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G.R. No.

L-75697 subjected to tax, thereby depriving the Government of


approximately P180 Million in taxes each year;
VALENTIN TIO doing business under the name and style
of OMI ENTERPRISES, petitioner, 3. WHEREAS, the unregulated activities of videogram
vs. establishments have also affected the viability of the movie
VIDEOGRAM REGULATORY BOARD, MINISTER OF industry, particularly the more than 1,200 movie houses and
FINANCE, METRO MANILA COMMISSION, CITY MAYOR theaters throughout the country, and occasioned industry-wide
and CITY TREASURER OF MANILA, respondents. displacement and unemployment due to the shutdown of
numerous moviehouses and theaters;
Nelson Y. Ng for petitioner.
The City Legal Officer for respondents City Mayor and City 4. "WHEREAS, in order to ensure national economic recovery,
Treasurer. it is imperative for the Government to create an environment
conducive to growth and development of all business
industries, including the movie industry which has an
accumulated investment of about P3 Billion;
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:
5. WHEREAS, proper taxation of the activities of videogram
This petition was filed on September 1, 1986 by petitioner on establishments will not only alleviate the dire financial condition
his own behalf and purportedly on behalf of other videogram of the movie industry upon which more than 75,000 families and
operators adversely affected. It assails the constitutionality of 500,000 workers depend for their livelihood, but also provide
Presidential Decree No. 1987 entitled "An Act Creating the an additional source of revenue for the Government, and at the
Videogram Regulatory Board" with broad powers to regulate same time rationalize the heretofore uncontrolled distribution of
and supervise the videogram industry (hereinafter briefly videograms;
referred to as the BOARD). The Decree was promulgated on
October 5, 1985 and took effect on April 10, 1986, fifteen (15) 6. WHEREAS, the rampant and unregulated showing of
days after completion of its publication in the Official Gazette. obscene videogram features constitutes a clear and present
danger to the moral and spiritual well-being of the youth, and
On November 5, 1985, a month after the promulgation of the impairs the mandate of the Constitution for the State to support
abovementioned decree, Presidential Decree No. 1994 the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development
amended the National Internal Revenue Code providing, inter of moral character and promote their physical, intellectual, and
alia: social well-being;

SEC. 134. Video Tapes. — There shall be collected on each 7. WHEREAS, civic-minded citizens and groups have called for
processed video-tape cassette, ready for playback, regardless remedial measures to curb these blatant malpractices which
of length, an annual tax of five pesos; Provided, That locally have flaunted our censorship and copyright laws;
manufactured or imported blank video tapes shall be subject to
sales tax. 8. WHEREAS, in the face of these grave emergencies
corroding the moral values of the people and betraying the
On October 23, 1986, the Greater Manila Theaters Association, national economic recovery program, bold emergency
Integrated Movie Producers, Importers and Distributors measures must be adopted with dispatch; ... (Numbering of
Association of the Philippines, and Philippine Motion Pictures paragraphs supplied).
Producers Association, hereinafter collectively referred to as
the Intervenors, were permitted by the Court to intervene in the Petitioner's attack on the constitutionality of the DECREE rests
case, over petitioner's opposition, upon the allegations that on the following grounds:
intervention was necessary for the complete protection of their
rights and that their "survival and very existence is threatened 1. Section 10 thereof, which imposes a tax of 30% on the gross
by the unregulated proliferation of film piracy." The Intervenors receipts payable to the local government is a RIDER and the
were thereafter allowed to file their Comment in Intervention. same is not germane to the subject matter thereof;

The rationale behind the enactment of the DECREE, is set out 2. The tax imposed is harsh, confiscatory, oppressive and/or in
in its preambular clauses as follows: unlawful restraint of trade in violation of the due process clause
of the Constitution;
1. WHEREAS, the proliferation and unregulated circulation of
videograms including, among others, videotapes, discs, 3. There is no factual nor legal basis for the exercise by the
cassettes or any technical improvement or variation thereof, President of the vast powers conferred upon him by
have greatly prejudiced the operations of moviehouses and Amendment No. 6;
theaters, and have caused a sharp decline in theatrical
attendance by at least forty percent (40%) and a tremendous 4. There is undue delegation of power and authority;
drop in the collection of sales, contractor's specific, amusement
and other taxes, thereby resulting in substantial losses 5. The Decree is an ex-post facto law; and
estimated at P450 Million annually in government revenues;
6. There is over regulation of the video industry as if it were a
2. WHEREAS, videogram(s) establishments collectively earn nuisance, which it is not.
around P600 Million per annum from rentals, sales and
disposition of videograms, and such earnings have not been We shall consider the foregoing objections in seriatim.
1. The Constitutional requirement that "every bill shall embrace discretion of the authority which exercises it. 9 In imposing a
only one subject which shall be expressed in the title tax, the legislature acts upon its constituents. This is, in general,
thereof" 1 is sufficiently complied with if the title be a sufficient security against erroneous and oppressive
comprehensive enough to include the general purpose which a taxation. 10
statute seeks to achieve. It is not necessary that the title
express each and every end that the statute wishes to The tax imposed by the DECREE is not only a regulatory but
accomplish. The requirement is satisfied if all the parts of the also a revenue measure prompted by the realization that
statute are related, and are germane to the subject matter earnings of videogram establishments of around P600 million
expressed in the title, or as long as they are not inconsistent per annum have not been subjected to tax, thereby depriving
with or foreign to the general subject and title. 2An act having a the Government of an additional source of revenue. It is an end-
single general subject, indicated in the title, may contain any user tax, imposed on retailers for every videogram they make
number of provisions, no matter how diverse they may be, so available for public viewing. It is similar to the 30% amusement
long as they are not inconsistent with or foreign to the general tax imposed or borne by the movie industry which the theater-
subject, and may be considered in furtherance of such subject owners pay to the government, but which is passed on to the
by providing for the method and means of carrying out the entire cost of the admission ticket, thus shifting the tax burden
general object." 3 The rule also is that the constitutional on the buying or the viewing public. It is a tax that is imposed
requirement as to the title of a bill should not be so narrowly uniformly on all videogram operators.
construed as to cripple or impede the power of legislation. 4 It
should be given practical rather than technical construction. 5 The levy of the 30% tax is for a public purpose. It was imposed
primarily to answer the need for regulating the video industry,
Tested by the foregoing criteria, petitioner's contention that the particularly because of the rampant film piracy, the flagrant
tax provision of the DECREE is a rider is without merit. That violation of intellectual property rights, and the proliferation of
section reads, inter alia: pornographic video tapes. And while it was also an objective of
the DECREE to protect the movie industry, the tax remains a
Section 10. Tax on Sale, Lease or Disposition of Videograms. valid imposition.
— Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the
province shall collect a tax of thirty percent (30%) of the The public purpose of a tax may legally exist even if the motive
purchase price or rental rate, as the case may be, for every which impelled the legislature to impose the tax was to favor
sale, lease or disposition of a videogram containing a one industry over another. 11
reproduction of any motion picture or audiovisual program. Fifty
percent (50%) of the proceeds of the tax collected shall accrue It is inherent in the power to tax that a state be free to select the
to the province, and the other fifty percent (50%) shall acrrue to subjects of taxation, and it has been repeatedly held that
the municipality where the tax is collected; PROVIDED, That in "inequities which result from a singling out of one particular
Metropolitan Manila, the tax shall be shared equally by the class for taxation or exemption infringe no constitutional
City/Municipality and the Metropolitan Manila Commission. limitation". 12 Taxation has been made the implement of the
state's police power.13
xxx xxx xxx
At bottom, the rate of tax is a matter better addressed to the
The foregoing provision is allied and germane to, and is taxing legislature.
reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of, the general
object of the DECREE, which is the regulation of the video 3. Petitioner argues that there was no legal nor factual basis for
industry through the Videogram Regulatory Board as the promulgation of the DECREE by the former President under
expressed in its title. The tax provision is not inconsistent with, Amendment No. 6 of the 1973 Constitution providing that
nor foreign to that general subject and title. As a tool for "whenever in the judgment of the President ... , there exists a
regulation 6 it is simply one of the regulatory and control grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof, or
mechanisms scattered throughout the DECREE. The express whenever the interim Batasang Pambansa or the regular
purpose of the DECREE to include taxation of the video National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any
industry in order to regulate and rationalize the heretofore matter for any reason that in his judgment requires immediate
uncontrolled distribution of videograms is evident from action, he may, in order to meet the exigency, issue the
Preambles 2 and 5, supra. Those preambles explain the necessary decrees, orders, or letters of instructions, which shall
motives of the lawmaker in presenting the measure. The title of form part of the law of the land."
the DECREE, which is the creation of the Videogram
Regulatory Board, is comprehensive enough to include the In refutation, the Intervenors and the Solicitor General's Office
purposes expressed in its Preamble and reasonably covers all aver that the 8th "whereas" clause sufficiently summarizes the
its provisions. It is unnecessary to express all those objectives justification in that grave emergencies corroding the moral
in the title or that the latter be an index to the body of the values of the people and betraying the national economic
DECREE. 7 recovery program necessitated bold emergency measures to
be adopted with dispatch. Whatever the reasons "in the
2. Petitioner also submits that the thirty percent (30%) tax judgment" of the then President, considering that the issue of
imposed is harsh and oppressive, confiscatory, and in restraint the validity of the exercise of legislative power under the said
of trade. However, it is beyond serious question that a tax does Amendment still pends resolution in several other cases, we
not cease to be valid merely because it regulates, discourages, reserve resolution of the question raised at the proper time.
or even definitely deters the activities taxed. 8 The power to
impose taxes is one so unlimited in force and so searching in 4. Neither can it be successfully argued that the DECREE
extent, that the courts scarcely venture to declare that it is contains an undue delegation of legislative power. The grant in
subject to any restrictions whatever, except such as rest in the Section 11 of the DECREE of authority to the BOARD to "solicit
the direct assistance of other agencies and units of the Applied to the challenged provision, there is no question that
government and deputize, for a fixed and limited period, the there is a rational connection between the fact proved, which is
heads or personnel of such agencies and units to perform non-registration, and the ultimate fact presumed which is
enforcement functions for the Board" is not a delegation of the violation of the DECREE, besides the fact that the prima
power to legislate but merely a conferment of authority or facie presumption of violation of the DECREE attaches only
discretion as to its execution, enforcement, and after a forty-five-day period counted from its effectivity and is,
implementation. "The true distinction is between the delegation therefore, neither retrospective in character.
of power to make the law, which necessarily involves a
discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring authority or 6. We do not share petitioner's fears that the video industry is
discretion as to its execution to be exercised under and in being over-regulated and being eased out of existence as if it
pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the latter, no were a nuisance. Being a relatively new industry, the need for
valid objection can be made." 14 Besides, in the very language its regulation was apparent. While the underlying objective of
of the decree, the authority of the BOARD to solicit such the DECREE is to protect the moribund movie industry, there is
assistance is for a "fixed and limited period" with the deputized no question that public welfare is at bottom of its enactment,
agencies concerned being "subject to the direction and control considering "the unfair competition posed by rampant film
of the BOARD." That the grant of such authority might be the piracy; the erosion of the moral fiber of the viewing public
source of graft and corruption would not stigmatize the brought about by the availability of unclassified and unreviewed
DECREE as unconstitutional. Should the eventuality occur, the video tapes containing pornographic films and films with
aggrieved parties will not be without adequate remedy in law. brutally violent sequences; and losses in government revenues
due to the drop in theatrical attendance, not to mention the fact
5. The DECREE is not violative of the ex post facto principle. that the activities of video establishments are virtually untaxed
An ex post facto law is, among other categories, one which since mere payment of Mayor's permit and municipal license
"alters the legal rules of evidence, and authorizes conviction fees are required to engage in business. 17
upon less or different testimony than the law required at the
time of the commission of the offense." It is petitioner's position The enactment of the Decree since April 10, 1986 has not
that Section 15 of the DECREE in providing that: brought about the "demise" of the video industry. On the
contrary, video establishments are seen to have proliferated in
All videogram establishments in the Philippines are hereby many places notwithstanding the 30% tax imposed.
given a period of forty-five (45) days after the effectivity of this
Decree within which to register with and secure a permit from In the last analysis, what petitioner basically questions is the
the BOARD to engage in the videogram business and to necessity, wisdom and expediency of the DECREE. These
register with the BOARD all their inventories of videograms, considerations, however, are primarily and exclusively a matter
including videotapes, discs, cassettes or other technical of legislative concern.
improvements or variations thereof, before they could be sold,
leased, or otherwise disposed of. Thereafter any videogram Only congressional power or competence, not the wisdom of
found in the possession of any person engaged in the the action taken, may be the basis for declaring a statute
videogram business without the required proof of registration invalid. This is as it ought to be. The principle of separation of
by the BOARD, shall be prima facie evidence of violation of the powers has in the main wisely allocated the respective authority
Decree, whether the possession of such videogram be for of each department and confined its jurisdiction to such a
private showing and/or public exhibition. sphere. There would then be intrusion not allowable under the
Constitution if on a matter left to the discretion of a coordinate
raises immediately a prima facie evidence of violation of the branch, the judiciary would substitute its own. If there be
DECREE when the required proof of registration of any adherence to the rule of law, as there ought to be, the last
videogram cannot be presented and thus partakes of the nature offender should be courts of justice, to which rightly litigants
of an ex post facto law. submit their controversy precisely to maintain unimpaired the
supremacy of legal norms and prescriptions. The attack on the
The argument is untenable. As this Court held in the recent validity of the challenged provision likewise insofar as there
case of Vallarta vs. Court of Appeals, et al. 15 may be objections, even if valid and cogent on its wisdom
cannot be sustained. 18
... it is now well settled that "there is no constitutional objection
to the passage of a law providing that the presumption of In fine, petitioner has not overcome the presumption of validity
innocence may be overcome by a contrary presumption which attaches to a challenged statute. We find no clear
founded upon the experience of human conduct, and enacting violation of the Constitution which would justify us in
what evidence shall be sufficient to overcome such pronouncing Presidential Decree No. 1987 as unconstitutional
presumption of innocence" (People vs. Mingoa 92 Phil. 856 and void.
[1953] at 858-59, citing 1 COOLEY, A TREATISE ON THE
CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITATIONS, 639-641). And the WHEREFORE, the instant Petition is hereby dismissed.
"legislature may enact that when certain facts have been
proved that they shall be prima facie evidence of the existence
of the guilt of the accused and shift the burden of proof provided
there be a rational connection between the facts proved and G.R. No. 17122 February 27, 1922
the ultimate facts presumed so that the inference of the one
from proof of the others is not unreasonable and arbitrary THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,
because of lack of connection between the two in common vs.
experience". 16 ANG TANG HO, defendant-appellant.
Williams & Ferrier for appellant. proceedings for an offense committed during the period
Acting Attorney-General Tuason for appellee. covered by the Governor-General's proclamation.

