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ISSUE: Whether the doctrine of separation of powers exclude the members of Congress from the mandate of R.A. 3019.
FACTS: On 12 March 1993, an Information (docketed as Criminal Case 18857) was filed with the Sandiganbayan (First Division) against then Congressman Ceferino S. Paredes, Jr., of Agusan del Sur for violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019 (The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as amended). After the accused pleaded not guilty, the prosecution filed a “Motion To Suspend The Accused Pendente Lite.” In its Resolution dated 6 June 1997, the Sandiganbayan granted the motion and ordered the Speaker to suspend the accused. But the Speaker did not comply. Thus, on 12 August 1997, the Sandiganbayan issued a Resolution requiring him to appear before it, on 18 August 1997 at 8:00 a.m., to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of court. Unrelenting, the Speaker filed, through counsel, a motion for reconsideration, invoking the rule on separation of powers and claiming that he can only act as may be dictated by the House as a body pursuant to House Resolution 116 adopted on 13 August 1997. On 29 August 1997, the Sandiganbayan rendered a Resolution declaring Speaker Jose C. de Venecia, Jr. in contempt of court and ordering him to pay a fine of P10,000.00 within 10 days from notice.Jose de Venecia, Jr., in his capacity as Speaker of the House of Representatives; Roberto P. Nazareno, in his capacity as Secretary-General of the House of Representatives; Jose Ma. Antonio B. Tuaño, Cashier, House of Representatives; Antonio M. Chan, Chief, Property Division, House of Representatives, filed the petition for certiorari.
RATIO DECIDENDI: As held in Miriam Defensor Santiago v. Sandiganbayan, et al., the doctrine of separation of powers does not exclude the members of Congress from the mandate of RA 3019. The order of suspension prescribed by Republic Act 3019 is distinct from the power of Congress to discipline its own ranks under the Constitution. The suspension contemplated in the above constitutional provision is a punitive measure that is imposed upon a determination by the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, upon an erring member.Its purpose is to prevent the accused public officer from frustrating his prosecution by influencing witnesses or tampering with documentary evidence and from committing further acts of malfeasance while in office. It is thus an incident to the criminal proceedings before the court. On the other hand, the suspension or expulsion contemplated in the Constitution is a House-imposed sanction against its members. It is, therefore, a penalty for disorderly behavior to enforce discipline, maintain order in its proceedings, or vindicate its honor and integrity.
ISSUE: Whether or not the complaint against PVAO can be considered a suit against the state.
FACTS: Isidro Animos is a World War II veteran, having been a member of the USAFFE and the guerilla forces thereafter. Originally, the case was a suit for mandamus by the petitioners against PVAO, for the payment of full pension benefits, retroactive to 1947, under Republic Act No. 65, as amended. However, the petitioner’s claim was denied on the basis that Animos’ disability was only considered partial, rather than total, according to the “Rules on Disability Ratings”, thus precluding the maximum payment of his pension benefits. The petitioner submits that the rating system adopted by PVAO is null and void.
DECISION: No. The doctrine of immunity from the suit will not apply and may not be invoked where the public official is being sued in his private and personal capacity as an ordinary citizen.
RATIO DECIDENDI: When officers and agents of the government are sued in their individual capacity, the cloak of protection from the government is removed. According to the doctrine in Ruiz vs. Cabahug: “We hold that under the facts and circumstances alleged in the amended complaint, which should be taken on its face value, the suit is not one against the Government, or a claim against it, but one against the officials to compel them to act in accordance with the rights to be established by the contending architects, or to prevent them from making payment and recognition until the contending architects have established their respective rights and interests in the funds retained and in the credit for the work done”. Hence, the complaint cannot be considered a suit against the state because it is a well-settled principle of law that we may consider a public official liable in his personal private capacity for the damage caused by his acts when done with malice and in bad faith, or beyond the scope of his authority and jurisdiction.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners be held liable considering that the contract specifically stipulates that respondent‘s employment shall be governed by the Civil Service Law and Regulations of Kuwait.
FACTS: Respondent Echin was hired by petitioner ATCI in behalf of its principal co-petitioner, Ministry of PublicHealth of Kuwait, for the position of medical technologist under a two-year contract with a monthlysalary of US$1,200.00. Within a year, Respondent was terminated for not passing the probationaryperiod which was under the Memorandum of Agreement. Ministry denied respondent‘s request and she returned to the Philippines shouldering her own fair. Respondent filed with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) a complaint against ATCI forillegal dismissal. Labor Arbiter rendered judgment in favor of respondent and ordered ATCI to pay her$3,600.00, her salary for the three months unexpired portion of the contract. ATCI appealed Labor Arbiter‘s decision, however, NLRC affirmed the latter‘s decision and denied petitioner ATCI‘s motion for reconsideration. Petitioner appealed to the Court Appeals contending thattheir principal being a foreign government agency is immune from suit, and as such, immunity extendedto them.
DECISION: Petition denied.
RATIO DECIDENDI: According to RA 8042: The obligations covenanted in the recruitmentagreement entered into by and between the local agent and its foreign principal are not coterminouswith the term of such agreement so that if either or both of the parties decide to end the agreement,the responsibilities of such parties towards the contracted employees under the agreement do not at allend, but the same extends up to and until the expiration of the employment contracts of the employeesrecruited and employed pursuant to the said recruitment agreement. In international law, the party whowants to have a foreign law applied to a dispute or case has the burden of proving the foreign law.Where a foreign law is not pleaded or, even if pleaded, is not proved, the presumption is that foreignlaw is the same as ours. Thus, we apply Philippine labor laws in determining the issues presented before us.
