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Iglesia ni Cristo v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.

119673, July
26, 1996
Petitioner INC went to court to question the actions of
DECISION respondent Board. The RTC ordered the respondent Board
to grant petitioner INC the necessary permit for its TV
programs. But on appeal by the respondent Board, the CA
reversed the RTC. The CA ruled that: (1) the respondent
PUNO, J.: Board has jurisdiction and power to review the TV program
“Ang Iglesia ni Cristo,” and (2) the respondent Board did
not act with grave abuse of discretion when it denied
I. THE FACTS permit for the exhibition on TV of the three series of “Ang
Iglesia ni Cristo” on the ground that the materials
constitute an attack against another religion. The CA also
Several pre-taped episodes of the TV program “Ang Iglesia found the subject TV series “indecent, contrary to law and
ni Cristo” of the religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) were contrary to good customs.” Dissatisfied with the CA
rated “X” – i.e., not for public viewing – by the respondent decision, petitioner INC appealed to the Supreme Court.
Board of Review for Moving Pictures and Television (now
MTRCB). These TV programs allegedly “offend[ed] and
constitute[d] an attack against other religions which is II. THE ISSUES
expressly prohibited by law” because of petitioner INC’s
controversial biblical interpretations and its “attacks”
against contrary religious beliefs. (1) Does respondent Board have the power to review
petitioner’s TV program?
Petitioner contends that the term “television program” [in
Sec. 3 of PD No. 1986 that the respondent Board has the
(2) Assuming it has the power, did respondent Board
power to review and classify] should not include religious
gravely abuse its discretion when it prohibited the airing of
programs like its program “Ang Iglesia ni Cristo.” A contrary
petitioner’s religious program?
interpretation, it is urged, will contravene section 5, Article
III of the Constitution which guarantees that “no law shall
III. THE RULING be made respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and
enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without
[The Court voted 13-1 to REVERSE the CA insofar as the CA discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed.”
sustained the action of the respondent Board’s X-rating
petitioner’s TV Program Series Nos. 115, 119, and 121. It
also voted 10-4 to AFFIRM the CA insofar as the CA it [The Court however] reject petitioner’s postulate.
sustained the jurisdiction of the respondent MTRCB to Petitioner’s public broadcast on TV of its religious program
review petitioner’s TV program entitled “Ang Iglesia ni brings it out of the bosom of internal belief. Television is a
Cristo.”] medium that reaches even the eyes and ears of children.
The Court iterates the rule that the exercise of religious
freedom can be regulated by the State when it will bring
1. YES, respondent Board has the power to review about the clear and present danger of some substantive
petitioner’s TV program. evil which the State is duty bound to prevent, i.e., serious
detriment to the more overriding interest of public health,
public morals, or public welfare. A laissez faire policy on
the exercise of religion can be seductive to the liberal mind
but history counsels the Court against its blind adoption as
The evidence shows that the respondent Board x-rated
religion is and continues to be a volatile area of concern in
petitioners TV series for “attacking” either religions,
our country today. . . [T]he Court] shall continue to subject
especially the Catholic Church. An examination of the
any act pinching the space for the free exercise of religion
evidence . . . will show that the so-called “attacks” are
to a heightened scrutiny but we shall not leave its rational
mere criticisms of some of the deeply held dogmas and
exercise to the irrationality of man. For when religion
tenets of other religions. The videotapes were not viewed
divides and its exercise destroys, the State should not
by the respondent court as they were not presented as
stand still.
evidence. Yet they were considered by the respondent
court as indecent, contrary to law and good customs,
hence, can be prohibited from public viewing under section
2. YES, respondent Board gravely abuse its discretion
3(c) of PD 1986. This ruling clearly suppresses petitioner's
when it prohibited the airing of petitioner’s religious
freedom of speech and interferes with its right to free
exercise of religion. xxx.

[A]ny act that restrains speech is hobbled by the

The respondent Board may disagree with the criticisms of
presumption of invalidity and should be greeted with
other religions by petitioner but that gives it no excuse to
furrowed brows. It is the burden of the respondent Board
interdict such criticisms, however, unclean they may be.
to overthrow this presumption. If it fails to discharge this
Under our constitutional scheme, it is not the task of the
burden, its act of censorship will be struck down. It failed in
State to favor any religion by protecting it against an attack
the case at bar.
by another religion. . . In fine, respondent board cannot
squelch the speech of petitioner Iglesia ni Cristo simply clear and present danger of any substantive evil which the
because it attacks other religions, even if said religion State has the right to prevent.” In Victoriano vs. Elizalde
happens to be the most numerous church in our country. Rope Workers Union, we further ruled that “. . . it is only
In a State where there ought to be no difference between where it is unavoidably necessary to prevent an immediate
the appearance and the reality of freedom of religion, the and grave danger to the security and welfare of the
remedy against bad theology is better theology. The community that infringement of religious freedom may be
bedrock of freedom of religion is freedom of thought and it justified, and only to the smallest extent necessary to avoid
is best served by encouraging the marketplace of duelling the danger.”
ideas. When the luxury of time permits, the marketplace of
ideas demands that speech should be met by more speech
for it is the spark of opposite speech, the heat of colliding The records show that the decision of the respondent
ideas that can fan the embers of truth. Board, affirmed by the respondent appellate court, is
completely bereft of findings of facts to justify the
conclusion that the subject video tapes constitute
In x-rating the TV program of the petitioner, the impermissible attacks against another religion. There is no
respondents failed to apply the clear and present danger showing whatsoever of the type of harm the tapes will
rule. In American Bible Society v. City of Manila, this Court bring about especially the gravity and imminence of the
held: “The constitutional guaranty of free exercise and threatened harm. Prior restraint on speech, including
enjoyment of religious profession and worship carries with religious speech, cannot be justified by hypothetical fears
it the right to disseminate religious information. Any but only by the showing of a substantive and imminent evil
restraint of such right can be justified like other restraints which has taken the life of a reality already on ground.
on freedom of expression on the ground that there is a
remain employed therein for it will appear as if the court
allows such act.

Respondent claims that their conjugal arrangement is

permitted by her religion—the Jehovah’s Witnesses and
the Watch Tower and the Bible Trace Society. They
allegedly have a ‘Declaration of Pledging Faithfulness’
ALEJANDRO ESTRADA, petitioner v. SOLEDAD S. ESCRITOR, under the approval of their congregation. Such a
respondent declaration is effective when legal impediments render it
A.M. No. P-02-1651 August 4, 2003 impossible for a couple to legalize their union.
Facts: Issue:
Escritor is a court interpreter since 1999 in the RTC of Las Whether or Not the State could penalize respondent for
Pinas City. She has been living with Quilapio, a man who is such conjugal arrangement.
not her husband, for more than twenty five years and had
a son with him as well. Respondent’s husband died a year Held:
before she entered into the judiciary while Quilapio is still
legally married to another woman. No. The State could not penalize respondent for she is
exercising her right to freedom of religion. The free
Complainant Estrada requested the Judge of said RTC to exercise of religion is specifically articulated as one of
investigate respondent. According to complainant, the fundamental rights in our Constitution. As Jefferson
respondent should not be allowed to put it, it is the most inalienable and sacred of human rights.
The State’s interest in enforcing its prohibition cannot be achieve the legitimate goal of the state. Thus
merely abstract or symbolic in order to be sufficiently the conjugal arrangement cannot be penalized for it
compelling to outweigh a free exercise claim. In the case at constitutes an exemption to the law based on her right to
bar, the State has not evinced any concrete interest in freedom of religion.
enforcing the concubinage or bigamy charges against
respondent or her partner. Thus the State’s interest only
amounts to the symbolic preservation of an unenforced
prohibition. Furthermore, a distinction between public and
secular morality and religious morality should be kept in
mind. The jurisdiction of the Court extends only to public
and secular morality.