JOHNS, J.: August 1, 1919, the Governor-General issued a proclamation


fixing the price at which rice should be sold.
At its special session of 1919, the Philippine Legislature passed
Act No. 2868, entitled "An Act penalizing the monopoly and August 8, 1919, a complaint was filed against the defendant,
holding of, and speculation in, palay, rice, and corn under Ang Tang Ho, charging him with the sale of rice at an excessive
extraordinary circumstances, regulating the distribution and price as follows:
sale thereof, and authorizing the Governor-General, with the
consent of the Council of State, to issue the necessary rules The undersigned accuses Ang Tang Ho of a violation of
and regulations therefor, and making an appropriation for this Executive Order No. 53 of the Governor-General of the
purpose," the material provisions of which are as follows: Philippines, dated the 1st of August, 1919, in relation with the
provisions of sections 1, 2 and 4 of Act No. 2868, committed as
Section 1. The Governor-General is hereby authorized, follows:
whenever, for any cause, conditions arise resulting in an
extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn, to issue and That on or about the 6th day of August, 1919, in the city of
promulgate, with the consent of the Council of State, temporary Manila, Philippine Islands, the said Ang Tang Ho, voluntarily,
rules and emergency measures for carrying out the purpose of illegally and criminally sold to Pedro Trinidad, one ganta of rice
this Act, to wit: at the price of eighty centavos (P.80), which is a price greater
than that fixed by Executive Order No. 53 of the Governor-
(a) To prevent the monopoly and hoarding of, and speculation General of the Philippines, dated the 1st of August, 1919, under
in, palay, rice or corn. the authority of section 1 of Act No. 2868. Contrary to law.

(b) To establish and maintain a government control of the Upon this charge, he was tried, found guilty and sentenced to
distribution or sale of the commodities referred to or have such five months' imprisonment and to pay a fine of P500, from which
distribution or sale made by the Government itself. he appealed to this court, claiming that the lower court erred in
finding Executive Order No. 53 of 1919, to be of any force and
(c) To fix, from time to time the quantities of palay rice, or corn effect, in finding the accused guilty of the offense charged, and
that a company or individual may acquire, and the maximum in imposing the sentence.
sale price that the industrial or merchant may demand.
The official records show that the Act was to take effect on its
(d) . . . approval; that it was approved July 30, 1919; that the Governor-
General issued his proclamation on the 1st of August, 1919;
SEC. 2. It shall be unlawful to destroy, limit, prevent or in any and that the law was first published on the 13th of August, 1919;
other manner obstruct the production or milling of palay, rice or and that the proclamation itself was first published on the 20th
corn for the purpose of raising the prices thereof; to corner or of August, 1919.
hoard said products as defined in section three of this Act; . . .
The question here involves an analysis and construction of Act
Section 3 defines what shall constitute a monopoly or hoarding No. 2868, in so far as it authorizes the Governor-General to fix
of palay, rice or corn within the meaning of this Act, but does the price at which rice should be sold. It will be noted that
not specify the price of rice or define any basic for fixing the section 1 authorizes the Governor-General, with the consent of
price. the Council of State, for any cause resulting in an extraordinary
rise in the price of palay, rice or corn, to issue and promulgate
SEC. 4. The violations of any of the provisions of this Act or of temporary rules and emergency measures for carrying out the
the regulations, orders and decrees promulgated in accordance purposes of the Act. By its very terms, the promulgation of
therewith shall be punished by a fine of not more than five temporary rules and emergency measures is left to the
thousands pesos, or by imprisonment for not more than two discretion of the Governor-General. The Legislature does not
years, or both, in the discretion of the court: Provided, That in undertake to specify or define under what conditions or for what
the case of companies or corporations the manager or reasons the Governor-General shall issue the proclamation,
administrator shall be criminally liable. but says that it may be issued "for any cause," and leaves the
question as to what is "any cause" to the discretion of the
SEC. 7. At any time that the Governor-General, with the Governor-General. The Act also says: "For any cause,
consent of the Council of State, shall consider that the public conditions arise resulting in an extraordinary rise in the price of
interest requires the application of the provisions of this Act, he palay, rice or corn." The Legislature does not specify or define
shall so declare by proclamation, and any provisions of other what is "an extraordinary rise." That is also left to the discretion
laws inconsistent herewith shall from then on be temporarily of the Governor-General. The Act also says that the Governor-
suspended. General, "with the consent of the Council of State," is
authorized to issue and promulgate "temporary rules and
Upon the cessation of the reasons for which such proclamation emergency measures for carrying out the purposes of this Act."
was issued, the Governor-General, with the consent of the It does not specify or define what is a temporary rule or an
Council of State, shall declare the application of this Act to have emergency measure, or how long such temporary rules or
likewise terminated, and all laws temporarily suspended by emergency measures shall remain in force and effect, or when
virtue of the same shall again take effect, but such termination they shall take effect. That is to say, the Legislature itself has
shall not prevent the prosecution of any proceedings or cause not in any manner specified or defined any basis for the order,
begun prior to such termination, nor the filing of any but has left it to the sole judgement and discretion of the
Governor-General to say what is or what is not "a cause," and and exhaustive opinion by Justice Mitchell, in the case of
what is or what is not "an extraordinary rise in the price of rice," State vs. Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul ry. Co. (38 Minn.,
and as to what is a temporary rule or an emergency measure 281), in which the court held:
for the carrying out the purposes of the Act. Under this state of
facts, if the law is valid and the Governor-General issues a Regulations of railway tariffs — Conclusiveness of
proclamation fixing the minimum price at which rice should be commission's tariffs. — Under Laws 1887, c. 10, sec. 8, the
sold, any dealer who, with or without notice, sells rice at a determination of the railroad and warehouse commission as to
higher price, is a criminal. There may not have been any cause, what are equal and reasonable fares and rates for the
and the price may not have been extraordinary, and there may transportation of persons and property by a railway company is
not have been an emergency, but, if the Governor-General conclusive, and, in proceedings by mandamus to compel
found the existence of such facts and issued a proclamation, compliance with the tariff of rates recommended and published
and rice is sold at any higher price, the seller commits a crime. by them, no issue can be raised or inquiry had on that question.

By the organic law of the Philippine Islands and the Constitution Same — constitution — Delegation of power to commission. —
of the United States all powers are vested in the Legislative, The authority thus given to the commission to determine, in the
Executive and Judiciary. It is the duty of the Legislature to make exercise of their discretion and judgement, what are equal and
the law; of the Executive to execute the law; and of the Judiciary reasonable rates, is not a delegation of legislative power.
to construe the law. The Legislature has no authority to execute
or construe the law, the Executive has no authority to make or It will be noted that the law creating the railroad commission
construe the law, and the Judiciary has no power to make or expressly provides —
execute the law. Subject to the Constitution only, the power of
each branch is supreme within its own jurisdiction, and it is for That all charges by any common carrier for the transportation
the Judiciary only to say when any Act of the Legislature is or of passengers and property shall be equal and reasonable.
is not constitutional. Assuming, without deciding, that the
Legislature itself has the power to fix the price at which rice is With that as a basis for the law, power is then given to the
to be sold, can it delegate that power to another, and, if so, was railroad commission to investigate all the facts, to hear and
that power legally delegated by Act No. 2868? In other words, determine what is a just and reasonable rate. Even then that
does the Act delegate legislative power to the Governor- law does not make the violation of the order of the commission
General? By the Organic Law, all Legislative power is vested in a crime. The only remedy is a civil proceeding. It was there held
the Legislature, and the power conferred upon the Legislature —
to make laws cannot be delegated to the Governor-General, or
any one else. The Legislature cannot delegate the legislative That the legislative itself has the power to regulate railroad
power to enact any law. If Act no 2868 is a law unto itself and charges is now too well settled to require either argument or
within itself, and it does nothing more than to authorize the citation of authority.
Governor-General to make rules and regulations to carry the
law into effect, then the Legislature itself created the law. There The difference between the power to say what the law shall be,
is no delegation of power and it is valid. On the other hand, if and the power to adopt rules and regulations, or to investigate
the Act within itself does not define crime, and is not a law, and and determine the facts, in order to carry into effect a law
some legislative act remains to be done to make it a law or a already passed, is apparent. The true distinction is between the
crime, the doing of which is vested in the Governor-General, delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily
then the Act is a delegation of legislative power, is involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and the conferring
unconstitutional and void. an authority or discretion to be exercised under and in
pursuance of the law.
The Supreme Court of the United States in what is known as
the Granger Cases (94 U.S., 183-187; 24 L. ed., 94), first laid The legislature enacts that all freights rates and passenger
down the rule: fares should be just and reasonable. It had the undoubted
power to fix these rates at whatever it deemed equal and
Railroad companies are engaged in a public employment reasonable.
affecting the public interest and, under the decision in
Munn vs. Ill., ante, 77, are subject to legislative control as to They have not delegated to the commission any authority or
their rates of fare and freight unless protected by their charters. discretion as to what the law shall be, — which would not be
allowable, — but have merely conferred upon it an authority
The Illinois statute of Mar. 23, 1874, to establish reasonable and discretion, to be exercised in the execution of the law, and
maximum rates of charges for the transportation of freights and under and in pursuance of it, which is entirely permissible. The
passengers on the different railroads of the State is not void as legislature itself has passed upon the expediency of the law,
being repugnant to the Constitution of the United States or to and what is shall be. The commission is intrusted with no
that of the State. authority or discretion upon these questions. It can neither
make nor unmake a single provision of law. It is merely charged
It was there for the first time held in substance that a railroad with the administration of the law, and with no other power.
was a public utility, and that, being a public utility, the State had
power to establish reasonable maximum freight and passenger The delegation of legislative power was before the Supreme
rates. This was followed by the State of Minnesota in enacting Court of Wisconsin in Dowling vs. Lancoshire Ins. Co. (92 Wis.,
a similar law, providing for, and empowering, a railroad 63). The opinion says:
commission to hear and determine what was a just and
reasonable rate. The constitutionality of this law was attacked "The true distinction is between the delegation of power to
and upheld by the Supreme Court of Minnesota in a learned make the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to
what it shall be, and conferring authority or discretion as to its If, after the passage of the act and the promulgation of the rule,
execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. the defendants drove and grazed their sheep upon the reserve,
The first cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection can be in violation of the regulations, they were making an unlawful
made." use of the government's property. In doing so they thereby
made themselves liable to the penalty imposed by Congress.
The act, in our judgment, wholly fails to provide definitely and
clearly what the standard policy should contain, so that it could The subjects as to which the Secretary can regulate are
be put in use as a uniform policy required to take the place of defined. The lands are set apart as a forest reserve. He is
all others, without the determination of the insurance required to make provisions to protect them from depredations
commissioner in respect to maters involving the exercise of a and from harmful uses. He is authorized 'to regulate the
legislative discretion that could not be delegated, and without occupancy and use and to preserve the forests from
which the act could not possibly be put in use as an act in destruction.' A violation of reasonable rules regulating the use
confirmity to which all fire insurance policies were required to and occupancy of the property is made a crime, not by the
be issued. Secretary, but by Congress."