ISSUE: Whether the ADB is correct in invoking its immunity from suit.
FACTS: On January 27, 1993, private respondent initiated NLRC-NCR Case for his alleged illegal dismissal by Asian Development Bank and the latter's violation of the "labor-only" contracting law. Two summonses were served, one to the ADB and the other through the DFA. Forthwith, the ADB and the DFA notified respondent Labor Arbiter that the ADB, as well as its President and Office, were covered by an immunity from legal processes except for borrowing, guaranties or the sale of securities pursuant to the Agreement Establishing the Asian Development Bank (the "Charter") and the Agreement Between the Bank and the Government of the Philippines regarding the Banker's Headquarters (the "Headquarters Agreement). The Labor Arbiter took cognizance of the complaint on the impression that the ADB had waived its diplomatic immunity from suit. The ADB did not appeal the decision. Instead, the DFA referred the matter to the NLRC; in its referral, the DFA sought a "formal vacation of the void jugdgment".
DECISION: Yes. The stipulations of both the Charter and the Headquarter's Agreement establish that, except in the specified cases of borrowing and guarantee operations, as well as the purchase, sale and underwriting of securities, the ADB enjoys immunity from legal process of every form
RATIO DECIDENDI: The Bank's officers, on their part, enjoy immunity in respect of all acts performed by them in their official capacity. The granting of these immunities and privileges are treaty covenants ans commitments voluntarily assumed by the Philippine Government. Being an international organization that has been extended diplomatic status, the ADB is independent of the municipal law.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Republic of Indonesia can invoke the doctrine of sovereign immunity from suit.
FACTS: Petitioner, Republic of Indonesia, represented by its Counsellor, Siti Partinah, entered into a Maintenance Agreement with respondent James Vinzon, sole proprietor of Vinzon Trade and Services. The equipment covered by the Maintenance Agreement are air conditioning units and was to take effect in a period of four years. When Indonesian Minister Counsellor Kasim assumed the position of Chief of Administration, he allegedly found respondent’s work and services unsatisfactory and not in compliance with the standards set in the Maintenance Agreement. Hence, the Indonesian Embassy terminated the agreement. The respondent claims that the aforesaid termination was arbitrary and unlawful. Hence, he filed a complaint against the petitioners which opposed by invoking immunity from suit.
DECISION: Yes. The Republic of Indonesia can invoke the doctrine of sovereign immunity from suit.
RATIO DECIDENDI: The Republic of Indonesia is acting in pursuit of a sovereign activity when it entered into a contract with the respondent. The maintenance agreement was entered into by the Republic of Indonesia in the discharge of its governmental functions.
ISSUE: Whether the Doctrine of State Immunity from suit is applicable herein.
FACTS: Violation of the “Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972,” was filed against Minucher following a “buy-bust operation” conducted by Philippine police narcotic agents accompanied by Scalzo in the house of Minucher, an Iranian national, where heroin was said to have been seized. Minucher was later acquitted by the court. Minucher later on filed for damages due to trumped-up charges of drug trafficking made by Arthur Scalzo. Scalzo on his counterclaims that he had acted in the discharge of his official duties as being merely an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States Department of Justice. Scalzo subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that, being a special agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, he was entitled to diplomatic immunity.
DECISION: Case was dismissed.
RATIO DECIDENDI: A foreign agent, operating within a territory, can be cloaked with immunity from suit as long as it can be established that he is acting within the directives of the sending state.
ISSUE: Whether the United States Naval Base in bidding for said contracts exercise governmental functions to be able to invoke state immunity.
FACTS: The United States of America had a naval base in Subic, Zambales. The base was one of those provided in the Military Bases Agreement between the Philippines and the United States. Sometime in May, 1972, the United States invited the submission of bids for a couple of repair projects. Eligio de Guzman land Co., Inc. responded to the invitation and submitted bids. Subsequent thereto, the company received from the US two telegrams requesting it to confirm its price proposals and for the name of its bonding company. The company construed this as an acceptance of its offer so they complied with the requests. The company received a letter which was signed by William I. Collins of Department of the Navy of the United States, also one of the petitioners herein informing that the company did not qualify to receive an award for the projects because of its previous unsatisfactory performance rating in repairs, and that the projects were awarded to third parties. For this reason, a suit for specific performance was filed by him against the US.
DECISION: Yes. The Supreme Court held that the contract relates to the exercise of its sovereign functions
RATIO DECIDENDI: The Supreme Court held that the contract relates to the exercise of its sovereign functions. In this case the projects are an integral part of the naval base which is devoted to the defense of both the United States and the Philippines, indisputably a function of the government of the highest order, they are not utilized for nor dedicated to commercial or business purposes.
ISSUE: Whether the Holy See is immune from suit insofar as its business relations regarding selling a lot to a private entity.
FACTS: Petition arose from a controversy over a parcel of land. Lot 5-A, registered under the name Holy See, was contiguous to Lot 5-B and 5-D under the name of Philippine Realty Corporation (PRC). The land was donated by the Archdiocese of Manila to the Papal Nuncio, which represents the Holy See, who exercises sovereignty over the Vatican City, Rome, Italy, for his residence. Said lots were sold through an agent to Ramon Licup who assigned his rights to respondents Starbright Sales Enterprises, Inc. When the squatters refuse to vacate the lots, a dispute arose between the two parties because both were unsure whose responsibility was it to evict the squatters from said lots. Respondent Starbright Sales Enterprises Inc. insists that Holy See should clear the property while Holy See says that respondent corporation should do it or the earnest money will be returned. With this, Msgr. Cirilios, the agent, subsequently returned the P100,000 earnest money. The same lots were then sold to Tropicana Properties and Development Corporation. Starbright Sales Enterprises, Inc. filed a suit for annulment of the sale, specific performance and damages against Msgr. Cirilios, PRC as well as Tropicana Properties and Development Corporation. The Holy See and Msgr. Cirilos moved to dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction based on sovereign immunity from suit
DECISION: Petiton granted.
