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Deans

Circle 2016
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS
Digested by: DC 2016 Members
Editors:
Tricia Lacuesta
Lorenzo Gayya
Cristopher Reyes
Macky Siazon
Janine Arenas
Ninna Bonsol
Lloyd Javier

POLITICAL
LAW
Supreme Court decisions penned by Associate Justice
Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr.

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Table of Contents
Constitutional Law 1 ........................................................................................................................................................ 2
Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances ................................................................................................... 2
Delegation of Powers ...................................................................................................................................................... 2
State Principles and Policies ........................................................................................................................................ 4
Legislature .......................................................................................................................................................................... 5
Presidency .......................................................................................................................................................................... 8
Judiciary .............................................................................................................................................................................. 9
Constitutional Commissions...................................................................................................................................... 11
Commission on Elections ...................................................................................................................................... 11
Commission on Audit ............................................................................................................................................. 13
Local Governments ....................................................................................................................................................... 14
National Economy and Patrimony .......................................................................................................................... 15
Constitutional Law 2 ...................................................................................................................................................... 16
The Bill of Rights and the Fundamental Powers ................................................................................................ 16
Due Process..................................................................................................................................................................... 17
Equal Protection ............................................................................................................................................................ 18
Privacy of Communication and Correspondence ............................................................................................... 19
Freedom of Expression, Right to Assembly and Academic Freedom .......................................................... 20
Freedom of Religion ..................................................................................................................................................... 21
Eminent Domain............................................................................................................................................................ 22
Contract Clause .............................................................................................................................................................. 24
Citizenship....................................................................................................................................................................... 27
Administrative Law, Public Officers and Election Law .................................................................................. 28
Public Officers ................................................................................................................................................................ 28
Election Law ................................................................................................................................................................... 29
Public Corporation ......................................................................................................................................................... 36
Powers and Functions of the Local Government ................................................................................................ 36
Conversion ...................................................................................................................................................................... 38

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 1
SEPARATION OF POWERS AND CHECKS AND BALANCES
BAYAN MUNA, AS REPRESENTED BY REP. SATUR OCAMPO, REP. CRISPIN BELTRAN, AND REP.
LIZA L. MAZA v. ALBERTO ROMULO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, AND BLAS F.
OPLE, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
G.R. No. 159618, February 01, 2011, J. Velasco, Jr.
The authority of the President to enter into executive agreements without the concurrence of
legislators is premised upon the doctrine of separation of powers. Absent any clear contravention of the
law, the courts should exercise utmost caution in declaring any executive agreement invalid.
Facts:
On 2003, then Ambassador Ricciardone sent US Embassy Note to DFA proposing the terms
of the non-surrender bilateral agreement bet USA and RP. The RP, represented by then DFA Sec. Ople,
agreed with the US proposals. Such Agreement provides that current or former government officials
or employees or military personnel of one party present in the territory of the other shall not be
surrendered to any international tribunal, absent the express consent of the first party, and unless
such tribunal has been established by the UN Security Council. Bayan Muna imputes grave abuse of
discretion to respondents and prays that the Agreement be struck down as unconstitutional.
Issues:
1.

Whether or not the Agreement was contracted validly.

2.

Whether or not the Agreement, which has not been submitted to the Senate for
concurrence, contravenes the Rome Statute and other treaties.

Ruling:
1.
Yes. Under the Doctrine of Incorporation, as expressed in Art II of the 1987
Constitution, the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of
the law of the land. An exchange of notes falls into the category of inter-governmental agreements,
which is an internationally accepted form of international agreement. Hence, the Non-Surrender
Bilateral Agreement in the exchange note is a recognized mode of concluding a legally binding
international written contract among nations.
2.
No. An act of the executive branch with a foreign government must be afforded great
respect. This authority of the President to enter into executive agreements without the concurrence
of legislators is provided by the inviolable doctrine of separation of powers among the legislative,
executive and judicial branches of the government. Thus, absent any clear contravention of the law,
the courts should exercise utmost caution in declaring any executive agreement invalid.
DELEGATION OF POWERS
SM LAND, INC. V. BASES CONVERSION AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
G.R. No. 203655, March 18, 2015, VELASCO JR., J.
Administrative issuances, such as the NEDA JV Guidelines, duly promulgated pursuant to the
rule-making power granted by statute, have the force and effect of law.

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Facts:
Pursuant to RA No. 7227, the BCDA opened for disposition and development its Bonifacio
South Property. SM Land, Inc. (SMLI) submitted to the BCDA an unsolicited proposal for the
development of the lot which was accepted by the BCDA. However, the BCDA clarified that its act
should not be construed to bind the agency to enter into a joint venture agreement with SMLI but
only constitutes an authorization to conduct detailed negotiations with SMLI and iron out the terms
and conditions of the agreement. Afterwards, a Certification was issued by the BCDA and signed by
both parties. BCDA prepared for the conduct of a Competitive Challenge. In furtherance thereof, the
agency issued Terms of Reference. Consequently, SMLI was required to post a proposal security in
the amount of PhP 187 million, following the prescribed procedure outlined in the TOR and the
NEDA JV Guidelines. Instead of proceeding with the Competitive Challenge, the BCDA corresponded
with SMLI stating that it will welcome any voluntary and unconditional proposal to improve the
original offer. In turn, SMLI increased the total secured payments with an upfront payment. Without
responding to SMLIs new proposal, the BCDA sent a memorandum to the OP categorically
recommending the termination of the Competitive Challenge. Alarmed by this development, SMLI
urged the BCDA to proceed with the Competitive Challenge as agreed upon. However, the BCDA
terminated the Competitive Challenge altogether.
Issue:
Whether or not the BCDA gravely abused its discretion in terminating the Competitive
Challenge.
Ruling:
Yes. SMLI has the right to a completed competitive challenge pursuant to the NEDA JV
Guidelines and the Certification issued by the BCDA. The reservation clause adverted to by the
respondent cannot, in any way, prejudice said right. Under the Administrative Code of 1987, acts of
the President providing for rules of a general or permanent character in implementation or execution
of constitutional or statutory powers shall be promulgated in EOs. Through Section 5 of EO 109,
Section 8 of EO 109-A and now Section 8 of EO 423, the President effectively delegated her inherent
executive power to issue rules and regulations on procurement to her subordinate executive
officials, her alter egos. Pursuant to said repeated directives from no less than the Chief Executive, the
NEDA issued the JV Guidelines providing the procedures for the coagulation of joint ventures
between the government and a private entity. In this regard, attention must be drawn to the wellestablished rule that administrative issuances, such as the NEDA JV Guidelines, duly promulgated
pursuant to the rule-making power granted by statute, have the force and effect of law.
DR. PEDRO F. GOBENCIONG vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN (VISAYAS),
REGIONAL DIRECTOR of the Department of Health, Region VIII, and FLORA DELA PEA
G.R. No. 159883, March 31, 2008, Velasco, Jr., J.
Provisionary orders of the Ombudsman are immediately executory. The Ombudsman has the
power to ensure compliance with imposition of penalties pursuant to his administrative disciplinary
authority.
Facts:
The petitioner, Gobenciong, was preventively suspended by the Ombudsman after an
investigation made upon a complaint filed against him by respondent Dela Pena. The petition for
certiorari filed by the petitioner having been denied by the Court of Appeals, the petitioner now

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contends that the Ombudsman does not have the power to investigate, prosecute and discipline
public officers. Hence, RA 6770 is unconstitutional as it constitutes an undue delegation of power.
Issue:
Whether or not RA 6770, on the ground of undue delegation of legislative authority, is
unconstitutional.
Ruling:
No. RA 6770 provisos granting investigative, prosecutorial and disciplinary powers to the
Ombudsman are not unconstitutional. The espoused theory of undue delegation of authority is
untenable. It is the 1987 Constitution no less which granted and allowed the grant by Congress of
sweeping prosecutorial, investigatory, and disciplinary powers to the Ombudsman. he Office of the
Ombudsman is a creature of the Constitution. The framers of the 1987 Constitution intended the
office to be strong and effective, with sufficient bite and muscle to enable it to carry out its mandate
as protector of the people against the inept, abusive, and corrupt in the Government. They, however,
left it to Congress to invest the office with more broad powers to enforce its own action. And so it was
that RA 6770 was enacted empowering, under Sec. 15(1) thereof, the Ombudsman to take over, at
any stage, from any investigatory agency of government, the investigation of cases [of which he has
primary jurisdiction.
STATE PRINCIPLES AND POLICIES
METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY v. CONCERNED RESIDENTS OF MANILA
BAY
G.R. Nos. 171947-48, December 18, 2008, VELASCO, JR., J.
The right to a balanced and healthful ecology need not even be written in the Constitution for it
is assumed, like other civil and political rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, to exist from the
inception of mankind and it is an issue of transcendental importance with intergenerational
implications.
Facts:
Concerned Residents of Manila Bay filed a complaint before the RTC against several
government agencies, among them the MMDA, for the cleanup, rehabilitation, and protection of the
Manila Bay. They also prayed that MMDA et al. be ordered to clean the Manila Bay and submit to the
RTC a concerted concrete plan of action for the purpose. RTC rendered a Decision in favor of the
concerned residents of Manila. MMDA et al. filed an appeal before CA arguing that the pertinent
provisions of the Environment Code (PD 1152) relate only to the cleaning of specific pollution
incidents and do not cover cleaning in general. And apart from raising concerns about the lack of
funds appropriated for cleaning purposes, MMDA et al. also asserted that the cleaning of
the Manila Bay is not a ministerial act which can be compelled by mandamus. CA sustained the
decision of RTC.
Issue:
1.

Whether or not the pertinent provisions of the Environment Code (PD 1152) relate only to
the cleaning of specific pollution incidents and do not cover cleaning in general.

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2.
Ruling:

Whether or not the cleaning of the Manila Bay is a ministerial act which can be compelled by
mandamus.

1.

No. The right to a balanced and healthful ecology need not even be written in the
Constitution for it is assumed, like other civil and political rights guaranteed in the Bill of
Rights, to exist from the inception of mankind and it is an issue of transcendental importance
with intergenerational implications. Even assuming the absence of a categorical legal
provision specifically prodding petitioners to clean up the bay, they and the men and women
representing them cannot escape their obligation to future generations of Filipinos to keep
the waters of the Manila Bay clean and clear as humanly as possible. Anything less would be
a betrayal of the trust reposed in them.

2.

Yes. While the implementation of the MMDAs mandated tasks may entail a decision-making
process, the enforcement of the law or the very act of doing what the law exacts to be done is
ministerial in nature and may be compelled by mandamus. The MMDAs duty in this regard is
spelled out in Sec. 3(c) of Republic Act No. (RA) 7924 creating the MMDA which states that
Solid waste disposal and management which include formulation and implementation of
policies, standards, programs and projects for proper and sanitary waste disposal. It shall
likewise include the establishment and operation of sanitary land fill and related
facilities and the implementation of other alternative programs intended to reduce, reuse
and recycle solid waste. The MMDAs duty in the area of solid waste disposal, as may be
noted, is set forth not only in the Environment Code (PD 1152) and RA 9003, but in its
charter as well.

LEGISLATURE
SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY(SJS) v. DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD(DDB) and PHILIPPINE DRUG
ENFORCEMENT AGENCY(PDEA)
G.R. No. 157870, November 3, 2008, VELASCO, JR., J.
The right of a citizen in the democratic process of election should not be defeated by
unwarranted impositions of requirement not otherwise specified in the Constitution.
Facts:
SJS, a registered political party, seeks to prohibit the DDB and PDEA from enforcing
paragraphs (g) of Sec. 36 of RA 9165 on the ground that it is constitutionally infirm because it
imposes an additional qualification for a senator- mandatory drug testing. Pimentel Jr. and Atty.
Laserna Jr. also seek the nullification of said law, including the COMELEC Res. No. 6486 which
implements the former.
Issue:
Whether or not Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Res. No. 6486 impose an additional
qualification for candidates for senator.

