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VINUYA v. took the position that the by the Department of


EXECUTIVE individual claims of the Social Welfare and
comfort women for Development.
SECRETARY, G.R.
compensation had
NO. 162230, APRIL already been fully ISSUE:
28, 2010, 619 SCRA satisfied by Japans WON the Executive
533 compliance with the Department committed
FACTS: Peace Treaty between the grave abuse of discretion
This is an original Petition Philippines and Japan. in not espousing
for Certiorari under Rule Hence, this petition petitioners claims for
65 of the Rules of Court where petitioners pray official apology and other
with an application for for this court to (a) forms of reparations
the issuance of a writ of declare that respondents against Japan.
preliminary mandatory committed grave abuse
injunction against the of discretion amounting RULING:
Office of the Executive to lack or excess of Petition lacks merit. From
Secretary, the Secretary discretion in refusing to a Domestic Law
of the DFA, the Secretary espouse their claims for Perspective, the
of the DOJ, and the OSG. the crimes against Executive Department
humanity and war crimes has the exclusive
Petitioners are all committed against them; prerogative to determine
members of the MALAYA and (b) compel the whether to espouse
LOLAS, a non-stock, non- respondents to espouse petitioners claims
profit organization their claims for official against Japan.
registered with the SEC, apology and other forms
established for the of reparations against *Political questions refer
purpose of providing aid Japan before the to those questions
to the victims of rape by International Court of which, under the
Japanese military forces Justice (ICJ) and other Constitution, are to be
in the Philippines during international tribunals. decided by the people in
the Second World War. Respondents maintain their sovereign capacity,
that all claims of the or in regard to which full
Petitioners claim that Philippines and its discretionary authority
since 1998, they have nationals relative to the has been delegated to
approached the war were dealt with in the legislative or
Executive Department the San Francisco Peace executive branch of the
through the DOJ, DFA, Treaty of 1951 and the government. It is
and OSG, requesting bilateral Reparations concerned with issues
assistance in filing a Agreement of 1956. dependent upon the
claim against the On January 15, 1997, the wisdom, not legality of a
Japanese officials and Asian Womens Fund and particular measure.
military officers who the Philippine One type of case of
ordered the government signed a political questions
establishment of the Memorandum of involves questions of
comfort women Understanding for foreign relations. It is
stations in the medical and welfare well-established that the
Philippines. But officials support programs for conduct of the foreign
of the Executive former comfort women. relations of our
Department declined to Over the next five years, government is committed
assist the petitioners, and these were implemented by the Constitution to the
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executive and legislative The President, not Japan, from the
the political Congress, has the better standpoint of both the
departments of the opportunity of knowing interests of the
government, and the the conditions which petitioners and those of
propriety of what may be prevail in foreign the Republic, and decide
done in the exercise of countries, and especially on that basis if apologies
this political power is not is this true in time of war. are sufficient, and
subject to judicial inquiry He has his confidential whether further steps are
or decision. are delicate, sources of information. appropriate or necessary.
complex, and involve He has his agents in the
large elements of form of diplomatic, In the international
prophecy. They are and consular and other sphere, traditionally, the
should be undertaken officials. only means available for
only by those directly The Executive individuals to bring a
responsible to the people Department has claim within the
whose welfare they determined that taking international legal
advance or imperil. up petitioners cause system has been when
would be inimical to our the individual is able to
But not all cases countrys foreign policy persuade a government
implicating foreign interests, and could to bring a claim on the
relations present political disrupt our relations with individuals behalf. By
questions, and courts Japan, thereby creating taking up the case of one
certainly possess the serious implications for of its subjects and by
authority to construe or stability in this region. resorting to diplomatic
invalidate treaties and action or international
executive agreements. For the to overturn the judicial proceedings on
However, the question Executive Departments his behalf, a State is in
whether the Philippine determination would reality asserting its own
government should mean an assessment of right to ensure, in the
espouse claims of its the foreign policy person of its subjects,
nationals against a judgments by a respect for the rules of
foreign government is a coordinate political international law.
foreign relations matter, branch to which authority
the authority for which is to make that judgment Within the limits
demonstrably committed has been constitutionally prescribed by
by our Constitution not to committed. international law, a State
the courts but to the may exercise diplomatic
political branches. In this From a municipal law protection by whatever
case, the Executive perspective, certiorari means and to whatever
Department has already will not lie. As a general extent it thinks fit, for it is
decided that it is to the principle, where such an its own right that the
best interest of the extraordinary length of State is asserting. Should
country to waive all time has lapsed between the natural or legal
claims of its nationals for the treatys conclusion person on whose behalf it
reparations against Japan and our consideration is acting consider that
in the Treaty of Peace of the Executive must be their rights are not
1951. The wisdom of given ample discretion to adequately protected,
such decision is not for assess the foreign policy they have no remedy in
the courts to question. considerations of international law. All they
espousing a claim against can do is resort to
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national law, if means are erga omnes obligation or In view of the importance
available, with a view to has attained the status of of the rights involved, all
furthering their cause or jus cogens. States can be held to
obtaining redress. All The term erga omnes have a legal interest in
these questions remain (Latin: in relation to their protection; they are
within the province of everyone) in international obligations erga omnes.
municipal law and do not law has been used as a
affect the position legal term describing The term jus cogens
internationally. obligations owed by (literally, compelling
Even the invocation of jus States towards the law) refers to norms that
cogens norms and erga community of states as a command peremptory
omnes obligations will whole. Essential authority, superseding
not alter this analysis. distinction should be conflicting treaties and
Petitioners have not drawn between the custom. Jus cogens
shown that the crimes obligations of a State norms are considered
committed by the towards the international peremptory in the sense
Japanese army violated community as a whole, that they are mandatory,
jus cogens prohibitions at and those arising vis-- do not admit derogation,
the time the Treaty of vis another State in the and can be modified only
Peace was signed, or that field of diplomatic by general international
the duty to prosecute protection. By their very norms of equivalent
perpetrators of nature, the former are authority
international crimes is an the concern of all States. WHEREFORE, the Petition is
hereby DISMISSED.