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Fundamental Principles and State Policies

1. Sovereignty of the People and Republicanism

 Villavicencio v Lukban
F: The Mayor of the city of Manila ordered the segregated district of women of ill-repute
closed. The city authorities perfected arrangements with the Bureau of Labor for sending the
women to Davao as laborers. One night, the women were hustled aboard steamers given no
opportunity to collect belongings with no knowledge that they were destined for a life in
Mindanao. The attorney for the relatives and friends of the deportees presented an
application for habeas corpus.

I: Did the Mayor have authority to deport the women from Manila to another locality? Should
the Mayor and the police authorities be punished for contempt for disobeying the SC’s award
of writ of habeas corpus?

H: No. There is not existing law, order, or regulation which gives the right of the City of Mayor
to force change of domicile from Manila to another locality. On the contrary, Philippine penal
law specifically punishes any public officer who, not being expressly authorized by law or
regulation, compels any person to change his residence. In fact, the victims have remedies in
the form of a civil action, a criminal action, and habeas corpus. The Mayor was adjudged to
be in contempt of court.

2. Adherence to International Law

 Kuroda v Jalandoni
F: Kuroda, a former Lieutenant-General of the Japanese Army in the Philippines during 1943-
1944 is charged before the Military Commission for having unlawfully failed his duties to
control his members from committing brutal atrocities to noncombatant civilians and
prisoners of war. Kuroda counter-argued that EO 68 of the President of the Philippines is
illegal and that respondents Hussey and Port must be prohibited form participating in the
prosecution of his case. According to him EO 68 is illegal as it violates constitutional law and
local law as the Philippines is not a signatory nor an adherent to the Hague Convention and
therefore, he is charged of ‘crimes’ not based on law, national and intentional.

H: EO 68 is valid in its Section 3 that "The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of


national policy, and adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of
the law of the nation. In accordance with the generally accepted principles of international
law of the present day, including the Hague Convention, the Geneva Convention and
significant precedents of international jurisprudence established by the United Nations, all
those persons, military of civilian, who have been guilty of planning, preparing or waging a
war of aggression and of the commission of crimes and offenses consequential and incidental
thereto, in violation of the laws and customs of war, of humanity and civilization, are held
accountable therefor.

 Secretary of Justice v Lantion


F: The US Government through DFA, requested the Philippine Government for the extradition
of Mark Jimenez to the US. The request was forwarded the following day by the Secretary of
Foreign Affairs to the DOJ. Pending evaluation of the extradition documents by DOJ, Mark
requested for copies of the extradition documents. When his request was denied for being
premature, he resorted to an action for mandamus, certiorari, and prohibition. The trial court
issued an order enjoining the DOJ from conducting further proceedings.

H: Although the Extradition Law does not specifically indicate whether the extradition
proceeding is criminal, civil, or a special proceeding, it nevertheless provides the applicability
of the Rules of Court in the hearing of the petition insofar as practicable and not inconsistent
with the summary nature of the proceedings.

The prospective extraditee under Section 2[c] of Presidential Decree No. 1069 faces the threat
of arrest, not only after the extradition petition is filed in court, but even during the evaluation
proceeding itself by virtue of the provisional arrest allowed under the treaty and the
implementing law. Thus, the evaluation process, in essence, partakes of the nature of a
criminal investigation making available certain constitutional rights to the prospective
extraditee. The Court noted that there is a void in the provisions of the RP-US Extradition
Treaty regarding the basic due process rights available to a prospective extraditee at the
evaluation stage of the proceedings. The Court was constrained to apply the rules of fair play,
the due process rights of notice and hearing. Hence, petitioner was ordered to furnish private
respondent copies of the extradition request and its supporting papers and to grant the latter
a reasonable time within which to file his comment with supporting evidence.

The rule of pacta sunt servanda, one of the oldest and most fundamental maxims of
international law, requires the parties to a treaty to keep their agreement therein in good
faith. The observance of our country's legal duties under a treaty is also compelled by Section
2, Article II of the Constitution which provides that "the Philippines renounces war as an
instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law
as part of the law of the land, and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom,
cooperation and amity with all nations."

