfare. In that
context, such request or demand should submit to the exercise of
a broader discretion on the part of the President to determine
whether it must be granted or denied.
3. W/N Pres. Aquino correctly barred the Marcoses from returning based on
factual circumstances. – YES.
a. The Court cannot close its eyes to present realities and pretend that
the country is not besieged from within by a well-organized
communist insurgency, a separatist movement in Mindanao,
rightist conspiracies to grab power, urban terrorism, the murder
with impunity of military men, police officers and civilian officials,
to mention only a few.
b. As divergent and discordant forces, the enemies of the State may
be contained. But it is the catalytic effect of the return of the
Marcoses that may prove to be the proverbial final straw that