RATIO DECIDENDI: The Holy See is immune from suit because the act of selling the lot of concern is non-propriety in nature. The lot was acquired through a donation from the Archdiocese of Manila, not for a commercial purpose, but for the use of petitioner to construct the official place of residence of the Papal Nuncio thereof. The transfer of the property and its subsequent disposal are likewise clothed with a governmental (non-proprietal) character as petitioner sold the lot not for profit or gain rather because it merely cannot evict the squatters living in said property.
ISSUE: Whether or not immunity from suits can be invoked within territorial waters.
FACTS: The USS Guardian is an Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship of the US Navy. In December 2012, the US Embassy in the Philippines requested diplomatic clearance for the said vessel “to enter and exit the territorial waters of the Philippines and to arrive at the port of Subic Bay for the purpose of routine ship replenishment, maintenance, and crew liberty.” On January 6, 2013, the ship left Sasebo, Japan for Subic Bay, arriving on January 13, 2013 after a brief stop for fuel in Okinawa, Japan. On January 15, 2013, the USS Guardian departed Subic Bay for its next port of call in Makassar, Indonesia. On January 17, 2013 at 2:20 a.m. while transiting the Sulu Sea, the ship ran aground on the northwest side of South Shoal of the Tubbataha Reefs, about 80 miles eastsoutheast of Palawan. No cine was injured in the incident, and there have been no reports of leaking fuel or oil.
DECISION: Yes. Immunity from suits can be invoked within territorial waters, except from the exceptions set by UNCLOS.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Warships enjoy sovereign immunity from suit as extensions of their flag State, Art. 31 of the UNCLOS creates an exception to this rule in cases where they fail to comply with the rules and regulations of the coastal State regarding passage through the latter’s internal waters and the territorial sea.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Municipality of Malasiqui may be held liable.
FACTS: On October 21, 1978, the municipal council of Malasiqui, Pangasinan passed 2 resolutions: one for management of the town fiesta celebration and the other for the creation of the Malasiqui Town Fiesta Executive Committee. The Executive Committee, in turn, organized a sub-committee on entertainment and stage with Jose Macaraeg as Chairman. The council appropriated the amount of P100.00 for the construction of 2 stages, one for the "zarzuela" and another for the cancionan. While the zarzuela was being held, the stage collapsed. Vicente Fontanilla was pinned underneath and died in the afternoon of the following day. Fontanilla’s heirs filed a complaint for damages with the CFI of Manila. The defendants were the municipality, the municipal council and the municipal council members. In its Answer, defendant municipality argued that as a legally and duly organized public corporation it performs sovereign functions and the holding of a town fiesta was an exercise of its governmental functions from which no liability can arise to answer for the negligence of any of its agents.
DECISION: Yes. The Municipality of Malasiqui was held liable.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Under the doctrine of respondent superior, petitioner-municipality is liable for damages for the death of Vicente Fontanilla because the accident was attributable to the negligence of the municipality's officers, employees, or agents.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Principle of State Immunity is applicable in the case at bar.
FACTS: (1983) The herein petitioners-contractors, under contracts with DPWH, constructed 145 housing units but coverage of construction and funding under the said contracts was only for 2/3 of each housing unit. Through the verbal request and assurance of then DPWH Undersecretary Canlas, they undertook additional constructions for the completion of the project, but said additional constructions were not issued payment by DPWH. With a favorable recommendation from the DPWH Asst. Secretary for Legal Affairs, the petitioners sent a demand letter to the DPWH Secretary. The DPWH Auditor did not object to the payment subject to whatever action COA may adopt.(1992) Through the request of then DPWH Secretary De Jesus, the DBM released the amount for payment but (1996) respondent DPWH Secreatry Vigilar denied themoney claims prompting petitioners to file a petition for mandamus before the RTCwhich said trial court denied. Hence, this petition.Among others, respondent-secretary argues that the state may not be sued invoking the constitutional doctrine of Non-suability of the State also known as the Royal Prerogative of Dishonesty
DECISION: Petition Granted
RATIO DECIDENDI: The respondent may not conveniently hide under the State's cloak of invincibility against suit, considering that this principle yields to certain settled exceptions. The State's immunity cannot serve as an instrument perpetrating injustice
ISSUE: W/N the appellant may properly sue the government.
FACTS: Victoria Amigable is the is the registered owner of a lot which, without prior expropriation proceedings or negotiated sale, was used by the government. Amigable's counsel wrote the President of the Philippines requesting payment of the portion of her lot which had been expropriated by the government. Amigable later filed a case against Cuenca, the Commissioner of Public Highways, for recovery of ownership and possession of the said lot. She also sought payment for compensatory damages, moral damages and attorney's fees. The defendant said that the case was premature, barred by prescription, and the government did not give its consent to be sued.