The Court further states that our Constitution adheres

the benevolent neutrality approach that gives room
Soriano v. Laguardia
for accommodation of religious exercises as required by
the Free Exercise Clause. This benevolent neutrality could
allow for accommodation of morality based on religion,
Ang Dating Daan host Eliseo S. Soriano uttered the
provided it does not offend compelling state interests.
following statements in his TV program against Michael
Assuming arguendo that the OSG has proved a compelling
Sandoval (Iglesia ni Cristo’s minister and regular host of the
state interest, it has to further demonstrate that the state
TV program Ang Tamang Daan):
has used the least intrusive means possible so that the free
exercise is not infringed any more than necessary to
Lehitimong anak ng demonyo[!] Sinungaling [!] The SC ruled that “Soriano’s statement can be treated as
obscene, at least with respect to the average child,” and
Gago ka talaga[,] Michael[!] [M]asahol ka pa sa putang
thus his utterances cannot be considered as protected
babae[,] o di ba[?] [‘]Yung putang babae[,] ang gumagana
speech. Citing decisions from the US Supreme Court, the
lang doon[,] [‘]yung ibaba, dito kay Michael[,] ang
High Court said that the analysis should be “context based”
gumagana ang itaas, o di ba? O, masahol pa sa putang
and found the utterances to be obscene after considering
babae [‘]yan. Sobra ang kasinungalingan ng mga
the use of television broadcasting as a medium, the time of
demonyong ito.
the show, and the “G” rating of the show, which are all
factors that made the utterances susceptible to children
As a result, The MTRCB initially slapped Soriano’s Ang viewers. The Court emphasized on how the uttered words
Dating Daan, which was earlier given a “G” rating for could be easily understood by a child literally rather than in
general viewership, with a 20-day preventive suspension the context that they were used.”
after a preliminary conference. Later, in a decision, it found
him liable for his utterances, and was imposed a
The SC also said “that the suspension is not a prior
three-month suspension from his TV program Ang Dating
restraint, but rather a “form of permissible administrative
Daan. Soriano challenged the order of the MTRCB.
sanction or subsequent punishment.” In affirming the
power of the MTRCB to issue an order of suspension, the
majority said that “it is a sanction that the MTRCB may
validly impose under its charter without running afoul of
HELD: the free speech clause.” visit The
Court said that the suspension “is not a prior restraint on
the right of petitioner to continue with the broadcast of
Ang Dating Daan as a permit was already issued to him by
MTRCB,” rather, it was a sanction for “the indecent
contents of his utterances in a “G” rated TV program.”
(Soriano v. Laguardia; GR No. 165636, April 29, 2009)


A.M. No. 02-2-10-SC. December 14, 2005.

Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, in a separate dissenting FACTS:

opinion, said that a single government action could be both Muslim employees sent a letter to Judge Salazar of the RTC
a penalty and a prior restraint. The Chief Magistrate of Iligan City requesting himto grant them said privileges: 1)
pointed out that the three month suspension takes such to hold office hours from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. without
form because it also acts as a restraint to petitioner’s lunchbreak or coffee breaks during the month of Ramadan;
future speech and thus deserves a higher scrutiny than the 2) to be excused from work from 10:00a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
“context based” approach that the majority applied. In every Friday (Muslim Prayer Day) during the entire
voting to grant Soriano’s petition, the Chief Justice said calendar year. JudgeSalazar favored the first request but
that “in the absence of proof and reason, he [Soriano] not the second. He then forwarded the letter to the Office
should not be penalized with a three-month suspension of the Court Administrator (COA). Muslim employees
that works as a prior restraint on his speech.” invoke sec. 2 of P.D. 322 which excusesthem from
reporting to office during recognized Muslim holidays.
Section 3 of the same decreesubstantially provides that one's religion. The court said that this clause is of two-fold,
during Ramadan, Muslim employees shall observe office freedom to believe which is absoluteand freedom to act on
hours from7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. without breaks. Civil one's beliefs as subject to regulation since it involves
Service Commmission (CSC) then promulgated aresolution matters affectingpublic welfare.The Court recognizes that
granting the two privileges mentioned above and even the observance of
clarified that Fridays referredherein pertain to the calendar
year. However, CSC prescribed a flexible working schedule
toaccommodate Muslims' Friday prayer day and so as not and the Friday Muslim Prayer Day isintegral to the Islamic
to violate E.O. 292 requiring civilservants to work not less faith. However, only the first request finds support in
then 40 hours a week. The Court Administrator favored the Section 3 (a) of P.D.No. 291, as amended by P.D. No. 322,
saidresolutions. there is no basis for the second request. In fact,
allowingthe second request would mean diminution of 12
hours from the prescribed government workinghours. The
Whether or not Muslim employees be granted of their two performance of religious practices, whether by the Muslim
requests above mentioned employees or thosebelonging to other religious
denominations, should not prejudice the courts and the
public.Indeed, the exercise of religious freedom does not
No. Only the first request can be granted and not the exempt anyone from compliance withreasonable
second one. Said requests aregrounded on Section 5, requirements of the law, including civil service laws.
Article 3 of the Constitution, particularly the free exercise
clause to
LUKBAN, ET AL., respondents.

Facts : One hundred and seventy women were isolated

from society, and then at night, without their consent and
without any opportunity to consult with friends or to
defend their rights, were forcibly hustled on board
steamers for transportation to regions unknown. Despite
the feeble attempt to prove that the women left
voluntarily and gladly, that such was not the case is shown
by the mere fact that the presence of the police and the
constabulary was deemed necessary and that these
officers of the law chose the shades of night to cloak their
secret and stealthy acts. Indeed, this is a fact impossible to
refute and practically admitted by the respondents.

ISSUE : WON Mayor Lukban has the right to deport

women with ill repute.

HELD : Law defines power. No official, no matter how high,

is above the law. Lukban committed a grave abuse of
discretion by deporting the prostitutes to a new domicile
against their will. There is no law expressly authorizing his
action. On the contrary, there is a law punishing public
officials, not expressly authorized by law or regulation,
who compels any person to change his residence
Furthermore, the prostitutes are still, as citizens of the
Philippines, entitled to the same rights, as stipulated in the
Bill of Rights, as every other citizen. Thei rchoice of
profession should not be a cause for discrimination. It may MANOTOC VS. COURT OF APPEALS [142 SCRA 149; G.R. NO.
make some, like Lukban, quite uncomfortable but it does L-62100; 30 MAY 1986]
not authorize anyone to compel said prostitutes to isolate
Friday, February 06, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes
themselves from the rest of the human race. These women
have been deprived of their liberty by being exiled to Labels: Case Digests, Political Law
Davao without even being given the opportunity to collect
their belongings or, worse, without even consenting to
being transported to Mindanao. For this, Lukban etal must Facts: Petitioner was charged with estafa. He posted bail.
be severely punished Petitioner filed before each of the trial courts a motion
entitled, "motion for permission to leave the country,"
stating as ground therefor his desire to go to the United
States, "relative to his business transactions and
opportunities." The prosecution opposed said motion and
after due hearing, both trial judges denied the same.
Petitioner thus filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus
before the then Court of Appeals seeking to annul the
orders dated March 9 and 26, 1982, of Judges Camilon and
Pronove, respectively, as well as the
communication-request of the Securities and Exchange Held: A court has the power to prohibit a person admitted
Commission, denying his leave to travel abroad. He to bail from leaving the Philippines. This is a necessary
likewise prayed for the issuance of the appropriate writ consequence of the nature and function of a bail bond. The
commanding the Immigration Commissioner and the Chief condition imposed upon petitioner to make himself
of the Aviation Security Command (AVSECOM) to clear him available at all times whenever the court requires his
for departure. The Court of Appeals denied the petition. presence operates as a valid restriction on his right to
travel. Indeed, if the accused were allowed to leave the
Philippines without sufficient reason, he may be placed
Petitioner contends that having been admitted to bail as a beyond the reach of the courts. Petitioner has not shown
matter of right, neither the courts which granted him bail the necessity for his travel abroad. There is no indication
nor the Securities and Exchange Commission which has no that the business transactions cannot be undertaken by
jurisdiction over his liberty could prevent him from any other person in his behalf.
exercising his constitutional right to travel.

Yap vs CA

Issue: Whether or Not his constitutional right to travel has

been violated.
Petitioner Francisco Yap was convicted of the crime of
estafa for misappropriating amounts equivalent to P5,5
1. Whether the proposed bail of P5,500,000.00 was
Million. After the records of the case were transmitted to
violative of petitioner's right against excessive bail.
the Court of Appeals, he filed a motion to fix bail pending
appeal. The CA granted the motion and allowed Yap to
post bail in the amount of P5,5 Milion on condition that he 2. Whether the condition imposed by the CA violative of
will secure “a certification/guaranty from the Mayor of the the liberty of abode and right to travel.
place of his residence that he is a resident of the area and
that he will remain to be so until final judgment is
rendered or in case he transfers residence, it must be with
prior notice to the court and private complainant.” He
sought the reduction of the bail but it was denied. Hence,
he appealed to the SC. He contended that the CA, by
setting bail at a prohibitory amount, effectively denied him
his right to bail. He also contested the condition imposed
by the CA that he secure a certification/guaranty, claiming 1. Right to Bail
that the same violates his liberty of abode and travel.