Under the doctrine of incorporation, rules of international law form part of the law of the
land and no further legislative action is needed to make such rules applicable in the
domestic sphere. The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals (or
local courts) are confronted with situations in which there appears to be a conflict between a
rule of international law and the provisions of the constitution or statute of the local state.
Efforts should first be exerted to harmonize them, so as to give effect to both since it is to be
presumed that municipal law was enacted with proper regard for the generally accepted
principles of international law in observance of the Incorporation Clause in the above-cited
constitutional provision. In a situation, however, where the conflict is irreconcilable and a
choice has to be made between a rule of international law and municipal law, jurisprudence
dictates that municipal law should be upheld by the municipal courts for the reason that such
courts are organs of municipal law and are accordingly bound by it in all circumstance.

 Pharmaceutical Association v Duque


F: This stemmed from a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 seeking to nullify AO (IRR) for the
Milk Code. The petitioner (manufacturer of breastmilk substitute) posits that the AO is not
valid as it contains provisions that are unconstitutional. The respondent herein is DOH. The
Milk Code was issued by President Aquino to give effect to the International Code of
Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, a code adopted by the World Health Assembly. After
that, the Philippines ratified the Rights of the Child, which provides that State Parties should
take appropriate measures to diminish infant and child mortality.

I: Did respondent officers of DOH go beyond the provisions of the Milk Code, amending and
expanding the coverage of the law?

H: According to the DOH, that IRR implements not only the Milk Code but also various
international instruments regarding infant and young child nutrition. According to them, said
international instruments are deemed part of the law of the land and therefore the DOH may
implement them through the IRR. Some of the international instruments cited are the ICMBS
and various WHA Resolutions.

Under the 1987 Constitution, international law can become part of the sphere of domestic
law either by transformation or incorporation. The transformation method requires that an
international law be transformed into a domestic law through a constitutional mechanism
such as local legislation. The incorporation method applies when, by mere constitutional
declaration, international law is deemed to have the force of domestic law.

Treaties become part of the law of the land through transformation pursuant to Article VII,
Section 21 of the Constitution which provides that "[n]o treaty or international agreement
shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the members of
the Senate." Thus, treaties or conventional international law must go through a process
prescribed by the Constitution for it to be transformed into municipal law that can be applied
to domestic conflicts.

The ICMBS and WHA Resolutions are not treaties as they have not been concurred in by at
least two-thirds of all members of the Senate as required under Section 21, Article VII of the
1987 Constitution. However, the ICMBS which was adopted by the WHA in 1981 had been
transformed into domestic law through local legislation, the Milk Code. Consequently, it is the
Milk Code that has the force and effect of law in this jurisdiction and not the ICMBS per se.

The Milk Code is almost a verbatim reproduction of the ICMBS, but it is well to emphasize at
this point that the Code did not adopt the provision in the ICMBS absolutely prohibiting
advertising or other forms of promotion to the general public of products within the scope of
the ICMBS. Instead, the Milk Code expressly provides that advertising, promotion, or other
marketing materials may be allowed if such materials are duly authorized and approved by
the Inter-Agency Committee (IAC).

"Generally accepted principles of international law" refers to norms of general or customary


international law which are binding on all states, i.e., renunciation of war as an instrument of
national policy, the principle of sovereign immunity, a person's right to life, liberty and due
process, 19 and pacta sunt servanda, among others. General principles of law have the
"character of jus rationale" and are "valid through all kinds of human societies." Certain
principles are part of international law because they are "basic to legal systems generally" and
hence part of the jus gentium.

Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas defines customary international law as follows:


Custom or customary international law means "a general and consistent practice of states
followed by them from a sense of legal obligation [opinio juris]." This statement contains the
two basic elements of custom: the material factor, that is, how states behave, and the
psychological or subjective factor, that is, why they behave the way they do. The initial factor
for determining the existence of custom is the actual behavior of states. This includes several
elements: duration, consistency, and generality of the practice of states.