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Ruling:
Yes. It is unconstitutional because it is basic that if a law or an administrative rule violates
any norm of the Constitution, that issuance is null and void and has no effect.
Thus, COMELEC cannot, in the guise of enforcing and administering election laws or
promulgating rules and regulations to implement Sec. 36(g), validly impose qualifications on
candidates for senator in addition to what the Constitution prescribes. If Congress cannot require a
candidate for senator to meet such additional qualification, the COMELEC, to be sure, is also without
such power. The right of a citizen in the democratic process of election should not be defeated by
unwarranted impositions of requirement not otherwise specified in the Constitution. Sec. 36(g) of RA
9165, effectively enlarges the qualification requirements enumerated in the Sec. 3, Art. VI of the
Constitution

Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. (COCOFED), Manuel V. Del Rosario, Domingo P.
Espina, Salvador P. Vallares, Joselito A. Moraleda, et al. v. Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. 177857-58 January 24, 2012, Velasco Jr., J.
The general principle of taxation is that tax levied for special purpose shall be treated as a
special fund and paid out of such purpose only. It cannot be treated as private funds to be disbursed or
invested for the benefit of private individuals in their private capacities.
Facts:
Republic Act 6260 was enacted creating the Coconut Investment Company (CIC) to administer
the Coconut Investment Fund (CIF) which imposes a levy on every sale of copra. The seller was
issued Cocofund receipts for levy of such sales. The fund was placed under the disposition of Cocofed,
the national association of coconut producers having the largest membership. The Philippine
Coconut Authority also had its share of the coco levy funds. When martial law started in 1972, several
presidential decrees were issued to improve the coconut industry through collection and use of the
coco levy fund, two of which are:
PD 961 and PD 1468 which both provide that the CCSF and CDIF shall not be construed as
special and/or fiduciary funds, or as part of the general funds of the government. The intention is for
the said funds to belong to coconut farmers in their private capacities.
It is a contention that PD 961 and PD1468 is unconstitutional because the funds collected by
PCA are in the nature of a special fund which should be disbursed only for the special purpose for
which it is collected.

Issue:
Whether or not the PDs issued are unconstitutional for declaring the funds which the PCA is
authorized to collect or as part of the funds of the government.
Ruling:
Yes, the mandate of PDs are unconstitutional. The coconut levy funds are in the nature of taxes
and can only be used for public purpose. Consequently, they cannot be used to purchase shares of

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stocks to be given for free to private individuals. The coco levy funds were exactions with the end
goal of developing the entire coconut industry, to hold therefore, even by law, that the revenues
received from the imposition of the coconut levies be used purely for private purposes to be owned
by private individuals in their private capacity and for their benefit, would contravene the rationale
behind the imposition of taxes or levies. Furthermore, Article VI, Section 29 (3) provides that all
money collected on any tax levied for a special purpose shall be treated as a special fund and paid out
for such purpose only. The conversion of public funds into private assets was illegally allowed, in fact
mandated, by these PDs. Clearly therefore, the pertinent provisions of P.D. Nos. 755, 961 and 1468
are unconstitutional for violating Article VI, Section 29 (3) of the Constitution. In this context, the
distribution by PCA of the UCPB shares purchased by means of the coconut levy fund a special fund of
the government to the coconut farmers, is therefore void.
CITIZENS BATTLE AGAINST CORRUPTION (CIBAC) v. COMELEC represented by CHAIRMAN
BENJAMIN ABALOS, SR.
G.R. No. 172103, 13 April 2007, J. Velasco, Jr.
In determining the number of additional seats for each party-list that has met the 2%
threshold, "proportional representation" is the touchstone to ascertain entitlement to extra seats. In
order to be entitled to one additional seat, an exact whole number is necessary. Rounding off may result
in the awarding of a number of seats in excess of that provided by the law.
Facts.
Petitioner CIBAC, together with Luzon Farmers Party (BUTIL) and Partido ng Manggagawa,
filed a Joint Motion for Immediate Proclamation entreating the COMELEC en banc to recognize their
entitlement to an additional seat and that their second nominees be immediately proclaimed. They
based their claim on Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. COMELEC (G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147613,
November 20, 2003, 416 SCRA 304.) applying the formula adopted by the Supreme Court in Veterans
Federation Party v. COMELEC. COMELEC (G.R. Nos. 136781, 136786, & 136795, October 6, 2000, 342
SCRA 244) however resolved to deny CIBACs motion following the simplified formula of the
Commission.
Issue.
Whether or not the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion when it denied petitioner CIBAC
an additional seat in the House of Representatives under the party-list system.
Held.
NO. It is the Veterans formula that is sanctioned by the Court and not the Ang Bagong
Bayani and Bayan Muna formula that petitioner alleges.
In determining the number of additional seats for each party-list that has met the 2%
threshold, "proportional representation" is the touchstone to ascertain entitlement to extra seats.
The correct formula in ascertaining the entitlement to additional seats of the first party and other
qualified party-list groups was clearly explicated in Veterans: The only basis given by the law is that a
party receiving at least 2% of the total votes shall be entitled to one seat. Proportionally, if the first
party were to receive twice the number of votes of the second party, it should be entitled to twice the
latters number of seats and so on.
The next step is to solve for the number of additional seats that the other qualified parties
are entitled to, based on proportional representation. In simplified form, it is written as follows:

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Additional seats for concerned party = (No. of votes of concerned party/No. of votes of the first
party) x No. of additional seats allocated to first party. The above formula does not give an exact
mathematical representation of the number of additional seats to be awarded since, in order to be
entitled to one additional seat, an exact whole number is necessary. In fact, most of the actual
mathematical proportions are not whole numbers and are not rounded off for the reasons explained
earlier. To repeat, rounding off may result in the awarding of a number of seats in excess of that
provided by the law.
Applying the Veterans formula in petitioners case, we reach the conclusion that CIBAC is not
entitled to an additional seat. Since petitioner CIBAC got a result of 0.82304986 only, which is less
than one, then it did not obtain or reach a whole number. Petitioner has not convinced us to deviate
from our ruling in Veterans that in order to be entitled to one additional seat, an exact whole number
is necessary. Clearly, petitioner is not entitled to an additional seat.
PRESIDENCY
LOURDES D. RUBRICO, JEAN RUBRICO APRUEBO, and MARY JOY RUBRICO CARBONEL,
Petitioners, vs. GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
G.R. No. 183871 February 18, 2010, Velasco, J.
The President, during his tenure of office or actual incumbency, may not be sued in any civil or
criminal case, and there is no need to provide for it in the Constitution or law.
Facts:
Lourdes Rubrico, chair of the Ugnayan ng Maralita para sa Gawa Adhikan, was abducted by
armed men belonging to the 301st Air Intelligence and Security Squadron (AISS, for short), and
brought to and detained at, the air base without charges. But even after her release, the harassment
continued that led to the filing of criminal complaint for kidnapping and arbitrary detention and
administrative complaint for gross abuse of authority and grave misconduct. However, in the said case
nothing happened.
The petition prayed that a writ of amparo issue, ordering the individual respondents including
President Gloria Macapgal-Arroyo to desist from performing any threatening act against the security of the
petitioners and for the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) to immediately file an information for kidnapping
qualified with the aggravating circumstance of gender of the offended party. The CA, however, dismissed
the petition and dropped President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as party respondent.
Issue:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals reversible error in dismissing the petition and dropping
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as party respondent.
Ruling:
No. The presidential immunity from suit remains preserved under our system of
government, albeit not expressly reserved in the present constitution. The President may not be sued
during his or her tenure. The Court subsequently made it abundantly clear in David v. MacapagalArroyo, a case likewise resolved under the umbrella of the 1987 Constitution, that indeed the
President enjoys immunity during her incumbency, and why this must be so:

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Settled is the doctrine that the President, during his tenure of office or actual incumbency,
may not be sued in any civil or criminal case, and there is no need to provide for it in the
Constitution or law. It will degrade the dignity of the high office of the President, the Head of
State, if he can be dragged into court litigations while serving as such. Furthermore, it is
important that he be freed from any form of harassment, hindrance or distraction to enable
him to fully attend to the performance of his official duties and functions.
JUDICIARY
PHILIPPINE COCONUT PRODUCERS FEDERATION, INC. (COCOFED) VS. REPUBLIC OF THE
PHILIPPINES
G.R. Nos. 177857-58, 178193, 180705 February 11, 2010, Velasco, J.
The Court is not empowered to review and go into the wisdom of the policy decision or choices
of PCGG and other executive agencies of the government absent any grave abuse of discretion.
Facts:
Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. (COCOFED) filed a motion for the conversion
of the sequestered 753,848,312 Class "A" and "B" common shares of San Miguel Corporation (SMC),
registered in the name of Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) Holding Companies (hereunder
referred to as SMC Common Shares), into 753,848,312 SMC Series 1 Preferred Shares. Oppositorsintervenors Salonga, et al. anchor their plea for reconsideration on the following submission or
issues: The conversion of the shares is patently disadvantageous to the government and the coconut
farmers, given that SMCs option to redeem ensures that the shares will be bought at less than their
market value.
Issue:
Whether or not the contentions of the oppositors are shall be given credence.
Ruling:
NO. The conversion may be viewed as a sound business strategy to preserve and conserve
the value of the governments interests in CIIF SMC shares.
Due to the nature of stocks in general and the prevailing business conditions, the
government, through the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), chose not to
speculate with the CIIF SMC shares. It is the executive branch, either pursuant to the residual power
of the President or by force of her enumerated powers under the laws, that has control over all
matters pertaining to the disposition of government property or, in this case, sequestered assets
under the administration of the PCGG. Surely, such control is neither legislative nor judicial. Well
settled is the rule that the courts cannot inquire into the wisdom of an executive act but must respect
the decision of the executive department, absent a clear showing of grave abuse of discretion.
HACIENDA LUISITA, INC. v. PRESIDENTIAL AGRARIAN REFORM
G.R. No. 171101 November 22, 2011 Velasco, Jr., J.

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The operative fact doctrine is not confined to statutes. It extends to rules and regulations issued by
the executive department that are accorded the same status as that of a statute or those which are quasilegislative in nature.
Facts:
On July 5, 2011, the Supreme Court en banc voted unanimously (11-0) to DISMISS/DENY the
petition filed by HLI and AFFIRM with MODIFICATIONS the resolutions of the PARC revoking HLIs
Stock Distribution Plan (SDP) and placing the subject lands in Hacienda Luisita under compulsory
coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the government.
The Court however did not order outright land distribution. Voting 6-5, the Court noted that there
are operative facts that occurred in the interim and which the Court cannot validly ignore. Thus, the Court
declared that the revocation of the SDP must, by application of the operative fact principle, give way to the
right of the original 6,296 qualified farmworkers-beneficiaries (FWBs) to choose whether they want to
remain as HLI stockholders or [choose actual land distribution]. It thus ordered the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR) to immediately schedule meetings with the said 6,296 FWBs and explain to them the
effects, consequences and legal or practical implications of their choice, after which the FWBs will be
asked to manifest, in secret voting, their choices in the ballot, signing their signatures or placing their
thumbmarks, as the case may be, over their printed names.
The parties thereafter filed their respective motions for reconsideration of the Court decision.
Issue:
Whether or not the operative fact doctrine is applicable in this case.
Ruling:
Yes. The Court maintained its stance that the operative fact doctrine is applicable in this case
since, contrary to the suggestion of the minority, the doctrine is not limited only to invalid or
unconstitutional laws but also applies to decisions made by the President or the administrative agencies that
have the force and effect of laws. Prior to the nullification or recall of said decisions, they may have
produced acts and consequences that must be respected. It is on this score that the operative fact doctrine
should be applied to acts and consequences that resulted from the implementation of the PARC Resolution
approving the SDP of HLI. The majority stressed that the application of the operative fact doctrine by the
Court in its July 5, 2011 decision was in fact favorable to the FWBs because not only were they allowed to
retain the benefits and homelots they received under the stock distribution scheme, they were also given the
option to choose for themselves whether they want to remain as stockholders of HLI or not.