The result of all the cases on this subject is that a law must be The above are leading cases in the United States on the
complete, in all its terms and provisions, when it leaves the question of delegating legislative power. It will be noted that in
legislative branch of the government, and nothing must be left the "Granger Cases," it was held that a railroad company was
to the judgement of the electors or other appointee or delegate a public corporation, and that a railroad was a public utility, and
of the legislature, so that, in form and substance, it is a law in that, for such reasons, the legislature had the power to fix and
all its details in presenti, but which may be left to take effect in determine just and reasonable rates for freight and passengers.
futuro, if necessary, upon the ascertainment of any prescribed
fact or event. The Minnesota case held that, so long as the rates were just
and reasonable, the legislature could delegate the power to
The delegation of legislative power was before the Supreme ascertain the facts and determine from the facts what were just
Court in United States vs. Grimaud (220 U.S., 506; 55 L. ed., and reasonable rates,. and that in vesting the commission with
563), where it was held that the rules and regulations of the such power was not a delegation of legislative power.
Secretary of Agriculture as to a trespass on government land in
a forest reserve were valid constitutional. The Act there The Wisconsin case was a civil action founded upon a
provided that the Secretary of Agriculture ". . . may make such "Wisconsin standard policy of fire insurance," and the court held
rules and regulations and establish such service as will insure that "the act, . . . wholly fails to provide definitely and clearly
the object of such reservations; namely, to regulate their what the standard policy should contain, so that it could be put
occupancy and use, and to preserve the forests thereon from in use as a uniform policy required to take the place of all
destruction; and any violation of the provisions of this act or others, without the determination of the insurance
such rules and regulations shall be punished, . . ." commissioner in respect to matters involving the exercise of a
legislative discretion that could not be delegated."
The brief of the United States Solicitor-General says:
The case of the United States Supreme Court, supra dealt with
In refusing permits to use a forest reservation for stock grazing, rules and regulations which were promulgated by the Secretary
except upon stated terms or in stated ways, the Secretary of of Agriculture for Government land in the forest reserve.
Agriculture merely assert and enforces the proprietary right of
the United States over land which it owns. The regulation of the These decisions hold that the legislative only can enact a law,
Secretary, therefore, is not an exercise of legislative, or even of and that it cannot delegate it legislative authority.
administrative, power; but is an ordinary and legitimate refusal
of the landowner's authorized agent to allow person having no The line of cleavage between what is and what is not a
right in the land to use it as they will. The right of proprietary delegation of legislative power is pointed out and clearly
control is altogether different from governmental authority. defined. As the Supreme Court of Wisconsin says:

The opinion says: That no part of the legislative power can be delegated by the
legislature to any other department of the government,
From the beginning of the government, various acts have been executive or judicial, is a fundamental principle in constitutional
passed conferring upon executive officers power to make rules law, essential to the integrity and maintenance of the system of
and regulations, — not for the government of their departments, government established by the constitution.
but for administering the laws which did govern. None of these
statutes could confer legislative power. But when Congress had Where an act is clothed with all the forms of law, and is
legislated power. But when Congress had legislated and complete in and of itself, it may be provided that it shall become
indicated its will, it could give to those who were to act under operative only upon some certain act or event, or, in like
such general provisions "power to fill up the details" by the manner, that its operation shall be suspended.
establishment of administrative rules and regulations, the
violation of which could be punished by fine or imprisonment The legislature cannot delegate its power to make a law, but it
fixed by Congress, or by penalties fixed by Congress, or can make a law to delegate a power to determine some fact or
measured by the injury done. state of things upon which the law makes, or intends to make,
its own action to depend.
That "Congress cannot delegate legislative power is a principle
universally recognized as vital to the integrity and maintenance The Village of Little Chute enacted an ordinance which
of the system of government ordained by the Constitution." provides:
All saloons in said village shall be closed at 11 o'clock P.M. (6) Provincial treasurers and their deputies are hereby directed
each day and remain closed until 5 o'clock on the following to communicate with, and execute all instructions emanating
morning, unless by special permission of the president. from the Director of Commerce and Industry, for the most
effective and proper enforcement of the above regulations in
Construing it in 136 Wis., 526; 128 A. S. R., 1100,1 the Supreme their respective localities.
Court of that State says:
The law says that the Governor-General may fix "the maximum
We regard the ordinance as void for two reasons; First, sale price that the industrial or merchant may demand." The
because it attempts to confer arbitrary power upon an executive law is a general law and not a local or special law.
officer, and allows him, in executing the ordinance, to make
unjust and groundless discriminations among persons similarly The proclamation undertakes to fix one price for rice in Manila
situated; second, because the power to regulate saloons is a and other and different prices in other and different provinces
law-making power vested in the village board, which cannot be in the Philippine Islands, and delegates the power to determine
delegated. A legislative body cannot delegate to a mere the other and different prices to provincial treasurers and their
administrative officer power to make a law, but it can make a deputies. Here, then, you would have a delegation of legislative
law with provisions that it shall go into effect or be suspended power to the Governor-General, and a delegation by him of that
in its operations upon the ascertainment of a fact or state of power to provincial treasurers and their deputies, who "are
facts by an administrative officer or board. In the present case hereby directed to communicate with, and execute all
the ordinance by its terms gives power to the president to instructions emanating from the Director of Commerce and
decide arbitrary, and in the exercise of his own discretion, when Industry, for the most effective and proper enforcement of the
a saloon shall close. This is an attempt to vest legislative above regulations in their respective localities." The issuance
discretion in him, and cannot be sustained. of the proclamation by the Governor-General was the exercise
of the delegation of a delegated power, and was even a sub
The legal principle involved there is squarely in point here. delegation of that power.

It must be conceded that, after the passage of act No. 2868, Assuming that it is valid, Act No. 2868 is a general law and does
and before any rules and regulations were promulgated by the not authorize the Governor-General to fix one price of rice in
Governor-General, a dealer in rice could sell it at any price, Manila and another price in Iloilo. It only purports to authorize
even at a peso per "ganta," and that he would not commit a him to fix the price of rice in the Philippine Islands under a law,
crime, because there would be no law fixing the price of rice, which is General and uniform, and not local or special. Under
and the sale of it at any price would not be a crime. That is to the terms of the law, the price of rice fixed in the proclamation
say, in the absence of a proclamation, it was not a crime to sell must be the same all over the Islands. There cannot be one
rice at any price. Hence, it must follow that, if the defendant price at Manila and another at Iloilo. Again, it is a mater of
committed a crime, it was because the Governor-General common knowledge, and of which this court will take judicial
issued the proclamation. There was no act of the Legislature notice, that there are many kinds of rice with different and
making it a crime to sell rice at any price, and without the corresponding market values, and that there is a wide range in
proclamation, the sale of it at any price was to a crime. the price, which varies with the grade and quality. Act No. 2868
makes no distinction in price for the grade or quality of the rice,
The Executive order2 provides: and the proclamation, upon which the defendant was tried and
convicted, fixes the selling price of rice in Manila "at P15 per
(5) The maximum selling price of palay, rice or corn is hereby sack of 57½ kilos, or 63 centavos per ganta," and is uniform as
fixed, for the time being as follows: to all grades of rice, and says nothing about grade or quality.
Again, it will be noted that the law is confined to palay, rice and
In Manila — corn. They are products of the Philippine Islands. Hemp,
tobacco, coconut, chickens, eggs, and many other things are
Palay at P6.75 per sack of 57½ kilos, or 29 centavos per ganta. also products. Any law which single out palay, rice or corn from
the numerous other products of the Islands is not general or
Rice at P15 per sack of 57½ kilos, or 63 centavos per ganta. uniform, but is a local or special law. If such a law is valid, then
by the same principle, the Governor-General could be
Corn at P8 per sack of 57½ kilos, or 34 centavos per ganta. authorized by proclamation to fix the price of meat, eggs,
chickens, coconut, hemp, and tobacco, or any other product of
In the provinces producing palay, rice and corn, the maximum the Islands. In the very nature of things, all of that class of laws
price shall be the Manila price less the cost of transportation should be general and uniform. Otherwise, there would be an
from the source of supply and necessary handling expenses to unjust discrimination of property rights, which, under the law,
the place of sale, to be determined by the provincial treasurers must be equal and inform. Act No. 2868 is nothing more than a
or their deputies. floating law, which, in the discretion and by a proclamation of
the Governor-General, makes it a floating crime to sell rice at a
In provinces, obtaining their supplies from Manila or other price in excess of the proclamation, without regard to grade or
producing provinces, the maximum price shall be the quality.
authorized price at the place of supply or the Manila price as
the case may be, plus the transportation cost, from the place of When Act No. 2868 is analyzed, it is the violation of the
supply and the necessary handling expenses, to the place of proclamation of the Governor-General which constitutes the
sale, to be determined by the provincial treasurers or their crime. Without that proclamation, it was no crime to sell rice at
deputies. any price. In other words, the Legislature left it to the sole
discretion of the Governor-General to say what was and what
was not "any cause" for enforcing the act, and what was and
what was not "an extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or doing so, and as a part of the same act, the United States
corn," and under certain undefined conditions to fix the price at commandeered all the wheat and flour, and took possession of
which rice should be sold, without regard to grade or quality, it, either actual or constructive, and the government itself
also to say whether a proclamation should be issued, if so, became the owner of the wheat and flour, and fixed the price to
when, and whether or not the law should be enforced, how long be paid for it. That is not this case. Here the rice sold was the
it should be enforced, and when the law should be suspended. personal and private property of the defendant, who sold it to
The Legislature did not specify or define what was "any cause," one of his customers. The government had not bought and did
or what was "an extraordinary rise in the price of rice, palay or not claim to own the rice, or have any interest in it, and at the
corn," Neither did it specify or define the conditions upon which time of the alleged sale, it was the personal, private property of
the proclamation should be issued. In the absence of the the defendant. It may be that the law was passed in the interest
proclamation no crime was committed. The alleged sale was of the public, but the members of this court have taken on
made a crime, if at all, because the Governor-General issued solemn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and it ought
the proclamation. The act or proclamation does not say not to be construed to meet the changing winds or emergency
anything about the different grades or qualities of rice, and the conditions. Again, we say that no state or nation under a
defendant is charged with the sale "of one ganta of rice at the republican form of government ever enacted a law authorizing
price of eighty centavos (P0.80) which is a price greater than any executive, under the conditions states, to fix the price at
that fixed by Executive order No. 53." which a price person would sell his own rice, and make the
broad statement that no decision of any court, on principle or
We are clearly of the opinion and hold that Act No. 2868, in so by analogy, will ever be found which sustains the
far as it undertakes to authorized the Governor-General in his constitutionality of the particular portion of Act No. 2868 here in
discretion to issue a proclamation, fixing the price of rice, and question. By the terms of the Organic Act, subject only to
to make the sale of rice in violation of the price of rice, and to constitutional limitations, the power to legislate and enact laws
make the sale of rice in violation of the proclamation a crime, is is vested exclusively in the Legislative, which is elected by a
unconstitutional and void. direct vote of the people of the Philippine Islands. As to the
question here involved, the authority of the Governor-General
It may be urged that there was an extraordinary rise in the price to fix the maximum price at which palay, rice and corn may be
of rice and profiteering, which worked a severe hardship on the sold in the manner power in violation of the organic law.
poorer classes, and that an emergency existed, but the
question here presented is the constitutionality of a particular This opinion is confined to the particular question here involved,
portion of a statute, and none of such matters is an argument which is the right of the Governor-General, upon the terms and
for, or against, its constitutionality. conditions stated in the Act, to fix the price of rice and make it
a crime to sell it at a higher price, and which holds that portions
The Constitution is something solid, permanent an substantial. of the Act unconstitutional. It does not decide or undertake to
Its stability protects the life, liberty and property rights of the rich construe the constitutionality of any of the remaining portions
and the poor alike, and that protection ought not to change with of the Act.
the wind or any emergency condition. The fundamental
question involved in this case is the right of the people of the The judgment of the lower court is reversed, and the defendant
Philippine Islands to be and live under a republican form of discharged. So ordered.
government. We make the broad statement that no state or
nation, living under republican form of government, under the Araullo, C.J., Johnson, Street and Ostrand, JJ., concur.
terms and conditions specified in Act No. 2868, has ever Romualdez, J., concurs in the result.
enacted a law delegating the power to any one, to fix the price
at which rice should be sold. That power can never be
delegated under a republican form of government.
G.R. No. 74457 March 20, 1987
In the fixing of the price at which the defendant should sell his
rice, the law was not dealing with government property. It was RESTITUTO YNOT, petitioner,
dealing with private property and private rights, which are vs.
sacred under the Constitution. If this law should be sustained, INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, THE STATION
upon the same principle and for the same reason, the COMMANDER, INTEGRATED NATIONAL POLICE,
Legislature could authorize the Governor-General to fix the BAROTAC NUEVO, ILOILO and THE REGIONAL
price of every product or commodity in the Philippine Islands, DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY, REGION IV,
and empower him to make it a crime to sell any product at any ILOILO CITY, respondents.
other or different price.
Ramon A. Gonzales for petitioner.
It may be said that this was a war measure, and that for such
reason the provision of the Constitution should be suspended.
But the Stubborn fact remains that at all times the judicial power
was in full force and effect, and that while that power was in CRUZ, J.:
force and effect, such a provision of the Constitution could not
be, and was not, suspended even in times of war. It may be The essence of due process is distilled in the immortal cry of
claimed that during the war, the United States Government Themistocles to Alcibiades "Strike — but hear me first!" It is this
undertook to, and did, fix the price at which wheat and flour cry that the petitioner in effect repeats here as he challenges
should be bought and sold, and that is true. There, the United the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 626-A.
States had declared war, and at the time was at war with other
nations, and it was a war measure, but it is also true that in The said executive order reads in full as follows:
WHEREAS, the President has given orders prohibiting the imposed without according the owner a right to be heard before
interprovincial movement of carabaos and the slaughtering of a competent and impartial court as guaranteed by due process.
carabaos not complying with the requirements of Executive He complains that the measure should not have been
Order No. 626 particularly with respect to age; presumed, and so sustained, as constitutional. There is also a
challenge to the improper exercise of the legislative power by
WHEREAS, it has been observed that despite such orders the the former President under Amendment No. 6 of the 1973
violators still manage to circumvent the prohibition against Constitution. 4
inter-provincial movement of carabaos by transporting carabeef
instead; and While also involving the same executive order, the case
of Pesigan v. Angeles 5 is not applicable here. The question
WHEREAS, in order to achieve the purposes and objectives of raised there was the necessity of the previous publication of the
Executive Order No. 626 and the prohibition against measure in the Official Gazette before it could be considered
interprovincial movement of carabaos, it is necessary to enforceable. We imposed the requirement then on the basis of
strengthen the said Executive Order and provide for the due process of law. In doing so, however, this Court did not, as
disposition of the carabaos and carabeef subject of the contended by the Solicitor General, impliedly affirm the
violation; constitutionality of Executive Order No. 626-A. That is an
entirely different matter.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President
of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the This Court has declared that while lower courts should observe
Constitution, do hereby promulgate the following: a becoming modesty in examining constitutional questions,
they are nonetheless not prevented from resolving the same
SECTION 1. Executive Order No. 626 is hereby amended such whenever warranted, subject only to review by the highest
that henceforth, no carabao regardless of age, sex, physical tribunal. 6 We have jurisdiction under the Constitution to
condition or purpose and no carabeef shall be transported from "review, revise, reverse, modify or affirm on appeal
one province to another. The carabao or carabeef transported or certiorari, as the law or rules of court may provide," final
in violation of this Executive Order as amended shall be subject judgments and orders of lower courts in, among others, all
to confiscation and forfeiture by the government, to be cases involving the constitutionality of certain measures. 7 This
distributed to charitable institutions and other similar institutions simply means that the resolution of such cases may be made
as the Chairman of the National Meat Inspection Commission in the first instance by these lower courts.
may ay see fit, in the case of carabeef, and to deserving
farmers through dispersal as the Director of Animal Industry And while it is true that laws are presumed to be constitutional,
may see fit, in the case of carabaos. that presumption is not by any means conclusive and in fact
may be rebutted. Indeed, if there be a clear showing of their
SECTION 2. This Executive Order shall take effect invalidity, and of the need to declare them so, then "will be the
immediately. time to make the hammer fall, and heavily," 8 to recall Justice
Laurel's trenchant warning. Stated otherwise, courts should not
Done in the City of Manila, this 25th day of October, in the year follow the path of least resistance by simply presuming the
of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty. constitutionality of a law when it is questioned. On the contrary,
they should probe the issue more deeply, to relieve the
(SGD.) FERDINAND E. MARCOS abscess, paraphrasing another distinguished jurist, 9 and so
heal the wound or excise the affliction.
President
Judicial power authorizes this; and when the exercise is
Republic of the Philippines demanded, there should be no shirking of the task for fear of
retaliation, or loss of favor, or popular censure, or any other
The petitioner had transported six carabaos in a pump boat similar inhibition unworthy of the bench, especially this Court.
from Masbate to Iloilo on January 13, 1984, when they were
confiscated by the police station commander of Barotac Nuevo, The challenged measure is denominated an executive order
Iloilo, for violation of the above measure. 1 The petitioner sued but it is really presidential decree, promulgating a new rule
for recovery, and the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City issued a instead of merely implementing an existing law. It was issued
writ of replevin upon his filing of a supersedeas bond of by President Marcos not for the purpose of taking care that the
P12,000.00. After considering the merits of the case, the court laws were faithfully executed but in the exercise of his
sustained the confiscation of the carabaos and, since they legislative authority under Amendment No. 6. It was provided
could no longer be produced, ordered the confiscation of the thereunder that whenever in his judgment there existed a grave
bond. The court also declined to rule on the constitutionality of emergency or a threat or imminence thereof or whenever the
the executive order, as raise by the petitioner, for lack of legislature failed or was unable to act adequately on any matter
authority and also for its presumed validity. 2 that in his judgment required immediate action, he could, in
order to meet the exigency, issue decrees, orders or letters of
The petitioner appealed the decision to the Intermediate instruction that were to have the force and effect of law. As
Appellate Court,* 3 which upheld the trial court, ** and he has there is no showing of any exigency to justify the exercise of
now come before us in this petition for review on certiorari. that extraordinary power then, the petitioner has reason,
indeed, to question the validity of the executive order.
The thrust of his petition is that the executive order is Nevertheless, since the determination of the grounds was
unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes outright confiscation of supposed to have been made by the President "in his
the carabao or carabeef being transported across provincial judgment, " a phrase that will lead to protracted discussion not
boundaries. His claim is that the penalty is invalid because it is really necessary at this time, we reserve resolution of this
matter until a more appropriate occasion. For the nonce, we The minimum requirements of due process are notice and
confine ourselves to the more fundamental question of due hearing 13 which, generally speaking, may not be dispensed
process. with because they are intended as a safeguard against official
arbitrariness. It is a gratifying commentary on our judicial
It is part of the art of constitution-making that the provisions of system that the jurisprudence of this country is rich with
the charter be cast in precise and unmistakable language to applications of this guaranty as proof of our fealty to the rule of
avoid controversies that might arise on their correct law and the ancient rudiments of fair play. We have consistently
interpretation. That is the Ideal. In the case of the due process declared that every person, faced by the awesome power of the
clause, however, this rule was deliberately not followed and the State, is entitled to "the law of the land," which Daniel Webster
wording was purposely kept ambiguous. In fact, a proposal to described almost two hundred years ago in the famous
delineate it more clearly was submitted in the Constitutional Dartmouth College Case, 14 as "the law which hears before it
Convention of 1934, but it was rejected by Delegate Jose P. condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment
Laurel, Chairman of the Committee on the Bill of Rights, who only after trial." It has to be so if the rights of every person are
forcefully argued against it. He was sustained by the body. 10 to be secured beyond the reach of officials who, out of mistaken
zeal or plain arrogance, would degrade the due process clause
The due process clause was kept intentionally vague so it into a worn and empty catchword.
would remain also conveniently resilient. This was felt
necessary because due process is not, like some provisions of This is not to say that notice and hearing are imperative in every
the fundamental law, an "iron rule" laying down an implacable case for, to be sure, there are a number of admitted exceptions.
and immutable command for all seasons and all persons. The conclusive presumption, for example, bars the admission
Flexibility must be the best virtue of the guaranty. The very of contrary evidence as long as such presumption is based on
elasticity of the due process clause was meant to make it adapt human experience or there is a rational connection between the
easily to every situation, enlarging or constricting its protection fact proved and the fact ultimately presumed
as the changing times and circumstances may require. therefrom. 15 There are instances when the need for
expeditions action will justify omission of these requisites, as in
Aware of this, the courts have also hesitated to adopt their own the summary abatement of a nuisance per se, like a mad dog
specific description of due process lest they confine themselves on the loose, which may be killed on sight because of the
in a legal straitjacket that will deprive them of the elbow room immediate danger it poses to the safety and lives of the people.
they may need to vary the meaning of the clause whenever Pornographic materials, contaminated meat and narcotic drugs
indicated. Instead, they have preferred to leave the import of are inherently pernicious and may be summarily destroyed.
the protection open-ended, as it were, to be "gradually The passport of a person sought for a criminal offense may be
ascertained by the process of inclusion and exclusion in the cancelled without hearing, to compel his return to the country
course of the decision of cases as they arise." 11 Thus, Justice he has fled. 16 Filthy restaurants may be summarily padlocked
Felix Frankfurter of the U.S. Supreme Court, for example, in the interest of the public health and bawdy houses to protect
would go no farther than to define due process — and in so the public morals. 17 In such instances, previous judicial
doing sums it all up — as nothing more and nothing less than hearing may be omitted without violation of due process in view
"the embodiment of the sporting Idea of fair play." 12 of the nature of the property involved or the urgency of the need
to protect the general welfare from a clear and present danger.
When the barons of England extracted from their sovereign
liege the reluctant promise that that Crown would thenceforth The protection of the general welfare is the particular function
not proceed against the life liberty or property of any of its of the police power which both restraints and is restrained by
subjects except by the lawful judgment of his peers or the law due process. The police power is simply defined as the power
of the land, they thereby won for themselves and their progeny inherent in the State to regulate liberty and property for the
that splendid guaranty of fairness that is now the hallmark of promotion of the general welfare. 18 By reason of its function,
the free society. The solemn vow that King John made at it extends to all the great public needs and is described as the
Runnymede in 1215 has since then resounded through the most pervasive, the least limitable and the most demanding of
ages, as a ringing reminder to all rulers, benevolent or base, the three inherent powers of the State, far outpacing taxation
that every person, when confronted by the stern visage of the and eminent domain. The individual, as a member of society, is
law, is entitled to have his say in a fair and open hearing of his hemmed in by the police power, which affects him even before
cause. he is born and follows him still after he is dead — from the
womb to beyond the tomb — in practically everything he does
The closed mind has no place in the open society. It is part of or owns. Its reach is virtually limitless. It is a ubiquitous and
the sporting Idea of fair play to hear "the other side" before an often unwelcome intrusion. Even so, as long as the activity or
opinion is formed or a decision is made by those who sit in the property has some relevance to the public welfare, its
judgment. Obviously, one side is only one-half of the question; regulation under the police power is not only proper but
the other half must also be considered if an impartial verdict is necessary. And the justification is found in the venerable Latin
to be reached based on an informed appreciation of the issues maxims, Salus populi est suprema lex and Sic utere tuo ut
in contention. It is indispensable that the two sides complement alienum non laedas, which call for the subordination of
each other, as unto the bow the arrow, in leading to the correct individual interests to the benefit of the greater number.
ruling after examination of the problem not from one or the other
perspective only but in its totality. A judgment based on less It is this power that is now invoked by the government to justify
that this full appraisal, on the pretext that a hearing is Executive Order No. 626-A, amending the basic rule in
unnecessary or useless, is tainted with the vice of bias or Executive Order No. 626, prohibiting the slaughter of carabaos
intolerance or ignorance, or worst of all, in repressive regimes, except under certain conditions. The original measure was
the insolence of power. issued for the reason, as expressed in one of its Whereases,
that "present conditions demand that the carabaos and the
buffaloes be conserved for the benefit of the small farmers who but on their movement, providing that "no carabao regardless
rely on them for energy needs." We affirm at the outset the need of age, sex, physical condition or purpose (sic) and no carabeef
for such a measure. In the face of the worsening energy crisis shall be transported from one province to another." The object
and the increased dependence of our farms on these traditional of the prohibition escapes us. The reasonable connection
beasts of burden, the government would have been remiss, between the means employed and the purpose sought to be
indeed, if it had not taken steps to protect and preserve them. achieved by the questioned measure is missing