The WHA Resolution adopting the ICMBS and subsequent WHA Resolutions urging member
states to implement the ICMBS are merely recommendatory and legally non-binding. Thus,
unlike what has been done with the ICMBS whereby the legislature enacted most of the
provisions into law which is the Milk Code, the subsequent WHA Resolutions, specifically
providing for exclusive breastfeeding from 0-6 months, continued breastfeeding up to 24
months, and absolutely prohibiting advertisements and promotions of breastmilk substitutes,
have not been adopted as a domestic law. It is propounded that WHA Resolutions may
constitute "soft law" or non-binding norms, principles and practices that influence state
behavior. "Soft law" does not fall into any of the categories of international law set forth in
Article 38, Chapter III of the 1946 Statute of the International Court of Justice. It is, however,
an expression of non-binding norms, principles, and practices that influence state behavior.

Respondents have not presented any evidence to prove that the WHA Resolutions, although
signed by most of the member states, were in fact enforced or practiced by at least a majority
of the member states; neither have respondents proven that any compliance by member
states with said WHA Resolutions was obligatory in nature.

Respondents failed to establish that the provisions of pertinent WHA Resolutions are
customary international law that may be deemed part of the law of the land.

Consequently, legislation is necessary to transform the provisions of the WHA Resolutions


into domestic law. The provisions of the WHA Resolutions cannot be considered as part of the
law of the land that can be implemented by executive agencies without the need of a law
enacted by the legislature.

3. Supremacy of Civilian Authority


 Alih v Gastro
F: A contingent of more than two hundred Philippine marines and elements of the home
defense forces raided the compound occupied by the petitioners at Gov. Alvarez street,
Zamboanga City, in search of loose firearms, ammunition and other explosives. The besieged
compound surrendered the following morning, and sixteen male occupants were arrested,
later to be finger-printed, paraffin-tested and photographed over their objection. The
petitioners came to this Court in a petition for prohibition and mandamus with preliminary
injunction and restraining order. Their purpose was to recover the articles seized from them,
to prevent these from being used as evidence against them, and to challenge their finger-
printing, photographing and paraffin-testing as violative of their right against self-
incrimination.

H: The precarious state of lawlessness in Zamboanga City at the time in question certainly did
not excuse the non-observance of the constitutional guaranty against unreasonable searches
and seizures. There was no state of hostilities in the area to justify, assuming it could, the
repressions committed therein against the petitioners. In acting as they did, they also defied
the precept that "civilian authority is at all times supreme over the military" so clearly
proclaimed in the 1973 Constitution. In the instant case, the respondents simply by-passed
the civil courts, which had the authority to determine whether or not there was probable
cause to search the petitioner's premises. Instead, they proceeded to make the raid without
a search warrant on their own unauthorized determination of the petitioner's guilt.

4. Government as Protector of the People; People as Defender of the State


 PP v Lagman
F: Appellants Lagman and Sosa are charged with violation of the Commonwealth Act No. 1,
known as the National Defense Law. Allegedly, being Filipinos and having reached 20 years
old, willfully and unlawfully refused to register in the military service between the 1st and 7th
of April of said year, notwithstanding the fact that they had been required to do so.

I: Is the law unconstitutional?

H: No. Section 2, Article II of the Constitution of the Philippines provides as follows:

"SEC. 2. The defense of the State is a prime duty of government, and in the fulfillment of this
duty all citizens may be required by law to render personal military or civil service."

The National Defense Law, in so far as it establishes compulsory military service, does not go
against this constitutional provision but is, on the contrary, in faithful compliance therewith.
The duty of the Government to defend the State cannot be performed except through an
army. To leave the organization of an army to the will of the citizens would be to make this
duty of the Government excusable should there be no sufficient men who volunteer to enlist
therein. he right of the Government to require compulsory military service is a consequence
of its duty to defend the State and is reciprocal with its duty to defend the life, liberty, and
property of the citizen.

5. Separation of the Church and State


 Aglipay v Ruiz
F: The petitioner, Mons. Gregorio Aglipay, Supreme Head of the Philippine Independent
Church, seeks the issuance from this court of a writ of prohibition to prevent the respondent
Director of Posts from issuing and selling postage stamps commemorative of the Thirty-third
International Eucharistic Congress.