DECISION: Where the government takes away property from a private landowner for public use without going through the legal process of expropriation or negotiated sale, the aggrieved party may properly maintain a suit against the government without violating the doctrine of governmental immunity from suit. The doctrine of immunity from suit cannot serve as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice to a citizen. The only relief available is for the government to make due compensation which it could and should have done years ago. To determine just compensation of the land, the basis should be the price or value at the time of the taking.
ISSUE: Whether or not DOTC may properly invoke state immunity
FACTS: In February 1993, the DOTC awarded Digitel Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. (Digitel) a contract for the management, operation, maintenance, and development of a Regional Telecommunications Development Project (RTDP) under the National Telephone Program, Phase I, Tranche 1 (NTPI-1). Later on, the municipality of Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte, donated a one thousand two hundred (1,200)square-meter parcel of land to the DOTC for the implementation of the RDTP in the municipality. However, the municipality erroneously included portions of the respondents' property in the donation. Pursuant to the FLAs, Digitel constructed a telephone exchange on the property which encroached on the properties of the respondent spouses. It argues that while the DOTC, in good faith and in the performance of its mandate, took private property without formal expropriation proceedings, the taking was nevertheless an exercise of eminent domain. The Department prays that instead of allowing recovery of the property, the case should be remanded to the RTC for determination of just compensation.
DECISION: NOT A VALID EXERCISE OF EMINENTDOMAIN BECAUSE NO EXPROPRIATIONPROCEEDINGS WERE HELD.
RATIO DECIDENDI: It is unthinkable then that precisely because there was a failure to abide by what the law requires, the government would stand to benefit. It is just as important, if not more so, that there be fidelity to legal norms on the part of officialdom if the rule of law were to be maintained. It is not too much to say that when the government takes any property for public use, which is conditioned upon the payment of just compensation, tobe judicially ascertained, it makes manifest that it submits to the jurisdiction of a court. There is no thought then that the doctrine of immunity from suit could still be appropriately invoked.
ISSUE: Whether or not the state can be sued without its consent.
FACTS: On August 9, 1976, Ildefonso Santiago through his counsel filed an action for revocation of a Deed of Donation executed by him and his spouse in January of 1971, with the Bureau of Plant Industry as the Donee, in the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga City. Mr. Santiago alleged that the Bureau, contrary to the terms of donation, failed to install lighting facilities and water system on the property and to build an office building and parking lot thereon which should have been constructed and ready for occupancy on before December7, 1974. That because of the circumstances, Mr. Santiago concluded that he was exempt from compliance with an explicit constitutional command, as invoked in the Santos v Santos case, a 1952 decision which is similar. The Court of First Instance dismissed the action in favor of the respondent on the ground that the state cannot be sued without its consent, and Santos v Santos case is discernible. The Solicitor General, Estelito P. Mendoza affirmed the dismissal on ground of constitutional mandate. Ildefonso Santiago filed a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court.
RATIO DECIDENDI: The Supreme Court rules, that the constitutional provision shows a waiver. Where there is consent, a suit may be filed. Consent need not to be express. It can be implied. In this case it must be emphasized, goes no further than a rule that a donor, with the Republic or any of its agency being a Donee, is entitle to go to court in case of an alleged breach of the conditions of such donation. The writ of Certiorari prayed is granted and the order of dismissal of October 20, 1977 is nullified, set aside and declare to be without force and effect. The Court of First Instance of Zamboanga City, Branch II, is hereby directed to proceed with this case, observing the procedure set forth in the rules of court. No cost.
ISSUE: WON the Republic can invoke state immunity.
FACTS: The PCGG issued writs placing under sequestration all business enterprises, entities and other properties, real and personal, owned or registered in the name of private respondent Benedicto, or of corporations in which he appeared to have controlling or majority interest due to his involvement incases of ill-gotten wealth. Among the properties thus sequestered and taken over by PCGG fiscal agents were the 227 shares in NOGCCI owned by and registered under the name of private respondent. As sequester of the 227 shares formerly owned by Benedicto, PCGG did not pay the monthly membership fee. Later on, the shares were declared to be delinquent to be put into an auction sale. Despite filing a writ of injunction, it was nevertheless dismissed. So petitioner Republic and private respondent Benedicto entered into a Compromise Agreement which contains a general release clause where petitioner agreed and bound itself to lift the sequestration on the227 NOGCCI shares acknowledging that it was within private respondent’s capacity to acquire the same shares out of his income from business and the exercise of his profession. Implied in this undertaking is the recognition by petitioner that the subject shares of stock could not have been ill-gotten Benedicto filed a Motion for Release from Sequestration and Return of Sequestered Shares/Dividends praying, inter alia, that his NOGCCI shares of stock be specifically released from sequestration and returned, delivered or paid to him as part of the parties’ Compromise Agreement in that case. It was granted but the shares were ordered to be put under the custody of the Clerk of Court. Along with this, PCGG was ordered to deliver the shares to the Clerk of Court which it failed to comply with without any justifiable grounds. In a last-ditch attempt to escape liability, petitioner Republic, through the PCGG, invokes state immunity from suit.
RATIO DECIDENDI: In fact, by entering into a Compromise Agreement with private respondent Benedicto, petitioner Republic thereby stripped itself of its immunity from suit and placed itself in the same level of its adversary. When the State enters into contract, through its officers or agents, in furtherance of a legitimate aim and purpose and pursuant to constitutional legislative authority, whereby mutual or reciprocal benefits accrue and rights and obligations arise therefrom, the State may be sued even without its express consent, precisely because by entering into a contract the sovereign descends to the level of the citizen. Its consent to be sued is implied from the very act of entering into such contract, breach of which on its part gives the corresponding right to the other party to the agreement.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Collector of Customs may be held liable for the 43,050 yardsactually lost by the private respondent.