A similar prohibition was challenged in United States v. We do not see how the prohibition of the inter-provincial
Toribio, 19 where a law regulating the registration, branding transport of carabaos can prevent their indiscriminate
and slaughter of large cattle was claimed to be a deprivation of slaughter, considering that they can be killed anywhere, with no
property without due process of law. The defendant had been less difficulty in one province than in another. Obviously,
convicted thereunder for having slaughtered his own carabao retaining the carabaos in one province will not prevent their
without the required permit, and he appealed to the Supreme slaughter there, any more than moving them to another
Court. The conviction was affirmed. The law was sustained as province will make it easier to kill them there. As for the
a valid police measure to prevent the indiscriminate killing of carabeef, the prohibition is made to apply to it as otherwise, so
carabaos, which were then badly needed by farmers. An says executive order, it could be easily circumvented by simply
epidemic had stricken many of these animals and the reduction killing the animal. Perhaps so. However, if the movement of the
of their number had resulted in an acute decline in agricultural live animals for the purpose of preventing their slaughter cannot
output, which in turn had caused an incipient famine. be prohibited, it should follow that there is no reason either to
Furthermore, because of the scarcity of the animals and the prohibit their transfer as, not to be flippant dead meat.
consequent increase in their price, cattle-rustling had spread
alarmingly, necessitating more effective measures for the Even if a reasonable relation between the means and the end
registration and branding of these animals. The Court held that were to be assumed, we would still have to reckon with the
the questioned statute was a valid exercise of the police power sanction that the measure applies for violation of the
and declared in part as follows: prohibition. The penalty is outright confiscation of the carabao
or carabeef being transported, to be meted out by the executive
To justify the State in thus interposing its authority in behalf of authorities, usually the police only. In the Toribio Case, the
the public, it must appear, first, that the interests of the public statute was sustained because the penalty prescribed was fine
generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, and imprisonment, to be imposed by the court after trial and
require such interference; and second, that the means are conviction of the accused. Under the challenged measure,
reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose, significantly, no such trial is prescribed, and the property being
and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. ... transported is immediately impounded by the police and
declared, by the measure itself, as forfeited to the government.
From what has been said, we think it is clear that the enactment
of the provisions of the statute under consideration was In the instant case, the carabaos were arbitrarily confiscated by
required by "the interests of the public generally, as the police station commander, were returned to the petitioner
distinguished from those of a particular class" and that the only after he had filed a complaint for recovery and given
prohibition of the slaughter of carabaos for human a supersedeas bond of P12,000.00, which was ordered
consumption, so long as these animals are fit for agricultural confiscated upon his failure to produce the carabaos when
work or draft purposes was a "reasonably necessary" limitation ordered by the trial court. The executive order defined the
on private ownership, to protect the community from the loss of prohibition, convicted the petitioner and immediately imposed
the services of such animals by their slaughter by improvident punishment, which was carried out forthright. The measure
owners, tempted either by greed of momentary gain, or by a struck at once and pounced upon the petitioner without giving
desire to enjoy the luxury of animal food, even when by so him a chance to be heard, thus denying him the centuries-old
doing the productive power of the community may be guaranty of elementary fair play.
measurably and dangerously affected.
It has already been remarked that there are occasions when
In the light of the tests mentioned above, we hold with the notice and hearing may be validly dispensed with
Toribio Case that the carabao, as the poor man's tractor, so to notwithstanding the usual requirement for these minimum
speak, has a direct relevance to the public welfare and so is a guarantees of due process. It is also conceded that summary
lawful subject of Executive Order No. 626. The method chosen action may be validly taken in administrative proceedings as
in the basic measure is also reasonably necessary for the procedural due process is not necessarily judicial only. 20 In the
purpose sought to be achieved and not unduly oppressive upon exceptional cases accepted, however. there is a justification for
individuals, again following the above-cited doctrine. There is the omission of the right to a previous hearing, to wit,
no doubt that by banning the slaughter of these animals except the immediacy of the problem sought to be corrected and
where they are at least seven years old if male and eleven the urgency of the need to correct it.
years old if female upon issuance of the necessary permit, the
executive order will be conserving those still fit for farm work or In the case before us, there was no such pressure of time or
breeding and preventing their improvident depletion. action calling for the petitioner's peremptory treatment. The
properties involved were not even inimical per se as to require
But while conceding that the amendatory measure has the their instant destruction. There certainly was no reason why the
same lawful subject as the original executive order, we cannot offense prohibited by the executive order should not have been
say with equal certainty that it complies with the second proved first in a court of justice, with the accused being
requirement, viz., that there be a lawful method. We note that accorded all the rights safeguarded to him under the
to strengthen the original measure, Executive Order No. 626-A Constitution. Considering that, as we held in Pesigan v.
imposes an absolute ban not on the slaughter of the carabaos Angeles, 21 Executive Order No. 626-A is penal in nature, the
violation thereof should have been pronounced not by the the Constitution, for all its obviousness, would have been
police only but by a court of justice, which alone would have perpetrated, allowed without protest, and soon forgotten in the
had the authority to impose the prescribed penalty, and only limbo of relinquished rights.
after trial and conviction of the accused.
The strength of democracy lies not in the rights it guarantees
We also mark, on top of all this, the questionable manner of the but in the courage of the people to invoke them whenever they
disposition of the confiscated property as prescribed in the are ignored or violated. Rights are but weapons on the wall if,
questioned executive order. It is there authorized that the like expensive tapestry, all they do is embellish and impress.
seized property shall "be distributed to charitable institutions Rights, as weapons, must be a promise of protection. They
and other similar institutions as the Chairman of the National become truly meaningful, and fulfill the role assigned to them in
Meat Inspection Commission may see fit, in the case of the free society, if they are kept bright and sharp with use by
carabeef, and to deserving farmers through dispersal as the those who are not afraid to assert them.
Director of Animal Industry may see fit, in the case of
carabaos." (Emphasis supplied.) The phrase "may see fit" is an WHEREFORE, Executive Order No. 626-A is hereby declared
extremely generous and dangerous condition, if condition it is. unconstitutional. Except as affirmed above, the decision of the
It is laden with perilous opportunities for partiality and abuse, Court of Appeals is reversed. The supersedeas bond is
and even corruption. One searches in vain for the usual cancelled and the amount thereof is ordered restored to the
standard and the reasonable guidelines, or better still, the petitioner. No costs.
limitations that the said officers must observe when they make
their distribution. There is none. Their options are apparently SO ORDERED.
boundless. Who shall be the fortunate beneficiaries of their
generosity and by what criteria shall they be chosen? Only the G.R. No. 88211 September 15, 1989
officers named can supply the answer, they and they alone may
choose the grantee as they see fit, and in their own exclusive FERDINAND E. MARCOS, IMELDA R. MARCOS,
discretion. Definitely, there is here a "roving commission," a FERDINAND R. MARCOS, JR., IRENE M. ARANETA, IMEE
wide and sweeping authority that is not "canalized within banks MANOTOC, TOMAS MANOTOC, GREGORIO ARANETA,
that keep it from overflowing," in short, a clearly profligate and PACIFICO E. MARCOS, NICANOR YÑIGUEZ and
therefore invalid delegation of legislative powers. PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION
(PHILCONSA), represented by its President, CONRADO F.
To sum up then, we find that the challenged measure is an ESTRELLA, petitioners,
invalid exercise of the police power because the method vs.
employed to conserve the carabaos is not reasonably HONORABLE RAUL MANGLAPUS, CATALINO
necessary to the purpose of the law and, worse, is unduly MACARAIG, SEDFREY ORDOÑEZ, MIRIAM DEFENSOR
oppressive. Due process is violated because the owner of the SANTIAGO, FIDEL RAMOS, RENATO DE VILLA, in their
property confiscated is denied the right to be heard in his capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Executive
defense and is immediately condemned and punished. The Secretary, Secretary of Justice, Immigration
conferment on the administrative authorities of the power to Commissioner, Secretary of National Defense and Chief
adjudge the guilt of the supposed offender is a clear of Staff, respectively, respondents.
encroachment on judicial functions and militates against the
doctrine of separation of powers. There is, finally, also an
invalid delegation of legislative powers to the officers
mentioned therein who are granted unlimited discretion in the CORTES, J.:
distribution of the properties arbitrarily taken. For these
reasons, we hereby declare Executive Order No. 626-A Before the Court is a contreversy of grave national importance.
unconstitutional. While ostensibly only legal issues are involved, the Court's
decision in this case would undeniably have a profound effect
We agree with the respondent court, however, that the police on the political, economic and other aspects of national life.
station commander who confiscated the petitioner's carabaos
is not liable in damages for enforcing the executive order in We recall that in February 1986, Ferdinand E. Marcos was
accordance with its mandate. The law was at that time deposed from the presidency via the non-violent "people
presumptively valid, and it was his obligation, as a member of power" revolution and forced into exile. In his stead, Corazon
the police, to enforce it. It would have been impertinent of him, C. Aquino was declared President of the Republic under a
being a mere subordinate of the President, to declare the revolutionary government. Her ascension to and consilidation
executive order unconstitutional and, on his own responsibility of power have not been unchallenged. The failed Manila Hotel
alone, refuse to execute it. Even the trial court, in fact, and the coup in 1986 led by political leaders of Mr. Marcos, the takeover
Court of Appeals itself did not feel they had the competence, of television station Channel 7 by rebel troops led by Col.
for all their superior authority, to question the order we now Canlas with the support of "Marcos loyalists" and the
annul. unseccessful plot of the Marcos spouses to surreptitiously
return from Hawii with mercenaries aboard an aircraft chartered
The Court notes that if the petitioner had not seen fit to assert by a Lebanese arms dealer [Manila Bulletin, January 30, 1987]
and protect his rights as he saw them, this case would never awakened the nation to the capacity of the Marcoses to stir
have reached us and the taking of his property under the trouble even from afar and to the fanaticism and blind loyalty of
challenged measure would have become their followers in the country. The ratification of the 1987
a faitaccompli despite its invalidity. We commend him for his Constitution enshrined the victory of "people power" and also
spirit. Without the present challenge, the matter would have clearly reinforced the constitutional moorings of Mrs. Aquino's
ended in that pump boat in Masbate and another violation of presidency. This did not, however, stop bloody challenges to
the government. On August 28, 1987, Col. Gregorio Honasan, a. Is this a political question?
one of the major players in the February Revolution, led a failed
coup that left scores of people, both combatants and civilians, 2. Assuming that the President has the power to bar former
dead. There were several other armed sorties of lesser President Marcos and his family from returning to the
significance, but the message they conveyed was the same — Philippines, in the interest of "national security, public safety or
a split in the ranks of the military establishment that thraetened public health
civilian supremacy over military and brought to the fore the
realization that civilian government could be at the mercy of a a. Has the President made a finding that the return of former
fractious military. President Marcos and his family to the Philippines is a clear and
present danger to national security, public safety or public
But the armed threats to the Government were not only found health?
in misguided elements and among rabid followers of Mr.
Marcos. There are also the communist insurgency and the b. Assuming that she has made that finding
seccessionist movement in Mindanao which gained ground
during the rule of Mr. Marcos, to the extent that the communists (1) Have the requirements of due process been complied with
have set up a parallel government of their own on the areas in making such finding?
they effectively control while the separatist are virtually free to
move about in armed bands. There has been no let up on this (2) Has there been prior notice to petitioners?
groups' determination to wrest power from the govermnent. Not
only through resort to arms but also to through the use of (3) Has there been a hearing?
propaganda have they been successful in dreating chaos and
destabilizing the country. (4) Assuming that notice and hearing may be dispensed with,
has the President's decision, including the grounds upon which
Nor are the woes of the Republic purely political. The it was based, been made known to petitioners so that they may
accumulated foreign debt and the plunder of the nation controvert the same?
attributed to Mr. Marcos and his cronies left the economy
devastated. The efforts at economic recovery, three years after c. Is the President's determination that the return of former
Mrs. Aquino assumed office, have yet to show concrete results President Marcos and his family to the Philippines is a clear and
in alleviating the poverty of the masses, while the recovery of present danger to national security, public safety, or public
the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses has remained elusive. health a political question?