H: There is no violation of the Constitution.

It is alleged that this action of the respondent is violative of the provisions of section 23,
subsection 3, Article VI, of the Constitution of the Philippines, which provides as follows:

No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, or used, directly or


indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, secretarian,
institution, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher,
minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary as such, except when such priest, preacher,
minister, or dignitary is assigned to the armed forces or to any penal institution, orphanage,
or leprosarium.

Act No. 4052 contemplates no religious purpose in view. What it gives the Director of Posts is
the discretionary power to determine when the issuance of special postage stamps would be
"advantageous to the Government." Of course, the phrase "advantageous to the
Government" does not authorize the violation of the Constitution. It does not authorize the
appropriation, use or application of public money or property for the use, benefit or support
of a particular sect or church. In the present case, however, the issuance of the postage
stamps in question by the Director of Posts and the Secretary of Public Works and
Communications was not inspired by any sectarian denomination. The stamps were not issue
and sold for the benefit of the Roman Catholic Church. Nor were money derived from the sale
of the stamps given to that church. On the contrary, it appears from the latter of the Director
of Posts of June 5, 1936, incorporated on page 2 of the petitioner's complaint, that the only
purpose in issuing and selling the stamps was "to advertise the Philippines and attract more
tourist to this country."

 American Bible Society vs City of Manila


F: American Bible Society has been distributing and selling bibles and/or gospel portions
throughout the Philippines and translating the same into several Philippine dialect. The City
Treasurer of Manila informed American Bible Society that it was violating several Ordinances
for operating without the necessary permit and license, thereby requiring the corporation to
secure the permit and license fees.

I: 1. Whether the selling activity of Petitioner is exempted from taxation; and 2. Whether the
Mayor’s Permit requirement impair Petitioner’s right to the free exercise and enjoyment of
its religious profession and worship, as well as its rights of dissemination of religious beliefs?

H: 1. Yes, it may be true that in this said case, the price asked for the bibles and other religious
pamphlets was in some instances a little bit higher than the actual cost of the same but this
cannot mean that appellant was engaged in the business or occupation of selling said
“merchandise” for profit. For the reason that the provisions of City of Manila Ordinance No.
2529, as amended, cannot be applied to appellant, for in doing so it would impair its free
exercise and enjoyment of its religious profession and worship as well as its rights of
dissemination of religious beliefs.

2. No, the Mandatory obtention of the Mayor’s permit before any person can engage in any
of the businesses, trades or occupations enumerated therein do not imposes any charge upon
the enjoyment of a right granted by the Constitution, nor tax the exercise of religious
practices. That Ordinance No. 3000 cannot be considered unconstitutional, even if applied to
plaintiff Society.

 Estrada vs Escritor
F: Escritor is a court interpreter since 1999 in the RTC of Las Pinas City. She has been living
with Quilapio, a man who is not her husband, for more than twenty five years and had a son
with him as well. Respondent’s husband died a year before she entered into the judiciary
while Quilapio is still legally married to another woman. Complainant Estrada requested the
Judge of said RTC to investigate respondent. According to complainant, respondent should
not be allowed to 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’ under the approval of their congregation. Such a
declaration is effective when legal impediments render it impossible for a couple to legalize
their union.

H: The State could not penalize respondent for she is exercising her right to freedom of
religion. The free exercise of religion is specifically articulated as one of the fundamental rights
in our Constitution. it is the most inalienable and sacred of human rights. The State’s interest
in enforcing its prohibition cannot be merely abstract or symbolic in order to be sufficiently
compelling to outweigh a free exercise claim. In the case at bar, the State has not evinced any
concrete interest in 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 for accommodation of religious exercises as required by the Free Exercise
Clause. This benevolent neutrality could allow for accommodation of morality based on
religion, provided it does not offend compelling state interests. Assuming arguendo that the
OSG has proved a compelling state interest, it has to further demonstrate that the state has
used the least intrusive means possible so that the free exercise is not infringed any more
than necessary to achieve the legitimate goal of the state. Thus the conjugal arrangement
cannot be penalized for it constitutes an exemption to the law based on her right to freedom
of religion.