REGHIS M. ROMERO II, EDMOND Q. SESE, LEOPOLDO T. SANCHEZ, REGHIS M. ROMERO III,
MICHAEL L. ROMERO, NATHANIEL L. ROMERO, and JEROME R. CANLAS v. SENATOR JINGGOY E.
ESTRADA and SENATE COMMITTEE ON LABOR, EMPLOYMENT AND HUMAN RESOURCES
DEVELOPMENT
G.R. No. 174105, April 2, 2009, Velasco, Jr., J.
On-going judicial proceedings do not preclude congressional hearings in aid of legislation.
Facts:
Pursuant to a resolution directing the Labor Committee to investigate, in aid of legislation,
the liability for plunder of the Former President Ramos and others for the illegal investment of

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OWWA funds in the Smokey Mountain Project, Reghis Romero II, as owner of R-II Builders, Inc.,
received from the Committee an invitation to attend at a public hearing to be conducted for the said
purpose. His request to be excused was denied by the Committee. Petitioners then filed the instant
petition which seeks to bar the Committee from continuing with its inquiry and to enjoin it from
compelling petitioners to appear before it. In a manifestation with urgent plea for a TRO, Romero
raised, among others, that when Senator Estrada called on Atty. Francisco I. Chavez, as resource
person, the latter spoke of the facts and issues he raised with the Court in Chavez v. National Housing
Authority, none of which were related to the subject of the inquiry. Petitioners claim that the subject
matter of the investigation is sub judice owing to the pendency of the Chavez petition.
Issue:
Whether or not the subject matter of the Committees inquiry is sub judice.
Ruling:
No. The sub judice rule restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to judicial
proceedings to avoid prejudging the issue, influencing the court, or obstructing the administration of
justice. In this case, the subject matter of the senate inquiry is no longer sub judice for the reason that
the Court has denied with finality the motion for reconsideration of its decision filed by Chavez. Even
assuming that Chavez is still pending final adjudication by the Court, still, such circumstance would
not bar the continuance of the committee investigation. Suffice it to state that the Senate Rules of
Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation provide that the filing or pendency of any
prosecution or administrative action should not stop or abate any inquiry to carry out a legislative
purpose. (See Sabio v. Gordon, 504 SCRA 704, October 17, 2006)
A legislative investigation in aid of legislation and court proceedings has different purposes.
On one hand, courts conduct hearings or like adjudicative procedures to settle, through the
application of a law, actual controversies arising between adverse litigants and involving
demandable rights. On the other hand, inquiries in aid of legislation are, inter alia, undertaken as
tools to enable the legislative body to gather information and, thus, legislate wisely and effectively;
and to determine whether there is a need to improve existing laws or enact new or remedial
legislation, albeit the inquiry need not result in any potential legislation. On-going judicial
proceedings do not preclude congressional hearings in aid of legislation.
When the Committee issued invitations and subpoenas to petitioners to appear before it in
connection with its investigation of the aforementioned investments, it did so pursuant to its
authority to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. This is clearly provided in Art. VI, Sec. 21 of the
Constitution. And the Court has no authority to prohibit a Senate committee from requiring persons
to appear and testify before it in connection with an inquiry in aid of legislation in accordance with
its duly published rules of procedure.

CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSIONS
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
ROQUE VS. COMELEC
G.R. No. 188456 September 10, 2009, Velasco, J.
The COMELEC shall be responsible for the enforcement and administration of all laws and
regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum and recall.

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Facts:
The enactment of Republic Act No. 8436 in 1997 authorized the adoption of an automated
election system (AES) in the May 11, 1998 national and local elections and onwards. In 2007, RA
9369 was passed authorizing anew the Comelec to use an AES. Petitioners claim that the conclusion
of the automation contract constitutes an abdication on the part of Comelec of the constitutional
mandate that the Comelec shall be responsible for the enforcement and administration of all laws
and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum and recall.
(Section 2, Article 9 of the 1987 Constitution)
Issue:
Whether or not Comelec-Smartmatic-TIM Corporation automation contract abandons the
constitutional mandate that the COMELEC shall be responsible for election law enforcement.
Ruling:
No. The role of Smartmatic TIM Corporation is basically to supply the goods necessary for
the automation project, such as but not limited to the PCOS machines, PCs, electronic transmission
devices and related equipment, both hardware and software, and the technical services pertaining to
their operation. As lessees of the goods and the back-up equipment, the corporation and its operators
would provide assistance with respect to the machines to be used by the Comelec which, at the end of
the day, will be conducting the election thru its personnel and whoever it deputizes.
Moreover, the RFP (Request for Proposal or otherwise known as Terms of Reference),
which forms an integral part of the automation contract, has put all prospective bidders on notice of
Comelecs intent to automate and to accept bids that would meet several needs, among which is a
complete solutions provider which can provide effective overall nationwide project management
service under COMELEC supervision and control, to ensure effective and successful implementation
of the [automation] Project.
FELICIANO LEGASPI vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ALFREDO D. GERMAR, AND ROGELIO P.
SANTOS JR.
G.R. No. 216572, April 19, 2016
COMELEC divisions has the authority to decide election cases. Their decisions are capable of
attaining finality, without need of any affirmative or confirmatory action on the part of the COMELEC
en banc.
FACTS:
Germar, Santos and Esquivel were among the candidates fielded by the LP to vie for
positions in Norzagaray, Bulcan during the 2013 elections. Legaspi on the other hand was the NUP
bet for Mayor in the same town. Germar and Santos were the winning candidates. Legaspi moved for
the suspension of their proclamation with the COMELEC for their alleged vote buying but to no avail.
The First Division and Special Division of the COMELEC ruled to disqualify Germar and Santos. The
COMELEC en banc had a 3-2 vote in the disqualification of the LP bets which did not reach the 4 vote
requirement. A rehearing was made in which the COMELEC en banc took another vote but still failed
to get a 4 vote thus dismissing Legaspis complaint.

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ISSUE:
Whether or not the COMELEC divisions decisions can attain finality.
RULING:
YES. The decisions of the COMELEC divisons can attain finality.
Sec. 3, Article IX-C of the Constitution bestows on the COMELEC divisions the authority to
decide election cases. Their decisions are capable of attaining finality, without need of any affirmative
or confirmatory action on the part of the COMELEC en bane. And while the Constitution requires that
the motions for reconsideration be resolved by the COMELEC en banc, it likewise requires that four
votes must be reached for it to render a valid ruling and, consequently, to GRANT the motion for
reconsideration of private respondents. Hence, when the private respondents failed to get the fourvote requirement on their motion for reconsideration, their motion is defeated and lost as there was
NO valid ruling to sustain the plea for reconsideration. The prior valid action - the COMELEC Special
First Division's October 3, 2013 Resolution in this case - therefore subsists and is affirmed by the
denial of the motion for reconsideration.

COMMISSION ON AUDIT
Dennis A. Funa v. The Chairman, Commission on Audit, Reynaldo A. Villar
G.R. No. 192791 April 24, 2012, Velasco, Jr., J.
Sec. 1(2), Art. IX(D) of the 1987 Constitution does not prohibit promotional appointment as
long as the Commissioner has not served his full term of seven years, and the appointment shall only be
for the unexpired portion of the Commissioners term.
Facts:
On February 15, 2001, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) appointed Guillermo N.
Carague (Carague) as Chairman of the Commission on Audit (COA) for a term of seven years starting
February 2, 2004 to February 2, 2008. Meanwhile, on February 7, 2004, she appointed Reynaldo A.
Villar (Villar) as a third member of COA for a term of seven years starting from February 2, 2004, to
February 2, 2011. Following the retirement of Carague on February 2, 2008 and during the fourth
year of Villar as commissioner, the latter was designated acting chairman of the COA from February
4, 2008 to April 14, 2008. Subsequently, on April 18, 2008 Villar was appointed and nominated as
Chairman of the COA. The Commission on Appointments confirmed his appointment. He was to serve
chairman for the unexpired portion of his term as commissioner or on February 2, 2011. Herein
petitioner opposes Villars appointment saying that such appointment is invalid under Sec. 1(2), Art.
IX(D) of the 1987 Constitution. He said that reappointment of any kind within the COA be it for the
same position (Commissioner to Commissioner) or for an upgraded position (Commissioner to
Chairman) is a prohibited appointment and therefore a nullity.
Issue:
Whether or not Villars appointment is invalid under Sec. 1(2), Art. IX(D) of the 1987
Constitution.

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Ruling:
No, Villars appointment is not prohibited under the Constitution. The Constitutional provision
provides: The Chairman and Commissioners [on Audit] shall be appointed by the President with the
consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of
those first appointed, the Chairman shall hold office for seven years, one commissioner for five years,
and the other commissioner for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy
shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor. The provision, on its face, does
not prohibit a promotional appointment from commissioner to chairman as long as the
commissioner has not served the full term of seven years, further qualified by the third sentence of
Sec. 1(2), Article IX (D) that the appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired portion
of the term of the predecessor. In addition, such promotional appointment to the position of
Chairman must conform to the rotational plan or the staggering of terms in the commission
membership such that the aggregate of the service of the Commissioner in said position and the term
to which he will be appointed to the position of Chairman must not exceed seven years so as not to
disrupt the rotational system in the commission prescribed by Sec. 1(2), Art. IX(D). There is nothing
in Sec. 1(2), Article IX(D) that explicitly precludes a promotional appointment from Commissioner to
Chairman, provided it is made under the aforestated circumstances or conditions.
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
MAYOR ABELARDO ABUNDO, SR. v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and ERNESTO R. VEGA
G.R. No. 20171, January 8, 2013, VELASCO, JR., J.
An involuntary interrupted term, cannot, in the context of the disqualification rule, be
considered as one term for purposes of counting the three-term threshold.
Facts:
For 4 successive regular elections, Abundo vied for the position of municipal mayor of Viga,
Catanduanes. In the 2004 electoral derby, the Viga municipal board of canvassers initially proclaimed
as winner one Torres, who, in due time, performed the functions of the office of mayor. Abundo
protested and was eventually declared the winner of the 2004 mayoralty electoral contest. Then
came the 2010 elections where Abundo and Torres again opposed each other and Torres lost no time
in seeking the formers disqualification to run, predicated on the 3-consecutive term limit rule.
COMELEC First Division ruled in favor of Abundo. Vega commenced a quo warranto action before the
RTC to unseat Abundo on essentially the same grounds Torres raised. RTC declared Abundo
ineligible to serve as municipal mayor because he has already served 3 consecutive terms.
COMELECs 2nd division and en banc affirmed.
Issue:
Whether or not Abundo is deemed to have served three consecutive terms.
Ruling:
No. As stressed in Socrates v. COMELEC(G.R. No. 154512, 2002), the principle behind the
three-term limit rule covers only consecutive terms and that what the Constitution prohibits is a
consecutive fourth term. An elective local official cannot, following his third consecutive term, seek
immediate reelection for a fourth term, albeit he is allowed to seek a fresh term for the same position

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after the election where he could have sought his fourth term but prevented to do so by reason of the
prohibition. There has, in fine, to be a break or interruption in the successive terms of the official
after his or her third term. An interruption usually occurs when the official does not seek a fourth
term, immediately following the third.
As is clearly provided in Sec. 8, Art. X of the Constitution as well as in Sec. 43(b) of the LGC,
voluntary renunciation of the office by the incumbent elective local official for any length of time
shall not, in determining service for three consecutive terms, be considered an interruption in the
continuity of service for the full term for which the elective official concerned was elected. This
qualification was made as a deterrent against an elective local official intending to skirt the threeterm limit rule by merely resigning before his or her third term ends. This is a voluntary interruption
as distinguished from involuntary interruption which may be brought about by certain events or
causes.
The almost two-year period during which Abundos opponent actually served as Mayor is
and ought to be considered an involuntary interruption of Abundos continuity of service. An
involuntary interrupted term, cannot, in the context of the disqualification rule, be considered as one
term for purposes of counting the three-term threshold. It cannot be overemphasized that pending
the favorable resolution of his election protest, Abundo was relegated to being an ordinary
constituent since his opponent, as presumptive victor in the 2004 elections, was occupying the
mayoralty seat. In other words, during which his opponent actually assumed the mayoralty office,
Abundo was a private citizen warming his heels while awaiting the outcome of his protest. Hence,
even if declared later as having the right to serve the elective position such declaration would not
erase the fact that prior to the finality of the election protest, Abundo did not serve in the mayors
office and, in fact, had no legal right to said position.

NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY


Ernesto Francisco, Jr. v. Toll Regulatory Board
GR Number 166910, October 19, 2010, VELASCO, JR., J.
The term franchise includes not only authorizations issuing directly from Congress in the
form of statute, but also those granted by administrative agencies to which the power to grant franchise
has been delegated by Congress.
Facts:
PD 1112 created the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), vesting it with the power to enter into
contracts for the construction, maintenance, and operation of tollways, grant authority to operate a
toll facility, issue the necessary Toll Operation Certificate (TOC) and fix initial toll rates, and adjust it
from time to time after due notice and hearing. PD 1113 was issued granting the Philippine National
Construction Corporation (PNCC) for a period of 30 years, a franchise to operate toll facilities in the
North Luzon and South Luzon Expressways. Subsequently, PD 1894 was issued further granting the
PNCC a franchise over the Metro Manila Expressway and the expanded delineated NLEX and SLEX.
Then came the 1987 Constitution with its franchise provision. In 1993, the Government
Corporate Counsel held that the PNCC may enter into a joint venture agreement (JVA) with private
entities without going into public bidding. In 1994, the DPWH together with other private entities
executed a MOU to open the door for entry of private capital in the Subic and Clark extension
projects. PNCC entered into a financial and technical JVAs with entities for the toll operation of its

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franchised areas. Several Supplemental Toll Operation Agreements (STOA) were entered for the South
Metro Manila Skyway, NLEX Expansion, and South Luzon Expressway Projects.
Petitioners seek to nullify the various STOAs and assail the constitutionality of Sections 3(a
and d) of PD 1112 in relation to Section 8(b) of PD 1894. Insofar as they vested the TRB the power to
issue, modify, and promulgate toll rate changes while given the ability to collect tolls.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the TRB may be empowered to grant authority to operate the toll
facility/system.
RULING:
Yes. The TRB was granted sufficient power to grant a qualified person or entity with
authority to operate the toll facility/system. By explicit provisions of the PDs, the TRB was given
power to grant administrative franchise for toll facility projects. The limiting thrust of Article 12,
Section 11 of the Constitution on the grant of franchise or other forms of authorization to operate
public utilities may, in context, be stated as follows: (a) the grant shall be made only in favor of
qualified Filipino citizens or corporations; (b) Congress can impair the obligation of franchises, as
contracts; and (c) no such authorization shall be exclusive or exceed fifty years. Under the 1987
Constitution, Congress has an explicit authority to grant a public utility franchise. However, it may
validly delegate its legislative authority, under the power of subordinate legislation, to issue 159883
franchises of certain public utilities to some administrative agencies.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2
THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND THE FUNDAMENTAL POWERS
SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY(SJS) v. DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD(DDB) and PHILIPPINE DRUG
ENFORCEMENT AGENCY(PDEA)
G.R. No. 157870, November 3, 2008, VELASCO, JR., J.
To impose a mandatory drug test on the accused would violate his right to privacy and right to
self-incrimination.
Facts:
SJS, a registered political party, seeks to prohibit the DDB and PDEA from enforcing
paragraphs (c), (d), and (f) of Sec. 36 of RA 9165 on the ground that they are constitutionally infirm.
For one, the provisions constitute undue delegation of legislative power when they give unbridled
discretion to schools and employers to determine the manner of drug testing. For another, the
provisions trench in the equal protection clause inasmuch as they can be used to harass a student or
an employee deemed undesirable. And for a 3rd, a person's constitutional right against unreasonable
searches is also breached by said provisions. Pimentel Jr. and Atty. Laserna Jr. also seek the
nullification of said law, including the COMELEC Res. No. 6486 which implements the former.

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Issue:
Whether or not paragraphs (c), (d), and (f)of Sec. 36, RA 9165 is unconstitutional for
violating the right to privacy, the right against unreasonable searches and seizure, and the equal
protection clause, thus constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power.
Ruling:
No, paragraphs (c) and (d) is constitutional. The drug test prescribed under Sec. 36(c) and
(d), for secondary and tertiary level students and public and private employees, while mandatory, is
a random and suspicion less arrangement. The primary legislative intent is not criminal prosecution,
as those found positive for illegal drug use as a result of this random testing are not necessarily
treated as criminals.
Schools, acting in loco parentis, have a duty to safeguard the health and well - being of their
students and may adopt such measures as may reasonably be necessary to discharge such duty; and
(4) schools have the right to impose conditions on applicants for admission that are fair, just, and
non-discriminatory. In the case at bar, the SC is of the view and so holds that the paragraph (c) and
(d) are constitutional. Indeed, it is within the prerogative of educational institutions to require, as a
condition for admission, compliance with reasonable school rules and regulations and policies. To be
sure, the right to enroll is not absolute; it is subject to fair, reasonable, and equitable requirements.
Yes, paragraphs (f) is unconstitutional. SC finds no valid justification for mandatory drug
testing for persons accused of crimes. The operative concepts in the mandatory drug testing are
"randomness" and "suspicion less." In the case of persons charged with a crime before the
prosecutor's office, a mandatory drug testing can never be random or suspicion less. The ideas of
randomness and being suspicion less are antithetical to their being made defendants in a criminal
complaint. They are not randomly picked; neither are they beyond suspicion. When persons
suspected of committing a crime are charged, they are singled out and are impleaded against their
will. The persons thus charged, by the bare fact of being haled before the prosecutor's office and
peaceably submitting themselves to drug testing, if that be the case, do not necessarily consent to the
procedure, let alone waive their right to privacy. To impose mandatory drug testing on the accused is
a blatant attempt to harness a medical test as a tool for criminal prosecution, contrary to the stated
objectives of RA 9165. Drug testing in this case would violate a persons' right to privacy guaranteed
under Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution. Worse still, the accused persons are veritably forced to
incriminate themselves.

DUE PROCESS
GONZALO S. GO, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS and OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
G.R. No. 172027 July 29, 2010 VELASCO, JR., J.
Vested rights can only be deprived through due process of law.
FACTS:
Gonzalo Go Jr. was promoted to the position of Chief Hearing Officer (Chief, Legal Division),
with a salary rate of PhP 151,800 per annum. The promotion was to the position of Attorney VI,
Salary Grade (SG)-26. However, Department of Budget and Management (DBM), informed the
then DOTC Secretary of the erroneous classification in the Position Allocation List of the DBM of two
positions in his department, one of which is in the LTFRB (formerly BOT). Go wrote the DBM to

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question the summary demotion or downgrading of his salary grade from SG-26 to SG-25. The DBM
reminded Go that based on the departments standards and criteria formulated, the division chief of
bureau-level agencies, like the LTFRB, is allocable to Attorney V, SG-25. Following the denial of his
MR, Go appealed to the Office of the President (OP). The OP dismissed Go's appeal. His petition was
also denied by the CA via Rule 43 on procedural grounds.
ISSUE:
Whether the reallocation of rank resulting in the downgrading of position and diminution of
salary was valid.
RULING:
No. Go has established a clear, equitable vested right to the emoluments of his position as
Attorney VI, SG-26. And being an incumbent to that position, he has, at the very least, an equitable
right to receive the corresponding salary and emoluments attached thereto. The summary demotion
to a lower salary grade, with the corresponding decrease in salary and emoluments after he has
occupied his current rank and position, goes against his right to continue enjoying the benefits
accorded the position and which his predecessors must have been receiving. His right thereto has
ripened into a vested right, of which he could be deprived only by due process of law, but which we
believe he was denied through the summary reallocation. With the view we take of this case, Go was
neither apprised nor given the opportunity to contest the reallocation before its summary
implementation.

EQUAL PROTECTION
LEAGUE OF CITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES, et al. v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, et al.
G.R. Nos. 176951, 177499, 178056 December 21, 2009, Velasco, Jr., J.
Classification, to be reasonable, must (1) rest on substantial distinctions; (2) be germane to the
purpose of the law; (3) not be limited to existing conditions only; and (4) apply equally to all members of
the same class.
Facts:
There were twenty-four (24) cityhood bills that were not acted upon in the 11th Congress.
During the 12th Congress, RA 9009 was signed into law amending Sec. 450 of the Local Government
Code of 1991 (RA 7160) increasing the income requirement to qualify for conversion into a city from
P20M average annual income to P100M locally generated income. During the 13 th Congress, sixteen
(16) out of the 24 municipalities filed, through their respective sponsors, their individual cityhood
bills. Each of the cityhood bills contained a common provision exempting the municipality covered
from the P100M income requirement imposed by RA 9009. The cityhood bills were approved by
Congress and eventually lapsed into law. Each cityhood law directs the COMELEC to hold a plebiscite
to determine whether the voters approve of the conversion.
Petitioners sought to declare the cityhood laws unconstitutional for violation of Sec. 10, Art.
X of the Constitution, as well as for violation of the equal-protection clause. It is contended that the
grant of exemption from the P100M income requirement to only the 16 municipalities is
unconstitutional.
Issue:
Whether or not the sixteen (16) cityhood laws are valid and constitutional.

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Ruling:
Yes. Looking at the circumstances behind the enactment of the laws subject of contention,
the LGC-amending RA 9009, no less, intended the LGUs covered by the cityhood laws to be exempt
from the PhP100 million income criterion. .
The equal protection clause does not preclude the state from recognizing and acting upon
factual differences between individuals and classes. It recognizes that inherent in the right to
legislate is the right to classify, necessarily implying that the equality guaranteed is not violated by a
legislation based on reasonable classification. Classification, to be reasonable, must (1) rest on
substantial distinctions; (2) be germane to the purpose of the law; (3) not be limited to existing
conditions only; and (4) apply equally to all members of the same class. The Court finds that all these
requisites have been met by the laws challenged as arbitrary and discriminatory under the equal
protection clause.
The exemption accorded the 16 municipalities is based on the fact that each had pending
cityhood bills long before the enactment of RA 9009 that substantially distinguish them from other
municipalities aiming for cityhood. To impose on them the much higher income requirement after
what they have gone through would appear to be indeed unfair.
PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATION AND CORRESPONDENCE
RHONDA AVE S. VIVARES AND SPOUSES MARGARITA AND DAVID SUZARA v. ST. THERESAS
COLLEGE, MYLENE RHEZA T. ESCUDERO, AND JOHN DOES
G.R. No. 202666, September 29, 2014, Velasco, Jr., J.
Without proof that the subject photographs are placed within the ambit of their protected zone
of privacy, one cannot insist that there is an expectation of privacy with respect to the photographs in
question.
Facts:
Pictures of Julia Daluz and Julienne Suzara , clad only in their undergarments, were uploaded
by Angela Tan on her Facebook profile. Escudero, a computer teacher at STCs high school
department, learned that some students posted pictures online, dressed only in brassiers. Escudero
then reported the matter to Rose Tigol, STCs Discipline-in-Charge, for appropriate action. After an
investigation, STC found Julia, Julienne and other identified students to have violated the rules
proscribed by the schools student handbook. These identified students claimed that they were
castigated and verbally abused by the STC officials in the conference they attended. The students
then were barred from joining the commencement exercises as a penalty.
Despite the issuance of a TRO, STC still barred the sanctioned students from participating in
the graduation rites. The petitioners then filed a Petition for the Issuance of a Wirt of Habeas Data.
However, the RTC dismissed the petition for failure to prove the existence of an actual or threatened
violation of the minors right to privacy.
Issue:
Whether or not the minors can invoke their right to informational privacy.

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Ruling:
No. Right to informational privacy is the right of individuals to control information about
themselves. Considering that the default setting for Facebook posts is "Public," it can be surmised
that the photographs in question were viewable to everyone on Facebook, absent any proof that
petitioners children positively limited the disclosure of the photograph. If such were the case, they
cannot invoke the protection attached to the right to informational privacy. The ensuing
pronouncement in US v. Gines-Perez is most instructive:
A person who places a photograph on the Internet precisely intends to forsake and
renounce all privacy rights to such imagery, particularly under circumstances such
as here, where the defendant did not employ protective measures or devices that
would have controlled access to the Web page or the photograph itself.
As applied, even assuming that the photos in issue are visible only to the sanctioned
students Facebook friends, STC did not violate the minors right to privacy, as it was the minors
Facebook friends who showed the pictures to Tigol. Respondents were mere recipients of what were
posted. They did not resort to any unlawful means of gathering the information as it was voluntarily
given to them by persons who had legitimate access to the said posts.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, RIGHT TO ASSEMBLY AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM


ELISEO F. SORIANO, Petitioner, vs MA. CONSOLIZA P. LAGUARDIA, in her capacity as
Chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, MOVIE AND
TELEVISION REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION BOARD, JESSIE L. GALAPON, ANABEL M. DELA
CRUZ, MANUEL M. HERNANDEZ, JOSE L. LOPEZ, CRISANTO SORIANO, BERNABE S. YARIA, JR.,
MICHAEL M. SANDOVAL, and ROLDAN A. GAVINO, Respondents.
G.R. No. 164785, March 15, 2010, Velasco
The welfare of children and the States mandate to protect and care for them, as parens
patriae, constitute a substantial and compelling government interest in regulating petitioners
utterances in TV broadcast as provided in PD 1986.
Facts:
Eliseo Soriano made the following remarks in his program, Ang Dating Daan: Lehitimong
anak ng demonyo; sinungaling; Gago ka talaga Michael, masahol ka pa sa putang babae o di ba. Yung
putang babae ang gumagana lang doon yung ibaba, [dito] kay Michael ang gumagana ang itaas, o di
ba! O, masahol pa sa putang babae yan. Sabi ng lola ko masahol pa sa putang babae yan. Sobra ang
kasinungalingan ng mga demonyong ito.
The one referred by Soriano is Michael Sandoval, a minister of Iglesia ni Cristo and a regular
host of the TV program, Ang Tamang Daan. The MTRCB preventively suspended the showing of Ang
Dating Daan program for 20 days.
Issue:
Whether or not the preventive suspension order was unconstitutional for it amounts to
abridgement of the freedom of speech and expression and an impermissible prior restraint.