Now, Mr. Marcos, in his deathbed, has signified his wish to d. Assuming that the Court may inquire as to whether the return
return to the Philipppines to die. But Mrs. Aquino, considering of former President Marcos and his family is a clear and present
the dire consequences to the nation of his return at a time when danger to national security, public safety, or public health, have
the stability of government is threatened from various directions respondents established such fact?
and the economy is just beginning to rise and move forward,
has stood firmly on the decision to bar the return of Mr. Marcos 3. Have the respondents, therefore, in implementing the
and his family. President's decision to bar the return of former President
Marcos and his family, acted and would be acting without
The Petition jurisdiction, or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of
discretion, in performing any act which would effectively bar the
This case is unique. It should not create a precedent, for the return of former President Marcos and his family to the
case of a dictator forced out of office and into exile after causing Philippines? [Memorandum for Petitioners, pp. 5-7; Rollo, pp.
twenty years of political, economic and social havoc in the 234-236.1
country and who within the short space of three years seeks to
return, is in a class by itself. The case for petitioners is founded on the assertion that the
right of the Marcoses to return to the Philippines is guaranteed
This petition for mandamus and prohibition asks the Courts to under the following provisions of the Bill of Rights, to wit:
order the respondents to issue travel documents to Mr. Marcos
and the immediate members of his family and to enjoin the Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or
implementation of the President's decision to bar their return to property without due process of law, nor shall any person be
the Philippines. denied the equal protection of the laws.

The Issue xxx xxx xxx

Th issue is basically one of power: whether or not, in the Section 6. The liberty of abode and of changing the same within
exercise of the powers granted by the Constitution, the the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon
President may prohibit the Marcoses from returning to the lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be
Philippines. impaired except in the interest of national security, public
safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.
According to the petitioners, the resolution of the case would
depend on the resolution of the following issues: The petitioners contend that the President is without power to
impair the liberty of abode of the Marcoses because only a
1. Does the President have the power to bar the return of former court may do so "within the limits prescribed by law." Nor may
President Marcos and family to the Philippines? the President impair their right to travel because no law has
authorized her to do so. They advance the view that before the
right to travel may be impaired by any authority or agency of Do petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family have the right
the government, there must be legislation to that effect. to return to the Philippines and reestablish their residence
here? This is clearly a justiciable question which this Honorable
The petitioners further assert that under international law, the Court can decide.
right of Mr. Marcos and his family to return to the Philippines is
guaranteed. Do petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family have their right
to return to the Philippines and reestablish their residence here
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides: even if their return and residence here will endanger national
security and public safety? this is still a justiciable question
Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement which this Honorable Court can decide.
and residence within the borders of each state.
Is there danger to national security and public safety if
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family shall return to the
own, and to return to his country. Philippines and establish their residence here? This is now a
political question which this Honorable Court can not decide for
Likewise, the International Covenant on Civil and Political it falls within the exclusive authority and competence of the
Rights, which had been ratified by the Philippines, provides: President of the Philippines. [Memorandum for Respondents,
pp. 9-11; Rollo, pp. 297-299.]
Article 12
Respondents argue for the primacy of the right of the State to
1) Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within national security over individual rights. In support thereof, they
that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom cite Article II of the Constitution, to wit:
to choose his residence.
Section 4. The prime duty of the Government is to serve and
2) Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his protect the people. The Government may call upon the people
own. to defend the State and, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens
may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render
3) The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any personal, military, or civil service.
restrictions except those which are provided by law, are
necessary to protect national security, public order (order Section 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection
public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general
others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the
the present Covenant. blessings of democracy.

4) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his Respondents also point out that the decision to ban Mr. Marcos
own country. and family from returning to the Philippines for reasons of
national security and public safety has international
On the other hand, the respondents' principal argument is that precedents. Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic,
the issue in this case involves a political question which is non- Anastacio Somoza Jr. of Nicaragua, Jorge Ubico of Guatemala,
justiciable. According to the Solicitor General: Fulgencio batista of Cuba, King Farouk of Egypt, Maximiliano
Hernandez Martinez of El Salvador, and Marcos Perez
As petitioners couch it, the question involved is simply whether Jimenez of Venezuela were among the deposed dictators
or not petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and his family have the whose return to their homelands was prevented by their
right to travel and liberty of abode. Petitioners invoke these governments. [See Statement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Raul
constitutional rights in vacuo without reference to attendant S. Manglapus, quoted in Memorandum for Respondents, pp.
circumstances. 26-32; Rollo, pp. 314-319.]