The setting of the amount at P5,500,000.00 is

unreasonable, excessive, and constitutes an effective
denial of petitioner’s right to bail. The purpose for bail is to
guarantee the appearance of the accused at the trial, or
whenever so required by the court. The amount should be The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the
high enough to assure the presence of the accused when limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon
required but no higher than is reasonably calculated to lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel
fulfill this purpose. To fix bail at an amount equivalent to be impaired except in the interest of national security,
the civil liability of which petitioner is charged (in this case, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.
P5,500,000.00) is to permit the impression that the
The order of the Court of Appeals releasing petitioner on
amount paid as bail is an exaction of the civil liability that
bail constitutes such lawful order as contemplated by the
accused is charged of; this we cannot allow because bail is
above provision. The condition imposed by the Court of
not intended as a punishment, nor as a satisfaction of civil
Appeals is simply consistent with the nature and function
liability which should necessarily await the judgment of the
of a bail bond, which is to ensure that petitioner will make
appellate court.
himself available at all times whenever the Court requires
his presence. Besides, a closer look at the questioned
condition will show that petitioner is not prevented from
changing abode; he is merely required to inform the court
2. Liberty of abode and right to travel in case he does so. (Yap vs Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
141529, June 6, 2001)

The right to change abode and travel within the Philippines,

being invoked by petitioner, are not absolute rights.
Section 6, Article III of the 1987 Constitution states:
Petition is partially granted.
G.R. No. L-72119 May 29, 1987 VALENTIN L. LEGASPI,
petitioner, vs. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, respondent.

FACTS : The fundamental right of the people to

information on matters of public concern is invoked in this
special civil action for mandamus instituted by petitioner
Valentin L. Legaspi against the Civil Service Commission.
The respondent had earlier denied Legaspi's request for
information on the civil service eligibilities of certain
persons employed as sanitarians in the Health Department
of Cebu City. These government employees, Julian
Sibonghanoy and Mariano Agas, had allegedly represented
themselves as civil service eligibles who passed the civil
service examinations for sanitarians.

ISSUE : WON the petitioner has legal to access

government records to validate the civil service eligibilities
of the Health Department employees
concern, that the same has been exempted by law from
the operation of the guarantee. To hold otherwise will
HELD : The constitutional guarantee to information on
serve to dilute the constitutional right. As aptly observed,
matters of public concern is not absolute. It does not open
". . . the government is in an advantageous position to
every door to any and all information. Under the
marshall and interpret arguments against release . . ." (87
Constitution, access to official records, papers, etc., are
Harvard Law Review 1511 [1974]). To safeguard the
"subject to limitations as may be provided by law" The law
constitutional right, every denial of access by the
may therefore exempt certain types of information from
government agency concerned is subject to review by the
public scrutiny, such as those affecting national security It
courts, and in the proper case, access may be compelled by
follows that, in every case, the availability of access to a
a writ of Mandamus Public office being a public trust it is
particular public record must be circumscribed by the
the legitimate concern of citizens to ensure that
nature of the information sought, i.e., (a) being of public
government positions requiring civil service eligibility are
concern or one that involves public interest, and, (b) not
occupied only by persons who are eligibles. Public officers
being exempted by law from the operation of the
are at all times accountable to the people even as to their
constitutional guarantee. The threshold question is,
eligibilities for their respective positions. In the instant,
therefore, whether or not the information sought is of
case while refusing to confirm or deny the claims of
public interest or public concern. This question is first
eligibility, the respondent has failed to cite any provision in
addressed to the government agency having custody of the
the Civil Service Law which would limit the petitioner's
desired information. However, as already discussed, this
right to know who are, and who are not, civil service
does not give the agency concerned any discretion to grant
eligibles. We take judicial notice of the fact that the names
or deny access. In case of denial of access, the government
of those who pass the civil service examinations, as in bar
agency has the burden of showing that the information
examinations and licensure examinations for various
requested is not of public concern, or, if it is of public
professions, are released to the public. Hence, there is
nothing secret about one's civil service eligibility, if actually
possessed. Petitioner's request is, therefore, neither
unusual nor unreasonable. And when, as in this case, the
government employees concerned claim to be civil service
eligibles, the public, through any citizen, has a right to
verify their professed eligibilities from the Civil Service
Commission. The civil service eligibility of a sanitarian
being of public concern, and in the absence of express
limitations under the law upon access to the register of
civil service eligibles for said position, the duty of the
respondent Commission to confirm or deny the civil service
eligibility of any person occupying the position becomes
imperative. Mandamus, therefore lies

G.R. No. 74930 February 13, 1989 RICARDO VALMONTE,

BAGATSING, JUN "NINOY" ALBA, PERCY LAPID, ROMMEL necessary within the premises to pursue our desired
CORRO and ROLANDO FADUL, petitioners, vs. FELICIANO objective in pursuance of public interest."
BELMONTE, JR., respondent.

ISSUE : WON Valmonte, et. al. are entitled as citizens and

FACTS : Petitioners in this special civil action for mandamus taxpayers to inquire upon GSIS records on behest loans
with preliminary injunction invoke their right to given by the former First Lady Imelda Marcos to Batasang
information and pray that respondent be directed: (a) to Pambansa members belonging to the UNIDO and
furnish petitioners the list of the names of the Batasang PDP-Laban political parties.
Pambansa members belonging to the UNIDO and
PDP-Laban who were able to secure clean loans
immediately before the February 7 election thru the HELD : Respondent has failed to cite any law granting the
intercession/marginal note of the then First Lady Imelda GSIS the privilege of confidentiality as regards the
Marcos; and/or (b) to furnish petitioners with certified true documents subject of this petition. His position is
copies of the documents evidencing their respective loans; apparently based merely on considerations of policy. The
and/or (c) to allow petitioners access to the public records judiciary does not settle policy issues. The Court can only
for the subject information On June 20, 1986, apparently declare what the law is, and not what the law should be.
not having yet received the reply of the Government Under our system of government, policy issues are within
Service and Insurance System (GSIS) Deputy General the domain of the political branches of the government,
Counsel, petitioner Valmonte wrote respondent another and of the people themselves as the repository of all State
letter, saying that for failure to receive a reply, "(W)e are power. The concerned borrowers themselves may not
now considering ourselves free to do whatever action succeed if they choose to invoke their right to privacy,
considering the public offices they were holding at the time does not accord them a right to compel custodians of
the loans were alleged to have been granted. It cannot be official records to prepare lists, abstracts, summaries and
denied that because of the interest they generate and their the like in their desire to acquire information on matters of
newsworthiness, public figures, most especially those public concern.
holding responsible positions in government, enjoy a more
limited right to privacy as compared to ordinary individuals,
their actions being subject to closer public scrutiny The G.R. No. 92541 November 13, 1991 MA. CARMEN G.
"transactions" used here I suppose is generic and, AQUINO-SARMIENTO, petitioner, vs. MANUEL L.
therefore, it can cover both steps leading to a contract, and MORATO (in his capacity as Chairman of the MTRCB) and
already a consummated contract, Considering the intent of the MOVIE & TELEVISION REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION
the framers of the Constitution which, though not binding BOARD, respondents.
upon the Court, are nevertheless persuasive, and
considering further that government-owned and controlled
corporations, whether performing proprietary or FACTS : In February 1989, petitioner, herself a member of
governmental functions are accountable to the people, the respondent Movie and Television Review and Classification
Court is convinced that transactions entered into by the Board (MTRCB), wrote its records officer requesting that
GSIS, a government-controlled corporation created by she be allowed to examine the board's records pertaining
special legislation are within the ambit of the people's right to the voting slips accomplished by the individual board
to be informed pursuant to the constitutional policy of members after a review of the movies and television
transparency in government dealings. Although citizens are productions. It is on the basis of said slips that films are
afforded the right to information and, pursuant thereto, either banned, cut or classified accordingly. Petitioner's
are entitled to "access to official records," the Constitution request was eventually denied by respondent Morato on
the ground that whenever the members of the board sit in HELD : The term private has been defined as "belonging
judgment over a film, their decisions as reflected in the to or concerning, an individual person, company, or
individual voting slips partake the nature of conscience interest"; whereas, public means "pertaining to, or
votes and as such, are purely and completely private and belonging to, or affecting a nation, state, or community at
personal On February 27, 1989, respondent Morato called large. As may be gleaned from the decree (PD 1986)
an executive meeting of the MTRCB to discuss, among creating the respondent classification board, there is no
others, the issue raised by petitioner. In said meeting, doubt that its very existence is public is character. it is an
seventeen (17) members of the board voted to declare office created to serve public interest. It being the case,
their individual voting records as classified documents respondents can lay no valid claim to privacy. The right to
which rendered the same inaccessible to the public privacy belongs to the individual acting in his private
without clearance from the chairman. Thereafter, capacity and not to a governmental agency or officers
respondent Morato denied petitioner's request to examine tasked with, and acting in, the discharge of public duties.
the voting slips. However, it was only much later, i.e., on the decisions of the Board and the individual voting slips
July 27, 1989, that respondent Board issued Resolution No. accomplished by the members concerned are acts made
10-89 which declared as confidential, private and personal, pursuant to their official functions, and as such, are neither
the decision of the reviewing committee and the voting personal nor private in nature but rather public in
slips of the members. character. They are, therefore, public records access to
which is guaranteed to the citizenry by no less than the
fundamental law of the land
ISSUE : WON Resolution No. 10-89 is valid
Francisco Chavez vs Presidential Commission on Good
FACTS: Petitioner Francisco I. Chavez, as taxpayer, citizen
and former government official who initiated the
prosecution of the Marcoses and their cronies who
committed unmitigated plunder of the public treasury and
the systematic subjugation of the countrys economy,
alleges that what impelled him to bring this action were
several news reports[2] bannered in a number of
broadsheets sometime in September 1997. These news
items referred to (1) the alleged discovery of billions of
dollars of Marcos assets deposited in various coded
accounts in Swiss banks; and (2) the reported execution of
a compromise, between the government (through PCGG)
and the Marcos heirs, on how to split or share these assets.

