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Dante Liban vs.

Richard Gordon

Facts: Petitioners Liban, et al., who were officers of the Board of Directors of the
Quezon City Red Cross Chapter, filed with the Supreme Court what they styled
as Petition to Declare Richard J. Gordon as Having Forfeited His Seat in the
Senate against respondent Gordon, who was elected Chairman of the Philippine
National Red Cross (PNRC) Board of Governors during his incumbency as Senator.
Petitioners alleged that by accepting the chairmanship of the PNRC Board of Governors,
respondent Gordon ceased to be a member of the Senate pursuant to Sec. 13, Article VI
of the Constitution, which provides that [n]o Senator . . . may hold any other office or
employment in the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof,
including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries, during his
term without forfeiting his seat.
Respondent Gordon filed a Motion for Clarification and/or for Reconsideration of
the Decision. The PNRC likewise moved to intervene and filed its own Motion for
Partial Reconsideration. They basically questioned the second part of the Decision
with regard to the pronouncement on the nature of the PNRC and the constitutionality
of some provisions of the PNRC Charter.
Issue: Whether PNRC is a governmental corporation which comes within the constitutional ban.

Ruling: This Court [must] recognize the countrys adherence to the Geneva Convention
and respect the unique status of the PNRC in consonance with its treaty obligations.
It requires the PNRC to be formed under the Corporation Code. But such fact does not ipso facto
imply that PNRC is a private corporation because of its sui generis nature.
The PNRC, as a National Society of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement,
can neither be classified as an instrumentality of the State so as not to lose its character of
neturality, as well as its independence, nor strictly as a private corporation since it is regulated by
international humanitarian law and is treated as an auxiliary of the State.
The President does not appoint the Chairman of the PNRC. Neither does the head of any
department, agency, commission or board appoint the PNRC Chairman. Thus, the PNRC
Chairman is not an official or employee of the Executive branch since his appointment does not
fall under Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution. Certainly, the PNRC Chairman is not an
official or employee of the Judiciary or Legislature. This leads us to the obvious conclusion that
the PNRC Chairman is not an official or employee of the Philippine Government. Not being a
government official or employee, the PNRC Chairman, as such, does not hold a
government office or employment.
The government does not control the PNRC. Under the PNRC Charter, as amended, only six of
the thirty members of the PNRC Board of Governors are appointed by the President of the
Philippines. Thus, twenty-four members, or four-fifths (4/5), of the PNRC Board of Governors are
not appointed by the President. Moreover, the President does not appoint the Chairman of the
PNRC, or any other official.
It requires the PNRC to be formed under the Corporation Code. But such fact does not ipso facto
imply that PNRC is a private corporation because of its sui generis nature.
PNRC, as a National Society of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, can

neither be classified as an instrumentality of the State so as not to lose its character of neturality,
as well as its independence, nor strictly as a private corporation since it is regulated by
international humanitarian law and is treated as an auxiliary of the State.