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Ruling:
No. The Court rules that the government's interest to protect and promote the interests and
welfare of the children adequately buttresses the reasonable curtailment and valid restraint on
petitioner's prayer to continue as program host of Ang Dating Daan during the suspension period.
Petitioner's offensive and obscene language uttered in a television broadcast, without doubt,
was easily accessible to the children. His statements could have exposed children to a language that is
unacceptable in everyday use. As such, the welfare of children and the States mandate to protect and
care for them, as parens patriae, constitute a substantial and compelling government interest in
regulating petitioners utterances in TV broadcast as provided in PD 1986.
There can be no quibbling that the remarks in question petitioner uttered on prime-time
television are blatantly indecent if not outright obscene. It is the kind of speech that PD 1986
proscribes necessitating the exercise by MTRCB of statutory disciplinary powers. It is the kind of
speech that the State has the inherent prerogative, nay duty, to regulate and prevent should such
action served and further compelling state interests. One who utters indecent, insulting, or offensive
words on television when unsuspecting children are in the audience is, in the graphic language
of FCC, a pig in the parlor. Public interest would be served if the pig is reasonably restrained or even
removed from the parlor.
FREEDOM OF RELIGION
ELISEO F. SORIANO, Petitioner, vs MA. CONSOLIZA P. LAGUARDIA, in her capacity as
Chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, MOVIE AND
TELEVISION REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION BOARD, JESSIE L. GALAPON, ANABEL M. DELA
CRUZ, MANUEL M. HERNANDEZ, JOSE L. LOPEZ, CRISANTO SORIANO, BERNABE S. YARIA, JR.,
MICHAEL M. SANDOVAL, and ROLDAN A. GAVINO, Respondents.
G.R. No. 164785, March 15, 2010, Velasco
speech.

Plain and simple insults directed at another person cannot be elevated to the status of religious

Facts:
Eliseo Soriano made the following remarks in his program, Ang Dating Daan: Lehitimong
anak ng demonyo; sinungaling; Gago ka talaga Michael, masahol ka pa sa putang babae o di ba. Yung
putang babae ang gumagana lang doon yung ibaba, [dito] kay Michael ang gumagana ang itaas, o di
ba! O, masahol pa sa putang babae yan. Sabi ng lola ko masahol pa sa putang babae yan. Sobra ang
kasinungalingan ng mga demonyong ito.
The one referred by Soriano is Michael Sandoval, a minister of Iglesia ni Cristo and a regular
host of the TV program, Ang Tamang Daan. The MTRCB preventively suspended the showing of Ang
Dating Daan program for 20 days. It is the contention of the petitioner that the statement was made
in the exercise of his religious freedom.
Issue:
Whether or not the words he uttered were only said in the exercise of his religious freedom.

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Ruling:
The Court is at a loss to understand how petitioners utterances in question can come within
the pale of Sec. 5, Article III of the 1987 Constitution on religious freedom. The section reads as
follows:
No law shall be made respecting the establishment of a religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious
profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be
allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.
There is nothing in petitioner's statements subject of the complaints expressing any
particular religious belief, nothing furthering his avowed evangelical mission. The fact that he came
out with his statements in a televised bible exposition program does not automatically accord them
the character of a religious discourse. Plain and simple insults directed at another person cannot be
elevated to the status of religious speech. Even petitioners attempts to place his words in context
show that he was moved by anger and the need to seek retribution, not by any religious
conviction. His claim, assuming its veracity, that some INC ministers distorted his statements
respecting amounts Ang Dating Daan owed to a TV station does not convert the foul language used in
retaliation as religious speech. They simply illustrate that petitioner had descended to the level of
name-calling and foul-language discourse. Hence, his speech cannot be protected by the
constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.
EMINENT DOMAIN
ANUNCIACION VDA. DE OUANO, MARIO P. OUANO, LETICIA OUANO ARNAIZ, and CIELO OUANO
MARTINEZ v. THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, THE MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT AUTHORITY, and THE REGISTER OF DEEDS FOR THE CITY OF CEBU;
MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY (MCIAA) v. RICARDO L. INOCIAN, in his
personal capacity and as Attorney-in-Fact of OLYMPIA E. ESTEVES, et. al.
G.R. No. 168770 & G.R. No. 168812, February 9, 2011, Velasco, Jr., J.
A condemnor should commit to use the property pursuant to the purpose stated in the petition
for expropriation, failing which it should file another petition for the new purpose. If not, then it
behooves the condemnor to return the said property to its private owner, if the latter so desires.
Facts:
The following are two (2) consolidated cases whereby the respective owners and
successors-in-interest. They pray for the reconveyance of their respective properties subjected to
expropriation in favor of the government for the expansion of Lahug Airport for public use. Their
claim for reconveyance is based on the alleged promise of the National Airport Corporation (NAC),
Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authoritys (MCIAA) predecessor agency, that should the Lahug
Airport expansion project do not push through or once the Lahug Airport closes or its operations
transferred to Mactan-Cebu Airport, they are assured the right to repurchase their land.
When the Lahug Airport was closed and transferred its operations with MCIAA, the latter
refused to honor the said agreement. Hence, Ouanos and Inocians filed their respective complaints
against the latter. MCIAA averred that the claim of the Ouanos and the Inocians regarding the alleged
verbal assurance of the NAC negotiating team that they can reacquire their landholdings is already
barred by the Statute of Frauds. Hence, this petition was filed.

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Issue:
Whether or not the Ouanos and Inocians have the right to repurchase their properties
pursuant to the verbal agreement with the governments negotiating team assuring them of its
reacquisition should the public purpose for which the properties were used ceases.
Ruling:
Yes. The taking of a private land in expropriation proceedings is always conditioned on its
continued devotion to its public purpose. As a necessary corollary, once the purpose is terminated or
peremptorily abandoned, then the former owner, if he so desires, may seek its reversion, subject of
course to the return, at the very least, of the just compensation received.
Given the foregoing disquisitions, equity and justice demand the reconveyance by MCIAA of
the litigated lands in question to the Ouanos and Inocians. In the same token, justice and fair play also
dictate that the Ouanos and Inocian return to MCIAA what they received as just compensation for the
expropriation of their respective properties plus legal interest to be computed from default, which in
this case should run from the time MCIAA complies with the reconveyance obligation. They must
likewise pay MCIAA the necessary expenses it might have incurred in sustaining their respective lots
and the monetary value of its services in managing the lots in question to the extent that they, as
private owners, were benefited thereby.

BARANGAY SINDALAN, SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA represented by BARANGAY CAPTAIN


ISMAEL GUTIERREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, JOSE MAGTOTO III, and PATRICIA SINDAYAN
G.R. No. 150640, 22 March 2007, J. Velasco, Jr.
The power of eminent domain can only be exercised for public use and with just compensation.
Facts:
Petitioner filed a complaint for eminent domain against respondent spouses Jose Magtoto III
and Patricia Sindayan, the registered owner of a parcel of land covered by TCT No. 117674-R.
Claiming that respondents property was the most practical and nearest way to the municipal road,
petitioner sought to convert a portion of respondents land into Barangay Sindalans feeder
road. Respondents, on the other hand, alleged that the expropriation was for a private purpose, that
is, for the benefit of the homeowners of Davsan II Subdivision. They contended that petitioner
deliberately omitted the name of Davsan II Subdivision and, instead, stated that the expropriation
was for the benefit of the residents of Sitio Paraiso in order to conceal the fact that the access road
being proposed to be built across the respondents land was to serve a privately owned subdivision
and those who would purchase the lots of said subdivision.
Issue:
Whether or not the proposed exercise of the power of eminent domain was for a public
purpose.
Held:
No. While the number of people who use or can use the property is not determinative of
whether or not it constitutes public use or purpose, the factual milieu of the case reveals that the
intended use of respondents lot is confined solely to the Davsan II Subdivision residents and is not

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exercisable in common. Worse, the expropriation will actually benefit the subdivisions owner who
will be able to circumvent his commitment to provide road access to the subdivision in conjunction
with his development permit and license to sell from the HLURB, and also be relieved of spending his
own funds for a right-of-way. In this factual setting, the Davsan II Subdivision homeowners are able
to go to the barrio road by passing through the lot of a certain Torres family. Thus, the inescapable
conclusion is that the expropriation of respondents lot is for the actual benefit of the Davsan II
Subdivision owner, with incidental benefit to the subdivision homeowners.
The power of eminent domain can only be exercised for public use and with just
compensation. Taking an individuals private property is a deprivation which can only be justified by
a higher good which is public use and can only be counterbalanced by just compensation. Without
these safeguards, the taking of property would not only be unlawful, immoral, and null and void, but
would also constitute a gross and condemnable transgression of an individuals basic right to
property as well.

HACIENDA LUISITA, INCORPORATED, LUISITA INDUSTRIAL PARK CORPORATION AND RIZAL


COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION v. PRESIDENTIAL AGRARIAN REFORM COUNCIL;
SECRETARY NASSER PANGANDAMAN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM;
ALYANSA NG MGA MANGGAGAWANG BUKID NG HACIENDA LUISITA, RENE GALANG,
NOEL MALLARI, AND JULIO SUNIGA AND HIS SUPERVISORY GROUP OF THE
HACIENDA LUISITA, INC. AND WINDSOR ANDAYA
G.R. No. 171101 April 24, 2012, Velasco, Jr., J.
Taking in eminent domain cases also occurs when agricultural lands voluntarily offered by a
landowner are approved for CARP coverage through SDOs.
Facts:
The SC denied the petition for review of Hacienda Luisita, Inc. (HLI), but ordered that the
original qualified farmworker-beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita (FWBs) be still given the option to
remain as stockholders of HLI. The said stock distribution option (SDO) was revoked upon motion for
reconsideration, and the SC ordered compulsory acquisition in favor of the farmers.
On Motion to Clarify and Reconsider Resolution, HLI argues for the impropriety of the
revocation of the SDO. But should the option stays revoked, HLI argues that the just compensation
should be pegged at 2006 (the time when the lands were placed under compulsory acquisition due to
HLIs failure to perform its obligations under the Stock Distribution Program). This was opposed by
the Alyansa, which argued for the revocation of the SDO, and pegged the just compensation at 1989
(the time when the Stock Distribution Program was approved).
Issue:
Whether or not the SDO should remain revoked, and just compensation pegged at 1989.
Ruling:
Yes. Just compensation should be pegged at 1989. Just compensation for the property should
be based at the time it was taken from the owner and appropriated by the PARC. The time of taking
does not only mean the time when the landowner was deprived of the use of his property, or when
the title was issued to the Republic or the beneficiaries. Taking also occurs when agricultural lands
voluntarily offered by a landowner are approved for CARP coverage through SDOs. The approval by

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the PARC of the SDO takes place over the notice of coverage ordinarily issued for compulsory
acquisition, and is considered as the operative act to determine the time of taking.
In this case, Tarlac Development Corporation (Tadeco), the original owner of the Hacienda
Luisita agricultural lands, voluntarily ceded its ownership over the said lands to HLI (a corporation
with a personality distinct from Tadeco), to comply with CARP through the SDO scheme. Hence, when
the PARC approved for CARP coverage the said conveyed lands subject to the SDO scheme in 1989,
the said date is also construed as the time of taking for purposes of determining just compensation.