A provision in the compromise agreement provides:

xxx the FIRST PARTY shall determine which shall be ceded

to the FIRST PARTY, and which shall be assigned
to/retained by the PRIVATE PARTY. The assets of the the dismissal of all cases filed against the Marcoses
PRIVATE PARTY shall be net of, and exempt from, any form pending before the Sandiganbayan and other courts
of taxes due the Republic of the Philippines. Xxx encroaches upon judicial powers.

ISSUE: Whether or not such provision in the compromise

agreement exempting the Marcoses from the taxes due to
the government in valid


RULING: The PCGG has a limited life in carrying out its tasks
and time is running short. It is thus imperative that the Facts: The signing of the Japan-Philippines Economic
Court must hold even now, and remind PCGG, that it has Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) at the sidelines of the
indeed exceeded its bounds in entering into the General Asia-Europe Summit in Helsinki in September 2006 was
and Supplemental Agreements. The agreements clearly hailed by both Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
suffer from Constitutional and statutory infirmities,to wit: and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as a
1) The agreements contravene the statute in granting “milestone in the continuing cooperation and collaboration,
criminal immunity to the Marcos heirs; 2) PCGG’s setting a new chapter of strategic partnership for mutual
commitment to exempt from all forms of taxes the opportunity and growth (for both countries).”
property to be retained the Marcos’ heirs controverts the JPEPA which has been referred to as a ‘mega treaty’ is a
Constitution; and 3)the government’s undertaking to cause comprehensive plan for opening up of markets in goods
and services as well as removing barriers and restrictions 1. Do the therein petitioners have standing to bring this
on investments. It is a deal that encompasses even our action for mandamus in their capacity as citizens of the
commitments to the WTO. Republic, as taxpayers, and as members of the Congress
The complexity of JPEPA became all the more evident at
the Senate hearing conducted by the Committee on Trade
2. Can this Honorable Court exercise primary jurisdiction of
and Commerce last November 2006. The committee,
this case and take cognizance of the instant petition.
chaired by Senator Mar Roxas, heard differing views and
perspectives on JPEPA. On one hand the committee heard
Government’s rosy projections on the economic benefits of 3. Are the documents and information being requested in
JPEPA and on the other hand the views of environmental relation to the JPEPA exempted from the general rules on
and trade activists who raised there very serious concerns transparency and full public disclosure such that the
about the country being turned into Japan’s toxic waste Philippine government is justified in denying access
basket. The discussion in the Senate showed that JPEPA is thereto.
not just an issue concerning trade and economic relations
with Japan but one that touches on broader national
development concerns. Rulings:

Issues: The Supreme Court en banc promulgated last July 16, 2008
its ruling on the case of “Akbayan Citizens Action Party et al
vs. Thomas G. Aquino et al” (G.R. No. 170516). The Highest
Tribunal dismissed the Petition for mandamus and
prohibition, which sought to compel respondents The Court held: “Applying the principles adopted in PMPF v.
Department of Trade Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Manglapus, it is clear that while the final text of the JPEPA
Thomas Aquino et al to furnish petitioners the full text of may not be kept perpetually confidential – since there
the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement should be 'ample opportunity for discussion before [a
(JPEPA) and the lists of the Philippine and Japanese offers treaty] is approved' – the offers exchanged by the parties
submitted during the negotiation process and all pertinent during the negotiations continue to be privileged even
attachments and annexes thereto. after the JPEPA is published. It is reasonable to conclude
that the Japenese representatives submitted their offers
with the understanding that 'historic confidentiality' would
govern the same. Disclosing these offers could impair the
In its Decision, the Court noted that the full text of the ability of the Philippines to deal not only with Japan but
JPEPA has been made accessible to the public since 11 with other foreign governments in future negotiations.”
September 2006, and thus the demand to be furnished
with copy of the said document has become moot and
It also reasoned out that opening for public scrutiny the
academic. Notwithstanding this, however, the Court
Philippine offers in treaty negotiations would discourage
lengthily discussed the substatives issues, insofar as they
future Philippine representatives from frankly expressing
impinge on petitioners' demand for access to the
their views during negotiations. The Highest Tribunal
Philippine and Japanese offers in the course of the
recognized that treaty negotiations normally involve a
process of quid pro quo, where negotiators would willingly
grant concessions in an area of lesser importance in order
to obtain more favorable terms in an area of greater
national interest.

In the same Decision, the Court took time to address the

dissent of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno. It said: “We are
aware that behind the dissent of the Chief Justice lies a
genuine zeal to protect our people's right to information
against any abuse of executive privilege. It is a zeal that We
fully share. The Court, however, in its endeavour to guard
against the abuse of executive privilege, should be careful
not to veer towards the opposite extreme, to the point
that it would strike down as invalid even a legitimate
exercise thereof.”