FACTS: S/S Pacific Hawk vessel with Registry No. 170 arrived on January 30, 1972 at the Port of Manila carrying among others, 80 bales of screen net consigned to Bagong Buhay Trading (Bagong Buhay). The import was classified under Tariff Heading no. 39.06-B of theTariff and Customs Code at 35% ad valorem. Bagong Buhay paid the duties and taxes due in the amount of P11,350.00. The Office of the Collector of Customs ordered a re-examination of the shipment upon hearing the information that the shipment consisted of mosquito net made of nylon under Tariff Heading No. 62.02 of the Tariff and Customs Code. Upon re-examination, it turns out that the shipment was undervalued in quantity and value as previously declared. Thus the Collector of Customs forfeited the shipment in favor of the government. Private respondent filed a petition on August 20, 1976 for the release of the questioned goods which the Court denied. On June 2,1986, 64 bales out of the 80 bales were released to Bagong Buhay after several motion. The sixteen remaining bales were missing. The respondent claims that of the 143,454 yards released, only 116,950 yards were in good condition and the rest were in bad condition. Thus, respondents demand that the Bureau of Customs be ordered to pay for damages for the 43,050 yards it actually lost.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Bureau of Customs cannot be held liable for actual damages that the private respondent sustained with regard to its goods. Otherwise, to permit private respondent's claim to prosper would violate the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Since it demands that the Commissioner of Customs be ordered to pay for actual damages it sustained, for which ultimately liability will fall on the government, it is obvious that this case has been converted technically into a suit against the state. On this point, the political doctrine that “state may not be sued without its consent,” categorically applies. As an unincorporated government agency without any separate judicial personality of its own, the Bureau of Customs enjoys immunity from suit. Along with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, it is invested with an inherent power of sovereignty, namely taxation. As an agency, the Bureau of Customs performs the governmental function of collecting revenues which is defined not a proprietary function. Thus private respondents claim for damages against the Commissioner of Customs must fails.
ISSUE: Whether respondent National Power Corporation performs a governmental function with respect to the management and operation of the Angat Dam; and Whether the power of respondent National Power Corporation to sue and be sued under its organic charter
FACTS: On October 26, 1978, typhoon “Kading” struck Bulacan. Due to this, the National Power Corporation (NPC), through its plant superintendent Benjamin Chavez, simultaneously opened 3 floodgates of Angat Dam.The opening of the floodgates caused several towns to be inundated (the town of Norzagaray was the most affected one). It resulted to a hundred deaths and damage to properties that were worth over a million pesos. Petitioners (victims) filed a complaint for damages against NPC, including plant superintendent Benjamin Chavez. Respondent filed counterclaims and put up a special and affirmative defense that “in the operation of the Angat Dam,” it is “performing a purely governmental function”, hence it “cannot be sued without the express consent of the State.”Petitioners oppose the defense, contending that the NPC is not performing governmental but merely proprietary functions and that under its own organic act, Section 3 (d) of Republic Act No. 6395, it can sue and be sued in any court. CFI dropped the NPC from the complaint and left Chavez as the sole party-defendant.
DECISION: Upon a motion for reconsideration, the CFI ruled that petitioners’ reliance on Sec. 3 of RA 6395 is not tenable since the same refer to such matters that are only within the scope of the other corporate powers of said defendant and not matters of tort as in the instant cases. Being an agency performing a purely governmental function in the operation of the Angat Dam, said defendant was not given any right to commit wrongs upon individuals. To sue said defendant for tort may require the express consent of the State. PETITION DISMISSED.
RATIO DECIDENDI: SC reversed the CFI decision and GRANTED petitioners to reinstate their complaint against the NPC.It is sufficient to say that the government has organized a private corporation, put money in it and has allowed it to sue and be sued in any court under its charter. (R.A. No. 6395). As a government owned and controlled corporation, it has a personality of its own, distinct and separate from that of the Government. Moreover, the charter provision that the NPC can “sue and be sued in any court” is without qualification on the cause of action and accordingly it can include a tort claim such as the one instituted by the petitioners.
ISSUE: Was UP's funds validly garnished?
FACTS: University of the Philippines (UP) entered into a General Construction Agreement with respondent Stern Builders Corporation (Stern Builders) for the construction and renovation of the buildings in the campus of the UP in Los Bas. UP was able to pay its first and second billing. However, the third billing worth P273,729.47 was not paid due to its disallowance by the Commission on Audit (COA). Thus, Stern Builders sued the UP to collect the unpaid balance. On November 28, 2001, the RTC rendered its decision ordering UP to pay Stern Builders. Then on January 16, 2002, the UP filed its motion for reconsideration. The RTC denied the motion. The denial of the said motion was served upon Atty. Felimon Nolasco (Atty.Nolasco) of the UPLB Legal Office on May 17, 2002. Notably, Atty. Nolasco was not the counsel of record of the UP but the OLS in Diliman, Quezon City. Thereafter, the UP filed a notice of appeal on June 3, 2002. However, the RTC denied due course to the notice of appeal for having been filed out of time. On October 4, 2002, upon motion of Stern Builders, the RTC issued the writ of execution. On appeal, both the CA and the High Court denied UPs petition. The denial became final and executory. Hence, Stern Builders filed in the RTC its motion for execution despite their previous motion having already been granted and despite the writ of execution having already issued. On June 11, 2003, the RTC granted another motion for execution filed on May 9, 2003 (although the RTC had already issued the writ of execution on October 4, 2002). Consequently, the sheriff served notices of garnishment to the UPs depositary banks and the RTC ordered the release of the funds. Aggrieved, UP elevated the matter to the CA. The CA sustained the RTC. Hence, this petition.