CONTRACT CLAUSE
HACIENDA LUISITA, INC. v. PRESIDENTIAL AGRARIAN REFORM COUNCIL
G.R. No. 171101, 05 July 2011, En Banc, Velasco Jr., J.
The non-impairment protection is applicable only to laws that derogate prior acts of contracts
by enlarging, abridging or in any manner changing the intention of the parties.
Facts:
The original farm worker beneficiaries (FWB) chose to become stockholders of Hacienda
Luisita, Inc. (HLI) by reason of the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. 93%
of the FWBs agreed to the Stock Distribution Option Agreement which became the basis of the Stock
Distribution Plan (SDP) approved by the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC). In their
agreement the parties agree among others that 33.296% of the outstanding capital stock of HLI that
has to be distributed to the FWBs under the SDP. Also that HLI shall within a reasonable time
subdivide and allocate among the qualified family-beneficiaries. The FWBs through their
representatives sought to have the agreement revoked alleging that HLI did not perform their
obligations as required under the agreement. The PARC adopted the resolution of the DAR and
revoked the agreement between the FWB and HLI.
Issue:
Whether or not PARC has jurisdiction to recall or revoke HLIs SDP and whether such
revocation violate the non-impairment of contract clause.
Ruling:
Under Sec. 31 of RA 6657, as implemented by DAO 10, the authority to approve the plan for
stock distribution of the corporate landowner belongs to PARC. However, contrary to petitioner HLIs
posture, PARC also has the power to revoke the SDP which it previously approved. Such power or
authority is deemed possessed by PARC under the principle of necessary implication, a basic
postulate that what is implied in a statute is as much a part of it as that which is expressed. To deny
PARC such revocatory power would reduce it into a toothless agency of CARP, because the very same
agency tasked to ensure compliance by the corporate landowner with the approved SDP would be
without authority to impose sanctions for non-compliance with it.
A law authorizing interference, when appropriate, in the contractual relations between and
among parties is deemed read into the contract and its implementation cannot successfully be
resisted by force of the non-impairment guarantee. There is no impingement of the impairment
clause, the non-impairment protection being applicable only to laws that derogate prior acts of
contracts by enlarging, abridging or in any manner changing the intention of the parties. Impairment

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obtains if a subsequent law changes the terms of a contract between the parties, imposes new
conditions, dispenses with those agreed upon or withdraws existing remedies for the enforcement of
the rights of the parties. Necessarily, the constitutional proscription would not apply to laws already
in effect at the time of the contract execution.

MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY and ANTONIO P. GANA v. OLONGAPO


MAINTENANCE SERVICES, INC. and TRIPLE CROWN SERVICES, INC.
G.R. Nos. 146184-85, G.R. No. 161117, G.R. No. 167827, January 31, 2008, Velasco, Jr., J.
The rationale behind the requirement of a public bidding, as a mode of awarding government
contracts, is to ensure that the people get maximum benefits and quality services from the contracts.
More significantly, the strict compliance with the requirements of a public bidding echoes the call for
transparency in government transactions and accountability of public officers. Public biddings are
intended to minimize occasions for corruption and temptations to abuse of discretion on the part of
government authorities in awarding contracts.
Facts:
Olongapo Maintenance Services, Inc. (OMSI) and Triple Crown Services, Inc. (TCSI) were
among the five contractors of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) which had janitorial and
maintenance service contracts covering various areas in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport
(NAIA). Before their service contracts expired, the MIAA Board of Directors, through Antonio P. Gana,
then General Manager (GM) of MIAA, wrote OMSI and TCSI informing them that their contracts
would no longer be renewed. TCSI and OMSI suggested that a public bidding be conducted and that
the effectivity of its service contract be meanwhile extended until a winning bid is declared.
Notwithstanding, MIAA granted the concession to a new service contractor, Gana and
Goodline Staffers & Allied Services, Inc. (Goodline) pursuant to Sec. 1(e) of EO 301, series of 1987,
entitled Decentralizing Actions on Government Negotiated Contracts, Lease Contracts and Records
Disposal. Thus, OMSI and TCSI sought for injunctive writs before the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
against MIAA and Goodline which were granted. The RTC declared null and void the negotiated
contract awarded to Goodline and the resolution of the MIAA board which authorized Gana to
negotiate the award of service contract, and ordered the holding of a public bidding on the janitorial
service contract.
MIAA and Gana appealed before the Court of Appeals (CA) but it was denied on the ground
that EO 301 refer only to contracts for the purchase of supplies, materials, and equipment, and do not
refer to other contracts, such as lease of equipment, and that in the same vein, supplies in Sec. 1(e) of
EO 301 only include materials and equipment and not service contracts, which are included in the
general rule of Sec. 1. Hence, this petition was filed.
Issue:
Whether or not MIAA in the context of this case, can be barred from entering into negotiated
contracts after the expiration of the service contracts of OMSI and TCSI.
Ruling:
Yes. We cannot agree with the contention of MIAA and Gana that the exceptions to the public
bidding rule in Sec. 1 of EO 301 cover both contracts for public services and for supplies, material,

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and equipment. Their reliance on Sec. 1(e) of EO 301 for the award of a service contract for janitorial
and maintenance services without public bidding is misplaced.
This Court explained the rationale behind EO 301, upholding the general rule that contracts
shall not be entered into or renewed without public bidding, thus:
Executive Order No. 301 explicitly permits negotiated contracts in particular
identified instances. In its preamble, it adverted to the then existing set-up of a centralized
administrative system . . . for reviewing and approving negotiated contracts . . ., and to
the unsatisfactory character thereof in that such centralized administrative system is
not at all facilitative particularly in emergency situations, characterized as it is by red
tape and too much delay in the processing and final approval of the required
transaction or activity; hence, the need to decentralize the processing and final
approval of negotiated contracts . . . It then laid down, in its Section 1, guidelines for
negotiated contracts thenceforth to be followed. While affirming the general policy that
contracts shall not be entered into or renewed without public bidding.

CITIZENSHIP
JOEVANIE ARELLANO TABASA v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, et al.
G.R. No. 125793 August 29, 2006, Velasco, Jr., J.
The only persons entitled to repatriation under RA 8171 are (1) Filipino women who lost their
Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens; and (2) Natural-born Filipinos including their minor
children who lost their Philippine citizenship on account of political or economic necessity.
Facts:
When he was seven years old, Joevanie Arellano Tabasa acquired American citizenship when
his father became a naturalized American citizen. When he arrived in the Philippines in 1995, he was
admitted as a balikbayan. Thereafter, he was arrested and detained by the agent of the BID. The
Consul General of the US Embassy requested the deportation of Tabasa on the ground that a standing
warrant for several charges has been issued against him and that his passport has been revoked.
Tabasa filed a Petition for Habeas Corpus before the CA. As ordered, the BID presented Tabasa
before the CA. However, Tabasa filed a Supplemental Petition alleging that he had acquired Filipino
citizenship by repatriation in accordance with Republic Act No. 8171, and that because he is now a
Filipino citizen, he cannot be deported or detained by the respondent Bureau. The CA denied
Tabasas petition.
Issue:
Whether or not petitioner has validly reacquired Philippine citizenship under RA 8171 and
thus cannot be summarily deported for his being an undocumented alien.
Ruling:
No. The only persons entitled to repatriation under RA 8171 are the following: a.) Filipino
women who lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens; and b.) Natural-born Filipinos
including their minor children who lost their Philippine citizenship on account of political or
economic necessity.

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Petitioner overlooks the fact that the privilege of repatriation under RA 8171 is available
only to natural-born Filipinos who lost their citizenship on account of political or economic necessity,
and to the minor children of said natural-born Filipinos. This means that if a parent who had
renounced his Philippine citizenship due to political or economic reasons later decides to repatriate
under RA 8171, his repatriation will also benefit his minor children according to the law. To claim the
benefit of RA 8171, however, the children must be of minor age at the time the petition for
repatriation is filed by the parent. This is so because a child does not have the legal capacity for all
acts of civil life much less the capacity to undertake a political act like the election of citizenship. On
their own, the minor children cannot apply for repatriation or naturalization separately from their
parents. Petitioner was no longer a minor at the time of his "repatriation" on June 13, 1996. The
privilege under RA 8171 belongs to children who are of minor age at the time of the filing of the
petition for repatriation.

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, PUBLIC OFFICERS AND ELECTION LAWS


PUBLIC OFFICERS
OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ISABEL A. SIWA, STENOGRAPHER, METROPOLITAN
TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 16, MANILA
A.M. No. P-13-3156, November 11, 2014, Velasco, Jr., J.
Failure to submit the TSNs within the period prescribed by law constitutes gross neglect of
duty- an offense classified as a grave offense even if committed only once.
Facts:
A letter-complaint against Siwa alleged that she has been engaged in lending activities and in
the discounting of checks. She claimed that the business of rediscounting checks is a legitimate
business; that her business transactions occurred outside office premises; and that she never
neglected her duty as a court stenographer. The investigating judge recommended that she be
directed to explain why she still has pending transcripts of stenographic notes (TSNs) despite having
already availed of optional retirement. The Court then found Siwa administratively liable for
engaging in the business of lending and discounting of checks. OCA then directed Siwa to comment
on her alleged failure to submit the TSNs. But, Siwa had already moved to the US, without completing
the clearance required for her retirement. OCA recommended that Siwa be adjudged liable for gross
neglect of duty, for her failure to submit the TSNs, despite an administrative circular providing that
"all stenographers are required to transcribe all stenographic notes and to attach the transcripts to
the record of the case not later than twenty (20) days from the time the notes are taken.
Issue:
Whether or not Siwa is liable for gross neglect of duty from failure to submit the TSNs.
Ruling:
Yes. In Absin v. Montalla, which is on all fours applicable in this case, the Court held:
The failure to submit the TSNs within the period prescribed under Administrative
Circular No. 24-90 constitutes gross neglect of duty. Gross neglect of duty is
classified as a grave offense and punishable by dismissal even if for the first offense

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pursuant to Section 52(A)(2) of Rule IV of the Uniform Rules on Administrative
Cases in the Civil Service.
As a stenographer, he should realize that the performance of his duty is essential to
the prompt and proper administration of justice, and his inaction hampers the
administration of justice and erodes public faith in the judiciary. Public office is a
public trust, and he has without a doubt violated this trust by his failure to execute
his duty as a court stenographer.
But in lieu of dismissal, which may no longer be imposed due to her retirement, as a penalty
for the offense, all her retirement benefits are forfeited.

ELECTION LAW
ROQUE VS. COMELEC
G.R. No. 188456 September 10, 2009, Velasco, J.
The legislative intent in RA 8436 is for the May 2010 electoral exercise to be fully automated,
regardless of whether or not pilot testing was run in the 2007 polls.
Facts:
The enactment of Republic Act No. 8436 in 1997 authorized the adoption of an Automated
Election System (AES) in the May 11, 1998 national and local elections and onwards. However, the
following elections were not able to adopt the AES. In 2007, RA 9369 was passed authorizing anew
the Comelec to use an AES. Pursuant to the law, Comelec Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC)
caused the publication in different newspapers of the Invitation to Apply for Eligibility and to Bid for
the procurement of goods and services to be used in the automation project.
Among the submitted bids, only the joint venture of TIM and Smartmatic was declared as the
single complying calculated bid. Petitioners question the validity and seek to nullify the ComelecSmartmatic-TIM Corporation automation contract contending Comelec did not conduct any pilot
testing of the PCOS machines in violation of RA 8436 as amended by RA 8369.
Issue:
Whether or not pilot testing of the PCOS machines is necessary for the 2010 electoral
exercise to be fully automated.
Ruling:
NO. Sec. 6 of the amended RA 8436, as couched, therefore, unmistakably conveys the idea of
unconditional full automation in the 2010 elections. A construal making pilot testing of the AES a
prerequisite or condition sine qua non to putting the system in operation in the 2010 elections is
tantamount to reading into said section something beyond the clear intention of Congress, as
expressed in the provision itself.
The provisions of the clearly conveys that the [AES] to be used in the 2010 elections need
not have been used in the 2007 elections, and that the demonstration of its capability need not be in a
previous Philippine election. Demonstration of the success and capability of the PCOS may be in an

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electoral exercise in a foreign jurisdiction. As determined by the Comelec, the PCOS system had been
successfully deployed in previous electoral exercises in foreign countries, such as Ontario, Canada;
and New York, USA, albeit Smartmatic was not necessarily the system provider. But then, RA 9369
does not call for the winning bidder of the 2010 automation project and the deploying
entity/provider in the foreign electoral exercise to be one and the same entity. Neither does the law
incidentally require that the system be first used in an archipelagic country or with a topography or a
voting population similar to or approximating that of the Philippines.
JAIME C. REGIO v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and RONNIE C. CO
G.R. No. 204828, December 3, 2013, Velasco, Jr., J.
It is only when the protestant has successfully discharged the burden of proving that the recounted ballots are the very same ones counted during the revision proceedings, will the court or the
Commission, as the case may be, even consider the revision results.
Facts:
Petitioner Regio and private respondent Co, among other candidates, ran in the October 25,
2010 barangay elections for the position of punong barangay. Regio was proclaimed winner for the
contested post of punong barangay. Co then filed an election protest before the MeTC. During the
preliminary conference, there was a revision of ballots which indicated a substantial recovery on the
part of Co. During his turn to present evidence, Co limited his offer to the revision committee report,
showing that he garnered the highest number of votes. Regio, on the other hand, denied that the
elections were tainted with irregularities. Despite it, the trial court declared Regio as the duly-elected
punong barangay. Aggrieved, Co filed an appeal before the COMELEC but it dismissed the appeal
noting that Co failed to show that the integrity of the ballots in question was in fact preserved. Co
then filed a Motion for Reconsideration and accordingly declared Co as the duly elected punong
barangay.
Issue:
Whether or not COMELEC erred in ruling that private respondent had successfully
discharged the burden of proving the integrity of the ballots.
Ruling:
Yes. The Court summarized the standards to be observed in an election contest predicated
on the theory that the election returns do not accurately reflect the will of the voters due to alleged
irregularities in the appreciation and counting of ballots. These guiding standards are:
(1) The ballots cannot be used to overturn the official count as reflected in the election
returns unless it is first shown affirmatively that the ballots have been preserved with a care
which precludes the opportunity of tampering and suspicion of change, abstraction or
substitution;
(2) The burden of proving that the integrity of the ballots has been preserved in such a
manner is on the protestant;
(3) Where a mode of preserving the ballots is enjoined by law, proof must be made of such
substantial compliance with the requirements of that mode as would provide assurance that

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the ballots have been kept inviolate notwithstanding slight deviations from the precise mode
of achieving that end;
(4) It is only when the protestant has shown substantial compliance with the provisions of
law on the preservation of ballots that the burden of proving actual tampering or likelihood
thereof shifts to the protestee; and
(5) Only if it appears to the satisfaction of the court of COMELEC that the integrity of the
ballots has been preserved should it adopt the result as shown by the recount and not as
reflected in the election returns. In the same case, the Court referred to various provisions in
the Omnibus Election Code providing for the safe-keeping and preservation of the ballots,
more specifically Secs. 160, 217, 219, and 220 of the Code.