WINSTON F. GARCIA, in his capacity as GSIS President &
General Manager, petitioners,
GSIS, respondents.
FACTS: Forming a huge part of the October 4 to October 7, the GSIS from implementing the issued formal charges and
2004 mass action participants were GSIS personnel, among from issuing other formal charges arising from the same
them members of the herein respondent Kapisanan Ng facts and events.
Mga Manggagawa sa GSIS (“KMG” or the “Union”), a public
sector union of GSIS rank-and-file employees. CA equated the right to form associations with the right to
engage in strike and similar activities available to workers
On or about October 10, 2004, the manager of the GSIS in the private sector. In the concrete, the appellate court
Investigating Unit issued a memorandum directing 131 concluded that inasmuch as GSIS employees are not barred
union and non-union members to show cause why they from forming, joining or assisting employees’ organization,
should not be charged administratively for their petitioner Garcia could not validly initiate charges against
participation in said rally. In reaction, KMG’s counsel, Atty. GSIS employees waging or joining rallies and
Manuel Molina, sought reconsideration of said directive on demonstrations notwithstanding the service-disruptive
the ground, among others, that the subject employees effect of such mass action.
resumed work on October 8, 2004 in obedience to the
return-to-work order thus issued. The plea for ISSUE: WON the strike conducted by the GSIS employees
reconsideration was, however, effectively denied by the were valid
filing, on October 25, 2004, of administrative charges
against some 110 KMG members for grave misconduct HELD: NO
and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
The 1987 Constitution expressly guaranteeing, for the first
KMG filed a petition for prohibition with the CA against time, the right of government personnel to
these charges. The CA granted the petition and enjoined self-organization to complement the provision according
workers the right to engage in “peaceful concerted
activities, including the right to strike in accordance with law.” This is a clear manifestation that the state may, by
law.”. It was against the backdrop of the aforesaid law, regulate the use of this right, or even deny certain
provisions of the 1987 Constitution that the Court sectors such right. Executive Order 180 which provides
resolved Bangalisan v. Court of Appeals. In it, we held, guidelines for the exercise of the right of government
citing MPSTA v. Laguio, Jr., that employees in the public workers to organize, for instance, implicitly endorsed an
service may not engage in strikes or in concerted and earlier CSC circular which “enjoins under pain of
unauthorized stoppage of work; that the right of administrative sanctions, all government officers and
government employees to organize is limited to the employees from staging strikes, demonstrations, mass
formation of unions or associations, without including the leaves, walkouts and other forms of mass action which will
right to strike. result in temporary stoppage or disruption of public
service” by stating that the Civil Service law and rules
Specifically, the right of civil servants to organize governing concerted activities and strikes in government
themselves was positively recognized in Association of service shall be observed.
Court of Appeals Employees vs. Ferrer-Caleja. But, as in the
exercise of the rights of free expression and of Public employees going on disruptive unauthorized
assembly, there are standards for allowable absences to join concerted mass actions may be held liable
limitations such as the legitimacy of the purpose of the for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
association, [and] the overriding considerations of national
security. With the view we take of the events that transpired on
October 4-7, 2004, what respondent’s members launched
As regards the right to strike, the Constitution itself or participated in during that time partook of a strike or,
qualifies its exercise with the provision “in accordance with what contextually amounts to the same thing, a prohibited
concerted activity. The phrase “prohibited concerted In whatever name respondent desires to call the four-day
activity” refers to any collective activity undertaken by mass action in October 2004, the stubborn fact remains
government employees, by themselves or through their that the erring employees, instead of exploring
employees’ organization, with the intent of effecting work non-crippling activities during their free time, had taken a
stoppage or service disruption in order to realize their disruptive approach to attain whatever it was they were
demands or force concessions, economic or otherwise; it specifically after. As events evolved, they assembled in
includes mass leaves, walkouts, pickets and acts of similar front of the GSIS main office building during office hours
nature. Indeed, for four straight days, participating KMG and staged rallies and protests, and even tried to convince
members and other GSIS employees staged a walk out and others to join their cause, thus provoking work stoppage
waged or participated in a mass protest or demonstration and service-delivery disruption, the very evil sought to be
right at the very doorstep of the GSIS main office building. forestalled by the prohibition against strikes by
The record of attendance for the period material shows government personnel.
that, on the first day of the protest, 851 employees,
or forty eight per cent (48%) of the total number of To petitioner Garcia, as President and General Manager of
employees in the main office (1,756) took to the streets GSIS, rests the authority and responsibility, under Section
during office hours, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.,leaving the other 45 of Republic Act No. 8291, the GSIS Act of 1997, to
employees to fend for themselves in an office where a host remove, suspend or otherwise discipline GSIS personnel for
of transactions take place every business day. On the cause. At bottom then, petitioner Garcia, by filing or
second day, 707 employees left their respective work causing the filing of administrative charges against the
stations, while 538 participated in the mass action on the absenting participants of the October 4-7, 2004 mass
third day. A smaller number, i.e., 306 employees, but by no action, merely performed a duty expected of him and
means an insignificant few, joined the fourth day activity. enjoined by law. Regardless of the mood petitioner Garcia
was in when he signed the charge sheet, his act can easily
be sustained as legally correct and doubtless within his




A parcel of land owned by the respondent Castellvi has

been rented and occupied by the Philippine Air Force of
the AFP in 1947. The petitioner, in behalf of the AFP,
refused to extend the lease, informing the latter that the
heirs of the property had decided not to continue leasing devoting it to a public use in such a way as to oust the
the property and, demanded that the property be vacated. owner and deprive him of all beneficial enjoyment of the
Hence, the petitioner Republic instituted expropriation property.
proceedings in 1959.

During the assessment for just compensation, the

Whether the the “taking” should be reckoned from the
petitioner argued that it had taken the property when the
year 1947, when the petitioner has entered and occupied
contract of lease commenced in 1947 and not when the
the property as lessee, or the filing on 1959.
proceedings begun in 1959.

Respondent maintains that the subject land was not taken
when the petitioner commenced to occupy the said land as
lessee because the essential elements of the “taking” of No, the property was deemed taken only when the
property under the power of eminent domain is lacking, to expropriation proceedings commenced in 1959.

A number of circumstances must be present in the “taking”

entrance and occupation by condemnor upon the private of property for purposes of eminent domain:
property for more than a momentary period, and
The expropriator must enter a private property; period of one year, renewable from year to year. The entry
on the property, under the lease, is temporary, and
The entrance into private property must be for more than
considered transitory.
a momentary period;
The entry into the property should be under warrant or
color of legal authority; Third, the entry into the property should be under warrant
or color of legal authority.The the Republic entered the
The property must be devoted to a public use or otherwise
Castellvi property as lessee.
informally appropriated or injuriously affected; and
The utilization of the property for public use must be in
such a way as to oust the owner and deprive him of all Fourth, the property must be devoted to a public use or
beneficial enjoyment of the property. otherwise informally appropriated or injuriously affected.
It may be conceded that the circumstance of the property
First, the expropriator must enter a private property. By
being devoted to public use is present because the
virtue of the lease agreement the Republic, through the
property was used by the air force of the AFP.
AFP, took possession of the property of Castellvi.

Fifth, the utilization of the property for public use must be

Second, the entrance into private property must be for
in such a way as to oust the owner and deprive him of all
more than a momentary period. The word “momentary”
beneficial enjoyment of the property. The entry of the
when applied to possession or occupancy of (real) property
Republic into the property and its utilization of the same
should be construed to mean “a limited period”—not
for public use did not oust Castellvi and deprive her of all
indefinite or permanent. The lease contract was for a
beneficial enjoyment of the property. Castellvi remained as
owner, and was continuously recognized as owner by the
Republic. Neither was Castellvi deprived of all the
beneficial enjoyment of the property, because the Republic
was bound to pay, and had been paying, Castellvi the
agreed monthly rentals.

Thus, the Court has ruled that when the taking of the
property sought to be expropriated coincides with the
commencement of the expropriation proceedings, or takes
place subsequent to the filing of the complaint for eminent
domain, the just compensation should be determined as of
the date of the filing of the complaint.

EPZA VS. DULAY [148 SCRA 305; G.R. No. L-59603; 29 Apr
Facts: The four parcels of land which are the subject of this
case is where the Mactan Export Processing Zone Authority
Issue: Whether or Not the exclusive and mandatory mode
in Cebu (EPZA) is to be constructed. Private respondent
of determining just compensation in PD 1533 is
San Antonio Development Corporation (San Antonio, for
brevity), in which these lands are registered under, claimed
that the lands were expropriated to the government
without them reaching the agreement as to the
compensation. Respondent Judge Dulay then issued an
order for the appointment of the commissioners to Held: The Supreme Court ruled that the mode of
determine the just compensation. It was later found out determination of just compensation in PD 1533 is
that the payment of the government to San Antonio would unconstitutional.
be P15 per square meter, which was objected to by the The method of ascertaining just compensation constitutes
latter contending that under PD 1533, the basis of just impermissible encroachment to judicial prerogatives. It
compensation shall be fair and according to the fair market tends to render the courts inutile in a matter in which
value declared by the owner of the property sought to be under the Constitution is reserved to it for financial
expropriated, or by the assessor, whichever is lower. Such determination. The valuation in the decree may only serve
objection and the subsequent Motion for Reconsideration as guiding principle or one of the factors in determining
were denied and hearing was set for the reception of the just compensation, but it may not substitute the court’s
commissioner’s report. EPZA then filed this petition for own judgment as to what amount should be awarded and
certiorari and mandamus enjoining the respondent from how to arrive at such amount. The determination of just
further hearing the case.
compensation is a judicial function. The executive
department or the legislature may make the initial
determination but when a party claims a violation of the
guarantee in the Bill of Rights that the private party may
not be taken for public use without just compensation, no
statute, decree, or executive order can mandate that its
own determination shall prevail over the court’s findings.
Much less can the courts be precluded from looking into
the justness of the decreed compensation.