RATIO DECIDENDI: UP's funds, being government funds, are not subject to garnishment. (Garnishment of public funds; suability vs. liability of the State) Despite its establishment as a body corporate, the UP remains to be a "chartered institution" performing a legitimate government function. Irrefragably, the UP is a government instrumentality, performing the States constitutional mandate of promoting quality and accessible education. As a government instrumentality, the UP administers special funds sourced from the fees and income enumerated under Act No. 1870 and Section 1 of Executive Order No. 714, and from the yearly appropriations, to achieve the purposes laid down by Section 2 of Act 1870, as expanded in Republic Act No. 9500. All the funds going into the possession of the UP, including any interest accruing from the deposit of such funds in any banking institution, constitute a "special trust fund," the disbursement of which should always be aligned with the UPs mission and purpose, and should always be subject to auditing by the COA. The funds of the UP are government funds that are public in character. They include the income accruing from the use of real property ceded to the UP that may be spent only for the attainment of its institutional objectives. A marked distinction exists between suability of the State and its liability. As the Court succinctly stated in Municipality of San Fernando, La Union v. Firme: A distinction should first be made between suability and liability. "Suability depends on the consent of the state to be sued, liability on the applicable law and the established facts. The circumstance that a state is suable does not necessarily mean that it is liable; on the other hand, it can never be held liable if it does not first consent to be sued. Liability is not conceded by the mere fact that the state has allowed itself to be sued. When the state does waive its sovereign immunity, it is only giving the plaintiff the chance to prove, if it can, that the defendant is liable. The Constitution strictly mandated that "no money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law." The execution of the monetary judgment against the UP was within the primary jurisdiction of the COA. It was of no moment that a final and executory decision already validated the claim against the UP.
ISSUE: WON the respondent’s decision is valid
FACTS: A motion to dismiss was filed on September 7, 1972 by defendant Rice and Corn Administration in a pending civil suit in the sala of respondent Judge for the collection of a money claim arising from an alleged breach of contract, the plaintiff being private respondent Yellow Ball Freight Lines, Inc. At that time, the leading case of Mobil Philippines Exploration Inc. v. Customs Arrastre Service where Justice Bengzon stressed the lack of jurisdiction of a court to pass on the merits of a claim against any office or entity acting as part of the machinery of the national government unless consent be shown, had been applied in 53 other decisions. Respondent Judge Amante P. Purisima of the Court of First Instance of Manila denied the motion to dismiss dated October 4, 1972. Hence, the petition for certiorari and prohibition.
RATIO DECIDENDI: The position of the Republic has been fortified with the explicit affirmation found in this provision of the present Constitution: "The State may not be sued without its consent. "The doctrine of non-suability recognized in this jurisdiction even prior to the effectivity of the  Constitution is a logical corollary of the positivist concept of law which, to para-phrase Holmes, negates the assertion of any legal right as against the state, in itself the source of the law on which such a right may be predicated. Nor is this all, even if such a principle does give rise to problems, considering the vastly expanded role of government enabling it to engage in business pursuits to promote the general welfare, it is not obeisance to the analytical school of thought alone that calls for its continued applicability. Nor is injustice thereby cause private parties. They could still proceed to seek collection of their money claims by pursuing the statutory remedy of having the Auditor General pass upon them subject to appeal to judicial tribunals for final adjudication. We could thus correctly conclude as we did in the cited Providence Washington Insurance
DECISION: "Thus the doctrine of non-suability of the government without its consent, as it has operated in practice, hardly lends itself to the charge that it could be the fruitful parent of injustice, considering the vast and ever-widening scope of state activities at present being undertaken. Whatever difficulties for private claimants may still exist,is, from an objective appraisal of all factors, minimal. In the balancing of interests, so unavoidable in the determination of what principles must prevail if government is to satisfy the public weal, the verdict must be, as it has been these so many years, for its continuing recognition as a fundamental postulate of constitutional law." [ Switzerland General Insurance Co., Ltd. v. Republic of the Philippines] ***The consent, to be effective, must come from the State acting through a duly enacted statute as pointed out byJustice Bengzon in Mobil. Thus, whatever counsel for defendant Rice and Corn Administration agreed to had no binding force on the government
ISSUE: WON the mandamus suit of the respondent (Singson) involving a money claim against the government, predicated on a contract is valid
FACTS: "In January 1967, the Office of the District Engineer requisitioned various items of spare parts for the repair of a D-8 bulldozer which was signed by the District Engineer Fernandez, and the Requisitioning Officer (civil engineer), Manuel S. Lepatan. ... It was approved by the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, Antonio V. Raquiza. It is noted in the approval of the said requisition that "This is an exception to the telegram dated Feb. 21, 1967 of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications." ... So, a canvass or public bidding was conducted on May 5, 1967. The committee on award accepted the bid of the Singkier Motor Service for the sum of P43,530.00. ... Subsequently, it was approved by the Secretary of Public Works and Communications; and on May 16,1967 the Secretary sent a letter-order to the Singkier Motor Service, Mandaue, Cebu requesting it to immediately deliver the items listed therein for the lot price of P43,530.00. ...It would appear that a purchase order signed by the District Engineer, the