ISSUE: Whether or not a law may invalidate or supersede treaties or generally accepted principles.
FACTS: Lao Ichong, representing himself and other resident-aliens who are engagedin the retail industry in the Philippines petitioned the Supreme Court to declare RA1180 (An Act to Regulate the Retail Business) as unconstitutional. One of the provisions of the Act was the prohibition of persons, not Filipino citizens, and against associations, partnerships, or corporations not wholly-owned by citizens of the Philippines from engaging directly or indirectly in the retail trade. Petitioners said that the act denies them the equal protection of laws and deprives them of their liberty and property without due process.
DECISION: Yes, a law may supersed a treaty or a generally accepted principle.
RATIO DECIDENDI: In this case, the Supreme Court saw no conflict between the raised generally accepted principle and with RA 1180. The equal protection of the law clause “does not demand absolute equality amongst residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced”; and, that the equal protection clause “is not infringed by legislation which applies only to those persons falling within a specified class, if it applies alike to all persons within such class, and reasonable grounds exist for making a distinction between those who fall within such class and those who do not.”