Sumulong vs. Guerrero

On December 5, 1977 the National Housing Authority (NHA)
filed a complaint for expropriation of parcels of land
covering approximately twenty-five (25) hectares in their property without due process of law, which was
Antipolo, Rizal including the lots of petitioners Lorenzo however denied. Hence, the resort to the Supreme Court.
Sumulong and Emilia Vidanes-Balaoing with an area of
6,667 square meters and 3,333 square meters respectively.
The land sought to be expropriated were valued by the Issue: Whether or not PD 1224 is violative of the due
NHA at one peso (P1.00) per square meter adopting the process clause since “socialized housing'' for the purpose
market value. of condemnation proceeding is not really for a public
Together with the complaint was a motion for immediate
possession of the properties. The NHA deposited the
amount of P158,980.00 with the Philippine National Bank, Ruling:
representing the "total market value" of the subject 25
hectares of land, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1224 No. PD 1224 is not violative of the due process clause since
which defines "the policy on the expropriation of private “socialized housing'' for the purpose of condemnation
property for socialized housing upon payment of just proceeding is really for a public purpose.
compensation." The "public use" requirement for a valid exercise of the
On January 17, 1978, Judge Buenaventura Guerrero issued power of eminent domain is a flexible and evolving
a writ of possession when the NHA deposited with the concept influenced by changing conditions. In this
Philippine National Bank the amount of P158, 980.00. jurisdiction, the statutory and judicial trend has been
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration on the summarized as follows: The taking to be valid must be for
ground that they had been deprived of the possession of public use. There was a time when it was felt that a literal
meaning should be attached to such a requirement.
Whatever project is undertaken must be for the public to
enjoy, as in the case of streets or parks. Otherwise,
expropriation is not allowable. It is not anymore. As long as
the purpose of the taking is public, then the power of
eminent domain comes into play. As just noted, the
constitution in at least two cases, to remove any doubt,
determines what public use is. One is the expropriation of
lands to be subdivided into small lots for resale at cost to
individuals. The other is in the transfer, through the
exercise of this power, of utilities and other private
enterprise to the government. It is accurate to state then
that at present whatever may be beneficially employed for
the general welfare satisfies the requirement of public use.
Manotok v. NHA 150 SCRA 89 (1987)

F: Petitioners are the owners of two large estates known

as the Tambunting Estate and Sunog-Apog in Tondo,
Manila, both of which were declared expropriated in two
decrees issued by President Marcos, PD 1669 and PD 1670.
The petitioners contend that the decrees violate their
constitutional right to due process and equal protection
since by their mere passage their properties were take effect immediately upon the signing of the decree. No
automatically expropriated and they were immediately deposit before the taking is required. There is not provision
deprived of the ownership and possession thereof without for any interest to be paid upon unpaid installments. Not
being given the chance to oppose such expropriation. The only are the owners given absolutely no opportunity to
government on the other hand contends that the power of contest the expropriation, or question the amount of
eminent domain is inherent in the State and when the payments fixed by the decree, but the decision of the NHA
legislature or the President through his law-making powers are expressly declared beyond judicial review. PD 1669 and
exercises this power, the public use and public necessity of 1670 are declared unconstitutional.
the expropriation and the fixing of the just compensation
become political in nature and the courts must respect the

Teehankee, CJ, concurring: The judgment at bar now learly

overturns the majority ruling in JM Tuason v. LTA that the
power of Congress to designate the particular property to
HELD: The challenged decrees are unfair in the be taken adn how much may be condemned thereof must
procedures adopted and the powers given to the NHA. The be duly recognized, leaving only as a judicial question
Tambunting subdivision is summarily proclaimed a blighted whether in the exercise of such competence, the party
area and directly expropriated by decree without the adversely affected is the victim of partiality and prejudice.
slightest semblance of a hearing or any proceeding The SC now rules that such singling out of properties does
whatsoever. The expropriation is instant and automatic to not foreclose judicial scrutiny as to whether such
expropriation by legislative act transgresses the due
process and equal protection and just compensation
guarantees of the Constitution. VV.

Heirs of Moreno v. Mactan Airport G.R. No. 156273.

October 15, 2003 Just Compensation, Power of Eminent
JANUARY 26, 2018


Petitioners owned (2) parcels of land. In 1949 MCIAA

wanted to lots of petitioners for the proposed expansion of
Lahug Airport. To entice the landowners to cede their
properties, the government assured them that they could RULING:
repurchase their lands once Lahug Airport was closed or its
NO, only if property is taken for public use before
operations transferred to Mactan Airport. On December
compensation is deposited with the court having
1961 the RTC promulgated its Decision condemning lots of
jurisdiction over the case, the final compensation must
petitioner and other lots for public use upon payment of
include interests on its just value to be computed from the
just compensation. Petitioners were paid. At the end of
time the property is taken to the time when compensation
1991 Lahug Airport ceased operations. Lots of petitioners
is actually paid or deposited with the court. In fine,
which had been expropriated for the extension of Lahug
between the taking of the property and the actual
Airport were not utilized. In fact, no expansion of Lahug
payment, legal interests accrue in order to place the owner
Airport was undertaken by MCIAA. On March 1997
in a position as good as (but not better than) the position
petitioners filed a complaint for reconveyance and
he was in before the taking occurred. The amount of the
damages with RTC against respondent MCIAA to compel
interest is 6% per annum as stated in the Rules of Court.
the repurchase of their lots.

MCIAA as representative of the State is obliged to

reconvey the lots to petitioners who shall hold the same
Must just compensation include interest? How much? subject to existing liens thereon, i.e., leasehold right of
DPWH. In return, petitioners as if they were
plaintiff-beneficiaries of a constructive trust must restore
to MCIAA what they received as just compensation for the
expropriation of the lots with consequential damages by
way of legal interest from 16 November 1947. Petitioners
must likewise pay MCIAA the necessary expenses it may
have incurred in sustaining the properties and the
monetary value of its services in managing them to the
extent that petitioners will be benefited thereby. The Manosca v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 106440, January 29,
government however may keep whatever income or fruits 1996
it may have obtained from the parcels of land, in the same
way that petitioners need not account for the interests
that the amounts they received as just compensation may Fact: Petitioners inherited a piece of land located at P.
have earned in the meantime. As a matter of justice and Burgos Street, Calzada, Taguig. Metro Manila, with an area
convenience, the law considers the fruits and interests as of about four hundred ninety-two (492) square meters.
the equivalent of each other. When the parcel was ascertained by the NHI to have been
the birthsite of Felix Y. Manalo, the founder of Iglesia Ni
Cristo, it passed Resolution No. 1, Series of 1986, pursuant
to Section 42 of Presidential Decree No. 260, declaring the
land to be a national historical landmark. The resolution
was approved by the Minister of Education, Culture and
Sports At the same time, respondent Republic filed an
urgent motion for the issuance of an order to permit it to
take immediate possession of the property. The motion
was opposed by petitioners. After a hearing, the trial court
issued an order fixing the provisional market and assessed
values of the property and authorizing the Republic to take
over the property once the required sum would have been 20th February 1990 order was likewise denied by the trial
deposited with the Municipal Treasurer of Taguig, Metro court in its 16th April 1991 order. Petitioners then lodged a
Manila. petition with the Court of Appeals which the appellate
court dismissed for failure to show any grave abuse of
discretion or lack of jurisdictional competence on the part
Petitioners moved to dismiss the complaint on the main of the trial court. A motion for the reconsideration of the
thesis that the intended expropriation was not for a public decision was denied subsequently by appellate court.
purpose and, incidentally, that the act would constitute an
application of public funds, directly or indirectly, for the
use, benefit, or support of Iglesia ni Cristo, a religious Issue: Whether the expropriation was not for a public
entity, contrary to the provision of the Constitution. purpose and, incidentally, that the act would constitute an
Petitioners sought, in the meanwhile, a suspension in the application of public funds, directly or indirectly, for the
implementation of the 03rd August 1989 order of the trial use, benefit, or support of Iglesia ni Cristo, a religious
court. On 15 February 1990, following the filing by entity, contrary to the provision of Section 29(2), Article VI,
respondent Republic of its reply to petitioners’ motion of the 1987 Constitution.
seeking the dismissal of the case, the trial court issued its
denial of said motion to dismiss.6 Five (5) days later, or on
20 February 1990,7 another order was issued by the trial
court, declaring moot and academic the motion for
reconsideration and/or suspension of the order of 03
August 1989 with the rejection of petitioners’ motion to Held: No, Public Use. Eminent domain. The constitutional
dismiss. Petitioners’ motion for the reconsideration of the and statutory basis for taking property by eminent domain.
For condemnation purposes, “public use” is one which Petitioner Lourdes Dela Paz Masikip is the registered
confers same benefit or advantage to the public; it is not owner of a parcel of land located at Pag-Asa, Caniogan,
confined to actual use by public. It is measured in terms of Pasig City, Metro Manila. The City of Pasig notified
right of public to use proposed facilities for which petitioner of its intention to expropriate a 1,500 square
condemnation is sought and, as long as public has right of meter portion of her property to be used for the “sports
use, whether exercised by one or many members of public, development and recreational activities” of the residents
a “public advantage” or “public benefit” accrues sufficient of Barangay Caniogan. This was pursuant to Ordinance No.
to constitute a public use. The idea that “public use” is 42, Series of 1993 enacted by the then Sangguniang Bayan
strictly limited to clear cases of “use by the public” has long of Pasig.
been discarded.