Requisitioning Officer and the Procurement Officer, was addressed to the Singkier Motor Service. ... In due course the Voucher No. 07806 reached the hands of Highway Auditor Sayson for pre-audit. He then made inquiries about the reasonableness of the price. ... Thus, after finding from the indorsements of the Division Engineer and the Commissioner of Public Highways that the prices of the various spare parts are just and reasonable and that the requisition was also approved by no less than the Secretary of Public Works and Communications with the verification of V.M. Secarroa representative of the Bureau of Supply Coordination, Manila, he approved it for payment in the sum of P34,824.00, with the retention of 20% equivalent to P8,706.00 to submit the voucher with the supporting papers to the Supervising Auditor, which he did. ... The voucher was paid on June 9, 1967 in the amount of P34,824.00 to Singson. On June 10,1967, Highway Auditor Sayson received a telegram from Supervising Auditor Fornier quoting a telegraphic message of the General Auditing Office which states: "In view of excessive prices charge for purchase of spare parts and equipment shown by vouchers already submitted this Office direct all highway auditors refer General Office payment similar nature for appropriate action." ... In the interim it would appear that when the voucher and the supporting papers reached the GAO, a canvass was made of the spare parts among the suppliers in Manila, particularly, the USI(Phil.), which is the exclusive dealer of the spare parts of the caterpillar tractors in the Philippines. Said firm thus submitted its quotations at P2,529.64 only which is P40,000.00 less than the price of the Singkier. ... In view of the overpricing the GAO took up the matter with the Secretary of Public Works in a third indorsement of July 18, 1967. ... The Secretary then circularized a telegram holding the district engineer responsible for overpricing." What is more, charges for malversation were filed against the district engineer and the civil engineer involved. It was the failure of the Highways Auditor, one of the petitioners before us, that led to the filing of the mandamus suit below, with now respondent Singson as sole proprietor of Singkier Motor Service, being adjudged as entitled to collect the balance of P8,706.00, the contract in question having been upheld. Hence this appeal by certiorari
RATIO DECIDENDI: the claim is void for the cause or consideration is contrary to law, morals or public policy, mandamus is not the remedy to enforce the collection of such claim against the State but an ordinary action for specific performance. the suit disguised as one for mandamus to compel the Auditors to approve the vouchers for payment, is a suit against the State, which cannot prosper or be entertained by the Court except with the consent of the State. In other words, the respondent should have filed his claim with the General Auditing Office, under the provisions of Com. Act 327 which prescribe the conditions under which money claim against the government may be filed: "In all cases involving the settlement of accounts or claims, other than those of accountable officers, the Auditor General shall act and decide the same within sixty days, exclusive of Sundays and holidays, after their presentation. If said accounts or claims need reference to other persons, office or offices, or to a party interested, the period aforesaid shall be counted from the time the last comment necessary to a proper decision is received by him." Thereafter, the procedure for appeal is indicated: "The party aggrieved by the final decision of the Auditor General in the settlement of an account or claim may, within thirty days from receipt of the decision, take an appeal in writing: (a) To the President of the United States, pending the final and complete withdrawal of her sovereignty over the Philippines, or (b) To the President of the Philippines, or (c) To the Supreme Court of the Philippines if the appellant is a private person or entity. "Once consent is secured, an action may be filed. There is nothing to prevent the State, however, in such statutory grant, to require that certain administrative proceedings be had and be exhausted. Also, the proper forum in the judicial hierarchy can be specified if thereafter an appeal would be taken by the party aggrieved. Here, there was no ruling of the Auditor General. Even had there been such, the court to which the matter should have been elevated is this Tribunal; the lower court could not legally act on the matter.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Trial Court has jurisdiction to declare a statute unconstitutional without notice to the Solicitor General where the parties have agreed to submit such issue for the resolution of the Trial Court. Whether PD 579 and subsequent issuance
FACTS: The Mirasols are sugarland owners and planters.Philippine National Bank (PNB) financed the Mirasols' sugar production venture FROM 1973-1975 under a crop loan financing scheme. The Mirasols signed Credit Agreements, a Chattel Mortgage on Standing Crops, and a Real Estate Mortgage in favor of PNB. The Chattel Mortgage empowered PNB to negotiate and sell the latter'ssugar and to apply the proceeds to the payment of their obligations to it.President Marcos issued PD 579 in November, 1974 authorizing Philippine Exchange Co., Inc. (PHILEX) to purchase sugar allocated for export and authorized PNB to finance PHILEX's purchases. The decree directed that whatever profit PHILEX might realize was to be remitted to the government. Believing that the proceeds were more than enough to pay their obligations, petitioners asked PNB for an accounting of the proceeds which it ignored. Petitioners continued to avail of other loans from PNB and to make unfunded withdrawals from their accounts with said bank. PNB asked petitioners to settle their due and demandable accounts. As a result, petitioners, conveyed to PNB real properties by way of dacion en pago still leaving an unpaid amount. PNB proceeded to extra judicially foreclose the mortgaged properties. PNB still had a deficiency claim. Petitioners continued to ask PNB to account for the proceeds, insisting that said proceeds, if properly liquidated, could offset their outstanding obligations. PNB remained adamant in its stance that under P.D. No. 579, there was nothing to account since under said law, all earnings from the export sales of sugar pertained to the National Government. On August 9, 1979, the Mirasols filed a suit for accounting, specific performance, and damages against PNB.