In the case at bar, Respondent Co cannot simply rely on the alleged absence of evidence of
reports of untoward incidents, and from there immediately conclude that the ballots have been
preserved. What he should have presented are concrete pieces of evidence, independent of the
revision proceedings that will tend to show that the ballots counted during the revision proceedings
were the very same ones counted by the BETs during the elections, and the very same ones cast by
the public. Without presenting to the court any evidence outside of the proceedings, respondent Co
as protestant may simply claim that the ballot boxes themselves are the proof that they were
properly preserved.
JOSE TAPALES VILLAROSA v. ROMULO DE MESA FESTIN and COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
G.R. No. 212953, August 5, 2014, Velasco, J.
The COMELEC First Division exercises jurisdiction over the cases that were assigned to it before
the substitution was made. This jurisdiction was not lost by the subsequent formation of the Special First
Division since this only entailed a change in the Divisions composition of magistrates.
Facts:
Petitioner Villarosa and respondent Festin were rival candidates for the mayoralty post in
San Jose, Occidental Mindoro during the May 2013 elections where Festin initially won. Since the
accuracy of the vote count was disputed, a physical recount of the ballots was conducted. RTC
rendered a Decision declaring the proclamation of respondent Festin void. Petitioner filed a Motion
for Execution Pending Appeal, which was granted by the RTC.
Aggrieved, Festin elevated the case to COMELEC via a Petition for Certiorari with prayer for
injunctive relief. The COMELEC, acting through its First Division, issued an Order requiring petitioner
to file his answer to the petition. To petitioners surprise, on April 10, 2014, COMELEC granted
private respondents request for a preliminary injunction, enjoining the RTC Decisions execution
pending appeal. What petitioner considered questionable was that the injunction was issued by a
newly-constituted Special First Division, which was allegedly formed due to the absence of several
COMELEC commissioners who, at that time, were personally attending to the concerns of the
overseas absentee voters abroad. Petitioner points out that the special division was constituted only
on April 8, 2014 through Resolution No. 9868 and was composed of only two members, Chairman
Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr. and Commissioner Al A. Parreo, with the former presiding.
Issue:
Whether or not the Special First Division has jurisdiction to issue an injunction.

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Ruling:
Yes. Contrary to petitioners claim, it cannot be said that the First Division and the Special
First Division are two distinct bodies and that there has been consequent transfers of the case
between the two. Strictly speaking, the COMELEC did not create a separate Division but merely and
temporarily filled in the vacancies in both of its Divisions. The additional term "special," in this case,
merely indicates that the commissioners sitting therein may only be doing so in a temporary capacity
or via substitution.
The COMELEC First Division exercises jurisdiction over the cases that were assigned to it
before the substitution was made. This jurisdiction was not lost by the subsequent formation of the
Special First Division since this only entailed a change in the Divisions composition of magistrates.
Indeed, the case was not reassigned or re-raffled anew. If anything, it was only petitioners naivety
that misled him into interpreting the designation of the division as a "special" one, meaning it is
distinct from the first. Corollarily, petitioner is also mistaken in claiming that the jurisdiction was
eventually "re-acquired" by the First Division from the Special First Division by ruling on the motion
to quash since the First Division never lost jurisdiction to begin with.
MARIA ANGELA S. GARCIA v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and JOSE P. PAYUMO III
G.R. No. 216691; July 21, 2015; VELASCO, JR., J.
The reglementary period for instituting an election period should be reckoned from the actual
date of proclamation.
Facts:
Maria Angela S. Garcia (Garcia) and Payumo were candidates for the mayoralty race of
Dinalupihan, Bataan during the May 13, 2013 national and local elections. In the polls conclusion,
Garcia was proclaimed winner for having garnered 31,138 votes as against Payumos 13,202. On May
27, 2013, Payumo lodged an election protest with the RTC in Balanga, Bataan (RTC), on the ground of
the alleged prevalence of fraud and irregularities in all the clustered precincts of Dinalupihan,
amplified by the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines unreliability, casting doubt on the
results of the counting and canvassing of votes.
Garcia contends that the reckoning date of the 10-day reglementary period is from the actual
date of proclamation, which is May 14, 2013. Meanwhile, Payumo counters that Garcia was
proclaimed on May 15, 2013, and assuming arguendo that it was done on May 14, 2013, as Garcia
insists the proclamation date to be, he cannot be faulted for relying on the date appearing on the
printed COCP he received.
Issue:
Whether or not Payumos election protest was filed out of time.
Ruling:
YES. As the members of the MBOC individually declared, Garcia was proclaimed winner of
the mayoralty race on May 14, 2013, not on May 15, 2013 as what erroneously appears on the
printed COCP. Payumos reliance on the date appearing on the printed COCP is misplaced. To be sure,
Comelec Resolution No. 9700 is explicit that the printed COCP becomes necessary only for purposes
of transmitting the results to the next level of canvassing, and not for proclaiming the winning

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candidates, insofar as local government units whose canvassing thresholds have been lowered are
concerned. The manual COCP, in such cases, are more controlling.
Jurisprudence have established that the rule prescribing the 10-day reglementary period is
mandatory and jurisdictional, and that the filing of an election protest beyond the period deprives
the court of jurisdiction over the protest. Violation of this rule should neither be taken lightly nor
brushed aside as a mere procedural lapse that can be overlooked. The rule is not a mere technicality
but an essential requirement, the non-compliance of which would oust the court of jurisdiction over
the case.

ERNESTO BATALLA v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and TEODORO BATALLER


G.R. No. 184268, September 15, 2009, VELASCO, JR., J.
In the appreciation of the ballot, the objective should be to ascertain and carry into effect the
intention of the voter, if it could be determined with reasonable certainty (Intent Rule). Where the name
of a candidate is not written in the proper space in the ballot, but is preceded by the name of the office
for which he is a candidate, the vote should be counted as valid for said candidate (Neighborhood Rule).
Facts:
Petitioner Batalla, and private respondent Bataller, were candidates for the position of
Punong Barangay. During the count, Batalla garnered 113 votes while Bataller garnered 108
votes. Consequently, Batalla was proclaimed the Punong Barangay winner. Bataller afterwards filed
an election protest and claimed misappreciation of seven ballots. MCTC rendered its Decision finding
that Batalla and Bataller had garnered an equal number of votes. Section 240 of Batas Pambansa
Bilang 881, as amended, otherwise known as the Omnibus Election Code, provides for the drawing of
lots in case of a tie of two or more electoral candidates garnering the same or equal highest number
of votes, with the proclamation as winner of the candidate favored by luck. Batalla disagreed with
the findings of the trial court in appreciating the five protested ballots in favor of Bataller
Issue:
Whether or not the five protested ballots were correctly appreciated by the MCTC as votes
for Bataller, resulting into a tie between the contenders.
Ruling:
No. Only three ballots to be credited to Bataller. After a scrutiny of the five (5) contested
ballots subject of Batallas instant position, we rule that three (3) ballots marked as Exhibits A, E, and
G were properly appreciated and credited in favor of Bataller under the neighborhood rule and intent
rule. On the other hand, the ballots marked as Exhibits B and C are stray ballots.
In Exhibit A ballot, the intent rule is well settled in this jurisdiction that in the appreciation of
the ballot, the objective should be to ascertain and carry into effect the intention of the voter, if it
could be determined with reasonable certainty. Hence, the intention of the voter to vote for Bataller
is unequivocal from the face of the Exhibit A ballot. The ballot in question should be liberally
appreciated to effectuate the voters choice of Bataller.
The ballot marked as Exhibit E was properly credited in Batallers name under the
neighborhood rule where the Court applied the same rule and credited to the candidates for Punong

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Barangay the votes written on the first line for kagawad with the spaces for Punong Barangay left
vacant.
The neighborhood rule is a settled rule stating that where the name of a candidate is not
written in the proper space in the ballot, but is preceded by the name of the office for which he is a
candidate, the vote should be counted as valid for said candidate. Such rule is usually applied in
consonance with the intent rule which stems from the principle that in the appreciation of the ballot,
the object should be to ascertain and carry into effect the intention of the voter, if it could be
determined with reasonable certainty.

H. HARRY L. ROQUE, JR., v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, G.R. No. 188456, September 10, 2009,
VELASCO, JR., J.
The choice of PCOS by Comelec was not a spur-of-moment affair, but the product of honest-togoodness studies, consultations with CAC, and lessons learned from the ARMM 2008 automated
elections.
Facts:
Congress passed RA 9369 which authorized the COMELEC to use an automated election
system. On 10 July 2009, the COMELEC, and TIM and Smartmatic , signed the Contract for the
automated tallying and recording of votes cast nationwide. Petitioners, as taxpayers and citizens,
filed a petition to enjoin the signing of the Contract or its implementation and to compel disclosure of
the terms of the Contract and other agreements between the Provider and its subcontractors.
Petitioners sought the Contract's invalidation for non-compliance with the requirement in Section 5
of RA 8436, as amended, mandating the partial use of an automated election system before deploying
it nationwide. To further support their claim on the Contract's invalidity, petitioners alleged that (1)
the optical scanners leased by the COMELEC do not satisfy the minimum systems capabilities" under
RA 8436, as amended and (2) the Provider not only failed to submit relevant documents during the
bidding but also failed to show "community of interest" as required.
Issue:

Whether or not public respondent COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion


amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in awarding the 2010 elections automation project to
private respondents tim and smartmatic.
Ruling:
No. Congress has chosen the May 2010 elections to be the maiden run for full automation.
And judging from what the Court has heard and read in the course of these proceedings, the choice of
PCOS by Comelec was not a spur-of-moment affair, but the product of honest-to-goodness studies,
consultations with CAC, and lessons learned from the ARMM 2008 automated elections. With the
backing of Congress by way of budgetary support, the poll body has taken this historic, if not
ambitious, first step. It started with the preparation of the RFP/TOR, with a list of voluminous
annexes embodying in specific detail the bidding rules and expectations from the bidders. And after a
hotly contested and, by most accounts, a highly transparent public bidding exercise, the joint venture
of a Filipino and foreign corporation won and, after its machine hurdled the end-to-end
demonstration test, was eventually awarded the contract to undertake the automation project. Not
one of the losing or disqualified bidders questioned, at least not before the courts, the bona fides of
the bidding procedures and the outcome of the bidding itself.