6. Promotion of Health and Ecology

 Oposa vs Factoran

The complaint focuses on one specific fundamental legal right — the right to a balanced and
healthful ecology which, for the first time in our nation's constitutional history, is solemnly
incorporated in the fundamental law. Section 16, Article II of the 1987 Constitution explicitly
provides:

"SEC. 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and
healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature."

This right unites with the right to health which is provided for in the preceding section of the
same article:

"SEC. 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill
health consciousness among them."

While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is to be found under the Declaration of
Principles and State Policies and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not follow that it is less
important than any of the civil and political rights enumerated in the latter. Such a right
belongs to a different category of rights altogether for it concerns nothing less than self-
preservation and self-perpetuation — aptly and fittingly stressed by the petitioners — the
advancement of which may even be said to predate all governments and constitutions. As a
matter of fact, these basic rights need not even be written in the Constitution for they are
assumed to exist from the inception of humankind. If they are now explicitly mentioned in
the fundamental charter, it is because of the well-founded fear of its framers that unless the
rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and to health are mandated as state policies by the
Constitution itself, thereby highlighting their continuing importance and imposing upon the
state a solemn obligation to preserve the first and protect and advance the second, the day
would not be too far when all else would be lost not only for the present generation, but also
for those to come — generations which stand to inherit nothing but parched earth incapable
of sustaining life. The right to a balanced and healthful ecology carries with it the correlative
duty to refrain from impairing the environment.

Separation of Powers
1. Power to punish contempt when exercised by Congress
 Arnault vs Nazareno
F: Arnault refused to reveal the name of the person to whom he gave the P440,000, as well
as answer other pertinent questions related to the said amount in a special committee inquiry
of the senate.

I: Does the Senate, thru its Special Committee have the power to cite a person in contempt?

H: Yes. The power of inquiry, with process to enforce it, is an essential and appropriate
auxiliary to the legislative function. The Congress of the Philippines has a wider range of
legislative field than either the Congress of the United States or a State Legislature, and the
field of inquiry into which it may enter is also wider. It is difficult to define any limits by which
the subject matter of its inquiry can be bounded. Sufficed it to say that it must be coextensive
with the range of legislative power. No person can be punished for contumacy as a witness
before either House unless his testimony is required in a matter into which that House has
jurisdiction to inquire. Once an inquiry is admitted or established to be within the jurisdiction
of a legislative body to make, the investigating committee has the power to require a witness
to answer any question pertinent to the subject of the inquiry, subject of the course to his
constitutional privilege against self-incrimination.

It is the duty of every citizen to give frank, sincere, and truthful testimony before a competent
authority. His Constitutional privilege against self-incrimination, unless clearly established,
must yield to that duty. when a specific right and specific obligation conflict with each other,
and one is doubtful or uncertain while the other is clear and imperative, the former must yield
to the latter. The right to live is one of the most sacred that the citizen may claim, and yet the
state may deprive him of it if he violates his corresponding obligation to respect the life of
others.

2. Justiciable and Political Questions


 Gonzales vs Office of the President
F: The issues in this case pertaining to the President’s exercise of the power to remove from
office the petitioners who claim the protective cloak of independence of the constitutionally-
created office to which they belong – the Office of the Ombudsman. One of the consolidated
cases includes a Petition for Certiorari which assails on jurisdictional grounds the Decision of
the Office of the President dismissing petitioner, Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and
Other Law Enforcement Officers upon a finding of guilt of administrative cases.

3. Political questions under the New Constitution


 Estrada vs Desierto
 Neri vs Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers
 Belgica vs Executive Secretary

Delegation of Powers
1. Completeness Test
 U.S. vs Ang Tang Ho

2. Sufficiency of Standards
 Abakada Guro Party List vs Exec. Secretary
 Gerochi vs Department of Energy
 Jaworski vs PAGCOR
 David vs Arroryo