Respondents submit that in its proper formulation, the issue is The parties are in agreement that the underlying issue is one
whether or not petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family have of the scope of presidential power and its limits. We, however,
the right to return to the Philippines and reside here at this time view this issue in a different light. Although we give due weight
in the face of the determination by the President that such to the parties' formulation of the issues, we are not bound by its
return and residence will endanger national security and public narrow confines in arriving at a solution to the controversy.
safety.
At the outset, we must state that it would not do to view the
It may be conceded that as formulated by petitioners, the case within the confines of the right to travel and the import of
question is not a political question as it involves merely a the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court in the leading cases
determination of what the law provides on the matter and of Kent v. Dulles [357 U.S. 116, 78 SCt 1113, 2 L Ed. 2d 1204]
application thereof to petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and and Haig v. Agee [453 U.S. 280, 101 SCt 2766, 69 L Ed. 2d
family. But when the question is whether the two rights claimed 640) which affirmed the right to travel and recognized
by petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family impinge on or exceptions to the exercise thereof, respectively.
collide with the more primordial and transcendental right of the
State to security and safety of its nationals, the question It must be emphasized that the individual right involved
becomes political and this Honorable Court can not consider it. is not the right to travel from the Philippines to other countries
or within the Philippines. These are what the right to travel
There are thus gradations to the question, to wit: would normally connote. Essentially, the right involved is the
right to return to one's country, a totally distinct right under
international law, independent from although related to the right power to the executive, the legislative and the judicial
to travel. Thus, the Universal Declaration of Humans Rights and departments of the government." [At 157.1 Thus, the 1987
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights treat the Constitution explicitly provides that "[the legislative power shall
right to freedom of movement and abode within the territory of be vested in the Congress of the Philippines" Art VI, Sec. 11,
a state, the right to leave a country, and the right to enter one's "[t]he executive power shall bevested in the President of the
country as separate and distinct rights. The Declaration speaks Philippines" [Art. VII, Sec. 11, and "[te judicial power shall be
of the "right to freedom of movement and residence within the vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may
borders of each state" [Art. 13(l)] separately from the "right to be established by law" [Art. VIII, Sec. 1.] These provisions not
leave any country, including his own, and to return to his only establish a separation of powers by actual division [Angara
country." [Art. 13(2).] On the other hand, the Covenant v. Electoral Commission, supra] but also confer plenary
guarantees the "right to liberty of movement and freedom to legislative, executive and judicial powers subject only to
choose his residence" [Art. 12(l)] and the right to "be free to limitations provided in the Constitution. For as the Supreme
leave any country, including his own." [Art. 12(2)] which rights Court in Ocampo v. Cabangis [15 Phil. 626 (1910)] pointed out
may be restricted by such laws as "are necessary to protect "a grant of the legislative power means a grant of all legislative
national security, public order, public health or morals or enter power; and a grant of the judicial power means a grant of all the
qqqs own country" of which one cannot be "arbitrarily judicial power which may be exercised under the government."
deprived." [Art. 12(4).] It would therefore be inappropriate to [At 631-632.1 If this can be said of the legislative power which
construe the limitations to the right to return to one's country in is exercised by two chambers with a combined membership of
the same context as those pertaining to the liberty of abode and more than two hundred members and of the judicial power
the right to travel. which is vested in a hierarchy of courts, it can equally be said
of the executive power which is vested in one official the
The right to return to one's country is not among the rights President.
specifically guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, which treats only of
the liberty of abode and the right to travel, but it is our well- As stated above, the Constitution provides that "[t]he executive
considered view that the right to return may be considered, as power shall be vested in the President of the Philippines." [Art.
a generally accepted principle of international law and, under VII, Sec. 1]. However, it does not define what is meant by
our Constitution, is part of the law of the land [Art. II, Sec. 2 of executive power" although in the same article it touches on the
the Constitution.] However, it is distinct and separate from the exercise of certain powers by the President, i.e., the power of
right to travel and enjoys a different protection under the control over all executive departments, bureaus and offices, the
International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, i.e., against power to execute the laws, the appointing power, the powers
being "arbitrarily deprived" thereof [Art. 12 (4).] under the commander-in-chief clause, the power to grant
reprieves, commutations and pardons, the power to grant
Thus, the rulings in the cases Kent and Haig which refer to the amnesty with the concurrence of Congress, the power to
issuance of passports for the purpose of effectively exercising contract or guarantee foreign loans, the power to enter into
the right to travel are not determinative of this case and are only treaties or international agreements, the power to submit the
tangentially material insofar as they relate to a conflict between budget to Congress, and the power to address Congress [Art.
executive action and the exercise of a protected right. The issue VII, Sec. 14-23].
before the Court is novel and without precedent in Philippine,
and even in American jurisprudence. The inevitable question then arises: by enumerating certain
powers of the President did the framers of the Constitution
Consequently, resolution by the Court of the well-debated issue intend that the President shall exercise those specific powers
of whether or not there can be limitations on the right to travel and no other? Are these se enumerated powers the breadth
in the absence of legislation to that effect is rendered and scope of "executive power"? Petitioners advance the view
unnecessary. An appropriate case for its resolution will have to that the President's powers are limited to those specifically
be awaited. enumerated in the 1987 Constitution. Thus, they assert: "The
President has enumerated powers, and what is not enumerated
Having clarified the substance of the legal issue, we find now a is impliedly denied to her. Inclusion unius est exclusio
need to explain the methodology for its resolution. Our alterius[Memorandum for Petitioners, p. 4- Rollo p. 233.1 This
resolution of the issue will involve a two-tiered approach. We argument brings to mind the institution of the U.S. Presidency
shall first resolve whether or not the President has the power after which ours is legally patterned.**
under the Constitution, to bar the Marcoses from returning to
the Philippines. Then, we shall determine, pursuant to the Corwin, in his monumental volume on the President of the
express power of the Court under the Constitution in Article VIII, United States grappled with the same problem. He said:
Section 1, whether or not the President acted arbitrarily or with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of Article II is the most loosely drawn chapter of the Constitution.
jurisdiction when she determined that the return of the To those who think that a constitution ought to settle everything
Marcose's to the Philippines poses a serious threat to national beforehand it should be a nightmare; by the same token, to
interest and welfare and decided to bar their return. those who think that constitution makers ought to leave
considerable leeway for the future play of political forces, it
Executive Power should be a vision realized.

The 1987 Constitution has fully restored the separation of We encounter this characteristic of Article 11 in its opening
powers of the three great branches of government. To recall words: "The executive power shall be vested in a President of
the words of Justice Laurel in Angara v. Electoral the United States of America." . . .. [The President: Office and
Commission [63 Phil. 139 (1936)], "the Constitution has Powers, 17871957, pp. 3-4.]
blocked but with deft strokes and in bold lines, allotment of
Reviewing how the powers of the U.S. President were It has been advanced that whatever power inherent in the
exercised by the different persons who held the office from government that is neither legislative nor judicial has to be
Washington to the early 1900's, and the swing from the executive. Thus, in the landmark decision of Springer v.
presidency by commission to Lincoln's dictatorship, he Government of the Philippine Islands, 277 U.S. 189 (1928), on
concluded that "what the presidency is at any particular the issue of who between the Governor-General of the
moment depends in important measure on who is President." Philippines and the Legislature may vote the shares of stock
[At 30.] held by the Government to elect directors in the National Coal
Company and the Philippine National Bank, the U.S. Supreme
This view is shared by Schlesinger who wrote in The Imperial Court, in upholding the power of the Governor-General to do
Presidency: so, said:

For the American Presidency was a peculiarly personal ...Here the members of the legislature who constitute a majority
institution. it remained of course, an agency of government of the "board" and "committee" respectively, are not charged
subject to unvarying demands and duties no remained, of cas with the performance of any legislative functions or with the
President. But, more than most agencies of government, it doing of anything which is in aid of performance of any such
changed shape, intensity and ethos according to the man in functions by the legislature. Putting aside for the moment the
charge. Each President's distinctive temperament and question whether the duties devolved upon these members are
character, his values, standards, style, his habits, expectations, vested by the Organic Act in the Governor-General, it is clear
Idiosyncrasies, compulsions, phobias recast the WhiteHouse that they are not legislative in character, and still more clear that
and pervaded the entire government. The executive branch, they are not judicial. The fact that they do not fall within the
said Clark Clifford, was a chameleon, taking its color from the authority of either of these two constitutes logical ground for
character and personality of the President. The thrust of the concluding that they do fall within that of the remaining one
office, its impact on the constitutional order, therefore altered among which the powers of government are divided ....[At 202-
from President to President. Above all, the way each President 203; Emphasis supplied.]
understood it as his personal obligation to inform and involve
the Congress, to earn and hold the confidence of the electorate We are not unmindful of Justice Holmes' strong dissent. But in
and to render an accounting to the nation and posterity his enduring words of dissent we find reinforcement for the view
determined whether he strengthened or weakened the that it would indeed be a folly to construe the powers of a
constitutional order. [At 212- 213.] branch of government to embrace only what are specifically
mentioned in the Constitution:
We do not say that the presidency is what Mrs. Aquino says it
is or what she does but, rather, that the consideration of The great ordinances of the Constitution do not establish and
tradition and the development of presidential power under the divide fields of black and white. Even the more specific of them
different constitutions are essential for a complete are found to terminate in a penumbra shading gradually from
understanding of the extent of and limitations to the President's one extreme to the other. ....
powers under the 1987 Constitution. The 1935 Constitution
created a strong President with explicitly broader powers than xxx xxx xxx
the U.S. President. The 1973 Constitution attempted to modify
the system of government into the parliamentary type, with the It does not seem to need argument to show that however we
President as a mere figurehead, but through numerous may disguise it by veiling words we do not and cannot carry out
amendments, the President became even more powerful, to the distinction between legislative and executive action with
the point that he was also the de facto Legislature. The 1987 mathematical precision and divide the branches into watertight
Constitution, however, brought back the presidential system of compartments, were it ever so desirable to do so, which I am
government and restored the separation of legislative, far from believing that it is, or that the Constitution requires. [At
executive and judicial powers by their actual distribution among 210- 211.]
three distinct branches of government with provision for checks
and balances. The Power Involved