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Assayed against the provisions of the Constitution, the enabling automation law, RA 8436, as
amended by RA 9369, the RFP and even the Anti-Dummy Law, which petitioners invoked as an
afterthought, the Court finds the project award to have complied with legal prescriptions, and the
terms and conditions of the corresponding automation contract in question to be valid. No grave
abuse of discretion, therefore, can be laid on the doorsteps of respondent Comelec. And surely, the
winning joint venture should not be faulted for having a foreign company as partner.
HECTOR T. HIPE v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and MA. CRISTINA L. VICENCIO
G.R. No. 181528; October 2, 2009; VELASCO, JR., J.
COMELEC is created and explicitly made independent by the Constitution itself on a level higher
than statutory administrative organs.
Facts:
Petitioner Hipe and respondent Vicencio were candidates for the mayoralty post in
Catubig, Northern Samar in the May 14, 2007 elections. During the canvass proceedings of the
Municipal Board of Canvassers of Catubig, Northern Samar (MBOC), Vicencio petitioned for the
exclusion of seven election returns on the grounds that they were prepared under duress, threats,
intimidation or coercion; and that the election was marred by massive vote buying, widespread
coercion, terrorism, threats, and intimidation, preventing voters from voting, so that the said returns
did not reflect the will of the electorate.
The MBOC ruled in favor of Vicencio and excluded the seven election returns adverted to.
Petitioner Hipe filed a notice of appeal arguing that the written petition to exclude the election
returns was filed out of time, and that the grounds used to exclude the questioned returns were not
proper for a pre-proclamation controversy, were not supported by credible evidence, and were
beyond the jurisdiction of the MBOC. The Second Division of COMELEC dismissed the appeal for
being filed out of time. Petitioner Hipe filed a Motion for Reconsideration which the COMELEC En
Banc resolved to deny petitioner Hipes Motion for Reconsideration.
Issue:
Whether or not the COMELEC En Banc acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing its challenged
Resolution dismissing petitioner Hipes appeal for being filed out of time.
Ruling:
No. Even if the Court would entertain petitioner Hipes appeal from the decision of the MBOC
on the questioned election returns, the Court still rules in favor of respondent Vicencio. The
COMELEC, after a judicious evaluation of the documents on record, upheld the findings of the MBOC
to exclude the subject election returns on the basis of the affidavits of the members of the Board of
Election Inspectors. What exactly these documents and evidence are upon which the COMELEC based
its resolution, and how they have been appreciated in respect of their sufficiency, are beyond this
Courts scrutiny. The rule that factual findings of administrative bodies will not be disturbed by courts
of justice except when there is absolutely no evidence or no substantial evidence in support of such
findings should be applied with greater force when it concerns the COMELEC, as the framers of the
Constitution intended to place the COMELEC created and explicitly made independent by the
Constitution itself on a level higher than statutory administrative organs.

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DR. HANS CHRISTIAN M. SEERES v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and MELQUIADES A. ROBLES
G.R. No. 178678, April 16, 2009, Velasco, J.
Once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a
Member of the House of Representatives, COMELECs jurisdiction over elections relating to the election,
returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRETs own jurisdiction begins.
Facts:
In 1999, private respondent Robles was elected president and chairperson of BUHAY patylist. The constitution of BUHAY provides for a three-year term for all its party officers, without reelection. BUHAY participated in the 2001 and 2004 elections, with Robles as its president. On March
2007, Robles signed and filed a Certificate of Nomination of BUHAYs nominees for the 2007
elections. Earlier, however, petitioner Hans Christian Seeres, holding himself up as acting president
and secretary-general of BUHAY, also filed a Certificate of Nomination.
Seeres, in his Petition to Deny Due Course to Certificates of Nomination, claims that the
nominations made by Robles were, for lack of authority, null and void owing to the expiration of the
latters term as party president. COMELEC proclaimed BUHAY as a winning party-list organization
and declared through a July 19, 2007 Resolution Robles as the duly authorized representative of
BUHAY. On July 23, 2007, Seeres filed a Petition for Certiorari imputing grave abuse of discretion on
the part of COMELEC. Seeres also contends that Robles, acting as BUHAY President and nominating
officer, as well as being the Administrator of the LRTA, was engaging in electioneering or partisan
political campaign, hence, in violation of Civil Service Law and Omnibus Election Code.
Issue:
Whether or not the petition for certiorari filed by Seeres is the proper remedy.
Ruling:
No. A plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law was available to
Seeres. Once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a
Member of the House of Representatives, COMELECs jurisdiction over elections relating to the
election, returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRETs own jurisdiction begins.
Since Seeres failed to file a petition for quo warranto before the HRET within 10 days from
receipt of the July 19, 2007 Resolution declaring the validity of Robles Certificate of Nomination, said
Resolution of the COMELEC has already become final and executory. Thus, this petition has now
become moot and can be dismissed outright. And even if we entertain the instant special civil action,
still, petitioners postulations are bereft of merit.

PUBLIC CORPORATION
POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT
HEIRS OF DR. JOSE DELESTE v. LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES (LBP)
G.R. No. 169913, June 08, 2011, J. Velasco, Jr.
It is undeniable that the local government has the power to reclassify agricultural into nonagricultural lands pursuant to Sec. 3 of RA 2264, amending the Local Government Code.

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Facts:
Spouses Gregorio and Hilaria were the owners of a parcel of agricultural land. When Hilaria
died, the administrator of the intestate estate of the deceased spouses filed an action for reversion of
title against Deleste in 1963. While the case was pending in 1972, PD 27 was issued which mandates
that agricultural lands be awarded to farmers. Certificates of Land Transfers was then awarded in
favor of the private respondent-farmers. In 1975, the City of Iligan passed City Ordinance No. 1313,
reclassifying the subject property as residential. Because of this, the heirs of Deleste filed with
DARAB a petition seeking to nullify private respondents' CLTs. The Provincial Agrarian Reform
Adjudicator (PARAD) declared the CLTs as void in view of the subsequent reclassification of the
subject property into a residential land, and the violation of petitioners' constitutional right to due
process of law. Conversely, DARAB reversed the ruling of PARAD on the ground that the city
ordinance has not been approved by the HLURB.
Issue:
Whether LGUs have the power to classify lands and whether petitioners right to due process
was violated.
Ruling:
YES. It is undeniable that the local government has the power to reclassify agricultural into
non-agricultural lands. Pursuant to Sec. 3 of RA 2264, amending the Local Government Code,
municipal and/or city councils are empowered to adopt zoning and subdivision ordinances or
regulations in consultation with the National Planning Commission. In this case, since the subject
property had been reclassified as residential/commercial land with the enactment of City Ordinance
No. 1313 in 1975, it can no longer be considered as an "agricultural land, and is therefore outside
the coverage of the agrarian reform program.
CRISOSTOMO B. AQUINO, v. MUNICIPALITY OF MALAY, AKLAN
G.R. No. 211356, September 29, 2014, Velasco Jr., J
In the exercise of police power under the general welfare clause, the local government, through
the mayor, has the power to order the demolition of an establishment.
Facts:
Island West Cove Management Philippines, to which Petitioner Aquino is working as the
President and Chief Executive Officer, applied for a zoning compliance with the municipal
government of Malay, Aklan. While the company was already operating a resort in the area, the
application sought the issuance of a building permit covering the construction of a three-storey hotel,
covered by a Forest Land Use Agreement for Tourism Purposes (FLAgT) issued by the DENR.
However, the Municipal Zoning Administrator denied petitioners application on the ground that the
proposed construction site was within the "no build zone. There was no action taken by the
Municipality despite Aquinos appeal. EO 10, ordering the closure and demolition of Boracay West
Coves hotel was then issued. Respondents thereafter demolished the improvements. The Petitioner
argued that since the area is a forestland, it is the DENRand not the municipality of Malay that has
primary jurisdiction.
Issue:

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Whether or not respondent mayor committed grave abuse of discretion in ordering the
demolition of the property.
Ruling:
No. The LGU may properly order the hotels demolition. Based on law and jurisprudence, the
office of the mayor has quasi-judicial powers to order the closing and demolition of establishments.
Moreover, in the exercise of police power and the general welfare clause, property rights of
individuals may be subjected to restraints and burdens in order to fulfill the objectives of the
government. In establishing a no build zone through local legislation, the LGU effectively made a
determination that constructions therein, without first securing exemptions from the local council,
qualify as nuisances for they pose a threat to public safety. Based on law and jurisprudence, the office
of the mayor has quasi-judicial powers to order the closing and demolition of establishments No
build zones are intended for the protection of the public because the stability of the grounds
foundation is adversely affected by the nearby body of water.

CONVERSION
AURELIO M. UMALI v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, JULIUS CESAR V. VERGARA, and THE CITY
GOVERNMENT OF CABANATUAN
G.R. No. 203974, April 22, 2014, Velasco, Jr., J.
J.V. BAUTISTA v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
G.R. No. 204371, April 22, 2014, Velasco Jr., J.
In view of these changes in the economic and political rights of the province of Nueva Ecija and
its residents, the entire province certainly stands to be directly affected by the conversion of Cabanatuan
City into an Highly Urbanized City. Hence, all the qualified registered voters of Nueva Ecija should then
be allowed to participate in the plebiscite called for that purpose.
Facts:
Presidential Proclamation No. 418, Series of 2012, was issued by the President proclaiming
the City of Cabanatuan as an HUC subject to "ratification in a plebiscite by the qualified voters
therein, as provided for in Section 453 of the Local Government Code of 1991." Pursuant to such
proclamation, COMELEC issued a minute resolution which provided that only those registered
residents of Cabanatuan City should participate in the said plebiscite. Petitioner, Aurelio Umali, then
Governor of Nueva Ecija, filed a verified motion for reconsideration, maintaining that the proposed
conversion in question will necessarily and directly affect the mother province of Nueva Ecija. Hence,
all the registered voters in the province are qualified to cast their votes in resolving the proposed
conversion of Cabanatuan City. However, his motion for reconsideration was denied by COMELEC.
Issue:
Whether or not only the qualified registered voters of Cabanatuan City can participate in the
plebiscite called for the conversion of Cabanatuan City from a component city into an HUC.
Ruling:
No. The qualified registered voters of the entire province of Nueva Ecija can participate in
the plebiscite called for the conversion of Cabanatuan City from a component city into an HUC.

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The phrase "by the qualified voters therein" in Sec. 453 means the qualified voters not only
in the city proposed to be converted to an HUC but also the voters of the political units directly
affected by such conversion in order to harmonize Sec. 453 with Sec. 10, Art. X of the Constitution.
The province will inevitably suffer a corresponding decrease in territory brought about by
Cabanatuan Citys gain of independence. It reduces the territorial jurisdiction of the province. Also,
the said conversion will result in the reduction of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to the
province based on Sec. 285 of the LGC. The residents of the city will cease to be political
constituencies of the province, effectively reducing the latters population. It will likewise reduce the
provinces taxing jurisdiction, and corollary to this, it will experience a corresponding decrease in
shares in local tax collections. A component citys conversion into an HUC and its resultant autonomy
from the province is a threat to the latters economic viability.
In view of these changes in the economic and political rights of the province of Nueva Ecija
and its residents, the entire province certainly stands to be directly affected by the conversion of
Cabanatuan City into an HUC. Following the doctrines in Tan and Padilla, all the qualified registered
voters of Nueva Ecija should then be allowed to participate in the plebiscite called for that purpose.

UNITED CLAIMANTS ASSOCIATION OF NEA v. NATIONAL


ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION
G.R. No. 187107 January 31, 2012, Velasco, Jr., J.
The power of reorganization includes the power of removal. However, for a reorganization to be
valid, it must pass the test of good faith; otherwise, it is void ab initio.
Facts:
Respondent NEA is a government-owned and/or controlled corporation. Under PD 269, the NEA
Board is empowered to organize or reorganize NEAs staffing structure.
Thereafter, Resolutions Nos. 46 and 59 was enacted and all the NEA employees and officers are
considered terminated and the 965 plantilla positions of NEA vacant.
Hence, This is an original action for Injunction to restrain and/or prevent the implementation of
Resolution Nos. 46 and 59 otherwise known as the National Electrification Administration (NEA)
Termination Pay Plan, issued by respondent NEA Board of Administrators (NEA Board).
Issue:
Whether the NEA Board had the power to pass Resolution Nos. 46 and 59 terminating all of its
employees.
Ruling:
Yes. Under of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the EPIRA Law, all NEA employees
shall be considered legally terminated with the implementation of a reorganization program pursuant to a
law enacted by Congress.
Petitioners argue that the power granted unto the NEA Board to organize or reorganize does not
include the power to terminate employees but only to reduce NEAs manpower complement. Such
contention is erroneous.

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Reorganization involves the reduction of personnel, consolidation of offices, or abolition thereof
by reason of economy or redundancy of functions. It could result in the loss of ones position through
removal or abolition of an office. However, for a reorganization for the purpose of economy or to make the
bureaucracy more efficient to be valid, it must pass the test of good faith; otherwise, it is void ab initio.
Evidently, the termination of all the employees of NEA was within the NEA Boards powers and
may not successfully be impugned absent proof of bad faith. The fact that the NEA Board resorted to
terminating all the incumbent employees of NPC and, later on, rehiring some of them, cannot, on that
ground alone, vitiate the bona fides of the reorganization.

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