Petitioner replied stating that the intended expropriation

of her property is unconstitutional, invalid, and oppressive.
MASIKIP vs PASIG G.R. No. 136349 January 23, 2006 Power
of Eminent Domain, Expropriation, Genuine Necessity
Respondent reiterated that the purpose of the
NOVEMBER 3, 2017 expropriation of petitioner’s property is “to provide sports
and recreational facilities to its poor residents” and
subsequently filed with the trial court a complaint for
especially considering that there exists an alternative
facility for sports development and community recreation
in the area, which is the Rainforest Park, available to all
ISSUE: residents of Pasig City, including those of Caniogan.

Was the City of Pasig able to establish “genuine necessity”?

RULING: Constitution attaches to the property of the individual

requires not only that the purpose for the taking of private
property be specified. The genuine necessity for the taking,
The Court holds that respondent City of Pasig has failed to which must be of a public character, must also be shown to
establish that there is a genuine necessity to expropriate exist
petitioner’s property. A scrutiny of the records shows that
the Certification issued by the Caniogan Barangay Council,
the basis for the passage of Ordinance No. 42 s. 1993
authorizing the expropriation, indicates that the intended
beneficiary is the Melendres Compound Homeowners
Association, a private, non-profit organization, not the
residents of Caniogan. Petitioner’s lot is the nearest vacant
space available. The purpose is, therefore, not clearly and
categorically public. The necessity has not been shown,
the two installments as agreed upon, as well as the interest
that had accrued and so Rutter instituted an action to
recover the balance due, the interest due and the
attorney's fees. The complaint also contains a prayer for
sale of the properties mortgaged in accordance with law.
Esteban claims that this is a prewar obligation contracted
and that he is a war sufferer, having filed his claim with the
Philippine War Damage Commission for the losses he had
suffered as a consequence of the last war; and that under
section 2 of RA 342(moratorium law), payment of his
RUTTER VS. ESTEBAN [93 PHIL 68; NO.L-3708; 18 MAY obligation cannot be enforced until after the lapse of eight
1953] years. The complaint was dismissed. A motion for recon
was made which assails the constitutionality of RA 342.

Facts: On August 20,1941 Rutter sold to Esteban two

parcels of land situated in the Manila for P9,600 of which
P4,800 were paid outright, and the balance was made
Issue: Whether or Not RA 342 unconstitutional on
payable as follows: P2,400 on or before August 7, 1942,
non-impairment clause grounds.
and P2,400 on or before August 27, 1943, with interest at
the rate of 7 percent per annum. To secure the payment of
said balance of P4,800, a first mortgage has been
constituted in favor of the plaintiff. Esteban failed to pay
Held: Yes. The moratorium is postponement of fulfillment whatsoever in point of time as regards the suspension of
of obligations decreed by the state through the medium of the enforcement and effectivity of monetary obligations.
the courts or the legislature. Its essence is the application
of police power. The economic interests of the State may
justify the exercise of its continuing and dominant
protective power notwithstanding interference with
contracts. The question is not whether the legislative
action affects contracts incidentally, or directly or indirectly,
but whether the legislation is addressed to a legitimate end
and the measures taken are reasonable and appropriate to
that end.

However based on the President’s general SONA and

consistent with what the Court believes to be as the only
course dictated by justice, fairness and righteousness,
declared that the continued operation and enforcement of
RA 342 at the present time is unreasonable and oppressive,
and should not be prolonged should be declared null and
void and without effect. This holds true as regards
Executive Orders Nos. 25 and 32, with greater force and
reason considering that said Orders contain no limitation
2006 and the House of Representatives on 19 December
2006.On 23 January 2007, less than four months before
the 14 May 2007 local elections.

On 7 May 2007, petitioner, a duly accredited multi-sectoral

BANAT v. COMELEC August 7, 2009 organization, filed this petition for prohibition alleging that
RA 9369 violated Section 26(1), Article VI of the
Constitution.Petitioner also assails the constitutionality of
Facts: This is a petition for Prohibition with a prayer for the Sections 34, 37, 38, and 43 of RA 9369.According to
issuance of a temporary restraining order or a writ of petitioner, these provisions are of questionable application
preliminary injunction filed by petitioner Barangay and doubtful validity for failing to comply with the
Association for National Advancement and Transparency provisions of the Constitution.
(BANAT) Party List (petitioner) assailing the
constitutionality of Republic Act No. 9369 (RA 9369)and
enjoining respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Petitioner argues the following:
from implementing the statute.

1. the title of RA 9369 is misleading because it speaks of

RA 9369 is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2231 and poll automation but contains substantial provisions dealing
House Bill No. 5352 passed by the Senate on 7 December with the manual canvassing of election returns.Petitioner
also alleges that Sections 34, 37, 38, and 43are neither with the COMELEC to investigate and prosecute election
embraced in the title nor germane to the subject matter of offenses.
RA 9369.

4. section 34 which fixes the per diem of poll watchers of

2. Sections 37 and 38 violate the Constitution by impairing the dominant majority and dominant minority parties at
the powers of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) and Pon election day.Petitioner argues that this violates the
the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET).According to petitioner, freedom of the parties to contract and their right to fix the
under the amended provisions, Congress as the National terms and conditions of the contract they see as fair,
Board of Canvassers for the election of President and Vice equitable and just. Petitioner adds that this is a purely
President (Congress), and the COMELECen banc as the private contract using private funds which cannot be
National Board of Canvassers (COMELEC en banc), for the regulated by law.
election of Senatorsmay now entertain pre-proclamation
cases in the election of the President, Vice President, and
Senators.Petitioner concludes that in entertaining
pre-proclamation cases, Congress and the COMELEC en Issue/s:
banc undermine the independence and encroach upon the
jurisdiction of the PET and the SET.
Whether or not RA 9369 is unconstitutional.

3. Section 43 is unconstitutional because it gives the other

prosecuting arms of the government concurrent power
-Sections 37 and 38 violate Section 17, Article VI and of Elections, Amending for the Purpose Batas Pambansa
Paragraph 7, Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution; Blg. 881, as Amended, Republic Act No. 7166 and Other
Related Election Laws, Providing Funds Therefor and For
Other Purposes.Clearly, the subject matter of RA 9369
-Section 43 violates Section 2(6), Article IX-C of the covers the amendments to RA 8436, Batas Pambansa Blg.
Constitution 881 (BP 881),Republic Act No. 7166 (RA 7166),and other
related election laws to achieve its purpose of promoting
transparency, credibility, fairness, and accuracy in the
-Section 34 violates Section 10, Article III of the elections.The provisions of RA 9369 assailed by petitioner
Constitution deal with amendments to specific provisions of RA 7166
and BP 881, specifically: (1) Sections 34, 37 and 38 amend
Sections 26, 30 and 15 of RA 7166, respectively; and(2)
Section 43 of RA 9369 amends Section 265 of BP
Ruling: The petition is denied.RA 9369 is constitutional. 881.Therefore, the assailed provisions are germane to the
subject matter ofRA 9369 which is to amend RA 7166 and
BP 881, among others.
1. RA 9369 is an amendatory act entitled An Act Amending
Republic Act No. 8436, Entitled An Act Authorizing the
Commission on Elections to Use an Automated Election 2. The COMELEC maintains that the amendments
System in the May 11, 1998 National or Local Elections and introduced by Section 37 pertain only to the adoption and
in Subsequent National and Local Electoral Exercises, to application of the procedures on pre-proclamation
Encourage Transparency, Credibility, Fairness and Accuracy controversies in case of any discrepancy, incompleteness,
erasure or alteration in the certificates of canvass.The perfected contact and, therefore, no obligation will be
COMELEC adds that Section 37 does not provide that impaired. Both the COMELEC and the OSG argue that the
Congress and the COMELEC en bancmay now entertain law is a proper exercise of police power and it will prevail
pre-proclamation cases for national elective posts. over a contract.According to the COMELEC, poll watching is
not just an ordinary contract but is an agreement with the
solemn duty to ensure the sanctity of votes.The role of poll
3. Section 2(6), Article IX-C of the Constitution vests in the watchers is vested with public interest which can be
COMELEC the power to investigate and, where appropriate, regulated by Congress in the exercise of its police
prosecute cases of violations of election laws, including power.The OSG further argues that the assurance that the
acts or omissions constituting election frauds, offenses, poll watchers will receive fair and equitable compensation
and malpractices.COMELEC has the exclusive power to promotes the general welfare.The OSG also states that this
conduct preliminary investigations and prosecute election was a reasonable regulation considering that the dominant
offenses, it likewise authorizes the COMELEC to avail itself majority and minority parties will secure a copy of the
of the assistance of other prosecuting arms of the election returns and are given the right to assign poll
government. In the 1993 COMELEC Rules of Procedure, the watchers inside the polling precincts.
authority of the COMELEC was subsequently qualified and
Chavez vs. COMELEC

