Sunday, July 22, 2012

Arnault v. Nazareno, G.R. No. L-3820, July 18, 1950

D E C I S I O N
(En Banc)


OZAETA, J.:

I.      THE FACTS

The Senate investigated the purchase by the government of two parcels of land, known as Buenavista and Tambobong estates. An intriguing question that the Senate sought to resolve was the apparent irregularity of the government’s payment to one Ernest Burt, a non-resident American citizen, of the total sum of Php1.5 million for his alleged interest in the two estates that only amounted to Php20,000.00, which he seemed to have forfeited anyway long before. The Senate sought to determine who were responsible for and who benefited from the transaction at the expense of the government.

Petitioner Jean Arnault, who acted as agent of Ernest Burt in the subject transactions, was one of the witnesses summoned by the Senate to its hearings. In the course of the investigation, the petitioner repeatedly refused to divulge the name of the person to whom he gave the amount of Php440,000.00, which he withdrew from the Php1.5 million proceeds pertaining to Ernest Burt.

Arnault was therefore cited in contempt by the Senate and was committed to the custody of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms for imprisonment until he answers the questions. He thereafter filed a petition for habeas corpus directly with the Supreme Court questioning the validity of his detention.

In re Garcia, G.R. No. _____, August 15, 1961


R E S O L U T I O N
(En Banc)


BARRERA, J.:

I.      THE FACTS

Arturo E. Garcia, a Filipino citizen, studied law, became a lawyer and practiced law in Spain. Later, he applied for admission to the practice of law in the Philippines without taking the Philippine bar examinations. He cited the provision of the Treaty of Academic Degrees and the Exercise of Professions between the Philippines and Spain and argued that he is entitled to practice the law profession in the Philippines even without submitting to the required bar examinations.

Tatad v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 124360, November 5, 1997


D E C I S I O N
(En Banc)

PUNO, J.:

I.      THE FACTS

Petitioners assailed §5(b) and §15 of R.A. No. 8180, the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1996.

§5(b) of the law provided that “tariff duty shall be imposed . . . on imported crude oil at the rate of three percent (3%) and imported refined petroleum products at the rate of seven percent (7%) . . .” On the other hand, §15 provided that “[t]he DOE shall, upon approval of the President, implement the full deregulation of the downstream oil industry not later than March 1997. As far as practicable, the DOE shall time the full deregulation when the prices of crude oil and petroleum products in the world market are declining and when the exchange rate of the peso in relation to the US dollar is stable . . .”

Petitioners argued that §5(b) on tariff differential violates the provision of the Constitution requiring every law to have only one subject which should be expressed in its title.

They also contended that the phrases “as far as practicable,” “decline of crude oil prices in the world market” and “stability of the peso exchange rate to the US dollar” are ambivalent, unclear and inconcrete since they do not provide determinate or determinable standards that can guide the President in his decision to fully deregulate the downstream oil industry.

Petitioners also assailed the President’s E.O. No. 392, which proclaimed the full deregulation of the downstream oil industry in February 1997.  They argued that the Executive misapplied R.A. No. 8180 when it considered the depletion of the OPSF fund as a factor in the implementation of full deregulation.

Finally, they asserted that the law violated §19, Article XII of the Constitution prohibiting monopolies, combinations in restraint of trade and unfair competition

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Angara v. Electoral Commission, G.R. No. L-45081, July 15, 1936


D E C I S I O N
(En Banc)

LAUREL, J.:

I.      THE FACTS

Petitioner Jose Angara was proclaimed winner and took his oath of office as member of the National Assembly of the Commonwealth Government. On December 3, 1935, the National Assembly passed a resolution confirming the election of those who have not been subject of an election protest prior to the adoption of the said resolution.

On December 8, 1935, however, private respondent Pedro Ynsua filed an election protest against the petitioner before the Electoral Commission of the National Assembly. The following day, December 9, 1935, the Electoral Commission adopted its own resolution providing that it will not consider any election protest that was not submitted on or before December 9, 1935.