It would not be accurate, however, to state that "executive The Constitution declares among the guiding principles that
power" is the power to enforce the laws, for the President is "[t]he prime duty of theGovernment is to serve and protect the
head of state as well as head of government and whatever people" and that "[t]he maintenance of peace and order,the
powers inhere in such positions pertain to the office unless the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the
Constitution itself withholds it. Furthermore, the Constitution general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the
itself provides that the execution of the laws is only one of the people of the blessings of democracy." [Art. II, Secs. 4 and 5.]
powers of the President. It also grants the President other
powers that do not involve the execution of any provision of Admittedly, service and protection of the people, the
law, e.g., his power over the country's foreign relations. maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty
and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are
On these premises, we hold the view that although the 1987 essentially ideals to guide governmental action. But such does
Constitution imposes limitations on the exercise not mean that they are empty words. Thus, in the exercise of
of specific powers of the President, it maintains intact what is presidential functions, in drawing a plan of government, and in
traditionally considered as within the scope of "executive directing implementing action for these plans, or from another
power." Corollarily, the powers of the President cannot be said point of view, in making any decision as President of the
to be limited only to the specific powers enumerated in the Republic, the President has to consider these principles,
Constitution. In other words, executive power is more than the among other things, and adhere to them.
sum of specific powers so enumerated,
Faced with the problem of whether or not the time is right to That the President has the power under the Constitution to bar
allow the Marcoses to return to the Philippines, the President the Marcose's from returning has been recognized by
is, under the Constitution, constrained to consider these basic memembers of the Legislature, and is manifested by the
principles in arriving at a decision. More than that, having sworn Resolution proposed in the House of Representatives and
to defend and uphold the Constitution, the President has the signed by 103 of its members urging the President to allow Mr.
obligation under the Constitution to protect the people, promote Marcos to return to the Philippines "as a genuine unselfish
their welfare and advance the national interest. It must be borne gesture for true national reconciliation and as irrevocable proof
in mind that the Constitution, aside from being an allocation of of our collective adherence to uncompromising respect for
power is also a social contract whereby the people have human rights under the Constitution and our laws." [House
surrendered their sovereign powers to the State for the Resolution No. 1342, Rollo, p. 321.1 The Resolution does not
common good. Hence, lest the officers of the Government question the President's power to bar the Marcoses from
exercising the powers delegated by the people forget and the returning to the Philippines, rather, it appeals to the President's
servants of the people become rulers, the Constitution reminds sense of compassion to allow a man to come home to die in his
everyone that "[s]overeignty resides in the people and all country.
government authority emanates from them." [Art. II, Sec. 1.]
What we are saying in effect is that the request or demand of
The resolution of the problem is made difficult because the the Marcoses to be allowed to return to the Philippines cannot
persons who seek to return to the country are the deposed be considered in the light solely of the constitutional provisions
dictator and his family at whose door the travails of the country guaranteeing liberty of abode and the right to travel, subject to
are laid and from whom billions of dollars believed to be ill- certain exceptions, or of case law which clearly never
gotten wealth are sought to be recovered. The constitutional contemplated situations even remotely similar to the present
guarantees they invoke are neither absolute nor inflexible. For one. It must be treated as a matter that is appropriately
the exercise of even the preferred freedoms of speech and addressed to those residual unstated powers of the President
ofexpression, although couched in absolute terms, admits of which are implicit in and correlative to the paramount duty
limits and must be adjusted to the requirements of equally residing in that office to safeguard and protect general welfare.
important public interests [Zaldivar v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. In that context, such request or demand should submit to the
Nos. 79690-707, October 7, 1981.] exercise of a broader discretion on the part of the President to
determine whether it must be granted or denied.
To the President, the problem is one of balancing the general
welfare and the common good against the exercise of rights of The Extent of Review
certain individuals. The power involved is the President's
residual power to protect the general welfare of the people. It is Under the Constitution, judicial power includes the duty to
founded on the duty of the President, as steward of the people. determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
To paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt, it is not only the power of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part
the President but also his duty to do anything not forbidden by of any branch or instrumentality of the Government." [Art. VIII,
the Constitution or the laws that the needs of the nation demand Sec. 1] Given this wording, we cannot agree with the Solicitor
[See Corwin, supra, at 153]. It is a power borne by the General that the issue constitutes a political question which is
President's duty to preserve and defend the Constitution. It also beyond the jurisdiction of the Court to decide.
may be viewed as a power implicit in the President's duty to
take care that the laws are faithfully executed [see Hyman, The The present Constitution limits resort to the political question
American President, where the author advances the view that doctrine and broadens the scope of judicial inquiry into areas
an allowance of discretionary power is unavoidable in any which the Court, under previous constitutions, would have
government and is best lodged in the President]. normally left to the political departments to decide. But
nonetheless there remain issues beyond the Court's jurisdiction
More particularly, this case calls for the exercise of the the determination of which is exclusively for the President, for
President's powers as protector of the peace. Rossiter The Congress or for the people themselves through a plebiscite or
American Presidency].The power of the President to keep the referendum. We cannot, for example, question the President's
peace is not limited merely to exercising the commander-in- recognition of a foreign government, no matter how premature
chief powers in times of emergency or to leading the State or improvident such action may appear. We cannot set aside a
against external and internal threats to its existence. The presidential pardon though it may appear to us that the
President is not only clothed with extraordinary powers in times beneficiary is totally undeserving of the grant. Nor can we
of emergency, but is also tasked with attending to the day-to- amend the Constitution under the guise of resolving a dispute
day problems of maintaining peace and order and ensuring brought before us because the power is reserved to the people.
domestic tranquility in times when no foreign foe appears on
the horizon. Wide discretion, within the bounds of law, in There is nothing in the case before us that precludes our
fulfilling presidential duties in times of peace is not in any way determination thereof on the political question doctrine. The
diminished by the relative want of an emergency specified in deliberations of the Constitutional Commission cited by
the commander-in-chief provision. For in making the President petitioners show that the framers intended to widen the scope
commander-in-chief the enumeration of powers that follow of judicial review but they did not intend courts of justice to
cannot be said to exclude the President's exercising as settle all actual controversies before them. When political
Commander-in- Chief powers short of the calling of the armed questions are involved, the Constitution limits the determination
forces, or suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas to whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion
corpus or declaring martial law, in order to keep the peace, and amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the
maintain public order and security. official whose action is being questioned. If grave abuse is not
established, the Court will not substitute its judgment for that of
the official concerned and decide a matter which by its nature
or by law is for the latter alone to decide. In this light, it would It will not do to argue that if the return of the Marcoses to the
appear clear that the second paragraph of Article VIII, Section Philippines will cause the escalation of violence against the
1 of the Constitution, defining "judicial power," which State, that would be the time for the President to step in and
specifically empowers the courts to determine whether or not exercise the commander-in-chief powers granted her by the
there has been a grave abuse of discretion on the part of any Constitution to suppress or stamp out such violence. The State,
branch or instrumentality of the government, incorporates in the acting through the Government, is not precluded from taking
fundamental law the ruling in Lansang v. Garcia [G.R. No. L- pre- emptive action against threats to its existence if, though
33964, December 11, 1971, 42 SCRA 4481 that:] still nascent they are perceived as apt to become serious and
direct. Protection of the people is the essence of the duty of
Article VII of the [1935] Constitution vests in the Executive the government. The preservation of the State the fruition of the
power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus people's sovereignty is an obligation in the highest order. The
under specified conditions. Pursuant to the principle of President, sworn to preserve and defend the Constitution and
separation of powers underlying our system of government, the to see the faithful execution the laws, cannot shirk from that
Executive is supreme within his own sphere. However, the responsibility.
separation of powers, under the Constitution, is not absolute.
What is more, it goes hand in hand with the system of checks We cannot also lose sight of the fact that the country is only
and balances, under which the Executive is supreme, as now beginning to recover from the hardships brought about by
regards the suspension of the privilege, but only if and when he the plunder of the economy attributed to the Marcoses and their
acts within the sphere alloted to him by the Basic Law, and the close associates and relatives, many of whom are still here in
authority to determine whether or not he has so acted is vested the Philippines in a position to destabilize the country, while the
in the Judicial Department, which, in this respect, is, in turn, Government has barely scratched the surface, so to speak, in
constitutionally supreme. In the exercise of such authority, the its efforts to recover the enormous wealth stashed away by the
function of the Court is merely to check — not to supplant the Marcoses in foreign jurisdictions. Then, We cannot ignore the
Executive, or to ascertain merely whether he has gone beyond continually increasing burden imposed on the economy by the
the constitutional limits of his jurisdiction, not to exercise the excessive foreign borrowing during the Marcos regime, which
power vested in him or to determine the wisdom of his act [At stifles and stagnates development and is one of the root causes
479-480.] of widespread poverty and all its attendant ills. The resulting
precarious state of our economy is of common knowledge and
Accordingly, the question for the Court to determine is whether is easily within the ambit of judicial notice.
or not there exist factual bases for the President to conclude
that it was in the national interest to bar the return of the The President has determined that the destabilization caused
Marcoses to the Philippines. If such postulates do exist, it by the return of the Marcoses would wipe away the gains
cannot be said that she has acted, or acts, arbitrarily or that she achieved during the past few years and lead to total economic
has gravely abused her discretion in deciding to bar their return. collapse. Given what is within our individual and common
knowledge of the state of the economy, we cannot argue with
We find that from the pleadings filed by the parties, from their that determination.
oral arguments, and the facts revealed during the briefing in
chambers by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the WHEREFORE, and it being our well-considered opinion that
Philippines and the National Security Adviser, wherein the President did not act arbitrarily or with grave abuse of
petitioners and respondents were represented, there exist discretion in determining that the return of former President
factual bases for the President's decision.. Marcos and his family at the present time and under present
circumstances poses a serious threat to national interest and
The Court cannot close its eyes to present realities and pretend welfare and in prohibiting their return to the Philippines, the
that the country is not besieged from within by a well-organized instant petition is hereby DISMISSED.
communist insurgency, a separatist movement in Mindanao,
rightist conspiracies to grab power, urban terrorism, the murder SO ORDERED.
with impunity of military men, police officers and civilian
officials, to mention only a few. The documented history of the G.R. No. 96681 December 2, 1991
efforts of the Marcose's and their followers to destabilize the
country, as earlier narrated in this ponencia bolsters the HON. ISIDRO CARIÑO, in his capacity as Secretary of the
conclusion that the return of the Marcoses at this time would Department of Education, Culture & Sports, DR. ERLINDA
only exacerbate and intensify the violence directed against the LOLARGA, in her capacity as Superintendent of City
State and instigate more chaos. Schools of Manila, petitioners,
vs.
As divergent and discordant forces, the enemies of the State THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, GRACIANO
may be contained. The military establishment has given BUDOY, JULIETA BABARAN, ELSA IBABAO, HELEN
assurances that it could handle the threats posed by particular LUPO, AMPARO GONZALES, LUZ DEL CASTILLO, ELSA
groups. But it is the catalytic effect of the return of the Marcoses REYES and APOLINARIO ESBER, respondents.
that may prove to be the proverbial final straw that would break
the camel's back. With these before her, the President cannot
be said to have acted arbitrarily and capriciously and
whimsically in determining that the return of the Marcoses NARVASA, J.:
poses a serious threat to the national interest and welfare and
in prohibiting their return. The issue raised in the special civil action of certiorari and
prohibition at bar, instituted by the Solicitor General, may be
formulated as follows: where the relief sought from the
Commission on Human Rights by a party in a case consists of Secretary Cariño dated December 17, 1990, rendered after
the review and reversal or modification of a decision or order evaluation of the evidence as well as the answers, affidavits
issued by a court of justice or government agency or official and documents submitted by the respondents, decreeing
exercising quasi-judicial functions, may the Commission take dismissal from the service of Apolinario Esber and the
cognizance of the case and grant that relief? Stated otherwise, suspension for nine (9) months of Babaran, Budoy and del
where a particular subject-matter is placed by law within the Castillo. 8
jurisdiction of a court or other government agency or official for
4. In the meantime, the "MPSTA filed a petition for certiorari before the Regional Trial Court of
purposes of trial and adjudgment, may the Commission on
Manila against petitioner (Cariño), which was dismissed (unmarked CHR Exhibit, Annex I).
Human Rights take cognizance of the same subject-matter for
Later, the MPSTA went to the Supreme Court (on certiorari, in an attempt to nullify said
the same purposes of hearing and adjudication?
dismissal, grounded on the) alleged violation of the striking teachers" right to due process and
peaceable assembly docketed as G.R. No. 95445, supra. The ACT also filed a similar petition
The facts narrated in the petition are not denied by the
before the Supreme Court . . . docketed as G.R. No. 95590." 9 Both petitions in this Court were
respondents and are hence taken as substantially correct for
filed in behalf of the teacher associations, a few named individuals, and "other teacher-
purposes of ruling on the legal questions posed in the present
members so numerous similarly situated" or "other similarly situated public school teachers too
action. These facts, 1 together with others involved in related
numerous to be impleaded."
cases recently resolved by this Court 2 or otherwise undisputed
on the record, are hereunder set forth.
5. In the meantime, too, the respondent teachers submitted
1. On September 17, 1990, a Monday and a class day, some sworn statements dated September 27, 1990 to the
800 public school teachers, among them members of the Commission on Human Rights to complain that while they were
Manila Public School Teachers Association (MPSTA) and participating in peaceful mass actions, they suddenly learned
Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) undertook what they of their replacements as teachers, allegedly without notice and
described as "mass concerted actions" to "dramatize and consequently for reasons completely unknown to them. 10
highlight" their plight resulting from the alleged failure of the
6. Their complaints — and those of other teachers also "ordered suspended by the . . . (DECS),"
public authorities to act upon grievances that had time and
all numbering forty-two (42) — were docketed as "Striking Teachers CHR Case No. 90775." In
again been brought to the latter's attention. According to them
connection therewith the Commission scheduled a "dialogue" on October 11, 1990, and sent a
they had decided to undertake said "mass concerted actions"
subpoena to Secretary Cariño requiring his attendance therein. 11
after the protest rally staged at the DECS premises on
September 14, 1990 without disrupting classes as a last call for
On the day of the "dialogue," although it said that it was "not certain whether he (Sec. Cariño)
the government to negotiate the granting of demands had
received the subpoena which was served at his office, . . . (the) Commission, with the Chairman
elicited no response from the Secretary of Education. The
presiding, and Commissioners Hesiquio R. Mallilin and Narciso C. Monteiro, proceeded to hear
"mass actions" consisted in staying away from their classes,
the case;" it heard the complainants' counsel (a) explain that his clients had been "denied due
converging at the Liwasang Bonifacio, gathering in peaceable
process and suspended without formal notice, and unjustly, since they did not join the mass
assemblies, etc. Through their representatives, the teachers
leave," and (b) expatiate on the grievances which were "the cause of the mass leave of MPSTA
participating in the mass actions were served with an order of
teachers, (and) with which causes they (CHR complainants) sympathize." 12 The Commission
the Secretary of Education to return to work in 24 hours or face
thereafter issued an Order 13reciting these facts and making the following disposition:
dismissal, and a memorandum directing the DECS officials
concerned to initiate dismissal proceedings against those who
did not comply and to hire their replacements. Those directives To be properly apprised of the real facts of the case and be
notwithstanding, the mass actions continued into the week, with accordingly guided in its investigation and resolution of the
more teachers joining in the days that followed. 3 matter, considering that these forty two teachers are now
suspended and deprived of their wages, which they need very
Among those who took part in the "concerted mass actions" were the eight (8) private badly, Secretary Isidro Cariño, of the Department of Education,
respondents herein, teachers at the Ramon Magsaysay High School, Manila, who had agreed Culture and Sports, Dr. Erlinda Lolarga, school superintendent
to support the non-political demands of the MPSTA. 4 of Manila and the Principal of Ramon Magsaysay High School,
Manila, are hereby enjoined to appear and enlighten the
2. For failure to heed the return-to-work order, the CHR complainants (private respondents) Commission en banc on October 19, 1990 at 11:00 A.M. and
were administratively charged on the basis of the principal's report and given five (5) days to to bring with them any and all documents relevant to the
answer the charges. They were also preventively suspended for ninety (90) days "pursuant to allegations aforestated herein to assist the Commission in this
Section 41 of P.D. 807" and temporarily replaced (unmarked CHR Exhibits, Annexes F, G, H). matter. Otherwise, the Commission will resolve the complaint
An investigation committee was consequently formed to hear the charges in accordance with on the basis of complainants' evidence.
P.D. 807. 5

xxx xxx xxx


3. In the administrative case docketed as Case No. DECS 90-082 in which CHR complainants
Graciano Budoy, Jr., Julieta Babaran, Luz del Castillo, Apolinario Esber were, among others, 7. Through the Office of the Solicitor General, Secretary Cariño
named respondents, 6
the latter filed separate answers, opted for a sought and was granted leave to file a motion to dismiss the
formal investigation, and also moved "for suspension of the case. His motion to dismiss was submitted on November 14,
administrative proceedings pending resolution by . . (the 1990 alleging as grounds therefor, "that the complaint states no
Supreme) Court of their application for issuance of an injunctive cause of action and that the CHR has no jurisdiction over the
writ/temporary restraining order." But when their motion for case." 14
suspension was denied by Order dated November 8, 1990 of
8. Pending determination by the Commission of the motion to dismiss, judgments affecting the
the Investigating Committee, which later also denied their
"striking teachers" were promulgated in two (2) cases, as aforestated, viz.:
motion for reconsideration orally made at the hearing of
November 14, 1990, "the respondents led by their counsel
staged a walkout signifying their intent to boycott the entire
proceedings." 7 The case eventually resulted in a Decision of
a) The Decision dated December l7, 1990 of Education Secretary Cariño in Case No. DECS law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency in this country,
90-082, decreeing dismissal from the service of Apolinario Esber and the suspension for nine or duplicate much less take over the functions of the latter.
(9) months of Babaran, Budoy and del Castillo; 15 and

The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way


b) The joint Resolution of this Court dated August 6, 1991 in G.R. Nos. 95445 and 95590 of adjudicative power is that it may investigate, i.e., receive
dismissing the petitions "without prejudice to any appeals, if still timely, that the individual evidence and make findings of fact as regards claimed human
petitioners may take to the Civil Service Commission on the matters complained of," 16 rights violations involving civil and political rights. But fact
and inter alia "ruling that it was prima facie lawful for petitioner Cariño to issue return-to-work finding is not adjudication, and cannot be likened to the judicial
orders, file administrative charges against recalcitrants, preventively suspend them, and issue function of a court of justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency or
decision on those charges." 17 official. The function of receiving evidence and ascertaining
therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function,
9. In an Order dated December 28, 1990, respondent Commission denied Sec. Cariño's motion properly speaking. To be considered such, the faculty of
to dismiss and required him and Superintendent Lolarga "to submit their counter-affidavits
receiving evidence and making factual conclusions in a
within ten (10) days . . . (after which) the Commission shall proceed to hear and resolve the controversy must be accompanied by the authority of applying
case on the merits with or without respondents counter affidavit." 18
It held that the the law to those factual conclusions to the end that the
"striking teachers" "were denied due process of law; . . . they controversy may be decided or determined authoritatively,
should not have been replaced without a chance to reply to the finally and definitively, subject to such appeals or modes of
administrative charges;" there had been a violation of their civil review as may be provided by law. 21 This function, to repeat,
and political rights which the Commission was empowered to the Commission does not have. 22
investigate; and while expressing its "utmost respect to the
The proposition is made clear by the constitutional provisions specifying the powers of the
Supreme Court . . . the facts before . . . (it) are different from
Commission on Human Rights.
those in the case decided by the Supreme Court" (the reference
being unmistakably to this Court's joint Resolution of August 6,
1991 in G.R. Nos. 95445 and 95590, supra). The Commission was created by the 1987 Constitution as an independent office. 23
Upon
its constitution, it succeeded and superseded the Presidential
It is to invalidate and set aside this Order of December 28, 1990 Committee on Human Rights existing at the time of the
that the Solicitor General, in behalf of petitioner Cariño, has effectivity of the Constitution. 24 Its powers and functions are
commenced the present action of certiorari and prohibition. the following 25