RATIO DECIDENDI: It is settled that Regional Trial Courts have the authority and jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of a statute, presidential decree, or executive order. The Constitution vests the power of judicial review or the power to declare a law, treaty, international or executive agreement, presidential decree, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation not only in this Court, but in all regional trial courts The purpose of the mandatory notice in Rule 64, Section 3 is to enable the Solicitor General to decide whether or not his intervention in the action assailing the validity of a law or treaty is necessary. To deny the Solicitor General such notice would be tantamount to depriving him of his day in court. We must stress that, contrary to petitioners' stand, the mandatory notice requirement is not limited to actions involving declaratory relief and similar remedies. The rule itself provides that such notice is required in "any action" and not just actions involving declaratory relief. Where there is no ambiguity in the words used in the rule, there is no room for construction. In all actions assailing the validity of a statute, treaty, presidential decree, order, or proclamation, notice to the Solicitor General is mandatory. Petitioners contend that P.D. No. 579 and its implementing issuances are void for violating the due process clause and the prohibition against the taking of private property without just compensation. Petitioners now ask this Court to exercise its power of judicial review. Jurisprudence has laid down the following requisites for the exercise of this power: First, there must be before the Court an actual case calling for the exercise of judicial review. Second, the question before the Court must be ripe for adjudication. Third, the person challenging the validity of the act must have standing to challenge. Fourth, the question of constitutionality must have been raised at the earliest opportunity, and lastly, the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case
FACTS: The USS Guardian is an Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship of the US Navy. In December 2012, the US Embassy in the Philippines requested diplomatic clearance for the said vessel “to enter and exit the territorial waters of the Philippines and to arrive at the port of Subic Bay for the purpose of routine ship replenishment, maintenance, and crew liberty.” On January 6, 2013, the ship left Sasebo, Japan for Subic Bay, arriving on January 13, 2013 after a brief stop for fuel in Okinawa, Japan. On January 15, 2013, the USS Guardian departed Subic Bay for its next port of call in Makassar, Indonesia. On January 17, 2013 at 2:20 a.m. while transiting the Sulu Sea, the ship ran aground on the northwest side of South Shoal of the Tubbataha Reefs, about 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan. No one was injured in the incident, and there have been no reports of leaking fuel or oil. Petitioners claim that the grounding, salvaging and post-salvaging operations of the USS Guardian cause and continue to cause environmental damage of such magnitude as to affect the provinces of Palawan, Antique, Aklan, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Norte, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, which events violate their constitutional rights to a balanced and healthful ecology.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners have legal standing.
DECISION: The petition was DENIED.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Yes. Petitioners have legal standing. Locus standi is “a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question.” Specifically, it is “a party’s personal and substantial interest in a case where he has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result” of the act being challenged, and “calls for more than just a generalized grievance.” However, the rule on standing is a procedural matter which this Court has relaxed for non-traditional plaintiffs like ordinary citizens, taxpayers and legislators when the public interest so requires, such as when the subject matter of the controversy is of transcendental importance, of overreaching significance to society, or of paramount public interest.
ISSUE: Whether petitioners have locus standi to file the instant petitions.
FACTS: During the campaign period for the 2016 Presidential Election, then candidate Rodrigo R. Duterte publicly announced that he would allow the burial of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani (LNMB). He won the May 9, 2016 election, garnering 16,601,997 votes. At noon of June 30, 2016, he formally assumed his office at the Rizal Hall in the Malacañang Palace. August 7, 2016, public respondent Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana issued a Memorandum to the public respondent Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), General Ricardo R. Visaya, regarding the interment of Marcos at the LNMB
DECISION: The petition was GRANTED.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Yes. Petitioners, who filed their respective petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, in their capacities as citizens, human rights violations victims, legislators, members of the Bar and taxpayers, have no legal standing to file such petitions because they failed to show that they have suffered or will suffer direct and personal injury as a result of the interment of Marcos at the LNMB.
ISSUE: Whether or not ITF has standing to file the case.
FACTS: RA 8046 was passed on 07 June 1995 authorizing COMELEC to conduct nationwide computerized election system. Gloria Arroyo allocated php 2.5 billion fund for the automated election system on 24 January 2003. The bidding process commenced on the same month and out of the 57 bidders it was awarded to MPC and TIMC. Although DOST’s evaluation report states that the two obtained a number of failed marks in the technical evaluation. Five individuals and entities protested the matter to COMELEC Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. Abalos rejected the protest, hence the present petition.
DECISION: The petition was GRANTED.
RATIO DECIDENDI: The case at bar is a matter of public concern and imbued with public interest, it is of paramount public interest and transcendental importance. Taxpayers are allowed to sue when there is a claim of “illegal disbursement of public funds” or if public money is being “deflected to any improper use,” or when petitioner seek to restrain “wasting of public funds through the enforcement of an unconstitutional law.”
ISSUE: Whether or not Senator Ople has standing to maintain suit.
FACTS: Administrative Order No 308, otherwise known as “Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System” was issued by President Fidel Ramos on 12 December 1996. Senator Blas Ople filed a petition to invalidate the said order for violating the right to privacy. He contends that the order must be invalidated on two constitutional grounds, (1) that it is a usurpation of the power to legislate; and (2) that it intrudes the citizen’s right to privacy.
DECISION: The petition was GRANTED.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Petitioner, Senator Ople is a distinguished member of the Senate. As a Senator,
petitioner is possessed of the requisite standing to bring suit raising the issue that the issue of Administrative Order No 308 is a usurpation of legislative power. Ople’s concern that the Executive branch not to trespass on the lawmaking domain of Congress is understandable. The blurring demarcation line between the power of legislature to make laws and the power of executive to execute laws will disturb their delicate balance and cannot be allowed.