Citing among others the earlier resolution of the National Assembly, the petitioner sought the dismissal of respondent’s protest. The Electoral Commission however denied his motion.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bayan v. Zamora, G.R. No. 138570, October 10, 2000


D E C I S I O N
(En Banc)

BUENA, J.:

I.      THE FACTS

The Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America entered into an agreement called the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The agreement was treated as a treaty by the Philippine government and was ratified by then-President Joseph Estrada with the concurrence of 2/3 of the total membership of the Philippine Senate.

The VFA defines the treatment of U.S. troops and personnel visiting the Philippines. It provides for the guidelines to govern such visits, and further defines the rights of the U.S. and the Philippine governments in the matter of criminal jurisdiction, movement of vessel and aircraft, importation and exportation of equipment, materials and supplies.

Petitioners argued, inter alia, that the VFA violates §25, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution, which provides that “foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate . . . and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.” 

Tañada, et al., v. Angara, et al., G.R. No. 118295, May 2, 1997


D E C I S I O N
(En Banc)

PANGANIBAN, J.:

I.      THE FACTS

 Petitioners Senators Tañada, et al. questioned the constitutionality of the concurrence by the Philippine Senate of the President’s ratification of the international Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO).  They argued that the WTO Agreement violates the mandate of the 1987 Constitution to “develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos . . . (to) give preference to qualified Filipinos (and to) promote the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods.” Further, they contended that the “national treatment” and “parity provisions” of the WTO Agreement “place nationals and products of member countries on the same footing as Filipinos and local products,” in contravention of the “Filipino First” policy of our Constitution, and render meaningless the phrase “effectively controlled by Filipinos.”

Monday, July 9, 2012

Kuroda v. Jalandoni, G.R. No. L-2662, March 26, 1949


D E C I S I O N
(En Banc)

MORAN, C.J.:

I.      THE FACTS

Petitioner Shigenori Kuroda, the Commanding General of the Japanese Imperial Forces in the Philippines during the Japanese occupation, was charged before the Philippine Military Commission of war crimes. He questioned the constitutionality of E.O. No. 68 that created the National War Crimes Office and prescribed rules on the trial of accused war criminals. He contended the Philippines is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on Rules and Regulations covering Land Warfare and therefore he is charged of crimes not based on law, national and international. 

Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, G.R. No. 122156, February 3, 1997


D E C I S I O N
(En Banc)

BELLOSILLO, J.:

I.      THE FACTS

Pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government, the GSIS sold in public auction its stake in Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC). Only 2 bidders participated: petitioner Manila Prince Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares at P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel operator, which bid for the same number of shares at P44.00 per share, or P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner.

Petitioner filed a petition before the Supreme Court to compel the GSIS to allow it to match the bid of Renong Berhad. It invoked the Filipino First Policy enshrined in §10, paragraph 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution, which provides that “in the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos.”

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Philip Sigfrid Fortun v. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, et al., G.R. No. 190293, March 20, 2012 (and other consolidated cases)


D E C I S I O N
(En Banc)

ABAD, J.:

I.      THE FACTS

On November 23, 2009, heavily armed men believed led by the ruling Ampatuan family of Maguindanao gunned down and buried under shoveled dirt 57 innocent civilians.  In response to this carnage, President Arroyo issued on November 24, 2009 PP 1946 declaring a state of emergency in Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and Cotabato City.

On December 4, 2009, President Arroyo issued PP 1959 declaring martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Maguindanao except for identified areas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. On December 6, 2009, President Arroyo submitted her report to Congress. On December 9, 2009, Congress convened in joint session to review the validity of the President’s action.  But two days later, or on December 12, 2009, before Congress could act, the President issued PP 1963, lifting martial law and restoring the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Social Justice Society v. Dangerous Drugs Board, G.R. No. 157870 (and other consolidated petitions), November 3, 2008


D E C I S I O N
(En Banc)

VELASCO, J.:

I.      THE FACTS

These consolidated petitions challenge the constitutionality of Sec. 36 of R.A. 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, insofar as it requires mandatory drug testing of (1) candidates for public office; (2) students of secondary and tertiary schools; (3) officers and employees of public and private offices; and (4) persons charged before the prosecutor’s office of a crime with an imposable penalty of imprisonment of not less than 6 years and 1 day.