(1) Investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations
The Commission on Human Rights has made clear its position
involving civil and political rights;
that it does not feel bound by this Court's joint Resolution in
G.R. Nos. 95445 and 95590, supra. It has also made plain its
intention "to hear and resolve the case (i.e., Striking Teachers (2) Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violations
thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court;
HRC Case No. 90-775) on the merits." It intends, in other
words, to try and decide or hear and determine, i.e., exercise
jurisdiction over the following general issues: (3) Provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within
the Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for preventive measures and
legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need
1) whether or not the striking teachers were denied due
protection;
process, and just cause exists for the imposition of
administrative disciplinary sanctions on them by their superiors;
(4) Exercise visitorial powers over jails, prisons, or detention facilities;
and

(5) Establish a continuing program of research, education, and information to enhance respect
2) whether or not the grievances which were "the cause of the
for the primacy of human rights;
mass leave of MPSTA teachers, (and) with which causes they
(CHR complainants) sympathize," justify their mass action or
(6) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide
strike.
for compensation to victims of violations of human rights, or their families;

The Commission evidently intends to itself adjudicate, that is to


say, determine with character of finality and definiteness, the (7) Monitor the Philippine Government's compliance with international treaty obligations on
human rights;
same issues which have been passed upon and decided by the
Secretary of Education, Culture & Sports, subject to appeal to
(8) Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of
the Civil Service Commission, this Court having in fact, as
documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any
aforementioned, declared that the teachers affected may take
investigation conducted by it or under its authority;
appeals to the Civil Service Commission on said matters, if still
timely.
(9) Request the assistance of any department, bureau, office, or agency in the performance of
its functions;
The threshold question is whether or not the Commission on
Human Rights has the power under the Constitution to do so;
whether or not, like a court of justice, 19 or even a quasi-judicial (10) Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law; and

agency, 20 it has jurisdiction or adjudicatory powers over, or the


(11) Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law.
power to try and decide, or hear and determine, certain specific
type of cases, like alleged human rights violations involving civil
As should at once be observed, only the first of the enumerated powers and functions bears
or political rights.
any resemblance to adjudication or adjudgment. The Constitution clearly and categorically
grants to the Commission the power to investigate all forms of human rights violations involving
The Court declares the Commission on Human Rights to have
civil and political rights. It can exercise that power on its own initiative or on complaint of any
no such power; and that it was not meant by the fundamental
person. It may exercise that power pursuant to such rules of procedure as it may adopt and, in Commission; and even this Court itself has had occasion to
cases of violations of said rules, cite for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court. In the pass upon said issues. 34
course of any investigation conducted by it or under its authority, it may grant immunity from
prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other Now, it is quite obvious that whether or not the conclusions reached by the Secretary of
evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth. It may also request the assistance Education in disciplinary cases are correct and are adequately based on substantial evidence;
of any department, bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its functions, in the conduct whether or not the proceedings themselves are void or defective in not having accorded the
of its investigation or in extending such remedy as may be required by its findings. 26 respondents due process; and whether or not the Secretary of Education had in truth committed
"human rights violations involving civil and political rights," are matters which may be passed
But it cannot try and decide cases (or hear and determine causes) as courts of justice, or even upon and determined through a motion for reconsideration addressed to the Secretary
quasi-judicial bodies do. To investigate is not to adjudicate or adjudge. Whether in the popular Education himself, and in the event of an adverse verdict, may be reviewed by the Civil Service
or the technical sense, these terms have well understood and quite distinct meanings. Commission and eventually the Supreme Court.

"Investigate," commonly understood, means to examine, explore, inquire or delve or probe into, The Commission on Human Rights simply has no place in this scheme of things. It has no
research on, study. The dictionary definition of "investigate" is "to observe or study closely: business intruding into the jurisdiction and functions of the Education Secretary or the Civil
inquire into systematically. "to search or inquire into: . . . to subject to an official probe . . .: to Service Commission. It has no business going over the same ground traversed by the latter
conduct an official inquiry." 27 The purpose of investigation, of course, is to discover, to find and making its own judgment on the questions involved. This would accord success to what
out, to learn, obtain information. Nowhere included or intimated is the notion of settling, deciding may well have been the complaining teachers' strategy to abort, frustrate or negate the
or resolving a controversy involved in the facts inquired into by application of the law to the judgment of the Education Secretary in the administrative cases against them which they
facts established by the inquiry. anticipated would be adverse to them.

This cannot be done. It will not be permitted to be done.


The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o
follow up step by step by patient inquiry or observation. To trace
In any event, the investigation by the Commission on Human Rights would serve no useful
or track; to search into; to examine and inquire into with care
purpose. If its investigation should result in conclusions contrary to those reached by Secretary
and accuracy; to find out by careful inquisition; examination; the
taking of evidence; a legal inquiry;" 28 "to inquire; to make an Cariño, it would have no power anyway to reverse the Secretary's conclusions. Reversal
thereof can only by done by the Civil Service Commission and lastly by this Court. The only
investigation," "investigation" being in turn describe as "(a)n
thing the Commission can do, if it concludes that Secretary Cariño was in error, is to refer the
administrative function, the exercise of which ordinarily does
matter to the appropriate Government agency or tribunal for assistance; that would be the Civil
not require a hearing. 2 Am J2d Adm L Sec. 257; . . . an inquiry,
Service Commission. 35 It cannot arrogate unto itself the appellate jurisdiction of the Civil
judicial or otherwise, for the discovery and collection of facts
concerning a certain matter or matters." 29 Service Commission.

"Adjudicate," commonly or popularly understood, means to adjudge, arbitrate, judge, decide,


WHEREFORE, the petition is granted; the Order of December
determine, resolve, rule on, settle. The dictionary defines the term as "to settle finally (the rights 29, 1990 is ANNULLED and SET ASIDE, and the respondent
and duties of the parties to a court case) on the merits of issues raised: . . . to pass judgment Commission on Human Rights and the Chairman and Members
on: settle judicially: . . . act as judge." 30 And "adjudge" means "to decide or rule upon as a thereof are prohibited "to hear and resolve the case (i.e.,
judge or with judicial or quasi-judicial powers: . . . to award or grant judicially in a case of Striking Teachers HRC Case No. 90-775) on the merits."
controversy . . . ." 31

SO ORDERED.
In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority. To
determine finally. Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense;" and "adjudge" means: "To Melencio-Herrera, Cruz, Feliciano, Bidin, Griño-Aquino,
pass on judicially, to decide, settle or decree, or to sentence or condemn. . . . Implies a judicial Medialdea, Regalado, Davide, Jr. and Romero, JJ, concur.
determination of a fact, and the entry of a judgment." 32

Hence it is that the Commission on Human Rights, having merely the power "to investigate,"
cannot and should not "try and resolve on the merits" (adjudicate) the matters involved in
Striking Teachers HRC Case No. 90-775, as it has announced it means to do; and it cannot do
so even if there be a claim that in the administrative disciplinary proceedings against the G.R. No. 73140 May 29, 1987
teachers in question, initiated and conducted by the DECS, their human rights, or civil or
political rights had been transgressed. More particularly, the Commission has no power to RIZAL EMPIRE INSURANCE GROUP AND/OR SERGIO
"resolve on the merits" the question of (a) whether or not the mass concerted actions engaged CORPUS, petitioners,
in by the teachers constitute and are prohibited or otherwise restricted by law; (b) whether or vs.
not the act of carrying on and taking part in those actions, and the failure of the teachers to NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION,
discontinue those actions, and return to their classes despite the order to this effect by the TEODORICO L. RUIZ, as Labor Arbiter and ROGELIO R.
Secretary of Education, constitute infractions of relevant rules and regulations warranting CORIA, respondents.
administrative disciplinary sanctions, or are justified by the grievances complained of by them;
and (c) what where the particular acts done by each individual teacher and what sanctions, if PARAS, J.:
any, may properly be imposed for said acts or omissions.

This is a petition for review on certiorari of the March 14, 1985


These are matters undoubtedly and clearly within the original jurisdiction of the Secretary of Decision of Labor Arbiter Teodorico L. Ruiz which held that
Education, being within the scope of the disciplinary powers granted to him under the Civil herein private respondent Rogelio R. Coria was illegally
Service Law, and also, within the appellate jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission. dismissed; and of the Resolution of the National Labor
Relations Commission which dismissed petitioner's appeal on
Indeed, the Secretary of Education has, as above narrated, already taken cognizance of the the ground that the same was filed out of time.
issues and resolved them, 33
and it appears that appeals have been
seasonably taken by the aggrieved parties to the Civil Service In August, 1977, herein private respondent Rogelio R. Coria
was hired by herein petitioner Rizal Empire Insurance Group as
a casual employee with a salary of P10.00 a day. On January The record shows that the employer (petitioner herein) received
1, 1978, he was made a regular employee, having been a copy of the decision of the Labor Arbiter on April 1, 1985. It
appointed as clerk-typist, with a monthly salary of P300.00. filed a Motion for Extension of Time to File Memorandum of
Being a permanent employee, he was furnished a copy of Appeal on April 11, 1985 and filed the Memorandum of Appeal
petitioner company's "General Information, Office Behavior and on April 22, 1985. Pursuant to the "no extension policy" of the
Other Rules and Regulations." In the same year, without National Labor Relations Commission, aforesaid motion for
change in his position-designation, he was transferred to the extension of time was denied in its resolution dated November
Claims Department and his salary was increased to P450,00 a 15, 1985 and the appeal was dismissed for having been filed
month. In 1980, he was transferred to the Underwriting out of time (Rollo, pp. 31-32).
Department and his salary was increased to P580.00 a month
plus cost of living allowance, until he was transferred to the Fire Petitioners claim, among other things, that respondent
Department as filing clerk. In July, 1983, he was made an Commission committed a grave abuse of discretion amounting
inspector of the Fire Division with a monthly salary of P685.00 to lack of jurisdiction in arbitrarily dismissing petitioners' appeal
plus allowances and other benefits. on a technicality (Rollo, p. 9). It invokes the Rules of Court
provision on liberal construction of the Rules in the interest of
On October 15, 1983, private respondent Rogelio R. Coria was substantial justice.
dismissed from work, allegedly, on the grounds of tardiness
and unexcused absences. Accordingly, he filed a complaint It will be noted however, that the foregoing provision refers to
with the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE), and in a the Rules of Court. On the other hand, the Revised Rules of the
Decision dated March 14, 1985 (Record, pp. 80-87), Labor National Labor Relations Commission are clear and explicit and
Arbiter Teodorico L. Ruiz reinstated him to his position with leave no room for interpretation.
back wages. Petitioner filed an appeal with the National labor
Relations Commission (NLRC) but, in a Resolution dated Moreover, it is an elementary rule in administrative law that
November 15, 1985 (Ibid, pp. 31-32), the appeal was dismissed administrative regulations and policies enacted by
on the ground that the same had been filed out of time. Hence, administrative bodies to interpret the law which they are
the instant petition (Ibid, pp. 2-22). entrusted to enforce, have the force of law, and are entitled to
great respect (Espanol v. Philippine Veterans Administration,
In compliance with the resolution of the Second Division of this 137 SCRA 314 [1985]).
Court dated April 30, 1986 (Ibid., p. 94), private respondent
filed his Comment on May 23, 1986 (Ibid., pp. 97-101) and Under the above-quoted provisions of the Revised NLRC
public respondent on July 2, 1986 (Ibid., pp. 120-124). Rules, the decision appealed from in this case has become final
and executory and can no longer be subject to appeal.
On June 6, 1986, petitioners filed their Reply to private
respondent's Comment (Ibid, pp. 102-105) and on July 25, Even on the merits, the ruling of the Labor Arbiter appears to
1986, their Reply to public respondent's Comment (Ibid., pp. be correct; the consistent promotions in rank and salary of the
126-131). private respondent indicate he must have been a highly
efficient worker, who should be retained despite occasional
In a Resolution dated August 18, 1986, the Second Division of lapses in punctuality and attendance. Perfection cannot after all
this Court resolved to give due course to the petition and to be demanded.
require the parties to submit their respective memoranda
(Ibid., P. 132). WHEREFORE, this petition is DISMISSED.

In compliance with the above mentioned Resolution, petitioners


filed the,.r memorandum on November 10, 1986; while private
respondent filed his Memorandum on October 17, 1986
(Ibid, pp. 139-144), and public respondent on November 16,
1986 (Ibid., pp. 160-166).

Before going however, into the merits of the case, an important


point to consider is whether or not it is still within the jurisdiction
of this Court to review.

Rule VIII of the Revised Rules of the National Labor Relations


Commission on appeal, provides:

SECTION 1. (a) Appeal. — Decision or orders of a labor Arbiter


shall be final and executory unless appealed to the
Commission by any or both of the parties within ten (10)
calendar days from receipt of notice thereof.

xxx xxx xxx

SECTION 6. No extension of period. — No motion or request


for extension of the period within which to perfect an appeal
shall be entertained.