4. The OSG argues that petitioner erroneously invoked the

non-impairment clause because this only applies to Petitioner Chavez, on various dates, entered into formal
previously perfected contracts.In this case, there is no agreements with certain establishments to endorse their
products. Pursuant to these agreements, three billboards to have conducted premature campaigning in violation of
were set up showing petitioner promoting the products of Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code.
said establishments.
On January 21, 2004, petitioner was directed to comply
with the said provision by the COMELEC's Law Department.
He replied, by requesting the COMELEC that he be
On December 30, 2003, however, petitioner filed his
informed as to how he may have violated the assailed
certificate of candidacy for the position of Senator.
provision. He sent another letter, this time asking the
COMELEC that he be exempted from the application of
On January 6, 2004, respondent COMELEC issued Section 32, considering that the billboards adverted to are
Resolution No. 6520, which contained Section 32: mere product endorsements and cannot be construed as
paraphernalia for premature campaigning under the rules.
Section 32. All propaganda materials such as posters,
streamers, stickers or paintings on walls and other
materials showing the picture, image, or name of a person, The COMELEC, however, ordered him to remove or cause
and all advertisements on print, in radio or on television the removal of the billboards, or to cover them from public
showing the image or mentioning the name of a person, view pending the approval of his request.
who subsequent to the placement or display thereof
becomes a candidate for public office shall be immediately
removed by said candidate and radio station, print media Feeling aggrieved, petitioner Chavez filed a petition for
or television station within 3 days after the effectivity of prohibition with the SC, asking that the COMELEC be
these implementing rules; otherwise, he and said radio enjoined from enforcing the assailed provision. He urges
station, print media or television station shall be presumed the Court to declare the assailed provision unconstitutional
as the same is allegedly (1) a gross violation of the from the electorate. They are, he claims, mere product
non-impairment clause; (2) an invalid exercise of police endorsements and not election propaganda. Prohibiting,
power; (3) in the nature of an ex-post facto law; (4) therefore, their exhibition to the public is not within the
contrary to the Fair Elections Act; and (5) invalid due to scope of the powers of the COMELEC.

Police power, as an inherent attribute of sovereignty, is the

Issue: power to prescribe regulations to promote the health,
morals, peace, education, good order, or safety, and the
general welfare of the people. To determine the validity of
Is Section 2 of COMELEC Resolution No. 6520 a police measure, two questions must be asked: (1) Does
unconstitutional? the interest of the public in general, as distinguished from
those of a particular class, require the exercise of police
power? and (2) Are the means employed reasonably
Held: necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not
unduly oppressive upon individuals?

Police power
A close examination of the assailed provision reveals that
its primary objectives are to prohibit premature
Petitioner argues that the billboards, while they exhibit his
campaigning and to level the playing field for candidates of
name and image, do not at all announce his candidacy for
public office, to equalize the situation between popular or
any public office nor solicit support for such candidacy
rich candidates, on one hand, and lesser-known or poorer featuring his name and image assumed partisan political
candidates, on the other, by preventing the former from character because the same indirectly promoted his
enjoying undue advantage in exposure and publicity on candidacy. Therefore, the COMELEC was acting well within
account of their resources and popularity. its scope of powers when it required petitioner to
discontinue the display of the subject billboards. If the
subject billboards were to be allowed, candidates for
Moreover, petitioner cannot claim that the subject public office whose name and image are used to advertise
billboards are purely product endorsements and do not commercial products would have more opportunity to
announce nor solicit any support for his candidacy. Under make themselves known to the electorate, to the
the Omnibus Election Code, election campaign or partisan disadvantage of other candidates who do not have the
political activity is defined as an act designed to promote same chance of lending their faces and names to endorse
the election or defeat of a particular candidate or popular commercial products as image models. Similarly,
candidates to a public office. It includes directly or an individual intending to run for public office within the
indirectly soliciting votes, pledges or support for or against next few months, could pay private corporations to use
a candidate. him as their image model with the intention of familiarizing
the public with his name and image even before the start
of the campaign period. This, without a doubt, would be a
It is true that when petitioner entered into the contracts or circumvention of the rule against premature campaigning.
agreements to endorse certain products, he acted as a
private individual and had all the right to lend his name
and image to these products. However, when he filed his Non-impairment of contract
certificate of candidacy for Senator, the billboards
Section 32 is not a gross violation of the non-impairment Petitioner argued that the assailed provision makes an
clause. The non-impairment clause of the Constitution individual criminally liable for an election offense for not
must yield to the loftier purposes targeted by the removing such advertisement, even if at the time the said
Government. Equal opportunity to proffer oneself for advertisement was exhibited, the same was clearly legal.
public office, without regard to the level of financial Hence, it makes a person, whose name or image is
resources one may have at his disposal, is indeed of vital featured in any such advertisement, liable for premature
interest to the public. The State has the duty to enact and campaigning under the Omnibus Election Code.
implement rules to safeguard this interest. Time and again,
this Court has said that contracts affecting public interest
contain an implied reservation of the police power as a Section 32, although not penal in nature, defines an
postulate of the existing legal order. This power can be offense and prescribes a penalty for said offense. Laws of
activated at anytime to change the provisions of the this nature must operate prospectively, except when they
contract, or even abrogate it entirely, for the promotion or are favorable to the accused. It should be noted, however,
protection of the general welfare. Such an act will not that the offense defined in the assailed provision is not the
militate against the impairment clause, which is subject to putting up of propaganda materials such as posters,
and limited by the paramount police power. streamers, stickers or paintings on walls and other
materials showing the picture, image or name of a person,
and all advertisements on print, in radio or on television
Ex post facto law showing the image or mentioning the name of a person,
who subsequent to the placement or display thereof
becomes a candidate for public office. Nor does it prohibit
or consider an offense the entering of contracts for such
propaganda materials by an individual who subsequently billboards are already permitted as lawful election
becomes a candidate for public office. One definitely does propaganda. He claims, therefore, that the COMELEC, in
not commit an offense by entering into a contract with effectively prohibiting the use of billboards as a form of
private parties to use his name and image to endorse election propaganda through the assailed provision,
certain products prior to his becoming a candidate for violated the Fair Elections Act. Petitioners argument is not
public office. The offense, as expressly prescribed in the tenable. The Solicitor General rightly points out that the
assailed provision, is the non-removal of the described assailed provision does not prohibit billboards as lawful
propaganda materials three (3) days after the effectivity of election propaganda. It only regulates their use to prevent
COMELEC Resolution No. 6520. If the candidate for public premature campaigning and to equalize, as much as
office fails to remove such propaganda materials after the practicable, the situation of all candidates by preventing
given period, he shall be liable under Section 80 of the popular and rich candidates from gaining undue advantage
Omnibus Election Code for premature campaigning. Indeed, in exposure and publicity on account of their resources and
nowhere is it indicated in the assailed provision that it shall popularity. Moreover, by regulating the use of such
operate retroactively. There is, therefore, no ex post facto election propaganda materials, the COMELEC is merely
law in this case. doing its duty under the law.

Fair Elections Act Overbreadth

Next, petitioner urges that Section 32 is a violation of the A statute or regulation is considered void for overbreadth
Fair Elections Act. According to him, under this law, when it offends the constitutional principle that a
governmental purpose to control or prevent activities
constitutionally subject to State regulations may not be
achieved by means that sweep unnecessarily broadly and
thereby invade the area of protected freedoms.

The provision in question is limited in its operation both as

to time and scope. It only disallows the continued display
of a persons propaganda materials and advertisements
after he has filed a certificate of candidacy and before the
start of the campaign period. Said materials and
advertisements must also show his name and image.
There is no blanket prohibition of the use of propaganda
materials and advertisements. During the campaign period,
these may be used subject only to reasonable limitations
necessary and incidental to achieving the purpose of
preventing premature campaigning and promoting equality
of opportunities among all candidates. The provision,
therefore, is not invalid on the ground of overbreadth.